Happy Anniversary Blog!

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I just received notification from WordPress that this blog is one year old today.  Wow!  How time flies….  The experience has been good and sometimes not so good.  But it’s has been very therapeutic because I opened this blog in a time when I needed some spiritual refuge and I found it.

By the time I opened this blog, I had recently stopped visiting the church I had been a member for over 2 years and I felt like a little sheep who wanted a place to worship but couldn’t go back to where I had been because I felt that something was missing and I wasn’t being spiritually nurtured like I needed to be.  Even though having a blog can never substitute the experience of worshiping God in a temple with a congregation; it was therapeutic for me to let out most of my ramblings and thoughts about life, this spiritual journey, about meeting new friends, having new experiences and sharing life’s lessons with some readers.

In this year, I have been blessed with a new place where I can worship God freely; I am still learning about life, people, God’s work in people and yes, love too.  God is far from finishing His work in me, but the truth is that I’m expectant for what’s going to happen next.

I also have to share that the devil is really, really mad with some stuff that I’ve posted in this past year….yeah, I will make another post further on to explain about that situation in particular.  But I’m comforted that if the devil is mad; that means that what I’m doing here is really, really good.

I thank God for every little experience and inspiration He has given me this past year. Thanks to those who have been following this blog, posting comments and liking my posts during this year.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and caring for these ramblings and rants.  I pray that you are all blessed each day of your lives until Jesus comes back again.

Second year of searching….here we come!

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Studying

Too much reading

I haven’t been able to update this blog because I’ve been studying and working online.  You see, I am taking a course so I can move from Puerto Rico to Texas.  It’s not an easy move, it took me a while to take this decision.  I’ve been living in Puerto Rico for more than 40 years but the time has come to do something drastic and adventurous.   I’ve been praying and it hasn’t been easy; but the door has opened and I just went for it.  I had an orientation with Region 4 (this is a company that visits Puerto Rico like 2 times a year to recruit bilingual teachers).  I liked what they offered and I took my chances.  I started their course on October 11.  It has been good, but I’ve been reading like crazy.

You might think that that is not much to do, but the studying thing is taking a lot of my time right now.  Like in this week alone, I have to read 7 chapters of 2 different books, watch presentations of each chapter, make graphic organizers, do assignments plus complete an assessment of each class. As you can imagine, I still haven’t finished the reading part, some of the assignments plus the assessments.  Yeah, still lot to do….

I’m doing this to get prepared for the TeXes tests that I will take in the following months so that I can be a certified bilingual teacher in the Houston area.  What I’m still wondering is….(and I know that I’m not the only one), if I pass these courses but don’t pass the TeXes, what then???

I know I still have to pay the course, but at least they should use these grades to add some points to those TeXes scores.  These courses are really exhausting.  I constantly read about other candidates taking this course, who work and study in other colleges, they whine about how much work they have and how difficult it has been for them to do this.

I wonder how much we have to keep sacrificing from our lives just to achieve a better live for ourselves and our loved ones.  I know I’m not the only one and many more will follow after me.  I just pray that everything will be all worth it.

Should Christians Believe In Ghosts?

Ghost

I was sitting down with my daughter watching TV.  You know, these days we’ve been spending quality time together.  And it’s been great.  I highly recommend that you spend time with your kids.  There are lots of things that can happen….now read this.

One of the TV programs that my daughter enjoys the most are those programs that have to do with ghosts.  She’s an avid fan of “Ghost Hunters” in SyFy.  She even cried when Grant left the show.  She loves those kinds of reality shows where people go to different places to search for specters and all those kinds of experiences.  I even remember that when she was younger; she really chose to be a ghost hunter as her future profession!  It’s so wonderful when time passes, children grow up and they change their minds, hehehe.

Well, I was sitting down with her and we started watching a marathon of “A Haunting” in Destination America.  I have explained to my daughter what are ghosts; now she knows.  But I will share with you what the Bible says about it.  There seems to be a lot of ignorance regarding this theme.  I’ve noticed that churches, specially in the U.S.A. are not giving the due attention to such an important and controversial theme.  And what’s worse, churches are not educating appropriately and preparing the people of God to fight against it.

1 Samuel 28 3-18:  “Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah.  Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.  The Philistines army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart.  He inquired of the Lord, but the Lod did not anser him by dreams or Urim or prophets.  Saul then said to this attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”  “There is one in Endor,” they said.

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”  But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done.  He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land.  Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”  Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”  The the woman asked, Whom shall I bring up for you?”  “Bring up Samuel,” he said.  When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me?  You are Saul!”  The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid.  What do you see?”

The woman said, “I see a spirit coming up out of the ground.”  “What does he look like?” he asked.  “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,”  she said.  Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.  Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”  “I am in great distress,”  Saul said.  “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me.  He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams.  So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”

Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has turned away from you and become your enemy?  The Lord has done what he predicted through me.  The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors-to David.  Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today.  The Lord will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.  The Lord will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines.”

This is the only mention of an active “ghost” in the Bible.  Another time was when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the tempestuous sea and they thought that He was a ghost. So it seems that Jesus’ disciples did believe in ghosts.  But with this evidence, am I saying that we should believe in ghosts?  Definitely not.  First, the disciples were mistaken.  Jesus was no ‘ghost’.

Second, notice that in the previous verses of 1 Samuel; Saul was searching for God.  He tried to communicate with Him but could not.  He tried using prophets, dreams, Urim and Tumim but God was silent.  Saul had been disobedient; that’s why God would not answer him.  So where did Saul had to go?  To someone who God had warned him against:  a medium or a spiritist.

Deuteronomy 18:10: Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.”

So, if God is not among a medium, spiritist or witch….do you think He was present when Saul consulted the medium?  Do you think that that apparition was the real Samuel; a man of God who was supposed to be with God at that precise moment?  Samuel was dead; he was resting at Abraham’s side with the other servants of God who had parted before him.

Hebrews 9:27-28: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed one to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

If a man or woman can only die once and after that to face judgement….where does the “ghost” thing fit in there?  Easy answer….it fits no where.  The spirits that roam the earth don’t belong to humans.

How do I know this?  Jesus said so….

Luke 23:43 “Jesus answered him: ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 16:22-23 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side.  The rich man also died and was buried.  In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.”

Did Jesus mention something about souls wandering the earth seeking revenge or having incomplete issues on this life?  No.  Once you die, your time’s up.  You go to where ever you chose in life:  heaven, if you follow Jesus or hell, if you denied Him.  And if anyone lived without ever knowing about the true God: He will know how to judge that person.  He is a fair God who brings the perfect justice.

So, the question remains:  What or who are “ghosts”?

2 Corinthians 11:14: “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their action deserve.”

If the devil can disguise himself as an angel of light; don’t you think it’s easy for him or his servants to disguise themselves as human spirits to confuse people and lead them far away from God?  All the devil wants is to makes us believe that he is stronger; that we don’t have the power to defeat him.  We don’t need to defeat him!  Jesus already did that for us.

Through His Holy Spirit we have to power to cast away any attack that the devil might throw at us.  We belong to God; we have nothing to fear.

I always get frustrated when I watch those reality shows and I see the Catholic priests running away scared out of those haunted houses.  I also get disappointed when people seek advise from psychics, mediums, witches…..pleeeaase!!!  Where is the real Church of God during this?  I’ve even seen people from protestant churches in those reality shows who are actually scared to go to haunted houses…..I mean,  REALLY?!!!

I always remember an experience I had rebuking a spirit that had taken the form of a cat and was wreaking havoc at my mom’s house.  We didn’t have a cat at that time.  I saw the cat with my own eyes open, I was wide awake and I saw how it disappeared in the darkness of a sofa in the living room.  The next evening I prayed, soaked my hands in anointed olive oil and cast that spirit away.  I literally heard it running out of the house as fast as lightning.  That’s the power of the Holy Spirit that each one of us, servants of God possess because:

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

So we can’t be scared of the devil; let him tremble by the power of the Holy Ghost that lives inside of us.  We can spiritually cleanse our own houses.  Sorry, ghost hunters….but we, the real Church of God can get rid of the “ghosts” ourselves!   Hahaha! ^0^

Have a blessed week!

Heat

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Meow!  I can’t stand this anymore.  It’s been days that I’ve been trying to tell my servants what I want and they don’t seem to understand. I want them to pet me, pet me and pet me all the time.  Don’t they get it?

I’m not even hungry that much; only for those occasional crunchy cockroaches, but even my food bothers me.  I just want to crouch all night and day; but nothing satisfies me.

This morning my servant Anna just run out of our room to her mom’s.  I wonder why she was so upset? It’s not like I’ve done anything wrong. All I did was what I always do when I feel like I’m not getting enough attention.

I spent all night telling her that I wanted to be petted and loved.  I screamed as loud as I could; but all my servant did was lie down tossing and turning on her the bed.  When the day was starting; she just ran out of the room.

Then, I heard my two servants talking.  They were talking about me. But, I wonder what “neutering” means….  Meow!

Feel Guilty or Not?

Good morning

This has been a good week.  Well, under the circumstances of being broke, yeah it’s been a great week.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I went to a job interview.  Well, the update is that I didn’t get that job.  But, a few days later I did go to another job interview and I did get that other job.  Yesterday was my first day of giving conversational English to Spanish speaking kids.  I used music as a tool and it was the best decision I made.  Kids made great comments to their parents and the lady owner of the school was happy about it and she let me know.

Also, during this last week I started giving voice lessons to church goers on Monday night.  There’s something about teaching others that makes me feel that I’m doing God’s will.  When God gives you a talent, the best thing you can do is use it to bless others.

So, I was very busy making plans, looking online for ideas to spice up the lessons for my students so that they could have fun while they learn when I made the mistake of reading the news.  Suddenly I saw the photograph of a tall man dressed completely in black.  His face was completely covered except for his eyes.  His left hand held a knife while another man dressed in orange kneeled beside him with a sad face seemingly accepting the unavoidable fate of his demise.  Suddenly, I felt distressed.

There I was feeling good about myself and enjoying my life while others suffer.  Am I wicked when I make plans for a blessed future for my daughter and myself while others are being battered, murdered, tortured and even massacred?

“So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me.  All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”  Ecclesiastes 2:17

This morning I prayed.  I prayed for the persecuted churches in North Korea, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mexico, Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan and all other countries where women are being mistreated or enslaved, kids are being massacred, men are being jailed or executed.  I prayed for those parents forced to endure the pain of watching helplessly as their adored offspring are being beheaded for reasons they don’t even care for.  I prayed for God to fight for His people, the innocent, the hurting, the lowly….  I prayed for peace that passes understanding.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and time for peace.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

And I pray for us, that we appreciate the time that we can share with our families, that we learn to put our plans into God’s hands; that we learn to listen to His voice and obey Him.   I pray that all of those who read this post are loved, blessed, protected, touched by His hand and that may we never lose hope…

Give The Lord a Shout!! ….Or Not?

Before reading this post, watch this video please:

Click there ->   Post by Triunfo 96.9fm.

For those of you who found the video a little confusing, I have to tell you that the language spoken in this video is mainly Spanish. I understand clearly what the preacher is saying but there are other Spanish speakers who may start criticizing what’s going on in there.

The video took place in a Congress of Pentecostal churches inside a Coliseum, here in Puerto Rico. All the churchgoers in this video are basically just praising the Lord, shouting with all their hearts and voices.

The critics of this video describe this scene as: a disturbance, a mess, a turmoil, a racket, a brawl, full of violence, hostile, a revolt, turbulent, a riot, an uprising…some may even compare it mockingly to a WWE show.

But, do their opinions really matter? What does the Bible say about this? What did Jesus do about this, when he saw people praising and giving a shout to God?

What the Bible says about praising the Lord:

Psalm 22:3 “Yet you are Holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel”

Psalm 50:23 “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”

So, should we praise God with our voices or should we keep silent?

Psalm 69:30 “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.”
Hebrews 13:15-16: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

What did Jesus do when confronted with people giving a shout of praise?

Luke 19:37-40 “When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’ ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

I ask you now: Are you a Pharisee or are you a disciple of Christ?

Is Heaven a silent place where nobody shouts and praises the Lord?

Revelations 7:9-10 “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a LOUD voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’

My conclusion: those who praise the Lord with a LOUD voice, please the Lord. You don’t have to like it, they are not praising you. God is the One who has to like it, He knows our heart, He knows if we are thankful to Him.

But beware!!! Do NOT become like a Pharisee and start criticizing what you do not understand… or worse: may you never become a person who mocks the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. There’s a very, very thin line between criticizing and the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost which is the ONLY unforgivable sin.

Be thankful, give a shout to the Lord with all your voice and your heart. God is pleased when you do it.

Backbite

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Ms. C was a middle-aged woman who was very skilled, had studied hard and had many outstanding experiences with the Lord.  She was by far not perfect but she humiliated herself constantly before God just like King David did in Psalm 51.  Even though she was not famous; God knew who she was because she was a “prayer warrior”.   She would find herself talking to God in those wee hours at 1, 2 or 3 AM; or whenever God would wake her up.  She had seen visions of the Rapture, had spiritual fights with demons, joined intercessions with other spiritual warriors for the healing of the sick, the deliverance of the strong held and the petitions of the weary.  God had forgiven Ms. C’s many, many sins; and she was very, very grateful.

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”  Luke 7:47

Ms. C joined a church where she wanted to work for the Lord.  She was happy to offer her many skills and knowledge for the service of God’s work.  Her new pastor was happy to have her join the church.  He was well-known by many people in different ministries.  He had always served the Lord.  He used to have a huge ministry but was now a pastor.  At first, he started letting her participate actively in lots of activities.  Ms. C was content on doing something to please the Lord.

One time during a night service, a young preacher visited the church and gave Ms. C a message from the Lord: “Work and obey Me…OBEY, OBEY”.  For some reason, Ms. C could never forget that message.

Meanwhile,  the pastor wanted to reorganize the church and have a new leadership at church.  It seemed that many things were going on and old leaders were being rivaled by a new group that had joined the church.

Many of the new members at church had their own agenda, they wanted to have the better positions, they wanted the titles and all the leading roles at every activity and the pastor backed them up.  When the new organization ended, old leaders were seated down and new leaders were named and took control.

Unfortunately, Ms. C was overlooked and ignored when the time came to give the most important positions in church.  Even her professional background was not considered when naming came in a leadership position where she knew that she could further her work for the Lord.   The pastor’s son was named to the position that she was professionally and spiritually prepared for.  She thought that there was nothing wrong with the pastor wanting to further his son’s ministry at church, but the truth was that the youngster lacked the experience, the knowledge and the spiritual growth needed for that relevant leadership position.  She was disappointed; but at 3 AM the next morning she was praying and crying before the Lord.  She was comforted and decided to keep working.  The Lord backed her up in everything that she did, even if it wasn’t much.

Even though Ms. C was totally capable of being a leader; her pastor and other churchgoers always questioned her capabilities and knowledge.  Remembering the message that she had received, she wanted to do God’s will not man’s will.  She tried to keep herself away from comments when she noticed that some things were wrong.  For some reason,  it seemed to her that it wasn’t in their best interest that she should have a relevant role at church.

Then, God opened a door where she could study the Word of God and further herself in a serious ministry.  But, unfortunately her pastor didn’t like that.  Telephones were ringing, bad intended comments started spreading and other leaders frowned at Ms. C as if she was doing something wrong.

But the time came when she was tired of being overlooked and not appreciated for her skills, experience and knowledge.  She felt stuck….she wanted to help others who felt the same way.  Other talented churchgoers were also seated and ignored.  She wanted to do much more not just be a back stage lackey for other leaders.  Then, something happened….

A time came when she didn’t want to work anymore.  She went to church, sat down, heard the service and then went home.  She kept praying and wondering….was that “it”?  What had happened to all of the promises that God had made to her?  She had a lot of free time and there was a lot of work to do at church.  But she didn’t want to work there no more.  She loved the people there….but she hated the constant backbiting coming from the altar.  So she did what many others do when the gossip and the lack of work affects a Christian:  she stayed home.

The only difference was that she kept praying and working at her own pace.  She wasn’t proud of staying home but at church she wasn’t being spiritually nurtured.  She felt tortured….  Months went by but she kept praying and reading her Bible.

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:25

One good day, Ms. C encountered an old pastor she knew from way back.  They started talking and she sent her regards to his wife; whom she knew well.  The old pastor invited Ms. C to his church.  Her heart was trembling….how much she longed to go to the Lord’s house to praise Him.  She missed that so dearly.  She accepted the invitation.

Long story short:  she now works at church, helping with her knowledge and using her God-given skills to further His work.  Her skills are growing so she can give unto others from what she has been given.

“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance….” Matthew 25:28

The church where she serves now grows constantly. They fast and pray every week; they have services every other day, Bible studies, different ministries that work hard for His glory. Her pastors are humble servants who have never been famous but seek His guidance and appreciate each churchgoer letting them be fruitful.  Ms. C is now content; free of the backbiting, the stockiness and the spiritual hunger.

Meanwhile, the church she left… isn’t growing.  Lack of fasting, praying and wasting time in gossiping can do that to a church.

“Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”  Matthew 25:28

 

 

 

 

We Failed Her…

Mercy

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me….”  Matthew 25:35-36

This is the story of an old lady named Iris V.  She was my neighbor; lived only one apartment away from mine.  Her only living relative was a brother, but she lived alone.  I think she was divorced but never had children.  She took care of her sick mother.  She would often share her experience about how her mother passed away on her arms.

She spent her lonely days sewing, knitting and making all sorts of beautiful handicrafts.  She was a member of a nearby church.  Even though she was my neighbor, I met her at a Bible study in the apartment below mine.  Her pace was slow and so was her speech.  But she understood everything clearly; her mind was alert and she had lots of memories to share.

On a very sad day; she fell in her bedroom and broke one arm.  Nobody could hear her screams for help; she couldn’t get up.  She spent all night crying with pain on the cold floor of an empty apartment. The next day a lady neighbor from the floor below was the one who discovered what was going on because she was the one who visited Iris V. constantly to check on her.

Iris V. was taken to the hospital and after a while there; she was back in her lonely apartment.  But soon after that, she fell again and this time her brother made the decision of taking her to a nursing home.  Iris V. was happy because she thought that she would continue with her handcrafts; at least she wouldn’t be alone anymore.  She was wrong.

She wasn’t allowed to do anything, just lay on a bed all day.  The nurses said that if she did anything she could hurt herself or hurt somebody else.  The Bible group visited her once in September of last year.  We sang to her, read Bible verses to comfort her but the group leader made the mistake of promising her that the group would visit her at least once a month.  There were plans of visiting her; but for one reason or another; those plans never materialized.  No visit for Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or New Years.  There was no visit for Valentines not even on the Holy Week.  Now summer is here…

Today I saw my next door neighbor Maria.  She told me that she went this past Saturday to visit Iris V at the nursing home.  There she was informed that Iris V. had passed away since June 7.  Her brother had taken care of all the funeral proceedings and never told anyone about it.  Why would he, right?  If her church didn’t bother to visit her, her pastor didn’t even call or send anyone to comfort her, her old neighbors were too busy with their lives….why should he call?

I feel guilty because I only saw her once.  I’m not proud about what I did and I regret not being a good neighbor.  I wasn’t even a good Christian.  And I know I’m not the only one who should feel like this.  She had a church, she had a pastor, she had people who promised to seek her but failed to keep their promise.  Nobody came; just one neighbor who’s not even a Christian.  Shame on us!

While God forgives us this sin; let this be a lesson on how to treat our neighbors.  God really meant it when He said: “Love thy neighbor”.

It would have made a whole lot of difference in the last days of Iris’ life.  We would have obeyed His word….  RIP Iris V.

 

Meet Angel Morell; Former Transsexual Now Servant of God

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I wish to share with you the testimony of this young man who God rescued from homosexuality.  This story really touched my heart, because as a mother and a teacher of young children, I can hardly understand why young kids go through sexual abuse.  We need to pray for the children and the youth of this world.  The world needs to know that God STILL has the power to transform a man or a woman from homosexuality or any form of sexual deviation, transgender/transsexual, adultery, fornication, bestiality…ect.  A lot of people believe that this is not possible; but the Bible begs to differ.  God is still King; He can still perform miracles: He can still free us from sin.  If anybody says that a gay person was just born that way; they don’t know how powerful God can really be!!!

Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”

Morell Santiago, son of Mr. Angel Francisco Morell and Mrs. Carmen Santiago, brother of Elfi Martinez, Jessica Martinez, Felito Martinez and Kenia Martinez was raised by his grandfather Juan Santiago in his native country Puerto Rico.

Angel Morell Santiago’s life was from the beginning very dramatic, because when he was three years old, his mother abandoned him in a trash can and he never got associated with his parents again.

At five years old, Angel was sexually abused by his relatives. “I told my professor and school authorities what was happening to me, they took me out of the house and I was sent to a foster home,” narrated Angel to the reporter COCN, Rubi Adames.

After spending time through many foster homes, he escaped and found refuge in the streets, there he was forced to endure sexual relations with men so he could feed himself.

When he was 15 years old and alone in his life; he became “Melania Hilton of Paris”,  and with that female fairness he developed activities that only added suffering to his life.

With only 17 years old, he moved to Ecuador to have plastic surgeries where he invested approximately $170,000 in implants and surgeries.

Angel M2  Angel M

He participated in five porn movies and in many occasions he was almost murdered, he was stabbed, he was constantly robbed and mugged and he was imprisoned in many occasions.  He was involved in drugs and witchcraft, all of that time seeking “to fill the void that he felt since he was a child” he narrates.

“I tried to take my own life many times, but I could never achieve it because the hand of God was behind me, and He had a special purpose for my life”, he tells.

Among the processes fulfilled for his sex change there were surgeries to his nose, breasts, liposuction, laser treatment, among others.  When he was about to have surgery on his genitals, the unexpected occurred: “I saw the face of God that stopped me”.

Angel says that his acquaintances accepted him because of the financial position he had obtained by means of prostitution.  He says that “for them, my multiple changes were something normal because they cared more about my money than my own suffering.”

Today, 25-year-old Angel Morell Santiago, is a man totally changed by God. “Only to Him I owe all of my transformation,” expressed Morell. In the year 2010, he accepted Jesus and four years with four months ago, his life has been different.

“One day while I was very sad inside my room, I felt that the world meant nothing to me anymore, nothing that I did replenished me…but I had a vision where I saw my ex-mate on the bed and beside him there was a demon that looked at me and I saw that blood was pouring from it’s hands.  When I rotated the mirror I saw myself transformed into a horrible monster with a crown of snakes on my head. When I tried to go to the street, very frightened and asking for help, I found a huge rat that wanted to bite me, suddenly I heard a voice that told me to look beside me and I saw a hammer, like the ones used in court and the voice told me to hit the rat with that hammer and the rat disappeared,” he adds. “Suddenly I looked upon the sky and I felt how a light came into my life and the pain disappeared for ever,” he narrates that the tears stopped coming out of his eyes and from that moment the change started to get noticed.

“A lot of people around me didn’t believe in my change, in fact, a lot of them still don’t believe it, however, only I know what God has done in my life and that is enough.”

Nowadays, Angel lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico and he’s committed to preach the gospel from his congregation, “I live by Faith Breaking Barriers Church” (Iglesia Rompiendo Barreras Vivo por Fe) where he testifies about his transformation.

He expresses feeling totally happy and renewed “by the new life that I’ve experienced in Jesus Christ,” he ends up saying: “My biggest eagerness is that millions of people, like me, come to know Christ and can be saved.”

Translated from Spanish to English by Lauriann Cruz

The following link is the Spanish version of this interview:

http://metodistalibreluzalasnaciones.blogspot.com/2014/05/angel-morell-pase-de-ser-un-transexual.html

Angel Morell’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Evangelista-%C3%81ngel-morell/1418018628497350?pnref=story

angelito morell

Five Points On Making It Through Financial Hardship

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Have you ever been so broke that you can only eat one menu for several days?  For example, you gotta eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Well, I’m almost in that situation. And the worst part is that…. my daughter doesn’t even like pancakes!!

These last years I have trained myself to be a good administrator of my only income: child support.  Living with less than $700 a month is a challenge.  People would consider my financial status as living in misery.  But let me tell you, even if the same menu has to be repeated in a single day; we’ve never gone to bed hungry.

I have five pointers on how to survive with such a low income in a high cost of life island like Puerto Rico.  An example of what I mean is: a gallon of milk here costs $6.00 and if it’s lactose-free, the half-gallon will cost that same amount.  I don’t pay less than $40 a month for electricity and water is no less than $24 monthly.

My situation got really bad in 2010 when I lost my government job when the Governor and his supporters decided to lay off 20,000 employees.  I was one of them.  Since then, after losing my car, my credit, and my 3 room apartment…I had to make many decisions.  I will share a very small part of what I have learned during these years.  These are my five pointers:

1)  Trust God.  Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want”.

He still has everything under control.  He will supply for every single one of our needs.  He will never fail.  Men will lie, cheat, rob and pursue you; but God will fight for you…always!

2) Obey God and tithe.  The first money that we should separate is the money that belongs to God.  Numbers 18:21 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them…”

A lot of people discuss and disagree about this point.  But the truth is that when you give to God with a happy and thankful heart; He is Faithful and you will always have enough to live.  This has been my experience and it has NEVER failed.

3) Be a good administrator and pay your bills first.  You must have a budget.  Don’t live beyond it.  The first bills I always pay are rent, electricity, water, internet, cell phone.  After you’re done with those, then you can plan to have miscellaneous.  I also pay Netflix, Piano lessons for my daughter, gasoline and other stuff.

Sometimes, extraordinary expenses will come.  Like in this month, for example, I had to spend on some screens for the windows.  I’ve been living in this two room apartment for 3 years and the screens didn’t fit well and were all torn and broken.  I had an invasion of insects, including too many deadly mosquitoes like the Aedes Aegypti, the one that causes the mortal dengue illness.  I had to make a decision before the warmer weather comes.  So I made a budget and bought the screens, but I knew that this month was long and I would have to risk having less food at the end of it.

4)  Don’t be selfish and give.  It’s better to give than to receive.

Even though you may not have much; you have to be willing to share of what you have.  My car may not be the latest model; but if somebody needs a lift, I have to be willing to help in any way I can.  I am poor; but if I make a budget, I may be able to sponsor a child in a different country.  There are always people who are going through worst financial crisis than ourselves.

5)  Be thankful to God for everything!  In scarce or in abundance; always be thankful to God.

Don’t be pessimist; that is too contagious.  If you want to reflect the joy of God in your life; thank Him that you got to live through another day.  There are so many simple things in life that don’t involve money.  The treasures in life are: the time you spend with family and friends, a sunny day, music, the sound of thunder or rain when it falls, your pets….so many beautiful things.

Count your blessings; you will see there are so many of them, that you will find that they are all priceless!

About being rich….

MDG--Poverty--a-slum-area-007

Mark 10:23-24 “Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’  The disciples were amazed at his words.  But Jesus said again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

This was today’s Word of Life for my soul.  Place: the region of Judea, across the Jordan. Time: More than 2000 years ago.

Jesus commented these words after he had an encounter with a young rich man who asked him a simple question.  He wanted to know what could he do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus answered that he should know the commandments, that he should sell everything that he owned, give it to the poor and then that he had to follow Jesus.  The young man went away sad, because he had great wealth.

I’m still wondering what do all those TV evangelists, christian musicians, bishops, pastors, and priests who are super rich, do when they read these verses or if they actually read these verses.  Do they ever feel guilty?  I guess not; I think that their spiritual eyes must be totally covered so they can justify the way they live.  I would feel guilty; specially knowing that there are so many people in need.

For the disciples, Jesus’ reaction was a surprise.  And it was all because the Jews at that time believed (and they still do) that prosperity is the meaning of God’s blessings upon that person.  The old patriarchs like Abraham, Job, Isaac, Jacob were all rich; God promised in the Law of Moses that He would prosper his people if they obeyed his Word.  So it’s understandable why the disciples would react that way.

You see, a poor person has to constantly seek God to acquire the things he or she needs.  Which are those riches of Heaven that Jesus mentioned in verse 21 of Mark Chapter 10?  In this earth those could be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  These spiritual riches are called fruits of the spirit and they are mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. You might say that maybe a rich person could gain some of those spiritual riches too….but let’s analyze this for a moment.

A person who is rich could find love in his family and friends until the riches are lost.  Or what happens when they fight for inheritances?  Where is the love when there is treason between one relative and another just to have a ‘position’ in society or in the family’s corporation? Is there real love when a rich man has a lover on the side?  They can surely afford it and they might enjoy those extra meals.  But that love comes hand in hand with interest and selfishness.  So that love is not deep enough and doesn’t include sacrifice.

What about peace?  There may be peace until the relatives fight for their inheritances again, the corporation has crooks laundering money,  the IRS is after you, taxes, politics, your friends are not really your friends all they want is to gain something from you, until your debts and bills have to be paid, or until the interests of your credit cards keep going up.  The truth is that, the more you gain, the more you spend and you will have more rivals, more envious people who will seek for the least opportunity to stab your back and steal what you have.  So,  I don’t think a rich person has too much peace…

A rich person can definitely be kind and give to the poor, not everything, but something.  Will a rich person be kind to the thugs that are stealing money from them?  Will they be kind to the IRS employees that are auditing them?  Will they be kind to the teenagers that vandalized with graffiti the walls of their expensive mansion?  Will they be kind to the reporters who are just asking them why do they have private planes or multimillion mansions when all they do is just preach on TV and depend from the live savings of the parishioners?  No, they can’t be kind all the time…

Can a rich person have patience?  Not when they have to continually travel to work and they have tight schedules just to keep their riches.  Rich people have a lot of responsibilities and that means that they have to work fast and efficient to keep the revenue coming.  Patience is lost when a client is late for an appointment, when flights are delayed, when somebody stole your wallet or your baggage, when your expensive car was vandalized…patience can be lost so easily when you’re rich.

A rich person can definitely have faithfulness….in their riches of course.  Why would they need to have faith in God if their riches give them everything they need?  You need faith to believe that your prayers will be heard.  Maybe riches can’t buy health but the rich person will use his money to pay the best doctor money can buy to treat him or her of their illnesses.  Even if they eventually die from sickness, they would’ve assured to have had the best treatment medicine can give because they can afford it.  A poor person can’t do that; the poor definitely has to pray first.

A rich person can be gentle unless they have to kill nature to use it’s natural resources.  You know, their riches have to keep increasing so those trees they need for paper and houses….they just have to go.  You see, nobody cares about the ecosystem, flora, fauna, or global warming….only those poor people who have to live in those cheap houses that get flooded every year.  Gentleness is overrated anyway…

Can a rich person have self-control?  Somehow I keep picturing in my mind, politicians fighting whenever they have their late night sessions and they need to pass laws for consideration…they start cursing and insulting each other.  By the way….I think they started poor at the beginning of their careers in politics but they sure end up being filthy rich when they get out of office.  I just hate it when they say that they are Christians….they make us look so bad.  I actually lose my self-control and get frustrated.

So those are the riches of heaven that the rich have to have so they can enter the gates of Heaven.

Wow!  And I’m still trying to picture a camel entering through the eye of a needle.  Jesus definitely had a sense of humor… I so love him!

Poor rich people,  poor TV evangelists with their multimillion mansions, private jets, gigantic indoor pools, expensive cars, multimillion temples, revenues from books, CD’s, TV stations, theme parks…none of those material things will save them.

Poor rich people….they’ve been all compared to stinking camels trying to enter the eye of a needle… by none other than Jesus himself!!

Sell everything you own, give to the poor and follow Jesus.  Start to depend on God, start making riches in Heaven and then it will be easier to have eternal life.

Transform your life from a dirty camel to a real disciple of Christ!

A Christian drama could be a good idea….

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I like to read and I like to write.  But, I can be very lazy sometimes, specially when I write.  But for some time now, I’ve been sketching in my mind an original story.  It’s a romantic drama in the Christian world.  As many of you may know, Christians do fall in love and have lots of drama in their lives.  You only have to read the newspaper or belong to any congregation of any denomination to really understand what I’m talking about.  It will be a short story with original characters but I have to add that any similarity to an actual living person is purely coincidental.

So those of you who like a little Christian romance, drama and happy endings might enjoy what I will hopefully post soon on this blog.  So, should I name it a Christian fan fiction?  Maybe…but I just hope to commit myself to start the story and finish it.  I already have the whole story in my mind.  Let’s hope it finds the light of the internet.  God Bless You!!