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.