The [Real] Lazarus Effect

During one of my quality quiet times with the Lord, it dawned on me; I found the story of Lazarus’s death and resurrection a simple, yet profound illustration of Salvation, that is, the unresponsiveness of those “dead” in their sin and the Call to Life by the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Interestingly timed” (please note the quotations), at the raining down and organization of Scripture verses, I happen to type in “Lazarus” online, and realized there was a movie entitled, “The Lazarus Effect”. Therefore, instead of waiting to edit a slew of other blog entries, including this one, I figured this would be the opportune time to share the real Lazarus effect.

Like Lazarus, we were DEAD:

“…Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” (John 11:11-15 NIV)

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…” (Ephesians 2:1 NIV)

Like those mourning the death of Lazarus, we were ALL unresponsive, unwilling, and unable to respond to that which is Alive: 

“On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.” (John 11:17-19 NIV)

“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.’” (Romans 3:10-12 NIV)

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV)

“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7-8 NIV)

“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.” (Ephesians 4:18-19 NIV)

Like the Call to Life to Lazarus, those who have been Called [by name] were also made Alive by Christ:

…Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face…” (John 11:43-44a NIV)

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 1:1-4 NIV)

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16 NIV)

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NIV)

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV)

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV)

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV)

“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 NIV)

In closing, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26 NIV)  If so, then, He has Called you. If not, then you are dead; and if you feel in any way uncomfortable, I pray that that is what I phrase, “the contractions of your Calling.”

May the Lord be glorified.

Be blessed.


My Birth, Your Day

Today is my Birthday and the perfect opportunity to shine the light on those who are the most deserving to be recognized, those completely responsible for my Birth Day: Father God and His vessel, my mother.

Although I’m grateful for the last 32 years of my life, my Birthday is not about Me. I did absolutely NOTHING to be born. I had no say so in the process; not before, not during, and not after. Therefore, I live for You, and I can only hope and pray that I make You proud with the Life you have given me.

I Love You Father…I Love You Mimi…Thank you.

I celebrate, You.

My Birth Day is all about You.

Like A Bomb

I’m laying down on my couch watching a Documentary on Oprah’s channel, OWN, called “Louder than a Bomb” that I DVR’d about a week ago. It’s a show about 4 teenagers from Chicago and their respective teams, competing in the world’s largest poetry slam. I am of course loving the show as I watch young, talented, inspired poets perform their pieces. At the very end of the show and competition, there was a Spirit Award given to an 18 yr old kid who was recognized for his support, attending every single show and having touched the lives of so many people both as a talent and as a person. When his name was announced, the camera turns towards his parents and zooms in just in time to catch their reaction. I was surprised by my own [unexpected] reaction. My eyes got watery and my throat choked up…as the tears came down the side of my face, so did the inspiration to write this blog.

(I literally have the show on pause as I’m writing this…)

The genuine, loving reaction from this kid’s parents was a revelation for me. Eventhough I didn’t expect myself to get emotional watching a show about a poetry competition, I instantly understood why.

I realized the importance and significance of support from one’s mother and/or father. This helped me recognize the lack of support in my own life as a child. It also triggered a vivid moment in memory; a moment during a reunion this past Thanksgiving, with a family we grew very close to when we lived in Salem, MA. While catching up on our lives, they pulled out a VHS tape of my sister’s 8th grade graduation. At the graduation’s “after-party”, I saw my 7 yrs old-self standing in front of everyone in the kitchen, dancing and performing my ass off (literally). I have absolutely NO recollection of this whatsoever. As the handycam circles and captures everyone in the room I see (and so significantly FELT) the pain in my mother’s aura, and across from her is a manifestation of the lack of love, support and disconnect from my “father” that I have felt my entire life and have grown to understand.

Man…I felt so bad for that kid…

I am not writing this to complain about my upbringing nor for anyone to feel pity for me, but to share how I’ve come to recognize and embrace WHY I am how I am, WHO I’ve become thus far, and how I’ve learned to value the true meaning of empathy.

As cliche as it may sound, every single bit of everything we go through is for a reason. I believe that this reason is not only to build character, but also to learn how to become compassionate and empathetic to those who have gone through similar experiences. I believe we are taught to teach, hence why I am SO willing to be as vulnerable as I am, to give you the raw and absolute naked Eric De La Cruz, along with all of the “baggage” that comes with me, with the hopes of being a lesson to those who feel me.

Growing up with the lack of support that I did from my “father” has instilled the will in me to fight for my dreams and “attention I deserve.” It also taught me that a person’s inability to show love and support is not his or her “fault”, its the purpose to teach the lesson(s) they failed to recognize at the time to someone else.

So, I ask Life to continue to build my character, my friends and family to check me when I am wrong, and for God to continue to give me the strength and wisdom to turn all of those experiences into steps towards my ultimate purpose. I am NOT afraid. I am fearlessly willing to walk through the fires of Hell barefoot wearing a North Face coat and scarf with the faith in knowing what God has already promised me and with the intentions of passing that wisdom on to anyone who is prepared to receive it.

Every failure and “bad” experience is a blessing in disguise. Learn how to decipher and embrace it as such in order to pass that blessing forward.

God Bless.

Now let me finish watching the show…

My Birth Day

I overcame my very first obstacle before taking my first breath. A few years back, out of the inspiration of a concept for a song, I asked my mother the story behind the day I was born. I never had an incling about what I was about to hear. All I was looking for was factual information that I can use as lyrical content for this particular song.

I was born to a man that didn’t want anything to do with me and a mother who didn’t want anything to do with him.  In 1978, my family moved back to the Dominican Republic from New York because my “father” grew tired of the states. While in DR, my mother found out she was pregnant with me and was considering an abortion because she didn’t want to have another baby by my abusive “father.” She visited a doctor in Bani to inquire information about abortions and found out that the clinic didn’t have the capabilities to do it. She then heard about her cousin living in Santo Domingo who recently had an abortion and went to visit her to ask her questions about the process, etc. One day while attending her, my mother’s cousin got up from bed to use the bathroom and left a trail of blood. This scared the *#%$ out my mother, so much that it changed her mind…and saved my Life.

How can I not believe I’m here for a purpose?

Happy Birthday to me.

The Power in Vulnerability

I remember having a conversation with a close relative about vulnerability. It was very interesting to find out that our definitions were completely opposite.  That person feels vulnerability has a negative connotation and is synonymous with being weak. I beg to differ.

I believe there is power in vulnerability. Vulnerability to me is like being naked.  Naked in the sense of being consciously defenseless, willingly open, and fully prepared for the experience (whether “negative” or positive) one is allowing themselves to be susceptible to. You have the choice to be vulnerable and in that choice lies the wisdom, self-confidence, and power of vulnerability.  You can choose NOT take your clothes off, to NOT enter that relationship, and to NOT express yourself and your true feelings as a way of protecting yourself from the potential outcome of that experience.

To me, the fearlessness of allowing yourself to be vulnerable demonstrates your desire and willingness to grow and mature as a human being.  Character is built through experiences and Wisdom is the result of that occurrence.  Because I am constantly seeking to better myself, I’ve learned to embrace the unknown with the faith that the findings will be the building blocks to the “Super-Me.”  Negativity is only what you perceive it to be.

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable to the experiences that are meant to transform you to the Best-You.

Be Free.

The ImPerfectionist

I never thought that my determination for perfection would have its side-effects.  The conditions of the Perfectionist Syndrome is one that I’ve been struggling with for the past 30 years of my life and am now becoming aware of it. I have found it ironic how my drive to be and/or make things ‘perfect’ can motivate me to do some things and actually hinder my progress in others, but the most significant realization in my strive towards perfection is that I can sometimes lose sight of the “finish line” of what it is that I’m striving for.

Once the visual of me running in place subsided, I began to become more conscious of my symptoms.  I realized that a by-product of being a perfectionist is an unconscious fear of action. For example, I’ve been afraid to record multiple tracks in fear that they wouldn’t come out as ‘perfect’ as I hear them in my head.  I realized that I can re-record a song a million times in effort to make it ‘perfect’, but then never feel comfortable releasing it because I’d always think I can make it better.  I also became aware of finding fault in people and/or relationships due to my own expectations, which then led me to the realization that a perfectionist does not know how or when to settle.

I have come to understand that there is a very fine line between work ethic and the tedious traits of a perfectionist and I am still learning how to differentiate the two.  However, the realizations that I’ve listed and am learning to embrace have given me a sense of freedom from the imprisonment of my own un-productivity and procrastination.  I no longer strive for perfection because that’s an understood; I now strive to find a median.

Your “perfect” may not be perfect, but it’s as perfect as it should be.

The Text Message

I was having a conversation with Ma’Angel yesterday. The subject matter had to do w/ HOW I say things and the possibility of my words being misinterpreted. I told her that what I say, “especially to You,” comes from a place of Love and that I only say what I KNOW I feel in my Heart, as I’ve always done and will continue to do. Then I asked the question: “What if…what IF God…the same God we praise and believe in…was speaking through me? Would you still be this defensive?”

Late-er that night, before bed, I opened my Bible to read an excerpt that was given to me almost a week ago about Visions and Revelations. I’ve been meaning to read it, but just haven’t gotten around to doing so. I skimmed the Bible to find the Book of Proverbs, opened it to find the verse I was looking for (Proverbs 29:18) and the FIRST THING that pops out at me is: .

I immediately took a picture of the “Living Insight” and sent Ma’Angel a text message before I even got to what I was initially looking for.

“Coincidences” are one of God’s forms of communication.

Be Blessed.

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