Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Shocking Response

I had a rather surprising reaction on Tuesday evening. A group of us were going from house to house sharing the Gospel. It was dark but there are plenty of street lights. I was approaching a home which has a wooden door with a decorative, oval-shaped window. As I walked up the sidewalk, I noticed a woman (probably in her early 60s) seated on the opposite side of the room. She saw me at the same time, jumped out of her seat and came running to the door. The door slammed shut, though I had not even noticed it was open until that moment. As the boom of the closing door echoed, a metallic or glass object hit the floor just inside the door. I called out that she needn't be alarmed since I was just offering her a Gospel tract. She was so upset I just left the tract at the door and walked away. Meanwhile two other women inside the home began laughing uncontrollably. As I visited the next two homes, I could still hear the laughter. I can honestly say I have never provoked such a response at any other visit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Hope of All People

On Sunday, December 9, I preached on Luke 1:5-25. The message highlighted the various groups or individuals mentioned in the text and how the expectation of the coming Messiah impacted them. God describes Zachariah and Elizabeth as just or saved. This declaration of righteous standing before God is characteristic of all who by faith receive God's offer of salvation. The demonstration of their righteousness is their faithful observance of God's law. In other words, this is the fruit not the root of their salvation. The sincere expectation of this couple for the Messiah is overshadowed by their personal frustration in not having a child. The angel, Gabriel, informs them of God's special blessing in giving them a child. Naturally speaking there is no way this can be. Zachariah expresses his lack of faith in this promise and is rebuked by Gabriel. It seems that Gabriel cannot believe that Zachariah cannot believe this word from Jehovah God. The angels of God had lived for all eternity with the expectation of the Messiah's arrival. Knowing that John was to announce the arrival of the Messiah, the angels are eager to see God's plan unfold. Gabriel's surprise at Zachariah's doubt is indicative of his complete confidence in the message God have given him. Certainly our confidence in the Word should be equally resolute. So many of God's promises have been fulfilled, we should never doubt His ability and determination to keep His Word. The Christmas story should remind us of the Messiah's Second Coming. Included in the promises for this and subsequent events are both enjoyable and terrifying promises. Considering this, Peter asks, "What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?" (2 Peter 3:11). May God's promises inspire holy living in each of us and a desire to reach the lost with the Good News of Salvation.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good News!

Good News is what the Gospel is. The good news becomes still better when it brings conviction and salvation to a heart. We have seen 3 people trust the Lord in recent days. Pray for the spiritual growth of these three young ladies.

We have started a children's Bible club on Thursday evenings. Our attendances so far have been 25 and 22. We are excited to see our youth group take the lead in this ministry. Our desire is to see souls saved and whole families added to the church.

Chu is a member whose health is steadily failing. He has cancer and has been through the treatments, but to no avail. He is ready to meet the Lord and is waiting His timing.

The spirit of our church is good. We are anticipating the Lord's continued blessing and covet your prayers to that end.

Our daughter Bethany will be marrying Chester Ortiz on May 30. We will begin marriage counseling soon. They desire to serve the Lord together and are already being used of the Lord in several ministries here. Pray for them in these days of planning and preparation.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tidbits from PR

This is finals week at BJU. Nathan has several exams he would like you to remember to pray about. On Monday he has Calculus 2 and needs an A to preserve his grade. On Thursday is his Geometry test which is also important for him to do well on. He departs from Greenville on Friday morning and will arrive here at 1:30 PM EST. We are all excited since we have not seen him for a whole year.

This week we visited a gentleman who fell from his roof the Sunday before Thanksgiving and nearly died as a result. He has some memory loss and some behavioral abnormalities. Jaime is also in need of Christ. His mind is not clear enough yet to truly understand the Gospel. His wife was very attentive during our visit. She claims to be saved but has drifted away for the Lord. She promised to be in church today and kept her word and brought her husband along! After the service Margaret spoke to me about her need to get right with the Lord. Keep both of these folks in your prayers.

A few weeks ago I mentioned a young man who visited the church who has an ongoing drug problem. He has a court hearing tomorrow, but we are not praying for him to get away with anything. Rather our request is that the Lord would do whatever it might take to bring him to true repentance. I'll not mention his name, but would appreciate your prayers.

Chu is still battling cancer. He is at home and receiving hospice care. His spirit is good, but he is unable to get out to church. His kidneys have resumed their duties after a complete shutdown a few weeks ago. We did some Christmas caroling at his home last week to ensure he does not feel left out.

Monday, November 8, 2010


For the past week we have had rain, rain, rain. The hurricane Tomas did not strike us directly, but it has left us soaked and more rain is on the way. On Friday evening the streets were all flooded with water covering the curbs. Youth meeting was poorly attended as a result. In addition two young ladies were absent because their mother was in the hospital due to severe asthma. Esperanza has a chronic and severe problem with asthma. Please pray for her.

Herminia is recovering from shoulder surgery. She will be laid up for a while before she is able to get around comfortably.

Pray also for Alvino. He heard the Gospel last Tuesday and was very receptive. Several others showed interest in the tracts we gave them, though we were unable to have an extended conversation with them. We are trusting the Lord to do His work in these lives.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Teen Meeting

Last Friday we hosted a youth meeting in our home. We've been averaging about 8 to 10 each Friday, but this last meeting was attended by about 22 people (including our family). At least one of these was an unsaved teen. He also came to church on Sunday! Pray for Kevin to respond to the Spirit's prompting. We enjoyed some good food, good Scripture songs, Bible study, and some fun and games. Everyone had a great time. It was good to have such a break out attendance, but our desire is for the Lord to reach each teen at the point of his or her greatest need. Pray with us.

One of our church members suffered a serious fall last week. Herminia is 79 and rather weak. Her episode of imbalance caused her to break her right arm and shoulder in 3 places. The accident occurred last Wednesday, surgery was on Thursday, and she was sent home Friday morning. She is rather sore and somewhat discouraged. Teresa visited her in the hospital on Thursday evening just after we found out about the fall. I was on my way to pick up folks for the midweek service, so I didn't get to see her until Sunday afternoon. She will be sidelined for a bit, but we hope to encourage her to keep trusting in the Lord for strength.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Additional Prayer Requests

The past few weeks have yielded some excellent contacts. Please pray for the following:

Sharon -- She needs to be saved but has many questions. We contacted her through our visitation program. She cares for her elderly mother and does not get out much, but the Lord allowed us to share the Gospel with her in detail. We hope to renew contact with her soon.

Andrés -- He attended our school years ago. As an adult he faces a number of problems and questions that trouble him. He came by the office today and we talked for well over an hour. He knows the Gospel, but wants to resolve certain questions. Pray that he will trust Christ soon.

Javier -- The Lord lead us to him tonight on visitation. He could have made many excuses, but the Lord had planted a seed of interest in him that caused him to want to listen. Teresa and I shared the Gospel with him and exhorted him to trust Christ.

God is working in hearts. Problems are a part of each of these stories. These difficulties are the backdrop on which the mercy and love of God shine brightly. Praise the Lord for drawing souls out of the darkness into His marvelous light.