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Esperanza for Puerto Rico

Read: Nehemiah 1:1-4 | 1 Corinthians 12:26
On the weekend of September 17th, 2017, the national weather center rang the alarm about the danger that Hurricane Maria presented for the Caribbean, especially for the island of Puerto Rico.
The forecasts were scary. Some of the adjectives used to describe what was coming were: catastrophic, apocalyptic, unprecedented.

The people on the island made every possible preparation to face Hurricane Maria, but they were never ready, because they did not have a clear point of reference to help them prepare. This would be the first time in more than 5 generations that Puerto Ricans would face a storm of this magnitude. From the distance, the sons and daughters of Puerto Rico, the diaspora, lived a different kind of anxiety. Concerned about our families and friends; asking someone to help us secure our property on the island. Wondering what would be our people if this monster really came as predicted given all the economic and socio-political challenges…
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Searching for Balance in Your Faith ? Think Twice

Read: Matthew 22:34-40 | Colossians 3:23-24,  I consider myself a blessed person. Throughout my life, God has provided people whose teachings and good example have had a positive impact on me and to some extent have molded me into the person I am becoming today. One of those very special people was my maternal grandmother – “abuela” Gloria. Abuela always had a word of wisdom to share with her grandchildren, when we needed it the most.
When I was about 23 years old, I decided that I wanted to further my education. I made this decision while my first child was 2 months old, and in addition to all the responsibilities with my family, work and church. When I began my school work, I felt stretch beyond I originally estimated. One afternoon, over a cup of coffee, I poured out by heart and confessed to my grandmother that given everything that was happening in my life, I was feeling that my spiritual life was getting out of balance, and as a result, other things where starting to get out of c…

For Every Giant there is a Stone

Read in the Bible: 1 Samuel 17:32-47
Almost 5 years ago, our region was hit by Hurricane Sandy - an unprecedented storm for this generation here in NJ. For many, this was the first time they felt the force of the sea and the winds as it manifested during the afternoon and evening of that October 29th.
The day after the storm, we all woke up to new and somber reality. Something no one ever imagined living, especially for those in towns closer to the Jersey Shore. The photos and videos being shared on the TV looked like they were from a horror movie. The number of deaths reported was more than our minds could process.
Very soon, the magnitude of the damage and the needs began to emerge: millions without electricity, thousands of refugees in shelters outside their homes, lack of the most basic needs (drinking water, food, and clothing). Floods, massive damage to property, people had no heat - the list seemed endless.
Back then, I was serving in Oasis UMC in Pleasantville, a community that wa…

Viendo Claramente

Lee: Lucas 24:13-35 | Había una vez un joven llamado Ernesto que no podía ver bien. Lo curioso era que el no sabía que él tenía un problema con su visión. De hecho, nadie lo sabía: ni su mamá, ni su papá, ni los abuelos, ni aún sus amigos más cercanos.
Ernesto, pensaba que todas las cosas tenían unos bordes no definidos y que no había muchos detalles porque así era que las cosas le parecían a él. Por ejemplo, para él, los árboles eran grandes motas de algodón verde. Mientras Ernesto crecía, su mamá le preguntaba porquese acercaba tanto a la televisión. Su abuelo, notaba que cuando Ernesto estaba leyendo un libro, lo mantenía cerca de su cara. Y en la escuela, Ernesto se quejaba a la maestra que no podía ver las palabras en el pizarrón claramente.
Finalmente, un día sus padres se dieron cuenta que el muchacho tenía un problema con su vista y lo llevaron a un doctor, quien luego de examinarlo, les dijo: “Ernesto necesita espejuelos”. A los pocos días, Ernesto tenía un par de espejuelos n…

What story defines your life?

Society is going through many crises that are seriously affecting the quality of life of people around the world. Even months after the elections, there are still many tensions in the area of ​​politics and government, here in the US, in many of our countries of origin, and in the international sphere.
We see on TV horrible scenes of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, provocations by the North Korean government, and tensions with Russia. In the social sphere, very delicate and conflicting issues are being discussed that keep the country divided: firearms control, immigration, religious tolerance, access to health care, economics, and threats of war, among others.
And as if this was not enough, there are also everyday problems, from which it seems no one can escape. Crises at home, marriages that wobble (and many divorces), problems in work, finances, and / or illnesses not expected.
When you talk to people, and they share with your their anxieties and worries, in most cases, it seems lik…

¿Qué Historia define tu Vida?

Lee Lucas 24:1-9 | La sociedad está pasando por muchas crisis que están afectando seriamente la calidad de vida de muchas personas alrededor del mundo. Aun meses luego de las elecciones, todavía hay muchas tensiones en el ámbito de la política y el gobierno. Aquí en los EU, en muchos de nuestros paises de origen, y en la esfera internacional.
Vemos en la televisión escenas horribles de ataques con armas químicas en Siria, provocaciones de parte del gobierno de Corea del Norte, tensiones e interrogantes con Rusia. En la esfera social, se están discutiendo temas muy delicados y conflictivos que mantienen al país dividido: que si el control de armas, la inmigración, la tolerancia religiosa, el acceso al cuidado de salud, la economía, y las amenazas de guerra, entre otros.
Y como si esto no fuera suficiente, también están los problemas cotidianos, de los que parece nadie se puede escapar. Crisis en los hogares, matrimonios que se tambalean (y muchos divorcios), problemas en el trabajo, la…

Believe

Read: John 11: 17-27 | Ezekiel 37: 1-14
During the season of Lent this year, the Christian lectionary (a set of guided Scripture readings mostly used by Catholic and Protestant churches), has taken us to consider different important moments of Jesus' ministry through the stories we find in the Bible in the Gospel according to John. Something very peculiar about the stories that John shares with us is that he tells us much of Jesus' ministry through the encounters Jesus had with different people, just like you and me. Through these different encounters we can learn very special and important things about who Jesus is and what He can be for us, if we believe.

For example, the encounter of Jesus with a Samaritan woman at the well, reveals, among many other things, that Jesus is the water that quenches our spiritual thirst once and for all. The moment when Jesus miraculously fed more than five thousand people, reveals the He is the bread that feeds our hunger. The time when Jesus h…

Confiemos todo al Señor

Mateo 6:24-34: La Biblia, en el evangelio según Mateo 6:24-34, nos lleva a considera uno de los principios más profundos y de mayor repercusión en nuestro caminar de fe. Lo más seguro la mayoría de nosotros/as, ya hemos escuchado mensajes sobre este pasaje, o hemos participado en algún estudio bíblico donde el mismo era el centro de la conversación.

Incluso, pudiera ser que haya algunas personas que ya estén pensando que les voy a hablar de dinero, de ofrendas, de compromiso, o de prioridades, etc. Y, la realidad es que la enseñanza de Jesús en Mateo muy bien podemos aplicarla a estas áreas que son tan importantes en nuestro caminar como discípulos/as Jesucristo, pero, creo que en vez de limitarme a una aplicación, hoy quisiera que viéramos este texto desde una perspectiva más amplia y más profunda.