PEOPLE AROUND YOU

You will always have people around you, whether you are a people person or not. Even if you don’t like people, you will be in touch with people while you go through life. It’s possible that what is more difficult to you is the aggravation that some people bring to you. People are different than you. They will never think, speak, act or do things the same way you do. This is the main reason why you are aggravated by others majority of the time.

You are used to communicating with others by using certain words or expressions. Perhaps you were brought up to be tactful when you talk to someone. Maybe you were told to not interrupt others while they are speaking. You have your own personal style in approaching people. Although your style may not be necessarily well thought out, you do things your way, and when people approach you in a different way than you are used to, you might feel uncomfortable.

Most problems begin precisely because the communication between individuals lacks quality, or simply is abrupt, and can be rude to the point of becoming disrespectful. This is when people become mad. Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it. In your view, it seems to be common sense, but not everyone got the memo about the basic rules in talking to others. There are occasions when you see the image of the word, ‘Really??’, all in red boldface font on a white cloud, floating above the head of people that are absolutely shocked. The expression on their face is priceless.

Why is that? It is called “Human Interaction”. Welcome to civilization!

Century XXVI, and Apps, cannot do much to improve humanity, or interacting nicely among people. That is something that can only be learned in homes. Schools, churches, and a Human Resources’ manual at the workplace, for example, cannot complete the task of teaching people how to communicate and relate with other individuals.

The perfect scenario for learning such essential training comes from within our homes. CEOs, Directors, Supervisors, Managers, and leaders in general, are the kinds of people who face the most difficult challenge in human interaction, because everything we do, and will do, relies in the the hands of “humans”. Part of the new generation finds this very scary because some of them would prefer leaving all decisions based on algorithms. 

Whether your field of occupation is in business, science, education, etc., you are going to continuously be dealing with people, and we all are complex. We are all different, and we all see things from a distinct viewpoint. You might feel more comfortable working with people that operate like you. Nonetheless, your ability to be patient with everyone will be the key for your success. Tolerance does not mean lowering your standards. Tolerance means you will become better. Tolerance makes your self of “today” above your self of “yesterday”.

Put yourself in Moses’ shoes

“Moses ran away from Pharaoh and went to the land of Midian.”  Exodus 2.15b

By reading that portion of the Scripture, this is one thought that can come to mind: Was Moses a chicken? Honestly, what would YOU do? Would you stay in Egypt and face Pharaoh and his army? I don’t think so. We know that Moses’ intention was to help his Hebrew fellows, but even some of them did not like the idea of having Moses as their leader. Let’s pretend that an imaginary TV Station sends a professional crew of reporters, with cameras and high technology equipment, to interview Moses.

Interviewer — “Excuse me, Mr. Moses, we understand you are planning to go to Midian to hide from Pharaoh because he wants to kill you, due to the fact that you killed an Egyptian trying to defend some Hebrews. Is that correct?

Moses — “Yes! What do you want?”

Interviewer — “Will you continue making efforts to help the Hebrews?”

[*] Moses — “What? Are you blind? Don’t you see that I am an outcast now? I am trying to save my life. I lost my position, my possessions, I don’t have a house now, no servants, no transportation, no money, and I don’t even know where I am going to sleep tonight! I have no idea where I am going, I am thirsty, hungry, sweating in this heat, and my shoes and clothes will not last much longer in this weather. Who knows how bad the night will be here in desert. I don’t even know if I will be alive tomorrow morning! And you are asking me if I will try to help those ungrateful people? Are you kidding me?!”

Interviewer — “Sir, would be okay if we go along to film you, and keep reporting about you?”

Moses — “Are you crazy? Leave me alone! Get out of my sight! I don’t know what I am going to do! Leave, go!”

Now, you and I know that Moses eventually came back to lead the Israelites in going to the Promise Land, and set them free from Pharaoh’s oppression. But during the time of  “Exodus 2.15b”, Moses was not a happy boy. How do you respond to unfair and negative circumstances? What if some TV station sends a crew to interview you while you are in your own “Exodus 2.15b”? All of us go through tough times in life: family, health, career, money, relationships, etc. But the Lord God has always a plan. That is what you need to think of: The Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, the King of the Universe, has a plan for me and His people. I just need to go through it, and eventually I will do what He wants me to do for others.

If today someone asks you, “Will you continue making efforts to help others?” Would you answer like the hypothetical answer [*], or would you say, “I trust in the Lord and will always do my best to help everyone who needs my help, according with my abilities”?

MEMORIES OF GREAT MOMENTS 

It was 1990 in the city of Guatemala. I was 26 years old. At that point, the good Lord already blessed me with two, beautiful healthy kids. First, my Natalie, a precious cute little girl, with the most gorgeous big eyes and big eyelashes, and a pretty mouth that made an incomparable smile. My dad called her Gaviota. Then came my Sebastian. A skinny, adorable boy with the most innocent look, eyes that were saying to you “you can kiss me…”, and everyone did. My dad called him Venadillo.

They were my life, and still today, my children are amazingly loved by me! My time with them every night was all about singing songs to the Lord,  and dancing in the living room. Kisses and hugs, baths, pijamas, snacks, toys… I had everything a father could wish for, precious, healthy children… and still today!

I miss them every morning and every night. I miss them every weekend and every birthday. Wonderful memories of their childhood. Today my kids are young adults, and who knows… maybe in the future, the story will be repeated. Except now, this time, they would be the ones singing and kissing babies, but not yet.

Every time when I came to my parent’s home to pick up my kids, because my parents babysitted them, my kids said to me, “Daddy, we love the bottle Mamita gives us.” I said, “Really? With milk?” They said, “No Daddy, with coffee!” 😆☕️ 

True story! Nat & Bash drink coffee every day still today! It is all Mamita’s fault!

Ḡīāŋ

Becoming a mature believer

The only ones that read this note are those who are serious about growing and maturing in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a 4-minute reading.

I have hundreds of mature believer friends. In every city that I have lived and worked I always could see those with the “desire” to mature. Also, I saw that the great majority of Christians only wanted to be entertained. Like little kids.

I love having kids around me. Kids make me happy. Their innocence about many things in life, their ingenuity, their purity, their joy, their energy, etc. All those good things in kids are wonderful; that is why I love having them around me. But kids also could be dangerous when it is about the use of money, vehicles, equipment, tools, etc. Parenting is really a challenge for us.

The same thing happens in church. All those new believers, and many of the immature older believers, somehow you can compare them with little kids. They are precious, you want them in the house (of the Lord), you love their company, but you are aware that they are selfish, self-centered, they have a very short attention span, and mainly they want to be entertained.

How can I tell that a believer wants to mature? Mainly by their ability to listen, pay attention and learn.

Today someone is doing a particular service for my wife. I met this lady near 3 years ago. Immediately I noticed that she wanted to mature in the Lord. She was willing to be accountable and was ready to assume responsibilities in the church. I have seen her growing in her spiritual life tremendously. Throughout tribulations, gigantic problems, unstoppable challenges, she has cried, laughed, prayed, given, served, helped, worked, worshiped, learned and hoped that our Lord would help her. And He has, as He always does for His children.

The problems in life will never end. The difference in the life of a mature believer is how we handle the problems. How we take those problems and bring them to the Lord. How willing we are to discuss alternatives and openly be willing to change.

Mature believers never stop learning. Never stop loving. Never stop giving. But mainly they never close theirs hearts to those who are in need. Mature believers become leaders for their families, leaders in the community, and, of course, leaders in the church.

If I am proud of this lady, I can imagine how proud the Lord is of her.

Ḡīāŋ

 

 

Dinner with Friends

Do you agree with me that having dinner with friends is awesome?

It is not about the food, even though that is a determinant factor in the overall success of the dinner, it is all about the KOINONIA (transliterated form of the Greek word, κοινωνία, which means communion, joint participation, the share which one has in anything).

I had dinner last night with a few friends and it was awesome! I enjoyed my meal, but more importantly I enjoyed my friends. I loved every moment with them. Listening to what everyone wanted to share. They didn’t know that I was looking into their eyes attentively and enjoying seeing their expressions, their smiles and other gestures with their faces, hands, etc.

I loved laughing at their jokes, intentional and not.

The respect from and to each other was probably the most outstanding characteristic of our time together. Familiarity. Unity. Simplicity. Love. Joy. Peace. Hope. I feel invited to do it again.

I see God in those moments. One day I will be in Heaven and I know that then and there things will be like last night. Filled with so much love and excitement. I see God in my children. I saw God in my parents, who are in Heaven now. I see God among everyone who wants to be good and do well. God is LOVE and He moves through us as we let Him move to bless others.

I want that kind of night all the time, and I know that with my Lord Jesus, every night is just like that. He is the LOVE of my life.

Ḡīāŋ

 

Women are powerful

I remember when I was young  hearing jokes from many guys older than me, saying things about women, in general, basically saying that women were not strong, not smart, not able to lead, etc, things of this kind. Honestly that was a joke itself! Many of those guys were who they were thanks to strong, smart and powerful women in their lives.

Later, throughout my training and my career as a Christian Minister, I saw that all my mentors have been wise men who had tremendous wives who protected them, supported them, and tolerated them more than they could ever thought. Powerful women who knew the importance of becoming godly wives.

Smart men always appreciate their wives, care for them and provide for them the spiritual, emotional and material support needed. Foolish men do the opposite. The result is obvious.

Last night I had my traditional Bible Study in Victory Church, like we do on Tuesdays, and shared the study that I am including here. Interestingly only women came to this study. It was my pleasure to speak to those ladies about the reading on Genesis 34. And I encouraged them to continue trusting in the Lord to fight with faith in our Lord Jesus without giving up to their calling in sharing the great news, “There is always hope for everyone in JESUS”.

Ḡīāŋ

 

 

HOPE

Everyone of us have problems, and sometimes those troubles are like a giant, like Goliath. There are occasions when we get hurt by the giant, and we feel like we are on the ground…almost defeated.

In those moments, that’s when we need to look up to God, and believe that He will help us because He does. Although we are beat-up, almost to the point to give up, our Lord God always will help us.

Do not lose your HOPE in GOD. He is able to help us. Keep trusting in the Lord. Listen and sing along with me this song: DO IT AGAIN!