God, IN you!

By Anita Mondragon

At times, we of the lower middle class look at those more financially fortunate than ourselves, and envy what they have.

We wish our house was larger, our car newer, our bank account more substantial.  Even Christians find themselves always wishing for more.  It is a malady of the human spirit.  We never seem to be satisfied!

Read more…



More Sermon From Teddy

by Anita Mondragon
 

“Change your life, not just your clothes.  Come back to God, your God.  And here’s why:  God is kind and merciful.  He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot; This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe.”  Joel 2:13-14 (MSG)  The (NIV) puts it this way:  “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding  in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”  Joel 2:14

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“YOU CANNOT HAVE A COMEBACK WITHOUT EVER HAVING A SET BACK!”

This was the sermon we heard yesterday from Pastor Danny.  It really hit home to me!  As I shared with some of you yesterday morning, I woke up very frustrated.  My anger was “kindled” against my dog Teddy.  For those of you reading this and not knowing the story, let me explain.

Teddy wants to eat ALL OF THE TIME!  I only feed him twice a day.  Once in the morning, and once in the late afternoon.  He thinks he needs a bedtime snack.  To make a long story short, when I put him out to do his business right before we go up to bed, he invariably sneaks over, in the dark, to the place where I put bread crumbs out for the birds…and eats his fill.  He did this Saturday night.  We went to bed, and in the wee hours of the morning, I heard him gagging.  I was exhausted and fell back to sleep.  Suddenly, around 5 a.m., I awoke to an unpleasant situation…Teddy had thrown up on the bed!  Needless to say…I was more than frustrated.  I was completely “ticked off!”  So here I am, on an early Sunday morning, when I could have slept in for a bit, but instead…stripping the bed, and having to wash everything…even the blankets!

When we got to church, we all stood in a circle, holding hands and were praying for the morning service.  I prayed for peace in my own spirit.  I asked God to let me lay down my frustration of the morning, and let me come before Him in a quiet spirit so that I could receive what He had for me.  It worked!  After hearing the sermon, my eyes were opened, and I had to ask myself, “How many times do I frustrated a Holy God with my disobedience?”  “How many times do I sneak off in the dark, and do my own thing…go my own way, and never give a thought to His commands?”

We all have appetites that aren’t easy to satisfy due to our fleshly nature.  I’m sure God’s anger was kindled against Adam and Eve when they partook from the very thing God told them to leave alone!  They not only sickened, and brought death to themselves…they brought the sickness of sin and death to the whole human race.

The thing God showed me from the message was this:  Teddy’s no different from me.  I want God’s favor and love.  I want His mercy.  But I also want to do what I want to do.  It doesn’t work that way!  It says in the above verse, if I want God to be gracious and compassionate, kind and merciful, and put up with a lot from me…then I NEED to “Come back to Him; change my life…not just my clothes!”  In another place in Scripture, it talks about the Pharisees only cleaning the outside of the cup, but leaving the inside still dirty.

Changing your clothes…self-reformation…”looking” Holy, will not satisfy God.  He wants us to change our life…let Him come in and reform our hearts…become Holy through the blood of Jesus.  When we have been changed on the inside…it shows on the outside!

Teddy is forgiven, for I see my own self in his actions.  I will be kind and merciful…take a deep breath and put up with all of his messes just as I want God to do for me.  But Teddy’s a dog…he can’t change his life, or his clothes; but I can.  I can allow God to change me from the inside out, and let Him clothe me with the robes of righteousness that I so desperately need!



Dont Worry….”Daddy” Will Take Care Of You!

by Anita Mondragon
 

“Light is sown for the righteous, gladness for the upright in heart.” -Psalm 97:11

Do you ever look at your children and wish you had the same stamina and resilience they have?  I remember a time, even in my twenties, I was strong and could stay awake for hours; now I find my husband gently shaking my arm at 9:45 p.m. and saying, “Neat… go to bed!  You’ve been sleeping for the last hour in this chair…go to bed!”

Wow!  I hate feeling old and despise being unable to do the things I used to do and took for granted at the time!

I look at my eight-year-old in amazement.  I put him to bed at 9:30, and many times he is still awake and talking at midnight.  Last Friday night, I let him watch a movie when he went to bed.  It was only to last for an hour or so.  I woke up at 4:20 a.m., and went in his room to check on him and turn things off only to find him sitting up in bed, playing with his toys!  AWWW!  To be young again!

Kids don’t stay sad for very long either…have you noticed that?  One minute, they are crying because they weren’t able to do something they had their heart set on, and a few minutes later, they have forgotten all about their anxiety and sadness and have moved on to a new adventure.

This is how we as Christians are to be.  When the trials of life seem to get us down, our crying and sadness should soon stop, for we KNOW that God will make a way…it’s time to move on to a new adventure.  But sometimes we get “old and crotchty”, we get bitter at the things life has dished out to us.  But I want you to remember this quote from Max Lucado: “Play hard, laugh hard, and leave the worries to your Father.”  That’s how we need to live!  Our Heavenly “Daddy” will take care of everything!



The Reason He Came

by Anita Mondragon
 

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.” Read more…



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…”

Read more…



Be Not Dismayed

by Anita Mondragon

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”       Isaiah 41:10 KJV

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The above verse came from my Promise Box.  I drew it this morning.  I’ve read/heard this verse many times, but as I read it this morning, the word dismayed caught my attention.  I decided to look it up…to find all the facets of the meaning.

It means:

cause (someone) to feel consternation and distress:

synonyms:appall · horrify · shock · shake (up) · disconcert · take aback · alarm · surprise. concern. perturb

WOW! How many times during the day do unexpected things occur-things that we have absolutely no control over?  Only speaking for myself here…but most days, these things happen more times than I can count! Read more…



Under The Sun VS Under The Son

by Anita Mondragon
 

Yesterday’s message was really great!  Pastor spoke on Ecclesiastes chapter 1.  It was a real eye-opener to me when I realized that even the wisest, richest man on earth at that time said, “Meaningless!  Meaningless!  Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.”  What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? (verses 1-3)

I got it yesterday when Pastor was talking…but this morning, I REALLY got it when I saw the mountain of laundry piled high from only three days!  How does that happen?  I just spent one whole day last week washing clothes, bedding, etc…and here it ALL is again!  When you see the picture for yourself, and have to deal with it…it IS all meaningless!  Life and its daily duties seem to never end!

But, Solomon wasn’t talking about laundry! LOL!  I doubt he ever did any for himself!  He was saying throughout the whole chapter that there is NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN that happens in this world; the wind blows, the seasons change, and then it starts all over again…day after day, year after year…or in my case…laundry!

 

However, as Pastor pointed out later in the sermon, when we accept Jesus into our hearts and lives, The Son makes ALL things new!  HE gives us purpose in our lives!  Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16  (MSG)  13 “Let me tell you why you are here.  You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.  If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?  You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 14-16 “Here’s another way to put it:  You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.  God is not a secret to be kept.  We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.  If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?  I’m putting you on a light stand.  Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand-SHINE!  Keep open house; be generous with your lives.  By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this (our) generous Father in heaven.

 

So…to all of you…all of us that have the Monday morning blues, knowing this same old humdrum week of repetitive actions has just started…be encouraged!  God has a plan and a purpose for your days ahead!  Look for the purpose in everything, and then act on it.  It’s a new day…a new week!  Let The Son make ALL things new for you!



Answer The Door

By Anita Mondragon
 

Below is the promise I drew for today.  I have heard this particular scripture used in witnessing to the lost in an effort to bring them to Salvation.  It is used perfectly in context…for it IS Jesus asking to enter the heart of the sinner and save him from his sins; however, it can also apply to those of us that already KNOW Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Take a look…

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” -Revelation 3:20

In plain English…here is what Jesus is saying to the Believer, (and I paraphrase using my own words)

“Hello?!  I’ve been standing here at the door of your heart for a while now…if you hear me, can you please open the door?  I’d like to come in and have some ‘alone’ time with you! It’s been a while since we talked.  Can we discuss what’s going on in your life?  If you’ll share your troubles with me, I’m sure I can help…” Read more…



Another David

by Anita Mondragon
 

Our Worship service at the Mission on Saturday was such a blessing!  Praying for folks with all kinds of requests.  I was amazed when I realized that none of them asked for prayer regarding their homeless estate.  They were praying for others-family members, friends, strength to witness…it was a real eye-opener to me.

We that are not homeless, usually ask prayer for our “miserable” situation such as a job change because we hate the one we have, a better place to live, a more reliable car ….and the list goes on.

These folks however, are homeless.  They have no job-but wish they did…ANY job; they live in the street, sleeping in door-ways, or beside dumpsters…or maybe a cardboard box; they have no car-reliable or otherwise…yet they were not asking prayer for themselves-only for others!

As happened last time we went, my little “Prayer Warrior” Joe, was standing next to me in the battle against Satan and his demons that seemed to overwhelm the room at times.  I prayed for the last person in line, and when I opened my eyes-Joe was already out in the crowd of people praying for those that didn’t have the courage to get in line and ask for it.

I saw him walk up to someone and presumably ask them if he could pray for them.  They shook their head no, so he patted them on the shoulder, and went on to the next row.  He was undaunted in his quest to pray for those in need.  The man who had been sitting next to the person that refused prayer, called Joe back to pray for him.  He was a big biker looking dude.  Joe grabbed both of his huge hands, knelt before him, and prayed.  I wish I knew what he said in his prayer, for when he was finished, he rose, shook the man’s hand, patted him on the shoulder, and went looking for another person to pray for.  As Joe walked away, I saw this rough-looking biker begin to wipe the tears from his eyes.  He was sobbing now, and could not control the tears as they ran down his face.  His countenance had changed.  My “little David” had struck at least one of the giants in this man’s life with his prayers!

We as adults need to have that kind of faith.  The kind of faith that believes NO ONE is beyond God’s grasp…that NO ONE is beyond redemption.

When we become adults, something happens to our innocence, our belief that ALL things are possible with God.  We begin to reason, and think logically, but forget that miracles still happen if we’ll only believe.  We forget that prayer changes things!  Jesus said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16    Are we righteous within ourselves?  NO!  We are righteous, or, in right standing with God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross of Calvary.  Because we are washed in the blood of Jesus, God hears our prayers and answers them for Jesus’ sake!

Let’s stop offering obligatory prayers to God.  Instead, let us call on Him, in faith, believing that He will answer our prayers!  Let’s put on the whole armor of God, and walk into the battle unafraid…undaunted by what we see; let’s look with the eyes of a child, and like the little shepherd boy of the Bible-little David…and like my little Joe,  let’s go slay some giants in people’s lives!



AHA! …or DO YOU GOT YOUR EARS ON???

by Anita Mondragon
 

Have you ever had an “Aha!” moment with God?  I myself have had many!  Some of those moments came while I was reading something-usually the Word of God, and a light seemed to come on.  Some were when I heard some words spoken by others more wise than I and at other times, I’ve had these enlightening, mind-blowing moments watching a movie, most of which were non-religious.

Like a miracle from God, these moments seem to come when my Faith is waning.  See, God can speak through ANY circumstance; the Bible says, “He (God) uses the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise.” – I Cor. 1:27

The sad thing is, these “Aha!” moments seem to dwindle as quickly as they appear!  And yes…just like the Children of Israel, I soon fall back into my rut of disbelief and doubt regarding  what God has done, is doing, and will continue to do-even long after I’m gone!

We read the miraculous deeds of God in the Bible, and shake our heads when we read on and discover the same folks that stood in awe of the miracles, are now complaining and standing in unbelief of what God can and will do for them.  Remember the parting of the Red Sea?  You would think that this particular miracle, in and of itself would never be forgotten, and that knowing this…seeing this occur, would surely outweigh any future unbelief; but not so!

We, in this day and age, look down the end of our self-righteous noses, and judge the Children of Israel for their lack of devotion to God Almighty, because after all…look at the many times He delivered them with visible miracles, yet they doubted! “How ridiculous!” we scream, and go on to say how, “If God did a miracle like that for me…I’d never forget!”

But we do forget.  From one trial/deliverance to the next, we forget how God brought us out…rescued us…took us through.

It’s time to stop doubting!  Time to look for the “Aha!” moments that God has for His Believers!  He’s talking all the time, but we aren’t listening.  Turn on your radio!  Listen for the voice of God!

God says….  “BREAKER, breaker…do you got your ears on?”

That’s when we should respond….  “That’s a big 10-4 Good Daddy!  Over…” and wait for God’s instructions!

Over and Out!