Friday, April 30, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. Our Monthly goal of reducing our Con Ed bill is working...we've saved $10 since we started!!!!! The girls are so excited about this
2. Got great mail to start off the week:)
3. Abuela sent some johnny cakes for us;)
4. BIL came and dropped off the homeschooling furniture for us...thank You Lord for providing
5. Returned Nicole's USB and saw God's glory
6. Kiki called me Titi for the first time and with my accent none the less...I have witnesses:)
7. Our homeschooling room is really shaping up into such a beautiful room in which I want to learn in:)
8. Hubby had lunch with a colleague from work and got to share part of his testimony...we declare Alex saved in the name of Jesus
9. Hubby handed in his first paper...His parents were so excited when we told them he was finishing up his degree and going for another degree as well...Papalito got on that phone so quick:)
10. My closet went from looking like this

to this within 30 minutes!!!!

I got super hyped about how nice it looked that I cleaned my other closet as well:)

10. Michelle gave me a stack of coupons...thanks for thinking of me ya:)

11. Enjoyed $.31 scoops @ Baskin' Robins with the Mami, Syd & her tween, Hubby, my two girls, and me...lots of scoops:) Can you guess what flavor I chose?

12. Ordered the American Heritage DVD series and paid $0.00!!!
13. Visited my in-laws and I give God all the glory because they are recognizing HIS hands in their lives and my MIL has agreed to give me cooking lessons:)
14. The Lord continue to feed us at church which I am forever grateful!!!!
15. It was a Titi Thursday in which I got to see all my nieces and nephews (the ones in the USA) and thank God for each of them:)

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 17

Have you been letting God break you free?

Throughout this study, I have heard personally from you of the wonderful things God is doing in your life, your marriage, and your children. I have been so encouraged by the testimonies.

I also know the enemy has tried his unoriginal schemes of lies, discouragement, and hopelessness as well as feelings of being overwhelmed. But he is a defeated enemy. And I praise the Lord that despite it all, we have continued by the grace of God.

This is truly a journey in which we encounter LOTS of things. We go through pit stops, service areas, rest areas, landmarks, attractions, scenic views. But our destination is FREEDOM!!!!!!

The Lord continues to minister me on things we have previously discussed. I know He's warning me not to fall into forgetfulness. It's so easy to forget what the Lord has delivered us from that we fall back into old behaviors, mentalities, attitudes without even realizing it. Let us not be deceived. If we see us reverting into anything of the past let's seek help NOW!

This week we're looking at the Ancient of Days. Just the sound of it brings a sense of security in my heart and a smile to my face.

We'll be answering two questions:

#1 How does knowing that God is the Ancient of Days encourage you? Provide 3 Scriptures that provide this reassurance.

#2 If there was 1 thing (besides the salvation found in Jesus) that you could instill in your future generations what would it be?

This is going to be so interesting because I believe the Lord is going to reveal more than we think. He really is just that good.

Today, I received an email from a SIC writing to me "may He surprise you today!"

My response "I will be expecting those surprises!!!!!!"

And we should be expecting Him to do great things because He is great!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Instructing Words

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips.
Proverbs 16:23 (NASB)

As a homeschooling mom, I think that most would think that instructing others would come naturally and even easy.

I will be the first to testify that the ability to teach is a gift of God. I will also be the first to admit that when it came to providing my husband with instruction, I got an F.

When he and I got married, we came from two different worlds. Things that I thought an adult should know and should come as common sense did not for my husband. And not because he was incapable of learning or did not want to learn--he had just not been exposed to balancing checkbooks, paying bills, and budgets.

So whenever I was overwhelmed with doing it all, he would offer to help. But of course, first he would have to learn. And this is when I would loose it. I would get so frustrated in instructing him, I would give up on him and do the task.

It hurt him.

Why wasn't I patient? Why wasn't I kind and gentle? Although, there were probably many reasons, one thing I looked at this morning was that I was not wise. My heart was not instructing my mouth, my emotions were. And now that's dangerous.

Emotions are fleeting, but the words out of my mouth can sting and leave damage in someone's heart past the endurance of those emotions. How could my husband receive any instruction from me, when the words out of mouth belittled him? How could he trust that I wanted his help when with my words I pushed him away?

He couldn't and he didn't.

Although today I have gotten a lot better at letting my heart instruct my mouth, I continue to pray that especially when it comes to my husband, I use my mouth to only speak life over him.

Previously, in our marriage, my husband would cringe at asking for my help or counsel. Now a days, he invites and welcomes it. Glory to God! If the Lord uses me to provide any type of instruction to my husband, I want it to come from a pure and wise heart, not an emotional one. I want my husband to know it is the Lord and not me speaking.

Father, I thank You for the gift of communication. I pray that I may use it wisely, that from my mouth only words of life may flow. Please help me not to speak from emotions but from Your Word. Help me to always trust that as long as it is You speaking through me, Your Word will not return void. I just want to be an instrument in Your hands. Use me as You please and help me to surrender my mouth to You. I thank You for what You've done in our marriage and continue to believe that the latter glory will be greater than the former. Yours is the glory now and forever, in Jesus' name. Amen.

She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.
Proverbs 31:12 (AMP)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Encounters of the God Kind

I wanted to post this while it's still fresh in my mind and heart.

How many know we serve a mighty and awesome God?!!!!

On Friday, while walking to CVS with Syd, I spot something in the middle of the street. We're actually crossing the street, so I kick it to the sidewalk and pick it up. It's a USB and I think, "Great because we actually are in the market for one." But inside I'm thinking, if it has a name I will have to find a way to get it back to the person. I also silently ask the Lord that the person may have peace about it until Monday since I figured most likely it would be a teacher's. Little did I also know that my tween was hoping it wasn't a college student's whose thesis was on it (she was close:).

Hubby informs me that indeed a teacher's name is the owner on Friday, so I bookmark to go to the school on Monday.

So today, I wake up and get on with my daily duties. Holy Spirit gently reminds me that I have to go now (I was planning on going later in the day:). I look up the teacher's name on the USB (which by the way was in a case whose carabiner was run apparently run over by a car while leaving the rest of the USB unharmed) and the call the school. I speak with Nicole who is super hyper on the phone stating, "You don't understand, that's my life on there." I'm like OK, will be there soon.

I get there and she's soooooo excited. She starts crying and crying and telling me, "You don't know what you just did. This means so much to me. I'm a student and all my work is on there. I had a paper due on Friday and told my professor I lost my USB. We just announced over the loud speaker about it and then you call. My professor is coming in 6 minutes to pick up my work from the USB. Can I please hug you?"

That's the God we serve. She and I and the security guard started talking about our lives. We were three different woman at three different points in our lives but each of us was glorifying God for what He had done. She was so thankful and did notice the damage to the carabiner but the careful preservation of the USB. Had I waited even 5 more minutes, I would've messed it up. Only God!

This has been another encounter of the God kind!

Chapter 16: Surveying the Ancient Ruins

I think it's safe to state that of course unless it is the Lord building the house we labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). So going into our homework from that point of view, it has to be the Lord showing us what is our role in the rebuilding.

Read Proverbs 31:10-31. I suggest in reading it in as many different versions as you can. And choose one skill/area/verse you want to focus on to rebuild the ancient ruins.

I read it in the KJV, NIV, NLT, RVA skimmed through the Message but when I got to the Amplified version, I was like, "WHAT????" I was/am really excited about that version. And although, I think there are A LOT of things I can work on, I will choose one. But not until I bring this out. Not coincidentally, in my Bible reading plan, I am reading from Proverbs. I had already read Proverbs 31 for the homework assignment and was thinking, "Picking just one thing is hard when I have a lot of work that has to get done in me." But as I was reading from the other Proverbs, I was getting glimpses of the Proverbs 31 woman. You'll find her all throughout the Bible, but I think that the Lord allowed me to see traces of her especially in Proverbs in these last couple of days.

I have to keep reminding myself, that she like myself, is a process, a work in progress. And the Lord's Word is a wealth of wisdom on how to get there--to be exactly the woman He created me to be.

The verse Holy Spirit guided me to was verse 16 in the Amplified Version.

She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.

Some key words for me here are "not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties," "savings [of time and strength]," and "fruitful vines."

Like I have mentioned before, I was that foolish woman who tried (with all her might) to tear down her house with her own hands. One tool was neglect, exhausting my time and strength (and his), and destroying the seed the Lord wanted to plant in our marriage.

I pray that the Lord may help me in this one. I can be a "doer" of things, start these massive projects, or get underway in my little endeavors, however, I am believing that God can use this for His glory. He will glorify Himself in my weakness(es). I want to purposefully (allow the Lord) to rebuild to have fruitful vines in my vineyard. No more wastefulness of time, strength, appropriation of energy. Building or rebuilding purposefully and deliberately.

I am also praying that this rebuilding will not be limited to our marriage. There are other people in the ancient ruins. Relationships that the Lord may want to restore. But I will wait on Him. I know that otherwise, I will labor in vain.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. Was able to make a nice little decoration for the outside of our bedroom and surprise Hubby with it

2. Went over and visited Sydney and got to speak to her and BIL about the Word which I always get fired up about
3. My other BIL brought us a desk for the girls homeschooling...thanks so much John...I appreciate that he is always willing for God's glory
4. Got some really great deals at KeyFood and a free reusable bag from Pathmark:)

5. Mami cooked a great fish for us on Monday while we were getting ministered @ Target:)
6. Was able to get up early and pray with Hubby this week and that's a change of scenery for us since we usually pray at night together
7. I am so grateful to the Lord that He has helped us stay up to date on our Bible reading plans, Scripture Memorization, and family character trait devotional...You strengthen and deposit hunger and thirst for You
8. Was able to make 2 baked zitis, freeze pizza dough, and clean the house without giving into my body which was not cooperating:)
9. My tot's curriculum is here and she (and I) are sooooo excited!!!

10. Got to visit my in-laws this week and I love spending time with them...We even got to pray...thank You Lord that You are touching their hearts

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thursday, April 22, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 16

Did you notice a common thread in last week's homework assignment?

Well, I noticed that each of us had something from our ancient ruins that we were preserving specifically in the area of motherhood.

Now isn't the Lord just so good that He causes Jesus' light to shine on these areas of our lives so that we don't pass the same ruins to our children??!!

And I think it's important to view this study in that light. We're taking chapter by chapter and learning from each to break free. We're not rushing it. We truly don't want any stone unturned. We want the Lord to reveal, minister, and set us free. Amen!

I spent some time last night praying about this week's assignment. Beth makes an important point that we are not looking to preserve our ancient ruins but to rebuild them. When I asked the Lord how were we going to do that, He took me to Proverbs 14:1-

A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.

When I asked Him how exactly are we going to start building, He took me to Proverbs 31:10-31. Now to be honest, I think that when I think of the "Proverbs 31" woman, she can be a little bit intimidating. She has it all together, knows a little bit about everything, excels at so much--I mean she's the epitome of what we as Christian women want to be right?

Well, I think that for that same reason, the Lord wants us to take a look at her. She didn't get to be like that over night. She was building her home. And any type of building takes time. So this is our assignment:

Read Proverbs 31:10-31. I suggest reading it in as many different versions as you can. And choose one skill/area/verse you want to focus on to rebuild the ancient ruins.

Why one? Because all we need to start with is one. The enemy wants us to get overwhelmed and think that we'll never be her. But the truth is, we are already her. All those qualities are in us. They just have to be discovered and cultivated. So instead of getting bogged down and intimidated, let's start rebuilding!

Make sure to subscribe to replies when commenting:)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bed Battles

Why won't she just go to sleep?

Why doesn't she just understand that Mami knows better?

If she doesn't nap, it won't be pretty for either of us later on.

She'll be cranky and I'll be battling to walk in the Spirit.

But maybe that's it. God want me to battle.
Battle not to do what's easier for me but better for me.

I look at her and think, "Why can't you just trust me that I know best?"

I hear the Father telling me the same thing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Home Builder: Reconnecting

When we hear the term "rekindle the flames of your marriage," it's usually followed by some advertisement for the latest book, marriage seminar, or experiment.

Prayer is usually not thought of as an ingredient for sparking flames. But it is.

In prayer, you get to know your spouse spiritually.

In prayer, we hear with our hearts and see through eyes of faith.

In prayer, our hearts are exposed to one another since there are no defense mechanisms that work, no walls or barriers, no limitations.

In prayer, there is brokenness, repentance, and restoration.

In prayer, there is forgiveness and healing.

In prayer, there is joy, peace, and renewed strength.

In prayer, there is wisdom and discernment.

In prayer, the fire on the altar is kept burning.

Coming together humbled and contrite, naked and transparent will do more for our marriages than any human technique.

So instead of date night, have a prayer night.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chapter 15: That Ancient Serpent


This last week has been so intense. The Lord has been ministering me left and right. If we're wanting freedom, He will reveal the truth, because the truth will set us free. In prayer, the Lord confronted me, when I went outside He was showing me, and in church on Sunday, He emphasized it too!

I thank Him for His perseverance and dedication. He is faithful. He began a good work in us and He is faithful to finish it until the return of our Lord Jesus!

What have you seen in yourself that you disliked in a parent or grandparent?

To be honest, I knew that I was doing this and yet would justify it. I thought surely this is something the Lord must be revealing to me concerning my husband. But as it turned out, it's not him, it's me!

I hadn't done it in a while just sporadically here and there, once in a while, occasionally. But it was still there. Even when it didn't manifest. The pain, the hurt, the attitude was still there.

As a child, I was compared in a negative light to my father. And as an adult, wife, and mother, the Lord revealed how I was doing the same. Sometimes, it didn't manifest in actual words, but rather in thoughts. I would see something that our tween did and think, "She learned that from Randy." It annoyed and upset me.

Slowly, the Lord started to minister me on this. I remember Him telling me gently in my heart that I was practicing this sin. I felt convicted. Throughout the week, I prayed and repented. I confessed to my husband and asked for his forgiveness. Although I had done this before (confessing and asking for forgiveness), I hadn't repented. I hadn't changed my mind about what was going on. I still thought it was him. But Holy Spirit convicted me about the sin, and this time, I repented. I didn't grieve Him by ignoring Him or dismissing the severity of it (for God's glory).

And because He is so good, He really wanted to make sure that I got it, and I did. During the week, I was able to speak to man who told me about the hurt and pain caused by his mother because she compared him to his father. I was able to see first hand how possibly damaging my sin could have been to my marriage and children.

Yesterday's preaching was for me!!!!!!! Jesus, help me, heal me. I don't want this mat. I want to walk!!!!!

We got home and I felt such an urgency to pray. I mean an urgency. Not a desire. Not even a need, but an urgency. Hubby had already begun to pray with our tot in the living room. I was (because God is Sovereign) in the our bedroom with our tween. I felt Holy Spirit's presence so beautifully upon us. He began to minister me. Hubby then comes with tot to join us. We pray.

I begin to speak with my tween and repent before her. I ask her for forgiveness. She forgives. Then we all start talking and even my tot is confessing and asking for forgiveness. Aleluya!!!! But it doesn't stop there.

This morning, I awoke because the Lord had given me a dream regarding our marriage. Hubby is in the living room praying. I kneel before my Lord and begin to pray. I then begin to speak to Hubby and Holy Spirit is right there ministering us.

He is just so good!!! It doesn't have to stop. He continues. He wants to free us. He doesn't want anything to keep us from Him. What amazing love!!!!!

So no more comparisons. They are no longer a part of us. Their effects on our lives have been undone by the blood of Jesus!

Side Note: If you comment on the blog make sure to subscribe to replies that way you'll be notified if someone replies directly to your comment:)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. Syd and I enjoyed some good old laughs on Friday...the Lord steadied my step and I didn't end up tumbling down those stairs!!!
2. Went to dinner at my SIL's in-laws...I even ate barbeque chicken and you know they were good b/c I don't like bbq
3. Got 2 free 8x10's from Walgreens...this was one of them...thanks brother for the nice picture

4. The girls gratitude to the Lord for their Elsie books was TOO tween was just as happy that her sister got her own set:)

5. Free items @ CVS this week:)

6. Was able to order my tot's homeschooling curriculum and narrow down my tween's
7. Mami cooked for us on Monday....yummmy
8. Visited my in-laws and was blessed to share in their love...Papalito is too much for lecturing us on candy
9. My in-laws celebrated 31 years of God be all the Glory!
10. A SIC continues to give Papo Bible lessons which I am so grateful that she is sowing His Word in him
11. Visited Mami on Wednesday and had the most interesting conversation on apologetics with her...she's so diverse
12. Really enjoyed fellowship with my sisters at church after Tuesday's service
13. A little BIC drew the most precious picture of him and his sister following God...Psalm 119:2
14. Enjoyed intercessory prayer with Hubby on Wednesday...thank you Lord for intervening and cleansing...You pour new wine into new wineskins for Your Glory!
15. Had the privilege of seeing my Kiki sit up all by herself...she's really tooo much:)
16. GRRREAT mail week:)

17. Syd was able to really help me out for Tuesday's service...I had forgotten my supplies and she brought me a box full of goodies...thanks Syd
18. My tot had the only conversation with Mami on our way home...Hubby thought my mother wasn't understanding but later on Mami told me the details:)
19. Hubby surprised me with a Twix...he's so thoughtful
20. Tonight's message was a NOW word...we can come boldly and confidently because of the blood of Jesus!!!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 15

Disgusted...that's how I felt after my second reading of Chapter 15. I was disgusted by the enemy and what he does in the lives of so many--kill, divide, and destroy.

But my "urgghhh" feeling doesn't stop there. It makes me want to eliminate any traces of him (the devil) from my life, my lineage, and hence my legacy in Jesus' name.

Are you with me? Did you feel that same icky feeling reading about his wiles and deceit, knowing he preys on the ignorant?

This week's study has definitely been an eye-opener over here and I hope it has (or will be) for you as well.

Our homework assignment is found on page 280 in Chapter 15's Discussion Questions.

What have you seen in yourself that you disliked in a parent or grandparent?

I have noticed that usually the things we don't like in others is due to the fact that we do the same things ourselves. No more finger pointing or nit picking at others. Remember that as we're touring the ancient ruins, it is still about us. So let's be alert and vigilant, sober minded and determined to rebuke the enemy out of our lives with the authority given to us in Jesus!

Scripture Memorization #8

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
John 15:16 (NIV)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't Let Go

We're crossing the street ready to go to a family's house for dinner.

My tot is holding my hand.

I step off the sidewalk and notice that the step is high. She comes down and I didn't notice that she came down hard.

But she was holding my hand.

By her doing so, I was able to jerk her up before she really hit the concrete and an injury to her knee was prevented-because she was holding my hand.

I examine her to make sure she is fine and she is. She looks up at me not knowing whether to cry. Her hand is still in mine. I look at her and smile. Her hand is still in mine.

As we crossed, I told her gently, "Don't ever let go of my hand."

She responds, "Mami, I don't believe I did let go of your hand."

I answer, "I know you didn't baby which is why you didn't get hurt. Don't ever let go of my hand."

Today, the Father tells you, "Don't ever let go of My hand."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chapter 14: The Ancient Boundary Stone

God had been reminding me that as a family we have a mission statement (as weird as it may sound). Each of us knows the vision for the family. As Hubby and I discussed the boundaries for our lives, marriage, and family, we revisited the mission statement.

Although this is not all of them, I will list what we picked as boundaries. I also reworded them, because the Holy Spirit guided me to do so.

Looking back at your ancient ruins, what are some boundaries you want to create for you, your marriage, your children, so that when they tour their ancient ruins they don't find what you did. You can do this individually or with your spouse. Come up with at least 5 boundaries and you might want to include why this is an important boundary for you. Pray about it and ask Holy Spirit to guide you.

I wrote these randomly, so there's no specific order. And after reviewing them, I notice they coincide with one another.

1. Choose to Love
Love is not an emotion; it is a choice; it is an action. We must choose to love in all circumstances, not how the world views love, but how Christ does. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love corrects, disciplines, forgives, encourages. This key to me when I am confronted with forgiveness-that too is a choice not an emotion.

2. Choose Unity
Hubby and I are committed to coming into agreement in ALL areas of our lives. Does that mean that He and I always think the same and view something the same way-YES! Why? Because we both have the mind of Christ. I am not trying to push an agenda on him or vice versa. We want to do things God's way and not our own. A house divided falls and we don't want ours to.

3. Choose to Speak Truthfully
We don't think that anything can hurt a relationship as lying, deceit, secrets. Speaking truthfully also excludes sarcasm and exaggerations. We are instilling in our children to speak ruth regardless of the consequences. When we lie, we don't imitate our Father, but rather the father of lies-satan. We don't want to risk opening doors to satan.

4. Choose Effective Communication
Effective communication over here is not just talking about what happened in the physical realm but digging deep as what happened in the spiritual realm. We don't want to overlook things, forget the words spoken, and just move on. We can say or do hurtful things to one another that require ministration not a band aid. How Holy Spirit decides to do it, we don't know, but we're open in the name of Jesus. We want ministration. Lord, deliver us from thinking we're done.

5. Choose to Discipline with Love
Emotions are not bad but being guided by them is. Correction whether to each other in the marriage or to our children should not be a fleshly outburst. I don't want to be that nagging wife who has her husband wanting to live on the roof. Nor do we as parents want to exasperate our children. We can't be Holy Spirit to one another but we can reflect Christ to one another. I have witnessed the biggest changes in our marriage and children when they see a consistent example of a godly woman rather than an emotional one.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Monthly Round Up: March

I have been wanting to do our monthly roundup for March and kept on postponing it. April arrived soooo quickly. So here I am on April 10 doing our monthly roundup.

March seemed like a month to tighten up the loose ends for us.

My tween took her standardized test and did very well for God's glory. My tot was a lot more relaxed in her studies. She hasn't yet finished her subtraction packet nor have we finished George Muller yet.

I, on the other hand finished the Elsie books 1-3 and they are GREAT! We plan on using them in next year's curriculum. This is one of those sets you should order and give to your daughter to pass on to hers. Both girls are looking forward to using them.

We still don't have the full curriculum but I am excited to see where the Lord is taking us.

So far, I see His hands guiding us towards more of a hands on approach using other materials besides books. Some curriculums are more hands on and with DVDs. I really have to hear from the Lord though because I don't want get midway and say, "Ummm, I guess this isn't going to work after all?"

The girls also enjoyed working with their cousins towards the end of this month and early April which was so good for us all. I was also able to review the Rod and Staff for my tot. It looks so well done.

Are you tying up some loose ends? Have you decided on anything for next year's curriculum?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. God is doing such wonderful and beautiful things through the Breaking Free study...thank You Father, all the glory is yours
2. We spent some time with our Co-Pastor and his family...we left refreshed and renewed...this was an answered prayer especially for the girls who LOVE to spend time with their cousins:)
3. Resurrection Sunday was powerful...continue to minister Holy Spirit in Jesus' name
4. Got to visit the beach and walk along it with Hubby...not as romantic as it may was COLD out there and we were with our Pastor...HA!
5. Got some great deals at CVS and Walgreens

all of this for $.085 and $3.00 ECBS back!

6. Cooked A-L-O-T this week for God's glory!
7. Got some great samples in the mail although that gum was yucky to me:(

You can get your own bag here...thanks !

8. Got 40 free prints from Walgreens for my Project Life album, which means I'm practically up to date with both pictures and journaling:)
9. Tried this new recipe and the fam seems to like it alot and it works well to freeze and store

10. Got some free paper from Staples and more free Dawn soap from CVS!

11. Received a letter from our sponsored child and our sponsored missionary...if you haven't sponsored yet, look at the sidebar for fertile ground to sow:)
12. Scored some B1G1 free coupons from Tropicana (these coupons become available randomly)
13. Look what Hubby brought home for me!!!!!

14. Heard a very good preaching...the enemy is jealous of my coat!!!!
15. My Pastor celebrated his Earthday on Sunday...May the Lord grant him strength and wisdom, revelation and discernment that he may pastor the sheep as the Lord commands in Jesus' name
16. I got a very good deal on the Elsie Dinsmore books over at
17. Mami visited me again this Monday and cooked for was delicious even without the salsita:)
18. Thursday's message was powerful...indeed the Father seeks worshippers who worship Him in spirit and truth
19. Although the piles were trying to make a comeback in the house, I tackled them head on and fuera!!!!
20. Michelle shared a picture of the both of us about ten years ago...and we look WAY better now in Jesus!

Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
Psalm 34:5 (NIV)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 14

Wow last week was intense to say the least.

But reflecting on the ancient ruins was an eye opener for us. Just seeing how the Lord kept us and brought us out of all that mess is a testimony of His love.

This week we'll be looking at The Ancient Boundary Stone. I think that for most of us when we think of boundaries we can think of limitations, restrictions, and rigid rules. However, we'll be looking at boundaries from God's perspective-freedom, safety, and love.

So as we tour the ancient boundary stone let us not forget what we've learned thus far, especially from touring the ancient ruins. Taking all of that in, this is our assignment:

Looking back at your ancient ruins, what are some boundaries you want to create for you, your marriage, your children, so that when they tour their ancient ruins they don't find what you did. You can do this individually or with your spouse. Come up with at least 5 boundaries and you might want to include why this is an important boundary for you. Pray about it and ask Holy Spirit to guide you.

The purpose of this assignment is not just to have another list. But rather to (1)understand that we NEED boundaries (2)help to pin point areas of our lives where we have crossed the boundaries (3)keep one another accountable.

The more detailed we are, the more the Holy Spirit ministers us because pride is not in the way. We're calling things what they are and not trying to mask them behind religious Christian phrases like "I'm in victory" when you came to church fighting with your spouse. Let's keep it real with ourselves and each other because God already knows and His opinion of us is the only one that matters.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Winding Down

Today, has been a different kind of day.

I started my day in the Word. At church we're studying the books of Revelation and Daniel. As I sat there with my Bibles and commentary, I was just thinking, "Holy Spirit, I need a revelation on Revelation." Hubby mentioned he found a good website, so he'll pass the link on to me.

Then I went off to CVS and Walgreens with Syd and the girls. I got some really good deals.

No this candy isn't for any of us...remember I'm free from that addiction for God's glory! This is for the boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I am no where near my goal of buying things for the boxes. I think it's so good to start early and do it year around as opposed to doing it last minute. The entire trip was fun(ny) with my niece falling, bumping into things, and having a struggle with the wind and her skirt. She has a great sense of humor. I think she laughed the hardest throughout it all.

Then, I came home with a game plan. To cook:

1. fish alfredo

2. wraps for tomorrow
2a. (3 bags of wraps to freeze for later)

3. tator tot casserole(into the freezer)

Earlier in the week I had made bread and a batch of pancakes. But in all of this I praise the Lord. Although we can pat ourselves in the back and think we've accomplished something, it's nothing without His presence. It not about getting the job done, but how we get it done. His peace and love were with us. Hubby and the girls helped either directly or indirectly and I thank God for it.

So now it's my wind down time. The girlies are off to bed. I am sitting here sipping on coffee and about to read this new resource I found here, or at least try to until Hubby calls me to give him a hair cut:)

I also changed the comments on the blog. I thought it would make things easier and more interactive. All you have to do is enter your name and email address, which is not visible and your web/blog address which is optional. You enter your email address in case someone wants to respond directly to your comment or you theirs, you get an email stating a reply has been made. You can also subscribe to comments or replies of that specific post. I hope I didn't complicate things by explaining it. Trust me, it's easier.

How do you wind down?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chapter 13: Touring the Ancient Ruins

While touring the ancient ruins, I came to the stark conclusion of why I had been indifferent to a person in my past. And that's why touring the ancient ruins is so important. When touring, there is digging and probing that can only be successful with Holy Spirit.

He brought to my attention something I have to definitely put in the trash-indifference. I had a "he doesn't exist" attitude about someone in my past. This seems neutral and safe. But it's not. If I am not showing the love of Christ although I don't ever talk or see this person, how can I pray and believe God for their salvation? Impossible! Without faith, it is impossible to please God. And anything I do without faith is sin.

I knew in my heart that this is how I had felt about this person and had repented not too long ago but was stumped about why I felt like this. Yet, while I was on this tour, I was able to learn why I had chosen to be indifferent. I was shown indifference. It wasn't an outright hatred nor a deep love, just indifference by my paternal grandparents and thus I had learned to use indifference as a way to shield my heart. The thought process was more like, "I don't hate you nor love you, because in reality you're not that important for me to give you a second thought or any room in my heart." According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary that is what indifference is-of no importance or value one way or the other. Horrible, I know.

Last night as I prayed, I once again asked God's forgiveness for being indifferent towards this person. I forgave my paternal grandparents and renounced all indifference (and a lot of other things). I was able to pray for them with love. And I think that's why touring the ancient ruins is critical. We may behave, feel, and/or think a certain way and have no clue why. Then we revisit the ancient ruins and Jesus shines His light on the darkness, not to condemn or accuse but to forgive, restore, and heal.

My trash list was longer than my trophy case list. BUT, I am grateful even for that. I could've looked at that trash list and thought, "Wow now there's hours of ministration!" but instead I choose to look at it as, "And You allowed all of it to bring me here, to YOU, right now." So it has been worth it. My trophy list outweighs my trash list because Jesus' name is above all names on my trash list. Aleluya!

I thought about how God sometimes works backwards. He saved my husband and I to save our parents and those before us who don't know the Lord. Isn't that wonderful?! He's just so good.

Touring the ancient ruins can be painful but it is necessary and a blessing because God can bring beauty out of those ashes.

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Isaiah 61:1-4

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Home Builder: Getting the Kids Involved

Engelbert the pig is hoplessly pink.

Every month this year, we have challenged ourselves to cut the costs. Although our children are aware of it, they may not fully comprehend the reasons behind it. So Holy Spirit, who is just so good and creative, gave us this idea for the month of March.

Our goal is to reduce our electricity bill.

We wrote the amount of our current bill and will subtract next month's bill from it. Whatever the "profit", it's there's to keep.

For example:
Current bill $50.00
Next bill $40.00
Profit $10.00
Each child gets $5.00 (really less due to tithing and offering)

We wrote our goal for them to see and ways to reduce the electricity bill. I am truly enjoying this so much. My little one runs around the house, turning off lights, saying, "We have a goal, we have a goal!"

And indeed we, the family, have a goal!

They ended up reducing the electricity bill by $5! They were able to understand in physical terms why we save and "see" the savings. It really put things into perspective for our tween.

How can you get your kids involved?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. Visited Syd and got to gobble up kiki and have fun on my niece's computer (although me a blond with bob...NEVER!:)
2. Abuela sent some of her johnny cakes and some no cooking on this weekend since I already had the food out!!!
3. Girls painted their pots in which they will plant their seeds...God give the growth
4. The fam headed out for BJs and I got to make my master list...finally
5. Hubby got me my restaurant mints that I wanted really badly like at 11pm...he spoils me:)

6. Went over to my SIL's for a wonderful dinner in which I saw the hand of the Lord Jesus and I got a lotta lovin' from my nephew. When I went to leave he said, "Don't leave me" in his cutest voice:)
7. My niece turned 4! Thank You Lord that you used us as instruments to bless her. Continue to bless her Father with more of You and may the fear of You never leave her in Jesus' name!
8. God protected us when the car turned off on us and provided a perfect parking. The car was fixed His peace and provision and I declare it as my Co-Pastor stated, "Stronger than ever" in Jesus' name.
9. Visited Mami and enjoyed our time together
10. My niece turned 6! It seems like just yesterday I was receiving news of her arrival...Father bless her and keep her, cause your face to shine upon her in Jesus' name!
11. Our tween is done with testing for this year and we're so grateful that it was done easily and peacefully...thank You Jesus
12. Seasoned all of our meats for the month...although we're not excited to do it, we're so grateful when it does get done and thankful for God's provision
13. Hubby got to preach to his employer for about 30 minutes about the Word of God and we're grateful for every opening to speak about HIM!
14. Got to bake some more delicious bread and will attempt raisin bread next, God willing:)

15. Got to grind the walnuts and oatmeal, so that's off the mental to do list:)
16. I enjoy SO MUCH that I can text Syd messages that no one else gets...HA!!!!
17. I found a new recipe (new for me:) that I want to try out to freeze for days I don't want to cook
18. Spring cleaning will not be a project this year!!!!!!!!! But I do plan on doing some cleaning:)
19. God just knew how my heart ached to see a BIC and He granted me the privilege of being able to do so...cause Your Word to be written on the tablets of his heart Father in Jesus' name
20. GLORIOUS...that's how I would describe Thursday's service...simply GLORIOUS!

"Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:22

Thursday, April 1, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 13

As I sit here typing, I am thinking back on the conversation Hubby and I had last night. He cautioned me to heed to the same words Holy Spirit has used to comfort him through me towards myself.

Yesterday, as I read the Bible, I started crying thinking, "What if that's me? What if I think I'm done and have left the Way?" I was comforted and brought back to reality through Hubby's counseling. Thank You Jesus!

And I think that lots of times the enemy wants us think we're legalistic when indeed we're passionate about our relationship with Jesus. He deceives us into thinking what he declared about Job:

9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

Job 1:9-11

But no satan was wrong about Job and he's wrong about us. We love the Lord and are diligently and deliberately seeking to grow in Him.

I pray that what we do will never replace who He is in our lives in Jesus' name.

Did you notice that we're already at part III of the study? Time is going by quickly. This week we'll be Touring the Ancient Ruins but not alone. Holy Spirit will be there to guide us.

Our homework is straight from the book pages 87-88 beginning with the last paragraph on page 87 (I want to ask you to do more than just read...). I encourage you to write the questions and responses down on paper, especially regarding what you'll be putting in the trophy case and in the trash.

This assignment seems so appropriate for this time. As we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, we should be mindful of all that He did to give us abundant life here on earth and everlasting life with Him. Remember the ancient ruins is not our final destination--an eternity with Him is!

Scripture Memorization #7

9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9