Saturday, December 13, 2008

Before the Christmas post!

Wow, so much has happened in three weeks, where do I begin?

Well, let me tell you about the 1/2 Marathon. Francisco and I flew to Philadelphia on the 21st. It was snowing when we arrived, it was beautiful! We had reservations at Residence Inn in downtown and my room was in a corner, so I could see the City hall and the Macy's building.
We went to have lunch at the market place and later we went to the convention center to pick up our goods for the 1/2 Marathon.
After that, we walked around and took a city tour, it was awesome! At night, we went for a run, brrrrrr! It was cold!!! 
The next morning because of sleepy head, we almost missed our super breakfast, Belgium Waffles!! When you stay at the Residence Inn, breakfast is included.They have WAFFLES, you can make your own and eat as many as you want!! At noon we went shopping for more layers, the Floridians could not run 13.1 miles without the proper gear. We walked around the city and visited the Bell of Liberty. Of all the things and places we visited, it just struck me how this nation used to be so closed to God and now it feels like they never knew God and that God is something new that is being imposed by the church....I think many people don't take history class at school, it should be required! Anyway; The city is just amazing and inspiring.
On Saturday night it was the traditional Pasta time before the Marathon. So, we headed again to the convention center and we had pasta with all the other runners. When we were having dinner among the other runners, I noticed a little girl, her name is Julia. Her entire family was wearing t-shirts "run for Julia". Julia is one of the many kids that struggles with cancer. So we approach their table as we were leaving the convention center and we offered to pray for Julia and to run for her the next day. We promised that we would be praying for her health and comfort of the family, for the next 6 months.
Taaaraaahn, 5:15 A.M. it was time to wake up! We dressed up and headed out. At that time we didn't know but the temperature was 21 degrees! I guess it did not matter, I was determined to run and if I was not, Francisco was. It was an amazing experience. At 6:00 A.M. there were about 15000 people on the streets of Philadelphia! The Mayor was there at the start line and it was such a rush being there waiting for the sun to show up and hear the sound of the start mark. At 7:00 A.M. Rocky's music was playing and all the 18000 participants were jumping and shouting..The excitement was building up!! 
We started at the museum of art and on that avenue they do have all the flags of every country on the world. Perhaps you can see them on the picture. As I ran by each flag, I thought of Matthew 28:19 therefore go and make disciples of all nations, our journey with Christ has that purpose, doesn't it?! Well, check the video but come back to read more, you don't want to miss the story...video moment ..
It was very emotional for me, I had been preparing for this for so long and finally I was going to run! Francisco was right next to me and he was cheering me up and encouraging. And then, there it was, majestic, vibrant, lighting up the city- we were both speechless, the sun came up at last! the city looked amazing. The Marathon runners left by that time and now it was our turn. People around us were gathering and we stepped on the side, we prayed and invited Jesus to come along with us. Then we Hi five the mayor of the city and we started our race!
I can tell you that the scenery was just super great, I tried to enjoy the route instead of focusing on the cold. That was hard to do but I had a great cheerleader next to me. Francisco was constantly asking me how I was feeling, if everything was alright with me and he reassured me that I could do this. I was happy, that at least one of us knew that we were going to finish and that I could do it! We made a list of the things we wished to pray for that are important to us and each mile we dedicated prayer to one item at the time. Julia was one of them, she is still in my heart, can I invite you to pray for her health and for comfort and strength for the family?

Our race in life is pretty much the same I figured, along the way we have strangers that will cheer us, next to us we have a special friend in life that believes you are a better and stronger person then you think you are. At many points you feel like you want to quit. Nevertheless at one point, quitting is no longer an option but a bad idea! At some points the body feels like giving up, but then you have to open your eyes and see the journey and look at the scenery and not to the problem and you find the strength out of the living word that refreshes your soul and you can see the finish line. At this point nothing can get in the way. Your perseverance and determination push you through. Lets check out another video moment.. but come back!
Some were running for the people they love, others for their family members who lack of health, others run to find strength in their life, I was running for Christ, my medal is for him.
We ran 3 hours and 22 minutes and then we crossed the finish line. Yeah, Jesus granted me endurance and we did it!!
Weeks after the Marathon, I am still enjoying every moment of it. It is the passion, the endurance of the body, the training, the determination of the people to accomplish a goal; getting to the finish line. We were all one body going for the reward, we all knew there can be just a few winners but still we all wanted to finish the race. Here is a glimpse of the emotions at the finish line, lets take a look video moment..

Hebrews 12:1
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 
I hope that you could live and enjoy a little bit of what we experienced in Philadelphia.

Thank you guys for all your prayers. I can never thank Francisco enough for training me and for being next to me during this race, he was like my guarding Angel, without him, I could not have done it on my own. To God all the glory!
Thank you Jesus and Thank you Francisco, thank you for all the answered prayers!
I love you all!
Julieta

Friday, November 14, 2008

Two weeks notice!

Wow! One would say that two weeks is not much but boy have we had many important events taking place.
In the second week of October FRC Doral kicked off the Gears and we began an awesome journey with Dr. David Lema. Not only do we come together every Sunday but we are learning the basic things with regards to the Bible and its content. We are getting familiar with the Living Word and with the our brothers and sisters in Christ. We pray that our lord will continue to facilitate these great programs in order for us to reach our God potential!
We were told to wear these t-shirts, everyone had to wear theirs, but no one did obey. Yes, we were the only two goofy ones walking around with their t-shirts. Life is very much the same, at times we obey God but our surroundings make us feel goofy. Don't pay attention, obey and don't look at your right or left, focus to where does your help come from.... Psalm 121: 1-3 I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth!

Lets see, well, before November dropped in, we celebrated Annette's birthday on October 30th, we had much fun singing and eating the cake. What a fine lady she is, she has as many problems as any of us yet she is always smiling, always at her best to honor Jesus.Happy Birthday, may we be blessed with many more years with you Annette!
On the 31st of October, the parking lot at FRC Cooper was transformed into a playground for all the special children in our communities, they are special children because they teach us to share and to open our hearts and and love them as Jesus does. What a great difference you are making in the live of so many by sharing your resources and your time, You Go guys! God bless you abundantly!

On the 4th of November I am sure we all were hammered in front of the TV to follow the elections. Any result would have been history in the making but there could be just one president. Barack Obama was elected the next President of the United states of America. We pray that God will guide our President and give us the wisdom to understand that the Spirit of the Lord dwells in our country and that He is in total control. When politics don't address some issues " correctly", we, all of us, have the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel and do as we say by speaking with much love to make our point in issues, like pro-life. Hope is not lost. Lets make a difference not only by voting but by living that vote. Lets not just choose a president for what he says that he will do, but lets work together whether he does what he says or not. We work the floor every day, we are on the streets, we have contact with people every day. We see teenagers trowing their lives away with drugs and alcohol and yet, we manage to go to church on Sunday and occasionally share the gospel with someone. We pray when we have time and we hide Christ when we take an incorrect attitude. With that attitude we will not change not even the dog behavior, together we can make it happen, lets get organized and make a Kingdom difference. When it is our turn to proclaim the Gospel, lets all say, Yes we can and walk in the truth!

Then came the staff meeting at Cooper City and we can't say much other then it was off the hook! Pastor Troy did it again! God bless- him and every Pastor in the house and their families, that includes US. We met Pastor Troy and Stephanie in the greenroom at Cooper city at 6:15 P.M. he was kind and loving as always, most of us rushed and did the impossible to be there, still things out of our control like traffic didn't allow many us to be there on time. But when we were there, we were there a 100% with a heart filled with joy and fire for God. We are all very excited and grateful for the opportunity to share and worship God at the One Church Where you Are. Thank you Pastor Allen and Sharon for being there with us and making all this happen. Also thank you for the Yummy bites you provided that night. Thank you Pastor Troy & family for your generosity in giving your trust and for sharing your resources with us-Thank you for believing in Doral!
Thank you FRC Cooper City for your hospitality, God bless you!

I am only 8 days away from running my first 1/2 Marathon, I can't believe this. Francisco has been a great coach and an awesome friend. He has been there with me, cheering me and challenging me so that I can reach my goal. He believes I can do it and that is exactly what Jesus thinks of my Christian life, he thinks I can do it and walk in the path he has laid for me. So this race, very much represents in a way my walk with Christ. The race where we get weary and tired of running, the one race we often think we will not make it, yet Jesus is there for us all the time to help us complete it. and it is also great to have Friends to cheer us along the way, make sure you have people to cheer for. Hebrew 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
These will be the longest and slowest 13.1 miles that Francisco will run(because of me), he is running next Sunday with me in Philly just to encourage me during the race, isn't that awesome!!! What friend does that?!Thank you Francisco, thank you for believing in me.
I am doing my best to follow all the instructions I get from my mentor in running and I feel ready to praise God and honor him with this 1/2 marathon, it is all for the glory of my best friend...Jesus!

Francisco got his exam questions for his PhD candidacy today November 14, 2008. As i am writing, he is writing his answers. This part is all God's plan for him and so no doubt the Lord will sent angels from above to guide him and instruct him during this important period for Francisco. You are well prepared and with the Lord by your side, what can go wrong? We your Friends are keeping you in prayers! Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Stay tune, for Thanksgiving week!
Pray for the body of Christ, for all of us who enjoy our privilege to worship freely and for those who are persecuted because of their confession of faith.
Praise the Lord for his mercy and grace is given to us by Christ Jesus, Savior and Lord!

Blessings,
Julieta & Francisco
FRC Friends

Monday, October 27, 2008

What does it mean to do life together?

When we say that we do church together and when we hear our church leaders say, we do life together and we connect with people, what does it really mean for you?
When you think of the group of people with whom you do life with, are you really sharing life with them?
we are Christians and the bible tells us to Love one another, right? Do we really love each other? Or at least care for one another?
John 13:34-35
34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

These days it has just become more obvious that there is a talk in church about the idea that they are actually sharing life but this is almost a lie just because it is not truly the truth. Well, if it is so that people care for each other, how come they don't know each others last name very often and how come they don't know where some of the people who attend church work? How disconnected is it that people truly are that they don't know birthdays and anniversaries? Many church communities desire to be multicultural but they don't know which nationality or ethnic group is the majority of their church and what is their culture? So many times they encounter a disconnection with the church members and life is no longer "shared" in communion.

The Ministries of most churches lack of volunteers, yet the leadership perhaps doesn't evaluate the respect and gratitude level they do express to those volunteers. Volunteers are persons that out of the love for their Lord and obedience, they come forward and make themselves available to God and offer some additional time of their schedule without asking for pay in return of course. Yet many times they are confronted with disrespect and little appreciation from the staff members who don't have the budget to invest in more employees. Unfortunately people get discourage because instead of having people around them to celebrate the "little" efforts from their part, they critisize the volunteer for the little they do and demand more of them.
Wow! Where did that come from? To say a good word for the leadership, many Ministry leaders care for their volunteers and love the input they bring to the church. Many times it is not that they demand more of you but they try to challenge you so that you can grow in your spiritual life with Christ. They are cheerleaders that push you a bit to reach further out your God given potential.
But, indeed there must be a balance between the two extremes, where volunteers are respected and leaders can express their love and gratitude properly. All in a way that both ends feel that they are truly sharing life. Both leaders and volunteers grow on the process of doing ministry together. Isn't that a beautiful thing? Serving as a volunteer, gives you the privilege to have a mentor while you are serving with them but you can also at all times call on them when you most need them. They count on you to serve and you count on them to guide you through the hard times of life.

Now what about church members, are they connected to other church members? Do you know the lady that stands at the door every Sunday? Did you know that she has two children and she recently lost her job? No you don't. Do you make an effort to know if they need prayer? Have you noticed the gentleman at the elder ministry, who is smiling all the time, do you know that his grandfather passed away?
Unless people ask us to pray for them is it that we turn around and act upon request. Most of the times we pretend that everyone around us is happy, including ourselves and unless they say if there is anything wrong we would not notice. Is it because people don't speak up when they hurt or is it that we don't have our radars on alert to identify when a brother or a sister is hurting.
Let me give you something to think about, not very nice thought but think about this. Most of the people who commit suicide are "happy" people. No one around them ever understands what happen or what could have triggered suicide because they were most convinced that the person was happy person.....

Lets express our Love and let our encouragement be sincere to one another. Lets cheer the little efforts and the big accomplishments because they are all for God's glory. Let us not despite each other and lets be aware of each others needs, ask our Lord to give you that discernment for those in need and do something about it.

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. But lets do this as one body, the Body of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. This is the true meaning of doing life together, embrace it and lets live it!
Romans 12:3-5(NIV)
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Lets serve as He served,
in a humble way and with a zealeous heart at all times...

Monday, October 13, 2008

--------------IN THE DUST IF THE RABBI - THE VERY WORD OF GOD

IN THE DUST OF THE RABBI
For four weeks we have learned what it was like to be called by Jesus and to follow Jesus to be his disciple.
We have learned about the culture of the time after Jesus' resurrection.
We have learned how the first Christians faced their new lives as disciples in the Roman-Greek societies.
Be ready to uncover our last session of this series, " The very words of God".
Are you ready to hear God's word? Are you ready to be in the dust of the feet of Jesus Christ?
Soon we will visit the Holy Land experience in Orlando,
we promise you it won't take us 40 years to get there.
Be ready, be excited, be there!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

-----SOS--Pray for the persecuted Christians

The problem in the area of Orissa:
Voice Of the Martyrs contacts report more than 50 homes belonging to Christians have been reportedly burned to the ground by extremists in the village of Rupagaon, Kandhamal alone. "A paralyzed man was unable to escape his burning house and was killed. Houses have also been ransacked, pelted with stones and vandalized throughout the state. Christian-owned shops have been torched and looted. Many Christians have fled their homes and are seeking refuge in the jungle. Although police have attempted to protect Christians and end the attacks in Orissa, the violence has continued to occur. Militant groups have blocked roads with logs in order to keep the police away. Christian groups continue to beseech government authorities to intervene and end the violence," VOM contacts added. Click here to go to www.persecution.com
For more on these attacks, click here , your discretion is advise.

The voice of the victims:
All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in house and burned them to death. Many believers have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road.... even women and children. At another orphanage run by another organization, when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: "We stay with our kids.... we live together or die together, but we will never abandon what God has called us to do." More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen. This will continue for another 10 days.... supposedly the 14 day mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down. The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God can calm this storm. None of us know the meaning of persecution. But now our kids and staff know what that means.

Their request to you:
We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order to live for His Kingdom. The next 10 days are crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on and help us to get as many people to partner with us on this cutting edge effort to fulfill His mandate: Go and make disciples of all nations.... Prayer works!
Blessings, Chip & Sandy Wanner
Col 2:2 MBI -
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
...............................................................................................................................................................

Hey guys,
We encourage you to include them in your daily prayers, these brothers and sisters in Christ are going through a horrible time. May God protect them and let us lift them in our prayers.

Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
To obtain the entire letter of Chip & Sandy, send us an email with the subject: Prayer request for Orissa.
Blessings,
Julieta-Francisco

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stay connected in your FRC Community!

Friends!

We have a great announcement guys!
Flamingo Road Church is inviting you to shift GEARS.
This coming Wednesday night at 7:00 P.M., instead of going to Francisco's place we will meet at our Doral Campus.
Pastor Troy will be leading this CORE class live from Cooper City. Pastor Allen and Pastor Lema will be on campus to answer any questions with regards to the GEAR classes. During this class, Pastor Troy will give you a glimpse of the past, present and future of FRC.
After that we can perhaps all go and have a bite together and enjoy each other's company. Let be there as the Friends group that we are. Be there!

To help us to "Reach our God potential", Flamingo Road Chruch Doral will also facilitate spiritual formation classes given by Pastor Lema. See the schedule below, we will forward you the exact dates soon.These classes will help your spiritual growth and shape you into the man and woman that God designed you to be. Don't miss out Friends!
CORE Gear - Spiritual Partnership (Wednesday October 1st, 2008)

All the Gear classes will take place on Sundays at FRC Doral after the service.
Gear 1 - "Road map through the Old Testament" (2 weeks)
Gear 2 - Spiritual Formation "The Life You've Always Wanted" (1 week)
Gear 3 - "New Testament Highlights - Life of Christ" (2 weeks)
Gear 4 - "Making Your Money Work" (1 week)
Gear 5 - Leadership Development (2 weeks)

Cost for this 8 week Experience is just $59. Upon registering, you will receive a backpack, Gears books and all the materials you will need for the journey. So check in soon!
You can also register online here
We encourage you to take these classes as it will complement the series that we are doing now about discipleship - "In the Dust of the Rabbi"

In Christ,
Francisco-Julieta
Friends
www.frcfriends.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In the Dust of the Rabbi - Our walk with Christ

Let re-cap the last two weeks to refresh our memories.
Two weeks ago, we watched a video about an extreme makeover of a church in New Orleans destroyed by Katrina. The pastor of this church helped a lot of people during the aftermath of the hurricane. He borrowed a boat from a friend and started a rescue mission. Not surprisingly, his church is named Noah’s Ark Baptist Church! Read more about this make over here
Contractors from all over the nation came to help rebuilt the church. Christians and non Christians were helping with an equal burning passion in their hearts. The question was: “Why do people want to help during an event like this?” As Christians, are we are ready to help with this type of events?

The second video we watched the same night was a short documentary about AIDS. We witnessed how the gay community was left in the cold with “their sickness.” No one had mercy or empathy with them during the onset of the epidemic in the 1980s. We saw how hemophilia children were physically removed from their schools and severely discriminated. In Florida a house were four hemophilia children lived was burned down. The children took action and they spoke for themselves when no one else seemed to care: they sent a letter to President Reagan. The documentary showed the images of the men, women, and children dying of AIDS. Those faces were different then the gay community, but still they had the same fear in their faces, the same pain and the same need of a hug and a message of hope. In this case we could see how many, with time, have also taken action and have done efforts to help ALL. People got out of their comfort zones and began taken action to make a difference. It took several years before their efforts bear any fruits, but eventually they did! To watch the documentary online click here

So, why was the response so different in the face of this human catastrophe. Regardless of the nature of the events, the pain and human suffering was equal for the victims of Katrina and the victims of AIDS, wasn’t it? Why do people sometimes do not want to help during events like this last ones? As Christians, are we sometimes more eager to judge than to help? Don’t we sometimes think: “if I give money to that homeless man he is going to buy more drugs”! Do we think that perhaps that person is just having a bad time and he is really hungry?
Jesus will ask you: why did you judge? What will you answer?

For the AIDS patients, don’t we tend to think that “they brought it on themselves”, or maybe “their condition is the consequence of their sin”, or even worst that “they deserve what they got.” Doesn’t a child infected by the virus deserve to hear the message of salvation and feel loved? How about an adult with the same illness? Is their sin bigger or smaller than yours and mine? Is it a different sin?
Jesus will ask you: why did you judge? What will you answer?

Look at this verse and see if it helps in thinking about the question.
The Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46):"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
“The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
This past week we watched When the Rabbi says, “Come”, the first session from a discipleship series titled In the Dust of the Rabbi-Becoming a Disciple. Together we learned the biblical meaning of the word disciple.
Back in the days before Christ, young talented men with passion for God followed a Rabbi until they had the knowledge and wisdom to pass on to others. When Jesus came, he called his own disciples. They were not as talented and bright as the ones who followed the rabbis from the synagogues. Jesus’ disciples were people like you and me.
Jesus showed that we are just as valuable and that He gifted us to get the job done. It took some time before the disciples could understand how to be instruments for God but they got it and they serve God until their last breath. Should it be different for us now more than 2000 years later? So the questions that guided our discussion were: what is a disciple? And, are you a disciple?
Remember the building blocks to become a disciple (here is a tip, there were 3!): 1. Community - Be in communion with God. Live life in a community of discipleship with God sharing God constantly.2. Scripture - Hear, read, and study the word. Be in prayer so that God can open our heart, mold it, and work in it. 3. Passion - Be passionate about living out God with our lives.
We focused on Matthew 28:16-20 to understand our called for discipleship:
The Great CommissionThen the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Invite a friend as we will continue with the series to learn more about becoming a disciple In the dust of the Rabbi when we discuss When the Rabbi says Go.
God bless!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Marathon, the hardships, Christ, the path, the finish line!

It is awesome how God provides, takes back, gives back, and allows us to break down to build us up again.

Many times when I think about running, I want to go run faster and quicker to reach the finish line. I see others around me running so fast, strong, and focused that I am convinced I can do it like they do it. But when I hit the road, I realized that I must run at my own speed, my pace, and follow my training and strategies. It is the only way I can reach the goal. Otherwise, pain and injuries await us.

The same applies for our lives. We need to follow God's individual plan and strategies for us. If we follow someone else’s' plan we will not succeed. If God created us to be unique and special, why is He going to have a "cookie-cutter" plan for all of us? The answer is simple, He does not! We must remember that path towards God's promises is filled with shortcuts. Every time we stumbled out of His trail to get there faster, we get further away. There are no shortcuts to God. "Christ is the way". At times, staying in the path may not be what we want, be frustrating, and even bring sadness--we just want to get there. Our Father wants us to reach out to Him for directions and guidance to reach the joy and the blessing He had promised us. It takes obedience, dedication, perseverance, and even time. It's like running. If you don’t believe me, go and try a marathon without training. Training for big races, require dedication, commitment, time and avoiding shortcuts as well. Sometimes, during training for a big race, the best exercise to get ahead is to slow down and even rest. When we derail from the path God set for us, to get back to the trail, we also need to slow down and back track on our steps to find the main path again.

The songs say “what a wonderful friend I have in Jesus”. Indeed, I do. And also, what I wonderful friend I have in Julieta. I am tracking back to get back in the trail God designed for me. I keep to my training to stay close to Jesus and to re-build a friendship that I value and that has blessed my life in a way that I can’t describe! I want to avoid shortcuts to prevent the pain and the frustration these bring those around me, God, and to my life. Friendships are built with encouragement, trust, commitment, and love. My shortcuts have caused pain, I pray that getting back to my trail will bring forgiveness along with healing and joy.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).

In Christ,

Francisco

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friends, Christ, Love, Promises, Joy

A relationship it’s like a plant that either grows or dies depending on the foundation and proper care.
Whether it is the relation with your parents, friends, co-workers or spouse, they should all be God centered to make sure they will last through the storm.

For those who know me, know that I have been single for some time now but that changed last February. I started dating my best friend. We have known each other for a while and we developed a beautiful friendship. Our center of conversation was always Christ and so we always found a way to encourage and cheer each other with the word of God.
Rapidly we learned to trust each other and we each found a person who we could share our concerns and our thoughts. We talked for hours on the phone, we became close and shared the good and bad stuff that happen through almost a year. We cried and shared smiles together, we served God together and like a little plant our friendship was growing and blooming very nice.

Somehow after we started dating this changed, the trust was gone without notice and so did the comfort in each other.
What changed, I guess the state of mind. We some how forgot, I think, to water the plant (our friendship) I know, not good!

But isn’t this way that we handle our relationships? We just take them for granted and we don’t invest the proper time to them. We hurt with painful words without thinking the damage we cause. These little problems develop into insecurities and this bring anxiety along. Your thoughts go from being God centered to ego-centered thoughts. One focuses on the things that are not working in our lives, on the pain and the disappointment, on people and not on or relationship with God. This is the relationship we take for granted, if this one fails any other will not make it, guaranteed!
But this is the lie that the evil enemy wishes us to believe and we walked right in the trap.

1Peter 6:8
6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The pain became unbearable and I couldn’t stand anymore that the person I fell in love with was no longer my friend. Instead we became two strangers and we didn’t know what really was going on in our lives anymore, we were totally disconnected. There were tears of sorrow and bitterness, the memorable thoughts became fewer and the wound grew bigger. The joy was over soon.

God is a loving God, He is Love and He is our Father to whom our lives belong, so He wants joy for our hearts. He designed a complete life for us when we were still in our mother's womb.
His word walks us through life in a way that we do not lack of anything.
John 16:24
24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

So if God promises a complete joy then this relationship is far from being legitimate cause it doesn’t bring any joy, the love is not growing and we were not honoring God with our attitudes. Not to mention that our relationship with God was of course going down the hill.
We were together in a relation which we were kissing it good bye and trying to “enjoy it” while it lasted as we both new in our hearts that the moment would come to unplug the life support cause it will never grow on it’s own like that. We were living a lie.
With pain in my heart I listen to God and took my place as His daughter and put my pain in His hands, I moved on the side and let Him go on with His perfect plans.
So I had a talk with my “best friend” who became more of a stranger to me and I spoke in all honesty to how I felt. With love I told him how hurt I felt and how sad I was that I no longer had my friend. How this once beautiful friendship became a painful, sad, ugly as wither plant. We don’t know how we got there, we felt like we didn’t know how we would get out of there either at that moment, but what we knew for sure was that God had always been the reason of our beautiful bond and He would restore it if we seek Him with all our hearts.
We were both very sad that we needed to part from "being" a couple back to the friendship level, but we both agree that it was best for us to do so and that this would honor God. It would speak of our trust and faith in God and Love for each other. Cause we do have Love for each other, otherwise we would have just turned our backs and just walk separate ways in bitterness. This decision in an odd way has brought joy and peace back to our hearts.
Today almost a month since that day, we are building this renewed friendship, little by little with smiles and honesty. It has not been easy but we both do it with a sincere heart not forgetting that God is in control and the one calling the shots.
It doesn’t matter the when or the how; God has long ago laid plans for our lives and perhaps we can’t see the big picture now but we both trust that God is not through with us yet.

From day one we felt God’s presence being at work on this friendship we share for almost a year. Now I am smiling while I write cause I am just picturing God walking in the middle, Francisco at one end and me at the other side, I believe that we were so busy looking at each other because we liked each other so much that we forgot to look up and pay attention to what God was talking to us. Now we are on "time out" for not being good listeners.

Seriously, this is what the bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:12 A rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break.
That means that our friendship consist of Francisco the Lord and me so it can not be lost if we put our eyes on God, He is the only one who can restore it. From our side we need to be available, committed and loyal to this friendship.
At first it seems and felt mission impossible but the Lord provides the way and I found wise instruction in :

1 Corinthians 13:7 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.

Jesus teaches of a Love like we have never known before, His love is different to how we are used to love. He changes our heart and that is why the love we used to know before knowing Jesus no longer satisfies our soul. We seek a much complete love, the good stuff. We will not settle for less, that is as clear.
Don’t you settle for mediocre relationships and don't fall for the traps/lies of the enemy.
God has a perfect plan for all of us and He speaks with no riddles but with the truth, He doesn't provide broken dreams but solid promises to prosper you and not to harm you and to give you hope and a future. He doesn't give you almost happiness but complete joy, He doesn't think you are average He made you a masterpiece and He loves you with all his heart, so much that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. What a Love! Don't settle for "it might work" or "we might be happy", trust in God and follow His voice and you will find the true love in your heart.
Have no doubt but take action and take a stand as Son or Daughter of the King of Kings you are heir of His promises.

How will we know what to do or what to say to make it right again?
Only God is the answer, by seeking the Lord with all of our hearts then we will hear His voice and we will know where and what to do!
Isaiah 30:21
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“ This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left

God is in control.
With Love to you and rejoicing in the Lord,

Julieta Reyes

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Walking towards the goal!

From God's little instruction book on Friendship:
"I am confident about you in the Lord" Galatians 5:10
It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.

As you might know I am preparing to run a 1/2 marathon in November 2008. I am trying to get into a routine of eating healthy and building up my miles little by little. The goal is to get to the 13 miles in November. So far I have ran 3 miles in an average time of 33 to 45 minutes.
Today my friend Francisco ran with me. The goal was 4 miles.
As I drove to his house I was getting cold feet and thought I would not make it. I pray to God and ask him to come along and asked Him that He would lift my feet and help me finish the goal for the day.
It was a beautiful evening. The breeze felt so good in my face it felt just as God was blowing energy into my body. Francisco kept telling me that I could do it and encouraged me not to give up. At the end we ran not 4 miles but 4 1/2 miles. Wouw!!!
I was not out of breath as I thought I would and I was amazed that we made it in 59 minutes!!
Praise God! I am convinced that when you invite Jesus to come along our race, He as a friend will help us to get to the finish line, if it is according to His will. He won't hold back! Also having a friend that has confidence in you like Francisco makes a great difference!!
Thank you Jesus, Thank you Francisco for believing that I can do it!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Closet

How did I come up with this subject?
Well I was standing in front of my closet, (you must know that I have this fixation of keeping my closet color coordinated and very organized.) and I was wondering what to wear. It was one of those days were you think, “I need to go shopping; I do not have the right wardrobe”. Well the fact is that I am very close to laundry day too, so I was very limited in choice and I just couldn’t make up my mind. I felt frustrated and angry. Needless to say that I didn’t go to where I was invited, just because I didn’t find something proper to wear. Isn’t that silly, I truly missed out!
I stayed home and I prayed and I ask God to reveal to me what the real problem was and to give me the wisdom to deal with it.

Just like my closet, I like to have my life organized and under control. Yet life brings us in different corners where
we have no control of situations or circumstances, we can only rely on God. Of course this brings much trouble to our minds because we do not know where we will end up or how we will find a solution to our problems. It raises a thousand questions in our heads and at times we seem to miss the answer. The thing is that the answer is there all the time in front of our eyes. We need to draw to God and focus on Him; most important we need to remain focused. Easier said then done. Right?
My closet, even though I live in Miami has winter coats/jackets/sweaters on hangers (I can’t fold clothes, that is why everything is on a hanger in my closet), I also have clothes that are 2 sizes bigger then I am now (I was a bit chubby a while ago) and I also have very old clothes I don’t have the heart to throw away (cause I am a collector..right) and last but not least I have those things hanging in the closet that were very cool when they were in the store but once they got into my closet they didn’t match my personality and I have wear them once or twice the truth is that they made me feel insecure and uncomfortable some of them even still have a tag on. My closet would be much more in order if I would only remove those things that no longer fit me and those things I no longer have use for.

Once I realized that the problem was all about my state of mind and focus, I made a list of the things that trouble me so much and I also wrote the reason why they troubled me.

Like the old garments in the closet, I had a pj's my mom gave me long ago, they have holes everywhere but it has a sentimental value for me; can't trow it away. The truth is that I never wear them, my mom will still love me the same and perhaps give me a new pair of pj's if I would trow these away.
My heart is not different, I found all the issues that are just too old to keep dragging around. The guilt of my sins, Jesus paid a too high of a price indeed to keep that guilt hanging in my life, I am not worthy by my deeds but by the blood of Christ. So I took all these things out and brought them to daylight and now they are vanished.

I looked for all those things that are useless and took them away(like the clothes I have hanging still with the price tag on, I have not found yet the right occasion to wear them), like thoughts that only confuse our minds, things that have not happen but you would like to see in your life. They all have a tag, it could be a future husband, new job, new house, new car, we spent way too much time thinking of the things we don’t have but surely one day will be at our doorstep. We try to figure out how those things will be added to us if the circumstances are far from being adequate to make all that happen.
I have to trust God with everything and I have to know that He is faithful and that He is our provider. All we need is His precious word in our lives that is the rack where we need to hang all these things and He surely will make them go away.

Then I removed all those things that no longer fit me, like that dress size eight! Now I am a size 2 but imagine I was size 8. I kept them because I thought maybe I can bring them to resize them for me, the fact is that I will never do that because I don't like those garments any more and I they only remind me of a painful period of my life, so why keeping those things in my closet!
I was this person always in struggle but I couldn’t see the victory at the end of the day, Jesus has change that and has manifested in so many ways in my life but the thing is that I had not acknowledge God’s plan in my life so I thought I had to hold on to those things cause maybe one day I might be there again and will need to use all that all over again. I surely forgot that God brings us from Glory to Glory and not backwards.

I bought this beautiful denim skirt, I loved it in the store, but when I tried to wear it, too short! it is just not me; or this pair of jeans I have, they have a bird embroiled with feathers and all, gorgeous, do I wear it? NO, I look silly, it is just not my type.
So finally I also removed all those things that don’t really match who I am, my ways and my words are the ones which edify the God I worship, no room for insecurity and shame. By mercy God has delivered us from evil and has made us a new creation. Having removed all these things from my heart has made room for righteousness and peace.

I came to realize that I am missing out, just like I missed the opportunity to share a great time with friends the other day, I am missing out on being close to God and be where he wants me to be so He can fill my heart with Joy and Abundance.

After cleaning up my closet, I felt fresh a renewed. I went shopping and I asked God to go with me, I discovered that He has given me and you the best wardrobe ever. He just wants to make sure that we know at all times what to wear and never leave home without. He is so awesome! This is what God wants us to wear:
Ephesians 6:10-20 (NIV)
The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Amen
Julieta

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My trip through the desert

For 40 years the people of Israel wondered in the desert. Moses lead the chosen people of God from Egypt to the land of milk and honey. Through this period the people at first were happy they got freedom and they were getting to this fruitful land promised by their almighty God.
Soon on their way they faced hardships and rebelled against God, they never signed up for a forty year trip in the desert. The ten commandments were given by our merciful God, still the people sinned and worshiped other gods. God delivered mercy and restored the covenant with them by asking for the right sacrifice to bring back holiness to his people. And finally after those forty years they entered the promised land.

Today I am returning home from such a spiritual trip sort of speak.
At one point in our life we meet with God and we realize that he wishes to bring us into the land of milk and honey. Some of us do accept that invitation and we begin that journey with Christ. We are fueled by the new beauty we have found in his promises, we are blown away by the indescribable joy we discover in our heart. Then the hardship comes...and we began to count the things we lack instead of counting our blessings. We become selfish and needy, we demand from God that we are served as we think we deserve. We become arrogant and we long for the riches and abundance we left behind in Egypt. We forget all about the slavery we were once bind to.
Like the people in the desert, we too worship other Gods. It just happens unnoticed. Maybe for you it is your work, perhaps your car or your children, your freedom. We miss out and we don't see the blessings in our life. We don't give value to what God serves to our plates, we don't accept the manna or the water from the rock, we want a banquet and the best wine to be served to us ASAP.

It happened to me, reason why I am telling you my story. So when I discovered I was no different from the people in the desert, I wondered: how am I going to get home? How will God ever forgive me for my rebellious behavior? I feared God's anger against my sinful ways in my life.

I remember when I decided to follow God, I painted this little aquarell: a girl in the desert. That girl is me, leaving my house to follow God on a Journey that is guaranteed to be a great one, knowing that when things get though I will have the privilege of carrying everything to God in prayers. I was determined to follow Him and willing to allow him to guide me and to mold me through the Journey. I knew he would sustain me.

That Journey has last 12 years now since that day. Recently I just made one more step in faith forward into that Journey.
For weeks I sat down and cried and cried, not knowing where to go and who to call. I felt I didn't want to go back to God cause he knew what I was going through and I was not hearing his voice. I thought of all those cold nights and hungry days in the desert and couldn't see the end of it. My problem had strings to everything around me. Nothing could bring me joy, I felt like God had abandoned me and forgot all together about us, me and Him, our relationship we had. I could not hear his voice, I could not see his hand, I could not feel his presence, so everything else lost its value.
I felt as if my heart became a cold stone and my spirit was crushed and without fuel. Deep in my mind I remembered all his promises and became determined to pulled to his ropes just to remind him of this servant and cry out to him as loud as I could. I fell face down to him and asked him to take my heart and to renew my spirit and ask to receive the gift of repentance of the soul and cleansing of the heart. I knew there is nothing I can do to change all these things.
Just as Abraham, I did bring my Isaac for sacrifice and trusted in God. Don't get me wrong I had no strength to do it and no will to complete the request, but God showed up right on time to rescue our hearts from desperation and total brokenness. I felt God's presence and I trembled, immediately I understood the meaning of "I am who I am" exodus 3:14. God was telling Moses what name to use to tell the Israelites who sent him to them.
Exodus 3:15 God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

To me it mean: "know that I am God, the all mighty Sovereign Lord, all these things are possible through me. I am who I am. I am here for you both"
I trusted the Lord our God and I am free of the pain, free of a heavy heart and again happy to hear my Sweet Shepherd's voice. I still have to go through a healing process but God will take care of that too, I just need to keep on praying.

I have come to pray for forgiveness and I have made the trip to the past, not to see the bad things that happen but to count the blessings God brought to my life. The manna he provided when I was most hungry, his merciful hand that came to my rescue over and over again.
I was reminded of the fire I once carried in my heart, such a strong fire that I found boldness and left my house to begin a journey with Christ, Jesus being my only compass, my only friend. He is the same 12 years ago and forever years ago and always will be a loving, merciful, sweet Lord. Still forgiving his hard hearing children, he is still in the business of trading those heart of stone to a heart of flesh and blood, still forgiving me for my short comings and sins. Still giving me the pleasure of hearing his Sweet peace giving voice, still giving that warm embrace of a caring Father comforting his scared crying misbehaved repented daughter.

How did I get from rebellious to a sweet daughter? Well I am not a sweet daughter, I was born a sinner, but in the eyes of my Lord I am his daughter and he loves me not for my deeds but because He is Love and he is grace and mercy. He has saved me and he wants this not only for me, but for you and everyone you know. I am hoping I can bring you a message of hope and showing the path back home to our Creator as I have found my way back to Him through prayer. I don't want to keep quiet, because today you might be in the desert trying to find your way out. Don't quit, be bold, bring your burdens to the cross.

How I made it back to His presence, was through prayer, there were days where I didn't see why I should pray if I had no answer, still I prayed cause I knew God listens always. I didn't feel like praying because I didn't feel I believed for what I prayed and also I didn't wanted to pray because I felt so far away from God that I thought perhaps there is a chance He might not hear me. But then a voice in me knew that I could be the only one doing wrong, the Lord is holy. The root of my worries and anxiety was evil, if I like that or not, that is my problem, but it is what it is.
On the Journey of prayer I recognized that I was being arrogant, selfish and ungrateful to the beautiful things and people God placed in my life, this has been the root and reason why I could not enjoy the banquet Jesus prepared for me. I didn't do it intentionally but the evil one fools us and blinds us and sin comes by unnoticed.
It is so important when friends and loved ones pray for you, I tell you their prayer and the prayers I brought to the Lord help me out of this dry desert. I came with a naked sincere heart to God and little by little, day by day(it seemed an eternity) I came to that point where I found my faith back. Got nudge my heart and I took the requested action and made that step forward, confident that God was next to me holding my hand and guiding my words. It was not easy and it took me a while to get to that point, but I followed God. I felt scared but not afraid, I am holding dearly to His word and promises.
When we ask in prayers to whatever we need and it is according to God's will, be sure that he will provide to your needs.

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-11)

From the book of Exodus and the people of Israel there is much to learn, but today I am reminded and learned once more, that God never changes. But we do, when we continue to pray even when we have no answer, even when we don't feel like it, when we believe that God will never forgive us, when we keep the prayer even in those hopeless moments, our life changes because of prayer, it really does!
In prayers we build a stronger relationship with God, we interact with him and come naked before him. We give him the authority to restore our lives and mold us as he thinks is best for us and He provides the strength and courage to face the days left on earth to continue his work with a diligence servant's heart.
He has called me, us, to walk in holiness because He is holy until we come before him again to spend eternity praising His holy precious name, "Adonai Elohai"

Some years ago, I began a quest to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, I found Jesus and I answer a calling to walk in holiness. I remember when He called my name and I said : Here I am!
Today I will continue to press on forward and face the deserts to come in my life, for Jesus paid the price for my soul with his life. That means a lot to me, it is for that reason that today I can be called child of God. The Lord will give me strength and wisdom to continue in faith every step of the way.
1John 4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome
them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.


Exodus3:2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up." When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."
5
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." 6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

If you are going through hardship in your life and my testimony has spoken to your heart, would you pray with me:
Father, forgive me. So often I don't bring my troubles in prayer and I forget the true importance of prayer. Teach me your ways and guide my heart to discover day by day the power of prayer that I might be a witness of your love and power to influence others and bring them to know you Jesus, use me as an instrument to make a difference in your Kingdom.- And if you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior in your life, let me tell you that he is extending an invitation to you right now. An invitation to have a personal friendship with Him, he is the friend you can trust, the friend who suffered for you long ago and paid with his life for our sins. The friend who loves you and wants just the best for you. A sweet man called Jesus Christ, the best of all friends. I pray you accept His calling today.
It is in His precious name, I pray. Amen.

"Then the L
ORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened." (Exodus 32:14)
Julieta Reyes

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pray for our groups

Dear soldier,

You don’t know me, it doesn’t matter who I am. What matters is that God has nudged my heart about you.
How so? Well, God has shown me your suffering and he has shown me the lack of understanding we have towards you.
Many of us pray for you and we count the days for you to be back but when you are back we expect that you are the same person who left sometime ago, forgetting or not imagining what you are going through.
Some of us are so against this war or any war for that matter, that we forget the human life that is behind it and we take the sacrifice easily for granted.
And so many of us are very grateful for what you do but lack to understand exactly what it is that you have scarified.

This is where God comes in.

For centuries God has been leading his Kings into victory, he has protected his soldiers and he has deliver them from their enemy. The Lord has serve his people a great feast before their enemies and has made them glorious in every battle.
This battle you are in might not be won or lost but you are going through a tremendous life changing experience. What many of us go through a lifetime you are living it in a fewer years. Your mind is hurt and the memories are hard to erase of the things you have seen and lived. Too hard to comprehend, too shocking to repeat, too complicated to explain.

The grief of loosing your fellow brothers, the loneliness that constantly reminds you of how far you are from your dearest loved ones. Not knowing if you will be back from your assignment. Perhaps you feel that nothing makes sense anymore to you and you feel disoriented, you can’t find purpose of being where you are.

Today God wants you to know that he is thinking of you, he has not forgotten you and he definitely has not forsaken you.

I am going through such time where I can’t find purpose in my life, where I feel scared cause I am alone and far from my family and my comfort zone. Thinking of you, has inspired me and has put some things in perspective.
I have read this verses that God has remind me of which seem not very bright for it speaks about death, but when you look closer it is all about life. Read with me, I pray that the Lord may open your heart and your eyes to see his love and hope left in these verses.

2 Corintians 4:6- 10
6For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Be the light and shine bright in those days of darkness, when death and loneliness come by close and whisper thoughts of devastation and surrender, stand in victory for you have the light in you, Jesus Christ. In you, also you have the life Jesus paid with his blood for you and me.
Bring the message of hope to your fellow brother, whisper the eternal life and shine the word in their hearts. Encourage one another, lift each other up!
You might know the word of God but around you there are many who don’t. I know the word and God has nudge my heart to write it to you, to encourage you and to remind you that he Loves you and that he is with you even when you don’t see him.

Imagine, a day ago I could not have thought that God would use me to encourage you cause I feel truly tired of my own problems. Yet he is both lifting me up and using my pain to challenge me and fuel me to encourage you.

I can send this message to you, but it is your turn to send it out to others who are in need of comfort not in something that will fade away but for in need for something that is eternal.
I don’t wish you to think about death and bring fear in your heart; I wish to share the word, the living word that changes lives. A word that brings the truth and is worth living and dying for.
God loves you and that is why today we have these words that will be with us until we come before him. Words to remember or words to tell someone next to you.

2 Corinthians 11:18
11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken. "With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Why it is that we sometimes go through what we go at the stage where we are in life? I don’t know. Why we suffer and cry out/ I don’t know.
This is what I know, that when you cry, Jesus is right there and is sadden to see you like that. I know that He knows how many tears dropped down your cheeks and I know that you are so precious that the Lord our God gave his only begotten son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and be sacrificed for our sins so that we could have eternal life and spend eternity in a place where we can be near him. So your life matters or else He wouldn’t have given away something as precious as His only Son.

I also know that this is easier said then done, I am coming from there so I know it is not that easy. God never said it would be easy but He promised He would always be there with us.

Take a moment if you would if you are alone or if you are with others, hold hands or kneel down. Acknowledge that Jesus is right next to you, he is not far away in some place where you need to make an appointment, pray that He reveals himself to you.
Seek His presence by inviting him in your life, open your heart and show you naked soul. Cry out to Him who loves you, in whom you will find comfort and rest if your spirit, the one who is and will always be Lord and Father.
He is there with open arms, he is not requiring any stars any recommendations, you are his creation and you are his unique master piece his son and daughter.

In a moment of silent near your bed or an open field, with friends or by yourself, say a prayer like this:
Today God you have touch my heart, I have understood the sacrifice you have done for me and I am grateful for that. I acknowledge that you are my Lord and Savior and that in your son Jesus Christ I have found a friend that has revealed himself to me in this very place. Father take my heart and fill it with Joy as your word says you will and Father I feel tired, in you I wish to rest to feel your peace even in the mist of this place where I am. Help me to be the light and spread your message of hope and courage. Help me persevere and keep me focused in you and protect us from our enemies, in Jesus name I pray, Amen

Keep in touch with us, send us an email or send us your letters, we look forward to hear from you.
Don’t forget you are in our hearts and in our prayers.
God bless you!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Genesis 3- The fall of man

Genesis 3- The fall of man
Eve was deceived by the serpent, what about Adam?
What was the sin? Who of the two took more responsibility?Who didn't?
why is it the fall of man and not the fall of man and woman?


Hello Friends,
We pray that you are having a great week!
Join our Small group this Wednesday night at 8:00 P.M. as we will continue our Journey through the fascinating book of Genesis. We will discuss our 4th lesson: Genesis 3, "The fall of man" .

We look forward to see you on Wednesday night at 8:00 P.M., feel free to invite a friend!
God bless,

Julieta Reyes - Francisco Sastre
http://www.frcfriends.blogspot.com

Where?
We will be meeting at Francisco’s home at (see the end of message for information on parking):
The Beach Club at Fontainebleau
9351 Fontainebleau Blvd. Ap. B206
Miami, FL 33172

Francisco's: Home(305) 207 9591 Mobile (305) 807 0618
Julieta's: mobile (305) 877 2097

To find parking, go through the security gate and stay on the main road. Once you go by the first building on the right (that’s my building—my apartment is on the second floor) you will find the club house on your right. You can park in any of the parking spots on your right in front of the club house, except under the covered parking. Although, the spots are numbered
these are designated for visitors during the evening. Make sure you park only on the parking spots by the CLUBHOUSE ONLY otherwise your car can be towed. If you have any questions, just give me a call—parking in the complex is a bit confusing!

If you would like to stop receiving notices about this group, simply reply to this message with subject "remove from list"

Monday, March 31, 2008

Birthday girl! - Surprise!!

Hello everyone!
It is still my birthday and I am having a great time!
I wanted to give a special "thank you" to my Honey, Francisco, for every detail, for my first surprise party in 36 years! It was very nice and everything was so pretty!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I feel really special and loved by you.
Thank you all for coming out last night and be part of my birthday celebration, I had lots of fun.

Thank you for all the gifts and the cards, I appreciate each and everyone of them, you guys are so thoughtful.
I want you to know that I thank God for you all the time, you all are a blessing in my life, thank you for caring and for loving me so much!
God bless,

Julieta

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Passion of the Christ

Hello Friends,

Today we wish to share part of our Ministry and Small Group.
About a year ago the Singles Ministry kicked off and started a Journey to the unknown, the tour guide was Jesus. Today a year later Francisco and I lead a Small group that is growing in every aspect, we are grateful for your support.

For the last 5 weeks we have walked with Luke into the life of Jesus, that is the series that we have been discussing in our Small group. Tonight we closed the series watching the movie The Passion of the Christ". Why don't we walk you a bit to what we have been doing the last three meetings of our Small Group.

Week I we spoke about the calling and baptism of Jesus, a great noble man without sin that is sent by the Lord His Father on earth to be sacrificed for our salvation. In Luke we read about the Son of our God who before He started His Mission, He got baptized and so made a public statement of submission to the one who sent Him. Have you been baptized? This is what a voice that came from heaven said when Jesus got baptized: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Luke 3:21-22 (NIV) The day you got baptized or the day that you will take that step, I am very sure that God will repeat the same line. Just because He truly Loves you and you are important to Him.

Week II we look at Jesus' Public Ministry. We did compare His position as the Minister of Foreign affairs of the Kingdom of God. Jesus points out in John 15:16 "You did not choose me, but I appointed you to go and bare fruit, fruit that will last". After we accept the appointment to our new position, we become His Ambassadors and in 2Corinthians 5:20 "We are therefore Christ's Ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled with God." We heard what the roll was of the people who helped the paralyzed man, but I ask you, is your spiritual life paralyzed? What is stopping you then from getting up and walking in God's way? We have been lying down to long on our mats. God wants to restore our walk and replace it for a new one- a steady and joyful walk.


Week III walked us into His Private Ministry, how after a night of prayer Jesus selects His 12 disciples. 12 Ordinary men, just like you and I. He called them friends for everything that He learned from his Father, he made it known to His disciples. The night before His arrest, Jesus had His last supper with His disciples. Luke22:19 "And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 20In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." From "His Passion, Christ Journey to the Resurrection" a devotional, I will quote some lines which I find amazing: " The Lord Jesus loves his people so much, that every day he is still doing for them much that is analogous to washing their soiled feet. Their poorest actions he accepts;their deepest sorrow he feels; their slenderest wish he hears, and their every transgression he forgives....then it goes on...Humbly, patiently, he yet goes about among his people with the basin and the towel.He puts away from us day by day our constant infirmities and sins of his erring but yet beloved child!

As we mentioned earlier in this note, tonight we ended our series as we are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday by watching " The passion of the Christ". On a night like this, Jesus spent His night in prayers, at an hour like this, He asked his disciples to pray for him, instead they all were as sleep. We were a group of 20 and we watch the movie like in the good old times:in the open and in a garden. Together united in Christ we sat down and lived every moment with Jesus to his Resurrection. The images are very fresh in or minds. We felt all together the pain that Jesus one day suffered here on earth for our salvation. He didn't have to, but He did. The night was beautiful, the fellowship was very intimate. This was a very though movie that unless I knew it had a happy ending, I might not have watched it ever. What a Joy it is to know how God Loves us, that His Love is not conditional but never ending. How great is it to know that because Jesus has risen from the death we can have hope over our future and how grateful I feel to know that Jesus gave his life for me, I don't deserve this, but still He gives me salvation just because He loves me and you with all His heart and one day He wants to welcome us home.

Francisco and I wanted to share our Journey to Easter 2008 with you. We believe in a God of opportunities and He is full of mercy, our Lord can meet us where we are. Isn't that just awesome!

Tonight He is knocking at our door, are you ready to open the door? He doesn't want you to change your name nor to leave your family and become a boring person. All He wants is to be your friend and share life with you; be with you when you feel everybody else has left you hanging in the dark; he wishes to clean your feet and help you find the purpose for your life. I am awake praying that you might open that door to meet the greatest Friend you will ever know, his name is Jesus.....

Before we close our note, we want to thank FRC Doral, Pastor Igor and Grecy, who have shown trust and support to our Ministry. They have loved us, guided us and mentored us during all this time by being an awesome example of humble yet great leaders. Their presence in our lives and Ministry brings us closer to discover and pursue our God potential. We thank God for having them in our lives. Alonso's + Ortiz family, You guys rock! Thank you for providing all we needed to have this movie night going, we love you.

We also want to thank the members of our Small group, to Silvia and her Small Group members and other friends and family who came along tonight: "It was great to spent some time with you in fellowship and we hope we can do this more often. Last but for sure not least, we thank God for making it all happen, for bringing us together and for given us the chance to serve Him.

"Guys keep up the great job, you are making a great difference in the Kingdom of God, keep on going and don't give up!"

Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Therefore Mark 12:30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Jeremiah29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. "

Luke 12:31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
And when you feel weak and you think that God has forsaken you and that everything seems to be stuck and that there is no way out of your problem or situation than have faith more then ever, cause this is what is written in Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God."

Thank you for reading our note.

We pray that you will have a Beautiful, Joyful and Blessed Easter weekend!
Julieta & Francisco

Visit our church for the Good Friday Service at 6:00p.m.
http://frcfriends.blogspot.com/

Click the link to see our Doral Singles Ministry 2007 blog-year