Doing Devotions Together

We want you to take a look at what God is speaking to our church staff! This blog will help you to be encouraged by what others journal about. Also, it will assist you as you improve the way you journal. We use the SOAP system (Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer). To learn more about how the SOAP System works when doing daily devotions and journaling, click here!

Feel free to post some comments! We would love to interact with you and help you to learn how to be mentored directly by the Holy Spirit!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


As they studied the Law, they discovered that the Lord had commanded through Moses that the Israelites should live in shelters during the festival to be held that month.
Nehemiah 8:14

As the people studied the Scriptures, they realized about God's command to Moses to build shelters and live in them for seven days to celebrate their exodus. With this festival, God wanted to remind His people that during their time wandering in the desert, when things were very uncomfortable, He always provided for their needs and took them to a place of safety, peace, and comfort. Almost immediately they set their hearts to obey and they follow the instructions for the festival. They built these little shelters made out of branches and lived there under these uncomfortable conditions during the celebration.

Even though I love the outdoors, I'm not a camping person. I like a comfortable bed to sleep and a restroom nearby, with a shower. So when I think about what the people of Israel did here, I have to deal with my sense of obedience to God, specially for the things that are uncomfortable for me. Even though sounds silly, this is really a big deal. God wants me to depend on Him, but I will never learn how to if I keep my life safe and comfortable. He wants to challenge me by taking risks in uncomfortable areas. Rather than ignoring His instructions towards the uncomfortable, I should be more willing to trust and obey Him. Comfort is one of the most common idols in our culture. We cannot serve two masters. We must choose God's instructions over the comfort this world offers.

Dear heavenly Father, please forgive me for ignoring and running away from your instructions that take me out of my comfort zone and into a challenging situation. Give me a genuine desire to trust and obey you. Forgive me for feeling entitled to comfort. Remind me that no matter the situation you are always with me and you will always provide for my needs. Help me to live as if my true comfort comes from knowing that I obey your instructions. Amen!

Monday, July 11, 2011

THINK DIFFERENTLY. By Pastor Fernando.

The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. (NLT)
Isaiah 8:11

During this season in Isaiah's life, the people of Judah, starting with the leaders and the priests, were morally and spiritually corrupted. And even though God was warning them over and over about the consequences of their behavior, they refused to change their ways, and continued walking according to their own thoughts. Their ways were far from God's because their hearts were far from Him. And their hearts were far away from Him because their thoughts were far from God's.

There's a pattern in our lives that can either bring life or death. This pattern starts with our minds, goes through our hearts and ends in our feet. The way we think determines the desires of our heart, and the desires of our heart will determine the way we walk in life. People try to deal with their behavior and emotions, but they fail each time when they don't deal with the mind. first. We cannot underestimate what's going on in our thoughts.

During this new season in my life God is warning me to think differently in three main levels. First of all, I cannot think like this world thinks. This may be easy and logical for a follower of Christ, but I must recognize that there are many instances where my thoughts are not God's but this world's. The reason why many Christians today do not look really different than the world is because we marinate our minds in the same cultural mindset. Just as I take good care of my body by protecting it from harmful things, with greater zeal I must protect my thoughts from the mindset of this world.

Secondly, I must think differently than the vast majority of my peers. As a church leader, I must tap into the creative skills God has given me to reach those who others are not reaching. Copy and paste is overrated. Borrowed anointing does not bring fresh bread to my flock. The kingdom of God needs the unique gifts God has given me for His glory.

And finally, I must think differently than myself. Today I'm in front of a completely unused canvas. I cannot rely on the glory form the past. I will never be able to be creative if I keep using yesterday's manna. It is time to walk by faith and take my imagination to wherever the Holy Spirit wants to take me. This is not just about thinking outside the box, but about blowing the box away. The best ideas are yet to be conceived. The best songs are yet to be written. The best sermons are yet to be preached. It's is time to take seriously God's earning and not to think like everyone else does.

Dear Heavenly Father, you are the essence of creativity. Let me surrender all my thoughts to your Holy Spirit and help me to marinate my mind in your ways, not in this world's. Give me humility to think beyond the limits and believe the impossible. Help me to lead creatively and courageously. And help me to leave my past behind, the failures and the great victories. Give me a resilient conviction to move forward to what's new. Burst my old wineskin so I can taste the new wine you have for me. It's all about you!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

GOING ROGUE. By Pastor Fernando

SCRIPTURE - 1 Samuel 27:1-2, 8-11

1 But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.” 2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath...

8 ...Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.) 9 Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.

10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory.


This passage reveals a season of weakness for King David. Motivated by fear and lack of faith in God's promise to deliver him from Saul, David decided to make his own plan and live in Gath, among one of the many enemies of Israel. King Achish gladly offered him shelter and even gave him a city. In order to survive, David ended up raiding other lands with great violence and bloodshed. During the entire chapter there is no mention of God. David is not seeking God's instruction. He simply moved according to the reasoning of his own heart.

Few years later, when David tried to build a temple for God, the Lord did not allowed him because of violent past and the blood in his hands. I personally believe that God's judgment here is not about the many times David fought Israel's enemies under God's direction, but about seasons like this while David lived in Gath and went rogue.


Going rogue may look very courageous but it has its consequences. In the case of David it did not took the kingdom away from him, but it took away the privilege to fulfill a personal dream (the temple). David was able to defeat his emotions in the past while being persecuted by Saul, but in this ocassion his guard was down, he relied only in his reasonings, probably had one way conversations with God, and made decisions motivated by fear.

I believe there are times when we need to lead courageously, bring change, go against the status quo, and take a maverick stand. However, we must be aware that in these circumstances we must depend on God more than any other time. Going rogue blurs the lines that keeps us away from a rebellious heart, and if we are not careful, rather than changing the status quo, we end up camping with the enemy, receiving its favors, making emotional choices, and behaving out of control.

Currently I have in front of me a couple of situations in my spiritual family that need bold leadership to bring change in a way that is both courageous and discerning. But bringing such necessary change is not easy, mostly because the decision making process rests upon a large group of people with different backgrounds, perspectives, and styles. It's normal for this process to be slow and frustrating. While being in this process, I'm surprised, even disappointed, to see some of my brothers reacting emotionally with much courage but very little discernment or consideration of the consequences. They are going rogue, and they have a following. Rather than being part of the solution, they are becoming part of the problem. But what is worst, they may be forfeiting the fulfillment of one of their dreams. Because of their rogue behavior, God may say, "You will not do this because there's blood in your hands." I wish I can stop them and speak good sense to them, but it seems they have made out their mind to continue in their renegade stand. All I can do is pray for them, and to set an example with my own life of how to be a maverick and change agent.


Dear Jesus, you are my example of the most effective change agent and maverick in history. When you came from within a system that lack effectiveness to restore our relationship with God, you did not rebelled against it, but you embraced it, fulfilled it, and reformed it. You proclaimed the truth boldly, and even caused commotion when chastising the money changers. But you remained faithful to the end until every single part of the law was fulfilled. Instead of bringing change by pressure, I want to bring change by faithfulness. Don't let me ever dwell in the reasoning of my own heart. Please warn me when my emotions and hurt and frustration becomes the fuel that motivates me to bring change. Let me be not only patient, but more than anything meek. Have mercy on my spiritual family and lead us according to your perfect plan.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WITHOUT A TRACE. By Pastor Fernando

SCRIPTURE - Numbers 33:50-53, 55-56

50 On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho the LORD said to Moses, 51 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, 52 drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. 53 Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess....

55 “‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’”

God was very clear to Israel about his expectations to get rid of anything that could destroy them in the future. They had to drive out the people that wouldn't submit to Israel's way of life and get rid of any kind of idolatry paraphernalia. God also warned them about allowing the enemy to live among them. No concessions nor compromises were allowed. Failure to follow God's expectations would result in Israel's punishment, not because of their own fault, because to their proximity to the enemy. When the blow, sharpnel will wound those around them.

When we are set free from our past and delivered to a new life we must be aware that there are still traces of the past ready to stay around. We are forgiven from our past sins, but the flesh has a way to go back to what it's familiar. We cannot be gentle when dealing with our sins. We must be radical and determined to get rid of whatever causes us to go back to our old nature. Otherwise, it will bring us down form where God wants us to be.

I am aware of some "traces"of my old selfish nature that have a way to cripple in here and there. Very often I'm quick to get rid of them, but sometimes I ignore them and allow them to be comfortable in my heart. When I allow the old trace of sin to take root again in my heart, it always brings a fruit of pain and shame. It will take over my heart, rule again over me, and will possess what God has call me to possess. God doesn't want me to be mastered by anything. I need to keep my life without a trace of the old. I need to be courageous and deal with it head on.


Dear heavenly Father, please forgive me for allowing the old nature to take root again and to make it feel comfortable and unchallenged in my life. Give me a passion to live without a trace of the old decaying and sinful nature. You have done it all for me to be free. Now I need to do my part and walk in the freedom you provide at the cross. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


SCRIPTURE - Acts 1:4

"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait..."


This is the passage that promises the Holy Spirit outpouring in power over every believer. This has huge significance in the history of the church and in our personal relationship with God. But this verse is also very practical. It's scope is not just wide enough to include the baptism with the Holy Spirit but also focused enough to cover the intervention of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. What we must understand is that the prelude of God's amazing power displayed in our daily lives is to wait. It's almost mandatory! Jesus gave the disciples not a suggestion but a clear command to wait mostly because our tendency to rush and make decisions according to our own understanding.

Waiting has never been an easy season to embrace, especially when the pressure to make decisions increases. Lately I've been in many situations where important decisions need to be made and I don't have a clear direction from God. Well, that's not true! God is simply saying, "wait!" Waiting on the Holy Spirit us highly rewarding, but very challenging. The best decisions in my life have come after seasons in the waiting room. Yet, when the pressure is on, I become anxious and restless. I'm not waiting in the Holy Spirit, and I've been cheating myself form God's very best. I need to learn to enjoy the waiting room that God sometimes puts us in before entering into the blessing room.

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for not waiting on your Holy Spirit to guide me. I need to be patient and let you show me the way. Help me to be still and wait on You. I love you Lord.