Do You Want Peace?

This time in which we live is chaotic!  Shootings happen daily. Homeless folks are everywhere. Theft, violence, murder, rape…are now the norm.  But Jesus can still give you peace!  

 

The following poem was written in honor of my dad.  He was a preacher of the Gospel for over forty years, and many times his ministry took him to the Rescue Mission here in downtown Denver. 

He always took my brother and me along…he said it would help us in the future.  I hated going!  I was only seven years old, and “those people” scared the living daylights out of me.  But I remember one night in particular; it has stood out in my mind all of these years.  It’s the story I’m about to tell.  And by the way, my dad was right.  That night, changed my view of “those people” forever!  I came to realize…we ALL need a Savior!

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

He wakes up in the alley

Vomit, crusted on his face.

Propped up against the dumpster,

Thinking, “How’d I get to this place?”

He slowly stands, and shakes himself off…

Trying to remember.  He used to have a home and family

…A loving wife, so tender.

It’s been a while now since he’s lived this way out on the street-

Scrounging through the garbage, for something good to eat.

It all started with that one social business drink;

And as stress increased, so did his consumption,

And alcohol…well, it dulled his mind so he wouldn’t have to think.

He used to wear suits, and drive a nice car;

But now his clothes are all ragged, and he sleeps in the alley behind the bar.

He stands on the corner, and begs for a dollar

While people pass by, and they stare, curse, and holler.

Some of them scream, “You lazy bum!  Why don’t you get a job?”

But, few of them care to look at his face, or see his heart cry and sob.

They can’t seem to see beyond all of that dirt,

That this man needs help…for he’s bruised, and he’s hurt!

By chance, he stumbles into the Rescue Mission,

And hears the preacher on stage, asking for a decision.

“Do you want peace?  Because I can show you how to find it!”

With torment in his voice, he hollers from the door,

“My God I want peace!  Please…tell me more!”

The preacher on the stage, ignores the stench and filth,

And runs to this man so full of hurt and guilt.

He holds him close, and whispers, “I KNOW the Prince of Peace!”

The man cries, “Introduce me!” as they fall down on their knees.

That night, the lowly beggar got to meet The King of Glory

Because the preacher cared enough to share with him,

Loves’ Greatest Story!

By:  Anita Mondragon Published in 2009



The Reason He Came

Jesus left His throne in Glory and came to earth for:

THE LAST

Matthew 20:16 (KJV) tells us this…

16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

 

THE LOST

Luke 19: 10 (KJV) says…

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

 

THE LEAST

Matthew 25:40 (NIV) tells us…

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

THE LEFT OUT

Luke 7:36-38 (NCV) tells the story…

36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, so Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house and sat at the table. 37 A sinful woman in the town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So she brought an alabaster jar of perfume 38 and stood behind Jesus at his feet, crying. She began to wash his feet with her tears, and she dried them with her hair, kissing them many times and rubbing them with the perfume.

 

THE LOOKED OVER

Mark 10: 46-52 says…

  • 46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.
  • 48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. 49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
  • 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. 52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and  followed Jesus in the way.

 

The whole human race fits into one or more of these categories.  We would all do well to remember that the next time we think more highly of ourselves than of others!  But take heart- that’s why Jesus came…to save us from our sins!
 
ANITA MONDRAGON


Lord, Help My Unbelief

by Anita Mondragon
 
“…Jesus said unto him, if you can believe, ALL things are possible to him that believes.  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, LORD, I BELIEVE; HELP MY UNBELIEF.”  Mark 9:23-24
 
This morning, I woke up praying, asking God to show me what He wants from me…and asking Him to reassure me of His care and provision.  He reminded me of a poem I wrote back in 2008.  I share it now with you. 
 
 
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 the 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 Pharaoh let your people go,

Because of plagues brought to his land…

This, I believe!
 
I pray for those upon death beds,

Who’s diagnosis looks quite 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;

I wonder…do You see?’

 
See…I trust You with my eternity…

But, umm…just not my money;

Because, You’re up there…and I’m down here,

And, well You know…the market’s been kinda 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 thinkin’ it’s 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;

 
And 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, then 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 in the car for gas…

And all those grocery coupons…

How we lived off Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese,

Tuna Fish, and Peanut Butter…

Instead of Chicken, Pork Chops, Steak, and Prawns.
 
But, we never did go hungry,

Our bellies were always fed.

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;

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


Before They Call

BEFORE THEY CALL…
 
“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
 
My son and his family are going through a really tough time right now.  I won’t go into all the details, but please pray for them and their unborn child!  There are many complications, and bad news from every side.  Tests have been run and doctors give little hope…
 
BUT GOD…
 
I see this phrase all through Scripture.  The situation looked hopeless…BUT GOD intervened.  The outcome had already come to pass…BUT GOD changed the outcome.  The future looked quite bleak…BUT GOD performed a miracle.
 
God knew what was going on, long before the tests were done and the doctors voiced their findings!  And HE said, BEFORE THEY CALL ON ME, I WILL ANSWER…AND WHILE THEY ARE STILL TELLING ME THEIR PROBLEMS…I WILL HEAR!
 
We’ve all been in impossible places before, but many of us have seen the hand of the Lord change things before our eyes!  Please pray and agree with me that God’s will shall be done, for He knows what is best!  Thank you all!
 
Anita Mondragon


The Master Tailor

by Mike Mondragon  

“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,
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 without a 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- through His death He did mend
 
And make our garments spotless, in which we will be wed.
To create the perfect suit or dress, which you can joyfully wear.
 
A dress, a suit so perfect…without a single rip or tear.
Known as the suit to die for, the dress without a stain,
 
Perfectly fitted, and sized, and tailored, made by Jesus with great pain.
Your Wedding dress is ready. The Tux pressed, and 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, it is in place,
 
The party room is ready, every piece is in its place.
All that’s missing is you, just say “yes!” to the Dress;
 
Remove the old rags and get rid of your mess.
The Father, He 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 and sweet!
 
Where hell hath no power, and death has no sting,
Where sin is cast away, where we are given a wedding ring.
 
A ring which means we’ll be together forever and a day, With Jesus our Bridegroom, the Truth, the Light the Way!
 
By:  Michael Mondragon


A Prayer For The New Year

by Francine Rodriguez

 
Dear God,
Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day.
 
We pray for your Spirit to lead and guide each step of this coming New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.”
 
 
We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts. We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you.
 
We pray that you’d keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. That you would whisper in our ear when we need to run, and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground. We pray for your protection over our families and friends. We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy and that you would surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight as intercessors and as we stand in the gap for others. Help us know your will, to hear your voice, and know your ways.
 
We ask that you would keep our footsteps firm, on solid ground, helping us to be consistent and faithful. Give us supernatural endurance to stay the course, not swerving to the right or to the left, or being too easily distracted by other things that would seek to call us away from a closer walk with you.
 
Forgive us for the times we have worked so hard to be self-sufficient, forgetting our need for you, living independent of your spirit. Forgive us for letting fear and worry control our minds, and for allowing pride and selfishness to wreak havoc over our lives. Forgive us for not following your ways and for living distant from your presence. We confess our need for you…fresh…new…again.
 
We ask that you make all things new, in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, in this new year. We pray for your refreshing over us. Keep your words of truth planted firm within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, give us the power to be obedient to your word. And when the enemy reminds us where we have been and hissing his lies, we trust that your voice will speak louder and stronger, as you remind us we are safe with you and your purposes and plans will not fail.
 
We ask that you will be our defense and rear guard, keeping our way clear, removing the obstacles, and covering the pitfalls. Lord, lead us on your level ground.
 
We ask that you would provide for our needs, we ask for your grace and favor. We pray for your blessings to cover us, we pray that you would help us to prosper and make every plan that you have birthed in our heart to succeed.
 
We pray that others would take notice of your goodness and could not help but to say, “These are the ones that the Lord has blessed.” Help us to be known as givers, help us to be generous and kind, help us to look to the needs of others and not be consumed by only our own. May we be lovers of truth, may the fruits of your spirit be evident in our lives – your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Shine your light in us, through us and over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory.
 
Set you way before us and may all your plans succeed. May we reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing. To you be glory and honor forever. Amen  
 
Verses to read:


Are you Judas or Mary?

     There are a lot of theories as to why Judas betrayed Jesus. Maybe Judas was just in it for the money, maybe he doubted, maybe he was too ambitious and wanted higher status with the Sanhedrin. We may never know exactly why Judas did what he did and I believe that the reasoning is purposely left ambiguous because God wants us to focus on the mere concept of deceitfulness- to Jesus which leads to death. 
 
     I believe Judas betrayed Jesus because he gave in to the lie that Satan whispered in his ear that we all have heard. Judas wanted Jesus to be the God that Judas thought he should be, not the God he actually was. 
Think about the history of Jesus’ coming. All the prophecy and hope laid upon years of a people who were enslaved and run out of their homeland. Years of stories about how the Messiah would come and the warrior, white horse, battle ready image they projected out. Yet here comes a man from Nazareth, no sword, no army, no white horse. He is a man who performs miracles, but is not the king Judas grew up believing would come. Not the savior or God that Judas had been raised to believe in. Man had projected this idea and thought that God would conform to his idea of who He should be instead of vice versa. 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”   Isaiah 55:8-9
 
    Maybe Judas thought that forcing Jesus into a prison, into a life or death situation would cause Jesus to call down fire and brimstone- the armies of heaven to save him, and THEN the Jews would go into battle and defeat the Romans and live happily ever after because that was what he had been taught and expected. Maybe he – Judas- would gain great power and a seat in heaven for playing such a heavy part in the great plan. It was selfish and short sighted. He couldn’t fathom an ending greater than that because Judas was just human. 
 
     I’m not saying I’m absolutely right, but just take a minute to think about how many times you get into tight, stressful situations. You start to suffer and you get angry. Maybe someone does something to you and you mix up vengeance with justice. You think God should deal with somebody a certain way for what they have done, or think He should punish a certain people group for behaving a certain way…
 
 I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness. If anyone hears My teachings and fails to observe them [does not keep them, but disregards them], it is not I who judges him. For I have not come to judge and to condemn and to pass sentence and to inflict penalty on the world, but to save the world. Anyone who rejects Me and persistently sets Me at naught, refusing to accept My teachings, has his judge [however]; for the [very] message that I have spoken will itself judge and convict him at the last day.”   John 12:46-48  AMPC
 
     Jesus came to save the whole world, not just Judas’ world. We can instead think on Mary, whose meekness was highlighted when that special visitor came to her to announce her pregnancy. 
“Then Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 AMP
 
Her response wasn’t with if’s, and’s, or but’s…it was simply whatever YOU want Lord, in YOUR way, let it be done.
 
-Victoria Harrington


OCEAN’S OF LOVE AND FORGIVENESS

This morning when I awoke, I saw a full moon shining brightly over an ocean of blue sky. 
 

 Small clouds of different shapes and sizes – colored bright orange, were clumped together like a huge coral reef. 

 A few stars peeked out beneath some large dark clouds like barnacles on a ship.  

A light cool breeze softly blew, and seemed to chart a course, that slowly pushed those dark clouds like ships as they sailed across the blue expanse.

It was then I recalled the mercy of God!  As my own ship has sailed on this ocean called life, God has guided my vessel through the rough waters and the calm as well.    

I stood at that window and marveled at the mercy and goodness of God!  I’m completely amazed that when I allow Him to be the Captain of my ship, He will take the helm of my vessel and safely steer me home on His Ocean of love and forgiveness! 

-Anita Mondragon 10-16-2016



GOD’S PRESENCE…

By Michael Mondragon
 
I thought I would give my hard-working spouse a break today, as she has worked so hard the past week getting ready for our annual church Christmas party.
 

She baked and cooked all week, decorated and cleaned, prepared and placed the finishing touches on our home. She is always over zealous in her preparations in my opinion. Probably because she so enjoys entertaining and being a wonderful Hostess. She has a servant’s heart and just adores people and giving them her best! I love and appreciate that about her!  

As she tended to her morning routine of dishes and straightening up, I was afforded the opportunity to gather my thoughts about last night. We shared a light discussion of how much we enjoyed everyone and what a blessing it is to have loving and giving friends!

Well, to the meat of the matter…  As I sat down to enjoy a warm cup of coffee, I was looking around this morning just enjoying the peace and tranquility of our home, when I happened to notice that lo to my great surprise and enjoyment, there in the corner of the dining room, my Amaryllis had bloomed overnight. 

Now this may seem a little thing in everyone’s eyes and although everyone loves a beautiful flower, this morning’s mercy allowed me to see something in that bloom in a little different light.

 As I pondered the beauty of such a simple thing, that still small voice whispered to me about the Father’s glory in everything.

As I looked at the flower, I was impressed that the entire flower resembled a cross!  If you look at the attached photo you will see what I mean! After the initial impression, I heard the voice say, “look closer, there are two full blooms and one in the center yet to come”.

I was reminded that the Son and Holy Spirit have already come, but the Main bloom, the Father, has yet to make His full presence known! The beauty of the first two have manifested. We should all relish and glory in that at this time, but the full bloom and splendor of the God Head is yet to come! Rejoice and be glad for that time is soon

 

 

I encourage you to listen to the still small voice in your heart today. God is always speaking, are you tuned in? The Master calls and the sheep know his voice! 

I have added a picture of my Flower for you to get a small glimpse of what I saw today, as a blessing from my Father, I hope and pray your day starts off with a word from the Lord!



FROM HIM, TO ME

During my early years of childhood, our family was very poor.  We lived in a ratty old house with plaster walls, most of which was missing.  My mom would stuff old rags in between the cracks to keep the cold out.  I wore hand-me-downs until I was eight years old, and slept in a crib until I was six.  Christmas for us was very different indeed.  We struggled to have food on the table, so my brother and I rarely had presents.  This poem came from a memory of one Christmas in particular.
 
 

A ratty old shack

On the poor side of town;

No Christmas lights

Anywhere to be found.

 
Inside it’s doors,

Lived a family of four;

Wanting…and hungry…

So very poor!

 
I remember it well,

‘Twas the house of my youth.

Folks would laugh and point…

They thought us odd, and crude.

 
But I remember one Christmas,

Particularly well;

And that’s the story

I’m about to tell.

 
On Christmas morn,

I awoke with a start,

Excitement galore

Pounding through my heart!

 
No tree to be found…

Too poor, you see;

But a tiny wooden crate

Addressed to me.

 
I opened up the tiny crate,

And there inside I saw,

A tiny babe, looking back at me

Nestled in the yellow straw.

 
Daddy hoped I wouldn’t notice,

For I was very small,

But the babe inside the wooden crate,

Was my old baby doll.

 
My face must have shown

The disappointment I felt,

For dad’s eyes began to tear,

As his heart did melt.

 
He said, “Forgive me honey…

I doubt you’ll understand,

But daddy has no money

For presents like he’d planned.

 
So I searched the whole house over,

And gave you the best I had…

This tiny babe within the straw…

With love, to you…from dad.”

 
As the years flew by, I came to love

The memory of that night.

It is a time I will never forget,

For it brought me to The Light!

 
The Light held within that wooden box,

That first Christmas so long ago,

When God sent His Son to be born in a manger,

Here, on this earth below.

 
That’s how my daddy first introduced me

To my Heavenly Father above;

With that tiny doll, in the wooden box,

Given, with all of his love.

 
But, that baby Jesus, in the wooden manger

Is who God sent to me…

He’s the gift of love,

From God the Father, above…

 
A gift from Him…to me!
 

By:  Anita Mondragon      




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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