Featured

Friday, September 20th, 2019

I need help!

Wise people ask for help.

— Myrnaly Sepulveda.

I am always looking for ideas to decorate the house, new recipes and things about writing or crafts. All tutorials I watch or read gives the impression to be very easy and accessible. I like to try new things but sometimes they don’t turn out as I expected.

I have always said that at school I was not taught enough about cutting with scissors. I can do different crafts but at the time of cutting, my skills are not the most skilled. Still, I try.

Well, I will tell you that I was watching some new tutorials and yesterday I started my first task, cutting a piece of cardboard. Cutting the first piece, I also cut my finger.

I could not believe it! In the first cut! – “This is not for me” – I thought – “the craftsmanship has arrived here”.

I told my husband as soon as he got home from work what had happened to me and that my new project ended right there. He looked at me with a smile on his face and hugged me. He told me to remember that this was not my area of expertise, but that it did not mean that I should give up to what I wanted to achieve.

He told me that it is okay to ask for help when needed and that this next Saturday, we had no commitments scheduled and he would help me with the parts that involved cutting things with the scissors.

Frequently, we want to be totally self-sufficient and forget that it is wise to ask for help when we need it. This world teaches us that we seem weak when depend on others and we take that into our spiritual life.

God is our help. He knows us so well that he knows that we are filled with anguish and anxiety when we see ourselves helpless in life situations.

Jesus invites us “Come to me all who are worked and loaded, and I will give you rest” in Matthew 11:28.

It is a blessing to face the circumstances of life with the help of God and our family in faith. We need someone to listen, someone to encourage us and we need to feel loved when we are overwhelmed. It is wise to have a support group of Christian friends or our leaders.

It is of great joy to know that God does not leave us alone. We have someone to hold us. We have help available.

Let’s pray to the Lord presenting our burdens, doubts and concerns knowing that in Him we will find rest and strength for our circumstances. Let us live and experience the joy that He gives us when we find help and support in the family of faith.

** Remember that it is wise to ask for help.

This year’s schedule

The beginning of this year has had me pondering about where I am today and where I want to go.

I only know one thing, I am not the type of person to make many long-term plans, rather what I want to achieve immediately. I used to be more impulsive before, but over the years I have learned that it is not always the best choice.

God has blessed my life in a great way, and although I have had my ups and downs in life and my relationship with God, He has always been faithful and his answers to my prayers, performed within the limits of my knowledge that is based on the present and my past, they have been more than I could have imagined since He gives His answers based on the future because He knows it.

Today I look back and I can see that many things that I have lived were never planned, many things that I suffered were inevitable for me, but in all of them, God accompanied me, He lifted me. I have understood that his plans are better for my life and fill me with joy and peace.

That has changed my perspective and my prayers. Whenever possible, I try to ask Him to be the one who works my schedule and to show me the appointments and tasks that comprise it. Like any agenda, there are days more loaded than others, there are appointments that you look forward to and there are others with which you have to keep.

It has to be a constant prayer because even when God shows me the way, it is easy to entertain myself in other things and get off the road, but his Holy Spirit comes back and reminds me of the purpose to which I have been called.

There are times when I think that I cannot achieve what God puts before me and it is true, it only depends on Him. Every obstacle can be overcome with faith, dominated by his grace, and conquered with the humility that leads us to surrender ourselves before him because he can do everything, knows everything, and loves me throughout everything.

May God be the one who works your schedule this year so that all your commitments are a blessing.

Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks because He has brought us this far, holding his hand. May we come before Him with an attitude of humility so that he may glorify himself in our lives and may we follow his will and walk in the good works that he prepared for us in advance and live the abundant life that he bought for us in the cross.

Goodbye 2020.

Since I was a child, I started hearing about the much-mentioned New Year’s resolutions. Receiving a new year is perceived as a new opportunity in life and where everything can start anew. It is the time to make a clean slate, and propose to achieve what we have always longed for but have not been able to touch.

It is also a frustrating time when you remember all the resolutions that were made at the beginning of the year and to this date have not come true. Always to some extent, everyone reflects on what they experienced during the year that ends and everything they want to change for the following year. Those who reached their goals set out to be more ambitious for this new opportunity and those who didn’t reach them may no longer believe in making resolutions because they gave up in the process.

2020 was a year that surprised us all. The world did not experience a pandemic for many years and there are very few who are alive today who could tell their experiences. In Puerto Rico, the year began with an earthquake on January 7 and it changed our lives since before the quarantine.

Many things have changed, but if God has shown and taught me something from 2019 to date, it is that, no matter how things are on our outside, around us, it is that peace that we experience within us that takes us forward, which allows us to act with wisdom and be anchored amid the ups and downs of life.

The world offers us peace amid economic prosperity, social gatherings, and parties, pleasures, substances like alcohol that numb our problems, all of which were turned upside down this year.

How have those who need constant approval lived? How have those who depended on their work for peace lived and lost it due to the pandemic? How have those who have not been able to meet socially lived? How have those who love taking care of their health to the extreme amid an environment of potential contagion in all places? How have we been able to live for those whose ground has been moved? How have those who find their peace been able to live being informed by seeing news that has not been anything encouraging?

Something I have for sure, the world that has been moving away from God will continue to decline. Everything is governed by selfishness, the desire for power, oppressing others, and living trying to obtain material possessions, without stopping to cultivate family relationships or true friends.

Something that will never change is God. The whole world is under the control of his hands. He is the only one who knows the past, the future, and our present. He is the only one who can offer us peace and truly fulfill it.

I am a witness, although I lack much, of the Peace that God can offer us during difficult circumstances and how our priorities are aligned according to his will and turning our back on the world, that is when what tied us in our plans becomes the greatest of our wishes and resolutions.

The best decision you can make for this new year is to surrender at the feet of the Master so that He is the one who gives you peace and directs your life in unexpected ways but better than you have ever dreamed of. I want his will to continue to guide me and my family. The one who knows everything and controls everything, he is the one who loves me the most and gave his life for me. Have you surrendered to Him? Have you let it guide your life?

I have no resolutions or concrete plans. I have longings that I put in his hands and allow him to change as he pleases. I keep reading his Word and praying for it to guide me to his wellness plans for my life. His plans always come true.

Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks for the blessing that has always been in our lives and that we can surrender to Him every day to live in those works that He prepared in advance so that we can live in them. May we experience the peace of him within us this year amid everything that happens.

Incorruptible redemption

I heard on the news yesterday of a complaint made by several health workers about the management of the administration of the new vaccine for COVID-19. They alleged that although an order was established that determined the groups to be vaccinated by priority, there had been the issue of administering vaccines to relatives and other people who were not on the list of the first to receive them.

It was evident that although there is a certain scheme, the corruption of human beings affects any plan, however perfect it may seem.

The ideal of communism, socialism, and democracy, pose very viable solutions for the administration of governments, but it is their implementation and their development, contaminated by the evil of man, deeply rooted by sin, that completely changes the expected result.

Now I understand better and am in awe of God’s wisdom and love for us. God did not leave salvation in the hands of men. He showed through the law covenant that we could not, no matter how hard we tried, keep the law, and be fair to our neighbor.

In his inconceivable love for us and his divine grace, He has our salvation in his hands and is accessible to us through faith, believing in Jesus Christ and his redemption.

It is for me a reason for great joy and a feeling of security that everything depends on Him. His justice is not comparable to what we understand by justice in this world and we have some Scriptures that demonstrate this.

We have been living through difficult times and perhaps we have felt unjust in this world, but our justice and our salvation are secure above all else. It is kept in the hands of the one who gave his life for love of you and love of me.

If you still do not know him, it is time to meet him. If you already have him as a Father, surrender your life to him daily and live joyfully for such a great salvation.

Let us pray to God presenting our lives in surrender to his holiness and greatness. Let us give thanks for his salvation and his redemption. May we share with others the news of salvation guided by his Holy Spirit.

Master engineer

I am a medical technologist by profession and God has allowed me to work in various sectors of the profession. About fifteen years ago I was working as a sales representative in independent hospitals and clinical laboratories. As part of my job, the company sent me on a trip to New Jersey, where the manufacturer of one of the brands of analyzers we distributed had their facilities.

I attended different trainings during that week, and on the last day, they took us on a tour through the different areas at the facility. The area that most impressed us was the assembly and manufacturing area. There they explained to us all the different types of engineers who contributed their specialty to form a single team. For example, I remember that electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineers, among others, were part of the team as they mentioned to us. Each one worked contributing ideas and designs in their area and in the end, an engineer was in charge of incorporating all the designs and ideas so that they fit and worked perfectly.

Wow! That engineer had the most challenging job of all. How to incorporate each different piece or each different design, achieving a functional and efficient analyzer?

I was reflecting this morning on how each one of us is a different design, formed by each experience lived from our mother’s womb. Each event carves our personality and how we act and relate to others.

In these experiences, we are acquiring fears and creating protective barriers as a defense against suffering or feeling pain again. We relate to others based on how we have perceived the approach from others around us.

When we have been the object of rejection, ridicule, verbal attacks, constant criticism, our behavior towards others is based on our fears and insecurities that we carry deep inside, and that we take for granted in many cases.

But God is that master engineer who unites all individual designs through the indwelling Holy Spirit. His church is one and must bear witness to Him. But every fear we live with separates us from our fellow believers and affects our unity. Only God’s love casts out our fears and brings us to perfect unity. God can heal even the most painful and deeply rooted experiences in our being. It is in him that we can be a single team with functionality and efficiency for his kingdom.

Let us pray to the Lord asking him to analyze our lives and show us what fears we have had for years and affect us in our relationships with others, especially with our brothers in faith and our families. Let us deposit our fears and insecurities in Him to be harm and live that abundant life that He has for us.

Series: Decor-Contemporary Coastal style

I love the beach! In Puerto Rico we are blessed that being an island, in several minutes we get to enjoy a beach.

I love the smell of salt, the sea, feeling the breeze while listening to the swaying of the waves in the background.

For those who love the beach, this coastal décor style allows them to bring a little piece of the beach into their home.

For many, the sea is not only beautiful, but intimidating in its grandeur, its infinite appearance and its unknown depth. That leads me to reflect on Peter’s experience with Jesus where, acting in faith, Peter was able to walk on water. It was impossible! They had just faced a rough sea, but Peter had the conviction of who Jesus was and that his power went above the seas. There in the boat there were several witnesses to what happened, but only Peter walked on the water.

Our life is based on small steps of faith, where all risks, possible consequences or fears are delivered to the feet of our Lord so that we can act in faith, recognizing the greatness and power of our God. We go in to wet our feet in the waters, but as we deepen our relationship with God, we are asked to go out to sea.

This style of decoration is constituted with elements of natural materials, in colors that are in the master palette of a coastal or beach landscape. White predominates, like sea foam, creams like sand and blues like the sky and its reflection in the sea. Shades of green as foliage adorn what are the hues of mangroves and beach shrubs.

I like to incorporate into my home decorations that define our tastes, our lived experiences and elements that make us feel comfortable and that give us that sense of belonging. I always pray that the atmosphere in my home is one that reflects that a Christian family lives there. It is pleasant to receive visitors who perceive a different and welcoming environment. I remember on one occasion that a man rendered a service and asked me if I was a Christian. He told me that he felt something in the environment that he could only perceive in houses where there were Christians, such as an atmosphere of peace. I give glory to God for that and it is a tremendous testimony. That is something that no decoration item can give you. This is perceived by the character of Christ as it is reflected in our lives, not by our qualities, but by his work. May your greatest element of decoration be the aroma of Christ that floods your home. Take the risk like Pedro to enter deeper waters. If it supported Peter, it will support you too.

That every time you see the sea
You can see the greatness of God and reflect on your faith. May it be our faith that moves us, directs us and sustains us in the midst of the waves of a world that is not constant but our God is the only one who has power over it.

Let us pray to the Lord presenting our lives so that He is the one who leads us in faith and we can be led to wonderful and miraculous things to testify to his power.

Decor Series: Modern Farmhouse

As part of the series on decorating and studying the Word today we will talk about the “Modern Country House” style. This is a traditional farm and country style setting that incorporates elements that make it elegant with tones that inspire comfort and simplicity.

With this style you don’t need to live in the country, you can bring the country to your home. And we are not talking about farms or old things, but about that concept that invites you to share as a family. The style takes us back to those fields of vineyards, quiet, abundant, relaxing colors and a relaxing atmosphere.

As I think of those vineyards and that environment, the passages in John 15 come to mind where Jesus compares us to that vineyard where he says that He is the true vine and His Father the gardener. As a branch cannot produce the grapes outside the vine, so we also nourish ourselves with that true relationship with Christ. He gives us life and everything necessary to bear fruit that bears witness to Him. You can see that this bush is a vineyard when you see the grapes, which by the way, look beautiful. Likewise, our lives should glorify God and show others that we are his children.

The color palette of the modern country style is neutral colors where the elements that adorn it will be highlighted while the background or canvas of this decoration gives continuity and relaxation.

Warm pieces of wood decorate the floors and ceilings as well as being included in the furniture for the modern rustic touch. Organic fabrics and textures are added to this to give it that magical touch.

Organic, natural details are introduced, which are slightly imperfect for a personalized and unique touch; unique pieces that make each decoration stand out within the same style.

In order to bear fruit we must be cleansed, molded. You can read all of chapter 15 because it is wonderful. The Father loves us and not only gave us salvation, he makes us useful to be his instruments in the Kingdom. We are very different and unique but He fills us with His glory and molds us to look more like Christ every day. For me, the fact that God can use me despite my shortcomings and weaknesses is a source of great joy and serving him and surrendering to his feet brings a delight that I cannot find in anything the world offers me.

In this photo we see the difference between traditional and modern farmhouse style. This modern style combines the contrast of neutral walls with black elements such as accessories and light sources created with iron, for example.

The cabinets should have a clean appearance with no trim or patterns.

As an imperfect piece of art, our testimony gets glory when we contrast it with the holiness of God. An imperfect piece together with many imperfects, only make a conglomerate of defects. However, an imperfect piece together with a neutral, clean and perfect background, makes us see beauty in it. The beauty and glory that we can exhibit only glorifies the Creator and apart from Him we shine nothing. We are light because He is light. As it says in John 15, apart from Him we can do nothing.

Today is a good day to surrender your life to the Lord, and start a new life. If you already know him, it is a good day for you to come closer and cultivate your relationship with him. Separated from him we can do nothing.

Let us pray to the Lord surrendering our lives to enter his delight and his peace. May He reveal to us who we are in Him and how we are without Him. May we rejoice in the midst of our flaws and weaknesses because He uses them for His glory.

Series: Decor- Industrial Style

This is our third style, the industrial. It is a style that is also trending, and it is practical, strong, and modern.

Little is known about the origin of this style of decoration, but it is understood that it may have started at the beginning of the 20th century. At the end of the second industrial revolution, its characteristics were known worldwide. This caused various industries to pack their things and move to countries around the world, leaving behind empty and abandoned industrial structures, with valuable resources and materials.

By the 90s, the population had multiplied and it was necessary to add more housing. Wise architects took advantage of these abandoned industrial structures and used their bricks as design and gave a unique style to the materials that characterized the industrial age.

A promise given thousands of years ago for the redemption of humanity was about to be fulfilled. And that Redeemer would be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. A whole new era was beginning. With Him came our salvation, grace, and forgiveness. All the emptiness that existed in our lives would find its fullness and its peace. Jesus Christ gave us a new purpose in our lives. He is the architect who gives life and beauty to what was lost. It becomes our strength. Our strong base of life. We had no hope and He called us to reflect His light to the world.

The industrial style uses furniture and accessories made from materials such as aluminum, iron, concrete, stone, wood, and copper. All of these materials are used in industrial structures to make them strong, bear weight, and last. They give a good structure to make the facility robust. They are then redesigned to adapt them to the home but giving that industrial sense.

In God, we feel safe. In the midst of the fluctuations of situations that this world faces, wars, pandemics, political oppressions, envy, injustice, and other evils, we can live confident that our God is the rock where our life is founded. That firm rock on which we can build our family, knowing that nothing will move us. Our abilities and talents are then redesigned by the Creator to give them a new purpose: the edification of the church and to bring the good news of salvation to the world. It is a relief to be able to deliver our burdens to him and put our home in his hands.

The color palette is based on neutrals such as black, gray, and white. Warm colors such as brown and its shades are added to these, although it can be combined with others.

May God put in us that feeling that he put in Nehemiah that when he saw that his city had been destroyed, he prayed and was sorry and made himself available to the Lord to rebuild it. Not only do we have strength, but we must also present ourselves to the Lord as approved workers and help rebuild and love the church, and the lives that need it. We live in times where our faith could falter and we need to depend, as it always should be, more on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and put ourselves in the gap to intercede for our brothers in the faith. Let’s help build with strong material and let’s not be the ones to tear down with words or actions.

Let us pray to the Lord to use us to build with the strong materials that He supplies us. May we stand in the gap for the church in these times and carry the message for those lives that are not yet founded on Him.

Series: Decor-Eclectic Style

The second style of decoration that we will study is eclectic. It is a style that has the impression of being easy to decor, but it is the opposite.

The meaning of eclectic is “deriving ideas, styles, and tastes from a wide variety of sources.”

It is also said that we can apply the definition to describe a type of person: “it is a person who derives ideas, styles, and tastes from a wide variety of sources.”

Based on that, eclecticism is spoken of as a philosophy of life. It is said to denote membership in a class of ancient philosophers who did not belong to or were founded under any recognized school of thought but to collect doctrines from various schools of thought.

All that philosophy sounds great because it draws the best ideas from different sources. In our case, Christians are going against the tide of the diversity of this world because our foundations, doctrines, and principles are based on the Scriptures and they do not expire or go out of date. The one who wrote the scriptures is eternal and knows all times. God knows the times that we have not yet lived. With such knowledge in his omniscience and wisdom, he is the only one who can give a word that applies to all the times that human lives.

The color palette in the eclectic style is very varied since it is about including variety in the style. It is not only about mixing a variety of colors, but a variety of textures, ethnic elements from different countries, and decoration materials are used.

It may seem very easy to create this style and many people lead the concept to a misperception since the difficult thing about achieving a successful style is being able to create a harmony that can bring together all those colors that collide with each other, those different styles and those. textures that are superimposed on each other, to achieve a beautiful room in its cohesion of elements that could be on the cover of a decoration magazine.

This leads me to reflect on how God creates the church of sinful people with different cultures, social classes, ages, levels of education who come to Him repentant through faith in Jesus Christ, whom He places as the head of this body made up of different parts. And not only that, we have people with different temperaments and personalities, different childhood backgrounds and experiences, hurts, grudges, and battles that through God’s love can coexist in perfect harmony and reflect beauty and light.

It is through the head, which is Christ, that the body can function cohesively since the rest of the body has the struggles of emotions, desires, and impulses. In a style where such diverse parts must come together, each part cannot seek to shine by itself but must flow in search of the whole picture.

As a result of the great diversity that exists in people, God in his wisdom gave us different gifts to exercise together. To meet different needs, different gifts are required, all guided with the same purpose. God has thought of everything! I must delight in the grace that he has showered on me that leads me to serve him in specific tasks, necessary for the edification of the church, and to carry the message of the Cross to those who should listen to it.

The eclectic style is one of the most difficult but when it is worked with skill, it is a true work of art. Each piece of decoration is not seen as isolated, but rather contributing to the room that holds them.

Let’s learn to appreciate and love our differences by seeing it as one work, the work of Christ in this world. From that perspective, we can only surrender so that it is God who places us in the place where we will be best seen, and we make the decorator shine and not each individual piece.

Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks that his wonderful work includes us, uses us for his glory, and makes us part of his family and his church. May it guide us to know our gifts and the use that we must give them so that we do not clash with our brothers in the faith, but on the contrary, we work together with the same goal, and others can admire and praise the Creator.