The Sincere Fireman

By Anita Mondragon
 
 
By now, the smoke was billowing out of the tenth story window of the apartment building.  The fire had been ablaze for some time.  The street was crowded with onlookers as the flames leapt higher and higher into the sky.
 
No one was sure just how the fire had started.  Perhaps it had begun in the basement of the building where some old rags had been stored too close to the furnace and ignited. As the crowd in the street looked on in dismay, a man shouted, “Look!” as he pointed to the window full of smoke.  A brave young fireman had gone up just moments before on a ladder and crawled through the burning window to look for survivors.  Now, here he was, coming back out!  As he stepped onto the first rung of the ladder, the crowd cheered with a loud voice.  Everyone was relieved that he had made it!  But…something was wrong! Why was he just standing there?  He should be moving down the ladder; the building was engulfed in flames and could collapse at any time! It looked as though he was arguing with someone inside.  All of a sudden, he climbed back into the burning building.  The crowd stood silent as they waited for him to reappear.  It seemed like an eternity!  Wait…was that him in the window?  No!  It was two people!  He had found a survivor! The crowd cheered even louder now as the fireman headed down the ladder with a woman in his arms.  
The woman could be heard sobbing above the sound of their cheers.  At first, they thought she was crying from fear…or maybe relief; but as she got nearer the street, they could hear her words, as she screamed in desperation.  “My baby is still in there!  Please…don’t leave her…you MUST go back!” He brought her to the ambulance attendant, as more words passed between them.  Someone overheard her telling him where she’d left the baby.  She said the baby and her favorite doll were in the crib, just on the left side of the bedroom window.  Suddenly, the conversation was over, and to the utter amazement of the crowd, he started up the ladder again.  
The crowd began buzzing.  “He can’t be going back in there…not even if there is a baby that needs to be saved!”  Neither one of them will make it out…he’ll never be able to find the window in all of that smoke!” Someone checked their watch…it seemed like forever since he’d disappeared into the smoke.  As fast as the building was burning, there wouldn’t be much time left before it would fall, brick by brick.  Everyone on the ground was praying and hoping he would be able to find the baby and get out in time. More time passed.  At last…he emerged, carrying a bundle wrapped in what looked like a baby blanket.  The crowd went wild with excitement as he descended the ladder. 
 The worried mother was overjoyed at the sight of him and the blanket!  She hurriedly pushed her way through the crowd to meet him.  They both reached their destination at the same time.  The fireman handed her the bundle with a smile and a look of relief on his smudged, smoky face.  When she opened the small bundle, a scream of horror came from her throat.  As the scream escaped her lips, the apartment building collapsed into rubble and ashes.  She kept crying over and over, “You got the doll!  This isn’t the baby!  You got the wrong bundle…it’s the wrong bundle!” 
The fireman was sincere in his efforts to save the baby…he even risked his life, but he was sincerely wrong. Sometimes, we live our lives the same way.  We do nice things for people; maybe we even get baptized and join a church.  We always try to do the right things.  But, let’s not forget that it’s not our good deeds that save us.  The Bible says, “all of our good deeds are like filthy, dirty rags.”  It also says, “Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by HIS mercy he has saved us.” 
 We can’t get to heaven except by going through Jesus.  He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the window you must go through.  His death on the cross is the ladder to safety. 
Think for a moment…what is it that you are trusting in?  Are you trusting in your- self?  Or are you trusting in Jesus? Listen to his voice.  Call on HIM and let him carry you to safety! 


Come and Rest

By: Anita Mondragon
 
“And he (Jesus) said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they, (the disciples) had no leisure so much as to eat.”  Mark 6:31
 
Here I sit…in all the beauty God intended for us; snow-covered mountains, huge boulders, the size of large buildings, clouds coming down so low…it looks as though they are kissing the mountain tops.  The clear blue water, mirroring the glorious sky above.  Birds on wing, sail through the air, seeing what I see…but through different eyes.  The quietness is immense! 
 When I stop to ponder the boundless love of God, I am overwhelmed!  Why He loves me so, I can’t even begin to understand!  I’ve done nothing to deserve such lavish treatment.  
 
Most of the time, His gifts to me go un-noticed.  He brings a beautiful sunrise each morning, and a breath-taking sunset each evening…but most days, I’m too ‘busy’ to see them.  He makes the flowers blossom in Spring, and the dead trees become lush and green as He breathes life into His creation once again. 
 
 He desires to do the same for me everyday, but I’m too preoccupied, trying to ‘breathe life’ into my own situation. Yes…I’m alive…functioning…breathing; but am I really LIVING?
 
I’ve been so busy, I haven’t stopped to question this until today. It’s good to get away from all the distractions this life holds!  Good to sit in the quietness of His beauty, and hear Him whisper through the rippling water, or the bugling of an Elk herd…to see His finger paint the sky in colorful hues. I need to do this more often…to remind myself of His great, undying love for me.  After all…when it’s all said and done, THAT is ALL that REALLY matters!


Where Would I Be?

By Anita Mondragon
 
The other day, I began remembering all the good things in my life…things that God has given to me.  Then, I remembered the days before I knew Him.  What a contrast!  Those days were sad, lonely, and full of despair.  So I sat down and wrote the lyrics to what someday I hope will be a song.  These words were written to the Lord, to express my gratitude for His gracious mercy to me.  They are more of a prayer than anything. 

 

My days before You, were empty…

Lonely, and filled with cries.

But You gave me a reason to live…

The first time I looked in your eyes.

You knew my soul needed saving…

That’s why You died for me.

As You hung on the Cross, between Heaven and earth

…There…on Mount Calvary!

Only You know what would have happened,

To this wretched, lost soul…namely ME;

If I didn’t have You in my world…

Then, where in this world would I be?

Oh what love!  What marvelous love,
 that You should die for me!
If I didn’t have You in my world…
then where in this world would I be?


I Don’t Know You Part 2

By: Anita Mondragon
 
 
I Don’t Know You
 
You speak to me and call out my name, when others are around; 
In pious tones, you thank me that you’re not like those OTHER sinners…there…kneeling on the ground. 
But…I don’t know you. 
 
You’re self-righteous, full of pride…oozing with conceit;  
You’d never bow, or smite your breast; you’d never humbly entreat. 
No…I don’t know you. 
 
I called out to you for many years before you tried to do things your own way; 
Before you relied upon yourself, you heard the things I’d say… 
But…I don’t know you. 
 
You did things in my name, but they were done for YOUR honor and glory. 
Now, here you stand before me, telling me you’re sorry. 
But…I don’t know you. 
 
You’ve finally fallen now…you’re bowing at my feet. 
No longer elevated, you’re stripped of your conceit. 
But…I don’t know you. 
 
You humbly cry and call out my name; you beg me to forgive. 
You ask me for another chance.  You say, “Please!  Let me live!” 
But…I don’t know you. 
 
You sob, and tell me all that you intended yourself to be; 
But there’s nothing Christ-like in you…nothing that I see. 
…I don’t know you… 
 
So, instead of hearing, “Welcome Home my friend!” I say, “Depart from me.  
Into that burning lake of fire…into that molten sea. 
…I don’t know you… 
 
I shed one last tear for your lost soul; For what you could have been. 
If only you had cried out for forgiveness… Id’ have washed away your sins.  
But, you didn’t… So…I don’t know you. 
 
I hear your screams cry, “Mercy!  Mercy!”
 But there’s nothing I can do. 
I’m sad to say, we never met…
I never did know you!


HE SPEAKS TO ME Part 1

By Grace Bejarano
 
A few years ago, I yearned to walk in the power of God.. I have a very strong desire to have the Lord’s working power flow through my hands.. I pray all the time, Lord using me as a willing servant. . I tried to figure out who God is from a logical sense. I kept asking Him,  “Why is this so tiring? Why doesn’t  your power seem to flow through me like it flows through others…I need a vacation,
After a few years, I finally asked the Lord, “What am I doing wrong?”
 
I received a scripture while in prayer:  John 15:5:8 NKJ.
 
I am the vine, you are the branches. HE who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing, If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the file, and they are burned.
 
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By  this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples. 
 
Lesson learned: I learned to surrender everything to the Lord and I mean everything because sometimes when you are seeking the Lord everything around you falls apart and instead of being stuck and fearful I decided to surrender everything I couldn’t control.. What was I trying to control anyway? I prayed and asked the Lord to strip me of everything that wasn’t of Him.  
 
WOW! I felt like the top  layer of my skin was pulled off, I was so vulnerable, so raw, so undone, words can’t describe the feeling. This feeling of walking on my tippy toes, God is holding up  my hands and pulling me to move forward. 
The feeling is scary, exciting, and every emotion is gone, just me and Jesus— just being in one accord with Him. So wonderful, so peaceful.
 
I got it. I finally got it. Being in one accord with the Holy Spirit, just you and Jesus and the holy spirit flowing. My spiritual gifts started flowing and the Lord used me to heal people and speak life into their situations, My entire life changed everything about my life changed. The way I think, the way I eat, the way I dress. 
 
So if you are looking for a life changing event. Use John 15:5-8 to change your mind and way of thinking. 
 
And there will be a part 2 to the John 15 chapter because there are times when I am feeling so unloved. I care for everyone else but they abuse me and I have to remember that I am not rejected but I am loved.
 
In Jesus, name amen. Be blessed.
 
 


Row Row Row Your Boat

By Anita Mondragon
 
Do you ever find yourself tired…weary?  Do you feel at times that you are the only one in the boat, rowing towards the shores of Heaven?  I must confess that I do have these feelings from time to time.
 
I look at folks around me that are in the boat-on their way to Heaven, but they don’t seem to be rowing as hard as I am!  I don’t “row” to keep my Salvation, I “row” because Jesus has saved me from an awful fate, and I am forever grateful to Him for being rescued; but I am also tired, and in need of encouragement!

But God’s Word says:

“Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, IF we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9

I read this little poem-I don’t even know who wrote it, but it gave me the strength I need, just for today!  It says this…

“Don’t stop praying, but have more trust;

Don’t stop praying; for pray we must;

 Faith will banish a mountain of care…

 So don’t stop praying!  God answers prayer.”

-Unknown

So, for today, I will keep my armor on…hold my sword, and be ready to strike the enemy should he come calling; and, while rowing, however tired I may be, I will look for lost souls upon life’s troubled sea, and be a life boat for those sinking in the waves of despair.



Your Gracious Gift

By: Anita Mondragon
 
I went to the Promise Box this morning and found the following:

“Jesus said unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father, but by Me.” -John 14:6

I began to ponder that verse in my mind-asking myself such questions as:

  1. Did Jesus know from the beginning, that He was going to have to die for us?
  2. Did He have anxiety over the thought of having to suffer?
  3. Did He see the picture of the Cross…the hill where three crosses stood…the soldiers casting lots for his clothes…his mother, and Mary Magdalene, weeping at the foot of his cross…all the legions of angels in heaven ready to fight, to rescue the Son of God…all of nature wailing the loss of their Creator?
  4. When He prayed, “Not my will…but Yours, Father” – did he hear some of the angels whispering amongst themselves, “Isn’t there another way for Him to accomplish Salvation?  …There has to be an easier way…”

 

If He knows my life from beginning to end-I’m quite sure He knew everything that was going to take place in His life.  I believe He knew from before the foundation of this world that Adam and Eve would sin, and that He would have to die for that sin in order to save us all.

Yes…there may have been an easier route that He could have taken.  He could have made us without free will to choose.  Then He would not have had to die, because we would not have sinned.

But…that would not be love.  It’s our free will to come to God when He woos us to Himself that makes it love on our part.  And when He chose to die for all of us-even those that He knew would never come to Him- THAT was LOVE on His part!

“How gracious was your gift to me; that I a sinner lost, might live.  Yourself, You did all freely give, mine…ever mine, to be!”  -Unknown

 
 
 
 


Time To Get Back To Learning

By Anita Mondragon
 
 
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

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

Time for school to start again!  Parents, and children alike are excited at this time.  New clothes, new shoes, brand new school supplies, lunch boxes, backpacks-all with that “new smell” to them!

Summer Vacation was fun…but it’s time to get back to learning!

How many of us have “stepped away” from God for a short while?  

We just got tired of all the rules…the discipline…the consequences…the study/learning part of going through trials and trusting God to handle it all for us.  ….So we “took a short vacation”, did our own thing for a time, and soon found out that learning from Him wasn’t so hard after all!

“Vacation” from Him seemed fun at first, until the consequences of our actions caught up with us! In fact, the lessons we had to go through during our “vacation” were very unpleasant!  …. And those consequences?  ….Well, they were more than we could bear at times!

Then, there are others of you that have never come to God.  Maybe you’ve never heard of His love and grace.  You’ve always done things your own way and paid the consequences; but now, you are looking for a change.  You are tired…weary!

Whichever dilemma you find yourself in, know this:   Jesus is still right where He was when we decided to take a detour.  He still stands there with arms open wide, waiting for us to come back and LEARN how to live life the easy way.  The Bible says, He’ll show us how to rest from all the nonsense of this world, He will walk with us, and we will find rest for our souls.

Are you tired?  I know I am!  Time to come back and LEARN from Him!  He will be right there for us when our problems seem unsolvable.  He will solve them for us!

Would sitting at the feet of Jesus, and learning from Him be something that some of you have never done?  If you come to Him, He’ll make everything new!  The ugly things you’ve suffered will go away; you’ll find that “new smell”, even in the mundane things of everyday life!  He will give you something new to wear…it’s called the robe of righteousness!

Come to “school” with me, and let’s learn from the Master!  Are you with me?



I Don’t Know You

By: Anita Mondragon
 
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
We are getting ready to start a revival on the 29 of this month.  Below is a poem I wrote years ago, but it bears repeating.  As we begin this revival, we need to remember that all of us will stand before Almighty God one day.  When he looks at us, will he KNOW us?  Will he KNOW our family members, friends and those around us?  Will he look at those of us that do KNOW him and ask WHY we never shared his love and salvation story with those he doesn’t KNOW?  
The time is short!  He’ll be coming back soon.  It’s high time we that KNOW him as our Lord and Savior get busy and show others the way!
We are getting ready to start a revival on the 29th of this month.  Below is a poem I wrote years ago, but it bears repeating.  As we begin this revival, we need to remember that all of us will stand before Almighty God one day.  When he looks at us, will he KNOW us?  Will he KNOW our family members, friends and those around us?  Will he look at those of us that do KNOW him and ask WHY we never shared his love and salvation story with those he doesn’t KNOW?  
 
The time is short!  He’ll be coming back soon.  It’s high time we that KNOW him as our Lord and Savior get busy and show others the way!


PRAISE TO THE CREATOR!

By: Anita Mondragon
 
I wrote the following poem one day while on a fishing trip in the mountains with my husband.  Not sure if I’ve ever shared it before…but I’m just having a thankful day. So grateful for all of God’s love and mercy towards me…including all the beauty He supplies every day if I’ll just take the time to stop and look…
 

PRAISE TO THE CREATOR

The grass so green,

The sky so blue,

The birds on wing,

All speak of YOU!

The soft blowing breeze,

The choir of birds,

Each sings their praise

Without any words!

But YOU of Lord,

Know the language of bees…

Of birds on the air,

And rustling leaves;

Of water that laps,

And waves that roar;

Of crabs that crawl

On the sandy shore…

Of butterflies that

Seemingly don’t make a sound…

Of tiny insects that crawl on the ground;

YOU know the language

Of trees and flowers

That dance on the breeze

In the moonlit hours.

Of sunlight that shines

On the rivers and seas,

The rippling water on the lakes

From the breeze.

Earth sings her song

To the Father above

Who created them all

In His infinite love!




One Response to “Forgiven- A Daily Devotional”

  1. Anita says:

    What a great prayer! As Believers, this is the kind of stuff we should be seeking God for on a daily basis!
    Thanks for the reminder sister Francine!
    -anita

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