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July 2012

Clean your Junk Drawer!

Put a


Feeling Judged, Inspected, Measured (at church)?


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Button on it ! p.30

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index Features 11 – At Home With Pastor Mark Coppins 26 – Student Evangelism Conference 28 – Friends, Fans & Followers 44 – Songs That Have Changed The Way We Worship 42 – What to Read 46 – New Releases 48 – Events


On The Cover

National Columnists 16 20 22 36 40 50

– – – – – –

44 – Songs That Have Changed The Way We Worship On the Cover Photo: Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton (Contributed photo)


Greg Laurie James MacDonald Joe Beam Luis Palau Steve Marr Dave Ramsey

Valley Contributors 8 14 18 30 32 34 42

– – – – – – –

Christian Torres Henry Miller Abram Gomez JerrellJobe Jacob Ramon Milton Gonzalez Miguel Paredes

22 Vol. 2 / Issue 5

Christian Torres

Eli Lara 956-451-0174

Henry Miller


Executive Editor

Twitter: @vcmagazine @henry_vcmag

Irma d’Santiago “morett” Designer

PHOTOGRAPHERS Jenny Maples Hollis Cliff Ranson Gabriela Romero XPOSURE™

Ana Beicker 956-648-2511

Stella Gallegos 956-854-1601

James Alexander Distribution

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Texas Christian Publications c/o Valley Christian Magazine 3827 North 10th Street, 301 McAllen, TX 78501

Ronnie Vela 956-599-8063

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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.

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I will never forget the story my friend Brian told me when he was getting married and he and his wife were about to get their own place. I Thought of course, you’re getting married, starting the next phase of your life, getting your own place‌..Boy was I wrong. ´,¡PMXVWH[FLWHGWRÀQDOO\KDYHP\RZQMXQNGUDZHU¾KHVDLG Admit it. You have a junk drawer. You know the one when a friend comes over and asks for something and reaches for that drawer in your kitchen and you’re like‌.WAIT! I’ll get it! I have the most random things in my junk drawer. (Old batteries, random tools, a hammer that converts to almost everything, OHIWRYHUSLHFHVIURPWKLQJVWKDW,¡YH´EXLOW¾HYHUQRWLFHKRZ\RX always seem to have leftover materials‌I digress‌another story, another time! -- broken toys and so many other worthless things I don’t have time to mention.) So when I’m told to put something away and I don’t know where to put it, I toss it in the drawer. Then my wife Stephanie is like....BABE!! :) (this is the point in the article where I stand up and say hello my name is Christian and I’m a junk drawer keeper...ummm, ok I really admit I have two! )

Admit It‌ You Have A Junk Drawer! by Christian Torres

7KHFUD]\WKLQJLVZKHQVRPHWKLQJFRPHVXSWKDW¡VWKHĂ€UVWSODFH ,JRWRĂ€QGLW It’s funny when it’s just trinkets and missing parts but I believe most of us keep some sort of massive junk drawer in our mind of things we’ve done wrong, times when we’ve messed up, people we’ve hurt, people who’ve hurt us, you name it. A junk drawer of just that‌life junk. We may be cruising along great when something comes up and RXURYHUĂ RZLQJMXQNGUDZHUVSLOOVRXWVRPHQHJDWLYHWKRXJKWV I can’t serve at church or with some type of ministry...look what I just pulled out. Oh wait, I can’t do that for God because of this (and you pull it out). No way God can use me...I’ve messed up so bad there’s no way I can even get involved‌look it’s right here. The sad thing is we know exactly where those things are and we FDQZKLSWKHPRXWLQDĂ DVK There’s nothing in your junk drawer that God can’t forgive. There’s nothing that big that somebody has done to you that God hasn’t overcome. God is bigger than all your biggest problems or hurts. All your burdens. All your shame. All your troubles. He has overcome all of your junk. And together with God, you too can overcome. Turn to God and give it to Him. That junk drawer you been accumulating your whole life? All those negative thoughts...time to dump it out at Jesus’ feet and say “Help me sort this out and while we’re at it, let’s get rid of a IHZWKLQJVLIQRWDOOWKHPÂľ In Isaiah 28:12, the Bible tells us “This is the time and place to rest, to JLYHUHVWWRWKHZHDU\7KLVLVWKHSODFHWROD\GRZQ\RXUEXUGHQÂľ We’re not to keep going back to our junk drawer and keep pulling out old things that we’ve been holding onto‌especially the things that pull us down and discourage us. God is not a discourager. Never think that He is the one telling you those things. In fact, it is quite the opposite. “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old hisWRU\Âľ,VDLDK0HVVDJH When Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, he was letting them know that he didn’t have it all together (as all of us), that he knew what to do (as most of us) and that he’s going to keep going and QRWÂśSXOODQ\WKLQJRXWRIKLVMXQNGUDZHUÂľ

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.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, DQG,¡PQRWWXUQLQJEDFNÂľ3KLOLSLDQV06* Remember that’s why they call it a junk drawer‌’s just junk!!

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Palm Valley Church (DVW*ULIĂ€Q3DUNZD\0LVVLRQ

956-585-3203 / 9 / /

/ 10 /10 www .valleychristianmagazine. / 1400 E. Ridge RD., STE MCALLEN, TX 78503com WWW.PENAEYE.COM

Interview by Jane Hervey, Valley Christian Magazine

First Christian Church Pastor: Mark Coppins Pastor’s wife: Darla Coppins Services: Traditional: Sunday 9:45 AM Contemporary: Sunday 8:30 AM and 11 AM (only 11 AM during summer months) Youth Service: Sunday 5:30 PM Address: 421 South 13th Street Harlingen, TX 78550 Phone Number: (956) 423-1051 / 11 / /

photos provided by:

How did you become the pastor of First Christian Church in Harlingen? I’ve been pastoring here for 13 years. I’m originally from Virginia and then I moved to Oregon. We had a church in Oregon for almost 10 years, and then we moved back to Virginia for about 6 years to be closer to my family. It was very interesting how the Lord put a few people together that we knew and that’s how I found out about this particular church. That’s quite an adjustment! How has your family become involved in the community down here? My wife is involved with the church, like Sunday school, and she works with our children and the youth. We also do triathlons and marathons in local cycling tournaments around Harlingen. Our children are all away from home. Two are actually out of college, and one is in Los Angeles, California working on some projects.

How did you and your wife meet? We met back in Oregon. I was there for Bible College, and we were attending the same school. She played on the volleyball team and I was the manager for the basketball team. They did a Secret Pal set-up and I was her Secret Pal.

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What are some of the fundamentals for First Christian Church? We’re trying to be a church involved in ministry. We have several people from our church doing summer missions projects. Those have been the biggest things: trying to encourage and help people grow and spreading the Lord’s Word. You mentioned your church supports missionary work. What kind of missions has the church had experience with? We support missions throughout the world – we have missionaries in Germany, India, and in Latin America. At our church, we have two missionary families. We’ve found that having missionaries in our church has called others to do something. We now have people in Guatemala and somebody in China; one man also went to Iraq to work with orphans for a couple of weeks.

You recently went on a mission trip to Nicaragua. What did God lead you to do there? We went with a group of people from Harlingen. They host Crusades and we were able to preach to children in schools. Over the course of 3 days, we presented the gospel to over 20,000 people. That’s fantastic! What other kinds of missionary work is the church involved in? We put together a mission trip for our youth, as well. They’re going to Joplin, Missouri to help rebuild up there. We try to help locally also. We’ve recently helped out with Family Movie Night on Jackson Street in Harlingen. We hand out popcorn and drinks and help with games every third Saturday of June, July, and August.

were there playing basketball, and we continue to use it for our youth program and children’s programs. The youth have Sunday night worship over there at 5:30 pm.

First Christian Church offers contemporary and traditional services for its members. How do you cater to both generations of churchgoers? When we came 13 years ago, the church had a traditional service. The church wanted to grow again, so we worked on trying to bring in young families and we made some changes to the traditional service and made it more of a blended service with contemporary parts. We came to the point where we wanted to keep the traditional service traditional and keep the contemporary service contemporary. The Lord brought in one person and that person brought in someone else and we were able to put a praise band together for the contemporary service. For those who have been here most of their lives, they still have the traditional service. We moved the traditional service to 9:45 a.m., and the contemporary at 11 a.m. During the school year, we have an additional contemporary service at 8:30 a.m.

What separates the traditional service from the contemporary service? In the traditional service, we have a choir and a children’s hand bell choir. We play the organ and the keyboard for that, as well. We use the overhead projector screen for both services, and we view the words for the songs out of the hymnal there.

In what other ways is the church involved with the community?

What would you say is the main goal for First Christian Church?

On Sunday nights for the school year, we have something for all ages at the youth building. We have adult classes, groups for children, and services for the youth. The current youth building was RQHRIWKHÀUVWFKXUFKJ\PVLQ+DUOLQJHQ Young people from all over Harlingen

For us, we are trying to be a church that encourages one another and helps people grow. Whatever the Lord calls our members to do we encourage that.

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Live Life Right By Henry Miller

I was scanning through Facebook recently when a friend’s post made my heart jump. My friend had come to Christ.

And what a perfect time to say yes that’s how I was – isn’t amazing how good God truly is? Isn’t that the perfect time to give your testimony and tell your story? Nobody else has your story. Nobody else is you. You are unique, God made you that way – your story will be unique too.

Dozens of people congratulated Dan on his new life. They shared advice, told him of the great times and enormous trials he has yet to face – but he’s not facing them alone anymore.

In reality, you’ve already been sharing. Maybe you live a good life (like my friend Vidal Muùiz says: Live Life Right), maybe you show love to those around you – this is part of your story.


Then a neighbor piped in – and apologized. A Christian as well, Dan’s neighbor assumed all those years that Dan was already saved, that he knew Jesus as his personal savior. Dan was also the son of a preacher, so he was in church all the time. He knew the bible, knew the stories and all the facts about being a Christian. What’s that saying? Going to church all the time doesn’t make you a Christian any more than working in a garage makes you a car. Clearly, the neighbor had thought, Dan is already saved. This is what he apologized for. If you want to think about it in its most extreme light, if Dan doesn’t come to Christ, his neighbor really wasn’t a friend at all. “Dan, I’m ashamed that I never brought up spiritual things with you even in casual conversations ‌ not saying witnessing per se, but just discussing how good God is. I guess I just assumed \RX ZHUH D &KULVWLDQ EHFDXVH ZKHQ , JUHZ XS ´HYHU\RQHÂľ went to church. That’s a failing on my part. Knowing who holds tomorrow will make getting through these times on earth betWHU*RGEOHVV\RXEURWKHUÂľ How often have you missed out on a chance to witness to someone, to bring up spiritual things, even in casual conversation? These two men knew each other for years. Shouldn’t it be easier to bring up our faith in those situations? That’s what brought me to tears. Suddenly names and faces of people I’ve failed – either thinking they were Christians or just not letting them know how good God is – swarmed my mind. Satan tricks me into justifying it by telling me that my friends, those closest to me, have seen me when I was in the darkest parts of my life - they’ve watched me pull away from God. And now, Satan tells me, you’re gonna tell them how good God is? Think they’ll believe you?

´-XVWDV,KDYHORYHG\RX\RXDOVRVKRXOGORYHRQHDQRWKHUÂľ Jesus says in John 13: 34-35 (NASB) ´%\ WKLV HYHU\RQH ZLOO NQRZ WKDW \RX DUH P\ GLVFLSOHVÂľ -HVXV concludes, making his most important point yet, “if you have ORYHIRURQHDQRWKHUÂľ Talking about the extraordinary story of the formation of the Christian Church, Reverend Dr. John Binns, of Great St. Mary’s in Cambridge said in a sermon for King’s College Chapel At a lecture on a social work training course recently the lecturer reminded the students that 80 percent communication is non-verbal. It’s not just words which show how we feel. There are our gestures, our expressions, our body language, and all the little signs which show what we really want to convey to people. “ And while 80 percent may-be non-verbal, that verbal part can – and usually is – the clincher. After all, we all know good people. We see good people doing good things. But is that enough? Christ calls us to love as He loved – and that means showing and telling - your story.

HENRY MILLER has been editing / writing for 26 years. He was syndicated in 150 newspapers and 60 radio stations. He is a graduate of Franciscan University and UTPA. He and his daughter, Camilla (7), attend First Baptist Church McAllen

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No Exemptions By GREG LAURIE


greg laurie is Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif. He began his pastoral ministry at 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then, God has transformed the small group into a church of 15,000-plus, one of the largest churches in America. For more, visit Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, P.O. Box 4000, Riverside, Calif., 92514. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright Š 1996.

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Covered By A Covenant by Abram Gomez

None of us are perfect. Not one. As a matter of fact, most of us would confess to weaknesses DQGà DZVWKDWZHRIWHQZLVKZHGLGQRWKDYH%HFDXVHRI WKHVHà DZVZHRIWHQOLYHEHORZRXUSRWHQWLDO:HKLGHLQWKH shadows of obscurity, settling for just enough. We are afraid and nervous of the audition to play our desired role for fear that it may expose our lameness. We are often crippled by criticism and delayed by discouragement. The question may EHDVNHG´+RZGR,JHWWRP\SRVLWLRQIURPP\FRQGLWLRQ"¾ One of the most recognizable Old Testament characters in the Bible is David. It was this courageous leader who, behind KLVEUDYHU\DQGIDLWKÀOOHGKHDUWVOHZWKHJLDQW*ROLDWK'DYLG is known for his many militant exploits and his strong desire for God’s presence. But it should also be noted that David was a man who kept his promises and remembered his covenants. :KHQ 'DYLG ZDV ÀUVW QRWLFHG E\ WKH +RXVH RI 6DXO ,VUDHO¡V previous king, he developed a strong friendship with Jonathan, Saul’s son. It was with Jonathan that David made a covenant to always show kindness to his house forever. Eventually, Jonathan died in battle, yet he had a son named Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was crippled for life when as a baby his nurse GURSSHGKLPDVVKHà HGKLVKRXVHXSRQKHDULQJRIKLVGDG¡V death. He was brought up low, impoverished, impotent and ZDVLQVHHPLQJO\QRFRQGLWLRQWRHYHUDUULYHWRDVLJQLÀFDQW position in life. Most people seem to be hurting and feel disadvantaged because somebody dropped them. Maybe it was a parent who ´GURSSHG¾ TXDOLW\ WLPH ZLWK WKHLU FKLOG FKRRVLQJ LQVWHDG WR ZRUNPRUHKRXUV2USHUKDSVDKXVEDQGZKR´GURSSHG¾WKH marriage in favor of an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Maybe

you were dropped by someone you loved or something you had no control over, being just a victim of circumstances. You may feel wounded and crippled to do what you feel God is calling you to do. Even after being dropped, there is hope. David becomes king over all Israel and begins his administration over the land. He remembers his covenant to Jonathan and in chapter 9 of 2 Samuel, David asks the question “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show KLPNLQGQHVVIRU-RQDWKDQ¡VVDNH"Âľ$VHUYDQWUHVSRQGVWRWKH King, and makes him aware of Mephibosheth, who is now livLQJLQDSODFHFDOOHG/R'HEDU7KLVLVVLJQLĂ€FDQWEHFDXVH/R 'HEDU PHDQV ´QR SDVWXUHÂľ 8SRQ KHDULQJ WKH QHZV 'DYLG calls for him to be brought to Jerusalem immediately to make right the covenant with Jonathan. Here are the results based on the covenant: 1. Mephibosheth changed location. Mephibosheth dwelt in the place of obscurity, hiding from a past that haunted him. The covenant brought him from being a nobody to a somebody. You and I, before Christ, dwelt in darkness because of our sins. But through Christ, we have been conveyed from the darkness and into His marvelous light! Like Mephibosheth, we can now live openly among the people and presence of *RG/HDYHWKHORFDWLRQRI´MXVWHQRXJKÂľDQGKHDGWRZDUG your new location of victory and strength! 2. Mephibosheth changed position. No longer is he sitting at the table of poverty hoping for a few crumbs and tasting mediocrity, but now he is seated among the king’s table. This WDEOHLVSUHSDUHGZLWKWKHĂ€QHVWPHDOVDQGWDVW\GHOLFDFLHVRI the land. As a result of the Covenant of the Cross, we have been seated with Christ in heavenly places. No longer do you need to feed off fears, guilt, and condemnation. Now we can feast of his goodness and favor.

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3. Mephibosheth changed perspective. By sitting at the table, he could no longer focus on his biggest insecurity – his lame legs. Within his sight now was the king and other people of honor. The table did not change his weakness, but it did cover his weakness. You may still feel weak at WLPHVDQGHYHQXQÀWIRUWKHMREEXWWKDQNVEHWR*RGZKR has covered our lameness with His mercy and grace. Because of a simple covenant made years before he was ERUQ0HSKLERVKHWKUHFHLYHGWKHEHQHÀWVRIWKDWSURPLVH made between his father and David. As a benefactor, he was a person covered by a covenant. In like manner, a covenant was initiated by our Heavenly Father in the giving of His only Son, Jesus. At the Cross, it was ÀQLVKHG1RZKXQGUHGVRI\HDUVODWHUZHDUHEHQHIDFWRUV of that Covenant of Grace to continually be covered. My personal twitter


Serving the Rio Grande Valley since 1976

Surgical Specialists - Advanced Surgery Laparoscopy - Arterial Bypass - Appendix - Gastrointestinal Surgery - And more...

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.


0F$OOHQ2IĂ€FH McAllen Doctor Center 1801 S. 5th, Ste 120 ph. 956.687.7151 Weslaco, TX. / McAllen Art Building 1315 E. 6th st. ste. 16 fax 956.213.8176

tel. (956)447.5110 / 19 /www.valleychristianmagazine. com // fax. (956) 213.8176

By Dr. James MacDonald

Loving One Another ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.â€? And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more WKDQ DOO ZKROH EXUQW RIIHULQJV DQG VDFULĂ€FHVÂľ Mark 12:31-33

I did not feel loved in the church that I grew up in. Not at all. Oh, there might have been one or two exceptions. But most of the time, I felt inspected, I felt measured, I felt judged, I felt sometimes excluded, but I did not feel loved in the church when I was young. I could quote verses like, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that \RXDUHP\GLVFLSOHVLI\RXKDYHORYHIRURQHDQRWKHUÂľ -RKQ 13:34-35), but I wasn’t seeing it or feeling it. Now before you conclude I’m piling on my childhood church, let me confess they didn’t get a lot of love from me either. It took me a lot of years — I mean, I learned to love God, I learned to love God’s Word, but I did not learn how to love people in the church that I grew up in. It doesn’t surprise me that there are many people that feel that way. Now, that is an awful tragedy. Jesus says this is like the big deal — loving one another. You’ve got to have this! It’s a rough world out there. Church has got to be a place where I come where I feel loved by people with authentic love. I want to declare this. Our church is going hard after loving one another. You are loved here—not perfectly, but permanently you are loved here. Not 100% faithfully, okay, because we’re all sinners, but you are loved fervently here.

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

We want Jesus’ words to come true and be true among us! I believe with all of my heart, we have to embrace this as job-number-one, horizontally speaking. People need to see and they need to experience GLUHFWO\WKHZD\ZHORYHRQHDQRWKHU7KDW¡VWKHÀUVWVWHSLQWKHVHFRQG part of the great commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself. :KHQ-HVXVZDVOLNH´,¡POHDYLQJKHUHYLDWKHFURVVLQWHQPRUHPLQXWHV¾ +HDGGHG´+HUH¡VZKDW,UHDOO\ZDQW\RXWRGR/RYHRQHDQRWKHU¾

How am I practicing loving others with believers outside my immediate family? Where can I do better? / 20 / /

Valley Christian Mgazine August 2012  

In this month's Edition of Valley Christian Magazine check out the 25 songs that have changed the way we worship, At Home with Pastor Mark C...

Valley Christian Mgazine August 2012  

In this month's Edition of Valley Christian Magazine check out the 25 songs that have changed the way we worship, At Home with Pastor Mark C...