Repost – Behind Complaining

This is an oldie but goodie that I chose to recycle since I’m having computer problems. I hope you enjoy the reminder.

While I was preparing for my testimony a few weeks ago, I was talking to some friends about the process of preparing for the event. One of them said something very interesting, “it will be good to hear someone else’s problems because I’m tired of listening to myself complaint about mine” He was trying to be funny, but he truly had a point.

I think that when we focus on our problems too closely we have the tendency to get depressed and not see the solutions that may be right in front of our noses. On the other hand when we get out of ourselves to help others we give your brain rest space to actually focus on other things and two things can happen: either we see the answer or we realize that ours are not the worse problems.

In Luke 7:31 (MSG) we read,How can I account for the people of this generation? They’re like spoiled children complaining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk but you were always too busy.’ John the Baptizer came fasting and you called him crazy. The Son of Man came feasting and you called him a lush. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

So as I look back at what my friend made reference to, it makes sense. Complaining shows not only that we are focusing too much on ourselves, but it could also be that we are not content with something. How many times we complain about very superficial things and act like spoiled children?

However, this is the way we should live our lives, “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. (Matthew 5:5) and since we are fearfully and wonderfully made; and God’s works are wonderful, then we should be more than well with who we are and what we have. If not, then it’s probably related to our choices and decision and that’s an easy fix. Yes, I say easy fix because our choices and decisions are ours, therefore it’s in our hands to change our circumstances instead of complaining about them.

Food for thought

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!

2011 In Review

Just like I do at the end of every year, this is the time to look back and review the blessings and lessons that this ending year had brought into my life as a writer and as a person.

This year was very different than the years before. If you look at my previous reviews there was an active participation in writing contests, but this year I decided to go a different route. I decided to take a step back and not just write, but learn about writing. I found two blogs that have been very instrumental in my recent growth: Bob Mayer’s Blog and Kristen Lamb’s Blog. These two authors blog very interesting postings teaching new writers how to path their ways.

The next thing I did was to get a writing accountability partner. A what you say? Yes, I found someone with the same interest to learn and write as I had to keep me accountable to deadlines and to share the nuggets of knowledge we were finding on separate sides of the country. This is my sweet friend Marilag Lubag whom has encourage me and supported me for the last few months.

Since the summer I started working on my platform and getting that first book publish. I started working with graphic designer Antoine Burch to start working on my book cover. As I’m working to get my first book I met wonderful author Melissa Foster, who has a group of author that help each other with knowledge, information and cross promotion called Women’s Literary Café. Between Kristen and Melissa I was able to meet many writers and learn a lot from their experiences. Melissa found out I was a Christian writer and gave me the best gift of all. She introduced me to a new group that was forming of Christian authors named Grace & Faith 4 U under the wonderful leadership of Author Staci Stallings. This group started with like five authors and now has over 80 members.

Finally in October 17th of this year, Growth Lessons came out and I’m proud of the things that God has already done through this book in this short time. I still did NaNoWriMo…What was I thinking? Not only I wrote for Nano, I hosted write-ins three times a week…Again, what was I thinking? But I made it through, only by the Grace of God.

In terms of this blog, I joined the post a week challenge. I am grateful to say that I succeeded. I was able to sustain for the most part a schedule of blogging three times a week, but in the few occasions that it was not possible at least I wrote that once a week post. It was also a learning experience of great accountability, organization skills and it allowed me to interact with other writers and readers that I would not have met otherwise.

In Summary, it’s been a year of learning, of success and a greater encounter with God to get me through it all. I’m very grateful for this year and looking forward to what 2012 will bring.

So what’s coming up in 2012?

  • The year will start with an interview on January 1rst at the Fashion Passion Faith Blog
  • January 14th will be the first official Book Signing at Five Spot Yogurt in Snellville
  • Spring 2012, Launch of my next book, “The Road Home”
  • Many more surprises.

GrowthLessonsNatyMatosI’m very grateful and humbled for all your support during these two years and look forward to much more experiences shared together. Remember there are only a few days left to obtain a copy of Growth Lessons for 99 cents in both Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. If you have already obtained an electronic copy and would like an autograph, go to Kindlegraph and submit your request.

Many Blessings and Happy New Year!!!

Get off your soapbox…

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!

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

$50 million vs. 50 years

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!

Reader’s Choice: The Evolution of Thanksgiving

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.comIn 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?

Be 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!

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