I had been wrestling with the idea of blogging some of my life experiences with the intent of encouraging others who may be going through similar situations. Although the main audience being those who have been attending church for a long time and are caught in the cycle of just "doing church", I believe these stories will reach all audiences with God's help.

I'd rather fail miserably at something I feel God asked me to do than just sit back and wonder what could've, would've or should've happened.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hugging THE TREE

There are few things I remember from my childhood in the Dominican Republic as I arrive to the USA when I was 7 years old. Some memories stand out very clear, though. Like the time I busted my neighbor and closest friend’s chin open. Let me explain.
 In the DR, we didn’t have PS1, PS2, Nintendo or none of that stuff. We had to make up games to keep ourselves occupied. One of the games we played was sliding in the cement floor of our porches when it rained. This was every Dominican kid’s rainy day playtime activity. We would take a running-start then slide on our backside or chest on the slippery cement floor. Who needs PS3 when you have that?!

One rainy day as I was playing with my neighbor, I decided to give him a little push so that he could slide faster. Apparently, I didn’t know my own strength. As my neighbor went face-first to slide on his chest, his chin hit the cement floor and was cut open. My laugh quickly turned into a frown as I saw the blood pour down his hand that he was holding over his chin and unto his chest.

I ran through the hallway to the back of the house and climbed up the big tree we had in the backyard. Holding for dear life, I hugged the tree as if would defend me from the discipline that was sure to come – my dad’s size 34 leather belt! It was as if hugging the tree would actually save me. So I hugged the tree tighter and tighter.

Recently, during my morning prayer and devotional time, I came across the parable of the True Vine in John 15 where Jesus compares the relationship of the vine and branches with our relationship with Him – He is the True Vine and we are the branches. It goes on to say that we should remain connected to the Vine so that we can bear fruit.

After reading this passage, I was immediately reminded of myself on the tree and how “safe” I thought I would be if I remained hugging the tree. God wanted to let me know that the only way we could be safe from all of life’s worries and struggles is if we are hugging THE TREE known as Jesus! THE TREE is not only a safe haven but it is our complete life source – without THE TREE we can do nothing! 

Since this experience, I have been hugging THE TREE by reading the Word and spending time in prayer every day. For me it is the source that keeps me going each day…the breath of life my spirit yearns for…the beat my heart needs to stay alive. Hugging THE TREE helps me understand that without Jesus my life is nothing!!

“I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”  (John 15:5 AMP)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My New Year's Rez = Fake It Till I Make It

Every year many people make New Year's resolutions right around this time of the year. Some decide to diet, others have career-related goals and others have spiritual resolutions. Statistics say only 12% of those who have resolutions actually stick to them - don't be discourage... You and I are part of that 12%. 

So here I am... Throwing it out there... My new year's resolution is (drumroll please)... FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT!! According to Wiki, this phrase is used to "imitate confidence so that as the confidence produces success, it will generate real confidence." 

Now I know what you are thinking, "that's a weak resolution". And you may be right but let me explain. 1 Corinthians 11:1 says that as Christians we should imitate Christ in all we do and I try my best to do that. However, we have an enemy whose nickname is The Accuser and he goes around....well accusing people every time they do something wrong. So rather than falling under his schemes, I will take on a FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT attitude in 2013. This way when he accuses me I will imitate confidence IN CHRIST so that as the confidence IN CHRIST produces success, it will generate real confidence IN CHRIST. 

Now we also know that Philippians 1:6 says that God began a good work in us and will complete it by the time Jesus comes back (paraphrased) but the problem is that we are on earth while He is completing this work. So in the meantime, we should work at being Christ-like without feeling like we will never get there - like the Accuser always tells us. That's why I am taking on this resolution! It's a Win-Win situation!

I'm going to FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT in every area of my life:
  • If someone at work upsets me, I'm gonna FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT
  • If things don't go the way I want a home, I'm gonna FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT
  • If my prayers aren't answered immediately, I'm gonna FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT
  • If things in life don't go as planned, I'm gonna FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT
Who's with me? I'd love to hear what your New Year's resolution is! We can encourage each other throughout the year!

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Philippians 1:6 AMP)