Sunday, July 28, 2013

OUR CHILDREN WILL REMEMBER


      I was in my bedroom, folding clothes and putting them away. The sounds of my boys working out in the living room were loud enough that I could hear them in the room. The thumps of jumping and the boom of going down to the floor sounded loud and clear. My older son, Aaron, was the "Coach". Jacob jumped, squatted, ran and did push ups, all counting along with his best brother. 

     Suddenly, it got quiet and all I heard was talking. I thought I heard something familiar, so I stopped what I was doing and sat up to listen on the bed. As I attempted to listen, the "Coach" resumed instructing his faithful student on what to do and how many times. 

     They had grabbed my attention and I decided to stay still, leave the clothes alone for a few minutes, and wait to see if the silence came again. Just as I was about to say, "Forget it. Maybe I heard wrong.", silence filled the house, and the words came out again. This time, I stood up quietly, and walked near the other rooms to listen in on the boys. 

     An immense joy overtook my heart, and I guess unless you're the kind of parent that believes in raising your children with Godly principles and values, you would think my extremely silly and ignorant to delight in what I heard. You see, when they took their quick break, Aaron was speaking out verses from the book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. He was quoting scripture that he believed Jacob needed to hear and learn. 

     I stopped what I was doing and slowly, awkwardly, pretending to be unseen, walked into the living room and sat on one of the recliners. As I sat there, they continued and I inwardly rejoiced and thanked God for his goodness. Before me flashed memories, as if a movie in front of me, of nights sitting with my children on their beds, reading the Bible and discussing what it meant. Pictures of them falling asleep with the Bible on their bed or under their pillow passed by. I saw a time when my brother, Tito, had created a copy of the book or Proverbs and given it to the kids to read. Memories of my mom sharing about God's great plan for their lives slowly moved through this memory video.




     Our job is not to drill our kids to learn how many books are in the Bible in order. I'm sorry, but even learning which is the smallest verse in the Bible is not the main purpose of scripture. Too many parents take their kids to church but never share the Good News Message. So we have churches filled with children who are clueless to the treasures hidden and awaiting in Scripture. We have Christian families who claim to be Christian but don't even know how to read the Bible at home, only at church.




And that from a child thou hast known 
the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15

     We are called to shine a light on the Word of God and guide our children to meditate on it, then pray. If they don't know the real message God wants to give us, why even bother having a bible? 
We have been called to teach our children the standards of Godly living. We are called to ignite in our children a desire to know God, to hunger after his truths and his promises, to seek in the Word the answers for their questions, and have God's Word tattooed inside their hearts.



     My children are not perfect and I would never claim them to be without mistakes. They are just like every other child or young adult, discovering their world and testing the waters. But today I saw proof of what I always hope for and wonder about. What we have instilled in them from birth is still there, blossoming and coming out a little at a time. 

     Lord, today I ask you to help us as parents to continue sharing our understanding of scripture with our children. Give us wisdom to explain and answer their easiest and most challenging questions. I ask that your word would be a light to our path, but also a light in our children that grows and shines bright in their lives. Empower us as parents to be examples of your love, of forgiveness, and being genuine. Engrave in their hearts and minds the evidence of your love and let them experience your presence like never before, daily. Let us never be a stumbling block to hinder them in coming to you. Lord, forgive us for our many mistakes and for wrong choices. Forgive us for times of messing up and being hurtful with our words and choices. Extend your mercy and your grace towards our families and help us to live our lives for you. In Jesus Name, Amen.


  All your children shall be taught 
by the LORD, and great shall be 
the peace of your children.

Isaiah 54:13

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Remembering When My Children Were Younger



When They Were Born:
I remember when my kids were smaller, especially when they couldn’t sleep, that I’d stay with them throughout the night. I’d lie next to them on the bed, or sit on the floor, reading stories and singing praises, inviting the Lord to be in our home as they slept. I always ended each night time routine with prayer. We prayed for family, friends, and enemies, too.



My Priorities:
Something that was important to me when they were smaller was getting them to learn Scripture and modeling prayer time. I always imagined what they would do if something happened to me? I wondered how they would face a difficult time in life. It was very important for them to know what God’s word says in regards to their situation, they would be alright. I also wanted to make sure they understood that God listens to our prayers, forgives our wrongs, and promises to be with us. So, nighttime was also like our growing in the Lord time, as much as possible.




A Heart Experience:
I had my niece at home for the weekend, and during bedtime, I began to sing lullabies and then worshiped the Lord, inviting His presence into the room as she slept. I prayed over her and continued to bring our family before the Lord.  It was then that I felt a strong stirring in my heart. “Why aren't you doing this with your children the way you used to when they were younger?” Yes, I whispered back, how I've lessened that time.


A Parent’s Greatest Gift to their Child:
The cares and rush of life take over. We grow tired and become parents of a quick prayer, a hug, a kiss and reminding them to read their bibles before they fall asleep. In the past, if I had to break night with them, I would. If they were sick or felt afraid, I was ready to battle the biggest enemy attacking by praying through until they could sleep and the home was filled with peace and God’s presence.



Excuses, Excuses:

Having to work the next day early and working at home perhaps consumed me and maybe I allowed that to become an excuse. Perhaps my mind became too confident in thinking they are grown and don’t need mommy sitting with them at night. Our children don’t just need us praying in private for them. We need to continue to pray with them especially when they’re younger. We need to teach them God’s word because it is their defense, their sword, and life. The devil doesn't take a break, so why should we?



They Need to Know:
Our children are being bombarded with all kinds of situations throughout the day and even more at night. We still need to lead them in prayer and show them the rawness of our heart’s cry before the Lord, especially now that they are getting older. Our children need to know where to find the answers in the Bible so that they can find it, defend themselves, and use it as a reservoir of strength. We can’t be there all the time, but God’s Word is not only timeless, it is alive and able to accomplish greatness in them.




Help Me, Lord:

Lord, forgive me for having become complacent and lazy when nighttime comes. Forgive me for having time for everything else, and putting other responsibilities before the greatest one of all, which is leading my children to always seek Your face and follow after your heart. Help us to end each night with times of meditation in Your Word and coming before You in prayer and praise. I thank you for challenging me once more to walk before You completely surrendered in every area. My children are yours and I praise You for all you are doing in their lives. Guide me to be the mother my children need each day and show me how to leave a path that leads to You. Let my life be an example of serving you without compromise, with total surrender, and no limits in my commitment to you. 
I love you Lord. In Jesus Name, Thank you. Amen.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

FOR THE LADIES IN THE HOUSE ON THIS FABULOUS FRIDAY!


Ladies, today is your day to celebrate being "YOU"!! 
It is wonderful to be able to celebrate being a woman, being a mom, a wife and a provider. But, just in case you've had one of those overload weeks where appointments, schedules, meetings, practices, the house and so many  things occupied all your "ME" time. 

Here are some ideas of ways to have "ME" time at home without leaving home.  You just may have what you need in your home to treat yourself to a Home Spa today. You're so worth it. Enjoy! May God's peace fill your home as you rest.


Before you begin:

  • Find your favorite music and put it on. (softly or LOUDLY)
  • Choose to rejoice and have a relaxing time.
  • Find any books or magazines you will want to read and place them by your side or on the floor in a basket.
  • If you like a nicely scented room, light some candles.
  • Organize your supplies, towels, ingredients and items you'll need in one place.
  • Tell everyone in your home that now it's your time and that they should only come to you if it's an emergency. If your husband is home, share what you want to do and ask for his help in giving you some "ME" time.


I've provided the links for all these great ideas. Just click on titles.

Soothing Oatmeal Scrub (Facial Cleanser)Click for more

Ground oatmeal not only serves as a wonderful exfoliator, but it also absorbs and removes surface dirt and impurities while leaving your skin nourished and hydrated. It has been known to soothe and heal everything from acne to sunburn to dry, flaky skin. Given its gentle nature, it is also ideal for those with sensitive skin. Combine 1 tablespoon of ground oatmeal with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, which boosts the face treatment's exfoliating properties, and 1 teaspoon of water or olive oil to make it into a paste. Gently rub it onto your skin in circular motions, let sit for five to 10 minutes and rinse.


Cucumber Mask (Relaxing & Tightens Pores)Click for more

This one treats oily skin.
( 1 Egg White, 1/2 Cucumber, 1 Tsp Mint)
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
2. Puree until smooth 
3. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
4 Gently apply the Cucumber mask to your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes on your face.
5. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and locks in moisture.
To Use: Massage approximately 1/2 cup honey into clean, damp hair, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. You can also add 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil to loosen the honey for easier application. For extremely sun-damaged hair, trying mixing honey with 1 to 2 Tbsp of a protein-rich ingredient, like avocado or egg yolk, which will help replenish the keratin protein bonds that UV rays attack. Treatment can be applied once a month.


2 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 tbs honey
Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Soak nails for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well. Apply cuticle oil. Protein from the eggs and calcium from the milk will make those nails hard as rocks!

Ways to Release Stress
Massage
Read a book, Read the Psalms in the Bible
Listen to music. If you're a Christian, Worship music is great!
Do something you haven't done in a long time that gives you joy!
Call up your old friend


 Another natural way to soften your skin that has been used for centuries, olive oil is a necessary part of any woman's beauty routine. Olive oil is amazing at getting rid of makeup and other access dirt and oils from your skin, replacing the bad stuff with natural moisture that your skin so desperately needs. Use a few drops of olive oil in your bath if you have trouble getting makeup off your face, or if you have spent the day outdoors.

The rest is up to your personal style. Makeup, hair, lotions, perfumes, and taking time for you. I hope some of these ideas were a blessing!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WHAT IS YOUR REASON FOR BEING HERE?


What is your reason for being here in this world? Have you ever wondered, "Why?" I mean, all this talk about purpose...Where do we begin if we want to know our Godly purpose?

 Make a choice. Accept or decline God's message as truth by faith or walk away. 
 Make a choice. Accept the fact that God loves you or decline those words.Regardless, it doesn't stop the fact that He loves you regardless of your choice. Accept or decline to believe the fact that we have all sinned, even those of us that say we're super good, yeah, we've all sinned.
(Romans 3:23)
Believe in your heart that God loves you or don't believe it. Believe in your mind that He is real and cares about your present and your future or don't believe it. Your disbelief doesn't change his love for you. Dare to believe that His Word is truth or don't believe it because you think it's easier to label it fiction and nonsense. Dare to believe that His Word is Life for your soul, even today, if you can only believe.(Acts 16:31)


Confess here means to declare and speak out without fear or shame. It doesn't mean go in hiding and confess to someone in secret or make an appointment to make a confession of your wrongdoings, sins and issues. In other words, declare that you open your heart to receive God's gift of salvation. Right where you are you can talk to God. Confess, or declare, that you want to be a child of God and will from now on, live for Him. Confess that you need Him. Receive Him.It's possible if you dare to walk into a step of faith.
(Romans 10:9)


What is my reason for living?
 Do what it takes to find out your reason for being alive. God created you with a purpose. Do you know that purpose? Now is the time to get into God's Word and learn what He has to say. Now is the time to pray and discover God's will for your life. Don't give up if the answer takes time. Be willing to let the Lord guide you at all times.



Lord, many of us have at times walked in the knowledge of your will and your calling. Many of us are in this stuck place where we want to know your will but cannot move forward. Some of us are brand new and we need Your Spirit to fill us and lead us into all truth. We want our lives to count for so many things. We want to leave our mark on this world. We want to be used for your glory and we want to experience your presence in this present time. Move in our lives today as we go forth to seek your face. We long to know and understand the reason you have placed us here on this Earth at this time, when the world is unashamedly choosing to deny you. 


BACK TO PART ONE

SENT HERE FOR A REASON

part one



Jonathan Kent:   You’re the answer, son.  You’re the answer to “are we alone in the universe”.
Clark Kent at 13:   Can’t I just…  keep pretending I’m your son?
Jonathan Kent:   You ARE my son.  And I have to believe that you were sent here for a reason.  And even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is.

Superman movie 2013


Superman is believed to have been somehow created to resemble Jesus Christ.Ever wonder if as a youth, Jesus Christ questioned his purpose, why he was here on this Earth, the way young Clark does here?  I love the answer Jonathan Kent gives his son, Clark Kent in the 2013 Superman movie. "Even if it takes your whole life, find out your purpose." Here is my mind, open and exposed on this quote.



     Jesus knew from the very beginning who He was and what His divine purpose was while walking through Jerusalem and nearby towns. I believe He lived with the imagery of His ultimate last moments but even more, saw ahead of what would be gained at the end of His sacrifice. I'm convinced His mind was filled with faces of humanity's needs, shame, darkness, sickness and struggles. Those were perhaps the very things that strengthened his purpose to drag himself closer to the cross. When He was on the cross, we were on His mind.


Jor-El:   You can save them…  You can save all of them.
Superman movie 2013

     I believe Jesus probably winced at the thought of the physical and mental pain He would experience. Ultimately, He was convinced this heavenly plan was the only way to reach out to mankind. It's impossible to accept that God would give up His Son unto death for no reason. Death on a cross by Jesus would bring about life for mankind. Jesus would never remain in a state of death. He was and is life and was demonstrating that He was not only able to give Life but to overpower death.


    I realize that in today's society, the cross seems powerless to many. His reason for being on that cross, seems a reason to make Christians out to be dumb, uneducated and needy people who need something to believe in.

So, what was Jesus' purpose for going to the cross?


To heal our hurts.... PROVIDE HEALING

     Upon His body, He voluntarily carried every pain, every sorrow, all the stress and anxiety we would  feel. Upon His body, He carried every infirmity, every sickness, every disease, every affliction, all of our burdens, every unhealed part of the body, every damaged nerve, disability, limitation and deteriorating cell, and every part that is unwell, He carried each one, on His body.           


To bring freedom.....RENEW AND RESTORE     
    
     Upon His body, with every strike, laid upon Him was depression, sadness, madness, and fears, worries, brokenness, lack of confidence, and every lie ever spoken into our lives.
     He destroyed the enemy's plans against us, cancelled every plan to confuse you and condemn you.


Upon His body, He carried every sin, every deceit, every addiction, every guilt carried in our minds from our wrongful actions, every wicked deed, every punishment meant for us was upon His back.


TO GIVE US A PURPOSE...HAVE FAITH, BELIEVE IN HIM.

     The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
Isaiah 61:1


He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24


     But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. he was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

      Clark Kent's earthly dad, Jonathan Kent, challenged him to find out his reason for being sent to this world. Someone that follows after this story knows that He recognizes his reason is to be there for humanity. 

      In even a greater way, Jesus Christ, is here for humanity. He is here for you and I. He is, after all, believe it or not, the one and only real Superman. 

Lord, I know that so many around me are still not healed or filled with peace. And although I do not see freedom from these sicknesses, I choose to believe every word I've printed here. I wait upon you, Lord. I declare your word is truth. You came to heal and bring life. I speak it over my son, over my life, my family and every person that reads this blog. In Jesus name. Amen.

PART TWO: 

WHAT IS YOUR REASON FOR BEING HERE?


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lazarus, Excuse Me, Steven, Come Forth!

Lazarus, I mean... Steven, Come Forth!


     The sun is slowly lowering its head and spreading its last orange arrows of light across the lower parts of the sky. A small part of the heavens seems to refuse to give in to the incoming clouds and a bright, white and yellow light burst forth as if saying, “You can’t force me to go down. I’m going to stay up until the end.” 
     As I watch this amazing scene unfold before my eyes, these images place memories in my mind. I imagine that light refusing to die down and give in to the overwhelming darkness slowly creeping upon New York City and embracing it with night. That was light fighting to glow brighter and farther than before because it wanted to keep looking down at the families on the beach, the people riding their bikes and on roller skates near the pier, and the teens getting drenched from the water bursting out from the fire hydrant. 

     This light reminded me of someone and I would love to share about him. Let me introduce you to Steven. As I stared at the last splashes of light in the sky, I thought of Steven, and said to myself, “Just like the light.” Steven has always been light shining into the lives of so many. From family, to coworkers, and students, he's loved because he makes everyone smile.


Not too long ago, Steven got very sick and although the doctors were working on him, with all their technology and medicine, right before their eyes, this young man, passed away. The doctors didn't give up and after some time, he was restored. Just like the small light in the sky, he was refusing to let the night come and take him before his time. Just like the light, he continued to force rays of sunshine to come through so he could hold for just a little longer.

Not too long afterwards, Steven had another episode where once more, he was pronounced dead. Again, the ICU medical team worked extensively to revive him. What you need to understand is that Steven is getting ready to be a daddy for the first time, so he’s going to put up a fight. But even beyond that is what started happening when news of what had happened to Steven got around. God's people took a stand.


God’s people, family from all over and friends dropped everything they were doing and began to pray. People began to cry out to God for a supernatural intervention. Families got together and came before the throne of God and cried out for a miracle. There was an urgency to come before the throne of grace at that moment and our spirits cried out as if we were in pain because we knew that God would come through.  Twice, Steven left this world, and only he can share that story of what happened and what it was like. But, twice God brought him back. 

After the second time, the news was that if he passed away again, he would not come back to us. He would remain in intensive care for some time. So our prayers continued.






This experience reminds me of the Scripture in John 11:1-45. 


When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”



This is what God was doing in Steven as we believed and prayed!We all prayed for him, for his family, and for the Lord to have his way. Funny, how we say, “Lord, let your will be done.” But deep inside we doubt and we say, “Lord, what is your will?” I know this because I've prayed before and God has chosen to answer my prayers in His own way and in His own time. 


We can’t take the credit for anything. But God was pleased to bring Steven back to us, back to his parents and his siblings, back to his wife and his baby, and back to his friends.



Lord, I am so thankful to you! I don’t want to let one more month pass by without saying, “Thank you!” You held Steven through the darkest moment and you helped him. Thank you that you still have so much for Steven to do in this world. 








I praise you and I worship you for you allowed me to see that I can still have hope when I pray for my son.You are The Healer! I have been so encouraged and renewed in my prayer life. You have brought him back from the dead and this cannot be denied. It has been written and it is recorded that he had passed from life to death, but you had another plan. 

Thank you, Lord, for this amazing miracle.

Special thanks to Steven, for his permission to use his name and share his story. Keep burning bright! We love you, Steven and thank God for this blessing.





John 11:4~
 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

#inspirational #faith #miracle #healing #prayer 

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