Do I know what I’m sowing?

Last week, a nonprofit organization was giving away trees to plant, in a location at the shopping mall near my house. Because we don’t have trees in my yard, I decided to go glancing.

There they had several experts who based on the information you provided about the place, terrain, and the main purpose for the tree would get you the most suitable species for planting and guide you on the process.

I do not have that experience or much knowledge in that area because I am not good at taking care of plants. Sometimes I think I don’t have the patience required for this hobby. So I brought them to my husband for him to take care of this project.

But in our lives, the overall quality of the picture is very different. We all sow. Every day we are all sowing and reaping. The problem is that although we are not aware of this, which is no longer a hobby, but defines our lives, we do not invest time in teaching ourselves the best way to be able to obtain good fruits at harvest time.

All the good that can come out of us comes from God.

The world has been guiding us all our lives on how to sow. It teaches us to be selfish because, in the long run, no one is going to think about us. It teaches us that you have rights, so don’t give your arm to twist. It teaches us that the one who throws the blow first is the one who wins. It teaches us that we have to take revenge on the one who hurt us. It teaches us to criticize others for what seems different to us. It teaches us to be fanatically political and religious and to get into arguments. It teaches us to provide our children with more material things than time and love. It leads us to think that we are superior to others and that we should treat them that way.

All these behaviors and all these seeds act by themselves in our lives, without much effort. It is more difficult for us to sow in righteousness than to sow in sin.

The Bible teaches us how to sow. It alerts us that we will reap based on what we sow. For example, he tells us to sow the seeds of goodness. But to sow goodness, we must stop sowing with pride and selfishness, and that costs us; because the world has taught us not to do anything that makes us look foolish. But … and the final result? Am I sowing thinking about what I am going to reap?

Sowing with the knowledge of God’s justice costs us, but we will obtain better harvests. “Those who sow with tears will reap with joy.” Psalm 126: 5

Many family conflicts and how we relate to other people could be healed if pride, selfishness, hatred, and thirst for revenge for what I received are put aside. Even if it costs us, let’s sow goodness. This world needs it, and like the salt that seasons food so that we can enjoy it, so we have been called to be the salt of the world. We have the instructions in the Word and the Holy Spirit guides us.

If we act like the world, we are helping deforestation. Let us be the ones who put the good seed that the Father gives us.

Let us pray to the Lord presenting our lives so that he helps us to strip away the teachings that are contrary to his will and that we can sow in justice. Amen.

It is finished

It is finished.

On that day a promise was fulfilled …

A promise was given to humanity since the time of Adam: the only possible solution to restore our relationship with God.

So many years of waiting. So much spin holding onto a hope that seemed so far away. Only faith helped us to sustain ourselves waiting for the big day.

God never fails. His promises are always kept. His Word stands above every apparent obstacle or adversity.

It is finished.

The day that changed the route of humanity. The day that marked history. A day whose echo is still heard today.

It is finished.

Words that echoed in the skies. Words that fulfilled many prophecies. Words that caused the greatest pain possible. Words that would make more sense three days later. Words that many at the time did not understand.

Something was breaking. Something was ending, but something new was beginning. The countdown had been activated. Silence waited for … his resurrection.

His glory was not over. His glory would manifest once more. His miracles had not ceased. His gift of salvation would be being offered. The necessary path to go to the Father was being forged. The letters of the law could no longer condemn us. The forgiveness of our iniquities became real.

Such a great love. An unconditional love. A sacrificial love. A consummate love.

It is finished.

Those words that today can change your life. Those words that remind me that my life changed. Those words that renew my strength today.

May its echo resound in my spirit every day and lead me to the cross.

It’s time to speak. It’s time to love.

As a child, I frequently got sick with throat infections. It is possible that it was because the school I attended had a yard with no grass and lots of dirt, which with the wind moved into the air a lot.

The problem is that for some reason of fear, I used to hid from everyone when my infection symptoms started. I always tried to speak normally, although my throat hurt when I said a word. I also tried to hide if I was feeling weak.

But my dad would always notice the change in my voice and would tell my mom to check me out. Indeed, I had a fever of 40 degrees Celsius, my throat was almost closed due to inflammation, and it was already night when we ended up at the hospital emergency room because at that time the pediatrician’s office was already closed. On top of that, I received the scolding of my mother for the worry and for the bad time that I put her through.

The same happens to us in our spiritual life. Unfortunately, it has proliferated in the midst of churches that people who have a struggle with a particular sin are judged. So, we have become religious, that we go to church and tell everyone that we are fine, in victory, even though our spiritual life has declined, sin overwhelms us and we don’t see a quick way out.

Silence didn’t help my cause. The disease worsened without treatment and put me in a more complicated clinical picture for not treating me on time. The fear of what my mother would say and the treatment that would possibly include injections led me to shut up and try to hide the symptoms.

We disguise our depressions, weaknesses, and failures to present a “perfect Christian” that everyone accepts, who can serve in ministries and is not judged for spiritual immaturity.

But if I have learned anything from the Scriptures, it is that when we cover up our sin, we are overwhelmed, consumed, and grieved by the Holy Spirit. We have the example of David, that although he had a heart pleasing to God, covering up his sin affected him deeply.

The church is composed of sinners redeemed only by grace and not by goodnesses, who are undergoing a progressive transformation towards holiness through the Holy Spirit. There are struggles that we cannot overcome without help. Therefore, the Bible tells us that we have gifts to help minister to each other, encourage us, and the love of God to cover a multitude of faults.

The perfect unity of church occurs when we meet without pretense, we break in the presence of God without thinking about what they will think of us. We unite in spirit when we can support each other, pray together for our struggles and weaknesses, and when we have brethren in faith who will be waiting to get up and encourage us not to fall.

When we can approach God by stripping ourselves of all masks and appearances, we permeate into an attitude of humility, and God will glorify himself in our midst.

This will help us grow. Then our leadership roles in the church will bear fruit. So those who feel hurt and seek hope amid this fallen world can come to church by admiring a love so deep that it does not make others fall, but lifts them and brings them closer to the Lord.

It starts with me, goes on with you. We long for a collective spiritual revival in these times, but it begins with humiliation, with presenting ourselves before God with an open face, and having love for our neighbor, not judging them, but praying together, agreeing, that we surrender together before God, and in that way, his name may be glorified.

If I feel that I do not need the prayer of others or the support of others, it is time to surrender my pride in the presence of God. When we come closer to his holiness, we can only see our imperfections and marvel at the wonderful grace poured out of him on me.

To heal our lives in time, we cannot be silent. May God put in us an unconditional love towards others, having Him as a perfect model.

Let us pray to the Lord presenting our lives in an attitude of humility and transparency. May we be ministered to minister others. May his Holy Spirit guide us to see others as ourselves and may we minister and support each other so that together we continue to grow and mature spiritually. That is the unity of the body his Spirit is poured out supernaturally.

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.

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.