Day 35- God’s Power In your Weakness by Sonia Saenz

We are weak…yet by God’s power we will live to serve you.

2 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)

How wonderful it is to know that God is not looking for perfect people but willing hearts. instruments in his mighty hand, which opens doors and allows many of us to qualify. Our Founder Pastor Sonny Arguinzoni always says; “the foolish things of this world to shame the powerful, the ordinary people to do extraordinary things”.

There are many biblical examples of simple people that laid they’re lifes in the hands of God.  Gedeon, Mosses, Abraham and many more. Not only are there biblical examples, we also have our modern day heroes of the faith. Men and women that at one time had nothing but hearts that were willing and available to be used by God. 

God is an expert in working with people. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth; there is nothing impossible for him.  When clay is in the potters hand it will be formed despite its imperfections to fulfill a specific purpose.  It’s the weaknesses of the clay that makes it unique. In other words you and I in our weaknesses our made perfect in his purpose.  “WOW”, Thank God for weaknesses that make us unique. We are the clay that God is working on. The imperfections, insecurities, frailties and cracks must be acknowledged. We ought to recognize, admit, be truthful and not hide the reality of our condition, so that greatest surgeon of all can operate and dissect those things that are not of him.

Have you ever heard about blind spots?  In the driving world there is a spot known as “The Blind Spot”. It’s that one area in your peripheral vision that you’re unable to see. Many times it’s those areas of lack of perception that are to blame for a high percentage of accidents. Many drivers say “I just didn’t see it”. Likewise we have blind spot in our lives, things that we might not see but others can see. It’s those weakness in our lives that can be used to breakdown instead of building up.

Take a moment and think of some areas that we need to allow God to work on. I think we have to be truthful to ourselves and have a humble heart to acknowledge that we have weakness and imperfections that need to be changed. The correct attitude is to always remember that we are under the knife of the master surgeon. I always try to think; “this is not to kill me but to build me and make me” and God somehow he will use it. It’s detrimental to remember that beautiful scripture 2 Cor 12:10 “for when I am weak, then I am strong” – the less I have, the more I depend on him.

It is said that: “Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts”. Even in our weakness and pain God has called us to “Trail Blaze”.  As we venture in our journey towards the fulfillment of our destiny we must cause a flame of fire along the way, that we might illuminate the journey of others. Our experiences become a lighthouse, a compass, a GPS that directs the path of many. Trailblazing with Passion develops a perception that causes us to see everything we encounter with a divine purpose.

 I refused to go through something without learning life changing lessons that will help others. We always here from Sister Julie; “I want my life to count”. So we should follow her example and be determinate to trail blaze despite our weaknesses. Paul said in 2 Cor 12:5b “I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may work through me”.  I am ready to serve him. I gave my life to Christ when I was 17yrs old not understanding the principle of his strength in our weaknesses.  16 years later I have come to understand that despite my weaknesses I will continue to serve him and his people. My weaknesses will not be a justifier for lack of commitment and sacrifice. It’s my very weaknesses that manifest his power through my life.

Therefore my sisters, our weaknesses our but a means for God’s power to be transmitted to others.  Our weaknesses our not hindrances but stepping stones that compel us into a closer, personal and intimate relationship with God. It’s the revealing of our weaknesses that give him authority over and through our lives to manifest his power. To God Be the Glory!!!

By Sonia Saenz

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Day 34- Thinking Like a Servant by Silvia Segoviano

“but made Himself of no reputation , taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” Philippians 2:7

These 34 days of fast and separation have been quite a voyage. Thinking back of the first day we started I was in a hospital bed with my new baby boy, Timothy, in my hands. Having the nurses come to my room check on me seeing if I need anything, it actually felt kind of good have food being brought to my bed. But when I got home it all change.

But in reality it’s not about me, but it’s about serving our Heavenly Father. It’s crazy how sometimes we can get caught up in doing ministry but we don’t stop and think why we are doing it. Is it to get the approval of people or is it because we love God?  Ministry is not about us, it’s about people. We can not be a servant if we are full of ourselves. Self-denial is the core of servanthood. We can’t not worry about what others will think of us, like it said in the book only secure people can serve.  

Today let’s examine ourselves, who are we serving and why are we serving? I know for me it made me ask myself why I am serving and am I doing it to get people’s approval or God’s approval. In serving Christ we must understand that much criticism will come, but we too must not criticize others. Let us not compare ourselves with others but let’s work together in building God’s Kingdom.

Point to Ponder: To be a servant I must think like a servant

Verse to Remember: “your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:5

Question to consider: Am I usually more concerned about being served or finding ways to serve others?

Silvia Segoviano

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Day 34 – Thinking Like A Servant By Silvia Figueroa

As I was reading this chapter I remembered a preacher saying,  “el que no sirve, no sirve” (Spanish phrase).

My personal translation is, “if you’re not in service, than you’re out of service”.

It’s weird but, just this week my van was taken in for some repairs. As we all know a vehicle is created with the sole purpose of transporting us from here to there or where ever we want to go. But this week my van wasn’t serving me the way it was intended to. My question to you today is, “Are you serving the Lord the way He intended you to serve Him, when he created you?”

Today, I choose to apply (Jer. 17:10) NLT “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives…” I will put myself in His shop to be scanned and searched. Let’s allow the Lord to do what He has to do in us, so that we can have the mind of a true servant. Maybe we need to have some screws tighten up, replace a part or simply just to be aligned in our motives and attitudes for serving our Master. By allowing the Lord to work in us we are guaranteed to stay in service rather than out of service.

Real servants serve God with a mindset of five attitudes, such as:

1.      Servants think more about others than about themselves.

2.      Servants think like stewards, not owners.

3.      Servants think about their work, not what others are doing.

4.      Servants base their identity in Christ.

5.      Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation.

A great example of someone who has been in active service for 50 years and still going strong is Sister Julie.  Not only does she speak about serving one another but she shows us how. One of the ways she models serving that has really impacted my life, is when she invites us Pastor’s Wives, UWC Coordinators, GG Regionals to her house. Not only does she invite us but she cooks for all of us. She could easily delegate it to someone else to do the long hours of preparation and cooking. But I know she lovingly chooses to do it because she’s a servant that possesses the mindset of these five attitudes we read about.

In His Service,

 Silvia Figueroa

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Day 33- How Real Servants Act by Lorraine Bernal

“Think of yourselves the way Jesus Christ thought of himself.”  Philippians 2:5 MSG

                The following is a journal entry from a very personal prayer journal I keep. I pray you are blessed with the words that flow from my heart to yours.

Dear Heavenly Father,

                It’s about 2:30am and I just had to write. Tonight I decided to skip ahead and read the chapter in Purpose Driven Life I know I will blog about soon. All about servant hood. You ministered to me deeply.

                Lately, I know I’ve allowed myself to become hurt. When I get hurt I feel extremely insecure. I usually try to hide behind that familiar weak and vulnerable person with layers of false humility and pride. It’s an ugly side of me; I know only you can tolerate! Truth is, in this state, serving is the last thing on my mind. I look for ways to be served instead or ignore opportunities to serve; only fooling myself to soothe my hurt. Ouch. It makes me cringe to look at those words written on paper.

                Tonight, I wept as I felt you tug at my heart. With each word Rick Warren has so beautifully written you performed surgery; first to expose the problem and with the Spirit’s help, remove it. This process was extremely uncomfortable and reminded me of being disciplined as a child. Everything in me wanted to run or avoid it as usual. But I didn’t. I let you. I was silent. I even wanted to change the worship song playing, but you told me not to. How convenient, In the Silence by Jason Upton was playing. I normally would want to hear a song that I thought was powerful and would usher in the mighty rushing wind of the spirit! But again, you said no, “This is a lesson you must learn Lorraine.”   You called me by name just as my earthly father would.

                In that moment with my eyes closed and hot tears streaming down my face, He appeared…it was JESUS. So glorious and beautiful, I broke. I instantly became vulnerable yet felt safe in your presence. All I could do was repent and tell you how unworthy and filthy I felt in the brightness of who you are.

                JESUS. I had not been entirely focused on him. Everything I had self righteously told others to do daily; I should have been doing consistently myself. Despite all of that, here he was…JESUS, my beautiful master. “Take me to the feet of Jesus, Holy Spirit,” was all I prayed out loud tonight. I want Him. I need Him. To serve Him and serve like Him. Practical yet powerful. Only birthed from time at the feet of my sweet JESUS would my service count. He is the ultimate. Thank you God for the gift of Jesus.

So, how do real servants act?  I think Rick Warren says it best, “We are healed to help others. We are blessed to be a blessing. We are saved to serve…”

At His feet,

Lorraine Bernal

S.G.V.E. Gang Girl Regional, V.O. Santa Ana

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Day 32- Using What God Gave You by Yolanda Prieto

The question to consider in this chapter was “How can I make the best use of what God has given me?”

In order to answer this question I had to go back and really examine what my shape is.  I examined the six experiences that it told me to examine:

  1. Family,
  2. Educational,
  3. Vocational,
  4. Spiritual,
  5. Ministry,
  6. Painful Experiences

I remember that in my family my father would always say that the word “can’t” did not exist, so I learned to PERSEVERE; in the area of education I did well in most of my classes (attended Catholic School), so I learned the DISCIPLINE OF STUDYING; in the area of Vocational my favorite job was teaching people how to run answering services for major companies, so I learned to COMMUNICATE; in the area of Ministry I have learned to be a SERVANT; but it is in the area of Pain that I have probably learned the most.

God  allowed me to go through the hard process of raising four children as a Single mom before I met my husband, but my greatest pain occurred this past June when one of my sons passed away through suicide.  However, it was through this experience that God helped me to persevere, communicate, keep serving, and discipline myself.  

God is faithful.  I love to work with young moms, children and troubled youth.  Having lived through these experiences has helped to shape me and I can now say,

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.  The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.” (Psalm 119:71-72)

Love,

Yolanda Prieto

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Day 31- Are You In Shape? by Maria Salazar

nooooo !….not that kind of shape!!

UNDERSTANDING YOUR (spiritual) SHAPE !

I had no idea what God had made of me……. until I met him personally  31 years ago.  

You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

At the beginning I did not, and could not understand what SHAPE  I was in. NOW  I understand how God designed each of us so there would be no duplicates in the world…………WOW !…I AM IN GOOOOD SHAPE.

I understand the talents God has given me…they are part of my SHAPE, I’m unique.

…….I continue to get in SHAPE   PARA ESTAR LISTA Y DISPUESTA to use my talents and gifts  for God’s glory and honor. What I’m able to do, God wants me to do…and that! I must do…to stay in SHAPE !.

At the beginning I didn’t know I had such a personality…for I was out of shape ……….now I know,  God created me for a purpose.

 It feels good to do what God made me to do… that’s why He brought me to a ministry with Vision and Purpose….to get me in SHAPE !

Trailblazing experiences (pioneering) have kept me in shape for 17 years (ministry),  not all experiences have been a success …..painful  experiences have  gotten  me in better  SHAPE for greater ministry experiences.

 Now it’s the time to help others get in SHAPE and continue to Trailblaze with passion.

Using your SHAPE is the secret of both fruitfulness and fulfillment in ministry.

You will be most effective when you use your spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of your heart’s desire, in a way that best expresses your personality and experiences…….stay in SHAPE !

With Love and in Shape……. Maria Salazar

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Day 31- Understanding Your Shape by Tiyana Tavor

You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:13

The moment I cracked open this chapter of day 31 I began to laugh and tell God…

“You are too much!”  A better topic couldn’t have been picked for me. Ever since I was a young girl I was full of complexes, insecurities and shy. Growing up and going into ministry my biggest hiderence was ME and understanding who God created me to be. I remember like it was yesterday being at my first G.A.N.G Girls regional meeting at the age of 19 years old. I looked around  the room and saw outgoing, fearless young women that had been doing it for years. I thought to myself, “Tiyana, What are you doing here, you can never be like that.” At that moment God spoke to me in a still small voice “ My daughter I have placed you here, I created you just as you are for my purpose.” From that moment on I held on to His promise.

I think of our U.W.I.M.  Steering committee and how each of them are so unique and bring something different to the table. Together with our Mama Julie they lead us, a mighty army of women.  Like stained glass, our different personalities reflect God’s light in many colors and patterns. 

When God made you, He broke the mold.

There never has been, and never will be, anyone exactly like you. God even uses things from our past and present to shape us for our future. God never wastes a hurt. Your greatest ministry will most likely come out of your greatest hurt. So times when you’re on the potter’s wheel and he is pressing and molding you. Understand he is shaping you to be that perfect vessel He can pour His anointing into. Remember whatever we do, do it all for the glory of God. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Tiyana Tavor
Southwest
GANG Girl Regional

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