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Real Change


Learning to Hum p16

Pointing Your Kids in the Right Direction p8

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AHW Pastor Pepe Cervantes Forgiven Motorcycle Ministry VCM Private School Spotlight Kids Talk About God Lennette Castaneda Loui Giglio FCA Camps Music: Chris Tomlin Book Releases Events & New Releases

On The Cover Valley Christian Magazine’s Spotlight on Private Schools here in the RGV. From Early Childhool to High School, the RGV has a tremendous amount of Christian Schools. Photo By: Johnny Q Photography Location: Covenant Christian Academy

At Home With Pastor Pepe Cervantes

James MacDonald Greg Laurie Lysa Terkeurst Dave Ramsey


Valley Contributors 8 8 12 16 19 42

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New Music Releases

National Columnists 10 18 20 46



Loui Giglio

Nannie Diaries :: Learning to Hum

Christian Torres, Publisher Milton Gonzalez Theresa Valladares Jerrell Jobe Abram Gomez Miguel Paredes

Vol. 2 / Issue 10

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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 KHOG KDUPOHVV LQGHPQLÀHG DJDLQVW 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 permissi on prohibited. Copyright 2011.

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From the Publisher: Happy New Year! At the time we were going to print, the tragedy at Newton, Connecticut had just occurred. It brought tears and great sadness as we prayed for the families who lost loved ones both young and old. Milton Gonzalez, a contributing writer, is also the Principal of Covenant Christian Academy in McAllen. At the last minute he changed his article to what you’ll read below. I IRXQGLWÀWWLQJDQGMXVWWRSODFH KLVHGLWRULDOÀUVW$VVRPHTXHVtion this great tragedy, rest assured that God is still Lord.

That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so PDQ\SHRSOHDUH+LVORYHKDVWKHÀUVWDQG last word in everything we do. 2 Corinthians 11-14 Msg

Christian Torres

Arrows In The Hands Of A Warrior Or Ticking Time Bombs? During the morning hours of December 14 the nation was shocked by the news that LPPHGLDWHO\ Ă RRGHG PDVV PHGLD $GDP Lanza, a 20 year old from Connecticut, had blasted his way into Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary with with a high powered ULĂ H DQG RSHQHG Ă€UH RQ NLQGHUJDUWHQ VWXdents, the principal, counselor and teachers taking 26 precious lives. The nation grieved as pictures of the innoFHQWĂ€YH\HDUROGVZKRKDGEHHQEUXWDOO\ gunned down appeared on t.v., the inter internet and populated FaceBook walls. That day had come to a cataclysmic standstill as millions of people asked one question... WHY? We are tempted to escape the realLW\DQGQDWXUHRIRXUZRUOGE\Ă€QGLQJIDXOWLQ a diversity of ailments that plague our world today. It is easier and perhaps less grievous to put the blame on music, T.V., social media or even violent video games. But let us stop and think for a moment... wasn’t this young man born like any other child? What went wrong in his life that turned him into a ticking time bomb? At what point in his life did he concoct a malicious strategy that would shake an entire nation? David pens Psalm 127:4 saying that “children are like arrows in the hands of a war warriorâ€?. Warriors are very particular about their weapons and arrows must be fabricated with utmost care and precision. Locating

the right piece of wood; hickory, ash or cedar, is pivotal and carving a shaft from it making sure it is straight, strong and free of any imperfections is crucial. A warrior WKHQ VHHNV WKH PRVW UHVLOLHQW Ă LQW URFN DQG meticulously carves an arrowhead which is then hafted (attached) to the shaft. Once the process has been completed the war warULRU SRVLWLRQV LW RQ WKH ERZ Ă€[ KLV H\HV RQ the target, pulls the arrow back and shoots it into destiny. A properly fashioned arrow in the hands of a skilled warrior will hit the mark every time. God’s Word tells us in proverbs 22:6 “Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lostâ€?(The Message). The million dollar question is‌ and how do you do that? How do I position my child that he/she may hit the mark (God’s purpose and plan for his/her life)? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get upâ€?. Just as the warrior thoroughly examines his arrows, we must search our hearts as par parents and make sure that we are right with the Lord so that we may set an example not only by preaching to our children but by living godly lives that imitate the very life of Jesus Christ. If we fail to do so the author of Proverbs states in chapter 29 verse 15 / 8 / /

that “undisciplined children will embarrass the parentsâ€?. Your children NEED a parent not a dad or a mom who act like teenagers wanting to earn their children’s approval by being cool, tolerant of the intolerable, looking for ways to make them “happyâ€?. Your children need a godly father and mother to help guide them through life’s vicissitudes, someone they can trust and look up to for wise counsel. A parent that will lead the way and position them for greatness shooting them like arrows into the destiny that God has set for their lives‌ a parent that will allow the Holy Spirit to guide them so that they may mold and shape their children into mark hitting arrows and not explosive ticking time bombs. So at this point you are asking yourself...Are you saying it’s my responsibility and not the school’s nor the church’s to train up my child? Are you saying that it’s not the video games, or the music they listen to or the movies they watch the shapes and molds them into what they will later become...? Precisely! Love in Christ, Milton MILTON GONZALEZ is the Principal of Covenant Christian Academy in McAllen. He is married to Elena and has a son, David.

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Real Change By Dr. James MacDonald

Wretched man that I am!Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25a God is in the change business! Jesus promised, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36). He could have just as easily said, “If the Son changes you, you are changed indeed!” We have looked at six different plans that offer change, but can’t deliver. They can’t bring about what they offer because they all depend on us to bring about the change. The plans are faulty because the main component of the plan (us) is faulty. The way to real change has to do with us getting out of God’s way rather than continuing to insist, “Let me help, Lord. I know I can do this!” Here are the preliminaries to real change under the power of the Holy Spirit: Biblical Change Step 1: Admit Admit; acknowledge the fault and the need. My problem is a heart problem. It’s me. I’m broken because of sin. That’s why Paul says, “Wretched man that I am!”(v.24). The word wretched means distressed or miserable through exhaustion from hard labor. The work of trying to change myself without 100% submission to God is exhausting. I am wretched! My problem is a heart problem. Admit your condition before God. Biblical Change Step 2: Turn Turn; repent of any and all alternative plans you have been trying to solve the problem of sin on your own. Turn from them and turn toward God. Only God can change my heart. Paul exclaims in Romans 7:25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Jesus Christ is the One through whom we gain the power to change. Have you ever admitted your helplessness over sin? Your incredible inability to change yourselves? I have a heart problem: admit it. And then turn. Only God can change us. Every other “change plan” can be dropped in a large bag in left by the curb. The beginning and the end of real change is found in Jesus Christ.


‡How would the people closest to me know that I am relying entirely on Jesus in dealing with the need for change in my life? ‡ Who have I noticed recently has been changing under the power of God? Have I encouraged them by letting them know I see good changes in them?

Listen to Walk in the Word locally weekdays at 5:30a.m. James MacDonald is founding and Senior Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in northwest Chicago. James’ teachings can be heard on Walk in the Word, a daily radio program reaching more than 3 million people across North America. Used by permission of Walk in the Word, Elgin, Ill., 61023.

Prayer: Father, I thank You for giving me not only the desire for change but the means to change. I want to be a man of purity. I want to be a woman of tenderhearted righteousness. I want to be all that You want me to be, God. And life is passing by. And so I pray in the strong name of Jesus that You would immerse me in an unusual season of humility. I pray, God, that You would grant to me a hunger to be different. Help me turn from the despair of faulty methods and failed efforts that don’t honor Your desire to partner with me. Ignite within me a fresh hopefulness. I’m ready for change, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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New Year By TheresaValladares, M.D.


very year we make New Years Resolutions. Things we want to improve. Promises to exercise, eat KHDOWK\ ORVH ZHLJKW Ă€QG EHWWHU MREV etc. Most resolutions are very “meâ€? oriHQWHG,W¡VUHDOO\IRUWKHEHQHĂ€WRIRQHself. And most of the time we slack off by February or March or even earlier and we tend to forget why we made the resolution at all. Have we become so focused on self that year after year we miss opportunities to bless someone else? What if this year your resolution benHĂ€WHGRWKHUV":KDWLIWKLV\HDU¡VJRDO was striving to make someone else’s year better? What if instead of words we actually put our feelings into actions? We can tell people we love them or that they are special to us but if we don’t show them daily with our actions then how do they really know?

I believe we have to be still and listen to the direction that God is trying to take us. He has a higher purpose for each one of us and it includes being a “lightâ€? to the world and getting out of our comfort zones and purposely being a blessing to someone else. That can start with our families but it should extend to our workplace, our friends, people that God puts in our path. He has given each one of us skills to be XVHGIRUWKHEHQHĂ€WRIRWKHUV Just because you have a failure in a certain area does not mean that you can not share with someone else what you have learned and give them encouragement in that area that they are struggling to overcome. Who better than someone who has faced the same challenge? In order to help someone else you have to believe that you are a new person in Christ. Your insecurities, failures, shame, regrets and critical voices are stumbling blocks.

How often do we say “I will pray for youâ€? yet walk away without doing it? We can see a person struggling emoWLRQDOO\DQG\HWQRWĂ€QGWKHWLPHWROLVten. What if your actions took precedence over your words? How would that change you?

Harboring unforgiveness or feeling unforgiven can stall the maturity of your faith. If Christ does not hold these things over you why should anyone else? Why should you continue to condemn yourself?

1John3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but in actions and in truth.

Psalm 103:2 as far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

What holds us back from reaching out? Is it fear of rejection? Is it shame or guilt of past mistakes that keep us from feeling worthy to help others? Is it critical voices from others or is it the one in your head? Do we fail to meet the needs of others because we have not truly understood that we are redeemed?

It is time in this New Year to lay your transgressions at the cross.

I was listening to “Redeemed� by Big Daddy Weave and every word in that song felt like it was written for me. There have been so many times that I failed to reach out because I felt I wasn’t good enough. I felt I had made too many mistakes in the past or allowed criticism to hold me back. Being chained to the insecurity of being unworthy was more familiar and perhaps easier than claiming the promise of redemption.

Once you drop those chains you are not only free to reach out but you become more acutely aware of those in need. God will show you through His eyes where there is a need. A need FDQ EH IXOĂ€OOHG E\ D NLQG ZRUG DQ embrace, a gift or your time.

“Redeemed� by Big Daddy Weave

Seems like all I can see was the struggle Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past Bound up in shackles of all my failures Wondering how long is this gonna last Then you look at this prisoner and say to me “son 6WRSĂ€JKWLQJDĂ€JKWWKDW¡VDOUHDG\EHHQZRQÂľ

(chorus) I am redeemed, You set me free So I’ll shake off these heavy chains Wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be I am redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy Named by the voice of my shame and regret But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head� I remember oh God, You’re not done with me yet (chorus)

I don’t have to be the old man inside of me Cause his day is long dead and gone I’ve got a new name, a new life I’m not the same

You have so much to give. I know this because God made us in His image and He is a Giver, an Encourager, a Father of unconditional love and blessings. A New Year‌.A New You‌ Redeemed‌. Blessed to be a blessing in 2013!

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theresa Valladares She is married to Enrique Lopez and has two wonderful sons, Cord and Diego. They are members of The Family Church and she practices family medicine in Pharr.)

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wanted to go to 9, 10, 11am or 12:00 service! We have a generation that wants this time! Whether it’s they work late because they’re some type of medical professional, like to sleep in, hangout with they families late at night. It’s ok... we’ll meet at 1:00!

How long have you all been around? 3 years here in Harlingen. How did you become Pastor of Lifeline? My father is a Pastor with a doctorate in Theology and we have been involved in his ministry for years! I’ve done it all from Sunday School, Usher, Janitor, you name it and I’ve done it! His church umbrella’d out to Rio Grande City and we were doing what is called Home Church Groups. Slowly and little by little the groups grew until we a full blown church. My dad was like you need to lead it. Let me tell you‌I’m not ready for this. To be honest with you I never wanted to be in ministry. I’ve seen it all my life and I’ve seen the behind the scenes of what my father sometimes had to go through. I didn’t want anything to do with it and so that’s why I became a nurse.

Where did the name Lifeline come from? Since I’m a nurse and so I wanted to bring the medical aspect into it. Our vision is very simple. Healing for the body, mind and soul. According to Matthew 22:37 which says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul.â€? We believe that what’s the point RIEHLQJSK\VLFDOO\Ă€WLI\RXDUHVSLULWXDOO\ dead. What’s the point if you are spirituDOO\Ă€WEXWSK\VLFDOO\DLOLQJ"*RGZDQWVWR make you whole. Not just one area but complete. It’s more than just spiritually but knowing that it can be many factors. We bring this in when we are counseling, preaching, teaching‌so that they can become whole and person God wants them to be.

I was given 60 days to live.

You’re going to die. The nurses that treated me there were angels. That’s why I wanted to do this when I grow up. I’m a pediatric nurse for 15 years now. I felt God calling me to be a Pastor and I didn’t want to. Eventually I was obedient and I took over the church. 7HOOXVDERXW\RXUÀUVWVHUYLFH" It was a 1:00 service. Who wants to go to a 1:00 service?! Really are you serious Lord? You trying to do this the hard way?! It was on March 1, 2009 when we opened up. Not knowing who is going to show up. That day 35 people showed up. I thought‌Wow not bad. 3 years later we now meet at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium and we are about 600 every Sunday. It’s a movement from God. We still meet in Rio Grande City on Thursdays for the groups. So now I’m just obedient to God and say yes Sir! Since we rent the Harlingen Auditorium, we have to set up and tear down every Sunday. We still meet at 1:00 pm. After a survey within our congregation, nobody

God could have healed me instantly. He is able. But He didn’t it. He let me go through the process so i can appreciate what it is for someone to have a kid with cancer or what it for someone to be suffering. It is a lesson I would not give back. It is a lesson I appreciate everyday. It gives me a new perspective on life. As a nurse and dealing with patients in hospice‌I understand and shows me what’s important. Buildings. Things. They don’t mean anything. It’s your family and the time you spend with them. How has that effected your focus as a church? As a man... We focus on balance. I’ve seen so many ministers today preach the Word of God but their families are lost. You have to ask yourself why? They’re intentions are great‌.but. ,WXVHGWREHDOODERXWFKXUFKÀUVWFKXUFK ÀUVW FKXUFK ÀUVW  7KDW PD\ VRXQG ULJKW but it can be a bit on the religious side. Very systematic. You almost feel guilty if you are not at the Sunday Night, Tuesday Night, church every night and every moment the doors are open. That’s how we grew up.

You see I had terminal cancer when I was 9 years old. I went to M.D. Anderson and they were like there is nothing we could do‌you might as well start planning for your funeral.

All the testing and chemotherapy‌you never forget‌it’s terrible. I would never wish cancer on anybody, but believe it or not, that is the ministry that God has given us today. A healing ministry. We pray for people with cancer and other illnesses. We’ve seen healing through our prayers to Him.

Pastor Pepe with the Harlingen Cardinals

We emphasize eating right and exercising on the physical. On the mental‌ what are you feeding your mind‌what are you watching, listening to, reading. We don’t focus on religion, we focus on relationship. We tell people all the time, it doesn’t matter where you are. Who or where you’ve been hurt. Where you’ve come from. Come on in we are going to love you and let God change you. Church Perception... People think that we are very laid back. We have not changed any principles! We are very bold with our preaching‌ maybe even bolder than most. I am very transparent when I preach. I don’t stand up there and be holier than thou. I share that I’ve lost a house, lost a car, almost lost my relationship with my wife, we’ve lost a baby, we’ve gone bankrupt. We’ve gone through a lot in our life and God has still kept us together. People can relate to these life experiences. Being transparent from the pulpit is our goal. This is one way people connect with us. People appreciate that. Expand a little bit on being diagnosed with Cancer as a kid. ,WZDVYHU\GLIÀFXOWIRURXUIDPLO\:KHQ, was diagnosed, all the treatment had to be done in Houston at MD Anderson. I didn’t go to school here for about a year. / 14 / /

I had to literally learn to break away from that and understand that God wants time for everything. Time for work. Time for family. Time for yourself. Time for your spouse. So the thing we miss most that I see not only in Ministers but even members is balance. It’s either too much church and no family. Or too much work and not this or that and you have an unbalance. I want my son to be right next to me. I want him saving the Lord. Not because I forced him to go but because I spent time with him. Taking time to play with him, to go to the park with him, place baseball with him, go and do things with him. So he WANTS to spend time with me. That’s building a relationship. That’s the same thing with Jesus. Jesus doesn’t care about the building. Jesus doesn’t care about perfect attendance at church. It’s what relationship do you have with Me Monday through Saturday with Me? Are you spending time with Me? It’s when you spend time with Me then we develop a relationship. Pepe the husband? oh! I have a lot of work to do! [laughs] My wife Rubina has taught me a lot of being a better husband and I thank the Lord for that. She’s the one who has caught me saying one things and living another. It’s a great lesson that I have to gut check myself. What can I do for my wife today? I fail a lot but I try! We try on a regular basis to have a Friday Night Date Night. No talking about work, FKXUFKÀQDQFHVHWFMXVWWDON

Pepe the Dad… I love being a father. I enjoy every minute I can with my son. I am very active in his life. Jerrial is 13 and he is also a miracle. I was told that I was not going to have kids when I had cancer. One thing I learned from dad is that you can’t say that you are a good dad. You have to ask someone else….so I won’t say I’m a good dad! I try and spend as much time as I can with him. There’s seasons when I’m busy with work…but he knows that I am aware too. We have a great relationship. To see him not be embarrassed to hug or kiss me, especially in front of his friends is a testament to our relationship. I love being a father…especially because we thought we were never going to have kids (per the doctors). Pepe “not working”… I love football season. I’m a major football fan. Yes I follow the Dallas Cowboys… there I said it! I follow the Harlingen Cardinals everywhere they go. I am the chaplain for the team. I get the opportunity to talk with them before the games and at practices. I play drums…to this day I play for the church. People freak out when I’m sitting behind the set and then walk around and start preaching! Pepe the Harlingen Cardinal Chaplain… The head coach and I started working out and he invited me to go work out with them. Just in conversation he asked me to talk to the team. Before that I would talk to the kids through FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). It’s really incredible to bring a message to the kids that is not religious and not emphasizing our church. It’s this is where you are at and go with it. Answer questions and pray with them…a lot of these kids don’t have fathers. Coach is not only teaching them football but teaching them about being men. Life lessons.

You should expect loud and fun music. Don’t expect a water downed message. Its very open..very blunt…very in your face. Why? If you have been hurt or are seeking a true relationship with Jesus. This is why you should TRY lifeline. I’m not sayLQJ WKDW \RX DUH JRLQJ WR ÀQG LW KHUH  ,I you come and say you want a better reODWLRQVKLSEXWKDYLQJDKDUGWLPHÀQGLQJ KHUH«ZHZLOOKHOS\RXÀQGDSODFHKHUH in town. What’s different about LIfeline… One of the things that separates us is when we started Lifeline, I felt God telling us 2 things: 1-You don’t worry about the building 2-You don’t worry about the money. Ok God but what do you mean. Don’t EH WU\LQJ WR ÀQG SURSHUW\  /HDVH LI \RX need to. Money? Don’t take an offering. We don’t take time for the bucket. We simply pray and if people want to give they can in the lobby. I think that has really captivated people….’they’re not preaching about money, money, money.’ Unfortunately there is a stigma with Pastors and money. While I believe it’s a principle that you shouldn’t violate. God talks about tithing and giving and we should do it, but it’s not an agenda. It’s not that if you don’t give that you won’t be blessed. That’s not the God that I serve. The God that I serve sent his Son to save the world and not condemn it. We’ll teach tithing in our classes maybe once or twice a year.

Why should someone come to Lifeline? What to expect…Hope you come to a welcoming church. Experience Love. You should be hugged by like 15 people!

Lifeline Heart of Worship Pastor Pepe Cervantes Harlingen Municipal Auditorium Harlingen, TX 956.536.9084 Worship: 1:00 pm Sundays

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One last thing…. I believe that when we do anything for the Lord…It should be done with excellence. While I don’t run a dictatorship, I try to challenge our people and leaders for excellence! The passion I have now to preach the word of God now is the most satisfying feeling! I thought nursing was going to do it…it did for a while but nothing like this. If there’s anything to learn…You pick your career but God picks your calling. You will be really satisÀHGZKHQ\RXVWDUWZRUNLQJ\RXUFDOOLQJ %HLQJVDWLVÀHGDQGNQRZLQJZKDW\RXU purpose is is the best.

Ipod or Stream Top Playlist

Ipod Secret in Whisper, POD, Pillar [laughs..they’re all rock!] and probably some hip hop with TobyMac. Apple or Android Both! I’m getting ready to switch to Android…I’m both!! [come one….pick!!] Inland or Coast Coast! 55 or 5 over Oh 5 over!! [really laughs…I’m not going to lie to you]

Read more about Pastor Pepe’s Interview at

Nannie Diaries :: Learning to Hum By Jerrell Jobe Growing up, I spent quite a bit of time at my grand parents. They owned a small farm in North Carolina. My grandmother, affectionately known as “Nannie,â€? lived to be nearly QLQHW\Ă€YH\HDUVROG6KHZDVEOHVVHGWRPDLQWDLQKHUPHQWDOFDSDFLWLHVDQGUHODWLYHO\ good health all the way up until the end of her life, which spanned over the course of nearly a whole century. Since she was a little girl, she loved God with all her heart and endeavored to follow the ways of Christ in every area of her life. She was an amazing woman of faith. One of my earliest childhood memories of Nanny is that of her humming. Humming while doing the dishes. Humming when snapping peas just picked from the garden. (YHQZKLOHFOHDQLQJĂ RRUVRUWRLOHWVUHJDUGOHVVRIWKHWDVNVKHFRXOGDOZD\VEHIRXQG humming. As a child, to me this humming seemed like nothing more than background noise. I was unaware of what was going on. I was unconscious to the realities at hand, as I was too consumed with my childhood pursuits of fun and games to notice and too naive to understand fully what these sounds meant. Yet these sounds, the sound of Nannie’s humming still echoes in my ears to this day! During my twenty’s, during a visit home from college, it dawned on me that Nannie wasn’t just humming – she was singing. And, she wasn’t merely singing – these were songs. And, not just any songs – these were hymns. She was worshipping God‌continuously. ,WZRXOGQ¡WEHIRUDQRWKHUWHQRUĂ€IWHHQ\HDUVEHIRUH,ZRXOGPRUHIXOO\UHDOL]HDQGDSpreciate the rare quality this was to be found in a human. It wouldn’t be until I found myself surround by long work days, pressing needs and the necessities of life, not to mention three young children, who at times demonstrate PRUHIUHTXHQWĂ€WVRIIUHQ]\DQGVLEOLQJULYDOU\WKDQWKHGRWKHKDUPRQLRXVMR\Ă€OOHGORYH shared among brother and sisters. Moments and seasons to which one (present company particularly) would be more prone to sigh in exhaustion, rather than sing. Moments where the humming has long since digressed into mutterings about simply “getting along.â€? It has been in moments like these, that I hear the echoes of Nannie’s humming rise up within my soul. Echoes of a woman, who had long since learned to rise above the challenges of life. In times like these, as the Psalm 78:7 says, she becomes “my example.â€? A life that demonstrated the embodiment of the seemingly inconceivable admonitions of found in Scripture. Scriptures like Colossians 4:2, where the Apostle Paul exhorts us to “pray continuously.â€? Or, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19, where it commends us to “always be joyful. Never stop praying. And be thankful in all circumstances.â€? Or, as Colossians 3:16 instructs us, to “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.â€? These are Scriptures that can seem impossible at times to live. Yet, I know they are possible, because I’ve seen them lived. And, Nannie was my example. When I grow up, I want to be like Nannie‌ “You have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long. (Psalm 71:7-9) Action: $V\RXĂ€QG\RXUVHOIGRLQJDVHHPLQJO\PHQLDOWDVN like taking out the trash, cleaning the house, mowing the grass or driving around town, begin utilizing these moments to intentionally worship God. Hum a song. Sing a hymn. Or, simply make up a sonnet from your heart to God. As with anything, the more we do this, the easier it will become and the PRUHQDWXUDOVRQJVZLOOĂ RZ$QGSHUKDSVRQH GD\ZH¡OOĂ€QGRXUVHOYHVMXVWOLNH1DQQLH²VLPSO\ worshiping God all day long‌


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is a teaching pastor at Palm Valley Church in Mission. He is married to Charissa and has three children : Micah (9), Naylah (7),and Avi (5).

1400 E. Ridge RD., STE 10 MCALLEN, TX 78503 WWW.PENAEYE.COM

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Remorse or Repentance? By Greg Laurie For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)


here is a difference between repentance and remorse. Remorse is being sorry you got caught. For example, if you were to rob a bank, get away with it for awhile, and then are arrested, you are remorseful. Why? Because you got caught. Or, as you are driving down the freeway and get pulled over by the highway patrol, you are remorseful. Why? Because you got caught, not because you broke the speed limit. That isn’t repentance; that is remorse. Repentance is being sorry enough to stop what you are doing and change your behavior. Judas Iscariot was remorseful about his betrayal of Jesus. He knew Jesus was innocent. He knew what he did was wrong. And if he was repentant, he still could have turned to Jesus. But instead, he turned to the religious leaders. And what did that do for him? They said, in effect, “You know what? What is that to us? That is your problem. You have served your purpose. Get out of here.” That is so typical of this world. It promises freedom, but it brings slavery. It promises enjoyment, but it brings guilt. Instead of happiness, it brings sorrow. Instead of pleasure, it brings pain. Judas did not have a friend in the world except Jesus, and he betrayed Him. So Judas turned to religion, and religion had nothing to offer him. He needed Christ. Religion is like getting a Band-Aid when you need open-heart surgery. We don’t need a little religion, because a little religion—or even a lot of it—won’t help us. We need a lot of Jesus. Where will your guilt drive you? If you feel guilt for your sin, here is where you need to go: to Christ. That is the only place to go. sentence: Do you know the differSummary ence between godly sorrow and remorse?

greg laurie is Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif. He began his pastoral ministry at 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then, God has transformed the small group into a church of 15,000-plus, one of the largest churches in America. For more, visit Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, P.O. Box 4000, Riverside, Calif., 92514. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000

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Christian Life Church

Leadership Axioms Part 1 of 2 part series on Leadership Axioms

/ By Amram Gomez

----------- of McAllen----------7401 North Ware Road (Inside Church of the King)

McAllen, TX 78504 956-800-9322 Small, family oriented and Bible based Spanish Services for Adults English Services for Youth Service Times: Saturdays at 10:00 am Bible Study: Tuesday Nights at 7:00 pm

-------------------------------------------Professional Counseling available through: 8IKQĂ…K][,WUQVQ+W]V[MTQVO844+ 956.631.0694

Happy New Year! You made it. Take a deep breath, give thanks to God, and get ready for what God has in store for you in this brand new year! As I began to plan and prepare for the new year, I took some time WRUHà HFWDQGUHPHPEHUZKDWWKH/RUGGLGLQP\OLIHLQ,WZDV GHÀQLWHO\ D \HDU RI DGYDQFHPHQW XQFHUWDLQW\ OHVVRQV DQG YLFWRry. I learned a lot from my mistakes as well as my successes. I am a strong believer that what we learn in one season can be used as an advantage in the next season. Here are some personal leadership axioms from my own journal writings that I believe can help you as we step into 2013: 1. Go after your calling. Whatever you feel God has called you to GRJRDIWHULWZLWKSDVVLRQ)XOÀOOLQJ\RXUFDOOLQJZLWKHIIHFWLYHQHVV EHQHÀWVDQGEOHVVHVVRPHRQHVRPHZKHUH-XVWEHFDXVH\RXGRQ¡W see your audience doesn’t negate the fact that they do exist. No one will tell you to be effective until they need you to be effective. A good plumber is not needed nor in the mind of people until the plumbing goes bad. Go after your calling. The world is waiting. 2. Develop your gift. We each have been given a gift from above. Surround yourself with an atmosphere that will help cultivate the gift that God has placed inside of you. You don’t decide your gift, but rather, you discover your gift. And whatever your gift may be, immerse yourself into the development of it and learn all you can. A person desiring to become a great swimmer will not be successful if they do not step into a pool of water.

Looking for an


3. Rehearsal before recital. Moses was in the desert for 40 years. +H VWDUWHG D IDPLO\ DQG WRRN FDUH RI KLV IDWKHULQODZ¡V Ă RFN <RX may be in a place where no one sees what you are doing and no RQHDSSUHFLDWHV\RXUVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FH%XW*RGVHHV\RXDQGUHPHPEHUV you. When God is able to trust you in obscurity, then He will trust you with notoriety and platforms. Before Moses performed signs in front of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, he performed signs in the wilderness in front of no one.

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4. Work your thoughts. A discipline that I strive to protect is my personal â&#x20AC;&#x153;think timeâ&#x20AC;? - a space in my day/week to just think and organize my thoughts. With so much noise, busyness, and things demanding our attention, it is not as easy as it sounds. Thoughts are seeds. Like seeds, thoughts need time to germinate and develop. Our thoughts will eventually become the fruit in our lives that we and others will taste. Work your thoughts, and watch the results. 5. Serve the Lord by serving where you are. You may be thinking, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I feel like nothing is changing...â&#x20AC;? Although what you are feeling may seem true, recognize that there are times when God does not send you to places to turn â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;? around. Rather, God may have sent you to that place to turn â&#x20AC;&#x153;youâ&#x20AC;? around. Before God builds your ministry, He is focused on building His minister - you. Amram 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, reside in Harlingen.

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The War Against My Soul By Lysa Terkeurst

years, I refused to think of my struggle with healthy eating as anything Fcalormore than just a physical issue. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pray about it. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t apply bibliinsights to it. And I certainly didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask God for help. I just wallowed in my lack of self-control. This issue was too small for God, but too big for me. When I began connecting my physical struggle with spiritual insight, I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t convinced that God really cared about my bulging body. Was I merely being vain to want to be thinner? Was I wasting my time on things of this world when I went to the gym? Was I just a foolish, Jesus-chasing girl who mistakenly believed my desires to please Him with this food battle would somehow help me grow closer to Him? As I studied the Scriptures, I knew I had my answer from God: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soulâ&#x20AC;? (1 Peter 2:11). My ever-increasing weight and poor food choices were wreaking havoc on my body. But that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t all. My desperate struggle, hopelessness, and uncontrollable food cravings were waging war against my soul. These were some of the whispers being hissed in my ear: Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never be free from this battle. You will always bounce from feeling deprived when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re dieting to feeling guilty when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re splurging. Victory isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possible! When Satan holds up food in front us and says these things, we must see that an inappropriate relationship with food can be the lure he uses to draw us away from God. Satan may also use alcohol, unedifying media, inappropriate friendships, overspending, or any other means to lead us into a place where we feel self-control isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possible. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not choosy about the method, just the result. One day while reading Psalm 23, I listed all the things the Lord does for me: Â&#x2021; He leads me. Â&#x2021; He restores me. Â&#x2021; He guides me. Â&#x2021; He is with me. Â&#x2021; He comforts me. Â&#x2021; +HĂ&#x20AC;OOVPH Â&#x2021; +HVDWLVĂ&#x20AC;HVPH As I read back over my list, a series of questions shocked me: Do I rely on the Lord in these ways or do I rely on food in these ways? Do I honestly turn to God or turn to IRRG"'R,VHHNWREHFRPIRUWHGĂ&#x20AC;OOHGDQGVDWLVĂ&#x20AC;HGLQ the depths of my soul with God, or food? My answers made me cry. Being ruled by anything other than God is something He takes quite seriously. And so should we. For years, I was overweight physically but underweight spiritually. Tying WKRVHWZRWKLQJVWRJHWKHUKDVĂ&#x20AC;QDOO\DOORZHGPHWRVHH why so many other diets failed. I needed to dig past the surface to the real heart and soul of my issues.

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

In the process of that soul digging, I realized how amazing it is to serve a compassionate Godâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a God who knew food would be a major stumbling block, keeping many of his children from wholeheartedly pursuing Him. So Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s given us great gifts in the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Bible to help us. 6WDUWDQGĂ&#x20AC;QLVK\RXUGD\ZLWK%LEOHUHDGLQJ3UD\EHIRUH you eatâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even snacks. Listen to that spiritual gut check when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re about to eat something. Choose the healthy option. Stop before youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re overly full. Eat slowly. Refuse to stuff and gorge. Stay on a slower eating pace while enjoying conversation with others. Yes, I want to get healthy. Yes, I want to lose weight. But this journey is about so much more. In the end, pursuing health helps my heart to feel closer to Jesusand more ready to receive what He wants for me each day. / 20 / /

Forgiven Motorcycle Ministry

Th a t e v e ryo n e wh o b e l ie v es in H im re ce iv e s f o rg iv e n e s s o f s in s th ro ug h H is N a m e . Acts 10 : 4 3

O u r M i ss ion St atement: Th e F o rg iv e n M o rto rc yc l e M in is try m is s io n is to g l orif y G o d b y p rom o tin g f e l l ows h ip , s p iritua l g ro wth , g ro up ride s , a n d s e rv ic e s to th e co m m un ity . As a C h ris tia n g ro up , we f o l l o w th e b e l ie f s o f th e b ib l e . F o rg iv e n M o to rc yc l e M in is try is n o t a m o to rcy cl e c l ub . Al th o ug h yo u m a y fin d us a t dif f e re n t m o to rc y c l e ra l l ie s an d a c tiv itie s a c ro s s th e V a l l e y , o ur g o a l wh il e th e re is to re ac h o ut to th e b ik e rs a n d o f f e r p ra ye r. As o n e o f th e m in is trie s o f T F C (T h e F a m il y Ch urch ) , we g o o uts ide th e ch urch wa l l s to s p re a d G o dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; s wo rd. It is a m in is try to e n co ura g e f el l o w b e l ie v e rs in th e ir wa l k with Ch ris t a n d to p l a nt s e e ds o f s a l v atio n in n o n - b e l iev e rs .

Wh a t o u r colors rep re sent: G o l d - s y m b o l iz e s wh a t is p re c io us a n d v a l ua b l e , a n d s o s y m b ol ize s m a j e s ty , j o y a n d ce l e b ra tio n . R e d - s y m b o l ize s th e p re s en c e o f G o d.

w w w .ea g l eb ea n c of fe .c om 2236 / 21 /www.valleychristianmagazine. com /W. Tr en t on R d . E d i n b u r g o / 956.627. 5261

Abundant Grace Community Church Presents the 5th Annual Winter FestCarnival, Fun Fair and Fiesta Edinburg

January 17th - 20th Abundant Grace Church South of Freddy Gonzalez Road on McColl Road Carnival Ride Specials Armbands Thursday opens at :

6pm Ride all rides $10 per person Friday opens at:

5pm Ride all rides $15 per person Sat & Sun opens at:

2pm Ride all rides $20 per person * Christian Music * Entertainment Nightly * Live Music Arts & Crafts * Food * Rides * Games * Free Admission * Free Parking * Faith * Family * Fun Presented by Dillardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cool Breeze Rental & Special Events, Edinburg Currently Booking 2013 Church Festivals, Schools and Special Events

Contact Bill Dillard Jr. 956-279-2214 / 22 / /

ear! Happy NeweYweaYr gets

As the N is or many it under way f ra p me to for already ti g rt plannin ents to sta V u U KRRO\HD WKHQH[WVF for their education We all know children. s ducation i e l a i u r c w ho OGUHQuV IRURXUFKL future. Valley This is why s Magazine i Christian share this excited to vertising special ad Rio Grande section of istian Valley Chr Schools.  WKDQN\RXu $VSHFLDOt all the goes out to ir ng with the o l a s l o o h sc o and team wh principals e ard to mak worked so h ble! -VCM this possi

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Agape Christian School â&#x20AC;&#x153;Making an Eternal Investment in Childrenâ&#x20AC;?

Agape Christian School 1401 E. 24th St. Mission, TX (956) 585-9773 Principal: Jane Eason

Open Enrollment begins Jan 16, 2013 Agape Christian School has been making an eternal investment in the lives of Rio Grande Valley children since 1976. The caring, competent faculty sets high academic standards and uses a biblically based curriculum. Toddlers through sixthgrade students are challenged to grow in Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love and word. Located on 5 acres, the campus includes 20 classrooms, ofĂ&#x20AC;FHVDSUD\HUJDUGHQDQGWKUHHSOD\JURXQGV6HFXULW\JDWHV and cameras keep the student body safe throughout the school day.

In addition to basic core subjects, students in the elementary grades participate in ACSI (Association of Christian School International) activities. Spanish, art, music, computer and physical education are also offered to the students. Daily Bible lessons and weekly Chapel services emphasize salvation, prayer, and Christian character. All classrooms share their discipleship with various service projects and programs. Parental involvement is encouraged. For a tour or more information call the school at 585-9773. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it.â&#x20AC;? Proverbs 22:6

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Covenant Christian Academy “Using Biblical Principles to Produce Excellence in Every Area of Life”

Covenant Christian Academy 956-686-7886 4201 North Ware Road McAllen, TX 78504 Principal: Milton Gonzalez Admissions: Stephanie Torres

CCA facilities encompass a gymnasium, library, science lab, computer lab, and classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technologies granting all students enhanced learning experiences. Our Wi-Fi campus equipped with iPad labs and educational-interactive apps allow for a more engaging learning experience.

Applications accepted beginning Jan. 8, 2013

Each student is instructed daily in Bible and attends weekly Chapel.

Covenant Christian Academy (CCA), an independent school established in 1995, is dedicated to integrating Biblical PrinciSOHVLQWRDOOVXEMHFWV:HDUHQRWDIÀOLDWHGZLWKRUÀQDQFLDOO\XQderwritten by any single church/denomination. The Holy Bible is our standard and we daily instill our motto into the hearts of our students.

At Covenant Christian Academy we value our families and recognize the importance of working together as a team. Communication is pivotal to the success of our students. Parents are updated via our SchoolFusion website at (downloadable app), student grades can be accessed online via GradeLink and quick reminders are texted to your mobile devises by SchoolReach.

We provide a Christian worldview with the highest academics in a rigorous traditional background while encouraging young minds to think creatively and analytically. Every child in our 400+ student body is lovingly nurtured and our campus emanates an atmosphere of family.

Your student would be a welcome addition to our CCA Family. Call us at (956) 686-7886 to schedule your campus tour and GLVFRYHU WKH &&$ $GYDQWDJH ÀUVWKDQG  :H ORRN IRUZDUG WR partnering with you!

/ 25 / /

First United Methodist Church Day School â&#x20AC;&#x153;Serving the Valley for 33 yearsâ&#x20AC;?

FUMC Day School 4200 N. McColl Rd. McAllen, Tx 78504 956-668-9009 ZZZPFĂ&#x20AC;UVWFRP

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Winners of The Monitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2012 Readers Choice Award for Favorite Preschool/Day Careâ&#x20AC;? Enrollment begins February 2013 The purpose of FUMC Day School is to provide children a safe and loving environment in which to nurture spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual, and physical growth through developmentally appropriate activities. We offer your child IXQĂ&#x20AC;OOHGGD\VRIVRFLDOL]LQJDQGOHDUQLQJWKURXJKD´WKHPH of the weekâ&#x20AC;? program that emphasizes child-centered play based learning.

We accept children 12 months through 4 years of age as of Sept. 1st. FUMC Day School is an outreach ministry to children, parents and families of the Rio Grande Valley. Our program not only serves children but also serves parents by providing opportunities for education and fellowship. We are DOLFHQVHGQRQSURĂ&#x20AC;WVFKRRORSHUDWLQJLQDFFRUGDQFHZLWK the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Minimum Standards for Child Care Centers. Monday - Friday 9:30a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1:30p.m. After care available until 3:00 p.m. Chapel Stretch-N-Grow Summer Theme Days

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Harvest Christian Academy â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.â&#x20AC;? Philippians 4:13

Harvest Christian Academy 956-289-1616 1000 Las Alamedas Dr. Edinburg, TX 78541 Director: Jonathan Boggs Principal: Jaime Gonzalez

Our mission is to partner with parents in training our children to be disciples for Christ through excellence in spiritual, academic, social, and physical instruction. As a ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, we provide the opportunity for quality Christian HGXFDWLRQ$VHYHU\VWXGHQWLVGHVLJQHGE\*RGIRUDVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;F purpose in life, we seek to assist parents in molding character and training Godly leaders who will make an impact on the people they touch for Christ.

Harvest Christian Academy was established in 1999 and is a ministry of World Harvest Training Center in Edinburg, TX. HCA began with big dreams and a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of children, their families, and the Body of Christ. HCA started with 4 teachers and 10 students in its inaugural year and has since grown to a staff of over 30 and a student body of almost 300.

At Harvest Christian Academy we strive for academic excellence through ABEKA and Bob Jones University curriculum. We also offer extra-curricular activities such as a Praise-Worship WHDPEDVNHWEDOOVRFFHUĂ DJIRRWEDOOYROOH\EDOOFKHHUOHDGing, dance, Globetrotters, and 4-H Club.

At Harvest Christian Academy we like to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Love is Kingâ&#x20AC;?. We strive to have a family environment where the love of Christ prevails. We believe it is this kind of atmosphere that enables students to succeed.

Registration for the 2013-2014 school year will begin March 1, 2013. If you have a child in K3-12th grade and are interested in becoming part of the HCA family please contact us at: 289-1616.

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Mid Valley Christian School “Where Christ is Centered in Education”

Mid Valley Christian School 417 S Westgate Weslaco, TX (956) 968-6232 Director: Nancy Mullins

personal growth of our students and recognizes their individual talents, interests, and goals. The A Beka Christian and ACE curriculums, which are used extensively throughout, are designed to stimulate each student to respond effectively and imaginatively to the demands and opportunities of the world in which he/she lives.

Open Enrollment begins April 2, 2013 Philosophy Mid-Valley Christian School is a non-denominational private Christian School. The school was founded in 1974 primarily to DIIRUGRXUFKLOGUHQWKHEHQHÀWRIDVRXQGHGXFDWLRQZLWKLQWKH highest standards of Christian principles and morality. Mid-Valley Christian offers grades PK – 3 through 12th and welcomes boys and girls of all races, creeds, and colors. Mid-Valley Christian School has an “all faiths” student body DQGLWVIDFXOW\UHÁHFWVUHOLJLRXVGLYHUVLW\7KHVFKRROLVGHGLFDWed to the fundamentals of learning in an atmosphere conducive to spiritual growth, social development and academic excellence. Mid-Valley Christian School is committed to the

Why are people choosing our school? Safe, Christian Environment Challenging Academic Curriculum Reasonable Tuition Rates MVCS Mission Statement “The mission of Mid Valley Christian School is to provide a nurturing environment offering challenging academic education supported by a strong foundation of Christian values. We are in partnership with parents, preparing the students to become leaders to serve God, to serve their families, and to positively impact their communities and the world.”

/ 28 / /

St. John’s Episcopal School “A GOoD Place to Grow”

St. John’s Episcopal School A GOoD Place to Grow 956-686-0231 2500 N. 10th Street McAllen, TX 78501 Principal: Michael Waller

Enrollment: Accepting Applications Feb. 1, 2013

St. John’s Episcopal School honors the trust that parents place in us and we embrace that responsibility as we prepare children for the future. We dedicate ourselves to challenging children in the classroom (2K-5th grade) and celebrating their accomplishments every step of the way.

In addition to strong academic preparation, members of the St. John’s faculty bring a life-long love of learning, extensive knowledge and solid commitment to each and every child. ([SHULHQFLQJ6W-RKQ·VÀUVWKDQGLVWKHEHVWZD\WRIXOO\ appreciate our wonderful school. Contact us at 956- 686-0231 and schedule your visit today. Open enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year begins on February 1, 2013.

/ 29 / /

Taylor Christian School â&#x20AC;&#x153;Building for Eternityâ&#x20AC;? Quality Christian Education since 1948

Grades 3 through 12 use Ignitia, a web-based curriculum accessed through the internet. This cutting-edge curriculum was created to offer Christian schools Ă H[LELOLW\FRQYHQLHQFHDQGTXDOLW\DFDGHPLFV,W DOORZVWHDFKHUVWRFXVWRPL]HOHVVRQVWRĂ&#x20AC;WLQGLYLGXDO learning needs and to have more time with each student.

Taylor Christian School Phone: 956-686-7574 Fax: 956-682-4945 2021 W Jackson Ave McAllen TX 78501 Director: Laura Vaca The primary goal of Taylor Christian School is to train students to know and serve the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength while in pursuit of academic success. To help achieve that goal, K-3 through Kindergarten use A Beka curriculum. A Beka lays a solid foundation for reading, handwriting, spelling, parts of speech, and arithmetic. 1st and 2nd grades use Horizons and A Beka curriculums.

Taylor Christian School provides: Â&#x2021; 4XDOLĂ&#x20AC;HG7HDFKHUV Â&#x2021; Customized Curriculum Â&#x2021; Individualized Instruction Â&#x2021; Christ-Centered Education Â&#x2021; Music, Art, and Sports Programs Taylor Christian School makes every effort to keep tuition reasonable, making a Christian education possible for families on a budget. Taylor Christian School is a ministry of World Gospel Mission.

/ 30 / /

Valley Christian High School â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Christ-Centered Educationâ&#x20AC;?

*Honor - Our school is relationship based, not rule based. We seek to always strengthen and purify relationships. We see each other as co-members of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family, created in His image, worthy of being treated with honor.

Valley Christian High School 1190 Mackintosh Dr. Brownsville, TX 78521 Phone 956-542-5222 Fax 956-544-0038 Principal: Gail Hanson

*Integrity and Diligence - We practice a scrupulous honesty in words and actions, regardless of changing situations. We are committed to the successful completion of every â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;good workâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; God has set before us, through a whole-hearted perseverance

Entrance Exam is February 2, 2013 IT IS THE MISSION OF VALLEY CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL TO PRODUCE GRADUATES WHO WILL IMPACT THE WORLD FOR THE CAUSE OF JESUS CHRIST. Core Values *Relationship with God â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jesus Christ is our Lord and the Holy Spirit is welcomed in every area of our lives and school. We believe in miracles! Christ is worthy to receive the reward of His suffering.

Experienced Specialists in Christian Education Founded in 1973, Valley Christian High School offers the Ă&#x20AC;QHVW LQ D &KULVWFHQWHUHG VWXGHQWIRFXVHG FROOHJH preparatory education. A well-balanced curriculum thoroughly equips you with a strong foundation of skills essential for college success. Small class sizes guarantee personal attention producing a family atmosphere in which you have opportunity to develop lasting friendships, leadership skills, and academic accomplishments. This is a school you will look forward to each morning, and be thankful for â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the rest of your life!

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St. Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lutheran School Growing Together in Christ

La Petite Day School

St. Paul Lutheran School (956) 682-2345 300 W. Pecan Blvd., McAllen, Texas, 78501 Principal Name: Jeff Pool

La Petite Learning Academy 5253 N. 23rd Street McAllen, TX 78504 (956) 627-5135

Enrollment begins March 1

Now Accepting Enrollment

Our Chrisitian Elementary School and Junior High are top quality and a part of the second largest private U.S. school system. It is the mission of St. Paul Lutheran School to provide a safe place where children can grow physically, emotionally, & intellectually, so that they can succeed in the next stage of life, while also developing as disciples of Jesus Christ in order to serve the community of McAllen and the upper Rio Grande Valley. The school is led by a Principal and 14 Full-time and Parttime Faculty, who are excellent educators and who teach from a Lutheran, Christ-centered perspective, up through 8th grade. The average student/faculty ratio is 12:1. In addition to computer skills, science, art, music and daily Bible study, St. Paul Lutheran School has a variety of extracurricular sports. Students are encouraged to participate in local, state, and national academic and athletic competitions, as well as weekend Christian worship services. The educational process is a creative and collaborative partnership between the students, parents, teachers, and church. Therefore parents participate in the development of their student through homework supervision, special SURMHFWVĂ&#x20AC;HOGWULSVDQGIXQGUDLVLQJZKLFKLVFRRUGLQDWHG by the School Board and the parent support group. St. Paul will be enrolling students for childcare, preschool, kindergarten and grades 1-8 beginning March 1. For more information or to schedule a tour, call Michelle, Director of Recruitment at (956) 682-2345.

It is the philosophy of La Petite Learning Academy that early childhood should be a time of fun, warmth, security, education, exploration and discovery. La Petite Learning Academy provides an atmosphere that encourages social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth through the childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s play and through small group instruction. Our curriculum includes creative art, foreign language, math, music appreciation, hands on science activities, block play, sign language, dramatic play, sensorial and cultural activities. We have daily outdoor time which includes, kids stretching classes, gardening & introduction to physical education. We also have a weekly baking lesson every Friday. We are a Christian based center and incorporate our bible studies weekly into our curriculum. It is our mission to provide a Christ-centered environment. Children are exposed daily to shapes, colors, numbers, and letters through developmentally appropriate activities. We focus on early literacy and reading readiness as early as 6 weeks ROG :H KDYH KLJKO\ TXDOLĂ&#x20AC;HG VWDII DQG RXU GLUHFWRU KDV over 15 years in early childcare experience. We are McAllenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest addition in the early-childcare industry and are happy to serve children from ages 6 weeks-5 years old. We are now enrolling!

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What is the Lesson of Noah and the Ark?

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(956) 524 . 5888

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The Mortgage Lender You Can Trust!

CD Release Concert

Friday, January 18th, 2013 7pm - The Family Church, McAllen








I Am Not But I Know I Am Loui Giglio Shares the Joy of Increasing God, By Decreasing Self while Embracing Smallness in the Light of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Greatness

In the newly updated paperback edition of I AM NOT BUT I KNOW I AM, author Lou Giglio presents a personal and highly motivating call to Christians, a call to embrace the promise of â&#x20AC;&#x153;smallnessâ&#x20AC;? in the light of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatness. Giglio points out that God is more expansive and powerful than we could ever imagine, the all-mighty Creator of galaxies beyond our reach. But He is also the loving Creator who has formed and fashioned each one of us. Yet, as valuable as we are to Him, Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best for our life is to invite us into a story that is all about Him. He came up with the bookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offbeat title midstream a few years back while speaking at a conference to youth leaders. He was sharing what he believes is one of the most gripping scenes in Scripture, the account where God meets Moses at the burning bush and discloses His name is â&#x20AC;&#x153;I AM WHO I AM.â&#x20AC;? And while speaking, Giglio began having a mini-revelation of his own that if Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name is I AM WHO I AM, then his own name must be I am not. Giglio shares insight how this message: â&#x20AC;&#x153; I am not but I know I AMâ&#x20AC;? changes our everyday lives. Â&#x2021; I am notâ&#x20AC;Śbut God knows my name. Â&#x2021; I am notâ&#x20AC;Śbut He has pursued me in His love. Â&#x2021; I am notâ&#x20AC;Śbut I know the Creator of the universe. Â&#x2021; I am no, but I know I AM! In an era when bigger, better, and faster seem to dominate and are the ultimate standards, even in ministry circles, dynamic communicator Giglio puts success back in perspective. He illustrates the stories of Mosesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; encounter with God in the wilderness, and John the Baptistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s revelation about Jesus (â&#x20AC;&#x153;He must increase, but I must decreaseâ&#x20AC;?) to show readers the astonishing freedoms of being â&#x20AC;&#x153;small.â&#x20AC;? 6SHFLĂ&#x20AC;FDOO\*LJOLRJXLGHVUHDGHUVLQKRZWRDSSO\ULJKWVL]HG living to decision making, leadership, worry, learning trust, and Bible study.

Louie Giglio is the founding pastor of Passion City Church and founder of The Passion Movement and Conferences, a ministry to college students with a global reach that has inspired a generation of college-aged young people to live for Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fame. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also author of The Air I Breathe and Worship as a Way of Life. He and his wife, Shelley, lead Six Steps Records music label and live in Atlanta, GA.

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We Pray For

Physical, Emotional & Spiritual Healing

&20($1'/(7-(686+($/<28 *Everyone Welcome *No Appointment Needed *English and Spanish OPEN EVERY


THURSDAY /JUEVES com / 7:00PM / EXP. 83 & N. AIRPORT DR /PIKE BLVD., WESLACO TUESDAY / MARTES / 7:00PM / 3106 HARMONY LANE, / 37 /MISSION www.valleychristianmagazine. /

COACHES CAMP Horseshoe Bay Marriott Resort - Horseshoe Bay, Texas

Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Sunday, July 11th to 14th Come and enjoy the fellowship of other members of the coaching profession as you learn key principles of successful living as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coachâ&#x20AC;? in an environment that is fun and understands coaches.

LEADERSHIP CAMP Hardin-Simmons University - Abilene, TX

June 10th to June 14th DFW FCA Sports Leadership Camp Dallas Baptist University â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dallas, TX â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

June 24th to June 28th

SPORTS CAMPS FCA Golf Camp â&#x20AC;&#x201C; HSU, Abilene, TX

June 10th to June 14th Texas Tech University - Lubbock, TX

June 21st to June 25th Texas A&M University - College Station, TX

July 1st to July 5th (Subject to change)


A Note from Nathanâ&#x20AC;Ś

Nathan Jones

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! As you may have noticed, this is our second PRQWKLQDURZWRSURPRWHDQGHPSKDVL]HRXU)&$&$036LVĂ&#x20AC;QDOO\KHUHDQG I and my entire staff are SUPER EXCITED about our 2013 Camp Season. Our vision is to send over 1,000 students to camp this year, but our kids canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get there without \RXUKHOS3OHDVHJHWLQYROYHGDQGFDOORXURIĂ&#x20AC;FHWRVFKRODUVKLSDVWXGHQWWRGD\(YHQ LQDGRZQHFRQRP\LQYHVWLQJLQWKHOLIHRIDFKLOGDOZD\V\LHOGVDKLJKUHWXUQ %OHVVLQJV

Multi-Area Director Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Nathan Jones

/ 38 / /

)&$&DPS 6FKRODUVKLS &DPSDLJQ FCA Camps are a time of “Inspiration and Perspiration” for athletes who want to reach their potential through comprehensive athletic and spiritual training.

Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has challenged athletes and coaches to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA is cultivating Christian principles in local communities nationwide by encouraging, equipping and empowering others to serve as examples and to make a difference in their family, school, and community. Reaching over two million people annually on he college, high school, junior high and youth levels, FCA has grown in to the largest inter-denomination sports ministry in the world. Through this shared passion for athletes and faith, lives are being changed for current and future generations.

FCA Camp h experienc as been the grea e of my life! Anyo test has not ne who gone to F C A ing out o n one gr Camp is misseat exper ience!” “It was intense.”

If you would like to sponsor an Athlete to Summer Camp

“I’m athletically faster

in my sport and spiritually stronger with God.”

e ferenc f i d a ake .

500 can Sm h U n for $ O ig n, eac Y a Buy ampaigon their How c ip h rs e)

schola d at y nam r camp (or compan will be placea. u o in g e h re n whic icipatin your a eir nam By partr will have th ble sided sigt the year in u u o do ho amp Don throug ” x 18” FCA C ’s te le own 24 events held th one A FCA resents rship. p e r ld la Scho sign so Every

call Robin at 956-994-1121 today! FCA Vision 7RVHHWKHZRUOGLPSDFWHGIRU-HVXV&KULVWWKURXJKWKHLQÁXHQFHRIDWKOHWHVDQGFRDFKHV FCA Mission7RSUHVHQWWRDWKOHWHVDQGFRDFKHVDQGDOOZKRPWKH\LQÁXHQFHWKHFKDOOHQJHDQGDGYHQWXUH of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relation-ships and in the fellowship of the church. FCA Core Values Our relationships will demonstrate steadfast commitment to Jesus Christ and His Word through Integrity, Service, Teamwork and Excellence.

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CHRIS TOMLIN Burning Lights nder a vast, October sky, standing on stage before U tens of thousands deep in the heart of Africa, Chris Tomlin felt right at home. Even all those miles removed from the familiar, Tomlin detected the steady, burning light thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s universal and uniting. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aware that no matter where in the world, we all seek connection, to know that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re part of a grander narrative, a special story in the exquisite design of creation. For that reason Tomlin has dedicated his life career to a singular pursuit: to bring people closer to God. Building DFDUHHULVMXVWĂ&#x20AC;QHKHVD\VEXWQRWKLQJFRPSDUHVWR building bridges through music that lead to hope, healing and higher ground. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have to put out songs that bridge the gap,â&#x20AC;? Tomlin says, putting the emphasis on â&#x20AC;&#x153;have toâ&#x20AC;? as though his musical life depended on it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to write songs that people sing to God. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing wrong with a three-minute pop song, but I want these songs to be special to the church. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more of a laser focus on that than ever.â&#x20AC;? Yet Tomlin also embodies something rare in popular music. On his latest disc, Burning Lights, he not only hits the mark for deep substance, but also delivers lean, muscular songs that exert a magnetic pop pull. True to its title, Burning Lights shines like a sonic supernova, yet never loses its human scope and beating heart in the process. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because Tomlinâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;after ten No. 1 radio singles, a GRAMMYÂŽ Award and three additional nominations, 18 Dove Awards, one platinum album and three gold discsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;touches the hearts of listeners like no other. On the one hand, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s achieved global scope that moved TIME magazine to proclaim him â&#x20AC;&#x153;likely the most often sung artist anywhere.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s estimated that more than 40 million men, women and children sing Chris Tomlin songs each week. But for all those people itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still personal, as Tomlin gives voice and narrative to the most elemental longings any believer can profess. You can hear it on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Awake My Soul,â&#x20AC;? where Tomlin pleas for breath-of-life deliverance: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Awake, awake, awake my soul/ God resurrect these bones/ From death to life, for You alone/ Awake my soul.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is record number 10 for me, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so exciting to IHHOWKLVJUHDWDERXWLWÂľ7RPOLQVD\V´:HGHĂ&#x20AC;QLWHO\GLG not hit cruise control. This record developed in a way that no other record has and I feel itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the strongest thing Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever put together.â&#x20AC;?

1. Big Daddy Weave Redeemed CD: Love Come To Life

2. Matthew West Forgiveness CD: Into The Light

Tomlin extends props to three talented producersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Jason Ingram (Brandon Heath, Britt Nicole, Tenth Avenue North, Rebecca St. James, Point of Grace), Dan Muckala (Backstreet Boys, Amy Grant, MercyMe) and Ed Cash (Kari Jobe, Laura Story, Bebo Norman)â&#x20AC;&#x201D;along with a wide range of musical guests, including Kari Jobe, Phil Wickham, Lecrae and Christy Nockels. But to tell the story of Burning Lights properly, you have to start near the end. As Tomlin and crew wound down the scheduled album sessions, they had every reason to believe theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d accomplished their mission. Little did they know theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d get sent back to the well not once, not twice, but three times in pursuit of the best material they could muster. For Tomlin, it was the artistic equivalent of Naamanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bathing in the Jordan River seven timesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a test of patience and persistence that yielded startling results. Every time, he fashioned new tracks that propel Burning Lights to higher melodic and lyrical vistas. And to get there, Tomlin had to empty himself and lean on God like never before as a recording artist. To hear Tomlin tell it, his albums almost always start with DIXOOFRPSOHPHQWRIĂ&#x20AC;QLVKHGVRQJVUHDG\IRUKLPDQG his musicians to execute. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But this time, we met with the record company as we were wrapping up and they VDLGÂś:HGRQ¡WIHHOWKDWLW¡VTXLWHĂ&#x20AC;QLVKHG\HW0D\EH thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big hit to take when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already put your heart on your sleeve.â&#x20AC;? Then came the majestic triumph of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Awake My Soul,â&#x20AC;? a song that had been orphaned earlier in the album sessions because it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t match Tomlinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exacting standards. He tackled it with renewed vigor and then called on his friend Lecrae, who telegraphs a spoken-word interlude from Ezekiel 37 with a preacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passion. Looking back, Tomlinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still amazed that this once-rejected track now kicks off Burning Lights. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the result of being pushed by your teamâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;people who are not just yes peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and being asked to give your best.â&#x20AC;? But it also crated a dilemma. Tomlinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team loved the song so much, they wondered what might happen if he tried to pull another rabbit out of the musical hat. The VLQJHU ZDV Ă XVWHUHG KH KDG D IHZ PXVLFDO LGHDV EXW nothing fully formed. So he texted Ed Cash, an ally from way back. As providence would have it, Cash had just written a chorus and was about to contact Tomlin to VHHLIKHZDQWHGWRKHOSKLPĂ&#x20AC;QLVKWKHVRQJ That collaboration became â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies),â&#x20AC;? a dynamic song that celebrates Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

3. Mark Schultz

4. Plumb

All Things Possible CD: All Things Possible

Need You Now

/ 40 / /

(How Many Times)

CD: Single

5. Tenth Avenue North Losing CD: The Struggle

constant companionship, set to a soundtrack framed by chiming guitars and a crisp, military-style snare drum. Relieved, Tomlin delivered the result to his label, and hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what happened: â&#x20AC;&#x153;They asked me, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Do you have anything else?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Now this was the third time. I thought, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Who do you guys think you are? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked my tail off!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? But Tomlin bit his tongue, racked his brain and searched his heart. He sent in a demo that updated the hymn â&#x20AC;&#x153;Crown Him With Many Crowns,â&#x20AC;? expecting rejection. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But sure enough they said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;This is amazing, we have to put this on the record.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? The recorded version teams Tomlin with Matt Maher, a Christian artist whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Catholic. As the session started, they came to learn an amazing fact: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This song is a back and forth between the Catholic and Protestant churches. Several verses were written in a Protestant way and some were written a Catholic way. One side claimed it as theirs, and so did the other. We sat at the piano and started laughing. We thought, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How divine is that?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? A special spotlight vocal by Kari Jobe also graces the track. To be sure, the rest of Burning Lights lives up to the thrill of those three tracks, from the spirit of surrender that raises â&#x20AC;&#x153;White Flagâ&#x20AC;? to the tenderness that brings â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shepherd Boyâ&#x20AC;? to life. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also the song that gives the album its moniker. â&#x20AC;&#x153;David was a shepherd boy right before he was king, out in WKHĂ&#x20AC;HOGNHHSLQJZDWFKRYHUKLVĂ RFNDQGVLQJLQJDVRQJ of praise to God: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just a shepherd boy, singing to a choir of burning light.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; That sums up what I feel inside. I want to be that. The people I sing to are the burning light, and I sing to them night after night.â&#x20AC;? Yet taken another way, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;burning lightâ&#x20AC;? also stands for the special spark of artistic inspirationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking the proverbial light bulb over the head, or the bright VKLQLQJ/RUGZKRLQVSLUHG7RPOLQWRĂ&#x20AC;QGQHZVRQJVWRVLQJ RQWKHĂ \ â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love at the end of the day how we got all these left and right turns and tried to follow them,â&#x20AC;? Tomlin says of the path that led to Burning Lights. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a lesson in humility. It was great to take a step back, listen to what people were saying and go for it. When a song like â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Whom Shall I Fearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; comes along at the last minute, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not only something you could hear on the radio, but at any church. And that means more to me than platinum records, tours and sales.â&#x20AC;? He adds: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just about good marketing. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s songs that become part of the fabric of the culture. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spirit, Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favor on a song. And to be part of that in some little way is so special. It lasts so much longer than quick fame.â&#x20AC;?

6. Third Day

7. Toby Mac

I Need A Miracle CD: Miracle

Me Without You CD: Eye On It

8. for King & Country

9. Steven Curtis Chapman

Christmas Time Again CD: Joy Baby Boy / CD: Single / 41 / /

Messy Church

By Ross Parsley

A soccer injury, the loss of a job, the passing of my dad, the constant rejection for job opportunities, and many other incidents were sent to test and challenge me. These things could bring people down. We have all received challenges that we could and should rise above with God’s help. Sarah Cunningham has compiled the honest and open stories of six individuals whose Inciting Incidents have prompted them to share their experiences as an encouragement to others. Jeff Goins is a writer whose inciting incident began in Spain as a student. He was confronted with the universal problem of poverty in a way that caused him to return to the United States and continue confronting the issue. His story will take you to his heart and get you thinking about something God may have LPSUHVVHGRQ\RXUKHDUW+RSHIXOO\-HII·VVWRU\ZLOOKHOS\RXÀQG a moment of incite for service to God. Mandy Thompson is a worship leader and song-writer who candidly shares about her bout with depression. Most would be ashamed to confess they have any hints of depression as Christians. It may just jeopardize the image of strong Christian that PRVW GHVLUH WR FRQYH\ 0DQG\·V MRXUQH\ DOORZHG KHU WR ´ÀQG herself.” The deep dark crevices in our mysterious minds can illumine the shiny light of the self God made us to be.

Bookw Revie by

Blaine Hogan is a creative director, artist and actor. Blaine suffers IURPRFFDVLRQDOSDQLFDWWDFNV+LVÀUVWSDQLFDWWDFNLVGHVFULEHG DVIROORZV´,VWRRG3DFHG&XUOHGXSLQDEDOORQWKHÁRRU7KH far-off hum had swirled itself into a cyclone of force looking for a way to escape my body. I couldn’t sleep. The anxiety swelled. The worry multiplied. The pressure came from all sides.” Blaine’s early life and unhealthy habits seemed to catch up to him. It was WLPHWRUHÁHFWDQGVRUWWKLQJVRXW0D\EH\RXFDQUHODWH David Hickman is an innovative pastor who was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome at age 10. His weakness caused him to take on a personality that tried to bury the self that was his essence. Hmm, pretending to be something you’re not; perhaps a few of us can relate. David’s story will help others embrace their own brokenness and trust God. Counselor and blogger Tracee Persiko’s story of family brokenness is too common these days. Little did she know that her future would be born from a divorce that could have ruined her. Dysfunction and brokenness in our families is common, but will it swallow you up and keep you broken, or will you learn from it DQGÀQG\RXUSODFH" David V. Wenzel is a creative consultant who had a perfect life that was struck with a sudden discovery that changed his perspective. He, like the others is still learning and growing through his current situation that changes and tests many lives. These stories are brilliantly written and engaging. You will not want to put the book down once you enter into the lives of these refreshingly honest people. These stories have blessed me and encouraged me in my own struggles and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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 (10), Karla and Andrea (7) and Charis (3).


Bestselling author and pastor Max Lucado, with Randy Frazee and Karen Hill, presents three children’s books in The Story series that help children understand the Bible’s big picture and God’s love for them. The enhanced edition of the 2011 ECPA Children’s Book of the Year, THE STORY FOR CHILDREN, DELUXE EDITION, features the voice of Lucado, who enriches each chapter with a captivating audio reading on the accompanying CDs, making each Bible story even more heartfelt.


WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DEFINES YOU? WHAT IS YOUR IDENTITY? How you answer those questions affects every aspect of your life: personal, public, and spiritual. So it’s vital to get the answer right.

Pastor and best-selling author Mark Driscoll believes false identity is at the heart of many struggles—and that you can overcome them by havIn GOD’S MESSAGES FOR LITTLE ONES ing your true identity in Lucado once again tells the story of God’s Christ. In Who Do You enormous love for his children, this time in a Think You Are?, Driscoll colorful 31-day devotional that features short explores the question, key passages from The Story for Children. “What does it mean to A new and separate addition to the colbe ‘in Christ’?” In the lection, THE STORY OF JESUS FOR KIDS is a process he dissects paperback booklet that packs a big mesthe false-identity episage. With easy-to-read text selected from demic and, more imthe New International Reader’s Version, this portant, provides the book tells the story of the most important person who ever lived. only solution—Jesus. / 42 / /

By Jacob Ramon About a month ago, while rummaging through some old junk in my closet, I stumbled upon a certain book. At a glance, it GLGQ·WVHHPDOOWKDWDSSHDOLQJP\ÀUVWLPSUHVVLRQZDV´VHOIKHOSµ -and automatically I threw that into a pile to be cleared. Later, I ULÁHG WKURXJK WKH SLOH RQH ODVW WLPH DQG VWROH DQRWKHU ORRN 7KH book was somewhat old, maybe eight or nine years (gathering a surprisingly generous amount of dust), written by a man named Donald Miller, a self described Christian speaker on “the relevancy of Christ towards the human struggle”. I had been having a rough week, which probably explains why I almost nosedived into those ÀUVWIHZSDJHVDERXWDPLQXWHODWHU This wasn’t exactly the usual Christian book I read, which I had to admit, was refreshing to a certain extent. It wasn’t instructional, which intrigued me. His approach was more of a casual and scatterbrained meditation--the very structure of the modernday Christian existence raised a bunch of questions to him. He used words like “formulaic spirituality”, “imposters”, and other terms that unsettled me. In a nutshell, Miller believed that many people today unknowingly cheapen the idea of God, doing so by presupposing their relationship with Him as nothing more than a “formula” to achieve a better life and get to heaven.  ,IRXQGWKDWKDUGWRPDNHUHOHYDQWDWÀUVW7KHUHZDVD period in my life when I tirelessly stacked my shelves with a bunch of devotionals, instructional Christian bestsellers, easy solutions “to being a better Christian!” Which per se wasn’t a bad idea; the intention was genuine, and they appeared to be helping. But it wasn’t until that moment, lying down amidst this stack of books strewn about, that suddenly the concept made perfect sense. It became so clear that I, like most young Christians today, believe my problems can be solved with such straightforward, conventional methods... Like a Cliff’s Notes for Christianity. To clarify my point, let’s take the old but powerful story of Job. Job is a man living quite a spiritually bountiful life. Once he’s tested by Satan, what does he do? Does Job simply pick up a “5 Steps for Getting to Heaven” book, say a few rehearsed prayers, read his daily devotional, and voila -, he is redeemed? Nope. This man tears off his robe, literally throws himself down in front of God, and detonates every emotion into long, poetic swells of questioning, of epiphanies. Does that seem like something organized? Or methodical? Convenient? I sincerely believe there is no such thing as a clean salvation, and I seriously doubt there is a magic 5 step program to get to heaven. If there was, our relationship with God would be easy, clean, even automatic-- and ultimately pointless. This is not at all how we are designed. Instead, it’s messy. It’s spontaneous. Powerful. Raw. Breathtakingly intimate. Don’t get me wrong, my intentions aren’t directed to dissing that kind of thinking. In many respects, it probably helps with systemizing our spirituality a great deal. Maybe a few rules tacked onto a wall or a nice Bible verse helps us get through each day. They can’t hurt, right? But, while it may be devoted, is it really profound? What became clear to me is we can’t be afraid to roll up our sleeves and get dirty, to face our problems by throwing ourselves into God’s arms without hesitation. His marvelous and inspiring word is a grand and iridescently powerful love letter, epic in its own divine spontaneity--which we as Christians should aspire to follow--and to which no formula can compare.

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s t n Eve

Intimate Issues Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Conference

Valley United Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Conference Jan 4-5 South Padre Island

January 18-19 Christian Fellowship Church Harlingen 956.428.2088

5th Annual Winterfest Carnival * Fun Fair * Fiesta Abundant Grace Church Edinburg January 17-20

Casting Crowns

Chick-Fil-Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s / Daddy Daughter Date Night

McAllen Convention Center April 5

Coming in March

All Rio Grande Valley Locations Reservations begin in February

Third Day Miracle


Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no denying the power of music to impact lives. During nearly two decades in the spotlight, the members of Third Day have seen that truth become evident over and over again and they testify to that power on their latest album Miracle. Faith, passion and rock â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;n roll swagger coalesce on the bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 12th album, a simmering brew of potent rock anthems infused with WKH VXEVWDQWLYH OLIHDIĂ&#x20AC;UPLQJ O\ULFV WKDW KDYH DOZD\V EHHQ WKH bedrock of the bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music.

Jesus Culture

Jesus Culture With Martin Smith: Live From New York

.QRZQ DV RQH RI WKH PRVW LQĂ XHQWLDO \RXWK DQG \RXQJ adults movements around the world, Jesus Cultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worship leaders Kim Walker-Smith and Chris Quilala were joined by Martin Smith for the new album. Featuring both Smith penned classics and new favorites combined with Jesus Cultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature call to intimate worship and bold praise, Jesus Culture With Martin Smith: Live From New York also captures thousands of worshippersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; voices representing an international community of believers gathered in New York. The goal of the conference was to discover what would happen if a generation of people gave themselves fully to Jesus and to pray for a nation to be transformed by Him.

Casting Crowns The Acoustic Sessions

Experience some of your favorite Casting Crowns songs in a fresh way on the new album, The Acoustic Sessions: Volume 1. Inspired in part by the acoustic medley portion of the Come To The Well Tour, this collection of 8 re-imagined songs and 2 new songs to the Casting Crowns catalog will be available January 22, 2013.

Kim Walker-Smith Still Believe

The highly anticipated, second solo album from Jesus Cultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kim Walker-Smith, Still Believ. Known worldwide as a leading voice in the Jesus Culture movement and as one of the worship leaders in the Jesus Culture band, :DONHU6PLWK¡V 6WLOO %HOLHYH PDUNV KHU Ă&#x20AC;UVW VROR DOEXP LQ QHDUO\ Ă&#x20AC;YH \HDUV  7KH DOEXP ZDV UHFRUGHG OLYH ZLWK D full band, including an orchestral strings section, at the Cascade Theater in Redding, CA. Still Believe features primarily original songs, with Walker-Smith co-writing two songs and writing the title track. / 44 / /


5025 W. EXP 83, STE 10 MISSION, TX 78572 (956) 686-1808 / 45 / /



The Tuition Payment Plan

Ramsey )RUPRUHĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOKHOSSOHDVHYLVLW Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and extremely popular national radio personality. His three New York Times best-selling booksâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Financial Peace, More Than Enough and The Total Money Makeoverâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;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.

Dear Dave, Our son is graduating from high school next spring. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve saved FDVKWRSD\IRUKLVĂ&#x20AC;UVW\HDURIFROOHJHDQGZHKDYHHQRXJKLQ mutual funds to pay for another semester. When should we pull out the money to use for his education? ...Denise Dear Denise, I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t touch the money until right before you write the checks. However, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want you to follow my advice just because I said so. My mutual funds have made a little more than 16 percent this year. If they stay at that pace, or if they make just 10 percent durLQJWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWSDUWRI,¡GZDQWLWWRMXVWVLWWKHUHDZKLOHORQJHU Why not let the power of compound interest do its thing and make you as much money as possible? The biggest question is what are you going to do for cash after the Ă&#x20AC;UVWWKUHHVHPHVWHUV"<RXUVRQQHHGVWRPDNHVXUHKH¡VZRUNLQJ summers, and maybe even part-time during school, in order to fuel his education. And neither of you should borrow money to PDNHLWKDSSHQ<RXJX\VKDYHJRWWHQKLPRIIWRDJUHDWVWDUW6R if he does his part thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no reason for either of you to go into debt for his college degree! ...Dave

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Worst That Can Happen? Dear Dave, 0\ ZLIH DQG , ZDQW WR GR D OLYHLQĂ LS UHDO HVWDWH SXUFKDVH 7KH LGHD LV WR EX\ D Ă&#x20AC;[HUXSSHU DQG UHQW RXW WKH EDVHPHQW WR help with the mortgage payments. What do you think about the idea?...Brian Dear Brian, ,ORYHUHDOHVWDWH,¡YHĂ LSSHGDIHZKRXVHVLQP\GD\WRR%XWWKH particulars of the deal make me a little nervous. In a situation like this you need to do a basic business analysis. <RX¡YHJRWWRKDYHDSODQDQGĂ&#x20AC;JXUHRXWWKHZRUVWFDVHVFHQDULR Part of this is determining whether or not you can survive if things fall apart. In this case, the worst case is that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get a renter andthe house doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell. It puts your family in jeopardy if this happens, so to me itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not an option. Honestly, I think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got house fever right now. The possibility I just mentioned isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a rare occurrence. Lots of people have had the same idea, with the best of intentions, and still end up in a big mess. But if you and your wife are willing to accept the possibility of things not working out like you plannedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and the fact that you might have to take additional jobs for an unknown period of time just to make ends meetâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;then it might be a play. Me? I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like putting myself into skin-of-my-teeth positions intentionally. When I wore a younger manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothes, I was willing to do stuff and ignore the risk involved. Going broke years ago knocked that out of me in a hurry. Any deal that runs the risk of leaving you bankrupt, or the victim of a foreclosure, just isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worth it!...Dave

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Raul â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rudyâ&#x20AC;? Rodriguez attorney at law

Some historians may argue that among the greatest restoration stories of mankind are the European Renaissance or perhaps the post-World War II era. The cultural movement known as the European Renaissance roughly took place during the 14th through 17th centuries. This moment in history saw the face of Europe evolve with respect to its arts, architecture and long held science tenets. It also saw a rediscovery of the Greco-Roman classical knowledge and a rebirth of the study of Latin and vernacular languages. It served as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era. Closer to home, America saw its restoration take place in the years that followed World War II. During this era, couples who could not afford families during the Great Depression made up for lost time. The mood in America suddenly became optimistic. At that time, the unemployment rate of the Great Depression dropped dramatically and the economy improved substantially. The G.I. Bill empowered many honorDEOHVHUYLFHPHPEHUVWRÂżQLVKKLJKVFKRRODQGDWWHQG FROOHJH$V WKHLUVNLOOVZHUH LPSURYHGVR ZDV WKHÂżnancial well-being of their families. But, without a doubt the greatest restoration that can take place is when a person does as Romans 10:9 instructs us to do. Romans 10:9 says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.â&#x20AC;? The message is simple: invite Christ into your heart and make him your personal Lord and Savior. At that time, your restoration will be complete. Next He will do as Philippians 1:6 says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I am certain that God, who began the good work within \RXZLOOFRQWLQXHKLVZRUNXQWLOLWLVÂżQDOO\ÂżQLVKHGRQ the day when Christ Jesus returns.â&#x20AC;? As you seek and strive to honor God with your life, He will reward you by allowing you to take on His characteristics. Hosea 14:4 says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will bring my people back to me. I will love them with all my heart; No longer am I angry with them.â&#x20AC;? I pray that you will invite Christ into your heart and allow Him to restore you!  $W P\ RIÂżFH , DOVR ZDQW WR EH SDUW RI \RXU restoration plan, albeit in a different way. I pray that God will use me for His honor and glory in helping me address your needs. If you have been involved in an auto accident and/or other serious injury or if you have lost a loved one as a result of someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s negligence, I will do my best to restore some sense of normality to your life. I will also help you in matters involving family law, criminal law and real estate and will issues. As always, I bear in mind that in honoring God with the way I handle my business relationships I will be honoring you my esteemed client.

Raul â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rudyâ&#x20AC;? Rodriguez

ZZZUDXOUXG\URGULJXH]ODZFRP Phone: 956.380.1421 / Toll Free: 877.480.1421 ZZZUDXOUXG\URGULJXH]ODZFRP Fax: 956.380.2920 / Mobile: 956.655.5455

Phone: 956.380.1421 / Toll Free: 877.480.1421 / Fax: 956.380.2920 / Mobile: 956.655.5455 :8QLYHUVLW\(GLQEXUJ7; e-mail: :8QLYHUVLW\(GLQEXUJ7; e-mail: / 48 / /

Valley Christian Magazine January 2013  

This month VCM features At Home with Pastor Pepe Cervantes of Lifeline Church in Harlingen, Private Schools Spotlight 2013, Local artist Len...