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Do you need Assurance? To Believe or not to Believe…

When it comes to your faith, all of need some assurance that what we say we believe in is the real thing. IMG_4063

Everyone believes in something. You must believe in something in order to survive in this life. When you go to sleep at night, you believe you will wake up in the morning. Nothing that we have in all scientific evidence guarantees that we will awake to a new day once we fall asleep.

When you sit down in a chair, you believed that the chair would hold you. You never thought that maybe you have exceeded the weight limit once you sat down.

When you placed your key in the ignition switch of your vehicle to go somewhere, you believe that it will start, even though most of us have no clue how that is even possible.

So, don’t tell me you don’t believe in things you don’t have a full understanding of. We all believe in something that is bigger than ourselves.

I want you to know that you can believe in the Bible, which portrays to us, a magnificent God, who is madly in love with us. You can believe it!

Lightness or Darkness, Love or Hate, Jesus or Satan, Righteousness or Sin, Life or Death, Truth or False, and To Believe or not To Believe. Be Assured! God has revealed Himself to the world!

This from 1 John 5:

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Concluding Affirmations

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

You can believe today! Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Ordination Service

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This Sunday City Church Del Rio will have the privilege of ordaining 4 pastors into the gospel ministry. 2 of the pastors are on the ministerial staff of City Church, while one is on the mission field, yet very active at City Church, and the other pastor is an interim pastor in Eagle Pass.

in the short history of City Church Del Rio, we have been blessed with so many opportunities to honor God and this is just one more. Ordination of these 4 men will be a milestone for us, and I believe will set City Church up as a church who recognizes the gifts God has already bestowed upon those going into the ministry and those already in the ministry.

I will be preaching from Ephesians 4:11-16, titled Set Apart to Equip the Saints.

E.V. Hill, pastor of Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, CA. for 42 years before he died in 2003, said this: “I had one of those purple haired older widow ladies that was always sitting up front at every church service.” She was always speaking back to me as I preached. She would say things like ‘Amen, and Alleluia, and preach it.’ But the one thing that I admired about her was this. Whenever I decided to get off the path of keeping Jesus lifted up, she let me know. This is what she would say: “Get Him Up There, now Get Him Up there.”

As pastors we are to “Get Him Up There,” which means that we make sure Jesus is the One being exalted, and no-one else.

As you minister where you are I pray you always have someone in your life to remind you to “Get Him Up There.”

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Hacksaw Ridge

Today’s post is from Jim Denison’s cultural commentary. I can hardly wait to see this upcoming film.

Hacksaw Ridge is Mel Gibson’s new film. It tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a World War II army medic who refused to bear arms but received the Medal of Honor after he saved dozens of his fellow soldiers. The movie was shown at the Venice International Film Festival last Saturday. According to USA Today, the audience gave Gibson a ten-minute standing ovation when the film ended.

It was my privilege to see Hacksaw Ridge at a private showing a few days ago, then participate in a discussion with Gibson. I don’t remember ever being as moved by a movie as I was by his film. Looking back, I can identify three reasons for my response.

Part of my reaction was the realism with which Gibson depicts the violence of the battle scenes. Hacksaw Ridge is a cliff-like formation on the island of Okinawa, Japan. It was the scene of a two-week struggle between US and Japanese soldiers. Gibson told our group that he depicted the war violence with such realism in order to demonstrate the atrocities Doss faced and the courage he displayed.

A second reason for my visceral reaction is the fact that my father, a World War II veteran, fought with the Army in the South Pacific. He would not discuss what he experienced with our family. Like so many veterans, he could not put into words what he went through. I have visited several World War II museums and had a sense of what the Pacific theater was like, but the movie brought home my father’s suffering in a way that moved me deeply. It made me realize again the immeasurable sacrifice so many continue to make in defending our nation and our freedoms around the world.

A third factor is the story of Desmond Doss himself. His commitment to his Christian faith and specifically to nonviolence resonated powerfully throughout the film. He risked his life in the most horrific circumstances imaginable to save his fellow soldiers and to serve his Lord. I agree with Greg Laurie: “This is the most positive portrayal of a Christian in a mainstream film that I have seen since Chariots of Fire.”

I hope you’ll see Hacksaw Ridge when it opens in theaters November 4. As I have noted, the war violence it depicts is very realistic. But the story it tells is truly one for the ages.

During our group discussion, I asked Mel Gibson why he chose to make the film. He explained that Desmond Doss’s heroic faith so moved him that he felt compelled to tell his story to the world. He noted that more than 80 percent of Americans identify as Christians, yet Hollywood very seldom presents our faith in a positive light.

Our culture deserves to see authentic Christianity. “How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” (Romans 10:14). Desmond Doss was willing to pay any price to follow Jesus. Now it’s our turn.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7

Pastor Larry

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Community

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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

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Vacation Bible School @ City Church 2016

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What a great week we had at our MEGA Sports Camp 2016. God allowed us to minister to more than 90 children, with an average attendance of 70 per night! I am always amazed at what God can do when we choose to serve the community. We had participation from many adults and youth as the kids learned about soccer, football, basketball, cheerleading, and cooking. The main thing was that we were able to share the Gospel of Jesus with all of them as well. That was the most significant part of the week for me. What an opportunity we have to follow up and minister to families that aren’t connect to a church or God.

Check our our Facebook Page HERE and see all the pictures and videos from the week. We are also having another VBS in July and you can REGISTER HERE for that great opportunity as well. You can check out everything City Church has to offer by visiting our webpage HERE

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Married for Life

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On May 24, 2016,  my wife Lucy and I celebrated our 33rd year of marriage. It is hard to imagine where all the time has gone. We have had a great life together. God has truly blessed our marriage.

When we met in 1982 as two young teenagers. We could have never known what God had in store for us. We have had the privilege of serving our country for 7 years in the U.S. Army. We were stationed in El Paso, Alaska, and Indiana. After that I worked for the Department of Defense for 8 years in Indiana and at Ft. Hood, Texas.

When we started to get serious about our relationship with God, He started to get serious with us and ministry. After a few years of back and forth with God, we finally surrendered to that call to serve Him in vocational ministry. We sold our house, belongings, and left much of what we considered comfort for the call to ministry. We started by going to school at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. The rest has been service to God and His people in many churches throughout Texas. First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Cleburne, First Baptist Church of Azle, First Baptist Church of Spearman, Lakeshore Drive Baptist Church in Weatherford, First Baptist Church of Del Rio, and currently City Church Del Rio.

Through it all, my beautiful bride has been there by my side. 3 children, and 3 grandchildren later, I couldn’t be in a more loving, healthy, and awesome marriage. God has been good to me. Thank you Luz Esther Sierra-Floyd for 33 years of wonderful bliss!

Just for kicks here is a picture more than a few pounds ago and a current pic as well!

FullSizeRender 3.jpg  May 24, 1983IMG_2791.jpg April 10, 2016

Stay in The Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Vacation Bible School

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Vacation Bible School is just around the corner! We at City Church are excited for all of you coming this year to our sports themed VBS. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so HERE

Hope to see you there!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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