Issuu on Google+


When I was a little girl, I had the usual things that fortunate little girls had…dolls,books,games,and a home,to list a few. My mother sacrificed by sending my sister and I to Catholic school which was supposed to be better than the public one in my neighborhood. There, I learned that God was love and that He loved the world. I never fully understood that God loved me and I was special. I thought, if He loved the whole world, what really made me special? Much of the time,I felt very alone and sad. None of the things I had mattered or made me happy. Since when did any material thing or level of education make someone feel loved? At home, I knew my parents loved me because I was their daughter and, as far as I knew, it was natural for parents to love their children. But unfortunately, none of the love that I knew existed ever fully convinced me that I was truly loved. I felt empty inside but didn’t understand why. On top of that, there was constant strife in my home due to financial hardships. Every day my mother would yell at my father because he refused to get out of bed and go to work. What appeared to be laziness in him was actually just a mask hiding deep depression. Inevitably the problems continued to get worse until one day we came home from school to an empty house. We called for our father but there was no answer back. Then we found the note. It said,‘Girls goodbye and God bless. Love, Dad.’ Our father was gone. What followed over the years was a series of abuse: in relationships, finances and alcohol, to recall a few. I was a broken…A woman on the outside, but a hurting little girl on the inside. I began to believe the lies of the enemy –there was no hope, no love for me and this was all there was for life. The pain from my past skewed my outlook for the future; I hated myself and I hated my life. Thank God my Savior saw my pain and orchestrated a divine appointment with a woman of God who met me in the midst of my mess. She spoke in such a way that the Lord came to life for the first time; he was real and attainable. No longer was He just a man they wrote about in books or someone I just heard about nor a figment in the sky watching over the earth below. I will never forget the day when He became real to me, that’s when I began to live! Every day I am learning about Him, seeking his face and learning his ways. Although the enemy may still try to bring his lies and tell me I’m no one,I now know to tell him who I am in Christ. It can take some time to renew your mind and discard the wrong things you may have learned. But there is still hope. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Never changing, whatever you need, He will be that very thing:

comfort, healing, love, restoration…He will even be your father or mother. Remember that God has a plan and a purpose for all His creation: to become His children and live a life of victory. So…what’s your story? Everyone has one. If your hopelessness has zapped your strength, there’s only one choice to make. Pick up your (S)WORD and start doing what it says: “…forgetting the things in the past and reaching forward to those things which are ahead….PRESS TOWARD THE GOAL for the PRIZE of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~Phil 3:13 HE LOVES YOU AND HE WANTS YOU TO WIN! By Kristin Johnson WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE SUCH FAITH? All one needs to get close to Christ is FAITH. We cannot have eternal life without God's forgiveness and it is available for anyone who wants it. Ephesians 1:7 says, "In Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace." Romans 10:9 tells us how: "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." By trusting in Christ, repenting and asking him for forgiveness we have God's forgiveness, heaven and eternal life, and Jesus as personal Savior and Lord. You start this wonderful process through a simple prayer showing your desire for Christ to change your life. You do not need any special words, just a willing heart. Please repeat the following prayer: Lord Jesus, I recognize I am a sinner and have not always done what you wanted. I believe You died for my sin, and only through faith in Your death and resurrection can I be forgiven. I repent of my sins and ask You to come into my life as my Lord and Savior. I thank you Lord that from this day forward, I will follow You by living a life that pleases You. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me. Amen. Accepting Christ is just the beginning of a wonderful adventure with God! We pray that you get to know Him better and that your relationship with him grows. We suggest you join a church where you can worship God and grow in your faith. Also begin a daily personal worship experience with God where you study the Bible and pray. We’d love to hear from you - Please feel free to ask us any questions you have about becoming a Christian, or tell us about your decision to follow Jesus Christ. Send your comments to thelightmag@yahoo.com


Page 3

Testimony

Page 4

Character

Breakthru or Break-Up

Praise, Prayers, and Promises

By Celina Martinez Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed...

By Kristin Johnson It’s very easy to become discouraged

Page 5

Health

Page 6

Finances

Issue1 Volume 3 October 2010 CREDITS

Jehovah Rophe

Pennies

By Anonymous Because He Is My Healer

By Anonymous The Poor Widow Woman

COVER STORY

Page 7-8

Publisher HIS Advertising, Inc. Page 9

Marriage

Editor

?

Mirta Lugo Art Director Rachael Lugo

Gossip

May I Wash Your Feet

By Anonymous

By JB & Shugie Collingsworth Are you willing to obey, trust and believe?

Show Me Someone Who Never Gossips Page 10

Youth

Women

Page 11 -12

Contributing writers Kristin Johnson Celina Martinez Anonymous JB & Shugie Collingsworth Pastor R. Martinez Jr Liz Nieves

Surviving Temptation

Mother of Four Living By Grace

By Jasmine Romero

By Blanca Sanchez-Garnelo What is most important in your life?

Live Life To The Fullest Page 12-13

Men

Bible Study

Page 14

GOD, ARE YOU LISTENING Strength In Prayer

God, are you listening?

ByPastor R. Martinez Jr

By Liz Nieves Why is this happening to me, God?

Pray, Pray, Pray...

the Light Magazine, is published by HIS Advertisig, Inc.. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. the Light Magazine has no subscription price.

If you would like to submit an article email the Light Magazine at thelightmag@yahoo.com


3 Testimony

I made a choice more than five years ago to claim my life back from the enemy. He had me broken, deceived and manipulated - I was torn between two masters for many years. “Be self-controlled and alert.Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8” But my time came and I had no other choose but the choose to break free from the life that I had become accustomed to. Growing up I knew that the Lord loved me but I never truly had a relationship with Him. I loved the way I felt when I was in church but I also loved what I felt when I was out doing my own thing. I was loved at home and feared in the streets, the best of both worlds right? WRONG! I was still searching for some kind of acceptance, just something that didn’t have a name, a face or a description. I walked down so many wrong paths, dated the wrong men, I trusted the wrong people, and I was so broken; an emotional wasteland. I came to a crossroad where I had to decide whether I was going to have victory in my life and break through this façade of happiness or was I going to stay defeated.“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24” When I gave my life completely to the Lord I was under the impression that all was going to be perfect. All the years of hurt, rejection, and of utter disrespect for myself would be resolved over night. I figured if I served Him then what could possibly go wrong, all that would be fixed? What I didn’t understand was that the enemy was angry with me. He didn’t want me to be happy nor did he want me to serve the one True God. We don’t like to say that we’ve sold our soul to the devil but I realized in some ways I did. Many of the decisions we make in life determine the master that we are going to serve. When I joined a gang it

was more than just membership. In our meetings we had prayers, we baptized our children into the gang, we wore sacred beads, we bowed to our leaders, and we put the gang first. "Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. 2 Kings 17:35” At that moment of agreement I sold my soul. I justified every one of my actions and pretended that it was okay. I was broken and I lost myself completely to the addiction of power. I contemplated giving my life back to Christ for a longtime but I was afraid to face all I had done wrong. But my appointed time came in 2005 while my aunt’s church was fasting for their loved ones to give their lives to Christ. Little did I know that my breakthrough was going to come because of people were praying for me. “A Time for Everything, there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3” I learned the power of prayer, unity and what it meant to be in the Spirit in one accord.Two weeks later my husband and I gave our lives to the Lord.When I had surrendered my life to the Lord before it was always for the wrong reasons but this time I literally felt my breakthrough, a freedom and I was home. God gave me the choice to break up with the world and have breakthrough through in HIM. I’m grateful His mercy permitted me to have another chance. I am no longer broken – I have broken free. “Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)”I still don’t know what to expect from the Lord but what I do know is that is the same yesterday, today and forever.

THELIGHTMAG@YAHOO.COM

By Celina Martinez


Character 4

Praise, Prayers and Promises We’ve heard time and time again that we're living in perilous times. If we look around, it’s obvious to see that this is a true statement: a family is separated by a father’s deployment to serve his country; a son is flown home to his mother, but this time in a flag-draped casket; a raging battle to win a boy's affection causes a young girl to lose her life; a college student, humiliated by the exposure of his homosexuality, leaps off a bridge to his death. It seems like the violence is getting worse and the enemy’s winning. Of course, we know that God and His people will win in the end. But if we dwell on all the negativity around us, we could easily become discouraged. So maybe in your corner of the world, things aren't as devastating. But take a closer look at what’s going on in your neighborhood. How about your family? As Christians,we have the amazing privilege to make a difference in someone’s life because we are an extension of Him in this world.In God’s word he says “The body is a unit,though it is made up of many parts;and though all its parts are many,they form one body. So it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV)” But how can we be his hands, feet or a unified body when we are paralyzed because of the problems in our own lives? “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Luke 12:25 (NIV)”When we can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel, how can we stay strong and shine for Christ? Let’s take a look at just a few things that can help bring breakthrough: 1) our praise, 2) our prayers and 3) our promises. Our praise is an instrumental part of our walk with Christ because it causes demons to start running in all directions.“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)”. Making a decision to submit ourselves in praise and worship, in spite of our pain, we humble ourselves to make a substantial statement to the Lord, the enemy and ourselves that Jehovah Nissi, The Lord is my banner, will work on our behalf. Being bogged down by worries and the cares of this life will give the enemy permission to hang around. Praising God will cause the enemy to tremble and flee in the Mighty name of Jesus. So if we crowd out our fears and worries with praises to Jesus, it will make room for Him to save us.“Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. Psalm 91: 3-8 (NIV)” When we praise God from your hearts, we stir up the heavens, break down strongholds and unleash the mighty hand of God to move on our behalf. This will deactivate enemy’s power in our lives and reactivate the fire of Jesus Christ. Our prayers are where we dwell in him and make our heartfelt requests and desires known to our King of Kings. “If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. "Because he loves me," says the LORD,"I will rescue him; I will protect him,for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble,I will deliver him and honor him.With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation. Psalm 91: 9-16 (NIV)". If we prayerfully stay connected to God there isn’t anything he won’t do for us according to his will. He knows what’s best for us and will give us strength to stay near him. When we seek God’s face in prayer we come to know who he was,is and will be in our lives. He is El Shaddai,(God almighty), Ancient of Days, (who rules justice in favor of the saints), Immanuel, (God with us), Jehovah-Jireh (the Lord provides), Jehovah-Rophe, (the Lord heals),Jehovah-Shalom,(the Lord our peace),Prince of Peace and Savior. These are love names that are found in the dwelling place of the Most High. We can pray according to His names for revelation of who He is - and wants to be in our lives. God’s promises are not the same as the promises that man or this world can offer.“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? Numbers 23:19 (NIV)”.What God says, He will do; we just have to have faith and confidence in him and not what we see.“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)” He’s a mighty and all-powerful God who’s on our team. Like any good coach, our heavenly Father wants us to win. He’s running alongside us, all the way to the finish line. In God’s Kingdom, the only ones that lose are the ones that quit. Thank God we don’t have to be in first place to win. If you fall down, get back up and stay in the race; it’s not about how many times you fall but what you did afterwards. I know first-hand what it is to fall out of the race. At first, it felt like a relief. But...after a while, it started to really bother me. I knew I had to take a good, hard look at where I was and what I wanted to do about it because no one was going to do it for me. I went back to the basics and reevaluated what was most important. In doing this, I realized I had too much on my plate. As a single mom, working full time plus serving God, I didn’t give my time with God first and lost sight my purpose. I had to refocus and get my priorities in order. My love for praising God and my longing to see His promises manifested in my life gave me the strength to get back in the race. I think my endurance has improved and now I am a better mother, employee and servant of God. So....if you’re feeling like you’re running on fumes don’t let it out weigh the God you serve! Refocus and reclaim His promises! You can do it because God has put His spirit in YOU! Go for your prize! “…one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13-14 (NKJ)”.

THELIGHTMAG@YAHOO.COM

By Kristin Johnson


5 Health Then one night at my church I attended a healing service and my healing came. As I stood up to get in line I knew that the time had come for the healing to be manifested in my body. I had sat at the Master’s feet and EXODUS 15:26 had allowed Him to minister to my spirit, soul, and body. So when I stood in front of my pastor I stood in faith and trusted in my Lord. The pastor asked me what I needed healing for and I stood in faith and said my face. He proceeded to anoint me with oil and he prayed for me. When I walked away I walked away in faith and peace that it was done. As the days past my face started to clear up and then one day someone noticed that my face was clear. I can’t say what the date was when it totally manifested itself but I do know that it happened. I was in amazement and then more people started noticing that my face was clear and they began to ask and I started to tell them what happened. Today I still enjoy complete healing and I thank the Lord for it. There are many of you out there that are standing in faith for healing and have been speaking Isaiah 53:5 “…and by His stripes we are healed” over yourself along with many other scriptures and sometimes feel that the Lord is not hearing or caring about the disease, sickness, infirmity that is attacking your body. You wonder why did she/he get their healing and I haven’t? Why is it that some receive it in an instant and for others it is a process and for others the healing never comes? For these questions I don’t have an answer for you because I have asked them myself and received no answer. All I know is that healing came for me after I allowed the Lord to help me see the root of the problem and draw closer to Him. It may be that the Lord wants you to draw closer to Him, trust in Him and not lean on your own understanding. What ever the reason is all I know that the answer lies in Him and I exhort you not to cast away your confidence which has great rewards in Him. In Hebrews 11:6 the Lord says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is (Jehovah Rophe), and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently see Him”. In my 13 year christian walk I have seen people healed instantly, eventually or not at all. Whatever the case has been I have come to realize that God is God and that He loves me. Yes He healed me in this area but I continue to wait on Him to heal me from Hypothyroidism and my left knee. As I continue to wait for my healing to be manifested in these areas, I am enjoying my time in His presence and I am getting to know Him more. I exhort you not to give up on God and believe that all things work out together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Even though healing may not come it does not beat the fact that I have come to know Jehovah Rophe and have found peace in Him. By Anonymous Writer

JEHOVAH ROPHE

I had been diagnosed with Rosacea and was having a severe outbreak for months. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition involving inflammation of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids. It may appear as redness, prominent spider-like blood vessels, swelling, or skin eruptions similar to acne. I took antibiotics for several months, changed my facial wash and tried different home remedies and nothing happened. I had gotten to the point where I was disgusted of looking at my face that I would not even stand in front of a mirror for too long. At times I would not even look at people straight in their eyes because I was ashamed of what I looked like. I had gone before the Lord many times for healing stood in faith and took the medicine waiting for my healing to manifest itself, but with no relief. I continued to speak the verse in Isaiah 53:5 “…and by His stripes we are healed” over myself but it had become a saying without faith. So one day I went before the Lord and cried out because I was tired of how I looked and how I was feeling. I stopped taking the medicine the doctor gave me and started to seek the Lord fervently as to why I had this disease, what was the root cause. The Lord brought to my remembrance a teaching I had learned early in my Christian walk that for every stripe Jesus received on His back it represented the root to every illness that exists today. If you were to research it you would find that the root to your illness stems from one of those roots and Jesus received a lash so that you would receive your healing. So I started to seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him what was the root cause of the Rosacea. It was a long process but as I waited on the Lord He showed me that Rosacea was due to anxiety and stress in my life. It was due to lack of faith, lack of peace, a lack of trust and relying in Him to do exceedingly and abundantly. At the time I had been recently married and was going through many trials and tribulations in my marriage. So when the revelation came I allowed the Lord to start healing me from the inside out. I began to trust God with my marriage, husband, and body and keep my eyes on Him.

THELIGHTMAG@YAHOO.COM


Finances 6

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on. Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)” According to god’s word we are instructed to give a tithe, which is 10% of our earnings; it belongs to God, no if ands or buts about it. But now the offering is where we give out of our own free will. Some out of there abundance others offer in faith for their abundance.We shouldn’t sow expecting to receive in a certain way or at all. But I will tell you I have sown many of times with a negative bank account, on the verge of being evicted, and with no food in my refrigerator and each time the Lord provided; and not always monetarily. See I offered because I had faith in God’s provision and not the provision of my own hand. Just as the poor widow did. In the days of that widow the Jewish people were instructed to give to the temple and the poor as part of their service to God (as we are as well). But on this particular day there was a miracle in the works, on the edge of pouring out and Jesus was there to make it happen. “Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, " see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10” The poor widow did not give to be seen or to be heard but to be saved. To be saved from a night with out a meal, to be saved from a morning without love and hope, and/or to be saved from a day without life. I have come to realize I give because I am grateful but also because I need to be saved everyday, OUR Savior saves us everyday even when we don’t realize it. We don’t give to buy a blessing but because we are grateful for who He has been, who He is and who He will continue to be in our lives - OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. The woman put two of the smallest coins there were in the offering box and as the disciples watched they weren't very impressed, but Jesus said this woman has given more than any other today. And the disciples asked “how could that be?”Jesus said it was because it was all she had. See we as the body, sometimes watch as people give, listening to see if it is change or if they don’t give at all, when we think they should be giving. To tithe and offer is a personal decision that no one can make for us but us.We can bombard people with scripture and testimony about the miraculous provision the Lord has made but that

doesn’t mean the person will change there disposition about tithing and offering. Many people get distracted by the details of offering; where is the money going, this is my money I worked for it, why should I do it, I tithed already or Ill just give when I have more. I have found that offering is a special moment between God and me.“When I say Lord you are not only my provider but my provision, in you is all I need because I only see today’s needs and not the futures. I give to you all that I am and all that I have.” See ONE of the big details I have found is we get caught up in giving money, money, money and more money. That we forget that we also offer with the giving of our gifts and talents (not to excuse the offering of the monetary because that’s what pays the bills and keeps the church functioning; electric, water, maintenance, events etc) to grow the kingdom. I have been blessed with the ability to be creative and be hospitable, so I give in those ways as much as the Lord allows me to.There shouldn’t be any excuse as to why we are not sowing into the ministries, that sow into us everyday. God has created us to be blessed to be a blessing. So lets stop looking around for others to pick up the tab and begin to take care of it ourselves. If we ask the Lord how to be a blessing in the area of offering I am ositive the Lord will instruct exactly how to. We must trust God the same way the poor widow woman did. Matthew 6:33 says: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (food, clothes, etc) will be added unto you." But it does take humilty to go before God, being hones with ourselves and obediet to his direction in order for HIM to order our finances. Ask yourself: What is holding my blessings? Have I cursed my finances? God have I stolen from you? Or have I simply lacked faith? I encourage you today to repent of any shortcomings in this area and seek first his kingdom with your finances and he will provide.

POINTS OF THOUGHT: 1. Was the widow given a different command than the rich? 2. Is Jesus impressed by large amounts of money? 3. Does Jesus know the hearts of those that give? 4. Sometimes we don't know how much of a sacrifice another is making. 5. Jesus rewards those that obey Him.

THELIGHTMAG@YAHOO.COM

By Anonymous


7 Gossip -COVER STORY


It was Barbara Walters who once said, “Show me someone who never gossips, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t interested in people.” So I ask you, are you more interested in people because you want to help or because you want to be in the “know”? We meet interesting people everyday in our walk with Christ. In my own walk with Christ I have been privileged in meeting and befriending amazing men and women of God whom have confided in me. But them having confided in me doesn’t give me the right to lack integrity and spill there personal business to the world. That to me is gossip, which the Bible in no fashion condones and is a direct lack of integrity no matter who we are and what position we hold. People as a whole seem to love gossip and it seems be a problem rooted back since the beginning of creation. But before we go any further I would like to clarify something first. It’s a misconception that “holly rollers” and “women” are the biggest gossips, people in general are; whether you’re a man, a woman, child, teenager, church member/leader or a professional. But why? What is it about gossip that people love so much? What about it excites them? Why do we buy so many celebrity magazines or call people not to honestly counsel/pray for them but because we want to know there intimate details or because they know the latest gossip? I dare to say that most of the people we gossip about we can relate to. At one time or another in our lives we have been in a similar situation or had someone close in that same/similar situation. So what gives people the right to spread information that doesn’t belong to them? Do we believe ourselves to be that perfect, holy, or self-righteous that we can judge and rejoice in someone else’s trouble or shortcomings? I don’t believe so, we are mere humans who fall short of the glory everyday and in the word of God it clearly says to not do so. “You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble Obadiah 1:12 (NIV).” I have noticed that a lot of friendships, relationships and families are built on gossip. Is that how we maintain or gain trust, admiration, and love with each other? We shouldn’t carry the misconceptions and ways of the world but we should “be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)” When we don’t allow ourselves to be overtaken by idle time, the listening and reading of information that brings no edification to the body and replace it with seeking a pure intimacy with the Lord then we can be tested and approved. If we spend more time in our prayer closets, seeking his face, his ways, and all his righteousness; we learn about all the things that bring pleasure to the spirit and not the flesh. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to

please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 (NIV)” There are many instances in the Bible where the fruitlessness of gossip is addressed. Which for us as the body of Christ should out weight any logic or excuse the world gives us to feed this wild fire that hurts millions of people everyday. - Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:16 (NIV) - If you keep on biting and devouring each other,watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Galatians 5:15 (NIV) - The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. Proverbs 10:8 (NIV) - He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.Proverbs 17:9 (NIV) - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) For a variety of reasons, it seems the love for gossip in people naturally flows, like a stream of water - gentle and cool. But the only natural river that we should thirst for and flow from is the River of Life - Jesus Christ. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. John 7:37-39 (NIV)” There will be those who choose to fill their mouths with words of encouragement and edification and others will choose to speak words that hurt, wound, discourage, and cause death. We have to come to a point that when we think there isn’t enough to do or be said about/in the kingdom of God we need to seek more and not revert to idle talk. The world seems to think sharing confidential information with another lets that person know you believe them worthy of keeping a secret, but “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26 (NIV)” Let us be people of Godly trust, confidence and integrity loving and admonishing each other as God has called us to. Let us follow His example of what a true friend, counselor and confidant is like; blameless, not self-seeking and the greatest confidant of all.“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2Timothy 4:3” Gossip has always been about people,about community,politics or the latest and greatest mistake someone has made but lets take a stand and take back the power of the tongue and use it for LIFE and not DEATH, for EDIFICATION and not DEFECATION of one another. By Anonymous


9 Marriage who are struggling. The reasons are varied and the pain is intense in most cases. Satan is obviously staging an all out attack, finding areas of weakness, providing plenty of temptations, and deceiving even strong believers that “just a little of this or that is not too bad.” Divorce is rampant and an even sadder reality is that divorce does not solve the problems or make them go away. In most cases it just increases the tensions and difficulties. So we have many hurting people all around us, some whose wounds we can see and others who keep them hidden. In Ephesians 6: 10-17 we are clearly told to put on God’s armor in order to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Read that whole passage and apply its truth in your life and for the sake of your marriage and your family. GOD’S POWER IS GREATER The other powerful thing I see in the story is the power of God and His promises. How many times have you heard someone say or even said yourself, “Nothing can help; he/she will never change; I can’t help how I feel; I am too hurt; things can never be good again?” So, is God’s arm too short to reach your pain? Is His power not capable of bringing good from bad? Is someone you know too far gone? Let me remind you that you are not responsible for someone else’s choices, and their decisions may bring sadness to your life. But you are always responsible for your choices and you can choose to believe God and His word. He is sovereign and faithful and trustworthy. When you choose to believe Him and

I heard a true story recently and the power in it keeps coming to my mind. A man in ministry got very busy with his work, and over time he lost desire and interest in his wife. He knew this was not right, but he did not know what to do, so he just kept busy in his ministry work and time passed. Things did not get better so he began to earnestly pray for God to intervene and show him what to do. Much to his amazement God began to prompt him to wash his wife’s feet. I’m sure he thought that must be a mistake or at least a misinterpretation of God’s directive, but the Lord continued to impress him to wash his wife’s feet. I don’t know the details of how he finally got the courage or how he asked his wife for this privilege. All I know is that he did wash his wife’s feet and subsequent to that demonstration of servitude and honor, God began to move in his heart and turn his feelings back where they belonged. IMPROVING YOUR SERVE: THE ART OF UNSELFISH LIVING

to obey His instructions and His prompting in your heart, you will experience His power unleashed. God’s agenda may not be the same as yours, but trust Him. Don’t discount the supernatural power of almighty God. FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS As the pastor in the story experienced renewed love and desire for his wife after he obeyed God, be willing to ask Him what He wants you to do and then do it, regardless of your feelings or your agenda. Maybe he wants you to wash someone’s feet. Are you willing to obey and trust and believe? ByJB & Shugie Collingsworth JB & Shugie Collingsworth lead marriage seminars and retreats that impact couples around the world. They are based out of Dallas/FtWorth, TX.

SATAN IS OUT TO DESTROY Two things strike me about this story. One is the reality of Satan’s desire to tear down marriages. Every week I talk with individuals THELIGHTMAG@YAHOO.COM


Youth 10

How many times have we heard that “Life is too short, so live it to the fullest” by today’s generation? Probably too many to count, and indeed that is the fruit that is being bore by the decisions being made from this type of mentality. People live their lives in any style they reason suitable and could care less about what others say or think of it. Nobody really initiates moral standards or upholds ethical boundaries. A classic weekend in this age loyally consists of parties, sex, drinking, smoking and hanging out. Beyond a shadow of doubt we are the generation that lives life to the fullest with no cares or worries about consequences or ultimately the seat of judgment that we will all face one day.“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2Corinthians 5:10” But what are the obstacles for those who choose to live in their own way? What struggles are posed for Christians? My name is Jasmine Romero, I’m 23 years old, I am Christian and this is my story... I first gave my life to Christ at 9 years old and even though I was practically raised in the religion, I did experience a moment of weakness and I abandoned God. Without thinking, I had removed a huge and significant piece of myself when I left God, and I in no way did I look back…until now. Growing up in my previous church, there were several things I was not allowed to do. I was prohibited from wearing pants, doing my eye brows, going to the beach or to the movies and cutting my hair short was also a subject of chastisement. Eventually, I grew tired …of church…of everything. So I decided that I was going to leave church and live however I wanted…no rules, no restrictions! I truly did not realize how wrong I was about my intentions for living were. Living life however I pleased lead me to become a potential drug addict. I thank God for saving me right on time, because He made me see where my life was going before I became a bona fide pothead. It is because of what God allowed me to realize about my life that today I stand as a firm believer of the effectiveness of rules and God’s spiritual guidance. Please make no mistake serving the Lord isn’t always easy, because being a true servant of God requires a lot of sacrifices and selfdenial; IT’S A LIFESTYLE not a coat you take off after Sunday service.

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38” The cross in this verse, to me, represents our lives and spiritual responsibilities. God requires us to pick up OUR cross and follow Him daily. To me, this isn’t always an easy task to accomplish, because I know that Jasmine Romero cannot always operate the way Jasmine Romero would like to. God has called me to be the salt of the earth and to be the light in the mist of darkness, so instead of repaying evil with evil I must repay evil with good. "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. Matthew 5:13” If a person offends me I have to choose to not be offended and continue to love them. I will admit, what God requires of us can sometimes seem easier said than done, but what I have come to realize is that (after leaving God and finally coming back wholeheartedly), God knows what’s best for me, and if He is telling me to be or act a certain way…it’s because He knows my beginning and He knows my end. We shouldn’t live our lives making temporary decisions and not thinking they will not have long-term effects. When I ALLOWED God to be my all, I found myself wanting nothing BUT HIM. Truly, all I ever needed was in Jesus, and although it took me forsaking Him to realize that. I thank God so much for not being like man, because He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). I can now understand why, and I am glad that God calls us to be more like Him. We undeniably need His character to overcome temptation. But, how can one attain God’s character? That answer is easy, by having a relationship and intimacy with Christ Jesus. The product of an intimate relationship with Him produces knowledge, wisdom, faith, power and strength to withstand all the evils of this world. How can someone overcome temptation? I am overcame by keeping my eyes on Christ for He alone is my strength. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1” How shall you overcome or will you… By Jasmine Romero

THELIGHTMAG@YAHOO.COM


Women 12 By this season of my life I have been through so many trials and tribulations that I cant even keep count but through it all I have learned most importantly the importance of having a family with good values and morals. God says in his word he delights himself in a unified family but in todays society it seems to have been lost. The world has strayed from these values and put their own twist on them. As I grew up I was privileged enough to be raised in church and learn the ways of the lord. But at the age of eighteen, I deserted my relationship with God for a boyfriend I had. I believed he was Christian but after I moved in with him I realized he was just a Christian with a name tag. Shortly thereafter we began clubbing, going to bars and worst of all he did not want to get married; and that was something that I wanted. I would encourage him to go to church but he did not want too and I couldn't deal with the double life he wanted. The word says “Come near to God and he will come near to you.Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:7-9 (NIV)” So I stopped asking him to go. Within less that a year we were smoking marijuana, drinking and we got pregnant of my oldest son Yahzeel. So I started constantly thinking about raising my child the right way but how could we if we weren’t even living right before the eyes of God.“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)” I would constantly tell Esau my husband, let's stop living this way I want to teach our children the right way but he would not listen. During this period of my life I battled with deep depression, attempts of suicide and giving birth to two more children.It got to a point where I was tired of the life we were living, and I didn’t want it anymore.Esau, the father of my children, and I began to argue regularly and I told him to leave. I wanted him to leave because I wanted a good life, I wanted to go to church and to teach my children the right way. He became angry and left. All I could do was cry and all my feelings, and all the pain and emotions rose up and I couldn’t handle it any more. I didn’t want to feel all these things so I resorted to getting the drugs we had and began to overdose. I felt death knocking on my life and I felt my spirit wanting to leave my body. Just then I began to call out to God and told him If you are real like I was taught, give me my life back and if you do it, I will give you my life and it will be yours, I will do your will, and I will give you my children, and all that I have. After I called out to God I don’t know what happened but one thing I am sure of is HE gave me my life back! Praise God! He came into my life like a strong wind like a hurricane and the feeling was WONDERFUL! After about a year and half the Lord truly began blessing and speaking to me in such a sweet way. He called me to sing, my beautiful daughter was born and she was an answered prayer. The Lord told me always call on me and

I will show you Great and Mighty things, so just do my will and leave you children in my hands. I started teaching my children as he was teaching me, because you can not teach your children or anyone something you do not live or something you were never taught. As I became obedient to his calling of worship he told me you will see the fruit of your obedience in your children, as they grow up, I have seen it! I have taught them the word of God, I have taught them to fear him, and to never play christian or church.They are not perfect but they are children full of grace, love, character, morals and values. Despite there father Esau deciding to walk away, God is doing amazing things in their lives. The Lord is using them amazingly in worship and it shows through in their love for music. God is using them in worship, as a Musical group and is taking them and me to minister in his goodness. We as parents must be a role model for our family. All though there father is not with us my assurance is in the fact that God knows what he does and that he is a father to the fatherless and watches over them (Psalm 68:5). I have been wife, mother, friend, and even a father for them. I have done my best to have a lifestyle of integrity for the GLORY of GOD first, and then for them! With great conviction and boldness I ask you: Do you want to compromise the minds of your children? There are so many ways one can compromise the minds of these amazing blessings. To name a few: rearing them in a legalistic religion, where performance is more important than reality, faking your faith or spirituality, not concerning yourself with their growth/well being or not giving them the chance to be innocent and pure before the eyes of God. Train your children to seek God, to pray, to fast and Love God with all their heart and being. Hypocrisy doesn’t get anyone very far with children. They are innocent, true and hold us accountable to our words and actions. Just as God does, he doesn’t embrace us behaving one way and verbally living another way. We can not even imagine the emotional and spiritual damage we do with our spiritual inconsistencies because a mothers heart is the child's classroom. There should be no greater honor than to be a parent that is used as an instrument in God's hands. Leading your children out of the kingdom of Satan into the glorious light of Heaven for they are conceived in sin and we have a great responsibility to show them the way. If we do they will accomplish so much more. Through my life I have realized the importance over breaking generational curses in blood lines. But we have to choose and to teach obedience, good values, morals and best of all integrity. So that the falsities of the enemy will stop with them. The word of God is a lamp on to our feet and a light into our path. Only when we obey him can we accomplish it, God is a God of order, so if you obey him your children will obey you and him. By Blanca Sanchez

THELIGHTMAG@YAHOO.COM


13 Men The church is looking for better methods whereas God is looking for better men. The strength of a man can only come through intimacy with God (PRAYER). When God created man He created him in his image and likeness; strong, powerful and creative. "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. Genesis 1:26”God did not create weak men nor was it his intention for man to become weak.But through the ages we have seen how man, who was made to have power and subdue, has became weak. The reason for this weakness is because of lack of intimacy (PRAYER) with the creator. The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, rituals or come upon machinery but through men. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35 ” A very imporant part of that shadow that will launch your prayer time into another level and is accountability.The Lord desires to be every man’s accountability partner to lead and help us be what He has created us to be in this world, in this season. Accountability is the conduit for the strengthening of man and empowerment that is needed in order to be successful as the man, God has created us to be. Accountability consists of a relationship, which leads to ¬intimacy, which then gives way to strength and power. If a man is spiritually weak, then his life becomes very shaky. God says in His word;“His power is perfected in our weakness.”Even when we are weak, we really are strong! His power can only be perfected in us,if there is intimacy.God cannot and will not empower or strengthen someone He does not have relations with.The man - God’s man - is strengthened in the closet (PRAYER). His life and his profoundest convictions were born in his secret prayer time with God.After all in the Garden of Gesemity was where he went to pray for the sacrifice he was about to make for all of humanity and man in his weakness fell asleep not once but three times. So men let’s not fall asleep or remain asleep but let’s PRAY,PRAY,PRAY… Every man who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world. There was a time in my life where prayer was not very important to me and I minimized it down to where I literally had no prayer life. It was during that season, where the enemy and his whole entourage had risen up against my house and me. Guess


what, I did not know what to do and had no direction. Not because God was not there but because He did not know me, NO relationship through prayer! Without prayer, my life which was supposed to be successful and of edification was turning out to be pure destruction. My marriage was going down the drain extremely fast; people and situations were easily manipulating me. “In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. Mark 3:27 (NIV)” After quite sometime I got tired of the enemy having a field day with my family and me. So I began to get into God’s face by way of His word (the Bible) and God began to deal with me. "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Luke 11:9” He let me know that I was losing the fight because I was weak and I was weak because there was no intimacy with him. The Lord began to show me that prayer is the strongest weapon we have as believers in Christ Jesus. I am so pleased to say, that through the revelation of prayer and the Lord’s word, I was able,with God’s help,to get strengthened and remove the dark cloud that was over my home. I began to declare prosperity; physically, mentally, financially and spiritually over my home; up to this day the Lord has brought me through! “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31” HALLELUJAH!!! I am blessed with a wonderful and beautiful family, my wife and two children. The Lord never sells us short and nor leaves us without anything to do in his kingdom if we are seeking him. So I am blessed to report the Lord has blessed us to be pastors over a wonderful and beautiful church called Rock of Refuge, which is located in the Ozone Park area of Queens, N.Y. I am totally blessed, and it all came through my intimacy with God. Now more than ever I pray, because I need the Lord to strengthen me for the tasks He has set before me. God Bless you and I pray that right now you are being strengthened and encouraged by God, so that you make it and be the man God created you to be. Men it’s time to rise and take your rightful place in God, but remember it starts and finishes with prayer!

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! By Pastor R. Martinez Jr.


Why is this happening to me, God? This is not what I asked for. I’ve been praying and praying…are you not listening? Does this “prayer” or should I say complaint, sound familiar? All too often our prayers go unanswered and we feel God is not listening,and we murmur against Him and His faithfulness. But in reality, we should be looking to ourselves and how we might be hindering our prayers from being answered. Don’t stop reading now! This is for you. First and foremost, if you consider yourself a follower of Christ, prayer is not an option, it is a way of life. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6 , he said:“when you pray” NOT if. So what can hinder our prayers? 1. LACK OF FAITH: James 1:6-8 lets us know that if we are doubtful, we will not receive what we ask for. If we are unsure of what we want, if we are unsure of God’s power, how can we expect to receive anything? In Mark 6:4-6 we see Jesus telling His disciples that the lack of miracles was due to unbelief. 2. UNFORGIVENESS: Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him”… This verse couldn’t be any clearer. Anytime we go before God, it has to be with a heart clear of any unforgiveness. The Lord’s Prayer reminds us as well to “forgive our debtors”. 3. ASKING INCORRECTLY: James 4:2-3 ….”Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” 1 John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us...” As parents, do we give our children everything they ask for? Definitely not. Why? If we do, we enable their selfishness. How often do we hear our children ask for something that doesn’t have to do with them? Their requests tend to be self-centered. The same happens with us. We need to align our requests with God’s Word and His will for our lives. When will God give us the desires of our hearts? When our hearts are aligned with His. 4. LACK OF PERSERVERANCE: Luke 18:1 “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart…” We give up on God too easily. If he

?

receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Proverbs

28:9 says if we don’t listen to Him, our prayers are an abomination to Him. The Message Bible puts it like this:“He has no use for our prayers!” OUCH! I don’t know about you, but I need God to listen to my prayers. So let’s be doers of His Word.

6. DYSFUNCTIONAL HOME LIFE: This scripture lets husbands know if you don’t honor your wife, love her as Christ loves the church, your prayers will be hindered. But wives and children, our prayers can be hindered as well. Remember the verse in Proverbs that told us if we don’t listen to God’s word our prayers will be hindered? Well, if wives don’t submit and respect their husbands as the Word demands, guess what? Your prayer is an abomination. Children, if you don’t honor your parents, guess what? That’s right, your prayer, too, is an abomination. Parents, you’re not off the hook. The Word exhorts us how to train our children,how to raise them and love them. We don’t do as the Word says, that’s right, our prayers are an abomination. 7. BY THE DEVIL: It should be no surprise to learn that the devil wants to hinder your prayers. In Daniel chapter 10, we see the struggle that a messenger of God has in bringing an answer to Daniel. But the messenger prevailed. Why? Daniel had been praying AND fasting. In Matthew 17:21 Jesus instructs his disciples that deliverance would come through prayer AND fasting. Some of the petitions we have will not be answered until we get into a time of prayer and fasting. So, is God listening? Yes, He is. Will He answer? Yes, He will, as soon as we remove whatever hindrance

GOD, ARE YOU LISTENING doesn’t answer immediately, we get discouraged. Remember God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If we seek, we WILL find. If we ask, we WILL receive. If we knock, the door WILL be opened. Luke 11:5-10 5. SIN/DISOBEDIENCE: The Word of God exhorts us that our iniquities separate us from God and He can’t hear us. (Isaiah 59:1-2, Psalm 66:18-20, Psalms 17:1) God takes great pleasure in blessing His children, but we have to do what is pleasing in His sight. 1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask we

might be in the way. Above all, let’s pray His will be done in our lives today and always. Note: This message can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=rfnN-K1AFRE

By Liz Nieves


The Light Magazine Issue 3