Saturday, November 23, 2013
I always appreciate speaking to the people of LaRoca (The Rock) church in Tijuana. The church is located right where it should be, in Zone Norte; Tijuana's Red-Light district.
Last Sunday as I was leaving the Church service I saw Raul. I couldn't miss him, tall slender and rather handsome. Seeing him brought back memories from past years.
Carlos and I found a den of addicts floating in and out of a small group of trashy flop-houses down a small canyon along a smelly sewer like creek. Flop-houses they were, as the addicts would take a big hit they would flop there on the ground until they mellowed out a bit. We would bring them food and blankets. Among the group were Raul and his friends.
High above the set of shacks on the side of the canyon, was the drug dealer, he didn't particularly like us but he allowed us to come in if we didn't disturb the status quo.
Years later, upon Raul's conversion, we learned some disturbing news. Fortunately their plans went wrong.
Raul and a couple of his friends planned to kill us and take our money. Their weapons? Some golf clubs they had laying around.
This story serves as a reminder of the world and environment in which we work ... and how necessary your prayers of protection are.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
After our workdays in Mexico we have a rifa, that's a raffle in Spanish. Each of the kids have a number on their hand and they crowd around the back of my car waiting for the numbers to be called and hoping it will be their lucky number. Hortensia shakes the jar of numbers, then holding the jar high, hands the jar to a lady or girl standing among the crowd to pick out a number.
Every one is silent as the number is called.
You can tell the kid with the correct number on his hand because of his smile and he's pushing to the front. It's his show. Now what prize will he choose? Everyone, including the mothers, helping him by calling out what he should choose. Yesterday the number of ten year-old Carlos was called. Carlos and his brothers and sisters are from a very poor family.
Carlos was beaming as he stood looking over all the goodies. He spotted the soccer ball. Yep, it was the soccer ball he wanted. He had never had a soccer ball. As I handed the happy kid his soccer ball, I said "You can have this soccer ball OR FIVE DOLLARS ... which do you want?" Everyone started giving poor Carlos advice. The kids yelled "Soccer ball" the moms yelling "take the five dollars! He looked back at his mother and she was telling him take the money! Poor Carlos, he really wanted the ball! He looked at me, his ball, and the five-dollar bill ... smile gone, he looked up at me again and ever so slowly gave me the ball and took the five dollars and headed out of the crowd.
Well, what would you do in a situation like that? ... I called him back, and some of the kids brought him to the front again, He stood there looking rather puzzled. "Here Carlos" and I gave him the soccer ball too. For doing that I got a big smile and a special hug from a special kid, Carlos.
Monday, November 04, 2013
Years ago the King James Bible was pretty much the Bible of the Evangelicals ... then came a long parade of versions and translations. And for the most part, that was good, however we paid a price for this change. The price? A big drop in Bible verse memorizing. Today Bible memorizing is almost non existent. "Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you." (Psalms 119:11) That was one of the verses we memorized.
Many of us old timers grew up with Scripture memorizing programs. The old King James may have it's flaws but one thing could be said of it, it became the heart of Scripture memorizing.
Speaking of memorizing, It's so easy to forget the message of Isaiah 55:11 ... "My Word shall not return to Me empty or void." God's Word needs to get back into the heart of man, memorizing verses it seems, does just that.
Caution! As Christians, especially as preachers, speakers and teachers, we must never forget that it is God's Word He has promised to honor not ours.
I may become an eloquent speaker indeed, uttering meaningless ... noise. Beautiful noise. (1 Corinthians 13:1) I may be paid well and in demand ... it seems noise of this type is addictive. God honors HIS Word.