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

Reflections amid Global Pandemic

There is beauty in life even in the midst of loss and grief. There is beauty in our surroundings when we intentionally search for it.

I am grateful for life and the gift of good health this evening.

Life is precious yet temporary.

Be intentional.

Enjoy good health. Make your health a priority today.

My heart aches … the impact of collective grief is quite real but I also know the Lord is near the broken-hearted.

I heard about people either being diagnosed with a terminal illness, dying from COVID19 and grieving over the loss of loved ones from the novel virus this afternoon.

It was the most difficult “afternoon” I’ve had in 100 days❣️

In less than two hours…
I heard my hubby share about his co-worker who recently lost two family members from COViD19 a few days apart.

A friend who treats COVID19 patients was quite concerned about the rapid spread of the virus in our county.

And, helping a patient manage the intensity of deep grief after losing two family members to COVID19 in the same month was quite sobering.

As a Healthcare worker and a human being, I’ve got to acknowledge the emotional impact of a global pandemic. Let us not deny it. The pandemic is real and so our raw emotions.

Even though the struggle is real, our God is so much bigger.

Let us pray for healing, hope and peace this evening.

Thank a healthcare worker the next time you see one.

Newsletter Coming Soon!

I get distracted quite easily… I love to do ‘everything’ but I know it is not possible.

So, I now have “Break it Down” sheet to help me stay focused on a couple of projects at a time including blogging.

I want to create a Newsletter for y’all.

It will be delivered to your inbox twice a year with all relevant updates from ‘The Bible Reading Journal Series.’

If interested, email me at: thebiblereadingjournalseries@gmail.com

He Leads Me

“Trust in the Lord completely,
and do not rely on your own opinions.
With all your heart rely on him to guide you,
and he will lead you in every decision you make.”
Proverbs 3:5 TPT

“Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes.
Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure,
feasting on his faithfulness. “
Psalms 37:3 TPT

“For I’m releasing these words to you this day,
yes, even to you, so that your living hope
will be found in God alone,
for he is the only one who is always true.”
Proverbs 22:19 TPT

“Thus says the Lord, “Let not the one who is wise and skillful boast in his insight; let not the one who is mighty and powerful boast in his strength; let not the one who is rich boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] abundance; but let the one who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me [and acknowledges Me and honors Me as God and recognizes without any doubt], that I am the Lord who practices lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on the earth, for in these things I delight,” says the Lord”
Jeremiah 9:23-25

Lord,
I am trusting in You alone, Lord.
I am walking by Faith and not by sight.
Lead the way.

Yes, I have been afraid and restless amid uncertainties.
Please forgive me for being so anxious in the recent past.

Calm my anxious heart!

I will do what is right in Your eyes,
I will fix my mind and heart on your promises today.

My living hope is found in God alone for He is the only one who is faithful, trustworthy, and never changing.

In Jesus’ name I confidently and boldly pray,

Amen

The Bible Reading Journal Series, 2020
Photo courtesy: Heidi Fin @ Unsplash

Spring is Almost Here!

“It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the [a]air can nest under its shade.” Mark 4:31-32

“On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And birds of every [a]kind will [b]nest under it; they will [c]nest in the shade of its branches.” Ezekiel 17:23

“All the birds of the heavens nested in its boughs,
And under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth. And all great nations lived under its shade.” Ezekiel 31: 6

“Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
They [b]lift up their voices among the branches.” Psalm 104:12

“Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it. And the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches and all [a]living creatures fed themselves from it.” Daniel 4:12

Lord,

How beautiful is to hear the birds singing melodic tunes every morning!
I appreciate the beauty of joyful tunes right outside of my office window at sunrise.
They lift up their voices among the branches and they make a joyful noise.

Spring is coming soon. A new season is about to unfold with unlimited possibilities… all I need is a mustard seed to plant!

I appreciate the unlimited possibilities of a new season and am expecting the best to come.

In Jesus’ name I boldly praise,

Amen.

Photo courtesy: Ryk Nanes @Unsplash

The Rock in Our Lives.

“The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4

“My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, and my refuge. My savior, You save me from violence.”
2 Samuel 22:31

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He can humble those who walk in pride” Daniel 4:37

“Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” Genesis 18:25

Lord,
You are my Rock. I appreciate Your faithfulness and daily protection.
You are Righteous and Just.
You are my Refuge, my shield, my stronghold, and my forever Savior.
Thank You, Lord, for being so loving and merciful.
You are the King of kings, the King of heaven who protects every one of my steps.
Protect me for the evil schemes, and maintain a hedge of protection over my mind, heart, and soul.

In Jesus’ name, I boldly praise and courageously pray.

Amen.

I am delighted with His Truth.

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law, he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3

“I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.” Psalm 119:15-16

“he righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the Lord,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green…” Psalm 92:12-14

Lord,
I meditate on Your Word at sunrise. I delight in Your wisdom at bedtime.
I meditate on Your precepts every chance I’ve got.

Thank You, Lord, for your unfailing Grace.
I meditate on Your teachings and hide Your Truth in my heart.
I will flourish and prosper in whatever I do.

Your guidance is forever cherished.
You have blessed me with Your unfailing love and never-ending mercies.
Thank You, Lord.


In the name of Jesus, I praise this evening. Amen.

Our Savior is Alive

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.” Jer. 23:5

“Jesus was born in Bethlehem near Jerusalem during the reign of King Herod. After Jesus’ birth, a group of spiritual priests from the East came to Jerusalem and inquired of the people, “Where is the child who is born king of the Jewish people? We observed his star rising in the sky and we’ve come to bow before him in worship.” Matt. 2:2 TPT

“for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Lk 2:11

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11

Lord,

You are our Savior who reigns as the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.
Your never-ending love, compassion, and mercies are new every morning.
You are Christ the Lord.
Your plans for welfare, a future and hope are well-received.
In Jesus’ name, we praise.

Amen.

Giving Passionate Praise

Matt 2:1-12

The wime men eagerly journeyed to Bethlehem to give a royal welcome to the baby Jesus- God’s promised gift of salvation to mankind. They packed gold, frankincense, and myrrh so they could join in the heavenly worship of the infant King.

These men formed an important part of the celebration surrounding Christ’s birth. In fact, they represented you in God’s great plan. They came to woship the Lord of lords and the King of kings, and their visit to the Christ child symbolizes the thousands of men and women who have humbly sought the Messiah through history.

Through your own seeking and serving, you become part of the heavenly symphony giving passionate praise to the Savior.

Allow your heart to burst into song at the thought of Him. Permit the tune of your being to swell with the joy of who He is. Just like the wise men, you have joined the great multitude in never-ending worship.

Seek Him and sing, for surely He is worthy.

Passage from the Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible

Photo Courtesy: Robert Thiemann @ Unsplash

Walk His Ways

“How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways.” Psalm 128:1

“Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in His commandments.” Psalm 112:1

“How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart?
They also do no unrighteousness. They walk in His ways.” Psalm 119:1-3

Lord,

I’m blessed today. I’m fully alive and in good health.
Help me walk in Your ways today.
I am delighting in all Your precepts.

In Jesus’ name, I boldly pray. Amen

Photo Courtesy: Clarissa Meyer @ Unsplash

Take Courage, Do not Be Afraid

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“But, immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying; Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

“The angel answered and said to him, I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” Luke 1:19

Lord,
I will not be alone this Holiday season, I’ve got Jesus in my heart.
I will not be afraid, I’ve got Jesus ahead of me.
I will not be shaken this Holiday season, I’ve got Immanuel who encourages me to take the next step.
I believe, help me with my unbelief.
In Jesus’ name I boldly and courageously, I pray. Amen.

Photo Courtesy: Goodstocks.org at Unsplash