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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Symbolic Use of Numbers - 2012 Gone! 2013 Here!

Numbers have always had meaning for humanity. Ever since creation numbers have had meaning. When God created light He said: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." (Genesis 1:5) It also says: "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." (Genesis1:14) Thus God created the sun, the moon and the stars as the keeper of time.

Numbers and time are both created by God and are interrelated. For God time is important even though He has no need for it (The are numbers in the Bible that have significance. The number 7 simbolizes perfection, number 10 completion and 40 fulfillment and judgment, 6 humanness).It is for us that He created it. He does not see time as we see it. We are limited to see anything beyond the present and the past. We can't see the future and yet this is the aspect of time that we most seek to control (thus resolutions and new year). We want to know what the "new" year will bring. We make plans to achieve our goals. There is no guarantee that we will achieve anything or even live to see it realized. But we still do it.

But God sees every aspect of time differently. I am not sure how exactly God sees time but I know he sees all aspects of time at once. This is a debate some argue about in relation to time and eternity.

The important aspect of time is that its end goal (teleologically) is to give God the worth and praise He deserves (doxological). Every choice we make every year, month, day, hour, minute, and second should have this goal in mind. We need to make choices that line up with God's will. Choices that will not only bring us closer to Him but in such communion that nothing else will get in the way. Every act of of our being should bring glory and praise to his name.

“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other.” - C.S. Lewis


Material is copyright by egaldamez. Permission given torepost or reproduced without editing the content.Disclaimer: The contents of all personal web pages and blogs published are solely my responsibility. Statements made and opinions expressed on personal pages are strictly those of the author and not of any organization, church, or school.


Friday, December 28, 2012

We don't deserve it! It's grace!

Our little boy likes to say "I don't deserve it," when he gets something like a treat. He started saying this especially when he has had a bad day. At one point he said he didn't deserve to be alive. I reminded him that none of us do. At one time I pointed to Him that we don't deserve to be alive but God in his mercy and grace gives us life. Today when he got a treat he said he didn't deserve it. My older son told him, it's grace, getting what we don't deserve. That's why he was receiving a ginger cookie.


After getting another treat in the evening from my wife, he said he didn't deserve it again and I answered him with the usual. His response was "Thank you for grace."


Yep, that's exactly right! It's what I say every day. It's what we all should say every day when we wake up.


"God, be merciful to me a sinner," we should say like the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. God showed him mercy. He went home justified (not the one who claimed to be good). Ephesians 2:8 says that we are saved by grace through faith and this is not of ourselves, not a result of our own working out. It is a gift from God.

This reminds me of the chorus of the Hymn Grace Greater Than Our Sin:

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.




Monday, December 24, 2012

"Santa Christ"

"For yet others, this is the time of year for the mystical Jesus who, like Santa Claus, is important because of the good experiences we have, irrespective of the details of historical reality. As long as we have the experiences, all is well.

But Jesus is not to be identified with Santa Claus; worldly thinking—however much it employs Jesus-language—is not to be confused with biblical truth."

Full article here Santa Christ http://spurgeon.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/santa-christ/


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Will Justice Come?

Here is one of my poems from Poems For The Journey

Will Justice Come?

by eig

Isaiah 32:1-8

A man in ragged clothes is in a corner standing

Begging for money for a piece of bread

Another comes out of a restaurant laughing

Passing by him; he has been well fed

A woman sobs seating in her living room

Bruses on her body, her nose bleeding

A man singing out of tune

Feeling brave after the beating

A child wakes up trembling

Begging the man she loves not to hurt her

The abuse she has been remembering

If only she could say it louder

A young man taken into custody

The coroners has identified the bodies

It all happened as a rhapsody

In a cell he will have new buddies

A woman looks out her window

Wishing tomorrow she'll have a better mood

Lonely and sad as a widow

A year has passed and there she has stood

Physically and emotionally drained

An old man walks through the door

He's been fired for the job he was trained

He is too old to serve any more

A yound mother is counting her pennies

Hoping to have enough money

To buy her children some tennies

Where is the man that called her honey?

This is the world where we live today

Injustice is around every corner

Will justice come some day?

Will it ever be better?

Look up and pray to the King

He's coming to reign in righteousness

There will be justice for all human beings

Will you be ready to face his Holiness?

© Saturday, June 13, 1998


Saturday, December 01, 2012

A Tribute to My 87 Year Old Mom

My mom, Maria Mirtala Galdámez (Zamora) turned 87 years old. She was born in El Salvador, in the city of Chalatenango in 1928, one year before the Great Depression. In was a rural town back then which I have never visited. This town is where the surname Galdámez surged. Her last name is Basque in the form of "galdames" which is from the Northern region of Spain and is originally spelled Galdames but was changed to sound more Castillian to Galdámez. The name means "iron cauldron" in Euskara (Basque). How the Basque "Galdames" made it to El Salvador is hard to trace.

Her mother was Estebana Zamora and her father was Genaro Galdámez. They had eight children, I believe, six girls (who all had "Maria" as their first name) and two boys.  Of them, there only my two uncles are left and my mom, the youngest of the girls.
My grandmother is in the middle and my grandfather on the right. I didn't get to know any of them.

My mom (on the right), my aunt Lidia on the left and my aunt Amalia in the center. 

My mom experienced the hard rural life. She received very little care and attention, as parents back then were (she was a product of her times), and worked from an early age. She wore no shoes until she was a teenager and went to school up to third grade. She learned how to read and write at a very basic level.

Being the next to the youngest of my mom's children I have very few recollections of my childhood. I was born when she was 40 years old.  I also know very little of her history except what I have learned from her and I have no recollection of what she looked when she was young.  

My mom about 47 years of age.

My mom had ten children, out of which one did not survive, the first one which I was told, was a boy. There are six girls and two boys, of which I am the eighth one.  My mom's history is a bit complicated which I care not to try to explain because I don't have enough information and my mom rarely talks about it.
Here I am with my two youngest sisters and my mom as we looked when we arrived to the United States in 1981.

My mom and her older brother
My mom, for the most part, has been a single mom. She worked up until we came to the United States. She worked in the meat market (at the municipal market) of Mejicanos, a city close to where I remember living. She sold meat there and because of this, I remember never lacking meat. We lived in rural place called Mariona and there lived in a one room house made of wood planks that had gap in between which allowed others to see inside, uneven dirt floors and roof made of aluminum. Living in a tropical place, thunderstorms were common and the sound it made on the roof made it even scarier (not to say the dripping around the house due to the holes on the roof) and my mom would often scare us even more by saying, "¡Gran poder de Dios!" (Great Power of God).
I don't remember much of childhood in relation to my mom. One occasion that I will never forget is when my friends and I decided to go to the river and shower. On our way back, being a stubborn boy, I  refused to go the same way back home with my friends and got lost.  When my mom arrived home from work she asked about me and was told what had happened. She left everything and immediately went and looked for me. Upon asking, someone told her they had a seen a little boy without a shirt holding a can, eating an ice cream and walking with a woman. She found me. I am so glad she did or I would be part of another family.Another occasion that I remember was when my friends and I decided to go explore, as it is so common in rural places. Walking in canyons was something I enjoyed. I loved exploring and on this occasion, I stepped on what appear solid ground. It was actually a whole that was covered with wood plank. I fell and broke my arm. Again, I remember my mom arriving from work and taking me to the hospital. I also remember the cast I had to wear. These two events show my mom's absolute care for me.

My mom isn't perfect nor is anyone of us. She has many weaknesses. One of them is that she is not inclined to ask forgiveness or showing affection. There was affection for me when I was very young but not after that. I don't remember she has ever said "I love you," either. I know this is anathema now. But I have never doubted my mom's love for me. I am certain that she would give her life for
anyone of her children. I rather have her actions than her words.  I am ok with that.

My mom and myself November 2014
There are three characteristics that stand out in my mom. One is that she is a selfless giver who has no desire to have money or possessions. As I am told by my sisters, my mom had opportunities to make money but she had no interest in it. She used it to help others. She helped many people and she never did it out of interest for her. Even to this day, she cares nothing about money or possessions. In fact, when she gets new clothes, she uses the old ones and saves the new ones. I remember when we were already in the US, I would ask my mom money when I needed something and she would say, "¡Go get it!" She didn't care about what I got. Of course I only got what I needed. My mom loved to cook and I miss it. I loved her food and so did many of my relatives who often came to visit her. My mom has always be a selfless giver. In this area, I don't come close to how my mom. I am still learning.

My mom also holds no grudges or bitterness toward anyone. I could list all the things people have done to her, that I know off, and how she just brushes them away. Her compassion dominates her life.
I know she wasn't perfect and had a strong temperament but this never lasted. This is another area that I have learned from her.

Care and concern for others is another quality my mom has. She has always cared about people (and not things).  My mom cares so much about others that it literally consumes her thoughts.  She thinks about them over and over. This hasn't helped her in her old age but never-the-less I know she cares. I often wish I could get in her mind and help her out of it. Ironically, as it happens with those who care for others, they are often forgotten. When my mom was in good health and older, she has droves of people show up to her house on weekends to enjoy her meals and company. She is now visited by very few relatives.

My and four of us
My mother,  three of my sisters and myself came to the United States in 1981. We lived in Los Angeles for a year before settling in Santa Ana California in 1983.  It was in Santa Ana, where we started attending a Spanish Baptist Church. There, myself and two of younger sisters came to know Christ. My mom initially started coming to church and then dropped off. Eventually, the Lord moved in her heart and came to know him. She was also baptized. Her life change was evident but her growth spiritually was not as fast. When I became a church planter, she also attended there. Eventually, as she got older attending church was difficult for her. For the last ten years or so, she has lived in assisted living and her health has declined. 
my mom and my older son and his wife
When I left ministry and started teaching full time, she often reminded me of my calling. She would say, "I will not die before seeing you in ministry again. That's what God called you for."  This year, her desire and prayer has come true. I am back in full time ministry.I know my mother isn't perfect, but she is perfect for me. She is perfect not because of what she isn't but because God chose her for me to give me life. God knew she was the best for me. I believe God is good and one proof is my mom. I am thankful that all my kids have had a chance to know her even our two adopted ones. In fact, she loves our little daughter. When we visited weekly, it brought her great joy!

My mom on her 87th birthday. The Galdámez's have a trait of not smiling in pictures. Once in a while we get one.

As of today (1/16/2015) my is very delicate health wise and we are not certain of the outcome. Her time to be with Christ and enjoy His comfort for ever may be at hand. Whatever the outcome, I am so grateful for her, as a mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I know that in eternity all her imperfections will be gone and she will be complete because she will be like Christ.  What Psalm 16:11 says will be true in her and all who know Christ:

   You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (ESV)