Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What the Year 2008 Brought Forth


This year although received with much turmoil, turned out to be an excellent one, the best yet.
**The year 07' ended with the uncertainty of whether I was going to have to go through the torture of another semester with Dr. Disla at the Hospital de la Mujer Dominicana (Hospital of the Dominican Woman) and while the idea wasn't appealing at all I knew the outcome and had made my peace with the Lord.

- I never make New Years resolutions but I did plan for the year to loose weight because of health issues and frankly cause my clothes didn't fit so I finally went to a doctor, a nutritionist my cousin had told me about, and committed to obey the Dr. in all respects and the Lord blessed me with self-control.
- Constanza, our usual New Year Trip tradition. The Lord had plenty of lessons in store for me this year and He began with my accident.

- As the lessons kept on coming, I realized that repeating the OB-gyn pre-internship was as amazing as I thought it would be and served to remove the worldliness that was getting stuck on me and purify my walk with the Lord. I began to read my bible more, pray more, share my faith more.
- After my 3 month diet with the doctor I lost 21 pounds and as a plus I learned to eat (and I'm not talking about no carbs, lots of meat, and lots of veggies, I eat 5 times a day: 3 meals and 2 snacks and I never once stopped eating carbs)

JUNE 08'
- I finally began my Internship and my first lesson was: "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
When choosing which hospital to go to the last one I had on my mind was Billini, in fact it wasn't even an option I did not want to even step into that hospital. But the Lord has his own plans and who can thwart them?(its a rhetorical question arminians) and so off I went to Billini Hospital gladly and joyfully. Let me tell you it was THE best semester, I learned so so much, I cried, I debated, I got frustrated, I was obedient in all respects to all doctors, I witnessed to some, I met wonderful people that I came to love and cherish (specially one doctor Dra. Álcantara she is a walking miracle please pray for her). The hospital was so great I am going back for my Surgery Internship in January. The Lord blessed me during this semester with an A.

JULY 08'
- After a wonderful transformation of the ministry I belong to at church, Sanidad Integral, I re-instated myself and just in time to receive Flora's friend and brother in Christ Don Coords and the gang for their mission trip to our country. I met wonderful people and got to spend and entire day with them in Dajabon, a small town with one Christian church pastored by a brother whom along with his family have dedicated themselves to the expansion of the gospel through VBS and a small school they built and to minister to both teens and adults.

- After many blessings, the Lord took away our comforts, our church building and tested our faith. Through this situation I learned to trust God more and along with my Church we learned to see God's hand even in tragedies. I was glad to see the way my pastor responded to the situation of the church building burning down, there was a call to prayer, to repentance, to look into our own lives and see if there was any major sin we had overlooked and needed to repent of.

- Internal Medicine was over and finally my ob-gyn/pediatrics internship began, when choosing hospitals I had only one option in mind: Robert Reid for Peds and Hospital de la Mujer Dominicana for ob-gyn. Another semester, another set of classmates: Julissa, Mabel, Elayne and Mustafa. One of them whom I began witnessing to during one of our shifts and have continued to witness to even now after our classes have been over, but to no avail, only the Lord knows when and if she'll ever respond to the gospel call, pray for Julissa and the rest of my classmates.
Many other witnessing oportunities occurred during the 2 months at Hospital de la Mujer Dominicana.

- Learning to be thankful in all situations, was the lesson for that month. While I'm not american, I'm sure everyone knows that by now, I was pretty disappointed at how the elections turned out. But ever since our church building burned down I learned that even when we lose we have gained something: the opportunity to praise God at times of loss, tragedy, disappointment, sadness, something we cannot do if there is isn't a loss or a tragedy or a disappointment and that is something definitely worth losing for.

- This month I had the joy of reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.
- As for what I leared? plainly said: This month I learned that if we are obedient to God at all times, if we submit to the authorities appointed by Him (i.e. parents, bosses, husband, big brother, you name it) and if we do everything as for the Lord instead of for your own glory, or your parents' satisfaction or your peers, the Lord will bless you in all respects. As for me? The Lord blessed me this semester with two A's.

- Saddest Day: The day my best bud Penny died. I miss my chi.
- Highlight of the Year: Well there were many highlights during this year, but I will only make mention of one: Thanksgiving weekend, at Dolphin Mall, Handing out tracts and witnessing with my sister in Christ Jen.
- Most Important Lesson: Jesus is and should be my all in all, and no one and/or nothing can or should take his place.
- Biggest Disappointment: Not getting baptized. I know, I know. I've been told the next baptism at my church will be sometime in April *sigh*.

Monday, December 29, 2008

How Great Thou Art

Yesterday we sang in worship the beautiful Hymn How Great Thou Art, in spanish of course, but no matter how many times we sing it I'm still amazed at God's greatness and kindness and mercy and grace. He deserves all the glory and honor and praise and I cannot wait 'till that day we enter into eternity to worship Him and enjoy Him forever.

Note: turn off/Pause the rapping teddy on your right down below, before listening to the song.

In Spanish

Señor mi Dios,
Al contemplar los cielos
El firmamento
Y las estrellas mil
Al oir tu voz
En los potentes truenos
Y ver brillar el sol en su cenit

Mi corazón entona la canción
Cuan grande es Él
Cuan grande es Él
Mi corazón entona la canción
Cuan grande es Él
Cuan grande es Él

Cuándo recuerdo del amor divino
Que desde el cielo al Salvador envío
Aquel Jesús que por salvarme vino
Y en una cruz sufrió por mí y murío

Mi corazón entona la canción
Cuan grande es Él
Cuan grande es Él
Mi corazón entona la canción
Cuan grande es Él
Cuan grande es Él

Cuándo el Señor me llame a Su presencia
Al dulce hogar al cielo de esplendor
Le adoraré cantando la grandeza
De Su poder y su infinito amor

In English

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

"For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord"
Luke 2:11

Today is a wonderful day (although it should be everyday) to remember what took place over 2000 years ago, predestined in eternity past before man had yet to be created. The birth of the awaited Messiah, the Savior, Christ the Lord. It is a day to celebrate not only His birth, while at the same time be humbled by the condition in which the God of the universe was brought into this world, but to celebrate His life, His death and His resurrection. It is a day, if you are a Christian, to thank God for His salvation which by His grace we have received; if you are not a Christian, today is the day of Salvation, a day to look within and see our wretched sinfulness and to look to Jesus the God-man who on the cross bore our sins, received the punishment we deserve, died and on the third day resurrected, so that we through repentance and faith in Him may be saved, and be justified before the Lord. It is a day to spend in prayer whether it be in thanksgiving and/or repentance, a day to celebrate Christ the Lord and saviour. So go spend it as you will but before you do and while you are still on the internet, here are a few articles/videos/blogs you should, I correct myself you must read:
1. The Christmas Story by Dan Phillips
2. Is it dangerous to Celebrate Christmas?: Deconstructing Christmas by Jen Guerriero
3. The Reason for the Season: It's about the Cross by Go Fish (A Video/Song)

4. A Classic: What Christmas is all about by Peanuts

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grace Gems: The Counsel of the Wicked

The counsel of the wicked

(Arthur Pink, "The Blessed Man")

Conversion is the soul's surrender to God, and acceptance of God--as Guide through this world of sin.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.
" Psalm 1:1

Notice exactly how this is expressed--it is not "does not walk in the open wickedness" nor even "the manifest folly of the wicked," but "does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." How searching that is! How it narrows things down!

The ungodly are ever ready to "counsel" the believer, seeming to be very solicitous of his welfare. They will warn him against being too strict and extreme, advising him to be broad-minded and to "make the best of both worlds." But the policy of the "ungodly"--that is, of those who leave God out of their lives, who have no "fear of God"--is regulated by self-will and self-pleasing, and is dominated by what they call "common sense."

Alas, how many professing Christians regulate their lives by the advice and suggestions of ungodly friends and relatives--heeding such "counsel" in their business career, their social life, the furnishing and decorating of their homes, their dress and diet, and the choice of school or avocation for their children!

But not so with the "blessed man." He "does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." Rather is he afraid of it, no matter how plausible it sounds, or apparently good the intention of those who offer it. He shuns it, and says "Get behind me, Satan!"

Why? Because Divine grace has taught him that he has something infinitely better to direct his steps. God has given him a Divine revelation, dictated by unerring wisdom, suited to his every need and circumstance, designed as a "lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path." His desire and his determination is to walk by the wholesome counsel of God, and not by the corrupt counsel of the ungodly.

The "blessed man" does not walk according to the maxims of the world. "But his delight is in the Law of the Lord." "The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God" (Romans 8:7). The worldling seeks his "delight" in the entertainment furnished by those who scorn spiritual and eternal things. Not so the "blessed" man--his "delight" is in something infinitely superior to what this perishing world can supply, namely, in the Divine Scriptures. The unregenerate delight in pleasing self--but the joy of the Christian lies in pleasing God. His Word is the daily bread of the "blessed" man.

"And in His Law, he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). Thereby does he evidence his "delight" therein--for where his treasure is, there is his heart also! Here, then, is the occupation of the blessed man. The voluptuary thinks only of satisfying his senses; the giddy youth is concerned only with sports and pleasures; the man of the world directs all his energies to the securing of wealth and honors; but the "blessed" man's determination is to please God, and in order to obtain a better knowledge of His will, he meditates day and night in His holy Word. Thereby is light obtained, its sweetness extracted, and the soul nourished!

"Your Words were found, and I ate them; and Your Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!" (Jeremiah 15:16). Meditation stands to reading--as digestion does to eating. It is as God's Word is pondered by the mind, turned over and over in the thoughts, and mixed with faith--that we assimilate it. That which most occupies the mind and most constantly engages our thoughts--is what we most "delight" in.

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season." Fruit is an essential character of a gracious man, for there are no fruitless branches in the true Vine. "In season," for all fruits do not appear in the same month, neither are all the graces of the Spirit produced simultaneously.
Times of trial--call for faith.
Times of suffering--call for patience.
Times of disappointment--call for meekness.
Times of danger--call for courage.
Times of blessings--call for thanksgiving.
Times of prosperity--call for joy.

How far, dear reader, do you resemble this "blessed man"?

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Memorizing Scripture Together

This Week's Fighter Verse

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11

"que os ha nacido hoy, en la ciudad de David, un Salvador, que es CRISTO el Señor."

Lucas 2:11

Last week was a very hectic week for me so I couldn't memorize the verse or post it here, the stress isn't over yet but today I will take the time to do so.

What are we talking about?
The angel is saying that unto they the people, and that includes us, someone was being born.

"For unto you is born

this day

in the city of David

What was born that day in the city of David?
a Saviour,

Who is that?
who is Christ the Lord.

What verse is that?
Luke 2:11

And in Spanish

De qué estamos hablando?
"Que os ha nacido


en la ciudad de David

Que nació en ese día en la ciudad de David?
un Salvador,

Who is that?
que es CRISTO el Señor

Cual versículo es ese?
Lucas 2:11

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Abortion: The Endless Argument

"the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty."
Nahum 1:3

How easily can a simple conversation about children, pregnancies and amniocentesis at the table, can lead to a heated argument over what the judicial system considers is a human being, and when life starts (A man's opinion based on other men's opinions that have been stated as "facts" over a standard created by, yes you guessed right! man). I will state my opinion, which in this postmodern world is just as valid as anyone else's but in the real world doesn't really matter because what matters is Truth (and no, Truth is not relative):
1. Getting an amnio to know if your baby has any type of syndrome just so you can have the option to abort it, as if that life has somehow become worthless, because of the disability he or she may carry, is not just an insult to those who live with a disability, but it is WRONG, and sick.
2. I will say this but praying the Lord will continue to humble me in regards to this issue, people who do that do not deserve to have children, but they are under God's common grace and so who am I to say anything, I too was once a wretched vile trangressor of God's law and I have been showered by God's inmerited favor.
3. The truth is God considers the unborn human already.
4. The truth is God's law states that we are not to murder anyone (born or unborn)
5. The truth is He will by no means clear the guilty.
6. The tuth is we all deserve God's righteous punishment for our sins.
7. The tuth is God is merciful and delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:18) because He is merciful He sent His Son Jesus Christ to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, He died and resurrected beating death and the power of Sin.
8. The truth is if you humble yourself and repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ, the Lord will save you.
9. Do not wait another day!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Grace Gems: Those are not mothers--but monsters!

Those are not mothers--but monsters!

(William Secker, "The Wedding Ring" 1658)

"Train up a child in the way he should go--and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

The goal of the godly mother, is that her children in the flesh--may be God's children in the spirit. A mother should be more careful of her children's pious breeding--than she should be fearful of her children's worldly bearing.

Take heed, lest these flowers grow in the devil's garden! Take heed, that though you bring them out in corruption--yet do not bring them down to damnation! Those are not mothers--but monsters--who while they are teaching their children the way to heaven with their lips--are leading them to hell with their lives!

You let out your efforts to make them great--lift up your prayers to make them godly; that before you die from them--you may see Christ live in them. While these twigs are green and tender--they should be bowed towards God.

Children are in a family--as passengers are in a boat. The husband and wife are as a pair of oars to row them to their desired haven!

Let these small pieces of timber be hewed and squared for the celestial building.

By putting a scepter of grace into their hands--you will set a crown of glory upon their heads! "Train up a child in the way he should go--and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Black Friday to Remember

I wrote this that day after spending a good 5 hours with my friend Jen Guerriero from Reformed Sheology at Dolphin Mall in Miami, FL passing out tracts and witnessing to people:
"Today's evangelism adventure was incredible. I met Jen in front of old Navy, we met in person for the first time. We stood not far from the old navy store and started by handing out Million Dollar Bill Tracts which Jen had brought with her, she had brought 6 packs which we started to hand out and people gladly took them and some even asked for more!
There were a lot of hispanics at the mall, no surprise to us since its Miami, I got to talk to one JW (Jehovah Witness), the lady made me take out my Bible. She was asking why we were doing what we were doing instead of preaching right from the Bible, then she agreed with herself that no one would listen if we did (yeah that and we'd get kicked out of the mall which did happen anyway). I tried to explain to her how we use the tract by asking the "Million dollar question" which is 'Will we get to heaven?' and explained that by looking into the mirror of God's perfect law, the 10 Commandments, we could know how we stand before the Lord. That explanation lead to her telling me that there is no literal hell, we discussed about that for a while, then we argued about people seeking God, I told her that no one sought after God and quoted her Romans 3:10-17, and said that it is God who chooses to save us, she obviously disagreed with me (yes even after I quoted her Romans) she said that God had to have seen something in us to have chosen us. Eventually the lady had to leave and I saw her off quoting Ephesians 2:8-9 right before she left.
Jen got to talk to someone working at the store behind us and also to another random guy who stopped to ask about the tracts we were handing out. After that my aunt, cousins and my cousin's mother in law, neither of whom are Christian, passed by us and Jen handed them some gospel tracts. After that a police officer came over to where we were and very politely asked us to stop handing out whatever we were handing out, Jen asked if we could do so outside and he said we could so. So as we walked to the nearest most populated entrance, the main entrance, to keep me from becoming discouraged Jen told me that she had learned to think tat whenever stuff like that happened she would say to herself "God wants us to be somewhere else" and indeed the Lord wanted us right where He sent us, the main entrance. There we had the opportunity to hand out over a thousand tracts and talk to different people both from the US and outside the US. In total we handed out over 1300 tracts including the ones we handed out inside the mall (All supplied by Jen God bless her!).
While outside we spoke to a man named Cesar from my country, 3 old men from Nicaragua (whom I desperately hope would get a bible or read the gospel of John as I exhorted them, Jen got to give them a spanish gospel tract), 3 young men 1 who is from Haiti and claimed to be a Christian, all the old hispanic ladies who couldn't read the gospel tracts cause they were in enligsh (I forgot to take my gospel of John tracts in spanish to the mall! but that too was for a reason).
But most assuredly the highlight of our day in the midst of it all was a girl who walked up to us and told us that she had felt the need to say that God was pleased with what we were doing and encouraged us to never stop. Jen and I got teary-eyed.
It was an amazing day, the Lord is so so good and my prayer is that those people we witnessed to will seriously consider the things we told them and repent and believe the gospel, who knwows perhaps today was the day the Lord chose to bring repentance to some of them.
The most important thing is the Gospel was faithfully proclaimed and the Lord was glorified and that is what matters most, that He gets all the Glory. What a privilege it always is to be used by Him so that He may be glorified.
On the other hand I was so glad to meet Jen, she's such a sweetheart and an encouragement. I could definitely go out witnessing with her again."

Funny Moment during the day: Jen had some gospel tracts that said in the front page All of What men have learned about women and when you open the little booklet the pages are empty, so we're handing those out only to men, we handed one to each of three guys who walked by us and so we stood at a distance from them and saw them open the booklet, we just started laughing about it and one of the guys said "Hey I'm offended!" Jen told him that its supposed to be an offense to us because we are supposedly so mysterious, and then we pointed them to the back of the booklet which has a gospel presentation, that opened the door for us to witness to them.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Memorizing Scripture Together

So this week is the 2nd week of the "Memorizing Scripture Together" challenge. You can join too at Challies' website! This week's "fighter verse" is:

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Philippians 2:3

"Nada hagáis por contienda o por vanagloria; antes bien con humildad, estimando cada uno a los demás como superiores a él mismo;"
Filipenses 2:3 (Reina-Valera 1960)

Questions to help memorize the verse:
1. What are we talking about?
Doing nothing

2. What about it?
That we should "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit"

3. With what attitude?
"but in humility"

4. We should do what instead?
"count others as more significant than yourself."

5. What verse are we talking about?
Philippians 2:3

En Español:
Preguntas para ayudar a memorizar el versículo:
1. ¿De qué hablamos?
De hacer nada

2. ¿Qué de eso?
Que no "hagais nada por contienda or vanagloria"

3. ¿Con qué actitud?
"antes bien con humildad,"

4. ¿Qué debemos hacer entonces?
"estimando cada uno a los demás como superiores a él mismo;"

5. ¿Cuál es el versículo?
Filipenses 2:3