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Magazine Issue #84

Christian Torres

Publisher // Graphic Design // Sales

Stephanie Torres Accounting

Stella Gallegos Sales // Events

Veronica Guerra Schmidt Sales

Marcie Gallegos Distribution // Sales

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

On The Cover p14:

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD Drop Off Location: BT Church 2001 Trenton Rd McAllen ,tX 78504 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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Social Media Facebook: @valleychristianmagazine & @valleychristian Instagram: @valleychristianmag Twitter: @vcmagazine Copyright 2017


Printed in Mexico.

Valley Christian Magazine 3827 N 10th Street Suite 301 McAllen, TX 78501 956-314-0161

index 6

Lisa Polk


Lysa Terkeurst


Releasing Your Ex To God When Fear Chases Me

10 Greg Laurie

To The Other Side

12 James MacDonald Strength In Weakness


Operation Christmas Child with BT Church McAllen

18 Time with Our Creator Giving Praise to Our God

19 Valley Christian New Reads Spotlight -Your Dreams. God’s Plan by Tiffany Smiling -365 Bible Verses A Year for 2018


20 Luis Palau

Una Personalidad Transparente

21 Kids Talk About God

How is Jesus Like A River of Flowing Water in Your Life?

22 New Music Release

Austin Stone Worship - Everflow

23 Dave Ramsey - Dave Says -Touching Their Hearts -Time To Leave The Day Job?

24 Raul “Rudy” Rodriguez The Restoration Story

19 I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


Releasing Your Ex to God by Laura Polk

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

I couldn’t believe what I was doing. I sat in court for what had to be the thirtieth time in the previous threeand-a-half years. The battle had been long, and exhausting, and the most harrowing experience of my life. I felt defeated, and unheard, and pushed aside by a system that seemed to cater to men. A system that appeared to allow bad behavior to the point of terrorizing victims while the victims themselves had to claw and fight for their very safety. It was unreal. It was no different than the other times I’d been in court. Except that each time I sat there, I became more numb to it all. I’d learned to position myself directly behind my ex. Enough rows that he couldn’t eye me without completely turning around in his seat—something I hoped that even the judge would notice. My restraining order was still in effect, though the power it actually held seemed minimal compared to what I’d gone through. My faith was nearly shot. For the first time since I’d become a Christian, I was seriously starting to reconsider it. Wondering if God really was in it with me. If He even cared. If anyone did. And as I sat behind my ex in court—again—watching his body language and wondering what the day would hold . . . I felt God nudging me to pray for him. I bristled at the very thought. To pray for a man that had essentially terrorized me to the point that I honestly felt that the situation would end in my death? It seemed ridiculous to do such a thing. And yet, I felt God asking me to do what I hadn’t been

about laura

able to do for myself in months, much less the one person who hated me most in this world. And though I thought it absurd, and had no idea what to even say . . . I obeyed the nudge and took a position of praying on that bench. It was in that moment that I realized something—I was giving up my toe-to-toe struggle with my ex and choosing a sideline position by giving him over to God. I was shocked at how easy it came for me to pray for him. And it wasn’t a pat prayer, or something that was forced. My heart suddenly eased toward this man and I earnestly prayed good for him. That God would bless him. That God would heal him. That God would show him grace. That God would give him happiness in this world. I prayed as I sat just rows behind him and fully wanted all of those things for him more than I even wanted them for myself. Then something unexpected happened. After nearly four years of fighting him in court every single month and being worn down to a shell of the people we once were, everything was settled in court that day. It was over. The battle that had consumed my life, my mind, and my very sanity. The battle that had been at a vicious standstill for months. The battle that had me resigned to the fact that I had no choice but to drop everything and forget about what was fair . . . was suddenly made right. Before my very eyes. With no one in that courtroom knowing what really happened except for me and my God. And all it took was a little obedience, a miniscule amount of faith, and a big God who knows the heart of each of us and exactly what we need to live in freedom. Will you consider praying for your ex?

Laura Polk is a single mom, author, writer, speaker, and friend. She has written for magazines, such as Focus on the Family, Christian Parenting Today, and Crosswalk. She is author of the upcoming release The Single Mom Challenge. She is a graduate of She Speaks and Christian Communicators. For more information, visit The Life of a Single Mom is a nonprofit organization that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, the organization has worked with more than 1,500 churches to establish a formal single mom’s support group, ministry, and outreach program. More than 50,000 single mothers annually connect to services. For more information, visit


Issue #84

I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV) My eyes popped open and my heart raced when my phone buzzed at 1 a.m. Good news isn’t usually delivered at that hour. I hopped out of bed and grabbed my phone to read a text: “Mom, police have my dorm on lockdown and are running up and down the hall shouting. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m scared.” It was Ashley, my daughter who was a college freshman at the time, more than seven hours away from me.

But I couldn’t see Him. And no Spirit Finger wrote instructions on my wall. Instead, I felt this gentle nudge to pay attention to what He’d already given me that week: A set of verses a friend texted me and that I’d passed along to another friend, which includes our key verses today. Psalm 91:1-2, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” I love that these verses give us a script to say out loud, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

I tried calling her, but the reception was so bad neither of us could make out what the other was saying. Texting was my only option, so I asked a series of questions trying to get a better handle on what was happening.

Quickly, I texted Ashley these verses and instructed her to say this out loud over and over until she felt some relief from her fear. And you better believe I was saying it out loud over and over as well.

My hands were shaking. My heart was racing. And I felt intensely helpless.

Isn’t it interesting the two words God is called here are refuge and fortress?

When she was a little girl and cried out in the middle of the night, all I had to do was run upstairs. I could sit on the edge of her bed and rub her back. I could let her see me. Calm her with my touch. Be there to whisper reassurances. But that little girl had grown into a college girl living very far away from me. I couldn’t sit on her bed, and she couldn’t see me. I couldn’t calm her with my touch. I couldn’t whisper those reassurances with my voice. All I could do was text her.

A refuge is a quick place you duck into to find shelter. A fortress is a place built intentionally for the purposes of exceptional security. The Hebrew word for fortress is metsudah, with one of its definitions being an “inaccessible place.” God is not just a quick refuge from the storm, but He’s also the place where fear no longer has access to me. Fear can’t catch what it can no longer reach.

And that felt completely inadequate in light of the situation.

It’s not that bad things won’t happen to my kids or me. We live in a broken world where broken things happen every day. But as a child of God, I don’t have to live with fear taunting and terrorizing me.

Scary images assaulted my mind with all the possible scenarios a completely shaken mama conjures up in moments of frightening uncertainty. I sank down to my knees and begged God to clear my head and give me the words to text that would help.

We still don’t know all the reasons why my daughter’s dorm was on lockdown. Thankfully, she and her friends were safe and we all eventually got some sleep that night. I understand that other middle-of-the-night calls don’t turn out so well. I’ve sadly lived through those times too.

This was one of those times I wished God would appear in a way my eyes could see and give me clear, step-by-step instructions saying exactly what to do.

But I’m determined to make some imperfect progress when I’m processing fear.


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I now know I can feel afraid, but I don’t have to live afraid.


I can say out loud, “Dear God, You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” And then close my eyes and picture Him lifting me to a place where fear can’t hold me.

What fear are you living with? The next time you feel that fear sneaking in, declare the Scripture and prayer Lysa shared. Remember: You can feel afraid, but you don’t have to live afraid!

Dear Lord, I’m declaring today that I will not live in a state of fear. I place all of my fears into Your hands and commit to trust Your plan. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 32:7, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES: Jesus tells us in Scripture that He is the Light of the world — bringing hope and clarity to the situations that leave us anxious and confused. If you want to experience the Light of the world in a fresh way, you’ll enjoy Lysa TerKeurst’s Bible study, focusing on the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus. Finding I AM will help you stop living like a slave to your circumstances by training your heart to embrace the life-giving freedom God wants for you.

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has led thousands to make their walk with God an invigorating journey. In the midst of her busy schedule, Lysa simply seeks to glorify God through her life and family. She resides near Charlotte, N.C., with her five priority blessings named Jackson, Mark, Hope, Ashley and Brooke. Used by Permission.

© 2017 by Proverbs 31 Ministries. All rights reserved.

I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”


—Mark 4:35

One day Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us cross over to the other side.” So they boarded their boat and were cruising across the Sea of Galilee, a large freshwater lake known for its unexpected storms. And sure enough, a storm came. This one was a doozy, because even the seasoned sailors were despairing of life. Meanwhile, what was Jesus doing? He was asleep in the boat. The disciples woke Him up and said, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). In other words, “Hey, Lord, are You paying attention? Don’t you care that we are going through this? Wake up and do something.” So Jesus rebuked both the storm and the disciples. He turned to the storm and said, “Peace, be still!” (verse 39), and it stopped. But then He turned to His own disciples and said, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Jesus was saying, in effect, “Boys, you haven’t learned anything. I said, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side.’ I didn’t say, ‘Let’s go to the middle of the Sea of Galilee and drown.’ ” Jesus didn’t promise smooth sailing, but He did promise a safe passage. It’s better to be in a storm with Jesus than anywhere else without Him. I would rather be in a fiery furnace with Jesus than in a palace without Him—or in a lion’s den with Jesus, or in a prison, or even shipwrecked. As long as I know the Lord is there, then I can get through it. Remember, God is with you, regardless of what storm, regardless of what shipwreck you are going through right now. You are not alone. He cares. And He will never leave you or forsake you.


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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 © 2017 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


Strength in Weakness by james macdonald But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:9–10, ESV How do people do it? How do they

withstand the hurricane-like blows that pummel their lives? The wind, the waves, the surges of heartbreak, crashing one after another, unrelenting in their destruction. How do these people survive . . . and still lift their faces to the Lord? How can they be so strong when they are at their weakest? I know the answer. I know it because I’ve lived it. Over the course of my life, some

“God never allows a

thorn in our lives without providing sufficient grace and strength in our weakness.” violent storms have hit me. But somewhere in the middle of each storm, God’s voice reminds me that He provides sufficient grace for this trial. And when I am weak, He is always very strong. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Note that connection between my weakness and Christ’s power. “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” It’s the hard times and the unhealthy times


and the hurting times that reveal my weaknesses. And it’s also during those times that God shows up strong. We often treat suffering like a game of dodgeball. When anything hard comes at us, we jump out of the way. We duck, dive, and hide. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid anything painful or hard. But there’s a better kind of life—a deeper, more fulfilling kind of life—that isn’t about avoiding pain. It’s about finding God faithful and sufficient in the midst of whatever trials or thorns He allows. There’s something about our weakness that opens the flow of God’s strength. In the midst of a trial, there’s a power coming into your life that you’ve never experienced before, because you never needed it so desperately before. Only when you’re personally weak can you experience this supernatural strength. When you see a hard thing coming your way, try a different reaction: I may not want this, I certainly didn’t choose it, but I can accept it and be content even now. I know God’s grace is sufficient to get me through it. I’m going to see the power of Christ in my life in an incredible way. I’m weak, but He’s strong. God never allows a thorn without providing sufficient grace and strength in our weakIssue #84

nesses. Sufficient grace is not just enough to survive, but enough so that we can have supernatural joy in the midst of anything He allows us to go through. That’s strength.

j ournal “My grace is sufficient for you,” God promises. What does grace look like? Describe how you’ve received God’s grace during a trial. “For when I am weak, then I am strong,” Paul admitted. How are you weak? How does this actually make you strong?

P ray Father God, by faith I believe that Your grace is sufficient for me. No matter what. I believe that each day You will provide the strength and grace I need for that day. Like the Apostle Paul, I admit that I’m weak. I need You. Only when I’m weak can I experience Your real strength. Please teach me not to avoid suffering but to be content. You are enough for me. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen. 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. Our Journey devotionals are brought to you by Change Partners of Walk in the Word.

Open 24 Hours A Day


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I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week November 13-20

What is Operation Christmas Child? Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.

How 14 

? p l e h I Can

See how you can help by dropping off your box at BT Church McAllen! p16

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Select a quality “wow” toy such as a doll, soccer ball with pump, or stuffed animal.


Fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.




Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. Include a personal note and photo.


A donation of $9 is critical to cover shipping and other project costs. Give online through Follow Your Box and discover the destination of your shoebox.*

6 Take your shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, the third week in November. Visit our website to find one near you.

For more gift suggestions, visit * View solicitation disclosure information for Samaritan’s Purse online at

08- 05-123


Get a standard size shoebox to pack for a boy or girl. Need shoeboxes? Preprinted boxes are available online.

! p l e h ou can


For almost twenty years, the senior ambassadors at BT Church have accepted the challenge of being a main drop-off site for Operation Christmas Child in the Rio Grande Valley. Throughout the years, we have seen businesses, non-profits, sunday school groups, rotary clubs, sports teams, and other types of groups step up to donate their funds and time for this beautiful expression of love to children in need. Our goal this year is to have five-thousand boxes filled and sent out into the world to bless the hearts of God’s precious children, to spread Christ’s love to the world. Wouldn’t it be fun to see where your gift is delivered? For an extra nine dollars, you can watch online to see where your Operation Christmas Child gift box goes! Our biggest encouragement to you would be to BE A PART! Be a part of blessing a child at Christmas! Be a part of enjoying the process of buying the gift for this special, little one. Be a part of receiving the blessing that comes with being generous to those in need. Be a part of getting to love others in the way that Jesus loves us...sacrificially.

You, Your Church Group, Scout’s Group, Winter Texan Park, name it! You can Help! BT Church 2001 Trenton Rd McAllen, TX 78504 other Valley Location:

Weslaco, TX - Mid Valley Assembly of God 131 S Pleasantview Drive Weslaco, TX 78596-9120 or go to drop-off-locations/ 16

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Church esy of BT

“Photos C


itan’s Pur

and Samar

I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


Giving Praise to the Lord Author: Grandfather El, Contributors Grandchildren: Noah, Photography and Editing: Ali

Heavenly Father, thank you for the many verses of Scripture in the Bible that encourage me to praise You, not for Your good, but for mine. I was created to praise You. “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise” Isaiah 43:21. Give me a correct perspective of thanksgiving and praise. Let me not get so caught up in thanksgiving for all the amazing things You have done and are doing for me that I neglect to praise You for who You are (the Creator, the Almighty, all-knowing, ever-present, merciful, loving, and unchanging God). Forgive me for the times when I live my life in a spiritually powerless way; when I plead for victory in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit as though You were far away instead of living in the confidence that Your Holy Spirit is dwelling within me, waiting to come alongside me. Remind me often that You are my sufficiency every moment of every day. Jesus said: “…I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” John 6:35. Father, direct me in such a way that Hebrews 13:15 will continually be a reality in my life. “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Lord, I am grateful for the delight and privilege of praising You. I bring these thoughts in Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Your Dreams. God’s Plan Are You Looking for Something More?

Author: Tiffany Smiling with Margot Starbuck Publisher: Barbour Publishing Satisfaction can be yours, but it might look different than you thought. Like a lot of young women, Tiffany Smiling had been assured that the path to fulfillment looked like the one she’d seen in her favorite movies: She’d be swept away by a soul mate, live in a southern estate, and start a family. But Tiffany’s story unfolded quite differently. Weeks after serving on her high school’s homecoming court, while doctors operated to remove the brain tumor that was killing her, Tiffany suffered a paralyzing stroke. In the nick of a scalpel she lost her beauty and most of her physical ability. Returning to high school in a wheelchair, head half-shaved and face distorted, Tiffany vowed to be normal and live the dream. And for a season, she did. But just when the fairytale was within reach, God surprised Tiffany. Wooing her heart, God convinced her that there was something even better in store for her. . . .And He has something better in store for you, too. Read Your Dream. God’s Plan. and see how the Lord wants to use the broken pieces of your life for His greater plan for you. Smiling’s story will help you see the ways God is writing your own amazing story—designed for His glory and your fulfillment.

365 Bible Verses A Year for 2018 Publisher: Workman Publishing Company Inc

Combining the eternal words of the King James version of the Bible with beautiful full-color nature photographs, 365 Bible Verses is the most beloved and bestselling Bible calendar, now with over 4.7 million copies sold. Each day brings enlightenment, comfort, inspiration, and the pure glory of God. An image of the sun shining through clear blue sky and white clouds illustrates Psalms’ ode to the heavens. Luke exalts the birth of Jesus alongside a photograph of a snow-covered holly bough. Job praises God’s strength and wisdom. Corinthians rejoices in the truth. John preaches humility. Cited chapter and verse from the most trusted source.

I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


Una personalidad transparente -Luis Palau Cuando mis cuatro hijos aún eran niños, oí una historia que me conmovió mucho y que me movió a hablar con ellos para que me perdonaran ciertas cosas que yo hubiera hecho. No voy a relatar la historia que oí pero lo que hice con mis hijos, sí. Después de haber escuchado aquella historia, regresé a mi casa decidido a aclarar cualquier sombra o nube que pudiera haber entre mis hijos y yo.Cuando llegué a mi casa y le dije a mi hijo mayor: ?¿Kevin, hay algo que te he prometido, ya sea este año o en toda tu vida, que no he cumplido contigo? Kevin me miró a la cara y enseguida me dijo: ?Sí, papá, hace dos años tú habías prometido que nos ibas a regalar una ametralladora de juguete para la Navidad y no nos la diste. Entonces yo estaba conmovido y le dije: ?Kevin, por favor perdóname, hice mal en prometerte y no cumplir. Esta misma tarde iremos a una tienda a comprar esa ametralladora de juguete que te prometí. Aunque, a decir verdad, no debiera haber prometido porque no estoy muy a favor de jugar con armas. A los pocos minutos aparece su hermano mellizo y le pregunté: ?¿Dime, hay alguna promesa que te he hecho o hay algo que te he dicho que te ha dolido o alguna promesa que no he cumplido que debiera aclarar? Y Keith que no había oído la conversación con su mellizo me dijo enseguida: ?Sí, papá, la Navidad antepasada nos prometiste una ametralladora de juguete a Kevin y a mí y no la compraste.

transparencia entre él y yo al punto de que ahora somos íntimos amigos y no tan solo padre e hijo, sino que hay una buena relación entre nosotros. De esta manera, crecí espiritualmente y llegué a ser un hombre más maduro.Puedo decir que ha cambiado mi vida personal porque aprendí que un gran secreto para la madurez espiritual es la transparencia en la personalidad. Quisiera hablar acerca de cómo tener una personalidad transparente, cómo vivir en libertad sin temores ni contaminación de la conciencia. ¿Cómo tener una familia feliz y próspera? A través de la madurez personal. Cuando se habla de tener una personalidad transparente no hablamos de tener una vida perfecta, ¿verdad? Todos sabemos que nunca seremos perfectos mientras estamos en la tierra. En el cielo, con la ayuda de Dios, sí llegaremos a ser semejantes al Señor como dice la Biblia (Romanos 8:29).Todos queremos ser maduros, no queremos ser un infante, una criaturita. La Biblia dice en 1 Corintios 16:13:«portaos varonilmente» (RV60) o sea con madurez, como hombres no como bebés. ¿Cómo podemos llegar a ser todo lo que Dios quiere que seamos? Ustedes y yo somos como un diamante en las manos de Dios. En la familia, Dios obra directamente con el padre y marido, quien es jefe de la casa. El marido se preocupa por la madre y los padres juntos se preocupan por los hijos. Hay, por así decirlo, una cadena de autoridad en el hogar. Dios es la cabeza, el padre, la cabeza humana (1 Corintios 11:3).La madre es aquella a quien el padre le transfiere ciertas autoridades y responsabilidades, y los hijos son los diamantes pequeños, con los cuales Dios trabaja a través de los padres.

?Bueno ?le dije?, por favor perdóname por esto y esta misma tarde compraremos lo que les prometí.

Lo interesante es que Dios está trabajando con todos nosotros, día tras día. Desde el momento en que Dios nos salvó y nos llamó ha estado trabajando conmigo y con usted.

Luego llamé a mi tercer hijo, Andrés, quien ahora es evangelista, y le pregunté lo mismo. Él me miró y me dijo: «No papá, no recuerdo nada». Así terminó la cosa.

Filipenses 1:6 dice: «Y estoy seguro de que Dios, quien comenzó la buena obra en ustedes, la continuará hasta que quede completamente terminada el día que Cristo Jesús vuelva» (NTV).

Pero de repente me di cuenta de que mi segundo hijo tenía algo, me miraba un poquito de reojo. Yo había notado que en los últimos meses nunca encontraba con este hijo mío el nivel de cercanía y de intimidad que siempre solía tener en mi relación con mis hijos. Por lo tanto, lo volví a llamar y le pregunté si había algo que lo había ofendido, humillado o algo en el pasado que lo había molestado de mi parte. Enseguida mi hijo me contestó: ?Sí, papá. ¿Recuerdas cuando nació Esteban (nuestro cuarto hijo)? ?Sí, me acuerdo ?dije?¿pero a qué te refieres? ?¿Te acuerdas ?él contestó? el día que llevaste a mamá al hospital, que había una maleta lista con la ropa para el bebé y ustedes se la olvidaron se la olvidaron en casa? Yo francamente no me recordaba y le dije: ?Mira, querido, no recuerdo el asunto ese de la maleta. ?Pues papá, tú regresaste del hospital a buscar la maleta y la maleta estaba toda revuelta y te enojaste conmigo y empezaste a gritar y me pegaste.

¡Qué hermosa promesa! Todos nosotros al arrepentirnos y convertirnos a Cristo somos como diamantes a lo bruto, pero luego Dios empieza a trabajarnos y a cultivarnos, así maduramos espiritualmente, moralmente, culturalmente y llegamos a ser diamantes que honran a Dios. Si Dios ya ha comenzado la buena obra en su vida, la perfeccionará hasta el día en que regrese nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Luis Palau

Yo lo miré y me puse a llorar y le dije: ?Ay hijo mío, ¿te pegué a ti y tú no habías revuelto la maleta? ¿Y quién fue? ?No sé, algún otro de los muchachos? contestó mi hijo. Yo me humillé tanto y me puse a llorar. Por tres años mi hijo mantenía en lo recóndito de su alma aquel sentido de que su padre lo había castigado sin causa delante de sus hermanos; lo había humillado y avergonzado y yo no tenía la razón. Le pedí perdón y me puse a llorar. Él me abrazó y me dijo: ?Está bien papá, no importa. Desde ese día en adelante hemos tenido una relación, una amistad como nunca antes la habíamos tenido. Cuando me humillé ante mi hijo, aunque él era un niño, creó un ambiente de


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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. 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.

How is Jesus like a river of living water in your life (John 7:37-39)?

“Never give up; for even rivers someday wash dams away,” wrote Arthur Golden. Isn’t this the story of Christianity and the mighty Roman Empire? Rivers of living water flowing out of the lives of Christians eventually overcame the mighty dam of Roman persecution. Within a few hundred years, the small and often persecuted movement called Christianity became the dominate religion in Europe and the Western world. “Anyone who teaches you about God is breathing life into your spirit,” says Zack, 12. “Jesus helps our spirit grow in truth, knowledge and strength.” Zack has captured the essence of Christianity. When the truth of the gospel of grace is spoken and hearers believe in Jesus Christ as their savior, God breathes his very life into their spirits. Law, including the 10 Commandments, can never transform a person from the inside out. Only God’s life can do this. If you would like to read my stories of modern, transformed lives, please visit In writing a story for the Washington Post, I interviewed Pastor John Woods, the executive director of Washington’s 150-bed Gospel Mission: “We believe anyone can put a new suit on a man, but only the grace of God can put a new man in the suit. A gospel mission is the only place a guy can come in blind drunk and retire 25 years later as its executive director.” Water is essential for life. You can live three weeks or longer without food, but you can live only three or four days without water. If you’re in a desert where it is very hot in the middle of summer, you could die in three or four hours without water. By using the metaphor “rivers of living water” flowing out of the inner lives of his followers, Jesus is also saying that without him you won’t be satisfied. You’ll hop from one relationship or thing to another looking for a way to quench your thirst. If Jesus is the author and restorer of life, you’ll be frustrated with all attempts to find life apart from him. Even expensive attempts by the wealthy as featured on television shows and magazine articles will result in dryness. Guaranteed!

Artwork by Alexis Leal, age 11 (Finalist in 2017 RGV Children’s Arts Festival) from the throne of God and of the Lamb,” (Rev. 22:1). Furthermore, the water of life is offered freely to all who thirst: “And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely,” (Rev. 22:17b). Think about this: Jesus, as the water of life, wants live-giving water to flow freely through his people to a thirsty world. Memorize this truth: Revelation 22:17b previously quoted. Ask this question: If you have drunk of the water of life, are God’s rivers of living waters flowing freely through you to the thirsty people you encounter every day? 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 To learn more about the RGV Children’s Arts Festival, please visit

“I think that the more you pray, the more of God’s river flows through your body to your brain,” says Thomas, 10. “When it goes to your brain, you think of God.” If you’re a Christian, you may have noticed that the flow of God’s life through varies depending upon your closeness to God. Yes, even Christians can experience spiritual dryness if they are not walking closely with the Lord. Consider yourself blessed if you have regular fellowship with a Christian who is overflowing with God’s river of life. The Book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of the New Jerusalem’s center: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding

I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


New Music Release:

Austin Stone Worship - Everflow

Austin Stone Worship, a ministry of The Austin Stone Commu-

nity Church, releases its first studio album and eighth recording overall, Everflow, Nov. 17 through The Fuel Music. The 13-track album is available for pre-order beginning today at iTunes, Amazon Music and other digital retailers globally while the first single from the recording, “Singing In Victory,” released Oct. 20. Dedicated to serving and equipping the Church in Austin, TX and around the world with content rich in theology, mission and expression, Austin Stone Worship’s Everflow was crafted by the group’s 200-plus songwriters, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, designers and storytellers in response to themes of the book of 1 Peter. “1 Peter is powerful and timely for today’s culture. It deals with suffering, enduring in the faith, and persevering no matter the cost,” says Austin Stone Worship Pastor Aaron Ivey. “It helps answer this question: How do we live in a world that is not our home?

Aiming to point listeners to the supremacy of Jesus in all things: through suffering and through redemption, Everflow intersperses instrumental “Selahs,” short pauses amidst the lyrical songs to give the listener a moment to reflect on the truths expressed in the lyrics. For each of these instrumental pieces, Austin Stone Worship also offers poetry inspired by 1 Peter in a companion Everflow devotional to allow for reflection on who God is and what he has done. The devotional further explores the richness of the theology in each song and is meant to help worshipers understand what they are singing and why. The group’s desire with this new project is to exalt God and to be people who worship in spirit and truth.

Along with the album and devotional, other practical resources for churches, such as chord charts, instructional videos and a curriculum, can be found at

About The Austin Stone Community Church: The Austin Stone Community Church was established in 2002 and has grown from a small gathering of 100 to nearly 8,000 weekly attendees. The mission of the church is to exalt the name of Christ in Austin, the US and around the world, aiming to be a community who gives glory to Christ above all things and welcomes all people to join us in worshipping Him. Twelve Sunday services are held weekly at five different locations in Austin. For more information, visit

“Scripture often uses the sea as an illustration of two dichotomous things: the perils of suffering, and the redeeming work of Jesus,” continues Ivey. “Both are true for believers. We may feel lost in a raging sea, but we know that God uses it to save us.”


“My hope is that Everflow will encourage believers to look to Christ through their suffering, trusting that though they are exiles in the world, they belong to Jesus and are His,” says the project’s producer, Kyle Lent. “Working on this record has forced me to look at the difficult circumstances of my life and see the movement of God even through, and perhaps especially through, those times. It’s encouraged me to see and experience the unity of the Church: that Peter’s words 2000-years-ago are still relevant and true for believers today.”

Issue #84

About Austin Stone Worship: Austin Stone Worship is a collection of worship leaders, musicians, songwriters, storytellers, and artists serving and equipping the church with content rich in theology, mission and expression. It exists to exalt the name of Jesus Christ here and now, always and forever. As a ministry of The Austin Stone Community Church, ASW is dedicated to proclaiming the beautiful gospel of Christ in their city and to the world, while challenging believers to live a fully devoted life to Jesus. They train worship leaders and artists, developing them in strong theology as well as practical skills through two-year worship leader residencies, internships, worship pastor intensives and online worship leader development. For more information, visit

Touching their hearts Dear Dave, What are some ways to teach pre-teens the value of giving versus getting during the holiday season? Phil Dear Phil, As a parent, one of the best things you can do is be a living, breathing example of the importance of giving and caring about others. There’s nothing wrong with having some stuff, but many of today’s marketing messages can lead kids to believe it’s all about them. And the sad truth is advertising firms are often more aggressive with their teaching than parents are in theirs. I would encourage you to find giving experiences in which you can participate as a family. Volunteering for a day at a homeless shelter is a wonderful example of giving that requires absolutely no money. Or maybe you could pull out your wallet, and spend the day shopping for groceries and Christmas gifts for families who are financially less fortunate.

Dave Says

Make sure your kids are involved physically, mentally, and emotionally in the entire giving process. Let them experience the grateful, and sometimes ungrateful, responses that go along with giving. With a little thought and planning, you can create some incredible teaching and family bonding experiences that will change everyone’s lives forever! —Dave

Time to leave the day job? Dear Dave, I make about $25,000 a year in my day job, but I have side jobs as a personal trainer and a DJ. I’ll make about $10,000 this year as a trainer, and $25,000 to $30,000 working events as a DJ. I’ve almost got all my debts paid off, and I love both of my side jobs. I was wondering how to tell when I’m ready to leave my day job and concentrate on personal training and my DJ work. Steve Dear Steve, I always tell people to first get to a point where their side hustle is generating almost as much money as their day job. I want the boat pulled as close to the dock as you can get it, so that when you make the jump from the dock to the boat you don’t hit the water. In your case, I would want the $10,000 you earn from personal training to look more like $20,000. When you reach that level, combined with what you’re making as a DJ, it would create a pretty safe situation for you to quit your day job.

* 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

Maybe you could cheat a little on the personal trainer money, because you’re making as much or more as a DJ as you are in your day job. Otherwise, you’re giving up $25,000 for $10,000 and only hoping the personal training gig will grow. That’s not a good idea. I’d like to see that hope proven a little bit more before you walk away from a day job. Good luck, Steve! —Dave

I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen me - Phil 4:13


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 Issue #84  

Loving God. Loving Others. Building Community. On the Cover: Operation Christmas Child! National Collection week is Nov 13-20.