Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Peace Be With You: Prayer Warrior

Calling all prayer warriors.  How would you like to help change the world, one prayer at a time?  Now is your chance to join a network of prayer partners at Peace Be With U.  I became a prayer partner about a week ago and let me tell you, it really blesses me to be able to stand in the gap for hurting people.  If you would like to be a prayer warrior, click here Peace Be With U Ministry.  There are other ways to help people through Peace Be With U so please get involved any way that you can.  Help make a difference in the lives of others.

 If you are standing in need of prayer, click here Prayer Request.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Genuinely Fake

Be so familiar with the truth that when you encounter a lie, it sets off an alarm in your soul.  Falsehood can manifest itself in many different roles and sometimes the perpetrator is the one in the mirror.  Yep, you.  It's funny how you cannot see yourself w/o looking in the mirror or seeing your reflection.  Be sure to look at your reflection (yourself) often.

Let's face it, everyone lies.  Yep I said it.  You, me, she and they.  We all lie at one time or another.  A 2 year old child lies w/o fully understanding that it's wrong.  A child does not have to be trained to be disobedient, that comes naturally.  We are born sinners.  The wicked are estranged from the womb, those who speak lies go astray from birth.  Psalm 58:3   For a better understanding of what this verse means, I suggest you do your research.  Studying God's word is the best way to learn.  When you study His word, you will not be easily deceived.

We are all capable of lying.  Most people do not like to lie but will sometimes lie to avoid conflict (the  peacemaker).  They may be known to withhold the truth by not speaking up or revealing what they know even when it's necessary.  That is a form of lying or faking, ok.

Then there are those who practice lying as a regular way of life.  They are constantly trying to come up with ways to deceive people.  They are fake and appear to be something that they are not.  For some, lying is how they make money, it's their full time job.  Some people lie for power.  False witnesses come to deceive people about God's word.  They want to control people.  This is what I call faking it to make it.

Recently there was a report on the news about the "fake red sole shoes".  You know, the french shoe designer Christian Louboutin?  All of  his shoes have a signature bright red sole.  People were making a profit by selling counterfeit Louboutin's.  They deceived the public who believed that they were getting a great deal for the real thing.  The garment districts are notorious for this.

I used to work at a credit union and me and 2 other women taught a few classes on how to identify counterfeit money, bad checks and fake identification.  I taught the part of the class regarding counterfeit money.  Everyone was surprised to see the depths that people go to get money.  There are so many security features on real paper money that makes it difficult to duplicate.  But if you don't know the real thing, you will accept the counterfeit.  By the time you realize it's a fake, it may be too late and you are left with something that is of no value to you.

 In this life, you will encounter perpetrators whether it be "fake people", "fake money", or "fake things".  They are so good at what they do that it's not always obvious at first.  We must watch the company we keep.  Some people are really good at appearing genuine or real (actors).  When you find out who they really are, you feel betrayed.  Don't ignore your instincts.  That's the red flags and alarms that go off when you are in the presence of something or someone that isn't genuine or real.

If we confess our sins, He is
faithful and just and will
forgive us our sins and
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
Is it you?  Sometimes we lie to ourselves.  We act differently than how we feel.  Acting, faking, deceiving, lying, call it what you want.  If you struggle with telling the truth talk to God about it.  Ask Him for forgiveness and to help you change your life.  You can avoid it all by Keepin It Real  and trusting God no matter what.

From My Soul To Yours ©

Starla Danielle Espinoza

Following photo:
I Forgive You courtesy of:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bloggers in God: God Desires Your Heart ©

Here is my Wednesday post for Bloggers In God, 7/4/12.

Bloggers in God: God Desires Your Heart ©: Today's post comes from Starla at Keepin It Real When I read the bible, it really comes alive and spe...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Father's Business ©

 We are NEVER alone, No NEVER!  God is always in our midst.  All you have to do is call on Him and He will fill the void in your life.  Whether it be emptiness, despair, depression, anxiety or loneliness, call on Jesus.

We have no need to worry , fret, or fear.  Call on Jesus.  It is by God's grace that I am able to do anything.  He speaks to me all the time.  He has chosen me to work for Him.  I am so honored to be a vessel for the Lord.  He is in the business of repairing, sustaining, comforting, healing, and more.....

The main requirement is to love Him with all my heart and soul.  When you love God, you will know that all He needs is your heart.  Once you have given Him your heart the desire that He has carefully placed there will be employed by Him.  If your desire is to sing for Him, go into the mission fields, preach His word, exhort His people, serve others, He will bring it to pass because it brings Him glory.  It's all for His kingdom.

So....even though I may not be qualified to be the CEO of a company, He has qualified me as the CEO of the desire that He has carefully placed in my heart!  It is my job to trust Him, obey Him, believe His promises and leap out in faith.

My job is to be about My Father's Business.  What about you?

In this new life one's nationoality or race or education or social position is unimportant; such things mean nothing.  Whether a person has Christ is what matters and He is equally available to all! Colossians 2:11

From my soul to yours,

Starla Danielle Espinoza 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bloggers in God: Hitchhikers

Here is my weekly post at Blogger's In God.  Enjoy and whatever you do, watch out for the hitchhiker of your soul.

Bloggers in God: Hitchhikers: Today's post comes from Starla at Keepin It Real

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Purpose of Money; Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12

King Solomon's Temple

In week 5 of our bible study, "A Life Well Lived" King Solomon schooled us on the topic of money.  Complete this phrase:

If only I had ______________, then I'd be happy.  There is always something better in our minds.  Satisfaction is only guaranteed for a little while.  Let me keep it real, I wouldn't mind having a BMW or a bigger house but I am thankful and grateful for what I do have, no matter what.  I used to tell myself that if I could just win the lottery, I can help so many people but God never asked me to do his job.  When He does inspire me to do something, please believe He will give me the resources to do itSomething more like common sense than money.

In Ecclesiastes 5:10 he says, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income.  This too is vanity."   Bottom line:  We always tend to think of something better than what we already have.

In 5:11 he goes on to say, "When good things increase, those who consume them increase.  So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?"   Bottom line:  Don't let what you don't have take away from the joy of what you do have.

6:7 says, "All a man's labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied."  Bottom line:  Once you have eaten, you will eventually be hungry again.  The concept is the same for everything.   How many times have you desired something and once you have gotten it, eventually you want something new or better than what you already have?  I know none of you are like that but I'm just sayin.

6:9 "What the eye sees is better than what the soul desires."  Bottom line:  What you see in front of you is what you already have, which isn't always good enough.  You always want more and more of what you don't have and your soul seems to desire what you don't have.

My take away from this entire lesson is:  Money fails, homes fail, cars fail, people fail but God never fails and He will supply your every need if you get out of His way.  The best things in life really are free.

From my soul to yours,

Starla Danielle Espinoza

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Confession Series: My Inner Brat

One of my most difficult things to confess is how broken I really am.   I am very perceptive which often causes me to be very sensitive and feel insecure about things.  In my mind, I manage to twist things around to appear  negative in my eyes.  It's very difficult to face and confess these emotions.  It makes me feel very evil and mean.

You see, it's not so much about having my way as it is about proving myself to be so wise.  Now I am finally facing the music so to speak.  I throw in the towel, wave the white flag.  I surrender.  I am confessing to the world that I am such a brat sometimes.  So it's only fitting that I clean up my act and get some sense before I destroy my valuable relationships.  My husband, children, family and friends are so very dear to me.

Do we all have demons to face?  Sure we do.  And I'm finally ready to tackle my giants head on.  I am running toward this giant hill of lies from the enemy with my sword, the word of God.  I will focus on what God says about me.  I will no longer allow the enemy to ruin my mind.  The cure to this ailment is prayer (lots of it) and spending more time in the word instead of the world.  I will no longer allow myself to be so distracted by TV, blogging, money, etc......  Not that TV and blogging is wrong, but it is when I'm so wrapped up in catching the latest episode of "whatever" or making sure that people are reading my blogs in place of my alone time with God.  It doesn't even have to be a long time and I know this.

Not only that but it's always very comforting.  I love to pray, praise, worship and fellowship all in the name of Jesus.  It cleanses my soul which should be done daily.

Sooo, with all that being said, I am asking my readers to please send up sincere prayers for me to do what I know I should to protect my mind from evil thoughts and false accusations.  I also apologize to those that I have hurt with my words in the past.  And to those that I have complained about for hurting me in the past.  Today is a new day and "We're all in this together."

From my soul to yours,

Starla Danielle Espinoza

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Were You Really "Just Kidding"?

Every now and then I have to reprimand my daughters for being rude to each other.  There are 3 of them and sometimes the older 2 gang up on the youngest or the younger two gang up on the oldest.  One of their favorite excuses for being mean is, "I was just kidding."  "Oh really?", I reply.  "Do you think that just because you were "just kidding" it makes your sister feel better?"  They think about it then realize that a sincere apology is in order.

Kidding and joking cannot un-ring a bell.  Once we speak something hurtful on purpose, the words "just kidding" only make it worse because now it seems like we are making light of cruelty.  Not only that but don't you think people know the differene.  We are all guilty of saying mean and hurtful things to people.  Once we realize that we have rang that bell (saying something that we regret), a sincere apology should follow.

Even if we have hurt someone unintentionally we should apologize.  What if we are not sorry?  You know, maybe you said something that needed to be said but it was not in a loving way.  More out of anger?  Once the dust settles you will feel bad but pride may prevent you from apologizing right away (at least that's the way it is for me). 

At that point, give it to God and ask for His guidance and forgiveness.  Sometimes an apology isn't necessary and changing your attitude is all it takes.  Actions can definitely speak louder than words.  If you do apologize, don't continue to make the same mistake.  Eventually your apologies will fall on deaf ears.

I am very bold and outspoken.  That can be good or it can be very bad.  I used to speak w/o thinking which didn't always turn out good.  As I get older, I gain wisdom about bridling my tongue or atleast speak in a loving way. 

......But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
James 1:19 New American Standard

Kidding and joking should be kept to a minimum (unless you are a clown) and never at someone's expense.  You can be funny w/o acting like a fool.  Keep wisdom and knowledge close by.

From my heart to yours,

Starla D Espinoza

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bloggers in God: Just Ask

Hello readers, I just wanted to share my weekly post at Bloggers In God.  It's about taking God at His word.  He told us that all we have to do is ask, but for some reason a lot of us find it difficult to do that.  Take a look and let me know if you are ok with asking God for the desires of your heart.

Bloggers in God: Just Ask: Today's post comes from  Starla  at  Keepin It Real 23  In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Versatile Blogger

Blogger Awards: Blogs that bless me daily

The Versatile Blog Award rules state:
  • Thank the person who gave you this award and include a link to their blog. (Done!)
  • Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself

I received the Versatile Blog Award from two women who I consider to be wonderful sisters in Christ, Salina from State of the Heart and Dawn from The Most Perfect Gift.

Thank you Salina for making me a part of Blogger's in God because you saw something in me that you thought was worth including me.  Your sweet spirit definitely shines through your writing. 
Thank you Dawn for seeing me as someone that you would recommend to your readers.  You're strength and determination is what I feel the most in your writing.
Both of you are sincere women of faith and I'm honored to be associated with you through Blogger's in God
My chosen nominations for the Versatile Blog Award

I follow each of these women because their blogs have blessed me in so many ways.  It's so amazing to see how God flows through such wonderful women.  There are so many more not listed and I value them as well.

Calvary's Love  - Carmen
Everyday Truth  - Lori
Mother of Writing – Margaret
Beholding Glory - Laura
7 Things About Myself

  • I am a song writer who has yet to publish any, but maybe one day
  • I fellowship with several women at my job every Tuesday
  • I have Multiple Sclerosis and I am an advocate for people with MS
  • I taught myself how to play the piano
  • I am a biker (motorcycles that is) but obviously not the stereotypical troublesome type
  • I want to be a motivational speaker
  • I asked my husband what to tell everyone and he says to tell you all that I am brave.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Life Well Lived

In my bible study group we are currently studying the book of Ecclesiastes: A Life Well Lived by Tommy Nelson.

This book is believed to have been written by King Solomon.  Well Solomon or whoever wrote it kept it more real than I ever could.  This entire book isn't very big but the main point is that a life well lived is not one without pain, confusion, or sorrow and the best thing you can do at the end of the day is eat, drink and be merry and realize that you may not understand everything that happens but enjoy life.

You see, just because we don't understand something doesn't mean that God isn't in the picture or that He is punishing us. 

So far, these verses spurred the most reaction and comments:

1:15-What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted.  Hon??? 
The bottom line:  No matter how wise you find yourself to be, you still cannot fix life. 

3:11-He has made everything appropriate in it's time.  He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.  Wow, Solomon was a very deep man. 
The bottom line:  God doesn't reveal certain things too soon because we would give up too soon.  There truly is an appointed time for every event under heaven.  It's not about understanding everything, it's more about trusting God.

4:5-The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.  Hmmm????
Bottom line:  The fool doesn't work at all and consumes his own flesh (starves to death).

Do you feel like as long as you are obedient to God that you will be free from trials and tribulation?  I hope not because that couldn't be further from the truth.  God is not our servant, we are here to serve Him and bring glory to Him.  Things won't always seem fair to us but we don't always see the big picture that God sees.  We only see a snap shot.

Ponder this.  What is the most evil event of human history predestined by God and the best thing to ever happen for man?  The crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  This is an example of an event where evil and pain were necessary for the greater good.  How can we appreciate true joy, if we have never experienced real pain?

The point is, we cannot control life but we can keep hope alive by having faith in God and trusting Him to walk with us through the good times and the bad.

Today ended with Ecclesiastes 5:7.  We meet every Tuesday and next week we will discuss 5:8-6:12: The purpose of money.  Oh that should be fun.  If you read my post titled, Money Comes and Money Goes  then you know what I'm talking about.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Love Is More Powerful Than Death

Death has not won.  Love is more powerful than death.  Love will last forever, for God is love.

These words were spoken by T.D. Jakes at Whitney Houston's funeral.  I love how God spoke such powerful words through T.D. Jakes.  He stated that he knows "it seems like death has won.  How Cain killed Abel and how Noah died even though he survived the flood.  Isaiah and many more from the bible eventually passed away, and death seemed to win.  But 2000 years ago, Jesus came and said hold on death.  I have overcome the world and I have overcome death.  Death will not win and it will not  be the end ."

I grew up listening to every single one of Whitney's songs.  For me and my friends, her voice was the one that we aspired to have.  I remember we used to practice singing "I Believe The Children Are The Future" in my friend Kashae's bedroom, using a brush or a pencil as our microphone.  I never even got close to Whitney's gifted voice but I will always love every song she ever sang.

I know that Whitney struggled with drugs in the past but I also believe that she knew the Lord.  Was it enough to make it to heaven?  I don't know.  I hope so but only God can say for sure.  I think we would be surprised who we might see in heaven.  One thing I do know is I will be there.  When I die, I am confident that I will take my seat at His feet and be blessed.  Yes Lord.

For more about salvation and heaven, see "Salvation Is A Free Gift" and "Every Man For Himself (Woman Too)"

Fellowship At Famous Daves

What an amazing day of fellowship with some very special women in my life.  My Mom planned this day a few months ago.  She wanted as many of our sisters in Christ as possible to meet in Reno for a day of shopping and lunch in Reno, NV.  Saturday started in Hawthorne, where my Mom lives, the small town that I grew up in.  Ten wonderful women packed up the Bethel Baptist 15 passenger church van early that morning, and headed 2 hours East to Reno.  I live in Reno/Sparks, NV so I wasn't with them but I know that van was just as loud and lively as can be.  You see, that's how we act when we know that our day will be spent with Jesus in our midst.  Add shopping and food to the mix and you have an exciting group of women.

I met up with them once they made it to the mall.  It was so good to see every one's faces once again.  From there the plan was to meet up with women that represent several of the local churches in Reno, Sparks and Black Springs, NV.  Perfect Peace, Greater Light Christian Center, Second Baptist and Pilgrim Rest.  We have quite a history.  We meet up with most of these women every August in Lake Tahoe for a weekend retreat.  We have a great relationship with each other.  So after a little shopping (not everyone joined the shopping) we headed to our main destination, Famous Dave's.

Mom, Me, Grandma
That's where the true party got started.  Oh my goodness, believe me when I tell you that we turned Famous Dave's inside out.  That means we got loud, we laughed, we reminisced, we prayed of course and just enjoyed each other's company.  I have to give a shout out to Famous Dave's.  Their service and patience with our group was wonderful and greatly appreciated.  We had such a great time that there was even talk about having a slumber party the next time we meet.  Yes, grown women having a slumber party.  See you don't understand.  The teens ain't got nothin on us cause we grown and we know how to have a party (with Jesus).  We talk so much, I told them we would probably never even sleep.  Actually, the next 3 months are a very busy time of the year so it looks like the slumber party will most likely take place at our next Tahoe retreat.  I'm looking forward to hanging out with everyone again.  Love you all.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stop, Drop, and Pray!

Sometimes it doesn't seem to take much to make me mad.  People who can't drive, (or drive worse than I do).  When things don't go my way, (am I spoiled?).  Having to repeat myself, (by the 3rd time that is).  Etc.....and the list goes on.  Thankfully, the Holy Spirit always intervenes within seconds, (yeah it may take me a minute or 2 (hours that is), to actually listen).  When life throws darts at me, it's time I put up my shield of faith and take some of my own "godly" advice.

STOP, (time out, blow the whistle) and ask myself, "Self, what is really going on?  Is it really that serious?  Will it matter in the next 10 years?"  That question is a great way to put things in perspective.  I should also put on my helmet of salvation (guard my mind and my hard head) and my breastplate of righteousness (basically act like I have some sense).  

DROP it and give it to God ASAP.  I say that I trust Him with every second of my life (at least that's what I tell people).  And I really do trust Him so why do I feel the need to be a back seat driver?  He has already proven time and time again that He can drive much, much better than me.  And please whatever I do, don't speak while I'm upset, (nothing good ever comes out then).  Keep my mouth shut.  I must let it go and keep it movin!

PRAY, and then pray again, then pray some more til I get it right.  If I can't seem to utter anything at the time, I could always ask someone to pray for me.  Now Starla that does NOT mean call someone and start complaining about someone else, (girlfriend you know that is gossip).

Oh, oh I know, one more thing.  PRAISE!  Give God glory for giving me the grace to be able to do anything and all things through Him.

I am a strong woman with thin skin a.k.a. sensitive.  Is that an oxymoron?  I don't know but it could be a dangerous combination.  I act like I don't care what people think about me but honestly, what person doesn't care what people think?   I mean we have to care a little if we want to keep our job, and our friends, and--well you get the drift.

Wow.  Have I really told people to do all these things at one time or another?  It was most likely God telling me what to say. It's great advice so I think I'm going to give it a try.

Ya'll pray for me cause life is not always a box of chocolates and a bowl of cherries.  But that does sound good doesn't it?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oh That Mom Again.....: Life Lessons...

I wanted to share this funny and humbling story by one of my favorite blogger's. I just recently stumbled across her blog a few weeks ago and I have been hooked ever since. There is a lot of humor in her stories and I can definitely relate to her as a mother of 3 daughters. She keeps it real and that's what I like about her.  Please click on the link below and take a moment to read this story, you will not be disappointed.

Oh That Mom Again.....: Life Lessons... What I've Been Putting off Posting...: I've been putting off typing this-- I'm not sure why lol. It's not that I am ashamed of it, but it's easier talking about other people. Rem...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rainbow shines over Washoe Valley

Rainbow Shines Over Washoe Valley
The Washoe Drive fire that started yesterday 1/19 at noon out here in Reno, NV is about 65% contained. Close to 34 homes have been lost in the fire and a 93 year old woman died. A man has come forward and admitted to improperly disposing of fireplace ashes.

Someone took this wonderful picture today and when I saw this on the news, it really touched my heart. It reminds me of how faithful God is to all his promises. His power is made perfect in our weakness, our trials, and our pain. This rainbow is hope for all affected by this fire.

To the families that have lost their homes, this world is not our permanent home. I encourage you to look to God for restoration of all that has been lost. We don't realize just how resilient we are until we face a trial like this. All is not lost so don't lose hope.

To the family of the 93 year old woman that died, the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

To the man who may have caused this fire, the faces of those who look to the Lord are never covered with shame. Surely this was an accident and if you cry out to the Lord, He will hear you and deliver you from trouble. You have already taken a giant leap by coming forward.

To the firefighters, I have prayed for your safety and protection all day as you work to put this fire out.  Thank you for all you have done thus far.

For those that would like to offer help, do what you can and pray for God to do the rest. I personally feel like whatever amount I choose to donate is not enough but I pray for God to increase whatever I give ten fold and I know He will.