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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Why I Hate #WCW

Disclaimer these are my own personal views you can definitely disagree with them and I'm open to any opinions as always! This is just a little rant I'm writing from my phone. 

When Wednesday's roll around I'm sure to find a few #WCW post on Instagram of a beautiful girl. #WCW means Women Crush Wednesday where people post their women crushes on Wednesday's on the popular social media app called Instagram. Usually men post these and it's of the most revealing picture they can find of a celebrity. Society has made it it's pursuit to distract people from the reality of life. #WCW may be something so simple but it feeds the sexual appetite of a male (and females) in the rape culture we live in. Two weeks ago 234 Nigerian girls were kidnap from their homes. Picture this, you are sleeping on your bed, when you feel someone grab you, you fight and they put a cloth over your mouth. When you wake up you are in a dark room smell of blood and sweat, you look around and see girls just like you staring at you or at the ceiling. Ripped clothes hugging their legs tight enough so no one can enter. That is the reality many girls are facing. Porn has become a multimillion dollar business, it makes more money than the NBA NFL NLB combined!! A simple picture of a women on Wednesday may sound harmless but not to the 14 year old boy behind his iPhone looking at these pictures and wanting to know more about a "real" women. The internet is so easy to navigate and from one #WCW picture they may find themselves on a porn site feeding their curiosity which can lead to the addiction that about 70% (probably more) people have of porn. Yes I dislike #WCW I also dislike #MCM (man crush Monday) because while we are posting these picture of these women in bikinis etc. There are girls all over the world, even in your own town, being kidnap for human trafficking for the sake of prostitution, porn, and feeding the sexual desires or the corrupt heart of many men. So men instead of posting your next #WCW think about your fellow mothers, sisters and friends and how you can respect them. How one picture leads to so much that even you wouldn't understand. The more fuel you add to this sex craze society the more they are going to produce for the consumers. Instead of posting your #WCW speak up about how your fellow women are being raped and kidnap every single day from their homes. This post is also to bring awareness to what is happening in Nigeria with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls you can support these 234 young girls and their families.
 With Love & Grace - Diana C

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Because of Him

 The post for today is a little different than most. It's nice to write and express my words and thoughts but today I wanted to take it back to the source, I wanted to share the things I have learned from Jesus but instead of it being my own words, they are all verses. Often times we get lazy with reading His word, I completely include myself in this. But as I was reading yesterday I went through almost everything I have learned from Jesus and I decided to share it with you (the shorter version of course). Because of Him I am who I am today, and so are you. If you actually make it till the end hooray! But if you get tired or bored at least read the last 3 :)
"But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” -Ruth 1:16, 17
Because of Him I see the value of loyalty.

"And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her." -Esther 2:15

Because of Him I find power, intelligence and independence in being a woman.

"Even if God kills me, I have hope in him;" -Job 13:15
 "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part."- Job 42:12

Because of Him I know He will never forsake me. Even when the world around me is crumbling down around me I know he holds me with His left hand and will lift me up.

"You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed" -Psalm 10:17, 18
Because of Him I am not afraid to go running to him in tears and sadness in my heart because he listens to me

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” -Isaiah 6:8
Because of Him I am strong enough to say "send me"

"My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” -Daniel 6:22 
Because of Him not even the mouth of lions can prevail against me

The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” -Hosea 3:1
Because of Him, I know that love isn't always easy but it is always right and it covers a multitude of sins.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” -Matthew 14:27
Because of Him I am not afraid to walk on waters. I am not a ship meant to stay at float on the shore, for I am made to sail in the vast ocean

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment." -Matthew 15:25-28
Because of Him my faith is persistent

"All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them." -John 17:10
Because of Him his glory lives in me

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:32, 39-43
Because of Him I know what true compassion and forgiveness looks like

"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."-John 19:3
Because of Him I know that love isn't what they show on movies or TV show and instead of the general 3 letter phrase "I love you", true love is shown on a bloody cross with an innocent man hanging on it for my sickness, my weakness,and my sin. With Him uttering the most beautiful 3 letter phrase possible "it is finished"

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20
Because of Him death lost it's sting, and we will never be alone He is forever be with us till the end of age.

With Love & Grace -Diana C

Monday, 21 April 2014

You Don't Have To Do It Alone

So, I'm sure you all know how much me and Diana love the movie Frozen . It's so bad, like I catch myself singing the soundtrack all the time, and I really have no shame in it(yeah, I'm a total dork like that). When I was first watching the movie a while back, I came to notice Elsa in the song "For the First Time in Forever". She plays a small part in the song, but a big part in my opinion. She may not be the main focus of the song like her sister Ana is, but the little words she contributes are pretty monumental, and I think that it can really relate to many of us.

"Conceal, don't feel, put on a show, make one wrong move and everyone will know."

When I first heard this, I thought to myself, wow, I totally know what she's talking about. It's always been a hassle for me to talk about my feelings and emotions, and the issues I go through at that. I was always really good at putting on a smile when that was the last thing I wanted to be doing. Yeah, I don't have powers to be able to make snow, ice, or build a snowman (I have to do that the old fashioned way), but I have felt that I had to put on a show, to hide my true emotions for the benefits of others. I would always feel that if I opened up to someone about something that is really hurting me, that it would be a burden they wouldn't want to deal with.
Like we see in the movie, the answer isn't to endure those issues on your own. Even though it was much too late in the movie, the answer of true love comes in and is revealed. When someone is hurting, a lot of the time they just need someone to listen, to show that they care and that they are there for them.
"Love thaws"
First of all, the greatest love of all is always there to comfort us in times of sadness and pain. The love of Jesus, who IS love. And sometimes, we may know that Jesus loves us, that he is there for us, but still manage to feel alone. That's why God puts people in our lives; to make our lives better. I can truly say that God has put Diana in my life to be there for my ups and downs, the good times and the bad. As my best friend, she has shown me over the years that its okay to not be perfect. That its okay to have a bad day and to want to cry. It's okay to be in a vulnerable in friendship. Giving up your insecurities, your deepest secrets to a friend who is there to listen and to help you along the way. They are there to cheer you on, and believe in you when you don't even believe in yourself. Like it says in Proverbs 17:17:
"A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need."
Even when we aren't loyal to ourselves, a good friend will be. No matter how much we put ourselves down or how alone we feel. God has placed those friendships that I like to call "strategic friendships" for a prove us wrong every time.
All I know is that I'm not alone, and I never will be. That's why you have to surround yourself with godly people. These are the people that will encourage you when you are down, and give you an uplifting word when you need it most. I'm glad to say I have a handful of great friends who I can count on in that sense (y'all know who you are♡) and I can truly say that when the greatest love of ALL time shines through someone, there is no heart too frozen, because love thaws. As cheesy as it sounds, it is so true. Let the love of Jesus shine through in your life and let the transformation begin. You will be so surprised! So I leave you with one of my favorite bible verses which was the inspiration to start this blog. It speaks on the power of friendship, and is so powerful.

"Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT

With love, Michelle ♡

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Guest Post: Rise Strong In Faith And The Flesh Will Follow By Diego Andres Lucero

Hey everyone! I'm excited for today's post! About a month ago I asked a dear friend of ours, Diego, if he would like to write a guest post and he actually said yes! Now I am actually super happy he waited until this long to finally finish his post or else we wouldn't have this amazing testimony of what occurred to him this week. "In sickness and in health" shouldn't be just vows to your partner but it should be your number one vow to your life partner, God! Remember our Prayer -The World's Greatest Wireless Connection post? Well this is just a taste of what prayer can do and why it is in fact our best WiFi system ever! And with out further or do, here is Diego.
With Love & Grace -Diana C

On Monday afternoon, April 14, a fever slowly arouse in my body. As the night approached the fever elevated as high as 40 degrees C lasting several hours. Stomach pain and headaches tormented me through this time. Tuesday morning I was submitted to the emergency room for tests. The doctors found inflammation of the colon due to an aggressive bacterium called salmonella. As I stayed overnight in the emergency room I tried avoiding the pain and discomfort by watching a sermon by pastor Bill Johnson on the sovereignty of God where he covered part of Acts 12. It dawned on me how important and powerful prayer through family and community can be…

Acts 12: 1-10 (Summarized)  - James, brother of John, was ordered to be killed by King Herod. He was executed by sword. Because it pleased Jewish public opinion he decided it was a good idea to imprison Peter as well, and have him executed. After having captured Peter, Herod threw him in prison guarded by sixteen soldiers and was expected to be executed in front of the people after Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, BUT the church PRAYED ERNESTLY to God for him. The night before the execution an angel of the lord appeared and led him. Unseen by the soldiers Peter and the angel arrived at a gate that led to the city. The gate opening by itself allowed peter to walk through it. Walking a certain length the angel left Peter and he was therefore delivered from death

Notice the difference in outcome for James compared to Peter, one destination was death and the other life!  There is no mention of prayer for James, (although I am sure there must have been someone praying for poor James), the bible emphasizes and only mentions persistent prayer for Peter by the “church”- believers of Jesus Christ. This part of scripture emphasizes the POWER of prayer through community in the body of Christ. 

As I fell asleep I meditated on this teaching and scripture. When I awoke I found my phone bombarded with text messages from people from my church and close friends, showing compassion by keeping me in prayer. I was truly overwhelmed with blessings and love from all of those who texted.  My bro Ken, a youth leader at the church I attend to, even stopped by and prayed for me. 
My fever, which had not come down from the day before, finally leaked out in sweat and my lungs felt opened and a fresh breath seemed to fill them.  

Later on the doctor said to my mother, “your son must have a very strong immune system for him not to be showing worse symptoms”.  Little did he know that it was prayer and the love of God expressed through my church family that was empowering my immune system. I was sent home that very day to have a speedy recovery. As of now I feel a million times better and stronger in my faith! For all of those who kept me in prayer, I thank and honor you for letting the love of God shine through you. Just as my family was with me every moment the spirit of your prayers was felt every moment. The compassion showed through all who prayed really emphasized the teaching and instilled in me a wisdom which is hard to describe in words. At most all I can say is this:

Although we know that no sickness comes from God, he can use our situation to guide us to a deeper level of understanding of his word through divine encounters. My brothers and sisters do not let your faith be waivered in times of tribulations.  Let every hit from this world that knocks you down be an opportunity for you to come back stronger in faith. 

James 1:3 – For you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance
Let us hold steadfast to the promise of who He is and what His will is:

Mathew 6:10 -Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
We know there is no sickness in the kingdom of Heaven, no death, and no poverty. So let us proclaim His goodness even in times of sickness for this is faith in action.
And if anything we should remember this:

2 Corinthians 12:9 - But he said to me “My Grace is all you need. My power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me

Where and when we are weak He is STRONG!

Keep fighting the good fight!

Much love,

Diego Andres Lucero

Monday, 14 April 2014

I Am Who He Says I Am

I am who He say's I am. Now, let’s be real here. We can say the phrase all we want. I am who God says I am. We can say it and say it, but deep down, we don't believe it. We're too caught up with our own negative thoughts about ourselves. "I've done this, I'm too (insert negative comment here)". I've been listening to Pastor Steven Furtick’s series on Crash the Chatterbox(check it out if you already haven’t! totally worth it!). To summarize , it talks about how often times we get too tangled up in our own thoughts or "chatter" and that holds us back, because we begin to listen to the chatter more than what God says about us.
I can tell you that this chatter has been present in my life, and it always will be, because it’s an everyday battle that you have to fight against. It may not be easy, but we are fully equipped to do so! We have Gods word, and through this we can find what God says about us! Not what society says about you, not what your boss says about you, not what your teacher says about you, and not what the enemy says about you. GOD, it’s about what God says about you! It's the only thing worth listening to.

The chatter says you are so filthy in sin, that you can't be forgiven....God says you ARE forgiven.  
Matthew 26:28
The chatter says no one loves you....God says "I love you!"  
John 3:16
The chatter says you were born without a purpose....God says you have a purpose! Ephesians 1:11
The chatter says you are worthless....God says you are full of worth and value! 
          Matthew 10:31                  
The Chatter says you are ugly….God says you are beautiful!  
Song of Solomon 4:7
The chatter says you are weak.... God says he gives you the strength. 
Phillipians 4:13 
The chatter says you are alone....God says you are never alone.  
The chatter says you are rejected….God says  you are accepted!  
        Romans 15:7                 
 The chatter says you are a captive….God says you are set free! 
Galatians 5:1
I am who He says I am…I am a child of God!  
John 1:12

I am who God says I am. I am defined by Him and no other. What society wants to say about who I am is irrelevant because I've found my true identity in Christ. It can be hard to silence your own thoughts, but when you look for the truths that God has spoken over your life, it makes it a whole lot easier. It's about time that we realize that sometimes our biggest enemy is comfortably sitting in our own heads. I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of letting my own negative thoughts get the best of me. It's time to fight back! Defeat the lies with the truth! I am who HE says I am.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phillipians 4:8
 With Love, Michelle ♥

Ps. I'm back! Hopefully you guys didn't miss me too much! I know that you guys had some really great reads thanks to my bestie Diana. Just so you know, I'm gonna be posting a lot more than she is in the next little bit. She's getting crazy busy just as I did. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Thought Doesn't Count

You see, there was this girl on the bus
Dark skin, curly hair. Elementary age girl
Wiggling in her seat, uncomfortable in her own skin
I know because I battle the same war

All over her hands. 
Scratch marks and cigarette burns.
She tries to cover them with her left hand
Black hoodie, 
Mourning soul

I should have told her she was beautiful
I should have told her God loves her
I should have told her her scars are beautiful

But I didn't

It's the thought that counts right?
Well no it doesn't count at all

Being brave is a lot tougher than it looks.
God's love is much too great and amazing,
that how dare I keep my mouth shut.

But I'm learning
And I won't be quiet anymore

And you shouldn't be either.

With Love & Grace- Diana

P.s. Michelle is back and the next couple of posts will be all her! It has been a pleasure, don't miss me too much! I'll be back soon :) Blessings to you all!

Monday, 7 April 2014

I'm Out Of Breath

I'm sure we have all felt that out of breath feeling. Going up a ton of stairs, working out, or chasing after the dog. For me asthma gives me that feeling a little more than the usual so I know that feeling all to well. But have you ever felt spiritually and emotionally out of breath? Like you've been running for too long and you feel like you are basically in the same place gasping for air? Biologically when we run too hard and too long our body starts to breathe in more and more heavily creating the sensation that you are out of breath. It's the way our body maintains homeostasis. Homeostasis is, 'to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function'. Spiritually when we feel out of breath it is Gods way of keeping us in "spiritual homeostasis".

We have so many plans, goals and dream and we just want to run towards them. But life was not meant to be a 10k marathon, it's meant to be the most inspiring and beautiful stroll in the park with a few falls along the way. For an impatient person like myself this concept is so hard to grasp. We do so much and burn ourselves out to only be standing a few feet from where we just were just gasping for air. Take the motto of the story 'The Tortoise and The Hare'; "slow and steady wins the race" to refresh you mind this is the story: 
"Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness. Then one day, the irate tortoise answered back: “Who do you think you are? There’s no denying you’re swift, but even you can be beaten!” The hare squealed with laughter.“Beaten in a race? By whom? Not you, surely! I bet there’s nobody in the world that can win against me, I’m so speedy. Now, why don’t you try?” Annoyed by such bragging, the tortoise accepted the challenge. A course was planned, and the next day at dawn they stood at the starting line. The hare yawned sleepily as the meek tortoise trudged slowly off. When the hare saw how painfully slow his rival was, he decided, half asleep on his feet, to have a quick nap. “Take your time!” he said. “I’ll have forty winks and catch up with you in a minute.” The hare woke with a start from a fitful sleep and gazed round, looking for the tortoise. But the creature was only a short distance away, having barely covered a third of the course. Breathing a sigh of relief, the hare decided he might as well have breakfast too, and off he went to munch some cabbages he had noticed in a nearby field. But the heavy meal and the hot sun made his eyelids droop. With a careless glance at the tortoise, now halfway along the course, he decided to have another snooze before flashing past the winning post. And smiling at the thought of the look on the tortoise’s face when it saw the hare speed by, he fell fast asleep and was soon snoring happily. The sun started to sink, below the horizon, and the tortoise, who had been plodding towards the winning post since morning, was scarcely a yard from the finish. At that very point, the hare woke with a jolt. He could see the tortoise a speck in the distance and away he dashed. He leaped and bounded at a great rate, his tongue lolling, and gasping for breath. Just a little more and he’d be first at the finish. But the hare’s last leap was just too late, for the tortoise had beaten him to the winning post. Poor hare! Tired and in disgrace, he slumped down beside the tortoise who was silently smiling at him. “Slow and steady wins the race” he said"
"Don't take life so seriously, no one gets out alive anyways" I have no clue who said that quote but I heard it when I was in 8th grade and I put on my Myspace status (holla). Till this day almost 8 years later, there is not a week that goes by that I don't have to remind myself this. Because it is so true, we get so caught up with being the best, having the best, doing the best that we often lose our breath trying to accomplish everything so fast. Slow down and enjoy the world around you. Yes there are people doing more and getting more than you but that doesn't not mean you have to go out of your way and run at their pace or run faster. Your time will come.

Jesus' life is the prime example of this. He had two purposes in his life. Do His miracles(gospel) and die on the cross for our sins. Simple. He probably could have done this all by the age of 25 no doubt. But his first miracle was at age 30! THIRTY YEARS of waiting for the right time. Three years of ministry and at 33 he died on Skull mountain for you and me and to live out the Scripture. So why do you keep thinking that your whole life should be accomplished by 25?
"Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’ -Jeremiah 2:25 NIV
The version The Message says it in a way that I absolutely love! (and I'm not the biggest fan of this version) 
"Slow down. Take a deep breath. What's the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, 'I can't help it. I'm addicted to alien gods. I can't quit.'"-Jeremiah 2:25 MSG
Don't be in a hurry, catch your breath, smell the roses and walk, you will still reach the same destination but you'll get to enjoy what is around you. When you feel spiritually and emotionally out of breath take it as a message from God saying "Hey there! Slow down a bit, you're losing your breath, take a walk with me instead of running by yourself"

With Love & Grace- Diana C

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A Letter To Sex

Dear Sex,

    I don’t blame you, I really don’t have the authority to blame anyone but what I do know is that a lot of people are afraid of you, I know funny right? I know that you know that you have been corrupted, it must hurt you huh? Well I’m writing you this letter to tell you that I am not afraid of you or your truth. You were designed beautifully and knitted oh so delicately. You are what they call, a masterpiece, and made by the ultimate artist of all time, God. I want to remind people that you aren’t dirty and filthy and you are definitely not what they see in porn sites and movie scenes. I wonder how it feels to see your identity and purpose stripped away from you in a flash, I’m sure you know it all too well. We both know I use to blame you for everything bad happening in my life, you were only an acquaintance yet to me you were the enemy. Then one day I realized you are not the root of evil, you are the root of something beautiful. Without you, I wouldn’t be here, and knowing your truth brought healing to my heart. But for many I see how the lies they say of you affect people: shame, guilt, and depression. They have misplaced you and used you, they no longer hold you in high regards but they think you have the power to cure their wounds and make them feel loved. You cry out “the only way that I can activate myself with such power given to me by the Creator of power only works under covenant,” but they don’t listen. And they rub you like you are a magic lamp but little do they know that it only works in marriage. Then there are the ones who are afraid of you because they have been taught that you are the bad person and can only be used for procreation. I believe you were created for much more than reproduction, orgasms and one night stands. I believe you were created to intertwine souls and make them one. That’s why I believe your magic lays in marriage. The perfect place were two people need to become one, where in sex they find love, grace, compassion, and oneness. Lord knows I am not contemning those who have experienced you outside of marriage because every sin is at the same level from up above but if only they knew that you are practiced in vain outside of covenant. You are beautiful and I can not wait to experience you. Yes, I am a 20 year old writing you a letter about how beautiful you are and no I believe I am not too young or naive to speak about you. You have been locked in a little box with no voice and 11 year old's are learning about you in the wrong places because some people are too afraid to speak about you, I am far from afraid to speak about you, i'll be your voice. You are all together lovely and I will wait for you this time around. I will wait till marriage to become one. I have not experienced you in such way but I know you are beautiful, and I will wait for you. 

Awaiting patiently and with Love & Grace

- Diana C