Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Multi-Colored Bracelet

I don’t know why, but today it came to my mind a conversation I had with Aldo L. a few days ago, while having a terribly hard "churrasco" for dinner at a local restaurant. I happened to be wearing a rainbow-type multi-colored bracelet on my left wrist that I bought to a girl on the street a while ago, and decided to finally use it. Almost immediately, he noticed the bracelet and pointed out that this could be misleading to others, for it is well known that the gay community has adopted the rainbow colors as a way to identified themselves. We laughed and joked a bit about the thought and the possible implications of it and short after, almost instantly, we changed topics to something serious. After a while, I just took it off, because aside from the fact it was too tight and it was already cutting the air in there, the mere thought of been wrongly labeled made me somewhat uncomfortable.

We switched the conversation to something else and struggled with the medium well "churrasco" which was real hard, impossible and not that good anyways.

Today after meditating about the incident, it occurred to me that while carrying a Bible below the arm does not necessarily make me a Christian, the same way wearing a multi-colored bracelet does not makes me a gay, but it may bring an opportunity to draw some people to me that would otherwise wont, if they see me with a Bible below the arm. Then, there is the question of, if it is wise to expose oneself to such a party of people and in the process be wrongly labeled as a guy and even damage ones reputation. After all, we all have goals, jobs, family and our reputation have become part of our identity and tool of trade one in their right mind will sacrifice it knowingly and willingly.
But......then again, there is a precedent, and as a disciple I am, I am bound to fill in his steps. Jesus was labeled a friend of sinners, prostitutes and the real low people in the society hierarchy. Interesting enough, Matthew decided to record this into his account of the Gospel for a reason.

9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other
disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with such scum?"

12 When Jesus heard this, he said, "
Healthy people don't need a doctor-sick people do." 13 Then he added, "Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.' For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

After this episode on a common day, no big revelation, no big show, no miracle, just a mere incident that bring me back to the line where I should be walking, a line drawn by Him who I have decided to follow, not because of my own righteousness, but because His love for me is so much that I cannot ignore it and can´t help it but to embrace it with all my strength.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father´s Day a day to think and meditate about

Yesterday we celebrated yet another father's day down here in Panama amid the eventful sunday, while our national soccer team fought hard to give a memorable gift to all their fans including lots of dads.  Another opportunity to get together as a family, as we all get older and busy with life, job, etc.

Early in the morning I texted dad and said thanks for his love, sacrifice and life. I am well aware that in a world where the word love and sacrifice means something total different, I have managed to understand and get it clear to myself that most of what I am today is because of daddy's sacrificial love. He stopped buying things for himself in order to meet not only my needs but my desires and I can remember how out of love he would enjoy it all together.

Daddy taught me to ride my first bike, to play my first guitar chord, to shoot my first camera, to drive his car, the importance of saving and not wasting the money, but most importantly, he taught me to love God, he taught me about Jesus' sacrifice for me, about my sin and how without him I had no hope. Daddy taught me since a very young age the importance of a united family who worship God together and depends upon Him for everything.

I then told him, that I have a role and example to follow and that one day I would rise my own family and would have the foundation to build it from. I expect to do it even better, but based on the solid example he and mom set for me and my siblings to follow. My parents were far from being perfect, but one thing I am convinced of, is about his unconditional love, a love that goes beyond description, a love that is hard to catch on a few lines and get it on a piece of paper.

I still remember the times before him and the belt that would correct my bad behaviour. He would say something like this: "son, this hurts me more than it does to you, but I do it because I love you, and I want just the best for you...I dont expect you to understand it know, but one day you will thank me", at the time I was "yeah, whatever" and as time has past......boy, does he was right.

Thank you dad. Your shoes are still big for me to fill up, but I am on it, confident that I have what it takes and what I need and most importantly the Holy Spirit's guide.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jesus, the Reason of the Season

Yesterday on our way back from the countryside to the city, I got into thinking about the importance to me as a Christ follower of the most important event ever in human kind history. Everyone talks, tweets, posts on facebook about it. Long ago are the days when you would only be dragged into the "mood" by the sudden change of sensual and violent TV programs to the most "appropriate" classics movies of Moses, the Passion and all sort of similar pictures.

Like a robot, everyone changes their mood and we are all led to think and behave in a different manner, just as we are led to think and behave when it is halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, carnival and so an so. But as the season is over, all is gone. No real sense or meaning at all of what we celebrate.

I decided not to spend sunday morning at church as I'd normally do for two reasons..., and boy did I enjoy the day with a group of friends who love Jesus. We enjoyed and celebrated the resurrected-Christ thru the freedom He won for us, the freedom to live our lives to the fullest without fear and guilt, without a constant burden of condemnation that sins would bring upon our shoulders.

We celebrated our friendship by talking and chatting and playing like kids, I personally felt God's love and bountifulness for me thru my five senses. Once again I remembered that life, is much more about than the monotone routine of waking up early in the morning, going to work, saying yes to the boss, getting stuck in the traffic jam and back to the house to only repeat the cycle all over again.

May I always, always remember specially during those grey monotone days that there is much more to it, that I can make it count not only for eternity but for the day to day, that it does not have to be bored and that everyday in the life I has been gifted, I may be the light, He meant I to be.

you guys!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Yesterday during praise and worship at church I was sitting behind my parents and suddently it hits me that my parents are aging up and they are no longer young and strong the way they used to be when they raised us up and I suddently got real sad. I love my pop and mom so much, I have been raised well in the love of Christ, they have been a great example of a christian life and have stayed together for over 30 years now . Dad is turning 56 in a few days, or so says facebook and I suddently am sad.

I know the cycle of life includes death and it is such a powerful painful feeling deep inside. In words of R.Warren, that feeling we have where we consider it is unfair to lose someone to death, is deep-wired inside every man's brain, sort of a innate-primitive thingy...yeah, no wonder why, after all we were created to live forever, we were not meant to physically die.

Anyways, dealing with this feeling today.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

World: Help!!!

Today I want to talk about the heroes in Japan that are fighting as I write these lines, against every possible odd in order to contain and avoid the nuclear reactor dangerous situation, to become the next greatest catastrophe...the next Chernobyl.

Following the powerful quake and subsequent tsunami, a nuclear catastrophe warning became evident. Thousands of people in the vecinity of the nuclear plants are evacuated, only a handful of men and woman against their own lives have decided to stay behind and do the ultime sacrifice, effort to save their countryfellow folks from cancer and genetics diseases.
It is not mandatory, they do NOT have to do it, yet they are.

This reminds me of the true love for others modeled by Christ. He stripped from all his rights, his privileged position and did the dirty job, the one no one else could do. He understood, he had the means to achieve the salvation of the humanity.

I studied a little bit japan's cultural behaviour in college. One thing I know they value, is loyalty. For them, family is a sacred thing, the well being of their people is of national importance.

What makes a man decide to do anything that would bring him to death?

I think of today's world and how selfish we have became. Now, selfishness is not something new, it has been there for a good while. But with all sort of insecurities our world faces today, namely, terrorism, poverty, high oil prices, etc, we all tend to be extremely careful when it comes to making provision for oneself and forget about the rest. First me, second me and if possible third me.

How then, should a follower of Christ make the "love one to another as Christ loved us" become more alive and not just a pretty Bible story? How or what can we learn from the japanese culture and these handful of men and women that are working as I write these lines to save thousands and perhaps million of people while been aware of their possible death as a result of the radiation?

There should be a balance in everything, I can almost hear you reply. The Scripture tells us a different panorama. It shows us the broader picture of a people been taught to give up everything for the sake of others. But if I give my whole salary to the homeless guy on the corner of Via Espana avenue, then how will I survive? I think, the Scripture taught a deeper principle in here. It talks about a people who would care one for another one, where hard work, great community bonds and care for the needy would work all together for the good of the nation. What good does it have to give all to someone else, if that someone else is in need because of his own will?

The issue is as easy as it is difficult. We can only lay our lives for others if we have accepted Jesus's forgiveness into our hearts, we can only receive forgiveness into our hearts if we come to Him and repent. As a result, we would be better citizens, better parents,better students, better businessmen, better drivers on the traffic jams and better anything, you name it.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Lot of Thinking and More Thinking

I have to admit that for me, these past four weeks have been a mental turmoil, very disruptive in different levels and have consumed a lot of energy, shed some tears out of rage and frustration and overall have taken away hours of sleep. I wouldn't be nagging about it had it been a consequence of a broken heart, a job related issue or even a physical sickness. I would have never imagined that I would feel this way as a result of a spiritual related issue in my community of faith and while I will not go into details in here, I can earnestly tell that at times, it has made me feel overwhelmed and overcome, but even though I have been dealing with these emotions, it has been made clear to me that I am not alone, that I am not the first to go thru these, and wont be the last one, until Christ comes yet again and ends with the sin, confusion and death. I have a new challenge, a task a mission to fulfill and above all the promise from God that I am not alone, forsaken and forgotten, that He shall be with me in every step towards the achieving of a goal.

I will end up this entry quoting my dear friend C.S. Lewis: "EL verdadero trabajo de todo maestro moral es seguir llevandonos, una y otra vez, a los antiguos y sencillos principios que estamos tan intranquilos por ignorar, del mismo modo que una y otra vez se lleva a un caballo a la valla que se ha negado a saltar"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

God Speed my dear Ruth

I can remember like if it was yesterday the day Ruth step forward in our small group meeting and shared with everyone her dream about joining a mission trip that would take her out of the country for two years into different countries and continents. It was a wild dream that would involve so many strategic changes and a lot of logistic. Several months after in another small group meeting, she requested prayer, for it was proving to be a hard thing to grasp the dream and make it happen, there were important set backs but she did not give it up then and would not give it up now. She left her job stability, rented away her apartment, sold her car, said good buy to her long time friends in a effort to fulfill what she felt in her heart was a call from God, to follow Jesus's steps of love, mercy and justice, towards the needy.

Today as I look into your eyes and hug you at the airport I can't help it and remember all this, and think that you are an example of perseverance my dear friend and co-disciple.

May you be and do every bit of what you are and can do towards the development of the Kingdom of Christ. The ultimate prize for your effort and endurance shall come from Above.

May God bring you back in time for new adventures.

Love you Ruth