Please Help Me Win a Scholarship. Vote, vote, vote!

 

Today I woke up to an exciting email! I submitted an original birthday card design and my design entered the 5th finalist round so I could win a scholarship to help pay for university!

 

Please, go vote for me and share the link with your friends and family. My submission is on the 6th page, 5th square. It has green letters that say Happy Birthday, a chocolate cupcake with blue paper, red frosting, and yellow stars!

Here is the link: Vote for me! Go, go, go! 😀

I Don’t Celebrate Halloween Because

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Photo by Wild0ne on Pixabay. Edit by me.

Good evening everyone!

Tonight I have a topic on my heart that I want to get off my chest.

Everything that I have to say in this post is in love and I’m going to compare it against the truth of the Word of God.

Do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:14).

I don’t understand why there are people who call themselves Christian that celebrate Halloween. Aren’t we the light of the world? Isn’t it common sense to say that if someone even sees lot’s of  Holloween decorations in stores that those decorations represent an example of evil, demons, and death? Why is Halloween taken so lightly, even in the church? There is a Devil and demons exist, and Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem people from the forces of evil. Why can’t Christians take God more seriously? Can’t Christians see that there is no peace in celebrating Halloween? I’m not shunning nonbelievers, but I’m saying, come on Christians, open your eyes!

Maybe some people might think that I’m super religious, or that I don’t have a heart. That’s not the case. I love my neighbors very much and I’m just a simple girl who has a relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I take God seriously and I’m not going to play around with evil, even if Halloween looks like a harmless day for others.

I just want to take a moment to briefly talk about the origins of Halloween. Then I’m going to talk about what the Bible says.

Halloween goes back 2,000 years to the Celtic tradition in Ireland, The United Kingdom, and Northern France when the Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain. Then Pope Gregory III made up All Saints Day on November 1. Both days eventually came together to combine Halloween. The Celts celebrated Sahmein on November 1 which marked their new year. This time marked the end of their summer and the beginning of their winter harvest. They believed that this time was associated with death and that the spirits crossed a blurred boundary between the living and the dead. On October 31 the Celts celebrated Samhain because they believed the ghosts of the dead returned to the earth. The druids, or Celtic priests, believed that the evil spirits caused trouble and damaged crops. They used crops to predict the future and they sacrificed crops and animals to the Celtic deities.

Jack-O-lanterns come from a fable that says there was a man called Jack who tricked the devil but that backfired on him because he was later turned away from the gates of heaven and hell. Jack used a lantern to guide his soul. As a result, the Celts believed that a Jack-O-Lantern would guide lots spirits back home as they wandered the streets. Jack-O-Lanterns were originally made from turnips, and the sinister carved faces were meant to scare evil spirits away.

The commonly known witches with a pointy hat and warted nose actually come from a pagan goddess called “the crone”. It was honored as a representation of Samhain. The crone is also known as “the old one” and the “Earth Mother”. It morphs into a menacing cackling witch, which is supposed to symbolize wisdom, change, and the changing seasons.

I also want to mention that Halloween is a night when crime rates rise and more drunk drivers are on the road (Leonard, 2015).

The examples I mentioned above are commonly seen in Halloween decorations. The historical examples of sacrificing to pagan gods, the use of jack-o-lanterns, and the existence of witches are just a few of those “decorations” that inspire a fire within me to talk about what the Bible warns us about.

Take a look at some of these scriptures:

My heart’s desire is to see more Christians walking in the light as the bible calls us to do. That is God’s heart for his children. The Bible says,

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

Ephesians 5:6-14

Here is further scripture about walking in light:

I heartfeltly warn Christians about practicing Halloween.

The Bible clearly speaks in Hebrews 10:26-31 saying,

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Let’s not take the blood of Jesus for granted.

Colossians 2:13 is my favorite verse:

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

I don’t celebrate Halloween because I want to be faithful to the Lord. I wouldn’t for a moment take a day to be unfaithful to my future hubby. I wouldn’t much less take one day out of my relationship with Jesus Christ to spend it with the Devil. Celebrating Halloween would invite evil spirits into my life, it would give way to evil strongholds in my life (2 Corinthians 10:3-6), it would become a negative influence for those around me, and it would harm my spiritual state.

I love my friends and family but I will not participate in Halloween, nor will I go outside that night. Jesus loves you. I love you.

I want to make a correction to this blog post, December 29, 2017, 1:24 p.m. I think I owe my readers the truth when I confess that I went out to youth service that night. A friend from the youth group wanted to visit another friend of ours who went on a two-week hiatus. I care about the both of them and wanted to make sure that she was well. So, we visited her home, and she was well. After we left our friend’s house, we stopped at the store because my ride wanted to buy some nail polish. By that time, youth service was only about an hour away, and I decided to go with her. After youth service, we went to the worship leader’s house, then I came home safe and sound. In no way did I celebrate Halloween. Due to the time, I felt convicted to go to service because I love to hear the Word. I wasn’t happy with everything that I saw in the church that night, but it was another experience that I learned in my personal relationship with Jesus. So, that’s what I really did on the 31st.

References:

 

The Imperfect Christian

 

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This is my original photo.

 

Hey guys, I’m back!

I apologize for being MIA for the past few months, but it was a time of learning, growth, deliverance, and discovery of myself in Christ.

Between October and November I went through a really dark valley that brought me into a seemingly, hopeless season of depression. During this time I didn’t understand what was happening to me and why I couldn’t recognize my own reflection in the mirror, or why my eyes were so dark. I couldn’t even bring myself to smile without bursting into tears. I was miserable. And it was because for a moment, I lost my faith. I almost lost myself.

God permitted me to hit rock bottom.

But He never left my side for a moment.

The Lord used a sister in Christ to come to my house one of those restless nights, and I poured out my heart to her. She asked me, what was wrong.. The only words that I could muster were “I just feel so lonely!..” She caught me in her arms, cradled me like a baby and I wept as she began to battle for my life in prayer. When she was done, she looked at me square in the face and said to me with authority, “you need to fast. You need to battle and fight for your life! God has a great purpose for you but the enemy will use you to destroy you if you let him. If you don’t fight, you will commit suicide in this very room. You are a warrior.”

I’m not going to lie to you, I felt the fear of the Lord as she prophesied those words over me. I knew that the devil is real, I know that demons are real and that hell is real. But I also knew Jesus is real and He came to disarm the power of Satan and his demons at the cross, and more than that, Jesus TRIUMPHED over them (Colossians 2:15). For everything that Satan came to steal, to kill, and to destroy in our lives, Jesus came to give us back in life, and life in abundance (John 10:10) and that means leading us to freedom through the valley of the shadow of death here on earth.

He promises to give us rest. Peace. Joy. (Hewbrews 4:1, John 14:27, 15:10-11)

That very night I was decided. I was not going to take the enemies attacks lying down anymore. I entered into a fast for two weeks and Jesus delivered me from the spirit of fear (1 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:18) . The spirit didn’t leave on happy terms, but unfortunately, upon eviction, it left me with a staph infection on my tailbone. I couldn’t sit or lie down for a week, and had to go through surgery to get the infection drained out. The timing was no coincidence either. I already had a trip planned for months to go out to Costa Rica, and left about a week after the surgery.

By the grace of God I was healed in time to be able to sit comfortably for the six hour journey. I was still on medication and still a little sore from the operation but that didn’t stop me from participating in the Christmas activities that I so longed to be apart of since last June! I danced and sang in the Christmas musical without any pain or discomfort and by that time I  was completely healed!

I had a lot of fun celebrating Christmas and New Years with my Costa Rican family. But I also received necessary correction from the Lord while I was there. From the very first sermon since arriving, He confronted my disobedient and unbelieving heart (Hebrews 3:7-11). He helped me understand that He will never leave me nor forsake me, and that His promises are as secure as any written contract, but His are so much more valid than any human contract because it is impossible for Him to lie and because He always has the final say (Hebrews 6:15-18; 13:5-6). By the the end of the trip, the Lord ministered to my heart and promised to fulfill the desires of my heart in short time.

With that being, I returned to the States in time for classes to start in January. I didn’t come back the same, but with a fire that burned deep down in my belly. I returned with a joy that lit up my face, and with confidence that what the Lord said will happen, will happen in due time.

As I came back, The Holy Spirit continued to show me in God’s Word how to be faithful (Hebrews 3:14-15), how to rest in Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4: 6-10), how to be generous (Isaiah 58: 6-14, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15), how to love others and how to love myself (Romans 13:8-14); not care what other people think about me (Isaiah 2:22; Psalm 146: 3-5; Galatians 1:9-10) and how to be content (1 Corinthians 7: 22-23; Philippians 4:12-13). These are just a few of the many things the Holy Spirit has cooking in my heart…

Then today after prayer, after a moment of crying at Jesus’ feet over some silly anxiety in my heart. I sat down on my bed and began to say to my friend the Holy Spirit, “I really don’t remember in detail where I was exactly this time last year. I mean, I know that I was sad, but I don’t know what was troubling my heart. But I do remember that I spent Valentine’s day with you at Holy Land. It was the day that I saw Jesus and almost ran out into the scene of the garden of Gethsemane to hug him! That was a beautiful memory we shared together…”

Then this thought hit me like an oncoming truck:

“If I don’t remember all of the details of everything that happened precisely one year ago, except that I was sad. Then whatever was troubling me a year ago doesn’t matter today. Neither will whatever troubles me now, matter in a year from now…

And what if tomorrow never comes? What if Jesus returns for me before then in the rapture. Then none of it matters!”

The apostle Paul must have had the same revelation when he wrote this letter to the Philippians:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

Philippians 3:7-10

I even agree with what the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write in verses 11 through 14:

I don’t expect myself to have been perfected in the knowledge of what I’ve learned in the span of these past months, but I do know that I’m still Christ’s work in progress– as we all are until we come to stand before the throne of God, face-to-face before the Master and give an account to Him of all the things we’ve done in this life (2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:13-14). Only then will we completely understand the grand scheme of His plan (Isaiah 55:6-12). All that will be left for us to do is just love Him, and remain in awe of Him for all of eternity (Revelation 22:13, 17).

I’m not a scholar or a theologian. I’m just a repentant sinner who has a personal relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I love you all, but Jesus loves you more!

 

Walking to the Beat of God’s Heart

 

It’s 2 AM and I’m laying up in bed.

 

it’s dark and all I hear is the ceiling fan whirring up above me,

along with the thoughts in my head, narrating my heart b-b-b-b-beat.

My hands crossed upon my breast,

I feel my heart b-b-b-beating against the walls of my chest

and do you know what that means?

It means that I’m still living.

It means that I’m still breathing,

and that I have a purpose.

It means that my life has meaning.

Have you ever thought about what self-esteem and dignity mean?

It means that you respect yourself, value your self.

It means that you admire who you are

as a human being.

In the past few weeks I realized that I don’t have to do

anything that I don’t want to. I’m not tied to anyone’s

opinion of who I ought to be.

Because my identity is in the cross. In whom Jesus says I am.

I ought to be loving and kind, yes.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash.

 

Considerate and loving my neighbor,

but not at the expense of my self-worth.

Who likes feeling rejected or ignored?

We all want to be accepted

but

the truth is,

that the truth is a hard pill for many to swallow.

I ought to be like Jesus, who spoke the truth

in the face of his opponents who breathed out murder against him.

Jesus esteemed the opinion of his Father in heaven

and God was pleased with him,

even if

Jesus had to stand alone.

As long as I’m speaking and living the truth for the glory of His Son,

My Father in heaven looks down on me and says,

“that’s my girl!”

One thing to remember is, is that the world didn’t die for me.

My dignity and self-worth is found at the cross.

Not in any other thing or human being.

I am a fighter,

a warrior,

a survivor

a soldier

a victor.

I’ve made it through lonely days, and lonely nights. I’ve survived moments without “friends”, because we’ve all parted our separate ways. I’ve pushed past suicidal thoughts, and won the victory over depression. But every time I feel myself slipping back, God works me like a muscle:

He brings me to my limits

and breaks me down again

so that I can recover

and be made stronger.

I have to keep moving, keep walking past

the circumstances that tell me God has forgotten.

I have to keep trusting, praying and surrendering to God

because He will prove that what He said will come to pass.

As long as my heart is b-beating, and I have breath in my lungs

God has a plan for my living, something that I could never plan on my own.

I’m a warrior in Christ and I’m never going to give up.

One Day At A Time

 

I’m back in the comfort of my own bed under the roof of my father’s house in the United States. I think back to just how last week I woke up to the fresh mountain air where the loud voices of chatter and laughter meant a warm welcome to a new day; and here I am in the solitary coolness of my room thinking about the memories that will never fade. I still remember the last two sermons my daddy gave before we returned back to the states from the home where our hearts dwell. Last year daddy preached, “right now you don’t understand what I’m doing, but later on you will.” and this last time around God spoke through his sermon saying, “you will see greater things than these to come.”

 

My heart is at peace knowing that God is in full control. I feel safe in the knowledge of His wisdom as He fits all the pieces of my family’s life and my own together. My understanding is limited but He sees farther than I could ever know. As I lay in bed thinking about the past few months of my life, my gratitude to the Lord overflows with joy for the life that’s given to me. I’m thankful for my victory in Jesus Christ over depression, and for strengthening my heart as I waited on Him.  I’m so thankful for the love He gives me in his Son everyday as He consistently proves His faithfulness to me day by day by, in the smallest ways. He stills my soul by even quieting the smallest worries of my heart. No detail is too great or too small for Him to overcome by riding in on His mighty cloud of Glory and shedding light to the darkness of my uncertainties. He gives me peace when I turn to Him with all of the concerns of my heart. He romances me, He woes me. I’m pacified.

I lay here meditating about the miracles I’ve witnessed and the power of the Holy Spirit that overtakes a room full of people in the middle of worship and praise. I think about how biblically, everything that my family and I participate in aligns to the truth and the life of Jesus Christ. The commission that He gave to His disciples before He disappeared into the clouds to sit at the right hand side of the Father is what He commanded all Christians to do. To go into all the nations and to preach the good news of His life for ours, to go out and heal the sick, cast out demons and prepare the church, His bride for His return; all done in His Holy name! Then this makes me think about the events around the world, and how unrealistically fast the time is flying by. It’s like a frantic race for time as evil continues to rise. The earth is covered in blood, violence and hate, but God is also at work revealing many wonders and signs in heaven and among His people. Calling us to repentance and telling us to get ready, telling us to prepare for the trumpet’s call to go home! Oh how I desire to be caught up in the rapture and sing in my soul, “death where is your sting!? My body is finally glorified with my King of kings!”….

And so, I lay here thinking about all the work that needs to be done and how deeply our hearts desire to be freed from the borders of these corrupted states. We’re ready to go back and answer the calling over our lives in Central and South America and to share our lives with the family we’ve grown so close to in love every time we meet in Costa Rica. But peace is mine and thankfulness fills me as I think about all the love and care that God has poured into me and my family of two. I know deep in my spirit that we won’t be here for much longer. Something is stirring in our lives and I perceive the hand of God in our midst. Our time is coming and I’m expectantly waiting, walking out this journey day by day, to see greater things than what I’ve already seen.

Reply From Mom

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash. Edit by me.

My dear friends, I have great news!

Maybe some of you have read my earlier blog post entitled, “Letter to Mom”. If you haven’t you should totally check it out. Anyway, a couple of days ago I received a card from my mom in the mail in reply to the letter I sent her!

It reads:

“Dear Rosa de Saron,

I got your letter and I read it often. I gave my heart back to Jesus and ask God to help me get closer to him. I love you very much. Your letter convicted me asking Jesus to help me get closer to you.”

Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus for answering my prayers! My heart soars with elation to know that my mom gave her heart back to Jesus! This is the sweetest news to a wonderful testimony in the making! Glory to God!!!

If you will, please pray with me for my mother’s continual renewal in Jesus Christ. Pray with me for her road to recovery and that every stumbling block of discouragement the enemy may put in her way will be turned into stepping stones as God guides her steps toward restoration. Pray with me that she may know how deep, wide, far, and long is the love of Jesus Christ for her. That even though she is starting out in hopes to get closer to me, she may end up drawing closer to the Lord every day, taking delight in Him first, only to realize that our relationship will be the desires of her heart being answered in Jesus’ gracious, perfect timing. And finally pray with me for her deliverance in receiving a sound mind; that in doing so, God may use her life’s testimony for the sake of all those who will be touched by her story.

If you do pray with me, my heart goes out to you with much gratitude!

Yet my heart is filled with all the more gratitude to my God, because He is just so good! All I can say is “thank you Jesus!” I can’t wait to see what other awesome things He’s going to do next…