In the world, not of the world!

There is a concept called “marketplace Christianity” which is defined as the merging of job, ministry, business, and life into one package. Typically many find this to be a foreign concept, as Christianity is compartmentalized into two worlds, being life in church and life out of church. In other words, there are two separate standards for life in and out of church.

On one hand, the marketplace is perceived as business above all, a capitalistic free-for-all to make money, enhance prestige, and earn power. From pop singers to CEOs, we can all imagine how the marketplace works to please our carnal desires for the things of this world. On the other hand, true biblical Christianity evokes an antithetical sentiment. We are demonstrated that it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). We are taught that this earth and everything therein, including money, belongs to God (Psalm 24, Haggai 2:8). We are taught to emulate the sacrifice of Christ for others, even if they are enemies (1 John 3:16-17; 1 Peter 3:9; Romans 12:17-21).


Don’t waste your life!

Last winter was our first in Yakima, Washington. Having come from California, the snow was a welcomed by our family. It was the first time that we have been able to play outside in the snow without having to drive a few hours.

As the pictures demonstrate, our family got active in making snowmen in the front yard. I never realized how much work it was to roll snow and make these guys. I remember breaking a sweat shoveling and rolling snow with full winter gear on.

However, the snowmen were short lived. On a sunny 50 degree day, they slowly melted away… All that work for something that didn’t last.

And to use this experience as an analogy, that is how many people are living their lives. They are working so hard for something that is not going to last. It’s sad to realize that all our effort can be for naught.

This is the great thing about Christianity. Everything we do has both temporal and eternal consequences. All the effort you put into following Christ pays off dividends in all facets in your life.


3 things that I learned from a pig snout

Sometimes, crazy things happen in ministry… Here is my story.

A few years ago my wife and I were invited to dinner at the home of a new family in our church—recent immigrants from Mexico who wanted to get to know us better. When we arrived we were treated as honored guests as they attended to our every need. It goes without saying that for most pastors these types of visits are the best ones.

We were served “posole”—a traditional Mexican soup that is made with either chicken or pork. In this case, the region of Mexico this family comes from has a peculiar tradition of honoring their special guests by serving them the pig snout. Imagine my surprise when I was served a giant bowl of soup with a floating pig snout in the middle.

In my Puertorican heritage we aren’t accustomed to eating snout (as far as I’m aware, at least). I just smiled graciously and asked myself, “What do I do?” I didn’t want to disrespect them or make this couple feel bad. I didn’t want my culinary preferences to hurt these great people who had obviously worked so hard to make us feel honored in their home.

These types of situations are reflective of ministry, where sometimes pastors must stretch their cultural limitations. In order not to offend sensibilities, we might have to do things we are uncomfortable with…

That being said, allow me to share what I learned from a pig snout that evening:


Sermon Recap: “Bible Day” at Templo Jerusalen, 9/9/2012

Our Bible Day is a celebration which encourages our church to go deeper in study with daily Bible reading. It’s an acknowledgement of the importance of God’s word in our daily lives.

Here is my sermon for Bible Day…


Sermon Recap: With Everything! Sunday Night, 9/2/12

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him… And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; foryou serve the Lord Christ.

-Colossians 3:17, 23-24

This was my Labor Day sermon in which my intent was to challenge people in four different areas to Christian Service.

Let me preface by stating that my belief that we do at church matters—in fact, it is the most important thing we can do in this world. At church we proclaim Christ, grow spiritually, and do work which will have an eternal impact. Every soul saved, every life restored, every testimony realized is forever… and nothing is more important that “forever.”