Happy 20th...Yes Dear.



20 years ago I married my… ok I am not going to say the “F” word, I would rather use a Bible Verse.

 “It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.” LOL… (Proverbs 21:19, NLT). Can I get an AMEN! I have another one for later. Yes Dear..

I have known Alissa for close to 28 years. Boy does that make us sound old! We were high school Sweethearts. She loves to tell the story that she saw me in the school hallway and told her friend that I was the one she was going to marry. She had not even met me. She also loves to tell everyone that God created her for me because I am 9 months older than her. She loves to tell people how we met, but tends to forget the specific details. We did break up for about 2 years from 87-89, since we were in separate parts of the country. Also that I prayed to God for her to call me while we were our separate ways, and she did. Ultimately we wound up together. Whether you believe it was fate, coincidence, chance, luck, or the one I believe is true, part of God’s plan an purpose, we have been married for 20 years. 

“A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands” (Proverbs 27:15-16, NLT). LOL Look it up, it is in there. Yes Dear…

I would be lying if I said the last 20 years have been without drama. The first 7 were a roller coaster ride, not one of those fun ones either, more like the ones you come off all beat up or ready to throw up. Now before you get mad at me, Alissa would agree with me. It wasn’t because we did not love each other but there were some differences we had not dealt with or had to deal with when we were dating or engaged. Our Beliefs in God were vastly different. It was not fun. But somehow we made it work (God). It would have been easy to break up. But God reminded me that I did not marry her because of our faith but because of love. 

Ultimately, what was supposed to be the “7 Year itch” was a perfect year. A joyous year; a year of release; a year of seeing God at work. That’s right I am talking about 9/2001, it was a year of tragedy for our country and the world, but this was the year and month of breakthrough for Alissa and I, a year of new beginnings. We had built some huge walls and were so used to keeping things bottle up, we had to learn how to have a real relationship again. Have we perfected it? NOT, but we laugh, we cry, we talk loud, we whisper, we talk (I still need to work on actually listening, though, LOL). Yes Dear…
So what the heck or where am I going with this? Good question. Not sure, just started typing. 

20 years ago… I married the love of my life. We are older, wiser, heavier, and produce a lot more gas, yet you can’t pull us apart. She has supported me through thick and thin. Crazy career changes, school, and becoming a Pastor.
She is a great mom, teacher, friend, prayer warrior, and now Dr. and part time Professor, sister, daughter, aunt, daughter-in-law, cousin, well you get the picture. 
Almost forgot, wonderful wife! Yes Dear.. 

Chiqui (Chiquita, Spanish for shorty) I love you and look forward to the next 20. We have a beautiful daughter and someday, many grandchildren, according to Laura, LOL.  

A couple of months ago I was blessed and honored to marry a good friend of mine and her husband. My first wedding gig. It was awesome. The perfect day for the perfect couple. 
Watching them just Giggle and Gleam was a huge blessing for me. 

As I prepped for their wedding, I began to think of Alissa and I’s wedding day, it was hot and sticky and they pulled a dead body out of the river near the reception hall, after we finished taking pictures. But it was the most AMAZING day of my life tied with the birth of my daughter. We sit and watch the video at least once a year to get a good laugh, and get that goose bump feeling as if we were right there in the moment! 

Happy 20th Alissa. I love you! 

We are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes!

 Over a month ago our Family lost a  woman who made a huge Impact not only in our lives, those in her community, and across the island of Puerto Rico. She was married to my Dad, and she loved me as one of her own. She was a second mother to me. 
She loved her church and the Lord. She loved serving both in church and her community. She loved her family dearly.

James 4:13-15 New International Version (NIV)
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

I love verse 14  that says You do not even know what will happen tomorrow, what’s your life, you are just a MIST that appears for a little while and then vanishes. WOW Then you read Verse 13 and 15.
It reminds me of that old saying don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.  We never know when and how we will leave this earth. But God does. Enjoy Life, family, Friends. Because we never know.
I know Irma the woman I spoke of above, is partying with Christ right now! She lived a short but very meaningful life. God gave her a gift and she used it to her fullest potential. Was she perfect , no, did she make mistakes, yes.
She loved the Lord with all her heart and might. She did her best to live as Christ.  Without asking for anything in return or expecting to go to heaven because of all she did. 
She loved and accepted Christ and the rest came from that.
Why do i mention this?
God does not expect us to be perfect but to live as Christ did. Churches, people, etc, give Believes a bad name because they attach all these rules on how to be a believer. Because of this non-believers call us hypocrites because they think once we  are “Christian” we have to be perfect.  And that is so far from the truth. We have to be Christ-like, we have to strive to follow His Lead, but nowhere does it say we have to be perfect. The Bible clearly says once Adam and Eve enjoyed that apple, we had no shot of ever being perfect. Christ was the only human to be perfect and we will never come close.  If churches are meant for Perfect people. They would ALL be Empty. The Church is for NON perfect people.  having a relationship with Christ is not Rocket science, but people try to make it that way.Accept  Christ and let Him take care of the rest.  You do not have to stop what you are doing before you do it, you do not have to be perfect in order to do it,  Just do it!
Enjoy life because we do not know when it it going to end.  Enjoy your family, enjoy your friends, appreciate what you have and what God has provided us.  Make a difference!  Make an impact! but most important, invite Jesus into your life to let Him come along side you for the ride of your Life! 
PRAYER 
Lord I lift up anyone reading this that is not have a relationship with you or feel they are not sure what that looks like. I lift them up and ask for strength and courage and that their eyes be open to how easy it really is. that they understand that they don't have to be perfect and that they never will be. as we head into celebrating your sacrifice for us, i thank you for all you do in our lives. I also lift up my siblings and extended family as they process the loss of such a wonderful woman, Irma thank you for making an impact in my life. In Jesus name  AMEN AMEN AMEN!!! 



No MAS Pantalones- Quiet Time with GOD!



Most of us have seen the insurance commercial regarding the 2 insurance agents and  lier lier pants on fire... it cracks me. What does this have to do with the price of fuel in China?  Nada..
God puts people in our lives for a reason and we may never know fully why. As  new pastor i recently started to wonder why?  Our spouses,  co-worker, a  Neighbors, Friends, Enemies, etc  knowing that i may not ever figure it out i just gave up wondering...LOL...as many of the kids from church have started to say, "GOD's GOT THIS"...and not that i am doubting any of of the people in my life, but it is interesting how lives begin to intertwine and you get to see God at work. sometimes slower than quicker.... NO MAS PANTALONES!!!!  

This Sunday i was teaching the kids at church about praying for our enemies. It was so neat, yet heavy on my heart to hear the kids share who or what bothers them. we talked about how it is easier to want to get back at these type of people or wish them harm.. it is a quick feel good, but not what Jesus wants us to do. I told them that Jesus wants us to pray blessings on our enemies or people that bug us. The kids went wild saying no way, thats too hard, that's crazy! They of course are being honest and real. It is amazing how as adults we forget to be real.  We prayed for our enemies and i also felt that they should know if they are the ones being the bully or mean kid  that we could pray for that as well.  I could see some kids really thinking about. A bit draining but well worth it.. God is good! 
The rest of my  day was spending time with family at birthday/shower for my sister. 
Go home to get ready for a quick trip to Dallas. Winding down for  evening and BAAM! DRAMA...
My daughter was acting a bit out of sorts and i had to get to the bottom of it.  The things running through my head , were things a father of a daughter could process in such a short period of time.  Of course it goes to the really out of this world type of things..
Anyway, i determined what was going on, not a huge deal as i was making up in my little old head, but it was for my baby. after things calmed down,  I was able to talk to her. i was doing all the talking and she listened silently.  I was able to share with her that, she has heard  me talking to the kids at church that we are always going to make mistakes and we either learn from them or continue to make them. I was able to share that a mistake or bad choice, is meant to learn from and use it to become a better person. We can not dwell on the past and need to focus on the future.. if we keep bringing up our mistakes we can never move forward and grow... as i was talking to her and sharing how much she has to be thankful for and to look forward to, the tears ran down my face uncontrollably, as i am now, similar to the women on those spanish soap operas that can cry on the spot!!! LOL I know i  know, i am a SAP..   
Ok back on track.  I told her she is responsible for  choices and decisions, and that NOONE can take who she is, away  from her, only she can.  She did not say a word, except for "don't put anything on the sofa i just cleaned it".  But, i feel she heard me, without saying anything else. 
This morning on my way to the airport i processed the evening event and again the tears poured out as if i was trying to gather water for the up coming drought.  
I got to thinking that God  wants to have those types of conversations with us.Quiet time!  
The problem is as teens and adults we don't sit still and give Him a chance to speak to us.  he has so much  He wants to tell us but we are so busy, with this and that and stressing about this and that, and asking God for help and yet nothing seems to change.   If we take the time to just be still and Listen.. WOW, the things that He would tell us with a soft caring tone. Some of it Would be awesome ,and some of it Would be that tough love kind of talk that fathers have to have with their girls and the boys that want to date them...LOL 
As i sit here typing this on the plane telling people i have allergies, i realize this is one of th  ose moments as a father that i will never forget. My baby is growing up. She is a  teenager, they say these are the tough years.  
I am so proud of her, and that we are able to one of those "weird moments" ... God wants to have these weird moments with Him.. Let Him Speak, Listen, Listen some more. He is so proud of us and loves us unconditionally why would we not want to listen?  
I love being a father!!!! I can only imagine how He feels for us!!! 

Blessings 
Joe


Am I Bragging?


It definitely has been awhile since I posted anything. I apologize for that, but it has been a crazy 5 plus months. But a good Crazy.

 In February I began volunteering at my Church as the Interim Children's Director, to allow the Church to focus on searching for a new Youth Pastor and not have to also focus on searching for a Children's Director. I also graduated Cum Laude (with honors) from Colorado Christian University with my B.S. in Organizational Management in Christian Leadership (Business Administration, with a focus on Non-Profit). I was accepted into Manager in Training Program at my company and am in my final days of completing it. Finally I was offered and accepted the Children's Ministry Director (soon to be Pastor) position at my church.

Again, it has been crazy!

It was tough for me at first to want to even post any of the above information on my wife’s Facebook. Nevertheless, something said I should, and so I did little by little, and at times was uncomfortable about it and reading all the post in response to them. WHY? I can be a very humble person, and those of you that know me, are probably laughing right now, because you know it is true.

This morning I felt strongly and lead to write this short post, not to Brag, but to let everyone know, that I am not perfect, I am not superman! I have made and will continue to make mistakes in life. Yet God continues to bless me.. I can get Biblical here, but will not just to get to the point.

What I am trying to say, is that many people believe that in order to have a relationship or be blessed by God that we have to be perfect! Well, I am here to tell you DO NOT BELIEVE THAT LIE! My family and I are perfect examples of this, yes we may not always see eye to eye, have financial issues, or forget to trust God in many of our situations, but God is always there even when we may not see or feel Him.

Get over the Lies!

Get over the Doubts!

Get over Yourselves!

Leave it to God and See what happens!

Love you all!

Joe

Awesome Video!

This has been passed around on Facebook recently, over 16 million views on YouTube!
AMEN AMEN AMEN
Our Pastor also showed it in Church this weekend, which is the first time i was able to see it..
So True!


Blessings!