Filled with Gratitude

By the grace of God, I have been granted another year of life. Looking back, I consider my first eighteen years a “waste” mainly because I did not honor Christ as Lord.

The last five years have been challenging in so many ways, but the hand of God has never been more evident in my life.

About three years ago, I started doing something different on my birthday. Instead of celebrating me, I celebrated God by setting some time aside to give Him all the praise and worship that is due to His name!

On my birthday, I celebrate the gift of life and reflect on my God-given purpose. In a way, it’s a time to refocus mentally and recharge spiritually. I take some time off to be alone with the Lord, my loving Creator, and connect with Him through prayer and solitude.

Why do I do this? It is simple: to reflect on life and give thanks to God. It is kind of like a spiritual check-in with my heavenly Father.

Here am I Lord. Thank you for another year of life. I have tasted and seen your goodness. Thank you for everything. I renew my commitment to you. I dedicate this new year to you and put it in your hands. May your will be done in my life. Help me to number my days and live in light of eternity and serve you with excellence, integrity, and passion. May you be the center of it all this year. In Jesus name, amen.

You see, my life belongs to Jesus and Jesus alone. He graciously chose to create me and put me on this earth with a glorious purpose—to glorify Him and spread His fame across the nations. That mission is what keeps me going even through life’s most difficult circumstances.

Living for the glory of God—striving to pursue and honor and treasure and value and praise Him above all things—has become my heart’s desire and my ultimate aim in life.

Living for the glory of God has become, indeed, a motto I try to live by everyday. (If you know me, I hope that this stands out to you as one of my core values). I feel like it is part of my DNA or something. It is just the way I am wired—I was created by Him and for Him. And I have resolved to live for His glory.

As I look back, I am filled with gratitude for the love, mercy, grace, favor, and provision of the Lord these last few years. I am forever indebted to Him!

All that I am, and all that I have accomplished thus far in life would not be possible without the grace of God.

I am thankful for my family, in particular, my beloved parents and wonderful sisters. Thanks for putting up with me all these years. You are all a gift from God!

I am also thankful for all the friends, colleagues, classmates, teachers, pastors, leaders, mentors, co-workers, classmates, and middle school and high school students, that I have the great honor and privilege of knowing and serving.

There is no doubt that God has used each and every single one of you, in some way, to impact, influence, and/or shape me into the man that I am today.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I highly value and appreciate you all!

For His glory,

Jonnathan Menendez

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Encouraged, Challenged and Inspired

I just came back from a three-day, church-planting boot camp for Hispanic leaders in San Diego, CA, coordinated by the EFCA (Evangelical Free Church of America). I was really encouraged to see many Hispanic leaders, seasoned pastors, and future church-planters in one small place (literally) to share ideas, past experiences, and of course, practical tools for planting and developing effective and healthy local churches.

I was really honored to be present among such hard-working, Christ-loving leaders. I had the privilege of meeting (and sharing a place with some) pastors from other states who are doing great things for the glory of God and the well-being of their local congregations.

The highlight for me was that a lot of my desires and passions and dreams of pastoring/planting a church were, in some sense, confirmed and rekindled. My heart was moved and stirred by the necessity of planting new churches for the glory of God and the edification of people.

I been contemplating the idea of church planting ever since I felt called by God to serve in pastoral ministry. You may be asking yourself: “Why plant a church?” Good question! Church planting is, in my opinion, the primary way to reach a community with the gospel, make disciples, provide pastoral care and counseling, development and train leaders, and ultimately, expand the kingdom of God.

One of the few things that fill my heart with an inexpressible joy is when I see and/or hear stories about new churches being planted locally and abroad; how the gospel is being preached and people are being saved; and how the kingdom of God is expanding. I spend hours (no joke) reading blogs about church-planting stories and movements. (Who does that?!?)

Ever since I started serving in ministry, my love for God’s people has grown to the point that I cannot see myself doing anything else than using my God-given gifts to edify and bless others in the context of the local church.

Now, let me be honest: planting a church is one of the most challenging things ever! Don’t believe me? Just ask a church planter and his family how difficult it is to plant a church.

The trials, temptations, shortcomings, unmet expectations, lack of resources, weekly responsibilities, criticism, and discouragement, among other things, makes church planting an unappealing and daunting task.

Why in the world would I want to plant a church (in the near future)? To simply put it: I feel God is calling me to do just that—to plant a church—and I want to be obedient. When? Where? How? I honestly do not know.

In the meantime, I will continue to learn, grow, and serve God passionately and faithfully…and the rest is up to Him. After all, He was the one who changed my life and put those desires in my heart in the first place, so why wouldn’t He guide and direct my steps in order to fulfill that for which He has called me to?

I believe that God is in control and that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Eph. 3:21). Amen!

*Discuss: What is God calling you to do? And, how is He preparing you for that task? Share your comments below.*

Evento: ¿Donde Esta El Amor?

¡Hola a todos!

Desde hace un ańo atrás, Dios me ha dado el honor y privilegio de formar parte de—Eastern Sky Theatre Company—un gran ministerio que esta predicando el evangelio de Jesús a través de la musica, drama y el teatro. Este ministerio esta impactando todo el Sur de California con un mensaje de amor, fe y esperanza.

Quiero tomar este momento para darles una cordial invitación para que nos acompañen a nuestro proximo drama en Español, que mi hermana y yo tenemos el honor de participar en.

Informacion acerda del evento:

  • Drama: ¿Donde Esta El Amor?
  • Fecha: Doming Marzo 10, a las 12:30 pm
  • Lugar: Iglesia Cristiana Puente de Vida
  • Dirreccion: 18644 W. Sherman Way, Reseda, California 91335
  • Telefono: 818-776-1500

El drama es evangelistico, por esa razón les animo que inviten a personas que no conocen al Senor—familiares, vecinos y amigos—para que vengan y escuchen el mensaje de salvación.

¡Le entrada es completamente gratis, así que no tienen excusa para no venir! Si tienen alguna pregunta o comentario, por favor haganmelo saber. ¡Gracias!

Para Su gloria,

Jonnathan Menendez