Where I belong?

29 May

There is no doubt in my mind that my life as a young man was different from everyone else. I left Fresno well before I could enjoy the city as my own person; I depended on my parents to be able to enjoy the city. When I got to Yuma, there was nothing here. my first day in the “city”, I went to the South Gate “Hall” and played video games. I said to myself and later to my mom and dad that this place stinks.

Once I got into high school, I was able to enjoy myself a bit more. Being in band was fun. Then I became apart of the worship ministry at my uncles church, so I was in Mexicali every weekend. There I was, 15 years old, enjoying a city of over 1 million people, an amazing mall, and great friends. I belonged. But, as most things, I didn’t stay there long, but still, that time was amazing, it was fun and I felt that I belonged there.

I remember the first time I drove to Fresno on my own, I enjoyed the city the way I wanted to. I didn’t go crazy and go out to every club known to man, I was only 19. But, I got to go where I wanted, when I wanted. It was great. I also remember the first time I drove to San Diego on my own to spend the day at the beach, alone. No one knew that I was there. But, waking around, going to the different places, seeing the people and feeling like I belonged there. But I didn’t. There was something about that city, the “BIG” city that just drew me in. It was intoxicating.

I felt that same intoxication years later as I walked down 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica. I felt the same thing and feel the same thing every time I walk down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena’s Old Town area. I feel as though that is where I belong. the fashion, the music, the culture. It something that my artistic heart desires, that my sense of “coolness” wants. Driving down the residential neighborhoods and looking at the houses feeling them call to me as though they need me to be their owner. I turn and ask my wife, “could we live here? Could we make it here?” As she says we could, I realize maybe that is where I belong. A place like that, a life like that. But then it dawns on me.

I know why I belong there and why I didn’t belong in the other places. The first thing, I am not an artist, I am a worshipper. My talent is for God and is satisfied in honoring Him with it more than culture and other “art” forms could satisfy. The there reason why I belong there is because I could be there with my family. MY FAMILY. My family is what I have created with my wife. Our relationship, our friendship. My family is our kids, both of them. Where they are, that is where I belong. No where else. Even if I have to endure 100 plus temperatures versus mid 80’s to mid 90’s as the high, I belong here because this is where my family is. I belong with them, I belong to them. I belong here. All the other things are secondary; the cycling community, the music, clothes, art, all that I can do without. I can not do without those 3 people that have changed my life. I belong here.

A sense of accomplishment

19 May

My last day of school in Fresno, Ca., my sixth grade teacher told my dad that I hated change. She was right. We left Fresno and came to Yuma and ended up at Pecan Grove. Horrible! No after school cartoons because we didn’t have cable? Are you kidding me? I got over it. Jr. High. I was in band and it identified me. My band director looked out for me so when I was in 8th grade and had to move to another school, he was not happy. Woodard Jr. High. The worst 3 months, outside of first moving to Yuma, of my life! The kids in band did not take anything serious. I was constantly telling them that they sucked and that their lack of interest in music was disgusting. The looked at me like I was from Mars. The silver lining in those 3 months was one, I got to go back to Fresno for the summer and two, I was going to Yuma High. Best Band, no doubt. 4 years I would never forget. something happened also in those 4 years. I started to play the bass guitar. (more on that later). The trips, the competitions, the bus rides, Vegas, Flagstaff, you name it, it was all worth it! It felt good walking the line and hearing my name, I know that my parents were proud. I would have to say especially my dad.

Here is where it gets complicated. I started to work my senior year and was also leading worship in a local church of about 100 people in Yuma. Things looked good. I felt a calling on my life. I loved God, worship, and I loved music. I fit right in. I was at this church for 4 years and built a solid team. Never a drummer though, I don’t know why. I then went and helped my uncle as he was starting a new church. It grew. It was amazing. God was doing amazing things. I was working with some of the young people, teaching them music, teaching them worship, teaching them God. The soaked it in. I looked, and saw what God was doing and thought that this is what God wants me to do. Then the split.

I stayed as long as I could after. Built, disciple, trained, encouraged, and then I was gone. Driving home that night I kind of felt like the Apostle Paul. He loved the churches he planted. He knew that is what God had for him. It was a good time. But, I had to leave.

I got a job teaching music to kids. Realizing that the Jr. High in San Luis didn’t have a band, I stuck my nose in the right place and got the job. The first year, we played at the basketball games. The only Jr. High to have a pep band. The next year, we learn to march. That’s where Harry Ramirez came in and said, I got this. By the end of that year, we were doing something different again and knew that it was only going to get better. The next couple of years, we started adding things to “our show”. Split the band in half. Make them cross each other making the formation of what seemed to be diamonds. We would march towards people, it was fun seeing the crowds faces when they saw the band marching towards them, then, were moving away. The last year I was there, we did 13 parades, took the commanders trophy for the Yuma Veterans day parade and went to Prescott again. Then, the decision. You can only be a band teacher, we can not give you another job.

Full time ministry is tough, especially when you work for a small church. I made a few attempts at some songs, some of which caught on and some didn’t. I lead worship for various events, discipled some people. Went to Panama for ministry. It was good. I felt accomplished that finally, I was were God wanted me to be. But, something changed

If that was were God wanted me to be, it was short lived. If it wasn’t, then there had to be something better. Then, in the midst of change, uncertainty, at times, chaos; I realized something.

This woman, these kids. This family. This ministry to build and disciple. This family. That was and is my accomplishment. Not leading worship in a theater in Washington in front of 5,000 people. It wasn’t leading worship at 5 different camps in one year. It is none of those things. What God had for me was my family.

Now, as I serve in an amazing church, I still look at these 3 people, MY own personal church, and I think that yes, THIS is what God wants. This is where he wants me. This is my accomplishment.

And I am not even close to being done.

This is only beginning.

19 May

There is no way to describe feelings. We show them. Feelings, emotions, all things that we try so hard to find words to describe that in the end, we just show them. I have been married for 3 years. Her name is Cynthia. I came to her with a little suitcase named Kassandra Joy. Joy is because she brought joy to my life in some difficult times. Cynthia came along and not only brought joy, but she brought love, true love, real love; something that I had been desiring for some time. She had it and she wanted to give it away. The best part of this beginning story of Cynthia and I is that she waited. She waited for me. She waited for us.

Going on 3 years of marriage now, there are 4 of us. Jorge, Cynthia, Kassandra, Tobias. Tobias was named after a character from the West Wing. We were eating dinner in Chilie’s and she looked at me and thought “how could we have missed this?” Toby Ziggler in the TV show the West Wing was an intelligent man. A man of integrity. Stubborn as heck, but he loved justice. That was something we wanted to instill in our son. Kassandra and Toby play. They fight, cry, laugh, smile, sit and watch TV together and it all works. They are the perfect picture of a brother and a sister and yet they are far from being perfect.

There is so much more to this little story with a beginning, that has yet to even consider the middle, and doesn’t even want to look at the end. I guess, if I were to classify the the middle and the end it would be that the middle is when Kassandra and Toby get married, but then, there is another beginning. If I were to give this an end, it would be either when Christ returns or I am 6 feet under. Either way, my end could be someone’s middle and someone else’s bImageeginning. But they are all stories.

I am going to record my life for the next couple of years as continue to learn to be a husband, father. I am going to record my experiences from school, church. and life. I hope that you enjoy. Tell your friends and be encouraged. Thanks.

Jorge.

Hello world!

18 May

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