On 8 May 2016, the 1st blog post on Gracia del Rey was posted, and here we are 525 days later on our 100th post together.  I am so thankful for you readers who have been following this blog and sharing your love.  We have come far as illustrated in yesterday’s blog post.  This post is the conclusion of Season 3: Revival.  We are going to reflejar (to reflect) about our lives, and how we can use them for God’s glory.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

This a portion of one of my favorite songs, Seasons of Love.  The lyrics make you truly think and question.  How are you spending your time?  As clearly stated in the lines of this song, there are 525,600 minutes in a year.  How are you spending these precious moments?  Are you trying to live for God or live for yourself?  Are you spending your time lamenting over what you don’t have or being thankful for what you do have?  Are you staying down when life knocks you down or getting back up with the help of God?  Are you letting your sin define you, or do you get your identity from being a child of God?  I can go on and on with these questions, but I believe the point has been illustrated.  There is only so much time in a year.  Why wouldn’t you use it in a manner that you can look back and smile at.  Yes, I am oversimplifying the complexities of life, but these things are attainable, not on your own of course but with the help of God.  How are you spending your 525,600 minutes?

The phrase “Do not be afraid” is written in the bible 365 times. That is a daily reminder from God to live everyday being fearless.

“Do not be afraid.”  There is something significant to that phrase being said 365 times.  While it is said in different contexts and scenarios, it is important nonetheless.  I also do not know who spent the time counting how many times it was said, but I am glad they did.  Life is frightening.  We live in a culture of fear.  Fear of discomfort, fear of being unsuccessful, fear of being alone, fear of missing out, fear of vulnerability, fear of the unknown, fear of not being good enough, fear of the opinions of others.  Some of these may hit home with you, and there are still a lot that I did not mention.  How do we let these fears rule our lives?  How do our fears control us?  God reminds us not to be afraid.  We have a God who has done so much.  Read the Bible to see all God has done in those times.  Talk to a believer about what God has done in their lives.  Think about all the believers that have existed ever, and how God has moved in their lives.  It’s pretty mind boggling.  It reminds us of who God is, and that is really comforting.  Struggles and trials are a thing, and we have to accept that.  But, we serve a God who is greater than all of that!  He reminds us not to be afraid because He is with us always and will never leave us.  Every day, reflect on the goodness of God, and remember not to fear because He has a plan.

“The Christian life is not a constant high.  I have my moments of deep discouragement.  I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” — Billy Graham

Let me tell you now in case you didn’t already know.  The Christian life does not mean that you will be living a life of rainbows and butterflies.  You will struggle.  You will have trials.  Life won’t always feel like a meadow with sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns.  It will be hard, and that is okay.  It is part of life, but in those times, we need to not stay down or continue to perpetuate our negative feelings and perceptions.  We ought to rely on God.  We should go to go in prayer first and foremost before attempting the “practical solutions.”  Praying to God first is recognizing that you cannot do anything on your own.  If we did everything on our own, we would fail.  We are finite beings who are subjected to the limitations of normal humans.  God is not though, and He surpasses all of our understanding.  He is so magnificent that we can’t begin to comprehend, and because of this fact, we can go to Him in order to have Him help us through our trials and struggles to bring glory to Him.  We need to reflect on what we do in times of crisis.  Do we immediately jump to trying to do the practical by ourselves before praying to God, or do we pray to God first recognizing that we can’t do anything with our own strength?

 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. — Colossians 3:23-24

We should be working for God with all of our heart.  In today’s culture, we anxiously seek the approval of others, and when we receive it, we get a feeling of gratification.  That is simply something about our culture, and I think that we, as Christians, should do the counter-cultural thing which is focusing on pleasing God instead of man.  The opinions of man don’t really matter that much if you don’t let them.  When you are reflecting back on your life, are you going to want to look back and remember that you were living to please other people with the same limitations as you, or do you want to look back to recall that you were living for an eternal, omnipotent, and infinite God who will always be with you? We ought to reflect on why we are doing the things that we do on a consistent basis and for whom we are doing them.

I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me

These simple lyrics to the song, I give myself away, have a huge meaning.  We are not our own.  We belong to God, and when we accept Him into our lives, we are declaring that we will serve Him.  He will, then, begin the process of shaping us and molding us to be more like Him.  We are growing to be a people who are spreading the name and fame of Jesus to others with our lives.  This will begin to shape how we do everything.  It will affect how we interact with others, how we do our work, how we act, how we think, what we do, and how we spend our time.  We ought to reflect on how we are using our lives as a way to minister to others.  As we are ending this season, I only thought it appropriate to write another poem as that is how we began the season, and I wrote another one before the mid-season break.  So here it is, a final poem before the season comes to a close.

Standing here, thinking about the past

Minutes to days to weeks to years

Reflecting on where my life has gone

Was it to serve God or to serve my fears?

 

Recalling about all that has happened

New beginnings and exciting changes

Of course, there was the good and the bad

Nothing about it that I would exchange

 

It was a time where I learned about me

And I truly began to grow and blossom

From a small plant to a brilliant flower

How God moves is truly awesome

 

These changes, my growth, a new revival

Something great within me begins to form

I could not have done it without God’s help

He is the Calm through my life’s storm

We have made it to post 100, and I know you may be curious what happened next.  This blog has been active for a while, and I have learned so much from this blog as I hoped you have as well.  I am so pleased of where this blog has gone, and what God has been doing in my life through this blog.  With that said, this is not the end of the blog.  There will be another season of this blog, Season 4: Reflections.  I am taking a long hiatus though.  I want to think of ways to make this blog more interactive and a better experience for all of you as readers.  With that said, the Facebook page will still be active, and I will still be monitoring the blog.  Therefore, I suggest if you haven’t already like the Facebook page to stay up to date with everything, including things that won’t be posted on the blog.  Secondly, share the blog and Facebook page with a friend, so they can be all caught up when Season 4 starts in a few months.  Finally, share your ideas on the Your Suggestions page for future blog posts and how I can make this blog better for you guys.  I’m excited to continue this journey with all of you.

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