You are Forgiven

Please join us in the upcoming, on-line bible study sponsored by

Love God Greatly Ministries,

please go to this link on FB

https://www.facebook.com/groups/172593253169570/

If you are having trouble finding the group, email me at

keynotesinhispresence @gmail.com and I will send you an invite.

I will be the facilitator. And, we are all going to inspire and encourage each other.

God enjoys community and fellowship when we study His word.

InspireEncourage

You are Forgiven

Jesus Understands

The phone rang as soon I sat down in the living room’s cozy, leather couch. I glanced at my watch and had a random thought, “perfect timing! We can catch up…”

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Her voice trembled as she called out my name in despair and fear.

I knew then, there was a family emergency.

My heart skipped a beat or two when I demanded the ‘bad news’ without much delay.

“He attempted suicide”, she declared.

After I gathered all relevant details and suggested a course of action, I was still in state of shock.

I prayed on behalf of the family and was reminded of His faithfulness. God would never leaves us nor forsake us. The Lord gives us the strength, comfort and peace in the midst of chaos and state of disbelief.

I silently prayed.

‘God, give him a glimpse of hope for the future. He has lost his way and is quite desperate in life; he does not even know you or any of your promises. Please, capture his tender heart now, embrace him with your loving arms, whisper in his ear ‘how much’ you love him, forgive him and lead him to salvation. You are a God of ‘many’ chances and your patience never runs out so rescue him from darkness this evening and show him a new way of life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen’

Jesus hears our prayers. He certainly understands our state of mind and heart.

How many of us have the strength to manage unexpected, disheartening news, tragedies or even sudden death of a loved one?

Personally, I am run-down at times.

There is no life apart from Jesus.

He is my living water, refuge and comforter in the storms of life.

Jesus is LIFE indeed.

“which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus understands all of our unfortunate circumstances and He is the One who can helps us get thru it one day at a time.

Apart from Jesus, there is no life!

Refreshed Soul

Life altering circumstances transpired and I soon realized I had drifted away from God’s wisdom and unfailing love.

Did I shut the door?!

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I was inconsistent with church attendance and Bible reading for a season in my life. I desperately needed His truth daily yet I had unintentionally drifted away from Him.

Life disappointments, busyness and overwhelming grief led to despair, discouragement and emotional pain.

I was in a desert with no living water!

One Sunday morning, Lord reminded me of His tender truth.

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Daily Bible reading renews the mind, nourishes the soul and prepares us for combat and adversity.

The truth reminds us to meditate on scriptures day and night.

‘How do I get fit, Lord?’

He answered, ‘one day at a time’

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In the mornings, I complete a lesson from bible study, spend time in prayer and highlight the blessings of the day in a gratitude journal.

(30-45 minutes)

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In a 15 minutes break, I use S.O.A.P method when I select a Scripture verse.

S: Write a Scripture,

O: Write an observation,

A: How can I apply it in my personal life?

P: Write a prayer asking God for His will, guidance, and most importantly ask for wisdom.

I take advantage of the two ’15 minutes’ breaks at work.

At lunchtime, I read a Psalm or a Proverb for the day. It only takes another 15-20 minutes to read, reflect and pray over today’s lesson.

A 3-ring “Journaling” binder helps track the day.

Spend 15 minutes in an activity of your preference 3-4 times each day and

stay ‘refreshed’ all week.

I will never drift away from His wisdom much less ‘shut’ the door ever again.

How Great is Our God

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-8, 10-11‬ ‭NIV

 

Balancing Work and Rest!

Ecclesiastes 4:8 NIV

“There was a man all alone;

he had neither son nor brother.

There was no end to his toil,

yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.

‘For whom am I toiling,’ he asked,

‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’

This too is meaningless-

a miserable business!”

His plans will always prevail!

It’s Saturday morning already!

 My husband is preparing a tasty omelet in the kitchen,

My sister is on her way back to Venezuela,

My second oldest boy is trying to settle down in his morning routine,

and,

I’ve got urgency to get ready for a brunch in less than an hour!

Living in the moment is strenuous when faced with life extinguishers, doubt and fear.

 It starts with a benign question, ‘what if…?’

By the end of the thought, I have colorful, vivid images of a catastrophe.

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It’s truly exhausting!

Strongholds can be debilitating without a doubt.

As I wrestled with life altering decisions,  I finally grasped a reality.

There are no warranties in life.

In my most recent decision, I just wanted someone to reassure me about the future.

I wanted everyone to say, ‘it’s going to be alright…You won’t fail’

I even wished for a descriptive manual with clear instructions in ‘how to’ succeed at the task.

Guess what?!

No one can foretell the future much less can tell you if the decision you are about to make is the most favorable one.

When I kneel before Him in humility and most importantly with a surrendered heart, He always leads the way.

As soon as I surrendered this morning, He reminded me of one of his truths.

Just know, the Lord’s plans will always prevail.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

How peaceful does that sound?

It was comforting and reassuring!

Now, I’m ready for brunch.

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Joy in the Lord is her strength

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I was sitting next to a vibrant, young-looking 65 years old woman when I heard the nail technician ask a routine question, “would you like your eyebrows trimmed today?”.

Her gentle response was, “I no longer have eyebrows since I’m a cancer patient… I’m blessed though”

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭28:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

She was soft-spoken, gracious and well-mannered.

All I heard was, “Cancer… Blessed!”

Agh?

“How many of us feel blessed after six years battling  with a rare form of cancer named ‘Leiomysarcoma’ on two different occasions? ” The cancer is now located in her lungs, kidneys and lymph-nodes .

I’m not convinced as of yet if I can ever bear 27 radiation treatments and still be blissful and undisturbed by a life altering event.

Her joy and strength were unshakable, her gratitude and optimism were palpable and her hope was in the Creator, the Alpha and the Omega. She had no doubts about His protection, unfailing compassion and never ending love.

She enjoys reading her Bible. She relies on His promises indeed.

Even though the white blood cell count is low and an infection may occur at any given time, she was grateful when she took the last chemo medication dosage.

She was even exhilarated by the trendy color of today’s manicure and genuinely smiled during our brief conversation.

She noted, “I’m truly content and in peace”. She gave me a  firm hug on her way out.

Today’s perspective on ‘challenging work circumstances’ instantly changed!

I grasped the importance of the here and now, the value of good health and most importantly the ability to live every moment as if it would be our last!

Our days are numbered indeed so I hope and pray I never lose sight of what’s relevant in life.

Don’t ever give up! (part I)

“When do I begin the process?” I asked the high school guidance counselor about college admissions.

Academic grades were average and English was my second language. I had tutoring services for Reading comprehension, Algebra, Geometry and Statistics. I disliked History and Biology. Writing was a daily challenge too.

“Was I struggling in maintaining a decent G.P.A? “

Yes, indeed!

Counselor’s response was poignant, “Don’t bother. You will never amount to anything.” She walked away, and disengaged from our brief conversation.

“How was I supposed to react?”

I was only 15 years old and was an aspiring freshman in High School. I was ready to overcome educational challenges yet needed some direction and ton of assistance.

I was quite disheartened and discouraged throughout high school. Fortunately, I completed high school and enrolled at a local community college soon thereafter.

The recurrent theme in high school was,  “I’m not good enough.”

Despite of my inadequacies, I developed effective coping strategies one day at a time and improved on study habits over time.

As soon as I completed one degree, I enrolled in another one of interest.

Thirteen years later, I defended a doctoral dissertation in front of a challenging committee and a professional audience.

Consistency and optimism are key ingredients for success.

Today, I’m a licensed Mental Health Counselor & a Registered Clinical Supervisor in the State of Florida, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst worldwide and a Psychologist in the State of Tennessee.

God definitely has a plan for all of us!

God wants for all of us to prosper and run the ‘race of life’ well. He doesn’t want for us to be discouraged much less give up. He encourages us to persevere and rejoice in every struggle, in the midst of adversity and hardships.

The Lord is always faithful.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭

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