Welcome to the Official web- site of the Gala Foundation. Sanctioned and endorsed by the founding Elders. Joaquin Maldonado founded the Modern Gatherings and served as inspiration to the Organization that was Founded in 1986 by Noel Serrano, The Director of the Gala Foundation, a Family Fraternal Organization. The original Families, Serrano, Maldonado, Bosch,Now include Every Family that wants to join up with an Organization that embraces,uplifts and promotes the highest ideals and Nobility for their children's future. As a United Families Network, we have now emerged Globally with many joining families that support our cause. Join with us today! Our sister Web-Site is now on FACEBOOK (Just add Gala Foundation on the prompt) for our spanish-speaking Families, our Sister Web-site, La Fundacion Gala is on Facebook.
By Noel Serrano
One of my favorite all time shows was Wagon train in the 1960s. The story of how the pioneers began long and difficult journeys to reach the brilliant sunlit mountains and beaches of Califorinia. The westward-bound Conestoga wagons of the 19th century are an emblem of the Gala Foundation. It was not an easy task and sometimes television romanticizes the journey and doesnt always reveal how hard and difficult it was to cross the terrain and deal with the everpresent dangers of crossing an untamed wilderness.If you have made the drive across Kansas you know how barren and desolate it is. If you have walked or ridden a horse on the prairies of Kansas, you know that Kansas is not flat. The terrain is very challenging. It is inconceivable that families with small children made that journey which lasted months.
"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
When we sat with the Gala Elders in 1986 to write down all of the future plans of this Institution, we did not have the Internet Network established, but we planned and prayed for the future tools necessary to promote the vision of this Noble concept and used the this time to carefully deliberate all of the essentials that have all come into fruition. We only had a "Wheel" and we were determined to cross the terrain and work with our small group of families to make a positive impact. The Gala Foundation is very much like that depiction of a long and winding Wagon train that has crossed over cold winters in the wilderness and has endured the hot deserts. The Gala Foundation equates each of their web-sites as part of that Wagon Train that continues to trek over the mountains and endless valleys to provide inspiration and encouragement to press on in life's Journey till we reach the "Golden Shore" Our life is an endless journey; it is like a broad highway that extends infinitely into the distance. The practice of meditation provides a vehicle to travel on that road. Our journey consists of constant ups and downs ...
During the years 1850 to 1890 there was a tremendous trek westwards across the plains from the eastern United States to the far west as folks looked for new homes in that magnificent territory. I want you to imagine that a young bridegroom has gone out west to prepare a home for himself and his bride, and in due course he is going to receive her. This is an analogy of Jesus going to prepare a place to receive His Bride, the Church
The bride stays in New York for some time getting ready, and then she joins a wagon train going west. It's rather a mixed wagon train, with all kinds of people in it; but the only way to cross that area is in such company. Her bridegroom has sent her a letter from away out west, but the letter doesn't arrive in time to meet her as she sets off. It reaches her after she has begun her journey and has already experienced a few skirmishes with Red Indians in the Great Lakes area. She finds that her letter has been opened - those responsible in the camp have examined it but, not being able to understand much of it because it is written in code, they let her have it.
As soon as camp is formed for the night and she can get away into her covered wagon, she lights the paraffin lamp and reads her beloved's letter. How her heart thrills to the glorious description of him on the opening page. And then there are some very straight words of exhortation to her, how she is to behave and keep herself pure, and she takes all that to heart for she realises that there are many temptations as well as dangers on this journey.
But then she comes to a section of the letter, which absolutely bewilders her, about beasts and horns and mountains and all kinds of horrors. It just doesn't make sense, and so she hurries through that and comes to the closing part. She is very thrilled with what she reads there - it describes the time when her beloved will meet her. He comes riding onto the scene and takes her to be with himself. There is a description of the heavenly home, and the glories that will follow. She is thrilled with her letter and puts it away with a thankful heart.
At the earliest opportunity, next time they've formed camp, the wagons drawn into a ring, she gets away and looks into her letter again; and it puzzles her, all that middle section. Whoever is this woman in scarlet? Whatever is that terrible beast? "I hope I don't meet him", she thinks. Day after day she puzzles over the letter, and becomes more and more separated from the rest of the camp. They wonder whatever is happening to her, until someone says "Look here, there are a couple of Jesuit priests in the camp, why don't you go to one of them and tell him what's troubling you?" She says, "Thank you, I think I'll do just that."
She goes across to meet one of the Jesuit priests. He says he's been waiting for her to come to him as he's seen that she's very troubled, and asks what it is that she wants to say. "Well", she says, "it's like this - I have a letter..." "You'd better give me your whole confession", he says, "then I can put you right." "Oh no", she replies, "it's not that. It's a letter from my husband. It's a beautiful letter but the middle part puzzles me so badly I can't make head or tail of it."
He says "My dear, I know your husband quite well, and the leader of our whole party knows him very well, he's one of his closest friends. So let me have a look at your letter, I'll be able to explain it for you." So this Jesuit, whose name happens to be Alcazar - he's a Spaniard - takes the letter and looks at it. In due course he comes back to her and tells her there's nothing to worry about as her husband was writing about the skirmishes with the Red Indians that took place just as they were leaving New York, only the letter didn't reach her in time.
When she requests her letter back, the priest replies, "Well, I don't think it's good for you, it's obviously been making you ill" and it is with great difficulty that she finally gets it back with half a promise not to read it any more. But still she is not content. She thinks, "What on earth did my beloved write this long letter to me for, if it was all about those few little fights with Indians that we had at the beginning of our journey?"
Eventually she goes to the other Jesuit priest, whose name is Ribera, and tells him the story and he again offers to hear her confession. She explains about her letter and how the other priest said it covered things, which had already happened, and she gives her reasons why she doesn't feel that's a sensible explanation. He takes her letter, and when in due course he returns it, he tells her that the middle part is all about the future - after her husband has met her and taken her away. He says "You'll be raptured; I know it's not written plainly in the letter, but then of course it's one of those letters; you'll be caught away before any of these things happen."
"But what about the great beast that comes out of the sea?" she asks. "You'll never see him, he lives in a lake on the far side of the Rocky Mountains. Now come along and enjoy yourself with the rest of us."
So she thanks him and accepts this very reasonable explanation, especially on such strong authority, and presently joins in the fun. There's a magnificent woman in scarlet there, who introduces her to the leader of the group, who has been longing to meet her. They have some grand parties together and soon she's in the thick of the fun and wondering why she ever moped away trying to understand that letter when it didn't really concern her at all.
She gradually forgets the promises she made to her beloved; they fade into the background. She becomes more and more enamoured with the leader of the party. He tells her about her husband and says, "In fact, I'm his very best friend, I know all his secrets, and I'm here operating on his behalf so you can trust me." And she does trust him, until one night after the revelry she's almost seduced, and flees shaken and in tears. She rushes out to the perimeter of the camp and sees against the skyline two men keeping guard. She watches them for some time and then they see her and, drawing near, they say "You should be back in camp you know, it's not safe for you out here."
She says she can't go back as she can't trust anybody. The guards reply "You must go back, your husband told you to go this way - you'll just have to go." "But I don't know what to do, can you help me? It's my husband's letter that puzzles me." "Well" they say, "I dare say we could explain that letter to you. We know your husband well and we promised to keep guard of this camp and look after you. But wouldn't it be better if you found out the meaning for yourself? If we explain it to you, you may not believe us. Have you got any of your husband's old letters?" "Yes", she says "a whole bundle full!"
"Right - re-read your husband's old letters and look for clues, and we think you'll find the meaning of this one you're holding. Read them, Genesis to Jude, the old letters - the clues are all there."
So she goes back, thanking them, keeping herself separate from the revelries of the camp, especially from that scarlet woman. She looks in the old letters and begins to find clue after clue. She looks again at her husband's letter and it begins to make sense. She realises that the very people who deceived and almost seduced her were written about in the letter and she failed to recognise it.
From then on, she begins to notice the terrain as they cross a river, as they reach a mountain, as they meet a dangerous party of Indians, and she looks in the letter and there they are fitting into place one after another.Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. Oh the excitement of it! She's getting near the end of the journey; she can keep herself pure now as she looks at the letter and watches events as they pass by so rapidly; her whole attitude is changed. She now has a new joy and assurance and feels that she is in control of the situation. She watches those two men on the exterior of the camp and signals to them happily. They can see now that she is going to endure to the end.
Situations grow tense, the enemy is drawing in and the evil in the camp is coming to light. Disaster seems to be rushing in on every hand. Suddenly, over the horizon, comes her beloved with a thousand cavalry, riding across the hills to her rescue to take her home. At last her troubles are over - the letter has done its work.
What Will it be Like?
I sometimes wonder what it will be like to be all alone with Jesus – to sit beside a quiet stream in the mountains and ask Him all the questions I have; to stand and look into the face of the One who died for me and tell Him how much I love Him. Isn't it great that He isn't some all being but rather a real and living God we all get to spend eternity with? Can you imagine touching the Christ who died on the cross and rose again? To never wonder again: Was that God talking or was it just me?
Everything that has changed in my life has come about when I've surrendered to God by the power of His Holy Spirit. He has made the changes, and He’s still doing it. I'm so thankful for a Christian Mom and Dad that never gave up on me. When I want to judge my own children, I’m often reminded of my Dad and how he loved me unconditionally. The Bible says,
"If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?" (Matthew 7:11, emphasis mine).
Where this journey leads me is truly in the hands of God. I just ask for His mercy and grace to accept all He has for me.
You Can Have it Too!
If you’re reading this and have yet to invite Jesus to be your Savior, there will never be a better day than today. It's just as easy and as free as it was for us when we decided to live for Christ.. There's no magic in any particular words, but if God is speaking to you, don't wait. Don't harden your heart one more time.
If there's unforgiveness in your heart, deal with it. Don't wait. You can walk in freedom and it’s wonderful. Ask God to show you if there's anything you need to deal with and then ask Him for the courage to deal with it. He’ll give it to you. He is always faithful.
What about you? Are you wondering what life is all about? Do you feel that something is missing in your life? If so, you can find fulfilment and peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Bible says (Jesus is speaking),
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3.20).
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will.
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here's a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.
If you prayed today and asked Jesus Christ to come into your life and take control, we would love to hear from you.
May God continue to Bless you.
All the Best!
The Israelites were sheep and cattle herders from their very beginnings with Abraham, who possessed vast herds, so many sheep that he and Lot had to separate in order to have enough pastureland for both (Genesis 13:6). When they settled in the promised land after the exodus, most Israelites became subsistence farmers, growing their own food. But most families would have a few cattle and sheep, and some, like David's father Jesse, had larger herds that required the services of a shepherd.
In this agricultural economy, the care that a shepherd provides his sheep offers a wonderful analogy of the care that God provides his people. The shepherd was often a younger family member, though sometimes individuals were employed to shepherd an owner's flock. This is what a shepherd would do:
The analogy of the shepherd was not only used to describe God, but also secular and religious leaders. (Of course, the word "pastor" in English and in Spanish means "shepherd.") Prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel were sharply critical of the leaders of Israel in his day who neglected their responsibility to care for the people (Jeremiah 23:1-4; 50:6; Ezekiel 34:1-10).
Consider these references to God as Shepherd of his people:
"The God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd3 all my life to this day." (Genesis 48:15)
"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11)
"Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock;
you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth." (Psalm 80:1)
In one passage Yahweh is called "the true pasture" (Jeremiah 50:7). "Pasture" (NIV, NRSV) is nāweh, which means "pasture, abode of a shepherd, habitation ... where the herd lies down, a place of safety and protection."4 "True" is tsedeq, "justice, righteousness"5 or "rightness, what is right."6 Israel had strayed like lost sheep and had forgotten their own resting place,7 Yahweh, their true pasture.
The best known and loved passage about God the Shepherd is the Twenty-Third Psalm. It begins identifying Yahweh as "my shepherd." Let's use this psalm to examine some of the ways in which God cares for us:
"1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
The basic premise is that since Yahweh is my shepherd, then I shall never be in need for anything. "Be in want" is chāsēr, "lack, have a need, be lacking."8
The Shepherd is a servant leader, leading to help the sheep find rest, pasture, and water to meet their physical needs.
"He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters." (Psalm 23:2)
"Leads" is nāhal, "lead with care, guide to a watering-place or station, and cause to rest there, lead, guide, refresh."9 Shepherd leadership was Jesus' leadership model. Secular leaders often lead for their own gain and benefit, Jesus said, but Christian leaders must be servants, slaves of those they lead (Mark 10:42-44). Jesus said: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
"He restores my soul" (Psalm 23:3a). "Restore" is shûb, which here means figuratively, "refresh, restore," literally, "repair."10 For a sheep, this might include rescue from danger and then getting the animal back into good health through rest and recuperation. For a person, it might include rescue from a messed up life, and the gradual restoration to wholeness through loving care. God is in the restoration and wholeness business. He wants you to be refreshed as you rest in him.
"He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake" (Psalm 23:3b). "Guide" (NIV) and "lead" (KJV, NRSV) here is nāchā, "lead, guide," with the idea of conducting of one along the right path.11 Notice the reason that he leads us in these particular paths -- "for his name's sake," that is, because the Lord's reputation and character require that he lead in righteous ways. We are tempted get off the trail by taking moral short-cuts, but our Shepherd leads us in paths of righteousness.
"Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)
The shepherd will sometimes need to lead the flock through uncomfortable places to get them to the next pasture. John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and father of the American national park movement, was a shepherd when he was young. Early in the summer he would be given a flock and take it higher and higher into the Sierra to bring it to fresh, green pasture. Sometimes the trail between pasture in Yosemite Valley and Toulumne Meadows might be terrifying to the sheep. They wouldn't know where he was going. If they had been people they would have second-guessed their shepherd: "Do you know where in the world you are going?" they might ask -- as we sometimes ask of God.
The "valley of the shadow of death" could be rendered "darkest valley" (NRSV, NIV margin). Tsalmāwet, means "deep darkness," sometimes translated "thick darkness," "thick gloom," from tsalāmu or tsālal, "to be dark."12
What encourages and comforts the sheep in the fearful darkness of this mountain canyon is the sight of the shepherd's rod and staff. They are the elements of protection that will ward off the wolf. The sheep see the rod and they know that the shepherd will use it to protect them, even to the extent of putting his life at risk -- and they are comforted. Your Shepherd is committed to delivering you from your enemies and has indeed laid down his life for you in the battle for your soul.
Plan of Salvation: Rebirth is the Answer to Life’s Most Important Question
Plan of Salvation -- We think life’s most important question is “Are you going to heaven when you die?” It is not a question of how good you are, whether you go to church, or how much money you give to charity. God says, in order to go to heaven, you must be born again (John 3:3).
Plan of Salvation: How can we be Born Again?
The plan of salvation is right in the Bible. God gives us His clear plan for being “born again.”
First, we must acknowledge God as the Creator of everything, and accept our humble position in God's creation. "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." (Revelation 4:11).
Next, we must realize that we are sinners. “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Because we are sinners, we are condemned to death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God.
But God loved each of us so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear our sin and die in our place. “God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Although we cannot understand how, God said our sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. Jesus became our substitute.
In the Bible, a jailer asked his prisoners, Paul and Silas: “’Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.’” (Acts 16:30-31).
It’s very clear in the Bible, believe in Jesus as the one who bore your sins, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. It’s Christ’s blood and resurrection that assures us of everlasting life when we call on Him as our Lord and Savior. "For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." (Romans 10:13). “Whosoever” includes each and every one of us.
Therefore, if you understand that you are a sinner, and you believe that Jesus Christ came as the one and only Redeemer of sin, then you understand the plan of salvation. The question is – are you ready to implement the plan, by receiving God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ? If so, believe in Christ, repent of your sins, and commit the rest of your life to Him as Lord: