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Praise

on the

Hill

welcomes

Sanctus Real Kerrie Roberts & The Afters Image

p.25

An Appetite‌.for God’s Word

Management: What do you hide behind? p.18

Power of Forgetting your Past p.14

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p.16


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index

3O

Features

Moor The

Image

worship

11 – At Home with Pastor: Pastor José A. Cavazos 26 – Praise on the Hill 34 – Kids Talk About God 40 – What to read 42 – The Way We Worship: Ryan Moore 44– Israel Houghton 45- Top 9 Christian Songs 46 – New Releases 48 – Events

24 Gonzalez

National Columnists 14 16 30 50 20

– – – – –

James MacDonald Greg Laurie Joe Beam Dave Ramsey Steve Marr

18

26 - Praise on the Hill welcomes Sanctus Real

11

Valley Contributors 8 – Christian Torres 18 – Jerrell Jobe 22 – Abram Gomez 24 – Milton Gonzalez 32 – Jacob Ramon 36 – Dr. Theresa Valladares 38 – Miguel Paredes

On The Cover

JOSÉ

Vol. 2 / Issue 6

Eli Lara 956-451-0174

Publisher Christian@valleychristianmagazine.com

Designer

Stephanie Torres Accounting

James Alexander Distribution

PHOTOGRAPHERS Jenny Maples Hollis Cliff Ranson

CONNECT WITH US:

Eli@valleychristianmagazine.com

Twitter: @vcmagazine

Ana Beicker 956-648-2511 Ana@valleychristianmagazine.com

Tax Deductible donations can be mailed to: Texas Christian Publications c/o Valley Christian Magazine 3827 North 10th Street, 301 McAllen, TX 78501

956-314-O161

the Hill

To submit story ideas, events, or comments: valleychristianmagazine@gmail.com

For Advertising contact:

Christian Torres Irma d’Santiago “morett”

26

22

Praise

Stella Gallegos 956-854-1601 Stella@valleychristianmagazine.com

Ronnie Vela 956-599-8063 Ronnie@valleychristianmagazine.com

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Valley Christian Magazine is a free monthly magazine published by

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

/ Printed in the USA.


?

to go on a hike ho wants W By Christian Torres

Sound of Music Image Copyright by respective production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only.

T

he trail book described the route as ‘easy.’

So when you think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be easy, what do you do? You go for it! Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been blessed with the ability to go to Colorado to a family cabin. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s out there. No phones. No Internet. Just Bears. As my kids have gotten older weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ventured further and further away from our place. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a trail to old silver mine weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard about but have never taken the trek. I got my hands on a book of trails and found the route and it was described as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Easy.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; It said it was only 3.1 miles round trip. What I failed to notice was the elevation went up to 9,600 feet in a short time! So there we were, my wife and I along with our 3 girls, ages ranging from 7-12, packed up water bottles and some fruit and headed out about as excited as we can get! :H ZHUH Ă&#x20AC;UHG XS  :H ZHUH OLNH ´<(6 Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go for it!â&#x20AC;?

Did I mention that the elevation quickly ramped up to 9,600 feet from 6,500?! We are talking over 3,000 feet in increased elevation!! After hiking the 2 miles to get to the start of the trail, my youngest daughter was already tired and started to do what 7 year olds do when they are trying to keep upâ&#x20AC;Ślet us know that she is not a happy camper, err hiker. I told my wife â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just stop and go backâ&#x20AC;Śitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not worth it.â&#x20AC;? I wanted to quit. I wanted to stop the crying. You know, all I really wanted was the image I had in my head of us walking up the mountain singing songs like as if we were the Von Trapps! But when things got tough, I looked for WKHHDV\Ă&#x20AC;[,MXVWZDQWHGWKLQJVWRJHW easier. Stop the crying. Fix the situation. Little did I know that the mine was just around the corner! We couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see it. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know. How many times do we think that we are going to do something or go somewhere and have a mental image or expectations of what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be like? Maybe you thought youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d start a business, get involved with a ministry, marry

the person of your dreams, have a child (how hard could that really be?), only to come to the realization that things are much tougher than youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d ever expect! (even if you were told it was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;easyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;)

,,

Even worse, how many times do we actually quit not knowing that the destination is near?!

â&#x20AC;ŚW

e also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 NIV

When I ask my girls what their favorite thing from the summer wasâ&#x20AC;Śyou guessed itâ&#x20AC;Śhiking up to the mine! They said it was EASY!!

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

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,,,


Thank You!

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Iglesia Lirio De Los Valles 7308 W. Curtis Ave. Harlingen, Texas 78550 956.535.3338

Worship Times Sunday: 9:45 am Life School: 9:45 am

Faith Message Wensday: 7:00 Jose AbelardoCavazos Elizabeth Cavazos Josue Daniel Cavazos (24) Ruth Mary Cavazos (17)

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Where did you meet your wife? We met when we were attending a youth group at Good Shepherd Church. It was in September 1982 and we were 16 years old. Even then, I knew she was going to be my companion for life. We worked together in youth ministry and at age 19 I asked her to marry me and she accepted. It was in 1986 when we join our lives ... And we will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary this December.

Are you from the Valley? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m originally from Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas. I was born in May 1967 and immigrated to the United States in 1977, receiving our legal residence and subsequently our citizenship in 1998.

When did you feel the call to become a Pastor? In 1987, my wife, my in-laws and I felt the call to start our own congregation. My father-in-law began a small church in the garage of his home, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where he began to pastor a small group of brothers in Christ, in 1988. My wife and I supported him in everything he need. For many years we shared the word of Christ from that small garage. One day my Father-in-law felt it was time to step down

from being Pastor. It was then that God called me to take the leadership of the congregation. Together we all prayed for WKDWGHFLVLRQFRQVLGHULQJKRZGLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWLWZDVZHZHUHDOLWWOH afraid of calling and responsibility. When we all have fear, we feel the need to hide ... Just as ZKHQ*RGFDOOHG$GDPLQ*HQHVLV´$QGKHVDLG,KHDUG thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.â&#x20AC;? 7KLVLVDOVRUHĂ HFWHGLQWKHSDVVDJHRIWKHWDOHQWVLQ0DWWKHZ 25:14-30. ,KLGIURPWKDWFDOORI&KULVWDWĂ&#x20AC;UVW,KLGEHKLQGP\ZRUN,KLG behind the business. I hid behind my family. I came up with thousands of excuses so as not to hear the call God ... Until He KLWDOLWWOHKDUGHUDQG,VXUUHQGHUHGWR+LP,VDLG´+HUHLVP\ life, all fear aside and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll believe in you. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have faith in you and your promises, I know you have a legacy in my life, but show PH\RXUZLOO´$QG,ZDVDFFHSWHGDVSDVWRURIWKHFKXUFK

When did you feel the call to become a Pastor? First, I see what is important to God and one of those things is that we worship Him. For this reason, we want to strive to be some of the best church worshipers of the world!! When we worship, we are in the presence of God. His presence is with us and He loves it. So we show Him that we love Him. Just as the husband tells his wife that he loves her and wants to be with her and intentionally sets aside time to enjoy her company, we make time to love our God with all our heart, soul, and strength. Second. We take care of people. The word VD\VLQ0DWWKHZ´-HVXVDQVZHUHG KLPWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWRIDOOWKHFRPPDQGPHQWV is: ... Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your VWUHQJWK7KLVLVWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWFRPPDQGment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself ¨. There is no other commandment greater than this. So we as a church, learn to show our neighbors our witness by learning to care for our neighborsâ&#x20AC;Ś showing, teaching and caring for them.

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No words, but actions, service and care. Third. We train people and win souls. Jesus said in Matthew ´*RWKHUHIRUHDQGPDNHGLVFLSOHVRIDOOQDWLRQVEDStizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you; And surely I am with you always, until the end of the world. Amen. We have opened a training school, to disciple the people. The people need to be discipled in the school of life and we have 10 levels ... we are currently providing the 5th level, each level consists of 4 months of preparation. Soul-winning is important to us, so we teach how to evangelize the world.

Could you tell us about the miracle of your child? Sure, everything started when Joshua Daniel, my eldest, was only 4 years old. His eyes began to blink uncontrollably, his arm went limp and he would faint, We realized that my little suffered from seizures. So we made an appointment with a neurologist from San Antonio, who was visiting the Valley. He ordered several tests including an MRI. The following week we said that our son had a brain tumor, just behind his left eye and it appeared to be the size of a golf ball. He was quickly transferred to San Antonio for Emergency treatment. It goes without saying that my wife and I were broken by the situation. They were able to perform the surgery and remove the tumor however, the doctor told us that this type of tumor tends to originate in the spine and it was vital to order another MRI. Unfortunately the doctorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suspicions were true and he gave us more bad news, the tumor had spread to the spine. They told us that we would be there a long time and he would have to receive a year of radiation and chemotherapy. The doctor was not optimistic and said it was more than likely that he would just continue to deteriorate and not surive but for more than a year. We cried and we asked him if he would let us return to the Valley for a while. The Doctor gave us one condition, we had to come back to San Antonio in one week so that our son could began his treatment. Once home and back in our congregation, we prayed for our young son for a week non-stop. We fasted all week. I remember being locked in the closet of my room praying that the Lord will heal my son and make him very strong. The following week we returned to San Antonio, and had all the necessary tests inorder to start chemotherapy. That eveQLQJ WKH GRFWRU YLVLWHG XV DQG JDYH XV DQRWKHU VWRU\  ´, MXVW came from the lab and according to the tests, there is no cancer in the

spine, the child is clean ... the MRI shows no tumor.â&#x20AC;? Yes! God performed the miracle, my son was healed. The doctor did not XQGHUVWDQG+HMXVWVDLG´,W¡VDPLUDFOHÂľ:HZHUHJLYHQUDGLDtion for 6 weeks to eradicate the root and prevent the cancer from returning. Now my little boy is 24 and is a tremendous worshiper!

Why did you choose Harlingen for your church? We have seen how most parts of the Valley has deteriorated over the years. The economy is bad all over and we felt called to establish roots here in Harlingen. We wanted to do our part to help make sure that Harlingen is a city competitive in busiQHVVĂ&#x20AC;QDQFHDQGHGXFDWLRQ:HZDQWWKHFLW\WRKDYHDJHQuine revival. We pray that people, through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, open their hearts and minds. This city is the heart of 5*9ZHDUHLQWKHFHQWHUDQGZHDUHFRQĂ&#x20AC;GHQWWKDWZHZLOO win Harlingen for Christ.

How are you able to work full time AND be a pastor? Phew, I also wonder that!! [chuckles] But God has entrusted us with His message and I can only do it by His grace. This is a gift we did not deserve, the Bible speaks of a salvation. But grace is more than a lifesaver, it takes the grace of God to be a mom, pastor, boss. Whatever you do, He gives us the grace to preach, to speak, to work. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hardly believe that I became pastor of a church, with my construction business and as a Federal Agent of the United States. As you can imagine, my time is very limited and I have to plan my schedule, and use the time that He gives me, because one day we will have to give an account. You have to plan for everything. It is only by the grace of God! for He is good ... I always ask: Lord, give me grace to go ahead with the challenges that I have ... for Him.

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The Power of Forgetting Our Past By Dr. James MacDonald

Listen to Walk in the Word locally weekdays at 5:30a.m. James MacDonald is founding and Senior Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in northwest Chicago. Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 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. www.walkintheword.com

xxxxxxxxxxx

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

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An Appetite for Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Word By GREG LAURIE

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.â&#x20AC;? Colossians 1:28

WKHQZHUHDGDERXWWKHFKXUFKRIWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWFHQWXU\WKHFKXUFK

LQUHYLYDOWKHFKXUFKWKDWFKDQJHGLWVZRUOGZHUHDGWKDW´WKH\ continued steadfastly in the apostlesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; doctrine and fellowship, in WKHEUHDNLQJRIEUHDGDQGLQSUD\HUVÂľ $FWV ´&RQWLQXHG steadfastlyâ&#x20AC;? speaks of real passion. These believers were living in DĂ&#x20AC;UVWORYHUHODWLRQVKLSZLWK-HVXV&KULVW7KH\DSSOLHGWKHPVHOYHV to what was taught from the Word. The Apostle Paul said that his goal was to warn believers and teach them with all of the wisdom God had given (see Colossians 1:28). That is why we give such a prominent place to biblical teaching at the church where I pastor. I am not there to be a cheerleader or a life coach or a motivational speaker. I am not there to be a psychologist or a political pundit. I am there for one reason: to teach the Word of God. That is my job. We want to open up the Word of God and see what it has to say. In a church where this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happening, I have to wonder what WKHSRLQWLV+HEUHZVWHOOVXV´)RUWKHZRUGRI*RGLVOLYLQJ and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.â&#x20AC;? I think we need anointed preaching and teaching today, but I also think we need anointed listening. This means that we come to church with our Bibles, and we give our attention with intention. ,QIDFWZHDUHWROGLQ3HWHU´$VQHZERUQEDEHVGHVLUHWKH pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.â&#x20AC;? That is how we should hunger for the Word of God.

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 www.greglaurie.com. Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, P.O. Box 4000, Riverside, Calif., 92514. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright Š 1996.

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When my son was about two-and-a-half he developed a particular tendency every time he would go number two in his diaper. During play or some other interaction, he would subtly wander away from the prominent place of interaction and attention â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to a corner, the other side of the room behind the couch, or even upstairs. In silence he would disappear, only WRUHDSSHDUZLWKLQĂ&#x20AC;YHRUVRPLQXWHV$V he entered back into the routine of play a distinct smell would begin to ascend. :H ZRXOG VRIWO\ DVN ´'LG \RX JR SRR poo?â&#x20AC;? Immediately, he would quickly reVSRQG ´1RSHÂŤÂľ DV KH WXUQHG KLV KHDG from left to right with a slight smile on his IDFH´'R\RXQHHGPHWRFKDQJH\RXU GLDSHUÂľ,ZRXOGDVN´1DDZZZZÂľ He was old enough to know poop smelled bad and he would need a diaper change. He was also old enough to know when you got to go, let mommie or daddie know so we can go to the big potty. Yet, he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite old enough, or at least interested enough, to go to that trouble. After all, playtime was just too much fun to be interrupted by potty-time. So at the ripe age of two-and-a-half he developed elementary skills in this ageold human practice known as image management. Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it be nice if our image-managing tendencies ceased when we became potty-trained? Image management is simply trying to appear better to those around us than we really are. Sometimes these means are extreme, and at other times they are simple and very subtle. We acquire tactics of image management from an early age and they typically become more sophisticated as we grow older. In fact, our culture is full of examples. To mask, veil, or alter oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self and appearance is more common than uncommon. We watch it on television and the movies. We read about it in the magazines and newspapers. We see it on the billboards. For every alluring photo included in Sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Illustratedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s yearly swimsuit edition, roughly 25,000 photographs are taken and discarded. And that is after starting with statuesque models who likely have

undergone intense dieting, rigorous exercise, and scores of cosmetic surgeries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not to mention the lights, makeup, and exotic settings. Ever since the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, deep within humans is a propensity to cover ourselves up â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to wear makeup. John Eldredge sums it up well in his book Wild at Heart, comparing the way we veil our true selves to how Adam and Eve concealed themselves behind the IROLDJH LQ WKH *DUGHQ RI (GHQ ´:H DUH hiding, every last one of us. Well aware that we, too, are not what were meant to be, desperately afraid of exposure, terriĂ&#x20AC;HG RI EHLQJ VHHQ IRU ZKDW ZH DUH DQG are not, we have run off into the bushes. :HKLGHLQRXURIĂ&#x20AC;FHDWWKHJ\PEHKLQG the newspaper and mostly behind our personality. Most of what you encounter when you meet a man is a façade, an HODERUDWHĂ&#x20AC;JOHDIDEULOOLDQWGLVJXLVHÂľ Most of us spend the bulk of our adult lives engaged in the exhausting activity of trying to get others to accept something that does not exist: the only partially-accurate image of ourselves we want them to think is real. Philosophy professor 'DOODV :LOODUG DVVHUWHG WKDW ´JURZLQJ up is largely a matter of learning to hide our spirit behind our face, eyes, and language so that we can evade and manage others to achieve what we want and avoid what we fear.â&#x20AC;? The opposite, Willard observed, is childOLNH RSHQQHVV DQG WUDQVSDUHQF\ ´7KH childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face is a constant epiphany because it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yet know how to do thisâ&#x20AC;Ś Those who have attained considerable spiritual stature are frequently noted for their â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;childlikeness.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; What this really means is that they do not use their face and body to hide their spiritual reality. In their body they are genuinely present to those around them.â&#x20AC;? Some people hide behind small talk. They may even be great conversationalists. They can dialogue about sports, engage in political debates and deliberate on world hunger and global warm/ 18 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

ing, but all of this talk seems to be hiding more than it is revealing. While thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing wrong talking about such topics, often these various topics merely serve to guard our hearts and the realities within. Some people hide behind humor. They may have a great gift for making you laugh. But you notice, over time, that when the conversations get tense or sad RUEHJLQWRJHWSHUVRQDOWKH\Ă&#x20AC;QGVRPH way to make a joke. They hide behind a VPLOLQJIDFH´(DFKRIXVGRHVKLVEHVWWR hide behind a shield,â&#x20AC;? writes Paul Tournier in his book The Meaning of Persons. He FRQWLQXHV ´IRU RQH LW LV D P\VWHULRXV VLlence which constitutes an impenetrable retreat. For another it is facile chit-chatâ&#x20AC;Ś one hides behind his timidity so that we FDQQRW Ă&#x20AC;QG DQ\WKLQJ WR VD\ WR KLP DQother behind a brazen self-assurance which renders him invulnerable.â&#x20AC;? Some people hide behind their intelligence, while others use ignorance. Some cover up with busyness and work or status and titles. At times, we can utilize iPads, smartphones and Facebook status updates to veil the world from our true selves. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your veil? If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not sure, the people closest to you can tell you. John Ortberg, in his book Everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Normal til You Get to Know them, points out that the tendency to hide is so strong that psychologists sometimes speak of WKH ´LPSRVWHU¡V SKHQRPHQRQÂľ WKH XQLversal sense that at some level Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m faking it, that if others knew the truth about me, the jig would be up. The more skillful we are at impression management, the more we are trapped in our true aloneness. But we were not made to live this way. The writer of Acts says that in the QHZFRPPXQLW\SHRSOHPHWZLWK´JODG and sincere heartsâ&#x20AC;?; they learned to stop pretending to be other than they were. Imagine what your life would be like if all pretense were to vanish from it. Imagine the freedom and relief of not trying to convince anyone you were smarter or better than you are. This is really Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plan for human life.


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Take a moment and think about the following questions found in the book Everybody’s Normal til You Get to Know Them.

1. Rate yourself on the following scale: ||----------------------||-------------------------|| Hiddenness Openness

Where are you these days? Where would you like to be?

2. If a Veil is something you hide behind, what is your veil? B6XSHUÀFLDOFRQYHUVDWLRQB+XPRUB,QWHOOLJHQFHB%XV\QHVV 6XFFHVVB6K\QHVVB2XWJRLQJQHVVB6SLULWXDOLW\B2WKHU

3. What is one step you could take to reveal a little more of the truth about yourself in a close relationship?

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

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Sometimes Pain Is

H ol y Land Petra Tour & M arch 8-19,2013 Land & A i rFrom M cA l l en Enid Olson, Tour Host Contact us regarding Group Rates.

YourTourIncludes: ‡ Round trip from McAllen, Texas ‡ Full breakfast and dinner daily plus three lunches as outlined in the itinerary ‡ Transfers & Sightseeing, per itinerary via deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach with the services of a licensed English-speaking tour host

Chuck Olson Tours & Cruises 956-664-2916 / 800-568-9890 3827 N 10th St. Ste. 203 McAllen, TX 78501

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Necessary

Steve Marr has learned from 40 years of business experience that God’s way works. As an author, speaker, radio host, and business consultant, Marr helps companies and organizations apply the ancient wisdom of the Bible to avoid the common mistakes and headaches of growing a business. Steve Marr, President / Business Proverbs / stevemarr@businessproverbs.org / PH: 520.529.8470Find peace of mind, hope and satisfaction in doing Business God’s way. www.businessproverbs.org

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Drive away the

vultures â&#x20AC;&#x153;And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.â&#x20AC;? Genesis 15:11

by Abram Gomez

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ne of greatest is Abram, or as we more commonly him, Abraham. In the Genesis 15, God was making a covenant with Abram and inVWUXFWHGKLPWRSUHVHQWVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHVEHIRUHWKH /RUG$EUDPGLGDVKHZDVWROGDQGFXWWKHVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHVLQWZR and placed each piece opposite each other. As soon as he did this, the Bible tells us an interesting fact â&#x20AC;&#x201C; vultures appeared on the scene. Vultures are a scavenging type of bird that loves to feast on carcasses of dead animals. They are constantly looking for their QH[WPHDO,WLVLQWHUHVWLQJWRREVHUYHWKDWLWZDVD´JURXSÂľRI YXOWXUHVWKDWFDPHWRZDUG$EUDP¡VVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHQRWMXVWRQH As we continue to follow Christ and pursue our God-given destiny, you can expect certain types of vultures to try to hinder \RXUVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHVDQGFRPPLWPHQWVWR+LP7KHVHYXOWXUHVKDYH RQHWKLQJLQPLQGFRQVXPHWKHVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FH$EUDPWRRNDFWLRQ and guarded what he was giving to God by driving away the vultures. We also must drive away three types of vultures that try to plague our lives and eat away at our obedience: Vultures of Insecurity. By saying insecurity, I am not talking about an overnight blemish on your face or the coffee stain on your shirt. I am talking about our struggles with our weakQHVVHVWKDWVWDWHV´,DPQRWBBBBHQRXJKÂľ<RXĂ&#x20AC;OOLQWKHEODQN Educated. Rich. Good. We could go on. Moses didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel he was eloquent enough to speak on behalf of God. Jeremiah thought he was too young. Insecurities, if not driven away, will KROGXVEDFNIURPIXOĂ&#x20AC;OOLQJ*RG¡VSXUSRVHLQRXUOLIH

@abram_gomez

Soon, they become carriers of bacteria and transport harmful pollutants to other places. These vultures can appear in the form of people, places, or things. They come to contaminate your heart, pollute your spirit, and distort your vision in life. ,Q -XGJHV 6DPVRQ DOORZHG D ´YXOWXUHÂľ E\ WKH QDPH RI 'HOLODKWRĂ&#x20AC;QGRXWKLVVRXUFHRIVWUHQJWK+HDOORZHGKHUWRFRPH contaminate his consecration to God. Do not allow negative people, gossip, or even negativity to rest in your life. They bring pollution and unnecessary contamination; thus, causing you to deal with the things that could be potentially harmful to your life. Protect your vision, marriage, and ministry. 9XOWXUHVRI3URFUDVWLQDWLRQ7KLVODVWYXOWXUHVWDWHV´<RXFDQGR it later.â&#x20AC;? I believe that lots of people are not being delayed by the enemy, but by their own procrastination. I have often said there is a difference between procrastinating and waiting on God. :DLWLQJ RQ *RG VD\V ´/RUG , KDYH GRQH HYHU\WKLQJ SRVVLEOH within my ability. Now, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to you to move on my behalf.â&#x20AC;? 3URFUDVWLQDWLRQRQWKHRWKHUKDQGVWDWHV´/RUG\RXGRHYHU\thing while I delay in doing my part.â&#x20AC;? The problem is not getting the blueprint, but in completing the building of the house. Some people are putting off the things God has told them to do. If you have the faith to believe that you will have the same opportunity to do it later, then why donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you have the faith to believe that you can do it now? You must seize the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity. Later may never come. Do what God has called you to do.

When we pick our insecurities over Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purpose, we are telling God that our weakness is greater than His strength. Your insecurity to be used by God is an insult to Him. Here is the good news: God is willing to develop us into the role He wants us to play. He told Moses He would teach him what he would say. He told Jeremiah to not be afraid and not to ORRNDWKLVDJH*RGGRHVQRWFDOOWKHTXDOLĂ&#x20AC;HGEXWTXDOLĂ&#x20AC;HV the called. Be encouraged - it is your weakness that has qualiĂ&#x20AC;HG\RXWREHXVHGE\*RG Vultures of Contamination. Vultures, as they feast on dead carcasses, collect harmful bacteria on their beaks and bodies. / 22 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

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, reside in Harlingen.


Ask the Expert

Mortgage

IMPORTANT NEWS TO HOME BUYERS! If you have been thinking of building or purchasing a home but have been holding off for the right time, well I DVVXUH\RXWKDW\RXZRQ·WÀQGDEHWWHUWLPHWRDFWWKHQ now! Why? with everything that is happening in today’s real estate market and the extremely low rates that we are temporarily experiencing, you most probably will never experience a better time to acquire the home of your dreams then today. Let me tell you why... read up on OperationTwist ( it’s what the U.S. Federal Reserve has implemented as an Economic Stimulus Plan ) In a nutshell, Mortgage interest rates are the lowest they have been in well over 60 years and you may never see them this low in your lifetime again. With much research and over 30 years of H[SHULHQFHLQWKHOHQGLQJÀHOG,FDQDVVXUH\RXWKDWUDWHV won’t stay low for very long.

Another important factor to help you make the decision: home prices are extremely low but as our economy starts to recover, home prices Will Increase and if you decide to wait too long you may wind up paying a lot same home that you can buy today. I honestly feel that we are experiencing a estate market/mortgage lending environment that lends itself to letting you secure a home that will increase in value ( since you purchased it at an opportunistic time for home buyers if you work with a experienced Mortgage Lender, you will secure the best mortgage loan avail able. If you have any questions or need further information, please call me. - Joe Cuellar

Joe Cuellar, Castle & Cooke Mortgage,LLC 5412 N. 10th, McAllen, TX 78504 (956) 687-6688 / www.JoeCuellar.com

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Do you know the

Shepherd of the Psalm Psalm of the Shepherd or the

MILTON GONZALEZ

?

/ 24 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Berta Vidales (VFURZ2IĂ&#x20AC;FHU

´:RUNLQJWRJHWKHUWRPHHWDOO\RXUUHDO estate needs.â&#x20AC;?

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2nd

MILTON GONZALEZ is the Principal of Covenant Christian Academy in McAllen. He is married to Elena and has a son, David.

/ 25 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Praise on the Hill is BORN strong yearning ave you ever had a dream or God? H for d deep within your spirit to be bol the morning I sat remember vividly six years ago discussed a passion Idow n with three men of faith and

act for God's kingdom. within our hearts to have an imp what we had previously We did not want to duplicate help) to blaze a differd's Go h seen â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we wanted (wit d a Christian event that ent path. Our dream was to hol or just adults, or just the th, you the would not just target gnify God, encourage Churchedâ&#x20AC;Śour goal was to ma . lost the believers, and reach t would bring e wanted to hold an event tha of all ages. We W ple peo for nt me cheer and encourage

thods of impacting so realized one of the greatest meistian bands. We decidChr lity many would involve qua DQGLQĂ DWDEOHV$WWKH HGWRDOVRLQFOXGHULGHVJDPHV needy so we decidthe ss ble to d same time we wante e to help Border driv g ed to include a food and clothin n orphanages istia Chr 2 and as, Missions in Hidalgo, Tex ring to help offe love ea in Reynosa, Mexico and to tak good â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we liked the so far So s. support their ministrie ZHIHOWFRPSHOOHGWR YLVLRQ$GGLQJWRRXUFKDOOHQJH attended. o wh all for make this event free re was just one he idea sounded great, but the T HVFRPHIURP" DQF HĂ&#x20AC;Q GWK RXO PDMRUKXUGOH:KHUHZ

0. We felt that, if it was The budget would be $ 25,000.0 funding. I can say the e vid pro God's will, He would hful! Due to the generwithout hesitation, God is so faitinesses, and individuals, bus es, rch osity of so many Chu Ă&#x20AC;UVW\HDU$QGVL[\HDUV ZHUDLVHGDOOIXQGVQHHGHGWKHn as our budget keeps eve , ing later, God is still provid growing! ssed us through ome of the bands that have bleedmon's Call, S Ca , the years are Big Daddy Weave

nny Diaz, Kutless, and Sidewalk Prophets, Phil Joel, Joh sts this year include Matthew West. The featured artiDQFWXV5HDODQGWKH .HUULH5REHUWV7KH$IWHUVDQG6 October 13 from event is scheduled for Saturday, en Soccer Complex. 4:00 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 9:30 p.m. at the Harling nsors, the army of f it were not for the generous spo Ivolu City of Harlingen the from nce nteers, and assista

tion, we would not and Harlingen Parks and Recrea you have friends that If nt. eve be able to provide the that need encouragedon't know Christ or believers g them. I look forward brin to ment, I encourage you to seeing you there! Blessings, David Gray Praise on the Hill Coordinator / 26 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


/ 27 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


10/10/2012

A Note From Nathanâ&#x20AC;Ś What a great year is in store for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes of the Rio Grande Valley. We are gearing up once again to have huddles on over 100 campuses across the Valley, and there will be plenty of opportunities for all of you coaches, athletes, volunteers, and members of our community to get involved or simply come and enjoy one of our Bible studies, Banquets, Tournaments, Camps, Retreats, luncheons, or any other ministry or event you see pop up on the calendar. Blessings to you all.

--Peace & Grace Nathan Jones, Area Director

RGV FCA

1801 S. McCollRd., Suite 300 McAllen, TX 78503 www.southtexasfca.org / 28 /www .valleychristianmagazine.com /

956-994-1121


Championship Tournament Honoring Jim Myers Monday, October 8th Shotgun Start 8:30 am at

Call the FCA Offices at 956-994-1121 to reserve your team! Who is Jim Myers? -DPHV$´-LP¾0\HUV ERUQ1RY LVDIRUPHU$PHULFDQIRRWEDOOFRDFK+HFRDFKHG for 40 years at the collegiate and professional level. He is probably most remembered for his time as line coach and (since 1971) associated head coach with the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry (5 Super Bowls, 6 Pro Bowls and 20 straight winning seasons). After serving as line coach and offensive coordinator under Henry Russell Sanders at the Vanderbilt University and later University of California, Los Angeles (2 Rose Bowls and a National Championship), Myers became head coach at Iowa State University in 1957. He later coached at Texas A&M from 1958 to 1961. Jim has been serving the Fellowship of Christian Athlets for 25 years.

FCA Champions Tournament Special Guest Rich Garza Pro Career: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;81: signed (FA) Philadelphia Eagles â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;82: signed (FA), Denver Broncos â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;83: Philadelphia Stars (USFL) â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;84 - â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;95: San Antonia Gunslingers (USFL) Started all 56 games with USFL Currently a motivational and inspirational speaker for Sports World Inc.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not born a winner, Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not born a loser, Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re born a chooserâ&#x20AC;?

FCA Vision 7RVHHWKHZRUOGLPSDFWHGIRU-HVXV&KULVWWKURXJKWKHLQĂ XHQFHRIDWKOHWHVDQGFRDFKHV FCA Mission7RSUHVHQWWRDWKOHWHVDQGFRDFKHVDQGDOOZKRPWKH\LQĂ XHQFHWKHFKDOOHQJHDQGDGYHQWXUHRI 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 com and/Excellence. / 29 /www .valleychristianmagazine.


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Online Affairs

Yesterday I talked with another wife emotionally involved with an old boyfriend she bumped into online on Facebook. No surprise there. Every month couples enroll in our workshop for marriages in crisis because one of them â&#x20AC;&#x201C; usually the wife â&#x20AC;&#x201C; became emotionally and/or physically enmeshed with someone found on one of the social networking sites. Before you lecture me about how the Internet is neither good nor bad, just a tool, please know that I am not a Neo-Luddite, technophobe, or antimodernist. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great thing to be able to track down old friends online. My wife Alice and I tried for \HDUVWRĂ&#x20AC;QG5KRQGDRQHRIP\IRUPHUVWXGHQWV:HWULHGWKH alumni association, search engines, and everything else that wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cost a bundle. Nothing worked until Facebook. There VKHZDVHDV\WRĂ&#x20AC;QGDQGZHUHQHZHGRXUIULHQGVKLS7KDQN you, Facebook. +RZHYHU WKHUH LV DQRWKHU VLGH WR WKLV (YHU\ PRQWK , VHH Ă&#x20AC;UVWhand how it can also be a bad thing to be able to track down old friends, or even to make new friends with the stroke of a key. Thousands of marriages are in trouble this very moment because someone kindled an improper relationship on the Internet. That isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the fault of social networking sites, nor of the Internet itself, of course, but those tools make it much easier to get into these situations. We likely agree that a person that develops a relationship with someone other than his/her spouse had some type of vulnerability that preceded the illicit relationship. Where we might not agree is how many married people have such vulnerabilities. Based on my work with couples RYHUWKHODVWĂ&#x20AC;IWHHQ\HDUV,¡GVD\PDQ\SHRSOHWKDWWKLQNWKH\ arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t vulnerable are indeed vulnerable. A marriage doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t KDYHWREHEDGIRURQHSHUVRQWRIHHOXQIXOĂ&#x20AC;OOHG,WMXVWKDVWR fall short of what one or the other needs or expects. I wish I had kept count of the number of times Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked with someone LQYROYHG ZLWK DQRWKHU ZKR VDLG ´, GRQ¡W NQRZ KRZ WKLV KDSpened. I thought we were okay. How did I get into this mess?â&#x20AC;? Recently a few people corresponded with me about social networking sites and potential marital problems. One lady ZURWH´0\PDUULDJHLVLQWURXEOHEHFDXVHRIZKDW,WROGP\VHOI ZDV LQQRFHQW Ă LUWLQJ 1RZ , DP SD\LQJ WKH SULFH IRU LW

MySpace, AIM, person can get

all places where a married trouble.â&#x20AC;?

$QRWKHU ZLIH ZURWH ´, EHOLHYH WKH NH\ LV EHLQJ DZDUH RI WKH dangers and not assuming â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;it canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen to me.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Most dangerous relationships start out very innocently. The needs that DUH QRW PHW ZLOO VXGGHQO\ EH Ă&#x20AC;OOHG E\ VRPHRQH HOVH 6DWDQ PDNHVVXUHWKHYRLGLVĂ&#x20AC;OOHGÂľ 7KLV ODG\ VDLG ´)DFHERRN DQG RWKHU VRFLDO VLWHV FDQ EH YHU\ dangerous to a marriage. I think, mainly, because it seems so innocent and so normal to contact people from the past, even people who are from your intimate past.â&#x20AC;? Husbands get involved online as well, but, interestingly, most couples that come to our workshop do so because the wife became entangled with another. How should a person make sure that s/he never crosses the line on a social networking site, or any other site? First, always work on your marriage. Never take it for granted. Even good marriages may be corruptible because of boredom, feelings of loneliness, desire for a simpler life, cravings for romance, or just plain old curiosity. At least every six months, couples should do something together to strengthen their marriage. Work through a good marriage book, check out our marriage seminar, spend a few hours with a mentor couple, or take a long weekend without the children, work, or any interruptions and do a lot of talking about whatever comes to mind. 6HFRQG DOZD\V WKLQN ´LW FRXOG KDSSHQ WR PHÂľ DQG SODFH ERXQGDULHVVRWKDWLWFDQQRW'R127Ă LUW<HVLWFDQVWURNHWKH ego, but it can also plant the seed of the poison that will deVWUR\\RX2QHZRPDQZURWH´3D\DWWHQWLRQWRWKHUHGĂ DJV and pray for strength when they come along. And be willing to hit the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;remove from friendsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; button if the relationship is moving LQWRWKHĂ LUWLQJ]RQHÂľ7KHSUREOHPFRPHVZKHQ\RXZDLWXQWLO later rather than sooner to stop. Wait long enough, and you will not stop.

/ 30 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Third, be completely, positively, absolutely open and honHVWZLWK\RXUVSRXVHDERXWHYHU\WKLQJ$ZLIHVKDUHG´,I your spouse asks who just â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;whisperedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; you online, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do as I used to and tell him â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s someone you shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be talking to. Be honest about who you are communicating with. Openness with your spouse regarding your Facebook is the key.â&#x20AC;?

Finally, some couples need to treat social networking sites just as other couples must treat porn sites. If the weakness or propensity exists for either husband or wife to develop relationships that may harm the marriage, get the Internet out of your house and keep it out your house. Drastic? Yes. However, when preventative measures fail and the medicine doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work, it takes surgery to save a life.

Fourth, be honest with yourself about what your weaknesses or intentions might be. The words of this lady hit WKHWDUJHWVTXDUHO\´,DPIULHQGVZLWKDFRXSOHRIH[ER\friends on Facebook, but my husband knows about them DQG,NQRZEHWWHUWKDQWRĂ LUWZLWKGLVDVWHU0\PDUULDJH isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t perfect, but it is where I want to be and because of that, I will not risk my family for a rekindled, already failed, long past, relationship. What do people often say is the GHĂ&#x20AC;QLWLRQ RI LQVDQLW\" 5HSHDWLQJ WKH VDPH SURFHVV RYHU and over, expecting a different outcome. I learned the Ă&#x20AC;UVWWLPHWKDWWKHVHUHODWLRQVKLSVZHUHGRRPHGDQGGHWULmental to me. My husband is the better man for me. However, someone with a shaky marriage or any doubt of their VHOIFRQWUROVKRXOGQRWWDPSHUZLWKROGĂ DPHVRQDQ\VRcial network. That would be asking for trouble and trouble ZLOOXVXDOO\Ă&#x20AC;QGWKRVHZKRDUHDVNLQJIRULWÂľ

If your marriage is in trouble, contact us by clicking here. Our success rate over the last decade is three out of four marriages, even when adultery, porn, anger, lies or other issues have deeply hurt the relationship!

Joe Beam is a best-selling Christian author and internationally respected marriage expert. He founded Family Dynamics institute in 1994 and in 2008 he founded LovePath international, and serves as its chairman.

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/ 31 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com / the right to make changes to the itinerary or arrangements due to circumstances beyond our control. Passport must be valid for 6 months following our return


By: Jacob Ramon

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit. There are different kinds of service but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 works all of them in all man.

I

take pride in my talents. I say that with no inkling of arrogance. On the contrary, I mean this with all humility.

Maybe youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard this before, or even tried pondering this notion at some point in your life: the grand idea of individuality. Even while bound together by faith, we still manDJHWRUHWDLQVLQJXODUDQGGLVWLQFWLYHLGHQWLWLHV´QLFKHVÂľVRWR speak. To take a more visual approach, try picturing the biblical metaphor of many different parts comprising one body; KRZHYHUVPDOORULQVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQW\RXPD\WKLQNHYHU\VLQJOHRQH RIXVPDLQWDLQVDQDEVROXWHDQGXQLTXHDELOLW\DVNLOOD´VSLULtual gift.â&#x20AC;? Kind of a neat term, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it? Saying it aloud, as I like to do, DOZD\VPDQDJHVWRKHLJKWHQP\VHQVHRIVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQFHDVLI, alone possess some superpower handpicked by my own Creator. Truth is, I actually do. You actually do. The 6-year-old in me canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but relate this to the superheroes on the big screen, distinctive in their powers, unmistakable in their identities. But, DWOHDVWLQP\FDVHWKHVHJLIWVGRQ¡WLQYROYHĂ \LQJRUSXQFKLQJ through walls, and mercifully, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t require colored spandex. Take some of my friends for example: John can coax a symphony out of practically any instrument ZLWKSUHFLVLRQHDVHDQGJUDFHDOOUHĂ HFWLYHRIKLVSHUVRQDOLW\ Diego can skillfully conduct practically any marching band with an almost intimidating fortitude, but does it in such a way to encourage even the most insecure performer. Rachel can give life to a piece of paper, with tender charm and a humor as sharp as the pencil she sketches with.

â&#x20AC;?

But through the eyes of God, which of our traits truly matter if we merely CAN do something without glorifying God? Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the point? Once we recognize who we are in our aptitude, or who we CAN be, where do we go from there? I think the reaVRQWKHUH¡VDQ´,ÂľLQ&KULVWLVEHFDXVH+LVRPQLSRWHQF\ZRUNV through our given talents. Next is application. 7KHUHLVGLYLQHIXOĂ&#x20AC;OOPHQWLQXWLOL]LQJRXUVHOYHVWRRXUIXOOHVWSRtential for God, but how you can do so is left for you to discover. So, maybe you can play a concerto, or you can deliver some persuasive speeches. Maybe you have the gift of comPXQLFDWLRQWKHJLIWRILQĂ XHQFH%RWWRPOLQHLV\RXKDYHWKH WDOHQWEXWDUH\RXZLOOLQJWR86(WKDWWDOHQWWRIXOĂ&#x20AC;OOLWVWUXHSXUpose? If you are, now is the time to make it a form of worship. For you musicians, be sterling in your performance. Writers, put your pulse on a page. Be sincere in your endeavors, and wring your talents down to the very last drop, and draw forth every ounce of energy and commitment toward your Savior. Do Him justice, and do it with a smile. Do what you love to the fullest potential. God will always provide opportunities for you to contribute in His name - you just have to choose them wisely. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell you how to go about living with, or better yet USING your spiritual gifts, because thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not for me to decide. But for Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sake, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t waste them! So in the spirit of our superheroes, here is what the 6-year-old in me has to say: Use your powers for good, not evil.

JACOB RAMON IS A 16-YEAR-OLD STUDENT AT SHARYLAND HIGH SCHOOL. HE IS MEMBER OF THE MAKING A CONNECTION GROUP AT SHARYLAND HIGH SCHOOL.

/ 32 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


/ 33 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


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!

I’m a

Nerd

B y t heres aValladares

It

is hard to believe summer is over. Our children start a new VFKRRO\HDUÀOOHGZLWKH[FLWHPHQWDQG promises of new accomplishments. As I take my boys shopping for school supplies and order uniforms I remember my school days.

Psalm 119:63 I am a friend to anyone who fears youanyone who obeys your commands

For some, memories of high school bring EDFN KDSSLQHVV DQG D ORQJLQJ IRU ´WKH good old days.” For others it can bring back painful memories.

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around telling secrets but those who are trustworthy can keep a FRQÀGHQFH

I am in the latter group.

1Cor 15:33 ……”bad company corrupts good character”

I was not liked by popular girls and I remember feeling lonely and unworthy at times. These were girls I had been friends with for a few years but during our senior year I was alienated. I was teased and victimized by pranks. I never knew why I ZDVVRGLVOLNHG:KRHYHUVDLG´VWLFNVDQG stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you” was wrong! ,GLGQ·WFRQIRUPWRWKH´SRSXODUµFURZG - I didn’t drink, smoke, have sex or gossip. I respected my mom and I never broke curfew. I worked hard at school and , ZDV JRDO RULHQWHG  D 1(5' E\ ´WKHLUµ VWDQGDUGV (YHQWRGD\,KDYH´1(5'µDV my license plate!)

…a friend fears God and doesn’t conform to worldly standards…. friends, the wicked lead them astray

Proverbs 17:7 A friend loves at all times…. God knew exactly what He was doing by DOORZLQJ PH WR JR WKURXJK WKDW GLIÀFXOW time. I needed to learn the value and characteristics of a true friend. He blesses us with friendships and encourages us to ÀQG*RGIHDULQJIULHQGV:KRP\RXFRQsider a friend makes a statement about your own values.

I admit I wanted to be liked and accepted by them. At that age it can feel like the end of the world when you are excluded.

There are many scriptures concerning friendships - the value, quality and love of a true friend. Some of my favorites: 1Samuel 20:17 $QG -RQDWKDQ PDGH 'DYLG UHDIÀUP KLV vow of friendship again for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself Proverbs 27:9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:12 As iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens a friend Proverbs 12:26 The godly give good advice to their

….a friend doesn’t tear you down but forgives and never reminds you of offenses ….a friend gives freely without expecting anything in return …..a friend loves you at all times. To have a friend you have to be willing to do the same. True friendship isn’t a one-way transaction. If I could go back as an adult and talk to that teenage girl from high school this is what I would say… ”Terry, it’s going to get better. God has destined you for great things and you will be surprised by what you accomplish. You need to be strong, forgive those who hurt you and stay true to yourself. He will bless you with incredible friends - Victoria, Debra, Cathy, Mari & Trica. These remarkable women are friends you may not feel you deserve but He puts them in your life at just the appropriate times and they are daily reminders that God loves you. In return you will cherish them and their loyalty you will never question. You are not LQVLJQLÀFDQW <RX DUH D ZRQGHUIXO FKLOG of God. He will replace those tears with laughter. Life gets really good!” Whatever I endured during school made me the person I am today. I am proud to be a NERD! Those same characteristics of a NERD that used to make me feel excluded are the very things that have helped me succeed in life and be blessed with wonderful friends.

I am embarrassed to say it has taken me many years to get over the negative words spoken over me. It’s been harder letting my guard down to make new friends. I don’t share this with you for pity but rather to understand that any experience – good or bad - is a trial. We should share what we learn from it to help someone else. I pray that if anyone has or is experiHQFLQJWKHVHWKLQJVWKDW\RXÀQGHQFRXUagement and hope in what follows.

…a friend doesn’t ask you to compromise your values to suit their needs…

Had I conformed in high school I would not have accomplished what I was destined to do. I would probably not have the precious friendships I have now. I am still guarded when making friends but I use God’s standards versus fear of being hurt. A true friend is someone who encourages you, speaks truth into your life, makes you accountable, loves you unconditionally, doesn’t pass judgment or gossip and won’t leave you in your hour of need but instead joins you in prayer. God desires that for each one of us but he wants you to be selective! Lessons I have learned the hard way: «D´IULHQGµZKRJRVVLSVDERXWRWKHUVZLOO eventually make you the subject …a friend acknowledges you at all times and isn’t embarrassed to stand by your side / 36 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

It’s ok to be different and not conform to the world. God expects us to use our talents and time wisely. We shouldn’t be ashamed of who HE made us to be. A NERD is someone who follows the rules, is diligent, ambitious, respectful, and yes at times quirky! Find friends that embrace the person God made you to be and whom never ask you to change. After all, if I am made in God’s image then that means He is a NERD too!

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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Perfect Lies By Jennifer Crow As a teacher I am amazed how natural and easy it is for some teenagers to lie. Some donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have to think about it, the lie just comes out. For whatever reason, lies are convenient for self-preservation. The lie may keep you out of trouble for the moment, but if the truth comes out, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in trouble. Lying to others is one thing, but lying to yourself is tragic. If you lie to yourself long enough, that lie becomes your truth. I once heard of someone who said, ´'RQ¡WWRXFKPH,PLJKWVSLOOÂľ 6RPHRQHDVNHG´:KDWGR\RX PHDQ"Âľ 7KH UHVSRQVH ZDV ´,¡P a glass of orange juice.â&#x20AC;? Okay, that is an extreme case of someone who was probably on something. Whatever the case, that person believed a lie.

She discovered that she was a victim of her own thoughts that developed unhealthy and harmful thought patterns. Â&#x2021; I must meet the standards others have set before me because otherwise I will be unlovable. Â&#x2021; I must gain the acceptance of others because their opinion matters most. Â&#x2021; I must pull back because I am less capable than others. Â&#x2021; ,PXVWDYRLGFRQĂ LFWEHFDXVHH[SUHVVLQJP\DQJHULVZURQJ Â&#x2021; ,PXVWEHSHUIHFWEHFDXVHP\DFWLRQVGHĂ&#x20AC;QHZKR,DP Â&#x2021; I must always be on guard because trouble is all around me. Â&#x2021; I must indulge myself in order to be happy. Take the time to consider which of these lies you may be telling yourself. It may be oneâ&#x20AC;Ś or many. Jennifer Crow considers these lies because the Bible combats these statements with the truth of God. &URZ SUHVHQWV ´SHUIHFW OLHVÂľ DQG WKHQ FKDOOHQJHV WKH UHDGHU ZLWKD´OLHGHWHFWRUWHVWÂľ6KHWKHQJLYHVWKHDQWLGRWHWRWKHOLH Crow suggests meditative prayer to combat each lie. To help the YLFWLPLQWKHMRXUQH\VKHVKDUHVKHU´SLFWXUHSUD\HUH[SHULHQFHÂľ WKHQSUHVHQWVWKUHHSKDVHVWRKHOSWKHUHDGHU)LUVWLV´<RXU3LFWXUH Prayer Exercise,â&#x20AC;? which allows you to examine how to refocus DZD\IURPWKHOLH6HFRQG´6WDWHPHQWVWR3RQGHUÂľVWHHUDZD\ IURPWKHOLH)LQDOO\&URZVXJJHVWVVRPH´6FULSWXUHWR3RQGHUÂľ There is nothing more powerful than the Word of God to inject truth into the mind, heart, and soul. /LNH PDQ\ &KULVWLDQ ERRNV 3HUIHFW /LHV KDV WKH Ă DYRU RI D VHOI help book, it is clear that God is the One who took Crow through this journey and healed her.

Jennifer Crow tells her story about falling prey to the lies she told herself for many years. These falsehoods eventually led her to a We spend a lot of time meditating on things that do not heal the physically frail and unhealthy state that doctors could not diag- soul. Crow does a nice job suggesting meditative prayer to help nose. She was in the pit of despair, and she could not climb out. refocus of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s truth and His power to heal us.

Book Review by

Books and Music featured available at:

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 (4).

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BOOKS

Brink of Chaos

ReFocus:

Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall

Living a Life that 5Hà HFWV*RG¡V+HDUW E\-LP'DO\ Written by Jim Daly, the compassionate leader of Focus on the Family, ReFocus inspires and motivates Christians to transcend political agendas and partisan battles and instead interact with others in a way that will consistently reveal the heart of God to a desperately hurting world. Our culture has become painfully polarized, often hindering relationships with neighbors, colleagues, and the very people who need to discover the love of Jesus Christ. Remembering that we are foremost citizens of heaven serving a loving Father, we who call ourselves followers of Christ can once again be known by our love. As followers of Jesus with his humility and compassion DVRXUPRGHO5H)RFXV/LYLQJD/LIHWKDW5Hà HFWV*RG¡V Heart demonstrates how Christians can show the world an inexplicable taste of grace with no agenda other than to reveal the heart of God as the loving Abba father he is.

the third book of The End series, Joshua Jordan remains LQ,VUDHOGXULQJKLVVHOILPSRVHG´H[LOHÂľRXWRIWKHUHDFKRI authorities who have trumped-up false criminal trea-charges against him. His wife, Abigail, continues to lead the Roundtable to prove the innocence of her husband. Following the nuclear attack by Russia, Israel is cleaning up the bodies of dead enemy soldiers for 7 months and setting out on its 7 year plan---both per the prophecies in Ezekiel. As corrup corrupWLRQ LQ KLJK JRYHUQPHQW RIĂ&#x20AC;FHV threaten to block the election of a worthy presidential candi candidate by all means necessary--including the unthinkable--Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leadership is tempted WR VLJQ D ´SHDFHÂľ SURSRVDO initiated by the UN under the authority of Coliquin. After he discusses this plan with Pas Pastor Peter Campbell, Joshua is convinced Coliquin may well be the prophesied Anti-Christ and that his peace plan is a trap to destroy Israel.

/ 40 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


A Grace Revealed:

How God Redeems the Story of Your Life by Jerry Sittser Twenty years ago, Jerry Sittser lost his daughter, wife, and mother in a car accident. He chronicled that tragic experience in A Grace Disguised, a book that has become a classic on the topic of grief and loss. Now he asks: How do we live meaningfully, even fruitfully, in this world and at the same time long for heaven? How do we respond to the paradox of being a new creature in Christ even though we don’t always feel or act like one? How can we trust God is involved in our story when our circumstances seem to say he isn’t? While A Grace Disguised explored how the soul grows through loss, A Grace Revealed brings the story of Sittser’s family full circle, revealing God’s redeeming work in the midst of circumstances that could easily have destroyed them. As Sittser reminds us, our lives tell a good story after all. A Grace Revealed will helps us understand and trust that God is writing a beautiful story in our own lives.

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Valley Christian Magazine asked Brownsvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Livingway )DPLO\&KXUFK:RUVKLS/HDGHU5\DQ0RRUHWRUHĂ HFWRQ Integrity Musicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent choice and release of

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

25 Songs That Changed The Way We Worshipâ&#x20AC;? and on being a Worship Leader in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s church. +HUHDUHKLVWKRXJKWVDQGUHĂ HFWLRQ The

By Ryan Moore

New Core of Worship

A

s I looked through a CD list of 25 songs that changed the way we worship, I noticed that most of those songs are still played in churches around the world TODAY. I think the reason these songs changed the way we worship in Church is they are worship songs that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an expiration date on them. They were written to last a long time and to be at the core of our worship services. hese songs were the start of changing the way Tcentered we think about worship in general, from selfto God-centered. Before these songs were written Worship had a reputation of just being the music that happens on the stage before the pastor brings the Word. These songs have helped change our culture from thinking in that mindset into thinking that worshipping God is an everyday thing, not just what we do on Wednesday or Sunday. Musical worship is now becoming a lifestyle. It is no longer about a genre. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think we have a full mindset change quite yet in the body of Christ, but we are getting there. I became a worship leader six years ago. It was a shock for me as well as the people of Livingway )DPLO\ &KXUFK , KDG MXVW Ă&#x20AC;QLVKHG VFKRRO DW +LOOsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Australia and if you know Hillsong music, they are at the progressive forefront of worship all around the world. I would say they are the most contemporary style of worship out there and I was accustomed to that style for two years. ,Ă&#x20AC;JXUHGDFKDQJHWRWKDWZRXOGJRRYHUZHOOLQ my congregation.....Well, it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. 3HRSOH ZRXOG VD\ ´,W¡V WRR ORXGÂľ RU ´,W¡V OLNH D URFN FRQFHUW LQ KHUHÂľ DQG ´WKLV LV WRR PRGHUQ for church.â&#x20AC;? It was where we were heading as a church, but not everyone wanted to make that happen (In which it never will, so you just continue in obedience to what God and your Pastor tells you). ,W WRRN VRQJV OLNH ´2SHQ WKH (\HV RI 0\ +HDUWÂľ

´<RX$UH*RRGÂľDQG´6KRXWWRWKH/RUGÂľWRRSHQ the door to where worship was headed and where It is still going. Now I can almost sing any style in our church and it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter because the knowledge of what worship really is has been made present to the congregation through the help of these songs. Even though some of these songs are a little before my time, they mean a lot to me and still KDYHVRPXFKVSLULWXDOVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQFHWRP\OLIHDV a worship leader. Most of these songs are still being sung in my church today and hey will still be sung probably long after I am gone. These songs have inspired me to write more God-centered songs for the Church in general and I believe they are doing the same for all of us songwriters out there. These kinds of songs will be the ones we are all singing when we get to heaven. *RG \RX DUH ´$ZHVRPH LQ 7KLV 3ODFHÂľ DQG ZH VLQJ´+RVDQQDÂľWR\RXUQDPH´,DP)UHHÂľWROLYH IRU\RX*RGDQG´,([DOW7KHHÂľLQKHDYHQDV,GLG on earth. What a glorious day that will be when we have worship leaders from all over the world singing these songs together worshipping our God in heaven. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait! Thank God for giving these songwriters these great songs that will continue to inspire worship leaders, pastors and congregations throughout the world. May we continue to make sure Jesus remains at the center of our worship services through the songs that we write and present so that he may be known to the lost souls seeking salvation that walk into our services each weekend!

/ 42 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


“25 Songs That Changed The Way We Worship”

CD TWO

CD ONE

1. Open The Eyes Of My Heart - Paul Baloche 2. Give Thanks - Don Moen 3. Above All - Lenny LeBlanc 4. I Exalt Thee - Pete Sanchez, Jr. %H0DJQLÀHG5DQG\5RWKZHOO 6. Shout To The Lord - Darlene Zschech 7. God Will Make A Way - Don Moen 8. There Is None Like You - Lenny Le Blanc 9. I Worship You Almighty God - Leann Albrecht 10. Awesome In The Place - Kent Henry 11. Ancient Of Days - Ron Kenoly 12. Days Of Elijah - Robin Mark

1. Hosanna - Paul Baloche 2. Friend Of God - Lakewood Church 3. Love The Lord - Lincoln Brewster 4. Your Name - Paul Baloche 5. Lord Have Mercy - Eoghan Heaslip 6. Healer - Kari Jobe 7. Today Is The Day - Lincoln Brewster 8. I Am Free - New Life Worship 9. Trading My Sorrows - Darrell Evans 10. You Are Good - Lakewood Church 11. Revelation Song - Gateway Worship 12. My Savior Lives - New Life Worship 13. How He Loves – John Mark McMillan

/ 43 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Israel and New Breed: Jesus In

the dynamic world of praise and worship, the music never stops as believers seek new songs to express their hearts to God. No one knows this better than gospel-praise powerhouse Israel & New Breed and its bandleader, Israel Houghton, who for more than a decade have been resourcing the Church with VXFKFODVVLFVDV´)ULHQGRI*RGÂľ´<RX$UH *RRGÂľ´$JDLQ,6D\5HMRLFHÂľDQG´$OSKD and Omega.â&#x20AC;? Why, then, did the group go on hiatus, ZDLWLQJĂ&#x20AC;YH\HDUVEHIRUHUHFRUGLQJ-HVXV at the Center, since the release of their 2007 GRAMMYÂŽ-winning album A Deeper Level? Truth is, the band didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go anywhere. If anything, Houghton says theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been DVEXV\DVHYHU´:HGLGDURXQGFRQcerts in that amount of time. And weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still hopping.â&#x20AC;? Hiatus? Not even close. Houghton points out that in the interim he also recorded two solo albums, The Power of One and Love God/ Love People, Grammy-winning studio albums that allowed him to stretch creatively, trying things that perhaps would sound differently if replicated in a live setting. But whenever a ministry opportunity arose, Houghton says the New Breed gang was ready to hit the roadâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;whether it was touring with Chris Tomlin, performing at the GRAMMYsÂŽ, or leading worship around

At

the world. Still hopping, indeed. And it was their experiences during these SDVW Ă&#x20AC;YH \HDUV WKDW LQVSLUHG -HVXV $W 7KH Center, music for a new season with a message that has been resonating with the group for a while. ´,W IHOW OLNH WKH ULJKW WLPH DQG WKH ULJKW statement to make,â&#x20AC;? Houghton says of WKHDOEXPWLWOH´7KHVLPSOLFLW\RIEHLQJDOO about Jesus, and not using â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pronoun-edâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; gospelâ&#x20AC;Ś going back to a place where itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about us, where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re decreasing because Jesus is increasing and drawing all men to him.â&#x20AC;? ´7KLV UHTXLUHV Ă&#x20AC;QGLQJ WKH EDODQFH EHtween being a worship leader and being DQ DUWLVWÂľ KH FRQWLQXHV ´7KH SXUSRVH RI a worship leader is being looked through, not looked at.â&#x20AC;? Words that Israel & New Breed put to good use on Jesus at the Center, co-produced with his friend and collaborator Aaron Lindsey and recorded before a live audience at Joel Osteenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lakewood Church, where Houghton is a longtime worship leader. But donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t call this a homecoming. ´,WIHOWPRUHOLNHDKRPHFRXUWDGYDQWDJH than a homecoming,â&#x20AC;? says Houghton, who had recorded at Lakewood before with the likes of Michael W. Smith, Martha Munizzi and the church itself, but never for RQHRIKLVRZQDOEXPV´7KHUHZHUHDORW of these songs that were in the house so to / 44 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

The

speak, so it made it easy for the crowd to worship along.â&#x20AC;? And worship along they do. Houghton says that about 70 percent of Jesus at the Center had been tried and tested at Lakewood before making it onto the recording, which is palpable in the way the audience responds to the music, beginning with the albumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centerpiece, the ZRUVKLSEDOODG´-HVXVDWWKH&HQWHUÂľRULJLnally introduced in the Israel & New Breed anthology, Decade. The title track marks a midpoint between &HQWHU¡V WZR KDOYHVÂłD Ă&#x20AC;UVW GLVF FRPprised mostly of explosive congregational songs, and a second one that takes the listener through a seamless worship experience, one reminiscent of some of the best moments from 2004â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Live from Another Level. The songs are simply gigantic, with DSROLVKWKDW¡VEHĂ&#x20AC;WWLQJIRUWKHYHQXHRQH of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foremost multimedia churches both in the realms of sight and sound. 7KH Ă&#x20AC;UVW GLVF NLFNV WKLQJV LQWR KLJK JHDU with an avalanche of corporate praise like only Israel & New Breed can unfurlâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; which means thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plenty of funk, horns, rhythm, vocal dynamics, and call-andresponse interplay between the band and worshippers in attendance. Opener ´-HVXVWKH6DPHÂľLVFODVVLFIRUWKHJURXSD funk fest replete with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;70s synthesizers and an Earth, Wind & Fire vibe, yet congregational and Christ-centered to the core.


1. Matt Redman 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) CD: 10,000 Reasons

2. You CD: Eye On It

3. For King

Countr

Proof CD: Crave ll

Center

4. Casting Crowns CD: Come To The Well

By Andree Farias

Israel & New Breed know this is the part of the recording where they let loose and help the audience drop its guard, so the troupe keeps WKH SUDLVH JRLQJ ZLWK ´5H] 3RZHUÂľ ´1R7XUQLQJ%DFNÂľDQG´0RUH7KDQ Enough,â&#x20AC;? a one-two-three punch that borrows elements from contemporary gospel, choral praise, rock and even ska, a sonic fusion that Houghton has characterized as D´.LQJGRPÂľVRXQG7KHELJVXUSULVH in this stretch of Center is the danceDEOH ´7H $PRÂľ 6SDQLVK IRU ´, ORYH youâ&#x20AC;?), a Latin-pop stunner that turns Lakewood into the biggest block party in Houston. The pace slows down in the middle ZLWK ´, &DOO <RX -HVXVÂľ DQG ´:RUship Medley,â&#x20AC;? culminating with the DOEXP¡V FRUQHUVWRQH ´-HVXV DW WKH &HQWHUÂľ 7KH ZRUVKLS Ă RZV XQLQWHUrupted from there through such tracks as the driving, Daniel JohnsonOHG ´6SHHFKOHVVÂľ WKH 1HZ %UHHG HQFRXUDJHU ´,W¡V 1RW 2YHU :KHQ *RG,VLQ,W ÂľDQG´<RXU3UHVHQFH,V Heaven,â&#x20AC;? another congregational piece that Houghton hopes makes its way to Sunday-morning playlists. Always stretching musical boundaries, Houghton invites on stage ´)ULHQG RI *RGÂľ FRZULWHU 0LFKDHO Gungor for one of Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most stand-out momentsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a medley of

*XQJRU¡V EOXHJUDVVWLQJHG ´<RX +DYH 0HÂľ DQG +RXJKWRQ¡V ´<RX Hold My World,â&#x20AC;? a combination that only makes sense on an Israel & New Breed recording. As the second disc draws to a close, Houghtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daughter Mariah shares a special moment with her father in a tender FRYHURI%RE'\ODQ¡V´7R0DNH<RX Feel My Love.â&#x20AC;? As a bonus for listeners, studio versions of three high points from Jesus at the Center are included at the end of the second disc: the title WUDFN ´<RXU 3UHVHQFH ,V +HDYHQÂľ DQG ´,W¡V 1RW 2YHU :KHQ *RG ,V in It),â&#x20AC;? the latter of which features guests spots from James Fortune and Jason Nelson. And for an even more experiential enjoyment of Jesus at the Center, all of the albumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performances will also be included in a companion DVD to be released in conjunction with the project. ´,KRSHWKDWSHRSOHZRXOGKHDUWKH authenticity of the whole experience and know that whether they are believers or not, they can sense a conviction around what we do,â&#x20AC;? VD\V+RXJKWRQ´6RPHWLPHVZHFDQ be so â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;churchedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that we can lose sight of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;who, what, whyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of worship. This project simply places Jesus where he is supposed to be.â&#x20AC;? / 45 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /

5. Matthew CD: Into The Light

6. MercyMe The Hurt & The Healer CD: The Hurt & The Healer

7. Sidewalk Prophets Live Like That CD: Live Like That

8. Francesca Battistelli Angel By Your Side CD: Hundred More Years

9. Big Redeemed CD: Love Come To Life


Mandissa Get Movinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Chris August The Upside of Down

After three-time GRAMMYÂŽ NomineeMandisa delivered last Aprilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s immensely successful and fastestselling album, What If We Were Real, WKH$PHULFDQ,GROĂ&#x20AC;QDOLVWZLOOIROORZ up with the release of her new EP, Get 0RYLQ¡7KHĂ&#x20AC;YHVRQJDVVRUWPHQW features tracks that span the vocal powerhouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discography, opening with the thrilling Capital Kings interpretation of her current smash single â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Morning,â&#x20AC;? featuring TobyMac.

Dove Award-winner Chris August extends his amazing success with the launch of his sophomore project! Mixing contemporary Christian styles with meaningful lyrics, he has found a way to worship God and lead others to do WKH VDPH ,QFOXGHV ´$PHQÂľ ´7KLV 6LGH RI +HDYHQÂľ ´5HVWRUHÂľ ´Âľ ´8Qashamed of You,â&#x20AC;? the hit radio single ´&HQWHURI,WÂľDQGWKHWLWOHWUDFN

tobyMac Eye On It

New Release spotlight onething Live 2QH WKLQJ /,9( 0DJQLĂ&#x20AC;FHQW 2EVHVsion was recorded at the International House of Prayerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (IHOP) onething conference in December last year, and highlights some of the most memorable worship songs. Matt Gilman, one of eleven worship leaders featured on the record, shares: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I Iove the focused nature of this album and that it represents so well why we do what we do here at the house of prayerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;because Jesus is worthy of unceasing adoration.â&#x20AC;? Although the twelve-song projHFW UHĂ HFWV WKH PXVLFDO OHDQLQJV RI PXOWLSOH ZRUVKLS OHDGHUV LWV theme is decidedly singular: Jesus is a worthy obsession.

Successfully combining eleand hip hop, he focuses his his faith, and the glory Includes â&#x20AC;&#x153;Me Without â&#x20AC;&#x153;Forgiveness,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Speak â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lose Myself,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Family,â&#x20AC;? You,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Made for Me,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mac Daddy,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Favorite Song,â&#x20AC;? and the title track.

Kari Jobe The Acoustic Sessions As one of the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier worship leaders, Kari Jobe continues to impact the church with her newest special EP release, The Acoustic Sessions, available now on iTunes. This EP features acoustic versions of her most popular songs plus two acoustic performance videos. The EP peaked at the top of the iTunes Christian & Gospel album chart where it remains in the Top 10 along with her sophomore fulllength project Where I Find You, which she released earlier this year to much acclaim.

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State and National Accreditation: PS -12th grade

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Students learn to read and play music in Music Theory class at VCHS.â&#x20AC;?

Â&#x2021; Celebrating 35 years of Excellence Â&#x2021; Nationally Acclaimed Academics Â&#x2021; Christian Education at its Best Â&#x2021; Open 7 A.M. - 6 P.M. (school year) Â&#x2021; Easily affordable tuition Â&#x2021; Spacious beautiful classrooms Â&#x2021; State-of-the-art science lab Â&#x2021; Well-equipped computer lab Â&#x2021; Fully automated library, 14,000+ volumes Â&#x2021; Kitchen and Cafeteria for healthy lunches Â&#x2021; Athletic and Academic competitions Â&#x2021; 'HJUHHGFHUWLĂ&#x20AC;HGH[SHULHQFHGWHDFKHUV Â&#x2021; Sound Biblical teachings, Christian morals Â&#x2021; Daily Bible classes for all students Â&#x2021; Safe campus; happy students Â&#x2021; No uniforms; sensible dress code

How VCHS compares with all other Texas Schools

WHY SUPPORT

THE

MISSION

(National Report Below)

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OF

VCHS? June 29, 2011

College Readiness Letter for:

VALLEY CHRISTIAN HERITAGE SCH This report reflects the achievement of your graduates on the ACT over time and an indication of the extent to which they are prepared for college-level work. The ACT consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, mathematics, reading, and science designed to measure the skills needed for success in first year college coursework.

Figure 1. Percent of ACT-Tested Students Ready for College-Level Coursework Are Your Students Ready for College? While students will pursue a variety of paths after high school, all students should be prepared for college and work. Through collaborative research with postsecondary institutions nationwide, ACT has established the following as college readiness benchmark scores for designated courses: Â&#x201C;5^W\YcX3_]`_cYdY_^*!(_^13D5^W\YcXDUcd Â&#x201C;1\WURbQ*""_^13D=QdXU]QdYScDUcd Â&#x201C;C_SYQ\CSYU^SU*"!_^13DBUQTY^WDUcd Â&#x201C;2Y_\_Wi*"$_^13DCSYU^SUDUcd Your School

Other Texas Schools

1RU^SX]Qb[cS_bUYcdXU]Y^Y]e]cS_bU^UUTUT_^Q^13DceRZUSdQbUQdUcdd_Y^TYSQdUQ% SXQ^SU_V_RdQY^Y^WQ2_bXYWXUb_bQR_edQ'%SXQ^SU_V / 47 /courses. www.valleychristianmagazine.com / obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing


p JeremynfeCreanm ce Center Phar r Co m 28 – 8:00 p September

st Judahfe ndon

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Coming Events:

Hill e h t n o e s i Pra nctus Real Sa

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Tenth Avenue North November 1 – San Antonio www.itickets.com SpiritFest Corpus Christi November 10 MercyMe www.itickets.com

An Acoustic Evening of Stories & Songs Todd Agnew & Jason Gray South Padre Island November 12 The Story Tour 2012 Natalie Grant 12/8 – San Antonio

Having an event?

e Hillsong Liv

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Call us at 956.314.0161 or email us at: valleychristianmagazine@ gmail.com

/ 48 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


/ 49 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


By Dave Ramsey

Making the right choice Dear Dave, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a landlord in New York, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always felt itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a good idea to rely entirely on previous landlords for referrals on prospective tenants. Do you have any tips for selecting good renters?...Jean

)RUPRUHĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOKHOSSOHDVHYLVLW www.daveramsey.com Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and extremely popular national radio personality. His three New York Times best-selling booksâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Financial Peace, More Than Enough and The Total Money Makeoverâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;have sold more than 6 million copies combined. His latest book, EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches, releases in September 2011.

Dear Jean, I think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the right track. Most landlords arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t thorough enough with the screening process. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to know someone without spending some time with them and digging into their personalities and backgrounds a little. I have several rental properties, and here are a few tricks that work well for me. I always pull a credit bureau report on prospective renters. I also get a big deposit up front. I spend quite a bit of time talking to them one on one, as well, so with all this theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to be a pretty good con artist to get past me. Another thing I do is to drive by the place theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re currently living. I like to see what condition the house is in, and if they keep the yard maintained. To me, this is a great indication of how responsible they are and how they would treat my property. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a bad idea to get some proof of them having made previous rental payments on time, either. In some ways itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a leap of faith any time you sign an agreement with a new tenant. But there are things you can do in order to make a more informed decision as to whom youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing business with. And who knows? Lots of renters appreciate knowing they have a landlord who handles things in a professional manner. Maybe these suggestions will help you both feel a little more at ease. Good luck, Jean!...Dave

Working vs. Learning Dear Dave, My son is a freshman in college. Do you think he should work during KLVĂ&#x20AC;UVW\HDULQVFKRRORUIRFXVDOOKLVDWWHQWLRQRQKLVFODVVHV"%HQ Dear Ben, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anything wrong with either direction during their Ă&#x20AC;UVW\HDURIFROOHJH%XWDVDSDUHQW,¡GXUJH\RXQRWWRIDOOLQWRWKH trap of thinking that a kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grades will go down if they work while in school. Research shows that kids who work while in college carry higher grade point averages than those who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. To me, the reason for this is pretty simple. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working and going to school at the same time, you have to learn how to manage your life and your time effectively. Lots of kids could pay their way through college, and not have to worry with student loans, if they just used the time they spend on social activities and watching television at a job. I never required my kids to work during the school year. But they DOOKDYHJRRGZRUNHWKLFVDQGWKH\¡UHGHĂ&#x20AC;QLWHO\QRWEXPV'XULQJ the summer, though, there was no such thing as sitting around. They KDGMREV0\\RXQJHVWMXVWĂ&#x20AC;QLVKHGKLVVRSKRPRUH\HDUDQGKH¡V already started a job. Being a vegetable for the entire summer is useless, and we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do useless in our family. But the philosophy of not wanting a kid to work so they can spend all their time studying is misguided. For the most part, kids who work while theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in school will make better grades and develop into more mature and well-rounded individuals. And besides, if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t waste all their time playing beer pong!.. Dave

/ 50 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


/ 51 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Raul â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rudyâ&#x20AC;? Rodriguez attorney at law Some historians may argue that among the greatest restoration stories of mankind are the European Renaissance or perhaps the post-World War II era. The cultural movement known as the European Renaissance took place during roughly 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 VHUYLFHPHPEHUVWRÂżQLVKKLJKVFKRRODQGDWWHQGFROOHJH$VWKHLUVNLOOVZHUHLPSURYHGVRZDVWKHÂżQDQFLDO well-being of their families. But, without a doubt the greatest restoration that can take place is when a person does as Romans 10:9 instructs us to do. Romans 10:9 says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.â&#x20AC;? The message is simple: invite Christ into your heart and make him your personal Lord and Savior. At that time, your restoration will be complete. Next He will do as Philippians 1:6 says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will FRQWLQXHKLVZRUNXQWLOLWLVÂżQDOO\ÂżQLVKHGRQWKHGD\ when Christ Jesus returns.â&#x20AC;? As you seek and strive to honor God with your life, He will reward you by allowing you to take on His characteristics. Hosea 14:4 says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will bring my people back to me. I will love them with all my heart; No longer am I angry with them.â&#x20AC;? I pray that you will invite Christ into your heart and allow Him to restore you!  $W P\ RIÂżFH , DOVR ZDQW WR EH SDUW RI \RXU restoration plan, albeit in a different way. I pray that God will use me for His honor and glory in helping me address your needs. If you have been involved in an auto accident and/or other serious injury or if you have lost a loved one as a result of someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s negligence, I will do my best to restore some sense of normality to your life. I will also help you in matters involving family law, criminal law and real estate and will issues. As always, I bear in mind that in honoring God with the way I handle my business relationships I will be honoring you my esteemed client.

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

www.raulrudyrodriguezlaw.com 3KRQH7ROO)UHH www.raulrudyrodriguezlaw.com )D[0RELOH

3KRQH7ROO)UHH)D[0RELOH 511 W. University / Edinburg, TX 78539 HPDLODQQRLQWHG#JPDLOFRP 511 W. University / Edinburg, TX 78539 / HPDLOUURGODZ#KRWPDLOFRP / 52 /www.valleychristianmagazine.com /


Valley Christian Magazine September 2012