We are so glad to serve in our community!  When the new Camarena Elementary School opened and we heard of Principal Dan Winters’ dream to have a Camarena after school program that would be free of charge to the Camarena families and provide a whole spectrum of enriching activities, we knew that we could help!  Our new music director, Andres Salomon finished his studies in music and his principal instrument is guitar and we knew that he would be a great resource for a guitar program!  He is teaching more than 60 students from the 4th grade, 5th grade and 6th grade classes. (By the way,

The students are enthusiastic and excited when they discover they will be able to produce music on their guitars. Every new class brings learning and everything unknown brings a bit of difficulty for all students. Andres tested out a technique successfully with one young student who was hoping to learn guitar and he has only one hand. The moment that he tried what Andres suggested and saw that he could strum was a moment of discovery. We were all thrilled!

Concordia is grateful to be of service.  We know we can contribute what we have to making our community strong and healthy.  It is a good thing.


What is your role in their story?

Everyone has a story.  I know I am part of the story of those people whom God puts in my life.  I try to be mindful that whether I journey with those individuals whether that is for days, months or years, my participation in their story will have a character to it.  You have seen those historical timelines, right?  If the story of those you spend time with had a timeline, what would your part of the story be called?  How cool would it be if your time in the timeline of those around you said: “This is when love intervened.”  What an amazing thing that would be and what a wonderful thing to be mindful of as we spend time with people.  It is my goal.  I fall short most days (errr…I mean I fall short all days) but that is just a reminder that I need God’s Holy Spirit to take me as a vessel for such a work of beauty and love.  Wherever and whenever there are glimpses of being that “intervening love”, it hasn’t been me but God working through me…..of that much, I am sure.

I found this little video via author @lensweet twitter feed.  It inspired me.  What about you?

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau


You can’t go wrong by doing what’s right!

Here are some things I noted in the last three messages in the series: You can’t go wrong by doing what’s right — Melissa

Trust and obey God when other’s don’t (the lessons from the story of Noah)

When you don’t understand the plan or it doesn’t make sense, it’s kind of hard to keep doing what’s right.

Noah had obedience even without understanding.

Noah didn’t let his own doubts or lack of understanding pull him down.

There is a blessing in the path of obedience, whether we understand the path or not.

Trust and Obey God even when you think you have a better idea.

(learning from the story of Adam and Eve)

The enemy sows seeds of doubt, appeals to our pride, makes something bad appear good, the appeal to pleasure just seals the deal.

We should trust and obey God because He sees it all. There is nothing unknown to God.

Trust the Father’s love even when you don’t understand the plan.

Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.

Don’t debate with yourself or with others. (Should I or should I not) If it doesn’t feel quite right, it probably isn’t.

Stay close to God, He has defeated the devil.

Trust and Obey God even when it costs you

(the story of Abraham and Isaac)

Understand by looking at the end.

The test wasn’t for God. It was for Abraham. Abraham was able to see how far his faith had grown.

Had Isaac, the miracle child, become an idol? Had he moved in a position before God?

God gave Abraham a chance to fully obey.

Abraham was able to see that he could put God above Isaac.

Jump to the end of the story in our own lives. Think about the tough things you have been through. You can look back and see how God was working through that and how strong your faith has become because of it. That’s what God wanted you to see. God wants you to get to the end where you have this place of joy. The tests are never fun or easy, they are necessary, they are enlightening, transforming and they are productive.

Who’s the test for?

The end of the story shows is us this: Grace is free but it’s not cheap.

Obedience often requires sacrifice.

The messages of culture. You deserve to have it all. You should have it all.

The Bible has a fundamentally different message. There is value in sacrifice. There is value and blessing in sacrifice.

Give up having to have it all. Put idols like greed “I have to have it” at bay.

Where is God calling me to sacrifice? Make a break from the message you are hearing from culture (“me first”).

Where is He calling you to sacrifice so you can lead by example?

What are your idols? (The things you put above God)