Tuesday, May 31, 2016

RISE UP, DAUGHTER OF THE MOST HIGH

 


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

I was looking for an image to use in one of my blogs and this one came out. It wasn't what I wanted, but as I read it, the message hit me and I knew that this was for me. There was no doubt that the Lord would give me a few words to share on this passage. 

 

My mind scanned this image and quickly voiced, "Is he really teaching my hands to fight and my fingers to war?" The mind quickly becomes defensive and starts with it's million questions. The answer was easy, though. "Yes." A simple yes will seem enough for tonight. He, Adonai, teaches my hands to fight. I just haven't allowed Him to show me how. Although he has attempted it so many times, I have yet to truly continuously walk in the understanding and knowledge that he teaches my hands to fight.

I look back at dreams, at moments when I have been before the Lord in prayer and when I was able to minister in dance. My hands were powerful weapons moving to the music and the words of the songs or the message coming forth. In times of prayer I learned to take my stand and use movement as a weapon to declare my home off limits to the Enemy of our souls. 


And, how sad, with these same hands, with these same fingers, with my heart and my mind, I have so easily made the wrong choices and forgotten that my hands and my fingers, my very life have been set apart for something greater. 



Where are you, Daughter of the most high? Why have you forgotten to move those hands and feet on the battle ground? Do you not remember who taught you to move swiftly upon the fields. Have you forgotten He who called you in the night to rise up and learn how to fight against the many enemies that would rise against you in the days to come? 


Where are you, Daughter of the Most High? You were washed and redeemed, made new and given garments of praise but also reminded to put on the whole armor of God. Rise up, daughter or Adonai, and put your whole trust in the One who will give you Victory. Arise, daughter and pray for real again. Arise, and find your Savior once again in every page of scripture. Rise up. 


Rise up to pray for your children and your grandchildren.
Take your stand and pray for your health, your finances, and your marriage. I know your husband has failed you many times, but don't let the hurt and the bitterness keep you broken, keep you chained up and you can't be free to RISE UP and fight. Push through. Fight even with the little strength you have tonight. 

Pray for your family. Pray fr the Lord to move in your life and the life of those around you.

My friend, you are not alone. God will not abandon you in the battlefield. He will not desert you. God will be with you. He is there for you and for me. We are not hopeless. We are not left to disappear in a sea of confusion. God has not called us out of darkness to now abandon us into the net of the Prince of Darkness. God has given you and me the authority and the audacity to get up and pray, to get up and speak the Word of Life, in Jesus name. 

My friend, you are a daughter of a great and mighty King. He is a warrior. He will fight the battles that come our way. Raise your shield and lift it agains the Enemy. Sickness has to go! In Jesus name. The Enemy's lies, the plans of darkness against you and me fall on the floor, broken and cancelled because God is for you, daughter of the Lord, and will never, ever be against you. 

Lord, we need a mighty move of your presence. I personally need you, desperately. I need to see you and sense you in my life. The battle has started and I don't have a strategy on how to deal with this again. But, I will turn to you, once more. I surrender to You completely Lord. Take my hands, my fingers, my heart and my mouth. Take my feet and all of me, lead me through this battle and ever war that rises against me and those you have placed in my care, and use my life for your glory. I know I am not alone.









Believe again.
Believe again.
Trust again.
Rise and walk again.

Sickness, problems, depression, sin, whatever is coming against me and my family know that I rise up and I come against you with God's strength in me, In His name, with His covering and his anointing. 

A TIME FOR MORE

 

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

I started out this day excited about what God is doing and going to do in my life. I've made some pretty dumb and huge mistakes, so I'm not going to attempt to make you think I walk a perfect line, but I do believe that God not only sees where we fail, He knows when we are getting ready to have a moment of doubt or uncertainty, a moment of weakness, of anger, a moment of remembering we are human and not divine.

Yet, even when we get up in the morning to read that "Encouraging verse of Scripture" or take those few minutes to pray, we are still forgetting, (or at least it seems that I forget) we need God for every single minute and every single moment of the day. The Enemy is still on a war path against us when we have made peace in our hearts to do right, to love, to serve not only God, but everyone around us, and love all people, even those that get on our nerves. We go to work with a song and a dance, forgetting that the Enemy has not started his day declaring God's favor over his life, but our downfall. It comes in the situations that arise in our homes and in our jobs that bring us to a place of confrontation, where we are challenged to keep our peace and remember who we represent.

Lord, help me to remember once more that underneath these raggedy jeans, underneath my worn black T-shirt, and underneath the make up, I am truly dressed for battle. Oh, Lord, how I forget that you see my fatigues, my battle gear and not the next best shade of lipstick from Sephora. Help me Lord, to get it through this thick head that I depend completely on you and not on others. It's not their compliments, their false friendship or the acceptance of others that should matter to me, only that you oh, Lord are with me at all times.



God, I forget that my quick morning prayers are nothing but a sneeze, a trickle of water that springs up from the water fountain and falls onto the cement floor. Lord, help me to internalize that my quick devotion just to say I read your word is nothing more that the same effect when I go back to the coffee I left on the table, and now it's cold, tasting kind of bland, but I gulp it down because I don't have any more coffee, money or time to go back for a new cup of Joe.

I don't know if I am making sense to you, but what I am attempting to describe is the condition of our hearts as Children of God, how complacent we have become, how acceptable we have become with the junk taking place in so many churches, and how the so called Christian community has become more of a loud mouth to political bashing and hitting on one another. My heart, Lord, if only we could be like the Book of Acts. Give us ears to hear you say once more, "Wait for the promise of my Father." Give us the heart to find a place to wait for your power to fall upon us anew and fresh once more. Give us a hunger to wait upon you and see you, Holy Spirit. Give us a boldness to want to spread your gospel and not our own agendas.







I write and I write and I write but so many times my words are empty because they are not seasoned with your presence, Holy Spirit. I need your in my writing, in my daily words, in my walk, when I am listening to others, and when the Enemy attacks me and I rise up in anger instead of waiting on you. Keep my mouth shut tight so that I don't speak my mind in front of fools that will take my words and share them with others in a way I never spoke them. Keep my mind alert and my heart on You so that I am easily taken by surprise by the small storms that seem to continue around me each day. 

 

It's getting late in my part of the world. The woman I see in the mirror is not the girl who once gave her life to you, Jesus. The goals and dreams I once had were part of my youth and now I need you to show me the road before me with your plan for me now, in my later years. Rise up within me and raise me up to be who you know I can be. Guide me to speak with authority and speak with love. Give me direction so that I can lead others to you. Shield me and cover me through the hard moments. Make me strong so that I can fight back in Your Name. Make my heart fearless and increase my faith and my passion for you and your kingdom. Help me to bring honor to your name, starting in my home, with my family, then at work, and from there, wherever you allow me to be present.


I need more and more of you, Lord. Amen.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

NEEDED: TRAINING FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP AND STAFF



What does it feel like to go inside a church for the first time, ever? Imagine never really wanting to step inside a church building and then one day, either because a friend or someone you love invites you, something inside you gives in and you go. You find  yourself , early Sunday morning, riding or walking to that place for the very first time.

For some folks, there's a curiosity of what they will see. Will this be like the movies so often made that give us a Hollywood version of spending Sunday in church. Will it be quiet or loud? What will this person's first time experience be like? And this is where I'd love to catch your attention and hopefully keep you enough so that you get what I am desperately trying to share.

It's not easy to walk in to a holy building for the first time in one's life. So, I'll make it easy and share some areas that I've experienced and found lacking in many churches. I am not just referring to first time believers, but also seasoned Christians who have moved to a new neighborhood or are visiting family and decide to spend Sunday in church.

1- First, train your parking attendants or parking staff.
There should be a warm, welcoming smile that sees people as hearts and lived in need of God's love. Their responses to even the most ridiculous questions should not be filled with sarcasm and criticism. I thought you wanted visitors to come and stay. Funny, how this whole parking lot scene can turn so many visitors away.

2- Next, let's talk about your Meet and Greet Ministry or Welcome Committee. You want people to be real when they say, "Welcome. We're glad you're here." I often find that people are so busy talking with friends and other church leaders that they don't even notice the visitor walking in. There is no "hello" or hand shake and no direction where they can go. This leads me to the next  one.



3- Many churches have this rule where Ushers and trained to seat everyone as close to the front as possible to allow space for late arrivals. While I can understand and even agree with this idea for some places, especially mega churches, it bothers me greatly to see how insensitive church staff, leaders and pastors included here, to visitors. Do you know how that person is feeling? 

Do you know what they've gone through this week and those moments actually brought them to agree to go to a church today? Can you imagine the struggle that person has had to just walk in? Do you know what chaos took place at home or on the way to get here and now you want to touch their back and force them to the front where all they are wishing for is a hidden space in the back of the church so they can pour it all out to God? 

You don't teach your door staff to guide them by telling them where visitors can sit. And then, when they sit where they feel most comfortable, you ask them to stand up and move to the front because the back is reserved for families with noisy babies. Think of a couple at the brink of divorce. Think of a teenager or young person contemplating suicide. Think for just one moment, someone who walked in at the edge of a breakdown. And you want them to what?....Move to the front? That's not all. Let's talk a little more about your ushers. After all, they represent you, don't they. You, dear Pastor or Leader told them they are the "authority" in the church (or should I call them church bullies) when you're not available. 

What about that visitor's card? Really? What for? Are you really going to call this person, email them, keep in contact with them? Or is it a one time deal to count off how many visitors you had?

4- Ushers need to be trained to use wisdom and be discreet in all situations, especially around visitors. They can't whisper about a visitor right next to them and then return to that person's side, act like they haven't just made some of the most insensitive remarks, and expect a happy camper when you try to get them to move. Ushers don't have any business remarking on clothes, makeup, hair, or anything other than making that person feel like, "I am so glad you are here. Man, you are in the right place today. God is really going to do great things today. Let me know if you need anything."
I'd love to hear someone say that one day.



5-Well, if that visitor has been courageous enough to put up with your rude staff, and hasn't allowed the "ghetto" to come out of them and smack someone around, or they haven't just gotten up and left- Congratulations! Hopefully you can get to stay just a little longer. 

Let's talk about Worship and Praise. You know there are visitors that come hungry for God's presence. I've seen the worship service (singing) go on for an hour. I'd say if the Lord is ministering, and there's a great atmosphere, it's all good. But, why do we kill it with singing the same song a hundred times? And, what about singing one or two songs and then as the Lord's Spirit begins to touch broken hearts and lives crying out to him, we stop the worship and say, "OK, now it's time to say hello to your neighbor. Get up and greet 5 people around you?" REALLY?

Didn't you just say hello to half the people around you when you walked in and for the half hour you sat around waiting for the service to begin because there weren't enough people to start the service the way you wanted? Can't you wait until the end of the service to greet one another. I mean, you parked in the same parking lot.

And what do you say about this. "Now that you've greeted one another, let's listen to the church announcements." And the list begins. You visitor who had felt God healing their hurts during that last song is now wondering, "Who the heck cares about the Bake Sale next week and that Sister So-and-so leads nursery next Sunday?" Do you really care visitors are interested in knowing that last Sunday you didn't get enough tithes or money for the new sound system? On and on go the announcements and then, "Oh, yes, it's brother Over-There's birthday, let's sing happy birthday." 

 

The time is just being wasted. You stopped the Holy Spirit from being present. You told God to take a seat until you're ready to listen to Him. You made the "time out" sign to the Almighty and said, "I know we just have Sundays to do this outpouring of Your presence, but I really like the sound of my voice and gotta give a shout out to everybody in the city."

I've taken extra long here because I feel it so distasteful and disrespectful to invite someone into your midst and then ignore them or kick them to the curb until you remember, "Oh, yeah, that's right. We have to preach and believe me. God is going to speak to us today. But, first, brothers let me tell you why it's important to give your best offering."

Blah, Blah, Blah for another twenty minutes. You visitor is either going to put up with the show because they're super needy and the Spirit of God is saying, "Wait, don't go. I am here and I will work in your life. Give me a moment." or, you got it, they will say, "I told you this was a waste of time!!" Get up and walk out. Many will never return. Many will leave angry and bitter, and so hurt. They will take their heavy burden, their load, their pain and their problems back home and all because the church has become a "Social Club" and no longer exists as a "Place of Healing and Refuge" for the lost.



6- I will end with this. If you make an altar call, don't force people to go to the front. Don't pray for people and try to push them down to the floor like you have some super power and knocking them down will take away their problems. Don't go to people just to find out what their issues or their sins are so you have a conversation topic at dinner for the night. Be genuine. The devil is ready to destroy anything good that took place in the house of the Lord. Don't be the very person that pushes people out.

Was I harsh and mean? Yes? Good. Now you got 6 quick and easy steps to use for your next meeting. Am I the perfect Christian. Absolutely not. But, I am tired of seeing this done to first time visitors and I have personally gone through many of these issues- even after serving the Lord for some time and going as a visitor to a new church when I've moved to a new neighborhood.

Where is the church, the real body of Christ? I dare, triple dare and challenge you to rise up and stand wherever you are and truly represent with love, God's love.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

LET ME DIE




 

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

I knew the title would make you come look and see. Who in their right mind would publicly declare in writing that they want to die? No, let me take that and re-word it because, nowadays, there are many fighting for their right to end their life, their own terms, time and date. So, when I say, "Let me die!" what I really want to say is, "Lord, let me die, "ME", the "ME" inside- the person that keeps forgetting "To live is Christ and to die is gain". Let me die- the part of me that struggles with, "If any man be in Christ, he is therefore a new creation, Behold the old is gone, all things are new."

There's that great part deep inside of me that needs to lay down and remember that I have been crucified with Christ. I thought I did it Lord. But, when life happens, and it does every day, those parts inside me that I believed were transformed, somehow have a way of exploding out in the open, proving once again, I need to die.


Perhaps you find it ridiculous of me to declare such a thing if I am a Christian. But, maybe if more of us truly lived as if we were dead in our desire to satisfy our flesh, and the way we work tirelessly to please others before Christ, and how we have time for everything and everyone else but serving the Lord the way He calls us, then you would understand that to live is CHRIST, not my way.

If God is my righteousness, then there is absolutely nothing in this life that should make me choose living for this world more than living by faith and living for my God. 


 


My mind goes to that scripture, "If you abide in me and my words abide in you, then you shall ask what you will and it shall be given unto you." And in my heart and in my mind, I am trying so hard to abide and remain in Christ. But, life happens and I still get angry and I still lash out sometimes. There are moments that I get frustrated and I want to just let people have (like they say) a piece of my mind.

Life happens and I end up with a lot of junk on my plate, my heart is bruised again and again, and I am expected to forgive and keep going, again and again. 

Just think about it, if we were dead in our sins, then our life truly began when we said, "Yes!" to walking with the Lord.



And I No Longer Live, But Christ Lives In Me. | Inspirational Quotes ...
The truth is I get tired. I get tired of listening to the same, "I'm sorry." I get tired of the attitudes and the excuses. That is the moment when I remember what a pastor shared during a preaching one Sunday. He said, only the living feel pain. Only the living struggle with feeling what the world does to them, but if they are hidden in Christ, if they truly have put their old self in God's hands, they are no longer alive to this world. I remember when I attempted to grasp this whole concept that if I am in Christ, I am alive in Christ but dead to sin and dead to what this world can do to me.






So, let me die.
Lay me down on the altar and let the flames consume what is in my heart.
Let the fire burn the unforgiveness, my pain, my anger, and my disappointments.
Let me die, Lord.
Let every memory that needs to be buried find it's resting place in the depths of the sea.
Let me die.
Take every part of me that doesn't reflect your love, your presence or your glory and fly away with it, dropping it off into a forgotten island, far away, to never return.



Let me die. For if I die, then there is a huge space, a deep gap inside of my heart and my mind and it freely opens up to make a home for you. Yes, I have invited you and you are in my life, but there's that part of me that keeps coming up and forgetting I need you at all times. So, today, come and take my broken self, my lack of confidence, my damaged emotions, my troubled mind and my body that is turning against me with all these physical ailments, Lord, take it all and place it in the tomb.

Be in me, dear Lord, and I will no longer write, "Let me die" but, "Let me live for You!"

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

KEEP BREATHING AND MOVE ON

     





By Angeline M Santiago Duran




Lord,
If I say I am tired then I am making the exhaustion others
are experiencing seem small,
So, I won't say tired,
But I'm heading there.

If I say the waiting period seems an eternity
And it challenges my faith
then I am belittling the things you've done in my past
And I forget that you are still working in my life and in my situation and that if I quit now,
If....
But I can't and I won't,
Because then I am making the waiting period someone else is enduring seem a waste of time
And it isn't,
It's just me, Lord.
Just me.






So, I tell my head to tell my lungs
To take a deep breath,
Breath and move on,
Keep breathing and move on.

When the sky is falling,
Keep breathing and move on.
Place my eyes on the creator of that sky
And know He will pick up the pieces
He'll place the sky, back up where it belongs.

When my world seems like it's falling apart,
Keep breathing and move on.
Let my focus be on the One who created not only this Earth
But the Universe, what I see and might never see,
So, when I am on an axis, spinning around and around,
Remind me I can take a deep breath
And know, You keep the world from spinning out of control,
You hold me.
So, hold me tighter. Closer. 

When I don't have the answers,
Silence life around me to such a point that I can hear your whispers in the wind.
 

When my faith wants to crumble,
Glue me to your Word and keep me on my knees.

If my attitude begins to forget that my life is hidden in you,
Remind me
that I am dead to sin and alive to you,
That I have been risen in you and I cannot,
I will not,
I cannot live and act out the way my head wants to sometimes,
Cause Lord, sometimes,
Yes,
Sometimes I want to lash out
And act out
When it hurts, when I am accused, when the lies seem true,
When others speak falsely
And then you remind me,
To take a deep breath,
Run to you
Keep breathing and move on,
Move forward 
Move onward in this battlefield I fell into
And know that
In You, there is healing
In You, there's deliverance 
In You, there are new beginnings
In You, I have the strength to move onward
In You, I am fearless,
In You, I am who You say I am.
 

The wind outside cries something fierce
Spring seems more like Winter 
all upset because it's here again 
And yet, 
You tell me to concentrate on You
On Your Word
In Your Presence
Keep breathing
And move on. 

Lord, 
thank you for prayers that have not yet been answered because I know that you're in control. Thank you for prayers that you have answered, for your many blessings, seen and unseen. Thank you for the work you are doing in my life and in my family, even when it seems that the enemy has the upper hand, please remind him that you have promised my family victory and that we belong to you, and that you don't believe in "take backs". 
I bless your name, Lord.
Amen.


 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

PRAYING THROUGH DISAPPOINTMENT



https://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/inspirational-bible-verses-images-pictures-photos-depictions-quotes-and-imaginings-of-gods-love/


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

As people of faith, we are instructed and directed to walk in faith, live by faith and hope against all hope. We search the Scriptures looking for verses that will advocate our cause. We try to memorize those parts of the Bible with the hope that it will show we are leaning on God's Word and truly trusting in Him.

What do we do when life hands us a bag full of disappointment? What happens when those things we have been hoping for and waiting for with great expectation do not come our way the way we were hoping for? What happens when we believed God had a "yes" moment for us and all we get is a "no"? What happens when the things we walk into by faith begin to go wrong and we are disappointed because now we're wondering, "Did I hear God and follow after his leading, or did I hear my own thoughts and now this is the consequences?" What do we do when we've planted seeds in our children in those seeds seem dormant or dead and our once loving children turn against us and remind daily they can't stand to be around us?



I believe the answer to this is that I need to pray through my disappointments. "But, I've been praying and praying, sis! What do you mean to pray?" I think I was praying before by just believing and saying I was trusting the Lord. But, there's something different about my mom knowing that I love her and me picking up the phone and calling her to tell her I love her and then showing up in her home and hugging her to tell her I love her. I feel in my heart that Holy Spirit is saying, "You thought you were praying, you thought you were walking in faith, but you haven't truly turned everything over to me." I believe the Lord is saying, "Don't just say you trust me, come closer and truly begin to seek my face like never before so that you truly know Me."

Yes, I've prayed. You've prayed. I don't doubt it. Still, I am certain in my heart that I have not surrendered it all to Him. I need to give God my all, seek Him and talk to Him like I used to when I was younger in my faith. I remember crying out to God and living in this desperate hunger for His presence. I remember waiting on the Lord and truly hearing from the Lord. I remember being sick and the Lord healing and making me brand new in ways the doctors couldn't explain. Even when prayer went unanswered, I had this great peace because I knew that even in His silence, He was working for the best on my behalf.
 

Dear Friend,
If today you find yourself disappointed in the way things are going on in your heart, in your home, in your marriage, with your children, in your job, at school or in your choices, then like me, we need to return to a yearning and longing for God's presence like never before. Not because you or I have sinned, but because even in our disappointments, there is a Word from the Lord. Even in the let downs life brings, there is encouragement from the Lord. No matter how frustrated or down you or I feel right now, the Lord is saying, "I will take care of this situation you are experiencing." I believe the Lord is saying, 

"Your son is in my hands. Your rebellious child is in my hands. I have not let him go. I am caring for him even as he walk away from me and even as he defies you and curses you out." Tonight I hear the Lord saying into my heart, "I see your wounded children. I see their hurt and what they've gone through. The reason they cry out and do what they're doing is because they have been hurt so bad and have not discovered I am their Healer." " I am restoring." "I am working in your life even as you think I have let you down. I have not forgotten you." 


Tonight, Lord, we give our disappointments to You. Holy Spirit, visit our homes tonight and bring peace. Heal the emotions and the weary minds. Do the work in our lives only you can do. Let us know you know what is best for us and our family. We place our hope in you, no matter what we see, we know your word is our confidence and we will not be forsaken, ever.

We give you thanks and praise, in Jesus name.


DANCE OF RENEWED STRENGTH


By Angeline M Duran Santiago



Do you see her?
Right there......
On her knees,
Sitting down,
Leaning again the pole,
On the bed.


Do you see her?
She is tired.
Weary.
She's been praying.
Crying.
Crying out to God.

When Lord?
When and how long?

Arms downcast,
Face is tear stained,
Words are few,
But I see her.
 
And to her I will speak.


Get up.
Rise.
Come.
Listen to the song that is playing.
This song is for you.

Hear the words and let the words become the directions you will follow.
Let each word lead and guide you.

Open up the ears of your heart and invite the words and the music to flow.
Allow your tired and heavy legs to carry you into the middle of the room.



Command your feet to feel the call of the drum,
Asking you to move forward,
Taking your stance
Daring to dance
Renewing your strength
Restoring your faith
Declaring you winner over this moment
And the next
Because you have taken your pain
and your exhaustion,
The doctor's report
And what you see going on in your life,
You've taken the enemy's lies
And placed them on the dance floor with your prayer
Your declaration of trust in the Powerful Name of Jesus.



I dare you to dance!
I dare you to sing!
I dare you to move those old, achy bones
and praise the Living God like there's no other way out.

Worship the Lord with each word of the song,
Let the words direct each movement,
Set yourself free to follow the leading of Holy Spirit
and you will see
What the Spirit of God will do in your home
As you dance away your despair
and Dare
to be renewed and restored
in your dance unto the Lord!

 


Monday, May 9, 2016

TEACHING MY HEART AGAIN

Angeline M Duran Santiago

Here I am, at this phase in my life, not very young in years,
but in many ways still learning and learning again many of the 
simple truths that should have been memorized by my mind, 
my heart and my entire being so long ago, but, here I am,
teaching my heart, again.

I say, teaching, because obviously the lesson or the lessons 
are still being applied into my life and I find myself still finding the need to sit before the Lord, at His feet, to ask Him, "Help me."
It is the condition of my heart that cries out to be assisted and helped so that I may finally truly learn, understand and practice what I have been attempting to do for so long, and when I think
by some chance, that I "got it!", I realize I am still far behind. 
My report card still says, "Needs Improvement" and I must agree,
my heart is still learning, it is still pliable in God's hands.

Teach my heart, 
again,
To love
To love my neighbor
To understand that this concept and idea of loving my neighbor
extends into my daily walk, into every minute and every second of my life. Help my heart to see the person that irates, upsets, and  so easily gets under my skin that your expectation of me is higher and greater than their offense to my personal self.
Teach my heart to love.
For if I truly love my neighbor
I see them the way you see them.
The truth is Lord I can see through them.
I see the lies, the backstabbing they conduct without remorse, and the get over life they parade in front of others. I see their mean spirit in how they talk to others and at times to me. I feel the ugliness that comes forth from them and I don't even want to be around them. 
 

And still, 
You died for them as well.
So,
Please, Lord, allow me to move my tired limbs towards you
As I take this heart of mine and move it into your presence.
It is in your presence I can be better,
I can be who you want me to be,
Who and what I need to be
Not just for my family, my children, and my friends,
But, for my colleagues, my co-workers, the person in Dunkin Donuts who keeps getting my order for coffee wrong.

Here I am,
Teaching my heart to remember you are greater
You are my Lord
You are my helper and my source
You enable me to love and be kind
When my insides prefer to give it right back the way it was given to me. "Hey!", I wanna say, " I can talk like that to you also. I have a degree in using my words to cut you up." And as my mouth gets in the way, Your Spirit just nudges me and says, "What's up girl? You forgetting who you are and you belong to?"
And that is why,
I am here
Teaching my heart to love again,
Teaching my heart to forgive,
Teaching my mouth to be quiet and follow after You, Lord.

 
Perhaps, you too, face daily moments where people around you are just plain miserable and go out of their way to make your day stressful. Maybe you have no choice but to work or live with people that are unkind, use their words to cut you up, or talk about others in horrible ways, or just have that nasty attitude you can't really do much about.
It is here, dear friend in the Lord, that I am sharing what the Lord has been dealing with me in my heart and in my mind. I've had to allow myself to be a child again and not be afraid to say, "Lord, teach me, show me, but start in my heart." 

Dear Friend,
Do not feel you are too grown or too old to learn the simple truths that can set us free when our heart is angry and heavy. Love. If we allow love to be our guide and our teacher, then things can change.
I pray this can be a blessing to your life. I pray that as the Lord is working in my heart, in my life and in my daily situations, that the Lord will also do great things in your life and in your midst as well.
In Jesus name, Amen. 

 
 #love #loveagain #forgive #Godslove # #AngelineDuran

Sunday, May 8, 2016

MOTHER




By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Let today be a day of rejoicing!
Even if you are in the midst of a great worry,
Even if your mind is filled with anxiety,
Even if you have spent the night in prayer and mourning,
Let today be a day of rejoicing!

Let today be a day of celebration!
Even if your heart has been filled with hurt and pain,
Even if old wounds were re-opened and past memories, painful
moments from yesterday have come flooding your thoughts,
Even if sickness lingers and it seems God is not answering.
Even if everything around you seems dead and you wonder if
God is truly the God of life and not death.
Let today be a day of celebration!


Why?
Why?
Because it is in the midst of our heart aches and our sorrows
That we have no choice but to turn to the God that promises that
although we may spend our nights in weeping, there will be an answer in the morning. There will be a reason to shout praises and dance, even if you dance alone!

Why rejoice?
Rejoice because in your lonely moments the truth is,
You are not alone.
Those heavy arms of God's strength and protection 
are around you.
You are a Mother,
My Mother,
Someone's Mother...
The closest example to God's heart.


Celebrate because you have been waiting
and just as the seeds that are planted need to wait for their
times of growth,
Just as the baby in the mother's womb takes time to develop
and get ready to say hello to the world,
So God has allowed you to be in this time of waiting
But oh the joy because you are also going to see what will
come forth from those tears and those prayers!

Yes!
God is in control and God has not forsaken you, Mother.
God has not ignored you or left you in the shadows.
God is not in the habit of rejoicing over your hurt.
God is there with you today.


Mother,
The time of God's rain is coming and the seeds of hope and faith you have planted in the soil of your children's hearts is going to take root, is going to flourish, grow and bloom.
The time of God's showers are on their way and He will abundantly answer and supply for your needs.
He knows your heart.
He is working on your behalf.
Believe today that there is a reason to rejoice even if everything seems dark and hopeless.
I will believe. I will continue to hold on.
God is for us and not against us.

Dear Mother,
Walk on in  faith for the Lord, the Mighty One of Israel is your help.

#happymothersday, #mother, #mothersday , #rainiscoming  #rain #believe +#God Prayers, Jesus Christ #Holy Spirit, 
 


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

FROM HATE TO LOVE

By Angeline M Duran Santiago
 

Love others.
This morning I am writing the thoughts that were loud in my mind as I tried to sleep last night. 
Love others.
Love your enemies.
Love.

And in my heart I say, I do have love for others, for my family, and for the Lord, and then it's like a punch to the chest when I realize how little love I truly have. I can be nice. I can be helpful. But, love, especially loving those who do wrong to you day after day, now that is one hard challenge.
The punch in the chest comes when I read that if I claim to love God who I haven't truly seen or touched, then how is it possible to love someone I can see and feel? 
Yes, Lord, please explain that one to me.
And He does.
Love is going to be a sacrifice on my part because it is easy to love a God who has forgiven you and loves  you back. But, to love someone that makes each moment miserable, it's going to take the supernatural. I just can't do it, Lord. It's hard. 
But, if I am proclaiming my allegiance to the Lord, then I will see that allowing God's love to transform me is allowing my life to be a continual sacrifice before the Lord. 
I am going to try.
It's going to take all that is within me to love.
 Members Church of God International (MCGI) | Downloads - Members Church of God International (MCGI)

Loving family, even when they've hurt and offended you, can sometimes be a little easy, because deep down inside you love them no matter what.
Then there are the enemies that show up in our lives. 
They come to taunt, to mock, to challenge our peace and joy.
It can be at work, at the mall or on the train.
Anywhere at all.
They are there like vessels of evil allowing their mouths to be instruments of hatred, their tongues and attitudes shooting venom from every angle.
Sometimes at work you have to hold on and put up with people.
We have to put up with their poor people skills, their lack of professionalism, their spoiled arrogant behavior and their selfish ways bent on hurting others through their given authority.
And through this all, God is not asking, but commanding, that I go out of my way to pray for my enemies, bless my enemies, and love, yes, love my enemies.
Lord, the truth is, I want to get up and come crashing down upon people sometimes. There's a part of me that wants to come out at them with the same words because we all know that if we want to we can be just as hurtful.
Still, God says,"No. You're going to do what is hard, not easy. You will love. You will sacrifice through doing good and giving of yourself to the persons that least deserve or expect it."
 


Lord, help me to be someone that truly radiates genuine love from your heart. Help me not to be superficial but real. I confess I lack the love you are asking me to have,so I pray and beg you to take the stony heart, the hardened heart inside of me and make it an overflowing cup of your love, your forgiveness and your presence. I am having a super hard time loving some people in my environment right now and I want to please you above all else.
It's a struggle I lay before you and I ask you to change me so that I can see them through your eyes.
Fill me with Your Spirit for where You are present, there is freedom and liberty.

Forgive me for complaining, for talking about the person and the issues, instead of surrendering it all to you. Change me, Lord so that others will believe me when they know that I serve you, that I gave my heart to you, and that I believe in You.
 In Jesus Name. Amen. 



#AngieDuran #AngelineDuran #Faith #hope #loveyourenemies #loveGodloveothers #loveGod #hate #reallove #Christian #fake #genuine #livingForGod #ChristianLove #GodisLove #Loveothers

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Dead Womb

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Yesterday, I listened to a teaching on how to walk with the expectation that God has greater things for my life. The fact that I've gotten older and will most likely never get to do some of the things I dreamed about may not be relevant to that message. But then again, it was about keeping our dreams and hopes alive even in our years when our life seems dead. 

I've been there~ in Sarai's womb~ in Abram's thoughts. I've been in that barren wasteland of soil that seems to reproduce zero and only destroy the seeds that fall upon it. I listened to the preacher talk about how I am Abraham's seed, part of what was birthed in Sara's womb~ a place of death, a place of regret and disbelief, a place of dreams laid aside and waiting for death to come.

Honestly, I truly believe that maybe Sarai really felt like all those dreams she once smiled about where just nonsense now. I guess that's why when we talk about her trying to help God and God's plan and giving her maid to her husband, it seems that this decision came from that place where maybe she said, "Yeah, I don't think God is talking about me anymore." Dead. Dead not only in her womb but dead inside. 

When we declare that place of birth and life inside of us as dead and unable to bring forth what God has said, we have stopped holding on to His Word and His promises. We have allowed death and hopelessness to cover us like a blanket, the way they do in the hospital when someone is declared dead. Yet, as I listened to the message yesterday, it was in coming to grasp with Abram and Sarai's age, (later Abraham and Sara), that I could hear God speaking into my own barren womb, into my heart that has seemed still for a while, waiting and wondering, "What about me, Lord?"

The Lord is still in the business of declaring He is the Resurrection. He is still speaking life and a blessing onto our children. God is still saying, "Look what I will do." He is still saying, "Out of you, this will come forth. Look up and see through the words I am planting into the soil of your heart."

Lord, 
I am not afraid to say that I've felt that cold and deadness in my life many times. Still, I hear you speaking to my life, to my children and my family, that your Word and your Promises are the seed that have been planted into the soil- that I thought was useless- but you will use it to bring forth growth.
Lord,
I am not ashamed to declare that doubt, fear and many times frustration of what it is like to wait upon you, have filled my heart and made me believe you were done with me, with my life, and had put me to the side.
Lord,
I am sorry to not be able to see the bigger picture sometimes, but I choose to continue to wait and like Abraham, look up to the stars and count the blessings to come.

Thank you, Lord for your goodness. 

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