Tag: Think on These Things

“LOVE IS NOT A CHORE, IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY”

“Love is not a chore, it’s an opportunity.”
The Lord spoke to my heart, “You almost missed that.”
Years ago, as a Marine still on active duty, I got home late one night after a long day. It was about 10 PM when I walked through the door and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my four-year-old daughter, Arianna, was still awake. We were excited to see each other, so we played and talked for about ten or fifteen minutes.
Now, playtime is over and I tell Arianna it’s bedtime. I picked her up and as I started to make the trek to her room, this was the jist of our ensuing conversation.
Arianna: Daddy, would you read me a bedtime story? Daddy reading book
Me: No, honey, it’s already late.
Arianna: Please…
Me (sticking to my guns): Nope.
Arianna: Please, please, please…
Me: Not tonight, honey. I still haven’t eaten yet, and I have to wash up.
Arianna (not giving up hope): Please! Just a short one.
Me: Honey, I still have to get my uniform ready for tomorrow.
(I laid her down and prayed over her, I thought I had won. Silly me.)
Arianna: Okay then, would you at least read me a story out of the children’s bible storybook? (Man, even for a four-year-old, this was low.)  With her adjusted strategy, Arianna played the guilt-card and bushwhacked me with a plea for a story from the bible. No one can say “No” to that! So, I grabbed the storybook and I began reading the story of Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine and how his mother, Mary, told the disciples to do whatever Jesus said. At this point, Arianna interrupted me, “Daddy, who was Mary married to?” Without much thought I said, “Mary was married to Joseph.” Then she blindsided me with, “If Mary was married to Joseph, then why did she have God’s baby?”
As her question dawned on me, mild panic and anxiety came over me and I was frozen momentarily. How do I answer this to a four-year-old? Do I try to get deep and try explain the virgin-birth? What’s an appropriate answer for her age??? The seconds ticked by and images of her fallen faith ran through my mind. “Oh man! Her future faith is gonna hinge on my answer! Aaaggghhhh!”
As I fumbled in my mind for possible, acceptable answers, Arianna interrupted me again. “Daddy! Daddy! Listen to my heart!” I put my ear to her chest, listened to her heartbeat, and said, “I can hear it. It’s going ‘Boom-Boom-Bam… Boom-Boom-Bam!’” She giggled gleefully and said, “Oh wow! Jesus must be in there jammin’!” It seemed like within the next breath she was fast asleep. (Whew!)
Although I was greatly relieved for not having to answer her question, joy, warmth, and wonder filled my heart in the following, brief moments. It was a small, but priceless event that I knew had altered my heart in some way. It was then that I felt the Spirit of the Lord speak to me. “You almost missed that.”
He showed me that my perspective, as I approached her bedtime, was skewed because I was focused on myself — tired, hungry, impatient — and that moment almost never happened. I saw very clearly that I had been looking at reading to Arianna as a chore, a bother, a burden. God spoke right into my spirit-man, “Love is not a chore, it’s an opportunity.”
Honestly, the revelation of that moment — and so many more with my wife and daughters — is forever seared in my memory, in a very special place within my heart. Reading to my kids, talking with them, and playing with them are not chores. Doing the dishes is not a chore. Giving my wife a massage or foot-rub is not a chore. These are opportunities! Opportunities to love, to demonstrate selflessness, instead of selfishness… to lay down my life! This brings me newfound depth to Jesus’ words, “No one has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13)
Our heavenly Father gave!
– “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus gave!
– “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
I don’t believe that “loving” is a chore to God. He is love. (1Jn 4:8) And, He forever looks for opportunities to love. Also, I don’t believe that “loving” was a chore to Christ, but more of a direct reflection of His nature. He suffered and He endured because of the love-relationship possibilities that would forever be established and available to all who run to Him!
How about you? And me? Do we have shallow perspectives of love? Isn’t it interesting that the bible also says those who try to save their lives end up losing them, and those who lose their lives for the sake of others end up saving theirs? (Mt 16:25)
Go forth… and remember that “Love is not a chore, it’s an opportunity.”
In closing…
Beloved, thank you for your continued prayers of faith. Your prayers do make a difference!
Please know that week in and week out, we stay the course and remain focused on making disciples for the Lord! Please know that being full-time missionaries, especially in Japan, is extremely expensive and we could use your help. Please consider partnering with us through financial gifts and offerings. Donations can be made online at Christians In Action. See link below.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers! (3Jn 1:2)
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In His hands,
Pastor Nick & Pastor Sandy Guerra

To support the Guerra’s ministry online click here – www.cinami.org/guerra

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“FIX BAYONETS!”

So, imagine you’re in combat and you hear the commander cry out, “Fix bayonets!” Right away, what do you know? Things are about to escalate, stuff is about to get real, and we’re gonna come face-to-face with our adversary.

Working off that concept, every week before we close an outreach, we get face-to-face and conduct some sparring. I give the command, “Fix bayonets,” chairs are adjusted, and now we’re sitting facing someone. We begin role-playing and one row are the Christians and the opposite row are the Critics. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

Now that our group is “on guard,” I reveal a popular biblical or moral issue that Christians face today. Christianity 101 topics are, “I have my own beliefs, I don’t believe in God, I’m basically a good person, You can’t trust the bible, Jesus was not God, etc. Christianity 201 topics are abortion, homosexuality, racism, wealth, religions, politics, etc. Of course we alternate roles, partners, and topics throughout the jousting, but as a Critic, your assignment is to be difficult and demand an appropriate bible-based response and explanation from the Christian they face.

philippines pix

disciples are made!

In His grace,
Pastor Nick & Pastor Sandy Guerra

To support the Guerra’s ministry online click here – www.cinami.org/guerra

The grace of God is bigger than my…

The grace of God is bigger than my…

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Recently, my prayer time turned into a 40-hour unscheduled fast. During this time, God showed me me… versus His grace in my life. It was pretty intense and humbling as one-by-one my character flaws were brought to my attention. Yet as quickly as the Spirit of God showed me my shortfalls, I was immediately comforted with the greater reality that His grace was bigger than my failings. As my list grew, I wept, I was angry with myself, I was grateful, I was awestruck.

Permit me to be transparent. This is my list. You may identify with some, or you may have different issues. The point is you need to remind yourself constantly that “Nothing is bigger than the grace of God.”

Here goes: (Repeat this phrase as often as necessary and fill in the blank with your own words.)

“The grace of God is bigger than my _____________.”

words

Let me ask you something. Is anything bigger than God’s grace? Of course not. So, as we embark upon 2017, hope and potential is in the air. At this time, God is calling Believers to be Offensive, Advance, Reclaim, and Occupy. Before you engage with the calling of God, engage with His grace. Hebrews 12:1 admonishes us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, so we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Recognize also that it’s not “Grace + _____” either! Because as soon as you add anything, 1) You’re required to do it, and 2) You will fail. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
As you proceed in faith in His calling, understand this. Truly, truly, any place in our life where we are repeatedly failing, is proof positive that we have not appropriated His grace in that area. “The grace of God is bigger than _____!”

“Agree with us in prayer!”

  • Praying and Making Disciples at Zebulun!
  • For the Brig/Prison ministry. Remember to pray for the guards, the inmates, and their families. Bind up spirits of shame, condemnation, and pride. And loose a spirit of salvation, discipleship, forgiveness, exposure, healing, deliverance, peace, and restoration!
  • Against demonic attacks in the Brig, the Barracks, and in homes. Pray that Believers walk in increased discernment, wisdom, maturity, and power as we bind up the works of the enemy!
  • For continued increase at ZCDC (church plant). Pray for mature families and permanent personnel to co-labor with us in the northern, remote area of Nago/Camp Schwab.
  • For our Praise & Worship Team
  • For our current Schedule, i.e. finances, resources, wisdom, strategies, & strength:
    • Sun: Share/Report Christians In Action ministries
    • Mon: “Radical & Relevant Academy” (R&RA) @7pm
    • Wed: “Brig Christian Fellowship” (BCF) @7pm
    • Thu: Publish “Think On These Things” newsletters
    • Thu: Publish YouTube video (YouTube Channel: YahwehHasASon)
    • Fri: “Sxxual Integrity & Restoration” (SIR) @9am
    • Sat: “Zebulun Christian Discipleship Center” (ZCDC) @6pm

In closing…
Pray and believe! And, believe and pray! Your prayers do make a difference.
Sandy and I remain focused on the mission at-hand – “Gathering Sheep & Converting Goats,” and “Catch, Clean, & Release!” Our desire is to share God’s love, salvation, truth, and power with all. We also strive to make disciples quickly and release them into the fields.

Grace & peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! (Eph 1:2)
In His grip,
Pastor Nick & Pastor Sandy Guerra

To support the Guerra’s ministry click here – www.cinami.org/guerra 

“America is good!”

With the onset of Thanksgiving, I wanted to warn and prepare you for the onslaught of America-bashing, criticism, and lies. The boorish and narrow-minded Facebook memes and social posts regarding the shaming America are coming again. Increasing in volume and hostility, I hear the thoughtless indictments and ungodly accusations from progressives. “America is evil! America is racist! America stole the land from the Indians! America was built on the backs of slaves! America is guilty of raping nations of their resources and wealth!”

For the record, these claims are godless! These charges are Liberal/Progressive lies, and their ideology would have you ashamed, apologetic, and embarrassed of America. Before you criticize America, you better know two things — 1) Real American history, and 2) The Word of God. Not biased, close-minded rhetoric rooted in a warped understanding of freedom. “Freedom” is NOT the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want. True freedom is the ability to do what is right. To the contrary, this progressive hogwash fosters an unfounded, illogical hatred for America and breeds the “victim mentality.”

Below is one of a few anti-America pictures that have been floating around our schools, college classrooms and campuses, the internet, and Facebook. Our children are being immersed and indoctrinated in this sewage. These extreme, leftist claims harbor gross levels of ignorance and close-mindedness, but what’s worse is the inability of conservatives and Christians to dispel these charges. Simply put, these lies are destroying the minds and dreams of our children and our people, and they must be addressed and squelched.Rushmore
History + God’s Word = Truth   History – God’s Word = Lies

Foundation-ally, American history cannot be fully taught or fully understood without acknowledging God’s involvement and intent for this country. God had His eye on America for a unique, special mission. There are liberties and ideas that America brought to the planet which no other nation can claim or compare.  America is exceptional and America is good, simply because of the hand of God and the grace of God! America needs our help. Pray and declare, “God bless America!”
In closing…
Beloved, thank you for your prayers. They are powerful, they avail much, and we continue to covet them! Every week, we confront, challenge, provoke, equip, engage, and empower! We make Disciples!

We oversee 4-6 outreaches every week and they are bearing much Kingdom fruit! Please consider partnering with us through your financial gifts and donations.

I declare that whenever you speak, words are given to you to fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel! (Eph 6:19)
In His will,

Pastor Nick & Pastor Sandy Guerra

To support the Guerra’s ministry click here – www.cinami.org/guerra