Wednesday, October 7, 2015

NOT AN ACCIDENT

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Turn the internet radio on each day at 5:30pm, and most likely, you'll hear the DJ saying, "You're not a mistake." I think he's memorized this statement. He made it up so why not know it by heart. So, after a while, you sort of start saying it with him as he opens his radio program.

"You're not a mistake.
You're not an accident."

So many times we look at our lives and seem to see with more clarity the errors we've made.
We see our faults and the things we wish we could take back or do over.
We look at ourselves in the mirror, and all the negative voices loudly and boldly point out what needs improvement, what's not right and the fact that we're not that 16 year old kid anymore.
A million faults.
Overweight, deformity, crippling sickness, stuck in a wheelchair, dependent on medication, bed-ridden, stuck to a dialysis machine, locked up in the depression of your life.

You look in the mirror and all you see is the drama being played out inside of you, but that is all it is. A drama between you and God.

You and I say, "Look at me! Look at what's wrong! How can my life have purpose or reason to go on?"

"You're not an accident."

Yes, you may not be the cover model for Vogue or the next American Idol, but you are God's perfect creation, PERFECT. You are not a mistake. There is greatness and all that is in the Lord, all of it, lies within you and me. 

Why not command it to rise.

Lord, let your glory rise up in me today.
Let your presence rise up and come to life today.
Remove every hindrance, every wall I have built to keep your words of life out of my life.
Remove the boundaries I have surrounded myself with that keep me focused on the negative instead of the positive and the reality that I am not a mistake.

I was carefully crafted and planned in your mind.
When Jesus was on the cross, I was on his mind. He saw me way before this world could imagine me walking it's streets.

I am not an accident. I may be sick at times, weak at times, afflicted at times, and even unsure of what to do next, but I know my life is in Christ. Since I am not an accident on this planet, I have destiny, a reason to live and move to the next stage of my life-Victory. From victory to victory.

You are not an accident.
You have great purpose and God wants you to enjoy your
life and know that you are not alone. You can overcome the harsh situations that show up. You can walk on even in the hardest days. God is with you because He planned on hanging out with you a long time ago.
Lord, walk with me today. Sit by my side. Open my ears to hear your voice leading me on throughout this day.
Make yourself real to my children and let them see your love, your care and your protection. Open their eyes and heart to see their purpose and that you will be with them always. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

ARE YOUR LEAVES FALLING?

By Angeline M Duran Santiago



I know you....
Yes,
You're that tall, beautiful tree
I see every morning,
Oh, yeah, It's me, also.
Sometimes I sit on that bench over there
Right across you
Yep, with my books,
always reading,
But, you,
well, you look different...
What's wrong?
You've always been so strong,
Majestic, powerful,
So beautiful here among these other new trees
who have barely begun to grow.
I took pictures with my family with you behind us
Remember?
Yes, when they were little,
They're all grown now,
And you,
You look different....
Your branches that once raised up high and mighty
Seem bent and fallen
Your leaves, well, 
Are your leaves falling?

They're changing colors
and I know Fall is here,,
But, 
something is not the same.
You are sad, down and as if you're ready to sit down
on this bench over here with me.

Oh, beautiful tree,
Strong and precious tree,
Tree that has been a refuge to so many
Place of comfort
Seat of silence for those who need an escape
Are your leaves falling?
Is that the reason you weep?


It's ok, dear Oak
I promise you that the winter winds will not destroy you,
I promise you that the snow will not stop your heart,
The cold rains that are to come will not crush your roots
For you are Strong
You are the Oak
The Tree that has been here for ages
Unmovable, Unbending, Relentless
Even in the winter
Raise your branches high and worship
Even through the storms,
Keep your eyes upward and trust Him,
Even through the snow and the blizzards
Let not your heart be troubled
But trust in Him.
He created you and He loves you.

You,
You my friend,
You, my brother
My sister,
My child that God blessed me with,
My husband,
Mom and Dad,
you are the Oak tree
You are the strength so many see
You are the beauty so many see
You
And sometimes, many times,
Life hurts
The storms come
and our leaves change colors
Our leaves begin to fall
But,
Just as the Oak stands through the storm
Just as the Oak remains strong through the tempest
Just as the tree stays still through the hardships,
Stand still and remain hopeful.
The Oak knows that the storms will pass
And after winter
Spring will return.


So, 
Dear Tree, Dear Oak, Dear love,
The winter will come
But it will not stay forever.
God will make his light and warmth shine on you
Even through the cold of the night.
Your leaves may be falling
and soon you will be bare,
But the heavenly arms of our Saviour
will stretch forth to hold you
and keep you through the winter hours.

Remain strong
Hold on to Jesus
Let your hope and faith stay still.
Stay ever strong, 
Beautiful Oak
Beautiful You.








Monday, October 5, 2015

WHERE ARE YOU TONIGHT?



By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Yes, where are you tonight?
Where do you find yourself at this evening hour?
While some are excited because of the events they have planned and are ready to take place, others are hidden away in their pain because of what has just happened to take all their plans and change them- in mere seconds.

Oh, how we plan.
We plan weddings, birthdays, graduations and special days.
We plan for the future, to buy things, to change things.
All of our plans are created with high hopes and smiles. But, how suddenly, and unexpectedly our expectations and dreams can also come to an end.

Is that God is unjust and not interested that we had already planned so many wonderful things in our lives and now calamity shows up to tear down so many illusions? Is that God just doesn't care or has it out for some people but chooses to bless and take care of others?


My sister, I don't know where you are tonight but I wish I could be with you and just sit with you. I don't think I have the words or many words to bring consolation to your aching heart, to the hurt and the pain you are passing through. At this night time hour I know that what you have just experienced, no one wants to live it.

Where are you tonight?
Are you on the path of rejoicing and planning great celebrations? Or, have you come to the end of the road only to find that life has just come crumbling down on you in so many ways. Disappointment has come. 

You feel broken in so many ways. Crushed. Pierced through your heart and you wonder, "Where are you Lord?" The thing is that I am convinced, even when I have felt God has let me down, in the back of my mind and in the core of my heart, I know I am not alone. I know God is with me, even in the silence. He is present. Ever present.

Lord,
I don't have the words to send them forth like you do, but you know the persons in my mind and those who are reading this tonight. You are so very aware of their pain. You are not deaf to their weeping, their cries and their questions. You walk not away from their broken spirit and crushed heart. You are there. 


The thing is Lord that sometimes we don't feel you and our pain is so great at times that we don't even believe you come near us. So, I ask you to breathe upon my friends tonight. Visit my friend in the hospital. Sit on that chair next to her bedside. Take her hand and place your face upon hers. Wipe her tears and calm her heart as she passes through this storm. Give her peace. Keep her mind at peace.

Lord, I pray for him also.
He is hurting, too. He is so close to releasing it all to you. He needs you tonight, Lord. Don't let them go back to doubting and pushing you away. Instead, Lord, show yourself great and mighty at this hour. In this moment, rescue them and carry them through this flood that has come upon them. 

I ask for your mercy and your love to be greater than anything else they need right now.

Let it be your Word that goes forth and brings healing. Let is be your presence that brings hope. Hope again. Be with my friends tonight, in Jesus name, Lord. Amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

YOU ARE MORE....


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

How many times have you felt- not enough or not good enough? You've looked in the mirror and not smiled at the reflection looking back. You look at yourself and see the scars and the setbacks of life's hand upon your body or your emotions. 

How many times have you felt unworthy? You walk into a store and you're so used to going straight to the clearance section, you never think twice about trying anything else because all your life you've thought you're only worth second hand and hand my downs. It's not that there is anything wrong with the purchase, it's in the mindset that says, "I shouldn't even look at the expensive diamond ring because, it's me- me..." and we just feel that we don't deserve anything a little special.

How many times have you stood to the back of the room, stayed away from the light and hidden in the shadows? Why? You have wondered if anyone cared what you had to say, or even wanted to listen to your share. 

I've been there countless times battling these thoughts and emotions that keep me frustrated with making better choices and decisions. And, as I have been working on a special event coming up in my life, I realize once more that I just could not make up my mind about most of the things I had to decide on.

If I looked at jewelry, I automatically went for the sale items or the clearance shelves. If I looked at clothing, I looked for the simplest or the cheapest. I realized my habits where not just habits, but a true reflection of how I see myself and believe others saw me too. 

And that's when the word, MORE, came into my heart as I meditated on the event, on how I need to change my life and my way of thinking because I now can truly see that I am,
Yes, I am....MORE!

More-
More than what I have always thought I was because the careless words of so many have always told me I was less.

More-
Higher than what I've always seen myself because I've felt at the bottom when God has always set me on top.

More-
Increased because God has blessed me even when I've lost so much. Yes, I have lost so much, more than most people who know me even imagine. Still, the Lord is my increase. He makes my way to prosper, to expand, to be more.

More-
Greater because greater is He who lives in me than he and she and all of them that have spent their days making me feel less, unworthy, and unwanted. God says, my life is greater than what I imagined because He laid down His life to prove to me just how much more I mean to Him.

More-
More than your present because God knows your future.
More than your past because God has made all things new.
More than the traumas in your life because God has used what has come against you to build you up and bring glory to his name.
More than your failures, because God restores and tells you, "Start again."


You are more.
I am more.
More than the views of this world that say our voices as Christian women are subject to the ruling of men.
Only God decides when and how we live out our calling, and If the Lord has called and equipped us as women, then who, tell me who can stand in our way? Because we are more than weakness since He is our strength.
We are more than frail vessels because God says we are chosen and set apart for His purposes.

You are more!
I am more!

We are more than the heartache of those who abused us.

We are more than the memories of those who have used us.
We are more than the darkness that attempts to hide us.
More.
We are more because the Light of God is in us,
because He lives we can face tomorrow,
and because He has redeemed us, we too have a hope,
a greater hope
More than ever believed or expected.



You are more.
You are more beautiful,
You are more worthy,
You are more special and amazing than you believe.
You are free!
Free to be you!
You are healed,
You are renewed in your mind,
You are made whole in your thoughts,
You are more than victorious
More than a conqueror
Because He who is MORE than anything and everything in this world and out of this world, is speaking over your life and mine today, saying, "You are more. You are mine."




GOD PROMISES TO FIGHT FOR YOU!

I needed to remind myself that the battle I find myself in belongs to the Lord. Maybe you are facing another battle yourself. Here are some verses that remind us, "Victory is ours!"
                                            -by Angeline M Duran Santiago


We need to research the places in Scripture that are the foundation and basis for our faith. In discovering these truths, our hope remains secure and we hold on. Too often all we know if what we hear from the Pastor's message or the television preacher. We only know what we know from books and devotionals but we don't sit down one day and just say, "Let me see what's in here for me." I challenge you to go beyond the few verses I shared here. God has a treasure of promises waiting for you.
Go claim them.


Deuteronomy 20:4
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."


Joshua 23:10
One of you routs a thousand, because the LORD your God fights for you, just as he promised.


Nehemiah 4:20
Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!"




Deuteronomy 20:1
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.


Exodus 14:14
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."




Deuteronomy 1:30
The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes,



Deuteronomy 3:22
'Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you.


Nehemiah 4:14
After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."



Psalm 46:7
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.






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