Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What the Year 2008 Brought Forth


This year although received with much turmoil, turned out to be an excellent one, the best yet.
**The year 07' ended with the uncertainty of whether I was going to have to go through the torture of another semester with Dr. Disla at the Hospital de la Mujer Dominicana (Hospital of the Dominican Woman) and while the idea wasn't appealing at all I knew the outcome and had made my peace with the Lord.

- I never make New Years resolutions but I did plan for the year to loose weight because of health issues and frankly cause my clothes didn't fit so I finally went to a doctor, a nutritionist my cousin had told me about, and committed to obey the Dr. in all respects and the Lord blessed me with self-control.
- Constanza, our usual New Year Trip tradition. The Lord had plenty of lessons in store for me this year and He began with my accident.

- As the lessons kept on coming, I realized that repeating the OB-gyn pre-internship was as amazing as I thought it would be and served to remove the worldliness that was getting stuck on me and purify my walk with the Lord. I began to read my bible more, pray more, share my faith more.
- After my 3 month diet with the doctor I lost 21 pounds and as a plus I learned to eat (and I'm not talking about no carbs, lots of meat, and lots of veggies, I eat 5 times a day: 3 meals and 2 snacks and I never once stopped eating carbs)

JUNE 08'
- I finally began my Internship and my first lesson was: "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
When choosing which hospital to go to the last one I had on my mind was Billini, in fact it wasn't even an option I did not want to even step into that hospital. But the Lord has his own plans and who can thwart them?(its a rhetorical question arminians) and so off I went to Billini Hospital gladly and joyfully. Let me tell you it was THE best semester, I learned so so much, I cried, I debated, I got frustrated, I was obedient in all respects to all doctors, I witnessed to some, I met wonderful people that I came to love and cherish (specially one doctor Dra. Álcantara she is a walking miracle please pray for her). The hospital was so great I am going back for my Surgery Internship in January. The Lord blessed me during this semester with an A.

JULY 08'
- After a wonderful transformation of the ministry I belong to at church, Sanidad Integral, I re-instated myself and just in time to receive Flora's friend and brother in Christ Don Coords and the gang for their mission trip to our country. I met wonderful people and got to spend and entire day with them in Dajabon, a small town with one Christian church pastored by a brother whom along with his family have dedicated themselves to the expansion of the gospel through VBS and a small school they built and to minister to both teens and adults.

- After many blessings, the Lord took away our comforts, our church building and tested our faith. Through this situation I learned to trust God more and along with my Church we learned to see God's hand even in tragedies. I was glad to see the way my pastor responded to the situation of the church building burning down, there was a call to prayer, to repentance, to look into our own lives and see if there was any major sin we had overlooked and needed to repent of.

- Internal Medicine was over and finally my ob-gyn/pediatrics internship began, when choosing hospitals I had only one option in mind: Robert Reid for Peds and Hospital de la Mujer Dominicana for ob-gyn. Another semester, another set of classmates: Julissa, Mabel, Elayne and Mustafa. One of them whom I began witnessing to during one of our shifts and have continued to witness to even now after our classes have been over, but to no avail, only the Lord knows when and if she'll ever respond to the gospel call, pray for Julissa and the rest of my classmates.
Many other witnessing oportunities occurred during the 2 months at Hospital de la Mujer Dominicana.

- Learning to be thankful in all situations, was the lesson for that month. While I'm not american, I'm sure everyone knows that by now, I was pretty disappointed at how the elections turned out. But ever since our church building burned down I learned that even when we lose we have gained something: the opportunity to praise God at times of loss, tragedy, disappointment, sadness, something we cannot do if there is isn't a loss or a tragedy or a disappointment and that is something definitely worth losing for.

- This month I had the joy of reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.
- As for what I leared? plainly said: This month I learned that if we are obedient to God at all times, if we submit to the authorities appointed by Him (i.e. parents, bosses, husband, big brother, you name it) and if we do everything as for the Lord instead of for your own glory, or your parents' satisfaction or your peers, the Lord will bless you in all respects. As for me? The Lord blessed me this semester with two A's.

- Saddest Day: The day my best bud Penny died. I miss my chi.
- Highlight of the Year: Well there were many highlights during this year, but I will only make mention of one: Thanksgiving weekend, at Dolphin Mall, Handing out tracts and witnessing with my sister in Christ Jen.
- Most Important Lesson: Jesus is and should be my all in all, and no one and/or nothing can or should take his place.
- Biggest Disappointment: Not getting baptized. I know, I know. I've been told the next baptism at my church will be sometime in April *sigh*.

Monday, December 29, 2008

How Great Thou Art

Yesterday we sang in worship the beautiful Hymn How Great Thou Art, in spanish of course, but no matter how many times we sing it I'm still amazed at God's greatness and kindness and mercy and grace. He deserves all the glory and honor and praise and I cannot wait 'till that day we enter into eternity to worship Him and enjoy Him forever.

Note: turn off/Pause the rapping teddy on your right down below, before listening to the song.

In Spanish

Señor mi Dios,
Al contemplar los cielos
El firmamento
Y las estrellas mil
Al oir tu voz
En los potentes truenos
Y ver brillar el sol en su cenit

Mi corazón entona la canción
Cuan grande es Él
Cuan grande es Él
Mi corazón entona la canción
Cuan grande es Él
Cuan grande es Él

Cuándo recuerdo del amor divino
Que desde el cielo al Salvador envío
Aquel Jesús que por salvarme vino
Y en una cruz sufrió por mí y murío

Mi corazón entona la canción
Cuan grande es Él
Cuan grande es Él
Mi corazón entona la canción
Cuan grande es Él
Cuan grande es Él

Cuándo el Señor me llame a Su presencia
Al dulce hogar al cielo de esplendor
Le adoraré cantando la grandeza
De Su poder y su infinito amor

In English

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

"For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord"
Luke 2:11

Today is a wonderful day (although it should be everyday) to remember what took place over 2000 years ago, predestined in eternity past before man had yet to be created. The birth of the awaited Messiah, the Savior, Christ the Lord. It is a day to celebrate not only His birth, while at the same time be humbled by the condition in which the God of the universe was brought into this world, but to celebrate His life, His death and His resurrection. It is a day, if you are a Christian, to thank God for His salvation which by His grace we have received; if you are not a Christian, today is the day of Salvation, a day to look within and see our wretched sinfulness and to look to Jesus the God-man who on the cross bore our sins, received the punishment we deserve, died and on the third day resurrected, so that we through repentance and faith in Him may be saved, and be justified before the Lord. It is a day to spend in prayer whether it be in thanksgiving and/or repentance, a day to celebrate Christ the Lord and saviour. So go spend it as you will but before you do and while you are still on the internet, here are a few articles/videos/blogs you should, I correct myself you must read:
1. The Christmas Story by Dan Phillips
2. Is it dangerous to Celebrate Christmas?: Deconstructing Christmas by Jen Guerriero
3. The Reason for the Season: It's about the Cross by Go Fish (A Video/Song)

4. A Classic: What Christmas is all about by Peanuts

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grace Gems: The Counsel of the Wicked

The counsel of the wicked

(Arthur Pink, "The Blessed Man")

Conversion is the soul's surrender to God, and acceptance of God--as Guide through this world of sin.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.
" Psalm 1:1

Notice exactly how this is expressed--it is not "does not walk in the open wickedness" nor even "the manifest folly of the wicked," but "does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." How searching that is! How it narrows things down!

The ungodly are ever ready to "counsel" the believer, seeming to be very solicitous of his welfare. They will warn him against being too strict and extreme, advising him to be broad-minded and to "make the best of both worlds." But the policy of the "ungodly"--that is, of those who leave God out of their lives, who have no "fear of God"--is regulated by self-will and self-pleasing, and is dominated by what they call "common sense."

Alas, how many professing Christians regulate their lives by the advice and suggestions of ungodly friends and relatives--heeding such "counsel" in their business career, their social life, the furnishing and decorating of their homes, their dress and diet, and the choice of school or avocation for their children!

But not so with the "blessed man." He "does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." Rather is he afraid of it, no matter how plausible it sounds, or apparently good the intention of those who offer it. He shuns it, and says "Get behind me, Satan!"

Why? Because Divine grace has taught him that he has something infinitely better to direct his steps. God has given him a Divine revelation, dictated by unerring wisdom, suited to his every need and circumstance, designed as a "lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path." His desire and his determination is to walk by the wholesome counsel of God, and not by the corrupt counsel of the ungodly.

The "blessed man" does not walk according to the maxims of the world. "But his delight is in the Law of the Lord." "The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God" (Romans 8:7). The worldling seeks his "delight" in the entertainment furnished by those who scorn spiritual and eternal things. Not so the "blessed" man--his "delight" is in something infinitely superior to what this perishing world can supply, namely, in the Divine Scriptures. The unregenerate delight in pleasing self--but the joy of the Christian lies in pleasing God. His Word is the daily bread of the "blessed" man.

"And in His Law, he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). Thereby does he evidence his "delight" therein--for where his treasure is, there is his heart also! Here, then, is the occupation of the blessed man. The voluptuary thinks only of satisfying his senses; the giddy youth is concerned only with sports and pleasures; the man of the world directs all his energies to the securing of wealth and honors; but the "blessed" man's determination is to please God, and in order to obtain a better knowledge of His will, he meditates day and night in His holy Word. Thereby is light obtained, its sweetness extracted, and the soul nourished!

"Your Words were found, and I ate them; and Your Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!" (Jeremiah 15:16). Meditation stands to reading--as digestion does to eating. It is as God's Word is pondered by the mind, turned over and over in the thoughts, and mixed with faith--that we assimilate it. That which most occupies the mind and most constantly engages our thoughts--is what we most "delight" in.

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season." Fruit is an essential character of a gracious man, for there are no fruitless branches in the true Vine. "In season," for all fruits do not appear in the same month, neither are all the graces of the Spirit produced simultaneously.
Times of trial--call for faith.
Times of suffering--call for patience.
Times of disappointment--call for meekness.
Times of danger--call for courage.
Times of blessings--call for thanksgiving.
Times of prosperity--call for joy.

How far, dear reader, do you resemble this "blessed man"?

- Join the Free Grace Gems Mailing List Today! -

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Memorizing Scripture Together

This Week's Fighter Verse

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11

"que os ha nacido hoy, en la ciudad de David, un Salvador, que es CRISTO el Señor."

Lucas 2:11

Last week was a very hectic week for me so I couldn't memorize the verse or post it here, the stress isn't over yet but today I will take the time to do so.

What are we talking about?
The angel is saying that unto they the people, and that includes us, someone was being born.

"For unto you is born

this day

in the city of David

What was born that day in the city of David?
a Saviour,

Who is that?
who is Christ the Lord.

What verse is that?
Luke 2:11

And in Spanish

De qué estamos hablando?
"Que os ha nacido


en la ciudad de David

Que nació en ese día en la ciudad de David?
un Salvador,

Who is that?
que es CRISTO el Señor

Cual versículo es ese?
Lucas 2:11

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Abortion: The Endless Argument

"the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty."
Nahum 1:3

How easily can a simple conversation about children, pregnancies and amniocentesis at the table, can lead to a heated argument over what the judicial system considers is a human being, and when life starts (A man's opinion based on other men's opinions that have been stated as "facts" over a standard created by, yes you guessed right! man). I will state my opinion, which in this postmodern world is just as valid as anyone else's but in the real world doesn't really matter because what matters is Truth (and no, Truth is not relative):
1. Getting an amnio to know if your baby has any type of syndrome just so you can have the option to abort it, as if that life has somehow become worthless, because of the disability he or she may carry, is not just an insult to those who live with a disability, but it is WRONG, and sick.
2. I will say this but praying the Lord will continue to humble me in regards to this issue, people who do that do not deserve to have children, but they are under God's common grace and so who am I to say anything, I too was once a wretched vile trangressor of God's law and I have been showered by God's inmerited favor.
3. The truth is God considers the unborn human already.
4. The truth is God's law states that we are not to murder anyone (born or unborn)
5. The truth is He will by no means clear the guilty.
6. The tuth is we all deserve God's righteous punishment for our sins.
7. The tuth is God is merciful and delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:18) because He is merciful He sent His Son Jesus Christ to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, He died and resurrected beating death and the power of Sin.
8. The truth is if you humble yourself and repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ, the Lord will save you.
9. Do not wait another day!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Grace Gems: Those are not mothers--but monsters!

Those are not mothers--but monsters!

(William Secker, "The Wedding Ring" 1658)

"Train up a child in the way he should go--and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

The goal of the godly mother, is that her children in the flesh--may be God's children in the spirit. A mother should be more careful of her children's pious breeding--than she should be fearful of her children's worldly bearing.

Take heed, lest these flowers grow in the devil's garden! Take heed, that though you bring them out in corruption--yet do not bring them down to damnation! Those are not mothers--but monsters--who while they are teaching their children the way to heaven with their lips--are leading them to hell with their lives!

You let out your efforts to make them great--lift up your prayers to make them godly; that before you die from them--you may see Christ live in them. While these twigs are green and tender--they should be bowed towards God.

Children are in a family--as passengers are in a boat. The husband and wife are as a pair of oars to row them to their desired haven!

Let these small pieces of timber be hewed and squared for the celestial building.

By putting a scepter of grace into their hands--you will set a crown of glory upon their heads! "Train up a child in the way he should go--and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

- Join the Free Grace Gems Mailing List Today! -

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Black Friday to Remember

I wrote this that day after spending a good 5 hours with my friend Jen Guerriero from Reformed Sheology at Dolphin Mall in Miami, FL passing out tracts and witnessing to people:
"Today's evangelism adventure was incredible. I met Jen in front of old Navy, we met in person for the first time. We stood not far from the old navy store and started by handing out Million Dollar Bill Tracts which Jen had brought with her, she had brought 6 packs which we started to hand out and people gladly took them and some even asked for more!
There were a lot of hispanics at the mall, no surprise to us since its Miami, I got to talk to one JW (Jehovah Witness), the lady made me take out my Bible. She was asking why we were doing what we were doing instead of preaching right from the Bible, then she agreed with herself that no one would listen if we did (yeah that and we'd get kicked out of the mall which did happen anyway). I tried to explain to her how we use the tract by asking the "Million dollar question" which is 'Will we get to heaven?' and explained that by looking into the mirror of God's perfect law, the 10 Commandments, we could know how we stand before the Lord. That explanation lead to her telling me that there is no literal hell, we discussed about that for a while, then we argued about people seeking God, I told her that no one sought after God and quoted her Romans 3:10-17, and said that it is God who chooses to save us, she obviously disagreed with me (yes even after I quoted her Romans) she said that God had to have seen something in us to have chosen us. Eventually the lady had to leave and I saw her off quoting Ephesians 2:8-9 right before she left.
Jen got to talk to someone working at the store behind us and also to another random guy who stopped to ask about the tracts we were handing out. After that my aunt, cousins and my cousin's mother in law, neither of whom are Christian, passed by us and Jen handed them some gospel tracts. After that a police officer came over to where we were and very politely asked us to stop handing out whatever we were handing out, Jen asked if we could do so outside and he said we could so. So as we walked to the nearest most populated entrance, the main entrance, to keep me from becoming discouraged Jen told me that she had learned to think tat whenever stuff like that happened she would say to herself "God wants us to be somewhere else" and indeed the Lord wanted us right where He sent us, the main entrance. There we had the opportunity to hand out over a thousand tracts and talk to different people both from the US and outside the US. In total we handed out over 1300 tracts including the ones we handed out inside the mall (All supplied by Jen God bless her!).
While outside we spoke to a man named Cesar from my country, 3 old men from Nicaragua (whom I desperately hope would get a bible or read the gospel of John as I exhorted them, Jen got to give them a spanish gospel tract), 3 young men 1 who is from Haiti and claimed to be a Christian, all the old hispanic ladies who couldn't read the gospel tracts cause they were in enligsh (I forgot to take my gospel of John tracts in spanish to the mall! but that too was for a reason).
But most assuredly the highlight of our day in the midst of it all was a girl who walked up to us and told us that she had felt the need to say that God was pleased with what we were doing and encouraged us to never stop. Jen and I got teary-eyed.
It was an amazing day, the Lord is so so good and my prayer is that those people we witnessed to will seriously consider the things we told them and repent and believe the gospel, who knwows perhaps today was the day the Lord chose to bring repentance to some of them.
The most important thing is the Gospel was faithfully proclaimed and the Lord was glorified and that is what matters most, that He gets all the Glory. What a privilege it always is to be used by Him so that He may be glorified.
On the other hand I was so glad to meet Jen, she's such a sweetheart and an encouragement. I could definitely go out witnessing with her again."

Funny Moment during the day: Jen had some gospel tracts that said in the front page All of What men have learned about women and when you open the little booklet the pages are empty, so we're handing those out only to men, we handed one to each of three guys who walked by us and so we stood at a distance from them and saw them open the booklet, we just started laughing about it and one of the guys said "Hey I'm offended!" Jen told him that its supposed to be an offense to us because we are supposedly so mysterious, and then we pointed them to the back of the booklet which has a gospel presentation, that opened the door for us to witness to them.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Memorizing Scripture Together

So this week is the 2nd week of the "Memorizing Scripture Together" challenge. You can join too at Challies' website! This week's "fighter verse" is:

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Philippians 2:3

"Nada hagáis por contienda o por vanagloria; antes bien con humildad, estimando cada uno a los demás como superiores a él mismo;"
Filipenses 2:3 (Reina-Valera 1960)

Questions to help memorize the verse:
1. What are we talking about?
Doing nothing

2. What about it?
That we should "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit"

3. With what attitude?
"but in humility"

4. We should do what instead?
"count others as more significant than yourself."

5. What verse are we talking about?
Philippians 2:3

En Español:
Preguntas para ayudar a memorizar el versículo:
1. ¿De qué hablamos?
De hacer nada

2. ¿Qué de eso?
Que no "hagais nada por contienda or vanagloria"

3. ¿Con qué actitud?
"antes bien con humildad,"

4. ¿Qué debemos hacer entonces?
"estimando cada uno a los demás como superiores a él mismo;"

5. ¿Cuál es el versículo?
Filipenses 2:3

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Blessing of Thankfulness

This weekend I will be celebrating thanksgiving day in Miami, FL with some extended family, and I thought it would be a good day to be reminded that we have an amazing God deserving of all our thankfulness for He has blessed us all first and foremost with life, secondly by giving us His Son as a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10) so that by His grace through faith those who believe in Him may be saved. (Romans 3). Let us also remember to thank God for even the simplest things as I once said to a dear friend, if there is toothpaste in your bathroom, if you have underwear or clean water, or even a decent plate of food at the table, shoes on your feet never forget to give thanks to the One who owns all things and has provided it all, our amazing and exceedingly kind and loving God.

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."-- Eph 5:20.
"Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually."-- Heb 13:15.

"SOME PEOPLE seem born with a sullen and feverish temper, and it is very difficult for them to brighten into smiles and songs. But whatever our natural disposition may be, if we belong to Christ it is our bounden duty to cultivate a thankful heart. A melancholy person has a bad effect upon others. It is miserable to have to work with or under a confirmed pessimist. Nothing is right, nothing pleases, there is no word of praise or encouragement. Once, when I was at Aden, I watched a gang of Lascars trans-shipping the mails. It was a pleasure to see them, one after another, carrying the bags cheerily because their leader kept them all the time singing as they did their work. If, instead of finding fault with our employees or servants we would look out for things for which we could commend and thank them, we should probably find a miraculous change in their attitude.
The advantage of joy and gladness is that it is a source of strength to the individual soul, and to all others who come within its range, and commends our Christianity! Sidney Smith says: "I once gave a lady two and twenty recipes against melancholy; one was a bright fire; another, to remember all the pleasant things said to her; another, to keep a box of sugar-plums on the chimney-piece, and a kettle simmering on the hob. I thought this mere trifling at the moment, but have in after life discovered how true it is, that these little pleasures often banish melancholy better than more exalted objects." We may interpret the advice of this humorist and essayist by turning into joyous praise all the incidents of our daily life, arising with gratitude and thankfulness from every good and perfect gift to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world is sad, and has to pay her jesters and entertainers; it is a mystery to her that the face of the Christian should be bright and smiling, although the fig-tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit in the vine. Let us count up our treasures and blessings, and we shall find that even in the saddest and loneliest life there is something to turn our sorrow into singing (2Co 6:10).1

Help us, O Lord, to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks. AMEN."

1: Taken from my e-Sword devotional.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grace Gems: Satan's herd of swine!

Satan's herd of swine!

(William Secker, "The Consistent Christian")

"You shall not follow a multitude--to do evil."
Exodus 23:2

The generality of people--are like dead fish,
which float down the stream, wherever it runs.

The 'voice of the people'--is often the voice
of the devil.

Satan's herd of swine--is larger than Christ's
flock of sheep!
Let them be ever so mighty--we
are not to fear them. Let them be ever so many
--we are not to follow them.

If we will not have the people of the world to be
our leaders--we shall be sure to have them as our
troublers. If they cannot seduce us into their evil
ways--they will oppose us in our holy ways. If they
cannot scorch us with their fire--they will try to
blacken us with their smoke. They will speak evil
of us--because we do not run into the same excess
of evil with them. Because we refuse to play the
fool with them--they will say that we are mad.

"Though the people of Israel are as numerous
as the sand on the seashore--only the remnant
will be saved." Romans 9:27. The whole piece
belongs to the Devil--but God cuts off a remnant
for Himself!

The trees of righteousness are thinly
--in the world's orchard.

There are many wicked sinners
--to one godly man!

Pebbles lie abundant in the streets
--but pearls are rare to find.

Sinners are certainly the greatest company
--but they are also the worst company.

Remember, the multitude of people, are like the
droves of cattle
--which go to the slaughter!

Those who follow after others in sinning--will
be sure to follow them in suffering! Alas, the
largeness of the multitude, will not extinguish
the fierceness of the flame! The great number
of those immortal faggots--will but intensify
the fury of the eternal fire! .

- Join the Free Grace Gems Mailing List Today! -

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Memorizing Scripture Together

So this week is the first week of the "Memorizing Scripture Together" challenge. You can join too at Challies' website! This week's "fighter verse" is:

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17

I'll be posting it both in english (ESV) and in spanish (SRV-1960) because I really need to learn verses in spanish...sometimes I'm witnessing to someone and I know the verse in english and have it my head (this used to happen with Hebrews 9:27) and when I tried to translate it in my head to spanish it would sound weird.

"Toda la Escritura es inspirada por Dios, y útil para enseñar, para redargüir, para corregir, para instruir en justicia, a fin de que el hombre de Dios sea perfecto, enteramente preparado para toda buena obra."
2 Timoteo 3:16-17

Questions to help memorize the verse:
1. What are we talking about?
All of Scripture.

2. What about it?
it is breathed out by God.

3. What is it good for?
it is profitable for:
1. teaching
2. reproof
3. correction
4. training in righteousness

4. For what purpose?
That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

5. What verse are we talking about?
2 Timothy 3:16-17

En Español:
Preguntas para ayudar a memorizar el versículo:
1. ¿De qué hablamos?
Toda la Escritura.

2. ¿Qué de ella?
Es inspirada por Dios.

3. ¿Para qué sirve?
Es útil para:
1. Enseñar
2. Redargüir
3. Corregir
4. Instruir en justicia

4. ¿Con qué propósito?
A fin de que el hombre de Dios sea perfecto, enteramente preparado para toda buena obra.

5. ¿Cuál es el versículo?
2 Timoteo 3:16-17

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why I don't like Rob Bell

To treat scripture in such a trite manner...around minute 20:12....ugh.

Recommended Audio: Dan Phillips' Post-Election Sermon (on Galatians, the Cross of Christ and our precious Gospel. A very very awesome sermon!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Embargo Over?

For the first time in all this time will I post something on the political issue, it's a news report I heard today over the radio:
"Bolivian and Brazilian Presidents Call on Barack Obama to Lift Economic Blockade Against Cuba

La Paz, November 5 (RHC)-- Bolivian President Evo Morales and his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, urged U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to lift Washington's economic blockade against Cuba.

Morales said: "We hope Obama will lift Washington's economic blockade against Cuba, in addition to withdrawing U.S. troops from several countries."

For his part, Lula highlighted that Washington's anti-Cuba policy "does not make sense." Peruvian opposition leader Ollanta Humala made a similar statement.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by Venezuela's Foreign Ministry characterized the results of the U.S. election as "historic" and President Hugo Chavez congratulated President-elect Obama "for his important victory."

Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Uruguay's Tabaré Vásquez and Chile's Michelle Bachelet sent their congratulations to the newly elected president of the United States, who will take office in January next year.

Several European leaders greeted Obama's victory and called for a strengthening of relations between the United States and the so-called Old Continent.

Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his counterpart from Ireland Brian Cowen, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also congratulated the first African American president of the United States.

Chinese President Hu Jiantao, expressed his country's hopes that Obama can strengthen cooperation between both nations and stressed that the U.S. election opens a new stage for the country. "

Not only do I hope he does that, but he better remove that blockade since he's a socialist and soooo many people are embracing socialism with absolutely no problem, to not remove it would be very hypocrite of him. I wonder though if that does happen, what will the Cuban community living in the US and other parts of the world do? will they stay where they are? will they go back? Just my 2 cents.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grace Gems: Our sins--His mercies

Our sins--His mercies

< (Letters of John Newton)

"Where sin abounded--grace did much
more abound!" Romans 5:20

March 18, 1767.
Dear friend,
You have one hard lesson to learn, that is--the evil of your own heart. You know something of it--but it is needful that you should know more; for the more we know of ourselves--the more we shall prize and love Jesus and His salvation. The more you know Him--the better you will trust Him. The more you trust Him--the better you will love Him. The more you love Him--the better you will serve Him. This is God's way. You are not called to buy--but to beg; not to be strong in yourself--but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. He is teaching you these things, and I trust he will teach you to the end.

Do not be surprised to find yourself poor, helpless, and vile. All whom God favors and teaches--will find themselves so. The more grace increases--the more we shall see to abase us in our own eyes!

I hope what you find in yourself by daily experience, will humble you--but not discourage you. For if our Physician is almighty--our disease cannot be desperate. Our sins are many--but His mercies are more. Our sins are great--but His righteousness is greater. When our sins prevail, remember that we have an Advocate with the Father, who is able to pity, to pardon, and to save to the uttermost! Think of the names and relations which Jesus bears to us. Does He not call Himself--a Savior, a Shepherd, a Friend, and a Husband? Has He not made known unto us His love, His atoning sacrifice, His righteousness, His promises, His power, and His grace--and all for our encouragement? It is better to be admiring the compassion and fullness of grace which is in our Savior--than to dwell and pore too much upon our own poverty and vileness.

Remember that He has loved you with an everlasting love--and therefore in loving-kindness has drawn you to Himself. He will surely accomplish that which He has begun. Nothing which can be named or thought of--shall ever be able to separate you from Him! This persuasion will give you strength for the battle! This is the shield which will quench the fiery darts of Satan! This is the helmet which the enemy cannot pierce! Be strong, therefore--not in yourself--but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Remember, the growth of a believer is not like a mushroom--but like an oak, which increases slowly indeed--but surely. Many suns, showers, and frosts, pass upon it before it comes to perfection. And in winter, when it seems to be dead--it is gathering strength at the root. Be humble, watchful, and diligent in the means, and endeavor to look through all, and fix your eye upon Jesus--and all shall be well. I commend you to the care of the good Shepherd.

- Join the Free Grace Gems Mailing List Today! -

Thursday, November 06, 2008

18 Minutes with James White

Two Psalms to Meditate on Today

Psalm 135

Praise the LORD!
Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD,
who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God!
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.
For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast;
who in your midst, O Egypt, sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants; who struck down many nations and killed mighty kings, Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan, and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.
Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths.
Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them!
O house of Israel, bless the LORD! O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!
O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
Blessed be the LORD from Zion, he who dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD!

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever;
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever;
but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who struck down great kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and killed mighty kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;
Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and Og, king of Bashan, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and gave their land as a heritage, for his steadfast love endures forever;
a heritage to Israel his servant, for his steadfast love endures forever.
It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever;
he who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

After saying 26 times that God's steadfast love, or mercy as it is written in other translations, endures forever you'd think the Psalmist is trying to tell us something huh? How have you seen God's steadfast love made manifest in your life? God has left us His Word, the Bible, with countless stories of His mercy, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness. Our God is good and He is in control of all things! So rest in Him and Him alone and dwell in His word which He has left us. Don't forget to Praise Him and Thank Him for His blessings, for His afflictions and for His steadfast love and faithfulness which endure forever!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Compassion International in Dominican Republic

Don't miss this one!

Tim Challies and other bloggers were chosen by Compassion International for a one week tour here in my lovely country, the Dominican Republic, to show them the work they do here, the children they sponsor and all about their sponsorship program and the future of these kids.
"Compassion began work in the Dominican Republic in 1970. There are more than 22,000 children in 122 projects in the country."
"Compassion works to free children from such poverty through its education programs."
"In the midst of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic has one of the hottest tourist scenes in the world. But prosperity doesn't reign. The poorest half of the population receive less than one-fifth of the national income, while the richest 10 percent enjoy 40 percent of the national income."
So join them in their journey and perhaps after reading about what they have learned and seen and experienced, you might be moved to sponsor a child, or confronted to see what you can do about the poor and downtrodden in your country, in your city or town.

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
James 1:27

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Mighty Fortress Is our God

I've had this song in my heart and lips all day long. Enjoy and rejoice! :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Letters of Grace: On Predestination

Rita, a born again Christian not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead, to E. my brother in the faith and the brethren who follow suit:
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all."1

Brethren I will never tire of reminding you that
"Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases." (Psalms 115:3)
"those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."2

Oh Beloved I speak to you the truth in Christ concerning this teaching, once there was anguish in my heart until the Lord brought forth light and discernment through the Holy Spirit, who now dwells in me, and in His Holy word showed me this:

"As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'" "And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'" And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay." And as Isaiah predicted, "If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah." What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."3

Brethren listen now,
"Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob"; "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned them all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on them all."4
Be not mistaken though, God has consigned them all as in both gentile and Jews that are to be saved, not all of mankind. 5
Oh but beloved of mine rest assured in this,
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." 6

I appeal to all who are struggling with this doctrine, the doctrine of Predestination, forsake now what you've heard from men, and "words of the Lord" and dreams IF what you've heard contradicts what is clearly stated in the word of God. Brethren God has given us His word, what we have come to know and love and cherish and dwell upon as the Holy Scriptures the 66 books comprising the Old and New Testament, read His word, meditate on it, be like the Bereans. Remember also to pray without ceasing.
"Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved."

All emphasis are mine, books I cited:
1. Ephesians 1
2. Romans 8
3. Romans 9
4,6. Romans 11
5. Commentary: See Galatians 3:22

When I survey the Wondrous Cross

What privilege have we to be called sons and daughters of the Almighty God by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone for the glory of God alone. Take this moment to thank such a merciful, loving and amazing God!

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." Gal 1:3-5

Commemorating the Reformation

In my church every year all throughout the month of October we commemorate the protestant Reformation which began after Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door of the church at Wittenburg.
"October 31, one week from today, will mark the 491st anniversary of the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenburg. In so doing he struck a match, beginning a fire that quickly spread throughout Europe and throughout the world. Having become increasingly disillusioned with the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and in particular the sale of indulgences, Luther wrote his Theses to try to begin the process of reform. While he was unable to bring reform to the church, he did trigger the Protestant Reformation by rediscovering the Gospel—the good news of salvation by grace through faith. The Reformation had profound influence in politics, art, literature and theology—while it was at its heart a Christian movement, it impacted all areas of society. That seemingly insignificant act is, in reality, one of the defining points of history."1

For the past 4 weeks different pastors from both my church and the IBSJ (Biblical Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, Iglesia Biblica del Señor Jesucristo) have preached on the Five Solas of the reformation: Solo Christo (1 Timothy 2:5-6; Colossians 1:13-18), Sola Gratia (Ephesians 1:3-8), Sola Fide (Galatians 3:6-11), Sola Scritura (Psalm 119:18; Psalm 138:2; 2 Timothy 3:14-17), Soli Deo Gloria (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:11; Revelation 1:6; 2 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 7:12; Romans 11:36). The celebration culminates this week with various activities that will be going on: this Wednesday there will be a play depicting what occurred over 400 years ago, on Friday the youth group for professionals will continue a debate on the reformation they began the first Friday of this month, Saturday the youth group for University students will have a sort of debate on the reformation and finally on Sunday our senior Pastor Miguel Nuñez will end the Five Solas series with the last sola: Soli Deo Gloria.
It has been quite an eventful month and a delight to be reminded of what our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith went through and how far they went to contend for the faith, Christ truly was their all in all and they like Paul took a stand and counted everything as a loss for Christ. To them truly death was gain and life Christ, my hope and prayer is that we may live a life worthy of the gospel as they did in our day to day, in the little things (like obedience to mom and dad) as well as in the big ones whatever those may be.

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."

Friday, October 24, 2008

When Dealing with a Critical Spirit

I was listening to Revive our Hearts today and Nancy said this quote by Spurgeon which convicted me so much because I often struggle with a critical Spirit, but time and time again the Lord reminds me that it is by His grace (unmerited favor) that I am who I am.

"He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it. When our virtues become more mature, we shall not be more tolerant of evil; but we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for the people of God, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms." - C.H. Spurgeon

Recommended Audio: God's Beautiful Design for Women: Living Out Titus 2:1-5 Part 24

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grace Gems: Worldly Losses

Worldly losses

(J. R. Miller, "Living Without Worry")

If we have God--no other loss is irreparable! There is surely enough in God's love, to compensate a thousand times for every earthly deprivation! Our lives may be stripped bare--home, friends, riches, comforts, every sweet voice of love, every note of joy--and we may be driven out from brightness and music and tenderness and shelter--into the cold ways of sorrow. Yet if we have God Himself left--ought it not to suffice? Yes, is not He Himself infinitely more than all His gifts?

Often we do not learn the depth and riches of God's love, and the sweetness of His presence--until earthly joys vanish out of our hands, and beloved ones fade away out of sight. The loss of temporal things empties our hearts--to receive spiritual and eternal things! The
sweeping away of earthly hopes--reveals the glory of our heart's refuge in God. "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have
called you by name; you are Mine! When you go
through deep waters and great trouble, I will be
with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown! When you walk through the
fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the
flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord,
your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!"
Isaiah 43:1-3

- Join the Free Grace Gems Mailing List Today! -

God's Faithfulness

This morning I woke up at my friend Mabel's home. I sat in front of her computer as I waited for her to come out of her parents room where she spent the night. As I waited I found myself staring at a framed drawing of her as a little girl and her mom who was drawn with a glowing and joy-filled face. I could only think of Psalm 113 v.9 which says:
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!

Hallelujah indeed! After having tried everything for 7 years Mabel's mom was ready to give up but the Lord blessed her with a child and made her the joyous mother of a daughter. The Lord is faithful and it fills my heart with joy to know that His faithfulness is everlasting (Psalm 117:2) and humbles me to know that even when we are not faithful to Him he remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).
So I join David in his psalm when he proclaims:

"Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!" Psalm 113:2-4

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thanksgiving in Miami

I need help! I'll be spending thanksgiving day and weekend in Miami with my cousin and her husband's family and there are three items I'd like to buy but have no clue, and I'm sure they'll have no clue as well, where to buy them so ATTENTION all Christians (or anyone who might know) in Miami where can I get the following:

1. An Electronics Store where I can buy this item (if it has the shape of a microphone even better :D i.e. ) ?
2. A MUSIC STORE where I can buy CD's by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Sovereign Grace Music?
3. A Christian Book Store where I can buy the ESV Bible study?

This post will be up up until a few days before my trip, I leave november 26th. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Six Lessons

So I was tagged by Stephanie owner of the lovely and wisdom-filled blog Thirsty Soul, yay! I love these thingies so feel free to tag me any time, this time I'm asked to list 6 things I have learned this year:
1. One important lesson I learned this year is found in the lines of a certain song and it goes like this: "In my uncertainty your word is all I need, to know you're with me every day."
2. I've learned the importance of being obedient to my parents at all times, even more so if I want to be a faithful witness to them of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in my life.
3. I learned that to be satisfied in Christ alone and again Here.
4. To be thankful of the blessings the Lord has showered me with, meditate on this: His mercies are new everyday. (Lam 3:22-23)
5. To put to death by the Holy Spirit the sin of murmuring against others, Philippians 2:14-16 in the ESV says: "Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain."
6. I also learned or at least have been learning since the day He saved me that: "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Friday, October 17, 2008

Making a Covenant with God

Sweet providence? I was reading some posts at Dan Phillips' blog which caught my attention, one of them was THE least-heard marriage truth And then I click on my e-sword software to look for some scripture and today's devotional is the following:


"We make a sure covenant, and write it."-- Neh_9:38.
"He is the Mediator of a better covenant."-- Heb_8:6.

IT IS good for a soul to make a covenant with God. On his twenty-third birthday Milton wrote these memorable words:

"Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me and the will of Heaven.
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Taskmaster's eye."

This was his covenant with God; and through all the years, now in his prime under Cromwell, and again in his lovely old age under Charles II, he never swerved from the path he had selected.
Who can forget those magnificent lines of Wordsworth, which tell how he was returning from a village merry-making, which had lasted through the night, and lo, the glory of a summer-dawn was breaking over the hills! He describes its beauty, and adds:

"Vows were made for me,
That I should be, else sinning greatly,
A dedicated spirit."

There are certain principles outlined in these chapters in Nehemiah, which may well be included in our covenant with God:
(1) Never to allow anything in private or business life which is not in keeping with the high ideals of the Bible.
(2) To set aside a certain proportion of our income and time for the maintenance of the Work and House of God.
(3) To observe the Rest-Day.
But a covenant is between two. No resolution of ours is strong enough to keep us true. The most fervent protestations and vows may fail us in the day of trial, and our covenants are permanent only so far as God is party to them. But if Jesus is our Co-Signatory, there will be a safe-guard and certainty which all the powers of evil will not be able to overthrow.
Livingstone's covenant with God was that he might heal the open plague-spot of the Arab slave-trade. A covenant like this, in some cases, has been signed with blood. This was D. L. Moody's prayer, as a young man: "Great God, let the world learn, through my life, what Thou canst do by a man wholly devoted to Thee!"

We present to Thee, O God, ourselves to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, our reasonable service. Fulfil through us the good pleasure of Thy goodness, and the work of faith with power. AMEN.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Lesson of the day:
Obedience is not only doing what you are told when you are told, it is doing things before you're even told to do them, not only because it will please the other person, but because obedience is pleasing to God.

"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord." - Col. 3:20

Just so everyone understands where I'm coming from, if you know your parents like to see your room all neat and tidy, for example, don't wait for them to tell you "son/daughter please go clean your room", have it clean and tidy before they even come home from work or wherever.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Hurting Body and a Brother's Enduring Love

I always love getting these stories from GFA they are an encouragement to me and I'm posting this one in hopes it'll encourage others. If there is one thing I have learned as a Christian is to be patient, and to continue in my prayers for the salvation of those near and far. There are times when we witness to someone and pray for their salvation but the hardness of heart continues and this can be quite discouraging. There is a lesson that we need to learn first: that God is who saves and the Holy Spirit who regenerates the soul not us, our duty is to proclaim the Good News.

A Hurting Body and a Brother's Enduring Love

Through the persevering prayers of His people, God is transforming lives in India every day.

It took excruciating physical pain for Baskar to consider the Gospel. But when he did, it changed the course of his life.

The young man in his late 20s had grown up in a very poor family in Karnataka, India. His parents passed away when he was only a child. Baskar's family's financial condition did not allow him to continue school past the seventh grade.

Like others who lived in their village, Baskar, his brother and sister worshipped created elements: cows, trees, monkeys and snakes. They also believed in witchcraft.

Baskar's brother, Chinnam, later married a woman named Sarita and settled in neighboring Goa. One day, he brought Baskar to live there, too, so he could find a job. Baskar came reluctantly because he knew Chinnam and his family had become Christians. He made it very clear up front that he had no interest in leaving his ways and embracing the Christian faith.

During family prayer times, Baskar would get angry and walk out.

But strengthened in their faith by their times with the Lord and by attending their church, where Gospel for Asia missionary Emmanuel was pastor, Chinnam and Sarita reached out to Baskar and prayed fervently for his salvation.

They also invited Baskar to church with them, but he did not want to go. Baskar's heart seemed hard. But his brother and sister-in-law refused to let him go on without Jesus.

Then one day, Baskar suddenly experienced pain on one side of his body. The pain was especially severe in his leg. Baskar's condition only grew worse each day, and his brother spent a considerable amount of money on his treatment. Yet it did no good. The doctors were baffled: They had been able to help others with the same symptoms, but for some reason, the same treatment wasn't helping Baskar.

Baskar finally hit the point of desperation. He asked his brother to pray for him. Chimman had his pastor, Emmanuel, and some other Christians from the church over to pray for Baskar. He also encouraged his brother to believe in Jesus. After they prayed, Baskar discovered that his health was improving.

After a week, Baskar could sit up and stand. Slowly, he began to get better until he was completely healed!

Baskar's heart softened as he saw that God had done what none of his doctors could. He chose to trust in Jesus as Savior.

Baskar attends church regularly and thanks the Lord for His healing touch—both physical and spiritual. His life has taken on new meaning as he has found hope. He desires to complete studies at a GFA Bible college to be better equipped to serve the Lord.

Pray that Baskar will continue to grow in his faith and that God will use him to proclaim to many the hope he has found.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Grace Gems: The World's Theology

The world's theology

(by James Montgomery Boice)

The world's theology is easy to define.
It is the view . . .
that human beings are basically good,
that no one is really lost,
that belief in Jesus Christ is not necessary for salvation.

"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."
Romans 1:22

- Join the Free Grace Gems Mailing List Today! -

This is so true I have asked quite a number of people if they would consider themselves to be good people and I'd say 98% consider themselves to be good. Ask one person today and take that chance to take the person through the ten commandments and in a gracious manner let them see the truth that God sees us as sinners and unless we repent and put our faith in Christ, if we die as sinners counting on our own righteousness hell is what awaits us.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Disobedience: A Humbling Experience

I was helping little Robert with his homework today and it was going so well, he had to look for and paste words that start with the letters m and a (in that order). He would look for the words and I would cut them out and paste them on his notebook, seemingly a simple task. After a while and as it is expected, he started to get really distracted with just about anything but I tried to quiet him down and get him to pay attention. At one point he went to the bathroom and came back, I asked if he had washed his hands (always ask children this) he was honest and said no (I was so happy to know that he chose not to lie, don't be surprised children DO lie) and then said he would do so immediately. He came back again drew his hands near the tip of my nose and said "all done" I smelled his hands and said "hmmm nice" well that gave him the crazy idea of wanting to go back and put some cologne on (he likes to dress nice and smell nice so people will compliment him..what a kid!) but I told him not to, I told him to save it for tomorrow when going to school. Of course after that he was really discouraged and not interested at all in continuing the homework. After struggling with him for a while, he went to throw something to the trash as an excuse of course because when he came back he drew his palm near my nose again and it smelled like cologne. I was so disappointed, so sad that he would disobey me like that and expressed my feelings of disappointment for his disobedience. Why this very long and perhaps boring story? Because in that moment I thought, *gasp* I'm disappointed for his disobedience! wow what does the Lord feel whenever WE disobey!
What a humbling moment and a thought to stay with me for a lifetime. I'm not a parent yet, but this is one of those moments the Lord has allowed me to have for growth and preparation for the future.
Lord forgive us for our disobedience, especially me!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Preaching the Gospel to: Believers

On my way home from the hospital, in the bus I usually take whenever I have a shift, I sat beside a woman whom I suspected to be a Christian. I waited quietly hoping she'd witness to me, but she remained silent staring out the window (which I have been guilty of doing as well many times before) I thought perhaps I should witness to her because a person might have the "evangelical" look and even lingo and probably not be saved. Jesus tells us in His word that many will come to Him and say "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?" and the Lord will reply "depart from me...I never knew you"(Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 13:24-30), this tells us that there are people that will look and act like Christians yet there hearts will be very far from the Lord. For this reason, don't think that just because someone professes faith in Christ they're born again. So I asked, "are you a Christian?" she said yes, and then I thought I'd do what Todd and Ray and the rest of the gang do when encountering a professing Christian, I asked her what I needed to do to be saved. I got the standard "well just accept Jesus into your heart and do what the Bible says" I then explained to her repentance and faith in Christ, to which she agreed and said some things indicating she understood the concept. It was just another case of a Christian with bad Christianese. We had a great conversation over evangelism, Christ and some Bible verses. It was great meeting a fellow Christian, my hope and prayer is that the conversation will trigger her and me to get out of our comfort zones and preach the gospel to someone, even that person sitting next to us on the bus.
When witnessing let Romans 1:16 be our encouragement and verse:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.