God Or Pornography V


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We have established that the issue is not the need for deliverance. The issue is not that there is not enough power to overcome sexual sin. Even when you place yourself in a situation where you can’t overcome that temptation, God promises to give us a way out. (First Corinthians 10:13) In many cases all we need is a little wisdom or a little common sense to avoid certain things.

         Honestly, I can’t say that I fell into sexual immorality; I must fully admit that I did it because I wanted to. The Word was there, God’s wisdom was there and plenty of exits were there also, but I did it anyway. Again, there is nothing wrong with God’s system; the issue is the sinful nature in us.

         But what is at the heart of our failures concerning this issue of sexual immorality? It is an issue of love. It is the greatest evidence that we don’t love God enough. John 14:15 put it like this,

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (NKJV)

         In other words, if we love God we will obey what He say. The more we make decisions to please God, the more we express our love for Him. The more we make unwise decisions the more we make evident our lack of love for God. See, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). On the other hand, our love for Him is what keeps us pursuing Holiness.

         When I was in that hotel room in Indianapolis I was really looking forward to having an encounter with God. This time my desire to spend time with God was greater than my desire to satisfy the flesh. I say, “this time” because I have not always being successful. It is that love for God that establishes our inner struggles. Galatians 5:17 tells us,

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. (NKJV)

 

         If we are openly sinning, doing what we want and focusing on us, we are showing our lack of love for God. I have seen a very famous comedian claiming that he is a Christian, but he openly uses profanity in his shows stating that, “God is not through with me yet”. Never mind that somebody, maybe he, wrote the stand up routine. So it is not like he was provoked to use profanity, he chooses to do so. In his case there is no struggle, it is just a massive display of the lack of love for God and for people as he, obviously doesn’t care about making others stumble over his foolishness. In Romans 7:25 Paul describe the nature of this battle as he says,

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

 

         What makes the battle so intense is our love for God and our sincere desire to not sin. So I do not deny that we will have our moments where we will do the evil that we don’t want to do in thought and action. That is because we are not perfect. However, it can’t ever be a life style of embracing sin; that is impossible for the person that truly loves God and is pursuing the first commandment. The Apostle John explained this issue the following way,

If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:10 (NKJV)

         Let me make it clear that we will sin; the tendency to sin is already in us. We are indeed a work in progress. However, the issue here is this false teaching of accepting a life style of sin under the umbrella of our imperfection. When we embrace a lifestyle of sin we are then walking in darkness. It is no longer a struggle; it is our giving up.

         We are called to walk in the light; walking in the light does not equal perfection, but it does equal people that are serious about living holy lives. People who live in the light, not only love the Lord, but their love for God is made evident because of their love for people. First John 2:9-10 tells us,

He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. (NKJV)

         See, God took the Ten Commandments and hundreds of laws and reduced them into two commandments, love God above all things and your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31) I would like to end this series not with my words, but with words that come directly out of the Bible,

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. First John 2:3-5 (NKJV)

 

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. First John 2:15-16 (NKJV)

 

16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. First John 4:16-21

 

Beyond Thanksgiving


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Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

         Thanksgiving is the key that opens the door to God’s presence. Think about this for a minute! An ungrateful person will never be able to experience God’s presence. Being ungrateful is such a tragedy. When we think about the fact that God is not hiding and that He desires to be with us, more than we will ever desire to be with HIM, it truly makes us unworthy.

         Our God is not a distant God, as a matter of fact; He wants to make residence in our hearts. But why will an ungrateful person never be able to experience God’s presence? That is because they are unable to see God’s blessings; they are incapable of appreciating all the wonderful things God has given them on a daily basis.

         I think now about my beautiful Rayette and the relationship that we have as we continue to grow in our togetherness here in Alaska; that’s a blessing! I think about my six children. They do get on my last nerves, but they are my children and I have the honor of being their father; that’s a blessing!

         I think about waking up in the morning, that’s a blessing! I think about having a car that can take me places, that’s a blessing! I think about my home: a warm place to stay, work around the yard, fix things, create, cut trees, split and stack wood; that’s a blessing!

         I think about my home church; Pastor Keith, his wife, brothers and sisters at Harvest, my home church; that’s a blessing! I think about my new friends, extended family and about my job at FRA, that’s a blessing! I think about this blog, that’s a blessing! I think about clean water, food, shelter and clothing. Should I keep going?

         But being thankful is not enough; there is something even beyond thankfulness. The Apostle Paul gave us this level in Philippians 4:11 as he states,

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: (NKJV)

         This is a place where you understand that God has given you more than enough, a place where you understand that if He stops blessing you right now, because he saved your soul, you already have more than enough. And yet, there is even a higher and deeper place. A place where you are not interesting in asking for anything, you just want to bless God.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

         Beloved, that is the place beyond thanksgiving and beyond contentment! This is where our heart’s desire is to be a blessing to the God we serve. Abraham gave us that example as he begged the Angel of the Lord to stay; he took care of them in Genesis 18. David gave us that example as he declared,

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. (NKJV)

 

         No one gave us a better example of this desire to bless God than Mary in John 12:3,

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. (NKJV)

 

         This action was viewed as a waste of money and resources not only by Judas, but by the rest of the disciples according to Matthew 26:8. For others, it was even scandalous. Nevertheless, this is how Jesus answered,

10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Matthew 26:10-13 (NKJV)

 

         Beloved, not that giving to the poor is wrong, it is a mandate. Not that blessing others is wrong; it is expected from us as Christians. We ought to be people that are always open to bless others. Nevertheless, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, more important for us as Christians, than to have a heart that desires to bless God.

         I don’t know about you, but I want a memorial, not for me, not for my accomplishments, but a memorial like Mary. A memorial that is focused on blessing GOD! That, my friends, is far beyond the attitude of thanksgiving and far beyond contentment. This is indeed the establishment of the first commandment’s development in our hearts; that is…to love GOD above all things!

 

En Honor a Mi Cuñada Vivian


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Vivian Cruz

¿Hasta cuando Señor? ¿Hasta cuando este cáncer maldito celebrará sus victorias sobre tus hijos y tus hijas. Mi corazón se quebranta delante de ti por una vida más que ha sido acortada por esta enfermedad maldita.

Levanto en oración a mis cuñadas, que siempre, aún en la distancia y aún en los desacuerdos normales, siempre serán mi familia. Levanto en oración a mi primera suegra, la cual siempre será mi suegra especial. Levanto en oración a mis sobrinas queridas, muchas que ni he visto crecer debido a la distancia. Oh Dios, ya basta, no permitas que ni una vida más se pierda por el cáncer. Rompe esta maldición… ten misericordia.

Pero en todo Jehová, conservo la esperanza de que todos nos veremos en el paraíso contigo. Nos veremos en un mundo sin lágrimas, sin dolor, sin enfermedades; nos veremos en un mundo maravilloso, con calles de oro, un mundo sin sombras, ni obscuridad, ni putrefacción, ni penas, ni remordimientos y sin  corajes.   Un mundo en donde estaremos en TU presencia, bajos la sombra de tus alas y bajo la luz de tu gran amor.

¡Gracias por permitirme conocer a Vivian!

God Or Pornography IV


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God’s system works and is one hundred percent effective when applied. So what is the problem? After all these years, after all this knowledge of God, after all the worship songs, the Bible Studies and the awesome moments, why is it that that I am still inclined to go after sexual immorality?

         Essentially, many are asking, where is my deliverance? Subsequently, when deliverance does not come, many feel as if God has abandoned them. They don’t feel God’s love and they can’t sense His presence.

         It gets worse when they sit under those super powerful preachers that “struggle with nothing.” They teach that they are sanctified, filled with perfection and that sin is no longer and issue in their lives. It gets even worst when individuals who are struggling with sexual issues are prayed for and told they are actually delivered, only to find out that those sexual desires are still there.

         I believe in deliverance, don’t get me wrong. However, when it comes down to sexual desires it gets very complicated. That is because, unless you have the gift of self-control, you will always have those desires. It is like hunger or thirst, it is indeed a part of you as a human being.

         I know that many of you will not like this, but one of the reasons for marriage is so that we may satisfy those desires. First Corinthians 7:9 tells us,

but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (NKJV)

         I remember a pastor telling me to wait a couple of years before getting married. That was easy for him to say! He was married, but I was burning up! I will never justify fornication, it is indeed a terrible sin, but I will never justify waiting to get married after you already know that’s the one. The less you wait, the better.

         But I should also add that just because you are married, that does not necessarily mean that you are off the hook from sexual immorality. See beloved, sexual immorality is any sexual activity outside of marriage. All sexual activities are reserved for the sanctity of marriage. It should be fun and exciting. Just don’t limit yourself to the bed room; do it in the laundry room, do it in the car, do it in the bathroom, in the living room, in your own backyard if you can, just make sure you don’t go to jail over it or have others watch you, but be creative with the love of your life. In First Corinthians 7:5 we, the married folks, receive specific instructions from Paul,

Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (NKJV)

 

         Every time you, man of God or you, woman of God, decide that you are not giving yourself sexually to your spouse, you are in direct violation of God’s Word. You are directly contributing to the destruction of your own marriage by allowing Satan to come in. Satan comes in to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) your marriage. Sexual desires are no joke!

         The point that I want to make here is this; as it refers to deliverance, it is not coming! You will never be delivered from something God put on you. I know many of you claim to be super spiritual, but sexual desire is a normal and powerful thing. Those sexual desires will always be there.

         So then, many of you may be telling yourselves, if I am not going to be delivered from this thing, then, is it ok for me to watch pornography and masturbate? Is it ok for me to sleep around? After all, I can’t be delivered, right? No, that is not what I am saying and that is not the heart of God regarding this matter. Remember what First Corinthians 10:13 tells us,

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (NKJV)

 

         Temptations will come our way; Jesus himself was tempted in all things according to Hebrews 4:15. Satan is an expert on how to effectively tempt us. Our job, when faced with temptations, especially the sexual temptations, is to flee from it (I Corinthians 6:18). The reason we constantly fall in this area is because we don’t flee from it. We either continued to put ourselves in the position to be tempted or when God, in His mercy, shows us the exit, we simply don’t take it. Why don’t we take that exit? The answer to this question is the root of the issue; the answer to this question will surprise many of you.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

God Or Pornography III


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Even as I obeyed the Lord and called the front desk to block HBO out my hotel room, I was kind of disappointed. After all, I am a man of God, why was I not able to control myself on my own? Better yet, why did God not send an angel to give me the strength to resist such temptation?

         I really wish I could be a super spiritual man, but the reality is that I am not. I am weak, however, it is important to establish that my weakness is not an excuse to surrender to sin. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 tells us,

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NKJV)

         In moments when we are faced with temptations the power of God is indeed available. God is telling us “…His grace is sufficient…” In other words, God’s grace is all we need to have victory over nights like the one I had in that hotel room in Indianapolis. God gave us an amazing truth concerning temptations in James 1:13-14,

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (NKJV)

         I was not looking for anything pornographic as I was flipping channels. The naked woman on HBO was a temptation set by satanic forces. However, the moment I identified the temptation, it was up to me to choose God or pornography. In First Corinthians 10:13 we find a powerful promise,

 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (NKJV)

         The first thing we need to establish is that there are temptations that are very common. We all face them in one way or another, that is, if we are honest.

         The promise here is that God will not allow us to face a temptation stronger than the spiritual level we find ourselves in, at the moment of the temptation. Further, God promised that if we find ourselves facing a temptation that is indeed too strong for us, He would still provide an exit. The problem is that many times we refuse to take that exit and those are the times we really get in trouble. At the end, it is our doing, not Satan; and definitely, not God.

TO BE CONTINUED…

God Or Pornography II


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I heard a man of God saying that every time big Christian men conferences take pace in cities around the United States, the orders of pornographic movies greatly increase in hotels. I guess the number is large enough for them to notice.

         I was weak away from my lovely wife. I was alone and I was tired. My spirit wanted to have a life-changing encounter with Christ in that Hotel, but my flesh had other plans. I knew that whatever I chose to do in that moment was going to determine the spiritual outcome of my trip.

         Very quickly I heard the voice of God telling me, “Call the front desk and ask them to block HBO.” I called and they replied that they were not able to block HBO, but they were able to place a parental control on the whole TV, I told them that was wonderful. That night, I did nothing embarrassing; I wished I would have not look at that naked woman for the three seconds I did look, but that night, I did not engage in pornography. That night my desire to have an encounter with God was greater than my desire to gratify myself through pornographic images; with this in mind, the Lord was about to release a life-changing message into my spirit.

TO BE CONTINUED…

God Or Pornography


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If you are perfect and have always done the right thing when it comes down to your sexuality, this series of articles are not for you. If you are the husband of one wife, stayed sexually pure until marriage and don’t remember what it feels like to be single, this series is not for you either.

         However, if you know that, independently of your social status and reputation, you are constantly giving your secret place to sexual perversion, this series is Holy Ghost inspired to help you.

         I am going to be honest, transparent, but also Biblical. This series is written in love and with great compassion to help men all over the world understand this brutal battle and know how to have victory in this area.

         I was in Indianapolis, Indiana for the 2014 Christian Martial Arts Union Annual Conference. I was far away from my wife, my children and from our home in Fairbanks, Alaska. I felt so exhausted from such a long trip. I must say that either I am getting fatter or the airplanes are getting smaller; my body was surely hurting, my flesh was surely weak.

         As I arrived in my hotel room, all by myself, I prayed a short prayer thanking God for bringing me to Indianapolis safely. I then turned on the TV and started flipping channels. Very quickly I landed on HBO and less than 15 minutes after arriving in that luxurious room at the Hyatt’s Hotel, I had a beautiful, sensual and naked woman on my giant screen TV. She got my attention as I momentarily stopped flipping the channels. After a few seconds I did flip the channel again and refused to keep looking, but the reality is that I did look.

         I want you guys to understand that, not only was I in Indianapolis for this conference, but above all, I wanted to spend time alone with God. I wanted for God to speak to me in that hotel room, I wanted to feel His presence, I wanted for HIM to renew my strength and I wanted revival to start in my own heart. But now, I needed to chose; God or Pornography?

TO BE CONTINUED…

Promoted to the 5th Degree Black Belt


I want to take this opportunity to give glory to God. This weekend was a blessing to me. I came to the International Gospel Martial Arts Union Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was invited to teach, but the greatest blessing was to be able to learn from amazing, humble and Godly Martial Artist.

The GMAU tested me for Senior Sensei. I passed the test with a 92. Not perfect, that is because I have plenty of room for growth. But what an amazing privilege!
I was also promoted to the 5th Degree Black Belt. I was expecting to be promoted to the 4th degree, but that is the God I serve; He always out gives us.
I am very motivated to work even harder in our Casiano’s Martial Arts Program in Fairbanks, Ak.  I was ask to close the event in prayer; perhaps that was the greatest honor. I was in tears as the overwhelming presence of God touched my heart in a very special way.
I want to take this opportunity to recognize Dr. JR Russell, & 8th Dan GMAU President & Executive Director. I thank God for this man for his friendship and uncompromising commitment to the Lord. Dr. Russell is also a senior pastor and I can’t wait to visit his church tomorrow.
Also I want to thank God for Grandmaster, Mike Proctor who change my life as a martial arts instructor. It was so good to be able to fellowship with him this weekend.
My sincere thanks also to, 10th Dan Keith Yates; so glad I got to know him a little better. This man is one of the highest ranked martial artist in our country, but I thank God for his humility and passion for the Gospel and the great commission.
Praise the Living God and all glory to HIM!

The Face of the True Abundant Life


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If you are good and passionate at what you want to do with your life, if you add to your passion hard work and if you have a vision, you will be successful; even if you don’t acknowledge God. The devil will be there to assist you, use you and destroy you. Remember the story of Babel in Chapter eleven of Genesis? In verse 6 God made a profound statement,

“… now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” (NKJV)

         You must understand that these folks were completely outside of the will of God. As a matter fact, the root of every false religion can be found in the Tower of Babel story. Nevertheless, God needed to personally stop them because they were going to be successful in their ungodly purpose.

          How many unbelievers do you know who are successful? They have the best house, great cars and everything money can buy. So what do we need God for, outside of salvation? The Bible tells us in John 10:10,

 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (NKJV)

         How then can that abundant life looks like? There is something the world cannot give you like the Lord can; it is something the human heart longs for: peace.

“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (NKJV)

         How many people have you seen or how many stories have you personally witnessed, where even though the “successful” have it all, they destroy themselves? That is because they do not have the peace of God. The peace of God is what guards our hearts (Emotions) and minds (Thought process, decision making, etc.)

         God’s ways are not our ways. His ways require that you give your life for others. It is not about you; a desire to make a name for yourself is un-Godly. We must serve. We must be people that are aggressive and intentional about making the fist commandment a reality in our hearts. We must bring down the idols of our lives. When we do, just like the children of Israel, we will experience great prosperity. When we don’t, we will end up taken captive and being slaves of this world system.

Llora


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¿Será Dios más poderoso que nuestro dolor? Sí, lo es. ¿Es capaz Dios de hacerlo todo? Sin lugar a dudas. Mas es importante establecer que, ninguna de estas realidades Bíblicas, puede minimizar circunstancias dolorosas tales como, la perdida de un ser querido, esposa, esposo, hijos, nuestros padres, nuestros amigos, etc.

         Queridos hermanos, no es una violación de la fe, el aceptar que estamos dolidos por algo. Añado, y esto es más bien para los predicadores, dejen de burlarse de las lágrimas de nuestros hermanos y hermanas en Cristo.

         La Biblia nos dice en Juan 11:35, Y lloró Jesús. Aún cuando Jesús sabía que iba a resucitar a Lázaro, lloró de todas formas. ¿Por qué? Porque Jesús nuestros Señor se identifica con el dolor de la gente. ¿Acaso no nos dice la Palabra que Dios no rechazará un corazón contrito y humillado? (Salmo 51)

         Hay algunos maestros que interpretan este verso de Juan 11:35, diciendo que Cristo lloró por la falta de fe de la gente. Si hubiese sido por eso, Cristo se la hubiese pasado llorando durante el tiempo que estuvo en esta tierra. Hubiese llorado por sus propios hermanos que no creían que El era el Cristo. Hubiese llorado tantas veces por la incredulidad de sus discípulos, por la negación de Pedro y por la traición de Judas. Estos son ejemplos más dramáticos.

         La realidad es que vivimos en unos tiempos en donde la Iglesia no sabe que hacer con los que sufren en sus propias congregaciones. Estos es, en parte porque se han dejado influenciar por dos doctrines muy comunes, hoy en día.

  1. Los que se enfocan en tener cosas materiales (El famoso y demoniaco evangelio de la prosperidad.) Todo se arregla con tener y, si no tienes, es porque te falta fe.

  2. Los que se enfocan en hacer. Estos establecen su llamado como lo más importante de sus vidas. Todo se arregla con hacer, hay que seguir fuerte en nuestros ministerios sin titubear. No hay tiempo para sentir dolor, ni tiempo para identificarse con el dolor de otros.

Mas lo cierto es hermanos, que Jesús se identificó y se continúa identificando con nuestras lágrimas. En Romanos 12:15 la Biblia nos dice,

 Gozaos con los que se gozan: llorad con los que lloran. (RVA)

         Hermanos, nuestras lágrimas tienen un lugar especial en el corazón de Dios. Yo te invito a que llores y, aún en la distancia, aquí estoy para animarte, para consolarte y darte una Palabra de aliento.

“…Pon mis lágrimas en tu redoma: ¿No están ellas en tu libro?” Salmo 56:8 (RVA)