Saturday, October 27, 2007

Few more weeks to Go

So after several months waiting to know my sign off day, finally the date came from the head office. It was set for Nov. 17th. So if it doesn’t change (God first), I will get to spend for the first time after four years my b-day, christmas and new year celebration in my dear country with my family and friends. These past 4 years I have spent christmas and new year literally working. Although in my home we stopped setting up christmas trees many many years ago (ever since my siblings and I lost the interest after growing up), it is one of the things that I definitely want to do this year. I already began day dreaming about it, where it will be and my mother and sister helping to set it up. I have in mind the spot and the decorations I want it to display. Boy, I do miss home, I miss playing with my dogs, hanging out with my friends from childhood, going to church, jogging in the coast-way, seeing my friend Aquilino and many other things. So far, this has been a great period (onboard this ship) and can’t complain. God has been so good, has taught me things through blessings and difficulties while here onboard this vessel, but as the Scripture says, there is a time for everything, and I think the time to spend time with family is finally coming. I pray that this upcoming time will be far more better than the previous ones for God’s glory. I have high expectative about it.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Blessing of Loyalty to God till the End

It’s amazing how God can bring two perfect strangers and create an instant bond and friendship, just because the Cbirst-character being developed in their lives makes it easy to share their common passion for a driven purpose live, full of peace, hope and joy and because when Jesus’s love is within you, it can’t stay locked in, it just overflows freely towards others. Since I am not to good at making new friends by my own, it just amazes me how easy it was to establish a strong raport towards this total stranger senior fellow I met the other day early in the morning minutes before sunrise on the back of the boat. So I was with my cup of coffee and my camera waiting to get a good shot at the beautiful set of huge rainy clouds against the sunrise, beautiful spectace when Chuck was behind me trying to get a good angle as well, but I was partially blocking his view, so I apologized and then offered him space and then we started talking. Chuck told me his story of how against all the challenges involved by his advanced age and his health problems and the fact that he had noone to cruise with, he finally made it to cruise with us on the boat. I learned more about his life in 45 min. than I know about some of my friends I have been seeing for the past 5 months under the same ship’s roof. And it was so refreshing to having met him and shared with him different experiences. Without him having explicitely mention at the beginning I knew I had just met a brother in Christ, everything in him pointed at it, his positive attitude towards life, even though his all life long loved wife had recently passed away, his love for meeting people and sharing with them that feeling of wellness, even though he showed evident signs of health problems proper of his age, his passion for singing and playing the piano, even though his fingers are no longer strong enough and his voice no longer the same as years before, his peace conveyed through his heart, even though he knows he might not have too long left in this Place. Overall, after our short meetings in the mornings right before sunrise after that day I met him, I concluded that he was satisfied with the way he spend his life and that he was ready to go Home. That’s the sort of peace that the Apostol Paul wrote about when he said “I have fought a good fight, I have come to the end of my journey, I have kept the faith: From now on the crown of righteousness is made ready for me, which the Lord, the upright Judge, will give to me at that day...” My friend Chuck did many mistakes in his life as he mentioned to me, mistakes that he regrets about, but he understood very well that the grace of God and his mercy upon his life was much more abundantly than the consecuences of them. He relied on Christ’s forgiveness and grasped very well the concept of living his life for Him and honoring and glorifying God in everything.
Chuck was a huge blessing for my life and I do thank God for crossing him in my way. Two lessons I learned: God puts in our way people He knows we’ll benefit from and God is looking forward to put his children in others people’s way so that they can benefit from us and it’ll be easy to bond with and create strong relationships that can last long. And second, Jesus’s promise that He’ll be with his elected till the end is still valid and it can be seen in lifes like the Apostol Paul’s, two thousands years ago as well as in people like Chuck, today. Among the things we need to do, is have a willing heart to learn and obey God’s divine and perfect rules, because He knows better than us. After all, he created me and you and knows how we are supposed to work. You who read, I encourage you to give Christ a chance to direct your life and you will see things and experiment things that you never thought you could feel and live.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

As I spend more time reading the epistoles of Paul in the Scriptures and learn about the "mysteries kept in dark for ages to humanity and revealed to us his children in the present days" as Paul said (paraphrasing), in which salvation is a gracefully God-given gift to all wether Jewish and non-jewish, it calls my inmediate attention the fact that after Christ resurrected from his cruel death inflicted by his own people (which was long ago predicted), all the ceremonial law and different rituals came to pass for good. He himself was made curse for all of us and upon giving up his life and blood he paid the price one time and for all for our sins. We are no longer hopelessly separated from God, therefore, we are no longer bounded to rituals and the ceremonial law which only managed to put us into perspective against our rotten life and much needed of a permanent solution to our moral situation, for no matter how hard we tried to live a holy life, we would always sin miserably and therefore we would always deserve to be punished for our faults. When Christ gave up his spirit in the cross that day and exclaimed "Father receive my spirit" among the different events that happened inmediately thereafter, one has an important connotation which the people on that day could not understand. The veil of the holiest place in the temple, the very core of the Jewish religion, tradition and ceremonial rites, where no one was allowed to even peak into against loosing their own life, that veil was torn apart from top to bottom. Christ completed the purpose of the moses law with his own life, with his voluntary sacrifice he abolished all rituals and ceremonies and men intents to reach forgiveness and purpose. Now no longer we are condenmed by the ceremonial law, but we have been granted freedom of our sinful nature by the grace of the supreme Lord Jesus. It's a gift which we accept or we deny. Once accepted, we committ to live our life, out of love for all he made, to glorify and magnify his name.
Since few days ago, an important event is taken place in the world, "Ramahadan", I have seen many of my friends starting fasting and living a more "honorable" life during this month. My first thought was "wao", irregardless of our extremely hard job (cruise ship) where we all work 12 and above hours daily, they take the decision to fasting. If only christians around the world would committ themselves to live a holy life throughout the year knowing that we worship the only One, the One who said to be the "path the truth and life" the one who proved it by resurrection from the death, the One who said "whoever have seen the Son has seen the Father" the One who said "whoever comes to me shall never again be thirsty" the One who said will be back for his church one day........what a different world this would be. Second it makes me sad that many many christians won't show interest and love for these so loved people by God. Millions of people are heading towards eternal condemnation, most of them sincerily thinking they are right and we christians around the world are so worried about who has the most beautiful church building, who has more influence over others, who has the biggest church, salary increase, bigger house and many other trivial and un-important things which has no eternal consecuence. It makes me sick that so easily, so many times I myself get entangled in these same pointless issues when millions of people out there need someone to be fighting the battle in the spiritual sphere by kneeling down in prayers, fasting and economically supportting the missionaries out there who are willing to give up their neck for Christ while we sit confortably in our fine cars and go to the beach and relax and enjoy life thinking that we sincerily deserve all this. May we repent and wake up from this horrible mistake and may God forgive us and give us many chances to reinvindicate before it's too late for others. Amen.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

To Grandpa

One of the most memorable memories I have about my grandpa was perhaps when I was 7 or 8. Like usual during those early years of my life, during vacation time, my parents would have our grandparents babysit us. That day, I was sort of sad, hurt and angry towards my aunt, cuz I don't know if it was that I was a troublemaker or what that I was given a hard treatment by her and granny for several days. I came into my grandpa's room quitely, as to not to upset him (he was known to be dead serious and stubborn in his decisions, so people somehow feared him), so as I entered and sat down in his chair, I broke down in tears and cried like a baby. He came closed to me and wiped out with his hands the tears and told me in an unused tender tone of voice, "don't cry", everything is going to be fine and then offered me a delicious sandwich. I knew for a fact that he wasn't given to show tender emotions towards his children and relatives, perhaps for the life he had and the way he grew up, so somehow this event stayed in my mind after all these years.
Grandad passed away 3 days ago, and though we all knew it was soon to happen, I guess you can never be totally prepared to face the departure of a closed and loved one. To him the family owes part of the heritage (positive and not so positive) which we have learned to deal with. Grandad grew up almost without his parents' guide and support, made his living out of hard work and discipline, grew up his family with a hard hand and left a legacy of perseverance and effort in all. Towards the end of his life, he would be more receptive and open to listen and accept the Word of God and there was a visible change in his life. Praise God for his life who through endurance and hard work raised up my mom and my other uncles into what they came to be, praise God for his life and positive traits we learned through his life.
My prayer in these days is with my relatives and family who are mourning for this our human lost. I pray that this will bring closer to God those who haven't made up their minds and hearts to accept Christ and secure their present and future in Him.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Today I decided to do something which I had stopped doing for a while and which is one of my favorite hobbies. Watch the sun rise up from the far horizon and get lost in my own thoughts. I guess I have been caught up in many job related things during the mornings that I have not been able to witness sunrises as often as I used to. Among my thoughts, one kept on jumping above the rest. God is good and consecuently, life is so. Like pastor Piper puts it simplier: (quoting) "God is most glorified in us when we are more satisfied in Him". But of course, the purpose of our life is not merely look after happiness, however no one can object that it is escencial in ones life. It's pretty interesting to realize the importance of not letting your surroundings shape permanently your feelings and state of mind. I mean, job can be exhausting, monotonous, challengeness and yet one can be able to feel an inner joy and peace of heart and mind. International news can be depressing and saddening and yet one can be able to keep a hope for that which one can't see but is convinced about it. Relatives can get sick and eventually die and yet one can be able to feel a joy about their better whereabout afterdeath. Friends that you have learned to appreciate and love might not know and accept Jesus as of yet, and althought it can be a terrible thought to imagine they can depart this world without it, yet our trust in the Word of God that our intersecion prayers can open closed doors and can close opened doors and that the heaven's windows would be opened to pour down his blessings upon those who seek Him in spirit and truth, just make me shiver with joy that one day he'll change their hearts and they will come to be co-partners in the heavenlies. I just wish I could be better prepared to make disciples like Jesus asked us. This thought is really going around my mind and keeps on jumping high. I need to be better prepared while the time is ticking away.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It’s not a secret for those who have dealt with me that I don’t speak or talk to much just for the sake of it. I rather prefer to be approached and get into a conversation. I feel much more confortable as an either pasive or active listener than of as a speaker. So having that in mind, I have seen how irregardless of my nature, God modifies or should I say upgrade a man’s attitude and particular behaviours inherent to a person, for better in order to carry out His purposes within and throughout a person. As I pray to Him and ask for boldness to witness to others about his love and gift I do realize that for me to achieve that, some major changes have to happen within me, namely, leaving aside the confortability of enjoying my quiteness and sometimes loneliness that I have learned to appreciate as part of my personality. It’s becoming often the times where I have had to spend consuming time talking to co-workers, friends and aquantainces about trivial things and then turn the conversation into a spiritual one where we get to discuss and share about that which ultimately can satisfy our soul and grant us eternal life. I guess, what I am trying to express, is that although I don’t enjoy talking to much, God is changing that upon a personal request, to serve Him by witnessing to others. This brings to my mind a joke I heard from a friend in which there was a brethen joyfully singing a popular christian song taken out from a Bible story in which he asked God to pour down fire, and he is clapping his hands and singing happily “Pour down fire O Lord, Pour down fire O Lord, and suddenly, fire start pouring down and he quickly change the words of the song to “I wasn’t serious O Lord, I wasn’t serious O Lord”. How many times haven’t we ask God to change our lives, to use us as living tools for his glory, how many times, haven’t we sang songs in which we say out loud that we’ll die and give up if need be our last drop of blood or our last breath for Him, and when a little hardship touches the doors of our lives we start crying and asking God where is he or why has he abandoned us. We tend to forget easily our promises and commitments towards God which is real dangerous. When we ask God for something we should expect Him to answer it and when that happens, we should be ready to accept and take up what we have asked. Our spiritual inconsistency cost a lot to the Kingdom of Christ and we will be held responsible for it. I watch in amaze how most girls can spend days talking non-stop about something or nothing and I do enjoy watching it and can’t help but wonder how they do it and as much as that amazes me, the fact that lately I have been in the front line getting myself into long and often conversations that start as trivial and meaningless and end up in something much more important tells nothing but the story of a Father who is willing to change a man’s ordinary behaviour upon his request in order to meet his beloved children prayer. Looking into retrospective, I have met many interesting and not so interesting people and somehow we have bounded and I have got many opportunities to talk to them about God’s love, purpose and eternal gift and while by nature I prefer not to talk or speak, I realize that He has been creating opportunities for it to change otherwise, because I have asked for it and while I feel tempted to turn the opportunities down, I have realized that I would be a fool by asking for something and then turning it down. God is good, for he listen to his loved ones prayers and answers them, just because he can.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Today mom called to my mobile, and while it was just a fantastic surprise to get phoned, I could sense that there was some uneasiness in her voice. She started asking how I felt and how I was, to which I replied “ok” but with an inquisitive tone of voice. Finally she spit it out and said that grandpa was in a critical state, that he had been hospitalized on wednesday urgently because of lungs problems and that to make it the badder on friday he had a cardiac arrest twice. I listened quitely and while she spoke about the events that followed and all, I couldn’t help to realize that how strong woman is this which God has blessed me for and given me to as a mother. After we hung up, my memories went back a few years ago when my grandmother passed away. It was pretty sad, she had been suffering from different illness for many endless years and she was weaker and more in pain by the day. We all loved her, their children and grandchildren and great grand children had such a delicate care for her, like almost had her as something super special more than the finest of the treasures, for all she sacrified and gave up for her family. So it wasn’t easy to see her suffering like she did and yet, she showed strong and almost never complained. It wasn’t easy to see her on her last day after falling off her bed by accident, complaining of much pain and at the same time worried to death that her children would be upset towards her for falling off her bed and consequently causing herself by accident this suffering and ultimately her death. Mom arrived to her house that day, minutes after the incident like by a miracle and she witnessed the whole event and went with her on the ambulance to the hospital, always talking to her and whispering to her ear that she wasn’t alone, that Lord Jesus was with her and would take care of her, she was there supporting her in those difficult and painful moments for grandma. Mom did not show any sign of weakness during the waiting time in the waiting room of the hospital and rather was there supporting the rest of my relatives who were all crying and sad and upset with all kind of mixed emotions as I remember when I walked into the ICU of the hospital to kiss goodbye grandma. I remember I saw mom’s eyes and they shone with a misterous peace in her heart, she was calmed as she took all of it. Everyone turned to mom, my uncles, cousins and rest of relatives for a word of confort and mom had a Bible verse to give to them and at the same time explained to them that grandma was in a much better place. It is incredible I think, how in a moment like this, extremely difficult for mom, she could still witness to my non-christian relatives and share with them the hope of the christian. The funeral took place and again, mom was there hard and firm like a rock, and everyone turned to mom for support and a word of confort, and as I recall she was serene and in peace. Finally a night or so after the funeral she broke down, alone in her bedroom and she let all the so humanly normal sadness out of her body and that was something that really moved my heart, to see her weep. Dad and us children were there to support her in this her hour of sadness where she kicked it all out. What a strong woman, mom is. So much she had been to in her life, difficulties, adversities, misunderstandings, illness that threatened her own life and yet, we all look to her for confort and support and she is always there with a godly word of advice with patience and love, oh that love that at time we abuse and ignore. I must admit, I feel inspire at this moment. So after all these years, my uncle and cousins and mom had taken good care of grandpa who seemed to be very strong phisically. For many years he tempted death with innumerable falls, but one after another one, he would avoid it. Strong like a bamboo stick. Today, he is in hospital and we are waiting. God’s will is what we want and whatever it is we will always be thankful to Him for every blessing he provided to us through grandpa. For bad and for good, he along grandma shaped my mother’s character into what she is now, all together with what Christ Jesus has carved in her own life. What a strong woman, what a blessing she is. It’s an honor to be her son and I mean it. Grandpa will eventually pass away and already my relatives are turning to mom in search of a confort word and wisdom. And although it’ll be a very hard moment for her to see her dad pass away, she is prepared for it and as much as she will be of support for others, dad and us children will be there for her in that painful moment. Praise God.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Latest News

There has been a lot going on during the past month and half on my mind and around, but I have not found the strength and will to sit down and put it on writing. Well I guess, one of the most significative events around me, has been the recent travel of my parents to San Andres, Colombia which happened last weekend. It was really a good thing for them to fly out together out of the country after 27 years, when the came back from Mexico after I was born. So God blessed them with this trip and they enjoyed it a lot. I guess, that rising up children is beautiful and exciting for a couple of young parents, but as it becomes a routine and monotone, it drains a lot of life out of the parents who don't get to spend as much time for themselves as when they were alone before the children came. And as unfair as it might sound, that's part of the cycle of life. So good for them, it makes me happy.
Apart from this, today is a special day for my friend Mariana, who's birthday is today, so I do feel happy for her as well. Hope she has a wonderful day today. I wish I were there to celebrate it together. Happy Birthday Mari

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Family Trip to Chiriqui

My dad always emphatise on the importance of a clear and healthy relationship within the family. He would always go with what he always say and preach about quality time spent in family. As long as I can remember he has always given to it a huge importance and definitely now after years of it I have come to see some results. Thanks God for that. It takes lots of energy to pull a family together and keep it that way, it takes a lot of determination to not to give up despite his own inner struggles.
I am leaving Panama once again this coming 15th of april, just a day after his b-day and we thought it'd be a great thing to spend the weekend out of the city. So we packed our things, jumped in the bus and left to the high lands of Chiriqui. We took turns in the driving, something really new in our family road trips, for this time it wasn't only him on the wheel but me and Daniel. I guess that is just so not important for anyone else to read but me. Anyway, we arrived after almost 7 hours of driving through the night and left our bags and stuffs at the hotel and since we had only two days we decided to start visiting places right away. So our first stop on our vacation trip was the border with Costa Rica, a place called Paso Canoa. Since it was Holy Friday, it was empty and very few people around, so it was not crowded like usual and we did walk a little here and there, did some shopping and headed back to the hotel. We were so tired, and sleepy, but decided to pay a visit to my old pastor friend I met last year during a mission trip. We had previously lunch and when we arrived to his house, we were offered to lunch. So being polite as we were, we gladly accepted it and it was good, but we had to struggle to push all that food inside our stomachs. Spending time with Pastor Eric and his family was an amazing experience specially for my mom. They are still in the process of building their church and it hasn't been easy at all, but obviously by what we saw and felt in our spirit, God is in all this and with him. So after saying good bye and wishing everyone the best we finally headed back to our hotel at almost 6 in the evening. We were so exhausted to say the least. We hit our beds till next day. So next day we woke up early in the morning and we continue visiting some beautiful spots in chiriqui, like Volcan Baru town and Cerro Punta town which is in a very prominent high spot in the territory of Panama. We took lots of pictures and enjoyed the scenery. Next day we headed back to Panama city but right before, we chatted a long while and had a healthy time to share things. Thanks God for it. I guess that so many destroyed homes worldwide, the least we can be is thankful for what God has given to us.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Carrying it on

Throughout the years, it has become a habit for me to ask God in my prayers to reveal to me his perfect will for my life. A habit that was passed onto me from my parents that has paid great results and avoided lots of unnecesary headaches.
Two weeks ago, I had to go to the U.S. consulate to get my working visa renewed. I brought all the important papers, the same ones I had brought on the several different previous ocassions, and I was very confident that I was going to get it as usual. To my surprise, the consulate officer denied it for no apparent reason. It really hit me hard and right away all sort of thoughts began to rush through my head. What am I going to do now? Will I find a nice job in Panama? and so many other very much important questions. I sort of got depressed and by the end of the day, I couldn't take it no more. I was feeling real bad and hopeless and only then, I did realize that I had shifted the trust I am to put in God onto me. Almost without realizing about it, I stop trusting God and being thankful for everything in all, and of course it lead me to depresion and hopelessness. So after realizing my wrong approach to the situation I decided to thank God for this and I started to pray that His will might be done in my life, and that no matter what the result, he would give me peace of mind and heart to accept whatever it was, for the Scripture reassures me that everthing works for good. I felt how , during two weeks after the day I got my visa denied, my faith was getting centered in God. There were so many things involved, at times, they would get into my head and won't let me go, and then I would just brush them out of my head and praise God. Finally, yesterday I went again to the U.S. consulate and brought some extra documents I didn't bring the first time and I got the visa approved this time around. As I was sitting on that chair waiting for my name to be called, I prayed once again and I said "Lord, may your will be done" I felt in peace and I was aware that from that moment onwards my life could have changed 360 degrees, and yet I was peaceful. That could only be the work of Christ in the life of anyone. I praise the Lord, for today like never before, I can tell with all security that I am still walking within His will for my life. Ever since last year I would ask God if he still wanted me to be working on the ships and yesterday I heard his voice loud and clear. When the consulate officer said "yes, I will give you the visa", that was God talking to me "yes, I still want you on the ships". Many of my friends and family constantly ask me if I am sure about being on the ships, and they would ask me all sort of question about my future. They care about me I guess, and am thankful for that, but as long as I walk where God wants me to walk, then I am happy and feel 100% secured. On one ocassion, several months ago, a friend of mind who is not believer, asked me "why are you on the ships, if you don't do all sort of worldly things? I told him, if there were not believers on the ships, then, who would tell you about Christ's love and sacrifice? My prayer is that during the days or years ahead of me on the ships, may I always be up to spread the Good News to all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Are we praying right?

Last sunday I heard a wonderful message during church. The pastor talked about a little incident he went through couple of weeks ago. After attending a meeting he had, he met some people, some others were introduced to him and so on. After he left the office, he walked to his car and right before starting the engine, somebody comes running across the parking lot calling him "pastor, pastor, pastor". The pastor thought he was getting old for he didn't remember seeing this person never before" So the excited man comes over and approached him from the window and saluted the pastor like if they were old time friends. So the pastor finally asked him, have we met yet?. The guy said, "no", but I know you are a pastor from a church in the outskirt of panama city. And then the guy asked "I know, we don't know each other, but I wanted to get from you 5 dollars" The pastor was totally caught off guard with this, he didn't know what to do, never before had been in this situation, he didn't expect this and didn't know how to deal with it. So the pastor, after making up his mind, did ask him, what was the five dollars for? And the guy said, for bus fares.

Now, let me explain this, in Panama, with five dollars you can make it halfway through the entire country on a bus. So the pastor started to doubt about the sincerity of this perfect unknown person. After reading his uneasyness, the guy finally said "well, you don't have to, if you don't want" and tried to make him feel bad about thinking over it. So the pastor finally left that place and he felt totally disgusted about the whole situation, how he felt abused, used, manipulated by a perfect stranger, who calling himself a christian tried to take advantage of him.
Then, he heard God whispering to his ear, telling him, "son, now you can see and feel a bit about how I feel when lots of people come to me with their whish list to me, but never come to me for a relationship, many of them christian including yourself sometimes, don't care about the Provider, but only the goods you can get from me"

We come to God in prayers all the time, and the first thing we shoot is our needs. Oh yes, we all have needs, we will never be completely needless, we'll always have things to ask for and God always will have tons of blessings ready to be poured out to us upon request, but, that's not all about praying. Praying is to talk to God. We worship him with prayers of thanksgiving, we aknowledge that we need Him, and of then of course we present to Him our needs. But what do we do? we are not thankful at all anymore, we seem to forget what he's done for us and only concentrate on looking at him as our celestial santa claus, without longing to have a beautiful and productive relationship with the owner of everything, the creator of the whole universe, the King.
So, this phrase sums up, the message I heard on sunday. "The answer to our prayers is directly related with the quality of our relationship". We can't pretend to get everything we want from Him, without committing our lives for Him in sanctity and justice, otherwise it would be like using, manipulating and abusing God, which we can not do after all.

Now, imagine, that your dear and beloved friend comes to you, running across the parking lot, calling out "pastor, pastor, pastor", "do you think I can borrow five bucks?" For sure he would give it out, without hesitation, moreover, he would ask if five dollars was enough and he would consider a privilege having been asked this.

Don't you think, our heavenly Father would feel and act the same way? I mean, he would say, my son, my daughter, I will not only give what you need but what is good for you. In other words, you cultivate a healthy relationship with your spouse, friend, parent and there would be very little they would not do for you, how much more our Redeemer, our source of blessings, how much more he would do for you and me, who valorate His frienship and supremacy in our lives.

I just think it was a powerful message, and just make me reconsider my prayer sessions and think carefully how I am carrying it and how I am relating to Him.

Think about it.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Whatever happens to us christians who knowingly are living a low standard life and yet we are still able to find others to be blamed for circumstances?

Why is it that on several ocassions we do not let others help us when we are troubled in our minds and hearts?

Why is it more easy to just either explode it onto others or in the other extreme just close ourselves up like a shell in our own little world?

Why is it that knowing that we have an ever loving Heavinly Father who has promised to rescue us, we turn our faces away from him in pain and resentfullness like saying "You see what I am going through and you do nothing"

I could continue asking myself several other "whys" and the list would grow dramatically, however, the answers to all these interrogants have always been in the Scripture ready to be found and applied.

It reminds me the picture of a hurt dog who's got one of his paw pinched by a thorn along the way and the dog is lying on the floor sitting on his rear legs whining and groaning, hurt and in great pain, licking his paw with saddened eyes. If you ever try to get even close to the dog to help him out, you will see that his reaction is not pleasant. Let me explain, the dog is frightened, scared and in pain, he won't trust noone easily under this particular circumstance and he will bark and will be aggresive. He doesn't understand that the hand that is trying to get close to him only wants to take the thorn out of his paw so that he can walk freely again and breath painless, but he fails to understand so. He can't take out the thorn by himself, he doesn't have what it takes, namely, human fingers, so he rather sits back and licks his paw in self-pityness and he could spend the rest of his life with a limp rather than allowing someone to come and free him from his bondage.

How many times do we get our hearts and emotions pinched by spiritual thorns and we get hurt and dismayed? The Bible is clear when it says that being a christian doesn't mean we are going to live in a crystal bubble separate from the problems of this world. Jesus said that we will face tribulations and afflictions in this world, but he said "trust" I have defeated the world. So everytime we encounter ourselves in a poor emotional situation, we ought to seek God's face and open ourselves to others and be honest enough to humble ourselves to the dirt and cry out loud to our family, leaders and closest friends "HELP" , and not only that but to be humble to accept it without trying to justify our faults and put the blame on everyone else but us and then we will see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

We all go through difficult times in our lives, some of us, more often than others, but in a good measurement we all have to spend some time in the dirt and it would be greatly helpful to stop trying to find why others are not doing what we think they are supposed to do to please our selfish needs and rely on the spiritual help we can get from Him in the first place and from the people He has left on earth for us to lean onto whenever these times, namely, our family in first place, our church leaders and our closest christian friends.

God is about to do amazing stuffs in and through your life and no one can stop it but yourself, don't allow that to hapen.

I love you and I continue praying for you, that God opens up your eyes and heart and let you see what you've been missing.


Monday, March 05, 2007

A Wonderful Story

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them la nd in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. " They really should get lives. " He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.

He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends
He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and myfriends thought the same of him. Monday morning came! , and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! " He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown , and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.
Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.
I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.
" Thanks," he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began
"Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.
Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach..but mostly your friends...
I am here to tell all of you that being a
friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.
I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for God in others
"A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother". Proverbs 18:24
....Authour: Unknown

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Panama is a beautiful country located right in the center of America, It’s a small S-shaped country with only 3 million persons. My country have been blessed by God big time over the years and His church has been fast-growing in an amazing way. Nowadays, there are more believers than ever before in it’s history. These days, I’ve been surprised to see so many people walking in the streets, doing their business and talking freely with other believers about the last sermon preached in their church, I see so many others walking freely with their Bibles, people in the bus stops, waiting for a taxi, or for a public bus, almost everywhere I turn in Panama city, I see there are a lot of people been unusually open toward it. That’s just great and only confirm some prophecies delivered to Panama from different preachers from different countries around the world which said we were going to have a revival and the church would grow like never before and there would be a revolution. I believe that word and I see it’s happening. I believe my country is not lot worse like several others in the region, because the people of God have decided to live in the edge for God.

One of the things that always bothered me is the fact that Panama is relatively a rich country with the resources been unevenly distributed. We have three powerful sources of income for our ever growing economy. Tourism is currently in a huge boom in here, with the cruise ship industry getting interested more and more in Panama as a more frequent destination or even as a homeport for one of their ships. Lots of constructions of expensive buildings which are being bought by rich europeans, americans and canadians. Secondly we have the Panama Canal which right after been given to us to be fully operated and controlled is giving some pretty amazing numbers in term of revenue every year and moreover, now with the upcoming enhancing of the current locks to allow bigger ships to pass through, it only means, lots of money. And thirdly, we have one of the most interesting banking center in the world which generates huge amounts of tax dollars to the country. My question has always been, in a small country like Panama, with only and only 3 million persons, how do we justify people dying of hunger in the country side, low standards of living, more than 70% of general poverty, no good jobs and everything that comes with this? How can we explain this to our childrens who are studying in school all this amazing facts of our country and how succesful we have become with these three prosperous industries and at the same time, they have no food in their tables to eat and no books in their bags to study and no money to go to college, essencials we all are supposed to enjoy if as we know, there is so much prosperity in our country?

There is no excuse, we can not justify it and the only coherent answer will always be, the sin which is embeded in our hearts. The more men without God have, the more they want and they just don’t care about the rest. I believe, my country is not in a worse moral and social condition because of the ever growing people of God. Two verses jump in my mind. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, Psalm 33:12” God is blessing Panama, irregardless of the bad things and the sinful people in eminence. There is another verse that comes to my mind that says that God allow the unbelievers to accumulate resources with the sole purpose of being used at the end by the people of God.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mr. R.

Couple of days ago, I went to this lady’s office because I needed to see her to ask from her some information. As we sat there for a moment, we started talking about some panamenians who are currently working on the cruise ships and their stories. Suddenly, R. walked into the office and I was so happy to see him and so was him. We shared greetings and a hug and really, I was so happy to see R. To make a long story short, he was fired from the ships because of some misbehaviour. After we finish telling stories of the ol’ good days, it was time to go, and he did ask me for a ride, so I gladly accepted. As we were on our way to his place, we started getting more deep in our conversation. He was rescued from the grip of the enemy a few years ago, and he had been attending his local christian church and he had been growing fast as a follower of Christ, but he stepped back while on the ships and decided to follow the world again rather than God. He took that decision and I saw him going down that road a year ago while we were toguether on the same boat. Although I tried to speak some sense into his head, he would just not listen at all. Now after more than a year, I see him again, he is jobless, he sorta feel hopeless, skiny out of going through some serious economical problem and he seems to be still struggling to keep up his personal relationship with God. I felt so bad, kind of angry toward the enemy who really knows how to pull his dirty tricks on the believers whenever he is given a chance. Ever since, R. had been going through seriuous family problems and every sort of thing you can imagine can happen to anyone who ‘has a really bad luck”. I really felt myself compelled to encourage him to see this whole situation with a different perspective, although it seemed impossible to do. Our God is a gentleman, he will never force you or me or anybody else to take a decision or to follow his wonderful plan for our lives, he will respect if I or you decide to go on another direction. We are free to do so, we will always be, but what we fail to understand, or should I say, what the devil stop us from realizing is that, we CAN NOT choose the consequences of our decisions. R. is paying high for the set of decisions he took some time ago, and it will not be easy to overcome and he will cry some more and yet, it doesn’t mean his heavenly Father abandoned him. Our Father in Heaven is watching over him and is looking at him with his merciful love waiting for him to turn his face toward Him once again and ready to rescue him. God is all powerful, there is nothing he can’t do, but one thing he will never do is to coherce us. We basically get ourselve in a position where God can’t do anything for us because of his divine nature of not interfering with our own decisions. So once R. or anyone of us get fed up of living a disgraceful, empty and meaningless life and we decide to crawl back to Dad and ask for forgiveness and mercy, he won’t have to be asked twice. The Bible says that Jesus is interceding for us before the Father. He is basically our lawyer, when we hire his services of redempting and justifying us before the Father, He promised He would do it. R. and I spent some time toguether in the car before stepping outside, and we talked about this and we prayed and I trust that God is going to bring into completion what he already started a few years back in his life when R. first heard and accepted Him. Amen.

Monday, February 26, 2007

God´s Grace and Mercy

The other day, I heard a very sad and shocking story that happened in a church somewhere in US. The youth pastor was having an affair with one of the girls and got her pregnant. The big deal about it was that after learning she was pregnant, he killed her. Nowadays, it is getting so frequent to hear in the news about christian ministers and church leaders been involved in moral scandals and of course the international media and Satan behind it, is more than pleased to broadcast it worldwide. I do understand and makes me sad the fact that these sins and mistakes are destroying the faith of thousands and avoiding some others to give their life to Christ. However, although this is not new, what really makes me humble is the fact that none of us who called ourselves followers of Christ are exempted to face all this kind of temptation and tribulations. I mean, it makes me tremble the fact that I am very much suceptible to fall and do something really stupid and affect my life and the ones of so many others. I would normally think "not me....!, those things only happen to other christians, it wouldn´t happen to me!" when the truth is that the moment we walk away from our Provider´s path even an inch, we are in Satan´s territory and he will do everything he knows, he will pull every trick he has under his sleeve to make us fall and destroy us. Now, who can ever say that he or she does always walk in God´s path of righteousness without ever considering to relax a bit and take it easy after a wonderful period of victory? It is right there, were most of all christians are vulnerable to fall, and it just makes me humble and I feel that I need to be totally dependable on God´s grace . Grace is a God´s favor that I don´t deserve and yet he gave as a gift to me. Now, here is my point, I know that His grace is infinite and that there is nothing I can ever do to be worthy of it, and yet it seems that we tend to abuse it and it is then when God says "you know, I can´t force you to do things the right way, if you want to go in a particular way withouth considering my advices, well, it´s your choice, but you won´t be able to choose the consequences of it"

This ex-youth pastor, I believe he will repent before getting hanged and God will forgive him. Ohh, God´s mercy is infinite, absolutely, this young man did something really terrible, but God is willing to forgive him and accept him no matter what, for the Word of God says "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Romans 8:35. No matter what we do, even if it is something really bad, if we come down to Him he will forgives us, cleans us and accepts us, he won´t abandon us and leave us alone, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" I John 1:9 . But we will still have to pay the consequences and people will have to go through hardships because of it. I pray that God keeps me from evil and put in me the willingness and strenght to hold Him tight always, otherwise, there are million ways to fall off his grace and my deepest long is to serve Him in purity and integrity of life.

For you who have done something really terrible or living your life in a sinful way, carrying your life out of the Spirit, let me encourage you to turn your face to Christ once again and trust in Him that he will restore what have been stole from you and don´t forget what He said "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit" Roman 8:1,4 When Satan comes up and reminds you your past and all your bad deeds, remind him his future "And the devil (Satan and his demons), who decieved them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur...They will be tormented day and night forever and ever" Revelation 20:10. So where is your accuser my dear friend? Look what Revelation 12:10 says: "...for the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down..." Satan knows his future very well, I bet he has a very clear picture of what is prepared for him and so he is desperately pulling every trick he knows to deceive you and me which he accomplish by messing up our minds in order to make you and me fall and do terrible things and yet, even then we are still on time to crawl back to God and ask for forgiveness and his Mercy will cover us and will shine upon our faces.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Final Destination

So here I am, once again sitting at the airport by myself and my thoughts and I can’t help but to remember how many wonderful things have happened and I have gone through these last few days. After saying good bye to my dear friend in San Antonio, I took off and arrived back to Houston where I would catch my plane to Miami. As I sit and wait my memories go back to the time I spent in Dana’s house. Dana is a newly friend God has given to me which I got because of some common friends we share from the ship. Couple of weeks ago, while we were having lunch along with Mariana and Edwin, she offered to give me shelter in her house for the day I was supposed to wait on the airport to catch my flight to Miami and I gladly accepted. Although it sounded like a good idea, Edwin suggested that it was a great opportunity for me to cook some panamenian food while spending overnight there. It’s funny, because I had previously said that I would cook in Panama everytime during my vacation time and this and that, and then I found myself in a creepy situation where I was going to have to prove my cooking skills. I mean, it had been more than 10 months since I actually cooked anything and the idea of practicing with my friends scared me. So I was supposed to practice some cooking back in San Antonio with Howard, but things didn’t work out the way we planned, so I couldn’t cook. Anyway, I thought, will have to do it, no matter what. So having all that concerns in my mind, we greeted each other upong arriving in Houston and we headed to a restaurant where we had a very tasty italian dinner and a nice conversation. After that we headed to a store where I intended to by a video game console for my brother, and then…..what should I buy as a present for my baby sister? No clue. I don’t know her shoe sizes and stuffs, so Dana helped me out in this one and we went to check some jewlerys and I found something I think she’ll like.

Next day, I woke up a bit late and started the cooking for our so awaited lunch and I fixed the fried rice first and then the stirloin steak strips after. I had to call Ana to ask her how to prepare properly the “platano en tentacion” and so I got it done, but the beans….oh the beans, we forgot to soak it overnight so they were stubbornly hard and would’nt cook as fast as we needed. Dana’s daughter, Ashely showed up for our lunch and I conclude they liked the meal by their face expressions, and I actually did feel like any chef in the world would feel, satisfied that their guests enjoyed the meal. It was a wonderful afternoon, we talked and shared and remembered and it was just awesome. I am grateful to God that he allowed me to share with christians during these days and it was such a blessing for my life. For me, relationships had not been easy for so many years, and I see how God is working in this area in my life lately and I feel blessed and humbled to see God working within me.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


One my dearest friends from Panama is studying Bible college in LABI, in San Antonio Texas, so I thought, what a wonderful opportunity to pay him a visit before traveling back to Panama after signing off for vacation. So we spoke about it for couple of months and we did plan how it was going to work. So after I left my vessel in Galveston I traveled to Houston and from there I flew to San Antonio where we reunited once again after many several long months. It was such a blessing to see Howard again and see him doing good. I have had the opportunity to see with my own eyes what is to be in a campus, what is a dorm life and enjoy all of this, but most importantly I have enjoyed and seen with delight what God actually does with young people whom he has called to serve Him full time in His work. These youngster, most of them from humble origins have received a clear call early in their lives and are committed to prepare themselves to give and answer to anyone who ask them to give them the reason for the hope they have which is Christ (I Peter 3:15). These kids could be anywhere doing anything else, but they have chosen to seek God and let him mold their characters so that when the time comes, they are ready to take full responsibility of the ministry God is forging in everyone of them. They are to be part of the next generation of youth leaders, teachers, pastors, evangelists and missionaries and as I look at their childish faces, and their imperfections and fears and concerns and dreams I can’t help it but realize, in a few years from now, they will be out there in the real world fullfilling full time the great commission as their primarily objective in life after their own personal relationship with God. It just amazes big time and fills me with joy. I see myself in that mirror and see my reflection on it, I wonder if I am fully doing my part in this general call He has given to all. To some of us, God will never call for a long term mission trip to the end of the world, to some others, God will never call to be a church pastor, to some others, God will never call to be a famous evangelist who is broadcasted worldwide on TV, to some others, God will never call to be great teologicians or renowed teachers and yet God has a specific wonderful calls for every single one of his children, namely, me and you; the regular type of person who has a regular job with regular people in a regular situation. “For God’s gifts and calls are irrevocables” Rom. 8:29. God’s given us different calls and gifts we must use irregardless of where is our missing field.

To me, missions means a lot and my heart is full of passion for it. When I hear missionaries’s testimonies about how God worked out things marvelously, it just feels my heart with joy. And yet, God wants to do those same stuffs in our ordinary lives, in those of us who might never go the the end of the world to witness Him. Let’s never forget what Jesus said in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth It hit me that almost everyone supports those who receive a call from God to go to North Korea or Vietnam or Morroco or anyone of those countries where Christ is not accepted and that’s great, but God’s call is not only to “the end of the world” but also to “Jerusalem” which represents our communities, cities, districts, etc, and not only there but also to “Judea” which represent our countries and also “Samaria” which represent the minorities in our societies.

These young men and women in LABI will understand and learn and get prepared intelectually and professionally to carry out the mission, but for the rest of us, we must remember that every person without Jesus in their hearts, in our offices and jobs is nothing else but a mission field for us to take care of.

I continue to pray for the missionaries, pastors and teachers and so I will start doing for the future missionaries, pastors and teachers that are being educated and nourished at the present.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Special Friend

Three months ago I met a girl Although we met each other for a while and we lived on the same boat, it wasn’t until recently that we start talking and getting to know each other. We start spending more time talking and going toguether to some activities and after some time we began to get closer. After considering the option and praying I took the decision of asking her if there was a chance for us to develop a special friendship were we would commit to know each other and God and go from there onward. Well it took me a great deal of courage and determination to stand there on the aft of the boat on that windy and semi-cold dark night of the 15th of february and tell her my feelings. It had been for a long while since I did that last time and while I felt so nervous that I had an almost abnormal grip on the wooden hand-rail it didn’t feel so bad after all. It was great to hear that she felt the same way about me and so, we started our journey as friends. She is smart, pretty and determined, she loves to talk to people and be open towards all, most of the times spontaneous, and has some sort of innocence drew permanently on her face. At the same time she has a way of getting in trouble and then think she had nothing to do with it. People just love her and they feel comfortable around her. She has this weird thought that she is ever getting overweighted when the truth is she is just about fine the way she looks, but it is so cute to remind her how good looking she is. Anyway, we spent the last few days I had onboard the boat together and although it was kind of sad to leave and to know that the distance is going to be in between us, I think it’s going to be healthy for our friendship. I will miss so much to be around her, but I do pray that God is going to take care of her and me and our friendship. I had a lot of doubt about long distances relationship, but I guess God is working on this and us and I choose to believe that he will bring something beautiful out of this. And so I will choose to trust him. I have lots of dreams, I am a dreamer, I’d say, and though I tend to planify, God has the last word and his final decision is the one I one to follow.