Thursday, June 27, 2013

There Is No Other Love

Amarte Solo a Ti

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I remember a few years back when I first heard this song, it was a time that I was in such a desperate need of being loved and accepted by someone who clearly was not able to give me what I needed. It was a time that I didn't understand who I was in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. I didn't know that I was a Daughter of a High Ranked King, The Great I AM!!  The One who sits on his Heavenly Throne, who set me apart to do greater things and to be loved and honored as such - A Daughter of a KING!! 

As far as I can remember there was always a feeling of void in my life and at my early teens I realized what it was. I met my daughter’s father and what I thought was love opened in me a hunger to seek and want more of it. We were both young, inexperienced and definitely it was not love but it felt good, it felt like a high that you didn't want to come down from, but soon after this feeling became a painful reality that escalated to adulthood; “The need to be loved”.  This reflected in my personal life, especially when it was being involved with a man. What I didn't realize back than, but what I have learned today is that no one can love you like our Heavenly Father does, but it took me years of seeking in all the wrong places and to all the wrong people. I was at the lowest of the bottomless pit of low self-esteem, and oh my the insecurity was sucking me dry, and to top it off the feeling of being rejected was a constant reminder of the worthless feeling that came with all those tormenting parasites that was eating within me the Love that I posse in Christ.

The day I heard this song, I was on my way to humiliate myself to a point of accepting unfaithfulness just to have a least a drop of love- and as I was driving, this song started to play and I sang it from the top of my lungs, and a desperate cry for help came from deep within my soul, asking God to make me strong,  to not allow me to belittle myself every again, to teach me how to love him and him alone and again I started to replay that song and I kept singing it until I felt the presence of God come upon me and I made a U-turn a block away from where I was going and never looked back – I mean NEVER , EVER looked back!! My life was NEVER the same!! I put closure to that relationship and that’s when God became my first, my last and my everything!

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17

The feeling of being loved and wanted is an emotion that God blessed us with from the beginning of time. God has chosen women to play an important role in the past and He continues to do so today. God intended for all of us Women to be loved, honored, respected and treated like a Queen.  Like the bible tells us - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her {Ephesians 5:25}- Wow that is the most amazing feeling to be loved like that - because that is "Unconditional Love."  God didn't intend for us to be limited or conditioned by the love of a man.....For the Word of God tells us in Genesis 2:22  - "Then the LORD God made a WOMAN from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man."

You see ladies, when God created man, He formed man himself and breathe life into his nostrils. "BUT"......for the woman, HE fashioned us after he breath the breath of life into man. ..WOW!! God..."Fashioned US"....because our nostrils are too delicate. God didn't want man to interrupt His perfect creation, so He put man to go into a deep sleep, so HE can patiently and perfectly "FASHION US". God choose the rib, which protects the man's heart and lungs and supports him, as we are meant to be. God shaped us around this bone, He modeled us, and He created us perfectly and beautifully. He formed us strong, yet delicate and fragile, he provided protection from the most delicate organ in a man, his heart. We were not taken from his feet, to be under the man, nor were we taken from his heard, to be above him, We were taken from his side - to stand by man and to be held close to his side.   When God sees us, he sees a perfect creation, his beautiful splendid woman of excellence!!  He fashioned us by his holiness, His strength, His purity, His love, His protection and support. We are an extension of GOD!!  WE represent the totality of God, so that is why man is commanded to treat us Women well, to love us, respect us, for we are fragile. Because when a man hurts us, he hurts God, when a man crushes us, he crushes God and damages his own heart.  

That is why today and I pray that as long as I have breath, I will speak of God’s mercy and grace and most of all HIS Unconditional Love, a love that has set me free; the love that has shown me the value of who I am. God’s reflection of love is all over me. A love that created within me “self worth”; a love that makes me stand in confidence and walk in freedom, a freedom to Love myself!  I love MY GOD… Call me crazy, because I am crazy in love with my living God!  

To Conclude: Throughout the bible, we read and experience the Love God had for women and how he valued them and He is still urging us women today to value ourselves and take our place and allow him to love us, to transform us, to make all things new within us.  There are many of us even today, that are probably reading this that are still searching, yearning and desiring to be loved, but I came to bring Good News; God’s love is not measured on our size or appearances or our status quo. God's love is based on his own LOVE for us when HE gave up his ONLY son to redeem us. And as I mentioned before throughout the bible, God used his beloved creation WOMAN to show humanity HIS heart. God’s love is eternal, everlasting and all YOU have to do is call on him and allow him to restore and make you whole again.  And once you experience this kind of love, this AGAPE love, you will never, ever accept or settle for mediocrity love.  It is all or nothing!!

I thank God that today my life is a testimony and a tool that GOD uses to reach out to women that are where I once was.   

Written by Maribel Castillo
June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mercy said NO

Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go and from now on sin no more." John 8:10-11

I will never forget the night the Lord opened my eyes to who and what I really was and how is Love and Mercy set me free; it was while I was listening to this song, “Mercy Said No” by Cece Winans. But I mean I really listened to the lyrics and it all came together “God’s MERCY was over my life,” as I fully engulfed myself to the understanding of how merciful My God is, it brought me to my knees as the flood of grateful tears pour down uncontrollable. I felt in my spirit the immense love that God has for me. I saw the weaker side of me and how life was without him.  

As I continue to hear this song, I saw how sin had control over my life for years and how it felt it had dominion and power over me, as if I belonged to it!! I felt the Lord leading me to feel and understand how his Mercy and Grace followed me all the days of my life, how he was always the wall that stood between me and sin.  And from a distance he always kept a watch over me not allowing sin to over take my soul, but he needed me to understand that my life without him was worthless, that my life would be filled with the emptiness and void that sin offers, a world full of darkness, lies and hate, but the glory of his GRACE penetrated through those walls that kept me in bondage, but sin demanded justice for my soul, but as the lyrics says: “Mercy said No!”  I’m Not going to let you “{Maribel} go; I’m not going to let you {Maribel} slip away – Sin will never take control” So Life and death stood face to face and from the cross he built the bridge to set me Free!  In His wonderful mercy and amazing grace He poured out His unspeakable gift of a new life” 

He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, "Remove the filthy garments from her." Again, he said to her, "See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes." Zechariah 3:4

What a moment to remember! How could I ever forget the moment that the precious blood of Jesus Christ washed me clean and pure? How could I ever forget the moment that all my sins were forgiven and forgotten? How could I ever forget the moment God gave me His peace, the “peace that surpasses all understanding”? How could I ever forget the joy of the new life in Jesus Christ! Thank you Jesus!!  Also, this song lead me to write “The Doors to my Purpose” which one day I will post it in my blog.

Behold, I am making all things new. Revelation 21:5

I tell you from my very heart and soul that I am forever thankful for that precious moment when God spoke to my heart and saved my soul! He has given many, many more things in my life for which I continually give Him thanks. I could easily make a list that would fill a book. But if it had not been for that one precious moment, I would never have known what it is to be truly, eternally thankful.

I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8 

Loving Father, you have sacrificed so much for me and you have given so much to me. I do not have enough words to express my thanks, my appreciation, and most importantly, my love for you. But please receive my words knowing the commitment and passion of my heart when I say, "Dear God, I love you and as {Psalm 63:3} says:  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  In Jesus' name I praise and thank you. Amen.

Cece Winans- Mercy Said No

Written by Maribel Castillo 
June 26, 2013 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Dedication to Friends

I thank God For My Friends... A Dedication !!

My heart is overflowing with gratitude.  As I received emails, texts, face book messages, instragram, phone calls in the past few days during and after my birthday wishes of the many friends and family God has given me.  These people share my life, and help make me who I am.  With these wonderful spirits, I laugh, cry, and scream; exchange ideas and secrets; share dreams, fears, and my proudest moments.

  You were my strength when I was weak.  You were my voice when I couldn't speak.  I’m everything I am because you loved me.

The book of James (1:17) says that every good and perfect gift comes from God.  And James was so right.  I am thoroughly convinced that my friends could have only been sent to me through God’s design.  They are just right for me.  God expresses amazing love through them–love that holds me up and keeps me strong.  So for just a moment, I want to offer God thanks for the wonderful gift they are and for what they bring to my life: 

I WANT TO THANK EACH and Everyone of YOU: 

For always listening intently and standing with me in my pain.  For reminding me of God’s promises for my life.

 For understanding me like no other!  For reminding me that I am still blessed and full of purpose, even when I am at my worst. 

For being there for sooooo long.  For checking on me when you know I am upset.  For being my “ride or die,” willing to snap on ANYBODY messing with me!  LOL!

For not judging me after I made mistakes.  For being sooo much fun!  And for encouraging me to start my blog !

For being my homie since we in grammar school!  For showing so much love for so long.  For your kind heart and sweet spirit!

For staying so cool for many years.  For unforgettable memories.  For a smile that expresses so much love

For always having a loving heart and loyalty like no other!  For sleepovers, birthdays, and strawberry daquiris!  LOL!

For listening to my ideas and doing "girlfriend theology" with me! 

For praying for me when I am lost, unsure, or confused

For always being there whenever I need my big sister!  For interceding when I am going through storms.  

For your support when I was sick.  For keeping me laughing!

For listening as I walked through some turbulent times.  For sharing your life, so that I would know what to do.

For being a constant loving presence in my life.  For good times in Boston!  For listening to my hurt.  For encouraging me to move forward! 

For listening to me when I’m upset.  For reminding me that it will all work out eventually.

For being loyal and real all the time.  For encouraging me always!  For listening.

For listening.  For praying.  For being there always.

For being my sister, prayer partner, and for making me part of your life’s most sacred moment . 

For pushing me intellectually.

For being honest with me.  For caring.  For showing up to support and when I needed help.  For inspiring me to write!

For being part of my special day

For confronting me in love

For staying closer than a friend

For feeding me when I was hungry 

For your Godly advises when I was walking in the crooked road

 For sending me a text message when I needed encouragement
 For allowing me to be part of your lfie
For being in the same page of our past

For enjoying dress up days

This list is certainly not finished.  I thank God for friends who have come and gone.  I thank God for new people who I am still getting to know.

I encourage you to take a moment and say thank you to your closest friends; they are truly God’s gift to you.  Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.  Say thank you today.  Send a card in the mail, post on their wall on face-book, send a text, or make a call.  Say thank you.

“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you.” (Philippians 1: 3-4)

Gift Of A Friend - Demi Lovato ( Lyrics )

Written by Maribel Castillo
June 24, 2013