Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mis[s] placed value

We are all on a roller coaster of life.

Some people are in the front enjoying every moment, taking in everything right at the beginning. Sometimes unaware of their surroundings and worries of others. They are the first ones to see what is coming up next, they are the ones who will influence the others behind them, and they are the ones who finish first.  

Then you have the middle guy, the protected, well thought out ones who make sure there is always just enough room in life to keep them safe. The middle ones may have the advantage of being surrounded but they do not always choose wisely who they surround themselves with. 

Last but not least, you have the end. The people who either were late for the ride, want to get on faster because everyone who is "brave" is in the front row line or they just like to sit back and have the last laugh. These people get to see things on the bigger scale, they may be the last row but they are able to view the ride completely. They get to observe the other peoples reactions. They get to be the last ones off the ride. 

Where do you sit on this roller coaster called life. Do you lead by example? Do you surround yourself with people who are uplifting and encouraging? Do you rely on people more than on God? Do you trust in Jesus and ALL of His promises? Do you care that your words affect others and can either bless them or hurt them? 

When I was about ten or eleven I went on the biggest, fastest and scariest ride called "Desperado" out in Nevada. This giant rollercoaster was my worst nightmare. After being assured that it would be "fun", I cautiously approached the event that would forever change my life. My brothers sat right next to me in the front row of this massive, insanely fast contraption. I really wanted to back out and just sit on the side lines as my family partook of this crazy act. But no, I joined them. I took a seat. Buckled up and screamed/prayed. The ride started and all I remember hearing was to "keep my eyes open, trust me, its fun". Finally towards the end of the ride I bravely opened my eyes. I stopped screaming for no reason and realized how pretty the view was from the top. Once I set aside the irrational fears of anything bad happening to me, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. And now I absolutely love roller coasters. The bigger the better. The faster the better. I love the rush of being scared and excited at the same time.

I believe that we are called as Christians to keep our eyes on Jesus, to trust Him and live out the example of Jesus as loving others.

So often, my seat of choice in life usually is the middle. I like to be surrounded by some would call "cushion", the padding that protects me and allows the rough times to hurt just a little less. Now, I can assure you that this cushion that I've created or rather imagined in my head has been a burden. It really is no fun walking around in life and always afraid of what could happen next. I mean I'm not always fearful just when it comes to radically relying fully on God. I guess this would be considered untrusting of me to walk the life of a believer but be scared. But, there are many people in the bible who were terrified, for legitimate reasons. The ones who concurred that fear, and rose to the calling, all had their eyes on Jesus. A place I so desire to be.

Just this past weekend I was able to visit one of my former high school students that is attending bible college. I was so blown away of the absolute wisdom that poured out of her. A sense of pride and blessing filled my heart to the brim of how Jesus loves His children and He has us right where we are needed. She reminded me that although Peter was scared, he chose to walk to Jesus. Peter was for that moment in complete reliance on God, His eyes stayed on Jesus, which kept him above water.

I so desire to be in the uncomplicated, undeserved, untarnished, unshakable, unwavering presence of God, that the whole world and all of its issues of sin and death cannot compare to the love of God.

It really is all about Perspective. Do you have your eyes on Jesus or are you so involved with yourself that you have started sinking. A practical way to not sink is to be ready in and out of season with the knowledge of scripture. To dwell on His promises and blessings.

As I sit here drinking from my "give me Jesus" mug and reading my daily light for October 19th, I am reminded that to truly be filled, to truly be protected and unafraid is to have that desire of Jesus, that HE is enough.

"The Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught" Proverbs 3:26

To be like Jesus, is to love like Him, to find your value, your hope, your rest, your identity, your everything is to be in Him. Is it easy to not listen to the enemy? No, but its worth it. This life is a
fight , we have a victor and His name is Jesus. Can you just take a minute and surrender your day. Can you with a full breathe just take in that today is a new day, filled with grace and mercy. A brand new day that is not promised or deserved. We have been given this gift of life. But I tend to take each day and live it with carried weight of myself. I'm tired. I need to remind myself that this is a new day.

Are you ready to start thanking Jesus for this day, for the trials because He is faithful to meet you. Thank Him for the tears and the heartaches because He is in the midst of your pain, He intercedes for us and keeps our tears. Can we start to Thank Him for simply loving us. And can we start living a life that shows we are LOVED by the Creator of the universe.

"Looking to JESUS, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy(that is you and me) that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" Hebrews 12:2

The fact is that no one deserves His love, but at the cost of the cross we can partake in His goodness. I am not perfect, I am not good, I am not lovely or kind, I am not precious, I am not valuable, I am not of any worth, I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Once I realize that and walk cleansed and redeemed, that is when my identity changes. In Jesus, I am perfected, I am good, I am lovely, I am precious and I am valued.

This is a daily reliance and view that I cannot attain my salvation, but only receive it. And you have that chance as well. You can choose to walk the rest of this gift of life in pain, sorrow, heartache alone. Or you can walk in peace that passes all understanding, confidence in who He has made you and called you to be, and the assurance that you are LOVED.  It's just that simple act of confession and then the act of profession. Confess that you need a Savior, asking for forgiveness and then walking in a way that is pleasing to God. Professing that He is Lord of all.

Praying that whoever is reading this would rest in Jesus and desire Him completely. Because you are valued and loved.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.

-Mis







Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Band-aids

Band-aids, thats my season right now.

Let me explain.

Last week I was changing around the pictures in the store at my work just to keep it looking fresh and a picture scrapped my arm.  Which became a scab and it wasn't till 3 days later that i decided to put neosporin (thank you siri for helping me with the spelling) on it. I had thought about putting a bandaid on it but was sure that it would heal fine without one. I'm pretty sure this will turn into a scar. When I was younger I loved when I got a scar because than I could look back and tell a story of how I got it. But getting older I realize that scars are not as cool and less is more. So anyway...sometimes in life we are very quick to put a bandaid on a wound and allow the bandaid to protect and give time for healing and other times we tend to think so less of that bandaid that the wound can actually get worse. The truth is if you are not taking care of your body,  using a bandaid or not could both cause great issues down the line. Either you use the bandaid and leave it on too long not allowing your skin to breathe or you completely ignore the issue and it does not get the protection it needs.

I have misused the bandaids. For me lets just say that the bandaid is my blanket of comfort. If the rotten wound is covered then no will know that its there. cause all bandaids are invisible. (insert sarcastic slightly uncomfortable laugh) hahaha.

What are my bandaids you might be wondering...well as of now they are my hidden "talents" that  have remained buried for a long time. Ever since I was a very little girl, I have loved music. I grew up with my mom putting on WEE Sing cassette tapes and having the radio be apart of my morning routine. I loved playing around with my portable Karaoke Machine and mimicking the great singers I longed to be like someday. I loved being in children's choir at my church and singing in the car rides with mom as she would take me to school. I had the influence of Frank Sinatra from my Nana, the influence of the amazing and talented Elton John from my dad, the gorgeous voices of Whitney Houston, Lauren Hill, Celine Dion, Boyz II Men and then life changing, awestruck worship from church. I joined choir in the 6th grade but didn't stick with it cause I want to try other things. My senior year of high school I joined choir again and loved every moment of it. I was for a brief time on a worship team for the Singles Ministry that my mom was serving in. But even though I am undeniably captivated by music, that would be that last thing I would mention is one of my talents. I love to sing, like a lot. And someday would love to use that for the Lord. When I choose to walk in His faithfulness, It is easier to be obedient in His guidance.

"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established" Proverbs 16:3

And just when I start to doubt, He gives me His word for comfort.

"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands" Isaiah 55:12

This is a promise. Jesus goes before us and behind us in whatever we are facing. The biggest lie that I fall for all the time is that i am alone. That there is no one who knows what I'm going thru, but the greatest truth is that God loves you, He is for you and not against you, to bring you a future and a hope.

Do you ever crave pizza and than think of just getting a whole pizza for yourself because even though you might not finish that whole pizza that fact is you just don't want to share. Well....thats me. I've been hoarding pizzas and forgetting about them as the rot in the corner of my heart. I'm warning you btw if you haven't noticed but I'm a deep thinker and not by choice. So the cat is out of the bag. And I'm really terrified. But as my brother so lovingly encouraged me, to be excited instead of afraid. I hope your not lost with my crazy thinking.

The past few Sunday's we have been going through the topic of Spiritual Gifts which has been heavy on my heart and super encouraging as the Pastor reminded us that we all have a function in the body of Christ. And when the body of Christ is strengthened, it will be more effective.

I was recently instructed by my friend to listen to a message on Fear, cause I'm really good at it. pero like I am. And it was called Fear: Face, Chase, Embrace by Ben Courson. (you should listen to it) Such a simple message but so profound because the basic break down was exactly what I needed to hear to kinda make sense of where I put my trust, how I view God and how I need to embrace the fear. A few of his points that I loved were, " he that fears is not made perfect in love", "my past supply ain't my last supply", "great things never come from the comfort zones", "how you perceive God dictates how you receive from God" and "do the thing that scares you the most". Easier said than done, but definitely something to aware of.

"I will not boast in anything, no gift, no power no wisdom, but I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection. "

I'm not sharing this because I will gain anything out of it other than the hope that this ministers to someone who is unsure of their gifts or callings. As the Lord continues to reveal the need for my bandaids to be removed, I'm resting in the fact that His timing is perfect, perfect love casts out all fear and Jesus is good all the time.

Provoking thought: If you are hiding your gift then how are you allowing the opportunity for God to be glorified? Is your fear holding you back from giving those gifts back to God? I can only imagine being one of those wise men and knowing that Jesus the Savior was coming; yet being so afraid of camels that it prevented me from dwelling with the newborn King.

So as I take on the challenge of being obedient, I challenge you to press on and follow the Lord's leading. Heres to embracing my fears and watching how God is going to heal me as the band-aids are removed.


Oh Lord, keep me humble, teachable, moldable and dwelling in your goodness. God be glorified.

-Mis out.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Earnestly seeking

It usually requires a type of vulnerability to really write a blog post. I struggle with FEAR and the fact that God not only has gifted me but that He wants to use me.

"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you; as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1

Earnestly= serious in intention, purpose or effort or sincerely zealous

I have dropped the ball lately, I have not been earnestly seeking Jesus. But I want to.

Please raise your hand if you have experienced some dry and weary patches on this fun journey of life. Please raise your hand if you have realized that you haven't been hungry or thirsty for the Lord, where you feel like you have "lost" your appetite for God's word simply because you were not getting an answer every time you played bible roulette.

Sometimes its when you have had your fill of the day, burdens are heavy, your exhausted of always chatting about the negative and horrible things that are taking place at home or work. Sometimes my quick fix is just to sing a few worship songs on the way to work, but even then I struggle with walking in fact that I am saved from my sin, I have a Savior who loves me beyond and or that God cares enough to give me rest. Which clearly the scripture states that He will give us rest if were are weary and heavy laden. Sometimes we need to STOP BLAMING GOD and actually talk to Him, we need to be vulnerable with God. Sometimes that also means letting others know about you in order to keep you accountable and directed back to Jesus and His goodness. That means that fellowship is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo important to maintain a healthy relationship with God. Fellowship is meant to encourage and become that functioning body of Christ. Without fellowship in our lives as Christians, I believe we are limiting the opportunity to be met by God.


Guilty as charged. But there needs to be an attitude of repentance and an attitude of humility as we desire to be more like Jesus.

I want to be the woman of God that so desires God and all His goodness. I want to be the woman who desires God above my own desires for a husband and children. I want to the confident woman who stands and claims the gifts God has given me, to sing my heart out for the Lord. I want to be the woman who stops wondering if I'm good enough for someone to even say Hi to or to find me worthy of their time. I want to stop questioning God and His timing. I want to be the woman who gives all she has and values nothing other than her Saviors sweet thoughts towards her that are good, that are plentiful. I want to be the woman who glows with the hope and joy that she only finds in Jesus. But mostly, I want to REST in His presence, close my eyes and dwell in the beauty of His majesty.
I want to bring my Abba Father, my heart and watch Him make beauty from ashes.

I challenge whoever is reading this to pray specifically, to earnestly seek Jesus daily and to love others like Jesus loves.


Lord,
Thank you for loving me.

-Mis


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Late as usual

I wrote this post a few months ago, meant to post it but kept putting it off.  So here is late as usual and still being renewed in Jesus. : )


There is this lovely area near tower 52 in Newport Beach, that is perfect for placing a towel down and cracking open a book. Not a lot of people in the area and the only noise usually is the sound of crashing waves and the occasional hooray from the surfers. Perfect weather on a  March 2nd afternoon, with a large soy latte from Peet's and silence.

Today my day off,  I ventured to the beach and placed my towel down and sat in awe,  just taking in the beauty. After looking around, I grabbed a scoop full of sand and broken sea shells. So many of these shells so soft and smooth. Unique in shape, color and size. All once whole shells that lived at the bottom of the sea now washed up and made their home on the shore. The sand has smoothed any rough edges and made them into another beautiful creation.

Many times I feel as though my edges are being smoothed, my rough character is being shaped and my heart is being softened. Many times I don't give Jesus the recognition, and most times I don't feel as though I need to be softened. I mean, l love Jesus, I don't have a hard heart, or do I? If I never see the damage of sin in my heart, than I will not see the need for a Savior.

I notice how I react to situations, how I act out of fear or how I lack the small portion of faith to move mountains. The process isn't pretty and the realization that I am more and more like the people that I tend to complain about just reminds that I am in constant need of Jesus. I have been so blinded by the fact that I am always in need of smoothing out and reshaping.

I seek to be like Jesus but forget that I need to be challenged in my understanding of His character and my faith in the unchanging, the loving and the everlasting God. As much as I see others need to be exemplifying  the character of God, i too need to be refined. I can't begin to tell you how much I fear the unknown. I fear what will take place this year or how I will adapt to a new moving of His mighty plans. Just this past monday, yet again the Lord spoke truth in my heart and opened my eyes even more to how little I see God and how BIG He really is.

Do you ever go to God with minimal requests instead of going to Him with a big request?
Deep down in my flesh I really question that God is able to do above and beyond my greatest desires. I mean it says in His word, why do I doubt?

"Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" John 14:13

or what about

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you, For everyone who asks receives, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7&8


I love that Jesus seeks us, He meets us, He seeks to know us. Are you actively seeking Jesus and all that He has for you. Are you blinded by the inability to understand God? I know I am at times.

"O God, You are my God; I shall seek you earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1

PROMISE

"You will seek ME and find Me when you search for ME with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

I love how the word of God is filled with so much love for His children. I love how Jesus loves me and has great plans for me even though I feel like a broken sea shell without a home.

I love to be encouraged and I love to encourage. Praying Jesus will guide you, meet you and continue to reveal Himself to you.

- Mis

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

amigos

So I googled "spanish words for Friend", because I only know of two. And to my surprise there are 53 Spanish Slang Words for Friend.

A few of my faves because I like the way it sounds.
bonco= It is used in Cuba to refer to a close friend or also attractive men
cobio= Cuban
choche= Peru
chompiras= Mexican
gomia= Argentina
mano= Guatemala

How often do you feel so alone in your trial or situation that even amoung your friends, you feel like there is no one that can relate? How often do we go to everyone else to carry our burdens or hear our sob stories of past and present trials hoping that they can make it all better? How often do we keep our  hardships to our selves and hope no one asks because we are ashamed of the things we are facing? How often do we fall into the same trap of lies that we don't matter to God?

Guilty. I tend to either hold everything in until I have to burst or I only share enough so that people don't inquire. It's to easy to be hurt by being vulnerable. It's to easy to wonder if your words are being heard.  But, we have been given a true example of friendship in the bible. I'm so baffled at how God continued to pursue and use those who constantly disobeyed Him. I'm in awe that Jesus intercedes for us, that He desires to dine with us. We are seen clean and sinless at the table of the Lord. Such comfort to know that His grace has no bounds, that I'm no longer bound by my sin but completely set free and made white as snow.

I'm challenged to be more like Jesus when I think of the type of friend He is. When He was in flesh on earth he sought the lonely and lost, he sought the sojourners and the weary burdened. He reached out to the ones who hid and where ashamed of their sin. He desired for God to be glorified so that those who spat at him, whipped him and cursed him even unto death on the cross would have a chance to know and be known by His Father. His desires where only to please His Father, His mission was to share His love and His ministry was to share that God is love and grace abounds.


"Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ  according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new."
 2 Corinthians 5:17

I've been attending a study on Mondays night at my church called LIFT and this past week the pastor shared a great message from Joshua 10, on what a type of friend Jesus is. He is die-hard, devoted, dedicated, determined and distinguished. I want to be more like Jesus. As much as I desire these things in my friends, I want to be them for my friends.

One of my favorite hymns,

"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. " 

We have direct access to talk to God whenever and wherever. That is pretty sweet :) Isn't it so cool that God desires to be our friends. He wants to meet with His children. He wants for us to sit at His feet and hear His response of adoration and love. He wants us to be still so that we can see His great work and great plan unfold. Being still can be super difficult at times. I usually act like a small child who is in line for that deep fried ice cream cone on a hot summery day at the fair. In complete anticipation for something cold and comforting to embrace my tastebuds and meet my sugary needs. So excited and in wonder if in fact this thing that I'm waiting for is going to be all that I hoped for and all that the ones in front of me have proclaimed it to be. Sometimes waiting for Jesus to meet with me can seem like a visit with the principle office, your all alone and your really not sure what will take place once you get there. But that is a misconstrued idea of who God is, if i'm more anxious to hear from God than excited. It can seem almost a torture to be still before God. I'm not sure why, but this is something I've had to be challenged in not comparing my disappointments in humans to the faithful and good God.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" Matthew 7:7


We desire in friendships what we need the most.

"a friend loves at all times" Proverbs 17:17

"a man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" Proverbs 18:24

"He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend." Proverbs 22:11

"greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13

"You are my friends if you do what I command you" John 15:14

"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made know to you" 
John 15:15


Jesus is the best of friends
He always has our backs
He is faithful and true.

"Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." Psalm 139:16-18

Let Him carry your burdens and be that shoulder to cry on. Let Him make you into a friend that is faithful and uplifting. Let Him see your heart so that He may refine it and make it more like His.

This is my plea....

"Search me, O God, and KNOW my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" Psalm 139:23&24

Only Jesus will ever satisfy.  If we are not looking to Jesus for true friendship, we will never know how to be a true friend.



"Everyone needs a best friend. His name is Lord and He is in constant pursuit of us." Chet Lowe- LIFT bible study

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Something the Lord gave me.


Forever my beloved

"He is constant and faithful
He is forever my beloved

I've ran down paths without looking back,
I've stumbled and fallen
I've seen storms arise and seas part
I've been given a staff and thy rod comforts me
In harms way, weak walks and dry lands
Blood shed, burdens carried, washed white as snow
My true friend

I have broken laws
brought shame to His name
I've grieved for my sins
I've found strength in His truth
I've failed a thousand times

Still, He is still
Still, He is good
Still, He is grace
Still, He is God

He is constant and faithful
He is forever my beloved "

-M.L.


If you have any prayer requests, send them my way, I'd love to pray for you.

Friday, January 01, 2016

the good stuff

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Goodbye 2015

Last year was a tough year in so many ways, I don't think I have ever faced so much stretching in such a close amount of time. In every way that I sought the Lord about life, He challenged me to trust in Him and in His ways. Every time that I tested His goodness, He met me with grace and peace. In my grief, He offered me hope, in my sorrow, He offered me comfort. This past year shook me, it wrecked my perception of God, in how I view Him and how He views me. My heart broke a few times this past year and God never left my side. He stretched me to lose myself in Him and be victorious. Honestly, I have struggled with believing at certain times in this hard journey of stretching that God knew what He was doing. I was bitter, I was uncertain of the future and I was unsure of where I fit in. But, once I surrendered the bitterness, the fear, the burden of unbelief, only then was I able to find joy. As much as I really disliked this past year, I am thankful for it. I'm thankful that He has deepened my understanding and renewed my hunger for His goodness. I have only conquered this past year with the promise and hope that is from Jesus. These past few months I have been pondering and repeating and clinging to this verse.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11

PROMISE right there. God is good and He loves to give us good things. And He doesn't withhold anything that is good. This is a crazy promise to wrap our minds around. Especially in tough and challenging times, its hard to grasp that any good can come from the valleys. But, God is good and He loves to give us good things. 


good= of high quality; excellent.

IN CHRIST YOU ARE: worthy. valued. cherished. fought for. prayed for. victorious. made righteous. beloved. beautiful. precious. forgiven. redeemed. made new.

He takes us just the way we are and makes something beautiful. He takes us in pieces and makes us new again. I so look forward to the day where we are made complete in Him, lacking nothing. When we meet Him face to face in all His glory. 

"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 

So. let's desire the good stuff. Let's get real with Jesus and start resting more in His goodness and less in our burdens. Let's cast away the doubt and lets run with the awesome, extraordinary and possible God. Our God is able and willing to complete a good work in you and in me.

My only desire is to experience and know God more than I ever have before.



"And I am sure of this, that HE who began a GOOD work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" Philippians 1:6



H E L LO   2016 !!!