“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.”
– Leo Buscaglia
My life hurries, and my time passes, and for others, the world becomes more lonely! For this reason, I am moved to write about friendship. Proverbs 27:9 declares that “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” I strongly believe that this is the truth.” A true friendship can refresh and revive the barren parts of your heart; it can resurrect the dead places of your soul. Growing up attending church, I learned the hymn, “A Friend in Jesus,” and I know that I do have a friend in Him! As I look into the beautiful faces of those individuals that God places in my life, Iam reminded of that gift! Amid a hurried and lonely world, we must be reminded of this truth! The need for friendships of the soul has always existed through the beginning of time. We long to know that we do not walk the path of life alone, and indeed we are not. In retrospect, as a teenager, I discovered my favorite Christian artist and songwriter, the one and only –Michael W. Smith.
He released a beautiful song called “Friends,” and it spoke to my heart. As a Christian, he spoke from a place of deep love, claiming that Friends are given to us by God and that friends truly never leave us. Yes, “Friends are forever when the Lord is the Lord of them.” I think this is so important to remember because in a world that is ever-changing and people are pulled apart by the demands of life, this ideology still holds. So, decades later, I realize that the so many friends I thought I lost, I never truly lost them at all! God holds us together! Now in more recent times, I spend time praying for those in our newer and present generation. I try to listen to their music and hear their voices; I may, for a moment, look into their beautiful faces. Well, I realize that simply nothing has changed; their faces also say, “I need a friend.” We are in a world filled with technology and endless advanced forms of communication;Yet we are forever lonely, wondering who will be there. Or better yet, does anyone know I am here in this place at all?
We can begin to feel invisible to others, but this is the greatest lie of all! If we believe that we are alone and invisible, then we also forget that God has given us a purpose! As I thought about this, I remembered the song of a young talented artist named Justin Bieber called “Company.” He represents the voice of so many in the present generation, and for this reason, I pray for him. Justin presents the most important question of all – to a world where reaching out and spending time together in friendship has disappeared in so many ways: “Can we be each other’s company?” Undoubtedly, the need for true friendship and connection is ever-present. So, go find your company and your friends! Today, I want to thank you on behalf of “My Seven Blessings” for not just following our website, but for being our friends and company. I do not long to create another site filled with followers; I hope that we can be a genuine network of friendship. May you know that as I start every day, I thank God for the world that I live in, and I thank Him for you! I think about all the potential friends that I have all around this world, and I pray for God to bless them truly. As you go about life, know that we are here for you, and that is our greatest gift to call ourselves your friend! – Your friend Forever, Lisa & My Seven Blessings
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
– Dr. Seuss
When I think of Love…My favorite quote from the legendary Maya Angelou comes to mind: “Love recognizes no barriers, it jumps hurdles, leaps, fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” And believe me, I think a lot about Love! By those that know me well, I am referred to as “The Hopeless Romantic! But in all honesty, I believe that I am just hopeful because I strongly believe in the power of Love. So strong is my belief in the power of Love that I either watch a love story based movie or I read about it every single week. This week reflecting on my favorite love stories, I remembered the award-winning movie, “The Titanic” starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio. In one word, I truly found this love story absolutely mesmerizing, so much so that I must have watched at least a good 30 times! The love story of Rose and captured my heart and inspires me to think of all the reasons that love still matters! However, it wasn’t until this week that I truly realized why I love this movie like I do, and that is because it reminds me that Love saves! Yes, it does! And I believe it saves us all!
In the movie Titanic, there is an unforgettable scene when Rose meets Jack for the first, hanging from the back of the ship. Rose is seen frantically running through the boat until she reaches the end, with tears and desperation, she concludes that this too is the end of her life! She believes that there is no other way out for her, but to simply leave this world! Rose is convinced that no one cares, that is ultimately invisible and that she is truly alone! Yet, just in that perfect moment, suddenly appears Jack Dawson to save her! Amazingly, he is the only one present on that side of the ship laying on a bench looking up at the stars, until he is startled by the sound of Rose running and crying through the dock! He both sees and hears the astoundingly, beautiful young woman! Jack approaches Rose with caution, fearful that she just might jump off the ship into the deep ocean. He immediately realizes that the lovely, rich, and classy girl has come to the end of herself, but only he can help her! Jack reads her emptiness and the lack of Love in her life.
Have you ever felt like that? You look inside of yourself, and there’s no purpose or reason to live? You wake up one day, and you can’t even breathe, so you begin to run…and you run! Well, and yes, you run from your life, from the people around, but most of all—From Yourself! Indeed, I know that I have in my own life! Undoubtedly, I have been in moments that seem endless and that I genuinely believe that my heart will never go on! Yet, these were the moments where I also saw God appear the most in my life. These experiences taught me that God both sees and hears what no one else can, and that is able to love me in my brokenness, and I feel like absolutely no one.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:7-21 that God is Love and that we are called to Love if we know God, because He loved us first through His Son Jesus. Love is powerful and in many ways like God cannot be reasoned or put into words. God’s Love transforms us, changes us, draws us close, and can even interrupt us! There is no mistake in Love it just exists, and gives us the strength we need. So again, we see this power of Love in “The Titanic,” when Jack comes to Rose’s rescue and interrupts her plan to just end it all. He did not make his presence to Rose optional, in that dramatic scene, he says to Rose, “I am sorry, I am involved now, and if you jump, I am going to have to jump in the water and get you!” In other words, I am in this problem with you, and I am definitely not leaving you. I will do everything I must do to save you! Until Jack convinces Rose to receive his hand and turn around to simply look right into his eyes. The eyes that reflect the Love and hope that she so desperately needed in her life. These are the same eyes that mark her soul, and she remembers them until the moment at hat she takes her last breath into heaven. But as with most turns around in life, it was not that simple, Rose is caught, loses her balance and slips off, only held by Jack’s hand. She is convinced that she will die! Yet, Jack knows differently and calls her, saying, “Look at me, Rose! I got you! I won’t let go! His reassuring eyes that say, I can save you and bring you to safety. I think just like Rose, we all need a Savior that gets us back on the ship. God’s Love is also that strong for us! He loves us and saves us right where we are! God runs to find us and jumps after us just to get us back to safety! The eyes of Jesus looking back at me have given me a fresh start so many times, and His Love has even saved me from myself at times! God’s Holy Spirit has definitely come to my rescue, also when much like Rose, I would just say go away and leave me alone! I do not understand it most of the time, but somehow, Jesus always shows up and just stays with me until I finally decide to look into His eyes and accept His Mighty Hand!
In the movie’s love story, we know that Jack’s Love transformed Rose’s life so much that he died so she could live and gave her a new last name by the end of the story. Rose expresses these wonderful words: “Jack saved me in all the ways a person can be saved, and she realized the power of Love helped her to find herself so that her heart could go on! We know that she was only able to keep Jack in her memories and in her heart, but through it all, he was there with her as she lived her life.
This is an example of God’s powerful Love in our own lives because we cannot see Him, but His Love is always there! God always remains even when our own lives disappear with time. You may be asking yourself, well asking yourself, and how exactly does Jesus show up in my life? The answer is simply this, look at into the eyes of the individuals that just suddenly walk into your life when you are at your worst in life. Or maybe, those you ask to go away or you run away from because they look different or sound different than you? Can you see the Jack in your life? Ready to Jump, Ready to Listen, and Ready to Love you no matter what! Our own Jack’s teach us and lead us to discover, know, and live out God’s amazing and endless Love that sacrifices everything and never leaves us until we return home! With Love, Lisa Camacho
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” All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God.”
– Thomas Browne
Lisa Ivette Camacho was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and blessed with a loving and giving family; who raised her with a strong belief in God and that all things are possible if you develop a strong faith-based mindset. However, many of my childhood memories are bittersweet; likewise, many of us, when reflecting, have experienced this feeling. After being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of just two years, my parents promptly decided to move to Orlando, Florida, seeking greater medical advancements to provide me a better future. Unfortunately, These efforts required endless hospitalizations and rehabilitation services, which amassed to staggering medical fees. However, my family’s sacrifices and prayers paid off, and I am delighted to say that I am living a healthy life without complications. In retrospect, my childhood experiences have instilled my faith and my eternal gratitude for the Lord’s blessings so that in turn, I could bless others in this world.
As a young Hispanic woman, I promised myself to create a dream for my life, run after it, and make it happen. Therefore, I can genuinely say that after two decades of hard work in many ways, my life dream of helping others has come true. One of my most excellent mentors in leadership and my career is the legendary Mary Kay Ash, and she wrote: “The definition of successful people is simply ordinary people with extraordinary determination.” These words describe my own story, my identity, and my pursuit of becoming a leader in this world. In other words, I am an ordinary woman determined to create an extraordinary difference in this world.
In 2002, I graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Work, and I have dedicated my life to serving in the areas of medical case management and hospice services. Social Work has taught me about the complexities of human behavior in an often chaotic world. Thus, healthcare is one of the most critical organizational industries that continue to impact people, and they’re well- being around the world. Additionally, the adventures of social work have taught me about the physical, emotional, and socio-cultural aspects that develop and impact human beings. Honestly, Social Work has given me no greater satisfaction than to see individuals thrive in diverse cultural environments, whether this entails environments filled with struggles, violence, victories, or pursuits. Ultimately, Social Work has prepared and led me to believe in the power of leadership and how it can shape communities, build organizations, and strengthen human development.
As a medical social work leader, while working with the issues of death and dying, I understood that for humans to reach their highest potential, an individual needs to become aware of his/her spirituality. This longing to understand how people develop in their spiritual life also led me to complete a Master’s of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in May 2017. My theological studies have empowered me to help others find community and faith. So, in addition to working as a full-time medical social worker, I also volunteer in my local church serving as a coordinator of the Hispanic Ministry and as a minister in the Orlando community, where I teach Bible studies at a Dunkin Donuts weekly. Every month, the ministry attendees are also collectively able to enjoy various social activities and individually reflect on their spiritual growth through my devotional writings and dialogues. As a result, I have watched so many people become empowered in their faith journey with God and their relationship with others. I feel blessed to have been given the gift of influence and leadership, but not for any personal gain of power, but to serve as an instrument to help others achieve more and greater success.
For me, living the dream of leadership has only just begun, and I believe that the doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership can and will help me complete that dream. My greatest passion has been to merge my two careers in medical social work and Ministry. As a result, by understanding the components of business and various organizational leadership structures, I believe that I will accomplish the dream, and it can only strengthen the vision by expanding my horizons and knowledge. As part of fulfilling that passion and vision; ultimately, I plan to use my skill sets in the field of missions work on a global scale.
As I begin, I want you to know that I am thrilled that you are here! Today, we start our journey, and together will we discover all how life is and can be made beautiful through Faith! As we reflect on our lives, we have all encountered moments where our Faith was tested! I know that I have and to be honest, I am not always perfect at exercising the process of Faith, just like everyone else! I want to ask you: Have you ever been afraid of water or swimming in it? I will share with you a childhood story of when I was ten years old:
It was a scorching summer day, much like today! I was always afraid of swimming, yet my youngest brother Sammy mastered the waters just like a fish, and nothing brought him greater pleasure than swimming in a pool during our long summers! One afternoon, we were with relatives at the local hotel pool with my cousins that were excited to experience the Florida sun!
On the other hand, I loved to be with them but not so much at a pool, because I was terrified of water and swimming in that pool caused panic in my soul! As I watched them, laughing, playing, and having fun in the water, I kept myself in a very safe hot chair that honestly brought me little joy! I kept thinking to myself: “Wow, look at them! Too bad, I can’t swim! At least, not like that!” Though suddenly, my brother yelled out to me: “Common on Lisa! Get into the pool!” I always admired him and didn’t want to disappoint him, so I did!
At first my fear was intense, but as the water was at my waist, and my feet could touch the textured pool ground, the fear was gone! However, as I began to play with the others, I forgot about my safety zone and went into the deeper end of the pool! When I realized that I could no longer touch the ground, I began to panic and started to drown and swallow warm water! My fear was unfathomable! I moved my arms and legs frantically in all directions! I thought I am going to die! No one is watching me! Although out of nowhere, I felt Sammy’s strong arm pull me up, and he swam with me over to where I felt safe again! I was so relieved, but I never forgot what my brother said: “Don’t worry Lisa, I got you!” As we sat on the side of the pool laughing, Sammy looked at me with a sparkle in his eye that I will never forget and in a proud and joy-filled tone of voice, he said: “You did it, Lisa! You finally went on the deep side of the pool! You see, and you did not drown! Now, you do not need to be afraid of the pool anymore!”
I share this story because it helps think and understand Faith in our lives! It does not come easy, and in many ways, it can be scary! In Matthew 14:22-32, we see that Peter walked on water because of his Faith in Jesus! Jesus challenged Peter, much like my brother challenged him to get out of my safe place! For that is what Faith does in us, it takes us out of our secure and dry areas in our lives! I pray that as we keep our eyes on God accepting every challenge given to us that we will in Faith been to walk over the waters of our lives!
What are the waters in your life? How do we envision them? Are they like the waters of a warm and calming pool, but that have different levels of depth that can change when you least expect it? Alternatively, are they turbulent filled with strong winds and wave on a beach shore? Whatever, they are and however they look to you, know that God is there and that He’s got you!
By living in Faith, God will be able to take us where we have never been before! We can see and hear things like never before in our lives! For God, it is never too late to learn how to walk on water or even conquer our greatest fears. To walk on water in God’s Faith means to walk in confidence and to believe that God can and will get us to another side. For everyone, “the other side looks different,” but the arrival to it is what truly matters! You may be waiting on God to create a miracle in your life and change your circumstances, and know that He can! However, many times, God will wait for us to take a straightforward step that says, “I am leaving my safe zone now to all God’s best for me! The walk of Faith leads us to a new beginning that renews us and leads us to a transformation from the inside out!
The Mission of our hearts should be to worship, love, and serve God above all things. We should seek the things of God, the unseen things that only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us! We should chase after Jesus and seek His Kingdom so that we may fulfill the high commission that one day He left to His disciples and we continue to carry the legacy. We should desire to advance the Kingdom of God for God alone deserves the Glory! The longing of our hearts should be focused on the One that gave us life and not just any life but life abundantly! However, the Bible makes it very clear that our actions are meaningful, but without Faith, it is impossible to please God.
What is Faith? Faith is to believe in what we do not yet see as it says in Hebrew 11, as Christians, we are called to live by Faith. We are called to trust in the source of Faith in the One that has brought us this far. To believe in the One & only God that brought us here today! Our daily struggles, inner voices, and our socio-cultural spirits of unbelief that govern our world can in one second tarnish our Faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Today, God calls us to be brave and to begin to live by Faith again, and if you have never lived by Faith, you are invited to receive the God that will create that journey of Faith for you. In Jesus’s Name, we cast out every spirit of fear that is trying to impede our Faith, and that hold us back from experiencing a new walk of Faith. God is calling us to step into the journey if the Impossible! Join me as we step out into Faith and believe that it begins today!