Monday, July 27, 2009

The Word - Miracles

Psalm 77:14
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

"A MIRACLE is a sign of the love of Jesus, Who yearns to heal each one of us
So that we can become truly alive and grow in love". Jean Vanier, Drawn into the Mystery of
Jesus through the Gospel of John

It is Monday my Friends!
I pray that you had a great day and that you are getting ready to share time with your family. The weather is great here in LA, it is almost 70 outside but the sun makes it feel like 83.

What is it about miracles that drives us? How is prayer related to miracles?
Have you been a recipient of a miracle lately?

What do you think, are miracles and prayers should be private or should they be shared?
When we pray in the intimacy of our room, the interaction is between us and God. It is part of the intimate relationship we build with Jesus.
Also there is a power when we pray together as God's church, it brings the community as one, we share our concerns and lift them in one spirit in prayers. Answer to prayer is a miracle to me, as Jean Vanier mentions, it is a sign of God's unconditional love to us. I believe it lifts the spirit and it fuels the faith.
Recently I invited you to join me in prayers for my church, I am sure that many of you did, we all agree that prayer with love and with a grateful heart is necessary. This morning I got news that the praying sessions are taking place and that a sweet change has blessed our congregation. The sense of unity has flown through the halls and hearts. It is not because we perform some kind of ritual but because we have God and people around us at heart. Jesus told us to love one another as he loved us. He said that for a reason, when we obey the command with love as family or as church family we see God's grace and presence in the results.

Lets apply the love with a smile today to the closest person around you, give love.

Blessings & hugs from LA,

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Word - Amazing Grace

It’s Friday my Friends!!
I pray that you had a good and productive week and that you could see God’s grace in your life. It was a very productive week here in LA, I am enjoying the training at USC (University of Southern California).

Ephesians 2:4-9
4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

Sometimes being death does not mean that you are 6 feet in the earth. You can be spiritually death and buried, in form of depression, sickness or buried in immoral lifestyle. Such was the live of John Newton born in London in 1725, son of a commander merchant ship. His mother a devoted woman of God raised him a child of God, she taught him to read scripture and sing the hymns and prayed that John would become a Pastor when he grew up. His mother passed away when he was 7 years, his father send him to boarding school but soon he abandon school to work on a ship. He adopted the immoral life style of the sea, which is full of temptations and gave in to debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures; intemperance.
A few years later he was captured and was forced to serve in the navy, he managed to escape but they got him back and made him serve in the lowest rank on board. In his journal he wrote, “My heart was full of indignation, shame and fear. I was now brought down to a level with the lowest and exposed to the insults of all. My breast was filled with the most excruciating passions, bitter rage and black despair.
He pleaded to be removed from the navy and his request was granted. He then joined another ship; he didn’t know that he was about to be part of the most hideous business, the slave trade. The transportation of slaves was very inhumane and cruel.
One night he faced a storm at sea as he struggled to keep the ship under control, he knew he was having an encounter with God. It must have been a very tough storm as he surrendered to God shouting “Lord have mercy on us”. He recorded in his journal his reflections on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far And grace will lead me home.

He continued in the slave trade after the conversion but tried to give better conditions to the slaves. From 1755 to 1760 Newton was surveyor of tides at Liverpool, where he came to know George Whitefield, deacon in the Church of England, evangelistic preacher, and leader of the Calvinistic Methodist Church. Newton became Whitefield’s enthusiastic disciple. He decided to become a minister and applied to the Archbishop of York for ordination. The Archbishop refused his request, but Newton persisted in his goal, and he was subsequently ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln and accepted the curacy of Olney, Buckinghamshire. Newton was not only a prolific hymn writer but also kept extensive journals and wrote many letters. Historians accredit his journals and letters for much of what is known today about the eighteenth century slave trade. Newton was not only a prolific hymn writer but also kept extensive journals and wrote many letters. Historians accredit his journals and letters for much of what is known today about the eighteenth century slave trade.

The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

It has been said that the Grace of God is mostly cherished by those who have walked far from the light of God. During this week you have read about men who were devoted to God and lived a life to honor God. They all kept a journal and penned down their pains in life and the inner joy of having a friend like Christ. Today we read of a man who had a mother who invested in her child and prayed deligintly for the future of her son. John commented that “the scriptures and hymns followed me all the days of my life”. He repented from his sins and made peace with God, God accepted him with open arms not because of any of John’s deeds after he repented but because

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil, A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below, Will be forever mine.

Join me in prayer and reflect on the stories you have read about and share them with others. If a Friend is where John used to be, here is a little prayer you can say from the bottom of your heart: Lord I repent of my sins and I open my heart to you and invite you in, recognizing Christ as your son, my Lord and Savior.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil, A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below, Will be forever mine.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Word - Amazing Grace

My dear Friends,
It is another day here in LA, another day full of new things I will learn.
The Chief Executive of the United Nation's Radio sits next to me through the entire two weeks. On Tuesday morning we were having breakfast and we were talking about what do we do when we have free time. He asked me if I go to night clubs etc..I told him that I spent time with more books because I am getting ready with God's word and he looked at me and asked me if I was a Christian I told him that most definitely and he told me "good for you!, I am too". And we began to share Christ. He told me that Christ was in high places into the UN, that his children are really answering the call to serve him and honor him wherever He places them. And I rejoiced!

The story of "How great Thou are", has two authors and 50 years of events that inspired the completion of the hymn.
In 1885 a Swedish Pastor Carl Gustav Boberg was coming back from a hike when he was surprised by a storm. He took refuge in an abandoned farm and watched in wonder the powerful act of nature orchestrated by God. When he returned home, he penned all he had seen during the storm and now everything was calm, the river was like a mirror and all of nature was quite, while he was reflecting on all this, the bells of the church sounded in the distance. He wrote this poem and read it to his congregation and later published it in the newspapers(this is the English translation of course):

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.

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.

Later in 1907 it was translated in German, it was the favorite hymn among young people and they liked to sing it specially when they went hiking. 20 years later in a Ukrainian village an English Pastor Stuart K. Hine translated the hymn into English. The people seemed to appreciate the Lord's word but not fully understood yet what was the gift that God had given humankind. One day a lady from church read the passage of Christ crucifixion and people began to cry and fell on their knees in humbleness of the love God had with us that he did not spare his son. Stuart added to the existing hymn:

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.

1939 due to the breaking of WWII Stuart returned to England and ministered to the people from all over Europe who were taking temporaraly to seek refuge in Brittain. Among the refugees a lady stood up and asked " when are we going home?". It was then that Stuart added the final words to complete this beautiful hymn of all times:

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.

In 1957 "How great thou are" was introduced to America in Madison Square Garden during a Billy Graham crusade. It was so that this hymn was completed and embraced in many languages, denominations and cultures.

God bless you and your family abundantly!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Word - Amazing Grace

Dear Friends,

While I have walk around the courts of the USC campus I have thought a lot about you, specially those of you who also attend FRC Doral. I will boldly ask that you pray for our Campus and for each other. We have a great community of volunteers and attending families that need to be loved, guided and encouraged. It goes beyond the beautiful lobby that we have and it is much more then having candles in the auditorium. It is to create the time to genuinely have interest in people and share Christ because we care. Not only with new comers but with anyone who is hurt or in need of encourag
ement. Pray for direction, we have a clear vision, but we need committed direction, if we do not pray, we will not receive the Pastor that will come to take care of the sheep and not of the building. Alone, we cannot do anything, but praying together will bring a beautiful aroma to God, He will know his children are praying and their hearts are hungry for answer to their prayers. We have had loving people who have come forward and have done a great sacrifice for us and we must pray for them too with a grateful heart for the time and devotion they gave from their lives.
We know the great things that we have done in the past. The many City events that we
attended as FRC Doral, trunk or treat, Ronald McDonnald gift visit, Feeding the homeless in Hallandale, the water distributions, 5 de Mayo, volunteers Day and the International Food Festivals. All these happen without trying too hard, but just by being who we are, one great family, Christ is with us in this too.
John 15:15
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

I write you about these hymns, not because they have a tune that raise the hair but because the attitude of these fellow Christians are inspiring. They demonstrate a character of submission and genuine devotion to Christ even in the most critical times of their life's.
The things they go through we read in the book of Job perhaps, but they are people who lived not long ago. Their stories of faith and perseverance go further then their emotions and their own want.

Joseph M. Scriven was born and live in Ireland. In 1844 was engaged.
A day before the wedding the couple was going to meet by the river
but when she got there she felt from the horse head first in the water
and drowned. Minutes later Scriven arrived as she was taken out of the
water without life. He was devastated, now he would never marry the love of his life and live
the dreams he had built with her. Despite his misfortune, his faith was clear and he clung unto
his only true Friend, Jesus. Scriven m
oved to Canada as everything in Ireland reminded him of his beloved and also of the broken dreams. In 1845 he moved to Canada, to Port Hope, and he devoted himself to serve Christ with his life. He help the poor, the widows and anyone in need. he never denied a request for help. He was known for his reflection of Christ in his life. In 1854 when he was helping a friend, he met with this young lady. Scriven felt in love again. Months before the day of his wedding, tragedy struck again. His new love became sick of pneumonia and despite of the excellent care he provided, she died. Again Scriven ran to the arms of the one Friend who could comfort and strengthen him in the only way he could find peace, Christ.
A year after he wrote a poem to his mom to encourage her, he wrote about this Friend of his who helped him through all this time of devastation and pain and who gave him purpose and guidance in life, Jesus. He wrote:
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus"
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Join me in bringing prayers to Christ, prayers with love and gratitude for our church, for past leaders and future leaders of FRC Doral . Amen.
Love you much,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Word - Amazing Grace

Dear Friends,

How is everyone doing today? I am in LA and will be here for two weeks,
I am attending a training at USC.
This is very cool I am meeting people from all over the world and from different
Hugs & blessings from LA

This week I want to tell you about some of the most amazing hymns we know today. I
hope you are inspired by them.
If yo
u want to see the entire stories with audio and visual, Netflix rents the DVD amazing
Grace Hymns that changed the world.
The Story of "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht"
On December 1818 in a village church in Oberndorf in the Alps of Austria Father
Joseph Mohr and his friend Franz Gruber made history. The two often shared
their passion for Christmas carols and both agreed that the christmas carol of all
times was yet to be written. A few days before Christmas day, Father Mohr got
word that the wife of a woodcutter gave
bith and he walked to see the child. On
his way back to the village he pauzed to reflect on all he had
seen and lived. He was deeply moved by the born baby and
made him think of that special baby boy born on Christmas day in Betlehem. Inspired by the purity
of the white snow all around him he thought of that special day when God reached out to the world
by sending his only beloved son fo rour salvation. When he got back to the village in a burst of
inspiration he captured the essence and beauty of Christ birth. The organ in the St. Nicolas church
was broken, so he rushed to his friend's house Franz Gruber and ask him to make a music

arrangement for the lyrics with a guitar. On christmas night Pasto
Morh shared the song with his congration and soon it became
know around the world, translated into 120 languages. It became the favorite
Christmas carol for the rich and poor.

The song was sung simultaneously in English and GErman by troops during the
Christmas truce of 1914, as it was one of the few carols that soldiers on both sides
of the front line knew.
Today the church is not there anymore, but a memorial was built where the St. nicholas church once stood.

Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child. Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night! Son of God love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth. Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Word - Amazing Grace

Horatio G. Spafford is the author of the hymn "It is well with my soul".
This week I will share with you some amazing stories of people like you and me who got struck by calamity and yet discovered grace in their faith.

Horatio was a lawyer and was very knowledgeable in Real Estate as Chicago Illinois was growing at that time into a metropolis, Horatio made good investments and great profits. He was well respected among his peers in the city and was considered a man of impeccable integrity. One of his friends was evangelist Dwight L. Moody, it was at Sunday Scool class where he first met his wife Anna. Through the support of his Minister and his family, he found spiritual fulfilment and growth.

"When Horatio realized that Anna, fourteen years younger than he, was only fifteen, he arranged for three years tuition at a boarding school near Chicago before the idea of marriage could be discussed. The couple married in 1861." source
Horacio considered his blessing to be at home, his wife Anna gave birth to four daughters and one son. In the fall of 1871 his only son died of scarlet fever. Not long after that on October 8th, 1871, tragedy struck the Stafford's again. The Great Chicago fire swept away much of the Real Estate he had invested in. Despite of his loss, he was trying to help his friends who had much serious financial sit backs than he did. His evangelist friend Dwight L. Moody traveled to England to minister and Horatio decided to follow him. He bought six tickets on the Ville du Havre, a luxurious vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Days before their departure Horatio was called to finalize some legal papers with regards to the property he had lost in the fire and needed to stay a few more days. He insisted that his family would travel any way. Four days into the voyage, the ship sank. He received a telegram from his was with two letter message " Saved alone". immediately Horatio took a boat to meet his grieving wife and four days into voyage the captain told Horatio " I believe this is where the Ville du Havre went down. Horatio spent hours of contemplation and prayer and in the depth of his sorrow the word of God and his promises suddenly were shining into his heart and found an amazing grace in God's presence. Sorrow became Hope!
He penned down at sea the most amazing lyrics out of his broken heart, as if he was in the sea of life, that no matter what comes your way, through it all God will not leave you and He will not forsake you.

Consider when you read the lyrics that these words come from a man with a broken heart but who in the mists of the darkness he called unto the Lord and clung unto him for comfort and guidance. The result are sum in the lyrics:

It Is Well With My Soul
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.
Horatio Spafford

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Word - Are you more loving?

The question for this week is: "Are you more loving?". From the book "Ten questions to diagnose your Spiritual health" by Donald S. Whitney.

Love in real life
Whitney: Those who are growing in love will demonstrate it in at
least three areas. First, their love for other Christians will
strengthen. Relationships with Christian brothers and sisters in
the church become indispensable to those who love Christ.
Second area of growth in love is love for the lost. Jesus even said to
love our enemies Luke 6:27 27"But I tell you who hear me: Love
your enemies, do good to those who hate you,". A third area to
examine when measuring your growth in love is love for your family. This will be the most brutal
part of the evaluation. Nowhere are we more aware of our unloving words and ways than at
home. Who we are really, we are at home. Ephesians 5:25 25Husbands, love your wives, just as
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
So, Christian, love begins with God. We love because He first loved us. The
more satisfaction and delight we find in His love, the more we delight in
loving others.
The more enjoyment we find in God as God, the more
we truly enjoy being like Him by loving others. The
more we grow in our joy in God, the more joy we find
in the joy others find in our actions.

Dear Friends,
How did I enjoy sharing Love with you during this week!
I recommend the book, if you have time to read during the rest of the Summer, you should, it
puts things in perspective and it give you lots to reflect on. I leave you with one more verse for
the weekend:
Psalms 127
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over
the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. 2 In vain you rise
early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep
to those he loves. 3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children
a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are
sons born in one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is
full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend
with their enemies in the gate.

Revelations 3:19-21
19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here
I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the
door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who
overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame
and sat down with my Father on his throne.

I encourage you to open the door and find out what kind of Love this is!
God bless you,
Julieta Reyes

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are you more loving?

Proverbs 3:3
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

James 1:26-27
26If anyone considers himself religious and yet
does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he
deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our
Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and
widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the

The question for this week is: "Are you more loving?". From the book "Ten questions to diagnose
your Spiritual health" by Donald S. Whitney.
Cultivating Love
1. Meditate on Love as the most distinguish mark of a Christian
2. Let you heart be often warmed by the fire of God's Love
3.Discover assurance that God is your Father by loving as He Loves
4.Delight in imitating God
5.Take initiative in showing Love, especially where you have little or no expectation of love in
We are called to love one another, Are you more Loving?

Matthew 25:34-40

34"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, 36I needed clothes and you clothed
me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you
came to visit me.'37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord,
when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and
give you something to him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give
you something to drink? 38When 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.'

Julieta Reyes

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