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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Fatboy In Dodgeball Theory

Who can ever forget gym class in high school when everyone would line up against the wall and await the dreaded team selection? No one wanted to be that person picked last because of their lack of skill and/or appearance - or as I like to call it "the fatboy in dodgeball theory". Now this theory is not about being overweight but about being disqualified by others based on your outer appearance or because you are not part of the popularity circle.

I was blessed with some fair athletic abilities and had plenty of friends in gym class so this wasn't an issue for me. However, as an adult, I was invited to play basketball with a group of people who did not know me. During the warm-up/shoot around, I noticed I was one of the better players on the gym - not tooting my own horn but TOOT! TOOT! :) Any ways.... As team selection began, I was sure to be first, second or third choice worst case scenario but NOOOOOOO! Dead last! I mean SERIOUSLY?! One guy shot the ball as if he wasn't sure if he was right or left handed! Side note..... I am kinda competitive. So I played as hard, fast and best as I knew how! By the end of the game I had 11 out of the 15 points, 4 steals, 8 rebounds (mostly off my own misses) and 5 dunks!!! Ok maybe not the dunks but the rest were true. Ha! I showed them, huh? 

I would soon find out that this "fatboy in dodgeball theory" is common practice in the workplace where I was passed up for several positions based on popularity or the lack there of. Then time and time again throughout life even in the - brace yourself - CHURCH! Yes! This PK was the victim of the "fatboy in dodgeball theory" in church! 

Do you know who else was a victim of the "fatboy in dodgeball theory" in the bible? One of my favorites… David (1 Samuel 16). Long story short... God tells Samuel that the next king would come out of the household of Jesse, David's father. So Jesse rounds-up all his sons except David because he didn't think he was good enough – “he’s just shepherd boy”. Wow! That is just SO wrong in SO many levels!! Disqualified by his father, of all people! Eventually, Samuel asked Jesse to bring David and anointed him. Even after being anointed, David went back to taking care of the sheep. That little shepherd boy would become one of the greatest kings Israel ever had!  

You know what sticks out to me from that story? David's humility... He could have had a conceited heart toward his father and brothers at that moment - "Ha! I showed them"! But instead he went back to taking care of the sheep for about 13 years after he was anointed until he eventually became king. But during those 13 years God was with David. He played the harp with such anointing that evil spirits would flee… defeated a giant with a slingshot… defeated a lion with his bare hands… just to name a few things. 

Like King David, we have a choice to make when we fall victim to the "fatboy in dodgeball theory". We can complain and give up or we can work harder and keep living life to the fullest. Continue to use your God-given gifts His perfect timing comes for your life. Go take care of those sheep like King David did. Only you know what that may look like – for me it’s writing these blogs. 

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


According to Wikipedia, "Chess is a game played by two people on a chessboard, with sixteen pieces (of six different types) for each player. Each type of piece moves in a distinct way. The goal of the game is to checkmate, i.e. to threaten the opponent's king with inevitable capture. Games do not necessarily end with checkmate – players often resign if they believe they will lose." Chess is a game that involves a lot of thinking, strategy and skill. There are people who are really good at it and are considered experts. Still others are considered chess masters due to their skill level being above the experts.

According to me, when God was giving out the "chess skills" He skipped right over me! I remember my cousin who happens to be pretty good at chess was attempting to teach me his skills. After a while of humiliating wrong moves, I finally gave up and gave my cousin the chair. Somehow, he came back and won that miserable game! The only thing I could think at that moment was "how does he do that"? Clearly he is a much better chess player than me - I will run circles around him in some basketball though :)

So many times in my life God has shown me how He is the Chess Master of my life. Just like those who play chess strategically move those pieces around the chessboard in an attempt to "checkmate" their opponent (don't even know if I use the term right), God strategically orchestrates our lives to help us win against our opponent! Even when we mess up like I did my game, God steps in (kinda like my cousin only a million times better) and makes an unexpected move in our lives that leave us wondering "how does He do that"!

Maybe you are going through a season in your life where you don't know what next move to make or perhaps you have messed up in life and feel like there is no way out. Let the Chess Master take your seat at the chessboard for a while and watch how He changes your game around!

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)


Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Am A PK...

My parents were born in the Dominican Republic and were believers from a young age. They studied in the Assemblies Of God bible institute and became pastors – pay attention, this is foreshadowing!! They were married in their 20’s and decided to have a family right away – plus they didn’t have Facebook back then. Unfortunately, they were not able to have kids but they never gave up hope and continuously prayed to God for a miracle.

After being married for about 10 years, a friend of the family prayed over them and declared that God would give them children. Not too long after that my parents had their first son, Jose – followed by Lidia, Josue, Loida, Benjamin and Ismael. Just in case you are struggling with the math, that makes 6 kids - all healthy and serving God. I am the youngest of these 6 kids… I am a PK (Pastor’s Kid).

Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if the Cabrera kids would have been born 10 years earlier. Would we all still be serving God? Would we all be alive? How much did those 10 years of prayer affect my parent’s faith journey? These are all great questions that I am sure God will have great answers to when I get to heaven. All I know is that God has a purpose for everything He does – that’s a whole other blog for another day!!

This is just one of many miracles that my family and I have experienced. I don’t want to hog all those great miracles and not share them with my friends and family! I am going to tell the world (or at least those who read my blogs) about what He has done in my life! My desire is that somehow as I share these miracle stories with you, it will encourage you to trust in a God that is not only able to do miracles for my life but for your life, too!

“So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.” Psalm 78:7

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Don't Believe The Hype!

Till this day, I love hearing my mom tell this story: 

(En espaƱol of course) Once upon a time there was this little boy who was born with a heart murmur and spent a week in an incubator due to a respiratory illness during birth.  When he was six months old, this little boy was sick with a throat ache/infection. His mom gave him penicillin to cure the throat ache/infection not knowing the little boy was allergic to this drug. The little boy stopped breathing, eyes turned in his eyelids and his skin turned blue – not a good thing. In a panic, the little boy’s mom grab the boy and called (more like screamed) at her husband who was in the shower. With a towel around his waist, the husband comes out of the shower, snatches the boy from his wife’s hands and orders her and the rest of the kids to begin to pray. He carried his baby boy into his room and kneels down at his bedside praying to God to revive his little boy. With the mom and the rest of the kids crying and praying in the background, he prayed for what seemed to be an eternity. Eventually, this man of faith brings out his handsome baby boy back to the rest of the family. His color was back to normal and he was healthier than before this incident.

That little boy was me. And while this story should serve as an encouragement to me, for a long time I struggled with lies of the enemy insisting that I should have remain dead. Every failure, every time I felt weak, and every opportunity he could use, I would hear “you shouldn’t be alive right now” “God wanted you dead” “What was your dad thinking praying for you?” “That’s why you are going through so much stuff”. I even heard a few “you should end it now” thoughts!

One night while I was struggling with these lies, I got down on my knees and prayed to God. He gave me a “glimpse” of my father kneeling down on his bed praying for me. Then God reminded me:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

You see I had heard that verse before but that night it made complete sense! I hope it does for you, too!

What lies is the enemy telling you? “You don’t fit in” “you don’t belong” “you should end your life”? Whatever it is…Don’t believe the hype! God has “greater” plans for you!