Wednesday, March 21, 2018


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By Angeline M Duran Santiago

I wonder how the heart of God feels when he looks at marriage, all marriages, regardless of the faith, the religious affiliation, if they believe or not? I wonder what we would hear if he chose to relate to us audibly? What would his viewpoints, positive and negative be if he'd write an observation paper for the thousands of married couples in this world who have taken a vow to be wed to one another according to the meaning of marriage found in scriptures from the beginning of time?

Would he see the faces that smile on the outside in front of company and at work that turn off immediately once they're in the car ride home or in the home? Would he observe the silence between two people who've decided that the best way not to argue is just to survive one another's presence in silence? Would God show up to sit in the living room of couples who have chosen a deeper and more intimate relationship with their television, their cell phone and their computer but have zero time for a true intimate relationship with their significant other? I wonder if God would walk into the bedroom of thousands who sleep, back to back, purposefully withholding meaningful and much needed conversation as well as the intimacy they've been created to pursue with one another?

I share this because it is a reality I see daily in so many that share their hearts with me. I hear the stories of how there is anger, hurtful words and the blame game going on in some marriages that have sort of just started. I pray and hope my words are the words the Lord would have me say to this person that is hurting and ready to call it quits. Then, I meditate on my marriage and realize it's not that far away from the painful stories I'm sitting here and listening to.

"Lord, did I speak with your heart in mind?" I look up to heaven and wonder if I'll get a thumb up or if God will whisper, "Hypocrite. Liar." 

I've told them that when we place our relationships and our marriages in God's hands, there is nothing difficult for Him. He restores what is broken and He breathes life into a love that is hurt and dying. I tell them God will not fail and that maybe they need to just learn to seek the Lord together and trust him. I speak these words and see the image of my own relationship, so void of the very things I counsel others to do. 

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Does God see marriages with the answer to their crisis and shout out for them to open their eyes, wake up, grow up and get it together because the answer is right there within their reach or does he sit back and wait to see if they will, we will, ever be quiet enough to hear him tell us once more that it's all in seeking Him and putting Him first that we can succeed?

Marriages today face the very same problems our grandparents faced. I'm sure they had issues, faced trials and temptations, and many times ended it all because it was just too painful and exhausting to continue to band their heads against the concrete wall in trying to deal with someone who just didn't want to change. Or, change was not an option for themselves so they walked away.

But, what if, what if we truly took to observing what we do each day and write it down, day after day to see what is our daily agenda like and how it is affecting our marriage positively or negatively? I write mostly from the viewpoint of someone who has faith in the God of the Bible, Yahweh, Creator of heaven and earth. I write from the perspective of someone who believes scriptures are words from our Heavenly Father and a guide for our lives.

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How many hours are spent on our cell phones googling nonsense? We would see that many have an addiction to certain subjects and curiosities on the internet. They spend every available free moment waiting to be on their phone to search, to type in those specific words that lead them to their destination. Free time that can be invested in recognizing that their marriage is falling apart and instead of their internet search be on how to save their marriage, they allow what is truly alive and important in their heart to dictate their heart's desire. So, their internet history is full of what is in that person's mind. 

You can seek counsel, do hours of marriage counseling or go in for personal counseling and therapy and nothing will work because it's not about you talking and talking and talking and never changing or taking the advice given. It's that you and I choose not to change, not to surrender to God and let him to do the work that is needed in us. We are selfish and care more about holding on to our past, to our lusts, and our own needs and we don't even truly give even a try to giving our all to God.

We see husbands and wives who can't put their phones away or leave them in a room. People walk into the home and the phone is always in their hands, never in a pocket or their bag. They are always on a mission to look and look and look at their phones. It never ends. I've honestly witnessed couples, married couples who are sitting in the same room, both have their cell phones in their hands and both are texting and searching on their phones while the television is on a movie they agreed to watch together. REALLY?

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God must see the countless nights that couples fall asleep  and one of them allows the tears to fall quietly because one more night, the only company was a book, or the Bible. The only embrace came from God's loving arms and the only love was poured out from The Father above. How many marriages are full of pain because they can't honestly say they understand what love is? Some are so caught up in their jobs, their company, their church, their ministry and their personal crisis, that one or the other cannot be in the same room with the other, there are no more hugs, genuine kisses from the heart, and even love making is a taboo, a subject to never discuss because honestly, if there's no love, how can anyone attempt love making unless it's just to fulfill what they're seeking on the internet?

I will continue to advise those that come to me in this way. God and God alone can save your marriage. It takes connecting to Him, to His heart and his word to understand that He is our all in all. Without God, we do not have love and we cannot give love. Without the Lord, we have empty promises and we cannot say, "Sorry or forgive me" from the heart because we are not truly repentant in front of God, so why would we feel guilt or hurt in front of our spouse? We will continue the same patterns we have until we've made a decision to seriously pursue God's will for our lives and thus dedicate our free time to finding his heart in the matter of our relationships, our marriages, and our families. If our marriage is falling apart and there are children in the home, do not for one moment believe that they aren't aware and that they aren't hurting alongside with the nonsense that's being allowed in your life and in your home.

God is real. He is present. But, we push him away. We ignore him. We silence him. We walk away while our eyes are on our cell phones. We shut him off to stay hours on the television. God sits back and laughs when we say we don't understand what is wrong or how to fix the problem. He is our help and refuge at all times.

Marriage is about loving one another. God is love. If God is present, and he is in our lives, we are able to walk in love. Marriage is about understanding no one is perfect. We fail. We mess up. God has provided forgiveness. His heart in us helps us to walk in forgiveness. Marriage is about communication. Prayer, worship and praise is our way of communicating with our Lord. His Word is a constant back and forth with those who love him. God is an intentional God who wants to be in our lives and cares enough to whisper into our hearts and speak to us. If God take time to pray and seek the Lord, then we have an example of communicating with our spouse. Without communication, how can we coexist in the same home together? How can anyone say they love you but never talk to you? How can anyone say they want to be with you but are never by your side?

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Marriage is about learning to fight together. God has provided so many scriptures to remind us that we need to pray together, trust together and serve the Lord together. But, we don't. We are selfish and pursue our personal agendas not really caring who we hurt along the way. We get caught up in our afflictions instead of sharing with our spouse and seeking the Lord for healing and breakthrough. 

I will always try my best to inspire others with the only hope I myself have, the Lord's life in me. He alone can rescue your marriage. It is the only advice even for me. I hope that in some way, these words wake you up enough to make you look into your marriage and make the needed changes, take those necessary steps, to heal and renew your life as a married woman or man of God. If God is truly your source of life, your marriage and my marriage cannot and will not survive unless He is truly the center of our hearts and all we do.


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By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Free time. We rarely have a free moment to spare. I've chosen to identify those small moments and use them for reading. I fill those minutes with reading scriptures or books that share the same ideas found in scripture. Lately, I'm finding a small voice behind me encouraging and pushing me to spend those small moments with prayer. I've been reading much on prayer and although I read a lot about it, I realize I read more than what I actually pray. So, one definite move and change I am looking to put great effort into is prayer. Prayer and putting into practice the truths one encounters when the Word pops out at you personally makes all the difference in one's day and daily walk. 

Through all this, I've encountered a great struggle. As much as I know the Word of the Lord is focused and centered on Love, there are daily situations that just make loving certain people really hard. It is a challenge I've accepted and placed before me on so many occasions. It is so hard to really love those people that continuously make their presence a hindrance and a nuisance. "So, help me see them through your eyes, Lord." I say. And I pray and I search inside the reserves of my mind to find and remember scriptures that remind me to love and that I have to love because He first loved me. And I find those verses loud inside of me, forgive because he has not only forgiven you but if you have a problem with forgiving others, how can you honestly expect God to grant you the very things you struggle with? 

See the source imageIt's about praying for someone who has hurt you and just doesn't stop hurting you. I wonder, do they really not know how they affect me? I truly believe someone that offends and hurts with words is not ignorant of what they are saying or doing. There has to be something inside of them that is so messed up that they can't control to let out what is truly inside of themselves, deep inside. God's voice is loud and clear when it comes to loving and carrying one another's burdens. I do attempt to listen and understand.

I try to show compassion and a listening ear full of love. My mind digs deep into those verses that have been comfort and strength for me and I share them with the very ones who are hurtful towards me. It's so hard. But, I know God reminds me that I can do all things through Him who strengthens and enables me to do so. So, I keep trying.

When it comes to the believers in our life, I have to wonder. How can we say we believe in this great God and His word yet we find it so easy to do an about face on the very things we preach and say we believe in? I look at the amount of leaders in the kingdom that do nothing but offend, hurt and turn believers away. I see the attitudes and the lack of Jesus in the very people that say they are called to worship and preach the Word, in season and out of season. Or, is that, when you feel like being a Christian and when you feel like you're not?

This is why I believe my free time is important to spend on being filled with scripture and anything that empowers me and changes me to be more like Christ. I truly believe that if we were to spend less time concerned with ourselves and our needs, we would truly invest in spiritual exercises that build us up daily. When the focus is off of who we are in Christ and his will, then our focus is all on us and what we think we're working so hard on for the kingdom of God, even if we tear apart some kingdom dwellers in the midst of it all.

The scriptures inspire us to love, to forgive, to be charitable, to teach and admonish with love and gentleness. The Word encourages us to imitate Christ and to be filled with Holy Spirit. It constantly tells us to think of others first, to watch  what we say and to do all things as if we were doing it to God. We work to serve the church at the same time we are hurting those in the church. We work so hard to put on a huge presentation that will glorify the Lord, but in the process we break apart the persons that come along to be part of the project. We chew them up and spit them out. We use our words as ammunition and justify ourselves by believing that since we're the leader, we have the right to speak how we want and say we want because God is on our side. Sadly, I wonder if God has been there lately at all.

Prayer and Scripture. If there's anything we need more of today, it's using our free time and all our time, even when we don't have time, for times of seeking the Lord and times for reading the words in scripture. This will help us to love and forgive and not be easily offended. This will help us make more efforts to speak with love, even when it is the hardest thing to do. It will help us even deal with family that make us wish we weren't family because of their cruel words, but God will equip us with His presence and His love to do what is necessary for us to walk as the Lord has asked us to walk.

For a long time, I've felt down because I have felt as if my time is past and I will never accomplish those things God had shown me and placed in my heart when I first believed. I have blamed church leaders who told me I would never do such things for their personal reasons and I blamed myself for not fighting and standing when things went wrong and crazy. But, today, I choose to believe that even in my misgivings and my mistakes, God is still present. Perhaps I will never do those things I so desired to do for the kingdom. The jealousy and lack of vision in the leaders that led me for a time were obstacles at one time, but through prayer, I've been able to move forward with forgiveness in my heart towards them. I am not hurt and I don't hold it against them because I realize they just never took the time to really seek God's will for themselves of for me. They couldn't help me because they needed help themselves. These pastors and leaders could only give me what they were feeling, their hurt, their lack of love and their lives empty of Christ. People were caught up with their own issues and instead of teaching those in the church to drop everything and seek the face of God, they just met together and decided a certain group of people were messing up their church and they needed to go. I've been dismissed from so many churches, its funny and sad all at the same time. But, Now I see it wasn't them.

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So, what do we do? Do we live life angry and unfulfilled or do we turn to Christ because there is still some purpose within us to live out? We continue to believe God. We continue to seek Him and trust Him. We look for those moments when we can commune with Him and we ask the Lord to speak into our lives even when the world around is loud and our own heartbeat seems muted.

We ask the Lord to heal any area that we think is healed but in reality may still be broken and hurting. We ask the Lord to make His word come alive in us when we read it. We pray and ask the Lord to do something new in our family and in our lives. We ask the Lord to let His will be done before our own. We surrender and wait on him.

Free time. It may come in the form of being sick and you stay home or spend hours in the hospital. If you have a cell phone or kindle, you can spend that time reading scripture or materials that encourage you in the Lord. Free time may come like today, a storm outdoors, snow, hail and rain. It's been a day for reflection, reading, and wanting God's healing and rest in my body and mind. Lord, help us to see the small moments you give us so that we may always turn to searching for your grace and your love. 

God is our hiding place, our refuge, and our all if we truly invest in giving him those small moments and not just waiting til there's an emergency to recognize and seek Him. May we know and understand that He is present always, our hiding place.

In Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


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By Angeline M Duran Santiago

As I've been sharing with you for the past days, I've been reading a book on prayer along with my prayer buddy, my mom, Maria. It is a 40 day challenge, The Prayer Circle by Mark Batterson, to simply be reminded of what we already know. God listens. Prayer is communicating with our Heavenly Father. Still, knowing this we tend to let life take over and we forget what we know, we  stop practicing the life changing disciplines that are needed more than water and air each day. Knowing that we can turn to God in prayer, we choose to live each moment, each hour, on our own, with the thoughts of His Word on our minds and in our hearts, but still, we surrender to tiredness and the daily  tasks, still we refuse to bow our knees in prayer to communicate our surrendered hearts and wills to the Lord.

This book has been a strong reminder of who the Lord is and what He is able to be in my daily life. It's taking the time to recognize He is present, just as we recognize our spouse is sleeping next to us, our child is in the next room and that the cat is looking out the window on the window sill. We see it all, acknowledge it and take care of feeding our family and providing. We need to wake up with the understanding that the Lord is also present in our home, in our lives and in our daily moments. We need to take time, no, let me rephrase that, "I" I, I need to take time to shut the world off for a moment and recognize that the God, the only one that can do for me, my help and my everything is ever present as a forgotten and ignored person and reality in my life. I need to wake up and see God for who He is.

I talk to my mom on the phone and she is full of encouragement that comes from the Lord. Her words are seasoned with scripture and reminders to trust the Lord and believe He is faithful. This happens when we spend time in God's presence. He fills us so that we have for our daily life and we have for the people in our lives that need to hear from the Lord as well. But, we also need to connect to our Source of Power and Life. We take the time to plug our phones in to be charged before we go to sleep. Some people are glued to their cell phones or smart watches as if these items were another part of their body when they were born. We need to turn off all the noise, all the technology and all the rush of our lives and stand still before the True and Sovereign God who has something to say if we will but listen.

Scripture. I'm baffled by how crazy it is that we don't spend our time in the Word. How can anyone survive or learn to make it without getting scripture into their life each day leaves me confused. I can't make it without the Lord. The days that I don't have my scripture time I feel at such a loss. 

Lord, I need you desperately. I shut down and wait on you. I choose to listen to You.

Monday, February 26, 2018


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By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Reading through, "Draw the Circle" 40 day prayer challenge by Mark Batterson has been easy and hard all at the same time. I think the easiest part of this plan is the reading. Each day's reading is short, encouraging and challenging the believer's heart. The hardest part is just getting into the routine of praying much earlier than one is used to. When we have to go to work, it's such a challenge and the body just wants to surrender to more sleep. So, I push myself and I remind myself that this is my battlefield. This is where I am fighting my hardest because it's in seeking the Lord and truly getting to know the Creator of the universe, will my prayers have meaning. I don't just want to recite a prayer or mumble away while I'm half asleep. I want to, I need to see the power of God move in my life and make some serious changes. 

I truly want to experience daily moments of being in His presence and savoring my time in his company. I want to experience sitting at his feet and waiting upon His mercy and His answer. I believe that I will see something amazing happen in my home, in my personal life, in our bodies physically and emotionally, and that there is going to be healing. I don't know when or how but I know that if we truly surrender and desire to be in communion and fellowship with the Lord, the scriptures will come alive and they will have meaning. We won't see those words in the Bible as mere stories and narratives. They will speak into our lives and the promises written will become clear.

Know that I am not in any way promoting this book, but this is my personal time of circling my promises and drawing my circle over the scriptures and the things in my life that I need to. 

I end with a few thoughts from my readings:

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Day 6

Don't be afraid to ask God and pursue Him. He knows what I need. Can I trust Him for what seems impossible for me? Can I place all my hope in seeking Him and knowing He shall take care of what I've placed before Him? What if I never prayed and never asked, then why should I expect anything?
I will be bold and come into His presence. He is my Heavenly Father and I will wait on Him.

Day 7

If I want to see God answer prayer and move on my behalf, what am I doing to show the Lord that I truly believe He will make a way if I give him my problems and my issues? I'm putting action into the faith I profess to have and I will move in faith, believing that the Lord will have His way and His will be done.

Day 8

Lord, I see you're moving in my home in what may seem a small way. Conversations and the way things feel let me know that you have entered into my world and you're presently involved. In the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, we read a part in the story where it says, "Aslan is on the move." I invite you, Oh Lord, to come and move in my home, in my life, in our hearts and radically change our worlds for your glory. Show me your ways. Show me your heart. Reveal your ways to my life and let me see what you want and need me to see. Let me see what my children need from me and what everyone in my family needs from me. Show me and teach me your ways. Show me what my co-workers need from me. Give me the words they need to hear. 

Fill my mind with wisdom and guide me, Lord. In Jesus name, amen.

Day 9
 What have you birthed in my heart and in my spirit that I've put to the side? Is there something I'm supposed to do and have ignored it and left it dead on the way side? Lord, help me to listen to your  voice and let me move with the God-ideas you've placed in me. Allow those seeds to take root and grow for I know that when I was younger there were so many seeds planted in my life. The enemy has come and tried to destroy it's growth, but hidden deep inside of my heart, those seeds are still there and they are incorruptible seeds placed by You Lord. Rain into my life and let your will grow in my life. Let me be a blessing in my home, to my family and to my co-workers. Let me be a blessing wherever I go and to whoever needs it. Destroy the fear that continues to show up and tell me it can't be done and it won't happen. I trust in Your Word and your power and ability to make things happen. I believe you are healer and deliverer! I believe you change the broken hearts into lives with purpose. I believe you will lift us up in victory and not leave us abandoned in our pain and confusion. You are an awesome God and I choose to trust in You!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


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By Angeline M Duran Santiago


I made a decision not only to press onward in prayer and seeking the Lord's help in a greater way each day, but to also lose myself once again in the scriptures. We don't realize the treasure we have in God's Word only because we don't take the time to take it out and read it, truly read it. The treasure of God's Word is not hidden. It is not unreachable but it is beautifully displayed on many pulpits, altars and tables. The Word decorates many homes or lays along with other great books on a shelf. For some, the Bible is tucked away in a box in the attic or the storage store. 

Explorers spend their lives looking for artifacts and hidden items to learn about the past. They live completely devoted to the cause of learning more about a forgotten civilization. Their hours are spent under a suffocating sun, in the desert or the arctic, or where they believe these treasures are because they are filled with an unquenchable thirst to find the answers they seek.

We have the greatest treasure of all in the scriptures and most of us don't open it until Sunday, if we open it. Today's church now displays the scripture up high so we can follow along with the teaching or message. But, what a calamity it is if all we know is that moment of following along in church. We hurt ourselves in not making the effort to just open it and begin to read if only to find the promises of the Lord for us, who so desperately need Him.
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The word of the Lord doesn't just feed our thirsty soul one time. It doesn't just meet our needs during a religious holiday. The Scriptures are a treasure that continue to provide every time it is opened and searched.
There are so many amazing verses that if you were to truly invest reading time, even if you're tired or overwhelmed at work, I can almost guarantee you that something amazing will take place.

Our perspective on life changes when we take this treasure into our hands. Our attitudes begin to change. Our prayer life begins to change because we are being renewed and being filled with faith. God's word begins to remind us of who we are and what the Lord has for us today and in the future. We go from feeling alone and abandoned to understanding our purpose and walking knowing that we are truly loved by God.

Sharing Some Treasures I Found This Week:

Colossians 1:9
We keep asking God to fill you with the knowledge of what he wants. 

Colossians 1:11
We want you to be very strong, in keeping with his glorious power. We want you to be patient. We pray that you will never give up.

Colossians 1:14
Because of what the Son has done, we have been set free. Because of him, all our sins have been forgiven.

Colossians 2:17
But what is real is found in Christ.

Colossians 3:3
You died. Now your life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is your life.

Colossians 4:2
Give a lot of time and effort to prayer. Always be watchful and thankful.

Colossians 4:17
Be sure that you complete the work the Lord gave you to do.

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I can go on and on but I want to ask you to go on and search for this hidden treasure that is already in your possession. Look at the book of Colossiand and Thessalonians with new eyes. Ask the Lord to guide you and speak to you as you read the book of John again. Discover the Psalms again. Go through Proverbs once more. There is so much for you and me to feed on.

I pray you are blessed in a super wonderful way and that your walk in the Lord is strengthened and renewed. Enjoy this treasure of the Scriptures, in Him.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Jonah's Prayer

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Jonah’s Prayer inside the Fish

[a] From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.
Jonah prayed:
    “I called to the Lord in my distress,
        and he answered me.
    From the depths of my watery grave I cried for help,
        and you heard my cry.
    You threw me into the deep, into the depths of the sea,
        and water surrounded me.
            All the whitecaps on your waves have swept over me.

    “Then I thought,
        ‘I have been banished from your sight.
            Will I ever see your holy temple again?’

    “Water surrounded me, threatening my life.
        The deep sea covered me completely.
            Seaweed was wrapped around my head.
    I sank to the foot of the mountains.
    I sank to the bottom,
        where bars held me forever.
            But you brought me back from the pit, O Lord, my God.

    “As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord.
        My prayer came to you in your holy temple.
    Those who hold on to worthless idols abandon their loyalty to you.
        But I will sacrifice to you with songs of thanksgiving.
    I will keep my vow.
        Victory belongs to the Lord!”

Learning to draw a circle of prayer

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By Angeline M Duran Santiago

I want to share some of the journal entries I've made as I read through, "Make the Circle by Mark Batterson. They're not super amazing quotes or mind boggling discoveries, just simple tidbits I write as I read along.

Day 1
I need to stop trying to just pray these quick robotic prayers. God already knows what I need. So, Lord, can you show me how to come before you and just sit here, chill out in this place so I can learn just how to share my heart with you the way I need to. Show me how to open up my heart and let you see what's inside. You know every prayer and every concern written all over my mind. You hear them screamed out at times, over and over and over again. I come without an agenda, no routines, no formulas, just me. I give myself over to you and I long to truly hear your heart in the matter of prayer, talking and sharing my heart with you. You know my kids, my family, my job, my everything. You know what I should pray for. I thought I knew, but I know I need to seek you anew because I truly want to know your heart and I truly want to experience your hand working in my life and in the life of those that make a part of my life.

Day 2
How can I not trust you with the small stuff in my life? 
Healing, financial situations, my children? To me they are my life and they've always been the huge things in my life. But, compared to the mountains, the skies, the universe, my issues are but specs to you. So, Lord, I want to learn to trust you with the miracles and the promises that are in your word and are easy for you. You just speak the Word and it happens. You speak and healing comes forth. You speak and the dead rise. You speak and the oppressed and bound are set free. You show up and the darkness has to run. So, if you are master and Lord over the things that are so hugs and awesome in this world, then I know that you will take care of my life as well.

Lord, I don't know how to ask for faith or how to truly always stand on your word when I don't always see your delivering and healing hand at work in my prayers. But, I will trust in you and start seeing the issues in my life as some of the smaller stuff that is super important to you and you by no way are passing me by. If you take care of the huge issues, then you can most definitely take care of our hurts and our needs. Lord, truth is, for me, these things are gigantic. They are by no mean small in any way and I am not assuming the author is speculating this. I just want you to know that to me healing is a huge issue in my home, in our bodies, and I know you will lead me and teach me as I wait on you and trust in your word.

Day 3
I haven't truly done this Lord, But, I am going to take time to follow through. I thought I was living completely surrendered and given to you but truth is I still get angry, pissed off sometimes and frustrated. I feel let down and it's not always easy to live this "set apart" life.
You are asking me to consecrate myself to you. You ask me to devote myself, be set apart and be completely dedicated to you and that is my heart's desire. 

Day 4
Change me, Lord!

Day 5
Help me to write down what I need to keep written down so that it may be a testimony to all you do. Let my words be evidence that you are a true God, a God that hears and responds.

Here ends what I believe I could share from my journaling. It's only a few things here and there because of course, lots of what I write down is my private thoughts. I hope you will also take the time to pray, talk to the Lord, read scripture and write down what the Lord impresses on your heart or what you learn from the scriptures you read. I believe you will begin to see some wonderful things take place.

God bless you!



By Angeline M Duran Santiago  The storm rages on and the winds buffet the lands in violent twirls. Some say it is the season for hur...