You’ve been blocked!

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Have you ever blocked somebody on Facebook or on another social media?  Or worst, have you ever BEEN blocked by somebody? Either way, it’s never a nice experience.  If you have blocked somebody it’s because that person offended, stalked or was even hostile towards you.  If you were blocked, then you have some serious issues that need to be taken care of.

I’ve gone through both experiences.  Of course, I don’t think that I’m mean; but I admit, I’ve had my moments when kindness hasn’t been my best trait.  I’ve had to ask for forgiveness many times…and I’ve had to forgive many times more.  But if a person doesn’t want to forgive me, then at least, I tried to mend the situation.

Two weeks ago, I had to block someone from Facebook.  This person (whom I don’t know personally) read my post from this blog: “I Taught My Daughter a Lesson” and she insulted me on Facebook.  She posted on my Facebook account, that I was xenophobic and that I had to delete that post and offer a public apology for what I posted.  It wasn’t the first time that she’d been hostile towards posts that I’ve made on my FB account.  I had been tolerant before, but not this time.  My response to her uncalled post was simple: I deleted her post and I blocked her.  I won’t waste my time in futile arguments or insults.  Jesus gave us an example when he kept silent before those who accused him.  Sometimes the best way to end an argument is not starting one at all.

If there is something that I respect about social media is that on your personal page, blog, account, forums…..if it is yours, you can put whatever you want.  It’s your opinion, your rant….it’s your voice.  I don’t have to agree with you, but I respect you.  I don’t delete people or relatives because they are homosexual, agnostic or even from another religion.  I won’t even comment to a post that was made on their page, even if it is denying the existence of God…..and it’s not because I don’t care.  It is because….I do care.

Sometimes the best way to win a person for Christ is not arguing….it’s praying and giving testimony with our acts of love.  And by this I’m not saying that we should accept sin; but it’s not our place to change people, God can do that without our intervention.  If we even try to intervene; we may even screw things up for God.  His plans for redemption may be altered.  Prayer and testimonies are our best weapons against the social media hostility.

About that person that I had to block, I pray for her.  I hope that someday she will find peace and respect others the same way that she deserves to be respected.  If we learn to be considerate, tolerant and respectful with each other; then the world of social media might change for the better.  Keep enjoying your weekend.  God Bless You

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I’m going to a concert today!

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In 1994, when I just started my first semester in the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico; Rev. Billy Graham came to San Juan for a Crusade.  It was so near from the campus that I usually walked from the Conservatory to the Hiram Bithorn Stadium where the Crusade was being held.  One of the invited singers for the Crusade was Michael W. Smith.  At that time, he was pretty famous even in secular music.  I had all his recordings because I had been following his career since he started playing keyboards and singing with Amy Grant.

That night that he sang in the Hiram Bithorn Stadium, it was literally packed.  He sang his iconic song “Friends”.  All the youngsters that were congregated that night, started to walk closer to the stage so that they could get a closer glimpse of such a famous christian singer.  It was a very exciting moment during that night.  I had hopes that after that experience, Michael W. Smith would decide to do a concert here in Puerto Rico soon after that.  But the truth is…that it took 20 years for him to come back to this island.

Here are my observations about some things that have me scratching my head.  First, the promotion for this concert hasn’t been the best.  It’s like a huge secret.  I haven’t seen a single announcement of this concert in any newspaper of this God forsaken island.  But the newscasts will rather give free promotion for some unknown girl who won a stupid beauty pageant.

Second, and I will confirm this tonight at the concert, I know they are still selling tickets: so I guess that the tickets haven’t been selling too well (and the Coliseum tonight will be in the small modality).

Third, I know the economy in this island is not the best, but couldn’t the promoters at least make a couple of announcements in the newspapers?  I found out about this concert because I’m an avid fan of Smitty and I constantly read his Facebook page.  But I didn’t see a single announcement of when the tickets started selling or anything.  This promoting campaign has been a disaster since day one.  I don’t think Smitty is coming here ever again unless Rev. Franklyn Graham, Billy’s son, drags him back in another Crusade.  And I sincerely hope that I’m mistaken.

It’s sad that Christian concerts have to have such bad organizers and promoters; and that also the news in this island will only promote if they see $$$.  But they will freely promote crimes, politics, beauty pageants and other stuff that don’t help us better our ailing society.

Anyway, my daughter and me, will be a part of Godly history.  We will go to the concert, praise God, enjoy awesome music…hopefully make new friends and savor this night. God still visits His people. Have a blessed Memorial weekend!

And I’ll leave a little bit of Smitty’s music…(Free promotion!)  His latest CD “Sovereign” is amazing!  You’ll enjoy it.

 

 

 

I taught my daughter a lesson

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When my previous car broke down in December 2010, I had to walk my daughter to school every morning.  On February 3, 2011, that was no exception. (This happened before I started homeschooling).

But that day, something was different.  While we walked, a car stopped beside us and the driver started talking to me.  I’m a very cautious person; I don’t talk to strangers and less while it’s still dark.  I kept a considerable distance and observed something that I didn’t like.  The guy had a Dominican accent, I could’ve sworn that I saw a head behind his seat, the car’s windows were tinted so dark I could hardly see inside that car.  All I heard was that he was saying that he had seen me everyday walking with my child and that he wanted to give us a ride to wherever place we were going.

You can imagine that I immediately refused.  At least he didn’t insist and left immediately when I said: “No, thanks”. I was worried about him saying that he had seen us before walking to school every morning.  I couldn’t change the route at the time, because that was the only way to Anna’s school.  I’d never seen that guy before but you never know who’s been watching you.

I always read the newspaper because I consider important the knowledge about the new tendencies of criminals.  A recent tendency is to kidnap people so they can ask for ransom money.  That tendency is not originally Puertorican, but it was brought from Dominicans and other Latin American countries.  Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think that all Dominicans are criminals just the same way that I don’t think that all Puertoricans are decent people.  So it’s not that I have something against other Hispanic races.  Just making this clear. It’s just that: it could happen to anyone of us…

I always remember that on September 1990, I  had recently started a job and I didn’t have a car.  I was waiting for the bus when a car suddenly stopped beside to where I was standing.  Then this guy came out from the car with a gun in his hand cursing and yelling with all the intention of kidnapping me.  Of course, my reaction was to run.  I was much thinner, younger and very nervous.  But in my nervousness, I started rebuking the guy with a very loud voice: “In the name of Jesus!”.  The guy eventually reached me because he was taller and faster.  When I felt that he touched my hair, I turned and pointing a finger at him I yelled again: “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!”  Then he suddenly stopped, his eyes reflecting some strange remorse and said to me: “I won’t touch you because you have the Fire”. (That’s an expression widely used in church to describe the Spirit of God).  He tried to take my purse, but not even that he could take away from me.  He ran back to the car he left beside the road. I ran to safety still trembling and thanking the Lord.  God saved me that day.  I didn’t save myself.

Days later, I read in the newspaper how a girl had appeared very near the place I was nearly kidnapped.  She had been raped and shot in the head.  That could’ve been me.  But God was my protector and he had a different plan.  I still felt sorry for that girl, if she would’ve just claimed to God….

Back to February 3, 2010….  You can imagine that the rest of our journey to Anna’s school, we had a little talk about safety.  I advised my daughter about how important it is not to talk to strangers and  to be cautious every time we have to go somewhere, no matter if we have transportation or not.

We all have to be careful.  But my advice to you, reader, is to pray before you get out of your house.  Read Psalm 91; believe that the Lord will take care of you and your loved ones.  You never know, what or who you may encounter on your way.

Be safe and God Bless You!

Not Good, But a Great Mom!

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1 Samuel 1:8-18

“Elkanah her husband would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’  Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hanna stood up.  Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple.  In bitterness of soul, Hanna wept much and prayed to the Lord.  And she made a vow, saying, ‘O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.

As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard.  Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, ‘How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.’

‘Not so, my lord,’ Hanna replied, ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled.  I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.  Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.’

Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.’  She said, ‘May your servant find favor in your eyes.’  Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.”

 

Whenever I think of a great mom; I think of Hannah.  Some people may say: “Hannah?!  No way!  She abandoned Samuel in a temple with strangers, when he was just a kid!”  And I will answer: “She made a vow to God and she delivered.  Her decision was made out of pure love and gratefulness….and never selfishness.”

Let’s learn a little bit more about Hannah’s background and traits.  She was not the only wife of Elkanah, he also had another wife: Peninnah.  Peninnah had children but Hannah did not.  In those times, it was very important for a woman to have children.  Fertility was a big deal because having children was a blessing; it meant prosperity & the continual of the linage.  That’s why Peninnah would provoke Hannah until she made her cry.  Even though Elkanah loved Hannah, that was not enough for her.  She wanted to be a mother.

There are a couple of ways to see this…  Hannah may have wanted to be a mother because she also loved Elkanah and wanted to give him children too and make him proud with a sense of accomplishment as a man.  She may also wanted to be a mother because she was sick of Peninnah’s provoking and wanted to gloat back at her for being such a nuisance.  Whatever was true reason was….being sterile made a profound impact in her life.  That situation was so heartbreaking for her;  it made her lose her appetite and cry all the time. Meanwhile, Elkanah was unable to understand her.

You see, the love of a man cannot compare to the love of a child.  I have to be really honest about this: you can change your husband but you can never change your child.  Blood will always be thicker than water.  A great mother knows and lives this truth.  Loving a child is one of most purest and deepest feelings of all.   It can never be substituted, exchanged nor it will end; not even with something as definite as death.  The love for a husband can change or end. The road of romance is a bumpy one…but that’s another story.  Now, let’s bullet Hannah’s great qualities so that we can acknowledge how a great mother should be:

  • A great mom will always, first and foremost: honor the Lord.
  • A great mom will bring her troubles to the Lord.
  • A great mom will trust the Lord.
  • A great mom will not be selfish; no matter what!!
  • A great mom will honor the vows that she makes to the Lord.
  • A great mom will be thankful to the Lord.
  • A great mom will love her children and dedicate them to the Lord.
  • A great mom will rejoice and acknowledge the works of the Lord in her life and her children’s.
  • A great mom will also be a great wife and be kind to others.
  • A great mom will testify of the great things the Lord has done to her and her loved ones.

Once Hannah honored her vows to God by giving up Samuel to serve Him; in exchange, God honored her.  The best deals that you can make in your life, are the ones you make with God.  You can never lose!  From being a sterile wife, Hannah became a proud mother of six kids.  She took the risk of giving up the only child she may have had, and decided to trust God and honor her vow in total blind gratefulness.  Needless to say, God honored her unselfishness and rewarded her five times more.  She only prayed for one child; but He gave her six!  God wants to give us the best!  All He asks of us is to be obedient and honor our vows….and even if we are disobedient and unfaithful, He will still love us. But we are the only ones who can stop the prosperous hand of God in our lives.

Meanwhile, Hannah’s unselfish choice affected the lives of the people of Israel.  Her son Samuel became the last judge of Israel, he anointed the first and second kings of Israel and he was one of the most prominent servants of God in the Old Testament.  Your decision as a mother will affect the lives of your children.  Make the best choices for them and for you.  Finally, let’s learn this lesson from Hannah and not be just a good mom; but a great one!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

 

 

Rain

 Rain is a blessing

“After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.’ So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.”

1 Kings 18

I remember when I was very young and read for the first time the story of Elijah. He has always been one of my favorite prophets.
There are so many things about this man that demands my attention. He was very obedient to God, but he also got depressed in the middle of his persecution. Queen Jezebel was that mean evil witch who wanted him dead…she killed almost all the prophets of God…and wanted Elijah’s head no matter how she could get it…..She was horribly evil.
Anyway, it’s such an entertaining story…but the part I was remembering now, was when the Scripture described that there was a great famine in Samaria because it hadn’t rain for a long time. King Ahab, who was married to Jezebel, was worshiping the false god Baal so Israel was sinning against God. Because of this disobedience…God stopped the rain.

The Scripture describes that the prophets of Baal prayed to their god for rain…they cried, shouted, cut themselves and did all sorts of noises and pleas…but it never rained…not one drop. Instead, Elijah prayed to God just once…and God answered. I also remembered the story of Noah and the ark…that’s another instance where God was the One who sent the rain.

These stories came to my mind…because lately I have been having these dreams where I see myself in the middle of a torrential rain.  At first, I thought that it was something bad…but then I looked at the Scriptures because I wasn’t sure what to think. But then again, God always has the answer.  It only rains because God allows it to happen.  Rain is blessings from Heaven. Without rain there is no life, there’s famine and death. God is our Provider. He cares for His children.

In these times where we see that the economy is bad, and we think that everything is falling apart around us, we should never forget that God is still King. He reigns over Heaven and Earth…He has everything under control. The ones who get scared are those who have their eyes in material and earthly things…in the visible world…not in the invisible power of the Lord.

Let’s thank God for His mercies each day and let us never forget that He protects and provides for His children.