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Vol. 8 / Issue 2

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Valley Christian Magazine is a free monthly magazine published by Texas Christian Publications a 501c3 non-profit ministry located in the Rio Grande Valley. For advertising information call 956-314-0161. Questions, story ideas, events, or comments call 956-314-0161 or email info@ValleyChristianMagazine.com. Social Media Facebook: @valleychristianmagazine & @valleychristian Instagram: @valleychristianmag Twitter: @vcmagazine Copyright 2017

It is the purpose of Valley Christian Magazine to be a magazine that points people to Jesus Christ. How to trust Him. How to do life with Him. Supported by local businesses, ministries & faithful believers. Valley Christian is a free resource for us all.

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index July 2017

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Jennifer Maggio

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Ashlee Gaad

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Battling Church Hurt

When You Feel Invisible

10 Greg Laurie

The Extraordinary Potential of Ordinary People

12 Valley Christian Events

Big Daddy Weave, Outpour, GLS 2017, Battle of the Bands 2017, South Texas Wedding & Quinceanera Expo

14 James MacDonald Running To Jesus

16 Luis Palau

8

Paz Abundante

18 Time with Our Creator Hearing From God

19 Valley Christian New Reads Spotlight -Unshakeable Trust by Joyce Meyer -She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst

21 Kids Talk About God

What Can We Learn from Jesus About Timing

22 Music Spotlight Big Daddy Weave

23 Dave Ramsey - Dave Says -First Get A Real Job -Rental House Being Foreclosed

24 Raul “Rudy” Rodriguez The Restoration Story

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Battling Church Hurt By Jennifer Maggio

If you have been active in church attendance for more than about thirty seconds, you have likely experienced church hurt. It’s inevitable, really. Put a group of imperfect people together and there is bound to be trouble! Church division and conflict has been part of the church, since the beginning of the early church. There are many ways to be hurt within the church body. First, for many of us, our church pastor has been an important person in our lives. Maybe you were saved at the church you grew up in and the pastor has been a long-time family friend. Perhaps your church pastor was there for you or your family during a particularly difficult time. Maybe your pastor and his family have been a group that you’ve long admired for their dedication to the ministry. It is natural that our church leaders become important parts of our lives. But perhaps the most devastating church hurt of all is when a pastor or church leader falls. There is just not much comparable to the hurt that lingers afterwards. We tend Then, there is good ol’ offense. Offense manifests itself in so many ways. More often than not something is said or done in passing and our offender doesn’t even know they have hurt us. But if we aren’t careful, we’ll take that offense and use it as an excuse to fall away from church completely.

2. Pray without ceasing. Be certain that if you’ve been hurt, you are hearing from God on how to handle the situation. We want to use wisdom in how to address the hurt. Some issues are simply not worth discussing. There are times when a miscommunication caused conflict. Other times, the issue is more serious and must be discussed. The how and why needs to come from the Lord. 3. Avoid gossip. Gossip fuels the hurt! Do not talk about what Sister so-and-so said and how you’ll never go back to that church again, because the entire church is full of hypocrites! Talk to God about the hurt more than you talk to others about it. In fact, I once received some wise advice. Once you’ve given this situation to God, stop picking it back up, as if he needs your help. Lay this down before Him and don’t continue to talk about it. 4. Resolve to stay active in church.

I have often likened church hurt to being irritated with a cashier in the grocery store. We do not allow our irritation with a rude store clerk to keep us from ever shopping again. But for some reason, we will allow church hurt to keep us from worshipping with other believers. Now, let me be clear. I am not making light of the devastation that can come from hurtful words by a fellow church member or disappointment left by a failed expectation we have of someone. But as believers, we must be mindful that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is masterful at creating division, growing mountains from molehills, and implanting church hurt into our hearts that we will not allow to heal. How can we overcome church hurt, if we’ve experienced it? 1. Administer the same grace to others that we want for ourselves. I have found that we are masterful at explaining ourselves, our motives, the why behind the action, and we are even better at asking God to give us grace, when we’ve fallen. But we are not as prone to give that same grace to others. Yes, maybe she said or did the wrong

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thing. Issuing grace doesn’t excuse a behavior. It simply protects the body of believers from division.

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Do not allow church hurt to foster a sense of isolation within you. We all need each other. We need accountability. We need encouragement. We need others to invest in our lives and we bring great value to others, as well. Don’t allow conflict and hurt to keep you from enjoying the great benefit of staying connected to a local body of believers.

Jennifer Maggio is an author of four single parenting books, CEO of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, and national speaker. She is a mother to three beautiful children. She has a passion for single mothers to live a life of freedom in Christ. For more information, visit www. jennifermaggio.com. The Life of a Single Mom Ministries is a global nonprofit committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. Having served more than 46,000 single mothers and 1,500 churches, the goal of the organization is establish support groups for single mothers in cities around the world, while also empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and parentally. For more information, visitwww.thelifeofasinglemom.com. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. Copyright 2017.


“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these stars? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” --Isaiah 40:26 (NIV) e were six months into parenthood when my father-in-law passed away.

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If I close my eyes, I can picture the moment we found out. Five missed calls. My husband stood in the driveway saying, “Don’t say that, don’t say that,” over and over again into the phone.

I knew. A lump formed in my throat, as I unbuckled our baby boy from his car seat. We were 90 miles away. I remember the sun was shining, even though it shouldn’t have been. I remember standing in the driveway, while my husband and I cried with a baby sandwiched between us. I remember the drive — we stopped for roast beef sandwiches — and I remember walking into my mother-in-law’s house and calmly placing my blue-eyed baby — my only offering, 15 pounds of innocence — in her arms.

There is no substitute for Jesus. When we look to a spouse, a friend, a child or an Internet audience for the love, healing and recognition only a Savior can offer, we’ll always, always come up short. Are you feeling invisible today? Unnoticed and unseen, desperate for someone to meet you exactly where you are? Take comfort in today’s key verse, “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these stars? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26) Whether you’re crying in the bathroom at 7 a.m. or folding the ninth load of laundry at 7 p.m. or rocking your baby at 3 a.m., please rest in this: God sees you, God notices you, God loves you. Every single minute of every single day, you are fully known and loved by Him. After all, if God calls out every star in the sky by name, how much more must He know and love you?

It’s a strange thing to experience birth and death so close together. My son’s first year of life will always be marked by the deepest grief our family has ever known. Our whole lives became walking contradictions. One day, the baby giggled at his reflection in the mirror. The next day, we stood in a room full of caskets. How can you be joyful and devastated all at once? When is it okay to laugh? When is it okay to cry?

Lord, thank You for seeing me when I feel invisible and for loving me when I’m broken. Please keep my eyes upward, on You, and remind me that I am forever and always Your child. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. TRUTH FOR TODAY:

Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens, but how can grief and delight possibly coexist?

Psalm 139:1-2, “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” (NIV)

My first year of motherhood was entirely consumed by two things: learning to take care of a baby and learning to support my husband through a life-shattering loss. I didn’t know who I was outside of those responsibilities. I tip-toed around my own house, desperate to keep everything and everyone intact. It was just another contradiction: Even though I had a baby glued to my hip, I’d never felt so alone.

Psalm 139:7-10, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (NIV)

“I feel invisible,” I confessed to my husband one night. “I feel like I am trying to be everything to everyone, but nobody is trying to be anything to me.”

When was the last time you felt invisible? Who did you look to in order to make yourself seen?

“I feel depressed,” he confessed in return. “When my dad died, it’s like a part of me died, too.” We ping-ponged confessions back and forth that night through tears, until I was struck with a startling realization. I couldn’t rescue my husband. And he couldn’t rescue me. We each wanted so desperately to be healed, loved, noticed and understood in that season, but our eyes were turned sideways instead of upward. We were both looking for a Savior, something we would never find in each other.

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REFLECT AND RESPOND:

About Ashlee: Ashlee Gadd is a wife, mother, writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. When she’s not dancing in the kitchen with her two boys, Ashlee loves curling up with a good book, lounging in the sunshine, and making friends on the Internet. She loves writing about everything from motherhood and marriage to friendship and faith. Running Coffee + Crumbs is her dream job, x 100. Used by Permission Proverbs 31 Ministry www.proverbs31.org Copyright 2017 © 2017 by Ashlee Gadd. All rights reserved. Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarerCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.


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“The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” —2 Chronicles 16:9

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Throughout the Scriptures and throughout the history of the Christian church, we find that God has done unexpected things with unexpected people. He has done extraordinary things through ordinary people. The Bible tells us, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). This verse doesn’t say God is looking for strong men and women; it says God is looking for people whom He can be strong on behalf of. As I have often said, God is not looking for ability as much as He is looking for availability. When God was looking for a man to lead the nation Israel, whom did He select? He chose a boy named David who was watching over a flock of sheep. When God wanted someone to lead an army to defeat the Midianites, the enemies of Israel, whom did God choose? He chose a cowardly man named Gideon who couldn’t even muster up the courage to show himself publicly. It’s almost as though the Lord goes out of His way to choose someone and then raise up him or her. Then people will have to stand back and say, “This is the work of the Lord.” One thing is clear in the Scriptures: The individuals God found to carry out His work didn’t necessarily look like they would amount to much. He chose people who, at first glance, didn’t even to appear to have what it took for the task at hand. Would you be a person who would say, “Lord, I don’t have much to offer. I’m not a towering intellect. I’m not a great orator. I’m not very talented. But what I have, Lord, I offer to You”? Then you watch what God will do.

Greg Laurie is Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif. He began his pastoral ministry at 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then, God has transformed the small group into a church of 15,000 plus, one of the largest churches in America. for more, visit www.greglaurie.com. used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000 Riverside, CA 92514 Copyright © 2017 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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VALLEY CHRISTIAN

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Running To Jesus by james macdonald

James MacDonald is founding and Senior Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in northwest Chicago. James’ teachings can be heard on Walk in the Word, a daily radio program reaching more than 3 million people across North America.

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e have so many reasons not to pray. And it’s time we realized how unreasonable those reasons are.

Among the greatest, boldest spiritual truths found in Scripture, one of the most powerful and practical is this: faith that acts and asks and endures gets answered. Prayers of faith get God’s attention. And the reason this statement packs such a jolt is because it meets us in places where prayer can feel pointless and unproductive, as if it’s taking up precious time

“God is up to the

challenge of responding to prayers of faith.” that we should be devoting somewhere else. Yes, we have our reasons not to pray. But none of them should ever keep us from acting and asking anyway. Mark 5 introduces us to a synagogue leader named Jairus who got up one day, hurriedly dressed, left the house, and asked around until he found where Jesus was teaching, then cut through the crowd and fell at His feet with an urgent request for help. This man’s daughter was gravely ill—“at the point of death,” he said. “Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live” (Mark 5:23). We know where the story goes from there— how they received news en route back to his home that Jairus’s daughter had already died,

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When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet. Mark 5:21–22, ESV

and how Jesus pushed away the reports and the mourners at the door to raise the young girl to life. But rewind from the ending for a moment, long enough to see how many excuses Jairus could have made for not seeking Jesus at all—all of which he sprinted past on his way to get to Him. Self-importance. He was a man of position, and that position was in a context where many of the colleagues he worked with on a daily basis hated Jesus with a passion. If he dared being too bold and visible in seeking Him, he risked losing his job. He needed to be sure he was thinking of what was best for his future—for the rest of his family as well, not only his sick daughter.

the situation a little more. Not putting God on the spot for needing to act. But none of those reasons are reasonable. God is up to the challenge of responding to prayers of faith. He wants them. He invites them. The question is: Are you and I up to the challenge of acting, asking, enduring, and expecting His answers? Perhaps all that separates us from Jairus and the miracle he experienced is that he wouldn’t let his excuses keep him from running to Jesus.

j ournal

Self-dignity. What kind of impression would a man like him give if he broke down and became emotional in a public setting like this? Wouldn’t it be better to try making an appointment? Or, if Jesus was as powerful as He claimed to be, wouldn’t He be able to hear Jairus’s prayer from home? Why risk a spectacle that would make him look bad or imbalanced?

In what ways does your position on prayer differ from what Jairus did?

Self-protection. Things looked truly grim for his daughter, and probably not even Jesus would do anything to help him. Maybe he shouldn’t get his hopes up. Why pray himself out on a limb, only to be disappointed in the end? It was a long shot at best. Think of how hard it would be to save face with those closest to him if his daring maneuver didn’t work.

Lord God, thank You for wanting me to act in faith. Thank You that Your truths are solid and Your character is reliable. Thank You that You not only allow but invite us to approach Your throne boldly, based on the blood of Your Son. So I come to You asking you to enlarge my faith, and show Your glory by doing what only You can do. Hear me and help me, I pray, in the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

Do any of these reasons for not praying sound familiar? Not wanting to look weird. Being restricted by your persona. Wanting to contain and control

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What situation has God given or allowed into your life that is asking for your faith in prayer right now?

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PAZ ABUNDANTE -Luis Palau Reflexionando sobre que significa ser una persona privilegiada, creo que el privilegio más grande que el ser humano puede disfrutar, entre otros, es el privilegio de una alegría incesante; y es posible tener esa alegría. En segundo lugar, otro privilegio que el ser humano tanto busca es la paz; a veces en esa búsqueda se leen tantos libros y se acude a psicólogos y psiquiatras y dirigentes de relaciones humanas. La paz es el privilegio de vivir sin ansiedad ni afanes que carcomen el alma de los seres humanos. El privilegio de vivir día a día en medio de un mundo violento con una paz abundante y permanente. ¿No le agradaría a usted tener una paz abundante? Vivimos en un mundo en que la palabra guerra aparece en los periódicos y diarios prácticamente todos los días. Se habla de revueltas, revolución, de violencia y de sangre, parece que la humanidad está abocada a una carrera loca que va a llevar a la destrucción, pero en medio de la tormenta es posible vivir en paz. En este preciso momento está lloviendo afuera y el viento está soplando pero yo estoy cómodo, estoy viendo que llueve, estoy viendo que el viento sopla pero yo tengo paz en cuanto a esa tormenta porque estoy en una casa cómoda y estoy tranquilamente sentado. Dentro de un mundo lleno de violencia, de guerra, de sinsabores, de dolores, tristezas, egoísmo y pecado, el privilegio del cristiano es tener una paz abundante y permanente. De este tema se habla en el capítulo 4 del libro de Filipenses, el versículo 7 dice estas palabras: «Así experimentarán la paz de Dios, que supera todo lo que podemos entender. La paz de Dios cuidará su corazón y su mente mientras vivan en Cristo Jesús» (NTV). En el versículo 9 dice: «No dejen de poner en práctica todo lo que aprendieron y recibieron de mí, todo lo que oyeron de mis labios y vieron que hice. Entonces el Dios de paz estará con ustedes» (NTV). La paz del cristiano es una paz sobrenatural, dice aquí «la paz de Dios», y en el versículo 9 dice «el Dios de paz», quiere decir que las dos cosas van juntas. El cristiano verdadero o sea el que tiene a Cristo en su corazón habiéndolo invitado por la fe, tiene una paz sobrenatural porque es una paz que viene de Dios. No es una paz que se merece, una paz que se gana por esfuerzo propio, ni se compra, es un regalo de Dios. Romanos 5:1 dice: «tenemos paz con Dios gracias a lo que Jesucristo nuestro Señor hizo por nosotros» (NTV). Es su privilegio, porque si usted ha recibido a Cristo usted tiene el derecho de tener una paz abundante que llene su vida y una paz permanente. Esta paz abundante y permanente supera nuestros análisis intelectuales. La paz de Dios que supera todo lo que podemos entender, cuidará su corazón y su mente; sí, el ser humano quiere explicar y entender todo y esto es lógico. Dios nos hizo seres racionales e intelectuales. Sin embargo, hay cosas en la vida que intelectualmente no se pueden explicar pero sí se pueden experimentar y esta paz que podemos disfrutar en medio de las tormentas y de los peligros, esta paz supera los análisis intelectuales. Proverbios 10:22 dice: «La bendición del Señor enriquece a una persona y él no añade ninguna tristeza» (NTV); cuando Dios nos bendice con su paz, esa paz nos enriquece, nos hace privilegiados y no hay tristeza que sigue a las bendiciones de Dios. Tantas veces cuando un ser humano disfruta de una fiesta, de un paseo o de un privilegio dentro de la sociedad, a menudo en pocas horas viene la tristeza, viene la amargura que sigue a la alegría y a la bendición. La paz que Dios da, nunca trae tristeza. La paz supera todo entendimiento, es como el amor, no se lo puede explicar intelectualmente. Poetas, filósofos, escritores y predicadores han tratado de explicarlo pero lamentablemente no es posible. Lo mismo es con la paz de Dios. La paz que Dios le ofrece a usted quita nuestros ojos del ego, del yo y de nuestros problemas. «La paz de Dios? cuidará su corazón y su mente mientras vivan en Cristo Jesús». Ahí está el secreto. La paz del cristiano provee de esto: quita los ojos del yo, de sus problemas, del vecino y sus problemas y sus debilidades y los coloca donde los ojos del humano siempre deben estar, en Cristo Jesús. Esta paz, que es nuestro privilegio disfrutar, es una paz que fue comprada en la cruz del Calvario (Colosenses 1:20). El corazón humano no puede encontrar verdadera paz y verdadero descanso hasta que haya venido por la fe a la cruz del Calvario. Allí el Hijo de Dios al derramar su sangre y al ocupar nuestro lugar como pecadores, compró la paz para la raza humana. El pagó por mis pecados y por los suyos, y así comenzó en la cruz la obra para resolver todos nuestros problemas. Esto no quiere decir que uno recibe a Cristo y deja de tener problemas. Pero sí, en la cruz, Dios hizo posible que podamos tener paz en la tormenta. Usted y yo podemos disfrutar día tras día de paz y ofrecer paz a nuestros semejantes. Les ofrecemos paz por nuestra conducta y nuestras actitudes; Dios nos perdone por todas las veces que, en vez de traer paz a una situación, hemos traído una especie de guerra. En este día, hagámonos el propósito de desparramar paz dondequiera que vayamos. Que nuestros vecinos y amigos puedan sentirse pacificados al encontrarse con usted y conmigo. El secreto más grande que les podemos compartir es que si ellos reciben a Jesucristo, si por la fe creen en él como Salvador (Hechos 10:43), tendrán paz con Dios y el secreto de tener paz consigo mismo. Paz dentro de sí mismo viene de tener paz con Dios. ¿Usted ya tiene paz con Dios? Si la tiene, dé gracias y empiece a compartirla con los demás.

Su mensaje fue, y es escuchado por más de 800 millones de personas en 112 países a través de la radio y la televisión, y tiene el privilegio de haberle hablado a más de 22 millones de personas cara a cara en 80 países del mundo, organizando, junto a un selecto grupos de colaboradores internacionales y con el apoyo de invitaciones locales, congresos, seminarios, charlas informales, conferencias y recitales-conferencia llamados “Festivales”. Copyright 2017 Used by Permission.

Luis Palau

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Luis Palau ya entró en la historia moderna como uno de los contados hombres que le hablaron a más personas en el mundo.

August 2017


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Hearing From God Author: Grandfather El, Contributors Grandchildren: Noah, Photography and Editing: Ali

Lord, thank you that You are willing to listen to me, and even more important, that You want me to have the blessing of hearing from You. “Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.“‘ In the midst of all the competing voices in the world today, make it clear to me that most of what I hear from You will be from Your Holy Word, the Bible. As in the story in 1 Kings 19:9-13, most of the time You do not communicate with me in a loud and boisterous way, but by “a still small voice.” Since You reveal Yourself in quietness and meekness, show me ways to be physically and mentally still so that I can hear You clearly. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” This being so, I open my heart and mind to You and ask You to direct me in discerning what needs to happen in my life through every situation. Lord, as I listen, “show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:4-5 I bring these thoughts in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Unshakeable Trust

Find the Joy of Trusting God at All Times Author: Joyce Meyer Publisher: Faith Words

In her new book, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Meyer explores a life lived in complete and total dependence on God. Drawing on her own experiences and inspiration from the Word of God, Joyce makes the case that in every area of your life--spiritually, relationally, emotionally, financially--you can trust that God has your very best in store. With each new chapter, Joyce unveils a sovereign and trustworthy God who longs to be in a relationship with his people, and inspires you to tear down the walls of self-reliance. This book will both equip and encourage, as you learn how to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Regardless of your past pain, your present circumstances, or your future uncertainty, when you learn to trust God each day, you’ll experience the joy-filled life Jesus came to give you. Others may have let you down . . . but God never will!

She’s Still There:

Rescuing the Girl In You Author: Chrystal Evans Hurst Publisher: Zondervan What’s a woman to do if her life is not taking shape the way that she thought that it would? What happens when she looks at herself in the mirror, lingering just a little longer than usual and realizes that she no longer recognizes the person staring back at her? What does she do when she sees that, somehow, her life has drifted away from all her original hopes, dreams, or plans? Speaker, blogger and writer Chrystal Evans Hurst wrote this book because she was that woman. One day she realized that she had somehow wandered away from the life that she had purposed to live a long time ago. Chrystal since discovered that this moment of awareness happens to lots of women at different seasons of their lives. Poor decisions, a lack of intentionality or planning, or a long-term denial of deep hopes and dreams can leave a woman, old or young, reeling from the realization that she is lost, disappointed, or simply numb. And she just needs encouragement. This woman simply needs someone to hold her hand, to cheer her on, and to believe with her that she is capable of still being the person she intended to be or discovering the girl she never knew was there in the first place. Chrystal uses her poignant story of an early and unexpected pregnancy, as well as other raw and vulnerable moments in her life, to let readers know she understands what it’s like to try and find your way after some missteps or decisions you didn’t plan on. In She’s Still There Chrystal emphasizes the importance of the personal process and the beauty of that path as it is shared authentically from one girlfriend to another. It’s a book of “me toos”, reminders of the hoped for, and challenges for the path ahead—to find direction, purpose, and true satisfaction.

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What can we learn from Jesus about timing?

“You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go,” said Yogi Berra. In life, everyone wants to hit home runs. It’s the lack of timing that causes so many strike outs. Mark Twain once wrote, “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” In Jesus, we learn that God’s timing is like hitting that home run without swinging hard. During his ministry, so many people tried to pull and push him in so many directions. Through it all, he stayed focused on hearing his Father’s voice and concentrated on his mission. That mission would result in his loving sacrifice on a cruel cross in which Jesus poured out his life to pay for our sins.

Artwork by Claire Bauer, age 12 (2017 Winner of Vacation to Medicine Bow Lodge & Adventure Guest Ranch)

“We can learn by remembering the Garden of Gethsemane, when God said it was time for Jesus to sacrifice himself for our sins to be washed away,” says Benjamin, 10.

brothers didn’t believe in him. That’s why he told them that their time was always ready. In other words, they needed to believe in him as their savior. Also, Jesus knew some of Jerusalem’s religious Jews wanted to kill him.

We have to remember that Jesus knew everything that would happen to him when Judas and the soldiers came for him in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:4). Yet, he stepped forward because he knew this was God the Father’s timing for him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Think about this: “The common man prays, ‘I want a cookie right now!’ And God responds, ‘If you’d listen to what I say, tomorrow it will bring you 100 cookies,’” wrote Criss Jami.

“In everyday life, God has perfect timing for even the smallest things,” says Emily, 12. “That’s why we should always trust in the Lord because he has a perfect time for everyone.” Jesus’ entire life can be viewed through the lens of timing. Let’s start with his birth. Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem because of a decree from Caesar Augustus that said everyone should register for taxation. Because Israel’s land distribution was tied to tribal origin, Joseph and Mary from the tribe of Judah traveled to Bethlehem located in their ancestral land of Judea. Surely, Joseph and Mary knew the prophecy from the prophet Micah that predicted that the Jewish messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). They must have been amazed that a decree for registration from a Roman Caesar perfectly coincided with the birth of the Christ child. A list of Scriptures dealing with timing in Jesus’ childhood and ministry are many. Here are a couple of more notable ones: An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to depart for Egypt to avoid the murderous decree from King Herod (Matthew 2:13). Herod ordered the murder of all Bethlehem children two years and younger (Matthew 2:16-18). After the inquiry from the wise men, King Herod decided to eliminate a future rival. When Jesus’ brothers urged him to go to Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles to “show yourself to the world,” Jesus said, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready” (John 7:4 & 6). Jesus knew that his

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August 2017

Memorize this truth: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Ask this question: Can you trust God and his timing for life’s small stuff? Kids Talk About God is a syndicated column by journalist Carey Kinsolving. To access more columns and other free, Bible-based books, videos and artwork, please visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. To learn more about the RGV Children’s Arts Festival, please visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/rgv.


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Music Spotlight:

Big Daddy Weave Two fish. Five loaves. One little boy. When a small lunch was offered to Jesus, He took it and multiplied the simple offering, feeding five thousand. Like that little boy, the members of award-winning band Big Daddy Weave continue to submit their music, their ministry and their lives to Him with their seventh studio album, Beautiful Offerings (Fervent Records/Word Entertainment). Beautiful Offerings follows the biggest album of the band’s career, Love Come To Life, which yielded the rare feat of four back-to-back #1 singles – “Love Come To Life,” “Redeemed,” “The Only Name (Yours Will Be)” and “Overwhelmed.” “Redeemed” became an anthem of unprecedented impact. Big Daddy Weave members Mike Weaver (lead vocals, guitar), Jay Weaver (bass, vocals), Jeremy Redmon (guitar, vocals), Joe Shirk (saxophone, keys, vocals) and Brian Beihl (drums) never would have predicted that a vulnerable song written for the lead singer himself, initially deemed by Mike too personal to even turn in for Love Come To Life, would become the group’s best-selling track in their 16-plus year history. “I thought if I could somehow achieve something for God, that’s what He was going to use,” Mike admits, “but when we shared about brokenness, God used that more than He ever used any of the little successes that we had been given along the way.”

“Every day is an opportunity to bless the heart of God through how we live, how we encounter our families, people we see in the grocery store, and everybody we meet,” adds Mike. “This isn’t us buckling down and trying to earn God’s love by pleasing Him. It’s a realization that because we are children of God, we can bless the heart of God by being subject to and directed by Him in every moment of our lives. Our lives then become something that is pleasing to Him. We become a beautiful offering.” “Our focus is definitely not just on coming out with touching songs. Ministry is on the top of the list in terms of what God wants to do night to night,” Joe maintains. “The things I used to hold as important, or the things I wanted to have control over the past few years, the Lord has allowed me to truly let go of that stuff and not care about it anymore,” Jeremy admits. Mike echoes Jeremy’s thoughts, adding, “When we hear the Lord, we want to do what He says, whether it looks like success to the world or not.” After all, the story they’re telling with their music and their lives is not their own. “We just pray these songs touch people’s lives,” Brian offers. “I think that’s what we hope for with this record; that He just takes it further, it reaches more people and that His story comes through in all of this.”

“Redeemed” spent 11 weeks at No. 1, was dubbed “Song of the Year” at the first annual K-LOVE Fan Awards, garnered Dove Award and Billboard Music Award nominations and certified a gold single by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 records. However, more than all the accolades Big Daddy Weave has achieved, it’s the stories about how the songs have impacted lives that fuel the band’s passion for recording and touring. In fact, they used “Redeemed” as the starting point for the fresh batch of songs hand-picked for Beautiful Offerings. “This record continues where “Redeemed” left off, celebrating what God has done over the last season,” Mike affirms. “Even as we saw and heard hundreds of amazing things happening in people’s lives, we also saw people who were barely approaching what God is offering. Many people were saying, “Thank God, I am redeemed,” but then going right back into their same old thing,” adds Mike. “We wanted to bring light on that with Beautiful Offerings. Being redeemed is more than the forgiveness and the fact that our past is taken care of. It’s a message of hope that calls us out

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of where we used to be into a new place. It’s as much about what we are redeemed to as what we are redeemed from.”

August 2017

In story and song, the members of Big Daddy Weave simply want their legacy to be one characterized by loving people and telling of the Love that’s changed their lives—their own beautiful offering. “When you see the goodness of the Lord, and it’s evident, not just in life, but in the lives of those around you like we’ve been able to see, all we care about now is just pursuing that and finding more of that,” Jay says. “I think you see that in the songwriting of this record, and I think you see that in the eyes of each member of this band.” Every song, every concert, every prayer they pray with the people they meet, they are giving it all to Jesus. “It’s about who we give it to,” Mike concludes, “and God can feed everybody with it.”


First, get a real job Dear Dave, I currently have student loans in deferment from earning a degree in hospitality management. My career goal is to own a mobile food vending company, so I’m putting most of the money I make from eBay and ride-hailing services — around $1,000 a month — aside in savings for that. Should I forego my business idea for the time being, and knock out the student loan debt instead? Nicholas Dear Nicholas, You should put this business idea on hold for now, unless you can start it for less than $1,000. The first thing you need to do is go out, and get a real job. I know you have this dream of being self-employed, but right now you’re not doing so well as an entrepreneur.

Dave Says

With a hospitality degree, you can make $30,000 to $50,000 a year within the industry, clean up your mess, and build out the eBay thing on the side. Just think about how quickly you could save up money for a jump into the food truck or mobile food business, then! Pay your way through it, Nicholas. Don’t sit around scraping by on the kind of money you’re making now and call that winning. You have a real economic engine at your fingertips, because you have the knowledge from the degree you earned. And it’s a valuable degree. If you go in there and bust it, you can escalate yourself upward through that industry in a hurry. While you’re doing that, you can clean up all your student loans and save up money for your food truck. Boom! You’re self-employed and you learned a lot of stuff you can use in your new business. Go make some real money, then follow your dream, man! —Dave

Rental house being foreclosed Dear Dave, I’ve been living in a rental house for some time now. I was just told by the owners that the house is being foreclosed on next week. I’ve tried to call and email them, but haven’t heard anything back. Should I go ahead and pay rent for this month? John Dear John, I wouldn’t. The bottom line in a situation like this is: You’re giving them money and they’re not paying the bills. I wouldn’t give the owners another dime until they return your phone calls or talk to you in person and let you know the details as to what’s going on with the house you’re living in.

* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations. Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

In the meantime, I’d advise speaking with an attorney and a real estate professional in your area to find out exactly what your rights are at this point. Many places require a 30-day notice before renters are required to vacate a property. Good luck, John! —Dave August

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Raul “Rudy” Rodriguez attorney at law

Some historians may argue that among the greatest restoration stories of mankind are the European Renaissance or perhaps the post-World War II era. The cultural movement known as the European Renaissance roughly took place during the 14th through 17th centuries. This moment in history saw the face of Europe evolve with respect to its arts, architecture and long held science tenets. It also saw a rediscovery of the Greco-Roman classical knowledge and a rebirth of the study of Latin and vernacular languages. It served as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era. Closer to home, America saw its restoration take place in the years that followed World War II. During this era, couples who could not afford families during the Great Depression made up for lost time. The mood in America suddenly became optimistic. At that time, the unemployment rate of the Great Depression dropped dramatically and the economy improved substantially. The G.I. Bill empowered many honorable service members to finish high school and attend college. As their skills were improved, so was the financial well-being of their families. But, without a doubt the greatest restoration that can take place is when a person does as Romans 10:9 instructs us to do. Romans 10:9 says: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The message is simple: invite Christ into your heart and make him your personal Lord and Savior. At that time, your restoration will be complete. Next He will do as Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” As you seek and strive to honor God with your life, He will reward you by allowing you to take on His characteristics. Hosea 14:4 says, “I will bring my people back to me. I will love them with all my heart; No longer am I angry with them.” I pray that you will invite Christ into your heart and allow Him to restore you! At my office, I also want to be part of your restoration plan, albeit in a different way. I pray that God will use me for His honor and glory in helping me address your needs. If you have been involved in an auto accident and/or other serious injury or if you have lost a loved one as a result of someone’s negligence, I will do my best to restore some sense of normality to your life. I will also help you in matters involving family law, criminal law and real estate and will issues. As always, I bear in mind that in honoring God with the way I handle my business relationships I will be honoring you my esteemed client.

Raul “Rudy” Rodriguez

www.raulrudyrodriguezlaw.com Phone: 956.380.1421 / Toll Free: 877.480.1421 Fax: 956.380.2920 / Mobile: 956.655.5455

511 W. University / Edinburg, TX 78539 e-mail: anointed511@gmail.com

Valley Christian Magazine August 2017  

Loving God. Loving Others. Building Community. On the cover: Big Daddy Weave. We are excited to have Big Daddy Weave along with We are Me...

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