Saturday, August 29, 2009

KEEP YOUR EYEBROWS UP!

Thursday night Bible study was a lot of fun. We talked about Jonah and how when his circumstances shifted...he shifted. When he had the plant for shade he was happy. When the plant died he wanted to die!! I talked about how the Lord told me the other day to not take life so seriously. A lot of serious things were happening and I found my eyebrows going down. I immediately got those eyebrows up and have been working on that ever since!

Psalms 34:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.

Luke 21:28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

THE FIVE CROWNS



SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


THE FIVE CROWNS

There's something fascinating about crowns. Whether it's the crowns displayed in the Tower of London or a Burger King crown on a child's head there's something special and dignified about them. But the Bible says that believers in Christ will be rewarded in heaven with crowns. That's exciting to me! What kind of crowns will be offered at the judgment seat of Christ?

IMPERISHABLE CROWN: (1 Cor 9:25) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. This crown is for believers who have run the Christian race well. This verse also implies that people will also receive this crown for the sacrifices they were willing to make for God in order to successfully complete the ministry God had called them to. Earthly endeavors and experiences are only temporary. What we do for Christ will last forever!

CROWN OF REJOICING: (1 Thess 2:19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? This crown has also been named the soul winner's crown. It's a crown received for leading others to Christ. Whether a real crown or just the reward of others being in heaven that you led to the Lord we're not sure. But think of it...not only is it rewarding to lead others to Christ on earth but the reward will continue in heaven for all eternity!

CROWN OF LIFE: (James 1:12) Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. This crown is for believers who have endured trials and tribulations and suffering for our Lord. Think about this crown the next time you feel like giving up! It's also called the martyr's crown (Rev 2:10). One time I asked the Lord if He would have me die for Him as a martyr. He spoke to my heart and said, "It's enough to live for me." That's laying your life down and sometimes that's even harder!

CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: (2 Tim 4:8) Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. We are righteous in Christ (2 Cor 5:21) and live out righteous lives for Him (Rev 19:8). Knowing Christ will come soon will maintain the incentive for righteousness for the believer. (1 John 3:3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (See also Mat 24:45-51)

CROWN OF GLORY: (1 Pet 5:4) and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. This crown will be issued to leaders in the Church who have faithfully served the flock of God. Included in this group would be pastors, teachers, Sunday school teachers, missionaries, and those who faithfully feed and tend the sheep God has placed in their trust. It's not easy to be a leader and some opt out for just being led. But those called to leadership should press in for their reward even when their job seems thankless or unrewarding.

Wow! We're going to wear crowns in heaven. That gives us motivation here on earth to keep loving and serving the Lord no matter what. And we won't deserve even one of these crowns. Forever we'll be thinking of the One who wore that crown of thorns for us. Crowns off to the King!
(Rev 4:10-11) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power...

Louie





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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A ROYAL INVITATION






SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


A ROYAL INVITATION

(Rev 22:17) And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

It's nice to get an invitation to a desired event. Someone was thinking of you and sent you an invitation and it made you happy. You get all excited and put the occasion on the calendar. You start to look forward to it and as time grows closer your anticipation amps up. Perhaps you go shopping to get a gift or something you need to wear. Isn't it interesting how we get so energized about an invitation? But have you ever received a royal invitation?

The royal invitation comes from the King of kings Himself. He wants all to come to the feast: (Mat 22:2-3) “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding... Who's getting married? It's Jesus and the Church! (Rev 19:9) Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” It's going to a real special event: (Mat 22:4) Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ The King sends His servants everywhere because all are invited: (Mat 22:9) Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’


Have you received the royal invitation? Are you planning on being at the wedding? Are you part of the Bride of Christ? Jesus died for you! (Eph 5:25-27) ... Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. The Spirit says, "Come!" Take the invitation and accept the Lord today! (2 Cor 6:2) ...Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.


If you are part of the Bride of Christ then the Bride also says, "Come!" There are thirsty souls that need the water of life. Jesus is the Living Water and He who drinks from Him will never thirst again! (John 4) And the water is free! Most pure water you have to pay for! But the price has been paid on the cross when Jesus died for our sins. Do your family and friends know that? Have you given them the royal invitation?

Do you know that most people come to the Lord by the simple invitation of a friend? Preachers lead many to Christ. Evangelists might lead multitudes to the Lord. But all in all most people come to the Lord by someone they know who gives them the royal invitation. That's right...friends lead friends to the Lord. Family members lead family members to the Lord. Employees lead other employees to the Lord, etc. You see, God uses relationships you already have. As you get to know people you do the most loving thing you can do for someone else...lead them to Christ! Remember how Peter was led to the Lord by his brother Andrew? (John 1:40-42)

Sometimes all you have to do is invite someone to church. It's a great form of evangelism. As you tell people about the Lord and whet their appetite you can then invite them to church. As they come they hear the message of the Word of God, are impacted by the truth, and respond by placing their faith in the Lord. Did you know that my wife Cheryl accepted the Lord by a girlfriend of hers who invited her to a church camp? She heard the gospel and got saved. Someone took the time to give her a royal invitation!

Louie

Sunday, August 16, 2009

YOUTH GO TO HARVEST CRUSADE



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I caught this prayer as I was dropping Kelsey and her 2 friends off at the church parking lot. The Youth went to Harvest Crusade and had a great time.

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The best news I heard from last night was that you could barely see the grass as so many from the audience came down to the field upon the invitation of pastor Greg Laurie to receive Christ. Kelsey took this pic from where she was seated.

John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

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Let's pray for another harvest of souls at tonight's Harvest Crusade.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

MISSION TRAINING SCHOOL GRADUATION



What a glorious time we had at Mission Training School graduation. It was at Valerie's parents (Russ and Cindy...thanks!) at their beautiful big home in Riverside. The weather was temperate for an outdoor ceremony and for that we are so thankful. Friends and family showed up from as far away as Yuma, AZ.

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Here's the praise band leading us in worship. From L to R: Brian...Chealsea...Shawnee...Rachel...and Sarah.

(Psalms 147:1) Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.



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Francis shared a good word to the students and even encouraged others in the group to accept the Lord. He and his family will be missionaries in Trinidad in the Caribbean where they are originally from.

(Luke 8:39) “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.


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Frank recapped the six weeks and did a good job with his humor spun in. He gave all the glory to the Lord and he too encouraged those in our gathering to make Christ their Savior and Lord.
(Psalms 34:2) My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

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We issued completion certificates one by one to all the students. Here's Jonathan on his way to Trinidad with his family. He's 16 years old and fell in love with...(no, not a girl)...but...In-N-Out Burger! We even bought him a T-shirt!!

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This the closing prayer offered by Frank after we ate giving thanks for the Lord's goodness and committing our futures to the Lord.


(1 Chronicles 16:34) Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.


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(Jeremiah 29:11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.


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Friday, August 14, 2009

MISSION TRAINING SCHOOL LAST DAY GROUP PIC

Well here they are. Last day of class and emotions are a mixture of blessed and sad all in one. This group really got bonded in the Lord. Tomorrow (SAT) is graduation and then off they GO!
Colossians 3:14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BAPTISM





SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


BAPTISM

Here is a Bible study that I hope will be helpful to you to answer some of the questions you might have about baptism:

BAPTISM IS COMMANDED BY CHRIST - (Mat 28:19) "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 . . .

FAITH IS NECESSARY PRIOR TO BAPTISM - (Acts 2:38) Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit - - - - - - (Acts 8:36‑37) Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" {37} Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

BAPTISM IS A PICTURE OF YOUR DYING AND RISING WITH CHRIST - (Rom 6:3‑4) Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? {4} Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

SOME ASPECTS OF BAPTISM TO CONSIDER:

- To follow the example of Christ: (Mat 3:13) Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

- To fulfill all righteousness: (Mat 3:15) But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him.

- Only one necessary: (Ephesians 4:5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism . . .

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS:

- You are baptized because you’re saved, not to be saved. (Eph 2:8-9) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

- You can still go to heaven if you weren’t baptized. Remember the thief on the cross? (Luke 23:42-43) Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

- Immerse, sprinkle, pour? Don’t get hung up on the way to baptize. Immersion seems to be the closest to Scripture (Mat. 3:16; Acts 8:38-39) but I probably would choose to be baptized by sprinkling during the winter in Siberia! (Rom. 7:6)

- How old do you have to be? If a child can be saved at an early age then it is my opinion that he can be baptized with understanding as well. (Mat 19:14) But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

What a joy to follow the Lord in baptism and to tell the world that we have died and risen with Christ into newness of life! Jesus is still changing lives today!!

Louie

Monday, August 10, 2009

MTS STUDENTS BACK FROM MISSION TRIP TO PUERTO VALLARTA

(Psa 121:8) The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
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The Mission Training School students are back safe and sound by the grace of God! Thanks for praying them all the way home.

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It was fun being a part of the pick up at the airport. Lino and I were waiting for them and I caught them on video coming up the ramp.
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Gabe (far right) was such a blessing with his truck which was plenty big enough for all the luggage. On the drive back to CCNorco I was able to get caught up on the rest of the trip. The students will all sleep good tonight for sure and they'll be back in class tomorrow morning for their final week of training. "Thank You Lord that we can be a part of this. It's so exciting to serve you and we thank You for everything and give You the glory!"

(Psalms 116:1) I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

REPORTS ABOUT V.B.S. OUTREACH

Psalm 118:23 This was the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes!
This morning (SAT) we had breakfast with Paul and Maura Cathey. They filled us in on the last day of Vacation Bible School out in Sayluita. They said 22 children showed up for VBS! (The first day (MON) they started with 7). Children were touched for Christ and the prayer is that all the families of these children will come to the Lord. Please pray for pastor Paul and the flock as they get God's wisdom in following up on these souls.


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Paul said the CCNorco Mission Training School students worked really hard all week and were servants of the Lord in every way. He was blessed to work with them in evangelizing children. Now we pray the MTS students will rest up today and be ready for church at Calvary Chapel Puerto Vallarta tomorrow.


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This is Calvary Chapel Puerto Vallarta

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Inside at Calvary Chapel Puerto Vallarta.

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This is Cesar's apartment kitchen. He thinks a girl used to rent the apartment before him with all those bright colors!


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Cesar is a missionary in Puerto Vallarta with a heart for missions all over the world. He is pointing to the prayer card of Jeremy and Sarah Britton serving in camp/foster care ministry in Julian, San Diego.




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Monday the students fly home and Tuesday they start classes again back at CCNorco with graduation Saturday. This six weeks is flying by fast!
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We are back safe and sound now in the U.S. of A. Lord willing tomorrow (SUN) I will share more about the trip at CCNorco. Thanks again for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for the MTS students in Puerto Vallarta.
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Here's a video I finally uploaded from Wednesday's VBS outreach Sayulita. This is inside the new Calvary Chapel there that Paul Cathey pastors.

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INTERESTING CHANGE OF PLANS

Today (FRI) we were going to drive up to Sayulita and meet up with the outreach team but it is obvious the Lord had other plans. I called our GO! missionary Paul Cathey and said we were on the way but he told us not to come because it was raining and flooding and we couldn't get in. So what do we do? We prayed about it and the we felt the Lord say to stay and pray. So that we did. In doing so we also had some time together as a couple that we haven't had in awhile as our lives have been so busy. So the ministry of the day was investing in our marriage. (John 17:23) "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.


Here is Cheryl keeping cooled off in the summer heat of Puerta Vallarta with her umbrella and iced tea.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

MISSION TRAINING SCHOOL IN ACTION

Today (THURS) we drove out to Saylulita (45 min N. of Puerto Vallarta) where the new Calvary Chapel church plant is.
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When we got there we found CCNorco's Mission Training School students in action at a Vacation Bible School (VBS). This is Jonathan helping a young boy memorize a Bible verse.
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This is Cesar Rodriquez from our church who is now a GO! missionary in Puerto Vallarta/Sayulita. He is originally from Tepic, Nayarit, the same state where Sayluita is. Pray for his family to come to Christ!

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This is pastor Paul Cathey standing in front of the Calvary Chapel church building. He is one of our GO! missionaries. He always has the joy of the Lord and a great sense of humor. Notice the Calvary Chapel sign and also the VBS banner that CCNorco made.

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This is Maura Cathey, Paul's wife, having the children recite their memory verses before the whole group. She is a great support to Paul and loves to serve in the church. She home schools her daughters (Marissa and Isabella) on the mission field.

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This is Mahlon Brackett. He flew all the way down to help in the M.T. S. outreach. He has such a heart for the lost and is very outgoing and enthusiastic in the expression of his love for the Lord. His wife Linda lovingly supports him in prayer back in Norco as he travels to far off places on mission trips.

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Shawnee, Marissa, and Frank getting refreshed at the little tienda next door to the church. It is very hot and humid but the Lord provides ways to be renewed to continue to serve. Speaking of which...after VBS we went to the beach and enjoyed the water for the afternoon. The group had fun renting kayaks and swimming. I rented a surfboard and had fun in the waves until I drifted over into some rocks and hit my head on a rock and received a gash on my head at the hairline. I saw blood in the water and could almost instantly hear the music soundtrack to the Jaws movie. Everybody was so concerned for me but the bleeding soon stopped and I was good to go. I love mission trips...such adventure in the Lord!

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Are these missionaries happy or what? This is a van lent to us from pastor Bill Martin of Calvary Chapel Puerto Vallarta. How kind of him as the group needed transportation. By the way, after this pic they were pulled over by the police for keeping the van side door open for ventilation. No ticket issued! Thank-you Lord!!

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We soon arrived at pastor Paul's home back in Puerto Vallarta and celebrated Marissa's 11th birthday with pizza and cake and fun. This is Paul blessing his daughter and praying for the food.

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Cake in the face for Marissa! Not of her choice but planned by her dad and Cesar. She was a great sport. Here she is with Frank and Abby, pastor Bill Martin's daughter, who is a friend of Marissa.

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I love this photo of the gang playing Twister because it shows the joy of the Lord as the fruit of the Spirit!

THANK-YOU LORD FOR A FRUITFUL DAY IN YOU!

(Psa 75:1) We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

LEAVING CABO

This our GO! Missionary Garrie Price with Mario who attends Calvary Chapel there in Cabo San Lucas. Garrie wanted Mario to come over to the house for fellowship and to meet me. We heard his testimony and then we laid hands on him for the Lord to anoint his life for service and for his future. We then took him out for pizza at Costco to then meet his physical needs.

(Jer 29:11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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It's always hard to leave the missionaries! They want you to stay longer and then they insist you come back to visit them.

(Acts 21:5-6) When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed. {6} When we had taken our leave of one another, we boarded the ship, and they returned home.

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Off to Puerto Vallarta through Guadalajara airport where we saw this lady with her large stand-up picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
(Acts 26:18) 'to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'

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Our plane was delayed but it was okay because we were able to grab some dinner and to have some great husband and wife time as we have been so busy.
(Amos 3:3) Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
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Once we arrived at the airport we rented a minivan so we could help transport the Mission Training School team. By the time we got to the hotel it was after midnight and we praised the Lord for a blessed day and safe travels.
(Psa 121:8) The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

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Thanks for your continued prayers because they are effective!
(James 5:16) ... The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

LAST FULL DAY IN CABO


Last night we were so tired from the long day that the heat did not bother us while sleeping. We got up and spent time with our GO! missionaries Garrie and Jackie Price. Mostly we just talked. Then Garrie and I got hotdogs at Costco. He was having problems with his cellphone so the Lord laid it on my heart to buy him a new cellphone. We looked at a cellphone shop and then landed at Sam's Club where we got a good deal and the right phone he needed. It really made my day and I don't know who was happier...him or me!
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(Gen 12:2).. I will bless you...And you shall be a blessing.

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Cheryl and I were able to steal away a few hours to eat dinner at a nice and reasonable place and had fish. The sun set and then a full moon came up. We walked along the beach a little and then took a taxi back to the Prices's home.



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Tomorrow we leave for Puerto Vallarta to meet up with our Mission Training School students as they are serving the Lord there. Thanks for your prayers!!


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Monday, August 3, 2009

ARRIVED SAFELY IN CABO, MEXICO


GARRIE AND JACKIE PRICE


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Today (MON) we flew down to Cabo, Mexico to visit our GO! missionaries Garrie and Jackie Price. We are staying at their house for two nights. Garrie is a pastor of a Calvary Chapel church here that meets in their house. We spent the day with them and just talked and fellowshipped and got to know each other better. Jackie cooked a great dinner and then we drove to the harbor area and walked around and had helado (ice cream). It is 100 degrees but it's dry which makes a big difference.


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(Rom 1:12) that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

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Wednesday night we meet up with the team in Puerto Vallarta. Please keep them in your prayers. God is good!

Cabo is at the bottom of the Mexican state of Baja Sur.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

MISSION TRAINING SCHOOL STUDENTS OFF TO PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO



The Mission Training School students are off to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico tomorrow (SUN). They will assist the two Calvary Chapel churches there in outreach and projects.

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They've been praying in the airfare and working hard at two Saturday car washes in a row.



Please keep them in prayer for their 8 day ministry.



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Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.