Would really appreciate your comments. Thanks
Would really appreciate your comments. Thanks
When God asks us to give us something we are not willing to give Him, the position of our hands are close and towards ourselves
Surrendering happens when we are willing to give God whatever He wants from us accept Him what that decision may bring us. Of course, it is something hard to do because we don´t know what it is coming. One more time we need to trust in God´s love for us.
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.
We need to follow God´s will in our lives.
To be saved doesn’t cost us anything. It is a free gift. But there is a price involved to become His disciple. It is too easy for a Christian to center their eyes in their own dreams, their own goals, and lose track of God’s plans for us. Live a life with hands of surrender means to give up everything and trust completely in God. Are we going to do it willingly or is God going to have to open them for us?.
Betty Stam´s prayer was ¨Lord, I give you all my plans and purposes, all my desires and hopes, and I accept your will for my life. I give you my life, my all, to be yours forever. Fill me and seal me with your Holy Spirit. Use me however you want, send me wherever you want, be thou will in my life, whatever it takes, now and forever.¨
Ours was really good. It was going to be my first time cooking turkey since we have always been at someone’s else home for thanksgiving dinner. But thanks to my friend’s Deanna recipe for “Best ever turkey” and the help of my great mom in law, the dinner was great. If you want to try her recipe next year, look under “my blogging friends”’s section and go to “Deanna A”.
Turkeys are always a tricky thing. Often they are dry and hard to eat so you fill up on all the extras, but this year wasn’t the case. Great juicy turkey, great tasting gravy (also Deanna’s recipe), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, corn…. I think that was it. We had peach cobbler for dessert with vanilla ice cream….. soooo good.
Also the company was a blessing. We have spent 2 thanksgiving here in Spain, but we haven’t felt alone, God is so good to bless us. Last year we spent it with the Andrews, the Contreras, and with Miguel and Kristi. This year we had my in-laws and Olga, a lady that comes to our church.
After dinner we had a small devotional about thanksgiving, not only when things come our way, but also thanksgiving in times of difficulty. We are to be thankful to God for every season in life. We looked at the testimony of Paul, Job and Joseph. We sang and prayed, and share some of the things we are thankful to God for.
Later, we played games (Yathzee, Pit, Uno…) and had so much fun.
Today CHRISTmas starts officially at the Stark’s household (that will be us), so we are putting up our tree and decorating it. Slowly but surely, we will start seeing presents under the tree, always careful to remember that the birth of our Lord, and Savior, is the real reason for this celebration.
I pray you had a great Thanksgiving Day, remembering God’s wonderful blessings; and that now that CHRISTmas is around the corner, you would set aside time to remember Christ’t birth.
So, would you mind sharing how you spent Thanksgiving and maybe something you are Thankful for? Come on, I am sure everyone can at least share one thing…. Can’t you?
* I am thankful for a wonderful husband that has given me another wonderful year. Each year keeps getting better and better. This year has been hard but our love has won over all trials.
* I am thankful for answer prayers. He gave the girls a great school in Gijon with great friends and now in Granada He is doing it all over again. They have learned the Spanish just as if it was their first language. They have adjusted to Spain so well.
* I am thankful for Nicole getting saved and the privilege to be the one to lead her to Him.
* I am thankful for the time God gave us in Gijon and the people we got to meet there. Many of them have become more than just friends, but family.
* I am thankful because I can see God molding me every day. He is patient with me and merciful. He is turning me into a different person, one that with His help, seeks to follow Him closer and closer.
* I am thankful for great friends that understand me and love me anyway.
* I am thankful for the new ministry God has given us here in Granada, and praying that His name would be honor through it.
* I am thankful for this blog and the people I have “met” because of it. I didn’t know it was going to be such a blessing to me, but now there is no way I can do without. Thanks ladies!!
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
In 1 Th 5:18 and Eph 5:20 God tells us why to be thankful (it is His will) and how to do it (in the name of Jesus).
How can we be strong enough to do so? Phil 4:13 -I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Usually it is easier for us to be thankful once the trials have passed. But it is not so easy when we are in the middle of them. Our feelings of pain, suffering, hurt, get in the way. Sometimes we may not feel thankful but we still have to do it. Just like when we are having problems with someone or you are even angry with someone, we have to pray for them, because it helps us to heal our hearts. If when we are suffering we praise God, God can use that to heal us, and slowly it will help us to go through that trial with a different attitude.
God loves us and He tells us in His Word that He has taken the task of taking care of us completely. Is 43:2, Mt 10:29-31, Job 23:14, Rom.8:31,37-39. Everything that touches my life is planned or permitted by God.
“For the children of God, everything comes directly from the hand of the Father… It could be that the difficulty we are going through is the reaping of a sin; for that matter, this situation in itself cannot be call the will of God; but when it reaches us it turns into the will of God and has to be received and if it came from Him…. If God is with us, it doesn’t matter who is against us: nothing can hurt us unless He allows it because it would be the best for us”—(Translated from the book)
When we are going through a trial, we must pray that the will of God may be done in our lives.
Isa 55:8-9 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.
So everyone was around them to see if the dog would move, but he wouldn’t until you put some money in their little basket and then, he would let you pet him. It was amazing, I have never seen so many people giving money so fast to a mime….
She better baby this dog, or her show will be over. :)
-I went to visit my sister to the States for 1 ½ months not looking for a boyfriend at all but actually running away from one ;) . Then I stayed for 3 months after finding the man of my dreams, my wonderful husband.
-When Matthew and I first met he thought my look said “I hate American boys” but what I was thinking was “WOW, he is sooooo cute”. It was really love at first sight for me. I beat myself up for the next few days because my sister also caught the same look that Matthew and told me about it. Could not believe it.
- When he picked me up for our “first date” I was all nervous and he actually came a little late. He came to the door and said “Hi, my sister is coming with us”. Hahahahha. He said that he couldn’t get her not to come (sorry Kristi), he wasn’t too happy.
-We said “I love you” to each other a week before he asked me to be his girlfriend. We had known each other for about 1 month.
- When we first met I couldn’t speak much English and he couldn’t speak Spanish. Still his dad was the one that introduced us and the first words out of his month, after his dad said “Pilar, this is my son Matthew, but he doesn’t speak much Spanish” was “Yo hablo mucho español” (which means “I speak lots of Spanish”)—how did we do it??? Love, God… I still don’t know.
-The day he asked me to be his girlfriend he gave me a beautiful gold band. He wanted me to know that his feeling were for real.
-The day we had to say goodbye at the airplane when it was time for me to go back to Spain was one of the saddest moments of my life, my heart ached so much. We had met about 2 ½ months earlier.
- He came to Spain and asked my dad if he could marry me only 2 ½ months later. My dad didn’t understand that he meant 6 months later, so he said yes. The story that follows is an interesting one all by itself.
-He gave me the most beautiful ring I had ever seen and he picked it out all by himself which is the part that I love the most.
-We married 1 year minus a week after he had seen me the first time. 1 year minus 1 week after we met. I don’t think it was fast, it was God’s will. My husband is the best gift after salvation God has given me.
One thing I would like to comment before I do, is that I don't want anyone to think that I am posting this because I am trying to preach to you, or that I think I am miss godly and I know what I am saying. I am just sharing because this is something God is dealing with me right now, and although I haven't "mastered" it, thought could be a blessing to some of you as it is to me..
James 1:2 tells us that we have to have joy when we are in the midst of trials. Why would God ask us for such a thing?
First we have to remember that God promises us that He will be with us.
Trials are coming. It is not like we can go through life trying to evade them. What we do have an option with is how we are going to go through them.
It is not easy to be full of joy when the person we love is sick, or when our world seems to be falling under us. But we have to understand that as these things happen, God wants us to evaluate them and find the benefit that they can bring to our lives. And believe me, there is always something to learn.
If we read the book of James, we will see much about trials that will help us greatly. In 1:3,4 we see how trials increase our faith, it gives us patience and it also perfects us. Little by little it helps us to be more like Jesus. As fire does with gold, trials help bring out impurities and take them away and makes us pure.
So, what does it have to change in our lives that we may see trials as a way to perfect us, as precious gifts that will richen our lives? Our faith and trust in God has to increase.
In reality, the things that have been more difficult to handle for us in our lives, are the ones that have been the best in us. Pain never leaves us and it finds us; either it gets us closer to God, or it separates us from Him.
Right after God tells us to be joyful in trials, he tells us that we need to ask for His wisdom. Why? Because that wisdom will help us to understand trials and what he is trying to do with our lives through them. But many times we forget about him because we are too worried looking at our own circumstances and trying to find a solution in our own strength. This is why we fall in sin or discouragement.
So, we know trials will come but we don’t know when. How can we prepare for them?
1.- Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him
2.- Psa 91:1-2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust
Isa 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Lesson 3: God allows trials for our correction
I think to discipline my sweet little girls was the hardest thing I had to learn as a mother. My girls are so cute, and so good, and they smile so pretty, that to think on disciplining them, knowing that they would cry…. It just broke my heart. I knew it would hurt them and make them cry. But I love them and I want them to learn to be obedient. I want them to know that there are limits, and that those limits are to be respected. Why? Am I just a mean mom that wants to make sure that my girls don’t have any fun? Do I do it because I like the feeling of knowing that I can exercise power over someone? No!!! Why do I discipline my kids? I do it because I love them, and I want the best for them. I want them to grow up to be godly girls. I want them to grow up!! You don’t let your kid play with an electric outlet, do you?
Well, I am not as sweet, and wonderful as my girls are. And I sure don’t smile as pretty as they do. But still my Heavenly Father loves me and He wants the best for me.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Good news? God is waiting for us to ask for His forgiveness.
Psa 127:3 Lo,children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
On Saturday night we had Olga over. She got in contact with us and has visited us at the church once. She does go to a different church here in Granada, a Brethren church. She comes from Brethren church, so it makes sense that she would go there. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy getting to know her. We had lots of fun, eating and later playing Pit and Uno. I love Pit!! It is so much fun. We don't have it here in Spain, but we order it and my mother in law sent it to us. I am very competitive so it was great to win both games :) hehe.
On Sunday we had Lucio again with us, what a blessing! Matthew preached on setting limits to God. Talking about the no believers, christians and the church. How at times God is going to give us something we don't want and tell Him "that is it, I don't want to go on". About quitting on God when things get difficult. Anymore it is so hard for me to put my thoughts in order... hope you understand what I am trying to say.
God has been working in me about something. Last week a read a post for Heidi on "Mom,ministry and more". She was talking about how God was dealing with her heart and asking her to surrender a little more. I didn't know God was about to do the same in my heart. As scary as it is for me to surrender completely, I did last night. I know God wants the best for me, and after the post I wrote the other day about trials, I think it is time to walk the talk. :).
It may be that God just wanted me to surrender more to Him, or it may be that a trial may be about to come to my life that will require this surrendering. Let's see what happends.
Lesson 2: God allows trial for His glory.
When we are going through a difficult situation is difficult to remember that God loves us and that He is in control of every situation. Why? Well, in my case it is because I am so concern with whatever the problems is, and my eyes are on it, instead of looking up to God right away. Putting my eyes on my problems is taking my eyes away from God.
In John 9 we see a blind man. The people were asking Jesus why was it that he got that punishment. But Jesus answer to them: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”. God allows the trials on our lives so that His works would be manifested in us. Even in the valleys we are to praise His name because He is worthy of all our praise.
A few months back, my brother in law called us. He is the assistant pastor in a church in Jackson, TN. He asked us to pray for a lady in his church. She wasn’t much older than me and had small children. Her husband has left her recently for another woman. She was alone and she has just found out that she had cancer. I believe that it had already extended to other organs. I don’t remember now exactly all of the details. He told us that all the church was fasting and praying for her and asked us to unite with them in prayer and fasting if possible. A couple of weeks ago he told me that she was clean of cancer. The doctors couldn’t explain it. She didn’t have many chances the doctors thought. I think she is a perfect example of that verse. She is a testimony of God’s works.
Look at the testimony of Fanny Crosby. She was blind at 6 weeks of age because of a medical mistake. Yet, God used her in such a way and now we have so many beautiful hymns because of God’s work manifested in her.
To finish I want to share a verse that I believe is important:
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
On thrusday evening Jeff, Deanna and Aaron Andrews came over to help us pass out invitations for out first Sunday. It was raining, but still had a great time. Deanna and I stayed in the church to take care of the kids, because someone has to stay and that left us with a no even number and one lady really should go out door to door especially at night... you get that :).
On Friday morning Ashley stayed so Deanna and I could go, and although I had one of those funny stories where you wish you had use your brain before saying what you said...it was soo funny... I haven been advise not to share that story. :)
Friday night Deanna and I stayed again and we were able to start a blog that we hope will be a blessing for the missionary ladies here in Spain. A blog where we can get to know each other better and share blessings, prayer request, ressourses... you get the picture. When the rest of the group got back we were able to hear about a great visit that Ashley and Alberto had where a lady asked them in and asked questions for 2 hours!! And Jeff and Matthew getting to meet pretty much every pastor of every church of every denomination that there is in Granada (I guess they all lived around the church and found them while door to door) and Jeff even getting offer money a few times because they thought he was a J.W. hehehe, and I guess that is what they do. We have plenty of funny, interesting, weird and really great stories to share after this couple of days. We were able to pass out 800 of the 5,000 that we have to pass over the next 5 weeks, so we had lots accomplished. Thanks for coming Jeff, Deanna and Aaron!! Of course having great friends over the weekend makes it even more fun, although we couldn't show them around because of the rain. Now they have to come back! :)
On Sunday we had a great second sunday in the church. Lucio came of course, and also Olga came. She is from germany and was saved there. She is here because of the college. Lord willing she will continue to come. She was a very nice girl and very doctrinaly sound for what I could tell, so, would be refreshing to have someone in the church like that, and also a great blessing.
We have been passing out for the 7th of December (and really just started this weekend), so it is only of God that we had 2 people coming.
On another note, I finish the book I was telling you about last week "Cruel Love" and wow is all I have to say. I am starting "A full House of Growing pains" from Mrs. Cameron and I am looking around in my library to see what else I start. Or maybe I will start/keep reading "The power of a praying wife" because for some reason I am having a hard time getting into it.
This next weekend is going to be full of canvassing morning and evenings, but I will be staying with the girls most of the times (since after all someone has to stay with the kids and they are my first responsability) although Ashley will keep the girls a couple times so I can enjoy that blessing to. Thanks Ash!
We will talk soon.