Saturday, April 28, 2012

Away from the noise. #dailysoulfood

Sometimes one just need a couple of days away from the noise in order for their heart to feel refreshed and renewed. Sometimes one just needs a day (an afternoon, an hour) away from the norm to enjoy God, spend time with God and be with God. God enjoys spending time with the people He loves and in His joy is where we will find our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

It's good to spend time alone with God. I love dates with my husband and my son but God is the best date ever. :)))

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Result of mammogram.

Results = Normal :) yay! Praise God! Thank you to all of you who prayed for me and with me. I really appreciate it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

faint in the day. #dailysoulfood

"if you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small" proverbs 24:10

daily soul food: strength and faith is measured not in good times when everything is going our way and all our prayers are being answered. Our strength and faith is measured in bad times, during trials and adversity, when we're faced with nothing but hope against hope and we still continue to believe and persevere.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lifter of my head #dailysoulfood

"my glory and the One who lifts up my head" - psalm 3:3

Often times, when things go wrong or trials come my way, I find myself trusting in my own strength or other people to get me out of my trial/temptation/demise. When I do that, I get myself into further trouble by worrying or being anxious.

I need to always remind myself that when things are going wrong, I should always go to God first and let God shield me and be my source of protection.

Daily soul food: when we run to God in times of trouble instead of trusting in our own (or others) strength, He is faithful to be our shield for us, protecting us from the enemy and from
our own self-condemtation.

When we choose to trust Him despite our circumstances, He will be our glory and the lifter of our head. Like a loving parent does to a little child who trips and falls... The mom or dad carries the child, dusts the dirt off and touches the chin of the child and lifts it up to gaze into the child's eye as they smiles and comforts and whispers "i love you, everything is going to be okay"....Our Father does the exact same thing for us.

Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, I pray you allow Him to be the glory and the lifter of your head.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Late night date nights.

Almost every night, before @jcravalho1 and I go to sleep, we sit on the couch, eat junk food and watch this show and crack up out loud.

We love us some modern family. We also love watching chopped; diners, drive inns and drives; and man vs food.

What tv shows do you like to watch?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

the other woman. #marriage #parenting

Even if the thought of having another woman annoys the living crap out of me, I know that I have to think about it and pray about it even now.

Everything that john and i teach christian right now will prepare him for the other woman - who will also be known as his future wife one day.

I pray he will be a man who honors his word and live a life of integrity.

I pray he will choose character over compliments, humility instead of pride, purity over a quick fix and godliness instead of wealth.

I pray he will be a man who cherishes and protects his wife and his family before anything.

I pray he will lead his family to love and fear and obey God no matter what the cost.

I pray that he will learn all the massage techniques I am teaching him so he can bless his wife and his kids if they've had a long day.

I pray that he will learn to have a heart like his dad (John), a heart that longs to serve and respect and honor others before himself. A heart that desires to worship God with the gift of music.

I pray that he will never forget the 11 years he had without an earthly father - when he learned to trust God as his Abba-Father and saw the miracles of specific answers to his prayers. I pray those years will forever embed in his heart the power of prayer and a miracle working God.

I pray the pain and memory of being abandoned by BC (his biological father) will teach him to always forgive, never be irresponsible and to never give up on people he loves.

I pray he will never forget the years when we slept on the floor and on couches and on sleeping bags... When his mama was so broke we couldn't afford to buy food sometimes, so he will be forever grateful for each blessing and that he will teach his children one day to have a thankful heart.

I pray he will always remember to love and cherish and honor his wife before anyone or anything else (yes even before me *gulp*) and to do his best to help her, guide her, protect her and launch her into all that God has for her life.

I pray he will never forget the joy of being a child, so he will learn to live a life free from worries and anxiety and will always remember to create memories with his wife and kids.

I pray that everything John and I are sowing into his life will prepare and ready Christian to be the best man he can be for the other woman - the woman who will one day be his wife and the mother of his children.

I pray for the other woman, that she will remain protected in the arms of her loving Father. That she will be secure in her identity as the daughter of the most high God. I pray God will protect her heart from unnecessary pain and guide her steps so that she may walk in the path of His will. I pray she will have the same privilege of growing up in a home where her parents love and worship the Lord and read His word...but if she doesn't, I pray that God would hold her heart close so she knows she is loved and longed for, not just by her Heavenly Father but also that she has a family (in us) who has prayed for her all the days of her life. I pray that one day my arms will be welcoming and comforting for her...that my husband and i will do all we can to make her feel welcome and be part of our family instead of just being her "in-laws" that she dreads to see.

I pray for the other woman, who will one day be my son's wife, partner and life long friend. I pray that they find the same kind of love and healing and friendship that my husband and I found in each other.

And i say a prayer of thanks for my mother in law... She taught John wonderful values and principles that he has brought into this marriage. He has learned so much through their experiences in life and it readied him to be able to take on a heavy responsibility of caring for a single mom with a son, because that was his mom's story too. She prepared him and taught him and trained him well for him to be able to love and respect and lead the other woman in his life that he waited for for 35 years - that other woman is me.

Friday, April 20, 2012

this will make you or break you. #dailysoulfood

"It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything." A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God, p127)

The husband shared this article on facebook today. As soon as i read it, i knew i had to share the words of wisdom that i read. These quotes are from Mike Myatt's article found on Forbes magazine called: This One Leadership Quality Will Make You Or Break You(@mikemyatt
  • ‎"You can wax eloquent all you like, but your actions will ultimately reveal what you truly value
  • What you pursue will determine the paths you travel, the people you associate with, the character you develop, and ultimately, what you do or don’t achieve. 
  • If you want to become a great leader, become a great pursuer. you cannot attain what you do not pursue. 
  • Smart leaders understand it’s not just enough to pursue, but pursuit must be intentional, focused, consistent, aggressive, and unyielding. You must pursue the right things, for the right reasons, and at the right times. 
  • Perhaps most of all, the best forms of pursuit enlist others in the chase. Pursuit in its purest form is highly collaborative, very inclusive and easily transferable. Pursuit operates at greatest strength when it leverages velocity and scale.  
  • That which you pursue is that which you value. 
  • The best leaders pursue being better leaders.

daily soul food: what we pursue daily speaks volumes about what it is we are idolizing. while it is good to pursue dreams, our businesses, our own betterment, etc ... let us not forget to pursue the MOST important Person that we really need. with pursuing other things, our motive should be to always bring Him and His Kingdom glory.  because when we choose to pursue Him and seek Him first, all these other things will be given to us as well. (Matthew 6:33) What we pursue will make us or break us. Let us make sure we are pursuing the ONE who made us. 

"Love the Lord with ALL your HEART, ALL your MIND, ALL your SOUL, ALL your STRENGTH." (it's all over the bible)

"It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything." A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God, p127)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crossing it off my lust list. :)

After being on my "most wanted list" (aka lust list) for 2 years, I finally have one!!! Woohoo! Thank you gift giver and thank God for wedding registries. I love me some gooooood coffee!

you will be like God. #dailysoulfood

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" - Genesis 3:4-5

you will be like God. i used to look at this verse and think eve was so stupid to fall for this trick. but the more i pondered on this verse, the more i realized why the enemy decided to use this lie to tempt eve. it's because it's our weakness. we all long to be something bigger than we are. and sometimes the enemy wants to use the greatness that God had put inside of us to glorify Jesus and twist it in order for us to glorify ourselves.

the fact of the matter is...almost every day we are faced with an opportunity to feed this lie. the enemy taunts us to do things in our lives, and most of the time it is presenting short cuts or a detour route of what was originally God's plan for us, so we can please our inner-sinner man who sooo desires to be like a demi-god (meaning we love worshiping ourselves). these are lies like:
  • don't wait to have sex before marriage, just sleep with this person so you won't feel so alone anymore.
  • you don't have to follow proper protocol at work, just cheat your way through it so you can get to the top.
  • there is no need for remaining accountable to another person, you already are a leader and don't need anyone (or cannot trust anyone) to tell you what to do. 
  • you don't have to tell your spouse that, one little white lie won't hurt.
  • there is no need to share to others about your struggles (anger, resentment, anorexia, etc) or addiction (pornography, food, cigarette, drug, etc) you can control this yourself. you don't need help.
  • you don't NEED to read the bible/pray everyday. 
  • "you will surely not die.....for God knows that when you do ________ ...your eyes will be opened and you will be like God" 
daily soul food: we need to stop feeding the inner-sinner man in us that longs to be like a god. anytime we hear a thought or a voice that causes us to question the very promises of God and it makes us act in a selfish manner that exalts us instead of God....we need to kill that thought immediately. in fact , once we are aware of those lies, we need to do the exact opposite of it. before we do or say anything...we always need to make sure to check the motive of our heart and let our actions glorify The Lord God instead of our inner god.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

always. at all times. #dailysoulfood

"i will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall always be on my lips" - psalm 34:1

at all times.
will always be on my lips.

daily soul food: what part of always and all times do i not understand? always. at all times. in the wonderful and fun times and in the bad and crazy times. 

He is enthroned in the praises of His people. so whenever i praise Him, i declare His victory and power. when i sing of His love, it reminds me Who it is i am praising (the Creator of the earth. the One who holds the universe in His hand). when i worship in adoration, everything these else (trials, sickness, problems, circumstances, etc) becomes a shadow under the Light of His Majesty. 

at all times.
always be your my lips.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

you must not touch it. that's what she said #twss #dailyquotes

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” - Genesis 3:2-3

you must not touch it. that is what she said. 

okay. here we see another boo-boo that eve made. but first let's take a look at what God really said to adam when He first gave this command. "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die. - Genesis 2:16-17

God DID NOT say "you must not touch it". i don't know if eve heard the command straight from the mouth of God or if she heard it from adam. maybe adam added "you must not touch it" while he was passing the info on to eve to make sure that his wifey stays very far away from that forbidden tree. i have no clue what happened but somewhere between God and adam and eve's conversation, something was added to the command and it was taken waaaay out of context. 

daily soul food: another mistake we christians often make (and this is a big one) is misquoting the bible to fit our need or our want. we take a scripture, add a lil bit of "us" into the mix and take that scripture waaaaay out of context. this is one most christians are guilty of doing. i know i've done this before.  

the enemy knew he had eve when he heard her misquote the command. he could easily entice eve because she clearly had no clue what the heck she was talking about. before we go on quoting scriptures, we must learn to read and study the word first and try to understand what it really means. we must be very careful in how we approach and use the word of God. after all, these words were spoken by the HOLY ONE and for us to add or remove or take His words out of context is a terrifying thing to do because we will have to face Him one day and give an account. don't add you into the mix of it. study and speak the Word with a pure motive with a pure heart. when we understand what we speak of, then we have even greater authority to teach it to others.

Monday, April 16, 2012

our number one mistake #dailysoulfood

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” - Genesis 3:2-3

in my previous post, I made mention of the enemy's number one tactic to cause us to fall away from loving God and it is: to cause us to question or doubt God's Word, especially after a mountain top experience (a spiritual or emotional high).

the number one mistake we humans often do is that we actually listen to his lies...and even worst...we engage in conversation with the enemy. 

when the enemy came to eve and asked her "did God really say" ... eve should've been like... "uh-uh i am not listening to you. God said I have authority over all the earth to let the animals do what i command them to do, so get thee behind me you snake...i don't want to talk to you, i choose not to hear your lies..i choose to believe what God has told me coz He has been nothing but gooooood to my husband and i...goodbye"

instead she LISTENED. AND. TALKED. TO. THE. SERPENT. she actually engaged in a conversation with the devil. we look at that verse and think... "man, eve was so stupid, why would she do that?" but if we're honest and real enough with ourselves, we too, just like her, listen to those "did God really say" lies... 

"did God really say you were gonna get married? did God really say you are going to write a book? did God really say start that ministry or business? did God really say he was going to heal you? Did God really say _______ (fill in the blank)?"

we often forget to realize that the same authority that God had given to eve is doubly-anointed-authority (yes, that's a word it my head) when it comes to us coz we have the power of Jesus in us. just like eve, we can choose to command the father of lies to shut the heck up. or we can make the same mistake she did.

daily soul food: let your soul be fed and nourished in God's promises instead of the enemies lies. and when the enemy attacks you with unbelief, remind him of the authority and the promises that Christ has given you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

did God really say? #dailysoulfood

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

Imagine Eve sitting in the garden enjoying the moment she was in. She just had a major encounter with her Maker and she received one of the best blessings one can ever have in life - a spouse who loved her and adored her. She lived in this really fantastic and fab neighborhood and all the animals (neighbors) loved her and followed her every command. She was on a spiritual and emotional high and absolutely nothing could go wrong... 

All was well in the garden up until she heard the whisper "Did God really say...?!?!"

It was her first encounter with the enemy of her soul. She had no idea that this enemy more crafty than any of the wildest, craziest thing she's ever seen and known... and his first weapon of choice was to cause Eve to question and doubt God's promises in her life. 

Daily Soul food: The devil still uses his same old tricks today - to try and trap us with his cunning lies of unbelief and doubt. And this usually happens right after a spiritual or emotional high when God speaks a fresh word of hope or promise to us. Anytime you hear a voice in your head questioning the Word of God, His commands and His promises to you... stand guard.  Don't fall for this trap. Instead choose to believe and stand on the Word and the promises of God.

Friday, April 13, 2012

to them it was a "statistic", to me it was my story.

Yesterday, I was so honored to be invited to join a meeting where executive and associate pastors from different churches in the island meet together to discuss church and the business of it. It was pretty awesome being able to sit there and listen and glean off of these men's knowledge and wisdom. For someone as inexperienced as me in being an "executive leader/admin/prayer intercessor/jack of all trades missionary" I had such a great time sitting there, being able to network and connect with such great men of God.

Somewhere in the middle of the conversation though, (I have no idea how this subject came up) they talked about statistics of women who were or are being abused. Statistical numbers were thrown around the table and as I sat there and I couldnt help but blurt out "it's 1 out of 3... 1 out of 3 women are abused today..."

Then I wanted to correct myself to say "they say it seems like it's actually 2 out of 3 now because more women are coming out of their silence with their stories of being abused and the ratio is getting higher." And I wanted to dig even further and say... "You know those numbers you are talking about.... That's me. I'm one of them. I'm one of those women". But because it was my very first time in that meeting I decided to shut up and let the "1 out 3" be the only information that came out of my mouth. (coz uhm i didn't wanna create an awkward situation and never be invited again)

The meeting moved on to talk about the agenda of the day and i thought it went really well. I mean it wasn't a bible study or a counseling session. It was a meeting where executive and associate pastors of different churches got together to talk about the business side of church (you know about photo copy machines and web graphics and that kind of stuff). I left the meeting so happy. God was so awesome and so powerful to allow me the privilege and the honor to meet these great men of God and actually get to pick their brains and hear their wisdom.

But i left me to think... how many times have we, i included, thrown around statistics and numbers in describing people's lives without us digging deep into the matter and realizing what those numbers really mean. Statistics such as:

This % of the generation are fatherless.
That % of children grow up in divorced homes.
These % of men and women who are addicted to (drugs, alcohol, pornography, food, approval, etc).
These % of women are single moms.
That % of people who are sexually abused
That % are physically abused
Those % emotionally & verbally abused
This % of families who live beyond poverty level.
That % of families who live in sleeping bags coz they have no where to live.
Etc. etc. etc.

think about it. 
there is a face and a story behind each number and percentage.

While all those percentages written prior to this paragraph are numbers to others, they are my part of my story and my reality. I lived through all that pain...I play a part in each one of those statistical numbers listed up there and each number is filled with memories of pain and tears and torment but also filled with healing and the freedom in Christ and the power to forgive others. 

I say that because that one short conversation we had about that specific statistic is now forever embedded in my mind. It has caused me to remember to never blurt out just any statistic without thinking of the reality of the pain that those people are living through. 

statistics of children born with autism or birth defects. statistics of couples who cannot have children. statistics of christians who have left the church and their faith. statistics of abuse victims and statistics of perpetrators. statistics of homeless people. statistics of people who have committed or are victims of adultery. statistics of illegal aliens. statistics of human trafficking. statistics of people that are sick with cancer, diabetes, or chrone's disease. statistics of women who are anorexic or bulimic. statistics of children dropping out of school. statistics of those who are adopted. statistics of those who have had abortions. statistics of those who grew up in foster homes. statistics of virgins and those who choose to remain pure and wait for sex. etc. etc. etc.

Each statistic out there is someone else's story. Each statistic means someone is going through their own very real experience, where they might be facing an intense amount of pain or has gone through pain and lived to tell about it. I pray that each person who has gone through the pain of one or more of those statistics will one day find their freedom in Christ and realize their story is not just a "number".  YOUR STORY IS NOT JUST A NUMBER. your story and journey plays an important role in this world. I pray that you will be able to find the same hope and healing that I experienced in my journey in order for you to share that hope and healing to others along the way.

your story is important. it is meant to be shared.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

on losing myself and trying to find me. #oneword365

NEW. i posted my oneword365 back in january 3 of this year. i had no idea what this word would mean in this season of my life. little did i know that my one word would force me to leave every comfort zone i had. (yes, i know force is a very strong word but that is what it feels like). a new land. a new a home. a new church. new dreams. a new family. new friendships and relationships. 

and in the midst of all that "newness"...i felt like i lost me.

for the past 8-9 months, i felt like i just existed here in hawaii. being newly transplanted and then suddenly married, i felt like everything i had was either the "church's" or my "husband's". it was their church. their home. their families. i felt like i was hanging on the coattails of people, networking with their friends and their contacts. please don't get me wrong, i am appreciative of the relationships i built and people i met... but through that process i felt like i lost myself because it was all about them. nothing was "patricia's". it was all someone elses'. and it made me feel alone a lot and it caused me to become a semi-introvert. which for a season was great coz it allowed me some time to learn to leave and cleave and made room in my heart for my husband to become my best friend.

but even in having him and having God there was still a void.
i missed my family. i missed my friends.
i missed ME.

you see, i was comfortable in LA because that was my community. but here, i was a stranger. i was "the new person". and for a long time i felt like i was on the outside looking in. but i know part of the process of finding myself meant having to let go of LA in order for me to be able to begin to build with people that God has called to walk along side of me here in the islands. people that i can call "my" friends. getting planted here in hawaii requires that i step out of my comfort zone and reach out to make new friends.

it's not easy to open my heart to new people and allow myself to be vulnerable, but i know i need it in order to grow, thrive and even survive here in the long run so i can finally begin to call his place "home". it hasn't been the easiest process, because some of those people early on had violated my trust already. some of those people gossiped. some of those people immediately showed how much they didn't like the idea of me being here or even being a part of their lives. some of those people, though unintentional, have already hurt my heart. but through all that, a few of those relationships have bloomed to be the beginning of what it seems like will be great friendships in the long run. they are friends that pray. friends that are willing to grit it out and say the good but also correct the bad that they see in me. friends that encourage the dreams inside of me (and vice versa). friends that i know God has brought in my life to be kindred spirits and covenant relationships.

after 9 months, i feel like i am finally beginning to pick up the pieces of my fragile heart that was lost. now i can finally begin to say that i am beginning to find MY community and MY place here in this new land. these nine months felt like i was in the womb - confined and learning to adjust. but now i feel like it's time to emerge from the "cocoon". this extroverted soul is once again beginning to spread my wings and learn how to fly and be me in this foreign land i now call "home".

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

honesty and the meaning of marriage

i read this blog post today by sarah markley (i met her once during a blogger/twitter meet up and her and her husband chad are pretty cool peeps). the post is a good read for married people. she gives beautiful advice about honesty in marriage.

check it when you can -->  =)

and once you get the chance...take time to read the meaning of marriage by timothy & kathy keller (amazon link here). i read the book and i highly recommend it. they share a different approach on writing about commitment and marriage and how we are to pattern our marriages and relationships the same way Jesus and His bride does, but also the way the Trinity relates with each other. pretty interesting read.

"to be fully known and truly loved, is well, a lot like being loved by God. it is what we need more than anything. it liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self -righteousness and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us....marriage has a unique power to heal hurts and convince us of our own distinctive beauty and worth" - tim keller

hope you enjoy the blog and the book as much as i did.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The apple of His eye.

His love message to me today: "this is what the Lord Almighty says - "After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye"  (Zechariah 2:8) #JesusLovesYouButImHisFavorite