in the book of Romans chapter 12:14-15:
I (Salvador Cruz Monteagudo) was born (3/18/77) and raised in St. Paul to weekly Sunday devoted Catholic (Spanish influenced) loving parents from the Philippines. As a very quiet "nice" person, I witnessed (victim and abuser) to all sorts of problems-challenges growing up in my family's home, high school, job, and community that I can't list them all here. I came to University of Minnesota-Morris (UMM) to get a highly challenged academic education and to escape these problems. During my first year, I was surprisingly and unexpectedly surrounded by the Gospel (good news) through love and friendship indirectly by my floormates (actions-James 2:17; words-Ephesians 4:29-32) and others directly. One way that effectively and directly got my attention was by a guy (Stu Farm) who did a booktable for the Morris Community Church. He did this weekly in the Student Center and Food Service. As a freshmen, looking for new friends, I had a good time talking to Stu. I got my first Bible from him and I was encouraged everytime I talked to him. He would even pray with me, which no one ever did with me. Also, God sent some group of men from the Gideons to distribute small pocket Bibles at the college campus, which they had a table of contents directing you to Scripture verses (see story) dealing with particular issues in life. You can see God sent various people (servants that were obedient) to "plant seeds of His word" in my life leading to my Salvation. One day, I was invited to go with a group of UMM international students to go skiing at a nearby ski-resort. I got a little pride-ful and decided to just go on this ski-lift to the biggest hill (steep decline) because I remembered skiing many years ago and thought this is a "piece of cake". Well, when I got up there, I realized it was a lot more difficult than I thought. I wanted to take the ski-lift down, but that wasn't an option. I decided to go down the hill. Well, you pretty much know the rest of the story. I fell over 3x and hurt myself so badly that I had to be taken to the ER back at the local hospital in Morris (see personal accident story). I was freaked out and scared as I laid in the X-Ray room wondering if I broke something because it felt like it. I think I was more concerned about the financial costs than anything! I then cried out to God, which I never done before. I know He was there, but didn't know Him personally. I made a plea to Him saying, "If you are real, please heal me or I hope I didn't break anything! I'll follow you if yo do make this better!". The doctor came out with the x-ray results and gave me a relieving report...woo! A month or two later, I I finally gave in to seek God when I acknowledge my sinful life and ask forgiveness by giving my life to Christ (Romans 10:9) during a guest evangelist-speaker (from the Pensacola/Brownsville Revival-Florida) at a local church (Assembly God-now known as "Hossana Worship Center") in town (Spring 1996). During the service, I received "power" through being filled with the Holy Spirit and started to speak in tongues (see Baptism of the
Holy Spirit) Since then, I grew (Colossians 2:6-still continuing) in my relationship with my loving Father despite some bumps, road blocks, or pitholes along the way. As a speaker once said-"God is not interested in your setbacks, but your comebacks" (how are you going to face your daily life challenges? are you going to keep running away from God becuase of one or more sin?)
Now, I want to help in-coming (many "lost": hurting with deep issues from physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, etc... -Luke 15) students to UMM that are seeking that inner peace and love to fill that empty void (hole in their hurting heart) that will solve similar problems I faced though an adventerous loving relationship with Jesus Christ; who is the "way, truth, and life" (John 14:6). Many fill that empty void through all sorts of "garbage" (eg. smoking, alcohol, food, sex, drugs, media, mate that is not "right" for them in God's eyes, etc...Also- anger, jealousy-envy, hatred, disagreement w/authority, selfish ambition, sexual immorality, etc..more on "sinful nature"-Galatians 5:19-21) in this world, which I used to or still "unconciously" do some of (steal, food, unnecessary internet activities, countless hours watching t.v., going to night clubs to find temporary satisfaction, envying people who have more "wordly" things than me, disobeying authority, etc..) and I want to share them with another alternative through the "good news" in various ways (music, fellowship opportunties with other UMM christian student organizations, part of a bigger "church" family, and e-mailing various information one can't find in their "average" public college education).
FORMER RACIST Yes, I was a racist and had a whole lot of other issues! I still struggle with some evil racist/prejudice thoughts, but I grow out of it as I grow with God (through constant daily devotional time with Him through the Bible, small-large group fellowship, prayer, and praise&worship). Many of us just want to feel part of a group or a sense of belonging. None of us don't want to be alone or feel left out.
-Elementary School: I was a "nerd" (thick glasses, teacher's pet, quiet, studious, cheap clothing, etc...)in Battle Creek Elementary School in St. Paul, MN. I got picked on at times, but somehow were friends with the "popular" people becuase of being a "nice friend". There was just a couple "popluar" people that picked on me. One of them was African-American and he picked on me till High School. I grew to hate "Black" people just because of him and "others" that would pick on me (pushed on me, spit on me using spitballs, etc..). As I look back, I forgot an African-American friend name Eliot Dunn, who was one of my best friends in 4th-5th grade. But, due to being picked on by several "Black" African Americans, I stereotyped or group them to hate them ALL! I was influenced too by my White-Caucasian friends, who would make racists joke or remarks.
-Middle School/Junior High: I then started "hating" Asian people because my White-Caucasian friends too would make racist remarks. I told one of my best friends that my grandfather was killed by a Jap during WWII when they invaded the Philippines. I started to group all Asian Americans together and not wanting to associate with them. I wanted to be "white" to belong! I then started to listen to Heavy Metal music like my White-Caucasian friends. Being ignorant, I didn't realize how negative music can effect me. I started to get mad easier and would have a high temper. One time I remember going up to my room and head bang because of my frustrations during the junior-high years. A friend gave me some bullets one-time, which we started throwing in our junior high school gym. Thank God that nobody got hurt or killed! My friend and I ended up getting kicked out of school that day, which I went home crying to my mom. A couple of times I vented my anger towards my brother: 1) I charged him with a butcher knife, which he locked himself in our famly's bathroom 2) I threw my baseball glove at his "pink panther" ice cream that he got from the ice cream man
-High School: I started to hang out with Asian American more as I grew in friendship with them after I got tired of trying to be "white". I didn't associate with my Caucasian-White friends anymore and started getting involved with the Asian Club. They too would make jokes about "white" people. I thought I belong, but some of my Asian "friends" started to tease me that I don't look "Asian" (small eyes, yellow skin, or don't even know my language).
-College: During my freshmen year, I grew in friendship with all types of "colors". God started to soften my heart for His beautiful created people-no matter what their race was through many cultural experiences at UMM:
-Residential Adviser of a "diverse" floor in Clayton A. Gay Hall in 1997-1998
-Co-started a multicultural focus christian student organization called Alpha & Omega (now Chi-Alpha in 2003)
-attended the first annual Multicultural Retreat
-and many other smaller avenues
Using all my "colorful" friends, it made my first year in college showed me love and belonging that I never felt before. I started to ask Jesus to forgive me of all my racist actions and not obeying His 2nd greatest commandment "love thy neighbors". Even though I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life in the Spring of 96', I still struggled with racist thoughts. It doesn't go away overnight. As I started to search for who God really made me, I got involved with more Filipino American events. The Bible (see (see testimony) was the #1 source God spoke to me and opened my eyes to the Truth (John 14:6 "truth will set you free") as what happended to the Ethiopian (Acts 8). Philip, a follower of Christ, shared the Scripture with an Ethiopian who didn't understand the book of Isaiah (Old Testament). God used a speaker/preacher I listened to at IVCF to understand a story (Geneis 10-11: Noah's sons & Tower of Babel) about how God created different "nations" (ethnic groups, tribes, languages, etc...), which gave me a better understanding who I am as part of God's beautiful creation (Genesis 1:27 "own image"). I encourage people to ask God for wisdom and understanding of the Bible through the Holy Spirit (His "Trinity" or team). I was still looking for a sense of belonging despite I already belong to the family of Christ. During these Filipino events, I started to have negative thoughts as I hated Filipinos because I didn't know my native tongue-Tagalog. Again, I felt left out as I have all my life. I got involved with more Filipino American Christians, which I felt more belonged.
Picture of me with some old high school buddies at a Billy Graham Crusade in 1996... more description
-Adult: After college, I still had negative "racist" thoughts living in rural Morris, MN. I was paranoid still when I went through town wondering what people thought about me. I remember going to events with predominately Caucasians, I would say to myself "I'm the only non-white person here, what am I doing here!". I would keep quiet at times to fit my "stereotype" or "label" as "quiet", "passive", "non-English speaking American", etc...
As I look back these years of my life at this point of my life (4/19/03-4 years after college). I felt God was having me go through all this, so I can help others go face their similar struggles as I "minister" to college students. Living in rural Morris can be a cultural shock for a Minority-Asian-Filipino American that grew up in the cities. However, I've grown to know that I'm a child of God and part of a bigger family that I know now that I do belong! Yes, there are "racist" Christians, but I better look at the speck in my eye (Matthew 7:1-6) before judging others. I know now that my real identity is not what the world labels me (eg. minority, Asian/Asian-American, American, Minnesotan, etc..), but my identity is in Christ! That is my personal mission-God willingly; to help people find their identity (not trying to "fit-in" the world or feel a sense of belonging through involvement in gangs, clubs/organizations-sororities/fraternities, or anything that deals with social class, race, gender/sex, education level, or any type of status that divides one another, etc..) and that they can belong to the biggest loving family in Christ of believers as a child of God!
Remember, the only one perfect was, is, and always will be- Jesus, who modeled how we should all live when He was on earth and will be coming back to see if we follow His commandments. Life is a daily learning experience and I feel that good can come out of evil circumstances. Whenever you are in the pithole struggling, just remember God is with you (Emmanuel) and that what you are going through right now is just preperation for bigger and better things He has in store for you.
The story continues...........Sal's Homepage
When Judgment Day comes, I want to make sure I do fulfill my destiny on earth that God has me to do and finish. I know I'll be going to Heaven, what about you? If you do know you are going to Heaven, what has He called you to do before we go to our real Home in Heaven!?
"Years later an elderly pastor recalls a decision he had to make"
*see dvdtracts.org and the power of God's love
If you are not sure if you are going to Heaven or have gone "astray" from God; Ask Him how you can invite Him into your heart-life through the salvation of Jesus Christ or say this that was similar to what I did=>
Invitation Prayer to a Personal Relationship with God
"This is taken from a monthly (Fall of 1999) multicultural praise and worship gathering (Heart of the City) in Minneapolis' First Covenant Church. He shares a testimony of a woman that had cancer in her kidney that received prayer in this type of gathering a month ago. Days after her surgery, the doctors found no cancer-healed?! Want to ask God for forgiveness of wrong doings (sins) in your life? Here is an opportunity as this is a "sample" invitation prayer to do that."
Please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org (or 1.888.NEED.HIM) to know more of specific details and understand where I'm coming from if interested :)
More on follow-up (bible, local/home church-fellowship, prayer, etc..)-praise reports/testimonies//blessings (others) (tips from a youth outreach that has helped me to seek and know our Heavenly Father to make me the person I am today and tomorrow). See what are some of my personal viewpoints or perspectives for far in my Christian Walk=> Christian Lifestyle
Hillsong United - With Hearts as One - Salvation Is Here
Salvation Is Here
"This is an awsome video!!! This song was traduced by a friend... because we are Chileans. Then we play and sing that song in spanish. I hope so that you enjoy it. See you in Heaven, coming soon!!!"
""I've always wondered why the salvation prayer had not been put to music. It seems a perfect way to lead people to Christ. I was compelled to do so, but also afraid not to do it justice. Then one Sunday it just poured out of me, and Sherry and I worked together to complete it." -Matt McPherson www.asalvationprayer.com"
"Salvation is about conversion from one life to another. From a life lived for the things of this world/self to a life driven by the good news. A life of purpose, of infinte possibilities with the assurance of eternity with your creator"
SonicFlood - I Want To Know You More + Lyrics, from youtube.com
"In the secret
In the quiet place
In the stillness
You are there
In the secret
In the quiet hour I wait
only for You
Cause, I want to know You more
I want to know You
I want to hear Your voice
I want to know You more
I want to touch You
I want to see Your face
I want to know You more
I am reaching
for the highest goal
That I might receive
Pushing every hindrance aside
Out of my way
Cause, I want to know You more.
Chorus (3x) "
Cardboard testimony (better audio) - Today's Christian Videos
"Real people, real life, real love and forgiveness and healing."
"My Testimony and thanking God for everything he's done for me"
Eustace Scrubb [To the Stars]**Dragon's Heart**
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Issues: Greed, Greedy, Elite, Money, Power, Pride, Rich, Wealthy, etc...-Life: Belief, Faith, Hope, Trust, etc....
*see Dreams and Islam
Is Repentance Necessary For Salvation?
1) Faith alone without works = dead faith, NO SALVATION
2) Works alone without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ = dead works, NO SALVATION
3) Faith in Jesus Christ = TRUE BIBLICAL SALVATION + good fruits (works)!"
All the Christians (Liz, Stu, Poniman, etc..) I met in my first year in college that shared little bits of the Good News with me through words and action in Love! Also, to Hossana Worship Center (Assembly of God back in 1996) for having the invited speaker share his personal testimony and sins, which I never heard before that gave the "invitation" alter call. My roommate and I came up forward to "receive" Jesus into our hearts and asked Him to be our Lord of our life...Amen!