Monday, September 27, 2010

Love is not a Fight...

But it's something worth fighting for. These are the lyrics to a song that has ministered my heart in more ways than one.

This song was featured in the movie "Fireproof". I praise the Lord that my marriage has not endured the hardships depicted in the movie. It is not to say we haven't had our share of trying times and definitely not from any outside influences but rather our unwillingness to back down and surrender to God's Word concerning love.

Pride and past hurts had become the third persons in our marriage. They didn't allow us to see the blessing we have in each other. There is a line in the song that says, "If we try to leave may God send angels to guard the door" and I am so thankful that God did just that. He has always intervened. Through His amazing love, we were able to recognize that we were not only hurting each other but more importantly that we were grieving Holy Spirit with our actions and attitudes. This revelation gave us a new perspective on the sanctity of our marriage. We have learned to be proactive in seeking counseling and prayer for our marriage letting God know that we are willing to give our all for our marriage to be pure and holy in His sight.

His mercy has allowed us to overcome so many hurdles in our marriage and our marriage is definitely worth fighting for!

I invite you to take a few minutes and listen allowing Holy Spirit to minister your heart. Please know that there is hope for marriages to be restored in Jesus Christ. He alone can breathe life into a marriage that seems to be dying.

Only He can send those angels to guard the door!


Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We'll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they're falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Love will come to save us
If we only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for

Warren Barfield - Love is Not a Fight

If you have not seen the movie "Fireproof" I highly recommend you purchase a copy for yourself. It has been such a blessing to my marriage and of those around me who have seen the movie and testified on how this movie ministered to each of them. My sister even gifted this movie to a couple who does not serve the Lord and they enjoyed the movie and in the name of Jesus we have declared their lives, family and marriages for Jesus.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Out and About

On Wednesday, my girls and I enjoyed a very warm day at the zoo. I didn't expect it to be in the 80's but nonetheless we had fun observing the splendor that is God's creation. Every time we go to the zoo I stand in awe of all the different creatures there. Each of them serve a purpose.

The same as us, we all serve a specific purpose within the body of Christ. It is important that we ask the Lord to reveal to us what is our purpose, what is our function so that the body of Christ can operate the way the Lord intended.

Enjoy the pictures of our trip.



(The bison were relaxing in the sun)


(My teen took this picture. Not sure what kind of flower it is but isn't is beautiful?)


(The seal swimming about)


(This is the baby out of the bunch.
She spent most of the time on the rocks observing)










(The seals were our favorite site to see. They sure did put on a show for us!)


(My daughter gazing at the beauty of the works of God's hands)





God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1: 31a

Counting My Blessings

1. Checked out easy hair bow tutorials at Land of the Misfit Toyz ...and was inspired to create these for my baby!



2. My husband built (2) bookcases out of this:



One for our h.s. area and the other is in my bedroom for some of my crafting goodies:)



3. Went to Michael's Craft store with Karen and happened to walk in on a Cricut demo and enjoyed making this:

(I am planning to put pictures of my girls here)

also purchased these goodies for a future project:


4. My mom invited us to dinner on Saturday and made a delicious shrimp ceviche. I am not really into seafood but my mom makes this particular dish so good I couldn't resist!

5. I received a free copy of "America: The Story of Us" in the mail. It is an awesome h.s. resource with hours of American history facts. My husband really enjoyed seeing the wealth of information.


6. My mother gave me some of our family albums she had in her home. They include baby pictures of my sisters and I, but the best pictures are pictures of my parents from about 35 years ago. I can't believe just how much I resemble my mom!

7. Our Co-Pastor and his family paid a visit to our home. We ate, we laughed, we prayed...it was a blessing!

8. My husband took a day off of work and SLEPT!

9. My girls and I headed out to the Bronx Zoo. The seals were my favorite part. My baby stood in awe of these magnificent creatures.





10. Found a great craft idea here and voila!



11. A BIC sent me an email that ministered my spirit. Thank you Lord for the brotherly love you deposit in us for one another. I am thankful that He obeyed the prompting of Holy Spirit.

12. My first attempt at a typical Ecuadorian dish named "llapingacho". My mom was invited and gave her approval at the dish:)



13. Service was beautiful last night. The Word ministered my heart. There are consequences to sin. But our God is a God of restoration and mercy. Have mercy on me, Lord!

I am certain that I will see the Lord's goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be courageous and let your heart be strong.
Wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27: 13-14

14. Received some awesome news last night which I will share shortly:)

15. My sister Karen sent me some funny text messages. She has such a humorous heart!



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Breaking Free: The Freedom of Unfailing Love

Others sat in darkness and gloom-
prisoners in cruel chains-
because the rebelled against God's command
and despised the counsel of the Most High.

He broke their spirits with hard labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and gloom
and broke their chains apart.
~ Psalm 107: 10-14

Can you see His unfailing love in the above verses?

There was a time in my walk with God that I took His discipline as His way of not giving my hurting heart another glance. I have since learned to see that His discipline is out of pure love.

Beth makes such a valid point that spoke to my heart. "His unfailing love also appears in His unwillingness to allow rebellion to go unnoticed and undisciplined.". Thank you Jesus that you have not allowed my rebellion to go unnoticed.

I am so grateful for the leaders in my church. In the past, I dreaded when an elder in the church would come up to me and tell me, "Sister, my spirit is telling me that there are things that are not right with you." God would give them specifics and I immediately would feel hurt that the Lord would out me out like that. Why wouldn't He tell me directly? Many times He did alert me to my behavior but I would choose to turn a deaf ear. Thank you Lord that You love me too much to allow things to remain the same.

Beth gives two points from the Psalm to encourage us toward our goal of truly understanding His unfailing love for us:

1. God's unfailing love extends to the most rebellious captives and most afflicted fools.
2. God strives with His captive children until they are free.

There is hope in our Lord.

Why do you think we have such a difficult time believing that God really loves us?

We tend to attempt to humanize God and His unconditional love for us. Without Christ we try to go above and beyond our means to evoke love and acceptance from others. Most of the time if not all of the time those actions go unnoticed so that we can realize that the void in us is one that only Jesus' love for us can fill. God's love cannot be compared to our human understanding of love. Our simple human mental capacity cannot fathom the extent of God's love for frail humanity. Even while we were sinners He gave His only Son to die for our sins. That is a love that we can only try to imitate.

Even when I have failed His unfailing love has NOT.


Beloved, If He has become God alone to you, you have a powerful story to tell. Start talking! (quote directly from book)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lost and Found

I shared here that last Thursday evening a tornado sped through parts of Queens and Brooklyn, NY. Our church is located in Queens and from our home it is about a 40 minute drive with no traffic.

As we prepared to leave our home as usual on Thursday evening for church service, we had no idea that the heavy rain that zoomed by had actually been a tornado. As we crossed the Whitestone Bridge we immediately saw the traffic which had accumulated.

As we listened to the radio for traffic updates we realized that the traffic was backed up on the expressway for miles with no signs of improvement. By the time we would have reached our church the service would have been over, so we decided to head home instead. We had to take the local route through Queens to get to the 59th Street bridge that would lead us into Manhattan and then head home.

While driving through Manhattan, I immediately thought of my father. He works the evening shift in Manhattan. Very excited, I suggest to my husband about stopping by and seeing my dad.

I have not seen my father in over ten years although, we do communicate by phone. I was filled with so many different emotions at the prospect of seeing my dad. I called his place of employment twice and he was not available. I waited outside and noticed a man sweeping out front. I thought I'd ask him if he knew my dad. He said yes, then with my heart beating so rapidly I asked him if he could please ask my dad to step out for a moment.

I waited a few minutes and no sign of my father or the man I spoke to a few moments ago. Another minute or two passed and then.....
I noticed him. I would notice him in a multitude of people.
After all these years....I saw my dad.

It was him. It was my dad.

Before I knew it, I was embracing my father and sobbing.
My father's embrace was so familiar. So many lovely memories flooded my mind when I hugged my dad. Lovingly he told me, "Stop crying, it's ok."

I pulled away and I looked at his face. I wanted to capture his face and praying at the same time asking God not to let me forget how he looked at that very moment. After I let my dad go, I presented him to my teen daughter, she hugged him and wispered, "Grandpa". My dad held his hand out and met his son-in-law for the first time. He reached into my car and met his baby grand-daughter.

We were able to visit with him for only a few short moments since he had to get back to work.
All the time I was trying to etch in my mind every contour and line on his face.
I didn't want him to leave.
I didn't want to leave.
I told my dad how much I missed him and how much I loved him. I was able to share the love that Jesus has for him, too.

As I said goodbye to my dad, I hugged him so tight. I looked at his familiar eyes and told him, " I love you daddy." He smiled at me. I remember telling the Lord that I was more than grateful for this surprise visit but please don't let this be the last time. He said his goodbyes to the girls and my husband and just like that.....he was gone again.

During my walk with the Lord, He did such a beautiful thing in my heart. Long ago I forgave my dad for all the moments that I care not to remember that I had lived as a child. There was no hurt. There was no anger or bitterness. There was only love in my heart towards him. God had renewed love between a daughter and her father. I was so grateful for all that the Lord orchestrated for us that night.

But I have my memories. I remember what we spoke about. I remember his face.

I love my daddy:)

Autumn walk

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Counting My Blessings

1. My teen along with some other younger B/SIC have started their first year of discipleship studies. My desire is that she may continue to grow in the fear of our Lord. May all that she will be learning bear permanent fruit in her life.

2. I am thankful that a SIC has recommitted her life to Jesus and has been attending service regularly,

3. This past weekend our church celebrated 13 years of service to the Lord! May God continue to use His house of worship as a sanctuary to the lost!

4. Several preachers were invited and God used them mightily to speak to our lives.

5. Some of my husband's family joined us in celebrating and my SIL's husband received Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior. We were all rejoicing!!! What a victory!

6. My BIL's family also stopped by on the last night of the celebration and I pray that in the name of Jesus the Word will not return void for His glory!

7. My daughters and I enjoyed sleeping over my mother's house while my husband built and painted this:


8. Stopped by my husbands job to load up some materials for his new project and enjoyed having lunch together,


9. Rite Aid had some great deals and paid about .80 cents for all:


10. Headed back to Rite Aid and was able to get more toothbrushes for Operation Christmas Child:

11. I have enjoyed crafting with my teen this week. received some really great deals at the craft store. We started working with polymer clay and had a blast creating our "cupcakes". Will post pics of our recent crafts soon!

12. Thursday evening while getting ready to go to church, rain started pouring out of the sky. The rain came down with a fierceness that a thought crept into my mind about maybe not attending church. I immediately cast down that thought and figured it came from the enemy and went about my usual routine . While driving to church on the traffic report we heard that it was actually a tornado that touched down on the areas we would have to drive by in order to get to church. Traffic had accumulated to the point where highways were being closed down due to several accidents and trees now blocking the roads. It took us several hours to get home, but it all had a purpose! For God's glory...HE surprised with a gift I did not expect to receive. There were tears and laughs involved...stay tuned to find out:)

Lord, may you continue to manifest your glory for Your glory.
May those who do not believe, see and believe.
You are the one true living GOD. There is NONE other!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Breaking Free: Part V Unfailing Love

FREE Pictures, Images and Photos
Looking back to my past I noticed a pattern of behavior I was developing. I would begin something and not see it to the end. Allow me to elaborate and share some of my experiences.

I was first generation of my family born in this country and I was accepted into a well known private high school and was determined to excel. There was the hopes and dreams of my parents riding on my graduating and becoming a professional.

I took a trip to Ecuador that summer after completing my freshman year in H.S and after a devastating experience, it set me up for my future's outlook. After this moment in my life I saw things through a different perspective. Three years of high school remained and I ended up attending five schools and not graduating but instead I opted for a g.e.d (grade equivalency diploma). My mother was so disappointed, and so was I.

However, I saw a gleam of hope. I was accepted into a prestigious college in Manhattan and was determined to graduate. I had been so un-disciplined and battling with alcohol and marijuana that I soon realized I wasn't going to be up for the challenge. After almost two and a half years as a freshman I gave up. My daughter was about 2 at the time, and I decided to enter the workforce and leave my hopes and dreams of furthering my education and making my mom really proud of me to the side. I was different to her...she saw me with different eyes. I too, saw myself as different.

That is part of my testimony and what God used to draw me to HIM. Although to a few this might be just reading another book. To me, it means creating a pattern of permanent changes with the help of Holy Spirit.

This new section I am starting to read is titled,

"Unfailing Love"

I am more than overwhelmed at times when I think back to all that the Lord has allowed me to live and see. What gives me that feeling is that HE was there through it ALL. His unfailing love has accompanied me through so many dark moments in my life.

Beth points out the wedding at Cana of Galilee. The master of the banquet made a statement about Jesus that described Him so well, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you saved the best till now." (John 2:10) Our Lord always seems to have something better waiting for us around the corner when we least expect it.

On page 191 Beth writes, " What do we need when our mountains shake, when our hills are removed? Babies die without it. Children must have it. Youth plead for it. Adults search for it. We will only find true freedom in the love that will not fail or go away."

My hearts screams out to be able to understand just that, God's perfect and unfailing love for those He so lovingly calls His children.

I pray that you may be edified in joining in on this journey of breaking free with me. I pray that you may be able to see His unfailing love for you.

God bless you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Updates

I have been "away" the past few weeks mainly because I have been organizing our homeschooling area, preparing our curriculum calendar and just getting started for the 2010/11 school year.


(Husband built this chalkboard for us. My teen picked out the paint and painted it herself)


(We liked the idea of Ikea's Trofast system but thought it to be way to expensive.
So, my husband built this one....This is our interpretation:)

I have put on pause my Breaking Free study. I am def. starting back officially next week. The book has been so motivational in identifying patterns in my life which do not allow me to grow spiritually. I began this book early this year and have been taking my time reading one chapter a week to be able to really dig deep and apply what I am learning. I have set a goal to finish it with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Amanda over at My Secret Garden wrote a timely post, "Testing or Chastening?" which ministered to my spirit greatly. The Lord has been speaking to me regarding many areas of my life that I needed to be away to hear His voice clearly. This ride has been a humbling experience for me and my heart's desire is to grow and learn from this episode in my walk in HIM and confident in the fact that He will work it out for my good and for His glory! I am glad to be back knowing that He who started a good work in me is faithful to fulfill all He has promised!

This month officially ends summer and fall will begin shortly. In turn I will be switching my blog design to correlate with the new beautiful colors that will surround me very soon. I truly enjoy this time of the year for all the different hues that the foliage will produce. I am very much an earth tone gal. My wardrobe clearly represents this statement:)

This weekend our church will be celebrating 13 years of service to the Lord. We are expecting God to do a mighty work in all the hearts who will be present especially all those who have been invited and are not serving the Lord as of yet, to heed to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Several preachers have been invited and I trust that the Lord has deposited in them the exact Word from His heart to us..His chosen.

Pictures I wanted to share as to what we have been up to these past 3 weeks:



(Enjoyed picking grapes from a vine growing alongside our church)


(Enjoyed bbq with FIC)

(Celebrated a few birthdays/earthday's - niece turned 5, BIL turned well I won't mention that part..lol and a beautful young sister in Christ celebrated her 18th b-day)


I am thankful to have this outlet of communication and especially for all who set aside a moment to visit SBG....

May the Lord bless you and protect you;
The Lord make His face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
The Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26