Sunday, May 17, 2015
Monday, October 14, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
I've been active in all things church for at least 6 years doing anything from teaching the bible, leading worship, cleaning toilets (literally) and have been a part of two church plants.
Over and over again I've faced situations that have made me want to quit, things that would beat up my heart so bad to the point where I feel there's not much left to give. Could be anything from not meeting the standards that people I have led placed on me, or being too broke to get by in a city God has called me to. The worse is when the people that are there during the victories, are nowhere to be found in the failures.
It's been tempting wanting to give in to failure and isolate. Jeremiah had similar moments too.
Talking about God got Jeremiah in trouble. It seems like at one point he had made the decision to not speak a word about God to anyone anymore. But then he writes in Jeremiah 20:9, "If I say I'll never mention the LORD or speak in His name, His word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can't do it!"
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Our Pastor Levi Lusko constantly reminds us to set up stones of remembrance to remind us of what God has done in our lives. Monica and I had recently fallen under the worse of times in our lives, but God showed up. I wrote an email to an old friend back home in
Just wanted to say hi and update you on what's been going on with Monica and I lately.
From the time that we returned to
It has been putting a strain on us, we eventually fell behind on more than half of our finances. Our phones were cut off because we couldn't pay for them, we couldn't pay our bills, we only had enough for rent and I could barely afford gas. We had a few days where our fridge was empty and did not eat that day, it's been hard and we've been seeking God through it all but it really looked like He wasn't around. We kept trusting that God would show up and provide but the longer we waited, the harder it got for us to accept what we were going through as God's will or God's plan for our lives.
Last Tuesday I was looking over everything we owed and 'gave up'. My gas tank was empty and I was scheduled to work that night, I had no idea how I was going to get to work. I told Monica that I could not figure out a way to get us out of our mess and that I don't know what to do. We were both broken and scared, but with the little hope we had left we had decided to bring our situation to God. He spoke to my heart and basically said to me, 'Am I not enough for you?' And I realized that one major lesson Jesus had been trying to teach us both is that if we were to lose all we had, He would have to be enough to satisfy us, He would have to be all we need and nothing more. We needed to be able to say like Job, 'Naked I came into this world, Naked I go out, Blessed be the name of the Lord.' And so we were blessed with that and accepted our circumstances, trusting Jesus.
Later that night, we heard a knock on the door, and nobody was there. We opened our door and found an envelope with gift cards to gas stations and food places. It had to have been $300 worth of stuff. We were blessed and thanking God for it. About an hour later, some new friends in town asked if they could stop by our place. They came over and had told us that they were fasting and praying about a month ago and that
God had told them to give us money. They didn't know our situation or understand why, but after praying for confirmation for a month, they came to understand that God was asking them to do this. They gave us a check for $4000 on the spot. It blew both Monica and I away. We were able to catch up on our finances with that money and cover the medical bills that we owed the Hospital. We were praising God for it but it didn't stop there.
Over the weekend a friend of ours let us know that he really wanted to meet with Monica and I and talk to us about something important. We met for coffee and the moment he sat down he basically said, 'I don't know how to tell you guys this, so I'm just going to come out and say it. I'm giving you my car.' So yeah, God also gave us a car, replacing the one we lost in the car accident last year.
So right now, we are pretty much just living in awe of God and excited about what He has done.
Monica and I are doing fine, blessed, and I just felt that I wanted to share this story with you. If you feel like anyone else ought to read this feel free to pass it along. We were so blessed by what God has done and we pray that what God has done in our lives could be an encouragement to others. God never forgets His kids.
Anyway, sorry for the lengthy email, but I just wanted to update you. Let me know how you're doing too!
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
It was about a week ago that I got the call at 6am. My dad had let me know that my grandpa had passed away earlier in the morning. I thanked my dad for letting me know and hung up the phone.
For the next 24 hours I pushed the news out of my head, avoiding grief and avoiding over thinking it all. I avoided talking to my family because I had fears.
As I was driving to work a day after hearing the news, I had some quiet time. I drove pass a Burger King and that did it for me. It reminded me of the last moments I spent with my Grandpa. My brother and I had driven from Downey, CA to Juarez, Mexico (across the boarder from El Paso, TX) to pick up my Grandpa from the airport and get him a visa.
When we picked him up, he walked out of the plane wearing the beige sobrero he loved to wear with his jeans and tucked in button up long sleeve shirt. He welcome us with open arms, he called me mijo.. i know he saw the look on our faces, he knew we were happy to see him, i could tell because he smiled back.
We asked him if he would like lunch, he said yes. We asked what he wanted to eat, he said he wanted a 'torta Americano', we had no idea what he was talking about. We took him to a Mexican restaurant and ordered him a torta (Mexican sandwich). We asked if that's what he wanted, he just shrugged. The next day as we were driving around town, we drive pass a Burger King, he pointed at the sign and yelled 'torta Americano!' Turns out he was talking about a hamburger the whole time. We ate at BK, and he practically inhaled the burger. I had a lot of fun with my Grandpa the next few weeks, but that memory always stood out in my mind and would be a story I would share constantly about him...
So as I drove passed the Burger King the day after getting the news of his passing, it stunned me, and I could no longer hide the feelings I had over the loss. I gripped the wheel tight and I was overwhelmed with anger. I wasn't mad at God, I wasn't mad at anyone, I was just mad.. and I sobbed.
I really loved my Grandpa, and in my mind for whatever reason I believed that he would always be around because he always was. I loved that he was interested in everything I was doing in church, I loved that he would hear me when I told him about Jesus and what it takes to get to heaven, I loved that he was always available to talk to even though I didn't make myself as available. I loved his grace and loved that his love was unconditional not only for me but for all of his kids and grand kids.
Anger overwhelmed me because I kept thinking about how wrong death is. And as a believer of God and the bible I couldn't help but think that it is not supposed to be this way. When God created this earth and everything in it, His vision and desire was for it to be eternal. What interfered with that plan was Genesis 3, when the devil tricked Eve into eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and Eve gave to Adam to eat. God told Adam not to eat of this tree, and so after God confronted Adam and Eve, God presented them with the consequences of their actions. Some of those are pain, suffering, and death. I couldn't help but think, if they had just listened to God, my grandpa would still be here, and not just here, but healthy and well.
I believe though that Jesus grieves with us. When His good friend Lazarus died, He wept with Lazarus sisters who had said to Jesus, 'If you were only here, He would still be alive'.
I love so much though, that Jesus recognizing that everyone will die because of sin, that He died for our sins so that we get another chance at eternal life, and this time in heaven. I pray that God brought everything I told my grandpa back to remembrance before he passed, so that he would have responded to what Jesus did for him, repented in his heart and gave his heart fully to Jesus. It's all it takes to get to heaven.
I believe and know that even though my heart is hurting over the loss, my mom, aunts, uncles, and Grandma are dealing with it a lot harder. I would like to ask all of you to pray for my family. And a huge thank you to everyone who has been there, especially my awesome church who never ceases to amaze me in the ways of 'being there' for me when life gets hard. You guys are such a blessing.
Monday, July 25, 2011
The news was very exciting to our church who clapped and cheered, but then all went silent when Levi threw out a challenge to the church. Levi had shared with the church that there would be a need for people to uproot their lives in Kalispell, and move to Billings to start this church.
Monday, May 30, 2011
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
It all started 6 years ago.. I was working a job at Baskin Robbins and I remember the day like it was yesterday. Reason being is that from that day forward my life would never be the same. I still remember the drink I took a few sips of that day, a Cappuccino Blast, and also that I was going to see my favorite band at the time at a show somewhere in Riverside.
About half way through my shift I started feeling very dizzy, and decided to cool off on my own in the Restroom. I practically collapsed as my heart started racing while my stomach knotted up and I gagged as the temperature of my body rose. I went home early that day only to be too sick to go to the show that night. Not knowing what was wrong with me, this continued, so much to a point where I dropped out of school and had lost my job.
Not knowing what was wrong, I began to visit different Dr.’s in the U.S. None of these doctors could diagnose me and were unable to treat me. I ended going to Mexico to get checked out there (affordable treatments: p) but they were also unable to figure out what was wrong with me.
I came back, and a few weeks later I had an episode so strong that I literally thought that I was going to die. I was out of it, not knowing what was going on. My mom had told me that she placed her hand on me and I had actually burned her because my body was so hot.
It was this night that the Lord came to me and reached out to me.. I responded and that night I felt an overwhelming peace from Him and He had instantly took away my fears and had healed me. He had actually also let me know exactly what was wrong with me and I had to actually tell the doctors myself that it was God who told me what was wrong. I’m sure they were amazed that God diagnosed me, since they couldn’t figure it out!
Although my Spirit was strong after this because of Him and what He had done , my body still had its reactions, and I was unable to leave my home for 3 months. For the first few years it was really hard trying to get back to normal, and to be honest physically I haven’t been anywhere near normal since before all this began.
Just two days ago I had another one of these episodes, right before I was getting ready to speak somewhere and all I could think about is how bad the timing was, I was really hurting. I found myself praying for God to take it away and yet nothing was happening. I was very desperate and I began to feel as if He wasn’t hearing my cries. He began to remind me that people were praying for me for the night, whether or not they knew something like this would happen. It had been so long since I had an episode, and again I couldn’t help but think of the bad timing.
I praise God that I was able to get through the message without anyone noticing what I was feeling, but my body has been going through it still for the past two days. What God keeps bringing back to memory as I ask Him to take this all away is the situation that Paul faced. Paul pleaded with God to take his thorn in the flesh away.. and what did God respond with? “My grace is sufficient for you..” and so like Paul, I’m faced with the challenge of sucking up my feelings and relying on God’s grace.
But why would God even allow His children to keep the thorn in the flesh? Why doesn’t He just take it away? Well.. According to the Scripture I provided above, we need to go through this for a reason. I think about the many people who face the same problem that I do, and how much comfort they would feel knowing that God had helped me through the problem when I felt hopeless, and that God can do the same for them as well. I guess this is part of what it would mean to be a living sacrifice.. willing to give up yourself in order to be of good use to our Maker.
A lot of what God will allow us to go through is not easy, but it is necessary, especially if we want Him to have His will done, on earth as it is in heaven. The hardest thing is to be that living sacrifice for the Lord. But if it means ministering to so many lost and hurting souls by giving them hope in Jesus Christ by sharing what He has done for us, wouldn’t it be worth it?