THE FACE OF GOD

THE FACE OF GOD
Victor Hugo once penned:
“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
With that in mind
Why do we treat our neighbor
As if he were a mere dog?
If we see God in all our neighbors
Why are we so nasty
And forget to do them kind favors

And just who is our neighbor?
At times the ones you live with
Some are friends
Still others, those with whom you labor
Your husband, wife, children you both created
Blood relatives both near and far
These are all our fellow-man
Yet we forget in whose image we were all created

The hobo down the street, without a home,
The druggie, the hooker, the derelict,
The nice clean-cut guy in the business suit,
The soldier fighting his guts out to keep us free
The baby whose life was aborted
The teen girl who tore her baby from her womb from fear
The teen boy who got her pregnant
The rapist, serial killer, the convict ending his life on death row
Yeah, yeah, yeah, these are our fellow-man
Yeah, yeah, Yeah, God weeps when souls are lost
To hell’s eternal flames
And we ought to also weep
‘Cause to lose a soul is too high a cost

How dare we think that we’re better than another?
“To love another person is to  see the face of God”
We look down our noses and despise each other
It’s become a world where dog bites dog
We have lost direction in every way
When a child beats his father and spits on his own mother
I believe God’d own heart weeps
And when we make God cry
May we for His grace and mercy cry.

EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2013

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/13661.Victor_Hugo?auto_login_attempted=true

365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 99

” DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.”

We sat around eating brunch this morning. Actually it was left over home-made soup from last night. We were discussing what Easter means to each of us. My youngest had posted on FB that Easter is lame because they have commercialized it  and now they make it all about the Easter Bunny and candy. My second daughter pointed out that Easter is different things to different people. She said for herself, it’s about her risen Lord and Savior. The rest of the family said today is a day of remembrance ; never forgetting what was done for us at the cross. My husband even said that it’s about never forgetting to pick up your cross daily not just on Easter.

I grew up Catholic and so Easter would bring the people out of the wood work on Easter Sunday. Every family would show up to church in brand new clothes and I remember wondering what all the big fuss was about since I had to go to mass every Sunday come rain or shine. The creepiest part of the whole week leading to Easter was on Good Friday , when we went to a Good Friday service and we had to kiss the feet of Jesus on a crucifix that was passed around by a priest.

Just now my husband came home and brought me some flowers to plant in a planter in my backyard. My youngest daughter and I just planted them and it struck me: Easter to me is about living life to the fullest. Jesus dying on the cross so I could live forever…there had to be a death so that I could have a life.  There had to be a sacrifice of an innocent life so that we who are guilty, can be absolved of our wrong doing. So for me Easter is about LIFE! Tonight we will have communion here at home with our family. Jesus said,” Do this in remembrance of Me.” He didn’t hype it up. He had a small, intimate meal with his closest friends and followers. Easter to me also is about remembering the intimacy of a love so deep and powerful that was given to me without reservation. Do this in remembrance of Me,” Love, Live and Celebrate in remembrance of HIM!

TFCL (talk from the clothes line)

Bom dia meu Deus incrível! ( I picked Portuguese today!)

So many things to discuss with you today God, but alas I think I must thank you first for your presence in my life. What can I do for YOU today? What can I bring you? What can I say? Ok, I’ll just hang out here with you until you tell me 🙂

A friend of mine , his name is Tim just shared how he went to visit his grandfather’s grave. It’s been many years since he passed away and my friend told me that while at the cemetery a beautiful butter fly was following him around and would not let him be. Tim said that he told it to go and it did and when he called back the butter fly, it obeyed him. First of all, I applauded Tim for sharing such a wonderful story; I find it amazing when a grown man opens up and shares from his heart. Many men struggle with talking from their hearts and when my guy friends do so, I’m all ears because I know how difficult that can be for some.

Tim wanted feed back on what that butter fly represented and I shared with him that I thought  God had used that tiny winged creature to touch him and remind him that even though his grandfather isn’t here in this life anymore, his Spirit  is very present with his grandson. God, I wish people were  open to letting you blow their minds more. We are all curious about the super natural realm; really think about it, why do you think so many people turn to psychics and fortune tellers?

So I say to you Tim, never ever close up to God and His wonderfully unique ways that He uses to reach out and bless you. God is not some horrible task master; He so loves you and because He does, He sends you messengers, even that tiny butterfly to remind you how special and amazing you are to Him.

” For I know what plans I have in mind for you,”says The Lord. “Plans for your well being and not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. When you call to me and pray to me I will listen. When you seek me you will find me; provided you seek for me whole heartedly, and I will let you find me.”

Eu volto a minha grande Senhor

Childhood Abuse Can Affect You Into Adulthood…If You Let it

I came out of abuse and I can tell you that God used those horrific experiences to teach me some valuable lessons. Yes, I say God because He is the only One that can set the captive free,if you allow Him to do a deep work in your life. The first lesson that I learned from my past abusers is that I didn’t want to do to another human being the vile,profane deeds that were done to me.

At age five I fell prey to the hands of a child molester who lived in the same house I was living in. I could have remained the victim of his mishandling me for all of my life. It wasn’t until I received God’s forgiveness for my own sins, that I began to pray asking God to help me forgive this depraved man. Honestly,every fiber of my being was crying out for revenge. Even though I was here and he was still in Colombia and I was in my early twenty’s, my soul could find no rest. A friend of mine helped me out one day when she told me that if I didn’t forgive him,then God wouldn’t forgive me my sins.
I was furious with God. “Lord!” I would cry out,”Didn’t you see what he did to me? How he robbed me of my innocence? Don’t you care that he violated me and stole what wasn’t his to begin with?” Then one day, God gave me this amazing answer to my years of pain and torment: ” I was there taking all the abuse for you. You were never alone. What he and all the others did to you,they also did to Me.” I was stunned and without words. I let those healing words penetrate my ice cold heart. The more I let the truth of God in my life,it began to melt the hard sheet of ice that had covered my inmost being.
 
If I had hung on to my anger and hurt there is no doubt in my mind that I would have become like my abusers. Refusing to forgive is a trap. Not forgiving those who offend us,puts us in the same prison cell that they are in. Not only that,you are shackled to that person in your spirit. Once you choose to forgive,off come the shackles and you become free of them. I was worried for a long time that if I forgave them,that I was supposed to be involved with that person again. That’s when I learned that you forgive primarily for you. I have forgiven my abusers and I can now pray for them.
I married a man who was also abused as a child and I see how his unforgiveness of his abusers tends to rear its ugly head . At times it wants to wreak havoc in our married life. Recently I told my spouse that his abusers were still a power in his life because he was letting them still control him every time he dwelled on the pain. He had never had anyone tell him that. I love this man too much to see him remain a prisoner trapped in a cage he was put in so long ago. God put us together so we could help each other out. The only way you can help someone out of abuse,is if you’ve walked in the same shoes. Also,the other person has to be willing to not live like a victim but instead allow God to love you past the trauma.With God all things are possible. If you are reading this article, I pray for you that God will give you the strength to face your abuse. Forgive your abuser(s),forgive God and forgive yourself. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed and He desires that you be free,healed and restored!
 

Stand on This!

From time to time in my years of home schooling I have run into certain insecurities about my calling. Are my kids learning enough? Can I teach them everything that they need to know before they leave the nest? Have I done my job as their teacher well? Will they be able to succeed in life? I mean the questions kept coming over the years until one day I read this scripture in Isaiah 54:13, ” Your children will be taught of the Lord and they shall know great peace.” I made that scripture the  focus of my homeschooling philosophy.
 
Since then I have talked to parents from both camps; homeschoolers and public schoolers and I have heard parents raise the same questions I have had. The answer is simple really; of course we can’t teach our kids EVERYTHING they need to know by the time they are 18. Seriously, does anyone ever graduate from high school having all the knowledge they will need for the rest of their life? Also, as far as what kind of job did I do as my kid’s main teacher? That too becomes more clear as they grow up; I rest in knowing that I gave them my best and I tried my best. As far as knowing whether they will succeed in life; that will depend entirely on them; yet again I rest knowing that I equipped them with tools for their lives and it’s up to them to take what was given to them and use that for their benefit.
 
May I suggest something to you? Give yourself some credit from time to time. If you are doing your best by your children, God honors that! Enjoy your summer day 🙂
 
” I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” -Chinese Proverb