Author Archives: Naty Matos
I remember the time I gave my life to Christ. To be honest that was not the time I became born again. I was in a revival, emotions ran high and I decided that it was time to surrender. I started what I thought was living my life for God, religiously. I would go to church, work in ministry. but never worked on developing a personal relationship with God.
My prayers were a series of repetitions, my bible reading was the same as reading a suspense book. I knew the right things to say. I had mastered christianese (language spoken by some Christians to sound more christian) I knew the way to act, but inside my life hadn’t changed. The charade soon showed.
I spiraled out of control not being able to deal with my issues when they arose. I knew of God, but I didn’t know God. I prayed empty prayers looking to be heard but not aligning my life to his will. It didn’t work. I made mistake after mistake leaning on my own understanding, you know how that goes.
After 8 years of being tired of going around in circles I got an offer that I couldn’t refuse. It was an offer that had been there all along but I was too blind to see. I was finally ready to give it all and be really born again. God was calling my name and wanted me to come home. I ran into his arms ready to dive really into his heart. I was finally able to break with the condemnation of my errors once I repented and received his grace and mercy.
So Here are some of the things that God offered me:
- Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
- Matthew 11:28-29-“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
- Philippians 4:19-And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
- Romans 10:9-If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- Romans 6:23-For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
and many more. A God that accepted me in spite of me. A God who promised to take care of me, give me peace and provide me with a great future and eternal life. Yes, that was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Are you still looking for something to fill your life? Are you someone who goes to church and calls yourself a Christian but are not enjoying the fullness of God’s promises? It’s time to make a decision. The good news is that the offer is open to all who want to have it.
WordPress has these daily prompts that help bloggers come up with topics to blog about. Sometimes they fit my audience and I use their prompts, sometimes I don’t. One of the prompts for last week was: “You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?”
To me that’s a one sentence answer: Steak, shrimp, pico de gallo, fried plantains and something to wash it up. But it got me thinking on this verse where Jesus said :”It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4
What are the five spiritual foods that we need, not only on a deserted island, but every day of our lives?
- Prayer- In order to fill our lives with the presence of the Lord we need to pray. Think about any relationship in your life. If you don’t talk to that person, you don’t get to know them, you don’t get to spend time with them. Prayer is the way to communicate with God.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
- Read the Word of God- To live under God’s will we need to know exactly how to live this gift of live that we were given. I hear people all the time saying that they don’t know what God wants from them. Here’s the thing, God gave us a manual on how he sees things, expects things. In this book he portraits who he is, how he feels about us and what live he wants for us to live and how to do it. The book is called The Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
Joshua 1:8 – This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success
- Worship- When we worship the Lord we place ourselves in his presence. We were created for worship. I don’t know about you, but nothing fills my heart of joy and peace like entering in a place of worship with the Lord.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
- Fellowhip- God didn’t create us to be an island. There’s a lot of us and it is for us to fellowship with one another. We are to love each other, encourage each other, pray for each other and help each other. By this I’m not talking about acts of charity, I’m talking about everyday life. Yes, the insane obnoxious coworker/neighbor, the teenager with an attitude, the messy spouse, the rude client/customer service person and the prideful acquaintance.
John 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may knowthat you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
- Love-The two most important commandments we have to comply with are related to love. First, love God our Lord with ALL our hearts and then love others as we love ourselves. Everything is born out of love. Practicing love everyday in everything we do will nourish our lives.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
I leave you with this banquet. I would love to hear your thoughts.
It’s been a while since we’ve been able to enjoy a Worship Friday (WF) I hope that I can get back in the groove and worship together with all my readers. I chose Friday because there’s no better way to enjoy the end of a laborious week than to praising God for all he’s gotten us through, for all those accomplishments and because we potentially get the opportunity to rest.
I think this song encompasses that feeling in a larger scale. There’s going to be a day where we will be in front of Jesus. When that day comes, there will be no pain, no suffering, no diseases. Until that day of complete freedom comes we can definitely rest in the arm of The Lord just by being in his presence.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
We all have those moments when situations don’t allow us to see more than the mess that it’s in front of us. It’s very easy to get discouraged when we go through something difficult that doesn’t seem to resolve. Sometimes those in who we rely to encourage us are the first ones to have negative things to say. God tells us to not dismay. Isaiah 41:10 tells us, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” If we read Exodus, we read how God provided water and food for the Israelites in the desert. He also provided a cloud by day and fire by night to show them the way. The same God of the Israelites is the same God we serve. Exodus 3:14, God tells Moses, He says I am, not I was or I will be. He is still the same God that helped Moses part the Red Sea, and that provided for them in the desert. What is your Red Sea? Who is your Egyptian chasing you down and frighten you? It doesn’t matter. As long as God is God, he will make a way out to provide for you, guide you and comfort you. Until next time; Be blessed
This is an adorable song. It’s a love story without a happy ending. The lover is reminiscing on his feelings. He thinks about how his life has changed since his love went away.
Without giving too much, I will tell you this…stay tuned next Friday and you will be able to read a love story. A story of unappreciated love where he would love at the end for his loved one to see how he has finally seen the light and how God has changed his heart.
I was driving the other day through a main street. Sitting in traffic all you can do is look around and see the businesses on both sides of the street and it had me thinking about the power that money has in our lives.
We’ve heard say in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” and I can almost hear readers saying that’s not me, because…insert your reason.
The recent economy changes have demonstrated the power that money has in our lives. Some people lost their jobs, or their hours were decreased. The health insurance premiums became higher. Some lost their residence or vehicles. Crime rates increased, especially around the holidays. This happens when people get desperate trying to provide, to obtain things the “easy way” or attempting to maintain their lifestyles.
Some people think that they don’t serve money because they don’t have much. Take that little away or even attempt and you will see a different side of the same person. In corporate America we see people, including Christians, gossiping, forming alliances, gathering Intel to secure their positions, gain favor with their bosses or even get to higher grounds without doing the work.
Some people say that they don’t serve money because they are charitable. The question is the motive behind the contribution. Is it to get a tax break, to get recognition within an organization (church or socially)? Do we give what’s left or what we have?
If we think about it most prayers are for provision: a car, a house, a job, a raise, the vacation I haven’t taken in a while.
As long as we are comfortable, we believe that we don’t serve money. When money is lacking, we realize how painful it is to be without it. Money is one of the main reasons for divorce. It’s the primary reason why friendships and partnerships break. It’s a reason to go to jail. It’s a reason why families fight and stop talking to each other.
Let’s start this year doing a real evaluation on our lives and being honest with ourselves on how much hold and power that master (money) has on our lives.
It is New Year’s Eve as I type this post. I’ve been thinking about the how this year was. I was looking on Facebook at the last posts of the year of some of my friends. Not everyone had jolly things to share, but just like me they were looking at 2015 with hope and 2014 as quite the growth school.
2014 was quite the spiritual boot camp for me. I had many loses, incomplete projects and some setbacks. I dealt with health issues within myself and loved ones. There were more tears than laughs in 2014.But as this year sets down, the book seem to be turning a page. Things are slowly looking up.
I was at my chiropractor yesterday and he told me something that quite explains what my feelings are, “Life is like an ocean. It comes in waves, some are higher and some are lower. It all depends on how you navigate the wave” Which is where I stand grateful to God for helping me navigate through the waves of this year. I’ve had to grow and growing comes with pain.
I see this New Year as a new opportunity. It’s the year to not go back to the good things that were before, but to try new things, new approaches. It’s time to put into practice not only the lessons from this year, but the ones from years before. It is time to live differently, so that this New Year is different. We can’t control the waves that come our way, but we can control the way we ride them.
Care to share some of your thoughts on 2014 or your resolutions in 2015? I would love to hear them
Many blessings and Happy New Year.
In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates
I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham
Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames
The reality is that I’ve been so busy and this date snuck up on me. I can’t believe that I started this journey 5 years ago. I have been writing since I was 14 years old, but on a day like this day I decided that it was time to share what God had given me.
Today is not a day to congratulate me, as all I did was share. Today is a day of gratitude for all of you who have come to shared with me your own experiences, my good and growth opportunity moment. I’m grateful for all of you who have supported this dream and have allowed me to meet so many wonderful people.
Today I celebrate YOU!
As a token of my appreciation to all my readers, my latest book “A Brother’s Vow” will be #99cents from today until through Sunday. It’s yours to enjoy!
This morning I woke up thinking about what today represents. To many is the day to have an excuse to overeat, party or drink. It’s also viewed as an opportunity to spend time with family and friends; nothing wrong with that. To some is another day at work. To some is the day to strategize about the next shopping spree to spend money that they don’t have to buy things they don’t need.
The holidays are not festive for everyone and I used to be sensitive to that. Even before the traditional holiday excitement started to elude me. When I used to own a house, my Thanksgiving weekend was dedicated to inviting over people who didn’t have someone who spend this time with. It was my way of giving back with gratitude for what I have.
Reminiscing on that memory I felt convicted. I haven’t stop being grateful for the blessings I continue to receive, but once I didn’t have a place big enough to entertain, I just stopped sharing what I had. I’m grateful every day for the life God has given me, the friends and family who have taken me in these years of selfishness. God has continue to provide and bless me every day and although I do share my blessings… This is one I need to get back to.
I remember a friend of mine who’s children were court ordered to spend the holidays with her ex-husband. She didn’t have family in town and instead of sitting at home having a pity party or feeling lonely she used her time to bless others. She thought about something she loved, babies. On holidays she would volunteer at a hospice with the babies. She would look after them to allow the parents the opportunity to go home to spend time with their other children, get some sleep or at least change clothes.
Are we using our gratitude to self indulge or to be a blessing?
By Holly Michael
Landing in South India, ten days after the 2004 tsunami, my husband said to our contact there, “Send us to the worst affected area, where no agency or person has yet provided help.”
Already weary from nearly thirty hours of travel, I mentally geared up for mission work. My husband, a pastor and native of Tamil Nadu, South India had lived and worked in the affected region for more than twenty years and was aware of the living conditions of the fisher folks in the remote seaside villages. He was certain we’d find decimation and desperation.
Back home in Arkansas, we had raised a large sum of money during a week-long, major fund-raising event. As a freelancer for a Guideposts magazine, I planned to cover the story of a teenage survivor. My husband’s predictions rang true and I had no idea how difficult, yet fulfilling, this experience would be.
Ten years later, we are now preparing to head to South India for a follow-up visit. I plan to write a “then and now” book and release it on the anniversary of the tsunami: December 26th, 2014.
Ten years ago, we provided immediate assistance for the villages and people also helped many tsunami orphans. We arranged for the village headman to bring the children to the local bank where we identified them and put funds in CD’s to be collected ten years later (2014). This would give them money to begin their lives as adults. We also provided help to other small villages by purchasing boats for them.
I’m excited to return and see how the children—now adults—are doing and discover their future plans. I’m also curious to see how the once decimated villages have recovered.
On the ten-year anniversary, December 26th, 2014, I’ll publish, “Tsunami 2004: Then and Now. Devastation from the Sea. Help from Beyond. (Working Title).
It’s said that you should write what you know. This is true. Traveling to India several times since 2004, I have enjoyed and absorbed the cultural experiences and have since used them in my writing.
This past July, I released Crooked Lines, my debut novel, inspired by stories told by my husband and his friends who left their villages in India as teenagers to join a religious order. Crooked Lines threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. They struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth. I’m so pleased that Crooked Lines had reached #1 in Inspirational Fiction Category on Amazon.com.
Here’s my back cover blurb: On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers. Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed.
Without giving a spoiler, some scenes from the novel were taken from my own experiences in South India after the tsunami. I’m also working on my sequel to Crooked Lines that I hope to release in February.
Maybe your travels won’t take you to far-away places, but we all travel along many emotional pathways and carry unique experiences in our hearts. As writers we should go back to the places of decimation, see how far we’ve come, and use this in our writing to help others. No matter what our background or culture—like in Crooked Lines—we all share similar emotional experiences. Matters of the heart are universal and worth writing about.
TWO CONTINENTS. TWO CULTURES. TWO SOULS
…SEEK HOPE & A FUTURE
On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over
her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers.
Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed. Crooked Lines, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and
deceptions in search of truth.