Monday, May 30, 2005

In honor to Arelis.

It is a sad day for a number of people that I know and for myself. When a hard situation almost non-understandable event happen we tend to ask God the reason of it as if ignoring that He knows what´s best for us and that He does no wrong when he decide to call someone to his presence. Of course we all tend to get sad and we cry and we feel a deep emptiness in our hearts just to know that we no longer will see that person alive and living among us. Arelis was only 24 or so, we studied together in college and her life seemed to be a long way to walk, however a few months ago, she was diagnosed with leuquemia (blood´s cancer). One of our common friends told me about her, while I was still abroad and one of the first things I did when I came back to Panama, was to pay her a visit. So me and my friends went to her place and it was nice to see her smiling and with a positive attitude. She was better and under chemiotherapy. We talked about things proper of old friends and though I wasn´t very close to her we shared a pleasent evening. A few days back, a friend told me that she is in the hospital´ unit of intensive care and yesterday I learned that she died. I believe she is in a better place at this moment and all suffering is history. Not anymore ever. We get sad and cry but we go on living this life given by God, knowing that one day it´ll be us.

Good Bye Arelis

"For death begins with life's first breath And life begins at touch of death."
~John Oxenham

"It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."
~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Picture of the Week

One of the things that I love about Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is that during the sunsets you can peacefully sit on a bench in front of the beach and listen to the waves crashing against the rocks and at the same time feel the cool air rushing in your face after a wild hot day and delight yourself with a wonderful sunset.
P.V. Mex. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

Casa de Oracion Cristiana Jorones´ Mission Trip

This is part of Casa de Oracion Jorones Church youth group starring youth group leader Howar at the left far corner Posted by Hello
So, recently I went on a mission trip to a place called Jorones in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Panama´s country side. Howard my friend invited me over to come along with them in order to participate in it. It was a real cool experience as every mission trip can get. Don´t take me wrong, by no means I refer to having fun in a wordly way. I am talking about the pure and genuine joy you could only find when walking in God´s plan for our lives in complete obedience and faith, serving for the cause of Jesus Christ. So we had a great time there sharing Bible teachings to the young people in Jorones and sharing with them some quality time and listening to their last experiences. Among the things we studied from the Bible was Joseph´s life. So we read a few chapters and then we urged them to represent the story in a little skecth (drama) so they could remember well the teaching. Definetely not a winning-award performance but quite enough for our purpose. God is good. They are growing in Christ little by little and hopefully they will become tomorrow´christian leaders of their community.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

So, this is the thing. Yesterday I went to see Kingdom of Heaven with Ariel and his brother; ever since I saw the ads on the big screen on a previous movie, I said, that´s a must to see movie. It is a great movie in terms of actors and actresses, it is a good movie in terms of story and plot, it is a regular movie in terms of predictibility and it is a bad movie in terms of history. In today´s world where we have this delicate situation in the middle east, movies like Kingdom of Heaven misleads unoriented people to think that actually all began because a couple of fool who disliked others beliefs and killed their followers. And yes, that could´ve happend, but middle-east conflict goes way beyond back than 1124 or so that this movie was supposed to take place. The reason why this area is so struck by wars and terrorism (which is by no term an exclusive illness of our modern times) has its origin back in the times of Abraham and the forefathers of the people of God. When he told them that they would suffer serious persecution and affliction, because of their lack of faith and disobedience toward God´s commandments and Voice. They were witnesses of serious, real-life, visible Jeovah´s manifestation and yet their heart were hardened and they persisted on putting their faith in something different than the Giver of Life and blessings. That is the reason, why Israel is in so much trouble. I mean, then when Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby, born from a virgin in a manger, he grew up and started his ministry at 30 and most of Israel didn´t accept him as the One who was foretold by the prophets centuries ago and seeing all his miracles and hearing all his out-of-this-world teachings were atonished and yet crucified him. And, Oh God be glorified, that in turn benefited you and me to get forgiveness and eternal life from God through Jesus Christ´s death and resurrection. Now is the time for you and for me to have all the blessings from the same God, Jeovah from the Bible. To receive his love and mercy and grace, and yet we commit the same mistake Israel people did. We accept him and we will be saved and have eternal life in Heaven with Jesus Christ seated at the right of God or we will be condemned and be away from that forever. The choice is in your Hands!!!
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God´s one and only Son. John 3:16-18

Friday, May 06, 2005

To me to live is Christ and to die is gain

Afraid? Of What?
To feel the spirit´s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
To strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid --- of that?
Afraid? Of What?
Afraid to see the Savior´s face
To hear His welcome, and to trace
The glory gleam from wounds of grace?
Afraid --- of that?
Afraid? Of What?
A flash, a crash, a pierced heart;
Darkness, light, O Heaven´s art!
A wound of His a couterpart!
Afraid --- of that?
Afraid? of What?
To do by death what life could not --
Baptize with blodd a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid --- of that?

Written by: E. H. Hamilton, 1931
taken from The Voice of the Martyrs, page 74

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Final Examinations for Ana

Ana Raquel has a really difficult test tomorrow. She is at medicine school. In a way, she reminds me so much when I was getting prepared for examinations throughout college. I used to wait till the last day to start studying hard. That, I never overcame, till the last subject in college I did so. And know, I see her doing exactly the same. But to be fair, I have to give to her, that she is way smarter than I am, and that gives her better opportunity to suceed. However, I´ve seen her wasting her time, during the past couple of days and today she is all stressed out and pulling her hair out of her head, not knowing what to do. I pray for her, cuz I seriuosly doubt she could take a failure of this magnitude regarding this.

Television, the Great Life-Waster

Television is one of the greatest life-wasters of the modern age. And of course, the Internet is running to catch up, and may have caught up. You can be more selective on the Internet, but you can also select worse things with only the Judge of the universe watching TV still reigns as the great life-waster. The main problem with TV is not how much smut is available, though that is a problem. Just the ads are enough to sow fertile seeds of greed and lust, no matter what program you are watching. The greater problem is banality. A mind fed daily on TV dimishes. Your mind was made to know and love God. Its facility for this great calling is ruined by excessive TV. The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the mind to think worthy thoughts withers, and the capacity of the heart fo feel deep emotions shrivers.
Since we all live in a world created by television, it is almost impossible to see what has happened to us. The only hope is to read what people were like in previous centuries. Biographies are a great antidote to cultural myopia and chronological snobbery. We have become almost incapable of handling any great truth reverently and deeply. Magnificent things, especially the glory of God, as David Wells says, rest with a kind of "weightlessness even on the church. "It is one of the defining marks of Our Time that God is now weightless. I do not mean by this that he is ethereal but rather that he has become unimportant. He rests upong the world so inconsequentially as not to be noticeable. He has lost his saliency for human life. Those who assure the pollsters of their belief in God´s existance may nonetheless consider him less interesting than television, his commands less authoritative than their appetites for affluence and influence, his judgment no more awe-inspiring than the evening news, and his truth less compelling than the advertisers, sweet fog of flatteries and lies. That is weightlessness. It is a condition we have assigned him after having nudged him out of the periphery of our secularized life....Weightlessness tells us nothing about God but everything about ourselves, about our condition, about our psychological disposition to exclude God from our reality".
Author: John Piper

Monday, May 02, 2005

Importance of Prayers in Family

Today, as I spent some quality time with my family, far away from the busy cities, retired far in the middle of the mountains, where the fresh air runs freely, and there is no phone, internet, and interruption of anykind whatsoever, I realized how fool I´ve been behaving. I realized that my prayer times, are not being enough, are not being more extensive and persistant . This is an old issue, and yet, I haven´t been able to fix it, to make it right. I am reminded unspoken times by the Bible about the importance of praying in all times, without failing, and yet, somehow that is not coming through with me. There are a bunch of physical, emotional and spiritual needs within each and everyone of us, in this particular case within each of the members of my beloved family. When I heard my dad talking and breaking down about his inner struggles and how he can get really depressed about them when he is not experimenting victory over them, I can´t help but to feel extremely guilty, and sad to tears realizing that I had not been supporting him in prayers as I should. I am 100% sure that things were different for him. A battle is won better and faster when there are two or more supporting each other in prayers. It is not all about healthy relationships, as I have with Dad, where I share with him and he with me about everything, but it is also intercession, fighting the spiritual warfare on the spiritual sphere without stopping. It is on prayer times, where you in Christ defeat the devil and his followers whose job is to make us feel like we are not going forward, like we are wasting our efforts and energy. Same story with my sister, my brother and mom. Each one of them (including me) have needs that have to be fulfilled, and when we do not support each other, the struggle is heavier, than when we support each other.I am not saying we are not praying for each other, but we are not doing so with the intensity we should. When Jesus prayed, he did it in a way that show us persistance and patience. I´ll start spending more time during my prayer times for this matter. I have friends, I´ve been praying for the last 6 years and families, I´ve been praying for the last 15 years, but honestly, it hasn´t been continuos but sporadics. I think I´ve wasted wonderful opportunities to have achieved that earlier, only if I had been faithful to it.