Tuesday, June 14, 2011

She takes my breath away.

The very first time I saw her, I told myself that I'm in love with her. She takes my breath away whenever I see her. I get goose bumps whenever I think of her.

She turns heads, she is so beautiful. I admire her so much because she stands for all that's good. 

I love the way she moves so freely, yet she's so strong. The colors she wears will never go out of style. I made a promise to protect her with my life. 

That's the way I feel about Old Glory whenever I see her flying freely above our free skies.

- Ramon Valenzuela, El Paso, TX

Monday, June 13, 2011

God is not through with Juarez.

Yesterday I was reading through the El Paso Times and an article really struck a chord with me. It was an interview with new police chief in Juarez, Julian Leyzaola. You can read the article by clicking here.

About Chief Leyzaola the article said that "he has taken on the enormous challenge of reining in crime in one of the most violent cities in Mexico. It is a daunting job, but he comes with experience. Leyzaola gained international prominence for helping reduce violence in Tijuana, cleaning up the city's police force and openly challenging drug organizations."

About the drug cartels - especially the powerful Zetas - Chief Leyzaola says "Am I supposed to tremble when the Zetas are mentioned or what? I think it is them who should tremble when they talk about the authorities."

Think about the power of that quote for a moment. Let it sink in.

This police chief - in one of the most violent cities in the world, where thousands are killed every year in the drug violence and where the police force is riddled with corruption and kickbacks - he believes that the drug cartels should be afraid of the authorities. 

I agree with him. And I hope and pray, oh I pray so much, that the authorities will get the upper hand in this war because I believe at the core of my heart that God is not through with Juarez.

At the end of the interview, Chief Leyzaola said he still believes that he can change the country. This is a man who recognizes that God-given right for the government to provide order and security, and it seems to me that he recognizes the fact that good MUST triumph over evil. The police MUST triumph over the cartels and criminals in Juarez. They simply must.

And the good news is, God is on their side:

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God ...For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." - Romans 13:1 & 4 NIV

Natalie Grant has a powerful new song out called "Your Great Name" and in the first verse she sings "Every fear; has no place; at the sound of Your great Name. The enemy; he has to leave; at the sound of Your great Name." How true are those words! The real source of this chaos in Juarez is satan. His mission is to steal, kill, and destroy - but he HAS to run away like a little girl when God steps into the picture. And according to the Bible, Chief Leyzaola is a man who is literally on a mission from God to clean up Juarez. Judging from the article in The Times, I think he will succeed.

He thinks that some semblance of order will be restored to Juarez within a year and a half. I hope and pray so. The enemy, which in this case is the drug cartels and other criminals, must flee because God is on the side of Chief Leyzaola and his police force.

So for those of us who are followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to pray for Juarez. This is not a light responsibility; we must be on our knees, praying faithfully and passionately for God to restore peace to Juarez. The fact is, God is not through with Juarez. That city's greatest days are ahead of her, and as her neighbors to the north, we must pray for and support them. 

Here are a couple of Scriptures you can pray over Juarez:

"O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure." - Psalm 7:9 NIV

"Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans, for I see violence and conflict in the city." - Psalm 55:9 NLT

When you hear about the violence and senseless killings in Juarez, pray. Pray and remember that the enemy has to leave at the sound of our great God's Name. Pray and claim peace over Juarez in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Pray and remember that God is not through with Juarez.