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Tyler Morning Telegraph - Galdámez brings church planting, education experience to Grace Español

Here are two articles written by Emily Guevara ( Twitter: @TMTEmily)  on our background and on  Grace Español .   Tyler Morning Telegraph...

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Monday, January 13, 2014

An 1851 Pre Civil War Bible - Photos

I usually don't post photos but I wanted to share these from an 1851 Bible published by Samuel Hueston, 139 Nassau Street and printed  by C.A. Alvord Printer in N.Y. It contains notes by Rev. Ingram Cobbin, M.A. This Bible belongs to my brother-in-law but it's currently at my residence.

What was happening in 1851? Millard Fillmore was president. Moby Dick is published in the US and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables  is also printed. The painting Washington Crossing the Delaware is completed.

 The name of the previous owner the Bible.



 The beginning pages above





Each section has a nice illustration. See an example of the first page of Genesis above.


 The illustrations for the Historical Books (above)


The poetical books and a page from Job (above). Notice what Behemoth was according to this Bible.




The Prophetical books (above)

Here's the New Testament (below)




Sunday, January 12, 2014

Learning From Pilgrim's Progress: Who is a Christian?

As I wrote before, I am reading Pilgrim's Progress. A book that at one time was the second most read apart from the Bible. A book written by a man who had just elementary education. Yet, this man, while in jail for preaching as a "protestant" or "dissenter" in England, wrote a timeless allegory of the Christian journey. In this post I share about how Bunyan describes a Christian through the eyes of Hopeful (who patterns after Bunyan's own conversion to faith).

In this section Christian asks Hopeful how he came to be a Christian (i.e. a persons concerned for his soul). Hopeful goes on to explain how in Vanity Fair he had lived a life of debauchery but had come to realize that these things would cause death and the wrath of God to come upon him.  Even after knowing his spiritual condition, Hopeful tried to ignore it.   His excuses for not leaving this life of self-pleasure were many but the more he ignored his spiritual condition, the more he understood that he could die and be judged by God. Hopeful then tries to reform his life. He leaves bad company, bad habits and devotes himself to praying, Bible reading and other religious practices. His life improves but all of this makes him realize that before God his actions are like filthy rags. Furthermore, even if he had lived up perfectly up till then, all of his past sins condemned him. His debt to God was so much that he could never pay it no matter what he did. Hopeful then asks Faithful and hears "that unless I could obtain the righteousness of a man that never had sinned, neither mine own, nor all the righteousness of the world could save me."  Faithful asserts that this person was the Lord Jesus.
Hopeful continues to ask: "I asked him further, how that man's righteousness could be of that efficacy to justify another before God? And he told me he was the mighty God, and did what he did, and died the death also, not for himself, but for me; to whom his doings, and the worthiness of them, should be imputed, if I believed on him. [Heb. 10, Rom. 6, Col. 1, 1 Pet. 1]"

Faithful was showing him that it was Christ's death that would make him acceptable and righteous before God. What he needed to do was believe on him.
 Faithful gives him a book (the Bible) to read and find out this truth on his own.  He invites Hopeful to call upon the Lord to reveal himself and go to Him saying: "God be merciful to me a sinner, and make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ; for I see, that if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that righteousness, I am utterly cast away. Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and hast ordained that thy Son Jesus Christ should be the Saviour of the world; and moreover, that thou art willing to bestow him upon such a poor sinner as I am, (and I am a sinner indeed); Lord, take therefore this opportunity and magnify thy grace in the salvation of my soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen. [Exo. 25:22, Lev. 16:2, Num. 7:89, Heb. 4:16]"

Hopeful prays this, over and over again but nothing happens. This again shows that praying or doing things on our own cannot save us. But finally, God shows himself to Hopeful:
 "I did not see him with my bodily eyes, but with the eyes of my understanding; [Eph. 1:18,19] and thus it was: One day I was very sad, I think sadder than at any one time in my life, and this sadness was through a fresh sight of the greatness and vileness of my sins. And as I was then looking for nothing but hell, and the everlasting damnation of my soul, suddenly, as I thought, I saw the Lord Jesus Christ look down from heaven upon me, and saying, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." [Acts 16:30,31]"
Hopeful continues: 
"Then I said, But, Lord, what is believing? And then I saw from that saying, "He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst", that believing and coming was all one; and that he that came, that is, ran out in his heart and affections after salvation by Christ, he indeed believed in Christ. [John 6:35]"
Hopeful has finally come to understand that only in and through Christ's death and resurrection he can come to God and have his sins washed away:
 
"He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification." [Rom. 4:25] "He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." [Rev. 1:5] "He is mediator betwixt God and us." [1 Tim. 2:5] "He ever liveth to make intercession for us." [Heb. 7:24,25] 
Hopeful understands that Christ's offering himself as a sacrifice for his sins and to satisfy the penalty of them before God was "but for him that will accept it for his salvation, and be thankful."
At this point Hopeful has become "converted," a believer, a christian.

His life is changed: 
"It made me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life, and confounded me with the sense of mine own ignorance; for there never came thought into my heart before now that showed me so the beauty of Jesus Christ. It made me love a holy life, and long to do something for the honour and glory of the name of the Lord Jesus; yea, I thought that had I now a thousand gallons of blood in my body, I could spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus."

Hopeful now lives for Christ and is willing to give everything for him.

This is what it means to be a Christian. You can read this dialogue in modern language here starting on p. 170.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pilgrim's Progress: Resources


Here are some resources on Pilgrim's Progress:
Books:

Audio Books:

  • Abridged Audio here and full version from Audible here.
Movies:


For Children:


Biographies about John Bunyan.


For Children

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Learning from Pilgrim's Progress: Talking Without The Walking

I am reading through Pilgrim's Progress and learning a lot from it. In this section, Christian is talking to Faith about  a man called "Talkative."  This man is all talk but no walk as far as Christianity is concerned.
Here is what Christian says about him:

 "Deceived! you may be sure of it; remember the proverb, "They say and do not." [Matt. 23:3] But the kingdom of God is not in word, but in Power. [1 Cor 4:20] He talketh of prayer, of repentance, of faith, and of the new birth; but he knows but only to talk of them. I have been in his family, and have observed him both at home and abroad; and I know what I say of him is the truth. His house is as empty of religion as the white of an egg is of savour. There is there neither prayer nor sign of repentance for sin; yea, the brute in his kind serves God far better than he. He is the very stain, reproach, and shame of religion, to all that know him; it can hardly have a good word in all that end of the town where he dwells, through him. [Rom. 2:24,25]" Read more at location 1040
Talkative is a man that's a hypocrite: 

"say the common people that know him, A saint abroad, and a devil at home. His poor family finds it so; he is such a churl, such a railer at and so unreasonable with his servants, that they neither know how to do for or speak to him. Men" Read more at location 1045
Christian explains to Faith what it means to be a real believer: 
"They are two things, indeed, and are as diverse as are the soul and the body; for as the body without the soul is but a dead carcass, so saying, if it be alone, is but a dead carcass also. The soul of religion is the practical part: "Pure religion and undefiled, before God and the Father, is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." [James 1:27; see vv. 22-26] This Talkative is not aware of; he thinks that hearing and saying will make a good Christian, and thus he deceiveth his own soul. Hearing is but as the sowing of the seed; talking is not sufficient to prove that fruit is indeed in the heart and life; and let us assure ourselves, that at the day of doom men shall be judged according to their fruits. [Matt. 13, 25] It will not be said then, Did you believe? but, Were you doers, or talkers only? and accordingly shall they be judged." Read more at location 1058
A person that is a true believer has experienced grace, faith and love in his heart: 
"Knowledge that resteth in the bare speculation of things; and knowledge that is accompanied with the grace of faith and love; which puts a man upon doing even the will of God from the heart: the first of these will serve the talker; but without the other the true Christian is not content. "Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart." [Ps. 119:34] Read more at location 1098
Faith explains to Talkative how the work of grace comes about in the heart of a christian:
1. By an experimental confession of his faith in Christ. [Rom. 10:10, Phil. 1:27, Matt. 5:19] 
2. By a life answerable to that confession; to wit, a life of holiness, heart-holiness, family-holiness, (if he hath a family), and by conversation-holiness in the world which, in the general, teacheth him, inwardly, to abhor his sin, and himself for that, in secret; to suppress it in his family and to promote holiness in the world; not by talk only, as a hypocrite or talkative person may do, but by a practical subjection, in faith and love, to the power of the Word. [John 14:15, Ps. 50:23, Job 42:5-6, Eze. 20:43] And now, Sir, as to this brief description of the work of grace"
Read more at location 1113

Faith asks Talkative if he has experienced this but he is reluctant to answer. Talkative accuses Faith of judging him and is not willing to talk to him anymore and leaves.

There are many like Talkative nowadays. They like or tolerate religion but they don't truly believe it. They love knowledge but it leads nowhere. A true believer's life has been changed by the work of grace which comes through faith in Christ.

Learning From Death

Today our family attended the funeral of our neighbor across the street. I recently wrote about it in a post. I took the kids with me and my wife met me there. Some believe that children should be kept protected from seeing death up-close but I am of the belief that they need to learn both from life and death. My little three-year old has been mentioning the death of our neighbor for the last few days. She knows she's dead. Today when we were there I told her if she wanted to see her and she said yes. When the time came, we approached her body and took a few minutes to observe. My little one said, "she's sleeping." "Her body is sleeping," I said to her. We have had this discussion with her about death. How the body sleeps but the person isn't there anymore (this happened at my father's funeral). I told her to say bye to her and she waved and said it.

The time came when we asked to go where her body would be laid to rest. We drove there and waited. I also explained to her about the tombstones, not to step on them out of respect (she even reminded mommy), went about reading some of the inscriptions and looked at some of the special things left on them. After waiting for a time, they brought her body in the casket. Once again, she pointed out that they were bringing her. We sat through the burial service and listened attentively. As we were driving home, she thanked me for taking her. As much as we don't like death (I don't) we learn from it.

Death always reminds me of what Jesus said in Luke 11:25: "“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live." (ESV) I am thankful that for those of us who believe in Jesus, death is not the end. It is the beginning.