Category Archives: Inspiration

The Darker the Night, the Sooner the Dawn Arrives!

“Many times, in life, we see ourselves surrounded by dense darkness, and as we pass it through, we can hardly see dawn.”

 

The popular belief says so, although according to subject matter experts, that’s not necessarily the case. Anyway, what is true without a doubt is that after the thickest darkness of the night, we can always expect for the sunrise to come. Yes, we certainly can! Even in Antarctica where nights can last 24 hours.

But beyond a scientific analysis of this phenomenon, this leads us to meditate on the various circumstances we go through.  However, as sure as dawn approaches, when we walk along dreary times, we will surely see those sparkles of hope to light up our days and drive us with certainty to a new bright day.

Recently, I was on a plane for several hours flying back to my country. It was a night flight. So, while we were flying across the Atlantic, I witnessed the most spectacular night landscape…dense black clouds that made me think of a catastrophic storm coming right at us! But after a little while, through the distance I saw astonishing sparkles of light coming out of nowhere. Certainly, the first sunrays were showing up on the horizon. And the truth is that darkness, however dense it seemed, was brief and would soon be over. For sure, there was hope and dawn was getting closer.

What situation are you facing right now? Are you walking along a dense dark road where it’s just impossible to see the other end and it makes your heart feel invaded with fear and uneasiness? Do you feel lonely? Are you facing hard financial problems because you don’t have a job and you have nothing but tons of debts? Were you diagnosed with a disease with limited or very complicated probabilities of being healed by human means? Or are you going through a very painful family situation?

That’s life! There are sunny and bright days where we can feel affected by the heat despite the beautiful landscape around us. And there are also rainy and cold days where all we need is warm shelter and a hot drink. Of course, there are also those dark, freezing and hopeless nights; those times where our heart has a profound yearning for guidance from a caring and generous hand full of love.

I don’t know what you are going through right now, but if you’re walking across the dense and thick darkness of the night, I’m convinced that there’s hope and you still have the chance to suddenly see those sparkles of light that will lead you towards your very own sunrise.

In fact, someone already took that disturbing and densely dark journey before you and I did. There’s someone who fully understands what you’re experiencing today. Someone already went through all that and even more. That is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God Himself; the One who loved us [humankind] “so that though He was rich, He became poor, so that through His poverty we might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). “Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)

Has there ever been a darker night in the history of humankind?
The death of the Faithful and Just King for the lives of unfaithful and unjust people.                    The execution of the Holy One for the salvation of sinners.

But that night didn’t end there, and 72 hours later the dawn came with great power. The Righteous One rose again. He rose victoriously from death. Life defeated death!

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and Life itself; He has the power to take you from death to life, from discouragement to hope, from discontent to fullness, from anguish to peace.
You can test anything, but I can assure you that there’s no other way for you to find a brand-new and lasting dawn for your life. Jesus Christ is the only certain way. Jesus is the Bright Morning Star! (Revelation 22:16)

I invite you to open your heart, your soul to Jesus Christ today. He will put the breath of life in you and He will literally take you from death to life. He will fill you up with hope and He will keep you warm with His eternal love. And He will give you peace, the kind of peace that transcends all understanding in this turbulent world.

A popular adage says, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” In fact, “today is the day for Salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). So, cry out faithfully to the Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, the One who listens to your pleas and to every yearning of your heart. Invite Him today to be your only Savior and Lord.

God Almighty, I thank you for sending your Son, my Lord Jesus Christ, the One who died on the cross for me. Please forgive all my sins. I repent from the bottom of my heart because I have sinned against you and I have offended you. Cleanse me and purify me with Christ’s precious blood. I firmly believe that God raised Jesus from the death to give me eternal life. My beloved Jesus, please come into my heart. I welcome you as the only Savior of my soul and my life. Transform me and help me to live a life of obedience that will lead me to please you always. I pray all this in your Name, dear Jesus!

If you have any questions regarding the decision you made today, please contact our blog. We’re always glad to help you. And don’t forget that “today is the day for Salvation.”

 

Photos:

  1. Cecy Yepez
  2. Freepik License
  3. 123RF License

 

 

Have you ever experienced walking along an endless path?

“There was something that moved us not to stop or discourage us, but to continue despite the hurdles and perhaps the fatigue we experienced …”

 

Recently, I shared some outdoor activities, in which I had the opportunity to take short and long walks on trails in the middle of natural forests. It was a unique experience, so I incredibly enjoyed it despite the complexities that arose at certain times.

Eventually, one of the trails was much more complicated than the others, not only more complicated but also longer, almost endless. And in addition, many obstacles appeared throughout the tour.

Endless slopes for climbing; some sections downhill, slippery with mud; suddenly some ditches to jump; and in some cases, small streams or mud pits that demanded some impulse to cross them.

 

 

To the rhythm of the spectacular twittering of the little birds that fluttered in the middle of the forest and suddenly accompanied by a pair of friendly canines that joined the group as if they took the role of guides, the walk along the road suddenly acquired a different nuance. Some were losing strength; others, with a short break in the middle of the path and a little water was enough to regain the strength; others found it tremendously common, they knew they would face obstacles and were ready to face them.
But for everyone, there was something that moved us not to stop or discourage us, but to continue despite the hurdles and perhaps the fatigue we experienced … a single, but powerful thing … our goal: to reach one of the majestic waterfalls of the area.

And so it was, after almost two hours, our eyes could not believe in front of us, one of the most wonderful spectacles, the Cascada de Cóndor Machay, fruit of the thaw of the Cotopaxi snow-capped mountain, located in the Ecuadorian province that bears the same name.

How refreshing it was to stand in front of this spectacular landscape, not

At Cascada Condor Machay

only by the breeze that threw the force of the fall of the waters of the Condor Machay, which definitely brought freshness to our faces and bodies; but also because it brought refreshment to our souls, upon knowing that we achieved our goal, we discovered the beauty of Condor Machay, more than 3,000 meters high. Amazing! What an extraordinary live stage!

Walking along these roads and in particular this one that took us to Condor Machay, at times seemed a myriad, endless and irresistible path, but our eyes were on the finish line, the inestimable goal that was finally achieved and enjoyed.

 

Have you ever experienced walking along an endless path? Have you ever thought that the path of life sometimes seems to be an endless and overwhelming path?

Many times, walking through life may seem like a path whereby we walk without reaching the finish line. We certainly face many obstacles, but unfortunately we do not reach our goal. Now, what is your goal? What do you want to achieve at the end of life?

Perhaps, having a successful marriage, children fulfilled both as persons and as professionals, a highly respectable professional development, businesses that reach their maximum magnificence; and all this can be valuable and if achieved, it will be truly worthy of admiration. However, even if all this seems stately and invaluable it remains purely physical and emotional. But, what about the spiritual realm?

Do we think perhaps that after all the innumerable hurdles overcome and the success achieved on this planet, everything ends there once we leave it?
Well, absolutely not, God, our Creator according to His Word, “… and has set eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are eternal beings, once we leave this earth, we will live – our spirit will live forever. The question is, where?

And while our life does not have a clear and transcendent purpose, all success achieved even in the midst of huge obstacles becomes transient, temporary, fleeting achievements and even futile. Why? Because very often everything we do, and with great effort, is simply done to bring about recognition to our own name.

The writer John Piper, in his book, “Don’t waste your life” states: “It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about Himself.”

The moment we recognize that we are creatures of God, the creator of the heavens and earth, of the human being, of the entire universe and of everything in it; our perspective will change completely. We are beings created by the great Almighty God and we are made in His image and likeness and we are created for good works; as His Word states: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Then everything makes sense. It’s not about us, it’s about who made us and what He created us for. God is the one who gives purpose to our lives, He is the one who will fulfill His purpose in each one of us (Psalm 138: 8), of course if we turn to Him, if we seek His direction, if we long for His purpose in our lives.

The journey of life is complicated, exhausting and confusing at times; but if we are clear about our purpose and we set our eyes on it, we know that every obstacle will finally be overcome. Jesus said: “I have told you these things so that you may find peace in me. In this world you will face afflictions, but be encouraged! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). And He also said: “In my Father’s house are many rooms; If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14: 2).
Today may be the day you find true peace and salvation. Surely, you may have been walking on seemingly blind alleys, endlessly. And perhaps, without any major achievements. But Jesus Christ invites you to leave all the burden at His feet today, to confess your sins before Him, to let go everything that troubles you before Him. Jesus today listens to you, He listens to your heart and invites you to release everything that overwhelms you. He is your Savior, your Healer, who forgives all your evils and is ready to welcome you with open arms.

You have tried to jump or evade so many obstacles but without any luck. If today you open your heart completely, without regrets, if you repent of all sin, Jesus promises you eternal life in His presence, and also to walk with you the path of life. At the end of the path, the majestic inexhaustible source of living water will surely await you, Jesus Christ Himself who will receive you with open arms, who will wipe away your tears, who will refresh your soul!

His Word indeed states: “The LORD Himself goes before you and be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged”                                                                                             (Deuteronomy 31: 8).

Photos:  Courtesy of CI colleagues.

What is Contaminating the Excellence of the Heart?

“The beauty of the human heart originally permeated by our God Creator is abruptly attacked by the sin of the human being himself.”

 

In previous articles I have emphasized that excellence starts from the heart of God, and our Creator has definitely permeated the excellence of His heart in ours.

Yet sadly, the human heart is not always aligned with God’s heart. Why? The answer is simple but truly profound … because of sin.

In one of the articles I published recently, “Excellence Stems from The Heart – Part 1,” I briefly shared one of my traveling experiences in submarine, in Hawaii. And yes, when traveling to the bottom of the sea it is indisputable to meet the enchanting creation of God. Colorful vegetation and a diverse and extraordinary array of marine species that leaves us breathless when proving that there is indeed an exotic underwater world, of wild beauty and endless secrets, not all discovered, not entirely revealed.
The depths of the sea resemble the depths of the human heart. So much beauty, although sometimes damaged and even destroyed.

Carthaginian II – Lahaina, Maui

While my eyes reveled in the beauty of the underwater species, every colorful and vivacious image suddenly ceased when it faced with the ruins of a rusty and destroyed boat. An image that certainly produced other images in my brain, images of destruction and consequently, loss, pain and even death.

Any similarities with the depths of the human heart? For if we are honest and travel towards the depths of our heart, we will observe that we find not only beauty: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23).

But sadly, we also find: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander (Matthew 15:19).

The beauty of the human heart originally permeated by our God Creator is abruptly attacked by the sin of the human being himself.

And sin is simply man’s disobedience to the laws set forth in the life manual that God has given us through His Word -the Bible.

And many may say, and in fact have told me, “I do not sin, I do not harm anyone … I live my life the best I can … I try to do good…”

But let me invite you so that in the solitude of your room you make an honest journey to the depths of your heart and see if you do not find some elements that have contributed to the contamination of your heart: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lust, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like (Galatians 5: 20-21).

The Word of God, our life manual tells us: Let God be true, and every human being a liar (Romans 3: 4). So if we are truly honest, we all have absolutely fallen into at least one of these sins. Consequently, we have broken the law of our Creator’s life manual.

And if we are honest, by breaking His law, our heart does not experience peace, our sinful heart does not rest until it finds forgiveness and healing from its Creator.

Many marine species have been endangered because of the various contaminations they have suffered: oil, fossil fuels, garbage, among others.

If we recall the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the heart of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, “the oil spill area broke through the ranges and the habitats of more than 8,000 species including birds, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, sea turtles and marine mammals (…) shrimp found themselves without eyes, crabs without tweezers, and fish with injuries and tumors through their bodies”. [1]

Likewise, the human heart is in danger of death, and eternal death if it does not return to its Creator, to Jesus Christ, the Giver of life, the eternal life. He Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14: 6).

Certainly, there is beauty at the bottom of the sea, but it is in danger of being contaminated. The responsibility to take care of it and to preserve the wonderful marine species is undoubtedly ours, the human beings.

And excellence is found in the depths of our heart. However, it is at stake of being contaminated by sin. It is our responsibility to seek the solution to preserve it pure and healthy, free from the slavery of sin.
Indisputably, the solution is Jesus Christ. And in His Word He clearly states, “I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).

How is your heart today? I invite you to embark on a journey into the depths of your being and call out to your Creator, Jesus Christ, so that He comes to your rescue, heals and restores your heart, because life flows from it.

Sources:

[1] http://www.oceanfutures.org/news/blog/Derrame-de-petroleo-del-Deepwater-Horizon-5-anos-de-secuelas

 

Excellence Stems from the Heart – Part 2

“The excellence of the heart of God was definitely impregnated in our heart, now it is we who must expand the heart of God wherever we go.”

 

As I shared in the previous article – Part 1, God did not only prepare everything in advance to welcome us in this planet, but when He created us, He certainly did it with excellence, with deep love and by the way, carefully and wonderfully.  The Bible – His Word reveals it so and science does confirm it as well.
Psalm 139:13-14,16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb; I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well…Your eyes saw my unformed body.” This is expressed by this Psalm with vivid poetry that God, the Creator knotted us in such a way, which as a result every human being is truly His masterpiece. But His creation does not only encourage poetic expression; but science as such, definitely confirms how wonderful it is.

So let’s take a look at what National Geographic states about the human brain: “It is, nevertheless, one of the body’s biggest organs, consisting of some 100 billion nerve cells that not only put together thoughts and highly coordinated physical actions but regulate our unconscious body processes, such as digestion and breathing.”[1]

The brain is the most complex information management system in the universe. [Image from the Internet]

And for instance, let me quote Wernher von Braun (1912 – 1977), a space engineer who stated, “Certainly there are those who argue that the universe evolved out of a random process, but what random process could produce the brain of a man or the system of the human eye?,” [2] questioned the creator of the V-2 Rocket for Nazi Germany and Saturn V for the United States.

 

Dear friends, here we are talking only about the brain, which, by the way, we see it as one of the key organs of human life, in fact, it is the most complex information management system in the universe.
As we see, science itself leads us to study and understand that the human body is a wonderful, extraordinary machine. It is the most accurate and efficient machine that has ever existed and does not compare at all with any machine created by man.

But, not only our complex physical body as it is, is the evidence of the existence of “an intelligent being” who is certainly behind the creation of all this magnificent universe, but also our soul that is sealed with the mark of excellence of this being, called God, the Creator, Jesus Christ himself.  “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation …—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  (Colossians 1: 15, 17)

And it is precisely our soul that was made in the image of God, the Creator, “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created him; male and female he created them”. (Genesis 1:27).
Wernher von Braun recognized it so, God’s masterpiece is the human soul. [3] And it is in the human soul that God has impregnated His image.

Let’s just take a look around us for a few minutes… look at those living beings that are close to us and are not our peers. Namely, we contemplate the garden of our house, the plants that embellish our room, we hug our pets, or maybe we remember some of our visits to the zoo or some botanical garden. These beings are extraordinary, the animals, flowers, plants, trees; but none of them would dare to compare itself with the smallest of human beings, if it could.

Human beings are truly privileged and unique. Only men and women are the ones who reflect the extraordinary characteristics of God, the Creator.

We are highly creative beings. The creativity of the human being is evident every day, in the music we listen to, in the works of art that delight us, in the beauty of the varied crafts that characterize different peoples and nations, in the extraordinary scientific inventions.

One of the greatest inventions, the car by Ford. [Edison & Ford Winter Estates]

We are intelligent. The human brain has intelligently created the horse’s saddle, the carriage, the boat, the bicycle, the car, the light aircraft, the plane to transport increasingly faster and more comfortably.

But his creativity and intelligence is ongoing, the human brain has crossed the limits of our planet, it has reached the moon and continues to explore space non-stop.

We are beings who communicate with each other. The spoken, written word or sign language are exclusive to the human being. We have been given the privilege of expressing what is in our heart through the word. In fact, God created the universe, through His Word (Genesis 1). Through the word we have the power to build or to destroy, to spur or to discourage, to love or to hate.

These are just some of the characteristics that our God, the Creator has impregnated in our soul. We are indeed His masterpiece! And every “masterpiece” is admirable and worthy of replication.
The excellence of the heart of God was definitely impregnated in our heart, now it is we who must expand the heart of God wherever we go.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Sources:

[1]  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/brain/

[2] http://www.icr.org/article/wernher-von-braun-father-space-flight/

[3] http://www.wnd.com/2016/06/this-rocket-scientist-had-amazing-view-of-god/

Excellence Stems from the Heart – Part 1

“Excellence stems from the heart of God, our Creator, who, by means of his eternal love for men and women, called this planet out of nothing…”

 

In the bilingual blog “Towards Excellence” and in honor of its name we begin to develop a series of articles with short reflections on the world of excellence, the depth of its meaning and why not, a forthright challenge to post-modern and post- post-modern society that we, in general, are living worldwide.

Submarine trip, Maui, Hawaii

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to venture a submarine trip in Hawaii. A short but surprising journey to the bottom of the sea, where the wonders of the marine realm only seen on the small and big screens, became a beautiful reality. This incredible experience simply confirmed me that wherever we are, we will always be surrounded by beauty and magnificence.

Let me invite you then, to take a look around you, your surroundings. What do you see? … And after a few minutes we will surely have very different answers. There will be those who describe extraordinary mountainous landscapes, others perhaps even the greatness of snow peaks on a sunny day, many others the beauty of its beaches and the vast sea, and probably some more, the exotic landscapes of a dense jungle.

And all this without considering the magnificent diversity of fauna and flora in each of the most amazing

An enchanting underwater world

An enchanting underwater world

places of our planet.

Our environment, our planet, in short, our home proves that we live in a world of excellence. From the summit of the Everest to the Dead Sea bordering Israel, the lowest point on earth, our gaze certainly delights with the “7 natural wonders of the world” and beyond.

Let’s take a look now, at the beginning of this planet. And for that purpose, if I may, I want to refer to the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis (Bereshit) in Hebrew, precisely means “In the beginning.”

In sum, Genesis 1 tells us how our planet, our home began, who built it and, in fact, how it was organized, decorated and filled with food, all of this before our arrival, the arrival of human beings.
I challenge you to read Genesis 1 carefully. You will be amazed about how wonderful this story is. However, and for the purposes of this article, I just want to highlight two aspects of this reading:

Dead Sea

Dead Sea

1. Throughout this chapter and while it mentions step by step the creation of our world…the light, the heavens, the earth, the waters, the sun, the moon, the stars, the grass, birds, fish; then God, our Creator, states 6 times: “And God saw all that He made, and it was good;” and a seventh time, after He created the animals and the human being, and He finished His creation, “ And God saw all that He made, and it was very good”.

Thus, one of the most important things that this text stands out is that the creation of God is definitely “very good.” In other words, the creation of our God, which of course includes us humans (Gen. 1:27, 31) was done with excellence, without imperfection, without mistake.

2. “He [God] has made [and still makes] everything beautiful in its time”, (Ecclesiastes 3:11); therefore,

Mt. Everest view from base camp (courtesy of Amosji Attaché Gorkhas)

Mt. Everest view from base camp (courtesy of Amosji Attaché Gorkhas, Nepal)

His heart is willing to do everything with excellence, because His essence itself denotes excellence.

If we look again around us, we confirm this Word; we are surrounded by a majestic nature that certainly delights our gaze and even more, our heart.

Excellence stems from the heart of God, our Creator, who, by means of his eternal love for men and women, called this planet, our world, our home into existence out of nothing, so we can dwell in it.

As parents prepare the best for their new baby to come, his room, his crib, her clothes, her toys and

everything the little baby may need; in the same way, our God, our Father the Creator prepared this world with everything to receive man and woman, creatures made in His own image.

Yes, God is our example of excellence!

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

“His wisdom is profound, His power is vast…

He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads on the waves of the sea.
He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.”
                                              (Job 9:4,8-10)

In our next issue, we will discover more about the bases and roots related to a life Towards Excellence. There is much more to discover! Coming soon!

Let´s get ready! _God is Speaking — [Towards Excellence]

By Anne Graham Lotz …Blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. [Revelation 1:3] Do you long for revival? Not a tent meeting. Not a series of church meetings. But an outpouring of God’s Spirit that results in God’s people waking […]

a través de God is Speaking — Towards Excellence

God is Speaking

By Anne Graham Lotz

 

…Blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

[Revelation 1:3]

 

Do you long for revival? Not a tent meeting. Not a series of church meetings.

But an outpouring of God’s Spirit that results in God’s people waking up…to God! I do! And as I have prayerfully pondered what more I can do to work for revival, God has reminded me of what took place in the beginning. Genesis 1 relates that God’s Spirit hovered over planet earth, preparing and energizing it to receive God’s Word. Then every day God’s Word went forth, a change took place, until in the end God blessed it, said it was very good, and saw His own image reflected there in man whom He had created.

What has impressed me is that from the beginning, God has used the combination of the preparation of the Spirit, which in application for us is prayer, and His Word to bring about change. For the last eighteen months, AnGeL Ministries has been calling people to prayer through various online initiatives such as 777: An Urgent Call to Prayer; Mayday! Mayday! A Distress Call for Prayer; and most recently, 111: PrePrayer for the New Year. And this May my new book, The Daniel Prayer, was released, which not only challenges people to pray as Daniel did, but helps to lead them in prayer that moves Heaven and changes nations. Now, after all of this preparation of the Spirit, I would like to see what would happen if together we listened to the Word of God.

In the Old Testament book of 2 Chronicles, when King Josiah rediscovered God’s Word and read it to the people, revival was the result. In Nehemiah 8, when God’s people returned to Jerusalem following their years of captivity in Babylon, Ezra read God’s Word to the people, and revival was the result. In Acts 2, after ten days of prayer in the upper room, the Spirit fell at Pentecost, Peter preached the Word, and 3000 people were saved!

In these days of chaos and confusion, hopelessness and helplessness, what would happen if everyone hit life’s pause button and made the time to listen to what God has to say? I want to find out.

So I am partnering with Faith Comes By Hearing in order to offer the audio of God’s Word in over 900 languages for one hour each day, for eight days, in the eighth month of August.

Please join me. Help pass the word to your family, friends, church, and online community. Catch the vision. Let’s not just long for revival. Let’s ignite revival!

God is speaking. Will you listen?

 

GodSpeaking(5x7)card_edited

 

Copyright © 2016 Anne Graham Lotz (AnGeL Ministries) Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved http://www.annegrahamlotz.org