Monday, February 21, 2005

Non-christian music influence over Christians

I dont know if I'm the only one who experiment this particular disappointment about popular non-christian music. The other day I borrowed from a friend a dvd with Avril music videos and clips about her and the band and their tour "try to shut me up" and boy, I was shocked to see what I saw. One thing is to hear their music and think that it sounds cool and another thing is to see what they really are up to and into. Music is a powerful instrument created by God that will influence people for good or for bad, and there are way to many people out there using it for the wrong purpose and we are in one way or other participating of it. Music has the particularity of making someone do something, behave in a certain way or believe something. I am kind of concerned about so many christians listening to non-christian music and we are not paying attention to what they are bombarding us with their message. A song can sound harmless or even with a good theme but it doesnt really reflects what the singer and not only the singer but the producers and records company believes. For instance this song, "knock knock knock in heavens doors", appears to be good, but is that really the message the singer believes in? The same singer writes lyrics about rebellion which at the light of the Bible is at the same level than adultery, homicide among others, writes about ilicit sex and not in a way that is really obvious but very lightly and smoothly and we enjoy them, even sing them, buy their music and dance them. We are opening a door there to the devil to bomb our minds with his lies and dirtiness and little by little we get colder and colder in our spiritual life and we wonder why. I conclude that this is a big lie out there that says, "it doesnt matter that you are christian, you can listen to non-christian music and there is nothing wrong with it" its a lie that "those who radically opposes and warns about this are hopeless fanatics" Music carries a message, if it is not Christ-centered message then its flesh-centered message, satan-centered message and this word away from God-centered message and those are not good for any christian. It is not gonna be easy for me nor for no one to stop listening to non-christian music but with Christ help we are victorious and winners, so at the end we can and we must stop it.

What's going On

There is not much going on around here, the usual things, a bunch of work, a bunch of water and sky and the daily battle for victory over my spiritual life. Lately I've been up to a Bible study about spiritual warfare and how we are not victorious because of satan deceptions and lies that he constantly tries to put on our minds. I am amazed at how much and frequent the apostol Paul enphazised throughout all his epistoles about how easy is for us to be deceived and put down because of a lack of knowledge of our position in Christ, our identity. We most of the time tend to forget that we have all Christ autorithy and power over the evil and the dark kingdom to stand firm and stay free from bondages and sin just because we are in Him who was given all the power and authorithy upon his death and resurrection from the cross to cast away the devil and his lies. It's interesting and really helpful to carry out a holy life according to His Word.
On the sad note of the week, the leader of the christian group we have onboard, signed off last sunday for vacation, so now it's everyone else to try to guide the studies. I am so gonna miss Teo, a man of wisdom in God who challenges me to stay firm irregardless of the circumstances. And to top if off, yesterday night the one of the important member of our group got sick and was transferred urgently to a hospital in San Diego. I pray to the Lord that he is all right and its nothing seriuos.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Bumping Ride

Yesterday it was my half day off, so I woke up late, around 1:00 afternoon, went to have lunch at the crewmess and decided to go out. It never crossed my mind to check how was the weather outside, (because usually is extremely hot) so I put on a short and a sleeveless shirt. When I approach the gangway, and I am about to pop into the tender I finally see that is really dark and it's raining and cold, but still I thought, nah, I've nothing else to do, so a little raining is not gonna throw my plans away. Wrong choice. I was the only one on that tender, apparentely I was the only freak to go out on such conditions, but still I repeat, it was not that bad when I got into the boat. It was only 5 minutes later when we were about 200 feets away from the ship that It really got crazy, suddenly in a matter of seconds the whole ship disappeared in front of my eyes, you might wonder how a 110,000 tons monster could disappear, well it did and so everything around, the coast to my left side and the so famous rock formations of Cabo San Lucas at my right side, I could only see the rushing huge waves hitting the boat mad from all directions and the crazy cold wind rushing in my face and all around. I wasnt scared at all, though it sounds dangerous I never felt that something really bad could happen to me, so I was like, wow this is cool. After a while we made it to the dock and there were hundreds of guests waiting to get back to the ship, but since the weather was bad they had them waiting there. I decided not to go out and just waited to go back in that same boat. We had to wait for at least 30 min. until the sea conditions got a bit better and finally they allowed the guests to come inside the boats. They were all wet and cold, some of them trying to make out of the moment a pleasent one by joking around and others were extremely angry at the whole event. You would think, worse cruise ever. One girl sitting next to me was complaining that her butt was the only thing not wet before coming into the boat, the seats were flooded. Another guy was complaining about a leak on the roof, but if you could see him, you would see the irony. He was dripping water from his clothes all around. And when we were about to leave the dock one of the guys who help the people in the boats made the sign of the cross with a really sad look in his face, of course he was kidding and some laughed at it. The trip back to the ship was smooth and finally I got to get a warm back to recover my body temperature and back to work.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Christian Fellowship

My mind was kind of racing fast thinking about the last time I had been among those who share my same faith and beliefs and I really couldn't. It filled me with joy and renewed my energies like I hadnt experimented in a long time. And that is exactly the reason why Jesus asked us to be around those who can support us and help us. I just forgot how great is to have a christian fellowship. We are part of a chosen race. There, sitting on glassracks below one of the stairways at the back of the ship we joined together to praise and worship our Saviour. It was a surprise to see many familiar faces who I didnt know were my brothers, though now that I think about it, their behaviours were indeed different. As I mentioned before it is just a shame that now that I am close to depart there is a group where I belong to and I feel complete part of, the body of Christ. I pray that groups like this are found fleetwide. Living in such a place like here, were there are so many wordly things seen as totally normal you start stumbling and if you dont hold yourself to the Rock you might as well fall down and nobody close by to talk about it and pray with. I have to admit that my relationship with God hasnt been the best lately, but with God help that'll change for good.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Today I learned how wicked things can get to be. There is this new crew member who came onboard last sunday, he has the same position that I have, only that he's been there for 16 years, and has gotten no chance to get promotion. As we talked about stuffs, he told me that the current manager of our depart. was trained by him about 12 years ago, and the manager that'll replace the current one also was trained by him 6 years ago. It'll only take a quick look to know why he hasn't been given the chance. His color. Of course, this is not the first time and won't be the last time in history, but it made me really sad and angry.
On the other note of the day, I am kind of concerned about this particular situation that we are living this past days onboard. There is this upcoming crew party organized by one of the departments and which theme is gay. On the crew information board out there in the hall, they posted the activity and there is this message that says "we are proud of who you are, because you are on Pride" At first I didn't notice anything unusual or wrong, (Pride is the name of this vessel) though, I recalled thinking, this is kind of a weird statement, but I didnt give it a second thought. Hours later as I talked to one of my friends he made me realized that the rainbow that serves as the background of that poster is the symbol of homosexuals and lesbians. I was shocked. I mean, we are in a free country where we are free to express our opinions and beliefs, but this is the first time I've seen a particular beliefs to be that open to everyone, specially when in this place there are more than 60 nationalities represented by the crewmembers. I wonder what would happen if each and everyone of those people started posting their believes and opinions in public places....puff, we'd have a third world war over here.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Time Fly Fast

It seems to me like yesterday when I took that plane from Panama for the first time, one year 1/2 ago to get embarked in a cruise ship as my very first job just very few months after majoring as a physical therapist in college. At times it has been rough and tough, at other times, it's been wonderful and amazing, but all part of the overall experience I am living through. I won't ever regret about coming here, far far away from my country and my family, because first of all It is part of God's particular plan for my life, and second because I've been able to enjoy one of my favorite things to do, traveling. Anyway, this comes to my mind as yesterday there was a reunion in one of the lounges here onboard to conmemorate the years of service to this company of the crewmembers onboard. The captain, hotel manager among others were there celebrating with the rest of us. There were two particular guys, one waiter from korea and one refrigerator fitter from Peru among us who had 25 straight years working for the company. The rest of us had 15, 10, 5, 3 and 1 year. We received all pins and they varied from size and features according to the years. Anyway, one of the things that really impacted me was the fact that I was there with one of the guys that took the marine course back home to get to have an interview to apply for the job. Out of a thousand people who took it, only 68 of us got the job and out of those 68 one of them is here with me. It made me happy to know that I was not the only panamenian in this craziness. And yes, as time pass by fast, I really hope this week to be over. Has been one of those were you wish to be anywhere else but here. But it's almost gone and I think I've survived well, thanks God mercy and strengh.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Its funny because...

Today I just realized that my english pronunciation really sucks, and its funny, because I knew that since ever, but today it just hit me the fact that one of the guys that works here and whose english is really bad told me "hey, you know what? you need to correct your pronunciation" I mean, coming from someone who hardly can communicate even basic ideas... and can't really understand very much....puff. (if it had come from a british or an american, it's ok still) It just hit me real bad. I thought before taking this job that since I'd be talking all the time english and I'd be in a totally english-speaking environment I'd eventually improve; bad news....not at all. In here you'll find chinese-english pronunciation, philiphines-english pronunciation, italian-english pronunciation and all sort of european countries with their own distorted english pronunciation, or as someone well said, broken-english. Yeah, you have to give me a break, there is no way to improve in here, I could even get worse. I really need to take a course.
On the really bad note of the week, last sunday two of my collegues signed off, vacation time and nobody came to cover them, so now instead of four supervisors, we are two, and I am overloaded with work and stress. It's really bad stuff being alone taking care of so many things at the same time and everyone kicking my butt. If I make it throughout the week without dying, I'll consider myself a champ.
And one thing that I love about this kind of job where I am at, is that unlike in a normal office or company you get the same boss like forever, and if he is a real bad, demanding and rude, you get him like, last sunday the chef de cuisine went off vacation. Now if you must now, he is the kind of person that hates everyone and everyone hates. Completely rude, mannerless and unfair. He yells all the time, insult you, and hurt you and thinks he is always right, thinks he is god-like. He is gone for vacation, and wont come back to this same ship, he goes to a different when he comes back. So chances are, that I wont see him again, at least I think. So, it is kind of a lottery issue. You get good bosses and bad ones and you get them for a period of time and then they go and you get all nervous wondering how would be the coming one. For my good luck, this new chef is class of person. good one.