A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance.

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“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As a child, I spent countless hours at our family’s country house, ‘La Morita’. We would travel there every weekend with relatives and friends. The adults would play cards, dominoes or bingo in the evenings after a tasty home-made meal. All of the children would laugh often when sharing stories at the hammocks zone, play Marco Polo at the pool, ride horses in town or hike the mountains at sunrise.

I certainly miss ‘La Morita’. Those memorable times were filled with joy. I don’t remember experiencing any sadness then. Our families were united, loved one another, and were energized by fellowship, outdoor activities and mesmerized by the beauty of nature.

As I grew older, I soon realized life was not ‘picture perfect’. There are moments filled with contentment and other times filled with great distress, anger, emotional pain, grief and/or sorrow.

God promised to be right there with us thru it all – the fun, the boring, the best, the ugly and the worst times.

The Lord is our Refuge. He will never leave us nor forsake us. That is His promise.

When dad passed away, mom relocated back to our home country in South America. Since then, I have only seen her once. We don’t get to walk at the local park nor shop at ‘Sawgrass Mills’ Shopping Center anymore. It has been over two years since I last had a meal with mom at the table. I miss her voice, enthusiasm and most importantly her presence. I wish I could sit with you right now and share the details of my next trip to Florida. The truth is I may never be able to visit mom again and this is a reality I have recently come to terms with. I am in a season of loss, grief and sorrow indeed. It is time to weep, mourn and embrace the loss of mom’s current living situation, geographical distance and deteriorating health conditions.

Are you grieving at this moment, my friend? Are you reminiscing on ‘how’ your past circumstances are quite different than todays? Perhaps, you are facing an ‘unexpected’ loss and you are quite overwhelmed with the intensity and impact of the sudden challenge.

Do not be dismayed or broken-hearted, my friend.

We are in a season of grief but His mercies are new every morning. Today is filled with opportunities for us to briefly reminisce about the past then spend the rest of the time counting our blessings. We have been blessed for all the countless memories and unforgettable moments with our loved ones. They have left their ‘forever’ fingerprints on our minds, hearts and souls. My heart rejoices every time I think of mom.

Let us not dwell on the emotional distress or pain of our recent past. Let us acknowledge our loss, lament and journal our painful thoughts until we are comforted by His promises. Our Lord listens to our melancholic cries and painful thoughts and He comforts our shattered hearts over time.

We will dance once again as soon as our hearts are healed and restored.

Lord, there are so many seasons in our lives and some are difficult to process and get thru. I know we may be in the midst of a tough season. As we lament our losses, we know you are comforting us with your faithfulness, morning mercies and compassion … You hear all of our cries and wipe our tears away. You heal our brokenness and bind our deep wounds. You are our only Hope and Refuge. Turn the gaze of our hearts towards the beauty of all of your promises and fill our hearts with never-ending Hope.

Lord, I’m willing to embrace the new season in life. Spring is here! Flowers are blooming. I want to rejoice once again. Jesus, hold my hand and come with me and waltz together at the dance floor.

In Jesus’ name we boldly pray, Amen.

“You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,” Psalm‬ ‭10:17‬ ‭NIV

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm‬ ‭147:3‬ ‭NIV

“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm‬ ‭9:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm‬ ‭27:4‬ ‭NIV

Photo courtesy: Jared Weiss @ Splasher

Interview with Susan Holloway

Good morning!
Hope you are having a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
I attended a women’s leadership conference this past Saturday. As I waited for a friend to sit with me at lunch break, I was sitting alone in a round table for eight when Susan Holloway walked in. 
It was an instant, divine connection. This unforgettable moment was definitely orchestrated by our Lord.
After a half an hour into our small group discussion, I soon realized, Susan Holloway loves to Journal❣️

Susan has been journaling her prayers for the past eighteen years and described the journaling process to be her daily inspiration. 
Journaling gives direction and purpose to her life.


Watch her play the violin here at the University of Memphis, TN https://youtu.be/tlf2JkfO3vg


How did Susan overcome stage fright? Watch her testimony here:https://youtu.be/Y5Kj1d28Mtk

What’s Journaling, Susan?https://youtu.be/Xgek12Bzyro

Professional Video of Susan:https://www.facebook.com/731883940280134/posts/1640408736094312?s=583325868&v=e&sfns=mo


To follow Susan on Instagram: @susanhollowaymusic
To follow Susan on FB:

Susanhollowaymusic

YouTube.com/c/susanhollowaymusic

Rise Up and Journal.
God Bless, Adriana

The Bible Reading Journal Series: Color Coding System

Every time I read my Bible, I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me thru the journaling experience including highlighting, meditating and journaling the selected Scriptures.

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” Psalm 119:18 NASB

I pray over the following Scriptures when journaling and highlighting:

But He said, ‘On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and observe it.” Luke 11:28 NASB

“Lord, what are the practical ways I can step out in obedience?”

As I read His Word, I truly delight on all of His precepts and promises. When His Holy Spirit convicts me of His commands, then I highlight the verses in BLUE.

But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28 NASB

“Lord, show me any unconfessed sin(s) in my life.”

When the Holy Spirit convicts me of any sin(s), then I highlight the verse in BROWN.

I also acknowledge sinful nature in the Bible.

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 NASB

“Lord, help me forgive myself and/or others today.”

When the Holy Spirit convicts me, then I highlight the verse in PURPLE.

“O Taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8 NASB.

“Lord, show me your everyday miracles. Open my eyes, heart and help me count my blessings. I want to maintain a heart filled with gratitude and thanksgiving.”

When the Holy Spirit convicts me of His character, then I highlight the verse in RED for His never-ending compassion, unfailing love, and morning mercies.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 NASB.

“Lord, I am surrendering my life to You, and praying over selected Scriptures.”

When the Holy Spirit convicts me, I highlight the verse in GREEN.

To view YouTube video clip; click below:

Intimacy with the Lord

Closeness with our Lord = Quiet Time + His Word + Self-Examination + fervent Prayer.

Let us explore the daily process for the Bible Reading Journal today.
It typically takes me approximately 30 minutes to read a chapter a day and journal. It may seem a long time but our time with the Lord is priceless and memorable!

Once we read the chapter, we highlight and inscribe a selected verse or two in different translations. When I inscribe His Word, I am able to memorize it a lot easier. I then journal ‘how’ I am going to step out in obedience in practical ways.

Later I examine my heart daily so I may repent and forgive, count my blessings and maintain a prayerful lifestyle.

Cross-References allow me to dig deeper into God’s Word and Commentaries enrich my “journaling” experience.

“…but God was working in every detail. He was providing, humbling, sanctifying, forgiving, and drawing their hearts to His in the most necessary and beautiful ways.“ 
Whitney from Love God Greatly Ministries.

“When I read my journals, I see God’s fingerprints all over. Journals are my stones of remembrance (Joshua 4:23-24)“  Adriana Morales-Spokane.

Join our FB Community for women at “The Bible Reading Journal Series”

Next Video Clip: The Bible Reading Journal Series: Verse Color Coding.

Examine the Heart!

Let us Examine our Hearts.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:31‬ ‭NLT

“But now you also put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:8, 19‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:22‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,” 1 Peter ‭2:1‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Memorial Stones

Memorial Stones

“Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”

For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the LORD your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” Joshua 4:6-7, 23-24 NASB

Journaling is a way to reflect on God’s Faithfulness.

All of my journals are priceless keepsakes and much more like memorial stones that last forever.

I get to look back to where I was and see how God has transformed my life over the course of time.

He is good all the time.

His Word renews my mind every day, strengthens my heart in moments of distress and has transformed my life over the past decade alone!

God is Our Stronghold

God is Our Stronghold.

Living in another country far away from loved ones is unsettling at times. But God is our Refuge. “I will rejoice and be glad in Your steadfast love because You have seen my affliction; You have taken note of my life’s distresses” Psalms 31:7 AMP.

Have you ever been in a situation you were not able to participate as much as you would have liked? 

Mom was rushed to the hospital last Friday; her sugar level was in the 400s, high blood pressure was at a stroke level and she was severely dehydrated by the time she arrived at the hospital. She was stabilized over the weekend.

Praising Jesus for mom’s recovery and for His strength to get me thru the weekend.

I am singing a new song this morning for His saving power and grace were on display and palpable (Psalm 98:1). “But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength. Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning. For you have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.” Psalm 59:16 NASB.

I typically feel powerless and heart-broken when I am unable to be at mom’s side during her medical emergencies. She is frail and her health is deteriorating every day. In these unfortunate circumstances, no one has any control but God does. He is our Great Physician and Stronghold who orchestrates every detail of life’s unforeseeable moment.

Just remember one of His promises, friend, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT.

If you are worried about a loved one today, just know the Lord is watching over his or her care at this instant. He protects us, loves us unconditionally and has the best future for all of us.

God is able to do what he promises (Romans 4:21) and so much more. He certainly surprises me quite often.

Psalm 21:13 “Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength; He will sing and praise Your power.”

Psalm 5:3 “In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”

Psalm 88:13 “But I, O Lord, have cried out to You for help, and in the morning my prayer comes before You.”

Psalm 59:9 “Because of His strength I will watch for You, for God is my stronghold.”

Photo Courtesy: Olivia Hutcherson @ UnSplasher

Crossing-Over

Crossing-Over: Journaling God’s Faithfulness.

“Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5‬ ‭NASB‬‬
There are miracles taking place in our ordinary lives every day.

We just need to stop, breathe, reflect and journal. The Lord will do the rest! 

He is Able.

Today’s video clip is here:

Benefits of Journaling


Did you know journaling has a lot of benefits?

Allow me to share with you some of the benefits today.
Watch today’s video clip: https://youtu.be/2jLr60c8t2c

  • An opportunity to discover things about yourself, 
  • An opportunity to reflect on our lives in the midst of busyness,
  • An opportunity to reflect on God’s Truth,
  • An opportunity to align our lives to His precepts,
  • An opportunity to discover unconfessed sin(s),
  • An opportunity to discover negative emotion(s) including anger, bitterness, jealousy or envy, hurts, and disappointment,
  • An opportunity to count today’s blessings,
  • An opportunity to guard our hearts from negative emotion(s) including unforgiveness and hatred,
  • An opportunity to submit our petitions to the Lord,
  • An opportunity to pray for others,
  • An opportunity to write down your key points from the Pastor’s sermon,
  • An opportunity to reflect back and apply what was learned at a conference or bible study,
  • An opportunity to write Scriptures and explore different Bible versions to grow deeper in our walk with the Lord,
  • An opportunity to write God’s Word to memorize and hide His Truth in our hearts eternally, 
  • An opportunity to establish and maintain an on-going dialogue with our Creator,
  • An opportunity to listen attentively when taking notes in the additional lined pages of the journal, 
  • An opportunity to appreciate how faithful God is in our everyday lives,
  • An opportunity to gain insights and fresh perspective on a given challenge,
  • An opportunity to reflect on learned lessons,
  • An opportunity to seek for God’s wisdom and direction,
  • An opportunity to witness God’s answers to prayers 
  • An opportunity to take notes from your favorite commentaries.

Note, there is no right or wrong way to journal, I would encourage for you to do it. You will grow closer to God and His Word will guard your heart. Everyday stressful or challenging circumstances can lead to worries, anxieties or distress. If we take the time to cast our cares onto the Lord, He will give us rest and peace as soon as we rely on Him for comfort.

Rise Up & Journal today!

Carving Time for the Lord


Do you find yourself too busy for God’s Word? You are not the only one. Life gets ‘crazy busy’ and we are juggling too many expectations, demands and/or unfortunate circumstances.

It happened to me in the past; I was inconsistent in reading and journaling His Word.

I have learned to be intentional over the course of my life. I now have a favorite time and place where I read God’s Word. I truly delight in reflecting and inscribing His Word at Sunrise every day.

At times, when life happens and gets too hectic, I schedule it!

Tips:

Step One: Review your calendar the night before and schedule time to read and journal God’s Word,

Step Two: If you do not have time the next day, then prioritize your daily activities and carve time for God’s Word. Make it a priority.

Step Three: Rise Up and Journal,

Join the FB accountability group today, search for “The Bible Reading Journal Series”, answer all three questions and enjoy the journey.

A group member shared her experience recently,

For a conversation in the living room, click below:
https://youtu.be/KOJUu2xcvjQ

The Story behind the Bible Reading Journal Series

The Lord illuminates our journeys one day at a time. He is our Refuge, Counselor and our Peace in the midst of hardships.

“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we receive mercy, we do not lose heart,We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;perplexed, but not despairing,persecuted, but not forsaken,struck down, but not destroyed…”
  2 Corinthians 4: 1, 8-9 

This 13 minutes video clip is the story behind the Bible Reading Journal Series. “Journaling God’s Word saved my life!”

Join the FB community at “The Bible Reading Journal Series.”
Rise Up & Journal today!