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strong_jesus

JESUS HAD A SIX PACK

(Edited from posted in April 2015)

Since I was a little boy and as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a strong belief in God and something “bigger than me and this world”.  This was so much so that in High School I began to question everything I was being taught in the Catholic church, and set out on my own journey to “find God”.  That search for “truth” continues to this day, but one very practical thing that never really made sense was how the world has portrayed Jesus, which has been a very frail, skinny, white, pale sickly looking man who anyone could take down with one punch to the face.

I believe in a very different image of Jesus Christ, one that I feel should have been adopted a long long time ago, and it’s based on very practical observations.  I believe that Jesus was not frail or sickly, but rather a very strong and fit man with dark skin, strong forearms and biceps, resembling a very fit and toned MMA fighter of today.  He probably didnt’ have the physique of a bodybuilder, and may have been more lean, but by all means had more muscle and endurance than most of us.  How have I come to this conclusion?

JESUS WAS A FISHERMAN

The fisherman of today have it pretty easy compared to the days of Jesus.  There were no motorized boats or machinery that lifted nets and brought fish into your boat.  Lots of rowing by hand, pulling up nets by hand all day, every day.  Unloading the boat of fish, packaging the fish, pulling the boats in, etc.  A complete work out like this every single day would have to keep these guys fit and toned.  The exaggerated depiction of Popeye’s forearms was not just the creation of a cartoonist, as I’m sure that fisherman developed huge forearms from all of this work.  In addition to all of the manual labor that kept them fit, take into account their constant exposure to the sun which probably kept them nice a tanned all year round.

 JESUS WAS A CARPENTER

Carpentry today can’t compare to the work involved in the days of Jesus either.  Because of my circular saws, miter saws, jig saw, and my dewalt cordless drill, I can build in minutes what it probably took hours or days for them to build back in the day.  And the energy exerted would be minimal.

If Jesus needed to build a table for someone, he had to manually cut each piece of wood, shave each piece by hand, and perform tasks that required strength and arm pressure.  Wood work back then was not easy work and I’m sorry, but if you do your research on the many different facets of wood work back then one would have to come to the conclusion that these craftsman were building muscle while working.

JESUS ENDURED HIS EXECUTION BECAUSE HE WAS PHYSICALLY ABLE

Without going into detail about every task involved with being a fisherman or carpenter back in that day, I would hope that you can see how easy it would be to come to the conclusion that Jesus was not what the world has described to us for so long.  I feel that one of the major reasons that Jesus was able to endure what he did during his crucifixion was due to his physique and fitness.  The “frail” Jesus wouldn’t have made it past lashing #4 or #5, and yet Jesus withstood 40 FREAKIN LASHES with a weapon that was designed to rip his skin off!

Add to this the beat down that he received from the soldiers, the fact that he had to carry his own heavy cross to his own execution, and then having huge railroad type spikes driven through his arms and feet.  The strength needed to continuously try to pull him self up and position himself to breath easier required a strength that the little white sickly Jesus simply wouldn’t have been able to handle.  Many of us would have been dead before even making it to carrying our own cross.

JESUS WAS A BAD ASS

As you sip on your coffee this morning, prepare for lunch, or even as you make plans for this coming Easter Sunday, remember that the man behind the Easter holiday was plain and simply a Bad Ass.  Whether you believe that he rose from the dead or not, Jesus was a real man who walked this earth, and history supports the fact that he was executed in one of the most gruesome ways possible.

His message was just as real, which in a nut shell was one of LOVE and FORGIVENESS.  If you take anything away from the story of Jesus at least take that.  Learn from his selfless life of Love and walk in it everyday.  He gave us so many great lessons and tools to use to live this life and his story has stood the test of time and will continue for centuries to come.

Have a Great Easter everyone and eat lots of BBQ this Sunday.  *smiley face here.

@hectorgarciahtx

 Photo artwork from Tjokorda Bagus Wiratmaja

marriage

Right now i’m sitting in a small restaurant / bar / pub (i think) and I’m sitting alone, only because my lunch meeting had to reschedule.  So of course, I have my handy little companion called my laptop sitting in the truck, and it makes up for the missing person, kinda, but not really.

So here I am, eating a great bbq bacon burger and fries and chillin to some decent music.  The rain outside and the ambiance within this semi cozy / dark place makes it perfect for a little bit of writing.  And I’m always ready to write, especially since my tiny little brain never stops and always has something to say.

What I want to share today has to do with relationships and more specific, marriage.  By the way, I’m married, and have been for almost 13 years.  You learn a lot about a person in 13 years, 18 if you count how long we’ve known each other.  But one thing you never really learn is how to handle conflict or crisis.  And this is mainly because every crisis or problem is different.  Add to this the fact that no two people are ever at the same places in life or at the same place and mindset that they were during the last conflict you had to deal with.  Conflict sucks but it’s part of life and definitely part of relationships. How we handle conflict is the key though and here are 3 things that I do know need to happen during times of conflict if two people hope to get through it together.

ONE. It’s important for any couple, married or not, to look at the relationship as two people on the same team.  If you view each other as team mates, playing for the same team, then anytime there’s a conflict or crisis, it will hopefully be natural to look at the problem as an outside force, working against both of you, not both of you working against one another.  This also helps keep two people from pointing the finger at one another.  Placing blame sucks and it’s usually the biggest hurdle to overcome during conflict, especially if you feel the other person “did you wrong”.  Working as a team changes the perspective, even if there is a “victim” and it allows both people to ask the question “How do WE get through this?”, rather than either person asking how THEY will get through it on their own.

TWO. You hear all the time that communication is the key to any relationship.  Well, after being married for only 13 years, I can say that this really is the number one key.  If two people can’t communicate effectively, it will be very difficult to settle anything or come to any kind of resolution during conflict.  A good example of this would be where one person is the one who speaks up all the time, and the other “shuts down” because they don’t like dealing with conflict.  Sometimes there’s a partner who doesn’t really know how to deal with conflict so they prefer to say nothing at all and have a difficult time expressing themselves.  Whatever the case, two people can find a way to communicate effectively and those lines of communication should always be open and taken advantage of.  We’re all human and no one on this earth is a mind reader, so please don’t expect your partner to read yours.  It’s very simple.  Both people should work to always provide a safe haven of communication and both should simply say what’s on their heart and mind.  Always be honest with your feelings and don’t hold anything back.

THREE. Couples should never, ever choose to handle “major” conflict on their own.  Most stuff of course can be dealt with between two people, but when the conflict clearly becomes greater than the two, both should agree that the right thing to do would be to bring someone in as a mediator.  A mediator helps in so many ways.  They can help two people see more clearly and give an outside perspective.  If there’s a lot of arguing and an inability to communicate effectively, a good mediator helps direct the conversation in the right direction and can help remove any obstacles that might be the culprit for the poor communication.  The simple fact that two people would try to handle a major crisis on their own is a clear sign that they should get some outside help.  Sometimes we have close friends that would serve as great mediators, but it would be wise to get an expert or skilled mediator involved at some point.

Relationships take a lot of work.  The key, I believe, to any successful relationship, is for both people to put the other first and serve the other person.  If you have two people that are working to put the other before themselves, you can’t lose.  Out-give your partner.  Out-love them.  Out-cherish them.  Out-serve them.  Live like this and you’ll be out-smarting the many things that work to destroy most relationships and marriages.

(Note:  This was started yesterday.  After I left the restaurant, I walked out the door, slipped on wet decking wood, and crushed my laptop.  I know, it was fun.)

– @hectorgarcia

momdad1

A conversation with a friend of mine earlier tonight brought to memory my dad, Jesse Garcia, who died when I was 10 years old.  Cancer was the guilty party and this happened in the Summer of 1983, June 19th to be exact.  It’ll be 27 years this June since he left us, and sometimes it really does feel like only yesterday that I was hanging out with the best, toughest, smartest man in the world.

Of course, at age 10, every dad is the smartest, toughest, most powerful man around, but my dad truly was a great man.  I have nothing but good memories about him and every time I hang out with my 70 year old mother, I drill her with questions about him that give me just a little bit more insight on who my dad really was.  Even though I was 10 when he passed away, i was still too young to retain solid memories.  There is a lot that is somewhat vague, which makes those conversations with my mom so valuable.

Like tonight, I sat with my mom for a couple of hours and learned about the initial diagnosis of his cancer.  I learned about how much pain my father had to endure and how strong my mom had to be for him.  I learned a little about what he wished for all of his sons and daughters and I witnessed a love that my mom still has for my dad even after being gone all these years.

So yeah, I have no problem expressing the sadness I sometimes feel when I recall not growing up with a father.  I can remember certain instances in life where having my dad by my side would have been awesome.  I remember being nominated for something in high school, and while all of the other students had their mom and dad waiting in line with them to go out on the football field, i stood there with only my mom.  I envied the others who had their dad standing there with them and I remember looking at my mom, trying to hold back my slightly tear filled eyes from leaking, and saying “Man, it sure would have been nice to have dad standing here with us right now, right mom?”.

When I see a father and son out in public and it’s evident that they’re not close, I sometimes want to go over and slap both of them in the back of the neck and tell them to snap out of it.  When I see a dad hanging out with his son(s) and enjoying his time with them and vise versa, I sometimes want to go over and shake his hand while letting his kids know how lucky they are.

I understand that not every family situation is perfect and there are probably some very good reasons why some people don’t grow up being close to their mom and dads.  I also know that certain situations take place later in life that put a wedge between us and our parents.  But whatever the case may be, I would give anything to be the 37 year old man that I am right now and have my dad in my life.  I would cherish and value every day that I could have with him and not take any of my time with him for granted.  I would still want to learn from him and simply be content with having someone in my life that I could call “dad”.

So whatever your case may be, and wherever you are in your relationship with your “dad” or father, I encourage you to do something different today.  Make a shift.  Step out and do something for him that you haven’t done for him in a long time.  Be the kid that he remembers you as and hug the crap out of him the next time you see him.  Buy him something that speaks volumes to the man.  Encourage him today.  Love him today.  And if you have to, forgive him today if he needs to be forgiven.  You don’t have to wait until father’s day to honor him and let him know that you were thinking about him.  Everyday can be father’s day.  Everyday.

– Hector

superman

One of my favorite shows to watch is “Heroes“.  Before that it was “Smallville“, and before that I loved anything that had to do with “Xmen“.  Still love X-men of course, and Smallville, well it got kind of weird and went into some craziness so I lost interest.  My love for these shows / movies all have one theme in common; plain, simple human beings that either develop special powers or discover powers that were already inside of them.

This interest and intrigue with “super powers” goes as far back as 8,9, or 10 years old.  It hasn’t been a normal child hood “dream” to be Superman or Spiderman, but a true desire to have powers so that I could save and change the world.  I know, it’s crazy, but even at age 10 or 11, I remember walking down the street at night, talking to God and asking him to give me the ability to fly so that I could help people.  I would literally run and jump in the air with my arms stretched out, hoping that by some divine or freakish coincidence I’d begin moving through the air and begin my new job of “superhero”.

I grew up with rough surroundings and a lot of my desire to help people and see change take place in people’s lives is because of the “trouble” I’ve seen growing up.  I’ve never developed the ability to fly or break through steel (go figure), but the desire to “give back” and “save the world” is still there.  It was multiplied when I had a life changing encounter with God in college and its what drives me everyday to do something “big”.

No one will ever develop the “super powers ” that we see in movies and in comic books, but we do have the ability to help change at least one life around us and become a “hero” to him/her.  We all have unique gifts and talents and God wants to use you to change the world around you.  Your ability to “fly” may be your ability to “make things happen” or bring the right people together for a specific task.  Your ability to break through steel might be your gift of helping someone break through barriers in their life.  And someone’s “xray vision” could be their “vision” and contagious ability to “dream”.

Be a hero today. Change a life.  Impact your world.  And if you have time, go for  a quick little flight around the earth backwards as fast as you can.  I’d love to see if that works to rewind time (see Superman the Movie – 1978)

handshake

This past weekend, my wife and I attended a surprise party for one of her uncles. My wife is Filipino and what that means in regards to parties is that there is enough food to feed about 5,000 people! Seriously, if you want to go to parties where it’s a given that you will take a bag full of food home, then go find some Filipinos to become friends with. You won’t regret it. White people, learn from the Filipinos and Mexicans. Stop having parties that only provide chips, dip, and one plate of tuna sandwiches and some cookies. You should be ashamed of yourself! ha. Sorry, I had to throw that in there. It’s all good. No hurt feelings, right? Just take your party food up to another level, please.

Well, this post is’nt about food or parties, it’s about a young man. While at this party, there was a young guy (we’ll call him Mike), maybe in his late teens, and from the time that we entered the house till we left, he spent most of his time off to the side with his head and eyes buried in a Nintendo DS. Of course I step out and address these kinds of people who try to hide out and avoid being social, but I was probably the only one who acknowledged “mike” (other than his parents). But even when I did, his response was weak and not full of a lot of life or enthusiasm. His hand shake was weak as well.

This encounter confirmed some thoughts I’ve had for quite a while about young people and the affects that technology has on them, particularly young men. This is a generation of young boys who are growing up under the care and teaching of a computer or gaming system, allowing technology to replace their need to be social through the most basic form we know, which is human to human. Technology is keeping our kids glued to a screen and universe that doesn’t require them to be truly social.  We call the use of tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace as “social media”, but anyone can type thoughts and pretend to be whatever they want online.  “Social Media” doesn’t require a lot of work or effort.

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