Last weekend we got to witness a beautiful wedding, it was such an honor to be part of this union mainly because we’ve known the couple for many years and we have seen them grow and embrace the process of waiting.
Jean Pierre married his sweetheart Denisse after 9 years since they first fixed their eyes on each other, the waiting process was inevitable as they were only 12 and 14 years old at the time. The Wait was the hardest yet the most rewarding process they have gone through in their relationship but it was time and their willingness to wait, that proved it was true love.
As youth pastors together with my husband we have been able to witness many beautiful love stories unfold, but we have also witness terrible heartbreaks that could have been easily been avoided.
In this blog I want to share with you 4 important things to consider so you can make it to the altar and build a family that honors God.
Marriage was never a human idea, it was God’s idea to bring a suitable helper to Adam.
Genesis 2:18 NIV
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
We never read about Adam complaining to God about not having anyone to share his life with, it was God that saw Adam and knew it was time to bring that special someone into his life, and that’s when Eve came into the picture.
Unfortunately we live in times where teens decide for themselves it is not good for me to be alone, therefore I will choose a suitable someone just to keep me company, and with that mentality they end up sharing life with many girlfriends or boyfriends and that’s the reason why society has many problems such as: Sexual Transmitted Diseases, Abortions, Single Mums, Divorces and the list goes on. The root of the problem is “People are not willing to wait till Marriage”
“It is not easy but its worth it”
We can see that when God brought Eve to Adam, he was busy, working and looking after the garden where he was planted.
While you wait, let God work in your heart, study and learn as much as you can, prepare yourself for the future. Ask yourself as a man what will you offer to your future wife? don’t tell me “your six pack” that won’t feed your children and as a wife what will you offer to your future husband? Physical Beauty is not the same as character, that’s what you need to build a stable marriage. Also remember we choose to be faithful to our future spouse from the time we are waiting. IT IS WORTH IT!
2. THE SAME VISION FOR THE FUTURE
This is very important, before you consider marriage with someone you gotta make sure you are both on the same page with regards to your future, otherwise this will bring many problems. Consider things like your relationship with God, one could be so into God and want to be involved serving in church and the other not, believe me there is trouble ahead, also you might want to wait till marriage to initiate a sexual relationship and the other person might be in a hurry to speed things up, if he or she are not willing to wait, run for your life!
When you first develop feelings for someone, pray specifically about that situation, asking God to bring clarity in your mind and heart so you don’t make decisions based on emotions but based on God’s guidance. When someone is infatuated, it is really difficult for that person to make the right decision.
Remember getting married is one of the most important decisions in our lives, we can’t risk to go wrong that’s why it is so important to get GOD involved from the beginning.
“A women’s heart should be so
lost in God, that a man must
seek Him in order to find her”
4. SEEK GUIDANCE
“Tell your parents and Spiritual Mentor”
Hear their thoughts, be ready to obey, whatever their instruction is, it might not be easy at the beginning but it’ll be worth it in the end. If for any reason they don’t like the person, but you know it’s God’s will for you, then rest on that, knowing that God will change your parents heart about the person. Just because he has already shown you. However knowing that a person is the right person for you, doesn’t give you the right to disobey your parents, God will make the situation right at his perfect timing.
I would like to end this blog by saying that if you have made mistakes, whether getting involved in wrong relationships, or engaging in sexual activities before marriage, God is a God of second opportunities and I know he wants to help you to get it right.
Remember “Waiting is not easy, but it is worth it”
Maribel Ravelo x
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Here are some pictures from the wedding we attended recently.
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I recently came across a beautiful video that was truly inspiring and I wanted to share it with with you.
Deaf Singer Mandy Harvey Wows America’s Got Talents judges with a beautiful original song “Try”.
Mandy Harvey is a twenty nine year old singer, that lost her hearing when she was 18, she was asked by Simon Cowell how did she loose her hearing and she explained “I have a connective tissue disorder, so basically I got sick and my nerves deteriorated”.
Mandy had been singing since she was a little girl, but kind of gave up after losing her hearing. After some time she realized she wanted to come back to what she was passionate about, and that was music. Before she sang, she took her shoes off to feel the tempo and beat of the music through the floor of the stage.
Truly amazing, this is is just one of those amazing stories about not giving up despite the circumstances.
Watch the video here and be inspired with such a beautiful story.
Maribel Ravelo x
P.S: Connect with me on Instagram 😊
Christmas is here and this means there is an amazing opportunity to do lots of things and share beautiful moments with our loved ones.
If you live in London or if you are coming to visit at some point during this season then this blog is for you.
During the Christmas Season, London has so many places, activities and shows that we can enjoy with our friends or family.
1. Winter Wonderland
Located at Hyde Park, “Winter Wonderland” is a must go to place, this year is lot bigger with much more attractions for adults and children.
Attractions like Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, The Nutcracker on Ice, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, The Sooty Christmas Show and the Giant Observation Wheel plus for the first time in the UK “The Munich Looping” the world’s largest roller coaster.
Winter Wonderland will be open from Friday 18th November until Monday 2nd January, 10am – 10pm everyday. FREE ENTRY but if you want to attend one of the shows you must buy tickets. (Make sure you buy tickets in advance to avoid disappointment on the day you go).
2. Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park
We visited this place last year and look forward to visiting again this year, it’s absolutely beautiful.
A park where you can see the trees transformed with special lights is a truly magical sight, the route can be completed in less than an hour.
Open until Sunday 4th December.
Doors open at 5.00pm, last entry at 8.00pm and lights off at 9.00pm
Children £3.00 (3yrs – 16yrs incl).
3. Christmas at Kew Gardens
The Gardens become a magical after dark experience, with bright coloured laser lights dancing over water, a Tunnel of Lights, scented Fire Garden and fairy-tale avenues of flora. It is truly a beautiful place to visit during this season and it’s a place that all the family can enjoy.
Event dates: Wednesday 23 November – Monday 2 January (not open 28, 29 November, 5, 6, 12, 13, 24 and 25 December 2016)
Event times: Timed entrance between 5pm and 8.15pm
You need to book well in advance to secure the date and entry time of your choice.
4. Disney on Ice Frozen
Frozen has become part of the family, I’m sure parents can relate. Frozen on Ice offers you to be magically whisked away to wintry Arendelle by dazzling special effects and astonishing skating as you sing and dance along to inspiring songs including “Let It Go.” Join sisters Anna and Elsa, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff and Sven, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all! This unforgettable celebration of love and friendship will leave the family with memories to last a lifetime. Experience the Full Story – Live on Ice!
Event Dates: 21st Dec – 30th Dec 2016 at The O2.
5. Coca Cola Truck Tour
Dates and Locations in London:
The O2 Greenwich, London – 3rd Dec
The O2 Greenwich, London – 4th Dec
London Eye, London – 18th Dec
Leicester Square, London – 20th Dec
Access is FREE!
6. Lego Store
A new place to enjoy as a family this Christmas is the largest LEGO Brand Retail Store in the World that was recently opened here in London.
A LEGO Big Ben has been built with more than 200,000 bricks and taking an estimated total of 2,280 hours to complete, the brick-built replica will be the world’s largest version of the famous Elizabeth Tower built by the LEGO Group.
Located in Leicester Square and opening from 10am – 10pm. The great news is that it won’t be opened just for Christmas so you can visit at any other time too.
7. ICE SKATING IN LONDON
A trip to an ice rink during this season is a must even if it is just for the views alone.
Here is a list of just a few ice rinks you can visit:
Opening hours: Daily 10am-6pm
Nearest Tube: Temple, Charing Cross, Covent Garden.
Price from £7.50
•Natural History Museum
Opening hours: Daily 10am-5.50pm (last admission 5.30pm)
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Price: From £12.65
•Tower of London
Opening hours: 9am–5.30pm Tue–Sat; 10am–5.30pm Sun–Mon
Nearest Tube: Tower Hill; DLR: Tower Gateway
I Hope this blog is useful for you so you can plan ahead for the holidays.
And more than planning activities let’s enjoy this wonderful time as family and let’s celebrate the real meaning of CHRISTmas!
I recently came across a wonderful story, one from which we can learn a few things from.
There is a TV program in the USA called, “Undercover Boss” in which the CEO of a company starts working as if he was one of the employees, to check what really goes on in his company/ business on a day to day basis. In this story the CEO meets one of his employees and he’s left with a huge burden, in his heart to help her.
A few lessons here:
1. The employee’s living conditions, were never an excuse for her, not to do her best at her work place.
2. Encouragement through difficult moments
Even when the employee was having a hard time living the way she was, she was still encouraging someone else, giving him hope and believing for the best.
3. The Power of going the Extra Mile
The employee was training her boss without realizing it; the way she tells him how she loves her job and the company… She was doing her best and it was this that opened a door for a supernatural promotion and a lovely surprise at the end!
If there is a skill that will certainly open doors for you everywhere you go: it’s when you go the extra mile, when you do more than what’s expected from you!
Watch the video Undercover Boss and be encouraged with such a beautiful story.
Genesis 15:5 NLT
“Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
ACHIEVE IT !
The first time God took someone to visualize what He wanted to do, was when God promised Abram that He was going to have many descendants, in order to help Abram believe, God took him outside to visualize and count the stars.
Every year I begin praying to God, placing before Him my dream board for the year ahead, as the word says:
Proverbs 16:3 NIV
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Praying and declaring God’s perfect will over my life and everything we do as a family, believing that God always has the very best for our lives.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
A New Year is a New Beginning! We all need fresh starts, and what a great opportunity when we start a new year. It is a new opportunity to achieve new goals and dreams, to leave the past behind and fix our eyes into God’s plans for our lives.
What is a Dream Board?
Is a collage of images representing your dreams. It can range from places you want to go, things you want to have and goals you want to achieve, all of these displayed in a way that you can keep in front of you daily as a reminder of what you are dreaming and believing for.
You can make a dream board on paper or a wooden board, a notebook or even on your smartphone or iPad, whatever is easier for you!
Proverbs 21:5 NLT
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
When I look back at the great things the Lord has allowed me to achieve I realize that all of them have been a prayer petition displayed on my dream board, and I can only be thankful to God as He’s done even more of what I have dreamt for.
Ephesians 3:20 NIV
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”
What things to Include in your New Year Dream Board:
God: Devotional, Prayer, Preaching, Reading, Studying
Marriage & Family: Schedule Time with your loved ones, creating new memories, holidays, Date Nights with your spouse.
Ministry / Mission / Calling: Your service to God involves helping people. Who and How are you going to help this year?
Finances: Budget, Giving, Savings, Investments.
Professional Goals: Studies, career or business.
Personal Goals: Traveling, lose weight, driving license, learning a new skill.
I encourage you to make your dream board, pray and put all those dreams in the hands of our Heavenly Father, and declare His perfect will over your life and everything you do.
Please remember our most important goal is to pursue the Presence of God, He delights in being with you and it is in that secret place that battles are won.
Psalms 65:11 NLT
“You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.”
Today I want to honour a very special man, The Father of My Daughter!
I grew up without a dad, and when I came to know JESUS I realized how much I missed not having a dad with me. I really wanted my children to grow with a Dad, and have what I didn’t.
Nowadays we have people growing up without dads, others have dads but they actually live as if they don’t because they don’t get involved in their lives, and the ones that have their dads truly taking responsibility of their role as a father.
It’s interesting to note, that many of the problems that society is going through right now with regards to kids causing trouble, they all have something in common, “most of them come from fatherless homes”
A FATHER BRINGS SECURITY, PROTECTION AND STABILITY!
If you have your Father, love him, cherish him, appreciate him; if you don’t have your father let me tell you about the most wonderful dad you could ever have, our “Heavenly Father” let Him show you the most powerful LOVE you could ever know.
I want go give a big shout to all the single mum’s out there and say thank you for being courageous and doing the best you can for your children, rest in the fact that God can be a great dad to your child and He will guide you to make the best decisions for your child.
A Big thank you to My Husband David, for being an amazing Dad to our little princess. Thank you for the hugs, kisses, play time, that you give to your daughter, thank you for the provision of love, protection, and guidance you bring into our home.
Your Queen and little princess love you more than words can express!
A Father is: “A daughter’s first Love”
HAPPY FATHERS DAY!
(Photography by: http://www.luzandeli.co.uk)
The Past is Gone
You can’t start a new chapter
if you keep reading the last one!
1. LEAVE MISTAKES BEHIND
Did you fall? Let it go
Did you do something you regret? Let it go!
Did you love someone that didn’t love you back? Let them go
Did you give something precious to someone that didn’t value it? Let it go
Did you help somebody that didn’t deserve your best? Let it go
Did you give your best to someone that betrayed you? Let it go
Did you open the doors of your home to someone that left talking badly about you? Let it go
Don’t stay stuck in your past, learn from it and carry on…!
Just like the Disney Movie “Frozen”
JUST LET IT GO AND DON’T KEEP TORMENTING YOURSELF!
2. LEAVE THE HURT BEHIND
We all have been hurt
We all have hurt someone too
We all need to forgive
We all need to ask for forgiveness too!
“We can’t change the past,
But we can change the future’
Let go of the pain
Let go of the bitterness
Let go of the unforgiveness
Let go of that feeling of revenge!
Don’t let what has happened to you stop you from reaching your purpose. Don’t let that painful situation be an excuse for you not to have a great life. We don’t have control of things that happened to us but we can control how we react to them.
Your mess can become a great message of hope and restoration to others.
“Every difficult situation you have gone through has the potential to make you
BITTER or BETTER, it’s your choice”
3. LEAVE PEOPLE BEHIND
We don’t like to think about leaving people behind but unfortunately as much we don’t like it there are people that don’t add anything to you and not only that, they are being an obstacle for you to continue growing and advancing.
I’m talking about negative people, gossipers, discouragers and trouble makers not only with their words but their attitudes too. Maybe you can’t leave these people behind because they are part of your family but you will probably need to spend less time with them at least until they change their attitude.
Proverbs 13:20 NLT
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble”.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO MEDITATE ON YOUR PAST, MAKE SURE IS TO REMEMBER THE WONDERFUL THINGS THE LORD HAS DONE FOR YOU!
5. “I am thirsty” John 19:28
When he said he was thirsty, he was offered sour wine a cheap beverage common among lower class people during Jesus time.
“Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst.” (Psalms 69:20-21 NLT)
When we are thirsty, we are desperate, we can’t think of anything else other than to calm that thirst. That’s the type of thirst we should have for the presence of God in our lives.
Psalms 42:2 NKJV “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
6. “It is finished” John 19:30
Jesus knew his purpose, He knew his mission on earth. He didn’t come to waste time or leave things half way done. It wasn’t easy, but He made it!
Despite the pain, the obstacles, the anguish, the fear… He was quiet during his ordeal…
In His Silence He whispered:
“I LOVE YOU”,
so you don’t live in failure,
so you don’t live with resentment,
so you don’t live in guilt,
so you don’t live in chains,
so you can experience the greatest freedom a human being can have,
so you can live with joy,
so you can freely love,
so you can worship and serve Him!
“When the enemy tries to bring you down, just remind him:
7. “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands” Luke 23:46
The best person to give our lives to is to God. He’s in control of everything and He knows best, we have to let go and let God ‘take the wheel’. We can truly live when we give our lives to the GIVER OF LIFE.
Remember, it is very unfair for Jesus, a man without sin to have died on the cross, but His greatest victory is our victory… HE DIDN’T STAY ON THE CROSS…
SUNDAY IS COMING!!!
Easter time is not about eggs, the real reason behind this celebration is the greatest act of love… A man named Jesus gave his life on a cross, so you and I can have the opportunity to reach eternal life!
The Last Words of Jesus on the Cross
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they’re doing” Luke 23:34
Forgiveness is the most powerful thing we can do to ourselves, it is not easy but it is necessary in order for us to experience a life in peace and away from bitterness.
We can not live our lives stuck to the past, in order for us to move forward we must forgive with all of our heart. Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling! We will never feel like forgiving anyone but it is crucial to forgive if we desire to advance ahead!
2. HEAVEN IS REAL
“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” Luke 23:43
Heaven is Real and so is hell! Where you spend eternity is your decision! It is not about works, salvation is by faith alone, our works are just the evidence that I have given my life to Jesus and I embrace heaven as my eternal destiny.
“My home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” Billy Graham
3. HONOR YOUR PARENTS
“Dear woman, here is your son.” (John 19:26)
Up until the last moments of Jesus life, He showed concern by leaving his mother.
In this declaration of “Dear Woman, here is your son” he was saying, I know you are suffering by seeing me dying, I will leave someone to look after you in my place…
Everything looks like it was “His beloved disciple” someone he trusted to take care of his mum now that He was leaving.
4. HAVE YOU FELT ABANDONED?
“My God, My God, why have you abandoned me ?” Mark 15:34
We have all felt abandoned at some point in our lives. Jesus knows the feeling. He felt abandoned by His Heavenly Father, but this needed to happen as Jesus was paying for the sins of humanity, the Father had to separate his love from him. It was indeed very unfair for Jesus who had never committed sin.
Jesus wasn’t only abandoned, He was also betrayed by someone very close to him. The person who betrayed him, was eating from his same plate. This would only happen with someone who is special to you not just anyone. It has to be someone who is close and dear to your heart for you to eat from the same plate as them. However It is truly amazing that withstanding the fact Jesus knew this person would betray him, he did not hold back from feeding him.
He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. Matthew 26:23 NLT
If you are hurt, or perhaps feeling abandoned or betrayed by someone you love and someone you trust, I want you to know that Jesus understands! He wants to restore you and heal your heart! It is Only Jesus that can heal our broken hearts!
SUNDAY IS COMING!
Along with my husband and my little girl we visited the “Cinderella Exhibition presented by Swarovski” in London… It was truly beautiful, specially the glass slipper all made by Swarovski crystals, it was absolutely stunning!
We have also watched the latest Cinderella movie, and I totally recommend it. The love story between a prince and a common girl is truly inspiring… It inspires you to dream of your very own prince charming!
There are a few outstanding messages, that are very edifying, that we can see within the storyline of the film:
Courage: Be Strong, Persevere, Don’t Give Up!
Courage is something we all need in life, I’m sure many of you know this powerful phrase “Be Strong & Courageous” that is the advice God gives to Joshua in taking the leading position with the people of Israel.
There are many moments in life when we need to just be courageous despite of, the fear and doubt we might be experiencing. Courage, doesn’t mean you have it all figured out, it means that in the midst of adversity you continue going forward no matter what!
Have you ever met someone that shows kindness constantly? How does a kind person make you feel?
Kindness opens doors wherever we go, someone who is kind is likeable and everyone feels at ease around that person! Kindness has to do with being peaceful, if you’re not peaceful you are unable to show kindness.
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle which you know nothing about, Be Kind at all times”.
When someone is having a hard day, the act of kindness of someone can brighten up their day, let us not underestimate the power of acts of kindness in our every day life.
Kindness starts at home, with those that we love. It is interesting to note that many people complain that their spouses tend to be very attentive and kind outside the home and forget to show the same kindness at home. This should not happen in our families, we should be an example of love and kindness first with our own families.
“Forgiveness means giving freedom to a prisoner, and that prisoner is you”
Forgiveness is the key to a healthy emotional and physical life, where there is forgiveness, there is love, and where there is love, there is harmony, and where there is harmony, there is peace and where there is peace, people can rest.
Many times in our lives we need to ask for forgiveness, we need to be forgiven and we need to forgive in order to be able to enjoy life, forgiveness must be a lifestyle. We are all humans, we make mistakes, and even though we love people we also hurt people many times unintentionally.
Someone once said: “Marriage is the union of two forgivers” and it’s totally true. A happy home is not one without mistakes, it’s one where forgiveness and love abounds.
4. The truth will always prevail!
Whatever challenges or obstacles we might face in life, we must choose always to stand firm on the truth.
The truth may sometimes hurt for a while, but it is better to cry with the truth than to laugh with a lie. No relationship can succeed based on lies, the truth will always set you free, you won’t be afraid or worried trying to fake something that’s not real if you always decide to stick with the truth… It may be harder to say the truth, but it’s safer for our loved ones.
Why did I give the title of “Cinderella & Marriage” to this blog? Because these four characteristics must be present in a marriage in order to succeed.
Many couples put so much effort into preparing for their wedding, but in reality what needs the most effort and attention is the marriage itself and life after the honeymoon!
When we see in movies the moment where the main characters can finally be together; it ends up saying “They lived happily ever after” but in real life, having a happy marriage can only be achieved when the presence of God is invited to stay in that home.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG)
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t rebel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
Some of the pictures at The Cinderella Exhibition:
“Once Upon a Time” Beautiful Dress with Swarovski Crystals…