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An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

carI 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 almostprovide 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.

Be blessed.

Five Foods

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- prayerIn 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.
It’s obvious that God wanted us to pray.
  • 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 biblewere 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- worshipWhen 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.”
John 4:23-24

  • 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 fellowship 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-loveThe 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.

Until then,

Be blessed.

When hope is missing

hope 3 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.” hope 2If 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;hope Be blessed

WF: I’m not who I was

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.

Happy Friday!

WF: Worship Friday

WF: Overcomer

I read this devotional by Joyce Meyers and I wanted to share it in its entirety and I think it goes perfect with our worship song for today.

More Than Conquerors

As Christians, we often hear people quote Romans 8:37, which says we are more than conquerors. For years, I have pondered what being “more than a conqueror” actually means.

I’m sure other people have different interpretations, but I have come to the conclusion that being “more than a conqueror” means you have such confidence that no matter what comes up in your life, you know that through Christ you can handle it. You know before you are ever faced with a problem that you’re going to have victory over it. You believe you can do whatever you need to do in life. Therefore, you don’t dread things, you don’t fear the unknown, and you don’t live in anxiety about what’s going to happen. It doesn’t really matter what the specifics of each situation are, you know you will be victorious through Christ.

Power Thought: I am more than a conqueror through Christ.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Childlike

quote_0058-childlike-faithI had a beautiful learning experience the other day. I was leaving the church lobby in a rush to go to my ministry obligations. It was a very cold day. A mother was in the lobby with her little girl. She could not have been more than three years old. She had a cute character hat. I told the girl how cute her hat was, if she would let me have it. Without thinking it twice she took the hat off her head and gave it to me.  Then I said that since she was so generous, if she would like to come with me to keep me company as I didn’t have any little girls. Again without hesitation she walked towards me with a smile.

Now, my adult mind was freaked out thinking someone needs to teach this little girl to not be so open to strangers. I crouched next to her and gave her the hat back telling her that my head was too big for it and that it would look better on her. I also told her to go back to her mom, that I was glad she was willing to come with me but that he mommy would miss her. The little girl just smiled. I asked her one last thing, if before she left she would give me a hug. Immediately she opened her little arms and wrapped them around my neck. Her innocence and sweetness really made an impact on me.

When I walked out of the church lobby I could hear the Lord speaking to my heart. He was saying that’s what he means when he said in Matthew 18:3 “”Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. We may have to discerning with each other because of the world we live in, but we have to totally abandon ourselves to Him.

As I was driving to the next building where I was expected for the night and I was still meditating on the event. The Lord showed me the image of a little child at the edge of a pool jumping into his father’s arms. I know that the absence of an earthly father have made it a challenge for me to be able to jump blindly into my Heavenly Father’s arms in total abandonment. I feel blessed for Him using that little girl to show me how it feels to be loved unconditionally, without fear into his welcoming arms.

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Have you experienced that? If so, share your experience with us. I would love to hear it. If not and you’re struggling with it; let us know as well and allow us to include you in our prayers.

Until next time,

Be blessed.

Snowed Out Atlanta 2014

20140128_142703-SNOW

I took this on my own backyard.

Starting Tuesday afternoon the south was hit with a winter storm. There are many approaches to this story. We can either complaint or see how God worked through this crisis. At the time I’m writing this there are still people stranded on the roads or at temporary shelters. I’ve heard of five deaths, a baby was born who was named “Grace” and many cars are still on the side of the roads from people who had to leave them and walk to a safe place.

I can rant about a lot of things that have upset me about this situation. The authorities have not IMG_0814accepted responsibility, not for the snow, I think we are smarter than that. We are not blaming anyone for snowing but for how some things were handled. There has been no sense of accountability, partial truths and some total untruths. Which reminds me of Psalms 146:3 “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.”

But there’s another side to this story where we saw not only the southern hospitality, but the spirit of community and the Good Samaritan spirit in full action.

Chick- fil- A decided to serve food to stranded drivers. Drivers were sharing any food, water and blankets they had. Some people walked around their streets passing food and water to the stranded motorists. Supermarkets, gas stations and hardware stores (Home Depot)became shelters. Schools had to keep children while their teachers and employees made every effort to make them feel comfortable, ensure that they were fed and kept them safe.

On a routine day we have people whom we like more than others. I experienced the coming together of people whose personalities I see clashing every day. They were checking on each other, praying for each other. The differences disappeared and they focused on what was important, thy neighbor.

So yes, it was a difficult time and it’s not over yet, but I’ve been able to see that there’s still hope, that although the flesh has a tendency to evil, goodness shows up when the rubber meets the road.

My prayers are with those who lost loved ones and with those who have not made it home. Know that this is not just one of those we are praying for you cliché. We Are Praying for YOU! I invite anyone who reads this and it’s home safe to join me in praying, not only for those who are still struggling, but also a prayer of gratitude for the fact that you are home safe and warm.

Matthew 18:19 – Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

If you have been part of this experience and need to vent, have a special prayer request or a praise report, feel free to share it with us. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it publicly, just email me at therisingmuse@gmail.com

Stay warm. Stay safe. God Bless.

Naty

The Patience of Job

the_patience_of_job

You have probably heard this phrase frequently. When someone seems to be able to tolerate what seems to be intolerable they are often told, “You have the patience of Job” Although I don’t consider myself a very patient person, I have been told that I have the patience of Job. Here’s the thing. I think we miss some of the elements of the patience of Job. We have the tendency to idealize that he never complained, never got angry. If that was the case, not even Job had the patience of Job.

Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. The key wordsimages for me in this statement, without getting angry or upset and the fact that there are no screams, lamps flying or inappropriate language doesn’t mean a person is not angry or upset.

I’ve read the book of Job a little over three times. There are passages where I pushed my bible to the side fearing that just the fact that I read some of his remarks towards God was going to make a thunder come down from the skies.  Here are some examples but you have to read the book, there are a lot more:

  •  Job 3:11 “Why didn’t I die at birth, my first breath out of the womb my last?”
  • Job 6: 8-9 “All I want is an answer to one prayer, a last request to be honored:
    Let God step on me—squash me like a bug, and be done with me for good”
  • Job 7: 11-16 ““And so I’m not keeping one bit of this quiet, I’m laying it all out on the table;
        my complaining to high heaven is bitter, but honest. Are you going to put a muzzle on me,
        the way you quiet the sea and still the storm? If I say, ‘I’m going to bed, then I’ll feel better.
        A little nap will lift my spirits,’ you come and so scare me with nightmares
        and frighten me with ghosts that I’d rather strangle in the bedclothes
        than face this kind of life any longer. I hate this life! Who needs any more of this?
        Let me alone! There’s nothing to my life—it’s nothing but smoke.”
  • Job 9:21-24“Believe me, I’m blameless. I don’t understand what’s going on.
        I hate my life! Since either way it ends up the same, I can only conclude
        that God destroys the good right along with the bad. When calamity hits and brings sudden     death, he folds his arms, aloof from the despair of the innocent. He lets the wicked take over running the world; he installs judges who can’t tell.”
  • Job 10:1 “I can’t stand my life—I hate it! I’m putting it all out on the table, all the bitterness of my life—I’m holding back nothing.”
  • Job 16:8-10 “God, you have wasted me totally—me and my family! You’ve shriveled me like a dried prune, showing the world that you’re against me. My gaunt face stares back at me from the mirror, a mute witness to your treatment of me. Your anger tears at me, your teeth rip me to shreds, your eyes burn holes in me—God, my enemy!”
  • Job 17:6 “God, you’ve made me the talk of the town—people spit in my face”
  • Job 21:4 “It’s not you I’m complaining to—it’s God. Is it any wonder I’m getting fed up with his silence?”
  • Job 23:1“I’m not letting up—I’m standing my ground. My complaint is legitimate. God has no right to treat me like this— it isn’t fair!”
  • Job 30:20-23 “I shout for help, God, and get nothing, no answer! I stand to face you in protest, and you give me a blank stare! You’ve turned into my tormenter—you slap me around, knock me about. You raised me up so I was riding high and then dropped me, and I crashed. I know you’re determined to kill me, to put me six feet under.”

So once again, if your image of the patience of Job is this quiet guy who took everything in longsuffering not getting ever upset, go read the book again, that was not in the one I read. I don’t know about you but I read a lot of griping and complaining. If someone is saying constantly that he hates his life that is someone who is upset.

I’m not saying this to down Job. He was patient and truly waited on God. He endured everything that happened to him, but he vented and complained quite often. Don’t ever feel that when you bring your sorrows to the Lord it means that you are not trusting God.  When you feel the need to vent to God, don’t think that you can’t.  If God is our everything, it means HE will also be THE ONE to whom we should go with our heartaches, anxieties and pain.

One of the things I admire about Job is that he always knew that his life depended on God. He knew he was feeble and that God was sovereign. He never cursed at God, he kept his faith through losing it all and he lost it all. He lost his wife, his sons, all his earthly possessions, his friends and even his health. When I say he lost it all, he lost it ALL; but his faith.

So at least in my case, I may have some of the patience of Job. I whine and whine and complaint knowing that God is there. I give it all to him, but I still say “God is not fair” and God says it’s true, I never said life was fair, but I am fair.

I don’t only want to have the patience of Job. I also want to have his faith and endurance to be able to Praise the Lord no matter what comes my way.

Food for thought.

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Ending 2013

In the years prior I measured my success by the blogs I was able to write, the books I was able to publish and the personal goals I was able to meet. 2013 was a year rich in life lessons that could not be accounted in numbers.

This year I was a lazy blogger. I was being pulled in so many directions in my life that I couldn’t concentrate enough to write myABV blogs. I participated in a few marketing campaigns for my books but nothing major. I was able to publish one book out of pure perseverance and I know I have not done anywhere near anything to market it, so I’m not disappointed with the results because I can’t have any expectations for the work I have not done.

I have not even been consistent working out, so I have some ground to recover once the year comes back. So what are the highlights of this year?

Well, although my goal was to read twelve books, I read eight. Yes, the goal was not met but it was six books more than I read the year before.

I started working with a new ministry at my church in Spanish. Aside from writing, I’ve found another place where I know God has called me to be.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, something I had not done in over five years and I’m pretty proud of myself.

But to be honest the highlight of this year was a card that someone I had not talked to in a while gave me. The card said how much I

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had inspired her. I’m not boasting on that fact, I’m just happy that in spite of all my shortcomings and inabilities the Lord still used me to inspire someone. The Glory is for HIM, I’m just glad my imperfect self is still usable for him and that makes up for 365 rough days of 2013.

I’m looking forward to 2014. 2014 is a New Year with new possibilities, new opportunities, new mercies but the same awesome God.

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy-new-year-2014-latest-wallpaper

Gratitude in My Heart

As most of my readers know I am in the middle of NaNoWriMo. This is my 5th year in this challenge and probably the most challenging of all the ones I’ve done so far. When I did my first NaNo in 2009, I had never written a novel, I didn’t have a blog. I didn’t have a twitter account or a Facebook author page. I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I was doing except for the fact that God was burning things inside of me to write.

Since then I’ve met lots of wonderful people, some authors, and some readers. I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much and at the time I’m writing this post I’ve been blessed with the fact of publishing 4 books. To me that’s amazing and the Glory is all to and for The Lord who has seen me through this journey.

I’m also very grateful for each of you that have joined me in this adventure and I give you my word that the best is yet to come.

Having said all that, I’ve been thinking on how I could thank all my readers for all their support. I’ve decided to place ALL MY BOOKS on sale during the month of November. This will give you the opportunity to get any of them that you have not obtained already or to gift it to someone that you wish had read it.  Here’s the breakdown in the order they were published

October 2011 Growth Lessons (From 2.99) $1.99  Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.pngThis was my first book. This one is my only non-fiction so far. I call it a devotional because you don’t it just includes life lessons that The Lord showed me during my first year of coming back to him and my first year into taking the plunge of writing seriously.  This is what some of the reviews have said

I enjoyed the book and could recommend it wholeheartedly with that one proviso. ”

June 2013 The Road Home (From 4.99) $2.99 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.pngI have to admit that I have a special attachment to this book.  There are some parts of this book that come from my life experiences, but it was also my first work of fiction and also my first NaNoWriMo project. I learned a lot about myself writing this book. This is what the reviewers have said.

 

November 2012 Season’s Greetings from Amelia (From 2.99) $1.50 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.jpgThis was a very fun novella to write. I love crime shows and was fascinated with serial killer stories so I wanted to create my own, but with a twist.  This is was reviewers have said.

 

 

 

October 2013 A Brother’s Vow (From $7.99) $3.50 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

A Brother's Vow (Final)This is the last book I published. This book has a complicated plot. This was the first time I had challenged myself to have a book with these many characters where they all shine on their own. This one too started as a NaNo project. It’s a story that I personally enjoy reading beyond the fact that I wrote it.  This is what the reviewers are saying.

“This is a story about interconnected lives and the consequences of the actions of everybody in the family. It’s not just about one black sheep and his struggle to change. The spiritual lessons you can learn from each member of the Benson family surprise you as you make your way through this complex story and navigate their successes and failures. This isn’t women’s fiction. It’s complex adult fiction with a message for everyone who has promises to keep” Mary Findley

Think about it for just $10 you can get all four :) So now that the holidays are here and you get some down time, stock up on good reading materials or stuff those e-readers that you are giving out as Christmas presents.

As always, Thanks You for your support. Until next time… be blessed.

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