I Am Who I Am

He whispers this to us, time and time again.
His gentle spirit reminding us of who he is and who we are.

“I Am Who I Am”, says the lord of the universe because he is confident in his plans for us, for a broken humanity.

He is confident of his plans for the woman who cannot bear her burden after years of bleeding and no remedy. (Mark 5)
He is confident of his plans for the woman who with a bowed head approaches the well to hear all that she ever was or did. (John 4)
He is confident of his plans for his humble servants who endure trial after trial and are broken into pieces like a loaf of bread.

“I Am Who I Am” he says to us because he is absolutely sure of who he is and who we are in his sight.
In our sinful humanity we are feeble, weak, dirty and blemished.
In his holiness he is pure, just, loving and merciful.

We need to encounter him,
to be cleansed by him,
to be made strong in his presence so that we may endure the many trials that confront us daily.

I may never be able to rest in my daily circumstances or find peace in them but I can certainly rest in “I Am That I Am”.
Although a thousand may fall at my side, (Psalm 91)
although rumors of war may fill the air. (Matthew 24)
although financial crisis may strike,
although laughter may turn to mourning;

I can find solace and peace in “I Am That I Am”.

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Friends, let us rejoice in our present trials as the apostle Paul reminds us. Let us find comfort in knowing that those who walk through the valley of the shadow of death are not alone and once they leave the valley they are made stronger.
I believe that God uses greatly those who have been thrown into a fiery furnace and have endured countless tests and trials.
No gold is made pure without fire. Let us then be persistent and keep holding on to the Word of God and to our salvation with fear and trembling.

To him be the glory, honor and praise now and forevermore.
Mariana
“In spite of sorrow, loss, and pain, Our course be onward still”
Adoniram Judson

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Be The Change

All things happen for a reason and we are placed next to certain people for a purpose. Today as I left my little ones at school I ran into “the kid”; yes you know? Every school has a few of these kids that are rude, disrespectful, challenging and defiant.
He displays this poor behavior with everyone at school even his grandfather who takes care of him. Some people have just written him off as a nuisance and ignore him. But I can’t. Just like everything in life, I believe that he came to this specific school this year for a purpose.
Come to find out “the kid” has been in several foster homes. His mom up and left him when he was little and his father is a war veteran who has fallen into alcoholism and abused him verbally and physically until the state took him away. After various foster homes he was awarded custody to his grandpa.

Now, just looking at him from the outside and seeing his horrible behavior one could easily ignore him or better yet treat him like garbage.
But we should not.

Every person is suffering through something and every person has a story behind the story.

Children especially are vulnerable and have difficulty dealing with such harsh realities.
Instead of criticizing “these kids” why not help them? I feel like every opportunity I have to make a lasting mark on someone’s life is diminishing the probability that they will grow up to be a thief, murderer, rapist etc.

Hurt kids grow up to be wounded adults who then turn angry and burst into schools shooting, rob stores, defy authority and go on to commit heinous crimes.
But we have a play in that game. Do you know what your play is?
Just one random act of love and kindness can mend the brokenhearted and spark hope in the eyes of a child that might otherwise be ignored, mistreated and hated by others in society. Share if you Agree!

Lots of Love,
Mariana

Mid Morning Reflections – If I Wake up and Can Still Breathe

If I wake up and can still breathe, I will make every effort to smile more, argue less and love God with all of my heart, mind and body.

If I wake up and can still breathe, I will make every effort to treasure goodnight kisses and pretty pictures that my kids draw for me on a daily basis. I’ll pray more and ask God to increase my patience and wisdom so that I will know how to raise the children he has gifted me for a few short years.

If I wake up and can still breathe I will share morning hugs and nighttime kisses everyday with my beloved and never go to sleep with anger in my heart.

If I wake up and can still breathe I wont let moments pass without telling the people I love how important they are to me.

If I wake up and can still breathe I will pray so that I can see Jesus in every person I meet and never push aside someone who is in need.

If I wake up and can still breathe I will admire this beautiful earth that God created and praise him every time I see a butterfly dance in front of me. I will embrace the radiant rays of the sun and be thankful for the rain that cleanses the earth.

If I wake up and can still breathe, I will never forget that we only get one chance to live and live well.

A few weeks ago as we sat in church for a service to remember our brother who died and went to be with Jesus; I thought long and hard on my life.
I cried and felt a little bit closer to God, knowing that I too am dust and one day just like everyone else, this earthly vessel will return to dust. I cried as I thought of my father who also was taken suddenly and without reason or warning. I reflected on his life and the legacy he left.  I wondered silently, what legacy I will leave when I am no longer here. 

Sometimes we just don’t know how long a person has left with us. We waist time in senseless arguments and judgments that don’t belong to us when all God wants us to do is live and live for his glory.

Tomorrow may be too late and today may never come so let us live our life as if it were a gift and then give that gift away everyday! Let us live knowing that we need Jesus and his transforming love in our life. With him all things that were created came to be and in him we have everlasting life.
Blessings,
Mariana

He is the Lover of Our Souls

It’s not always easy to do the right thing.

Sometimes we are ridiculed and mistreated by the world and by our own brothers, when we choose to take up the Cross of Christ.
But in all things we know that if we have Jesus as our CEO and CFO all things will work out for good.

The creator and lover of our souls knows the deepest desires and troubles of our heart.  He is the only one who can comfort, restore, clean, rebuild and heal those things in us that keep us apart from Him.

And we know that it is in the fiery furnace that we find Jesus walking among us, as did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Love Mariana

Don’t Plan Without God

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass —Psalm 37:5

Don’t plan without God. God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the plans we have made, when we have not taken Him into account. We get ourselves into circumstances that were not chosen by God, and suddenly we realize that we have been making our plans without Him— that we have not even considered Him to be a vital, living factor in the planning of our lives. And yet the only thing that will keep us from even the possibility of worrying is to bring God in as the greatest factor in all of our planning.In spiritual issues it is customary for us to put God first, but we tend to think that it is inappropriate and unnecessary to put Him first in the practical, everyday issues of our lives. If we have the idea that we have to put on our “spiritual face” before we can come near to God, then we will never come near to Him. We must come as we are.Don’t plan with a concern for evil in mind. Does God really mean for us to plan without taking the evil around us into account? “Love . . . thinks no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). Love is not ignorant of the existence of evil, but it does not take it into account as a factor in planning. When we were apart from God, we did take evil into account, doing all of our planning with it in mind, and we tried to reason out all of our work from its standpoint.Don’t plan with a rainy day in mind. You cannot hoard things for a rainy day if you are truly trusting Christ. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1). God will not keep your heart from being troubled. It is a command— “Let not. . . .” To do it, continually pick yourself up, even if you fall a hundred and one times a day, until you get into the habit of putting God first and planning with Him in mind.

Written by Oswald Chambers