I do not know if you are like me but I love to receive gifts. It is so much fun especially when the gift is something special. You know the person giving you the gift really thought about you and looked hard on getting something meaningful. Well, last Sunday, my beautiful daughter came home from a conference, The Declare Conference; she attended for Christian women bloggers. She brought joy, excitement and bags full of goodies. We sat on her bed while she took each item out giving me all of the info or short story behind it. I was intrigued because of the bulkiness of each bag. All of the items were related to a speaker, a new friend she had made, the women at her table or the connections with the small business represented at the tables outside. She showed me what she got as a keepsake of the event, a cup, tee shirt, books… and every two or three items she took out, one was for me. I am like a little girl waiting for the next thing to jump out of the bag. I felt elated. It was so sweet of her to think of me. It was as if I was part of the event itself. She was at the end of emptying her last bag when she said, “Mom, I wanted to really bring you something special and I got you this!” Wow! It was a cross, medium size, beautifully made with three nails and a paper underneath one of the nails. She went on to give me the story. She bought the cross at one of the vendor tables. The cross is hand made, once completed, the children of Rick and Jackie Drew who founded the ministry, RAD JOY Surrender Cross, pray over each cross. The crosses are a visual reminder of Christ’s love.
Can you imagine my joy! Someone without knowing me had already prayed for me. The best part of the story is that Jackie Drew who was selling the crosses at the event prayed again over each cross (Mari got one for herself). She wrote on a paper the word that stood out in her heart while she prayed over each of our crosses. Yes, when I saw the word on my cross, I started to cry. I was touched by God’s joy and faithfulness. Only God can be in the heart of the RAD JOY Surrender Cross ministry. You see I was supposed to go as well to the conference but was unable to at the last minute. God was taking care of me and wanted me to know how much He loves me. I am praying to be there this year.
I sat down to pray the next day, wrote down my burdens and physically nailed them to the cross. Every time I look at the cross, I am reminded not to worry because I have released my burdens to Jesus. Peace comes upon me. I know my prayers will be answered in God’s perfect moment.
We all have burdens and worries, many times not knowing how to resolve them. Just leave them at the cross and Jesus will take care of them. “For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians1: 13-14 Pray and trust in God. When you do, God will fill you with incredible peace. The prophet, Isaiah describes this peace beautifully in the Bible in the book of Isaiah, “You (God) will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4
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Until my next post…
In Christ’s love,
It has been a struggle during these past months of physical pain. Staying aligned with God’s love and His promise of healing, and not forsaking me has made me stronger in His love. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:2-3
I will not deny there have been moments of sadness, loneliness and uncertainty as to what is going to happen next? Each time, I have put myself in the only arms that can truly bring me peace, those of Jesus. Meditating on the Word and remembering all Jesus went through for me, would make me say, “I’m sorry Lord, who am I to feel this way, when You, my Jesus, went through such peril so I can have access to heaven and enjoy eternal life!” He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases. Matthew 8:17 Thank you my Jesus.
It is in our troubling times, whatever it is we are going through, be it illness, financial difficulty, loss of a loved one or just living life with its ups and downs that we become aware of who is really there for us. My Church family, friends and those I would not even imagine helping me out have been instrumental in making my days tolerable, joyful and hopeful. We need encouragement and the sense of being loved. Everyone has their own struggles but as Christians we are called to comfort and be with those who are in pain, sick or hurting. Yet many let their busyness stop from truly doing what Christ has called them to. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:8
I am grateful for my Pastors who made sure I had flowers at the hospital and when I came home. Flowers and their beauty always warm my heart. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 I received food gift cards so my daughter did not have to worry about preparing food. The Pastors visited me, prayed for me. Colleagues, my fellow librarians in particular Gay, called, texted, and visited and gave us gift cards as well. My niece, Aury Lis, came from Puerto Rico to take care of me for a week when my daughter began her new job. My dear friend and daughter, Naomi, living in Chicago took a long weekend to come and take care of me so my daughter could rest. Friends like Justina, Sandra, Marilou, Donna, Jan, Melanie, Christina, Carla, Allison and Daisy, Barbara spent hours of their time keeping me company and assisting my daughter. Others have been Prayer Warriors, my Bible study group, Neil, Janet, Rosalie, Tammy, Miguel, Carlos, Pastor April, Connie, MeriLynne, who with their prayers literally lifted me up in the hospital room. Thank you to Carlitos and Dave who visited and made me laugh. Those who visited me at the Hospital, thank you for taking of your time to be with me. I thank God for each of you. There are no words to express how grateful I am. My neighbors as well who have been so attentive. My friends and family from Puerto Rico, California and New Jersey for your prayers, calls and messages. My friends who continue to call and visit with me, thank you. The prayer of faith will make the sick person well; and the Lord will raise them up. James 5:15
Do not take lightly a call, text, visit, sending flowers or a prayer. Be an instrument of God’s love and joy. Look around you. You will find someone needing a smile, prayer or five minutes of your time. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Psalm 112:5
In Christ’s love,
It has been a long time since I last posted. A lot of things have happened in my life since January of 2016. I shared my post on how I began to de clutter things in my home and get better organized. It is sometimes difficult to prioritize but essential for our whole well-being. Some of you shared with me how the post had spoken to you and began doing some de cluttering as well in your homes.
I have been going through some trials with illness within my body. My body was feeling weak and I was dragging myself to places. I decided to go to the Doctor only to find out I had bronchitis. I began on medication and I was not getting better. The Doctors gave me more medicine and I was hospitalized in April for tests. This was the beginning of a whirlwind where surgery and two other hospitalizations occurred. It is June and I am still recovering from what the Doctors thought was a simple surgery to complications.
I went from being an active woman to someone who became totally dependent on my daughter, hospital staff, Church family and friends to take care of my basic needs. I could not work, drive or stand on my own. I am now feeling better, knowing I will be stronger tomorrow, praising God for each new day and waiting for Him to unfold His precious beauty around me. “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16: 7-8.
Most importantly during this time of illness, I have become solely dependent on God, His love, strength, joy, compassion and provision. Trusting in Him, believing and declaring His promises over my life. Prayer has been so essential during this time. I will not be writing if it was not for God answering my prayers and of those who prayed and continue to pray over me. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
I thank God for my beautiful daughter who has discovered more of herself during this time. She became God’s instrument to provide for me and be my caregiver. She took care of me while juggling a new job. I am truly proud of her and thankful to God for the woman she has become. She is my treasure. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4
Something that has not changed during all of this time is my longing to do God’s will in my life and guide others to the heart of Jesus. I have been constant with my devotionals. All you need to do is sign up with your email to receive my weekly devotional. You will receive it in your inbox every Tuesday. I have gotten feedback from many of the subscribers who have told me what a blessing the weekly devotional is for them. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advanced for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
I will continue to write once a week about this challenging time, the Church community, family and friends that have walked with me along this time. I pray it be a blessing for you to grow in the love of Christ.
In Christ’s love,
As I entered into 2016 the words that resonated in my mind and heart were unclutter and organization. I have been praying to God to give me physical strength to get rid of many things I have stored away for a long time. I literally need to open boxes I have had closed for a long time. It just seems I need days to do it all and maybe another pair of hands.
As this has been tugging at me, I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Just as you have stuff to get rid of, you also have thoughts that have been weighing you down. Unclutter your thoughts and feelings of unworthiness, insecurities, what if’s and fears”. Bam! I understand this is why maybe the boxes have not been opened for not wanting to face what is inside and dealing with what to do with the “stuff”.
I want to let go of all that is tugging at me and as I fast and seek God all I want is His peace and comfort. I want more of Him and less of me. I feel a sense of accomplishment as I go about uncluttering my home. I am realizing that what I do in the physical has an impact in the Spiritual.
I want to honor God and I know that by seeking Him more and more, my thoughts are becoming transformed with His Presence. As I listen to His Word and less to what the media is constantly bombarding of “what my needs are”, the more peace I feel. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Join me this 2016 to seek more of God, listen to His voice, His sweet whisper. Let the presence of Jesus fill you. Jesus is the perfect role model to follow. Allow the Holy Spirit into your life. He comforts and empowers you with His gifts. “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
In Christ’s love,
Life consists of making choices every day. Some decisions are easier to make than others. How many times do we put things on a balance, the pros and the cons of what we need to decide? How many people do we call or go to so we can seek their counsel to help us decide what choice will be better for us? After some or little consideration, we make a decision to later realize it was not the correct one. We panic, worry and cry out to God to help us after the decision has been made.
We have done things backwards. As children of God, we need to seek Him first, seek His divine counsel. How? We seek Him through prayer, reading His Word and listening to His voice on what He wants for us. We were created for a God given Purpose. Every decision we make will be to walk in God’s purpose or it will be to alienate us from what God wants for our lives. God’s Word says, “For the plans I have for you will be to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
I can tell you I have not been exempt of the above. I used to do things backwards but once I realized my error, my decision-making has become better. I am happier because I know I am walking in God’s will. Believe me life is much more bearable because Christ is my life. I put everything before Him and “His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Decisions also take courage, patience and discernment. These are BIG words in what they represent. Courage is stepping outside of our comfort zone, being bold. Remember to walk out in the presence of God, not in your own strength. You cannot do it alone. Patience, because sometimes we just need to be still and listen for God’s voice as the Word says in Psalm 46:10 (NIV), “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” We glorify God when we make good decisions and walk in His will. Discernment, knowing when it is the perfect timing, knowing when to act and not react.
Remember to pray, go before God, ask Him what does he want you to do, be still, listen to His voice, be patient in your wait and step out in God’s perfect timing. You will see transformation in your life for greater things.
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In Christ’s love,