I stayed in the Bronx, NY, this past weekend visiting my girlfriend and fiancé, Rita Martínez. We met through our blogs two years ago in July, 2008. Rita was finally able to travel from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to visit me two weeks ago, and while she was here, I asked her to marry me. In tears she said, "Did you talk to my dad about this?" I answered, "Yes." She asked, "What did he say?" I told her that he said, "Yes," that I could marry her. She didn't even answer my question, but asked again in tears, "Is this really happening?" I told her it is as I knelt in front of her by the park bench at Longwood Gardens, and said, "So, will you marry me?" She responded, "Yes! Of course!" We were both delighted! I don't think I could be more in love with this beautiful Christian Latina woman.
After a week, she went to New York city to be with her 15 year-old cousin, Laura, who is being treated for cancer. They are staying at the house of Dominican friends, who also happen to be Christians.
This weekend I drove there to visit Rita and Laura. It was a blessing. Just about everybody in that area speaks Spanish, I felt like I was in Santo Domingo, even though it was New York. They were all impressed with my Spanish, something that I have really struggled hard to learn. I had the opportunity to speak with Laura about the grace and love of God after the mac and cheese dinner that she made us at 10:30 p.m. (Dominican Suppertime is late), Saturday night. Rita and I also began our wedding plans. The next day we all went to church. All the Latin American people at that church treat each other like family, and I was honored to be received with the same love. However Rita and I both would like to encourage them more to be Biblical in everything, just as we are striving to do by God's mercy. (I am not a charismatic anymore, but their church is.)
After church we went to a sea food restaurant, where I seemed to have lost my appetite. Then we went back to the house where we talked until Rita and I left to exchange an engagement book we had bought at Barnes & Noble. On our way back, we stopped at Kmart to look for rings, since I had to take her diamond ring to get it resized to fit her finger, so she was ringless. And as lovers, we just can't have that! People need to know she is promised to someone (me!) already! So at Kmart, I bought her a $10 engagement ring with an enormous fake diamond on it. It wasn't even behind a glass case. Anyhow, that should do the trick until I can slip the real ring, fitted and sparkling, back on her preciously engaged finger again!
Now, getting back to my thoughts on the Word of God from church on Sunday, I find it so important that people would realize the sufficiency and the importance of understanding and believing the Bible above all other feelings, experiences and encouragements. Jesus Christ is our Savior sent from God, but it is the Bible that reveals Him to us through the illumination and regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the Bible is all the revelation we need to help us know and follow God's will for our lives. I tried to stress this to everyone at church on Sunday. Please pray for us about this. Thank you.
May Christ always be our greatest Treasure and Good in this life and in the one to come!
2 Timothy 3:14-17, ESV:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings [i.e., Scriptures], which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 4:1-5, ESV:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.