Persevere

Days can be hard. We have no idea what is going to happen next. The Texas shooting is so surreal, my heart and prayers are with the parents, families, town, and anyone who lost a loved one. Stories will be coming out. I imagine the teachers were heroes as human shields. Texas you are not alone, the entire country is with you. 

I remember the Columbine high school shooting over 22 years ago, I was working at the Level 1 trauma center in Denver at that time. I was speaking at the other Littleton High school in the auditorium. It was the beginning of this mess. Children should feel safe and protected. 

My words are few in this blog post except to say, We need Jesus! We need love, not rage. We need compassion, not destruction. But there is a hope to hold onto when days seem dark.

white petaled flowers on a sunny day
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There will be brighter days, we must hold onto Jesus and believe He has the beginning and the ending figured out. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beginning and the end. We grieve with Texas as I believe the Father in heaven does.

Revelation 1:8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Matthew 11:28 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

Here’s a song to encourage you, “Just As Good” by Chris Renzema and Ellie Holcomb. Be blessed and hug your family members a little tighter. 

Do you want healing?

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Who designed the earth, heaven, and stars? Who created each of us? Who is the only One who can heal our hurts, care for our burdens and bring us hope? It is the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Lord.

Do you want to be healed? This was a question to a man who was unable to walk due to paralysis.

In scripture, Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed? It is the same question for us. Do You want to be healed?

John 5: 1- 15

 Afterward, Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.

There may be those around you that do not want you to heal of physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual brokenness because when you do you will be a force to be reckoned with. We are stronger when our faith will be in Christ alone and not in our own strength.

Greater is the Lord in you than He who is in the world. Jesus will give you strength, peace, and healing. You must believe He is Lord and Savior, repent of sins in the past and take your healing. He is the triune God: Father, Son ( Jesus), and Holy Spirit. When you let Him into your life He will bring good, including hope and a future ( Jeremiah 29:11). Take your brokenness to Him!!

I really loved this song, The Healing, by Blanca and Dante Bowe. We are all broken, some cracks can be seen on the outside, and some inside hurts are not as visible. He can heal you. As you praise and dance to this worship song, step into your healing!!

Father God, You never change. You love Your children and You have plans to bless their lives. Lord, sometimes we feel alone and unworthy of healing due to our sins. Help us to turn to You before it’s too late. Help us to believe in Your unfailing love. We need healing from our brokenness. You are Jehovah Rapha, our Healer. Help whoever reaches out to You feel Your Presence. Draw them to Yourself. In the Name above all names, Jesus!

Mother’s Day hard?

Psalm 145:3-4 MSG
[3] GOD is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatness. [4] Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.

As a women of infertility, I understand the challenges of observing Mother’s Day. I have learned that God’s family is formed in many ways. Before I became a mom of adoption, He allowed me to feed into the lives of thousands of kids to teens as a nurse and public speaker for injury prevention. He also, gave me places to mentor foster kids as a big sister. There are other places the Lord can use your love and care beyond a biological child. You can make a difference to generations.

You are loved by Jesus

Mother’s Day is a day of multiple emotions; joy, peace, love, grief, loss, and regret. As a mom blessed through adoption, I think of the sacrifice of our birth families along with my love for our children. I think of their loss and willingness to place ( not abandon) their children to my husband and my arms. I know they each ponder, as Mary did in the Bible regarding Jesus, the life of their biological child. Yet their love for their child, according to their own hearts expressed to me and my husband, even in grief and loss, lead them to choose their forever parents. I have a tender heart that grieves with them even in my blessing every year at Mother’s Day.

I extend greetings on Mother’s Day and I receive communication that affirms, a mom never forgets their child and they have communicated appreciation for our loving care. We are the family of extended adoption. We are blessed. It is not easy. It can be emotionally hard for all in the adoption triad (child, birth and adoptive parents). However, spiritually we all must lean on Jesus for closing the holes in our hearts that only He can fill. I share with our children the same message, no mom or dad can fill the space in our hearts meant for Jesus!

It takes trust in God above all (even though in our human emotion it seems impossible). It is hope for our children’s future holding the hand of Jesus for wisdom. It is unfailing love for our children who are created in the image of God.

Psalm 145:8-21 MSG
[8] GOD is all mercy and grace- not quick to anger, is rich in love. [9] GOD is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace. [10-11] Creation and creatures applaud you, GOD; your holy people bless you. They talk about the glories of your rule, they exclaim over your splendor, [12] Letting the world know of your power for good, the lavish splendor of your kingdom. [13] Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal; you never get voted out of office. GOD always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does. [14] GOD gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. [15] All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time. [16] Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures. [17] Everything GOD does is right- the trademark on all his works is love. [18] GOD’s there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it. [19] He does what’s best for those who fear him- hears them call out, and saves them. [20] GOD sticks by all who love him, but it’s all over for those who don’t. [21] My mouth is filled with GOD’s praise. Let everything living bless him, bless his holy name from now to eternity!

I love this Message version of scripture, Psalm 145. No matter who you are, a single person, a single mom or dad, married, divorced, God sticks by all who love Him, those who fear Him in respect, seek Him, repent from sins and believe He is Lord. Call to Him and feel His love extend to all, moms or not!

He is the Same God

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The same God that freed captives in the Bible is the same God that can transform your life. He is filled with kindness, wisdom, and understanding. He knows you He wants to fill you up with His riches of grace, unfailing love, and joy.

Will you take a risk and reach out to Him? Past disappointments with a human father may give you fear or cause distrust of your Creator God. He is good and He is able to guide your life. Will you let Him?

He wants to adopt you into His family, but He gives you a free will choice. As a mom blessed through adoption, this amazing gift of adoption into the Lord’s family takes on another level of love and awe. He wants a relationship with you.

Ephesians 1:3-11 NLT [3] All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. [4] Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. [5] God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. [6] So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. [7] He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. [8] He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. [9] God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ-which is to fulfill his own good plan. [10] And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth. [11] Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

Same God” is a wonderfully moving message of the unfailing love and commitment of God to His children. Elevation Worship and Jonsal Barrientes really bring this promise to a beautiful place. Listen to the lyrics. Be amazed at this amazing God.

May this song impact you as much as it did me. He is the same God from the beginning of time to now.

Eagles in the wind

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Twice in the past two weeks, my youngest & I were in the car when a bald eagle flew over and circled us. It happened again Tuesday after school for the second time. Eagles are my favorite bird they represent majestic powerful victory. They are messengers of God’s protection for His people. The Israelites were in need of protection as they traveled in the desert escaping the oppression of the Egyptians, it is described in Deuteronomy 32.

Deuteronomy 32: 10 - 11
He found them in a desert land,
    in an empty, howling wasteland.
He surrounded them and watched over them;
    he guarded them as he would guard his own eyes.[c]
11 Like an eagle that rouses her chicks
    and hovers over her young,
so he spread his wings to take them up
    and carried them safely on his pinions.

Breathtaking and in awe, my youngest and I shared a beautiful moment at the roadside. Watching this amazing eagle, we were speechless. First, it circled the car, and then, it was pushing hard and flying against the wind then circled and went with the wind to the east. I wrote a blog post called ” Wind” last week, check it out. In Hebrew, it is Ruach, meaning wind, spirit, and breath. 

Is it a sign or a wonder? Only God knows. I believe that we are given opportunities to see our Creator God in nature. He can do anything. My love for His creation and my stillness with God can bring amazing moments. We have to fix our eyes on His truths and spend time with His Word to gain wisdom, especially in these crazy uncertain times. People are watching our walk of faith, I was blessed to share these with my child.

The next day I sent this text to my daughter: Sweet daughter: I believe it was prophetic that twice recently you and I have had eagles soar and hover over us in the car. Consider this, my precious one, We are to be God’s messengers, He wants us to fly with the wind, His Holy Spirit, into the future. He was showing both of us the eagle pushing against the wind then in with majesty this beautiful eagle flowed with ease facing east. We must flow with God, my dear daughter! He will use our obedience when trust in Him alone. (Expect distractions from the enemy, as he has different plans.) 

Isaiah 40:28-31 [28] Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. [29] He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. [30] Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. [31] But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Since He created each of us in His Image, He knows how best to send a message. Are we seeking Him? Are we open to hearing His truth? When we are available to hear Him, He will share a wonderful mystery that will take our breath away.

God so loves

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There was a time in my life when God was not the focus, instead, it was about a checklist. I felt I was a good person, not one to cause conflict, and did the Christmas and Easter church thing.

However, I felt an empty space in my heart. I had a solid career as a mentor emergency trauma nurse and trained paramedics. My husband and I joined the land of mortgages, a solid career I loved, our first dog, with an expectation of a baby.

Screech went the brakes for this standard list of western expectations. Infertility without a cause and I had no control of my barren body which drove me to seek Jesus.

I had my final infertility treatment and took a memorable trip out of state. After a near-death experience on a Colorado rafting trip, I saw life from a different vantage point. I wore a crash helmet and tightly zipped life vest as the guides gave instructions on body position should a tourist end up in the frigid, springtime, mountain river. I was thrown from the raft at a point in the river called Cardiac Corner ( Class 4 – 5 rapids).

As my body and head were crashing into boulders and trees skirting the river and I was stuck in the swells and sucking water, I cried out to the Lord. I felt as if I would drown, but almost as soon as I called out Jesus, help me! I felt a warmth surround my body, even though my hands especially my fingers were bluish and numb, I felt no pain. I felt the river was a metaphor for life. Would I trust God with the details and take a ride in the rapids or crash and die?

I chose to trust God, rest in what felt like the huge, warm hand of God, and lived. My husband and I relocated to Colorado within six months. My first Colorado friend took me to my first Bible Study. The book of Romans 5 showed me a new beginning and I learned after dedicating my life to Jesus that I will let Him drive my future plans.

One of my favorite scripture Romans 5: 1- 8 was an epiphany.

Romans 5:1-11 NLT
[1] Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. [2] Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

[3] We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. [4] And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. [5] And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. [6] When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. [7] Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. [8] But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

I no longer saw my infertility as a failure instead I saw the need to trust God with everything. After infertility procedures, giving myself shots, waiting on God while caring for children at work in illness and trauma, relocating, and subsequently, the unknown of adoption. I realized I wanted to be a mom and trust the Lord to orchestrate the details.

After a decade of marriage, our first child came to her forever home through adoption six weeks after I accepted Jesus. All three of our children are amazing gifts from God who know more about Jesus as children than I did.

“God so loves”, a song by We the Kingdom brings a vision of joy, and diversity of many beautiful children created in the Image of God. I hope you enjoy it as I did when I saw the band play it live.

I hope you are inspired to realize God so loves. That is the first step of faith in an unknown God. I had to flip out of a white water raft to come to this amazing realization. What will it take for you?

Are you weary? He will strengthen you. You may feel unworthy of His love, He knows but loves you anyway. Bring all your failures. He will direct your life journey. God so loves.

Claim it

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Iveth Luna sings a powerful song, “In You”, about throwing away fear and meditating hope and strength in Him alone. I feel so strongly about this transforming action. I blog about the importance of Faith in Jesus, trusting in Him, believing He is who He says He is, repenting of our stupidity and sin, and claiming a new life with Jesus.

As I heard this song for the first time, my mind gathered its message and I felt for just a little while the peace that only the Lord can give. Peace and Awe at the free gift of Jesus!

Regardless of the world or personal chaos, the enemy has no unsettled claims against us after we give our life to Jesus. However, we must make time for daily reading of scripture, being still with God, turning from our fleshy mindsets and actions. We must actively seek to change the sinful patterns of our life. It is a daily submission to His authority not in restriction but in a relationship with Jesus. We must take every thought captive for Jesus and the Lord will be our fortress.

2 Corinthians 10: 3- 5      We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
Iveth Luna – In You

Submitting to the authority of Jesus may seem an impossible step. But when we accept and believe He died for our sins and agree to let His Holy Spirit guide our lives we are HIM powered ( not human empowered) by His strength, to break patterns of the past and live in freedom.

John 14:   14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Even Jesus’ disciples ( his closest friends) did not fully understand the concept of the Holy Spirit. I am so grateful that scripture tells us about their questions. Further along in John 14, Jesus explains that they will not be left as orphans. The Holy Spirit will guide their lives.

John 14 : 10 - 21      10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, obey[d] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[e] who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.[f] 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

We can have this same amazing source of wisdom, the Holy Spirit. I am a sinner saved by the free gift of grace from Jesus, I have never regretted the day I bent my knee and have been in awe as He instructs through His Word, His people ever since. He awaits your voice and bended knee. May today be your day of transformation as His Child.

If you have made the decision to follow Jesus, send me a message, I will rejoice with you.

Kintsugi and Life

Light through the Cracks

 This is a reblog of my first post. It feels so relevant for current times. May it encourage and remind you we all have broken parts. The world seems to be fracturing between nations. We all need peace and unity with our Creator. Our cracks can be healed and patched up by time meditating on His Word. Let Jesus provide the glue and wisdom.

_______________________________________________

I am inspired to share wisdom from the challenges in life.  I went to an adoption group meeting last week, one of the leaders spoke about an ancient Japanese art called Kintsugi.   

This Japanese art mends broken pottery with gold lacquer making the repaired piece more beautiful for having been broken.  The message of using our broken stories, mistakes, trials and pains, for good, resonated with me.

Why do I see broken experiences as loss? Why do I see mistakes as failures? Why do I see trials as punishment? Do these broken stories mean I am forever broken? Who gave me this pessimistic thought?  Should I stay in the negative or choose instead to see the other side? That is the choice I must make no matter which road I choose to journey.

As I purposely broke the creme colored china tea cup, I pondered the long list of my challenges with myself, and others. I pondered the mindset of the negative. I thought back to how in my infertility I found God. I thought in the stress and fears of adoption, awaiting God’s blessing, I felt His presence again. I thought, how each one of my children came to my husband and I at just the right time, God’s time, His Presence, His blessings to me.  Why is that surprising and yet inspiring? The trials brought me to a closer relationship with Jesus. I had to trust Him with the unknown.

As I watch each stage in my children’s life, I am reminded yet again, God is refining me as the epoxy and gold flakes reconnected the broken pieces of my china tea cup. The bond of strength in this cup is stronger, the gold shimmering edges of the cracked pieces are more luminous. The beauty of the creme colored tea cup is changed and more meaningful to me now than if the tea cup hadn’t been broken.

As I was breaking the tea cup, I thought in the back of my mind how amazing it would be if there was a small irreparable opening. I reflected if that opening appeared it would be a reminder of how the Lord God Himself has shown Himself through the cracks of my life.  It would remind me I am not meant to go through repair without His Light.

Interesting enough, the small opening in my creme colored tea cup did appear, I carefully dabbed on gold dusted epoxy in the opening. Surely I will remember He is steadfast in all trials, joys and the steps of life. May I be the example to those who watch the step by step journey of His Light shining through the cracks. Refined, remade, richer and Luminous!!!

Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

LOVE

Jesus loves you !!

Today is Valentine’s Day, a day when those with love interests and those without are deeply effected. We all want to feel loved. It is the most important connection to our human race. It defines our need to fit in and feel a sense of worth. Our Creator made us in His image, Jesus loves you!

Love crosses every human relationship: family, friends, besties, team mates, and then, the more obvious on Valentine’s Day, the romantic relationship.

God gives a template for how to really love another human. The key character traits are found in 1 Corinthians 13, I have found over a few decades of marriage these traits are not always easy but they are mandatory.

Grace, mercy and forgiveness in relationships is a choice. These are the same character examples given to us by our Savior, Jesus Christ. We can’t use these love actions without knowing Him and wanting to reflect Jesus to those we love. It is not in our strength it is in asking Jesus to help us be a loving example. On my own, my responses tend to be selfish, self serving, impulsive, prideful and pretty much it’s “my way”.

So on those days, you feel anger, disappointment or sadness related to a miscommunication in your life, seek Jesus first and be amazed as your response is more like Him.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT. [4] Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud [5] or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. [6] It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. [7] Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love in Action exercise: Reread 1 Corinthians 13 and replace your name in every place of you see love.

As you say aloud: ——— is patient, ——— is kind, etc. you may reevaluate your responses and deep breathe as you exchange your actions in love Jesus way. It isn’t easy however it will be worth it.

Happy Valentines Day! Jesus loves you!

Help me be more

We are so capable of transformation in our walk with Jesus! Did you know He wants to move in your life? We have to submit to His authority not as a judge snd jury but as the One who wants to use us in a mighty way.

Zach William’s lyrics, Less of Me, were so right on for me lately. I want to be more full of grace, mercy, kindness, and less like me.

We all have failures, warts, so to speak in our lives. But we can be healed of the past and be used for the Kingdom of God.

We don’t have to settle for less than God’s best plan. Today’s the day, be willing to be more like Jesus and less of you. First, you must submit to His authority, bend your knee to Him, believe He can transform, say it aloud as Romans 10:8 – 15 reminds.

Romans 10:8-15 NLT
[8] In fact, it says, "The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart." And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: 
[9] If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
 [10] For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 
[11] As the Scriptures tell us, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced." 
[12] Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. [13] For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." 
[14] But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? [15] And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"

May you feel the love of Jesus direct your life. It is amazing;)! If you have made this declaration of faith, let me know, I rejoice with you as does the family of Jesus!