Marriage is a lifetime commitment that should be enter into with God, prayer, hope, diligence, and with professional marriage guidance from a marriage coach. If you jump into a marriage apart from God, prayer, hope, and a marriage coach, your chances of making the lifetime commitment drastically diminish. You enter into this important decision with your own agenda, meaning you have everything all worked out already.
My advice for all couples seriously considering marriage is to prepare to take a look at your heart and soul of who you are. We are good at allowing the good side of our personalities exposed during courtship in order to woo someone to us. The person you are uniting with deserves the real you before you say I do. Prepare by taking an inventory form a marriage coach and allow the marriage coach to walk you through some excesses so that when real life knocks on your door, you know what to do.
This Sunday, Sep 29, 2019, marks the end of an amazing time in my life as lead pastor of City Church Del Río. God has been so faithful and gracious to me and my family, as well as to our ministry staff. In 2015, about 20 people started a new work, with the hope of creating a new direction for the community of Del Río. Now 4 years later and 5 different address changed, I can look back and see the Hand of God and His mighty power in the people of City Church Del Río! We had so much help along the way from many friends and many churches who came to Del Río to love on us. God has called me to El Paso for a new adventure, but I sure am Going to miss my church. We have one of the most amazing churches that I have ever been associated with. It’s all about the people, not so much about the pastor.
Today is September 11, 2019, just 18 years after the tragedy of the bombing of the world trade center. What an awakening moment in the life of our country. We will never forget and we will always remember the lives lost and the actions of our police, fire, military, chaplains, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and civilians, who gave all they had on that day that changed us.
I want to address the tragedy that is ongoing in the life of pastors. Pastors are a group of men and women who also have given their lives for cause of others. They work tireless hours, being available 24/7, and rarely have true time off or vacation time. In light of recent events of pastors falling into temptation, and now even taking their own life due to mental illness, I came across Thom Rainer’s daily post, entitled “How pastors discern their true friends.” We as pastors have to do a better job of taking time off and protecting it, spending more quality time with our families (this is a whole other subject in and in itself), and finding ways to engage with friends who will keep us in check.
As I am embarking upon a new position to become the Executive Director of the El Paso Baptist Association, I am challenged to be a friend to our pastors of the many Baptist Churches of El Paso. We need each other. We need to cooperate with each other. We need, we need, we need. We are afraid to admit that at times for fear of appearing weak. Pastors always want to make a good impression of being strong and having their lives all together. The Pastor is an endangered specie. Pastors are leaving the ministry in record numbers. More churches are pastorales than ever before. More pastors are now bi-vocational as well, since giving is at an all time low.
When you think about your pastor, please, please, please, pray for them. They are people too. They have needs too.
Well, God did it again. He decided that we had been at our old building long enough. We lasted a whole 18 months there. After outgrowing the facility rather quickly, God quickly opens the doors to a new place for us to worship. It has been amazing so far to say the least.
Young and old worshiping together to bring glory to His name! What a wonderful time of worship! It still awes me to think that this is real!
We had a great Easter Sunday. 2 Services, 3 Baptisms, and egg hunt for the littles. I wasn’t sure that a 9 am service would be well attended when we started back in January, but God knew what He was doing as always. Our 9 am service is populating very well. Since the beginning of 2 services comes growing pains again.
Being at 80% capacity already on several Sundays, we have begun to pray about a 3rd service. But in steps God. We have been offered to move to a new location that is 2 times our current size! The church has been so generous to us and is offering much of the amenities to stay at the building including the chairs, which is usually a large cost to churches. We found out last week that everything is a go, so onward we go.
I always let my humanness get in the way at times like these. I was worried about how we would sell our current facilities. God came through with flying colors as usual. We found another church who had been looking for a church building for 2 years. They have already agreed to terms and we are in contract with the buyers of our church and in contract with the sellers of the new location to be!
I have been preaching through the book of Acts, and have noticed how powerful the work of the Holy Spirit was in the early church. When they prayed and relied on the Holy Spirit, God came though. Acts 4:31-After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
We are truly experiencing an earthquake moment of God. 4 churches are about to be changed by way of location. 2 churches are merging into 1 church, and the other 2 churches are moving into their new locations. This will all transpire June 2, as each church will begin a new chapter in there perspective churches.
“Follow Jesus on the journey he has planned for you, and invite your people along.”
“When God called me to plant a church, he intended for me to go on a journey with him. The beginning and end of this journey are not results, but the love of God in Christ. That is the promised land! Church planting is uncomfortable and dangerous work. When Jesus calls you to take it up, he intends to draw near in previously unknown ways. If you’re willing to respond in your soul to where God is calling you, you can take people with you.”
I came across this statement while doing some online reading about church planting. After 3 1/2 years of church planting in Del Rio, I sensed this statement was written just for me. I have never been comfortable as a church planter, having served in traditional churches my entire time as a minister. For me, City Church Del Rio had to be very different than what I knew as church. I needed to experience a total reliance upon God like I never have before. I need others to come along and join me in this experience.
The reason I say that I have been uncomfortable is because church planting goes against my every being of the way I do things. Growing up in a very structured household, and then having served 7 plus year in the US Army, I always have know structure as a way of life. Don’t get me wrong, there is some sense of structure to church planting, it just isn’t as visible as what I would call normal structure. Church planting has allowed me to do things I would never do in a normal church structure. I am allowed to lead others to dream with me and even though it may really seem impossible, God allows me and those of my team to make sense of it through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I plan to expand some more on my journey as a church planter in the upcoming days and weeks so that you may be able to catch a glimpse of the God I have so enjoyably been able to walk with.
On Jan 27, 2019, I will begin to preach a 2 year journey through the book of Acts. This will be my longest book study to date. I am super excited about what the Lord will do through this journey. Acts is an amazing account of the early church and its foundations.
What we can glean is yet to be determined. As we have embarked upon a second worship service at City Church Del Rio, this Sermon Series is going to propel us into our next phase as a church. Moving past our smallness and into bigger things God has for us, including filling up 2 worship services. CCDR will look extremely different in 2019. New faces, new people coming to know Jesus as their own Lord, more baptisms, and much more.
Will you begin to pray for City Church Del Rio to make a big impact on the community? It really isn’t about our church, but it is about Jesus!
Here is the line up for 2019:
Jan 27, 2017—The Day of Promise, Acts 1:1-11
Feb 3, 2019—Choosing a Leader, Acts 1:12-26
Feb 10, 2019—The Day of Power, Acts 2:1-13
Feb 17, 2019—Peter’s Bold Stance, part 1, Acts 2:14-21
Feb 24, 2019—Peter’s Bold Stance, part 2, Acts 2:22-35
Mar 3, 2019—Peter’s Bold Stance, part 3, 2:36-47
Mar 10, 2019—Give Them Jesus, Acts 3:1-10
Mar 17, 2019—It is Time to Listen, Acts 3:11-26
Mar 24, 2019—Not Everyone Will Listen, Acts 4:1-12
Mar 31, 2019—Follow God, not Man, Acts 4:13-22
Apr 7, 2019—Pray in the Spirit, 4:23-31
Apr 14, 2019—It’s all God’s, Acts 4:32-37
Apr 21, 2019—Easter Sunday
Act 28, 2019—Think Before You Lie, Acts 5:1-11
May 5, 2019—The Church at Work, Acts 5:12-16
May 12, Mother’s Day
May 19, 2019—In Jesus Name, Acts 5:17-42
May 26, 2019—Leading the Church, Acts 6:1-7
Jun 2, 2019—Speak the Truth, Acts 6:8-15
Jun 9, 2019—Stephen’s Sets the Record Straight, part 1, Acts 7:1-16
Jun 16, 2019—Father’s Day
Jun 23, 2019—Stephen’s Sets the Record Straight, part 2, Acts 7:17-29
Jun 30, 2019—Stephen’s Sets the Record Straight, part 3, Acts 7:30-53
Jul 7, 2019—Jesus Takes a Stand, Acts 7:54-8:3
Jul 14, 2019—The Spread of the Gospel, Acts 8:4-25
Jul 21, 2019—Understanding The Gospel, Acts 8:26-40
Jul 28, 2019—Who is Saul? Acts 9:1-19
Aug 4, 2019—Total Transformation, Acts 9:20-31
Aug 11, 2019—Healing the Sick, Acts 9:32-43
Aug 18, 2019—Peter the Pillar, part 1, Acts 10:1-8
Aug 25, 2019—Peter the Pillar, part 2, Acts 10:9-33
Sep 1 2019—Peter the Pillar, part 3, Acts 10:34-48
Sep 8, 2019—Testifying, Acts 11:1-18
Sep 15, 2019—Multiplication by Persecution, Acts 11:19-30