One of our friends, Israel Herrera, made some comments at church yesterday.  I can’t quote him exactly, but I’m going to paraphrase and tell you what I gleaned from his words.

He was making the analogy about our need as Christians to be like a sponge.  He said something to the effect of….

”Have you ever seen a sponge that is just damp in the middle?  It smells musty, and the edges of it are all dry and crusty.  You can’t use it in that condition to clean with, because it isn’t “pliable”.  In that state, it is pretty useless.  That’s how some…perhaps most Christians are in their daily walk with God.”

Then, he went on to say that we need to, “ ask Jesus to “SATURATE” us with His Holy Spirit…make us pliable to His will so that we can be used by God.”

Then Pastor Rodriguez gave the sermon, and his words tied in with what our friend had said earlier.  He said, “There are two things needed from Christians today:

1. Determination

2. Dedication

We need to be bold…but boldness is not enough.  If we only have boldness, we can hurt others with our words and keep them from ever coming to God.  We need to be bold…but righteous in our boldness.

Then he talked about all the folks that God used in the Bible were “busy” folks.  They weren’t lazy or complacent.  They weren’t satisfied with the status quo.  They wanted more…so they were always busy.

The Pastor said, “There is only one type of person that God will never call and can’t use…and that’s a lazy person.”  That person is “unprofitable” to God’s Kingdom!

See Nehemiah 2:1-8

God wants us to have a plan of action.  We need to stop talking about what we would like to get done in the church, and in our service to God…and just do it!  Step out in FAITH!

God is asking us…”What can I do for you?”  But the rest of that thought is that He wants to KNOW, “When are you going to get this done???????”  God wants— W2W Workers or, Wall to Wall Workers.

Then Pastor ended with this quote:


Set goals…ask God what you need from Him…and then, JUST DO IT in faith!


Israel Herrera-Worship Leader-Praise Center Church

Pastor William Rodriguez -Praise Center Church

SOLA: Sermon notes by Danny Leavitt

Some quotes by Martin Luther
“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”


“The fewer the words, the better the prayer.”


“No one can believe how powerful prayer is and what it can effect, except those who have learned it by experience. Whenever I have prayed earnestly, I have been heard and have obtained more than I prayed for. God sometimes delays, but He always comes.”


“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard”


“Is it not wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside ourselves?”


“He [Christ] died for me. He made His righteousness mine and made my sin His own; and if He made my sin His own, then I do not have it, and I am free.”


Sola Scriptura  (the Word of God is Sufficient for Me)

1 Corinthians 4:6

Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.


1 Timothy 3:14–15

I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but 1in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.


Discerning Everything from the Truth



Sola Christus–Christ alone (It’s All About Jesus)


1 Timothy 2:5-7The Message (MSG)

He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.


Getting Everything Prioritized on Jesus


1 Corinthians 2:2 (KJV)

For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.



1 Corinthians 2:2The Message (MSG)


  1. Sing the Scriptures. Saint Augustine (AD 430) is credited with the saying, “Qui bene cantat bis orat.” This means, “He who sings well prays twice.”


  1. Become fascinated, committed, intrigued, happy, dependent, enamored with Jesus.


  1. Prayer



Sola Gratia–Grace alone


Ephesians 4:7 NIV

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

Unmerited Favor


Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.


Romans 11:6 NIV

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.


2 Corinthians 8:7

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Share the Unmerited Favor


Sola Fide–Faith alone

Romans 5:1-2  (KJV)

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


In other words:


Romans 5:1-5  (GNT)

Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory!


Sempre Fi


Soli Deo Gloria–the Glory of God alone

Isaiah 43:7 (NIV)


everyone who is called by my name,

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed and made.”


Zechariah 12:10 (ESV)

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.


With All Due Respect


Psalm 145:5

On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.


“Because Your lovingkindness is greater than life, my lips shall praise Thee!” -Psalm 63:3

Oh Lord, what’ere  my path may be,

If only I can walk with Thee,

And talk with Thee along the way,

I’ll praise Thee  for it ALL someday!



Whatever you are experiencing today, let Jesus walk with you…talk with you.  Let Him show you His kindness and love…His mercy.  Then give Him praise!




I was sent the following email a couple of weeks back, and wanted to share it.  It’s contents reminded me of a poem I wrote back in 2008.  I’m sure I’ve shared this poem before, but after reading the following email, I thought it bore repeating. -anita


It’s not the gun, any more than money,  that is evil. It’s the love of it, and hoarding it (them) in hopes of forestalling hard times ahead.
We write “In God we trust”, we say, “One nation under God”, we tar and feather folks who don’t wish us “A Merry Christmas” …. yet we fail to pray for God’s protection,  and instead,  insist on bigger and more powerful weapons – just like Kim Jong-Un!
I’m talking about Christians. We follow Christ.  Beware of what your passionate about…. sex, drugs, rock n roll, money or guns.
Unbelievers are not followers of Christ. They follow other things. -Ron Exum
Here is the poem I wrote ….’
Within Your Holy Book, I read
Accounts of miracles and deeds
Wrought by Your hands…
And I believe!
It seems my mind’s able to grasp
The things You did in days long past
And even things done in this present day…
When friends distraught come to me, and ask me if I’ll pray,
–I believe!
I know You turned water into wine,
And parted the Red Sea.
You made the lame to walk again,
And caused the blind to see…
–I do believe!
The deaf could hear,
The mute could speak
When You stretched out Your hand.
And Pharoah let Your people go, because of plagues brought to his land.
–This, I believe!
I pray for those upon death-beds
Whose diagnosis looks quiet grim…
Because I remember Lazarus, and what You did for him!
–Yes!  I believe!
I see the addicts on the street,
I feel their misery and despair.
But I’ve seen countless cured before
Just because YOU care;
–So, I believe!
Some held in bondage by demon powers
-Locked away, who sit for hours,
And scream in torment, and beg for relief
Have called on YOU Jesus, and been set free!
–I do believe!
But, when things get more personal,
And it comes down to me…
I fret and worry, and have my doubts
And I wonder….  Do You see?
I trust You with my eternity,
But…ummm…just not my money;
Because You’re up there, and I’m down here,
And…well, You know…the market’s been kind of funny!
The stocks are up, and then they’re down…
They change from day-to-day;
So, You know that 10% I was gonna give  You??
Well…I’m thinking that’s just gonna have to wait!
After all, You know the rent’s coming up,
And my car payment’s long past due;
They’re about to turn my water off…
And I’m out of groceries too.
That old car You gave me to drive…
It sucks up gas like there ain’t no tomorrow…
So the troubles of this present time, make me forget Your miracles,
And in self-pity, wallow.
But You gently turn my mind
To things in my own past,
And remind me how You intervened,
And acted on my behalf.
Like that bag of change I found for gas…
And all those grocery coupons;
How we lived on hot dogs, mac and cheese, tuna fish, peanut butter…
Instead of chicken, pork chops, steak and prawns.
But we never did go hungry…
Our bellies were always fed;
And we never slept in doorways…
We slept in our warm beds!
You cared for us from day-to-day.
You gave us daily bread.
You kept us from all harm and evil
…You did just what You said!
So, again, with contrite heart
I vow, to give my 10%;
And though things don’t add up on paper…
I know You’ll provide for the rent!
The next time things get bad,
And I begin to worry;
When things get out of hand,
And look all skewed, and blurry…
When I want to hold onto my tithe…
Remind me of Your miracles, Lord,
And let me write the check
Then as I drop it in the offering basket, with my nerves a total wreck…
I’ll cry, “Oh God!  Please help me!  I don’t want to be a thief…
Let me trust in YOU, for I do believe …but, help my unbelief!”
Anita Mondragon -October 2008


And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. -Romans 12:2 KJV
I found the following excerpt while looking on Google for the above verse.  It was so good…I had to share!  The only way to transform our life into something we will savor, is to do things for the Kingdom of God!  Take a look…then let’s try to live our lives accordingly! -anita

“He that ministereth let us wait on our ministering” (Rom. xii.7).

Beloved, are you ministering to Christ? Are you doing it with your hands? Are you doing it with your substance and with what you have? Is He getting the best of what is most real to you? Has He a place at your table? And when He does not come to fill the chair, is it free to His representative, His poor and humble children? Your words and wishes are cheap if they do not find expression in your actual gifts. Even Mary did not put Him off with the incense of her heart, but laid her costliest gifts at His feet.

Ye busy women, who work so hard to dress your children and furnish your houses and tables, what have your hands earned for the Master, what have you done or sacrificed for Jesus? “Can you afford it?” was asked of a noble woman, as she promised a costly offering for the Master’s work. “No,” was her noble reply, “but I can sacrifice it.” Let us to-day look around us and see, what we do and give more to the loving Saviour, who gave up His whole life for us.


Aramaic Bible in Plain English
If I shall speak with every human and Angelic language and have no love in me, I shall be clanging brass or a noise-making cymbal. -1 Corinthians 13:1


OR…put another way…

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say, you’re going the wrong way
You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
Don’t walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way
You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
As a mom, I sometimes see the pitfalls my children are headed for, and in my zeal and haste to keep them from ending up in a very bad place, I tend to preach, harp, nag, yell, and shove advice down their throats, which I might add is rarely “swallowed” because it’s not done in love and kindness.
Just this morning, I was “preaching” to my nine-year old about controlling his temper.  He became very sullen and quiet.  In that moment, God showed me that I was wounding him…not helping him.  After my little ‘sermonette’, I said, with sadness in my voice and some tears, “I love you son!  You are the light of my old life!  I get after you because I love you!”
                                                                                                                                                                    Those few words of kindness and love, made all the difference in the world!  He understood that I love him…that I care for him.  His whole demeanor changed.
The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 3:  “For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”
                                                                                                                                                                     Correct your children…but do it with love and kindness!  After all…that’s how Jesus corrects us…


“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain, for the former things are passed away.” -Revelation 21:4

I send this out to my special friends… Terri, Nicole, and Lisa.  Be blessed today! -anita


This goes out to all of you who are suffering and in pain.  Your pain may come from financial stress, marital problems, health issues, and the like; but remember…God is with you!

I know some folks who live in constant pain, but their spirit is so sweet.  They have not let pain turn into bitterness.  They are like a breath of fresh air…always loving, always kind.

The following poem says it well.  Take a look…

Unto the Prison House of Pain none willingly repair—

The bravest who an entrance gain

Reluctant linger there:—

For Pleasure, passing by that door, stays not to cheer the sight,

And Sympathy but muffles sound and banishes the light.

Yet in the Prison House of Pain things full of beauty blow—

Like Christmas roses, which attain

Perfection ‘mid the snow—

Love entering, in his mild warmth the darkest shadows melt,

And often, where the hush is deep, the waft of wings is felt.

Ah, me!  The Prison House of Pain! — What lessons there are bought!

Lessons of a sublimer strain

Than any elsewhere taught;

Amid its loneliness and gloom, grave meanings grow more clear,

For to no earthly dwelling-place seems God so strangely near!

-Florence Earle Coates 1850-1927


Pastor Danny has been preaching on a series called, Engaged.  In the notes yesterday, there was a passage from Psalm 139:1-6.   Verse 4 really caught my attention!  Take a look….

“You know what I’m going to say even before I say it, LORD.”

WOW!  When I read that, I thought to myself… “The Lord KNOWS what I’m going to say…and He loves me anyway!”  That’s mind-blowing to me because some of the things that come out of my mouth are really bad!  I know they are displeasing to God, because they are displeasing to me, and I repent right after I say it…but it’s already out of my mouth.  I can’t undo what I’ve said;  BUT…He loves me anyway!

It reminded me of a song I hear on K-Love…

You Love Me Anyway
The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind
Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life
That I’ve ever known
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How you love me
It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
The reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And Why do loved ones have to die?
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life
That I’ve ever known
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
I am the thorn in your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway
See now I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth-shaking ground
Yes then I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart, tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night I still call out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life
But You love me anyway
Oh God, how You love me
Yes You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life
That I’ve ever known
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
You love me
You love me
You love me
You love me
How You love me
How You love me
How You love me                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             What a wonderful thought!  Jesus loves us anyway…in all of our weakness, our sin, our flesh…He loves us!  Thank you Lord for Your GRACE!


Charles Spurgeon once said, “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the Book widens and deepens with our years.”

Of course, he was speaking of the Bible, God’s written Word.  I have found that what he said is true.  Everytime I read the Bible, I see something new.  Even if I’ve heard a certain passage preached over and over, there is always something new to glean from the Scripture!

Take a look at the following poem I found in one of my inherited books.  As you do, remember what Jesus said in the Scripture below. -anita


“So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” -Isaiah 55:11 AMP


Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,

And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;

Then looking in, I saw upon the floor

Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.


“How many anvils have you had,” said I,

To wear and batter all these hammers so?”

“Just one,” said he, and then, with twinkling eye,

“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”


And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,

For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;

Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,

The anvil is unharmed–the hammers gone!



I heard a statement the other day, and immediately thought about Satan.  The statement was this:

In order to defeat your enemy, you must first learn what he fears most!

Weather you are aware of it or not, Satan is your enemy!  He is especially intent on ruining Christians, but…he isn’t picky.  If you belong to Jesus, he can’t have your soul, but he can destroy your testimony and make you ineffective for God’s kingdom.  If you don’t belong to Jesus, he already has you, but his mission is to keep you bound in fetter chains, and damn your soul to hell!

Lucifer (Satan), was once the most beautiful angel in heaven.  He was in charge of the music.  His robe was made of many beautiful, costly stones; but he made one big mistake when he tried to cause mutiny in heaven and take the throne of God.  That one act,  cost him everything.  All of his beauty was taken from him, and he was cast out of heaven forever by God Himself, never to see heaven again…never to live in its splendor.

This is why he and his imps are on a daily mission to destroy mankind!  He invades your mind, and assaults your heart continually.  The only way to defeat him is to know what he fears most…and that IS the blood of Jesus!

Call on Jesus today.  Ask for a blood hedge of protection from the devil and his minions.  When he tries to invade your mind, and assault your heart…plead the Blood!  Remember this verse…


Revelation 12:11

“And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus), and by the word of their testimony….”