The Change Perspective

10/20/2017 Estreitta 0 Comments

I absolutely love the fall. I love the cooler temperatures that's relief from the texas sweltering heat. I love the changing colors of the trees and the eye candy that brings. I love getting to wear scarfs and getting to cuddle up with my husband to warm my feet. I love going to bonfires and cookouts and hay rides that comes with fall festivals.

On the flipside the fall marks a time of change, the old dying off in this season so the new can come bursting forth in the spring. It's the changing of the seasons the things that can be a mess for a time - especially having to rake up the dead leaves, then bag them up for the trash collector to retrieve. Change can be a lot of work and overwhelming at times...

I think we all can admit...sometimes change can be hard. REALLY HARD.

But I have come to the conclusion that it really boils down to how you look at the change.. truly it is a matter of your perspective.

What I have found to be the most beneficial when change is on the horizon whether it be in my family, my life, my work, my friendships, my dreams, my ministry, my giftings, my limitations when I don't understand the who, what, where, why, and how come... Is that I need to only focus on what I do know not on what I don't.

Ask the Lord what is His perspective about this situation/relationship? < THIS IS WHAT YOU KNOW

Then ask the Lord how do I align my perspective with His perspective? < THIS IS HOW YOU KNOW

So What Do I Know?

Most of the time I come to the realization that He is in Control and I am not and I just need to lay it all down and Focus my thought on Truth. Because focusing on the truth of God's word is what sets me free from worrying about what is going to happen, how it's going to happen, when it's going to happen. The agony of trying to figure out stuff and the anxiety and stress that develops in every area of my life is a manifestation of my Lack of Trust in God, and his plans for my life... Misery the only fruit that comes from worry which is a symptom of having a lack of trust and lack of faith in God's process, timing, perspective.

After Years and Years of struggling, when things happen that are out of my control... understanding almost everything i am not directly responsible for is out of my control...

  • I don't control other people
  • I don't control time
  • I don't control circumstance

The only thing I am in control of is how I respond to the change. Do I come up higher and look above the fray or do i stay low in the muck and whine and moan and cry about how horrible things are. While I cannot control all of the other things I can control my will, my thoughts and emotions and align them with truth. (Phil 4)

Knowing what you are called to - being a worshiper of Jesus, following his precepts, and walking in the fruits of the spirit - is what will keep your eyes on Jesus and in the process. 

Remember there is a Process to the Progress. 

So if it feels like things are moving along at a snails pace don't grow weary... you will get to the other side

If things feel like it is smooth sailing and then all of a sudden it feels like your whole world is crashing down around you... Jesus is there to bring peace and hope.

And like that oldies song written by Pete Seeger, sung by the Byrds that is based on Ecclesiastes...

To everything, turn, turn, turn.There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant, a time to reap. A time to kill, a time to heal. A time to laugh, a time to weep.
To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to build up, a time to break down. A time to dance, a time to mourn. A time to cast away stones. A time to gather stones together.
To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven. A time of love, a time of hate. A time of war, a time of peace. A time you may embrace. A time to refrain from embracing.
To everything, turn, turn, turn.There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to gain, a time to lose. A time to rend, a time to sew. A time for love, a time for hate. A time for peace, I swear it's not too late.

Remind yourself often that He has provided for your every need and He has put specific people in your life to help you get there. Those you have surrounded yourself with have helped your along the course to that Goal of getting to the other side of the shift.

  • Some have given me directions and resources
  • Some have taken time to show me what they have learned
  • Some have spoken truth when I needed to hear it
  • Some have prayed for me through what seemed was the darkest of hours and seasons of my life
  • Some have been there since day one
  • Some have come in and out at crucial times
  • Some have contributed for a short period of time and then never to be seen or heard from again

Value all of those people no matter if they were in my life for a minute, 5 days or 42 years. Everyone of them have contributed to make you into who you are today .

I know I am grateful all of those have contributed to who I am today.

Knowing that God works everything out in the end, I Promise!!! Does it ever look like I thought it would in the end... hardly... But most of the time it is so better than I could have ever imagined.

Don't keep dwelling on the shoulda, coulda, woulda's... Just lean into Jesus and press forward to your higher calling while declaring:


Crossing the Racial Divide Pt 1: The Pursuit of Racial Reconciliation

9/06/2017 Estreitta 0 Comments

Since the Charlottesville attacks, at my church Upper Room Dallas our leadership has been discussing racial reconciliation and how we as followers of Christ should address the tensions in America inside and outside the church. It has been a powerful few weeks of teaching and getting the opportunity to hear candidly from our pastors as well as church leaders in the community and those in our congregation their perspectives, insights and life experiences as it relates to prejudices, bigotry, and racism.

I have grown up in Church my ENTIRE Life and I have NEVER EVER heard the topic of racial reconciliation spoken in Church. This is has been a prayer of my heart since my 20's and I am so blessed to be a part of a church who is willing to approach this topic with a desire to see healing, restoration and reconciliation in the body of Christ and in our community.

Growing up we attended predominantly caucasian churches with the exception of one when we lived in Fort Worth. My family was typically one of maybe 2 - 4 other families that were Hispanic in our tiny country town AG church. I am blessed to say that I have never experienced any prejudices and or bigoted attitudes towards me or my family because of our ethnicity in the churches i've attended.

In 1982, our family moved from Pennsylvania to Texas. I honestly had no clue I was different until I moved to Texas. I was bullied, made fun of, and treated horribly by other kids because i didnt look like them. 

I had never experienced such hatred and disdain and I was 7 years old. In Pennsylvania I wasnt treated any differently never received any type of bullying in school. I didn't understand why this was happening to me. I didnt understand why other kids were so mean to me. Then in the summer of 1983 we moved from the city to the country the bullying & teasing increased and was worse than in the city. I went home crying myself to sleep every night. 

It wasn't until I was in college that I realized most of this behavior was a result of systemic racism and prejudices towards Hispanics in the south.

In middle school I was made fun of and was told I was mexican, my mother is from central american country Honduras. In Texas, Mexicans were (an often still are) considered the lowest class of people. Maybe because of my name or because of my skin tone, I was being basically told that I don't matter or I am not valued because of my ethnicity. I tried to tell them I was white and I wasn't different then them, I even brought my baby pictures to school to prove to everyone I was Born White...They did not relent.


When I was sixteen I was volunteering as a candy striper at a local Ft Worth Hospital. I was informed, "You're still a wetback you family just swam further" after I told the 16 year old boy that I was not mexican because my family originated from Spain.

With the exception of that ignorant boy, the tone in which people would ask me, "Are you Mexican?" would quickly change when I inform them I was of Spanish descent.

This perpetual association built prejudices in me towards Mexicans and even my own Hispanic heritage.  I began to have a sense of superiority because my Great Grandparents were from Spain. I even decided I didn't like Mexican Food, as a form of protest.  I began to think since I wasn't Mexican I was better than them. In high school my friends gave me the nickname Estreitta "I'm Not A Mexican" Martin because of the continual question being asked of me and my response.

It took till I went to my Christian college in Minnesota for me to realized the prejudices I had towards Mexicans and my Hispanic Heritage. I repented for my mindset and began embracing who I was and my Hispanic roots. I even went from being called Es-tree-dah to Es-tray-ee-tah.

While most of the blatant prejudices have subsided in my adulthood.  After a ten year break from living in the midwest, I discovered there are more subtle forms of racism that I have seen since I moved back to Texas in 2004. Most of the ignorance is coupled with the fact that while many of the individual may be seemingly nice people, they have unfortunately been raised with a prejudice mindset and philosophy passed down generation after generation within a southern culture that perpetuates and degrades people of color.


There is a lot of controversy surrounding this movie because it:
  1. Downplays the tension around the reconstruction era
  2. Portrays former slaves as incoherent unintelligent buffoons
  3. It glorifies plantation life as something cheerful and pleasant 
This movie was released in 1946, 83 years after President Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation, 80 years after Jim Crow Laws were put in effect, and segregation was a way of life in the south.  It took about 20 more years afterwards till the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 to become law of the Land that abolished the latter.

I actually have fond memories of this movie, I remember going to the movies to see as a 5 year old little girl when it was re-released in 1980. This movie is etched in my mind and when I recall it often and I see Uncle Remus walking down the cartoon path singing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. We even bought a disney record that had this song on it and we would play all the time and sing along.

As a child you have no idea about any of these complex issues or the somewhat subliminal messaging that is being instilled and ingrained subtly.  (There are many other Disney movies that when you see them.)

I remember the first time I learned about Slavery was when we moved to Texas and I didn't understand why the kids were teasing me because I was a Yankee. I asked my mom why they were calling me that.  My mom told me about the civil war and how the Yankees defeated the Rebel forces that led to freedom of the slaves.

I was so heartbroken over this horrible history in our nation. Yet, I was proud to carry the label of a Yankee. Understanding fully at 7 years old that my being a Yankee meant that I was on the right side of history.  So when they teased me the next day I proudly declared, "Yes, I am a Yankee. At least, WE won the civil war! You are the losers."  They had no rebuttal.


This last Sunday at church two members with whom our pastor Michael Miller has been meeting and discussing the issue of racism regularly were asked to share their stories.  Very Eye Opening and once the message is made public I will add below.  At the end of the service there was a call for repentance and renouncing of mentalities that may have been unknowingly taught to us.

I encourage you to search your heart, mind and spirit. Seek the Lord for any roots of racism, bigotry, or prejudices towards a people group because of your upbringing, or the part of the country you grew up in or your parents and grandparents attitudes towards people of a different race or being a recipient of mistreatment from certain people groups because of your ethnicity. It is an eye opening experience, one that is terrifying and revealing but the outcome is totally worth it. 

Repentance & Renouncing Generational Racism, Bigotry & Prejudices is the first step to crossing the racial divide.

Here are some of the recent Messages that I HIGHLY Recommend:


A Different Warrior

8/23/2017 Estreitta 0 Comments

I wrote this poem after taking a class at Northwestern College called Biblical Racial Reconciliation. I wrote it as part of my final paper for the class.My own experiences coupled with hearing stories of friends who experienced the same kind of injustices of racism and prejudices from all over the country branded me today with the desire to speak out and hold fast to pursue racial reconciliation in the communities i belong to inside and out side of the church:


Written by I. Estreitta Martin (1999)

To change one's perspective
To know one's pain
To be a person that's differnt
Sometimes pay the price to feel a little bit the same

To sense what it was like, by walking in their shoes
For Family
To God
Their cries echoed
Through the night

The life they were allowed to live
There wasn't a lot of choices
They had no choice to make

All they knew was
One Day
Some Day
Even Any Day,
Freedom would be in sight

To hear their heart wailing for change
The barriers that seem to never Go AWAY
Knowing that this victory would not be done in vain

No matter if anyone else might try
Try to Stop
Stop the Truth they have to say

The warrior is crying within them to pursue this to the end
Something must be done
Something must stop this agony flowing through their veins
These issues are vital and but be made amend
Their Leader is the Almighty and His presence ultimately rules and reigns

No obstacle, nor distraction can hod back these warriors
Warriors ready to stand and fight
They do this in honor and acknowledgement for the One who is their Guide
To the One that empowers and and strengthens them
With Him before them, around them, and behind them
They will truly see and walk in his might
They will rise up against the enemy to fight
Suited up are these warriors of light
Their journey begins with roaring chants that God is on their side
Which will lead them to victory and the devil's final demise

They keep faith, and not loose hope
So God makes a way
Pulling out all the roots of bigotry, along with strife, hostility and shame
For they know that love, peace and joy will be the enemy's dismay

All dressed for battle holding the sword of righteousness
Cutting out all bondages of demonic strongholds that have plagued out society even to this day
Their mouths filled with truth to break the powers of darkness over the centuries of lies

Keeping the vision in their hearts and souls
Staying prepared
For the path that is rugged and steep
With the knowledge that there is much work ahead

This warrior of a different kind
To some may appear to be weak, inferior, insignicant
But this warrior is determined to pursue justice that he is called to defend
They have a Christ centered Message
With confidence
that ignorance, prejudice, and racism will finally come to an end

They keep moving forward
Pressing on til unity is positioned in it's rightful in place
Because when it does
Everyone will know
The Message will finally be heard of what needed to be said.