When you don’t know how or what to pray for…


Do you ever get a prayer request that is private or “unspoken” and you don’t know exactly what to pray for?

Or perhaps you are going through a situation that requires decision-making or life-changes and you are not quite sure how to proceed or what to ask for?

Let me encourage you with this:

“…your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)

I know it’s hard sometimes to not be specific in our prayers and/or not get a clear answer on what to do. But when you ask the Lord our God for His will to be done, for His name to be glorified, for His presence and peace to overcome, you surrender to His feet, you lay down your burdens, and trust that everything will happen according to His perfect plan.

God doesn’t need our permission to accomplish His mighty acts, but He does seek our invitation into our lives and souls to glorify His name in us. Even though life doesn’t come with a precise instructions manual, Jesus gave us the Bible as a gift. Use it as a road map to heaven! Go to Him!

Following Matthew 6:8, He gave us the Lord’s prayer:

This, then, is how you should pray: 

” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

(Matthew 6:9-15)

He knows what we need, but He still gave us exact words to pray to Him. And then He explained why we should pray that! Why? Because He knows what we need!! Get it? He knew we would feel the need to know an exact prayer. And that we might wonder why we should pray those words.

Use the Lord’s prayer or any of the acronyms available to speak to Him, knowing that:

  1. There is no right or wrong way to pray (as long as you pray with your heart)
  2. No prayer is too long or too short
  3. You don’t have to be super eloquent or use fancy words
  4. God loves private/individual prayers, just as much as when 2 or 3 gather in His name
  5. There is no prayer/request too big or too small for God

The next time that you feel lost in your prayers, remember that He already knows what you and the people you are praying for need. And that many of the answers you are looking for can be found in the Bible very clearly… if you seek for them and dwell in His presence with a faithful heart.

Love, Your Sister in Christ -K

What does the Superbowl LI & God have in common?

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Those that know me well may know that I don’t watch sports. But they can probably tell you that I love spending time with family and friends. So, today, when it was time for the Superbowl 51 I was excited, not for the game, but for the yummy food and awesome company!

But THAT game was interesting. I may not know much about football, but when you are more than half way through a game, and the scores are so diverse, you typically rest assure of who the upcoming winner will be. But apparently, not in football… you can have a tie at the last-minute—literally!

So when the drastically losing team for most of the game became the champions, I couldn’t avoid realizing how similar the events of this game are to how God sometimes work, and how we as christians ought to be like these players.

Whaaaat?! Did I just puzzled you? That’s alright, let me explain:

Imagine you are a Patriot fan. You probably would have stayed away from social media for most of the game.You wouldn’t feel too comfortable putting your views “out there” without knowing or foreseeing the outcome. You don’t want to proclaim something that others will probably not support. Even though you may remain hopeful, you probably wouldn’t feel too confident to claim it as a fact. In other words, publicly supporting the Patriots as they were losing may have caused others to doubt you or tease you and you’d prefer to wait and see.

But even though it seemed like all hope was lost, the players did not quit. They kept a positive attitude and continued to do their best as well as they could. The scoring board was probably very discouraging, but they remained hopeful and kept going strong.

In the end, their perseverance paid off and when it seemed impossible, they won! Making history, as no other super bowl in 50 years had ever needed to use overtime. But requiring overtime tells you that their win was not given. Even though it seemed like an imminent win for Atlanta from the beginning, The Falcons kept on fighting until the end. It was a terrific game! But as with all sports, one team won and one lost.

What is meant to happen, will happen in God’s perfect timing. Even when it seems like its impossible or we can’t possibly fathom the result we hope for.

God is in control. God is always at work. Even when we least expect it.

I am NOT saying that God wanted the Patriots to win, or the Falcons to lose at the last minute. In fact, the point I want to make has nothing to do with football. But I certainly love using modern-day / culture-applicable analogies that can help us realize even more how wonderful our God is.

Sometimes we are all-out of hope. Sometimes we fail to act or believe, because we are unsure of the end-result or have no proof of what we wish. But the bible tell us that true faith is blind.

Hebrews 11:1-12:3 paints a beautiful picture of what faith is all about. It teaches us that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (11:1). It also tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exist and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (11:6).

Think about Noah, who built the gigantic ark even though everyone must have thought he was mad. Or, Abraham, who persuaded God’s people to find the promise land even though he didn’t know where he was going. As many others, Abraham did not see the promise land, yet he died a faithful man. Even when we don’t see the fruit of what we are sowing, we must trust that it all works according to God’s mighty plan. Things come to pass on God’s perfect timing, which may be well after our human life. Our duty is to be faithful.

Live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Living by faith and not by sight can mean very different things to various people. In fact, it’s meaning can change to the same person depending on what season they are on. But what remains the same is trusting the Lord even when the odds seem to be against our favor or we don’t know what to expect. Knowing confidently that He is in control and He will carry us through whatever difficulties we encounter. It means going against popular belief because we hold one truth above all others: His Word in the Bible.

Take a moment and pray over Hebrews 12:1-2. Ask God for wisdom and strength to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Ask Him to give you courage and patience to “run with perseverance the race [He has] marked out for [you].” Pray for your eyes to be fixed on Jesus, so you can blindly trust on what’s eternal with unconditional faith (Heb 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:18).

May this bless you today!

Love,
-K

Overcoming Darkness

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Darkness comes in many forms. It can be emotional-such as overcoming a heart break, physical-like battling an aggressive disease, situational-literally live in a dark place,  or even spiritual-not feeling God’s love and creating negative self-talk… among other forms.

No matter what type of darkness you may be facing, it is real. Do not try to minimize it because others cannot see it or you don’t want to accept it. Quite often darkness causes deep pain, or painful situations lead you to deep darkness. Regardless of which started first, you have to deal with your pain in order to overcome the darkness.

How?

First, give it to Jesus! Recognize that you cannot do anything on your own strength and He wants you to lean on Him. (John 15:5; Phil. 4:13)

Second, trust Him! Believe with all your heart and soul that no matter the circumstances everything is part of His perfect plan and He will take care of you. (Jeremiah 29:11; John 16:33)

Third, accept it for what it really is. Bad things will happen to everyone-even Christians and good people, that doesn’t mean it is your fault. Realize that all you can do is continue to be faithful and honor God. (Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:7)

Fourth, use it. Make your deepest pain into your greatest strength. God knows that someone will benefit from your story and He wants you to share it. (Luke 8:39; Revelation 12:11)

Fifth, surrender… Let God in. Allow Him to restore you and love you. Don’t close up your heart and wounds because it feels safe or scary. Allow Him to shine His light through! (1 John 1:5; 1 Peter 5:10)

If it is too hard or confusing to apply these right now, start by praying. Ask Him specifically to shine His light in the dark places of your heart, ask Him to help you forgive, overcome, heal…

Start reading the bible daily and ask Him to speak to you through His word. If this seems overwhelming, start with a verse or devotional a day. He will lead you, I promise.

And lastly, worship Him! Tune out everything else and ask Him to let you feel His presence as you praise Him. Ask Him to meet you where you are, and He will. If you currently find it hard to set a time to do this, start by listening to worship songs as you drive, cook, garden, fold clothes, work, etc.

These are things you can do on your own to grow closer to God. But of course, I would also like to encourage you to get plugged in at a church, find a group of Christ followers to have fellowship with, and serve others (be the face and hands of Jesus).

Don’t be afraid to seek help from loved ones, friends or professionals if the darkness is too bold right now. God will move mountains for you, I truly believe that and it is my prayer that you find refuge in Him. But at the same time, I would like to tell you that there’s no shame in seeking help; that’s why we are here for, and that’s why God has created caring professionals that love to help people for a living.

Sending many blessings and warm sun rays your way! ♡

-K

Why Read Your Bible

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Is it really that important to read my Bible?

You may have wondered this question and the answer is a loud: YES!

Why?

Because God guides our every step when we read the Bible.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

When we create a daily routine that includes Bible passages, we invite God to show us the way. We admit that we are humans, children of the One True God, in need of His wisdom and protection.  And we obey what He has commanded us to do over all things:

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)

If we have too many activities in our day-to-day lives that keep us from our Bible reading, we are unable to do our basic function: love God. Some of the things that keep us from God are actually distractions the enemy throws at us in the shape of “sweet candy” or “innocent entertainment.” But anything that keep us from spending time with God, even if it is a good thing, hampers our relationship with Him. We need to MAKE TIME to be fed spiritually and create boundaries in order to grow our relationship with the Lord.

You can’t just go to church on Easter and Christmas, exclusively read the Bible when you are seeking answers, or only pray when you are desperate, and expect your “light” to stay bright. Our light will always go dim if we don’t seek God daily. Like the battery of a smartphone, we must recharge often; money, tasks, relationships, not even Bible studies can replace our daily need for God’s word.

Wait! What? Bible studies?

Yes. Let me explain.

There are hundreds of studies classified as “Bible studies” that are about the Bible, but often, about someone’s opinion or interpretation of certain books or topics in the Bible. Any study that does not make you open your Bible, at a minimum to look up verses, should never replace your daily Bible study time.

Now, I know we all have crazy schedules and the thought of adding something “daily” can sound terrifying. And that for many, reading the Bible can seem overwhelming or intimidating. But please hang-on tight friends! I’m not telling you to carve out 1hr, not even 30mins. I’m telling you to make it a daily habit.

Make a schedule and discuss the matter with God in prayer. You may start with 5 mins and increment to 1hr with time. You may only read one verse some days and do 30mins other days. The important thing is to spend time in His word daily. Do not beat yourself up for however long or short you are able to schedule and/or accomplish. It is not a competition! And I think God would rather have you spend some time than zero time.

However, it may mean getting up 30mins earlier, or not turning the tv on some days. It could also be during lunch time or while commuting (audio recordings). The sky is the limit; and the fruits we will reap are so worth it!

When we let the Holy Spirit shine His light in our lives:

-We can see the path we should go and follow it with confidence

-We can light the way for others through our actions and words

-We shine from the inside out, undeniably glorifying His name

Constantly spending time in the word with our Lord will equip you to shine His light. I challenge you to set a time when you can commit to read the Bible and seek His presence every day.

Blessings,
K

Why You Shouldn’t Trust People

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You think you know a person and start relying on him or her. You expect things to be done or said, and assume they will know when and how to fulfill what you hope for. But before you know it, life happens and disappointment hits you like cupid, except it breaks your heart.

Does this sound familiar? I have been there more times than I care to admit! The problem is not necessarily that they are “bad” people who choose to betray your trust. The issue is often that they are human! Yes, they are not perfect, as neither are we. But what do we do when we get our feelings hurt?

Of course it depends what kind of wrong has been done to us. There are things that truly cannot be easily “brushed under the rug.” There are times we must truly move on from relationships that are just too unhealthy for us. But before you quickly become offended and choose to withdraw (with reason or not), I invite you to consider how sometimes sin overpower us.

You may say, but, I would have never done this to this person! Or, I have done so much good for him/her. Perhaps, you are always saying yes and available. The thing is, even though we don’t deserve what has been done (or not done) to us, we clearly have faults. They may be very different and not measure up in our eyes, but a wrong still a wrong.

Sometimes these people that make us so upset may truly not know any better… In fact, they may not even realize how they have failed us! So, again, analyze whether the fault is something that can be overlooked. If it is, focus on the positive aspects of the relationship and find a way to express how certain things are affecting you. That’s how relationships grow.

While it’s imperative to not feel guilty or responsible for whatever happened that broke our trust or hurt our feelings, it is equally important to accept that we are not entitled to as much as we’d like. Inclusive, sometimes we may indeed be part of the problem. For instance, we may have unrealistic expectations. However, certain offenses are undeniably wrong and have no possible “good” or innocent explanation. This is when our trust in the Lord must be even stronger.

If we choose to forgive, we must truly forgive! Otherwise we will be too self-consumed—which is also a sin, and not be able to restore the relationship. We will continue to hurt and live in a vicious cycle. Depending on the offense, this process may take years. But it can truly happen if we honestly choose to forgive (yes, it is a choice). Choose to accept that the offender is truly sorry. In fact, it is beneficial and freeing to forgive even when there is no apology. You will not know for certain if they will commit the same offense against you or not, but in order to move forward, you must choose to believe their intentions are genuinely good and be confident that you gave it all your best.

If you feel the offense is too big, and perhaps the relationship cannot be repaired. I’m with you too. I have been on both sides, I have been able to restore relationships and I have had to move on. In either case, our hearts truly get broken, sometimes little by little. Other times all at once! I want you to remember that we shouldn’t trust people, not because they are not worthy of it, but because they are inevitably sinners like you and me. And they WILL let you down.

There is nothing that can explain where and why our trust should be better than Psalm 146:

Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea and everything in them
—he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The Lord reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.

Especially Psalm 146:3 “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.

No matter how good a person may be, we only have one Lord and Savior. No one can provide the satisfaction and blessings that fully trusting in God provides. And is not their fault, it’s just the nature of human kind ever since Adam & Eve disobeyed God.

So, please know there is only one judge. There is only one person who will never fail us or leave us behind. Don’t let mere humans destroy the beauty of life. Put your trust and hope in the Lord. He will take care of you, He will protect you and repair your heart.

All you need to do is pray for wisdom, seek His help, ask Him to guide your path.

Psalm 146 is packed of amazing wisdom, I will explore more with you later, but I hope this helps you remember that when we trust in the Lord, we believe everything has a mighty purpose that only He knows. Our job is to fulfill His will by constantly seeking more of Him.

You may wonder, but what about what they did to me?! Is not fair… Part of trusting in the Lord is being at peace with our offenders. Knowing that it is HIS job to work on others, not ours to seek revenge or “fix” people. Two wrongs don’t make one right and we don’t have magic powers. All we can do is pray for them. Pray that they will realize their wrongdoings and for God to guide their path.

May God Bless You with Love, Peace and Wisdom Today!

Hugs,
K

 

Encourage Unity, Not More Hate: Analyzing People’s Response to Orlando’s Mass Shooting

 

I am not one to keep up with the news, but after Sunday’s mass-shooting, it is inevitable to not hear about the tragedy that have directly impacted over 100 families.

There is a common theme among all the articles, blogs and posts being shared, that I don’t quite understand:

  1. Orlando is devastated – Yes, this happened in Orlando, Florida, but is not about Orlando or Florida! This could have happened (and it has) in many other locations, not only in the U.S., but also throughout the world. I applaud those reaching out in solidarity but focusing on where it happened can make us miss the point…
  2. Hatred towards LGBTQ – Yes, Pulse was considered a homosexual club that welcomed the entire LGBTQ community. But they also welcomed anyone and that includes you! There were heterosexuals there having fun with friends and loved ones too. The fact that the victims were LGBTQ supporters is not what matters…
  3. Gun Control – And the battle regarding the 2nd amendment starts all over. Some claim if guns were banned, these mass-shootings wouldn’t happen. While others rightfully affirm, the “bad guys” would still have guns! There is no way to disappear all the guns. The “good guys” are already at a disadvantage most of the time, carrying guns of much less power than the criminals. Making this debate pointless…
  4. Hispanics at large – Sunday night was “Latin Night” and the vast majority of victims were Latinos. In fact, many of them were Puerto Ricans. As a 100% Puerto Rican born and raised in the island, this hits home! I can’t imagine their families’ pain, but there were also many other ethnicities and this is not about their country of origin…
  5. Politicians Propaganda – Quite a few people are outraged at politicians who have expressed their condolences toward the family of the victims. Or how many minority groups Obama left out during his speech. They call them hypocrites and only interested on winning more votes. But they are also missing the big picture…
  6. Hypocrite Christians – Yes, as christians most of us have firm beliefs when it comes to sexuality and can sometimes boldly express our feelings or thoughts. However, that does NOT mean that we hate anyone from the LGBTQ community. Much less would we ever wish such a tragedy to occur. Groups like Westboro do not count! I am talking about Followers of Christ who use the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Christians who love on everyone and lend a hand when needed regardless of race, ethnic group, political party, religion or any identifying characteristic.

STOP PROMOTING MORE HATE & DIVISION, FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS MOST!

Sharing ignorant articles or senseless comments just creates more arguments and hatred for no reason. The facts are: a mass-shooting killed at least 49 people and left over 53 injured, not to mention all the families and friends suffering their loss. The point is: this could not have been prevented unless someone had intel to share. The killer would have chosen a different location with the same or more amount of people. He would have crafted a bomb or found other means to commit this atrocity. Having a debate about gun-control is missing the point that these people were killed until the police stopped him because no one there apparently had a gun to take him down. As awful as this sounds, I sure feel more safe being around “good guys” with guns than being on a position where we can’t defend ourselves. So perhaps, laws can be reviewed, but do not let this be your focus.

Focusing on the ethnicity, race or sexual background of the victims is in a way decreasing the impact of the tragedy. Were they a target because they were LGBTQ supporters? Were they a target because they were Hispanics? That is not what really matters! They weren’t just a homosexual couple, or just a Puerto Rican, they were human beings with many more qualities than that. They were parents and children, they were siblings and cousins, they were professionals and hard-workers, they were friends and neighbors, each one was unique. Each one of them was much more than their minority background, and while that was a significant part of who they were, we should not lump them up in one group. Each of them and their families should be respected and remembered in a honoring manner.

Politicians, celebrities and various christian groups have expressed their condolences in various ways. Those spreading anger and hate should be ignored, showered with prayer and love. By sharing their posts and articles you are enabling them. These people clearly do not know what God’s love is truly about. But now more than ever is the time to have solidarity with one another, not to be calling others hypocrites and interested in fame. Let us be united due to our similarities, not divided among our differences.

  • This is the time to pray for all those who have passed, those recovering in the hospital or at home, and for the families and friends suffering the loss of someone close or known.
  • This is the time to help financially to cover medical and funeral costs, as well as help surviving families and injured victims pay bills while they get back on their feet.
  • It is time to support and pray for our leaders and politicians who make impactful decisions in the country we live. Ask God to give them wisdom and discernment.
  • Now is when you go and donate blood or anything you can to help the victims and survivors have hope and a chance at recovery.
  • Right now is when you stop promoting hate! You encourage and build-up, you show kindness and grace, you stop sharing and posting anything that is not positive.

Stop “feeding the beast.” Evil doesn’t fix evil. A comment “correcting” someone or something hateful does not create union and positivism if it has hurtful or angry remarks. Choose your words wisely, honor those who are no longer here, promote unity against ill-minded people by supporting each other rather than starting more conflict.

God Bless You and Your Love Ones, Please Share so Others Stop Promoting Hate and Unite!

#StopPromotingHate #NoMoreDivision #ShareLove #BePositive #Unite

Taxes and Tithing

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I have been a follower of Christ for quite sometime. We have been creating budgets and making plans to tithe 10% of our earnings for years, but have a hard time doing it consistently.

Back when we were both bringing home a good income we gave generously. To church, to homeless people, to charity, to friends that we would constantly invite over, to family who we will travel often to see… But since I stopped “making” money, we have been on a down spiral when it comes to giving.

However, I started this year determined to get our finances in order, to include paying down credit cards and ensuring we tithe consistently. Well, we are not even half way through March and we paid off one of the two credit cards we have had for years! And we put the other one considerably down, in big part, thanks to our taxes.

So, why am I telling you this? When the tax refund arrived I was automically excited to pay down debt… but tithing was vividly on my mind. After doing the math, several hundreds “belonged” to the 10%… Who am I kidding? The whole refund belongs to God!!

Nevertheless, the thought of not using that money to achieve my personal goal of paying down debt was difficult. But I was obedient and made a plan. Told my husband about it, quite honestly thought he would think that was too much money to tithe when we have several thousands in debt, but no… he said: “great, go ahead” with a smile on his face.

So it took me a few more days to sit on the computer and do the transactions, but I did it with a happy heart. And as soon as I transferred the last bit of our tax refund 10% I was so content! I felt this inmense peace and comfort that God was pleased with my obedience and that my decision will make a difference for His kingdom and glory.

No matter how hard it seems, or how much you think it’s impossible to tithe your 10%. TRUST God! He will provide you everything you need. He will bless you in ways you cannot imagine. Be obedient and give with a cheerful heart. Make the necessary adjustments and you wont even miss that money. Because you will see how that money was never yours to begin with!

Why tithe and not just donate to charity? Tithing is meant to help spread the gospel. To bring people to salvation. There are some organizations that help the needy and also spread the gospel. But make it a point to give to your home church.

If you dont have a home church, please read my article with tips on church shopping. Meanwhile, help ministries that help you receive God’s word or that you want to support their efforts to spread the gospel. (KLove, Luis Palau, Samaritans Purse, etc.)

There are many biblical reasons why to tithe. I’m sharing my experience to show you I’m not different than you. I also have to make sacrifices and adjustments. But I’m also here to tell you that once you trust God and are obedient, you will be more blessed.

Psalm 143:10 says: “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Ask God to lead you and help you tithe according to His will. ♡

May God be with you always!
-K