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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking back to look foward

With the New Year approaching I started thinking about this past year: all my accomplishments, failures and what I want to accomplish with the upcoming year.

Around this time last year, I had the thought that I would begin going to church to become a "better" person and I will accept Christ (as if He needs the accepting, I am the one who needed Him - of course I didn't realize this than). However, glory to God for opening my eyes and changing my heart of stone to a heart of flesh. That I was able to see how wicked of a person I was - and still am - according to His standards. My lifestyle was completely hostile towards Him and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit He picked me up and turned my life around.

I hit two of the greatest milestones of my life this year..

The Lord granted me my salvation, I believe this is the greatest milestone of all and pray that I continue to grow (as my pastor would say just as it is unnatural for a child not to grow physically it is unnatural for a Christian not to grow spiritually). Knowing now, there was nothing I could have done to ever become saved. God drew me to Him; my decision to start coming to church was planted by Him. He is sovereign in everything He does.

The Lord also gave me a wonderful man of God to marry, to be my provider, leader, teacher and my partner in this life. I am truly blessed to be able to find my soul mate and have the true understanding of what a marriage is especially at my age and at this time in the world.

Furthermore, there are still things in my life - and in everyone's - for improvement. I created a list of goals I have for this upcoming year but I think it's best if we all keep the serenity prayer in our minds when making our "resolutions"

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr
My 2012 Goals:
1. Grow in my prayer and reading life by making a consistent schedule and sticking to it.
2. Improving my role as a godly wife by staying in the Word and prayer and being a wife before being a student.
3. Having better discernment picking movies/TV shows to watch by researching them using or watching the trailers/reading the summary.
4. Getting back into shape by joining the gym and create a schedule (I know so cliche... but unlike the cliche I will accomplish it because I have already started; I'm not waiting for the 1st because the day doesn't have magically powers to motivate people)

I hope you all have a safe and blessed New Year!!!

Verses for encouragement:)

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.
Proverbs 18:31-32

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Stormie Ramirez
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

The BEST Gift of all gifts

I will let God's Word do most of the talking for this blog:)
Merry CHRISTmas!!!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. Romans 3:21-25

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

For by grace [I] have been saved through faith. And this is not [my] own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Thank you Father for this wonderful gift of salvation!!! I pray Lord God that I can continue to grow in knowledge and faith to be the light to others so that YOU may be glorified. That everything I do is for Your Will and not my own because You work out everything for my good Father God!! I pray Father that your name may be kept Holy everyday and not just on certain Holidays or just once a week but everyday of our lives on this earth and to the day of eternity Father. I pray that we will be ready for the second Advent Lord just as the five virgins were prepared by bringing extra oil that we are all the more prepared and not like the other five who were unprepared. Father, forgive us of our sins and teach us so that we can repent from our hostile ways by learning your commands. Help us to forgive others who sin against us, show us how to be humble and loving to one another God. Help us choose Your way when we are faced with temptation for you always provide a way out and will never allow us to be tempted more than we can handle. Thank You Father. In Jesus' holy name, Amen.
Stormie Ramirez
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks be to God for giving His Son

Growing up I was always thankful for all the yummy food I was able to eat, especially on Thanksgiving day (btw I love to eat so a holiday set apart just for that was the best idea anyone came up with). I was able to spend time with my family, eat a ton of food, laugh a lot, watch a football game and the list goes on. But what is the true meaning of this day?

Lately, I have been feeling people can create an idol out of food on this holiday. And I'm most likely one of those people who have idolized food because every year Thanksgiving meant food. This year, it has been different. Let me explain...
For one of our gatherings we had a thanksgiving meal together; which I was excited for because of all the food. Now usually I can eat and eat, there is no stopping me on Thanksgiving. However, I only ate one plate. ONE plate. Not only that, I have been pondering for weeks and weeks of how thankful I am for this past year, I have been more worried about what I'm thankful for than the food (ask my family and they will tell you this is not normal). Of course, I am not complaining about this change in my heart because that is what I am most thankful for this year.
"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 NLT

So as a Christian, Thanksgiving is more than just a day for family or the food, it's about thanking God for giving His chosen people grace. I am blessed to now understand what Thanksgiving is about as a born-again Christian and I pray that I can continue to grow in grace and understanding that is glorifying to God.

This year, I am thankful for my salvation, my husband, and our new friends and family God has placed in our lives! God is a sovereign God, "and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28 ESV)

What are you most thankful for this year?

2 Corinthians 4:15 ESV
"For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God."

Ephesians 2:7 ESV
"so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

Psalm 100:4 ESV
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! "
Psalm 50:23 ESV
"The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!"
Happy Thanksgiving!!
Stormie Ramirez
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Making mistakes is inevitable not learning from them is inexcusable.

Last semester, at HCC, I was running late to school and I was rushing up the stairs to get to class. I tripped and fell on the staircase; instead of getting embarrassed and going to hide, I got back up and continued on forward.

The other night when my husband and I were on the way home, I mentioned to him that I noticed I get embarrassed when I'm wrong - in the classroom setting and in real life - which is not healthy because ultimately I'm not perfect and there will be times (and have been times) when I'm wrong. But I also know that when I realize I am wrong, I am too prideful, most of the time, to admit it (which is a characteristic I am not proud of).
Now, even though I am imperfect it does not jusifiy my sin of not being humble as God as called me to be.

When I tripped on the staircase I could have easily justified it with my imperfection of being clumsy but if I wasn't late, in the first place, I would have been more cautious.

When we realize our sins, we are to repent and turn away from them; not jusifiy them. There will be times that we fall but we must get back up and keep moving forward.

I need to pray and turn away (repent) from my pride and become humble, as glorifying to God.

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6 ESV)

"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a HUMBLE mind." (1 Peter 3:8 ESV)

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you" (1 Peter 5:6 ESV)

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:1, 2 ESV)

"Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." (Luke 15:7 ESV)

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 ESV)

I am linked up to Wedded Wednesday.
Stormie Ramirez
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