Monday, August 25, 2014

Blessing The Children In Jesus' Name

In Mexico, kids love to have piñatas at their birthday parties. A piñata is usually made out of paper mache, or cardboard, with bright and colorful decorations, usually in the form of an animal or some popular cartoon character, like Mickey Mouse or Frozen. It is filled with goodies and even fruits and small toys then hung from some place high, like a tree branch. The birthday child is blindfolded first and hits the piñata three times, and then the other invited children also have a turn or two at hitting the piñata until it is cracked open and all the goodies fall out. Then all the children rush in to get a share the goodies. In Mexico, Catholic children often go to church for the first of their two celebrations. The first one is quiet and is for your particular saint, often children are named after their saint. On this day you attend church and a priest blesses you. Then you go home to have the second celebration that includes relatives and close family friends and school mates. Which is the real birthday fiesta we mostly know in the USA.
At Rancho Santa Fe Mexico Mission and in our church, El Camino Agape de San Vicente, we do not observe any saint’s day celebrations. There is no biblical base for us to do so. Las Mañanitas is a traditional Mexican song that is often sung on birthdays and other important holidays. It is often sung as an early morning serenade to wake up a loved one. At birthday parties it is usually sung before the cake is cut. It is a long-standing traditional song which almost everybody knows, only at most Mexican parties only the first two verses are sung. Within our church, at Rancho Santa Fe and with our Bible students, we try to make every birthday celebration a real event, as much as we can, finances allowing. Again, without our help, working among very poor people, most children would not have much of a special day if we could not assist them in making the day unique. And, whenever possible, we combine several birthdays to help us save money and to encourage fellowship among the students and the children. Often, our congregation and students don’t have personal transportation and couldn’t organize a full fiesta on their own. Your help makes these days very distinctive and a real and true blessing for these little children and their families. As we help build up family relationships and friendly ones, we help to build up the family of God. When you do good works, you spread the Gospel. Or, if you like, when you do good works, you do the Gospel. Amen. Matthew 18:3, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Mark 9:37, “Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Summer Ministry With One-By-One Ministries

Here I am in Colonet in July, 2014, with Stephen Gould, his team, and some of the men that reside at the facility. We, as in years past, were taking the Good News to the men in treatment. It was a wonderful day and about 40 men gave their lives to the Lord. Stephen and his team shared hamburgers and a Christian movie and Scriptures with the residents. As usual, it was a joy to be there. God surely blest all of our efforts.
During Stephen's summer visits, we go to centers that treat both men and women. And, I know this is hard to believe, but the one at the beach in Jaramillo has to changed to be almost all teen boys. Amazing, but true and sad.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Your Job Is Important

Who Has The Most Important Job In The World? Who has the most important job in the world? Well, to be quite direct, you do! Your job is even more important than what the President does. How can I say that and mean it? With your job you support and take care of your family. You buy them food, a home, health insurance and even take them on vacations. Your job, therefore, is of the utmost value to you and that makes it, without a doubt, the most important job in the world. There was this lady, with a key job, she was a church officer of some sort, possibly a deacon, perhaps a member of the board of directors or some other church official that made this one incredible statement. When I heard these words, I was in shock, I was amazed and I was really offended by her attitude. But, maybe she was right, perhaps, just a little. To tell the truth, I am not sure. I still can’t digest what she said. Nevertheless, she said that she got to decide who is going to Heaven and who is going to hell. How is that possible? She, this one authoritative religious lady, controlled the mission funds for her church. She was the go-to-person who determined where the church’s mission funds were to reach and how they were to be spent. So much startling power placed in the hands of just one person. Standing next to her, I felt weak and anemic. She was the ‘Decider,’ of all human fate, controlling the destiny of lost souls; she was a truly formidable human being, to say the least. You see, even though she was called to do some central work at her church, she was not, after all, such a weighty person. The person at the other end of the story, the missionary, was actually the person doing the real soul-saving work. It was he, or she, that had forsaken so much to share the Word of God with some lost and lonely souls in some far-off land. The person on the front-line is that special kind of person that responded to the call of God on their lives and perhaps learned a different language, customs and culture to be able to properly extend the Good News of God’s Love to people that this church lady would never, ever see. “Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest,” Matthew 9:38. And, was this money actually her capital, funds that this particular lady had supplied, no, it wasn’t. She just managed the donations of others and sent them out and most likely, didn’t suffer any loss for all the work she did at her church. Now, her work is still good, because, it really does take a team to make a mission happen; it is never just the work of one simple soul. A true missionary knows that they work for their supporters, their church and above all, for the Lord. We extend God’s Kingdom by all humbly working together. You see, missions are part of God’s plan of salvation. Mark 16:25, “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” He asked us to go, He asked us to pray for our missionaries and it seems that He asks people to support their missionaries. "For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:13-15. This powerful lady at this big church, well, God Bless Her. Yet, God Bless the Mission Supporters, too, and all those that pray, and everyone that sends or brings a gift and God Bless all those that are out there on the mission field, helping to save souls and representing all of these other fine folks that make up all the many parts of the other most important job in the world, Soul Saving. Without this team of champions, there would be no missionaries and without missionaries, God’s plan of salvation through missions, would be frustrated more than one might think. No one is a Superhero in the saving grace department, except Jesus. Because, that word isn’t even intellectual enough to explain what Jesus did for us. 2nd Corinthians 5:19, “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” How He took back what was rightfully His. Nor does it have the potential to express the intense Love of God that was working through Jesus, which now works through churches, organizations, individuals and missionaries. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” It really takes a whole church to run a mission. The most important Job in all the world, apart from yours, is saving souls and we all should, could and had better take a part in this work because it really is our Father’s Business. Amen. 1st Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (emphasis mine) Luke 2:49, “And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Fathers business?” (emphasis mine) Here in Mexico, everything we do at this mission base is to serve God. I realize that we all are His hands and feet; we are all His tongue, spreading His words and His love. God Bless You All & Thank You, again and again, for your generosity and support!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Join With Us In Prayer

Rancho Santa Fe Mexico Mission Prayer List June 2014 1. The need for extra visitors is always important to our work here in Mexico. We actually love to share the work here with as many people as we can. We covet your prayers and welcome you to come for a weekend, a week or even longer. We now have a much larger water supply and we always have more than enough for everyone to do. I can assure you that all of your help is more treasured than you might know. Acts 16:14-15 2. The rain has been less than we would have hoped for this year. A lot fell in the late fall and after that, very little has come down. Hundreds of thousands of camp workers depend on the rain to have a job. Also, if the dry weather continues, prices will go up in the stores as they will be selling fewer products for more money to make up the difference. Please, pray for rain, we so desperately need it. May God Bless Your Prayers. Job 5:10 3. The new governor or Baja California has raised taxes beyond what anyone guessed he might. And, many are calling for reform and asking that something be done to lower them but, to date, nothing has made a difference. It seems that some are presenting real, tangible and workable programs to reduce the prices of gasoline, electricity and groceries, but these ideas are falling silently to the floor. Mexicans don’t earn enough money to make ends meet as it is, please, go before the Lord on behalf of these people. Proverbs 11:14 4. The people reached through this ministry value every bit of help that comes to them through the gifts that you share with Rancho Santa Fe. Unlike many missions or foreign-based ministries, we don’t charge a cent for what we give to the needy. Nor, do we demand that they only come to our church if they want our help. I never saw where Jesus asked anybody their church affiliation before doing a miracle in their lives. I can’t do that. But, please know, that all you share makes a real and solid change in the lives of some poor and disadvantaged people. Psalm 82:3-4 5. Please, keep our mission improvement and construction projects in your prayers. We have always tried to make improvements that are timely, low-cost and necessary. The idea is that you deserve a nice and safe place to stay while you serve the Lord with us. So, all that we do, is done first to bless the Lord and then to show our thankfulness for all that you do for the mission and its outreaches. You are a real and honest and needed blessing. Amen! Psalm 127:1 6. Have any extra construction tools lying around your garage, barn or property? If you don’t have a need for something, we probably do. And, if not here, we do pass things along to others here in San Vicente, Ensenada or farther down the road. We want to bless not to hoard. Hebrews 13:16 7. We are wondering if we will have a Summer Bible School program this year. We have not had any offers of help from the north but will do what we can do to make sure that our kids get a summer session of Bible lessons and activities. If you can’t come to help, we would still love to have your prayers. We are looking at the middle of July for the start date. It will run for five days. Thanks for helping us with your prayers, they are always needed. Luke 18:16 “The Poor Have The Gospel Preached To Them,” Matthew 11:5 God can't resist the prayers of a the humble and poor in spirit. He is the God of YES! "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." Second Corinthians 1:20

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mexico Learns To Love Israel

Mexico is not an anti-Semitic nation, and for the most part, at least in Christian circles, there is a growing appreciation and developing brotherhood for all things historically Jewish among the faithful. Probably the main reason for this is the freedom of religion act that started in 1993 and the reality that many foreign missionaries have come to share the Jewish side of Jesus and more detailed information about the lives of the early believers with their congregations. Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Trust me, many Mexicans are learning to love Israel not for the blessings that follow the promise, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. They are, after all, God’s Chosen People. Be that as it may, in this one case, and it’s not isolated, a Mexican man decided to make an anti-Semitic website, he then got the Mexican officials to give it a green rating, despite obvious racism and anti-Semitism. I won’t show you the page or tell where to find it, but as one surfs the site and sees all the anti-Jewish stuff written all over the page in Spanish, you can see the man has built an openly racist site. Of course, everyone knows that anti-Semitism isn’t only found in Mexico, hardly! Racism and racial purity movements can be found in every country on earth. For that sickening and sad statistic, I am personally sorry and so ashamed. I know people have asked me, “Where was God during the Holocaust?” And, my questioning answer is, “Where were all the human beings during the Holocaust?” Back in November 27, 2012, in Mexico City, Jacqueline Hoist, the President of the Council to Prevent Discrimination in Mexico City, said that 35,000 messages were posted on Twitter that where against the Mexican Jewish community. Said Hoist, "There is a call to hatred against the Jewish community that affects coexistence and creates a perception of fear, it creates bad behavior. It’s true that a large series of disgraceful electronic assaults against members of the Jewish Community in Mexico occurred via Twitter. Just like the rest of the Jewish-Zionist garbage, it poisons the consciousness of the Mexican people and therefore should disappear." Even as good as Jacqueline Hoist’s words are, the Chiapas Herald takes an uncritical view of a local festival where they celebrate the burning of Judas and other Jews, reporting that as far as it concerns Mexicans, this anti-Jewish display, “fosters unity and respect,” and “purifies the soul.” All Christians have a duty to love the Jewish people for their donations that gave beginnings to the Christian faith. Jesus Christ was an outstanding Rabbi from Nazareth and He said, "Salvation is of the Jews!" John 4:22 We should carefully consider what the Jewish people have imparted to Christianity: The Sacred Scripture, The Law, The Golden Rule, The Prophets, The Patriarchs, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth, The Twelve Disciples, The Apostles, ETC. It is impossible to say, "I am a Christian," and not love the Jewish people. The Bible teaches that love is not what you say, but what you do, 1 John 3:18
. In life we know that a bell is not a bell until you ring it, a song is not a song until you sing it, and love is not love until you share it. While some Christians try to deny the connection between Jesus of Nazareth and the Jews of the world, Jesus never denied His Jewishness. He was born Jewish, He was circumcised on the eighth day in keeping with Jewish tradition, He had his Bar Mitzvah on his 13th birthday, He kept the law of Moses, He wore the Prayer Shawl Moses commanded all Jewish men to wear, He died on a cross with an inscription over His head, "King of the Jews!” Jesus considered the Jewish people His family. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren (the Jewish people), ye have done it unto me.” Part of any missionary or outreach pastor’s job is to biblically teach about the relationship that exists between Christians and Jews. And, I certainly do that and so do my students. And, we promote love, relationship and connection with our Jewish friends, even with those living in Mexico. This flyer is still posted on a wall near the beach in Ensenada and it’s a bit confusing as an X crossing the photo might mean, ‘no, not a good thing to do.’ But, it can also mean, ‘yes, a good thing to do.’ When people go to vote in Mexico they must draw an ‘X’ over the candidate of their choice. I hope that in this case it means, ‘no, not a good thing to do!’

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day, 2014 On this tiny planet, on this very ordinary human plane, apart from Jesus, God’s only Son, our Mothers are one of, if not, the most valuable gifts that God has given to us. They should be treasured as much as is refined gold and pure silver. Mothers are most often the ones who not only cultivate the good in their children, but they also love each of them unreservedly. Mothers are teachers of kindheartedness, tenderness and pluckiness. It’s been said that a woman, when she becomes a mother, becomes complete in heart, mind and purpose. She shines in this role and works hard at becoming a real, true and living heroine and at being a life-builder as she does her best to serve her children with such a deep and real love that she would willingly lay down her life to save her children from harm. Mothers are amazing. Mothers keep infants alive, they sacrificially care for them, gently cuddle them, bathe and change them and then mold them into little boys and girls that would die without her tender and continuous care. In the Scriptures, there are ample citations, in which mothers are regarded as the matchless individuals. Genesis 3:20, “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” Leviticus 19:3, "Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God." Isaiah 66:13
, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." A giant and powerful Happy Mother's Day, to all my family and friends that are mothers or that still have their mothers living around them. Mine is in Heaven and I know that she is doing just fine. I do miss her. I hope to see her again and to honor and worship the God that gave me to her. He knew what He was doing. I pray for all the Mothers, God’s Best and Richest Blessings to all who are reading this message. Please, know this, you are blessings sent from God to a needy and nearly dead earth. You bring much happiness to the world. Your work here on earth is extremely valuable. And, I mean that. Amen. "Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever." Author Unknown "The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom." Henry Ward Beecher "A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them." Victor Hugo

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Resurrection Day, 2104

Easter is another moment of our year, our lives, that offers us a beautiful occasion to once again consider the Life of Christ and everything that He did for us. The Day asks us to think about what it all means, to me, to you, to each and every believer on the face of the Earth. Contemplating the Life of Jesus is something that we should do on a regular basis, and not just on Easter Sunday. In Luke 22:19, Jesus asks us to remember Him, “And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Perhaps at this moment in time, we casually or passingly think of the Agony of the Garden that He suffered the night before he died. That’s when Jesus asked His disciples to spend some time in prayer with Him, while He talked with His Father, but they got tired and fell asleep, like a lot of us do. Jesus then asked them, “Could you not spend an hour with me?” Matthew 26:40. Well, they couldn’t and, usually, we don’t, either. Easter denotes an opening for me as a pastor to remind the congregation and certainly all those around me of the violent and severe price that Jesus paid in order for us to profit from the breathtaking relationship that we have in God because of His torture, death and resurrection. In my heart, mind and soul, lives a burning passion that forces me to want to live my life in a way that contemplates, emulates and shares the Good News about the Love of God that was in Christ, reconciling the world to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19, “That God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” Romans 11:15, “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Easter helps me value Christ’s guidance. Jesus was very much a leader of the people. He loved people profoundly, sincerely and intensely, Jesus got involved with every aspect of their lives. 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love.” He ate with them, drank with them, laughed with them and cried with them. He was compassionate. He provided for their needs, He healed the sick and cheered the lonely, lifted up the downtrodden and even revived the dead. He literally touched people with contagious leprosy and allowed a woman of the night to anoint his feet in public. He wasn’t anxious with what the people thought about Him, and as a pastor, or believer, like Jesus, we shouldn’t worry about this, either. His chief concern was doing what was commanded of Him by His Heavenly Father. He introduced Himself as He was and made no apologies for it. God loves us all, just as we are, without one plea. Jesus proved that, Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus wasn’t proud or haughty, He was just a man who knew who He was and stood by what He believed. So should we. Jesus wasn’t one to twiddle His thumbs, He was a worker. As early as twelve years old His panic-stricken parents who had been searching for Him, found Him in the temple listening to and questioning the educated teachers of His day. He asked the religious elders questions, He challenged the thought process of the spiritual leaders. Luke 2:49, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Fathers business?” Jesus always stands up for those who are defenseless. The death of Christ purchased us freedom from guilt and sin and hell. Now we are free to be salt and light in a sick and dying world. His birth, life, death and resurrection should mean everything to everyone on this planet, every day of the year. It is also living proof that He will return and that I will have to give Him an account for how I have lived out His Gift of Love to me. Our impacting the world for Jesus is not an option; it’s the ultimate burden and calling for each and every pastor and true believer in Jesus. Happy Resurrection Day, to one and all!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Good Friday Message, 2014

Today is a very special day on the Christian calendar of spiritual events, known as, Good Friday. Some people call this day, "Holy Friday." It’s the Friday directly before Easter Sunday. It is generally celebrated as the day on which Jesus was executed. The Bible does not plainly state on which day of the week Jesus was tortured and crucified. The two most commonly held understandings are Friday and Wednesday. Some scholars, however, using an amalgamation of both the Friday and Wednesday arguments, maintain that Thursday was the day. Jesus said in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Furthermore, Mark 8:31, says that Jesus will be raised “after” three days. In the massive arrangement of things, it is not all that imperative to know which day of the week Jesus was actually crucified. If it were all that crucial, then God's Word would have clearly revealed the exact day and framework. What is central is that He did die and that He materially and corporally rose from the dead. What is likewise essential is the purpose for which He died, to take the punishment that all sinners warrant. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” and in 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Both verses proclaim that by placing your faith and trust in Him, results in eternal life. This is a truth that equally rings genuine whether He was crucified on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!“ Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Here’s an interesting question, believing that Jesus was crucified and died on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, should Christians remember Jesus' death by celebrating Good Friday? The Bible itself doesn’t command that Christians remember Christ’s death by honoring any selected day. Yet, the Word of God does give us freedom in certain matters, such as these. Romans 14:5, tells us, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” Even though the Bible doesn’t instruct believers to remember Christ's death on a certain day, once a year, like on Good or Holy Friday, the Bible does charges us to remember Christ’s death by observing the Lord’s Supper. First Corinthians 11:24-26, announces, “Do this in remembrance of me, for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” Let us be quick to remember that any ceremony, observance or celebration is up to the individual believer, we are not to judge what a man or woman chooses to observe and what they choose not to remember. They, according to God’s Word, have the right to select to observe or not. It’s truly up to the individual’s heart, mind and soul. Colossians 2:16, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.” Here’s another attention-grabbing question, why is Good Friday referred to as, “good?” What the Jewish agencies and Romans did to Jesus was undeniably not good, (Read Matthew chapters 26-27). Nevertheless, the outcome of Christ’s death was extremely good and positive! Romans 5:8, encouragingly relates, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” First Peter 3:18, happily tells us, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” Many denominational churches celebrate Good Friday with a subdued service, usually at sunset, in which Christ’s death is considered with ceremonial hymns, prayers of thanksgiving, and an appropriate message focused on Christ’s anguish for our sakes, often ending with the execution of the Lord's Supper. Whether or not Christians should choose to “celebrate” Good Friday is up to them, but the events of that day should be on our minds every day of the year because the death of Christ on the cross is the highest and most paramount of events and practices within the Christian faith. Matthew 16:21, “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Acts 2:24, “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” Matthew 28:6, “The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. "Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” AMEN!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy Holy Week, 2014

Happy and Blessed Palm Sunday! Today my message is about the "Triumphal Entry," of Jesus into Jerusalem, just one week before His death and resurrection as told in Matthew 21:1-11. About 500 years before that, the Prophet Zechariah stated, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey." A lot of the people I work with here in Mexico, know a thing or two about donkeys.) Zechariah 9:9 foretells, and Matthew 21:7-9, reveals the fulfillment of that prophecy: "They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down (palm) branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!’” Since this entry took place seven days before Jesus was crucified, it sets the stage for talking about the roadway to our hearts and souls, have we prepared the way so the King to come in? Here's a little story, not my creation, that I use and it's a joke, it's not a true story: This certain man died and went to Heaven and found himself standing before the Pearly Gates where Saint Peter asked him, 'What have you done in your life? Tell me the good things you've done, as each good act has a point value attached to it. You need to reach one thousand points before the gates will open.' So, the man thought for a moment and said, well, 'I've been married to the same woman for 50 years. I never ever cheated on her, not even in my heart.' And, Saint Peter replied, 'Well that is very good and it's worth three points.' The man was surprised at that answer, 'Only three points,' he said. 'Well, I went to Skid Row and opened a Soup Kitchen there to feed the bums and homeless people.' 'Okay,' said Saint Peter, 'that's wonderful and it's worth two points.' At hearing that, the man, frustrated and sorry cried out, 'Seems to me that the only way I can get in to Heaven is by the Grace of God!' At that, the Pearly Gates opened wide and Saint Peter smiled and told the man, 'That's worth a thousand points, come on in!' In remembrance of Palm Sunday, some churches cut palm brfanches and decorate the church with them, some even cover the floor with them. I don't. I don't see the need as I hate religious actions that really don't solve anybody's problems of faith. On a deeper side, Palm Sunday was the fulfillment of the Prophet Daniel's "Seventy Sevens," prophecy: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times," Daniel 9:25. It seems everyone knew Jesus was coming, it's in the Old Testament, but the majority of Israel missed the message. John 1:11, tells us, "He (Jesus) came to His own, and His own did not receive Him." How fickle we are, as the same crowds that were crying out, "Hosanna," were crying out, "crucify Him," only five days later, Matthew 27:22-23. It breaks my heart when I read those verses. I feel so sad for Jesus and for those that choose to reject the Lord's Love, Grace and Mercy, and His Salvation. What a shame. To my mission friends, helpers and supporters, God Bless You All! I thank God for your kind and warmhearted and obvioius love for the Lord and His work of salvation here on earth. Each and everyone of you is a blessing and a true friend to the lost men and women and children that so need to hear, "Jesus Loves You." You make that possible. Happy Easter, Your Friend, Max (I took this photo back in 2004 in Taxco, in south Mexico. It is a very religious area of the country, where being a non-Catholic Christian, can cause you many social problems.)

Friday, January 3, 2014

It takes a lot of work to make any special event happen, they just don't occur on their own.  At least not in my world.  Much time, effort and money is needed to do almost anything.  Someone once said, it even takes money to save souls.  And, surely, in part that is true.  But, here as I see it, all and everything that gets done, has been and continues to be a combination of many people working together to help those less fortunate than one's self.  No one I know is rich and just flat-out supports every part of this ministry.  And, no one here does everything alone to put these special days together.  It takes team work.  Me, here, I am only one cog in the machine.  You there, and others that can come to Mexico, are other cogs in the great spiritual machine that is God's Salvation.  It all revolves around Him and what He has done for us in the Life of His Son, Jesus.  We are all just common workers, joining our strengths and efforts together to keep one, forward moving evangelistic outreach operational which allows Rancho Santa Fe Mexico Mission, the chance to have a positive impact on several different communities.  How far does our outreach go, I get great letters and notes from people around the world that do the Bible studies that are posted on the base's website.  I learn that people from South America are singing some of the songs I've written and had produced.  People come from numerous parts of the country to stay at the base in San Vicente.  And, many more things like this, but, let me tell you something very important, this is not the work of just one man.  It's your work, their work, our work and above all, His Work.  May it keep going strong and continue on for many years to come.  And, I believe it will as we continue to keep our eyes set on Him and His Mercy, Grace and Love.  And, pray for His will to be done here, every year, all the time.  Then, I am convinced that all the work we do is not in vain and is making a great difference in how many people will really learn about Jesus and go to Heaven with the time comes.  God Bless You All.

Feliz Navidad 2103!

Here, our good friends from Team:  Casa de Dios, help the little ones, in groups of 20, design and paint and create their artistic handicraft, for Christmas.  They always do a very good job at helping our children celebrate Christmas, with joy, friendship, gifts and, of course, Christian Love.

Food is always a part of any celebration and Team:  Casa de Dios, brought some delightful dishes with them to help meet the hunger needs of everyone.  They all went home, full of food, love and Christmas gifts.  A splendid time was had by all.  Amen!

Feliz Navidad 2013!

I don't think that too many of us in San Vicente would ever dare dream of a White Christmas, with snow, ice and frosted forest tops in our neighbourhood, but we do pray for and hope for a Christmas Celebration where lots and lots of children get blessed.  And this year, just like so many others, was just that, a blessed time of fun, activity and friends.  Not-to-mention, some good food, a pinata and some delcious, home-made fruit punch.  Yes, we indeed had all of that and even more.

It is really the Lord, and our family and friends that makes the day something special.  We being joined together to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus is something wonderful and then just to enjoy one-another's company, makes for a fantastic time.  Which, we truthfully had.