Never Give Up

Our six year old princess, Starr recently graduated from Kindergarten. It was a great joy for all of us to see her beautiful smile as she donned her pink cap and gown. Kindergarten was not an easy feat for Starr, nor for her teacher(s). Her neurologist believes that she has several brain seizures each minute which causes a delay in her learning comprehension.
We chose to not allow the neurologist’s diagnosis determine Starr’s potential. We were sure to complete all required tests and to keep each appointment; yet determined to see Starr become all of what God created her to be. It is very easy to make these types of statements, but extremely difficult to see its fulfillment. Although it was hard, Starr completed her Kindergarten requirements.
I sat on her bed a few days ago just to give thanks to God for His amazing ability to make everything work together for good. In the midst of thanking Him, I noticed her reading words taped to the wall. All I could do was thank Him more because she effortlessly reads them now. There were so many days when I just wanted to give up!
Those words on the wall reminded me of the many times in life that I just wanted to throw in the towel. They reminded me of the days that I believed that I couldn’t take it any more. They reminded me of the moments when life seemed to unbearable to take just one more step. Yet, in the midst of all of those memories where the sweet reminders of His grace through it all. He has never let me go and He never will.
I’m so glad that I have not given up on my Savior. I’m so thrilled that the Dominguez household has decided to continue down this path of righteousness. I pray that you too will choose to keep going.

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A Quiver of Joy

Our household was very busy this summer as several teams from the United States came to volunteer in our ministry H.O.P.E Dominican Republic.  Our house buzzed early in the mornings as our guests worshiped our Savior with us, then joined us in our dining room for breakfast. We thought that the excitement would wear down once the teams went back home, but somehow we forgot that our home is usually full of adventure.

Ten of us live here! Ten people with various personalities, ideas, hopes and dreams. Ten different people who are all united by the same One who knits us together. Jonathan is our counselor who is constantly analyzing and giving us practical advice. Selina truly is our joy, she keeps us laughing when we want to cry and her creativity reminds us of our generous and loving Father God. Jose can intellectualize anything and make you wonder if you have any sense! Josue is our fighter who does not give up on anything! Ruben Jr. loves to try new things and is great with people. Josiah has always determined to be more mature than his age, you will normally find him amidst the young adults while his age group is playing elsewhere. Starr is our courageous Evangelist, she has no problem confronting non-believers and letting them know that there is an eternity that burns. Solimar is just what her name declares, the sun and the sea. She shines the light of God’s Son, Jesus all around and refreshes with the water of His presence. Ruben Sr. is our hard working example. He often goes to bed late and wakes up early to meet the needs of those he serves. Vicki just tries to manage all of these people and in doing so reaps many benefits of building strong relationships with each one.

Our quiver is definitely full of joy! We have taken a stand together during gut wrenching hard times and we’ve enjoyed one another in the good times.  I have heard that a quiver holds arrows. I must admit that the Dominguez household is full of many arrows that will shoot into this world to bring transformation to all they touch. We already see this happening as several young men have come forward to accept Christ as their Savior because of the example they see in the lives of our twins. Many girls see a new way of life now because of Selina’s commitment to lead them each week. Ruben Jr. and Josiah have influenced others at the pool where they play water polo. Jonathan is giving a group of young people a different view of life as he leads them each week. Even our youngest Starr and Solimar are shining the light of Christ everywhere they go. I would say that these arrows are already doing their job. They each go after the enemy in the way that their Master shoots them and succeed at diminishing his lies.

No matter how many you have in quiver, choose today to dedicate them to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and you will see great results in their lives and in yours as well.

The Spirit of Truth

God stands at arms length and calls mankind. He beckons us to come. He opens His arms, He reaches out His hands and He begs us to come. He longs for us to come.
As we respond to His call, He takes us to a deep place. He draws us into His arms, He wraps us in His love and He beckons u to be free.
He exposes our secrets in His presence and strips us of who we’ve made ourselves to be. We must bear the pain of His stripping as He scourges us with the hyssop of His love. Yes, it is His love that purges us. It is His love that travels deep into the anguish of our souls and says, “Be free.”
It is His love that determines who we are. It is His love that breathes life into every inch of the death that surrounds us and engulfs us. His love that painfully prunes us in order to re-make us.
As we stand completely bare before His throne, His Truth draws us to the lies that rule us. His Truth overpowers the untruths that guided us and with one word sets us free!
He then covers our nudity with His clothing. He dresses us with His power and with His dignity and with His Truth. He places His garments upon our wounded and defiled bodies. He causes us to be His and to abide in His presence every moment of each day.
He sets us free to soar on His wings. We won’t fly without Him. The power of His breath causes us to run in this wild world. We can’t run without Him. The peace of His presence brings us rest as we wait on Him. We can’t rest without Him. He becomes all of who we are. He is who we are. We become His dwelling place. Wounded, broken and torn to pieces yet He chooses to abide within us. Thus mankind becomes His arms, legs, feet and hands.
We can now bring this same deliverance to others. He frees us to set others free. He loves them through us. We are His body, we wear His clothing. We speak His words. We were set free with a purpose. We were set free in order to set others free. Freedom always comes with a price. Death is usually the cost of freedom. One life for another. Let’s not forget that our very life is tied up in our death. How will we truly live if we are not willing to die? The price of a soul is expensive, but well worth it. Didn’t someone die for you? He allows the death in order to bring us to new life.
Allow His Spirit of Truth to bring you to a new place of healing. He stands near and He draws, will you respond?

Living Up to His Standard

Life is full of choices, yet our heavenly Father tells us which choice to make; “Choose life,” He says, “so you may live.” Isn’t it interesting that our very life depends upon us making the right choice!
Each day is full of options as we press on to obey Him. As we hear His voice, He expects us to respond. The path that we take truly determines where we will end up.
Our family has chosen the narrow path. The way that is “hard to find” and crowded with obstacles. The amazing grace of Jesus clears the route as we consistently choose to follow Him. His way is not always the easy way, but is the right way. As a pastor that I truly love would say, “Its tight, but its right!”
The realities of this world would try to cloud the road before us, but our savior gives us the strength to stand. Even to stand alone. Most times we stand alone, but we stand. We do all we know to do, therefore, He gives us the fortitude to move on.
There is no backing down for those who are called to fight in His army. No giving up for those who live to hear His words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
As we all live for our King, let us truly live for Him. Let’s allow our lives to shine so that those around us will have no other choice, but to be drawn to this light.
He has comforted me lately with these words from Matthew 19, “ And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
So, we have decided to find comfort and joy in His words of truth. I pray that you would also live your life to His fullest.

Priorities

Death has been a constant companion these days. Ruben has visited several bereaved families this month. Some in his own family have passed away as well. Sadly, a respected acquaintance of Jonathan breathed her last breath yesterday.
Sometimes our constant movement of activities make it difficult to stop. Taking a break seems like a dream that consistently looms out of reach.
As we view the sad reality of death, we must stop for a minute to re-evaluate our own lives. A very wise pastor friend recently reminded us of life’s priorities. Are we truly placing God first? Do we really give our spouse our best? Are our children undoubtedly sure and confident of our love for them?
We shouldn’t have to come to a place of “burnout” (as I’ve recently experienced) to remember that life does not have to consist of activity. It’s not an easy concept for one like me to just sit. There are times when my mind just won’t stop going, kind of like the “energizing bunny”! Yet, even I need to stop. We all need to slow down a little to ensure that our priorities are in order. Most times, anxiety comes because we are not doing what we should, when we should! We are often the very cause of our problems.
I’m truly on a journey. Truthfully, I’m on an excursion that will lead me closer to my Father. I’m inviting you to join me on this path of living out what I know is right and true. This adventure of ensuring that my relationship with God continues to grow will guarantee my maturity in Him. This path of ensuring that my husband’s needs are met in a loving and timely manner will cause my uniqueness as a woman to shine! This lifelong road of nurturing, caring for, loving and guiding my children will make me wiser.
Our household bursts with activity! We worship and pray here. We search for Godly wisdom as we seek His word here. We enhance academically as we study here. We pour out God’s love on others as we minister here. We love on one another as a family as we play together here. The ministry that we lead keeps us on our toes as we are determined to bring H.O.P.E to the Dominican Republic!
I truly hope that you enjoy looking into our lives and I pray that we can offer you a bit of encouragement as we pursue a deeper walk with Jesus Christ each day.
In the face of many leaving this earth these days, we determine to uphold our standard of living out the words of our King. Ruben Sr., Vicki, Jonathan, Selina, Jose, Josue, Ruben Jr., Joshia, Starr and Solimar all love our Master and desire to serve Him with all we’ve got! And we pray that you will do the same!