All posts by Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God.

“Get out of my country…!” : Is America Great?

“Get out of my country..” says an ignorant man to a US citizen. What country? The “great” America…? You tell people who are different than you and who don’t have a similar background to “get out of your country”? If America is about dividing people whose ancestors have been born in this country from people who were born in another country but who are residents or US citizens, and deport them back to their ancestors’s country, then America is not great.  If America is about deporting those who ‘cross the boundaries illegally” , then America is not great.

This is the problem with some who call themselves “Americans.”  This is the problem with nationalism. Holding on to the self defeating idea  that countries have boundaries that must not be crossed.  It is the “us against them” mentality. The “legal” versus the “illegal” way of thinking.

This is the problem with dividing, compartmentalizing, and labeling people because of personal biases. A country (as well as ethnicity, race, patriotism) is a made up idea, like most ideas, which separates us as human beings.  Believing that “we have a country” and others must stay out of our country,  is a delusion that feeds our egos. There is truly no boundaries… no borders… no lines, except in our heads.

Jorge Ramos is told “Get out of my country”

Guys, would you feel embarrassed buying feminine products for your ladies?

The other day, my wife texted and asked me if I would feel embarrassed to buy feminine products for her at the grocery store. I thought about it for a second and then responded  by texting that I would not mind.  I never buy  this kind of stuff for her, but if she needed it, then I would buy it with no problem.   So she texted me back with a smiling face with loving hearts.
In another time, I think I would feel embarrassed, but after being married for so many years, I don’t have that much “insecurity” anymore. I would feel worse if I am in an isle in front of birth control products or in a book store looking at books about intimate relationships or romance.
I wonder, do other guys feel embarrassed if they are asked to buy feminine products? And if they do, what is the source of their embarrassment? What about  holding the ladies’ purse while they use the public restroom?   If we guys are sure of who we are and what we are, why do we sometimes worry about what other people think?

Any thoughts…?

Help! Wife wants to go to church!

I almost had a panic attack… not really.    But seriously, I was speechless when my wife expressed the interest in going to church tomorrow.  I asked myself, “is it because it’s Easter Sunday?” Which is common to people who live religious lives, but not truly dedicated to “church life.” I used to criticize people who go to church only on special occasions, like Easter and Christmas Day.

Now I am one of those people.

However, I don’t even like going to church on special days. I just don’t. I have evolved in my spiritual life significantly.  You can read more about my journey in Living the Kingdom blog. To me (and this is my honest opinion), it is a waste of time going to church. This post is not about religion or spirituality.  I am just expressing my opinion and disapproval of an activity I used to do regularly because of tradition. It was a norm to go to church at least once a week. It was part of the culture and family tradition.   But I started researching, reading, and questioning to the point that attending a religious event became the same as going to a sports or political event. They all serve an “idol” and are based an ideology.

I don’t mean to offend anyone (although feeling offended is a choice).  Again, I am just sharing my thoughts about a tradition that many people still follow and they have a right to do.  But I personally don’t think it is worth my time.

So I guess I will have to accompany my wife to this place that I truly don’t want to go to.  I am not always going to do what I want, am I?

What do I rather do?  I rather go help feed the homeless.  I rather go visit people who are sick.  I rather call those who are lonely and distant. Yes, that is what I rather do.  Because, after all, isn’t church a group of people doing certain things, instead of a building?

Just a thought.

Can I have Sunlight with that vacation please?: Family time with a bit of cool weather 

Ahh…! Spring break …. The trees are greener… The birds are singing. The temperature is rising . The flowers are blooming…. And the pollen is invading every single one of our nostrils causing  sneezes and coughs… And our cars look green too.

But I am not complaining… The family and I are enjoying a three day vacation (finally) in a hotel right at the Beach. The following is our experience so far…:

Day one: we arrive at the hotel .. The sky looks grey… With a little bit of blue here and there.. Temperatures are  in the 70s. Not bad for spring .. The kids brought surfing boards (they don’t really surf), beach balls, and tools to make sand castles .   We are planning to stay at the beach most of the time .  Once we go in the room .. It starts raining.   I am thinking “Ok… Good for the flowers and the grass.”  After the rain , it is too dark and cold (60s now) to go walk at the beach … So we go buy pizza and a little bit of groceries and bring it back to hotel room.  No microwave in the room so we have to eat fast before pizza gets too cold. But everything else is good, so far.

Day two : We wake up and it feels like 6:00 in the morning , but it’s actually almost 9 o’clock! So we run downstairs to eat breakfast in hotel’s lobby before they close at 10  am.   No sunlight yet… It is 63 degrees outside. Not too bad, but no time for beach yet.  We go back upstairs and just relax.  At noon we go to the beach to test the environment.. Still too cold and windy .. A few people  are walking on the sand . Three guys trying to fly a kite that literally hits me two times because they obviously cannot control it , but I politely return the kite to them . Pool area is empty.    My wife and I cannot stand the cold wind anymore and head back to room with kids.

 After a long nap, we go back outside to eat dinner.  We find a nice restaurant close by, and , voila! there is a perfect new park right across the street  and right at the beach too !  So after linner (lunch and dinner) , we spend time at this park.  Sky is still cloudy and wind is cool. Upon returning to hotel , my son wants to return to beach , to play some soccer with him at an almost empty beach.. The wind kept pushing the ball toward the ocean, but my son is fast enough to get it. Tomorrow should be warmer and sunnier … Wish us luck….!

Day three: We got up to eat breakfast and the sky was still grey. But I saw some sunlight around 10 am . !! We went running to the beach and spent time under the sun for about four hours .   We finally got some beach time as a family.    We may continue tomorrow even after checking out of the hotel.!!

Sick of being Sick


I have bimageeen fighting something nasty for the last three days.. First I thought it was allergies.  Then I started getting chills at night.  And now  I’m just feeling like I am in a fog.   I take all kinds of medication.. They don’t seem to help much.

But I shouldn’t complain… A few days ago another one of  my uncles passed away (I have three gone already ).  I was not close to him at all, but my father was.   I just spoke with my father about him.   He said “he was younger than me,  yet he was gone first.”

I cannot help to think of the day that my father passes too.  I have been trying to accept it without getting too emotional.   But the day will come… it is inevitable.  And so will be the day that I am gone and every family member that I know … Because we’re not eternal.

So,  sick or not,  I will simply live this day.   Without complaining.  I may recover tomorrow.  Who knows?

What do you think?


The Adventures of a Modern Public Restroom

I wanted to share a long time ago the experience that I sometimes have with these interesting modern restrooms, which  have new convenient features.  I decided to put it in a story form.  Here you go:

I enter urgently into the public restroom, which has a small metallic sign on the door of a stick figure.  The other room has a female version of the stick figure.  As I walk pass the multiple sinks, they sense my presence and start pouring water by themselves, one by one.  I approach the toilet stall , enter, close the door,  and comfortably sit on the toilet seat.  I have the option of using the seat covers, but I am in too much of a hurry to use them.  I finish relieving myself and stand up and pull up my pants (after wiping, of course).  I turn to flush the toilet, but there is no handle.  I wait patiently for the toilet to also sense my presence and start flushing by itself.  But it doesn’t.  I patiently keep waiting, sometimes waving my hand from side to side in front of the toilet so that its sensor can depict my presence and do its job.  I look at the waste I had just deposited in the toilet’s bowl, hoping it would disappear soon under the violent rush of water during the flush and into the underground pipes.  Nothing.

I decide to exit the toilet stall and approach one of the sinks.  I can hear the toilet flushing in the distance.  I wave my hand in front of the sink,  and water starts pouring out of the faucet.   But it suddenly stops once I put my hands under the faucet.  I wave my hands again and water comes out again.  While my hands feel the cold water pouring over them, I reach out with my right hand for the soap.  I hold my hand under the soap dispenser, but nothing comes out.  I suddenly realize that, unlike the toilet and the sink, the soap dispenser does not have a sensor.  Therefore, I have to actually touch and push the button that says “push” and a foamy, white substance comes out of it on my hand.

I rub my hands while I continue to wash them.  I remove the hands from the sink, but the water continues to run.  I put my hands under the faucet again to rinse my hands one more time, but the faucet decides to stop pouring water this time, so I don’t get a last rinse of water.

I turn towards the hand dryer on the wall, since there is no paper towel dispenser on sight.  I put my hands under the hand dryer dispenser, and a strong, violent gush of hot hair comes rushing down against my wet hands.  I suddenly picture myself jumping out of a flying airplane and feeling this same rush of air towards my hands and my whole body.  My hands are completely dried in a matter of seconds.

Voila!  I exit the modern restroom with a great sense of accomplishment!  How convenient these modern restrooms can be!

(I think the lights turn off by themselves once I leave the restroom as well . )

Excuse my French

I have been thinking about this lately.

When you are going to curse and you say : “Excuse my French” prior to cursing, that means you can actually STOP yourself from cursing.

But if it slips your mouth and you curse first, then it makes more sense to excuse yourself afterwards.     I suggest you don’t say “excuse my French ” and then curse .   Because if you can pause to excuse yourself, you might as well take the opportunity to change how you choose your words.

Here is an idea: If you are going to excuse yourself first, just don’t curse at all.