Won't You Be My Neighbor? - Pastor Wilma Crespo

Won't You Be My Neighbor? - Pastor Wilma Crespo

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

 

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor,

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

 

It's a neighborly day in this beautywood,

A neighborly day for a beauty,

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

 

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,

I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

 

So let's make the most of this beautiful day,

Since we're together, we might as well say,

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

Won't you be my neighbor?

 

Won't you please, won't you please,

Please won't you be my neighbor?

 

These were the lyrics of a song written by Mr. Rogers in 1967, who would sing it at the beginning of his PBS show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I grew up watching this show. I have vivid memories of lessons I learned watching this show. Lessons on forgiveness, kindness, love, courage.

 

We tend to think that neighbors are those who live next door, upstairs, downstairs or down the street. They are neighbors because of their proximity to us. Growing up, we knew our neighbors. We were like family. Nowadays, I can safely say that we hardly know who lives next door.

 

In Luke 10:27, we read “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus is placing loving God and loving your neighbor on the same plane. In fact, Leviticus 6:2 states that we can commit “a breach of faith against the LORD by deceiving his neighbor.”

 

Have you ever asked yourself, why is the Bible making such an emphasis on loving and treating our neighbors well? Does not the Bible know that we have evil neighbors? Scary neighbors? Ungodly neighbors? Paul wrote to the church in Corinth in his first letter to not “seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor” (10:24). There are commandments that address neighborly behaviors. But why?

 

Who are these neighbors? The neighbors are those who show God’s mercy and grace. In the parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10, we tend to think that the man in need of help was the neighbor, but Jesus states that the Samaritan, an unlikely person, was the neighbor because he extended mercy and grace towards the man who was beaten by the bandits.

 

Today, I urge you to stop asking who is your neighbor and begin to ask, am I the neighbor? There are many people around us who are in need of neighbors who would share a word of hope. So let us Reach out those who are in need of healing. Restore them to their God-given destiny. And Release them to be a neighbor to others.

God At The Movies - Pastora Dora Amaro

God At The Movies - Pastora Dora Amaro

You may say I can’t really see or understand why God would be at the movies, for me it’s the happily ever after endings of movies, or the compassion of the characters, or the meaning behind the theme.

When I think of God at the movies I think about the movie Beauty and the Beast, and you may think why that movie, well as a kid watching that movie you can see how the main character is a beautiful young lady who lives with her father who is known in the town as the old crazy man because of all of his inventions, she is known for the beautiful yet nerdy girl because she is always reading books. The town is composed of many different people who like to talk and murmur of each other.  The story goes on to her father going out of town to try and sell his inventions to him getting lost and being captured by the Beast in the story. After her father not returning she heads out looking for him. As she goes out looking for him she finds him in a castle captured by the beast. She pleads with the beast for the release of her father in return she will stay and take his place, when I think of this it reminds me of how Jesus stood in the gaps by being crucified for our sins. In the process of being captured the beast finds interest in Bella and starts to let her wander the castle he looks at how she looks at him and she notices that there is more to him. She starts to see the good in him even though he is a beast. That’s exactly how God looks at us when we sin, and sin over and over again but God is a sovereign God who forgives and loves and corrects us with the help of the holy spirit. She truly see’s the inner beauty in the beast just as God sees the inner beauty and potential in us even when we don’t see it or believe it.  

It doesn’t matter how ugly we may think we are or how many times we sin; even how many times we may hurt ourselves or our families. God is always their fighting for us, reminding us that he loves us unconditionally. So the next time you are watching a movie imagine what would God say or think about you, because at the end we are the movie.  

Psalms 139:16 (the message version) Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

In The Storm - Pastora Merita

 

In the Storm

 

Definition of storm:

1a : a disturbance of the atmosphere marked by wind and usually by rain, snow, hail, sleet, or thunder and lightning b : a heavy fall of rain, snow, or hail c (1) : wind having a speed of 64 to 72 miles (103 to 117 kilometers) per hour d : a serious disturbance of any element of nature

2: a disturbed or agitated state 

  • storms of emotion

 : a sudden or violent commotion

3: a heavy discharge of objects (such as missiles)

4: a tumultuous outburst 

  • a storm of protests


 

An everyday life occurrence is not a storm, a storm is known because it changes the environment. The barometric pressure changes there is a feeling in the atmosphere that something is happening or will be happening.  Wind is not a storm, rain is not a storm those are every day weather occurrences. A storm is a combination of every day occurrence that are changed or made more aggravated and at times even severe. The weather changes happening around the world affect and can cause storms to get greater or diminish.  A storm is a combination of weather patterns that either crash against each other or unite to intensify what would have been just a normal rainy day.

 

We live in New England snow is snow but a Nor’easter that is a storm.  A nor’easter means that the winds will be high and the accumulation of snow will be more than just a couple of inches. Once they announce it we sit and watch the news.  We watch the storm as it comes our way. We then gather supplies and get ready for it. We prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

 

In the 1st book of Kings there was a drought in the land and the prophet prayed.  He asked his servant to go out 7 times and look over the water until he came back and said “I see what looks like a hand over the ocean” and the prophet says ok go tell them to get ready for the storm. You see storms don’t just show up, they don’t come out of nowhere.  If we are paying attention we can see the signs from far away. If we stop running around and stop to see and feel our surroundings we will see and feel the storm coming. If the Holy Spirit abides in us He will speak to us and tell us when storms are coming. This storm brought with it the rain they so desperately needed.  This teaches us that not all storms are bad some bring to us what our lives needed, the water that was missing in order to quench or hearts, souls and land.

There are times in our lives where we are in the middle of storm and we get desperate and start doing things to stop the storm.  We get panicked and scared and question where God is. In Mark 4:37-41 we see the disciples having gone on the boat with Jesus and a storm hit them while Jesus was asleep on the lower deck.  The boat started taking in water and they got scared and desperate it says their reaction was to run down and yell at Jesus and say “Don’t you care that we are perishing!” What was Jesus’ response? What did he do and say? He got up rebuked the wind and called out for Peace and for things to be still!  Then he turned to them and said “why are you so fearful how is it that you have no faith”. You see in our Christian walk we can have Jesus in our lives and respond in the same manner. We have him in our boat and get desperate and lose faith when a storm hits. But we must remember who He is! We must remember that He is the creator of heaven and earth we must remember that all authority is his and he has full authority to stand and say Peace be Still.

 

The next time the skies get dark and the rain falls look up to heaven and say God open my heart, open my mind to receive what you have for me through this storm. For the storms of life teach us that God is our ultimate provider and He will bring the rain that our dry soul needs.  That He has the power to calm the strongest of storms in our lives. That through his word we can find the peace and strength we need to face, endure and persevere any storm.

Come join us this month of July as we unpack the theme In the Storm.

 

"I Don’t Know How To Deal With My Brokenness!"

"I Don’t Know How To Deal With My Brokenness!"

#WISDOM

 

I don’t know how to explain it but I felt her life move on. It was beyond the loosening of her grip and the closing of her eyes. It was much more than the warmth of her touch turning cold. It was a spiritual sensation.

After many months of prayer and tears and conversations with God (many of those where me speaking loudly) she passed away. She was much more than a child to us and she was gone. Succumbing to a cancer that had moved faster than anyone could have anticipated. Conventional treatment did not help so experimental treatment and radiation was tried. Her pain was so unbearable that the strongest medication put her in a coma like state. I would hold her through her pain and carry her to and from the car to her appointments. With every move I can see her face grimace and my own pain rise, as I could not do anything.

 

Why did God not listen?

I stared through the window of the hospital as people around me cried and comforted each other. I was in a daze. I was so sure God would hear me. I was so confident that God would respond. When the nurse came in to mark the time of her passing I still believed for a Lazarus moment! He did it after four days surely he can do it after 4 minutes! I did not want any hugs or any words of consolation. No I did not think God needed another angel so He took her. I just felt God did not hear my cry. Maybe you know how I felt. Perhaps you also have felt like God turned His ear away from you.  

 

Was it me?

I can’t say I was angry at God because I wasn’t. I was angry at myself. I understand that God is Sovereign and that God is Good. But I also know I am not sovereign and I am not good. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I did not pray right or maybe I was not good enough for God to respond to my prayer. He says in Psalms 34:15-16 “The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the LORD turns his face against those who do evil; “  So maybe I was not righteous enough. Maybe I did not pray correctly. Maybe I did not have enough faith!! In Mark chapter 9 you find the father of a young boy in need of deliverance and the father asks Jesus “Have mercy on us if you can!” Jesus replied, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” So I thought maybe I struggled in my faith. Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you have this guilt that you lacked faith.

 

The God of Peace.

I could feel it. My heart was getting cold. I was scared. Scared for my heart. Scared that I would grow angry and that my heart would turn to stone. I caught myself saying. I’m not going to love like that anymore. I will not let anyone in. I’m tired of being hurt. No one knows how I feel. Cause we do that. We make our pain so unique that no one can empathize with us. No one really knows what we feel.

Then it happened. I was sitting in my chair and a hand reached over my back shoulder and landed above my heart. It was one of the elders. They began to pray for my heart. At first I fought back the urge to get resist. I wanted so much to just leave and hold on to what I was feeling. I thought that I had a right to feel this way. Then without warning and in an almost uncontrollable fashion from the deepest parts of my pain came a cry that caused my limbs to shake. Tears flowed like a waterfall. What I did not know at the moment was that I was experiencing healing. The Spirit of the Lord was for lack of a better word “Flushing” me out. With every tear and cry that was exiting God was injecting peace and assurance.

 

If you are reading this and you feel the prompting of the Spirit of the Lord for healing of your brokenness all I can tell you is it’s the most satisfying step you can surrender too. In one swoop God reassured me that it was not about me. He gave me comfort that my prayers or my faith were not the issue. He prompted me to repent not because I offended him. Not because I was angry but because I love Him. It’s weird but the Love of God overwhelmingly calls us to repentance. It draws us to want to be right with Him.

 

I have finally experienced the peace that I cannot explain! I read it over and over in Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. There it was. In my mind I had every right to be angry, disappointed, disillusioned but the Peace of God took over. Glory to God!!!!

 

Now Build!

So here is what the Holy Spirit did next. You see He did not just heal me. He gave me work! You have to understand that we must take part in building on our healing. So the Holy Spirit did what He always does He brought me to His Word! 1 Timothy 4:8 "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come." We must take advantage of training moments! Here is what I learned from Nehemiah when everything he saw was broken!

1. He prayed and Cried- I was complaining more than praying

2. He waited- for two months he prayed before a response from God

3. He obeyed instructions- many times we make up stuff along the way instead of waiting for instructions.

4. He surveyed the rubble- it’s hard but we must look at our hurts and pains and know God is able to reach where your hand can’t.

5. Secure the foundation and the doors- before anything can be rebuilt we must ensure our basic foundations are stable. Our own hearts and minds must be healed before we can invite someone else into our lives. Remember hurt people; hurt people! If you don’t fix the doors then anyone and everyone has access to your heart!

 

I hope that this has helped someone! Where do I start? Start with this prayer; “Holy Spirit touch my pain!”

Love you,

Pastor Davie

 

 

Why do we believe what we believe?

Why do we believe what we believe?

Why do we believe what we believe?

A woman can perceive she is pregnant, feel that something is different in her body, but it’s not until she takes the test that she knows whether or not her feelings and perceptions are true.   A man can say he feels sick and that he feels a cold or the flu coming on but it’s not until the fever hits and a test is taken that he knows it to be true.
 
This tells me that there must be something that accompanies our truth, there needs to be evidence of what I believe.  There must be something tangible that moves me to know that what I believe is true.  We must know WHY we believe what we do, and we must know The Truth so that we can live in it and not just move in the feelings of what we think “our truth” is, but rather thrive in what God’s truth is.

I was 10 years old sitting in the first row of our church next to my cousin and BFF Lissie.  We were there like every other weekend singing clapping and enjoying ourselves in church.  But this night was different, we had a guest speaker come in and he was talking about God’s miraculous power and how Jesus performed miracles and how the Holy Spirit is the guide that can and will be with us no matter what we go through in life.  I remember a lady going up for prayer because she had one leg shorter than the other by like 3 inches and they sat her down on a chair and stretched her legs out straight and they prayed.  I remember moving closer so that I could see if it would happen, if praying to Jesus for a miracle really worked.  If everything they said about him was really true.  All of a sudden I saw her feet coming together until they were the same length! I could not believe it! I saw a miracle! In that one moment Jesus became real to me.  I heard about him and even sang about him but I never really let the thought of him being really real sink into my heart and mind.  The service continued after the prayer and he began preaching.  As I sat there and sang the songs and heard him speak about Jesus about him dying on the cross and saying that he would leave another comforter.  I could feel my heart open up, I had heard about Jesus in Sunday school but this night, this moment was so real. It was as if I heard him say “today is the day, you saw that I am real, open up your heart and let me in”.  The tears started running down my face I needed to say yes to Jesus, I needed to give him my heart.  When they asked for those that wanted to go up for prayer to come up I made my way up with tears in my eyes I prayed asking God to be the savior of my life, I asked him to lead me, to never leave me and to seal me with his Holy Spirit.  That moment in time is etched in my memories forever.  When I’m faced hard situations and days that make me want to doubt the love of God or question if this is all true or even question my salvation in Jesus, I always go back to that one moment in time.  To that moment when I saw Him do a miracle, when who he was became real, became TRUTH to me, when I felt him in my heart for the first time, when I gave him mine, that will forever be my best moment in time.