>A Little Piece of My Life


I thought I would share today a piece of my life with you in the form of a letter…
Dearest Friend,
How grateful I am for you today; I give thanks to my God for friends who encourage me to walk in the faith like you do.
I am very happy this day because in Mexico, we celebrate Mother’s Day today, yes, we celebrate it every May 10th. My children woke me up with kisses and hugs, with cards and words that filled my eyes with tears. I am grateful also because my mom is coming today to have a nice lunch with us. My little one, who longs to grow to be a chef, will be cooking for us some cannelloni, filled with ricotta cheese and spinach. We are looking forward to that!
My oldest son will have this morning a presentation of his senior thesis on his online school.  Have I told you how much we have been blessed by this online school? Yes, I am sure I have told you that before; having godly teachers influencing our children is a wonderful gift, one that we don’t take for granted. I pray our son will do a great job; he has been preparing himself for this all year round. My prayer is that God may help him to grow into a man who uses his words wisely and to bring glory to God.
This week is also our daughter’s 16th birthday! I am so proud of her; being the mom of such a precious young lady is my joy. She loves her family, is very patient with her sister and loves photography; in fact Daddy bought her a new camera for her birthday which she is already using. You can see this beautiful picture she took on Sunday to celebrate motherhood.
Annie Pliego Photograhy
As you may recall I joined a wonderful project in January entitled Partner 2 Remember in which we devoted ourselves to memorize the epistle of Paul to the Philippians. I tried to keep you posted on my advanced, but while I was working behind the scenes in the Doctrines in the Kitchen series, I did not write about this project. Well, let me tell you with great joy that I did memorize Philippians! I could not believe it did happen! Oh my dear friend, I must tell you how many times I thought I would not accomplish it, but God who is rich in mercy had mercy on me and helped me to persevere. He even put friends on my way to pray for me like Mrs. Hankins, who proved to be a faithful friend. Now I can taste the fruits of a hard labor and Oh,  how sweet they are! I am still reviewing my memory project, so you will see me carrying my little Moleskine at all times with me! I encourage you, as I have done in the past, to start doing this; to start working hard to fill your heart and mind with the Word of God, our only sure hope in a world that hates Him.
Well, this week I just started to memorize a new book of the Bible, the epistle of James,  along with some friends; this time we are doing it in Spanish. But, if you want, you could join us too. We will take 17 weeks for this project; which means that we will only have to memorize approximately one new verse daily.  I am so excited!
Last week, I had the opportunity to go on a trip with my husband and one of my daughters, so as you can imagine; I have many papers to grade, books to read and groceries to buy! And you want to know something? Next week I will be traveling again! and…yes, after a week back home, we all we’ll travel to our family vacation to meet friends we love dearly. I share all this with you, because, as you can imagine, I don’t know how often I’ll be posting during May on my blog. Remember, that you can follow my journey in pictures on my photography journal. You’ll know, however, that I will be around, doing what God has set before me to do! 
You asked me what I have been reading lately: Let me tell you,  I read The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge, a book I highly recommend; and did I ever told you that I worked on a review? You can read it here, if you are interested. I am almost finished with another excellent book by Tim Challies, The Next Story. A must read I would  dare to say; a book that all Christians who use technology must read, yes, even we, moms  and grandmothers who blog or love to read blogs.  And of course, I am enjoying a great conversation hosted by my dear friend Elizabeth; several of my wonderful friends are meeting over at her blog once a week to discuss a book that you probably won’t pick at the library; it is a book that teaches about the doctrine of suffering. The book is entitled, A Place for Weakness by M. Horton. And we already discussed chapter one
My dear friend, I long to see you face to face and share a good cup of coffee with you soon, yes, on the same table and seeing your eyes and listening to your laugh.
Meanwhile, keep me in your prayers as I keep you in my prayers too,
Your friend always,


P.S. I forgot to mention that I bought a new pair of walking shoes, some special shoes that promise to help me walk and exercise effectively and more …We’ll see how they do that! 😉

>-P2R Week 11- Signs of a True Believer and Those Credentials that Don’t Impress God.


Week 11 :: Philippians 3:1-6

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.
To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers,
look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
3 For we are the circumcision,
who worship by the Spirit of God
and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also.
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:
5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel,
of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;
6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church;
as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

– Philippians 3:1-6

 We just finished week 11 of the P2R project! I am so excited, it has been a great blessing and a  challenge. It has been like finding a gem, one that for so long I heard that could be mine and I didn’t go get it. Working through the habit of memorizing a whole book of the Bible, has made a great impact in my life.

Studying this week’s I learned many things but one particular lesson, is that when we commit to study and memorize all of God’s Word, when we enter into the discipline of memorizing a whole book, we will find ourselves chewing, meditating on passages that we would never to choose to study in depth otherwise, and are full of wisdom from above.

Some of the things I learned while studying these verses (reading MacArthur’s commentary)  are these:
Signs of true believers:

1. True believers rejoice in the Lord (3:1)

“Joy persists in the face of weakness, pain, suffering, even death (cf. James 1:2). Biblical joy produces a deep confidence in the future that is based on trust in God’s purpose and power. It results in the absence of any ultimate fear, since the relationship on which it is based is eternal and unshakeable (cf. Ps.16:11; John 16:22). Nor is it a humanly produced emotion; that Paul commands it shows that rejoicing is an act of the will in choosing to obey God. The result is a supernaturally produced emotion, the fruit of walking in the Spirit (Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:22). Thus, rejoicing marks true believers”

2. True believers exercise discernment. (v.3: 1b-2)

“His strong and direct warning implies another distinguishing mark of true believers: their ability to discern. No one can be saved who does not understand the fundamental truths of the gospel (Rom. 6:17; 10:14, 17). But since discernment, like faith, needs to grow and mature, pastors and elders must warn the church of false teachers (Eph. 4:11–14). Thus, for Paul to write the same things again was no trouble to him, because it was a necessary safeguard for the Philippians. False teachers, proclaiming salvation through ritual, ceremony, and legalism, posed a serious threat to them. Safeguard (asphals) literally means not to trip, stumble, or be overthrown.”

3. True believers worship in the Spirit. (3:3)

“The first quality of a genuine believer is a heart that overflows with worship. The origin of that worship is supernatural, since the Spirit of God generates it. It involves adoration and praise to God, and transcends outward rituals or ceremonies. Humans are inveterate worshipers. But worship prompted by culture, tradition, guilt, fear, desire for acceptance and popularity, or to gain blessings is unacceptable to God. The indwelling Holy Spirit prompts true and acceptable worship out of love for the Lord. Since He only indwells Christians (Rom. 8:9), only they can truly worship their Savior”

4. True worshipers glory in Christ Jesus (3:3b)

“True Christians give credit for all they are and have to the Lord Jesus Christ… In contrast false believers “boast according to the flesh” (2Cor. 11:18), believing that their good works and religious activities earn them favor with God.”

5. True Worshipers put no confidence in the flesh. (3:3c)

“The flesh represents man’s fallen, unredeemed humanness; it pictures human ability apart from God. Unlike the “many {who} boast according to the flesh” (2Cor. 11:18), true Christians put no confidence in it… Therefore, it is a distinguish characteristic of the redeemed that they “do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit'”

Then Paul lists seven credentials, characteristics, achievements, privileges and rights that do not impress God:

1. Salvation is not by ritual (3:5a)

2. Salvation is not by race. (3:5b)

3. Salvation is not by rank (3:5c)

4. Salvation is not by tradition (3:5d)

5. Salvation is not by religion (3:5e)

6. Salvation is not by sincerity (3:6a)

“Paul was sincere, but wrong. The world is full of people who, like him, are sincere in their religious beliefs. They will make any effort, pay any price, and sacrifice anything in their attempts to please God. They may be devout, orthodox Jews, loyal Roman Catholics who attend mass regularly, or even Protestants who are involved in church services and ceremonies. They may pray, fast, or live in poverty, and seek to do human good. but religious zeal guarantees nothing. Those people can be absolutely wrong. When Paul faced the reality of Jesus christ, the zealous persecutor of the church realized that his misguided zeal was a spiritual killer and belonged in the spiritual loss column”

7. Salvation is not by legalistic righteousness. (3:6b)


I encourage you today,  dear friend, choose one Epistle, get a commentary on that Epistle and start memorizing and studying it today. You will find a  precious gem that you will sure treasure forever in your heart.

>Make Me, O Lord, Like Timothy and Epaphroditus

>I finished this week memorizing chapters 1 and 2 of Philippians.  Chapter 2 verses 19- 24 speak to us about Timothy and verses 25- 30 reveal to us another godly man’s characteristics, his name was Epaphroditus.

This is my prayer after being meditating on these verses these past weeks.

Lord, I acknowledge that all your Word is inspired by you, breathed by You; and it is profitable for teaching me how to live, it is profitable for correction and for training me in righteousness, so that I may be competent, equipped for every good work. Lord, I am so grateful that you inspired Paul to write this letter to the Philippians; thank you because as I study it, I see that even in those words which I some times read without reverence and a learning spirit, You speak to us.

Lord, create in my a heart like the one Timothy had; it amazes me to read that he was the only one genuinely concerned for the welfare of the church at Philippi. O Father, that I too may be genuinely concerned for my brothers and sisters in Christ, for your Church. Forgive me,  Father, because I have many times seek my own interests. So many times I have said that I am concerned for others, but I soon forget to keep them in my prayers and now I see that it is a clear sign that I am not genuinely concerned for them. Help me to be willing and available to serve your body, starting with my own family, just as Timothy was willing and available as a son with a father to serve the church at Philippi.

Lord, create in my a heart of a servant like the one Epaphroditus had. Just to see how Paul loved him! He was certainly a good brother to him; he was a fellow worker, a fellow soldier, a faithful messenger and a minister to the needs of others, even to the point of risking his own life to serve the Church. Lord, I long to be a good and faithful servant; always willing never nagging, or complaining. Help me have and keep a joyful attitude as I serve you where you have placed me, my home. Help me be a faithful fellow worker to my husband, a fellow soldier, praying without ceasing; help me be ready to minister to the needs of my family at home and at church.

This is my prayer today, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,


>-P2R Week 8- How to Memorize the Scripture and a Giveaway-


Week 8 :: Philippians 2:12-18

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed,
so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
13 for it is God who works in you,
both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God
without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast to the word of life,
so that in the day of Christ
I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering
upon the sacrificial offering of your faith,
I am glad and rejoice with you all.
18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
What a joy, what a blessed joy, it is to know that once the Lord calls us and justifies us, He doesn’t leave us on our own! After we are justified He is still at work in us for His good pleasure (not my life ideal!).
He wants us to obey, but He gives us the power to obey. He commands us to be holy just as He is Holy, but He sanctifies us.  So in our daily walk with the Lord we are called to obey and at the same time we can rest assured that our Salvation doesn’t depend on our performance.
MacArthur says,

“In Philippians 2:12–13, Paul presents the appropriate resolution between the believer’s part and God’s part in sanctification. Yet he makes no effort to rationally harmonize the two. He is content with the incomprehensibility and simply states both truths, saying, in effect, that, on the one hand, sanctification is of believers (v. 12) and on the other hand, it is of God (v. 13).”

One of the things we must do daily to work out our own salvation is as “simple” as stop complaining!

Read carefully verse 14,

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning”

When we live in discontentment we are definitely more prone to grumble all day and question every thing that comes to our lives. 

When we stop giving thanks to God we start to look at all the circumstances around us with a bittered spirit and we then stop growing in grace; and instead, we start to grow more impatient with our husband, children, parents, etc.

The next verse ties this up with strong cords… 

What is OUR MOTIVE for not grumbling and questioning everything around us? 

The only acceptable motive is this: A strong desire to please a Holy God; to be blameless and innocent before Him.

Seems like an impossible thing?  Yes, it is impossible for the unregenerate, but the children of God have hope; we can pursue a life without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation. We have hope because God is still at work in us, and because when everything around us seem to be shaking and falling apart we can hold fast to the Word of Life and not perish. What a wonderful news this is! O how, my heart leaps for joy!


Now I want to share a few notes to ENCOURAGE you to memorize a whole book of the Bible…

1. It takes time, but NO more than you would think; no more than the time it takes you to visit few blogs, or check facebook… so, if that is what you need to leave on the side in order to pursue this great blessing, do it!

2. Carry it around. It is great to have the book you are memorizing printed and pasted in a Moleskine because you can carry it around all day, everywhere. Timmy Brister has put together Philippians and Ephesians for this purpose.

3. Write it down. My friend Anne, who is also memorizing Philippians suggested this to me, and it has proved to be a great help. I have a journal fr that purpose and I try to write from memory several times the verses or chapters several times. (at least once a day).

4. Mutter it all day long. While cooking, folding laundry, driving.. fill your mind, your heart with the Word; meditate on it day and night and you’ll see how much your speech and thoughts will change!

5. Study it. This is a very important and profitable thing to do; buy a commentary of the book you will be memorizing and study it along. I study the comments on the verses I will be memorizing that day as part as my devotions. This not only helps me to get the most of the book, but it also helps me remember the verse. As I repeat it during the day, word by word, slowly so I won’t skip a word here and another one there, I know the meaning of those words, I understand the context and the purpose of those verses more clearly. For this purpose I bought the Journible that corresponds to the book of Philippians, and I copy the verses I have memorized and on the left  pages,  I jot down the notes from the commentary I am studying. (Read more of the Journibles here and  here)

6. Be transformed by it. Let the Word change YOU!

Because I really want to encourage you to start this wonderful discipline of memorizing whole books of the Bible; I want to give away the Journible for you to start copying and jotting down your study notes.

What you need to do?

*Just leave a comment here and be willing to DO IT (memorize any epistle, or any other book that has a Journible to accompany it see the options here just mention which Jounible you would like to have).

* Please, don’t sign in if you plan to put this in a dusty bookshelf 🙂 (Only US, Canada and Mexico, please. If you live in a different country than these, and you own a Kindle, you can participate also… I will give you something else but related!)

* If you are already memorizing Philippians and would like to participate, you are more than welcome to do so!

* You can invite friends you think might be interested in memorizing the Scriptures  to participate in this giveaway. Feel free to pass the voice around!

I will choose a winner next Saturday, March 5… be sure to come back then!

Under His Sun,


>He Made Himself Nothing -P2R Week 7-




Week 7 :: Philippians 2:5-11


“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
 And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
– Philippians 2:5-11

How can you repeat day after day these words without having a lump on your throat and not falling to you knees in prayer… “{He} made himself nothing…”

This is the mystery we just can’t grasp with our limited mind, yet it is a Truth we must believe if we are to be saved, and a model we are commanded to follow: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…”

John MacArthur says,

In light of the profound reality of Jesus’ full and uncompromised deity, His incarnation was the most profound possible humiliation. For Him to change in any way or to any degree, even temporarily by the divine decree of His Father, required descent. By definition, to forsake perfection requires taking on some form of imperfection. Yet without forsaking or in any way diminishing His perfect deity or His absolute holiness, in a way that is far beyond human comprehension, the Creator took on the form of the created. The Infinite became finite, the Sinless took sin upon Himself. The very heart of the gospel of redemption is that the Father “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Although that infinitely marvelous and cardinal gospel truth is impossible to understand, it is necessary to believe.”

He descended to save sinners like me, He came to rescue me when I was running away from Him and did not look for Him. This is where Grace meets us, in our sin not in our self-righteousness!

I keep muttering these words, I meditate on them while cooking and walking. I am commanded to have this same mind, I am commanded to humble myself, to make myself nothing, to be obedient to the point of death.

This doesn’t come easy. I love my flesh, my skin…. isn’t this the way I was taught by the secular media and the modern evangelical churches in which I grew up? 

We don’t work toward having a good self- esteem, that is already there. Naturally we love ourselves more than God. We are never inclined to make ourselves nothing, to descend, to bow, to make ourselves servants.

Think of the moments your husband is sick, or when your children ask you to read them one more story, or when your neighbor needs help… does saying no to yourself comes easily? Not for me. 

The gospel calls us to live dying in our every day walk. It is not something mystic, it is there in your kitchen, in the marriage bed, in the moments that are woven together that we must make ourselves nothing. Yes, this seems like foolishness to the unsaved, but it is the message of the Cross. I must lay down my life, my minutes to God by serving those around me.

MacArthur says,

“It is the attitude of selfless giving oneself and one’s possessions, power, and privileges that should characterize all who belong to Christ. They should be willing to loosen their grip on the blessings they have, which they have solely because of Him. Christians are set apart from the world as children of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Yet they must not clutch those privileges and blessings. Instead, like the Lord, they must hold them loosely and be willing to sacrifice them all for the benefit of others”

and then he says,

“Christians obviously can’t empty themselves to the degree that the Lord emptied Himself, because He started so high and Christians start so low. Believers have infinitely less to empty themselves of. Even what they have is given to them by grace. Believers are obligated to follow the Lord’s example by emptying themselves of everything that would hinder their obedience and service to Him.”

Isn’t the home the perfect place to practice this? Isn’t among our family that we find the best opportunities to practice emptying ourselves so that His name might be exalted?

I am learning; I do not want to let these opportunities pass by …

>Right Motives, Right Marks, Right Means -P2R Week 6-

>WOW! I just can’t believe we actually finished week 6 of the Partnering to Remember Project.

Philippians 2
Week 6 :: Philippians 2:1-4
2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ,
any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit,
any affection and sympathy,
2 complete my joy by being of the same mind,
having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit,
but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
– Philippians 2:1-4

What a blessing it is to memorize God’s Word! It is a gift, it is a true joy and once you start into this spiritual discipline, you understand why so many  people who have done this as a regular habit encourage others with such a great enthusiasm to start doing it.

These four verses are just full of encouragement for the Church to see what are the motives, marks and means to strive for the unity in the church.

Studying John MacArthur’s commentary has been a blessing and a great help to me; it is easier to memorize a passage when you understand the meaning of each of the key words and how they relate to all its context.

I have learned through these 6 weeks that memorizing the Word of God is not about just memorizing it… It is about letting it change you, sanctify you, cleanse you. It is about growing in our communion with the Lord.

It is in the Scriptures that we hear God speaking to us; how important it is then,  that we keep it in our heart ready to speak to us, to point us to our sin and to our Saviour, our only Hope.

We want to speak with grace, with words that edify and build, but now I understand that it is not about “trying harder” to hold our tongue; it is about filling our heart with the Word that gives Life; for it is from the abundance of the heart that our mouth speak.

May His grace abound…