You Reek of Your Father

By Anita Mondragon
 

“Yes, I am the fragrance of Christ to God, diffused among those who are being saved, and those who are perishing alike…” -2 Cor. 2:15 GNT

 

 

I long for the day when the hounds of Hell come sniffing at my door and suddenly retreat in fear, as I hear them say, “You reek of your Father!”

Some of us reek of booze. Others reek of cigarettes. A few of us reek of pot-or maybe lust.

If you’re wiping your brow because you didn’t fit into any of the above named categories…don’t think you’re holy! I’m here to tell you…WE ALL REEK OF SIN!

The devil can ‘smell’ who is on his side! Why else do you think you are constantly tempted?

We need to daily ask the Holy Spirit to anoint us with His sweet smelling oil. We must call upon the name of Jesus, and ask Him to pour His fragrance upon us so the world will smell and see Him, as we pass by!

We all reek of something.

So I ask that we examine ourselves.

Do we have the essence of sin on our being? Or the fragrant smell of our Heavenly Father?

WHAT DO YOU REEK OF?

 



White Noise

By Anita Mondragon
 

WHITE NOISE (noise containing many frequencies with equal intensities.)

“Be still, and know that I am God.” –Psalm 46:10
 

I KNOW this verse to be truth.  I’ve experienced it many times while going through trials in my life.  But, in today’s world…I find it very hard to be still.  There is so much going on – constantly, it’s hard to find a moment to be still.

My mind is cluttered. If I’m not watching TV, I’m on my cell phone, or computer.  Or, maybe I have the radio on.  Sometimes, I have the TV on while I’m on my computer…and then the phone rings…so I find myself multi-tasking.  It happens a lot!  Instead of living in the moment, I find myself planning what to do next. 

 Lists.  There are many in this house. I always have some kind of list going.  A list of things to do today…or the next day…next week…next month…next year…it seems unending.  Don’t get me wrong, the Bible says a wise man considers the end of things.   In Proverbs 14:15 it says, “But the sensible man considers his steps…”  Planning is good-but don’t let it over-ride the moment.

There is power in a moment!  A moment can change the course of history.  A moment can change one’s life-for the better, or the worse. There are two things that can ruin your future success – ignorance and haste. You need to understand what you are doing before you do it; understand the impact of what you are going to say before you say it!  “Do you see a man who speaks too soon? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”  –Holman Christian Standard Bible

 

Let us take a few moments each day to be still and listen to what God has to say to us.  Let us ask Him to quiet the noise in our lives, and unclutter our minds long enough to hear His voice and understand His will for our lives each day!



Put That In Your Pipe & Smoke It

By Anita Mondragon
Do you ever feel that all the things you do for the Lord aren’t making a difference? Since there is no visible evidence that a change has come about from all your efforts to change the world for Jesus…you get discouraged and want to quit? I find myself in that place quite often.
 

Being a witness in this world is hard! Your neighbors and co-workers think you’re a religious fanatic, your family thinks you’re a lunatic because you aren’t like them anymore…and your kids…well…they think you’re ‘old fashioned’, and maybe even a bit senile. After all, in this new age of technology and enlightenment, it’s not in style to listen to the wisdom of the elderly; now all you have to do is ask Siri or Google it. But God said: “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…”-Psalm 1.

I woke up praying this morning, asking God to make me bold; to remind me ‘Why’ He saved me. He brought me to the following scripture. After reading it, my strength was bolstered! Right then and there, I decided, the inscription on my tomb stone should read:

“Every morning her feet hit the floor…the devil said, ‘Oh crap! She’s up!’ ”

Even if I can’t see a visible change in the world around me…it’s enough to know I’m wreaking havoc in the demon realm! If only ONE soul is saved because of my efforts-it is worth it all!

Take a look below…GOD CALLED YOU BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN BORN! Remember that today when you get discouraged!

Isaiah 49:1-7New International Version (NIV)
The Servant of the Lord
49
 
Listen to me, you islands;
    hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born the Lord called me;
    from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.

He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow
    and concealed me in his quiver.

He said to me, “You are my servant,
in whom I will display my splendor.”

But I said, “I have labored in vain;
    I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand,
    and my reward is with my God.”

And now the Lord says—
    he who formed me in the womb to be his servant…
I am honored in the eyes of the Lord
    and my God has been my strength—
6 …
I will also make you a light…
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
7 …
“Kings will see you and stand up,
    princes will see and bow down,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

So…there ya go, Satan! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Be blessed today, all you faithful workers of the Kingdom of God Almighty!

 



Should We Rock the Boat?

By Anita Mondragon

 

Contend for the Faith

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 1:3

******************************

What is the definition of contend?

One of the meanings of contend is from the French “to strive with,” and it is a literal fighting, as in “to contend with fists.”. Most contemporary uses of the verb contend illustrate competitions of proof or defense, where a person will contend that something is true, or better, or wrong.

I have friends from many faiths and backgrounds.  Most are Biblical in their belief, however, we do differ on a few doctrines.  Some are out-and-out Pagans.  I’m sure most of you are in, or have encountered the same situation.

The question is this…do we discuss these things in hopes of changing or converting these folks?  Or do we idly sit by and keep quiet?  Do we rock the boat…sometimes, tip the boat over and speak the Truth as Believers?

My view on this may differ from yours.  Some folks love to argue and debate just for the sake of arguing, so they pick their “discussions” with people who have a different stance on a certain subject, just to argue the point.

I’ve heard debates regarding open Communion vs closed Communion.  It has been argued that Jesus only had the Last Supper-(Communion) in the upper room with the twelve disciples….not all the Believers in the area; therefore, closed communion IS the proper way to view and practice that particular doctrine.  Most churches however practice open Communion- as long as you are a Believer.  So….Who’s right, and who’s wrong?  Does it matter?  Will either side end up in hell for believing what they believe?

Truth is…it doesn’t matter!  Practicing open or closed Communion will not send one to the fires of hell!  The same holds true with the different beliefs of Baptism.

Some denominations, Catholic and Protestant alike, baptize babies; other denominations believe you must KNOW Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior before being baptized.  They believe that Baptism is a picture of you dying to your sins, being buried with Christ, and risen to walk a new life…the life you’ve found in His salvation.  That’s the way I believe; but the truth is this…Baptism does not save you-not as a baby…not as an adult.  If you do not KNOW Jesus when you enter into the Baptismal waters, you go down a dry sinner, and come up a wet one!  That’s it!  Pure and simple!  So, is it really worth arguing over?

The above verse says we are to contend for the Faith.  The Faith we have in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins!  In Joel 2:12-14  (MSG) it says this:  “But there’s also this, it’s not too late–God’s personal Message!–Come back to me and really mean it!  Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!  Change your life, not just your clothes.  Come back to God, your God.  Rend your heart not your garment!”

In Mark 6:12 the Bible says:  “And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”

Brothers and Sisters in Christ…those that already KNOW Jesus as their Lord and Savior, should stop wasting precious time arguing with other Believers!  They should be using that time wisely and witnessing to the Lost!  They should be spending that time on their knees, asking God to show them how to reach someone!

John the Baptist, was the first to baptize people…he even baptized Jesus; but his message was not on baptism…he said:  “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” -Matthew 3:2

We as Believers need to start contending for the FAITH, not the debatable doctrines in the Bible that are open to interpretation! 

Jesus closed the discussion and interpretation on the doctrine of Salvation when He said:

I AM the Way…I AM the Truth…I AM the Life…and no one can come to the Father except through ME. -John 14:6

 There is no room for debate on this doctrine!  This is the one we need to contend earnestly for!



Are You Under A Curse?

By: Mike Mondragon
 
Cain did not get himself in trouble, when he killed his brother, he was already in trouble.

There were signs previous to his deadly and murderous encounter with his brother, which showed Cain was not right with God, and he was not obedient to God. 

Short and to the point, are we right with God tonight? You see, regardless of what we believe, there is no such thing as a little sin or big sin. All sin is equal to God.

There are people sitting in prison tonight who are there because of the choices they made. And I don’t mean just physical prison. There are mental prisons, there are spiritual prisons. Some People are divorcing, they are losing homes and jobs and cars and relationships because of the dishonorable choices they make. There are those things which weigh us down so much, we can’t and don’t operate the way God wants us to. What is weighing us down tonight?

See Cain was operating under a curse he placed upon himself. He thought he was doing everything he was supposed to be doing. He was working and paying his tithes, he was doing everything he thought he was supposed to be doing to serve God, but you see the Father can see what is crouching at your door. 

You see if you claim Christ, the enemy is out to kill and destroy and steal from you. See when God says NO to something in your life, those things he wants you to stop doing, and you say no to God, because of disobedience, you curse yourself! Not only that but you may curse those nearest to you as well.

See Cain also brought offerings of first fruits to the Lord. He must have had some kind of spiritual life, he believed he knew God, and he brought his “tithes and offerings” , but you see Cain was putting on spiritual lipstick. He was using holy rouge and makeup, trying to please the Father. He was going through the motions. There are lots of Christians these days, putting on spiritual makeup. Many of us believe we are doing God things. See, You can preach and teach and do visitation, sing in the choir and do other good works, there are a whole bunch of these works we can do to powder up our” religiosity “but are your spiritual activities all Cain like.? It’s entirely possible, because You do not have a faith filled love centered, relationship with God!

You know how many Christians get mad at God, because he is not blessing their works. Some are Working 50 to 60 hours a week and not making ends meet. Mortgages are not being paid on time, struggling with finances and children and bosses and all sorts of drama. We go through this life, experiencing baby-mama drama and no-good-daddy problems. We have issues with family and moms and dads and teenagers, and all sorts of trouble and then we end up being angry with God! Telling God in our prayer time, how can he bless that other person, that doesn’t even go to church regularly, and not bless you. Come on you know it’s true. 

Extra extra…I hate to tell you this, but I have learned that God does not favor everyone.  The Bible says God looked with FAVOR upon Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. Both of them were doing God things, but You are not blessed because you do good things, or act like you are doing them in God’s name. In order for God’s favor to rest upon you, you must do those things BECAUSE you posses a displaced heart. Are you doing what God has told you to do? Favor is fair! See we want to blame God for our troubles. 

I really don’t know how to say this, but, Some of Gods people are favored and some are not. If you are a born  again Christian, you are going to heaven, yes, but we are not walking in the favor of God, receiving the blessings of paid bills, extra money for offerings, not having to compromise on our tithes, because of our heart condition. We don’t get favor from God just by just naming it and claiming it or singing a song about it. You get favor by doing God things with a changed heart. 

Hebrews says  in 11:4 BY FAITH Abel brought God a better offering than Cain. God doesn’t care what type of offering you bring, it’s the condition of your heart with faith AND obedience and love for and to God. Faith brings obedience and obedience brings favor! Favor is just evidence that you are pleasing God!

You must intentionally do things through faith to please God. You see I’m trying to impart some wisdom to you, that I had to learn the hard way! We get all religious and say, I’m saved and covered under the blood! And walking in God’s favor…..GOOD! GOOD! That’s a start. Come on God is a person, and expects more from us. He expects us to these things because we love HIM! Because of our relationship to Him. Because WE LOVE HIM!

If your heart is not set to please God, by doing what God expects from us, and do it in love, and faith to obedience FOR God, , we ain’t getting it right.

We cannot please God through religion, there has to be a love thing going on. Jesus said if you love me you will obey me.  It just going through the motions! 

Focus your attention on falling in love with God and your relationship will be the type of spiritual act God provides favor upon, does that make sense. You see it says if you don’t do it right sin is crouching at your door!, ready to snatch you up! Sin! The questions we should ask ourselves is:

Lord search me and know me. What’s crouching at my door what is the enemy trying to use to place the curse in my life. What’s going on in my heart? 

The definition of crouch states 1. Is to bend close to the ground like an animal preparing to spring or pounce 2 to crouch or cringe in fear. See sin will respond to your heart position. What will the enemy do when he rolls up on you? Before you let sin make you crouch or cringe in fear, get your heart right tonight. Sin desires to have you but you must rule over it! Salvation gives us the power to rule over sin and fear, we must get the devil crouching and cringing in fear! The enemy knows we have the power over him, but he roars LIKE a lion to get you in fear. He is not a lion. See Grace is the tool we use to defeat sin. We can fail, but we have the GRACE which gives us the POWER to rule over sin. When sin gets the best of us, we have the grace to get up and try again. God is not mad at you….  It is Gods love for us. Jesus died to remove punishment for sin, but we must be the master over sin. We must die everyday to sin. Holiness and purity costs us something. Spiritual Blood sweat and tears, but it’s necessary to gain God’s favor!

Start by embracing the grace God has already provided for us. We are not under the law but under grace! Let’s give God our heart before our service, and the favor of God will follow us all the days of our lives! The only holiness and purity i possess in my life, is because I have fallen in love with God!

My challenge to you tonight is,  Are you willing to put in the work.? Are you ready for God’s favor, simply because you have fallen in love with Jesus, and are we ready to do the things he asks of us because we love Him? 

His favor will abide with us if we seek purity and holiness and to please Him in every area of our lives.

I encourage you tonight to ask him to show us what is crouching at our door. 

What sin has beset us? 

What is it that we either need to do, or stop  doing, in order to gain favor with God ? How do we obtain his favor in our lives?

God wants to place in order, and give us favor in the things He has ordained for us. Oh Father, we come humbly in the name of Jesus and pray:

Search us Lord and show us the errors of our ways. Change our hearts  and draw us nearer to you, remove and rebuke the curses we have placed upon ourselves with our unbelief and faithlessness, cleanse us and renew a right spirit within us, and show us the way to your favor, We Thank you! father for your unfailing grace And mercy, in Jesus name!

Amen!



Untangled

By: Anita Mondragon

Untangled

Awhile back, I was searching for a piece of jewelry to wear with a particular outfit. I was searching for an old piece that I had owned for quite sometime. As I dug through my jewelry box, I finally found it! It had lain in the box for so long, it had become entangled with other pieces. It was a mess! One piece was a pin with my name- Anita, another was a necklace-a cross, there was two other necklaces-one was a gold ring, the other was a heart. The chains were threaded around the pin, and all stuck together in one huge mess!

Patiently, I tried to gently untangle them. It took two hours to get it done. As I worked on them, I remembered that they had all been gifts from loved ones. My son, Micah had given me the heart when he was only three years old. Remembering his excited face and look of anticipation when he presented it to me was priceless indeed! The golden ring necklace was a gift from my sister-in-law, Wilma. She had one just like it and after I had commented on it’s beauty, she bought me one for my birthday. The pin that bore my name had been a gift to me from many years past by a dear friend. The last piece was a cross necklace. It was also given to me by a dear friend.

They were all beautiful pieces, and all given with love by someone dear to me. However, in their current state, they were of no use no matter how beautiful they were.

Then it dawned on me…God has given me many beautiful gifts in my lifetime, but in my haste to live life my way, I had tossed them aside, left them forgotten and they got all tangled up in my nonsense. But in his mercy, God wanted to use me and my gifts, so he gently and patiently untangled the mess I had made of my life. He restored my gifts and made me whole again.

As I pondered the pieces, and the revelation that God had given me regarding them, I had to liken myself to the prodigal son. The Father had a heart of love for me. When I finally decided to come back, he placed a golden ring on my finger to show his undying love for me. He called my name, Anita, and reminded me of the cross he died on for my sins. At the end of all the chains that bound my life, hung a cross…and the cross is what made all the difference in me!



My Friend

By: Anita Mondragon
 
MY FRIEND
 
To the human eye, I was already grown,
But to Him, I was only three.
 
He bent down to kiss my hurt away,
Then He sat me upon His knee.
 
He watched me throw a tantrum,
He saw me cry and pout;
 
He held me tight within His arms
While mine flailed all about.
 
I strayed from Him for many years,
I caused Him anguish, pain, and tears.
 
But He saw THIS day, and knew I’d yield
And come back like a child.
 
So with arms opened wide,
 He welcomed me back…even though I was defiled.
 
He brushed His finger on my tear-stained face,
And all my fears He did erase.
 
This One, who formed me in the womb
And chose to die, to halt my doom.
 
He saw me in the good and bad;
I am His child.  He is my dad!
 
He’s made me happy!
I’m no longer sad!
 
JESUS…YOU’RE THE BEST FRIEND
I’VE EVER HAD!!!
 


Softer Side of Suffering

By: Victoria Harrington
 
 
             “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.”           
                                                                                                                                                                 
  1 Kings 1:19

         Elijah too was just a man. He was not super human. He was not beyond what any of us are. He was human and had human emotions and experiences same as you. I am so thankful this small snippet of his life is in the Bible and written as it is.

How many of us have said to God, “Lord I am tired,” “I just can’t take anymore,” “Lord please give me a break.” And what was God’s solution? Elijah fell asleep. Rest. He put that man to sleep twice and even took care to make his food for him. God didn’t just provide some food for Elijah to prepare himself, He sent an angel to prepare his food for him because He know Elijah was overworked, overstressed, and needed grace.

Maybe other people don’t think you have a reason to be overworked. Maybe you get criticized for even showing that mentally you are out of it. Perhaps there is spiritual warfare in your life that is taking the energy out of you for regular everyday stuff and you know if you voice it to anyone they are not going to understand it. They won’t make the connection to what that has to do with you being tired OR do the holier-than-thou thing and quote scripture at you as if that is supposed to prove to you to why you should not feel the way you do. Instead you just walk away feeling guilty and discouraged.

Has anyone else ever experienced this?

         I think one of the most discouraging things about being an adult is that we don’t get breaks. Do you remember when you were in school and you looked at the calendar and could see when your breaks were planned out. We don’t give breaks to ourselves, it’s not mandated and it’s not normalized. More than that though, we don’t give breaks to others. It is glorified to be overworked, to be tired, and unhealthy in the mind. The world seems to follow this rule of “my bad day was worse than your bad day.” I hear it all the time, like you get bragging rights if you come into work and say, “I only got two hours of sleep, but I’m still here,” or “Oh man, I haven’t had a vacation in years, but look at all the work I did.” Honestly why? Why do people brag about having to be a caffeine addict in order to be productive? Why has the trend become to be more stressed than your neighbor? Have we don’t this out of selfishness and lack of empathy? I think so. Why is it acceptable to check your emails and do work even after you clocked out, just because your phone is there?
I know people who go on “vacation,” but are still required to do work on vacation because of the quick access that their phones give them. Why is this okay?

          Don’t you miss the comfort of seeing Thanksgiving break getting close rand closer? That four day long time of nothing but good food and couch time? Christmas break was a few weeks, and Easter you’d get a week, even the little ones like the three day weekends or smaller holiday breaks were nice. They felt more comforting to know that you could physically look at something like a calendar and know relief was coming. Every day you got closer and could see that break- that time of relaxation was almost to you. Whatever you were struggling with at school was going to be put on hold and for a brief moment you’d get peace. You could even decide to take that time to start over if you wanted to. To resolve yourself to come back renewed and refreshed after the break and begin afresh. Begin with a different attitude or dedication.

          Did Jesus truly die for me to work myself to death? I’m not trying to be funny here, but I have met people who truly do not believe in vacations or think recharging for a week is a waste of time.  I have a hard time buying into the idea that as Christians the Messiah wants us to be workaholics. Does he not promise relief? Do you ever wonder when your relief is coming? Do you ever take the time to slow down and look at the person beside you and think maybe they are just as tired as I am? Maybe they are just as discouraged in this existence as me?

          Wasn’t it a nice feeling when the breaks came in school and everyone knew everyone was exhausted so grace was extended and given across the board because we were all suffering together? Why is that such a hard things to do now?  Thank goodness Jesus did not say “come to me all of you who have it all together and earned rest.” Thank you Jesus, that you did not say, “come to me all of you who have X- amount of PTO and I’ll take your burdens.”

No. My Jesus, who knew what it felt like to be tired physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, said to me, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28



God Said…

By: Anita Mondragon
 
 
I found this among my favorite writings.  I don’t even remember from where, or from whom I got it, but it’s OH SO TRUE!  Take a look, and let it sink in…
 
GOD SAID…
 
If you never felt pain, then how would you know that I’m a Healer?
 
If you never went through difficulties, how would you know that I’m a Deliverer?
 
If you never had a trial, how could you call yourself an overcomer?
 
If you never felt sadness, how would you know that I’m a Comforter?
 
If you never made a mistake, how would you know that I am Forgiving?
 
If you knew all, how would you know that I will answer your questions?
 
If you never were in trouble, how would you know that I will come to your rescue?
 
If you were never broken, then how would you know that I can make you whole?
 
If you never had a problem, how would you know that I can solve them?
 
If you never had any suffering, then how would you know what Jesus went through?
 
If you never went through the fire, then how would you become pure?
 
If I gave you all things, how would you appreciate them?
 
If I never corrected you, how would you know that I love you?
 
If you had all power, then how would you learn to depend on Me?
 
If your life was perfect, then what would you need Me for?
 
THANK YOU GOD!
-Unknown


WOULD’VE, COULD’VE, SHOULD’VE

By: Anita Mondragon
 
There’s a commercial on TV put on by a Life Insurance company.  I’m sure you’ve all heard it at least a hundred times by now.  It goes like this:
 
I would have called today, but…  I could have called today, but…  I should have called today, but…  Would have.  Could have.  Should have.  We hear that all the time…
 
I believe that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit hear that all the time as well.  I’m sure those words will echo through the corridors of Heaven on Judgement Day!  The conversation heard on that day may sound a lot like this:
 
“Hi.  I’m Jesus, the Son of God.  I, my Father and the Holy Spirit offered eternal life insurance to all of mankind.  Sometimes, the call for this insurance was never made because of life being so busy.  There were many excuses given for not making the call; but,  before you all realized, much time had passed, and now as you stand before me, regret has set in.  Some folks did call while there was still time, and they all say the same thing…”I wish I had called sooner!”  They are the blessed one’s that get to inherit this eternal life.  But, sadly, the same does not hold true for you.  The day of Mercy has passed, and the offer of eternal life cannot be offered to you.  The time has passed.”
 
Every one I know that has called on the name of Jesus for salvation, has been given this eternal life!  They live a life of blessing.  They are glad, relieved, and very thankful that they called on the Lord.  They have permanent protection, and have no regrets.  
 
Would you like to live a blessed life like this?  A life undaunted by the worry of what the future holds for you?  You don’t have to regret what you didn’t do yesterday!  Call now and say YES to the urging of the Holy Spirit!  Jesus said, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”-2 Cor. 6:2
 
For a life insurance that can NEVER be cancelled, call: 1-800-Jesus save me!