Talking about justice

– “It’s not fair that they gave me a cookie and she got two!” –

– “It is not fair that he got that job position when I have worked harder!” –

– “It is not fair that they were treated first in the emergency room when I have been here longer!” –

– “It is not fair that the one who does not serve God and leads a messy life has a new car and better things than me!” –

– “It’s not fair that those who hurt me walk around as if nothing had happened while I had to suffer!” –

Have you seen yourself in these situations? Have you uttered some of these exclamations? You are not alone and we could list many more.

On this side of the world we could say that we enjoy certain freedoms and there is much talk about justice and equity.

They have indoctrinated us so well that we live by comparing what we have with what others have and enjoy to assess whether it is fair or not.

We really waste our time focusing on assessing situations that will never be perfect.

Remember that we live in a fallen world, corrupted by sin. Here nothing is perfect. Long time ago, in the garden of Eden things were perfect.

The so-called “justice” that is exercised in this world is not what it seems to be. Never expect sinful people to exercise perfect justice.

– “And God? Why don’t you exercise justice in this world if we are your children?” –

God exercised a greater justice. A justice that goes against everything we believe. God sent his only son, for love, to die for us.

God put on his Holy Son, your sins and mine for Him to suffer your punishment and mine.

God justified us by the justice that Jesus Christ exercised, only by grace. He gave us that justice.

Do you want God to give you what you deserve? What we all deserve is eternal death for being sinners. If today you can say that you are a Son of God it is because you remember daily that you had no merit to save you. You could not do anything to achieve it. God’s justice delivered us from eternal punishment.

As children of God we are called to exercise God’s justice guided by his Holy Spirit. That is, I show the love of God that flows through me over my neighbor who does not deserve it, just like me.

I exercise God’s justice by forgiving everyone in the same way that I was forgiven without deserving it.

I exercise the justice of God focusing on proclaiming his gospel to others instead of seeing what they own that I don’t. The only thing that is unattainable in this life, that money cannot buy, God gave it to us.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer the justice of God. The “justice” of this world is imperfect and transient.

Pray to the Lord asking for forgiveness for the times we have thought in this limited mind, that He has been unjust.

Let us give thanks daily because for his justice we have received salvation and an abundant life in Jesus Christ.

May we exercise his justice with those around us for His glory.

From riches to rags

It is said that a person who is not aware of its wealth keeps living in poverty.

While in other parts of the world there are people praying for God to increase their faith because they are in danger of losing their lives for believing and proclaiming the gospel, we beg God to take away from us a difficult person so as not to lose our peace.

While others pray to have a Bible in their hands, because they are prohibited where they reside, we have several in our houses, of various versions, and we do not spend enough time reading them.

While others pray to have a little corner where they can meet with other Christians to talk about the scriptures and learn from them, we have air-conditioned churches and comfortable chairs, but we prefer to watch the sermons online.

While others pray to have the freedom to sing praises to heaven without fear of losing their lives, we say that Sunday’s praise time was not so good because they didn’t sing the songs we like or because we don’t like the style of the one who led that time.

While others give everything they have to help those in need, we do not share a time for coffee with a brother in faith because time is committed to things that satisfy us personally.

While there are people who walk long miles to congregate if raindrops appear we do not take our car to get to the house of God.

While others lose their lives daily to share the gospel and be witnesses of God in this world, we don’t even talk to our neighbor or the co-worker because we don’t want them to look at us weird or we won’t be so popular anymore.

While the gospel we have received could be shared and save others who are lost without the salvation of their souls, we watch Netflix.

And it is that because we forget the salvation so great that we have received, that it is too high for us to be able to understand it, why God in his grace and mercy redeemed us from a very deserved eternal death.

We forget that we were bought at the price of precious blood, and freed from eternal punishment.

We forget that God has remained faithful and fulfills his eternal covenant that he made with us while we remain unfaithful.

We forget that we are rich and we are living in poverty.

Let us pray to the Lord for forgiveness for the times that we appreciate so little, a salvation so great that in his grace we have received. May we reach Him in an attitude of humility recognizing that we are his and He is our Lord. May we be their witnesses and carry the gospel we have received.

Words that leave a mark

I am good at many things. I love cooking, and I can create recipes.

I perform an excellent job as a medical technologist and everything that has to do with my profession.

Recently, I discovered that I am good at making handmade or hand-sewn notebooks.

I’ve also discovered things I’m not good at.

I am not good at sewing fabrics. I am not right-handed in the scissors, nor threading a needle. Every time I need to thread a needle to bind notebooks I have to ask my husband for help.

So I mostly do the things I’m good at.

As a Christian woman, God has given me gifts and talents to be used for His work.

Recently, I discovered a gift I had hidden since I was a child, about writing. God is taking me on new paths where I have had to learn to walk in faith and in total dependence on Him. They are not easy processes, but they end up being wonderful.

Our gifts are accompanied by a responsibility. We must use them for his glory! We must use them! And we must let ourselves be guided by his will to work where is needed.

It is very easy to see ourselves busy with the tasks of this hectic and stressed life that this world demands of us. It is as simple as not stopping to think and pray to scrutinize our hearts, and discover who we really are.

We all have gifts and abilities with a specific purpose, an eternal purpose. But we may not know them. Sometimes we don’t know ourselves.

In other cases, fears may paralyze us. We are afraid of failure, to be criticized, to do it wrong and to feel ashamed in front of others. But you are missing a great blessing! Serving others is of great joy.

God has called me to write and it is my prayer that my words are anointed and directed by the Holy Spirit, since without their support, they are simple letters.

It is my prayer that my words, these letters, can mark others, as his Word has marked me. (Read chapter 9 of Ezekiel)

I want my testimony to show others that God is real, changes lives and continues to work in our times.

You have gifts and talents that you can enjoy using for His work. Perhaps your mission is to impact others by singing praises. Perhaps your mission is to give food to those who are hungry. Perhaps your mission is to listen and advise others. Perhaps your mission is to teach others. Perhaps your mission is to take care of the sick.

The list is very long. Sometimes your gift is to call those who are alone. I don’t know. But there is no greater blessing than to be used for the good of the gospel that we have received.

That we can say: “I have done as you commanded.”

Pray to the Lord giving thanks for the gifts and talents he has given us, both for a living and for the expansion of the kingdom. May the Holy Spirit show us the gifts we have not yet recognized and guide us to use them according to his will.

What are you brewing today?

Although I grew up surrounded by coffee aromas, as an adult I didn’t usually drink it and a coffee maker was not part of my kitchen appliances.

When I began to share my relationship with Norberto, coffee began to take an important place in our conversations and with our group of friends.

So we started our research in order to buy a good coffee maker. We were caught in that the trend of coffee capsules machines. This capsules contain ground coffee inside and have the portion needed for brewing one cup size.

We loved the versatility and great variety of drinks that can be made in just one appliance. Coffee of different types or countries, hot chocolate, tea, and many brands and flavors can be prepared from the same coffee maker. It all depends on the capsule you put inside.

God speaks to us in different ways, just as Jesus used to speak using the parable.

Our lives are similar to this coffee maker. What we carry in our hearts is what we will offer to others. If we fill ourselves with resentment, bitterness, jealousy, envy and other things like that, without even thinking about it, what comes out of our mouth will be offensive to others. We may talk to criticize, judge and belittle people.

On the contrary, if we fill ourselves with the Word of God, its principles and truth, our love must flow, naturally and without forcing it, the love of God, his compassion and mercy towards others.

As it says in Romans, we must transform our understanding. That is is Although I grew up in coffee aromas, as an adult I didn’t usually drink it and the coffee maker was not part of my kitchen utensils.

When I began to share the relationship with Norberto, coffee began to take an important place in our conversations and with our group of friends.

And we started the research to buy a good coffee maker. We saw that the trend of coffee capsules began. Capsules containing ground coffee are bought and contains the portion for one cup.

We loved the versatility and great variety of drinks that can be made in one team. Coffee of different styles, hot chocolate, tea, and many brands and flavors can be prepared from the same coffee maker. It all depends on the capsule you put inside.

God speaks to us in different ways, just as Jesus used to speak using the parable.

Our lives are similar to this coffee maker. What we carry in our hearts is what we will offer to others. If we fill ourselves with resentment, bitterness, jealousy, envy and other things like that, without even thinking about it, what comes out of our mouth will be offensive to others, we can talk to criticize, judge and belittle.

On the contrary, if we fill ourselves with the Word of God, its principles and truth, our love must flow, naturally and without forcing it, the love of God, his compassion and mercy towards others.

Well it says in Romans that we must transform our understanding and that is because that we have been treasuring teachings of this world that are contrary to the character of Christ that are supposed to change our way of living.

The time I dedicate to instruct my mind and what I include in my life will determine what I show and give to others.

Do I long to offer others an aroma of Christ and change their lives with love? Then I must carry within me the love for His Word and love God above all things.

What are you brewing today?

Pray to the Lord surrendering our will and asking him to help us remove from our lives everything that fills us with negative things contrary to his commandments. May his Holy Spirit guide us to all truth and to fill us with Him.

Masterpieces

Have you heard that the price of artworks when an artist dies will increase? We’ve heard that many artists are under appreciated when they are alive. I’ll share with you one of those stories.

That held true for abstract painter Cy Twombly, who died in 2011 at the age of 83. Before 2011, the highest auction price for a Twombly painting was $8.7 million at Sotheby’s in 2005. Auction prices following Mr. Twombly’s death reached $70.5 million for a painting at Sotheby’s in 2015, and 14 other works have earned $15 million or higher.

Mr. Twombly proved an exception for basically two reasons: “He was an underappreciated artist, and people really understood how few works there were on the market,” says Megan Fox Kelly, a New York City-based art adviser. “Prices went up and, if you wanted a Cy Twombly, get in line.” (Article from wsj.com)

While I was praying this morning, those words in Ephesians 2:10 were in my mind. We are His masterpiece!

Just take a few minutes and think of all the wonders we see everyday that God created in nature. I’m always amazed by the colors of the skies, the sea, a variety of flowers and many other things.

But you are His masterpiece. God is eternal. The value of His artwork has no limits and is given by his omnipotence.

God formed you in the womb and made you with a given purpose. He gave you all your skills, and abilities. God created you by his image.

If you can truly understand what a masterpiece you are, with a unique purpose in life, you’ll be passionate about who you are in the kingdom of God. You’ll want to be who God created you to be, you’ll never look at this world’s design, what society wants you to be.

Your value is determined by Christ’s sacrifice at the cross. You are the masterpiece of all God’s creations, so you’re amazing! That’s the best thing you can be.

Let’s pray to the Lord giving thanks for all His love and for being God’s masterpiece. Let God help us through his Holy Spirit to remember each day who we are. Let’s surrender our lives to God for our purpose be fulfilled.

Do I see myself as God’s masterpiece?

Love vs Responsibility

As many of you already know, my new hobby is to make notebooks and journals handmade. Since the first time, I mastered the technique very well. My husband and I were amazed at how good the first two notebooks we made, looked. After that I made a journal all by myself and it also looked perfect.

Yesterday, after showing them to several people, they told me to sell them and that they wanted to order some. So I decided to start making new ones for sale. Do you know what happened?

The first notebook I made was a disaster. Everything went wrong. I found it very difficult this time and felt frustration for several minutes.

I had to breathe and relax for a while and resume the process. After that, I could do 3 more without any effort. While I pictured it as something I like to do, it was not difficult. As soon as I pictured it as a responsibility, things didn’t flow the same way.

The same thing happens to us in our Christian life. When we surrender for the first time at the feet of Jesus, we are living in that first love. We want to tell everyone about Jesus and the change that has occurred in our lives. We want to work on everything possible to expand the kingdom of God. We are volunteers and nobody forces us or calls us to do so!

Over the years, we start losing that first love, and we can change to see the gospel as one more responsibility. There is when we lose our north, we start working in our own strength and we become exhausted, we get frustrated with the results of what we do.

But Jesus Christ gave us the first commandment: “You will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” When we are moved by love, for what we are passionate about, for what we like, things flow. So, living through the salvation we have received is not exhausting. Then the words flow and boldness to speak to others about Jesus.

If your spiritual life feels stagnant, exhausting, reflect if you should return to that first love that gave us energy as children.

If you love God with all your strength, you will also live for Him with all your strength.

Pray to the Father remembering that sacrifice on the cross that attracted us to Him. That we may return through loving that first love with the help of his Holy Spirit so that we can take the name of Jesus everywhere and live for Him for his glory.

¿Are you looking through clean glasses?

As girls, my sister and I took a magnifying glass that our uncle had at his house, to play. He used it to read some books or newspaper stuff.

The cool thing about the magnifying glass was that we saw things very different from how we normally saw them.

With the magnifying glass we looked at the floor and depending on how close we placed it to our eyes, we could see great depressions like holes in the tiles of the floor, or like small mountains that we had to climb.

It was difficult to walk because we couldn’t see the floor as it really was, but as girls, it entertained us to feel that we were inside an adventure. In the long run, we could only play for a short time because it gave us a strange headache or dizziness.

We are spiritually dead by sin, and when we surrender our lives to Christ we receive a new and eternal life in Him, but we also receive the promise to enjoy an abundant life in Him.

Why many times can we not enjoy it even though we were born again?

We continue walking with the magnifying glass marked by our experiences of the past. That glass is stained with disappointments, pain, betrayals, feelings of guilt, lack of love and many other wounds that we were receiving in life.

God has great promises and great joy ahead for us, but we only see through the dirty glass before us. Only God can clean and heal our wounds.

While we do not yield to God everything that hinders us, we will see life and those around us in a distorted way and love our neighbor as ourselves will seem like a difficult task.

When we keep in mind that people failed us and we look through that to others, we don’t trust anyone.

When we did not receive love and we look through it, we find it difficult to receive and give God’s love to others.

When parents, family or friends have not protected us and we look through that, we put up barriers that isolate us from others as a defense mechanism.

When we carry feelings of guilt, false or true that we have not worked and weblook through that, we look very small compared to others.

God wants you to give him that contaminated glass with which you look at life. He wants a real and personal love relationship with you.

He can give you new lenses, which reflect the reality of his eternal love and the abundant life that awaits you.

It is time to surrender the past and embrace a future full of hope, love and joy.

Pray to the Lord presenting our lives and everything we have dragged from the past, to receive his promises and his real love for our lives.

Remember: It is better to look through the glass of the Word of God.

From the closet to the workshop table

You know what? As I told you on Friday, we were able to prepare the craft books yesterday. My husband helped me with everything that had to be cut and we followed all the corresponding steps and prepared two notebooks. Here’s a photo.

We were very satisfied with the final result. We used materials that were already stored in the closet and had never given them any use.

I was thinking about it and it is gratifying to see how simple papers that had no use or purpose, are now part of a notebook, as a part of it they will be used in a special way since I plan to prepare journals for the Christian life.

While I was singing this morning at the choir at church, during the praising time I felt how God talked to my life by comparing it to those papers.

We are His creation, in his image and likeness, and formed by his hands. It is amazing how the Almighty God himself who created a sea that can be as still as a mirror and as imposing as a furious lion, created us with such different personalities and unique purposes.

Being just creation we are like those papers stored in my closet. When we understand through his Holy Spirit that we are sinners and deserve eternal damnation, but He in his love sent his Son to die for us to save us, then we are taken out of the closet and displayed on his workshop table.

God is going to transform our lives for his glory. He’s going to shape us like pottery. He saved us and gave us a purpose. We are part of something bigger. We are part of the church, with the purpose of sharing the gospel, glorify Him.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

In the same way that we cut, fold, and sew the paper, God is going to remove what hinders us, what we have acquired in this world and we will be transformed so that every day we look more like Christ.

God shapes our lives into wonderful works of art that have the hallmark of his hands.

I have a purpose and my life is being shaped at the Master’s workshop.

Pray with me:

Dear Lord, we come before you in prayer, giving thanks for the way you formed us, thought us, and every day you transform us to your glory. Help us to understand that there is no better place than to be in the Master’s workshop where you form our lives in love and guide us to our purpose. Amen.

God only has a plan A

where

They always taught me that I should have a plan in life. In fact, I talked about that recently at my Spanish blog. It is good to have a plan to help us focus our efforts in life in order to reach our goals.

But what happens when our plans do not turn out as we have thought?

I remember that in the middle of the week my husband told me that since I am working from home, he wanted to take me out for breakfast on Saturday, that is, today, to a new restaurant famous for its pancakes that recently opened in our city. Of course, I accepted.

So we headed to this new place this morning and the place was more crowded than we expected and people waiting for their table swirled around the restaurant. Not good! We decided to go to our second option, our plan B.

We arrived at our restaurant B and it seems that like us, all the people who arrived at restaurant A also had the restaurant we chose as an option and it was quite full as well.

We signed up on a waiting list. And apparently it was going to be a long wait because they didn’t sit anyone for a while. My husband asked me if we were better looking for another place (which I already had in mind) and I agreed. I thought of a coffee bistro that we used to go and we headed there.

We arrived and they had artisans with their tables offering their handmade products. Upon entering, the cozy and quiet atmosphere, with lighting that was an invitation to the conversation, made us happy. While we went thru the menu, a musician prepared himself, who while we waited for the order and savored our breakfast, enlivened us with his guitar and his songs dedicated to our island and love.

It all resulted in such a relaxed, enjoyable and delightful date. It was like a private corner prepared for us. Our plan C was better than plan A we had in mind.

I just heard recently, that God only has an A plan for us. God’s plans are always fulfilled. Many times we can perceive that when things are not as we expected or we face difficult situations that seem to have no way out, that the plan A of our lives failed.

It is difficult for us to think that everything will work for the good of our lives, especially when we have become unemployed, our family is broken, we have lost a loved one, we do not have the job we expected, or our children are not living the life we dreamed for them.

However, it is easy to forget God’s faithfulness in our lives, the sustenance he has always given us, the comfort and love that has accompanied us and the unique purpose he has with each of us.

I’ve been there. We focus on what we have in front of our eyes and not on the greatness of our God who is almighty and loved us in such a way that he gave his only son for us.

Moses spent 40 years in the desert before going to free the people of Israel. Abraham left his land without knowing where he was going. Joseph was sold by his brothers as a slave without knowing that he would be governor of Egypt and help his people. You and I are here today without knowing how great plans the Lord has for our lives.

Like them, we just have to stay as seeing the invisible and believing in faith. We are in God’s plan A.

Pray to the Lord thanking him for his providence for our lives and ask him to help us have faith in the midst of what we are living. Whatever is not within our plans is within God’s plan.

** Remember: God only has an plan A for us.

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.