Saturday, August 05, 2006

......

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The past four weeks have allowed us much needed time to reflect, pray, and think about what God has in store for us. We have also set aside some time to rest, heal, study God's word, and spend time with family. Charles' sister and brother are doing very, very well with their brothers passing. They too are leaning on God's word and comfort through it all. Basically, our whole family has become closer to God and He has continued to bless us tremendously!

Because of God's grace and His drawing people at Charles funeral celebration, some of my immediate relatives have come to know God and now attend our church regularly. We continue to pray that our whole family come to know God and His love for us all.

And finally, after some more praying, we are ready to get to work for God. One of the things we believe God has called us to do is for us to organize a teen bible study group in our home. We have planned to begin in mid February. A local pastor, who mentored Charles with starting up a teen bible study group last year, is helping us by providing guidance and study material. We are also attending a couple’s bi-monthly fellowship/prayer/bible study group. On the very first day we attended there was another first time couple and the husband is going through treatments for lung cancer. What a time for us to share Charles' testimony and of what God has done for us through the past year and a half. At the meeting we all talked, cried, prayed and I know that by the end of the evening, we all received a shot of encouragement and faith. Thank God! I have also been attending a small men's bible study group headed up by a friend where some in the group are guys who seek a closer relationship with God. Some in the group are new Christians and we pray that they too come to know the Lord by attending. It has been awesome, and I know that God will continue to teach and reveal more of his glory to us.

One other thing that God has put a strong desire in my heart for is to share Charles' and our testimony to others in writing. I began to think of the journals, writings and poems Charles left us with. Then there are all of the wonderful things that God did for us since Charles’ passing. I have begun to write some and I will share some of Charles poems with you all from time to time.

Charles wrote about his faith often, and his poems reflect his strong love for God and his glory regardless of what he was going through. The following poem, I think captures some of his faith and should be a reminder of what we need to do in times of struggle. God will listen to our cries and will deliver us from all suffering and struggles if we fall on our face before Him and surrender to Him!

One of the scriptures Charles’ read often is in James 4:7-8
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Faith Unshaken

I am a child of God,
I go nowhere without Him
I know no fear,

I walk by faith…
In the midst of fire,
Resembles He, who endured trial,
Endured pain, and yet,
He gave His life.

Faith unshaken.
Faith unshaken, to the very end.

Though my body faileth,
I, in God stand unshaken.

For our bodies all must fail…
One day.


Copyright 2005 Charles S. Garcia

Monday, January 09, 2006

Hello everyone, DEATH HAS BEEN SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY!

On Saturday, January 7, 2006, a funeral celebration was held for Charles near his home town. Approximately four hundred and fifty friends and family members attended. Many have described the ceremony as a true celebration of Charles' going home to be with the Lord. Among the family and friends in attendance were several very special people which Charles befriended while in the hospital in Houston. Without a doubt, these special friendships which Charles forged with his faith and encouragement in God will continue to flourish with those of us still here.

Several scriptures that were read at the ceremony truly depict what we had prayed as soon as Charles went home to be with our Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 says, O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?

One of Charles' favorite bible verses was in Psalms 118:24. It reads, This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it. Basically, that was Charles' motto. Regardless of the circumstances and the impending fight ahead, he was glad and would rejoice in knowing that God's hand was at work, despite any bad report or facing death, this is what he would rejoice in!

NOW SOME MORE AWESOME NEWS...

We were thrilled to learn that an extremely talented Houston Chronicle sports reporter, John Lopez, wrote an article which came out on the Chronicles' Sunday January 8, 2006 edition. The article tells how Louisville Cardinals' All-American defensive end, Elvis Dumervil, was in Houston in December as one of three finalists eligible to receive the prestigious Lombardi award. Just days before the event, a few incredible things happened.

Charles had been selected to attend the ceremony and had already been fitted for a tuxedo. A limousine was to pick him up at the house and drive him to the event. He was to sit with other cancer patients also attending the event. Charles was thrilled and excited about attending the Lombardi awards ceremony. Well, as had often happened in the past, plans changed. Charles became ill and ended up back in the hospital just a few days before the event.

The day All-American defensive end Elvis Dumervil visited with children at Houston's Texas Children's Hospital, he met Charles. I don't know exactly what they shared with each other, but I do know that Charles was excited and was looking forward to attending the ceremony and watching Mr. Dumervil on TV playing football and keeping up with any future draft prospects. Apparently they had a profound effect on each other. I believe it was God, (he has a tendency to do that)!

For more on the story please go to Houston Chronicle's web site at chron.com and search for Elvis Dumervil. This will take you to the article titled, Elvis leaves the building...changed. I think that you will truly be amazed at how the two bonded the day there paths crossed. I still believe Charles left a lasting legacy for Christ and we are only seeing the beginning of that legacy.

Charles was a remarkable young man and would almost always best express his inner most thoughts and feelings by writing. We continue to find poems and letters dedicated to certain people and numerous other writings about his life and the trials he faced, and of his AMAZING faith in God. I think we have enough gathered to write a book that can help encourage many others who are going through a similar situation in life.

While facing the storm of his life, Charles was always ready to encourage and help others in the hospital even during times when most of us would turn and shut out the world when the fight became unbearable. You see, that is when Charles became the strongest because he understood that at our weakest, God is made stronger. And God made him stronger in return.

We had often been told that Charles was a remarkable kid and that he would grow and touch the lives of many for God. That is exactly what he is doing! Charles made many friends who attended bible study groups in the hospital with him and now know that he is finally healed!

It was that incredibly contagious personality that people loved about him. He was always positive and humble before God. He truly understood what it was to live under God's complete control. Placing his entire life (on earth and in heaven) in God's hands enabled him to live and fight the way he did. And I thank God that he had a profound effect on me and my family as well.

As mentioned before, Charles left us all many, many poems to remember him by. On December 5, 2005, Charles wrote his final poem. He titled it Roadway to heaven. I am sharing the poem with you all and believe it will touch your life as it has ours.

Roadway to heaven

The road for me has not yet ended.
With steep hills,
And even steeper drops,
Winding roads,
And no pit stops.

Trying to be a nice passenger,
I sometimes wonder if the driver is asleep.
But then He comforts me,
And told me He shall neither slumber nor sleep.

Without warning,
The weather changes,
Rain heavily pours down upon our party,
But the guests still remain gleeful,
For they are grateful for the party…

Fog blankets my home in an instant.
I can’t see tomorrow,
But I have no fear.
I have Jesus, and He is light.
I walk with Him and all darkness must flee.

But one thing is for sure,
No matter what the circumstance…
This is the day that the Lord has made
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

-Charles Garcia
Monday, December 5, 2005


To all of the wonderful people praying for us out there, THANK YOU and keep up the great work! Keep writing those encouraging comments and please share this blogspot with as many family and friends as you can. Remember, Charles could not have imagined the magnitude of how his little old blogspot would help and encourage others. He was simply living for God and was obedient to Him.

More to come...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

It brings me great sadness to inform you that on Thursday, December 29, 2005, Charles went to be with the Lord. He is once again rejoicing and has been made whole! Do not fret, because Charles loved the Lord and had faith that is uncommon. He touched the lives of many with his encouraging words, writings, bible studies, prayers and poems. He will leave a lasting legacy for the Lord and people from all over will see God's faith and grace through Charles and many seeds will continue to be planted.

God will continue to use Charles mightily. Charles did not plan to touch the lives of so many, but only intended to live for God. A by product of his committed faith is the work that we see occurring today. A true testimony of how what the enemy intended for bad, God turned around for good! What a testimony! Charles has inadvertently touched the lives of so many and we know he is rejoicing in heaven.

I thank God that while we endured a horrible storm over the past year and a half, we are still standing! God was honing our faith all along, and it has been galvanized, tested by fire, has endured wind and rain, and ultimately death. Thank God that we remain standing! And after the calm of the storm we thank God for removing the sting from our mourning. We will miss Charles, yes, but he would not want us to mourn without the hope of joy returning to our hearts soon. God has showered us with His grace and love that only He can deliver. Again, we thank God for all He has done and will continue to do in our lives and for the blessings He has provided our family during this past Christmas and this New Year. I can only pray that everyone reading this will be blessed by God this New Year and will come to seek and understand the kind of joy and love only He is capable of providing regardless of ANY circumstance.

Charles we love you and miss you!! We rejoice in knowing that you are made perfect and will never suffer again!

2 Timothy 4:6-8

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time
has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the
race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on
that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his
appearing.


Throughout the past few days, and even prior to Charles’ passing, God has not given us one reason to doubt Him. We have not for one second asked God why Charles was taken from us. We understand that God’s understanding is not our own. We will remain focused on Him and we will continue to be thankful!

For the “denial” theorists out there, I pray that you too come to understand faith in God and be consumed by His grace, love and joy. Then you can celebrate and stand firm regardless of any storm in life that comes your way.

We are finding more of Charles’ writings and poems in his personal journals, notebooks and computer. We will post them as we continue the journey on his blog. We encourage everyone reading this blog to share it with others as a testimony of what faith can do!

This poem was found only yesterday morning, and is yet another testimony of Charles’ faith in God. I pray that it speaks to your heart as it has ours.

Trustworthy One

Our lives at times are smooth,
We thank God for the small things,
We smile and act strong,
But that’s not all life has to bring.

To stand even when there seems to be no ground,
To trust God amidst the storm and wave,
Is to know He is God.
The same God who delivered you from the small,
Is He not great enough for the big?

Oh, Trustworthy One,
Who is there when we seem to have it all
Watching over us
Waiting for the fall?
One who is our fortress
Even to the very end.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR from Charles and family!

Charles has progressed little by little in the last week or so. He is not able to speak or move yet, but he is now opening his eyes and blinking at times (Thank God!). We have seen progress and are encouraged by it, as are the doctors. According to the doctors' reports and MRI results, Charles sustained significant brain damage as a result of extremely low blood pressure and possibly a stroke as well. They are not able to tell us at this time when Charles will recover. The plans for a bone-marrow transplant are also on hold until more progress is made. We will keep you posted. Remember that we do not place our faith in doctors' reports, but in God's report! Do not ever stop believing in God's power, all you have to do is look past the present, move forward with Him, thank Him, and praise Him for what he has in store for us.


As you continue to read, please keep in mind that I am not naive, I am not in denial, and do not think for one second that I am setting myself up for some great disappointment. Do not feel sorry for me, but continue to pray for me and my family. You see, God is not a disappointing God. If we allow him, He will reveal great things to us despite what we see in the natural world. God has allowed me to see past the present situation! I am not allowing myself to get bogged down with all of the negative fears and doubts many might feel surrounding Charles' condition! I will continue to thank God for the future no matter what happens. You see, it has already happened, it is done, and God had this all planned out way before Charles was even born! We often don't realize it, but God has a plan bigger than we can sometimes comprehend. I do know that he has used Charles mightily and because of that God has given me more and more faith. I have seen past the present and God has great things in store for me and my family.

I know that Charles is able to see past the present and for that he has inspired many. One of the many things that God revealed to Charles was looking ahead and remaining steadfast despite ANY situation he was faced with, even death. He almost made it look easy. I wanted to know how I could find that kind of faith. God answered my prayer and has allowed me to experience it on my own. It is liberating and can only be described as true freedom! There is no way humanly possible to explain it or to transfer it over. You have to want it and it can only come from God and His word!


The bible teaches us continually that despite trials and tribulations we are capable of seeing past the present. What we are going through is nothing compared to what many before us have endured. Nothing, with God's help and grace is impossible! I am looking past the present like the apostles did and I will not allow any current negative situation and negative emotions way me down. I’m prepared to do what it takes for God in the future. I realize that many will think that I’m a little crazy.... but even that; I can endure with God on my side. Please read God's word concerning faith, trials and tribulations, and how we can overcome anything with God. His truth will set you free! Free from anything that you are going through.

You see, once you entertain the thought of “well, you don’t know what I’m going through”, you have set yourself up for not allowing God to do His work. So don't allow self pity, worry, anxiety, doubt, fear, pain, suffering, sickness, confusion, family problems, financial problems, etc. have control over your walk and climb with God! Do not let the enemy rob and steal the joy of God from you! Place beneath you all of your worries and problems and use them as a giant stepping stool, you will SEE past the present and SEE what God has in store for you and His glory! Once you do that, there is no looking back, Thank God!

The biggest obstacle that prevented me from accepting God’s complete faith was doubt and uncertainty brought on by the enemy. That very doubt and uncertainty would not allow God to give me a more complete faith in Him. I began to worry about how I would handle disappointment and failure in prayer, after placing my entire trust in Him. How would I handle trusting Him completely, and then have the floor I stood on kicked out from under me? I also began to wonder how God could allow something like that to happen. Christian friends would even tell me that I needed to be ready for that kind of disappointment. Some would say that I shouldn’t have that kind of faith because ultimately I don’t know God’s will and believing the uncertain is almost like having false hope. In God there is never, ever any false hope nor is there never, ever any disappointment! That may seem like a hard pill to swallow for some, but it is the absolute truth!

Now that I have given God complete control and my complete trust and faith in Him, he has shown me that I need not worry about the floor under my feet because I will remain standing firm, regardless! I thank God that I am able to handle the present situation, or having the floor kicked out from under me or even handling the unknown. You see when you allow Him complete control, there is never any need to worry or doubt. I will remain standing firm and will never look back. I will look forward and upward and never lose sight of Him.

God is now able to teach me that faith alone is not enough. As His word says in James 2:14-17:
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

*****************
For many, the uncertainty of what happens after death is fearful. It doesn’t have to be. Remember that anyone one of us can die unexpectedly. Charles understood that a long time ago. Because of God’s knowledge and by God’s saving grace, Charles is saved and will go to be with the Lord when that day comes. I can say that with absolute certainty, not because it sounds "nice" or because it will read nice in the obituaries. Unfortunately many believe that we are born, we live life, we die and by God’s default we are all floating on some cloud in heaven. It doesn’t work that way.

Charles is in a “win- win” situation. I know that even in his last breath he would tell us not to worry about him, but rather would remind us that we need to take care of ourselves here on earth while we still have the opportunity to make sure that we are ready for eternal life in heaven. That my friend is liberating! Thank God! Because of that freedom, I no longer worry about what the doctors will say next. I will continue to stand firm and believe that God has already healed Charles. All we need to do now is to wait for the manifestation. Because of Charles’ future with God here on earth or in heaven, I no longer have to worry about Charles’ present. God is in total control of His perfect will.


Despite all of the turmoil that we face, God has continued to bless my family with His love, peace, joy and knowledge in His word. As we continue with the spiritual battle for Charles, we have at times grown weary, but through God almighty, we are renewed in our strength and press forward towards victory. You see, we believe that victory already belongs to Charles because of our ability to look past the present.

About four months ago, I was faced with telling Charles, for the first time, that doctors believed there was nothing else they could do for him. They contemplated sending him home and making him comfortable to eventually die. While a difficult thing to do, imagine being on the receiving end of that conversation. Now imagine being told that several times during the last 4 months.
We prayed, cried and talked a short while. I left him alone for an hour or so and when I returned it was as if our conversation had never occurred! He refused to accept defeat. Charles never conceded, instead God was honing his faith and put him to the test. You see, he was able to see past the present because of God’s grace, not due to denial, but rather because of God’s freedom and showers of mercy and grace which reign in his heart.

What ever you struggle with, remember what God's word says in Hebrews 11:23-27:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

If you are still struggling, then put on God’s armor of faith like He says in Ephesians 6:10-18:

"Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.
Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occassion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Update on Charles...

First and foremost, I THANK GOD for his continued blessings and protection over my family.

Charles is doing great and his organs continue to function better and better every day! He is still sedated and has been so for a little over one week now! He should be well rested when he wakes up! (ha ha!) Doctors are concerned that he has not come out of the state of sedation despite discontinuing certain medications. Over the next few days, they will continue to run tests on brainwave activity and check for meningitis and so on, but God is in control and the outcome has already been ordained by Him.

As soon as he is able, Charles will jump at the opportunity to give his testimony on what God has done this past week.

Looking back at the past eighteen months since Charles initially was diagnosed with Leukemia, God has not stopped blessing and protecting my family and me. He has taught me to base my hope in Christ and has given me increased faith to withstand the rains and winds as His word says in Matthew 7:25:
[Jesus said] "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the
winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall,
because it had its foundation on the rock."
God has also poured out his blessings through my rather large blood family (thank God), work, and everyone at Church of the Good Sheperd in McAllen, Baptist Temple Church in McAllen, Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Journey Church in Mission, Christ Commission Bible Church in Houston, and through many, many others who are continually praying for us. THANK YOU, GOD BLESS YOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


Matthew 5:2-5

[Jesus] said: "Your blessed when you're at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You're blessed
when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can
you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You're blessed when
you're content with just who you are...no more, no less. That's the
moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Update on Charles...

Charles is stable and continues to improve since this past Tuesday. This should not be a surprise since God's hand is about him and we declare that Charles has already been healed, thank God!

Doctors report that he is still recovering and is very ill. They also say that they will need to do a cat scan on his brain to determine if any brain damage has occurred. Well, Valerie and I are standing firm in our faith given to us by God! We are not waiting for, nor are we relying on any report from the doctors. Our perfect doctor and healer, Jesus Christ, has already declared the perfect report.

We will persevere and continue to stand firm because in Hebrews 10:23 it says:

Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the
hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to
keep his promise.

So we are trusting God and his word!

Charles had recently written some encouraging messages which he passed out to several young cancer patients and their parents. Here is a portion of his writings...

"I write this to you by faith, that you will be encouraged by God as I have through this time of trial and tribulation."

As one who has been through much and has experienced pain, I feel called, being given a gift of words by God to write this to you, knowing that you yourself have experienced much no matter how long it's been, or how hopeless it may appear. For to read a book or letter or even so much as to hear words from one who has not been in your shoes, does little compared to someone who is told he has no hope with medicine or science. Therefore, I write this with compassion and understanding, that I can share not the pain and suffering I have come through, but what it, through Christ has produced. Even in scripture does it continually speak of tribulations producing certain things. In Romans 5:3-4 it says:

...we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience: and patience experience and experience hope...


Since Charles cannot use a computer and his cell phone at this time, I'm sure he will get back to all of his friends and family that have left him messages asap! In the meanwhile, I (Charles' dad) will be updating his blog for him.

God bless You All!