Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Feliz Ano Nuevo - Happy New Year 2014

hapPy NeW yEar ! 2014
Today is the first day of this new year 2014. All of us who read this can pause for a moment and give thanks to our God that we have arrived on the door step of this brand new year that He is giving to us, one day at a time.

And so the story that He is writing in each one of our lives continues with this latest chapter in the Book with our name on it in the Title -  The Life of ______________ (fill in the blank with our own name.)

Whatever age you happen to be, sometime this year you will be one year older than you were last time this year.

That will be true for me as well shortly and I can't help to reflect on the prospect of being one year closer to homegoing (Kingdom of Heaven) than I ever was in my life.  Each new year should remind us of that inevitable fact.  But not to be sad or morbid about it but rather to rejoice in the opportunity for life and for living here on earth for Him for the time He gives us.

As we get older many of us tend to appreciate more each new year of life and even breaking that year down into each new month, week and eventually as some reach their eighties and nineties, day.

So here we are with a whole new year in front of us.  365 blank pages in front of us to write the story of each day upon.  At the end of the year we will have another complete chapter, 365 pages long to add to the story of each of our lives.

On this first page of this year I choose to give God the glory for the life He has given me to live all these years, both the good and the bad.  It all got me to where I am today.  And that is said not with the understanding or proclaiming that everything is just wonderful and nothing more is wanted or desired.  On the contrary.  Their are needs and dreams just like everyone has, who is still among the living.

But in spite of things that are still needed, dreams that are still unfulfilled etc. etc.  It is good to pause for a moment and be able to declare with the Psalmist - "it is well with my soul"

My relationship with the Living God which I know is eternal and which I know has already started here and now in this life, will sustain me for the rest of this year and any other year in the future that the good Lord in His sovereign grace, desires to grant me.

It is for Him and Him alone that we live and move and have our being.

So as we enter this new chapter in the story of each of our lives, let each of us begin anew and afresh and with the right motivation, with God in our hearts as we walk in the personal direction that He has for each one of us, trusting that He who began a good work in us, will complete it.  Amen.


Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Day of The Year 2013

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31


Where are you this last day of 2013?

I am here in Juarez, Mexico.  I have been here this time in Juarez since mid-September, 2013 when I arrived to begin our first trimester of courses in our Bible School - Instituto Biblico Juarez.

We have just a few more classes to go to complete our first trimester and although I would like to report that everyone who started back in October will be finishing with us in just a couple of weeks, unfortunately that is not the case.  A few have dropped out.

Not everyone who begins a race always finishes.

Some drop out when the going gets tough and never get to cross the finish line.  Their are many reasons for that.  But those who do finish what they start, prove to themselves, to God  and to others that they have what it takes.

These are the kinds of people God is looking for to lead others.  Not those who quit half way through what they have started, for whatever reason they can come up with to justify themselves.

The word for today is not to quit when the going gets tough but keep going in spite of the difficulties that can and will present themselves to discourage you.

Believe me, I have had my share of them myself and yet the Lord has encouraged me to continue with this work of making disciples of those willing to make the sacrifices and pay the price of their time and energy and commitment.

The School will continue and those who have stayed the course and completed what they started will move into a new category as we begin Trimester 2.

We will also be re-starting Trimester 1 from Class 1 to new students that we have begun to recruit.  The plan is to run both Trimesters simultaneously, something I have never attempted before.  But with God I know it is possible.

Our start date for Trimesters 1 & 2, Lord willing, will be the week of February 3, 2014.

We will be offering our students who completed Trimester 1, 6 new courses.

This is a 5 trimester curriculum leading to an Associates Degree in Ministry and students who complete these trimesters will be equipped to minister effectively here in Juarez and beyond as the Lord will direct them.

That is the vision and we continue to believe God that it will come to pass regardless of the obstacles that present themselves, that are inevitable in works such as this.

Our Great Commission is to make disciples...


Matthew 28:19-20

New King James Version (NKJV)
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.


Let us continue to be about our Father's business, thanking Him for what we have accomplished so far and believing Him, that what He has started, He will add to and complete in the days ahead.

We look forward to what He has in store for us in this coming New Year of 2014 which begins tonight at one stroke past mid-night when we all shout "Happy New Year !"  Giving Him the Glory for all He is and All He does. - Amen.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Almost Time For a New Year !

2013 - Year in Review;

Well a whole nuther year is almost completely behind us.  Only two more days to go and Lord willing we will get a whole new year to give God the glory for.

This past year of 2013 started out for me with a mission trip from my hometown of Buffalo, NY to Juarez,  Mexico back in February.

I arrived back in Juarez on February 14, 2013 to begin making plans for a vision God gave me of a two day conference to be held at a big auditorium in Juarez called the Benito Juarez Auditorium.

The theme of the conference was based on Ezekiel Chapter 37;  "Can these dry bones live?"

The vision was to proclaim that Yes ! - Juarez can and will live again !  We called the conference, "Juarez Vive !" ( Juarez Lives ! ).

With our two local bands; Puertas del Cielo and a very popular local band known as Heller and our 3 special speakers;  Pastor Steven Brewer, Bishop William Dockery and Pastor Henry Becerra we brought a night of revival to the  pastors of Juarez and the saints of Juarez who came out that evening to join us for this very special night of blessings.  The Holy Spirit was in the House and we believe hearts were changed and lives encouraged by God's presence in the music and in the preaching of His Word.  We believe that it did not go out void and it did accomplish the purpose for which it was sent.









In the days after the event I began to pray about what was next?  What God began speaking to my heart about was "discipleship."  I began to make plans for holding a bi-lingually based course on the Book of Romans that I had held before here on a previous mission.  This time I felt a more serious sustained effort was called for.  Students were found that expressed interest in attending and then for the next 10 weeks we studied the Book of Romans, taught on DVD by Rev. Paul Johannson former President of the Bible School that I attended and graduated from myself, Elim Bible Institute.


Our Book of Romans classroom.


Local Pastor and new friend after the conference,  Clemente Talamantes 
teaching a course on the Pentateuch in his building 
that he allowed us to hold our Bible School in.





I joined Pastor Talamantes for weekly evangelistic meeting 
in the plaza square in El Centro


After the completion of this great course on Romans I left Juarez for a season away from Juarez, first flying to Seattle, Wa. a city that I had lived in a number of years back in the 1970's and early 80's, a second hometown of mine.  My reason for going back there was two-fold; to visit some old friends there that I hadn't seen in a while and to finally after 27 years of walking with the Lord as a born-again Christian and minister'/missionary I became officially ordained for Ministry in the same church that I was saved in back in October of 1986.

                                                         
         










After a month back in the Pacific Northwest I flew back to hometown Buffalo to prepare once again for another return to Juarez in the Fall to begin our first official trimester of courses at what I now felt was the next step, a five trimester curriculum Bible School in which we would offer 5 courses in our first trimester and continue on for a full 5 trimesters which would conclude in the presentation of an Associate Degree in Ministry to anyone who would step up to the plate and do the required work and study to complete these courses over the next 5 trimesters.

I gave the name Instituto Biblico Juarez ( The Juarez Bible Institute)  to this new bible school effort here in Juarez.

While I was back in Buffalo God began to set me up for a major blessing.  It began by my offering to do some exterior painting on the Word of Life Church on W. Utica St. pastored by Pastor William Tobin a good friend and brother in the Lord who has been a blessing to me before and since then.  At one point during my time back in Buffalo and while painting his church I was asked to preach there on a particular Sunday which was a blessing in itself.

What I didn't expect was what followed.  On the monday after preaching there I was called by Pastor Bill to inform me that a brother in the church who was in attendance on Sunday had decided to bless me with a vehicle for my missions work in Juarez.





You can guess I was excited about the possibilities if it was a vehicle that I could count on for good transportation.  Well I remember what Pastor Bill said on the phone when I asked him concerning the condition of this gift of a vehicle.  he responded by saying, "Oh, I think you are going to like this one."

And he was correct in his assumption.  Turns out it was a 2001 Nissan Xterra with less than 42,000 original miles on it.  In mid-September I began driving back to Juarez, Mexico, a journey of about 1,961 driving miles if you go in the straightest line but I took a route that took me down to Hendersonville, NC then to Asheville, NC and then Spartanburg, SC. then over to Cleveland, Tenn. and then to Dallas, TX and then to San Antonio, TX and then to Carlsbad NM and finally to El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico which may have been just a tad bit longer,  back to the mission work that awaited me of starting up a Bible School in that city.



Departing Buffalo


Buffalo behind me...


Back in Juarez - mid September, 2013






As of this writing we are a few classes away from completing our first Trimester and students are eager to begin Trimester 2  which I am planning on presenting in early February, our Spring Trimester which will run to the end of April, 2014.  Then the plan is for me to return back to hometown Buffalo for another breather and preparation stage for yet another return to the mission field of Juarez, Mexico.

Well, so much for looking backward to what was.  It's time to begin focusing on "What will be, Lord willing in the days ahead in this new coming year of 2014.  Wishing everyone who reads this, a year in which your dreams will come true even as I see that continuing to happen for me.  In Jesus Name, blessings to all.

Friday, December 27, 2013

We Visited The Kids at Rivers of Mercy Here in Juarez Last Night - A Great Time With Them

We had a great time last night as we visited Rivers of Mercy Children's Home here in Juarez, Mexico.  We brought the kids popcorn and candy and hot chocolate and we sang songs with them as we shared the Love of God with each other this Christmas.

You can visit them on their blogsite @  http://juarezkids.blogspot.com









                                                         

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas ! - Or as they say in here in Mexico: "Feliz Navidad"

We celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ! this year of 2013,

MERRY CHRISTMAS - FELIZ NAVIDAD !


Isaiah 9:6-7

New King James Version (NKJV)
 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mid Term Exams Have Taken Place

Christmas season 2013 has begun here in Juarez, Mexico as it has elsewhere in the world.  


Each year we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Yes it is true that much of the world's focus is still on gift giving and receiving but we as Christians know we have already received our greatest gift, that of salvation through our Lord and Savior who's "birthday" we celebrate this time each year.

Many who have accepted Christ's free offer of salvation have decided to pursue formal studies of the Bible, God's Word to us.  They have made the commitment to enroll in formal Bible Schools where the Word of God is taught and hearts and lives are changed by the hearing, learning and applying  of it.

Such is the case here at Instituto Biblico Juarez where recently in October, 2013 we began offering our first official trimester of courses.

We are now pleased to report that we have given our mid-term exams for the two of the three courses we have been offering these past weeks here in Juarez.

As founder/director of this Bible School here in Juarez, Mexico, I am pleased to report that everyone did well as they were tested on two of three courses so far;  Foundations of Life and New Testament Survey.

Our students still need to be tested on our third course, Supernatural Living, a course on the Holy Spirit,  which we will get to when next we meet.

Also, some further exciting news, we have new students that are enrolling!

The mom of one of our students has recently enrolled and has already participated in 3 classes and a Christian brother in the Lord named Joel, who blessed us with his gift of worship/guitar playing and singing,  attended for the first time yesterday, with the promise that he believes others will also attend, as he gets the word out to those he knows.

Things are looking up for future students to join us in what is happening here at Instituto Biblico Juarez.

If you are reading this it is because you know me and the work I have been doing and continue to do here. We thank you for your prayers and possible support (our contact information can be found in the side- bar) of what we are doing here in Juarez - making disciples in Jesus name.

Won't you prayerfully consider doing that to help us with our basic needs here.  Our operating budget which includes living expenses; building rental, utilities,  the use of a phone, and vehicle here, (basic necessities) is still remarkably very low, less than $500 per month, if you can believe that, but it still needs to be met (currently living and operating on less than that amount) and we continue to trust God to help us with at least that amount each month,  as we look to faithful monthly support  of any small amount from brothers and sisters such as yourself.

Thank you for your considerations and  prayers and may your Christmas season be all you hope it to be.  Let's focus on and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas together; Emmanuel, God with us.




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bible School Underway Here in Juarez, Mexico

We are back here in Juarez, Mexico hosting our first official Trimester of courses at Instituto Biblico Juarez ( The Juarez Bible Institute ).

After arriving here in mid September I hit the ground running as God opened doors for me helping me locate my current living accommodations; a 3 room apartment that my friend Pastor Julio negotiated for me through his landlord for a very low monthly rental.  He and his family live right next door to me in this gated area where I am able to safely keep my vehicle which is parked most of the time right next to my bedroom window.

For the first time in my missions work in Juarez, Mexico over the past 14 years I am able to say that I have my own personal vehicle here with me for transportation, a gift from God through the generous heart of a wonderful Christian brother in the Lord back in my hometown of Buffalo, NY.  I don't drive it every day however due to the cost and expense of gasoline but when the finances are there for it and I have a need to drive somewhere the Nissan Xterra is a good way to get there.

After recruiting students we began holding classes on Saturdays at a church called Vida Nueva.  It was a nice facility with plenty of room and even with a big screen on which to project our bi-lingual dvd courses to our students.  But because of the travel distance of about 12 miles each way for myself and our students we decided to hold classes in my home.  By adding some chairs I was able to convert one of the rooms into our classroom.  For the 10 students who have made this weekly commitment for the next 12 weeks this will be our location.  I am continually praying that as time goes on God will draw more students to this discipleship program that we are offering students from all Christian churches here in Juarez.

Here are some photos of my vehicle and accommodations and classroom and students.  Praying that God continues with His hand of blessing on the kingdom work we are doing in Jesus name here in Juarez, Mexico.