How is that when you give, you receive?

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Let me tell you a personal experience. We were in the preparations for our wedding. There were things still needed to be paid. Both Danny and I were working, and together we paid for our wedding. During this time, Danny instead of receiving paycheck was receiving chargebacks (where he had to pay back what already had been paid to him). This situation was not helping us at all. Since I met Danny, he has always been paid on commission, not salary. He works hard and with honesty. But what we were facing was beyond depending on our incomes. The big day was approaching; my salary was not enough; I felt anxious. I even considered changing the date.

About a month from our wedding day an evangelist came to preach on a Sunday night service. He shared how a church in another country worked together to obtain the finances to build a place to congregate. All this during a time of recession. At the end of his message, he made a call to give for the construction of the local church building. I felt a strong prompt in my heart that we should give, but I did not dare to tell Danny because we were short of money for our wedding. That feeling did not go away from my heart; it got stronger and stronger; I couldn’t ignore it. Then, Danny asks me, where’s the checkbook? I answered, “is in the car.” He got up immediately and went to get it.

While he was out in the parking lot, I said inside of me, “if he writes a different amount on the check from the one I have in my heart, I will have to tell him.” When he came back, he handed me the check folded in half. When I opened it, I saw the same amount the Holy Spirit had put in my heart. Chance? I don’t think so. God’s plan? Absolutely.

The preacher invited us to come to the altar to pray and give thanks for the offering. While he was praying, I felt the presence of God very close, like a dense cloud above all of us. Right there I said to the Lord, “You have asked us so little for what you are going to give us.” God’s provision was immediate. The next day, Danny went out to work, as usual, meeting with clients, but what the Lord had planned for that day was a miraculous provision. Business was incredible. We were in awe. It paid off not only the chargebacks but also the rest of the wedding expenses. The big day arrived, and we celebrated our wedding as we had planned it. God is always faithful to His Word!

‘Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.#6:38 Or The measure you give will be the measure you get back.”’ Luke 6:38, NLT

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¿Cómo es eso que cuando das recibes?

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(Click here for English version)

Permíteme contarte una experiencia personal. Estábamos en los preparativos para nuestra boda. Todavía faltaban cosas por pagar. Ambos trabajábamos, y juntos costeamos nuestra boda. Durante este tiempo, en lugar de Danny recibir su paga, comenzaron a llegarle “chargebacks” (donde tenía que devolver lo que ya le habían pagado). Esta situación no nos estaba ayudando en nada. Desde que conozco a Danny, siempre le han pagado por comisión, no salario. Él es muy esforzado y trabaja con honestidad, pero lo que enfrentábamos iba más allá de depender en nuestros ingresos. Se acercaba el gran día; mi sueldo no era suficiente; me sentía ansiosa. Hasta consideré cambiar la fecha.

A un mes de nuestra boda llegó un evangelista a predicar un domingo en la noche. Él compartió cómo una iglesia en otro país trabajó unida para recaudar fondos y construir un edificio para congregarse. Todo esto durante un tiempo de recesión. Al finalizar su mensaje, hizo un llamado a ofrendar para la construcción del edificio de la iglesia local. Yo sentí un fuerte llamado en mi corazón a ofrendar, pero no me atreví a decirle nada a Danny porque nos encontrábamos cortos de dinero para nuestra boda. Ese sentir no se iba de mi corazón, cada vez se hacía más fuerte; no lo podía ignorar. Entonces, Danny me pregunta, “¿dónde está la chequera?” Le dije, “está en el carro.” Se levantó inmediatamente y salió a buscarla.

Mientras él estaba en el estacionamiento, dije dentro de mí, “si escribe una cantidad diferente a la que tengo en mi corazón, se lo voy a tener que decir.” Cuando regresó, me entregó el cheque doblado por la mitad. Al abrirlo, vi que había escrito la misma cantidad que el Espíritu Santo había puesto en mi corazón. ¿Casualidad? No lo creo. ¿Plan de Dios? Definitivamente.

El predicador hizo un llamado al altar para orar y dar gracias por la ofrenda. Mientras él hacía la oración, sentí la presencia de Dios bien cerca, como una nube densa encima de todos nosotros. Ahí le dije al Señor, “nos has pedido tan poco para lo que nos vas a dar.” La provisión de Dios fue inmediata. Al día siguiente Danny salió a trabajar como de costumbre, reuniéndose con clientes, pero lo que el Señor tenía planificado para ese día fue milagroso. El negocio fue increíble. Nos quedamos maravillados. Dio para cubrir no solo los “chargebacks”, sino también lo que faltaba por saldarse de la boda. Llegó el gran día y pudimos celebrar nuestra boda como lo habíamos planificado. Dios es siempre fiel a Su Palabra.

‘Den, y recibirán. Lo que den a otros les será devuelto por completo: apretado, sacudido para que haya lugar para más, desbordante y derramado sobre el regazo. La cantidad que den determinará la cantidad que recibirán a cambio.’  Lucas 6:38, NTV

Ask and Let the Lord Surprise You

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My children were born in the Caribbean, where all year long temperatures are usually warm. There are rainy days, the hurricane season, and sunny days. One December, while they were tweens or preteens, we planned to take our vacation in the cold weather. We visited Atlanta and Washington DC. After a few days in Atlanta, at the hotel room, my daughter said to me in disappointment, “I have asked the Lord to let me see snow, and he doesn’t pay attention to me.” I told her that she needed only to ask in prayer and let the Lord surprise her. I also told her that she would not necessarily see snow in Atlanta, but that we were going to DC where there could be a higher probability of seeing snow.

We flew to DC where we met with our dear friends. The temperature was colder than Atlanta, and everywhere we walked there was snow piled to the sides from a previous storm. Most of this snow was starting to ice. My children were happy and enjoyed every moment, but it never snowed the time we were there. Honestly, I even forgot about it.

When it was time to go back home, our flight was delayed because of a winter storm in other states. We had to make a stop in Atlanta before going home. We finally left DC and arrived into Atlanta airport with a 30-minute time frame from one gate to the other. We made it to the gate but weren’t allowed to board even when the plane door was still opened. They had given our seats to other passengers, and there were many others in the same situation. Both of my children were frustrated and sad. They wanted to go home. My husband was upset and was doing everything he could to get us on the plane. I pull my children to the side and invite them to take a seat. I told them not to worry, that if we couldn’t take this flight, we would take the next one. I even prayed for the safety of the people on that plane. When my husband came to us, he was disappointed and told us he couldn’t do anything. The airline gave us vouchers to eat and a hotel room for the night since the next flight was scheduled for the following day.

We took our carry-on luggage and headed outside to take the shuttle to the hotel. Once outside, we noticed many people were getting inside the shuttles, and others were waiting for the next ones. It was cold and raining. Suddenly, my husband looked at me with a smile and said, “look at your coat.” When I looked, I saw snowflakes. My children got very excited, and my daughter started jumping.

She prayed, and God surprised her! The snow they saw at DC was not all that the Lord wanted to give them.

In the same way, we should ask anything in prayer and wait expectantly for his answer. Isn’t God able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine? (Ephesians 3:20) That’s how He surprises us. What we have seen, heard, received is not all that God has in store for us.

We decided to rent a car to buy some clothes for my husband since he had checked his baggage. It continued to snow to the point that my children could make snow balls, and they did and threw them to their daddy. I recorded everything on video and pictures, but most importantly those memories are recorded in their minds. No prayer is silly; if it’s important to us, is also important to God.

I’m still standing

My husband was struck by lightning. This is his story.

IMG_6034This is a different kind of post, it’s more like a journal entry. As it happens to all of us, our life and our views are framed by the experiences we have. This past Saturday, July 16, 2016, was one of those for me. Here is as short as I can describe what happened; an event I am still processing.

I took my son to work early and after dropping him off, I drove south for more than an hour. I have a car project at home and was getting some parts from another one to finish mine (I’m not a mechanic, I’m a financial advisor, but I enjoy fixing things). I arrived close to 8:00 am to my destination and started to work on the vehicle. It took me 4 hours to finish. As I was grabbing my tools and putting them in the trunk, rain started to fall. I…

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