Photo credit: Sweet to the Soul Ministries
Please join us in the upcoming, on-line bible study sponsored by
Love God Greatly Ministries,
please go to this link on FB
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.
Walking outdoors reduces the impact of stress and promotes ‘well-being’ in a fast-paced lifestyle.
“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 8:15 NIV
‘How can we treasure a moment, a memory, an experience when managing hectic schedules?’
‘Multi-tasking’ is one of my strengths. Multiple projects are achieved by the end of the day at the expense of satisfactory health. Busyness hijacks our joy!
It’s a challenge for me not to multi-task. I can check emails, answer phone calls, contribute to a meeting and/or review the ‘to do’ list all at the same time.
At the end of the day, I’m emotionally, intellectually and physically depleted.
‘How can we slow down?’
Awareness is the first step before intentional changes can materialize over time.
Once the committee meeting was over, I strolled down the brick-paved boulevard towards Cafe Keough for a tasty, Cuban sandwich.
The waitress patiently waited for the phone call to end and inquired once again,
‘Have you considered the lunch specials?!’
I was thrilled to spot a ‘cuban sandwich’ with a side order of french onion soup on the menu!
It’s a gift from God to delight ourselves in every activity of our day.
Our Lord doesn’t want us to rush thru an activity or ignore our surroundings much less dodge opportunities.
Let us embrace one moment at a time so we may be blessed by the ‘present’ and be refreshed by God’s grace.
Walking outdoors, embracing silence and savoring every bite of a Cuban sandwich are much healthier practices for a joyful break.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
James 1:17 NIV
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…”
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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.