Not what we planned..

You know if there is one thing that I have learned in my life it is this, I don’t know what all I know or don’t know(hope that made sense). There was once a season in my life when I was positive I had my life figured out. What I was going to do, how I was going to do. I thought things would eventually look how I pictured it would all look and then I lost it in a matter of a minute and that was when I decided that I didn’t know what I was doing and I needed the creator of it all to “take the wheel.” As time went on those times of letting the Lord take the wheel continued on and here I am again this time confessing confidently that

I do not have it all figured out but  I do have a promise and a fear of the Lord so great that I cannot move unless he physically moves me(some would call that a bad thing, I call it a gift).

Well, that’s how it all ended in Panama for us. We thought we would live there for decades. We had a picture of what things might look like but we also knew that the Lord does not always work within our box. His view from up top is far more expansive than our little view from Earth. The really neat thing about it all was that although it ended in a flash (or so it seemed) it ended right how it was supposed to.

Chris and Israel had just finished up evangelizing in 1 of the neighborhoods in our little community and before leaving after spending each Saturday there for weeks they came upon the most curious little tree that had begun to sprout. You see, a few weeks back Israel had found a seed on the ground and Chris and him took it to a patch of dirt which they dug up with their hands and placed it in there covering it up and asking the Lord to bless it. Their last day there that interesting looking seed that they has planted turned out to be from a palm tree and it begun to spring forth. Even as I write this there is an overwhelming peace and joy as the tears fall down my face and I keep hearing/sensing so gently from Romans 10:15

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Sadly but with much peace we left Panama a few days later with those words and that palm tree plastered in our hearts and minds. I cannot even begin to put into words the unexplained peace yet sadness we feel upon leaving a country specifically a people that we love so dearly. Panama is a very special special place. The people we met there and their willingness to receive us with much patience has made such an impression on us and I am not feeling a prompting to go into detail of what all occurred because I really don’t want you to miss it, I hope you will see the beauty there is in following Christ and his plans, his way. Yeah, we are mourning right now because there has been a loss for us but like Paul described in Philippians 3

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”

Oh family, there has been so much that we learned in Panama and more we are learning even now as we journey on going from house to house sharing bits of our journey and a message for both the believers and nonbelievers. It has and will forever be a message of God’s love and the great cost of following him. We do not have many answers for what is next, none that would be sufficient for most, but we do still have a promise. He is coming soon! With that, we await the next steps and take comfort in the fact that we are already being used to strengthen his church wherever he plants us and we will continue to bring you along with us as you permit us.

Thank you again for your encouragement and unconditional love. It means a lot to Chris and I. Look forward to updating you soon. May God bless you richly in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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The Seed

 

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I Apologize

Before we get started I have to apologize. During my quiet time this morning I felt convicted heavily. You see, I was not planning on sharing much with you all about what has been going on because I was afraid of what you might assume or say about us. Afraid that I would be misjudged for following a call. Misjudged as rash in my decision making, a runner some might say, even a traitor. I am familiar with that pain, the pain of being put down because my decisions have not been popular. I have lost people in my life those who I thought would always be there because of my decision to follow Christ especially when that decision led us to Panama. So the decision to come to the US, I knew, would not be much different. So I am sorry for trying to conceal a part of this journey from you due to fear. I apologize for assuming the worst in you. I am sorry for doing the very thing that has been done to me. I hope you will forgive me.

With that, I refuse to fear man and what he might think or say. Not sure if you noticed but on our facebook page I called our family “the book of Acts Church” and I meant that. What the Apostles did and the lives the Church lived was not popular. It was a life that led many of them to die terrible deaths, to loose so much but in doing so they gained so much. They were a part of a “move of God” and that is my family.

We will go wherever he says to go, we will do whatever he says to do, we will be whatever he says to be and we’ll do it because we have confidence not in ourselves but in our God who made us sons and daughters.

He adopted us and as a good child I will obey him because I know he has my best interest in mind whether I see that fruit now or in the New Jerusalem. Even unto death.

If you would like to read more of the story behind our “visit” to the US feel free to read the next blog which I will put up soon. And what does that word “visit” mean, I will explain that more too.

Thanks again for coming along this journey with us. We are the book of Acts Church.

“And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Mark 11:31-33(check this chapter out, powerful)
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Let’s have a conversation.

This post today will hopefully not just be me sharing information about my life but I would hope this would be sort of like a conversation and if you feel so led please comment below, I want to hear your thoughts.

You know, I have been asked a lot about our lives here in Panama and normally 2 questions are asked about 95% of the time and those are…

  1. Why Panama?
  2. What are you doing/going to be doing?

Initially, it seemed pretty easy to answer those questions because the answers were simple.

  1. Why? Because the Lord called us.
  2. What are you doing/going to be doing? You know, I am not sure. I just know I want to make a difference in a huge way.

The questions have not changed by any means but my answers have.

  1. Why Panama? Obedience.
  2. What are you doing/going to be doing? Obeying.

If there is 1 thing that Yahweh has taught me here in Panama it is that my idea of Church, Ministry, Missionary work, this Christian life is so different than what I have been taught. He literally and still is sifting the “traditional church” system, ministry, etc. out of my psyche and I think it is because you cannot put God in a box.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, if you read throughout the Gospels there are systems put in play specifically beginning in the book of Acts. Even in 1 Timothy 3 we have systems set up and such because Paul knew that the different churches with their different issues would need some sort of order. But I am not sure exactly what my role would have been if I were to have been placed in Asia Minor around the time that the Apostles Peter, Paul, etc. were around. However, I do know what Yahweh is telling me now and that is to obey, that is to come to him each and everyday devoid of my agenda being open to his because my life is not my own.

I am on assignment until I am called to my true home with him. I don’t have a home outside of that. So do we evangelize while we are here yes! Do you heal the sick, yes! Do we have church, so far not in our home very much non-traditionally, yes! Do we ask the Lord for his assignment for us each day, yes! Why are we in Panama because we are obeying the assignment given to us each day and tomorrow if he says go to the United States then the assignment moves us to the United States. I guess you can say we will be missionaries wherever we go.

My question to you is, do you know what your assignment is? Are you asking him what it is daily that he wants/has for you to do that day? Because if you don’t I promise, you are missing out. Now, the assignment is costly some days/moments more than others. It is a narrow path to be on God’s assignment and lonely it can but oh so worth it.

Please feel to share your thoughts and comments below. After all, we are all in this together in different seasons. I am aware that I do not have it all figured out. Let’s figure it out together! One Body, the Body of Christ. The Book of Acts Church.

God Bless you,

Angelina

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Do not read this!

Do you remember the time when you first made the decision to follow Christ? When you gave up doing things on your own. The time you laid your life down, your ideals, ideologies, your hopes, dreams, plans, desires, everything at the feet of Jesus.

You know, I believe that each believer has had that moment when they surrendered it all. The first time I fully understood what that processed look like was during a sermon at an old Baptist church. The Pastor was reading an account about Peter (the disciple aka the rock)after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Peter is facing Jesus after denying him and here Jesus is asking him questions like “Peter do you love me” and Jesus goes on to say a few other key things.

So many people have an understanding of the whole conversation that takes place here between Jesus and Peter but what I saw in the midst of this was a broken man facing the one he let down and Jesus is telling him that things have now changed. “It is time to follow me full out Peter. It is time to surrender it all. This is your moment.” I always couple this passage in John to the passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14 because this so mimics that process of surrender and their is even a promise there.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
I am going to get straight to the point here because well, that is me. Following Jesus is not a decision to be taken lightly. It will cost you your life and that includes your dreams, desires not just for you but your children, etc. Peter was crucified upside down! There is an exchange that takes place, your life for his life his. You do give something to him and it will take you on a narrow path, a path that most will not take and it is tough. I was reminded of that today by another believer who got real with me and said “look, you are in a battle.” Why are you expecting anything else? You are a target because you are chosen, the elect of God. Satan wants to take you out SO lay down your life anew, afresh to Jesus and Surrender!!!!!!!!!!!

Listen, if you want to change the world, if you want to be an impact player, be prepared to pay the price, be prepared to do the work both inside and out. Be prepared to do it and take heart you will mess up and be humbled from time to time. Even Peter had his moments and he walked with Jesus. And even moreso remember where he brought you from and where he is taking you.
Church, things are only going to become more difficult so make up your mind who you want to serve and stick with that decision. Count the cost.

And lastly and on a lighter note, take heart because when you choose Jesus and he takes you on the journey of knowing and understanding him more, you learn more and more how small the cares of the World are compared to the glory of knowing him.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.(1 Peter 1:13-25)

If you are a person seeking to understand more of the Lord and you have no idea where to turn, if you are not a Christian yet but want more information about what that looks like to become a Christian and where to begin please do not hesitate to email me and I would love to chat with you [email protected] and help you along this journey. It will cost you your life but you gain his.

Blessings

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This Year’s Update. Welcome to Panama!

You know, I think it is time for a new start. A time to say, you know I may not have done it right but I sure am not going to let that stop me from being my best me. I am going to fight the good fight of faith, I am going to let God, and I am going to choose moment by moment, day by day to become more like the Lord, more like the one who paints the sky blue, who made the emerald of the oceans, who called the mountains to rise, who calms the seas, dries my tears, and made my baby boy’s beautiful hazel green eyes, long toes, and frizzy tendrils we call hair. The Lord is God and he, the one who will not share his glory with another, wants to help you make this year the best yet.

So, why this resolution? Why resolve to say, this will be the best year yet? Because friend, the choice is all ours and we need to take this bull by the horns and own it. So, the next time the AC breaks in the dead of the heat, the sink leaks, the children keep screaming while your attempting to call a friends or simply concentrate, or the phone decides that it has had enough for the moment resolves to dive into the toilet, resolve to choose a different reaction, resolve to say…

“THANK YOU LORD FOR MY LIFE! THANK YOU FOR SHELTER, THANK YOU FOR TOILET PAPER IN THE BATHROOM, FOR WATER, AIR, THE DIRT THAT MADE IT’S WAY ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR.

NOW LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THROUGH ALL THIS? WHO NEEDS MY PRAYERS, WHO NEEDS GRACE AND MERCY, WHOSE FEET CAN I WASH, WHAT CHILD CAN I GIVE A GUMBALL TO, SMILE AT. HOW CAN I HELP YOU FURTHER YOUR GLORY IN ALL THIS? HOW CAN I FURTHER YOUR KINGDOM THROUGH THIS MOST EFFECTIVELY IN THE MIDST OF MY TRIALS, DISCOMFORTS, MY ISSUES TODAY?”

Angelina, how can I possibly do that? Do you know how hard that is? Do you know what it takes to do that? I just can’t. Oh friend, yes you can. When your lying on the couch sick as ever and the kids want you to play, when your daughter wants you to hold her but you cannot even muster the strength, friend I have been there. I have seen God in those moments make and mold me and oh he still is. I have a confession to make though, this week this has been me. Did I pass the test each time, no way! BUT I sure did keep pressing. I sure did pray, sing, shout, let him know where I was, and boy have I cried.

He is still good. Those issues with the leaky sink, no AC, etc etc etc they are still there BUT Here is what has happened while we have endured and chose to seek first the kingdom since arriving Saturday…

  1. a young girl got her gumball
  2. a Pastor was fed
  3. electrician man was fed a few times, prayed for and received healing, he cried for the loss of his marriage in my husband’s arms
  4. a city was prayed over several times
  5. several people smiled in a town where saying hello to a stranger is seen as odd
  6. the gospel was shared with at least 3 people
  7. cable installation guys were fed and sent off with cold water (oh and the gospel got slipped in too ;))

I resolve, even if I am all by myself, to start fresh and choose daily to follow God’s lead, to say “use me Lord” excepting the warfare to accompany it (because it will accompany it). So here I go…

 In the words of JJ Heller…

There is no use living in regret.

Let’s fight a good fight,

train our eyes to find the light

and make this year the best one yet!

Starting right here…Happy New Year!

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Celebrating Life today with a new release…

So, today I felt led to finally share something that I wrote over a year ago regarding a season of my life when I finally learned to find joy in the midst of one the toughest situations a parent can find themselves in, loosing a child. I hope it speaks to you. I pray it is something that reaches the young, the wiser, and more wiser. I pray it blesses you and more importantly transforms your life. I am going to post it here and feel free to share as you desire.

Walk This Way The Joy Journey Mini Book

 

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The Divine Appointment

Hey Ya’ll, Buenas Noches! So, we just returned from a “quick trip” to Panama City about 6.50-7 hours away. It sure didn’t seem quick because it was jam packed with a lot of new and exciting things and the normal things from meeting a young man named Jose  (well worth the entire trip), practicing forgiveness to strangers, and much much more.

So it started off as a trip to the city after Chris and I felt the pressing to go ahead and choose a place to live. We had already narrowed down an area that we both seemed to be called to but this time we actually had the cash to put down a deposit on a place, something we had been praying for because a few days prior we didn’t have it. Here we are, planned trip to Panama City and God’s promise of privison deep down inside. The Lord had called us to move to that area and he would supply the way. He is faithful, he is just waiting on us to believe that and trust his answers come what may(Mark 11:22-23). On the way there about half way Chris says to me “I think I need to turn around. I saw a homeless guy on the side of the road and, hey, do you have any balboas on you?”

Side note: Balboas are the national currency here although so is the American dollar

At this point I am soooooo ready to be in the city, we have been in crazy traffic thanks to the beautiful holiday drivers(think of it as living in a country where millions of people drive to their family’s house for that 1 weekend and rarely anyone travels by plane). And so, I am literally in a battle between “let your husband stop and do what God says” AND “no, we have an appointment to keep!” The good thing is, I have a husband who listens to the Holy Spirit while God works on me so after turning around and being led to give this man money, water, and some food Chris learns about this man’s recent stomach surgery(btw he is walking barefoot in the beating hot son on what we call the Pan american highway(middle of nowhere and HE JUST HAD SURGERY)!

Chris also offered to pray for his healing and while he did felt pressed that this was this man’s divine appointment to meet Jesus. Jose did accept Christ that day and the most interesting part, was about 5 feet behind where we parked on the side of the road was painted on the concrete bus stop the name Jesus along with a cross and a picture of Jesus’ face.

 Ya’ll this is just the first few hours of an interesting trip and to be honest this would be a long post to share it all at once so in fairness of your time I will end with this…

thank you thank you thank you to those that gave and prayed and encouraged us in the faith. You helped make this possible and we love you. God is so faithful and he will use whoever will let him even a woman named miracle who I am so excited to tell you more about in the next post.

to be continued…

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Blog 1, Well Sort of

Before we even met Chris and I had this feeling that we were called to reach the Latin American community with the Gospel. We each had an idea of what we we wanted that to look like but really had no clue where it would lead. We assumed it would be in the US. So like many believers out there we would pray here and there, talk about how we would do it, etc. and each time the cares of the world would get in the way along with job changes, moves, childbearing oh and rearing, etc etc etc. We always seemed to get stopped in our tracks until one morning my husband cried out to the Lord asking for discernment and things began to unravel for us.

Displaying

Several months later we found ourselves with 9 suitcases(well 8 but that story I’ll explain later), a 6 month old, a 3 year old and landed in Panama, and less than $200 in my husband’s wallet. Needless to say, it has been quite the journey. When we first arrived here we connected with a ministry called Strength4thejourney who got us connected to the community at large. Since arriving December 2015 we have found ourselves doing everything from street preaching, praying for people and laying hands on the sick, helping local ministries in numerous ways, holding a home church with the local Panamanians, and learning to live each day asking the Father what it is he has for us to do that day. Currently we are planning a move to another part of Panama to start a home church, another area we feel we’ve been called to and we are excited to see what God is going to do and excited that we now can bring you along so stay tuned each month for the new happenings. I have a feeling that this will be another life transforming experience. Glad you’re with us this time.

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Bienvenidos Amigos!

Welcome to our page. We wanted to start you off with a bio about why we are here and what type of journey we are inviting you to take with us. My name is Angelina and my husband’s name is Chris. Some of you know us and some will get to know us. We only hope that as you read each post and see each picture that you walk way changed forever know the Lord more and never wanting to settle for any less than his best for your life.

Chris and I started this journey in different places and times in our lives and we collided in the middle with this same vision for our lives and that was and still is to be obedient to the Lord, to be around others who want to be obedient and in doing so and getting this Gospel of Jesus Christ out to the nations. We want to be found hearing him say at the end of our existence on the Earth “well done my good and faithful servant.” You see we were bought at a price. He pulled Chris and myself out of the pit of destruction and despair, slaves to our sin and the precious blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross was the payment for our freedom. We see it as our duty to obey the one who paid it all for us and boy oh boy is this an interesting adventure. Hope you’ll come along for the ride.

      

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