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,