Arise & Shine

imageShine In The Dark!

Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with JOY; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Isaiah 60:1-5

I often wondered what God was going to do with us. Especially when we came from a place of utter ruins! You could not even comprehend how, what, where, when, why… it is a place where nothing made sense, where everything looked like it was  beyond repair.

Then God says…

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations!
Isaiah 61:4

Beyond the pictures, bright lights and public, is a world of treasure for us. It is a place of pure acceptance, acknowledgment and deep appreciation. From what we’ve  been through, we thought there was nothing else left. Devastating choices were at hand…and we fought through it. It took the one—the head of our home to declare, “THIS IS OUR HOME!!!!” And in time, we saw God build it piece by piece as we did everything on our own that only tore it down…day by day.

Yes—but GOD!!!

We are approaching the end of this year with a flourishing finish.

This is such an intimate and special time of year even more so to come and unite with family and friends and celebrate. Some dislike this holiday season and others completely despise it! I wish that would not be the case. It is such a great opportunity for reflection, appreciation and consideration of even new venues where God wants to take us next.

It’s exciting!


We started even earlier this year before Thanksgiving, trimming the tree, selecting décor and bringing the holiday items out for display in our home. There is a new color scheme this year that holds significance for us! I used the clear, silver and glittered white ornaments! And most importantly, I selected black ornaments! The darkest color of all… This is not a common color to use during the holidays BUT I have learned a lot this year… As the pastor said in his sermon, “In order for light to shine darkness must be present!” And so God is shining forth His glory on all the dark things bringing it into the light!

We are shining brighter than ever this year, for we did not only survive in this family and in our church, but we are now thriving!

“See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you!”
Isaiah 60:2

So we HAD to go through the dark, in order to really appreciate when He brought us to the light.

This is our time where we will build new and lasting memories.

It is not a time for depression, grouchiness or bitterness. No more blues here…it is shining bright lights everywhere. Colors of expression within each of us.

We break off that spirit of heaviness IMMEDIATELY that tries to creep back in! OH NO WAY! There is no vacancy here!

We are going to sit back and watch God build this better season for us. Where we laugh, rejoice, smile and love well.

We are going to make this season count. For there were so many things lost…so many things! When God removes it is because He promises that He replaces!!!

Now God shows us all things new. Through His word, through faith in Him and through moving through such a powerful demonstration of the manifested presence of God in our lives. It is a beautiful thing. It is peaceful and it is right.

You see this may not mean much for many but to us it is immensely profound. We went through that THICK darkness and God covered us with His glory….through ridicule, insults, judgement, hatred, anger, wrath, lies, deception… God took all of that and said:

“Vengeance is mine and I will repay…” Romans 12:19

“I will restore the years that the locust has eaten…” Joel 2:25

Yes, we all four screamed together at one point or another,
“CAN THESE BONES LIVE!?!” Ezekiel 37:3

Can this family live?

Can this family survive?

Can this family revive?

YES!!!! Oh man and it took time, and we are still going through each day. Yet the restoration is sealed by the power of His hand. Forgiveness moved through our hearts. Hope was reestablished. And purpose was REBIRTHED!!!

God FIXES families!

We are not a perfect family, but in CHRIST we are. He is what keeps it all together and He will do that for your family!

Will challenges come…yes, but we will do what we have always done and that is place our family before Him to do what He does.

We will celebrate. We will shine in the darkest places because we know what it is like. And we know what it is like to witness the Light of God radiating through all of this.

We close off this year with a HUGE THANKSGIVING and a MERRY Christmas that is approaching us. Great and promising years are ahead of us. We take it by the heel.

We are going to arise and SHINE!

All the glory belongs to Him! ❤

About Christina

Blessings to all that are viewing this. My name is Christina Cruz-Mendez. I am a Senior Pastor at Mission United International Church in Yonkers, NY working along side my husband Juan A. Mendez Jr. Senior Pastor, currently residing in Canton, Georgia. We have been together for 29 years with 2 children that God has blessed us with. Makes us the family of four - "JusChrist4". I have been a Christian and active in ministry for about 22 years now. Through all the rocky and smooth roads in life I am eternally grateful that God has brought me this far in life to share with the world what He is doing in me, through me and for me. View all posts by Christina

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