Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Ball Player with a Good Heart

I had the privilege of meeting Manny Delcarmen, relief pitcher of the Boston Redsox, this past Spring. He gave of his time to help coach a little league baseball team, with his longtime pal Felix Serrano, in Cape Coral, Fl. My God-son Steven was apart of that team and just having Manny coach the team, meant a lot to him. With Manny's help and the dedication and time spent with the kids from the great coaches, they won the Championship this year.

To have a Major Leaguer give of his time and busy schedule to give back to the youth of today was a big thing. Even getting a chance to talk to him myself was exciting since I am a big baseball fan that just loves the game. Moving down to Florida from New York, you have to deal with never ever getting so close to a player to even say hello, or getting ignored, but to have an opportunity to meet a wonderful young man with a great head on his shoulders was a great privilege. And it didn't bother me either talking to a Redsox since I am a Mets fan, not a Yankees fan.

This past Saturday, July 28, at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Fl, Manny invited the whole team with their parents to the stadium and presented the players with Redsox jackets(see photo) that had their name on the front and "Cape Coral League Champions" on the back. The kids were all excited about getting a chance to hang out with Manny a few hours before the game and then getting a chance to watch a great game afterward. Unfortunately Manny didn't get a chance to pitch, but it was great just hanging out with him before the game, it gave a different feel to going to a Major League game. Manny's wife and parents also attended the jacket ceremony and were so nice and fun to be around. It was an all around great day.

Manny is a great part of the Redsox bullpen and he will get even better with time and experience. The team has a pitcher with real good stuff and can become a mainstay in the bullpen for many years to come. How many people get to live their dream of playing for their hometown team, I think we all dream about that, but to live it, I think that is priceless.

Being a Mets fan obviously I want my team to win it all, but to meet a player like Manny, he has just won another fan on his side and I root for many successes in his life. He definitely deserves it. When you take of your time and just give back to the kids, it just makes a great impact on their lives. To talk to my God-son Steven about the game of baseball and just discuss all that it means to him, it is also priceless when you can help a young kid to make a difference in his or her life. And the many lives that Manny has touched already, they have a great chance of becoming something special.

Manny and his wife are expecting their first baby in September. I pray that God blesses this family with a healthy and happy baby boy. God Bless them.

Manny Delcarmen and Steven

Manny, Myself & Steven

A Prayer Request

My mother called me the other day to ask me if I knew a Sgt. Henry Conde, that works for the NYPD. She thought that maybe I was related to him from my dad's side. She said that Henry Conde had been indicted by the FBI for apparently being involved in obstructing an investigation of another cop.

I told her that I knew I didn't have any cousins named Henry. I thought about it and it hit me, the only Henry Conde that I knew, was the same Henry that Damien, Boobie, Peter, Chris and myself hung out with back in the day and played softball. I thought that it couldn't be him. There was no way. I called Chris, and he said that that Henry fit the description in the paper. It was finally confirmed today when I saw a picture of him in the Daily News on line.

I have known Henry a long time and I can honestly say that he is a good man that would never do anything wrong. He is a man of God and is always looking out for people especially his friends. I lift him up in prayer tonight and ask God to allow him the opportunity to be vindicated of these charges and to restore him to his job. I pray that God is with his family during this ordeal and that he will give them patience and understanding. I ask that anyone that reads this blog would also put him up in prayer. Only God knows the truth and he shall reveal for all to see when this is all over. God Bless Henry and his family.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer of 2007 in Florida

Our First Home

Our Home

Christopher in the Yard

Christopher & Mommy at the Beach

Christopher playing in a Tunnel

Dadda & Christopher enjoying their favorite treat

Christopher clowning around

Monday, July 23, 2007

New Church, New Beginning

Before we moved to Florida, one thing that I told Lina was important is that we find a Church to cal home. God has been a very important part of our relationship together and we needed to make sure that we continued that trend and also that we involved Christopher in that lifestyle.

The first few months were the hardest, because we were just adjusting to a new State, let a lone a new church. We visited two churches and really couldn't decide on which one was suited for us. We attended weekly services, at times switching back and forth. I guess I was looking for a church like Christ Tab. One that I could feel God's presence and also feel at home. I guess I wasn't really giving any of the churches a real chance. I was holding on to the past, to home in NY, never really grasping that we have a new home here in Florida.

We started to attend First Assemblies of God full time, every Sunday, and taking Christopher to Day Care. It was very difficult at first because he was not staying there too long and his number kept coming up on the screen. Either myself in the service alone or Lina alone and the other one with Christopher helping him to adjust. But that time spent was so well worth it. One day after service, we are in the kidztown lobby and Christopher turned to a cartoon picture and said "JESHUS". I looked at him and just praised God. My son acknowledged our savior. He recognized the one true man that has changed my life. And to top it off, he sang (some of the words- LOL) with Lina to the song "Jesus Loves Me". I was just in awe. I didn't think that this was the church for us, but God revealed to me that we are exactly where he wants us to be.

Then this past Sunday, the service was awesome. The music was amazing and Pastor Leibe spoke and his sermon was so awesome, I was in tears the whole time, not for sadness, but just being so grateful to God for what he has done for my family. Lina and I can't wait to get more involved in the church, and eventually becoming members.

But the most important part is that we feel as if we have found our new church, our home, and a new beginning.

To God be all the glory.

An Answered Prayer

Wow, where do I begin?

Well this all started when we were in NY last year and all I wanted for Christmas was to have more time with Christopher. Up until August 2006, I had been working since he was born and only getting to see him maybe 2 hours a day, in the AM and at night and then he would go to sleep. It was killing me because I wanted to spend every minute with him. I would be jealous of Lina (not really) but I wanted that whole day with him. I wanted to watch him change and grow and start to learn new things. It wasn't like Lina wasn't doing a great job, because she was and is, but I wanted to spend every single day with God's creation, his greatest gift to a family, a baby. It was a prayer that I felt one day could be answered.

Then we moved to Florida and things started to change. My first job here allowed me to work at home and see Christopher more, but funny thing was that it was not enough. I had to be in my room on the computer working most of the day and occasionally out on the road. Most people would think that I am crazy for wanting that, but if you knew that one of my true desires in life was to be a dad, then you would understand.

Then I lost my job and found myself home all the time. It was a new thing for me, but everyday wondering what we would do next excited me. It was tough on Lina and myself because with only unemployment coming in, we didn't know what would happened.

But that is when God decided to answer another prayer. Lina found a full time job and I became the full time sitter for Christopher. I did have time to go through a training program for the county schools for a bus operator position and was a awarded a CDL license because of that. And thanks to my father-in-law, Christopher was taken care of, but it wasn't the same leaving him each day. I know that Lina struggles each day with leaving him to go to work, but in the back of my mind, I say to myself, great my turn.

I know that most people feel that if the man is not working and earning the bread, that the family won't survive, but we leave all that in God's hands and it has allowed me to spend everyday with Christopher and we both have grown and have created such a bond together.

I have met men here that are in the same situation, just wanting a better situation for their baby and just enjoying the time spent with their child. It truly is priceless.

Our situation is getting so much better, even though it wasn't ever truly that bad, because God was and is in control. We are just afforded more opportunities for growth here then we were when we first arrived and my time with Christopher each and everyday has been so special to me. Whatever decision we choose to do regarding his well being, I know it will be taken care of, because God is the leader of this vehicle and he will never let us down.

I always say be careful what you pray for, but this is one prayer that I am glad it was answered exactly as I wanted it. Thank You Jesus.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

God's Way

I have to admit that the title of this blog was not hard to figure out. God's Way? Yes his way, his timing, his plan.

As I look back upon the last year, I can't help but feel amazed at what God has done for Lina, Christopher and myself. Last April, Lina and I were contemplating a move to Florida and not even knowing if it would be a successful one, but we prayed on it and left it in God's hands. Whatever he chose for us we would do, even if it meant staying in New York. It was his way.
As I look back and see what we have accomplished in a short time and what prayers he has answered, I just sit in awe of his faithfulness and love to us. We are just ordinary people, who are not perfect but just put him first in everything. It's like the blessings keep coming even in the rough times.

As I look back at the last 4 months, I realize that I am not in control of our destiny, he is. When I lost my job in March, I was too ashamed to even say to anyone what had happened, fearing the ridicule of my error in moving out of our comfort zone in New York. But as I look back at the last 4 months at what he has done since, my shame turns into thankfulness that we serve a God that loves us and just wants us to be happy. That will give us what our heart desires because we love him so much.

As I look back at the last 4 months, I can not help but look forward at the next 4 months, wondering what miracle will God do next in our lives. He has done so much to this point that I feel ashamed in even asking for anything else. So I leave our lives in his hands and just put my requests in prayer and if it is God's Way, his timing, his plan, then it will come to pass.
We love you Lord!!!
We thank you for everything we have.

My Photos of Paradise:
Sunset at Ft Myers Beach, Summer 2007