Forgiven!

I just had to share something that happened to me recently that reminded me of another desperate situation and how I met my Savior!

A couple of weeks ago, I signed all three of my girls up for a theatre camp, through a local church. In my rush to get them in on time and sign them up online, I mistakenly clicked on the wrong payment type, and ended up not having enough funds to cover the cost.  I planned on giving a check for the rest of the balance, which I thought was only a certain amount, but found out that the second of the third payment didn’t go through correctly.

I had no idea of this until yesterday.  To my horror, the church had set up, what looked like automatic funds request, since it had not been paid.  As a result of that, my husband’s and my account was being charged NSF (non sufficient funds); not once, but twice. Yikes!  That amount alone was at least half of the cost of one camper fee.

I made a mistake and now had to pay the consequences or humble myself and ask for mercy.

My husband left me responsible for enrolling the girls in camp and he expected me to do it right. Under “normal” circumstances I could have been more careful, but that didn’t happen because I rushed.  I am solely and ultimately responsible for my actions, even if I felt I was under pressure to hurry up.

I felt horrible when I found out that I had made a mistake.  Troy didn’t show any signs of anger or frustration towards me.  He just calmly and very lovingly told me to  take care of this issue.  Even though he didn’t show any outward signs of disappointment, I knew I had let him down.  I love him and don’t want to cause any extra friction between us, especially in financial matters.  The devil likes to use money as a source of discord in marriage, so I didn’t want to let him get a foothold on us, in this case.

After earnestly praying in my heart, to God, for favor on me in the eyes of the bank, to receive pardon from this offense, I called the bank.

In a repentant tone of voice,  I explained what had happened.  I admitted to the bank that I made the mistake, but was asking for mercy, if at all possible.

To my pleasant surprise, they said YES!  I was so relieved!!  I hung up the phone, after getting confirmation of who I spoke with, and documented the date and time of my call.  And, I praised God for his answered prayer, in my favor!!!  I was singing for joy and telling my girls all about it.

Then, I was reminded of how similar it felt when I first became a Christian.  When I was told the Gospel truth about what Jesus did to make atonement or pay for my sins, I was finally able to see my own need for Him.  I needed to admit I was wrong before I could be truly forgiven.  How could I be forgiven for something I didn’t even know I did wrong.

As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t blame all my consequences on others.  I had to own my life and be able to respond, be truly responsible.

In my quest, as an individual, to live my life how I thought it best to be lived, I had made several mistakes.  Some sin was blatantly evident and other sin wasn’t.  All sin is the same to God.

When I was elementary aged and stole pennies off the carpet of a friends house or when I lied to my teacher in school I was just a child, but it was still stealing and lying.  It doesn’t matter to God the “level” of sin we commit.  Since the beginning of sin, in the Garden of Eden, when Eve ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge and then compounded it by giving some of it to Adam, we have been separated from God.  Eve gave birth to her first child, Cain, and he was the first of sinners to be born of his mother’s womb.  He went on to kill his brother Abel.

All sin separates us from God.

The Bad News:

According to the bible, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

The Good News:

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus”. Romans 6:23

I couldn’t pay the price.  But, because I admitted my known mistakes and that I can never be perfect, I received mercy!  First, from God, through Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross.  And, recently, forgiveness from my financial institution’s NSF fees.

I feel like telling everyone in my life all over again!  God loves you no matter what you have done. If you think you are not good enough or you’ve done too many bad things, YOUR WRONG!

The bible tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Would you like to feel a heavy weight lifted off your shoulders?  Then ask God for help in your situation, in Jesus’ name today!

http://www.peacewithgod.net

Forgiven in Deed!
Socorro Gill

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Set your paths straight…Between a “Rock (Jesus) and a Hard Place (Home)

I published the post below exactly 4 months ago. As I am writing this I can not begin to tell you all the things God has done to bring me to where I am today. BUT, I can tell you that God is faithful in fulfilling His biblical truths in my life.

As my husband and I were getting ready to entertain a couple for lunch and dinner, a friend of Troy’s, with his wife and kids, from his college years, it became apparent that we weren’t communicating very well.  I started to feel the tension in the room as we exchanged some not so nice comments between one another; as couples do from time to time.

In the details of creating an inviting atmosphere for everyone to enjoy and in preparing for the feast we were sharing with them, I was impressed by God’s Spirit that my “Home”, where I give my all to meet the needs of my family, is where my “Hard” place is.  It’s hard to try to please everyone or always do the right thing, but it’s also not possible.  Many times we hurt the people we love the most because we are so comfortable with them, and we figure they will forgive us no matter what.  But, it’s those same people we actually need to love even more, even if they spoke hurtful words to us first!  Loving them means discerning that they might’ve said something mean out of spite because they actually have an unmet need.  Love means asking the other person, “Is something bothering you?”, instead of your’re being mean!  Love means saying “sorry” first even if you don’t believe you did anything wrong, so the lines of communication stay open.    Marriage counselors have said that it’s better to argue about something than to stop talking and avoiding the problem because it won’t get resolved that way.

In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing more about what God is doing through me and as a result, in our family, to encourage other families to “live the life” that He has for them. I am more certain now, than I have ever been, that it’s His will for me to remain faithful to Him in EVERY aspect of my home life, as a wife, mother, and Christian.

As a result, God’s light is going to shine brighter through our family because I am staying “Between a Rock (Jesus) and a hard place (Home)!”  I’m choosing, daily, to stay and love my family because there is no other place I could be where I am accepted for who I am.  God is using my home life to sanctify me for His Kingdom purposes. There’s truly no place like home!

Please be praying for us specifically; that His ways would be our ways, and His thoughts would be our thoughts; to seek His Kingdom first, so all that we need for this earth will be provided.

confessions of a mother's heart

In the last few weeks I have been reminded, in my spirit, that if I want to get the rewards, I need to stand firm in what I believe in and not give up “no matter what”.  I believe that is applicable to anything in life.

Home schooling has never been really easy, but it has been educational, fun and life changing, for the better.

Moving from Colorado to New Jersey hasn’t been easy either, but it holds the promise of being educational, fun (once we can get the schedule and finances in place), and a ministry to women and moms, locally and globally

Nothing ever worth doing is easy.  In the movie “The Mighty Macs”, one of the main characters, the Mother Superior at Immaculata College, tells Cathy Rush, the future coach, “Without the pain, there is no glory” (paraphrase).

The reason I am sharing this with you is because I have felt

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Get your daily “Living Bread” and Eat it too!

Here in New Jersey, if you leave out any kind of low preservative or non-preserved food, it will begin to grow mold and become spoiled.

I love having fresh homemade or store baked and bought bread!  Unfortunately, here in the middle of summer, if I take it home and leave it out, in a shelf or on a counter top, for a couple of days or so; or even if I put it in the fridge and leave it there too long, it will rot!

I have come to find out, the hard way, that it can get very hot and muggy in July and August in New Jersey, and that’s an understatement!  If you’ve ever lived anywhere that is high in humidity and heat, you know that fresh food doesn’t last very long, so you have to eat it right away or freeze it to save it, if you want to enjoy it.

This made me think of another kind of bread that I really enjoy, without end; my daily “Living Bread”! 

If I don’t make the time to read God’s word by myself or with my kids, I tend to get stale in my walk with him; and my kids start to act “rotten” as well.

To stay alive, people have to eat.  So, if I want to live, I have to eat physical food.  BUT, if I want to stay alive and connected to God, I must also “eat” of the spiritual bread that He has given me!

In the bible, John 6:35 says, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’”.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48)

John 6:51 says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Has your “daily bread” gotten stale? Or, left it out too long?

Unless we make an intentional effort to have breakfast, we will most likely not eat a healthy and balanced diet, first thing in the morning.  I know people who don’t even eat breakfast, which is physically worse for you.  Not mention, leaving us prone to crankiness.

Let me suggest that maybe we protect our time and food by designating a time frame to do that and making healthier food options available, to be both physically and spiritually alive; and in turn increase our chances of living longer and healthier lives, while growing in our faith.

Also, we should make all attempts necessary to keep our “bread” from both “elements” that have the potential to spoil or steal our opportunity for a healthy meal, so it doesn’t lose its freshness, by placing it where it won’t dry out or even grow old, with mold.  Interestingly enough, both ways of “eating” require us to ingest and then digest food to receive its nourishment.

Here are some suggestions:

Physically:

According to the March 2015, Woman’s Day Magazine, “A growing number of research shows that early risers reap a host of rewards, from feeling more positive to weighing less.  The reason: Self-control tends to be stronger in the A.M., making it the ideal time to establish habits that can improve your body, mind and even your relationships.” (By K.Mickle, p.104, emphasis added)

 

Spiritually:

Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”

Psalm 199:11 states, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

The morning seems to be the best time of day to have your physical and spiritual daily bread and ask God to help you in your distress or praise Him for your blessings; and establish a holistic approach to healthy “eating” habits.

 

Have you established a habit to eat your “Daily Bread” today?!?

No matter what time of day it is, I encourage you to not only read His word in the morning, but to also have a “snack” any time you are hungry for something good!!!

A Word of Caution

After tasting of the ‘living bread’ you might begin to acquire a taste for it; and you might even become addicted to it, in a positive life giving way. Enjoy!

In the trenches of life with you,

Socorro Gill

Choose to “eat” better!  Choose life!

Near Death Experience

For whatever reason, the Lord has laid this on my heart, I don’t know exactly why.  I do know however, that it’s meant to help me reflect on my life, in order that I may stay my course or redirect it, and to share this with you, so that you may glean something from it.

I have never had a near death experience, but I do know an aunt, on my dad’s side of the family that had one when her children were very young.  I’ve also read of people who experienced being out of their physical body and seeing themselves being medically treated at the hospital or seeing a light at the end of a tunnel, when they were pronounced dead, but then suddenly revived, to the medical teams’ amazement!

In the true story of the recently published book and later popular movie, Heaven is For Real, the little boy, Colton, experiences such an event in his life, as is described by his father.

When my aunt first told me of her near death experience, she described it first as seeing a light at the end of a tunnel.  This type of experience is also described in a very similar way in other people’s experiences.  However they describe it, I don’t think it really matters because they all come out of it better for it.

My mom had a similar experience when she had her thyroid removed and felt like she was in very critical condition; close to dying.  She recalled seeing little, bright and light filled angels flying around her head, chest and neck, in her hospital bed, as if they were taking care of her; that’s what she told me.  I have never asked my mom or my aunt how they felt after, but I can imagine what they might have thought, based on their life choices, as I’ve seen them live their lives over the years.

The point I want to make about having a near death experience is that the people that this happens to not only get a new lease on life, but they also get a new perspective.  The whole experience brings them to a place a reflection.

It shouldn’t take a near death experience for us, as individuals, to take time to reflect and reevaluate our lives.  

When a very old man was asked to give his advice on life to the younger generation, he said that they should take more time to reflect or look back at their life; to see where they have been and look ahead to where they want to go.  Basically, keep the end in mind!

In an effort to be prepared for the work that the Lord has for me, through my website and blog, I have been reflecting  by going back to some storage bins, full of files that I have kept from presentations I have made, retreats and women’s events I have spoken at, and I found some things I had forgotten about.

Just after I was baptized and dedicated my life to God, I felt lead to write down some goals.  I recall making notes and I also remember thinking that I needed to write them down, so I wouldn’t forget!  In doing so, I was able to see how God has been guiding me through difficult and joyful situations in order to shape me for the present time.  I was able to also see that because I had written down my goals and God’s vision for my life, in light of my family; I was actually making very intentional choices in order to get where I wanted to go.  But, I had forgotten that I had even done that because of my focus as a wife and mother in the most critical years of my children’s physically and spiritually developmental period in their lives.  It has been in the trenches of these years that the Lord has been sanctifying me.  It is on this platform that I feel led to stand and speak to women, especially moms to not lose faith!

So, the goals I’ve had were not just from my flesh, but from God, who has always been steering me and redirecting me to get me to where He wants me to be and make a positive difference in my home, neighborhood, church and eventually the world.

God is so good! Even when I couldn’t see clearly because it felt like I was facing a dark and painful season in my personal life, God was and is still in control.

BUT, I still had to choose to trust in Him and not in myself.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

You and I still have the freedom to make choices.  Those choices lead to consequences, both good and bad.  I’m so thankful that He promises to “cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him, according to His purposes for my life (Romans 8:28, emphasis added) because I haven’t always made the best choices.  As a matter of fact, I am ashamed of many of them, but not afraid to share them, when necessary, to show God’s grace and lead another person to repentance through Christ’ death and resurrection on the cross!

Don’t wait until it’s almost too late, to reflect on your life and see where you are, so you can know where you are going!

Be intentional and choose life! Choose God through Christ!

Socorro Gill

To learn more about a walk of faith with God go to www.peacewithgod.net

Letter of Intent

Home schooling in CA and CO requires parents to submit a “letter of intent” to home educate.  They also have other more specific requirements, like how many hours of instruction per day, on average, and how often to give the child state required testing, if any.

As I was walking in my neighborhood earlier this week, I was contemplating all these things; and how if my husband and I hadn’t decided to keep them at home to teach them, would we still be intentional in our parenting and the teaching, of not only our local state requirements, but of God’s precepts?

I believe that we would have made sure our girls were well fed, clothed and had what they needed for their academic or school related activities.  But, would we have taken an active role to teach them God’s law; read to them about other Christian heroes, not only from the bible, but from the last two hundred years or so, also; about the men, women and children who have gone before us to make our nation a relatively safe place to worship God, without having to be told we could only worship at a certain place, time or in a certain style.

(By the way, that is what the pilgrims started when they came out to the new “America”.  I’m looking forward to being able to visit more of the historic places that are here in the East Coast; and for my girls to be able to see, taste and smell a little of the American Revolution, learn about Eastern Native American history, and learn about great inventors like Thomas Edison, by experiencing all of it for themselves, through museum visits and fun field trips, as the Lord provides!!)

I would have to honestly say, probably not.  The journey from parenting to home schooling has taught us to read more and be prepared in order to enable our children to be productive citizens of this world.  It has also taught us to pay more attention to what is being taught in the world of public and private education.  We have learned to tailor our children’s education to reflect not only our educational and philosophical beliefs, but more importantly, our Christian faith!

There is no doubt that they would be learning about God. But, it would probably only be on Sundays or Wednesdays because we would most likely be super busy with extracurricular activities all the other days, that have to do with their public school.  Not only that, but Troy and I would both probably be working full or part-time jobs.  That would not leave us much room for “being” more involved in the molding or shaping of our children’s hearts.

More likely, they would be influenced by the culture of their school friends and peers in their Sunday school classes or other church related activities.  Although I want my children to have peers in all those areas, I don’t necessarily want them to primarily be rooted and get their core nourishment from them.

Troy and I want them to be rooted in the one who can keep them standing when some of their peers are facing choices, causing them to fall and not be able to get up again.

I imagine we could’ve gone that way if my husband and I had doubted that we weren’t capable, with God’s guidance, through regular and earnest prayer, of leading our children to “know about God”, learn to walk, talk, eat and throw tantrums.  Oh, wait!  They would’ve already been able to do most of that on their own, wouldn’t they?

When Troy and I decided to home school, we thought it best to do that for a couple of reasons.  First, we couldn’t afford private school and second, we wanted to be their first and most influential teachers.  We figured, if they can learn to obey and honor us, then they can do the same outside the home; honor and respect their elders and love their enemies (we’re still working on it!).  I have met many people, and know some personally, that don’t want to do that because they say it’s too difficult for them.

Why?  Where would they get such an idea?  Oh, that’s right, they live with their childrenWe understand.  We live with our children too!  Troy and I understand that it’s not easy, but we have chosen to do that anyway because we want to be able to give our girls a strong and firm foundation; a foundation that is steady and cannot be swept away when the storms of life come blowing through.  As Jesus died to himself to give eternal life to all who call on him, Troy and I have chosen to die, daily, to ourselves so that our girls can have a strong biblical foundation and choose to follow Jesus and gain eternal life.

The bible documents what Jesus said about facing troubles in our lives in this world; He plainly said that we will have troubles in this world, but we can take heart in Him, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

In the end, what’s going to count most in our children’s lives, wherever God steers them, is whether or not they can remain faithful in their spiritual walk with God in the midst of the troubles they “WILL” face.

It will come down to “WHO” they know, not necessarily “WHAT” they know.  And, the one they know will help them in times of trouble, so they in turn can also help others in need.  (2 Corinthians 1:4)  That is my ultimate goal as a mom of faith!

I want to challenge you with the following, if you’re up for it:

If you don’t “home school” your children, for whatever reason you are convicted not to, why not commit to “submit a letter of intent” to God, to home educate your child, according to God’s word?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.”  Psalm 111:10

In reality, that is our intent in our home school.  We have not only sent in our letters of intent, regularly, to our home state, when necessary; abided by the specific rules on what subjects to teach, to home school our children, but we have also intentionally committed to train our children in the way they should go, so when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).

Lord willing, until I blog again!

Socorro Gill

P.S. You don’t have to “home school” to raise healthy and faithfully grounded children in the Lord.  So, don’t feel pressured.  Follow your heart according to God’s will for your family by prayer and supplication.