Featured Post

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...

Internet Archive bookmarks for: despond

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

El Evangelio es Imparable e Invencible - Hechos 5:17-42

En este pasaje, miramos como los Apóstoles, Pedro y Juan son perseguidos por predicar el evangelio, como Dios les rescata, les manda a predicar y como ellos le obedecen. Miramos también como el evangelio da fruto porque el evangelio es invencible. Nada lo podrá parar. Así como los Apóstoles, nosotros somos testigos de Cristo designados a compartir su mensaje con otros sin importar cuales sean las consecuencias. Cuando nosotros lo compartimos podemos estar seguros de que Dios hará su voluntad, aunque no miremos fruto inmediato.




Dawson Trotman, Fundador de los Navegantes escribe en un artículo titulado: Nacido para Multiplicarse dice esto:

"Ahora, no permitamos que nada nos desvíe. Vamos a anunciar el Evangelio a cuantos podamos, pero pongamos especial interés en una persona hasta que la veamos convertida y triunfando en todos los aspectos de su vida cristiana.”
Además dice:
 "Durante el primer siglo, el Evangelio se propagó con rapidez tal (a pesar de no disponer de radio, televisión, ni imprenta), debido a que los que habían nacido de nuevo se multiplicaban sucesivamente. Pero hoy abundan los cristianos que se limitan a sentarse en los bancos de la capilla, que piensan que si asisten fielmente a las reuniones, ponen buenas ofrendas en la colecta y logran que la gente de fuera venga a las reuniones, ya han hecho más que suficiente."




Una historia juvenil que se llama "La Caseta Mágica" en la que protagonista es un niño que se llama Milo ilustra el letargo o apatía espiritual nuestro que no impide cumplir el llamado de ser y hacer discípulos. Él es un niño muy aburrido que es transportado a través de una caseta mágica a un mundo llamado "Diccionópolis." En el transcurso llega a conocer a los Letargones que viven en el Tedio. El Tedio nadie hace nada. No se puede reír, no se habla, no se hace nada más que dormir, haraganear, y ser holgazanes.

Así creo que sucede entre nosotros los cristianos. Estamos tan envueltos con lo tedioso de este mundo que no hacemos nada para el reino. "Hacemos fiesta y no vamos a ninguna parte" aunque somos llamados a ir a y hacer discípulos. Esta es la manera que el Enemigo nos tiene atados.





Saturday, March 25, 2017

He Who Has Ears, Let Him Hear!

He Who Has Ears, Let Him Hear! Matthew 11:15

This phrase was brought to my attention this week. Jesus said it seven times in the Gospels. Of course those who he spoke to, had physical ears, but not spiritual ears to hear what He was teaching them, partly because they did not have a heart ready to hear.

God brought this to my attention this week as last week my right ear became plugged. I have allergies and so I concluded it was due to this. We were set to go out on the weekend so there was not much I could do. Thursday we left and didn't come back until Saturday. The weekend was great but I was frustrated that my ear wasn't getting any better. In fact, I thought is was worse. During my drive home I actually prayed, "God let me have ears to hear your voice." I managed but wanted to get this solved. When we got home I tried everything but nothing worked. On Monday I called a specialist and made an appointment for the afternoon. When I was with the ear technician, I explained what was happening. She looked at my ear and saw it was red so she decided to have the doctor look at it first, guessing that I might have an outer ear infection. If this was the case, I thought to myself, this will be easy. When he came in the room I was taken, he asked a few questions which I answered. He looked into my ear and said he would clean the inside. After doing that, he asked me if I could hear well. I told him no. He then sent me to have the hearing test. The technician did all the tests and said that there was definitely something going on with my right ear. The doctor came back to see me and told me that I had Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL). This he told me, has no definite cause, perhaps it was genetics, an acoustic neuroma, or viral infection.  He said he would put me on prednisone for thirteen days, which he said was the only proven medication that could restore hearing loss. Furthermore, he said, he wanted me to have an MRI which I scheduled for the following Monday to see if there is a benign tumor that is causing the hearing loss.

All of this was a bit shocking or surprising to me. I have really good hearing (or had) and could not believe this was the case. This could possibly be a permanent state. As I got out, I thanked the Lord I had one good ear and asked that his will be done. If it is His will, to heal me, I would be thankful. If not, I would rely on his grace. But I must say, it is not easy.

About a week ago, I was preparing material for a missions short-term class. In it, it has all the unreached people's groups. One of them was the deaf. I've never hear of them being an unreached people group, so I skipped it. I wasn't interested. After my incident, I thought about that. I understood some things they experience. For a week, I've experienced an imbalance of hearing. My left ear picks all the sound which my brain interprets it as really loud. The other ear, my right, lives in almost total silence. I hear a certain percentage but is distorted, making shrieking sounds as it tries to send the right signal to the brain. It is muffled. I hear the chirping of the night. The two ears are saying two different things (I have laughed at how people sound on the left side). This makes me feel like I have a permanent cold. I speak louder. I understand a little bit of what it means to be (partly) deaf and can't even fathom what it means to be totally deaf. This experience, whatever the outcome, has made me understand how I take for granted God's gifts. We all do. We have ears, He speaks to us through His Word but we don't listen to Him. But He made those ears, primarily,  to listen to Him.

A pastor friend of mine took me to lunch this week and he asked me a very unusual question, unusual because no has asked me before and it is not common either. He asked me, "What has brought you joy recently?" I thought about it for a few seconds and said to him, "I know I should answer trials because that is the right answer. That's what the Bible says." I went on to explain what had happened to me with my ear. Though this experience didn't bring me joy, my response should have a joyful response. Joy is that internal attitude of gratitude that realizes that no matter what circumstances we face, good and especially bad, is an opportunity to trust in the Goodness of God. All easier said that done. But joy is not natural, it is supernaturally given by the Spirit of God (Gal. 5:22-23) but it can be learned through obedience. Whatever the outcome of this experience, I know it has changed me. I pray that I will have ears to hear Him every day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Los Principios de la Generosidad - 2 Corintios 9:8-15

En este capítulo, al igual que el capítulo 8 Pablo habla a los Corintios de la ofrenda que ellos se habían comprometido a dar para los hermanos en Cristo en Jerusalén.  Varias iglesias en Macedonia ya habían dado y ahora era el turno de ellos. Pablo está haciendo esta colecta para la Iglesia en Jerusalén para mostrar la unidad de la Iglesia. Hay una Iglesia en Cristo que está compuesta de judíos y Gentiles. Estos se ayudan mutuamente. Especialmente, está mostrando a la Iglesia en Judea de que no hay barrera cultural ni étnica cuando estamos en Cristo y que estos hermanos Gentiles son parte del Cuerpo, la Iglesia, al igual que ellos. Efesios 4:4-6 Este es el corazón de Pablo.

En este pasaje Pablo les recuerda a los Corintios los principios de la generosidad. Hay por lo menos cuatro principios que nos enseñan sobre la generosidad. Estos deben motivarnos a ser generosos con todo lo que Dios nos ha dado. Además, nos enseñan que todo lo que damos a Dios tiene resultados inmediatos, especialmente espirituales lo cual es parte de buscar el Reino de Dios y su justicia. El dar generosamente es un acto de adoración a Dios y no un simple acto externo hecho para ayudar a otros o para recibir algún mérito material de Él. Es un acto producido por la gracia de Dios que hemos experimentado al creer en Cristo. Si la gracia de Dios no te motiva a ser generoso, nada lo hará.







 Facebook        Twitter        Instagram        Sitio Web   Youtube
 






Saturday, March 11, 2017

When God Ruins Your Plans

When God Ruins Your Plans (or Life)
Matthew 1:18-25


God has “ruined my plans" or "God ruined our whole family..." as Aggie's Dad said to her about his missionary experience where his 27 year old wife died. See video below.

Yes, God does ruin our plans. Often. He has in my life. But His plans are far better than mine even if I don't understand them.
How do we reconcile our plans and God’s plan for our lives?

Let’s take a look at Joseph’s dilemma, how God ruins his plan and what his response is to what He intends to do in his life.


I. The Human Dilemma vv. 18-19

A. A Clash of Plans v. 18

This dilemma is caused when there is a collision between God’s Divine plan and Human plans. In Luke 2:8-20 we find that God told Mary that she would be used to bring about the Messiah’s birth, Christ’s birth. I am sure that she shared this with Joseph.  Verse 18 shows us that she was with child conceived by the Holy Spirit.

This was not what he was planning. I am sure he wanted to have a normal life. He wanted to have a wife, have children and serve God. God interrupted Joseph’s plan. His first reaction was not to accept it, at least not from Mary. He had a dilemma, to follow his plan or follow God’s plan.

I am reading a book called You are What You Love, The Power of Habit.It really caught my attention when it asked the questions, 1. What do you want? and 2. What do you love? The first one was easy for me to answer. The second one was not that easy. Yes, I did answer, that I love God first. I love my family. But I also know that there are some things that I love that perhaps are not what I should love. And that is who I am. The thesis of this book is that we are what we really love and what we should really love is God. We are called to worship him with our whole lives and He should be first. When He is first in our lives then, His plans come first.

When we love or we are what we want it creates the dilemma between our plans and His plans for us.


Is there something in your life or family where there is collision between your plans and God’s plan?

B. The Human Answer v. 19

Joseph was not selfish and didn’t want to hurt Mary. He didn’t want to embarrass her publicly. He decided he would divorce her secretly. He was a righteous man and was willing to sacrifice his desires to save Mary.  This was a really good thing. It shows his good character.
However, Joseph was not following God’s plan.  He didn’t believe Mary. He could have stopped and really think if this was God’s plan but there is no mention of it. He missed it!
Imagine if he had followed through his plan. Things would have been different. God is sovereign over our lives and though he can do anything in spite of us, he desires that we align ourselves with His plans.

You may be doing a lot of good things right now but they may not be God’s plan. It is your plan not God’s plan.

We should ask ourselves before doing anything, “Am I convinced that I am following God’s leading and not my own plans?

If you are not convinced, seek God in prayer, seek godly counsel until God confirms His will.

II. God’s Divine Plan vv. 20-25

A. God Intervenes v. 20

Joseph was about to carry out his plans. He thought about it and was ready to execute. But God intervenes.  I am glad God intervenes in our lives. If he didn’t then we would mess things up even more.
God tells Joseph, don’t fear this is my plan. Fear many times keeps us from doing God’s will, keeps us from following his plan. We react with fear to what he calls us to do. We should react with trust in Him.
God tells Joseph, he doesn’t have to worry about this child, it really is a result of the Holy Spirit. It was His plan.
I am sure Joseph even after this did not understand the whole plan. How did God do this marvelous act? Joseph didn’t even get to see Jesus’s official start of ministry. But he did follow God’s plan as we will see.
Many times we don’t understand God’s plan for our lives but we know he is sovereign.
This morning think about your life. Is God intervening in your life telling you, “Stop, wrong path, don’t continue!”
He will not warn you through a dream as he did with Joseph. I think this was a special case. He is warning through His Word, His Holy Spirit and perhaps others as well.

B. God’s Plan is Superior vv. 20b-23

God had a better plan for Joseph and Mary.

I love this about God. When he asks you to do something or leave your plan it is not to make your life miserable. It is to accomplish a superior plan. Yet many of us think that when God asks something we want, like or love it is to make our lives more difficult.

 It is sad when we do this because we are telling God that we trust Him for our salvation, He is our Savior but He is not Lord of our lives.

When God interrupts our lives, when he ruins “our” plans it is always to bring about something we are not able to do ourselves. It is usually a better plan that he has for us.
What if God asks to give us all of our lives? Everything we love? This would not be new. God asked this from Abraham in Genesis 22.

One of the disciples asked the question most of us don’t dare to ask. Matthew 19:26-30
He said they had left everything to follow Jesus and asked, “What then will we have?” Doesn’t sound a bit selfish. Jesus could have answered by saying that God has given everything for them by sending him to die on the cross for their sins. “Tough it up boys, don’t be ungrateful. You owe us the trinity a lot!”
Jesus did not say this. He assured them that they would be rewarded with much more.

The plan God had for Joseph (and Mary) was far better than their plan. They were going to be part of the most incredible of God’s plan, The Plan of  of Salvation/Redemption for  humanity. I don’t think they understood the greatness of this even after accepting it. Joseph died too soon. Mary came to realize Jesus as Messiah at the cross (this is what I think!). They were part of a Christ-Centered plan.

God’s plan for your life will always include you to be his witness, an ambassador for Christ. Your life has to be Christ-centered in everything you do. If Christ is not part of a plan, then it is not God’s plan. He called you to be his follower and for you to surrender under his Lordship.

Muslims believe their religion is their life. They don’t have their religion in a compartment like we do. Their life is their religion. Their religion is their life.
For us to live should be Christ. To die should be gain. (Phil. 1:21) We should say as the Apostle Paul said that he was crucified with Christ and, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Whatever you go through “Imannuel” will be with you!

HE SHOULD BE OUR LIFE AND NOTHING ELSE. OUR LIVES SHOULD BE RULED BY HIM!

III. Our Response vv. 24-25

The good thing about Joseph was that after God corrected “his” plan he immediately adjusted his plan. He obeyed him: “he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife.”
Notice God commanded, it was not optional but we he did it immediately.
Once again, he didn’t understand the whole plan. He didn’t after either. God doesn’t give him all the details. This is how God leads us.

My kids use to ask a lot “Where are we going?” when going out. I came out with a clever, wise answer!
“It doesn’t matter where you are going as long as you are with me.”
This was true. I wanted to show them that it really didn’t matter where we are going as long as they with me. I care about them, they will be safe, and what matters is our relationship.
This is how God leads us. You can see this pattern in Scripture. God doesn’t tell you everything He will do with your life. I think he has good reasons. One, we won’t get it all. We are limited in what we can know and grapple. The second reason is that we will try to mess things up. Third, it teaches us to trust him and to enjoy his fellowship.

How do we align then our will with God’s will?

1. Surrender your will and all of your plans to Him.

2. Live a Christ-Centered life. Live all of your life for Him and through Him.

3. Obey Him if everything he tells you in Scripture. Obey even if you don’t understand everything.

4. Follow his leading even if you are not sure where you are going (enjoy your time with Him). Seek godly counsel.




The Story of Aggie Berg Hurst from Sioux Falls First on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

La Generosidad y los Valores del Reino - Mateo 6:19-21

En Filipenses 3:20 Pablo escribe:

"Mas nuestra ciudadanía está en los cielos, de donde también esperamos al Salvador, al Señor Jesucristo;"

Es muy claro que nuestro país al cual pertenecemos como cristianos no es el planeta tierra, ni los Estados Unidos, sino que el cielo ("uranós").  Cuando Cristo nos salvó nos transfirió del reino de las tinieblas al reino suyo (Col. 1:13).  Como tales nuestros valores no son los de los Estados Unidos por más buenos que sean. No son los de nuestra cultura. No son los valores de nuestros padres. Nuestros valores son los valores del reino. Son los valores eternos. Esto nos ayudan a entender que la única manera debemos vivir es de una manera generosa. Hay varios principios que debemos entender acerca de cómo vivir siendo generosos como ciudadanos del reino de Dios, ciudadanos del cielo. Esto lo encontramos en Mateo 6:19-33.

Randy Alcorn dice esto: "¿Quieres interesarte más en las cosas eternas? Redistribuye algo de tu dinero, quizás la mayoría de tu dinero y posesiones, tu tiempo, y tus talentos y tus energías en las cosas de Dios. Seguramente como el compás sigue la aguja hacia el Norte, tu corazón seguirá tu tesoro. El dinero dirige, el corazón sigue...Claro dar no es lo único bueno que debemos hacer con el dinero. Necesitamos alimentar, vestir, dar vivienda y transportar a nuestras familias. Pero cuando hemos cuidado de lo básico, porqué no poner el resto en los tesoros en el cielo?" http://www.epm.org/blog/2016/May/11/wheres-your-heart





 Facebook        Twitter        Instagram        Sitio Web   Youtube