Weekly Spiritual Digest: Be Golden! Let the Fire Refine Your Faith!


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So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

(1 Peter 1:6, 7 NLT)

This verse came to me on May 18th, 2014, when I was listening to a word of God from my pastor Jaime Perdomo at my church, La Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Vida. My Pastor, preached to me and to the congregation (in Spanish) on how our faith is like gold–but far more precious.

At first I could not fully understand his words, but when he so passionately repeated, over and over, on how necessary it was to put our faith over the fire–the trials and tribulations–so it can become Gold in Christ, I was totally floored. And it was at that moment that I finally understood his sermon and God’s plan in my life. For the first time, everything became clear:

The many fires in my life (or the trials and tribulations) were not there to torture me. The fires in my life were there to REFINE my faith, so it can BECOME GOLDEN–so I can become strong and pure in Christ.

Thank you Pastor Jaime for reminding of God’s plan, for showing me that the fires in our life are there to refine and purify my faith.

So this week and beyond, see the fire (or trial and tribulation) in your life for what it is: a tool which you can use to refine your faith and Be Golden in God’s Eyes!

Sunday Praise: Your Faith is Like Gold! (Pastor Jaime Perdomo)

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Control Your Tongue


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Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

(‭James‬ ‭3‬:‭1-12‬ NLT)

My favorite quote that stems from this verse is this:

“Sometimes it [the tongue] praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.”

This is such a prolific message because it tells us: if you curse at your fellow man and woman, you are cursing at God himself because they were made in the image of God. So to curse at another is to curse at God in his face. As much as we want to shame people, by cursing, for their wicked acts, remember that the act of cursing is, in itself, a wicked act–so the shame should also be placed on you.

We hold a powerful weapon; so be mindful of what you say. We live in a wicked world but it doesn’t mean that we have to curse at one another, in order to make it right. So continue to love one another, and bless each other with words of praise.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Don’t Copy The World; Transform Yourself Through God


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Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

Be Yourself! And remember to always seek guidance from God.

I find this particular verse pleasing because of what God has done for me in my life recently. Ever since I have dedicated myself to God & His teachings, I have observed just how terrible and deceitful the world can be. Before God transformed me into a new person, I was forced to conform to the world because I believed it was the only way to garner success. However, looking back from where I was two years ago to where I am today, I am proud to say that I have found peace and success through God.

Pursuing God’s customs and behaviors (respecting and honoring your parents; loving your neighbor as thine self), and not the customs and behaviors of the world, has allowed to me garner the peace and success that I have always wanted. There is peace in submitting to God.

So my advice to anyone who asks is this: do not watch television. True Reality is outside the (TV) box. Do not believe what you watch and don’t copy their ways of seeking happiness and peace. Instead keep God’s commandments near your heart; refer to the Bible when you are lost; and enjoy life according HIM! In the great words of Bob Marley,

Wake up and Live!

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Never Lose Trust in The Lord


 

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“Trust in the lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NLT)

Never Lose Trust in The Lord! Even when the path ahead looks shaky, we must not surrender our fears to doubt. It is true what they say that we alone conjure illusions, barriers, and even superstitions in our heads when all reason is lost. However there is still no excuse to pray, and to keep pushing through those illusions.

It is in these matters that we must rely on our hearts in order to clear the “smoke and mirrors” in our minds minds.

So this week, remember to keep your trust in God–and seek his will. When all things look impossible, do not give in to your own illusions that you have created for yourself. Even though life’s path is treacherous and side-winding, remember that God is like the North Star and he will always be there to guide you.

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Weekly Spiritual Digest: Give Your Anger to God


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Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

(Romans 12:17-19, 21 NIV)

Two wrongs don’t make a right and two evils don’t make it good. I was inspired to write this spiritual digest after several experiences of feeling angry towards myself and/or other people.

Finding ways to cope my anger (like sleeping, meditating, or performing deep breathing exercises) was like finding 100 ways to reinvent the wheel; it was tiresome. Not only was I tired but fed up because I was revisiting the same problem over and over again. However, it would not be until I asked myself a simple question, that I soon made an astonishing discovery:

“Why not give your anger to God? Let him take care of it.”

When I asked myself this question, I suddenly felt a boulder sliding itself off of my head; my mind became elevated. I began to feel at peace with myself and others. It was then that I realized that my anger can actually serve as an anchor towards my work and relationships with other people.

I can acknowledge that anger or resentment does promote positive change in the world. However, hurting each other through violence or taking vengeance on each other through words or actions only creates an endless cycle of pain.

Smashing cars or windows (as seen on TV) to control your anger DOES NOT WORK–you are only awakening the devil!

It truly takes a divine power and intervention to alleviate anger from your mind and spirit. Remember that “anger gives a foothold to the devil,” (Ephesians 4:27 NLT) and “Satan cannot cast out Satan” (Mark 3:23-30)–only Jesus can.

So this week, Give your Anger to God; do not Relinquish your Anger at HIM. Remember that the world creates woes for us to get angry over and start arguments with. So why worship the world? I too get angry with the world and people, but what helps me is to remember that God is all powerful–and only he can cast out my anger and relieve me of any heavy boulders that I carry on my shoulders.

And so, whatever woes, pains, ills, or frustrations that you may have, never be afraid to Give it to God. Only then will you be free from the devil’s foothold and live life!

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Weekly Spiritual Digest: He Has Risen! (Happy Easter!)


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The Resurrection

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.” (Matthew 28:1-10 NLT)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (John 20:24-29 NLT)

Faith Brings Joy

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NLT)

Lord’s Suffering Servant

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NLT)

God, ruler over the world and universe, heard the cries of Jerusalem and brought them a savior his son Jesus Christ! It was then that he sacrificed himself for humanity in order to rise again (on the third day) and defeat death and hell itself–the greatest feat that no man has ever performed.

While the world may forget his glory, his story still lives on! And his spirit and his peace will live inside those who seek it!

Glory to God! And Glory to Jesus Christ for showing God’s love to us–and for permitting us to live life with no fear of death! For we will rise too and join him in his kingdom forever and ever.

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Weekly Spiritual Digest: Happy Palm Sunday! The Prophecy Has Been Fulfilled!


The Triumphant Entry of Jesus Christ

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By artist Hanna-Cheriyan Varghese

“The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the lord! Hail to the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.” His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him. Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it. That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign. Then the Pharisees said to each other, “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him!” (John 12:12-19 NLT)

Happy Palm Sunday! The Prophecy has Been Fulfilled! Today is the day when God heard the people’s cries and brought them a savior: Jesus Christ!

“Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”

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Weekly Political Tweet: Senate GOP blocks Equal Pay Bill for Women


On occasions that I don’t compose Weekly Political Reports, I instead write a tweet of my political opinion in less than 140 characters!

This week’s political tweet: Senate GOP blocks Equal Pay Bill

What Happened and What Will Happen?

Proponents of this bill did not get 60 votes to have it on the Senate floor for debate. When this happens there is no open debate and the bill does not get voted on. It will be put back on the agenda again later in the year. This is a common tactic used to delay a bill from becoming law.

What Politicians are Saying About This?

 “This isn’t over. Equal pay for equal work is going to remain center stage in this year’s agenda and we are not going to let the Republicans who blocked this bill off the hook. That could absolutely mean another vote later in the year” — Democrat Sen. Patty Walsh (Wash), Highest Ranking Woman on the Senate

“We see this for what it is and it’s just another attempt by Democrats to distract from what is a very bad record when it comes to helping women in the economy. That’s what this is all about, them trying to get a headline”– Republican Sen. John Thune (South Dakota)

“Today’s vote is to begin debate on the bill. Are they so repulsed by equal pay for hard-working women, they’ll obstruct equal pay for equal work? I’m at a loss as to why anyone would decline to debate this important issue.” –Democrat Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (Nevada)

“There are two other law that already cover this issue in addition to Lilly Ledbetter. I believe those laws should be enforced. And obviously I think it’s self-evident that I’m for women receiving equal pay. In fact, I’d like them to be paid more” Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)

What do I say about this?

This is one of the few dirty tactics that Republicans use to stop progressive change in America. Instead of having a fair debate, which each side can have the power to persuade their fellow members of Congress to vote or not vote on a bill, Republicans will block a bill in order to prevent it from being debated or voted on–especially if it is inside a Democratic controlled Senate.

My question to Senate Republicans is this: “Does equal pay for women really hurt the economy?”

To follow this story, and myself on Twitter, click on my tweet above.

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Weekly Spiritual Digest: Be Wary of Your Jealousy of Others


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If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18 NLT)

Jealousy is like a thunderstorm–it builds and builds, forming dark clouds. And when it is ready to strike, it will spout out a bolt of lightning which can electrocute or kill a person in less than one second. In this same respect, jealousy is dangerous and hard to control; it’s unpredictable!

There are many instances when I have carried bitter jealousy and self-ambition in my own heart, but what reminds me “to let go and let God” is the simple fact that the world is not pure. We compete and sometimes murder each other over worldly possessions (and even human reasoning), which in reality it brings us pain and destruction. Jealousy and selfish ambition are agents of destruction. Even though we cannot control them, let us least be aware of them and try our best detach ourselves from them.

This week be aware of your jealousy and selfish ambitions–and do not let them control your actions. Being aware of jealously is a path towards humility, which God wants us to portray in every good act that we do.

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Weekly Political Tweet: SCOTUS Strikes Down Limits on Individual Campaign Contributions and Has Given Rise to Bureaucracy


Each week I write a political tweet that affects YOU and the WORLD AROUND YOU.

This week’s Weekly Political Tweet: SCOTUS Strikes Down Limits on Individual Campaign Contributions, and Has Given Rise to Bureaucracy.

 

“The Supreme Court ruled in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission Wednesday, striking down overall limits on campaign contributions.

The justices said in a 5-4 vote that Americans have a right to give the legal maximum to candidates for Congress and president, as well as to parties and PACs, without worrying that they will violate the law when they bump up against a limit on all contributions, set at $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. That includes a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates.

But their decision does not undermine limits on individual contributions to candidates for president or Congress, now $2,600 an election.”  (Huffington Post)

The ruling could have an impact on the 2014 midterm elections, as donors can now give up to $5,200 to as many candidates as they wish. (Politico)

What Do The Justices Say?

Chief Justice John Roberts who announced the decision, says the aggregate limits do not act to prevent corruption, the rationale the court has upheld as justifying contribution limits:

The overall limits “intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise `the most fundamental First Amendment activities,'”  quoting from the court’s seminal 1976 campaign finance ruling in Buckley v. Valeo.

Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas wrote separately to say that he would have gone further and wiped away all contribution limits.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing on behalf of the liberal dissenters, took the unusual step of reading a summary of his opinion from the bench.

“Congress enacted the limits in the wake of Watergate-era abuses to discourage big contributors from trying to buy votes with their donations and to restore public confidence in the campaign finance system.”

What Do Politicians Say?

GOP and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell argues that relaxed campaign finance rules have reduced influence of political parties. (Huffington Post)

Republican House Speaker John Boehner praises the Supreme Court and says

“Freedom of speech is being upheld.”

“You all have the freedom to write what you want to write, donors ought to have the freedom to give what they want to give” He told reporters after a meeting of House Republicans Wednesday morning.

What Do I Say About This?

It’s a sad day for Democracy. “Speech” has now been taken out of context to “Unveil the Mask of Realpolitik.” Since when has the colors, of our cherished belief (“Freedom of Speech”), been reduced to the color “Green?”

If we are not going to have fair regulations in political campaign races, then we might as well as do away with all referees and security personnel in all sports games. Let’s allow sports owners the FREEDOM to bribe referees and corrupt the sports that we all love and adore.

To follow this story and myself on Twitter, click on my tweet above.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION. FOR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, PLEASE DIRECT THEM TO MY “CONTACT ME” PAGE.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Speak No Evil and Don’t Judge


African American Angel Trio: "Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil" found on ebay

Warning Against Judging Others

Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11, 12 NLT)

Everyday I see people (and even Christians) speak evil against each other. I can understand that people are inherently fallible and they do not want to abide by certain standards of living. But why does that give the celestial right for anyone to use foul language or a gavel to correct people? I can recognize that a gavel in the hands of the law has yielded (in some cases) great benefit to the common good of society, but it cannot be compared to the size of God’s hammer.

Our job is to obey the 12 commandments and nothing else. If a commandment says to judge one another, then we are allowed to–but in this case there is no such commandment.

So this week, try your very best to not speak evil against each other or judge your neighbor. Remember that our job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to us. God has given you life and he has the power to take it away, so obey him and you can never go wrong!

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Weekly Political Tweet: An All-Male SCOTUS Vote on Birth Control!


On occasions that I don’t compose Weekly Political Reports, I instead write a tweet of my political opinion in less than 140 characters!

This week’s political tweet: An All-Male SCOTUS Vote on Birth Control!

“The female justices were clearly supportive of the contraception mandate, while a majority of the male justices were more skeptical.” –NPR News

Is this more on religious freedom or gender dominance? Furthermore, to deny birth control to women is to assume or say that women are irresponsible of their own reproductive systems or choices? Like women are children or they are designed to have abortions after they have been impregnated? Very discriminatory and poor sense of logic!

And if Hobby Lobby can define themselves as a person, so can The Wolf of Wall St. or any other corporate entities (or foreign corporate entities) that define themselves as one.

To follow this story and my twitter account, click on the tweet above.

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