Gerry & Julie Gutierrez' Update
Good News for Valentine's Day!
Gerry and Julie, Going Dutch?
February 02, 2016
No matter how poor I was even as a student, I never went Dutch with my girlfriend. Some may call it hypocrisy or lack of sincerity. But "my girl" thought of herself as a princess and felt worshipped by my sacrifice. She knew that my hammer just slaughtered my 'piggy bank' in her honor that morning. My lifetime friend Ovi, my brother-in-law, Colin and I were the jealous observer of this practice which later I came to know as the Royal Law, James 2:8. “If you keep the Royal Law found in Scripture "love your neighbor as yourself you're doing right”.
Later we met Dan, he became our friend and he keeps saying "you beat me to the draw" paying the bill in the restaurant. We also noticed that he enjoyed being beaten. Soon we learn a new word, "freeloader”. Dan was like another friend who after dinner he would disappear in the bathroom for a long time to avoid washing dishes.
In the Garden of Eden there was a young couple on a date. Either of them have two nickels to rub together in their pockets. For that matter, they did not even have pockets.
The girl had an expensive taste. She had an open account for all the stores in the garden but she liked to go shopping to expensive places and wanted to live beyond her means. I wonder if she went for a walk to "rodeo drive," where there were nice things for the eyes to look. She was just window-shopping and was beginning to get hungry around noon, when a salesman came to talk to her. She stopped to listen to a stranger. The salesman was a horrible mean snake but Eve was not afraid of anybody or anything. Back in those days there was no danger, a child could play with a cobra and a lamb would recline next to a lion. There was no need of hospitals, doctors, lawyers, teachers, policeman, firemen or tax collectors. The appearance of the snake was like that of an angel of light and his voice sounded like that of a friend. But his words were poisonous and vicious against God and his word and will. His words came to Eve in the form of a question. Did God really say that you must not eat from any tree in the garden?
A question is different from a comment; a question requires an answer!! And especially if you know the answer!! Like a clever kid in elementary school raises his hand fast and straight up in order to impress the teacher and show off before his peers. The mother hen mentality of Eve who wanted to correct the wrong in others jumped into the opportunity to straighten the "twisted "concept of the serpent about God.
There is nothing wrong with apologetics up to this point. The problem with defending God and his word is when we do not recognize the legitimacy of the question. Eve’s mistake was to reciprocate with an answer as if the snake had asked a truthful question.
Eve should have said, "No, God did not say such a thing”. Satan’s question was not a faithful question. To take away something from the truth is not faithfulness. To add something to the truth is not faithfulness either. The truth is the truth. The serpent added the small word to the question, "ANY”, therefore the question was devious. The council of Scripture is that even God is shrewd with the devious! Perhaps Eve should have said, "Where did you hear that? "I did not say that to you! You did not hear that from God! Is your listening ear all right? That is not true!
Instead Eve responded in the same unfaithful way to the truth. Eve added the words “you must not touch it ". The real target of the serpent was the Word and the will of God clearly stated in the prohibition of not to eat the fruit.
We must be careful of what we hear and how in alignment is with God's will what we listen. To make the story short, Julie and I must confess that we are the splitting image of our first parents, Adam and eve. "The acorn does not fall far from the oak tree”. Julie and I have been eating from the forbidden fruit. "We have taken our eyes from Jesus and sunk in the waters and have been tossed by the waves and winds as a small boat in the high sea. For over a year we have written a black book of excuses and built our case as if one is the enemy of the other and forgot the author of the book of lies, who is Satan himself. We have split in half the forbidden fruit and eat it and neither of us have enough to pay the bill. Going Dutch seems to be the proper thing to do by assuming the responsibility of our part of the bill.
As reasonable and just as this Salomonic sentence may sound, I find discomfort in living by Justice in an era of grace. I follow someone greater than Solomon and he requires of me what he requires of himself in matters of love and relationship with his wife the church. The eating of the forbidden fruit had the effect of opening the eyes of Adam and Eve and causing fear and shame. While pants cover better to boys than skirts to girls; it does not matter before God. I have no case against my wife but to love her with the self-given redemptive love of Jesus for his bride the church. Next to the Holy Spirit, I had the greatest counselor on earth in the person of my own son and Pastor, the Reverend Nathaniel Gutierrez, who did not only take seriously to marry us but stood with us and agonize with us in prayer and loving words from the beginning. He would say to me, "Dad, your wife is not a distraction from mission work; your wife is your mission! Later when I pleaded with him to take my case, he said, "I know how wives push our buttons, but remember, we are the wife of Jesus and we are worse than any wife in the world". These words acquire a life of their own in my mind and heart and sustained me in the toughest last years of my life. These past years have become the hardest and at the same time the most blessed and joyful years of all my life. I can say without any hesitation that our Lord has brought me to the point of saying truthfully "Jesus is enough”, to the point that I can say that I am the happiest man alive I know. I do not desire to be like anyone dead or alive, from the past, present or future. I am at peace with my Lord and ready to go home. All of this would have not been possible without the death of a vision; the death of my wife Ruthie and the call to be a witness in the toughest missionary assignment to the nationals in the United States of America where finally I am in a true cross-cultural situation working by faith in a foreign language, alone, abandoned, rejected, in pain, retirement, sickness with a new wife in Julie the will of God for me.
I have come to the end of my term of 3.5 years or 42 months or 1260 days. (The length of time our Lord Jesus used in his full time ministry on earth). And I am ready to move on.
My friends have gotten tired of me and I have gotten tired of my friends, with few exceptions. I find the health of the Church and my own spiritual health unacceptable before God. I plea guilty alone with the church of the weak use of the power entrusted to us by God in Prayer, Faith and the ever prevailing will of God. There is a gap between what the scripture teaches and our daily practice and understanding of Prayer. I am afraid that should the Lord Jesus visit his church today, he would not find his church as “a house of prayer.”
I am holding like lightening in my hand lessons and principles learned in the closet of my heart. I am feeling like an over stuffed 400 lbs. Gorilla too clumsy to deliverer the cream of my thought for the common good of the body in kindness.
Four years ago I learned from my friend Kathy who taught me through her Daughter Kelly that, “If you are not going to say something nice don’t say it at all.”
I will remain silent until I put my house in order and testify first to my wife then to the rest of the world. I am in need of prayers to speak the truth in gentleness and love and remember that I am talking to the bride of Jesus.
Our Lord who is the Resurrection and the Life has given Resurrection and life to our otherwise dying marriage and has entrusted to us the ministry to stand as witnesses of Jesus through our marriage. I want to stand in front of my wife with the commitment to cover her and take responsibility for the future state of our marriage.
I cannot Go Dutch on this. I take solemn responsibility of my marriage if it fails
The irresistible nature of love and the efficacious work of the Holy Spirit is the ground where I will rebuild our lives together. So help me God.
PS. Julie Marie typed this letter for me from my manuscript. Julie has been back home for a while and things amazingly could not have been better to the glory of God. I add in the bottom of this page Julie’s comments to this letter.
Papi, what is very clear to me as I read this is that it does come from someone who has walked this path. I can tell that a piece of your soul is in this. It's very tender and a very beautiful story of truth and awareness of God's mercy and renewing Grace. I am very proud of you, Papi. This could be your Hallmark piece. I'm going to type it up here in a little bit and I'll send it to you. I love you! 🌹❤️ Julie.