Wednesday, December 31, 2014

If I Am Here Tomorrow.....

By Angeline M Duran Santiago



What if?
What if this new year's eve is my last day of life?

What if tonight is my last breath, the day my eyes close to this world, and the night my heart takes it's final beating move and fall asleep?

What if I fall asleep and this body of mine refuses to wake up to welcome the new year?

But, what if I do wake up tomorrow?

What if I rise and welcome the new year with my heart still beating, my flesh still feeling, and my mood hoping for a good cup of coffee?

What if, no matter how brutally cold tomorrow is, I am still here with my family, with my same job, my apartment, and it is still this me that is writing to you on my computer?

Then, if I am still here tomorrow to begin the new year, I want to see those things that were spoken over my life and the life of my children come to pass.

It's a new season....

I will seek God's guidance so that I am able to water the seeds of faith, the seeds of hope, and the Word of God spoken into our hearts and into our spirits, years ago. I will trust in God to bring to life those things that have become dead. I will trust in the Lord to raise me up, raise up my kids, raise up my family and those in my life that need to be lifted up. I will believe God will bring to pass what He has promised. It's His Word, not mine. 

If I am here tomorrow, I want to stand on His promises like never before.
I want to believe and hope and trust and learn to believe  and hope and trust.

My heart's prayer...

Lord, awaken prophetic words spoken into our lives that seem forgotten and unrealized.
Lord, restore what has been lost, restore what has taken away....
Lord, breathe into my life.
Breathe into my children. Let new life come forth. 

Raise my children to hear your voice, to seek your heart and to follow after you.
Breathe into my parents.
Let your word accomplish mightily in their lives, their bodies, their hearts, their minds...

Lord, lift up every member of my family and use them to make a great impact in the world this year.

Speak, Lord....

Spirit of the Lord, go forth and find your children.

Speak into our lives and we will listen.

Speak into our lives. We wait upon you! Our hope is on you!

If I am here for one more year, let me serve you.
Help me to be a better listener.
Help me to use the gifts you have given me in a way that honors you.
Help me to serve where I work the way you want me to serve. Let me be a blessing in my workplace. I pray for your guidance and leading wherever I go.
Open new doors. Let us be a blessing! 

Have your way Lord.

Friday, December 26, 2014

UNLEASH IT!

 By Angeline M Duran Santiago



It's holding you back.
It's the thoughts from the past of inadequacy and shame.

Fear grips at your throat and you're reminded of the lies....

"You're not good enough.
Who do you think you are? Better than me?
Stop trying to get all the attention!
It's all wrong!"

It's holding you back.
It's the experiences from yesterday.
Those moments that left a dent on your spirit and froze your courage.
Those moments that change you from fearless to full of fear,
From bold to doubtful,
From a big mouth to share what you believe,
To completely silent and invisible.

It's time to unleash, not the beast but just YOU, the You waiting to be who God created you to be. 

There's a battle you're fighting, a war that keeps taking place inside of you because you are holding back.

Look, I know what I'm talking about because I have been here, too.



Unleash the Praises from your mouth, the praises to God! The praises that invite God into your life and into your circumstances. Praise the LORD with everything inside of you.

Unleash the Worship like it's all you have to live for. Your emergency can't wait and your only way through this valley of dryness and emptiness is going to be through Praising and Worshipping the Lord. 

Unleash the sound within you and bless His Name. Proclaim Him to be Lord in your life and in your situation.

Unleash your heart to surrender and bless His Name!

Rise up to be who you have been created to be. There will always be storms. There will always be hard times. I'm telling you, they will not cease, so get used to it. Start making some better choices, like a plan on how to handle these crisis moments, these moments of drought in your spirit, the sickness that keeps showing up, the problems in your life, the problems you have to face at work, at school, or where you live. 



Unleash the dance within you that says, "Worship, Praise, Battle it out on the dance floor with your heart filled with giving your all to the Lord!"

Unleash the song within you, your battle anthem, your song of deliverance, your song that magnifies and recognizes the Lord of Hosts!

Unleash your prayer. Get up and learn to pray. Get up and start to pray again. Yes, you! You know who I am talking to. Remember when you spoke to God and he not only answered prayer but spoke into your heart. Unleash your words and come before the Lord, again and again. Again.

Unleash, break free, and break through.
It's a new year to unleash the best in your life so that you can be victorious!

 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sadness Be Gone!


by Angeline M Duran Santiago

Perhaps one of the times throughout the year when we see people go through the greatest emotional changes and conflicts, is a time like the present, the holidays. I don't know if it's the stress of wanting to join in on the gift giving and not being able to live up to the desired expectations of the receiver, or maybe it's the realization of knowing there's not much in the pocket to spend, because other things take a priority. Maybe, it's the memory of loved ones gone on ahead before us to what we believe is a better place, or it can be the surrendering of our thoughts into long moments of time, realizing another year has passed us by and perhaps we've gained or succeeded very little.

We begin to not only torment ourselves for our lack, but for our failures. We begin to drown in the evidence before us, that we didn't do more for the negative situations in our lives to change, our small fight was not enough, or we just simply gave up. 


I know what it is like to go from feeling a hundred percent ready and able to face and conquer the world, to crawling back into a shell and not being able to believe I can even lift my voice to put up a fight. I also know what it's like to wake up hopeful and full of faith, with a prayer constantly on my lips, and then, somehow, feel alone, like walking away and never coming back.

There's a passion within that pushes us to feel confident about our calling, our mission, and our assignment, if only for our present season. Yet, with all our abilities to sell what we know, to prove we are capable, or to show our commitment, something seems to creep in. The strong wall around us seem to crumble down with the touch of an ant. A though, tiny, like an ant, can take all our joy, our strength, our dreams, and bring it down, completely down. What has taken years to build crashes before us in seconds. 

And, although most depressive moments may seem to prevail more noticeably during the holiday seasons, I believe for many, sadness and even the inability to move on only intensifies. So, where do we go from here? Is it enough to just know the statistics or respond with a nod of our heads to what we hear and see? Do we join the millions who write their pain, their hopelessness, and their never ending heartache and add to their lines of tears with our pen?


Instead, and this is just me, I choose to get up.
I choose to rise from the bed and face the madness.
I choose to acknowledge that there is something better if I just get up and get going.
I choose to look for solutions and not allow myself to be pushed against the wall. 
Are you just going to stand there or will you agree that this is what you need to do, too?

We have a choice. We can either join the cloud of weeping or we can go, shower, wipe our tears away, and put on something that smells really nice. We have a choice. We can stay in our dark corner or get dressed and go outside to face the noisy world.

I'm not saying to ignore what you're going through, but yes, sometimes, we need to put ourselves last and open our eyes to be there for someone who is not emotionally dying, but whose need far extend the battle that rages inside the mind. When we are able to find other outlets for our thoughts, like helping people, working, doing household chores, or just going out for a cup of coffee, we will notice that our heart is still beating and our lungs are still choosing to breathe.

So, why are you so resigned to just cater to your emotions?
Why are you resolute to focus on your darkness, your depression, your past and your pain? I know it's real, but you know what? YOU are REAL as well. And, because you are forever falling off your mountain, you cannot stop fast enough to just go look at the Christmas trees for sale on the corner. You missed the notice on the wall to visit a church and enjoy Christmas with some traditional songs and maybe a funny nativity play. You missed the smell of bacon and the aroma of coffee as you passed the Deli. You missed the funny moment next to the bus stop. You're on Fast Forward so much, you are letting life pass you by.



And so, I end with this.

We all seem to pass through the valley of dead bones. Many if not most of us, get off at this train stop, more often than needed. The train is on it's way. There's an Awesome Train Conductor getting ready to make a stop near you. He's going to stop, open the doors and invite you to get inside. He will take you to many stops along the way. Hope St. Freedom Ave. Joy Way. Salvation Path. Happiness Road. The doors will open on and off and you will have to decide where you will trust Him to let you off. Maybe you just want to get off where it's Prayer Hall. Maybe you want to get off and stay a while in the town of The WORD. I know this, no hurt, no darkness, no depression and no pain is greater than our God. He is able to take you to a new place, a greater level, if you just allow Him to be there with you. So, you decide. I don't know if they'll be hot chocolate on this train ride, but I do hope you get on and give Jesus a chance to take you to a new place in your life, to a place of joy and new beginnings. God bless you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

GOD CHOSE MARY

 By Angeline M Duran Santiago


I think of Mary, betrothed, engaged, a bride to be.....and suddenly, unexpectedly, she gets the news that God is about to change everything in her life. 

God had planned something for Mary long before she would learn to take her first steps or say her first words. When God has made a promise to reach out to the world, he had already set Mary aside to be part of His plan.

Here was Mary, planning her life, planning her wedding day, and maybe planning one day to be making baby clothes, when an angel appears and tells her that her life, her entire life, everything she had planned and envisioned for herself, was about to change.
Drastically change.

Because a baby changes everything....
A baby changes everything....



Mary's love and devotion for God had to have been so great and so sure that she was quick to surrender and accept God's will, his unexpected plan for her life.

She put up with the questionable looks, perhaps being seen differently by others, and the thoughts of what would happen when others found out she was carrying a baby. Still, she remained hopeful and faithful to carry out God's plan. She decided to trust in Yahweh and believe what He said.

I imagine young Mary crying out, praying to Adonai. I imagine her coming before the Lord and asking for strength for the journey ahead.

Because, prayer changes everything....
Prayer changes everything....


On one special night, Jesus, Yeshua, the Promised Savior was born. His birth and His Name would echo in the ears of all humanity for ages to come. Mary's life was forever transformed. Jesus was now a part of her life and with his birth, expectation and renewed hope in God's promises were reborn.



The life and death of Jesus is know by most. His message reaches out as the ultimate demonstration of love without limits. His love is the ultimate gift that never stops giving. He only asks that we believe and accept His love into our lives. 
 
Because, Jesus changes everything....
Jesus changes everything....

During the Christmas Season, it's not the date we honor, it's not a lack of not knowing pagan traditions, and it's not even about following after worldly celebrations. It's all about Jesus. A long time ago, God chose one special night to showcase His Precious Gift of Jesus. He used Mary, a simple young woman with a heart ready to say yes to the Lord, ready to open to His will and His promises.


As many get ready to celebrate, will we be like Mary and surrender our hearts to the Lord. Will we prepare a special place deep inside of our lives for Jesus to grow in us, take root in us and be glorified in us. Will we forget about what others may perceive about us as we carry Jesus around in our hearts? Will we choose to please God, rather than please people? Will we be ashamed of Jesus in our lives, or like Mary, will we gladly do what it takes to protect that precious Word planted in our hearts and treasure it always?

Because, God's Word changes everything...
God's Word changes everything....

Christmas is not about the birth of Jesus on the 25th of December. It's not even about gifts. Christmas is about more of Christ in our hearts, in our homes, in our families and in our daily living. Christmas is about honoring that gift of love and life planted in our hearts and making room for the King of Kings to come forth in our homes, and in our lives. 

Mary made room for Jesus, preparing the way, seeking a place for him to be born and hid him not from angels and shepherds. It is time for us to be like Mary and make room in our lives to showcase the Risen King. May we be like Mary and invite others to come and see the Blessed One, the Anointed One, and the Promised One. 

Because, God's promises change everything...
Yes, He changes everything.... 

A Baby Changes Everything 
by Faith Hill

Saturday, December 6, 2014

YES, GOD ALLOWS SETBACKS

By Angeline M Duran Santiago



What? You may be screaming in your sneakers right now and getting ready to message me with, "How dare you?!!" and, "God doesn't want his children to suffer!" with some additional words some of you may throw in. Allow me to share a little of what my family has been going through lately, and I assure you, by the end of my blog, hopefully, you'll agree, God will allow set backs and hard times in our lives.


 It was only a few months ago I was without work and right after finishing my probation time, my husband got the news they were letting him go.

For a time our financial situation was very difficult. It was a time where I had no choice but to rely on God for more than I ever had before. I had no choice but to believe that every story in the Bible would somehow relate and come alive for me and my family.

Would God multiply the bread and the fish?
Would God truly meet all my needs (financial and material) according to His riches and glory?
Would God truly provide healing and restoration?

We've gone from having much, to wondering where our next rent money would come from. We went from two paychecks, to wondering if mine would bring enough to keep paying for my son's medications and supplies.

Our health insurance was terminated and we were left wondering, "God, what's next?"


Just as my husband's last days came to pass, God used someone who had no idea what we were going through to share about a job opening. We were excited and began to not only pray but thank God for this job and believing He would open the door for my husband.

This week, the first week of December, he started his new job. Two weeks ago, I started mine. He just keeps saying, "Angie, God has blessed us with this new job!"

God opened a door for me where later on I was given the opportunity to work in the very areas I had always dreamed of. My new assignment has given me the voice I've always wanted in the educational field.

So, now, here's my thought on everything. 

God will allow setbacks, hard times, and difficulties to come our way so that we can move to the next level in our lives, experience something new that will take us into what the Lord has for us. We pray for God to have His way and when He starts shaking things up so we can get to where He wants to take us, we see it as God abandoning us and allowing us pain.


My brother, Tito, shared something that shed some light on what we were going through. As I went home and thought about what he shared, this came to my mind.

A Biblical Example:

God's people were doing well. They had it all. They were happy. Their finances, their homes, their farms and so forth were prospering. Some were probably truly serving Yahweh and then you had a huge group that had just divorced their hearts from the Lord completely. It didn't matter where they were spiritually or in their relationship with the Lord. 

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
Read the rest of the story here-Daniel 1 

They came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
besiege- surround (a place) with armed forces in order to capture it or force its surrender; lay siege to.crowd around oppressively; surround and harass.
lay siege- The surrounding and blockading of a city, town, or fortress by an army attempting to capture it. 

God allowed enemies to come and give them a no escape plan, no choice, you're done with your lifestyle, you're coming with us. God allowed enemies to remove them from their familiar peaceful settings, their happy environment, their lifestyles- either serving Yahweh or serving other gods, but God allowed all them to be collected and taken away. In the blink of an eye, they left it all behind and walked away with only the clothes they were wearing. Nothing. Losing everything. 

Confusion, sadness, doubt- God where are you? Why God? If you are so loving, why are you allowing this?

Just as God has a plan here, He has a plan for you and a plan for me and my family!

God's people get take away into captivity and what happens next is mind blowing.

The highest positions or authority were given to God's children. We see Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego and Daniel, not only being blessed with extraordinary wisdom and intelligence, so that the King could see it, but favor was poured from the heavens upon them, so that now, the very people that had placed them under opression and captivity, now looked to them for help, for advice, for the interpretation of dreams. 

So, I believe God does allow us to lose it all at times. Does it mean He stops loving us? Does it mean he's like the Greek gods, laughing and playing tricks on us to see how we're going to look going crazy not knowing what to do? Does allowing us to pass through hardship mean that God has favorites and enjoys seeing us on our knees crying out for mercy?

No. I believe in this:

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

God's ways are higher!
His wisdom without comparison.


He knows what we can handle but He also knows our destiny. He knows our future needs. He knows our calling and where we need to go. He knows that the only way we can receive what we need is to sometimes cross the bridge to get to the other side. Sometimes we need to pass through the dark valley in order to see, truly see, Yes, Lord, you have been with me through it all.

God has never once forsaken us.
God has always allowed us to have more than enough.
My children have never been without food.
My son has always had more than enough supplies and medication.

So, where does this leads you who are reading? 

Are you facing something like we have faced or perhaps something worse? Then trust in Him. Don't become angry, bitter, or walk away from the Lord. Hold on to every promise. Believe you are not forgotten. Yes, He knows your name. Continue to declare God's favor and goodness in your life, in your home and in your situation. Help is on it's way. God is in the middle of your crisis. God is working all things, ALL THINGS, for your benefit. I'm telling you, it's going to work out.

Your hardships, your unemployment, your waiting on the Lord, He's got it all in His care.

Wait on the Lord.

 If you would like prayer, just reach out to me and I will stand with you believing knowing God will do great things in your midst just as He is doing in ours. We are still waiting for so much more, but oh the joy as we wait and know we are not alone. God bless you.

Enjoy my other blog:
A Diabetic's Mom's Journey 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

PUSH THROUGH


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

During my train ride this morning, the words I'm typing now, where fresh in my mind. You see, the truth is, I was experiencing some difficulties and I wasn't feeling well. Everything in my body was screaming, "Go home!" and everything in my mind was saying, "Push through! Pray!"

It was on that train, being pressed on by strangers from all sides, that I closed my eyes and began to speak God's word into my spirit. I began to recall promises of healing, of comfort, of strength and hope. As the words of faith poured from the deep reservations of my memories into my heart, I realized this was the message to share today.

I had to write it down and tell you to PUSH THROUGH!
I had to come home and write, GET UP and KEEP BELIEVING!

I became encouraged and filled with anticipation and I realized that maybe you were feeling crappy today, too. Maybe you were sick, feeling pain, or just plain uncomfortable. 


I know what it's like to pray and wait, and no answer, no healing, nothing.....

But, see what happened here? God just plainly says, "Look, I'm with you. My grace is enough for you." In other words, "I got you. I'm with you. I am working in you. I am doing something in your life, and in your body that you can't understand. I will not go away. All you need is me. All you  need is my power in you. All you need is to believe and hold on."

My redeemer lives!
Your redeemer lives!
He is our hope and our peace.
He is our deliverer and our healer.
Yes, He heals! He heals our sickness, our pain, our hurts.
He heals us even while we are still taking medication.
He heals us even as we lay in the hospital not knowing what's wrong.
He hears our prayer and He answers according to His will.
He heals the broken hearted.
He restores broken marriages. I am proof of it.
He restores families. I can testify to his greatness.
He delivers us.
He is our redeemer and He lives to do great things in us.

Will you trust Him?
Will you believe Him?
Will you surrender it all to Him?
Will you allow your heart to hope and hold on?
Push through.
Don't fall down and give up.
Push through the storm.
Push through your pain.
Push through, my brother.
Push through, my sister.
Push through the troubles, the pain and the hard times.
You are not alone.
God is going to push with you.
Push through.




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