What Do You Have to Give?

We are living in an age where hatred and violence have become common place; we wake up to bad news of shootings (in schools, churches, malls, at Walmart), and in the last episode there were two of them within 24 hours!

I will give you a little background story and try to demonstrate (in my own views) what I think God is searching for out of us, and I hope, maybe, it will help you—the general population (or whoever reads this)!

Going to church as a young child often felt like a scary experience—I knew that the priest was often telling us ‘not to do something,’ and that if we did, ‘we would go to hell’ and God would not let us into heaven.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I have many beautiful memories of attending mass, especially on holidays. But I distinctively remember being aware that I had to learn more than this, because I knew that just going to church would not give me the full experience.

I knew God was great, but I wanted to understand him better. God was not one of vengeance and retribution, God was not one eager to send people to the fire pit; I knew God loved me, and even more so, now, I’ve learned how much He loves the outcast, those who are difficult, and even unlikable.

As an adult who has read and done my own research, sought after truth, studied and prayed (a lot), I have some favorite authors and people that I follow, some of which I have never met. But they are on my Twitter (Thank God Twitter is about more than the tweets of Donald Trump)!

So much of our faith is about love. There is a place referred to as ‘Hades’ in the bible, but I’ll admit, I’m not sure exactly what the translation is, I believe it means some form of hell, though. I am no Greek scholar, I do not know Latin, and I am no expert on the bible. However, I have read many parts of it. In case you’re interested, the NIV is a favorite version because it is so clear.

But one thing I’ve learned throughout my studies are, God wants you to give: I believe that when we give, we receive. You reap what you sow.  But the whole point of giving is not to receive, it is just for the sake of giving! Jesus was a giver. Give to charities, give through your selfless actions, give through acts of kindness, give through a smile, give through advice, give through anything that would be pleasing to him.

God wants us to reconcile, also: we have to live in community with one another. Although we live in an individualistic culture, realize your reliance on each other. That is why we should forgive, forget, let go, and move forward. Of course, there should be boundaries after people have hurt us. But we are not meant to live alone, we are meant to live among each other.

Isn’t it nice when you know the names of your neighbors? When you can greet someone you know at the market with a smile, or when you run into an old friend? Doesn’t it feel good when someone comes to visit? We are meant to live together.

God wants us to be peacemakers. He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Kingdom faith means living among one another; kingdom faith means being meek and humble; GIVING and knowing you will be comforted no matter what.

Give, love (the people that God would love, all people) and be a peacemaker!EA2EBDF5-6E39-413F-B1AE-B175F27E6E5D

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival” and her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be the second in a II part series. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her very own articles. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area and has been an educator for twenty years. She’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s taught at automotive corporations like General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. She’s worked with numerous children and accumulated many jobs throughout the years. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently home-schools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Hillsong UNITED Concert!!!

457541C5-9D8B-49BC-9BA4-A209A39B97D7I’ve been to many concerts, but I was particularly excited about the one last night! I went to the EMU Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, MI to see a performance by Hillsong UNITED!!! It was everything I expected and more more more!!! I was in tears half the time and so deeply moved by them. I love to watch their videos and listen to their music, but there is nothing like seeing them live!

I have seen many performers. I’ve seen Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rascal Flatts, Jewel and many many others! I am definitely a concert girl. Listening to music is one of my hobbies, and I often do it at home while I write. Seeing Hillsong was soo special, though! This is a little church out of Australia that has become global. And now they have churches all over the world!!!

The first Hillsong college is in Pheonix. I screamed so loud and sang their songs along with them. I really hope I didn’t annoy the people sitting next to me. Although I did get a compliment from one of the girls. She said my voice was beautiful😉. I had to park 10,000 feet away but it reminded me that I am still in shape. There were so many people!

One of my favorite lyrics from their song “So Will I” sticks out in my mind. They are referring to God and say, “You don’t speak in vain, no syllable empty or void.” I love this line so much because I love words, and it demonstrates the profound power of the Lord. The bible says the tongue can be an unruly evil.

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“He’s a personal God not some distant far off deity, he came in here with you tonight.” ~Joel Houston♥️

There are times when I have spoken, maybe even argued a little 😉 and it was unnecessary or “in vain.” This lyric helps remind me to talk less and listen better. Their music is about more than religion. Its about having a personal relationship with God. Pure. Dependence. Jesus is a common topic in their songs, and their music is poetic while paraphrasing bible verses. It is beyond beautiful!!!

As I was listening and singing (out loud) and praying with them at various times, I heard the Lord whisper in my heart. “Zina, these are my disciples.” I said, Lord, I want to be your disciple, too. I know I’ve messed up, but I want to come home to you. Their faith is remarkable. And Joel said they were going to shut down the venue. I can tell they don’t sleep much. They are always coming out with new songs, and I left with a t-shirt and their new CD!!!!

My Speaking event last Sunday!

This is a small piece on prayer from the talk I shared at church.

As I began to recover after my accident, I knew I had a long road ahead. I contemplated my future with God. I would ask, “What are we going to do, Lord?” and “How will my life be?” I didn’t know for sure but I knew one thing, I had Him – and I knew He would never leave. I didn’t like what happened to me, but I liked being in the silence and experiencing the peace.

Talking with God, asking for his help, his guidance, and presenting my problems before him has always helped me! And in the hospital, He spoke to me each day – through the love of others, the nurses, my mom, and the doctors. He explained every step of the way, what we would do, and how we would get through. I knew everything would be okay — in my feelings and in my heart.

Spending time with God has saved me all my life. Prayer is one way I do this, and I like to speak to Him when it is quiet because that is when I can hear from Him most — in feelings and in thoughts. When I am away from the noise. I listen to Bible verses throughout the day or before I go to bed, usually.

I’ve been doing this almost every day for the last few months. If I can commit to at least fifteen minutes a day, it helps me! I feel more peace since I have started. Things that would bother me before seem petty. I have noticed improvements in different areas. So I would recommend for anyone going through a challenge, or hardship to start doing it.

I have downloaded the Bible Gateway app on my cell phone, and I sometimes listen on a laptop. I click on the audio selection, and listening is convenient. I have listened while cleaning, or even writing. Technology is great! You can study while completing tasks. We don’t have to only read anymore! Two Psalms that really speak to my heart now are Psalm 69 and Psalm 71.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

I’m Speaking to a Congregation!

Dear friends,

I’m happy to share a letter and invitation I sent to close contacts earlier: http://eepurl.com/bRAlR5. I want to share it with you too, because you have supported me also. Let me know if you are interested in attending my upcoming event.

Thank YOU!

~Zina

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Stop pointing fingers

Tonight I’d like to share a short story. As I left church one day a couple years ago, I was in admiration of all the beauty. Parents, toddlers, grandparents and smiling faces surrounded me on a picture perfect holiday.

I felt this sense of emptiness that I had for a while. My longing grew. The feeling overwhelmed me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to help. It felt as though there were a hole in my heart that needed to be filled.

I wanted to do the right thing. It’s hard to do that sometimes because people don’t always understand it. It’s hard to voice your beliefs and be vulnerable to others opinions, rejections, or dislikes—especially if they do not agree with you.

But there’s something in my heart. It consumes me. I want to help through what I’ve been through. I want to share my experiences, and help others heal from bad ones. I simply want to contribute before it’s too late. So tonight I want to say…

Stop pointing fingers.

We have enough problems. We are not in this state because of someone else like “the president.” It’s not all “his” fault, and it is not “theirs” either. We are in this state because we are. It is probably worse now than it ever has been. War, poverty, and racism are only a few of the things we are dealing with.

Stop pointing fingers.

The world doesn’t’ need it. Don’t we have enough problems? The world is not in the state it is because of “someone else.” It is not this country’s fault. Sometimes things go wrong because they do, and we can sit here and play the BLAME game all day long.

I had this longing, and this urge to try and do something good. Too often others turn away from religion because every time you turn around someone is blaming someone else. Maybe things just fell apart. It’s the people that use the principles to rule and to condemn, and to point fingers at.

Let’s stop doing that!

The cost of giving hope is immeasurable, and the rewards of it are satisfying to everyone. ~Zina Hermez