Seek The Truth

by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning, Christian Author

Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me," and "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 14:2; 3:16-17)

Seek The Truth - by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning, Christian Author

God, the Shepherd

This entry is part 11 of 23 in the series Christianity

If you find it hard to think of God as a loving father, then think of Him as the Good Shepherd.

If you’ve ever been in Chandler, AZ in the winter, you may have noticed herds of sheep in various fields. They winter in the valley and in the spring they’re herded up to Mogollon Rim or the White Mountains pastures. They take the Heber-Reno Sheep Driveway established in 1918 covering about 6 miles a day. 

The shepherds are responsible for every single sheep in the herd. If one wanders off, someone has to go after it. 

Jesus said, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” ~Matthew 18:12-14

Back in the mid ‘80s, I was a tour escort on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. One week, I had the largest group ever – 28 people. Any more than that, they would have sent a second escort to help. One day, I was trying to gather all 28 people at a given time in downtown Caracas, Venezuela after an hour or so of shopping. Every time I’d try to take a head count, a couple of folks would see something interesting and wander off. I’d run and get them back and two more would slip away into a shop. It was like herding sheep. 

When I read that passage from Matthew, I think about that experience and how God loves us so much that He’ll care about the sheep that wander off or the ones that are lost. 

The most comforting Bible passage is one that is as popular as the Lord’s Prayer: the 23rd Psalm, it’s first line alone can reassure you in times of trouble. 

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 

Keep saying that aloud, over and over again and you’ll be comforted. 

Additional Reading:
Isaiah 40:11
Psalm 23:1-6
John 10:1-21
Hebrews 13:20-21
Ezekiel 34:1-31

Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author

Trust God – It Works

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series Trusting God
Trust God – It Works
Unemployed for 2 years. A lot of people these days can relate to that. It started in September of 2008. By November I ran out of money and with other issues piling up, I was depressed. You can read all about it in Up the Down Escalator
Now, I’m gainfully employed and a novel I wrote won 2nd prize in the Women of Faith Writing Contest. How did I get from depression to being so blessed? By trusting God. 
It wasn’t easy. Patience is not one of my strong suits, but it is a fruit of the Spirit and you’ll get it if you ask for it. (Galatians 5:16-25) 
I put my job search, my money woes and all the other problems in God’s hands. 
The hardest part was with each rejection letter – “Thank you for applying, but we’ve decided to hire someone else…” Now, I know full well that I’m qualified, talented, creative and one of God’s creations, but you can’t help but think, “Did I say something wrong? Did I do something wrong? What could I have said differently?” You start second guessing yourself and you end up in a funk. 
It usually took me a couple of hours after a rejection to get out of the funk. Not like I wasn’t used to rejections. As an author, you send out query letters to agents and publishers and you get rejection after rejection. But it’s different when it’s something you’ve created vs. yourself. 
What go me through was saying, “Ok, God, You know my situation, You know my needs. I put everything at Your feet.” 
I kept reading passages like, Romans 5:3-6, 1 Peter 5:6, James 1:12, and Philippians 4:4-7. And I knew that everything would be alright in God’s time frame, not mine. I thanked God for everything I had – from the roach-infested apartment (it was a roof over my head with electricity and running water – more than other people had) to food and for my church family. 
In October, a friend invited me to the Women of Faith Conference and in the program, there was an ad for the Writing Contest. It was free to enter, so I did. And I forgot about it. 
I got a job, finally, working for a nice Christian doing what I do best – marketing. (See God knew the right position for me.)
In Feb. I found out that my novel was in top 30 finalists. Wow. March 1, the winners would be announced. 
I was blown away when I saw that I won 2nd prize – a full publishing package with Westbow publishers (a division of Thomas Nelson – yeah, the big Christian publishing house.)
It’s all God’s doing. He gave me the talent and the inspiration to write the story. He led me to a great church family (First Christian Church of Phoenix) and through His Word (a light unto my path…), I’m blessed beyond belief! 
So, to anyone who’s facing some tough times, trust God – it Works!
Soli Deo Gloria
Giselle Aguiar

Giving in to the Will of God

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Trusting God

I haven’t posted anything in a while because I’ve been moving. I’m losing my house where I’ve lived for the past 3.5 years. I got it for $79,000 and it’s now up for short sale at $18,500.

I had to choose between paying for my own health insurance (since I no longer qualified for Medicaid because of the extra $25/week of Unemployment I get from Obama’s stimulus plan). That $200/month had to come from somewhere and that was my forbearance payment on my mortgage.

So I had to fall back to my first “worse-comes-to-worse scenario” from last year when I first lost my job (read Up the Down Escalator)– moving in to my friend’s spare bedroom in her small condo in North Phoenix. It’s tight. Most of my stuff is in storage. But it’s in a better neighborhood with a nice pool and close to the major highways.

On the brighter side, I did land a freelance writing gig at which is a site for local major cities with different topics. I’m in the Religion and Spirituality section writing for singles. For singles in the Greater Phoenix Valley, there are lists of links to local singles groups, things to do, places looking for volunteers and other websites offering advice. Please check it out even if you’re not in Phoenix. The articles apply to singles anywhere. Please pick me as your “favorite Examiner” or “subscribe” and that’ll help get me to the top of the list. Right now, the top “Examiner” in Phoenix is the UFO one. There’s something wrong with that.

I’m still in need of a permanent job as are many others out there. But with God’s help and the support of my Church Family (read Benefits of a Church Family), I can overcome anything that life throws at me.

I put my life in God’s hands and trust that He knows what’s best for me. I let him guide and lead me.

“I still have a rock to hold to if the bottom drops. Out here on my own, I won’t be alone. I’ll be believing.”  (From “I’ll Be Believing” by Point of Grace – “24” CD ).

Consider it pure joy, my [friends], whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
~ James 1:2-4

God Bless,

Phoenix Singles Examiner

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