How Can I Know God?

To be a son or daughter of God forever, it’s important to ask Jesus to forgive you of all your sins                                      and tell Him that you believe that He is the Son of God.

God’s original plan was for all people to be with Him forever.

But we messed it up because of sin.

Your sin (your disobedience to God) separates you from God.

The punishment for sin is death. Jesus Christ (God’s Son) never sinned.                                                                                       When He willingly gave up His life by death on a cross, He took the punishment for our sins.

“But God shows His own love in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

After Jesus died, He rose from the dead showing God’s power over all.

When Jesus died on the cross, He made a bridge to God.

Now you can have a relationship with God.

It starts when you believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son who took the punishment for your sins.

 

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father [God] except through Me.” John 14:8

Ask Jesus Christ to be your God. And ask Him to forgive you of all your sins!

“But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins                                                                                   and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”   1 John 1:9

That’s the start! Ask, Believe, Confess!

Prayer is just talking to Jesus. Tell Him about what you just read. A little nervous? Don’t be.

Here’s an example of what you might say…

Dear Jesus, I believe you are God’s Son and that you died for my sins.                                                                                         Please forgive me. Thank you. I’m going to need your help and want you to be in charge.                                                                 Help me today.  Amen.

TESTIMONIALS

Christy Sobolick, East Central Ministries

Everyone really enjoyed the last issue.

Bruce Marchiano, Actor, Author and Producer

“What you’re doing through Reach UP is very exciting and special. Well done!”

Joanna Lopez-Walker, Tampa Housing Authority

“Reach UP brings a smile to the people getting it.”

Linda “Peaches” Tavani, WowJam/originally of “Peaches & Herb

“Great to be Reunited. Love your mission. Blessings!”

Charreah Jackson, Essence Magazine

“Powerful!”

MAGAZINE

The Most Misunderstood Woman Ever!

The book of Job is not my favorite book, but I’m on Day 290 of a reading plan. Anyhow, these two verses have been spat out by many preachers as the ultimate betrayal of Job spoken by his wife: “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still cling to your integrity [and your faith and trust in God, without blaming Him]? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the [spiritually] foolish women speaks [ignorant and oblivious to God’s will]. Shall we indeed accept [only] good from God and not [also] accept adversity and disaster?” In [spite of] all this Job did not sin with [words from] his lips.” ‭‭JOB‬ ‭2:9-10‬ ‭AMP‬‬ I’m taking a moment to submit my mother’s observation and add a few of my own. THE WOMAN JUST Lost ALL her children! Let that sink in. All her children right after all their business. What expressive voice would those words be spoken in? Was hers a bit part snarled offstage as an adversary to the main character? Or was she a wife and mother in the most bitterness of personal agony? I’ve asked a number of moms how they think they would be if they had received the news that all of their children were killed in a calamity. To a person, all moaned, ‘inconsolable.’ …At least at first and probably for years hence. The thing to note is that nowhere in the subsequent 42 chapters does God rebuke this nameless mother. But He rebukes the four friends. He pulls Job around in his thinking. No, she is not rebuked and she shares in Job’s recompense to the fullest. This was his test that she had to endure. Don’t put people down when they utter things when in the depths of sorrow. God sees past that. God cares and loves them through it. Raw emotions are the natural byproducts of being human. And if you preach putting this woman down, it’s like a smack down to women in deep emotional pain. Perhaps you’re that woman who identifies with Job’s wife. You’ve lost your kids. You’ve lost the life you once had. You uttered curses you wish you hadn’t. Come back to Jesus. You haven’t gone too far. You’re situation is not hopeless. God didn’t do this to you to punish you. He is the restorer of the broken heart. He died so that you might live. He conquered death by rising up again alive forevermore so that there was nothing that could permanently put you in the ground. There is Hope. Reach UP today. Read this for more help:

Reach Up Winter 2018
Reach Up Invierno 2018

Memory Making Holidays

When I was a little girl, my mom always celebrated every holiday, whether it was Valentine’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July. You name the holiday — we had table decorations and traditional meals to celebrate it. I remember she’d even buy candy in the colors of each holiday and set it around the house in candy dishes. She would always say, “We’re making memories.” And even as I grew older, there was no stopping celebrating holidays. It just got better and better.          Because of these special times, the years weren’t just passing us by. The memories we were making went with us wherever we traveled or whatever came our way.          It’s true that the details of memories may fade, but the essence of what makes a memory and the love that goes with it can’t be taken from you even if you lose your job, your health, or your loved one. Good memories become the fabric that weaves a family together throughout the generations.          The reality is, you as a woman are key to making those memories.          But doing it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or even cost a lot of money.  We have ideas for gifts you can make, tables you can set – even ways to disguise what you already have to create a fresh look in your home.          Take little steps, start planning now, and your Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations can be as enjoyable and memorable for you as they are for your family.          One more thing. While you may be key to making the memories, the main ingredient of any family celebration is Jesus. Without Him, memories can go flat or even horribly wrong. Keep it real. Keep it with Jesus.                                                                                              Crystal Wacker Knapp                                                                                                 Editor-in-Chief

Marginalized women a world away

In a few short days we in the U.S. will be celebrating Thanksgiving. However, that will be my second Thanksgiving! That’s because I got to join in on the Canadian Thanksgiving in Papua New Guinea! Which reminds me … I’d like to jot a few lines down to give you a BIG PICTURE report. What a great experience to travel into two remote tribes in PNG! We flew over craggy jungle mountains and landed on short, grassy runways, then bopped and weaved along on highways with potholes as big as baby pools to get to these areas. There we were welcomed warmly and stood in thatched-roofed churches where extensive missionary labor continues so that even those in the most remote tribes can hear AND READ the gospel! Additionally, while staying at Ethnos360 largest regional headquarters in Lapoli, I was asked to tell my story to the ladies.* I did not anticipate how much interest there would be in Reach UP Magazine! But then again, there are similarities in our missions: Both missions (Reach UP is primarily a missions tool) seek to reach people on the fringes of society; both believe in the power of the written word; both understand that one cannot shrink back from unusual and strange customs of our audience; both know that one key to effectiveness is consistent and loving relationship. Wonderfully, a number of the ladies knew of ministries in their home countries (Ethnos360 is an international organization) who would benefit from using Reach UP! They took my business card and a couple of sample magazines. May God give the increase! Now my focus is the Christmas issue which will be at the printer soon … I hope…. From there we repackage and distribute to over 100 ministries across the nation. Please pray for quick turn around on all our moving parts: graphics, printers, redistribution, post office…. Loving the opportunity to help and speak into lives. Ask me how you can be part of Reach Up and its mission to marginalized women. crystal@reachupmag.org or message me on FaceBook. Like Comment

¡voy a ser alguien!

by Jeanette Rivera con Tasha Michelle Hayes ¿Quién dice que es demasiado tarde para obtener tu diploma de escuela secundaria? No sólo porque tienes hijos, o porque eres mayor que el estudiante típico, o porque no tuviste los créditos requeridos para graduarte, quiere decir que es demasiado tarde para continuar tu educación. Siempre hay tiempo – y hay esperanza. ¡Nunca te rindas! Tasha Michelle Hayes tuvo una meta y la perseguía. Tuvo tres hijos y no tenía a un hombre para darle apoyo. Tuvo muchas dificultades pero no disminuía lo que se prometió as sí misma: “¡Voy a hacerme alguien en la vida!” Aquí es la historia que ella contó a Reach UP. No era fácil cuando estaba creciendo. Vi a mi mamá luchando para llegar al fin del mes con mi hermana, mi hermano y yo. Después de movernos varias veces, perdí el interés en la escuela cuando todavía era joven y dejé de ir. Di a luz a mi primera hija, Diamond, cuando tuve 20 años de edad. No tardó cuando empecé a sentirme deprimida. Estaba sola, sin nadie para ayudarme. El papá de Diamond había desaparecido. Es difícil convertirte de una joven a una mujer con responsabilidades. No podía hacer las cosas como una soltera. Busqué el amor en un hombre y eso me falló también. Para manejar la depresión fui a los médicos buscando ayuda. Me dieron medicamentos pero todavía me sentía vacía. Aunque sabía de Dios, no me enfoqué en Él. Quería sentirme amada y aceptada. Por lo tanto, busqué otra vez a un hombre. Esta vez, me quedé embarazada con gemelos. Nos casamos y pensé que todo saldría bien. Dentro de pronto, mi sueño se quedó destrozado con sus maneras controladores y manipuladores. Me di cuenta que era un ladrón y estaba en libertad provisional. Durante nuestra relación, él se iba y volvía de la cárcel, y siempre estaba en problemas. Me abusó no físicamente sino verbalmente. Me decía, “¿Por qué vas a la escuela? ¡Debes estar cuidando de la casa y de los niños!” Sólo quería mejorarme y ayudar a mi familia. Recuerdo cuando le dije a mi (ahora) ex-esposo que quise volver a la escuela para terminar el GED. Él estuvo en contra de ello. Me puse en comunicación con una iglesia y me mandaron todo lo que necesitaba para prepararme para el pre-examen y el examen de GED. Yo estaba tan entusiasmada de empezar de nuevo. ¡En el 2009, cuando tuve 26 años, terminé y pasé el examen de GED! Por primera vez me sentí tan orgullosa de mí misma. Todavía estaba casada, pero desafortunadamente, nos divorciamos a fin de año. Mientras tanto, todo parecía ir muy bien. Hice mi primer recorrido de una universidad y tomé cursos preliminares para ser una enfermera. Era increíble. Pero hay unos ciclos que son difíciles de romper. Conocí a un hombre y me quedé embarazada con mi cuarto hijo. Me sentí deprimida otra vez porque estaba sola con cuatros hijos para criar. Todo parecía…

I’m Going To Be Somebody!

by Jeanette Rivera with Tasha Michelle Hayes Who says it’s too late to get your high school degree? Just because you have children, or because you’re older than the average high school student, or you didn’t have enough credits to meet standard graduation, doesn’t mean it’s too late to go after your education. There is always time — and hope. Never give up!   Tasha Michelle Hayes had a goal and she went after it. She had three children and no man who helped with the support. Her many challenges didn’t dim the promise she made to herself: “I’m going to be something in this life!” Here’s what she told Reach UP. Growing up wasn’t the easiest. I watched my mother struggle and try to make ends meet for my sister, brother, and me. After a couple of moves, I lost interest in school at a young age and dropped out. I had my first child, Diamond, at the age of 20. It didn’t take long before I feeling depression. I was alone with no one to help me. Diamond’s father was out the picture. It was very hard to go from being a teenager to a woman with responsibility. I couldn’t do the things a single person could do. I looked for love in a man and that too failed. To deal with the depression I went to doctors to see if anything could be done for me. They gave me medications. But I still had an empty feeling. Though I always knew who God was, my focus wasn’t on Him. I wanted to feel love and acceptance. So again I turned to a man. This time I got pregnant with twin boys. We got married and I thought things would work out. My dream was soon shattered by his controlling and manipulative ways. I learned he was a thief and was on probation. All through our relationship he was in and out of jail and always in trouble. He wasn’t physically abusive but he did verbally abuse me. He would tell me, “Why you going to school? You need to be at home taking care of your kids and the house!” All I wanted to do was better myself and help my family. I remember telling my now ex-husband that I wanted to go back and finish my GED. He was so against it. I contacted a church and they sent me everything I needed to do in order to prepare for the pre-exam and the GED test. I was so excited to start anew. In 2009 at the age of 26 I completed and passed my GED exam! For once I was so proud of myself. I was still married but, sadly, by the end of the year we divorced. Meanwhile other things seemed to be going great. I took my first tour to a college and went through pre-RN courses. It felt amazing. But some cycles were hard to break. I met a man and got pregnant…

Cuando el autismo es un regalo disfrazado

Por Victor Velez Mi esposa y yo recibimos un regalo hace doce años atrás – un hijo que llamamos Jacob. Teníamos una buena vida. Teníamos un matrimonio contento y trabajábamos en el ministerio a tiempo completo cuando Jacob se hizo parte de nuestra familia. Nuestro hijo era brillante. Todavía no tenía dos años y supo todos los colores, el nombre de los animales, y pudo contar hasta el diez. Yo era un papá orgulloso y sabía que él estaba a camino a ser el primer médico en nuestra familia. Estábamos tocando el cielo con las manos, y nos sentíamos que nada podía frustrar nuestros planes en esta carrera grande que corríamos. Un día, nos dimos cuenta que toda el habla de nuestro hijo se iba disminuyendo. Al principio pensamos que no era gran cosa. Después de todo, era un bebé. Durante una visita rutinaria al médico, se nos ocurrió por primera vez que pudo haber un problema con nuestro hijo perfecto. Nos refirieron a un especialista que podía observarlo en una situación social. Dijo que quiso ver cómo nuestro hijo respondió en un cuarto lleno de niños “normales”. Mirábamos a nuestro hijo por la ventana. El médico no tenía que decir nada para que supiéramos que algo no era bien. El dolor era tan insoportable y profundo que apenas podíamos hablar en camino a la casa. El autismo. ¿Dios, cómo puede ser? Trabajamos a tiempo completo para el ministerio. ¡No tenemos tiempo para el autismo! Tengo que confesar que estuve enojado con Dios. “¿Por qué permitirías que esto nos pasa a nosotros? Hemos pasado nuestra vida sirviéndote, Dios. ¿Y nos recompensas con el autismo?” Nuestros planes, deseos, y sueños para nuestro hijo se quedaron destrozados. ¿Fueron destrozados para siempre?, pensaba yo. Después de un tiempo breve de autocompasión, pedimos perdón de Dios y buscamos su ayuda para ayudar a nuestro hijo. Nos dimos cuenta que teníamos que ser proactivos. Tomamos una clase sobre el autismo para entender mejor cómo podíamos ayudar a Jacob. Sinceramente, era un tiempo oscuro en nuestra vida aunque estábamos decididos a hacer todo lo que pudimos para ayudar a Jacob. De verdad sentimos como si todos nuestros sueños fueron destrozados. Como muchos, tuvimos gran planes para nuestra vida. Y estos sueños y planes casi nunca incluyen lo “¿Qué si…?” de la vida. Para nosotros, sólo una frase – cuatro palabras del doctor: “Tu hijo es autístico” – cambió nuestra vida. El autismo invadió nuestra vida para siempre. Si te encuentras en una situación semejante, está bien caerte cuando la vida no te salga bien. Nos caímos, pero tienes que levantarte. Quítate el polvo y con la ayuda de Dios, enfrenta la situación. La conciencia del autismo es más común hoy en día debido de mayor parte al número de niños afectados. A unas familias famosas también les invadió el autismo. Lo más importante que puedes hacer como mamá o papá de un niño autístico es educarte. Hay muchos recursos disponibles para educarte sobre este trastorno. Buscar…

When Autism is a Gift in Disguise

When Autism is a Gift in Disguise

by Victor Velez My wife and I received a gift twelve years ago – a baby boy we named Jacob. We had a great life. We were happily married and working in full-time ministry when Jacob joined our family. Our little guy was amazing. He wasn’t even two years old and he knew all his colors, the names of animals, and he could count to ten. Proud daddy that I was, I knew he was well on his way to being the first doctor in the family. We were on top of the world, feeling as though nothing could trip us up in this awesome race that we were running. Then one day, we noticed that all the speech that our son was using was rapidly decreasing. We tried to think that it wasn’t a big deal. After all he was just a baby. On a routine doctor’s visit we were first introduced to the idea that something may not be quite right with our perfect son. We were referred to a specialist who could monitor him in a social situation. They said they wanted to see how he reacted in a room full of “normally” developing children. As we watched our son through the window, without the doctor even saying the words, we knew something was wrong. The pain was so unbearable, so deep, that we could barely talk on the drive home. Autism. How can this be God? We are in full-time ministry. We didn’t have time for Autism! I have to admit that I was very angry at God. “Why would you allow this to happen to us? We’ve spent our lives serving you God, and autism is what you give us in return?” Our plans, hopes and dreams for our son lay shattered around our feet. Were they broken forever? I wondered. After a very short bout with self-pity, we asked God to forgive us and to help us help our son. We realized that we needed to be pro-active, so we took a class about autism so we could better understand how to help Jacob. Honestly, this was a very dark time in our lives, though we were determined to do all we could to help Jacob. We truly felt as if all of our dreams had been shattered. Like most people we had awesome plans for our lives. These dreams and goals almost never include the “What If’s” in life, do they? For us, just a sentence — four words from the mouth of the doctor: “Your son is autistic” — tripped up our lives. Autism had invaded our lives forever. If you are in a like situation, it is okay to fall when life trips you up. We did, but then you have to get up. Dust yourself off and with God’s help, face it. Autism awareness is more common today. It is mainly due to the number of children affected. And a few famous families have had autism invade their lives as…

Reach Up Spring 2017

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