Welcome to my blog. I never intended to use one of these but my brother has persuaded me to start one up. So I hope the thoughts which I convey to you will have some sort of impact or meaning as I share my feelings. Feel free to comment.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sadly...My Last Post..

this is obviously due to the fact that tomorrow, is indeed, the end of the world as we know it. All the good Christians will be taken tomorrow and all the cruddy ones (and everyone else) will be left behind. So I must regret to inform you that I will not be here tomorrow (technically already tomorrow so I guess I'm stuck here too :/) and if you're reading this, then you must be a terrible person.

I hope you know that I am totally joking.

If you have seen the news recently (or been around any form of media), you have definitely heard of the rapture predicted...well...today. During the local coverage of this event, an interview was shown with a man subtitled "Believer" and he was quite adamant that all of the Christians will be gone tomorrow and everyone else—will be left behind. Now this is what gets me. These "believers" claim to be believers or followers of Christ yet apparently they fail to actually read the Bible. Ain't no fine print to look for; it's all there. In fact, it's spelled out plainly in:

Matthew 24:36-36"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

What kind of "believer" could call himself (or herself) a follower of Christ yet fail to read the most important letter ever written to mankind? That must be insulting to God himself. What these extremists are doing is leading people astray and, essentially, telling everyone else that Christians are whackos and completely insane. After seeing these people, what kind of person would want to pursue a personal relationship with Christ? Well, I don't know.

We must get into the Word. We cannot let others lead us astray. Instead, we must take the initiative and strive to draw nearer to Him—the author and perfecter of our faith. But realize that this is IMPOSSIBLE (yeah I said it) if you don't read the Bible—simple as that. I say this because I have been struggling with this very issue and it has easily affected my walk with God. If we don't read the Word, no growth can truly occur. It is an ongoing battle that we must fight with our love for Christ. But those are words for another time...oh wait...isn't this my last post??

I think not.

Hebrews 12:1-2 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Colossians 2:6-8 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Am I Cared for? Yes. Provided for? Definitely.

It's been awhile since I have last been able to post. I attribute this partially to laziness but mainly to the busyness that school brings (yeah that sounds better). Anyway, I've had ample amounts of time to think throughout the month about everything that has been said, all of the recent turn of events, and about my Father—both of them.

A few nights ago, my grandfather died. I never got to meet the man or get to know him personally but I do know that he walked out on my dad when he was very young. I can't even imagine what that would have felt like for my grandma or for my dad; how could you get through life without your daddy? If you have a dad who lives with you and provides for your family, thank God and be grateful for that gift (I most definitely do). After that, my dad's life started down a road of anarchy and chaos. But somehow, amidst all of that chaos—God's will remained sovereign. I believe it was during my parents' anniversary in New York that my dad was able to see his father at a healthcare center. What would you do in that situation? I definitely don't know what I would do; would I be filled with frustration and anger with the man? Or would I look on him with the compassion and love that Jesus looks at me with? The latter is what my father chose to do; he took this opportunity—which I believe was divinely orchestrated by God—to share the amazing and unconditional love of Jesus Christ. My grandfather met Jesus that day and the two men cried together...what a beautiful mess that only the God above could craft into a masterpiece.

God uses the most unlikely people to carry out His plan. It's crazy to think about but if it wasn't for my grandfather's mistakes—I wouldn't be here; my brothers wouldn't be here; my dad wouldn't be here. Was my dad cared for by this man? Not really. Was he provided for by God? Definitely.

We never know when our time will come. That is why Christ urges us to build strong relationships with others and to love without faltering. Do not take your life, or anyone's life, for granted. Do not hesitate to share the love of God with others but always be in the intentional pursuit of love; because you may never see that person again. Recently, two girls' lives were taken suddenly in a tragic car accident about 2 miles out from the UC Merced campus. One of these girls was in my discussion section. I never got to know her personally but why is that? I got comfortable; I stayed in my box and expected the opportunities to fall from the sky and right into my lap. I wish I got to know her and invest in her life as Christ so graciously invests in mine. I pray that she rests in peace...hopefully with Jesus holding her.

My dad seized the opportunity once it was presented to him; he chose to love intentionally. Even though it seemed that he wasn't cared for by his earthly father, he was definitely provided for by his heavenly father. I'm still learning but I will not sit on the sidelines and do nothing; I'm getting in the game in the pursuit of love. I am blessed to have a caring and loving earthly father and I am inexplicably grateful for my heavenly father. Am I Cared for? Yes. Provided for? Definitely.

1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

His Grace is Enough

If you know me, you know I'm not perfect. If you know you, you know you're not either. It is in our very nature to be imperfect, to make mistakes. But this is no excuse for us to succumb to that fleshly nature. Is there a continual thorn in our side that we have been trying to rid ourselves of? If that is the only thing separating us from having a great relationship with God, we need to get to work. We can't be comfortable. We were called to be uncomfortable. And if you're a believer in the midst of this world, you should know that feeling firsthand. If you haven't felt that, maybe you've been hiding. If this is true, it is time to get out in the open and let people know Who you represent, what you believe, and where you stand. God didn't give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of boldness. Use it!

Now if there has been a continual thorn/temptation that has been causing you to stumble, recognize it and act accordingly. If you believe in Christ, there is no reason to continue in the life of sin; He died for that. When you accepted Him as Savior, you crucified your old self in order to follow Him (please realize this is just as much a struggle for me as I know it is for you). This has been more directed to those believers who may have wavered off the path that God has called them to. But what about those of us who know what we want but still struggle with it?

Well, it's frustrating. But we must persist and cannot remain comfortable in our faith. Focus on the prize to which Christ has called you Heavenward, realize that you are not good enough but He is always good to you, and love as He loved you. Don't guilt yourself when you've made a mistake but use that frustration you feel as a weapon to combat your sinful desires. When you pray about it,
remember that Jesus asked the Lord, if it be in His will, to take away His cup of suffering three times. But God said nothing. Remember that Paul asked the Lord to take away the thorn in his side three times but God said no. Instead He said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." We are called to rejoice in our weakness, our suffering, and imperfections. God's power is perfected in us through our weaknesses because it when we are weak that we trust in Him completely. That is when He makes us strong. Don't put yourself down because, in this life, things will inevitably get rough. But it's so important to remember that His grace is enough.

2 Timothy 1:7
7for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Galatians 2:20
20I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Philippians 3:12-14
12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:5-10
5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Not Quite Good Enough

Ah, isn't it the best feeling in the world when you feel like you've had a productive day? Man, I feel so relieved after just sitting down and doing the work that I need to do for school. I kicked off the day by receiving a phone call from a guy called Nish that woke me up, reminding me that he was here to pick me up to go the Salvation Army to help serve breakfast to the homeless in Merced (this is at 5:40am, I had gotten to sleep about 3 hours earlier after watching Se7en with some housemates). Anyway, I tried to make an excuse by saying I was still in bed and I just woke up (that was the truth). But he persisted and said he would wait, in which case I was like "Great." So I sucked it up threw on some pants and a beanie (yes I had a shirt on too) and headed out the door to meet him. Anyway, served breakfast from 630 till 8 o clock since Nish had a class at 9 to go to. I actually thanked him for not giving me a excuse to flake on him, which I really am thankful for. Serving others just plain makes you feel better because you know you helped someone out.

But as I thought about these kinds of things (feeding the homeless, volunteering at a soup kitchen or a food pantry, or just holding the door open for someone), why do we do it? Is it because we want to feel better about ourselves? Because it is personally rewarding? Because we love the people? Or is it because we want to be good enough for something? Whatever that something is may be different for you but I really believe the reason we do some of things is a mix of all the questions asked above. But mainly because we are trying to get good enough so that we can be considered an all around good person. But hey, there's nothing wrong with that! These are definitely noble reasons and they are things that good people do but isn't there more to it? I believe so.

If you believe in Christ or not, at one point or another it may cross your mind that you would never be good enough for God. You screw up all the time. You do terrible things. Why would this God want anything to do with me? I've said it before and I will say it again and again; the answer is simple...love. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life believe it or not and because God loved you that much, He sent His only son to die for you (you may be familiar with the verse John 3:16). Anyway, some people believe that if they live a "good enough" life that they will make it to whatever kind of afterlife they believe in (or lack thereof) when they pass away. But regardless of who you are, you can never live a good enough life, sorry to break it to you. It is in our very nature to be imperfect. Well so what? That God that you may imagine to be crazy far away and that you can never match up to isn't that far at all. He's right here, waiting for you. You will never be good enough, but He is always good to us. Get it in your head that He loves you passionately, something you can't comprehend and probably never will. So forget about trying to be good enough and just give your life to the One who gave His for you. Living your life for Him will give every kind act you do a little more meaning. It will shape your life and you will have a reason to do the things you don't quite understand why you do. Don't think that He sees a mess when He looks at you. God loves you for who you are and that is something you almost never see from people today. People love you only if you love them back. People give to you when you give to them. There are conditions to that love. That's where God differs. He loves you regardless of the mess you may be in but He looks past all of that and sees your heart. You are beautiful in His eyes. You are worth something.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Much has happened since the last post and I apologize for the long delay in writing another one. Anyway some of the exciting events that have occurred are as follows: saw True Grit twice (starring Jeff Bridges, Jeff Bridges, and the amazing...Jeff Bridges), seeing and hanging out with great friends, working with Vicky, but the most exciting...my brother getting engaged to his girlfriend of six years plus (I think those figures are right). Anyway, this big step signifies a beautiful thing...family. What a privilege that God has bestowed upon us. The aforementioned girlfriend is an awesome young lady who I am more than happy to call my own sister (eventually). My brother's proposal has provoked much thought as to the thought of family and how the proposal to be with one person for the rest of your life is much like that of our relationship with Christ. In fact, the bible compares our faith in Christ to that of a marriage and what an accurate description (props to you God). When my brother proposed to this girl, it is essentially telling (asking is a big part of it too) that special someone that "You are my only love, the one I pledge to be faithful to for the rest of my known life here on this earth...do you want the same?" When we trust in God for our salvation, we have made that self-same solemn pledge to Him. We made a vow to be faithful to Him and Him alone while promising to spend the rest of our lives getting to know Him more and more. That's quite the vow. How have your vows been holding up?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something to be Thankful For

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have had ample time to reflect on what I am thankful for and there is quite a lot. God has blessed me beyond measure over the years and, to some degree, I haven't given Him the credit He is due which = all credit. So I'm just going to share some things that I am thankful for. So here it goes
I Thank God for...
my mother Lolita, a strict but loving mother that has kept me on the straight and narrow while allowing me to grow and experience things as I grow older, my father Daniel who has faithfully provided for our family, my brother Jed that I believe God has put in my life as a test to my faith, my brother Jesse that has been a joy to be around, talk to, jam with, and observe in the way he lives out his faith, a best friend Ben who has been there for me for as long as I can remember, strengthening me when I whined and rejoicing with me as he always made me laugh (and still does), my youth pastor Joey who has served as a father figure to me and best friend, keeping me accountable to who I am and what is right in God's eyes, my senior pastor Bob, who has honestly been one of the most Godly men I have ever known showing a great deal of integrity while presenting the Word of God truthfully and understandably, my church family back home who has supported me since I was just a wee lad, the opportunity to go to a university right out of high school and providing for the expenses that come along with that, the community and church that I have found here in Merced, a great friend and accountability partner, Mike Burns who has been such an encouragement to me, my many good friends whom I love dearly back home: Ashley, Jesse's Ashley, Alex, Scott, Frank, Alyssa, Orestes, Levi and so many others, all the adult leaders in the church back home that have also set a Godly example and who have also surrounded me with a good community, the musical talents that God has given me for the sole purpose of glorifying Him through melodious songs, the sweet computer I am typing on right now (Bernie MAC Dre, given to me by my amazing parents), the car that I drive, the food that I have, and the clothes on my back.

This is just but a small list comprised off the top of my head but there is so much more out there that I am sure I am forgetting.There is always something that you can be thankful for. Realize that the computer you are reading this from is a blessing in and of itself. If you have food, hot water, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and are able to read and write (which I am sure you can, otherwise you would be incapable of reading this), then you are quite fortunate whether you think so or not. Some families wake up every day not knowing if they will even be able to eat. So how dare I ever complain about the circumstances that I am in...despite anything that happens, I am blessed and I am thankful. To Him be the glory and praise forever and ever.

Psalm 100:4-5
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I recently watched the movie called "Seven Pounds" and my, was I amazed. The beginning of the film seems to have little direction or plot, just random things happening for no apparent reason. As good movies do, they begin to explain those reasons with the events that follow later on. I don't want to spoil the movie if you haven't seen it yet (I say this because I suggest you watch it when you get the chance) but it is actually the motivator that pushed me to write this (in the process of explaining myself, however, I may spoil it [as to what degree I do, decide for yourself] haha).

Basically, it starts with a fatal mistake. A screw up...something that cannot be taken back or fixed. But the remainder of that person's life is spent trying to make up for that one mistake. To redeem if you
will. But can anything be done to really "fix" those things? Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, if one lived a blameless life free of wrongdoing...perhaps their sacrifice could serve as the ultimate redemption for that person's life. But why in the world would anyone do that for imperfect and blemished beings? The answer is simple...love. Love that cannot be comprehended but that CAN be seen. Love that is not based upon a conditional response from the recipient of that love but rather on the presence of that love alone. There is no condition. Just someone willing to give their life as payment for the wrongdoing of the world, including you and I. Obviously, this "someone" is Jesus Christ. All He gave was everything and all He wants is you. All of you.

Which brings me to the reason
as to why I am sharing this with you. I must confess that I don't feel that I have been giving all of myself to Him. I have held back to some degree. I haven't given my all. After watching "Seven Pounds" God really convicted my heart (kinda weird ain't it?). I felt Him telling me that, "Yes, you have been spending time with Me, and yes, you do give up a lot for Me...but I want more and I know that you try, but you have not given me your life." And this is true. I have been reading my bible...but I have been watching TV and playing videogames much more. I have been praying but I need to be praying ALL OF THE TIME. The problem lies within me. I have not given all of my life to Christ as He willingly gave up His for mine. The problem is that I have been trying to find my life rather than trying to lose it for His name's sake. So now, I choose to die to self and live for Christ. I will put aside my wants and my desires for the furthering of His kingdom rather than mine.

I will love as He
loved me. I will give to others when it is in my power to do so. I only know what love is because He laid down His life for me (and you) in perfect love. Jesus has revealed that love requires one thing. Sacrifice.

Galatians 2:20- 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Proverbs 3:27-
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Matthew 10:39-
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

John 15:12-13-
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

1 John 3:16-
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

John 13:34-35-
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”