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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Hi Everyone,

As the chorus says,

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace."

2 Chronicles 20:12b "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

Psalm 73: 21-26

"When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."

Hebrews 12:2 " Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Loving God Above All Else

Hi Everyone,

Why do we make the right choices?

We don't just make our choices because it is simply "the right thing to do" or "it's what we were taught." While those option are definitely true, we choose to live and obey God in our lives regardless of what those without Him do around us because of even a greater and deeper reason. The choices that we make come down to one thing--loving God--truly loving God above all else that this world tries to offer us.

When we love God--we make different choices than world around us. And we hopefully keep making those choices no matter how God leads us down the path and regardless of what or does not be allowed into our lives.

Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength."

May you be strengthened by His Spirit to love Him with all that you are today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

He Cares About The Smallest Desires!

Hi Everyone,

This may be one of those semi longer posts. So before I get to the point, I need to give some background information.

Backing up in the history of my life, when I came here in Mexico as a short-term worker in 2005, I stayed with a lady (a lady different from Olga who I stay with now) for four months of my six month stay. Anyways she had a vinyl record made and released in Mexico that I absolutely fell in love with! Every time my host walked out the door, I would put that record on and er uh blast it through the house. (It was piano music--so no serious harm was done!!!) I think I literally memorized the songs in my head because I listened so much.

I wanted to find the record more than anything--but wasn't sure how to go about it and between coming from Mexico back to the states from my short-term trip lost the details that I had written down.

Fast forward to when I came back full time to Mexico in 2008. I had no contact with the lady I had lived with during the four months of my least we didn't have contact until a week and a half before I was to fly back home in November of 2009 because of not doing well spiritually, emotionally, physically etc. So I remember sitting at this lady's table feeling like my world was ending, But all of the sudden I remembered that vinyl record and asked her if she still had it. She said yes-and put it on for me.

I forgot to take down the details in my awful emotional state at that point....and was still determined in my heart that I wanted to find it.....somehow.

Fast forward to the present. Okay so about a month ago before the church service started, all of the sudden I recognized a song by piano from that old record that was playing. As you can imagine, like lightening, I ran back to the "sound table" and asked the youth in charge what that music was playing from. It was playing off of a video in youtube. I took notes quite thrilled but still couldn't remember the artists name and such. I was delighted to know thta at least one song was still in existence though! (The vinyl record was recorded back in 1979)

I started intensely longing to hear all that amazing music again!

So now we are fast forwarding to tonight at youth group. At the end of the youth group one of the pastor's daughters mentioned that we are going to decorate the youth room upstairs by creatively decorating old vinyl records and putting them on the wall.

And the thought occurred to me, "Lord, that vinyl record could be in that pile---or you could even, you know, put it in there somehow.....please!"

To my great disappointment, the record did not show up in the pile---I really believed somehow it was going to be there.

But then a group of us girls were walking back to where I had to catch the bus to go home and the three young ladies would walk home to their houses which were close by. We "just missed" the bus I needed as we all approached the bus stop so it was another fifteen minute wait for the next bus. I was holding the vinyl record that I am to "decorate" when, all of the sudden, I leaned over and the album record cover in one of the girl's hands caught my eyes.

"May I just see that for a moment?" I said.

"Sure" she said

I took one look at it and my eyes must have been glowing--it was THE vinyl record---I was holding it in my hands! The one I've been wanting to listen to so bad all this time!

I looked at the girl and calmly said "Would you mind of I traded with you and took yours instead and gave you the one I have? The one you have is really special. I want to listen to it"

"Hey sure no problem! But do you have a way to play it?" she said

"No, I said, but don't worry, I'll find a way."

And we switched vinyl records!

On the bus, tears were silently streaming down my face-saying---"Wow God--you DID IT!! You cared about that? No one else knew about that desire but you--never mind that I don't have a record player---It means so much that You gave this to me! Me of little faith to doubt You! i am so sorry."

And it was as if God spoke to my heart saying, "I do care about the desires of your heart----even those big two desires of yours that are unfulfilled--Trust me---I care and love you."

Somehow I have a little more faith tonight--faith that God really might give those two big desires one day--only if it is in His will and plan obviously!

So upon arriving home, I went to the internet and found the vinyl record long out of print, but was able to buy and download a few different songs from the record that were preserved and out on other discs or re-recorded.

I am having the most awesome and relaxing evening ever listening to this amazing music!

But even bigger than having the vinyl record is the lesson of God's love and the reminder of how He cares about even the smallest desires of my heart!

P.S. Dear youth group, Sorry, there is no way I will ever "decorate" this vinyl record! I'll be asking to see if you have an extra one I can use for the project tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quick Video Greetings

Hi Everyone,

Here is a very quick video update. Thanks for your prayers!

Blessings to all!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas In January

HI Everyone,

I just wanted to say that on two different days in the past week and a half when I really needed encouragement, I went to the post office box and found a postal box filled with Christmas cards and letters! Thank you soo much! You are an awesome blessing! Thank you for your prayers! :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Eternal Perspective

Hi Everyone,

This is sort of a post with a few additional thoughts in continuation of what I wrote last night about God's will not always being easy.

Something that I was thinking about is how in the midst of hard things or unfulfilled desires we have to remember (even though it can be hard at times) that God's perspective over our lives is an eternal perspective. He is going to use us in the best purposes in relation to his eternal plan.

And the thing is that since we have not yet seen Jesus Christ face to face in eternity, we only know life in the here and now. we cn't see the whole picture yet. God's plans are so much higher than ours. We have to remember that he does have an eternal plan and walk the journey of faith and not by sight.

Friday, January 6, 2012

God's Will Isn't Always Easy

Hi Everyone,

I've been thinking about something. I think it is common especially in the United States of America for some believers to think that the will of God is suppose to always be easy. That is an inaccurate assumption to make. Living in God's will has many blessings, but living a life obedient to God does not guarantee that it will be easy by any means.

Scripture tells us of people--like Job, Paul, the believers in Hebrews 11, and many others that did God's will--and it was anything but easy. They had hardships and trials pf various kinds. For many it cost them their lives. But they obeyed God and sought to do His will.

Following God's will sometimes means sacrificing our deepest desires and dreams to do what He asks us to. It means being a living sacrifice---surrendering him those deep things and letting Him have them and do what He sees as best. Sometimes it means grief and sorrow. And many times God's will means following a different plan in life- which is His plan for us instead of our own.

Sometimes I wrestle with the differences between His desires for me and the desires or dreams that I have that are good but may not be his will for me. But regardless of what happens, I have to trust Him and His ways. Thankfully, eventually, He always brings me back to a point of surrender.

We must believe as Scripture says that the will of God is good, pleasing, and perfect. There is a big difference between knowing that statement in our heads and trusting God with our whole hearts.

Will We echo the words of our Savior saying, "I have come to do Your will oh God?" (Hebrews 10:7)