Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Goodness

I am not infatuated with the past. I'm not eager to learn about the failures of our society.  World news doesn't hold my interest.  Much like my youngest daughter's indifference to time,  my attitude towards politics and government is laissez faire.  However, if I am, as CNN host, Anderson Cooper, proclaims, "Keeping *ME* honest, " I find myself more and more concerned with the future of our world and how TODAY impacts it.

Last evening, we watched the "X-Men: Days of the Future Past" and the 80s classic, "Fatal Attraction." The themes of these movies seemed to resonate with this idea I've been having that we as a society have a God complex.  We want to be all knowing,  all powerful and all helpful to the ills of humanity.  We want an utopian world amidst poverty, racial and religious tensions, pandemic sickness and so on. We want to fix things and people and places. We want a guarantee on life, that outside of God's grace is promised to no one. We at times imagine ourselves as kinder, gentler, more merciful and loving than God. Certainly, more wise and capable than He, at solving the complex matters of our own hearts and minds. But, in reality, all we want is control.

The X-Men film forecast this idea of exceptional people being categorized as a threat because they could not be controlled.  And so, humans without the exceptional behavior or difference feared what they could not control. Fatal Attraction, a cult classic,  drew men and women into the bedroom with Dan (Micheal Douglas) and Alex (Glenn Close). Admist the passion of their adultery, pot flinging and rising steam, there was a theme that the director consistently marked out for us that screamed, "Pay Attention! You can't take fire into your bosom and not get burned.  Respect the fire because you can't control it."

This idea that we can control anything is a fable.  Preparedness doesn't keep disaster away. Education doesn't prevent cancer. Knowledge doesn't control evil. You cannot legislate morality. So what do we do? How do we change our behavior? How do we change the course of our society's inevitable doom?

There's a saying, "Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud." For much of our society, our fears are like ornaments. We wear them with such pride. We adorn ourselves with fears we've adopted from our forefathers and ancestors. We parade them as marks of success, calling them high standards, preparedness and writs of passage.  I studied here.  I made my mark there. I prepared myself.  I can thus control yours and my own destinies. But the fear, is I am not prepared. I do not know anything.  I have no future. I will die and know nothing of all I accomplished in this place. I will leave this earth and nothing I have done in the here and now will have mattered. The fear of death and its irrevocable nothingness. That's the fear that must be addressed because without it we continue to mask away the truth. Death is inevitable. We are young and then we are old. Our attempts at prolonging life; or at least the appearance of prolonged life is evidenced in the increasingly successful cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets. Botox anyone? Viagra sir? Ah, the ever illusive fountain of youth.

Are we more kind than God? "Yes, He may want to destroy us all but we want to live," is how must people imagine Him. Truth is, we are not more kind than He. He cannot be outdone.  His mercies are NEW every morning,  while we hold on to past ( and imagined) offenses for years! We cannot help anyone without the help of Him. We cannot do greater deeds than He has done for us. We cannot see if He does not give us sight beyond where we are. Godly preparedness,  doesn't prepare for disaster. It readies itself for victory.  It sees the storm coming and sees it's end. It is unafraid.  It is  as Isaiah 30:15 declares, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, and in quietness and trust is your strength."

My goodness pales, like white doggie poo, in comparison to God's goodness.  He doesn't seek to control me, though He could. But He gives me the freedom and the liberty to walk on my own, to feel,  taste, touch and smell the world around me; and His only requirement is that I allow Him to be God to me. If I don't it doesn't change His God status or nature, He is still God. But if I accept, it changes my everything. My whole world becomes an endless chain of events that leads to eternal life. Wow.  Big wow!

I am fearless about my future not because I'm blind to it, on the contrary I see through it. This morning as I prayed, I was able to reflect on where I had been.  How deep my sorrow was and how great a divide my past is from my present.  I praised God for His mercy, Unfailing Love and grace towards me. And I thanked Him for my future. By God's grace, I am not bound by fear. I see beyond. My concern lies with those who are so full of fears that they cannot see past today. Worry grabs hold of them in the night, strangling them until the sun rises again. My commitment to God today, is to tell you how deeply loved you are. It doesnt matter what you did or who you are. You are loved with a perfect and unconditional love. You can live an abundantly full life that last eternally through the person of Jesus Christ. your relationship with the living God isn't about Him controlling you but you having control over YOU. We project so much of our desire to control on external matters but rarely have control over our own internal workings.  Few of us, have mastered control of our thoughts, actions and speech. As the Apostle Paul would agree, What we will to do we do not do; and what we will not to do, is what we do with regularity. It is God's desire to empower us by His grace to do those things that we desire to do that please Him, not because it will make Him love us more but because OUR lives will be all the better for it. I believe God wants us to have a little heaven on earth and to share that piece (and peace) of heaven that we enjoy everywhere that we go. My goodness isn't to point people to me. That's control.  My goodness is to point people to heaven. That's liberty! I pray your strength and divine healing.  Be at peace, knowing that God is good.  And He is a faithful rewarder of ALL who put their trust in Him. Amen. Fearless Nation!  Let's go!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Life on Purpose

On this 36th anniversary of my birth, I find myself reflective not of my life but of the life of Christ in me. At the start of this year I was very conscience of God's grace and of the intentional love that He manifest in the life of His Son, Jesus Christ; and how greatly this love has changed my life. Not many years ago, I was deeply convinced that I would never see the age of 40, never marry and never have children.  But God, in His Intentional Love, saw through me. He guided me to Himself and gave me LIFE on purpose.  I am encouraged today not because I am celebrated but because I have Life. I have life in me and all around me. I am grateful to my husband and our four children. Their lives give me strength.  Each one of them reflects a facet of God that I only see when I look at them. I am grateful for the purpose that God has given me.  I am, both honored and humbled by His call. My only hope and wish on this day is to continue living the life God has given me with intentional love on purpose. 

I pray for you too. That you would receive the love of God that not only makes life fulfilling but makes it rich as well.  Live life on purpose.  Enjoy every second of it! God has a perfect plan for you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

To Know Him is to Love Him

I can’t put into words totally the way that I feel right now. But I will try. Simply put, I have this overwhelming sense of God’s grace. Like, truly, nothing I have done qualifies me for the grace that has been given to me. I didn’t work for it. I didn’t pray for it. I didn’t fast for it. I didn’t give for it. Yet, God showed me mercy. And when I think of that grace...its sufficiency and power, I am equally humbled and afraid. I am humbled by the greatness of His love; and afraid, not with torment but in reverence of His Majesty and of His Eternity. He is forever…He is always…He is never ending.

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

The fear that I have is the very thing that makes me fearless. It is the reverence for God that makes me unafraid. It is in the secret places of my heart that God has uncovered, in these troubling times, that grace has been applied, and I no longer see myself as undone; but finished, not according to perfection but according to grace. And I am in awe. I am in awe of His great wonder. I am in awe of His majesty.

Reverence for God, sets The Eternal God above every temporary thing and is the starting place of wisdom (the ability to apply knowledge.) And what we find out about The Eternal God, when we receive of His grace, makes us sensitive to His light.To know Him truly is to love Him.

It is in these fearful times, when we are met with our darkest and deepest fears…when we find it difficult to see …that God’s grace begins to shine so brightly. It is in that intimate place, behind closed doors where what God says manifest in us. He shows us a picture of who we are, and it becomes clearer than the day before.

It is a new day and a new season; and I am truly grateful. I am grateful for the grace that has been poured out on all of us. I am grateful for the life that has been given to us and excited to see His Majesty manifesting before our very eyes.

Monday, July 29, 2013


The spirit of the anti Christ hates your faith and despises when you put action to your words; and will do anything to discourage you from believing God will do anything good for you. The last thing that the anti Christ spirit wants is for you to believe that God is Unfailing Love and that Jesus Christ died for your sins. The spirit of the anti Christ does not want you to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. Period.

The thing that messes up most people’s faith is the image that they have of Christ, whether it is His natural image or functional image, people will equate the reality of God with the image they have of him. What does Christ look like? Is he savior? Is he lord? Is he white? Is he black? Is he able? Can he heal? Can he provide? The spirit of the anti Christ wants you to believe his image of Christ. Powerless. And as long as the image of Christ is presented as powerless people will continue to equate faith in him as mere religion, mere words and mere nothingness. If the people of God, simply believe with no persuasive actions Christ continues to have this dull and powerless image. But when, the people of God, decide to believe Him and put their faith in to action despite the negative and false images of Christ, our emotional makeup and dire situations, then we will see Christ manifesting with power in us and around us. Many will scoff. Many will ignore these words. But some will hear. Some will eat and be nourished by this bread. Do not be ashamed and do not fear. Be shamelessly aware of the power of God at work within you and around you. Take courage for the Lord our God has overcome the world. Fearless Nation, arise!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fisherman's Catch

I woke up this morning anxious to begin the day. I have “work” to do. A project came to me that I am both excited to begin and intimidated by; but nevertheless I am going to move forward in it. But yesterday was different. Yesterday, I was tripping and flipping out over the L word, Life, which is that wonderful and sometimes chaotic experience between birth and death. I am habitually a great starter. I get inspired. I have faith. I move and then I start looking at what I have and I immediately want to recant.

Me: “This is a stupid idea.” “It will never work.” “You can’t do that.” "Who would want to pay you for that?”

The Father: “Ahh, Jesus. Here we go.” My Father must be having an SMH moment. “Let me talk to her.”

Surely, I can’t be the only one who has schizo confidence and polarized faith. One moment, I’m like, “Yeah, I can do it. I can’t help but succeed. I am blessed and anointed for this.” And then I’m like, “I’m the suckiest, blood sucking sucky person that ever sucked!” But then, my Father says, things like, “It is not what you do, it is who you are.” And reminds me that, “You are a fisher.”

When I get stuck thinking that I’m a writer. Or I’m a mom. Or I’m a wife. I feel all this pressure to perform. I feel like all eyes are on me and I’ve got to do a little dance, like when I was 5, so everyone could tell me how good I was. It wasn’t that I loved to dance, I loved the applause. My testimony isn’t that I was a horrible sinner (which I was) or that I hit rock bottom (which I did). My testimony is that Jesus died for my sins (little ones, big ones, seen ones, hidden ones) not because of I what I did, but because of who I am. When I look at my life, it is easy sometimes to see all the things (really just 1 or 2) that I wish I could change. But the truth is that I have so many things (innumerable) to be grateful about.

Yesterday, my husband made a commentary on my “situation” and he made me laugh really hard. In his discourse he told me that he had once felt like a homeless man sleeping on the ground covered in leaves. He said, “I thought my situation was that bad, in reality, I was sleeping in a bed next to my wife who loves me. My kids are healthy. We eat well, good, healthy meals. We watch TV on a flat screen. We have a pool in the backyard, soap and facial scrub, cologne…I have Coconut oil for my skin…c’mon. Coconut Oil!” He was right. He told me, “If you are fisherman, it is never a waste of time to fish. Eventually, you are going to catch something.” Right again.

My problem, lately, has been focusing on the future. I have been wrestling with whether or not every decision I seem to make is a waste of time. I have felt like if I don’t catch the metaphorical fish, then I can’t be a very good fisherman. But it isn’t what I do that makes me a fisherman, it is who I am that makes me a fisherman. Matthew 4: 18-20 paints a pretty nice picture, it says,

“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets.”

I see two things in this scripture. I see one group casting their nets and another group mending their nets. Both of whom, were called, not because of what they caught or did not catch but because of who they were, fishermen. Whether you find yourself casting your net (which is what you should do because that is who you are) or mending your net (because like me, you always try to fix things and make them perfect before you do what you know you wore born to do)…YOU ARE STILL A FISHER OF MEN! You are called by God to impact the world with the gifts that He has given you, and that gift is irrevocable. Whether you see value in it or not doesn’t change who you are. You will naturally, be drawn to do what you were born to do. And those, who are drawn to you, will be drawn to you not on the basis of your perfect mending or net casting; but by your graceful acceptance to be who you are…a fisher of men. A fishermen doesn’t predict what he will catch or when he will catch it, his only responsibility is to be ready. It is God who decides our lot, and he promises that it will be full and complete.

I encourage with these words as I encourage myself, “For he who has begun a good work in you is faithful to complete it.” Philippians 1:6

“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

In His Love, Natrietia