Tuesday, December 29, 2009

January 1st is NOT the New Year for everyone!

He (Ezra) had arranged to leave Babylon on April 8, the first day of the new year, and he arrived at Jerusalem on August 4,for the gracious hand of his God was on him” (Ezra 7:9)

Ezra made plans to travel on the 1st day of the New Year; and notice the date “April 8th”. January 1st is NOT the New Year for everyone in the USA and other parts of the world. New Year’s is an important celebration for many religions and countries, including ours. There are many different New Year dates and many reasons to celebrate it.

The Jewish New Year
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, celebrated on the 1st Day of Tishrei, the 7th month of the Hebrew calendar, and in 2009 it fell on sunset September 18th through sunset September 20th.

The Muslim New Year
Maal Hijra is the Islamic New Year; Islam has a lunar calendar with 354 days. Their New Year is celebrated on the 1st Day of Muharram and in 2009 it was on December 18th.

The Buddhist New Year
The Buddhist New Year depends on the country. Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Laos, celebrate New Year on the first full moon in April. In Mahayana countries the New Year starts on the first full moon day in January. However, Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese celebrate late January or early February and the Tibetans usually about one month later.

The Hindu New Year
Hindus celebrate the New Year on different dates. The Hindus of Nepal celebrate it beginning the third week of March. The Hindus of Kasmir on the second week of March. The Southern Indians States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and the Maharashtrians in late March or early April.

The Christian New Year
The Christian or Gregorian New Year falls on January 1st. The Gregorian Calendar is accepted in several countries across the world. Those that follow this calendar will soon celebrate the New Year.

#1 Ending with the Old
I believe that most of us like to have a sense of closure: we eliminate clothing, furniture, electronic equipment, etc.; that is damaged, old or simply not up-to-date. We also need to leave behind memories of things that were difficult and hurtful. As we end 2009, I suggest we forgive anyone that has hurt us and, forgive ourselves for our errors, sins and underachievement. Let’s make December 31st as the day we leave behind the old and begin the new.

#2 Hope of the New
Hope is the expectation of something good and better than what we currently have. As we are at the brink of the New Year, let us hope for the best in 2010. It may be a good idea to write down a few things we hope for. They may be related, but not limited, to: family, career, work, health, relationships our country and our world. I would recommend that you write them as a prayer to God, He does answer prayers!

#3 Joy of Family & Friends
Another reason to celebrate is to be in the company of family and friends. How wonderful it is to enjoy good food, mouth watering deserts, refined spirits, great tea and coffee in an atmosphere full of music and fun with our loved ones. Go ahead and celebrate the New Year! Hold hands together and welcome the New Year with a united prayer for happiness and prosperity. I wish and pray that God will give you all the good desires of your heart. Happy New 2010!

*New Living Translation

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Tree = abomination to God?

“This is what the LORD says…the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter” (Jeremiah 10:2-4)*

Are you aware that there are people that believe having a Christmas Tree is an abomination to God? Some people, out of a since heart, seeking to honor God and to follow His truth, hate Christmas Trees. They base their argument on Bible verses, like the one quoted above, and on history. They believe a Christmas Tree is a sign of paganism.

Christmas Tree = Ancient Symbol of Paganism?
According to history, ancient pagans, as the Druids, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese celebrated the Winter Solstice on December 21st (the day of the year that the sun begins its ascent, the beginning of the best time for planting in order to reap a bountiful harvest). The evergreen tree symbolized eternal life and hope during winter time. Apples and other fruits were used to decorate the tree and they symbolized the expected great harvest. The Romans also decorated trees to worship their god, Bacchus or the sun god.

A tree has no magical powers. I am glad the tree “symbolized” the hope of a good harvest, but symbols have no “magical power” nor do they perform miracles. Symbols, however, sometimes represent the hope for a blessing, a plentiful harvest.

Christmas Tree = Modern Symbol of Christmas?

According to historical writings, modern traditions of the Christmas Tree date back to Western Germany in the 16th century; they were called Paradise Trees. Trees were decorated to celebrate the Annual Feast of Adam and Eve on December 24th. Eventually, the German immigrants brought it to the USA. President Franklin Pierce was the first president to place one in the White House in the 19th century.

Today the Christmas Tree has become a tradition in countries from all five continents. Since a symbol can have practically any meaning, we are free to give the Christmas Tree a symbolic meaning that would honor Christmas. For example: The evergreen tree may represent the everlasting life God provides through Jesus, the pleasant aroma may represent the presence of God through His Son Jesus, the shape and tip of the tree may point us to God, the decorations may symbolize how God changes and adorns our life, the lights symbolic of Jesus as the Light of the world. You can make some of your own symbols for the Christmas Tree.

Going back to the Bible verse I quoted before; Jeremiah, as God’s spokesman, was not condemning trees, but what they were made into – idols. Notice what else Jeremiah said: “They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk…They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols” (10:4, 5, and 8)* The idol was not the tree but the image made from the wood.

Whether or not you decide to have a Christmas Tree, remember that the Bible does not condemn trees: It condemns the worship of anything or anyone other than the Creator – God Himself. Once again during Christmas we have a decorated tree at home. We chose to enjoy the tree and what it means to us!

*New International Version

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas, YES or NO?

“But the angel said, "Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David's hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11)*

Christmas is almost here and many people around the world will be celebrating it. However, there will be many other people that will not. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ, God’s Son and Savior of humanity; as believed by Christianity. Do you know that some Christians do not celebrate the Christmas season? And what do some of the other religions do with the Christmas celebration?

1. Judaism
Judaism is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of the Hebrew Bible, the explanations of the Talmud and other texts. Judaism begins with the Covenant God made with Abraham. Judaism expects a Messiah, but they not believe Jesus is the Messiah. Christmas is not a Jewish holiday.

2. Islam
Islam is a monotheistic religion based on the teachings of the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad’s life and examples called the Sunnah. Muslims believe in the birth of Jesus, a prophet sent by God; and for this reason they are allowed to celebrate Christmas. Some Muslims do and others do not.

3. Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and a philosophy that brings together various traditions, believes and practices; mostly based upon the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, also know as Buddha. Buddhists celebrate the “spirit” of Christmas: sharing of gifts and the good virtues of humanity. Buddhists do not believe in Jesus and for this reason they do not celebrate Christmas.

4. Hinduism
Hinduism is predominantly a religion of the Indian subcontinent. Hindus follow various teachings and views: the Vedas, the Upanishads, Puranas, the Epics Mahabharat and Ramayana; the Bhagavad Gita and the treatise from the Mahabharata, spoken by Krishna. Hindus do not believe in Jesus and they do not celebrate Christmas.

5. Jehovah’s Witnesses
Jehovah’s Witnesses were founded by Charles Taze Russell and currently are directed by the Governing Body that exercises all authority in doctrinal matters. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christmas is a pagan holiday and, of course, they do not celebrate it.

6. Some Christians
You would assume that all Christians celebrate Christmas. All Christians believe in the birth of Jesus but not all join in the Christmas celebrations. Some Christians do not celebrate Christmas because it is commercialized, materialistic, the Bible does not command it, it is forbidden, the traditions are too pagan, they are unsure of the actual date of the birth of Jesus and, because Christmas is a word that comes from the Roman Catholic Church – Christ Mass.

Christmas is approaching and it is important to understand what people choose to celebrate. As a Catholic Christian living in the USA, I value freedom; the freedom of choice God has given every human: the freedom to believe in God or, not to believe in God, the freedom to worship any religion of choice, the same freedom given to us in this nation. Whether you celebrate Christmas or you do not; let our freedom be expressed in a spirit of love and acceptance of others. I will be celebrating Christmas with all the traditional decorations and, I wish everyone that believes in the birth of Jesus, God’s gift of salvation for everyone a very Merry Christmas!

*Contemporary English Version

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

OH NO!! The HOLIDAYS are here AGAIN!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to laugh…and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)*

The Holiday Season, December – January, is a special time of the year. The most recognized days of celebration: Hanukkah (Festival of Lights), December 11th; Al-Hijira (Islamic New Year), December 18th through January 15th; Christmas Eve, December 24th; Christmas Day, December 25th; New Year’s Eve, December 31st; New Year’s Day January 1st and Epiphany (Three Kings Day), January 6th.

Holidays are part of almost every culture; for many people, is it a time to celebrate and have fun with friends and family. For others, it is a time of stress, loneliness and sadness. Let me share four tips that will help you to enjoy the Holidays and life after the Holidays.

#1 Invitations, Invitations, Invitations!!!
Holidays are a time that are mostly enjoyed with the presence of family and friends. It is a time to remember old memories and to create new ones. But it can also be a time of sadness, as we miss loved ones no longer with us or far away. In addition, if you accept all the invitations received you will be very stressed-out. I suggest that you accept some invitations, have fun with family and friends and, possibly make new acquaintances.

#2 How Much $$$?
Many of these Holidays will demand that we spend additional money in food, clothing, gifts and travel time; just to mention a few. The joy of giving and receiving is a wonderful yet costly activity. Be careful not to overspend and get into financial trouble. “We live by the Golden Rule. Those who have the gold make the rules.” (Buzzie Bavasi). If you want to be ruled by credit agencies, then become their servant! If not, spend only what you can afford.

#3 Calories?#%!
Let’s be honest: good food, fine wine and spirits are delicious! One of the things I enjoy the most during Holidays are those mouth-watering desserts. As you probably know, food and drinks contain calories. Watch the calories! Alcohol also contains calories and changes your metabolism. Be selective, enjoy the food and drinks but avoid overeating and overdrinking. If you can, include some cardiovascular exercises in your schedule.

#4 Can’t Move Another Inch!
Finally, there is a close connection between our body and our spirit. If you are tired you will feel down, moody, and even depressed. If you are resting enough, you will feel happier and more energetic. Go ahead and enjoy the parties, special events and late night celebrations. But, find the time to rest; even if that means taking a 15 minute nap.

I hope you will take the time to enjoy the Holiday Season, open your heart and allow your family, friends and co-workers the opportunity to spend time with you. May this Holiday Season be special, may God answer your deepest desires and His blessings descend on you!

*New International Version

¡OH NO, Llegaron los Días Festivos!

“En este mundo todo tiene su hora; hay un momento para todo cuanto ocurre… un momento para reír…y un momento para estar de fiesta” (Eclesiastés 3:1, 4)*

Los Días Feriados de Diciembre a Enero, es una época especial del año. Los días más reconocidos y celebrados son: Hanukkah (Festival de las Luces), 11 de diciembre; Al-Hijira (Año Nuevo Islámico), 18 de diciembre al 15 de enero; Noche Buena, 24 de diciembre; Día de Navidad, 25 de diciembre; Año Nuevo, 1º de enero; Epifanía (Tres Reyes Magos), 6 de enero.

Los Días Feriados son parte de casi toda cultura, para muchas personas es un tiempo de celebración y para divertirse con los amigos y la familia. Para otras personas es un tiempo de tensión, soledad y de tristeza. Le voy a compartir 4 secretos que le ayudaran a disfrutar los Días Feriados y más allá de los Días Feriados.

#1 ¡¡¡ Invitaciones, Invitaciones, Invitaciones!!!
Los Días Feriados es una época que mayormente se disfrutan en presencia de familiares y de amistades. Es una época para recordar las memorias del pasado y para crear nuevas memorias. Pero también puede ser una época de tristeza porque extrañamos a las personas que han fallecido o que viven distantes. En adición, si aceptaras todas las invitaciones recibidas, se va a estresar. Le sugiero que acepte algunas invitaciones, que se divierta con sus familiares y amigos y, quizás haga nuevas conexiones.

#2 ¿Cuánto $$$?
Muchos de los Días Feriados demandan que gastemos dinero adicional en comida, ropa, regalos y viaje; entre otras cosas. El gozo de dar y recibir es maravilloso; pero pudiera ser costoso. Tenga cuidado en no sobre gastar y meterse en problemas financieros. “Vivimos por la Regla de Oro. Aquellos que tienen el oro ponen las reglas” (Buzzie Bavasi). Si usted desea ser regido por las agencias de crédito, ¡conviértase en su siervo! Si no desea esto, ¡gaste solamente lo que está dentro de su presupuesto!

#3 ¡Calorías?#%!
Seamos honestos: ¡la buena comida, los vinos finos y las bebidas son deliciosas! Una de las cosas que yo disfruto más de los Días Feriados son los dulces que me hacen la boca agua. Seguro que usted ya sabe, la comida y la bebida contienen calorías. ¡Cuide sus calorías! El alcohol, además de contener colarías; cambia su metabolismo. Sea selectivo, disfrute la comida y la bebida pero evite comer y beber demasiado. Si puede hacer un poco de ejercicio cardiovascular, hágalo.

#4 ¡No Puedo Dar un Paso Más!
Finalmente, existe una conexión entre el cuerpo y el espíritu. Si usted está cansado, se sentirá desanimado, malhumorado y aún deprimido. Si ha descansando lo suficiente, se sentirá más feliz y más energético. Adelante y disfrute de las fiestas, los eventos especiales y las celebraciones nocturnas. Pero busque el tiempo para descansar; aunque tenga que tomarse una siesta de 15 minutos.

Ojalá tome el tiempo para disfrutar los Días Feriados, que abra su corazón y permita que sus familiares, amigos y compañeros tengan la oportunidad de pasar tiempo con usted. ¡Qué estos Días Feriados sean especial, qué Dios responda sus deseos más profundos y que Sus bendiciones desciendan sobre usted!

*Dios Habla Hoy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NO Thanksgiving. NO Thank you!

“Thank God no matter what happens” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)*

A brief history of the 1st Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims who sailed to the USA aboard the Mayflower were members of the English Puritan Church seeking freedom and a better life. The Pilgrims set ground at Plymouth Rock on 11/12/1620. Their first winter was devastating; they had lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. However, the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one and the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast which included 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. The first Thanksgiving lasted three days.

The 1st Thanksgiving came after the funeral and burial of almost 50% of the Pilgrims; it seems odd that in the midst of such great changes, enormous difficulties and insecurities, they found a reason for hope and celebration. Let me share with you a few reasons why many people don’t feel very thankful. If you are facing all of these problems, maybe and only maybe; you may be one of those that say, “No Thanksgiving. No Thank you!”

You don’t have family and friends, and…
Thanksgiving is one of the most family centered Holidays. We enjoy celebrating with our closest family members and friends; catching up on our lives and remembering the good old days. If you do not have any family or friends, you may NOT feel like celebrating Thanksgiving. Add to this…

You don’t have a job, and…
Having a job is such an important economic and emotional aspect of our life. It provides for our needs and wants and, it gives us a sense of worth and purpose. Our economy is facing difficult moments and many people find themselves without a job. If you do not have a job, you may NOT feel like celebrating Thanksgiving. Add to this…

You are not in good health, and…
Our health plays such a key part of our lives. When we have serious health issues, it affects our emotional state, our economy and ability of living a “normal” life. If you do not have good health, you may NOT feel like celebrating Thanksgiving. Add to this…

You don’t have a place to live, and…
As founder and president of a nonprofit organization that helps to reduce homelessness for the last seven years, I have seen the sadness of those living on the streets. If you do not have a place to live, you may NOT feel like celebrating Thanksgiving. Add to this…

You don’t have any food, and…
I have experienced and seen poverty first hand: As a boy living in Cuba under a communist regime and having traveled to a few third world countries. We need food to survive and to enjoy life. Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy good food! If you do not have any food, you may NOT feel like celebrating Thanksgiving. Add to this…

You don’t have freedom
Freedom is the desire of every human being and animal. Everyone wants the right to speak and live without fear of persecution. If you do not live with freedom, you may NOT feel like celebrating Thanksgiving.

The fact that you are reading this article means that you are alive. Even if you are experiencing extreme difficulties, you are still alive and there is always hope and an opportunity ahead. Most of us living in the USA are not facing all of the above mentioned problems that would give us grounds for NOT celebrating Thanksgiving. The Bible verse I selected says, “Thank God no matter what happens.” God cares for you. May you have reasons to be thankful on Thanksgiving Day and may God give you many blessings in the year to come!

*The Message
¡NO al Día de Acción de Gracia! ¡Muchas gracias pero NO!

“Den gracias a Dios por todo” (1 Tesalonicenses 5:18)*

Una breve historia del Primer Día de Acción de Gracia: Los Peregrinos navegaron a los EE.UU. en el barco Mayflower, ellos fueron miembros de la Iglesia Inglesa Puritana, vinieron en búsqueda de libertad y una mejor vida. Los Peregrinos desembarcaron en Plymouth Rock el 11/12/1620. El primer invierno fue devastador, de los 102 Peregrinos que llegaron a bordo del Mayflower; 46 fallecieron. Sin embargo la cosecha del 1621 fue muy abundante y el resto de los colonizadores decidieron celebrar con una fiesta que incluyo a 91 Indios quienes ayudaron a los Peregrinos sobrevivir aquel año. El Primer Día de Acción de Gracia perduró tres días.

El Primer Día de Acción de Gracia fue después del velorio y entierro de casi el 50% de los Peregrinos; tal parece insólito que en medio de grandes cambios, dificultades enormes e inseguridades, ellos encontraron un motivo de esperanza y de celebración. Voy a compartir con usted algunas razones por las cuales muchas personas NO se sienten agradecidos. Si usted está enfrentando todos estos problemas, quizás y solamente quizás; usted pudiera ser uno de aquellos que dicen: “¡NO al Día de Acción de Gracia! ¡Muchas gracias pero NO!

NO tiene familia ni amigos, y…
El Día de Acción de Gracias es una de esas fiestas donde la familia es el centro. Nos encanta celebrar con nuestros familiares y amigos; ponernos al día de los asuntos de la vida y recordar lo buenos días del pasado. Pero si usted no tiene familia, ni amigos; quizás usted NO se siente con deseo de celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracia. Adiciónele ahora…

NO tiene trabajo, y…
Tener trabajo es de suma importancia para nuestra economía y para nuestra vida emocional. Nos provee para nuestras necesidades y deseos; también nos ofrece un sentir de valor propio y de propósito. Nuestra economía enfrenta momentos difíciles y muchas personas están sin trabajo. Si usted no tiene trabajo, quizás NO se siente con deseo de celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracia. Adiciónele ahora…

NO tiene una buena salud, y…
Nuestra salud es primordial en nuestra vida. Cuando tenemos problemas serios de salud, afecta nuestro estado emocional, nuestra economía y nuestra habilidad de vivir una vida “normal”. Si usted no tiene una buena salud, quizás NO se siente con deseo de celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracia. Adiciónele ahora…

NO tiene hogar, y…
Como fundador y presidente de una organización sin fines de lucro que lleva siete años ayudando a reducir el número de personas que viven en las calles, yo he visto la tristeza de los desamparados. Si usted no tiene hogar, quizás NO se siente con deseo de celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracia. Adiciónele ahora…

NO tiene comida, y…
He experimentado y he visto la pobreza: En mi niñez viví en Cuba bajo un régimen comunista y he viajado a varios países del tercer mundo. Necesitamos alimento para sobrevivir y para disfrutar de la vida. ¡El Día de Acción de Gracia es un momento para disfrutar de la buena comida! Si usted no tiene alimento, quizás NO se siente con deseo de celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracia. Adiciónele ahora…

NO tiene libertad
La libertad es el deseo de todo ser humano y de todo animal. Todos anhelamos el derecho de hablar libremente y de vivir sin temor de ser perseguidos. Si usted no tiene libertad, quizás NO se siente con deseo de celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracia.

El hecho que usted esté leyendo este artículo significa que tiene vida. Aun si está experimentado dificultades extremas, todavía tiene vida, hay esperanza y existe la oportunidad de mejorar. La mayoría de nosotros en los EE.UU., no estamos enfrentando todas estas dificultades las cuales nos dieran motivo para NO celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracia. El versículo de la Biblia que seleccioné dice, “Den gracias a Dios por todo.” Dios tiene mucho interés en usted. ¡Qué tenga motivos por los cuales estar agradecido en el Día de Acción de Gracia y que Dios le de muchas bendiciones en el año venidero!

*Dios Habla Hoy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just say NO! Five reasons to say, NO!

"You might get trapped by what you say; you might be caught by your own words. My child, if you have done this and are under your neighbor's control, here is how to get free. Don't be proud. Go to your neighbor and beg to be free from your promise" (Proverbs 6:2-3)*

At some point in time you have probably been a victim of your own words. You have said YES to someone and later you have told yourself: "Why did I say YES!? Now it is too late and I must live with the consequences." Since this happens to all of us, let's look at five reasons to just say NO!

1. Don't want it!
There are people that want to: A) sell you something, B) ask you for a favor, C) persuade you to be involved in something. I will call all three of these "ABC". Whatever "ABC" is, you are not currently interested. Don't be afraid, go ahead and say: "No thank you!"

2. Don't have time for it!
Most of us are busy; some are very busy and others are busy like crazy. Someone may bring you the "ABC"; you like it but your schedule is full and you don't have time for it. It is fine to say: "I like the "ABC" but I don't have time for it now. Perhaps I will have time for it in the near future."

3. Don't agree with it!
There are times that the situation is not that you 'do not want it' or 'you don't have time for it' but you simply do not agree with it. In this case, the person brings you the "ABC" but it is not according to your taste, goals or belief system. Be kind, but willing to say, "I don't want it." If the person asks for a reason, tell them the truth and you will avoid being asked again.

4. Don't have the finances!
We wish we could afford everything but we can't. There are times people want to offer you an "ABC" and you actually like it, would have the time to enjoy it and, agree with it. But, you can't afford it! Do not spend more than you can afford. Be honest and say: "It is not within my budget."

5. Don't like the person!
Let's be honest, we do not like everyone. All of us have people that we have "chemistry" with and others that we find "toxic". Whatever "ABC" the person is offering you: you may want it, may have time for it, agree with it and, have the finances to afford it. But, you dislike the person that is offering it to you. Be as kind as you can but say "NO, thank you!" If you really like the "ABC", find someone else that you like and get it.

Saying YES is normally a wonderful thing. But for many of us saying NO is a very difficult thing. Saying NO may sound rude and disappointing. We may feel guilty believing we have offended someone, or hurt their feelings. We ponder about our response and conclude based on guilt: "I should have said YES." All of us must decide when and why to say YES or NO. Consider the five reasons I have proposed and may your decision be based on truth and not guilt.

*New Century Version

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Execute or Not to Execute the D.C. Sniper: That is the Question!

“If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image” (Genesis 9:6)*

Who is the D.C. Sniper? “John Allen Muhammad (December 31, 1960) is a spree killer from the United States. With his younger partner, Lee Boyd Malvo, he carried out the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks, killing 10 people. Muhammad and Malvo were arrested in connection with the attacks on October 24, 2002, following tips from alert citizens. Born John Allen Williams, Muhammad joined the Nation of Islam in 1987 and later changed his surname to Muhammad. Drawings by Malvo describe the murders as part of a ‘jihad’.” (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

I remember watching the news on a daily basis and desiring my silent condolences for the families of those killed by this mysterious sniper. He terrorized the Tri-States: Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. The whole nation watched in horror as ten innocent people were murdered, ranging in ages between 13 and 72. I remember thinking, “What would I do if this sniper would decide to come to Miami?” I prayed everyday that the mystery sniper be captured or killed! Last night John Allen Muhammad was executed and, once again as a Nation, we are faced with the ethical question: Is capital punishment moral or immoral? I will share my perspective.

Value of Human Life
As humans we value life. There are organizations to protect dogs, cats, whales, dolphins, eagles, alligators and almost all forms of animal life. Most people would agree that the value of human life is above all other life forms. I believe that murdering a human being, someone made in the image of God, is the worse crime any human can perform. So heinous is the act of murder that it deserves identical treatment.

Justice for the Victim
Everyone deserves justice; everyone deserves to be treated fairly; including the deceased. Many years after the Holocaust, the world still seeks to bring to justice all those that participated in the killing of millions of people. Those that have passed from the life to the afterlife deserve justice.

Closure for the Family
In life all of us need closure, we need to finalize this “chapter” and move on with our lives. The family of a victim has to live with the sadness of losing their loved one. During a legal trial, the family has to relive the pain and suffering again and again. Many victims’ families struggle to move on with life knowing that the murderer is still alive, while their child, spouse, parent, etc, is dead. The family deserves a closure and the right to continue their life.

Eliminating a Dangerous Murderer
Anyone that is serving a life sentence for murder is a danger to society; he or she has nothing to lose. Many are held in solitary confinement but there is always danger they can murder a guard or escape from jail. Why should society have to live with the possibility of having a murderer take another life?

I have briefly stated four reasons why I favor capital punishment. With John Allen Muhammad having been executed, I believe justice has been served. If you agree or disagree, I encourage you to write me and share your view.

*New Living Translation

Ejecutar o No Ejecutar al Franco Tirador de D.C.: ¡Esa es la Pregunta!

"Si alguien mata a un hombre, otro hombre lo matará a él, pues el hombre ha sido creado a imagen de Dios” (Génesis 9:6)*

¿Quién es el Franco Tirador de D.C.? “John Allen Muhammad (31 de Diciembre, 1960) es un criminal en juerga de los EE.UU. Con su joven cómplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, él realizó lo ataques del 2002 en Beltway, asesinando a 10 personas. Muhammad y Malvo fueron arrestados en conexión con los ataques el 24 de Octubre, 2002, después de los avisos de ciudadanos alertas. Su nombre de nacimiento, John Allen Williams, Muhammad se alineó a la Nación de Islam en el 1987 y se cambió su nombre a Muhammad. Pinturas de Malvo describen los asesinatos como para de un ‘jihad’” (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Traducción por el Rev. Pedro Martínez.

Recuerdo mirar diariamente las noticias y deseándoles mis silenciosas condolencias a los familiares de aquellos asesinados por este misterioso franco tirador. Aterrorizó el Trío-de Estados: Virginia, Maryland y Washington D.C. La nación completa miraba en horror viendo como diez personas inocentes fueron asesinadas, de edades entre 13 a 72 años. Recuerdo pensar, “¿Qué haría yo si este franco tirador decide venir a Miami?” ¡Oraba todos los días que el misterioso franco tirador fuese capturado o matado! Anoche, John Allen Muhammad fue ejecutado y una vez más como Nación, enfrentamos la pregunta ética: ¿Es la pena capital moral o inmoral? Yo compartiré mí perspectiva.

El Valor de la Vida Humana
Como seres humanos valoramos la vida. Hay organizaciones para la protección de los perros, los gatos, las ballenas, los delfines, las águilas, los cocodrilos y para casi todas las especies de vida animal. La mayoría de las personas están de acuerdo que la vida humana está por encima de todas las especies. Yo creo que asesinar a un ser humano, alguien creado a la imagen de Dios, es el peor crimen que cualquier humano puede realizar. El acto de asesinar es tan infame que merece el mismo trato.

La Justicia a la Victima
Todos merecemos justicia; toda persona merece ser tratada con equidad; incluyendo los muertos. Muchos años después del Holocausto, el mundo todavía busca llevar a la justicia todos aquellos que participaron en la matanza de millones de personas. Aquellos que ya han pasado de esta vida a la eternidad merecen justicia.

El Cierre para la Familia
En la vida todos necesitamos un cierre, necesitamos finalizar este “capítulo” y seguir adelante con nuestras vidas. La familia de la victima tiene que vivir con la tristeza de haber perdido a su ser querido. A través de juicio, la familia tiene que volver a vivir el dolor y el sufrimiento; una vez y otra vez. Muchos familiares de la victima batallan para seguir adelante con sus vidas sabiendo que el asesino aún vive, mientras su hijo, cónyuge, padre, etc., está muerto. La familia merece un cierre y el derecho de continuar su vida.

Eliminar un Criminal Peligroso
Cualquier persona que esté cumpliendo una sentencia de vida por asesinato es un peligro a la sociedad; el o ella no tienen nada que perder. Muchos están en cárceles aislados de otros presos, pero siempre existe el peligro que puedan asesinar a un guardia o escapar de la cárcel. ¿Por qué debe la sociedad vivir con la posibilidad que un asesino pudiera matar a otra persona?

En breve, he expresado cuatro razones porqué estoy a favor de la pena capital. Ahora que John Allen Muhammad ha sido ejecutado, creo que la justicia ha sido cumplida. Si usted está de acuerdo o en desacuerdo, le animo para que me escriba y me comparta su perspectiva.

*Dios Habla Hoy