Wednesday, May 21, 2014

HUNGRY

By Angeline M Duran Santiago



Hunger comes early in the morning for some people. For others, it starts somewhere in the middle of your day when you realize all you had was a cup of coffee. Some folks can go on the whole day without a meal, just water, and then have a big meal for dinner. 

I'm more like the person that feels hungry later on the day mostly because I got so carried away with what I was doing, I don't stop to eat until I really feel hungry. To look at me you wouldn't think that, but it's true. 

But, hunger, or being hungry, for me goes to another level. 
I'm talking about the kind of hunger that no matter how much you have before your eyes on your plate, you are not satisfied. No matter how much you have before you, it doesn't satisfy. That is how I feel. Not about food.
I am hungry to truly know more of who God is.
Moses spoke to Him face to face.
Enoch walked with Him.
He danced around in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
He spoke to the prophets.
He told Joshua not to be afraid and promised to be with him as he had been with Moses.

I hunger to hear His voice.
I hunger to be in His presence!
I am hungry to know His will.

My heart and my flesh hunger for more, more of God, and it seems I can't get closer. 

God said, He is our provider and our healer.
I hunger to experience those promises in my lifetime, to see deliverance, miracles and God's promises take place in my family and friends.

Lord, I hunger for your presence.
Dwell in us like never before.
You are our strength so be our strength!
You are healer, so come and touch our weary and sick bodies.
You are courage, so come and fill us with boldness.
You are life, so come Lord, come and fill us with your life.

You are SHALOM. Come Lord and give us peace in our minds, our hearts and our homes.

Hungry.
I smell dinner is ready and soon my body will be nourished.
But, my soul....
My heart....
My Spirit....
Is hungry for Your Glory!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

REST IN PEACE

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

On a day like today, someone dear to my heart is going through a very difficult time. Taking someone you love off a respirator must be the hardest decision to make and the most difficult experience. Today, I cannot be with you as I wish, but I am with you through my prayers and letting you know, you're not alone. You are loved. I send my arms to hold you and know you are loved. 

I'm Out of Words

What can I say to lessen your pain?
They've all been created, written and spoken.

What words could I use
To alleviate your burden,
To opaque your brokenness,
To soothe your heartache?

For I have none,
I am dry, 
Out of words,
And I don't know why?
or How?

For I usually try,
To be ready with something
that will encourage
and brighten
but not today,
Today I will just stand with you,
Today, I will just stay by your side.

It is silence
That is needed
When death has been welcomed
Into the room
And no one wants to let go
or Say good-bye.

It is silence
That is exchanged with the 
flow of tears
That speak what mumblings
never will express.

I cannot pretend to understand it all
Or feel every part of you that hurts right now,
But, I am here for you,
I love you,
God has not abandoned you,
You are loved.
You are strong,
Stronger than most people I know.
You are brave,
And in time,
You will be able to remember the happy moments,
The precious moments.
For today, 
We can just stay here,
Quietly remembering
Better days.


And so,
I give you my arms
To hold you,
My silence,
To sustain you,
My faith, 
To keep you,
As you endure and hold on,
As you walk on, ever strong.

In heaven we will find surprises
See those we thought never again to find,
And embrace those believed forgotten,
Once in life, left behind.


In heaven, we will know words yet unspoken,
Joy that will flood our beings without sounds,
And the only language spoken will be the profound
embraces of hearts longing to be found.

In heaven
I won't have to stay silent,
In heaven
I won't have to cry,
The language of Love will take over and 
what we feel today
Will only be a memory in
a page of our history,
Once lived, 
and awaiting breath anew,
In heaven's heart,
With Love
for God is Love
And where He dwells
That is all 
we need. 
Love.



Written with love, 
for 
Kiani's and Family
May God's will be done, today and always.

Monday, May 19, 2014

MY CHILDREN

By Angeline M Duran Santiago



I look at my children,
(if you were here you'd see how silly they're acting right now, just to make me laugh)
I look at them and I consider myself blessed.

Oh, I won't tell you the times I've failed as a parent. I've erred in so many ways. But, tonight, let me bask in the laughter that echoes in their bedrooms. 

You see, one thing I consider as I sit here listening to their stories, their jokes, and their silliness.


We've come a long way. I have witnessed first hand all the hard moments in their lives. I've seen their tears, their struggles, their fears, and the moments when life just seemed to have let them down. I've been there when friends turned into enemies, when their hearts have been broken, when sickness refused to leave their bodies, and when all I could do was pray and believe for a miracle.

Proud can mean puffed up for some people. Proud can also mean you feel a sense of joy in the accomplishments someone has completed. My kids have not even begun to take the necessary steps to become what I know they can be in life. They've only begun to understand their worth. But, I am very proud of their attitudes, their faith, their dedication, and their love for one another.


I rejoice to see how they band together not only in the darkest hour, but how they make time to enjoy each other's company in sorrow as well as in joy.

My children, they inspire me to walk forward and to be strong. They push me to believe in greatness no matter how tired I can be at times. They surprise me constantly. At times, like all families, we go through struggles, but I've made faith, forgiveness, and love the foundation for our family. And love always brings you back to that place where we are able to forgive, hold on, and believe the best in people no matter if we witness them at their worst.


I thank the Lord for the courage in their eyes. I thank the Lord for the boldness I see in them. I thank the Lord for their commitment to one another. They've shown character and integrity when others have shown foolishness and shame. They've given forgiveness and mercy when others refused to spare them pain. They've reminded me of what I've taught them when I couldn't remember the golden rule. 

My children are the reason I pray. They are the reason I hope and I hold on to faith. My faith. Faith in the One who lives in our hearts. Faith in the One who hears every prayer. Faith in the One who wipes every tear. Faith in the One who binds us together.


Lord, thank you for my children. Thank you for holding them and protecting them, always. Lord, I believe healing will come as you have promised. I believe you will bless their future. I surrender my children into your care, Lord. Amen.

IMPLANT

A Short Fictional Story Written By Angeline M Duran Santiago
 

This moment in time is not the future. It is not one hundred years away, but nearer than any imagine. People everywhere talk about the future, but it is no longer far away. It has begun right before our eyes, at our doorsteps, loud and clear in our televisions, alerting us, change is not getting ready to come. Change has come.

One of the most popular early morning newscasters, has just gone live with a representative from the White House. There are cameras going out into the street where crowds have gathered to celebrate the news and show their support. Among those in the crowd are many protestors stating that they are against these changes in the law. Raising their arms towards the television camera, the younger crowd gathered cries, "Mark me! Mark me!" and "We want the chip!"

"What an exciting morning!"the newscaster, with a super wide smile, seems flabbergasted at the scene she is witnessing. "Representative, can you hear me?" she asks. "I do. And yes, it is a proud and historical moment as our President will get the first chip implant of the day in Washington. Has the president said anything you can share with us?"

"Let me be your example." said the representative. "That is what he has asked of his people. We are so priviledged this morning to not only be able to witness this historically moving moment, but to join our leader and follow in his footsteps. This will change humanity forever. What a day!"

"Thank you, Mr Representative." the newscaster said as she held on to her earpiece. "Let's go to over to our sister station in California. What's going on over there?"

The screen immediately changed and the crowd behind the news person was just as vast and excited as the one in New York City. You had one side celebrating the chip that would be implanted throughout the United States, starting this morning at 8:00am and you had the doomsday voices, asking for the chip not to be given out, telling people to get saved and that judgement was coming upon the land. Arguments continued to flair in different areas of the crowds and it seemed each time, the policemen that were near the area only concentrated on removing those who had made clear they were not only against the implant, but would not be participating in receiving it.

As the morning went on, the crowd increased in different cities. Angry protestors who were for the implant violently attacked those who were against it. The National Guard was called in many of the larger cities and once more, it seemed the persons that were rounded up and taken away in their black vans were those considered the opposition, those who were trying to warn people against taking the chip.

By 5:00 pm news, the news showed the demographics and different graphs according to state and cities, highlighting by color, which areas had the greatest amounts of citizens claiming their allegiance. Thousands of people filled the streets, the bars and restaurants, taking full advantage of discounts and sales being promoted openly, with gigantic wide screen billboards upon the rooftops and in the entrance of train stations. There were sales on meals, special drinks, clothing, jewelry, wedding dresses, hair salons and even vacation packages for those who would be using their new chip implant as an assurance of payment for the night or a future event. 

Every chip transplant not only contained every person's health record and health insurance information, but everything, especially their financial status, immediately came up on the chip reader when the person moved their hand under the light to be scanned. Malls celebrated this special day by staying open as if today was Christmas Day and promised to provide special passes for those who received their implants within a 48 hour bracket.

Many had known this day would come. Prophets and words in a book called the Bible had supposedly predicted this moment but still, it had not been stopped. Instead, it had quickly escalated once the idea had been shared. The popularity of the implant, providing access immediately to everything possible, had brought security for parents who didn't want their children abducted from school or a park, it had given security to families of people who were very sick.  Mental patients who in other times had been hospitalized without proper identification had now, with or without knowledge or consent had been implanted on them to show them how much they loved them. Everyone had a reason to get the implant. Some to support their government changes and others just for show and fun. 

Believers who had warned against receiving this implant were openly mocked, scorned, and warned that if they continued to speak out against this historical moment, they would be imprisoned. Sadly, before the night was over, hundreds, all over the country, would already be placed behind locked doors. Many citizen who held elite positions in government and other important financial districts were given an ultimatum, "Take the chip in order to secure your job, or lose your job." In refusing to take the implant, because of their faith, they had been forcefully removed from their offices and thrown outside like dirty rags. Those who spoke back had been hit, pushed and rallied away by being taken into custody, even many who had silently protested or just asked, "How will I support my family now?"

Medical doctors, lawyers, teachers and people from all walks of life were found seeking answers. Believers were being told they had two months to get their implant or they would be removed from their homes, schools, and employment. People were afraid and others were strengthened in their faith. Churches filled like never before. Many were so full of people that there was no room to enter. Believers poured out into the street to pray and console one another. There were prayer teams on the outside of the streets reaching out to people that had become hopeless, were fearful for the future of their families, and were thinking of just getting the implant so that they could purchase food and medicine.

There were groups of police officers commanding the prayer teams to be quiet and go indoors or be arrested. Many were arrested to make an example of what was coming for those who continued to talk about God and His coming Kingdom. Pastors united and decided to take church out into the streets. Believers with guitars, drums, keyboards and tambourines flooded streets, parks and public areas, sharing about God's love and redemptive plan. They sang encouraging songs, reminding people of God's love, God's peace in the middle of a difficult time, and that He was coming for His people. Pastors and believers who sang and shared openly in the streets were commanded to be silent and when they continued to peacefully and softly shared, they were harassed, beaten and arrested in very aggressive and painful ways.

The nightly news was filled with both sides of the story. Those who were enjoying the benefits of having the chip implanted on their arms were giving 30 second testimonials on TV on how their lives had positively changed for the better. They ended each segment saying, "Long live our leaders who have brought us peace. May we join in bringing peace to the world." We saw speakers from law makers to all kinds of world leaders, including the president, encouraging peace and all to show their unity by becoming one world, one society. We also saw them speak against those who had rebelled and had refused to receive the implant. "Why do these protestors ignorantly refuse to be part of our coming together actions?" the news man asked. "How can people speak of a loving God and yet not do what they have to do to provide food and medical provisions for their own children? I say, take away their children."

In a few months, believers had lost almost everything. Many had been removed from their homes and placed together in large homes. If you could remember the lessons in school about concentration camps throughout history from the days of Hitler to those in the USA, the confinements were the same. Death was present everywhere. Soldiers stood armed not only at doors and gates, but on rooftops and in armed vehicles, continuously monitoring prisoners. Prisoners. Children, parents, the elderly, the sickly, the disabled, believers who had refused to be implanted and whose only tattoo was God's mark of love on their hearts. 

Daily, they were forced to listen to speeches reminding them to accept the chip implant. Many who were hungry, tired or wanted to give their sick family member a chance to live, moved forward to receive the implant with tears in their eyes and regret in their hearts. The prayers of saints were lifted to heaven as believers joined to pray and ask for God's strength to endure, hold on and be strong. 

An explosion, as if someone had placed a million bombs in the middle of the sky, erupted with dazzling white brilliance. Music filled the skies as if an eternity of harmonies had joined to sing a song no one knew. As armed soldiers shook from the explosion and looked upward, holding their weapons ready to fire, the explosion left as quickly as it had appeared. Blinded by the light, many covered their eyes, others looked around to see what was going on but saw nothing, nothing at all. Except. Right before their eyes, all who had stood there praying were no longer there.

News began to come in from different places. People that had been driving had somehow abandoned their moving vehicles. Believers that had been preaching on the streets or had been arrested, had somehow vanished into thin air. Sick people in the outside of the hospital who had been begging for mercy from medical doctors, had suddenly disappeared. All anyone could remember was the music and the momentary explosi0n of light, pure wonderful light, that had filled the sky. Thousands upon thousands were being counted among the missing. They were numbered among those who had refused to received the chip implant.

Within minutes, the White House issued a statement.
"Those of the rebellion who call themselves followers of Christ, have most likely experienced the repercussions and sad results for not having protected themselves from danger and natural disasters, and receiving the chip implant. It is our understanding that many have witnessed what seems to be the disappearance of thousands who called themselves followers of the One True God. Our Scientific Team had come to the conclusion that only those with the chip implant were completely protected from what seems an unexpected natural explosion. It is with great grief we share that the missing are among the thousands and we do not know how many more will be added to those numbers. Very few remain, if any, in the government holding camps where we were keeping those who we felt had become a threat to our way of life, to our peace and our government. 

Now, today, more than ever, we encourage you to put your trust in our Unity Movement and receive the chip implant. Today you have seen how we are our own gods and we hold our future in our hands. No one can take our lives away, only those who refuse to be part of our coming together."

The world had seen the disappearance as a natural act of Earth itself getting rid of so called rebels who refused to embrace peace and the viewpoint of unity by receiving the chip implant. For those who would have had eyes to see what can only be seen in the Spirit, they would have seen thousands upon thousands flying upward into their new home in God's presence, and they would have identified the voices, the music heard, not as something crazy, but as the voices of praise and worship, as believers connected with the Lord. Their song was raised to heaven in adoration. The world would never know they had just experienced something believers had been praying for, for years. 

This disappearance would later be documented as UFOs and aliens taking back what belonged to their planets in order to help Earth survive. Other stories would be created. And while theories and conspiracies were discussed throughout the world, believers would be celebrating in God's presence, in their heavenly home.

This is not the future. This is only a few moments away. It has been spoken of. It is not here, not completely yet, but it is coming closer. How will you, a believer, a Christian, react when this moment come. Will you be ready? Will you become afraid and give in to the pressure? Will you run and hide? Will you fight? What will you do? You don't need to see a futuristic movie to know this is far away and will not happen in our generation. Turn on the television and you will see, it is only a moment away. But, you have something that is not from the future, but from the past. The Bible. The Bible has spoken of days like the ones we are about to enter in. Will you hold on to faith in Christ or will you abandon your faith. Will you be a man and woman of conviction and prayer, or will you deny your faith and allow yourself to be like everyone else?

No one knows the day or hour...
Be ready....
But how do we get ready?
Pray and ask the Father to guide us, help us, and protect us. He will not abandon his children.










Sunday, May 18, 2014

ARE YOU READY FOR THE STORM?

Rumors of wars, famine and destruction have been a part of our history since it was first recorded. Actual battles, disaster and heartbreak are found in history books collecting dust in libraries no longer visited, but those pages remain true testaments to what has been predicted and what has taken place.

I wrote about preparing for the storm the other day and I realized, I had so much more brewing in this head of mine. I asked myself, "Are you ready for the storm?" It's out there. Simmering, slowly boiling, right under our noses, but we just don't know how to prepare for it, what to do, what to believe and how to face it. We read about people who have lived preparing for what is to come and realize, "Man, I don't have anything!"

So, what if all that is being talked about takes place? What if things like economic breakdowns, financial crisis, lack of food, and things like martial law truly begin to happen in our neighborhoods. What if one day our money loses value, the food in our pantry goes bare, we run out of medical supplies, and we are asked to throw our faith to the fire by declaring it a lie and the only reality being the one we live? What if? What if we're asked to decide who we will follow, our faith or the ones who can supply the needs of our children for the rest of their lives? What would we do if we had nothing and everything before us was only  a choice away?What if we were challenged to forsake God and accept this world's ideas as the only ideas and ways of thinking?

One thing I do know. I am not going to live out my life in fear. Ready or not, here I am and here I come. I have no other choice than to live each day trusting that God's promises to provide for us in our times of need is real, that His promises to protect us no matter what we face is trustworthy, and that He is who He says He is because of what has happened in my heart from the moment I surrendered it to Him.

I have always wanted to be ahead of the game. Circumstances have not allowed me to be prepared for some thing the way I wish I could be, but one thing I ask of the Lord, prepare our hearts to recognize You are in the center and the midst of our situations. Help us to hold out in faith until the end. I will trust in the Lord through the storms that come. I will place my hope in His Word. My confidence and my assurance are in Him alone.

And, maybe, just maybe, in a naive way, that is my declaration of being prepared. I will place my hope in Him.

Friday, May 16, 2014

WHEN YOU"RE THE TARGET

By Angeline M Duran Santiago


You're at work and it seems that no one else can see what is happening to you or around you, but you.
It seems that when you speak up, you're told to relax because most likely the guilty party causing the negativity is you. You decide to be silent and wait to see if (a) you're going crazy or (b) something really just isn't right. 

The days pass by and it seems that every moment seems to be setting you up to look as if you've done something wrong, failed in some purposeful way, and as if anything that has been handled poorly leads the paperwork up to you. Although you've gone over everything carefully in your mind, retracing your steps, being mindful of what you say and don't say, it seems a wave of anxiety has fallen upon you because the truth is, you just don't know what is going on and you can't explain what the heck is happening.


Then, suddenly, (wow! big shocker! as if you had forgotten) you see besides you all the signs that this is something beyond your control in the natural and that most likely this is an attack of a greater magnitude, planned and created against you. Someone wants your position, your grace, your beauty, your success and your job. Someone is after the compliments you get when you do well at work. Someone has become thirsty for what you have and the only way for them to get it is to make you look bad, to make sure you fall, you fail and mess up so that they can look, well, like someone who has it all together around everyone else, but in front of you, it is obvious who is reigning in their spirit.

And so I tell you this:
The enemy has risen against you and you're the target. The enemy is using those around you who long for your downfall to aim their arrows of envy, deceit and falsehood against you. You've become angry, agitated, confused and even lost it many times. But, today I want you to see beyond what your eyes and your emotions can see and feel. I want you to realize that you're the target because the mark of the Lord is upon you.

Think about it....Why is it, out of all the people in the kingdom (during Daniel's time in the Bible) did they focus on him and the three Hebrew young men? There must have been thousands of people to use for target practice, but out of all the possibilities, their prime choice selection was Daniel because he, (yes, it's true) he prayed too many time during the day. No! The reason was because he stood out as someone who God's favor and grace rested on. All he did came out really well. God backed him up and those around him that didn't have their gods backing them up didn't like the way they looked when he could speak what the King needed to hear and they couldn't.

When you're the target, you will be falsely accused. People will use you and act like they're doing you a favor. They will look down at you and even feel an obligation to speak down at you. Even many believers in the work place mistreat other fellow believers, looking the other way as if God will not take care of his child.

You have been marked by the Lord, set aside, separated, and chosen for a great work in your lifetime. Whether you are walking in your calling or not, the anointing of the Lord is upon you. God has placed his seal upon you and you will stand out as a target, always. So, what shall we do?


Pray. Know that God will not forsake you. 
Know your enemy and plan strategically the way he is planning against you. 
Know God's word. It will be the weapon of choice to shut down, destroy, cancel and demolish every word, thought and action against you. 
If you don't know God's word, you are already powerless because in His Word you will find the message to speak with boldness and authority!
Pray and fast. Take time to dedicate yourself to the Lord and ask for his guidance and wisdom on handling this problem.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper!
Share with someone that can help you pray.

Lord,
I come before you tonight to pray over my children, my family and my friends that have become targets in the enemy's plan book. Your Word says the enemy of our souls has already been defeated. Your word also tells us he is never tired of looking for ways to discourage, destroy and hurt. Tonight I pray a hedge of protection around everyone in my heart and those I don't know, but read the blogs and do need you so much. 

Lord, 
I pray for every plan of the enemy against them, cancelled in Jesus Name. I pray that every weapon forged against them be quick to fall, powerless to the ground, in Jesus name. 

I pray for your anointing, your protection, your grace and favor before supervisors, administration and those above us so that when the devil speaks lies, they will see your truth in your children, even in their silence.

I pray against every form of sorcery and witchcraft spoken and devised against those who serve you and love you. Every word spoken against my children and family falls broken and destroyed in Jesus Name. You are faithful, Lord.

Lord, I recognize this is a battle, a war, an attack and a moment of conflict. But, you are the Mighty One, the Lord of Hosts, Let your Name be on our foreheads and in our hearts as we stand each day. Let the enemy and his messengers run and let there be praise in our lips.



Have you been encouraged? Then, share this blog with someone who needs to be reminded God is on their side, too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MOVING FORWARD

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

I started to write about the past and I decided to delete everything, even the title.

It's not worth it!

Lingering in the past, what has been lost, or who hurt who is not going to bless me nor you the reader. It's not. Right?

So, let's see. Something that will bless you and me.....

Moving forward.


It's hard and you don't have to tell me about it. I know it.

But, we can do it. It's not like we have a choice. Right? Or do we? I don't. I can stay here moping and reliving the hurts and the let downs of the past or I can see that the sun will rise again tomorrow and I can either rise with it and keep going or just hide in the shadows and slowly die.

God has a plan, a better plan, a bigger plan. We just can't see it. I surely don't. But I am going to trust in Him. I am. I will. I hope you will, too. It's better than reliving the down moments of yesterday's failures and heartbreak. It's not going to make life better. I'm telling you, it won't.

Forgive. Forgive those who hurt you and cross the street of forgiveness and move on. Move on.

Let go and let God. Let God do through you and in you what no one can do. Let go of what they said and what they did. Who are "they" anyway? It doesn't matter because you know what I learned? "They" don't even have the brain and heart to know that "they've" hurt you. So why are you and I still worried and reliving those memories when the dumb ones who messed up are living their lives all happy? Let it fall into God's hands and move on.

A lot of things are going wrong? Join the club. I get you and I understand you. Thing is....A lot of things are going right. It's what you choose to focus on. God is going something new. You may have lost a lot. You may not be where you thought you would be, but you're still in God's hands. You're still in His plans. You're still in His mind.

That's the best place to be. 

So, what are you going to do now? Good. Move on. Get up and start a new. God has something great waiting for you and me and we just have to go and make it happen.

Lord, help us to put our trust in you. Heal those hurts and memories that resurface every now and then. Help us to truly know we've forgiven and we can move on. Help us to love those who have offended us and to look forward to new relationships, new ministry opportunities, new jobs, new friends, and a happy life in you, no matter what comes our way. We thank you, Lord, in Jesus name. Amen.


THE CHAIR


Written By Angeline M Duran Santiago


The chair is a place of refuge
A place of solace
Confined to rest and peace

The chair
A reminder of days spent in learning
Moments with close friends
Waiting in the hospital
Or sitting alone because no one chose you.

The chair is a place called solitary
It reminds us someone is missing
Someone is gone
Someone didn't show up
Someone will never come again.

The chair is a place for tired bodies
Heavy shoulders and aching feet
Find their way to collapse on the chair
The strong chair
For it holds every burden
It holds every care
Silently and never complaining
It holds the heaviest person
With the biggest heart.
It holds the lightest human
With the greatest burden and worry.

The chair is moved around
Maybe as part of the decor
And no matter where it ends up in a room,
The chair patiently waits
For the weary traveler to come and find it
And find heaven
As it surrenders to it's arms.


If you are blessed with these blogs, share them, pass them on to someone who needs to be encouraged.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

THE OPENED DOOR

A Short Fictional Story Written By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Today, more than ever before, Ryan stood ready to meet the day. He had decided that no matter what came his way, he'd keep saying, "It's going to be a good day." Surely, last week's events replayed in his mind and he rehearsed the words he should have said, the way he should have reacted, and the things he should have done. Lots of should haves and could haves but he had not only frozen when it all fell upon him by surprise, his immediate response had been to run, get away and never look back.

Today more than ever, mistakes would not be made. Ryan had prayed, or at least he had tried to. Lately, it was just so hard to really get into that prayer mentality. It seemed he was either too tired, or just the way things had been going on in his life made him wonder if God was even bothering with a has been like himself. There were too many more important issues for the God of the Universe to worry about and he was just an ant in a forest, or at least he felt that way most of the time. But, today, well, today he was going to put on his positive attitude and walk like nothing could get in his way, not today.

The morning was welcoming and the cool breeze reminded everyone Sprint was still passing through and Summer could not just take over with it's overwhelming heat. Yesterday the sun had come out so powerfully, most people had spent the day in shorts and the kind of look you see on a super hot day. Yet, today, you could have sworn Spring was just beginning. Jackets, sweaters and warm blazers were on most bodies, and Ryan enjoyed the feeling of his warm hoodie on his body. Positive. Remember? It was going to be a good day.

Ryan made it to the bus stop, a little late, and knew he had most likely missed the 7:10 am bus. No problem. He had left early enough to know he would still make it to work before 8:00 am. The bus around the corner came close and he was thrilled to see it had for once shown up before the time expected. He walked up closer and waited for the opened door. 

The door opened. The bus driver didn't look his way. A man, behind Ryan, waiting to step into the bus behind him, spoke in a deep voice. "The door has opened. Will you get inside or will you wait for the next bus?"

Ryan turned around, a little puzzled at such a question and once more the man spoke. "You have before you an open door. Will you walk in or will you think about it and stay here on the outside, thinking about it, waiting, and never taking the next step?"

Ryan spoke, "You're kidding, right?"
The man remained silent and the bus driver turned to face Ryan. "The door will not remain opened for long. Make a choice my friend. Will you come in or will you stay on the outside. Make a decision. I have to go. There are others, not far away from here, waiting for an open door."


The bus seemed to transform before his eyes and Ryan found himself in a deserted place where the sun was very warm, the air was dry and he suddenly felt extremely thirsty. What could be happening here? He shouldn't have had that decaf coffee. He always had regular. Oh, this had to be a caffeine need taking place in his brain. He shook his head and closed his eyes, reminding himself he was going to keep a clear and positive outlook on his day. What was going on here?

In the distance, there stood a man, clothed in desert robes, white and soft flowing cotton covers on his body and head, sheltering him from the wind and the sand. 

The man spoke as if allowing his voice to be carried all around him. "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you and open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."

The words echoed until they came fast like a torpedo and smashed against his chest. "I know, I know, I know...."

Suddenly, Ryan felt exposed, as if he stood on the stage of the world and everyone who ever lived knew his past and present. He was weak. He had given up so many times. Shame entered his heart and he felt his body want to give in to the sickness hugging him and making his body clam up.

"Didn't you hear me?"



The man stood a far off and waited.

As the words came rushing at him once more, they no longer came as words of condemnation and accusation. Instead, his mind was suddenly opened to the realization of what they meant, of what he meant.

It was in the moment when Ryan realized his strength was almost gone. Yes, he was trying to motivate himself but the truth was, he was barely able to push himself any longer. He had become deeply discouraged after experiencing one disaster and then another. His courage was vanishing. He no longer wanted to go on. It was so hard to hold on and believe. But, here he was before Him, and He knew, He knew and understood that he wasn't as strong as he should be and yet He had not given up on him. Surely only a closed door meant all hope was gone. Of course, a closed door meant there was no reason to keep believing, keep trying, or even pray any longer. 

He knows. God knows. 

An open door. The door to enter into God's rest. The door to enter into God's promises. The door to enter into blessings and God's presence. The door was opened to him even in his weakest moments. Even in his doubts and discouragement, God was still standing before him and inviting him to come and enter into his secret place. 

Clouds formed on the left, turning from white to dark, and a man dressed in a cloak of shadows slowly walked, never looking at Ryan, but walked towards him. As he walked towards him, a tall, wide wooden door appeared there in the desert and slowly began to open. Behind the door, a warm, inviting light and a joyful sound came forth, inviting him inside. The cloaked presence moved closer and made his intentions clear. He wanted to block Ryan from entering. He was going to stand by the door to keep Ryan from getting close enough to walk through.

As Ryan realized what was happening, he began to run. He ran as fast as he could but the cloaked darkness, although it moved in a very slow, almost crawling pace, was still moving faster than his greatest effort and speed. Taking in deep breaths, Ryan looked towards the darkened cloak and saw inside the cloak, images as if in a replay of his life, all the moments he had failed, all his defeats, all the problems he had gone through and ever time he had been ambushed by an unknown problem and it had just knocked him down.
He saw his confusion and the many times he had shut down and not trusted in God. He saw himself being pulled away from the door and into the deep darkness of anxiety and despair as his eyes felt unable to move away from the images of his weaknesses.

Voices, as if thousand of voices had dropped into the waves of the ocean and come together as one, began to roll through the desert and echo all around Ryan.

I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

You have not denied my name.

The man dressed in white remained calm and peaceful. His lips said, "I know you have not denied my name."

In the midst of every trial, every sickness and discomfort.
In the midst of heavy heartbreak, loss of finances and security, and even when he couldn't pray because he was so hurt, God was reminding him that He knew he had never lost sight of who was the One who gave him victory in the middle of his defeats. God reminded him that he was strong when he felt weak because he had not, for one moment, denied His name.

Jesus. Yahweh. Adonai. The Great I Am. Healer. Messiah. The Anointed One. Jehovah. Jesus Christ. Rapha. El Shaddai.

He stood before Him, the opened door. God's love was the opened door to entering newness of life, hoping again, believing again. He had allowed the enemy to blind him and confuse him for just a moment and here was the King of Kings standing before him and inviting him to enter into his presence once more.

Weakened by the glory of God's presence that suddenly surrounded him and pushed the darkened presence away, Ryan found himself unable to remain standing on his feet and he fell on the warm sand.

"Sir, Sir, are you all right?" A man behind Ryan was taking out his cell phone and dialing 911, calling an ambulance. The bus driver had turned his lights on blinking and was helping Ryan, along with the man behind Ryan, up and on to the seat on the bus. 

A few minutes later, an ambulance arrived and the Emergency Medical Technicians were taking vitals and checking Ryan to see if he needed to go the hospital. "Sir, do you know your name? Do you know what happened to you?" Questions. One after another. Ryan slowly began to open his eyes and was still unsure of what had taken place or what was going on around him. He tried to sit up but his head hurt a bit and the EMT told him to relax and stay with his head down for a little longer until they completed evaluating him.

The bus driver returned to his seat to await what the EMT would do. Ryan looked towards him and smiled. 

"Let me know if you're going to take him. I need to get this bus moving." The bus driver said. 

"Yeah, I think we're going to take him to the hospital just to make sure he's okay." said one of the EMTs.

"I agree," the bus driver added, "He fell pretty hard and he's was out cold for a good time." He turned to Ryan and said, "You go get checked out buddy, don't you worry about anything today. Tomorrow's another day. Get some rest if you can."

The EMTs helped Ryan off the bus by placing him on a stretcher where he sat on and didn't lay down on. As they walked the few steps down and off the bus, there was the man that had stood behind him from the beginning and had called the ambulance. 

"One things for sure, son," said the man, "You'll never forget there's an open door before you ever again. No matter how that door would have tried to close around you, while you laid there in the center of that opened door, nothing and no one could ever close it. Even when your strength failed and you fainted, even when we couldn't help get you up, somehow, and I don't know how, you pulled through."

The man looked at Ryan once more and said, "I don't know what happened to you while you were out cold. As you were coming back to us, you kept saying the same thing, over and over....I haven't denied your name. I don't know what that means, son, but I hope that whatever it was, it was for the best."

The bus driver looked at Ryan and smiled. He got ready to depart. As he turned the bus back on and got ready to close the door, his clothing changed and before him stood the man dressed in white, cotton robes in the desert, smiling, radiantly looking into his heart and reminding him of the opened door no one could shut. He spoke into his heart and suddenly every fear vanished. 

"Yes, today is going to be a good day." Ryan whispered as they entered him into the ambulance. As if disappearing into thin air, the bus vanished before his eyes, and the man who had stood behind him all the time, transformed into a presence filled with light and two beautiful wings behind him. He walked away and stopped near a woman who seemed sad as she waited with her baby in a carriage, perhaps for the bus. Oh, the bus that would come for this woman. Ryan smiled as he imagined what her journey and her experience would be in the next few minutes. He closed his eyes and smiled once more, not worried about anything, because he understood, God was preparing something greater, something far better than he could ever imagine. He would never stop believing and trusting in the Lord.


Are you walking towards the bus stop today? Could it be you're walking and hoping for a better day, but inside you are discouraged, feeling out of it, sad and hopeless? There's a promise for you today and always. Hold on to the Lord. Continue to confess His name and believe. He knows what you are going through. He had made you an over comer even as you go through the desert and the storms of life.

I love to make up stories. This story came to me as I walked to the bus this week, and in many ways I was Ryan, feeling a lot like him. And, like Ryan, God reminded me that He will open the doors that need to be opened even in the desert for my family, my children, my future, my life. God knows our hearts. He knows what we are going through. He also knows that even when we are feeling down we have not stopped placing our hope in Him. I pray you were blessed in some way and reminded that God will show up in your life as He chooses. Okay, so this is my made up version of God showing up in our lives, but isn't it a great way to hope again? If you were blessed, pass my blogs to a friend.

This story dedicated to all who have had a door closed in their lives lately through a loss of a job, poor health, or things just going really bad without a reason. God is in control and he never closes a door without getting ready to open the one you need to enter through. Love you all.

If you were blessed, share my blog and encourage others.

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