Tag Archives: life

Crying Woman

The crying woman
What does it mean?
A while ago I had a dream, this dream resulted in me getting up, reaching out to someone and praying for them.
I wrote this to the person:
I’ve been meaning to text you all day.
I hope all is well… not sure the obstacles you may be facing but as you know God is in control and if you are facing obstacles it shall soon pass.
The reason for the random text well is because you’ve been in my spirit and mind all day.
I am resting on Med’s and every time I go to sleep, no matter what I am dreaming you have been appearing crying. You talk to vent, though in each dream I couldn’t hear what you’ve said, you continued to cry. Each time I’ve told you the same thing. It will be ok, it will pass. You are stronger than you realize, and I am here for you and love you.
Each time I have woken up from my medication induced naps…I got on my knees and prayed for you. Maybe that’s what you need. Prayers, but know I am here for you.
I do love you!!
I just wanted to share with you.
The recipient responded back with details of their struggles.  Thanked me for the words.
Those words were what she was asking for to be told that it will be ok, and to be reminded that her struggles will pass, she needed to be reminded that she is strong and loved.
What was the point of me writing this?
There are reasons beyond our control why we have certain dreams.
There are reasons beyond our control as to why certain individuals pop up in our mind.
Sometimes we have to follow the instructions.
Reach out to the person and relay the message.
You never know what someone is going through.
You never know the needs that they might have.
You never know what words they need to hear.
What we do know is when we are instructed to do something, we are to follow suit.
We are to listen carefully.
Doing so we can provide exactly what that person needs.
So the crying woman, what does it mean?
It means God put a vision in my sleep of someone I know, who was going through something.
God knew she needed additional prayers.
God knew she needed to hear the words I told her.
God used me to do so.
God can do the same with you.
When I reached out to the person, I had no idea what they were facing, what their burdens were nor their troubles.  When I finished hearing back, I was happy knowing that a difference was made in that person’s day.
Be that difference when the lord speaks to you or shows you signs.
Father God I thank you for any opportunity to do your will.  I am thankful for another day. Thankful for the love you give.  Your are gracious, kind, knowing, omnipresent and omnipotent.  I want to continue to be a vessel for your greatness.  I want to continue to do your great work.  In the name of the father, the son, holy spirit. Amen

ADD YOUR NAME….

Add your name:
Ever get bombarded by those “add your name to this list” emails?
They are usually some type of fundraising, political petition or even spam?
I do, and I am tired of them.
Granted some of those emails are my own fault for being engaged in civic calls to action and my community, but after awhile its like no I don’t want me name anywhere….well ….there is only one place I want my name in.
The book of Life.
What is the book of life?
The book of life, or as it is also know as the lambs book of life, is a book with names of those entering the heaven of God forever. Don’t you want your name there as well? I sure do.
Revelation 3:5
The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.
There several references to the book of life and having our names written in the book of life, there’s also mention of those will not. Where will they end up? Those will end up in the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:15
Anyone whose name was not found written in the
book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
I am going to put up a few verses that mention the book of life. Just so you can see what is written, explore those chapters in the passages mentioned below.
Psalm 69:28
May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous
There is even talks of those being blotted out the book of life in the Old Testament .
Trust me when I tell you I do not want to be one of those whom their names were blotted out. Luckily I want to have my name in the book of life. I want to be with our creator in the new Jerusalem he has been preparing for his children.
Yet you can find confidence in knowing that in the New Testament it says that make sure you repent of all sin and believe in the lord Christ as your savior, make sure that you are saved. (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5).
Once your name is written in the Book of Life, it is never erased (Revelation 3:5; Romans 8:37-39).
No believer should doubt his eternal security in Christ (John 10:28-30).
Revelation 13:8
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
.
Philippians 4:3
Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause
of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Revelation 17:8
The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out
of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.
Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and
books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
Revelation 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is
shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the
Lamb’s
book of life.
This was intense reading. We all know how to achieve salvation. What we need to do is accept our responsibilities which we are called to do to maintain our salvation and not fall off the wagon sort to speak. We need to keep our name written in the book of life. We need to keep promoting peace and love of Christ. We need to keep listening to his calling.
I did additional research with questions one may have pertaining the book of life. Below you will see the link and excerpts to these questions to help guide you and go a little further in depth in this conversation.
Question: “What is the Book of Life?”
Answer:
Revelation 20:15
declares, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life,
he was thrown into the lake of fire.” The Book of Life, in this context,
is the set of names of those who will live with God forever in heaven.
It is the roll of those who are saved. This Book of Life is also
mentioned in Revelation 3:5; 20:12; and Philippians 4:3.
The same book is also called the Lamb’s Book of Life because it
contains the names of those who have been redeemed by the blood of the
Lord Jesus (Revelation 13:8; 21:27).
How can you be sure your name is written in the Book of Life? Be sure
you’re saved. Repent of sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your
Savior (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5). Once your name is written in the Book of Life, it is never erased (Revelation 3:5; Romans 8:37-39). No true believer should doubt his eternal security in Christ (John 10:28-30).
The Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15 is a judgment for unbelievers. That passage makes it clear that no one at that judgment has his name in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:12-14). The fate of the ungodly is sealed; their names are not in the Book of Life; their punishment is sure.
Some people point to Revelation 3:5 as “proof” that a person can lose his salvation. However, the promise of Revelation 3:5
is clearly that the Lord will not erase a name: “He who overcomes . . .
I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.” An overcomer is
one who is victorious over the temptations, trials, and evils of this
world—in other words, one who is redeemed. The saved are written in
God’s registry and have the promise of eternal security.
Another passage over which confusion sometimes arises is Psalm 69:28:
“Let them [David’s enemies] be blotted out of the book of the living.”
This “book of the living” should not be confused with the Lamb’s Book of
Life. David is referring to earthly, physical life, not eternal life in
heaven. The same is true of the “book” mentioned in Exodus 32:32-33.
God keeps good records. He knows His own, and He has set the names of His children permanently in His book.
Recommended Resource:
Eternal Security by Charles Stanley
Question: “Is there a difference between the book of life and the Lamb’s book of life?”
Answer:
There are eight references in New Testament to the “book of life,”
and two of them refer specifically to the book of life that belongs to
the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Seven of the references appear in the book of
Revelation. Those whose names are written in the book of life are those
who belong to God, those who have attained eternal life.
Paul refers to those who have labored alongside him as those whose names are in the book of life (Philippians 4:3), again identifying the book of life as a record of the names of those who have eternal salvation. In the same way, Revelation 3:5
refers to the book of life in which the names of believers in the Lord
are found. These are those who overcome the trials of earthly life,
proving that their salvation is genuine. This verse also makes it clear
that once a name is written in the book of life, Jesus promises that He
will never blot it out, proving once more the doctrine of eternal security.
The Lord Jesus, who is speaking to the churches in this part of
Revelation, promises to acknowledge his own before His Father.
Conversely, Revelation 20:15 reveals the fate of those whose names are not written in the book of life—eternity in the lake of fire.
Revelation 17:8 clarifies when
the names of the redeemed are written in the book of life: “The
inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book
of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when
they see the beast” (emphasis added). The names of those who approve of
the Antichrist are not found in the book of life, and the names that are in the book of life were written there before the world was created. Thus, Revelation 17:8 teaches both eternal security and election.
In Revelation 13:8 and 21:27,
we find the references to the “Lamb’s book of life,” in which also are
the names of all those who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb,
Jesus Christ. The Lamb who has been “slain from the creation of the
world” has a book in which are written all those who have been redeemed
by His sacrifice. They are the ones who will enter the Holy City, the
New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10) and who will live forever in heaven with God. Since the book of life is that which records all who have eternal life through the Lamb, it’s clear that the book of life and the Lamb’s book of life are one and the same.
Question: “Is it possible for a person’s name to be erased from the Book of Life?”
Answer:
Revelation 22:19
says, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of
this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and
out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this
book” (KJV). This verse is usually involved in the debate concerning
eternal security. Does Revelation 22:19 mean that, after a person’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, it can at some time in the future be erased? In other words, can a Christian lose his salvation?
First, Scripture is clear that a true believer is kept secure by the power of God, sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30), and of all those whom the Father has given to the Son, He will lose none of them (John 6:39).
The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, “I give them eternal life, and they
shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father,
who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them
out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28–29b). Salvation is God’s work, not ours (Titus 3:5), and it is His power that keeps us.
If the “anyone” referred to in Revelation 22:19
are not believers, who are they? In other words, who might want to
either add to or take away from the words of the Bible? Most likely,
this tampering with God’s Word would be done not by true believers but
by those who only profess to be Christians and who suppose that
their names are in the Book of Life. Generally speaking, the two main
groups who have traditionally tampered with God’s revelation are
pseudo-Christian cults and those who hold to very liberal theological
beliefs. Many cults and theological liberals claim the name of Christ as
their own, but they are not “born again”—the definitive biblical term
for a Christian.
The Bible cites several examples of those who thought they were believers, but whose profession was proven to be false. In John 15,
Jesus refers to them as branches that did not remain in Him, the true
Vine, and therefore did not produce any fruit. We know they are false
because “by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16, 20); true disciples will exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit who resides within them (Galatians 5:22). In 2 Peter 2:22,
false professors are dogs returning to their own vomit and a sow who
“after washing herself returns to wallow in the mire” (ESV). The barren
branch, the dog, and the pig are all symbols of those who profess to
have salvation, but who have nothing more than their own righteousness
to rely upon, not the righteousness of Christ that truly saves. It is
doubtful that those who have repented of their sin and been born again
would willingly tamper with God’s Word in this way—adding to it or
taking from it. Purposefully corrupting God’s Word reveals a lack of
faith
There is another important consideration about the meaning of Revelation 22:19, and it involves translation. Most manuscripts do not even mention the “book of life”; instead, they have “tree of life.” Here is how Revelation 22:19
reads in the NIV: “If anyone takes words away from this scroll of
prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of
life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” Other
translations with “tree” instead of “book” are the NASB, ESV, NLT, HCSB,
ISV, NET, and ASV, among others. The KJV stands nearly alone in
translating it as the “book” of life. The error arose when Erasmus,
in compiling his Greek text, was forced to translate the last six
verses of Revelation from the Latin Vulgate into Greek. The “tree”
became a “book” because a scribe had accidentally replaced the Latin lingo (“tree”) with libro (“book”). All translations that follow the Textus Receptus, such as the KJV, thus incorrectly say “book” instead of “tree” of life.
Arguing for the “tree of life” translation instead of the “book of life” translation are two other verses in the same chapter: Revelation 22:2 and 14. Both mention the “tree of life” and the “city” together, the same as verse 19 does. Also, the word portion or share
is significant. The one who corrupts the Word of God will be deprived
of access to the tree of life, despite whatever claim he thinks he has
to that fruit.
Revelation 3:5
is another verse that impacts this issue. “He who overcomes . . . I
will never blot out his name from the book of life.” The “overcomer”
mentioned in this letter to Sardis is the Christian. Compare this with 1 John 5:4:
“Everyone who is born of God overcomes the world.” And verse 5: “Who is
he that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son
of God.” (See also 1 John 2:13.) All believers are “overcomers” in that they have been granted victory over the sin and unbelief of the world.
Some people see in Revelation 3:5
the picture of God’s pen poised, ready to strike out the name of any
Christian who sins. They read into it something like this: “If you mess
up and don’t win the victory, then you’re going to lose your salvation!
In fact, I will erase your name from the Book of Life!” But this is NOT
what the verse says. Jesus is giving a promise here, not a warning.
Never does Scripture say that God erases a believer’s name from the
Lamb’s Book of Life—there is never even a warning that He is
contemplating it! The wonderful promise of Revelation 3:5
is that Jesus will NOT erase one’s name. Speaking to the
“overcomers”—all those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb—Jesus gives His
word that He will not delete their names. He affirms that, once a name
is there, it is there forever. This is based on the faithfulness of God.
The promise of Revelation 3:5 is directed to believers, who are secure in their salvation. In contrast, the warning of Revelation 22:19
is directed to unbelievers, who, rather than change their hearts toward
God, attempt to change God’s Word to suit themselves. Such people will
not eat of the tree of life.
The Book of Life
by Chris Moen
The Bible speaks of a book in heaven that lists the names of
all the people who will inherit eternal life. Will your name be included
in the Book of life?
God reveals through His servants, the prophets, that He has a
very special book. This is currently an open book containing a registry
of names. God deems very precious the individuals whose names are being
recorded in it.
This unique book was not made with human hands. Instead, it exists in
the heavenly realm. It belongs to Jesus Christ and is called “the
Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27).
To have one’s name written in this book means that one is considered
righteous before God and will inherit eternal life provided he or she
remains faithful to the end (Revelation 3:5). To have one’s name blotted out of this book signifies a fate of eternal death (Revelation 3:5; 20:15).
The first mention of this Book of Life is when Moses offered to have
his name erased from it. Speaking to God, Moses said, “Oh, these people
have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold!
Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out
of Your book which You have written” (Exodus 32:31-32).
God replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him
out of My book” (verse 33). As noble as Moses’ intentions may have been
to protect his fellow Israelites from God’s wrath, God will not
negotiate with people’s salvation in this way.
Who is currently in the Book of Life?
The Book of Life contains the names of those who have been spiritually
converted and who have dedicated their lives to the service of God. Like other
servants of God, Moses understood that his name was already written in
the Book of Life (Exodus 32:31-32).
Jesus said that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets will be in the
Kingdom of God, so their names are certainly in the Book of Life (Luke 13:28). Jesus further told His disciples to “rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
The apostle Paul wrote a letter citing the names of a few faithful
brethren alive at the time “whose names are written in the Book of Life”
(Philippians 4:3).
What members of the true Church of God have in common with the
patriarchs and prophets of old is that they all share the same gift of
the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:21). Having God’s Holy Spirit is the key to being granted eternal life in the Kingdom of God (Romans 8:9, 11). Those who will be in God’s Kingdom will have their names in the Book of Life (Malachi 3:16-17).
Can a name be erased from the Book of Life?
God was very clear that a person’s name can be removed from the Book
of Life: “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book”
(Exodus 32:33).
At the end of the book of Revelation, a warning stands as a guard
defending God’s truth. “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of
the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add
to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes
away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away
his part from the Book of Life” (Revelation 22:18-19).
In the last days, there will be a global resurgence of a false
religious system. God says this system of worship of a man will be
synonymous with worshipping Satan the devil (Revelation 13:4).
The deception will be so great that “all who dwell on the earth will
worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of
the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (verse 8).
Only those who resist participating in this system of worship will be rewarded for their victory over Satan (Revelation 15:2; 17:8; 20:4). See our article “What Is Babylon?” to better understand this false system.
A promise to the faithful
The prophet Daniel, while being given a vision of “a time of trouble”
at the end of the age, was told: “At that time your people shall be
delivered, every one who is found written in the book [of life]” (Daniel 12:1).
The apostle John was given a vision even farther into the future of “the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:10).
It was revealed to John that “there shall by no means enter it [the
holy city] anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but
only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (verse 27).
The prophet Malachi was given a message of correction and warning for
God’s wayward people, the Israelites. God still loved His people,
though they had strayed from His laws; but He now demanded honor,
faithfulness and obedience from them.
God then inspired Malachi to share a wonderful promise of hope. God
would grant to those who fear Him the reward of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. They would be identified in a registry called a “book of remembrance” (Malachi 3:16).
This “book of remembrance” is a reference to the Book of Life. As
Malachi noted: “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and
the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written
before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.
‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘On the day that I make
them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who
serves him’” (Malachi 3:16-17).
This fear of the Lord that Malachi spoke of is a healthy respect and love for God. To fear God and to keep His commandments is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13). To love God is to keep His commandments (1 John 2:5; 5:3).
God remembers the faithful deeds of “those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name” (Malachi 3:16).
This means their godly conversations with each other are being listened
to intently, and every act of kindness and mercy is being noted (Matthew 10:42; 25:34-40).
To those who care for the needs of others, we’re reminded, “For God is
not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown
toward His name” (Hebrews 6:10).
What else does God keep a record of?
Even the struggles of trying to live a godly life against hardship
and temptation appear to be recorded in heaven. David, who was destined
to be Israel’s next king, asked God to remember his suffering during a
low point in his life when he was surrounded by enemies. He said, “You
number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in
Your book?” (Psalm 56:8).
Nehemiah may have been making reference to a heavenly record as he
prayed: “Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my
good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its
services!” (Nehemiah 13:14).
Is there also a record of men’s sins in heaven?
The simple truth is that we will be judged for what we do (Isaiah 66:15-16;
Romans 1:18-32). Solomon said, “For God will bring every work into
judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Jesus Christ, after His return and during His judgment of mankind,
“will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the
counsels of the hearts” (1 Corinthians 4:5).
While here on earth, Jesus also said, “I say to you that for every idle
word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of
judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you
will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
While the scriptures we have just seen do not necessarily imply that
there is a written record of men’s sins, the reality is that God knows
everything we do. And because God has perfect memory, there is indeed a
record.
Thankfully, there is a way to have our sins blotted out and remembered no more by God (Hebrews 8:12). This forgiveness is made possible by Jesus Christ paying our death penalty for us, if we repent and accept it.
Through the prophet Ezekiel, God says, “Again, when a wicked man
turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is
lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. Because he considers and
turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall
surely live; he shall not die” (Ezekiel 18:27-28).
When a wicked man repents of his sins, “none of the transgressions
which he has committed shall be remembered against him” (verse 22).
When people repent, God also declares through the prophet Isaiah: “I,
even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I
will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25). For more understanding on this subject, see the article “Judgment of God: The Real Story.”
The basis of God’s judgment
The prophet Daniel, describing the vision he was given of God’s
throne room where judgment takes place, said: “I watched till thrones
were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated. … The court was
seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9-10).
The apostle John was also given a vision of God’s future judgment.
John recounted: “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found
no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before
God, and books were opened” (Revelation 20:11-12).
These books represent the books of the Bible, which contain God’s
law—the standard by which everyone’s deeds will be judged. “And the dead
were judged according to their works, by the things which were written
in the books” (verse 12).
John, still recounting his vision, then explained that an additional
book was opened: “And another book was opened, which is the Book of
Life” (verse 12). When the process of judgment is finished, the record
of names will be examined and “anyone not found written in the Book of
Life was cast into the lake of fire” (verse 15).
When is a name entered into the Book of Life?
The apostle Paul explains that the initial step toward salvation is
for a person to believe the gospel message of Jesus Christ. “In him you
also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation,
and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of
it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14, Revised Standard
Version).
Upon receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, at that moment a person is begotten into the spiritual family of God (Romans 8:14, 16).
When a believer receives the Holy Spirit, the seal of promise, he or
she joins the “general assembly and church of the firstborn who are
registered in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23). Thus, a person’s name is entered into the Book of Life.
What must I do to have my name in the Book of Life?
For God to record our names in the Book of Life, we must repent of our sins, be baptized and become spiritually converted. Water baptism symbolizes one’s lifelong commitment to follow God’s way of life (Acts 2:38).
Jesus told His followers, “Do not labor for the food which perishes,
but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man
will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:27). Why is it so important for us to do this?
Jesus Christ declares, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white
garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I
will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5).
Father God I humbly thank you for another day to glorify your holy name. I thank you for this topic and the resources provided. I thank you for the clarity for I myself was unsure of something’s too. Thankful for the resources and praying that this helps someone in need. Amen

Sins and Virtues

Why don’t we talk about the seven deadly sins nor the seven virtues ?
Well, I am going to.
I will open up a bit of myself and share some experiences as well as discuss the 7 deadly sins and the seven virtues and their meanings.
I will have external resources which the links will be provided throughout this document.
So what are the 7 deadly sins and what do they mean?
7 Deadly Sins List & Meanings
Envy = the desire to have an item or experience that someone else possesses
Gluttony = excessive ongoing consumption of food or drink
Greed or Avarice = an excessive pursuit of material possessions
Lust = an uncontrollable passion or longing, especially for sexual desires
Pride = excessive view of one’s self without regard to others.
Sloth = excessive laziness or the failure to act and utilize one’s talents
Wrath = uncontrollable feelings of anger and hate towards another person
from the link above i will quote the article and also give my own stories and input. “Each one of these deadly sins listed above has its root in the desire for more and the human need for excess. Each sin goes against the root of Christianity which is: love for God, love for our fellow man, and love for our bodies (keeping them as clean temples for God, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-12, ‘I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.’ This strikes at the root of each of these deadly sins. Paul in effect is saying that God can take care of our needs and there is no need to lust or desire after excessive things.”
We are selfish creatures, we are sinful beings, we like to fill the ‘voids’ we have in our lives with anything other than Christ.
Many of us when in the flesh have experienced moments of Envy., Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Sloth, wrath. I know I have at one point or another, I will admit it.
Envy, I experienced Envy as a child when I saw other kids get materialistic things that I couldn’t (because my folks couldn’t afford them). I also experienced envy when I wanted to conceived and couldn’t, yet the whole world was having children.
Gluttony, I have overly consumed alcoholic beverages in my day to fill a void I thought needed to get filled with alcohol when I tried to drown my worries away.
Greed, I have experienced greed during times of selfishness, where I thought of my self, my possession and nothing else mattered.
Lust, I have had lust for individuals whom were not my spouse.
Pride, I have had plenty of prideful moments in my life.
Sloth, there have been times I have been pure lazy, where i would veg out and not want to associate myself with anyone and just be.
Wrath, I have had feelings of angered and hatred at one point or another to individuals.
Basically without going into full details, yes I too have had moments where I have experienced these moments, regrettably so.
Yet now what? How can we “cure” or fix ourselves from these deadly sins?
The cure, is a new heart which acts in accordance to God’s love and law.
The article i found stated “The cure for these sins is the gift of a new heart that acts in accordance to the love and law of God. This new heart can only come from God. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.’ Humanity’s only hope is the miracle of a regenerated heart that acts according to the direction of the Holy Spirit to walk in God’s statutes and judgements.”
we need to open up to God, Confess to him our sins, move forward with an open heart, mind and self to move forward to be pure of heart to not sin. It will not happen over night. You need to be open, willing and able to move as God commands you to walk. He will give you this new heart to walk in. “Power does not come from self to change the heart. On the contrary, this verse clearly points out that God alone gives you a new heart and causes you to walk in His ways. As this event becomes a reality in your life, the seven deadly sins of gluttony, envy, sloth, wrath, pride, lust, and greed will lose their power in your life. With the indwelling Holy Spirit in your life, you will instead desire to live a life based upon the principles of the Bible.”
the article gives a History of the Seven Deadly Sins “The seven deadly sins were first compiled by Pope Gregory I around the year 600. They are pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Gregory also compiled a list of the seven virtues: faith, hope, charity, justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. The Bible would validate all of these concepts, but nowhere are they recorded in a list like this and nowhere in the Bible are they specifically referred to as the seven deadly sins or seven virtues. They do not pre date the Ten Commandments which were given at Mt. Sinai around 1450 B.C. It is probably true that they were used extensively to teach principles from God’s Word, particularly in the centuries before the invention of the printing press when the Bible was not available for the common man to read and study.”
just in case; the ten commandments are as follows:
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make idols.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.
In the bible the 7 deadly sins do not appear, yet the bible does mention in Proverbs what is sinful to the lord:
Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
and one who sows discord among brethren.”
Also, In Galatians “mentions several more sins to be on our guard against” , Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
What now are the seven virtues?
The Seven Virtues
“The seven virtues were originally defined in the poem, Psychomachia, by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, a Christian governor who died around 410 A.D. Because of the poem’s prevalence the concept and idea of the seven virtues spread throughout Europe. The following is a listing of the seven virtues and how they cure each of the seven deadly sins:”
Kindness = cures envy by placing the desire to help others above the need to supersede them
Temperance = cures gluttony by implanting the desire to be healthy, therefore making one fit to serve others
Charity or love = cures greed by putting the desire to help others above storing up treasure for one’s self
Chastity or Self-control = cures lust by controlling passion and leveraging that energy for the good of others
Humility = cures pride by removing one’s ego and boastfulness, therefore allowing the attitude of service
Diligence or Zeal = cures slothfulness by placing the best interest of others above the life of ease and relaxation.
Patience = cures wrath by taking time to understand the needs and desires of others before acting or speaking.
The seven virtues, though originally defined from a poem the concept isn’t far fetched from the teachings of Christianity.
For example if you think of the 10 commandments tells you how we are to live
You shall have no other gods before Me. – God is your one and only God
You shall not make idols. – Do not make idols since we serve the one true god
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. – wash out your tongue and speak words of prosperity in stead of in vain
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. – praise him.
Honor your father and your mother. – love and honor them.
You shall not murder. –
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.
We also find concepts of virtue in:
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on
these things.
Psalm 41:12
As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And You set me in Your presence forever.
We are to hold his virtue, his commandments, keep pure, we are to love one another, be kind to one another, help one another, be humble with one another, be diligent for one another have patience for one another.
We must do our best not to sin. It really is not easy, for there are many ways we get tempted. We have to learn to not use material means to fill voids only God can fill.
Father God I thank you for bringing this article before me. I thank you for allowing me to share this. We are living in times where we sin more than we would hope to, we are living in dangerous times, scary times, times filled with hatred. I want to be the change I wish to see in this world. I want to bring forth your love and your peace to this world. I want to help any way I can and show your love and good deeds in the world. amen.

Knowing when to pick your battles.

"It is an honour for a man to cease from strife…"

(Proverbs 20:3, KJV)

Knowing when to pick your battles.

It takes a bigger person to stand down. I was going to confront someone after something I witnessed. My child was playing with another child. I don't know precisely what happened between the two children because I couldn't see them from where I was. My 2 year old went to strike a 4 year old. Now, I know for a fact this 4 year old has loose hands, the same 4 year old recently hit a 7 year old. I also know for a fact my 3 year old when annoyed is very loose with his hands as well.

Needless to say I didn't witness that specific encounter, I did hear when an adult (not the parent of the 4 year old) spoke to my 2 year old and told him "hey we don't hit, play nice". My two year old walked away as did the 4 year old. Now the mother of the 4 year old at first said, it's ok, he's only a baby, then her friend who didn't realize I was watching said "nah man, if she gets hit she needs to hit back", this woman's mother who was the one whom initially spoke to my son said, he's only a baby, we just got to teach him from now that we don't hit our friends. The 4 year olds mother agreed. The 24 year old then said again, nah man she needs to toughen up, if she don't learn now to hit back and defend herself regardless who it is, she will get walked all over. Then the mother of the 4 year old said, yes I should tell her hit him back, they all started to laugh after that.

I was going to approach them about that whole conversation but felt it wasn't the place to start a fight (we were in church). I was more annoyed at the response. Granted my two year old is a baby, granted he is in the Hitting phase, granted I am working on this which i am not too proud he is in this phase.

As I called my two year old over to me, i reprimanded him. The elder mom stated he wasn't wrong, he's only a baby, I responded no, they both need to learn to keep their hands to themselves. The 24 year old walked on by, I personally have felt she has something against me and you know what, I'm not loosing sleep over your animosity. I've never done anything to you, so whatever beef you got, either address it or cut the crap, I'm too old for this nonsense, but that doesn't mean take it out on my kids either. Mind you we are in church, how dare you disrespect the lords house in such a fashion….

So I say nothing, not because I felt in the wrong, because this person is the explode type when addressing any situation and I just had a blessing with the sermon about prosperity that I didn't want to loose my blessing….

I wanted to keep the peace.

When the mother of the 4 year old passed by I said, look if my kid hit your kid i am sorry.

I don't think she knows that I saw and heard not only what she said but I was watching her body language as well. She responded to me, "he's only a baby, it's ok."

We kept it moving. As I said I didn't see the kids interaction, but I apologized just in case.

I simply saw the adults reaction to whatever happened.

I am not one of those parents that gets defensive if you reprimand my child. If they need to be put in place by telling them hey, we don't do this or that, I'm cool with that. I am not cool with co signing on violence and bullying.

What bothered me more was the response.
Hit him back so what he's a baby.
Insert pretend to hit someone action.

I was livid that this was the conversation and response after a sermon about wishing prosperity for all. After a sermon on love for all. After a sermon on success for all. After a testimony about a financial blessing for the church after random acts of kindness gave testimony of whom we are as Christian's. That acts of kindness moved someone not in the faith to bless the church monetarily.

I was perplexed at the fact that all this went in one ear and out the other.

I could've said something.

I chose not to start a war, not to start conflict I chose to let it go.

I am not going to lie, it bothered me, still does. Yet some battles are worth not fighting. Instead I will ask to lecture about bullying. I will ask to preach against bullying. I will ask to preach about turning the other cheek. When to know to defend oneself, how to pick your battles wisely.

The Mother of the 4 year old father I guess in the moment under peer pressure:… the 24 year old is known for her temper. I would rather just keep peace.

The bigger prize and picture that day was me not loosing my blessing. I wasn't going to lose out on something amazing from God for anyone. My two year old in his terrible twos is something I constantly pray over and work on with him. I know it's not going to end today, nor tomorrow, but know with time this phase will be over.
I also know that I will not stand for bullying regardless of where it comes from. There is a way to address this subject I just have to find it and ask the Pastor if we can take that route.

Yes I am hurt, yes I am offended, yes I am upset. Writing here has let me release what I am feeling. I have already forgiven the party involved. I've already asked for forgiveness for my sons alleged transgressions day of. Yes this is a lesson in itself.

We must always learn and be cautious of the battles we choose to face. We should always be weary and think is it worth it? Was I also in the wrong? What can we do to make similar situations not happen again. Will we be endangering ourselves in saying anything?

I trusted in the voice from within that said let it go. Don't waste your time. I'm glad I listened. Though today I write about it. Not out of bitterness or resentment but out of learning and understanding: today I write about it because as parents, Christian or non Christians alike we face these challenges in public settings, when kids go to school etc. we face the possibility of will my child be bullied and how will I handle that, we all face that struggle that I don't want to be the mother of a bully either. The scenario that I displayed that took place with my two year old, the four year old and the comments of a 24 year old woman whom does not have any kids of her own, is a scenario that plays out daily.

Mother takes child to a park.
Child plays with another child.
Child 1 & 2 have a sort of disagreement;
Child 2 wants to play with a you, refused to let child 1 play. Parent of child 1 says no grab your toy, snatch it from them, child 1 listens, child 2 stays shook, child 2 goes on and plays with something else: the now powerful and victorious child 1 wants that too, parent of child 1 encourages child 1 to push child 2, hit child 2 of need be to get what they want.
Parents observing observe the type of parent said parent is, many do not get involved. Encouraging bullying is not the solution. Encouraging bullying is not the answer, encouraging bullying needs to stop, whether in a secular setting or non secular setting. The world is ugly as it is already, if your not going to be apart of the solution, you my fears are apart of the problem.

Advice is welcomed in the comments, shared experiences is welcomed as well.

Before I end this post I want to finish with a prayer, father God we come before you and thank you for your good graces. Thank you for guiding us, for loving us, for speaking to us and discerning which battles are worth fighting for. Thank you for your hand in victory in my life, thank you for the wisdom and courage needed to walk away from certain circumstances. Thank you for allowing me to rule out possibilities that may arise based on personality traits that can escalate any given situation. You have guided and prepared me in such away, and it's because of that we were victorious and I didn't loose out on your blessings. I pray for anyone dealing with the burdens of not knowing which battles they must take up. May they seek your guidance and support to make the correct choices. As I begin my research for better equipping folks locally I ask for your guidance, may this be approved by you, may this be guided by you and may you get all the glory in the steps to come. Amen

Change

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24

I am wondering dear lord is It me? Am I the problem? Am I too defensive? Am I unknowingly offensive? Am I anxious and nervous for nothing?
I trust you lord, but is my trust in you reflected in my words, actions, reactions and ways?

Dear lord forgive me if I have offended others. Forgive me if I have overreacted. Forgive me for being over emotional.

Sometimes we are quick to blame others without looking at the man or woman in the mirror. We are quick to blame others without seeing the bigger picture.

We need to think, rationalize not jump the gun. We need to take it easy. (Actually to quote one of my professors "Cojelo con el take it easy okay mama".)

Proverbs 16:32 ESV /m
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

We can all heed this advice. Myself, you, even our President. We all have had moments of reacting…. and over reacting.

I'm wondering the cycle of behavior patterns if that's something one can truly change. I can lift my hands and ask you dear lord for guidance. Not everyone understands the power in reaching out to you can do.

I spent 14 years with my husband, 9 of those years married. I uprooted myself to be with him. Moved to his side of time which is about a half hour to forty five minute drive to my everything, my life line, my family, at the time my friends. Some of my anger which comes up during arguments is the notion of being uprooted.

Building a relationship with my husband I lost many. I always put him first. Yet I still tried my best to be there for my family, friends and loved over time, distances grew and I've had to make a choice. My house hold or yours?

How much sacrifice I have to make for those whom don't appreciate my efforts. How much more sacrifice do I need to make for those whom don't acknowledge what I've done in their lives. Why sacrifice for people whom don't even look for you?

Tensions buildup, external and internal reasons for them. Quick to explode, quick to snap, quick to anger.

Why though? Over the trivial things that we keep thinking of. Right now I'm only briefly mentioning things that bother me from time to time, but we all go through experiences like this. We bottle things up that bother us up and snap.

Think about this: for many years I've said I uprooted myself from my family and friends for you, dear husband…. for you. I've stopped going out, stopped seeing people since you had me move with you. Deflecting to the real problem. Deflecting from the truth. Deflecting from admitting I had a choice.

I chose not to go out when invited, because of my own fears and insecurities based off where I live. I never wanted to be caught walking out late alone.

I chose not to travel sometimes because my commute is longer using mass transit (before we had a car). Blaming my husband for my own inability to accept what was really going on.

God had pulled me away from toxic people. God was even pulling me away from toxic relatives…. you know the ones that milk you until you have no milk left. You know the toxic friends….the ones that want you to binge drink with them until you all pass out.

Toxic relationships.
Relationships which did not honor gods will.

My husband was a pawn, by God to get me away from what distracted me from my reality. My husband was used by God to reopen my eyes and get me back on my feet. I was also a pawn used by God to get my husband to accept him as his lord and savior and serve him dutifully.

My lord has taught me time and time again how one can change. How one can be used for his greatness. How we need to open up and look at the bigger picture.

My dear lord thank you father for another day to write, worship, praise your name and analyze the great deeds you've done in my life. Without you lord I am nothing. You are the god of my fathers, the god of Abraham, the god our father, the king of all kings dear lord. I love you with all my might and my being. I thank you for the lessons of life you present me. I pray for forgiveness if I have offended anyone. I ask you for forgiveness dear lord for I am human and have sinned. I ask for forgiveness and redemption in your holy name. Amen

Measure of faith

"…God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."

(Romans 12:3, NKJV)

In this chapter Paul gives clear instructions to the romans. He asked them to sacrifice their bodies as living sacrifices in verse 1. In verse 2 he instructs us not to conform to this world, instead he asks that we be transformed by our renewal of our minds so that when we are tested we can be able to discern what is gods will and what is not.

In verse 3 he tells us to not think that we are better than the next but to use sober judgement and each if us to be faithful with the amount of faith given to us by God. Our faith and how much faith we have is passed down to us by God himself.
He continues on in the rest of this chapter teaching us how we are to function, treat one another, to love one another, be compassionate , rejoice and even behave towards one another and others alike.

You have the ability to Believe because god had given us that ability. He had given us the ability to help one another, to love one another, to pray for one another to be one with one another. If you believe in God, in his word, in his ministry you can be successful in your walk and overcome obstacles.

We were given the tools and resources in this bible and more specifically in his chapter. The important thing to remember is God had given us the ability to do what we want to do. Our faith in him can allow us to do so. Our faith in him can allow us to grown spiritually, succeed secularly and help our fellow brothers and sisters in their walk.

This chapter speaks of unity for we are one church. To pray for one another as you would pray for oneself. To pray for those whom hurt and offend you in the same manner you would pray for a loved one. Our faith is given to us.

The lord knows some need more faith than others. He provided according to each and everyone of our needs. All he asks in return is that we walk a clean walk, we follow the laws of the Bible and love one another.

Father we thank you for loving us. I thank you for providing just enough for me to live the life you want me to live. Thank you for your mandates for remind me that I need to show love to those whom don't show me love. I need to pray for those whom may not like me. I need to remember always that we are all your children and apart of your body. I thank you for your words of truth, for your words sort me free. I thank you for my eyes for they slow me to see. I thank you for being in each and every select of my life. For providing just enough of what I need. Amen

Zanqueo quiero conorcerle… Zacchaeus I want to get to know you

Luke 19:1-5New International Version (NIV)
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-figtree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

Zanqueo quiero conorcerle… Zacchaeus I want to get to know you.

This was a sermon that my pastor gave and even hours later it kept resonating. I needed this sermon. I think if your read my post a few days ago about an encounter and once you read this, you will understand why I feel this resonated deeply inside me.

God I am listening!
I'm going to paraphrase the sermon.
In The sermon the pastor described Zacchaeus procession. He was the chief tax collector, hated by all because of what he did. Yet when Jesus arrived, he had a drive, a need, a wang to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was short in stature, no matter how hard he tried, the crowds were so big they kept preventing him from seeing.

I tried moving along with the current of the crowds, but was still unable to see.
He saw a sycamore tree, so Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree so he could be able to see Jesus, despite his lack of height, despite being held back by the crowds, beside being hated due to his profession.

He wanted to see Jesus…. with his ambition, drive, and faith…. he saw Jesus. He saw Jesus….. and Jesus saw him too.

Don't let what others think, what others say, what others do deter you from getting to where you need to get spiritually. Do not let their actions, their words, their expressions deter you back. Do not let their actions, their words, their expressions hold you back spiritually.

Now back to the sycamore tree. It was explained to us that in those times the fruit of the sycamore was used to feed the pigs, pigs were deemed and unclean by the Jews, since the pigs were deemed uncleaned so was the fruit and the tree which provided Nutrition to these animals.

God qualifies the unqualified.

The sycamore tree was used to help Zacchaeus both became qualified and significant to God for an important lesson in our faith.

I also wanted to learn more about this tree, here is what I learned: links and references will be found at the very end of this post.

Sycamore Symbolism:
1a-"In Catholicism, the sycamore tree symbolizes the place in a person’s life where he has a clear vision of Jesus. "
2a-"In mythology, the sycamore tree was thought to be the embodiment of three goddesses: Isis, Nut and Hathor, who was called Lady of the Sycamore. In a traditional and attributive sense, the sycamore tree is considered the tree of protection and favors."

In this section where I have quoted from an article I found where we see how in Catholicism the tree symbolizes a place in a persons life where he has clear vision of Jesus, the author also shows the mythology of the mythology of the tree

Sycamore Tree
1b-"The sycamore tree that Zacchaeus climbed into was the Ficus sycamorus, also called the sycamore fig.  Some scholars argue that the Ficus sycamorus was the original fig tree in the Garden of Eden, not the Ficus carica. "

2b-"In Israel, sycamore trees grow where underground water is shallow and is most prominent in the southern Israel because of construction and rapid development.     Under very favorable conditions, the sycamore tree may produce up to six crops per year."

Symbolism: Regeneration    
3b-"In Israel, the sycamore tree symbolized regeneration.  Regeneration refers to someone who is spiritually reborn.  (Like zacchaeus)Zacchaeus had a spiritual rebirth thorough his discussion with Jesus in his home.  Levi, known as Matthew, was one of Christ’s original 12 apostles.  Like Zaccheaus, Levi was a tax collector (Mark 2:14).  When Christ called, Levi left his tax collector’s booth and followed Christ.  Possibly Zacchaeus knew Levi and wondered why his colleague who could become very rich collecting taxes would give it up for Christ.  After spending several hours with Christ, Zacchaeus no longer wondered because he too had a regenerated heart. Zacchaeus’ new heart did not cause him to follow Christ as did Levi’s.  Instead, Zacchaeus’ regenerated heart caused him to make restitution and change his life where he lived in Jericho."

What we see in these three points from the author is that the genome of the sycamore tree, we see why and how it was able to grow in Jerusalem and we see its symbolizing regeneration, renewal and rebirth. How this tree became qualified for a pivotal moment in someone's life. How this tree was pivotal in ones salvation.

Focus on the Lord, not "the crowd."
1c-"Faith is not a vicarious experience. While others can help to bring us to Jesus, He calls our name and we must personally respond. Not just once, but every day, every moment. Faith is a door into an ongoing, intimate dynamic relationship with a living, loving God who, in Jesus Christ, has come to seek and save the lost. Jesus reminds us "You did not choose me but I chose you…" (John 15:16) Zacheus climbed that tree in order to see the Lord, not to be seen by Jesus. He did not care what the crowd thought of a grown man climbing a tree! He went after the encounter with Jesus Christ with a childlike simplicity and a reckless abandon. Do we?"
2c-"The "crowd's" in our lives rarely lead us to God. Remember the exchange with Simon Peter recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter sixteen? Jesus asks the disciples "Who do men say I am". They told him what the "crowds" said about Him. "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah…." Jesus then spoke personally to Simon and asked "…but you, who do you, say I am." Peter replied "You are the Christ".

3c-"Desire to see Jesus more than anything or anyone else
The story of Zacheus invites us to ask ourselves if we are serious about fully and truthfully living out our Christian vocation. Do we really want to see Jesus or are we comfortable with keeping Him at a distance? Do we compartmentalize our lives, living a separation between faith and life that keeps religious things in a "religious compartment", treating faith like a hat that we put on and take off depending upon the environment that we find ourselves in?"

4c-"The Christian vocation is a call to ongoing conversion by giving ourselves away to the One who poured Himself out for us…and being transformed in the process. It is about giving our whole lives over to the Lord who takes up His residence within us and then continues His mission through us. "

5c-"We are also called to love differently, because we love "in" Jesus Christ. We are invited to "be" differently, because we are different now, at the deepest level. Jesus Christ continues His life and mission on this earth through His Body, His Church, of which we are members."

6c-"Choose to live in the Sycamore tree
The Sycamore tree created a clear line of vision for Zacheus. It helped him to rise above the crowd and see the Lord clearly. It placed him in the right position for the invitation that would follow. Jesus told him to come down for he was coming to his house! Imagine the thrill. For us, the Sycamore tree is a symbol of that place in our own lives which enables us to have a clear vision of Jesus. Zacheus did not hesitate. With the same lack of caution which he had demonstrated in climbing the tree, he came down to stand in the presence of God Incarnate. There he heard the call that would forever change his life."
7c"Where is Jesus passing through in our own lives? He always shows up for those who have their spiritual eyes opened to see Him. How about in our workplace? How about in our relationships? How about in our families? Are we running out to meet Him? Or, are we afraid? Are we wondering "if we see Him, what will He ask of us?" The invitation of this story is to climb that Sycamore Tree; to find the place that will make it possible for us to see Jesus, unimpeded, so as to hear Him call our name. He still comes to seek and to save what is lost. He still comes to the homes of all who open their hearts wide to his presence and are willing to live lives bathed in the light of His refining fire."

8c- "When we see Jesus on the Jericho Road of our own lives we are invited to exercise our faith, to choose Him and change. He does not do the changing in the relationship. He is the same "yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).Prayer is not, in the first instance, about getting God to do what we want. It is about entering into an intimate communion with Him and in Him, and then abiding (St. John 15). In that relationship, we invite Him to change us and we learn to surrender all to Him in love. ……. Zacheus teaches us about life in a Sycamore Tree. "

In this section we see 8 points 1- focusing on faith and it the crowds around you. 2 the crowds won't always lead you where you need to go 3 ones faith and determination, 4 ones vocation as christians, 5 we are called to love, 6 we are asked to live in the sycamore tree 7 we are asked to question where we see ourselves with Jesus and our relationship and 8 we are taught and reminded Jesus is the same.

I loved this added research on the sycamore tree and how it relates to us and our faith. I can't wait until the second part of this sermon.

Father God I thank you for this sermon and this research that came from it. You know my heart and you know how this sermon moved me. God I hear you. I will not listen to the crowds nor will I let them deter me from you. My relationship with you matters more than what others say. I will climb that sycamore tree, I will look for you with all my might so that our relationship can grow. Amen.

Notes 1a &2a came from:
http://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/sycamore-tree-symbolize-6810.html

Notes1b-3b came from:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/godasagardener.com/2013/10/13/climbing-a-sycamore-tree/amp/
But for further reading on
Bible plants along with their symbolism. Check out : 1) Rooted in God and 2) God as a Gardener. You can purchase them from website: Carolyn Roth Ministry at http://www.CarolynRothMinistry.com/

Notes 1c-8c came from: http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=34384

With you….

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:9, ESV)
The Lord is With You
Be strong.
Of good courage.
Do not fear.
Do not be dismayed.
For the lord god will be with you!
I have another post referencing the book of chronicles specifically a dialogue between David and his son Solomon indicating exactly the same thing.
Be strong.
Of good courage.
Do not fear.
Do not be dismayed.
For the lord god will be with you!
No matter what we do, we needed to be constantly reminded of the great works of God. We need to be constantly reminded of his instructions. We need to be constantly reminded that he is with us no matter what we are facing today.
Be strong.
Of good courage.
Do not fear.
Do not be dismayed.
For the lord god will be with you!
This will be my catch phrase today, because what I realized is it is important to have things repeated so it can sink in..:::… for even in the Bible the Lord repeats himself so we can let his words manifest and sink in.
Be strong.
Of good courage.
Do not fear.
Do not be dismayed.
For the lord god will be with you!
Be confident that the lord is with you in everything we do. There is nothing we need but his love, mercy, grace, wisdom and guidance. When we follow his lead and follow his words we will realize we are in good hands. We will realize he has our backs. We will realize that we no longer need to live in fear.
Be strong.
Of good courage.
Do not fear.
Do not be dismayed.
For the lord god will be with you!
Anything you need, he will provide. If you
need wisdom, wisdom is with you. If you need strength, joy or
peace today, they are with you. Remain confident in the that that everything you need will be provided spiritually, emotionally and physically. Lord is with you…. that’s is why.
He is the one person whom had never broken a promise to you.
Be strong.
Of good courage.
Do not fear.
Do not be dismayed.
For the lord god will be with you!
So please do not let the enemy maneuver his way into your mind casting doubt and lies.
Do not listen to those who are happy when you are oppressed.
Open your mind, heart and spiritual where to see the favors that god has in store for you .
Be strong.
Of good courage.
Do not fear.
Do not be dismayed.
For the lord god will be with you!
Father God I want to start off by thanking you for always being with me. I want to thank You for completing every good work that You have started in my life. I choose to believe Your Word, to trust in you, even when things look impossible. I choose to believe that You are working behind the scenes and that You will bring victory and breakthrough to every area of my life. I will lean on you for guidance, I will Be strong. I will be Of good courage.
I will go ahead and Do it. I will not fear.
I will l not be dismayed.For lord god I know that will be with me!
in Jesus’ name! Amen.

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.

Left to Chance

So I began to read a book which made me reassess my life and relationships.

Left to Chance
by Amy Sue Nathan

Before I start my review here is a synopsis from goodreads.com where I won this book in a giveaway.

The website synopsis:

From the author of The Good Neighborand The Glass Wives comes an enchanting story of returning home and discovering what truly matters after loss.

No one knows why Teddi Lerner left her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back.

Twelve-year-old Shayna— talented, persistent, and adorable—persuaded "Aunt Tee" to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it's been six years since Shay's mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend's husband marrying someone else. But Teddi’s bond with Shay is stronger than the hurt.

Teddi knows it’s time to face the consequences of her hasty retreat from family, friends, and, her old flame, but when she looks through her viewfinder, nothing in her small town looks the same. That’s when she truly sees the hurt she's caused and—maybe—how to fix it.

After the man she once loved accuses Teddi of forgetting Celia, Teddi finally admits why she ran away, and the guilt she’s carried with her. As Teddi relinquishes the distance that kept her safe, she’ll discover surprising truths about the people she left behind, and herself. And she'll finally see what she overlooked all along.

I cried, I laughed and I truly enjoyed reading this book. I can relate to Teddi and why she ran away, why she stood away. Sometimes when we loose people we love, we close up ourselves, we isolate ourselves in our grief, thinking we cannot function with out our departed loved ones…. whether or not they passed away or decided to travel across the country for a new life.

I was able to channel the emotions Teddi under went. I was able to relate to her struggles, her fears, her anxieties and her being around people she has not been around in years. I connected to the character on a deeper personal level, having somewhat been there myself.

I enjoyed this book.
I cried with this book.
I laughed with this book.
I sighed with this book.
I was happy with this book.

Eloquently written, easy read, easy to follow.

I recommend everyone read this.

This book also allowed me to take a step back and reflect on my relationships.
I keep thinking about how much things have changed.
In general.
How much time has passed.
How much I've changed.
How much my friends have changed.
How I went back to being the person I once was, without the same people who were originally there when I was that person.
How different it all feels.
Then I thought if anything happened to my "best friends" I wouldn't ever know.
Their significant others wouldn't tell me because I have no friendship with them.
Not by choice, distance.
They wouldn't even know I existed to contact.

I face my struggles and my challenges alone.
How are my "best friends" dealing with there's?
Teddi' longed for her phone conversations with her deceased Celia, the way I long for talks my friends.
Teddis life was drastically changed when her friend left her life, as was mine when my friends left mine to a start a new elsewhere.

Social media allows for some sort of contact with your loved ones, but it is so impersonal. Nothing like a phone call, nothing like a hey text, nothing like one on one face to face interaction if possible.

We've all moved on with our lives. We all have new friends, some even have new best friends, new things that matter. I am not the same person you once knew, you are not the same person I remembered.

Life is about growth. Some people are meant to be with you at given points in your walk, and then they branch off.
Some people are meant to walk the distance with you and be by your side.
If you love someone's, do not abandon them regardless of the circumstance.

What a nice lesson and reflection from this amazing book. Everyone is mourning, everyone too needs help in their journey. I mourn losses daily. We all wonder about the what ifs.

This book comes out on November 2017. Pre order it. It's going to be a good read and a great way to self reflect your existing and past relationships.