Posted by: papaslap | December 5, 2018

Chasing Storms

Chasing Storms
When I was a little girl my father loved to chase storms.  He would see a Thundercloud, see it building and want to get in his car and just go chase that storm. I love chasing storms. I love chasing the rain. I love to go see where the rain is and where the snow is falling it just brings joy to me. It’s so refreshing something about the rain and the lightning. It’s interesting when you get to that rain it eventually disappears, and then I’m off chasing another storm looking for the rain. God is a storm chaser.  We are all little storms and God is going after us. I was just thinking you know we chase the storms of life. We chase after these things that disappear. We don’t chase after God and we wonder why our lives are the same or at least I wonder why mine is. I’m not always chasing after God. Of course, there are moments of my life when I am just chasing after God, constantly seeking him, constantly looking for Him in His word. I read scripture every morning and I pray every morning and still I have this void that needs to be filled. I keep going back to that idol that thing that I put before God that He is less important. I  know He’s using me and I’m being used in the little things but I want to be used in something big. Maybe I want to be recognized? Maybe He’s trying to break that in me, and I don’t know if He ever will.  I want to do what He wants. If He could just deal with me.   I don’t want it to be about me anymore.  I want to stop chasing my own storm. Don’t know if anyone else struggles with this, or if someone is feeling this today. Just know, as the storms pass, this too shall pass.  Papa, please help me to chase You and not myself. Help my friends who struggle with this to also get through and see more of You. Amen!

Chasing God Instead Of Me,

Diane

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Posted by: papaslap | July 13, 2018

Oil In My Lamp!

You know I was thinking about the women who were waiting for the bridegroom and how some didn’t have enough oil in their lamps when He came. They had to go searching for oil because they weren’t prepared. It could be so easy to stop worshiping to just stop replenishing the oil in your lamp in the midst of trials, and sometimes I think I do. In the moments of deep sadness and questioning, I do what I love best, worship. Even if I don’t feel joy I worship I lament in worship and I realize I’m keeping oil in my lamp every time I trust God and pray even though it hurts. Every time I worship God even though it hurts. Every time I read His word even though it hurts. Psalm 23: 1 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  Habakkuk 3:17-19 Even though the fig trees have no fruit and no grapes grow on the vines, even though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no corn, even though the sheep all die and the cattle stalls are empty, I will still be joyful and glad, because the LORD God is my savior. The Sovereign LORD gives me strength. He makes me sure-footed as a deer, and keeps me safe on the mountains. Psalm 91: 7 Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. Even though. Despite the fact that I am going through this I will praise God because He is worthy to be praised. I will keep the oil in my lamp because I want to be ready when He calls me again. Whether it is to battle or to worship I will wait on the Lord to call me again for He is faithful to me and His loving kindness never fails. Be encouraged if you are going through trials and you can’t seem to worship your Papa, this trial will pass. Keep the oil of faith in your lamp do not let it go out because of the trials of this world He is not done with you yet. Even though your pain may last for a night His joy comes in the morning. Papa protect my beloved friends, comfort them in the trials and grief and let Your light shine upon them. Thank you for all of the blessings you have bestowed upon me.

In His Presence,

Diane

Posted by: papaslap | July 5, 2018

No shoes!

Have you ever had a time in your life when believed or had faith in something that you were willing to give up everything for it? Or if not everything just something you love. I had to make that hard decision, and all because of my feet.  About seven years ago I was in a place of be tweens. I had no place of worship and I was searching for a new church family, this was before the Nell came along. I would sit in my backyard by my pond either listening to or singing worship songs. I’m pretty sure my neighbors thought I was a bit crazy. It was in these moments of worship to Papa that He asked me to take off my shoes…you are on Holy ground.  I made it a regular purposeful duty and I felt as if there was nothing between He and I. It was awesome. When I began attending my current church I didn’t initially go shoeless, it took me a while. Then one day I was reading through Exodus and there it was Moses and God and the command of shoelessness. It made sense it felt appropriate. I began to worship before the congregation without my shoes. It was a freedom to abandon myself before my Papa, a vulnerability that has cost me that worship. People would ask me why don’t you wear shoes? I would tell them of the Holy ground that we invited God into our presence and we are on Holy ground, cool was usually the response. Some would joke, we are going to buy you shoes, and I would say great I’m probably not going to wear them. So here I am today blissfully happy with my shoelessness, having to make the choice. Do I worship with my shoes on to preserve a spot on the worship team, or do I keep worshiping my Papa in my heart like He has asked me to with my shoes off? Well I am still shoeless, it wasn’t a hard decision to make, it was made for me. Faith, strongly convicted faith a faith worth giving everything away for is what I have. I love my Papa, God, Father whatever name you cry out in times of joy, grief, and sometimes anguish. I would do whatever He asks. This is why I don’t wear shoes, because He asked me to be naked. Naked and poor wretched and blind I come clothe me in white. My feet are naked before God as a slave and servant to His worship. This is my conviction, this is my covenant, this is my love language. So for now, I worship with my family down on the floor, on our knees, on our feet, or in the seats. I will wait patiently for my God on high and see what He has in store for me.

Barefoot Before My Papa,

Diane

Posted by: papaslap | June 27, 2018

Job

God is this how Job felt? As Christians we read the story of Job and think, wow thank God I never have to go through that. Then we get into these moments of life where you feel like Job. The circumstance is different but I’m sure the feeling is right. Though I’m not a righteous woman as Job was a righteous man I know my righteousness is from Christ and in him I am righteous. I have this saying; five years from now life will look totally different.  I say it to the ones I love when they are going through something and I find myself repeating this statement to myself …in five years it will all look different but I must go through to get to it. Only I don’t want to go through I just want it to be over.  Two and a half years ago I was blessed with a beautiful granddaughter who is full of life she is my joy she is new and she deserves the best. A little over a year ago life became hectic. I realized that my mother who was diagnosed with dementia truly has dementia. She said things that I never thought I would hear my mom say, and I lost someone who I thought I could go to in times of trouble. But let’s go back even further five years ago my dad who I loved to talk to had a stroke. Gone were the conversations we had, the jokes we would tell he is still mentally my dad however a piece of him is missing. Fast forward my mom gets dementia that relationship is gone. Last year my husband injured my son, who was struggling with depression, and I had to get a restraining order against him. I found out in that time period of 6 months afterward that I have a 7 centimeter ovarian cyst and endometriosis, which I still have. My husband moved back in and we went to counseling. Recently the church I’ve been going to decided to merge with another church, which meant my solo joy of life, would change. I don’t know about Job, but I feel spent…at the end of a very long rope…the boat I’m in is leaking and I can’t stop crying. I know that God has a purpose for everything, that He is in every situation it’s just right now I need Jesus with skin on. A lifeline a buoy or even the coast guard would help. Can someone else pilot the boat? I know this will pass and I cling to Gods word…it is the only lifeboat…lifeline…and coast guard that I can see. It should reassure me and lift my spirits however I sit here and type and read all that I have gone through and am still in the midst of. I have great moments of joy especially when I worship Papa…this is my ultimate joy, that never changes. He is my lighthouse in this storm; I just feel like the storm needs to end, at least some of it needs to subside.  So I sit offshore bobbing up and down staring at that lighthouse waiting for a harbor to open up so I can dock my boat and wait out the winter. I’ve dumped a lot of things I don’t need overboard all that is left for me to do is abandon the ship and swim to the shore. Paul knew the boat he was on was going to sink, so they ran it aground and swam ashore. I would love to abandon ship…however that is not an option.  So I sit and wait for Papa and I continue to fish and wait for a harbor to open up. Full of hope I wait, because God has and never will leave me. Somehow He will make a way for me to find a safe harbor, for now I will rest in the hope of clear skies and calm harbors. If you too are in the midst of it know that I pray for you, you are not alone, and neither am I

My Eyes Are On Him,

Diane

Posted by: papaslap | April 2, 2017

Revelation!

   As I was driving to pick up Laurena today and listening to my Jesus music on the radio, I began to pray.  I prayed for everyone at Solid Ground who had submitted prayer requests and I began to pray for my children.  I thought how I wish that God would speak to them this Easter Sunday, that He would give them some revelation of who He was.  I watched the sun rise behind me, and remembered that my Papa is always watching me and that with each new day there is hope.  Lately it seems, I have been fighting the battle of self pity.  Pitying  my self for having to do everything, and wondering when the other adult in the house is going to step in and help out.  Then I realized God didn’t say I call you and everyone in my house to serve me.  He said I called you, and I am asking you do this for Me.  Sometimes, I get caught up in my own pity party and then God reveals to me that our time here is so short.  I need to enjoy each day with joy in my heart and realize I answered the call and it doesn’t mean my family will.  I just have to trust in Him and wait.  Thank you Papa for your revelations!

Posted by: papaslap | August 17, 2015

Amazed!

Good Morning,

I am continually amazed at the patience of God.  How He waits for His people to come back to Him like a wise and loving father who waits for his children to mature and realize that their dad only wants what is best for them.  I have watched my children grow.  I have seen the struggles they have gone through, and the joy they have  experienced.  I remember the days when they depended on me as babies, looking to me for their every need and how much I loved their innocent beauty.  As they have grown, I have come to enjoy the individuals they are.  Making up their own minds, and living life the way they want to.  As a mother, you want to shelter them through every bad decision and bad situation.  You rejoice in their victories and mourn when they are defeated.  I think of my heavenly Father and how His heart broke, rejoiced, and mourned over each decision I have made and still make.  As children, we want to blame our parents for all of the mishaps in our  lives.  Can we as adults blame them for who we are today?  At some point in your life you need to decide who you are.  I know, not all children grow up in a wonderful home.  In fact most of us, if we are honest, come from less than perfect homes.  We are a flawed people, living a flawed world, raising our children with a flawed view.  Some people may call me crazy for believing in God.  The God of the bible.  I would say to that, then I am crazy.  I only know that my life was a train wreck at one time.  I was lost with no direction.  God reached out in my darkest hour and lifted me up from those tracks and set me back on the tracks.  I love Him.  I love to worship Him.  He is water to my soul and the food that nourishes me.  In this crazy upside down world everyone is looking for a Savior.  Who will your Savior be?  As for me and my house it will be the Lord!  When the world around you calls you crazy because you believe in a God who lived, died, and rose for you to be saved, smile and realize you are not the only crazy one out there.  I am on that train with you.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He came to this earth to seek and save the lost.  He died for us so that we could spend eternity with our Father in heaven.  He rose from the dead, conquered death, and destroyed sin.  When God looks at me He sees Jesus, and I am glad He does.  I am staying on this train until the end of the line, stay on it with me and I promise you won’t regret the ride.  Be blessed my friends!

Riding The Train To The End,

Diane Maldonado

Posted by: papaslap | July 31, 2015

I am a soldier!

Did you ever watch one of those gladiator movies where he is fighting the enemy and then he gets attacked by someone else unexpectedly.  Sometimes our enemy does the same thing.  You are battling this sinful part of yourself and you feel great.  Your armor is on, your sword is sharp and your fighting and winning.  That’s when your enemy sneaks up from behind and gets you through a weak spot in your armor.  The sooner you realize you are in a battle, the better.  The sooner you use your weapons the quicker the enemy is slain.  Our battles are not against flesh and blood but against the dark forces of this world.  Dark forces, sounds like a star wars movie.  In the end the dark force looses, and the good guys win.  Sometimes when we are fighting the battle we forget, oh yeah, the good guy, God is on my side.  And He wins the battle.  Be encouraged my friends.  If you are fighting more and more battles these days, stand up put on your armor and fight back.  The war is already won, we just need to stand our ground and fight where we are at.  Trust your Father, and He will give you what you need.  Thank you Lord for all of my family and friends.  Strengthen each and every one of them as they fight the battles today. Bless them in all they put their hands to and keep the enemy from their doorsteps.  Be blessed my family and friends.  “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14  Wake up soldiers, time to fight the good fight.

Wearing My Armor,

Diane Maldonado

 

Posted by: papaslap | July 15, 2015

Be Encouraged!

Good Morning,

I was sitting outside by my pond enjoying the sound of the waterfall, relishing in the splendor of all that God has created, and I felt overjoyed.  I noticed the bright orange, yellow, and purple berries hanging from my umbrella tree and the bright green leaves of the mandevilla with their fuchsia flowers. The humming birds come and feed while I sit and talk to Papa and  I felt encouraged.  So much of my Father I see in all that He created, and how easily nature goes about it’s praise of the Father.  Whenever I feel like things seem to look hopeless, I think of what Paul said:

1 Thessalonians 5

The Day of the Lord

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord [a]will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then [b]destruction [c]will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you [d]like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as [e]others do, but let us be alert and [f]sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.But since we are of the day, let us be [g]sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore [h]encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.  

Be encouraged.  God is on His throne, and He has not forgotten His promise to His people.  There are so many blessings in my life in all of our lives.  Remember to encourage one another and to urge each other to be Christ in this world.  We have brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who are being tried and tested.  Those who are dying for their belief and testimony in Christ.  While there is still daylight, be a witness to this lost and fallen world and walk as Christ has taught us to walk.  Christ has gone to prepare a place for us and He will come back to collect His bride.  I encourage you to be in His word and in prayer.  I know in my busy life I fail to put God first and I lose the opportunity to spend time with my first love, Papa.    Pray for my lack.  I will pray for your strength.   Be blessed as you go about your day and love each other as Christ loved us first.  Thank you Father for my friends and family.  Bless them this day as they go about their travels.  Speak to them with words of love and encouragement and watch over them as a shepherd does his flock.  I love you Lord.  Thank you for sending Your Son so that I could spend eternity in Your presence.  Open my eyes so I can see with Your eyes.

Loving His Presence,

Diane Maldonado

Posted by: papaslap | July 14, 2015

Too long

This morning as I was walking with Lisa, my sword, I kept thinking when was the last time I posted anything.  My answer September of 2014, way too long.  It seems like the world is at war.  Angry with each other, angry with the government, angry with the way the environment is, angry with God.  So many of life’s distractions keep us away from the only important thing, knowing your Father.  I remember a time in my life when I was the prodigal daughter eating pig slop wondering if my life would get better.  Living a sinful life, and satisfying myself with whatever felt good.  Just do it.  You deserve it.  As long as it makes you happy, were the mantras I believed in.  Yet, I always felt an empty longing that wouldn’t go away and from time to time I would fall on my knees and plead to the God I had walked away from.  Now I couldn’t imagine a day without Him, and even with the trials and struggles I face, I know He is with me.  I love my Father.  I love everything about Him.  I would be lost without Him.  The old women I was needs to be reminded from time to time that she is dead, and that this new women walks in her place.  If Christ hadn’t died for my sins, I would be eternally separated from my Father because God is without sin, Christ is without sin, and I was born into sin.  God doesn’t see me and my filthy rags when He looks at me because I am happily clothed in His Son, Christ who suffered on the cross so I could be with my Father.  Every day I fail God, every day Christ covers me.  I can’t pay back the debt. I can’t do it myself.  I place all my hope in Christ, because God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to die for us so that no one should perish, so that we could have everlasting life with Him.  Think on Him.  Meditate on your Father’s words.  Knock and the door shall be opened.  Seek Him and you will find Him.  Thank you Father for adopting me into your family, for sending your Son into a sin filled world and saving me.  Bless my friends, and my family.  Bring those who are not in a relationship with you now close to you.  Gather your children in as a mother hen, and protect us from the hour that is coming.

Looking Up,

Diane Maldonado

Posted by: papaslap | September 8, 2014

I’m too Busy

I’ve been studying my brains out for the past three weeks.  Algebraic equations, chemical formulas, and English essays on arguing have been swirling through my brain.  How can I memorize all of these things?  What was I thinking going back to school? And what am I doing all of this for anyways?  All of these questions, equations and problems stream through my head simultaneously and I wonder if I am going crazy.  In the midst of all the chaos and confusion, it begins to rain.  I want to stop studying and dance in the rain, but how will I memorize all of these things if I stop and do that?  That’s when I hear my Father say, are you too busy for me?  I am waiting to spend time with you, come out and enjoy my water.  Sometimes life, the house my kids, school whatever it is keeps me from spending time with the greatest time manager in the universe, God.  I think about how he created the stars in the heavens and the sun and moon and never once said, how will I have time to create man with all I have to do.  No, I’m not God, with His infinite wisdom and abilities to multi-task the whole of life.  However, I have God inside of me, and I know that He can enable me to conquer all of the tasks I need to if I just take time to be with Him.  So I stopped, went out side and stood in the rain.  Like waters of wisdom from my Fathers house He poured out His love on me and I basked in it, relishing His presence.  I trust Him.  I have faith that He is going to help me make it through and I realize that I can’t quit this task that He has started in me.  My children see how hard I am working to try and finish my degree and I pray that they have the same spirit to take time for God.  I want them to know that no matter what you do in life that you can’t quit, even if the task seems daunting.  I was so busy trying to solve all of the equations of life by myself that I had forgotten to ask my Father to help me.  So when I step outside in the rain, I pray, and take in all that He has to offer.  Please God open my heart and my mind so that I can be the best you want me to be.  Help me to not give up when things seem impossible and the journey I am on seems too much for me to handle.  Most importantly keep reminding me with Your rain, sunshine, wind, and word whatever it takes that I’m not alone and that you are never to busy to talk to me.  What is keeping you from your Papa?  Set it aside right now and go bask in His love whatever that may be for you.  Be blessed!

Dancing In The Rain,

Diane

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