How many times when we are ranting about any subject we are told to get off our soapboxes? I found myself in a situation like that and it was me who told myself to get off the soapbox. But a writer’s mind keeps always thinking about words and after the words left my mouth I wondered where did this phrase come from. So if you’re wondering too, join me in a little history lesson…
Sometime in the 19th century, after WWI groups would gather in public places to listen to orators discuss different topics of interest: politics, religion, etc. In order to lift the speaker from the crowd they usually utilized a wooden box to stand on and do their speeches.
At the time soap was packed in sturdy wooden crates that made it easy and convenient for this orators to utilize them. Not only they were free, as they were disposed after being shipped to their destinations, but they were easy to carry around and sturdy enough to hold the speakers.
Although things have evolved tremendously, it is considered now any forum of public expression as some kind of soapboxing. So websites and blogs utilized for expressing opinions are the new forms of a soapbox. Who knew? Therefore join me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on my little inspirational soapbox. I enjoy it very much.
Also remember that Growth Lessons is 99cents only until the end of the year. Time is ticking and it would be a great stuffing stocker.
Have a blessed day!
Have you ever been in a situation where everything that could possibly go wrong does? and then you think, well…what else could happen? and it does. A pastor friend of mine used to tell me the bigger the attack, the bigger the upcoming blessing. So after you’ve fought your own battles and are finally coming out for air; the enemy comes and goes after a loved one. He thinks, “Gotcha! Now there’s nothing you can do!”
I’m here to tell you that we’ve all felt that way, that sense of impotence in front of a situation where we feel like we are so ill equip to handle or help the ones we love. God always provides a way and if nothing else there’s always something you can do:
“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) It is so hard to be cheerful when things are rough, but we need to remember that there’s nothing…NOTHING bigger than God. We should pray for that mountain in front of us to move. We should pray for wisdom in the decisions to make in the middle of the storm. We should pray for the pain of our loved one to subside. We should pray for peace in our heart and those who are hurting. How many of us are where we are because someone prayed non stop for our lives? It’s time to pay it forward.
We need to trust that God will do his part, even if the end result is not what we want. We do know that everything in his hand will turn out for our good. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight”
Once you have prayed and with your trust in God you have to release your cares unto him. Oh this is a hard one for me!! How many times I’ve asked the Lord, “ Ok, I prayed and I trust you but what do you want me to do?” and he responds…Nothing! Oh, he knows that drives me nuts, but he’s right. He’s God and I’m not. But if I trust I have to remember that all I have to do is “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalms 55:22
If you have a particular prayer request, please let me know. You are not alone and I will love to pray with you…
I hope your day is blessed…
Join Naty Matos and 9 of her author friends at Women’s Literary Cafe’s Christian Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their eBooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!
Today the blog prompt for WordPress is which one would you rather have, $50 million or 50 years? Needless to say the $50 million are tempting, but I think I would choose the extra 50 years as long as I’m healthy. My purpose in life is not to become rich, as I’m already rich in blessings. Yes, the money could help me do some of the things I would want to do.
I believe that God has a bigger plan for me, therefore he can make those things that I’m purposed to do without the $50 million. I don’t have a business mindset, so I would probably misuse that gift. However with more time to live, again, as long as I’m strong and healthy, I could give more of myself to the future generations, continue to work in spreading the Word of God and learning new things before I go to my eternal resting place.
The sad part about the extra time is to see loved ones depart before you. That would not be fun, but the hope of eternity and the ability to reach out to others, would be worth it.
Now back to reality, since I don’t have an extra $50 million or the guarantee of a single extra day of life; I choose to use the resources God has given me in the best way possible. I choose to live the best life I can today, and enjoy every gift as if it was the last one.
God bless you!
This is our last Reader’s Choice post for 2011. I want to start by thanking those who participated in. I will be sending you a little surprise on your e-mails, be on the lookout.
The question and very fitting for the holiday we are celebrating this week is, how did the Thanksgiving festivities evolved from the original festivities to what we do today? We were taught in school that pilgrims and Indians sat together with turkey and pumpkin pies and had a friendly meal together. History says it wasn’t quite like that.
So how did it happen?
It is said that the very first harvest feast between Indians and colonist was celebrated in 1621. The colonist arrived in the Mayflower the prior year. Not having the survival skills to whether the winter they stayed in the ship, but many were very sick and malnourished. The Indians (Squanto, a returned slaved who knew English and others) taught them how to cultivate corn, avoid poisonous plants and help them forge an alliance with a local tribe for their survival. So when everything the Indians taught them proved to be true and beneficial the colonist decided to celebrate a three day feast.
And they ate turkey?
Yeah, not quite; the exact menu is unknown. We know there were lobsters,
seals, swans and wild turkeys amongst the meats of choice. Personally I’m upset that we kept up with the turkey and not the lobster, nothing against the turkey, I love it…just a preference.
What it is known is that there were not all those pies that we currently eat. First of all the Native American didn’t eat much sugar and the sugar supply from the Mayflower had dwindled down by then, so no dessert.
So how did we get to the point where we are now?
From History.com “In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.”
The bottom line is that currently we use Thanksgiving as the designated day to gather with family and friends, to remember the things that we are thankful for. It’s a good time to do inventory of all our blessings and realize that we have way more than we acknowledge some times.
For me, I’m grateful to be loved by the Creator of the Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord of Lord, the King of Kings, my beautiful Jesus. I’m grateful for the family He has given me, for my gifts and talents. I thank Him for my friends and for the special people in my life. I am grateful for all my experiences, the good and the bad that have made me who I am. I’m grateful for my readers who have become my friends and source of inspiration. And of course for the four-legged child that’s curled up on my feet as I write this post, she’s my daily joy and reminder of what unconditional love looks like.
As always I love to hear from you. What things are you grateful for this year? What little and big blessings make your life meaningful?
Join Naty Matos and 9 of her author friends at Women’s Literary Cafe’s Christian Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their eBooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!
I gave yesterday my readers the opportunity of choosing what blog topics they would like and for the next couple of weeks we will have a Reader’s Choice post. After I opened the proposal I prayed, God please don’t let them ask me anything I have no clue about. No worries, even if that was the case I would do the research and we would both learn together. Isn’t that what this walk is all about?
So, the first question was: How is God using my writing skills?
When I started seriously writing two years ago I had a serious case of WIMS (Woe IS Me Syndrome). At the same time, I had no choice but to give into what God wanted me to do because it was pressing so hard in my heart. I’ll start by saying what it has done in my life.
Writing has given me a sense of completion. After years of wandering like the Israelites I’m finally in my element. There’s no better satisfaction at the end of the day, that no matter how many hours you spend in a project, you are enjoying what you are doing, because you love what you do; and I love what I do. This experience has enriched and deepened my walk and knowledge of the Word of God. The fact that the bible is my source of reference for everything I write helps me learn every day more and more about His Word and His purpose for my life. It has also helped me stay accountable. I truly hear from some of you if I miss a posting.
This writing journey has given me a new community. The only Christian writers that I knew before this were those from whom I had bought their books and probably met two at a book signing. I now belong to an awesome group called Grace and Faith Authors Connection. He has placed in my path a huge writing, supportive community of writers, Christians and Non-Christians that have taught me so much. Just like when I started back my journey with Christ and I felt like a two-year old learning how to walk, eat, speak and dress…My writing journey has felt somewhat like that. Every day I open my eyes and one of these fabulous people has something to sow into my life. Just know that I’m trying to pay it forward and I hope that I’m doing the same for them.
I also learn from my readers. The beauty of writing, especially blogging is that you can have a conversation with others about a specific topic. I appreciate all of your comments, inside the site and outside. You are a blessing to me and my walk.
Part of my WIMS; was the fear of who is going to read this Lord? I’m humbled by saying that I have followers from all over the country and as far as I know I have a few from United Kingdom and other places. It is great that I get to witness and share the love of Christ with so many people. The Glory is to God!
As for you, this is what I’ve heard. I get e-mails and messages with testimonials quite often about how something I wrote has touched someone’s heart, has inspired their day or was the answer to a prayer they had. The one that sticks out the most in my mind was a devotional I wrote titled “A Spirit of Cinderella”, which is now part of my book Growth Lessons. This devotional talked about the fact that sometimes as believers we think so little about ourselves that we feel like we are still living in the dungeon when our Prince Charming has already come to the rescue.
I received a message from this beautiful lady who happened to be a model. She expressed how she was feeling so insecure of herself and how she had been praying to God to lift up her spirits. She ran into my posting and apparently was the answer to her prayers.
I’m totally humbled by this experience, as all I do is show up to the paper and share what God wants me to say or is doing in my life.
As always I love to hear from you. Is there anything from “The Rising Muse” that has touched your heart in a special way? If you’re shy and want to share in private I still want to hear from you, you can send me an e-mail at email@example.com
- Growth Lessons for e-readers (therisingmuse.com)
One of my struggles throughout the year is finding time to write. I have a regular full-time job. I have a lot of ministry responsibilities. I have an elder mother who somewhat depends on me. So when I’m home,sometimes the cleaning, the finally having a chance to sleep or finally having a moment to have dinner with a friend cuts those moments short. I still manage to do it, but some days are more challenging than others.
I think my biggest challenge is that I’m a night person and have the ability to be up and ready early for my regular job I had to be in bed by a certain time. I’m not complaining at all. I’m very grateful for the job that I have, I’m just stating a fact.
This past week I had the opportunity to see what my life as a full-time writer would look like for the first time. In the past when I took a vacation, it was to do a specific errand or travel. This time I took my vacation time to write. As you all know I’m participating in NaNoWrimo and today starts the second day week of the challenge.
I was concerned that I could not be disciplined enough to be home, do what I needed to do and keep up with my writing. I’m proud to say that I proved myself wrong. Since I’m a night person, I woke up early, not by choice but my dog can’t walk herself. I prepared a full breakfast. I have not had one of those in years. I did loads of laundry, worked on my platform for a few hours in social media, read some of my educational blogs, finished the questions for an upcoming interview, by then it was lunch time. I took a quick nap (30 minutes) because I had gone to bed at 3am. Got up, took a shower and went to my first hosted write-in where I cranked an additional 2k words. As of now I’ve written a total of 30,000 words and it’s just been a week. I know that this is a first draft that requires a lot of revision, but I actually enjoyed the pace of life I had during that week, and I honestly worked harder than my usual weeks.
This gives me hope, that yes, in God’s will and in due time, I can be discipline enough to make my gift, my full-time job and lifestyle.
Wrimos, lets keep on writing!!!
- It’s beginning to smell like Nano (therisingmuse.com)
There was a recently heated discussion on twitter about Grace. The points of contention where the following:
- One side argued that Grace was the invention of born again Christians, but that Jesus never spoke of Grace, therefore there was nothing to it.
- The other side argued that although Jesus per se didn’t mention the word Grace, his action and other statements implied the concept of Grace.
I think we need to start by defining what is Grace to have a frame of reference. I looked in dictionary.com and it defines Grace as mercy, clemency and pardon. It also says that it’s a manifestation of favor especially by a superior.
Starting from this frame of mine, I think that both schools of thought would agree that we consider Jesus Christ our Superior and Higher Power. I found in John 1:14-17 the following scripture “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying,
“This is he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Now if I’m understanding this correctly Jesus is the Word who became flesh. The scripture says he was full of grace and truth. It also says that the law was given to Moses, meaning all those rules about the things we needed to do to be able to obtain favor in the eyes of God, but that grace (meaning clemency and undeserving pardon) came through Jesus Christ.
Jesus actually said that he didn’t “ come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;but to fulfill them. Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (John 5:17-20)
So does that mean that the other parts of the bible are just as important as his literal words? I think so. Does he call us out of legalism when he says that we should do more than the Pharisees and teachers of the law? I think so too.
As someone who has sinned and have been recipient of the Grace of God, I’m very glad that it does exist. No, Grace is not a license to sin and relay in the Grace of God, which I think is the misconception that those who feel that Grace is not real believe is the interpretation of born again Christians. But I didn’t deserve forgiveness for the sins I committed and break the laws established by God and I have to be thankful to Jesus for redemption and Grace and giving me a new opportunity to start again.
Don’t forget to check out my new Devotional Growth Lessons, and obtain a 10% discount with the coupon code PN34W.
We hadn’t had one of these in a while. Worship is the easiest way to God. So if you’re struggling or even if you’re happy, just rejoice today in the Lord and join me in worshipping He who deserves all praise and glory.
What a joy to be born again!
WF: Worship Friday
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a cause very dear to my heart and once again I want to collaborate by bringing awareness to this illness in our society.
When most people think about domestic abuse they think of broken bones, black eyes and dishevel appearance. Usually the abuse is thought of as from a man to a woman. Although this stereotype is true, there’s a silent, sometimes subtle kind of abuse that goes on in many households undetected, that’s emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse is usually defined by instances where one spouse or partner belittlers, yells, name calls and is offensive towards the other spouse or partner. Some victims believe they are not being abused because they engage in the cycle by responding to the attacks. I found this interesting article on emotional abuse that if you think you are in an abusive relationship you should read. It gives you the right questions to ask yourself to determine if you are in an emotional abusive relationship.
I’ve talked to Christian women in domestic violence situations that do not believe they are in an abusive relationship because there are no bruises on their bodies. They also quote scriptures about the wife being the role model to Christ for their husband. Yes, that can happen, if the man wants to be lead by Christ and not his emotions. When a man becomes abusive, he has become his own god, why would he need the real ONE?
I have been presented with this scripture in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 ESV “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, (this particular portion makes a lot of women in abusive relations justify their acceptance to abusive situations, but like my pastor would say keep reading) and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? (Yes, as Christians we are to model Christ not only to our spouses but to everyone, but we are not the saviors, Jesus is. Only the spouses willingness to accept Christ and his lordship will save and change him) how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? “
God has a particular plan for your life, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11 ”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. See those plans are specific for YOU and they are not to harm you. If God Almighty doesn’t want to harm you, do you think he wants you to be harm by your spouse? Read in the above scripture where it says, “God has called you to peace” Is that relationship bringing you peace?
I’m not advocating for any particular decision or solution, what to do is something you should decide with God in prayer. All I’m saying is that we need to look deeper into the Word and will of God for our lives. Slavery doesn’t come from God. There are options to stop the abuse. You need to recognize your value as a child of God, to know that you are loved, precious and accepted. That tolerating abuse is not the answer as it tells the abuser that is ok.
Please be safe
- Emotional Abuse Test (mademan.com)