Friday, June 24, 2011

There is no fear in love

 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." 1 John 4:18

As I was in the plane going from Chicago, USA to Sau Paulo, Brasil something funny and scary (at the same time) happened. First of all, I experienced a lot of turbulence on my first two trips. This was really scary to me. As I went through this, I remembered Jesus and the storm. He was sleeping even when the storm was really strong.  I prayed that God would keep me safe. I was already scared because of the turbulence, which explains a little more of what I am about to tell. At some point I fell asleep and when I got up again I saw a bright, white light outside of the left side of the airplane (the side of my window). I first thought that the light was coming from another airplane that was closer to ours, but i thought it was too close. I didn't want to be scared but somehow I was. I tried to think of other options of what that bright light could be, but none of my ideas made much sense. As it seemed to me that the light was getting closer and closer, my heartbeat was also going faster and faster. 

Tired of trying to figure out on my own what that light was, I decided to go talk to one of the flight attendants. I got up and told one of them what I was seeing. I showed him the bright light through a window and he wasn't sure what that light was either. He said to me : "Well, let's find out". He got the phone and called someone (I think he called the pilot). As this was happening, another flight attendant came. He asked what was happening, so I told him the story too. This time I decided to show him the bright light from my side of the window. We went to where I was sitting and I showed him the light. After 2 or 3 seconds, he got up and told me what the light was. He said "That light is just a light that comes from the wing of the airplane". We both went to tell the other flight attendant that it wasn't necessary to call the pilot (or whoever he was calling) anymore.

As I sat down, a little embarrassed, and laughed for a while I thought of what just happened. I was terribly scared just 5 minutes ago, but after learning what that light really was I could only smile and laugh. What a change in my heart, mood and overall feeling of wellness! 

I also think that this can happen in the spiritual realm. How many times I freak out because I do not know or dwell in God's perfect love? This can happen because of a lack of knowledge. Many times we do not know what God's word says or we do not believe it. The prophet Hosea says in Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge". This is very true. 

When we do not rest in the amazing love that God has for us then the enemy of our souls can come and lie to us very easily. God speaks about His love through Paul in Romans 8:38 saying, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Paul uses the word "convinced". I believe His conviction comes from the knowledge and revelation that the Holy Spirit has given Him about God's love. God also wants to give us insight into His word so that we can grow in the knowledge of Him and His name. The experience with the light in the airplane made me think of my experience of knowing who God really is and how just by knowing Him, all fear can be gone. 

I pray that I will grow closer to God. I pray God would give me more insight of His very nature so that I can rest in His love for me. There is absolutely nothing to fear when God, the perfect lover and author of love, is inside of us, fighting for us and loving us like no one can ever do. I want to dwell in that kind of love every day of my life. 

Thank you Jesus! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

This Is My Philosophy of Education

Ephesians 4
“It was He who gave some to be… teachers…” (vs. 11)
Teaching is more than a mere profession or job. Teaching involves our all. Also, teaching is a calling and this specific calling does not include everyone. There are different callings and gifts; teaching is one of them. Who is the One that has given us this calling? It was God himself. Because of the One who has called us, this is not to be taken lightly. If we are called to teach, we have no other way around: we need to be obedient. God is faithful to those who He calls. If we are not called to teach, this is very important as well because we need to be honest with ourselves and seek to be where our deepest passions and the deepest needs of the world meet.
“…to prepare God’s people for works of service…” (vs. 12)
The role of the teacher is embedded in service. The dictionary defines the word embedded as something that is “ingrained” or is an “essential characteristic” of something. Anything and everything that the teacher does should be out of a deep desire to serve the students, family, and community. The role of the teacher is to be ready for the students. “Being ready” can mean different things depending on the context. Despite of the context, the role of the teacher is to facilitate learning, to be part of the building bridge in the students’ construction project of life, to be the inspirer, the one who will always believe and encourage, and the one who will stand up and speak for those whose voices are silent. The teacher is the one that will see a bright future in each one of the students and with a humble and servant heart will point it out to them. 
“…so that the body of Christ may be built up…” (vs. 12)
Curriculum involves the programs of study but also the culture of the school. Although not always mentioned, curriculum also refers to the under culture, what lays beyond what is written. The view of curriculum must include diverse students. The planning and ideas should create a space for dialogue with people of different races, cultures, backgrounds, ideas, languages, and religions. The curriculum should be an “open-ended” one, meaning that it allows students, teachers, and people from the community to be part of it, to modify it as needed, and to serve the needs of the people. Curriculum is a guideline, a course to follow. The ultimate purpose is to build up the body, preparing each person to contribute to society and to always grow. This curriculum needs to include and allow diversity. It celebrates the differences and seeks to encourage and help the students in their needs.
“…until we all reach unity…” (vs. 13)
The identities and backgrounds of the students make a difference in how the curriculum is taught. The teacher needs to be sensitive to listen to what students are saying. The purpose of this is to reach unity among everyone. This is a Christian perspective and it seeks to bring shalom. If the students learn differently than what the teacher thought or planned, then changes need to be made. It is important to be careful to not fall into pluralism which will encourage students to practice anything they want and this would be OK. Diversity is something that is given to us, but pluralism is something we can decide to practice or not. The desire for unity recognizes diversity but does not allow all kinds of pluralistic views to be one. This is not a real unity as a body of Christ. Despite of this, the teacher is changed by the students’ views and perspectives. At the same time the teacher greatly influences in the students.
“…and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (vs. 13)
Both students and teachers need to be made whole again. This is why Christ died for us: to make us holy, which means to make us whole. The teacher’s view of the students should come out of this reasoning. Students will be broken, but they are meant to be whole. Every student is loved by Christ and is part of His creation. The student needs to be treated with respect and sympathy (even when this is extremely difficult). Any student can learn and deserves to access the doors of an excellent education. There are no better or worse students than others, but there are students that have understood their role better and because of that they are on track with their duties and expectations. This does not mean that some students should be excused for their lack of responsibility. This means that the teacher sees every student as a capable human being who is ready to learn. Of course, many times the students may have certain disabilities in their bodies or minds that will not allow them to do everything they would like to do. They, too, should be seen as capable of shining in the classroom.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love…” (vs. 15)
Earlier I mentioned that the role of the teacher is embedded in service. I would also like to add that teachers are expected to speak the truth in love. Although teachers need to encourage, they are also truth-tellers. Truth is not always easy to communicate and that is why the truth is needed to be said out of love. Both of these come together. The only way of achieving this is with God’s help and guidance.
“From Him [Jesus] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it work” (vs. 16)
I believe diverse students learn by working together. I do not think that one person can achieve it all alone. The whole body (this can mean whole as holy and whole as everyone) is supposed to be joined to Jesus and be held together with each other. This is the way they can grow and be built up. Every part is supposed to do its work. This means that each student has something to contribute that no one else could. We are meant to work together. I hope that this will be played in our classrooms by allowing students to contribute and help set the tone of the classroom. I hope each student will feel welcomed and desired. I hope each student will feel valued and very much appreciated. This cannot be emphasized enough: the students need to feel worth and wanted in the classroom in order to reach their WHOLE potential.  
It is difficult to state all I want to say in one short paper like this. I wholeheartedly desire to be an agent of change wherever God puts me. I believe that God has called me to be a teacher and I feel honored to have such a high calling. I also know that without God’s guidance I would not be able to teach. He is my light and therefore I believe that I can shine for Him. I am ready now.

Friday, April 1, 2011

How much do you wanna play?

The other day you asked me: "so tell me, how much do you want to play?" , "are you kidding? -I thought to myself- "what kind of question is that?" But as I meditated on your words, lines started coming, my heart beat increased, and my eyes were full of tears...

How much do you  want to play?,  you asked. Well, this is my answer...
I wanna play until I get tired and think I can't run one more step, and then, continue playing a little more. I want to run until I am out of breath and my hands are shaking because I gave my all. Until the lights are out, I will continue in that court. Even if it's dark I do not care, my heart is still beating, I can give more. Whether is a Thursday night, 7 pm, fans are shouting, lights are on.. or if it's a Saturday morning, no one is around, the lights are burned, the curt is lame, and the ball...well, it's little broken, just like my heart.. I will still continue. It may be just me and the ball. It might be a huge tournament and everyone is around. In both occasions I will play the same, I was born to play that game, that day, that ball. I will play, yes I will... weather is raining, sunny, or cloudy. Whether is winter, summer, fall, or spring. It doesn't matter, as long as I can run or maybe just walk, I'll play, I'll still believe. 

How much do I want to play?,  you asked me the other day. I realized the question implies that I want to play, that I can give it a shot... and you are right. I will give it a shot, I will give it a try, every time. Once and once again, I won't give up, not now. People might think I am a fanatic and if being fanatic means giving my best, then they are right. I am full of passion for days, for life. I am full of energy for that game to come. I love the ball. I love the game. I am willing to play even if I am not the best. After all, what does it mean to be the best? Do you compare yourself to someone who can play, too? or do you give your best, your all, improving and not giving up? What does it mean to succeed? Can you ever fail? I think you can try and perhaps, fall and raise, and fall again, and raise again... 

Success is not marked by how many championships you've won, for how many rebounds you've made, or if you score or not. Success is much deeper, it means more than that. It means to not give up, even when you feel like it, even if you want. It means to get up every day and give your best, give your passion, make mistakes, and apologize. Success is that desire that burns inside when everyone is gone... but you can still hear the ball... re-bound-ding... Success implies accepting your mistakes, being truthful, being real, envisioning the future and pursuing your dream . Success is not just about you or me, it involves the whole team, even those who you cannot see. It does not mean to shine, but rather, letting other shine, sharing and playing, and having so much fun. 
How much do I want to play? I wanna play, I REALLY wanna play! As long as I breath, I will believe... I will still play. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Tonight I don't want to be pretty, I just want to be real and honest. In fact, that's how I always want to be. I don't know how, but I believe this lie and try to fix things, when I am still broken. Yes, tonight I am broken. I hate hiding it. I don't want to hide it anymore. There is hurt inside. There are fears and doubts and it's about time to let them out. My history and past are coming together, looking right at me. I look at what I did, what I accomplished and what I didn't accomplished, but wish I had. I look at where I am at, and where I want to be. Hm. Good question. Where do I want to be? Where is God really leading me to? Am I heading in the right direction? Why is it that I feel confused many times? Or, at least, I feel scared. Maybe that is a better word. I am scared. Scared to know what's inside of me. Scared to let the real me come out. And it's not that I don't. But see? Now I am doing it again. It's like a game. I pretend to be someone else. Someone perfect. And I feel so lost. I even feel lonely.
God, my prayer tonight is that you would come. I want to let the Holy Spirit work in me. I need you tonight, dad... I just need YOU.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A New Song: The Beauty of the Lord

A New Song: The Beauty of the Lord

The Beauty of the Lord

The Lord is beautiful
His creation tell about His beauty
The color of the Heavens are like a big smile
The clouds are the dimples

Have you seen a rainbow?
Have you ever admire a sunset?
Did you enjoy getting wet with the sweet Spring rain?
If you have, then you have tasted some of His beauty

From the shapes of the trees
To the colors of the flowers
The silence of the wet dew
And the strong sound of a thunder

Everything in creation proclaims that God reigns
No wonder why He has said taste and see
The laws of physics were already known by Him
He is the Creator, it is all perfect, even the unseen

Who tells the birds where to migrate?
Who is the One that helps the penguins chose their mates?
The males dance to win their penguin's love
And females then get to decide

But how do they communicate?
Who gave them instincts to understand?
And tell me, who has given humans the power of speech?
and who was the One that set a distinct tone of voice for each?

Don't you understand? Can't you see?
It was the Lord who made the sea
From ancient times He designed our future
From His own imagination He shaped our minds

The vast galaxy and the planets
The milky way and the shooting stars
God has made it all but His delight
still ,amazingly, remains on us...

If I were to continue attempting to describe
His beauty and radiance, His greatness, His love
I know I would never be able to end
Because the end of my description would just be the beginning of His beauty

So may you find in the name of JESUS
Your delight, your shade, your smile
Because there is no other name nor place
Where you'll find extreme love to the point of death

Oh, He loves you so!
If you could only comprehend
Creation exists to tell His beauty
Creation also exists to speak of His love for you

God, today I wanna give you all
With no reservations I choose to trust
Thank you for creation, you made it with your hands
You're beautiful, even the colors of your eyes are...

Through these words I love you
Through these words I shout
There is NO OTHER GOD, you're the ONLY ONE
May everyone exalt you. You're worthy Dad

God, you're beautiful...