Session 2: Paradise in a Garbage Dump-Louie Gigilo

Posted: December 24, 2016 in Writing

Greeting Bloggers,

Just continuing the Comeback Series with Louie Gigilo. I hope this will continue to bless each and every one of you.

“No one has gone too far, and none of us has done too much, to disqualify ourselves from the love, grace, and power that Jesus can bring into our lives” – Louie Gigilo

Pre Study Questions:

1 ) Who is one person in your life who has helped you the most?

I’ve had numerous of people to help me navigate my life journey. One person comes to mind is my Pastor Jose Daniel Montanez. It been unreal at what he has done. I can not thank him enough for allowing God to impact my life and help me so much.

2) What did that person do that helped you so much?

Pastor Montanez has done so much that one blog post wouldn’t be enough to being to describe the type of man that he is. I will say this, he took a lanky broken kid from a Podunk town called Ranlo, NC. That worked with me, and provided guidance every step of the way of how to become a man, live life on my own, and trust God every step of the way. Especially when the way didn’t look like it would be available, Pastor was there to remind me that God will show up and show out. I thank God for Pastor and all he has done for me in my life while I’ve been on life’s journey.


Luke 23:32-43(HCSB)

Crucified between Two Criminals

32 Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with Him. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. [34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”]And they divided His clothes and cast lots. 35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine 37 and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”

38 An inscription was above Him: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? 41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Scripture Question:

1 ) Have you heard this story before? If not, what stood out to you most? If you have, did you notice anything new?

I’ve read this story many times before, but to tell you the truth, what I’ve noticed was out of all the people who are speaking everyone one of them had some for of mocking that they said toward Jesus but one. What made this one criminal realize this was Jesus? What stirred inside him to know this was Jesus the Messiah? What propelled him to come forward and say this? This is what stood out to me.

2) Jesus forgave the people who were crucifying him. Which is harder for you: to forgive the people who hurt or to receive forgiveness when you hurt someone else? Why?

I am usually able to forgive much easier than receive forgiveness.  I have been working on it extremely hard. Through counseling and realizing that what I expect [perfectionism] from people and what is reality are different. With help I realized that will be okay if things are not what I expect, and they will be okay if it not what I expect of them.

3) Where do you hear “good news” in the Luke passage?

From verse 40-43, is the stories just showing How God’s good news of accepting Him into Heaven that evening.

Discussion Question:

 1) In the video, Louie said that “Jesus Came not to make bad people good people but to give us everlasting life.” What does this mean to you?

When I think about the question posed here; I immediately think about when Christ come and changes our life(that we free choose to change) to give us everlasting life through the relationship we have with Him. We begin an inward change of heart to transform out lives from bad to good in the process.

2) There are two thieves in the story. How would you define the difference between them? Which on do you relate to most right now?

The two thieves are polar opposites to each other is the best word I can use to describe them.  If I have to choose it would most likely be the thief that spoke out to the other thief.  Cause I do realize that I’ve missed the mark, and I deserve the punishment that is due to me from the mistake that I’ve made and short comings of God’s word.  Christ was on the cross because He chose to be not because He had to be there for us all.

3) Jesus wasn’t drawn to those whose lives were “perfectly” put together but to those whose lives weren’t all together. What hope does this give you in your situation?

It makes me realize that no matter how jacked up I am, that Christ loves me just the way I am, and is here for me no matter what the situation I am currently facing. Christ is by my side at all times.

4) There was nothing easy about Jesus forgiving the thief and saying, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Why do you think this is the case?

This is a tough question to ask, because it make you truly think from Jesus point of view.  To think in an infinite mind-set from a finite mind-set is impossible. I truly think(just my opinion) is that the thief truly realized who Jesus was, and was truthfully sorry for the crimes he had committed, and wasn’t asking to go to heaven but to be simply remember by Jesus when He was in His kingdom. Realizing that he deserved his punishment for the crimes they committed, and Jesus didn’t do anything wrong and was unjustly punished for a crime He didn’t commit. From this I believe just this simple act of humility from this thief moved Christ heart, and it gave way from communion with Christ in heaven.

5) What is mercy? Come up with a definition, and try not to use the word grace in your definition.

Mercy is a great word, it is definitely a word that show compassion, pity, empathy, or an emotional connection to someone who has done wrong. Mercy is also forgiving a person who truthfully deserves punishment, but clean the slate of wrong doing.

6) In the video, Louie said that ‘there is enough mercy in Christ for us all.” Do you think this is true? Why or why not? How have you personally seen the mercy of Christ?

I truly believe there is enough mercy in Christ for every person.  God allow His Son to come to the earth for each and every one of us.  To give everyone a opportunity that chooses to follow Him.

How I’ve seen the mercy of Christ, I remember watching a video on YouTube of this woman who had so much anger toward this drunk driver for killing her daughter and had gone to court to have this man put away for a long time.  After a few years, [can’t remember if she was a Christian or not] she when to the jail to meet the guy and forgave him for what he had done.  Then she helped advocate for early release from jail, and eventually it came. Now they are working together as a team to raise awareness for drinking and driving.  It was just so amazing to see how God work on this lady heart to the point of allow her to forgive this man. To now teaming up to impact the lives of students about the effects of drinking and driving.  Talk about God’s mercy on the this man giving a new chance on life to make a difference for good and not evil.

I hope you all enjoy this, and Marry Christmas to each and every one of you!

Dear Heavenly Father,

I know that even myself tend to wander away from time to time for your presence and who you are.  I ask that you forgive us, and help us navigate back to you and your presence which is so comforting.  We all hit road blocks, but you are there to help us also.  Let us remember that you are with us all the way up to the end like you were with the thief who asked you to Remember Him in Your Kingdom. We love you Father, and can’t thank you for being with us. We ask that Your Will be done in our lives. That what is meant to happen in heaven will be allowed to happen to us here on Earth.  We ask all these thinks from your Son Jesus, Amen


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