Friday, December 25, 2015

Oh this is Christmas!

Christmas makes eternity possible

Luke 1:37 "For with God nothing will be impossible."

Through the miraculous birth of Jesus, our triune God gave humanity the possibility of redemption. 

And life. Thank you, Christ. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Why I write this blog

Family and friends,

My entire reason for maintaining this Journey blog is to inspire you to seek God (Matthew 28:19-20) and to read the Scriptures for yourself so that your soul might live on in eternity in His glorious presence (Revelation 21:11). 

I've experienced His powerful presence here, right now on earth. This is why I'm passionate! But I'm overwhelmed just thinking of His future fully-revealed glory! 

I can't wait!

Love,
Blanca 

Monday, August 31, 2015

The tears of August: Only love remains

August 31, 2015

The greatest is love

1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love.

Two loved ones connected to people I know and another person bonded to my heart by my ministry finished the circle of life and passed into eternity this month. Certainly when the calendar turned to August 1, 2015, their families never imagined they would be saying good-bye.

We’re never ready to say goodbye.

Death changes everything. The new normal never fits – it’s awkward, it’s painful, it’s stressful and it can bring regrets.  

It is good to love well (1 Peter 4:8), forgive easily, be truly present and let loved ones know they matter.  

Because.

Once death arrives we no longer have a chance to love. We'll either have wonderful memories or deep regrets. 

Choose love.

Friday, July 24, 2015

I keep thinking nothing will surprise me, but it does.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus the Anointed One is always the same: yesterday, today, and forever.

As we hit rock bottom with verbal and physical racism incited by politicians and police, coupled with callous killing and selling of newborn life as well as unprecedented levels of socially permissible immorality and religious terrorism on our own soil, I’m trusting in the Shepherd of my soul, The Sovereign Lord Who Was, Who Is and always will Be.

We fail to respect human life, each other, and especially God. 

  • How can it be okay to murder unborn babies and discuss their bodies as if they were merchandise for sale to the highest bidder, which apparently they are?
  • Why can a rich politician-wanna-be decide he’s going to be President of the United States and proceed to insult Mexicans, other politicians, and really anyone else just because his money allows him to buy this privilege?
  • Why has the media covered this rich politician-wanna-be and ignored all the other candidates of both parties running for the highest office in America? The advertising dollar speaks.
  • Why do we allow obscene advertising to entice young minds?
  • Why can American-based terrorists easily buy weapons and murder people in a church and on an American military facility? How is that even possible?
  • Why can the United States “Supreme Court” decide that Ephesians 5:31 really doesn’t mean marriage between one man and one woman as ordained by the God who created us?
  • How can the symbol of American freedom, our White House, be covered with a rainbow that has nothing to do with God’s covenant (Genesis 9:3) with the people he created?
  • Why can police summarily arrest and kill people of color whether they are black, Hispanic or other non-whites?
  • Why are murders, rapes and robberies consistently the lead stories on TV, radio and online morning, noon and night?

On and on…

I keep thinking nothing will surprise me, but it does.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

I will never stop telling what happened to me on May 2 2006


Acts 16:13 On the Sabbath day, we went outside the city walls to the nearby river, assuming that some Jewish people might be gathering for prayer. We found a group of women there, so we sat down and spoke to them. 14 One of them, Lydia, was a business woman originally from Thyatira. She made a living buying and selling fine purple fabric. She was a true worshiper of God and listened to Paul with special interest. The Lord opened her heart to take in the message with enthusiasm. 15 She and her whole household were ceremonially washed through baptism.[a]

Until my last earthly breath, I will never stop telling what happened to me on May 2, 2006. That day changed my life and I finally knew what my important mission was. I knew at a very young age that there was something I was going to do, but I had no clue.

On May 2, 2006 I saw the hand of God and it changed my entire life. Ask my friends and family. Ask my daughter – she can tell you how I really was! I am a sinner transformed by God’s love and I will proclaim His name until the day I see Him!

Like Lydia in verse 14, the Lord opened my heart to take His message with enthusiasm. And I have!  God also worked the same way with my grandmother. Both of us have a shared passion and deep love of the Lord Jesus Christ and we tell it to the world! It’s too bad my grandmother didn't live to see my transformation, but I know she’ll rejoice in heaven when we’re together.

Nine years later, my life continues changing; my ministry continues to change to adapt to what God wants. I've left behind churches, friends and lots of fun times as well as lots of things that aren't beneficial for my life.

I’m bolder, more compassionate and I've learned humbling lessons in humility. But I have so much more to learn. A critical lesson I learned is that I must deal with the not-so-great parts of my life in order to be able to walk with others in their pain. That was hard, very hard but necessary.

I continue to strive to be more fruitful and to learn more about God and church history. I love, love the Bible. I can’t get enough of the Word and verses jump out at me.

I've learned to revere His holiness and the liturgy behind His sacred requirements. I love the law because it helps me understand God’s heart.

But this I know:  I LOVE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HE LOVES ME RIGHT BACK!  It’s exciting to know God intimately and to know He cares about my life.

He’s my consistent, compassionate, very loving, and strict-because-it’s-good-for-me Father!

If God has touched your life, use your Holy Spirit power! Don’t be afraid, He will take you places you cannot go on your own and your life will take on a new level that isn't superficial or man-made!


Read more about how God changed my life. If He chooses, He can do the same for you. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stay significant by doing the important things


1 Samuel 24:14 Whom did the king of Israel come out in pursuit of, anyway? A dead dog? A lone flea? Someone as insignificant as I am?

In this exchange David shames Saul for using an army of thousands to conquer one peasant boy. It made me think of how we spend so much time agonizing over things or trying to conquer people who really don’t add value or make a difference.

How much time do we spend majoring in the minors?  

Years ago my brilliant supervisor told me to pick my battles wisely – it has proven wonderful advice in my professional as well as in my personal life.

High blood pressure, strained relationships and countless psychological and physical maladies happen when we go after insignificant things. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stop your mind and mouth



Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. 

I went down that tricky and dirty path called offense before I remembered that the Lord Jesus Christ can strengthen my world and direct my words if I only ask. 

Think of the families that would still be together, of the companies that would reach financial goals and of the wars that would be avoided if we called on the Lord first. 

The Bible commands us to think a new way. 

Romans 12:2 Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. 

Try it. 

You'll like it. 

And peace might just prevail around you! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Forget about praying if you are evil


The wicked shouldn't bother to pray since God will not listen to them, read this: 

Proverbs 15:29 The Lord does not listen to the wicked, but he hears the prayers of those who do right. 

Wicked ways irritate God. 

The Bible says He hates what evil people do, read this:

Proverbs 15:9 The Lord hates what evil people do, but He loves those who do what is right. 

These Scriptures reveal several key things:

God listens to those in relationship with Him (John 1:12-13) who do the right thing.

The wicked who fall on hard or sad times will be on their own. God's not listening to their prayers. 

The wicked who are apart from God will be wiped out of history:

Psalm 9:5 You condemned nations.You destroyed wicked people.You wiped out their names forever and ever. 

Wow.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Seeking God in the mundane and before taking action


Proverbs 8:34 The one who listens to me, who carefully seeks me in everyday things  and delays action until my way is apparent, that one will find true happiness.

I've been breezing through Scripture with a great new 10 chapter-a-day Bible reading plan I found on Challies.com that has changed the way I approach daily reading beyond my theological and devotional studies. 
God and His truths simply jump off the pages of my Bible and I smile, laugh and cry. And I take lots of notes so I can blog.
As I was thinking about how I finally got my Bible-reading groove, I thanked the Lord for making this new method easy for my brain to process. Immediately I came upon this Scripture that tells me why things are easier to process:  I actively seek God in everyday things!
Yes – God is in the mundane of my life! He is aware of it all. My good, my bad and my ugly – well, my bad and ugly take processing, but He’s there with me.
I also have an opportunity to learn how to stop and think before acting until I pray and seek His guidance. Check out the second part of verse 34: and delays action until my way is apparent. That’s a lesson I needed to hear loud and clear from God today because a key person recently asked me to do this, again!
I don’t always delay saying or acting on what I feel and this has caused me great unhappiness. You can probably relate.
Next time you push away the Bible until later, stop.
God is talking to you.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

When dreary beats out joy



Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad today! 

It's been a season of weather discontent. Too much snow, too much rain, too much gloom and on and on. 

Lamenting the rain that gives life to greenery is now a pastime for many in my area. We forget the drought that killed vegetation and maimed our properties, park and public spaces. Complain, complain, complain. FaceBook, Twitter, in person or phone, we complain that we have no sunshine.

Massive gray skies and clouds frame my daytime views most days, and I also ask for the sunshine. But I and countless others fail to see the beauty of the current moment. Seems like we should stop and thank the Lord that we're alive to see the day with its dreariness and all. 

That's how I've decided to look at my days.

Soon we'll see endless days ushering in soaring temperatures and humidity fit for a sauna spa. 

Instead of lamenting out loud and influencing others and especially our own spirits, I challenge each one of us to embrace the joy of the dreary season! 

Yeah! Love the blah days as much as you love the sunshiny days! Why not take advantage of all of the days of your life? 

Ecclesiastes 7:14 When life is good, enjoy it. But when life is hard, remember: God gives good times and hard times, and no one knows what tomorrow will bring. 

You and I don't know if tomorrow brings true sorrow.

Let the dreary, cold, wet and overcast day be beautiful.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

When you are discouraged, read this



Joshua 1:5b I will be with you just as I was with Moses, and I will never fail or abandon you. 

God never fails. I needed to know this today. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Don’t let evil and the world distract you

Are you too busy doing lots of the 'right' things? 

2 Corinthians 2:11 (The Voice) It’s my duty to make sure that Satan does not win even a small victory over us, for we don’t want to be na├»ve and then fall prey to his schemes.

These are my notes from a sermon by Dr. David Jeremiah on spiritual warfare and identifying the enemy.

Satan is the original jet setter (Job 2:2). But how many of us don’t stop to realize that he is in the world tempting us with his arsenal of worldly pleasures which are powerful distractions?

Dr. Jeremiah is preaching a powerful series and he mentioned a devotional by Bob Gass that caught my attention.

I googled it and found the list that I’m sharing below. You and I need to be aware of the ways the world stops us from hearing God’s voice and His call. Since 2006 I've made major lifestyle changes so I’m better equipped to hear and obey God’s call, but I really needed this reminder. I think we all do. I hope you will copy and post this where you can be reminded that satan’s distractions show up in all parts of our lives and we innocently go along...

Devotional by Bob Gass:
Addressing a worldwide convention of demons, satan told them: As long as Christians stay close to God we've no power over them, so:
(1) Keep them busy with non-essentials.
(2) Tempt them to overspend and go into debt.
(3) Make them work long hours to maintain empty lifestyles.
(4) Discourage them from spending family time, for when homes disintegrate there's no refuge from work.
(5) Overstimulate their minds with television and computers so that they can't hear God speaking to them.
(6) Fill their coffee tables and nightstands with newspapers and magazines so they've no time for Bible reading.
(7) Flood their letter boxes with sweepstakes, promotions and get-rich-quick schemes; keep them chasing material things.
(8) Put glamorous models on TV and on magazine covers to keep them focused on outward appearances; that way they'll be dissatisfied with themselves and their mates.
(9) Make sure couples are too exhausted for physical intimacy; that way they'll be tempted to look elsewhere.
(10) Emphasize Santa and the Easter Bunny; that way you'll divert them from the real meaning of Christmas and Easter.
(11) Involve them in 'good' causes so they won't have any time for 'eternal' ones.
(12) Make them self-sufficient. Keep them so busy working in their own strength that they'll never know the joy of God's power working through them.

Do these twelve things faithfully. I promise it’ll work!

Have you figured out the difference between being busy and being successful in what God's called you to do?

Sometimes being B-U-S-Y just means Being Under Satan's Yoke!


Remember:
1 John 5:19
Have confidence in the fact that we belong to God, but also know that the world around us is in the grips of the evil one.

Monday, January 19, 2015

When the old life tempts you

Remember 

1 Peter 4:1-2
Since Christ suffered and underwent pain, you must have the same attitude he did; you must be ready to suffer, too. For remember, when your body suffers, sin loses its power, and you won’t be spending the rest of your life chasing after evil desires but will be anxious to do the will of God. 

3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things the godless enjoy—sex sin, lust, getting drunk, wild parties, drinking bouts, and the worship of idols, and other terrible sins. 

You'll never have peace when you turn back.

If you've fallen away. Return.

Your Father is still home waiting. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Living strong in the Lord

Setting and achieving goals that matter


Romans 12:11 Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord.  (This is my Scripture for 2015).

My main goal in 2015 is to go deeper in my spiritual journey with the Lord.
I never want to be satisfied in the place I am unless I am certain that God has put me there.

According the Dr. David Jeremiah, most of us think we're too busy and we are. But much of our “busyness” is the result of how we choose to spend our non-working hours. He goes on to say that Christians should step back and take a bigger and longer view of where we are in life.

I'm asking myself hard questions.
Am I still passionate about kingdom building and am I using that passion as a vibrant witness for Christ? Or do I need to be still and listen for other instructions?

Time isn't on our side - Psalm 90:10a We may journey through life for 70 years; some may live and breathe 80 years—if we are strong.

In the January issue of the Turning Point Magazine and Devotional, Dr. Jeremiah reminds us that time ticks away and provides some tips to help us do what God assigns.

1. Keep in mind that God has placed us on earth for a fleeting time.
2.  De-clutter our schedules so we can do what matters to God.
3. Take advantage of small segments of time.
4. Take time for the most important things.

I don't want to do what I've always done for Christ. I will take that extra step that requires faith to really live the passion that God put in my heart years ago. What about new passions Christ wants for me? I don't want same old - same old. Can you relate? 

Pastor Rob Morgan writes in his new book, Mastering Life Before It's Too Late: Biblical Strategies for a Lifetime of Purpose, that we're not always going to do great things. But if Christ assigns something that we complete, then it's greater in God's eyes than a magnificent task like building the pyramids.

The entire point is to seek God's will in whatever we do consistently.
Do not just stay in one comfortable spot repeating actions and behaviors over and over without God's confirmation. Dr. Jeremiah offers these suggestions for seeking expanded or new opportunities to serve.

1. Believe that God wants you to flourish and be fruitful.
2. Get involved - take a risk.
3. Look for the open door.
4. Trust God is with you.
5. Seek God's will and listen!

Key messageWe don't need a map from God for the next five years - just one for today!

Get what you really want out of life.
I'm challenging myself to go deeper to break my comfort zone, to zip into the discomfort zone and tiptoe in the delusional zone as Michael Hyatt calls the zones most of us live in when it comes to goal setting.

Hyatt’s blog focuses on intentional leadership and he primarily writes on personal development, leadership, productivity, platform and publishing with a Christian perspective. His emails come directly to my main mailbox because I count on and respect his keen insights on many topics -- he’s practical and down-to-earth. His video on how to pack your trip bags better is a favorite. These are my notes from his webinar on goal setting.

Believe you can win.
Be aware and clear on your own self-limiting beliefs.
Watch the internal narrative that informs your mindset. Be careful what you say to yourself and others. Don’t internalize the negative aspects of personality tests.

Get past the past. Your future doesn’t include your past.

Set the right kind of goals you can stick to.
Goals must be 1) specific 2) measurable and 3) have a deadline.

Tap into the power of motivation.
Identify why you want to do it, what will keep you going and what 3-7 tasks you need to do to achieve your goal.

Beat procrastination.
“You don’t have to be great to start. But you have to start to be great.” – Zig ZiglarHyatt says you don’t have to see the entire plan -- just get started and the steps will be progressively clear. Trust that your action steps will help you reach the goal. Get out of distractions and ask for God’s help.

Set big goals – God can help achieve them.
One of my ministries is to share my spiritual insights. My blogging and social media ministries reach people around the world. So I'm asking God what my next steps should be.  I will diligently seek His guidance each and every day of my life in all things I plan, seek or want to do.

I hope this post encourages you to move forward with the things God wants to do through your life. Live a passionate life and don't settle for mediocre. Serve His Kingdom because it will come!

All the best in 2015!