Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reflection Time

     It's been one week since I've been home from Los Angeles, CA. I've had a lot going through my head as I think back at what I saw and heard. I shook the hands that were digging in garbage dumpsters a few hour prior, or maybe the hand of someone who just injected drugs into their veins. I hugged the cold neck of a woman who is so far away from home, and the cruel life of homelessness has left her with little to no hope of ever finding her way back to El Salvador. With nothing left to do, I broke down. All I could do is pull my glasses over my eyes, and let the tears roll. It was a long, quiet ride back to the Dream Center that day. The same day we handed out food on Skid Row, and then blankets in a small little park.
     Rosita. The name is still clear in my mind. She's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. The hard life of homelessness has left her with little faith. She sits in the sun, hoping it will warm her of what very little heat it gave off in the bitter, cold winds of the California winter. When I shook her hand the first time I met her, her hands were so cold. I took her a second plate of food, looked her in the eye, and told her clearly, "This is not the end. God has a beautiful plan for you." A few days later, I handed her a blanket, and she looked me in the eyes, and it broke my heart. It was as if she knew what I had said, yet did not believe it. Homelessness isn't something people are suffering from due to irresponsibility. It's become a mindset and a lifestyle.
     I can't help but to think about how fortunate I am - to have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my mouth. I thought I've had it hard my whole life. Seeing the streets of Los Angeles placed a new perspective in my heart. I'm thankful. I've taken what little I've been blessed with for granted. I still have a loving mom and dad, I have my car, an education, and so much more. How dare I be so ungrateful?
     I pray that someone reads this, and realized how blessed they are. Never take for granted something that GOD Himself blessed you with. In no time, it could be taken away. Hug your mom and dad everyday. Tell them you love them. Bless that person in need. Find a need, and fill it; find a hurt, and heal it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My thoughts on today...

     Why does evil exist in the world? What could cause so much cruelty in one person's life to end the life of 20 children and six adults? In times like this, we look to God and ask, "God, how could you let this happen?" We're quick to blame Him for this cruelty. I want to remind every one that there are two forces in this world; good and evil.
     Tonight, there are parents without children, children without parents, brothers without sisters, and so much more. Let this be a moment for us to re-think our perspective of life. Life is merely a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow.This is how I see it: It may had not been in God's will for those precious children and adults to die the way they did - that may had not been how God planned their life. However, what if it was in our will for this to happen in order for us to see something broader than what we initially see? Perhaps God is trying to show us something.
     The Bible is clear about this. The heart of men have grown cold. Violence has replaced unity. We're not fighting a war against flesh and blood, but against the forces of this world. Let this be an encouragement to hug your children, tell your mom and dad that you love them. Spend that extra time to make sure that you never leave anyone behind. Love God. Love people. God heals the broken hearted, He's close to them. Tonight, children and adults are dancing with Jesus on roads of gold, no more pain or suffering. There will be a day when we see them again, but until then, let's be the voice for those no longer with us.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"If it's easy to do, it's not a sacrifice..."

     I'm completely speechless right now. As I was reading a blog on purity, I came across this quote: "...if it’s easy to do, it’s not a sacrifice." This came from the blogger talking about what worship truly is. A lot of times, when I've talked to guys about purity issues, the main thing I always told them that when temptations strike, instantly get into worship. Turn on some music, get out your Bible and start reading, do something. I never thought to think that "worship" is derived from Genesis 22, when Abraham was called to sacrifice his son, Isaac. In Genesis 22:5, Abraham tells his servants to stay with the animals while he and Isaac went to "worship," even though Abraham knew he was about to sacrifice his son.
     If you know the story about Abraham, you know that he and his wife tried for so long to have a child. It was when Abraham was an old man that God finally blessed him with Isaac. You can almost understand the idolatry that may have fallen into Abraham's life. Although he praised God for the gift, you can almost feel this sense of not liking the idea of having to sacrifice is one and only son. Doesn't that sound familiar? That's what worship is. Worship is sending praises to something that we believe has a significant impact in our life.
     Perhaps you worship your girlfriend/boyfriend, because she/he is always around when it's convenient, and when it's not. Maybe you worship your job where you spend countless hours making so much money that you don't even know what to do with it. Or, maybe it's spending hours on the internet looking at things you know wouldn't be approved by God. Yes, that, too, is worship. Worship is replacing God on His throne with something that removes God from His throne, and earthly things take that seat.
     I'm rambling, but something has stirred inside of me. "If it's easy to do, it's not a sacrifice." It's easy to push in a worship CD, and grab your Bible. Anybody with physical capabilities can do that! What's not easy is realizing that when you're worshiping, you're sacrificing yourself for something greater than yourself. It's not about you anymore, but all about the King. Dethrone your idols, and put God back where He belongs. It may take sacrifice, but in the end, the ram is provided!