Waiting for your husband

By Jennifer Moreno

Ladies waiting for your husband patiently is not an easy task, I include myself, but we must trust that God is going to bring us his very best.

Many times we lose our perspective on Christ because we’re too busy worried about the future. God wants you to focus on him and let him be your first love. Mathew 6:33 says – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” If we genuinely pursue God, God will bless us with the desires of our heart.

There are several reasons why we shouldn’t rush to find our husband. For one, we want to make sure our Adam finds us. We want to make sure we’re pursued and we’re not the hunters. We deserve to be pursued and taken as a sort of gem, we deserve to be valued. You wouldn’t want to have that question on the back of your mind, if that man truly did want you or if he was just in it for the ride.

It’s important that when we don’t let our emotions take over us. We must learn to take a step back and pray that God guides us in the direction he wants us to take. Another reason we shouldn’t rush is because we want to have discernment and wisdom when choosing a partner. It’s one thing feeling emotions towards someone and truly seeing the person for who they really are.

Emotions are a quick gateway to distractions, we no longer see the red flags no matter how much they’re in our face. Though I must clarify, no one is 100 percent perfect, but there are some things that only you know what you are able to compromise on or not.

Ladies it is important to not only look for a good man, but to look for a man that fears God. A man who is spiritually in tune with Christ will be able to lead you spiritually. You wouldn’t want to be the spiritual leader of the house? Some Christian women do have to step into that role sadly because their husbands don’t lead them spiritually. If a marriage is unequally yoked, you can be sure there will be conflict in that area and a lot of problems can stem from that.

It’s imperative to understand that being unequally yoked is never a good idea! I speak from experience and it wasn’t pretty. It’s a bad idea on so many levels, not only because you’re both not on the same page with God, but you have irreconcilable differences in many other areas. Like the way you’ll raise your children, or whether you will both consult God in every important decision you make together. Whether that person is conservative or liberal in their politics, whether you’ll go to church together as a family, or if you will allow your children to use contraceptives, etc.

It’s better to be someone’s friend first, build that foundation and then see if that person is compatible with you on those levels. It’s also important to wait to test that person’s loyalty to you through your friendship, how reliable they are and how much are they willing to sacrifice to make sure you’re happy.

Many times we meet men who are really just boys inside. They haven’t matured enough to understand the responsibility of what it takes to be a man and a husband. That’s another reason to wait, you want God to bring you your husband when he’s mature and when you are too.

In case you didn’t know, God cares about your romantic life. He said it himself when he created Adam. Genesis 2:18 – “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

At least we can have peace in knowing that God is out there watching for you, waiting for the right time to bring you and your future husband together.

But while you wait for your husband, it is a good idea to pray for him even if you don’t know him. Pray for his well being, for his spiritual maturity and for anything that it is important to you.

Take this into consideration also while you’re waiting – God wants to use His power to mature you into someone who would initiate sacrificial love towards other people. We so eagerly want to get love, but God wants us to learn how to give it instead.

God bless you ladies!

Sabbath Rest

By Jeremiah Model

Sabbath has a great meaning and value to it.  To religious Jews Sabbath means to rest.

The word Sabbath comes from the root Shin, Beit, Tav meaning to cease, to end, to rest.

In exodus chapter 31 versus 15-17 it says for Six days you may perform work, but the seventh day is a completed Sabbath, holy to the LORD. It is an eternal sign that in six days the LORD made the Heavens and Earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.

Unfortunately for some who do not observe the Sabbath and do not know the workings of the Hebrew sabbath think of it as a day of restrictions, filled with nonsense and legalism.

But to those who observe the Sabbath, view it as precious gift of the creator to his created. It’s a day of joy that is eagerly awaited throughout the week, an exotic island of rest. It’s a time where we can put aside weekday concerns and reflect on our majesty and higher callings. A time to sit with friends and family and dine like royalty.

For many of us we don’t get the rest that we need. Even if we have off Saturday and Sunday we are still usually inundated with traffic, cell phones, music, television, and noise that taxes our stress responses. It causes us to be in a state of unrest seven days a week.

In Jewish writings, music and poetic works, Shabbat is described as a queen or bride. This is usually heard in a popular shabbos song called “Lecha Dodi Likrat Kallah,” which means come my beloved to meet the Sabbath bride.

Imagine viewing a day of the week as a bride fully set apart for you to rest and to enjoy. A day to not stress on deadlines, computer work, monetary concerns, or worrying about tomorrow but just enjoying a day of rest with your creator. A day where your creator rests with you side by side breathing life into you and giving you a fresh perspective of the week upcoming.

There is a saying that says “more that Israel has kept the Shabbat, Shabbat has kept Israel.” In parallel with this wise saying, is a saying by Rabbi Yeshua who stated in Mark 2:27 Living Translation, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”

The Greeks looked down on the Jews as being lazy because they insisted on having a holiday every week called “Shabbat.”

In the ancient times the leisure was for the wealthy and the ruling classes only, never for the serving or laboring classes.

The only nation that had such a law that would allow all to rest was Ancient Israel. It’s a remarkable day that G-D set apart to rest on the 7th day when He created earth, like it says in Genesis.

Sabbath is what kept the Jewish faith alive throughout the diaspora. Nothing has been able to quench the spirit of Sabbath no persecution, threats of death, or laws that were passed in Spain or Germany to remove the Sabbath from the people.

The rest is also for the family, its a day to enjoy each other thoroughly without distractions, as a unit.

All are free to partake of this rest if you want it, just like this psalmist did.

To end this … here is a Psalm 92:1 A psalm. A song for the Sabbath day. It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High.

Love your neighbor as yourself

By Jennifer Moreno

Mathew 22:39 – ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’This is the second commandment that Jesus gave us.

God calls us to love each other. Through this commandment Jesus cuts to the root of our sinfulness. Which is self-love. How so?

God starts with your inborn, deep, defining human trait, your love for yourself. Yes, we are self-centered and we all want to be happy. We want a beautiful family, we all want love, we want our life to mean something, we want to be recognized for our work, we want praise, I can go on and on.

This is why Jesus said to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

God wants to start through here, he knows that our self-love causes us to do this or that, to make things happen. We don’t necessarily have to learn self-love, this is something in our nature. It’s common to all of us, without exception.

So loving your neighbor as yourself means just as you want to succeed in life, help others succeed. Just like you want the best for yourself, want the best in others too. Just like you want the best of everything, clothes, food, etc., help others achieve that too. Sounds simple right? It’s easier said than done.

For many of us, this second command Jesus gave us sort of threatens our self-love. That’s because some people feel if you have to seek the happiness of someone else measured by your own self-love, you sort of forget about you.

If you’re still with me, you’ll see that Jesus knows we feel this threat. But he wants us to understand the first commandment he sent before we understand the second one.

The first commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The second commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

When we fulfill the first commandment, we live our lives completely loving God first above all things. We let God fill us with his joy and happiness, we let God complete us.

In other words take all your self-love, your longing for happiness, love, fulfillment, significance and focus it on God.

Once we have that down, we know that our happiness comes from God and this self love is fulfilled through him. It’s no longer about us, but it’s about him. Then we can start giving love to people because we have God’s love within us. It’s much easier to love people when we love God. Because God wants us to love people like he loves people.

He wants us to see people through his lens. Your quest for happiness will then be to long for what God wants, which is to love one another. God wants us to love our enemies, yes our enemies, without compromise.

Mathew 5:46 highlights this – “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”

Jesus is clearly showing that only loving those who love you does not bring you any reward. It takes no effort to love someone who loves you. But takes everything you got within you to love someone who is completely unlovable, someone who hates you, someone who wishes you the worst, someone who is bitter and evil. It isn’t easy, and Jesus knows this, but he wants us to try.

This command that we love one another is given special importance that Jesus wants. That’s because Jesus said that obedience to it would be the identifying mark of His disciples. He said,

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:35. If we show love, we show Christ through us.

When Jesus died on the cross he died for everyone, without exceptions. He didn’t die just for the righteous, but he died for the unrighteous, he died for the sinners. Why…because he loves us. And that is what he wants us to do and when we do love our neighbors like ourselves, we fulfill the greatest commandment in his law.

Peace, love, and joy to all of you and may God bless everyone!

Can I trust God?

By Jennifer Moreno

Trust is an important ingredient to surrendering to God. But many people find it hard to trust in God because they don’t know him. Others can’t trust in God because things are not going right in their life, circumstances seem to never change and life is just simply hard.

But it is during these times that God wants you to trust him more than ever. God never lied to us saying living here on earth would be all candy cane and roses. John 16:33 shows it clearly when God said to us that it wouldn’t be easy – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

It is through these times that God can show his glory and how He can deliver you if you trust in him. You can’t surrender to God unless you trust him, but you can’t trust him until you know him better and learn why you should trust him.

It is only natural that we don’t immediately trust, it is in our nature. We don’t trust someone until we get to know them better. The same concept applies here, how can we trust God if we don’t allow ourselves to give him a chance and get to know him better?

There are other reasons why people don’t trust God, fear is one of them. Fear keeps us from surrendering to God, but the Bible says “perfect love casts out all fear.” God’s perfect love for you will allow you to cast out that fear. The more you realize how much God loves you, the easier it will be to surrender to him.

But how do you know God loves you? Here are some versus below that shows how God loves you.

Hebrews 13:5“ I will never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.” 

Jeremiah 29:11 says ” 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.”

Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Psalm 86:15  “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

And of course we know the greatest example of God’s love for us is the sacrifice God’s Son for you.

I could show dozens of examples, the Bible is filled with scripture detailing God’s love for you. But only you can see it for yourself if you allow it.

All of these scriptures sound nice and comforting, but how can you trust God’s word? Simple – The Bible says God’s word is powerful and active, sharper than a double-edged sword. God doesn’t lie and he is faithful to his word.

Numbers 23:19 tells us –  “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

God is not like men, God has the power to bring to pass what He plans and purposes to do. Isaiah 14:24 details this, saying “The LORD Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.’”

God’s word is truth, so you can rest assure that God loves you and you can trust in him. God loves you and accepts you just how you are, He already loves you and there is nothing more or less you can do to earn God’s love. God says He is “with us even when we’re against ourselves.”

God wants us to understand that He is a gentleman and He isn’t here to force you to submit to him. He never tries to break our free will, but instead woos us to himself so that we might offer ourselves freely to him. When you submit to God with a genuine heart, He brings you freedom and not bondage. And that’s when we realize that Jesus is not a tyrant, but a savior and a friend.

Pride 

Another huge barrier that can interfere with you trusting in God is your own pride. This one is all too very common and if you may remember Lucifer was casted out of heaven precisely because of his pride. He thought he could be better than God and wanted to be God.

Pride is the root of all sin, it will get you nowhere. All it will cause is separation from God, bitterness in your life, envy, strife, greed, jealousy and it will just stump your progress at ever becoming a better you. Why? Because pride doesn’t allow you to see past yourself, it puts a block from God ever touching your heart. God doesn’t like pride, he blesses the humble.

Once we realize that we are just creatures and that we’re not in charge of everything, we break that struggle we have with God. Because in the end it really is just a struggle between you and God when you allow pride to get in the way.

Humans are sinful, unpredictable, unreliable, we have limited wisdom and we constantly make bad choices. We can’t even trust in ourselves sometimes because too often we are guided by our emotions. It is much more wiser to trust in God who is all powerful, perfect, all-knowing and who wants the best for us.

So the next time you feel that you are doubting God, or you just simply don’t trust him. Remember that He is always there for you, he’ll never forsake you,  He is faithful, He loves you and never has plans to harm you but to prosper you.

And lastly, remember Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” 

The truth is — you are as close to God as you choose to be. God wants you to get to know him and trust him.

Mindfulness

Where is your mind at? Are you living in the past? Or are you living somewhere in the far future? Research published in the Association of Psychological Sciences have shown in there studies that mindfulness when practiced has tremendous benefits on the mind and body.

These are some physical benefits that mindfulness has been shown to alleviate. Such as, helping relieve stress,treating heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, improving sleep, alleviating gastrointestinal difficulties, relief of various cancers with more and more studies revealing the effects on the body.

Just in recent years psychotherapists have turned to mindful meditation as a way to treat various mental conditions. Conditions like depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Now you may be asking yourself what is mindfulness? Psychology today defines mindfulness as a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, living in the moment and awakening to experience.

If you would like to dive into a mindfulness exercise please try this technique expounded on by Christopher k. Germer in his article “Teaching Mindfulness in therapy.”

1. Awareness- Bring yourself into the present moment by deliberately adopting an erect and dignified posture, if possible close your eyes. Then ask what is my experience right now… in thoughts… in feeling… and in bodily sensations?

2. Gathering- Then, gently redirect full attention to breathing to each inhalation and exhalation and to each as they follow, one after the other. Your breathing can function as an anchor to bring you into the present and help you tune into a state of awareness and stillness.

3.Expanding- Expand the field of your awareness around your breathing, so that it includes a sense of the body as a whole, your posture, and facial expression. All it takes is three minutes a day to do this.

Mindfulness may be a new trend that is starting to take popularity in our modern age. But mindfulness goes back to the practice of the ancients. This excerpt is from the song of songs written by King Solomon dated back to 930 B.C., which proves that the ancients practiced mindfulness.

“For now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.”
(Sg 2:11-13)

Maybe it would be a good idea to focus on a task at hand. (So one way to practice on mindfulness is to be present in everything you are doing. When you are at work be at work, when you are at home be present at home. Don’t bring you problems from work at home and vice versa.) When you’re driving to work, take in all the scenery, take a media break, or an electronic fast.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation. It’s important to do it because meditation trains your mind. It trains your mind to relax, to focus, and to clear your head. So when you’re caught up in a whirlwind of stress and anxiety, just take three minutes of your day to practice mindfulness. You will be surprised how much you can accomplish, by giving your brain a break!

Keeping your brothers and sisters accountable

By Jennifer Moreno

As brothers and sisters in Christ it is important that we keep each other accountable. Many times we are so quick to forget that in order to keep a community strong, it requires commitment. James 5:19 talks about this, it says – “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back.”

We can’t turn a blind eye when one of our brothers or sisters is on the path to destruction. It doesn’t mean you have to get into their business, but it does mean you have to be a friend and somehow reach out to them in the best way possible.

The Bible tells us to “speak the truth in love,” which means caring enough to lovingly confront one who is sinning or is being tempted to sin. Paul says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again.” Paul highlights a few key words here: spiritual and gentle.

Without the Holy Spirit guiding you, you can’t really help that person. Only the Holy Spirit can create real fellowship between believers, but he cultivates through the choices and commitments we make. And it is extremely important to do it in a gentle way that isn’t offensive and reach that person in a loving way.

Sure, it’s way easier to gloss over an issue someone is dealing with and say, “that’s their problem, not mine.” But that’s not the attitude God wants us to have for anyone really, especially among believers. Most people have no one in their lives who loves them enough to tell them the truth (even when it is painful).

Fear sometimes prevents us from speaking to that person and because of that people’s lives fall apart. Though each person is accountable for their own actions, we still have to have the courage to speak up with candor. Never use harsh words, be rude or let alone gossip about that person. If you are truly genuinely concerned and you’re speaking about it to another fellow Christian, it is important that you speak about solutions and not add to the problem.

Too often people at church just have fellowship on the surface, only on Sundays and throughout the week I forget about you. Everyone knows about the problem, but no one wants to rock the boat for the sake of keeping fake peace. That my friends, will get us nowhere.

So the next time you see a brother or a sister doing something out of character, sinning, or just straying away…remember 1 Corinthians 12:27 says ” Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” So if one of us strays, a piece of that body is fading away. Have the courage to confront them and do it with humility and love. And remember that being honest doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want, give it thought, be a friend and make sure there is a right time to address the issue.

Proverbs 28:23 says “In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery.”

Good luck my friends and God bless!

A message to women

By Jeremiah Modelo

What is your value? How much are you worth? Do you believe that you are worth anything? Sounds like a transaction right! Well, that is precisely how some men view women like. They see women as a bargain, sort of like a “buy one get one free deal.”

It’s important to note that men can attempt to treat you as such, but the real problem is are you allowing them to? What traits have you inherited from your background that attract certain individuals in your life that could be toxic?

Over my few years in Miami I have seen and witnessed a lot of women that I have come across that have sold themselves short. I have seen this especially in the area of intimate relationships. They have allowed individuals to come in literally to their souls and steal the best of them, leaving them in anguish and in a state of famine.

I have witnessed some women that believe that relationships are like a game. They allow a man to have fun at the expense of their emotions. These type of women remind me of a proverb that says “The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet” Proverbs 27:7 (Some women view a bitter and toxic relationship as acceptable, but it’s not).

I have ran into some guys that believe it’s okay to treat women like a pile of crap. This is their philosophy and language: “you have to try different flavors so you can know which one you like.”The comparison is women to ice cream or food. If your a lady and you’re honest with yourself, you more than likely don’t want to be compared to food.

What these guys are really saying is that they like the quick deal, the easy one not the one that is worth the wait.
They like weak willed women, that are easily seduced by kind gestures, movie dates, or words. Theses guys are wolves in sheep’s clothing and they’re called players. Some of these of women that are caught in this wilderness have mistaken men that are honestly sweet and respectful as insecure. Some women believe that men who have a boasting confidence can protect them. But what they don’t see is that all they’re really seeing is just pride that masks around fake confidence.

If you enjoy being treated this way, by all means enjoy it, but mark my words it will rob you of your life.
But let it be known that you as a lady do not have to be valueless. Let if be known that you on the conscious level can tell yourself that you are awesome, full of value and worth. Don’t allow yourself to believe the contrary…because that is what opens the door to these types of men that only want to use you and consume you.

The tale of the tap really comes down to this question, do you really know who you are? It’s important to understand your value. Once you’ve established that you can assess who can come into your life and who you will allow to have influence over you.

So think back and look to see if you have sold yourself short at some point in your life. A good indicator of where you stand is the type of men that you are attracting NOW. If you’re currently seeing a man, ask yourself if this man is uplifting you in all areas of your life. Does he encourage you? Does he say he loves you or does he demonstrate it? Is he present? And is he willing to die for you if he had to?

These are some vital questions to answer. This is one of my life verses – Romans 12 verse 2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God.”

G-D’s will is not for a lady to be looked down on, or to be trampled like a door mat. He doesn’t want his beautiful creation to be cheated, to be used, verbally or emotionally abused. His will is for women to be in love with their first love — Jesus Christ and that man needs to be up to Christ’s standards.