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Pedro Gelabert
Lives in New York, New York
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Pedro Gelabert

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1 John 3:19-20 (NIV) This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

If you ever feel guilty, meaning, your heart is condemning you, remember God is a whole lot bigger than your emotions and your intellect combined! You know you belong to the truth if your heart is at rest because He already knows everything about you and has come to accept you, even those vile things that are hidden in your heart and sometimes surprise you. Nothing has surprised God - He wants you and loves you with all those flaws and imperfections. You don’t have to try and impress God, and for that matter, anyone else. He already has given us His Son, so how will He not give us all things along with Him? That is His promise for all His children (Romans 8:32)! The mark of someone who knows God loves him is a heart at rest: unflinched by worry, anxiety, despair or anger. A heart at rest because we are in His presence - and when we are before His presence nothing else matters!
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Exodus 2:2-3 GW The woman became pregnant and had a son. She saw how beautiful he was and hid him for three months. (3) When she couldn't hide him any longer, she took a basket made of papyrus plants and coated it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in it and set it among the papyrus plants near the bank of the Nile River.

TRUSTING GOD WITH OUR KIDS

Pharaoh ordered that every male born to the Hebrews be thrown in the Nile. Moses was born during this time and, after three months, his mother realized she could hide him no longer. Imagine her angst as she left him in the basket among the reeds in the Nile River! She did not know what the future held, but she released her son by her faith in God.

Some moments bring a special awareness that we, too, are releasing our kids to God. Saying goodbye as we drop them off for their first day of kindergarten. Handing them the car keys as they take it out for a drive on their own. Watching them stand at the altar and commit their life to another in marriage. As you release your kids, remember that God has a plan! The road may not always be easy, but have faith in His wisdom and eternal purposes.

Trust God - they really are His kids after all.

- Parenting By Design
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Proverbs 14:1 GW The wisest of women builds up her home, but a stupid one tears it down with her own hands.

BUILDING A 'HOUSE'

Our actions and words have the ability to build up or tear down. Think about how you communicate with your kids. Do you find yourself saying no a lot more than you say yes? When we habitually say no, we inadvertently tear down our kids' sense of confidence and capability. So often, we think our no is protecting our kids when we are really just protecting our desire for control.

"No" is the easy answer, but as long as you can do it with integrity, try to say yes to your kids as much as possible. "Yes" sends a message of confidence and encouragement that our kids are desperately seeking. It's true that saying yes will take more time and energy, but yes is a faith answer because it requires you to trust the Lord. You may be surprised to find that the more you say yes, the more your kids will be willing to accept your no.

Build your "house" by being confident and encouraging.

- Parenting By Design
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James 4:1-2 GW What causes fights and quarrels among you? Aren't they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you? (2) You want what you don't have, so you commit murder. You're determined to have things, but you can't get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don't have the things you want, because you don't pray for them.

IDENTITY

Have you ever wondered why some criticisms sting so much more than others? Very often, people find themselves reacting strongly when their "identity" is threatened. We all have ways we define ourselves - the good mother, a great cook, the successful businessman. Fights and quarrels often arise when we feel someone is challenging what we believe about ourselves

Our kids are no different. Although they may define their identity differently - the intelligent student, the beautiful girl, the talented athlete - they, too, feel the sting when their identity is threatened. They may respond by questioning whether they are valuable, capable, and worthwhile.

When we become Christians, our identity changes forever as we become identified as children of God. Our value no longer depends on things like athletic skill, beauty, brains, or the opinions of others, because it is rooted in Christ. When we understand His work on the cross and accept His love, we can weather challenges to our identity on earth.

Our true identity is as a perfectly loved and accepted child of the living God!

- Parenting By Design
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Genesis 3:21 GW The LORD God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them.

GOD'S EXAMPLE OF EMPATHY

Eating from the tree did not have the result Adam and Eve hoped. While they became like God in their ability to recognize both good and evil, they soon realized it was their own evil that was revealed. The result? Shame entered the world for the first time.

This single verse from the Bible has astounding ramifications! Despite Adam's and Eve's blatant disobedience, and the fact that incredibly significant consequences were going to be delivered, God responded with perfect empathy. After they committed the most significant sin of all time, God acknowledged their feelings and made garments of skin to cover their shame!

What an amazing and loving Father we have! As parents, we must try to model that same empathy to our kids, even in the midst of their disobedience. How? By soliciting their thoughts, feelings, motivations, and insecurities even as we deliver necessary consequences and grieving with them over the tough, but necessary lessons of life.

As you experience God's incredible love, let the overflow of a grateful heart motivate and guide your parenting.

- Parenting By Design
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Hebrews 5:8-9 NIV Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered (9) and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him...


Many blame God for the suffering they encounter in this world. Many even use suffering as an excuse as to why they won’t believe in God. They don’t realize suffering is God’s tool to help people develop a faith that can save them from eternal death. God doesn’t intend for suffering to mock us or hurt us. Satan wants us to think we suffer because God doesn’t care. That is the lie humanity has bought and they are suffering for it, even though they don’t agree with suffering! Pathetic, isn’t it? But God used His only Son, Jesus, to illustrate the workings of this spiritual law for our own sake. Jesus showed us suffering is the only way we are going to make it to Heaven. No one will escape suffering in this flesh, so why not embrace it and let it work its purpose? It is God’s workshop towards salvation for those who love Him and obey Him.
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Luke 7:12-13 GW As he came near the entrance to the city, he met a funeral procession. The dead man was a widow's only child. A large crowd from the city was with her. (13) When the Lord saw her, he felt sorry for her. He said to her, "Don't cry."

BEING SEEN AND KNOWN

Although she did not call out to him, Jesus saw the widow who had lost her son. How wonderful to be seen by the Son of God! Not only did He see her, but this verse says His heart went out to her. He connected with her suffering.

What encouragement for us as parents. Jesus sees us, too, but not in a casual, indifferent way. He feels our pain and He knows our struggles. You can take comfort in knowing that as you walk the sometimes difficult and painful path of parenthood, His heart goes out to you as well. Remember that you are not alone. He is walking alongside you this very day.

You are known and loved by the Son of God.

- Parenting By Design
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2 Corinthians 12:9-10 GW But he told me: "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ's power will live in me. (10) Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It's clear that when I'm weak, I'm strong.

STRENGTH FROM WEAKNESS

When raising kids, there are situations that make us feel inadequate because there is nothing we can do to "fix" the situation. Maybe our child's feelings were hurt when they were excluded from a party. Perhaps a love interest "dumped" them or they were cut from a team.

One of our biggest obstacles in trusting God is our own sense of strength. The truth is we can never be too weak for God to use us, but we can be too strong. When we recognize the limits of our control, however, we are much more likely to embrace our need for God.

Let your weaknesses become an opportunity to point your kids towards the real source of strength - dependence on Christ.

- Parenting By Design
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Psalms 127:3-4 GW Children are an inheritance from the LORD. They are a reward from him. (4) The children born to a man when he is young are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

RELEASING OUR CHILDREN

Children are gifts from God, but we must remember they will leave our home in 18 — 20 years. Our purpose as parents isn't to hold onto these gifts tightly, but to prepare them to be released like the arrows of a warrior.

What a challenge! These verses should encourage us as we see our kids growing more and more independent each day. Just like arrows, we can guide and direct them, but at some point we have to let go.

How do we prepare them for life on their own? By letting go, bit by bit, each day. By speaking messages of encouragement and confidence, rather than skepticism and worry. By giving age-appropriate choices and responsibilities to even the youngest of children. For example: "Now that you're five, you're big enough to help me with dinner. Would you rather set the table or stir the muffin mix?"

Release your kids a little bit each day and remember that your goal is to let go one day.

- Parenting By Design
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Genesis 3:21 GW The LORD God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them.

COVERING SHAME

The Garden of Eden was perfect until Adam and Eve brought sin and shame into the world. God covered their shame, but that covering came at a cost. To provide the skin needed to make garments, an innocent animal was slain.

What a foreshadowing of Christ's work on the cross! Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed His innocent blood for our sin so God could cover our shame as well. And, although the Bible does not specify, would anyone be surprised if the animal slain in the Garden of Eden turned out to be a lamb?

God demonstrated the response of a loving Perfect ParentÑHe covered the shame that caused Adam and Eve to hide. Then, He delivered consequences for rebellion in a way that Adam and Eve (and their descendants) were taught a powerful lesson about His provision of righteousness in the future.

Had God not first covered their shame, Adam and Eve may not have received the lesson. God's act of covering them demonstrated He would never leave or forsake His children. Adam and Eve could receive the lesson because they loved and trusted the Teacher.

Covering shame makes teaching possible.

- Parenting By Design
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Genesis 3:9-10 GW The LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?" (10) He answered, "I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid."

NO MORE HIDING

After Adam and Eve ate from the tree, they realized they were naked. In response, they hid from God and sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. God's response to Adam's sin was a question: "Where are you?" Now, you can be certain that God had not misplaced Adam! He asked the question for Adam's benefit, not His.

The legacy of Adam and Eve's act is that we are still hiding today. Shopping, food, drug and alcohol abuse, and sometimes even exercise represent our "fig leaves." Still, God continues to ask us, "Where are you?" He is calling for us to come out of hiding and into a relationship with Him.

What an example for parents! Call your kids out of hiding by asking open-ended questions and listen to their answers with understanding, rather than meeting them with judgment and shame. If you need to give consequences for their disobedience, choose to give those consequences with empathy.

Meeting your kids with empathy helps them come out of hiding and into relationship.

- Parenting By Design
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A servant of Jesus
Introduction
This journey we call life will end well when you put trust in Jesus. Listen to His words of love in the Bible and you will find life that is abundant! I'm not necessarily talking about this life - the valley of the shadow of death - this one is only a test. There's something wonderful ahead for those who make Jesus their Lord.
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Blessed beyond measure with every spiritual blessing in Christ!
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Currently
New York, New York
Previously
San Juan, PR
One of the best theaters I've been in. Great chairs, they keep it clean and sound is comfortable. Not overly load. Some of the people who come here are pids, leaving their trash around, but I guess every town has their pigs.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Great for families or groups. The HIbachi (Teppanyaki) was commanded by a japanese cook, not some other ethnicity. Good show and great food at better prices that their competitors.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
It has an automated postal center so it's awesome!
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
LICOC Bible Class
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reviewed 6 months ago
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Excellent family ambience, exquisite food and friendly service. Very affordable!
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
Nice mall
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Bathrooms a bit dirty
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago