Monday, September 30, 2013

ASKING HUSBANDS THE POPULAR QUESTION, "DO YOU LOVE ME?"

After finishing a phone conversation with someone, the following scripture filled my mind and I saw it in a completely new way. I hope you let me share what was on my mind as I walked to the train station. I was blown away with how the Lord works. 


John 21 NIV

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.




I know that lambs are considered the babies, less than a year (12 months) and sheep are the older, a year or older ones. Allow me to consider for a moment that, instead of referring to this passage as usually, in regards to the pastor and the church, or leaders being mentors, can I present it to you as a husband before the Lord? Can I show you what took place in my mind for a few minutes. If you can see the lambs as the children in a relationship, and the sheep as the older person in that family of great significance, like a wife or a husband. Stay with me. I promise you, I won't be long and I believe this will make you think about what it means to say, "I love you."



We take the idea of saying, "I love you." for granted, I think. Here Jesus is asking, "Do you love me?" and I can turn it around into a woman, a wife, perhaps a wife that has gone through a lot in her marriage, forgiving his mess ups and trying to start over. I can see her in a room with her husband asking, "Do you love me?" He'll answer quickly, "You know I do." Her response..."Feed (provide for, nourish, be an example to) our children. 


Again, through the struggle to hold on to this relationship, she comes to him again, "Do you love me?" And once more, he is quick to respond, "Yes, you know I love you." This time, she says, "What about me? Take care of me. Be there for me. Love me. Protect me. Shield me from the storm. Hide me in your shadow. Help me."


The last time, the wife is asking again. Now the husband is hurt. "She's questioning my love. She's doubting my love." But, he listens. "Do you love me?" she asks him one last time.
"With hurt in his voice, remembering times and times again he has failed her and their children, the many times he's gone astray and done wrong, he answers, "Yes, I love you. You know I do. I'm still here."
The Scriptures say that the Lord told Peter the last time, "Feed my sheep."
I would dare and say that this can be the Lord calling the leader of the home to be accountable for what has been given to him. "Feed (Nourish, Take care of, Give to) your wife." 



If you really love her, just like God would go out of his way for one lost sheep, go out of your way for your wife. Didn't you go crazy trying to win her and then find the courage to propose? Didn't you promise to be there for her? If you truly love her, then there should be no pretenses, no excuses, no slacking off from being the Godly leader you've been called to be.

"Feed my sheep."
Take care of the wife and children God has given you. Fight for them. Pray for them. Pray with them. Let them see ME in YOU. Praise me without fear or shame in front of them. Teach them about ME. Protect them. Allow them to know what it means to be safe, secure and sheltered in the presence of a man that loves God above all else. 


"Do you love me, Peter?"
"Yes, Lord, You know I do."
The Lord is asking, "Do you love me?" and then he gives a directive. "Go take care and feed my lambs and my sheep."
Dear men, what are you doing with your family?
Your son needs you. He's stuck and needs your advice. Your daughter is hurt and needs her daddy again. You son needs to see what a father is like and learn from you. Your children need you to take your place.



This was the question in my mind as I walked to the train station and I had to share. Rise up, men of the Lord, and be true men of God and godliness. Do not be half hearted or fake. The Lord knows you, and your family knows the real you. Begin anew and take heart to the Lord's challenge to be there for your family. I hope you're challenged by my interpretation of this scripture. 

Blessings and love to all.




Friday, September 20, 2013

KEEPING MY BABY AND CHOOSING LIFE!


When I was around  3 months pregnant with Jacob, , I began to experience early labor pains at work. I had been through this before with my other two pregnancies and during lunchtime let my principal know what was happening. I called my doctor from my job and he told me to go straight to the ER believing I was in early labor. I was admitted and told that I had a very large fibroid and that this pregnancy had to be terminated. The fibroid was big and it was not allowing the fetus (my baby) to grow and develop and that all he could tell me was to abort. "You're still young." he said." I'll give you and your husband some time and come back to know what you want to do."



I answered, "The God that decided to place him in my womb will decide what happens with this baby." I was constantly with contractions and in and out of the hospital. Each time, the doctor would say, "He is not growing. He's not going to develop normally. You will regret this." 

Once more I declared, "My God is in control." I shared with my family prayer group Mom, Dad, Tito, Christina, Alex, Wendy, Dinorah, Frankie and my kids during a family get together to pray. Each time, my brother Tito had everyone lay hands on me and begin to pray, declare life and believe for a miracle. 



This child had been promised to me and I would not even think of doing what the doctor said I should do. He said the baby was just a fetus and didn't know what was happening. Every doctor that saw me had the same opinion every time. At least ten or more doctors saw me and it was always agreeing with my doctor. 

I fell on my knees and cried out to God. I was on bed rest, unable to care for my other two wonderful children and holding on to the only words that gave me strength, God's Words. Two weeks after the prayers of our church family, I returned to the hospital. Sonograms once again were taken and doctors began to walk in and out of the room and asking me questions. I got angry and said, "What's going on? Why do you keep asking me the same questions? Is something wrong with my baby?" They all made me wait and I began to sing. Yes. If you know me, you know I love to sing. My song of choice was Forever You Will Be, The Lamb Upon the Throne. I thought of my baby and what this child will do and be. You will live and not die! 

My doctor walked in, with his smile, and said, "Duran, Duran." A smile? Good news then. Thank you Lord. You are in charge here.



"Duran, Duran, I don't know what you did or how it happen but maybe, just maybe, it's like you say all the time, God was going to do something and I think He did."

My heart was pounding, inside I was rejoicing and tears of gratitude rolled down my cheeks. "The fibroid was very big. Look, here, see. This is you each time you came, it was getting bigger. Look. The baby never grew. The baby was not growing. Do you see this here?"

 I just followed his finger as he pointed to the photos. "This is today. Everything is the same so we know it is you. But, look. The very big fibroid is completely gone and your baby is bigger. Look at your baby now."

Right there, I thanked God. "Doctor, God has done it." "Yes, Duran Duran, He has. I can't take credit for this. It is a work of the divine."






I cannot tell you I was off bed rest, I was not. Jacob still came super early. But, he was born a healthy, big, beautiful and precious bundle of smiles and hugs all ready for me and all of us that love him. Later on, yes, he developed Type 1 Diabetes, but this has not been a stopper for our fighter. He has continued to surpass our expectations in every way, meeting great challenges along and the way, and never, ever giving in. On September 21, 2002, the child God had promised me one day was brought into this world.



I know that many mothers have gone through many of the same problems in their pregnancies. I also know that many always take the doctor's word for everything. I can tell you I regret a lot of the advice I followed with my previous pregnancies in regards to preterm labor medication and procedures. But, we learn from everything, including mistakes. Do not lose hope. Each child is a blessing. God is in control. He has allowed that FETUS to begin to have a heartbeat as soon as it was created. Yes, it doesn't look like much, but so many of us don't look like much now either and God is still at work in our lives. Yes, the FETUS seems without feeling or worth to many, but Oh, God's Word says, that while that child is carefully being formed in the mom's womb, God already sees their future. 

God blessed us with one more miracle. His name is Jacob. I will always praise you Lord! You are amazing! Happy Birthday Jacob Gabriel, our champion!



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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ode to Aaron



When the Lord decided to send you,
I wondered who you would be,
My heart desired a son
Imagine, a boy, formed inside of me.

Your few months were not easy,
Sickness tried to steal your destiny,
Tiny bundle, never complaining
In my arms, trusting me.




I remember when doctors were without answers,
You'd die, they said, we cannot help him heal,
Desperate, I fell on my knees on that cold hospital floor, 
Praying,"Lord, Only You can touch my child."



Visitors were not allowed
Unless masks and gowns covered them whole
My heavenly gift was slowly fading
On my knees, I surrendered my gift to the Lord.





"It's a miracle!" said doctors after new tests were done.
"After long weeks or waiting, everything has changed."
This started the beginning of my son's amazing life,
The Lord had done a great thing!




Aaron, your life has great purpose
Don't ever doubt the reason you're here,
For the way you think and talk about the Lord, 
shows God is with you, never fear!

The talents, your gifts, your struggles, your questions, 
These things all make the awesome you,
The Aaron Josiah, the miracle son,
Without you, what would I do?
You're a wonderful brother,
and a great son!



So, September 4, 1993
Straight from the Lord, you were given to me,
Forever I'll be here for you and love you,
Forever I'm in expectation of the great things God has for you. Go forward and have faith, follow after your dreams, One day doors will open and you will be in awe of what the Lord has done.







We celebrate your life!

You were born,
For such a time,
As this....






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