Worshipping in Darkness

'Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.' 2 Samuel 12:20

Growing up my mother always used to stress giving God thanks in the good and the bad.
'We have to give Him thanks for our hard times.' she would say and I would stand confused.
Why on earth would we give thanks for bad things that happen to us?

Getting up after a bad fall with a smile on our face, is not typical. We are in pain, bruised and bleeding. The last thing in our mind is to jump up with joy and begin walking with a spring in our step.
So it is with our spiritual lives.
One day we are walking ever so joyously with everything  going well within our jobs, marriage, or families and out of the blue, things go south.
I'm not talking about a flat tire making you late to work, or leaving your credit card at home, here. I'm referring to way south, where things seem hopeless and no way out.

I've been there. Tired of trying. Desperate for an answer. Seeking an easy way out. Wanting to disappear.
Many of us have too. At that point the last thing I thought of doing was lifting up my hands to worship God. At that point all I wanted was for Him to take me out of my misery.
Stopping yourself in the middle of your hurricane is a difficult task, but a must when standing between your spiritual life and death.
It is stopping to realize that no matter which way we turn, we are NOT in control. Only God is.

However, letting go and letting God, may even make the task more difficult when we don't fully know the God we are handing things to.

He is a God that has saved us from the death penalty and given us life should we accept it (Romans 6:23). He is God who is patient and kind with our transgressions (2 Peter 3:9). He is the Almighty who holds our lives in His hands(Isaiah 49:16). He is the Alpha and Omega (Revelations 22:13). Nothing can't stand against Him and nothing can make Him fall (Romans 8:31). His love towards us cannot be measured and wants to mold us through these transgressions to be more like Him.

Understanding this and accepting it, is what will help us get back up bruised, and hurting but with peace in our hearts that we are not alone. David although, his son had been taken away, got up and worshipped the God that was and is still in control.
 This battle is not ours, but more importantly it has been won.
If your down in the deepest and darkest state one could be, worship. When things don't turn out the way you expected, worship.

Worship because He is good and His love endures forever and ever. Amen.


The door

"For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16: 7

I have been dreaming about a red wooden door since I moved back into my childhood house, about three years ago. The door of my house is solid wood with simple rectangles positioned across each other. Before we moved in though, my father had rented the house out to a women who did not take care of this home as we would had liked. That solid wood door, was ugly! The stain it once had, had been scratched off, the gloss that was once there was dull, the wood felt rough, and it was desperate for some TLC! A few guys we hired came and renovated that ugly door. It got a brand new stain coating, gloss, and all the rough edges were buffed away. To a passerby my door is now, nice and in good condition, however, only I who live inside this house, know that it still had a few glitches. Sometimes it feels that we should just get a new door because as we fix one thing, something else happens to it. Now my door is not opening smoothly, it gets stuck as we try opening it, so we must either, find someone to repair the root of the problem or just take that door out and bring in that red door, I've been dreaming off.

Rabbi Freeman, at the Synagogue I attend, spoke of our hearts this Shabbat. "Our hearts have doors and doors serve two purposes. One, they let inside what is wanted, and two, they keep out, what is not." He continued, "If our doors are malfunctioning, like most of our heart-doors, were or are, we must not continue to try to repair them ourselves, we must ask the Meshiac (Jesus) for a new door, that only he can give us."

If the doors to your hearts, are not closing correctly and allowing the unwanted to come in, do not try to fix it yourself, call on Jesus, and he will bring you a brand new door. He will bring you a door that closes when temptation or evil knocks hard and opens when God is knocking mercifully.

You may look good from the outside, polished and renewed, but only you who know what lurks inside your heart, know if today you need to call on Jesus' helpline and request a free evaluation for a new door. There are no gimmicks, and it comes with a 100% guarantee, that the new door, will change your life for the best.

Lord, help us to realize, when the doors of our hearts have glitches that need your help. Help us to run to you and not try to fix things on our own but always rely on you to give us new doors to keep out all evil and temptation that waits to creep in through broken and damaged doors. We love you. Amen


' I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Isralites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.' 2 Samuel 7:6-7

Moving I dislike. Not moving around, but moving to a different home.
It'd be great if someone else could come in and do the dirty work for me. Moving, however, entails cleaning, finding long - lost forgotten things, organizing, and packing.

There's hard work involved that cannot be avoided when that move is necessary. Hard work is needed when it needs to be done right. Hard work is needed, as it is with our hearts.

God sees it. That move-in that's necessary and doesn't waste time.

In all His glory and majesty, He chooses to dwell in our heart, among us. He's never required for us to clean it, adorn it, or build it ourselves. He sees the desperate need to move in and move us to a better place.

As soon as He steps in the door, His grace cleanses us completely. He cleanses our tear stained cheeks. Removes all the rubble from the time after time, our heart has been broken.
He scrubs away the stains that our mistakes have left.
He comes in to organize our emotions which have all been scattered around, leaving us confused, with feelings of fear and unworthiness.
As He does this, He begins to find that long - lost forgotten smile that used to light up our eyes. He finds that warm spirit that longed to help others with kind words, acts of goodness, or that powerful prayer.
Finally, he tosses all the things in our life that are an obstacle in reaching Him, those things that keep chains on our feet from running to Him, into a box. He seals that box shut and tosses it as far as the east is from the west. (Psalms 103:12)

From the beginning of time, God has moved from heart to heart making changes within us to find reconciliation with Him.
He doesn't require that we travel thousands of miles to a place where He would be found. He comes to us. He hears the calling and moves right in.

There are thousands of hearts that need to make Him a home to dwell in. There's immense work to be done and He continually moves among us looking for an additional place to call home.
Will you open the doors to your heart today, and let Him do His work?
Will you tell others about His desire to dwell in theirs?

Allow for Him to come in and cleanse you. Allow for Him to organize your thoughts and ways. Allow Him to help you find that light that burned with passion once. Most importantly allow Him to erase your sins that torment you.
Allow Him to dwell with you.


Father, come into my heart. I've needed you since time begun. I need you now, and will need you forever. There are many things in my heart that need your grace and forgiveness. I acknowledge you as my God and the only one that can do so. Take me in today and allow my heart to be a dwelling for you, O Lord.



Suddenly not speedily

I smiled when I saw the bag of chips on the counter top yesterday. Lay’s Kettle Cooked, Original Flavor. I saw my dad grab the bag and offer Yasser, my husband, some. He then, closed them back up and took them to the pantry. My heart was full of joy to see that bag of chips, so unimportant to anyone else, but to me, knowing what I knew, filled my heart with gratitude.

Not too long ago, times where so hard. Not too long ago, my faith had run out. Not too long ago, I was in a constant state of sadness and my heart longed to laugh and smile. My heart ached for the pain people dear to me faced.

“Suddenly, not speedily,” the Rabbi at my Synagogue always says as He talks on God answering prayers. Suddenly, not speedily. I hanged on to that phrase and would try to believe that yes, suddenly, God would respond, God would wipe our tears away, God would bring out the sun again and God,  God would reach out His hand from the heavens and reach down to help our needy situation.

Oh how sudden it was. Not at all speedy.  Just sudden. Close to four years and it is still a work in progress but we can begin to see its fruit. We can begin to reap some harvest from all the work we had been sowing. It is extremely hard to sow time after time, and not reap any harvest. We get tired, we get doubtful, and sometimes we get angry. But God motivates us by promising a promise that I can testify to, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

My sweet, God-filled daddy, firmly held on to this promise, and as others and myself at times suggested him to give up and look for something else to do, look for another dream to work towards to; he never gave up. He believed in the promises the Almighty wrote to him, thousands of years ago. When his business seemed to take away, rather than to give, he believed, when his business caused stress and tears, he believed, and when hope seemed lost, he still chose to believe.

Not too long ago, a $2.75 bag of chips never made it to the shopping list or the shopping cart. It was not a necessity, it was not an option, it was a, “not today, item.” So when I saw that bag lay on that counter top yesterday, and saw the abundance of food there was in the pantry and refrigerator, my heart was extremely happy and moved with joy and gratitude, to the Man who makes rainbows out of rain, and light from darkness, and joy from brokenness .

So when the rain is pouring down on you, and you feel like giving up, when you keep toiling over a field that seems to give no fruit, when you wonder if the sun will ever appear, remember, “suddenly, not speedily!” Remember the Exodus-suddenly, not speedily. Remember Sarah and Abraham-suddenly, not speedily. Remember- Yeshua’s return-suddenly, not speedily!!
A man wanting to get a tattoo described the story behind the tattoo. He had four beautiful daughters, the youngest had about 20 seizures a day and maybe an hour out of the entire day, she was stable. He talked about how he questioned God for the pain and why the rain would never seem to seize. Until suddenly, God begin to relieve the seizures, the pain, the brokenness. She is now 7 and a miracle daughter, she was given only 3 years to live. His tattoo was God's hand stretching out from the sky reaching out to the dads hand that stretched out from the dirt, the ground- where he fills God pulled him out from.
Believe today, God is stretching His hand out from the heavens to yours, reach out and grasp His hand for in due time, you shall SUDDENLY see the miracle God will perform in your life.


In a State of Emergency

'If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.' 2 Chronicles 7:14

My daughter had been in pain for a couple of days and was now running a high fever.

Taking her into the doctor's office, I hoped to get reassurence that taking medication, she would feel better in no time. The doctor instead informed me that it would get worse before it would get better.
The virus had spread and it would have to run its complete course for there to be complete healing. Healing meant no pain, no sleepless nights, and a bright - eyed child bouncing off the walls again.

Healing is what restores back to its original state.

God being creator of all, defines an original state of purity -- without blemish, intact from any kind of virus. Night and day from the world we have made for ourselves.

It is evident that evil is fully present in this life and it is rapidly spreading. Just like any disease, we are blind to the progress. It runs its course without us being able to stop it. As we watch the news, we witness devastating stories that will involve innocent lives at the hands of immorality, selfishness, and greed.
But if we think about it, we might be able to see that same sickness closer to home.

Although it's my prayer that your lives and homes are virus free, it does not exepmt us from the dangers that lurk nearby.

God's antidote is not an expensive one that your insurance company might not cover. His antidote for our healing is pure, constant, fervent prayer. The kind of prayer that brings us to our knees humbled before the Healer or all healers.
The world is in a state of emergency. Our families and homes are in a state of emergency.
Today is not the time to wait it out and let the virus run its course. Today is the time to call on His healing.
Healing for starving children. Healing for those at war. Healing for a prideful spouse. Healing for your angry child hiding layers of pain.

Pray that God may show us what wickedness we have and that He may begin to heal our land, our homes and our hearts. We are in a desperate need to be restored to what He created us to be - an image of His love, forgiveness, kindness, respect and selflessness. Pray today. Don't delay. Pray to the One that has our healing in the palm of His hands.


My heart, His Home

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

Have you ever heard or read a quote, preaching, or quick conversation that you wish someone else should be listening to instead of you? You think to yourself, “Why are they not listening to this, they so should!” I confess, I am guilty of this! Actually, I have done this many times. But then, if I allow God to, He shows me why it was I who heard/read it and not my friend, husband, or co-workers. 

Recently I heard someone ask, “If someone would give their family all their time and energy, would their job suffer?” The answer is obvious, yes, it would. He then asked, “What happens when we give our job all our time and energy, would not our family suffer as well?” I already had the perfect person in mind that needed to listen to this, and well, I hate to admit, but yes, I let the person know.

As I sat listening to a beautiful song by Watermark, called,“My heart, Your Home," my eyes filled up with tears thinking how I have placed so much time on other things. Instead of making my Heart God’s Home, I had cluttered my heart with a list of all the things that I needed to do before inviting God in. I thought about how much time is enough for God and how much time for the other stuff? It is so sad to say, God is usually the leftovers of my day. After I’ve invested countless hours on other, “important” things, and my energy is gone, I lay in bed and come to the Father.  How is that making my heart a home for God? There’s a verse in the song that hit home most, it says, “Let everything I do, open up a door for you to come through, and that my heart will be a place where you wanna be.” I lingered on that last part, “Is my heart a place where God wants to be?”

Then I thought of that question I heard earlier that week. If all my time and energy is wasted on one area of my life, what else in my life is suffering? Again, the answer was so clear; my relationship with God. Investing all your time and energy on things you call important, will leave you with no time and energy left over for God. In consequence what suffers? That line of love and passion with The Majestic Holy One.

Today as you run errands, and check of chores or activities on your mental “To-Do List,” ask yourself two questions; “Are all these things, leaving me any time and energy to give to when I meet with my Heavenly Father?” and “Am I making my heart, a place where God wants to be?”

As we remember September 11th, let’s remember the moral of all of this suffering, “Your time on earth, is not guaranteed, it is not promised!”  Let us get moving to building a heart so welcoming and inviting for our Savior to come in, because if His return is not today, or tomorrow, your life is not guaranteed, one more day or one more tomorrow.

May our hearts always be a place God wants and desires to live in, now and till the end of our time.


Beauty in Unworthy Contents

"Who am I, Oh Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?" 1 Chronicles 17:16

We all are familiar with the saying: 'don't judge a book by its cover.' It cautions us to not make assumptions on people before reading their contents - getting to know them.

If we were a book, what genre would we be?

Some would be a suspensful mystery, others an inspirational book. There may be othes that could fall into a romantic-comedy genre, or perhaps a horror-thriller.
If God's grace depended on our contents, how much more or how much less gracious would He be?

King David, must've looked at the contents of his book over and over to help him understand what God must've seen to place Him in a position that in his own eyes, did not deserve.
Looking at his contents, there was murder, adultery and selfishness. Surely these characteristics could only have gotten the Lord to shut the book in anger and disappointment. Instead, God far from placing the book back in the shelf, kept reading. He in addition picked up a pen and added chapters to David's book to fulfill what God had prepared for him.

In a mere human sight, there was nothing attractive or impressive that David had done. His physique alone, disqualified Him to be a ruler. His actions did not show the integrity people would want in a king. His cover and contents were enough to put him in the back of the bookstore shelves. God's grace however, is what led Him to the very back of that bookstore. In his repentance and humility, David learned to listen and acknowlege God as the author of life.

No, there isn't anything about us that is impressive or attractive to the mere human sight. Most of our contents too would make a reader blush or become outraged. Surely contents that do not deserve an abundance of blessings that the Lord pours out each day, much less the priviledge of being called His own.

Yet God takes our book in His hands and pens new chapters with beautiful contents waiting to be lived out.
We may look at ourselves and see nothing that God can be pleased with or be able to use, but the wonderful truth is that God sees us differently. It was through those merciful eyes that He saw desperate souls in need of a Savior. It is through those eyes that He sees blank pages that need a happy ending.

Many times I've asked King David's question: What do you see in me O Lord, to be this good to me?

His answer: 'Your overwhelming need for constant mercy, forgiveness, and grace.'


Father, it is true. Nothing can even begin to measure your love and compassion. Your concern for us is beyond human understanding and there is nothing I can ever do to repay you. Allow me to forever be in your presence where Your abundant grace unfolds and reminds me that without you, I am nothing.



Big and Tiny Messes

“But I have this against you: you have abandoned the love (you had) at first.” Revelation 2:4

I love to purchase cleaning supplies that have just come out on the market. If the product in the commercial seems like it really works, it becomes a must have on my grocery list. For instance, I love cleaning wipes, and not too long ago, found some that have an amazing citrus scent, with an abrasive side that scrubs away tougher messes, plus each wipe has a spritz of Clorox, which won my little housewife heart over. The first few weeks I had these wipes, I used them on everything.  At first it did not matter if the job was tiny, small, medium or really tough, I just loved the smell and the final result it delivered.  It made even my husband happy to walk into the kitchen or restroom and smell a clean-lemony room, not to mention how my countertops and sinks looked.  Then, one day I didn’t use them, as well as the next few days, until my little four year old, decided it would be a good idea to put his already open juice box inside his lunch bag and leave it on the seat of the car while we drove to school one morning. This was a big mess and a big mess called for these tough wipes. By the way, I would like to add, I was not cleaning the car seat with a smile like the mom’s they show on the Bounty commercials, but that’s another story.  I put the wipes back inside my cleaning supply caddy, and are only, “in use,” when I have Big messes.

Do you remember a point in your life, when your relationship with God was exciting and always “IN USE”? Do you remember loving to use His word to clean up tiny, small, medium and tough messes? Do you also remember when you started to use Him and His word only when you had big messes?

Some people say they have hindrances that do not allow them to keep a passionate, “IN USE,” or alive relationship with God. However, I have been thinking that the biggest and maybe only hindrances each one of us have in our lives are, “The Daily routines.” We are focused on waking up no more than 10 minutes past our alarm sounding, avoiding another tardy at school or work, making sure the house is clean, smelling clean, food is ready, laundry folded, homework assisted with and completed, and so on, that we leave God out. The daily routines do not let us pick up God and His word to maintain a clean spiritual life daily, it does not let us use His word to wipe away tiny or small messes anymore.  We only break the daily routine when we are presented with a big mess, then we look into our caddy and pick up one of the dusty bibles that abound around the house. We remember that our knees were not only meant for walking but for kneeling to pray as well, and He, our Glorious, merciful God, produces an amazing result when we do, He cleans up the mess. But He must feel so used.

The key verse is found in Revelations when God is telling the church in Ephesus that yes He is happy with a few things they have done correctly, O but one thing He is so upset about is that they do not seek Him and love Him like when they first found Him. Are you there today friend? The verse continues by God declaring, repent, and do the works you did at first, repent. Come back to that time in your life when you were so excited you had discovered an awesome love that could wipe away any type of mess, from the tiniest to the toughest, a mess growing inside your heart or a mess around you.