We All Get Frustrated

Philippians 1:6 - “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day that Christ Jesus returns.”

I remember being 18 years old sitting in a coffee shop watching couples walk-in holding hands with BIG smiles on their faces. Have you ever been single and noticed just how happy they are? Man, the struggle was real for me..I had acne on my face and no lady to chase. It was a very frustrating season. 

We all at times get overwhelmed, exhausted, or over scheduled. Whether it’s current events or relationship issues (every relationship has them, 100%) the problem almost seems impossible to overcome. I find myself frustrated about the things I can’t control…one day it hit me!! I had finally realized it..frustration is one of the the biggest thieves of potential..it keeps us from doing anything productive. Frustration shows us the big mountain we must climb in order to overcome, all while God is simply asking us to take the first step on the trail to the top. You may not have the strength to get to the top right now, but you will accumulate that strength as you continue on the journey.

Today, I happen to be married to the hottest girl on the planet! I didn’t think it could happen for me. However, I now find myself getting frustrated with my “parenting inabilities.” If frustration has produced anything positive in my life it has humbled me and made me place my trust in Jesus all the more.

I asked friends on Facebook what they did when they’re frustrated and these were some of the responses:

  • Get in my car and drive with loud music playing
  • Talk to someone I can trust
  • Organize and deep clean
  • Punching bag
  • Pray 

 

- Pastor Jonathan Martinez

STOP FOR THE ONE

It’s amazing to think all that Christ did to bring us back to Him. Even to the ends of the world He would passionately pursue His children because of His incredible love for us.

Think for a second about when Jesus walked the earth. Think about all the people that physically followed Him on a daily basis, or the ones that came from miles away just to be close to Him. Despite all of the commotion of a day in the life-of, it amazes me how He always intentionally took time to stop for one person.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” Luke 15:4-6

With Jesus as our model and the Holy Spirit empowering us, we’re able to express His intentional love to others. In a fast paced world, we often skip past that one person that needed to hear they are loved. On our way into the grocery store God might be pointing someone out for you to tell them they have a plan and purpose for their life. A simple prayer, conversation or word of encouragement can be the light they needed to see their Heavenly Father. It could be the ‘come home’ signal for them, and how greatly will God rejoice!

Maybe we can’t reach the entire world, but there are people in YOUR world or sphere of influence every single day that can be impacted by the love of Christ!
When Jesus stopped for one person for one moment, one soul moved into His Kingdom forever.

Ask God, “Who can I stop for today?”

-Jonathan

GOD CARES

Earlier this week I was approached by a close friend. My friendship had changed quite a bit over the past few months with this person and to be honest I was hurt. I felt like we were growing apart and deep down I was saddened by it… But didn’t know how to approach it or deal with it.

I hadn’t expressed these feelings to God in prayer, I didn’t utter a word to my husband about it. It was just one of those things that I planned to keep to myself and hopefully just forget.

This friend approached me this week acknowledging that they had been pulling away and we talked through it all. I left the conversation really pleased with knowing what I was feeling was valid, but more than that, I was overwhelmed with the fact that GOD CARED.

This friend said God placed it on her heart for weeks to talk to me. That God continued to press her in her prayer life to acknowledge what was happening.

I felt so loved in that moment. That this thing that I never brought up mattered to God. Aren’t you so thankful that we serve a God who sees it all? He sees us individually.

Matthew 10:30-31
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

God is present in the details. He’s in the areas that you won’t show to anyone else. He’s in the big things and in the mundane tasks of each day.

I challenge you to reflect on your week and find those moments that you may have overlooked God’s subtle ways of showing you that he’s with you.

– Zzaj Collins

A Love Response

Whenever I reflect on my testimony, I can take myself back to the very moment I said “yes” to God. The moment I said yes, my life turned into the most exhilirating adventure! But what exactly was I saying yes to?

I was saying that after all God had done and all that He is to me, I was going to respond with how I lived. He saved my life and so I gave it to Him. My yes was a lifelong commitment and response to His love.

One of my favorite portions of Scripture is found in John 21 which includes Simon Peter. Peter had been questioning his own loyalty and figured he was as good as his past. So back to fishing he went. Jesus had just been risen from the dead and wanted to show Peter He loved him despite his wrongs.

When Peter saw Jesus on the shores of Galilee, he swam hastily over to meet Him. Did Jesus yell at Peter for betraying Him three times? No. Jesus was found there serving him breakfast. My favorite part happens when Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, three times. Not only does Peter respond yes with his mouth, he responds yes with his life.

Peter saw the powerful grace of Jesus, and experienced the unending love that He is. Peter saw that after all he had done, God’s grace was always sufficient.

Peter could not ignore this love, and his response was yes. Jesus replied “Feed My sheep.” In other words, if you say yes, let your actions follow. Peter dedicated his life to preaching the good news and serving people. His heart was comitted to God, a lifelong response to all that He had done for him.

What has God done for you? What has He saved you from? The truth is He gave up His life so that we could LIVE. What will your response be to this incredible love? I pray that it is one that says “yes”. A life that responds with unending gratitude to all that He is, all that He has done and all that He will continue to do.

-Jonathan

My Circle of Friends

Where would we be without friends?! I guess you could answer that in many different ways depending on your experience with those you call/called friends. Maybe you read that question and are filled with positive emotions. For others you read and start feeling hot (not the I’m beautiful hot, but I wanna beat somebody-up kind of hot) and negative emotions begin to affect your attitude.

I can already hear my mama saying, “show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are.” God cares about the people we allow to influence our lives. The Bible teaches us to be open to new friendships, but also teaches we should be very cautious of who we allow to speak into our lives. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Not everyone needs to know your business. We’ve all been hurt by friends, none of us are perfect. We will let each other down.

Anything worth keeping takes work to keep. With that said, God calls us to be inclusive, not stupid. Invest your time don’t spend your time. I’ve had to stop and ask the Holy Spirit to lead my friendships. Take a moment, pray, and ask yourself a few questions:

1.) Are the focus of my conversations more about “someone” or “the One”? (Jesus).

I know it sounds corny, but relationships built on gossip are only a conversation from being torn down. You’ll break it with the same thing that built it. Read Proverbs 16:28.

2.) Are my friends allowed to call-me-out and still hang-out?

Keep the people that can lovingly tell you the truth. Be careful not to translate their love for hate. Return to friend mode ASAP, keep your friendship united.

3.) Do you know the difference between solitude and isolation? (First Mentions, Keenan Collins, thanks for this!)

Solitude says, “I need some time alone in order to refuel and keep the main thing, the main thing.” Jesus walked away from the crowd to rejuvenate and be with the Father. Isolation says, “people hurt me too much, I’d rather be alone instead of getting hurt all the time.” The pain is real and so are the wounds, but you don’t want that to keep you from healthy amigos/amigas. Satan wants you talking to yourself instead of seeking and expressing your thoughts to God and the counsel of the loving people He’s placed in your life.

Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment. I can always learn more about healthy friendships, help me!

-Jonathan

Two Things You Can't Live Without

It’s not always easy to believe that God can really do the impossible. We’re all on this journey called “mi vida loca” (My crazy life). We are jumping the hurdles & ducking, while stones are being thrown at us. It’s not always that way. Sometimes the sunshine gives us the perfect tan, we’ve got money in our pocket, and our friend just offered to pay at our favorite Thai restaurant.

Life – it’s never what you think. 

Do you know that God is with you on this journey? He wants you to work together with Him (2 Corinthians 6:1). There’s a big difference between empowering and delegating. Delegating says, “here’s the plan, now implement the plan I’m giving you.” Empowering says, “here’s the heart behind what we’re trying to accomplish, let’s create a plan together and take over the world!!!” Jesus wants to empower you to work as partners together with Him. There are two things we can’t afford to not take on our super-outta-control voyage:

  1. Holy Spirit – Our comforter, encourager, teacher, and counselor.
  2. Bible

    “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

A friend for the journey and a map to guide us on the way.

Enjoy the expedition!!!!

-Jonathan