The Heart of a Missionary-


More rambling about catholicism

Posted in Insights by misspicture on July 30, 2011

I just realized that what you think about catholicism matters in this part of the world. And it matters a lot.

Here in latin America, almost everyone claims to be catholic.
and for so long evangelical christians have tried to put catholics aside and ‘covert them’ to our religion. Not really, Jesus.

I know that my last post was about this same topic. But i just had a conversation with a friend about catholicism and my answer blew me away.

I wouldnt have said what i said tonight, two years ago.

She asked, How do i know that i have a relationship with Jesus. Do i have to go to your church to have it?

and i said, no.

You have to have Jesus to have it.

No religion can save you.
But Jesus can.

You can still go to your catholic church and have a relationship with Jesus.
My church is not where Jesus is.
Jesus lives in my heart.
He is everywhere i go. He lives IN me.

and He wants a relationship with you.

and boy, there is something about the word relationship that captures us latinos,
We want relationships.
Its a good word to use when sharing the Gospel with a latino…..

When Jesus is presented as a relational God, who wants to be our friend, our familia. Following Him becomes SO much more attractive.

Learning to ALWAYS point people to Jesus,
and getting rid of my theology, and doctrine, and knowledge and rules…….
Learning to present Jesus. And Him alone.

Catholicism

Posted in Insights,struggles by misspicture on July 24, 2011

I was raised catholic. By a grandma who taught me who Jesus was. How He loves and how He serves by speaking words of wisdom to me but mostly by living a life that made a difference.

When i made the decision to follow Christ a journey began for me. A journey that lead me to this morning when i finally  repented.

You see, Up until this morning, for some reason, i believed that catholics were not christians. They have side beliefs that are wrong. very wrong. Like we dont all have side beliefs that are wrong. very wrong……

Catholicism is what many people call their ‘religion’ in my country. And instead of partnering with them to reach students here i have them in the ‘non-believers’ list. Like they were mormons or something….

They believe in Jesus as our savior.
They surely need to emphasize that having a relationship with Jesus is important.
But protestants need to stop dividing His Church.
Catholics need to stop praying to anyone that’s not God in the name of Jesus.
But protestants need to stop judging our brothers and start letting God be the judge.

We claim to know Jesus. But sometimes we are so not like Him.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the grave, You are saved. That’s all I have to say about Catholics.

This is hard for me to say, and im not sure if im 100% right. I may not be. And I dont have to be. But… A relationship with Jesus does not save you. Nor reading your Bible. Nor going to church nor preaching the gospel. Jesus does. Believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth does.

The Venezuelan church would be so much more effective if we ALL worked together and PRAYED together for God’s grace and mercy to be over our country.

Its so funny, i try to do this with my muslim friends.
I try to focus our conversations on what we have in common.

Why is it so hard for me to have this attitude with my catholic brothers and sisters ?

Still learning.

thoughts?

 

Bicultural… who?

Posted in Insights,life in the field,struggles by misspicture on July 23, 2011

Biculturalism. The word that’s been on my mind all day today. This term is often used to talk about someone with the ability to interact with two cultures.

I thought this only applied to people from one race who live in a country that does not share their cultural values.

and though this is true i have learned that there’s more to biculturalism than that. Biculturalism is not only experienced by immigrants. I think i have experienced it to some extent.

I consider myself bicultural.

When i was in the desert i had the joy and privilege to spend 80% of my time with 6 north-americans. I experienced what it was like to be a minority, to not speak your heart language to the point where you got more conformable speaking the language of the ‘majority’, to be torn between two cultures, to be culturally confused, and to be so sensitive to the predominant culture that i forgot mine.

Yes, this can happen.
Yes, I thought it was impossible too.
But it happened. In less than a year.
It happened to me.

Being a minority put me in a spot where I was more vulnerable and often felt ashamed of my own culture. My culture. My Language. and my accent. Definitely my accent.

I still do sometimes.
who am i kidding?
I hate my accent.

And it wasn’t because of anything the predominant culture did. They were just being themselves. I just didn’t fit in at first- and that created frustration and bitterness towards my own culture. So, i tried really hard to fit in, so hard i forgot what it was like to be Venezuelan.

and i think more than forget, I just avoided thinking about what being a Venezuelan looked like.

Now, I dont fit in with North Americans.
but i dont fit in with Venezuelans either.

Bienvenido, to my life!

Spanglish is the new cool.
[lets be honest, Spanglish has always been cool]

I can be on time, speak english and be task oriented, in a way that not many Venezuelans can.
And I can be friendly, family oriented, warm, and dance salsa in a way that not many North Americans can.

Im in between.
Its the best of both worlds.
But its hard. Im always different. No matter where i go.

I’ll get to live with 7 north americans again next year. And i hope i can live in the middle. I’ll try to live in the middle. Taking the best of the North American culture and the best of my South American culture. and speak spanglish more often.

Bicultural…. ME!

 

Counting the cost.

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on April 5, 2011

I love my life. I am surrounded by wonderful people. My team is still doing great. against all odds. We still like each other. I love that we are really close to Europe and get to travel up there often. I love that the weather is nice and it does not rain very often. I love that taxis are cheap. I love that we have about five cart men with fresh and cheap fruits and veggies right at our door steps. I love that we have credit with the guys at the store across the street and i can buy groceries and water even when i dont have enough money. I love how easy it is to make friends here. I love the staff people. And i love their kids. I love that they have a spanish school here that hosts cultural events every week. I love that i have friends who speak spanish. I love that im independent. I love that i have met incredible people who truly follow and love Jesus. I love that the guy at the bank has a semi crush on me and therefor is really nice to me when i go. I love that i can go to a gym. I love that i can run. I love what God has taught me about modesty. I really do love my life here.

But there is a price to be paid for following Jesus.

The Gospel is free. But it is not cheap

In order to do what He has called me to do. I’ve had to give up my comfort, my language, my culture, my family and my friends.

He is worth it.

And He has been way too good to me.

But the more i think about going back home the more i realize that my relationships will not be the same.

You see, The girls i live with are more than dear friends to me. They have been my family. They were there when my mom told me that she was going to divorce my dad. They sat and cried with me. They prayed with and for me. They have seen me struggle with my cultural confusion. They were there when my mom told me she decided not to divorce my dad. They danced and rejoiced with me. They know that i dont like to be talked to early in the morning. These girls are sisters.

and they wont be with me this summer.

On the other hand i think about my friends back home. whom  i love. and miss. But they have not shared what this team has shared with me. They have no clue what life is like here. They have missed a year of my life.

And i have missed a year of theirs.

But they will be with me this summer.

Lately i have realized that, if i decide to do what i do for the rest of my life [which i kind of already decided], all of my relationships will be seasonal.

scratch that.

My relationships are already seasonal.

People will come and go.

I cant be here and just be investing in my relationships back home. And i cant be home investing in the relationships i made here.

One thing im learning. [and i dont really like it…]

My friends at home dont have to understand my year.
My friends dont have to understand my jokes.
My friends at home have moved on with their lives.
and they might not have time to see me when i call them….

and that is ok.

But its part of counting the cost. And that is ok. Because Jesus is worth it.

It doesnt make it any easier though.

But it’s ok.

In the lions’ Den

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on March 28, 2011

Two years ago I wrote a note on facebook – I deleted all my notes on facebook before coming to the desert- entitled “En La boca del Leon” or In the lions’ den in english.

It was about Daniel when he was thrown with the lions. I remember going through a situation where i felt like Daniel in the lions’ den. It was a faith stretching time and the Lord spoke to me through this passage.

This is what i took to heart: “Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: Peace and prosperity to you! I declare that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel” Daniel 5:25-26a

Daniel came out of that situation. But his testimony and the greatness of God displayed as a result of his faith was enough for those who witnessed this event -specially the one who wanted to kill him in the first place- to not only acknowledge Daniel’s God but to worship Him.

I felt like the Lord wanted me to go through that situation so that people around me could see, integrity, selflessness, righteousness, and irrational hope in a God that is good.

God is faithful.

I made two friends during this miserable time in my life. Non christian friends. One of them accepted Jesus into her heart. And the other one contacted me recently expressing a desire to study the Bible.

God does not put our tears to waste. Today, two years later. I see how God used this time to show them that Jesus is real. They may never look back in time and pinpoint my situation as the time they saw God at work. And that’s ok.

I am thankful i was counted  worthy to follow Christ in His suffering.
I am thankful that His promises are true.

Whatever you are going through right now. Whatever your lion looks like. Remember. God is with you. And He is at work.

Hang on.

 

Of boldness and audacity.

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on March 25, 2011

I heard a very wise man say: “If we have the audacity to ask we need to have the persistence to peruse

Steven Furtick. Of course!

Our team has been praying for boldness. But it is one thing to ask God to give us courage and is one other thing to actually step up and be bold.

Today as He gave me the chance to share The truth with my friend, i realized that i had a choice to make. 1- I could ignore that He was giving me an opportunity and keep praying for boldness  2- I could be the answer to my prayers

All the glory and honor to our father, but i decided to be the answer to my prayers. I decided that boldness is not something you just ask for. Being bold is a decision. Boldness is an attitude. Boldness is a verb.

We covered so much during our conversation. I told her the whole thing. and she listened. and politely disagreed  when she thought i was wrong. she processed the information i shared.

The Holy Spirit took over.

I took a little step of faith and opened my month.

He did the rest.

Today, as you go to work, Stay at home with your children, or go to school. Remember that that place where you spend the majority of your time, is your opportunity to be bold for Jesus. And as you pray for your co-workers, children, or classmates, take some steps of faith and open your mouth. Tell them about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will take over. He will do the rest.

Salt-

Posted in Insights by misspicture on March 21, 2011

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”. Matthew 5:13

I love it when God speaks to me from a passage that i’m familiar with. What i got out of this particular one is not very profound. But is very powerful at least to me.

As i was reading this the other day the phrase “what good is salt if it has lost its flavor” jumped out of the page and i started thinking…

We are salt. That’s a fact. And salt is used to flavor our food and to preserve things. so, when you know Jesus you become salt. You give hope to the people around you because of the hope that has been given to you. And you also help preserve people’s souls by sharing the message of Jesus. Ok. I get that.

But… the text says that salt could loose its flavor and, therefor, its ability to preserve and give hope.

What is the flavor in our christian lives? What is it that makes our lives flavorful? what is it, that when we loose it, we become somewhat useless?

After trying to answer these questions i came up with an answer.

The Gospel
The good news of salvation.

That is what makes our lives worth living. It’s what makes or lives attractive to those who dont know Jesus. The Gospel is what preservers and gives hope to those around us.

How often do we loose it? How often do we forget that we need the gospel ourselves. everyday.

Without it we become worthless. It sounds harsh but it is true. Salt without flavor is useless. So is a believer without the gospel transforming his/her life on a daily basis. God is not going to use us to transform others until we are  being transformed by Him.

In other words. Are we seizing the opportunities God is giving us to change the world around us?

I strongly believe [and im learning…] that we will never be able to impact those around us with the good news unless it is changing ourselves.

That is the beauty of the gospel. It is not a one time decision. It is not even a daily decision. It is a minute-by-minute lifestyle.

Have we lost our flavor as salt? go back to Mateo, Marcos, Lucas, and Juan… Go back to Christianity 101 and have an encounter with the words of our beautiful saviour. Let them equip you, train you, let them transform you, change you. Let them shape you.

Only then will the people around you truly see His power and his beauty as He shines bright through you.

 

[Colossians.2]

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on January 26, 2011

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1:15-17

You should seriously read this book. And not just read it. But like my roommate L* says. “Marinate on it” or “in” it. whatever….

while reading these verses i thought “My problems are not that big after all”

He created the whole world and everything in it. There is nothing impossible for God.He holds all creation together.

While I am serving Jesus in the desert. My parents decided that they no longer love each other and that they want to get a divorce. While this has been hard. [very hard] These verses remind me that God is still sitting on His throne, reigning, and being God even when my world shakes.

In Him all things hold together….

all things.

My ministry
My future
My relationships
My family
This city
This world……

Christ is Supreme.

and that is all i need to know today.

 

 

 

[Colossians.1]

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on January 25, 2011

It has been a while since the last time i sat down and wrote my thoughts down for the world to see. [and by the world i mean… the 7 of you who come here regularly ….]

I am stuck in the book of colossias.

Dont ask me what im learning. Because I dont know.

I cant get over chapter one.

I have been meaning to read the whole book for four days now. And every time i sit down to read the same thing happens. I cant get past chapter one.

It all starts in verse 9b. “…. and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.”

and let the impossibility to move on begin!

I just need to know what being wise with spiritual wisdom means.

Because look at what verse 10 says

“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”

I want to live that life!.

so what does spiritual wisdom mean?

In my search i found that the word Paul used to describe this is “epignosis” which according to google means knowledge. knowledge of His mystery. a greater knowledge of Christ. A full knowledge of Christ.

Then i remembered that verse in proverbs that says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom and the Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” Proverbs 9:10

Wisdom starts with fear of the Lord.
and knowledge = understanding.

But what’s the difference between Wisdom and knowledge?

Knowledge= information, data, facts.
Wisdom= good use of knowledge.

So, when Paul is praying for Colossias that they would be wise with spiritual wisdom he is praying that they would discern, think, and live their lives through the lens of what they know to be true about Christ [make good use of their knowledge about Christ]

Then verse 10 comes true.

Im not Bible Scholar. And after reading this you may find that to be way too obvious.

But what a powerful prayer!

What if we lived our lives through the lens of what we know to be true about our Savior. We would love more. We would pray more. We would serve more. We would complain less.

May you be wise with Spiritual wisdom today, and tomorrow, and ….

 

The Beach.

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on January 19, 2011

Yesterday i went to the beach with two of my friends.

now, I know what you are thinking. Sun, pina colada, and bathing-suit.

false

Women usually dont go to the beach to swim. They go to look at the crashing waves and remember what it was like when they were able to freely swim when they were younger.

We sat there in silence.

and i said “Je ne comprends pas comment il ya des personnes qui ne croisent pas en Dieu” In broken french

That would be “I dont understand how there’s people who dont believe in God”

and as i sat there without an audible response from my friends. I heard the voice of  God in my heart. He said very gently

“To those who are blind. I give the sound of the crashing waves. They Say, I am! ”
“To those who are deaf. I give the brightness of the sun. It declares, I am!”
“To those who cant either see or hear. I give the softness of the wind. It shouts, I am!”
“I. AM!”

It was such a good reminder that God has orchestrated this planet to display Himself. What I do here is nothing compared to what He has already done to show us how much He loves us.

He is in the business of bringing people to Himself. He is in the business of saving the lost.

And I trust Him.

 

Sunsets, the future and the present.

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on January 10, 2011

when was the last time a sunset took your breath away?

when was the last time you watched the sunset at the sound of this song?

I just kind-of did.

unfortunately this city is well.. a city. And its buildings blocked my view. But the colors on the sky were well worth the screams -in arabic- of our concierge. [ yeah! he screamed at me because i locked the door to our roof. ooooops!]. I stood there. My plan was to pray for this city but those colors left me speechless. All of the sudden my clever words of praise, and my ‘spiritual’ prayers couldnt find their way out of my mouth.

All i could say was: “May my eyes never take one more sunset for granted. May I never cease to be amazed by you, Jesus”

And i repeated that about 10 times.

“May my eyes….”

over and over

“May I never….”

and over again.

with tears of worship I sang Phil Wickham’s heaven song. oh i love it when i have my ipod on shuffle and the perfect song starts playing!

Life here in the desert is hard. Men stare at me like im a piece of meat and they want to eat me. Some people are not honest. and the worst of the worst. The call to prayer. Oh how i hate that. It screams “Allah!” five FIVE times a day. Out loud for the entire city to hear. I really do hate it.

But this is where God has me. This year. -We are still deciding about next year. (and by we i mean the Holy Spirit and I)- And even though its hard. And keeping in touch with my friends is difficult. And not being there when my baby brother learns a new song is heartbreaking. And missing my Maracaibo hurts. And not being with my family while they are having a hard time makes me sad sometimes. I love my life here.

I think im finally at a point where i can say that i know my way around. I know how to avoid the hungry-for-meat-men. I know how to take a taxi and how to make sure he is not overcharging me. I live here. And i love my life.

The sunset today reminded me that God is still in His throne painting colors in the sky. He still loves me. He is still reining. And that everything is right with the world….

Everything is exactly the way He intended it to be.
And I am exactly where He wants me to be.
Today.

Of youth pastors and worship songs.

Posted in Insights,Randomness,struggles by misspicture on December 28, 2010

Remember THIS post?

Its about my youth leader and how he cheated on his wife.

Today i was listening to one of my favorite christian radio stations [PTL for technology] in my hometown. And out of the blue a song that is very close to my heart came up.

you’ll see my ex-youth pastor is a talented song writer. Before he started ‘dating’ this other woman he was working towards fulfilling a dream that God had laid  on his heart. And that was to record a worship album with his own songs to God. In 2006 he and his wife [or ex wife… im not sure] called me to work along side him in our youth ministry. And he wrote a beautiful song called “La Roca” [or The Rock in english]

I remember sitting with him in his office while he was writing it. I remember seeing him struggle to find the right words. I remember the day he sang it to me for the first time. The song that would later become a kind of anthem for my church. I remember sitting there while they were practicing with the band.

and i remember the day we sang it together, as a chuch, for the first time.

God gave him this song. It’s a beautiful song that declares that God is our Rock and that He deserves all the praise in the world.

My youth leader, lets call him J*, also has a younger brother who is also a talented musician, lets call him D*.

D* has also gone through hard things and has walked away from the Lord in the past. But he got his life on track a few years ago.

Today, as i was baking chocolate chips cookies, and listening to my favorite christian radio station in Maracaibo, Venezuela. D’s voice came up. singing

“como no he de alabarte si eres digno…..”

[“how would i not praise you. You are worthy” that’s my poor attempt at translating it.]

Those are the first words to the song “La Roca”

It broke my heart.

But i am thankful that God will always use what He has given us. Even if you decide to screw it up.

That song will continue to change lives and bring Him praise. Even if J* is not the one singing it

Fill us up and [then] send us out.

Posted in BONUS,Insights by misspicture on September 5, 2010

I have been thinking about the lyrics from this song.

We must go.

Keep us from just singing.

We must go.

I was praying for my ministry partners today. all of you. And there are no words to express how thankful I am for you and your giving heart.

And then I realized that there are so many people making a difference for Jesus in this world

All of you who regularly go to the nations
All of you who sponsor a child
All of you adoptive parents
All of you college ministry peeps
All of you christians working secular jobs
All of you mentors
All of you long term missionaries
All of you prayer warriors
All of you bloggers who blog for Jesus.

We are on the same team. We work for the King.  Lets keep it up.

Fill us up
and
Send us out

Let that be our battle cry.

I want to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. But never forget. never forget. That in order to do what you are doing for Him, you need to be filled up with His spirit and His word first.

There is no other way to do things.


You know that God has called you when….

Posted in Insights by misspicture on September 1, 2010

You have a dream.

a- And you are unable to fulfill it
b- And it has the potential to change lives
c- And it takes faith. Old school faith
d- And the world and its comforts become trash compared to it

I am still alive

Posted in Insights,Support Raising by misspicture on July 27, 2010

No-one reads this blog anymore. haha!

Thank you to the faithful two readers who have been stopping by for weeks. Who are you? I want to know.

I have been very busy. And riding an emotional roller coaster. Up and Down, up and down.

But i have written enough sad posts in this blog. You dont need to read any more of those.

I want to share with you something that helped me rest like a baby last night.

Now I will take the load from your shoulders;
I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
7 You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;
I answered out of the thundercloud
and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah Psalm 81:6-7

He’s got this.

Today joy is being re-defined in my life.

I am at 47%

But that is not why im joyful.

I am joyful because He made a promise and even though the process is painful i rest in knowing that He is faithful

Joy does not depend on the circumstances
It depends on the source.
Joy sets you free.

Hard lesson to learn. Hard to do. But im trying.

peace.

Monday Encouragement.

Posted in Insights,Support Raising by misspicture on July 19, 2010

Im sorry.

I have been such a bad blogger! But i have been very busy.

Today i want to remind you (and me) that our timing is not His timing

For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,
as brief as a few night hours. Psalm 90:4

I was encouraged by this verse last week. I needed to be reminded that God’s timing is different than mine. I spent a few minutes meditating on this and came to the conclusion that worrying for this support thing is really stupid.

I need to look at this from the right perspective.

I have about 17 days left to raise $1600/month

God made the world and everything we see in 7 days. And took a nap after that.

Who says He cant do this in ONE day? Or in 17 days if He wants so.

Something inside of me tells me you need to look at your“problem” from the right perspective today. God is bigger, and more powerful,  than whatever you may be going through.

He is Willing to do what you need Him to do.

And maybe, just maybe, what you really need is what He wants to teach you through that hard situation.

So calm down. breath. Get quiet.

And Listen!

He wants to speak.

This song has been a refreshment to my heart.

Before the Morning- Josh Wilson


Random Thought before bed

Posted in Insights by misspicture on June 29, 2010

Our idea of comfort is usually not the same as God’s

Save me from my comforts, Oh God.
Rescue me from the place where  i feel safe
Bring me back to a place of freedom, a place away from my  possessions
a place where You are all i have.

Save me from my comforts>
Save me from my idea of comfort
Save me from abundance of things
I dont want the things of this world to fill my heart
I want YOU to fill me, my Love.

Save me from my comforts>

Reveal your definition of comfort, Jesus

Comfort is dependance

Save me from my comforts, and teach me to live in light of your definition of comfort. Help me to live a life that demands explanation. Help me depend on you, my Lord.

Help me, Lord.
and Save me from my comforts.

I Dont Want Them.
I want YOU.

Mephiboseth

Posted in Insights by misspicture on June 29, 2010

I feel like Mephiboseth sometimes. Unworthy, crippled, sinful, unclean. Still the King decides to have me sit at His table.

man!

This humbles me.

go read 2 Samuel 9

I hope you are humbled by God’s grace today.


Saul gone wild

Posted in Insights by misspicture on June 17, 2010

God gave Saul a clear instruction: “Attack and distroy the Amalekites. ALL of them and their flock”

But Saul thought he had a better plan and killed ALMOST everyone leaving the King alive.

God did not like this. He gave a command and expected it to be followed. I see pride in the life of Saul. He thought his plan was better than God’s. It goes downhill for Saul after this.

When we are not walking with God and following His commands there are TWO things we do.

1- We blame others and make up Excuses- 15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.” 1 Samuel 15:15

2- We blame others and make up Excuses- But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”  1 Samuel 15:20-21

I feel sorry for Saul. Im not really mad at him. He really thought he was obeying God by doing half of what God said. The truth is that he didnt really know God otherwise he would have known what to do.

what i really like about this passage is that in verse 32 Samuel does what Saul failed to do.

You are not powerful enough to mess up God’s plan. If you dont do it. Someone else will and God will always get the glory.

Stop making excuses and blaming others. 
and start doing what He has commanded. Sometimes this is not a big task, often times it only means falling back in love with God and start living like it.

I see i have some new readers around here. Id love to know what you think about this passage. What do you think about Saul?

  



Eli.

Posted in Insights by misspicture on June 11, 2010

Eli was a priest in Israel and he had two wicked sons who were not good stuarts of the offerings people would bring before the LORD. Read 1 Samuel 2:12-34

I really believe Eli was a good man. A “Christian” man [There’s that term again….] I really think He loved the Lord. But He had two wicked sons. Those two were evil and their sin was great in the Lord’s sight (v.17). Eli even went and talked to his sons about this and told them how bad their deeds were.

meh

I dont think that seemed to be enough for God. Look!

among other things God said this (see verses 27-34) “29 Why do you [f] scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?'”

Did i miss something?

He didnt do anything. His sons were the ones misbehaving!

Look what 1 Samuel 3:11-14 says.

1 And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, [b]and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ “

He failed to restrain them…

Eli loved the Lord. But he didnt do anything when he saw his own family sining against God. I mean, he did tell them that what they were doing was wrong but they already knew that.

A few things…

1- Parents. Sometimes it takes more than just telling your kids that what they are doing is wrong. Sometimes you just have to discipline them.

2- The rest of us who are not parents yet. We can learn a lot about God by reading the story of Eli. I really see God being a jealous God here. And I also see Him demanding His priest to act like He is The priest of the Lord. You know what i mean?

God has His spirit living IN us. We have authority. Why dont we act on it?

We see this all through out the Bible.

Adam for example…

I see this in my life. I do what’s required or what im “supposed” to do. Instead of stepping up and boldly do whatever God is asking me to do.

May we learn to use our God-given authority to step up and play for ‘Team Jesus ‘, challenge people. call out the sin of those around us, and encourage others to fall in love with Jesus.

And in order to do that action is required. Not just words

Wake up

Stop sleeping and ask God what is it that He is asking you to do/change/give/say ?

and when He tells you (He will) DO IT!

Do not be uncool like Eli.

Please.

Pride Vs. Faith

Posted in Insights by misspicture on June 10, 2010

“Look at the proud!
They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God” Habakuk 2:4

I understood a few things after reading this.

1- The proud is not righteous

2- The proud is not faithful to God  [or “does not live by faith” ESV and KJV]

Today, while waiting for my second appointment for the day I opened my Bible (while the janitors at Mcdonalds made fun of me…. thank you) on the book of Habakuk 2 and my eyes went straight to verse 4. And I started meditating on it.

A Prideful man: Trusts himself for the results of everything he does. Does not let others help him. Has an excessively high opinion of himself. Thinks he is superior.

Now, I have confessed on this blog several times that i have pride issues Sometimes i take pride in what i do for God. I can be legalistic at times and think im superior than others because of the calling ive received and just because of the things God has taught me or done in my life.

THAT WAS ME BEING TRANSPARENT.- PRAY FOR ME. GOD IS WORKING IN THIS AREA OF MY LIFE.

On the other hand…

A man who Lives by faith Accepts who God says He is and believes it. DOES what God has called him to do and trusts HIM for the results. Knows he is not worthy of the calling and is always thankful for God’s undeserving grace.

Who are you today? A prideful man, or one who lives by faith?

I struggle with this everyday and was not really aware of it. So glad God pointed this out today. Let me ask you a question.

Are you allowing God to work in your life?

one more.

Are you comfortable? Or are you allowing God to show you how to live by faith?

If not.
Then i would say you are playing for the prideful-man team.

I know I play for that team often.

Today I learned that my pride keeps me from walking by faith.

May God show you today what is it that’s keeping you from walking by faith and fully trusting Him.

What’s NEXT?

Posted in Insights,Randomness by misspicture on June 5, 2010

I just watched a newspring sermon entitled NEXT. You can watch it HERE

And boy, did it get me thinking…

Perry preached on the book of Esther and how she was willing to do the very thing God had called her to do even though that meant stepping out of her comfort zone.

What does that mean for me?

I dont think Africa is my next step.

That is what instantly came to mind but after thinking about it for a few minutes i realized that there’s got to be something else that God may be calling me to do.

Africa has been in my heart and mind for so long, that going there does not mean stepping out of my comfort zone anymore. Going there is something i want to do with all of my heart.

What is my next step?

I think i know now.

To be continued

What is your NEXT step?

Appointment after appointment

Posted in Insights,Support Raising,Uncategorized by misspicture on June 2, 2010

I have learned one thing about God -so far- during this process

He Always wins

He is in control and He’s got my back-

Ok, those were three things.

OH well!

I am enjoying this ride. Even though I just got back from my canceled appointment. [Dont you love those?]

God is teaching me that He already has what i need. He already won this battle. Im supposed to be diligent and fight but the Victory belongs to the Lord (Proverbs 21:31). I am falling more in love with Him and i am, for the first time, seeing Him as a provider. I never understood the Jehova-jireh thing up until now.

I am currently reading the book of Judges and i noticed one thing. This book tells the story of the judges God appointed in the nation of Israel and almost every judge has its chapter (s). But there are  some judges that only have one or two verses. And I wondered….

In the Book of Life. Would i be mentioned in a few verses, or would i have a whole chapter?

And I am not being prideful. You know I have pride issues.

In this life. Will i make God my passion and therefore impact the world with His crazy Love? Or will i just sit at church every sunday and remain “normal”?

Will I live a life that demands explanation or will i be…well…. just a “christian”?

Will I follow Jesus or Christians?

I am struggling with the term christian as you can see. I dont think i should call myself that anymore.

Christians do not change the world. Christians do not go on mission trips. Christians do not make religious people mad. Christ-Followers do.

Christians prayed a prayer and are saved. Christ-followers….well. Christ-Followers Follow Jesus wherever He leads. Christ followers bare fruit.

Followers are in love. Christians are…. religious.

Appointment after appointment I am finding people who want to switch from christian to follower.

What a blessing it is, to be part of this great move of God!

Gideon

Posted in Insights by misspicture on May 31, 2010

The story of this man fascinates me. Not really because of him or what he did but because of the truths behind Judges 6.

Let me break this down for you.

First of all. When God saw Gideon, he didnt see him as everyone else -even himself- saw him. God saw his potential.

see it for yourself.

Look what Jesus (yes, i really think this angel of the Lord is Jesus. I might be wrong) said.

“When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:12

But then look what Gideon said.

“”But Lord , [a] ” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:15

So, Jesus appeared to Gideon.

Now, if you ever encounter Jesus there are THREE things that WILL happen.

1- Worship

“Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” Judges 6:18

2- Jesus will always demands CHANGE

That same night the LORD said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. [c] Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole [d] beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of [e] altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second [f] bull as a burnt offering.” Judges 6:25-26

We cant see Jesus and expect everything to remain the same.

3- Expect Resistance after/while doing what Jesus told you to do

“The men of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it” Judges 6:30

Have you seen Jesus lately?



He is my portion!

Posted in Insights by misspicture on April 19, 2010
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Im was reading Numbers 18 today

The LORD said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. Numbers 18: 20

As a missionary i often wonder about my future. Will i ever get married? will i ever own a house? will i ever own a car? will i ever have children? will i ever…..?

And i had always answered some of those questions with a big fat NO

Missionaries are poor

And sometimes, deep inside, i wish i wasn’t called to leave all the comforts of home to love people i dont even know.

Sometimes, if not most of the times, I am selfish.

This morning God introduced me to a truth i wasnt aware of.

He is my share.

Aaron and his sons were the high priests. They were in the “ministry” and God told him that they will have no inheritance in the Land of Canaan (The promised Land). For me, this means, no house, no car, no land to cultivate, nothing… But im no bible scholar. This might mean something else but just stay with me for a few more minutes. But He said: “I will be your share and your inheritance

I struggled with this for a few minutes. I was like.. “but God, they were the high priests. Arent you going to give them at least some of the land? ” But then i realized God was giving them more by giving them… well… Himself

whoa!

He is my share. He is my portion. He is my inheritance.

He and He alone.

I like Him better than a house, husband, car, and children.

#justsaying.

If you are in ministry today. And are worried about financial/emotional stability. Remember this: He is your share.

Happy Monday!




Wholeness

Posted in Insights,Randomness by misspicture on April 14, 2010
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I have been implying this in every post for the past few weeks.

I have been writing about how much i love my life right now. And how much im enjoying my last few months in this land i call home.

I have bad days, of course….

But in the middle of the pain and loneliness and fear….

There is something that holds all my pieces together and gets me through those days.

I am freaking WHOLE

lonely

But whole.

There is nothing else i need.

well… maybe $35k

wanna support my mission?
more about that later.

My life is somehow perfect -with all its imperfections- right now.

And i am humbled by it.
I dont deserve this wholeness
But Jesus died so i could have it
and my job is to enjoy it.

Are you whole?

…………….
…………
……

What is missing in your life?

My prayer for you today is that you would replace whatever that is with, well… with Jesus.


Will you believe….?

Posted in Insights by misspicture on April 14, 2010
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Today (I actually wrote this last night) as i was talking to a friend and trying to encourage him. I spoke the words i needed for myself.

Has that ever happened to you?

Its kind of creepy-

My friend just heard from God But is waiting for the promise to be fulfilled.

The circumstances are saying NO
but God said yes…

I know what it is like to stand in that place

a place of insecurities
a place of doubts
a place of uncertainty…

So i told him this:

If God spoke… man! That is all you need to know. Just hold on to His words and wait for His promise to be fulfilled. regardless of the circumstances. Just know He has already done what He promised even if you dont see it right now.

can i get an AMEN?

BANG!

and then it hit me.

That is exactly what i needed to hear. Because I, just like my friend, am standing in that place of uncertainty right now. In the middle of God’s promise and the contradicting circumstances. Between a yes and a no.

How ironic is it that i expect my friend to trust God in spite of his circumstances but i am unable to do so myself. ?

ugh!!

this frustrates me!

Sometimes we have to forget about the world and just close our eyes and let daddy’s voice be our guide and the lamp to our feet.

Today.
I choose to believe what He said.
and give my circumstances a kick in the butt.

‘nough said.

Tuesday

Posted in Insights,Randomness by misspicture on April 7, 2010
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Hello there!

not much goin on right now.

My internet is not working. That’s why im posting this right now.

Today is tuesday. I cant believe monday is over already. And i can not believe i already forgot the fact that i celebrated Jesus’ resurection two days ago.

We make such a big deal of easter sunday in our churches.

but why?  i wonder

If we so easily forget….

May you be reminded today. Tuesday. That Jesus is alive. And He is able to do what He promissed He would do.

Take heart.
He has overcome the cross.

see how lost i am?
sorry.
It is actually wednesday today.

not tuesday.

blah/ 

 

I am afraid of…

Posted in Insights by misspicture on April 7, 2010
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Loneliness

yes.

There was a point in my life (not so long ago) where i was surrounded by people. Lots of people. My schedule was packed with lunch dates, dinner dates, study groups, bible studies, movie nights, sleep overs, and quick trips to the ice cream place.

I was confortable.

If you know me. You know i am a people person. And quality time is my love language.

I was confortable.

Then i decided to go to Africa for a month last october. And while i was there decided to go back for a year this next september.

And ever since i came back. I have been living and experiencing my greatest and deepest fear.

L-o-n-l-e-n-i-n-e-s-s

and it doesnt matter how many times you tell me im wrong.

I feel lonely.
Because I am alone in this process.

And i have learned one thing.
It is ok

I have learned to go to God first when i freak out
I have learned to hang out with Jesus on the weekends
I have learned to stay in silence in the presence of God

I still have people around me.
I dont feel  lonely because of a lack of friends

I feel lonely because this is just part of a process God is taking me through. He is teaching me that He is more faithful than any friend, and that He is the only thing i need to hold on to.

I feel lonely.
And it is ok.

So, dear reader. Let me tell you one thing. Your biggest fear could be the path God chooses to walk  you through to show you His love and care for you.

So.

Let

It

Go!

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7



Purity II

Posted in Insights by misspicture on March 25, 2010
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I couldnt stop thinking about purity after i wrote this post. So i decided id go deeper.

Trend: a general direction in which something tends to move for a short period of time

Treasure: any possession that is highly valued by its owner

Purity is clearly not a trend. Purity is a treasure.

a trend is something you follow for a short period of time. A trend is something that changes over time. It does not remain the same. When everyone else stops following a specific trend. Its over. And you are given permission to follow the *next* trend, leaving the old trend behind.

This is not purity. Its not just something the disney stars are promoting. It is not something you can pursue for  a little while and then  forget about it (you could actually… but you shouldnt)

Purity is a treasure. Something valuable. Its deep and not superficial. It’s special and worth fighting for. Money cant buy it. It is also fragile. Purity is a gift worth keeping and protecting. IT is a decision. And there is no turning back.

I believe God can make you pure again if you’ve made some stupid decisions (and im not just talking about sex) in the past. I know He has restored me. He can restore you.

My desire is that you would view purity for what it is. And dont deliberately just follow a trend. I pray that you would decide to remain pure from now on.  Starting today. Forget about your past. I pray that you would treasure your purity, and put guards around it to protect it.

Thoughts?


Purity

Posted in Insights by misspicture on March 24, 2010
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If you’ve been reading this blog for more than 2 months you probably know that i just recently found out about the Jonas Brothers. and i really like them now.

I have been doing some research about them and (you might already know this. but give me a break. im a *new* fan) found out they wear purity rings. And it seems like all disney artists are wearing them too.

This is awesome.

Im glad kids are listening to a different message.

But im afraid that purity is becoming a trend.

Something that’s in.

Now, that is a good thing. But im afraid that people are taking pledges to remain pure without really knowing what *purity* really means.

Purity is not a trend. Purity is a treasure

I’ve wanted to wear a purity -something- (ring, necklace, brazalete…) for a long time but have never done it for some reason. I think im going to start wearing one before going to Africa. I really think that it would generate spiritual convos over there.

I dont know… I just hope the JBros dont mess up.

This is purity for me-

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality… Ephesians 5:3a

What does it mean for you?

FLF

Posted in Insights by misspicture on March 5, 2010
Tags:

Last week i promised to write a little about Jacob and Esau (Gen 25-30ish)

Isaac had two sons. they were twins. Jacob was his mom’s (Rebekah) favorite and Esau was his father’s favorite. I would imply that Jacob was a little jealous of his brother Esau. we see this in Genesis 25:29-34

Esau was hungry and Jacob was cooking. He asked for food but Jacob told him that he would only feed him if Esau sold  his birthright to him. Esau was so hungry that he didnt care and exchanged his birthright for a bowl of lentils.

Esau was thinking with his stomach

and Jacob was being selfish and envious. He hated that his brother was more loved by his father than he was.

Could it be that the whole lea/rachel drama was a consequence of  this incident?

and the incident HERE ?

Maybe..

I cant say for sure.

but maybe.

Are you being envious today?

My advice is this.

If you want something someone else has. work to have it. they probably did.

If you want his ministry. Serve where you are first

If you want her perfect family. First know that its not perfect and then make God a priority in yours.

If you want her body. Stop eating junk food and start excercising

Dont dwell in the fact that you dont have what you want. Know that you have everything you need. Jesus.

FLF

Posted in Insights by misspicture on February 26, 2010

I wanted to talk about Esau and Jacob today.

Their story fascinates me. It inspires me every-time i read it. A preacher could use this story and preach for an entire year. So many applications, so much insight.

BUT

Im sitting with my sister and my Bible is in my room.

I’m lazy.

Sorry-

I have something else to tell you though.

Recently, i have been facing a situation in my life where im full of anger, pride, selfishness, and ANGER. This situation really frustrates me, and i am really really angry, disappointed and deeply hurt and sad.

I dont want to fix this.

Really!

I dont even think it can be fixed.

It hurts too much.

I dont even want to talk about it.

It hurts too much….

God is already informed about this. Of course.

And He has an input. And that’s the voice im following. Not the voices of my pride, frustration, anger and selfishness. Im swallowing all my arguments, reasons and pride.

Its UNFAIR

very.

But who cares?

I do. A little. But what the heck?

I choose to LOVE

Specially when i dont want to.

Specially when it hurts

Specially when its not something a ‘normal’ person would do.

I choose to Follow Jesus. Everywhere He leads me.

IT would be easy if that only meant Africa. But -Everywhere- also includes my current location.

ps: I love you. I really do. No matter what. Forever.

What does a missionary look like?

Posted in Insights,Randomness by misspicture on February 17, 2010
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Last night someone told me i was too “snobby” to be a missionary. I laughed at first but then i felt sad.

What does a missionary look like?

Is it because i own a Mac?

Is it because i’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel to a few countries?

Is it because i drive a nice truck?

It’s not mine. Not even close. Its my moms. Most of the times i take public transportation. But of course you dont know that.

Is it because i speak english?

What does a missionary look like?

TELL ME!

This whole time i thought it was a heart issue. That it didnt matter what you looked like or how you dressed or what you drove or what computer you owned. I thought the fact that i voluntarily wanted to give up all the comfort i have at home mattered. I am not rich, nor are my parents. But we have a comfortable life.

and guess what?

I dont want it.

I want to give, give, give, like a crazy lady. I want to give everything i have. I dont want comfort. I want Jesus.

I thought that made eligible for the missionary position

I wish i could just send that person an email with a list of all the things im doing to prepare myself for next year. How im being diligent, how bad i beg God every day to shape me,  to make me the woman He wants me to be and to teach me how to die to myself. everyday. every minute. every second.

But I wont.

No one needs to know that but Jesus.

And He already knows.

I still love this person, respect him and appreciate him.

But this hurt.

What im reading…

Posted in Insights by misspicture on February 11, 2010
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A good friend of mine, my leader, and my mentor, once told me to stop reading books about love and relationships.

I respect him.

So I Did.

For about a year.

He was right. I was thinking too much about it. And swallowing way too much information. Im glad i stopped. It helped me focus on THE  ultimate Book. The Bible.

But i picked this book up yesterday. My good friend Jyll – also one of my mentors-  gave this to me 2 years ago for my birthday. And as i started reading it again last night. The thoughts i had 2 years ago  came to mind and seemed so bizarre.

Let me break this down for you.

Two years ago i felt slapped in the face. As the writer described single women and the common mistakes they often make…. or should i say “we”? yeah… The mistakes WE often make.

But last night. I didn’t feel like that at all. I felt rather affirmed.

AND It scared the heck out of me!

I dont really know why. But it did

I had highlighted this: “Fourth, your marriage will only be as successful as your single life. Nurture wholeness where you are”

two years ago my thought was: My boyfriend/future husband will complete me. I will not be whole until i meet him.

My thought last night was: I am complete in You, Lord.

Needless to say, i was wrong two years ago.

suddenly the words in that book were not correcting my behavior anymore. They were encouraging me to keep doing what im already doing. And yes, it was a little scary but at the same time refreshing and liberating.

I am whole. I have found joy, contentment, hope, peace, love and even entertainment in my relationship with Jesus. I need nothing else. Dont get me wrong! i still want to get married and raise godly children. It’s one of my deepest desires. But Marriage is not an idol anymore. It used to be.

Im glad i realized that last night.

I will finish up that book one more time. But this time i wont be looking for answers.

Marriage-

Posted in Insights by misspicture on January 12, 2010
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Now, i am not an expert on this subject. I am as clueless as someone who is not married and has -almost- never dated anyone.

But i was talking to my favorite girl in the whole wide world the other day (*M) and she asked me if there was an example of a godly marriage in the Bible. we both agreed that there had to be one but we didnt know where to find it.

As many of you know i started NEWthru30 yestarday. (reading the New testament in 30 days)

and i think i found the couple *M and i were looking for.

Mary and Joseph

Here’s what Matthew has to say

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d]—which means, “God with us.”

24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-24

Here are some of my thoughts…

1- Protection <v. 19>

Joseph longed to protect his bride. no-matter-what. He was willing to divorce her quietly -even if she had cheated on him- because he didnt want to dishonor her.

2- God’s voice <v.20/ v.24>

Joseph heard the voice of God. Now, that is the man we want to spend the rest of our lives with… He heard the voice of God and more importantly. He obeyed.

3- Holiness <v.25>

Joseph and Mary kept themselves pure until the time was right.

I love Mary’s attitude though
She does nothing. She only waits and prays (im sure…)

Now, as a woman i know what was going through her mind. I know exactly the thoughts she was having to deal with. Oh! i know! But she decides to be still and trust God to bring her man back to her. She doesnt call him, go talk to his parents, facebook him, or manipulates him. She lets God do His job.

ah! She’s my hero! lol

This passage tells us how to deal with conflict while in a relationship

SEEK GOD. LISTEN. OBEY James 4:17

Im sure it’s not easy, and im sure some of us were expecting more out of the Holy Book when it comes to relationships. But the truth is… This is enough. This is it. And it applies to every little single aspect in out lives…

Seek God. Listen. And then, Obey!


Selfless Love

Posted in Insights by misspicture on December 14, 2009
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What kind of love is that?

Is that the kind 1 corinthians 13 talks about? I would say so.

That is the kind of love Jesus gave. It is the kind of love i want to give. It is the kind of love God is teaching me to, fisrt, experience so i can, then, share  with others.

A love that is not based on feelings or in being confortable but a love that is based on a decision. Sometimes things happen and you feel like the person you once said you loved is not so loveable anymore because of something they did or said.

when that happens i realize that real love does not cease. Real love never stops. Real love will always love. Real love does not depend on circumnstances. Real love never dies.

The Bible says (cant remember where) that your yes should always be yes and your no should always be no. When the words “I- Love- You” come out of my mouth. I want them to represent my commitment to stand by that person forever, no-matter-what.

Do me a favor. And do God a favor (not that you can really do Him favors… but you get the idea) Dont take those words for granted. And when you do say “I love you”  let it be forever.  Otherwise, i would consider you a liar.

God is impressing this in my heart. So BAD!
Be encoraged! God loves you with this kind of love. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

Anything you’d like to say…?

Selfish: To Be or Not To Be……??

Posted in Insights by misspicture on December 12, 2009
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This is the big question i am struggling with right now.

You know the answer
I know the answer

But… It is HARD mostly because my flesh is lauder than my spirit.

There are many situations in my life right now. Where i am constantly being tempted to be selfish and to focus on my wants and my needs. It is so easy to get lost in what makes me feel uncomfortable an what makes me mad. But what about others? what about those i say i love?

If i focus on myself. Is it real love? or is it selfish love?
WAIT. Can the words love and selfish be in the same sentence?

I dont think so.

Love is all about giving.

Loving someone means you put them first. It means biting your thong  when you dont have anything good to say. It means listening even when you want them to shut up so you can speak. It means waiting. It means patience. And it means forever

Yes! Forever.

What am i learning?

Easy! Ok, ok…. its not that easy.
But God is teaching me how to die to myself and put others first. I am painfully learning to protect the ones i love from my selfishness. Once again… It is not about me.

Living a life like Jesus’ is not an easy job. But it is worth it. And i love the fact that everything happens for a reason. And i am constantly learning how to be the woman He created me to be.

I love you Jesus. Thank you for your selfless love.

What about you?

Have you been a selfish little brat this week?

Re-Defining Generosity

Posted in Insights by misspicture on December 8, 2009

God has been teaching me a LOT about generosity these days. I decided to write about this a few minutes ago while watching Craig Groeschel’s message on Giving.

But the funny thing is that lately it seems that all the messages i watch are about giving and generosity. And it just hit me that God is trying to send me a message and as one of my favorite preachers,Perry Noble, says: “If there is one thing that always stands out in every sermon you hear.. That might be God trying to tell you something” 

So this is what im learning:

– I have been abundantly blessed.
– Those blessings are not for me to keep
-Denying to give back to God is the same as robbing Him

-I need to give more

Yes. I need to give more. So, I am going to give more. You’ll see… you can not just listen to good preachers. You need to get up and apply their good teaching. And that’s what im doing. I am not telling how that’s going to work out for me, because this is a public blog AND im not going to show off how much im going to start giving. It’s just not the point of this post. This is something between  me and God. No-one-else-needs-to-know.

Im going to give you some recommendations- [And im not trying to be Miss. Finance expert. This is something i JUST learned and im trying to put into practice. And since im learning to give and not be selfish im just sharing this with you]

1- Start with 10%

If you are new to the giving “thing” just start by giving 10% back to God. This translates into your local church. And watch God do more with a blessed 90% than with 100% that does not have His blessing.

2- Dont forget the offerings

And i am not the right person to say this but lets just learn this together. Tithing does not replace offerings. For so long i’ve had this wrong. I still do. I am selfish with the offerings. I just tithe. But God has been showing me that by not investing in the kingdom with my offering im still making money an idol in my life. And this might sound harsh (and it is) but i must confess that i tithe  out of commitment rather than out of gratefulness. And of course that must change. Today. 

3- Give God your best. Not your leftovers 

 Ill sum this up in one statement. God cant be fooled and im sure you and i can give way more than we actually do. Support a missionary! sponsor a child! Feed a child on the street! Give! Give! Give! Lets Give!

4- Challenge yourself!

And this is what im doing! Im going to challenge myself (those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while, know that i like to challenge myself in my walk with Christ. I refuse to stop learning and to stop depending on God) Out of the 3 things we’ve already talked about. I have none right. So starting NOW im going to make some arrangements on my finances. I encourage you to challenge yourself! 

For you this might mean forcing yourself to give. Hey! we should give cheerfully but if that’s what you need to do to get you started! then do it, man! For others this means to tithe more than 10%. maybe 12% or 15%? Some of you just need to step up and get involved in missions. It is a personal decision. But i encourage you to seek God about it and ask Him what this means specifically in your life.

For me it starts with covering up my room (almost) with post-it notes with the word “GIVE” on them

I know one thing. We can always give more.

This post is way too long. But i want to close with a funny thought.

-God is teaching me to re-define generosity. Dont you love God’s timing?
It’s just funny that i start support raising for North Africa in April (maybe march). I love the Fact that God is changing my mindset about giving. Right before i ask people to give.-

God has a sense of humor! and a super wise way to work things out.

Anything you want to add?

Have a wonderful day! miss


A little wisdom from Psalms

Posted in Insights by misspicture on December 1, 2009

Dont sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Psalms 4:4

How many times do i have to tell myself  to remain silent? I have learned over the years that it is better to bite your  tongue and say “Im too angry to talk right now” than to spit all your anger out and then have to say “Im sorry”.

Im going to provide with some easy steps to control your anger-

1- Search your heart and your motives.

Sometimes we get angry because someone did something we didnt like or didnt feel comfortable with. I encourage you to study your motives first. Why are you really angry about? Is it out of selfishness? Is it out of self-pity? Is it out of envy…? Be honest to yourself and recognize the real reason of your anger.

2- Pray about it.

Ask God to heal your heart first. And then ask Him to give you the right words to tell the other person how you feel.

3- Speak IN love.

No-one listens when you yell. Speak in love. Be vulnerable and humble. Recognize your condition. Say you are sorry for being selfish or envious (if that’s your case). Talk about what you would like the other person to do or stop doing.

4- Come up with a solution.

And stick with it.

I hope these easy steps (ok.. not that easy) would help you have better relationships. Please, dont talk to that person while you are mad. It will make things worst. First recognize your own sin. And then try to solve the problem.

Remember that the aim is Not win de argument. But to solve the problem

Results

Posted in Insights by misspicture on November 29, 2009
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I wrote the post below about two months ago when i was feeling a little bit down because i thought my church didnt really care about my God given call to be a missionary. I was frustrated and hurt. but God kept telling me that it was not about me and how i felt. He kept teaching me that i need to have a giving and thankful heart.

God has been showing me that my leaders- specially my pastor- are not perfect. But they have something that not every church leader has. And that is a heart that’s after God’s.

I went to my mission trip with my church’s support. I even had a meeting with my pastor right before going. And he showed my his heart for missions and his plans for the future.

I came back and things have changed. I cant really tell you what it is… But my church is different. Its a place that i, now, love more.

God has answered my prayer. But it took learning a lesson that i didnt like. It took time. It took a new perspective.

I am so thankful for my church and my leaders. Men and women who seek the Lord wholeheartedly and radiate it.

What about you?
What have been some of the results of the lessons God has told you?

A Lesson i didn’t like.

Posted in Insights by misspicture on October 12, 2009
Tags: , ,

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God taught me something i didnt like this past weekend. I have been struggling with church issues and thoughts about how bad and mistaken my church is. And i have been talking to God about it for about a year now <if not more>.

This is what i learned.

It’s not about me.

Nothing new. But i learned it in a different way. God used an illustration to help me understand what my view of the church should be like. He used an illustration about marriage. He said…” when you get married, there will be things you wont like about your spouse. There will be times when you will just want to get a divorce. There will be times when you wont feel anything.” But it is not about you in marriage… And it certainly isn’t about you when it comes to church.

“It is not about what you feel, or what you learn, or what you can get from them. It is about what you do with your perception of the things going on. It is about what you say. It is about your thoughts. Its about what you give. It is about how you give it. It is about ME.”

Now. What do i do?

I need to fall back in love with my church. Because giving up is not an option. Trying harder is.

so, yeah..

And you?
Have you learned a lesson you didnt like, lately?

ps: I wrote this about two months ago. check my blog tomorrow for the results of learning that lesson!