Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Dog and House of Mirrors

I remember, once I read a nice story that talked about a dog who entered into one of these Fairs thousand mirrors house and upon entering he saw thousands of dogs staring back at him. Right away he felt overwhelmed and put a hard expression in his face and inmediately the other thousand dogs had the same expression in their faces. The dog, got frightened and started barking in anger and inmediately the other thousand dogs barked back at him in anger. So finally the dog went away thinking to himself, what a horrible place to be. Some time later, another dog entered the same place and upon entering, he saw with awe lots of dogs staring to him and he smiled and started to move his little tail and inmediately the other thousand dogs answered back at him with the same expression of happiness. He left that place thinking to himself, what a wonderful place to be. Point to wonder about....It's all about what you express. If you express anger and show yourself grumpy and picky, that's what you will get from others. If you greet others and smile at them, that's exactly what you will receive from them. That's a lesson I have been learning since I joined the ships . On the ships there are so many cultures and backgrounds and when you first come into a cruise ship with another 1000 crew you feel overwhelmed and not only you but everyone else. Different languages, believes, religion, colors and thoughts. So the first thing you do if you are not extremely outgoing is to put on your hardest face, and try to show that you don't need of others. The outcome of that? well, nobody greets or smile at you and you feel miserable. And when there is more than one with that kind of behaviour, then you have a very unfriendly working environment. So I have been improving a lot ever since I realized it was all in me. I tend to greet every single person that crosses in my way, and try to get into a small conversation of whatever is going on. I have been trying to make every one of those encounters like to most important thing in the world. Even those ones who have a tough face and don't greet no one, even those one, after a couple of attemps from my side, when they see me, they change their expression and put a smile in their face when they see me. I am amazed to see how true it is and it totally works. It not only opens up relationships, but it also opens up opportunities to talk to them about God, his Son and his gift. That's exactly what is happening in my life and for that I thank God, because it's been all him. For me, it has not been easy. I am not an outgoing person, most of the time, I feel like the first dog who in fear shows himself picky. But God upon my request has been changing that little by little over the years, and today I can say I have improved a lot in this particular area.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Take the Decision to Make it Happen

On our last christian fellowship, the leader was talking about spending quality time with Jesus in prayer and meditation and how difficult it had been for him in the last few days because of the Soccer World Cup. Upon getting into his cabin, he would turn on the TV and watch the matches. He admitted that it had been tough for him to get focus on Christ for his attention was on a wordly thing. He didn’t mean to say that to watch a soccer game per se was sinful, he was rather saying that the time he was supposed to invest in nurturing his heart and mind with God, he was using it for something else, and that was sinful. As the discussion went over, one of the guys said “ I am sorry, but don’t ask me not to watch the last three matches of the W.Cup, cuz for nothing in the world I would miss them” Lol, that was honest, that came from his heart, but as the leader later on said “If God wants you to spend time in prayer just during the time the games are being played, you should do”, to what the guy answered he won’t do and then repent later on. Now, let me get this straight, I don’t believe that he would go to hell for this act of clear and open disobedience toward God in this hipotetically example, but as the leader put it out very clear, he would miss blessings from God that were meant to be given to him, blessing that were supposed to be passed onto others through him and perhaps it would also open doors to the enemy that he would use against him to harm him and put him down. The leader put the example of Benny Hinn; he had an upcoming campaign and before those huge concentrations he would spend at least 3 days confined into a room spending time with God alone in prayer and meditation of the Scriptures without any kind of interruption. It happened that his sister who lives in a very far away country came over to visit him and even though he was supposed to spend time with God before the campaign, he decided to spend some time with his beloved sister. Now, don’t get me wrong here, there is absolutely nothing wrong in someone spending time with his sister, but if you have something else that requires your fully undivided attention specially if it has to do with God, then nothing else is more important than that. God deserves our fully undivided attention. So the campaign began and not even one sign and miracle occurred. Could you imagine that? People are used to see signs, wonders and healing miracles on Hinn campaigns, but not this time around. Then, he realized the reason of it. Once again, the fellowship leader put another example, this time, Dr. Yongisho from South Korea. He was praying in his room, and as he says, there is nothing else more important than talking to Dad, so it is a rule for him and his family knows about it, no interruption while talking to the Creator. Suddenly, the president of South Korea rang him up, his wife answered the phone and requested to talk to Yongisho and she said, he is praying in his room, to what the president answered “It is the president of the country who is talking, you don’t know? When Yongisho got that message from his wife, he told her to answer “I am talking to God, you don’t know”. It is a very powerful story and testimony. That we should aim to. We spend way to much time in things that are worthless when viewed against the whole picture of Christ, his sacrifice, our life purpose and eternal future. Like John Piper says, christians are thrilled fishing, collecting shells, sailing in boats and golfing their way to heaven when we should be connected with what is really worthy, when we should be going out there to speak out loud about Jesus and his love for all. We can’t be able to open our hearts and share with others what we don’t have and feel. We can’t have and feel God’s love and passion if we don’t spend quality time with Him. At the end of the day, he is the reason of our whole existance and everything we are and have.

Thanks, God for your holy revelation that touches and teaches my heart.