Wednesday, May 26, 2010

we moved

Well, my "contract" with was about to expire for my lease on the "" domain, and I decided to let it go. I don't think it was all that expensive, but I decided I didn't really need it (and little expenses like that add up!)

As I mentioned in another post, I served at the Kairos weekend #42 at the Beto maximum security unit in Palestine, TX. It was a great weekend, and we saw a good number of people being restored in their faith, and some others made commitments to follow Jesus Christ. I gave the "Choices" talk, which was a blessing. I was all nervous before I got up to the podium, but I was able to confirm what the other guys told me about feeling the Holy Spirit's presence, which took care of my nervousness. The brothers in white enjoyed the talk, because they mentioned it a lot during their group discussions the rest of that day. :) Overall, it was a great weekend.

In other news, I re-joined Jenny Craig yesterday. I guess I never really left, but I had stopped eating their food. Anyway, I gained about 10 pounds in the last couple of months after having a stable weight for a good number of years, so I decided to diet for a couple of weeks to lose the extra weight.

Recently, I opened another blog, in regards to a new direction I'm taking in life which I'm very excited about. Please check it out: Pedro in Vietnam

I'll be updating this blog more sporadically than before (if that's possible), so please subscribe/follow/bookmark my new blog if you want to keep up with the latest news.

Until next time,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
       for his name's sake.
 4 Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death,
       I will fear no evil,
       for you are with me;
       your rod and your staff,
       they comfort me.
 5 You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.
 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

it's been a while

...Yup. Sorry for the lack of updates.

I have been keeping busy lately, as usual. I went to the Vietnamese New Year's Festival in February, and participated in the fashion show and salsa dance "exhibition." On that day I finally tried frozen yogurt. I don't know if it's the best thing that's happened in a while, or the worst. I think I got sorta hooked on it, and HAD to have it like 2-3 times a week. I'm back to normal now (once every 1-2 weeks) but my goodness, frozen yogurt is delicious. I think my favorite places so far are Fro-Yo Cup and Yogurtland. Check them out if you haven't already.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I had moved to a different project at work, which involved some traveling. It was a very busy (but fun) time, and I was able to visit the United Kingdom for the first time. I did some tourist-y things like ride the open-top tour bus and see a play at the theater (Wicked.) I also played a good amount of Tekken with the London crew, which was cool because I finally got to meet "masamune blade" which is a friend I have known online for years now, but hadn't met or played before. I had a blast playing Tekken in the UK. If work sends me over there in the future, I'll be sure to get some more games in. :)

More recently, I served at the North Texas Tres Dias weekend #45. You may remember from an earlier post that I attended weekend #43 last year. I had an awesome time and was greatly blessed when I attended, and I think it was a greater blessing to serve during the weekend. I think it was the most work I've ever done in a single weekend (not kidding) but it was definitely worth it. I made new friendships, and just seeing lives transformed/refreshed before your very eyes is something priceless. God is truly awesome.

I'm also in the Kairos prison ministry weekend #42 down at the Beto unit in Palestine, Texas. They made me a family (table) leader this time, and I will be giving a talk, called "Choices." It will be the first talk of the weekend, and I'm excited and nervous at the same time. Please pray it all goes well. I am looking forward to seeing lives transformed as the men receive the Word of God and the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 15, 2010

you're handsome, like movie star!

Those were the words of close observation (*ahem*) of Mr. B, an older Vietnamese man I met yesterday at the Vietnamese Community Center.

For those of you who don't know, yesterday was Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year. It's a very big thing for Chinese and Vietnamese people. As you may remember from some of my older posts, I teach English as a Second Language (ESL) as a volunteer at the Vietnamese Community Center on Sunday afternoons. Given that it was a holiday, I thought that my students were not going to show up for class (understandably so) but I decided to go anyway, just in case.

I arrived about 5-10 minutes late, and sure enough, my students weren't there. There were some people at the Center, but I'm not sure what they were doing. There were some older men sitting close to the front door, just hanging out and I guess welcoming people as they came in. I waited in the classroom for about five minutes, but at some point, the man that would later reveal his name as Mr. B entered the room.

Mr. B surprised me from the beginning. Having been teaching at the Center for almost two years now (wow, time flies), I've noticed that generally, the older folks don't speak much English, if any at all. There are exceptions of course, and Mr. B is one of them. He started telling me about Chinese New Year, and that my students wouldn't be coming to class because of it, etc. Then, with a surprised look, he exclaimed "wow! you're handsome, like movie star!" I laughed and thanked him, but tried to change the subject. The conversation then went something like this (note: you may have to use the translation tool to the right):

Mr. B: Are you "mexicano" or American?
Me: No, I'm from Puerto Rico
Mr. B: Oh! Puerto Rico! Hablas español!
Me: *surprised laughter* Sí. Do you speak Spanish?
Mr. B: A little bit. At my company, there are women from (*counts with fingers*) Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico...
Me: Wow...
Mr. B: Yes, and I love Spanish music, like cha-cha-cha, cumbia, samba, salsa, and mariachi (*starts doing a mariachi dance with music*)
Me: *dying with laughter* That's good!
Mr. B: Yes, I don't like American music, like rock. Nah, I like salsa, cumbia, cha-cha-cha...
Me: Yes!
Mr. B: I like a lot of songs: Guantanamera, Amor Prohibido, C*lito Lindo...
Me: O_O... You mean "Cielito Lindo"
Mr. B: Yes! C*lito Lindo! *starts singing* "porque cantando se alegra c*lito lindo los corazones" :D
Me: That's "Cielito Lindo"...
Mr. B: Yes! C*lito Lindo!
Me: *gives up* ... *laughs* that's good! :)
Mr. B: Yes, I also like to watch Spanish TV, like Sabado Gigante every Saturday! With Don Francisco!
Me: *more laughter* Wow, that's great! Awesome! :)
Mr. B: Yes! I also like Hispanic women! And what about you? Are you married?
Me: No, not married...
Mr. B: Oh, you're single? *points to the empty classroom table* Do you want a Vietnamese girl? :D

It was the funniest conversation I've had in a long time. I omitted a lot of it, but I should say he did more than one dance, along with more mariachi-sounding music he made on the spot. It was hilarious. I almost died with the way he sounded like he was offering me a Vietnamese girl. His Spanish was very good as far as pronunciation - I was very surprised. I was completely blown away by Mr. B's passion for Hispanic culture too. I hope I can talk to him again soon. I also hope he gets to marry a nice Hispanic lady at some point. Thank you Mr. B for making the trip to the Vietnamese Community Center completely worthwhile. :)

May God bless you and keep you always.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Recently I've received some insight into sin that I hadn't considered or given much thought to before. Certainly it's nothing out of this world, and it is knowledge that can be found in the Bible by simply reading it, but for whatever reason, it is knowledge that had eluded me until now. I hope it will be as useful to you as it was for me. Feel free to contribute your thoughts on the matter, so that I may grow as well.

As we know, sin is what we struggle with on a daily basis. Many people have different definitions for sin (some definitions more complex than others) but for this discussion, we will simply define sin as "disobedience to God."

As I mentioned in my Third Day concert post, I received a free book called Glory Revealed, by author David Nasser. It's a great book, and David Nasser is a great writer. What I like the most about it, is that each chapter makes me stop and think about what is being discussed, and answer some questions that the author offers to help you meditate. In the chapter I read this past weekend (yes, I've taken my sweet time in finishing this book), the author talks about how God reveals his Glory through sin. He goes on to say something to the effect of: "if you were to ask someone in prison, 'when you were five years old, did you know you were going to be killing/stealing as an adult, and get put in prison?'" and the gist of the discussion is that most everyone will say "no," and go on to explain that it all started with stealing a piece of candy, lying to their parents, breaking 'silly' rules, etc. Small stuff. I'm sure Cain would tell us the same thing after killing his brother, Abel. Greed kept him from offering his best to God. It led to jealousy, resentment, and finally, murder.

The author then proceeds to remind us of King David's story with Bathsheba (see 2 Samuel 11-12.) Every time I read this story in the Bible, all I could think of was how low David sank by not only sleeping with (and impregnating!) his soldier's wife, but then setting it up so the soldier would be killed in battle! What I never considered was - how did it all start? Going back to the prisoner's example, David Nasser presents the imaginary situation of asking King David: "when you were in your father's pastures tending the sheep, did you imagine you were going to be someday not only committing adultery, but killing the husband of the woman you commit adultery with?" He would've given you a redundant "no." I mean, this was the average-height dude that stood his ground in front of the giant Goliath, for goodness' sake. So, what was David's "small" sin?

The author explains (and this was the revelation for me) that King David's first, small sin was pride. Back then, kings would lead armies in battles and wars. So why was David in his palace while the rest of his army fought for Israel? Maybe he thought the battle wasn't important enough for King David to be bothered to even leave his palace? We don't know for sure, as the Bible doesn't say, but, we could be led to think so. In any case, that was his small sin. If he hadn't stayed behind, he wouldn't have been exposed to watching Bathsheba take a bath. Even if he had seen her at a different time (when everyone was around and not in battle) he could've probably controlled his lust for her.

And there you have it. Obviously, there's a reason for me to write about this subject. I have been struggling with a situation lately, and can't help but relate to David's story. It blew me away when I read it. It has made me stop to think: what was the "small" sin that started all of it? What could I have done (or not done) to avoid it? In any case, I am in the situation, and I've been praying for guidance from God; that He may bless it, or blow it up.

I don't remember if the book outlines what I'm going to talk about next, but in any case, all I could think about the day I read it was David's small sin and his downfall. Needless to say, a huge sense of guilt swept over me, causing me much grief. During the week, I met at Starbucks with a lady from church, who I love very much. I see her as a mother figure, and I sought her motherly (and Christian) advice. We discussed many things, and I mentioned how I had been convicted during the weekend by being reminded of David's story. She agreed, but then completed the revelation for me.

The great news is that there's hope. We haven't finished David's story yet. You remember how God sent the prophet Nathan to expose David's sin, right? David's grief was great, and he repented. The child that resulted from David's sin died, causing David even more grief (and we can imagine it grieved Bathsheba as well, even though it's not written.) However, in the end, out of all of David's wives, God chose Bathsheba - the woman that David committed the sin with - to bring Solomon into the world. Solomon, the next king of Israel. King Solomon turned out to become the richest and wisest (second only to Jesus Himself) man to ever have lived, and one in the very bloodline of Jesus, the Son of God.

David committed such a big sin, yet he was referred to as a man "after God's own heart." So we see that no matter how great our sin, God extends to us His mercy and grace if we but just repent. I can't help but to think about what an awesome God we have. I know that God has heard me, and I am hopeful that He will give me revelation for my specific situation. Thank you, God, for your love.


Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. -1 Peter 1:6-7

May God bless you and keep you always,

Monday, January 4, 2010

Puerto Rico, December 2009

As I sit on the plane on the way back to Texas, I look back on my trip to Puerto Rico.


I was scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico on the 24th of December (Christmas' Eve.) However, on some really weird and unusual occurrence, it snowed heavily in Dallas, and my flight to Houston was delayed, which in turn made me miss my flight to Puerto Rico. Needless to say, I was very upset when I arrived at the airport and they told me I'd have to leave on the next day. I called my mom, and upon noticing that I was upset, she told me "Pedro, remember that God has a purpose for everything." At the time I agreed between grumbles, but sure enough, she was right. It ended up happening that my friends stopped by my apartment in the evening to pick up some things, and invited me to go to midnight mass with them. So, where I wouldn't have been able to go to church due to traveling, I was able to go to church -with friends-, have a good time, and even eat some Filipino food before I left for Puerto Rico on Christmas day.


I had mentioned in a previous post some things that I wanted to do while in Puerto Rico, and thankfully I was able to do most of them. There were some friends I wasn't able to see, and I didn't really go out salsa dancing (not at a salsa place anyway,) but I at least was able to see a lot of friends, play a lot of Tekken, go to church, spend time with my mom and dad, and eat a whole lot of food. Really, I can't complain. :-)


One thing I hadn't mentioned on my blog before, was that a very popular magazine had contacted me to write a small article about me. As (some of) you may know, I lost a lot of weight not too long ago - approximately 50 lbs. Now, the magazine contacted the "program" I used to lose weight, asking for names of Hispanic people that had lost a lot of weight with that program. Long story short, I was chosen, and had to send pictures, a small write-up, and incur in a short telephone interview with the magazine.

Anyway, the article appears in the February issue of the magazine. The folks called me to tell me about it while I was in Puerto Rico, and needless to say me and my mom were pretty psyched (especially my mom). They told me they'd send me the PDF document with a scan of the article so I could see it first, and told me not to tell anyone yet, etc. I got home from shopping, and took a look at the article. It was quite embarrassing. The pictures were fine, and some of the write-up was fine, but, the article almost makes me sound like I think I'm all that after losing weight. It also mentions some personal things that I said during the interview, which, had I known, I wouldn't have said. Oh well, live and learn. Some people tell me the article is fine the way it is, and others say it's not. I won't sweat it too much, since I don't think many people will even notice it, and even if they do, they'll forget about it quickly (*crosses fingers*).


May God bless you and keep you always.
Until next time,