Psalm 146:2 "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reflections From the Month of September 2010

Hi Everyone,

This month has been yet another amazing month of growth in my walk with the Lord and in life. In spite of several challenges, I have learned much. I never cease to be amazed at the greatness of our God and His perfect timing of things!

So much more happens in my life than I can manage to blog about, but I enjoy sharing the "tip of the iceberg" with you.

To My Readers in my home country and around the world, I pray you are blessed and encouraged in some small way.

Keep living for JESUS---No matter what it costs--and stay firm in the faith!

Spoken For.......

Hi Everyone,

There is a song by a group called Mercyme called, "Spoken For." Before I was saved, I longed to know what it was like to KNOW that I belonged to God and was His child. I wondered what it would be like to have that kind of assurance. Now, after so many years of struggle, I TRULY KNOW. I KNOW the joy of the Father saying, in a sense, "This one IS Mine--FOREVER!" And I am awed and humbled that the God of the universe would have chosen me before the creation of the world.

Here are the words to the song, if any one is interested

Spoken For
By Mercyme

Take this world from me
I don't need it anymore
I am finally free
My heart is spoken for

Oh and I praise you
Oh and I worship you...

Covered by your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear you say "This one's mine"
My heart is spoken for

Now I have a peace
I've never known before
I find myself complete
My heart is spoken for

Oh and I praise you
Oh and I worship you...

Covered by your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear you say "This one's mine"
My heart is spoken for

By the power of the cross
You've taken what was lost
And made it fully yours
And I have been redeemed
By you that spoke to me
Now I am spoken for

Covered by your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear you say "This one's mine"
My heart is spoken for

Take this world from me
Don't need it anymore...

What a joy it is to be HIS for all eternity...and KNOW IT!

Non-Verbal Communication......More Appropriate.

Hi Everyone,

So a few days ago, I wrote about a time when I was rude in a non-verbal communication incident.

TODAY in my circle of out in the world influence, I ran into the same person, in the same context----and made sure I didn't make the same mistake.

It was really cool to have that opportunity. I praise the Lord for it.

And then the Lord gave me an opportunity to minister to a lady that is unemployed and going through a hard divorce--hopefully I was able to encourage her. I told her I would be praying for her and thinking of her.

Amazing the people God brings across your path!

Well, I am off to take appointments at the Christian free medical clinic, so I need to go for now, but will write more later

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Hi Everyone,

Obviously I have blogged a lot today (there are three other posts behind this one for the day----thankfully--shorter for those of you that maybe don't prefer reading as much)

But I was just thinking tonight about how so often during the day I am thinking about Jesus, in the midst of "every day living'--and not thinking so much about other stuff.

Amazing to be in love with Him---and EVERYTHING comes back to HIM! Life is quite enjoyable!

Sharing the Gospel--Gently and Firmly

Hi Everyone,

The more I am out sharing my faith and my testimony with others as God gives opportunity throughout the city, the more I am convinced that WE MYST share the gospel with gentleness and respect and yet NOT water it down, and yet share the gospel with firmness0sharing what the penalty for not giving Jesus our trust really is--separation from God for all eternity-in hell.

I am going out on an errand early tomorrow morning, Lord wiling, and am praying for an opportunity to share about Jesus and What He has done in my life.

Holiness----Being Intentional and Vigilant

Hi Everyone,

Right now, in the women's Bible Study at my sending church, we are studying Nancy Leigh DeMoss's "Holiness."

One thing that she mentioned in her book, Holiness, is that we should be "intentional and vigilant about holiness."

For the believer, who has been saved from the power of sin, living a life of continual sin, is not the option that God desires.

Romans 6:1-4 "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

Someone once said that "God is much more interested in our holiness than He is in our personal comfort." How true!

I agree with Nancy. We must be vigilant, not "excusing our flesh" or "rationalizing away" our sin. we must continue to say what God says about it, and be vigilant to our hearts and what is taking place in out attitudes, actions, thoughts, motives, etc that is proceeding from our hearts and not pleasing to the Lord and is sin. We must also be intentional, seeking to live a life that pleases the Lord, living according to the NEW LIFE that He has called us to!....intentionally choosing to live in obedience----continually saying no to sin and Yes to Jesus Christ..out of our love and gratitude to Him!

Am I intentional and Vigilant about walking in obedience and Holiness with Jesus today? (Not out of legalism, but rather out of my love for Him)

The Death Of The Son....

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday at Women's Bible Study, one of my friends was talking about appreciating the death of Christ and why "rejecting it and many people still wanting to get to heaven WITHOUT Jesus" doesn't work.

My friend gave an analogy.....I might be changing it slightly

Imagine that someone has serious health issue..and they are dying. And your son, if it were possible, took the disease on that person's behalf and dies, while the person with the disease originally lives. But then imagine that everyone in the world from the time of his death, without reason or cause, acts as if he was a horrible person and gives no thanks, gratitude, or kindness towards remembering what he did, including the person he took the disease from. How would you feel???

You would probably be quite upset, thinking, "Why are people treating my son this way, when what he did was kind and sacrificial?"

Well in a tiny way, it's what Jesus did for us, but His sacrifice was for our sin and He took our punishment upon Himself because He loved us.

So when people, maybe sometimes not totally quite realizing it, because they are deceived, or maybe realizing what they are doing, treat Jesus with disrespect saying that there are "other ways to God" (WHICH THERE ARE NOT EXCEPT FOR CHRIST ALONE), or that "everyone will end up in heaven regardless" (NOT TRUE AGAIN), think abouyt what God feels!

People get mad that there "aren't more ways to God." But in reality, they aren't looking at it accurately----AT LEAST THERE IS ONE WAY---AND ONE WAY ONLY---through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on our behalf on the cross, and through His resurrection proving that He is who He said He is---the One and only Son of the One and ONLY LIVING GOD!!! God, in His holiness, cannot just "forget about" our sin.

If there was "another way to be saved," Jesus Christ's death on the cross would have been TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY IN VAIN AND FOR NO PURPOSE!

Creating "our own relative truth" doesn't cut it---EVER!!!

And the TRUTH is that God has already done EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to make the way open to us----if people choose to reject that--there is nothing more God can do to "make it more possible for them" to inherit salvation.

He already did it--a completed finished work--ONCE and FOR ALL!!!

I never know who reads this website--I don't totally ever want to know how God is using it, because in my human flesh, I know pride could become an issue and I DON'T ever want that! At the same time, I am thankful that He is using it, and I since I never know who is reading it, I am attempting to encourage the body of Believers in the faith, but at the same time, have posts that may possibly touch the hearts of those that "happen" to stumble across it in their internet browsing, and that may not yet know Jesus as Savior, and be drawn to consider where they truly stand with Him.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Deceit ---Why God Detests It So Much

Hi Everyone,

Before God saved me and transformed my life by drawing me to place my trust in Him for salvation, I lived a very deceitful life. It isn't something that I am proud of.

But today, at our Women's Bible Study at church, I guess we were talking and the topic came up about how god hates deceitfulness, and I can't remember why I gave the answer, like if it was a question asked, or just my personal thought now.

So my thought was basically that God obviously despises all of our sin and ALL of it offends Him. But the reason why there are so many verses about God detesting lying lips and deceitfulness is because HE HIMSELF IS THE TRUTH----AND THERE IS NOT EVEN A HINT OF DISHONESTY AND DECEITFULNESS IN HIM------AND absolutely everything that He has said is the TRUTH.

Here are a few verses off the top of my head.

Proverbs 12:17,19-20,22,28 "A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace. The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality."

There is QUITE A CONTRAST between those that live in deceit and those that live lives of honesty according to God's truth..because as I said--He IS the Truth! Truthful lips endure forever----cool!

When I am reminded of What God has saved me from, IT NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME WITH GRATITUDE.....WOW!!!

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

The Responses I Get

Hi Everyone,

1 Peter 1:14-16 "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

I've received some comments in conversation or e-mail (not on the blog) but related to my blogs about "our speech." (Click the "our speech" link below this post for previous posts on the topic, if you aren't sure what I am talking about.) I am not trying to be legalistic or "play the Holy Spirit's role" in any way in anyone's life by saying this.

But just as a general observation, I've noticed that many of my generation and "younger" generations have commented to me that "it isn't a big deal regarding our speech," or "that there isn't anything wrong with euphemistic usage."

Meanwhile, many others who are older say things like, "This is exactly what our society and world need to hear!"

And there are many regardless of age that are somewhere in between on this issue.

I am NOT saying that age is an issue or the main factor. Really whatever we say is a reflection of what is in our hearts, and as I have said so many times--I have not arrived or bridled my speech perfectly in ANY means.

But I think that the younger generations, including my own, have heard so much filthy words on TV, out in life, etc that maybe somewhat we are becoming desensitized to things that our world "accepts" but that dishonor God.

Obviously it is between each individual and the Lord.....but we ALL meed to search our hearts.

And the Lord has A LOT of work to do in my life regarding this issue yet.

Take My Life And Let It Be......

Hi Everyone,

I am honestly not sure if I posted this hymn yet---but even if I did it is a good one! Think about the words.....and say them as an offering and prayer of surrender to God...if you really truly mean it.....that is.

Take My Life And Let It Be!

Words by: Frances Havergal, 1874.

Music by: Louis Hérold, 1839.

1. Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
*Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

2. Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

3. Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

4. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

5. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Entering Into His Rest

Hi Everyone,

I've been thinking lately about the concept of entering into God's rest. Here are a few verses about the topic.

Mathew 11:25-29 "At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Hebrews 3:1-chapter 4:11 "Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

So, as the Holy Spirit says:
"Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,
where your fathers tested and tried me
and for forty years saw what I did.
That is why I was angry with that generation,
and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.'
So I declared on oath in my anger,
'They shall never enter my rest.' "

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."

Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger,'They shall never enter my rest.' " And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest."

It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
"Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts." For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience."

There is a reality of resting in Christ--a rest that we have once we have placed our trust in Him. Jesus Christ came and fulfilled what Moses was unable to do. There is a rest--the searching and turmoil from a spiritual standpoint is over--He (Jesus) took the burden of our guilt, sin, and shame upon Himself----and we rest in Him--trusting that He did what He said He did.

But this rest is not a cease from our service to Christ out of gratitude to Him for the rest of our lives. In reality, we are working harder than we ever have before---but not for ourselves--for Christ--and Jesus Christ alone---and in HIS strength--not our own! The AMAZING thing is that HE IS ALSO WORKING THROUGH US!! Everything is done because we want to truly obey Him being used as He sees fit so that we are effectively used for the furtherance of His Kingdom while we are here on earth--it's part of many reasons of why we don't just "all go to heaven" at the moment of salvation.

In Jesus There is REST FOR THE SOUL!!!

What is it that disqualifies someone from this entering this rest today? Unbelief--or better said--not placing their complete trust in the person of Jesus Christ--and His death on their behalf.

Those that have "entered His rest" are indeed blessed....beyond measure. Blessed is the man whose sins the Lord does not count against him.


My Non-Verbal Communication.........

Hi Everyone,

God continues to challenge me with this communication stuff. Actually today I did a boo-boo and someone in the outer world circle told me so. I don't want even the slightest thing affecting my testimony. Of course I apologized to the person, and was talking to God about it all.

And then God did something amazing. I ended up having an opportunity to minister to a guy that had had recently come back from the military and was really struggling....he was like "I've never had anyone be able to understand what I've gone through by what has been said." Well, I've never gone to war, but i have heard many stories from those who have, and gone through my own "stuff" which doesn't compare to that, but hasn't always been pretty either.

It never ceases to amaze me--the people that God brings across my path. It amazes me that as God has been healing my life, He has given me an opportunity to relate to others in their struggles, and apply principles that I have learned in this whole process, asking the Spirit of God to use me to help them in what they need in that moment. I am amazed every time--how that happens! To God be the glory!

I got the share my testimony with someone else today and point them to Jesus today too!

So please keep praying for me in this whole communication thing!--that my testimony for Christ would not be affected when I blow it---and that I would unlearn the things that get perceived as "rude" when that is NOT my intention.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fit Into Our Culture Without Even Thinking?

Hi Everyone,

Do I fit into my culture or the World without even thinking?

To be honest, none of us are exempt! We ALL have ways that we fit in that God probably would not agree with.

But hopefully we are being changed to be a little more like Jesus Christ every day that we live!

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

We MUST remember where our citizenship is--and LIVE accordingly--all of us--myself included!

Philippians 3:19-21 "Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN AS BELIEVERS---and we must not forget!!!! Let's keep living for Jesus!

The Worst Pain Is The Stuff we Can't Fix.......

Hi Everyone,

Have you ever noticed that the most painful things in life from an emotional standpoint are the things we can't fix ourselves? We go through our "mental bank of problem solving solutions" and discover we can't fix it, or make it right, or give it the solution we want to.

And no one else can either---and we'd rather have them simply listen, than try to "fix" what is impossible to be fixed-----by them or us.

It is simply out of our control!

And that is when we have to run to God--the only One that really has the power to do anything about our situation.

And find refuge in Him as Psalm 63:7-8 says "Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me."

And we rest in Him and as Psalm 62:5-8 says, We trust in Him at ALL times, and pour our our hearts (the depths of our soul) to Him, because He is our refuge. We trust Him at all times, and come to the place where we are eventually able to say, "Yes, Lord, I will still love you and serve You with my whole heart for the rest of my life--EVEN IF you NEVER fix my situation according to how I would like it to be...BECAUSE YOU are God and You are still worthy--regardless---and You will only do what is best for me--in Your love and Your goodness and faithfulness towards me."

Our Father KNOWS what is best even when it hurts--and even when we can't "FIX" the pain we are in!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Abide In Christ

Hi Everyone,

I want to say so many things about this topic. It will probably come up in a future post. Tonight I don't have the full amount of time that I would like to have to be able to write, but I'll get started and finish later some other day, Lord willing!

Before I get started though, let me just say that I had a blast today at out city's Tour De Hope of Evangelical Ministries. I got a chance to learn from a few others and share my testimony of God's grace to some people I had never shared it with before! It was FUN!!!

John 15:4-5 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

The NIV translates this word as "remain" other translations say,"abide" (I don't really have the chance to do the exhaustive search tonight, but I am thinking about the concept of "remaining" or "abiding." I think (off the top of my head) that part of abiding has to do with obedience-if we aren't obeying Christ, we aren't going to be abiding very well. Part of abiding also might have something to do with maintaining a close intimate relationship with Him, and another part of abiding has to do with remaining steadfastly fixed and focused upon Him.

I think abiding encompasses all of these aspects--and the result of abiding and remaining in Him is that we will bear much fruit--fruit that lasts, does not spoil or fade, and fruit for His glory! (Obviously the fruit is a spiritual sense and not a literal sense of actual "fruit.")

I am not sure if it is a command or not to "abide in Him," but either way, whether it is or isn't, if we choose not to stay close, obey, and abide in Him, we will suffer the consequences of that choice in our lives...and must make a daily effort out of our love for Him to abide in Him.

I have so much more to say, but need to go for the evening. Blessings to you all!

Enjoying the Chapters Of Life

Hi Everyone,

As I woke up this morning, a thought came to my head when for a brief moment I was tempted to worry about something.

We must seek to enjoy the chapters and seasons of life that God gives us, overflowing with hearts of gratitude for each one, being grateful for the hard things that transform us to be more like JESUS--if we allow them to!

I plan on enjoying this day and the moments in it. This day will be a busy one as I am helping with the Tour De Hope that several downtown Christian Evangelical Outreach to the Community ministries in my area are having, But I am looking forward to it--and will hopefully write later on today or toward the end of the day.

On a side note----I am having some computer issues so that may affect when I post things.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sometimes A "Beeper" Would Be Nice

Hi Everyone,

I am convinced that the way we communicate to others, whether Believers or not is so vitally important---we MUST be different than the world around us, if we are seeking to reflect Jesus Christ to one another and the world!

I am appalled and sad as I see how so many people interact with each other on a daily basis when I am in the grocery store, running errands, or whatever!

I HATE seeing parents cuss their young children up and down to speak, in the store! It is so inappropriate--and do parents KNOW what that does to a child? Maybe the parent(s) don't know anything different, but still!

I HATE waiting for the bus and overhearing conversations at a "loud volume" where it is impossible to avoid them.....and every fifth word or so is a derogatory or swear word! It isn't edifying!

Sometimes it makes me wish I had a "beeper" to "bleep" out the bad words so I didn't have to hear them!

And I wish I could also "bleep out" the harsh ways that people gossip about other people when they aren't present!!

But it is a world that is lost that I live in..and I remind myself that I can't expect them to live like believers when they aren't...but it is hard sometimes!!!!

So again a few questions for all of us--myself included--because unfortunately and honestly, I DO slip sometimes-----more than I want to admit! Ugggggg!!!

1) Does how I communicate in general reflect Jesus Christ to believers? To the World that is always watching?

2) Would Jesus say the words I say (or think) when I am just talking....mad.....or frustrated????

3) How much of my "negative vocabulary" is a habit that I need to ask for Jesus' help to stop?

4) In what ways do I talk about others that does not edify or build them up, whether they are present or not?

5) How would I feel if I overheard someone talking about me the way I talked about such and such (put a name in) a person?

6) Am I thinking that how I talk in sometimes "improper ways" (be it gossip, a bad word, or whatever) is "okay" because my culture says it is, instead of evaluating it from God's perspective?? And Therefore, am I fitting into "my culture" or "the world" without even thinking??

7) Does what I say TRULY benefit others?

Lord, help us ALL!!

Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Too Sold Out And Radical?

Hi Everyone,

A few people have mentioned that perhaps I am "too radical and too sold out to Jesus Christ."

Let me male this clear------I am NOT "the Christian Believer example," NOR have I "arrived" by any means!

But I do NOT believe that I am too sold out or radical. I don't want to be "sold out" to anyone BUT JESUS!!! No one else is worth being "sold out" to!

And it is HIS radical love that had captured my heart....and NOTHING ELSE will EVER compare to that!

Maybe being this "sold out" and "radical" is suppose to be the norm and some people have it backwards???



Real Revival Begins With Repentance

Hi Everyone,

There is a lot of talk about revival today. Here are a few of my personal thoughts on the topic.

Sometimes when Revival is mentioned, there are things mentioned about the "warm fuzzy feeling"--if I can describe it that way, of "God's presence." I haven't researched this or anything, so maybe I am not the one to talk about it. But I tend to think it is the opposite---

Allow me to explain myself. I believe that genuine and real revival is going to start on a persona and individual level first--and begin with one thing--repentance-a change of mind towards one's sin and an awareness of how that sin truly offends God with a true desire to turn from it.....and at the beginning--that doesn't necessarily feel "good." But true revival isn't about "what we feel." It's about being aware of how GOD sees our hearts as they are laid bare before Him. It isn't about how everyone else perceives us when we are wearing our "spiritual "I have it all together and am the perfect Christian" mask, which is totally false, on!

Repentance cannot necessarily be measured by a ""level of emotion or tears--that may be part of it, but it also may not be-repentance is an issue of the HEART---just as our sin is, in reality, a heart issue.

The word, "Revival" does not appear to be used in Scripture--however, the word "revive" in English, at least appears to be used. I haven't had tons of time to study the passages below in their context, but here they are.

Psalm 80:18 "Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name."

Psalm 85:6 "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"

Isaiah 57:15 "For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."

Hosea 6:2 "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence."

I believe the GREATEST "REVIVAL" that anyone can ever have is receiving the gift of salvation---KNOWING that you are God's child----forever---and living in the joy of that, but at the same time walking in continual obedience and taking your walk with God seriously--not straying from the truths of HIS Word. In Salvation, God takes a person who was dead in sin and separated from HIM (God) and gives the individual NEW LIFE---spiritually---a personal relationship with God.

There is a GREAT JOY and PEACE in walking with the Lord--I don't want to deny that--but sometimes the CLOSER you get to God, the worse you may "feel," at times, because we grow in an understanding of HIS HOLINESS AND OUR SINFULNESS.

It isn't about what we "feel" in the end. Revival is an issue of the heart.

Just some initial personal thoughts.....more on this at another time, Lord wiling.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Learning To Grieve In The Body Of Christ

Hi Everyone,

Right now I have several friends that are going through some very hard things--their circumstances and situations of grief are very different...but very real just the same. I myself am also going through a few situations, which I would honestly say that I am grieving, and no one has died in this occasion.

But yet there is joy--not always that cheerfulness, but rather the peace and confident trust in the Person of Jesus Christ and that humble knowledge that God is in control--that He is working all things out for the good of my own life and the lives of my friends and those they love, even though the circumstances look grim and are painful.

I think we grieve a lot more than we realize we do----there are losses and changes in life all the time--some are smaller or bigger than others.

And we don't need to "spiritualize" the grief either-we tend to do that so much in the body of Christ. There is NOTHING wrong with working through things or crying, or admitting you don't understand why something is happening--and even struggling to come to conclusions with God about it...fora time...but seeking His truth as you struggle.--

God understands that we are human--life is HARD---but He is so very good---and may our hearts still trust Him that this is so even when things don't make sense.

So when you know your brother or sister in Christ is hurting--and maybe don't even fully understand why, choose to be there for them----rather than giving those "quick answers" because their pain makes us "uncomfortable."

The Way It Was Suppose To Be

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday I used this quote "God can take your sinful past and make it work together for your good--so brilliantly and beautifully that you will be tempted to say that, this is the way it was suppose to be!" (R. T. Kendall, Total Forgiveness, page 154)

You know something? My life is NOT perfect. I have a lot of things happen that I wouldn't dare bog about because they are way too personal to mention at times.

But as I quoted this in my blog yesterday, I just wanted to comment on how true this statement is in my own personal life. As I look back on my life, I see it ALL--The good, the hard things, the difficult things, as an intricately woven pattern that God in His mercy and grace has worked in and through, and this includes Him working together the sins of the past----for my good.

And I am so tempted to say, "This is the way it was suppose to be!" THAT is the great God that we have!

It's all about God's glory---NOT about my own.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

To Those That May Feel Like Giving Up

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to type a little blog today for anyone out there that may be reading my blog and feel like "giving up."

Before you think that I am "some great girl that has it all together" (whatever that means), I want to tell you something.

There is another side to my story--a side that very few fully know of--a side of desperation, despair, and depression that I hid and lived in for years, and the thoughts and feelings that go along with that were also a reality. (If you want that side of my story, e-mail me.)

I want you to know that there is no reason to give up and that there is light at the end of the tunnel---and that even if no one else on the planet has a clue what you are going through---Jesus does--and He cares more than you or I could ever begin to comprehend.

Cry out to the Lord....and don't give the enemy (Satan) the opportunity to steal, kill, and destroy your life that he so desperately wants to have.

There is nothing impossible for God and no one beyond the reach of His grace while they are alive on this earth.

And no matter what happens, JESUS is worth living for!

If you want prayer, or want to talk, e-mail me at the address on the right hand side in the "Contacting me" section near the beginning of the blog page.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Video update for September 2010 (for fun)

Hi Everyone,

There are two text blog updates of some thoughts below this video for the day, (in case you are interested.) But here is a little video update just for fun! Blessings to you all!

---New Creation,
Crystal V.


Individual Searching and Interested in the Gospel

Hi Everyone,

After yesterday's slightly discouraging situation that occurred during my "errand outing" in the city, today's outing was a little more encouraging.

I was at a certain place and going to catch another bus when a young man began to talk to me. He asked what I did for a job. I told him I work as a cross-cultural Evangelical Christian Believer in Mexico. He immediately asked which church I went to. I asked if he was new to the area and he said he was fairly new to town here and was interested in finding a church to attend. I told him where I went and recommended a few others in town that may be good possibilities.

I kept trying to turn the conversation towards the Lord, shared bits of my testimony, and eventually asked him if he knew where he honestly stood with the Lord. He said he honestly wasn't sure and was trying to figure that out. I encouraged him to read the Bible and seek the Lord and go through the process of coming to the truth as God sees it. I told Him it is indeed something he needs to get figured out personally. I shared the gospel with him as he mentioned another person had been telling him the same things.

He said others had been trying to convince him that the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses were the truth. I told him that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ...there is no other mediator. He said he feels that what the others (Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons) believe didn't seem to line up with the Bible and didn't seem correct.

I don't even know his name, but let's pray for this young man-----that the Lord would bring his searching to an end and that he would come to a knowledge of the Truth.

I came back from my errand really encouraged! I was praying for an opportunity like that today.

Forgiving Ourselves

Hi Everyone,

I've been thinking about the topic of forgiveness. Before I became a Believer four months ago, I always had a hard time forgiving myself whenever I would "blow it." I would be mad at myself and beating myself up for months about certain things that would happen.

When I was at my mission agency's headquarters, when I first came back to the states a little more than a year ago in November, a dear friend pulled me aside and said, "Crystal? Can I ask you something? I don't want to judge, but everything you say about not being able to forgive yourself makes me wonder if you understand God's forgiveness for you."

UGG!!! I was starting to figure it all out---you know...that I wasn't a believer---and was nowhere near admitting it.

But my friend was right--she had hit the nail on the head. I didn't understand God's forgiveness and therefore had a hard time even beginning to forgive myself.

It is amazing what happens when you finally trust in Christ and understand that He died to forgive you---then you are able to forgive yourself MUCH more easily.

Sometimes I think as believers, it can be a little hard to forgive ourselves if we start listening to the lies instead of God's truth--but when we keep God's truth in perspective, we realize that Jesus Christ already paid the price so that we could be forgiven.....forever.

I like this quote "God can take your sinful past and make it work together for your good--so brilliantly and beautifully that you will be tempted to say that, this is the way it was suppose to be!" (R. T. Kendall, Total Forgiveness, page 154)

I'll write more on "forgiveness" another day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's A Tiny Bit Disappointing

Hi Everyone,

I went out to run an errand this afternoon and came across someone that I usually see in my daily circuit of life and hopefully ministry as I am used by the Lord to be a tiny reflection of Christ to the world.

I saw this person outside of the normal context..and when this person saw me, they began to talk to another individual saying what they really thought of me....and it was really inappropriate and even a little hurtful. It was NOT because of any wrong doing on my part towards this individual.

Infact, I was a little bit surprised and shocked--because I have thought of this person as a casual acquaintance that I have been trying to share the gospel with some in a very gentle manner. We have talked about many other "life issues" as well. I didn't know this person thought of me like that!!!

So please pray for me as I continue to "bump into" this individual on a fairly regular basis-----that I will continue to reflect Jesus' love to this person.....regardless of how I was treated today.....and that this individual would be brought to a saving trust in Jesus. I realize it is hard to pray for people we don't know as well---so just pray together in agreement with me.

I hope it is okay to post this way...I am NOT intending to gossip or anything by posting this.


I'm Still Standing Here...To God's Glory!!!!

Hi Everyone,

Today I shared a part of my story with my mentor. It is a part of my testimony that I have not yet posted on line. I would have to pray and seek some very wise counsel before doing so, because of it's extremely sensitive and personal nature.

But when I got done sharing it all with her, I had this sense of awe and amazement!

God has brought me through much and saved me from myself so many times!

JESUS is the only reason why I am still standing here alive.......and I am standing here alive to GOD'S GLORY alone!

I will praise Him as long as I live......and my story is only one among millions of glorious testimonies of our one and only faithful God working in lives and drawing men and women to Himself.

The song below has become precious to me since I got saved around four months ago....I almost cry whenever I hear it.

"Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded"

O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown
How pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish
which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered,
T'was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever,
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love for Thee.

Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for Thee!!!

Beautiful Beyond Description......

Hi Everyone,

JESUS is beautiful.......beyond description! His LOVE compares to no other in this world....for no other one could have given Hi life and conquered death in our place taking our punishment upon Himself

and yet as Isaiah 53:1-12 says:

"Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken. [b]

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes [c] his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Monday, September 20, 2010

They Don't KNOW.......

Hi Everyone,

I was just thinking what a joy it is to be in a personal relationship with the Lord. It's something that those who do not yet know Christ simply do not KNOW that they are missing. You don't know what you are missing until you experience it-in living reality!

It is quite a deception of our human nature, the world, and the Evil One to make us think that living for ourselves and "doing our own thing" is going to satisfy.

But in the end we eventually find that living for ourselves is so unsatisfying.

In my Sunday school class on Hebrews yesterday, the teacher asked us a question. He asked, "What we would be going and living for if we were still apart from Christ?"

My immediate thought, since it wasn't that long ago (Four months) since God worked in my heart and I was able to give Him my trust was that, "I would still be living for myself trying to satisfy myself with all of the things that could never satisfy."

Lord, we know there are MANY yet to come to know YOU and be brought to a knowledge of the TRUTH as You have said it in the Bible. Lord we pray that You would work in hearts and lives drawing men, women, and children to that what they don't KNOW yet would one day become a reality as they turn from their sins and place their TRUST in You alone!

I Still Need You!

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes when things are starting to go better or we sense that we are coming out of a valley, there cam be a tendency to "slack" on our dependence upon God and to start thinking that we can do things on our own.

But no matter what our situation is, we must remember that even every good gift comes from Him----and in reality we are no less dependent upon God in the "easy" times than we are in the hard times.

May we live out this truth in our every day living--no matter what our current situation is---living in simple trust and obedience to the Lord, demonstrating our complete dependence upon Him.

May our every breath cry out, "Lord, I still need YOU!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

At Your Feet

HI Everyone,

I've been thinking about the concept of being at Jesus' feet----a place where wonderful things happened! see the passages below:

1) A sinful woman pours alabaster upon Jesus' feet and kisses them, washing them with her tears, and wiping them with her hair. She receives forgiveness for her sins.

Luke 7:36-50 "Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee`'s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner." Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said. "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little. "Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

2) Mary, Martha's sister, listened and learned at the feet of Jesus. Jesus said that what she had chosen would NOT be taken from her.....and that she had chosen the better.

Luke 10:38-42 "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

3) A Samaritan leaper fell at Jesus' feet in gratitude upon realizing Jesus had healed him.

Luke 17:11-16 "Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan."

Amazing things happen at Jesus' feet---a place that I always want my heart to stay. People praised Him, learned and listened, and received His forgiveness for their sins.

I found a song that made me reflect on this all a little further.

"At Your Feet" Written by Mark Hall and Jason Ingram Sung by Casting Crowns

Here at Your feet, I lay my past down
My wanderings, all my mistakes down
And I am free

Here at Your feet, I lay this day down
Not in my strength, but in Yours I’ve found
All I need, You’re all I need

Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
Oh, to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
There is nowhere else for me
There is nowhere else for me

Here at Your feet, I lay my future down
All of my dreams, I give to You now
And I find peace, I find peace
Here at Your feet, I lay my life down
For You my King, You’re all I want now
And my soul sings…

‘Cause I am free (here at Your feet)
All I need (is at Your feet)
I find peace
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet

And I am free (here at Your feet)
All I need (is at Your feet)
I find peace
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet

Here at Your feet
I lay my life down

Being, "`At Jesus Feet" not in a literal sense today, but in s sense of our hearts is showing that we are humbled, and surrendered to Him, trusting in Him alone and recognizing how truly dependent we are upon Him for each moment.

May we continue to be "at HIS feet" today!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It Was NOT Cheap.....

Hi Everyone,

Galatians1:3-5 "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

1 Timothy 2:5-6 "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time."

Titus 2:11-14 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.'

I've been thinking about how the Christian life as a Believer should be lived ina sense of seriousness---regarding the fact that we must recognize that although Jesus' gift of salvation is free to us, IT WAS NOT CHEAP----It cost Jesus everything and yet He gave Himself for us willingly out of love for us. But how we live should reflect a life of seeking to obey and please Him, loving Him wholeheartedly in return!.

But I, nor any of us on earth have yet arrived! It is really gently convicting to me when I sin and realize that Christ died for "that." I don't have to keep choosing to sin and must remember that now sin does not have power over me----

Thank You, Jesus, Precious Savior, for the GIFT that cost You everything----at the greatest cost!

A Whole Lifetime!

Hi Everyone,

Due to rain and cold weather today, my resident friend here and I did not have an opportunity to do the Children's Bible Club. However, we are planning it for next Saturday!

I realized I am not quite ready to write the post about resting in the Lord--want to think about a few more things, so look for it in a week.

I was just thinking about how amazing it is that we are given a whole lifetime to be drawn to the truth of Jesus Christ and really what mercy and love it is that God draws men onto Himself--some at the last moments of their life.

God is indeed gracious to us!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Reality To It!

Hi Everyone,

About a year ago, when I really started seriously struggling in turmoil and was trying to kind of figure all of this "relationship with God" stuff out, wasn't sure where I stood with Him, but wasn't ready to admit it due to pride and all, I wrote an e-mail to someone. Amazingly I still have the e-mail in my in-box--and this is part of what he wrote to me:

"Oh this is the truth Crystal, when you come to Christ, He will give you rest. There is a reality behind it, once someone lets go of pride and self and the religious games they are playing and truly comes to saving faith in Christ."

I remember being so frustrated and confused! I was like, "A reality behind it??? What is that?" I wanted to know what that just about drove me crazy!

Hey, isn't it interesting what goes on in people's minds that you never know about it.....until....LATER!!! :)

Well, there IS a reality behind it that is precious and so totally AMAZING!!! I hope to write more about that REALITY, Lord willing, tomorrow.

Please pray for the children's club tomorrow that I will be helping with...for the children to be drawn by the Father's love to KNOW that REALITY!!!

Glorious Freedom Of The Children Of God

Hi Everyone,

Romans 8:19-21 "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."

1 Peter 1:10-12 "Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.""

The glorious freedom of the children of God-----and the gift of salvation that the angels LONG to but look into----the Work of God in a Human heart to draw men unto Himself----something so astounding that the angels nor can we cannot fully comprehend how God does it.

We have a GLORIOUS FREEDOM---and nothing else on earth could substitute for it----something that those who do not yet KNOW Jesus cannot understand-----for they do not yet know what they are missing!

The JOY that I have as I write this is completely indescribable with words--I am left speechless-in awe!

Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

We must be careful with that precious freedom---a FREEDOM that compares to no other that we have presently....or will ever know on earth!

Interestingly, as I was typing this, this was the song that "happened" to be playing in the background!

"This Is How It Feels To Be Free" Phillips, Craig, And Dean

1) There is a wall that has been standing
Since the day that Adam fell
Sin is where it started
And Sin is why it held
Speakin as a prisoner
Who was there and lived to tell
I remember how it fell

I can here the sound of freedom
Like a distant voice who called
And beckon me to follow
Where I had never gone
And though my heart is willin'
I just stood there at the wall
Prayin somehow it would fall

But in a cross I found a doorway
And a hand that held a key
And when the chains fell at my feet
For the first time I could see

This is how it feels to be free
This is what it means to know that
I am forgiven
This is how it feels to be free
To see that life can be more than i imagined
This is how it feels to be free
This is how it feels to be free Yeahhh!

2) There are days when I'm reminded
Of the prison I was in
Like a living nightmare
Burning from within
I can feel the voice of evil
I can hear the call of sin
But I wont go back again

See, once I've tasted freedom
Then the walls could bind no more
Since mercy gave me wings to fly
Like an eagle I can soar

repeat chorus

3) Somewhere there's a prison
Where the chains still burn
If not for the grace of god
Those walls could still be mine
So far all the captives are saved

repeat chorus

And might I add that on the days when we don't "feel free," NOTHING HAS CHANGED and We still have been fred from the bondage of sin and brought into HIS glorious light!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thirst For Righteousness

Hi Everyone,

I've been thinking about this verse lately.

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

I've been a believer for the past four months---it has been incredible--The Holy Spirit does a great job at discipleship!!!

And I still have to say that it is so refreshing and such a contrast to truly be desiring to "live for righteousness."----to live in obedience to God rather than just living to please myself, which is exactly what I was doing before I had ever trusted Christ!

Yes, it is a blessing to live in accordance with the will of God in obedience to Him. To hunger and thirst after living as He would desire me to---doesn't mean i do that perfectly, but there is an honest attempt each day to do so, out of love for Him.

I love the verse because it says the reason why it is a blessing to hunger and thirst for righteousness--BECAUSE THOSE WHO DO SO WILL BE FILLED. "Filled"-----satisfied---having enough----delighted in living for Jesus Christ and tasting of His Holy and perfect pleasures.....forevermore!

It is NOT Okay or Acceptable........

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday I went to take the bus to do an errand and two young adults came walking by. And when one said that the other was their "girlfriend", I didn't think anything of it. I mean the one really did look like a guy at first glance. I guess I am kind of naieve about these things.

Then a lady who was also waiting for the bus who picked up on something that I had not and starts chattering away at the top of her lungs, "Hey, there is nothing wrong with that--they are adults and if they want to live that way and it makes them happy, go for it!"

And I am thinking "What in the world are you talking about?"

Uggg--well eventually I figured it out-----because of another interaction between the two young adults that I am not going to mention-----it was really disgusting to see!

These two young adults had chosen to "exchange the natural for the unnatural"

God has a lot to say about the sin of homosexuality---God hates ALL Sin it is a violation of HIS perfect and Holy character. God does not say to us, like that woman at the bus stop "that if it makes you happy, do it," regardless of WHAT sin it is!

Concerning homosexuality, it is NOT "okay" or "acceptable" in God's eyes. It never was in the days of the Bible and it isn't now! God does not have our world's same "attitude of tolerance" to our sin! Of those that practice these things God has said the following---and this is NOT exhaustive:

Romans 1:18-31 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.0For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

God says the OPPOSITE of our world system! God does NOT say "if it feels good or makes you happy, do it!"

Paul says,in Romans 2:16b, "God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."

So, at the same time that I was disgusted with what I saw today, I also realized that these two young women were also prisoners held captive to their sin.....and that they need to come to the place of trust and repentance in Jesus Christ alone----and that although they are now prisoners, NOTHING is impossible with God.

Ephesians 5:1-20 tells us as believers how we are to live in this world.

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 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. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you." Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I guess I have used this passage several times----but it is so PRACTICAL and filled with the TRUTH!!!!

Do Blogs Ever Run Out Of Space?

Hi Everyone,

A few days ago, I began putting labels to my blog posts to try to give some order so that my readers can find what they want related to certain topics.

For those of you that attempt to regularly read this--I have to say I am impressed!

I mean, to be honest it was kind of overwhelming (in a good way, but at the same time thinking, "Wowzers! This is a lot of material!") to go back through it--and I am not done yet. (and it's only three and a half months worth!)

Kind of gives a sense of humor considering I am the author! :)

So I thought, "Do blogs ever run out of space?' I guess I might end up being the one that tests that to find out if they do or not.

So to those of you that seek to attempt keeping up-I admire you.

Really, it's all about JESUS because HE is so WORTH being written about.

Psalm 45:1 "My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer." ( I feel like capitalizing KING in the verse for JESUS even if it was written partly for an earthly king in the time of writing)

Psalm 40:1-5 "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare."

And the gratitude towards Christ from my heart would not even begin to be expressed by filling a million blogs to the brim---like that hymn line from, "The Love of God."

The Love of God
Frederick M. Lehman

1) The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.


O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

2) When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

3) Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.


Words Could Never Describe THIS!!

Hi Everyone,

Words cannot describe this!!

I wish all of you could KNOW what this is like as I am sitting here right now!

A Relationship with God is amazing!!!!! And combined with things getting healed and resolved in the Christ-life Ultimate Journey class, it is amazingly wonderful! NICE COMBINATION!!!!

Yeah, there are hard times and stuff, but it is different--EVERYTHING always comes back to that peace and joy of knowing that God has it ALL in His hands and that He really KNOWS what He is doing,

Did I write this one yet? I've written so much stuff that sometimes it gets hard to remember what I've said already!

At the introduction of the book of James, I wrote this: "Joy is not necessarily 'cheerfulness,' although often that is true, but above all it is a calm delight based on the foundation of Christ and unshakable confidence and TRUST in who He is."

A personal relationship with God is a far-cry from being a mere assent to the facts, although you have to believe that the claims of Christ are the absolute truth before the relationship with Christ takes form in reality and experience----experience rooted in the truth of God's word and correctly lived out in accordance to the Word of God, of course!

And maybe part of the reason why this is all so real and incredible to is because the desperation and emptiness that I felt before I was saved by the Lord's grace was also unlike anything words can describe. And when you TASTE of God's goodness and mercy, there comes a point of no return to the former things.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mexico Centennial Independence Day Celebration.....

Hi Everyone,

I am feeling just a little somber right now! Today is Mexico's centennial Independence Day Celebration......I am not there to join the celebration....but maybe next year?

For the past two years at least, there have been signs all along the roads and advertised on the city buses that say "Ruta 2010" in anticipation of the great celebration event. Here is am example of this:

Mexicans typically celebrate the day BEFORE a major holiday---for example Christmas Eve is celebrated more than Christmas day, and so on. So I think the actual day they gained the independence from Spain was the 18th of September, but VERY SIGNIFICANT factors contributed to this on the night of September 15th.

There are a few ways that the celebrating takes place.

One way they celebrate is by having a big celebration in the biggest main public place of meeting which is the town square, called the "Zocalo" together,--sort of reminds of you of our downtown gatherings for fireworks on the Fourth of July, but the chain of events is very different than what we are used to. They have what is called a "Grito" or their "Independence Cry" where the President each year rings the bell on top of the main government buildng in the Zocalo, in Mexico City, the capital, and then the people respond to it with a set saying. The Main government building in the Zocalo (see photo below) is usually decorated appropriately, but this year when I took the picture, it wasn't decorated for the occasion yet, and I was deeply disappointed!

Not everyone goes to the Zocalo--I did it once as a short-termer--it was kind of fun but scary at the end because people are pushing every which way to leave, or move forward or whatever they want, and I felt like I was going to get trampled, if I were to have fallen. I don't think I would do it again for that reason.

So the other way that their Independence day is celebrated is that the Believers especially will get together in their churches, which is like a celebration on a smaller scale. A Special soup of sorts called "pozole" is prepared and eaten, generally for special occasions and celebrations, and the churches will have a little program where they commemorate and remember the process by which Mexico obtained their Independence. Singing the National anthem, or other praise songs is usually also a part of it all as well. Just a time of fellowship, food, fun, and Remembering!

Mexicans are VERY Patriotic! Flags, red white and red noise maker horns, earings, clothing outfits, and other objects are sold at stands a month or two before the event. It is kind of neat to see how passionate they are about their country!

Obviously this must really be starting to mean something to me, because I am REALLY wishing I was there right now.....I am homesick right now, even though I was just there a month ago, and honestly am practically crying as I type this...maybe next year....but I still missed the centennial celebration!

I guess it is what happens when you equally love your life in both parts and two different cultures!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Greatest Treasure Anyone Can Own!

Hi Everyone,

Matthew 13:44-46 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."

God's gift of salvation is like a hidden treasure or a pearl of immeasurable value and worth---it is something that nothing else in this world compares to.

Salvation and new life in Christ is something money cannot buy and that we could never earn in and of our own efforts---nothing can replace or substitute the JOY and PEACE that comes from KNOWING Jesus!

A Personal Relationship with Jesus IS the greatest treasure that ANYONE could ever have!

What Real Love Is

Hi Everyone,

Real love means that you look out for the genuine absolute best of someone else, putting their best interests above your matter what it costs to you personally....even if it means you lay aside your deepest dream and desire.

Jesus put our greatest need above His own and was obedient to the Father to the point of death....He gave up EVERYTHING and HELD NOTHING BACK!

How much more should we, His followers, do likewise....demonstrating to the world that we love BECAUSE He loved us first.

Philippians 2:1-11 "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

I John 2:3-6 "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."

I WILL NOT Settle!

Hi Everyone,

For some reason, I sense this post to be something being set in stone and significant, unless God should choose to change my heart and direction....which would take MUCH!

I will NOT settle---I am convinced personally in my own life that if I chose to stay in the sates deliberately, at least at this point in my life, I would be disobeying and settling for less than what God has in store for me in Mexico. Things are getting more "interesting" there lately--please pray for the people and the country. I am not worried about this at all---BECAUSE THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE IS WHERE GOD WANTS EACH OF US TO BE!

Please don't get me wrong! I am NOT saying that people who "stay in the states" are settling necessarily. If they are doing so, then only them and God truly know it. The TRUTH is that God calls each of us to our places to serve Him and we serve Him wherever we are regardless of location. And I plan on doing that faithfully as long as God has me "here."

But regarding this "pain issue," I believe very strongly that there will come a point where I will go back to Mexico, even if we don't have the reason and cause figured out. Interestingly, slowly it seems to be slightly lessening this week. Praise the Lord for that---keep praying!!!

What DO YOU DO when all of your test results are coming back repeatedly normal and NOTHING appears to be wrong? You move forward and trust it to God!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Christ IS BETTER ...So What Distracts Us??

Hi Everyone,


John 17:14 "I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world."

1 Corinthians 2:12 "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us."

1 Corinthians 3:19 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away."

Titus 2:12 "It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age."

1 Peter 2:11 "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul."

1 john 2:15-17 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."

Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Beloved brothers and sisters,


I had a major test of that in the last two weeks-it had to do with one of my other deepest desires---BUT life isn't about "ME GETTING WHAT I WANT AND BEING HAPPY" by all of the stuff that this world says is going to satisfy---but it's a lie--if we aren't doing God's will ORDAINED AND PLANNED FOR US FROM BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, First by KNOWING HIM PERSONALLY, and secondly from SERVING HIM OUT OF LOVE AND GRATITUDE BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS DID FOR US BY DYING IN OUR PLACE, AS GOD HAS CALLED US TO DO.....WE ARE NOT going to be satisfied!!!!

It's just the truth!!

Some questions to ponder before the Lord.....

How are you and I honestly "loving the World" rather than loving Christ first and foremost?

In what ways are you or I following the "wisdom of the world?"

What "worldly desires" are you and I giving in to that are passing away?

What is the sin that so easily is entangling each of us?

Is there anything swaying you and I from our sincere and pure devotion to Christ?

Encouragements From God--Again

Hi Everyone,

This morning I got to interact with another sister in Christ. She is doing some work for a school internship and it was amazing how many similarities we had in our testimonies--some similar struggles-and some current common issues. I was REALLY truly blessed with meeting her and talking-and hopefully we will talk again! God is so good---He KNOWS what we need and when we need it! I needed that desperately I needed that!

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Christ Is Better

Hi Everyone,

My Sunday School class about Heaven has ended. I looked at the new Sunday School Classes being offered and the one that appealed to me above the rest was the book of "Hebrews." So today was the first class.

I think it is going to be awesome!

Hebrews is all about showing Why Christ is better than the old sacrificial system----written to professing Jewish Believers that had considered going back to the old sacrificial system rather than suffering under the trials they were facing as Believers. WE REALLY WOULD BE MISSING SO MUCH WITHOUT THE BOOK.

Just look at the first four verses of chapter 1 "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs."

I just love how whoever wrote it jumped right to the meat of the issues! Paul usually starts His letters with a greeting. And let me tell you those first four verse say a lot! I mean just think of the awesomeness-Christ creating the world--who is the heir of ALL things, and BEING THE RADIANCE OF GOD'S GLORY, the EXACT REPRESENTATION of His being, SUSTAINING ALL THINGS through His POWERFUL Word.

There is none other that EVEN BEGINS to compare to HIM!! Christ is BETTER!!

And not only what was listed above from the verses, but that HE made PURIFICATION FOR SINS-PERFECT COMPLETE PURIFICATION and demonstrated it as a FINISHED work when he sat down at the right hand of God--no more "purification" needed to take place--not by our efforts nor by His own!

And He is SUPERIOR above all other names that have been or ever will be.

Sunday school class was no doubt so exciting! But as if that wasn't enough then I went to church and our Pastor was preaching on Psalm 110, which references back to Hebrews and tons of other spots! I was listening to the sermon, but flipping through the Bible trying to find all of the cross references to Psalm 110:1 "The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."

The sermon went by like five minutes literally!! I loved it, but we barely touched the tip of the iceberg----Isn't it awesome how God's Word is unable to be exhausted in the depths of it's treasure! :) I love it!

So here are several of the cross references that I found (I will just list them---look them up if you so feel inclined)

Psalm 110:1 cross references to:
2 Samuel 7:12-16
Hebrews 1:13
Hebrews 10:13
Mathew 5:35
Matthew 22:41-46
Luke 20:43
Acts 2:35
Acts 7:49
Psalm 32:7 not totally sure if it fits but neat!
Psalm 99:5
Isaiah 66:1-2
Philippians 2:5-11
Ephesians 1:20-24

So I thought it was cool how the two--my Sunday School class and the sermon correlated and complimented each other QUITE NICELY!!!!

And there WILL be more on Hebrews, for sure!!!!


What You Believe About Jesus WILL Affect Your Life.

Hi Everyone,

What You Believe About Jesus WILL affect your "if's," "and's," or "but's" about it--as they used to say.

Matthew 16:13-17 "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven."

What someone BELIEVES about Jesus Christ and who He REALLY is will have a direct affect on their life. Often people believe Jesus was a "good man, a good teacher, or they have heard He died on the cross but don't know why."

But when someone truly Believes that Jesus Christ IS the one and only Son of God and that He died in their place, it has a HUGE EFFECT on your life! Jesus isn't someone to take casually or to treat like an "add-on" to our lives! He is to BE OUR EVERYTHING!!!! How often do we let the gunk and junk of our cultures and our world take the place that only He deserves? How often do we put Jesus on the back burner during the week, and just "pull him out on Sunday?"


No!-May it never be!

So does what I Believe about Jesus affect my life in every area of every day?

Does what you believe about Jesus affect your life in every area of every day?

Somewhere along the way we've let our passion for Jesus get "sizzled out" by other things!

He wants to find us FAITHFUL!!!

1 Samuel 12:24 "But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you."

The Search Is Over!

Hi Everyone,

There is something truly precious and amazing about realizing that you have found everything you ever wanted in the Lord--realizing that you don't have to look anywhere else for satisfaction and that the search is finally over.....and KNOWING that nothing compares to the joy that you have in Christ!

Praise the Lord for where He has brought me...........and that the search is OVER!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Bible Club

Hi Everyone,

Since I am in the states right now, hoping to return back to Mexico, but desiring to glorify God regardless of where I am located and wanting to share the gospel with whoever God brings across my path, I jumped at the opportunity to help one of my fellow residents and room mates here with a children's Bible club that she feels very burdened to start, in a neighborhood semi-close to where I live right now.

I am not "running the club", but going more as a support and help to her.

Here are some pictures!

Here are a few examples of the crafts:

Music time:

Here my friend and another helper are working with the younger children on the porch:

Here is my friend having the Bible lesson time with the whole group:

Here is the "prop" for the object lesson about how Jesus forgives our sins when we trust in Him alone for salvation!

So today I was praying while things were going on and taking some pictures. As the weeks continue, I hope to do more of the lessons and all. I wanted to observe today to be sure that I understood how she was doing things!

Please pray regarding the children's club for....

1) The personal preparation and leading of the Lord for all of us who have a part in the children's lives and are involved in any way.

2) Pray for the children-that the Lord would work in their hearts and lives, and that they would either through the Bible club or later on in life, come to place their trust in the person of Jesus Christ for their salvation.

3) Pray for the families of these children--I don't know their stories, but it is possible that some may come from broken homes or other difficult situations. Pray their parents would also be drawn by the Lord to understand their need to trust in Jesus for salvation as well.

4) Please pray for the neighborhood that we are reaching out to and that the Lord would bring the children that He wants to have come that week.

5) Pray that the love of Jesus would be evident in our lives, even in the little things, to the children and as we interact preparing together.

Thank you for praying!

We were excited with how our first afternoon went. About 25 children came!