Category Archives: love brings happiness

Life After Tsunami

Amid the rubbish stands one of the most beautiful sites anyone will ever see: Springtime Sakura, better known as “cherry blossom” trees.  While preparing for my trip to Japan, I look at the hard work our friends in Otsuchi are doing by helping the people that have been devastated by the tsunami that swept through their town, taking lives and tearing down many of the structures that once stood strong.  But with all of the pain and suffering, there is something more powerful than death and destruction: Life!

Jesus says in the ancient scriptures “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come, that you might have Life and Life more abundantly” John 10:10.  You may say, “Where is this Life? How can Life be present when there is so much sorrow? ” When God raised Jesus from the dead he sent His Spirit to live inside every person who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. This Spirit demonstrates the love of the Father (God) when we love those around us.  As the people of God his Love empowers us to help a neighbor living just down the street or thousands of miles away bringing comfort to the hurting.  This kind of Love is expressed with more than words, it is accompanied with action,  “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we must also give up our lives for our brothers and our sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but show no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth.” 1John 3:16-18

Just like the Sakura trees showing off their display of life and beauty…the people of God are active all over the world  showing this  “Life”  through acts of love toward mankind.  “Let your lite  so shine that mankind will see your good deeds (acts of Love) and Glorify your Father which is in Heaven” Jesus words found in Mathew 5:16

Thank you for your prayers as I continue preparations for my upcoming trip to Japan. Below is Pastor Guna and Jey and members of their congregation returning from their first trip into Otsuchi.  They have recently returned with another team and are working to help clear anything damaged by the tsunami and cleaning the homes so the families (who are in shelters) can return to their homes. God bless them as they show the people of Otsuchi God’s love through their acts of kindness.

For more information regarding our call to Japan, read my blog titled, “Japan: Mission of Love” or go to our website at PonceChurch.com


Mending Families

Lately I have been thinking about families and how so many relationships within each family unit are hurting.  Although it is included, I am not just singling out couples such as husbands and wives I am also referring to our relationships with our mothers, fathers, in-laws, our brothers and sisters and in some cases even our own children. I recently shared with a friend how God helped me to forgive my own parents.  Because I was tired of carrying my own personal baggage overflowing with hurt emotions the Lord was able to help me finally rid myself of the pain through the amazing power of “mercy” and “forgiveness.”  I know that those two words seem almost impossible to consider, but I guarantee that if you continue reading, the Lord will help you to enter a new phase in your life free from your own baggage and replace it with real happiness, joy and peace.

Because it seemed so difficult to conceive the idea of forgiveness I asked the Lord to show me how.  One of the main scriptures that he used to help me understand why people do what they do was the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior.  Imagine for a moment  Jesus,  hanging on the cross inflicted with such immense pain  brought on by beatings and nails driven into his hands. Not to mention those closest to him who chose to run and hide from and even deny him and how through it all  Jesus  was able to pray this prayer, while hanging on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”  I know, our first immediate response is “of course they know what they’re doing, how dare they” but surprisingly enough he helped me to see that they really did not know how much pain they were inflicting.  In my case, once I realized and accepted this amazing truth, He was able to help bring me to a place where I no longer suffered pain by the words and actions of others.  Later through study and research I have found that “Hurt people hurt others.”

Before my mother died, she was trying to deal with her own pain: The devastation of my father leaving. (read my post “Girl Meets God”) I remember one day because she was hurting so much inside that she tried to get me to hurt my father during a phone conversation. I was between the ages of 10 and 11 years old. I remember she handed me the phone and tried to force me to say “I don’t love you anymore” to my father. I remember crying, I could not do it. As I look back I see and understand now that my mother was suffering. She was living in her own torment of pain, brought on by anger, bitterness and unforgiveness toward my father.

Every family is different. We may all have different issues that we are dealing with but one thing we all have in common is we all have been given the opportunity to be free from the pain caused by others.

Another truth that the Lord was able to show me as a young Christian is found in Mark chapter 11:25, “And when you stand praying forgive, for if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive you your sins.” This scripture helped me to see that I needed the Lords mercy for things I had done in my past and for the last 30+ years as a follower of Jesus,  this  truth has helped to keep me in check when it comes to loving and forgiving others. God is a gentleman. He will NEVER force his will on us. He has given us the freedom to choose. One scripture says, “I have set before you LIFE and DEATH: CHOOSE LIFE”.

This kind of Love toward others has helped me to be free! Free from the hurt and pain brought on my others, all because of two very powerful words put into motion: Forgiveness and Mercy. This freedom is only available to the one who is willing to forgive and let go.  Our key to becoming free is Love:  Jesus said “Love one another as I have loved you.”

ATTENTION: If you or someone you know is in real physical danger contact the Violence Hotline: 1-800-799- SAFE (7233) for help.  You can also contact your local police department and authorities to help get you and your children to safety. Note: Although my story is not about physical abuse, there are many families who are facing dangerous situations and so I felt is was important to share this information to help individuals and families that are in need of such services.


His Love is Never Limited

Jesus Love is not limited. When he walked this earth as a man he shunned no one. He loved everyone especially those who were despised and ridiculed by others.  As I was thinking the other morning, I remembered a true story in the Bible where Jesus and his disciples were invited by Mathew (a despised tax collector) for dinner at his home, “Later Mathew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. BUT..when the Pharisees (people who claim they love God but show NO mercy to others) saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do.” Then he added, “Now GO AND LEARN THE MEANING OF THIS SCRIPTURE; I want YOU  to show MERCY not offer sacrifices (sacrifices today are doing all the ‘right’ things outwardly yet inside there is no mercy or love toward others). “For I have  come to call not those who THINK they are righteous, but those who KNOW they are sinners.” Mathew 9:10-13 nlt

As I remembered this passage of scripture he began to show me a very important point: The fact that Jesus sat and dined with sinners (we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God) was proof that he was not condemning them, but in fact demonstrating God’s Love and Mercy in action. The religious people could not stand even the thought of being around them which was a sure sign, proving their lack of mercy with hearts full of judgment and condemnation (Mathew 23:23-26)

As a Christian, a follower of Jesus, I have chosen to live a life of mercy as He has commanded me to. Just as the scriptures say, “those that have been forgiven much, show others much love.”  In my 30 years as a follower of Jesus I have been forgiven of much and have lived and continue to learn that Loving others in the way He has loved me is the only way of life for me.

Something my wise husband who has been a teacher of the Bible for over 30 years said this in regards to the religious phrase “hate the sin love the sinner”: “We don’t need to hate the spec in our brothers eye-The log in our own eye is a full-time job.” Well said. Meaning, don’t get caught up in others mistakes, but rather take that energy and work on improving our own lives. Love God, Love Others, Love Life.


What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Loving others is not easy especially those who irritate or rub us the wrong way. Many times in my walk with the Lord I have had to endure people that are difficult to be around. No matter where you are in life, you will have such experiences and there is no avoiding it. Sometimes even now when loving others does not come easy I remember what my husband Pastor Rick  shared with me not so long ago: “Given their situation or circumstances they are doing the best they can.”
I remember while living and raising our children in Arizona I had a hard time with forgiving some members of my family.  I knew as a Christian how important it was to love and forgive others, but in REAL life I found it to be extremely difficult at times. As  a young Christian I remember Jesus teaching me the importance of love and forgiveness.  In  Mark chapter 11 Jesus says, “…and when you stand praying forgive. If you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you your sins.”  I must admit, even today this scripture ALWAYS keeps me in check. Why? Because I have been forgiven of so many things in my life and God expects me to show that same love and mercy to others.In my own life I have found that when I love others I am happier and at peace. I am able to really enjoy life.  You could say that LOVE has a “freeing” affect on the one who chooses to give it out.  So go ahead, begin to look at others as God looks at you, with love and compassion.  I guarantee you will find that your life will be full of real happiness and joy!