Me Time

In the crazy world that we live, the last person that we tend to think is about ourselves. I’m not talking about being selfish, but about actually taking care of ourselves. It’s very easy to get lost in the routine of work, family demands and ministry, if you have it. Paying bills, chores and making sure that everyone around us takes precedence because we think that if everyone around us is fine then we’re fine.

time.

Think about it this way. You rarely take care of your feet, but they take you everywhere you go. However if you happen to hit a corner it would be all you will be thinking about. You may not be able to go where you need to; the pain will blur any other thought. The rest of you are just the same. If you don’t take care of you spiritually you won’t be able to guide others. If you don’t take care of your body you will not be good to do any of the things you are called to do.

Me time is more than sleep. Me time is a moment of enjoyment or rest. Make a date with yourself; it doesn’t have to be long. An hour a week is not much to ask. Use that time to read a good book, go for a walk, sit in a park and just enjoy the gifts that God has given you. But stop before God stops you. (“He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters” Psalm 23:4)

Life is not a race is a marathon and the best of them slow down to drink some water.

Until then, be blessed.

runner

Return to Eden

I should be the last person to talk about this subject. I love technology, my eating habits are not the best and I drive a regular gas running car. What I’m trying to say is that I’m far from a tree hugger. As live evolves instead of being easier it gets more complicated.

PRI was having a conversation with my mother in which she was telling me how easier my life was. When she was growing up the television was black and white with no more than 5 channels. She had no microwave, no washer and drier and no car. She had to use public transportation to go anywhere. As much as I agree that I’m glad that I don’t have to walk everywhere or wash my clothes by hand, we have also lost a lot in the “evolution”

Technology has brought a new level of expectation on humans that weren’t there before. Companies require faster and more complex workloads because there’s more information available. Familiesphones do not interact the way they used to. At the dinner table each person has their own gadget to play with while eating, if they eat together at all. I told my mother that as much as I love my cell phone, it really takes a lot of time. In her days, she would leave work come home and then take care of things. On my way home, I get two calls and three text messages that may require me to deviate from my commute to do 3 other different things and probably not even make it home until 3-4 hours later than usual.

Then we end up buying something out of the supermarket or a drive thru, not necessarily out of laziness, but out of lack of time. There goes our health. I also find disturbing that healthy foods are more costly than healthy foods.

foodLike I said, I’m not a tree hugger, but I’m also not against technology or society advances. God is not against them either. He gave man the tools and wisdom to create them. I just think that at a personal level we need to take an inventory of how our resources are spent. Our current lifestyles take us away from the path God had for us. We were built to have relationships, to be healthy, to work but also to rest.  We need to be careful, like it says in  1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. I think that’s the issue, the role that all these things have in our lives. 

How many times I’ve caught myself staying up super late watching something on television or one of my gadgets that is not live and I could watch at any other time? Then the next day I’m useless. How much time do we spend on social media vs how much time we spend with the Word? When was the last time you just sat with your family and talked, really talked?

Do you know that if you try to eat as closer to nature as possible, most of those medications you take, may not be necessary? I know the burger and fries are delicious and so it’s that piece of cheesecake, but is it worth it if it’s going to shorten your life?

I want to start a new page in my life in which I’m more conscious of these things, in which I live a fuller life, a better life that looks more like the Garden of Eden before the fall.

Who wants to join me?

Until then be blessedglory

WF: Hold My Heart

This song reminds me of many times where we lose faith and question God about his timing. The times in my life where I’ve been in those situations I have to say in hindsight that God was always right. I mean we know he always is, but when we want something to happen or to stop happening we want movement now.

In those darkest places we think God is not listening. We think that there’s something that we need to do to make things happen. We beg, plead and bargain. After the storm we see that God was never late and that his apparent silence had a very valuable reason.

But while we’re in the storm, just like the song says, we need for him to comfort us, to hold us in his hand. We need for him to help us in our disbelief and soothe our impatience. This is a cry out to the loving Father who has promised that through this moments he will carry us through.

roman

Is this you today? Let us pray for you. You can indicate your prayer request in the comments or send them privately to therisingmuse at gmail dot com

It’s a pleasure to worship with you.

Happy Worship Friday! (WF)

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?

  • PrayerprayerIn 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

  • WorshipworshipWhen 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.

How to move a burro?

In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard different people, who don’t even know each other, say that someone is so stubborn that they have been compared to a burro. In the animal kingdom we know that when a donkey or burro decides to sit, they would stay there and not move no matter what you do.

So what do we do?

I have been thinking about this for a while. I thought it was interesting to hear the same analogy from people who didn’t know each other. We have many “burros” in our lives. Those are the  people we define as being quite stubborn and will not even think of considering another’s point of view. But we have to try.

I went searching for the answer and this is what I found.

“First make sure your donkey is not sick and is a healthy .Practice leading in a small space before attempting to go out into the open as donkeys are really strong. Make sure you have the verbal commands, walk, whoa, backup, over (porcupine game) in place before stepping out into the open for walks. In the beginning small cut pieces of carrots and a green apple help with learning how to lead I do train with treats in the beginning and surprise them every now and again later.”

When I look at it within people and within faith it is not too different.

Make sure that they are not sick.

How many times do people have issues that make them react the way they do? How many times do our issues make us react the way we do? We have to be sensitive to those situations instead of jumping on the judgment bandwagon. We should be a witness for those people with issues and acknowledge our own issues in order to work on them.

Practice leading in a small space before going out in the open.

This reminds me when Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:19-21 “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.” Sometimes we need to come down off our “christianese” high horse and remember that we were a mess before Christ, and we’re still not perfect in order to understand other people’s struggles.

Make sure you have verbal commands

I have to admit that I’m one that sometimes thinks, “They should know better”. I have to be honest with myself and know that there were times when I didn’t. Guess what? They may not know either. Sometimes you have to tell the truth in love. Sometimes people don’t know of the other options in life to resolve things.

In the beginning cut small pieces of carrots and apples

Do you remember how long it took you to actually get it? I know it took me a lot of time and sometimes I still miss what God is trying to tell me. We should not be preaching and giving small portions of knowledge without losing the relationship. At some times we just need to share times and have a relationship with a person before you can even get a word regarding the Word into the conversation. Remember, small pieces of carrot not and apples and you will move the burro, otherwise he won’t move. The same goes for people; you can’t give them what they are not ready to receive. Be conscious and graceful.

Train with treats in the beginning and surprise them every now and again.

Let people in your life know that you care about them. If you are preaching to them all the time instead of building a relationship, YOU are the one missing the point. God places people in our lives to make community and to love, not to change them. If you want to make an impact in someone’s life, you first have to be an example that they want to follow. Then you have to have someone they want to be around. How do you like extremely religious people? There’s your answer.

I promise, I’m not trying to compare humans to burros, but I know I have been a burro and I’m grateful for those who had patience with me. I would not have made it where I am without them

Until next time… Be blessed.

WF: East to West

I think one of the things Christians, especially new Christians struggle the most is condemnation. We live in the world of “forgive and not forget” and we have the tendency to look at God in the same light.

I have said many times that understanding God’s mercy was hard for me. How could he forgive the things I had done when his Word said that those things were against his will? Then I discovered Grace. That favor that God gives us that covers all our sins. That which brings to life the sacrifice of the cross.

Even after salvation we are not perfect, and there are times when we life in this fear of when will be the day when he will say enough, you’ve crossed the line of unforgiveness. But lucky for us that day will not arrive. As long as we repent we will be covered once again by the blood of the lamb, because Jesus died for ALL our sins. The ones we did and the ones to be done.

 1 Peter 1:18-20

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

Let’s Praise God for that!

True Leadership

I was having a conversation with a friend regarding leadership. My friend’s point of view was that because he was in a particular position, he would consult those “under” him, but that the last word would always be his. After all, that’s what his position entitled him to do.

The conversation was funny to me because humbling yourself through leadership is more than taking others into consideration. It’s about service. Being a leader it is about asking those who you are responsible for, as much as you are willing to do.

Leadership is not a title, accolades or a position. The truth is that the higher the position, the higher the responsibility.

Actually the Word of God tells us in

Matthew 23:11 “The greatest among you must be a servant.”

Leadership is not about being served but about serving others. The truth is that we have all been called for leadership. I know that doesn’t sound true to everyone, but it is true. As a believer, wherever you go you are to be salt of the earth. If you are light and salt, it means that others are looking or asking what you do to guide themselves to Christ. So know that even if you do not hold a particular position at work, church or your community, you are still called to be a leader.

So how do you know how to be the right kind of leader? The bible gives us a simple guide:

“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” Philippians 2:5-8 MSG

A lot to think about. Until next time, be blessed

Tag for The Road Home

clip_image002 This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina