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Vol. 7 / Issue 11

On The Cover

To submit story ideas, events, or comments:

Got Faith Music Festival March 5 - Hidalgo, TX Borderfest


what you’ll find inside:

Twitter: @vcmagazine


Tax Deductible donations can be mailed to:

Texas Christian Publications c/o Valley Christian Magazine 3827 North 10th Street, 301 McAllen, TX 78501

Lysa Terkeurst

I Have Trust Issues

10 5 Financial Steps...

Provided by Armondo Brennan


12 Mark Driscoll

5 Dating Questions for Single Women

Valley Christian Magazine is a free monthly magazine published by

14 James MacDonald Love Protects

16 Luis Palau

Valley Christian Magazine is a publication of Texas Christian Publications (a 501c3 organization). Texas Christian Publications reserves the right to edit, modify, revise, rewrite and reject editorial materials and assumes no responsibility for accuracy, errors, omissions or consequences arising from it. All correspondence to this publication becomes the property of Texas Christian Publications. Texas Christian Publications shall be held harmless indemnified against any third-party claims. Texas Christian Publications accepts no claims made by photographers, agents or contributors. Writers’ and columnists’ opinions are not necessarily those of Texas Christian Publications or its publishers. Advertisements appearing in Texas Christian Publications present only the viewpoint of the advertisers. We assume no responsibility for advertising claims made in this publication. Valley Christian Magazine is printed in Mexico. Reproduction without the expressed written permission prohibited. Copyright 2017


Apropriandose de las promesas de Dios

18 FCA - Victory Banquet 20 Greg Laurie

Let The Children Come

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22 Darlene Zschech

Here I Am Send Me (Henani)

23 Kids Talk About God 24 Dave Ramsey 25 New Reads 27 Events - Concerts!! Christian Torres

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or God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’ --Hebrews 13:5b-6 (NLT)

Do you ever wonder exactly what God wants you to do, especially when I want life to be as stable as a math problem. Two plus two always equals four. It will equal four today, tomorrow and into the tomorrows years from now. Math equations don’t experience breakups and letdowns. They don’t get cancer. Or have their best friend get transferred and move across the country. They don’t have affairs or unmatched affections. They are highly predictable. Therefore, they are easy to trust. But life doesn’t add up. People don’t add up. And in the rawest moments of honest hurting, God doesn’t add up. All of which makes us hold our trust ever so close to our chests until it becomes more tied to our fears than to our faith.

And not just any old ropes course. The grand dismount of this course was a leap from a platform to catch a bar suspended several feet away. I started looking around for the emergency exit, because there was no way on God’s green earth they were going to get me to jump. And then Bob appeared. With his enormous smile, grandfather-gray hair and arms magnetic with the purest grace, he drew me over to the edge. “Lysa, this isn’t about finishing the ropes course. This is about conquering your hesitancy, resistance and fear. These ropes holding you will only let you slightly drop if you miss the bar. Then they will catch, and you absolutely will not fall,” he whispered as if he had a window view inside of my soul. I looked at the space between the edge of the platform and the bar. I saw death. Bob saw life. What a visual for the word trust. What we see will violate what we know unless what we know dictates what we see.

That’s where I was when Bob and Maria stuck out their hands to shake mine and invite me to their mountain home. I needed God to untangle some of my trust issues. They were having a retreat at their mountain home with an eclectic group of some of their favorite people, and somehow I got on that list.

Bob knew the ropes would hold me. And he knew that my ability to survive this jump had absolutely nothing to do with my efforts. I was held safe standing on the platform. I would be held safe in midair. And I would absolutely be safe, whether or not I caught the bar.

It was all going well until someone handed me a helmet. We were about to do a ropes course.

Bob whispered, “You are absolutely loved. Now, when you’re ready, jump.”


February 2017

I can’t tell you how long I stood there. It felt like days and milliseconds all at the same time. The world swirled and tilted and shifted without me so much as twitching a muscle fiber. I forgot to breathe. I couldn’t even blink. I would imagine you’ve been in situations that have felt quite paralyzing as well. And it’s in these times I have to tie my heart to soul-steadying verses like our key verse: “For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5b‑6). Just like those ropes wrapped around and around my body holding me to the course from beginning to end, God’s Word can wrap our souls with steady assurance. The peace of our souls does not have to rise and fall with unpredictable people or situations. Our feelings will shift, of course. People do affect us. But the peace of our souls is tethered to all that God is. And though we can’t predict His specific plans, the fact that God will work everything together for good is a completely predictable promise. Bob whispered one final thing: “It’s already done.” I don’t know exactly what he meant, but I know what my soul heard. God has already caught me. His goodness and love have pursued me and won me. I just need to jump into that reality. And without any other conscious thought, my soul kicked in where my brain could not. My feet exploded off the platform and into midair. I touched the bar, but I did not catch it. I didn’t need to. Because trust caught me. Lord, I can’t thank You enough for the promise that I can trust You at all times. Even though people may fail me … even though others may abandon me … You never will. I’m choosing to let that truth steady my heart today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY: Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV)

REFLECT AND RESPOND: Have you been struggling to trust God with any areas of your life? Spend some time surrendering each one to God in prayer today. © 2017 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

About Lysa: Lysa Terkeurst is a New York Times best selling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has lead thousands over the past 15 years to help make their walk with God an invigorating journey. In the midst of her ministry, though, Lysa is a real, everyday woman who simply seeks to glorify God through her life and family. Used by Permission Proverbs 31 Ministry Copyright 2017


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February 2017

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About Pastor Mark Driscoll: Pastor Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor. He’s grateful to be a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody. Various ministries trace their roots to Pastor Mark’s leadership. Mars Hill Church began as a Bible study he and his wife Grace taught in their home. He is also the founder of Resurgence, a ministry that offers resources for Christian leaders, including books, events, classes, multimedia, and a blog. He is the co-founder of the Acts 29 Network, which has planted over 400 churches in the US and 13 other nations. More Info at Used with permission from Mark Driscoll. Copyright 2017

As the father of a daughter in college, I have entered into that season of life where young single women ask me a lot of dad-esque questions. Many of those questions revolve around guys they are interested in. The following five questions are one’s that I end up asking repeatedly in these discussions.

1) Do you want to join the kind of life he has? You and your husband will have one life together which you will help create (Gen. 2:18; 1 Cor. 11:9). So, if you don’t like the life he wants to build then you are not a good fit to be together. If he wants a career in sales or the military, where he is gone much or most of the time, and you are not okay with that, then he needs another career or you need another man to marry. Any woman who marries a man hoping to fix him, change him, or redirect his life course is with the wrong man. If she likes who he is and where he is going and wants to be a good life partner helping him to be and do what God has for them, then she may have found a man she is suited for.

2) Is he tough enough to remain strong in tough times? I am talking about a man who is tender with you, but tough for you. If you marry him and have children, will he be the kind of steady rock the family needs when times are tough? If hard economic times come, will he, for example, work two jobs to care for his family? If you have a hard pregnancy and find yourself bedridden, will he step up to do what is needed to care for his family? Too many men wilt under pressure or cave under crisis, and if you marry a man and entrust yourself and your children to him, you need to be certain that he will be there to lovingly lead the family in God’s purposes, no matter what.

3) Is he lovingly considerate and gentle with you? Any man who does not consult with you, make decisions with you, ask what you think, and inquire how you feel is a selfish and inconsiderate man (1 Peter 3:7). Furthermore, any man who is harsh or in any way abusive (verbally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, physically), will only get worse once you are married. Do not kid yourself—when you are dating a man, he is on his best behavior, and if he is inconsiderate or harsh with you then, any future with him will be very painful.

4) Will he be a good father? A man might look at you as more than just a baby machine, but does he love children? Does he consider children a blessing, as Scripture says (Ps. 127:3-5)? Does he want to be a good dad (Eph. 6:4)? The only way a man can be a good father is by being unselfish. If he is into his buddies, his hobbies, his activities, and the like, he will be a terrible father. Why? Because once a man decides to walk with Jesus as a faithful church member, to love his wife as Christ loves the church, to raise his kids as pastor-dad, and to work his job wholeheartedly unto the Lord, he will have little time for much of anything else. Yet he will be happy if the deepest desires of his heart are the things that are taking his time and energy. If you want to be a mom who stays home with the children for example, then you must have a man who will be a great daddy and longs for that role. Further, since your daughters will marry men like their daddy, and your sons will grow up to be men like their daddy, make sure to marry a man whom you want imitated for generations.

5) Is he a one-woman man? Church leaders are to set the pattern as one-woman men for all God’s men (1 Tim. 3:2). Therefore, he should not be the porn guy, the flirt guy, the haslots-of-female-friends-he-calls-buddies guy, the cheats-on-you-when- you-are-dating guy, the dates-multiple-women-at-a-time guy, or the compares-youto-other-women guy. If he is to be your husband, his heart, hands, mind, eyes, wallet, and life need to be solely devoted to you. If you have to keep trying to make him faithful or if you question his loyalty, he is not ready to be a good husband. For the single women, you need to not turn biblical wisdom for decision-making into a legal case by which to try every woman you meet. Everyone, including you, has faults, flaws, and is a work in progress. However, because who we marry is the second most important decision we ever make (following who our God is), we must be prayerful, careful, and biblical in our decision. And, inviting in godly older people with wisdom to help us make this decision is also crucial.


February 2017

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love protects 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.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres 1 Corinthians 13:6–7, NIV


against those closest to us can grow into murderous rage (see Matthew 5:21–22). Why? Why do people hurt each other? Why did Cain hurt innocent Abel? John tells us clearly. “And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:12). Never underestimate the conflict that rages in the heart of a person who is in the process of rejecting God. Never underestimate the tension that person feels between your life and his. “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13). In this context, the word world refers to the people you know: your neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family members who have not received “THE BIBLICAL WAY IS THE WAY OF LOVE.” Christ and are not walking in Him—and who feel the dissonance between your life and theirs. son of Adam and Eve. But he’s notorious for murdering his brother, Abel. In fact, the word Satan, the one who shattered the first family in translated murdered (or slew) literally means history through his influence over Cain, has the cut his throat. Cain brutally killed his younger very same goal today: to shatter your family. He’s brother. actively working on it. The enemy wants to devour your marriage. And your children. He wants Why would he do that? Why would a person kill to have them, and he wants the world to have a member of his own family? them. Sadly, people do it both literally and figuratively Our instinct is to fight—to draw the line, stand our all the time. While only the literal, flesh-andground, raise our fists, and fight. The biblical way, blood murders make the headlines, people all the way to cooperate with what God is doing in around us are dying in their families. this world and in your relationships, is the way of love. That is our protection. Like families who are fighting over their parents’ estate. Like children who tear their famiThe way of Cain is opposite to the way of love. lies apart through rebellion. Like any number of People who choose Cain’s path of hatred still conflicts within our homes. Like how our anger ove protects. Real, biblical love always protects others. When we abandon protecting love, our relationships unravel. The Apostle John reminds us of that with a graphic illustration: “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:11–12, ESV). Remember Cain? He was the first child born on Earth, the firstborn


February 2017

wander in a wilderness, just as Cain wandered in the wilderness the rest of his life (Genesis 4:12), and miss out on the good things God desires to give them. If you want God’s protection on your family, choose love instead of hate. Turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). Go the second mile (Matthew 5:41). Avoid the life of Cain. Choose instead the way of love, and experience God’s protection over your relationships.

j ournal When have you seen someone dying in a family—the toxic, murderous hate in a relationship killing someone emotionally, if not physically? How can love protect your family and your closest relationships?

P ray

Father God, open my eyes to see the ways I’m like Cain. What conflicts am I allowing to brew in my family? What anger is bubbling into murderous rage in my relationships? Thank You for the clarity to see how hatred kills relationships. I choose instead the way of love. Love protects. Help me to protect those I love by loving them. Your way is always best, Father. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.


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Apropiándose de las promesas de Dios

-Luis Palau

Luego de leer, estudiar, memorizar y meditar en varios pasajes de la Biblia, ¿cuáles parecen ser los más difíciles de creer? ¿Las profecías? ¿Las porciones narrativas? ¿Los pasajes doctrinales? ¿Las promesas de Dios? Tengo la impresión de que para muchos cristianos el problema más serio radica en las promesas de Dios. Son palabras muy lindas y a veces hasta nos animan. Pero no podemos dejar de preguntarnos: «¿Funcionan en realidad? A veces inconscientemente nos cuestionamos si Dios es fiel a sus promesas. El evangelista Dwight Moody declaró con confianza: «Dios nunca hizo una promesa que fuera demasiado maravillosa como para ser verdad». Medite en lo que dijo Moody. En el Antiguo Testamento se lee: «No faltó palabra de todas las buenas promesas que Jehová había hecho a la casa de Israel; todo se cumplió» (Josué 21:45; ver 23:1415). Años más tarde Salomón declaró: «Alabado sea el Señor, quien ha dado descanso a su pueblo Israel, tal como lo prometió. No ha faltado ni una sola palabra de todas las promesas maravillosas que hizo mediante su siervo Moisés» (1 Reyes 8:56 NTV). Ninguna de las promesas de Dios ha faltado; todas se han cumplido. Los únicos absolutos que podemos proclamar son los que encontramos en la Palabra de Dios. El hombre tiene conocimientos y puede adquirir más independientemente de la Palabra de Dios, pero la Biblia testifica de cosas que van más allá de todo eso. Muchas veces Dios ha hecho declaraciones en su Palabra de verdad y ha dado a su pueblo «grandes y preciosas promesas” (2 Pedro 1:4 NTV). Algunas de sus promesas fueron hechas específicamente a un individuo (Josué 14:9), a un grupo de personas (Deuteronomio 15:18) o incluso a una nación (Hageo 1:13). Debemos tener cuidado de no pedir a Dios el cumplimiento de promesas que fueron dadas de manera específica a otra persona. Afortunadamente, muchas de las promesas del Antiguo Testamento se repiten en el Nuevo y también se aplican hoy a nosotros. Dios prometió a Josué: «No te dejaré, ni te desampararé» (Josué 1:5). En Hebreos 13:5 Dios transfiere esa promesa a nosotros como cristianos. El predicador inglés Charles Spurgeon señaló: «Oh hombre, te ruego, no trates las promesas de Dios como si fueran curiosidades para un museo, sino créelas y úsalas». Nos apropiamos de las promesas de Dios al aprenderlas ?a través del estudio y la memorización?, al ver nuestra necesidad de ellas y al darle tiempo a Dios para que las haga parte de nuestra experiencia diaria. El reconocido teólogo J.I. Packer dice: «Antes de conceder sus promesas, Dios enseña al creyente a valorar esos regalos que promete, haciendo que el creyente espere por ellos, y obligándolo a orar persistentemente para recibirlos». Dios ha prometido satisfacer todas nuestras necesidades. Pero, por otra parte, debemos pedir su provisión. Cristo dice: «Sigue pidiendo y recibirás lo que pides; sigue buscando y encontrarás; sigue llamando, y la puerta se te abrirá» (Mateo 7:7 NTV). Cada una de las promesas que podemos pedir en el nombre de Cristo están garantizadas y serán cumplidas por Dios en nuestro favor para su gloria (Juan 14:13-14; 2 Corintios 1:20). Amigo mío, ¿cuál es la necesidad hoy de su corazón? El Señor ha prometido suplir esa necesidad; crea en él. Luis Palau


February 2017

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


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February 2017


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need God’s help to be moms and dads. We live in a culture that is largely hostile to the family. It certainly does not support the role of mother and father. In fact, in many ways, culture (music, movies, television, etc.) tends to undermine the role of the parent. In the Gospels, we read about how the parents brought their children to Jesus. “One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children’” (Luke 18:15–16 NLT). I love that story. The parents see Jesus and bring their kids to Him, but the disciples push them back. They say things like, “Don’t bother the Master right now,” “He is busy,” or “He is tired.” And Jesus says, “Hold on now. Let those little children come to Me, for such is the kingdom of Heaven!” Let them come. The kids came to Christ and loved Him, and He loved them and their parents. In the original language it could be translated, “They kept bringing their children to Jesus.” I like the fact that even though they were rebuffed by the disciples, they were persistent. If you are a smart parent, you will keep bringing your child to Jesus. Your part is important. Be faithful in it. And remember, nothing can really happen through us until it has first happened to us. Paul writes in Philippians 4:9, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do.” What your children need most is to see your faith in action.


February 2017

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 used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000 Riverside, CA 92514 Copyright © 2016 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.


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New Music Release Spotlight:

Darlene Zschech

Here I Am Send Me (Henini) First Album In Four Years Offers Message Of Hope, Declares Greatness Of God Following Zschech’s Cancer Diagnosis In 2014 Album Features Cowrites With Martin Smith, Paul Baloche, Jenn Johnson, Leeland Mooring - Releasing March 3. Renowned worship leader, author and pastor Darlene Zschech releases the Here I Am Send Me (Hineni) CD/DVD globally on March 3 from Integrity Music. Recorded live with her team at Hope Unlimited Church on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia, the album is Zschech’s first project following a life changing cancer diagnosis in 2014 and features 11 new songs penned by her along with guest writers like Martin Smith, Paul Baloche, Jenn Johnson and Leeland Mooring. Here I Am Send Me is also Zschech’s first new album since 2013’s critically acclaimed Revealing Jesus. Produced by Andy Mak, the new recording opens with a full-on declaration of the greatness of God in the song “You Are Great” written with Martin Smith (Delirious?) in response to the most challenging season of her life. “When I was at my sickest, Martin flew over from England to sit with us, sing songs over our church, and walk and talk with me and my husband, all the while speaking courage into us,” Zschech says, her voice full of emotion recalling the dark days after her diagnosis of breast cancer that is now in remission. “It’s week one of treatment and you feel like you’re going to die, and Martin said, ‘Darls, I know you’re going to want to write songs about this season. What do you want to say?’ And I said, ‘I want to say ‘HE IS GREAT!’ And so we wrote this song together and have been singing it in our church. That’s where it started… In the midst of the fire, it doesn’t change who our God is.”

and I do my best with what I can do in the natural and trust God with those things over which I have no power.” Following this opening track, the album proceeds to take listeners through a journey declaring God’s greatness, love and call, and gives worshippers a voice of response, as in the song, “You Will Be Praised.” Written with Baloche and Johnson upon Zschech’s first return to America after cancer treatment, the song unabashedly declares the power of the Holy Spirit living among us that makes fearlessness possible in every season and circumstance of life. It is, in many ways, her testimony. The album also features “Beloved,” a modern hymn of surrender co-written by Zschech with Mooring and Casey Moore. Other standouts include “Love and Wonder,” written by the Zschech’s teen daughter, Zoe, and Bonnie Gray from Hope UC, “Kingdom Come,” co-written with Thomas Macken and reflecting a year-long teaching theme at the church and “Go,” written with Andy Mak, that closes the album. This closing song of commissioning is a message that will be sensed throughout the project by listeners, including in the song from which the title track was gleaned. “‘Here I Am Send Me’ was written following the revelation I received from Genesis 22, which is when Abraham responds to God in worship by saying ‘Hineni,’ meaning, ‘here I am Lord, whatever you ask, before you ask, my answer is yes’,” says Zschech. “None of us know how many days we have,” continues Zschech. “Whatever days I have—and I’m declaring a ripe old age—I want to live them intentionally. I want to live the love of Christ… Everywhere we go, we take the presence of the Lord, we take His presence and His hope, His extravagant love. It’s a journey. I’m not there yet, but that’s the journey that I am embracing.”

“Cancer is a dreadful thing,” continues Zschech. “The medical world doesn’t like to use the word ‘healed.’ They like to say the word ‘remission’… but I’m believing God’s report over my life. I speak Psalm 91 over myself every day, I take my medicine and I take the word of God

Check out Darlene’s music video at 22

February 2017

How Can Jesus Be 100 Percent God and 100 Percent Man?

“He did things like his Dad (100 percent God), and He did things like we do (since he’s 100 percent man),” says Candice, 10. I’m impressed, Candice! You have succeeded where others have failed. Probably no question in all of theology and philosophy has spawned more debate. An accurate answer can be given in one word: MYSTERY. “Great is the mystery of godliness,” wrote the Apostle Paul to Timothy (I Timothy 3:16). Attempting to explain this mystery has gotten many of my friends into trouble. But they aren’t the first, and they won’t be the last. “Jesus grew up as a man, and then God turned him into a God,” says Brian, 8, little realizing he has an ancient idea. Brian, this error started in Rome around A.D. 190. The first to be credited with this deviation was Theodotus the Tanner, who would have fared better if he had stuck to making leather sandals. Theodotus said Jesus was a “mere man” whom God “adopted” when the Holy Spirit came upon him at his baptism. Today, there’s a popular variation of this idea: Jesus was a mere man who attained a higher form of God consciousness. We, too, can achieve the same oneness with God. Right? Think again. Listen to the angel who appeared to shepherds in the field at the time of Jesus’ birth, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Did the angel mistake a “mere man” for “Christ the Lord?”

Nope! Next error, please. “Jesus is not 100 percent man because then He wouldn’t be perfect,” says Caroline, 10, who is probably reacting to all the imperfections she has observed in people. And so did the Gnostics of the first century.

Art by Caroline Fleming, 10

Modern people find it easy to believe Jesus was a man, but difficult to believe he was God. Gnostics, however, didn’t believe Jesus was a man with a material body because they thought matter was evil. They proposed that either Jesus had a body temporarily, which he left at the crucifixion, or had none at all, only seeming to be a human being.

essence of a church council that met in Chalcedon in A.D. 451. Even though the natures are inseparably united in the person of Jesus Christ, they remain distinct, whole and unchanged, without mixture or confusion.

But the Apostle John said, “Gno!” to the Gnostics.

Memorize this truth: I John 4:2 previously quoted.

He wrote two of his three short letters to derail their false ideas. “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God” (I John 4:2-3). Furthermore, John began his letter stating that he heard, saw and touched with his own hands the “Word of life,” which was “with the Father.”

Ask this question: Have you made your peace with the one who is fully God and fully man?

John intertwined earthly matter with the eternal to say Jesus is man and God. Because of who Jesus is, John wrote that the way to fellowship with the Father has been opened. “He’s the Son of God first,” says Stefanie, 12. “Then, when He was born on earth, He became the Son of Man, too.” Take a tip from Donald, 12: “Anything is possible for God.”

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, To learn more about the RGV Children’s Arts Festival, please visit

Think about this: God and man united in one person. Two natures, one person. This is the


2017    23

Helping dad Dear Dave, My dad has been really bad with money his entire life. Anytime he would get into trouble, my grandparents would always bail him out. This time he came to my wife and I, asking for $350 to get out of overdraft at the bank. We’re trying to live on a budget and get control of our finances, and $350 would make things kind of tight at the moment. What do you think we should do? Jeremy Dear Jeremy, I understand feeling an obligation to help your dad. But there’s a lesson here that dad needs to learn, and it’s something that goes much deeper than the money or helping out a family member.

You have to do the right thing, no matter how dad reacts to this. Right now, the right thing is taking care of your family and not putting them in jeopardy. So my answer to dad would be no. Another thing that needs to happen is for the definition of “help” to change. When you say he’s been irresponsible with money his whole life, giving him $350 won’t help — and it will make you an enabler. Just handing him $350 will actually hurt him, and it will give him the idea he can continue being dumb with money and hit you up for cash anytime.

Dave s y a S

Like I said, I understand the pull of helping out a parent. So if you feel this is something you absolutely must do, I would advise making the $350 contingent on the fact that he begin and complete a financial counseling course. Be gentle when you talk to him, and let him know it hurts to see him struggling. But let him know, too, it’s his responsibility to work through his debts and take care of his own finances! —Dave

To be unclear is to be unkind Dear Dave,

My friend and I are roommates, and we’ve always had an agreement that we split each of the bills fifty-fifty. We both work and have decent jobs, but for the last couple of months she’s been really late in paying her half of the bills. She says she’s broke. I don’t want to be mean, but how can I approach her about this situation? Alice Dear Alice, I understand that you don’t want to be mean to a friend, but situations like this should be addressed quickly and directly. No matter whether you’re talking about friendships or business dealings, to be unclear is to be unkind. Turn off the television, sit down with her, and have a kind but firm conversation. Let her know that the roommate agreement is no longer working because she isn’t paying her bills on time. Make sure she understands that the two of you are not going to be able to stay there together anymore unless she starts paying on time. You might also ask if she needs help budgeting her money. I mean, if she’s got a good job her money has to be going somewhere, right? The problem is that it’s not going to the proper places. * 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

I know you think that by being subtle or avoiding the situation you’re being nice, but you’re not. You’re being passive-aggressive. You just have to smile and say, “This isn’t going to happen anymore. You’re going to get your act together, and I’ll help you all I can, but you need to start paying on time or the roommate situation is over.” Is that tough love? No, it’s just love. —Dave


February 2017

My Heart

Every Beat Surrendered To Our Unchanging God

By Julie Manning // Publisher: B&H Publishing Group What if you were told there’s a possibility you would not be alive to see this afternoon or wake up tomorrow morning? Do you think you would live differently? How would this reality affect every single moment of the life you have been given? Julie Manning was in the middle of giving birth to her second child when doctors noticed an irregularity in her heartbeat. Within six weeks, tests revealed it was no one-time occurrence. This ultra-capable mom, wife, marathon runner, and pediatric nurse practitioner was in active heart failure, finding herself at risk for experiencing a sudden cardiac death. My Heart is the first-person account of Julie’s journey from then to now—from a healthy woman’s normal expectations and self-reliance to the surrendering of her dreams, plans, and deepest desires into the hands of our unchanging God. Part retelling and reflection, part in-the moment prayer journal, her story takes you with honest vulnerability into the jaws of fear and suffering, and speaks realistic hope into your own story, leaving you with well-fought, well-placed confidence for the road ahead. It’s what her heart would like to say to you . . . about the faithful, loving, impeccably trustworthy heart of God.

No More Faking Fine Ending the Pretending

By Esther Fleece // Publisher: Zondervan If you’ve ever been given empty clichés during challenging times, you know how painful it can feel to be misunderstood by well-meaning people. Far too often, it seems the response we get to our hurt and disappointment is to suck it up, or pray it away. But Scripture reveals a God who meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be. No More Faking Fine is your invitation to get gut-level honest with God through the life-giving language of lament. Lament, a practice woven throughout Scripture, is a prayer that God never ignores, never silences, and never wastes. As author Esther Fleece says, “Lament is the unexpected pathway to true intimacy with God, and with those around us.” Esther learned this the hard way, by believing she could shut down painful emotions that haunted her from a broken past she tried to forget on her fast track to success. But in silencing her pain, she robbed herself of the opportunity to be healed. Maybe you’ve done the same. No More Faking Fine is your permission to lament—to give voice to the hurt, frustration, and disappointment you’ve kept inside and silenced for too long. Drawing from careful biblical study and hard-won insight, Esther reveals how to use God’s own language to draw closer to Him as He leads us through any darkness into His marvelous light.


2017    25


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2017    27

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 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:

Valley Christian Magazine - Feb 2017  

Loving God. Loving Others. Building Community. On the cover: Got Faith Music Festival 2017 Borderfest - March 5th at the State Farm Arena...

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