sábado, 27 de noviembre de 2010

Tis the season...

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving, and let me say... it felt like it :)

Started off the morning by sleeping in (to about 9 o'clock.. that's as late as it gets here), got dressed and went off to buy some last minute things for the dinner. As I was in the kitchen putting on the last minute touches, I commented to Jess... for some reason it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving without the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on. So what does she do? lol.. she looks for it online.. and there it is on our dining room table MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY Parade. Now, let me clarify... I'm not crazy about this parade. I do not even watch it completely, but there are just some things that while they may seem insignificant when you are with your loved ones, once you are apart they really do make a difference. I believe it was always my mom who insisted in watching this parade. She would always, and many times be the only one watching it... but it was ALWAYS on in the background. So why was it a big deal for me to watch it? Because I knew my parents were probably watching it too and somehow it made me feel connected to them.

Dinner turned out great! No HUGE surprises.. other then only letting Thanksgiving dinner settle in our stomachs for an hour before we went out to play football!

All in all, it was a great time. We all went around and said what we are thankful for. Personally, I am thankful for the great family I have back in the states but as well the family that I am developing here in the DR as well.

Here are some pictures taken during that day.

Jess, her dad and the TURKEY! 

From the girls' balcony: Jessica, Scott (her dad), Jimmy and Rob

"November people! THIS is not normal for Thanksgiving" -Jess 

On a more serious note...

Having a hard time trusting God? Watch this. How could I ever think I know better if I'm really conscient of this reality? 

lunes, 22 de noviembre de 2010

I've just called... to say...

Many of you may be aware of just how cool Skype is :) I have broken down and bought a US number on it. This means that when I am on my computer (I will now make it a habit to log into skype) I will be able to receive calls from anyone in the United States! (cell/landline...it doesn't matter)

So, yes, this means when you are driving home from work you can give me a call and if I'm online I will answer. If I'm not, oh yess.... get this, yep you will actually get my voice mail. lol (sorry this really has me very excited!) When I log in and have time I'll give you a call back!

I have done this in attempt to maintain better communication with those in the US so PLEASEEEE take advantage of it. No excuses now!!!

Due to the fact that I do not feel comfortable posting my number online go ahead email here: wwjd_bri@hotmail.com or message me on facebook so I can send it to you.

I'll be including the number in my monthly newsletter as well!

jueves, 18 de noviembre de 2010

Consuming Fire (Fuego de Dios)

I love music. What I most love about music or songs are the lyrics. In the song below (the title is the link to the youtube video so you can listen to it as well) the part "Consuming fire, burn deep within, overtake my heart and burn in me once again" is very significant to me, and something that I am learning. 

In the greek, and I believe it's also true about the hebrew word for heart, heart means (mind, inner will.) This song, this prayer is asking for God to come as a fire, and to consume this man's own will. Only when our own will is laid down, can God burn and really ablaze inside of us. It's only then that he truly has room to work.  

A couple from our church came and had dinner with us two nights ago. I was happy to have the companionship, but when I also saw they brought their Bibles I got excited. (Good physical food and then also spiritual food!) 

The husband talked about how we are in the desert, just like the israelites. I have heard this story so many times, but I kept on listening and the follow thing that he said opened my eyes to one of my many blunders. He said: the israelites' problem is that they were focusing on their own needs. Even when the devil tempted Jesus in the desert, he tempted Him according to His needs. Our temptation as we are going through hard times is to focus on ourselves, to focus on our needs. It may seem necessary to us, but to be quite honest, it keeps us isolated and self-focused. 

This victim mentality cripples so many Christians nowadays, blinding us to the freedom found in the Bible. A freedom and truth that goes against our worldly advices and says: forget about yourselves. 

I have experienced so much freedom the past couple of days as I have gotten up out of bed and said: I will not serve myself today. I will serve You.

Who would have thought that such joy is found in forgetting about oneself and his/her problems? 

God :) 

I love how his own wisdom is above our own comprehension. 


May my life be a reflection
of Your power and Your glory
breathing in the breath of Heaven
leaning in to hear Your heart beat

And my heart, my thoughts, my mind, Lord
they are Yours now and forever
Come and do in me your will and, 
I'll be Yours today forever

Consuming fire burn deep within
Overtake my heart, and burn in me once again

And I give You all my days Lord
all my joys and all my sorrows
and the plans that I have dreamed of  
holding back for Yours to follow

May my mouth be full of blessings
Lord I want to speak with Your words
may Your spirit light my pathway
take my life today, forever

Cause all I wanna do is please You 
be the Ruler of my world and
take away the things that blind me 
all I want is to live for You...

Fuego de Dios
Quémame hoy
Purifícame y lléname otra vez
Fuego de Dios
Quémame hoy
Purifícame y lléname otra vez

miércoles, 17 de noviembre de 2010

Just come...

As I have written in previous posts, it has become apparent to me that I am just the means and really God is the one who is working.

This past Friday, I went to Vida Estudiantil as normal. The cool thing about meeting outside is that many people will just walk past, even stop and sit down and listen to the message that is being preached that day. Well, this past Friday that same thing just happened. Actually, I saw two people who were on their way to somewhere else that decided to sit off to the side, but still listen. Afterwards, as I am going around trying to get these people's information this one woman asks me, "So, what do you have to do in order to be apart of this group?" My response, "Just come :)"

I continue walking around, greeting different people, but then return to this lady because it was very apparent that she had high interest in the group. She is already talking to someone else in the group, so I just sit down with them and join the conversation. This other girl was talking about God with her and telling her certain things that she is learning and this one woman was very much engaged in this conversation. After she shared that I asked the woman, "So, how did you hear about this group?" "Did you just decide to stop and listen, or what happened?" She said, "Basically. I've been far away from God. I've felt Him trying to reach me, but I've always put Him off to the side. This morning, for some reason I read the Bible a little bit. Actually, I was on my way to another place when I walked by here, and something just told me to stop and sit down here." As we continued talking, she basically just said, "I know that now is the time to give my life over to God. I am ready."


So yes, we prayed together and as all of this is going on I am just amazed with how God works. He had been preparing this woman's heart for a long time. There is nothing that we did as a group, we were just there, and God used us. God will use those that are willing to be used. Fortunately these kind of situations keep popping up. The ones in which there is no way I had any part in it, but rather God gets all of the glory :)

AMEN! To You be the glory!

jueves, 4 de noviembre de 2010

many, MANY changes continued...

As I said before, a lot of changes have been taking place on our team. One of the huge changes is losing a team-member. It was during Fall visit that it was decided it was best for Natasha to return to the United States instead of remaining in the Dominican Republic. It will be a big time for transition, so please pray for our team. 

So many things were talked about and changed during Fall visit that I want these changes to be reflected upon and then acted on! You can read Natasha's blog about why she went home here

Currently I am in Panama City at a women's conference for Crusade. To be honest I didn't know what to expect before coming here, but now that I am here... it was all worth it. It is a very powerful thing to get women together from all different countries (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Panamá, El Salvador, Guatemala, México, Honduras, Uruguay, Trinidad, Dominican Republic (yep..me representing!! whoot whoot lol) etc.... the list continues. It is incredible to get all of these women who work for Campus Crusade for Christ together and talk. About what? The purpose of this meeting was the following: Taking the WHOLE gospel to the WHOLE Earth (which includes women who have been abandoned, mistreated, overlooked, thought of not worthy, and lost in the cracks of many societies, women lost in a machista society, women who haven't been valued by the church). What better way to use women to lift other women up? Women make up more than half of the population. If you win a woman over, she will automatically take it to her house and children. So, during this week we have received training/information concerning this goal, taking the WHOLE gospel to the WHOLE Earth. 

Now, don't think this is some sort of femenist thing. Yes, I am a women and I do enjoy being one :) However, one of the workshops that I participated in was talking about what it looks like for women and men to work together. From the beginning, we were meant to work together, there was never meant to be any kind of competition, rivarly, jealousy...we were meant to work side by side (seriously a new way of looking at it for me, never noticed that it wasn't until after the fall that the woman was put under the man...honestly I need to study this more). My point is, that we are our best unified. Men and women together, working in harmony.

Many things learned...many things reminded of :) It's amazing how a verse you've heard for your whole life, said one more time can all of a sudden mean something more than you ever realized. 

"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is deadBut someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
   Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone." James 2:14-24

This passage I've read time after time but it was only today that one of the speakers cited "Faith without works, is dead." At that moment, suddenly I understood. I understood that it wasn't just talking about what I always thought it was talking about (that it's not enough to believe in Christ but you should help others) no, all of a sudden I realized why faith was dead without works/deeds. Faith is what happens on the inside, works is what happens on the outside. If my faith in God never flows out of my mind to produce actions taken as I am trusting God, then really am I trusting Him? No. If no action is taken, I am not trusting God. Therefore, I have no faith or my faith is dead. True faith does not remain in the inside of one's mind, but yet is ACTED UPON. 

Alright, good night! It is late :)