Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Take Care of...

One of the biggest stories in California this year has been the need to conserve water, because the Governor has declared that we are in serious drought.  Cities are being required to reduce their water in order to conserve this pressure resource and people are being challenged to change their water habits.

I always become a little concerned when the government begins to tell me that I can not wash my car, water down my driveway, water my lawn regularly, and reduce my overall consumption of water.  I become a little skeptical.  Are they telling me the "real" story?  I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I think you understand my point.

In addition, my wife and I have traveled to northern California and before we left, we had at least two days of rain over the weekend in the Southern California area.  Then, on our travels along the west cost we see beautiful green trees and plenty of agricultural still thriving.  We see an abundance of fruit trees (grapes, oranges) and vegetables (lettuce or cabbage and green onions).  We did not observe any wilted plants, trees or drier then normal areas in our travels.  Everything seems to be good in California and so it confirmed my skepticism.  Well....maybe not.

We arrived at my godparents house and caught up on alot of things, discussed family, politics and of course...the drought.  My Nina explained that the farmers have cut down production.  They are not harvesting as many crops this year which means some people are out of work, but that they too realize that water is a valuable resource to take care of.

So what's my point?  Simply this from Genesis 2:15:

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
 God, the Creator of everything, has chose you to take care of the very thing He created!  This means, that we need to take care of the resources He has provided, like water.  This means, we need to take care of our marriages.  This means, we need to take care of our children.  This means, we need to take care of the jobs we have.  This means, we need to take care of the mission of our church!  So this week, take care of everything.  Fix the leaky faucets, reduce your shower time, and water less.  Conserve, because what you have is something to be taken care of!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lord I pray...

Lord I pray that you will impact the church.  I know that the church is used in so many way and it is the people that are the real church.

Lord I pray that Your people would become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.  I pray that they would seek you earnestly.  I pray that the Word of God would hold true in their lives.  I pray that it would not become a book that sits on the coffee table and collects dust.

Lord I pray that when Your people are confronted with the truth, they would accept it and apply it to their lives.  I pray that their minds would be cleared from excuses, reasoning, and lies.  I pray that they understand there is no error in You.  You are a holy God and the One that is to be worshipped.

Lord I pray that Your people will cease from questioning their faith in You.  I pray that they see the victories in their lives both big and small.  That the origin of victories is because of Your love for them and their attitude towards You.

Lord I pray that repentance is not just a word in the dictionary.  I pray that Christ followers would embrace it daily.  They would see Your need in them.  I pray that conviction of Your truth is real.  I pray they would acknowledge faults in their own lives and DO something about it (change their mind).

Lord I pray that You would give people direction.  Your people are lacking direction and are being corrupted by people, distractions, hurts and pain.  Your people know better and I pray that You would intervene in their lives.

Lord I pray that Your people would realize they are not perfect.  Father, even those who acknowledge imperfection in their own lives refuse to accept that other are imperfect as well.  Help us not to point out imperfections, but help us to point them to live within You.

Lord I pray that you would separate those who say they know Christ to those who truly live for Christ.  I pray that we take seriously the testimony that has been instilled in us.  That we are ambassadors for you in speech, attitude, relationship and actions.  When we fail you, convict us immediately.

Lord I pray that you would move within the leadership of Your church.  I pray that your leaders would be humbled and that pride would not enter their hearts.  Lord I pray that leaders are seeking your vision for their ministry. Lord I pray that leaders would develop other leaders.  I pray that teamwork and vision direction would be most important to them.

Lord I pray for the lost.  I pray that we have a passion developed for them.  I pray that we never forget that we were once lost, but not found.  Lord, I pray that we would accept the lost into the Church.  I pray that we would not judge or point out their errors.  I pray that we love them.  I pray that we share Jesus with them not just in words, but in actions.  I pray you would open our eyes to the hurting people.  People who have no hope when they die.

Lord I pray for a revival in the Christ follower.  I pray that following You is the only way to live.  I pray that Christians don't view Church as a hobby or something to do, but that it is indeed critical in our lives.

Lord I pray for me.  I pray you would use me for Your glory.  I pray that You would give me the words everyday I step on the stage to declare Your word.  Help me to connect to all people groups and show them how they can apply God's word to their lives.  Let me hear You with clarity.  Make my mind open to you.

I love you Lord.  Thank you for Jesus.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Always In A Hurry

I have been riding the train to work for over 15 years.  In those 15 years, you get to see the same people who do the same thing day after day.  In one particular case, I have always observed this lady running from the parking lot to catch the elevator.  She has her purse and other bags with her.  She is huffing and puffing while running in her sandals.  When we get up to the top, she hurries down the bridge huffing and puffing, running in sandals with her bags to her side.  She doesn't want to miss her train.  She is always in a hurry.

Seriously though.  If you know what time your train leaves, if you know how far you live and how hard it may be to find a good parking spot, wouldn't you plan a little better?  Wouldn't you get up earlier, have your lunch ready the day before and your clothes ready?  Wouldn't you do everything you can to arrive early enough to get on your train?

But yet, when it comes to living for God we keep hurrying our lives.  We try so much to do so much things that when we come to God's train, we just hop on and our exhausted!  Wouldn't it be best, if we slowed down?  If we took the time to dedicate praying to God.  If we took the time to read God's word.  If we took the time to see how far apart we may be from living a godly life.  We don't always have to be in a hurry.  The Bible says:

Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.  ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24
I enjoy what Paul says in that last sentence "Run in such a way to win the prize."   There is a way to live our lives.  There is a way to demonstrate who we are in Christ.   But let me ask you this, are you running in a way that honors God in your life?  Let me put it this way:  What ways are you not honoring God in your life?  Is it partying?  Is it an obsession with music, tv shows?  Is it an addiction?  Are you living in such a way that the prize of receiving the fullness of Christ in your heart is absent?  Do you think about things that are ungodly?  Are you trying to rationalize your actions?  Are you lazy?  There are many more that I could have written about, but you know that the God who knows what you are doing still loves you and wants to change you.

Let me end with this.  I went in the elevator this morning and I heard this lady shout, "Hold the elevator!"  You know who it was?  It was that same lady.  But this time she walked and didn't run.  She got off the elevator when we arrived at the top and walked across the bridge.  She had arrived early today.  Better prepared and less stressed.  This is just one day.  We see how she will be tomorrow.  How about you?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Grandma's Eulogy

Last Friday, I had the privilege of delivering my Grandma's eulogy.  I have never really done one before, so I was indeed honored to do it.  So I share this with you in hopes that this will lead you to our Savior, Jesus.

Grandma was born on April 7, 1928 in Lubbock Texas to Merced and Josephine Ortega.  At the age of five, the family moved to Roswell, New Mexico.  Gloria had three sisters and one brother.
Grandma used to share the story that my grandpa chased her when they were in grade school together.  Finally, my grandpa’s chasing days were over when they married on May 7, 1947 (65 years) in New Mexico.  In 1952, the Barela family moved to California.
Grandma had 5 children.  Her children are Orlando, Waldo, Gina, Vivian and Robert Jr.  Orlando and Vivian are with the Lord. 
Grandma also babysat a young man by the name of Rocky since he was 7 months old and took care of him for 13 years.  He has always called her grandma and she loves him just as much as she loved the rest of her grandchildren.
Grandma could always be found in the kitchen making eggs for breakfast using a pound of Manteca and making fresh homemade flour tortillas as only Grandma could!  We could never understand how she was able to role the masa into a round tortilla and not stick to the rolling pin.
When my uncle’s friends would come over they would be welcomed with open arms!  My grandma would always make sure they were well fed, because no one was leaving grandma’s house hungry.
The house was always clean, dishes were always washed, and laundry was always done.  When it was time to go to church, grandma was always dressed up from head to toe, complete with a nicely styled hair, dress and of course high heeled shoes.  Grandma was dress to impress the Lord.
It is a testament to my grandmother’s life that a lot of us grandchildren are involved in ministry of all kinds.  One who works with youth, another who is ready to do what God calls her to do and another who pastors a church.  Grandma is proud of all of her children and grandchildren.

If there is one word, although there are many, that I would use to describe her it would be LOVE.  The Bible says this in 1 Corinthians chapter 13:
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
That describes my grandmother, a mother to her children, and a wife to her husband Robert.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Robert, sons Waldo and Robert Jr, and one daughter Virginia.  She had 8 grandchildren, Waldo Jr, Armando, Levi, Andrea, Nia, Gloria, Nathan, and Brayden, 2 great grandchildren, Desi and AJ, and 1 great great grandchild, Mason.
Grandma, we love you because you first loved us….just like Jesus.

Saturday, December 31, 2011


It is been over 6 months since I have updated my blog.  I guess with the new year approaching it is time to create a new post.  So here is my review on some areas that I believe need serious improvement.

1.  If you are a Christ follower, then you should forgive!  I am tired of people holding on to grudges, hurts, pains, and then they go to church and remain unchanged.  Look, Jesus did not have to forgive you of your sins, die on the cross and come back again.  BUT HE DID!  The fact that you have accepted it means you need to follow it and that begins with FORGIVENESS!!!  Colossians 3:13

2.  If you are a Christ follower, then you should trust God...TOTALLY!  I know, I know...this is another tough one.  But the fact is no matter what you are going through, no matter what part of you is broken, we need to trust God...SERIOUSLY!  Paul was shipwrecked, beaten and left for dead.  DEAD!  How many of you are DEAD to God right now?  Why?  Because you are unchanged!  2 Corinthians 1:8-11

3.  If you are a Christ follower, then you need to love...EVERYONE!  Okay...I hear you.  There are some people who are hard to love.  Especially those you know!  A family member, a friend or even someone in church!  I find it almost laughable, that people will say they love like God does.  The fact is God loves EVERYONE, but He does NOT like the sin.  When Jesus walked on this Earth, he loved everyone.  A tax collector, a prostitute, a leper, the blind...yet we set ourselves apart from those God loves.  1 John 4:6-8

4.  If you are a Christ follower, act like Jesus!  I am guilty of this.  My feelings (aka the flesh) gets to me sometime.  It is difficult for me to be angry, but sometimes I do.  But I am always reminded to pray and talk to God.  Not only that, but to listen to His voice.  His voice can come in the form of another person, a situation, a thought, or an opportunity.  Too many of us (admit it right now) say we love, trust and follow Jesus but yet we do not want to act like Him.  Why?  Is it too hard?  Is it too difficult to give?  Is it too difficult to process your reaction? 

The bottom line is that in this post, it seems to me that many people want to remain unchanged.  This means unrepentant, this means living for the Enemy, and this means an unhealthy way in all areas of your life.  I write these things so that you can totally fall in love (for some of you again) with Jesus.  He has help me change and I pray He helps you change.  Make a conscious effort to change.

Peace Always,