Why blog?

It's therapeutic... specially for dorks like me who communicate better when they have the chance to process their thoughts, select their words, and write precisely what they want to say. As much as I'm a "talker", I stumble, stutter, and don't always say things right. English as a second language might have something to do with that (unfortunately, I don't think I could blog in Spanish... I lost my grammar in that language). I like to pour out my thoughts and leave it out there in the cosmos (or the world wide web) for other people to mull over...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Psalm 112

I read this chapter and it hit me: This is what children of God look like! Not just church-goers or religious folks, but children who KNOW God personally and experience a living relationship with Him!

Psalm 112

New Living Translation (NLT)

Praise the Lord!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands.

If you didn't think that "obedience" and "commands" can be synonymous with "joyful", then you need to re-evaluate your theology! How can there by joy and delight in "fearing" the Lord! I can say from experience it's peace! I have peace in a right relationship with God. I have peace in obedience because I am not worried of the consequences, for example; the Bible instructs me not to be a gossiper. So I don't gossip at work. Therefore I have the joy and peace that comes from knowing that I won't be responsible for any trouble that work gossip can cause. Random example, not specific to my personal life, but just something to wrap your mind around. The same with lying or stealing. There's no worrying that comes with "getting caught", there's peace with integrity and fear of the Lord. There's delight! There's joy!

2 Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.

I don't know how to explain this promise... but I claim it! I want my children to be successful everywhere and I believe that they will be blessed.

3 They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will last forever.


4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

It isn't a promise that there is no darkness, but rather, that we'll have a light shining to help us during the dark times, provided that we meet the qualifications of the word "godly", as defined in the second part of the verse: "They are generous, compassionate, and righteous." Outside from this definition, given by God, of what it is to be "godly"... well... there is no godly! Godly implies being "God-like"... If you are not generous, compassionate, or righteous (and it's all three, not one without the other, that creates a perfect balance!), then you fall short of God's definition for the term. Oh Lord, help me to be these things - specially righteous. I can't do it without Your constant help - at work, church, with the kids, and with friends, help me to make the right choices and have integrity.

5 Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.

Aha! I believe it ties in to verse 3, which is where the promise of being wealthy lies; it is fulfilled in being generous and conducting business fairly... in other words, being generous and having integrity in our business dealings! Well, when you think about it THAT way, it's not too far of a stretch to believe that godly people can be wealthy. If we learn to not place ourselves in foolish debt, and to pay our bills, and handle our finances appropriately, and save, and think about what we invest in, and not squander our money in silly purchases... well... that would make any person wealthy (or at least wealthier) over a period of time!

6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.

♪♫ No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand ♪♫

9 They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honor.

Lord, I yearn to be someone who would be considered generous. I love You, and I want to honor You!! Not for my honor or influence, but for Your sake - to be a good representative of what You've done for mankind!

10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
They will grind their teeth in anger;
they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

It makes ungodly people angry when godly people flourish... they would rather see us fail, fall, or lose hope so they can point a finger at us and say, "Ha! I knew it! I was right and you were wrong!" Well... too bad for them... But you know how you fight back? By getting back up. By not staying down! Your success is the biggest revenge against the Enemy. If you have been hurt, and you want to get back at them - leave them be, it's for God to handle - but You keep moving forward in the service of the Lord, and leave them behind to grind their teeth!

I love reading Scripture... I love the encouragement and hope He gives me. If I had half a brain, I would soak in His words every day... better than some of the other things that seem to stick to me from week to week. Just remind myself of who I am in Christ and what He wants for me! I'd start praying these promises for myself and my loved ones, start believing in this direction, and see what God can do with my itty-bitty faith! Why do I let days go by before I open up His Word?

A good source is www.biblegateway.com - they have various reading plans in different versions that you can subscribe via email, so you get your daily reading every day and you can even read the Scriptures directly on your screen. Sometimes I read a verse in one translation and then in another, just to get a more rounded picture of what the message is. I'd recommend that to anyone.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lioness Arising... in midnight ramblings...

It's a really good Bible study! I recommend women everywhere to try to do it at their churches. It's by Lisa Bevere. I read through the first chapter and I'm hooked!

Now the book and study guide are out of my reach and I'm lazy, so bear with my paraphrase please, I just want to recount the image that's been in my head all day and its significance:

The rangers have just darted a male lion, tranquilizing him so they can work on removing a tracking collar they've had on him. They are about to approach the lion when they hear a growl and from the grass rises a lioness. Realizing the danger they are in, one of them comments, "To get to him, we're going to have to tranquilize her."

That lioness was not gonna let anyone approach her man. I can see myself in that - you insult my husband, or my kids, and it won't be pretty. Most women would agree that we can take a lot of things directed at US versus our family.

It hit me, however, when the question was posed, "How does Satan use the same tactic?" I sat there wowed by the spiritual lesson that was unfolding before me.

They tranquilize the lioness and work quickly, noting how her eyes were constantly fixed on them. "Nothing is more dangerous than a lioness fully awake."

It hit me what kind of threat I would be to Satan and the forces of darkness if I was fully conscious, fully awake. But to be honest I feel like I've been "tranquilized" for a long time! Mostly tired, kinda' lazy... letting day after day go by without doing anything useful, let alone Kingdom-minded! Working to get home, feed the kids, go to sleep, and do it over again. And even in that, I was barely functioning with the kids - just keeping them fed and clean and safe from disaster if at all possible.

It goes further than just me as an individual but also the church, as the bride of Christ. Nothing is more dangerous than the church fully awake!

"But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!" - Romans 13:11-14, The Message.

God calls us to be awake too, He says it through out even across the different translations. When I think of the different things that lioness accomplish while they are awake, I know they feed their young, they protect their families, they guard against enemies... but I also know one thing - they don't work alone! The lionesses in the pride will work together to accomplish the success of the pride.

Oh, what happens when the women in the church get together to do ministry! And not just be exhausted in "doing", but actually hug, love, pray, encourage each other! And pray with a fire! What would happen if we got fierce about what we believe?

I'm too tired now to get into it like I want to. But the truth is that we women have influence - married or not, there are people that count on us for our friendship, for our encouragement, even for our protection. We need to be awake, alert, conscious as Christians of the call in Romans. I need to be more alert. More mission-minded. More Kingdom-minded.

We need to prioritize our lives so that what we do matters! And stop wasting so much time on those things that don't matter! We need to be fierce about defending not only our families but our faith, because we are a force to be reckoned with. Let the forces of darkness know, "She is here... We can't just walk in, we are in danger!" And we need to bond with each other, welcome each other into the "pride" so to speak... It's not a call to be aggressive towards people, just be alert towards the Kingdom work God created us for.

I guess the reason why this touch of the bible study spoke to me is because I desire it with all of my heart. To really BE there for my kids and my family. To support and offer my strength to my church. To not feel so wimpy, whiny, and scared... So weak, so much of a failure... rather I want to be a threat to the Enemy. Lord, help me wake up from the dart guns that Satan has hit me with, and be about Your work for me here. I want to take my position in my home with courage and faithfulness. I want to arise from this slumber and start moving with the fierce beauty that You created me with, and fiercely open my heart to serving and loving others, offering my growl for those who cannot speak for themselves... No longer afraid of being hurt (again) but with the confidence that comes from knowing that above man, I can trust You.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Lately I've put the kids to sleep by reading a bible story to them and praying, and there is such a peace that comes over that room, we all just fall asleep with a smile on our faces... I've been falling asleep with them - maybe even ahead of them!

Tonight I let Paul put the kids to sleep so I can accomplish some much needed housework. Our balcony, our kitchen, and our yard looks MUCH better (and Paul helped with that too!).

I still have a couple of "messes" here and there, which should be taken care of by tomorrow.

I made a chart with all the things I wanted to accomplish each day, so that I break down everything that needs to get done into a few manageable tasks each day. I don't always do everything on the list, but I've been a bit more on-track (at least with school work). I haven't quite exercised yet. And I have woken up every morning to pray - just from my bed... not quite made it to my Bible this week, but I will keep trying until I get there.

I am so thankful for biblegateway.com! I read my bible tonight online. I was in the living room and it was late, the baby was going to sleep and I couldn't keep all the lights on... so I just opened my laptop and read the book of Zephaniah in the NLT. It spoke to me.

I've experienced the sting of judgment, the burn of consequences resulting from all the choices I made outside of God's guidance. But I love how that book ends: "He will rejoice over you with singing, He will calm your fears, He will redeem you with love..." One of those last verses, as if to drive the point - no matter how bad it seems things have to get before you have your head on right and turn in the right direction, your Heavenly Father is right there to receive you, comfort you, and cheer for you from that moment on! There is redemption, and there is restoration.

I experienced His redemption when I accepted Christ as Savior. Through the eternal power of the cross, Jesus pointed to me and told the Father, "This wild child is mine!" He paid the price for me. I belong to Him and there is nothing that can change that. Romans says that there's no height, no depth, nothing in the past, nothing in the present, and nothing in the future that can separate me from God's love. Jesus said, "All those that the Father gives me are mine, and no one can snatch them out of my hand," in John. He is the Good Shepherd, and even if all the other 99 in sheep in His care are perfect and pretty in the pasture, He never says, "Ok... I got 99 left. This will do." Nope. He goes out and finds me, and carries me back to the flock... as many times as it takes until I am in Heaven.

I am waiting for His restoration. I don't know entirely what it will look like, although I have some earthly ideas.

I think restoration for our family will look like a 2 bedroom home (at least) where the kids can sleep in their own bedroom and not on the sofa in our living room. And Paul has a good job. And I'm actually doing good at my job. And we are thriving, versus the "surviving" we are doing now.

I possibly see us plugged in to a church where we are making meaningful connections within the fellowship and have found our "ministries", so to speak - our points of service in God's kingdom where our talents and gifts combine with a need, and we can share God's love in some way...

Maybe I will even have a fully restored heart, free from bitterness, pain, or regret. A heart that truly forgives (I have to wrestle with this one every day). I'd love to be back to my joyful self of having energy and reading books, blogging more often, thinking of things to do for God's kingdom... Hopeful and looking forward to the things that God has with me with anticipation. I can't say that I'm quite there yet, but I am definitely doing better. I'm walking through the valley of the shadows BUT I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And yet, even when I feel a bit... exiled and a little heart achy... because it's not all that together just yet... As I'm standing on the other side of the Jordan looking into the Promised Land that I should've conquered YEARS ago but I screwed things up in my rebellion... I know that He is with me. His Holy Spirit is always confirming in my heart that He will never leave me, never forsake me. He loves me, I know this, and it strengthens my resolve to keep waiting as I inch forward. He loves me and it keeps me from giving up. Even in His discipline I feel His gentleness on me so as not to break me, not to push me past the point where I can't bear it anymore (oh, how many times I thought I was at the end of me! Only to see that God knew I was stronger than I thought...). He sings over me. I can't help but sing too.