A Reflection…

This year has been very eventful and all around wonderful for me. I’ve gained and I’ve lost. I’ve learned so much about myself and lots of other things and people. I was challenged this year, in more ways than usual, and because I had never challenged myself prior to my sophomore year in college it was rough. I’ve experienced lots of ups and downs as well as victories and defeats. I had to make very important decisions for myself that changed a lot of things in my life. Nothing was life threatening but everything was life changing…even if it was just a little bit. Everything counts! Growing as a person involves learning and being a student in just about every situation imaginable. Until we can come to grips with that fact that we don’t know everything and there is always someone wiser and more experienced, we haven’t really embodied what it means to be a learner. It is a humbling process that’ll take time to master but everyone is capable. Even the greatest leaders know that it is important to never stop learning.

I’ve been in a state of reflection for a few months now and I am truly grateful to God for all of my losses and gains. He is the reason why I have not lost my hair when I was stressed. God is the reason why I am able to be so hopeful in everything when circumstances around me don’t look good. God is truly my rock that will never crumble. There were times this year when I couldn’t understand why God continued to be there for me. I didn’t and still don’t deserve His love and grace. He is perfect and I am not. I am thankful to know such a King as He. God continues to unravel my passion and the plans He has for me in the future right before my eyes but I’ve learned that I must be obedient to reach them. After all, obedience is better than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3). To believe Him, to trust Him, to love Him, to reverence Him and to live for Him is what my life has become…and much more. God loves all of us more than we could ever fathom but it’s up to us to choose Him over everything else. This state of reflection has been great. It was frustrating at first because I felt lost but God never fails and He answers prayer. If you ask and believe, He’ll give it to you (Matthew 21:22).

This year has showed me to not give up and to keep pushing and believing; to love and appreciate those around me like tomorrow isn’t coming. Complaining changes nothing…except it pisses people off and that’s never a good thing. Nothing is impossible when you have a God who is just waiting for you to believe and ask Him anything! I am truly thankful for this year and I am looking forward to an even better one. God is faithful and He loves like no one.

Believe in yourself and don’t let your faith waiver! Much love and peace.

Romans 15:13- Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 

 

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Something to Meditate on…

A few days ago on July 4, some friends and I went to go enjoy some fireworks downtown. While we were talking and laughing with each other, a guy walked up to us, as kind as he could be, and handed us a blue half-sheet of paper that read:

“I am a follower of Jesus and increasingly my observations lead me to believe that Jesus’ followers have not represented Him well. Honestly, I can’t help but to notice that the Christianity I see in America has very little resemblance to what I read int he Bible.

Jesus said that people would know that we are His followers when they see our sacrificial love for one another and by our devoted obedience to Him (not necessarily by how well we sing or by what we
say when we are all dressed up and on our best behavior on Sunday morning). (read John 13:34-35, John 14:15, Matt 7:21-23)

The Bible teaches that every member of God’s church should actually be a friend of God and that every day each believer should encourage and teach and help the others to follow Jesus better (Read Heb. 3:13-14, Col. 3:16-17, Eph. 4:15-16, Acts 2:42-47).

Sadly, it looks to me like the modern “church” has become more about “services” and programs than a daily relationship-reality in Jesus. My family, together with several others, have been learning to know God better and learning to live out, in actuality, the teachings of Jesus. If you have been longing for more authenticity in Jesus, we would love the opportunity to hear your story.

Or perhaps you currently do not believe Jesus. Would you give Him a real chance? He is alive and He wants to reveal Himself to you. Look for Him– He longs to draw near to you. It’s true, even though His followers haven’t always done a good job of representing Him.

Whoever you are, if you’d like, you can reach me and other people trying to live for Jesus faithfully at http://www.JesusLivesNow.com.
-Jason (+Family) ”

If it is one thing I try to live out, it is to show sincere and passionate love for all people.

Take a look at this scripture:

1 John 4:20, Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

That scripture shows how seriously God takes us loving and caring (honestly) for one another.

Meditate on the book of 1 John. There is so much wisdom in that book.

Got any other scriptures about loving one another? Please share. Even if you have some other thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Be blessed, in Jesus’ name.

Love. Pray. Obey

-Jazmin. M

To Give or Not To Give?

Here in America, we pride ourselves on how much we give to others. We are always going to other countries, who are “less fortunate” than we are, and providing our food services or lending a helping hand. We like to call it “playing big brother.” America is great for flying across the globe to feed someone or to provide resources to those who cannot go out and buy these necessities but what about the people in our own backyard?

I AM NOT, in any way, saying that we should not give to other countries but I am saying that if you want to change the world, you must start with yourself. I always hear people say that “your ministry FIRST STARTS at home.” If we, as Americans, changed our way of thinking and lived by that motto, things will be much better in America.

It is so hard for us (as a whole) to go and give to the shelters in OUR cities or even to volunteer at the soup kitchens around town; but without hesitation, if there was a charity asking for a dollar to help another country out, we would scrape our pockets to find a dollar to give and believe that we have just done an amazing thing. Giving is amazing but picking and choosing your favorites….I don’t know about that!

Giving, in general, is a God ordained thing. The Following scriptures from The Bible explains this better:

2 Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Acts 20:35 – I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Deuteronomy 16:17– Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

James 2:15-16 -If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

In NONE of these scripture verses do you find the following:

  • don’t give to the homeless man who you may suspect to be a drug addict
  • don’t give to the people who have food stamps
  • don’t give to students, they’re in school for a reason
  • don’t give to the person who is always on the corner begging
  • don’t feed the person who is asking for food but doesn’t look hungry

A lot of us use the above excuses to NOT give to people. I do understand that there are con-artist out here that make millions begging for money. I also know that some people who beg for change are asking you to support their “habits” and to that I will say to follow the discernment given by the Lord when deciding to give.

Giving doesn’t always mean giving cash or giving to people living on the streets but giving could be simply assisting a family with groceries, carrying heavy loads for people who seem to be struggling, giving someone a ride in the rain, or even praying for someone who seems down. Give your time, give your hands, give your ears, give your services, and give your love.

If you do give to other countries don’t stop! Please continue because a lot of places do have less than America does but don’t forget about the people you pass by every week. Let’s start creating programs to support the homeless and those that are in poverty in our own communities. A lot of people are homeless or impoverished because of Institutionalized Oppression and NOT just because of their own doing. The next time you decide not to give because someone put it in your head that is it that persons fault that they are that way, think twice and remember the system that we live in.

I know there are untrustworthy individuals in our world but have you ever thought about why they are that way?

“People, like plants, grow where the light is. When you enclose a plant and limit its light source, it will bend itself toward the light, for the light is necessary for its survival. This same thing happens to people locked in communities where little light and little opportunity is allowed them, survival then forces them to twist and/or bend toward the only way of escape.” -Lauryn Hill

 

Pray for con-artists, and pray for drug addicts. You never know, the day you give to them and share a word of encouragement may be the day that they decide to turn their life around.

Stay blessed everyone!

-Jazmin. M