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Tyler Morning Telegraph - Galdámez brings church planting, education experience to Grace Español

Here are two articles written by Emily Guevara ( Twitter: @TMTEmily)  on our background and on  Grace Español .   Tyler Morning Telegraph...

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Every Man's Death Diminishes...But A Friend Even More

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" John Donne Meditation XVII (see link above for full text) and here for the book form.

Recently I lost a friend who I knew for over 20 years. Even though we weren't close in distance for a long time, a few months before his death we got in touch through Facebook. He posted his last message to me three days before his passing. Interestingly enough, I had been thinking and talking to my son about the influence he had in my life the weekend before. I don't believe it was chance. What John Donne wrote centuries ago comes true. We are not an island ourselves. We don't live in isolation. We are only a part and so is everyone else. Thus, when we lose someone through death it also affects us. It "diminishes" us in some way. We are not the same, we never will. It also reminds us of our own mortality. When John Donne wrote the Meditation, he was close to death, and likely sent people to ring the bell announcing his death. He survived his sickness but he became aware that the when bells of the church sound when a person dies, it is for us. We are mortal beings, books that won't disappear, but will be changed into a better translation. But until then, we live our lives with the recognition that we are interconnected and anyone's death affect us and changes us for ever.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Why I don't Believe in New Year Resolutions!

New Year resolutions are like diets, they both don't work. I don't believe in neither. I remember when I was a true believer of resolutions and wrote them down at the beginning of each year. Then at the end of the year, I would check the ones that I had accomplished. There weren't that many checked off! It became a ritual for me each that I could not allow to pass.

 As the years passed and I matured in my thinking, I realized that they really didn't work. They created added stress that didn't produce the results that I desired. They were like a diet. You start very anxious and try really hard at the beginning but as the days, weeks and months pass it becomes too hard to follow and is eventually given up. That's the way we start our resolutions. Having said this I have to tell what I believe. But before I say this, I have to state that I don't believe in fatalism. I don't believe everything is ruled by chance. I do believe that Providence works behind the scenes in ways that I am not aware. I believe in having goals, both immediate goals and future goals. They require some degree of planning but they are not set in stone. They are based on what I think I need to develop in my life or that I think I want to accomplish. Some involve other people like my family. Most of them are realistic but I am aware that there are factors that might affect the outcome. I don't write them down and I don't beat myself up for not accomplishing them.

 I also believe that some goals should not have a time frame, they should be part of my life forever and have to be developed with discipline. I put healthy living and exercise in this category . For many years now I have worked slowly in developing good eating habits and doing some weight lifting. This year I want to add a cardio component to my exercise routine. I am not a maniac but I have consistency. And this is key in anything you plan. Don't try to do everything in giant leaps, take "baby steps" but be consistent. I learned this from a movie called "What About Bob?" Watch it!

Whatever you plan to do this year, think about it carefully, develop a simple plan, take baby steps, be consistent. At the end of the year if you did it, great! If you didn't, think of something that's simpler and try it. Don't give up what's important for you. Keep at it. Remember the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare? I think you do!