Welcome to my crazy

Trying to get ready for what’s coming, while still taking care of what’s going on isn’t easy. I thank God for not giving me all of the details of what’s coming because what’s going on is enough for right now. Unfortunately, I am a planner, so I often shift my focus from what’s going on, to what’s coming. What’s coming seems so much more exciting than what’s going on, but I have been learning that what’s going on is what is going to get me to what’s coming. And how I take care of what’s going on will make for a smooth transition to what’s coming…Did anyone understand that?

Hey, the title warned yah! Now, you know why I really need your prayers! 😉





Opening up…to let go

Scream, beg, cry for the Lord to take something from you, but in order to let something go, you have to open up your hand…

I’m learning that there are some things I am holding on to so tight that it scares me to let go. My question, I always thought was can I move without them, but it really is, do I trust God? Really trust Him? With everything? I don’t know if I can say I can right now.

Is that something, me, a person willing to move to another country, allowed to say? I guess being a missionary isn’t the equivalent to being perfect because here I am facing that baggage once again.

I did a skit called Open/Let Go when I attended a church in Tarpon Springs about 5 years ago. It was about this subject…willing to trust God with everything. I thought it would be a great idea for me to do this skit again at our Fundraiser Dinner next Thursday night; not because I thought I was dealing with doubt or baggage, but because I thought others could relate. As I work on my lines and pitfalls happen, God is revealing to me that it wasn’t my idea to do this skit again, but His. Because I am still holding on to many of those items I thought I had let go of and He needs to work them out of my hands.

I love how we can mess up and pick up the baggage we had once released, but God NEVER forsakes us. In His Loving and Merciful tone says, “Yes, you can trust Me!”

I hope many of you will be attending the dinner at Bascom’s this coming Thursday, not only to support us, but to hear what the Lord may have to say to you about letting go.

Let go of the carrots…

Devotion by Dr. Tim Foster as a part of A WORD FROM TIM Ministries:

Some years ago my 1 year old daughter was sitting in her high chair and I was feeding her.  She had just finished her required half jar of strained carrots and it was time for the half jar of applesauce.  But, there was a problem. She had her two little hands around the jar of carrots and she wouldn’t let go.

I tried, vainly, to explain that it was time for the applesauce but she wasn’t interested or even tuned in to what I wanted.  I could have just ripped the jar out of her hands, but I didn’t want to treat her that way.  Finally, in desperation I said to her, “Just trust me. I have something better for you. Let go of that nasty old stuff. Just trust me.”

At that instant, God spoke to me in a voice so clear it was almost audible.  “Yes,” He said, “That’s just what you do to Me.  You keep holding on to what you have, and you won’t let go even though I have something better for you.  Trust Me. Just trust Me.”

It’s been several years since that happened and I am more aware today than I was before of how often and how diligently I hold on to things and dreams and relationships, or even to dreams of relationships.  I hold on so hard that God can’t give me what he has in mind.

Today’s passage is in Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father”. The Aramaic word for father is AbAbba is the familiar form of the word.  In other words the relationship between the wordsAb and Abba is identical to the relationship between the words “Dad” and “Daddy”.

Not only is it ok to relate to the God of the Universe as your father, today’s verse tells us He sent His own Spirit within us to cause us to want to cry out to Him as our Abba. And, lest you think that this is not respectful enough, may I remind you that there is not a word with a better combination of love and respect than the word, “Daddy”. Daddy’s can fix anything.

So, it’s not only ok to trust Him, it’s a really good idea.  Not only is it ok to not hold on to our little jars of carrots so tightly, we would probably be a lot better off if we were to watch our Abba more and our carrots less.

READ: Galatians 4: 1-7

Prayer: Father. I admit sometimes it’s a little hard for me to call you Abba, but, I think I get the point. I need to let go of whatever I’m holding on to because really, unless it came from you, it’s all carrots. And, even though sometimes you give us carrots, then you sometimes, take them away so we can receive the applesauce.  I’ll try to be watching you today and be more ready to receive what you give.

All Scripture quotes are from New International Version, [NIV] unless otherwise noted.

In Increasing Measure

I often think that if I pray and have faith, God should hear my prayers and come through for me because well, after all, He does love me, right? Isn’t that what this is all about? His love for us? I have learned it is, but it isn’t that simple…is it ever? Nope, not since the Garden of Eden.

In 2 Peter 1:3-11, we are told there are a few steps for us to get from faith to love. It tells us that faith leads to goodness; goodness to knowledge; knowledge to self-control; self-control to perseverance; perseverance to godliness; godliness to brotherly kindness; brotherly kindness to love…finally! Man, that seems like a work-out (and everyone who knows me, knows I do not work out!). It’s supposed to be.

If our goal is to live out the abundant life God has ordained for us, we have to do some work. When we do the work “in increasing measure, it will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (v.8) We become smarter, wiser, effective and productive…isn’t that what we all want?

For me, doing work isn’t worth the effort unless I am doing it with someone else and there is a pay-off in the end. I thrive (and often require ) on the encouragement and the final outcome. Come on, I’m being honest. Don’t you judge me? 😉 In this passage, I am assured that “His power has given me everything I need” (v.3) and it also tells me the “worth while” pay-off (smarter, wiser, effective, productive).

I find comfort in knowing that He has provided me with not only what to strive for, but He has also given me His power to accomplish it. Now, why is it that I seek to make my own and plans and use my own power? For someone who doesn’t like to work, I really make it extra difficult for myself. 

Brown Thumb

Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 11:17

Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. Galatians 6:7-10

These 2 verses have come up a few times in the past couple of weeks. I didn’t think much of them in connection to each other, but as today continues, I see the correlation more and more.

We talk about what we are passionate about, right? When you’re in love all you do is talk about *heavy sigh* “him”. When you have a new toy or gadget you spend all your time learning about it and showing everyone else how cool it is. The same goes for what we harvest in our children’s lives.

If we carry anger, unforgiveness and bitterness, we will harvest the same in our children, whether we want to admit or acknowledge it. On the other hand, if we harvest the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, we will see the same fruit growing in our children’s. Ultimately, our children have to make their own choices and decide what they want to harvest, but imagine if they didn’t know how to sow anything else?

This concept is a bit too late for me. I have already allowed weeds into Jake’s life. No, I am not beating myself up about it, crying defeat or even saying what I have done is all bad. What I am saying is, I may not have a green thumb (it’s literally brown ;)), but I know an Expert Gardener who will take my crops, remove the weeds and prune them to perfection. I just have to let Him to do it…which is another post all in itself.

We do the best we can with what we got, but that isn’t what God asking. He offers us to do the best we can with what He’s got! When we realize and succumb to that, our children and our children’s children will reap a harvest that only God could ever have sown!! HALLELUJAH!!!

Giving a Voice through Silence

Today is the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. As people wear red arm bands and duct tape to represent the number of lives silenced by a “choice”, I choose not to be silent…

Not because I disagree with what today represents, but because too many of us have been silent for too long! Abortion kills! Not only babies, but dreams and the lives of those involved.

The enemy through the media and the pro-choice industry makes abortion sound like birth control: once it’s done, it’s over. For those of us who have made that choice, we know full well, it is only the beginning.

The beginning of a downward spiral of “coping”in different ways; drugs, alcohol, sex, anger, isolation…the list goes on. So, many don’t even know that keeping the abortion a secret is the key to their behavior. Why? Because of another ridiculous lie from the enemy…”this is too bad to share, keep it a secret”.

LIAR!!!! Yes, it was a bad decision, but DO NOT KEEP IT HIDDEN! It will only eat you up from the inside. Trust me, I have seen it!

I just finished facilitating a Post-Abortion Bible Study, called Surrendering the Secret. It is an 8 week study that guides you through a journey. A journey to healing. I can’t fully describe what occurs during this time because most people don’t believe the freedom that is experienced once you have truly surrendered this “secret” to the Lord and allowed Him to mend your broken heart. Women come on in scared and ashamed. They walk out with their heads held high!

The healing isn’t because of the Bible Study. The Bible Study is the tool used to bring you closer to God where you can experience the freedom and forgiveness He is waiting to give you!

I could go on and on…My only prayer is that if you have had an abortion, seek a Post-Abortion Study that will help you! I have some links below. If you are not comfortable contacting or making the step alone, please contact me at 334-357-0445 or sanabriaj26@msn.com. I will be more than happy to pray with you and be with you as you take the step towards healing.

If you know of someone who has had an abortion or if someone mentions they have had an abortion, encourage, love and pray for them. God sees ALL sin as sin, we should, too!

Post-Abortion Studies

Surrendering the Secret – The 8-week study I completed and have facilitated twice. It is a ministry of A Woman’s Place in Tampa.

Passages – Passages is a ministry of New Life Solutions. The curriculum used is a 9-week Bible Study called Forgiven and Set Free.

Voice of Truth

Scared! That was my answer yesterday at church when everyone was asking how I was feeling about the move. Still very excited, but knowing my “logistics” trip is coming up, I was feeling a bit anxious…

This morning when I was driving Jake to school, we turned on the radio and the Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns came on. It was like the Lord had it played just for me:

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me. Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed. The waves they keep on telling me time and time again “Boy, you’ll never win, You you’ll never win”.

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!” and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”

The “voices” is the enemy trying to discourage me from making this move. He uses every avenue, including friends with good intentions. They, in not so many words, relay the high risk of failure with this decision. Basically, the enemy is trying to remind me of all the times I have tried to do the “right” thing and have fallen flat on my face. But, this morning, through that song, God reminded me that no matter what happens…no matter what…this is HIS calling for us and HE WILL BE WITH US! And if we fall flat on our face, He will be there to pick us up. He will be there to encourage us and shine His Light of Truth on and through our highs and lows!

Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth!

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid” Isaiah 12:2

Sneaking up fast!

Not only is my “logistics” trip to Guatemala coming up fast, but our second fundraiser is coming up fast, too! Have you RSVPd?? Have you invited your friends? It is a great cause!! 🙂

This fundraiser will be a dinner/silent auction at Bascom’s Chop House on Thursday, November 3 at 6:30pm. Please be there at 6:30 so you can bid on the silent auction before dinner starts. Along with dinner and the silent auction, we will also have a slideshow and a short presentation of what our trip will entail.

We have several great silent auction items, but if you have anything that you would like to donate, we would GLADLY take them. Ideas are designer bags, jewelry, paintings, sporting event tickets, photo sessions, consulting services (accounting, law, insurance, etc.).

The cost for the event is $30 per person. Cash only, please! Also, please bring cash for the silent auction, but checks will also be accepted. No credit cards, please!

If you are interested in attending or donating to this event, please contact me at sanabriaj26@msn.com. Your prayers are also very much appreciated!

Diggin Deep

For here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God! – Ezekiel 36:24-28 The Message

As we pray through our areas of struggle, God’s Spirit saturates our inner beings. This is exactly where transformation happens when it’s just you and God working through the deeper issues of your heart. We can easily get in the habit of breezing by and never truly dialoging with God about the real issues of our lives. What we fail to understand is that when we do this, we succumb to shallow Christianity.

Whether you struggle with temptation, weariness, fear, failure, suffering, oppression, or some other issue, you don’t have to sink into an emotional hole of isolation, condemnation, guilt, denial, or loneliness. Stand on your fortified foundation of truth. You can always know where you stand with God. You know He bids you come and seize Him. He is your inheritance. – Excerpt from Tammie Head’s Duty vs. Delight

We have also received an inheritance in Christ. We were destined by the plan of God, who accomplishes everything according to his design. We are called to be an honor to God’s glory because we were the first to hope in Christ. You too heard the word of truth in Christ, which is the good news of your salvation. You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit because you believed in Christ. Ephesians 1:11-13 CEB

Empty Calories…

I don’t really watch what I eat and I don’t exercise. Just because I am thin doesn’t mean, I’m healthy or in shape. Actually, I would consider myself unhealthy and out of shape. Before anyone starts freaking out, I don’t say this because I think I’m “fat”, but because I don’t drink as much water as I should, I don’t eat vegetables and stuff myself with junk food. I fill myself with empty calories…but that isn’t only true with food.

Lately, I find myself not being as “versed” in the Bible as I would like to be and I’ve wondered why that was. Well, first of all, I don’t study it enough. I do tons of Bible Studies, but I do what the books tell me to do. I never read a verse and examine it and its context, follow where else it is mentioned in the Bible and apply to my life. I get filled with other’s interpretations, not my own…empty calories.

Secondly, I spend hours upon hours on Facebook or “catching” up on the shows I’ve missed because we haven’t had cable in almost 4 years. I have actually stayed up late because I have been online. That is ridiculous. So, not only am I not eating well, or exercising, I not properly resting my body.

This all hit me this morning. I decided I needed to start somewhere…so, I have given up Facebook and Hulu for a week and will check my email periodically. With all the free time, I will have, I will keep up with my blog, look more diligently for a job and spend more time reading and studying the Word of God.

I pray, this week turns into even longer and my priorities are realigned. Then, I might tackle other things like water and vegetables! 😉

“I have hidden your word in my heart  that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7