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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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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Christless Reformation is Futile

As I have begun working again teaching in a public middle school, I have seen the great behavior problems it has and how effortless and powerless is attempting to change it. Everyday it is a battle. Teachers are frustrated because they can't teach unruly children. They demand something to be done. All they can do is send them to the office in an attempt for something to be done. Those in charge of discipline, struggle trying to implement new ways to deal with behavior issues but it seems that nothing is working, at least not fast enough. Parents are contacted, meetings are arranged and yet the next day children are back to their old ways.

As a Christian, especially one with pastoral training, I see it from the spiritual dimension. The problem is simple, it deals with sin. At this junction of their lives, these children lack the spiritual and moral instruction from their parents. The children's actions are merely the sprouting of their own sinfulness. The solution is found in the Gospel and not in reformation. Though I believe, as other believers do as well, morality is good and can bring about change, but it is limited in scope. Much of our society functions in such a way. There are rules to follow and those that don't face the consequence of being corrected by law enforcement. Punishment is a determent. This was also God's design as well (see C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man). But in a public school (and in society), where teachers and adults continue to lose the power of correction, led by politically correct views, not much can be done (with this I'm not saying all schools are this way nor that good morality can't be implemented).

But there is hope in the Gospel. Only Christ can change a heart inclined to sin. He can redeem it and change it. We need more Christians to proclaim it in public schools as well, even though practically it is very difficult.

I just finished Parents Groans Over Ungodly Children written a long time ago by a pastor. The obvious focus of the book is how even godly parents can have ungodly children. It offers great advice. What called my attention is the focus on the spiritual problem of the child's heart and how we as parents need to focus on that and not on other trivial matters. Here I post some of my highlights. I wasn't able to copy and paste so they are in picture form. I hope this is an encouragement to you Christian parents and those who are interested in spiritual matters.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Usefulness of Facebook

In a fast-changing world, technology like everything has many good uses (as well as inappropriate uses). As someone who enjoys new technology, I like to find the ways that it can be useful. Thus is the case with Facebook. I remember when it was new and only open to those who were in Universities. When I opened my account it was beginning to become more open and more popular. I never thought it would be what it is now. As time has passed I have realized its usefulness for me. First, it has helped me keep in contact with my immediate and extended family by offering latest updates about our family, something that would be impossible to do in person or by phone because of distance or time constrains. I can share with all of them at once. We can also communicate faster and more efficiently. Of course, it also gives me updates on what is happening in their lives as well. Closely related to them, is my church family. They see me every week (and some have to hear me teach in our Sunday School class), but there is never enough time to chat and catch up at church with everyone. I love the fact that I can update our Village Church family and share my prayer requests, needs or anything else. They are an incredible support for us. I hope that everyone has this kind of support and if you don't, I would love to introduce you to them.

Facebook also helps me stay in touch with people who I have met along my life journey. In a busy world, it is hard to keep in touch with everyone I have gotten to know over the years. But with Facebook, I follow them wherever they are without a whole lot of work. Almost everyone on my "friends" list are people I have met in person. With some, I have spent a lot of time, but being selective as I am, everyone I add is someone I appreciate and with whom I want to stay in contact. Granted, we might not see each other in person it is a good way to continue being connected. I also value their "shares" and learn about them and from them.

I also use Facebook to share what I am reading and learning, especially about my faith (some of which is also shared on my blog). Everyone that knows me is aware of my faith. Some who worked with me or were my students, will learn a lot more about what I believe since the nature of our place of meeting didn't allow us to know our personal side. And once again, it works both ways. Knowing about you, helps me learn about you and as needs are expressed, helps me keep you in my prayers.

I also share some interesting stories, news and even some political (which I try to keep to a minimum) news that I am reading. Those that know me quite well are aware of my views on these subjects, but also know that I am a fair minded person who seeks to understand others as well. The bottom line for me is that I value everyone no matter what our differences might be.

What I still would hope is that, this medium of communication does not become the only way to stay in touch. I would hope to continue face to face interaction with many of you. Even with our busy schedules it is possible to do this.