Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 18 - My 21 Days

Hope doesn't mean waiting but fighting daily to become better and not giving up on your goal. It's believing that God is always with you, and that if we do our part, we will eventually get to the top (The Kingdom of God).

It's always believing in your potential and the potential of people, it's always having hope that each day we live will be more filled with love. Always have hope in yourself and in others that we will be a big influence for their salvation wherever we go.

Note: Today I will be going on a new journey to save souls. It's a new language and new place in Los Angeles, California :-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 17 - My 21 Days

"Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:3-8)

Our faith is being constantly tested, it doesn't matter who we are: assistants, members, pastor's wife's, etc. Friends, we are always being tested! In our home, job, school, church, during a meeting, during a conversation and in the deepest part of our being. Everyone is tested! The difference is that not everyone is accepted. Only those that have been accepted receive perseverance. It doesn't matter how hard things might become, whoever perseveres keeps their faith and their calling. There is no way for you to keep one and lose the other.

If you are one of the few who desire to do the Work of God, to serve Him, know this: You are desired both by God and the devil. God is waiting for you, and the devil is working against you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 16 - My 21 Days

The longer I live the more I recognize the impact our attitude has in our lives. To me, attitude is more important than the facts. It's more important than our past, education, money, circumstances, failures and what others think or say. It's more important than appearance. 

It can make you or break you.

The amazing thing is that we can choose our destiny for that day according to the attitude we adapt. We can't change the past... we can't change the way others react... We can't change the unchangeable. We can only change what we are able to and this is our attitude. I'm convinced that life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% what we make of it. It all depends on us...

We are responsible for our attitudes.

Note: Sorry girls but I'm being transfered to another place, that's why I wasn't much around here... Soon I'll let you know the good news :-)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 15 - My 21 Days

"Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5:7)

Mercy that is achievable by the merciful is not necessarily the same mercy that others show to us when trying to lend a helping hand. Quite often the "tender mercies" of others are in fact "cruel".

God has mercy on us in as much as we have mercy towards our neighbor. This is the same as the principle of of forgiveness, God forgives our mistakes in as much as we forgive the mistakes of our neighbors. (Matthew 6:12)

Being merciful is a new state that arises with the new birth, where the just become like Christ. This similarity is not evident through conduct, but stems from the new nature. 

Day 14 - My 21 Days

...When your eye is good (simple), your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness." (Luke 11:34)

The eye is the lamp of the body. "If your eyes were simple, you'd be full of light." Simple is to be open... the things things of God are very simple, many times it's us who complicate things. If the way you see things is complicated so also your life will be filled with darkness and consequently you'll be living without the light that comes from God. Do you want more of God? Do you want to have an encounter with Him? Do you want to be filled with light?

Look at your life in a simple way, of someone who is preparing for the Kingdom of God. My life would be very difficult if I continued worrying about what people said about me, of being this or that and worrying with things that are yet to come and etc. It's no use to stress about all that, and lose my opportunity of entering the Kingdom of God (thank God I was able to wake up and see things with simple eyes). Simplicity makes you a blessed person of God that's understanding, confident, compassionate, patient, and makes you look at things through God's eyes.

God is in the simple things and the complicated ones don't seem to understand that. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 13 - My 21 Days

"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

It's very strong when the prophet compares those who trust in The Lord with eagles. I researched and look at the comparison: They have a special way to face storms. When a storm comes near, they open their wings, having the ability to fly 90km per hour, and confront the storm. They know that above the dark clouds and lightning shines the sun.

During this difficult time they can lose feathers, can be hurt, but they don't fear but keep going forward. Then, while everyone else is beneath in darkness, they fly victoriously, peacefully above. Confidence that expresses certainty is their motto. Beyond the storm lies the sun, and the sun is what they seek. 

The simplest attitude we could have in this life is to trust in God! He always has the solution, comfort and the answer. Be like the eagles – trust in God.

Note: I'm writing right now with a great deal of patience, difficulty and pain, I cut my finger, tendon and nerve (I'll be undergoing surgery soon, thank God, I'm fine)... but, I write with joy, because I know that with sacrifice and love, somewhere in this world, God will be touching someone, and saving souls...this is my pleasure :-)

Day 12 - My 21 Days

When a person is born of God, when she is generated by God... she always wins. She may have lost sometimes but those losses won't really matter, she'll never lose.

So, how does God work? The Holy Spirit uses the little strength you have left and uses it to take out all bad things inside of you. Tell me, where is the greatest strength of the human being? In the arms? The heart? The intelligence?

The weakness in people is letting themselves be led by emotions, by the heart... they can be smart, physically strong, well educated... but they will be weak because they don't use their reason. The greatest enemy is not the devil but ones emotions.

What has been your treasure in this world? Think carefully before saying it's The Lord Jesus. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Because of this many have lost and moaned, because their heart is not in Jesus. (For some this answer has only been "the right answer".)

God is Spirit and He works with reason. 

There is a force inside of you, it may be small, low, because your heart has been in control of your life. But if you're able to recognize this today, The Holy Spirit will take this tiny force inside of you and pull out all these weaknesses from within you, and you will have the joy of the Holy Spirit inside you. 

Be blessed right now!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 11 - My 21 Days

"Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil." (John 12:3)

Mary proved with her actions her love for the Lord Jesus! She pushed herself, economized, worked twice as hard and dreamed of the day in which she would anoint the feet of her Master. He he loved her in such a way that made her feel worthy, special. Mary was transformed through love. This woman is remembered for pouriing over the feet of Jesus, all the she had. That's the law of love... You can give without loving but, you can't love without giving.

You can't economize love, in order for love to grow it's necessary to give. She didn't care about being criticized, about being scolded, or about gossip. She only looked to her Master. He was her target. They called her crazy, insane but, she didn't care because she gave all her love, and she wanted the greater good, her salvation.

If you really love the Lord Jesus, prove it! Show your love! Perhaps you've been discouraged during this fast of Daniel, but don't give up. Do your best from now on, push yourself just as Mary did. Think! If you're not able to crucify your flesh for the love of God, to have an encounter with him (which is already hard), then how will you manage to maintain your salvation in the following days, months and years? (Which is way harder)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 10 - My 21 Days

Close to You (Perto de Ti)

If I'd decide to deny my faith
And not trust anymore in Him
I have no where to go
I have no where to go

If my heart would deny
The grace that saved me
I have no where to go
I have no where to go

I'm convinced that without your love
I would lose my strength
and without You my thirsty heart would die and dry up 

Close to you I want to be
From your presence I don't want to leave
Near to you Jesuuuuus, I want to be
From your presence I don't want to leave

Day 9 - My 21 Days

Everything that happens in our future depends on what we did yesterday and today. But, if we pay attention, we'll notice that no day is like the other. Every day brings a hidden blessing; a blessing that is unique for that day and cannot be saved or wasted.
If we don't use this miracle today, friend, you will lose it. This miracle is in the details, the way we see things, our trust and dependence on God. You have to live every minute because, there we find the solution for struggles and difficulties, the correct path for the decision we need to take.
We can never let each day seem as the day before, every day is different. We are in a constant process of change.
"One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind." (Romans 14:5)

Day 8 - My 21 Days

"And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Matthew 23:12)
Humbleness means "being raised up". When we humble ourselves before God, knowing our limits and dependence for Him... He raises us up and places us by His side. This is the secret behind enjoying more of His great presence in a deeper way. Being humbled is the key to being exalted to the highest place, being taken to the Holy of holies, His glory, His all, the fullness of His presence. 

Day 7 - My 21 Days

"And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done. In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them." (2 Chronicles 29:2-3)
"...Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place." (2 Chronicles 29:5)
In the beginning of his reign King Hezekiah did something differently that called God's attention, he began to do a cleaning in the temple of the Lord which had been abandoned, and repaired the doors of the Lord. He called the Levites and priests to consecrate and purify the temple of the Lord. Isn't that what we're doing these 21 days?

They put out all rubbish that was in the temple and afterwards they praised and worshipped with great joy. We are the spiritual Temple of the Holy Spirit, for that reason it's necessary to clean, throw out all rubbish, install an automatic cleaning system in our heart, and also clean exteriorly. 

Take advantage of this fast after all, we've spent longer times without distractions... try not doing only an inner cleaning but, a physical one as well. Take these days to deep clean each room of your house, work, church (dedicate one day for each place) look for things you no longer use, if they're in good condition donate them, if not, throw them out... see if there's things you need to do, house repairs, work or church, that you're able to do: replace a light bulb, paint,sew, repairs, etc... friend, do them! Know that the Holy Spirit will be watching you, you will be doing something different that will call the attention of God and will influence others to do the same.

This week, since last Sunday, my husband and I began doing this in the church. We did a deep cleaning in every room in the church and it has been a blessing. People have see this and began helping as well, and not only that, they're doing the same in their houses :-)

After cleaning the interior and exterior, we will praise and say with great joy, "What a day!"

Note: Read and meditate on 2 Chronicles 29, it's very strong!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 6 - My 21 Days

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God..." (Romans 8:28)

I always heard this verse and when I went through tough situations, struggles, difficulties and deserts... there I was confessing this. Today though, God spoke to me so strongly that I couldn't hold back my tears of happiness.

When God shares big things with us, and if we're immature, we run the risk of leaving space for our personal ambitions (our will). Ambitions deceive our heart, they lead us into emotions, because we begin to live our will and stop listening to God.

All strengtheonment and spiritual advancement (maturity) depend on us dying for our personal ambitions (our will) and instead living to do God's will (which isn't an easy task). When we allow God to be our main priority, adversity gains a new meaning, it's the means by which God keeps us attentive to His purposes for our lives. 

Today I can understand that I went and will go through difficult situations in order to acquire maturity and develop more trust in God. Isn't that wonderful? I have truly learned that everything does work for our good. Friends, I can have many flaws and mistakes but, it's wonderful to have this certainty inside you, that God is with you, that He is your all, even if war is breaking out all around you.

If you have not yet had this experience, friends work with all your strength, it's marvelous! And if you have and need to be renewed, don't waste time – return to your first love!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 5 - My 21 Days

"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Phillipians 1:6)

When we decide to give God all that we are, His work can be faithfully completed inside of us... if, we are faithful to Him until the day of Jesus Christ. And in order to remain faithful to Him, we need to live with a constant faith in action, with power and growth.

It's inconceivable for someone who says they are in Christ, to remain motionless in their communion with God and here lies the importance of devoting ourselves, renewing ourselves with the first works, because His work will be completed until the return of the Lord Jesus, if we remain in Him.

The Lord Jesus wants to perfect our relationship with Him every day... leading us to bear many fruits. He has been waiting for you to completely surrender your life to Him so He can finally fulfill His good work in you — He loves you so much! He wants to begin and complete His works in you... decide today, go and meet him with all your strength, you have nothing left to lose!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 4 - My 21 Days

"...I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20)

Henry Ford once said, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." We need to look towards the power of God and not towards our obstacles, and learn to see obstacles as opportunities in disguise. A small amount of faith can remove any obstacle and bring about amazing results.

Faith, even if it's small, does not turn back or take the longer route when it sees an obstacle; it removes the obstacle.

It's possible that you may identify a major obstacle in your life right now in order to have the Greater Good, which is your Salvation. Whatever it may be, God is with you! He will help you remove all obstacles!

Don't take your eyes off God's Power...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 3 - My 21 Days

Speaking today to a pastor's wife and friend (Daliene), God spoke to me:

"For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God." (1 Corinthians 2:11-12).

When we have a communion with God, we have access to everything the Spirit of God is doing. If Christ is in us, we have His Mind! God allows us to know what He is thinking... He communicates with us Spirit to Spirit. 

When we are in sync, everything we do, we do according to God's will... if we are not in this synchronization, we do things by the strength of our arms and place a wall between God and us, also in between us and the souls.

As long as we have this communication with God, we are attentive to what God speaks and we understand the things that were freely given by God and when this happens, people who are in need, needing help, will come to you with no effort! When we invest in the things of the Holy Spirit we naturally attract souls (like a magnet) to us, they know very well that inside of us dwells the Spirit of God!

Day 2 - My 21 Days

Moses was one of the most humble men and at the same time a vigorous leader. Being humble means knowing your place before God... that you have no purpose in life without Him... that there is no future without him... you are completely dependent on God, the meaning of your existence is to glorify Him.

But, there is another side to humbleness, to know who we are before God. He being our Lord, makes us become giants in the spiritual world (invest in your communion with God). We can do anything through our Lord Jesus!

And perhaps when you're starting something these thoughts may come, "You? Trying to do something big for God? What a waste of time! You're so insignificant!"

But if you understand and are humble to accept that you are nothing without him, I repeat, you can do anything! Being vigorous and humble seem contradictory but, in the Kingdom of God, they go together (hand in hand).

Think: Where is your humbleness when you worry more about your image (in front of men), than doing the work of God?

Let's be humble, with a big vision, vigorous and have a courageous faith. Remember: the point of your existence is to glorify Him.

Day 1 - My 21 Days

"...Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Phil. 2:12-13 Notice it is Paul who confirms that salvation comes through faith, "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" you need to express an aspect of faith, surrender, investment and sacrifice (hard work). 

Faith is not immediate trust but, permanent trust: living trust, magnificent, and "watchful". Our salvation is a miracle from God that "works in us", and for that reason it requires all of our attention. Working "with fear and trembling" means being conscious that every moment should be an investment in our relationship with God (as in a marriage), because God is working in us at every moment.

Fearing God means loving him irresistibly... in these 21 days may we learn, be renewed, invest and show attitudes of love toward Him.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How can I prepare myself?

Many young ladies email me asking how they can start preparing themselves to become a pastor's wife. Today I was remembering some guidance I received while I was dating and about to become a pastor's wife... :-)
  • Take advantage of your last days of being a single lady to prepare yourself in every way. Sometimes many girls take longer to get married and even begin thinking it's unfair... They cannot see that this is an opportunity to prepare themselves for the Altar... So, invest in yourself now that you're currently single.
  • Understand that your life will no longer be yours. Learn to stop living for only yourself and start living for the souls. Leave behind those 'girl clicks' in church and invest in maturing every day. Not as an obligation, but so God can count on you as a woman of God. Another thing few accept is learning to be submissive. 
  • Learn to be a housewife. See yourself already as a married woman, take time to care for your place, even if it's your parents. While you're at it,  give them attention as well. Learn to cook, take care of your clothing, do house chores and how to take good care of your self.
  • Learn a new language and finish your studies. Choose a language that you would like to learn so you can save souls that way in the future. Today you can learn in school, internet, youtube, etc. Also, Study! Finish your studies. I know that there's the possibility you may get married before finishing your school, but until that happens, invest in your studies.
  • Forget about your feelings. Forget about your emotions, sentimentalism and bad habits of wanting attention for yourself. Learn to live by faith.
  • Preserve your salvation. If you are getting to know or dating a pastor, there is still a chance things won't work out between you two. Many assistants will destroy their lives by not noticing "the signs". They don't want to think about their boyfriends not being of God – they don't use their reason. Many pastor's have left the work of God so be careful! Friend, don't get carried away by a 'title'. Observe if he's really of God, if he Fears God, if he makes comments that don't make sense, speaks bad about authorities of God, is conceited, doesn't respect you, doesn't take time to get to know you, is jealous, proud, doesn't take care of souls and so on... If this happens, leave the relationship, it's not worth it! Remember your salvation is your first priority!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Perfect Person

We're all tired of hearing that no one is perfect. Many times despite knowing this, and certain occurrences, many keep falling into the mistake of requiring too much of themselves, being overly concerned to be perfect. Many think that to be an assistant, a servant of God, a pastor's wife they need to perfect... They find it unimaginable to show any imperfection in front of people (or so they think) and therefore impede themselves from being used more by God.

If no one is perfect, why try to create a perfect image? Why try to disguise the worst areas in our life (our mistakes and flaws)?

Wouldn't it be easier if we just confessed that we need to improve?

Human beings make mistakes. They behave wrongly, they try to achieve things but they don't work out, they cry, they have their difficult moments, those days that only God knows who you are but, this doesn't make you any less special.

I want you to remember one thing and not forget it: Nobody is perfect! Not me and not you! I don't know a perfect person, do you? Well, only in cartoons lol, The Wonder Woman, who doesn't exist... The only One who is perfect is our Lord Jesus, and He does exist. What distinguishes people is this awareness that no one is perfect but, to be able to always be examine themselves in order to improve, grow and learn.

Know that our imperfections make us dependent on God, if we were perfect we wouldn't seek our Lord Jesus.

God will be able to do more miracles only when we understand that.

Get rid of any excruciating demands... be dependent solely on God and this way, He will have complete access to use you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Seeking until further notice - Final Part

During these 7 months seeking, I learned that we don't need a uniform to serve God, the anointing is within us, that is shown naturally with time. I remember that during these 7 months I could only participate in assistants meetings but, just the fact of participating of them was a privilege.

With every day that passes I have learned to give value to any situation that I go through. It's only through a certain situation that you manage to learn to give value towards things that seem insignificant to our eyes. At the time it happens, you don't understand but later on when it passes, it's as if you eyes open, you look at the situation in a positive way... you mature.

I came to the point of forgetting that I was just a member because I was so focused on serving God that it didn't matter to me. In one of the assistants meetings, my pastor (the one who put me down as an assistant) who I later became more familiar with... I began to admire him, because of his work, his anointing and how he cared for his church. His wife was an example to us assistants, and without expecting it, he called me. I came to him and he asked, "Why are you not an assistant? What did you do again? I cannot remember..."

Man! I did not expect this, lol! I reminded him of the whole story, and he remained in silence. My heart felt troubled because he remained silent. When he opened his mouth to speak, I heard God talking directly to me. "Graciele, you can start wearing your uniform again. I sat you down because I knew you would remain. We have many here that if I were to put them down as assistants, they would leave in that instant because they're attached to their uniform. But you my daughter, are of God. Go in faith that God is with you."

Haha... That is what God expects with me, to remain. This situation that I went through made me stronger, more confident and mature.

Maybe what you are going through is impossible to the eyes of men but, remain my friend... God is with you!!! He wants to use that situation so that He can be glorified. I know it's not easy, but keep going, don't look for what people think or say. Look at yourself, look to your goal which is The Lord Jesus, that's how you conquer any situation. It's obvious that there are situations that take months and even years but know that as long as you remain, you will turn out more stronger, confident and mature.

Remember: "The secret to obtaining the promises of God is to remain in the faith, even if it takes a lifetime."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Seeking until further notice (Part 2)

When I got home, it was as if my day had already ended. My head what swarming with thoughts wanting to understand what had happened. I remember that in my house I didn't have any privacy, my living room was my bed. I needed to speak to God, I was still holding my tears, and I didn't want to let it all in front of my mom.

I took my bible and went to a block close to home, where there was no one. I began crying, question God why... I was serving Him with all my heart, I had done anything to receive this. And that's when He spoke to me:

"For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Hebrews 6:10-12)

When we serve God, we are blessed! We are HIS people! That should be the real motivation to continue growing in Christ. There in no injustice in the work of God, if we see something go wrong, it's with people... Know first that God sees all things... Secondly, He lets those things happen. If were are true servants of God, we have to go through tests, through situations that we weren't expecting, we are not pampered when we serve God, things like these will always happen and we'll have to overcome them with perseverance and patience, and this way, we'll be acknowledged. If were really are serving God, then, it's normal for us to trust in Him, right? That's exactly what God spoke to me... it was a bucket of cold water!

I went back home, fully aware that I was indeed serving God, I would continue doing my part. A uniform would not make the difference, but rather me, behaving as a servant, God knew this was what I needed and I finally understood. 

I did as the pastor had told me, I went to church everyday to participate of the meetings (even Fridays I passed through the trail of salt) I even thought... I can do more without a uniform, I then made a prayer book and before the meetings started, I would sit with the people and ask for their names to pray for. I evangelized on Sundays...for me this period of time was very powerful. Being put down as they say, was not a punishment for me but a necessity for my life with God. I continued serving God, and you want to know for how long this went on? 7 months... That's right.

Besides I never stopped serving my God because He is the most important One in my life and I didn't stop saving soles. Many came and told me I was dumb, that I had to report the pastor to the head one, because they can't do that. I didn't do it, I knew God was working in this situation... I trusted in Him. I only gained during those 7 months...

I'll continue this... just wait :-)

Read part 3...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Seeking until further notice (Part 1)

My times as an assistant were moments that'll last a life time. It was a time where I needed to be ready to learn, no matter the cost. When God calls you, you need to show Him that you are chosen. I was only 15 years old, single and still with a lot of maturing to do... deep inside of me I had an assurance that I was chosen to serve, to be a different kind of assistant and it all depended on me. 

I was in the faith... I went to church everyday, it was a pleasure to be there. When I went to the meetings I didn't just go to go, I always went with a purpose of blessing someone, counseling, and if a person came to speak to me, it had to be God Himself speaking to them. That has always been my faith, I didn't want to be just one more. If I was raised as an assistant, it had to be a privilege for me, not a routine. I always made sure to do things for God, to serve Him in a way that wouldn't become a habit. I would never miss any meeting at church, if something was needed, I was there I didn't mind sacrificing.

Back then everything was fine... actually things were pretty calm for a person who was sacrificing, being dedicated and being faithful. Wouldn't you agree?

And then... our pastor changed. I didn't know him. We had an assistants meeting, some organizing was done because there was a lot of us... assistants were needed to work in some meetings... I remember that he (the pastor) made it clear, that if we were here with all of our heart, we had to do our part, we had to be responsible and do our part as an assistant. If for some reason it wasn't like that, God couldn't count on us. He also added, if there were assistants that were serving just to be assistants, it'd be better for them to give up their position. God would end up revealing, and if someone failed to fulfill their responsibilities and didn't have a good excuse, they would be put down until further notice.  

I really liked this new direction, it was the right thing. If we were truly there, we had to be servants of God and help people, being responsible. A few weeks passed, I began seeing assistants stop being assistants, they began having to seek again and no longer wore the uniform.

"My God!" I thought, "What is going on?!"

It was God working, He knew what He was doing. Little did I know the same thing would happen with me, lol. I didn't go to church on a Wednesday where I usually assisted, I remember it was because I had gone to work to another city and wouldn't have time to be back on time, so I participated of the service in the city I had gone to work at (note: I didn't inform the pastor, I only informed him the next day). When I went the next day to speak to him, I explained and apologized about what had happened. He stayed silent just looking into my eyes – no reaction whatsoever.

After a few minutes, the pastor tells me, "It's better for you to only seek now, don't wear the uniform anymore, don't go to the kids zone, don't go into the assistants room, from now on you'll only go to the service room and back to your house... If you want, you can still evangelize."

Wow. It came out of the blue... I wasn't expecting this at all. I had not sinned, I hadn't done anything so why did I have to stop being an assistant? Look, I didn't understand what was going on... I was speechless. It was a complete shock to me, I left that day stunned.

"What's going to happen now?" was the first thing that came to my head.

I loved doing what I did. Just because of that? I cannot believe this. Well, I went straight home that day... with a bunch of thoughts in my head. But, do you want to know what I did?

I'll let you know tomorrow... and you're going to see how God works, no matter what the situation is, He wants to see that you'll be faithful to your word. If I truly wanted to make the difference, here was my opportunity. It took a little bit of time for me to notice though.

Read Part 2...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Analyze yourself


If we don't know ourselves, we can't mold ourselves to be the way God wants us to be. This is not an easy job girls. No one can become organized and mature without knowing themselves. We need to be angry and look within ourselves, be brave, not worry about how or what, and look to cut off the bad root.

Know your abilities and use them for the good of others. This is not being selfish. Being humble is not devaluing yourself or putting yourself down, it's being faithful to the truth about yourself. And that we can only understand when we start knowing ourselves and recognize that our life belongs to God, and that we're nothing without Him. When we know ourselves, we overcome the  misconceptions about our selves and we start eliminating them one by one.

Our change first begins in our mind and we can't be scared to notice our weaknesses, failures and mistakes. Assume up to everything you've done and start correcting what is wrong using faith and perseverance. It's not easy to confront and overcome these things, but it's necessary friend, in order to give God full access to use us. It's necessary to aspire and be humble to recognize these things. Know that our behavior brings about good and bad, explore this, only this way will you know. Do it without fear! Don't forget and of course, recognize your values, do a correct and genuine analyzation of yourself.

Learn to love, accept and be patience with yourself. When we do a deep examination within ourselves, we experience the rebirth of freedom and life.

Pay very close attention to what sincere people say about you, and you'll know more things about yourself. We also have to be fearless to accept correction and constructive criticism, those who give us a sincere criticism are much better for us than those who don't say a thing.

Always be willing to learn, to look at your life and humbly recognize what you need to change. Don't think that a humble person is perfect... know friend that, they make a lot of mistakes, but every time they make a mistake they recognize it... and they learn every time, keeping in step with God... this is the difference and I'm in this faith :-)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quality


Yesterday I was speaking with a youth at church. We were talking about something that she had done and that to our physical eyes she did well. After she told me though, I told her she was missing something. She smiled and a little scared she responded, "What was missing?" For her it was normal to do things this way. She was always doing things and she thought she was doing well, that there wasn't anything more she could do in those situations.

It was when I told her what she lacked was QUALITY. She was doing things well... but she lacked quality!

Quality doesn't sum up to producing a lot and doing it well... Saying, "There we go, I'm done! I did what I had to do!" No, it's not like that! It's the way which we do things, the value we see in them. Quality is always doing your best, giving your all even in the smallest things... It's doing things with love. And also of course, respecting each other's opinions, working with good will and in harmony – this is to have quality.

The things of God are so wonderful that we cannot do things out of obedience or to simply fulfill an obligation. 

And then there's the famous question... "What if I do things and people don't like them?" And here's the big difference.

When you do things with quality and fear of God, it doesn't matter what it is, it doesn't matter what others think. You WON'T be frustrated! You have an assurance within yourself that you did your best and God is pleased with you!

Many do not understand that 'quality' lies in your attitude and they way you do things. Not doing things in the easiest way possible...

Quality is not a goal to impress someone or doing because you have to but, it's shaping your attitude and making 'simple' things with quality.

Someone emailed me a quote once and it makes us reflect on this issue:

"The simplest things in life are the most extraordinary, and only the wise can see them." (Author unknown)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Enough!

Insecurities come all the time trying to suffocate us within our thoughts, wanting to always keep us the same... no going forward. They try to convince us: You're shy! You can't do anything! That's the way you are! Don't try it, you've never done this! It won't work out!

Enough girls! If a revolt against this situation is not born within us there will not be any changes! God doesn't just want to use us in some things, but in everyting. He wants us to show our revolt!

Start acting now! Shout if you have to!

When those ridiculous thoughts come in your head, don't think much... just ask: Why not? I can do anything!

"We gain strength, courage and confidence with every experience in which we face our fear upfront."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Phrase of the Day!

Use that which aims to kill you, to make you stronger!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Will you break loose?


Have you observed an elephant in the circus? During the show, this huge animal does things that far exceed his strength. But before he enters, he remains a prisoner, quiet and restrained only by a chain that binds one of its legs to a small stake driven into the ground. The stake is only a small piece of wood. And even if it were thicker, its obvious that he, being able to overthrow a tree with its strength, could easily break loose and escape.

What a mystery. Why doesn't the elephant break loose?

The elephant in the circus doesn't break loose because he was used to being treated this way since a very young age. Imagine the young elephant being born a prisoner, in that moment the little elephant pushed, struggled just to break loose. And after all its effort, he couldn't break loose. The stake was too heavy. He tried and tried but nothing. Until one day, already tired, it accepted its destiny: to remain chained to the wooden stake, balancing its body left and right, eternally, waiting for the moment to enter the show.

So, that enormous elephant doesn't break loose because he believes he can't. In order for him to break loose something unexpected must happen for a example, a fire. The fear of the fire would make the elephant desperate to break loose and flee.

That happens so many times with us! We live believing in a bunch of things, "I can't have that", "I can't be that", "I won't ever get that", simply because when we were small and unexperienced, something didn't work out right and we received so many "no's" that "stake" was driven in the back of our mind with so much strength that we forget our creativity and just accept it as a simple, "I've always been that way."

I could say that the fire for us would be: the loss of a job, illness of someone close who had no money to do the treatment, or something very serious to make us leave this area of comfort.

The only way to try something new is to lose our fear of confronting this issue, separate emotions from our faith and to not be afraid of breaking these chains! Do as it is written, "And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, pleasing and perfect will of God." Don't wait until the "circus" catches on fire to begin to change. Go in faith! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Recent experience in the work of God III - Final

When I left that city, in front of men my husband and I had lost. I didn't see it that way though. I knew what we were going through and was aware that I was putting my salvation at risk.

I returned once again to Houston with a purpose in my heart to start all over again. I remember it was hard, I had to endure jokes, neglet, (the devil knows just what to do to make us give up... he doesn't need us to leave the altar, he only has to make our hearts sad, contaminated, upset, this way he makes our heart into his party, winning time and also blocking our work to win souls.) Even though all this was going on I knew one thing, God was with me, nothing nor anyone could take away this certainty from me. This same week my husband began working with youth, it was a new challenge and blessing.

Everything was new and we were serving God. The thoughts came back still in my mind though of what I had gone through. I still wasn't able to see my collegues with good eyes, I needed to overcome this, I had to do something.

A few weeks passed and a meeting was announced with the youth girls of Houston. No way on earth could I miss this! I still didn't understand much English... but anything that added to my spiritual life, I was there. God does everything so perfect, the meeting was a blessing for me, I was able to understand a lot of things and one of them was about the Sisterhood. It was everything I wanted. It didn't matter that I was a Pastor's wife, I decided to try out and turned in my application... I really wanted to join! I did all the tasks and it was difficult but, a month to remember... I was accepted!

The first go-personal task I received I couldn't believe. I had to read several times lol. It was so difficult to return to the situation I had left. I felt a knot in my stomach while I was reading it. But it was only God who wanted me to resolve this issue how He wanted, so that's what I did.

I was finally able to get in touch with my old colleague, she was needing someone because her mom wasn't doing all that well. That's the reason I used to call her. After that, I had to change the subject so she wouldn't hang up... it was strange but I had no idea how I managed to straighten up so many things. (I don't think she knew what was going on.) When we hung up, it was such a relieve lol! I was able to talk and laugh with her, we had never done that before. After that call I sent her letters, emails, called her, and we did a purpose for her mom. I still couldn't believe it was happening.

Now I can say from the bottom of my heart that it was worth it. My husband and I don't have bad eyes towards our collegues. We've ran into each other a couple of times and there's nothing bad between us. I had to decide and change this situation, to break this pride with the help of my big sister.

This is the kind of attitude that pleases God. It doesn't matter what title you hold, have good eyes, have respect, have love, perhaps your colleague is having attitudes that aren't good (remember we all have faults, we have to learn to love one another).

Don't let this happen to you... If this has started happening, start working now because the devil isn't worried if we're still serving, but HOW it is we're serving. It doesn't matter what we are doing, it matters what WE ARE and to remain with the good eyes we had since the beginning.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recent Experience in the work of God - Part II

Everything started out well. The church was big and the work was advancing. The first 3 months we worked together we were doing everything in Spirit.

Soon I began to see attitudes of my colleagues that I didn't like but I just pushed those thoughts to the side – in the beginning. But, without noticing I began having judgmental thoughts... Inside of me I knew those attitudes were not right. It was then that I decided to speak. I first went to her and spoke about it... she didn't like it one bit! I didn't either (we didn't understand each other) and that's where I went wrong... the small snowball had begun. Remembering this situation now, I should have cut off the problem by the root... but no, I left mad over that situation.

After that conversation, we didn't speak the same way. We lived together and worked together, but nothing! We only spoke when we had to. In my world, I knew I was right. I could no longer tolerate her ways, likewise her with me. The situation was getting ugly because now the snowball had brought it in my husband and hers. There was no longer a fresh atmosphere between us. 

Finally, we all sat together to resolve this issue because it was now affecting our work. You see how the devil works? With ridiculous little things like this, it didn't just affect us but also the souls. But in the end, the conversation solved nothing. It's sad to say but neither one of us recognized we were wrong (we were blind). 

After that conversation I realized it was getting worse, praying wasn't enough, I needed to act in the right way. But I didn't accept I was having bad eyes, in my eyes they were wrong, I didn't realize it was me... I was the one that was utterly wrong...

I went and spoke to my husband, "We're going to act differently." The following day, I did everything to please them, but the devil is so cunning that my colleagues didn't even care. That's when I thought, "See... its not working, I give up." In truth I should've continued, but when we're having bad eyes, anything done against us our immediate response is, "See? I tried but nothing..."

A few weeks passed, and now it was their turn, they did everything to please us... you know how we reacted? The same way they acted with us.

When we lose fear, we lose everything. There's no point in praying, trying to change. If you don't recognize it, even if you think your right, it doesn't matter, God is being impeded from acting. When we get to that point it's very sad, everything looks bad to you, a job, attitude, it takes us to see things with bad eyes, with judgement. Today I don't know how I let things escalate this far. 

I had never gone through something like this. I always loved living with other people, I had heard about situations like this but never imagined that it would happen through me.

The situation got so bad that we had to get out of there, there was no control. That same day I had spoken with God, if I were to lose my salvation I preferred to leave there. And that's exactly what happened.

God is so wonderful... He knew what He was doing. In His mercy I saw my big mistake. Many times a lot of people think that judging or having bad eyes is not that bad. But for those who want to serve God, its a HUGE mistake... It ties you up and not only that but, you can no longer hear the voice of God. How can a person like this give something? Can they save souls? It's impossible!

I'll continue this week, you're going to know what helped me get out of this situation... I had to decide, I had to start all over again.

Read Part 3

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recent experience in the work of God (2009) - Part I


I've been out of the country for about 3 years. The experiences I've been through have been a turning point with my walk with God. In all truth, the time that I lived in Brazil doesn't compare with the time I've lived here. I'm not ashamed to write about myself, even if I am a pastor's wife. I've learned that if I reveal something I struggled with, a mistake that I made, I can save other people from doing the same. That was my objective when I first started this blog.

After having the experience of being born of God, which was here (Later on I'll write about it), I learned that God had chosen me to come to the USA because he knew I needed to be saved, and then save souls. I needed to get out of my comfort zone (Brazil), to understand a lot of things.

Here as a pastor's wife, we have a lot of opportunities. The work of God needs to grow, there's a lot of things to do here. But a few months back, I ended up laying a trap for myself.

For me, serving God is the most important thing after my salvation. The time that I've been here I've been in church's that were far away (Only me and my husband). I got used to being alone, for me everything was alright. I was serving God, my mind was always busy with something, always thinking up of ideas to save souls, praying, and etc.

It was when I received news I would go to another place. In that moment I was so happy. It would be a new experience, I'd be going to a church that needed to grow (I love challenges), and also I found out it wouldn't just be my husband and I but, another couple would be going as well. I loved the idea. So much time working alone, we were finally going to have colleagues of the same faith. We'd be in the same church and live together. I never had problems in the work of God, I always got along with everyone.

We began this great new challenge in that church and in one faith... In the beginning...

I'll continue this, do you want to know what happened?

Read Part 2

Friday, June 3, 2011

Me... a sinner? (Testimony of a Pastor's wife)


My name is Fabiana Faria I came to the church when I was 15 years by my mom  who had a ton of problems. In my mind, I only accompanied her as a favor, because to be sincere I didn't really like it. But with time after attending and hearing the word of God a interest within me started to grow wanting to know everything in the bible, even though I hadn't had an encounter with God yet. Why?

The more I admired and marveled at the word of God I never saw any of it directed to me for simple fact that I didn't see myself as a sinner. In my head I didn't have any sins, I used to think, "I never smoked, drank, slept around..." My misconception was that I thought those things were the only sins... so when the pastor would call up to the altar those who wanted to repent and convert I thought, "None of those concerned me!" What sin did I have in comparison to those people who lived the "wordly life"? And that's how I assumed that I was doing fine.

Until one day, I felt that something lacked way down deep in my heart, I felt an emptiness, I began asking God to show me why I had that feeling, God showed me. Better yet, he took the blind off my eyes and I began to see what a sinner I was, even more than anyone else. I needed God's forgiveness and a sincere repentance. It was then that I called, cried, and sought a real encounter with God. After that day the emptiness left because I realized how much I needed God.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The day I was called to be an assistant...


I started growing more and being more dedicated, now I was confident, not deceiving anyone, without any masks... I was just being myself. It was my utmost pleasure to serve God. I was there in almost every meeting in the evening, I sat with the people asking what they needed prayer for and placed their names in my little prayer book. I counseled youth, I gave a lot of effort for my tribe to grow... basically I was giving my all for God.

Time went by, many people kept asking me, "Why aren't you an assistant yet? Join the assistants course. You'll start getting prepared to become a collaborator." I decided to participate not to become an assistant but to learn more. I joined the course 6 months and I learned so much. But, I wasn't raised as an assistant. I continued doing what I loved doing, not caring if I was an assistant or not. 

But something started to change within me, I disregarded it at first, but the feeling kept coming back. The desire to become an assistant came after being 2 years within the church. I was even already dreaming that I was wearing the uniform... lol... But my only concern at that time was not letting anxiety take over. I was only 14 years old and still a kid, but, with a mature mind.

The pastor in that time had been there for around 2 years and some months in my church in Cubatão, he was Pastor Roberto Texeira.. He knew me, but he was transfered and I thought... Now, the new pastor will have to know me and I'll have to join the course once again. But, that same week I spoke to God, my life was in His hands. The pastor was in the church for around a week, and I remember that during my lunch hours, I went to church to clean the restrooms. I was also cleaning the service room, as I always did, I loved being in church, being able to clean it... I was there and the pastor or assistants would call me for something, I felt so useful, even if it was to go look for something in the store, pharmacy, etc.

I remember it was on a Thursday, I was there like always during my lunch hour, I had only seen the pastor for the first time on Thursday because he had done the service. I was sweeping the church and he kept observing me. I continued cleaning, a few seconds later he comes towards me and my heart started beating faster... He asked me, "Are you an assistant?" Lol, I wasn't expecting that question. I responded, "No pastor, I'm only in the youth group." Then he told me, "Okay, from now on you're an assistant. I will be leaving soon but I'll let the other pastor know that I raised you as an assistant." I was numb. I didn't expect this, I saw God in that moment raising me up... It marked my life.

On that same day came the other pastor came, It was Pastor Roberto again lol... I went and spoke to him, and it was confirmed that I was an assistant... I couldn't believe it.

In that moment I realized that when we let God act, He acts without any explanation. He knew my heart's intention, and that what I did was for Him. He knew that it didn't matter to me how long it would take for me to become an assistant. Even if I didn't have the title, I was already an assistant. Many times there's a lot of people who have in mind, "When I'm an assistant, it's then that I'll start doing things." They don't realize that the one who raises them up is themselves. 

One time I heard this phrase: "There's a lot of assistants who are not servants and a lot of servants who aren't assistants."

"A servant that has the same characteristics as God does not only do His work, but overall, His will."