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.

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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?”

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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”

Shut the door and never look back!

 God delivers us from tenebrous wilderness.

He never leaves us nor forsakes us when chained to self-defeating patterns or

strolling down the broad path of today’s world!

He is FAITHFUL!

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison

to those who are bound…” Isaiah 61:1

The Lord heals the brokenhearted, frees us from captivity and guides us towards an abundant life filled with Hope and eternal promises!

“It is a relief to be in His presence each moment!”

A path only a few may find.

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He is FAITHFUL!

Periodically, the Lord opens up another ancient door from a prison cell so we may shut it permanently and never glanced back at it ever again.

 “Idolatry”

Excessive internet shopping and social media updates, busyness, seeking approval from others are few barriers we may encounter when building our relationship with the Lord.

“No more bondage!”

“Let me walk out of this prison cell and shut the door at once!!” She whispered to herself in disgust one late afternoon.

She surrendered her desires for ‘more stuff’, approval, and social media involvement,

“Lord, help us stay focused. You are our only Hope to overcome strongholds in life. In Christ, anything is possible so give us the inner strength, focus, and determination we need for just today. In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.”

Joy in Music

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“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭100:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

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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!

There is time for Everything

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In the book of Ecclesiastes, the truth reminds us of…

“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 weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”

It’s time to mourn indeed.

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.

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

Continue reading

Hidden Bay

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For over fifteen years, my folks lived across this Bay with a panoramic view of North Miami and Aventura.

Mom was vivacious for countless years.

Mom exercised regularly at a Gym and walked daily to a local park, cooked ‘arroz con leche’ often, traveled to Venezuela at least twice a year, played cards with girlfriends, was diligent in taking care of dad and was determined  to overcome her Alzheimers.

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“It’s a new day under the sun”,

I reminded myself as I drank coffee quietly near the pool and momentarily reflected how our lives have forever changed in less than sixteen months.

When dad captured his last breath of fresh air, and waltzed right into the presence of our Lord, family dynamics forever changed.

Mom’s health has deteriorated since then.

Mom gets easily fatigue today. She sleeps often throughout the day, is unable to recollect new information, gets confused at times, is reluctant to wear her dentures, needs supervision, is unable to drive a vehicle, isolates herself, suffers from bodily aches and pains, and disengages from the world often.

The bellyaching fact is mom will never remember how many days  we recently embraced together.

As I hugged and kissed mom, I grasped how our lives will never be the same.

When I approached the counter of Delta airlines, my heart was filled with affliction and sorrow.

Because the Lord is near the broken-hearted, He comforted me as I headed towards the gate, D2.

The Lord reminded me of an inevitable reality,

“In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen. The shades are pulled down on the world. You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt. The hum of the household fades away. You are wakened now by bird-song. Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors. Your hair turns apple-blossom white, Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest…”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭12:3-5‬ ‭MSG‬‬

It’s a new day under the sun, indeed.

The Lord will never leave me nor forsake my beloved mom.

Our lives may have changed. Nevertheless, mom’s unconditional love will always prevail in my heart, and her fingerprints will forever dwell in my soul.

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S.O.A.P worksheet 4 U

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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?!

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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.