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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, November 30, 2014

The Threat of the Way, the Foolishness of Idolatry and God's Mission - Act 19:21-20:1

Here is the audio recording for Acts 19:21-20:1 taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.

The Gospel transforms the way we live and those things that we thought were worthwhile become meaningless in light of the cross.

When this transformation happens it changes our culture and challenges the culture around us. It often goes head to head with the world's culture. This is exactly what happens here. The Gospel has brought change to many people in Ephesus. But this is creating social change that is met with opposition.

Artemis temple is gone! Artemis is gone! Nothing remains except ruins! All of the people are gone! But God's people who follow the Way are still here. Jesus still is Lord! God's Word will continue to prevail and bear fruit.

As believers, we should understand that the Way is still a cause of threat for non-believers. They will see us as threat when our lives are transformed by the Gospel and we oppose the lies of the culture. The world will fight back because they do not want to exposed as fools. We must not give it nor compromise. We must be bold in proclaiming God's truth. God's mission will go on and will be fulfilled. We should be encourage from this.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hispanic Culture: Comida (barriga llena corazón contento)

Another cultural characteristic of Hispanic culture is food. There is no question that Hispanics love food.  The saying, "Barriga llena corazón contento" (stomach full, happy heart) has the idea that when you have eaten well, you feel happy and satisfied. It reflects the Hispanic culture's attitude that food has a special place in daily living (not only this, but many Hispanics have experienced hunger due to poverty and now there is abundance and it should be enjoyed).

Every time there’s a special occasion there is plenty of food.  There’s always lots of left overs even after people have eaten twice.   A typical carne asada (grilled beef) party might include chicken, shrimp, rice, beans, grilled onions, corn and/or potatoes. Then there’s also the salsa and the tortillas. 

Let me just say a few more things about tortillas (a whole post can be written about
them). Being a Hispanic myself, I almost always eat tortillas (There are some South Americans that do not eat tortilla). Not eating with tortillas is like not having utensils to eat.  I’m not exaggerating here.  In fact, many Hispanics use the tortilla as a utensil!  Not eating with tortilla is like eating a hot dog without a bun! Then there are those “calientitas," hand made tortillas. I love it when my wife makes them.  No wonder Gary Soto wrote “An Ode to Tortillas."

There’s no stinginess in food among Hispanics. Just look at our waist. In fact, being robust is a sign of being healthy, a result of being well-fed. One favorite saying from my mom to those who are robust is "hermosa" or "(beautiful) hermoso." It refers to someone who is robust. In Hispanic culture being too skinny is seen as malnourishment. Food is to be enjoyed much like eating chocolate for many people. It is also a way to enjoy the company of others ("vente a comer" - come eat, is often a common invite when coming into a home while eating is taking place). What better way to get to know people than by sharing a meal. 

When sharing the Gospel with Hispanics it is important to make food a part of it. A good way to get to know people and show hospitality is by inviting them to go eat or have a meal at home. When inviting out to a restaurant, pick something that is authentic and be prepared to pay. Hispanics have a saying, "El que invita paga," which means that if you invite, you are paying. If you do decide to do it at home, try to have some home made food. Do not offer processed American food. There’s nothing worse for a Hispanic than to go to eat with someone and eat sandwiches or hot dogs. Have plenty of food and offer the left overs. In church, "comida compartida" (pot lucks) should be a regular. When invited to go to someone's house for a special occasion be ready to eat a lot. Hispanics will insist on you eating a lot. In fact, denying their offer sends a message that you did not like their food (and vice versa). It is a way for them to make sure you are enjoying your time.

Food is not trivial when it relates to the Gospel. After, all the Lord's Supper was part of a Jewish meal. Much of Jesus's teaching on the Gospel and the Kingdom involved dining with people. (See Mark 2:13-17; Matthew 9:10) In the Kingdom of God, there will be eating even though it wont' be necessary. See Mark 1:4; 14:25; Matthew 8:11-12; Luke 13:28-29; Luke 15:1; Isaiah 25:6-9; Revelation 22:1-3.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How God Uses HIs Servants - Acts 19:1-20

Here is the audio recording for Acts 19:1-20 taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.

The Lord used Paul in three ways: 

Ruins of the temple for Artemis in Ephesus
1. To Instruct Others: From Disciples Of John to Disciples of Christ vv. 1-10 

2. To Engage Others Boldly: From Public Proclamation To Personal Discussions With Believers vv. 8-10

3. To Perform Miracles: From Deliverance of the Devil to Servants of the Lord vv. 11-20

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hispanic Culture: Pasión (de corazón).

Another characteristic of Hispanic culture, one which is often misunderstood is "pasión" or passion. This is not limited to what we associate with romance (After all the Spanish language is part of the Romance languages) but more in general and how they embrace life. This "pasión" or passion can be seen in many ways. For example, in social settings Hispanics tend speak loud, listen to loud music and interact in a very lively manner. It is not rude to talk over each other or to have lively debates or discussions. This is not offensive. It comes out of their passion for life. It can also be seen in sports like futból (soccer). Their passion is evident, some to the extent of giving up anything (like church) for it (in America there is passion for sports as well but in my opinion it's not an overall personal trait).

Hispanics are people of the heart. From early in life, Hispanics are fostered to
think not only with their minds but with their hearts ("con el corazón). Emotion or passion is part of it as well. "Novelas" (soap operas)  are successful in Latin America, much because of the passion that's involved. There are strong emotions and drama which attracts Hispanics even if the same plot repeats over and over in each new one.

Hispanic's passion can be often misunderstood by the American culture. It can be seen as unbalanced when it is especially expressed in discussion or where convictions are involved. They can be seen as pushy or intolerant when they express their views in a very forceful way. This is not the case. This is just a reflection of where their heart is and what they consider important.

When reaching out to Hispanics to share the Gospel it is important to show passion. A Hispanic who sees a person passionate about what they believe sends a strong message. It shows them that this is something valuable. When presenting the invitation to believe in Christ, it should be communicated that this is done "con el corazón" (with the heart). They understand what this means. Our Christian services should have lively worship that engages the heart and shows our love for Christ (Should this not be the case with all those who believe in Christ? After all we have the best news anyone could hope for), preaching that comes from the heart which often involves good stories that they can relate to. However, we don't want to substitute "pasión" and good story telling for truth either. God's truth should be presented in a dynamic fashion and never substituted for a feel good presentation. Dynamic interaction in the congregation is also necessary. Being passive is not an alternative to reach out Hispanics.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

La Gran Fiesta - Mateo 22

Sermón hoy en Village Bible Ministerio Hispano.

Puede encontrar las notas aquí

Village Bible Ministerio Hispano

Nuestros servicios se llevan a cabo los domingos a las 9:30 AM en el gimnacio. El servicio envuelve tiempo de adoración a Dios a través de cantos y alabanzas, estudio de la Biblia (el mismo tema que el servicio en Inglés) y tiempo de compañerismo. Los niños y jóvenes tienen sus clases en Inglés. A las 11:15 AM tenemos clases dominicales para todas las edades. 
El ministerio Village Bible Ministerio Hispano es parte de Village Bible Church en Garden Grove, CA. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Hispanic Culture: Mi Casa es Su Casa - Personalismo

One very important aspect of Hispanic culture is "personalismo" or the idea of being personal. This is an attribute that goes against being impersonal or individualistic which is prevalent in our American culture. "Personalismo" is seen in every aspect of Hispanic culture. It is evident in the family which extends itself to more than just the immediate members. It is not uncommon to have long-time friends who have being "adopted" participate in family functions. In our family we have several close friends whom we consider family.

Hispanics enjoy knowing people and spending time with them. This is why there are many well-attended "fiestas" (parties) for every occasion. There is usually a lot of food (which we will discuss in a later post), loud music and much excitement.

Hispanics love visiting others (and being visited) which doesn't require pre-scheduling. They like being spontaneous. This is all part of "personalismo" (and hospitality) and a hard concept for American culture to understand who often requires scheduling and notification before a visit. On one occasion, I decided to visit an American friend without letting him know. I was told I had to call before showing up.

"Personalismo" is also shown in the way people are greeted and treated without any care for social status. When attending an event or visiting someone, the person is treated warmly and usually with a handshake, hug, and/or kiss (for the most part with the opposite sex, though man to man kiss is not foreign in Latin America). Guests are made to feel at home ("Mi Casa es Su Casa") and hospitality is expressed in multiple ways (e.g. offering of food, asking if the person is comfortable, letting them watch a favorite TV show or sport, etc...).

When sharing the Gospel it is important to consider several things as they relate to "personalismo."  First, Hispanics like to be treated like real people, not like a number or a project. They want to know others and be known. It is important to build relationships with them before sharing the Gospel. This may take time but once they become believers they share their faith with their extended social network which includes family and friends. Second, attend social events to which you are invited. This is important for building relationships. When arriving it is important to say hi to everyone with at least a handshake. The same is repeated when leaving the event. No one should be excluded to avoid the risk of being offensive. Third, it is important to practice hospitality with them as well. Nothing will deter them the most from attending church than a place where people are cold and don't show any hospitality. This can be done by offering a good embrace and even offering a meal after the service. 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Dos Caminos, Dos Destinos - Mateo 7:13-14

Sermón hoy en Village Bible Ministerio Hispano.  Dos Caminos, Dos Destinos según nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Puede encontrar las notas en PDF aquí

Village Bible Ministerio Hispano

Nuestros servicios se llevan a cabo los domingos a las 9:30 AM en el gimnacio. El servicio envuelve tiempo de adoración a Dios a través de cantos y alabanzas, estudio de la Biblia (el mismo tema que el servicio en Inglés) y tiempo de compañerismo. Los niños y jóvenes tienen sus clases en Inglés. A las 11:15 AM tenemos clases dominicales para todas las edades. 
El ministerio Village Bible Ministerio Hispano es parte de Village Bible Church en Garden Grove, CA. 

Affirming Others in the Faith - Acts 18:18-28

Here is the audio recording for Acts 18:18-28 taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.

This passage talks about Apollos. Here is a description of him:

1. He was Educated  v. 24

He was originally from Alexandria which was the second most important city in the Roman Empire. Egypt was the center of learning during this time. Alexandria contained one of the largest libraries. It was here where the Old Testament was translated by scholars into the Greek language. There is no doubt that he was a very educated man.

2. He was Eloquent in Speech v. 24b

Not only was he very educated but eloquent or competent in speech. There is no doubt that he was his education included training in rhetoric.

3. He was Skilled in the Scriptures v. 24c

Apollo was able to take Old Testament Scripture and prove that Christ was the Messiah. He was very skilled in doing this.

4. He was Instructed in the Way of the Lord v. 25a,c

We don’t know how he came to know about the Gospel but he was “catechized” or instructed in the way of the Lord. But not completely. He knew the facts about Jesus, that he died, was buried and rose from the grave but didn’t know about the application of the Gospel, specifically what Matthew 28:10 says regarding baptism. He didn't know about Pentecost and the outpouring of the Spirit.

5. He was Fervent in Spirit v. 25b

This man was passionate about what he believed. He was not a man who was shy or calm about it.

6. He Spoke Boldly in the Synagogue v. 26 a

Apollos was bold in proclaiming in the synagogue that Jesus was the Messiah.

7. He was Affirmed by Aquilla and Priscilla v. 26b
Aquilla and Priscilla both explained the things he didn't know. It is important to note both are involved and also how it was done in private.

This is a good precedent for both having couples serving the Lord and how we should approach others who need to be explained things they still don't know.

8. He was Received in Corinth v. 27-28

We know he was well-received from 1 Corinthians 1-3 where we find that divisions had taken place based on personalities such as Apollos.

Apollos gifts came in handy. He was able to defend successfully the faith concerning Jesus the Messiah.

We need more men like Apollo. Men who are educated, trained, fervent and humble who can preach the Gospel and defend the faith.