Marital advice … an open letter to my cousin

This is an open letter to my cousin whom is having a destination wedding.
I was unable to go due to timing. My sister just had a baby, as mentioned in prior posts she's a special needs. She is doing well, but I would've felt better being able to be there for her, with her during this new transition in her life.

Juny I don't say it often but I love you…. my first brother, my twin. For many years my other half. I want to congratulate you on your upcoming nuptials. May this day go smooth, may you and your bride be blessed beyond belief, may God our father anoint this union while you say your vows. I pray for your health, years of happiness, longevity, wisdom, strength, endurance, may your love and passion for one another always remain.

Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
I pray that you both weather the storm, for there will be good days and there will be bad days, but trust in God, keep faith in God, keep hope in God to ride out the storms to come. Both of you Remember always marriage isn't a one way street, two people, joined together to become one, it's a 50/50. There may be times one or the other have to meet at the half way point. Always stay united.

Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Love one another with all your night, remind each other often day it, display it, always keep an open Chanel of communication.
Ephesians 5:25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her."
But tell your bride that I said to love you just the same, love your husband the way Christ loves his church.

Remember to always be supportive of one another. Be each other's rocks. Be each other's support system.
Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

As I mentioned before you will have storms (later vs sooner). Always love each other even in the storm. Always talk it out, never go to bed angry at one another, as I said earlier always communicate.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."

Nothing breaks my heart more than not being able to go to witness this big day for you. Nothing breaks my heart more than not being with my family during this time. I will be there in spirit covering you with blessings. I will be fasting and praying for you and your wife. May god bless you always.
I love you June.

Father God I ask that you cover this union in prayers. May they heed the advices of marriages others provide. May they always put you first my lord, may they always love and honor one another. Lord I ask you to bless them, protect them, let the Holy Spirit manifest in them so that he can guide their every step. I rebuke negativity and Harm in the name of Jesus. May their union be of a blessing, of love and success in their celebrations. In the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit Amen.

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Hope

“hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls” (Hebrews 6:19, NLT).
What is hope?

As defined by Webster dictionary, hope is:
Definition of hope

hoped; hoping

* intransitive verb

* 1
:  to cherish a desire with anticipation :  to want something to happen or be true hopesfor a promotion hoping for the best I hope so.

* 2
archaic :  trust

* transitive verb

* 1
:  to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment I hope she remembers. hopesto be invited

* 2
:  to expect with confidence :  trust Your mother is doing well, I hope.

hoper noun

hope against hope

* :  to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope

We have personal carnal and spiritual desires in our lives. These desires and aspirations give us the hope we need, sometimes to carry on.

We all depend on hope.

We hope for a better future.

We hope our elected officials can take care of their constituents.

We hope, as children, our parents will take care of us.

We hope, as children, we will get that cool toy we saw.

We hope, as parents, that we are doing a good job parenting.

We hope we are setting an example for our kids.

We hope God will protect and guide us.
We hope, despite our flaws, that god will continue to love and protect us.

As parents we try our best.

Parenting is not easy. 

It’s not easy being a working mom.

It’s not easy juggling work and educating your kids.

It’s not always easy setting your temper aside.

We can hope we are doing the best we can.

We can hope that every effort we make for our families can lead to a better future for them.

With hope, we need faith.

With faith, we need to trust.

With hope, we too need to do our part.
Our hope gives us something to look forward to. Our hope can build our faith, our hope can build our trust. 
Paul writes that hope is our anchor, it is an anchor for our soul. With hope all things are possible to move forward and move closer with God.
When we loose our hope, all is lost.

Desiring God has a sermon written by John Piper. In his sermon he mentions our struggle with hope. He says “Hoping in God does not come naturally for sinners like us. We must preach it to ourselves, and preach diligently and forcefully, or we will give way to a downcast and disquieted spirit.”

He mentions the need to preach to our selves, the Bible helps us with that. Hope in God- psalms 42:5.

He used psalms 42 for its example of struggle.
The author stated “I love the way the psalmists wrestle and fight and struggle to maintain their hope in God. This is normal Christian experience while we are still just saved sinners. And we better own up to it, or else we may grow sluggish and negligent in our fight for hope. And that is very dangerous, as our text plainly teaches.”
Psalms 42:5 says “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God!”
Just like I started with Webster definition of hope, the author mentions we are to not only know websters definition but the Bible’s. He breaks it down in to three parts

1- ” Hope is the desire for something good in the future. The children might say, “I hope daddy gets home early tonight so we can play kickball after supper before his meeting.” In other words they desire for him to get home early so that they can experience this good thing, namely, playing together after supper.”

2. “Hope is the good thing in the future that we are desiring. We say, “Our hope is that Jim will arrive safely.” In other words, Jim’s safe arrival is the object of our hope.”

3. “Hope is the reason why our hope might indeed come to pass. We say, “A good tailwind is our only hope of arriving on time.” In other words, the tailwind is the reason we may in fact achieve the future good that we desire. It’s our only hope.”

He summarized it as follows:

So hope is used in three senses:

1. a desire for something good in the future,

2. the thing in the future that we desire, and

3. the basis or reason for thinking that our desire may indeed be fulfilled.
Then he goes on to mention “The Distinctive Biblical Meaning of Hope”

“Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future; it expects it to happen. And it not only expects it to happen; it is confident that it will happen. There is a moral certainty that the good we expect and desire will be done.”

“When the word says, “Hope in God!” it does not mean, “Cross your fingers.” It means, to use the words of William Carey, ‘Expect great things from God.”

http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/what-is-hope

God teaches us the biblical definition of hope. As I mentioned earlier that:

 With hope, we need faith.

With faith, we need to trust.

With hope, we too need to do our part.
The scriptures teaches that here in Hebrew 6.

Paul shows us the relationship between faith and hope.

He also shows us this in Romans 4:22, discussing Abraham faith.

In romans 6:18 Paul shows how faith and hope go hand in hand “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations.

Our God is a god of Hope and faith. We can hope for things, but we need to also have faith that God will make it happen, that God will provide, that God will work it out. We need to trust him. Our hope is our Anchor!
Father God, I thank you for another day, another opportunity another moment to take in your greatness. Father I live with not only hope that i will be with you in heaven but have faith that i wil lget there. I trust in you my lord. I trust in you my lord. I ask that you continue to guide me so that I may not steer in the wrong direction regardless what obtstacles are thrown at me. As in pslams 42:5 says, we will hope in God, no matter what. Abraham’s hope in you lead to his faith and trust in you, Paul’s faith in you is intertwined with his hope in you. he says our hope is our anchor. May our anchor remain firm so that we could never loose the faith and hope we have with you. Amen.

Receive Power of the Holy Spirit. 

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me…”
(Acts 1:8, NKJV) 

Receive Power of the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit is essential in our Christian walk. Once we have received the Holy Spirit we shall be empowered by God. Now I’m not talking about the pinky and the brain I am going to take over the world empowerment. Being empowered by god is being provided wisdom when you lacked wisdom on a given subject. Being empowered means having courage when you fear. Being empowered by god means coming out of your comfort zone and take on a new role for his glory. 
God strengthens us, he equips us with everything we need to move on to the next task he has for us.

Remember your victory is his victory. The scripture tells us that when Jesus ascended to heaven he told his disciples that he was sending his comforter. Who was that? The Holy Spirit of course .

The Holy Spirit doesn’t just comfort us, the bills Spirit I s our counselor, teacher 

And our strength. The Holy Spirit provided for us. In order to receive the power and greatness god had in store for you, one needs to open your heart, open your mind, open your eyes, open your would and be ready to receive.
I challenge you today. 

Receive gods power. 

I challenge you.

Open your heart.

Open your eyes.

Open your mind.

Be ready to receive.

Invite the Holy Spirit and be willing and ready to be filled with gods power and glory.
Let the Holy Spirit do his works in you.

Read the Bible, as you read, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal gods plan.

Invite him in.

Open the door.

Be ready to be equipped by the Holy Spirit.
I challenge you today.
Do you accept?
Pray with me.

Father God I want to be empowered by you. I want to feel the warmth of your spirit. I want to be equipes by you. I want to be used in your glory. God help me open my eyes to be able to see your wonder. God help me open my ears to be able to hear the call of the Holy Spirit. God help me open my mind so that doubt doesn’t pass my mind and I can accept your power. God open my heart for I want to be filled with your glory. Lord use me any way you seem fit using the Holy Spirit. I am willing, able and ready to receive your Holy Spirit who will equip me in this walk with you. Amen

A Prayer for Today 

“Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit who is my helper in this life. I choose to open my heart to Your Word to receive power so that I can walk and live in the victory You have prepared for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

I am a friend of God

As Kingfishers Catch FireDay 2  •  1 of 2
This is Day 2 of a three part series for a devotional that I read. It was deep it was amazing. I do not remember where I got this whether it was online or via email I copied and pasted it because i wanted to re read it. Above is the details of the author so that they may get full credit for this.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow I will post this 3 day devotional. I will though add a prayer at the end of the devotional and word from this amazing series. Enjoy.

Devotional

God’s Friend

We find ourselves living in a time when the common question is not “Who are your friends?” but “How many friends do you have?” The focus is on numbers, not names. This makes sense in our social media obsessed world twhere it is possible to have hundreds, even thousands of friends. Or at least that’s the word we use when describing these people although many we’ve never met in person and some we could possibly pass by in a crowd and not recognize. But they are our friends. Right?
Maybe not. 
Maybe we’ve gutted that potent word of its force, and now it is so 

common as to mean everything, or, in other words, nothing. We’ve rendered it impotent. It is interesting that of all the words that could have been used to describe this man’s relationship with God, the one chosen was friend. And the man was a particular man with a name – Abraham.

“Being a friend is the opposite of being an enemy. That simple contrast stands out above all else in Abraham. Abraham was on such terms with his God that he responded without suspicion and without fear. Abraham somehow knew that God was on his side, that God was for him and with him, a friend…To be a friend of God does not mean everything is cozy between you and the Almighty.

 To be a friend to someone does not mean you pamper or indulge him or her. Friendship also involves struggle and loss, tension and turbulence…A friend, if honest and true, will tell you things you don’t want to hear. A friend, if deeply serious about you, will do things that feel painful. Friends do that because they respect our dignity and honor our uniqueness.”
So instead of wasting time focusing on numbers, how about bringing to mind some names that fit the above description of a friend? Could one of those friends be God? What would it mean for you to call yourself a friend of God? What could it mean for you to live like that?

Friend is totally about a relationship, not a function.

James 2:23 KJV

23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Father God I thank you for being a friend to me. I thank you for allowing me to be your friend. Thank you the relationships I have built whom are all friends of yours. I want to build more relationships with like minded folks. I want to be surrounded by positive relationships that strengthen one another vs building one another down or using one another. I thank you for your love and your kindness. I thank you for allowing our relationship, our friendship dear lord to grow. I pray for you reading this looking for growth in your relationship with God, I pray for you to have faith and patience. Know I am a friend of God, he calls me friend, but you too are a friend of God, and he calls you friend too. Keep looking, keep searching, keep praying. The road is not easy, but he got this. Trust in him. Amen

Power and Love

I woke up this morning feeling defeated, not by temptation or the enemy but defeated at my child’s school. I don’t know what it is about one specific person whom has blindfolded and has so much control over every aspect of the school. Now I don’t want to change the culture of the school nor do I ever want to tell a teacher how to do their job. What I do what to do is help the school succeed. The problem is….. if that said person doesn’t come up wth the idea, then it’s usually irrelevant (at least until said person repeats the same recommendation you made).
Parent involvement is at an all time low, why? There are mixed reasons, schedule conflicts, lack of morale and responsibilities take place.
I also noticed something. The parental leadership committee doesn’t fully represent the parental and student body. The parental portion of this leadership compromises of 5 parent positions.

Here’s the demographic population of the school, then I’ll provide the make up of the population of the parental positions.

About 90% are of Hispanic/ Latino descent (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuban, hondorian, Mexican, guatelamn, Colombian, Ecuadorian, El Salvador, Panamanian, Peruvian, etc), about 5% is Asian. About 2% white, 1%arab, 1% black 1% mixed (biracial).
Here’s the parental make up 3 white 1 Latin mother of a biracial child (black and Latin) 1- Latin – mother of a Latin child.

The pta presidents which is a shared post one is Asian one is Latin mother of two mixed biracial children (Latin and Asian).

Where is the black representation where is the Arab representation?
Though I woke up feeling defeated, I had to stop and reflect why am I defeated? Because I’m out numbered? Maybe it’s time to take action vs make recommendations.
Then I listened to my devotion this morning. God hears my thoughts and provides a solution. The devotion had two scriptures affiliated and both hit a home run in my soul.
Ephesians 3:14-21New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen

2 Timothy 1:7New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Part of the devotion read as follows…. this is the part that got me thinking…
“Inadequacy grows out of fear—specifically, fear of failure and of not meeting people’s expectations. No matter how unqualified we feel, apprehension is not an acceptable excuse for avoiding responsibility. The truth is, even if a Christian feels incapable of accomplishing some of the awesome tasks God calls him to do, the Holy Spirit is more than adequate! As believers, we do not have to possess perfect qualifications or skills; we need only to be willing. What have you refused to do for the Lord because you feel inadequate? 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has given us a spirit of power, not one of timidity. All the believer has to do is step out in faith; the Holy Spirit’s strength and courage will be there to meet us.”
I do have life for my children and the children in the neighborhood. I want them all to succeed. I do have connections, resources and the discipline to make extra connections to provide, I am not usually timid, but do respect boundaries. I should tap in to the talent and power entrusted to me by the Holy Spirit, follow his direction and do my part.
I am not inadequate.

Thank you Lord for lifting me up.
I will voice my power.

Thank you Holy Spirit for reminding me I do have a voice and I do have power.
I will provide all the resources I have available, and if they choose not to proceed I know I have done my part, and any failures will not be on my conscience.

Thank you Jesus for reminding me to not only sit at the table, but to go back to being a doer…. a go getter, despite the results.
Yes school politics turned me off.

The mere fact that an entire school has to cater to the schedule of ONE individual is ridiculous. We all have lives and responsibilities. My main responsibility is of the well being of my child.
I will demand my voice and concerns be heard, not just for my child, but for the children’s who’s voices are not being concerned.
Father thank you for reminding me of my talents. For reminding me I have a voice and a power that you have given me. Thank you for reminding me not to give up. To stand up. To face the adversity, no matter how many times we get shut down. I will follow your direction for the sake of the children.

Amen

All in his Time.

#BFF


#BFF
Tween’s, Teens and Millennial’s (myself included) are constantly using Hashtags (#) for everything.

#Iwokeup

#Iate

#IhashtagforNoReason
We tend to post pictures of our loved ones and besties.
#bff #MyBestFriendIsBetterThanYours #MyBestie

Spaces between words no longer exists with the hastag movement.

#IJumbleMyWordsTooLazyToUseTheSpaceBar.

What I often see a lot is the #BFF #BestFriends.

Now I don’t find that offensive in any way. I too have best friends, friends I love dearly, and occasionally when I post a picture on social media i also #bff to these pictures. (such a millennial lol – oh there I go LoL vs Laughing Out Loud).
I married a wonderful man, whom I consider my best friend. He is just truly amazing. Amazing Individual, Amazing Father, Amazing Husband, Amazing Son, Amazing son in law, Amazing member of our Church, Amazing brother in Christ and an Amazing Best Friend.
I also have my best friends whom I have had since child hood, best friends that no matter how many days go without us speaking, no matter how long we go without seeing each other, no matter where in the country they live (none of my best friends live near me…They have all continued their lives in other states, that is ok, because distance does not kill friendships, they are my besties despite distance). Yet I feel we are just close as we were when we lived near each other. Love friendships like this that can last the tests of times and distances.

My siblings are my best friends…we fight, we bicker, we get along…just like your average siblings. I love them and I consider them my best friends.

However my #BestFriendForever has been by my side from conception.
God the father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. The Divine Trinity has been by my side since day one, while undergoing mitosis and meiosis in the womb, when I was just a single cell, before becoming a full fetus/embryo.

The Holy Spirit has been with us from day one. The Holy Spirit is your true best friend forever. The trinity has been with us from the very beginning, while are cells are developing into bodies, God was apart of that process, ensuring that every aspect of you and I came to be as it is today. What kind of best friend would be with your during these early developments? A divine one. #HolySpiritBFF!!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 New International Version (NIV) 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies
From day one. the Holy Spirit is within us, the Holy Spirit, who is God, is within us, guiding us. Divine, holy, eternal, true, omnipresent, omnipotent, always and forever with us. #HolySpiritIsMyBFFemphasisOnForever.
John 14: 6 – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
The Holy Spirit guides and Helps us. The Holy Spirit teaches us. Our worldly best friends can help us, but none in the way God can. #HolySpiritIsMyBFF
Romans 5:5 “Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
When we are Weak, the Holy spirit lifts us, guides us, intercedes for us, searches our hearts, knows our thoughts, encourages us, for God’s will. The Holy Spirit has done for you and I more than any one of our Best friends in the flesh has.

#MyBestFriendTheHolySpiritIsBetterThanYours. (ok, maybe that was a bit much…we do not want to gloat…father forgive me, but you get the idea.)
Romans 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
The Spirit counsels us with Wisdom, understanding and knowledge.
Isaiah 11:2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Currently at my church we are in the midst of studying the Trinity, but particularly the role of the Holy Spirit. These classes of the Holy Spirit has inspired this post. If you didn’t know you will now know that the Holy Spirit is God. He is apart of the trinity. We do not have Gods, but a God.
The Holy Spirit is a divine aspect where you can feel God. A mediator. The trinity Is God our father, God the son, God the Holy Spirit. One God, three variations of God, yet the same one true God.
In these lessons, from where we have gotten to thus far we learned the personality of the Holy Spirit, we’ve learned the various names the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit (OT & NT). We learned the role the Holy Spirit places in our lives.
The main emphasis given throughout the lesson is building a relationship with God using the Holy Spirit. Just like in your friendships and relationships here, you have to build a relationship. You need to be open, honest, show love and affection, be close with the Holy Spirit. Treat God as your best friend… share with him. Have God be your #bff. That is possible. The Holy Spirit makes it possible.
Remember as mentioned before the Holy Spirit was there with you from day one. Don’t hold out, God knows you better than you do, but still maintain a relationship. The same way your closest friend knows with just one glance what you are thinking…. you still tell your friend everything.
God I thank you, I thank you for sending a piece of you to me. I thank the Holy Spirit for being that direct connection to you. For being my best friend from day one. For guiding me, enlightening me, pushing me, embracing me, toughening me, teaching me and loving me. Thank you for the outpouring love, for the miracles you have given in my life, and the miracles that have yet to come. I trust in you my lord, my true Best Friend forever. Amen.

#GodAlmightyIsMyBestFriend