Vol. 8 / Issue 2
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index July 2017
Why Am I Still Single?
Rejection, Heartache and a Faithful God
12 Valley Christian Events
Big Daddy Weave, Outpour, GLS 2017, Battle of the Bands 2017, South Texas Wedding & Quinceanera Expo
14 James MacDonald It’s A Do-Thing
16 Luis Palau
Nunca te dejaré
18 Time with Our Creator Receiving Grace from God
19 Valley Christian New Reads Spotlight
-Giving It All Away....And Getting It All Back Again -Cultivate
20 Greg Laurie
Hope For Prodigals
21 Kids Talk About God
In The Garden of Eden, Why did God Tempt Eve instead of Adam
22 Music Spotlight Micah Tyler
23 Dave Ramsey - Dave Says -Keep The Bike -Hands Off The Emergency Fund!
24 Raul “Rudy” Rodriguez The Restoration Story
Why Am I Still Single By J e nnif e r M a g g i o
Sharon has been a Christian since she was a little girl. Her parents raised her attending church, and she’s been faithful all of her life. She even worked at a local church for a while. She’s now in her thirties. Never could she have imagined that she would still be single at this age. She remained sexually pure until she was almost thirty years old. That one mistake- that one time – had haunted her for the three years since. She thought surely this guy was the one she had longed for all her life. Yet, here she was, in a puddle of tears, questioning everything. “How could I have been so stupid?!” she cried.
plan, frankly. I know that the man at the pool of Bethesda waited 38 years on his healing, and the woman with the issue of blood suffered twelve. Abraham waited 100 years on God’s promise in his life to be fulfilled. Am I saying to just “wait your time” and God will eventually bless you? Am I saying marrieds can’t serve the Lord fully? Of course not. What I am saying is learn to be content in your season, whatever marital status that is, and whether or not if ever changes.
She wanted desperately to be married. She had waited, stayed the course, and had been faithful to God’s plan for her life. She was a pretty girl who had a lot going for her, yet her singleness seemed to force her into a path of self-doubt and self-deprecation. She simply could not understand why God hadn’t brought her the man of her dreams. Doesn’t He give us the desires of our heart? Doesn’t He create us for fellowship and relationship? I’ve worked in single parent ministry for eight years now, and unfortunately, Sharon’s story isn’t unique. Many singles and single parents struggle with the “why” behind their singleness. Is it a curse? Have they done something wrong? Is their unconfessed sin in their life? Is this a punishment from God in some way? It is especially hard when children are involved and moms desperately want those kiddos to have a dad in the home. We all ebb and flow through our walk with Christ. There are times when we are completely content in Him, growing and thriving in His word, daily pursuing His truth. And then…there are the other times – the times when we aren’t certain He hears our cries, we struggle to find joy in our season, and question why this thing or that is happening to us. Singles are no different. There are times through the journey when single Christians struggle with why they haven’t found the one yet. They worry they never will and wonder why the daily struggles of paying bills and loneliness keep creeping in. Other times, singles are fully content in their season. Singles, listen closely. Your marital status isn’t a curse. It isn’t some life-without-parole sentence that God has somehow deemed you unworthy of love or a life partner. In fact, Paul writes that it is better to be single (1 Corinthians 7:8). Have you ever considered your singleness to be a privilege versus a disadvantage? Your singleness gives you an opportunity to dedicate more time to the Lord. One of my single friends was an executive for a large corporation and spent thirty years traveling the world with them, learning new things in a way she never would have, if she had married and had children. Another friend has done mission work overseas for a decade now and she, too, is convinced her singleness afforded her that unique opportunity. The single moms I love so much are often marrying and moving into a new season of life. Inevitably, there are other moms left behind in the ministry who wonder why their guy hasn’t come along. Why has one single been single for many years, while another is single for only months? I would love to tell you I understand, and that I know when your season of singleness will be over. Some of you have been praying for a spouse for a long time now and are discouraged that he or she hasn’t come along. I don’t know why that is. I couldn’t pretend to know God’s unique plan for your life or even if there is a spouse in that
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13 There was a time in my when I was convinced that I would never marry. I cried for years (literally), as I chased behind meaningless relationships in a desperate attempt to make me whole. It was only when I learned that my joy was found in Christ, my singleness wasn’t a curse, and my single parenthood wasn’t a hindrance to God’s plan, but rather a stepping stone to fully experience His plan, that I fully embraced by singleness. It was some time thereafter when God saw fit to bring me a spouse. Singles, know your God sees you. He sees the desires of your heart. You attempting to make your own way, establishing your own plan, will never be better than God’s. He has a perfect plan for your life that is more than you even know how to pray or ask for. Stay the course. Don’t get off path. 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.
No person’s rejection of me can ever exempt me from God’s love for me.“A Gut-Honest Look at Love.” That was the title of my first blog post of this year. Based on 1 Corinthians 13, I wrote, “Love isn’t what I have the opportunity to get from this world, love is what I have the opportunity to give.” This perspective on love has been a lifeline during the most painful season and decision of my adult life. I so wish we were sitting face-to-face so you could see my tears and hear the deep grief in my voice as I share this with you. My husband, life partner and father of my children, Art TerKeurst, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 25 years. For the past couple of years, his life has sadly been defined by his affection for this other woman and substance abuse. I don’t share this to harm or embarrass him, but to help explain why I have decided to separate from him and pursue a divorce. God has now revealed to me that I have done all I can do and I must release him to the Savior. Anyone who knows me and Proverbs 31 Ministries knows how seriously I take marriage. I’ve always encouraged women to fight for their marriages and to do everything possible to save them when they come under threat. So, for the past couple of years I have been in the hardest battle of my life trying to save my marriage.
When I first found out about Art’s infidelity 18 months ago, I made the decision not to divorce him. I had just finished fasting and praying for 28 days and really felt led by the Lord that I was to love Art in my reaction to this shocking news and trust God for every step moving forward. I was still committed to doing everything I could think of to make our story one of restoration, even in the face of the worst kind of betrayal imaginable. I prayed continually. I sought counsel from family and other wise friends. And Art and I even made repeated trips across the country together for intensive counseling especially designed for marriages in crisis. But sadly, though I have repeatedly forgiven and accepted him back, he has continued to abuse substances, be unfaithful, and refused to be truthful to me and our family. I believe I have the capacity to love Art and to forgive him, but his steadfast refusal to end the infidelity has led me to make the hardest decision of my life. After much prayer and consultation with wise, biblically-minded people, I have decided that Art has abandoned our marriage. Yet, the Lord has been so faithful to help me at every step of this very painful journey and has now assured me I’ve done all I can do. I am brokenhearted beyond what I can express. But I am more committed than ever to trusting God, His promises, and His plans, whatever they are from here.
As many of you who have followed our ministry know, I’ve never shied away from sharing how God has gotten me through tough seasons and even grown me through my struggles. Thankfully, my story has been one of learning that I’m not defined by my circumstances. I’m Lysa, a beloved child of the one true God. My true identity doesn’t shift or fall apart under life’s strains, failures, my own imperfections, setbacks or heartaches. While people—even God’s people—change, I’m so glad I serve a God who doesn’t. I love this verse in Malachi 3:6—“I the Lord do not change; therefore you, children of Jacob, are not consumed.” So what does all of this mean for Proverbs 31 Ministries and for me? Well, for over 20 years I’ve had a calling supported by my family for equipping women to deepen their relationship with God, study His Word, and to share their stories for God’s glory. Though my heart is so heavy that I’ve certainly pondered giving up, I’m determined not to let darkness win here. Therefore, after a season of rest and continued Biblical and professional counseling, I will continue to do ministry with an even deeper belief in the goodness of our God and a greater empathy for the deep heartbreak that happens to us all in this broken world. Many people think Proverbs 31 is a picture of a perfect woman; but the Proverbs 31 woman is, at her core, someone who seeks the Lord in everything she does and trusts Him wholeheartedly with her life. Our mission is to meet women where they are in the real, hard places we all experience, and to intersect God’s Word right there. We are simply a group of women sold out to saying yes to God—and He truly does the rest. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” That’s what the Psalmist wrote long ago (Psalm 27:13) and it beautifully reflects what I’m holding on to in the midst of the deep grief my children and I are now walking through. We have some amazing counselors and pastoral leaders who are committed to helping us pursue healing and learn how to move forward. What can you do for us? I’d simply ask you to pray. Pray for my precious children and grandchildren. Pray for me. Pray for our team at Proverbs 31. And yes, please, please pray for Art. I love you all. Most of all, I love the Lord, who first loved me.
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 www.proverbs31.org Copyright 2017
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It’s a Do-Thing 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.
[Jesus] rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:4–5, ESV
owhere in the Bible are we told to “be humble.” Rather we are instructed, “Humble yourselves” (James 4:10). And Jesus shows us how in John 13. Too many Christians get stuck in acting humble. Humility is not an act-thing or a feel-thing; it’s a do-thing.
When a co-worker cuts corners or takes credit for your work—humble yourself.
You and acknowledge that everything You said is right.”
When something is taken that rightfully belongs to you—humble yourself.
Humility is like exercise. Imagine if a friend told you, “I am thinking about exercise right now. Vigorous thoughts. I’m an exerciser. I’m cultivating the feelings that people feel when they exercise.” You would laugh, wouldn’t you? Be-
Admit you have a problem. The first step in any real change is admitting you have a problem. What relief you could bring to your family if you humbly said, “I have a problem with _____.” Grace flows to humility.
When your life isn’t turning out the way you wanted—humble yourself.
“GRACE FLOWS TO HUMILITY” cause exercise is a do-thing. Helping falls in the same category. Help is not a feel-thing; it’s a do-thing. If you were carrying bags of groceries in from the car, trip after trip, back and forth, and your friend stood and watched, thinking, I feel so helpful right now. I want to be a helpful person. I’m working on the mindset of helpfulness. I’m imagining the positive feelings associated with helpfulness, you would tell your friend to quit thinking and grab a bag! Humbling yourself is hard work. Lean into it: When you receive a poor performance review or are passed over for a promotion—humble yourself.
When your friends betray, desert, or disappoint you—humble yourself.
When you feel crushed under the weight of a crisis or a deep, bitter disappointment—humble yourself. When it’s hard to love the people God has placed in your life—humble yourself.
The list goes on and on. You can take the lower position, believe the best about someone else, and assume that your perspective isn’t the only one. Take action and humble yourself. It’s a dothing.
j ou r na l
That’s what Jesus did. Look again at John 13:4–5 and notice the verbs. Jesus rose, laid, took, tied, poured, washed, and wiped. This wasn’t a ceremony. Hours before He went to the cross, Jesus expended energy and effort and got dirty for the sake of those He loved. The God of the universe did “humble.” And He tells you to do it, too.
Why is Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet the ultimate model of humility?
Here are a few practical ways to humble yourself:
Father God, the story of John 13 cuts through me. Your Son, the rightful King of the universe, humbled Himself to the lowest job and washed the disciples’ feet—only hours before the agony of the cross. Just as Jesus, my Lord and Teacher, washed the disciples’ feet (even Judas’s), so I also ought to serve others radically, no matter how humbling it is. I want to follow Your example. Please show me what humble actions to do today. In awe of Your Son, I pray in His name, amen.
Ask for feedback. Ask your boss, spouse, or teammate, “I want to do better. How can I improve?” Then listen. Apologize first. Without defensiveness say, “I love you, I hurt you, and I have no excuse. I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” Pray. “Lord, I’ve been making excuses and blaming others. I want to humble myself before
As you consider His example, what humble action is the Holy Spirit prompting you to do?
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Nunca te dejaré -Luis Palau
Cómo llegar a ser un cristiano verdadero Una de las promesas más hermosas que Jesucristo nos ha dado es la promesa de nunca dejarnos ni abandonarnos. Las canciones del mundo suelen tener el tema de «la traición», una idea que obsesiona al ser humano. Es cierto, no se puede confiar demasiado en nosotros, pero hay uno que nunca nos traiciona: Jesucristo. Cristo dice si usted quiere creer en él y ser un cristiano verdadero, él estará con usted constantemente. En Mateo 28:20 Cristo dijo: «Enseñen a los nuevos discípulos a obedecer todos los mandatos que les he dado. Y tengan por seguro esto: que estoy con ustedes siempre, hasta el fin de los tiempos» (NTV). Hebreos 13:5 agrega: «Nunca te dejaré ni te abandonaré». Una vez que usted está en Cristo (2 Corintios 5:17), él jamás lo dejará ni abandonará (Deuteronomio 31:6, 8). Nuestro salvador no es traidor como nosotros, no cambia de opinión (Números 23:19), no se olvida de sus promesas (Salmo 146:6), no firma contratos que luego procede a romper (2 Timoteo 2:13); cuando él promete que lo avala con su palabra (Proverbios 30:5) ?la palabra de Dios que no cambia (Marcos 13:31)? cumple. Malaquías 3:6 dice: «Yo soy el SEÑOR y no cambio» (NTV). Cuando uno cree en Cristo, recibe esperanza. La esperanza que menciona la Biblia es certera, segura, total e inamovible; dice Romanos 15:4: «Porque las cosas que se escribieron antes, para nuestra enseñanza se escribieron, a fin de que por la paciencia y la consolación de las Escrituras, tengamos esperanza». Si usted cree en Cristo, él lo ayuda a comprender la palabra de Dios. Un incrédulo que lee la Biblia no la comprende sino que la tuerce a su manera; porque la Palabra de Dios solo se comprende por la iluminación del Espíritu Santo (1 Corintios 2:11), y únicamente se les ha dado a los que creen en Jesús (Romanos 8:9). Dice Efesios 1:13: «Además, cuando creyeron en Cristo, Dios los identificó como suyos al darles el Espíritu Santo» (NTV). La esperanza viene del estudio y el conocimiento de la Palabra de Dios; no es una ilusión, la esperanza cristiana es una revelación. Tiene que afirmar su esperanza, consolidar su conocimiento de Dios estudiando la Biblia de forma práctica y diaria. Cuando usted cree en Cristo, él da dirección (Salmo 119:105). En Juan 15:16 Jesús dijo: «Ustedes no me eligieron a mí, yo los elegí a ustedes. Les encargué que vayan y produzcan frutos duraderos, así el Padre les dará todo lo que pidan en mi nombre» (NTV). El propósito claro que Dios nos da es producir fruto; el fruto de un carácter controlado por el Espíritu Santo que vive en nosotros: «? la clase de fruto que el Espíritu Santo produce en nuestra vida es: amor, alegría, paz, paciencia, gentileza, bondad, fidelidad, humildad y control propio. ¡No existen leyes contra esas cosas!» (Gálatas 5:22-23 NTV). Luego está el fruto de las buenas acciones, son frutos del Espíritu Santo en nosotros que nos guía y dirige a hacer obras de amor al prójimo, son marcas de un cristiano verdadero (Hebreos 10:24), que aun a sus enemigos los trata con amor (Mateo 5:44). Luis Palau
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.
Receiving Grace From God Author: Grandfather El, Contributors Grandchildren: Noah, Photography and Editing: Ali Heavenly Father, thank you for Your grace that gives salvation to all who respond to Your gift of Jesus dying on the cross, and His resurrection. I am reminded in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” It gives me joy to know that You will demonstrate Your power toward me in my times of weakness, and that You are able to constantly bring me peace by Your mercy and grace as You tell me in Hebrews 4:16. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Since Jesus came to highlight Your mercy, love, and forgiveness, direct me to know Him better so that I can increase my understanding of Your will for my life. Show me how to trust You every day for all of my needs and all of my Godly desires. “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 May my walk with You be such that I clearly recognize my need to confess my absolute helplessness to You, so that I may receive from You the fulfillment of the promise in 1 Peter 5:10 “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” Jesus, I want to thank You for Your unconditional love for me. I bring this prayer in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Giving It All Away…And Getting It All Back Again The Way of Living Generously Author: David Green, Bill High Publisher: Zondervan
David Green believes that generosity and building a legacy based on giving can lead to getting back what you really want: a family that stays together, prays together, and shares life joyfully. Green tells the story of caring for the small things and starting Hobby Lobby in their garage. He shares the difference between the worlds of “having and hoarding” and a world of “giving and generosity,” the principle of working for God and not for men, and that now is not too soon to consider what you want your legacy to be. As proof of how living by those principles can change your life, Green shares that when Hobby Lobby came close to bankruptcy in 1986 and when the Supreme Court challenged the Hobby Lobby’s right to life beliefs in 2014, the company emerged with its integrity intact. Green sees the life of giving as a life of adventure. But it’s a life that pays the best rewards personally, offers a powerful legacy to your family, and changes those you touch.
A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life A flourishing life is possible—no perfection required! Author: Lara Casey Publisher: Thomas Nelson Women often feel like they have to have it all together in order to live a meaningful life. Instead they feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and exhausted as they to figure out how to do it all. Author, business owner, and mom to three Lara Casey offers sound and grace-filled advice: “We can’t do it all, and do it well. But, we can choose to cultivate what matters.” Welcome to the journey of getting messy in the rich soil of possibility—embracing imperfect, grace-filled progress to grow a life of joy. Written as part encouragement anthem and part practical guide, Cultivate offers wisdom from God’s Word alongside lessons Lara has learned in her garden. Woven throughout is her personal story that helps release readers from the pressure to achieve and gives them freedom to move from planning to planting a meaningful legacy. “It’s in the imperfect—the mess of the dirt--that good things grow,” Casey reminds readers. “Peonies grow through the dirt, and so do we.” Readers will learn to embrace the season they’re in, finding balance as they interact in fresh ways with their current life scenarios, with God, and in the communities where they are planted.
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” —1 John 2:19
I remember when pot-bellied pigs were quite popular, and I knew someone who had one as a pet. He told me he would take his pig to the beach, but he had to put sunscreen on him because pigs can get sunburned. You could take a pig and shower him, put some nice cologne on him, and even make a little outfit for him. You could sit him down at your table and have a meal together. But the first chance that pig gets, he will make a beeline from your dining room table back to the slop, because that is where he really wants to be. Why? Because he is a pig, and he wants to hang out with his pig friends and do pig things. In the same way, a prodigal always will return home, because a prodigal is a child of God who has gone astray. But a pig always will go back to his element. We all know people who have supposedly fallen away from the Lord. Maybe we have seen them make a decision for Christ and even noticed some immediate changes in their lives—or what appeared to be changes. Then a few weeks later they bailed. They threw in the towel and fell away. And we said, “That is so sad. They backslid.” It just might be that many of these people never were true believers to begin with. A true believer always will come back home eventually. But a person who is not a true believer never will. If they never come back, they never were true believers. If they do, they probably were. There is a difference between the person who stumbles spiritually and wants to get up again and the person who could really care less. Which one are you?
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.
In the Garden of Eden, Why Did the Devil Tempt Eve Instead of Adam?
“Satan knew Eve would fall for it,” says Amanda, age 9. Nice pun, Amanda. “Because Eve was eating when Satan tempted her,” says Griffin, 8. This is the maitre d’ theory of the fall. Perhaps Satan worked in the forbidden fruit as the dessert of a nine-course dinner. “Because Satan knew Eve would make Adam taste the apple,” says Jennifer, 8. Perhaps the tempting of Eve was like a two for one special. Get Eve and Adam will follow.
Artwork by Meredith Lesley, age 8
“Because Satan is a boy, and boys don’t like girls,” says Rachael, 9. It was Eve’s personality, says Clay, 9: “Eve was more sensitive than Adam.” Amnesia was the problem, says Nicole, 8: “Eve forgot they weren’t supposed to eat that tree, and then, Adam forgot.” Oops, I forgot! Wrong tree. It wasn’t forgetting; it was ignorance, says Josh, 10: “Eve was new in the Garden of Eden.” In other words, Eve was new in the garden and didn’t know her way around. Well, why didn’t she know? Because, says Caroline, 10, “God hadn’t given her such a lecture.” So, says Elyse, 8, “she didn’t know the rules.” Actually, “the devil knew God didn’t tell Eve not to eat it so he tempted her,” explains Joseph, 9. “Eve was just walking around,” says Victoria, 8, “and I think Adam was busy.” So Eve “was the only one out of the two of them that Satan could find,” says Brittany. Megan, 10, agrees: “She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” “We don’t know the devil’s thoughts,” says Heather, 9, “so we don’t know why.”
Eve herself was an example of God providing “the good.” Immediately after God told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” It’s no coincidence that the creation of Eve follows God telling Adam not to eat of the forbidden tree (Genesis 2:16-25). God knows how to provide all “the good” we need. God wants us to trust him. He had warned Adam that eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil would result in death. Satan tempted Eve to doubt God’s goodness by telling her, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Think about this: Do you doubt the goodness of God? Memorize this truth: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Ask this question: Whom are you going to believe?
You’re right on that one, Heather. Even though the Bible is silent as to Satan’s motives for tempting Eve, Genesis 3 tells us about Eve’s motivation. Angela, 9, is on the right track when she says, “Eve was looking at the tree.”
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.
One sentence is repeated throughout Genesis 1: “And God saw that it was good.” Now, instead of God deciding what was “good,” Eve looked at the tree of knowledge of good and evil and “saw that it was good” (Genesis 3:6). Eve made the mistake we all make in grasping for what looks good to us instead of accepting what God has provided.
To learn more about the RGV Children’s Arts Festival, please visit www. KidsTalkAboutGod.org/rgv.
God alone knows what is good for us. While modern people may desire to choose what is good, to the author of Genesis it is the worst fate that could have befallen them, says Bible scholar John Sailhamer.
Micah Tyler It’s hard to imagine how many times Micah Tyler spent his days wondering ‘what’s next,’ while driving a sausage delivery truck across southeast Texas. Surely, questioning his own discernment to quit his youth pastor gig, sell half of what he owned to move his family into a single-wide trailer and start traveling the region, performing songs he’d written. Not an easy move for a guy in his late 20s living in somewhat-reclusive Buna, Texas with a wife, three kids, and no strong connection to the music industry, at the time. “I just knew I had to be obedient and step out into music full time,” Micah recalls. “I told the Lord, ‘I don’t know how to be a professional musician, but you’ve taught me to be faithful.’ It was a daily decision to wake up every morning and stop worrying about tomorrow.” Fast-forward down that long road, and the same guy behind the delivery truck wheel over a half-decade prior, is now the latest pop artist to sign a national record deal and release his debut EP, Different, through Fair Trade Services. The lead single from that project, “Never Been a Moment” is not only one of the biggest radio singles from a breakout act in 2016, it turned out to be more autobiographical in context than he even planned. “(Nashville songwriter) Jeff Pardo and I jumped in to writing this song without a specific story behind it, until after it was completed,” Micah says. “Then I realized, ‘Wow, this song is essentially a journal entry of the past six years of my life. Everything my family and I had gone through in this faith journey led up to this.” A big part of Micah’s journey included traveling 200 days per year, performing at youth and college-aged camps and leadership conferences throughout the South. His impact and understanding of his younger audiences was immortalized on a viral parody video titled “Millennials,” which has over 65 million cumulative views on YouTube and Facebook. Most budding artists pine for such organic exposure, but Micah’s YouTube fame put him on edge, though leading him to a healthy resolve.
“Here I am, working hard toward becoming a serious musician when this funny video breaks loose—and I’m thinking this isn’t at all what I want to be known for,” Micah says. “But in all of this, God’s helped me recognize he’s provided a special set of colors on my palette to paint with, and I’m the only one who can paint this unique picture with my life and story. If he calls it ‘wonderful,’ then I need to embrace that and celebrate its worth.” Micah’s epiphany hit him so clearly, that it inspired the EP’s title track “Different.” “Writing this record brought to the surface a lot of insecurities I’ve dealt with my entire life. Not feeling good enough. Psalm 139, David’s praise of being uniquely created felt more like a punishment to me,” Micah says. “I want to sing and look and perform like other artists, but I’m not called to be Jeremy Camp or Bart Millard. The only one he’s called me to be is Micah. There are times I’d rather be those other guys, but I’m ultimately learning to embrace who God has called and created me to be.” With that said, hundreds of nights on the road have certainly honed Micah’s purpose for ministry through a growing list of self-penned tunes borne from a place that’s as real as the person he’s trying to be. “These songs are battle-tested,” says Micah. “I want to live the music I’m writing. There are some songs I can’t write because I haven’t lived there yet. When someone comes up to me after a concert and tells me how my songs affected them, I want to make sure they know I can relate.”
Micah is slated as the opener on Big Daddy Weave’s fall 2017 tour that will be making an appearance here in the Rio Grande Valley at the Boggus Ford Events Center on Sunday, August 20th. For more information check out their Facebook Events Page by featured at Valley Christian Magazine’s Facebook page or stop by the Box Office at 3000 North Cage Blvd (Expressway 281/I69 Frontage Road just south of Nolana).
Keep the Bike Dear Dave, My husband and I aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a motorcycle. The bike was my dad’s, and I got it four years ago when he passed away. I’d like to keep it because I grew up riding it with him, and I still ride it today. My husband thinks we should sell it to pay off debt. We make about $60,000 a year, and we have about $36,000 to go before we’re debt-free except for our home. The bike is worth about $2,300. What do you think? Amanda Dear Amanda, There’s no way I’d sell that bike. If it were just a miscellaneous motorcycle, I’d sell the thing in about 20 seconds. But this bike is unique and special because it was your dad’s. There’s only one of those in the world.
It’s like a lady in the same scenario saying she has a $2,300 diamond on her hand that’s her wedding ring. Would I tell her to sell it? No way! This bike is very much woven into the fabric of your life and your fondest memories. As a rule, you just don’t sell things like that. Now, there may be extreme cases sometimes where a person might have to consider selling something of that magnitude. If you were in a truly awful situation making $10,000 a year and the ring is worth $200,000 while you’re $100,000 in debt, you’d have to give it some thought. But there’s no way I’d sell that bike in your case! —Dave
Hands off the emergency fund! Dear Dave, Sometimes our budget gets busted because of home improvements and various other things. I think we should take money from our emergency fund when this happens, but my wife says it should come out of our restaurant or fun money. What’s your opinion? Josh Dear Josh, Overspending isn’t an emergency. If you budget a set amount in one category, and you go over that amount, you’ve got to reduce something in another area to stay within your budget for the month. If something happens on a pretty regular basis, it’s not an emergency, it’s a predictable event. That means you need to budget a larger amount for home improvements or whatever the problem area may be.
* 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.
On a month-to-month basis, if you have $200 budgeted for household repairs, and any work turns out to be $300, I’d rather you cut back on eating out or another non-essential category to make up the difference. Your wife is right on this one! —Dave July
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Jul 12, 2017
Loving God. Loving Others. Building Community. On the Cover: BIG DADDY WEAVE coming to the Boggus Ford Events Center on Sunday, August 20...