The first English words I learned were from my mom when I was a child. I had purchased what I thought to be a coloring book and then I noticed it had strange words with each picture. When I asked my mom what they were, she said “English” and I repeated after her “Apple,” “House,” “Good Morning,” “What’s your name,” “I Speak Spanish,” Etc. I became so interested in the words that my parents registered me in an ESL Institute in which I spent whole afternoons in classes after regular school.
I thought I had a good knowledge, grasp and degree of expertism of the language until my first year of College in the United States of America proved me wrong. I had, and still have, a long way to go. I am not bilingual. In English, as my second language, I have my limitations in fluency and comprehension. Although I have had, and still have, my moments of frustration, failure, disappointments and dissatisfaction with English; more often than not, I have enjoyed the learning process of a new language and culture.
I have always been a person of few words with difficulty to express. As I grow older I feel the need more than ever to take challenges, to conquer fears and to keep learning. I recognize the urgency to keep using English, to continue to listen to it, to read it, to write it and to speak it. This blog is one of my self-imposed disciplines to do something that is not natural or easy for me. And needless to say, with all my inadequacy, weakness and shortcomings in the English language; it has been a useful tool in my life. I recommend and encourage all to invest money, time and effort into learning another language.
Even in the darkest moments, a flickering candle burns as a reminder that the weak, the few, the feeble, the poor and the such; if they are His people, they are not alone. Messiah will provide fresh oil to cause it to burn more brightly.
Jesus, Light of the World, kindle my seemingly almost extinct light into an ongoing and unwavering flame for everyone to see that a miracle has happened here.
Bolivia is one of the 48 landlocked countries in the world. Since the War of the Pacific (1879) Bolivia lost 400km (250 miles) of coastline to Chile. Every year on March 23rd there is a “Day of the Bolivian Sea” parade. The ceremonial speech includes words of bitterness, revenge, attack and even one insulting phrase. Just like in every war, there are different perspectives, all depends who you ask.
Who won, who lost the Mexican-American war in 1848? Who should have control over the Strait of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands? Who should I support Kosovo or Serbia, Tibet or China? Who’s right, who’s wrong in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Each side will give a like-night-and-day answer.
What it worries me is that, at least in Bolivia, children are taught that regaining access to the sea is a patriotic duty. It disturbs me that a new generation had to resent what happened over hundreds of years ago. How many people have to die to determine a border line?
I don’t pretend to resolve what international courts have not resolved. I only admit that losing is not a pleasant feeling; but life is gaining and losing and even what I consider gain or loss could be controversial. I want to live to the fullest and richest, but it won’t be so if I remain regretting and complaining about the past. There are so many good things to enjoy today!
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” -Jesus
FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. It is not just the anxiety for interaction in social networking (Facebook, Twitter, cellphones, etc.). It is also the marketing strategy of making people feel that they would miss a great deal if they don’t buy something, commercials designed to make you feel a big dumb if you don’t take that bargain and a loser if you don’t make that profitable investment. This area of FOMO is a compulsive desire to get material goods to feel good about oneself, formerly known as “keeping up with the Joneses”, is a form of insecurity and dissatisfaction. Things fill the sense of void and empty identity, so I’ve got to get them the day of the year they are the cheapest.
Who doesn’t want to buy items on sale and save money? I do. But I also need to be aware of my motives and watch out if I am being carried away by this syndrome by asking myself: Would I stay awake all night for prayer as I do in wait to open the stores? Would I go out on a very cold early morning to serve and assist others? Do I trample over others to be first? Do I use the money that I save to help the needy or do I use it to get more things for myself? Would I feel anxious and restless to the point of going crazy if I know that thousands of people are getting stuff at a good price and I’m not there?
Mexico has not Thanksgiving Day, but since 2011 it has an annual nationwide shopping day inspired by our neighbor in the north. Why didn’t we, Mexicans, copy Thanksgiving? Simply because consumerism has not nationality and being thankful and content is unnatural to our human nature.
Will I ever settle for what I have?
Sometimes I have things, More often I don’t have things.
Sometimes I have people near by, At times I don’t.
I always have Jesus, then I can boldly say, I have it all.
The story of Esther in the Bible is one of my favorites. It shows that every little event is part of an interactive master plan. Purim is a day of celebration for deliverance of the Jews where a wicked man named Haman had selected the date of their annihilation by CASTING LOTS (Pur is Persian for “lot”).
In the book of Esther we don’t have “great” obvious miracles like plagues, walls of water, manna from heaven or stopping the Sun. Purim is a great miracle in disguise in the real drama of life. It is not one specific event. Rather it’s all the details hanging together.
Purim is celebrated with with extreme joy. People wear costumes and masks with the purpose to show that nothing is as it seems, but with awareness that God is ALWAYS pulling the strings, even when things seem to be “just happening”
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” Prov. 16:33
On November 14, 2013 the Central Committee of Jewish Community in Mexico unveiled a monument to commemorate 100 years of Jewish immigration to Mexico. The impressive monument which occupies an area of 6 X 6 x 5.10 meters is a creation of architect Jacobo Micha Mizrhai and is located in the beautiful boulevard of the Port of Veracruz facing the sea where the ships entered.
The meaning of the monument: It is built mostly with basalt stone, material used in the old buildings in the Middle East, but of Mexican origin. The stone wall with a series of holes represents Mexico, where it is written with Hebrew letters “Sunrise in Veracruz” On the East side there are 100 blocks of irregular shape passing through the wall and being transformed into hundreds of elongated and refined pieces representing the fruition of the Jewish people in this country.
|ףלא ול-יהיו םישרפו בכר המלש ףסאיו|
|םישרפ ףלא רשע-םינשו בכר תואמ-עבראו|
|:םלשוריב ךלמה-םעו בכרה ירעב םחיניו|
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
The winter solstice in the southern hemisphere is the time in which the Sun is at its northernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on June 20 to 21 each year…Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but many cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time. (Wikipedia).
In Bolivia it was known as “Noche de San Juan” (Saint John’s night). A bonfire is customary with sausages and hotdogs being the shortest day and coldest night of the year and some years it has been that way. On the 7th of June 2010 the law was passed and the holiday is to be called the ‘Aymara New Year’ and must be celebrated as a national Holiday which means that all public and private institutions, companies and schools throughout the entire nation must suspend their activities. Everyone is happy about the day off, but very discontent with the name, since not all Bolivia is of Aymara origin. There are many arguments against it, for example, the place where this “new year” is celebrated is in the ruins of Tiwanaku which are from another culture.
As for me, the name is irrelevant. I am already planning to enjoy my day off…and by the way, I better go to buy those wieners.
Being a Jew means having just finished one holiday to start looking forward to another. Here they are barely having savored Passover now rushing to Shavuot. Serifat Ha’Omer is the counting of 49 days (7 weeks) as stated in Leviticus 23:15-16. The idea of counting each day represents spiritual preparation and anticipation. You don’t countdown the days nor number off the days. Rather, you must say, “Today is one day of the Omer,” “Today is two days of the Omer,” etc. By doing it this way, they try to give more significance to the days achieved than to the goal.
Two lessons we can learn from this:
1.- The moment we reach a spiritual milestone, we have to move the goalpost and aim higher. “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14.
2.- It’s not just the second or tenth day of a process, but every past and present step on the journey is significant. Life is not just about the goals; it’s about the journey itself.
QUOTE: A LARGE PART OF LIFE CENTERS AROUND ANTICIPATION.
Different events grow in value because of the hours we spend looking forward to them
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.Ps 90:12