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

This is the post excerpt.

Reflection of our lives reveals that we have overcome many obstacles; however, for reasons which are not easily identified, we are feeling quite overwhelmed with the present and unexpected life event. When we perceive that we are overwhelmed, fear, worry, and anxiety escalate at disproportionate levels.

As a result, we become fixated on the closed door and become spiritually disoriented, quickly forgetting the power of Divine intervention. When we begin to communicate with God through prayer, we then understand that God has allowed the door to close. He is protecting us as only a Heavenly Father can do. As our relationship grows deeper with God, He will enable us to see his excellent plan for our lives-many open doors.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

Please Rescue Us God

Please rescue us God cause we don’t know how much more we can take

You said that we are your image and that means the way we look is not a mistake

With dirt in your hands, you shaped us and made us human

Please rescue us God cause we don’t know how much more we can take

We took your perfect plan, and we messed it up with hate and

We didn’t realize that when we hate the creation, we also hate the Creator

Please rescue us God cause we just went to far this time and we don’t know our way back

Troubles have us so angry and confused we are forgetting that your Son is coming for us

Please rescue us, God, we are losing hope, and we don’t know how much more we can take.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.

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Watch “King of Glory (Medley) | Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir ft Charity Gayle” on YouTube

Amazing choir that represents the way we will live in the New Heaven and New Earth. Really looking forward to no more isms, violence, riots, diseases, or evil. There will be overflowing love, peace, and joy. We must do our part by maintaining love, peace, and harmony with all individuals. Prepare now for Eternal life, a life that our Savior, Jesus Christ is preparing for us. Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Downtime is Beneficial

Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Knowing that every week, I have 24 hours to shut out the chaos and confusion of our present environment keeps me grounded and focused on the goodness of God. Like me, there are thousands of individuals who observe the 7th day Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset that is mentioned in Exodus 20:8-11.

There are many benefits to putting aside all secular activities for 24 hours, to give 1/7th of our busy lives to focus on God, enjoy physical rest, and relaxation. Personally, I look forward to the weekly 7th-day spiritual sabbatical that lifts my spirits and enables me to have a stronger relationship with God. Since one 24-hr day is devoted to cease all activities that are not spiritual, it keeps me on a procrastination-free schedule during the other six days.

Friday is the day we utilize to complete the outstanding activities of the week, to cook our meals for two days, clean, and prepare for the incoming day of rest. When I was employed, part of my preparation was completed on Thursday night. Once I made the decision to commit to Sabbath-keeping, my physical and mental strength increased. Because preparation for the Day of Rest requires a systematic approach for completion of the to-do lists prior to sunset, I developed organizational habits that were beneficial to an enhanced way of life.

Often the question arises, “How do you know that you are honoring the Sabbath as God requires?” Think about a trip to a Christian Spa, which provides a quiet and serene environment with lots of amazing scenery. It is the participant’s decision to create a personalized atmosphere with soothing and uplifting music, non-secular materials, no interruptions from ringing phones, and numerous text messages. Forget the electronic tech addiction, and enjoy your pre-prepared healthy food, and the opportunity to get plenty of sleep. Basically, a restful day of relaxation with prayer, praise, singing, studying the Word of God, reading, and lots of joyful laughter.

Nature plays a vital role in keeping our focus on God and His awesome love. Research to discover lakes and other scenic places that are not frequented by mass crowds. Take the time to walk or hike, hear the melodious songs of the birds and breathe in the fresh, unpolluted air. There are still many places that provide a time to reflect on God and the beauty that still exists. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1

I am not promoting a religious denomination, that is undoubtedly a personal choice. I am merely pointing out that God knew the damage that the hardships of life would cause to our spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical bodies. It is His wonderful gift to give us a day that will rejuvenate, refresh, and restore our minds and bodies–and all we have to do is cease our ordinary activities for 24 hours.

Nike had a slogan to “Just do it!” I can promise you that there are many benefits to keeping the 7th day Sabbath. It has enhanced my relationship with God, my medical diagnoses have stabilized due to no stress, the aging process of my body has decreased (still no wrinkles), and my mood is consistent. Most of my life, insomnia wreaked havoc, leaving me weary every day. Since dutiful Sabbath-keeping, I am enjoying a peaceful REM sleep.

All in my life is not perfect; even so, when troublesome times come, I remind myself that I belong to God. As I release my burdens through prayer and study, I have stopped resolving challenges based on my experience. If the God who created me also rested on the Sabbath; And by the seventh day, God had finished the work He had been doing, so on that day, He rested from all His work. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on that day, He rested from all the work of creation that He had accomplished. Genesis 2:2-3; then, I believe that He knows what is best for my well-being.

Make the change, it is a win-win situation, and incorporate the Sabbath into your life. God’s plan for our lives always ends in victory.

Please note that this Devotional is a reprint that has been edited to remove my practice of attendance in the church due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prayer for today: God, I desire the lifestyle that you developed for me. Please give me the courage to remember the 7th day Sabbath, and make the decision to just do it and make a positive change in my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.

 

 

The Plan to Restructure

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.… Jeremiah 29:11-12

As I read the headlines regarding the filing of bankruptcy by J.C. Penney, once a retail giant, I felt a wave of sadness. After all, this business opened it’s doors in 1902 and has withstood the ups and downs of many economic recessions, including the Great Depression. In addition to shopping at their stores, generations of families can remember browsing their giant catalog, placing orders, and waiting in line to pick up their purchase.

But as I read further, I realized that they were not throwing in the towel and giving up. Despite the changes in consumer purchasing, and the presence of the pandemic, one of the cornerstone’s of retail has developed a viable plan to restructure. 118 years of resiliency has enabled J.C. Penney to identify and close 242 stores that are no longer profitable. The shareholders and executive management have identified their target customers and will use marketing strategies to stay afloat for many years to come.

Amid the pandemic, we have not only experienced a significant threat to our health, but we are also in an economic recession. The necessary changes have sparked many negative emotional responses, which have led to an increase in anger and hopelessness. Dreams and short-term goals have been placed on hold without an end date, which leads to further frustration. Too many challenges in such a short timespan have led to internal and external crises, when will it end?

As of now, we have no answers as to when our pandemic will end. Even so, we can take steps to restructure our lives. Commit to at least one hour per day for devoting time to God, the Bible is encouraging and gives us real-life accounts of the struggles of humanity. Pray several times a day, ask God for guidance, and the determination to make the necessary adjustments to maintain a productive lifestyle.

  1. Identify your most important priorities.
  2. Eliminate unnecessary spending, including the closure of credit card accounts.
  3. Return to the basics of cooking tasty, nutritious meals.
  4. Incorporate family time where everyone can share their day, make suggestions for family activities, learn how to budget, and participate in the household tasks.
  5. Explore opportunities to develop new skills and/or hobbies.
  6. Call the local churches and non-profit organizations who help those in need to donate items and non-perishable food.
  7. If you are in need, seek help from your local churches/organizations, call 211, contact your creditors to make payment arrangements.

Positive changes are required to keep moving forward. God knows our concerns and limitations:  Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26

Remember, God is BIGGER than all of our problems. Stay Aware and Stay Safe!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.

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