Saturday, November 28, 2015

ANSWERS NEEDED


Today I find myself in need of a word from You, Lord.
In the innocent and perhaps childish mindset of my moment,
I wish you'd just come and sit with me,
Talk with me,
Share with me your thoughts in regards to so many thoughts dancing around in my mind.
Decisions, and more decision,
And Oh, how I desire and truly long for your Word to guide me. I desperately wish for your hand to lead me to where I need to be and to lead me away from making any mistakes that will cause nothing but stress and heartache in the near future.
Answers are needed
And it seems that although I know I am correct to surrender and place my trust in You,
It is still ultimately up to me
And your voice is a peaceful presence, just here.

Lord,
How I wish you were a thunderous alarm ringing loud in my ears and in my heart,
Showing me, Crying out, "This way!" and
"No, not that way!"

But, you choose to be silent.
And I want to wait but around me it seems I am running out of time.
My advisers are present, but again,
It is, at the end, up to me to choose,
Up to me to decide.


Lord, But I want to make sure this is you at work here.
I'm tired of years and years of making the wrong decision,
And investing my all into something that gives me back nothing, absolutely nothing.

Answers needed, please.
Direction, guidance, and a sign,
A sign that my walking on this road is not my own choosing but that somehow in following my heart towards what I believe is what I should be doing,
I am in your will.

That is where I long to be, Lord.
In Your will, not mine.
My will gets me in trouble.
My will sits me in the chair of depression.
My will and my way embraces the mind of uncertainties and confusion and I don't want to be there,
I cannot be there.
Keep me away from that dark place where I am lost again,
I don't want that space, only Yours.


Help me, Lord.
Answers needed here for this daughter of yours,
I am here.
I will wait.
I will trust in you.

You know my needs and what my family needs.
I will wait for the answer,

It will come.
You will provide.

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

CRAZY THANKFULNESS

-By Angeline M Duran Santiago



I listen in on what's going on in my kitchen. Two of my kids are in there, Christmas carols softly playing and they're busy making Pumpkin pie. Right now, I'd call that a piece of heaven on Earth. There's nothing like observing happiness in action. I'm thankful for their heart and for their love of giving to others. Physically, they're not feeling too great, but their spirit to prepare something to give to others tomorrow keeps them going, even when they should take a break and just rest.
And, I guess I call that a reason for crazy thankfulness.
It's the things we rarely think about thanking the Lord for.
Perhaps you will find yourself agreeing with me on some of the things I share and with others you may be like, where is this lady going with this?
So, here I go,
with my crazy thankfulness.

I'm thankful for our putt putt car outside.
It took Frankie to work, went and got my son, my daughter and me and brought us all safely home.
I'm thankful for this apartment. Yes, this tiny apartment.
There is no living room, no dining room, and the kitchen, well, at least two of us fit there at the same time. I am thankful for the heat filling the rooms and the hot water to shower.
I am grateful for a space for the beds for each one of my children and for my hubby and me.


I am thankful for the buses I took this morning because they were on time.
I am thankful for my job and for the food provided at work today.
I am thankful for my co-workers who shared from the bounty of their blessings and made sure that I ate throughout the day.
Lord, thank you for their loving hands reaching out to me.

Lord, I am thankful for my paycheck.
Thank you that I was able to pay my bills and that there is food in our home.
Thank you Lord that I have what I need.
Thank you for my boots, my coat, and my shoes.
Thank you Lord, for my quilts, my many warm quilts and especially my pillows.

Lord, I am thankful for my cell phone.
I was able to talk to my parents and text my dad who was joking around this morning.

I am grateful Lord for friends that take time to say hello and I'm praying for you.
I am thankful for family and that we will be together during the holidays.
Lord, thank you for my son's diabetic supplies.
Thank you for the Insulin and for his pump working the way it should.



Lord, thank you for my health insurance.
Thank you for the strength in my legs and in my bones.
Thank you for my eyes.
Lord, thank you for my hands that can write and type.
Thank you for my mind, a sound mind, a mind that knows you, Lord.
Thank you Lord for my heart beating because you command it to keep going.
Thank you for each breath of air and each step I take.
I am crazy thankful for the days when things go wrong because I can pray.
Thank you Lord for the mess ups and the heartbreaks because they lead me to you.
Thank you for my failures and my errors, because they remind me you are still in control of my life, even when it seems out of control. You put all things back in place. You give me peace. You direct me and re-establish my path. You restore me in my brokenness and you fill me when I am empty.


Thank you for the dark moments in my life because without them I would never have seen that You are the Light that shines in my life.
Thank you for the days of pain and sorrow
Because I learned to listen to you and wait on you.
I learned to give you my pain and I learned that you are my healer.
You move in my life like only You can, Lord.

Thank you, Lord.
I am crazy thankful for my family.
I am crazy thankful for this lap top where I can write just how thankful I really am.
Thank you Lord for the things I don't want to be thankful for.
I am still waiting for prayer to be answered,
I don't want to thank you for sickness or areas of lack,
But, I will thank you for your hand in my life and in my family through every sickness and every moment when there have been needs.
I will thank you even then because it has been in those hard moments that I was able to see who you are in my life, more than wonderful, Lord, more than life to me.

I end it here,
My crazy thankfulness,
and hope you too,
Are filled with crazy thankfulness unto the Lord.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

THE MIRROR

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pdr/favorites/


When you look in the mirror
I know what you see,
Or at least,
I think I do...

You see the shame of yesterday

Staring at you 
Making you remember the moments of shame
The hours of pain
That you never volunteered for
Yet they carried you away
Away into the hurtful place
You tried to run
You tried to yell out
But help didn't come
And you drowned in the moment of despair
Hurting 
Confused and abandoned to the screams inside your head that your mouth couldn't utter
Used and left like a dirty rag
Kicked to the side
Waiting to be picked up
But there was no one to see you
No one to hear you
No one to take hold of you and help you run
Run into the shadows
and hide from the reality of what had just happened,


http://blueprintchurch.org/ugly-people-hate-mirrors/

And day after day,
You look in the mirror and you remember,
Then you forget for a season and you laugh
You smile and believe again
You live again for just a moment
Until, a building
A number
A word
A sound or a scent
Rush you back into that yesterday
When your innocence was taken
When your confidence was mistaken for easiness
When your words were not enough
And your No was believed to mean a Yes.

You look into the mirror
And you blame yourself,
You hate what you see because no matter
how much make up you put on,
You feel the stain of every finger upon you,
No matter the hairstyle or the clothes
You still want another moment in the shower
To erase and remove the scars that only you see.

You look in the mirror and feel cheated
You wonder if you're so worthless that you'd be so easy a target for someone to hurt you so wrong,


But, I look in the mirror behind you and I see,
I see someone whom God has always showed favor on
I see someone who is beautiful


http://entertainmentmesh.com/you-are-beautiful-quotes-pictures/

without the make up, the clothes and the pretty hair,
I see someone who has been chosen from the foundation of the world to be a great voice
that pierces through the darkness,
A menace, 
A threat to the powers of wickedness
And that is why you've been a target
From your childhood,
They've seen the mark of the Lord upon you
And they've watched and observed and looked for ways
to deceive, destroy and kill your spirit.

Plans have been executed against you,
Schemes have been created to demolish you,
Armies of demonic beings have come together and gathered around you to push you down and keep you down,
But, look at you,
Through it all,
You are still standing
You are still here,
Because God wants you to look in the mirror one more time and see the power of God all around you
God's presence in you and with you


http://ink361.com/app/users/ig-226127956/rasberry_beret_33/photos

Yes,
He wants to walk with you and be your shield
He has set you apart though you believe He has abandoned you and no longer cares
His love for you remains and never fails, although you feel He is not worth your time because if he really loved you he would've never allowed you to be captured, hurt, used and left for dead on the side of the road.
But, he heard you when you wept
He walked with you when you were alone on the street
Alone on the train
Alone, waiting for the bus or the taxi
He was with you.

He watched over you when you pushed him away
He remained and waited.

So, please, go back to the mirror
And let each image shatter in Jesus Name
Let the only truth you see is the truth of God in you
Let every lie, every memory that haunts you, 
Let it crumble
For this mirror, mirror on the wall,
Speaks not the truth, never at all,
The only true reflection is what you'll find
In God's word, In God's presence.

The mirror
It calls you and shows you the past
The mirror of God's heart
Calls you and reminds you of your destiny.

What will you do,
The mirror is before you
What will you choose to see
When you look again
Yesterday's nightmare
Or
Today's new beginning with God before you?


-Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago

https://twitter.com/johnhabib

Thursday, November 5, 2015

SHOW ME YOUR GOD!

By Angeline M Duran Santiago


What do we do when the faith we express, the testimony we share and the joy we release is attacked? There are those who say they, "I used to be religious, but I know better now. I don't believe that way anymore." Then, you have the ones who say, "Oh, honey, you're still in that first love. Wait til you see how those church people really are. Come back when they've all back stabbed you and then tell me again about how wonderful this walk in Christ is."
You have the ones that have this Spirit to teach you all about the truth because all they do is study and study some more so that they can prove to everyone that what they say is in the Bible and it is what it is. 

At the end of it all, with all the different people coming at us, not one has the potential to show me or tell me anything with substance in regards to having or desiring a true relationship with The God of Heaven. There's the Spirit of Debate, The Spirit of Controversy and the Spirit of Competition to see who can outdo the other person in a confrontation. It seems the only agenda is to see how the Christian,( and I am referring here to the true believer who has a sincere heart to love and live for the Lord,) is put in their place, brought to a hopeful place of turbulence or confusion and hopefully, in front of many, embarrassed, ridiculed and proven unable to talk truth about their "God".

When I write about what has done in my life, don't ask me to talk about why there are bad things happening in the other parts of the world. When you tune in to find out about the weather in your neighborhood, you put in your zip code to get your weather forecast, not the weather for another state or country. Maybe that's how it is with people sharing about their lives. In my case, I just want to share about what is taking place in me.

When I share about how God has brought me through some tough times in my life, I am not looking for a debate on why I think He is good but then why is it that He is not showing His goodness to others in another part of the world. You see, I think, you're missing the point of what I am trying to share. If God has taken the time to bless someone like me, then he can bless anyone. If He is interested in hearing prayers from someone that can be so down and out and messed up as I have been, then I am more than positive, God can and will respond to the cries of others in any place of the world. He is not just there for me. He is not a good God just for me. He is good for all who call upon His name and believe in His ability to help them and be there for them.


There are many prayers that are yet to be answered. This does not weaken or lessen my faith. It does not prove God is fake or a myth in my weak mind. I believe that in time, if it is to be so, then it will come to be mine. And, because of what God has already done in my life in the past, that helps me to hold on even when life gets hard. He's been there before and He will be there, always and again.

Yes, I know your argument, "the wars, the famine, the hunger in the world, the poverty, and the powers that be...." But, this world has made it clear, perfectly clear that it does not believe in God, it does not want to know about God, and it doesn't want God's Word taught or shared. SO, why are you so interested in why God isn't taking care of things when you have told Him to stay away because oh, that's right, "Shhhh.." He's not real. So, You keep telling Him to keep out then ask me, "Where is He?" So, "No!" I will ask you, "Where is He? Don't you know? Why isn't He responding? Didn't you send Him away?"

The negative attacks and comments will always be there. But, you, dear friend in the Lord, fellow comrade in the Army of the Lord, keep on keeping in your faith. Do not give up. Keep preaching. Keep believing. Keep praying. Continue to share your faith and your testimonies. Continue to sing and dance and play your songs to the Almighty God. Keep writing about faith and prayer. Don't let a negative comment on your page freeze you, instead, let it empower you to write and do more.



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

YOU HAVE


Written By Angeline M Duran Santiago

You have
Inside you
Around you
Within you,
A purpose greater than the goals and the dreams you set for yourself when you were just a child,
Planning high school choices
Planning college days
Planning love stories

You have
Inside you
A calling from on high
That even when you have served
Him with all your heart
and have walked in the anointing
you have yet to understand that there is more
Because He is
In You 
Calling you forth
Calling you out
Calling us to come closer
But we are happy with the drizzling rain
We are content with the simple showers of blessings
We know that to 
See the greater
We will have to draw near
Come closer
Go down deep into the river
Of his presence
And wait on the Lord


You have
Destiny
Purpose
beyond what you imagine
And it is waiting to be born
But we hold on to it
as if nine months of pregnancy is supposed to be eternal
As if infancy is forever

God calls us out and says to us
You have been chosen for something greater
But we are content to stay in the blessing of yesterday
We are satisfied with Sunday's move of the Spirit
We are fine with our situation
And He is saying
You have
You have more to give
You have been called
You have been given so you may give
You have been called out to do more.

What will you do?


Lord, help me to be fearless and go forth
as you call me into the waters of your presence,
Lord, help me dive into the ocean of your presence and lose myself in your word.
Guide me and allow me to understand your plan for my life
Help me to walk according to your ways and not mine.
Use my life for your glory!
Let my life be yours.
Have your way in my home, Lord.
Unleash in me what needs to be set free so that I may
be used for your purpose according to your plan and will.

THERE IS NO GOD!!!!



By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Perhaps you've read some of the pieces I've written?
Perhaps you just stopped by when you saw the title and were interested, and wondering, took a few minutes to see if it was something worth reading until the end?

Or, Maybe, you're the person who so graciously took the time to, (whether you did read it or not) took your precious time to add your comment at the end of the blog,
"There is no God!"

I guess, my first thought was, "Did the blog anger you?" There was an exclamation mark at the end of your comment, so therefore I must make the assumption that your comment was loud and angry.

Next, I wondered, as I read your other comments, "Did this person really read what I wrote and did they truly comprehend and understand what I was trying to relate?" Obviously their comment had nothing to do with the body of the text. There was no evidence in their commentary that their thoughts had been provoked through anything I had written or shared. So, then I deducted that this person just need to vent.

So, if they needed a space to vent and share their thoughts, and especially if they were upset with people sharing about a God who is good and caring, and they have not seen or experienced that in their personal life, then, this whole blog on God caring about them had sort of just been the last drop in the bucket and they decided to let go and write, "There is no God! He is not real! He does not care! Where is He? Where is He when there are millions suffering and dying?"

And on and on the questions came.
There is a God.
Just because you have not called out to Him, and just because the door to your heart remains closed to Him, doesn't mean He is not real or is not longing to walk in through the door of your life to sit with you and love you.

There is a God.
He cares about the hurting and the suffering in every corner of the world. People have made their choices who they want to believe in, who they want to serve and who they will call upon in their time of need. Even when people push God away, He is still reaching out to humanity, but we push Him out and tell Him to stay out!

There is a God who cares and listens.
We tell him he is not welcomed in our midst.
We invite and invoke other gods, other spirits, other deities and the presence of other entities, behaving towards them as if they have more and greater power. Regardless of what we may believe, at the end of it all, The God of Heaven still is and will always remain, Lord of all, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Our choice to say he doesn't exist doesn't stop Him for being.
Our freedom to say he has no power doesn't limit his power to freely work in the lives of those who trust in His Name.
Our fight to remove Him from our midst to push forth agendas that promote every other belief and agenda contrary to that which shows God's Word as truth, will not and cannot in any way diminish or remove God's Word or truth from the hearts and minds of those who have genuinely had a heart to heart encounter with His love, His forgiveness and His mercy.

It's a heart thing.
It's not a mind thing where we play mind games to see who can prove which side is correct, the God side or the "No God" side. It's something in the heart of people that you can't see and you can't take away. It's faith that will only come when you surrender your all, your hurt, and your pride.

Well, that's it.
To, "There is no God!" I say, "There is..." But, I can't prove it to you with my words. It's a "Between you and God and in your heart-thing". It's about, "Asking and Receiving what He offers you-by faith-" He loves you even if you don't love Him back. He is there for you, even if you don't care that He is even on your side.

Keep reading my blogs. I hope you visit again and again. I don't mind your comments because it lets me know that maybe somehow, somewhere in your heart, you're wondering and hoping, when you say, "There's no God!" you just may be crying out, "God, are you there?"

WHEN I REMEMBER YESTERDAY


I've gotten older.
And, although I've gotten older and at times I've wondered if some of the things I've dreamed for and hoped for will ever come to be a reality in my life, I've decided to continue to remain positive, even when life seems to throw the curve ball at me. My life has seen small glimpses of success and then great plummets downhill really fast.

There are many moments in my life that have sort of just past me by and I'm like, "When did this happen? How did it all just go by so quickly? I mean, when did I stop being 30?"
I had so many ministry goals, so many plans of where I would be by a certain age, the multitudes I would reach with the gospel, where I'd be in regards to my finances, my ministry and my life, and then I look in the mirror and there's so little of what I wanted looking at me. Am I disappointed? Perhaps, in some ways. When we write our goals down and work towards them, we expect to see growth in those things we plant and water with care. But, it is God who makes it all grow, not us. He knows what needs to flourish in our lives, not what we want. After all, are we not praying, "Thy will be done, not mine?"


Yes, I wish I were elsewhere in my career. Yes, I wish there was no sickness in my home or in my own body. And, yes, I wish I had made it to another level in ministry in regards to music and the arts. Do I call it a failure if I am not where I imagined myself to be when I was in my youth?

Through the roller coaster journey that my life has been, I've learned one thing- or should I say, I'm still learning, right?
I see that I make plans, but God decides the outcome. The failures in my life do not mean I have failed or that God has abandoned me, rather, this has been my journey and it is through this journey that I have learned to see God's greatness greater than I imagined.

In my past, I always thought I would live my days preaching to great multitudes. Here I am, writing to an audience of One and pouring my heart to the One who gives my hands the ability to write out my fears, my triumphs, and my joys. 

You know, when I first started with the Arts and Dance in church, I was told it was not of the Lord. Along with others, we were cast out of churches, called sinners, and told we were bringing the world into the church. I would be invited to minister with my puppets and clown ministry only to be told to change my costume into regular clothes or leave because clowns were from the devil. I remember being told I couldn't be on the altar because I was pregnant, and not being allowed to preach in a woman's convention that had been planned months in advance. The things I put up with before I guess were all allowed by the Lord to pave the way and make the way clear for those who easily get up on the altar now and dance away, mime away, clown and puppeteer away. 

In my past, I imagined witnessing until my last days through music, song, and dance. Yet, the only movement I make now are the recitals in my mind, but oh, they are praises to the Lord and I give them to Him with all my might. I look back and see that although I may not be where I used to be or where I would like to be, there are hundreds that the Lord allowed me to teach, inspire, train and lift up and not they lead others in the arts, in dance and music. So, although my feet may seem frozen in time, they join the dancers far away that I may never see but only hear about. Even though I may never sing again, my voice unites to heavenly choirs raising praises to the Lord.

I have gotten older.
But, I am not done.
I pray that if you have seen yourself like me, done, old, an outcast in the things of the Lord, forgotten and put away, that you will hear the Lord calling you out and saying, "I am not done. I am not finished with you."


I believe the Lord is saying to those of us who may have given our all in years past and now seem to be on stand by, that we are called to pray and continue to inspire others, but we too, still have much to do. Our hands and feet can still do so much for the Lord. Our voices are not gone.

Lord, I don't know what I'm supposed to do next. 
My heart for so many things in the past is still ignited. The doors have closed and only You know all things. My body is tired and maybe I am not that young girl I once was, but I love you and I yearn wholeheartedly to serve you.

I know you do, also.
God has not pushed us to the back side.
We are not forgotten. We are still vessels in God's hands. But, we are also partners with the Lord, raising up our children to be instruments in the Lord's hands. We need to help our kids sense and know what we did as teens in the Lord. We need to share with our kids our passion and our heart for the ways of God, before the world teaches them that the way of the Lord is a waste, profits nothing and that it is without a purpose.

Lord, lift me up and ignite in me what needs to be rekindled so that I may be a flame that burns consistently for my children, my family and everyone around me. Let me not look at what I lack, but help me to focus on what you have given me to give to others. Let me be a voice that speaks out in the wilderness, in the darkness and into the hearts of my children. Let my life be an example that shows living and believing in You is not ridiculous, but the true way.

Lord, rekindle in me the strength and the heart to pray and seek your Face, but even more, touch my kids to seek you and serve you. In Jesus name, amen.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Words For When I'm Broken



When I am feeling as if I am on my own
And there's just no one to truly share what's on
my heart, there are just so many scriptures that are like
that smack in the head, saying, "Wake up to reality!
You're not alone! He does care."

In the midst of what seems without promise
In the midst of what appears lost and without hope
or a chance of ever changing, I hide in the pages of God's 
words, where I can wrap myself in the blanket of His promises and be assured that He is for me.




I am reminded that even when I
don't see the answer to my heart's expectation,
It doesn't mean I am unloved,
or that God is punishing me
or that God is not real.

His Word tells me that I can put my trust in Him
and wait. Oh, yes, it's hard to wait. No, it's super hard to wait. Especially when we are hurting through the wait.

But, God's word says that there is nothing hard for him. 
So, as I wait, He is working in my life.

He is working in my circumstances.

He is taking care of those things in my life that I don't see,
those things I can't understand because my focus can get lost in my pain and my immediate needs.

Yet, God looks into my life and doesn't just see my "right now". He is the God of my tomorrow and as He works in my life, he is also taking care of the answer I need for the moment that has yet to happen in my life.


His word, His words, are words for when I am broken.
When I feel like a rag doll, pulled apart and thrown to the corner of a dark, cold room. His words whisper into the place of my abandonment and soothe me.

God's words are like an ointment
for a soul that is achy, sore and exhausted.
His words are for the broken
because He was broken for us
He was broken for me
He was broken for my children
He took and carried all our hurts
Every moment of despair

He carried it
So that He would be the one to be broken the most
He carried it all
Yours, mine, theirs, his, hers, all of ours,
All our brokenness
On his body
In his mind
Deep in his heart
Upon his back
Upon his flesh
He became broken

The Word allowed Himself to be torn apart
So that I
So that my children
Would have a word of healing
Strength and comfort
So that I could reach out to Him in my pain
And give Him my brokenness
In exchange for His words
His words of Love
His life.

Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago

I DON'T WANT TO BE LIKE THIS!



Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago

I don't.

I don't want to be the one who says, "I believe."
or
"It's in His Word."
But, then there's nothing more,
nothing in me,
Nothing in my life
that proves He is
He is
He can 
He will.

I don't want to be a mouthful of words
But a heartful of convictions

I don't want to be a head full of scripture
But a walking testimony
That He is
He can
He will.

I'm tired of saying, "I'm standing on His Word
And healing seems light years away,
I'm tired of saying, "He is the God of the breakthrough."
And still there is turmoil and so much going on
Right here
Around me
In front of me
Next to me
Inside me.

I don't want to me the one who is ready to stand up
and say I am a believer to say I believe.
I want my heart to be louder than my words
I want my mind to speak louder than my thoughts
I want my body to be convinced
That no matter what the end of the day brings,
He is
He can
And
He will.

I am tired of believing alone
Of seeing the ones I love say they won't chose God
Because they can't feel Him
They can't see Him
He just won't show up.

Then,
I am changing what I always thought was the way
It's not enough to just say it
It's not enough to just know it
I have to be so convinced and so sure
that every pore in my skin vibrates with the assurance
that God is in control when I've lost it all.

I want to be able to fall back on my knees
and pray the way I did when I first learned He listened.
I want to be able to fall before Him
And cry again
Praise again,
Worship until my voice is only a whisper
A longing for Who He is.

I don't want to be like this,
I don't want to live believing
And not knowing the reality of what I believe
and why I believe what I believe.

Take me back,
Take me back to hungering after your presence
and not just knowing about you.
Take me back to walking in Power
To sensing when you are here
To knowing You fight for me and I have nothing to fear.

I don't want to be like this,
I am not like the world
Ever changing,
Compliant and compromising.
That has never been and never will be, me.

I don't want to be like this.
Tired, accepting, tolerating and waiting.

No.
The God of glory rules and reigns in my home.
The power of God crashes through and breaks through
Removing the darkness, the filth, and the lies
Commanding fear to run like it's being chased by dragons
Commanding sickness to flee for the mountains and never return
Commanding illness, disease, infection, and every kind of malice to go and never return.

I want to be like this...
Believing, Sure, Full of God's Presence, Walking in his Will.
That is my heart, Lord.
To Declare with confidence
That 
He Is
He Can
And
He will.

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LET ME BE YOUR PEN

  By Angeline M Duran Santiago I know  your story. You have shared some of the most difficult moments of your life as a child. I know...