When everything seems wrong

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:

Pray:

“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.

Trust:

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”

Release:

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…

Naty

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!
http://www.womensliterarycafe.com/content/december-2011-book-launches

Guest Post: God and the Garden Lizard

We are so blessed here at The Rising Muse. Recently we’ve had great Christian authors who have agreed to pay us a visit and share their stories with us. Today is no exception. We are glad to have Linda Yezak, enjoy this enlightening article!

God and the Garden Lizard

I pulled out of Mom’s driveway the other day for another trek to visit her in the hospital. The car was in motion and well on its way when a garden lizard scrambled to the driver’s side window and peeked in at me. Whether he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him was hard to tell. Reptiles aren’t the most emotive of God’s creatures.

But I felt so sorry for him. Can you imagine how huge the car must’ve been to him? And it was moving! He had no idea where we were going or whether he’d be safe. He only knew the wind was flapping his tail around, and he couldn’t get away from it. Finally settling in the rearview-mirror housing, he swiveled his head between me and the lizard in the mirror that wore the same expression of fear only another reptile would recognize.

Apparently uncomfortable with his companion in the mirror, he crawled out of my sight, only to return later to cling to the silver window frame. From there, he kept his green nose to the wind as though determined to meet his fate head-on. He didn’t know there was a vacant lot around the corner, didn’t understand what was happening when the car stopped and the critter inside it came out. And certainly didn’t understand when that same critter trapped him and put her hand on his body.

While any bug large enough to cast a shadow will send me into a screaming retreat, I’ve never been afraid of snakes, frogs, or lizards. So I caught him fearlessly and walked him to the edge of the lot. How odd that he seemed to trust me–he never once tried to jump from my hand, even when I lowered him to the grass. I had to nudge him.

As I watched him disappear among the weeds, feeling the warm fuzzies for a cold-blooded animal, I considered the wonderful lesson he taught me: When you’re in for the ride of your life, stick your nose in the wind and trust your Driver.

Linda YezakLinda Yezak (pronounced like “yes” and “sick” thrown together with a “z”), lives with her husband and three cats in a forest in Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She is a two-time finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, in 2008 for Give the Lady a Ride, a contemporary western comedy romance published by Port Yonder Press, and in 2010 for The Cat Lady’s Secret, a Women’s Fiction comedy-drama. She has been published in Christian Romance and Vibrant Nation e-zines, has served as a judge in several national and local writing contests, and is currently a freelance editor and a volunteer editor for Port Yonder Press.

Join Linda Yezak and 8 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!

http://womensliterarycafe.com/content/december-2011book-launch-nickels

Remember, just a few hours left for the 99 hours 99 cent event. Click on the green icon on the left side of this page to take advantage of this great opportunity to obtain your Inspirational/Christian eBooks for you and your loved ones for just 99 cents.

WF: Thank you and Book Giveaway

After eating a week’s worth of food in one sitting, remembering why you don’t call your Aunt Molly the rest of the year and standing in the cold outside pushing through the crowd to get a towel for 99 cents, it’s time to settled down and refocus. Yes it was fun or stressful but was it really what it was all about?

If you didn’t have the opportunity between pies, turkey and the sales, you have another chance today to just stop for five and a half minutes and understand how blessed we are.

Author Kristen Lamb said on her blog on Wednesday about the things she was thankful for and I wanted to share those because it really places things in perspective.

“I am thankful for all the laundry I have to do, because it means I have clothes to wear.

I am thankful for the dishes that need washing, because it means I didn’t go hungry.

I am thankful for the big electric bill, because it means my home has lights and heat.

I am thankful for the sheets that need to be changed, because it means I own a bed.

I am thankful for all the reading I have to do, because it means that I am literate.

I am thankful for the car that needs an oil change because it means I don’t have to walk miles and miles to get what I need.

I am thankful for that parking space waaaaayyyy out in the back, because it means I don’t have to park in a handicapped space. I can walk.

I am thankful for the garage that needs to be cleaned out, because it means I am blessed with plenty.

I am thankful for the chores to be done, because it means I have family who love me enough to travel to see me.

I am thankful for the litter-box that needs cleaning and the dog blankets that need washing because it means I have pets who love me unconditionally.

I am thankful for the split ends I have, because it means I haven’t lost all my hair to chemo.

I am thankful for the Christmas cards I need to send, because they could as easily be funeral announcements.

I am thankful for the traffic snarls that catch me, because the body the firemen pulled out of the fatality accident could have been me.

I am thankful for the gutters I need to clean, because it means that I have a home.

I am thankful for all the Christmas shopping I have to do, because it means I am not alone.

I am thankful for my less than perfect thighs. It means I didn’t lose my legs in a car accident or to an IED.

I am thankful that I sometimes have doubts and confusion about my future and my purpose when I think of the lives cut short before they ever had a future.

I am thankful for the government I like to gripe about, because I don’t fear going to prison or being shot if I disagree with my country’s leadership.

I am thankful for my freedom and the amazing men and women who put their lives on the line to protect it.”

So sit with me and enjoy this video that also places in perspective the things we need to be grateful for and sometimes take for granted.

May this so called Black Friday shines the light of God in you. As a token of my gratitude to all my readers I’m giving away two copies of my new book Growth Lessons. So if you comment on this page, post this link on your Facebook page or tweet (‎#99centevent #blackfriday Growth Lessons @NatyCMatos http://tinyurl.com/3pzxopg RT & you could win free copy #book #giveaway) I’ll put your name in a hat and you can win the copy of the book.

If you tweet more than once, your name will go in as many times as you tweet it! The same with the Facebook postings. The winner will be announced on Monday here at The Rising Muse, so you have all weekend to increase your chances.

Enjoy your family and be safe

God bless you!

Emotions and Christianity

I was reading an article on the magazine “In Touch” the other day. They will have to forgive me because I don’t remember the specific author or the edition of the magazine that I read. The article was talking about how as believers we tend to have unrealistic expectations of what our emotions should be in determined situations. I think the saddest part about it, is that we permeate this culture of unrealistic expectations when we attempt to provide support to someone in distress.

I’m guilty of telling someone one that they are not trusting God on a situation, because they are exhibiting anxiety or distress and I know I’m wrong for that. I also know that I’ve accused myself of not being submitted enough to God for experiencing things like: fear, anger, sadness, anxiety.

There’s this wrong perception that if you’re a believer everything in your life has to be going absolutely perfect. We forget to read that part of the Bible that says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Who can forget the scene where Jesus kicked everyone out of the temple? He was angry. The Word says, “be angry but do not sin”…it doesn’t say you’re not allowed to be angry.

Where do we even get these ideas that because we believe we’re going to be walking in clouds, our children will be perfect, and our relationships will be perfect? Yes, we have deceived ourselves.

The interesting thing that we missed, that was addressed in the article was that we are made as God’s image; this means every emotion that we have, he has and made for us. It’s what we do with our emotions that could either edify us or destroy us. If we use our emotions and turn them into prayers, instead of complaints, and remember that the test is only the beginning of the testimony; we would see our life with different eyes.

I had a situation this week, where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. At the end of the day, I was tired, frustrated, overwhelmed. I kept praying God’s peace. I surrounded myself with my accountability support people. I finally came to the conclusion that this was the test becoming a testimony. The testimony is that every single thing that looked impossible on Monday was resolved without my intervention and in ways that only God could have shown himself. The fact that I cried and was frustrated doesn’t mean that I didn’t know that God had it in his hand and was going to deal with it. I didn’t’ doubt it for a minute. I just had a bulk of emotions; I recognized them as such and treated them as such.

Sometimes we lose focus that not only the lost souls struggles, but our fellow believers have struggles too, and how can we be of help when instead of mercy, we hand out judgment.

Be Blessed!

 

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Reader’s Choice: God’s plan not our plans

This is the second post requested by one of our readers. Growing up everyone asks you what do you want to do when you grow up? Nobody asks you, have you discovered God’s purpose in your life? How many times we choose a career path or a living because of it’s financial profits, the propensity of power or our personal exposure instead of our gifts, talents and purpose?

The world view of human life is formed from the point of view of achieving status, hoarding possession and being selfish about our own well being. When we discover Christ, we realize that life has nothing to do with that.

So what is the plan? First of all we are not here by coincidence. God created humanity for a purpose. In both Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 2:15 it is said that God created mankind to rule and work the earth. In other words, it’s not ours, we are here to take care of it. We were also created to use our gifts and talents for the Glory of God and to disciple the nations of the world.

Individually we also have a plan and a personal purpose. We read in Ephesians 1:11 NIV “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” We need to seek God and discover what our individual purpose is. In my book Growth Lessons there’s a lesson about “Operating in your gifts” that I would recommend if you’re searching for your personal purpose.

Life lived with purpose its worth living, otherwise we wander our days unsatisfied. When we live for our own goal, within our own plan and not those that we were created to fulfill, likewise life is unsatisfied.

We first need to discover our individual plan, that in the large scheme of things will be attached to the larger plan. Once we do, we will find purpose, fulfillment and satisfaction. No earthly riches, fame or power can accomplish that.

Remember,”Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is” Ephesians 5:17

“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but life without reason. It’s dangerous to be alive and not know why you were given life.”Anonymous

Be blessed

PS. Remember that we will have Best Seller Author Shawn Lamb this coming Wednesday on The Rising Muse talking about the influence of her faith in her writing and presenting her new book. I know we are all looking forward to her visit.

WF: Running in Circles

I’ve been wanting to share this song with you for the longest time. I just didn’t know the name of it, to find it. Every time I hear this song I can’t but feel a great communion with the Lord and an upmost sense of peace, because like the song says, “you’re the only one who gives me peace”.

No matter what we are going through, we can take five minutes to be revived by the peace that only the Prince of Peace can give.

WF: Worship Friday

book2

Please remember that if you’re in need of guidance and inspiration , get a copy of my book “Growth Lessons”  This opportunity ends tonight. Grab this wisdom pearl for just 0.99 cents…just for today using promo code NF98U

Be Blessed!

Did Jesus talk about Grace?

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.

Be blessed.

Just for today

Since creation God has been trying to relay our purpose and how our life was designed to be lived and enjoyed. Our pride, trusting issues and misuse of our freedom are the root of our inability to grasp this concept, in my opinion. From the beginning God intended for us to live in the present. Yes, our past can teach us lessons to not repeat and the future gives us hope, but both are intangible and out of our hands and all we have promised is what’s in front of us, this moment.

This doesn’t mean to be reckless with out present as the next moment is not promised. If history has taught us anything is that our daily decision impacts how our future would look like. At the same time, if our past has impacted our present, then we still have a chance right here and right now to make the necessary changes to affect where we are and where we are going.

I was listening to someone preaching about the concept of one day at a time. The person said that God only provides for us for one day at a time and it just resonated with me the emphasis that God had placed into this to show us the order that our life should have.

Let’s look at some examples in the Word where God is trying to teach us the concept of “One day at a time”

  • Creation

During the passages of creation the first thing that God did was separate the day from the night and call it a “day”. He could have allowed us to live in lighted days or darken days for eternity, but from the creation he wanted us to have designated blocks of time to deal with.

  • The Dessert

When Moses was in the dessert with the Israelites God gave them provision for just one day. Manna and quail was provided for them, with the instruction to not save any for the next day and just take what they needed. Did they listen? Of course not, and the next day the food was filled with worms. The only exception was on the sixth day to save for the Sabbath, which in our modern times would be: run your errands one day, but do take a day to rest and meditate on the Lord.

  • The Savior himself (Jesus)

All over the New Testament we hear Jesus telling us not to worry about tomorrow but to focus on the day at hand.

  1. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 5:33)
  2. And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life” (Matthew 6:27)

Personally, I have been challenged by this concept. I tend to be a planner. I like to have plan A,B,C and D just in case. In my walk with Christ I’m learning that only JC plan works. Yes, the plan that Jesus Christ and his Father have laid out  for me and that trying to work against that concept is not only contra productive, but very exhausting. I’m not going to claim that I have mastered living just for today, but I get better as I see that things work so much smoothly when I do nothing but trust God and let him lead the way.

So I invite you to join me in casting all our worries about our future to our Lord Jesus Christ and start living like God intended for us to live from the very beginning. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we are cared for and that God’s way is the best way?

As always I like to hear from you, have you had experiences with having to change your perspective on how to live your life? Come and share with us…

Until then, be blessed!

Speak to your fears…loud!

 

Have you ever been in a difficult situation that becomes a part of your life and tends to stay with you? The event, place, person or circumstance may not be a constant in your life, but when it does appear you feel that knot in your stomach, the lack of breath. It just drives you right back to the original place.

What to do?

 

  • Acknowledge the feeling- Denying that is there will not make it any better. It will not make it go away, in fact it may creep its ugly head more often as it is has not been dealt with.
  • Look for its root-The feeling of uneasiness is more than trauma. What is it really that this experience causes you? Is it a sense of impotence, rejection, lack of control, etc.
  • Is it real?- Yes, is the feeling coming from a real imminent threat or just something that trigger a memory, but you’re not in real danger at this time.
  • Take action-Yes, once you acknowledge out loud what you’re feeling and you determine if your danger is real or not, you have to do something. If you’re in real danger you may need to remove yourself from the situation or call authorities or something of that nature to keep you safe.

If you’re not in immediate danger and it’s just your feelings bringing you down, speak to them!

Yes, remind yourself and your enemy that you can do all things in Christ who strengthens you; that no weapon formed against you shall prosper, that you are a prince or princess as children of the most high King and that the enemy has to flee.

  • Move- Once you’ve spoken to your feelings of fear, don’t stay in place marinating in your thoughts. Go do something, turn the music on, worship the Lord, call a friend, move out of that zone that is trying to keep you prisoner of your thoughts.

Hope this helps, it has helped me too!

Blessings,

WF: Get off the fence

Last week’s teaching at my church was very simple. Stop being wishy washy about your faith. If you really believe God is God, then live your life like that is a truth. In this Friday, I challenge you to evaluate your life. Are you living like those things you preach? Are you living in the permissive will of God or the perfect will of God?

After sitting to process this in my own life, I’ve had this song attached to me all week. I think I’ve woken up every morning with it in my head and I wanted to share. May it impact your life like it has impacted mine.

Be blessed.

WF: Worship Friday