DID NOT OUR HEART BURN WITHIN US WHILE HE TALKED WITH US BY THE WAY,AND WHILE HE OPENED TO US THE SCRIPTURES? Luke 24:32
Volume 2 Issue 1
WE HAVE HEARD... I cannot express how humbled we are by the response of those who have had the opportunity to read the newsletter. It is truly God’s uncommon favor. It seems the newsletter has been a spiritual catalyst to many individuals. David said "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer" - Psalm 19:14 The newsletter was intended for women, but is touching the lives of men also. God’s word does not return void. Isaiah 55:11 (King James Version) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (New Living Translation reads) - It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. People have thanked me for obedience to the Lord because they have been blessed by reading a word here. It grieves my spirit to think of how much time I have lost. I think of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14 to 30, and how the Lord gave talents to individuals, and when asked what have you done, there was one who had buried his talent. The parable notes that the Master took his talent away, and gave it to another, and he was punished. Let’s remember Esther in Esther 4:14, if she had not dared to step out and step up, then surely God would have used someone, else, but think of what Esther would
Kairos-Women to Women
Women Positioned for the Kingdom Images on these pages are from: http://freegraphicsimmanuelministries.net
have missed. There is Saul, whose kingdom was taken and given to David. What blessings will I miss, if I do not obey the Lord in this. Even if one soul comes to the Lord because of this newsletter, then all will be worth the cost. So it is that when I received the Word from the Lord, that I ran with it. There is no time to lose. There is a sense of urgency. In addition, this newsletter will take you on journeys traveled by others. These experiences serve to remind you and me that God is right there in the thick of things with us. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, NASB) “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” We share these experiences of God’s grace and faithfulness, and he can do it for you, if you reach out to him. You should know that this issue of the newsletter was delayed time after time. This issue had a different heading and graphics. I heard the whisper in my being: “we have heard”. Then people started coming to me, saying, Oh, we heard this, or we heard that..” Let us take time to hear that in-
ner voice, which is the Holy Spirit. Share your faith, so that others will approach you and say, “We have heard what God is doing”. . .....Alma Barela
Inside This Issue Front Page : LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
MY OWN ALABASTER BOX
2, 3, 4
BREAKING THE ALABSTER BOX
INTERCESSION, FASTING AND THE HEART OF GOD
PHOEB’E’S HEART: UNION RESCUE MISSION
TRIBUTE TO SPC. JAMES KIEHL
“FAITH IN THE FOXHOLE”
CARRY EACH OTHERS BURDENS
DEVOTIONALS FOR PET LOVERS: LIFE WITH KIKI PROBERBS 31 WOMAN
BEAUTY FOR ASHES: MY JOURNEY, MY TESTIMONY
LAYING CLAIM TO OUR HERITAGE
BACK PAGE : - STATEMENT OF FAITH - BRETHREN MARKETPLACE - PHOEB’S HEART 2 - BARTER CORNER - KAIROS HUMOR SPOT
MY OWN ALABASTER BOX There once was a girl who had been given talents extended by God's grace. She never took the credit for that which God had provided. She was wholesome and happy with her life. She didn’t care for status or title, and was known only as Rose. She served her family, and friends with joy. She enjoyed her work very, very much. Everything she did she strived to do her best. Her life was an open book. Alas, Rose had a transparent heart. Life was good as she knew it. She didn’t have romantic love, but it would come to her transparent heart, and then surely it would pulsate with joy and she would feel the crimson shades of love in her heart. She longed to find love and knew that it would come one day. She didn’t believe you had to go out and look for it, because if it was meant to be, then love would find her. She had always been told that she was selfless. Her full name, Alma Rosa, could be translated into pure soul, innocent soul. Surely she would be blessed by love. Then came the day when everything changed. She met a man. He was clothed as Prince Appeal. He was older, and had lived a full life, and told her he had been on great adventures. Her heart was swept away. She gave her heart to this man. She felt her transparent heart pulsate with crimson love.
cooing and rocking back and forth, trying to reassure her spirit and broken heart, that somehow morning would come and the sun would shine for her, for she had read that Joy cometh in the morning. Her transparent heart turned out to be easily manipulated, and weak. She came to find that Prince Appeal was really Baron Malevolence himself. There was no crimson love in his heart, only gray famine, for he lived without hope and without Grace itself. The day came when her crimson heart shattered, and the transparency in her heart was so, that she could not have foretold that Baron Malevolence would hurt her so, because she trusted him blindly. Baron Malevolence had a heart so black that he could not even fathom that she would take hold of her roots and self, and rise and call them by name, and break through the fortress he had built in her mind, and his strongholds. The once crimson heart, woven with transparency, shattered into a million pieces. Although the heart of Rose was broken, and her exterior-self had fissures that would seemingly spew great waves of sorrow, much less be able to contain her heart, she bravely picked up the shattered pieces of crimson and transparency which had formed her heart, put them in her box of alabaster and held them close,
She grappled through the dark tunnel and down a hollow shaft and made it to daybreak. She saw a marker on the road, which had the address of Romans 8, paths 38 and 39, which indicated that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Just then, the sun pierced through the darkness she had come to know and she was temporarily blinded by the intensity of the sun and the hot tears streaming down her cheeks. She was in emotional chaos, as the sun’s warmth shocked her senses, as she realized that she had lived in cold forbidding shadows far too long. She had compromised everything she knew, and she realized that any compromise at any level had only resulted in further compromise, until there was no real self left. As she leaned against the marker on the road, waiting for a carriage to take her from the God-
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1
MY OWN ALABASTER BOX (CONTINUED-PAGE 3) forsaken village behind her, she found her foot on the ROCK OF AGES, and she remembered the words which had been ingrained into her self and heart. They had been hidden in her heart, and just as she had learned in times of trouble, she was not alone. She remembered the words of a faithful servant Paul who served the Lord of the FORTRESS of the LIVING WORD. The words seemed to resonate in her head and entire self, and shook her to her core. Yes, she would go there, for she also knew HIM by name, but wasn’t sure if HE still wanted to call her by name. There in the middle of the most lowest moment of her life, bereft of all she had thought to be true, Rose humbly recognized GRACE, and in the middle of her pain, reached out and cried for GRACE, and instead of crying why me, why this, her trembling lips said, THANK YOU, thank you for saving me from this wretched existence. I don’t understand now, and I don’t know how I am going to make it through this, but I still know you, and I ask you to let me recognize that your GRACE is sufficient. With BLESSED ASSURANCE by her side, she made it to the citadel, which was at the foot of the FORTRESS of the LIVING WORD, where she found sanctuary for her broken heart, tired spirit and defeated body.
The address read: Jeremiah 31:3: Because I love you with an everlasting love. Rose’s pain was great and she would often go down the lane, to the garden of Deuteronomy 4:29: If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me… She would hold her heart and look at it and be struck that she would never be able to put it together again. She tortured her mind questioning her reasoning and how she had come down this downtrodden path and circumstances. As deep as her sorrow was, she could not let herself wallow in her own sorrow. Who was she to say, that this was the end for her. She didn’t dare be so presumptive, as to decide that there was no more for her. After all, wasn’t she relation to the kingdom? Was she not destined with a purpose? As she kept her crimson and transparency in her box of alabaster, some of the shattered pieces took on a hue of purple and blue, but there was really no form to her heart. So off she went to the Potter’s House, he lived in the fork in the road of Genesis 1:27, in the Village of Psalms 139: Building 13 and 14. Rose asked the Potter to somehow give her heart its shape. “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: mar-
velous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” As the months passed on into years, with the help of her family and beloved pet, some of the pieces took on a tinge of yellow, orange and pink, but always with a slight tinge of gray. As the days and months passed the edges of the pieces took on a little black and silver, which served to bond the broken pieces. As she struggled to regain her sense of self, and barged on, facing new beginnings, she set out to find Jeremiah who lived in building 29, apartment 11, and he said, my plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Upon meeting him, some of the pieces of her heart took on a hue of green, as she gladly made friends with HOPE. Before she knew it time had passed, and as she looked around she realized that although tiny tears sometimes leaked through the fissures, she realized that she had been saved by GRACE who resided in the land of John 3:16. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 4)
MY OWN ALABASTER BOX (CONTINUED-PAGE 4) She rode on the wings of Angels, with those she had met on the way, Charity, Simplicity, and Grace.
There were areas where you were not sure what hue it was and the colors formed prisms and sunburst of color.
She learned how to call GRACE by name, and as GRACE stood by her, she dared to open her box of alabaster and look at the transparent heart.
Rose gasped as she looked at the once shattered pieces, for they had melded back into the shape of a heart, and as she held it up toward the sun, the light pierced through the tiny fissures and illuminated her self.
At these times, she would often put on her garment of Psalm 34:18, when you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. He had given her a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, he had taken all the burnt ruins (BEAUTY FOR ASHES) and given her the oil of JOY FOR MOURNING provided through Grace in the mountain top of ISAIAH 61:3. She poured this oil of joy in her alabaster box. Her heart seemed so fragile, as she lifted it up for GRACE to take a look, and then GRACE took her hand and held her arms out toward the sun, not letting her falter. GRACE washed the bonded fragments with the oil of anointing. The fragments, with a chip here and there of course, had allianced themselves into a splendid tapestry with hues of crimson, gold and purple, royal colors. There was pink, orange and yellow and green too, and yes there was a bit of transparency for good measure.
As Rose tapped on the heart gently, she learned that it was quite resilient, the shattered pieces had been through the fire and fashioned into a tiffany-like tapestry with ribbons of light. She knew that this heart had been hard to come by and she had paid a great price. She held it up to the sun and toward GRACE, and she paid particular attention to every shade and blush of color in her heart, her tiffany heart. She was in awe of the reflections of GRACE. Her perspective was directed by the WORD. Grace told her to appreciate the brilliance and beauty of the tiffany heart, and she knew that the coming together of these prisms of light had cost her, and she knew each tint and hue had been forged, and she knew that she did not have any uncertainties, because having known someone like Baron Malevolence and then going to the opposite extreme, had
shown her the bounty of kindness, generosity and compassion not only in her self but also in those she loved. Rose would take the box of alabaster and her tiffany heart and place them in a prominent place and give the heart its due, and allow the sunlight and GRACE to shine through to bless others. She had come to live under Godâ€™s wing and placed her life, her hopes, dreams and future in him. Her spirit sang joyfully, while her heart smiled. Her soul had been healed. She had forgiven those who had hurt her, because her joy was full indeed. She was indeed destined with a purpose. She came to live in the house of Jeremiah 29:11: "'For I know the plans I have for you, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" She knew that prosperity is not measured in wealth or monetary gain, but in loved ones and things not palpable. Written by Alma Barela
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1 BREAKING THE ALABASTER BOX The story in pages 2 ,3,and 4 are part of my story. If you are going through or have gone through anything similar, I would say hold onto God, but that is not enough, rather cleave to God because he is the only one who can keep the waters from taking us under. Trust in God’s word as you scale the mountain, use his promises as a foothold or the crevice in the rock to get your bearings. Cleave to God, as your life depends on it, because it does, eternal life. Maybe the darkest moment, or that mountain that seems to high to climb, or the bitter tears or anxiety, maybe these things are the very things that will bring you into your victory, and into new levels of faith. We must break our alabaster boxes before the oil of anointing can flow. Let’s also consider forgiveness, because it was part of the lesson. I don’t want you to think that it was easy or that I did it to be holy. In the beginning, it was the only way I could preserve my own sense of self-worth. You know not forgiving others, can lead to hate, and that is a cancer that will eat away at you. It later became about forgiving, because we will not be forgiven for our wrongdoings. It took time but the Lord brought me to a place where I could pray for that person who had hurt me. God’s word says that we must bless those that curse us, pray for those that mistreat you (Luke 6:28 –New American Standard Bible); also (Matthew 5:44 – King James version) - But I say unto you, Love
PAGE 5 your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. In seeking forgiveness from God and seeking to forgive others, I clung to Psalm 32. I encourage you to read this beautiful Psalm. In the midst of your journey, let God be your “hiding place”. An excerpt from Psalms, 5,6,7-King James Version reads as follows: “I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgivest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I want to tell you that in my period of disobedience and living with one foot in Church and the other “testing” the waters, you can lose yourself as I did, and not realize it. I was not standing on level ground. You compromise once, twice, and soon right and wrong do not trouble your conscience. God’s grace is amazing because he can take the mess we make, and use it for his glory.
selves in a similar situation. In order to reflect God’s grace and mercy you have to share how “real” God has been in your “real” situation. I knew in writing this story that I might be judged, but I remembered that King David chose the mercy of God, rather than that of man, when he failed God. Our goals and our perspectives need to be set by the Word of God, rather than that of the world. If we study the life of David, we will see God’s master plan for our lives. He is the direct connection to Christ. I hope that this will help you move forward through the darkness. Don’t miss what the Lord has planned and promised to be rightfully yours. You know if you refer to the meaning of numbers in the Bible, I believe it is called Numerology in Theology, the number “7” equals rest, completion, finishing, the year of restoration. When completing this story of the Alabaster box, it struck me that this is the seventh year of my restoration journey. I do not consider that a coincidence. I believe I was meant to share this story for such a time as this, it was destined with a purpose. Written by A. Barela
Perhaps the thought has crossed your mind, and you have said to yourself, how embarrassing, how can she share something like this? I will tell you why, how else can I reach someone who finds them
VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1
CALEUM’S COURAGE I received a very touching email from our faithful Heart-to-Heart member, Rosa, on January 11, 2007. She received it as a request for prayer from a good friend of hers who works at the same company as Michael Miller, the father of this precious child, Caleum. It was a request for prayer to go around the globe. This article is written and printed with permission of Mr. Miller. It was sent out Tuesday, January 9, 2007 7:31 PM. It reads: My Dear Friends, I am finally finding the ability to write this email. In a way it is a form of therapy but also so I don’t have to recount the events again when I return (to work). Having 4 teenagers and 2 young ones gives one the ability to compare in extreme detail development of children. Without question, Caelum, the youngest, 17 months old, is the brightest. He is our first fearless child pulling a chair between our recliner and couch to make a sort of bridge. He would then walk his bridge launch his body over the arm of the couch and in the process totally lose himself in a tumble that would inevitably bring him crashing to the ground. You would see his body tense waiting for impact and hear him say "oh no" or "woh" until he hit the ground. After impact he would say "ow" and start all over again. He is the most inquisitive with an insatiable appetite for the new. The first to test boundaries of what he can and cannot get away with, the first to talk. Knowing me you might wonder, 17 months old, Mike, aren't you and Annemarie getting up there why would you want another child at "your age". I must say that it was a bit of a surprise to both of us when wefound out Annemarie was pregnant with Caelum. If you've ever read the disclaimer on the directions of birth control pills you'll notice that in 99.5% of the time they are effective. Lucky us we've the 0.5% and really lucky us we wouldn't change a thing. Caelum has a birthmark on the back on his neck in the shape of a heart and if you know this little boy you would see how much he has to offer. We nicknamed him our love baby, I know it’s sappy, but that's what we feel. As it turns out his name is fitting as well. Caelum is not a typical name one that you may never have heard of. Caelum is the name of a constellation. His middle name is Dante, translation "lasting". Both really fit this little boy, a bright and lasting star. On December 31 at around 3:30 in the afternoon our children, Shawn, Ryan, Adam, Devyn, Jacob and Caelum were getting prepared for our traditional New Years Eve dinner at a Japanese Teppan restaurant in LaVerne. Our bright curious little boy got onto the back patio figured out how to open the gate and fell into our pool. I found him after what we estimate to be 10 minutes lying face down, floating in the pool. The image is permanently embedded in my vision, when I close my eyes, drive my car or am alone, it is a nightmare. By the time his little heart was started again 40 minutes had passed. The damage to his precious body is grave. Deprivation of oxygen to his brain has placed him in a vegetative state. Jacob (6 years old) constantly asks God to fix his baby brothers brain to make it better like his old brain. As strange as it may seem to some we truly believe that he loved my wife and I and his brothers and sister so much that he didn't want to leave, that he found a way back so we wouldn't have to remember him in the pool or the subsequent lifeless look on his face when he was pulled from it. The days are passing slowly and both my wife and I cannot remember what day it is. With each passing day we have been blessed with another moment of Caelum's life of his angelic face. To not see his beautiful face again would have been more painful then anything we could possibly imagine. The crying has subsided somewhat but it comes at you when you least expect. Seeing a toy, a book, a shirt, a favorite food, hearing a word he'd repeat, writing this email, or simply because you think of him the tears come. Hard to control. We are looking for little miracles in each second of each and every day. Attached is a link that you can track the progress of this little boy, of our Caelum. We've taken advantage of this way of updating our friends and family so we don't have to recap events in person. If you believe in God, please say a prayer for Caelum and his bothers and sister and my wife, if you don't I ask that you please say one anyway.
CALEUM’S COURAGE (CONTINUED)
Go to http://choc.org/ , open the "Patients and Family" section, then look to the right and open "Patient CarePages", scroll down to the bottom of the page and open the "Create a CarePage", then open "Visit a CarePage", in this section you'll need to sign up to visit a care page. Our page is MichaelandAnnemarieMiller which you'll need, all one word no spaces. The children are coping as best they can. Again please offer a prayer for Caelum. - Michael Miller As we have prayed for this child, from time to time we visit his page to note the progress he has achieved. God is good. While reading the last excerpt posted by his mother, AnnMarie at the above noted site, we see how God’s grace is moving. Please take time to read about this family and pray for ongoing strength for the dark moments in their lives, and Praise God for the miracle that this child is. A fundraiser was held for this family and for the costs that they are bearing. Let God move in your heart, and may he prompt you to offer more than a prayer. Below is an excerpt from the last entry on “Caleum’s Page” by his mother. “Caelum continues to teach us about "time". It has taken on new meaning for our family & for so many people who continue to follow our story of hope and love and support us. Michael & I are forever grateful for the time you all take to read the updates, think about us, pray for us & contribute to Caelum's recovery. It is having a profound effect on our journey of healing & I am certain one of the main reasons Caelum continues & will continue to recover. I have said from the very first week that Caelum's personality has been "intact". I could see it in his strength to struggle his way back to us during those early days. Now we continue to see his strength & determination in his intense effort to lift his head, or keep his head still while sitting, reach out his hand to try & touch a favorite toy, or to try to roll over onto his tummy. Herculean efforts from such a tiny little boy. We know without doubt that these things will come to Caelum in time. He is becoming more aware of his surroundings and his "people" - nurses, therapists & assistants. The therapists feel that he is now able to focus on their faces when he looks at them, rather than looking through them - exciting progress, to say the least.” “His favorite place is outside & we have a new stroller now to take him out. It is amazing to see how calm he gets as soon as the fresh air hits his face. The sunshine on his beautiful hair feels so good to him as I take him out of the stroller to sit him in my lap. He leans against me to take in the surroundings - sticking his tongue out as if to taste the fresh air, turning his head all around and then fixing his gaze on one of his favorites - the big camphor tree on the grounds,& I am sure he can hear all those birdies singing for him. We talk, sing & just sit to listen. Time again seems to disappear into nothingness. I could sit with him there forever. We talk about Jacob - sweet big brother that talks to Caelum a couple of times a day on the telephone. Caelum's eyes seem to search for Jacobs voice and he becomes very calm while Jacob talks to him. A deep connection between these two is another amazing thing to witness. Just last night, Jacob began to ask some of the more difficult questions to answer; too hard for me to list here. I will tell you that after Jacob and I talked about Caelum's recovery and progress, he had some profound things to say. Jacob said that he wanted only one thing - "love from Caelum". Then he said, "No really it's three things I want God to do first, give me love from Caelum, second to fix his brain and third to fix his body - I have faith in Caelum, mommy". The perfect prayer from a newly turned 7 year old - Oh my Jacob how you continue to teach us too. I love you sweet boy and my darling baby Caelum, & my Michael.” - Trust & Believe ALWAYS, Mommy
So rest and relax and grow stronger let go and let God share your load Your work is not finished or ended you’ve just come to a bend in the road From “Bend in the Road” by Helen Steiner Rice
PAGE 8 FASTING, INTERCESSION & THE HEART OF GOD As the year started, my sister and I were determined to know God more intimately. We agreed to fast much of the month of January. The concept of fasting and interceding intrigued me, because the time spent before the Lord left us yearning for more of God. I began to not only marvel about intercession, and fasting, but also the Heart of God. As I studied, I came across the following faith contract - Jesus said, "If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." Matthew 18:19 During the time we fasted, we found that the more we sought his word and presence, we could deny ourselves physically for longer periods of time, and yet feel refreshed. I attribute that to the verse that says: "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagle; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31 In our daily walk with the Lord, as we continued earnestly seeking his will and presenting specific people and situations to the Lord, the Holy Spirit would impress upon us yet another need, and another need, until I began to wonder if some things were to trivial to bring before the Lord. Well as I questioned this, I came across the following verse: “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for
all he has done.” Philippians 4:6 It occurs to me that as we come before the Lord, and commit our day to him, and strip away our physical needs, selfish strongholds, and intercede for the needs of others, that subsequently our supplications, turn into praise. It cannot be helped, when you read a verse such as: "The Lord will perfect that which concerns me" Psalm 138:8. I like to temporarily replace the “me” for whoever I am praying for. There have been times during this period of fasting that I feel the urgency to seek God, but am not sure what the exact needs is, at times such as these we can bring to mind Romans 8:26 to 28, which reads: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Make no mistake, fasting is difficult because we our separating ourselves, which can effect us in body, in mind and in spirit, and makes us greater targets for the enemy. In addition, sometimes you can actually experience the pain and turmoil that soul is going through. I believe this is so that we can “walk in that person’s
shoes” and know exactly what to bring before the Lord, and how to intercede like spiritual warriors before the throne of God. The word of God says in Philippians 2:4 (I like the way it reads in the New American Standard Bible version - “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” As I wanted to know more about fasting, and the importance it plays in our relationship with God, I began to see that we go to people to fix things broken in our everyday lives. We take our car to the mechanic, and call the repairman to fix our appliances, and even refer to our warranties. Why then don’t we use our warranty that was purchased with a great price on our behalf. Why is it that we don’t call the Restoration Advisor and use the maintenance guide, and claim our warranty, when our lives, dreams and futures are broken? This is how I reasoned fasting is a tool in our spiritual toolbox. I refer to these verses: I Pet. 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 - For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ… (CONTINUED NEXT PAGE)
FASTING INTERCESSION & THE HEART OF GOD-CONTINUED
Images on these pages are from:
Ephesians 6:11-18 - Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…
prayers together with praise can move the Heart of God. This is what the Bible says about the Heart of God: Acts 13:22 - And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Isaiah 40:11- As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart.
Revelations 5:11 reads - Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. Hebrews 1:14 reads - Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Jeremiah 3:15 - "I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently" 1 John 4:16 - I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. Jeremiah 31:3 - Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 32:41 - Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
I believe that intercession and fasting prepares us for a purpose, which is to be open to be used by God. I have found that
angels, who are warriors themselves, before God?
Considering the Heart of God and his love for us culminates in a time of worship and praise. Can you imagine standing with the
So it is that I invite you to experience new levels of faith in 2007. Let’s take that journey together. Intercession and fasting can reveal new areas in our walk with God. I leave you with these words – Philippians 4: 8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. By Alma Barela
VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1
In Volume 1; Issue 1, we made reference to Romans 16:1, where Paul refers to Phoebe as a minister of the church in Cenchrea, and we noted that she was a servant or helper. "I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also" (Romans 16:1-2, KJV). Our vision is to have or be a place where women help women in need. We mentioned being a help to abused or battered women, who are women needing a temporary helping hand, just that little bit extra to get them back on their feet. We’ve all gone through difficult times. We have all been women in some sort of transition needing a loving hand. The following is an excerpt taken from the UNION RESCUE MISSION, a Christianbased organization, with permission. Women's Ministry Programs For a homeless woman, every day is a struggle to survive. Out on the streets, she may be beaten, raped, or robbed. Being a mother, she is left with little time or energy to find a job, enroll children in school, or find a way to pay a rent deposit. She is desperate just to find a safe place for herself and her children to sleep. Single women and mothers with children are guided step-by-step back into society, gaining self-reliance, stability, strength and hope along the way, through our Women and Family Ministry Programs. Our Women and Family Crisis Center and Family Together Programs help point "the way home" for women and families in crisis.
Through the Women's and Family Ministry Programs, the following services are provided: •
Substance Abuse Recovery
School Enrollment (required for all children)
"Mommy and Me" Program
Education & Vocational Training
Personal and Family Relationships
Medical, Dental, and Mental Health Care
Recreation & Fitness
Community Church Involvement
Donations of New and Used Items Your gifts of clothing, furniture, and other needed items go directly to the homeless and desperately poor of Los Angeles. At Union Rescue Mission, every "guest" or resident is treated with all the respect a child of God deserves. That means we never give an individual an item of clothing or pair of shoes that we would not be willing to wear ourselves. We ask that all donations of used clothing be clean, of good quality, and ready to wear (no repairs needed). We ask that all donations of used clothing be sorted, boxed, and labeled according to gender (men, women, or children) and marked as "used." We ask that all donations of new clothing be sorted, boxed, and labeled according to gender (men, women, or children) and marked as "new."
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1
SPOTLIGHT-PHOEBE’S HEART— •
We are in need of quality clothing and shoes of all sizes for men, women, and children
To make a donation of clothing, furniture, or other needed items, please contact:
Specialty sizes (extra large and tall) are especially needed.
Gifts in Kind Department
Business attire for men and women (suits, shirts, ties, scarves, etc.) are greatly appreciated.
-Product Donations -Vehicle Donations Camille Hernandez, GIK Departmet Director
Donations of coats, hats, and gloves are very important during the winter months.
(213) 347-6300, GIK Dept. or Camille Hernandez
Donations of new clothing are always appreciated, especially in the following categories: undergarments for men, women, and children; socks; panty hose; and baby clothes.
They will let you know what items are needed and provide instructions on how to deliver or ship your donation to the Mission.
Baby Items: Donations of baby items such as cribs, strollers, high chairs, etc. can mean so much to a desperately poor family. We ask that all baby items be clean, safe, and in excellent condition.
Furniture: Due to seriously limited space in our warehouse, donations of furniture are accepted according to immediate need. We ask that donated furniture be clean, in excellent condition, and ready to place in an apartment or home.
Visit their website: www.urm.org and go to the “donate” tab or “get involved” or browse their sight, and let God lead you. Sign up for URM’s monthly E-News at www.UnionResceMission.org So again, join the vision, let the Lord lead you and open your heart and hands. As I said before, I know the Lord will designate the receivers and the givers. Let us be a “blessing in the valley”. We will feature “Phoebe’s Heart” on our (backpage) in every issue.
Housewares: Items essential to setting up a home, such as pots and pans, lamps, bedspreads, etc. are accepted according to immediate need. We ask that donated housewares be clean, in excellent condition, and boxed with contents clearly marked. Also needed:
Bibles (large print, Spanish, and teen)
Educational games and toys
Image on this page is from: http://freegraphicsimmanuelministries.net
PAGE 12 Tribute to Spc. James M. Kiehl-A Fallen Hero I received this email in January 2007 from Rosa, a precious Heart-to-Heart member. It was an email about the "Tribute to Specialist James Kiehl", well I was not comfortable about using the story without permission, and had looked up every avenue, so, I basically gave up. I told the Lord, well Lord, if you want me to use this special story you will find a way to let me know I am to use it. Well, as usual the Lord woke me up with new things for the newsletter, and these words were impressed on my mind, "read it again". So I got up and went to the computer, and reread the original mail, and sure enough, there was the name of the Aunt, Vickie Pierce, and her recounting of her precious nephew's journey home. Well this led me to the original story, and the website. I contacted the webmaster at that site, and he in turn graciously forwarded my letter to Vicki Pierce. She answered and allowed us to feature her Nephew's tribute. He was born in Comfort, Texas on December 22, 1980. James was assigned to the 507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas. He was killed in action on March 23, 2003 at An Nasiriyah, and served in the same unit as PFC Jessica Lynch and SPC Shoshanna Johnson who were captured during the same engagement that resulted in Specialist Kiehl's death. His hometown was Comfort, Texas. Comfort is about
40 miles Northwest of San Antonio, Texas. What follows is a message from Vicki Pierce about her nephew James' funeral (he was serving our country in Iraq): "I'm back, it was certainly a quick trip, but I have to also say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There is a lot to be said for growing up in a small town in Texas. The service itself was impressive with wonderful flowers and sprays, a portrait of James, his uniform and boots, his awards and ribbons. There was lots of military brass and an eloquent (though inappropriately longwinded) Baptist preacher. There were easily 1000 people at the service, filling the church sanctuary as well as the fellowship hall and spilling out into the parking lot. However, the most incredible thing was what happened following the service on the way to the cemetery. We went to our cars and drove to the cemetery escorted by at least 10 police cars with lights flashing and some other emergency vehicles, with Texas Rangers handling traffic. Everyone on the road who was not in the procession, pulled over, got out of their cars, and stood silently and respectfully, some put their hands over their hearts. When we turned off the highway suddenly there were teenage boys along both sides of the street about every 20! feet or so, all holding large American flags on long flag poles, and again with their hands on their hearts. We thought at first
it was the Boy Scouts or 4H club or something, but it continued ... for two and a half miles. Hundreds of young people, standing silently on the side of the road with flags. At one point we passed an elementary school, and all the children were outside, shoulder to shoulder holding flags. Kindergartners, handicapped, teachers, staff, everyone. Some held signs of love and support. Then came teenage girls and younger boys, all holding flags. Then adults. Then families. All standing silently on the side of the road. No one spoke, not even the young children. The military presence..at least two generals, a fist full of colonels, and representatives from every branch of the service, plus the color guard who attended James, and some who served with him. was very impressive and respectful, but the love and pride from this community who had lost one of their own was the most amazing thing I've ever been privileged to witness. (Please visit the website and see his full story and pictures). Let us pray for our men and women in the armed forces who are away from home and in the path of danger for you and me. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Vickie Pierce for sharing the precious moments. Also thank you to Anthony W. Pahl OAM, Webmaster at International War Veterans Poetry Archives (http://iwvpa.net). And a special thank you to Rosa, who has a heart for special stories, and to her friend that brought this to her attention.
"It's hard to come by a good
Bible here." U.S. Soldier serving in Iraq. As U.S. troops deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan and other dangerous locations around the world, you can help insure that they go into harm’s way with the Word of God as their shield when you help Military Ministry provide Bibles for our troops. More than 1.3 million Military Ministry Rapid Deployment Kits (RDKs) have been handed out at the request of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines since 9/11. Only God's Word can supply the anchor for the soul that military men and women are seeking. While military training has equipped them physically and mentally, they can also be equipped spiritually to withstand whatever challenges they meet. Each pocket-size, waterproof RDK includes a special camou-
Thank you so much for your
“FAITH IN THE FOXHOLE”
Help Give Our Troops an Anchor for the Soul
flage-cover American Bible Society New Testament, a daily devotional from RBC Ministries, and a copy of Do You Want to Know God
Personally? from Campus Crusade for Christ. Requests for RDKs come in from chaplains at the rate of nearly 20,000 per month. Please help us continue to meet this demand as chaplains desire to spiritually outfit every military member. Rapid Deployment Kits cost only $3.25 each to distribute.
prayers and financial support on behalf of our military men and women and their families. To help us provide more RDKs, send a check made out to Military Ministry or give by credit card online or by phone. May God bless you! Military Ministry — A division of Campus Crusade for Christ PO BOX 120124 • Newport News, VA 23612-0124 Call 800-444-6006 or visit www.militaryministry.org
Special thanks to: Mike McCandless, Director of
Development for Military Ministry, a Division of Campus Crusade for Christ International
They are strengthening and encouraging the faith of Christian soldiers and leading many to Jesus. One chaplain in Iraq shares, "We see lives changed for
Christ on a daily basis." Your partnership in praying for and helping to place the message of Christ into the hands of our men and women in uniform is greatly appreciated. For more information on this vital outreach, please visit the Military Ministry website: http://www.militaryministry.org
Do you have a testimony to share with us? You never know who will be touched by one word from the experiences you share. You may be planting the seed of God’s word into someone’s heart. Email us: .firstname.lastname@example.org
CARRY EACH OTHER’S BURDENS In prayer for our troops, another web-site was brought to my attention, and I contacted Jeff Johnson, at Mission: Welcome Home Coordinator from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. He gave permission to list the following information, which may fit into your ministry, women’s group or club. Families might use this as a resource to connect with their kids and assist them in doing the Lord’s work, and learning Christian principles. Are we not to “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” Galations 6:2 Ask the Lord to lead you, and if you feel led to send a care package or a letter, please tuck in one of these newsletters, which you can print out. We sometimes think that we have nothing to contribute or nothing to give, but we can give our time and our encouragement. Use your talents and abilities as an extension of his grace. God bless you as you minister to the needs of others. Links to Support Our Troops www.aafes.com/docs/homefront.htm AAFES Gift Certificates The Army and Air Force Exchange Services is where most service men and women do their shopping. You can purchase gift certificates for those in Iraq and those hospitalized. www.adoptaplatoon.org/ - Adopt a Platoon—has several ongoing projects to ensure that every soldier overseas does not walk away from mail call emptyhanded. www.operationshoebox.com - Operation Shoe Box - Send packages to troops.
www.give2thetroops.org - Give 2 The Troops - Send letters and messages to troops. www.operationpaperback.org Operation Paperback - Recycled reading for our troops. www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/pages /1/index.htm - Cell phones for Soldiers - Donated cell phones are recycled and turned into cash. The cash is used to purchase calling cards for soldiers in Iraq. www.booksforsoldiers.com/ - Books For Soldiers - Help the troops escape boredom by donating some books. You can also donate DVDs and CDs requested by soldiers. www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html Defend America - Thank any service member stationed throughout the U.S. and the world with an e-mail. www.lettersfromhomeprogram.org/ Letters From Home - Support the troops by sending letters so that they receive mail. www.fisherhouse.org/ - Fisher House The Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. www.freedomcalls.org/ - Freedom Calls - The Freedom Calls Foundation is helping families videoconference with their loved ones in Iraq. You can donate money to help keep this project going. www.platoonphone.com/ - Operation Call Home - Operation Call Home's mission is to provide each platoon with its own satellite phone. www.heromiles.org/ - Operation Hero Miles - You can donate your unused frequent flier miles to help soldiers travel on emergency leave. They are
also used to help families fly to hospitalized soldiers. www.operationiraqichildren.org/ Operation Iraqi Children - Many soldiers are rebuilding schools in Iraq and scrounging around for school supplies. Help by donating a school supplies kit. www.treatsfortroops.com/ - Treats for Troops - Treats for Troops helps you provide packages to your loved ones overseas. If you don't know anyone, the Foster-A-Soldier Program matches you with a registered soldier by branch of service, home state, gender, or birthday - or you can choose to sponsor a group of soldiers. www.specialops.org - Special Operations Warrior Foundation - Helping the Children of Fallen Special Operations Warriors www.hugs4smilesusa.org - Hugs4SmilesUSA - Hugs4SmilesUSA will assign you a deployed soldier and/or family to send care packages and correspondence. www.redcross.org/services/afes/0,10 82,0_321_,00.html - Support the American Red Cross Military Members and Families Services To offer assistance, or for additional information contact: Jeff Johnson, WDVA "Mission: Welcome Home" Coordinator 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387) Click to email: Jeff Johnson
Please take a minute to visit these sites. You will be blessed.
LIFE WITH KIKIDEVOTIONALS FROM A PET LOVER If you read the first newsletter you read the story titled “Tweet, Tweet said the Lord.” Well the Lord has continued to bless me with awesome truths from his word as I walk our pet poodle Kiki. That’s Kiki to the right. This will be a regular feature in our newsletter. As I was walking with Kiki, the Lord brought it to mind that a cell phone has functions that are very much like the Holy Spirit. You see cell phones have internal functions such as leave a message, page or instant message, text message, etc. Have you ever tried to ignore your cell phone, when your call comes in, then you ignore it, and you know the call is for you, just as you know the Holy Spirit is impressing something upon you, well it is the same thing, unless you answer it, or check out the number, that thing will keep alerting you to the fact that there is a call or message waiting to be answered. Has it happened to you that you are in a sticky situation and a verse comes to mind, well that is the Holy Spirit text messaging you. Likewise, the directory of important numbers saved to the cell phone’s memory, you can access them any time you want, same as the scriptures stored in your heart and mind. John 14:26 - But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Is that your cell phone or mine ringing?
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." - Genesis 9:16
PROVERBS 31 WOMAN (CONTINUED)
Take out the biscuits from the can, poke a hole (like a donut hole) let stand for a minute while you pour oil in a pan and place on high/med heat. While oil is getting hot for deep frying, pour some sugar and cinnamon in a plate or bowl. Place biscuits in oil for approx 30 seconds, turn over for another 20 seconds, remove from oil, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. I served these donuts with a humble heart but they were very well received. My guests seemed to enjoy them. They were hot, homemade donuts. Hope you’ll try.”
PROVERBS 31 Proverbs 31 If we study the Proverbs 31 woman we see that she was a wise, resourceful Godly woman dedicated to her household with a positive attitude to glorify God. So this section is dedicated to the household. ******** RECIPE ********
Liz I., our Heart-to-Heart Group Leader has a quick recipe suggestion. She says: “I am not sure if this is a common thing or not but my friend Debbie came over one night and I did not have anything to offer her with her coffee. I decided to make some quick and easy donuts out of biscuits like my mother used to make for us when we were kids. All you need is can of biscuits, sugar, cinnamon and oil.
******** CRAFT IDEA ********
A Sweet Fragrance unto the Lord and Our Home - Save those orange rinds, and apple peels, take them and add a broken up stick of cinnamon, and / or cloves and place aside. Then take a brown paper bag and cut a circle the size of a saucer. Place the peels and rinds, and spices in the center of the cut-out circle. Gather up the sides, and bunch into a little pouch. Secure the packet with twine or other organic type cord. Place these little packets in a basket or container near the fireplace, and pop one into the fire when you light it up on these cold days
BEAUTY FOR ASHES—TESTIMONIAL CORNER My Journey, My Testimony Part II As part of a Christian family I knew first hand the power in prayer. I recall being taken to the hospital because I had severe pain in my left side. There wasn’t much the doctors could do for me, except prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or corticosteroid drugs that helped treat internal changes caused by lupus. I remember being in the hospital with severe pain and being wheeled in to the room after having had a liver ultrasound. As I waited for the doctor to come in and give the results of the ultrasound, I remember repeating Psalm 31: 1-2 over and over: In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for a house of defense to save me. The doctor returned with discouraging results. He said there was a suspicious spot in my liver and I should follow-up with my private physician. The following day with the ultrasound results in hand, I visited my private doctor. He sent me out for another ultrasound and a third. All three results came back with the same impression. He immediately sent me out for a biopsy to be performed in the hospital. I could no longer stand from the pain that had
stricken my body. I was totally bent forward from the excruciating pain and swelling. The doctor mentioned if the biopsy was positive, I should consider a liver transplant. When I heard those words, “liver transplant”, I felt as my world came crashing down. What was I to do, if this were true. I had three young boys and a husband that depended on me. I cried out to my Lord, who is my defense, my rock, my strong tower, my deliverer. I knew that he was going to carry me out of the fire. He is the God that healed and had touched my body so many times before. I went home and cried out to him to do his will and use me as an instrument for his purpose because I knew I had favor with the gate keeper. God never failed me. I knew the truth regarding power in prayer and the result are nothing less than miraculous. I asked my family and relatives to join me in fast and prayer the day before I went in to have the biopsy performed. It was amazing how many people were praying for me. There were prayer warriors all over the nation. My petition went out over Christian radio. I waited on him for his healing power. I went to Him with all my weaknesses: physical, emotional and spiritual. I knew if I rested in His presence nothing was impossible for Him and he was able to do far beyond all that I asked or imagined.
Anxiety attempted to wedge its ugly head into my thoughts. I reminded myself to leave it in the hands of my Creator. Rather than trying to maintain control over my life, I abandoned myself to His will. Though this may have felt scary and dangerous, I knew that the safest place was to be in His will. The morning came and I was ready to go have the biopsy done. I remember the sun rays peaking thru my bedroom window and brightening my room with much splendor. That is when I felt his promise that He was always with me, holding me by my right hand. I knew and felt the reassurance of His Presence and glorious hope of heaven despite the outcome. I drew strength from my faith in God’s love for me. I arrived at the hospital with my sister, Alma. I felt comfort knowing she would accompany me in my time of trouble. She managed to push me in the wheel chair through the glass doors of the hospital.
PAGE 17 BEAUTY FOR ASHES—TESTIMONIAL CORNER (CONTINUED) My Journey, My Testimony (Continued) I was tired and had so much pain on my right side. As she pushed me along the corridors of the hospital it seemed dark and cold, but here the Lord’s light was to shine in transcendent splendor and give His angels charge over me.
Thru this supernatural experience I learned that a thankful attitude opens windows of heaven. As you look up with a grateful heart, you get glimpses of his glory through those windows. Through my experiences, I already know the ultimate destination of my journey is my entrance into heaven.
I was wheeled into a room away from everybody I knew, but I kept thinking in my mind on my present journey, and enjoying His presence in the midst of the storm. Recalling to walk by faith, not by sight and trusting Him to open up the way before me.
A life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with miracles!
When I awoke from having the procedure, I felt no pain and wondered what had they done. Soon a nurse came in and prompted me into a sitting position. I could not believe how well I felt and looked, as I was told. Hours passed and my sister wheeled me across the hospital to the doctor’s offices.
This is just one of the many miralces he has completed in my life. Please look for “My Journey, My Testimony” in each newsletter. By Mary Lou Barela Acedo
There was the doctor waiting to give me my results. I waited anxiously. As I entered into the room, he sat behind his desk with my chart in front of him. He was serious and shaking his head as I reached his desk. I was confused. No words were spoken from either of us. He raised his hands in the air and blurted out “There is no medical explanation”, if I were you I would go home and get on my knees and thank and praise your God.”
He is God, He is faithful. Faith will hold you and sustain you when you cannot go on, faith will stand in the gap and bring forth hope.
PRAYER CLOSET “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there
no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” -Jeremiah 8:22
This is in reference to Israel and it’s spiritual health, but today it is valid in so many ways. We all have prayer requests for healing, salvation, etc.
PRAYER CLOSET (CONTINUED) In our first issue, we asked prayer for those who are homeless, and less fortunate, and that God would supply their needs, but most of all that he be manifested in their lives and come to call him Lord. We asked for prayer for family members who were ill and needed God’s healing touch. We also offered my cousin Topi up in prayer, and we are believing for a miracle and complete healing. Well BREAKING NEWS: My cousin was released from the hospital, and where did she go Sunday February 25th? CHURCH! You know man has counted her out, but God has her here. By man’s standard she should be at home or in the hospital, but I know God still has a plan for her. I believe there is an incredible outpouring of his Spirit before us, so let us come before the Lord with a fragrance of praise for all his benefits, and in so doing, also ask for his continued touch on those we love. Please pray for: •
Yolanda diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer
Topi McMinn with Multiple Myeloma and complications thereof.
Little Caleum and his family
Prayer for our troops
President of the United States
VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1
LAYING CLAIM TO OUR HERITAGE-MY AUNT’S TESTIMONY I had the privilege of interviewing my Aunt Esperanza. As I translated this story, I could no keep the tears from flowing. Tears of gratitude. Tears because this is the woman who believed for all of us in my family. My family being her children, her grandchildren, the children of her brother, and the children of her sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and so forth. Those in my family (meaning all of the above, including in-laws to all of the above), are the result of the promise given to a woman who dared to believe in God’s promise, and fifty-four years later, I have the great honor to share this story with you. Alma: Tia (means Aunt in Spanish) tell us in what year you came to know the Lord and how you came to know him? Tia Esperanza: It was in 1953, the 20th of November, a Sunday night, that the Lord saved me. That day was the most glorious of all my life. I did not want anything to do with Christians. I hated Christians. But one day, I woke up with this feeling of desperation and I felt that way all day. Well the next day, I still had that feeling of desperation, and I felt as if I wanted to go outside, and run. Later that night, I went to my bedroom to pray, and in that bedroom, I had some statues of saints. As I entered my bedroom, I heard a voice say: “Go to the Temple of Refuge”, which was a Christian Church. Well I thought I was hearing this due to the great desperation I felt. I stayed quiet for awhile, and then again the voice said to me in a clearer voice, “Go to the Temple of Refuge.” Well I could not disobey, and I got ready and went to see a neighbor friend and asked her to take me to the church. You Esperanza?, she questioned. Listen, I said, don’t ask questions, just please take me. Well, she took me to the church, and I sat in the furthest seat in the back of the church. While seated there, I asked myself within, ‘What are you doing here?” “Why did you come to this place”? “I don’t like it, I don’t like the church, and I don’t even like these people.”
While there, I was being careful that no one touched my young children who were seated with me. Three of which were on the same bench and one that was cradled in my arms. ‘What was I thinking?, I asked myself. Well that is the last thought I had, and that was about (9:00 p.m., that night), and when I opened my eyes I was at the foot of the altar, and it was midnight. There were rays of light surrounding me, pink in color, in fact they covered me, they covered all of me, all of my body. I could hear a choir of angels from on high, and I did not want to rise up from that place. When I finally got to my feet, I felt as if I were not the same Woman. I felt something so beautiful inside me. I looked at the brothers and sisters in the Lord who surrounded me, and their faces were that as of porcelain dolls, whereas before when I looked at them, I would see frogs and toads. They were beautiful now. I wanted to hug each one, and they were all hugging and crying because this rebellious woman had been saved. The next day, the trees seemed greener, the sun more bright, and everything looked so beautiful to me. I had gotten up early, and went to the fence outside my house, and I stood there. At that time, I knew little English, almost nothing, but I stood there. At that time my neighborhood was composed of many races, and as people passed, I would not hesitate, and I would tell them, “ I happy”, “ I happy”! The people would just look at me and they surely thought I was a mental case, but I could not contain this joy inside of me. To everyone that passed, I said, “ I happy” “I Happy”, but they did not understand. I want to tell you that from that glorious day, I have lived a new life, and I can tell you that now I am an older person, but I still feel that same joy I felt that day. Alma: Tia, what promise did God give you for the salvation of your family? Tia Esperanza: There is a verse in the Book of Acts, Acts 16:31- "(Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." Well I clung to that verse, and still do to this day, because I Knew and know that what HE promises, that HE will do. The bible says in Numbers 23:19 - “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1
LAYING CLAIM TO OUR HERITAGE TESTIMONY (CONTINUED) When three months had passed of my having accepted the Lord, I was going through some big difficulties, and it was about two or three in the morning, and I did not yet know much about God’s word, and as I was weeping, I head a voice say, “Do not fear, for I am with you”. Alma: Tia, what did you feel when you saw and continue to see God’s promise being fulfilled in your family, in your sister, my mother, and all that have come since then? Tia Esperanza: For me, it has signified what he promised, and I believed in that verse in the Book of Acts, for my household. I know the Lord never fails. I know the promises he has given me, and up to this moment, and in every day that passes, I am closer to the Lord, and he has done great things in my life. (I, Alma, take the liberty to insert this verse here, Psalm 37:25 - I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread). Amen. Tia Esperanza continues: What he has promised, sooner or later, comes to pass. Those words that I heard, the voice that said, “Do not fear, for I am with you”, I will not forget them. I knew I had the joy, and I had the peace, and I had something beautiful in my heart. He has been real in my life, and to this moment, he has been so good to me, so merciful, and I know that he shall continue to be. Without my Aunt, this newsletter would not have a voice. The promise was fulfilled, and her reward for her faithfulness continues today. As mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter Isaiah 55:11 (King James Version) - So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
I can remember that she always asked what is the condition of your heart? For 54 years, she believed for us, a light and inspiration. I can remember admiring her because she did not sway in her beliefs. I have witnessed years of faithfulness and grace. That was so striking. How many sorrows, how many put downs has she had to endure? Countless. I can remember her being ostracized from the family, more than once. It has not been easy, but pursuing a vision never is. She has lived her life with a purpose: to one day see God, and for those she loves, to see God also. Please realize that our todays are the harvest of what someone sowed yesterday. Our todays can determine someone elses tomorrows. Let this inspire you to believe for yours, as she continues to believe for all of hers to be joint heirs in Christ. She has lived her life with an eternal perspective. Her promise is also for her children, her grandchildren and children of the grandchildren. She continues her ministry. I pray that if the enemy has taken anything that God has faithfully promised her, I pray that we “take it back” for her and ourselves. One last thought: her name is Esperanza, meaning hope. Clearly God has called her by name in more ways than one. “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:10-12).
Kairos-Women to Women
©2007 Kairos-Women to Women
WOMEN POSITIONED FOR THE KINGDOM
Women Positioned for the Kingdom
EMAIL: email@example.com WEBSITE: coming soon STATEMENT OF FAITH The purpose of this newsletter is to encourage, and reach out to others and ourselves in our Christian walk, and to be prayer buddies to those in need, but most of all to spread the GOOD NEWS that Jesus LIVES. We believe that there is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Bible is God's word inspired. We believe that if we confess with our mouth and believe in our heart that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and if we receive him as Lord and Saviour of your life he will forgive us. Let’s Pray: Heavenly father, I ask you to come into my life, and forgive me of my sins so that I am born again. I believe you died on the cross and were raised from the dead, and I believe you forgive me of my sins.
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PHOEBE’S HEART 2 Romans 16:1: Paul refers to Phoebe as a minister of the
church in Cenchrea. Translations show her as a servant, helper or deaconess.
If your know anyone who can use any of these items please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the women from HEART-TO HEART-who will put us in contact with you. Information will be kept confidential. We also accept donations of any kind. You can contact us for drop-off information. We presently have: •
Gently used clothing, very good condition (Dressy and Casual) Women sizes available 16, 18 ,large, x-large, 1x & 2x
Small house-ware accessories
BRETHREN’S MARKETPLACE Share your faith with your customers TranscriptionPlus Consultants (626) 284—5469 Back to the Garden of Eden (323) 265—1900
KAIROS HUMOR SPOT
Trading our God-given talents or objects we have been blessed with, but without exchange of any money: • full-size headboard honey colored; no rails Interested ? email us to forward your email
Images from: http://freegraphicsimmanuelministries.net
Would you like to be added to our mailing list, or know anyone who you would like to receive our newsletter? Well
send us an email with their name and their email address to: email@example.com
cartoon is from: www.BuildingChurchLeaders.com
Have any ideas or want to see something featured here, let us know. Send emails to:firstname.lastname@example.org