Honoring My God and My Friends

                   Today, I have a greater sense of who I am and most of all, who God is. Today I embrace holiness; I just don’t preach about dying to self; I want to die to self. Today I have experienced some of the greatest victories of my life and the best is yet to come. Today, I am writing for the glory of God, I am ministering to the many out of the sincerity of my story and not out of a false image of me. The focus is on God and not on me. Today, God is opening doors and giving me new passions. Today, I can hear the new songs decorating the sounds of my soul. God is guiding me, God loves me and God is restoring me.

            My children are my children; three precious gifts given to me from the Father. I am who I am… a mighty man of God in His hands. The devil is a lair; this is not the end, but just the beginning. I am still standing, but not just standing; I am walking, but not just walking, I am walking with God. I am running, not running away, but running with the vision that God has for my life. I am in the ring, not alone, not just in the ring, but fighting… throwing my jab, throwing my cross, throwing my hooks and coming up with a mighty upper-cup with enough force to destroy the jaw of the devil and of any spirit that is rising up against the will of God in my life and in the life of my children.

            I am loved by the Father, saved by the Son and comforted by the Spirit. I can’t lose, I can’t fail and victory is for sure, mine. No matter the weapons that are formed against me, no matter the opinions of my enemies, no matter my own doings of the past…I am moving forward with a mighty army of purpose in the Lord, with the promises over my life, surrounded by a troop of Godly friends; friends like Doug Berrenguer who God used to bring me the message of salvation. Friends like Presbyter Bosque who reminded me of what I am to do for God’s glory. Friends like Pastor Gerald Cruse who took the time to teach me what I am to be and formed in me a desire to be holy. Friends like Reggie Bridges that with his humility and joy gives me an example of Godliness every day. I thank God for Pastor Wallace for reminding me that my call is irrevocable and for my therapist Phill Hartland who God used to show me the true condition of my heart and to change my way of thinking. I thank God for the Prophetic Warrior that dared to speak life in the middle of my desert.  I thank God for friends like Frank, Dennis, James and Pacheco who love me in spite of me, but love me even more to challenge my ways. Friends like Minister Tracie P. Shellman and her husband who ministered the Word of the Lord for me and my children in the Living Room of their homes as if we were a thousand souls. Friends like Leavonda Battle that with her testimony alone lifted my spirit and gave me the hope of overcoming. Friends like Charles Couret and his lovely wife who God used to write a song for me that was so full of God that it resurrected my desire to sing again. Friends, so, many friends…I am sure I left out many. I thank God for each and every one of them that took the time to speak and write into my life and the life of my children; friends like Helen Olenjin who always wrote me words of light. Since I am thanking friends, why not recognize my parents Norma and Luis and my brother Carlos; surely there was no need for Lie Detectors with them; their love for me is surely unconditional. What about my children? I thank God for each one of them; for their help in keeping me focus on what is important. With the sounds of trumpets and drums of war, I am looking forward, not to the left, not to the right and not looking back… Victory is mine; failure is not an option… I am more than an overcomer in Christ my Savior and my Lord. To God be the glory and thank you to all my friends!

Face to Face with my Own Heart

“Two and Half Years Later”

            Two and a half years have gone by since I wrote “Yes, I Still Believe.” (https://angelcasiano.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/yes-i-still-believe-part-1/) I forgot that I even wrote those words! As I was looking for something else on my AOL Saved Mail, I ran into this writing. Time surely does not stop for anyone! The fact that I forgot about these words is prophetic because the reality is that the time came shortly after, where I lost my faith. I disconnected from God and everything that had to do with God: Church, fellowship, old friends, the reading of Scripture, Prayer, etc. I felt like a dead man walking. I was still going to work; I was still doing enough to be considered a “good citizen;” you know, the ones who pay their taxes and do all the basic things required in society. Inside, however, I was rotten. I was surely walking as an empty image. It is funny because physically I found myself in one of my best times, probably the best physical shape I have been in the last ten years. I went to work and then to the Gym; the Gym actually became my refuge. I worked so hard on my physical appearance, but my spiritual life, I neglected like never before in my life.

            I embraced walking in the flesh! It was almost like I justifying what I was doing and saying because all that I have gone through. The lost of my first wife to cancer, raising my children alone, facing sexual molestation in my family as I re-married, one of my sons battering homosexuality, the other battering an autistic and psychotic diagnosis and the challenges attached to that, separation from my second wife, trying to care for my daughter as she faces her own normal girl challenges, false accusations, etc. gave me the perfect excuses to go after my flesh and live a life of blaming others, blaming it on circumstances and even putting the blame on God for all of my mess. “I have the right to go crazy!” I told myself many times. I walked full of self-pettiness!

            Two and half years later I am no longer blaming circumstances and people for my mess. I thank God for circumstances and people as they brought the true condition of my heart to the light of my reality. Circumstances and people did not make me do anything; that “nasty stuff” was already in my heart. Circumstances and people just contribute to bringing that mess out…thank God for that!