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July 2013

Love Is… Introducing

Valley Christian

Weddings & Engagements Matthew & Lillian Tagle Trinity Worship Center p 30

Has God Ever Disappointed You? p6

Afraid To Turn The Next Corner p12

5 Ways To…

Avoid the Worst Family Vacation Ever p24

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Lysa Terkeurst

18 Kids Talk About God 22 FCA - RGV 27 Forgiven Motorcycle Ministry 29 Valley Christian Weddings & Engagements 32 New Books 34 Events 36 Music Spotlight: Building 429


Music Spotlight Rend Collective Experiment

National Columnists 10 12 16 38


James MacDonald Lysa Terkeurst Greg Laurie Dave Ramsey

Valley Contributors 6 8 14 20 32

Miguel Paredes

On The Cover

Introducing Valley Christian Weddings & Engagements Matthew & Lillian Tagle Trinity Worship Center p 30

Christian Torres Jerrell Jobe Abram Gomez Theresa Valladares Miguel Paredes


Dave Ramsey

Vol. 3 / Issue 4

Christian Torres

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If Only… Christian Torres


here was a time after our first child that my wife and I had numerous miscarriages. I didn’t understand why this was happening. I was hurt. I was angry. I was sad for my wife. I was confused. We prayed time and time again for this to stop happening. Doctor’s didn’t have answers. We didn’t understand why this was happening to us. Why God...If only God… Has God ever let you down? Has God ever disappointed you? Have you thought that maybe your life and things would be different if only…? If only you saved my marriage... If only you healed my child… If only you didn’t let me get fired… If only you didn’t allow the abuse to happen… If only... I knew God could do something about it, that’s what was makes it frustrating. There are countless stories of Jesus’ healings: blind man, lame to walk and one time He spoke a word and someone was healed. He didn’t have to show up. In John 11:3, Mary and her sister Martha sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one You love is sick.” They didn’t even mention Lazarus by name…just stated the one You love. So I’d have to assume, much like many of you that Jesus would stop what he was doing and rush to his side. Right? When we get word of a family or close friend is ill, we typically stop what we are doing and get to them as quick as possible…right? Not the case with Jesus this time. In John 11:6, Jesus stayed where he was for 2 more days THEN he left. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him. Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if only you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” John 11: 20-21. Two sisters and two reactions…Martha went to Jesus asking If only and Mary didn’t come out to greet Jesus. You may be in situation or have gone through something that has effected you greatly. How did you react…how are reacting to it even today? We don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. But here is one thing for sure…Martha went to Jesus. Jesus was there…things didn’t turn out by her timing or by her desired outcome. Nevertheless, she still went to Jesus because He was there. Martha said, “But I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask.” John 11:22. In the middle of her asking why and if only, she still knows that God is powerful and able to do all things. It may not be through a way that we understand, but God has a purpose and plan. We may be so close to what is going on that we can’t see or understand His plan, but we have to know and stay faithful even if things are going the way we want them to.

Christian Torres

is a graduate of Baylor University. He and his wife, Stephanie, have 3 daughters: Madeleine (13), Natalie (10) and Courtney (8). They live in McAllen and are members of Palm Valley Church of Mission.

To finish the story, Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. He told Martha “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11: 40 Don’t hang on to the “If Only…” God is here. We may not understand… and that’s ok…sometimes all we need is a new perspective to see beyond the chaos and hurt.

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Praying with Paul by Jerrell Jobe The Apostle Paul penned a significant amount of the New Testament. These writings contain instruction and doctrine, but they are also very personal. In one place, Paul writes, “we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). It was out of this deep affinity and relationship that the Apostle Paul earnestly prayed for people. Paul saw prayer as a pivotal component to the on-going transformation within the life of those he taught. In nearly every letter we have by Paul, he mentions that he has been praying continuously for them. What’s striking about these passages is not only the constancy of his prayers, but the content as well. There’s much we can learn about prayer from simply reflecting on the types of things Paul prayed. These prayers can also serve as a great framework for praying for our selves and others. Recently, a group of friends and myself spent several weeks mulling over Paul’s prayers. We studied what he prayed, what he didn’t pray and how these prayers could apply to us today. We committed to take these prayers and make them our own and daily pray them for: • ourselves/immediate family, • someone we are close to, and  • someone we have a hard time being around (but must interact with on a regular basis).  As an attempt to dig beneath the surface and make these prayers my own, after studying each of these prayers, I set out to rewrite them. The following are three of Paul’s prayers. Colossians 1:9-14 REWRITE God I pray that you grant unto me an experiential encounter with Your truth – the knowledge of Your will. Renovate my mind and establish the blueprints to Your kingdom deep within my heart. God, help me to see things from Your perspective - everything from who I am to what I do. Invade every sphere of my life – private to public. May I live as if You were living Your life through me. I pray the very minute details of my life will bring an unending smile to Your face. God, more and more, let me learn how to keep in step with Your Spirit in every part of my life. As I follow Your leading, the way You want things to be done, may my life be marked by the out-flowing of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Father, expand the horizon of my vision, until I see Your present-activity in virtually every arena of my life. Strengthen me with the power of Your Spirit. As I’m empowered according to Your might, may I not bow down as a despondent coward in the face of adversity and difficult circumstances. No, in the power of Your might, may I find the wherewithal to stand and not give up. When I’m mistreated and in the midst of difficult people, may I be slow to anger and respond to others with love and grace. Finally, I desire to be a wellspring of joy, giving thanks to you at every occasion. May I not get bogged down with the snares of this world to the point of my joy becoming strangled and my heart diminishing into decadence of complaining. May I never lose sight of the reality that I was once aimlessly wandering in sin, shrouded by death and held captive under the dominion of darkness. Not so any longer! I have been rescued out of darkness, snatched out of death and transferred into the kingdom of the Son of Your delight. I have been chosen, forgiven and redeemed because of Your never-ending love.

can be captured, I pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened, so that the image of who God created you to be, will be etched and developed deep in the core of your being. May every skewed image of this world that rises up to distort your true identity in Christ be exposed for what it is, a mirage - an illusion. May you be consumed with the hope to which you have been called. All these truths that declare who you are in Christ, may they begin to cause you to see everything from His perspective (God, yourself, others and the world in which you live). May you be so infiltrated by the reality of God’s promises that you will never again settle for empty, stale or aimless living. May you come to understand not only who you are in Christ, but how Christ Himself sees you. You are His treasured possession, a precious jewel, the very one who He suffered and died for to reconcile back to Himself. May you know that you are no longer under the tyranny of sin, nor the power of Satan. No longer are you to be spellbound by the enchantments of this world or imprisoned by the fads and labels of this present age. For the same dynamic force that God exercised to shatter the dominion of death, raising Christ from the grave is at work within you who believe. May you live in the sphere of His kingdom here and now… Ephesians 3:16-17 REWRITE I pray that the very core of your heart, the executive center of your being, the citadel of your soul, will be fortified and strengthened by the endless power of God’s Spirit. May you be built up, not according to your lack, but His boundless supply. The purpose of such strengthening isn’t for your own honor, making a name for yourself, or even expanding your own kingdom. On the contrary, this infusing of God’s power is that you may, more and more, live out your life as if Christ were living His life through you. Don’t be content with Christ’s provision of an eternal destiny. But, implore Him to be your traveling companion throughout this journey called life. Don’t just tidy up your soul the way you’d clean your house prior to a visit from an out-of-town guest. Yard mowed. Bushes manicured. Landry put away. Yet, all the while, the closets are a mess, and so will be the rest of the house, once they depart. No, invite Christ in. Give Him refrigerator rights. Grant Him keys to the closets and access to the attic. Don’t stop there, go ahead, turn over the title and move into the guest room yourself. Let Him run the affairs of your home and all of your comings and goings…

Going Further If you’re interested in digging into Paul’s prayers for yourself, below are several of the places in the New Testament where they can be found. Consider spending a week or more reflecting and praying through each of Paul’s prayers. Pray them for yourself, someone close to you, and someone who you have a difficult time being around. It’s amazing how our perspective changes as we pray for others, especially those we have difficulty being around.

Paul’s Prayers Romans 1:8-10, 15:5-7, 13; Ephesians 1:15-23, 3:14-20; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-14; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, 5:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, 3:1-5

Ephesians 1:15-23 REWRITE Because God has chosen you, predestined you, accepted you, redeemed you, forgiven your sins, lavished you with his grace, shown you his will, marked you with the Holy Spirit and given you an eternal inheritance that you can partake of in the here and now, I have not stopped giving thanks for you. Day and night I’m praying for you! I keep asking God, over and over, to give you in abundance the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. The Spirit that causes you to come alive with an awareness to God and His present-nearness, even in the most mundane moments of life. In all the arenas of your life, may you know God better. May your relationship with Him continue to move from the theoretical and abstract to the practical expressions of love and faith in action. May this experiential knowledge of God transform you from the inside out and cause you to walk in complete freedom with-Him. Like the shutter of a camera that opens to let light in so that an image


Jerrell is a teaching pastor at Palm Valley Church in Mission. He is married to Charissa and has three children :

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God Is With You

by James MacDonald


hen you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.” —Isaiah 43:2-5 Here’s another life-transforming truth: God is present. He is with His children, and is especially near during trials. The references to water and fire in these verses are pictures of hardship. Waters is a general term. River is a specific term. Our trials; my hardship. Fire is also a general term. Flame is a specific term. The take-away is that God is with you in your specific trials—not just throughout a year or a month or a day, but in an hour, in a minute, in a second! At the precise moment of hardship, God is present. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.” In light of His nearness, notice the specificity of God’s measurement of our trials. He says first, “When you walk through the fire (a picture of definite hardship) you shall not be burned.” In other words, it might get really hot and there might be a certain amount of pain and discomfort. But God says, I have My hand on the thermostat. I’m watching where you are in the fire. Trust Me! I’m right there with you!   It’s the same picture in the water. God says, “When you pass through the waters . . . and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” What are you thinking about when you’re going through a river?  When you’re neck-deep in water, you’re not worried about getting wet. You’re already wet. You’re thinking, “How deep is the water? How long can I keep my feet on the bottom?” Then your feet come up off the bottom, and you’re thinking, “How long can I tread?” But God tells us, I’m watching the level of the water. I’m checking the intensity of the trial.  You can trust Him. God is present and knows exactly what you’re facing, both the depth and the heat. Your greatest fear may be that you can’t endure the trial. But the result of God’s presence is that you are strengthened—and He promises what you face will not overwhelm you.  Just as Paul declared in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” you can “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). How? By walking in faith, because “the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” is with you! And the resources and strength He provides are all you really need. 

Journal •

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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.

Think of your most recent hardships. How has God’s presence affected your experiences?


Lord, too often I fail to use trials as clues to Your presence, but instead focus on them with fear or concern. Help m to remember that hardships are part of Your itinerary for me and don’t come as any surprise to You. I realize I can’t learn to trust, unless I first pass through situations where I have to trust. So continue to train me in Your perfect way, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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ou know how some people love the thrill of being surprised? They love surprise parties. They would love to show up at work today and be told they are actually going on a surprise vacation and be whisked from their desk to paradise in just a few hours.

But slowly, I’m learning it’s not all bad to be a little exposed and afraid. That vulnerable place reminds us we have needs beyond what we manage. It reminds us we need God. Desperately. Completely. And into that gap between what we can manage on our own and what we can’t, that’s right where faith steps in and has the opportunity to find deep roots. Roots that dig down and break

They would love to have one of those makeover shows show up at their house with a film crew and be told they’re getting a whole new wardrobe. Surprises feel thrilling to them. Like the thrill some people get when a roller coaster ride you thought was over suddenly takes off again and starts doing upside down loops. They throw their hands in the air and embrace the thrill of the unknown. They call that fun. I don’t. I love a good birthday party. But I don’t want it to be a surprise. I love a good vacation. But I don’t want it to be planned for me. I love winning stuff and would freely accept a gift certificate for a new wardrobe. But I don’t want all the clothes to be picked out for me. I like (not love) a roller coaster. I don’t mind when it finally crests the lift hill and then careens downward like the bottom just fell out of the world. But I don’t want it to take unexpected twists and turns. This dislike of surprises can usually be managed with all the things I mentioned. My friends know not to throw me a surprise party. No one is looking to give me a surprise vacation or new wardrobe. And before getting on a roller coaster, I thoroughly check it out and know its patterned route. But life is different. Life twists and turns and throws loops into those places we think will be flat and smooth. Because that’s what life does. Sometimes it all just catches us off guard. And at the end of the day, I guess that’s why I don’t like to be surprised. I can’t stand to get caught off guard. It makes me feel exposed and afraid.

Afraid to Turn the Next Corner 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.

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up previously unearthed places within us. My faith doesn’t just need to grow big, it needs to grow deep. Yes, I need deep faith roots. Deep roots anchor us when surprises blow like strong unruly winds. Deep roots hold us steady during the next storm that didn’t show up on the radar. Deep roots find nourishment when the surface gets awfully dry. Deep roots allow for growth not previously possible. Deep roots yield rich fruit. So, I’m learning to not be so afraid of what might be around the next corner. Even if it does catch me off guard. I close my eyes and whisper… “deeper still.” “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit,” (Jeremiah 17: 7-8 ESV).



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The Journey of Joseph The Palace Test Part 3

You have a destiny. You have been gifted and equipped by God to do what He has designed for you to do. We all must experience tests that refine and prove our character.  To conclude the Journey of Joseph, let’s take a look at a final test Joseph would have to pass to bring his dream and destiny to fruition.  He has had to endure a pit test, a prison test, and because of his fortitude, he finds himself in the Palace of Pharaoh.  After setbacks and personal tribulations, Joseph has now reaped the harvest of his faithfulness.  Because he was able to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler, his service was remembered and he was brought forth into the courts of Pharaoh to interpret the dream of the most powerful man in the nation of Egypt.  Joseph impresses Pharaoh with his wisdom and gift.  Soon after, Joseph was promoted to the highest ranking official in the land of Egypt overseeing the house of Pharaoh and second in command in all the land.  The palace appears to be the best part of the journey.  Joseph has ended up in the palace because of his commitment to always do the right thing along the way and pass each test.  Yet, in the original dreams, Joseph saw his family bowing down to him.  His family is not aware that he is in the palace, and would soon find out about his identity because of his personal revelation to them.  Many times, like Joseph, we often arrive at a good place.  It is full of God’s blessing, and we are surrounded by the very things we once saw only in our dreams and hearts.  Remember, however, that even the palace is a test.  Here are several things Joseph would be tested while in the palace:


The Pardon Test. Joseph was betrayed and sold into slavery by his own brothers.  If it had been strangers, then perhaps dealing with the inner turmoil of rejection would not have been as difficult.   But what do you do when it is the very people you thought that loved you are the very ones who betray you?  Only those close to you can really penetrate your heart.  Instead of retaliating and getting revenge, Joseph does the very exact opposite.  He chooses to forgive.  Forgiveness is not an emotion, but a choice.  Perhaps God has placed you in a “palace” type of environment.  Maybe there were some people who did you wrong along the way.  God has forgiven you.  Can you forgive them in your heart?  Pass the pardon test.


at the bigger picture. God had been at work behind the scenes the entire time.  What appeared to be a setback was really only God setting Joseph up for future greatness.  Joseph speaks the true language of a changed perspective when he states in Genesis 45:7-8, “And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God…”  On the lower level, it was his brothers’ jealousy and envy that prompted them to cast Joseph aside.  Moreover, on the higher level, it was the sovereignty of God that allowed Joseph to stumble upon this particular crafted journey.   Because of his refined character, Joseph was able to see a bigger picture at work not only in his life, but for the lives of his family.  It could be that God has placed in your prestige and promise not just for your personal pleasure, but for the purpose of serving others.  Like a puzzle, life comes in pieces.  Often, we just focus on the piece we see right in front of us.  Choose to take a step back, and view the entire masterpiece that God has allowed you to be a part of.  Check your perspective.


The Power Test. Being the right hand man of Pharaoh, Joseph had access to all sorts of resources and people.  At the age of 30, Joseph was given power over a nation and its economy.  Nations and people came to Egypt for grain, and he was at the forefront of this successful economic initiative during hard times.  After watching his character and decisions unfold in the story, we do not witness a power-driven Joseph.  He is not arrogant, nor brash.  He has remained humble and wise.  Just as we are tested in the valley, we are also tested with power.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  What if you were given the authority and power you were asking for at your job?  Church?  Community? Would God be able to trust you?  Power is not to be abused, but to be stewarded.  God is the giver of all authority and He is able to raise people to platforms and positions.  Be aware that when you have made it to your “palace” and have a certain level of power, our God who never sleeps nor slumbers has His eye on you.  He gives to those He trusts.  Even after gaining national prominence, Joseph used his positional power for the salvation of his family, and the salvation of a nation.

The Perspective Test. Rather than focus on what went wrong in his life and become bitter, Joseph chose to look

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.

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God Knows . . . in Detail By Greg Laurie

I am always amazed at my wife Cathe’s ability to remember details. When I tell her about something that happened, she always asks questions. She will interrupt me mid-story because she wants details that seem insignificant to me at the time. “Who cares?” I will tell her. “Let me finish the story.” But then, when I am retelling the story some time later, she notices that I left out a part. “How do you know?” I will say. “You weren’t there.” “No,” she says, “but I remember.” And she is right. She remembers it better than I remember it because I forget details. Some of us may forget details, but God does not. Not only does God remember every detail of the past, but He also knows the future with complete accuracy. Revelation 13 describes a time when the Antichrist will introduce a cashless society. He will require people to take a mark by which no one can buy or sell without it, and the end game of this is to cause people to engage in devil worship. The technology is effectively already here. Forty years ago this would have seemed impossible, if not implausible. But now with all of the developments in technology, we can see how such a thing actually could unfold before our eyes in real time. God said in Isaiah, “Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” (46:9–10).

e “Only I can tell you th ppens. future before it even ha me Everything I plan will co ver I to pass, for I do whate wish.”

When God tells us what is about to happen, He is not going out on a limb. He knows the future as well as we know the past.

— Isaiah 46:10

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 Copyright © 2013 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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What Does It Mean To Be Born Again? “Well, being born again doesn’t mean to go back into your mother’s stomach,” says Taylor, 11. “It means being born into the family of God.” Unlike Taylor, the religious leader (Nicodemus) who came by night to talk with Jesus missed the point entirely. Jesus spoke of being born again spiritually. Nicodemus thought Jesus spoke of a physical birth when he said, “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4a). “To be born again means you have to trust God as your savior,” says Hannah, 10. “What that means is: 1) Believe that Jesus is God’s son. 2) Believe that He died on the cross for your sins. 3) Believe that He rose again.” Hannah’s clear presentation sounds like the Apostle Paul’s description of the gospel in his letter to the Corinthians (I Corinthians 15:3-4). Don’t get sidetracked on superfluous issues. Present the gospel clearly and concisely. “Being born again means being born or adopted into the Lord’s family and becoming one of his children,” says Maranatha, 12. “You must first believe that Jesus died and rose again. “In I Peter 1:23, it says, ‘having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.’ This means you are saved by the Word of God, and its work is eternal, never perishing.” God’s Word is God’s agent in spiritual birthing. The Bible has a lot to say about the power of God’s Word. Don’t ever underestimate the power of God’s Word to change lives: your own and others’. The longest Psalm in the Bible is entirely devoted to the importance of God’s Word (Psalm 119).

Amber Dunn, 11

to listen to the promptings, guidance and teachings of God’s Spirit. The Spirit-filled life is not living in Weirdsville. It’s productive. The Apostle Paul describes it as fruitful: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). Being born again not only secures your eternal destiny with God in heaven, it gives you the possibility of living a truly productive and satisfying life. However, it’s not automatic. The same Apostle Paul who encouraged Christians to live productive lives also warned them to not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). At the moment people trust the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior, they are delivered forever from the penalty of sin. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, they now possess the power to live productive lives free from sin’s destructive power. Jesus wants to live though his people in a way that involves their willful submission to him. When they fail to submit, God tries to get their attention through loving discipline (Hebrews 12:6). Think about this: Being delivered from the penalty of sin is called justification. Being delivered from the power of sin is called sanctification. Memorize this truth: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Ask this question: Are you born again?

“Probably the most important thing about being born again is that the Holy Spirit is living in you,” says Anna, 10. “He came, cleaned you out and is now living in you.” We live in a time that the Old Testament prophets could only dream about. Some foretold of a time when God would dwell in the hearts of his people instead of a Jerusalem temple. That time is now! Yet, many Christians remain unaware of this spiritual reality. They don’t take time Carey Kinsolving’s Kids Talk About God syndicated column is distributed by Creators Syndicate. features a Bible-lesson archive of all columns. Kinsolving is the co-founder of the RGV Children’s International Arts Festival. For details, go to

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By Theresa Valladares, M.D.

I celebrate my 21st wedding anniversary this month. My husband and I have been together half of our lives! We’ve grown up together. The person we married in our 20’s is not the same person we are married to today. To be honest I don’t think either one of us thought we’d make it this far. Anyone who has been married knows that it’s hard work. There have been times where at least one of us has wanted to quit but it never happened at the same time. When I wanted to give up he worked harder and the same goes for the times he was ready to give up. That was God’s hand at work.

marriage is already starting off on shaky ground. That’s why prenups are so popular because people aren’t sure if they can commit. What else has helped me? I’ve surrounded myself with godly friends who give advice based on the word versus feelings. Friends that are saying “you deserve better” are not going to help you during the low times in marriage. My close circle of friends have solid marriages and everyone has had issues but they work through them and that is the best source for advice you can get.

Marriage they say is 50/50. If you believe this than you will continually be disillusioned. Both parties need to be willing to give 100%. God commands us to serve and become selfless. What does that mean exactly?

I also have a really great friend who although is divorced is quick to show me when I am being selfish and always points me to scripture. She worked harder at her marriage than anyone I’ve ever known. She pushes me to work harder and stay faithful to God. Her marriage may have failed but her respect for the institution of marriage is unwavering.

These are a few of the lessons we have learned the hard way.

1 Corinthians 15:33

To become selfless means you put the other person’s needs before your own. It requires you to accept that if needed you will do 100% of the work 100% of the time. It means that you serve your spouse from the heart and not as a requirement.

Do not be misled “bad company corrupts good morals”

We both have gone through times of selfishness and fighting for our rights and not valuing each other. Those were the lowest points in our marriage. We were so focused on self that we were sinning against each other. Yes I said it-sinning against each other and against God.

If you are hanging out with people who make it ok to cheat or are ready to point out your mates many flaws than chances are you will do same. Do your friends push Matthew 19:6 you to be a better spouse and Christian or do they encourage you to gratify self? I can con“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. trol whom I surround myself with and what I Therefore what God has joined together, let allow to influence my marriage.

no one separate”

We’d lie to ourselves…”if only they would change I’d be happier”. Our marriage got better when I stopped trying to change my spouse. I made a decision to take the “plank out” of my own eye and began to serve him. I had always tried to serve him but honestly at times it was done with an ulterior motive. That too is a sin. I started to read a lot of Christian books on marriage. “Love and Respect” and “The Love Dare” are two books I’ve reread often. I’ve worked hard in most aspects of my life but until I truly worked hard at my marriage I never saw the rewards of our unity. Did you know a man’s greatest need is to be respected? Have you ever considered if your behavior is respectful toward your husband?-the comments with friends, the eye rolling, the questioning his judgment….all signs of disrespect. A woman’s greatest need is to feel loved. A woman feels loved when they are being taken care of and given value. Women need to feel like they are a priority. If you don’t feel loved does that give you right to withhold respect? If you don’t feel respected do you hold back loving your wife? Who isn’t guilty of doing this? It’s human nature. My husband is an avid golfer-it’s his passion. I use to resent the time he spent doing it. I would nag and say “I’m not a priority”! I would withhold my attention, love and respect just to make a point. That’s a sin. I can’t control where he spends his time but I can try to control how I’m going to react. Ultimately we are each accountable to God for our own time and behavior. Does he still golf? Of course! I just don’t disrespect him because of it. Ephesians 5:33 Each one of you should love his wife as he loves himself and the wife must respect her husband. If you remember your vows you remember we made a lot of promises to each other. Most of us are so overwhelmed with planning of the wedding that I don’t think we really pay attention to what we are promising. I think a requirement for marriage is being able to fully love your spouse by the 1st Corinthians 13 scripture. Do you promise to always be kind, patient and not rude or self seeking? Can you forgive and not keep record of wrongs? Can you be slow to anger and promise to always protect, hope and persevere in this marriage regardless of circumstances? It will take that principle to get you through the “good times and the bad, for richer and poorer, in sickness and health until death do you part”. If you can’t honestly say that you can commit to this principle than you

It’s easy to believe “you deserve better”. But the reality is your mate probably does too. I often tell my husband that he deserves better but he is stuck with me…“Til death do us part”! My wonderful husband reminds me that our vows state “til death” and he thinks he might be single in the afterlife! That’s another key to our success-a good sense of humor. Marriage, kids and life are full of surprises and you need to find the humor in the mundane or unexpected. Nobody makes me laugh harder than my spouse. He doesn’t allow me to take myself too seriously and keeps me quite grounded. He can tease me and I know that he still loves me. We are still growing up but with age comes wisdom and tolerance. We are still very different yet God has put us together and has kept us from falling apart. I try harder to appreciate him and spend less time depreciating him. Focus on the good and see him through Gods eyes and not through my own. Is our marriage perfect? Of course not! But like with all things that are worthwhile we continue to put in the hard work. We learn from mistakes and seek Godly counsel regularly. I want to restress that the improvement of marriage is not going to come through your spouse changing. It only comes through self reflection and working on personal issues. You be the best spouse you can be and do it all while honoring God! God knows my heart and sometimes when I’m really good he floods the golf course for me! As a final note to my husband, Rick nobody loves me like you do and I know that I am stronger and wiser and more confident because you love me through Gods eyes. I am thankful for the freedom you give me to share our stories and for allowing me to be me. I am grateful that you still tell me I’m beautiful even when I’m wearing workout clothes and passed out on the couch with a chocolate bar. Even though I still believe I’m pretty close to perfect (ha ha) I promise to continue working on becoming the wife you deserve. Thank you for the years of laughter, your patience and daily forgiveness, for our children and for not giving up. Happy 21st Anniversary Pookie!

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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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We are excited to welcome

Christ’s Harbor Christian School

to 1441 Santa Isabel Blvd in Laguna Vista, TX!!!!

They are open for the 2013-2014 School Year and taking new students starting with Kindergarten! “This is such a wonderful opportunity and asset to the surrounding communities! A loving, nurturing AND learning environment where our children can grow!” ~ Connie Stanley Clifton Mitchell Teachers are ACSI Certified BREAKFAST and LUNCH are included! Small Student to Teacher Ratio Christian Curriculum State of the Art Computer Lab On-site State Licensed Before and after school care

Fore more information please call phone# 956-943-6086 or phone# 956-943-5595

7:30 8:00 8:30   8:45   10:45   11:15   11:45   12:15 1:00     1:15   2:45   3:00   3:30   4:45  

Registration &  Drop  Off Warm-Up Power  Boost  (Devotion) Soccer  Clinics Camp  Team  Chapel FCA  Huddle  Time Lunch Crazy  Games FCA  Huddle  Time Power  Camp  Soccer  Games Snacks  (for  Parents  &  Campers) A  Final  Word  to  Parents  &  Campers Extended  Camp  Pick-Up



Registration &  Drop  Off Warm-Up Power  Boost  (Devotion) Soccer  Clinics Team  Chapel  Meeting FCA  Huddle  Time Lunch Crazy  Games FCA  Huddle  Time Practice Snack Team  Meeting Regular  Camp  Pick-Up Extended  Camp  Pick-Up


On Friday,  Parents  are  invited  to  join   us  after  lunch  to  watch  their  children   play  in  some  exhibition  soccer  games,   enjoy  snacks  with  their  children,  and   hear  a  final  word  from  our  Director.

7:30 8:00   8:30     8:45   10:45   11:15   11:45   12:15   1:00   1:30   2:45   3:00   4:45  

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Phone: 956-994-1121 Fax:  956-994-1131 E-mail:

1801 S.  McColl  Rd    Suite  300 McAllen,  TX  78503

Fellowship of  Christian  Athletes

Our relationships  will  demonstrate  stead-­‐ fast  commitment  to  Jesus  Christ  and  His   Word  through            Integrity,  Service,  Team-­‐ work  and    Excellence.  

FCA Core  Values

To present  to  athletes  and  coaches  and  all   whom  they  in�luence  the  challenge  and   adventure  of                  receiving  Jesus  Christ  as   Savior  and  Lord,  serving  Him  in  their         relationships  and  in  the    fellowship  of  the   church.    

FCA Mission

FCA Vision

To see  the  world  impacted  for          Jesus   Christ  through  the  in�luence  of  athletes   and  coaches.

Scan this  QR  Code    for  more                               Information  or  to  Register  

Ages 8  -  12

8:00 am  -  3:30  pm

July 8  -    12,  2013

Sharyland High  School Soccer  Fields   and   Brownsville  Sports  Park  

South Texas Fellowship  of   Christian  Athletes 1st  Annual

Both locations  will  be  visited  every  day  by   Professional  Soccer  Players  and  Coaches  from  Brazil.       Our  kids  will  be  with  some  of  the  worlds  �iinest

Power Camp  is  a  time  of  inspiration  and   perspiration   where   campers   hone   their               God-given  soccer  skills  while  also  devel-­‐ oping  godly  character.    It’s  a  great  week! IT’S  A  CAMP  LIKE  NO  OTHER!!!

Why FCA  Power  Camp?

Each Camper   receives   lunch   every   day,   camp   T-shirt,   lanyard   &   name   tag,   FCA   Sports   Bible,   soccer   ball,   and   an   FCA   wrist   band.   Local   Coaches   will   be   the   soccer  clinicians  for  the  week,  and  many   of  our  areas  Teenagers  will  be  helping  as   volunteers.

FCA Power   Camp   is   a   Sports   Day   Camp   for   kids   ages   8-12.   As   each   Camper   has   fun   improving   their   soccer   skills   during   a   fun-�illed,   action-packed   week   with     friends,  they  will  also  learn   about   God’s   love  for  them.

What is  Soccer  Power  Camp? Birthdate


Signature of  Parent/Guardian

Email Address



Mailing Address

Parent/Guardian Name  (print)


Extended Camp*  —  $50  Add  —  Yes      No    

Grade (entering  Fall  2013)        Shirt  Size


First Name

School (entering  Fall  2013)


Camper Last  Name

Camper Registration

*Extended Camp    (Optional  Add-On)   Additional  $50.00  —  Each  kid  will  get  a   snack,  play  soccer  &  games,  and  Parent   Pick  up  is  extended  to  4:45  pm  each  day.

Campers can  be  dropped  off  at  7:30  am   each  morning  and  must  be  picked  up  by   3:45  pm  each  afternoon.

Drop Off

8 -  10  Year  Olds:  Red  Team 10  -  12  Year  Olds:  Blue  Team A  special  Note  for  10  Year  Olds: During   Check-In,   a   10   year   old   may   sign   up   to   participate   with   either   the   Red   Team  or  Blue  Team  of  Camp.

Camp will  be  divided  into  2  Groups:

For information  about  Camp  Scholarships,   call  Robin  Martinez  at    956-994-1121.

All Balances  due  by  July  8th

$50 —  Extended  Camp*  (optional  add-on)

($50 —  Deposit  due  with  registration)

Cost: $150.00

Registration Cost &  Deadlines

— Hebrews  10:39

But we  are  not  those  who  draw  back    and   are  destroyed,  but  those  who  have    faith  and   obtain  life.


5 Ways to Avoid

the Worst Family Vacation Ever

1 2 3 4 5

Don’t Be Overly Ambitious Here’s how we tend to think. “If one theme park is good, then five must be five times as good?” Or, “If visiting three national parks in one week is fun, then squeezing in six is better?” Don’t do it. Instead, relax. How about a late breakfast every day and taking three days to visit one destination? “Frantic,” “frenetic,” and “fast” inevitably lead to “frustration” and “freaking out.”

Don’t Overspend Work on a vacation budget. Plan it day by day. Then stick to it. The added stress of knowing you’re breaking the bank will usually sap the joy out of anything you do.

Leave Your Work at Work Remember, dad, the smartphone is your servant, not your lord. Vacation means, “I’m here for my family and with my family. Only my family.” People who bring work along on vacation are sending a clearer message to their family than to their boss.

Play Games Together The key word here is, “together.” Pull out some of those old board games and keep the electronic ones turned off. Each family member should bring two of their favorites and be in charge when that game comes around. Make this a vacation FROM family isolation and FOR family togetherness.

Divvy up the Responsibilities Make these age-appropriate, but involve everyone in the planning and the implementation. There are lots of potential jobs: drive-time planner, restaurant finder, treasurer, photographer, chaplain, weather reporter, movie-finder, popcorn popper… (use your imagination). Give kids responsibility, help them plan, and then let them follow through.

For More Resources Go To AllProD / 24 / /

© 2013 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

he ild in t h c a up o: “Train he should g e will h way is old, it.” e h n e and wh depart from not (KJV) 6 : 2 2                                  bs Prover

The mission of First Christian Academy is to promote a redemptive relationship between each student and Jesus Christ and facilitate spiritual, academic, social , physical and vocational growth through the provision of an environment in which non-denominational Biblebased Christian values are inspired. Here at FCA we take pride in our familyoriented, positive, loving environment. We pray that the Lord will guide us in living up to our motto everyday;

“Teaching Christian Morals, Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders.”

Train with


Angela Greenig to

Centro Familiar Christiano 3308 N. Conway, Mission, TX The General is coming to rally the troops August 9th, 2013 Friday Night at 7p.m. August 10th 10a.m.-12p.m. 12p.m.-2p.m. Lunch 2p.m.-4p.m. 7p.m. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Matthew 11:5

/ 26 / Neelry .valleychristianmagazine. / Pamela 956-453-3007 www


Rather then trusting in God’s provision for His likeness, they ate from the “Tree of the Knowledge Good and Evil”. For their rebel-lion, they died spiritually - no longer were they clothed with the “glory of God” - now incapable of expressing the likeness of God’s goodness and character Adam and Eve’s rst child was born in Adam’s image and likeness, not God’s (Gen 5:3). You and I were born in the image and likeness of Adam’s fallen nature, with that same rebel-lious aaitude.

To KNOW Him and to Make Him KNOWN Ask believers why God rescued them. While it is true God wanted to make us right with Him through Jesus’ sacriice and escape Hell, many believers think, “I re-ceived Christ and one day I will go to heav-en” and that is all there is to it. I want to challenge our RELIGOUS shortsightedness and get us “thy KINDGOM come, thy Will be done on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN” minded. God declares His Original Purpose for Man in Garden of Eden. God created the earth and its inhabitants to make Himself known on earth. By making Him known God would be gloriied, praised. First, God made Himself known In a demonstration of His power as a Creator (Romans 1:20) Secondly, to reveal Himself God needed a “qualiied” management team (representative gures of Himself).

Restoring God’s Purpose. God had to send His only Son (the second Adam), not only to rescue us from the penalty of our rebel-lion, but to show and demonstrate the Father’s likeness. “ …the Father is in Me (the invisible). e words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works (the visible).” ( John 14:9-10; John 3:5-8) Experiencing God’s Purpose And Impacting the World. In John 15:5, Jesus tells how believers can experience God’s purpose – “….he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Once in Christ, we can uniquely reveal God in the world again (the visible) by abiding in Christ or living through Him (the invisible). Danger Will Robinson! In the midst of our struggle to conquer sinful habits, well -meaning Christians sometimes counsel us to just apply more “biblical” disciplines and principles (do, do, do) and those “to do things” will make us more like Christ. We must be careful that we do not believe the same lie like Adam and Eve did (we have to do something to be like God, when God had already provided us His image and likeness through Christ and the Holy Spirit).. We rather need to believe that we are already like Him by being a partaker of His divine nature in Christ. (2 Peter 1:4) Em-powered to obey Him.

e only way man could rule and steward God’s creation was through the image and likeness of God. God said, “Let us make man in our image and likeness. (Gen 1:27)

Wake Up Church in America, the World is Waiting! Just as Jesus was all about His Father, we too have a lifetime opportunity to give it all up for HIM so that through the Church God might be gloriied (be made KNOWN – visible)

In God’s image: (manner of being) – Adam & Eve were spiritually connected to God in order to know Him. God created man with a spirit, so God and man could have a continual spirit to spirit RELATIONSHIP (invisible). God is spirit ( John 4:24).

When the world looks at the Church these days, it ooen only sees a “religious version” of itself (the world). e world is waiting for the Church to get right with God – First To KNOW Him (experience). Secondly, that believers can make God’s love, mercy, grace, forgiveness KNOWN to a lost world through their conduct and behavior. It’s not about us – but amount HIM.

In God’s likeness: (manner of doing) – By KNOWING God spirit to spirit, God’s like-ness (character) would be KNOWN on earth through Adam and Eve’s obedient behavior (visible).

T.W. Nerem – Forgiven Motorcycle Ministry, Discipleship Facilitator e Family Church.

e enemy (the devil) thwarted God’s plan for good through temptation. e devil deceived Adam and Eve into thinking that they had to do something to be like God when they already were. (Gen 3:5)

Acts 10:43 at everyone who believes in Him receoves forgiveness of sins through His name.

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“For by grace are ye saved through faith…” Ephesians 2:8-9 / 28 / /




VCM is excited to share with you our newest feature! Our new Wedding & Engagements will feature local couples not only sharing this exciting time in their lives but most importantly, sharing how God is at the center of their relationship. VCM believes in the example of a marriage pyramid. If you put God at the top, then as you get closer to God you get closer to your spouse (or spouse -to-be!).

The Way of Love If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7 MSG) / 29 / /

ist!” “Your Valley Honeymoon Special Chuck Olson Tours & Cruises

(956) 664-2916 / (800) 568-9890

Matthew & Lillian Tagle

Wedding Date: June 1, 2013 Ceremony: Heavenly Splendor Event Center Church Membership: Trinity Worship Center Matthew and I were both raised up in the Lord and both served in ministry at Trinity Worship Center in Pharr. we know that doing “Kingdom Business” brought us closer together and being able to serve others together now as husband and wife is a greater blessing. Our youth pastor and mentor Steven Sheller offciated our ceremony along with the blessing of our Senior Pastor Robert L. Richardson. As our relationship blossomed, we both loved being involved in church ministry & our church leaders always encouraged us to keep the Lord first. We prayed a lot! The Lord also sent various married couples into our lives that encouraged us to take the next step, divine appointed friends, who gave us Godly advice based on scripture and personal experience. He gave us strength and patience and I know that by trusting in Him and always seeking Him together in prayer brought us to where we are now. Romans 8:25, “Though we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience, wait for it.” We trusted God and knew that if this was what God wanted for our lives that it would arrive. Now that we are Mr. & Mrs. Tagle we still look at each other and ask, “Are we really married?” and then giggle a little because being married is so wonderful! We are grateful that we waited on the Lord, & we know that even greater things are yet to come as we continue to put our trust and hope in Jesus.

Photo by Jesse Cazal

Valley Christian Engagements Duilio Cabrera & Katy Jo Albritton July 27, 2013 Word In Season Church, Harlingen

In April 2012, my life changed forever when I met Katy Jo Albritton at Word In Season Church. She came into my life in God’s perfect timing. I was at a point where I had so many questions regarding my true purpose on earth. By meeting Katy,I realize that God’s love never fails us. Even though I had been through so much hurt and pain, in the end it was God’s will that brought us together. Through Christ, Katy is showing me a love and peace that I have never experienced before. I want to have a life long love affair with her through Christ. Romans 8:28, “Where it says that God causes all things to work together file:///Users/wisd/Dropbox/vcm_july_2013/Wedding%20Pages/Vintage_Scroll.webarchive

for good to those that love God.” You see from 1999 to 2003 I was bound by drugs and alcohol on my way to hell but God showed me His love and delivered me from those things in 2003. His sacrificial love for me opened my eyes to a world that I had never seen before and though I didn’t deserve my Katy, God was Faithful in the end to give her to me. And for that I will forever be indebted to Him. 

If you are interested in placing your Engagement announcement or getting your wedding spotlighted in the Valley Christian Wedding & Engagement Section, please contact: Stella Gallegos Email:

Try our delectable truffles. We have 17 flavors to choose from and they can be packaged in individual boxes for the perfect wedding favor. Or try our strawberries dipped in 3 kinds of chocolate. We also offer bride and groom tuxedo decorating. We can deliver to your wedding site.

Summer Feature: Seasalt Caramel! Buy 3 Chocolates and get one free of equal or lesser value!

10% discount on any orders of $200 or more

Phone: 956.854.1601

Palms Crossing Shopping Center * 3300 Expressway 83, Bldg. 100, Suite 170* McAllen, Texas 78501* 6/24/13 2:37 PM


* Visit our website at: or at

Lucky By Glenn Packiam Publisher: David C. Cook Feeling Lucky? If you are a Christian you may not consider yourself “lucky.” If you consider yourself to be blessed, then you are among the lucky. Glenn Packiam, author of Lucky: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People, tells us that those who believe in Christ are Lucky. He shows that to be blessed is to be lucky. This is demonstrated from Luke 6:20-23. Lucky are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God’s riches. Lucky are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Lucky are you who weep now, for you shall laugh with the joy from knowing God. Lucky are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice [lucky one] in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven . . . (ESV and some added interpretation)

Book Review by

When Jesus preached this message, he was speaking to those with “bad luck;” those who were not successful by the world’s standards. They were the unlikely people to receive the blessings God was and is always ready to disperse. They were poor, hungry, and weeping people. Yet Jesus told them they were lucky, blessed. We often consider the “blessed” to be those who have it together, who have success, wealth, and the good life. Packiam helps us rethink this idea, which is encouraging, because I am sure that we do not always fall under the category of the “blessed” when economic trials abound and disappointment scorches our spirits. When God found me, I know I was among the unlikely to be a Christ-follower, or what Packiam calls a luck-bearer. With many of life’s trials I don’t feel so lucky either. Packiam suggests that we get stuck in the world’s outlook and forget that our luck has just begun when we meet Jesus. We are waiting to be complete and fulfilled. Faith in Christ is not a lottery ticket but the lucky “number.” We have already inherited the best. We are lucky indeed! Let Packiam share his profound insight from this great book!

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).

Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You’re More Like Jesus Than You Think?

Jonathan Martin Tyndale Publishing

Becoming Myself: Embracing God’s Dream of You Stasi Eldredge David C Cook Publishing

Jesus is God and we are not. Most of us get that. But what we don’t always understand is that God loves us just as much as He does His son. Many times in the Old Testament, God refers to human beings as His “beloved.” But when God called Jesus His beloved, Jesus did something truly remarkable: He believed Him. He lived every moment of His life fully convinced of His identity. And unlike every other person in history . . . He never forgot. In Prototype, Jonathan Martin creates a vivid understanding of what it means to be beloved by God. To completely trust, as Jesus did, that God loves you. To live life without fear, confident in your identity and purpose. To handle life’s wounds as Jesus did, and to wake every day with a deep awareness of God’s presence. Martin reveals a startling truth at the heart of the gospel: Jesus is our prototype. And as we discover how the knowledge of being God’s beloved changed everything for Jesus—how it set Him free to live out his purpose and love God, others, and the world—it will begin to do the same for us.

God has dreams—just for you Becoming Myself is a hope-filled book for anyone who wonders if her life will ever change—if she will ever change. In Stasi Eldredge’s most intimate book yet, she shares her own struggles with self-worth, weight, and her past as she shows readers how God is faithfully unveiling who we truly are. Stasi urges you to lay down your past thoughts about yourself and receive God’s incredible dreams for you instead. We cannot heal ourselves. We cannot become ourselves by ourselves. But we are not by ourselves.  The King of love wants to help us become. God desires to restore us—the real us. As he heals our inner life, he calls us to rise to the occasion of our lives. The most important journey any woman can take is the journey into becoming her true self through the love of God.

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Life is Not Posed.



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July 8-12 FCA Camps

Brownsville Sports Park

August 10th The Convoy

Coffee Talk Coming soon

San Benito

A Valley Christian Magazine Gathering

July 21 Chick-Fil-A Cow Appreciation Day


eign Angela G r e enig Centr o Fa to



August 8-9

Global Leadership Summit

Palm Valley Church


milia 3308 N r Chr . Con ist way, Missio iano The G enera n, TX l is co m in g to the t rally roop s Augu st 9th Frida , 2013 y Nig ht at 7p.m. Augu st 10t h 10a.m .12 p. 12p.m.m. 2p.m. Lunc 2p.m.h 4p.m. 7p.m. www .ang

August 10th Train To reign elagre enig.c om The bl ind re the la ceive sight me wal , thos e who k, have lepros ar y the de e cleansed af he , ar, th e dead ar and th e raised, e go proc laimed od news is to th e poor Matth . ew 11: 5

with Angela Greenig Mission

St. Paul Lutheran VBS was held June 9-13. The theme for this year’s VBS was Athens! Paul’s Dangerous Journey to share the truth! For more information on activities at St. Paul’s contact Michelle Stripling. St. Paul Lutheran Church 300 W. Pecan BLVD Allen, TX 78504 956.682.2345

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1. Mercy Me

Tou Are I Am CD: The Hurt and the Healer

2. Chris Tomlin

Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) CD: Burning Lights

3. The Afters

Every Good Thing CD: Life is Beautiful

4. Matthew West 5. Sidewalk Prophets Hello my name is CD: Into The Light

/ 36 / /

Help Me Find It CD: Live Like That

Rend Collective Experiment Invite Listeners To Join Them Around The Campfire Campfire Collection :: Recorded Live On Beach In Northern Ireland Imagine intimate worship around the glow of embers and friendship. Imagine church as a shared celebration of our stories, struggles and lives. And imagine mission as the ignition of God’s people as they huddle closely around “The Consuming Fire.” With Campfire, a 12-track collection recorded live on a beach in Northern Ireland, Rend Collective Experiment dare us to reimagine worship and community. Known for pushing artistic boundaries, the Campfire project sees Rend Collective in their creative element, using inventive and often surprising new arrangements of material from their previous two albums, Organic Family Hymnal and Homemade Worship by Handmade People, to lead a small gathering of friends in worship around a campfire. The vocals were recorded live in the great outdoors (around the campfire) on Ballyholme beach after the invitation to participate was given via Facebook and Twitter. This is typical of the band’s desire to foster a sense of community and shared journeying as part of their worship.

and passionate song-crafting similar to Glen Hansard, Campfire is exciting as a piece of art. But it can be much more than that. Gilkeson and his Rend Collective bandmates pray that this album is the spark that ignites a whole new approach to corporate worship and community life. Their hope is that church will no longer be a place where some people still feel alone and only spectators, but instead, church will be a place where each person can have a chance to share and give. To bring this vision to life, they will also be encouraging others to start their own community “campfires” and will be providing a free Campfire Resource Pack for people to download from their website,

As Rend’s Gareth Gilkeson states: “There are no outsiders in the Kingdom. That’s part of why we chose to record around the campfire. Worship is not exclusive or confined within the walls of a church. It’s a flame for everyone to gather around.” Sonically, Campfire is a fresh and innovative take on the newfolk and indie genres, an acoustic project by virtue of the fact that there are no electrical sockets on the beach. The album is entirely driven by classic, retro folk instruments that could be played by the fireside and by the ocean. The result is an album that captures the raw, rootsy, foot-stomping energy of the Irish worshippers, which has been infectious among audiences across the globe, as well as the vulnerability and intimacy of home group worship. With imaginative instrumentation reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens, a kitschy charm like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

6. Building 429 We Won’t Be Shaken CD: We Won’t Be Shaken

7. Hawk Nelson Words CD: Made

8. Third Day

Your Love is Like a River CD: Miracle

9. Citizen Way

Nothing Ever (Could Separate Us) CD: Love Is The Evidence

/ 37 / /


Resenting The Family Loan Dear Dave, I borrowed $30,000 from my aunt to buy a condo eight years ago. We had a deal that she would get her money back, plus a piece of the profits, when it sold. If there were no profits, she would get back her original $30,000. Recently the condo sold and I lost the money I put into it, plus my aunt’s money as well. I make good money and don’t have any other debt, but I’m a little resentful now that she wants me to pay her back. Do you have any suggestions? Christine Dear Christine,

As k

I don’t want to be mean, but you have no right to be resentful toward your aunt. This is the deal you signed up for, and she did nothing wrong. Wanting her money back now isn’t greedy or malicious on her part, and it’s definitely not worth putting a family relationship at risk.



I know what you’re thinking, because it’s just human nature. You just went through a lot, and the situation didn’t work out as planned. Plus, it doesn’t sound like your aunt is hurting financially if she put $30,000 toward helping you in the deal. Part of you is thinking she has plenty of money, so why doesn’t she just forgive the debt and forget about everything? If you were barely scraping by, I might suggest that you sit down and talk with her over a cup of coffee, explain the situation and ask her to forgive the debt. Right now, the little girl part of you is whining, “Oh, come on. Just let me go!” But the grown-up Christine knows better. That part of you is whispering, “You know what to do…” Pay her back as quickly as possible, and get this bad deal behind you for good. You said you make good money, so just take care of your responsibility. It’ll hurt some, but it’s better than taking a chance on ruining the relationship with a very generous and loving aunt.


Dear Dave,

Watch What You Give Them!

I’m working on my debt snowball, and I’m trying to settle with a pushy collector. I don’t have the $9,000 I owe, but I have $3,000 I’d like to offer as a settlement. Recently the collector has started asking for a lot of information I don’t feel comfortable providing. What should I do? Daniel Dear Daniel, 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 wTrenches, released in September 2011.

Lots of times in these kinds of situations collectors are trying to gather up as much information as possible in order to sue you. Even if that’s not the case here, there’s no reason for you to be supplying them with a bunch of extra info. Just offer them the $3,000, and make it clear that your financial coach—which is me—told you not to answer any more of their nosy questions. Make sure they understand that your offer of $3,000 stands as a settlement of the debt today. If they’re willing to accept the offer, get a statement in writing saying that the $3,000 represents payment in full before you cut the check. If they choose not to accept your offer, and they keep asking questions that are none of their business, just tell them to call back when they’re willing to discuss terms. Then, hang up! —Dave / 38 / /

July 21st Chick-fil-A is proud to support the Rio Grande Valley 1300 East Jackson Avenue, McAllen, Texas 78503

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7340 North 10th Street McAllen Texas 78504-9581 956-992-9027

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©2010 CFA Properties, Inc. Chick-fil-A®, Chick-fil-A Stylized® and the Chick-fil-A Cows® are registered trademarks of CFA Properties, Inc.

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 /www.valleychristianmagazine. com /

Valley Christian Magazine - July 2013  
Valley Christian Magazine - July 2013  

VC Mag - Loving God, Loving Others through relevant writings and encouragement. July Edition features our newest feature: Weddings & Engag...