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February 2012


I’m Coming To Church Sunday...

(but I’m not a Christian) p.28

Do You Have A DADD Disorder?


Reaction to a Tragedy p. 38 / 1 / /

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Have A Special Night Out. You and your daughter are invited to attend our Chick-Fil-A Daddy Daughter Date Night. Come and enjoy dinner and special conversation with your daughter. Date: Saturday, March


Seating Times: 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 ALL Rio Grande Valley Locations: Brownsville -Exp 77 -Sunrise Mall Harlingen -Dixie Land Road -Valle Vista Mall McAllen -Jackson Ave -N 10th St -La Plaza Mall Sharyland -Exp 83


Reservations available at 息2010 CFA Properties, Inc. Chick-fil-A速, Chick-fil-A Stylized速 and the Chick-fil-A Cows速 are registered trademarks of CFA Properties, Inc.

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Thank You

It’s been a joy and a privilege to be a part of you – our readers’ - lives! We are so grateful to our advertisers who have supported us financially giving us the ability to share Valley Christian Magazine free of charge.


We have big plans and a big vision to reach even more people. Join us in praying for Valley Christian Magazine as it continues to be a gift and an encouragment to you, your family, and so many others in our community. If you are excited with what God is doing through this ministry, we ask you to prayerfully consider making a donation to Valley Christian Magazine.


Your gift, large or small, one-time or regularly, will help keep VCM in front of readers, allowing us to keep encouraging and reaching those seeking God. Call 956-314-0161 to make a donation or send to: Texas Christian Publications C/o Valley Christian Magazine 3827 North 10th Street, Suite 301 McAllen, TX 78501

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x e d in 11 Pastor


I’m not a Christian but I’m coming to your church


Soul uts d i o Av bing R Num

Volume 1 / Issue 11

Christian Torres Publisher


22 De La


Lead From ing Hea the rt

event s



43 : bow s e T m Ti ye My E h g u o


11- At Home With: Pastor Jaime De La Garza 19- How Do I Know If I’m In Love? 28- I’m Not A Christian but I’m com ing to church 30- Harvest is Ready 32- Be His...and don’t forget the candy 38- One Boys Death One Tribe’s New Life 43- Book Reviews 45- Central Christian’s Going Orange 46- Rend Collective Experiment 48- New Releases and Events

National Columnists 1619244050-

Greg Laurie Joe Beam James MacDonald Luis Palau Dave Ramsey

Valley Contributors

8- Christian Torres 14- Henry Miller 22- Abram Gomez 26- Jerrell Jobe 28- Tom Weaver 19- Internationally known and Inspira30- Dave Soper tional speaker Joe Beam helps you to 32- Theresa Valladares, M.D. know if you love your spouse or if your 34-Mike Masso spouse loves you through conversations. 38- Dale Lusk **Cover photo by Gabriela Romero** 43- Miguel Paredes

On The Cover

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Henry Miller Editor

Irma d’Santiago “morett” Designer

James Alexander Distribution

PHOTOGRAPHERS Lee Jinks J Carlos Diaz Gabriela Romero CONNECT WITH US: Twitter: @vcmagazine @henry_vcmag Like us on Facebook To submit story ideas, events, or comments:

For Advertising contact: Ana Beicker 956-648-2511 956.314.0161 phone Tax Deductible donations can be mailed to:

Texas Christian Publications c/o Valley Christian Magazine 3827 North 10th Street, 301 McAllen, TX 78501 Valley Christian Magazine is a free monthly magazine published by

Valley Christian Magazine is a publication of Texas Christian Publications (a 501c3 organization). Texas Christian Publications reserves the right to edit, modify, revise, rewrite and reject editorial materials and assumes no responsibility for accuracy, errors, omissions or consequences arising from it. All correspondence to this publication becomes the property of Texas Christian Publications. Texas Christian Publications shall be held harmless indemnified against any third-party claims. Texas Christian Publications accepts no claims made by photographers, agents or contributors. Writers’ and columnists’ opinions are not necessarily those of Texas Christian Publications or its publishers. Advertisements appearing in Texas Christian Publications present only the viewpoint of the advertisers. We assume no responsibility for advertising claims made in this publication. Valley Christian Magazine is printed in the United States. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Copyright 2011. Printed in the USA.

GOT DADD? By Christian Torres

Oh ok, but not right now honey, I’m busy. I’ve got to do this important thing for work right now. Oh that’s nice. I’m really looking forward to us doing (whatever). Can we do it later? Oooo, today’s not good, how about this weekend or next? I have work to do at the moment. I can’t make it. Blah, Blah, Blah...


ou know, at the beginning, our kids hang on our every word.

As those words repeat over time, they don’t hear what we say. They only hear what we mean. There are opportunities every day for us to improve. When the kids were out of school during Christmas break and I was at work (wish I had a few weeks off during the holidays), my wife, Stephanie, called me with the greatest story. Natalie, my middle daughter, told her she wished I was home from work to play with her. Stephanie asked her why not play with your sisters? “They’re not as fun as Dad,” she said. She called me immediately to share what an impression I am making in her life. The time I am spending with her doing the things she likes to do. Dr. Kevin Lehman, national speaker and radio personality, coined a term that has absolutely stuck with me: Daddy Attention Deficit Disorder (DADD). Unfortunately, in many families Dad never shows up, Lehman writes. He might not do something as radical and overtly damaging as divorcing his wife and moving away


from his kids, but he’s just never emotionally present for his daughters. At one point or another, we are all guilty of this...I know I have been. I’ve been there but not really there. They may have tagged along with me but I’m not really paying attention. I’ve been mentally checked out. Lehman compares underparenting fathers and balanced fathers: Fathers Who Underparent. Underparenting dads place kids low on the ladder of priorities. Even when home — which doesn’t tend to be a big priority — these dads are often someplace else mentally and emotionally. Their children are welcome to tag along, but the dads make little or no effort to enter their kids’ worlds. They don’t know what music their kids listen to, what shows they watch on television, or how they spend their afternoons. All they seem concerned about is that the kids “behave” (that is, they don’t cause any trouble or commotion that would require the dad to expend a precious bit of his energy). The Balanced Father.  The healthy father must walk between these two extremes — becoming active and involved where appropriate, but teaching his daughter to build her own self-confidence and esteem in the process. He is the involved but respectful parent who allows his daughter an opportunity to give back to the family, contributing to how it is run.

Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall shared with VCM, “There are so many kids who grow up in fatherless homes….and it’s not because dad is NOT in the home! He’s just non-existent.” Every year, I take my daughters out on a special “Daddy-Daughter Date Night.” They dress up in their pretty dresses, I dust off my coat and tie and head out to a fun night of dinner and dancing. Gulp, I said dancing. My daughters are still somewhat little, so dancing to them is standing there and letting them run around me or doing the chicken dance. I open the car door. I pull out their seat. I find out what they would like and order for them. We have conversation. I ask deliberate questions about their world and things they like. Sometimes I get it right and other times they laugh because I ask about Selena Gomez in the wrong Disney show. You get the point. I invite you to try the same. If you can’t make it happen this month for Valentines, you may have noticed at the front of the magazine, that Chick-Fil-A will hold their first RGV Daddy-Daughter Date Night at the beginning of March. You can make an online reservation for any location throughout the entire Rio Grande Valley, including the malls. Go to southtexas to reserve your time. You may not think much of doing something like this but your interaction with your daughter makes a lifetime impact on her. Her dating. Her marriage. Her parenting. Her self esteem. You have the greatest influence on your daughter’s life. As she grows and makes life choices, don’t let it be in spite of you but let it be because of you. Being a good dad is about being relational, Lehman shares. It’s not what you can buy your kids; it’s not slick strategies or secret lessons. It’s taking time to be there to care, to get involved. That’s what a good dad is — relational. Make time the next time you’re asked…I hear that before you know it, they’re out of the house. So how about now. 1 What a Difference a Daddy Makes by Dr. Kevin Leman. Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kevin Leman. Summarized by permission of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, Inc. Summary Copyright © 2010 by FamilyIntel, LLC. All rights reserved.

Christian Torres is a graduate of Baylor University. He and his wife, Stephanie, live in McAllen with their 3 daughters. Madeleine (12), Natalie (9), and Courtney (7). They are members of Palm Valley Church of Mission.

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8 7 3 3 FOLLOW US

1400 E. R D., S TE 10 M CA LLEN, TX 78503 WWW.PENAEYE.COM

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Central Familiar Christiano El Buen Pastor 3308 N Conway Mission, TX 78573 956-581-3333 / 11 / /

to save on costs. He would meet from 10-12 and I would meet from 1-3.

Store Front Ministry. Tell me your thoughts on this type of church location? Tell me more on this type of setup.

They are very attractive. They are next to businesses with a lot of foot traffic. People are like “Hey there’s a church here.” It helps with publicity.

What was the first day like? How long have you been Pastor?

5 years in Mission and 2 years here in our new facility.

How did you get started?

At the end of 2006, I was a Pastor with my brother, Pastor Juan De La Garza. I asked him to bless me as we were beginning a new ministry. I felt the Holy Spirit moving me to start a new ministry. I had been there 19 years.

How did that transition go?

I resigned my position and at the end of that year I started to have heart problems. [I bet you were thinking great…. what does this mean?] Exactly! I ended up in the hospital getting a triple bypass. I trusted in God that this was happening for a reason and it was a part of my move. I did not have a heart attack or anything.

What did you and your family think about this? They had an idea that I was about to move on and they completely supported me.

Most Pastors don’t know where to go when they feel called to start a new ministry. We started in our home. I had coffee with a friend who asked me “Do you know of any Pastors who might be interested in renting my building?”

Did he know yet of your upcoming transition?

No. He was a part of my current church with my brother. I told him I would let him know. [Big smile]. Two weeks before I left the church I told him that I had found someone for him….It’s me! He was excited and I asked him if he still wanted to be my friend. I told him that I didn’t have any money and he couldn’t charge me!

Now that you are in this new location, where were you before? We leased a store front on 495 and Taylor. I shared a place with another Pastor

What was your reaction?

I asked what do you mean? He said yes. Just meet here. I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me about the building. I feel of the Lord that it is you. Come over now. This place is huge! I couldn’t understand. I felt not only led but pushed by the Lord! I asked the congregation to go over and pray over the new facility. They were excited. Everything was new. Sound System. Everything.

It wasn’t a big number. It was just my wife, myself, my two sons, my son-in-law and my daughter. I told them it’s just us. We made plans as if we had a 1,000 people in our congregation.

How do you explain this?

I told my son-in-law that you were going to run with the youth, Jaime you’re going to run with worship, Leanne you are going to work with the children. I told my wife that she was the administrator and Pastor’s wife and I’m going to be the Pastor.

Our congregation grew to about 250. We were there for 3 years. We administered the tithes that were coming in. Enough to stop renting and purchase our own place. I found this place but what they were asking was way out of our budget. I had found some land and decided to we need to build.

I remember my son saying what are all these positions….we don’t even have any people! We are to be ready for when they do come! I will never forget something my brother told me. He said you’ve been here with me close to 20 years. You run your new church as if you have 20 years under your belt. I never understood what he meant until now. If you were to ask me 5 years ago where I’d be, it would not be here!

Describe your church congregation now. We have close to 500 people now. They’re great!

Some journey from storefront to your new facility huh?

I was eating lunch at Burger King when someone came up to me and said “Pastor! Have you eaten lunch yet? No? Let me get it.” He introduced me to this man he was with. He invited me to drop by his job site. He was laying tile for this new facility up the road. One day I drove by 3 ½ mile pass WalMart and decided to stop. He introduced me to Pastor Garza. He gave me a tour of the brand new 20,000-squarefoot facility. He asked me where I was currently meeting. I was like…I’m just starting with a friend of mine. I asked him to pray with me for an upcoming meeting later that afternoon. It was about getting a new place so we could meet at 10 a.m. After I said that, he said…why don’t you all just meet here?

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I can’t…..I can’t. God.

So that building is not your new facility you are in now?

Big decision. What do you do? Build or buy existing. The realtor called from the place that was too expensive. They dropped the price. I thought…now what. So we prayed and God provided a number. I offered it and they accepted!

So it was easy to get in?

Nobody was lending money. I believed God would provide. We were denied.

Now what?

Plan B. Buy land and build. I’m serving a God who can provide for me. The banker felt so bad and gave the paperwork to a friend at another bank. He called me back that afternoon with an approval! That fast!

What a journey.

God placed so many people in front us. So many people we didn’t know, seeking and praying for God’s favor.

Since it’s Valentine’s time… how did you meet your wife? I met my wife at church, Primera Iglesia Bautista.

Were you both involved in ministry? No. I was involved in the choir, youth and different ministries but she was just getting introduced to the church. She did not yet know Christ or ministry.

She came to know Jesus Christ through the Rio Grande Bible Institute. She had a phone conversation with them and they sent her material. Once she made a decision, they told her to find a Christian church. She and her family came and that’s when we met.

What was her Dad’s thoughts on her marrying a Pastor. I was not a Pastor yet. I had a calling but was not yet as a Pastor. I was just involved.

Tell us about your kids

1 boy and 3 girls. The 2 older ones are married. The 2 younger ones are in college.

What advice do you have for fellow dads with daughters and dating/marriage. Make sure they really know where the boy stands with his faith. Make sure he knows Christ and has a personal relationship with Him. That’s the most important first step. I’ve seen it in my life. My wife is my biggest supporter.

Can you share a funny ministry story?

I was in a hurry one day when I was driving the church van. This person called and said who was just driving your van? I was like…me. They said that you must’ve been in a hurry because I was trying to get the phone number from the van so we can come visit. It was great!

Did they every come visit?

Yes! Great family. They’ve been coming for a while and have brought many people with them.

What are your future plans for the church? Reaching more families. We would love to build a gym for the youth and children. We want to invite the kids in the area to come after school and get involved.

What hobbies do you have?

I like to do a lot of things with my family. We like to watch sports together.

What’s your favorite team?

I have a few favorite - love the Cowboys - but right now I am supporting Brother Tim Tebow. I believe he is doing a great job sharing his faith. All he’s been doing is that whatever is going on in my life I give glory to God. I’m supporting him.

How important is it for someone to share their faith even if they are not in the spotlight, say somebody at work, school… As part of our Christian life we are supposed to share our faith with others. If we aren’t or can’t we need to really look at our relationship with God. It can be as simple as praying for your food in public. Give thanks and it’s a testimony to those around. It makes them think about it.

How important is it for a church and their people to be involved in their community?

It’s very important. We are in a position with our location to have thousands of people drive by our facility every day. People call. People come out. There’s a church right here amongst the busyness of our lives. Being there and getting them involved is so important.

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My son is a Youth Pastor and is involved with Boys & Girls Club. We would love to offer that here at our church. I see us offering both English and Spanish services. We concentrate on Spanish. We know the kids and the future is leading us to both types of services. There’s a lot of people out there to win to the Lord. If I can win just one person, they will bring their families. Then they too can have the opportunity to get saved.

Be Prepared - Don’t Miss THE Deadline! January 2, 2012 Today is deadline for my column. Should be a piece of cake since the holidays just went by. Plenty of things to write about and it should only take 30 minutes to write something relevant.

January 9, 2012 A week has passed already? Wow. Well, it was kinda a short week since everyone was off on January 2. Besides, I had my daughter Camilla most days during the day. Besides, I didn’t feel like any topic that came to mind was good enough. I know I’ve busted deadline by a few days but there are a lot of “other things” that need to get done as well so nobody’s gonna notice. I’ll just sneak it in there today.

January 11, 2012

Ughhh. Usually when I get writer’s block I just start typing “There will come a time when all people….” Hmmm, wonder if there’s a column somewhere in there.

January 15, 2012 I’ve spent my entire career as a newspaper writer/editor coming through on deadline. That’s what we always joke about – how we journalists are procrastinators just because we love the stress of deadlines and that’s when we perform our best. Ummmm, yeah, that’s not working. I need to prepare better.

January 16, 2012

Man it’s Wednesday and I’m stressing over this missed deadline thing. I don’t want to write about relationships. We have other writers writing


about that. I just haven’t been inspired. I haven’t seen that perfect column go running by me today. January 13, 2012

ortunately, this is not how my columns usually unfold – but this month was a serious case of writer’s block. Every lead, every idea turned into mush. I kept coming up with excuses. I couldn’t mentally prepare.

Phew it’s done. I missed the deadline by two weeks, but it’s done.

As a child, my dad always told me to “be ready, be prepared.” When I asked him for what he would just say “for everything and anything. You never know when it’s your time.”

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Of course, as a child I didn’t know what this meant. As I grew older, I started seeing some of the wisdom behind this. Be ready for school, be ready for tests, get your flu shot, be prepared for the cold weather (dress in layers - does everyone here know what that means?), but it was even deeper than that. I remember one time my dad telling me a story of a co-worker who would laugh at him because he would say he’s a Christian. He would tell my dad he was gonna wait as long as he could before he did any of that “being saved stuff.” He was pushing his deadline. And that’s one deadline you have no control over. “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” (Mark 13: 32-37) That’s the one deadline I don’t want to mess with. But, it’s still good to get your flu shot too.

Henry Miller has been in the publishing business for 25 years. His work has been in more than 150 newspapers and dozens of magazines, and he has been a syndicated radio personality on more than 60 stations nationwide. He and his daughter attend Palm Valley Church in Mission. E-mail him at “Don’t forget your flu shots!”

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The Church Marches On


When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there. (Matthew 18:19-20) We live in a time in which our society is becoming more and more disjointed and divided. Rather than celebrating what we have in common, it seems as if we’d rather emphasize the things that separate us. You hear strong, strident political and social views on one cable channel, then turn to the next one and hear the exact opposite take on the very same event. In fact, I don’t know of a time (at least in my brief life) when our culture has been more divided, perhaps with the exception of the tumultuous 1960s. Families are falling apart like never before, and the result is that people are looking for a place where they can belong, a community where they can feel safe, a family they can belong to, a place where they can genuinely love and be loved in return. This is exactly what the church is; it is a warm refuge in a cold, impersonal, and often hostile world. I know the church isn’t perfect. The church is made up of imperfect people, but foibles and all, it is the only organization that Jesus Christ Himself ever established. And after 2,000 years, it’s still going strong. The Roman emperor Diocletian once set up a stone pillar as a monument, boasting that he had exterminated the word “Christian” from the earth. That was his aim and, needless to say, he failed miserably in his endeavor. Any attempt that has ever been undertaken to eradicate the church that Jesus established and maintains, has met with utter failure. Jesus said of His church, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). He is with His church, and it is still going strong!

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 15,000plus, one of the largest churches in America. For more, visit Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, P.O. Box 4000, Riverside, Calif., 92514. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996.

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How Do I Know If I’m in

Love? By Joe Beam

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How Do I Know If I’m in Love “Love is a feeling you feel when you feel you’re feeling a feeling you never felt before.” Sounds profound, doesn’t it? I quoted it for years until I thought about the first time I received an electric shock. I’d never felt one before, but I’ll guarantee you the feeling I was feeling wasn’t love! The problem with the word love is we use it to apply to so many emotions or situations that we sometimes don’t know what it means. So what is it? What is this thing called love? Dr. Robert Sternberg at Yale University probably defines it best. He says love consists of three components: 1) decision/commitment; 2) intimacy; and 3) passion. When all three strongly exist in our feelings for another person, he says that we feel consummate love for that person. What do these components mean?

• Decision/Commitment has both a short-term and long-term dimension. The short-term dimension occurs when we consciously decide that we love someone. The long-term dimension occurs when we commit to maintain that love. Interestingly, some evolve into commitment without ever consciously deciding to do so. • Intimacy means closeness, connectedness, warmth, and bondedness. It has to do with understanding each other, accepting each other, and having open and intimate communication with each other. • Passion is physical attraction, sexual desire, and other strong emotional attraction to another person. • These three components of love were recognized in the time of Jesus. Commitment corresponds to agape found in passages like Matthew 5:44. Intimacy corresponds to philia found in passages like Titus 2:4. And Passion corresponds to eros. Sternberg didn’t find anything new in his research; he simply quantified how these components measure love. So what does this mean to you? I constantly hear people say things

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like, “I’m not sure if I love my husband,” or “I don’t know if my husband loves me.” Well, you can know. Instead of trying to measure an undefined, intangible feeling, try to understand how each of the three components exists in your marriage. The best way to do that is to have a revealing conversation with your spouse. The following exercise isn’t foolproof, but it may give each of you insight into the love in your relationship. You must do the exercise together and you must be completely honest. Each spouse describes/defines what commitment means to him or her. Using the spouse’s definition, each person rates his or her commitment to the other on a scale of one to 10. Be sure to explain the rating chosen. Each person then answers this question: How satisfied am I with the levels of commitment we each have? Each spouse describes/defines what intimacy means to him or her. Using the spouse’s definition, each person rates his or her feelings of intimacy for the other on a scale of one to 10. Be sure to explain the rating chosen. Each person then answers this question: How satisfied am I with the lev-

els of intimacy we each feel? Each spouse describes/ defines what passion means to him or her. Using the spouse’s definition, each person rates his or her feelings of passion for the other on a scale of one to 10. Be sure to explain the rating chosen. Each person then answers this question: How satisfied am I with the levels of passion we each feel? Now, together evaluate the love you feel and decide what each of you can do to develop more commitment, intimacy, and passion. It may take an evening or two to complete the exercise, but if you do, you’ll likely have a clearer picture of your love for each other. You may wish to visit the Marriage Helper web site to complete the marriage compatibility test designed to measure the compatibility and strength of your relationship. If you don’t like everything you hear from each other, don’t panic. We’ll show you how to make love grow, no matter what you feel for each other right now. I guess that would sound arrogant except for the fact that at Love Path International we’ve seen it happen with thousands of marriages.

Joe Beam is an internationally-known inspirational speaker and best-selling author. He founded Family Dynamics Institute in 1994 and in 2008 he founded LovePath International, and serves as its chairman. He has spoken to millions of people worldwide in personal appearances as well as appearances on television and radio, including ABC’s Good Morning America, Focus on the Family, the Montel Williams Show, NBC’s Today Show, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet and magazines such as People and Better Homes and Gardens.

Joe Beam President LovePath International Permission to Republish © Joe Beam. All rights reserved

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Leading from the


Abram Gomez is the Executive Pastor at Valley International Christian Center in San Benito, Texas. He serves under the Leadership of Bishop Jaime Loya, and is a graduate of Southwestern Assemblies of God University.  Abram has helped to develop leadership in various ministries and programs at VICC.  He and his wife, Rebecca,

currently reside in Harlingen, TX.

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The Love Edition By Abram Gomez

In Leadership, we often look to discuss strategies, trends, and vision. We talk about new business concepts and church growth models. We research for the best books and blogs on how to become a more effective leader. We think of recruiting people, identifying potential, delegating tasks, and executing goals. As leaders, we desire to continue to stay cutting edge. However, rarely is love and heart in the topic of leadership. The heart of a person has more to do with leadership that we really think. Moreover, before God begins to do a work through your hands, He will do a work in your heart. Heart before hands. Here are some examples in Scripture: 1. Israelites – Exodus 35. Their hearts were stirred and they brought offering for the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. 2. Caleb – Joshua 14. His heart was filled with faith and courage when seeing the Promise Land. His hands were able to inherit his portion because his heart was able to inherit God’s promise. 3. David – 1 Samuel 16 & 17. David captured God’s heart because God captured his heart. 4. Nehemiah – Nehemiah 2. Because the Lord moved his heart, Nehemiah moved the people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days. 5. Jeremiah – Jeremiah 20. A prophet set apart, Jeremiah had His word burning in his heart and a message burning in his mouth. 6. Paul – Acts 9. Paul’s heart was transformed on the way to Damascus by the Lord, and later was transforming cities for the Lord. Two points to ponder about leading from the heart: •

Internal becomes External. Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

The condition of the heart in a leader will usually determine the direction of a leader’s life. Tell me what fills a person’s heart, and I will tell you what will fill his mouth and actions. Jesus said “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good…For out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) What fills your heart today will fill your life tomorrow. •

Identify what you treasure. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

If you treasure personal leadership growth, your heart will be there. If you treasure spending time with your family, your heart will be there. Whatever you treasure, you will do the things necessary to be “there.” We chase after the things that capture our heart.

Things To Reflect On: states “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“The worst prison is a closed heart.” Pope John Paul II

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3

Love God and People. Good & Godly Leadership begins here. With loving God. With loving people. We must have a healthy relationship vertically with God and horizontally with people. If you cannot love God, who you cannot see, how can you love people who you can see? Open your heart. Listen to people. You don’t know everything. Let your people hear your heart. Be transparent at times. People cannot relate to a robot, but they can to another human being. Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, because He became flesh. He wept. He rejoiced. He shared His vision. Value every relationship. Treat each person with respect. As leaders we should value our relationships with people by placing a premium on the time we spend with our people helping them to fulfill their dreams and hopes.

Embrace differences. Not everyone thinks like you do. We are gifted differently. People come from different backgrounds. Your style may not be the best style. Leaders that lead from the hear go. Leaders that lead from the heart sow. Leaders that lead from the heart grow. Leaders that love show.

John 13:1 “He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.” (NLT)

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BE FEARLESS I N P R AY E R ! By Dr. James MacDonald

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard: “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name:  Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.  For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege mounds and against the sword:   They are coming in to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of men whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil. Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. — Jeremiah 33:1-6 My grandmother used to sing a song all the time that speaks to an urgent issue you and I have today. The song goes, “Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry every thing to God in prayer.” It’s true.  Can I ask you this — are you carrying something right now that you should have offloaded to God a long time ago? “Call to me,” God says in Jeremiah 33:3, “I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” God says, don’t wait outside, come on in. Now, what is it that you need? Speak up; just ask!  That fearless fervency in prayer doesn’t come easily to many people. The vast majority of the followers of Christ have never risked such raw honesty. People are afraid somehow that they’ll offend God, or that He’ll see them the way they really are (as if He doesn’t already know!) Please hear me; God can handle your anger. Read the Psalms. David said some really shocking things to God and God didn’t walk away. Step up in faith and say, “I don’t get this,” and “I need to have Your heart in this.” Without honesty, prayer is just talking to yourself.  God can handle your fears. What if He doesn’t come through for me? What if His answer is something I can’t handle? Good questions—I think you should go talk to Him about that. Remember— He asks you to come. God can handle your doubts, too. Do you have a big question mark about God’s love for you?  Does He even care what happens to me? Does He see me over here? Open your heart, again honestly, before Him. He promises to show you “great and hidden things that you have not known.” If you find yourself in a crisis where you can’t reconcile what you’re seeing with a faithful God, call on Him now! Anger will only eat away at your confidence in God; as will doubt and fear. Fervent fearless prayer is the weapon that will defeat these enemies. Don’t forfeit God’s peace or carry any more needless pain. Call on Him in private, honest, fervent prayer. Kneel down and do it now.

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weekdays at 5:30a.m.

James MacDonald is founding and Senior Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in northwest Chicago. James’ teacing canbe heard on Walk in the Word, a daily radio program reaching more than 3 million people across North America. Used by permission of Walk in the Word, Elgin, Ill., 61023. To subscribe to the Weekly Walk, a weekly e-devotional, visit:

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Used by permission of Walk in the Word,Elgin, Ill., 61023.

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By Jerrell Jobe

Avoiding Soul-Numbing Ruts

I need something fresh. Something different. These were my thoughts as I began to reflect on various spiritual practices I would engage in for 2012. When it comes to our relationship with God, it seems that we can sometimes experience what Gary Thomas in his book Sacred Pathways refers to as “a soul-numbing rut.” “I’ve found that many people face a dilemma in their walk with God,” he writes. “Their love for God has not dimmed, they’ve just fallen into a soul-numbing rut. Their devotions seem like nothing more than shadows of what they’ve been doing for years.” We’re still going through the motions, but somewhere along the way the life within the action began to slowly diminish like a helium balloon after a birthday party. None of us are exempt; we can all find ourselves in a rut when it comes to our relationships, be it with people or God. In fact, it seems that “the whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless,” observed A.W. Tozer in his classic book The Pursuit of God. He continues, “we have almost forgotten that God is a person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can.” Mere religion always attempts to domesticate God into a nice and tidy manageable set of do’s and don’ts. When we confine God to a set of rules void of an ongoing living relationship, we are in danger. Though we may be left with religion of some sort, it may be “mechanical and spiritless,” lacking the life-transforming reality that is extended to us through a living

relationship with Christ. Therefore, there is a need for us to cultivate our relationship with God as we would any other relationship. We all go through seasons of growth, transition and change. Just ask someone who’s been married for some time. For a healthy relationship to continue to develop and mature, they can’t simply repeat each week what they did on their first date. Things would become dull and stagnant. What seemed ground breaking on the first date, seems superficial and somewhat shallow at a later time. Why? Because the level of relationship, trust and intimacy has long since grown beyond that point. To simply repeat that conversation, or even activity, would result in a soul-numbing rut in the relationship. As a couple grows closer together, the way they spend time together and communicate with one another likewise morphs and grows. Healthy relationships require creative intentionality. It is the same with God. Over the years, there have been various ways of engaging Scripture I’ve found helpful. For the past several years, I’ve targeted specific books of the Bible and/or passages to explore, ruminate and study. This year, the desire began to grow to read through the complete Bible from the beginning. This type of reading plan has often frustrated me, given that I tend to prefer a slower more contemplative reading of Scripture. That being said, this year I’m hoping to be able to accomplish both. As I’m reading through each day, I am looking

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for those moments where it seems most needed for me to slow down, pause and prayerfully reflect and journal about what’s there. While I’m still in the first book of the Bible (Genesis), it’s already been an inspiring journey. It’s amazing how the Spirit of God shows me a new insight or a fresh perspective within a story I’ve already read countless times. God’s Word is amazing. I’ve found myself looking for free moments throughout my day here and there to steal away and be with God through Scripture. Two new resources I’m really excited about using this year in this journey through Scripture are The Mosaic Bible and Glo Bible. I was looking for a new Bible to work through. I didn’t want a study Bible, yet I was looking for something that would offer a fresh component to my weekly reflections. I came across The Mosaic Bible (, which does just that. At the front it has weekly reflections-meditations that coincide with the Christian calendar. The other resource is Glo Bible software ( As I’m reading through, I’m using Glo’s “journal/add note” feature to capture thoughts, insights, reflections and prayers. For just under $35, you can sync notes from up to five devices. This works well for accessing/input from my phone, as well as from my desktop. It also works in partnership with YouVersion ( There is nothing grand about these changes in how I approach and engage Scripture. Nevertheless, they are life-giving changes that are assisting in connecting me with God and deepening my relationship with Him.

Ref lect • What does this look like for you? • Have you recently found yourself in a soul-numbing rut? • Do you sense there’s a need to mix things up a bit in your relationship with God? • What could this look like? • How might you engage the spiritual practices of reading Scripture or prayer differently over the next several months? “The notion that religion is dull, stupid and sleepy is abhorrent to God, for he has created infinite variety, and he loves to surprise. If you are weary of some sleepy form of devotion, probably God is as tired of it as you are.” (Frank Laubach)

Jerrell Jobe is a teaching pastor at Palm Valley Church in Mission. He is married to Charissa and has three children - Micah (9), Naylah (6), and Avi (5).

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I’m not a Christian , but I’m coming to your Okay I’m not a Christian, but I’ve finally made the decision to come to your church this Sunday. Don’t expect much from me though. If something comes up I might not, but right now I’m planning on it. I feel like I need to go, but I’m not sure why. I want to tell you a few things about myself before you meet me. not going to understand religious language 1 . I’m or phrases so be aware of that when we talk.  I don’t understand slain in the spirit, God is moving in me, covered in the blood, I need to die to self, you just need to be in the Word, what you need is a new life, etc. If we have conversation filled with religious talk, I’m probably not going to understand half of the words...and maybe think you’re a little crazy.

you ask me how I’m doing, 2 . When know that I don’t trust you. I’m probably going to lie and tell you I’m fine. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you; it’s just that I come from some pain and am not sure if I trust you yet. How about you tell me your story first? If I like you and get the vibe that you’re not trying to capture my soul or anything, I’ll tell you mine.  

got pretty rough language 3 . I’ve and I can be bitter and angry about some things.

If I sense in you a mindset of superiority, I’m out. If you are just waiting for your turn to talk instead of truly listening to me, I’m not going to be interested. Don’t expect me to be exactly like you.

make a big deal 4 . ofDon’t introducing me to

going to be 5 . I’m looking for genuine interest in me.

I don’t want to feel like your personal salvation project or be a notch on your “I saved one” belt. If this Jesus is who you say he is, then I’m looking forward to seeing him in you. That’s how it works, right?

I’m going to have 6 . questions. I need truth, not your preferences or your religion, so can you just tell me what the Bible says?

everyone you know.

I understand a couple of people, but please; don’t set up a welcoming line. I’m just there to check it out; I need a bit of space. / 28 / /

church Sunday


Thomas Weaver

I need to feel 7 . welcomed. Is there a time limit or something on my visit before I’m supposed to feel unwelcomed? I mean, I’ve been to other churches and there seemed to be a push for me to make up my mind or something. How long until I’m unwelcomed?

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Thomas Weaver Tom Weaver is the Lead Pastor at Logos Community Church. He is a native of North Carolina but became a Texan after meeting his wife Selina in Houston. They have three daughters – Carolina, Emma Lee and Mary Grace. / 29 / /

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John 4:35

Jesus was leading an entire village into the kingdom of heaven, and the disciples were worried about what to have

turned me into a golf ball retrieving maniac. I can’t look at any pond on the golf course without thinking about all the balls down there just waiting for me to scoop out. There’s one particular pond that collects a lot of balls, but I can never see them because the light isn’t right or there are ripples on the pond. Then one morning I went by the pond, there was no wind, the sun was just right, and there they were in plain sight, golf balls galore! With gusto, I harvested golf balls to my heart’s content. They were there all along, ready to be picked, but I couldn’t see them until the light revealed to me exactly where they were. There are people all around us who are ready for God. Not just strangers, but people we know, people in our lives and RXUVSKHUHRILQĂ XHQFH7KH\DUHWKHUHEXWZHGRQ¡WVHHWKH harvest because we are so wrapped up in our own life’s responsibilities that it distorts our spiritual vision. That’s why Jesus said to the disciples, “Wake up, and look around you!â€?

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we just don’t see it

By David Soper

for dinner!  They were going about their lives, taking care of menial tasks, and the harvest was right in front of their eyes, but they just couldn’t see it. For a farmer, the harvest brings a sense of urgency.  Everything else must wait when it’s time to bring in the crops. However, we don’t always feel that same sense of urgency for men’s souls.  We get lulled into the rhythm of life and have this feeling that if we don’t take care of it today, there’s always tomorrow.  But the same opportunity may not come again.  All kinds of things will delay us from sharing the love of God with people in our lives who are looking for God.  When God arranges a divine appointment for us and lays it on our heart to speak into a person’s life, we must respond in quick obedience.  The bible says to always be ready to share the hope we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15).  This isn’t a duty, this is a privilege!  

brought to eternal life.  God gives us supernatural wisdom, courage and energy for this.  As Jesus said, “my nourishment comes from doing the will of God.”  There is nothing more energizing than leading someone to faith in Jesus Christ. God is calling us to bring in the harvest.  Jesus said, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37)  He’s not just referring to career missionaries and pastors.   This is for all of us.  You may say, “but I’m not an evangelist, I’ve never led anyone to Christ”.  God doesn’t need you to be an evangelist.  He just wants you to listen to His promptings, be sensitive to the opportunities that come your way and be willing to be used.  It may as simple as telling someone that God loves them.   God is orchestrating their salvation, not you.   Your simple action may very well be the catalyst that will ultimately lead them to the Savior.

God will draw men to Himself with or without us, but He gives us the incredible honor of helping lead people to Him and sharing in the process of their salvation.  Sometimes the harvest is difficult and painstaking, but we can do it with joy because the fruit of our labor is the harvest of souls, people

David soper David Soper and his wife, Connie, live in McAllen with their three precocious canines, Sonny, Oscar and Happy. He works as a Sales Executive for a major IT company and often travels around the globe for business. They both have a passion for discipleship and ministry, and are active members of Palm Valley Church. David is a graduate of Michigan Tech (engineering) and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (theology) and serves on the boards of Palm Valley Church and the World Radio Network, which has 14 Christian radio stations along the US-Mexico border from Brownsville to Yuma, Arizona.

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By Theresa Valladares, M.D.

I went to Target the other day and I was amazed to see how quickly stores switch from Christmas to Valentine’s Day. An entire aisle of red/pink cards that talk about love.

Does your life reflect His love? I am humbled by this scripture because I struggle with showing this type of unconditional love. We are not only to love our family this way but we are to love everyone this way.

Valentine’s Day is a special day that you remind your loved ones how you feel. People receive candy, cards, gifts maybe even a night out with that special someone.

John 15:12 My command is this; Love each other as I have loved you

But what about all the other days of the year? We use “love” so frequently. I love pizza! I love chocolate! I love to run! I love to shop! Do we use the word “love” so carefree that it loses its true meaning? Do I reflect God’s definition of love? For that matter, what is “love”? 1Cor 13:4-8 • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Love is patient Love is kind Loves does not boast Love is not proud Love is not rude Love is not self seeking Love is not easily angered Love keeps no record of wrongs Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth Love always protects Love always hopes Love always perseveres Love never fails We’ve all heard it before but now put your NAME in front of Love.

It’s easier to do this when people are nice to us, but what about when they aren’t? That’s when we have to test ourselves. Am I demonstrating “love” to this person? Can I forgive those who have wronged me and not keep reminding them of their offense? Can I ask for forgiveness and put down my own pride? Can I stay calm and kind when someone is being rude to me? Can I love and protect someone who doesn’t change? Can I love the way Jesus loves me? Every day we are presented with an opportunity to demonstrate this love and to improve in the areas we struggle. You never know if a person you encounter has experienced this type of love in their life. We encounter people daily that challenge us – the rude receptionist, the irritable boss or coworker, the rebellious child, the friend or spouse who hurts you or anyone who is acting out because they feel unloved. Your demonstration of God’s love could be what turns somebody around. Being aware of what love “is” and what love “isn’t” helps remind me that God loves me unconditionally and I don’t deserve it. It’s a gift and all He asks of me is to do the same. He gives me the ability to express his love toward others and daily I must choose to demonstrate it. His love never fails and I strive to love the same. John !5:9 “As my Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” ...Of course I won’t turn down the candy or the gifts!

Theresa Valladares , MD, is a family physician in Pharr and attends The Family Church. She is married to Enrique Lopez and is mom to Diego and Cord.

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Your Spiritual Cosmos:

Understanding Your Life To fully implement the power of purpose and personal destiny for our lives, we must take a closer look at the Gospel that Jesus presented in His ministry on Earth. We determined last month that our life mission is to re-establish man’s intimacy with God. But what really was the good news Jesus preached and how does it correlate with our life mission. When most explain the Gospel, it is usually in reference to the good news of salvation, but is that what Jesus really preached? Now stay with me before you rally the entire religious community to organize a town book (article)-burning vigil. Seriously look into what was the banner message that Jesus proclaimed most often. A good starting point is Matthew 4:17 where Jesus begins His ministry by declaring, “Repent, for the kingdom of God has arrived!” God created the Earth with one world on it. The word “world” in the Greek is cosmos. Cosmos refers to a pattern or order of arrangement or functioning. When God created man, His design was for man to live from the inside out. He first breathed life into man to make his spirit alive. The pattern was God living inside of man’s spirit, man’s spirit communicating to his soul (mind, will, emotions), and man’s soul dictating to his flesh to carry out those commands — living from the inside-out in a divine romance with our Creator. This cosmos was abused and broken when Adam sinned, thus submitting to another order. Mankind became contaminated and could no longer live in Holy Communion with a Holy God. I remember a seminar given many years ago by Dr. Robert McGee titled The Search for Significance—illustrating this point

very well by mixing a few drops of contaminated water in a glass of purified water. The glass of water then became contaminated and was no longer pure. Dr. McGee asked if anyone would now want to drink the glass of water, symbolizing how holiness cannot mix with contamination and remain pure. This is why the Holy Spirit could not dwell within sin-stained man until after Jesus’ blood was shed to purify ours, providing a way for the very Spirit that raised Christ from the dead to live in us. The Holy Spirit in relation to man is compared to how our nervous system functions in our bodies. If your biological nervous system stopped working, your body would not just die. Your blood would continue to run through your veins. You would still be alive, but dead to your surroundings. You couldn’t pick up or sense the physical earth around you. God gave man five senses to pick up the earth, but not to pick up God. Many people are not convinced there is a God because they have never been able to pick Him up with their natural senses. We were never created to have true life by living from the outside-in. We are meant to live from the inside-out, but when Adam sinned, his “nervous system” crashed and he was no longer alive in his spirit. That’s why the Scriptures say, “He that hath the Son, suddenly has life!” (I Jn. 5:12) We need the Holy Spirit to pick up God; in fact, we can’t even become convicted without the Holy Spirit. “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” (John 16:7-8 NIV) It is not up to us to come to God when we feel good

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By Mike Masso

Part II

and ready. We can only come to God when He draws our spirit and we respond. “No man comes to God, but by Jesus, and no man comes to Jesus, but by the Spirit.”

world needs an altered-life message that offers a new kingdom of hope for true life! Following God’s order begins in the spirit, by the Spirit.

Jesus came to bring back God’s world—His Cosmos, because another cosmos had taken over. Satan established his own order of living, preying on man’s original desire to be like God on his own terms—taking life from the outside-in. Man’s rule on earth or his dominion was forfeited to Satan to establish his kingdom. The term kingdom in essence is a king’s domain. A domain is where the king has influence and power. God promised to restore His Domain influence on the earth with man.

There are so many people who are “saved,” but not converted. Meaning, their minds are not set in order. Romans 12:2 tells us, “be transformed in the renewing of your mind.” Repentance does not take place in the spirit, but in the soul. The Psalmist says “the law of the Lord converts the soul.” Dr. Myles Monroe warns that a born-again spirit with an unconverted soul makes a dangerous person. You are not what you believe; you are what you think—“as a man thinketh so is he.” If you don’t get your thinking changed, you won’t do what you believe. This is why the repentance process of transforming the mind is so critical. Many times our efforts of repentance is a response to feeling bad for sinning. At best, that is remorse, not repentance. Remorse is getting rid of the guilt for a while, so you can sin again. Our reason for sinning has not been changed.

Therefore, upon Jesus’ inaugural state of the union, He proclaimed, “The Kingdom of God has arrived!” It is now available for citizenship! This is the gospel that Jesus preached. Many preach “ye must be born again..”, but Jesus did not preach this. Jesus explained this to Nicodemous in person in response to a question, but this was not the main message—only the beginning to a greater mission. The consistent Gospel He preached, was “the Kingdom of God…” The concern today is that so many focus on preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, but not the Gospel that Jesus Christ preached. Obviously, we must be born again, but that is only the beginning. We are born again so that we can establish the King’s Cosmos—dominion on earth by restoring the unity of divine romance—living from the inside-out. God’s Spirit within us producing fruit that will nourish those around us to grow stronger with God’s influence is the life-living, cosmos order of the Kingdom of God which we are commissioned to passionately embrace. The world does not need just an altar-call message; the

It is no coincidence that Jesus’ first word of his public ministry was “Repent!” Jesus continued to explain with one of the greatest sermons ever preached, what we call the Be-attitudes. In essence, Jesus was explaining the “attitudes to be.” In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says that He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Jesus did not come to do away with the Old Testament law, but to tell us what was meant when it was written. He explains to us with great detail in Matthew chapter 5 by saying “ have heard that you should not commit adultery, but I am saying that even if you dwell on being with another man’s wife you have committed adultery, have heard that you should not commit murder, but I’m saying that even if you have hatred in your heart, you have committed murder!”

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King David was called a man after God’s own heart because he knew there was a greater order than what this world had to offer. Throughout Psalms 119, King David cries out for God’s laws and precepts to change his thinking. In Psalms 13:2 he pleads.. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul responds to our battle of the cosmos.

“For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:22-25(NKJV)

[Next Issue -“Your Spiritual DNA: Discovering Your Life Mission” III] Part

MIKE MASSO is married to Robyn Masso and they have four children. Mike and his family have been involved in the Rio Grande Valley community most of their lives in ministry and business ventures. Mike is the Director for Leadership Development Alliance, LLC, President of Viva Life Christian Book Shop and Owner-Broker of Prime Ventures Commercial Real Estate.

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of our eternity. But either way we will face a Holy and Righteous God as Judge of our sin or Lord of our lives. How will the people in this story choose and even more importantly, how will you choose? There is no decision you will make in your life more important than what you choose to do with Jesus. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death, the Lake of Fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire. ( Revelation 20:11–15)

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One boy’s death, One tribe’s new life By Dale Lusk It happened so fast. It was hard to believe. This was their last trip planned for the Amazon region of Ecuador. For three years the group from Florida partnered with a local church to reach the Cofan people, a closed and difficult tribe along the Napo River. Their churches were empty. John was planning to attend a prestigious music school in the northeast. His mother, an opera singer, had high hopes for his future. However, his mission to the Cofan people was having a deep impact on his thoughts about the rest of his life. He loved the people and desired for them to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, but they seemed so closed to the Gospel. Nevertheless, they came to be fond of “Tico.” Wednesday morning his pastor shared a passage from James 1 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” not knowing this verse was to be lived out that very day. All morning John and his team labored to build the walls of a new church. After lunch the construction supervisor suggested the team go swimming. Toward the end of the afternoon the team, and the local Ecuadorians, came to a triangular-shaped rock protruding into the river. “Make sure to jump into the water on the left side of the rock, because the right side of the rock is too steep to climb.” For 30 minutes the team, and locals, joyfully jumped and somersaulted off the rock and into the flowing river. All except for John. “No I don’t think I’ll jump in. I’m not a very good swimmer,” he said.

In John went, too far to the right, and for a few seconds he allowed himself to float to the steep part of the rock. “John can’t get out!” someone yelled as one of our staff tried to reach down and grab his hand that was desperately scratching the steep face of rock, but she was inches too short. Then a whirlpool formed and sucked John under. Up and down he was thrust in the swirling brown waters. His friend jumped in to save him, but was sucked under the strong current as well. One of our staff jumped in and held onto John, now unconscious, until the powerful current of the river swept John away. It happened so fast. It was hard to believe. The search to find John continued for days. The Ecuadorian army’s search and rescue teams did nothing. The Amazon special forces crews sent by the U.S. embassy didn’t do anything. It was the Cofan who did. From sun up to sun down the Cofan searched for John using their dugout canoes. They abandoned their own fields - and livelihoods - to search for their godly friend “Tico.” For the first time in known history the churches of the Cofan tribe were full of people praying praying for John and his family.

Just as everyone was about to leave John decided to jump in just once.

John’s father flew in and as he arrived at the spot where his son was lost he stared and cried for a couple of hours. Our staff gave him John’s belongings, which included a journal. John’s father read the journal over and over. He read about the impact the Cofan people had on John. He read about the love and commitment growing in John to reach this people group for Christ. He read about John’s passion for mission.

“John, how about if you jump in from a lower spot on the rock?”

For five days they searched … no John.

“Well I am only jumping in once, so I want to jump from the highest.”

Back in Quito I met John’s father, ready to receive blame, and anger, and threatened revenge / 38 / /

By Dale Lusk for allowing this to happen. I braced myself. What did I encounter? A man filled with the Spirit of Christ. “In honor of my son John I would like to do all I can to make sure the people he loved so much, the Cofan people, are reached with the Gospel of Christ. I don’t want my son’s death to be in vain, but to be for the glory of God. Thank you for giving my son the opportunity to be a part of the mission to those people. It had a profound impact on his life, and now has a profound impact on mine.” What? As I look back on that encounter I am reminded of some very important Biblical truths: When someone has a profound relationship with Jesus Christ, and He has changed them deeply, their reaction to tragedy and loss is different. Gone is the American reaction to blame someone and make others “pay.” There are no “accidents” in our culture anymore. Others (teachers, parents, government, society, ethnic groups) are always at fault. But not with someone who truly has Jesus in their life. In tragedy a follower of Christ is filled with expectation to see what God has in store. They grow in faith and endurance becoming even more like Christ, including how they respond to others in the midst of tragedy. God always seems to use tragedy to further the Gospel more than at any other time. Why is that? Look at the cross. Read about the lives of the prophets. In good times we forget about God. It’s in tragedy we are able to painfully taste his goodness and feel His loving arms around us. Romans 8:28 really is true. “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Even in tragedy, when we love God and give our lives completely to Him, God works it out for the good. He always does. Maybe not for us, but for His Kingdom, and that’s what really matters. The day John’s father left Ecuador the Cofan people found John’s body. It was right there … close to where he drowned. And I imagine some day I’ll see John in heaven standing before the throne of God worshipping with his Cofan friends.

The Missionary

DALE LUSK Dale Lusk, of Mission, TX, is a missionary of the Evangelical Covenant Church and the Executive Director of Covenant Merge Ministries. He is also the Interim Pastor of Abundant Life Fellowship, Mission, Texas, and has been organizing mission trips around the world for more than 18 years.

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Bible Terms:

Focusing So you’re in leadership! Perhaps in a large corporation, your own business, or even going into ministry—serving God fulltime in the church or a Christian organization. If any of these scenarios apply to you, it’s important to clarify of the expectations Scripture lays out for you. Below are some terms the Bible applies to leadership and ministry.


Our culture says, “Believe in yourself! Assert yourself!” But we should not be surprised to learn that the Bible tells us to do exactly the opposite of what the world advocates. We read over and over in the Bible that God pulls down those who exalt themselves and lifts up those who are humble (1 Peter 5:6 ). The Lord highlights humility throughout Scripture, but the culmination of true humility is the attitude of submission to God that Jesus himself displayed and that we are to imitate (Philippians 2:4). Humility often carries the idea of hardship and low position, but it is the only way of life for a leader of God’s people, no matter what his or her title. When God puts us in humbling situations, either to test or discipline us, we should respond without defiance, and accept his will. God’s power and authority should inspire this spirit of submission whenever we approach him, but especially when we know we have sinned (2 Chronicles 7:14). Humility, however, does not mean fear. Proverbs 29:25 tells us that the “fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Jesus Christ never cowered, nor did he apologize for doing what was right. When we are walking humbly with God, we will be looking for his approval, not other people’s affirmation.


“Serve people? You’ve got to be kidding!” We tend to associate servitude with oppressed people slaving for a cruel master. In the Bible, servants had a different job description—one more akin to our current-day employer-employee relationship. The servant’s job was to loyally carry out his or her master’s orders and act in the master’s interest at all times. In return, the master was responsible for feeding and clothing the servants and looking after their needs.

Luis Palau’s ministry has shared the Gospel with more than 1 billion people through evangelistic events and media. He has spoken in person to 25 million people in 72 countries with more than 1 million registered decisions for Jesus Christ. He has authored close to 50 books and has counseled with business and political leaders and heads of state around the world.

The Old Testament identified the nation of Israel as God’s servant; Israel’s job was to glorify God and reveal him to the surrounding nations (Isaiah 27:6). Jesus Christ, however, was the ultimate servant. He put aside his position in heaven to take on human form. He healed and fed people while he was on the earth, and in the greatest act of servanthood, he gave his life for us (Philippians 2:58). We’re called to serve God and others, just as Jesus did (1 Peter 4:10). As leaders, it is especially vital that we take the servant’s path to authority and greatness. / 40 / /




We may think of “justice for all” as something that belongs only in the pledge of allegiance. But throughout the Old and New Testaments, God makes it clear that he expects both government leaders and individual believers to pursue moral rightness in the workplace, court system, and in all societal relationships (Micah 6:8). There may not be perfect equity now, but the Lord expects us to make justice a high priority in our lives—and that means justice for others, not ourselves. Someday the Lord will take his seat as judge and bring about complete justice for all. Until then, we seek justice for others. We introduce people to the good news that, though we justly deserve God’s wrath, Jesus took our punishment. Now God’s justice means that we are restored to relationship with him when we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior (Romans3:2). In God’s eyes, justice is very much a part of the ministry of every believer.


How often do you find yourself in a quandary over what to do in a specific situation? What you need is wisdom—the ability to reach sound decisions through knowledge, insight, and discernment. The Hebrew word for wisdom means the skillful ability to live in harmony with reality. It is not just about what is best or right for us, but what is best and right in God’s eyes (Proverbs 2:6). In other words, wise choices are also moral ones. Being wise is much more than just being smart. You can get straight A’s, but without wisdom, you will do foolish things. The wise leader makes choices rooted in the fear of God— the desire to please God and obey his commands. You cannot serve God or lead others without his wisdom guiding your life.


“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day,” the old saying goes, but “teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Teaching and learning are also crucial to our Christian faith. Jesus taught the people about God. He explained what the Scriptures meant, and he taught with an incredible authority the people had never seen before (Matthew 7:28-29). Then he lived his life before them as a real example they could see and touch. Jesus told us to carry on his work (Matthew 28:19-20). We are to instruct people not only in the facts about salvation, but also in how to obey God and apply what they hear. Above all, we are to live according to the teaching of God that we are passing on to others. Teaching is a God-given ability, or spiritual gift; however, it doesn’t guarantee that a person with this ability is always right

By Luis Palau

about everything. The Bible warns against listening to and teaching faulty information about God’s truth. Those who teach must study the Word carefully because they have a powerful influence on others (2 Timothy 3:16).


Ministry is serving other people. There are countless ways to minister: teaching, praying, providing financial help, leading others in worship, preaching the Gospel, caring for the physical and emotional needs of others. Jesus’ ministry involved serving us through his teachings, his life and his death (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). Ministry isn’t about chalking up points with God—we can’t earn God’s love. Ministry is an expression of our love for God displayed in the way we love others. We love others through our actions because God loves us. Our ministry — the greatest service we could ever be to someone else — is also to tell them about Jesus Christ’s love and saving power.


What is “the call”? Some people wonder if God is calling them to be missionaries or pastors. One thing is for sure: God calls each of us to follow Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23). Jesus once compared the kingdom of heaven to a man who invited many guests to a great banquet. The guests ignored the invitation; they had more important things to do. No matter what family you come from or what occupation you hold, God calls you to know, love, and follow his Son (John 10:27). It’s an invitation you don’t want to refuse! In the book of Acts, the apostles and Paul received special instructions from God (Acts 1:7-8). We think of those as “calls” from God, but most believers don’t receive verbal, individualized instructions like that. Never fear—the whole Bible gives each believer a call to love God, obey him, and share his Good News with our whole lives. That’s call enough to keep us busy no matter where our talents, desires, and circumstances lead us.


If someone poured oil over your head (“anointed you with oil”), you probably wouldn’t consider it a blessing, but in the Old Testament, oil symbolized the Holy Spirit. Kings, priests, prophets, and even physical articles destined for holy purposes were anointed with oil. Anointing indicated that the individual or thing was set apart for God’s purposes and equipped by his Spirit. The Bible’s use of the term also represents God’s bestowal of favor on, or his selection of, an individual to perform a special task (1 Samuel 9:16). For example, David was anointed as king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:13). The Bible often refers to Jesus Christ “the Anointed One.” He is God’s / 41 / /

chosen instrument, bringing salvation to people on earth (Psalm 2:2). When we believe in Christ, we are also anointed with his Holy Spirit. The New Testament does not call on Christians to physically anoint their leaders—only those Christians who are sick and need healing are to be anointed (James 5:14). Why? Because we are all anointed spiritually. We are each chosen and empowered to serve God. We speak of “anointing” when we experience power from the Holy Spirit to accomplish special work for him. That, too, is not just for leaders and ministers, but for every believer.


To dedicate or devote something is to give completely, without holding back. Christians give their lives—their very bodies—completely to God (Romans 12:1-2). Sometimes, we make a special dedication of our time, energy, or possessions. God takes our promises and commitments seriously. He wants us to carefully consider what we dedicate to him. Don’t make specific promises you cannot carry out (Proverbs 20:25). For example, Paul cautioned young widows to avoid committing themselves to serve God through a lifetime of singleness because God knew their sensual desires could cause them to break their commitment (1 Timothy 5:11-14). God honors our commitments as our expressions of love and worship, and he will never be in our debt. When we give to God, he always gives back above and beyond what we could ever imagine (Romans 8:32).


In Bible times, elders were older members of the community. They held positions as governors, administered justice, and were active in citizens’ concerns. Their respected offices were transferred to the next generation after their deaths. In Moses’ time, elders represented the people when they met before God. When the early church began, elder positions (pastors, overseers, general leaders) existed, but other positions, such as deacons, were soon created due to new situations and special emergencies. Both the young and the old filled these new positions; so, yes, even the young can be church elders. However, God requires special qualifications of elders because they are called to be spiritual shepherds of God’s flock (1 Peter 5:2-4). Those qualities include the following: They must be blameless, self-controlled, and hospitable; not overbearing, quick-tempered, or given to drunkenness (1 Timothy 3:1-7). If our personal lives aren’t under control, how can we carry the heavier responsibilities of caring for the church?







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TheBible beginning of true knowledge. There is prophecy that is unique to the expectation of God’s covenant. Apocalyptic writings, such as Daniel and Revelation, are a brand that reveals what was previously hidden or unknown to humanity.

Each month there are thousands of choices when it comes to which book to review. Something grabbed me, recently, as I was reading my Bible, and I wondered how many people don’t know about the amazing works that pieces the best-selling book of all time. Well, here’s my humble review of the greatest book of all time – The Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is the most read and most quoted book of all time. It is deeply loved and strongly criticized. It is the most studied book with the most literature written about it. The Bible contains various genres of literature in one volume. There are narrative stories sprinkled with notable historical characters and their tales of heroism and failure. Poetry takes up a good chunk of the Old Testament. The wisdom literature of the Bible stands out because it points to a godly wisdom and a fear of God that is the

The Gospels are unique narratives sprinkled with a little bit of the different genres. The parables are precious gems that bring about contemplation and conviction. The New Testament has a section of epistles, or letters, written by apostles of Christ to specific audiences with distinct messages. The narrative feature of Genesis, the first book, contains elements that make great soap operas. A twin brother deceives his brother to get his inheritance. That same “deceiver” then runs away from home to avoid getting killed. When he arrives in a different land, he meets the girl of his dreams. He works seven years for her hand in marriage. After the years of toil are complete, he finally marries her. After consummating the marriage he discovers that his father-in-law has deceived him by giving the older and not so attractive sister. D’oh!

The ultimate book

has spoken to them or shown them in visions. The message is first one of judgment. Who wants to hear that? Not many, which is why the life of the prophet was difficult. The people were told that God would judge His people with people more wicked than themselves (see Habakkuk). Thankfully the prophet Isaiah also told of a child who would be born, “and the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Wisdom cannot be clearer than Proverbs 26:11: “Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.” And, of course, there’s the Hero of Heroes. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). He made all things, yet He is rejected and lives an undesirable life. Jesus died a punishment deserved by criminals of the Roman Empire. Yet He was without sin, He committed no crime (Hebrews 4:15). The apostle Paul wrote heartfelt and hard-hitting letters to the first Christian churches of the ancient world. He preached the good news that, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

The Psalms are Hebrew poetry at its best. The heart of the poets is on display. Psalm 51 shows David pleading with God for compassion and mercy after he committed the world’s most talked about adulterous relationship. Psalm 23 brings words of comfort to the hurting.

The message is cohesive and clear, yet it can be a confusing conundrum.

The prophets proclaim the word God

That is the most powerful story.

Review of The Holy Bible by

Miguel Paredes Is a teacher at Edinburg North and earned his Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is married to Brenda and has four children, Diego (9), Karla and Andrea (6) and Charis (2).

The God who inspired the Bible can change your life. In this great literature is His Power; a message of great hope and love. The forgiveness of sin is offered through faith in Jesus Christ.

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Over the course four years, Tim Tebow established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in college football history. During that time he has amassed an unparalleled resume, winning two BCS national championships, becoming the first sophomore to win the Heisman trophy, and in the face of massive public scrutiny, being drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos-all while wearing his devout Christianity on his sleeve.

around the world. In an age when our sports stars so rarely live up to their reputations and their responsibilities Tim Tebow does both. In this memoir, Tebow effectively combines his football story with his faith, showing people everywhere how his belief has led to his success on the field.

Both on and off the field, he’s shown himself to be From his birth in the Philippines to missiona thoughtful and inspiring figure whose faith and ary parents to his home schooling to his hischaracter are evident in everything he does. In- toric run as the quarterback of one of coldeed, though still in college, he’s been uniquely lege football’s most storied programs, Tebow successful at using his celebrity to help others, guides the reader through the highs and lows raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to sup- of his life, always reminding people of the role port charities and mission work in this country and that God has played in his journey. / 43 / /

The Circle Maker By Mark Batterson According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.” Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker—a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.

The Love & Respect Experience A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love By Emerson Eggerichs Through the millions of products sold on Love & Respect, Emerson Eggerichs has transformed marriages around the world with his biblically based approach to understanding the love that she most desires and the respect that he desperately needs. Now, in this long-awaited release, Emerson has created an experience for couples that is effective, flexible and life-changing. To build this couples devotional, Eggerichs has taken the top concerns that surfaced in a survey of thousands of couples and has developed 52 devotionals around the three cycles that are at the heart of Love and Respect. On one occasion the couple will be talking about how to stop the Crazy Cycle or keep it at bay. The very next devotional will talk about a concept built upon the Rewarded Cycle, which stresses the ultimate purpose for marriage. And the next may have both people talking about ways to use the Energizing Cycle in their efforts to love and respect each other. Some may ask, “Why 52 and not 365, like other couples devotionals I have seen?” The author’s research shows that married couples don’t want to deal with that much material, that often. Therefore, the specific devotionals, which can be done weekly or at any chosen pace, are specifically guided to what couples say they most need. 

Spiritual Warfare: Overcoming the Enemy By Kay Arthur, David and BJ Lawson Readers of all ages will learn how to arm themselves for battle with their spiritual enemy in this six-week, no-homework study. The Bible clearly shows that every one of us lives in the midst of a spiritual battle, whether or not we realize it. The first rule of battle is know this: know your enemy. A thorough knowledge of the opponent’s strength, his probable line of attack, and his tactics are vital to achieving victory. In this six-week study, readers will dig into the Bible to discover for themselves the truth about the devil. They’ll gain the battle-ready perspective and tools they need to stand firm against the enemy and walk daily in victory.

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Central Christian School of McAllen “Where a child’s heart and mind grow together” Central Christian School a ministry of Central Christian Church 956-687-2340 1 3 2 0 W. N o l a n a M c A l l e n , Te x a s 7 8 5 0 4

ORANGE happens when you can combine the love of family (RED) with the light of the church (YELLOW) to make a greater impact in the lives of children.  What if we could make children know that God loves them?  What if we could let children see themselves the way God sees them?  What if children could learn to love others the way God loves them?

By Pamela Voss Central Christian School Director We are going ORANGE! Since our article last month we have been asked to explain more about the “ORANGE” strategy that we are beginning to implement this year.  The “ORANGE” strategy is a ministry concept originated for children who can grow up knowing their security in the love of Jesus. 

Here at CCS our children have a sense of belonging, second only to home. We recognize that no one has more potential to influence a child than a parent.  The “ORANGE”  strategy shows a partnership between school and home to promote a generation of children who grow up knowing the love of Christ and how to belong in the body of Christ.  We welcome you to come and see how Central Christian School could be the environment you are wanting for your children.

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e v i t c e l l t o n C d ime n e R per Ex e opl e P de dma n a H p By i h s Wor e d ema er Hom anist ta B

hris By C

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that anything homemade is typically better than its slick, factory-produced counterpart. Much like a handwritten note, a birthday gift that wasn’t procured at the local mall or a mouthwatering, madefrom-scratch meal savored with family and friends, Irish worship artists Rend Collective Experiment wanted to approach the follow-up to their universally praised debut, Organic Family Hymnal, in the same decidedly homespun fashion. So instead of holing up in a studio for weeks on end, Rend Collective Experiment held their recording sessions a lot closer to home — namely in Gareth and Ally Gilkeson’s own living room in Northern Ireland. For some musicians, working at home

would be the very definition of chaos. But for the group who’s always been less of a band and more of a family anyway, it was an ideal experience that culminated in the group’s exquisitely crafted (and appropriately titled) second album, Homemade Worship By Handmade People. “The best way I could describe it was that we didn’t want to get involved in any clinical, polished studio where things felt detached from normal life,” Gareth says. “We wanted things to feel homey, and there was something intimate about that. Naturally, there were guitars and instruments everywhere for the better part of six months, and I’m not sure how my wife [Ally] coped, but it was an experience none of us will ever forget. It’s a fun way of making music.” More interested in creating a raw, authentic vibe than necessarily getting / 46 / /

all the technicalities right since they also produced the album, the aim of Homemade Worship By Handmade People was to write songs with congregations in mind, and to remind the Church universal that we’re all unique, valuable and made with God’s own hands.      “We’re all handmade people created by our God who is not safe or small,” Gareth shares. “Our heart was ultimately to make music that was sonically creative and pushed the boundaries, but we also wanted to write something that really served the Church. It’s not us trying to do something crazy and different for crazy and different’s sake, it’s our response to a truly magnificent God with a wild imagination.” Effectively setting the stage, both musically and thematically, the album’s opening track “Praise Like Fireworks” is a

1. Matthew West

Strong Enough CD: The Story Of Your Life

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Turn Around CD: The Love In Between

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My Hope Is In You CD: This Is What We Believe

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Courageous CD: Come To The Well

5. Steven Curtis Chapman lyrically inventive and inherently enthusiastic reminder to let worship spring from a heart of thankfulness. Emphasizing that we all have a home in God’s family, it’s a “celebration of community” that the group says is “insanely fun” to play. With hopes of engaging the Church in theological matters, better ways of looking at who God is and approaching our culture, Homemade Worship By Handmade People is also filled with challenging songs like “Build Your Kingdom Here,” a stirring call for revival, not to mention a faith-affirming declaration that we, the Church, “are the hope on earth.” A prevailing theme on Homemade Worship By Handmade People is how we’re ultimately all in the journey of faith together. For the record, there’s no Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton or Larry Mullen in this Irish-bred group.  If anything, they’re intentional about wanting the audience to know they’re part of the Collective, too. In fact, the album’s liner notes encourage listeners to join in by snapping and uploading their picture to the Rend Collective Experiment’s website. “Whenever we’re onstage, we always say right from the beginning that this isn’t a stage and audience, it’s a whole congregation of people,” Gareth says. “This whole theme of oneness is something we’re passionate about. We want to involve everyone in what we’re doing because we’re all just people handmade by God and figuring out what it means to serve Him, worship and walk in community together.” For more information about Rend Collective Experiment, please visit / 47 / /

Do Everything CD: re-creation

6. Francesca Battistelli Motion Of Mercy CD: Hundred More Years

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Move CD: The Generous Mr. Lovewell

8. Tenth Avenue North

Strong Enough To Save CD: The Light Meets The Dark

9. Third Day

Trust In Jesus CD: Move

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Saving is always smart

Dear Dave, My wife and I have gone from having almost nothing to making about $90,000 in the last few years. The problem is that I can’t get her interested in saving money. What’s worse, her father is the preacher at our church and he has convinced her that he knows the Lord is coming back in our lifetime. Thinking this, she says there’s no reason to save because it will all be gone anyway. What can Ido? ... Brian Dear Brian, I’m all for people living their lives according to God’s word. But the Bible says that no man knows when the Lord will return. So, I get pretty leery when a guy – especially a preacher – tells me he knows when it’s going to happen. The Bible also tells us very clearly that it is wise to save, and the Bible does not contradict itself. So basically, if you don’t save you’re being foolish. Still, it probably wouldn’t be a great idea for you to run and tell your wife that financially she’s behaving like a fool.  This is a touchy situation in other areas, too. Right now her dad’s theology is ruling your marriage, and that’s not good. Husbands and wives should grow in their faithtogether. I think you guys should sit down with a good marriage counselor and, for the good of your family, come to an agreement on a new place of worship. I mean, even if her dad is right about this – and if he turns out to be right, I’m pretty sure it’s not because he has inside information – there’s some stuff going on here where he’s interwoven his own ideas and spiritual authority in with your household authority . And that kind of thing could cause more problems down the road!... Dave

Company needs to step up  

Dear Dave, My company makes me use my personal credit card for overseas travel. They take care of my expenses, but sometimes they don’t send the money until after the payment is due. Does this affect my credit score?...Marshall Dear Marshall, Unless you pay on time instead of waiting for their money, you bet it affects your credit score. It’s your card! You signed for it, and it’s in your name. Every late payment affects your credit bureau score. I don’t know who you work for, but this is a very dangerous and bad practice – both by you and your company. Your company is using your credit and abusing you in the process. Talk to them about furnishing you with a corporate card. Better yet, a corporate debit card! If your employer is going to send you overseas, or anywhere on the road, it shouldn’t cost you money or cause you problems... Dave

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For more financial help please visit: Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and extremely popular national radio personality. His three New York Times best-selling books— Financial Peace, More Than Enough and The Total Money Makeover—have sold more than 6 million copies combined. His latest book, EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches, releases in September 2011.

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It is fair to say that when I first set out to become a lawyer, I was focused on accumulating wealth, power and prestige. However, after practicing law for the last 18 years, I realize that I have a higher purpose and calling. The Bible says in Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s plans that prevail.” Had I held on to this truth since I first became a lawyer, it is clear that my journey would have taken a different path. But, all is not lost. I also understand as the Bible says in Genesis 50:20 “That which was meant for evil, God meant for good, to bring about this purpose in me.” In my years of practice, I’ve had my peaks and valleys. I understand now that even as Christ washed the feet of his disciples, I, too, am called to serve my community in whatever capacity I am asked to help. It is my desire to serve in that Christ-like manner and honor God in all my dealings. As Micah 6:8 says, “The Lord has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” I pray that the Lord will enable me and empower me to do that which He requires of me. So whether your case pertains to personal injury law, family law, business law, criminal law, a real estate matter or estate planning, I will see your arrival at my office as a divine appointment. I recognize that in honoring God, I will be honoring you, my esteemed and valued client.

Raul “Rudy” Rodriguez

Phone: 956.380.1421 / Toll Free: 877.480.1421 / Fax: 956.380.2920 / Mobile: 956.655.5455 511 W. University / Edinburg, TX 78539 / e-mail: / 52 / /

Valley Christian Magazine February 2012 Edition  

Valley Christian Magazine is a free publication shared throughout the Rio Grande Valley. I'm not a Christian but I'm coming to your Church...