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 Defense of the Christian…

The Defense of the Christian is their Innocence 
By: Victoria Harrington


Let’s talk about Daniel 3. You know, the one about those three guys who got thrown into the fiery furnace. Sadly, some of us only heard it in Sunday school in elementary school or on television by talking vegetables.  Well let’s get those simplistic images out of your head and talk about what the deeper meaning of this story is about, the idolatry of national identity. Daniel 3 is written as an exposè of what happens when a people exalt themselves to be on the same level as God and what we as Christians are to do when this happens. What do you do when you, God’s people, find yourselves living in a nation that’s going down a path like this? What do you do as a Christian individual, as a Christian family, as a Christian community, when your country is pushing ideas that are not in line with the Word of God? It starts off with a scene that is common in the Bible, the building of an idol.

“King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So, the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.”

Daniel 3:1-5

Babylon has always represented a place- a nation- a people, who do unrighteous things. It is a larger-than-life image of humanity. An archetype of self-exaltation, and the epitome of everything wrong in the human condition. Statues are found all over the New and Old testaments. We don’t think too much of them now and half the time when we read the Bible we think, “Why would they worship a statue? Isn’t that kind of silly?” It is a primitive idea and we don’t know exactly what the statue was made to look like, but please realize that it is more than a statue. It is an idea. The statue represents an idea, a dangerous idea, because it is one that replaces God as the highest authority.  It embodies everything that Babylon was, much like the Statue of Liberty is the symbol and embodiment of the United States of America…not so primitive now, eh?

What King Nebuchadnezzar was asking of these people was that they give their allegiance to this statue. In other words, King Nebuchadnezzar wanted his people to give their allegiance to everything Babylon represented.  Give allegiance to child sacrifices, allegiance to adultery, allegiance to worshiping Baal, ect. These people would commit themselves to letting their nation define right and wrong for them. To let Babylon define what failure and success meant for them. That Babylon could define their reality without any question. This statue is a representation of a direct defiance of God and His power.  

As Christians we know that this breaks the first and second commandments given by God to Moses, (Exodus 20:4-5). A kingdom represented by an image. On page 1 of the Bible God created an image of Himself.  The same Hebrew word that was used in Genesis 1 for image is the word that is used in Daniel 3 for this statue.  Do you see that Satan cannot have original ideas? He must corrupt the ideas and creations that God and man have created. Man was made in God’s image and like God can create. That is what man was made to do. Satan was not made to create and was not made in the image of God. Instead, Satan disrespects God by making His image bow down to stone, wood, or a nation. Saying that the Creator’s image should bow and worship something that His image has created. How backwards, yet it happens all the time. He really is a master deceiver. 

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to conform to extreme nationalism. 

“But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:12

Essentially these counselors have posed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as a national threat. That is a huge claim, but the King believed it because they were his closest companions. How do your friends shape your thinking? Do they encourage secular ideas, your ideas, or God’s ideas?

What I consider one of the most important lessons for Christians is found in the response Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego gave to King Nebuchadnezzar when he confronts them about their choice to not bow down to his statue. 

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:16-18

This has got to be the politest rebellion ever. These three friends calmly tell the King, we do not have to have a theological debate or even defend ourselves about this. We will not let you define right and wrong for us. Our God defines that for us. We will not serve your gods. If you want to kill us, okay, but we still will not worship what you worship. You are not God and that is not up for debate with us. Peaceful and polite. Then they take it a step further and say that even if God does not save them, they still put their allegiance with Him. They still have faith in Him even if things do not go the way they think it should. How many of us can say the same? 

Naturally the King was not happy. Satan cannot stand when a Christian just won’t give up. When you say and believe “never-the-less God I trust in you even if it hurts. I love you and will worship you even if my life gets worse, because you are worth it.” That is powerful. That is someone who has learned the power of peace and peace like that is only found in Jesus Christ.

This highlights the spiritual power of resisting the temptation of associating yourself with the popular ideologies and trends in your communities that do not line up with God’s Word.  The Bible is your guide book, the Holy Spirit is your mentor, and we are to use them to help us discern right and wrong. These men did not go hide and make their own secret community in Babylon. They did not withdraw to themselves and they did not promote violence. They acknowledge that God is their justifier. He sees and He knows all the injustice happening. They lived their lives peacefully  and to be honest Nebuchadnezzar probably wouldn’t have even noticed had his buddies not ratted them out. God told Jeremiah the same this to prophecy to the people of Israel before they were carried in exile, 

“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Jeremiah 29:4-7

The power of God’s people during resistance is their innocence. Jesus did not fight physically or needlessly argue. In fact, the scriptures tell us that arguing with people who are committed to arguing is foolish, (Proverbs 26:4-5). The fact that they are not a threat makes the power of their witness so significant. We must remember the three commands that Jesus did give us, love God, love your neighbor, and seek to share His kingdom with others. With this in mind we can give the best to our communities.  At Praise Center we have communion every first Sunday of the month. Together as a unified body we reject the things of this world, Babylon, and commit ourselves to being the body of Christ.

“And so declare your allegiance by taking the bread and cup.”

Colossians 1:15-20


By Anita Mondragon
I was watching a movie the other night that had the Crucifixion scene of Jesus in it.  As I heard the thief hanging next to Jesus say, “Lord!  Remember me when you come into your Kingdom…”  it struck me that perhaps that’s what a Believers heart cries out to our Heavenly Father in our last dying breaths.  Remember Jesus’ response to him? …”Today, you shall be with me in Paradise!”  And peace fell on the thief!
I’ve been at the side of dying loved ones twice.  They were in much agony and pain.  Tears and loud cries were heard as they begged death to come quickly; but in the last few moments, when they came to the end of the way, a perfect peace came over them as a smile crossed their face and arms went up to greet the One unseen-the Prince of Peace!  A quietness filled the room and peace was tangible. Jesus Himself was there!
The folks I was with KNEW Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  He was there with them, carrying them through the valley of death.  They were not alone!  He assured them that they would shortly be in Paradise with him where all suffering and pain would come to an end.
Do you have a fear of death?  Does the thought of coming to the end of the way frighten you?  Then call on Jesus.  You won’t have to go alone.  He’ll be carrying you as you go from this life to the next.
Anita Mondragon


By Anita Mondragon:
Years ago, I attended a church where my friends and I created a devotional book.  Here is one of the poems written in that book. I share it with you now, because of the troubled times we have been living in at present.  Take it to heart…God never goes back on His promises!
The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.  -Psalm 138:8
These trials and troubles,
Don’t take them to heart;
For God has ordained you
And set you apart.
His purpose for you
Is more than you know…
His mercy and goodness
On YOU He’ll bestow!
Just rest in His arms
‘Till these trials are through…
He’ll show you His mercy
And what He can do!
He’s the calm in the storm.
He’s the Spotless Lamb.
He’s all that you need!
He’s the great I Am.
He’s the gust in the wind.
He’s the wind in the sail.
He will give you His peace…
And His peace NEVER fails!
He hasn’t forgotten,
Because His Word is true;
And He WILL fulfill
ALL He’s promised to you!
-Written by Elizabeth Reed (Inspired by God)


By Anita Mondragon
God revealed something to me the other day.  It was regarding Peace and it’s true meaning.  Here’s the simple recipe for a life filled with peace….  Take a look!
P ut
E ach
dverse situation into
C hrist’s hands, and take your 
E ase.  
Why?  Because HE”s got you!  
Now let’s get cooking!


by Anita Mondragon
The other day, I was speaking with a friend of mine.  We were discussing anger and hate, and how we should strive to surrender it to God.  My friend, to my surprise, said, “I like my anger!  It makes me feel powerful.  I don’t want to give it up…I like it!”  I can relate to that, for I was once the same.  But, the problem with this attitude is that we forfeit God’s peace for our power!

Thomas Paine, the great English writer wrote the following words during the darkest days of the Revolutionary war: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The soldier and the patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country. But they that stand it now, deserve the love and thanks of men and women. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. But the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph…” Read more…

Do You Want Peace??

By Anita Mondragon
When I was 13, my dad used to preach in the Rescue Mission downtown.  He would make my brother and I go as well.  I hated it!  Until one night, something happened that would change my life forever.  Years later, I wrote this poem about that night…   I share it with you now. 
He wakes up in the alley,
Vomit, crusted on his face.
Propped up against the dumpster,
Thinking, “How did 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. Read more…