Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Nativity story in a nutshell!

The Birth of Jesus foretold - Luke 1:28-33
The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his father David, he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
The Birth of Jesus Christ - Matthew 1:19-23 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,because he will save his people from their sins." 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."

The Birth of Jesus - Luke 2: 4-7
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
Luke2:8-20
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The visit of the Magi
M
atthew 2:9-12
9
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house , they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
The escape to Egypt
Matthew 2:13-15

13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, " take the child and his mother  and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Hero he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 1d until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

THANKSGIVING

SOME WHERE OVER THE RAINBOW.............
Our week was shadowed by hurricane Irene, but then we were spared. The clouds came in with lots of rain yet the sun came out again! For this reason and so many more, I praise the Lord today! I think of God's sovereignty and I feel amazed how such wonderful, awesome, marvelous, divine God loves you and me. Honestly, He blesses us with so many beautiful people and opportunities in our lives, He supports us and lifts us up in the time of need.
What is better than to live for Him and with Him?

With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 
Ezra 3:11

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Featured article from Relevant Magazine: Is Modest Really Hottest?

Rethinking why Christians actually cover up.
I’ll be honest: conversations about modesty make me uncomfortable.
I’m a guy. And let’s face it: our Christian “modesty rules” are sexist, putting far more responsibility on females than males. Most of us have grown up in a culture where men (regardless of their body size and shape) walk around on beaches in swim shorts without ever worrying about what they might be causing the female population to think about. Yes, I know; that’s because “men are more visually stimulated than women!”
We say that. But how true is that statement?
Could it be that women also have high standards of what they find visually attractive on men and are more sensitive in how they express that? Or could it be that we’ve grown up in a culture where the male physique–in all of its various levels of glory–isn’t taboo when seen in public?
Read what the article is all about at Relevant Magazine

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hope 2011

"What strength do I have, that I should still hope
What prospects, that I should be patient? Job 6:11

Social Definition: Domestic violence occurs when one intimate partner uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, and/or emotional, sexual, and economic abuse to maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. It is both a crime and a serious family matter.

Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
      He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
      Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." John 21:16
The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. John 21:17


But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7


For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, 
so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope
Romans 15:4

 Today someone is waiting for a sign from God, someone has cried out in prayer, desperate trying to find out if 
the Lord is listening and He is. Are we listening? Do we love God? Are we truly taking care of the sheep and are we feeding the sheep with food and with the word of God?

hopeLets share the Living Word with Passion, there is so much hurt out there and perhaps someone who is desperate today will find Hope through our courage of sharing what Christ did for us and how He changed our lives.....Pray with Passion, pray because the sheep are desperate in darkness and perhaps will remain so for a long time bounded in the chains of pain and oppression, but pray because our hearts break for them and the Lord will hear the cry out of his children and Christ will guide us and send us out to rescue the lost sheep. Remember the day you were found....It's Our Turn....

This weekend at Potential Church don't miss the opportunity to invite someone 
to hear the word of God and His message of: HOPE, It's your TIME!
www.Potentialchurch.com

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In all you do, honor God!

Recently I have been reading many blogs. Few content exalts God the Father, his only son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I am as guilty as those blogs. At all times it is my intention to write to exalt the divine Trinity but my not very focused writing skills kill my purpose at times. I like to believe that it is the same thing that happens to others.
There is no writing and there is no story if there is no real Holy Trinity that sustains the life of these posts. I do not write in order to obtain a novel price for my writings. I write because I want to share the joy I have found in my faith in Jesus Christ. A faith that is sustained in the word of God and the action of that faith that can only happen through the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit. A Faith that delivers victory through Christ Jesus to all who believe.
It surely is not a kind of life without tears and trials. It is not that my life changed to be one without troubles and doubts and insecurities. On the contrary, my life is pretty much like yours. The key is that I experienced a transformation from within. No more do I have to be defeated by misfortune but I live in victory because I do not have to worry about death and failure. The Bible taught me in Philipians 4:13 that I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Before, I used to try my best and then quit if I did not conquer. Now I learned to try my best and to press on until I conquer. Quitting is not an option; it should neither be an option to you, God loves us just as much.
Through the word of God, I learned that I don't exist just because of chance but that God created me and you, with a purpose. The purpose to worship and live a righteous life for his glory. The question was if I would chose to live such life and believe that there is a God that loves me that much to get me joyfully through it. I chose to believe and to strive to live that righteous life. I will fail, it is not a question if I fail but when I inevitably fail... than I have the confidence that I can return to a merciful God that will comfort me through the consequences of my wrong doings and give me peace to help me get up and try again.
Hence the writing helps me to pen down my feelings and give a glimpse of the life of an active believer in Jesus Christ in the 21 century. Perhaps my wrong decisions will help someone else not to commit the same bad turns. Perhaps my joy might light hope in the darkness of another, perhaps my faith will made an atheist doubt of his stubbornest. Perhaps my terrible writing defeats my pride. Perhaps my readers might pray for me with compassion.
Whatever reason you have to read my blog, I pray God will fill your heart with incomprehensible joy through his living word Jesus Christ. That through his Holy Spirit you will be encouraged to do those things you ought to do but have chose not to. I am far from having it all together but in whatever I do, I commit to the Lord and lean on his promise that by doing so, the Lord will favor my commitments to succeed. Proverbs 16:3 For that and my life, I give thanks to the Lord Almighty!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Movies this weekend!!

The Redemption of Harry Potter 
by Ryan Hamm
www.Relevantmagazine.com 
Voldemort also fears death more than anything else. He fears it so much he separates his soul into seven pieces in order to gain immortality. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort has a showdown with Dumbledore and exclaims, “There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!”
To which Dumbledore calmly replies: “You are quite wrong. Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness.”
Dumbledore proves his belief  there are things beyond death by sacrificing himself in order to save both Harry and Draco Malfoy. His selflessness is held up by Rowling as the pinnacle of love—and the fullness of the “ancient magic” completely overlooked by Voldemort.





Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Social Justice vs. Evangelism

Social Justice is a topic that as Christians don't like to get too involved? Is it true for you?
This article brings insight on what is on the table for debate. I think that we have to challenge ourselves as Christians to talk more about the topic and be informed. When I read the newspapers under religious headlines, I hardly find objective articles that speak about what the Gospel really is about. Christians are often mocked with really insignificant comments focused on the sexual or financial scandals. Is the Christian message misunderstood?

The Christian church is persecuted in the Middle East and other regions in Asia and Africa; even in South America the evangelical church is persecuted. But the truth is that as Christians we seek to love our neighbor, even those who persecute us. Why are Christian killed for trying to do good?
19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Romans 12:19-20
I invite you to read this great article and to react and comment.


Social Justice vs. Evangelism by www.relevantmagazine.com

Social justice is a complex subject for Christians. No one can disagree that Scripture commands to love the poor and oppressed, but what that looks like practically today is largely debated and at times ignored. As the world becomes increasingly more globalized and information more accessible, awareness along with responsibility has grown.
This responsibility comes multiple fold. Why, how and even if we combine social justice with evangelism is an ever-evolving discussion that must be considered from a local and global level. Both the individual and the church must play a role for the Body to have the impact Scripture intended—an impact we’re capable of but nowhere near.
The Two Sides of Holistic Ministry
Dr. Ron Sider, a professor of theology and author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, doesn’t believe structural change is complete without sharing the Gospel. Referring to the active combination of word and deed as “holistic ministry,” Sider says that without social works, evangelism appears to be all talk. But without sharing the hope and good news of the Gospel, ministry lacks the Holy Spirit’s transformative power. Neither side of social justice ministry is complete without the other.

“People are both spiritual and material beings,” Sider says. “Addressing only half the problem only gives you half of the solution.”

This doesn’t mean the Gospel should be forced, Sider says. Offering to pray for those being ministered to or sharing evangelism through friendship can reveal Christ—without giving the impression that the material items given to them come from a place of self-righteousness or have strings attached.

“Each of us has contributed to the pain and suffering and decay in the world,” Sider writes in an essay on holistic ministry. “We thus serve with a posture of gratitude and humility, acknowledging our own brokenness before the cross. We recognize that ministering Christ’s wholeness to others is part of what makes us whole.” Read the rest of the story here

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Pope goes 2.0

           The Vatican 29 June, 2011: Christian Church marks a new chapter in history its way of communications. The Pope tweets for the first time through an I-Pad from the Holy See to the world.
What are your thoughts about this? 

VATICAN-Benedict XVI: "The Lord challenges us to move beyond the boundaries of our own world and to bring the Gospel to the world of others, so that it pervades everything"

Vatican City (Fides Service) – On Wednesday, June 29, Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of His priestly ordination, the Holy Father Benedict XVI presided in St. Peter's Basilica a concelebrated Mass with 41 metropolitan archbishops of different nations, to whom the Pope gave the Pallium. As usual, a Delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was present at the Mass.
"No longer servants, but friends": "this saying contains within itself the entire program of a priestly life", the Pope said in his homily, recalling the day of his ordination to priesthood. "Friendship is a communion of thinking and willing", said the Pope, underlining that Jesus’ words on friendship should be seen in the context of the discourse on the vine. "The Lord associates the image of the vine with a commission to the disciples: 'I appointed you that you should go out and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide' (Jn 15:16).  

Read the full story here

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Social Media - Social Church?

Lately I have been surfing the web looking for research material where I can find information to answer a question I have.
Question: Do the Hispanic church leaders use the Social Media more than the American Anglo church leaders?

In a culture that is changing the family values globally, the church should be more involve in learning how to better engage with the people. The church is called to cover 3 tasks:
1.Worship God,
2. Support Christians within the church
3. to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to the world.
Before the translation and the print of the Bible in the common language, Christians used every mean of communication to reach out to the people in order to present the truth of the Gospel. The tools in the past were the arts. Famous classical music arrangements were inspired to worship God, several paintings from the Old Masters were provoking turmoil between Christians. Wood engraved plaques that were used to print catholic propaganda fliers to avoid the inevitable Reformation.
I asked myself why are we so dormant to our current day situation? Why are we as Christians so afraid of speaking the truth. The worse part is that I fear that we might not care to be informed about the latest developments within the church and outside the church walls.

Allow me to share two great stories with you that are making news but perhaps you are not aware of:
Evangelicals, ecumenists and Vatican launch historic joint document on mission | Christian News on Christian Today
The document then goes on to make six recommendations to Christians, church bodies, mission organisations and agencies.
These are: to study the document; build respect and trust with people of all religions; strengthen religious identity and faith whilst deepening knowledge and understanding of different religions; advocate justice and respect for the common good; call on governments and representatives to ensure religious freedom for all people; pray for the wellbeing of neighbours; and recognise that prayer is integral to the Christian life and Christian mission. Read the story

A gay manager at Cisco Systems got Dr. Frank Turek fired for opposing same-sex marriage.
Adams explains what happened in a letter addressed to the President of Cisco.
The manager identified himself as gay and was upset that Dr. Turek had written this book providing evidence that maintaining our current marriage laws would be best for the country. Although the manager didn’t read the book, he said that the author’s view was inconsistent with “Cisco values” and could not be tolerated. (Dr. Turek is aware of this because he was in the room when his call came in.) The manager then contacted an experienced HR professional at Cisco who had Dr. Turek fired that day without ever speaking to him. The HR professional also commended the manager for “outing” Dr. Turek. Read the story

These news is not relevant to the mainstream media, mostly because Christians are silent in fear. There is no dialog. The Bee Colony Collapse disorder is also no longer in the news. The reason is that nobody is blogging or tweeting about it, so it is no longer news. Who make the news now a days? We, the people can. A great example was the protest in Egypt. Every image came through Twitter and Youtube.; bloggers and journalist made the news by using the information that came in through these channels.
So why should the church leaders not use Social Media? Other groups use every Social Media tools to promote their culture, propaganda and desires to change the law in their country. Why are so afraid of using the same social media and exercising the same right of Freedom of Speech?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer is here!

http://aiminglow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/summertime.jpgEcclesiastes 3:1;4 
1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
4a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the
weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me Romans 15:1-3

 Last week I shared my thoughts with you about justice and forgiveness. Our pastor preached about the same thing; about forgiving and not holding bitterness and anger in our hearts. He made the illustration of when you caught in fire: you Stop-Drop and Roll. Stop fueling your hurt; drop the plans of revenge and roll closer to God. If you have not seen the service I recommend you do. www.potential.com.

Interestingly enough, last week I was called for the annual Fire training in our building. I am a fire warden in my office.
I looked up the definition in the dictionary and I came up with this: fire warden - an official who is responsible for managing and protecting an area of forest/- a worker who holds or is invested with an office -

What is the difference between one who manages & protects and the one who is protected? which of the two is more grateful but also more demanding?
The weak get scared, they get in the way and they don't follow instructions. They do things their own way.  
God trusts us and strengthens us to deal with the weak, with their insults and their lack of love to us. We are to guide them, pray for them and show them the way. Call someone in your life who is your spiritual fire warden and build them up, say you love them and do love them. Love is a choice, true, but it is also a command. From 1(lowest) to 10, how loving are you to others? If you asked others, starting with your direct family will they come up with the same number about how loving you are to them?

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