Overnight Delivery –

“I haven’t received the certified mail as of yet, Tita”   Niece had sent a text message Friday afternoon.

In disbelief, I wanted to reassure niece the package was going to be delivered soon or I was going to scan and email her a copy.

Mom had traveled to Florida on Thursday.

After 38 years of residence in Miami, mom had finally applied for U.S. Citizenship for the first time. She was ready  to complete her fingerprints.

We were all excited for  Mom was on her way to be a U.S. citizen.

image

By Monday afternoon, I was quite flustered, discouraged and had ran out of possible solutions.

Time was running out!

Mom’s appointment was scheduled for the next day at 3 p.m.She had not received her appointment card as of yet.

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge”, Psalm 62:8 NIV

The Holy Spirit nudged me to contact the local UPS store at 5:05 p.m. on Monday afternoon and so I did.

“The UPS truck picks up at 5:30 p.m. today and your delivery is guaranteed by tomorrow morning” I heard the well-mannered, staff from UPS store say on the phone.

I  rushed to the store, contacted sister for temporary mailing address, and delivered the appointment card by 5:25 p.m.

“Whew! How come I did not think of it sooner?”

IMG_9661

When I heard sister say, “the package arrived 15 minutes early than expected and we will be on our way soon”

I realized I had focused on the challenging circumstances ‘way too long’ and had not prayed at all …

Praising God for His faithfulness in the midst of uncertainties.

Mom is relaxing today in South America while she waits for the formal interview to be scheduled.

“Lord, I believe. I’ve got to pray more often”

A Prayer for Macy

img_8177

How sweet when Scriptures are ‘active and alive’ in the midst of unsettling circumstances.

Jesus reminded me of his Truth, 1 Corinthians 4:12. His timing was perfect too.

“We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly…”

On Friday, I noticed a young woman’s desperate cry to save her kitty on social media.  People demanded the young woman to consult with the vet immediately without acknowledging or addressing the core treatment barrier.

The reality was ‘Momma cat’ didn’t have the money to pay for the vet bills after she had rescued ‘Macy’ from a gloomy, rainy, cold winter night.

After reading multiple, critical and harsh commentators on Facebook, I established a ‘gofundme’ campaign.

Some contributed and supported the campaign, others ignored it and few were insulted by its noble mission.

And, who knows ‘how many’ individuals reported the link to the page’s administrator after the campaign was posted on his/her social page!

Praising  Jesus right now!

I’ve got the Veterinarian and mamma cat’s contact information. Macy is on her way to the clinic at this very moment and I will be able to wrap up with the campaign this week, and most importantly follow-thru with Macy’s progress after her eye surgery💕

Her eye will be surgically removed in the next 24 hours.

I heard Jesus say in my disbelief, ‘pray for those who reported you and for the administrator who banned you from the page!’

“Are you kidding with me?!” it was the initial, candid response.

I was angry, disheartened and in disbelief when I found out I was banned for posting a campaign on social media. There were no warnings or alerts regarding rules.

Since then, I’ve been taking all negative thoughts captive to Christ and will continue loving ‘unlovable’ citizens on this earth today and always.

I love Jesus.

He wants us to love everyone 💕 including the unlovable ones.

Please pray for Macy’s eye surgery and post-recovery phase.

img_8511

(Courtesy picture: Gwen Dean — 5 weeks after the eye surgery)

If you like to donate to Macy’s campaign, please click the link below:

http://www.gofundme.com/help-ms-rescued-kitty

Sisterhood

 

‘Misunderstanding’ is a forceful presence among friends dividing hearts and perhaps abolishing today’s divine plans.

‘Open communication’ promotes  fresh insights, diffuses anger and grants clarity to challenging occurrences.

 ‘Transparency’ is the cornerstone of genuine, mature friendships.

‘Forgiveness and Grace’ are vital ingredients for  friendships to flourish over time and weather the rugged times.

Even if our human tendencies is to distance ourselves when angry, it’s pivotal to be intentional about the reconciliation of our hearts.

All of us possess strengths as well as quite a few character flaws.

“I am happily imperfect. In God’s eyes, I was wonderfully and fearfully made!”

We all think and communicate differently.

When steered into troubled or heated discussions, let us be mindful of our differences and let us honor these inequalities with great respect and in love.

 Cindy and I embrace each other’s strengths,  and sense of humor at all times!

‘How many times should I forgive?’

“Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Christ wants us to forgive others not once but as often as necessary.

If Reconciliation is possible then pursue it today!

Our days are numbered and tomorrow is not secured.

God knows our hearts and He will work everything out in His perfect time!

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…”

image

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!

God hears our Prayers

As I hustled towards the double doors of Corporate building in despair, I prayed “Lord, I don’t want for GQ to suffer any longer…let him rest… Take him now if its your will”.

“Answer me when I call to you, My righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer” Psalm 4:1 NIV

The veterinarian had left me a voicemail by the time I unlocked my office door.

By then, I knew the Lord had seen my distress and had heard a piercing cry for His mercies.

image

Our last morning together. He was relaxed while I drank morning coffee and ate breakfast.

Continue reading

S.O.A.P worksheet 4 U

Select all the ones you like, save them in your computer then print as many as you need.

Enjoy God’s word!

Be still.

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?!

image

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’

image

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)

image

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.

Joy in the Lord is her strength

image

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 ‭

img_5640