I had been wrestling with the idea of blogging some of my life experiences with the intent of encouraging others who may be going through similar situations. Although the main audience being those who have been attending church for a long time and are caught in the cycle of just "doing church", I believe these stories will reach all audiences with God's help.

I'd rather fail miserably at something I feel God asked me to do than just sit back and wonder what could've, would've or should've happened.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's All About A Relationship

They say that kids tend to be rowdy in Jr. High School and based on my personal experience, I would agree! Not that I was bad because I’ve always been such a good kid (insert heavenly music here). But I did hang out with some “friends” who acted up in class just so that I could be part of the “cool kids”.

Now the things we did in Jr. High compared to the things kids in Jr. High do nowadays is completely different. We would do what eventually was known as “payasearías” (clowning around – doesn’t have the same affect in English) titled by one of our teachers. The idea was to make fun of the teacher using mumbled words and repeating what he/she was saying while their backs were turned to the class. This would cause an outburst of laughter and the teacher would stay wondering what happened. Funny until you get caught.

One day while one of the guys was doing this “payasearías”, the teacher turned around and caught him doing this. Now he was in trouble frequently and I was kinda the teacher’s favorite due to my A average and how well I behaved in class. So I took one for the team. I told the teacher I was the one doing the “payasearías” and my friend was simply laughing at my jokes.

I took his place for his actions trying to establish a relationship with him.

This story reminds me of someone who did the same thing for YOU and ME to restore a relationship. I'm not talking about simply taking our punishment for making fun of a teacher but actually taking our punishment for our sins - DEATH (Romans 6:23)!! Yes Jesus Christ did just that for us!

Let me explain:

God’s intension in making us humans was always to have relationship with a creation that would have their own free will and decide on their own to worship God! It was nice for about 2 chapters in the bible before man messed that relationship up. You know the story – Adam, Eve, the Snake and the apple…. In entered the sinful man (that’s all of us). But don't hate on Adam and Eve because Romans 3:23 says we all sin and fall short.

Long story short…God is a Holy God and cannot be around sin but He loved and cared about having relationship with His creation (that's you and me) so much that He gave up His very best for us – In entered Jesus Christ the sinless sacrifice. Jesus died to do away with all of our sins and restore this relationship between our Heavenly Father and His creation - us.

Getting back to my story… for this first-time offense, I barely got in trouble. My teacher gave me the old “I’m very disappointed in you” speech and did not discipline me at all. When I saw my friend after class, I was sure we would be “best friend” after what I did for him. Unfortunately, this was not the case. (insert sad face here… AWWWWW)

That hurt! To think that I took his punishment and he didn’t even care. As a matter of fact, he may be reading this blog and not even know it’s about him.

Hmmmm.....Sometimes I wonder how Jesus must feel when we ignore his sacrifice and don’t acknowledge His offer to have relationship with us.

I think sometimes we focus so much on religion and church that we miss what it's all about! 


Will you react to His relationship offer today?
Will you allow Him to restore the relationship with our Heavenly Father and you?
Have you spent time today strengthening that relationship by talking with our Heavenly Father?

 “For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Friday, November 9, 2012

We'll Wait Again!

I graduated from Edison Tech High School (S/O to all the Edisonians reading this blog!!) and as part of the Vocational Training Program, we had to explore the different departments available before we decided our "career path" or shop class (as most of us called it). The scope of program went from cosmetology to auto mechanics and everything in-between.

I will never forget one shop teacher (except for his name) who seemed to have the calmest character ever. Whenever the class would get rowdy and loud (which was quite frequent for high school freshmen), he would speak the following words calmly and softly, "we'll wait again..." ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!?? Class is out of control and he is almost whispering??? I would have kicked everyone out of the class until only the good kids were left! And who is the "we" he is talking about??? This became a joke for us freshmen and we would laugh and get louder. His response, "we'll wait again..."

Eventually, the class did quiet down and he proceeded with his lesson. Was he on to something? Did he discover a new way to quiet freshmen students? Was he really that cool, calm and collect??

Thinking back about this shop teacher reminds me how God waits for us. He is ever so patient as He waits for us to do what He has asked us to do. For some of you reading this blog, it may be just surrendering to God and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Some may be in the middle of some trouble and He waits for you to turn to Him for help instead of trying to do it on your own. Others may be wrestling a calling God has placed in your heart and He waits for you to trust Him completely. Whatever the situation may be, God always seems to be waiting for us. 

Why does He wait?
He loves us that much! So much so that He gave His son, Jesus, to die for us and now waits for us to respond (John 3:16). Talk about being patient!! He gave up His very best for us and waits. It's all about a relationship (we'll talk about that in next week's blog).

Revelation 3:20 says He knocks on our doors (hearts) and waits for us to open the door... then He enters in. God is a gentleman and a well-mannered God. He won't barge in even though He can! As a matter of fact, He is the reason we are breathing today! He has the power to speak the world into existence and created mankind, yet He waits for us to respond to His knock.

Will you respond today?
Will you answer the door?
How long will you ignore that knock on your heart?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me. (Revelation 3:20 AMP)

God is saying to us today, "We'll wait again..."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sister Pat's Woodshop

During my Jr. High years I worked at Sister Pat's Woodshop with a few of the other guys from our church. This was an after-school program that this particular Catholic Church had for Jr. High-schoolers to keep them out of trouble. In the woodshop, we would make wooden objects that would eventually be sold - the proceeds going to the church. Our salary was based on our performance or should I say Sister Pat's evaluation of our performance.

Sister Pat = a no-nonsense, in-your-face, take no crap from nobody, serious, all business, fire you on the spot, rehire you on the same spot, tough as nails nun. This little nun was no joke! Truth is she had to be that way to deal with these inner city kids she was responsible for. In retrospect, she had a great heart - and I'm sure still does.

We had a great time there! Lots of laughing, joking and learning went on in that woodshop. There were many great memories and some not so great. But this one particular day taught me a great lesson:

As usual, we were joking around and laughing. This time it was "make fun of Sister Pat day". We made fun of everything we could think of - maybe too much! She gave us several warnings to lower our voices and control our laughter but we would continue. For a moment, she briefly walked out of the room and came back in only to catch us making fun if her. I was sure we would all hear, "Izzy, Franky, Billy, Sammy (names were changed to protect the innocent) YOU'RE FIRED!" as we had heard many times before. Instead she put her head down, walked toward her desk and between her weeping barely got the following words out: "and you're supposed to be Christians".

OUCH! It was as if someone took a samurai sword and shoved it through my heart in a lower-case T motion! I would rather be fired than hear that! We made Sister Pat cry!

Since I was the PK and the oldest of our group, I eventually gathered enough courage to approach her and apologized. Things seemed to be back to normal but I learned a hard lesson that day - we represent Christ wherever we go!

I've heard this phrase thrown around a lot, "you may be the only Jesus someone sees". When you really think about it, that's a pretty tough responsibility! There are so many people all around us depending on us: at work, school, neighborhood, grocery store and even our family gatherings. We MUST represent Jesus well if we are to reach those around us.

Now some might take this to the extreme and try to shove Jesus down people's throats but I would argue that it is the little things that we do on a daily basis that will demonstrate Jesus (or the lack of Him) in us to others. Here are just 5 little things we can do:
  1. Treat your coworkers with love even though they may not deserve it.
  2. Work as if God was your Boss.
  3. Say hello to your neighbors every time you see them.
  4. Choose your words wisely around your family.
  5. Show God's joy in you by smiling!
These little things will open up God moments for conversations that will introduce Jesus to those around us.

As I'm reminded of this "Sister Pat" experience, I am committed to represent Him well one day at a time by asking the Holy Spirit to help me as I "gear-up" daily! I challenge you to do the same.

God's plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. (Colossians 1:27 GNT)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gearing Up For War

I feel like I left you hanging last week with the war thing (read We Are At War Whether You Like it or Not blog). It's almost like I told you "we are in big trouble" and left you with no solution. Well the rest of Ephesians 6 explains how we should gear up for this war. 

Of course I am going to put a twist in it so that we can have a little fun and learn something at the same time. Now this book of Ephesians was written back in the day so they used visuals that were common then - war gear. I'm going to try to bring it to something more up-to-date and since it's football season, I will use that.

I also believe that these different war gear suggested by Paul is talking about different characteristics of the Word of God (don't try to sue me....it's my opinion & my blog). Hopefully by the end of this blog you will understand where I'm coming from.

Belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14) 
The last thing you want to happen in a war is have your pants fall down! Talk about AWKWARD!! The Bible is also considered the Truth. We should use the Bible as a comparison tool in life - "what does the Bible say about that?" 

Breastplate  or shoulder pads of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14)
One way to kill someone in a war is to stab them in the heart. This breastplate protected that. In football, the shoulder pads protect the heart and give you confidence. The only way to be righteous before a Holy God is by His son, Jesus, who died for us for that same reason, among other things. The Bible is a love story about just that. John 1 explains more. 

Shoes or cleats of the Good News (Ephesians 6:15)
The right shoes are important for anything you do. War and football is not different. So we are to share the Good News a.k.a  Jesus' sacrifice for us with everyone we can. It's what Jesus left for us to do. 

Shield or stiff-arm of faith (Ephesians 6:16)
In football there is no "shield" but you can stiff-arm a defender if they try to tackle you! Faith helps you protect yourself when your opponent tries to come against you. Faith come by hearing and hearing the, you guessed it, Word of God. 

Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17)
Obviously protecting your head is important at war or in a football game -but this also includes your mind. We are continuously thinking (well some of us) and this is the perfect place to begin the attack for our opponent. This is why we should protect our minds daily! Salvation is part of that love story the Bible keeps referring to time and time again. 

Sword or Football of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)
The sword is how we attach the enemy and in football you can't score without the ball! Most of us would agree that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. My thought is that Paul was doing one of his run-on sentences and when it says ", which is the Word of God" he was referring to all of the previous gear he mentioned. Once again, this is just my opinion. This is no theological conclusion (that I'm aware of). 

In a nutshell, prepare for this war daily guarding your mind & heart by reading the Word of God then share the Good News to others. Memorize some verses so you can defend yourself against your opponent and ATTACK him with the Word of God!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We Are In A War Whether You Like It Or Not

I was in a men’s prayer one night and I felt the urge to pray for one of the men there. This man had a son in the war in Iraq and it was a difficult time for him and his family. Now I’m not one to go around doing these kinds of things but this night I felt a strong conviction to do so. My plans were to go over to him, lay my right hand on his shoulder, kneel next to him and pray this powerful, spiritually-scripted prayer that would encourage even the dead – or so I thought. I gathered enough courage to go over there and pray with him but I did not anticipate what happened next.

As soon as my hand touched his shoulder, I felt this overwhelming compassion for this man and began weeping uncontrollably! It was as if his pain was transferred to me and I was able to relate for a moment with his situation. I eventually let out a brief prayer of encouragement (nothing like what I had planned) and sat back down.

This experience taught me several things and I was amazed at how God works. Here I was thinking I was merely going to encourage this man who was going through a tough time in his life but God wanted to teach me something, too!

We Are In A War Whether You Like It Or Not!

You see every week the church prayed for this man’s son and all the other families who had loved ones in the war in Iraq. Most of us prayed but not with the same urgency as those people whose family members were over there! Although we knew there was a war going on, we were disconnected from the war since it was not as personal as those whose loved ones were actually fighting this war. When it’s personal there is a different level of prayer that is exercised… that fervent, up-against-the-wall, all-or-nothing, totally-dependent-on-God kinda prayer!

The Bible talks about a war that we are constantly fighting – a SPIRITUAL war.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

Are you ready for this war?
Do you prepare yourself daily for the attacks that are inevitably coming?
How fervent is your prayer for this war?

I challenge you to make an effort every day to prepare for this war. Read Ephesians 6 so that you can be ready!  

Whether you like it or not, WE ARE AT WAR!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Coming To America

January 6, 1979 was a day I will never forget. It marks a new beginning for the Cabreras - coming to America.  For those that don't know, we were born in the Dominican Republic and my father wanted to bring us to America for better opportunities. When we arrived I was only 7 years old but I have vivid memories of the journey.

I remember:
  • Crying when I found out Magina was not coming with us. She is our "adopted" sister who helped my parents bring us up and since I was the youngest, I spent a lot of time with her.
  • Lidia's wooden platform-styled sandals coming off her feet and falling all the way down the stairs as we are climbing into the airplane and Isaias had to go fetch them - the joys of being the oldest! Sometimes I can close my eyes and hear the clinging sound of those things!
  • Dinner on the plane (that's back when they served real dinners on planes), the choices: Chicken or Fish and how confusing this was to us. Isaias finally figured it out and explained it to us. The strong accents we had (some of us still have) still rings in my head.
  • New York welcoming us with a snow storm! Our first sight of snow and yes I did attempt to eat some.
  • The drive from NYC to Rochester took forever with all the snow. If that's not enough, the van we were driving lost its heat and it was cold.
  • We stopped at a Burger King to eat. I can still smell the fries - well the old fries they had are better than the new ones. I took another taste of the snow there too!
Do you want to know what was my most vivid memory? It was us sitting in the waiting area in the Dominican Republic waiting for the people that have the authority to give us permanent residence to make their decision. You see we were all nervous about it since we were requesting 7 permanent residencies at the same time. My dad came to America before us and made the request to bring his family over - ALL 7 OF THEM! Not the best strategy to have since most people made request for 1 or 2 at a time. 
I remember the couple that entered before us being denied and they were only 2!! The lady was in tears!! Then it was our turn. Before I tell you what happened (which may be obvious but just humor me for a moment), I did a little research on some immigration politics that were going on behind the scenes without us even realizing this. Check this out:

(From Wiki) The  Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a non-profit tax exempt organization in the United States that advocates changes in U.S. immigration policy that would result in significant reductions in immigration, both legal and illegal. It was founded on January 2, 1979.

Their mission:
FAIR advocates "7 Principles of True Comprehensive Immigration Reform":

1. Reduce the flow of immigrants
2. No legalization
3. No Guest-Worker Program
4. Protect Wages and Standards of Living
5. More Enforcement
6. No Asylum
7. Immigration Time Out (Very strict immigration only for "a narrowly focused refugee resettlement program" and limit family reunification each year)
(Back to me) During the late 1970's there were a lot of immigrants coming to America and the US was not making it easy for anyone to come in. This organization was established specifically for this. BUT GOD HAD OTHER PLANS FOR OUR FAMILY!

So there we were waiting for the verdict... they allowed ALL of us to come to America with no problems at all!! WooHoo!! Did we slip through the cracks?? Was it a coincidence?? I don't think so. You may be thinking that it is not a big deal. But I know it was a miracle!

I asked my mom recently to relive the experience with me and she told me that the night before our appointment with the decision makers, we had our devotional time (check out the Legacy blogs so you can fully understand the "devotional time"). Loida was asked to pray for our meeting and she felt from God that we were going to be able to come to America. She was right! God is faithful!

If you are going to be confronting someone of "importance" to speak on your own behalf whether it is for a job interview, a teacher/professor, a judge, or what ever it may be. Remember that God is with you and will help you get through this situation if you allow Him.

"When they drag you into their meeting places, or into police courts and before judges, don’t worry about defending yourselves—what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there. The Holy Spirit will give you the right words when the time comes." Luke 12:11-12 (MSG)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Living The Dream

I'm sitting in the dealership thinking to myself, "why didn't I have a better answer for him? My life is better than that..." You see my ex-coworker came up to me with his little arrogant smile and asked, "how's it going, Ish?" I replied, "good". To which he replied "that's it?" and I had nothing! Did he catch me off guard? Was I not in the mood for conversations? I don't know what happened but the words escaped me.

Of course his reply is always an arrogant, "GREAT! I'm living the dream!!!!!" (dude if you happen to be reading this I won't tell who you are if you won't - keep reading though!)

What does that even mean? Who's "dream" are we living? Is it the infamous "American Dream" with the wife, 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, 2 cars, a white picket fenced house, the pursuit of happiness and success/status? Or is it bigger than that? 

There is this perception of living the "world's" dream - usually involves possessions, success, money, power or influence, and "happiness". All of these things are great to have - wouldn't you agree? But that can't be all there is to life. How do I know?? I'm glad you asked! Well there are many people that have these things and yet they are not happy - some even commit suicide!! 

Besides, there is an after life that does not include any of that stuff - heaven or hell. So living this dream would be living limited to this world. I believe God has bigger dreams than this. 

Here's my take on this dream thing:
  • Hope - God is our hope. This is the foundation of His Dream for us. There is a "space" in all of us that can only be fulfilled with God. He made us this way...PURPOSELY! But we try to fill it with other things such as: work, love of money, drugs, alcohol, sexual sin, etc. 
    We need to stay connected to this Hope to keep His dream alive in us. "I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him." (Psalm 62:5 GNT)
  • Family - united in: spirit, love, peace, joy, supporting each other, serving each other and God. This includes extended family, also. If the family is healthy, the church is healthy, the community is healthy and the world is healthy. "but as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord" (Joshua 24:15 AMP)
  • Community - this part includes the church. We are made to belong to a body. This is where we find additional support and we use our God-given gifts to serve others. "He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love." (Ephesians 4:16 NLT)
  • Joy - there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness = a state of being happy or contentment. Joy = a metaphoric oasis of peace and love (as defined in wiki).  The Bible repeatedly talks about the joy of The Lord. When you have this joy you don't wait for the circumstances around you to be positive but inspite of the circumstances you have joy. "You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express," (1 Peter 1:8 GNT) 
Interestingly enough, I watched this documentary yesterday that my sister-in-law suggested (thanks Kim) and it spoke about similar concepts. The documentary was about a bunch of doctors studying happiness and they found that people are happier when they believe in something and have strong family and community activities. I wrote this blog before I saw this documentary. Things that make you go hmmm! 

So getting back to my ex-coworker with his "living the dream" phrase... If I have the opportunity to redeem myself, I would say, "I have hope...THE HOPE ... Jesus my Savior! He has given me His unexplainable JOY. I have a beautiful, loving, united FAMILY that loves God and people. We BELONG to an awesome church COMMUNITY and are CONNECTED as we SERVE unto The Lord! 

The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness. (John 10:10 GNT)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

OBEDIENCE > sacrifice!

What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22

For the last few months this verse (well part of this verse) has been ringing in my head: “OBEDIENCE is better than sacrifice”. It sounds so pretty and righteous to say….but what exactly does it mean? That, my friend, is the million dollar question! You see this same phrase can mean different things to different people – God loves to do that! He can use the same message to speak to people in different ways.

For some:
OBEDIENCE = attending church for the first time & having a relationship with God
Sacrifice = thinking that being a good person is enough to please “God”

OBEDIENCE = getting involved in your church; use your gifts to serve in the house
Sacrifice = attending church is enough

Yet others:
OBEDIENCE = giving your tithes regularly to God
Sacrifice = giving to the people that ring the bell during Christmas is enough

I'm not sure what OBEDIENCE vs sacrifice looks like for you. You will have to figure that out on  your own. I can tell you that God is always looking to stretch our FAITH in one way or another.
For me it’s simple, yet difficult all in one…. this “blog” thing is very easy for me to do. I can sit here and write stories till my fingers turn blue…stories and writing (well not including grammar) come effortlessly to me. The difficult part is sending out the Twitter and Facebook reminders to my friends. You see it is out of character for me to ask people for things. It’s something my parents taught me when I was young and it has been instilled in my heart – perhaps to the extreme - or maybe this is just how God wired me. So when I felt from God to write these blogs, I was excited. When I felt from God to send it out several times a day – not so much!

Every week when I am about to send the blog out, I get this devil / angel fight on either shoulder. The conversation goes a little like this:

Devil: “who do you think you are to send out these blogs? You are not important!”
Angel: “you are a  son of the Most High, coheir with Christ!”
Devil: “people are gonna laugh at you…hahaha!”
Angel: “God is smiling down on you when you send it”
Devil: “this is dumb…a waste of time! You already do enough for God! Relax!”
Angel: OBEDIENCE is better than sacrifice”

So when you see my Twitter / FB reminders, remember this:

OBEDIENCE > sacrifice!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cabrera Legacy Part III: The Family That Prays Together

Now… where did I leave off? Oh yea… that awesome song! After singing this awesome song (you’re gonna need to read Cabrera Legacy Part I and Part II to follow), we hold hands and my dad asks if anyone has any special prayer requests. We would pray for everybody and their momma – people from church, family, neighbors, you name it… we prayed for them. I remembered how we would always pray for the family members that were not in the house that night… even the ones who had gotten married and moved out! Prayer has always been the foundation of our family’s DNA (we’ll talk about that in another blog). Then last, but not least, the good ol’ Cabrera hug. Now there are all kinds of hugs: bro hugs, BFF hugs, friendly hugs, there are even some that should be illegal! But this one is the icing on the cake of this devotional time. We hug and then give each other 2 simultaneous taps on the upper back followed immediately by 2 simultaneous taps...um... well on the butt. Now that’s showin’ sum luv! 

So, why all this talk about a family devotional time? I strongly believe that while we were in those devotional times laughing, goofing around, learning about the bible, and praying for each other, God was implementing a Legacy that would live in our hearts for years to come! Out of this one family devotional came 5 family devotionals with their own twists from my brothers and sisters and their families. Our prayer is that our kids will also have their own family devotional memories with their own twists – and so on and so on! I have even heard people from church that happened to be at my parent’s house around the 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM time and were “persuaded” to stay for the devotional time who now have their own family devotional time. My parents with their sweet, loving, generous and humble hearts began a Legacy that will live on for years to come! 

As I was thinking about these family devotional times we had with our parents I was challenged to have intentional family devotional times where my wife and kids can have fun, laugh, learn about God’s Word and have memories that will inspire our children to do the same with their families. There’s this saying, “the family that prays together, stays together” and I believe it….. not because it sounds pretty…. but because I lived it! My wife and I decided to put up a reminder in our room not too long ago to help us stay focused on this. I would’ve tattooed it on my arm but I don’t like needles. Besides, the words would probably not make sense when I got older and wrinkled.  

So I challenge you today…what Legacy are you leaving behind for your children? It’s never too late to start.

Acts 4:32-33
"The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cabrera Legacy Part II: The Annoying Song

So there we were....same circle, same night, same family devotional (read previous blog to catch-up)....my dad had just finished reciting his memory verse when, out of the blue, my mom busts out with her favorite song of all time (at least that's what it seemed like). She LOVED singing this song during our devotional time! It never got old for her. She would close her eyes and begin leading this song before anyone could choose another song. As soon as she began singing, I thought to myself, "not that annoying song again!" (Just being REAL). Eventually, we all began singing along - as if we had a choice. Before you knew it, we were all having a grand ol' time! Laughing, singing and trying to see how many different harmonies we could make out of that circus-like music song. And just when you thought it was over, she would begin again from the top. If any of you have ever been over the Cabrera's house during our devotional time, you know what song I'm talking about! Ready to sing along? Here we go:

// En el hogar, en el hogar, tú necesitas a Jesús. //
// Veras que feliz se vive, veras que feliz se vive con Jesús en el hogar. //

Ok for those that don't understand Español, use Google Translate! Ha! JK! Here is the translation:

In the home, in the home, you need Jesus.
You will see how happy you will live with Jesus in the home.

I must say it sounds much better in Spanish - some songs were just not made to be translated. Any ways, until about 2 weeks ago, this was just an "annoying" song to me. Then it hit me one night while I was preparing for this blog!! I understood why my mom was so happy singing this song - and to be REAL with you, I felt convicted while tears ran down my face as I reminisced this moment. You see she understood that these weren't just words of a song that we were singing....she was declaring these words over our lives without us even realizing it! Eyes closed...clapping to the circus-like beat...singing loud and proud...with a smile on her face...her family around her in a circle singing alone - what more could a mother ask for? It was as if she was in another world with her God as she sang her favorite song. Yet deep in her heart, I'm convinced, she knew that this song would ring in our hearts for a very long time! She was right!

I called my mom this week to ask about this "annoying" song. This is how it went down:

(En Español of course)
Me: Mami, do you remember that song that you would always sing during our devotional time?
Mom: En el hogar! (all excited without letting me finish the sentence)
Me: Yep. That's the one! Why do you like that song so much?
Mom: Oh my son (poetically) because it's important to have Jesus as the center of our home! Without Jesus, we are nothing....our home is nothing! (then she began to sing the last part of the song)

También nosotros por la fe, nos acercamos Cristo a ti.  Aunque tu rostro no se ve, sabemos que tu estas aquí.

By faith, we also draw closer to you, Christ. And although we can't see your face, we know that you are here.

BTW: This song is not so "annoying" to me anymore! :)

Psalm 126:2
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues were will with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The Lord has done great things for them."