Sing a Song

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

The books of Psalms were written by King David, who was the same shepherd boy that killed a lion, a bear, and Goliath, the giant. When God anointed him to be King, David perpetually worried about those who schemed against him. He also abused his authority by taking another man’s wife, Bathsheba, and to make matters worse, he sent her husband, Uriah, to the frontline of a battle to be killed.

In spite of David’s sins and wavering faith, God always remained faithful. Divine intervention prevented his son, Adonijah, from taking the throne away from his brother Solomon, who was appointed to be Israel’s next king. With love and mercies, God consistently blessed David; the one consequence that he suffered was that he was not allowed to build the temple under his reign. Read 1 Chronicles 28.

David wrote 150 psalms, poetic songs, which expressed his faith, his fears, his confession and repentance of adultery, murder, and ongoing sins against God. But, above all, he truly loved and honored God by continually singing a new song to the Creator of his life.

There are times when we may feel that God has forsaken us because we are experiencing the storms of life that have become so overwhelming. Perhaps we have been seeking after our sinful or selfish desires, and we feel unforgiven and separated from God. Even so, we must not give in to our feelings!

“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

We must get to know who God is and establish a covenant with Him. Pray and rely on God by studying the Bible. The Word of God contains everything we need to know about His Character, His promises, and the disobedience of fallen humanity. When we come to understand who God is, we will be like David and sing a new song by praising God endlessly for His blessings and His mercies.

Prayer: Dear God, We praise you for the mercies of a new day, and we ask you to forgive us for our sins. Thank you for all that you have done and all that you will do in our lives. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

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Guaranteed Results

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17

Weight loss is a billion-dollar industry with countless methods marketed as “the one,” which produces fantastic results, often without effort. There is only one method that leads to the loss of excessive weight; Fewer Calories = Weight loss. From a mathematical perspective, this should be the perfect formula for producing weight loss; but the truth of the matter is that losing excess pounds is complicated.

Weight loss has many variables: Food and Drink Choices, Type of Calories, Abnormal Diagnoses, Medications, Hormonal Imbalances, Body Response to Reduction of Calories: Lowered Rate of Metabolism, Genetics, Stress, and the amount of sleep. Above all, personal taste preferences and a history of eating foods/drinks that contain amounts of high sodium, high calories, high sugar, and high-fat content result in little to no will-power to avoid such foods.

Nevertheless, weight loss can be achieved without bariatric surgery or spending hundreds of dollars on promoted diet products. Consuming fewer calories by eating foods that are nutritious and taking daily walks will lead to substantial weight loss and the maintenance of your ideal weight.

We are blessed that there are no variables in the Plan of Salvation. God has developed the perfect plan for us to have guaranteed spiritual health: Confession, Repentance, Praying, Studying, living a Faith-based life, Trusting Him, and Obedience enables us to establish and maintain a spiritually healthy relationship with Him. As long as we actively participate, then our Comforter and Teacher, the Holy Spirit will dwell within us, and our characters will align with the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Galatians 5: 22,23. We can only receive guaranteed results with God.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2 NIV

Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the Plan of Salvation that we may be redeemed from our sins if we humble ourselves and pray. We pray for the strength to do our part by maintaining spiritual and physical health. Please forgive us for our sins. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

And we know that in all things God works for the…

 

 

The Walls

When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. Joshua 6:20 NIV

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Just for a moment, reflect on the goals that you set five years ago, were you able to accomplish any of those goals? For the majority of us who have made plans for the future, we must remember that our lives are not our own. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature…Romans 8:9 NLT.  We must seek God’s approval first, pray, and wait for His answer.

Truthfully speaking, only one of our primary goals from five years ago was approved and blessed by God; our plan to relocate from Florida to Texas. When God says yes, there are no obstacles that prevent our plans from being brought into fruition. The miracles that God performed included the waiver of the remaining months on our lease in Florida, employment opportunities for a newly transplanted middle-aged couple, the healing of my elderly mother’s cardiac condition, and currently, early retirement for my husband and myself.

God created us with talents, spiritual gifts, and the ability to have aspirations, there are educational pursuits, career advancements, purchases of houses and vehicles, marriage, children, travel, retirement, and many others that we desire to achieve. With finite minds, our view of life is quite limited. We become disappointed when time passes, and our current situation remains unchanged; it is then that we begin to focus on the walls of difficulty and view our goals as unattainable.

At this point, we must redirect our focus and remember that God is Omniscient, He has not forgotten us. In His mercy, we are often saved from many painful consequences when He says to wait, or when He says no to our plans. Our dreams will advance into reality if our plans are in sync with God’s perfect plan. When we remain patient and obedient, then we will witness the power of our Almighty God, and the walls will fall down in His time.

Bible Reading: Joshua 6

Prayer: Dear God, We pray for forgiveness for pursuing what we want when we want it. We present our plans to you and ask for your approval and your blessing upon our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

Approved or Denied?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Most of us know the things we need to accomplish daily and can organize our schedules accordingly to fulfill those tasks. The number of goals or interventions leading to completion determines whether the outcome is successful or unsuccessful. Have we taken into account the distractions that we have no control over that will impact our goals? The unexpected events that we cannot ignore, usually change what we desire to achieve every day.

Setting goals are an integral part of a structured lifestyle; even so, there are consequences to structuring our lives around to-do lists. We begin to lose our overall focus on a well-rounded lifestyle. We engage in risky behaviors when we overburden ourselves with too many commitments and responsibilities. The continual stress of doing too much in 24 hours harms our minds and bodies; Stress causes Mental health conditions such as anxiety, and depression along with conditions that affect the Cardiovascular system such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

We must slow down! In our haste, we rush throughout the day without asking if our plans are in His will. We can retrain our perspective; there are seven days in a week, distribute your goals evenly from Sunday-Friday, and enjoy the gift of Saturday the Sabbath, the one day that we do not focus on the cares of life.

In His infinite mercy, God has intervened on our behalf; the Seventh-day Sabbath, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is part of God’s restorative process to slow our busyness. We have 24 hours to exclusively commune with God. If we follow His plan for our lives, then we can expect the restoration of our minds and bodies. God’s methods produce perfect results. Yes, God does all things well, present your plans to him, and wait for His approval. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14 NLT

Prayer: Dear God, We thank you for your love and infinite mercy by providing us with your plan to restore and heal us. We ask forgiveness for not seeking and waiting for your approval. May we obediently follow your will for our lives. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

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Never stop Learning

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 NLT

For 12 years, I was the sole proprietor of an educational tutoring business for nursing students, which necessitated detailed knowledge of the development, planning, and running of the business on my own. Although I utilized the free resources available for entrepreneurs, I made the decision to pursue formal education and enrolled in a university majoring in Business Management.

Gaining knowledge on an academic level allowed a successful face-to-face and online service to many nursing students and graduate nursing students who were able to complete their nursing programs or pass the nursing licensure examination. I thank God that after being blessed to have a nursing career spanning four decades that I was able to give back to the nursing profession.

Recently, a company opened with a mission to provide imperfect food–ugly fruit and vegetables to low-income individuals with deliveries based on zip code location. Of course, this piqued my interest when I read the description, groceries on a mission to eliminate food waste. With my researcher hat on, I began to look over the About Us and the FAQ sections of the company that skillfully used the terms EBT, SNAP, low-income, reduction of food waste, to promote the engagement of their target audience, individuals with severely limited financial resources. Yes, there were many imperfections in addition to the foods that are being sold.

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Proverbs 4: 5-6

Many fail to comprehend that God has given us the Bible as the blueprint and instruction manual for every aspect of our lives. Often there is a gap between reading the Word of God and applying its precepts, promises, and commandments to our daily lives. We are admonished to obtain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. It is by our efforts that we seek knowledge, which is the foundation of learning; even so, our minds are finite (limited), we are unable to define or perceive as God does, only God has perfect and immense knowledge and wisdom.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12

We are forewarned. Every aspect of our lives involves the ongoing battle of spiritual wickedness. It is Satan’s plan to not only deceive us with the little things that impact our daily lives, but He has also reached forward with a diabolical plan to trick many with a false appearance of Jesus’ Second Coming. Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Studying the Bible and praying for the revelation of the scriptures by the Holy Spirit must be an integral part of our daily existence. God has not left us alone; The LORD will guard you from all evil; He will preserve your soul. Psalm 121:7. Remember, the fulfillment of God’s promises requires that we do our active part by learning, obeying, and waiting for His Divine intervention.

Prayer for today: Dear God, We face many deceptions in our lives, and as we study your Word, we ask you for understanding and wisdom, so we are not tricked by wickedness. Please forgive us of our sins and shortcomings. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

So peaceful