Daniel-Defining Moments, New Sermon Series

Defining Moments white

September 11, 2016, I will begin a long journey through the book of Daniel at City Church Del Rio. I am super pumped for this because I believe through this teaching, we will be challenged for our defining moments for City Church.

Here is the lineup:

  • September 11, 2016 – Leadership # 1, Daniel 1:1-14
  • September 18, 2016 – Leadership # 2, Daniel 1:15-21
  • September 25, 2016 – The Wrong Way, Daniel 2:1-11
  • October 2, 2106 – The Right Way, Daniel 2:12-23
  • October 9, 2016 – The Revelation # 1, Daniel 2:24-43
  • October 16, 2016 – The Revelation #2, Daniel 2:44-48
  • October 23, 2016 – Never Bow Down, Daniel 3
  • October 30, 2016 – Dreams # 1, Daniel 4:1-18
  • November 6, 2016 – Dreams #2, Daniel 4:19-27
  • November 13, 2016 – Vision becomes Reality, Daniel 4:28-37
  • November 20, 2016 – Thankfulness Sermon
  • November 27, 2016 – Prophetic Writing #1, Daniel 5:1-12
  • December 4, 2016 – Prophetic Writing #2, Daniel 5:13-31
  • December 11, 2016 – Those who Hate God, Daniel 6:1-15
  • December 18, 2016 – Taking a Stand, Daniel 6:1628
  • December 25, 2106 – Christmas Sermon
  • January 1, 2017 – Visions # 1, Daniel 8
  • January 8, 2017 – That is What I Call A Prayer, Daniel 9
  • January 15, 2017 – Visions # 2, Daniel 10
  • January 22, 2017 – The Prophesy, Daniel 11
  • January 29, 2017 – When All is Said and Done, Daniel 12

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Healthy Churches

This is a blogpost from Dr. Thom Rainer:

The 10 signs of healthy churches 10 years from now are:
1.They have the same pastor they did ten years ago.

2.The pastor, staff, and church members have a decade of calling to the local community.

3.The church will be as diverse as the community.

4.The church will have responded to its international mission field in its own backyard for ten years.

5.The church will have had a consistent and strategic outward focus for a decade.

6.All new members the past ten years will have attended a new members’ class.

7.The church will have seen the cultural changes of the decade as opportunities rather than threats.

8.At least 80 percent of the worship attendance will have moved to a small group over the decade.

9.At least 50 percent of the attendance will have invited at least four people to church each year.

10.Every year for ten years these churches will have become more joyous and fun.

Stay in The Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Why we fight in Marriage


I revive weekly emails from marriage speaker Jimmy Evans. This was the latest email. Enjoy!

Gary Smalley is one of my marriage heroes. His books about relationships have been some of the most influential in my life. In one of his books, The DNA of Relationships, he talks about a concept called the “fear dance.”

As someone whose marriage nearly failed because of our fears, this concept really resonated with me. Smalley’s premise is that we all have core fears that impact our decision-making and our responses to circumstances.

Husbands and wives have different core fears.

Men tend to fear things like helplessness, being controlled, failure, and disrespect.

Women tend to fear disconnection, not being appreciated, not being heard, or not being valued.

In my experience, this breakdown of fears is incredibly accurate. I believe every person deals with one of these kinds of core fears.

According to Smalley, the “fear dance” consists of several repeated steps: I hurt. I want. I fear. I react. Then you hurt. You want. You fear. You react. Then I hurt, and the cycle begins again. All of us are hurting because of some issue in our lives. Because we are hurting, we want a solution.

Some people try to solve their fear by working too hard or spending long hours at the office. Some invest too much time into a hobby, or even into their children. Some overeat. Some drink too much. They fear losing control or being disrespected. They react to these feelings, and cause a separate fearful reaction in their spouse.

A perfect example of this comes from a friend of mine who is a Christian psychologist. Several years ago—in the days before cell phones—this man’s wife called him at the office to ask when he’d be home for dinner. He gave her a specific time. A few hours later, he left the office in time to get home.

But on the way out, he encountered a patient coming to see him with an emergency that involved a threatened suicide. The psychologist was a specialist in that area and immediately went into professional mode. It led to an intense, difficult counseling situation, but ultimately he saved a person’s life.

Hours later, the psychologist left the office feeling good about himself. But, of course, he missed dinner. He hadn’t been able to call his wife to let her know about the delay. He’d just saved a life, but when he got home, she was furious. It led to a huge fight.

She had been worried when he didn’t come home. She felt unimportant when he seemingly didn’t care enough to call. He wasn’t communicating with her. His job was taking him away from her. All of these thoughts sent her into a cycle of fear.

From his perspective, he felt another fear: being disrespected and misunderstood. He had just saved someone’s life! The previous hours had validated his entire career, and all he heard was about how he missed dinner.

Both saw a form of rejection in each other’s actions and reacted to it. That’s the fear dance, and it’s the cause of the deepest fights in a marriage.

We have to learn to escape the fear dance. Paul wrote, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Rather than let our fears damage our closest relationships, we need to give them over to God. Acknowledge your fears, take responsibility for the hurtful actions they might cause, then trust God to cover those thoughts with His peace.

Rather than fear, He will fill us with His love, with His power, and with a sound mind. With His help you can overcome your fear, and I promise it will make a different spouse out of you. What do you fear? How does it impact your marriage?

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Community

IMG_3431FullSizeRender 4

Community is one of those buzz words churches use today. I believe with all my heart many churches do want to do church as community, but really don’t know how to do it. We are by no means experts at it, but as we continue to seek opportunities to be the presence of Christ, this was one of those times. We partnered together with the community man himself, Mr. Hector Guerra in the 10th annual Back to School Health fair and backpack giveaway. Over 2,400 people came through and to our table.

One question I asked as the families came through was this: Do you currently go to church? If they answered yes, then I encouraged them to keep on going. I never want other churches to think we want them to come to our church instead. There are plenty of non-church going people in our community that we can invite to church. As I would ask that question, I did receive some expressions indicating why I wouldn’t invite them or talk about City Church if they indeed were going to a church already.

I am friends and co-laborers with many of the pastors at our sister churches. We are all doing the same work. We are all in the same business. We are all on the same team. We are all trying to figure out how to make church relevant to a current generation that sees church as irrelevant. that is why we need to be out in the community among the people.

Thom Rainer recently posted on his blog:

The nine signs of a community-focused church are:

  1. Reaches out to community leaders
  2. Intentionality about being where the people are
  3. The community of eating out and coffee houses
  4. Helping where the community says they need it
  5. Intentionally evangelistic
  6. Intentionally invitational
  7. In the key civic groups
  8. In key political meetings
  9. In the schools

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New Galatians Sermon Series

Unknown-2

Sunday, July 24 begins a new journey through the book of Galatians for City Church Del Rio. As we begin to close out the summer, I want us to be prepared for the upcoming fall. You might ask, “why?” Thus fall has been on my heart for City Church Del Rio to begin its growth journey. Every church that was started in the New Testament was a growing church. If we are modeling City Church after the New Testament churches, then we will grow.

Of course, we will be doing our part, which is identify, intercede, invest, and invite those who God lays on your heart to come and be part of this new movement, called City Church Del Rio.

This is called the 4 x 4 challenge

4xFour web banner

                                IDENTIFY  INTERCEDE  INVEST  INVITE

Together, we can be the church God has called us to be.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

10 Traits of Healthy Churches 10 years from now


From Thom Rainer’s Blog:

Ten Traits of the Healthiest Churches Ten Years from NowI am not a prophet.

Please don’t stone me if I get one of these ten traits wrong.

And while there is a good bit of subjectivity in this article, I think I am basing my projections on clear and evident trends.

So, what if we could look into the future ten years from now, and see the characteristics of the healthiest churches in America? Would you be willing to make changes now? Take a look.

1. They have the same pastor they did ten years ago. Pastors, the greenest grass may be the church you serve right now. Church members, quit nitpicking and complaining to pastors so much that they can’t wait to leave.

2. The pastor, staff, and church members have a decade of calling to the local community. They are not just called to the church; they are called to the community the church is intended to serve. They would have loved and served the community for ten years.

3. The church will be as diverse as the community. Look at your demographics now and the projected demographics ten years from now. How diverse is your church?

4. The church will have responded to its international mission field in its own backyard for ten years. The world is coming to America. What is your church doing to reach different people groups in your community? Try sponsoring an ESL (English as a Second Language) class. Watch the world come to you.

5. The church will have had a consistent and strategic outward focus for a decade. The leadership of the church consistently and persistently leads the congregation in outwardly focused ministries and evangelism.

6. All new members the past ten years will have attended a new members’ class. They will thus not only have information about the church; they will have heard expectations of how they are to serve, minister, and give in the church.

7. The church will have seen the cultural changes of the decade as opportunities rather than threats. Rather than ranting every time culture takes a shift away from Christianity, these churches will have used the changes as opportunities to share the gospel and minister.

8. At least 80 percent of the worship attendance will have moved to a small group over the decade. For ten years, leadership in the church will have been highly intentional about moving people to small groups. As a result, assimilation will be at an all-time high.

9. At least 50 percent of the attendance will have invited at least four people to church each year. Over ten years, a church of 200 in attendance will thus have invited 4,000 people or families to church.

10. Every year for ten years these churches will have become more joyous and fun. Church bullies, curmudgeons, control freaks, and critics will not like these churches. The people will just be too happy for their tastes.

Ten years may seem like a long time to some. But it’s really the blink of an eye.

What will your church look like in ten years?

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Freedom in Christ


Freedom means different things to different people. As a citizen of the USA, freedom is taken for granted by so many. We have been free for 240 years as a nation, but that has come with a price for many lives of our men and women of the armed forces. We are truly a blessed nation in the aspect of freedom. 

But, when it comes to be spiritually free in Christ, there are those that have yet to embrace so great a salvation. Why is that? What is it that would keep anyone from believing in the only One who can set you free? It is the same freedom that sets you free that can also keep you in bondage. God has given everyone the ability to choose life or to choose death, spiritually speaking. God has made us free beings with the capacity to choose Him or reject Him. It is called free will. 

Are you free today? Do you want to be free? Choose Jesus now so that you can truly be set free and begin you new life in Christ. 

Stay in the Light,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized