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So What About HELL…!

So What About HELL…!

So What About HELL…! The Doctrine of HELL: The Nature of Eternal Punishment Within the evangelical church there exists a clandestine controversy over the nature of hell. Among all the doctrines that excite debate within the church itself, this one often contributes to the best and the worst of biblical exegesis. The dominant positions concerning hell among Christians are known as the traditional view and the annihilationist view, both of which we will explore. There are however alternative views that find popularity within secular circles that warrant brief consideration; however, this discussion will use a balanced exploration of the Bible to arrive at a conclusion—even if tentative. Without a doubt Christians remain united in the foundational tenants of salvation and eternal life through Christ alone and none other. Agreement exists in a biblical basis for judgment before God, and theologians have pointed out that Christians generally believe “Those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ will be saved (though their ‘works’ will be judged (1 Cor. 3:11-15). Those who...

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How Do You Spell “LOVE”?

How Do You Spell “LOVE”?

For those of you who know us well and are friends with us on FaceBook; you may have read between the lines and sensed that at times we question our effectiveness and worth as missionaries. You may have even read a post where Teresa said something like “…then we will be real missionaries.” I’ve contemplated ways on helping Teresa see the value of the work that she does with 1st grade children and the impact she has on their parents and others. She has always gone beyond the standard expectations placed on academic faculty; and she has incorporated genuine interest in the lives of her students as well as empathetically met the needs of special circumstances, which often go unnoticed and unattended to by the system. For this reason I have asked a fellow missionary to write her perspective on Teresa’s service, this is a great honor to receive her feedback because her child is one of those whom Teresa has had the honor of serving at the school. The following...

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Expanding the Vision

Expanding the Vision

You may recall our previous posts about our personal ministry in the community of La Libertad Asama, Otavalo, in the Imbabura province of Ecuador. My brother in Christ, Carlos Ruiz, and his family along with the Hing family has spent time investing the love of Christ into this community. The church, Iglesia Rios de Agua Viva, continues to persevere and receive guidance as they follow God’s will for their lives (read the background of this ministry here). Also, Freddy and Victoria continue their training in seminary (read background on this here). THE CHALLENGE content So, with things moving forward spiritually for these brothers and sisters in Christ, Carlos and I have turned our attention toward the apparent physical needs that the indigenous people of this region have. The indigenous people are known as Otavaleños. Despite the abundant landscape and year round growing season, the average Otavaleño diet is unbalanced, consisting of mainly corn. Their diet lacks in a variety of healthy foods, resulting in stunted growth, and slowed development. According...

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Nuevos Amigos (New Friends)

Nuevos Amigos (New Friends)

New Friends With Old Ties It’s hard to believe that it has been 6 years since Teresa and I volunteered at a Christmas Outreach event for a ministry called Nuevos Amigos in Ecuador. At that time we stilled lived in the United States and had been to Ecuador on short-term trips only twice before. Now that we live in Ecuador and serve full-time we have frequent opportunities to engage and be a part of some of the ministries that captured our hearts during our initial trips as well as others. This Year’s Christmas Outreach During this year’s 2013 Christmas Outreach events sponsered annually by Extreme Response International, our family has adopted Nuevos Amigos as the event that we will lead in planning this year. This year’s focus will be primarily on the 106 children that attend the school; in the past this event was open to others in the community itself. The kids will have a chance to play games, meet Santa for a photo, do crafts, and receive...

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Beneath The Waters

Beneath The Waters

Easton and Haven have been asking theological questions for about a year now.  While we were in the U.S. on furlough, both of our children asked to be baptized in the pond at the house we were guests at.  It was a beautiful day and we were honored by the presence of the friends and family who came to witness our children’s public proclamations of Christ. On Saturday 13, 2013 we baptized Easton and Haven in front of fellow believers and each child recited a prepared statement of faith.  We had the opportunity to snag up their written statements as keepsakes.  It brings joy to our hearts to share their proclamations of faith with you. Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you that I am getting baptized today. Thank you for forgiving me from my sins. I will do my best to not make any more sins but I know that if I do you will always forgive me and love me. I understand that Jesus is the...

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Jesus Christ: Lunatic, Liar, or Lord

Jesus Christ: Lunatic, Liar, or Lord

            As you are going home from work, two well-dressed gentlemen accost you, handing you some literature explaining what they believe.  You glance over it and are drawn to this sentence: “Jesus was a man and as such could not also be God.”  Seeing the puzzled look on your face, one of the men asks you what you think of this claim. For the past 2000 years millions have claimed Jesus as their savior and staked their lives and their eternity on His promises. If the story of Jesus Christ is a lie then it is considerably the greatest and most absurd hoax to ever immortalize itself and coerce the human race. However, if it is true, we have no choice but to take Him seriously, failing to do so could cost you everything. At some point in each of our lives we must face the question of Jesus Christ.[1] What is the biblical basis for Jesus’ humanity? It seems that the arguments against...

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Christmas Outreach 2013 – Extreme Response

Christmas Outreach 2013 – Extreme Response

Our family has had the privilege of serving the people of Ecuador for the past few years with two great organizations, Extreme Response International and the Alliance Academy International.  As we prepare for our visit to the U.S. this summer I am reminded that the timing is perfect for others in the U.S. to start planning a short-term trip to another country in order to take part in life changing activities. I’d like to introduce you to an exciting opportunity that Extreme Response International offers each year to “Change Lives” around the world during the Christmas season.  The information below is provided by Extreme Response International and can be found at their website. Christmas Outreach Nearly 2,400 people attended this year’s outreach in the Quito City Dump and 9,600 more attended Extreme Response Christmas Celebrations in South Africa, Philippines, and Nepal. These celebrations bring hope to the hopeless; building trust and cultivating relationships that Extreme Response has developed with those who have been forgotten by society. Interested in Participating...

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Wanted: Someone To Plant Seeds – Green Thumb Required

Wanted: Someone To Plant Seeds – Green Thumb Required

The Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20), as it is known, is the command that Christ left all Christians with and is central to the spread of the “good news” (Gospel) of Christ.  Many of us wonder what its implications are for our lives in daily or practical ways since not every Christian in the world has a formalized vocation in ministry.  However, Christ commands all His followers to use their entire self (heart, soul, mind, strength; Mark 12:30) to love Him and glorify His kingdom by reaching others.  This can be done in any context; at home, community, work, neighboring city, foreign country, etc.  You do not have to be an overseas missionary or a pastor to fulfill the Great Commandment that Christ left to the responsibility of all Christians. So, with foresight in mind, Carlos and I continue to disciple and PLANT SEEDS in the Otavalan community of Libertad de Asama at the church Iglesia Rios de Agua Viva.  As we work with the youth ministry, we have identified two...

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