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Day 1–Safer at Home: Be a Leader

30 Days with Me: Safer at Home Words of Hope

Well, today begins Day 1 of our “Safer at Home” order that Wisconsin has now mandated in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Many other states are also taking similar action, and so we find ourselves wondering how can we weather this scary, uncomfortable and really strange time ahead of us.

Are you walking in fear? Trying to navigate our new normal? Staying cool but looking for what you can do in the upheaval around you? Stay connected here, and I will be posting thoughts of encouragement, and vision to keep us pressing forward through this unusual time, together (but socially separate). I will provide ideas and resources daily as we go on each day and try to give us some positive things to focus on!

The following video is the first. This is on how we can keep up positive leadership through this crisis we find ourselves in the middle…

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A God Who Rescues: The Attack and the Prayer

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Photo by Ali Arapoğlu on Pexels.com

In my Junior year of college, I had one of the most fearful, and yet awesome experiences of my life.  Awesome because it was the beginning of my understanding of God’s personal love for me.  Fearful, well that you will quickly understand.

Early one Sunday morning, I walked across the University campus on the way to the Student Union where I planned to study before heading off to church.  A man walked briskly ahead of me into the Hall where classes were usually going on, but on Sundays was empty, and he let the door slam right in my face.  I decided he must be having a bad day, and I continued walking through the Hall which was attached to the Student Union. He turned into an empty classroom, presumably to study, and I walked on, thinking about all I planned to do that day.  

Suddenly, I heard the sound of someone running behind me, and then felt an arm go around my waist and a fist fly into my eye.  I struggled to get free from the arm around my waist, and wrestled something out of his hand (later in the struggle I realized it was a table knife).  I yelled for help, but he told me to shut up or he’d hurt me. I believed him so I shut up.

I dropped my backpack to the floor in hopes he would grab my valuables and go; and I crumpled to the ground so he wouldn’t think I was going to try to hurt him, but he did not stop punching me, so I raised myself up again to do something, but I was shoved against the wall, hit again so blood was in my one eye, and my other eye was blinded by the swelling of the first blow, and everything was a blur to me now.  He pulled me into the room he first turned into and began strangling me on the ground and then tying my wrist to a table in the room.The thought that this was really a bad dream and not really happening came to me, and my thinking became clouded and like a swirl, but reality hit and I was again aware this was very real. What was I to do?

The room was unlit, but the morning sun broke through the window, and I was reminded that I never asked God to help me in this. So I did.  I prayed the most heartfelt prayer I have ever prayed and I prayed it out loud, “God help me!” And he did. Out of the chaos of my half-thoughts, God brought the first clear thought through to me.  He reminded me of a woman’s story that I heard on a radio program a few months earlier, and her question to her attacker, “Do you know Jesus?” So I asked my attacker that very question, “Do you know Jesus?”

He waited a second, and then said, “yes.”  That was not the response that I expected and so fumbled for my next words by asking him, “then why are you doing this to me?”

At this point, he began to gather his things, and said, “Just stay there, just stay there, I won’t hurt you.  Don’t leave, just stay there.” He got his stuff together, ran into the hallway, grabbed my backpack, and ran out the door through which we had both entered the building.  When I was sure he was gone, I ran the other way, where I knew there would be people to help. I ran through the Student Union to the Information Desk, where the staff saw me coming and ran to help me as I collapsed at their feet.  They were awesome and helped me through the shock and police report and trip to the hospital for the fractured cheekbone I had received.

Though this was a traumatic experience, it was a turning point in my faith.  My parents were out of the country at the time, or I would have gone home that night of the attack and wouldn’t have pressed on.  In the following days, I had to face my fears head-on. I walked through that very building the next day only to see my blood still on the floor as people nonchalantly walked over it on their way to class.  I went to my classes despite my pain. I took my tests while my brain was still hurting and my eye still swollen. I persevered. I chose not to live in fear, but to trust God to fight for me.  Thankfully, I had an entire faith community come around me and help me through it all, and one truly beautiful best friend who listened to me process a lot.

I saw how I had been trusting in my own strength.  Truly, as soon as I recognized the Lord in the middle of this situation, he rescued me from it.  Take time to read Psalm 71. I believe it. I feel like I own that Psalm! I had been focusing on very foolish things up until this time; this put my life into perspective. Lives are fragile. I began to live my life for God because I suddenly realized how I wanted to be with Him in the end, and there is no certainty as to how soon that will come for us.  I would never have chosen in advance to be attacked, but looking back, I would never change it happening, because the good that God brought from it was so life-changing and so very good for the benefit of my soul.

“Bend low to my whispered cry and save me from all my enemies!  You’re the only place of protection for me.” –Psalm 71:2-3 TPT

Maureen Silveyra

Copyright 2020

Scripture quotations marked TPT are from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com.

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In God’s Lap — Awaken My Spirit

Children typically love to sit in their parent’s lap. My little one who is four is super-active and can be found running all over the place. But it also amazes me, with all that energy, how still he sits in my lap, and for how long he is happy to stay there. What does he […]

via In His Lap — Awaken My Spirit

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Following the Right Voice

Hello, friends! I thought I would let you know that this blog will be continued at awakenmyspirit.blog which will have no ads. If you have liked the content of this blog, please check out and like its continuation on my new site! Check out my latest blog post from the new site.

Awaken My Spirit

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My friend Melissa invited me to meet with her at a restaurant in an area of the city with which I was unacquainted, so I programmed it in to my phone to use the navigation system.  Using its navigation system has always been risky because my phone only has access to data when I am at home on my WIFI; I have had problems with the program losing access to the directions in the middle of a place I did not know, leaving me to fend for myself.  My husband suggested I take his phone instead, to avoid that problem this night.  I happily took his suggestion…and his phone.

As I began my drive, I heard the comforting voice of the GPS navigation lady telling me to turn right.  A few seconds later, I heard the muffled voice of my phone’s GPS navigation lady telling me to go a different direction.  I guess I had…

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A Vegetarian Meal at a King’s Table

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A Letter to Ask Your Forgiveness

Dear Native American/ First Nations Friends, and to those who do not want to call me friend,

I am writing this because I felt that God was saying this was necessary.  There are more wounds than what I will say, but these are the wounds I will address on behalf of Christians in America.

Please forgive my nation.  Forgive us for believing that our culture was superior to your own.  Forgive the Christians in this nation for forcing our culture on you and saying it was God’s way.  For not being wise enough to discern what was our culture from what was God’s way even though we had been shown grace when our peoples first became Christians—this was when the followers of Jesus had the grace to say that the new the European followers of Jesus did not have to obey all of the cultural practices of the Jewish people to worship God—that they should only have to give up and change a few things that related back to their past religions and take on a heavenly culture.  We did not say that to you.

Did we tell you there was a better culture than our own that we should all have to change to follow?  Our Great Heavenly Father’s culture and his ways?  That those ways are love?  Did we forget to say that and show that?  I am so sorry.  Did we fail to understand God’s words in Revelation where all tribes and nations were gathered before God to honor and praise him?  Do all “tribes and nations” mean that we all looked the same and sang him the same songs?  Did we fail to say you can sing your songs to Him your own way?  With your own instruments?  In your own language? In your own clothes or regalia?  I am so very sorry because I believe we have broken our own God’s heart by crushing you with our own vanity—you, a beautiful people whom he made to honor him with their own song, not ours.  Please forgive us.

We have been very unkind brothers and sisters at times.  Please know that our Father God is far, far more loving than his children have represented him to be.  Some of my nation still does not see what we need forgiveness for.  Can you forgive that too?  Can you find it in your heart to love us with a love and forgiveness as great as our God’s?

 

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Hurt in the Church

I love my church family.  Always.  But I have had more than my share of hurtful experiences from the church as well.  Some of the most hurtful people that I have met and known have been leaders in churches (though I have also had my share of wonderful leaders as well!) and I wonder how can that be when we are meant to love each other.  But people are not our God.  God is our God.  So I have kept my eyes on Him at hard times.  My kids fight a lot.  They do not always reflect my values.  But they are still part of my family…I am not kicking anyone out of the family!  That is how it works.  We don’t usually blame mom and dad because our sister hit us.  Blaming God for hurts from Christians isn’t the best way, either.  They are growing and learning just like we are.

What has been your experience in the church?

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