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April 15, 2021
by Steve Sanchez
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Struggling With Hope

A well-intentioned friend was concerned that I shared too much in my monthly emails and that it might be better to be less honest about my struggles. Initially, I agreed, but upon further reflection, I thought that would be the wrong way to go.

The whole purpose of a newsletter, after all, is to have family and friends pray for my struggles. What may seem like over-sharing to some is genuine, heart-felt need for me. The setbacks and disappointments are a part of ministry life and it would do no good to put on a happy face and say everything is fine when it isn’t. I value my readers’ prayers, concern, love and interest for my family’s well-being.

Before we moved to Texas to start a new church, the son of my pastor in California sent me off with these prophetic words when I mentioned to him that, perhaps, this endeavor might go without many problems. “It’s my general understanding that these things never go easy,” he replied.

And, he was right!

Missionaries, church planters, evangelists, pastors—anyone who is dedicated to serving the Lord—will experience great difficulties.

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April 2, 2021
by Steve Sanchez
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What’s so good about Good Friday?

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life, positive or negative, and remarking, “This is good!”

thumbOne day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!”

To which the king replied, “No, this is not good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail. Continue Reading

February 12, 2021
by Steve Sanchez
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The Ministry of Trouble

CONFLICTS AND STRUGGLES ARE A PART OF MINISTRY.

Sometimes the hardships come from extended illnesses: Charles Spurgeon, considered the greatest preacher who ever lived, suffered from extreme depression and gout, describing it this way: “Imagine placing your foot in a vice and tightening the vice as far as it will go; then tighten it four more turns.”

His wife Susannah became an invalid at age 33 and could seldom attend her husband’s services.

Troubles can come from within the family home: William Carey’s wife Dolly refused to go with him to India but was pressured to go. Their 5-year-old died and the other children continually contracted tropical diseases while there. His wife started to go insane and constantly followed him down the street berating him, accusing him of having affairs with women, even threatening him with a knife. Finally, he had to keep her in a locked room. William Carey is considered “The Father of Modern Missions.”

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February 2, 2021
by Steve Sanchez
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Texas Dead Armadillo Day

On February 2, the rest of the country cares whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, but in Texas, winter ends early when Amarillo Al, the armadillo, walks out onto the highway.

Texas tradition says that if Amarillo Al makes it across the road, winter continues; if he gets hit by a car, winter ends.

That’s why its always summer in Texas.

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By the way, did you know that Groundhog Day comes from a Christian tradition? The Groundhog Day tradition comes from a Scottish poem about Candlemas Day, a Christian holiday on Feb. 2, commemorating Jesus’ presentation at the temple after his birth:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, There’ll be two winters in the year. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again.

February 2, 2021
by Steve Sanchez
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Why We Fast

What is a fast? It’s abstaining from food for a limited period of time to seek God. It’s a denial of self for the purposes of intense spiritual activity.

A fast is not eating fast food.

4 Types of Biblical Fasts

The Normal Fast: Fasting from all food like Jesus did for 40 days and forty nights. (Matthew 4:2)

The Partial Fast: This is when you eat or abstain from eating certain things like when Daniel refused to eat the king’s food, but only vegetables. (Daniel 1:12) (Some people may want to fast from going on the computer or anything else that may hinder time with God.)

The Absolute Fast: This is when you eat and drink nothing like Ezra did when he mourned over the unfaithfulness of his people. (Ezra 10:6)

The Supernatural Fast: When Moses went to get the two stone tablets, he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights and ate no bread and drank no water.” (Deuteronomy 9:9)

Biblical fasts could be 1 day, 3 days, 7,14, 21 days, or 40 days. (Judges 20:26; Acts 9:9; 1 Samuel 31:13; Acts 27:33, Daniel 10:3-13, Matthew 4:1-11)

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