Archives For September 2012

There are things you can do you attract people to your church. Other things, can work against you. Here are three small things that can be fixed immediately:

1. No need for power point slides that have grammatical errors. I don’t know how many times I’ve been to a church that has the songs up on the screen, with several grammatical errors. Cros, fiends, etc. It’s called SPELL CHECK, PEOPLE! Excellence honors God and inspires people. Constant grammatical errors in the slides say: So what?

2. No need for long announcements. I would go so far as to say, no need for announcements at all! I’ve been in churches where the announcements rival the sermon in length. Really? Is there a need to announce midweek services, again? Use posters, Facebook, PowerPoint slides on a loop, twitter, entrance monitor, and bulletin. No one listens to them anyway, correct this. People go to church to worship God, not to listen to a 10 minute announcement on the importance of a car wash.

3. No need for lecturing/guilting/ about my arrival time.The old adage about “you win more bees with honey than vinegar” applies here. It seems some people were baptized in vinegar, and the attitude remains. Case in point. Chastising the few that showed up early about the importance of coming to church on time does no good to the ones that should be listening, who are probably just getting up! If I hear the phrase “well, Jesus said where only two or three are gathered” used again to make a few people feel better about themselves I think I’m going to explode. The “poor us” attitude helps no one. Stay positive!

What are some things you suggest we change to make worship a better experience for everyone?

Love the city —  September 28, 2012

For a long time we have been leaving the city, instead of loving the city. Let’s look at Jesus attitude towards the city, in his case, Jerusalem.

23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

Three lessons about ministry in the city:
1. Sinful lifestyle doesn’t deter a demonstration of love. Jerusalem had a history of being a “city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers” and that refused to be corrected (“you wouldn’t let me”). Yet, Jesus loved it, ministered to it, preached in it, and sought to transform it anyway!

2. Instead of leaving, love. When Jesus saw the need, He went toward and not away from Jerusalem. He knew very well that the treatment He would receive there would not be pleasant, but His heart longed to save the people of the city. That strategy has not changed. When the Twin Towers where attacked on September 11, 2001, firefighters and other personnel ran toward the building when many were running out. The reason? People needed to be rescued. That’s the reason we exist also. Don’t leave, avoid, or condemn. Try love instead.

3. Love is more than a feeling for the city, it is action in the city. Jesus cried for the city and had compassion for the people living there. That was wonderful, but not enough. He took those feelings and put them into action as He healed, preached, and helped.

What is one thing you can do this week to love your city?
Comments or suggestions? Leave them here.

It’s no secret we live in challenging financial times. Leaders everywhere are challenged by the following 3 factors:

1. Movement.
“The average American moves approximately 14 times in his or her lifetime, while the average Canadian moves about 10 times. The average Britain moves approximately five times. The average Japanese moves approximately 4 times. Approximately 40 million Americans change their home address at least once each year. These changes are by choice, not by requirement such as a lost job, illness, or family upheaval.”

Its hard to grow roots or develop equity when we move at the first sign of trouble. This is not to say moving is always wrong, just make sure its God led and not reactive.

Or lack thereof. Margin, isthe spacebetweenwhere youare and your limits. The mayorityof people livewith verylittle orno margin. A great book on this topic is:

3. My image.
Dave Ramsey- “Like most everyone else, the #1 mistake pastors (all of us, for that matter) make in personal finances is trying to live up to a certain image. They do feel pressure to maintain an image that gives the message “I have victory in my financial life.” Calvin Coolidge said, “There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.” Pastors need to be accepted by their congregations, and this need for approval drives them to do some really insane things, like giving into the unrealistic expectation that they have to keep up with the Joneses — when the reality is that the Joneses are b-r-o-k-e. Going into debt to look good is greedy and it’s not biblical. Proverbs 16:19 says, “Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”


Leadership Is Held to a Higher Standard

John the Baptist’s father was given a pretty remarkable announcement that he was going to have a child. This announcement was no less than any other God-interrupted experience in the Old or New Testament. The angel Gabriel was waiting for Zechariah in the temple when it was his turn to serve. Imagine the shock. Imagine the questions that must have raced through his mind. He only asked one question after being told his wife would give birth to his son, “How could this happen?”
Six months later, Gabriel went on a very similar mission and just as miraculously announced to the young maiden Mary that she was going to have a child, a boy. Imagine the shock. Imagine the questions that must have raced through her mind. She only asked one question after being told she would give birth to a son, “How could this happen?”
Two people. Six months apart. Same messenger. Essentially the same message. Essentially the same question. Zechariah was struck dumb and silenced for nine months. Mary was given a simple and accurate explanation. Why? Why was Mary given an explanation and Zechariah remonstrated and unable to talk for nine months?

Leadership is held to a higher standard.

Zechariah was a priest. Priests are supposed to ministering to God and for the people. They are supposed to stay connected to God through their work and their private lives. In other words, he should have known better.
It’s a dangerous thing to take on leadership for God. But you can’t just ignore it and let it drift away because it scares you. You have to take it on and walk with the calling God has given you. Obedience to that calling is important. However, we should never forget that as leaders, we are held to a higher standard to live by what we say, have faith in the one and true God, and follow Him completely.

Roger Walter
Lead Pastor, Vancouver SDA

LEAD- Who Jesus Calls —  September 26, 2012

Mark 1

Jesus called disciples to follow him. Who he called might surprise you.
1. He called people that were already active. 1:16 “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me…” As I often say in one of my sermons on leadership, what’s killing the modern church is not worldliness, is laziness. There are some strong scriptural statements against laziness. God is not into it. Active people get noticed.
2. He called people that were different from him- 1:19 “When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them…” Jesus did not surround himself with a bunch of carpenters. He didn’t look first to his “homies” from Nazareth. He went outside his comfort zone. After praying, He selected people that were different from Him. Go outside YOUR comfort zone. Connect with someone who is not like you.
3. He called people that were willing to relocate. 1:38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” When God calls you, many times He will ask you to move. Why? Simple. He doesn’t want us to get attached to places and people, but to Jesus. Many times that implies moving from where you are, to where He would have you work. Sometimes that move is temporary. Sometimes it’s permanent. It usually happens, however.

Conclusion- Get active. Value diversity. Be open to relocation.

Comments and suggestions? Leave them here….

From Mathew 19

Life comes at you from many different directions. Let’s take a look at Jesus and how he dealt with different kinds of people. These are the people you will deal with this weekend!
1. Dealing with people in need. 19:2 “Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.” Everywhere He went, people with needs followed Him. Interesting. He was holy, perfect, AND attracted sinners. Is it like that with us? Do people in our communities flock to our churches because they are centers of healing, or do they stay away because they are the headquartes of gossip? How did Jesus deal with them? He healed them.

2. Dealing with haters. 19:3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”  Check out the Pharisees. Just like they always did, instead of focusing on the good Jesus was doing, they wanted to have a theological argument. No congratulations for a work well done. No rejoicing for the healing of many. Pharisees overlook miracles, in order to find fault. How did Jesus deal with them? Pointed them to the Bible.

3. Dealing with insensitive people. 19:13 “One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.” The disciples were well intentioned, but severely misguided. This teaches us that good intentions are not enough. You have to do things the RIGHT way, for the RIGHT reasons, at the RIGHT time. How Jesus deal with them? He corrected and explained to them the right way of doing it.

Jesus ends by encouraging us to be like children. As we connect with different people this week, keep that in mind:  19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”


Devocional para el Sabado- Jesus. Inesperado.

Mateo 14:25 Todavía estaba oscuro cuando Jesús se acercó a la barca. Iba caminando sobre el agua. 26 Los discípulos lo vieron, pero no lo reconocieron. Llenos de miedo, gritaron: —¡Un fantasma! ¡Un fantasma!

Al leer este pasaje, me pregunto: ?porque los discipulos no reconocieron a Jesus? Se suponia que fuera facil hacerlo. Comian con el. Dormian con el. Caminaban con el. Ministraban con el. Lo veian en la manana al despertar y en la noche al irse a dormir. Seguramente habian visto su silueta en las penumbras anteriormente.
?porque el miedo ahora? La respuesta es simplemente complicada. Jesus no vino a ellos, como ellos lo esperaban.

Una de las cosas interesantes de Jesus, es que le gusta sorprendernos. Jesus nos sorprende al hablarnos de tres maneras:
1. Atraves del dolor- experimentar a Jesus al cantar “Cara a Cara” es una cosa. Pero experimentar a Jesus atraves del dolor, es raro, pero a veces necesario.
2. Atraves de personas que no nos quieren. Mas comunmente llamados, enemigos. Dios nos habla atraves de nuestros amigos, pero ?puedes oir su voz en las criticas y comentarios negativos?
3. Atraves de metodos diferentes. Si Jesus hubiera aparecido hablando, en tierra firme, ellos lo hubieran reconocido. Pero llego en silencio. Llego caminando sobre el agua. Frases como “Nunca se ha hecho asi antes” o “Esa no es la manera correcta de aparecerse”, o “A nosotros nos ensenaron que caminar sobre el agua es imposible”, pudieron pasar por la mente de ellos. Lo que los desconcentro, no fue que Jesus llego, sino como llego. Eso todavia molesta a algunos, y desconcerta a muchos.
Dios todavia viene a nosotros. Pero lo hace en SUS terminos. En SU momento. A SU manera. Estas listo para ESE Jesus?

Willy Ramos is an international evangelist and author, and co-author of several books including 4GVN, 2 Catch a Thief, Changed, & Changed Too. He’s also a song writer, recording artist, and now movie director! He just finished writing, producing, and directing a short film entitled, “SINtroduction” and is currently in pre-production on his next film. He lives in Orlando with his’ gatita, Lynette, and their son, Christian. His website is

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by Willy Ramos

 They danced the night away with no care in the world. Both men and women alike; getting drunk and getting high at a party. The slogan imprinted on the DJ’s shirt described the evening perfectly: Y.O.L.O (You only live once).

Then, all of a sudden the DJ stopped spinning his records when he heard someone screaming. It sounded like a man praying for his dear life. Then, the whole building collapsed killing thousands of partygoers. Earthquake? A terrorist attack? Niether. How about the acts of a Bible hero- Samson.

Now, I’ve been reading the Bible since I was like 6 years old and I have no questions about people like David and Moses going to heaven. But, all my life I’ve always doubted about the salvation of this holy Hercules. That is until recently. It was what he said and did at the end of his life made me wonder. “Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me…get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”1

 You see, that doesn’t sound like a future tenant of heaven does it? Sounds more like a gangster, hell bent on revenge. So, before doing research on Samson, I thought he was nothing but a common “playa playa” who committed suicide. And, maybe you thought the same. Let me see if I can persuade you to think otherwise.

 Samson was young strong, good looking, cocky, courageous; a real ladie’s man.

(I know, I know…I just described myself. Some of you are like, ‘You wish!’ Ha!) I can imagine him always surrounded by groupies and paparazzi; on the cover of Sports Illustrated; his life was that of an action movie star like the Rock;

who always got into trouble but managed to escape until his enemies finally captured him. a He-Manwho did what he pleased until he became a slave to the very tyrants he was supposed to have conquered.

 So, anyways, finally tired of living la vida loca, he decided to live and infact, die, for God, instead. Even though it was at the end of his life.

I think evey single one of us have a little bit of the “Samson Syndrome.”

We need 2 learn from his errors, be big enough to admit our mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.

 So, was it suicide? Nope. I see it as the final act of a war hero, who would risk his life to get rid of the evil in this world. Hmmm….sounds a lot like what Jesus did.

Judges 1:28

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God bless!!

Willy Ramos
(servant of THE MOST HIGH)

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“Preachin’ da WORD like they aint neva heard!!”
Isaiah 41:9

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