Dance With Me

Last night I had a beautiful dream that I’m really excited to share with you! It’s short and sweet but very lovely.

I dreamt that I was in my kitchen, and I was facing the wall where the clock hangs. I don’t really remember what I was doing in the kitchen, but I know that I was remembering the Word of God in my heart.

In front of me was a white card floating in the air with my name on in lowercase letters: rose of sharon (which means, the church or bride of Christ).

Then behind the card was a large, white cloud that formed into a man. It was Jesus Christ.

He stretched out his hand to me, and said, “It is I. The God that you serve.”

I took his hand and we shared a secret! Then we danced in the kitchen, I gave him a hug, and the dream ended.

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Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash.

The life of a Christian is a life filled with love for servitude

I’ve taken some time off from this blog to spend time with the Lord. I didn’t want to write anything for some time because it’s his blog and I want what I write to be special to you.

In that time I’ve learned a lot of about the gospel, and how lovely it is to remember God’s grace each and every day. The core of this post is about love, and what it means to live in God’s love.

You can take your time reading this post, to learn the scriptures given. I find it good to meditate on the Word and let the Holy Spirit help me grow in the Word as I learn these scriptures by heart.

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Photo by Jussara Romão on Unslpash.

Our love comes from the source, God the Father! We as Christians have the good news of the gospel to live by and share with others. John 3:16.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I chewed on this for a while and realized that God meets us half way. He loves us. So he gave us his Son. If we believe that, we will not perish, but have eternal life. It’s that easy! Just believe.

Another scripture is 1 John 4:9-10.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Remember, we are saved by grace, not by works. That is by faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I also learned and began to store this in my heart: Christ’s righteousness is my righteousness. (Romans 3:21-24, Philippians 3:8-9)

It doesn’t matter what I do, or how much I do to win God’s love because I can’t. The only way I have wholeness and satisfaction in my heart is by believing that what Jesus did on the cross and rising the third day, is enough for me in God’s eyes. I’m his child.

When I mess up, I ask God for forgiveness.

The bible says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (emphasis added).

But it’s important to know that we must repent, that means to stop doing the sins that we were doing before; to live a life holy to God. Keep your eyes on Jesus! (Hebrews 12:1-3)

In light of God’s forgiveness, I also love to remember this scripture: Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Psalm 32:1.

Jesus loves you! Remember that every day. God is good, and his Word is good.

In the time that I spent with the Lord, I learned and meditated on this Word about his characteristics. The bible has many scriptures about what God is like. But I find that Jonah 4:2 describes how good God is!

He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity (emphasis added).

Other characteristics about God include that he is love, and a consuming fire (we are to revere him). God is holy. He is full of lovingkindness, and tender mercies. He is stern, he is just, and he is good. God has no favorites. He will never turn anyone away who comes to him through Jesus Christ. We can approach him with confidence! (1 John 4:7, Hebrews 12:28-29, Hebrews 12:14, Psalm 36:7, Luke 1:76-79, Romans 11:22, 2 Thessalonians 1:6, 1 John 1:8-10, Psalm 119:68, Romans 2:11, John 6:37, Hebrews 4:16)

God’s love endures forever! (Psalm 136)

Another thing that I learned about God’s love includes two foundational godly principals. I learned these from the church I started attending.

The two foundational principals are to love God, and love people.

The pastor used Deuteronomy 5:32-6:1-9. The context of this scripture teaches about the commands God gave to the Israelites as they went to inherit the promised land. It has great principals about teaching the believer to love God with all their heart, all their soul, and all their strength, then to teach their children these things, so that they will teach the generations after them to fear the Lord.

This scripture immediately reminded me of the conversation that the expert of the law had with Jesus in Luke 10:27-37. To love God with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind. And to love one’s neighbor as their self. At the end of that conversation, Jesus told the expert of the law to have mercy on his neighbor. If you read the parable you will see what I’m talking about.

Jesus had mercy on us, and it pleases God for us to have mercy on each other. (Hosea 6:6)

I hold fast to this because it really is foundational. Jesus taught in John 15 that he loved us as the Father loved him. Then he commands us to remain in his love (emphasis added).

How?

His command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Colossians 3:12-14 explains it to us this way:

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (emphasis added).

Forgiveness is key (Matthew 6:14-15).

 

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Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash.

Learning about loving God and others, was also reinforced into my heart by a video that I saw from Christine D’Clario, she is a well-known bilingual worshipper. She said, that if we live by loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength and all our mind, and loving our neighbor as ourself, then we will remain in God’s love and be able to persevere. We will find it easier to do what pleases God because we will want to!

That leads me to the next point about God’s love and it’s something else that the pastor at my church talked about.

He stated that we all want to belong to someone, but we, as children of God, belong to God!

1 Peter 2:9 says, But you are God’s chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (emphasis added).

As I’m in my waiting season for the future that God has for me and the special man that I’m going to marry, I realize that this is true. My guy is far away in another country, studying to get his diploma and I just graduated from college. I have plans to continue studying but as we are long distance, I realized that what the pastor said is so true. We all want to belong to someone, but we belong to the Jesus. I remember that God will never leave me nor forsake me, and that nothing can separate me from the love of God. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:9, Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:31-38)

In light of loving others, the bible tells us how to treat our family.

For instance, husbands have a role as how to treat their wives (Ephesians 5:25-33, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7),

wives have a role as how to treat their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24, 33b, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Peter 3:1-6).

Parents have a role as how to treat their children (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21), and children should learn from their parents how to treat them according to the Word (Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20).

1 Timothy 5:1-3 tells every believer how to treat older men, younger men, older women, and younger women. I advise you to memorize these scriptures and store them in your heart. They’re good!

The bible also says to be wise in how you act towards outsiders. (Colossians 4:5-6) That’s especially important because people who don’t believe in the gospel yet look at how a Christian lives their lives!

During this mother’s day, I went to church and heard the Word about Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. They had sincere faith and passed that on to Timothy.

During the week, before that service, I told the Lord that I didn’t have that type of motherly example, and after the service, I repeated it the Lord. I said to him, “I don’t have a mother or grandmother who could have left behind a legacy of faith in my heart, but you Jesus, your Word is my example.”

So I left that day with that promise in my heart. That I will be that type of woman with a sincere faith who serves the Lord to teach my family about God’s love. You can too!

However, I am thankful to God for giving me a dad who raised me in the Word of God. His example is present and it has driven me closer to the Lord!

If you identify with my position as someone raised by a single parent, and you don’t have someone as a motherly figure, or father figure to be your example, you can be the first one in your family to start with the Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 11:1)

So I’ve learned that it’s not my job to tell my friend, or dad, or brother how to treat me. It’s my job to obey the Word of God and let God take care of the rest. I will do my part and love my neighbor as myself.

There are just a few more scriptures I would like to share with you. They are 1 Corinthians 13. The characteristics of love and Romans 13:8-10:

I love to remember the characteristics of love and putting Jesus at the center of them, because he is love! It’s the right perspective to keep and see how God pours his love into my heart as I serve Him, so that I can serve others.

The other verse is found in Romans 13:8-10:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” You shall not murder,” You shall not steal,” You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (emphasis added).

Oh, and it is also good to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17,

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

I cannot stress enough, to keep Jesus at the center of this. He came to fulfill the law, and we learn from his example to teach others.

Finally, after I read Ephesians 5 and 6, I realized how to bible commands in how to treat others then it tells us to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, because we are fighting a spiritual warfare.

Finally, Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

I know you know there’s more, please take the time to read the rest of the scripture.(Ephesians 6:10-19)

Use the Word of God to take pull down strongholds, and take thoughts captive that shouldn’t be there. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

Remember, the Word of God is alive and active! (Hebrews 4:12) Use it to fight your daily battles. We already have the victory through God’s grace! Our victory is in Christ because of his triumph at the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 5:4, 1 Corinthians 1:18)

 

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

So dear friends, I just wanted to share with you what I’ve learned in the Word about God’s love. Remember God’s grace, love him, and others. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus loves us and that we who believe are children of God, filled with the Holy Spirit. If we believe the good news of the gospel (John 3:16) and take that faith with us every day, the Holy Spirit pours love into our hearts by the Word of God, so we are able to love others and serve the Lord keeping eternity in mind. You have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

 

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.

My Portion of Grace

Hello friends! I know it’s been a while since my last post, and I would like to apologize for that. To be honest with you, the past couple of weeks have been of great growth in my personal relationship with Christ: spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and as well personally with my family.

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Photo by Jeremy Gallman on Unsplash.

I can tell you that since my deliverance from depression– all thanks to Jesus Christ! I have a lot more clarity, joy, and ability to reason and see the reality of things with a new perspective through faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). This new perspective is greater than my own. It is God’s perspective. I’ve realized that life doesn’t revolve around me, but rather, my life is one of servitude to God and others around me. My life is a testament to the wonders of what God has done, will do, and is most importantly doing right now in my life; here today, at this very moment. To keep this perspective I must forget about what is passed and what not yet is, but keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.

 

Ever since my family returned from Costa Rica last July, we have fought an uphill battle. Recalling what God spoke to us in the mountains of that beautiful land, He gave each of us (my dad, brother and myself) confirmations in regard to prophetic promises that have been already spoken over our lives. These promises are directed towards our ministries and personal lives a like, all for the glory of Jesus Christ. After we returned back to the flat lands of Florida, here in the valley was where our faith was put to the test. With little to no breaks, the enemy has been bashing us from left to right. Two days after returning from Costa Rica, we were run out of our apartment with other tenants who were victims of an arson fire, due to the envies of criminal activity in our neighborhood. We with the seven other families, were homeless for two weeks, but God provided everything we needed. Then the time came that we moved into our new apartment; renovated and at the same price for the other one that was lost in the fire. Keeping our home unfurnished, we’ve stuck to the essentials as we wait for our time to go. In the meantime, our neighborhood continued to get worse before it got better, but the Lord heard our prayers and there are huge changes happening in this complex for the better. The ghetto will no longer be the ghetto. Thank you Jesus!

While these changes have been occurring, Jesus has also been making changes within me. He has been enlightening the dark chambers of my heart and affirming my faith in Him to the certainty of His promises everyday. His consistency and grace has relieved me from the fears that plagued my heart. The fears that told me that God wouldn’t do what He promised.

Around two weeks ago, I searched the scriptures of my bible to better understand what the apostle Paul meant when he quoted the Lord our God who said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)” I’ve heard this verse repeated so many times before, but left without explanation. It was only for me to know that God’s grace is enough. This quote from the bible made me feel like a child who asks, “but why mommy?” and mommy’s only reply is a short, “because I said so.”

It probably might even come as a shock to you that in the intimacy of my prayers, I cried out to God and told Him that He wasn’t enough. I desperately wanted Him to be enough, but in my desperation, He wasn’t. In love, my Heavenly Father knew what to do with that prayer, and He showed me that He is indeed everything that I need.

So the next day after that prayer I went to the back of my bible to the concordance. I looked up the words “portion” and “grace”. I wrote down every scripture that cited those two words and thanks to God, my understanding was greatly opened!

I’ll add the scriptures to the bottom of this post if you desire to search the bible for yourself on these topics, but what I learned is this:

Psalm 16:5-6 says O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.

Jesus himself is my portion. A small sentence, yet full of so much meaning for the believer. The bible says in John 10:10 that Jesus came to give us life in abundance. This abundant life is given to us due to the blood sacrifice He made for us on the cross, because Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him (see Isaiah 53). Jesus died so that we could be a part of his inheritance as children of God; no longer slaves to sin or to our own weaknesses but through Jesus’ sufferings, we are able to enjoy the daily provision of life that God gives to those who believe in faith.

The bible says in Acts 17:26-28 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’

So because of the cross, I am able to live a full life of joy in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11). The inheritance and the lot that God gives me today is not necessarily material riches, but they are my daily needs (Matthew 6:9). God has assigned to each of us the place on earth where we are to live and the appointed time we are to remain in that place, because there is a purpose. There is purpose in which I am to remain in Florida for the time being, because this is where God has placed me and my family to draw closer to Him. For today in this moment, this is my portion from God. Though we live in the ghetto, we have never been harmed, without food, clothing, or the means to pay the bills. We have health, education, and we have each other. We have all of this because of God’s grace. Not because we deserve it, but because of his mercies that extend to us here and now, regardless of His promises for our future, He loves us and gives us everything we need today. We have this fullness when we realize that Jesus gives us this grace when we make an exchange of our lives for His at the feet of the cross.

Grace doesn’t end there. Our inheritance and portion of eternal life is found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died he was given authority to take up his life again because he had no sin (John 10:17-18, 2 Corinthians 5:21). He humbled himself in such a way– to save the life of sinners and to give us freedom– that God exalted him and sat him at His right hand (Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 10:45; Mark 16:9). Jesus is the first example of what our glorified bodies will be like when we pass away from this world and resurrect in Him (1 Corinthians 15:20, 40-44). Jesus is the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in Him will live even if he dies (John 11:25). Those who think of such things purify themselves as they fix their eyes on Jesus Christ (1 John 3:1-3). Doing this we honor God’s command that says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasre is, there your heart will be also.

How gracious is the God that I serve! How much more can I entrust Him with my life when He gave us His only Son to die in our place? If He’s able to care for my eternal inheritance through Jesus Christ, how much more is He able to guard the inheritances of His promises to me and my family?

 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,  saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,  that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:13-20).

I thank God for his love and his faithfulness because the whole year in which has passed I have been at unease in having to return to Costa Rica to face the promises that are for me, but not being able to claim them yet. God’s timing is perfect and purposeful. In two days we’ll return to the place where our hearts are most delighted on earth, but we have our hope in God. He knows how to get us there. His ways are greater, and there is much to learn along the way.

Please pray for my family that we may have safe travels and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness, to those who need to hear the word of God from us while we’re in Costa Rica.

I hope to keep up with my blog while we’re there! I know that I’ll have lots more to share. I hope that you may also be able to rest in the portion of grace that God has given to you today. Lets together keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2)! ❤

“Portion”: Psalm 16:5, 73:26, 119:57; Isaiah 53:12, 61:7; Jeremiah 10:16; Lamentations 3:24; Matthew 24:51; Luke 12:42, 15:12.

“Grace”: Genesis 6:8; Psalm 45:2, 84:11; Zechariah 12:10; Luke 2:40; John 1:17; Acts 4:33; Romans 5:17, 11:6; 2 Corinthians 12:9, 13:14, 8:9; Galatians 5:4; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8, 4:7, 6:24; Hebrews 12:28; James 4:6; 2 Peter 3:18.

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

The Best Single Day of My Life

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Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash.

This morning I wanted to try something different. Instead of thinking too far ahead in my future, and about what didn’t happen yesterday, I asked Father God for one request: “Make today the best single day of my life, in Jesus’ name.”

So I went about my business, praising the Lord as I got myself ready to run errands with my dad. I’m not going to lie to you when I say that too many times before I’ve taken for granted my dad’s company; but I am so blessed to have my dad around especially when so many people at his age are unhealthy. He’s a vigorous and seasoned man of sixty two years, who can keep up with and even surpass people half his age. I thank God for my dad’s endurance and strength as we ran around all over town to get stuff done in preparation for our return trip to Costa Rica that’s in less than two weeks.

Where I used to take for granted the long winded conversations of my chatty father, today I chose to listen with intent. I learned something new about him as we bonded in the presence of God at the laundromat, in Subway, in the car on our way to the bank, the post office, the grocery store and back home. That time was precious because we laughed, and we even cried as he shared a new portion of his testimony with me that I didn’t already know.

There was another part of my day that really left an impression on my heart. When we were coming out of the dollar store, we saw an African American woman sitting on one of the pillars that held up the roof to the plaza’s breezeway. The woman seemed as if she lived on the streets; her clothes were dirty and torn, and her face looked sad and preoccupied. When my dad and I exited the store and we saw her there, I gave her the biggest smile that bubbled up from the abundance of my heart. To my pleasant surprise, this woman smiled back! Her eyes brightened up, and as if automatically, the corners of her mouth raised to the apples of her cheeks! Like the parting of an elegant grand curtain that revealed the most beautiful, genuine smile that I’d ever seen. It didn’t matter that she had a few teeth missing, that her face was dirty, or that she didn’t have anything to offer me. It was that smile I received in return, that ignited hope and love within me.

Now that I’m back home, sitting on the comfort of my bed, under the roof that God provides for our family, I remember the prayer to my Heavenly Father this morning. I think about the tears that my dad and I shed together after we parted from the woman, and to think that I’d probably never see her again… It was a moment where God filled us both with the joy of His desires, as He reminded my dad from where Jesus delivered him. He too was on the streets at one time; a slave to sin, drugs and poverty. My heart was filled all the more with compassion for the poor and with the desire to step outside of my comfort zone, to give and share the love of Jesus with the people who can’t give me anything in return.

I thank God for this day, for the blessings of His grace and the mercies of His love. It’s beautiful how He took His time to show us that love is as simple as a smile, and as generous as the blood of Jesus that was liberally poured out for all at the cross. And who knows how God can turn around that woman’s life, just like he did for my daddy’s! Anything is possible with God! So I pray that wherever the road of life may take her, that at least for tonight she may have a hot meal, and a safe place to sleep.

With all that being said, I had such a wonderful day. Thank you Jesus for the best single day of my life!