Thursday, November 30, 2017

FAILING PARENTHOOD QUESTIONS

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By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Where do I start?
 Regardless of your personal beliefs when it comes to politics, religion or life, I feel we’re connected when it comes to the questions we face as parents. Our kids come to us with so many concerns and so many questions.  I am in a place right now where I know for a fact that I am not alone. Today, as in many other days, I felt completely lost and inadequate as a parent, as a mother who should know or is expected to have all the answers (or so we’re led to believe) but I had none.

I always looked forward to the day I would be a mom. I felt it would make me feel like I had accomplished doing something that was expected of me. I believed it was just a part of life and a pattern I was following because it’s what you do. You grow up, decide on college or no college, get married, have kids and so on. There were many times I felt prepared for my new experiences and many more other times where I felt unqualified. I felt as if I was far away in another place in the room and looking into the situations that came into my life. I was on the outside looking into the moments life was throwing at me and I didn’t know what to do, what to choose and if my choices were correct or hurtful. I trusted the advice of doctors and educators around me. 

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I held on to the experiences shared by my mother and she sort of what my beacon most of the time, giving me the best advice she could. I looked into books, listened to teachings and preaching on parenting, marriage, being a good parents, being a smart parent, being a well informed parent and being a Godly parent. Still, with it all, I made a million errors, a billion mistakes, and I cannot and couldn’t take any of them back.

Failure has been part of my makeup for a long time. Failure in so many areas of life, but I believe it hurts the most when we fail in the eyes of those we love. I’ve often turned to people for guidance, but it’s the guidance of scripture that has kept me on the right path through all my misgivings, insecurities and lack of understanding.

Yes, I am a parent. I am the mom of three amazing people. Two are adults and one has entered those crazy teen years. I am also a grandmother to the sweetest little baby boy who just turned two months today. My kids had adult questions, parent questions and I felt, well, at a loss. This world has just been changing so much that I don’t know where we stand on so many things like do I get vaccines or do I reject them? To circumcise or not to circumcise? Go vegan or keep on the way we know how to cook? Well, the list goes on and the truth is I don’t always have the answers. And, this is where feeling really small and incapable comes in. This is where we can either let our thoughts get carried away and hit ourselves over the head and say, “Failure! You’re a mess! You’re a horrible mom!” or you can say, “I’m still learning. I don’t know it all. Let’s figure this all out together.”


Image result for Parenting scripturesTruth is, as a Christian, we rely wholly on the scriptures. And, some questions remain unanswered because some responses are just not completely clear and we pray and we have to wait for the prayers to be answered. We give God thanks for having his way and letting His will be done in our lives as we wait on Him. We learn to Be still and know that He is God. We learn that we are never alone and that He is ever present to help us through our hard times. We learn to never give up and that He will make a way. As a parent, that is what I have for my children. Faith.

I don’t have all the answers to life. I don’t really know much about diets, health care, cooking, fitness, and making fashion or technology choices. I do know God will direct our hearts to make the right choices because we choose to honor and live not only for Him, but trusting Him.




God will direct our paths if we place our confidence in Him and Him alone. I know that if we choose Him and not the direction of this world’s wisdom and latest view, He will never lead us astray. God is holy and he expects us to follow Him and live for Him with a heart that is passionate about holiness. God wants our minds to be at peace and our hearts to be free to worship and never fear. This is why I believe it is very important to be extremely picky with what we watch on TV and the computer, listen to and spend most of our day putting importance on.

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I am not a perfect mom, but I want my kids to know that I love them and I will kick butt to protect them. I will stand by their side to cover them from harm the best I know how. I will surrender them to the Lord for God and God alone is great and mighty to help them and be with them at all times. 

So, as I end what am I truly saying? At the end of the day, I am thankful for the Words hidden in my heart found in the Bible. I am grateful for people that have modeled faith and belief in God's goodness because it has gotten me through the worst moments in my life. 

And when I don't have an response, I have the opportunity to pray and seek wisdom in God's Word. It is the only advice I have for a parent, that maybe like me, has felt helpless and without the help others needed.  My heart is drawing near to the well of God's waters that never run dry. My mind leans towards the fountain that overflows in me from God's presence. My life stays holding on to the One, the Author and Finisher of my days and all of creation, for He alone is my source, my resource and my all in all. 

Your comments are always welcomed. May the Lord bless you greatly!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

FRIENDSHIP REALITIES

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Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago

There are many reasons to open up for the possibility of friendship. I believe true friendship is something that is very rare and if one is to truly encounter it in their life’s journey, it must truly be a gift from the Lord. It has been my experience that such relationships are not only few, but something I’ve learned to live without since childhood. We go through our childhood years listening to such phrases as best friend and buddies, but even in our early stages in life, we can experience that true friendships are rare.

It is sad to see that many times, even as adults, people will come near only because they’re trying to find out more about you for all the wrong reasons. There are persons in our lives that are always seeking how to discredit or break our character. Their mission in life, at least for a season, is how to make someone look bad, how to get someone into an uncomfortable situation, and how to belittle the person so that their life is full of unnecessary drama. There are also persons that come into our lives, or I’ll say that God allows them to appear on the scene, to test our faith and our trust in the Lord.

As Christians, we profess agape love for all people, even if we don’t know them. Yet, the moment someone shows their true colors, hurts us, and begins to make our day a struggle, the love in our hearts seems to quickly evaporate and we don’t want to tolerate anyone. It is easier to get angry and even allow our hearts to easily gravitate towards hateful feelings when we are scorned, hurt and the object of someone’s ridicule. It is difficult to have persons like this in our lives who do so behind your back and then in your presence even tell you they’re praying for you. They call themselves your friend but they are only a shadow passing through this moment in your life so that God can bring out all the junk that is still lingering inside of us. We need to truly love people, even those fake friends or personalities in our daily lives that are a thorn on our side. We need to pray so that the Lord will open our eyes to see them for who they are and who is truly behind the scenes in their lives.

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The enemy of our souls is a master puppeteer looking for miserable people who allow their hearts and their minds to be easily filled with jealousy, bitterness, and hatred. He looks for hearts that are never happy, someone that is not satisfied with their life and always not only wants more, but desires, craves and lusts for what someone else has- just because. And, then if they’re able to take it away, they chew it up, spit it out and walk away to befriend another person whom they can destroy.

I’ve learned through experiences that we have to cover and guard our hearts and our homes. I’ve always been someone to easily want to help everyone and many times I didn’t see people that were pretending to be my friend but were really more interested in how to bring harm to my family, my marriage and my career. I had to go through some rough patches in order to learn how to listen to the Lord and be mindful when the Spirit of God is making something clear and speaking into my heart in regards to my plans and my company. We may want to counsel and love everyone, but we need to do so prayerfully and always covering our marriage, covering our children and covering that special place that God has given us to call our home. Many will pretend to even want to walk in the ways of the Lord, but the moment you draw the boundary lines, they disappear and all you can do is pray for them as they walk away and out of your life. 

This is not a bad thing, but it is a sad thing to experience because we want to share Christ in every possible way and many times we are truly misunderstood. A man may think you are seeking to have some kind of affair with him, or visa versa. A person may think you’re an easy push over and looks for ways to take advantage of you and throws all of their problems on you. Others may try to make you feel guilty for not helping them more, like, “If you’re a Christian and a true friend, then why don’t you lend me more money or let me stay in your home?”

We are challenged in our status as friend and it is so hard. For this reason, I believe that the few, very small amount of persons in my life that I consider true friends, are truly truly heaven sent. Some of these persons I rarely see. But, I can connect with them and there is a bond that I know it has been that God has taken the time to place these people in my life for an eternal purpose. Others, we are connected through social media and sometimes talk on the phone. But, our connection is grounded completely in the seeking of the Lord and our purpose is and continues to be to encourage, motivate, and be there for one another. We come together to pray and to worship the Lord. We are there to pray for our families and friends and we help one another through hard times. These are the persons I call friends. They are not interested in wanting to be like me. They are not unsure in who they are and they are not afraid to be themselves around me. They embrace me with all I am and all I am not and can never be. I am not afraid to speak in their company because God has shown me they are genuine in their walk with Him and because of their love for Him, they do their best to be real in our relationship as well.

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Friends are great. Some are for a passing season in our lives. Others, very few, are for always. I am glad with just two or three who are the real deal. If you're in need of real friendship, pray that the Lord will send people into your life that will be a blessing. We also have the One and Only True Friend who sticks closer than a brother. The Lord Himself is a comfort and a helper in all times. He sees the need in your heart and He will hand select the persons you need in your life for this specific season you're going through. I pray that you never feel alone or abandoned, but that you wait upon the Lord and know that just because someone may not have "best friend" written on their forehead, it doesn't mean you can't have community with them. It's great to mingle and enjoy the company of others, just remember to guard your heart. Do not close the doors to people when you see their true colors, but give every moment in your life an opportunity to show God's love through your life. That person may just need a moment of your time and it may change them forever!

I pray that you are blessed in every way today and know God has great purpose for the relationships in your life. Yes, even friendships.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

WHO ARE YOU LISTENING and LOOKING UP TO?

With all the current happenings, social media has been invaded with personal agendas and opinions. People on social media have become the popular news anchor persons broadcasting their message of fear, despair and insecurity while others promote their hearts full of anger and hatred for society, humanity and everything and anything that breathes.

As Christians, we are so eager to jump on the band wagon to comment or add our news bulletin. We look what to like, what to agree with and measure our own ideas and our faith with those of people we respect and with those who can easily get on our nerves, believers or not, because their comments or agenda sort of just don't agree with ours.


But honestly, think about it. Who are you listening to? Who are you placing your attention, your precious time, and your energies on? Where do you invest your heart and your mind? Too many are not only spending countless wasted hours checking up and keeping up with social media, they are investing precious hours on googling videos and web sites that quench their ever increasing thirst for the latest hype, the latest catastrophe in the world, or the never ending conspiracy theories talking about end of the world invasions and other controversial issues.


Whatever desire, lust or thought you can imagine is a hunger that can be fed temporarily if you know where to look, search and tune into . If you are listening and seeking for something or someone to satisfy your questions and you don't turn to the Biblical resource provided by the Lord, and you and I don't turn to prayer and placing our faith in the Lord, believe me, there are thousands that have taken the time to think of your cravings, and have prepared the website, the videos, the persons with their personal comments and new flash to feed your cravings.

I believe in this time we are alive, we need to continue to step back and examine what we're doing. We need to rethink how much we are going to give up of our personal and family time to social media, to google research, to videos and anything else that in the end will prove meaningless in it's adventure.


I guess tonight I want to encourage you, as well as talking to myself (always), that we need to re-organize our priorities and plan how we will invest our time. I love to share on Facebook. I love to write and share on Blogger. I love to listen to music and if I don't have the song, I'll look it up on Youtube to be able to enjoy it with the words. But, these things for many people can become an addiction, especially if they allow the enemy to lead them into seeking what only drags them into darkness. 

It's far better to listen to the Lord. There's a book in the old testament, (PROVERBS) that is full of great advice. You have the book of Psalms so filled with passionate worship and cries from the heart to the Lord. Page upon page we find the help we need in scripture. We also find help when we take the time to just sit before the Lord and listen.



Listening is hard. Time is so short and we want to just do it all really fast. But, what if we took the time we have to just ask the Lord to speak to us? Speak Lord, while I am on break on the job. Pray while you're in the car. Worship the mighty King while you're getting your home cleaned and organized. Praise Yahweh while you get ready for bed. Invite the Lord to visit your home while you're sleeping or while you get ready to leave. Fill your home with music and things that invite and will not repel Holy Spirit.

Tonight I pray that we are able to take a genuine heartfelt inventory of who we are listening to and even who and what we are giving our eyes to. The Lord wants to move in our midst and do great things among his people. May we truly open our hearts and our ears to hear His voice, as he leads and directs us to do his will, in love.


Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago

Friday, September 22, 2017

WHAT'S YOUR STORM?


It's been an exhausting week.
The news kept the world stressed with news of storm after storm and hurricane after hurricane. The advances in technology not only predicted and warned people of what was coming, but we were able to be present, watch, hear and weep with those who cried as the winds battered so many places, leaving them in crisis.


In parts of the world where we the hurricanes have not and may not visit, we have our own storms passing through. I can say that the week was not only exhausting, but as it comes to a closing, it has been negative news after more very hard to deal with news. 

You see, the hurricanes come in all shapes and sizes. And, when they come, they thrash and crash upon us physically and mentally. 


So, what can I say but, "It is what it is." "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away!" Blessed be the Name of the Lord. What can I say? The Lord has not only told me not to be anxious and stress for nothing but to confide and relax in His promises. 



Oh, but, I can say, "Lord!! This life is hurting so much right now and it seems as if you're walking away and allowing so much to befall us at this moment. Sickness, traumas, stress and so many things all falling upon us in one moment. Lord, where are you when my world is falling apart? " And His word reminds me that I should not be surprised that these fiery trials would come my way but to be of good cheer because He has already triumphed and overcome this world. 

Yes, in this world we will have challenges and tribulations, but Our God, Almighty God, has overcome and because He has won, we shall be victorious. Through our situation God wants us to see ourselves as victors and not as people that are falling apart and the horrendous news overpower us.



Yes, the waves rise and crash upon us, but He still speaks and calms the storms in our hearts, and in our minds. God, still rises to stand with us and hold our hand when the bad news comes on the phone or while we're sitting in the doctor's office. God is present with us. It is not His will for us to be affected by disease, poverty, war or pain. Jehovah shows up when we pray. We may still live through the storm and the after effects of the tornadoes, and we have the promises of God's word to hold us tight and keep us tough through each new journey in our lives.

I end with this, your battles, your problems and your moments right now are your current storms. Still, I repeat again what I've written before, the storm is not eternal. God's peace, loving care and presence is very real and eternal.

God is for you and me so anyone or anything that comes against us matters little when we know our precious King is standing majestically by our side. 

The enemy will try to steal your joy, rob your faith, and make you give up but don't. Stand firm. Be dressed in His armor. Stand in Him. 




Written By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

PRAISE HIM IN THE STORM!



By Angeline M Duran Santiago 

The storm rages on and the winds buffet the lands in violent twirls. Some say it is the season for hurricanes and storms. Others say it is the hand of God's judgement upon the people. Others say it is just nature out of control. Regardless if you find yourself on the islands, the states or other parts of the world where it seems the tropical storms and the hurricanes have entered without mercy, know that in the midst of the tragedies, God is still able to hear our cries. 

Many may not be in the midst of the devastation, without electricity or water, and seeking for food. Still, there are many who are still in the whirlwind of the storms that are rocking their homes, the hurricanes that have violated their health and their finances, and yes, the winds have come upon them and it seems terminal and hopeless.




Yet, in all this I am reminded of a story I once heart. The person sharing spoke of a time where there was a great storm in Puerto Rico during their vacation. He shared how he witnessed the palm trees being bent all the way down to the ground as if surrendering and bowing to the harassing winds. He waited to see the palm tree break in pieces and fly into the nearby homes causing more damage. Yet, what he did see was the palm tree immediately arise and regain it's former strength and stand as the winds began to loosen their power. 

The palm tree swept the dust off and shook itself off, and got right back up to face the sun. The winds slowly returned and once more, the palm trees surrendered, but never breaking, never surrendering it's place, holding on for dear life with itself deeply rooted and planted in it's place.

I may not be where my family is and all I can do is pray and trust in their Lord to care for them. We are not exempt from natural disasters and from the chaos that comes from circumstances coming against us as well as the enemy of our souls seeking ways to attack and destroy those of us who trust in the Lord. As children of God, our faith and our hope is often put to the test and many times it is one of the hardest exams to take and pass. 




Nothing hurts more than to see your child always sick and as time passes, he gets sicker and it seems there is nothing to help him get better. Nothing is worse than a marriage that is falling apart, a parent that is suffering and you can't help them, your home being lost because your job closed down and your finances are gone. Storms that may not be physical like a hurricane, but they torment your spirit and break your very being.

Through all this, I believe we are to remain faithful. We cannot lose faith. When others tell us we are foolish to keep hoping, we know that He who rose from the grave can resurrect our situations and can heal in His way and in his time. I cannot tell you the times I have asked the Lord to heal my son, to restore the broken places in our lives, to deliver those that are suffering from any type of addiction and just show up and be the God who is our Refuge and Deliverer. God shows up when we are ready to see Him move. God will answer according to His will and His time. 

This I know, He is for us and not against us. Not everything that goes wrong is God's hand of judgement. We are in this world so corrupt and just a mess. Yet, He stands out and asks us to trust Him and come to Him with all of our storms, our hurricanes, and our destroyed lives. God calls us to come and run into His chest and allow His arms to be wrapped tight around us and allow Him to hold us close to His heart. He invites us to trust Him as the wind blows and we feel desperate. 




Just as the palm tree bends to the push of the storm and rises as the winds give up because the storm is temporary and cannot and will not last forever, so my dear brother and sister, you and I will not be forever thrust on the ground of the problems that come our way. You and I will not be pushed down forever. We will also see the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings and shine upon us. We too will arise and straighten up, brush the dust off of our shoulders and stand stronger than ever because through the storm, we praised Him and we trusted in Him.

Love and hugs to everyone. My prayer for all, not just my personal family, but for the world as the hurricanes and the storms slam into your lands. My prayer for your safety and Jehovah's provision as things seem to get worse. The Lord will shine upon you all and you will experience His presence through it all. We will see His glory and praise Him through the storm.

Click below and enjoy this beautiful song:


Monday, September 18, 2017

TIME IN HIS PRESENCE




By Angeline M Duran Santiago


Saturday morning, I put aside how I was feeling and a mind filled with a million things to do according to my calendar. It had been a few days already and all I knew was that I was hungry, deep in my heart to be just be present in the house of the Lord. I had been living on small bites of prayer here and there and my insides were anxious for the Bread of Life.

Entering the sanctuary, I inwardly rejoiced to find the sanctuary just as I had wished it and seen it in my heart. Nothing had started yet and to find an empty church to me was finding a gold mine. I had dragged myself and willed myself to obey the longing in my heart, and oh, how wonderful to find the space all for me.

Taking advantage of the time alone and not knowing how long I’d have the place to myself, I came before the Lord. As I just spoke my thoughts and my heart out, I saw myself as the woman with the issue of blood in the Bible who was pressing through the multitude, pushing through, being bruised, pushed and maybe even trampled on at some point, but she persevered and crawled if she had to if only to touch the hem of His garment. “I’m here, Lord.” I said. “I don’t know how to push through anymore. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I’m waiting and believing that You are in control and that You have a plan, but I’m still here surrounded by the multitude that reminds me of all the unanswered prayers, of my mishaps and mess ups. I’m pushed against and yelled at by those who remind me there’s still something wrong with me, or that I’m not enough, or that this is my destiny; to live with unanswered prayers, family that need healing, loved ones that can’t break through their addictions, and a fight that never ends.”



I poured out my heart to the Lord and saw myself taking that stand where I am usually found, one that declares, “I can fight a little longer because the Lord is with me, I will not be afraid!” Then I asked the Lord to help me to get my eyes and my heart off of everything and everyone that took up my space and my time, so that I could focus on Him, His Voice and His leading. “Remove those things that in my life that keep me so occupied and worried that I take care of them and forget to trust you and surrender it all to you. Help me to focus and keep my eyes and my heart on You.”

Voices behind me where a sign that my alone time with the Lord which I cherished so much had come to an end and I would have to share His Presence. And, that was ok, for the room was being filled with women just like me that perhaps had also ended up here pushing through the crowds of their family obligations, their burdens and their hang ups. But, they were here, to soak in His Presence.

The time of worship was lovely. I knew without a doubt that I belonged here, in this moment. Soon afterwards, the speaker took her part. My heart was astonished as she shared. “How, Lord? How could this be?” She spoke and her words were the words I had spoken to the Lord in secret. The guest speaker spoke about keeping the focus on the Lord and not only identifying the distractions, but knowing how to put them aside and making God my priority in this busy world. She spoke about the many responsibilities we have and how sometimes we have to set them all aside just to be able to be alone with Jesus and see Him at work in our lives, as He did with the little girl that was returned to life with just a spoke word. And then she shared on how Jesus took the time to pay attention to something as small as recognizing the touch of someone upon his garment. At this, I knew, if no one else was getting this message, I knew, “Lord, I am that woman. Speak into my life, I receive it.”

Although Jesus was on a mission, he was still interested in this woman with the issue of blood. She pushed her way to get to Jesus. Yes, He had what many called an emergency to attend to, a child was dying or as the story goes, she dies on the way before Jesus gets to her home. But, through it all, Jesus stopped to let this outcast of a woman who most likely felt alone, unwanted and unloved, without a purpose and at the end of her rope, He stopped to recognize her, to smile and make a big deal in regards to what she did, to bring attention to what she had done.

She had stretched forth her hand to touch Him if even with her fingertips. Maybe this was her last chance. Maybe she had planned on taking her life and ending it all if she couldn’t get Him to slow down enough to stretch through the crowd. Jesus made a big deal about her healing and her deliverance moment. Jesus stopped his mission to celebrate this woman’s faith. He knew her desperations and her intentions. Jesus knew she was moving on her final strength, and He acknowledged her. His look of love that turned from facing forward into the needs of others, made Him stop, make an about face and seek her out.

On Saturday, I was that woman.
And Jesus stopped in a corner of Keansburg and in a very gently way turned around and said, “Who has touched me?” Lord, I was that woman among so many other woman, broken, abandoned in so many ways, hurt and feeling at my end that came for a word and you spoke into my life.



The moment you feel that tug in your life to press through, push through your situations and your circumstances, leave the house and just follow the call of your heart to be in the Lord’s house as if it’s an emergency, because you know what, the dishes and the laundry will still be there when you get home. So, why worry. The Lord is calling us out for more. “Just come.” Is all I heard and I followed, and oh, how I was restored and reminded to continue to press onward.


Do not give up. Do not lose hope. Don’t let your faith be crushed by your circumstances or situations. Don’t allow the things you are experiencing determine the time you give to the Lord. Let those challenges or lack of them lead you always into His presence. For the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My PRAISE is My WEAPON!

                         ~By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we don't understand. "Lord, why? Why this? How could you have allowed this to happen?" We find ourselves waiting on the Lord to bring into the Light what has been foolishly and with evil done in the dark. Our heart is heavy because we harbor truths in our hearts that we cannot share and can only pray about. We keep secrets that have been shared with us and we can only take that person's pain and hardship before the Lord until God, and God alone can alter the situation and bring a breakthrough. It is God, and God alone that can open or close the doors that are needed to be open or closed. It is He who can break what has to be broken and heal what needs to be completely healed and renewed.

We find ourselves in a place, a hard place where the only one we can bring our story to is Father God. He alone can be trusted because most everyone else has failed. We can take our cares to others, hoping for a Word from the Lord, and it's so sad to see how many times, even those who we know and have seen to be the vessels of the Lord can still only supply us with with confusing messages and leave us more confused and yearning for truth, God's truth.


It is here in that place where I cannot speak and I have to keep things between God and my heart that praise, praise that comes from my hurts, my need for God's presence, a praise that is a cry like no other cry, comes out and praises the God of my heart. I acknowledge His greatness and His power because I know that this is just one more situation and one more battle that He alone, YES, God alone can take on. I know when to be still and recognize His Sovereignty. I also know when it is time to shout and give Him my praise, even if with just my heart when everyone is sleeping.

Praise is my weapon! Praise is Your weapon! Praise is mighty when we are praising the Lord!

Praise brings down the enemy and brings down the walls built around us to keep us trapped in confusion, in doubt, in trouble and without help. Praise confuses the enemy who thinks we will lay down and weep and feel abandoned. Praise invites Holy Spirit to come into my life and into my home and begin to move around with freedom. Praise, praise that comes from within, with joy and confidence changes my sadness and removes the anger, it replaces it with joy and peace in my mind. 

God abides in our praise and visits us ready to join us in battle.


Praise is my weapon. I sing and the plan and work of the enemy is shaken. I dance and the presence of darkness and all dark principalities know I will not be broken and removed from my faith and hope in Christ. I praise God and enter a place of worship where He is my everything and all I want is Him. All I need is the Lord. He prepares my hands to war. The Word of God, my Sword, moves in my life and gives me a shout of victory. He moves in my life and gives me strength I didn't have. He takes care of my situation when I decide to surrender it all to Him.

You don't know my life and I don't know yours. But, if you are facing some hard moments in your life, do not become discouraged. Don't turn it into a pity party and decide you want to die. No! You have to get up and begin to speak to the situation in your life. Speak to the circumstances that are hard in your life, in your body, in your home, at your workplace, in your ministry and in your church. Speak to those things with authority and begin to surrender them to the Lord. 

Begin to acknowledge the Lord God Almighty and Praise Him. Brothers and Sisters, something happens when you say,
"I will enter His gates with thanksgiving!" You don't need to be in church to enter into His presence. You can worship God in your bedroom. You can praise Him while you're cooking. You can cry out to Him while you're in the shower. God is not into appointments. He is available. He is attentive to your heart's cry. Let praise be your weapon today and tomorrow. Praise Him through it all!


Something will happen in your environment when you invite God into your life. The atmosphere is about to change the moment you turn up the praise that comes from your heart and bless the Lord.


Know God, Seek God, but also Know Your Enemy

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

We learn as much as we can about surviving and getting through the daily motions of life. We're born into a world that sometimes seems like a jungle, a war zone almost, and we're expected to thrive through all the storms and all the crazy moments that come our way as we go from year to year. For some, along the way, we learn about a loving Heavenly Father who sees our distress and knows our condition. He knows us so well, that He plans ahead of time to make a way for us to succeed in our lifetime, if we so choose to accept His plan for our lives and let His love inspire and light our path. 

Many times, we stray away from the path, and yet in our worst condition, a condition of the heart and mind that moves away from God and peers into the darkness or is entrapped by sin, still in that covering of sin and pain, God still bends down to listen to our cry and takes us out of our mess.



We are told to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to listen to the Lord at all times. We are rarely told to be alert and pay attention to the adversary, because this too should be something we are aware of. Just as we desire to get closer to the Lord, so also there is an enemy of God that is seeking to get closer to us. Yes, God is with us and He is our protector. This doesn't mean the devil takes a break to leave us alone. He is looking for the many ways he can enter our lives to bring havoc, some disturbance, and shake us just enough to get our eyes off of the Lord and on to our situation.

Our foe is ancient. He has experienced the way humanity moves, feels and reacts in situations time and time again. He observes what draws men to certain attractions and what helps another fall into despair. For this reason, we must do our best, no matter how tired and how burdened with daily tasks we find ourselves, we must make God's presence a priority. Oh, this is such a challenge when you work so early and have to be at work for a long portion of your day. This is so hard when you come home and it's already bedtime, you're exhausted, maybe cooking dinner and just wanting to soak in the tub and go to bed.



Still, remember that the next minute in your life is not promised. No one is your life is promised life when the sun rises again. The attacks on your life will never cease and the problems around you remain whether you are strong in the Lord sometimes or too tired to pray. Life doesn't stop and wait for you to feel like praying or feel like seeking the Lord. Your reality doesn't change just because you think it can. We have to, I have to, get up and seek the Lord because He alone is my help and my fortress, my Refuge and my Deliverer, My God in whom I can trust.

God alone is my shield and the Lifter of my head. God is my Healer even and I keep declaring it until my son is healed. I must continue to declare the victory when I still don't see a complete breakthrough in my home and we are still going through difficulties. We were not born with the knowledge on how to survive, but once we were born again, God has supplies us with weapons of warfare in the spiritual realm, so that through our prayers and our praise we can cast down imaginations, bring down principalities and rulers in high places, command sickness to leave in Jesus name and stand firm,trusting in His power to prevail in our lives.



I'm going to take some time now to practice what I've shared. I need some alone time with my Jesus. I want to keep the fire burning and when it's starting to get low, I want the Lord to renew me and restore me. Keep the fire burning in my heart, Lord. Keep your presence ever kindled and true in me. My family needs you daily. Fill my home with your presence. Let your presence remove what needs to be removed and put all things in order. Rain upon us today. Shower us with your love. Remove the hurts, the veil on our eyes, and heal us. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Learning To LIsten


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

We're a people that loves to communicate via technology. We rarely speak on the phone. We text. Gone are the days where we just took the time to write a letter because we can see one another through a chat room in so many different ways. Talk, talk and talk some more but we rarely take the time to listen and really hear what others are saying.

I've been learning more on listening. It's taken me a hundred years to get it right, or at least try to, and here I am, working on my listening skills. I'm one of those persons that is quick to think and voice a response, or is it, while I"m listening, I'm ready to say my part as well? What I want to say is that I know the Lord has truly been dealing with me with really stopping myself from listening to someone but already have my mind a million seconds at a time thinking on what to say and how to say it. The Lord has been teaching me to hush, and shush, and be patient. Even if I know the response is wrong and I'm going crazy inside wanting to speak out, many times, yes, many times, the Lord has been telling me to just be silent. And, wow, is that hard to do.


It's not just at home and it's not just a work. It's in my personal time with the Lord. He's teaching me to listen and learn to listen to His Voice, His leading and His presence involved in  my life in every area. I believe that we are so busy with life and we are so tied up with our daily schedules, that we can schedule every moment of our lives, including using the restroom, but we cannot fit the Lord into our daily planner, weekly schedule or even weekend time. We're tired. We're exhausted. We're busy.

I'm learning that He desires time with me and that I need to long for that time with him as well. Just like we need to eat each day, and at different moments of the day, so we also need to nourish our lives with the Word of the Lord and with times of seeking and meditating on the Lord. I know it can seem so hard and overwhelming. But, it's in our pushing ourselves, disciplining ourselves and making it a part of our lives that we can truly be close enough to the Lord to listen.


I want to listen. I want to hear His voice and not just suppose or assume I heart or I know what He says. I want to be confident and assured of His guidance for all these hard moments that keep showing up at my door. I want to know His will so that I can successfully go about my Father's business and do what I am supposed to do. I've made enough mistakes and I'm through with making wrong decisions all because I rushed through a moment of crisis or couldn't wait on the Lord.

Listening.
I'm asking the Lord to fine tune my ears so that His voice is clear. I want to have the right connection with my Heavenly Father, no static and no interruptions. I want the Spirit of the Lord to be free to speak into my life while I sleep and while I am walking to the train station.


Listening.
I am still a student and I believe I will forever be a child sitting at my Father's feet because I want to learn more, I want to grow and be able to experience all He has for me and see all He has for my family. It's where my heart is tonight and where I hope the Lord finds me each day. Lord, let my life, my hearing and my mind be ever ready to receive your words, for they alone are life.

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