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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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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The goatee Analogy: We are Never Satisfied

I like to grow my goatee. I like to shave it. So I did yesterday. It is interesting that at home, my wife and
children didn't even notice. Much the same at school with my students. Few did, then they all told each other and complained. They said they preferred me with a goatee. Yet when I was growing it, they disliked it. We do this with people as well. We notice when they appear in our lives or in our territory. Carefully, we analyze them and determine whether we will like them or not. Then we become accustomed to them. But when they disappear from our lives we don't really notice them. And we forget (this happens a lot in churches when people come and leave).

We are never satisfied. This reminded me what Jesus said in Luke 7. When John the Baptist appeared preaching, a man who was quite unique, for neither  drank wine nor ate common food, people called him a demon. When Jesus came, drank and ate, then they called him a drunk and a glutton. And the wisdom of God always proves our foolishness.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Wounded Healer

I have just started reading a book titled "The Wounded Healer" by Henry Nouwen.  This book's title has always captured by attention so I finally bought it and started to read it.  The introduction asserts that if we (e.g. ministers, pastors) are to serve others, we need to be the "wounded healers."  In other words, as believers we can help others more effectively when we ourselves have experienced pain. Only then can we sympathize, empathize with others and help minister to them along the way.

As I thought of this, I thought of our "Wounded Healer," Christ.  In Isaiah 53:4 it says he was wounded for our transgressions, "bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."  This was no accident. It was God's plan. It is only through his sacrifice that we could be redeemed from sin (Ephesians 2:13). Our High Priest not only suffered but was tempted so that he could sympathize with us (Hebrews 4:15). For us, modern people of the 21st century this concept seems strange. Why such aggression? Why so much pain to save us? Scripture is clear that this is the cost of sin. Sin is cannot merit anything less when measured against God's holiness.But the idea of wounded healer does apply to us. 1 Peter 4:1 says "Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin" (NIV). As Christ followers, we ought to expect suffering and pain. The Apostle Paul said that we must experience much hardship to enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). We participate in Christ's sufferings when we experience this (Philippians 3:10) and ought to consider this a privilege.

In my pilgrimage as a Christian, which now is almost 30 years, I have experienced much wounding. Some has come from other believers, some from those who see me as a threat for being a different (i.e. Christian), some from unexplained circumstances, some from just being human and some from my own sinfulness.  It is in these times when my faith has grown as  I have sought to depend on my Wounded Healer.  Every piercing has become a time to know intimately my wounded Savior.  My scars become his scars. He bestows his grace on me and helps me lean on His everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27)

Yes, all of this is counter culture. Our culture tells us to run away from suffering and pain; to avoid it at all cost.  We often hear good positive sermons to encourage us to imitate Christ in his life but not very often to imitate his suffering and death. Who wants this? But it is only when we become like our Wounded Healer that we are able to experience his power in us (the power of his resurrection according to St. Paul) and we are able to help those in need. This is the paradox of Christianity. It confounds the wise of this world because it does not follow the ways and thoughts of the world. But the ways of the Lord are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).