WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR? May 30, 2015

“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts:  If you seek him, he will be found…but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for forever.”  1 Chronicles 28:9

We try to fill the void inside with what the world provides,

In hopes we will find happiness for our dreary, empty lives,

But, my friend it’s only temporary, like chasing after the wind,

The things of this world simply won’t fulfill, the emptiness within.

We waste the time in mundane things, but the world won’t satisfy;

For we can never know what’s missing, until Christ comes inside.

For God created us to need Him, and to that end He gave,

His only begotten Son, Jesus, who defeated death and grave.

He died, then rose in three days to bring new life and peace,

And reconciled us to Himself, as it was meant to be.

We need to stop and ask ourselves, “What are we looking for?”

And can we truly be fulfilled, if we don’t ask the Lord,

To come inside and bring the change that’s needed in our lives,

So we will find true happiness…which is only found in Christ!

By:  Michael Mondragon May 2015

THE NURSERY WINDOW….May 29, 2015

God said:  “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you…to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

There is a great urgency in His step as He walks in silence down the great corridors that lead to the nursery.

His mind is fully focused on the beautiful creation that lies just beyond its windows.  Oh Yes!  He already know the plans He has for this unique soul.  He is totally aware of the potential this spirit-child possesses…after all, He’s the one that placed it there.

He approaches the nursery window, and gazes down at the pure loveliness lying there before Him.  A smile crosses His lips as He sees the likeness of Himself.  He chuckles with delight, and whispers…”Hum!  Like Father…like son!”

Then, out of nowhere, a cloud of sorrow and disappointment comes across His face, and the smile dissipates into nothingness.  He remembers another time He was standing before this window…

As His mind races back to the child-like innocence of another that once lay before Him, He thinks to Himself…how could something so innocent and pure stray so far from my plans?  He could have been a doctor…a lawyer…I know!  I gave him all the tools he needed to succeed; now, here he sits on death row…that once innocent, pure spirit…I had such a bright future planned for him!  Now it’s wasted…gone…forever…

His thoughts are brought back to the present, as He stares at the new spirit-child before Him.  “This one will be different!  He will become ALL I have created him to be…”

His all-knowing eyes search the nursery and come to rest upon a lovely soul.  She smiles at Him…and already, He sees a gentleness about her spirit.  But, again, the clouds of sorrow fill His thoughts for He knows this beautiful child will not be given to the family He intended her for.

She was to be born to a woman who started out in this same nursery.  They both looked so much alike!  He’d had plans for that woman.  He was going to make her a mother, and a loving wife.  He had a good man picked out for her…but she thought life was passing her by, so she took matters into her own hands.  She was not going to live a boring life…waiting for “Mr. Right” to come along…NO!  It was life in the fast lane for her!  Alcohol…drugs…men…all kinds of them…  Soon, she was diseased and old before her time.  The doctors said she could never have babies…

Her sobs and cries could be heard echoing through the corridors, all the way to the nursery.  …Then, another sound was heard, as a shot rang out and she ended her miserable life.

He stood quietly and whispered…”I had plans for you!…Not this…Not this!”

The truth, my friend, is this:  He has plans for all of us!  He looks into the eyes and hearts of every unborn child as He stands at the nursery window of Heaven.  He looked into your eyes…He looked into mine.

Now, here we are, and we must each decide; …do we use the gifts He placed within us to prosper? …Or, do we grieve the heart of God and waste those gifts doing our ‘own thing’?

The choice is ours.  But remember His words:

“I HAVE PLANS TO PROSPER YOU…TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE”!

By:  Anita Mondragon  2005

TO KNOW THAT CHRIST DIED FOR ME… May 28, 2015

“And He (Jesus) said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.”    Luke 9:23

To come to the reality, and know that He came here to this earth to DIE FOR ME…that He gave up every Heavenly thing, that He loved ME so much…even before I was born of my earthly mother…to do all that for me…how could I not, as the song says ‘Take up my cross and follow Him’!

I was a Professional Musician in the world for twenty-five years, and have done numerous recordings, and performed in front of thousands, but…this is where the JOY is…this is where TRUE PEACE and joy reside.  This is where all musicians who care about the talent they have been blessed with, should be using and creating…and yes, enjoying the blessings there were imparted!

We as a people tend to rely upon what we accomplish in our lives.  We say, we did this, and we did that.  We strive for accomplishments, and…know this…Satan will help us to believe that we are really something.  He will make us think we are really going somewhere.  He’ll even hand it to us on a silver platter and say, “here it is!  All you have to do is reach out and take it…go ahead…it’s all yours.  Everything you ever wanted can be yours!”  Fame, fortune, popularity, (he knows all our weaknesses man!), just like he did to me.  But, I just thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for rescuing me, and bringing me to a point in my life where I had to make a decision.  I was either going to continue the way I was living, with no peace or happiness…constantly searching for something that didn’t really exist…always trying to make myself into something…you know, to be the sucker and swallow Satan’s bait; or I was going to have to GIVE UP all these things…everything I thought I had… to surrender to God, and do what I knew was right.

Man…all I know is this:  I praise the Lord He kept His loving hands upon me, a low down sinner; and just like David said in the Bible: “You have turned from me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness…”

I was on the road to doom, man…but there is victory in Christ for everyone who is WILLING to take up his cross, and follow Jesus!

By:  Mike Mondragon

HIS GOOD PLEASURE…May 27, 2015

phil. 2.13  Philippians 2:13

I sometimes get discouraged in my Christian walk.  I think:  I am not doing enough…I am not making enough progress…I am not accomplishing great things for God.

But, I need to remember that I have not been left alone in this endeavor.  It is GOD who has changed, and continues to change me!  The more I seek Him…the more I yield to Him…the more He can do IN me!

By:  Terry Shapiro

EYES OF FAITH….May 26, 2015

“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of God.” Ephesians 4:13

We must truly look through our eyes of faith to see ourselves, happy, healthy, and whole.

Even when we may be going through a bad situation, or we are tempted to become discouraged or depressed, we must encourage ourselves by praying to God.  We need to tell Him: we know YOU, Lord are in control…even when things may seem impossible, we know that through faith in you, things will turn around.

We must always remember that God is continually at work on, and in our lives.  We should have an attitude of faith at all times and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ!

By: Nicole Shapiro

MARKERS IN A ROW… May 25, 2015

“NOW is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  2 Corinthians 6:2

In John 10:9, Jesus said: “I am the door.  If anyone enters by ME, he will be saved.”  One day, the door of God’s mercy will close.  Our response to Jesus, and His offer of salvation will determine our destination.  Come now…while the door of mercy is still open!

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I walked among the dead today;

I saw their markers in a row…

And not a sound was heard at all,

Except the wind, whispering soft and low.

No talk of tomorrows,

Or of things left undone…

No plans for the future

Come the morning sun.

No laughter, or crying…

Only silence was there;

But the sound of that silence

Was too much to bear!

My eyes clouded over

With tears of regret,

Though the names there before me

Were none I had met.

But, sure as I lived,

They were kin to me;

We all belonged

To humanity!

Then I sadly recalled

All the folks that I knew

With Whom I’d never shared Jesus…

My friend, strong and true.

The tears freely flowed

Down my face once again,

As I remembered some friends

Who had died in their sins.

I’d walked along side them

Day, after day…

But never told them of Jesus,

The Truth, The Life, The Way.

As I stood gazing

At the markers before me…

I wondered how many

Were hurled into eternity

Never knowing of Jesus,

Or His marvelous love…

How He died on the cross,

So He could take us above.

Then I thought about Jesus,

How He’d given His all,

To save us from darkness,

And the curse of the fall.

I cried and I wept,

As I thought of the lost,

And the price Christ had paid,

Hanging there…on that cross.

Then the voices of those

That lay there before me,

Were loud as the silence

I’d heard on the breeze.

Some whispered in peace…

Others screamed out in pain;

But the words that they spoke,

Were one and the same:

“Call out to Jesus…

Today is the day!

Don’t wait ’till tomorrow…

Say yes…don’t delay!

He’s waiting to save you…

Take hold of His hand.

Don’t die without Him…

Just heed His command!”

Then, the one’s that were

Screaming out in their pain,

Cried, “One more chance…

I’ll call on His name!

Just one drop of water…

Let me quench my thirst…

For these flames, they torment me!…”

Then they screamed, and they cursed.

But those that knew Jesus,

As Savior and Lord,

Whispered…”Trust Him today…

Just believe on His word!

He’ll NEVER leave or forsake you,

He’ll ALWAYS be there…

Just call on Him now,

Give Him all your cares;

For Heaven is waiting,

For you if you do.

He’ll take you with Him…

His promise is true!

By: Anita Mondragon February 2010

THE MASTER TAILOR….May 23, 2015

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness as a bridegroom bedecks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

What does it all matter, what does it all mean, life is hard to live all the time mending the seams,

When things fall apart, all is tattered and torn, the dreams are forgotten, and the fabric is worn,

The world’s seamstress is busy with feeble attempts to repair, sewing in the patches, pieces and worn scraps of despair, and we run around looking instead like rags and old quilts, ashamed and afraid, self-esteem and honor wilts , content to be ragged and  oppressed and oft unseen, instead of honored and respected and dressed like kings and Queens.

But for this truth, God sent His Son, and on that cross he bled, God is the Golden Needle and we are Golden Thread, being pushed and pulled intently, through the fabric of His death, and into new life purposely, renewed by Holy Breath, We become the new material of the regenerated life, following in Jesus footsteps, to become the Bridegroom’s wife.

Should you allow the Master Tailor to use your Golden Thread, He’ll create your intended clothing, to replace that torn to shreds, with a garment made by Holy hands, at one time stained with red, by Jesus blood at Calvary which flowed down from His head, into a glistening garment more befitting of His stead.  Your thread makes the suit to die for, the dress that is without stain, perfectly fitted and tailored, made by Jesus with great pain. These garments sewn in anguish, in blood, and sweat and tears, are now glistening white and perfect, and to Jesus heart is near. These garments are now ready intended through God’s wisdom to be wherein we are intended to be wed, To create the perfect suit or dress, which you can joyfully wear. Known as the suit to die for, the dress without stain, perfectly fitted, and sized, and tailored, made by Jesus with great pain.

Your Wedding dress ready. The Tux pressed, hung with care. Won’t you please put them on? They are always ready to wear. The bride groom, He is waiting, and the feast is in place, the party place is ready, every piece is in place. All that’s missing is you, say “yes to the Dress’ remove the old rags and get rid of your mess, the Father is waiting to give you away to the Son of your dreams, Today is Your Day!

To sit with Him in wondrous glory, a new life in Him complete, where life is more abundant and bountiful sweet, Where hell hath no power, and death has no sting, where sin is cast away,  where we are given a wedding ring, which means we will be together forever and a day, For Jesus is the Bridegroom, the Truth, the Light the Way!

By:  Michael Mondragon 2014

bridegroom

SOW WHAT??? May 22, 2015

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control:  against such things, there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23

Sow a thought…reap an act;

Sow an act…reap a habit;

Sow a habit…reap a character;

Sow a character…reap a DESTINY.       Anonymous

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You may ask:

How can I know if I am being transformed?  Paul’s words are a great checklist!

What are you sowing?  Are you producing the Fruit of the Spirit?

By: Terry Shapiro

WORDS UNTO THE LORD 2 May 21,2015

“And it shall come to pass, that BEFORE they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”  Isaiah 65:24

A few years back, our family was going through some very hard financial times.  We were being spiritually attacked on all sides from the enemy, and it seemed he would not let up on us for a moment.  I wrote a series of ‘words unto the Lord’ at that time.  This is the second one of that series.

1 How long oh Lord will the riches of the world be held in the hands of those whose hearts are far from you?

2 Rain down your blessings upon me oh Lord that I may be a blessing to others.

3 Put gold into my hands that I may sow into your Kingdom, oh God!

4 The wicked pray perverse things over me and curse me with their words.

5 Avenge me oh God!

6 I dress in my armour daily; the helmet of salvation never leaves my head.  I take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit for protection from the evil one.  The belt of truth has kept me pure in your sight. The breast-plate of your righteousness covers me.

7 I willingly put on the shoes of peace to walk where you direct and share the Gospel of your love to all.

8 Put the riches of the world into my hands that I may further your Kingdom and spread the news of the Cross to a dying world!

9 I know you will deliver me…I know you will provide.

10 I lay my head down to rest, but sleep is far from me.

11 The noise of the wicked dance through my mind; their words taunt my dreams.

12 Close the mouths of the wicked Lord!  Place your mighty hand over their mouths and hush their incessant railings against me!

13 Place your foot on their necks as you did the head of Satan; for they truly are in one accord with him.

14 Let me hear only your voice, oh Lord, for I am of the sheep of YOUR pasture!

15 YOU are my Good Shepherd, my God, my Friend.  I WILL TRUST IN YOU!

By: Anita Mondragon June 2012

Isaiah 66

LIFE…SWEET, OR SALTY? May 20, 2015

breaking chains of unforgivness

“And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”         Ephesians 4:32

Spring cleaning is a time for “out with the old, and in with the new.”

One type of clutter that really hampers us, is unforgiveness.  Unforgiveness fills us with bitterness, and keeps us from experiencing the joy that God has for us.

Free yourself!  FORGIVE!  Then, and only then can you live a joyful and productive life!

By:  Terry Shapiro