The Other Side

If I had a choice

I would rather be on the other side of the mountain

For I have struggled to climb to the top many times

Only to plunge to the bottom where the same misery and heartache eagerly waited

Although I knew it was dangerous, I decided that I could climb without the safety rope of loving myself

Again, I’m at the foot of the mountain looking up

The climb is steep, but I see the top, and I know that I will do it this time because the journey is familiar

And my safety rope is intact-I love me!

Not saying that I won’t slip or fall

But plunging to rock bottom is no longer an option

I’m climbing, I feel the difference

I made it to the top!

I do have a choice, and from now on, I will face my challenges with the strength of an Overcomer

Cause it’s awesome to be on the other side of the mountain

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

It has been many years since I penned my book of romantic poetry: Canciones de Amor/Songs of Love.

The Other Side is a poetic expression of the continuous cycle of struggle to victory.

I was reflecting on the challenges that we face as women; mainly from the lack of support and appreciation from family, friends, spouses, co-workers, and others. There are times when our fragile hearts are broken, and we struggle just to place our feet on the floor. There are times when the loneliness is overwhelming, because we are invisible to those who surround us.

Be warned, there is danger ahead! We cannot allow our hearts to become hardened with bitterness and resentment. We must rescue ourselves from falling deeper into the abyss by empowering ourselves with self-love.

We must affirm that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. We must learn to lovingly embrace our innermost being by putting on our safety ropes and with courage climb those mountains.

There is victory on the other side of the mountain!

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Preparation takes Time

“Behold I am coming quickly…” Revelation 22:7 NKJV

Testimonial

Nothing excites me more than traveling to places that offer beautiful landscapes. If there are multiple options to reach my destination, it is my preference to take the peaceful scenic routes as opposed to enduring the stress of driving in the chaos of bustling highways.

I have learned from experience that traveling the scenic route requires additional preparation beforehand: Vehicle supplies include printed directions with text and maps; plenty of drinking water; a cooler with healthy edibles–sandwiches, fruit, and snacks; paper towels and sanitizing hand wipes; comfortable clothing and walking shoes; and glass cleaner for the windshield. Most importantly, never let your gas tank go below half, and pay with cash.

The main highways offer constant cellular signals, well-known eateries with clean restrooms every few miles, the joy of walking within a few steps from the asphalt parking lot to the entrance of stores, malls, and gas stations where you readily use your debit/credit cards without hesitation.

So you may ask, why would you give up the modern day conveniences or choose to take the longest route which offers so little? What I value is seeing the roadrunner dart quickly, or an eagle soaring with its mighty wingspan; the breathtaking view of snow-capped mountains; wildflowers that compete with the beauty of long-stemmed roses; and the dry desert with an abundance of green plants and trees, although rain has not fallen in months.

It is the story of Creation along with the ability to enjoy a beautiful earth that silently reiterates to me that–God is love! Although I have seen nature in its magnificence, my imagination is still severely limited when I read about the New Heaven and the New Earth with a crystal clear river and a tree of life on each side, Revelation 22.

Even so, I am making preparation everyday by consecrating my life to God, by studying his Word, and by praying; because I believe in faith that Jesus is coming soon to bring my reward, and to bring the reward to all who are faithful to the end.

He which testifies these things saith, “Surely I come quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20

Prayer for today: Dear God, We bring our weaknesses before you today and ask you to give us the strength to faithfully prepare for the Second Coming of your Son–Jesus Christ. Thank you for loving us so much that you gave your Son, and you created a beautiful earth for our enrichment and enjoyment. Please help us, as we continue to make preparation for eternal life, no matter the cost, to look forward to living with you forever and ever. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

https://photos.app.goo.gl/aMm75mja3KtLVK7Q7

New and Improved

We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1

Face value is the superficial appearance or implications of something.

To the untrained eye and mind, it is quite interesting that what is seen visually has a great influence on the perception of the person or situation.

It was quite an interesting and humorous experience last week when my husband was in the emergency room for severe leg pain. The physician inquired of the nurse as to what was going on with the old man in room 6. The old man he was referring to was my husband who has premature silvery hair and a beard with more salt than pepper colouring.

When the Doctor came into the room for the initial evaluation, he addressed my husband as young man. I can only imagine that he realized after reviewing his date of birth that he was quite mistaken in assuming that he was an old man. We were not offended and enjoyed a good laugh; because in reality, he was the older man who learned that what you see is often not the truth of the matter.

There are times when our knowledge is limited to face value, and as a result, we make decisions that create negative outcomes and undesired consequences.

When you reflect on your life, do you have a great sense of accomplishment or are you filled with regrets? It is natural for us to count our many past mistakes and wish that we had done things differently. We often identify our lack of good decision-making skills and how it has affected our lives, and perhaps the lives of others; but we become fixated on the past and become unable to rid ourselves of the stagnation of guilt.

Yes, we must acknowledge that the consequences of misaligned decisions are painful; however, consider what you have learned and how the outcome has shaped the individual that you are today. Surely the experience of those mistakes have provided an increased level of knowledge and the wisdom to develop suitable resolutions to present and future life events.

If not, do not harbor feelings of regret! We have a reason to possess joy and happiness: Jesus Christ is our greatest Advocate and Intercessor. When we confess and repent of our past mistakes, God always forgives.

Through God’s grace and mercy, we can accept His loving-kindness and move forward with the determination to become a new and improved person.

Let go of regret and defeat! Do not accept the remembrance of past transgressions from yourself or other individuals.

We are given new mercies everyday: Embrace the godly person you are maturing into, and move forward in the strength of our Savior, and Lord–Jesus Christ.

Prayer for today: Dear God, We thank you for your grace and mercy. We ask for forgiveness of our sins. We ask you to help us to forgive ourselves for our past and present mistakes. We ask you for wisdom as we seek after knowledge. We ask you for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that influences us to align our solutions according to your will. Thank you for the ability to obtain spiritual growth and the blessing to become new and improved. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Time for a Revival

Yesterday in my blog entitled, “Have the talk with God”, I recommended praying every (waking) hour, everyday, for the rest of your life.

Truthfully, I must admit that it was a struggle for me to remember my commitment to pray every hour. Yes, I could have easily utilized a daily planner as a reminder; however, I desired to make a conscientious effort to acquire a new habit of praying more without the use of assistive reminders. Although, I failed to pray hourly due to forgetfulness or busyness, my desire for a deeper and stronger relationship with God still exists and is still possible.

Today God gifted me with a new opportunity to talk with him. My heart is revived, and I awakened feeling refreshed; the joy, peace, and strength that I possess this morning proves that when we do our part, God is always faithful.

“…I will honor those who honor me…” 2 Samuel 2:30

I am imperfect, born in sin, and shaped by iniquity. Even so, I will remain committed to do whatever it takes to serve God.

At any time, day or night, have a little talk with Jesus…your life will never be the same again.

Prayer for today: Dear God: We admit our weaknesses and our inability to be faithful. Our need for you is much greater than we realize. We need to increase the times that we talk to you. As we commit to approach you in prayer more often, we ask for your blessings upon our lives. We pray for comfort, for strength, and for a deeper relationship with you. God we love you and we thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Have the talk with God!

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 40:2-3

When we contemplate on the gifts that God gave to human beings, the power to communicate is second only to the ability to love. Our innate abilities include speech, hearing, and gross and fine motor skills. Anyone who has witnessed the growth of a baby from birth to the age of 12 months can attest to the miracle of development from crying to cooing, and from the sounds of incoherent baby talk to the amazing ability to speak their first word. What about the progression of the tiny hands that reach out to take a rattle, grasp a milk bottle, and eventually pick up objects with their thumb and forefinger?

The ability to speak, hear, and write are skills that most of us take for granted. However, it is impossible to initiate, form strong bonds, or maintain a healthy relationship without positive and ongoing communication with others or with God-our Creator.

Effective communication is an interpersonal skill; a skill that requires consistency and effort that must be utilized to establish and facilitate growth in human relationships. Although we do our best, we must remember there are variables in communicating with others; our intention and their perception or understanding may lead to misunderstandings which can be overwhelming.

Human frailty will always be a factor that we must accept. If we are mindful that all are endowed with weaknesses, then we maintain a higher level of tolerance to verbal slips of the tongue. If we grudgingly hold onto every unkind word that is spoken, then we lose our desire to communicate and connect with others, which results in a spirit of unforgiveness and leads us down the path of a solitary and miserable life.

It is the times when we feel so fragile and broken that God is waiting to strengthen us. When the vicissitudes of life becomes overwhelming, we are to establish our connection with God.

Prayer is the most powerful form of communication given to human beings. It is through prayer that we are able to empty ourselves before God and be forthcoming with all of our brokenness and burdens. We do not have to be concerned with God’s perception or struggle to find the right words to avoid a slip of the tongue when we pray.

Increase your daily time communicating with God through prayer. Pray a prayer, every hour, everyday, for the remainder of your life.

God knows every aspect of our lives– past, present, and future. It is the times when we are so fragile and broken that he is waiting to strengthen our weary souls. Through prayer we can receive Deliverance, Healing, and the Peace that surpasses all understanding.

Regardless of how hopeless our situation appears, God has not left us to fend for ourselves. Yes, troubles will continue to occur in our lives; however, if we are faithful, and learn to trust in God, and most importantly continue to Pray without ceasing, we will gain the victory!

Prayer for today: Dear God, We come to you today to give you our burdens, to confess our sins, and to ask for forgiveness, and for healing. We acknowledge that our relationship with you is weak, because we have failed to communicate with you. Hear our prayer, O Lord. We love you and we worship your Holy name. Thank you for giving us the ability to communicate. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Exposed

Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:17 NLT

One of the characteristics of living on the East Coast is the terrible noise pollution. Due to the constant exposure of loud sounds, eventually you become desensitized, and actually contribute your fair share by blowing your car horn in disgust on a daily basis. In addition, you habitually talk to the other driver (who is unable to hear your one-sided conversation) and ask them questions such as, “What are you doing?” or tell them to “Hurry up, get out of the way.” As I reflect on the thoughtless behaviors that I once cherished, I ask myself, “How did I acquire these bad habits?”

Even when no one is watching, God knows. The habits we possess are a testimonial of our relationship with God. If we are obedient and hide God’s Word in our hearts, then through the Holy Spirit we become changed and possess the character traits that are Christ-like.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things. Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

We cannot live in a state of pretense by attempting to portray Christian characteristics to others; eventually, the truth of who we really are, is revealed by the “right situation” and we are Exposed.

There is a remedy for ridding ourselves of ungodly character traits: the remedy is to Hide God’s Word in Your Heart. In our life, it means that we must take our time and study the Bible by memorizing and meditating daily on God’s Word. The intention of Bible reading plans are to create the discipline, and structure that it takes to form a daily habit of reading the Bible. Even so, the purpose of studying the Word of God is to know who God is and to show us how we are to live and think.

Studying is a process and learning is progressive. It is imperative that we take our time to read, re-read, memorize and meditate–by deep reflection. We learn by repetition! It is not necessary to race through God’s Word by completing a “Read the Bible in one year or less” plan. Whatever it takes for us to apply the Word to facilitate spiritual growth and riddance of our carnal behaviors, then we must do it.

Galatians 5:16-26 teaches us how to live by the Holy Spirit’s Power. We learn of the Fruit of the Spirit in verses 22-23: The challenge remains for us to commit to God and relinquish our ungodly habits by fervently praying, studying and learning what God requires of us. When we do our part–transformation will occur–and we will no longer have the inclination to follow the desires of our sinful natures.

1. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

2. Study to show thyself approved unto God…first part. 2 Timothy 2:15

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Jesus is coming again; we can prepare ourselves by fostering spiritual growth which requires prayer, studying, and obedience to God.

Prayer for today: Dear God, It is our sinful desires that separate us from you. We ask for your power and your strength as we prepare to study your Word and apply it to our lives. We desire the Fruit of the Spirit; therefore, we ask for wisdom as we acquire knowledge of who you are. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz