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Desired to be loved?
"The Love of the Lord" Hosea 3:1

February 3, 2013
Zaibel Martinez

There is not a day that goes by where people do no yearn and desire to be loved. Harvard University did a study on how people are created to be connected. How are brains light up when we feel connected, loved, or even embraced. It's a human desire, and just because we are in the month of February where everyone is talking about "love" doesn't mean the rest of the year it falls in relevance. It's an ongoing pursuit of the heart.

And months like these tend to drive people into thinking of their status. Single, divorced, married, complicated or just plain lonely despite the status. With that said, we as Christians know that God is the very essence of LOVE. So why do we struggle with this area so much, and why are we lonely? I will tell you why, and this has been a hard lesson to learn but we have all been brainwashed into what love is. And this could turn into a long list of what we do wrong, but I rather highlight what I saw. Love is giving when they don't deserve it. That is truly unconditional Love, what they describe as Agape love in the Greek language. This is what God gives us.

God loves us despite our sins. God loves us knowing when and where we will fail. He loves us when we are angry with him. He loves us when we rebel against him. He loves us when we sit back and justify our sins. He loves us when we betray him. He loves us so much he gave his only begotten son to die on the cross to save us. He loves us and I'm sorry to admit it but we don't deserve it. Yet he loves us anyway.

So then why are we hurting, why are we lonely? Because we fail to express love the way God expresses it. We hold grudges, we hold onto bitter resentment because we feel people don't deserve it. They don't deserve our forgiveness, they don't deserve our love. Some we know will fail us, or betray us so we don't love them either. Why? Because they don't deserve it. But imagine a world that loved the way God LOVES. What if we could remember how we are undeserving and yet his mercy and grace fell upon us and loved us anyway. Could we express that same love? What if God withheld from you because you didn't deserve it?

I read this and it struck my heart, its written by Charles Spurgeon and it says,

"Do you not feel in your own soul that perfection is not in you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear which trickles from your eye, weeps "imperfection". You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you-you are "Perfect in Christ Jesus". In God's sight you are "complete in him;" even now you are "accepted in the beloved".

So eloquently said! We need to express this love to the world around us. How can we face God and say they didn't deserve love when He gives us love undeservingly. I don't think God would want to hear it. Let's walk today in Love, but the love God expresses to us, not as the world expresses it. Let's express Gods love. To God be all the Glory

  When I’m a afraid… 
Dec 2012 
When I’m a afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalms 56:3 Ever been afraid? Ever go through the endless and countless worst scenarios in your head and only drive yourself insane with fear. Its inward pollution. Satan doesn’t go around kicking dead horses; you’re not a threat to his kingdom when your mind is polluted. This is something you yourself have to discipline yourself to change.
So how does one deal with fear? Let’s look at Jesus when he had to face the crucifixion. What did he do? He took his fear to his father. We should do the same with ours. Take it to the Garden of Gethsemane, and be honest, and if you have to cry, pound the ground, and sweat blood this is the place for it, its allowed. Even Jesus was honest “Take this cup”. Tell God everything, tell him about the heart break, tell him about your disappointments, tell him about the betrayal, and tell him the details of the drama you wish never came to pass.
He has plenty of time and plenty of compassion.He is not going to tell you to suck it up, or toughen up. He really wants to listen to you, because when you pour it all out to him, your hearts opens the well spring of life, where he can step in and plant seeds. No more secrets, no more shame. Don’t feel like a hypocrite either in going to Him. To believe in Him but not meet the expectations of the laws in his word, is not hypocrisy its humanity. Hypocrisy isn’t when you fall short, it’s when you deliberately are trying to be someone your not. God knows who you are, you can’t hide from him.

The only one who has the power to heal your heart  and mind is the one who created it. He knows what you need. No self help book, inspirational music, or comedy will make you smile till you deal with it. He knows what you need to rid the pollution. He might not give you the answers your looking for, but he gives you the remedy. Only Him. To God be all the Glory!

"He made a way"

June- July 2012 

"When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." - Matthew 27: 50-51

What does this scripture mean? First let me remind you that the curtain was sixty feet tall and thirty feet wide. At one moment it was solid the next ripped in half. Why? This curtain is what seperated us, the sinners, from the Holy of Holies. For the Jews it mean that they didn't need a High Priest to go between them and God. No more animal sacrifices and no more barrier. For us? The same. We are welcomed to enter into God's presence any day, any time.
Sometimes we need a reminder that the barrier has been torn. Yes sin seperates us from God, but its not God walking away, its us. God knows what you did, what you have done, and what your about to do, yet still He loves you.
He loves you so much he tore the barrier DOWN. Making a way for salvation.



"...He said, "Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel." Jeremiah 18:5

About a decade or more so ago, Michael Jordon signed a few basketballs as a gift to a few local bank branches here in CT. I remember the day the branch manager retired from one of the branches that had received a signed Michael Jordan basketball. She took the ball with her. I often log onto to various sites to see what the value of the ball is worth. As of today the price range runs from $400-$1,650. The ball is a regular Spalding ball worth, at most, $30.00. That means the worth of the ball is simply based on the fact that Michael Jordon held the ball in his hands and signed it to prove it. After all Michael Jordan happens to be one of the most accomplished players in NBA history. He has six Championship rings, five NBA MVP awards and a long list of records.

That means I can go to any sporting goods store and pick up any type of sports gear, have it signed by the most famed athlete of its type and more than quadruple the worth of it. Unbelievable, yet so true! Look it up.
So then I turn to the story of the Potter's House found in the book of Jeremiah and read how God instructs Jeremiah to go to the Potters House and watch him take marred clay and form it into a pot. Which at the time pots created out of clay carried a lot of value, and they were necessary to the people of the time. They were used for bathing, feeding, watering, holding wine, and much more. You needed clay pots in that era; and they were valuable to all who held them. It wasn't thrown around; it was treated with care because it was important to their lifestyles. Then God says, "Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?"

Incredible! If you think that a regular $30.00 Spalding ball value goes up to $1600.00 for sitting in Michael Jordan's hands. What do you think your worth is when placed in God's hands? God isn't retired; he is still very much in the game. He has credentials that go beyond what any record book can hold. His power surpasses any power known and unknown in the universe. He has more victories than any hero that lived on earth added all up together. His miracles from thousands of years ago are still under research and he still performs miracles today. He is the same today as he was yesterday, unyielding in love, forever faithful, all powerful, all knowing... THE ALPHA AND OMEGA. Wow.

Now... if you have given your life to Christ the molding of marred clay has begun. You have no idea how much your worth. PRICELESS. The worth is found in HIS hands. To God be all the Glory!


JAN-FEB 2012


Proverbs 26:11 "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly"

God can make change happen. But God is not in gold little bottle waiting to be rubbed the right way to appear and grant you three wishes. It doesn't work that way. And let us not insult God in praying that way.

Yes God can do anything and everything. He can do the impossible. However- the possible... I must say he is expecting for you to take on. He is not your servant. He gave you incredible gifts, talents and abilities. Amongst one of them is a brain and HE wants you to use it. So the problem is not whether or not God can change you but if you're willing to change your mind about your situation. You can't make a request to be free from your situation, and make no effort to break yourself free.

Nothing will change, if nothing changes with you. Do you know how many people I hear praying for God to change them, but they won't let go of other people's opinions of them? Do you know how many addicts I have seen pray that they want to be free of their addiction, but they deliberately put themselves in temptations way.

When my kids want something, I don't do it for them, I teach them how to get it, keep it, and protect it. Do you not think God is a much better teacher than we are as parents?

It's not about what you keep going through over and over; it's about what you keep returning too. So it looks like you yourself have to make decisions to not return, decisions to not put yourself in temptations way. And I know it's easier said than done, this isn't something you can do alone. You're going to need God. People might have given up on you already, but God hasn't and won't. The Psalmist wrote "Many are they, who say of me,'..."There is not help for him in God."...But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice and he Heard me" Psalms 3:2-4.

Pray the prayer, "turn me back to you O Lord and I will be restored" Speak it in faith, and all the impossibilities of your situation will change, and you will learn, and you will be set free.

When I'm a afraid...
Dec 2011

When I'm a afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalms 56:3

Ever been afraid? Ever go through the endless and countless worst scenarios in your head and only drive yourself insane with fear. Its inward pollution. Satan doesn't go around kicking dead horses; you're not a threat to his kingdom when your mind is polluted. This is something you yourself have to discipline yourself to change.

So how does one deal with fear? Let's look at Jesus when he had to face the crucifixion. What did he do? He took his fear to his father. We should do the same with ours. Take it to the Garden of Gethsemane, and be honest, and if you have to cry, pound the ground, and sweat blood this is the place for it, its allowed. Even Jesus was honest "Take this cup". Tell God everything, tell him about the heart break, tell him about your disappointments, tell him about the betrayal, and tell him the details of the drama you wish never came to pass. He has plenty of time and plenty of compassion.

He is not going to tell you to suck it up, or toughen up. He really wants to listen to you, because when you pour it all out to him, your hearts opens the well spring of life, where he can step in and plant seeds. No more secrets, no more shame. Don't feel like a hypocrite either in going to Him. To believe in Him but not meets the expectations of the laws in his word, is not hypocrisy its humanity. Hypocrisy isn't when you fall short, it's when you deliberately are trying to be someone your not. God knows who you are, you can't hide from him.
The only one who has the power to heal your heart and mind is the one who created it. He knows what you need. No self help book, inspirational music, or comedy will make you smile till you deal with it. He knows what you need to rid the pollution. He might not give you the answers your looking for, but he gives you the remedy. Only Him. To God be all the Glory!

Do I have any worth?

Nov 2011

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139: 14
I haven't been feeling very worthy lately, so I spent some time reflecting on my children and this very true story came to mind. While in the department store, a few years ago, sifting through the clothing racks my head was deep in thought of the new opportunity that was knocking at my door, a job interview. I wanted to make a good impression and I wanted to look professional, and at the time I didn't care how much it was going to cost me.

Me... the picky person that I am, had the look envisioned in my head it was just a matter of time before I found it. I was on a mission and excitement overwhelmed me. About twenty minutes in the store I found a blouse that wasn't quite my color so I held it up and said, "Uli how do you think mommy will look in this?" and wouldn't you know it, no response. I looked down and he was gone. I tried not to panic at first and walked through the isles of the toy section hoping to find him; he wasn't there.
It didn't take long for my heart to race faster than my legs as I ran down the isles of the department store screaming his name. I didn't care who heard me, or what people thought of me. Every possibility of the worst was shooting through my mind. I was on the verge of a breakdown when I suddenly looked down and saw two feet poking out from the bottom of the clothing rack. When I separated the clothing, there he was with his hands over his mouth trying to contain himself from laughing while he hid from me. He was playing hiding go seek.

All of a sudden nothing else mattered and everything had lost its importance. No price is too high for a parent to pay to redeem her child. No energy too great, no effort too demanding. A parent will go to great length to find her offspring, to find her heart that walks the earth in a small package.

So will God. He brought me back to that moment, and then reminded me of how much I reflected His image in that moment.

God's greatest creation is not the majestic mysterious space we explore, or the wonders of the caverns that carry jewels and diamonds. It's not the blue berry shaped world that spins in space in perfect order. It's you and I; we are his greatest possessions. I don't think we will ever fully grasp the passion that God has for you and I; we are wonderfully made by His loving hands and His passion is for us. Suddenly I feel worth something, I hope and pray you know how much you're worth as well. To God be all the Glory!


SEPT/OCT 2011 Z.Martinez

"Do not... be anxious about tomorrow..."Matthew 6:34 AMP

I have a question for you...
Who is not worried about this economy? Are you not worried about the finances? Are you worried about how you're going to pay that bill? And it never fails for someone to walk over and say,

"Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Mat 6:27 If I were present I would have answered, "No, it doesn't add to my life, it takes years off. But how does one stop worrying?" And I must admit I know I worry about stuff that never happens and it usually turns out better than I anticipate. And I prayed...."God please remove this pain in my chest. I know your word says not to worry but how can I not, this requires action and I don't know what to do".

God never intended for us to carry tomorrow's burdens along with today. Worry is like a magnet, it attracts fear, and it clouds our judgment. We prepare for the worse even at the expense of our own health. Worry is an emotional spasm; the only way to break it is to replace it.

"Whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think of such things (Phillippians 4:8) So the next time someone hits you with Matthew 6:27 tell them to accompany it with this scripture, cause telling someone to not worry doesn't work, we need instruction. We are sheep, who need instruction.

I love the story of David and I remember one piece where David was running and he went to one of the temples and the priest there handed him the sword of Goliath. See worry torments and it will make your imagination run amok with scenarios that will drive you insane. But while I read the story, although David had a new battle to confront, a new worry, Goliath sword was introduced. I don't know what went through David's head but I know as the reader I wanted to jump in the page and say, "Oh my goodness, do you remember David. Do you remember how God gave you victory over Goliath, you were but a boy. Now you're a man with more power and wisdom and God will give you victory over this as well" Of course I knew the ending while I was reading, but that's beside the point. The point is, remember how he saved you before, he will save you again.

You can rise above the worry, by remembering the past, the good moments, things that are praiseworthy. Reprogram your thinking. Now that you have the instructions, go apply it. And don't be afraid, God is with you.

Get in position

August 2011

Z. Martinez

I listened to someone criticize the work of another member of our church. He said they shouldn't have taken on the role if they couldn't handle it, or felt they were going to mess up. I will admit there were some flaws in the ministry this person was leading. But then I asked the person who was criticizing since they had the talent needed to run this ministry effectively if they would take it on, and he said no. He didn't want the responsibility nor the pressure of handling such a ministry. He knew that in that position you would be judged by a different standard and prefer not to deal with it. So who should we admire the person who has the courage to take it on despite all the flaws and imperfection, and judgment they would face? Or the one who isn't willing to try, but has what it takes?
Gods work is not restricted to our ability; it flows through our availability to be used. Transformation comes through the act of being available for the change. The caterpillar takes position to get ready for change. You have to get in position. I don't want to steal the words of a fellow writer so I pasted below a paragraph that really nailed biblical transformation fact.

"Transformation in biblical terms entails God's faithfulness and not human perfection. Noah got drunk; Abraham lied twice about Sarah being his sister; Gideon became an idolater; Samson failed to honor his vows; David committed adultery; Paul and Barnabus argued over John Mark and went their separate ways; the disciples of Jesus all left him in his moment of need and fled. The psalmist alerts us to the fact that God is not ignorant about humanity's humble condition: "For God knows what we are made of; God is mindful that we are but dust." Yet in spite of this dusty substance, God is at work in and through flawed individuals."- Margaret Manning

Wow, I don't think I could've said it better than she did. So if God knows what he is dealing with, then why is it that when he calls us he gets excuses?
"I am not worthy"
"I can't handle that responsibility"
"Do you know what will be expected of me if I publicly take that stance, judgment will follow me?"
"What if people learn about my past and I'm leading this ministry?"

Be courageous and if they question why you, tell them, "I don't know ask God, he's the one who called me. Take it up with him if you have a problem". If he called you, even if you don't have what it takes, get in position. It means he is going to change you. To God be the Glory!

How Long do I have to put up with you?

July 2011 by Z. Martinez  

Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. Matthew 5:44

Love isn't easy for you and it sure isn't easy for me. But you know what I found interesting? I found out it wasn't for Jesus either. If you go to Mark 9:19 you can hear Jesus frustration with the people, "You people have no faith. How long must I stay with you? How long must I put up with you?"

"How long must I put up with you?"

That's a phrase I have said in my mind to my kids but bite my tongue on voicing it. How long?
Well let's see... Long enough to be accused by the Pharisees of being the enemy. Long enough to be called crazy and a liar. Long enough to watch his friend betray him with a kiss. Long enough to hear the rooster crow and know his beloved denied him. Long enough to endure the accusations from the very people he loves. Long enough to be questioned as a criminal although he did nothing wrong. Long enough to be beaten, mistreated and abused and he did nothing to deserve such treatment. Long enough to carry the sins of the world on a sinless soul.

Long enough to kill him.

Do you ever feel this way? "How long do I have to put up with this nonsense?"  "How long do I have to put up with this drama?" Yet the only reason you're in that mess is because there is someone you love enough to stick with it. It could be the drama your kids bring home. It could be your spouse that makes life difficult. Or it could be the very person you look at in the mirror that you can't deal with and your saying, how long do I have to put up with you?
Love is not easy. And the reality is that we will be doing this till it kills us. But here is a reality many overlook. Jesus did it and it killed him, but there was a resurrection. I know what you're thinking... I'm not Jesus I'm not going to be raised from the dead. Your right, but the seeds you plant secure the future for your loved ones. And it's not a seed that produces a tomato that you pluck and eat it and its gone. It's a seed that will take time, which will require patience and feeding and when it grows it can't be plucked. It's a strong oak tree that your great grandchildren will hang their swings on, because it's secure. Security for your family because you planted today with Love.

Jesus did it for us, and his word outlives the grave. Your sacrifice today will outlive the grave. Your love and the seeds you plant will be strong oak trees that will outlive you. It will be the legacy you leave. Stay encouraged, Love isn't easy.

To God be all the Glory!


What are you doing here?

June 2011 

Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD" he said. "Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died" 1 Kings 19:4

I recently had to face a beautiful teenager. She wasn't just any teenager; she is the light and inspiration of her growing youth group. She was so inspired that she carried a piano, a guitar and an amp to and from church teaching the kids to play so they could start a worship band. Her youth group occasionally came to fellowship with our church's youth group and on one night I saw this young man who declared with pride that he didn't believe in God, that he knows all about him through his readings that he was just there with this girl. This boys up bringing was in China, so I understood his position. Two weeks later our youth groups meet again and the Chinese boy was declaring how much he loves God.
Then I was hit with the news that this young girl who seemed a pillar for this youth group, who lead unbelievers to believe through her love was in the hospital because she tried to commit suicide. Sometimes we look at our leaders and see them as such a strong voice of encouragement that we fail to remember they need encouragement too. The scripture above is the voice of Elijah, who had just slained 400 prophets of Baal, who was feed by the ravens in the wilderness, who survived on a poor widows flour and oil in the midst of a three year drought, who witness and was the vessel of miracles and here he was in 1 Kings 19:4 wanting to die.

Elijah was an ordinary human being and so was this girl. So imagine the torment of the youth group who was inspired by her. They thought well if she can't handle it neither can I. Some were just left in confusion and didn't know what to do. So what do you do? If you read further while Elijah is on the ground tired, exhausted and filled with anxiety, depression and so forth he lies down to close his eyes. I guess hoping to never wake up, or maybe he just felt safer in his dreams than he did in reality. But then the Angel of the Lord appeared and woke him up. But here is the interesting part, the Angel of the LORD didn't wake him up and give him advice, counsel, or correction. No he woke him up to eat.
When people are hurting, they are not in the state of mind to receive anything. Don't you see, their mind is not in the position to face anything. They need to be nursed to good health. For some it could be the love they felt deprived of, that's their spiritual food. Others need encouragement or just a sense of not feeling alone. Just be there like God was there. Pray for your leaders, they get discouraged too; they are human and need all the necessities you need. Read the story of Elijah when you get time, the part I love the most is when God says, "Elijah, what are you doing here?" And soon enough that young girl will get there too, and it should be God's voice she hears, not ours. And when those who are suffering are faced with the question they will have to evaluate themselves, they won't need a psychiatrist to evaluate them. Once God speaks things change and are never the same, including the anxiety and the depression.

Pray for your leaders, and should they fall realize you were never following them. I don't follow Elijah, I follow the God who Elijah was obedient to. Therefore his discouragement, despite all he saw and lived, should not discourage me. Nor should someone's fall discourage you. If your sad, I hope this devotional feeds you and if you know someone who is suffering feed them to good health.

Having an ugly day?

May 2011

Hello ladies,
Did you ever wake up in the morning and just feel ugly. Be real with me. You take a hard look in the mirror and you could honestly see the superficial beauty that the makeup provides and get the right hair style and still see something you don't like and suddenly your eyes lost shine and the bags under your eyes are more evident than ever and your smile lines are now wrinkles of despair.

Sometimes that deep look in the mirror is more revealing than we want it to be. We look at it and find ourselves looking at our spirit, our dark secrets, our shameful thoughts, and say, "If people knew what I know about me, no one would say I was beautiful at all, not even my mom" And the day takes a turn for the worse from that moment on.
Where is the error? Is it in self inspecting? No, it's human to self inspect and it's humbling but it should not be the name you make for yourself. The error is taking that deep look and staying there, in the deep reflection. That is exactly where the enemy wants you to stay. It's hard to look at your mistakes and failures, but really you must remember that failure is an opportunity to start over more intelligently.

Maybe some of us need to take that look just to remain humble, and keep us astray of arrogance. But don't stay there.

When the enemy says, "you're worthless". Jesus says, "You're a pearl of great value".

When the enemy says, "No one will ever love you" Jesus says, "You are my beloved"

When the enemy says, "God doesn't care" Jesus says "I gave my life that you might have eternal".

And truth be told, sometimes it's not the enemy sometimes it's just you telling yourself stuff like that. Stop it. It's not what Jesus thinks of you, so stop.

I'm reading this book about experiencing God and there is a chapter where the author speaks about finding God through the circumstances. One particular morning I had an ugly day, reflecting on my mistakes and taking that hard look in the mirror and wondering why God would even want to bother with me. I got so emotional I went to the ladies room to calm myself down. In the ladies room was a little girl who exited the stall and paused in shock to look at me. She was the cutest thing and looked shocked to see me, so I smiled and moved forward to wash my hands as her mother picked her up and sat her on the sink so she could reach the water. The entire time her eyes locked on me, and once again I looked in the mirror and in my heart prayed that God really did see more in me than what I saw. Then at that point the little girl looked at her mother and said, "Mommy she is the prettiest girl I have ever seen". 

I couldn't help but laugh, while I tried to get out a thank you. Then as I made my way back to the office I realized something. Through that little girl, I experienced God. God knew I was having an ugly day and he took a moment to remind me that he saw me as his beloved. Then he gave me the compliment all girls want to hear. So I stopped and thanked God.

So to you this day, know that you are beautiful, you are loved, wanted, accepted and treasured. You're "the prettiest girl I have ever seen". I hope and pray you experience God today like never before.

Have a wonderful day!

"God's business is putting things right" Psalm 11:7



Let Him cover you.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight" 2 Cor 5:7 KJV

When it comes to the judgments of life for my past mistakes I don't need a persecutor. I am the greatest persecuting attorney ready to prosecute, judge and convict myself. I don't need anyone to point fingers at me; I have all ten of my fingers pointing at myself. I always feel unworthy of caring through ministry task. If I lived during Old Testament times I am sure that if I even tried to touch anything holy I would be dead. But oh how I wish... I wish I could be like the priests who were set apart and holy enough to enter the Holy of Holy places in the temple and fall in the presence of God.

There is a problem in my thinking. When Christ died he took the sins of the world and we forget that. He bridged the gap between God and us. Once upon a time we the people of the world had to sacrifice and shed blood before even getting close to God. Then somewhere the gap became so huge between God and us that God took the very language the people used to communicate with him and he spoke to us, how? By sending his son, his sacrifice, to get close to us.

When God looks at us, he no longer sees us. What he sees is His son's blood. We are covered in his blood. Its time to let God's love covers everything. All the secrets. All the painful memories. All the evil and the worry.
The moments when you woke up in the bed of a stranger. His love will cover that.
The years of abuse and prejudice. His love will cover that.
The years of evil you yourself have committed against someone else. He will cover that.
The drug and alcohol abuse. He will cover that too.
His love covers it ALL.

Picture yourself standing behind a dump truck full of love. And God lifts the bed of the truck and all that love pours out falling to your feet, then your ankles, then your knees and it doesn't stop, it keeps pouring. Then your completely buried it. Then someone comes and ask, "Hey, Where are you?" because they can't see you. And you respond, "In here, covered in love"

You are beyond recognition, you are remade. Everything changes, including you. Let go and let the love of Christ cover you. Stop looking around you and look at that dump truck that's is coving you with love.
To God be all the Glory.

Butterfly Effect


March 2011

If it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. -Romans 12:8

The butterfly effect was a theory introduced years ago about how one little butterfly flapping its wings forces the molecules in the air to move which in turn force other molecules to turn and if you get enough butterflies you can actually birth a hurricane. The theory was quickly discarded but years later it surfaced again and scientist are not sneezing at it. They said the theory is valid in regards to that one choice affects more than just the person making the choice and can affect them for years to come.

For example there was a woman by the name of Mrs. Susan Carver wife of Moses Carver. They owned a farm and had slaves who they loved as their friends. One of Mrs. Carver's friends was kidnapped along with her children, one of which was only a week old. The Carver's knew that it was the raiders from Arkansas and so the negotiations began. At the end of the day Mr. Carver ended up swapping a race horse for a sack cloth bag that held the beaten body of the week old child. Mrs. Carver was distraught and vowed to raise little George as her own not as a slave.

Years later George grew up with a love of agriculture due to his upbringing, and education from the Carver's. We know him today as George Washington Carver who is responsible for 105 recipes that used peanuts; he also created about 100 products made from peanuts that were useful for house, cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline and nitroglycerin.

It doesn't stop there, when George was in college his professor took a liking to him, and asked him to take his son out in the fields, his name was Henry Wallace he was only six years old when he instilled in him the love of agriculture and how it could save humanity. Henry grew up to become Vice President of the United States and hired Norman Borlaug as head of agriculture, who later won the presidential metal of freedom, for saving over 2 million people from famine with his creation of what they call the "green revolution". I will let you look it up. Point is that 2 million were saved from famine. I don't think Mrs. Carver knew how her loving friendship with George's mother was going to affect millions of lives.

Everything you do matters, every choice you make changes the course of life. So live to encourage, and love one another. There is no telling what today's love might do ten years down the line, or who it might save. To God be all the Glory.
Additional reading: The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters by Andy Andrews

A Love that does not disapoint 

Turn, LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. Psalms 6:4


Feb 2011
So Love is in the air once again. Everyone is out looking for a Valentine, or if they have one already looking for a gift. Love, in my opinion, is built into our DNA. There is no escaping the desire to love and be loved. So when we travel through scripture at times an old story takes on a new perspective, like the book of Job.
The book of Job is definitely a page turner. Especially when you feel the weight of life's trials weighing heavy on you. I wondered what was the authors point in writing this story? What was the theology of the time for him to put so much emphasis on the tortuous events of Jobs life?
Job was a righteous man, he spent his time encouraging everyone who crossed his path and building up the lives of those who were hurting. He, in the best of his ability, had come to point of understanding just enough to fall in love with God and praise him even through the storms. And in my opinion God knew that. I can imagine the relationship by comparing it to the relationship I have with my mother. She is a woman I hold near and dear to my heart and (even in her shortcomings to me) she could do no wrong. I will love her when she is good to me and I will love her when she is not good to me. And I believe this is what the author was targeting to his audience when he committed the words to paper.
Today the misconception is that when you worship God you should be under God's protection therefore you will not deal with suffering. And even Jesus himself said that the world brings suffering. The bible makes no promise that life will be great when you turn your life to God. But it does promise that God will be your shield when life throws arrows at you, not that he will stop the world from throwing arrows at you. The bible says, God will give you peace during your times of trials, not that he will remove the trials.
In the end of this wonderful book I have to ask, "If this happened to me, will I still love God?" Job did. Everything was returned to him but he didn't know what the future held. Neither do we, so can you in the midst of all that trouble not knowing if there is a reward after the trial, love your creator? If not than you can't say you love God or know God for that matter. In the midst of that decision you can distinguish if God is your God, or if he is just another character you read about.
Take this time, now that Love is in the air, to evaluate where your heart is. Do you truly love God? If you think you don't, don't be discouraged. You just have to get to know Him. Let your bible introduce His story, His son, and His love. You will find that in your difficult moments, in your lonely moments, in your hurting moments, in every moment He is present and comforting and renews strength just when you need it. And Lord knows we need it right?
But the greatest part of it all is that if you think about how he loves us, you don't have time to maintain regrets, or feel insecure, or lonely, or depressed, or discouraged because He really loves us. He never disappoints.
This Love does not disapoint


Z. Martinez Jan 2011 

"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. " Galatians 5:17

I read a horrifying article of a man who raised dogs to fight. Over time his dog fighting events gained popularity and gamblers were coming in from all over to place their bets on what dog would win. Even the mastermind behind the horrifying scheme had managed to make a pretty penny on fixing the matches so he always won. But how do you fix a dog fight? You can't tell one dog to not defend itself and when they grow up vicious there really is little obedience training involved, so how did he manage to "fix" the fights? A few days before the fight was scheduled he would simply not feed the dog. The dog would be too weak to fight and consequently lose in battle.

This is how it is in your spiritual walk. Paul describes how there is a constant battle between the spirit and flesh. Have you ever wanted something so much but you knew it wasn't yours to have? Did you ever want something that was unhealthy? Did you ever want something that is morally wrong? These are examples of the war that wages within us all. We can all acknowledge the rights and wrongs of the situation and declare with confidence that "its wrong" and you will never do that. But even Paul warned those that claimed would not fall, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" 1 Cor. 10:12 The reality is we all fall short of even our own expectations. They are humbling experiences nonetheless.

  1. So what is one to do? Take the strategic move above to increase your chances of success. Don't feed the flesh. How does one do this? Feed the Spirit:
    First step is to remove your self from the situation, take a step back. You need time with God who can give you guidance in this fight. Think of it like going to your corner to your coach for outside perspective on how to win.
  2. Pray- Even when you don't know the words, trust that the Spirit intercedes for you. Romans 8:26. What would you say if God stood before you- tell Him.
  3. Fast- Abel's sacrifice was an act of hard work, he didn't pluck from the ground and call it a day, he chose the best which took time and slaughtered, which took action, he then put it on the offering table. Show God your serious and your ready to slain the best of yourself to get closer to Him.
  4. Worship- Believe it or not you worship all day. You worship your favorite artist, authors, athletes, and teams. You were built to worship and you don't even know it. But worship properly directed is a recharge of our batteries, flooding joy and peace during difficult times.

I can't say it better than how Paul said it, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18. There are many that would love to see you fail, but God wants you to succeed and you can fix the fight to make sure of it! To God be all the Glory!

webassets/babyjesus.jpgWhat is this season all about?

Dec 2010 by Z.Martinez

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16

It's the Holidays. However, it's not about shopping, it's not about the festivities and it's not about the lights or snow. To be quite honest I don't care if Christ was born on December 25th or not. I just love that He was born. And this holiday season might bombard you with stress of shopping and still managing to pay the bills, but don't forget Jesus. Here is a story that I hope puts things in perspective.

There was this young girl who took a long walk through the snow to visit a local missionary. She was in her last trimester of pregnancy and needed something that she knew this missionary had. She didn't understand what, she just needed to go. As she walked under the underpass of a road the snow came down harder and suddenly the pain struck fear in her. She was about to deliver her baby and she was walking through a snow storm. The pain became so unbearable that she delivered her baby below the underpass. It was a road few traveled but she prayed someone would show up and help her.

The following morning the missionary woke up with this young girl on her mind and decided to visit her. So she got in the car and on her way said a prayer for the young girl and her baby to come. The roads were very slippery, so she drove slowly and right before the sight of the bridge her car slipped off the side of the road taking her down the hill into the underpass below. She got out of the car and started to inspect the vehicle to see if there were any damages when suddenly she heard the sound of a baby's cry. In following the sound she found a sad sight. There laid the young girl with her baby in her arms, she had taken off every article of clothing and wrapped it around her baby to save his life and she froze to death, for the love of her child.

The missionary raised this boy as her own and every year on his birthday the missionary told the story of his mother's sacrificial love. On his 12th birthday he asked the missionary if he could visit his mother's gravesite and so they did. When they arrived he asked if he could go alone. She watched him from the vehicle as he approached the tombstone and took off his hat and laid it on the ground before the tombstone that read her name and said, "Was it cold like this momma" then he took off his scarf and said, "was it cold like this momma", then he took off his coat and said, "was it cold like this momma". He continued and took off every article of clothing that kept him warm and knelt before her grave in tears loving the mother he never met and said, "Momma, did it hurt like this?"

This Holiday season can I challenge you to look at Christ as this boy looked at his Momma? Will you ask, "Jesus did it hurt like this?" as you sacrifice to self. Will you say, "Jesus did it hurt like this?" as you take off every article of selfishness. He died for our sins. This Christmas don't lose sight of who He is, and what He has done for us! To God be all the Glory!


Exercise your rights


By Zaibel Martinez

Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him Acts 8:2

We often take for granted the privilege we as women have to vote. Not only does it provide us the opportunity to participate in the future of our government and our society but it also pays respect to those who died and some who went to prison to give us this right. The women of yesterday fought so hard to give each woman the right to vote. What would those women of yesterday think of us today if we did not exercise that right to vote?

On November 15 , 1917 is known as the night of Terror. The women who picketed outside the Whitehouse for the right to vote were wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic" then were beaten by 40 prison guards who held clubs in their hands.  Some of the affidavits recorded describe the guards choking, grabbing, and kicking the women. Really? For obstructing sidewalk traffic? Then for those who survived the event, they were deprived of food and water. They endured so much to give us the right to vote.

With elections upon us, these are the messages sent via email, mail, and even recorded voicemails to remind the women of today of the sacrifices of yesterday. The message: Don't take for granted this privilege during the season of election.

But what about the rest of the year? Do we remember those who paved the way for us today, only once or twice a year? What about those who died to bring us the Gospel? What about the greats of the past that sacrificed their lives and their families' lives to make the word of God accessible to us today?

The record of Stephen in the book of Acts is the start. A good man, the scripture even tells us that when his persecutors looked at his "his face was like the face of an angel" Acts 6:15 Due to a deep unconditional love and belief in Christ he was stoned. However it was because of his death that the church scattered spreading the word. (Acts 11:19) And today it still happens. Granted many of it doesn't happen on American soil, but a great deal martyrs are American.

"And when the blood of your martyr [Or witness] Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.'" Acts 22:20

Acts 22:20 is a description of Paul's conviction as he reflects on his shameful past.

Women, every time you fail to exercise your right to vote you guard the clothes of the guards who savagely beat on our sisters of the past.

Children of God, when you take for granted the word of God that is so easily accessible to you today; you take for granted the privilege you now have. Good people died to give you that right.

Remember the people who died to give you the right. Exercise your rights. To God be all the Glory!

 Why does HE let this happen?

10/01/2010- Zaibel Martinez


"Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." Matthew 7:24

When I was a kid there was actually a song made of this scripture. Such a simple song with a powerful meaning, but there was something I failed to notice and reading it again today I noticed.

Any one who grew up in Sunday school knew that the moral of the song was to," build your house upon the Lord Jesus Christ". That was how the song ended. Then, "the blessings will come down and the praises will go up", and as a kid I thought that is what it is, blessings. When it rained, I should be happy because I stand on the rock.

Well... now I am all grown up, at least that is what I would like to believe and when it rains, I do not particularly like it. Nevertheless, I get it. What I found today is in verse 25 "and the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house..."

If you envision it as an adult removing the sunglasses of an 8 year old, who once upon a time envisioned rain drops of sunshine or skittles, you realize this rain doesn't look or feel like blessings.

Whether you build on the rock or sand, the rains will come, the floods will rise and the winds will beat on your spirits. People put so much emphasis on how the house stood and that is great, but there is a story to the glory. How does any good carpenter truly test his workmanship without putting it to the test? The reality is that a good carpenter knows how much his work can withstand. Take it from the daughter of a carpenter. My dad could look at wooden chairs, examine it and say, "Not good, poor workmanship, it won't last". So keep that in mind when the rain comes. God knows what you can and cannot handle. That should be enough encouragement there alone.

There are times where I feel completely torn apart by the winds, and I wonder why would He let this happen. Then reality seeps in when I turn to the word of God. Let's take accountability for our actions, this world is a mess and it's our fault and our sins are having a chemical reaction with other's sin. The world around is one big combustions of chemicals and everyone is being burned and we want to blame God. That is our fault and He is such a gentleman he steps aside and lets us be us, even when in the end it hurts Him and our innocent loved ones.

Storms are inevitable, but ... And I cannot understand why, He pours his grace on us. He gives us the word, and at this point, you can put emphasis on the glory. You are not going to fall. He designed you, he knows what you can handle and he anticipated and saw your enemies coming. Moreover, because you know Him, because you know his word, because you are obedient to his word, the rain will descend, the floods will come, the winds will blow and beat on you but you will not fall for you stand on the ROCK OF SALVATION. To God be all the Glory!




SEPT 2010

"You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise" (Psalm 51:16-17).

People are under the impression that to go to church they need to fix a few things. Probably their living arrangement, but when that gets fixed, its their lifestyle, and if a piece of that is fixed, it's the other part they fear tackling, or don't want to give up. There is a multitude of reasons. Some will actually swallow their pride and upon entering the doors, they feel judged immediately, convicted by no one other than himself or herself.

"I know who I am, Im a hypocrite trying to play the part of a Christian"

"I wonder if anyone here knows who I am or what I have done"

"Would I be accepted if they knew everything?"

Question after question surfaces, and before you know it the sermon is done and all they can remember was the pain in their hearts and the questions in their heads. Then there are those who are already in the church, but want to find an excuse not to go because their sins weigh heavy on their conscious. All of this, is the root of the famous phrase, "I will go to him when I'm ready". However, reality check, you're not ready to take that on alone.

Here was a man who was caught in an adulterous scandal, the mastermind to the murder of a loyal soldier, and he justified it all in his head and heart to the point of no recognition. He probably thought he deserved what he desired and as king, he could have it. Maybe he thought he was in love. I think of those who have experienced some type of adultery and the one thing I hear often is, "Don't I deserve to be happy"

However, the consequences of seeking our own pleasures soon are exposed to those around us, and we run from taking accountability to what we thought was our happiness. If its really happiness, why is it hidden? Lives have changed forever, and the heart now shattered and we sit in the beds we made and wonder, "How did I get here" Can we face God after our sin, do we need to fix it before we go to him? Why does our heart, which once desired the sin, now, bleed and pull at our moral fabric and break us before the presence of God. Why?

Lucky for us God does not want us to get what we deserve. Actually, shattered lives ready for love do not escape God's notice. Men despise which is broken, but God looks at it with the pottery hands waiting to be called, ready to mold you back into shape. We do not need to get it right before visiting God, we just have to get the confession right. Go to him messed up as you are and say, "I messed up, I don't know how to fix this, I don't know how to face you, but my heart pains to get it right and I know I can't, but I know you can breathe into me new life. I need love, real love. I need strength and guidance. I'm broken God and I'm returning to my creator who knows how to rebuild me and make me new. I'm so sorry, I don't want my sin anymore, I want you, I will give all of me to you."

God has been waiting. Open the door and let Christ in to clean house. To God be all the Glory! 


The 911 call

August 2010

"May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands," Psalm 149:6

Last night I went to the firehouse; I was there with my kids and we were honored with a tour of the firehouse. Within in an hour I was flooded with so much information. This was no regular tour. I was particularly impressed with the Rescue truck. At one point, the fireman pulled this cutting machine from the back and said, "You know how diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, well touch the tip of this blade, don't worry it won't cut you... the blade tip is made of diamonds this can cut through concrete".

Then we went to the back and met a few of the other firefighters who were kind enough to share with us the pranks and scares of their lives in the firehouse. Although we laughed, when the night ended we retrieved to our vehicle worried for the night the firefighters would have. Recently Bridgeport lost two firefighters, one who happened to be a veteran and one of the finest. They spoke of him as if he was the cream of the crop. The other a rookie, however this rookie entered a fire looking for a life to save. Our hearts were heavy, as we left not knowing what tomorrow would bring for each firefighter.

Today over 10,000 firefighters are walking in honor of those they lost. Why do I share this story? Because, although they fight, although they made mistakes that literally burned other firefighters, they acknowledged each other as family. Their bond was incredible to witness, their passion to save lives, courageous and their knowledge of what it takes to save lives phenomenal.

Fireman Isaiah said, "these skills are called perishable skills if you don't practice it you lose it" He also noted that when someone makes a 911 call it's because they have faith that without a shadow of a doubt these men and women who show up to the scene are going to save them. They have been trained and equipped to rescue.

Then I thought if only all the people of the congregations could be this way. Imagine walking through the fires together feeling comfortable you are not alone in the flames of life. Imagine feeling short of air but not worrying because in moments your brother and sister was on the roof piercing holes in it just so you could see and breath. Imagine moments without fires, but you get up in the morning preparing and practicing for the next battles life may throw at you, so you are prepared. Imagine that even when the world around you collapsed and you are below the concrete, that someone would come to you with the word, the hardest substance in the universe, which will cut through it and set you free.... Imagine.

If you're reading this, I need to inform you that you are the church. You are the firefighter; have you been training? Are you ready for when you are called on, like a 911 call; will you be ready? If not, begin training now. Don't wait for a fatality to know your role in the home, firefighters never do. They are always prepared to walk together. See why congregating is important? Are you ready?

In honor of our Firefighters. To God be all the Glory!


"Do not fear for I am with you, Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you"Isaiah 41:10  

JULY 2010 
"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak" 1 Corinthians 8:9

We have a lot of freedom, and I'm not talking about the freedom that comes with being an American citizen. I am talking about the freedom we have just being us. We have our own thoughts, our own perspectives our own way of showing love. And we are free to think what we want when we want and act on what we want. We can shut our mouths but our hearts still speak.

Then there are our actions, the actions we justify with our hearts.

I spoke with a friend of mine recently who was having a hard time finding a church, yet he had a friend who is a Church leader. So I asked, "Why don't you go to his church?" His response, "We went out one time to talk and stopped at a restaurant, it was hot and he ordered a beer. I don't know about him, I just lost respect for him. I didn't think church leaders could do that". After questioning him for a few minutes I discovered that the church leader didn't get drunk, he just had a few sips of one beer on a hot day. I'm not justifying the leader's actions, but I'm sure the church leader would have, if questioned.

Take a moment to reflect on your actions. Could your actions be wrongly perceived by someone else? My friend didn't ask his friend the church leader anything or express to him how he felt about what had happened. No communication has happened between the two and the church leader does not know why he won't go to his church. The blessing of God sits across the street from him and he refuses to attend because he feels that this church leader, the one of many in the church, is a hypocrite.

That's what Paul is talking about in this scripture. I know the famous saying, "You shouldn't care what people think" but you should care if it causes them to stumble. Real knowledge isn't that insensitive. We need to be sensitive to the fact that we are not all at the same level of understanding.

Fortunately God doesn't grade us on our understanding, but he does care when you use your freedom carelessly in a way that leads a fellow believer to be thrown off track or confused. It might even mess up the conscious of the believer in what is right and wrong. See my friend came from a home of alcohol abuse, to him its wrong on all levels, now he is confused because he saw the leader sip from a beer, the same type of beer that destroyed his home years before.

The argument could go on forever on who was right and who was wrong. And you and I will say, "it's not a big deal" but put yourself in the predicament. Christ gave up his life for that person. Wouldn't you at least be willing to give up on what ever it is that causes your friend to question who you are.

It makes a difference when you risk your friend's salvation. Use sound judgment in your actions. To God be all the Glory!

Freedom comes with Responsibility

Happy 4th of July!


Pray for Fathers

June 2010 

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: John 10:10

There's evidence that suggests that the single largest determinant of how a child thinks of God is how they think of their father. With that said, let's see how fathers are viewed in today's society.

Many homes in America are suffering from the phantom father. The father who is not there and even in some cases where they are in the home; their not there. Hundreds of men have fathered children and walked away from the family.

Recent reports tell us:
Because of a lack of father figures in the Home-- in the past 30 years there have been:
550% increase in violent crime
400% increase in illegitimate births
200% increase in teen pregnancies.
300% increase in teen suicide
More that 70% of all juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes.

Then we wonder why the number of Atheist continues to grow. So let's get real, how many sisters out there are dogging men. Joining the man haters club; talking trash about their baby's daddies. How many are refusing to let their children see their dad. Why is it that mother's day is such a celebration but Fathers day is a day of guilt?

Sisters we contribute to this number with our actions and our children suffer because we can't forgive the men who did us wrong. Don't get me wrong, yes... there are some legitimate reasons to disconnecting from certain men. We should never be in the position of abuse for ourselves or our young. But it's abusive to the children to speak ill of their fathers.

Think back with me to the first Passover--
As God was bringing one last plague upon Egypt, the death angel was going to pass and slay the firstborns of Egypt. The only safety for the children would be the blood of a lamb; the blood was to be placed on the door post and the upper post.

webassets/praying.jpgLadies you may not want to hear this, but men are the head of the households. And who better to attack to ruin the entire family and perception of God? So tell me why do we join the enemy in bashing the men?

He is out to steal there innocence when they are born, their virginity when their teens because it supposedly cool, their dignity as men, their minds, bodies and souls. And the enemy is out to hurt our children, but we as sisters should put the enemy on notice that he has to come through my prayers. Ladies your family will be destroyed if you don't take the blood and apply it over the lives of our men, young and old.

Pray so the angel of death passes over your home and we can put an end to this attack. Pray for fathers everywhere. To God be all the Glory

While he was still Speaking
June 2010 
  • While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice form the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”Matthew 17:5 
  • “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” John 17:20 
  • I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: John 17:22 
I can just imagine being in the moment with Peter, John and James as they witnessed the transformation of Christ. I personally would think I need to say something or do something and while I am talking a cloud wraps us all up and the voice of God says, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Matthew 17:5 How does one listen? Jesus listened, he didn’t move where God didn’t lead. How do I know? He prayed then he listened.
  • Jesus prayed before his baptism, Luke 3:21
  • Jesus prayed before he chose his disciples Luke 6: 12-13
  • Jesus prayed before he suffered Mark 14:32
  • Jesus prayed before he was transfigured Matthew 17: 1-5 
Take a moment to read Jesus’ prayers. He prays for all of those who believe. His prayer wasn’t for just the moment; he prayed a prayer that echoes beyond time. It resonates through the air penetrating the hearts and souls of those who are lost, calling them back home. He prayed for you thousands of years before your birth. Prayer is communication with God, not a one way demand list. I want the glory of God to transform me and I know its possible because when Jesus prayed he said, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one” John 17:22 Jesus was not selfish and showed us how we too can have what he has with his Father, unity.
Our society cries for unity. A united nation, a united home, a united family. I hear of those who divorce because their spouse was not “godly” yet a godly person would not abandon the lost sheep. God didn’t give up on us.  Listen up… we are selfish and self-centered traditionalist. We follow our religious order and practice and pray. But we forgot to listen. We spew words from our lips revealing the depths of our heart and asking God to clean us up. God is not a janitor and we shouldn’t treat Him as such, but he will guide us in the clean up. Therefore I ask, when instructions come are you listening? Or are you doing all the talking in your relationship with God?  Maybe God is trying to stop us while were still speaking, envelope us and say something “listen”. SealedTo God be all the Glory



May 2010

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life" ( Matthew 6:27 NIV)

Have you ever made a mistake? Have you ever felt like your mistake hung over your head following you? It's funny what worry can do to the body. Anxiety creeps in and you're worried if people know? You are worried if people think to themselves, "Who does she think she is?" I have been there, so trust me I understand. It's like you can't escape the mistakes of your past, and the worry is a reminder that twist and abuses you physically and mentally.

Some things are hard to cope with. I have found that worry means to allow something to revolve in your mind over and over again. God doesn't want anyone to live like that. And I'm sure you don't want to live like that. Recently I will admit I was feeling like this. My past surfaced once again, and although my Pastor reprimanded the one who brought it up, it sat in my head and I felt as I shouldn't touch anything to do with ministry.

I wont give the devil any credit in my temporary depression. I persecuted myself, I didn't need any help from anyone in punishing myself. And in the midst of my punishment I felt like I wasn't worth protecting or standing for any morals. Its easy for someone in this state of mind to fall into other mistakes, because at that point they just stop caring and they just allow whatever to happen and take place.

Lucky for me and you, there is the word of God. I took one day to just focus, because I needed help. The mistake was years ago, why was I punishing myself again? When would it end? Then it hit me, and I didn't even have to flip open the pages of the sacred word, because they all popped in my head. I received a mental visual of my past readings. I could see the pages I once read in my mind.

  1. David Encouraged himself- There will be times where you have to encourage yourself. Probably because your heart and mind can't receive from others encouragement and at other times because you are alone in the battle.
  2. The book of Romans where Paul writes "renew you mind" Romans 12:2
  3. Then I whispered a prayer; "God help me to obey you, help me to not just know your truth, but to live it."

It didn't happen over night, it took some time but then I felt bad for falling into the depression and then my mind took me to Elijah. The bible says that Elijah was a man just like us. One moment he is calling down fire the next he is suicidal in the depths of depression. Faith doesn't exempt us from life's seasons; it enables us to go through them victoriously. Have faith in today's circumstance as God set you up for victory, it's in our weakness that he is exemplified. Now I look back and give thanks as I am humbled and made new. And I pray you will as well. To God be all the Glory!

Want to be Holy? 

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. KJV Psalms 103:14

For God knows what we are made of; God is mindful that we are but dust" NIV Psalms 103:14

So where did we get the impression that we need to be perfect or that God expects perfection to turn to him? We are no surprise to God.  I grew up in the church and in my teen years departed from the church on bad public terms. Then by the grace of God and no different than the prodigal son, I found myself back at home. I would prefer to exemplify God's mercy during this time of my life, but at times I do look back and remind myself that I too made some very disgraceful decisions. I too fell, victim to the lies but more for the justification of my sins. Looking back I realize how wrong I was and how I purposely avoided God because it made me feel guilty and I didn't like feeling guilty, I wanted what I wanted. And just when I thought I couldn't go any further or get any worse, God stepped in and carried me farther than my imagination could take, and honestly I did not deserve that.

I love when Paul writes his letter to  Timothy (1 Timothy 15) how he tells him that he was "Public Sinner #1", and for that reason God chooses to show him off, it's the megaphone to God's grace on a man who some would say deserved punishment.  I love how God makes good of the mess. He puts victims back on their feet, rich in love, and doesn't hold a grudge. He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve to be treated. Instead He loves us, redeems us and restores us. We are truly blessed to have a God that still wants us after all the wrong we do.

Yet we find it hard to forgive those who messed up. If we are created in his image, should we not reflect his behavior as well? And if we are not reflecting his image, then who are we reflecting? Have we lost sight of who we are, and who we represent? If the measure I took upon others would be measured upon me, would I find it fair? If God had not displayed such grace on Paul how many books of the bible would we read? If God had not restored me where would I be? So if I don't reflect this to others, where would they be?  Do I really want them stuck there; because if I leave them there the vicious cycle continues? Something has to change. 

What things do you need to change? Its only in the moment that we let God into our mess that he makes us holy, but we don't need to be Holy to turn to him to get started.  To God be all the glory!

"God seldom intervened when people were about to make mistakes. Rather, he allowed them to fail, but stood ready to redeem them" - Richard Blackaby


Love is in the air!
Illustration: Be my valentine

February 2010- Z.Martinez

So what a perfect time to remind everyone what Love is.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Are you complaining about how someone disappointed you? How long is the list of the "keepin score" of how much you give? Or are you keeping score of the "mess ups"? Are you taking some delight inside of how the person who hurt you is now hurting?

John 15:12 "Love each other as I have loved you"

So let me ask you, how would Jesus handle this? Let's start with his disciples, His closest friends. They proved to be unreliable in his time of need. I recall in my readings that in his most tragic hour Jesus wanted his friends to pray with Him, and they fell asleep. Thomas doubted him, Peter denied him, and Judas betrayed him. Yet he forgave them and loved them anyway. "Having loved his own...he loved them unto the end (John 13:1)

Special note: Jesus did not love them because they were worthy of His love, He loved them because his love made them worthy. Isn't love grand!

You know what dumbfounds me? That God loves me. That with all my mess ups, my disillusioned mind sets at times, my imperfections, the wickedness I hide inside, he still loves me. I don't have to pretend to be anyone, nor hide my true inner feelings. And don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. Have you ever been in a situation where you know what is right, and you do it, but your heart is in rage and demanding revenge? You don't act so, you're proud of yourself but if others could see what's really going on inside, I don't think anyone would stick around, they would be scared of you. But yet God still loves us. Go figure.

Therefore before we act in anger, let's remember God's grace. Use His son as an example, who loved those enough to make them worthy. His love makes you worthy. To God be all the Glory!


January 2010- Z. Martinez

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

I want to share something that helped me. See I know who I am, and I know who my parents are and their parents. I know the struggles that to me at times seem like generational curses. For a good while reflecting on my past brought more pain than good, till I read this story.

There was this man who was born in a difficult time. His grandfather was a murderer who sacrificed his own children for rituals, and his dad was a man who had no respect for the house of God, so he ravaged them and made fun of believers. His dad was only twenty four when he was killed, by his own friends. This guy was born in a time where prostitutes sold themselves, not outside, but in the house of worship. And if someone in the community was sick they would call on wizards to cure their diseases with chants.

Could you imagine walking in this man's shoes, his grandfather followed black magic and his dad was just no good, and to top it all off the nation was corrupt. The people assumed he would be just like his daddy. But they were wrong. This young man flipped through his family scrap book till he found himself an ancestor worth following and said, "I'm going to be like him".

We can't choose our family, but we can choose whom to follow. This is the story of King Josiah who chose to follow King David. Josiah had found the God of David and made Him his God. The world has known many Kings of wisdom, and strength, but this was a King of courage. He defied the odds, broke the trend and reformed a nation. Maybe it was for this very reason God sent him to be born in that difficult time, to such a dysfunctional family.

I can't imagine that Josiah grew up feeling overwhelmed with love. How about you? Do think if you grew up in a different home, with a different family things would be different? Do you excuse your own bad habits and rough exterior on those you claim to have "molded you this way".

One of God greatest gifts is the gift of free will. I refuse to give the glory to those who try to oppress me, those who tried to destroy me or "mold" me.

If they aim to steal your joy, aim to smile in the face of your oppressor. If they aim to steal your value, let them know that you traveled up your family line and found yourself face to face with God. Then remind them that anyone who comes face to face with God can't walk away unchanged. This is a new year, a new beginning, a new change. To God be all the Glory!


Are you every mad at God?

December 2009

Are you every mad at God? If anyone answers no, I don't think your being totally honest. The biblical characters Jonah, Job and Jeremiah showed they were. Habakkuk cried out, "how long will I cry out to you, and you do not speak". Ever feel like that?

I have two wonderful children who happen to be in the, what I like to call the drama teen years. And when their world "falls apart" as they so eloquently put it, they question my motives, my actions, my words, you name it everything; THEY QUESTION IT ALL. And it frustrates me, because the mess they are currently dealing with was not my doing, yet they blame me like I'm supposed to save them from everything. Then they get angry that I refuse to remove them from the mess. At times I really feel that traveling through the mess, might help them build character. I want them to take what I taught them and put it into practice but they rather run under a rock and let mom deal with it. And one day I hope they will teach that lesson to someone else.

I admit there are some things I will do, because I know they can't, not right now. But something's are hard to explain to them. Especially when they are crying because they are dealing with consequences I can't protect them from. Or even worse, when someone else messes up and jumps into our boat like Jonah did to those poor men in the story.  If you don't know the story, simply put, Jonah was running from God and got on a boat to travel in the opposite direction of where God sent him. A horrible storm hit and all the men in the boat wondered what they did to deserve this. NOTHING! But Jonah's run, and consequences not only shook him up, but scared every man on that same boat, who did nothing wrong. IT WASN'T FAIR. Our actions affect more than just us.

Are you guys catching it? I know some of you may be angry. You're either like a teenager expecting Daddy to fix this because you think it's too much for you (But trust me its not). Or you're like those poor men on the boat suffering from the consequences of another. Would it be fair to blame God? To question His motives, his actions, His words, you name it, EVERYTHING.

Here is the real test of courage; it's more than the fights on the battle field or catching a thief in the night. It's in the quiet moments. When you're dealing with the battle within; dealing with the wounds alone, and standing firm when you're misunderstood. Experience is a hard teacher, He gives you the test first then the lesson. However, it's the most valuable and you will never forget it.

Keep your head up, in due time you will look back and teach others what you learned from today. Stay encouraged. You may feel like God is not there, and that he is not listening, but I guarantee He is. Read your Bible, you will find that all the people our pastors teach us about, men of faith, woman of wisdom, children of leadership, all had issues, problems and pain to overcome. You my Sister, are another character in the story destined to overcome. I can't wait to hear your story. To God be all the Glory!

How important are you?

November 6,2009

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? Psalms 56:8 KJV

You've kept track of my every toss and turn
      through the sleepless nights,
   Each tear entered in your ledger,
      each ache written in your book Psalms 56:8 Message Bible

I was watching TV one day and saw one of those specials where they were opening ancient tombs and in one of the tombs, there was a great amount of jars. The archeologist explained that in that time during the time of mourning everyone would cry his or her tears into a bottle. Then they would put the jars in the tomb, so in the event the person would wake, in the afterlife, they would know they were loved. The more jars the more important you are.

Then I opened a magazine article of a crime that was solved due to the DNA found in a puddle of tears.

There is something important to learn about our tears.

Your tears are unique, they carry your signature, and with every tear, it leaves a humble message, “I was here, and my pain was real”.

Every time you shed tears, God seizes each one in a bottle. Reflect for a moment and just try to contemplate counting each painful moment that brought tears to your eyes? Now think about the current pain your enduring. Now think about how lonely you feel in this pain, and how no one seems to care. How life around you continues while your life feels at a standstill and you cannot seem to find healing, sympathy or love.

Now come back to reality and read Psalm 56:8 aloud.

How important are you? Apparently very important, because each tear is accounted for. How loved are you? Apparently very much, because God has a record of every ache. When you see the bottles of your tears lined up against the wall it will seem endless and you will not be able to say, “They can’t all be mine”, because each bottle is sealed with your DNA to make sure there is no confusion.

You are important; you are loved!

Lord, only you can see the heart of us all. You have been here and continue to be here. You capture every tear and record every heartache your child suffers. I ask that you give us courage in the midst of chaos, memory of your words in the midst of loneliness, love in the moments of persecution, and healing in the midst of brokenness. Help us love one another as a sign of Your great love. For we are never alone.   To God be all the glory! Amen



Z.Martinez October 15, 2009

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

It has been one rough month. Have you ever felt like you're doing all this work, and you're doing it for nothing? Your patient and waiting and it doesn't seem like your promise is around the bend. I'm going to be real honest and say if there is something I complain to God about, its timing. HE TAKES FOREVER. At least it feels that way. I have no shame in admitting I'm a little girl who pounds her feet before my Dad asking, "Why does this have to take so long, why can't I have my reward now?"


"Patience is the companion of wisdom" St Augustine


I get out of control at times too. I'm not going to hide the reality and I will own up to my own mistakes. At times I feel like I'm in the wilderness running and hiding from the thoughts I create in my head. No one says anything to me, but I look around me and analyze the world around me negatively.

 "They don't want me here"

"I'm not effective"

"Is it always going to be like this?"

"God do you hear me?"

 And "Oh boy the loneliness", COME ON! I felt so incredibly alone this past month and almost drove myself nuts, with my thoughts.

 I know I'm a mess, but you know what? God loves my mess and miraculously He always has a gift for me in the middle of my mess. This month I realized that the second I gave up hope, the enemy didn't attack me, I attacked me. Then I stopped working and spent time thinking about me, and me, and me and more me. Then I thought about my turn to do me, and then I wondered does "me" deserve anything? I was miserable doing "me". Granted I know they say it's healthy to stop and do you for a while, but I find more joy in taking the focus off me. I went from selfishness to self inflicting pain. I was having a pity party.

 I'm still working at it to be honest but this gets me through. I assume every problem is God's wrapping to the gift. The bigger the problem the bigger the gift and I'm sure if God wants me here, for some strange reason beyond my comprehension it's because there is a lesson to learn in my losses; humility, for starters. This might be exactly what I need to learn and become something better, to expand and grow. This might be the chiseling to the hard shell I created around my spirit. Who knows?

 The good news is that we are not alone in this feeling. And we have the ability to put our thoughts in line. Encourage ourselves and pick our attitude. See I can complain, and dig a deeper hole for myself, or I can praise Him and be lifted out of the mess. I don't know why anyone would choose to keep complaining. And when I die to myself and do "God", things fall into place. Its true what the scripture says, seek first the kingdom; everything else falls right in line. Take the focus off me, and I'm not wallowing in self pity. Focus on my brothers and sisters around me and I have a lot to smile about and I feel valued helping them.   Enough with the pity party.  To God be all the Glory.

Why do I seek Love? 

October 2, 2009

    31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "

I had no intent on publishing this but after sharing it with a dear friend I was encouraged to do so.  

There are times where I find myself feeling like the prodigal’s son’s brother.
Here I am loyal, working for my father, and although I mess up (a lot) I’m really working to bring forth my Father's business upon the world. Moreover, when I see my brothers and sisters come home, I do not mind the celebration. Nevertheless, I have to admit, it bothers me that I am still waiting on certain promises and they are receiving theirs now, when they just walked in the door.

Sometimes I get upset, and burn a little in jealousy. However, I learned to take the word very seriously and not take offense. Being offended I have seen by experience to be nothing more than a hindering block. In addition, retaliating only causes more friction and spite. Funny thing is that I received this message of the prodigal son twice before I felt this way. God was preparing me because he knew my heart, and he knew that someone new was going to be blessed with what I have been patiently waiting for.

I will continue to wait. At first I thought there was something wrong with me but the problem is not with me at all. I have found that God has me reserved and I cannot be given to just anyone, and he is working on my forgiving heart. Accepting the losses with finesse, never retaliating or speaking harshly but returning with nothing but love. God sent us the greatest example; "Instead of demanding that we pay what we cannot, instead of punishing us for not paying what we cannot, the God we see in Jesus Christ accepts the loss himself and opens his arms even to those who would murder him."  

Isn’t God’s love enough? Do I need to demand more of him after all I put him through?  I heard someone say this morning, God’s love can’t be taught it has to be a revelation. Why do I seek love when I have it? Why can’t I recognize a love far deeper than what anyone else can offer. To all of those single people out there, you're not single cause something is wrong with you, your single because God won't give you to just anyone. Wait, cause our reward is far better than our expectations of man. Amen!

From here on forth I will study love, and say to myself every time I feel lonely and unloved, "God loves me". I want the revelation. And like my friend did with me, I encourage you to join me. I don’t want to eat this feeling, I want to present it to God and ask for His forgiveness of what I hide in my heart.  To God be all the Glory


October 2009
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Ever feel like people just don’t want you to forget your past? They honestly think you need a reminder of what you already carry as shame. It frustrates me when I hear someone talking about another person in church.

“hmm… I know where he was last week… and it sure wasn’t Christ like”

“That girl ministering; I know her history… I don’t know who she thinks she is trying to help people. ”

“That sermon was great but I wonder if that Pastor practices what he preaches”

“Behind the pulpit, they are one thing, I want to know what they are like behind the scenes”

First of all you don’t need to be behind a pulpit to pull someone out of the pit, but talking like this isn’t going to help anyone. Reputations are hard to break. It seems like people don’t want you to forget who you once were. But I emphasize the word “were”.  Every day we are TRAINING to be Christians. The real deal, is a big deal, and it doesn’t come over night. It takes training, not trying, training. We are going to make mistakes, stumble, and come across some shameful moments. That’s why Paul warns those that feel they are walking straight, that they too can fall.

The most fatal thing you can inject into a person is rejecting the hope that they can change. People do change, I see it every day. God is working miracles every day in people and changing lives. So lets all stop listening to the world around us and listen to the voice of truth which says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Yesterday is over, today is a new day to walk in a new light and the God of the infinite universe knows how sincere you are in your change. To God be all the Glory!

Knowing who you are

September 19,2009
"Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham." Galatians 3:7 NIV

"Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent" Acts 13:26

Every morning I tell my kids "remember who you are". There are times where I do not get the opportunity to say it and they respond with, "I know remember who I am". However, recently I said it to someone else and he wrote me a text message saying, "You say that all the time, who am I?"

My heart was saddened by the question. I'm sure there are many more people out there wondering who they are. The truth of the matter is that until you know why God created you, and what purpose God has for you, you will never experience true joy.
The desires of your heart he instilled in you, all to drive the passion of the movement to bring Him Glory.

How can God's handy work be put into play in a people who do not understand who they are. There are people out there who do not know or understand their worth.

I wish I could stand amongst the congregation that Paul and Barnabas spoke to when the Jews became furious for their preaching the good news to the Gentiles. It says,
'I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. "

Maybe we could carry the same appreciation today. If we knew that God held us all in the depths of his heart. If we knew that the desires within us were created by his hands, so we could be a people of progress and success. If we knew that no matter the mistakes, "God always gives us the grace we need" 1Peter 5:10. That for every tempted window He provides an escape. That we were created to have victory to bring Him Glory. That through Him all things are possible. That He is our provider, and our peace. That we have a chance and a choice for salvation. That the promise of love is within our grasp. That the God of the infinite universe is giving us the liberty to choose him. If we only knew.

Then we would remember who we are; then we would be able to move without doubt. Remember who you are! To God be all the Glory




September 2,2009
I hope that when you look at the title your mind finds itself traveling through the story of Jonah. As a child, I heard the story a million times and as an adult I’m grasping the moral of the story.Jonah was called and deliberately turned his back on his calling. He was a reluctant prophet who bought himself a ticket on the next boat out of town, despite the mission that he was given in Ninevah.  While he was on the boat a great storm hit, scaring every man on the boat forcing them to call on their specific gods for help. Jonah hid in the bottom of the boat while the others cried for help. Later as the story goes, he confesses that he is the one responsible for the storm and the only option was to throw him overboard. The men on the boat didn’t want to be responsible for his death but they did just as God wanted and threw him over while asking for forgiveness. Then God provided a big fish to come and swallow Jonah whole, and for three days and three nights, Jonah lived in the belly of a huge fish.Do you often feel like this? Do you feel that your current storm is the result of your disobedience?
Do you feel like you are living in the belly of a big fish, confined, a prisoner of your mistakes, a consequence of the wrong path that you chose to take?God comes to all of us in a unique way and we don’t always want to do what God ask of us. Sometimes our reluctance to obey God is out of fear, or selfishness.  However, in this story we learn that God is merciful, which means he will call on us again and again, until we do what he asks of us. He is not going to give up on us; it is not in his character to do so. Nevertheless, at no point is he going to abandon us, even if we try running from him.  The fish was in a very odd way (at least in my mind) divine protection, though it was uncomfortable it really was a sign of God’s mercy. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, as the saying goes.
As long as you are still alive and ready to come back again, God will give you another chance.In the belly, Jonah cried out to God, and God heard his cry.
 No matter the situation or how bad it may be, or where we are, we too can cry out for God’s mercy. From the belly of a whale that found rest in the depths of the ocean our cry can reach heaven.God heard Jonah and gave him another chance, and when Jonah fulfilled his promise, Ninevah was spared after years of living evil lives. The story teaches us that no matter how far we have gone, how badly we mess up, how too late it must seem, as long as we declare our love for the Lord, it won’t be too late with God.  He is calling on you. To God be all the Glory! 

  Love has a Name!
August 19, 2009
Weekly Encouragement

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

I read a story recently of a man who sent a post card to his wife. The post card was of two people embracing with a promise written on the back, "I will write again". Although the story may seem common to the ear, the surprise is that the post card was once lost and discovered and delivered 82 years later with a one-cent stamp. The Postmaster believed that it would be a good keepsake for the family, however sadly not one member in the family lives today.

82 years later this man's love whispers beyond the grave, letting all who know the love story he shared with his wife. Paul writes in Corinthians that when the dust settles what remains is faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love. 1Corinthians 13:8,13

We all wither away and come to our ends, but love screams beyond grave; a legacy never forgotten. So is the word of God. Thousands of years, under attack but still speaking. The problem lies within ourselves as when chaos hits we close our eyes, cover our ears, and silence our hearts until they are cold. One can complain of all the atrocities that surround us, but what do you do when the evil is within your own heart? The heart can not exalt what the mind rejects and when chaos finds its way tramping our hearts, the first thing our mind does is rejects. "No" "this can't be happening"

So much has happened within the past few days. Chaos, disappointment, heartache, betrayal and as the dust settles I am looking and wondering where is God. I know I am not alone in the sentiment. This is why I write, so as you read you know you are not alone. The voice of one can shed light onto what another feels is darkness. In Song of Songs Solomon states, "For love is as strong as death". Song of Solomon 8:6

There was a play written some time ago of Lazarus who laughs. The story was of a man who threatens to kill Lazarus and Lazarus responds with laughter upsetting the man who threatens him.  Eventually the man is fed up and says to Lazarus if he laughs one more time, he is going to kill him. Again, Lazarus cracks up hysterically in his persecutors face and responds with, "haven't you heard death is dead". See Lazarus knew death; he was there and was resurrected by the hand that is the very essence of love. I guess you cannot scare a man who knows first hand what death is. Or should I say what LOVE is?

We have all heard sin brings forth death, but note Lazarus was dead. As a matter of fact his body had already begun to decompose. The air carried the stench of death, there was no doubt, and he was indeed dead. But Love came along and changed that.

No matter the circumstance or the consequence or the reality of what one will live. The point is "one will live". No matter the error that brought forth death in the spiritual sense, LOVE can and will resurrect. Love does conquer, love is strong, love resurrects from the dead. Love speaks beyond our lifetime; it was there in the beginning and will be there beyond our physical years. LOVE has a name, its Jesus Christ. Don't give up hope, as you read this, know that he is speaking to you directly and ready to touch you with healing hands. Right now will pass, shut the rage and open your heart for the promise of tomorrow. Take a knee, and cry out to the Lord who hears. LOVE. To God be all the Glory.



July 24, 2009
Weekly Encouragement

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" - Matthew 24:36

My son is a bit of a thrill seeker so when we have our movie nights he picks the movies that will leave you on the edge of your seat, hoping the characters on the screen will escape their death. Last night was one of those nights where he selected the movie and we sat together, just the two of us, and we watched the movie the, "Knowing". If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. Although the director tried to give it an alien like feel, you can tell who ever wrote the story was trying to send a very strong Christian message.

After every movie I sit in silence thinking of how I am going to have a conversation with my children of what we saw and what is there to learn, however the phone rang. It was his dad in Florida. My son did not hesitate to ask him, where he was in his faith, and then said, "Dad if the world ended tomorrow I know I'm going to be ok, because I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. But if Christ came tomorrow I don't want to know I'm leaving my dad behind". Let me tell you- I was a mess of tears ease dropping on his conversation with his dad. He spent the next twenty minutes preaching to his father.

Today, reflecting on what I learned last night, I wondered. I want your imagination to take a stroll with me. If you knew of the next natural disaster, the date, the time, down to the second. What would you do in your last days? What would you change about you?

I can tell you my concern. It is easy to talk about Christ to believers, but now I think of the many people I have passed on the street, where unconsciously I do not make eye contact or smile; "men will take it as an open invitation" (this is what I was taught in NY). I think of the girl who serves me my coffee at my local coffee shop. I think of the person who works across the street from my house who watches me and my children get in the car every morning, and I do not even know his name. I think of ill patients in my neighborhood hospital who get no visitors. I think of the little boy who rides his skateboard in my driveway that I never invited to our youth groups at the church. I think of those who do not have the benefit of knowing such an amazing God. In addition, I think of the many gifts God has given me, and wonder have I put them all to work for God's glory?

Maybe someone in Hollywood "knows" and is trying to send us all a message. Should we be ready and prepared today? Absolutely, because no one knows what tomorrow brings. Maybe you need to ask yourself the question, are you ready? Are you ready to stand before God and give account to how you used His gifts to you, for His Glory? Have you prepared your home and family? Is it time for change?

Let today be the day. Why wait? To God be all the Glory!


Weekly Encouragement
June 24, 2009

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!
1 Corinthians 10:12

Have you ever stopped to listen to the divine message in the mess?
Just take a moment and think of the times you said, "They did this to me!", "How could he hurt me this way". "I'm the victim here, he owes me an apology", "Why is this happening to me?"

Now think of other times where you knew you did wrong. Think of the times where somewhere somehow, not intentionally, yet you hurt someone. Think of the times where you begged for forgiveness, when your eyes opened to the fact that this was your fault. Think about the guilt because sometimes it helps to put things in perspective.

This is why Paul writes, "So if you think your standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" with an explanation point. Because we all fall short, we are all vulnerable. We will all have been there or will be there and in the same measurement, you forgive others, you will be forgiven.

"For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" Matthew 6:14-15

Everyone wants forgiveness but when you are victim, the grudge wars begin. Not only spiritually but physically you do damage to no one but yourself. Remember we live in a world with imperfect people and that imperfection travels into the church so do not hold God accountable for man's mistakes. The church was perfect until we walked in it. We create the mess; God is kind enough to let us pay the consequences. It teaches us, if there were none to pay, we would repeat the mistakes. We all have more in common than what differentiates us. So let it go, and forgive. When you forgive someone, you set yourself free from bitter resentment. The only one loosing sleep over it is you. So whether they want it or not, forgive them. In addition, keep in mind that your freely given forgiveness will return to you from whom it really counts, God. In addition, don't overlook to forgive yourself.

To God be all the Glory!


Weekly Encouragement

June 22, 2009


"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:31-33

"Just when I think I am getting it together, my past comes to haunt me. I know I did wrong and I'm paying my consequences but why do people want to remind me of who I once was?"

I totally understood where she was coming from when she spoke those words. There are some people out there that they stay quiet for a long time, but in reality their keeping your garbage in their back pocket so they can smack you with it later. Is it right or wrong, I'm really not sure. What I do know is that when things are going right a prideful spirit grows and if you're not well balanced you might need that smack to humble you. Other times it might raise a red flag that there is hidden animosity that needs to be addressed. It might bring forth an opportunity for restoration.

This is why they say, "Praise him in the storms". Remember when Peter was with Jesus and Jesus said that the enemy wants to sift Peter, and Jesus said he prayed for him. Peter was humiliated when he heard the third crow of the rooster. I think, it was a royal set up. Because the part that stands out the most to me is "And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" In the message bible it says, "When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start".

Peter even replies with a proud heart to the man who knows all, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death" Luke 21:33. That's a lot of us, thinking we are going to hold strong and never slip, never make any mistakes because we are Christians. But we all fall short of the glory; the blessing is that God genuinely smiles on your genuine heart in keeping up the good fight. Don't beat yourself up over your mistakes. Peter denied Christ publicly in front of his enemies and when he turned around he cried like a baby, and then found the strength in humility and was an example for millions who have all read his story.

Our mistakes are embarrassing, but they help others have "Hope", when they know their not alone, and that you can "turn" this situation around. Something beautiful is always being born in the midst of the storm. Notice Jesus called him Simon, his old name because Simon was still listening to Simon. The breaking of his pride is what brought forth the molding of the rock, Peter. I'm sure it was hard for Peter to forget, but what I remember most is that Jesus knew the outcome and used him regardless, and loved him regardless. And in his resurrection the Angel named him specifically. That's God's message to you, he is calling you specifically by name regardless of your past mistakes and His promise still pertains to you. So praise him in this storm. To God be all the Glory!

First vs. Last
Weekly Encouragement
June 15,2009

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth" Matthew 5:5

This past Sunday during the children's Sunday school lesson we studied the attitudes of Christ. Then we learned that when you put these attitudes into practice they bring forth blessings. The word that stood out the most was meek. All the kids raised their hands with the same question, "What's meek?" When the class was over the word meek resounded in my head. Then this morning I hear someone on the radio say, "Meekness is strength under control, its not weakness."

It's in those moments when you know you hold the upper hand and can give your opposing challenger the verbal lashing of a lifetime, yet you walk away from it. It's the opportunity you may get to get even, and you choose otherwise. Now you know that's hard to do.  Have you ever had the desire to put someone in their place? Like enough is enough. You just can't take it anymore and you have to tell this person off.  Meekness is not being a coward; it's a calm temper of mind that is not easily provoked.

The example that comes to mind is David in the desert running and hiding from King Saul. David had the opportunity in his hands to get even with Saul and end it all, but he showed meekness and prostrated himself on the ground before the King Saul.

How many of you feel like your running in the desert right now? How many of you feel like you're pressed up against a wall of a cave hiding, trying to find peace. If this is you, the desert isn't a curse it's a way to the promise. The desert and the cave is your refuge. Feel blessed if this is you, because what you thought to be the thing that would destroy you is the very thing God is using to protect you. Although someone is chasing you, God says he will not deliver you to the hands of your enemy. The desert you may feel like you're in, is the refuge God is using to protect you. And the desert has so much to teach, one being humility. However there is one thing you must keep in mind, David was successful because he consulted with God and waited on God to give him guidance and in a moment where he could have sought revenge he demonstrated a Christ like attitude. Right now, might seem too much and taking too long however keep this in mind:

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.
We all need to learn that in order to be first in God's eyes we need to be last to ourselves. To God be all the Glory!


The Appointment

Weekly Encouragement

May 27, 2009

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Real issues, real people:

This morning I heard random interviews on the radio, which all had the same resounding message, "I'm disappointed in me".

  • A wife reflects on an argument from the night before and wishes she handled it differently, but she was tired.
  • A mom walked away from her bickering children because she just couldn't handle it, but today wishes she grasped the moment to show them to resolve conflict.
  • A woman wakes up one morning and realizes her daughter knows more than she would like her to know about her intimate relationships
  • A woman wakes up one morning after indulging in self gratification to only feel empty and hollow and wonders why?
  • A bickering wife blames herself for a cheating husband

The problem with society today is that we remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember. Everyone is looking to change, if not no one would be joining gyms, buying self help books and listening to inspirational messages, something to boost their spiritual life and get them through the day. God is not interested in your spiritual life; he is interested in your life.

Don't you get it, your God's workmanship! He knows what you can and can not do and from the beginning he set you up for victory. I can speak from experience that every moment I woke up with a feeling of disappointment in myself, I felt my knees buckle. But the beauty of that is that it brought me to my knees before the presence of God. If there is a disappointment you're dealing with I invite you to just cave. Don't fight what the world calls a good fight and try to stand proud letting no one know your issue. Cave, and let God be God. It's in these moments where our once steel coated hearts are broken, contrite and now moldable.  

This bump, this obstacle, this tragedy this current disappointment that life has thrown at you, take it as an opportunity to change. Be transformed, morph into the butterfly that this horrible cocoon has put you in. I know the situation your currently dealing with no one can understand but the one, who created you, knows you can conquer it, with Him. Not alone, with Him. He makes sense of who you are. Turn this disappointment into a divine appointment. To God be all the Glory!

Who's glory do you love?
Weekly Encouragement
May 11, 2009

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human glory more than the glory of God. James 12:42-43

During the 2009 Miss USA pageant, Carrie Prejean was asked by pageant judge, whether she believed every U.S. state should legalize same-sex marriage.She responded, "Well I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman."

I didn't watch the pageant, but I did hear all the ridiculing remarks on Prejean, so I decided to look it up myself. There were hundreds of blog sites demonstrating hatred for Carrie's stance. I was at the computer over an hour watching the various interviews that followed the event where Carrie Prejean, publicly on national television declared her faith in a Sovereign God.

Before millions of people she decided to not be "politically correct" and not conform, even at the cost of the crown. I personally don't care what Carrie Prejean did before this event or what pictures may have surfaced to tarnish her image. I care about the moment that she seized to influence a nation of believers not be afraid to say who they are, and who they praise. In one interview she said she felt that God was testing her character, and I'm really proud of the decision she made to take hold of integrity and answer such a controversial question honestly. . CS Lewis once said, "If we only have the will to walk, then God is pleased with our stumble."

God has the Glory either way. Several interviews later proclaiming faith, millions of people inspired by the host whom have interviewed Prejean sharing the same faith, and a vote to let her keep the Miss California title it's a win. In a moment she made a choice and she preferred God's glory over her own.

As a side note, don't put your faith in man; put your faith in God. We all fall short of the glory. Today some seem holier than thou, and then the next day they are in the tabloids for their sins. That should not cause our faith to stumble in a Sovereign God. Stay encouraged. Learn to filter out the bad and keep the light, and then share the light with those around you. And don't loose the hope in our brothers and sisters who have fallen, God is working with them. The enemy has but a moment in the spot light, but you can't hit a child of God and not feel God's wrath. They will be back, more humble and contrite and stronger than ever, so keep praying for them.

Don't be afraid, don't love human glories more than God's glory; it will leave you with a God size void. To God be all the Glory!

You have made us for you
Weekly Encouragement
May 4, 2009

"Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar" Psalm 138:6

We all yearn for something. Daily I listen to life goals spewed off the lips of young and old. School, health, career, relationships, task or chores, understanding, and much more; daily we wake up with a new goal. Some face disappointment in failing, however others meet the goal and yet are never satisfied. Once there, another goal has surfaced and our hearts never satisfied.

Then I thought of those before us. The Israelites were free yet yearned to be slaves. A politician works to one day to be a judge, yet once seated in the seat misses the days of the thrill of the fight. The higher up we go, we still find reasons to look back and miss something we have been freed from. We are not content now, and we won't be content when we meet our goals, yet we all desire the "pursuit of happiness", our constitutional right.

The same concept is found within the church. You find yourself in leadership, goals are met, things are happening, you look around and see the fruit of God's work in your children and family yet you still feel hollow. These are the words of St Augustine: "You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."

Life is full of disappointments and I thank God for them. I have learned that true leadership is within the hands of servant hood. I have learned that true servant hood is within brokenness. And I understand St Augustine's quote because God didn't create workers, he created His children. The disappointment is a huge blinking traffic sign that we are moving in the wrong direction. The disappointment is a huge legal U-turn sign because all the work in the world will not satisfy a restless heart. And the world imposes its view in your philosophy and doctrine with; it's your right to be happy.

How is it that the rich and famous are committing suicide? How is it that the brand new house with the latest of furnishings doesn't fulfill your emptiness? Because somewhere in the pursuit you either unknowingly or knowingly turned your back on God, yet you thought you were in the "RIGHT".

Now to turn around and face the Creator you turned your back on in your lost pursuit of happiness, requires admitting your wrong. It requires feeling convicted. It requires swallowing your pride. It requires your hardened heart to be broken. It requires the façade of "I got it together" to admit you need help. It requires humility and that's not something this world teaches.

However, its there; on your knees, in brokenness, in full confession of your wrongs swallowing your pride, before the almighty God, there on your knees humble and contrite you find rest. And I find that this is not a one time event. I find that through the life of the Christian you will find pieces of your life broken in intervals. I thank God for his mercy and patience as I know I can't handle it all in one shot. Goals are good, but its better when you have God with you. Therefore if you are restless or when you become restless I pray the voice of truth projects like a bull horn, to remind you of the words of wisdom that St Augustine prayed, "You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." To God be all the Glory!


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