Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009 New Year's Letter To You...

My dear family member or friend,
I am thinking about you lots. I love to hear that you are enjoying life and I do hope that the trials have seemed to lessen in these days or months. And I am assuming that your health has also improved. I know this year, 2009, has been a full one for you, especially in those areas.

I am wondering how your spiritual life has been affected by the challenging events of this close-to-ending year? For, my greatest desire for you... more than good friends, more than a happy heart, more than peace and well-wishes, is that your heart would be rooted and founded and growing in Jesus. You KNOW the truth, but that is not enough.

Have you fully surrendered or are you still hanging on to...life? If Jesus came right now, where would you go? Not based on you being a sweet guy, a good person, or having good intentions. Good intentions will not save you. Nothing will, except living for Jesus and making Him FIRST in your life.

I do not want to nag. I do not want you to feel bad, but... I pray for you as I have prayed for any of my other family or friends... Lord, whatever it takes to capture his heart, do it. Dangerous words? Perhaps, but I know that the most important Person, Place or Thing in this world is Jesus. Do you KNOW? Do you live like He is?

I am not perfect. I am not saying that I am. I am always trying to maintain a relationship with Jesus, where I am the one who is not always faithful, growing, or focused. It takes alot of effort, a lot of failing, a lot of getting back up and moving on. It takes a lot of learning over and over again the lessons of trusting and surrendering. Not easy, but I NEED more of Jesus. Not easy, but... The Most important thing we can do in this world is... BE A FRIEND OF JESUS!!!

I love you. You know I do. I say these words with all the love in my heart. I hope you will allow them to touch you in some way.

celita

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009 Christmas Greetings: John 1:4...


John 1:4 (see below in bold and italicized print...)










"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1

"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." 1 John 4:9

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." John 1:4

"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." Romans 3:23

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

Praying that you "...may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:18-19

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." Numbers 6: 24-26

*************************************************************************************
2009 Family Newsletter


Dear Family and Friends,

In a world where gratitude is quickly becoming a lost form of communication and attitude, I am struck by the fact that 2009 has had innumerable moments and challenges which have prompted us to thank God for His continuing faithfulness and help to us and to our family. Just as in preceding years, we have had to face this truth: While we may feel weak, lose control or never have had control to begin with, God is always in control, always trustworthy, always faithful, and never unjust. This understanding has been valuable in our journey in learning to wholly trust in and surrender to Jesus.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

Trusting and surrendering, I am learning, must become a lifestyle, a daily habit. So must thankfulness. I am still learning and growing, but here are some of my “Thank You’s” concerning this year:

Thank You, Jesus, for providing a way to go and visit our families and friends in the States last winter; that we were able to celebrate the Holy-days together with them; and that the memories we made still linger sweetly in our hearts.

Thank You, Jesus, for Your peace, wisdom, direction, and help when Dario was hospitalized with pneumonia in February, and for being there for all of the other bouts of illness that have passed our way. For… eventually, they have passed.

Thank You, Jesus, for giving us, me, peace and confirmation to make so many important decisions to change our lives for the better so Anthony and I could be more available to our family; that these decisions released us from things that were important but needed to take a back seat to our spouse, our kids and other things that needed to take precedence. And, thank You for holding my hand along the way.

Thank You, Jesus, for allowing the paperwork and permissions to finally be approved to add on the addition to our home, and for getting us to the point of having walls completed for what will, eventually, be our basement/kid’s play room.

Thank You, Jesus, for providing for all of our needs, in every way, and even giving us some of our heart’s desires.

Thank You, Jesus, that Your Word is true and “never returns void”. We have begun to see the sprouting of some seeds that were planted many, many years ago. It causes our faith to swell in hope and joy.

Thank You, Jesus, for our beautiful family, for my husband who loves me and helps me, and for such great children. Thank You for using them to make me laugh a little every day. “Laughter is like a medicine”, after all.

Thank You, Jesus, for Your inspiration and creativity, which I have asked for more of, and that You have given. Thank You for helping me to use it in encouraging my husband, raising our kids, organizing our home, and in my creative ventures.

Thank You, Jesus, for family who loves us and keeps in touch with us, for kindred spirits, dear friends, and surprise phone calls or letters in the mail.

Thank You, Jesus, for monkey hugs, repeat kisses, and each sweet childish moment that I know will only last for this short season. Thank you for helping me to RELAX and ENJOY my family…

Thank You, Jesus, for needed vacations to the beach, for the escape from every day routines, for the chance to be healthier, and for the chance to make memories with travelling buddies.

Thank You, Jesus, for saving me from my sins, accepting me as Your daughter, loving me no matter what, and for teaching me to appreciate myself for who You have created me to be. We are each “fearfully and wonderfully made.” He has a purpose for each of us in His “Grand Master Plan.” I want to be a part of it, don’t you? So I must, and do desire, to trust in, cling to, rely on, and believe in my Lord.

Thank You, Jesus, for HOPE… that I can know that someday You are coming back for Your children; that I can know that you will take us to live in a beautiful, new home where nothing will ever deteriorate, rot, fall apart, or break again; where there will be fullness of joy, peace and love in Your presence; and where I can be together again with those whom have gone on before us.

On that note… Thank You, Jesus, for Nonna Nunziata (Anthony’s paternal grandmother). When I married into this family she willingly and wholeheartedly adopted me as her grandchild. With a strong will and an amazing perseverance in her faith, we were not surprised to be able to celebrate her 103rd birthday with her in October of this year.

We were saddened, and also full of ironic joy, too, when Jesus called her home on November 10th.

Life has been so full. There is so much more that I am thankful for. As I “count my blessings”, and as I really dwell on every area of my life, I see that the blessings truly are endless, especially when we consider the simple, everyday things that God has given us to enjoy and that so clearly express His love for us. Consider these things: rainbows, sunsets, flowers, waterfalls, etc…

Well, I hope you have enjoyed our family news. And, I hope I have not overwhelmed you with all the words I have inside to share.

We hope and pray that you will have a wonderful Holy-day season. May Jesus encourage and strengthen you to draw closer to Him and to seek after Him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

In the good times or in the bad time, I will praise You, Jesus!!! Happy Birthday!!!


Click to enlarge the picture...

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009 Known By Our Fruit...

“ Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; FOR A TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS FRUIT. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? FOR OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART THE MOUTH SPEAKS. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. FOR BY YOUR WORDS YOU WILL BE JUSTIFIED, AND BY YOUR WORDS YOU WILL BE CONDEMNED.” Matthew 12:33-37

What kind of fruit are you showing by your actions and words? What kind of fruit do you have hidden in your heart and mind?

Galatians 5:19- 21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like, of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of God.”

These things just listed are BAD fruit, and they can remind us of Romans 6:21, “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.”

Further on in the chapter, though, we are told (in Galatians 5:22), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”

These are the good fruit that we need in our lives.

If we allow the seeds of bad fruit to grow in our lives, it will eventually become evident. If we allow the seeds of good fruit to grow, that will also become clear. Remember that “whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7b)

Don’t give up in your efforts to have good fruit growing in your heart and life. When you see that bad fruit is starting to grow, go to God in prayer. Confess it to God and ask Him to help you to live a good life and to have good fruit in your heart. When you are open to God and speak from an honest heart, God sees that and He will help you.

Pray for a heart like David’s. For he prayed, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

Keep growing in Jesus and follow His example. Read the Bible and spend time with other believers. These are some of the ways you can cultivate good fruit in your heart. Be careful what you let your eyes see, what you let your ears hear, where you let your feet go, what you think and what you feel in your heart. Bad fruit can sneak in and sprout quickly. As soon as you see things that do not belong in the garden of your heart, get rid of them. Check how your “garden” is growing every day. We must examine our spiritual attitude at all times and make sure that we are doing what is right for Jesus.

Remember that you are not doing this alone. Jesus said he will never leave or forsake us. He is praying for us and cares for us very much. He desires that we take the first step in reaching out to Him. Think about it… “Draw near to me, and I will draw near to you.” “Seek and you shall find.” Be open to Jesus, trust Him, surrender to Him, and dedicate your life to Him. When you do, He can make the garden of your heart bear much sweet fruit.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God (a reward for seeking God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength) is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”





To see other entries I have written for Haitian Street Kids, go to http://www.haitianstreetkids.net/blog/