In One Day Cuba Will Be Free!


My brothers and sisters from Cuba; get ready, for the Lord says at this hour:

 

Your freedom is near, for I will judge the Castro family severely. I hear the sound of the cries of my people; the church of the Island of Cuba is not dead but alive. Cuba, I am listening and I am sounding the trumpet of my mercies. Cuba will turn their hearts to me, for I loved you from the beginning. Cuba will be a nation after my own heart and I will do great and mighty things. The great nations overlooked you for too long; the world does not consider you much, but the hour of your redemption is coming. I will come against the dictators of the world that have taken the freedom our of my people and have closed the doors to the light of my Gospel. I will show the power of my love and bring truth in places filled with lies. Cuba is free! Cuba is free! In one day Cuba will be free!

What Are You Doing?


Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” Matthew 5:19 NKJV

 

      It is important to establish that we can’t work ourselves into heaven. It is also important to establish that God does not love us more or less base on what we do or not in terms of ministry.  However, Jesus as our example establishes that the Father is at work and that He did what He saw the Father doing. In Matthew 5:17 Jesus stated: “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” So, it is fair and appropriate to ask ourselves, what are we doing?

 

A life without purpose is a dangerous life. God is at work and we have things to do. James 2:14-18 tells us:

 

“14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without yourworks, and I will show you my faith by myworks.” NKJV

The important thing, in this process of doing, is that we be sensitive to be able to see what God is showing us to do and do just that. We all have a responsibility to do something for God… What are you doing?

 

Food: Pleasant to The Eyes!


The other day I became upset with myself because I wanted to eat fried chicken, a nice steak, and some cheese. I wanted to go to an all-you-can- eat restaurant and totally have my way. I asked myself, why am I missing this stuff but never missed the healthy food? I quickly realized that the flesh will never give up; the flesh will always crave everything that is spiritually and physically bad for us.

 

Satan is doing a great job destroying our society through food. We must remember that food was what Satan used to trick Eve. Genesis 3:6 tells us:

 

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

 

Here we see how Adam and Eve were in a perfect garden, eating right to the point of desiring fruit. I don’t know about you, but I desire meat more than fruit and vegetables…that’s for sure! But Satan used the beauty of that fruit to entice them to sin. Eve saw, first, that the tree was good for food and pleasant to the eye.

 

Have you ever tried to follow a diet to lose weight and as you drive on the highway you are able to see from the distance those giants billboards with the best quality photos of your favorite foods? The same tactic Satan used in the beginning is still effective today.

 

The reality is that I will never stop craving those bad foods. Therapy will not eliminate it; diets will not remove it; exercise will not erase it. I must pray for strength, depend on God, and trust Him all the way until this journey ends. Galatians 5:16-17 tells us:

 

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

 

There is indeed a war taking place inside of us all. Every day we have choices to make that will either satisfy the flesh or please the Spirit: Should I eat that burger with bacon and fries or should I go for the veggie sub on wheat bread? Should I drink that soda or should I drink just plain water? Should I eat that chocolate bar or should I eat the fresh banana?

 

The choice is ours! God will do the rest and give us victory in the midst of this bloody war!

 

Mientras Hay Vida Hay Esperanza


La persona que rehúsa perdonar las ofensas que otros han cometido en su contra, no ha ni tan siquiera comenzado ha entender las misericordias diarias de Dios en sus propias vidas. La persona que se pasa la vida juzgando a otros en sus errores y pecados, aún cuando éstos se han arrepentido, no ha comenzado ni tan siquiera a entender su propia condición putrefacta.

 

Hermanos, no permitamos que nadie en este mundo nos descalifique del privilegio de servirle a Dios. En Puerto Rico escuché a muchos decir: “Mientras hay vida, hay esperanza.” En la Biblia vemos ejemplos de hombres que se sintieron descalificados; otros fueron descalificados aún por sus propias familias. Moisés se descalificó por que gagueaba en su hablar, mas Dios lo levanto para libertar a Israel de las manos de la nación más poderosa de esos tiempos. Gedeón se descalificó también porque era de una familia sin honor, mas Dios lo levantó como un juez poderoso en Israel. ¿Y qué decimos de David? Cuando el Profeta Samuel fue a la casa de su padre buscando ungir el próximo Rey de la nación Judía, David ni tan siquiera fue llamado para ser considerado, mas a Dios le plació el levantarlo y establecer su trono para siempre. Historias como estas son comunes en la Escrituras. Son historias que se levantan como monumentos de esperanza para todos nosotros.

 

Hermanos y hermanas que leen estas palabras, ¿Hasta cuándo vas a seguir con tu desobediencia y excusas? Respóndele a Su llamado para tu vida, levántate y deja que la voluntad de Dios sea la lámpara que alumbra todos y cada uno de tus pasos.

¡Qué Difícil es Ayudar a los Malagradecidos!


Hace un poco más de dos meses que comencé a pastorear nuevamente. Para ser honesto, el pastorear no era algo en lo cual yo me quería envolver otra ves, pero he sentido la convicción de que Dios me ha lanzado a terminar la obra que El comenzó en mi hace unos años atrás en esta región de Carolina del Norte.

 

Los ataques espirituales en contra de los pastores son brutales. Mas creo que uno de los aspectos más difíciles en la vida de un ministro es el ayudar a los malagradecidos. Es fácil ayudar a alguien que es agradecido y que uno puede ver, aún de lejos, que esa persona experimenta crecimiento espiritual. Pero cuando uno derrama su vida ayudando a alguien y esa persona actúa como si tu ayuda es una obligación, el ministerio se hace pesado si perdemos nuestro enfoque en la Cruz de Cristo.

 

Por eso es que es importante que ministremos sin esperar absolutamente nada a cambio; es importante que ni tan siquiera esperemos por agradecimientos. ¡Ayúdanos Señor en este día¡

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The Science of Stand-Up Fighting Part 5


“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

5. The Angle Lines To Cut the Distance: There are three directions to cut the distance on your opponent. You want to cut the distance and cross your opponent’s line by using the boxing footwork. There are other ways that can be used also, but the basic angles of entrance are the fundamentals:

a. Straightforward: Here you go straight at your opponent. When you decide to come in this way, you are exposed to the fullness of your opponent’s offensive; very important that you get your shoulder’s up, protect your shin, hands up and go in nice and tight.

b. Opponent’s blind side: This is moving behind whatever leg he has in front of him on his sparring stance.

c. Opponent’s horizontal zone: This is where you turn your opponent’s 45-degree fighting stance into a horizontal stance. It is the opposite side of the blind side. Here you also have to take extra precautions in terms of protecting yourself.

What about when the lines are gone? Fight with all you have; adapt, improvise, don’t give up and get back to your centerline as soon as possible. Fighting is not pretty. Be ready to face the ugliness of fighting with great bravery. These centerlines are applicable to stand-up fighting.

As a side note, with the popularity of MMA fighting we must be prepared to fight on the ground. On the ground some things change; always be prepared to know some basic things that can protect you on the ground. Don’t let the ground take you by surprise.

I hope this article helps you in any way. If you have any questions, opinions, disagreements or want to add more insight please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

God bless you all!

Sensei Angel Casiano

The Science of Stand-Up Fighting Part 4


“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

4. The Line Between You and Your Opponent: Have you ever heard the expression: Do not cross the line? That is the line that separates you from your opponent. The game of stand-up fighting requires that you be well aware when someone crosses that line against you. This is the line that involves the red-zone: the place where either opponent can receive a strike. You must cross your opponent’s line from time to time as you engage in offensive attacks. You can’t win by just standing there waiting for your opponent to attack; there is indeed a place for that as you can counter, but in the ring you must show the judges that you are fighting to win. You must be smart, but you must be aggressive and attack. A good offense makes a good defense as the one attacking is keeping the pressure on the other. As you attack remember to always protect yourself; make sure that your techniques are flowing out of the center of your body. Keep the distance short when throwing hooks and upper cuts and always return to Point-A. Do not drop your hands in the red-zone. When your opponent crosses your line you must do one of two things: attack in whatever way you can to upset whatever he had in mind or get out of there. Don’t make it a habit to stay in the red-zone too long. Come in by crossing your opponent’s line, throw a few combinations and get out. As you cross that line it is extremely important that you go the extra mile to protect yourself; you don’t want to be a victim of a lucky punch.

TO BE CONTINUED…

The Science of Stand-Up Fighting Part 3


“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

3. Your Own Center Line: At the same time that you are making yourself aware of your opponent’s centerline, you must protect your own for the sake of keeping a strong fighting stance, which will give you a strong centerline.  A strong centerline is the result of a good solid fighting stance. It is imperative that you learn to educate your legs. If your legs are not moving correctly, you run the risk of sacrificing your own balance. A good fighter will take advantage of that by attacking your own centerline and in result, throwing you off balance. Your feet should be separated from each other just a little wider than your shoulders. Your body should be side ways in a 45-degree angle using the opponent’s centerline as reference. Try not to have your feet in a line in reference to the opponent’s centerline as that will limit the usage of your backhand and rear leg. There are times when it’s appropriate to be completely side ways if you are setting your opponent for a spin side or hook kick. You must be sneaky so that your opponent will not notice. No matter what your opponent does, you must fight to keep a solid stance; do not fall apart when attacking and do not fall apart when being attacked!

TO BE CONTINUED…

The Science of Stand-Up Fighting Part 2


“Dealing with the Lines of Combat”

2. Your Opponent’s Centerline: Your opponent’s centerline is the line right in the center of your opponent’s body depending on how he is standing in front of you. If he is standing directly facing you with both legs horizontal to you, his nose should be your point of reference to divide him in a half.  You must divide your opponent in half by using your front hand and front leg. Even as we kick and punch in different angles and positions; and we must be ready to do so, we do our best to attack our opponent’s centerline. The more we attack our opponent’s centerline, the more opportunity we have to keep him off balance. Keep movement going; the more you move, the harder it will be for you to get hit. Move in a circular motion; however, just don’t move just for moving’s sake, keep dividing and attacking the centerline. Also movement could take a lot of energy; if you do not have the physical conditioning to move like the great boxer Muhammad Ali, keep your upper body moving and use the basic boxing footwork for movement.

TO BE CONTINUED…