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July 2011

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16 / 1 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Family is God’s Masterpiece 0DWWKHZ: 1,9 6RLQHYHU\WKLQJGRWRRWKHUVZKDW\RXZRXOGKDYHWKHPGRWR\RX«

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Family Medicine as it was intended Dr. Theresa Valladares

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Volume 1 Issue 4

Christian Torres 3XEOLVKHU

Christian@valleychristianmagazine.com

Henry Miller Editor Henry@valleychristianmagazine.com

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PHOTOGRAPHERS The Studio Jenny Hollis & Cliff Ranson

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National Columnists *UHJ/DXULH -DPHV0DF'RQDOG 0D[/XFDGR 'DYH5DPVH\

Valley Contributors ²&KULVWLDQ7RUUHV ²+HQU\0LOOHU ²0LOWRQ*RQ]DOH] ²0LNH0DVVR ²-HUUHOO-REH ²0LJXHO3DUHGHV ²/DQFH3K\

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CONTRIBUTORS Jerrell Jobe Milton Gonzalez Job Gonzalez Mike Masso Miguel Paredes Lance Phy For Advertising contact: Christian@valleychristianmagazine.com

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One Opportunity At A Time Christian: How are you doing today? Ben Smith*: Fine. Christian: What’s new? Ben Smith: Nothing much. Christian: Ok then….catch ya’ later. How many times did this happen with you today? It happens to all of us. We get caught up with busy things and “stuff” to do and often miss opportunities to build relationships throughout our day. I bet you’ve heard to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:39) but have you ever loved someone as your neighbor. Not just love others as yourself, but love VRPHRQHVSHFLÀF

For you to follow Jesus’ example is to watch for and intentionally make the choice to love in the opportunities that arise in your everyday journey of life – as you raise your family, as you build your business and career, as you continue your education, as you go through your daily motions.

Here’s a question. During Jesus’ ministry on earth, did He try and meet everyone and take care of everyone’s problems? Did he have a priority list of what to do the next day? Not quite. He simply loved people as the opportunity arose durLQJWKHQRUPDOWUDIÀFSDWWHUQVRIKLVOLIH

This is what I’m talking about. During your normal journey of life, think of how many people’s paths you cross. Some you pass on a regular basis; others maybe just once. Regardless. You have opportunities to make a positive difference in lives.

Stephanie (my wife ) and I recently went on a 19-hour drive – each way. That’s a long time to discuss life and relationships. We were discussing this topic when she told me I was a little not normal. Stop laughing. Not normal in the sense that I am constantly inviting people to do things. Stepping out and making the uncomfortable step in building friendships. “Christian, you are very good at including people,” she said. “That does not come easy to me or many of our friends. Someone new can walk into our bible study or small group and you know how to make them feel welcome and totally at ease.” Make the choice to love the few you can love today, trusting in the greatness of God that He will put the right people in your path. Maybe He already has…perhaps someone has come to your mind. Make this week the week you step up and step out and make a difference.

People will remember. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other (1 John 4:11 NLT) Christian Torres Executive Director

Question to consider: How can I show love to the person right in front of me – today? 7KHQDPHVKDYH127EHHQFKDQJHGWRSURWHFWWKHLQQRFHQW%HQDFWXDOO\LVP\QHLJKERU:)

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Pastor Wade Hood Jennifer (wife, married to for 24 years)

Adam, 13 Rachel, 10 Aaron, 9

www.fbcharlingen.org Pastor at First Baptist Church Harlingen â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6 years

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SO BEING FROM ARKANSAS, ARE YOU A RAZORBACK FAN? I’m a big Razorback fan. In Arkansas, we consider the Razorbacks the only professional team we have. YOU GET ANY GRIEF FROM UT FANS? All...the...time.... [VCM: Hee hee] There’s a couple here that travels to Colorado and one time they gave me an Aspen [walking]stick. They brought me one after taking it to an artist who drew both the Arkansas and Texas logos. ‘This is what you were (shows a Razorback logo on the Aspen stick),’ they said, ‘and this is what you are (shows a Longhorn logo on the other side).’ Personally, I think it’s sacrilegious to have them both on the same stick. My custodian always turns it with UT facing out and I always turn it the other way. BIGGEST DIFFERENCE FROM ARKANSAS AND HERE? There’s less humidity here. [VCM: SERIOUSLY?!] Not having the trees and the hills.

WHAT WERE YOU LOOKING FOR IN MOVING HERE? One of the things that we really prayed for was that God would send us to a church where our kids (then ages 7, 4 and 3) would grow to love Him and have a great home. The second thing was to send us to a home where lots of people need Jesus. We didn’t want to go to a small town where every pastor has been trying to reach the same people. The Lord blessed us with that. So many people here in the Valley need to know that God loves them. HOW ABOUT THE UNIQUENESS OF FBC HARLINGEN? One of the things we love here at FBC Harlingen– it’s unique in the places where people are from. We have people here from China, Japan, Germany, and all different areas from the Caribbean to South American to Canada [VCM: YOU ALLOW CANADIANS?)… we have a quota (laughs). It’s just people from all different ethnic backgrounds. They all come together to worship every Sunday. You don’t necessarily get that in a small town in Arkansas. DO YOU LIKE THE SPICY FOODS HERE? I love jalapeños. My favorite things are the seafood stuffed jalapeños. My favorite is at Lonestar and a couple places out at the Island – Scampi’s and Dirty Al’s.

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One time in Abilene, I had some type of pepper caught on the back of my tongue and I had to run to the bathroom. All the waiters were coming over, sir are you ok? I was sitting there bawling my head off. I had my head under the sink in the bathroom just trying to drown it out because I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get it out. I was crying and choking â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it was so bad! Managers were coming over wondering if they should do the Heimlich on me. IF YOU WERENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T PASTORING, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? I wanted to be an architect or a math teacher. My high school math teacher was one of the greatest LQĂ XHQFHVLQP\OLIH+HZDVDGHDFRQLQKLVFKXUFK very strong Christian man â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even though the law said he couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read scripture in class, the law said the kids could. So he would open his Bible up and every day in every class if anyone wanted to come up and read they could. May of us would take turns going up. WHO INFLUENCED YOU GROWING UP? Well, I grew up in little bitty country church in Arkansas [VCM: ARE THERE ANY OTHER TYPES?]... WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES? , XVHG WR GR D ORW RI KXQWLQJ D ORW RI Ă&#x20AC;VKLQJ D ORW Exactly! As you can tell, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not a city guy, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m the RIJROĂ&#x20AC;QJ>9&0'RQ¡WZRUU\)%&KHFODLPVGRLQJ country mouse. I went to visit the biggest church in town and the youth pastor invited me to come these things BEFORE moving here!] and be a part. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to change memYOUR BIGGEST CATCH? bershipsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;but I want you to have all these $FWXDOO\WKHELJJHVWĂ&#x20AC;VK²P\VRQ$GDPFDXJKW² experences.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; ZDVDLQFKUHGĂ&#x20AC;VK:HZHUHVWUDLJKWQRUWKIURP Port Isabel. We took it to have it mounted. It had a HOW DID HE INFLUENCE YOU? double spot â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a heart on the tail so it was rare. Salt He had no competitive attitude at all, he just loved ZDWHUĂ&#x20AC;VKLQJLVWKHQHZWKLQJIRUPH,ORYHWRFDWFK on people and that man made such a huge impact trout. on my life. Ever since then, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made sure that there is no competitive spirit between us and other THREE YOUNG KIDS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; churches, no attitude! REJUVENATING OR EXHAUSTING? Both! My attitude is: I want people to be where God wants Our oldest son was born with an eye issue. So sports them to be. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want them to be in our church if wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to be a part of what he was gonna do. this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t where they are supposed to be. I encourHeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a musician and takes after his mom. He plays age them to visit other churches and if they go to the electric guitar in our youth praise band, the another church, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still my friends. French horn in the honor band at Coakly, he plays the drums â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and he write songs. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also very busy TELL US ABOUT YOUR ARKANSAS HIGH SCHOOL AND in UIL with speech and modern oratory AND heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on HOW BIG WAS YOUR CLASS? the swim team. Our daughter is on the select soccer Oak Grove High School. 54. [VCM: Congratulations team and our youngest son wants to start football; IRUPDNLQJWKHWRS@,Ă&#x20AC;QLVKHGLQWKHWRSWHQ

heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been playing soccer. WHAT ABOUT A PRO FOOTBALL TEAM? So, every Saturday all three of them are at different Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a big Cowboy fan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even before I got here. Grew places at different times. My wife has a cake and up in 70s. Everyone had a Dallas Cowboy Cheercookie business. Weekends are now her busiest leader poster [VCM: Right next to the Farrah Fawcet WLPHV:HKDYHWRQRWRQO\VKXIĂ HWKHNLGVEXWDOVR poster right?] Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s EXACTLY what I had! KDYHWRVKXIĂ HZKDWWLPHSHRSOHDUHJRLQJWRSLFN OTHER SPORTS TEAMS YOU LIKE? up all these wedding cakes and shower cakes. 1HYHUZDVD0DYVIDQ7KHĂ&#x20AC;UVW1%$JDPH,ZHQWWR DO YOU ORDER THE KIDSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; was a Mavs game. When I got home, ESPN was sayBIRTHDAY CAKES THROUGH MOM? ing it was the worse game in NBA history. It was horNo, the kids order their own birthday cakes through ULEOH7KH\SOD\HG6DFUDPHQWRDQGWKHĂ&#x20AC;QDOVFRUH mom! She started making our kids birthday cakes was 69-65. So, I became a Spurs fan through that. and then friends wanted some. It started when Adam turned one--itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all Adamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fault! (laughs) Now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a big Mavs fan [VCM: To his defense and we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do this often, this interview took place beTELL ME SOETHING YOUR CONGREGATION WOULD BE IRUH7KH'DOODV0DYHULFNVZRQWKHLUĂ&#x20AC;UVW1%$&KDPSURPRISED ABOUT pionship! Go Mavs!]. The NBA doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the My biggest problem is I confess everithing in the shine it had when Jordan was there. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I pulpit. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m really transparent in the pulpit. I talk like watching Nowitzki and Kidd put on a show toabout myself and my parents all the time. gether.

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OK, BACK TO ARKASAS: SO IF ARKANSAS AND TEXAS PLAY, WHERE DO YOU WATCH IT? I have a big screen TV at home to watch the game. I stay in and Facebook and Twitter like crazy. Did I mention that I put the alarm on the house as well (laughs)? My Executive Assistant is an LSU grad. One of the main guys who runs the sound system is an Auburn grad. So I don’t care if they win a football game all season as long as they beat LSU and Auburn. Every time they win, they know they’re gonna catch it from me on Sunday morning. And if Arkansas loses, they show on the big screen in the sanctury as I step up to preach, a huge upside down Razorback with the words SEC roadkill over it!

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VCM: Is This The One Pastor Wade? :) 501 East Van Buren Ave Harlingen First Baptist Church of Harlingen 501 East Van Buren Ave Church Services: Sunday, a.m. Church10:45 Services

Sunday: Bible Study, 9:30 am Worship, 10:45 am Wednesday: Worship, 6:30 pm AWANA & Youth Groups

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Job Gonzalez / 15 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


The

Importance of Faith

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6RWKH\ZHUHRIIHQGHGDW+LP%XW-HVXVVDLGWRWKHP´$ SURSKHWLVQRWZLWKRXWKRQRUH[FHSWLQKLVRZQFRXQWU\ DQGLQKLVRZQKRXVHµ1RZ+HGLGQRWGRPDQ\PLJKW\ ZRUNVWKHUHEHFDXVHRIWKHLUXQEHOLHI ³0DWWKHZ² 7KH %LEOH KDV D ORW WR VD\ DERXW WKH WRSLF RI IDLWK ,W VSHDNVRIZHDNIDLWKVWURQJIDLWKEROGIDLWKULFKIDLWK DELGLQJIDLWKVWHDGIDVWIDLWKSUHFLRXVIDLWKFRPPRQ IDLWKZRUNLQJIDLWKDQGREHGLHQWIDLWK,WHYHQVSHDNV RIGHDGIDLWK6RZHZDQWWRPDNHVXUHZHDUHXVLQJ WKHIDLWK*RGKDVJLYHQXV 7KH%LEOHGHÃ&#x20AC;QHVIDLWKDV´WKHVXEVWDQFHRIWKLQJVKRSHG IRUWKHHYLGHQFHRIWKLQJVQRWVHHQµ +HEUHZV 7KH 1HZ/LYLQJ7UDQVODWLRQSXWVLWWKLVZD\´)DLWKLVWKHFRQÃ&#x20AC; GHQFHWKDWZKDWZHKRSHIRUZLOODFWXDOO\KDSSHQLWJLYHV XVDVVXUDQFHDERXWWKLQJVZHFDQQRWVHHµ *DODWLDQVVD\V´7KHMXVWVKDOOOLYHE\IDLWKµ,WGRHVQ·WVD\ WKH\ZLOOOLYHE\IHHOLQJ1RUGRHVLWVD\WKH\ZLOOOLYHE\FLUFXP VWDQFHV7KHMXVWZLOOOLYHE\IDLWK$QGIDLWKFDQPDNHWKHGLIIHU HQFHEHWZHHQVRPHWKLQJKDSSHQLQJDQGQRWKDSSHQLQJ *RGLVWKHRQHZKRZRUNVEXW+HFKRRVHVWRZRUNSULPDULO\WKURXJKKX PDQPHDQV)RUH[DPSOH*RGFRXOGKDYHVRYHUHLJQO\FDXVHGWKH5HG6HD WRSDUWIRUWKH,VUDHOLWHVZLWKRXWWKHKHOSRI0RVHV%XWLQVWHDG+HWROG0RVHVWR KROGXSKLVVWDIILQDQDFWRIIDLWKDVWKHSHRSOHFURVVHGRYHU*RGFRXOGKDYH EURXJKWGRZQÃ&#x20AC;UHRQWKHDOWDUDW0RXQW&DUPHOZLWKRXWWKHSUD\HURI(OLMDKEXW KHFDOOHG(OLMDKWRWDNHDVWHSRIIDLWKDQGWRSUD\-HVXVFRXOGKDYHKHDOHG HYHU\SHUVRQZKRZDVDOLYHZKHQ+HZDONHGWKLVHDUWK%XWZKDWZHVHH LVWKDWLWZDVSULPDULO\WKRVHZKRUHDFKHGRXWWR+LPE\IDLWKZKRUH FHLYHG+LVKHDOLQJWRXFK7KH%LEOHHYHQWHOOVXVWKDW-HVXV´GLGQRW GR PDQ\ PLJKW\ ZRUNV WKHUH >LQ +LV RZQ FRXQWU\@ EHFDXVH RI WKHLU XQEHOLHIµ 0DWWKHZ  6RIDLWKFDQPDNHDOOWKHGLIIHUHQFH Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. He began his pastoral ministry at the age of 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then, God has transformed that small group into a church of some 15,000 people. Today, Harvest is one of the largest churches in America. For more about Pastor Greg, visi t www.greglaurie.com Used by permission from :Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514

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Representative Veronica Gonzales District

41

Contact Information: P.O. Box 210 Austin, Texas 78768-2910 Voice: (512) 463-0578 Fax: (512) 4630-1482

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e. I r s u pla ng fo p a for e aski res. y ead peopl ictu big r p t ’ asn y for taking t’s a w “I ha ad and T e r . it s n’t was ograp h o like on…” ati aut rted t t p a tem I st

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Sandtanding before 30,000 people singing about Jesus Christ seems like one of the greatest things someone can do to praise The Almighty, right? Well, what if the performance is more important for you than who youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re performing for? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the many things Juan Jose Trujillo had to face as a young man in the group Shalom. Trujillo (known as JuanJo) is the music coordinator for worship and prayer night on Thursdays at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in McAllen. He is also part of the band named â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vuelta En U,â&#x20AC;? formerly known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shalomâ&#x20AC;? and co-owner of Gospa Records Recording Studio in McAllen. Following are his comments regarding changing the name of a successful band after 18 years, falling in love with the music before falling in love with God and other topics, in his words: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m 41 right now and when we started Shalom I was 23. A new adventure has started now but for how long? None of us know. When we serve God we need to be open and ready. I might be singing all my life, but maybe thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not what God wants me to do â&#x20AC;&#x201C; maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just what I want to do. There may be a day that God tells us to stop and we need to be open for that. We started at our parish and began writing our own songs. In ZHGLGRXUĂ&#x20AC;UVWUHFRUGLQJ and started traveling. I was not ready for that. I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ready for applause. I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ready for people asking for autographs and taking pictures. I started to like it. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big temptation sometimes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it becomes very easy to lose focus.

We played at World Youth Day for Pope John Paul in Toronto, Canada. As attention grew, I started loving the service more than who I was serving. Jesus called His disciples to be with Him (Mark 3). First you need to be with Him, then you start your mission. I started the wrong way. I loved to be on the mission but not so much to be with the Lord. I then took some time off and looked into myself and saw how far away I was from God. I was doing this for my love of the music, not to praise God. I think the best singing to my Lord is through my daily life. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not through words that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re supposed to sing to God, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s through our lives â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our lives have to become a great song. Our band, for over 18 years, was called Shalom. In April we changed our name to Vuelta En U [translates to U-turn]. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re driving and you see the U-turn sign the arrow is facing down. Our logo has the arrow facing up: you come from the Father and you return to the Father.

But one morning I was about to leave home and this great name came to my mind. You know, the best critic I have is my wife, so I went up to her and said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the greatest name for the bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and I told her (and the name was so great - I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remember what it was now). By looking at her face, it said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not that good.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; So I turned to leave and said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ok Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see you later, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to the studioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and she just said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Vuelta En Uâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and I stopped I came back to her and said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;you know, when you said that I felt something about that name.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; WeSHUIRUPHGIRUWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWLPH on May 1 as Vuelta En U. It was a concert for peace at Plaza de Toros in Mexico City in front of 30,000 people. :KHQ\RXĂ&#x20AC;QG*RGDQG\RXIDOO in love with God, you follow Him. And now we want to take it a step further. Now we want to be like Him.

Vuelta also means conversion, change directions of your life. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how many people knew the ministry of Shalom. To change the name of our band after 18 years - after traveling throughout Latin America and elsewhere - was a big risk. Everything changed but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about us. We had a deadline to change the name. We were going to be on TV where we were going to say the new name. And we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a new name!

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Have you ever been Interested in recording a cd? Juan Trujillo and Gospa Records invite you to check out their studio. Gospa Records 4403 N. 22nd St. McAllen, Texas (956) 661-9700 info@gosparecords.com www.gosparecords.com


Fellowship

Small Groups

Youth

Children

Worship ship Wor

Welcome

Serve Together ~ Grow Together

Discover Life Together First Baptist Church of McAllen 1200

Beech Avenue, McAllen, www.fbcmcallen.com

Texas

Sunday Services: 8:00 am, 10:50 am, and 6:30 pm Sunday Spanish Service: 9:25 am Wednesday Service: 6:30 pm / / 20 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com For more Information call our office at (956)686-7418.


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Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Hosea 6:1-3 Have you ever thought about how awesome Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resume would ORRN"7UDLWV$OOSRZHUIXODOONQRZLQJLQĂ&#x20AC;QLWHO\ORYLQJDQGPHUFLIXO everlastingly faithful. Accomplishments: Created the universe, oversees the ongoing sustenance of the world. Hobbies include parting huge bodies of water (favorite: Red Sea). Obviously, God needs no resume; and, even if He did, we would have to go well beyond words on a cold piece of paper to pursue knowledge of Him. Sadly, many people know facts about God, but few possess a â&#x20AC;&#x153;heart XQGHUVWDQGLQJÂľRIWKRVHIDFWV¡VLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQFH Fewer still have any personal experience with the blessings of God. God wants you to know Him. The prophet Hosea tells us how when he writes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let us press on to know the Lordâ&#x20AC;? (Hosea 6:3). Just like today, many in that era some 2,700 years ago allowed blessings to distract

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them from, rather than help them, in developing a deeper relationship with God. But amid that spiritual wilderness, Hosea conveys some key points: 1. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible. If you hear a voice telling you otherwise, know that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not God, but Satan, who is attacking the knowledge of God in your life (2 Corinthians 10:5). Consider Hosea 6:6: â&#x20AC;&#x153;For I desire steadfast ORYHDQGQRWVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHWKHNQRZOedge of God rather than burnt offerings.â&#x20AC;? 2. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s available. Hosea writes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;His going forth is as sure as the dawnâ&#x20AC;? (6:3). Now, how worried are you that the sun wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come up tomorrow morning? Be assured that every moment God is going forth into the world He created, and showing Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are yielded to Him. 3. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s abundant. Right now you

might be thinking, but James, my problems are a lot bigger than the knowledge of God could solve. You sure about that? Why donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you invite God, in all of His sufĂ&#x20AC;FLHQF\DQGSRZHUDQGORYLQJ kindness, into the center of your circumstances, and let me know in a month how youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing? Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wonderful truth: A man will begin to prepare his heart to seek the Lord when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s convinced God will respond in grace. Hosea 6:1 says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;For he has torn us, that he may heal us.â&#x20AC;? Wherever you are, pursue the knowledge of God. The rewards are well worth it: God will restore, He will revive, He will raise up.

is founding and senior pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in the northwest Chicago suburbs. Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; teaching can be heard on Walk in the Word, a daily 30-minute radio program reaching over 3 million people across North America. For more information, visit www.walkintheword.com

Saturday, August 13

www.northmissionyouth.com

James MacDonald

By James MacDonald

1410 E. 3 Mile /Mission, TX 78573

Registration Information:

Listen to Walk in the Word locally at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday on 96.9 FM KVMV

For More Information: Jennifer Thomas 956-358-5447 Jason Dains 956-874-8382

/ 23 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


I opened

the

pantry By Henry Miller

Two cans of soup â&#x20AC;&#x201C; maybe just broth â&#x20AC;&#x201C; stared at me. Nothing else. The weather was cold, but I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want soup. I wanted food. As a 9-year-old, soup doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t count as food. (Sorry parents it still doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t count. Just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let your 9-year-old read this). The holidays were fast approaching and my dad had been sick with double pneumonia for months. He smoked and pretty much lost a lung because of it, making recovery slow. He used up all his sick time and now the â&#x20AC;&#x153;no-moneyâ&#x20AC;? syndrome started putting stress on the whole family. My parents were stressed. The bills were piling up. the money mountain was a molehill of nickels and pennies. I was stressed because there wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t any food. (Remember, I was just 9!) Fast forward to today. I went to my pantry â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we had cans of ravioli, boxes of macaroni and cheese and a couple jars of Alfredo sauce to go with the pasta. My fridge had asparagus and corn and hot dogs. Even the freezer had food (if you count ice cream and popsicles as food). My 6-year-old screeched with glee â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it was a buffet of blessings. Now that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m older, I realize something â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those two cans of soup were a bouquet of blessings. The pantry was a blessing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the fact we had a house was a blessing. Just the fact any of us can say â&#x20AC;&#x153;I haveâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? is a blessing. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have much â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but I have more than my parents had, because of them. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a lot â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but I have a roof over my head and food and drink to nourish me.

I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t own a lot of â&#x20AC;&#x153;goodsâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but I have the love of my daughter Camilla. When she hugs me, all my worries are gone. I have her â&#x20AC;&#x201C; God blessed me with the greatest gift in the world. As the holidays closed in, one night there came a knock at the door. Some JO\YJOTLTILYZJHTLÂśHYTZĂ&#x201E;SSLK^P[O turkey, ham, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes (Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure there were a bunch of things in those arms I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remember â&#x20AC;&#x201C; probably because even a â&#x20AC;&#x153;starvingâ&#x20AC;? 9-year-old is still picky ) and more and TVYL0[Ă&#x201E;SSLK[OLWHU[Y`P[Ă&#x201E;SSLK[OL fridge, we had food on the stove and in the oven. I met those people more than 30 years later at my dadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funeral. I had no idea who the gentleman was. He asked if I remembered that event. I told him yes. Then he said this: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell you this to brag about me, but to brag about your mom and dad. They never had much of anything, but they gave so much more than they ever had. You should always be proud of that and never, ever forget that.â&#x20AC;? My family and I were blessed more than we ever deserved to be that night. Now 40 years later I look back and realize one thingâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;Śeven more soup wouldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been a blessing.

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August 5 & 6

The SEC is coming to Big 12 Country. OK sports fans, it’s not the SEC as in the athletic powerhouse Southeastern Conference. This SEC is an even more powerful and life-changing event known as the Student Evangelism Conference and it’s coming to Baptist Temple in McAllen, Aug. 5-6. The purpose of SEC South is to see Texas students give their life for the sake of sharing Jesus Christ. More than a conference, SEC South is about students taking another step in the direction of becoming a part of the greatest mission in the world. It’s the same mission the disciples, Paul and the New Testament Church purposed in their hearts to achieve with their lives. “SEC South is coming to the Rio Grande Valley to serve as regional youth conference in South Texas,” said Jared McIntire, Associate Director for Student Evangelism. The heartbeat of SEC is to provide a quality Christian

event for teenagers, to promote the gospel and to inspire students to live for Christ. Paul wrote to encourage believers in Thessalonica, “For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere..” (1 Thess. 1:8, ESV). The desire of SEC South is for students to accept God’s call to amplify the message of Christ from their lips and from their lives. SEC conferences are large gatherings of students from across Texas. As the summer winds down and eases back into the school year, hundreds of students will gather in Dallas and McAllen for some of the most effective evangelistic and worship events in the state. The theme for 2011 is Unashamed. And there’s no better verse to explain why we shouldn’t be / 25 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

unashamed than Roman’s 1:16, the theme verse for this year’s conference. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the -HZÀUVWDQGDOVRWKH*UHHNµ (Romans 1:16, ESV). Through SEC, the gospel will be communicated and lost students will have the chance to respond. Students will be challenged to share their faith and to go home and to be unashamed of the gospel. The primary purpose of SEC is for churches to motivate their youth to bring friends that have yet to make a decision for Christ. Many churches will develop strategies to provide scholarships for lost students WRUHPRYHDQ\ÀQDQFLDO obstacles for lost youth to attend SEC.


Following is a glance at SEC speakers and entertainers:

Ed Newton

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Jared Hall will keep you on the edge

of your seat, unable to look away as he makes audience members float, performs a straightjacket escape, or simply finds your chosen card. Jared uses illusions and comedy to present the gospel of Jesus Christ in relevant, engaging ways. Jared performs his illusions for many conferences, festivals, outreach events, youth camps, and Upward award nights. He has shared the stage with many artists including Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, David Crowder, Shane and Shane, Toby Mac, Building 429, P.O.D., GRITS, Jeremy Camp and Leeland.

Rapture Ruckus

The Texas-born Illusionist is no newcomer in any sense of the word. He started doing illusions at the age of 10 and by the time he was in high school he had become known as the magic guy.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would do tricks everywhere I went. I realized that I could get most anyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention with what I was doing, because they could not explain it,â&#x20AC;? Jared said. God called Jared to ministry while he was a student in high school in Baytown, Texas. While in school, he began using illusions, comedy, and even mind-blowing stunts to capture the attention of students and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Jaredâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opportunities to share his faith through his illusions increased while he attended college. Now and presently, he is traveling full-time performing over 150 shows a year. The illusions that Jared performs donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just entertain and capture the attention of audiences, but are great tools to illustrate the message of the Gospel as well.

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/ 26 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

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Jared Hall

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Sho Baraka was introduced to hip hop at a young age.

and eventually the 116 Clique and Reach Records were formed.

Born in Canada but living in Southern California during the height of gangsta rap presented its challenges to many youths, including Sho. In high school Sho and some friends from his neighborhood formed a rap group that began touring with major recording artists. But his life took a different turn after the rap group fizzled out and close friends were killed or incarcerated due to the gang life they led.

Shoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sophomore album â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lions & Liarsâ&#x20AC;? gives us a clear picture of what it looks like to be a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lionâ&#x20AC;? in this culture and master ones domain for the glory of God. We can only be Lions if we negate the lies that this culture bombards us with and gives us a distorted view of what success is. Sho collaborates with Lecrae, JAMM, Trip Lee, Tedashii and many more to help remove â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lionsâ&#x20AC;? from the endangered species list.

He decided to heed his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice and apply to college, pursuing education instead of the streets. There he came into contact with Lecrae and Tedashii

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lions & Liarsâ&#x20AC;? promised to be a sonically diverse journey that will encourage believers to be a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lionâ&#x20AC;? in this culture.

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Tedashii

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;As kids, most people aspired to be famous, but few actually achieved fame.  Some came close, but most begrudgingly let go of their childhood fantasy once reality arrived.  Trip Lee was just like most kids, until the reality of eternity compelled him to gracefully loosen his grip on worldly fame.     William Lee Barefield III, better known as Trip Lee, was born and raised in Dallas, TX.  As a child, Trip Lee had dreams of being a professional athlete or famous rapper, and he began to hone his lyrical skills at the age of 12. 

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was, how many girls I could pull,â&#x20AC;? Trip says.  But upon giving his life to Christ, at age 14, his focus changed from fortune, fame, and women to serving and ministering the Gospel. Trip slowly recognized that all of his life should be centered on Christ.  â&#x20AC;&#x153;One day, I just decided Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m only doing Christian Hip Hop.  Rappers like Ambassador and Da Truth helped provide a model for how I would begin to do that,â&#x20AC;? he says.  He also had an immense desire to learn and teach the Word of God, so he became a leader in his youth group and preached his first sermon at age 17.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I rapped about random stuffâ&#x20AC;Śhow hot I

/ 27 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

Trip Lee

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Sho Baraka

Lecrae

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/ 28 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Call 956.314.0161 to advertise your business or

ministry.

/ 29 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


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Help me

to

Help Them

Smile Ministry with Maffy the Clown,

we are Christian volunteers with over 15 years helping remote communities near San Luis Potosi, Mexico ... Delivering aid, medical service and smiles to children and families in extreme poverty.

We are collecting: Used Clothing, toys,

school supplies, medicines, bottled water, non-perishable food ... & volunteers!!!

COLLECTION SITES: Maffy Sonrisas 956.240.8605 More info:

PDI\VRQULVDV#JPDLOFRP

Next mission : august 11-14

/ 30 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

KRSHWRUUHV#\DKRRFRP


A

s I read and heard about the recent catastrophic events that have radically altered the lives of the people in Japan, I am reminded that we serve a mighty God. As I look at images on the Internet and hear about the increasing number of people who have perished, I am reminded again that we serve and Almighty, Omniscient, Omnipresent kind of God. Gf]g^?g\kfYe]kaf@]Zj]oak=dK`Y\\Ya – the God who is more than enough. Alak]YkqlgÚf\gmjk]dn]kdgkaf_`gh]Yf\ becoming discouraged. Jesus is our true hope, our only hope. The one and only Z]_gll]fKgf?g\eY\]eYf$_Yn]@akda^] kY[jaÚ[aYddqlg_an]mk@GH=&

You must believe that God can show up and Zj]Ycl`YlY\\a[lagf&:]da]n]l`Yl@][Yfkm\denly show up and save your marriage. You have got to start believing today that not gfdqak@]YZd]$@]akOADDAF?& Alk]Ykqlg_an]mho`]fo]`Yn]km^^]j]\ the same circumstances in the same area of gmjda^]^gjYf]pl]f\]\h]jag\g^lae]&Alk easy to give up when people around you [gfklYfldq\ak[gmjY_]qgm$alk]YkqlgY\ghl Y dgk]j e]flYdalqYf\k]]qgmjk]d^\]^]Yl]\ Yf\fglna[lgjagmk&Alk]Yka]jlg_]laflgY fetal position and cry like a baby than getting mhYf\Ú_`laf_dac]Y[`ad\g^l`]egkl`a_` ?g\

I challenge you to start walking in faith. At times we are just waiting for God to make a move. I believe that God is at times waiting AoYfllg]f[gmjY_]qgmlg\YqlgZ]Údd]\ ^gjmklgeYc]Yegn]&&&Yegn]af^Yal`&Klgh oal``gh]Yf\lgoYalgfl`]Dgj\&@]akegj] ljqaf_lg Ú_mj]?g\gml mkaf_qgmjÚn] l`YfYZd]lgk`go@aek]d^kljgf_afqgmjda^] physical senses. Take a step in faith. and can suddenly turn your circumstances @]Zj]ok))2)kYqk Fgo^Yal`ak[gfÚ\]f[]af around. what we hope for and assurance about what I have found, however, that in my own pero]\gfglk]]& sonal life God is not interested in my circumklYf[]kq]k$AkYa\AKFGLAFL=J=KL=<&@]ak Klghdggcaf_YlqgmjkalmYlagfl`jgm_`qgmj egj]afl]j]kl]\afMKAF?da^]k[aj[meklYf[]k natural eyes and start looking at your life through eyes of faith, elevate your hope and lgeYc]mkegj]dac]@akKgfB]kmk;`jakl& watch God do something in your life. As a pastor, counselor and principal I have dakl]f]\lgeYfqkYq Acfgo@]akYZd]$Zml Klgh^g[mkaf_gfqgmj[aj[meklYf[]kYf\^g[mk more on the promises of God ak@]oaddaf_7 Klghl]ddaf_?g\`go_j]YlqgmjhjgZd]ekYj] In the Gospel according to Luke we read about a man who asked the same question... and tell your problems how great our God is Yf\\gfld]lYfqgf]kl]Ydqgmjbgq “While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man K`Ydge came along who was covered with leprosy.

When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to l`]_jgmf\Yf\Z]__]\`ae$Dgj\$a^qgm Yj]oaddaf_$qgm[YfeYc]e][d]Yf&B]kmk j]Y[`]\gml`ak`Yf\Yf\lgm[`]\l`]eYf&A Yeoaddaf_$`]kYa\&:][d]Yf9f\aee]\aately the leprosy left him. (Luke 5:12-13) @]akoaddaf_%gmj?g\f]n]j[`Yf_]k&@]ak l`]kYe]q]kl]j\Yq$lg\YqYf\^gj]n]j&@] does not move based on attitude, or personalalq&@]akkladdafl`]`]Ydaf_Yf\j]klgjYlagf Zmkaf]kk$@]kladdkYn]k&

Milton Gonzalez is the Principal of Covenant Christian Academy and is a member of The Family Church in McAllen. He is married to Elena and has a son, David.

You must realize that God can suddenly show up and heal you completely and restore your body. / 31 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


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Thanks for your support! Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to hear your feedback!

/ 33 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


[ / 34 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Answers

and

Insights to Your

Most

Important Questions: W hen my husband and I became parents of a baby girl, we started to

attend church. The Pastor and others here talk about being saved, but we really don’t understand what that means. Can you help us? The best answer to your question is found in the Bible’s best-known scripture:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Why does God want to save us? “God so loved…” What parents can stand idly by ^OPSL[OLPYJOPSKZ\ăLYZPUHNVU`&>OV would watch loved ones step toward a perilous pit and not stop them before they plunged into darkness? God loves us so much he wants to save us…from the world,

from Satan, from ourselves. The motivation that drives all his actions is love…love…love. And His love is directed at you.

How does God save us? “He gave his one HUKVUS`:VU¯¹(WH`TLU[ZH[PZÄLZHKLI[ (NPM[HWWLHZLZHUNLY(ZHJYPÄJLKPLZPU place of the guilty party. God saves us by VăLYPUNOPZV^UZHJYPÄJLOPZV^U:VU[V pay for our massive debt of sin, to satisfy his immense anger toward our rebellion, and to relieve the burden of our guilt. Only one ZHJYPÄJL^HZ^VY[O`LUV\NO[VKPLMVYHSS[OL sins of all the people of all time. Jesus. He KPLZHZHZPUSLZZHUKWLYMLJ[ZHJYPÄJLVU[OL cross. What do we need to be saved? “Whoever believes in him…” The debt is too big to pay. Working ourselves to death wouldn’t be enough. So Jesus, out of love, did all the work for us two thousand years ago on a cross outside the walls of Jerusalem.

/ 35 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

]

What must we do? Believe. Believe that Jesus died for you and me. Know that God PZZH[PZÄLKHUKV\YZPUIPSSOHZILLUWHPKPU full. What will happen as a result of salvation? “Have eternal life.” Jesus’ death on the cross paid for our sins. Jesus’ resurrection from the tomb promises our eternal life. We are no longer stuck on death row. We will be set free to enjoy life eternal with out Savior himself. God saves us because he loves us. God saves us through Jesus Christ. God saves us when we believe. God saves us from death. The only question John 3:16 does not answer is, what about you? Have you been saved? “Max on Life” Max Lucado Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishing, April 2011 Used by permission


Be a

"Surfer" by Mike Masso

Dad!

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/ 38 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


“DADDY’S HOME!” %\-HUUHOO-REH

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Jerrell Jobe is a Teaching Pastor at Palm Valley Church in Mission. He is married to Charissa and has three children: Micah (8), Naylah (5), and Avi (4)

/ 39 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Radical Together

Miguel Paredes Is a teacher at Edinburg North and is a member of Calvary Baptist Church. He is married to Brenda and has four children, Diego (9), Karla and Andrea (6) and Charis (2).

by David Platt

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Books and Music featured available at:

1WK6W0F$OOHQ   www.vivalifeonline.com

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Adventures in Churchland: Discovering the Beautiful Mess Jesus Loves By Dan Kimball

To those on the outside, the church can appear to be strange and unusual. And when outsiders enter into its meetings and worship services, the experience can often be confusing and awkward. Writing directly to the growing number of people who are feeling distant from the church and Christianity, Kimball shares his story of how he was drawn to the truth about God despite the fact that most Christians he met were downright weird. Kimball explains that the church is more than an organized religion; it’s a beautiful mess of broken people learning to follow Jesus together. He challenges Christians to move beyond the judgmental, critical responses to the world that often lead to stereotyping and parodies and that fail to communicate the good news of Jesus. A punkrock musician turned evangelical pastor, Kimball VKRZVXVWKDWWKHFKXUFKLVDFRPPXQLW\ÀOOHGZLWKEHDXW\ and wonder, demonstrating why an essential part of following Jesus is involvement in a local church where God is at work changing lives. Kimball encourages us to break out of the Christian bubble we so easily create around our lives and to engage in mission with those outside the church, yet to do it in a way that isn’t awkward, confusing, or weird.

The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal By Charles R. Swindoll

While we weren’t paying attention, everything changed–our world eroded from a Christian era to a post-Christian era. It’s a new kind of Dark Ages.

Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger

Ours is a whole new world, and nothing has been more adversely affected by postmodernism than the church and its relationship to God’s Word.

THE SiMPLE HAS BEGUN

Postmodernism thrives on chaos. It desired to destroy all moral criteria and replace it with no criteria. So our young people prefer virtual reality based on emotions to actual reality based on reason. As a result, biblical ignorance in intensifying, even in the church. As we seek more entertainment and less biblical truth, the erosion increases.

From the design of the iPod to the uncluttered Google home page, simple ideas are changing the world. They can change the church as well.

The Church Awakening is primarily for two groups of people: First, for serious, clear-thinking, tough-minded churchgoers, who know there is a better way and are courageous enough to stand against the swelling tide of postmodernism Second, for pastors, especially those on the fence who need permission to buck the tide and put the preaching of the Word of God back in its central place of the church’s worship where it belongs. In spite of the devastating erosion we’ve seen so far, Christ has declared that He will build His church, and nothing–not even the powers of hell–can stop Him. In truth, the battle has already been won.

On the Verge: A Journey into the Apostolic Future of the Church By Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson

The church is on the verge of some tremendous changes. Contemporary church growth, despite its many blessings to believers, has failed to stem the decline of Christianity in the West. These times require a different kind of church—a church where every person is living a mission-sent life. The Bible uses the word apostles for Jesus’ followers. That is, people sent on Jesus’ behalf. In every existing form of the contemporary church—from the mega to the multi to the incarnational—some churches have taken the idea of apostolic mission seriously. Successful church leaders are discovering how to shift their existing resources and church structures into more adaptable forms to reach their communities. In this book, Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson share inspiring stories about leaders who have diagnosed their churches’ failure to embrace a biblical model of mission and have moved toward a fuller expression of the gospel. On the Verge will help pastors and church leaders discover how these forerunners and their insights are launching a new apostolic movement, and how any church can get involved.

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REVOLUTiON

Simple Church calls Christians to make a clear return to the simple gospel-sharing methods of Jesus. No elaborate, multi-level outreach strategies required. Based on new case studies of four hundred American churches, authors Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger prove the process for making disciples is quite often too complex. Simple churches are thriving, and they are doing so by taking four concepts to heart: Clarity > Movement > Alignment > Focus Each idea is closely examined here, simply showing why it is time to simplify.


Real Relationships By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

The bestselling husband and wife team, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott offer expert advice and practical tools for improving the most important aspect of human life: relationships. Updated and expanded to include the latest research on relationship building and vital information on social networking, Real Relationships reveals the secrets for healthy, authentic, and meaningful connections that lead to a better life. Designed for college students, young adults, singles, and dating couples, this cutting-edge book teaches the basics of healthy relationships, including friendship, dating, sexuality, and relating to God.

The M U I R Hou se By Mary DeMuth Mary DeMuth’s latest novel tackles the iss ue of unveiling family that follow. A love sto secrets and the eff healing, and the choicry, The Muir House explores sufferin ects g, es tha t ca n change calling on her forme rly hidden family sec a life forever. Bravely to offer hope to others rets, DeMuth continu . es In The Muir House, Hale, and he has ask Willa Muir is dating the man of her dr say yes to the love of ed for her hand in marriage. But she caeams, when she was 4 yearsher life until she remembers what happn’t to the Muir House Be old. Taking an unexpected trip back ened years, Willa is deter d & Breakfast after being away for eighome have been haunting mined to unbury the deep family secret ht her dreams. s that 'H0XWKZDVUDLVHGLQ abuse, and at the ag DGLIÀFXOWKRPHVXUURXQGHGE\GUXJ hood boys. At 10 yee of 5, she was repeatedly raped by neigh DeMuth’s biologica ars old, during her mother’s third marri borlove of Jesus Christ l father died. When she encountered theage, at a Young Life camp true helped DeMuth guide in her new life course high school, God to hope and healing . Many of us are haun freedom and hope. ted with past memories, preventing a life To ated a blog for visito help others be set free, DeMuth has of Since the blog launc rs to anonymously share their family seccreemailed their family hed in February 2009, 270 survivors rets. learn more, visit: htt secrets for DeMuth to anonymously pohave p://blog.myfamilys st. To ecrets.org.

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Sacred

Marriage Gift

Edition

By Gary Thomas

Marriage is much more than a union between you and your spouse. From the love you share to the forgiveness you both offer and seek in turn, it is a spiritual discipline ideally suited to help you know God more fully and intimately. By shifting the focus from marital enrichment to spiritual enrichment, Thomas will help your marriage, whether divine or difficult, become a doorway to a closer walk with God. This special edition two-in-one book and devotional includes: Sacred Marriage Starting with the discovery that the goal of marriage goes beyond personal happiness, writer and speaker Gary Thomas invites readers to see how God can use marriage as a discipline and a motivation to love him more and reflect more of the character of his Son. Devotions for a Sacred Marriage A companion to Sacred Marriage, this book of 52 devotions encourages you to build your marriage around God’s priorities. From learning to live with a fellow sinner to the process of two becoming one to sharing our lives as brothers and sisters in Christ, Devotions for a Sacred Marriage challenges couples to embrace the profound and soul-stretching reality of Christian marriage.


Relevant, yet Reverant “The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine. But God who called me here below, will be forever mine.” Chris Tomlin, right? Wrong. These words were written in 1773 by John Newton. This, the last verse of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” was first published in 1779. Tomlin, as well as many other modern Christian recording artists, are reviving the rich and reverent testimonies of our spiritual forefathers. Casting Crowns’ recent recording of “Blessed Redeemer” was widely published in early 20th Century hymnals as “Up Calvary’s Mountain.” Tomlin’s “The Wonderful Cross” was written by Isaac Watts in 1707 and published originally as “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Tomlin took the eternal message of the crucifixion of Christ and added a chorus. The revival of traditional hymns in Contemporary Christian Music makes me excited and of course, curious. So, I opened the oldest hymnal I could find – published in 1956 – and found more than 500 hymns organized for their subject matter. The first 40 were classified “General Worship” with subsections of “Adoration and Praise,” “Morning,” “Evening” and “Lord’s Day.” Who knew there were songs specific for the morning and evening? There were 101 songs about Jesus Christ and 126 on the Christian Life, and we’re only halfway through the book!

The wealth of history, testimony, hurt, joy, pain, triumph, hope, conviction, adoration and praise in that one old hymnal gives me enough to sing for a lifetime. Traditional hymns were written in a language that has long since gone away. “Thee” and “thy” are not used today. But, the language doesn’t affect the message – nor should the message be lost in the language. “My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine” is full of old words, but still a relevant testimony to our Savior. I’ve mistakenly called hymns “oldfashioned.” Truth is, hymns aren’t old. Webster defines a hymn as “a song of praise or joy to God.” Certainly not all hymns are old or old-fashioned. As church music has undergone a battle to bring contemporary music into the sanctuary, the definition of a hymn became “reverent” while the modern praise and worship music was tagged “relevant.” “In Christ Alone” (2002) and “The Power of the Cross” (2005) are two great examples of songs that follow the traditional hymn structure but incorporate contemporary rhythms and melodies. Hymns are both reverent and relevant. They’re not “oldfashioned.”

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By Lance Phy

“Sweet Hour of Prayer” and “In The Garden” – reverent. “Nothing But the Blood,” “Power in the Blood” and “Blessed Assurance” – relevant. What is more relevant and timely for the Christian than the Truth of Jesus? Yeah, these hymns were written hundreds of years ago, but they speak of the very same Jesus we encounter today. “There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.”(From “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas Chisholm in 1923.) ---------This is the first of a three-part series looking at hymns and the stories behind them. Next month Lance will tell the story of “Amazing Grace.” In September he will write about the fascinating story of “It Is Well.”

----------

Lance Phy is a Houston native living in McAllen. He is Asst. Music & Media Director for First Baptist McAllen and has been a performing musician for 27 years. e-mail him at: lance@valleychristianmagazine.com


By Melissa Riddle Chalos Special to Valley Christian Magazine

7KHODVWWKLQJ\RXZDQWWRGRLQWKHPLGGOHRIDĂ&#x20AC;JKWLVQRWKLQJ 8QOHVVRIFRXUVH\RXH[SHFWVRPHRQHELJJHUWRVKRZXSDQGĂ&#x20AC;JKWIRU you. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an upside down principle, or so it seems, but for worship leader and songwriter Aaron Keyes, this is the key to worship, even the key to life itself: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deliverance, provision, miraclesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;everything we pray for in the rough seasons of our livesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;most often come to pass in the FRQWH[WRISUDLVHZRUVKLSVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHDQGDELGLQJLQWKHVKHOWHURIWKH Most High God. ...Everything is wrapped up in our willingness to wait.â&#x20AC;? For Aaron, worship pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Snellville, GA for the past eight years, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that waiting room that fuels his passion for and approach to worship. He believes you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get there (or lead anyone there) without the Word of God. That is why he and his wife, Megan, open their home to disciple young worship leaders for several months out of the year, dedicating their lives to reshaping worship leadership for the next generation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to shift what worship leading looks like,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;from worship leaders simply leading songs to worship pastors leading people to knowing God better, to resting our hearts in Him, to expressing our hearts to himâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;physically, instinctively, fully, expressively... not just emotion, passion and excitement, but to declare the promises of God in the Bible with reverence and orthodoxy.â&#x20AC;? Never has this calling been more vibrantly displayed than in the songs on Dwell, Aaronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second Kingsway recording, just released. Dwell is a modern collection of 13 songs, composed in the battle of the everyday, IRUJHGLQWKHĂ&#x20AC;UHVRIVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHDQGVKDUSHQHGE\WKHLURQRI6FULSWXUH â&#x20AC;&#x153;It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem right that I can go to some of the biggest worship conferences in the world and see some of the biggest worship leaders in the world and no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s saying anything about the Bible,â&#x20AC;? Aaron said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It makes me nervous because if the Word of God is a lamp to

our feet and a light to our path, if weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re leading without it, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re leading people into darkness.â&#x20AC;? This mandate, to help restore the Word of God as central to worship, is a constant in Aaronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music. Based on Psalm 91, a prayer of protection, with a bridge from Isaiah 54:17, the title track, ´'ZHOOÂľLVRQHRIWKHGHĂ&#x20AC;QLQJPRPHQWVRQWKH record. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our personal worship, our willingness to abide or dwell in the shelter of the Lord, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so connected to God moving on our behalf, moving for us, to the Kingdom of God advancing around us,â&#x20AC;? Aaron said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about more than we can see with our eyes. That dwelling in the presence of the Lord is so critical to everything. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The enemy can throw things at us, he can even take our lives, but he cannot prosper... we will ultimately triumph. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all wrapped up in our willingness to wait on the Lord. As we wait, he wars for his people. As we abide, he acts. As we rest, he moves, he shows up.â&#x20AC;? All the songs on Dwell were born out of a seaVRQRIĂ&#x20AC;JKWLQJ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isaiah 30:32 says, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Every blow the Lord lays on the enemy will be to the music of tambourine and harps.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; So God moves in battle to the rhythm of our worship,â&#x20AC;? Aaron said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we can JHWRQWKHĂ RRUJHWRQRXUIDFHVZRUVKLS*RG trust Him at all times. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a formula, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not twisting Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arm. You just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t out-give him. He will not be in debt to you. You give and give and all of a sudden, his heart is turned and moved. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen this very personally in our lives.â&#x20AC;? $QGZKHQ*RGVKRZVXSKHVD\VWKHĂ&#x20AC;JKWLV simply over. There is healing, forgiveness and freedom that no amount of human warring can ever hope to bring about.

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Matthew West: Story of Your Life

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1. Natalie Grant: Your Great Name CD: Love Revolution

2. Mandisa : Stronger CD: What If We Were Real

3. Laura Story : Blessings CD: Blessings

4. Sidewalk Prophets: You Love Me Anyway CD: These Simple Truths

5. Casting Crowns : Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) CD: Until The Whole World Hears

6. Josh Wilson : I Refuse CD: See You 7. Building 429 Listen To The Sound CD: Listen To The Sound

8. Steven Curtis Chapman Do Everything CD: re-creation

9. Chris Tomlin I Lift My Hands CD: And If Our God Is For U

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These photos are from The David Crowder Band concert in Mercedes. Valley Christian Magazine was blessed to have so many people stop by to talk, to ask how they can get the magazine in their business and/or church and to share the wonderful works God is doing in their lives. Many thanks to David Gray Promotions for the Crowder concert photo and for organizing such a God-ordained event!

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Is It Too Late? Dear Dave, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m 42, and I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t started saving for retirement. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m selfemployed and not making a lot of money right now, plus I have about $8,000 in debt. It feels like Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m living paycheck to paycheck, and I just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to save or get anything paid off. Can you help?... Avis Dear Avis, Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never too late to start saving for retirement. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re breathing, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still time!

My guess is that it feels like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re living paycheck to paycheck because you are living paycheck to paycheck. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back up a little and take a look at this. You already know that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got some stuff to clean up before youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be in a position of strength. Paying off the debt is a great idea, but how do you make that happen? If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not making much money, you may have to take on a part-time job while you grow your business. It might mean a career change or something as simple as putting in more hours and kicking that business in the tail to really get it running. A lot of your money is going out the door every month to pay those debts. But if your debt was paid off, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have money to invest for retirement. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a combination of an income problem and an outgo problem thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standing in your way, Avis. Get the income up and stabilized, knock out the debt, and then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll FUHDWHFDVKĂ RZWRVDYHDQGIXQGUHWLUHPHQW'DYH %XGJHWRYHUĂ RZÂŤ Dear Dave, What should I do with any money I have left from various categories in my monthly budget? Chris Dear Chris, Some things youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll carry over from month to month. A good example might be clothing. A lot of people, especially men, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buy new clothes every month. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re usually not as styleconscious as the ladies, so we generally donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get around to buying new clothes until something is just completely worn out. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re consistently over-budgeting in a category like food, you need to simply cut back on the amount youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re designating for groceries. When it comes to miscellaneous items, and if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a few dollars here and there, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a few options. You might carry it over like with the food money, or you could combine the amounts into an RYHUĂ RZIXQG<RXFRXOGHYHQ put it toward paying off debt, if you have any, or stash it in your blow money category and have a little bit more to spend on fun stuff. Good question, Chris! â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Dave )RUPRUHĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOKHOS please visit www.daveramsey.com.

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,WLVIDLUWRVD\WKDWZKHQ,¿UVWVHWRXWWREHFRPHDODZ\HU ,ZDVIRFXVHGRQDFFXPXODWLQJZHDOWKSRZHUDQGSUHVWLJH +RZHYHUDIWHUSUDFWLFLQJODZIRUWKHODVW\HDUV,UHDOL]HWKDW ,KDYHDKLJKHUSXUSRVHDQGFDOOLQJ7KH%LEOHVD\VLQ3URYHUEV ³0DQ\DUHWKHSODQVLQDPDQ¶VKHDUWEXWLWLVWKH/RUG¶V SODQVWKDWSUHYDLO´  +DG,KHOGRQWRWKLVWUXWKVLQFH,¿UVWEHFDPHDODZ\HU LWLVFOHDUWKDWP\MRXUQH\ZRXOGKDYHWDNHQDGLIIHUHQWSDWK%XW DOOLVQRWORVW,DOVRXQGHUVWDQGDVWKH%LEOHVD\VLQ*HQHVLV ³7KDWZKLFKZDVPHDQWIRUHYLO*RGPHDQWIRU JRRGWREULQJDERXWWKLVSXUSRVHLQPH´,Q P\\HDUVRISUDFWLFH,¶YHKDGP\SHDNV DQGYDOOH\V,XQGHUVWDQGQRZWKDWHYHQ DV&KULVWZDVKHGWKHIHHWRIKLVGLVFLSOHV,WRRDPFDOOHGWRVHUYHP\ FRPPXQLW\LQZKDWHYHUFDSDFLW\,DP DVNHGWRKHOS  ,WLVP\GHVLUHWRVHUYH LQWKDW&KULVWOLNHPDQQHUDQG KRQRU*RGLQDOOP\GHDOLQJV $V0LFDKVD\V³7KH/RUG KDVVKRZQ\RXZKDWLVJRRG $QGZKDWGRHVWKH/RUGUHTXLUH RI\RX"7RDFWMXVWO\WRORYH PHUF\DQGWRZDONKXPEO\ ZLWK\RXU*RG´,SUD\WKDW WKH/RUGZLOOHQDEOHPHDQG HPSRZHUPHWRGRWKDWZKLFK +HUHTXLUHVRIPH  6RZKHWKHU\RXUFDVH SHUWDLQVWRSHUVRQDOLQMXU\ODZ IDPLO\ODZEXVLQHVVODZFULPLQDO ODZDUHDOHVWDWHPDWWHURUHVWDWH SODQQLQJ,ZLOOVHH\RXUDUULYDODW P\RI¿FHDVDGLYLQHDSSRLQWPHQW ,UHFRJQL]HWKDWLQKRQRULQJ*RG, ZLOOEHKRQRULQJ\RXP\HVWHHPHG DQGYDOXHGFOLHQW

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: / rrodlaw@hotmail.com / 52 / www.valleychristianmagazine.com


Valley Christian Magazine - July Edition