Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Redeemed

The fight for purity isn’t a once-in-a-life-time step but a day-by-day walk. And as I struggle some days more than others, I’ve been facing the memories of past mistakes, my own weaknesses and present failures and my desperation when I feel these sins have control over me. But there is a song that’ve been following me these past weeks, which reached out to me deeply with the truth it carries, and I want to share it with you, that it might bless you and encourage you too in your journey. I added my own thoughts in brackets. The song is called Redeemed, by Big Daddy Weave.

Seems like all I could see was the struggle [the present sexual temptation]
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past [the past sexual experiences]
Bound up in shackles of all my failures [the boys I met, the failed relationships]
Wondering how long is this gonna last [I can’t get over my feeling of defeat]
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me [You really spoke to me]
“Son, stop fighting a fight that's already been won” [I set you free from sin!]
(Chorus)
I am redeemed [You forgave me]
You set me free [You paid the price of my sin]
So I'll shake off theses heavy chains [I don’t have to leave like I’m bound to sin]

Wipe away every stain [You don’t remember my sins no more]
Now I'm not who I used to be [A sinner who couldn’t chose not to sin]
I am redeemed [You forgave me]
I am redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy [this made me seek value and acceptance in others]
Named by the voice of my shame and regret [so I fail in impurity and felt so shameful]
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head” [You reached out to me]
I remember oh God, You're not done with me yet [and reminded me I’m not perfect, but you’re making me more like you each day]

I don't have to be the old man inside of me [I can live as a free person]
'Cause his day is long dead and gone [I’m not bound to sin anymore]
Because I've got a new name [I’m a new creature]
A new life I'm not the same [I have all I need in You]
And a hope that will carry me home [That you will finish your work]

This song reminds me that the main reason I fall and fail is that I believe in my imperfection, unworthiness, incapacity and inability to do right, but I forget to believe that I’m not by myself anymore - God loved me so much that He sent Jesus to forgive me, to pay the price of my sin, and Jesus Christ redeemed me, made me whole, brought me to life, broke my slavery to sin, and now I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me, guiding me and convincing me.

Every time I struggle now I bring my thoughts to WHO I AM IN CHRIST - loved, forgiven, cleaned, restored, sanctified, justified - REDEEMED!
I want to tell you, brothers and sisters, that the Enemy’s biggest weapon is deception! He wants you to feel that you need more than you already have, be more than you already are. Ephesians 1 says:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (1:3-7)

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession —to the praise of his glory. (1:11-14)

So hold on to what God says you are, and when temptation come, shout: I’m gonna live for the praise of God, who gave me every spiritual blessing I need in Christ.
And whenever Satan come to say you’re unworthy, incapable of changing, to remind you of your past mistakes, you shout: I am REDEEMED! I’m chosen, predestined, included in Christ, I’m sealed with the Holy Spirit - I’m God’s possession and you better back away, Satan, because I won’t fall for your deceiving words. I’ll believe in what God says to me. I’m His, I’m redeemed.

Your Sister

The Wait

I waited.
18 years for my first kiss.
I held it because I wanted it to be special.
Then I met a guy that I thought was nice.
I liked him, he liked me, we were both christians.
We got to know each other during the months I worked at his church.
My last day serving there he kissed me.
I thought we were going to date.

I met his sister. She told me he had lied to me about a lot of things from his life. I cried.

I waited.
19 years till my first boyfriend.
I held it because I wanted it to be special.
Then I met a guy that I thought was nice.
I liked him, he liked me, we were both christians.
We got to know each other during the year I studied at his school.
3 months later we started dating.
He pushed over and over for intimacy and I gave in. We did lots of sexual things, but sex.
I thought he was going to propose to me.

I talked to my friend. She told me he had lied to me about being faithful. I cried.

I waited.
23 years for my first time.
I held it because I wanted it to be special.
Then I met a guy that I thought was nice.
I liked him, he liked me, we were both christians.
We got to know each other during the years we were friends.
The last month before moving abroad he pushed me to have sex with him. I fell in.
I thought we were going to marry.

I met his real self. I knew I wasn't more than a night for him, just a girl that passed through his life. I cried.

I waited.
25 years for my Real Prince.
I held it because I wanted it to be special.
Then I met a Man that I was really nice.
We got to know each other during the past decades.
He loved me so I could love him.
He gave me His life so I would be his.
My life since then has been amazing.
I know we are going to be together forever.

I met his Father. He told me I'm special for Him. That I am His Daughter too. That I am loved, cherished and pure. He said I can trust His Son. His Son did all he needed to do so I could be saved. He touched me. I smiled.

-- --

A.U.M. asked me to tell my story. I've been sending a couple of posts to help man and woman to trust God. If it wasn't for Jesus Christ who saved me and made me whole again, it would end up being just one more story.
I want to encourage y'all, man and woman, to wait on God.

The problem is not to kiss, to date or to have sex. The problem is to put yourself and your desires above Him. To decide YOU CAN CHOOSE your life. That YOU CAN RESIST devil without Him. That YOU DON'T NEED TO RUN. But that is not the truth from the Bible.

The Bible says SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33)
The Bible says we can DO NOTHING without Jesus. (John 15:5)
The Bible says RUN from temptation. (I Corinthians 6.18)
The Bible says "every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us." (II Timothy 3:16 - The Message).

So seek first the kingdom of God; lean on Jesus to obey His teachings; run whenever you face temptation and STUDY THE BIBLE consistently to know the truth, to face your sin, to correct your mistake and be trained to live God's way.

This way, you will be put together and shaped up for the tasks He has for you.

Your Sister.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Blessings in the storm

It was just another night. Liza dropped her book bag on the floor and got a cup of water from the fridge. Humid, hot, still night. No wind at all. "Why does this place has to be so lame?", she thought.  Having no explanation for her apartment being the only one in the area that didn't have air conditioner, she grumbled and reproached herself for not getting one before Summer hit.
She went around the apartment opening the windows to see if some breeze would come her way and maybe cool her off a little… It wasn't enough that her boyfriend couldn't give her a ride home tonight, she had to walk all the way up with her sandal strap broken.
Then she caught herself complaining and remembered to thank God for the things she had: a roof over her head, sandals on her feet and clean cold water for a shower when she got home.
So different from the kids she had just saw on that promo video from the mission trip to Afrika. "What was the name of the country?? Mmmm." She would have to ask the Campus leader next Bible study.
And maybe if she scrapped some of her savings, sent out a couple sponsoring letters and asked her parents for a little help, she would be able to finish her semester without debts and go to the mission trip with her boyfriend and college friends.
She always thought it a privilege to attend a christian college. It wasn't big, but she had the opportunity to get to know people, to serve together as a body and to witness God's doing in her friends' daily life.
With those thoughts she headed to her room. As she undressed for a shower, she heard a noise in the living room.  Her townhouse apartment had one of those rooms that could barely fit a couch and a TV, and with her desk and computer by the window, it looked crowded.
She wrapped herself in a towel and walked to see if something had fell. Looking around and finding nothing amiss, she went back just to be surprised with a calloused hand over her face and a stinging cold on her back.
"Who is here? What is… Oh my God, help me!" was all she could think before the unthinkable took place. As she cried, fought and desperately pleaded for help, her body was pierced and broken by someone who's thought was to obtain self pleasure from inflicting pain. That man with no face would become the one she would have to face for ever in her nightmares.
She had never dreamed such thing would happen to her. As she struggled to get free from his hands, realizing it was impossible, with her heart torn into pieces she asked God to alleviate her pain. The world went blank.

Waking up was the hardest thing she'd ever done in her life. The pain that stretched through her body was excruciating. She had no clue what time it was, but by the light coming through the window it had to be morning. Afraid he was still around, she barely moved till no sounds proved she was alone. What would she do? Who could she call? The police wouldn't be able to find him and she couldn't help identify him, since the darkness of the night and the mask over his face made it impossible for her to recognize him. Still, she should go there, right?
Dread of her friends reaction if she called one of them and unable to look down at herself, she dragged her body to her bag by the door and searched till find her cellphone.
She dialed 911 and as the woman on the other side asked her what happened, she couldn't get herself to utter a single word about the night before. Exhausted of thinking and crying she heard someone asking for help without even realizing it was her own voice before slipping into a peaceful place of nothing.

The cops found her laying on the floor, towel awkwardly covering half her bloody body. Following the  trail left by it they discovered marks on the floor, couch and wall that spoken of a lost fight. Gently taking her to the ambulance, dragging her bag alongside, they had a fraction of minute to pity the girl before tackling the job, that by the look of it, wouldn't render much.

Liza awoke to the frenzied noise of the hospital. Her room door was ajar and there was people coming in and out. She recognized a cop and a nurse by their outfits, but had no clue of what was going on. The doctor, so it seems like, was asking her questions, but her mind kept drifting off to sleep. Every time she woke up those people were there, till in one of them, there was only a woman by her side.

The woman asked if she wanted water. She hadn't realized her thirsty till that moment and nodded accepting it. After bringing a cup with a straw for her, the woman remained at her side without saying a word. It seemed like hours and looking by the window, she knew it had to be, 'cause it was dark outside. Without looking in her eyes, she finally found voice to ask: _ "What happened to me? What am I doing here?"
The woman answered: _"I'm Winona and I work here at the hospital. I wish we had met under better circumstances, but I hope you will forgive my presence. I would like to know what you remember from last night, if you want to talk about it."
She haven't thought about the night before. Her pain was so unbearable she couldn't think of anything besides breathing in and out slowly as she had overheard the nurse say to another patient.
The memories came scrambled and as thought it had happened in another life. She remembered everything step by step till the moment she found herself in the man's hands. Then all her memories faded away life she wasn't there at all. But her body told her something happened. Her pain was so hard you could touch it and fear was like a companion that never left her side.
Suddenly tears fell like a waterfall as she tried looking at Winona. That was the moment Liza realize life would never be the same again while knowing it would take a long time for her to feel something again. All she wanted was to become numb forever - that life would just leave her in her next sleep, that she wouldn't have to go with it, that she wouldn't have to face… OMG how would she face people?
Having tears as her best friend she nursed herself away.

Her first thought the next day was Winona. For some reason that woman brought her comfort. But that was not the face she saw when she opened her eyes. Her boyfriend Ron and her best friend Tori were there as well as Judy, her dorm counselor. Why the nurses had let them in? Struggling to hold herself together she tried to look at people without having a clue about what to say.
Tori asked how she was, then realizing how rhetorical is was, she apologize and said she was sorry. But she was sorry for her friend also, cause were places reverted, she wouldn't know what to say either.
Her boyfriend seemed afraid to touch her… and she wasn't even sure she wanted him to, but extended her hand to him like an assurance. She barely felt the tip of his fingers on her hand. Was he afraid of hurting her or disgusted at her? She took her hand back in a jolt and Ron withdrew his hand on that moment. It was the moment she thought about losing him… and without any strength to go further, she asked for Winona.
After everybody left the room, with her Judy promising to come back pick her up whenever she was ready, Winona came in and asked if she needed something. _ "Would you mind keeping me company?"
Winona seemed to be the only person she could deal with at that moment. Then Winona decided it was the moment to face the doctor and nurse, since they would let her go by the end of the day. She'd been there for a whole day already and since people had come for her she was able to go home accompanied.
The doctor came and asked her a couple questions she couldn't answer - she didn't know the answer. Those were the same questions she heard an hour later when the cops showed up. All she knew was the guy was fast, taller than her and bulky like a quarterback, and she remember looking at her kitchen clock at 9:15pm. They would have to work with that.
The nurse told her they had given her morning-after pill, but didn't know how accurately it would work since she had been found well after the first twelve hours and that, in case something had happened, she could come back to do a "cleaning procedure", to make sure no remaining of the man would stay with her.
As she listened, two things came to her mind: first, she hadn't thought of the possibility of a baby! And now they were talking about abortion as the baby that she might be carrying was just tissue. Second, NOTHING absolutely nothing would be able to clean her from that man. She knew he would always have a piece of her time, pain and fear attached to him. So he would always be a piece of her - if only in her memories. Feeling her anger and pain, the doctor and nurse left the room with no more words and she asked Winona what would she do.
Winona told her she had some options: she could call her family and ask them to come or she could call a friend. Liza already knew her apartment wasn't an option and felt better for Winona not suggesting it. She didn't thing possible for her to call her parents under such circumstances - she couldn't face her mom and dad's faces of pity and who knows what else. She barely could face her boyfriend and best friend the past day and she knew it would come sooner than later.
Trying to not postpone it longer, she asked if her best friend would let her crash at her condo. Tori seemed worried about her enough to let her stay and having a second bedroom in her place, it would give Liza privacy as much as company. Also, the fact she lived in a closed complex with around-the-clock security provided Liza some of the safety she thought needed.

At 6pm sharp, Tori showed up with a bag of clothes that Liza was sure she had taken from her apartment and a sad smile as to say "I'm glad you are coming but I hate the reason". As Tori drove her away from the hospital, all Liza could do was look out of the window. And when she entered her friend's house, she remembered she didn't even ask Winona why she was there every time she needed, and how could she reach her. When she looked backed, Winona had left. Her friend asked her what happened and when she whispered "Winona", her friend handed her a paper with a name and a phone number. Winona had thought ahead. God bless her soul.

The next days Winona would prove how much a blessing from God she was and how deep God's love for Liza went. She didn't know how much she would need this remind and how much she would hate it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Letter to all girls out there.


This is a message for all the girls and woman out there. I keep reading these post of women online asking for advice on "what to do now I found the boy/man of my dreams". Then I read on and I see a couple of situations. It always goes like that:
* he is not a christian and I am (or he doesn't share my beliefs)
* he is a christian, but he just have been away from God for a while
* he likes me, but he hurts me
* he likes another girl
* he likes me, but he is with another girl
* he doesn't like me
* he can't abstain

And then comes the questions:
* what should I do?

I don't want to sound condemnatory, but let me give some free advice: "Man who are man act like man when it's time to be a man." If your "male friend" fits any of those descriptions (and so many more I can't write all down) YOU MUST STAY AWAY!
When a guy acts like that it shows he doesn't love GOD enough or at all, and your prayer for him has what we call "conflicting parties interest". To really pray for him to change when you're so "in love" with him is the hardest thing ever! [I talk out of experience] Because you want him. You like him. You want him to be-saved-seek-God-commit-fall-in-love-with-you-be-prince-charming-and-save-the-day.

MY ADVICE IS: seek God. Pray that you will be drawn closer to God. Dig in the Bible for passages about WHO YOU ARE in Christ. What does God thinks about you? What did He make you to be? What did he changed on you on the Cross?
As you seek God and follow His will, you will be loving Him more and more likely to accept the plans He has for you.
And don't think I'm out of the boat. I'm 25, I had one boyfriend (who cheated on me and had a porn addiction), I've been single for more than 5 years and I've been seeing ALL my friends get married and have babies. I'm the single one in the group. The single who doesn't date. The single who is abstinent. I'm not living the happily-ever-after dream from a Disney movie.

But who says that's what I need? I have God, He is my happily-ever-after, because He will be there after forever! I have a date with Him everyday, and He always treat me like His beloved. 
I am His Bride! His Loved One! He calls me His. I'm in love with Him. I trust Him and He never betrays me.  I AM living my fairy tale, but this is TRUE, not Hollywood. 
And I'm not worried, right now, about "my male man". I've been worried, but I learnt to drop it in God's blessing hands. I have friends, I hang out in groups, I'm living and breathing. At home, in my alone times with My Loved One,  I pray for my husband. And I trust God that He will bring him to me - doesn't matter how long it takes! 
Because God doesn't fail. He is in control of everything. And if you think something is wrong, darling, is with you, not with Him. Because His timing is as perfect as His will. So learn to trust in Him. Depend on Him. Love Him. Love the people He put in your life.

And then, when a MAN, a Bible-lover-God-seeker man, finds you he will:
* respect you
* like only you
* value you
* seek to love you, as Jesus loves you and died for you
* be honest to you
* be purposeful about you
* guide you
* BRING YOU CLOSER TO GOD

Because His goal in life is too love God first. You will be second to him, always. And if God is being first in your life, your man will be second too, for you. That will be perfect!
Feelings pass, doesn't matter how strong. Infatuation goes away, doesn't matter how long it lasts. Love remains. Real love is set-apart, future-oriented, not-self-focused, respectful and sacrificial love. The perfect guy for you isn't perfect. He will commit mistakes, he might hurt you sometimes. But he will be always seeking God, and because of that he will make amends with you, ask for forgiveness, and change the wrong behavior.

So please, don't try to be a solution to any guy - you can't do nothing for him, to change him, to make him better, to make him fit your list. Prayer isn't DOING. Prayer is SURRENDER. It's to let go of things (of your guy) and let God take control.

I pray for you, beloveds, that you will learn to trust God and LET GO of those guys that are taking hold of you and ARE NOT who God wants for you! Here for you my Bible adaptation of Psalm 37:1-8:

"Do not fret because of those who aren't faithful or be envious of those who do wrong; for they will pass and go away, they will not remain strong on hard times. Trust in the LORD and do what is good; dwell in your singleness and enjoy the safety and provision He has for you now. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart of being loved and cared for [by Him or by Your man]. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward [your man or your blessed singleness or your service to the kingdom] shine like the dawn, your character and reputation like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways [marrying, having babies, messing up around], when they carry out their wicked schemes - their are not right before God, they are in need of Him! Refrain from anger about your singleness and turn from wrath; do not fret —it leads only to evil."

Love, Your Sister.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Unashamed Explanation of the God I Serve


He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the Keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the Universe and
The Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be...
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought Healing!
He was pierced and Eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought Freedom!
He was dead and brought Life!
He is risen and brings Power!
He reigns and brings Peace!

The world can't understand him,
The armies can't defeat Him,
The schools can't explain Him, and
The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him,
The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, and
The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him,
Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him, and
Donahue can't explain Him away!

He is Light, Love, Longevity, and Lord.
He is Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, Mighty, Powerful, and Pure.
His Ways are Right,
His Word is Eternal,
His Will is Unchanging, and
His mind is on me.

He is my Redeemer,
He is my Savior,
He is my Guide, and
He is my Peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my Comfort,
He is my Lord, and
He rules my Life!


I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light, and
His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the Wisdom of the wise,
The Power of the powerful,
The Ancient of days, the Ruler of rulers,
The Leader of leaders, the Overseer of the overcomers, and
The Sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.


And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.
His goal is a relationship with ME!


He will never leave me,
Never forsake me,
Never mislead me,
Never forget me,
Never overlook me, and
Ever cancel my appointment in His appointment book!


When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!


He is everything for everybody, everywhere,
Every time, and every way.
He is God, He is Faithful.
I am His, and He is Mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.


So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure, understand this...
He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side, and
That means all is well with my soul.


Unknown Author

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tightropes and a mini version of God

Jean Francois Gravelot, The Great Blondin, is a man known for his amazing experiences crossing on a tightrope over Niagara Falls successfully. Each time he crossed he would tried something new.
On June 30, 1859, he stood in front of more than 100.000 people while he did another attempt. This time, he asked if they believe he could cross it blindfolded. The crowd said "we believe". As they watched, Blondin did a round trip blindfolded. He then asked if they believe he could do it pushing a wheelbarrow. They said "we believe". Blondin again did a roundtrip without a mishap. For their delight, Blondin decided to do one more: "do you believe I can cross pushing a wheelbarrow with a man inside?". They shouted excited "we believe", "we believe". Then Blondin asked: "thank you for believing in me. Now who wants to get inside the wheelbarrow?"
Silence... not one person in the huge crowd volunteered.

I've been think about the topic of trust recently, and let me tell you, it isn't easy to trust someone. Even when this someone is God, the Creator of Heavens and Earth. We say we believe him, but do we?

We reduce His demands and choose the ones we want to follow, in our own way. "He will not be that mad with us, will He? I'm just a human".
We lower His standards, so we can live by them, and we say we're doing just fine. Of course "he will forgive us", or "I'm a great sinner, what can I do?"
We diminish His love and accommodate our fears into a god that is powerful, but is not coming out of his way to deliver us. "I won't try this, cause I can do that. God wouldn't give me some task I can't do by myself".
We decrease our expectations on Him, thinking He may fail us. "He has more important things to do".
We cut down His power and decide He doesn't need to heal our friend with cancer, to deliver our friend from a hard job situation, to provide us with more than what we need. And we say "if it is your will, Lord", even thou He said his will for us is one of overflowing blessings!

And as we did with computers, and phones, and music players and even clothes, we created a mini version of God, one that is easier to carry, to share, to live with.
I'm not saying that we don't believe He is capable, but most of the time, we don't act as we believe.

Oh that we would see Him clearly. Oh that our hearts would yearn for Him in His fulness. Oh that we would be less proud of our human condition, less stubborn about our plans and live more as empty pages for Him to write on.
But no. We want to simplify Him, to shrink Him to a size that fits our fears and expectations, that adapt our sinful nature and desires. We, then, believe this version - the one whose greatness and mightiness doesn't apply to us. 
How fool and dumb we are! We say we trust Him, but as the spectators of Blondin, we see him doing amazing things, but wouldn't surrender our lives to him, we believe, but we don't. We prefer to believe in a not-so-godly god, that looks like God, but exists only in our limited minds. 

Isn't God Elohim, the Creator of Heavens and Earth? El Roi, the Living One Who Sees Us?
Jehovah Shammah, the Omnipresent One? Jehovah Tsideknu, Our Righteouness? Jehovah Rohi, Our Shepherd? El-Elyon, King of Kings? Jehovah Maccaddeshem, the One Who Sanctifies Us? 
Jehovah Rapha, Our Healer? Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider? Abba, Our Father? Isn't He Immanuel, God with us?
God is a God of Wonders, a Father who Loves Us and whose desires for us are marvelous and outstanding. So I ask you again: do you believe God or do you believe your mini version of God?
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:7-11

After the lack of response from the crowd, Blondin's manager, Harry Colcord, climbed on his back, and then The Great Blondin made the journey to the other side safely. Why Calcord? Because he not only believed with his mind. He trusted Blondin with his heart - he had seeing him training, working out, getting ready. He had watched Blondin crossing the tightrope many times and he KNEW he was able to do it. So he not only said he believe, he acted.

Our God is a not a god who fits in a box. He doesn't do as we expect, He surpasses understanding. 
His ways are higher than ours and his thoughts exceed our thoughts. He is the One "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20).

Do you believe Him?

Your Sister


Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Living One Who Sees Me

As I'm preparing to teach tomorrow on Sunday School, I feel the Lord's hand working on my life in this very subject I decided to talk today.
Last year as I prepared to move back to my home country, the Lord came powerfully and moved things around me and told me clearly He didn't want me to go home. He called me to trust him. Let me tell you this is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.
I grew up always planning my future, looking ahead, having an idea of where I'm gonna be in the next 2-5 years. But since the Lord said "TRUST ME", I've been learning to put aside my plans and do it. I had lots of experiences with God in the past, but nothing prepared me for that.
How do you trust when you can't see a thing in front of you? As a Thomas kind of person, I felt very bad when, looking to what I thought is missing in my life, I blame God for not having it. And as I prepared the lesson for tomorrow, God caught my attention in a special way. Let me take you there.
When we are children, it’s easy to feel afraid when things around us don’t go as we expect. If a storm starts, if we get sick, if we move schools, every little thing can make us think we are alone. But God never let us alone, he is always seeing us and look with us with compassion. When we grow up, the situations are different, but it doesn't mean we feel different. We can still feel the same loneliness and abandon.
The lesson this Sunday is about Hagar's story, and her experience with God. Have you ever been in a situation where nobody was there to help you? Hagar thought she was alone and forgotten, but found out Someone was watching over her.
In Genesis 16 we read that Sarai, Abram's wife, decided to take things in her hands and accomplish God's promise of an heir to them through giving her servant Hagar as a wife to her husband. When Hagar got pregnant, she started despising her mistress. Sarai complained to Abram and he said she could do whatever pleased her to Hagar, he didn't care. So Sarai mistreated Hagar, and she fled from her.
The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert and asked her what she was doing there. She explained she had run from her mistress. Then He told her to go back to Sarai and make her a promise - her descendant would be too numerous to count. He told her son would be called Ishmael (God hears), for the LORD had heard of her misery. He also added that he (and his descendants) would be against everyone and everyone against him. The descendants of Ishmael are the arabs, and from here you can understand the conflict between Israel and Palestine and much more. But this is not our topic here. 
The question is Hagar was feeling lost and abandoned, neglected for her mistress, a pregnant woman in the desert. Sometimes we feel the same way - I do. Psalm 121.7 says: “The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life”. What do you think it means? Another verse says: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (Ps. 34.15) It means that God is seeing us all the time. Whatever our situation, God sees us, and He is there to help us. He knows what is hidden in the future, cause He planned it for us.
"TRUST ME" is the hardest thing for me because I want to do, I want to be, I want to know. But  I don't, and you don't, and nobody knows what future lies ahead.So we have to trust God even when things go hard (well, and when things go easy too).
When life becomes painful, we can find strength in what Hagar discovered. The Lord is “the Living One Who Sees Me.” When we understand that the Lord is aware of our pain and need, our strength will be renewed. God not only sees us, He sees the future. He promised Hagar a future for her unborn son Ishmael. We too have hope for tomorrow, whatever our pain is today. God is never caught on surprise. He is the One Who Sees.

“The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life”. Ps.121.9

Hope you find this assurance as I do tonight. 

Your Sister 


Friday, April 06, 2012

SECRET TO HAPPY MARRIAGE



“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” . (Psalm 25:14) 

"Years back, a total of 6,000 couples were asked the secret of their strong marriage, in a research that took about twenty-five years to complete. During this research conducted by marriage counselors, it was discovered that almost all these 6,000 couples have some things in common which happen to be the secret of their blissful home. If we too can put them into our marriages, it will turn it to heaven on earth.
They are: 

(1). COMMITMENT: Commitment is a state of being willing to give a lot of time, energy and resources to one's spouse. Commitment is being there for him/her when there's every reason not to. It also means to be committed to one's spouse to defend and protect. Successful couples are dedicated to promoting each other's welfare and happiness. They focused their home and are committed to their marriage vows. They made their marriages a top priority with respect to how they invest their time and energy on their homes. There's no marriage without its own challenges but commitment enables them to weather the storms. No marriage, no matter how good it seems can be successful without the commitment of the parties involved. Without commitment, marriage will be in danger. Marriage is not a Sprint, it is a marathon race, it needs stamina, courage and commitment to make it a success. (Eccl 9:10) 

(2). SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING: These happy couples are all children of God, devoted to God in all ways, make Bible their authority and totally submitted to its ordinance. They are men and women of prayer. They don't joke with prayer; prayer and fasting are their ways of life. They allow God in their homes and give Him the leadership role. Once the presence of God is missing in a marriage, devil will be at the driver's seat driving such homes into stormy water. These couples secured the presence of God and the peace of God with other heavenly benefits reign supreme in their homes (Galatians 5:22-26). 

(3). TIME TOGETHER: Togetherness is compulsory where marriage must be the best .Research indicates that couples that do things together tends to be more closer, understand each other and have a successful marriage than those that are not having time together. If your marriage must be strong, you must live together, talk, sleep, play, pray and eat together. Mind you, many things like hours spent at work, in watching T.V, talking to your friends, salon, visitation, newspaper, computer games are competing seriously with your time to the detriment of your marriage, if care is not taking. To make your marriage a success, make your spouse part of your daily schedules regardless of how busy you are. Your marriage is very vital; incorporate it in your daily routines lest you have the time for quarrel or divorce. Time is not negotiable in marriage; spend quality time together and in generous quality. Time spent together as a couple is not a waste; it is the best period in fanning love in your life. Investment of time is the best investment in your marriage. 

(4). POSITIVE COMMUNICATION: It takes a spark to set a house on fire. Careless spoken words can wreck the boat of any marriage. That is why H. Norman Wright in his book, Communication, the key to your marriage said “each person must be responsible for his own tongue- training programme. Controlling the tongue needs to be a continuing aim for every husband and wife because everything that is said either helps or hinders, heals or hurts, build up or tears down the home. Husbands or wives who enjoys strong fulfilling marriage relationship have good communication skills, spending much time saying positive words, sending positive messages and signals. Try as much as possible to avoid negative communication like “I hate you”, “I regret marrying you”, “you are a fool”, “you are an idiot” etc. But make use of positive communication like “I love you”, “you are beautiful”, “you are unique”, “I am fortunate to be your husband/wife” etc. Negative communication will bring frustration and sorrow into your home while positive communication will draw you closer to your spouse in love. So, train your tongue to utter positive words concerning your spouse. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord; so walk ye in Him”.(Colossians 2:6) 

(5). APPRECIATION: Strong marriage is the marriage of couples that appreciate each other, they builded other up psychologically giving sincere compliments and enhance each other's self-esteem. Appreciation means going out of your way to notice all the little things your partner does and letting him or her know you appreciate it. To be appreciative, you have to condition your mind towards it, focusing on the positive sides of your spouse rather than the negatives, pointing to the qualities of your spouse, showing genuine concern, laughing to his/her jokes, his/her stature, gifts, food and helping hand etc. These couples appreciate each other's contribution at home; they commend each other's look, dressing, gifts and qualities etc. Appreciation builds love and positive feelings towards each other (Proverbs 31:28). 

(6). FORGIVENESS: Forgiveness is a strong pillar of a successful marriage since we can not but offend each other. Couples that can not forgive each other can not build virile homes. Forgiveness reduces tension from homes, removes strain from marriage. It paves way for intimacy. So, make up your mind to forgive your spouse no matter what he/she do to you. Forgiveness helps to stop the cycle of evil and shut the devil completely out of the home. 

(7). TRUST: A good marriage is based on trust- It is a bond that binds a husband and wife together that make them to be indispensable to one another. Trust destroy negative thinking and break the back bone of suspicion. It strengthens the home and helps to build strong intimacy in marriage (Proverbs 31:11) 

(8). FAITHFULNESS: Faithfulness help to build trust. To be fruitful in marriage we have to be faithful. Lack of faithfulness will open the door to extra-marital affair, STDs, suspicion, erosion of love, external attack, fear and it destroys the strength of any marriage. 

(9). Love: Marriage without love is like a car without engine oil, it will soon knock down. Love makes a home strong and better. It is the corner-stone of any successful marriage. It strengthens the family and blossom the relationship. 

(10). ACCEPTANCE: No marriage can be successful if the parties involved do not accept each other. Lack of acceptance will lead to comparison, condemnation, complaint and rejection. If your wife is fat, she is not too fat, if she is slim; she is not too slim, accept your husband as God created him. Stop comparing him with anybody; do not expect your spouse to be like somebody else. Accept each other." 


Isn't that a marriage worth having? One you will not be ashamed to talk about? To live for?
 :) 
Your Sister

Excerpt from the series teaching of Pastor Benson Julius
Fire Charismatic Chapel - Abuja-Nigeria.
Found on: nigeriafilms.com

Friday, March 02, 2012

February is over


The year barely started, and February is already gone?

I've been asking God recently about time. Have you seen how time flies?

God teach us in Ephesians 5.15-21 what to do with out time: "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ". This passage contains 4 important orders that God has been teaching me through the past two months.

1. Look carefully how you walk
I always thought I was a good Christian - I'm a missionary, right? Aiming for the most amazing goal of preaching the Gospel! - that I was a good person and I was walking straight.
But I wasn't being careful in my walk, and had problems to face and solve. The Lord taught me that every person needs to be sure of what they are doing, why are they doing that and, as the verse says, if this is wise or not. I Peter 1 says if we need wisdom, we should ask God and don't be shaken by doubt. This was my first lesson of 2012.

2. Make the best use of the time
I work 45 hours per week, and in my free time I'm doing ministry - planning activities, preparing lessons, counseling and discipling teenagers (in person and online), producing teaching material, composing songs and so on. It's very easy to get caught in the activities I do for God's kingdom and forget about the King I talk about. God wants us to look to Him, get to know Him and make sure our priority is spend time with Him. Lesson #2 - focus my time in God.

3. Understand what the will of the Lord is
In Psalms 25:12 we find that the Lord guide us:  "Who, then, are those who fear the LORD? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose".
So God will show us His will, but to know it, we must learn about Him and fear Him. Since the Lord promised us wisdom and guidance if we fear Him and trust Him, we must engage in seek for Him. I've been asking the Lord about the plans for my future and proposed to myself a time of seeking and waiting for His answers - pray with a clear heart and He will listen!

4. Be filled with the Spirit
The Bible teach us that the Holy Spirit inhabit us with the purpose of guiding, teaching, showing what is wrong and revealing what is right. The fulfillment of our spirit with God's Spirit should be one of our pursues. Many people believe it belongs only to the spiritualized strong almost perfect Christians and it doesn't apply to them. The passage we read show us that this is an ORDER! If you're attentive to walk in wisdom, making the Lord your priority, seeking His will for your life, you're on the way to be fulfilled - you are getting to know God! The most we know about Him, the most we realize His presence on us. Here are ways that we can see to this happen in our lifes:

 - addressing one another with songs
 - singing and making melody to the Lord
 - giving thanks always and for everything
 - submitting to one another


Those acts of faith show us the work of the Holy Spirit in our lifes and guide us to a more fulfilling and deep relationship with the Lord. I've been learning about and seeking for God. I haven't done hugely visible things. But God is working tremenduously in my life and I encourage you to take those steps and get close to Him.
Yes, come and see for yourself that the Lord is GOOD! 


"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
     Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" 
                        Psalm 34.8


Your Sister

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Sex without Shame

        Don't be confused by the title. I really want to talk about sex without shame. This is possible, this is biblical, and I will do my best to be clear and honest.
        Hereby I decided to share a conversation I had with a friend about Sex. He, as a new christian, asked me my opinion about sex, and I wrote it to him. I deleted some personal information, but in general the contents are the same. Remember this is a conversation transformed in a post. Forgive me for any mistakes. 

So what do I think about sex??

        As a christian the Bible is my life guide. But the Bible is more than MY life guide. The Bible is humans instruction manual. How we work, how we were made, how to fix it, what is it purpose, what works well, what doesn't. Warnings, instructions, rules, best before: everything needed for a good understanding of man. But also, I'm a christian for many years and I believe every experience in our lives works to the purpose of teaching us about us and God and relationships. So my opinion is shaped along with my experience also. So I said:
The Bible says sex is a tie between a couple: it's the most deep kind of involvement a couple can have. It is not a physical expression only, but involves spiritual and emotional areas of our life. It means whoever isn't virgin brings all the ex-partners he/she slept with to the new relationship because when they had sex, they shared a part of themselves, causing a bond that generates emotional and spiritual connections that can affect the new relationship (even though they might claim their health is fine, because they used protection).
        Scientists from Cornell University proved that there are strong biochemical connections between a couple during the sexual encounter. In a research made to see the effects of having multiple sexual partners. There are two body chemicals called oxytocin and vasopressin (also called monogamy molecule) who are responsible for bonding the couple during the intercourse. Physician Dianne Vadney M.T.S. says:
        Sexual intercourse appears to be a threshold at which man and woman enter into a new relationship that is biochemically oriented toward staying together, geared toward their unity as a couple. (...) Chemicals released during intercourse, such as oxytocin and vasopressin, introduce a unique effect that promotes a series of pair-bonding behaviors. The primary exposure of the system to these chemicals seems to trigger a response that permanently alters body chemistry, and consequently behavior tendencies, making the individual (animal or human) more receptive toward his or her partner. Once the bonds are established, the disruption of these bonds causes great distress. (...) Such data seem to show that the biochemistry of the body associated with sexual union is optimally designed to be experienced within the context of an intimate and permanent relationship.
        These research was mentioned in The New View on Sex blog. You can also find more information at the Physicians for Life site here.
        As you can see, the scientists are proving what the Bible has said many years ago, when God says about Adam and Eve: "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh" (Gn. 2.24). One flesh. Isn't that powerful? So I concluded that:
Because it's such a deep tie between a couple, God reserves it to the marriage, where both can express their love fully and shameless, through sex.
        I continued my explanation saying that everybody sins, and every single man and woman will have struggles in the area of relationship. God made us sexual, and gave Adam and Eve the order to procreate, to became one flesh. We have all the things we need in our body, physically, emotionally, biochemically and, most important, spiritually, to delight in an amazing sexual life. But because of the consequences and bondages it brings, the perfect place for it is the commitment of marriage. That's why God not only CREATED sex, but He, the Creator, decided in his power and perfect knowledge, to also create a place and a way it could be enjoyed. 

Every time you share your body with someone, you're using it for something that not it wasn't made for. It's like using a potty for serving soup or using a Versace to clean the floor - it will work, but it's not what it was made for. And the action not only sounds unacceptable, but also dishonor the creation - the Versace or the soup - and in our case, our bodies and the SEX. 
        Man and woman struggle with sex for different reasons. Woman want a "best friend for life", they want to feel loved and cared for. They want to feel important to someone - it's more emotional and relational than physical. Man want to feel admired and respected, but also show their ability to seduce. They want to satisfy their pride. It seems that not only they have different views on the cause, but they will look for sex with different perspectives. What happen in the end is that two people, for different PERSONAL reason, go for sex with selfish reasons: to obtain from the other the satisfaction of their strong desires, many times called "needs".
         In the marriage, according to I Corinthians 7:2-6, the couple not only can express themselves freely, but they are expected to fully give themselves to their partners:
        2b Each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.
        Because sex was made to fulfill the other person needs, it should come out of an altruistic motivation. That's why the Bible tells the married couple to not denied their bodies to themselves, which means they should bless each other through it. But when sex happens out of marriage, it is egoistic, to fulfill our desires.
        The reason why I can't give myself to another man is because it belongs to my husband. Imagine that God created your body to belong to your husband/wife, it's like a personalized gift - your body is made specially for your spouse. God knows that whatever you have is to please your spouse in the best way. And the opposite is true: your spouse's body will fulfill completely your needs and desires in sex. That's God's plans - fulfillment. 
        Every time you share your body with someone, you're giving it to someone whom it doesn't belongs too. I call it STEALING! Can you imagine that every time a couple that is not married has sex they are stealing pleasure and fulfillment from their partners and from themselves?!

        That's the reason I decided to not do it, because I wanna give it fully to my husband, because it was made for him and belong to him. And doing this way, I honor God. This is the good thing about sex within the marriage, it that I will be able to express my love and fulfill my desires without shame or worries. I will have SEX WITHOUT SHAME, but giving GLORY and HONOR to God!

Now, fighting against it, holding your body till the wedding, ah, it's another story [and maybe another post :) ]! Just remember to ask the Creator to help you, as in the Versace-dress-how-to-preserve instructions, God knows how can you keep yourself pure until your wedding. It's through God, His strength, that you have power to flee, with the help of friends, which whom you can be accountable to and feel supported. And just one thing: if you already fail int this area of your life, be sure that GOD FORGIVES YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID IN THE PAST and He is always ready to love you, transform you and make you new.

Your Sister