It might be hard for us to imagine a time when marginalization for religious faith was common. In our twenty first century setting religious faith has became such a private matter that the fact that Auntie Maria down in Houston married Uncle Ahmed, attends the local Masjid and no longer prays the rosary (she can still cook a mean Menudo - chicken mind you, pork is haram!) is really irrelevant.
But not all cultures see religious faith as irrelevant or inconsequential. One specific tale in our Palomino story is how a religious experience changed the course of our history.
Theology, whether we like to admit it or not, has consequences.
I recently watched an episode of the TV show Homeland, and in the show Brody the protagonist is a secret Muslim that is also a member of congress who is vying for the office of Vice President. His secret is meaningful, he understands the ramifications of his theology should it be revealed. His Islamic Theology has consequences for his life as a member of the most powerful political entity on the planet.
The Apostle Paul realized that his preaching on the radical grace of God was freeing while many others saw it as dangerous. His response was:
What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1-2
He understood that a theology really, truly affected the life of the person who confessed it. Which is why he explained further:
6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, Romans 6:6-8
That was also the case when a small Mexican widow found the Lord Jesus Christ in her despair. Maria Juanita Palomino with a hurting heart, and a wandering soul encountered the Lord Jesus at the altar of a Pentecostal church and unknowingly ripped the foundations of her entire family right from under them. She understood the immediate consequences of her new orthodoxy but what she didn’t know at the time was that this entire experience changed the course of history for her posterity.
A life of faux religion was banished when she heard the gospel of Jesus Christ for her. When she heard the news of a savior who truly, really actually saved his people our entire narrative was changed.
The Bible calls the church’s members the bride of Christ.
So, what exactly happens when this widow becomes a bride again?
Guess you’ll have stick around to see…
This spring break I road-tripped all over the Southwestern United States, and through the course of the trip one of the stops included the famous (or infamous) In-N-Out Burger. This notoriously famous burger joint was at one point the talk of the town at my local church because of its supposed stellar fries, and burgers. Given that at the time 85% of my entire church was Californian (thankfully the times of the gentiles are over) I never heard the end of In-N-Out. So, at one point while trekking through the Grand Canyon with my friends (who were road tripping with me) I exclaimed, randomly; “We have to go to In-N-Out in Cali!”. They too were mystified at the cultic obsession people from California and the western states had with In N Out. So, the day we arrived in Hollywood, we found the closest restaurant and sat to down to sup. I will be honest, I really approached In-N-Out with hope, the kind of hope that it contained within it the remnants of the fine fast food culture that thrived in California but boy was I in for a disappointment.
Now, mind you I’m a Texan, born and raised. Yes, my dad wears cowboy boots, he owns horses and drives a big truck. In fact at one point all of us drove trucks (six in total!). I say y’all, and fixin’ to. Technically, my mexican ancestry is deeper than that of the Anglo-Americans, but meh. So, when I encountered the proud, and arrogant Californians (I say that very lightly) I reacted violently (also lightly) and asserted the primacy of Texas as the only true state. There is no state but Texas, the rest are non-Texas. California I began to refer to as the ‘third world’. But, I digress.
As we arrived, I must say that the Texan response to In-N-Out appropriately is What-A-Burger, but the decor, and the general aura of In-N-Out is definitely a great supplement to get a Texan like me excited about finally taking a bite out of a tasty burger. I ordered a ‘normal’ burger, a ‘double double’ with mustard not the sauce. With that I ordered jalapeños,and to my dismay they didn’t have any!? But my server was very helpful and asked if I wanted banana peppers? In the south this is a crime. Everyone has jalapeños in the south. You get jalapeños with Ice Cream here…so, I was very surprised. I guess the pacific just doesn’t get it.
Now before I topple the idols, and destroy the idolaters like a good ‘ol iconoclast, I want to clear the air, I did approach In-N-Out with expectations that were above average. I’m not hard to please, I’m not a picky eater, heck I eat pretty much anything. I did, however; have high, oh so high expectations for In-N-Out, why? Well, you see from lay person to elder they all hailed In-N-Out as the big daddy of burgers joints.
Now, the particular restaurant we visited was busy, so maybe I can grant some mercy to the establishment but as far as taste goes the burger simply tasted – well that was the problem, the burger was simply a burger. There was nothing extremely delightful about having it, I enjoyed it but I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy any other burger. Everything was good, I love the aesthetics of In-N-Out, the service was great but the burger was supposed to be the high to end all highs and I just didn’t see it. I liked it, but I expected more. In the end, I walked away giving In-N-Out an average, at least for the burger.
I enjoy my meals together, so when I take a bite of a burger I throw in a few fries, dip my fries into some ketchup (loaded with pepper) and rinse and repeat. I did hear that the fries at In-N-Out also were to be just incredible, but mine were cold, stale and just over all…cafeteria fries? I’m not joking, I’m being very honest, the fries I received must have at least from what others have said not been the true fries that they always sell. Again, the sense of average-ness remained.
Ultimately, I enjoyed my meal at In-N-Out, but did I ENJOY my meal at In-N-Out? No. For that reason as soon as we drove back into Texas, Ian and I stopped at What-A-Burger for a good burger – an above average burger.
Anton is the adopted son of my friends Jason and Vanessa Delgado. During one of his many hospital visits his wife Vanessa asked my wife to stop by and take care of him at the hospital while she ran a few errands. Watch Anton as he tries to wake our baby boy up with his ‘rooster noise’.
Extracting minute details of family events, and historical places from the mind of my grandmother should be considered an art form – especially when your mother is sitting next to you correcting and modifying everything your grandma is saying.
“Well, we left Aguascalientes in 1969…”
“No, that’s not true it was 1970…”
“Mija, you were not even born yet.”
Its 2014, and I’m compiling a brief history of our Mexican ancestry that can span from the late 60’s until we’re extinct or our Lord appears in power and might (at least that’s what I want). Its my hope that generations will continue to contribute, offer some insight and maybe an occasional reader will stumble upon and learn about our sometimes exciting, but mostly bland Mexican history. We’re not a rich, popular, political, or military people. We’re civilians who work in a country that we’ve made our own. We are Christians who live and move and have our being in our God who has called us to both sacred and secular vocation all to His glory. We’re not desiring to convert America to Mexico, or to convert Americans into short, brown people. We just live here now, this is our home this is all we know. I know no more of Mexico, than I do of Brazil or Spain. I was born American, raised American and will remain American. That being said, its not hard to hear the nearest white person talk about being Irish and some sort of blend of native American. It shouldn’t catch anyone by surprise then to hear a Mexican-American talk about being a type of Mexican from Monterey or Aguascalientes.
At first, I wanted to make something in the form of a book. A scrapbook, or a written record of events but that did not seem to fit, afterall, it is the 21st century. I decided to take advantage of a blog instead.
This blog should offer a brief overview of our family history, and will take us on a journey from Villa Juraez, Aguascalienties, Mexico to Forth Worth, TX, USA to California, and maybe even Florida. This blog will also offer insight into our religious upbringing, our religious conversions and how we, as a family abandoned our Roman Catholicism for our Protestantism.
Finally, this is about providence. God’s providential work in the history of a family bringing them from darkness to light, not all of us profess faith but there is no doubt in recognizing God’s hand in the lives of our family from calamity to blessing.
It might get boring, what blog doesn’t But stick around if you’d like.
This list may be incorrect, I spent all last night thinking about what books I’ve read that I’ve either referenced or shared with others and decided these must have been the books that have ‘impacted my life’. I’m sure I’m missing a few but here is a list:
God At Work: Your Christian Vocation In All Of Life by Gene Veith
The Distinctiveness Of Baptist Covenant Theology by Pascal Denault
A Christian View Of Men & Things by Gordon Clark
The Gospel Driven Life by Michael Horton
A Remedy For Wandering Thoughts In Worship by Richard Steele
A New Systematic Theology of The Christian Faith by Robert Reymond
The Fruit Of The Spirit Is.. by JV Fesko
Knowing God by JI Packer
A Secular Faith by Daryl Hart
God Of Promise by Michael Horton
God And Evil by Gordon Clark
Read more …
I love Fort Worth almost as much as I love Texas. I lived in Austin for one year and while I lived there all I could think about was how much I wanted to move back to Fort Worth.
There are many reasons to love my city, one reason is that it is an economic boom town, another is that it has lots of beautiful places to visit and mostly nice people to meet. There is still a small town feel here, at least for some of us.
Lately West 7th St. has become one of my favorite places to visit. Recently on a date night with my wife I was telling her how West 7th had recently become an attraction in Fort Worth, and how all of the clubs, restaurants, bars and other attractions were relatively new.
I didn’t realize how new until I compiled this set of pictures using Google Maps that compare West 7th St. in 2007 to West 7th St. in 2013.
(links below, then click the clock and change the date)
W. 7th going East Then & Now
Still headed East..
West 7th & Norwood Then & Now
W. 7th & Currie St. Then & Now
W. 7th Then & Now
Crocket (parallel to 7th one st. down) Then & Now
Going West on 7th Then & Now
Driving Into Downtown Then & Now
University of Chicago Law Professor Martha Nussbaum traces the philosophical and historical origins of the American tradition of liberty of conscience by loo…
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