Monday, September 1, 2008

One Year in Puerto Rico!!

Sacrificed or Exchanged Life

I am always intrigued by the exalted place that is given to those who are identified to be living a life that honors Scriptural mandates. While serving in our Greater Grace Church of York County, Pennsylvania with Pastor Duke Horton and his family (1997-2007) we were constantly aware of what “options” seemed to be readily available to believers. Yet it was always clear through the Word that there was a distinct difference between what was supposedly sacrificed versus what reflected an exchanged life. The exchanged life is a Spirit-led life (Gal. 5:16, 25). It is the practical outworking of believing all of the Word and through His operation we experience the life of the Spirit through Phil. 2:13. This always honors all of who God is because Christ is not divided or makes abominations (Proverbs 11:1). Divisions and imbalances happen through my personal supplanting or preference(s) of one spiritual thing/truth over another calling them “options”.

The dawn that arises out of brokenness is inexplicable, ineffable. It is a profound revelation that we belong to a peculiar assembly, the ecclesia of God – a called out one. Brokenness is not confession of sin but the gracious quickening that we have violated, broken and distanced ourselves from Holiness, from the One in whom there is no darkness. Brokenness is the sustained relationship (John 15:4) with the One who has called us out of darkness; drawn us from the miry pit and has now made us to sit in heavenly places in/with His Son. Oh, that I would know that there is no sacrifice that can be given or done by any believer… And none is expected and in fact, it is not possible. He is satisfied with His Son – the Only Sacrifice for which God is well pleased: Jesus, the Lamb: (Matt. 3:17; John 17:4, 19:30, Col. 1:13,14). It is from brokenness we enter the exchanged life.

Sacrifice, readily understood is taxing oneself out of something which could have been kept/used for personal and/or family use and instead turning and offering it up to “God.” But friends that is not what has been given to us freely – Salvation, a right standing with God (Ps. 116:12: What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? :13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD). Oh that we would understand I Sam. 2:8 and live in and walk in our Privileged Priesthood. Upon only one altar God demanded a sacrifice: Calvary – The Cross of Golgotha. No other cross remains, no other altar exists…because God has accepted the Blood of the Lamb. Without spot or blemish—perfect! Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22. Hebrews 10:1-39 is the seal upon the emancipation proclamation of the Christian.

By any “sacrifice,” is heaven made greater, richer, more holy? – impossible! It is appalling to think that we are doing God a favor…or giving Him company by our sacrifice of time to: pray, attend church, availability to evangelism and other areas of ministry. Oh to God that He would have a day or season when He had to get the believer from his/her knees in prayer or from evangelism, or from worship and admonish him/her to go shopping, go do their household chores, seek professional education and other temporal pursuits/security. There is no sacrifice that can be given to cause one to hear from God – the exchanged life cannot live without it… No sacrifice can cause one to be motivated by love and present the Gospel to the unsaved, only the exchanged life can manifest that unfeigned devotion. No sacrifice will cause one to leave father and mother, brother and sister to follow Christ; it is an exchanged life that empowers this response. Galatians 2:20 is this exchanged life… Romans 12:1,2 lest we bring works (a strangled animal, road kill or an animal that died by unknown natural causes: all unacceptable) to the altar. We must note that every sacrifice that is asked of the believer in the New Testament happens as a direct outworking or response to the Holy Spirit’s communion in Christ; the presence and veneration of the Trinity. Our sacrifice then is the unsolicited praise and thanksgiving of the believer as he/she acknowledges God’s work and indwelling life (Heb. 13:15). Let us ask afresh for the Exchanged Life… Will you and I have John 12:3 once and for all or will we keep our “options” open? Break me oh Lord, break me!... Upon the pierced feet, the feet that sought me in my sin and weakness, upon the feet that crushed the head of the Serpent, upon the feet that bears the marks of unrelenting pursuit of my heart; upon the feet of Jesus, break me.


This has been an incredible summer and year! A lot was accomplished. As of September 3rd, we reached our first year on the island. On every side we see the Finished Work of Christ in building His Church. We are so thankful for the Body of Christ's prayers, support and encouragement as we walk forward in the Great Commission...

A miracle among miracles, we were all able to attend our 2008 GGWO International Convention

Cindy's parents in Vermontwith six of the grandchildren. Ron, Cindy's father, has been suffering from chronic illness for seven years and had returned home from a two month hospital stay. During his stay at the hospital, he also fell and broke his hip. Please pray for his health, and wisdom and guidance for the family.

The Matthew kids after many hours of airport stay. Julian Jr. found that traveling on his sister's carry-on bag was more enjoyable than using his own legs. There was a four-hour layover and the flight to PR arrived at 2:30am!!

Some members of our growing Iglesia Greater Grace de Puerto Rico

1st Sargeant Maria and 1st Sargeant "Pancho" Colon (ex-Marines) with Pastor Kevin Cooper. Pastor Kevin covered for me in the month of June, Maria got saved during that visit. Our mid-week services are now being held at the American Legion building as a result of their being added to the Body...

Our first baptisms: Desmond and Immanuel (not shown); Pastor Julian and
Pastor Kevin officiating...

This was a wonderful evening of evangelism...using the beaded bracelets from Christian Farmers, several were led to the Lord. Here Evelyn is leading a lady in the prayer for salvation. Also pictured is Anali.

The intensity of these fathers was great. Christians, themselves, they attend a church in the next town over from Cabo Rojo. With tears in one of the dad's eyes we prayed for one of the boys; he needs medical attention...

Abigail's first day of school. Equipped for the journey, she is on her newest solo mission: to find the tares among the wheat and confront them with truth and the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. --Any comments? we have a section for that!...we are wondering if anyone really reads our blog, now we'll know... :-)

Desmond and his mom, Mary

Peter, a friend to all...

We rejoiced to see so many in attendance; there were thirty of us altogether that Sunday...

The fellowshipping at the Ladies Seminar: (from left to right) Rosa, Maggie and Evelyn

Mary will not be left out...she came out all three nights of the Ladies Seminar. There was a total of 19 ladies attending over the three nights it was held. Thank you Karen Pevac!

All work and no play?... can't do that! At El Faro, the lighthouse, in Cabo was the first time for Cindy and the children. Pictured here are Aliia, Anali, Karen, Julian, Jr., Pastor Julian and Avrynn, (Abigail was at school)...

A small gathering for Julian's birthday in August.