Saturday, March 29, 2014

NOT ENOUGH TIME, SOMETIMES.


A little sarcasm with lots of truth.....
By Angeline M Duran Santiago

We make time for work,
Leave early so we're on time and not late.
There's time for sitting to eat,
Time for laundry,
And definitely time for personal things.

We make time for family
When we finish housework and meals,
Time for our Kindles, laptops, 
I-phones and I-pods,
We make time for manicures, 
waxing and highlights.
We make time for get a together
Time for Zumba and lifting weights.
We always make the time.


We make time to buy shoes

we don't really need,
Time to buy clothes with no
when our closets won't close.
We make time to eat out
because we don't have time to cook,
We make time to call out sick
because there was no time to buy groceries.


Time. It never stops and it always goes by
quicker than we can follow it.


We always have time for something.

Wait, no, we don't always have time.
Reality check, forgive me.
We don't have time to get up early on Sundays
because we need the extra sleep,
We don't have time to pray in the morning
because God knows our hearts, how sweet.
We don't have time to pray through the day,
God forbid someone should share a need,
We don't have time to read a chapter in Scripture
Even though we've downloaded a few versions for free.

We don't have time for church on weekdays or weekends,

God knows we're tired, any ways,
We don't have time for family devotions,
The kids have homework, 
Have to walk the dog, there's no time.
There's no time to call someone and encourage them,
Instead we text them, "Praying for you. God bless you. :)"
There's no time to reach out to our family,
Even though we fall asleep under the same roof.

We don't have time to answer an email or text

with a prayer request,
But we have time for selfies and Instagram
and for hoping we get the most likes because our is the best.
We don't have time to say, "I'm sorry."
But, oh there's time to argue and say hurtful words.


We don't have time to listen,
No time for hugs or visiting the sick,
We don't have time to pray for the future,

for the nations,
for our kids in school,
We don't have time to sit and listen
Enough for His Spirit to move.


I wish I had more time to say how much time we waste
Declaring we lack the time to do what we must.
Take time to prioritize,
Look in front of you, what matters most,
Make time for the One who gives you,
365, 24/7, the most.
We have time for everything else,
Oh, my time is up. 
Until next time.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

"ARISE, ANCIENT WARRIORS AND PRAY"

by Angeline M Duran Santiago
(A prophetic poem for those who are hearing the Lord telling them, "Arise.")


http://cghub.com/images/view/121614/

Let the wind blow upon those that are tired,
Let the breath of life blow upon those who are weary,
Let rain fall upon the hearts of warrior aging,
And hear the song go forth,
"Arise, take up your sword once more."


Let the waves of the current move upon you,
Let the breeze of the morning be your guide,
May your legs and knees be encouraged,
As you hear the song go forth,
"Prayer warrior, arise and stand firm."

Wrinkled faces fall before your Maker,
It is you He now summons to the fields,
Aging warrior, wipe the dust from your armor,
Join the singers as they sing the song and go forth,
"We arise and are ready for the war!"

Hear those broken, saying, "Look, I am healed now!"
Hear those who lost it all say, "It's all been returned."
Hear the children say, "Thus says the Lord, now."
Write the song that comes as you listen,
"Come alive and prepare for the storm."

You who no longer pray as in times past,
You who once declared the fast of the Lord,
Rise, though tired, rejected, and downcast,
You are needed, take your place in the march,
Singing, "Awake oh you warriors that pray,
Arise for today is the day,
Ancient ones, you still have much to declare,
Go awaken the warrior for this time,
Even the young who are dreaming you will come,
Rise, go find the warriors who will pray,
Rise, go find the warriors who will war."


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CRY OUT!

Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago


Where do you find yourself today? Is the ride taking longer than you expected? Things have become unsettled and what appeared to be in peace has been stirred into conflict and despair. If you're like me, you're not feeling one hundred percent today and maybe you don't even want to pray. Truth is, you're still hurt and upset over things that happened last night, words that were shot out like poisonous arrows pierced your soul and you're having a hard time getting them out. Or, a misunderstanding worked its way into a heavy argument that left more wounded warriors on the battlefield, than victorious ones.


Sketch by Angeline M Duran Santiago
I think we all go through the battle zone in our jobs, on the street, and in our homes. Sad but true, those we love seem to have the most powerful artillery to fire without fear against us. What do we do when the bomb explodes and our life seems to shatter, again and again. What do we do when we continue to wait on God for a breakthrough and the only thing that comes is division, heartbreak and loss?


We press on. Psalm 118:5-6 speak my heart clearly. 
In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
and the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?

Fact is people don't have to touch us to afflict us. Words, 

                     
Quoting Tito Santiago's tweet from March 27, 2014
The mouth is an opening and shutting flood-gate of living-waters or raw-sewerage...you alone control the flow and contents of its spewing.

 
We have the power to use our mouth to bless or curse. What do we do when those we love use their voices as uncontrolled weapons that keep reloading and shooting at us even when they have shot at us without mercy? People, we cry out to the Lord and He alone will set us free. You see, the battle is not ours, but the Lord's. What is going on around you or inside your space is a battle to destroy your relationship with your friends, coworkers and worst, family. 

Sing in the midst of the battle. They'll call you crazy. Praise God in the midst of war. They'll say you need it. Cry out to God. They might even curse you out. Don't let the devil have his way and take you captive. God will set you free. He will show up where you are and bring deliverance, healing, and peace to stop the storms that come to break your family apart. 

May the Lord richly bless and strengthen you. May you never feel outnumbered for Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. May fear run from you and boldness be in your heart to praise and trust God through it all.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

~WAITING FOR THE OWNER TO MAKE REPAIRS~

Written By Angeline M Duran Santiago


 I’m here in this apartment and I look around. It’s an old house. There are many places that need repair and other places where cosmetic changes would make a positive difference.

We would have to talk to the landlord, who owns this building, to consider investing financially on needed repairs. For some, we’ve done so already and truth is he’s not really looking into humoring us with changes we feel necessary. If he doesn’t think they’re truly important, they will go, (he has promised) at the top of his list. It's his house. His house therefore, he should be concerned about what needs fixing.

This building has stood the test of time through storms and flooding. This house was once beautiful and could be again, if the owner would honor it by lovingly walking through it, examining it and working to meet the many needs so apparently obvious.

Artwork by Angeline M Duran Santiago
Aren’t you happy that God is not like a landlord? Aren’t you happy that you and I can approach our maker and present ourselves as a house, no matter the condition, and place ourselves in his hands? It's time to rebuild our house. Isn’t it a hope that keeps us going to know that we are a house, once beautiful and without blemish, and then life comes with storms, breakdowns, hardships and misuse. 

Yet, with all the abandonment, rips, and broken down condition, the Master Builder (who created us in the first place and has the original blue prints of our lives) stands up and says, “Oh, I see what’s going on inside of you and yes, we can most definitely do some upgrade here.”


If you’re like me, you’re rejoicing with the fact that God can take what’s old and renew it. He can take what a landlord will ignore, and say, “Hmmm, possibilities here.” God can take even a house that has gone through the fire and say, “Finally, shining like gold.” My landlord is not going to go out of his way to make any improvements I think this apartment needs,  but God, God gets in there, right away and beings to restore, renovate, polish and strengthen. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to the condition our lives are in.

For this I am grateful. I am in the Potter’s Hands like clay that can be formed as He pleases. But, more, I am a house that is under construction for renovation purposes, with the Creator of the Universe. And, his workmanship is undeniably, amazing!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

The stage is set with a beautiful room, fit for a Queen, the velvet curtains are closed and we find a man, on the floor, distressed and crying out to God. Mordecai will not be consoled. At Queen Esther's bidding, he shares what is heavy upon his heart. He sends word about what Haman has done and  his plan to completely destroy all the Jews. He instructs the messenger to tell Esther to go to the King and plead with him for her people. 


The velvet curtain opens while Mordecai remains on the side, crying softly. The room is filled with royal servants and we see the messenger telling Queen Esther Mordecai's message. The orchestra beneath the stage softly plays music that crescendos, informing us of her fear and the dangerous plot taking place. Esther walks to the left of the stage, hand on her throat, fearful and saying,"But if I don't find favor before the King, I will die.                                     How can he expect me to go before the King?"

Music changes and you know a song is coming. The messenger leaves Queen Esther and talks to Mordecai. Mordecai rises and sings, " Do not think that because you are in the king's house, you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent, deliverance will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish." The messenger is near the Queen and walks slowly towards her.


Dimming the lights off of Mordecai and shining them on Queen Esther, he ends his song, " And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a...time  as...this."The music rises powerfully and Queen Esther understands what she must do. In a beautiful voice she sings out, "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day." She falls on the ground and on her knees, continues her song, "When this is done, I will go to the King, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." She rises and enters her room filled with ladies in waiting, looks at them and repeats, "And if I perish, I perish." The curtains move into the middle to meet and applause fills the theater as the orchestra replays the ending, "If I perish, I perish."


Youtube Clip from Veggie Tales movie, 
"Esther, the Girl Who Became Queen."

And so I bring my personal dramatization of Esther, Chapter 4 to a stop and I come before you, the reader. "What are you waiting for?" What is it going to take for you to rise from your comfort zone to pray and cry out to God? All around us and in our lives Mordecai has spoken. What is it going to take for us to take times of prayer fasting in order to come against the notice of death and destruction made against you and your family? Will you be like Esther, waiting for the news to come in before decide to do what has to be done in order to go before the King of Kings? There's no law preventing you if you draw near to the King of Glory.


photo from veehd.com/search?tag=one+night+with+the+king
What will it take? Do you need a death sentence, an emergency, a sickness, or the most horrible news possible to shake you from your comfortable place  in the king's house, and force you out into the very presence that can save your situation. In Esther's time, the King could order your death if you had not been invited and if he didn't think highly of you showing up just because you had a need. But the King that you and I have chosen to honor doesn't work with these same rules. You don't need an appointment or a special day to come before Him. Just a heart that says, "Lord, I'm here."

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)

What are you waiting for to turn to the King of Kings? What excuses do we have? The church opens for prayer and we stay home, (and I know sometimes it's impossible to always be there) but brother and sisters, if an emergency notice comes knocking at our door, we run to the church and knock the door down seeking to pray and asking others to join us in prayer for our situation. If persecution arises, we will pray and fast and run into His Presence.


photo from http://www.prayer4awakening.com/introduction/
We should go before our King because we love him and need him, but more than that, there is joy in His presence. Times of refreshing come when we are before Him. Nothing compares to how we are restored and renewed in His presence. I pray you don't wait for a difficult time in your life,  for Mordecai to show up and announce something tragic and then command you to prepare yourself to go and see the King. If you've safe and secure, like Esther, you will feel strange, unsure, and ever fear death. But, like Esther you must fight on and say, "If I perish, I perish!" 

And, you know what? You're not going to perish because God wants you to come to him and he will not cast you away. He has the answers you seek and the help you need. So, what are you waiting for? No more waiting. Let's go. Together. Take me to the King.



Song,"Take Me to the King" by Tamela Mann and 
You Tube video from movie, "One Night With the King" 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

WHO SAID IT'S NOT TIME?


Proverbs 23:18

“There is surely a future hope for you,

and your hope will not be cut off.” (NIV)

I dropped off my son at school and began to walk towards the train station. My eyes were attracted to the dirt around the trees that line the streets there. I saw, as I went from tree to tree, that tulip buds/leaves had begun to say, "Hello." I observed that some of them had withered edges and some of those edges had turned brown. My heart was saddened because there's nothing that can be done to protect them. 



Snow is in the air. March is almost over and it seems Jack Frost is extending his vacation here in the city. Those budding leaves may seem to be hearing someone say to them, "The reason you're withering away is because it's not your time to come out yet." I imagine the voices they have to put up down there in the ground. "Didn't you know that it's too early? It's not time for you to bloom, or go forward."


Proverbs 16:3

“Commit your works to the LORD

And your plans will be established.” (NASB)

Seasons don't wait for anyone's leading but the Lord's guidance. Trees bloom and flowers begin to sprout, pushing forward because their time has come to reach out and bloom. But then the cold weather returns or lingers. The snow storms that should have stopped, return. Just as these tulips were launching out to awaited "Oohs, and Aahhs" from passersby, the chill sweeps by and stops them from accomplishing what they've been created to do.

Ever feel that way? Ever sense it's your time to push out into the world and accomplish what you have in your heart? Even feel like your strength is returning, your health is being restored, your career is finally taking off, and then suddenly boom, the cold wind of winter refusing to leave pushes you a hundred steps backwards and tells you to stop moving forward. Because....it's going to snow, that's why.


Philippians 1:6

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (KJV)

You're not withering, turning brown or going to die in the cold ground. There's a plan brewing in you ready to be released. There's an agenda that pushes far beyond a new season. God has ordained it and it is so. It has to happen and it has nothing to do with it not being time because you've been made ready, prepared and given directions to extend, push through the ground, even as the storm approaches, even as the winds blow upon you, and even as it seems the seasons in your life are confused, like snowstorms as April approaches instead of flourishing gardens.


Sketch by Aaron Duran

As a child, I remember kids crumpling tiny pieces of paper into balls, then placing them on a rubber band, stretching it back and letting go. Whoever got smacked with the spit ball would look back, angrily  and hoping to find who did it. Instead of seeing yourself going back into the ground, or as if your world is pushing you back, see yourself today as someone who God has placed on that rubber band, ( no, you're not a spitball but for illustration, go along with me) and in the midst of the changes around you, the storms, the problems, the issues that come to stop you from going forward, God himself holds you in that place, pulls you back and then lets you go. You have been placed on God's catapulting machine, launching you out to go beyond what you imagined. It is your time. 

It is your time to soar, fly, and end up ahead of the game. Soon, the snow will come but it will also disappear. And guess what, many of those tulips will have survived the cold and in a few weeks, I will walk by and see the beautiful, colorful tulips waving at me, smiling, as I drop my son off at school. They were the strong ones. They survived. They held on while the storm passed and waited to be pushed into this world to proclaim their victory. You will be like that, too. It is your time. Don't be afraid. Your time is now.


Ezekiel 1:12
And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.



Monday, March 24, 2014

GET UP AND KEEP GOING, NOW!

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Are you sitting down? I think you need to sit down because we have got to talk. Seriously. Sit.


I know that what you are facing right now, what you're going through is nothing small from a nightmare. You are right to say I don't understand because I'm not inside of you to feel and see like you do. I also know that you're drowning in despair. You are smiling but inside you're broken. You're broken in pieces and wearing a mask, hiding. The more you continue to think about your circumstances, the more you sink in, downwards, quickly, and I don't want you so far down that I can't jump in to pull you out. Do you know what I'm talking about? 

Sketch by Angeline M Duran Santiago
What I want to say is this. Yes, I do see it has all come crashing down on you and you've lost so much. Forgive me, You've lost everything. And, yes, I do see you're hurting deeply because a lot of things that have hurt you so horribly are still in your mind and you've refused to share, talk about it, get counseling, and break free from the memories. But, I also see life passing you by. Your life is not over. Not, while I'm still living and breathing! You gotta get up.

You need to shake yourself and look at the people around you that are saying, "Let me in. I want to help you." If you give us time to share, you'll see many of us have gone through emotional breakdowns, heartfelt whirlwinds, and a visitation from hell itself so many times.

I'm telling you that you're not alone. Get up and keep going, now, today, this moment. You have to rise. You have to take a new step to a new day. You need to breathe in life again and know that in the midst of this darkness, light is greater. In the midst of your pain, healing is coming. Your wounds are open, the cut is deep, your mind is screaming out for solutions and you run to your bed and wish for death. 

No! Again, I say, "NO! Get up and keep going, now!" If you have to call someone, do it. If you need to open the door and run out, do it. Find the help you need but find it now. Call upon the name of Jesus, He will help you and save you. He has done such great things in my life when I didn't think being broken could ever change to being made whole.

Get up and keep going, now, today. Pull yourself up. Push yourself out. Walk out of that place that keeps you thinking about the same thing, over and over and over again. It's like you have the same song on repeat for weeks. Say, "Good bye to your personal pity party with song on repeat." Change the tune and raise the volume. It's time to throw your breakthrough party. It's time to celebrate your deliverance! For it has come if you want it. It is here, if you take it. God already delivered it to you faster than Fed Ex. He came in person to set you free. 

You can get up now. It's up to you if you stay all down and hurting or you can get up and join the rest of us, who, regardless of what life throws, we keep throwing it back. I'm on your side, but more than that, God calls you out. He says, "Get up, keep going, Come now. Together, you and I. Let's go."

WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME?

by Angeline M Duran Santiago
Inspired after meditating on yesterday's preaching and my devotions this morning in 2 Corinthians 9. I pray you're blessed.

Every man according as he purposeth in is heart,
 so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity; 
for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

The truth is for many, if not most, of us, we want to hold on to what we have. Can I just share what came into my mind as I meditated on some scripture this morning? We plan on what we're going to give, and it's not all just about money.

It Starts In Our Hearts
Depending on the situation we find ourselves, we are always in the debate of, "What do I give?" There will always be a need before us. How we handle it, depends on what you've purposed in your heart to do. You many find yourself listening to a friend's hurtful situation. What can you give?You may be struggling to make ends meet and suddenly someone has an emergency that tugs at your savings? "Lord, but how?" you ask. "What should I do?"

 You will find yourself facing a family member that has hurt you? What will they need from you? You will be confronted at work with a hostile client or misunderstanding boss? What do you have to give them? OK. If we're related, the idea of giving them a big smack upside their head didn't pass you by. But, jokes aside, we are always giving something away. And, we prepare what we give in our hearts. Yes, it starts in our hearts.

We make the decision of how we will give to others according to how we plan and think in our hearts. I look back and remember a childhood filled with seeing people coming to my home and somehow my mom could always feed everyone and take from what we had, (which wasn't much) and give to others with such grace and joy! The thing is many times we give with the wrong attitude, grudgingly and complaining. "Oh, I'll forgive him but he better not do it again, because next time, Oh, and there better not be a next time!" Sounds familiar? What about, "Lord, I want to help this person and you're showing me they need love, but oh God, how can I hug this person that smells so wicked?" Again, it begins in our hearts.



Investing In Others
Can we jump back a verse? Look at verse 6. "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." Imagine we could see this giving part as not just a sacrificial giving of our tithes and offerings, but as my brother, Tito, says, wrap ourselves in God's love and give ourselves away? 
If you're going to give someone a blessing, do it not only without telling the whole world about it, but do it with a happy attitude. Do it with love and kindness. God loves a cheerful giver. Why? Because if we give "sow" negatively, being cheap, or with the wrong attitude, isn't that how it's all going to back to us. Am I'm not talking about Karma here, really. 

If I give with all  my heart, loving without measure, forgiving, hugging with God's arms and strength in me, and just meeting the needs of others, God is going to bless me as well. But, if I hold back, just like we do with our money, if I hold back forgiveness, being polite, loving the difficult people in my life, and giving of myself half way, how can I expect anything less coming back to my life?

It's Not Always Easy
Well, you say like I've said many times, "It's hard." And, yes, sometimes giving of ourselves, when we've been used, mistreated, wrongly accused and rejected makes us hold back and stay in hiding. Yet, if you grab hold of verse 8, there's a promise to help you give without hesitation. "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things may about to every good work." 

In yesterday's preaching, Pastor Wilson shared on the blessings of using our finances to bless and help the church. It's a hard topic to talk on but he did it with grace. One thing that stood out at me was this. Times of need, drought and lack may come, (and they do) but when we have invested in God's kingdom, God supplies for us in the midst of our needs. When others are desperately looking for resources, God is providing for His children. And, not just financially. When we ourselves enter a difficult emotional time, God will also provide us with help because we have, (with the right heart) sowed into the lives of others.

You see? He's going to supply for your needs as you find yourself in a place where you're going to have to give from your heart what may seem so hard. His grace in you. All grace in you. His love, his strength, His purpose, in you. He will make sure you and I are supplied sufficiently for the time of giving. So, are you ready to give?




A Small Prayer
Lord, I'm not saying it's going to be easy, this giving deal, but you have promised to bless what I do and to supply me with the grace to do it. Fill my heart with your grace and love so that I don't hold back from giving what you place in my life to give. Prepare my heart to be sensitive to others even when what I really want to do is, well, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to knock some people out at times. So, help me give even when it's hard. Let your grace abound in me. Help me to be a cheerful giver, not a complainer or someone that is resentful and has a grudge. Help me to be loving, kind and helpful, not only to strangers, but especially to my own, my family, my friends and coworkers. I ask you this in Jesus name, Amen.



Friday, March 21, 2014

THE TREE'S INVITATION

          
           It’s A New Season, It’s A New Day!

                           By Angeline M Duran Santiago
                 



For weeks, I walked on by, always looking at the tree, naked, bare, out in the open for all to see, cold and alone. Branches holding out through the difficult winter days, with dark coverings where once leaves had burst through and brought glory.

I passed today and there it was, small buds had formed overnight even in the deepest cold. The tree had somehow allowed life to begin creation of the smallest kind in anticipation of spring and the hope of leaves bursting through itself again, soon.  


The tree, getting ready to let her hair free, was loosing winter's ponytail. Those tiny buds brought made me smile for I new, a new season had broken through, even when I wasn't looking. As I went on to take the next steps and be on my way, the tree bent over and held out branches filled with bumps. Astonished, I moved back, blinking my eyes at what had just happened. Before I could think, more trees were around me and their branches stretched out towards me like ballerinas in a circle dancing away in a scene from the Nutcracker on a Christmas stage. In awe of their nearness, I wanted to run through them, but it was then I felt their joy and their invitation to join in the dance. 

From places unknown, there on the sidewalk, the most beautiful music, violins in all their splendor, sang out with power and might, making the branches bend and sway. They drew near me and showed my arms and hands to join in their uplifted movements, their circles and turns. Laughter filled my lungs and as the sound of an invisible symphony permeated the atmosphere, I joined the trees in the dance of celebration, the dance of praise and thanksgiving, the dance of adoration for the life God was once more allowing to come through.


The wind joined in the performance, no longer able to be part of the audience. The wind began to slowly whisper through each movement, causing the wind to echo throughout the streets, "It's a new season, It's a new day...." My heart quickened as I realized nature itself was stopping me to help me see and understand God has started doing something new. "Do you hear it?" echoes in the wind. "It's a new season." Whispers in the breeze. 

I closed my eyes and allowed my arms to raise high up into the heavens, declaring my allegiance to the One who created everything that surrounded me and reminded me, "All things are new!" With worship in my heart, I twirled among the                      leafless branches, who said, "Soon, I'll bloom."


"Thank you, Lord, for inviting me to dance. Thank you for reminding me it's a new season in my life. It's a time of believing anew. Times of refreshing are coming my way. Your blessings never fail." Violins took their cue, perhaps from the honking cars, and softly faded into silence. Before I opened my eyes, the trees had returned to their square, earth covered spaces on the sidewalk, and the wind chill slowly returned back to remind me spring is still just beginning. Alive in my spirit, I laughed for I saw, still saw, the newly formed buds on the branches. I spoke to the tree and said, "I see it, too. I see the buds. It's a new season."

Walking away, unable to contain what had just occurred, I rejoiced inside my heart and gave God thanks. The dance is not just when I am in my private times of devotion. The dance is not just when I am in the congregation. The dance is here, outside, even where it is not expected. The dance of celebration, renewal, and joy. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to participate in a heavenly choreographed production of, "It's a new season, it's a new day."




ARISE WITH COURAGE

 
By Angeline M Duran Santiago


  Courage. This word put me to sleep last night. It echoed in my mind and in my heart. Have courage. Be courage. Hold on to courage. I don't think this word is just for me. It's for every member of my family. It's for those that I call friends. It's for those I don't know but long to reach out to. Courage.

According to merriam webster and google courage is strength of mind to carry on in spite of danger, the ability to do something that frightens one, and strength in the face of pain or grief. Wow! I was blown away this morning as I looked up the word that lulled me in my bedtime. If I place my name in that sentence, or yours. it means something powerful is going on in our thoughts, in our minds and heart.

Days are here and will come when you will have to put on your shirt, pants, and shoes of courage. In the face of pain or grief, your courage cannot die, it can't faint, or disappear. So, let's review an old elementary class lesson and look at words to see if you can understand what I want you to see about yourself today.

So, let's look at synonyms (words that mean the same as courage):
bravery, courageous, pluck, valor, fearlessness, nerve, daring, audacity, boldness, grit, heroism, gallantry, has guts, spunk, cojones, balls. tenacious, high-spirited, Trojan, backbone, brave, bold, determination, dauntlessness, fortitude, heart, lionheartedness, nerve, prowess

Now, let's look at the antonyms (words that are the opposite of courage):
afraid, cautious, cowardly, delicate, fearful, gentle, timid, unadventurous, weak, yielding, meek, mild, shy, fainthearted

So, which words do you want to grab and put into your carry bag? Synonyms of antonyms? Choose. Which one is "You"?

Deuteronomy 31:16 "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the Lord they God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

I don't see any antonyms that describe me or you, except cautious, (it's good to be careful) but here it's referring to valor! I actually don't think there's anyone that wants to be categorized with antonyms for courage. In order to walk boldly believing and proclaiming this scripture today, you're going to have to decide where you fit in. If we were making a line and you had a name written on paper, then placed on your shirt, what would be the words or name on your shirt? 

On which line would you run to stand in? Where would you classify yourself when they said, "On your mark, get set, Go!" In what group would you fight to belong to? Courage. Run to the group that holds on because they believe in the promise that the Great I Am is with them and will never forsake them. 


1 Chronicles 28:20And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”



Psalm 31:24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”


My shirt today says, "Courage." I see the banner being waved asking all who will trust in the Great I Am to come and join them. I rush to that group that represents Courage. I join myself to those that believe Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I stand with those who proclaim, "I will not deny you." "I will trust in You." "I believe." I leave you with this word....

                                    COURAGE



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