Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't Let The Waves Knock Off Your Bathing Suit!

***Stay tuned after the blog for some announcements! :-) Last Saturday after I was on the radio 91.5 FM with Tom Jones out Cocoa, FL (Those are available for download go to http://ondemand.wmiefm.com/?od=main and search by dates, I was on air May 26th, and April 28th) Dan and I decided to drive on to have a family day at the beach in Cocoa Beach. You would think that since we live in FL that we would travel to the beach often, but we don’t and the afternoon was a treat for my family. I found myself in the waves along with the girls. The salt water was splashing and burning our eyes, and stinging our throats. We were having a lot of fun dancing and jumping in the waves. As I watched my youngest struggle to get back up after a wave had knocked her down, I heard her shriek, “Mom! My bathing suit is falling off!” I tried not to laugh. The beach was crowded and that is mortifying no matter what your age, “Put it back on!” With a few seconds of struggling under the water and a few giggles from me she was up again playing. The waves in life will try to overtake us. This is not a doomsday prophetic word. It’s simple, while we live on the earth there will be waves. Sometimes those waves can be good, and sometimes they can be bad, but no matter what happens remember to guard yourself. Keep your spiritual clothes on so to speak. 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” It may be tempting to rise up out of the waves and think you can do everything on your own, but no matter who you are and what you’re doing…keep your clothes on. Always remember its God in you, and not really you. You are his messenger on the earth, stay gracious and humble, because if not you’ll end up being pretty embarrassed running naked along the shores of life. Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited! *** So here’s my few announcements…I am very excited to say that Sunday I will be ordained under Freedom Life Church in Kissimmee, FL. It has been a long journey. As I continue this road in ministry I want to thank you all for being part of our lives. ~And as I do this typically two times a year, I will be taking the next two weeks off writing blogs. I kick off my Northern tour next week. If you want my current updated itinerary go to http://www.annamaquino.com/itineraryevents.html I will be back at blogging after Father’s Day. Please keep us in prayer as the Holy Spirit reminds you. We are still boldly declaring Rev 3:8 and Phillip 4:19 over our lives and our ministry….that He opens doors only He can open, and He shall provide all of our needs according to His riches in Glory. We continue to trust the work He has begun He shall complete it. Dan and I send our love…be super and abundantly blessed. He is a faithful God, and He IS faithful to you!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oops, the Egg wasn't Hardboiled

Last week I was making my lunch, and I grabbed what I thought was a hardboiled egg. I suppose this is when I add that after I had hardboiled half the carton of eggs Dan had asked me how he was supposed to tell them apart, and I had said, “Duh, the hardboiled ones are on this side of the carton, and most of them have a ‘B’ on them." To which I know he was trying to question my judgment because he was right you couldn’t really tell them apart but I was the one that got burnt on this point. So here I was last week, grabbing an egg to go with my lunch and I was completely unsuspecting that the egg wasn’t cooked, and it was perhaps if wisdom and observation had taken a back seat in my head. I mean really, they all looked just alike. Perhaps if I had been more observant I would have found something different about them, but from the outside I couldn’t tell the difference. It was as if I was stuck on automatic pilot as I cracked that egg over my cutting board. But in an instant the truth was out, and with runny gloopy proof, I had immediately discovered the error of my ways. I had grabbed an uncooked egg and instead of opting for a hardboiled egg for lunch, I threw in another and called it a scrambled egg day. We do similar things in our lives all the time if you think about it. We look at people and make sweeping assumptions. We see how their dressed, how they appear, and assume that we know so much about them. But in truth we don’t really know squat about them. It’s not about what is on the outside of a person, but what is on the inside. God sees through all our lip gloss, sparkly shoes and fashion, and looks at the inside of a person. 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV) But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Sometimes we can be so caught up in that outward appearance that we forget God’s looking on the inside. We have to remember to stop always judging a “book by its cover” so to speak, but start praying to see people the way God sees them. God has awesome plans for your life, but He also has awesome plans for the person sitting next to you. How will they ever know that if you don’t tell them? Pray to see people through God’s eyes today. It just might change your life. So get excited!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Popcorn Explosion

I make a lot of popcorn in our house. After doing away with making it in the microwave, we’ve finally opted for me to make it in a pan over the stove. I have discovered it is a delicate art making it this way. First, you must keep the lid on until it’s done popping. I have found exploded bits of popcorn in the most unusual places in my kitchen. You also have to be very careful not to wait too long because if you do then the popcorn just ends up burning, and that smell goes everywhere. It’s an intricate balance of me learning how to listen for the popcorn to be just at the right place of cooking to take it off and let it finish. It’s a fine art when to decide to take that lid off, but in the end it’s something the whole family can enjoy. We’ve all laughed a few times at my mistakes: finding humor in the burnt ones, and the times popcorn came out and hit me in the head. As I thought about all of this the other day, I got to thinking how much out lives and our destinies can be like the popcorn, and how God has to discern the right time to take us out of the pan. You see the popcorn kernel knows its destiny. It’s been formed to pop and be popcorn. It’s just a matter of time before it pops. But it has to be put in the right environment first. It has to be prepared. Even then, when it pops if a lid isn’t on it, it’ll go flying. Many people can get frustrated in the process of life and feel as if a lid is on them. But maybe God has you in that place for your protection and for the protection of those around you. Just like a popcorn kernel that goes flying it isn’t always nice to see it fly through the kitchen and get lost. On the flip side of all of this, God also knows the right time to take the lid off. He’s not going to leave you in the “pan” too long, so to speak. He listens, and waits for the right timing. Because as we all know, “Nobody wants burnt popcorn.” I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Even if the process of getting to your destiny seems long, it seems like you have a lid on you, and it feels you might burn, keep trusting God. Your destiny is in you, and He will bring it to pass. Habakkuk 2:3 (ESV) 3 "For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." Keep trusting in Him. He is faithful to you, and He is more excited than you are to “pop” and be what He created you to be on the earth. Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Either Lie Down and Die or Get Up and Keep Fighting

My dad is one of the toughest men I have ever been around in the natural. He was a grunt soldier in Vietnam, and survived an entire tour spending 99% of that time in the bush. To put that in the perspective of statistics, the life expectancy of a grunt soldier in Vietnam was two weeks. Daddy survived thirteen months at the height of the war. Which I will readily credit, was both: the hand of God on his life, and my daddy’s refusal to quit. It is no wonder that while growing up to me, he was a larger than life character. He’s since survived all sorts of health issues, most likely caused by Agent Orange. In short my daddy is a survivor. He had lived through ordeals that most would give up in. He has fought to stay alive in the midst of horrible trauma. He has always said to me, “You have two choices in life: You can either lie down and die, or get up and keep fighting.” I get a little annoyed when I hear people start to whine and complain about things in life being just too hard. It’s like they get stuck in this holding zone of complaining and wonder why they aren’t going anywhere. Nowhere in the Bible does it promise that everything is going to be easy. Maybe it’s the strong resolve of my father I can hear echoing deep down inside of me when the temptation of wanting to pause and cry settles in. We’ve all had to find times in the midst of our pain and struggle that we’ve had to push harder than we have ever thought possible, and to keep moving when the temptation is there to quit. Life isn’t easy. We’ve all had our moments, but it is in the height of those moments may we remember to pick ourselves up, and keep moving forward. James 1:2-5 (NKJV) “2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Galatians 6:9 (ESV)And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. The word of God is simple, and it works. If you refuse to give up, then you will see what God has promised. Many people like to quote these verses. But they don’t really live them. Instead they’d rather whine, cry, and walk away from destiny. Yet, all the while they will get bitter and grumpy and try to blame their bad choices on God. But in truth, if you walk away that isn’t God’s fault. He’s given you the power and authority to tread on anything that comes your way. (Luke 10:19, Luke 9:1) God DOES have awesome plans for your life! But you have to walk them out, refuse to quit, and get up and keep fighting! Remember to get excited! Be encouraged today! God loves you, and you can fulfill destiny it's time to get up, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cheating at Solitaire

I have a confession to make. I’ve taken to playing the card game of solitaire on my tablet. It’s not that I’m addicted to it, or can’t live without it, but it’s just something I’ve gotten in the habit of doing to unwind a bit. Not that there is anything wrong with that. However playing on the tablet just makes cheating so easy sometimes. I confess I’ll see what is under the cards before I make a permanent decision and that back button is just way too tempting. If I’m being honest with myself pushing that back button is cheating me out of knowing if I can win fair and square or not. In essence when I get all when I win I’m kind of lying to myself because I cheated. I’ll probably keep doing this. At least I’m honest about lying to myself. Lying to myself about a card game may be one thing, but the kind of lying we’ve all done to ourselves is something totally different. 1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us We all like to put up a false front and pretend there is nothing wrong with ourselves. It can be easy to lie when we’re by ourselves and don’t think we’ll get caught. We all like to pretend on occasion we’re something that we are not. But God wants us to live lives of truth. God wants us to be honest with ourselves and the people around us. If we’re always trying to put up a false front then really we’re not just lying to those around us but we’re lying to ourselves. Someone once asked me why God couldn’t lie, and after a few moments I responded, “Because He is truth. And He’s not going to do the exact opposite of what He is.” John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus IS Truth. He couldn’t lie. He didn’t put up a false front. He was honest with himself, and to those around Him. Let your walls fall down around you. Let the false fronts come down, and make the choice to be real. If you want to reflect Jesus on the earth, then you have to start being honest. Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get Excited!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Makeup Test?

My girls had a week when they were doing standardized testing, and my six-year-old was sick the last day of testing. I was assured that she would be able to take a makeup test and all would be well if I kept her home. So she went into school the next day, and had the makeup test. She didn’t say anything to me about what happened because she had to get sent home from school again because she still wasn’t feeling well. However the next day we were sitting at the table as a family and all of a sudden she said, “Mommy, they told me they were giving me a makeup test, but there was no makeup there?” At first I didn’t understand what she was getting at, and then slowly I started laughing, “Did you think they’d have blush and lip-gloss?” “Yes,” Her sincerity was precious and she didn’t think too kindly of me laughing so hard at this conversation. You know, so often we as Children of the Lord can do the same thing with God. We can think He meant one thing, and then want to be disappointed that something didn’t happen the way we thought it should, and then later realize that what He said did happen. I’m sure the Pharisees had an idea from reading all the scriptures and prophesies of how Jesus was going to come on the earth. In fact they were so sure what they thought the prophesies said that they didn’t even believe Jesus was really the Messiah. However Jesus did fulfill all the prophesies that had foretold his life. I have often joked that when Jesus was born it wasn’t like Joseph carried scrolls of the Old Testament around with him, so that they could move to place to place and fulfill the prophesies on Jesus’ life. Nope, the words of God came to pass because they continued to hear the voice of God, and the Holy Spirit led them to those places. It all worked out even if it wasn’t exactly the way they thought it would. Isaiah 55:8-11 (ESV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Just remember even if the “make up test” isn’t really a “make up test” it’ll all work out in your life. Stick with Him and what He says, and you will not return to him void but will accomplish what He sent you for on the earth. God has good plans for your life. So, get excited!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Room Mom? What?

For those of you who read my blogs regularly you’ll remember the story about the “Divine Happenings in a Small Christian Bookstore” that I posted on April 2nd. You can view all of those online too at www.annamaquino.blogspot.com Long story short I had been looking for a church that would let me come in and speak in Miami since I already had plans to be in the area. Up until that point I hadn’t found anyone, and then a precious bunch of people came into a book signing of mine in St. Petersburg. A God connection resulted, and it was an honor to get to speak at Nation of Life International Ministries in Miami this past Sunday. The message that was taught was exactly what Dan and I have been going through, and the whole thing is really a divine connection. I love it when God does these types of things. Traveling with small children in tow can be a bit of a challenge. My oldest was fine, but my youngest, who will soon be turning six, was just a tad out of her element. My friends’ son is one of her favorite people on the planet, and since he was with us, she’d been cooped up in a car for too long, and everything was so new to her….I confess hitting my head against the dash board out of frustration had occurred to me on more than one occasion. I see more and more in her how much she does act like I did as a child, and usually that gives me more sympathy with her because I understand her. After getting out of the hotel pool, both children asked me what room we were in. “420” I told them. We got out towels. The youngest asked me again. “Mom, what room are we in?” “420” We walked up the stairs, “Mom what room?” “420” Down the hall, “Mom?” “420” I would like to say it’s the normal right of a parent when you’ve repeated yourself at least a half dozen times that you can get a tad frustrated. Then she just kept asking me every two seconds. I’d like to think that toward the end she was just messing with me but I was getting annoyed. I know she was just so excited, and her attention span only so long, but the way I saw it I was getting quite aggravated repeating myself. One of the many things that I love about God is that He loves to talk to his children. John 10:27 (ESV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me Most people have this misguided view that hearing the voice of God is some crazy far out notion, when really if you are one of His sheep it should be just as normal as breathing. The good news is unlike me in the scenario above God will repeat himself over and over again just to make sure the point is being driven home. While we can frustrate Him if we ignore Him, He doesn’t get all fleshy like I did at that moment and start yelling. He is patient and at peace with His children. God LOVES to talk to His kids. Sometimes it’ll be through the Bible, sometimes through situations, sometimes through a prophetic word, sometimes you just know that you know this is what He is saying, and rarely is His voice audible. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 30:21 “ And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Allow God to speak to you, like only He can. Allow Him to tell you what direction to go, and trust Him. He’s guiding you to where you need to go. Let Him do that. Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Construction Paper Backpacks

I confess I’m still waking up! We had an awesome weekend in Miami, and I will talk more about it in my next blog. It was a divine appointment and God is soooo good! I had set today’s blog aside to talk about a math assignment my oldest daughter came home with last week…gone really wrong. My oldest daughter briefly mentioned this project the beginning of the week. She told me she had three models to make out of construction paper and I said, “Do we have enough? What are these models? Can we do anything about them now?” I turned into the typical questioning mom. “It’ll be okay mom. It’s fine.” Now I want to interject here my oldest is awesome. She hardly ever procrastinates on work, and is a very diligent student. So even though I had a feeling something was up with this project I ignored my inner warnings. Wednesday night rolls around and I had every intention of going to church. This project is now due on Thursday, and I can hear my oldest getting frustrated and making a mess in the kitchen. However again I thought she can get this. But then she finally fesses up what the assignment is. She has to make three backpacks out of construction paper, per exact measurements. I walk into the kitchen to see tape and paper everywhere and the tears beginning to form. Only one hour into this and she’s doesn’t have the first one done. She started begging me to let her “just not do it.” I wouldn’t let her. I wanted her to at least try to get them done. She kept saying she could get it done. “Are we going to have enough construction paper?” “Sure mom!” Thirty minutes later, “Are we going to have enough construction paper?” “I don’t know.” Twenty minutes later, “Are we going to have enough construction paper?” “No.” After I made a run to the dollar store, and got her situated I still thought I’d make it to church. But then the tears began to fall, and without a doubt I knew I was needed here. It took hours of hard work, but together my oldest and I started to tackle this project. While I will maintain this was an annoyingly stupid assignment given to my daughter, we did get it done. She needed my help, and I gave it to her. There are so many things in life that we swear to ourselves and everyone around us that we can do on our own, but in truth God created us to be able to help one another. I’m not saying that doing something on your own is wrong, but I am saying it’s okay to ask for help when you need it, and you need to care enough about a person when you see they need help you give it. There is power and anointing in good old fashioned team work. Ecclesiastes 4:12 “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” For far too long we’ve all lived life thinking we can do it all on our own, and I tell you the older I’ve gotten the more I realize that just isn’t the truth. We as people need each other. We have to stop living our lives as solo islands, but to be a blessing to those who need a helping hand, or in this case more construction paper and tape. Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cordless Phone on a Moped?

Back when cordless phones were officially out on the market and in most American homes, I remember being just at the age where the phone was a BIG deal. I was waiting on an important phone call. I honestly don’t remember what the phone call was about, but I do remember who was calling. I was in Middle School and the hours spent on the phone were a normal part of my routine. However, I got bored waiting. Somewhere in my head I justified to myself that I would jump on my sister’s moped and ride around the yard with the phone in my hand, and thus would be able to hear the ring from the ‘all important phone call’. Needless to say a phone on a moped isn’t a good idea, and I did drop it. The back cover crashed on the concrete pavement and needless to say my parents were not happy with me. They fixed it with some handy electrical tape, however to this day whenever I talk on the phone and mention it to certain members of my family they always remind me that I shouldn’t take it on the moped, or roller skates (but that is another story). Proverbs 12:15 (ESV) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. Let’s face it. I’m not a fool, but trying to answer the phone on a moped was a foolish thing to do. It would be easy for me to cop an attitude every time someone wants to remind me that this was foolish, but truthfully it wasn’t the smartest move I’d ever made. You have to learn to take correction in all walks of life. You have to learn that maybe the people around you just might have a bit more knowledge about something, and just maybe you need to listen to it. Just yesterday I had a situation come up, and my pastor (Love you Pastor Greg) was nice enough to give me some wise council, and it turned out that he was right. If I would have copped an attitude with him, when faced with my mistake, I would have ended up in a world of embarrassment. We have to realize that it’s wise to heed to Godly advice. We have to remember we don’t have all the answers. We have to remember that while we may seem right in our own eyes, sometimes our own choices can be a little lacking. God does have awesome plans for your life, but you need wise council around you. Sometimes we all can make foolish choices, and our excitement can cloud our judgment. Remember to listen when those people around you give you wisdom. Remember He DOES have awesome plans for your life. Get excited!