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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, March 28, 2011

Thoughts on "Heaven Is For Real"

This morning I read this review of the book Heaven Is For Real. I have read this book a few weeks ago and had no intentions of writing anything about it. But I will offer some thoughts.

1. The hype built up with this book, the fact it is a bestseller, people saying all kinds of things, is no different than The Shack90 Minutes in Heaven or the controversial Love Wins going on now as well.  The latter more of a theological discussion, serious indeed. So my point? It's not new!

2. The book claims to be non-fiction, a true event of a 4 year old who dies for who knows how long, goes to Heaven and comes back. The dad starts finding out things this child has seen in Heaven and assessing them whether they are true or not.  It happens that the child is right on with everything he has seen. So this is interpreted as a gift of God to them, a glimpse of Heaven. Now they share the story. Is it true? I have no idea. I am a skeptic. I need verifiable truth.  Look, the kid was 4 years old. Am I just going to believe the 4 year old or the dad without any verifiable data such as intensive scrutiny of the assertions from third parties? By the way, there is one man in the Bible who went to Heaven (He wasn't really sure if the had been dead or not) and came back but was forbidden to speak about what he saw (2 Corinthians 12:2). I wonder why.

3. Let's suppose it is true. Does this means it is from God? How do you prove it? Can you find any Bible passage to support extra-biblical revelations? Given, the book does not say any heretical stuff. It does mention extra biblical things, such as people in Heaven with wings something never mentioned in the Bible. So you say this helps prove the Bible is true. Do you need a story like this to be sure the Bible's truth about Heaven is true? Jesus said:  “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29-NIV).

4.  Could a story like this be true but not be from God? The Bible says that The Deceiver dresses himself as an angel of  light: "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
There are other stories been passed around as God appearing here (or a girl having visions of heaven and then drawing them) or there, healings, etc... Could this be from Satan and not from God? I believe so. But you say, "They are harmless and they point to God."  Do you think Satan knows how prone we are to believe experiences, especially when they support what God says? Why would he do this? I believe he will use anything to distract us from The Truth of God's Word.  Once the does that he uses this as an opportunity to make us shallow, to water down the Gospel, to compromise and the list goes on.  Read Galatians and see what happened in this church.  Most heresies don't start with great distortions, they start with simple deviations from The Truth of God's Word.

5. Christians are compared to sheep in the Bible because we are followers (and they are dumb too).  We love following other people, some are great Christian personalities.  We breathe and live everything this person gives us.  We follow trends (go to a Christian bookstore and see for yourself).  As sheep we are not very good with discernment. And yet, this is what we ought to do. Have discernment.  Be a Berean. See if things are true. Questions things your pastor says, preachers say, your church says, books say, and blogs say. 

Should you read this book? It's really up to you. I enjoyed it, it made me feel good. Like I said before, I am a skeptic about these types of book. This one read like a novel. For me, it is just a book. But this is just me. I am a bibliophile.

BTW...if you want to know what the Bible says about Heaven, read this book but you should definitely read this one. I dare you. Why wouldn't you if you are willing to read "Heaven Is For Real"?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jesus My Love

Here is a poem from "Poems For The Journey"

Jesus My Love
by eig

Oh Jesus, you are my first love
I wish that I wouldn't only remember you as someone above
But that you are in my life, my only true love
I remember the day when you saved me
I felt you so close and free as a dove

But slowly and surely as the years have passed by
I realize how cold I've become
I invited you into my life, and that is no lie
But often I don't acknowledge you're right by my side
But your grace and faithfulness to me is so awesome
Is not compared to what's given by some
You patiently wait with arms open wide
Your love draws me and again to you I come
And my love is again as that of a bride
I only wish it would always be such a strong drive
But I am so weak, and it is only because of your grace that I barely survive
Yet, I will not stop to continue to strive
For the love of my life, my Jesus, in whom I abide

Saturday, April 18, 1998

Copyright 2011 by eig

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Poems For The Journey: A Christian Pilgrim On The Way Shares His Heart Through Poetry

I never thought I would write poetry.  Before 1998, I had written maybe one or two poems.  I had no intentions of ever writing any. Then came 1998. It was a year of struggles and suffering.  Thus, I began to write poems to reflect my thinking and my struggles.  The poems written during this year are very personal.  After this year I wrote a few more in the year 2000.  My life started a downward spiral of questioning my faith. I wrote some more poems in the year 2001 that reflect my life drying up spiritually. I wrote some more in 2002.  A total of about 88 were written during this time. I stored them away. I didn't read them. I struggled in my faith the next six years. It was not until over a year ago that my faith has gone through radical re-shaping by God. Last year, I started to put them in order and organized them in a systematic way. I had intentions of publishing them but didn't think they were good enough.  And they are not. They are not on par with Dickinson, Rosetti, Whitman or any other poet.  But as I read and looked for poetry that reflects the Truth of God's Word and the struggles Christians face I didn't find anything.  It may be my oversight but it appears to me as such. The digital age has now allowed me to self-publish them through the Kindle store.

Today I created a blog Poems For The Journey for these poems and wrote this:

"It's been a long time since I have been with the desire to publish poems that I wrote many years ago.  It's been a long process but I finally got them published on the Kindle.  They will soon show up at Amazon.  Many are reflections of the Christian faith, my questions, my observations and struggles.  Some are very personal, thus emotional.  I was hesitant to release these, but I have.  I do it so that in some way they might serve as an encouragement for those who are also going through similar circumstances.  I do pray that they are beneficial and edifying for the Body of Christ.  I make no apologies for any of them. I do know that they aren't on par with professional poets but it doesn't really matter to me. They are what they are and the content reflects my deep thoughts and experiences.  Thus, I release them!"

You can find it in the Kindle Store.