Monday, October 30, 2006

I know....


I've been away from this Blog for a while. It's been a hectic month for me. I know.. 7 blogs out of 31 (days) during the month of October. Doesn't this tell you something?? It's not that I'm "busy". I'm starting to hate that word. It's that I'm "serving".

We're planning on doing something different within the next 6 mos. to a year @ Fairfax (depending on the Deaf Worship Team).. I've been talking with people, working with the Deaf Worship Team, praying, praying and praying that the Lord's will be done here in D.C..

It seems, these days, we're becoming much more swamped with our daily priorities. The more priorities that swamps our life, the less "real" Christians we are. True! Our purpose. Our vision. Our goals. Our mission. To some, they are, somewhat, vague. Some of us, Christians, haven't been consistent these purposes: in fellowship, in ministry, in mission, in discipleship and in worship with our True, Living & Loving God! I wouldn't know this brother or sister so deeply compared to those who spend their time and life in these five purposes. I'll be starting on a book and I love the author's phrase,

"Is the "REAL you" getting lost because the "FAKE you" is just so annoyingly impressive?"

This question is interesting..

Why do we fake it so much?
Why do we put on a mask and know it?
Why do we spend so much time trying to tell people I'm a Christian when we're not consistent in doing the Lord's purposes for our life?
Why do we make so, so little effort trying to please God and a whole lot of effort to satisfy self?

I don't really have all the answers to these questions. It's something you need to ask yourselves and ask God to help you be REAL with Him!

If you're determined to NOT commit to God and His church, just honestly tell your minister that "Christianity" isn't for you. Of course, you may not want to say that. You may prefer to hide. That's fine, too.. Because.... Let me allow you to read this Scripture:

"Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' "'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' "'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"" Matthew 13:24-30 (niv)

Weeds in the Lord's Kingdom... Weeds in the church... The Lord said to leave them there until... Harvest time...

I'll be patient with each of the weeds that they'll, honestly, coming out of their "acting" and get real!

I'm also trying to read more books (and the Bible, of course!). I'll get plenty of book readings while I recuperate from my November 29th surgery. Next month is Thanksgiving month!! We have alot going on: four different preachers every Sunday: (myself on the 5th, Brian Baell on the 12th , Joe Kaplan (NC) on the 19th and Pedro Gelabert (NYC) on the 26th). Think of the things you're thankful for! Remember, it doesn't necessarily have to be postive. It can be something that's negative and yet so thankful for them!

And.... I'll be posting the highlights of our weekend melee (pictures)!! Check back soon!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Future...

2007 & Beyond

Though, we don't know what the outcome of tomorrow will be, I'm still making plans from now through the end of next year! There's so much being planned for next year and I'm already excited about it! However, any future plans is needing a prayer that the Lord will provide for us with opportunities and blessings as well as a "spiritual learning experience" when we run into a dead-end or stumble. There are a couple of things that I am proposing to the Elders for next year and beyond. Please pray for this proposal I'm about to present toward the end of this week.

Deaf Retreat

Next month, we're hosting the Deaf Church Family Retreat. It will be at Camp Wamava. If you haven't registered for the retreat, don't wait til the last minute. Help us make better plans with food and games. To register, you'll need to go to this site @:

Joe Kaplan and his family will be with us to talk about "Together In Christ". We're really excited about the Kaplans coming. They're wonderful Christians who loves the Lord! And you'll love them, too!


I will have a "much-needed" surgery on my left shoulder on November 29th. It will take me approximately 3 to 6 weeks to comfortably use my left arm depending on my consistency with the exercises at home and the gym. I've had this pain for over two years now and just tired of it. I'm not able to do a whole lot of things with that arm because of my shoulder so I'm eager to get this done and over with so I can resume normal activities. It'll be a rough 10 days for me. Pray for me as the day draws near.

During my recovery period, Brian Baell will teaching and preaching in my place from December through the end of February. I hope to resume preaching sometimes in the middle of January. We have other men "armed and ready" to teach as well.

Keep in mind to check out the educational "Cancer Outreach" tapes I have in my office, especially men and women over 50!!. They're helping people do an "Early Detection" for cancer prevention.

There's so much more but just couldn't put them in words. And, what is more, they couldn't be done without each of you. Your involvement in His Kingdom will mean alot to God! Only the Lord knows and that He will provide an open door for us.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (niv)

Monday, October 23, 2006


Yesterday was a whirlwind! But I'm just glad some of us got into this whirlwind experience. Kinda feel like Elijah taken up in a whirlwind... of fire!! His servant, Elisha, got to see the whirlwind experience! Jericho got way too dizzy because Israel marched around their mighty fortress one time, each day, for six days then on the seventh day, seven times. How insane is that!? Israel did a great job driving them to insanity! Then the trumpet blasted the fortress in a whirlwind crash! Israel got to see the coveted parting of the Red Sea. God caused a whirlwind stir before their very eyes and their jaws dropped all the way to the ground seeing how marvelous, how powerful, how indescribeable the miracle was!

We started off to spend the day with God at 7:50 a.m. and didn't get home until close to 6 p.m.. There's no other place to be than with God among His worship-hungry children. Yesterday in class, we had a couple of visitors. Abebe, his fiancee' and Asrat came to be with us yesterday. Also, Joan, our loving sister in Christ from Louisiana came to be with us as well. We talked about "Reaching Out In Crisis" during worship. A few of us scattered away for a quick lunch then returned for "The Block Party". Kids had a whirlwind of fun on the moonbounce, face paintings, fishing, cotton candies, lemonades and the coveted cakewalk! Everyone enjoyed the fun day!

I had to zoom to room 206/208 for the Cancer Outreach Education presentation given by Patricia Branz from California. 10 of us, including two visitors, attended the presentation. Man! I was B-L-O-W-N away by such precious information regarding cancer that strickens our loves ones! We watched a 50 minute video (ASL, Open-captioned & voice translated) about Colon cancer. There are four more videos about Breast Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Prostate Cancer, and many more! I have these videotapes in my office now if some of you are interested in borrowing them to learn more about these cancers.

I just cannot thank God enough for those who continue to be around us yesterday!! Indeed, God knows who are "true worshippers". The more I see my brothers and sisters who come before God hungry to worship, the more I praise God for them. I have always kept these Scriptures in my heart:

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;.." Matthew 10:37 (niv)

"He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."" Luke 9:59-62 (niv)

(1.) We are tempted to rest in a undisclosed area as seemingly "a disciple" (quote), in which we may be at a "loose end", and not to come close to God and the fellowship of His body, the church, and give up ourselves to be "strict and consistent".

(2.) We are tempted to avoid doing what we know we ought to be "doing" and to put if off to some other time. How often is this true to many Christians out there. When we have got clear of such a "care and difficulty", when we have gotten ourselves into compartmentalized living (gotten caught up with other businesses (personal), then we will begin to think of being religious.

(3.) We are tempted to think that our duty to our job, friends, families, priorities will excuse us from our duty to Christ. It is a lame excuse indeed: "Let me go and bury my father,-- is the same as let me take care of my family first, get my kids in college, build up a retirement account, and provide for my children, and then I will think of serving Christ;" however the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof must be sought in mind, heart, soul and strength in the first place, always!

Rather, I get myself and my family in a whirlwind of God's favor and plans than the whirlwind of the world's ways and priorities. There, I set an example to my wife, my children, my friends, and my families. Rather, I say no to my parents, my children, my wife that God comes first and that He seeks our hearts, the hearts that's whirlwind crazy for God!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

..and some of you were..

by Royce Ogle (A brother in Christ)..

Last evening in a small group one of the young men said in part, "Well, I am just a sinner too." The context was how we as believers should interact with those who are not. I wanted to correct him, but quickly decided to do so would be unwise in that context while having a discussion about personal evangelism.

A common misconception is that those of us who are "born from above" are "just sinners too". We are not sinners but saints. Of course we all sin. As long as we inhabit flesh we will fall short of God's standard for righteousness. This sad fact is precisely why Jesus came."And such were some of you." In 1 Corinthians 6:11 Paul set the record straight. In the previous verses Paul discussed sinners such as fornicators, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, covetous, homosexuals, etc. and then said, "And such were some of you".

Paul and others are careful to speak of those ugly lifestyles in the past tense when referring to believers. Interestingly, in the following verses he warns with these words. "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."

These truths are clear. We used to be sinners ("And such were some of you"). We have been changed by Christ (But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.") Even though we have been changed, we can still fall into sin. ("Flee sexual immorality")

We have been given a new identity. We are not "sinners", but are now "saints". Over 50 times in the New Testament, by several different writers, all inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, we who are saved are called "Saints". I was a sinner, by God's grace I am now a Saint.

Grace and Peace

Monday, October 16, 2006

What Do You Do With The Good News?

How do you use your time? How committed are you in learning and knowing the Word of God? How involved are you in the Lord's Kingdom? Are you reaching people for Christ?

Clearly, every Christian is called to go out into the world and bring people into the Kingdom. We’re supposed to share what we’ve been given. But what exactly are we supposed to share?
Here’s your message in two words: Good News. Mark 16:15 (NLT) tells us to "preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere."

Do you like to get good news? Everybody does. Do you like to share good news? Most people do. I know you’re thinking, "The people I work with, my friends -- they’re not interested in the Good News.” You’re dead wrong! They may not be interested in religion, but they are interested in the Good News. The problem is not that your friends and co-workers aren’t interested. The problem is you have forgotten how good the Good News really is.
Once you’ve been a Christian for a while:

You forget how miserable it was to live without hope.
You forget what it was like to worry where you would go when you die.
You forget what it was like to have a life full of guilt and fear and regrets and bitterness and boredom before Christ brought meaning and purpose and significance.

What happens is that the longer you’re a Christian, the more you tend to take for granted how good the Good News really is.

If you go out on the street and ask, "How do you convince God to like you?” 99% of the people will say, "You’ve got to work hard to get God’s approval. You’ve got to be really, really good. You’ve got to keep a lot of rules and probably do some rituals. You’ve got to be religious. I'm none of those things -- so I'm never going to please God or get to know him.”

The Good News is that you get right with God through a relationship based just on faith (trusting in God)-- not through a religion of rules, regulations, and rituals.

When we trust our lives to Jesus Christ, he takes care of our past, present, and future. These are three fabulous benefits we can share with others.

He forgives your past.If we were to take everything you’ve ever done or said or thought and make a movie of it and show it on a screen to everybody, you’d be really nervous -- and probably embarrassed.

And so would I, because none of us bat 1,000. Nobody’s perfect. Everyone has made mistakes. Everyone has skeletons in their closet -- things they wish had never happened. God comes along and says, "When you trust Jesus Christ with your life, I take that movie (What Is Your Life?) and I burn it. I take everything you’ve ever done and wipe the slate clean. You get to start over with a brand new life.” Is that good news?

He takes care of the present and gives you a purpose for living right now. You weren't created by a mistake. God created you for a purpose. You need to know God (daily read the Bible, grow in fellowship with other believers, worship God, serve in your community and church) or you will never know God's purpose for your life. Knowing God isn't just by confining yourselves at home reading His Word alone. It's much more than that! In the past, when you gave your life to the Lord and buried it in baptism, you promised God that you'll follow and obey Him regardless of any circumstances. Through the course of your "Christian life", things become much more complicated. You add things to your list of priorities. You have kids. You work more hours to make ends meet. You begin to "re-focus" on self. In the past, you have been "crucified with Christ" but now you've resurrected self. In the past, you used to share with your friends about Jesus but now you fear rejection and ridicule. Your knowledge of God may be based on "human intelligence" (what you just know about God) rather than living the Word of God; being the Word of God (what you're living the will of God).

When you get to know God, you’re going to know who you are. When you figure out God, you’re going to figure out yourself. I meet people all the time saying, “I'm just trying to find myself.” You probably aren’t going to like yourself once you find yourself! They say, “There’s something missing in my life.” Of course! God’s missing! You weren’t made to live and go through life just on your own power.

He gives you a future And what is that? That’s a home in heaven. Most people hope they’re going to heaven, but they’re not sure. Most people think if you do more good in your life than bad, maybe God will grade on a curve and say, “Alright, you can come in.”

Wrong! It doesn’t work that way. You won’t get into heaven on your own power because you’re just not good enough. In the Bible, heaven is a perfect place -- free of sorrow, suffering, and sin. That means only perfect people get to go there. If God let imperfect people into heaven, it wouldn’t be perfect any more. And that leaves me out and it leaves you out, too.

There’s only one way you can get into heaven: on somebody else’s ticket. Since none of us are perfect, God came to earth in human form. And who is that? Jesus Christ, our Lord!.

He lived a life of perfection.
He died on the cross, paid for our sin, and then went back to heaven.
Now you get into heaven on his ticket -- if you believe in Him.

Have you (H)eard (seen) the good news? Have you (B)elieved in Him? After believing, have you (R)epented of your sins? Have you (C)onfessed that Jesus is the Lord (meaning you're going to submit to Him and His will for your life (surrendering)? Have you buried your old life in the Lord in (B)aptism (buried in the blood of Jesus; under water)? Are you (L)iving Christ-likeness?

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23, NIV)

Now, remember, it’s a gift. That means you can’t earn it, you can’t work for it, you can’t own it in any way other than accepting it. You're not "baptized" to earn your salvation! I surely hope you didn't give you life to the Lord in baptism "by works"!

Do you think anybody you know would be interested in that? Of course!

Satan has fooled you. You think that none of your friends or the people you work with are interested in hearing the Good News. You’re wrong. The world is hungry for Good News. They’re looking for it. The Good News keeps sounding better and better because the bad news of the world keeps getting worse and worse -- so go out and share it! I mean, really!

Otherwise, when the time comes, God will ask this simple question: What did you do with my Son, Jesus?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Receive Jesus As Your Savior

by Mark Larson..

Many religious people, with good motives, seek to save the lost by getting anyone they can to receive Jesus as their Savior through prayer. The so called “plan of salvation” often goes something like this:

Pray the following prayer and receive Jesus as your Savior: Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. You said in Your Word: "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved" (Rom. 10:9). I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. Your Word says, "...with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:10). I do believe with my heart, and I now confess with my mouth Jesus as my Lord. Therefore, I am saved! Thank You, Lord!”

Yes. Without a doubt, it's a beautiful prayer but is this the Gospel plan for salvation? Is that all that is required of God to become a Christian? As popular as this doctrine may be, we need to look to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) (not just Romans 10:9-10) to gain understanding of the truth on what exactly is the plan of salvation.

What Does it Mean to Receive Jesus as Your Savior?

Only two times during His ministry did Jesus speak about the importance of “receiving” Him (Mark 9:37; John 5:43) and in both cases Jesus gives no instruction to pray. For example, Jesus rebuked the Jews for their willingness to believe in false teachers or false Messiahs, but not in Him: “I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him” (John 5:43, NASB). “Receive” (from lambanoo) in this context means to receive, accept, admit, or come to believe (See Thayer & Friberg Lexicons). “Receiving” Jesus, in this sense, is certainly important to a person’s salvation (e.g., John 8:24), yet never does Jesus (or His apostles) teach that one must pray to receive Jesus as their Savior in order to be saved.

If a person truly wants to “receive Jesus,” then that person will also receive the sayings or teachings of Jesus: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48). Being saved or entering into a right relationship with the Lord is not based on our faith in Him only, but also by our acceptance or belief in the words of Jesus. If, indeed, we believe in the words of Jesus (which would include the words which He gave His apostles – Eph. 3:3-5), then we will obey them. Those who truly believe in God’s word and accept the Scriptures as the actual words of God will perform the works of God (1 Thes. 2:13).

“Receive My Sayings”

Those who are quick to quote Romans 10:9-10 as the plan of salvation neglect much of the doctrine of Christ. Yes, Jesus did say (through the apostle Paul): “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Rom. 10:9), but that is not all that He said! If we truly want to receive Jesus and not reject Him (John 12:48), then we must take heed to all that Jesus said on how to be saved. True believers in Jesus receive all of His sayings, not just a few.

Jesus also said that in order to be saved, we must repent of our sins: “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Through the apostle Paul, the Lord tells us that repentance leads to our salvation (2 Cor. 7:9-10; cf. Acts 17:30; Rom. 2:4-5).Thus, repentance is as critical to our salvation as belief in Christ and our confession of Him.

Jesus, furthermore, said that in order to be saved, we must be baptized: “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). To become one of Jesus’ disciples, a person must be baptized into His name: “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Mat. 28:18-19). To become a disciple of Jesus means to become a Christian (Acts 11:26). No one is a Christian until he or she is baptized into Christ. In fact, no one belongs to the Lord’s church until he or she is baptized into His name: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.... Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them... And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:38, 47, NKJV; cf. 1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18).

Every single person, as recorded in the book of Acts, who received the sayings of Jesus to become a Christian was baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38-41; Acts 8:5-13, 35-38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:31-33; 18:8; 22:16). There is no record in the Scriptures of anyone “praying to receive Jesus as their Savior” to become a Christian. Can you name one?

Jesus is Savior to Those Who Are “in Christ.”

If you really want Jesus to be your Savior, it will not come by praying a prayer. To partake of “all spiritual blessings in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), you need to be “in Christ” or enter into fellowship with Christ where salvation is found. The way to do that is to be baptized into Christ: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4; cf. Gal. 3:27).

Isn’t Romans 6:3-4 just as true as Romans 10:9-10? Read it again. It's in the same book, written by the same author, and inspired by God! If not, why not? Receive all of Jesus’ sayings and you will, in truth, “receive Jesus as your Savior.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I'm glad we're not a community made up of balloons. We don't have a balloon God, this way we're not made of an image of a balloon Lord. Though, Spongebob has a dear friend named, Mr. Bubbles, where a mob of Spongebob's friends with "needles" wanted the opportunity to pop him into oblivion because he caused a lot of problems in their community.

I'll be getting a lot of poking this week: The first one will be in my mouth because of this dang cavaties (2)! Hey! Don't raise any assumptions! I've been extremely faithful with the art of tooth brushing.. My wife can vouch for that. Really! But she couldn't believe, after my faithfulness in brushing, I still get cavaties! I think it's called, "age". And the second one will be on my left shoulder where the nurse will put in a "dye" before MRI. It is believed that I have a rotator cuff injury sustained two years ago! (Ok. I admit it. I'm a crazy, stubborn old man who is one of the list of stoopid, stubborn men refusing immediate medical treatment!) LOL!

Tonight, I'm doing pretty good after my dentist appointment. One tooth, I must say, was pretty bad. The doctor said that it was a good thing the drilling was done today. Otherwise, I could be facing a more painful experience. I raised my eyebrows and said, "Wow!"

And guess what! I had a revelation! God, you're always good at this: revealing revelations!

Remember a couple of things. Every morning & every night, I'm 98% faithful to toothbrushing, de-plaquing, flossed more this year than ever before, and used Scope mouthwash. No question that it was all my doing!! Until... The Dentist's Chair.. Not good enough! My teeth needed the Doctor's hands with the nurse assisting him. Novacane, a powerful ointment to numb the mouth-wall. Shots to numb the whole area. Drill to destroy the cavaties. Patch to cover the holes. And it is now good as new!

Was it painful? Yes!
Did I like going to the Dentist's Chair? Of course, it was worth it!

If I hadn't gone to the dentist, I will suffer serious consquences. Maintaining a healthy teeth in my mouth all by myself will not work. We have dentists in the world that knows what our teeth needs.

God is our "dentist". He makes sure our life is on the same obedient track as show in the Bible. Without God, we're plagued with cavaties (sin). Without the Bible, we're ignorant about what is going on in the very core of our hearts. Our visit to God (dentist) for spiritual check-up ought to happen everyday! How I wished I could sit in the Dentist's chair to have my teeth thoroughly cleaned, flossed and de-plaqued!

I hope you're sitting with God (in the dentist chair), daily, asking him to thoroughly work around our lives to ensure it's on the obedience track. Then, ahhhhhh, how refreshing is that! The soothing Living Water being overflowed on our souls!

Next up: Needles in my left shoulder. Pray for me! God, send me another revelation!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006



Now, I have allowed anyone to put their comments in. If you're an anonymous commenter, please do put your name down at the end of your comments. Please keep your comments as repectful, as encouraging, as inspirational as possible. Thanks!

Glad to have you back!

In Christ Alone! <><

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Carnality v. Spirituality

I have mentioned this to so many Christians for about a couple of years. An interesting scenario here is that there's a difference between living your life with a worldview and the way of the world seems more comfortable, less conflicting, less demanding, and more control of our own lives to living your life with the Spirit that appears to be troublesome, more conflicts, more demands and loss of control of our own lives.

After thinking and re-thinking this difficult, but eye-opening subject, no wonder why so many of us have not "counted the cost" (Luke 14:28) before making a commitment to be, live, walk like Jesus. I had the privilege to bring men and women to Jesus. But then they quickly fall away because they realized living with the Spirit isn't as easy as they think. Satan pressed (continue to press others) back into the worldview they once lived in. They returned back to their own vomit:

"Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."" 2 Peter 2:22 (niv)

Jesus, thousands of years ago, had already warned His disciples that those who follow Jesus will be persecuted, betrayed, mocked, and ridiculed. Many places in the Bible, Jesus, with great concern for His brothers and sisters, emphasized His followers with caution. Here are a couple of many admonishments Jesus gave:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (niv)

"For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -.." Matthew 10:35 (niv)

Even Jeremiah, the Lord's lone prophet, complained to God about the wicked. To Jeremiah, the wicked prospered with wealth and fame. They had everything they wanted. They were comfortable. They were far from God. And the "faithless" lived at ease! Jeremiah, a suffering servant, suffered the formidable suffering while Israel and the rest of the people in the world enjoyed their worldly pleasures. Sounds alot like today, huh? Do you hear people say, "I don't need to go to church?" I have. Alot! Deep inside me, I feel sorry for them for they do not understand. Of course, I give a chuckle. They're laughing right now but they won't be when their time comes.

"You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?" Jeremiah 12:1 (niv)

How about this one here?

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14 (niv)


Two words. Difficult passage. But the only road to life-everlasting.

"Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23 (niv)

"And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27 (niv)


Two words. Difficult task. A road to discipleship.

I have a heavy heart for all the deaf in the DC/VA/MD area without Jesus. They think we're insane. They think we're wasting our time. They can prove there are some hypocrites in the church. Of course, I can vouch for that. I agree. But God will judge them.

I also have a heavy heart for the "wishy-washy Christians" without consistent commitment with their Lord and King. Many of those in the world today do not realize they are blind to God's love and grace and His full potential in their lives. Mark Isaiah's word:

" open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." Isaiah 42:7 (niv)

Amen, Isaiah, amen!

"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law." Psalm 119:18 (niv)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ministry Appreciation Month

October is Ministry Appreciation Month.. Send a card, small gift, e-card or anything you can think of to someone you see that's working hard for the Lord. You can let them know who it is from or even be an anonymous contributor giving them your appreciation. Encourage them to keep on shining, serving, and shaping us in the Lord!!

Here's a neat, neat link to send a "Flash" e-card:

"Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you." 1 Thessalonians 5:12 (niv)

"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing." 2 Thessalonians 1:3 (niv)

Let's appreciate what others are doing for the Lord!!

Where Are The Other?

I was doing a personal bible reading this morning and read this part (Luke 17:12-19).. Read this section and pretend that you're both the leper that return to thank Jesus then read it again pretending that you're the leper that did not return to thank Jesus.

"As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."" Luke 17:12-19 (niv)

We can apply this Scripture to our lives today! My question is, "Are we the "leper who did not return to Jesus", who ought to give thanks to Jesus or are we the "leper who returned to Jesus" to give our thanks for what He has done for us? Those who formerly lived in the world were called, "sinners condemned to death" or in other words, "a leper". A person with "leprosy" has a non-curable-disease unless brought to Jesus. A person with "sin" has a non-eternity-with-God unless brought to Jesus! A person with sin has been eternally separated from God.

"Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong." Hab. 1:13 (niv)

Though, here's another powerful verse for you to remember:

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24 (niv)

Do you remember what you "formerly" did before you came to Jesus for forgiveness of your sins? Have you put off your "old self" and put on a "new attitude; self" and continue to be "like God" in true, I said it again, true righteousness and holiness?

What does true righteousness mean to you? And what does true holiness mean also?

Do you know what is "right" before the eyes of the Lord in word and deed? And not before your own eyes?

True holiness leads us to become a spiritual person, a new creation unlike the "former person you used to be in thought and deed", a regenerating soul, produced away from confusion and emptiness, with God's Almighty power at work in our lives, giving God the glory in everything we do, living a joyful life regardless of each and any circumstances, resembling the Lord, and being exhorted to purify our hearts and minds and life!

But, daily, we may often fail to fall before Jesus' feet giving Him our thanks for leading us to daily live a righteous and holy life. How often do we fail to come before God in worship expressing our thanks like the "9 lepers" who failed to return to Jesus? How often do we kneel before God in prayer repenting from our sins and "still" thanking Him for washing them away?

Do you hear Him say to you each time you come to Him say, "Rise and go, your faith has made you well."

Road To NYC 4 Jesus

Whoo! What an experience. It's both hectic & hair-pulling to pleasureable & a blessing! Again, what an awesome experience for us all, including our kids. The girls couldn't believe their eyes looking up at all the tall buildings! We got a chance to see only a few great places in NYC, only the lower Manhattan and Midtown. The subway! Man! It was hot down there! And it was also a maze!! You could get lost down there and no wonder where lost people go, down & under where it's H-O-T! We arrived home last night at 10:45 p.m. after a nice 6 hour drive from Central Islip, Long Island. Not a bad timing especially from the middle part of Long Island. We took a drive to the Bronx and the northern part of Manhattan crossing the George Washington Bridge then through Newark and on I-78 into PA! Better than an toll-expensive I-95!! We had to shell out $30 through five (plus) toll booths compared to a measly $9.75 using the route I explained above via 78!! I learned it does cost more to get into NY and a little less out of the state. But staying on 95 will still cost us a couple more $! Rather spend the rest on a chocolate shakes we got in Allentown!!

Anyways, the church of Christ at Long Island was so warm and loving!! We're just overwhelmed by their loving welcome. The hearing congregation were lovable people, always hugging and "kissing" the brotherly and sisterly kiss (on the cheek, of course)!!! The worship was Spirit-filled! The message about the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant was strong and powerful!

Angela, Alyson, Pedro, A.J., Claribel, Enoch, Amanda and Michelle wait for the sub taking us to the lower Manhattan.

A windy boat ride to the Statue of Liberty!

Here's an awesome picture I took of one small part of the World Trade Center. I believe this was the South Tower but I may be wrong. What was left was the beam made into a cross. We were astonished to see it!! A wonderful reminder that the Lord is always near, even in times of peril.

The Lowenstein family on 42nd Street. NY mayor, Guilianni, cleaned this street up. The last time I visited 42nd Street (Hey! Remember, I wasn't a Christian at that time.) was in 1988 where it was infested with dirty business like strip bars. I think you get my point here! I don't want to be too graphic about this but I am so thankful for the mayor for his job well done!

Alas!! I love this picture!! It was taken after the Long Island Church of Christ service!! From left to right, Olivia, Pedro holding his son, Enoch, Clary hold her son, A.J., Alyson, Michelle, Angela, Mark and Amanda pose in front of the church building. We met alot of wonderful Christians there namely, Joe, Mike, Cinthia, Eli and many others..

Before I close, may I ask that you please, please lift up the New York state (especially Long Island and Queens) to God in prayer!! I asked if there are any deaf ministers currently working serving the deaf in this part of the U.S. and Olivia said that there aren't any except for a couple of church that offers interpreters. There are hundreds to thousands of deaf people living in this part of the country and surely it is RIPE for harvest! Pray for the Gelabert family as they're working extremely hard to build a deaf work there. Again, please lift them up to God in prayer!