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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Every year, millions of Americans gather around with families and friends and a turkey in the middle of the table, they say a prayer, they say what they’re thankful for and they eat until they are more stuffed than the turkey. Then, the very next day, on the infamous “Black Friday”, before the sun comes up, they are out making long lines outside their favorite store, waiting for them to open and hoping they can snatch a good deal on a sweater or a flat screen TV. By noon they have already spent so much money on things they thought they needed and have maxed out credit cards. By this time, they have already forgotten about all the things they said they were thankful for.
Most of us only show appreciation or gratefulness the last Thursday of November. We take things for granted all year round and when Thanksgiving day comes we try to catch up giving thanks for all the good things we have. The bible teaches us to give thanks at ALL TIMES, no matter the circumstance. Whether you’re going through good times or bad times, the Lord wants us to give him thanks and praise him. He wants us to give him thanks when we have money to pay for our bills, as well as when we don’t have money for groceries. Don’t ask me why, I sometimes don’t get it either, but I have learned that obedience pleases the Lord. Therefore “Praise the Lord, give THANKS to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1. This one and many other verses in the bible talk about being thankful and grateful.
Let’s give thanks for everything; for our salvation, for our family, friends, food, shelter, job, transportation, good health, let’s give thanks even for the weather, because in many parts of the world people are suffering because of typhoons, tsunamis and other natural disasters, but God in his amazing grace, has protected us from all those things and that is a big reason to be thankful for, not only on Thanksgiving day, but every single day of our lives.
I leave you with some of my favorite verses about Thanksgiving:
• In everything give THANKS, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
• I will give THANKS to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most high. (Psalm 7:17)
• Enter his gates with THANKSGIVING, and his courts with praise, give THANKS to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4)
• And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

Remember to be thankful for everything and everyone and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Fall is one of my favorite seasons! With Fall comes many beautiful colors and flavors. Pumpkin is one of the flavors we see the most during this season. So here is an easy and quick recipe for pumpkin cupcakes that I’m sure you will enjoy making and eating. 😉
The ingredients are:
• 1 package (18.25 oz.) spice cake mix
• 1 can (15 oz.) of Pure Pumpkin
• 3 large eggs (preferably room temperature)
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup water
• 1 container (16 oz.) prepared cream cheese or vanilla frosting (Use the one you like the most)

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.

BLEND cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil and water in large mixer bowl until everything is moistened. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

BAKE for 15 to 22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Make sure to cool down the cupcakes completely for a few minutes. Do this before adding the frosting. Spread cupcakes with frosting. Decorate with sprinkles or any other cute edible decorations you may have on hand.

Enjoy and share with your family and friends!

In Her Shoes: Worth more than many Sparrows

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“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

I love the illustration that God uses in these verses to make His point and help us understand our worth.

You see, if sparrows, being the most “insignificant” little bird, had God’s full attention and He cared for them to the point of knowing when each one fell; how much more would He not take care of us? We are His special possession, created in His likeness and image!

Know Beloved, that you are LOVED. You are CARED for. You are WORTH FAR MORE.

“Celebrities, why we love to see them fall”

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The reason behind my title is because this is how I have been feeling lately about celebrities. After watching the infamous Miley Cyrus’ performance at this year’s VMA, all I can feel for her is compassion. From a “Christian” point of view I felt insulted and bothered at the fact that they would even allow such a graphic and tasteless performance to be aired. Then again, it’s MTV, so anything goes. This is how I was feeling, but then, it hit me. This young girl is just another girl who is crying out for help. Meanwhile we sit there and criticize her for her actions, but we really don’t know what’s going on in her life. We are quick to judge and point fingers but we don’t stop to think that people like Miley are there because we helped them get there. We live in a society where gossip and controversy is the daily bread. We love to see who broke up with who, who went in and out of rehab, or who is about to have a public nervous breakdown.

We love to see new stars rising up all the way to the top but we love more to see them fall out of grace.  Why is that?

There is this song by the singer Bebo Norman. A song he wrote to Britney Spears 4 years ago when she was going through a meltdown. In the song, he apologizes to Britney for the pain “we” caused. And for the lies we told, he says, “We took you in our arms and then left you cold” “Britney I’m sorry for this cruel, cruel world. We sell the beauty, but destroy the girl” This verse right here really touched me because it is so true. We watch them raise to fame and once they are broken by fame, we just stand aside and watch them fall. It’s as if we feel better about ourselves when we see them fall and brake.

The song continues saying: “Britney, I’m sorry for the stones we throw; we tear you down so we can watch the show.” Wow! This is exactly what’s happening with Miley Cyrus. Most of us feel better about ourselves when we watch her make a food of herself and when she does outrageous things or makes racy music videos. Instead of throwing the first stone, let’s stop for a minute and have compassion and love for these people. They live in an empty and cold world that all it does is make money off of them. Maybe there’s nothing we can do about it and this will continue to happen to a lot of young Hollywood stars. But what we can do is teach our young people to follow the example of great men and women. The first one is Jesus and He is the only one who can fulfill the emptiness in our hearts. Perhaps, none of us will have the opportunity to talk to Miley or Britney about the love of God, but let’s hope that somehow the message of hope gets to them and they can have a life full of purpose.

P.S. If you have a chance to listen to this song by Bebo Norman, please check it out on Youtube.

❤ Susie Q.

In Her Shoes: Sounds of Praise

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This past Sunday my husband and I had the awesome privilege of attending a worship concert led by worship leader BJ Putnam at Word of Life Santa Barbara. There is something so beautiful that happens when the music starts playing and our spirits begin to worship God.

We are able to go boldly to the throne of grace and worship our King. We are able to come together as a church and proclaim God’s goodness, God’s faithfulness, God’s mercy, grace, love and so much more…

It is in these times of worship when we can leave behind all distractions, worries and problems and simply go before our King and worship. Being in the attitude of worship changes your perspective on things, situations and people. Why? How? Because in this time, you are meditating on who God is, His Word, what He’s done for you and His promises for you. In light of God’s Word, everything changes…

Allow God’s spirit to encounter you and allow yourself to receive the blessing of praising God. In God’s presence you will find comfort, hope, joy, forgiveness, unconditional love and on and on the list goes…

Here is a song I’d like to share with you all…Allow your hearts to worship His 😉

In Her Shoes: Oceans

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
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I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

In Her Shoes: Daughters of the King

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Last Saturday I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Beautiful Conference held at Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano. Can I tell you it rocked my world! First of all, it was such a delight to have Crystal Lewis and her daughter Izzy Ray lead us into worship in such an intimate space and to have awesome speakers including Bianca Olthoff from In the Name of Love, and Loli Romo from Daughters of the King, bring the Word with such passion and urgency!

That’s exactly what rocked my world! The call to realize the necessity of being godly women who share God’s Word and love with passion and urgency.

It was the first time I met and heard about Loli Romo!

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This girl is no joke! As a well-known Make-Up Artist in the industry, Loli’s calling and passion for God has her on the frontlines of this spiritual war and she is fighting hard! So hard that she had to ask us, the “godly women” in the audience…”Where are you? Because I’m out there and I don’t see you!”

Booom! Boy did this slap me across the face!

Proverbs 27:6

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

I must confess I felt ashamed. I felt ashamed that I wasn’t out there on the frontlines fighting the good fight of faith. I felt ashamed to know that we, the Christians, aren’t visible in the world.

This shouldn’t be so. We are called to proclaim good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners; according to Isaiah 61:1

When Loli made the call for those who wanted to join her in the frontlines, I didn’t hesitate. I walked up to the alter and asked God for forgiveness. I asked God to give me boldness and to not allow myself to be blind or deaf to the call of those hurting around me.

My friends, the call to the frontlines is for you too. I pray that God will move us to be visible in our world. That we wouldn’t be too busy inside of the church but that we would be busy outside the four walls and practicing the love of God and sharing the Good News.

Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

❤ Cirene

In Her Shoes: Guest Writer Evelyn Dieguez

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İNo hay tiempo para esperar!
La Biblia cuenta la historia de una mujer que por no esperar la promesa de Dios, causó caos en su vida. Aunque esto pasó hace mucho tiempo, la impaciencia es una característica que muchas tenemos hoy en día. Vivimos en una sociedad en donde todo tiene que pasar rápidamente. El mundo ha hecho lo posible por satisfacer nuestra impaciencia. İNo hay tiempo para esperar es el lema de nuestra sociedad!
La paciencia es una virtud, algo que Dios recompensa. Para poder esperar se necesita paciencia. La Biblia nos dice que la paciencia “facultad de saber esperar cuando algo se quiere mucho,” (Diccionario Nuevo Espasa) es parte del fruto del Espíritu. Gálatas 5:22
¿Has actuado de una manera impulsiva porque no querías esperar? ¿Te has sentido como si Dios no contesta tu oración, ya estás cansada de esperar, Dios está en  silencio?  İCreo que todas podemos contestar sí a estas preguntas!
¿Por qué nos sentimos así? La respuesta es simple: İNO nos gusta esperar!
Cuando Dios nos dice que esperemos, Él tiene un propósito. Quiere que aprendamos cosas valiosas que nos moldearán para ser mujeres virtuosas.  ¿Qué actitud tenemos cuando esperamos que Dios conceda una petición? La actitud que mostramos revela que perspectiva tenemos de Dios. Si nuestra espera está llena de inquietud y ansiedad, quiere decir que no conocemos realmente a Dios. “Estad quietos y conoced que yo soy Dios…” (Salmo 46:10)  Estar quietos significa “estar tranquilo, inmóvil.”
¿Es así como esperamos las promesas de Dios?
El Salmo 23 dice: “Dios es mi pastor nada me faltará.”
Sara olvidó esta gran verdad. Dios le había dado una promesa, pero ella no creía que Dios la cumpliría. Sara interpretó el silencio de Dios de una manera negativa.
¿Cuál fue el resultado de la actitud de Sara? Un desastre! Dios tenía algo maravilloso preparado para Sara pero al ver que Dios no actuaba, decidió actuar ella. La impaciencia de Sara trajo frustración, desilusión y confusión a su vida. Génesis 16,18
¿Cómo esperas tú las promesas de Dios? Es esencial que esperemos con una actitud de gozo listas para aprender lo que Dios nos quiere enseñar. No perdamos el tiempo quejándonos por lo que Dios no nos ha dado, enfoquémonos en las bendiciones que nos da.
Como mujeres estamos llenas de emociones. Somos frágiles, y sensibles. Esto nos puede llevar a tomar decisiones guiadas por la impaciencia al igual que Sara. ¿Cuántas veces has tomado decisiones cuando sientes que Dios no actúa?
¿Te gustaría esperar en el Señor?
La vida de Ana es una inspiración. Al igual que Sara, Ana deseaba tener un hijo pero Ana escogió esperar en Dios y tener una actitud de contentamiento. ¿Qué hacia Ana para no desesperarse? Cuando sentía que ya no podía seguir iba delante de Dios. I Samuel 1:10
 İEsa es la clave! Cuando te sientas desanimada, póstrate delante del Señor, llora, dile como te sientes. Filipenses 4:6
Así que si Dios no ha contestado tu oración ya sea de trabajo, amorosa, o cualquier otra cosa, te animo a que no te desesperes. Recordemos que el tiempo de nosotros no es el tiempo de Dios.  Isaías 55:8
íNo te adelantes porque al hacerlo puedes perderte lo mejor que Dios tiene para ti!
¿Cuántas veces nos hemos conformado con algo que parece bueno pero que no es lo mejor por nuestra impaciencia? ¿Cuántas bendiciones y cosas maravillosas nos hemos perdido por no esperar?
İEmpecemos hoy, tengamos la actitud de Ana y el Señor en su tiempo nos recompensará!
“Espero en el Señor; en Él espera mi alma, y en su palabra tengo mi esperanza.” Salmo 130:5
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Bendiciones,

Evelyn Dieguez

Mentalidad Profesional

Estaba escuchando la historia de un jugador profesional de golf. El se encontraba  en una conferencia de prensa y todos los periodistas estaban haciendo preguntas acerca de su carrera como jugador de golf. En una de sus respuestas el dijo que nunca había fallado en sus juegos, al escuchar esto un periodista se levanto y le dijo; “como puedes decir que nunca has fallado un juego cuando yo tengo grabado el momento donde fallaste y no metiste la bola en el agujero” Un poco molesto el jugador le contesto; “yo nunca he fallado” y el periodista siguió insistiendo en que si el había fallado y que el tenia la prueba de ello. El jugador le volvió a decir “yo nunca he fallado; siguiente pregunta por favor”

El periodista muy indignado con la respuesta del jugador, quiso reunirse con el psicólogo de este para preguntarle que porque el jugador había mentido al momento de responder su pregunta. El psicólogo le respondió: “el no esta mintiendo, simplemente el no se recuerda de sus fracasos; para poder triunfar y poder llegar hacer un gran profesional no puedes vivir recordando tus fracasos y derrotas, simplemente te levantas, aprendes del error y lo dejas ahí”

Se que muchos nos preguntamos porque nunca podemos triunfar en nuestra vida, o llegar hacer un gran profesional. Y es por eso, vivimos aferrados al pasado y de los errores que cometimos. Tendremos personas de sobra que querrán recordarnos de nuestros fracasos, pero cuando eso pase simplemente recuerda lo que dice en la biblia:

“Hermanos, yo mismo no hago cuenta de haberlo alcanzado; pero una cosa hago: olvidando ciertamente lo que queda atrás, y extendiendome a lo que esta adelante” Filipenses 3:13

Ambar 🙂

Back to School

Vacation has come to an end for some high school, college girls. It’s been a while since I’ve been out of school, but I remember how it was. You always want to look your best on your first week of school. So I have put together some looks for you guys to be inspired and you all to look your best.

IMG_4954IMG_4955IMG_4956These looks are good for college or high school and everything is from http://www.charlotterusse.com/

IMG_4964These two tops are from forever 21, the pants and boots from charlotte russe

IMG_4961Remember we must show our faith everywhere and reflect his light, ask for his grace. These two awesome and fun t-shirts http://www.jcluforever.com/

I hope you all enjoy this new school year and remember to smile because that’s the best thing you could wear to look beautiful. Start your morning and day with God because that will reflect, not only will you have an awesome blessed year but people will see something special in you.