December 12, 2017

I'm not much of a New Year's resolution kind of girl but I am one to reflect. I love taking the time to sit with the Lord with the sole purpose of reflecting on the year that is almost at an end. I sit with my journal and pen in hand and I write. I write about the great times, the sad times, the difficult times and I begin giving thanks. I thank Him for His Presence. I thank Him because I've seen His different character traits through it all. I thank Him for His faithfulness and unfailing love for me and those I love. I thank Him because through it all there has been spiritual growth in me that wouldn't have come had I not walked through the things I have. I thank Him because He's been the 4th man in the fire; the one with me in the lions den. I thank Him for His many blessings, from family to friends, from health to His provision, to the greatest gift we could ever receive and that is His continual Presence in us. I thank Him for all of you and for NCS because long ago He gave His vision and passion for a school that would not only educate children but, most importantly, would teach His Word and grow Ambassadors for Christ. So to my NCS family, especially those who have taught/teach my own children, thank you for partnering with me to raise up Ambassadors for Christ. 

 

As you enter this holiday season, I encourage you to take some time with the Lord to reflect on who He's been for you this past year. May it fill your heart with Joy, Peace and Love for our Savior. He is worthy of all our praise!

 

"O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His loving kindness endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

 

"I will give great praise and thanks to the Lord with my mouth; And in the midst of many I will praise Him." Psalm 109:30

 

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23

 

Indeed He is God with us! 

 

November 16, 2017

I was asked to speak in chapel so I wanted to share with you what I shared with the students. 

Mr. Gyorfi came to me on Monday saying we are having our Thanksgiving chapel this week and asked if I would be willing to share for 3-5 minutes about what I am thankful for. My immediate response to him was yes as I have this "deal" with the Lord that I won't ever volunteer to speak in chapel unless He instructs me to or unless I'm asked. It's my way of knowing it’s the Lord leading me to do so. 

I immediately asked the Lord, "What do you want me to share? I'm so thankful to you for so many things?" 

Immediately I felt the Lord say, "Speak about being thankful for hard times."  The rest just flowed from a heart of gratitude towards the Lord for the very difficult things I've had to walk through and for getting to know Him the way I do now. 

It's easy to give thanks when things are going well. But can we be thankful when things are heart wrenchingly awful? Do you focus on the awful therefore keeping you from being able to give thanks? Or do you look beyond the awful to the One who is Sovereign and Faithful in the midst of it? 

Here's what I've learned…in the midst of my deep waters I've experienced God's Presence in a way I feel I wouldn't have. I came to know Him as my God of Peace and my Comforter. I learned that He is my Rock and my Refuge. I lived out that verse first hand that He is close to the brokenhearted. I felt His loving embrace as He told me, "You are spoken for".  

So today I give thanks for the hard times because not only was He with me, He got me through it.  

I don't know what difficulties or challenges you are facing but my prayer is that you will look beyond them and come to know Him as your Peace, Comforter and Refuge. 

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

 

November 3, 2017 

I just wanted to share something that was a blessing to me. I pray it will be a blessing to you as well.  

Recognize- the good things God has given you. 

 "Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." James 1:17

 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Of all the good things the Lord has given us nothing compares to His Son and yet we thank Him and acknowledge His abundant goodness to us. 

Release- all frustrations, anger, worry, resentment, hurt and disappointment to the Lord.

"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22

"He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds." Psalm 147:3

"For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17

When we have frustrations, anger, worry, resentment, hurt etc., in our hearts it keeps us bound. The Lord wants us to give it to Him because He knows only then will we experience true freedom and as we release it into His hands we acknowledge He is Lord over all!

Receive- who God says you are!

"But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12

"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9

Stand for who the Lord says you are regardless of how you feel, regardless of how you see yourself and regardless of what others say. His Word is truth and your identity is in Him. 

Remain- in His truth, in Him. 

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

Praise God for the freedom we have in Him! Walk in it my friends! 

October 2, 2017

I first wanted to say I'm so thankful and feel so blessed and privileged to work in a school that has a passion for the Lord and desires to serve Him, seek Him and obey Him in all things. Last week was an amazing time, one where chains were broken, fear, unforgiveness, resentment and anger were released, lives were reconciled to the Lord, lives were saved, lives were set free, lives were commissioned to His service. The list goes on and on. I remember like it was yesterday the day Priscilla said to us in Nicaragua that she felt strongly from the Lord she needed to come to Norfolk Christian and I praise God for His provision for her but also for His preparation to bring His Word and her obedience to speak it. I praise God that He would lay it on someone's heart from a distant land to be praying for Norfolk Christian and its people. 

I pray that we too can be obedient to His call when we hear it. I pray that we will continue to seek Him in all things as He continues to lead this school. Last week was just a taste of things to come for all of us. With that said, I was able to witness (as I was translating for Priscilla during the prayer times last week) one of our young men accept Christ as His Savior with Priscilla Friday night. I also know another of our young men accepted Christ Monday night with Tyler and I'm sure there are more testimonies to be shared. Friday night's time was beautiful. If you thought Wednesday's chapel was powerful, Friday night was even more! God is moving in the lives of our students, in all of our lives and we need to take a time to testify of the work He is doing. We made some time on Friday with the students and so many came forward to speak of what He did for them this week. I encourage you to continue to seek Him and to obey that calling He's placed in your life. We serve a Risen Savior who is Faithful and worthy of our praise! May we continue to pray, to seek Him, to stand in the gap for those that need us to lift them up. 

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6

 

September 7, 2017

The past two days the Lord has led me to read in the Old Testament. His teaching has been two fold. One was in the book of Ruth. The Lord reminded me that things He allows us to walk through in life is in preparation for what is to come. We can't dismiss those "small or insignificant" things we may be doing but instead realize that they too serve a purpose in building our character and laying a foundation for a greater purpose down the road. All things, when placed in His hands, have significance.  

The other teaching was found in the book of Joshua chapters 5-6. When Joshua was approaching Jericho a man appeared before him with a sword. He questioned and asked who he was and the man identified himself as, "the commander of the Lord's army". Joshua's initial response was to fall down in reverence, state "I am at your command" and then ask, "What do you want your servant to do?"  The commander's response was, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”  Then Joshua's response was to do what he was told.  

Joshua's initial response upon knowing who the man was, and then his willingness to do whatever he was told, is what captivated my heart. His response was obedience. He didn't question it, indeed he craved to know what the Lord wanted Him to do, but the Lord's response also got my attention. That act of "taking off your sandals" to me is to take off everything that hinders our walk with the Lord and then recognizing that being before the Lord is standing on Holy ground. Only when we are willing to remove and let go of those things that hinder our relationship with the Lord will we truly find the freedom to worship in His Presence. Joshua's obedience led him to a place of worship.  

I don't know what the Lord is asking you to "take off" but are you willing to, as Joshua did, say to the Lord, "What do you want your servant to do? And then in obedience to the Lord, "take off your sandals" and worship.

 

Zuliaka Garzon serves as the Librarian for the Upper School and Head Prayer mom for the Friday Morning Prayer Group.  Her passion is encouraging others in the Lord through His word and praying for others.  Zuliaka is the mother of NCS graduates, Chris '10 and Emily '15, and current student Grace, '21.  Zuliaka is fluent in Spanish as it was her mother's desire that she not forget her first language.  She was born in Puerto Rico, moved to New York as a young child and in 1998 moved to Virginia with her family.  For many years Zuliaka was a stay-at-home mother, until, she says, "Little did I know that God would open many doors for me while subbing (substitute teaching at NCS), but He always has a greater plan."   

Zulaika Garzon serves as Upper School Librarian and a dedicated Prayer Warrior for Christ.  Read her encouraging words here on this page.  You can read more about Zuliaka in her bio below.