Happy Valentine’s Day

christian valentine activities for the preschool classroom by

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 

 Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  

Love never fails.

Call to sanity: Bishop Eddie Long

I really didn’t think I was going to address this subject, but the more I hear about it, I feel compelled to do it. I’m talking about the situation that Bishop Eddie Long is being named in.

 I think as Christians we have lost perspective. Part of the reason why I didn’t think it was a matter worth talking about is because this is a legal issue between the accusers and the accused. Yes, Bishop Eddie Long comes on television. He’s still a human being and so are the young men who are involved in this process. I do recognize that is sad to see Christians involved in things that go against our beliefs, but we can’t lose perspective these are human beings as well. Sin is sin; lies, abuse, murder, adultery, stealing is all the same in the eyes of God. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone” John 8:7

 It comes down to this…someone needs to repent and someone needs to forgive, end of the story! I don’t know who is guilty or who is not and it’s not my place to know. I know that if justice is not obtained on earth it definitely will be achieved in heaven, so all I hope is for a transparent and honest process from both parts and that whoever did comes forward with the truth and repentance and who ever received the offense is ready to forgive.

 Why did I decide to write this? I’ve heard of fellow Christians enraged by the situation, which it’s understandable, but I think we are focused on the wrong thing. Our duty right now is to pray for all the parts. For those who are near Bishop Long and the young men, they need to pray for wisdom to give adequate counsel and to determine where God wants them to be at this moment in time. We all need to pray for a congregation that is hurting because of these allegations.  

 I have never stepped a foot on New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, but I feel for all the people in the congregation, because I can understand that they are hurting. This is their time to look to God and not towards men for their answers.

 I love my pastors. I’ve been part of my church family for 5 years now and I have a great respect for my leaders. I do recognize that they are humans and that just like me they can fail and that because of their visibility their attacks are way bigger than mine. I pray that God covers their every step, but if tomorrow something was to come out, true or not, my pain needs to turn into prayer because I can not forget that before they are my pastors they are souls to the Lord. Isn’t that what we as Christians are called to do?  Isn’t our job to go after the lost? I don’t know who is lost in this case and as it’s not my job to judge, so I don’t care. I do exhort everyone to pray for ALL; Bishop Long and the young men that have filed these accusations. Both sides are hurting, and both sides are important to the Lord.

 Be blessed.

As promised…

Internet is back up, Halleluiah! As promised, upon my return I was going to add another one of my short stories for your delight. Please go to e-reads page and click on “Loud Silence” or simply click on the link below and enjoy this dramatic story of a woman who had it all and basically snapped.

Feedback is always welcome and thanks for your patience while I was away.

Happy Reading!

Sex Scandal in the Catholic Church

Church Sex scandals are a hot button topic these days and have maintained high visibility in the media recently.  I was moved to write this because I believe that the passion and intensity surrounding this issue has skewed a lot of people’s opinions and perspective and I believe that I can give a more balanced view on this issue.

It is terrible that as a people we have to be watchful even with those who we have been conditioned to trust, namely men and women who claim to come in the name of God. Sex scandals have not been exclusive to the Catholic Church, many preachers and pastors have fallen short of the grace and those things have become public. It is always disappointing.  I think part of the disappointment comes from forgetting these individuals are merely men and women. We have the tendency to elevate their position because of the part they play in our communities, social settings and the body of Christ. The reality is that yes, their responsibility is to lead and teach us about the Lord, but their humanity doesn’t leave with their calling.  Actually, as Christians we need to pray harder for our leaders because their attacks and strongholds are often as large as their calling.

I’ve heard people blaming celibacy for these events. I respectfully disagree. Priests and nuns know that this is a requirement of the commitment they have made. If sex was the driving force then priests having relations with Nuns or other secular adults would be just as, if not more, prevalent. The truth is pedophilia, rape, and sexual abuse is not sexually driven. They are driven by a deeper disturbance; it’s about control and power more than the sex itself.

 The other part where I respectfully disagree is where it has been commented that because it was male priests with male boys, that it was due to homosexuality. Homosexuality is not equal to pedophilia. Statistics show that the majority of sexual predators are heterosexual.

Now the thing that really bothers me about these cases is the way they have been handled. Whether the abuse was committed by clergy or the man down the street, the inequities in the handling of the situations are abhorrent. The fact that many of these priests were simply relocated to new communities, with no consequences or rehabilitation program, is ridiculous. On top of that, the new communities were not advised of the person’s past behavior. If the church wanted to take care of it internally, like the military handles issues that pertains to soldiers; I don’t have issue with that, however, relocating them to another community is unacceptable. Instead they should have been placed in some manner of recovery program and then reassigned to work in a position where they didn’t have access to children at all. Is that lack of forgiveness and mercy? No! That’s wisdom. Slapping their wrists and telling them to not do it anymore, without true rehabilitation, placing them back into the communities to do more damage, is irresponsible, dangerous and ultimately criminal.

It is hard for me to understand why servants of God would think that this would stay hidden forever?  The word of God says that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV) which means that nothing that they were doing was going to remain a secret.

I encourage you to pray for our religious leaders. They have a great responsibility and with it great lengths of attacks. I pray that they take the authority that has been given to them by their calling and correct appropriately those who have been entrusted to them.

I pray for those who have committed these terrible acts that they find themselves in true repentance before God. That they turn their hearts, make amends when possible and face accountability for their actions.

 I pray for the victims. I hope that their hearts continue to look to God for redemption and healing. God can restore anyone, and He can restore the souls of these who are suffering and their loved ones.  I encourage you to pray the same

Be blessed.

Pray for the angels

In the last month two incredible cases have stunned the Hispanic community. It’s the death of two children and the main suspects for their departures are their own mothers. I was not there, so I don’t know the facts and this is not about making accusations. I just can even fathom how this can happen. My heart is grieved with these stories.

image from xposedmagazinenews.blogspot.com

One of these cases is Lorenzo Gonzalez Cacho from my beloved Puerto Rico. This 8 yr old boy went to bed and was found by his sister in a pool of blood. The autopsy shows that he had had wounds in his head from a blunt object and a cut on an eyebrow. He was not taken to medical care until an hour and a half after his discovery; even when the nearest Urgent Care facility was only five minutes away and 911 was never called.

The other case is Paulette Gebara Farah from Mexico. This 4yr old girl had multiple disabilities. She was unable to speak or walk. She needed constant care 24 hrs to the point where she had a few nannies to care for her in addition to her family. This girl allegedly disappeared from her room. In this case the parents went to the authorities and the press to report her disappearance. A few days later, the girl was found stuffed under the own bed in a plastic bag. Her autopsy revealed that she was asphyxiated.

My purpose with this post is not to judge the events that these to little angels endured. Yes, these are horrific crimes. I pray that those responsible for such horrors be brought to justice. I just want urge all to pray for our children. As part of the body of Christ, all of them are ours, regardless of age, gender or race. Let’s pray for their safety and protection.

 “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:10 NIV)

The Good Wife-Heart

I’ve been watching this show off and on since it started. The show centers around a woman trying to rebuild her life after severe and complicated marital issues, but this week’s episode brought an interesting angle that is rarely portrayed on television, how important is salvation in your life?

 The husband in the story is a politician and wants to hire a pastor to improve his political image. He cheated on his wife and participated in some shady activities and found himself in jail, a series of events that not only placed his career in jeopardy, but also his family. The pastor refuses to play the political game and offers the man true salvation. In this episode, the husband starts getting interested in prayer, working with the pastor towards truly making a change. The episode ends with him inviting his wife to church, and it remains to be seen if he actually means it or if it’s just another scheme.

I found it very interesting, because unless you are watching a proclaimed Christian program like “Touched by an Angel” or “Little House on the Prairie”, it is rare to see a national network actually embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior as the way to change your life. Kudos CBS!

Watch it online:

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_good_wife/video/?pid=i1U2__M_8UGyLvSeMKDUPgFKE8Vvsm8n&vs=Full%20Episodes&play=true

Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew

Tonight was the season finale of this show that shows some celebrities’ at the most vulnerable moments in their life while recovering from their addictions. I’m sure some of the audience of this show wants to know the intimate secrets of these famous people, others watch as part of the inspiration of their own recovery process regardless of their personal type of struggle. It’s at moments like this when you realize the blessing of the anonymity. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to face your greatest demons in front of a camera. These are real human beings with real struggles and in a way it’s very admirable that they have place themselves in the same position of being icons, but this time to show their strength through their weaknesses.

Before the final episode, they showed some of the episodes from the previous weeks. The episode “Family Weekend” showed the mother of Layne Staley, former lead singer of Alice in Chains who passed away due to drug use, giving a very moving speech to those in rehab. The part that moved me the most was when she said that the best life they could live was to live ordinary boring lives. It reminded me about a lot of the reflections I’ve been doing this week about enjoying the simple things in life.

It’s not a matter of not having aspirations; it’s a matter of not idolizing those aspirations and enjoy the journey towards our goals. Once again, stopping to smell the roses and enjoy the color in them, including the thorns. Yes, those painful experiences in our lives that come to teach us valuable lessons. Slow down the pace. LIVE! Life is not just the enjoyments and pleasure of the moment or our possessions. Life is every moment in our life, every minute, every second, every relationship, every tear, every breath, every heartbreaking moment and every smile. We only have one shot at this ride; let’s live the true meaning that our Creator intended for our lives!

Disclaimer: picture taken from VH1

Inventory

This is the time of the year where we usually see where we are, what we have done and where we are headed. Things like losing weight, getting rid of a bad habit, reorganizing finances are at the tip of everyone’s tongue.

 I think those are good as long as you have a feasible, realistic plan to get them done. It’s also important to make sure that you have all the resources that you need to make them happen, including support and accountability. Yes, accountability, big, huge word. Do you trust yourself to do it on your own? I don’t. I promise myself I am going to do things all the time and they rarely get done. We all do better when someone is watching, that’s why accountability is so important.

In addition to that, are your goals in accordance with your purpose? We all have a purpose that has been set up by the Creator. Are your current goals in alignment with that or are they all about you?

This is the week when we usually take inventory of our lives. That is usually a good thing anyway. Make a difference this year. Make this year different than all the others.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Make sure that you include forgiveness in the list. No better way to lose some weight than to let those heavy burdens go.
  • Include yourself in the forgiveness list. Sometimes, we have already apologized and even prayed for forgiveness, but we’re still carrying the guilt and the shame. It’s time to let it go!
  • Include others in your plans. Like I said before accountability, guidance and support are going to help you achieve your goals.
  • Try to include something service related. It will keep you balanced.
  • Make sure that your goals are balanced in time and effort.
  • Have a blessed 2010!!!

 Naty

*the image was found online if anyone needs credit for it, please page me*