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What Happens When the Door Closes and you are in the Storm?

This is the post excerpt.

The brainchild of two Registered Nurses, ages 50 plus, who asked the question, “What happens when the door closes and you are in the storm?” After a lengthy discussion, we identified that maturing through the lifespan can be a difficult process for many women. Historically, we have overcome many obstacles; however, for reasons which are not easily identified, we are feeling quite overwhelmed with the present-unexpected life event.

When we perceive that we are overwhelmed; fear, worry, and anxiety escalate at disproportionate levels. As a result, we become spiritually disoriented, and gradually we become fixated on the closed-door. When we begin to communicate with God through prayer, we will realize that God has allowed the door or chapter in our lives to close. He is protecting us as only a Heavenly Father can do. As we draw closer to God, He will allow us to see his wonderful plan for our lives-many open doors.

Making the Invisible God Visible

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

As a student nurse, I was taught theory and how to apply it to the patient’s disease processes. The Nursing process was ever-present in my conscious thoughts as I rendered patient care. There was never a moment that I had a lapse in memory. My clinical practice was evidence of my knowledge base and ability to care for sick patients.

The responsibility of leading the Israelites through their journey to the Promised Land was an awesome task. Recorded history tells us of their disobedience, the constant complaining, and rebellion against God. But, Moses endured because God was real to him, ever present in his thoughts. His belief (faith) in the Omnipresent and Omnipotent God provided the strength to persevere amid the constant struggles.

Like Moses, we must make a conscious effort to affirm God’s presence. Our mindset must acknowledge that God is real, and always ready to provide and deliver us from the hardships of life. Studying the Word of God provides the theory for us to become faithful believers. Applying biblical principles and promises to our daily lives, provides evidence that our faith in God is a reality. Always believing that He is faithful gives us the strength to live a faith based life.

Dear God, please help me to know that you are as real today as you were in the time of Moses. I want to keep you always present in my mind. Thank you. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Continuous Joy

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

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 life. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38 NLT

The world was shocked by the recent death of Anthony Bourdain. Many of us longed for the satisfying lifestyle of travel, food, and meeting others. In fact, Psychologist Abraham Maslow had a theory, “Self-Actualization” which is defined as the culmination of fulfillment in one’s life.

Is it possible for us to have total fulfillment without living a godly life? According to biblical instruction, we are compared to branches which will wither if not connected to the vine-Jesus Christ. Our lives can never be actualized without a direct connection to the source. When we establish and maintain a relationship with God; we instinctively reach out to others.

Luke 6:38 tells us the benefits of giving. However, our reward is contingent on the amount of time or money that we are willing to give. The joy we receive from blessing others provides a reason to live. We are not philanthropists or benefactors; we are simply living and giving according to God’s standards.

How many ways can we help others? Cooking a meal; cleaning a home; filling a pantry with food; visiting those in the hospitals and nursing homes; praying in person; active participation in church ministries; volunteering at homeless shelters, hospice organizations; paying a utility bill; tutoring children with homework; donating clothing, shoes, etc. The options are endless.

Dear God, I want the joy that comes from serving you and others. I am ready to receive the blessed life that you have promised from giving. Amen!

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Getting Rid of Selfishness

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

Show hospitality to one another without complaining. 1 Peter 4:9

Growing up in a Christian home taught me the gift of giving. It is in my nature to always help those in need. I am certain that my upbringing played a major role in becoming a nurse.

However, there has been a devastating change among those who claim to be “Christ-like”. A Spirit of Selfishness has infiltrated the body of Christ-the church. There has been a decline of financial giving; fewer invitations to share an after sermon meal; and a complete turning away from helping the needy. We receive with two open hands and give with a couple of fingers. How are we able to live contently without doing anything to alleviate the suffering of others?

A couple of years ago, the Children’s Ministry leader told a story based on Mathew 6:25-34. When she asked the children if they were worried about anything, one of the children responded: “Yes, I am worried about not having enough food for my family to eat.” To hear a small child express the fear of hunger felt as if a dagger had penetrated my heart. I prayed and asked God for guidance as to what I needed to do.

The abundance that God has blessed us with was not given for us to collect material assests. As believers, we have been given the mission of alleviating the burden of those who struggle to have basic necessities. Only what we do for Christ will count. It is the greatest blessing to use our monies and time to help those in need.

What can you do to help others?

Dear God, Please give us the spirit of hospitality. There are many individuals who are suffering. Help us to use the resources that you have given us to help others. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

God will Provide

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

Our lives are richly blessed when we study the Word of God. The Bible is the only book that contains writings that are diverse and spiritually uplifting. It is God’s blueprint for our daily lives. In Genesis, we are given a vivid description of Creation which reveals the love of our heavenly Father. The last book-Revelation expounds on last day prophecies; causing the reader to possess the knowledge that one day evil will be eradicated.

One of the most beautiful stories told is how God provided for the prophet Elijah, and the Phonecian widow and her son. Famine and drought were present in their land, causing severe limitations of food and water. Elijah was also hiding from King Ahab who was determined to find Elijah and take his life. As the story unfolds, God provided for His servant and the widow (1 Kings 17).

When the vicissitudes of life begin to overwhelm us, we must reinforce our knowledge of God, by studying His Word. God always provides! He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. God is faithful. His promises will always come into fruition.

Dear God, please give us the desire to search the scriptures which tell of your great love and power. You have provided the blueprint for our lives. Thank you for your loving-kindness. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Dare to be Different

Practical Messages for Impractical Times
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

Are you thinking about the latest fashion craze or excitedly waiting for the next television episode of continuous drama? We are admonished not to be caught up in the fleeting pleasures of life. The enticement of sinful activities will undoubtedly lead us down the path of destruction.

Our desire to serve God-who is jealous-can be circumvented by worldly idols. Do your priorities align with God’s standards? By praying for guidance, we can become aware of the things we need to give up. Daring to be different may cause us to lose friends and family; it may cause us to give up many things that make us happy; it may cause us to sacrifice everything that we have been doing which does not reflect our love for God.

Dear God, I have spent too much time trying to conform to the world. Please forgive me and give me the courage to be different. Amen