Agua Viva del Espirtu Santo

As you know Rick, Susanna, Tem, and I had the opportunity to visit the Yucatan including Xoy and our new partner San Diego Buena Vista last month.  As I write this I am anticipating you will hear a detailed report before this newsletter gets in your hand.  However, Xoy is doing great.  They are serving surrounding communities and their own, with agua purificada and employing three operators.  It seemed to me the town has taken what God has given them and increased their blessings by increasing their ministry.

San Diego Buena Vista is in dire need and it is time for us as a church to take what God has given us and increase our blessings by increasing our ministry.  We need money, plain and simple.  We have received generous support, but we need more if we are to help children have clean water.  All the funds collected are used for building the plant and equipment.  The gringos pay their own way to Mexico, pay for their lodging and meals, and donate to the project financially and physically.  What I ask is that you consider options to give as you have received.  You may say you have no resources to give.  Times are hard, mines are shutting down, etc.  Here is a proposal: in lieu of gifts for your birthday, anniversary, grandparents day, Christmas, Pastor Appreciation Day, etc., ask those who might give you some tangible gift to give to the water project(s).  Host a clean water party instead of a dirty Santa party.  Watch the Cats on TV instead of going to the game.  Have a quiet night at home with your sweetie instead of going somewhere for the weekend.  You get the idea.

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Forgiving - On the Inside

God is a God of forgiveness.  Exodus 34:6 says, “Then the Lord passed by in front of Him and proclaimed The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth, who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.”  He says, “I am the God of forgiveness that is who I am.”  Solomon said, “It is a man’s glory to overlook a transgression,” (Proverbs 19:11).  Man is never more like God than when he forgives.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells us of a father who had two sons and one of the sons was weary of being in the father’s house and wanted to go and live on his own and take all of his inheritance.  And he did just that.  He left the house, wasted all his substance in sin, and then when he reached the low point of his life, he wanted to come back and be only a servant in his father’s house because being a servant in the father’s house would be better than being what he had become.  That son was not unlike many of us - greedy, anxious to get his hands on wealth he had not earned, so humanly foolish in the way that he spent it on fast living with those who exploited him and left him in misery when his money ran out.  But slowly he came to his senses because he was dying of hunger in a pig sty that really mirrored his life.  He said, “My father’s servants live far better than I.  I will arise and go to my father.”

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No "Thank You" Needed

Often, I wish to write something that you will take note and say, “That was a mighty fine article you wrote for the newsletter, Pete!"  Then I realize most of you may not even read the newsletter.  Often I wish to go to a gathering and have someone come up and say, “That was a really good thing you did the other day," or “Come sit down with us, have some wine and something to eat.  Thank you for…."  But then I read Luke 17:10, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.”  As I sit here thinking of great things, the Holy Spirit reminds me of Matthew 7:22-23.  I guess I’ll just go about my business and do my duty to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, knowing that one day I’ll lay my crown before Him, and He will say “Welcome Home, Pete.”

On the inside, Hallelujah!

See Ya Sunday

This year there are 273 days between Easter and Christmas.  That includes 39 Sundays.  What will you be doing during that time?  Paul instructs Timothy to preach the word, be urgent in season, convince, rebuke and extort, and be unfailing in patience and in teaching.  My prayer is that we who claim the name of Jesus do as Paul instructs.  See you on the outside, Pete.

"No Such Thing as a Free Lunch"

Listening to the political diatribe(s), reading posts from my friends online, and listening to the whine of those who seem less than concerned about their duty to God than his duty to them, I am fortunate to read the letters of Paul.  In 2nd Thessalonians, chapter three, Paul tells us that an idle mind breeds discontent and that discontent can breed shame.  He asks us to pray that the Word of God may speed on and triumph, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not all have faith.  Here, in chapter 3, we find the phase “If you do not work, you shall not eat," and that those living in idleness, mere busybodies, should earn their own living, or be ashamed; and if he (the idle person) doesn’t, we should warn him as a brother.  Being a good Christian Soldier, armed with the Word, I go marching to our local institution of corrections to warn them as a brother.

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"Unless the Father Draws Him"

John 6: 40-48

Jesus is teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum to the people that he is the bread of life.  Jesus has come to give life but the people have come to have their bellies filled.  They have come to Jesus for what he will do for them, not because of who Jesus is.  They do not recognize their spiritual hunger and are blind to the offer Jesus is making.  Jesus has made a tremendous statement and an amazing offer, “Everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”  Whoever will come to Jesus will never be cast out, and will not be lost.  The Jews have a problem with what Jesus is telling them.  Jesus has proven that he has come from heaven by the miracles he has performed, but that is not their concern.  They want their flesh satisfied.  Jesus tells them, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.  And I will raise him on the last day.”  This declaration is similar to the statement, “All that the Father gives me will come to me.”  No one can come to the Father unless the Father draws that person.  This is an important doctrine statement.

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Musings from the Peterbrian

Some musings from someone who has been given the time to contemplate:

In 2008 we as a church put together a Christmas devotional with the intent of continuing in the succeeding years.  Well, here we are in 2016 and we haven’t had another church inspired Christmas Devotional.  I want to challenge all of us to start writing now and through October in order to present our church's 2016 Advent Devotional.  Over the years we have come up with several good ideas, but have sometimes failed to follow through.  Let us not let this one die a lonely death.  In the same accord, let us not forget that we as a church have committed to serving Christ in the Yucatan.  I am certain that Rick will not let us forget that. We did a great job in 2015.  Let us do even greater things this year and in the succeeding years as well.

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