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January 2014

Special Look: Christian Schools In The RGVp.23


Who I am p8

The Most Important



A New Mind for the

New Year p12

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NEW 2014

What’s Inside? January 2014 Features

Vol. 3 / Issue 10 To submit story ideas, events, or comments:

On The Cover

23 3rd Annual Schools Edition

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National Columnists

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6 Greg Laurie

When You’re Overwhelmed

Ronnie Guerra Vela 956-599-8036

10 James MacDonald Living Life On Purpose

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16 Lysa Terkeurst

Valley Contributors 8 Jerrell Jobe

Dicovering Who I Am

12 Nick Dombrowski

A New Mind for the New Year

14 Abram Gomez Stay the Course

Jonathan Martin

18 Milton Gonzales

James Alexander

20 Tom Weaver



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The Fate of a Coconut Monkey Valley United

36 Dr. Theresa Vallaradres Time Out!

The Most Important Lesson

38 Dave Ramsey Ask Dave!


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

God promises

that He will give us a peace that surpasses understanding, but not necessarily a peace that always will give us understanding.

I have lived by these words since my son Christopher’s departure to heaven, because I have been hit with harsh reality of it—most notably, his absence. There have been waves of deep sadness that have overwhelmed me at times. 1 So I pray. Sometimes my Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayers are not long, but prayer; 2from the end of the earth simply a cry out to God: I call to you when my heart is God, help me. Give me faint. Lead me to the rock that is strength right now. And higher than I, 3for you have been He does. He gives me my refuge, a strong tower against the strength that I need. the enemy. It is not necessarily more than I need, but He — Psalm 61:1-3 gives me what I need for what I am facing at the moment.

You may be facing a personal crisis right now. Maybe it is a lack of employment. Maybe it is a foreclosure on your home or a loss in your investments. Maybe you have a marriage that is falling apart or a prodigal son or daughter. Maybe you have a life-threatening illness. Maybe you are paralyzed by fear as you think about an uncertain future. So what should you do? The Bible tells us the answer to worry is prayer: “6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

The psalmist wrote, “From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2). So when you are feeling overwhelmed, pray. Things will fall into their proper place as God brings about the events of your life according to His perfect will. — Greg Laurie

6   January 2014

Journal • What in my life makes me feel overwhelmed? How do I normally handle it? • What can I do to help remind me to pray first when I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed?

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You so much that I can run to You in prayer at the first sign of stress. Forgive me for all the times that I try to figure it all out, then finally go to You last in prayer. Help me to remember that when I go to You first, You fill me with You peace and strengthen me. Amen.

Copyright © 2013 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

Discovering Who I Am “Who Am I…?”

by Jerrell Jobe what I do,” “I am what others say about me,” or “I am what I have”?

This is the age-old question. Throughout the ages, philosophers, theologians, poets, psychologists, even historians have all made attempts to answer this question. Interestingly, of all the creatures of creation, humans are the only one’s who say, “Who Am I…?” The very one’s who were created with the greatest significance in the image of God seem to somewhere along the way have forgotten who they are. Henri Nouwen, in the book Spiritual Direction, points out that many of us are now prone to answer this question and define ourselves in one or more of the following ways. I am what I do... “I am what I do.” When I do good things and have a little success in life, I feel good about myself. But when I fail, I start getting depressed. To define yourself based on what you do is to live on an emotional and spiritual roller coaster. Isn’t this largely what one is doing when they experience what is commonly called a midlife crisis? They reach an age or season in life and they look around while asking themselves, “what have I done with my life…?” Then, based on what we’ve perceive we’ve done, we calculate how we’re doing. Our evaluations are often nothing more than the byproduct of how we faired when we compared what we’ve “done” to our peers and those around us.

You are not, fundamentally, what you do, what other people say about you, or what you have. You are loved by God. In the book, A Traveler Toward the Dawn, John Eagan describes an encounter he has with his spiritual director on the sixth day on his annual, silent eight-day retreat, “John, the heart of it is this: to make the Lord and his immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God’s love for you and his choice of you constitutive your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.”

Consider the first human, Adam. God created Adam for the very purpose of finding pleasure in his union with the Creator of the universe. Before Adam was given any assignment, role or responsibility, he was put in a place conducive for intimacy with the Almighty. Scripture says,

I AM...

As we get older and our body begins to deteriorate, rendering us unable to physically do much, all we’ll be able to say is, “Look at what I did in my life… look, look, look, look, I did something good…” Our value, worth, significance and identity will be nothing more than a distant memory and perhaps a faded plaque on the wall. I am what other people say about me...

Another way we are prone to define ourselves is, “I am what other people say about me.” This is tricky and often subconscious. But, we have to admit, we often expend a tremendous about of head-space worrying (or at least thinking and imagining) what other people are saying about us (or at least what they think about us). Further, they don’t even have to say it or actually think it, but if we think they think it – it can control us just the same. Often, it’s not so much what other people think about you that is the problem; it’s what YOU THINK – THEY THINK. Don’t be mistaken; what people say about you has great power. When people speak well of you, you can walk around quite freely. But when somebody starts saying negative things about you, you might start feeling sad. When someone talks against you, it can cut deep into your heart. I am what I have... Or, we might say, “I am what I have.” There’s a human tendency to let our things and our stuff determine our identity. The square footage of our homes, to the model of our cars, to the little designs on our hip pockets can all subconsciously serve as the building blocks of how we define ourselves in the eyes of others. How much energy goes into defining yourself by deciding “I am

8   January 2014

“The LORD placed him (Genesis 2:15)

God took Adam and in the garden of Eden.”

The Lord God took Adam and put him in the garden of Eden. The word “garden” used here means, “a place of enclosure.” The word “Eden” means, “delight or pleasure.” In other words, Adam was enclosed in the place of God’s pleasure and delight. God always surrounds those in whom He takes pleasure and finds delight. This is how the first human defined himself. His identity was not based on what he did, what other humans thought, or what he had. It was based solely on what God said. And, God said, “You are loved.” If we were to rewrite Genesis 2:15 with this expanded understanding, perhaps it would look like this: Now the LORD took the human that He had intimately formed and put him in a place surrounded and enclosed with the reality of God’s pleasure and delight. –(Genesis 2:15 rewrite) This original common-union is one of the most vivid pictures of love. Love, was to be the primary expression of Adam’s existence. Out of this love, Adam would “work and take care of” the garden. Adam was not defined by his work, responsibility, status or position in creation; rather he was defined by the reality of God’s love. He didn’t work to earn God’s approval. He didn’t strive to acquire God’s love. He was loved. All of his life and relationships were to flow out of this central truth. And, so it is for us. “You are God’s beloved child, in whom He is well pleased.” I AM THE BELOVED... JERRELL JOBE

Jerrell is a teaching pastor at Palm Valley Church in Mission. He is married to Charissa and has three children : Micah (10), Naylah (8),and Avi (6).




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Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is fulfilling the law. 11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.12The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.13Let us walk properly as in daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. 10

—Romans 13:10-14

Living Life On Purpose by James MacDonald Is life really that meaningless? Are we here simply to pass time and take up space? No way! God has much more in mind for each of His children. In Romans 13:10-14, the apostle Paul gives three admonitions that move us in the right direction. First, we must WAKE UP. Look at verse 11. Have you ever slept through your alarm in the morning and awakened too late for work or school? Well, in a spiritual sense, this is the exact situation that Paul is calling us to avoid. Our ultimate salvation—that moment when we meet Christ, either at His return or in our death—is drawing closer, moment by moment. And yet, many believers are “sleeping in,” so to speak. Are you in this group? Are you taking a long nap when you should be taking hold of the Lord?  If so, I exhort you to WAKE UP. Second, Paul tells us to CLEAN UP. Look at verses 12-13. Christ is returning soon to forever rid this world of sin, but we should live as though that day were already here. How? By stripping off the “deeds of darkness”—improper pursuit of fulfillment, sex-

ual sin, and relational sin are mentioned here—and instead, suiting up for battle in the armor of God’s light (see Ephesians 6:10-17). Are you taking off your dirty, smelly clothes each day and replacing them with a fresh, new battle uniform? Or are you still soiled and impure before the Lord? God is instructing you to CLEAN UP. Third, in verse 14 we are called to GROW UP. I don’t know about you, but I was a fairly mischievous kid. Sadly, many of us need this reminder spiritually. We must not even consider how we can satisfy our sinful cravings—in other words, we must make no allowances for failure. He must be in charge of every aspect of our lives. Does this describe you? Are you deliberately and consciously avoiding every opportunity for your flesh to fail? Are you growing in submission to Christ’s authority over your life? God wants you to GROW UP. Let’s get serious about spiritual maturity! Don’t settle for less than God’s very best in your life. Don’t just pass time and take up space. It’s time to WAKE UP, CLEAN UP, and GROW UP for the glory of God.

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Journal • In what ways am I spiritually asleep? What can I do today to change this? • What area of my life can I “clean up” today? • Why am I refusing to “grow up?” What am I afraid of?


Heavenly Father, I do want to be serious about my relationship with You. Forgive me when I don’t really even think about the decisions I am making. Thank You for Your Words to WAKE UP, CLEAN UP and GROW UP. I will need Your help with this, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

January 2014   11

A New Mind For the New Year By Nick Dombrowski

Have you ever changed your mind

about something? A person? A situation? A decision? I remember when I was 8 years old and we got our first puppy; a German shorthaired pointer named Heidi. Before Heidi I had many “terrifying” experiences with dogs. I remember coming home from school one day and being greeted by our neighbor’s giant golden retriever…Samantha. Samantha bolted toward me, jumped up, and took the ballcap right off my head while pushing me down to the ground and running away. From an outsider’s perspective, all Samantha wanted was my hat and to play. From my limited adolescent point of view all I thought she wanted was to outright kill me. Back to Heidi. When my parents brought her home, all 4 months of her, I ran away screaming. My parents “forced” me sit down and slowly brought Heidi toward me. I saw the beast coming closer and erupted into tears. The next thing I know Heidi was sitting on my lap and starting to lick my face. I remember this moment ever so clearly. My tears turned to a smile and then to laughter. Heidi became my new best friend. From child-killing monster to closest companion. That’s a change of mind. In the beginning of the gospel of Mark, Jesus’ first words are: “The time is at hand, the kingdom of God is near; repent and believe in the gospel.” In Greek, the language the New Testament was written in, there are two words for “time”. One is “chronos”. It’s where we get the word “chronological” from. It refers to the time of day: 9am, 12pm, 5pm, etc. It answers the question, “What time is it?” Here Je-

sus is using another word: “kairos”. Kairos refers to a memorable moment or event, either positive or negative. And in the Scriptures it has a unique meaning that refers to a moment or event in which God is specifically trying to say something to us, in which “the kingdom of God is near” to you and to me. But what are we supposed to do with these “kairos” moments in life? Well, the answer is right there in the Scripture: repent and believe. You may hear the word “repent” and have a picture of either a guy on a bullhorn at the cross section of a street yelling at passersby or the idea of turning 180 degrees and going in the opposite direction in a certain area of your life. Either description doesn’t really give you the picture of what Jesus is saying. In Greek, the word “repent” (lit. “metanoia”) means to “change your mind”. When we encounter these kairos moments, our task is to figure out what God is saying to us, and how we need to think differently about a person, a situation, our life or the lives around us. What do you need to think differently about? Some close friends have brought it to my attention over the past six months how little I encourage people (several kairos moments). I challenge people to greater things, but don’t encourage them as they step out and try. As a result I came across more as a drill-sergeant than a loving leader. As you reflect on the previous year, what kairos moments have you had? What has God been saying to you? How is Jesus asking you to have a new mind for the new year? Below is a list of areas to help you reflect on where your kairos moments. Try to think of 2-3 positive or negative kairos moments

12   January 2014

and share them with someone close to you to help you think through what God is saying to you and what you need to do about it. Reflect on your heart, attitude, and actions in these areas.

RELATIONSHIPS: Family: Wife, Husband, Dad, Mom, Kids, Brother, Sister Job: Boss, Co-Workers, Faithfulness in your work Friends (Christian/Non-Christian) Neighbors OTHER AREAS: Finances: In need? Need to give more? Not responsible? Academics Church The Poor Sharing the Gospel Sexual Purity Prayer Life Regular Scripture Reading Balance of Work & Rest Making Other Disciples Serving

Nick Dombrowski

Nick graduated from Western Michigan University and leads campus staff for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship here in the Rio Grande Valley. Chapters are located at both UTPA and STC. He is married to Chelsea and live in Edinburg.

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January 2014   13

Happy New Year! I would like to start the year by simply giving you a thought. As many of you already know, the New Year affords us the opportunity to make fresh goals and resolutions. It gives us a sense of recalibrating and pushing the reset button on life. Even though your job may not change, or your current setting of life didn’t magically switch at midnight on New Year’s Eve, yet we seem to get fresh inspiration to do things we have wanted to do. It is in my personal opinion that the problem does not lie in writing goals, or making mental resolutions. Most of us can do that part with ease. Quite honestly, most of the things we are determined to do to make this year a different one are not really new goals. They are simply items on our checklist that we know we should already be doing. Get closer to God. Go back to school. Work on our marriage. Save money. Eat healthier. Go to the gym. Get closer to my family. Rarely, do new “ideas” come to us on January 1st. The truth is that these things have been in our heart, and we see the New Year to simply try again.

So, here is my thought for you for 2014: STAY THE COURSE. That’s it. Stay the course. In case I have never mentioned it to you, I really do believe you have great vision for your life. I also happen to believe that the God that we serve has great plans for our lives as well, and 2014 gives Him another occasion to display His goodness and favor towards us who believe. But, I also

“..anything can and will become an excuse to keep you from achieving what is in your heart.” think that some of us give up too soon; therefore, we never see His promises come to pass in our lives. So, I beseech you to stay the course. If you are going to make a decision to eat healthier this year, stay the course. If you are going to make a decision to get closer to God this year, stay the course. If you are going to spend more time with

Stay the Course

14   January 2014

your spouse this year, stay the course. If you are going to finally create a budget for your finances so you can save money, stay the course. If you are going to make improvements in any area of your life, stay the course. Understand this very truth: anything can and will become an excuse to keep you from achieving what is in your heart. Life happens. We get busy at work. Inspiration leaves our hearts. And it is in those moments where you will need to reminder yourself: Stay the course. Lastly, before you begin to run your race this year, I would encourage you to take time to give God thanks for 2013. Whether it was what you expected or not, your praise and gratitude should rest in the fact that you are alive today and that you have crossed the threshold of a New Year! As long as you are not dead, you are not done. Take a deep breath and focus. Now, let’s move forward into the fresh opportunities and grace that the Lord has for us in this brand new year!

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

January 2014   15

The Most Important Lesson By Lysa Terkeurst 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.

Early realized I could solve my kid’s

in my motherhood adventure I

problems for them. Not every problem. But for the most part when they had an issue I could step in and be the solution. Or…. I could mentor and equip my kids to solve their issues; which is much more time consuming, brain draining, and sometimes quite frustrating.

For example, I don’t want my kids to text and drive. I’ve taught them this rule. But to help them learn to process the dangers of driving while distracted, I decided to have a family discussion. Last week, I asked each of the kids to come

But for me, the most important lesson I want to teach my kids is how to think. It’s that whole “give a man a fish” thing.

If I only tell my kids what they can and can’t do, I’m establishing rules for them to follow. This is a part of parenting for surebut it can’t be the whole part. If I teach them how to think, I’m establishing healthy processing patterns that will serve them when they’re no longer under my immediate watch.

They owned it. Not because I preached a rule at them. But rather, because I helped them learn how to think through this danger for themselves. The Bible instructs us to teach our kids the truths of God by talking and processing with them all throughout the day. Obviously, texting and driving isn’t a Biblical truth but how powerful it is to apply a Biblical mindset to every issue we face.

Give him a fish and he’ll eat for a day… or teach him to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. I don’t want to train my kids to only turn to me for solutions. I want to help them think in Biblically and emotionally healthy ways, so they can learn the fine art of becoming a solution finder. I want to help them learn to process life choices in grounded, mature ways.

processes. They weren’t just learning a rule; they were discovering how to think about this dangerous habit. They were passionate about it. And the best part? They all owned the solution of committing to not text and drive.

to a scheduled family dinner equipped to present a brief report on the dangers of texting and driving. And just as a little incentive, each person that brought their report would get their name put in a hat for a cash prize drawing. (I’m all about incentives. And it doesn’t take much to motivate cash-poor teens.) As the kids presented their reports, I saw the light bulbs coming on in their thinking

16   January 2014

So be it a Scriptural truth, or processing life stuff in general, I think the secret is tucked within the beautiful words of Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (NIV): “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many…”

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Unforgiveness is identity. Holding onto another’s sin, weakness, and failure makes us feel superior to them. It allows us to believe that we are more righteous and mature than they are. We fall into the pattern of getting our sense of self not by the comfort and call of the gospel but by comparing ourselves to another.

The fate of a coconut monkey... By Milton Gonzalez


few years ago I came across an interesting article in a magazine that illustrated the hunting practices of a particular African tribe.Their technique relied on three very important elements; a coconut, an orange and the prey’s inability to let go. The tribal huntsmen take a coconut and drill a small orifice in it, after draining the milk from the coconut they place a juicy orange in it. So then, with the coconut and the orange inside they fasten it to a tree. The monkey, upon smelling the orange swings down from the tree and goes for the coconut. Driven by instinct and passion the monkey sticks its hand into the hole to grab the tasty orange. But, there is just one problem… When the monkey goes to pull out the bait it realizes that it cannot take its hand out of the hole while holding on to the orange. You see, the monkey’s hand fits perfectly in the hole however once it has grasped the fruit its fist is larger than the opening therefore causing the monkey to become captive. In spite of the fact that it realizes it has become “trapped” and “susceptible” it remains unwilling to let go. Its stubbornness allows the hunter to shoot his dart with precision piercing the primate consequently taking its life. How does the coconut monkey’s fate relate to our spiritual lives? Oftentimes, we are hurt or offended by others and we may find ourselves displaying the coconut monkey’s mindless behavior. We feel entitled to hold a grudge on someone because of the way we were treated and we find ourselves grasping on to something that gradually sets us up for “spiritual death”. Just like the monkey holds on to the bait unwilling to let go, we too hold on to Satan’s snare

and quickly become spiritually “trapped”. Unforgiveness in our hearts can become a stronghold that keeps us from growing, prospering, moving forward and even staying healthy. Unforgiveness has often been compared to a person who drinks rat poison expecting the other person to die. In all reality only the unforgiving become weak, wither and eventually die. Salomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs that “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”. A damaged, wounded or corrupted spirit is a “crushed one” and it has the power to dry up and crush your bones. I have yet to meet an unforgiving person who lives a cheerful and faith filled life. When I am tempted to hold something against someone I have immediate flashbacks of the movie “The Passion of the Christ”. I picture Jesus, unrecognizable no longer human like, stretched out on a cross after being brutally nailed to it. Pain and suffering become mercy and compassion as he cries out “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. With this in mind it becomes impossible to hold something against another but yet possible to let go and extend the same mercy that was shown to us. As we search the scriptures we learn three basic principles; 1) forgiveness is not optional, 2) forgiveness is a beneficial to you and 3) forgiven people should be forgiving people. In his book “Desiring God”, John Piper, gives the “five dark benefits” of unforgiveness... Unforgiveness is power. There is power in having something to hold over another’s head. There is power in using a person’s weakness and failure against him or her. In moments when we want our own way, we pull out some wrong against us as our relational trump card.

18   January 2014

Unforgiveness is entitlement. Because of all the other person’s wrongs against us, he or she owes us. Carrying these wrongs makes us feel deserving and therefore comfortable with being self-focused and demanding. Unforgiveness is weaponry. The sins and failures that another has done against us become like a loaded gun that we carry around. It is very tempting to pull them out and use them when we are angry. When someone has hurt us in some way, it is very tempting to hurt them back by throwing in their face just how evil and immature they are and... Unforgivenes puts us in God’s position. It is the one place that we must never be, but it is also a position that all of us have put ourselves in. We are not the judge of others. We are not the one who should dispense consequences for other’s sin. It is not our job to make sure they feel the appropriate amount of guilt for what they have done. But it is very tempting to ascend to God’s throne and to make ourselves judge. If any of this sounds familiar and you feel like you fit into any of the categories then it is likely that you have allowed unforgiveness and bitterness to taint your heart. You have become the enemy’s coconut monkey and your fate will be as painful and destructive IF you don’t decide to LET GO. Forgiveness is a no-brainer. You need to decide to forgive. Depend on God’s power to forgive through the Holy Spirit and obey His Word. Scripture reminds us (Prov 4:23) to “Guard our heart above all else, for it determines the course of our life”. What’s your direction??? It’s time to let go and let God... Shalom, Milton

Milton Gonzalez Milton is the Principal of Covenant Christian Academy in McAllen and has a son David. He is married to Elena and they have a son Daniel.

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Very often potential Home Buyers will be told by a builder to use his choice of a mortgage company. This may not be the wisest thing to do. An unbiased mortgage company does not have a commitment to any builder and will not be influenced to push you into a construction loan if it is not the best option. Always get all your facts before moving forward on a construction loan. New construction may require you to have more expenses than buying an existing home. Only by gathering all your information can we really determine if building is the right thing for you and your family. Joe Cuellar, Manager for Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC 5412 N 10th Street McAllen, TX 78504 Office 956.687.6688 Mobile 956.789.2121

January 2014   19

Tom Weaver Pastor of Logos Community in McAllen. Married to Selina and have 3 wonderful girls: Carolina, Emma Lee, and Mary Grace. Originally from North Carolina and proud to call the Rio Grande Valley home; we have found real community in Logos Community, and absolutely love the people. There is nowhere else that we would rather be! Follow @pastortomweaver



he Valley United is a yearly conference put on in the Rio Grande Valley to make much of Jesus Christ. The conference this year will be February 7-8, 2014, and will be hosted at Logos Community Church ( ). The theme this year is Gospel Rhythms, and how we see Jesus move in our families, our marriages, and our community.

Carolina. Tom was one of the youngest franchise

dents. This flourished for three years, and several of the leaders in his church today are from that ministry. In 2006, Tom went on staff with a local church, and in 2008, He was called to plant Logos Community Church. Since then, Logos Community has grown into a church with two locations, one in Mcallen on the corner of 10th and Harvey, and another in Harlingen off 77 Sunshine Strip.

The theme this year is Gospel Rhythms, and how we see Jesus move in our families, our marriages, and our community.

Tom Weaver is one of the speakers and will be talking Saturday night about The Gospel rhythm in our community and how Jesus loves our city. The following is bio on Tom:

Tom Weaver is a North Carolina native, whose roots go back to the early 1700’s when his family settled the county. Growing up in the mountains, his Father was a Presbyterian (PCA) pastor, of a small community church. Tom excelled in sports, and lettered in three in High School. Going on to college in Jackson, Miss., he played soccer, but returned after one year to North

owners of a freight company when he began work in Corpus Christi, eventually buying the Rio Grande Valley franchise as well. He met his lovely wife, Selina, in Houston, Tx at Second Baptist, and knew she was the one.

Tom and his wife Selina have three daughters, and love the RGV. “We began our marriage here, we have had all of our children here. This is our life”. Tom’s passion is church planting, and not only does his church support church plants in multiple countries, but also in the RGV, meeting weekly with church planters monthly to help them in the process.

Beginning life together after they got married in 2000, Tom came to Christ in a radical way, and everything changed. He sold his business, and began a college ministry in Mcallen for UTPA and STCC stu-

Tom has a bachelors of science in Social Work from Western Carolina University, and a Master of Missional Leadership from Retrain. He enjoys reading, crossfit, and watching MMA.

20   January 2014

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22   January 2014

A Special Advertising Section

the New Year Happy New Year! As ate schools across gets under way, priv r registering new fo the Valley gear up ming school year. students for the upcoy off…but it’ll be Seems like a long wa it! It’s already here before we know 2014! ake the best possiSo to help families mmes to considering ble choice when it coation, Valley Chrisprivate school educcited to share with tian Magazine is ex y options available you a few of the man to you. goes out to all the A special ‘thank you’ eir principals and schools along with thed so hard to make their team who work this possible! ~VCM

Pictured L-R: Wilson - Covenant Christian Academy, Christian - St Paul Lutheran School, Sienna - Macedonia Christian Academy, Olivia -St John's Episcopal Day School, Luis - Covenant Christian Academy January 2014   23

Agape Christian School

“Making an Eternal Investment in Children” Agape Christian School 1401 E. 24th St. Mission, TX (956)585-9773 Accepting Enrollment for 2014-2015 School Year Agape Christian School has been making an In addition to basic core subjects, students in the eleternal investment in the lives of Rio Grande ementary grades participate in ACSI (Association of Valley children since 1976. Christian School International) activities. Spanish, art, music, computer and physical education are also ofThe caring, competent faculty sets high fered to the students. academic standards and uses a biblically based curriculum. Toddlers through sixth- Daily Bible lessons and weekly Chapel services emgrade students are challenged to grow in phasize salvation, prayer, and Christian character. God’s love and word. All classrooms share their discipleship with various service projects and programd. Parental involvement is Located on 5 acres, the campu includes 20 encouraged. classrooms, offices, a prayer garden and three playgrounds. Security gates and cam- For a tour or more informatin call the school at eras keep the student body safe throughout 585-9773. the school day. “Train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

24   January 2014

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: Crystal Gully Applications accepted beginning Jan. 6, 2014 K2-8th Covenant Christian Academy (CCA), an independent school established in 1995, is dedicated to integrating Biblical Principles into all subjects. We are not affiliated with or financially underwrtitten by any single church/denomination. The Holy Bible is our standard and we daily instill our motto into the hearts of our students. We provide a Christian worldview with the highest academics in a rigourous 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.

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 via GradeLink and quick reminders are texted in your mobile devices by SchoolReach Your Student would be a welcome addition to our CCA Family. Call us at (956) 686-7886 to schedule your campus tour and discover the CCA Advantage firsthand. We look forward to partnering with you!

January 2014   25

26   January 2014

Juan Diego Academy Catholic Regional High School

Justice  + Devotion  + Action

5208 South FM 494 Mission, TX 78572 (956) 583-2752 (office) (956) 583-3782 (fax) President and Principal Info Sr. Marcella Ewers, D.C., President Bob Schmidt, Principal


ituated on 40 acres of historic Church property near La Lomita in Mission, Juan Diego Academy features state-of-the-art classroom technology combined with traditional values in a caring, Christ-centered academic community for students in grades 9-12.

WHY JUAN DIEGO ACADEMY? Catholic Identity: Faith-based education rooted in Catholic doctrine and gospel values. Academic Excellence: Catholic school students consistently outperform other schools on standardized tests and in college success. Highly Qualified Teachers: Teachers are qualified in their subject areas with a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. Discipline: Students are taught to respect one another as persons created in the image and likeness of God. Caring Environment: Small class sizes afford opportunities for teachers to respond individually to the unique needs of each student. Safety: A closed campus policy and security personnel provide for the safety of students. Parental Involvement: Parents are encouraged to partner with the school in the formation of their child and are active participants in its activities. Development of the Whole Person: Extracurricular activities and competitive athletics are driven by student interests.

January 2014   27

Alamo Campus Elementary Campus 401 N. Val Verde Rd. Donna, TX 78537 Jr. High and High School Campus 315 Farm Rd. 495 Alamo, TX 78516 Phone: 956-464-7950 Fax: 956-464-6727 Principal: Santiago Curling

Building for your Future

Enrollment begins on Monday, January 13, 2014. In 1987 Macedonian Christian Academy began serving Christian families in the Rio Grande Valley. Since then, this ministry has been developing Christian leaders while fulfilling its mission to exalt Christ, build families, and make disciples. “Developing Christian Leaders” is the goal of Macedonian Christian Academy. At MCA we believe the chief purpose of all things, including education, is to love God and love others. We endeavor to send out graduates who live lives that are worthy of the gospel and are marked by holding a Biblical worldview. In order to accomplish this goal, we seek to disciple families and teach the truth of the Bible inside and outside the classroom. Because MCA is accountable unto God for the quality of the instruction provided, we maintain high academic standards, which adhere to the academic requirements of the state of Texas. Furthermore, both the printed curriculum and classroom instruction will always be presented from a Biblical worldview. In holding to these high standards, we hope to develop educationally well-rounded leaders who will reflect Christ-like character in all of their spheres of influence.

28   January 2014

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 Head of School: Michael Waller Enrollment: Accepting Applications Feb. 3, 2014 Adding 6th Grade for 2014-2015

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. Experiencing St. John’s first-hand is the best way to fully appreciate our wonderful school. Contact us at 956-686-0231 and schedule your visit today Open enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year begins on February 3, 2014.

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.

January 2014   29

St. Matthew’s Episcopal School

St. Matthew’s Episcopal School

“A Christian community committed to academic excellence and spiritual growth for our children today”  What Makes Us Different?

Why St. Matthew’s Episcopal School?

• Daily Chapel • SAES Accredited • Service Learning and Stewardship Projects • Cub Scouts • Girl Scouts • Community Affiliations: UTPA, South Texas Literacy Coalition, Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library, Oxford School of Reynosa

• Family Oriented Environment • Safe Environment • Highly Qualified and Dedicated Staff • Enriching Curriculum • Technology • Extended Day Service • Soccer • Track and field • UIL

Now Enrolling students in Pre K3 - 6th Grade Call 956-383-4202 for more information Mayani Ballesteros - Head of School 2620 Crestview Edinburg, TX 78539 Website:

St. Paul Lutheran School “Complete Christian Education” St. Paul Lutheran School “Complete Christian Education” St. Paul Lutheran School 956.682.2345 300 Pecan Blvd McAllen, TX 78501 Principal: Jeffery Pool Recruitment: Michelle Martin Enrollment: New students for childcare, preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1-8 beginning March 1, 2014 Our Christian childcare, elementary, and Junior High is of the highest quality and a part of the second largest private U.S. School system. The mission of St. Paul Lutheran School is to provide a safe environment in which children can grow physically, emotionally, and intellectually to prepare them for success in life, as well as helping them grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. Our goal is to prepare them to serve as leaders in McAllen and the Upper Rio Grande Valley. Our pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade school is led by a prin-

cipal and 14 full and part-time faculty, qualified educators who teach from Lutheran, Christ-centered perspective. The average student/faculty ratio is 15:1. 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 student, parent, teacher, and church. Parents participate in the development of their student through homework supervision, special projects, field trips, and fundraising coordinated by the School Board and the parent support group.

St. Paul will be enrolling new students for childcare, preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1-8 beginning March 1. For more information or to schedule a tour, call Michelle Martin, Director of Recruitment at 956-682-2345. You can also find more information on our website at or download our iPhone app! St Paul offers a Complete Christian Education by also offering: Sports, Music, Band, Theatre, Science Labs, Computer Labs, I-pad program January 2014   31

A Note From Nathan... Happy New Year Everyone!! Our Goals for 2014: take 2,000 Coaches & Athletes to Camp, give away 10,000 Bibles to Coaches & Athletes. So come join us. This is going to be an exciting year!! I love you all, Nathan Jones I love you all,,

Nathan Jones Nathan Jones

Mulit-Area Director Fellowship of Christian Athletes

FCA Vision To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches. FCA Mission To present to athletes and coaches and all whom they influence the challenge and ad-

venture 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.

32   January 2014


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JESUS > RELIGION Jefferson Bethke

“Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for man.”

Jefferson Bethke posted a video on YouTube that has over 26 million views in which he dictates his Spoken Word entitled Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus. He wrote the book Jesus > Religion as a follow up to the astounding response to the video. Our old friend Webster tells us that religion is: 1. Belief in and worship of God or gods; 2. A specific system of belief, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics. For Bethke, religion is equated as man’s efforts to know and live for God. The main issue Bethke presentsis that many who claim to be Christians are just living out a life that is their best effort to please God rather than to depend on the grace of God through Jesus Christ. Or even worse, he says that the “so-called Christian” is living to please himself through sinful vices, rather than to please God. As a Christian since 1995, 18 years, I can take a similar stance as the twenty-three year old author of this book. There are a lot of superficial Christians that are content with saying we believe in Jesus. However the gospel, “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures



By Daniel Ryan Day WalterBrook Multnomah

ife is full of good intentions, but for too many, our good intentions never become good actions— they don’t move us forward, draw us closer to God, or make a difference in the world.

[and that he appeared to many people],” is a confession that demands a statement of faith. It demands a lifestyle that follows Christ authentically. Bethke addresses the issue of inauthentic Christianity throughout his book. Inauthentic Christianity is something that I have fallen prey to in my journey as a Christian. It is one thing to recognize it in others, but it is another to acknowledge that you are guilty of it. When life falls apart, we run to anything and everything but Jesus. Sometimes the younger generation can teach us, as Bethke does. One of my children was having an emotionally charged morning. I suggested she go spend some time alone to calm down. Minutes later I followed up to see how she was doing. She was reading Psalm 23. She was seeking Jesus. She displayed a more authentic Christian life in that moment than I often do. Bethke’s significant contribution in this book is that this younger generation is seeking God and recognizing the hypocrisy that is plaguing our culture and churches. People want to see authentic Christians, Jesus followers who follow him closely. For a young man who is neither a pastor nor a “professional” theologian, he does a good job pointing out that we, who claim to be Christian, need to really live like Jesus is the center of our lives.

Book Review by

Miguel Paredes Is a teacher at Edinburg North and earned his Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is married to Brenda and has four children: Diego (10), Karla and Andrea (7), and Charis (3).

to live as a follower of Jesus. But it took a simple but radical experiment to move from simply talking about it to actually living like it. For ten days at a time, Daniel chose to abandon a certain “necessity”—a coat, a voice, shoes, media, furniture, legs, touch— and to blog about it to raise funds and awareness for organizations that are doing amazing things to make a difference in the world. And then he invited others to join him in the experiments and spread the vision. Together they served God and others— and experienced significant personal change in the process. Ten Days Without is the story of their life-altering adventure.

Ten Days Without is a compelling story and practical guide that will equip you and your friends to break through walls of conveGood intentions are cans of paint that could have become nience and indifference, and join a movement that is confronting apathy and ignorance around the world to make an impact on amazing works of art…but never did.” people’s lives in a God-honoring way. Ten Days Without is where —Daniel Day, in Ten Days Without our good intentions end and making a difference in the world Daniel Day could tell you all about his love for God and his desire begins.

34   January 2014

Music Review : Hillsong United - Zion Acoustic Sessions by Jono Davies

1. Jamie Grace Beautiful Day CD: Ready to Fly

It seems to be a popular thing to release an ‘Acoustic’ album after a new studio album. This is what Hillsong United have done with this new album titled the Zion Acoustic Sessions. Now I am a massive fan of the original ‘Zion’ album, I think its sound and style is what made the album so stunningly beautiful. I have to admit I was kind of worried what the songs would sound like in these new stripped back versions. Would the songs loose their power once the studio magic was taken away? I wasn’t sure the songs would work since the studio versions are so full of creative and interesting sounds that might not be easily recreated in a live acoustic room. But the moment I put this album on, I realised that I needn’t have worried. The songs sound as powerful and interesting as they did on the original studio album, just in a very different way.

2. Love & The Outcome He Is With Us CD: Love & The Outcome

3. Big Daddy Weave

– The Only Name (Yours Will Be) CD: Love Come To Life

4. Steven Curtis Chapman

5.Toby Mac

6. Phil Wickham

7. Mandisa

Love Take Me Over CD: The Glorious Unfolding

Speak Life CD: Eye On It

Basically this album is a track-by-track copy of the studio album. I found myself singing along to opening track Relentless straight away. I do wonder if on this album I have spent more time just listening to the words of the songs instead of being distracted by the music. Up In Arms sounds so gentle and elegant you don’t want to break it. Have a listen to this lullaby-esq version of the song and you will know what I mean. The same could be said of the brilliant Scandal of Grace. There are so many great lines in this song, “The cross has taught me to live, and mercy my heart now to sing”. The way this song has been recorded sounds like a small army of friends singing their hearts out. Who doesn’t love the song Oceans. This version is just something else. I thought I had heard the best of this song until I pressed play on this track. Then there are stunning tracks like Love is War and Stay and Wait which sound simply wonderful.

This Amazing Grace CD: The Ascension

Overcome CD: Overcome

Of course as you would expect, some songs work better in this setting than others, but I’m impressed that Hillsong United have tried every song on the album. I have to admit I was a bit on a cynic about this release at first, maybe I was too much of a fan of the sound of ‘Zion’ for it be changed. But you can’t get away from the fact that this album has a real sense of something special happening in the room. If you put a bunch of people together who want to worship God, mixed with creative musicians and great songs, this album is what comes out. There really is something special happening on this album.

8. 7eventh Time Down I Can Just Be Me CD: God of Every Story

9. Matt Redman

Your Grace Finds Me CD: Your Grace Finds Me

January 2014   35





By: Theresa Valladares

s anybody else wondering how the year went by so fast? It seems just as I was finally getting use to writing 2013 the year 2014 has arrived! As I’ve gotten older it feels like the years are going by faster. It stresses me out! As a new year begins it usually gives us time to reflect. Did we stick to the resolutions made on January 1st? Most of us make promises to eat better, exercise more, get healthy and maybe spend more time in the word….did it happen?

year to allow God to do His work and to ask myself before dealing with other’s issues….am I helping or am I in God’s way? May seem harsh to some. I am not saying cut difficult people out of your life but I do recommend stepping back and reevaluating relationships.


After God, spouse and children should be our priority. I am a workaholic and at times too ambitious. As a working mom I can get caught up in daily schedules and neglect my family. I need to be “present” when interacting with husband and kids As for myself I missed the mark on a lot of my “plans” for 2013. I and more than just physically present. Who isn’t guilty of being looked back at this year and tried to see where my time went. distracted by “to do” list while sitting at dinner? So I’m going to Where should it have gone? Did I have my priorities straight? Has actually put my spouse and children on my appointment list. You it been God-husband-children-work in that order? may think this is odd but I came to this conclusion because we have no problem making appointments for We will have to account to our Heav“When you make a promise to God, hair and nails etc. And if you are anything enly Father for our time on earth. He don’t delay in following them for God like me you don’t skip out on those. Don’t gives us enough time to accomplish has no pleasure in fools. Keep all my children and husband deserve more? His plans and His purpose for our lives. promises you make to Him.” A date night with my husband and family We are the ones that get distractEcclesiastes 5:4 date nights are going to be essential to me ed and in my opinion waste time on this year. The goal is to think of nothing else things that don’t have eternal value. but enjoying my time with them. So as I reflected on my 2013 it became apparent to me that I wasted a lot of unnecessary time on things that in the grand scheme of life don’t really matter. Here’s my list and my plan to correct them for 2014.


God needs to be my priority every day. He should be the first thing I think of when I wake up. To reestablish this I need to do my devotionals in the morning. This year started out well but then I allowed worries, plans for day, schedules etc to take over. My first question in the morning will need to be do my actions show that God is first in my life? Am I honoring Him and spending time getting to know my Abba?


I need to let go and let God do his work on others. We’ve all got difficult people in our lives and maybe we try to change them. Perhaps you keep pointing out errors in their behavior or keep trying to make a point with them. I spent a lot of energy worrying and allowing their critical remarks/actions to encompass my thoughts. The only thing I can really do for those people is step back and pray that God speaks to them and to remember that they need an open and willing heart to listen to the Holy Spirit. I spent too much time this year worrying and trying to help as much as I could only to be disappointed. I’ve decided this

36   January 2014


Be less critical. It’s very easy to point out mistakes in others and myself. Focusing on the negative is where most of us go. If I am less critical of others and focus on the positives, especially when I’m disappointed, it takes less time to overcome. It needs to become routine. I can’t say how many times I have gone over mistakes in my mind whether mine or others and basically have a mental argument with myself. Work on appreciation versus focusing on depreciation of someone or even myself.


Eat better and exercise more!

Resolutions are promises we make to ourselves. We may have more success if we think about resolutions as promises to God-let Him be our accountability partner. Take a “time out” and reflect over 2013 from an eternal perspective versus a worldly one. Happy New Year!

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.

Generated by CamScanner from

Jan. 3 & Feb 7

Courtyard of Praise

First Presbyterian Church Mcallen

Courty @ 12th &ard Praise Austin Ave

January 9th Valley Christian Magazine’s Coffee Talk 11:45am Everyone Invited

Stay up to date on our Facebook Page

SEC Movement South

4/25 & 4/26

Andy Mineo w/The Digital Age Mcallen

Courtyard Praise @ 12th & Austin Ave “Doubleheader!”

First - Lily Perez Then... Sonny Salinas Date:

Friday, January 3rd Time:

A.C. and Good News Date: Friday, February 7 Time: 8:00pm

8:00pm If you are a local band or singer and would like to participate, email us your contact information along with an audition CD/DVD to:

First Presbyterian Church Downtown McAllen Location at 12th & Austin Ave. January 2014   37

Giving Their Son Some Problems Dear Dave, We’ve been supporting our son while he’s in college. He just finished his sophomore year, but he told us the other day he has dropped out of school and isn’t going back. He’s been playing in a band on weekends, and he has this vague idea of becoming a musician. We don’t think this is a good idea, but we still want to be supportive … just not too supportive. We want him to be financially independent, as well. How should we handle this? Karen Dear Karen, This kid is about to have some problems. Not only has he made a bad decision, but he should have consulted with you guys before he quit school. He owed you that much if you were supporting him this whole time. In my opinion, you and your husband have one job right now. That job is to stand back and let life happen to this kid. If he thinks he’s a man, let him go out and prove it. Wish him the best and tell him you hope he becomes the rich and famous rock star he wants to be. But make sure he understands you’re not going to support him financially when he’s doing something you both feel is a bad idea. The First National Bank of Mom and Dad is officially closed! Understand that I’m not suggesting you turn your backs on this guy. Let him know how much you both love him and that you’ll be praying for him. Invite him over for dinner once in a while, stay in touch, and make sure he knows that family deals like Thanksgiving and Christmas are still business as usual. However, as far as paying for his rent, utilities, gas, food and cell phone bill? That stuff’s not happening. This may sound tough, but it was his decision. In the end, let him know you’ll be there to help just like before if he wises up and decides to finish school. But until then? Little boy, you signed up for this trip! —Dave

The Role of Government Assistance Dear Dave, I’m a single mom with three young children. I quit my nursing job a few years ago to be a stay-at-home mom, and one year later my husband filed for divorce. The state isn’t keeping him accountable for child support, but now I qualify for food stamps. Do you feel it’s morally wrong to be on government assistance? Rebecca Dear Rebecca,

As k


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

There’s nothing morally wrong with receiving food stamps, as long as you’re not lying about your income or situation in order to receive them. The biggest problem with food stamps, and other forms of government assistance, is many times a person becomes dependent on someone else to take care of them. I don’t want you and your kids to develop a victim mentality and become trapped in a cycle of substandard living. You said you were a nurse before you came home to be with the kids, right? I’d suggest updating your nursing certification, if necessary, and going back to work in your field—maybe even as an emergency room nurse. I know the hours can be weird, but the pay is great. It would really get your income rolling again, plus you could afford to pay someone to look after the kids when necessary. You’ve been through a lot, Rebecca. Life has knocked you around lately, so it’s okay if you need to take food stamps for a little while. But I’d encourage you to start thinking from a long-term perspective as to what it’ll take to move forward and generate a good, livable income for you and your kids. Get into attack mode, take your nursing degree, intelligence and experience, and create a quality life for your family. I know you can do it! —Dave

38   January 2014

Raul “Rudy” Rodriguez

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

Raul “Rudy” Rodriguez Phone: 956.380.1421 / Toll Free: 877.480.1421 Fax: 956.380.2920 / Mobile: 956.655.5455

Phone: 956.380.1421 / Toll Free: / Fax: 956.380.2920 / Mobile: 956.655.5455 511 W. University / Edinburg, TX877.480.1421 78539 e-mail: 511 W. University / Edinburg, TX 78539 / e-mail: 40   January 2014

Valley Christian Magazine - January 2014  

Loving God. Loving Others. Building Community. On the Cover: A Special Look at Christian Schools in the RGV. Inside: Jerrell Jobe - Disc...