Monday, April 30, 2018

¡Prospera donde Dios te planta!

¡Prospera donde Dios te planta! por Esteban (Dale) Coad

Jeremías 29:11 (Dios Habla Hoy) "Yo sé los planes que tengo para ustedes, planes para su bienestar y no para su mal, a fin de darles un futuro lleno de esperanza.   Yo el Señor, lo afirmo."

Jeremías 29:11 es uno de los pasajes de las Escrituras más citados.  En la primera lectura, instantáneamente captura nuestros corazones con la sensación de que Dios sabe dónde estamos y hacia dónde vamos.    Es estar lleno de esperanza y de una sensación de bienestar para el futuro.    Aunque en sí mismo, este pasaje nos habla poderosamente, habla aún más poderosamente a la audiencia original, la diáspora de ese día.

Sorprendentemente, cuando los israelitas exiliados en Babilonia escucharon por primera vez la declaración de Jeremías, no era lo que querían escuchar.   Israel como nación estaba siendo castigo por desobedecer a Dios.   La diáspora de Israel que vivían en Babilonia quiso creer las mentiras del falso profeta Hananías de que iban a volver a casa rápidamente.   Jeremías los exhortó a no encontrar esperanza superficial en una narrativa falsa.   A pesar de sus circunstancias, Dios todavía era Dios.  Él tenía un plan y un propósito para ellos, incluso en su hogar adoptivo.  Jeremías los animó a abrazar el diseño soberano de Dios para sus vidas independientemente de las circunstancias fuera de su control.

Jeremías (Jeremías 29:4-7) los exhortó a "construir casas y establecerse," a "casarse y tener hijos e hijas"y a "buscar la paz y la prosperidad de la ciudad a la que te he llevado en el exilio."  A medida que la comunidad de la diáspora honraba a Dios donde vivían, debían orar por su nación anfitriona, "porque si prospera, también prosperarán."   Independientemente de las circunstancias de sus vidas, Dios tenía planes para prosperar y asegurar su futuro.

A pesar de las circunstancias de nuestras vidas, debemos abrazar el plan de Dios para nuestras vidas.   Nuestro futuro está en sus manos, donde sea que estemos plantados.    Cuando prosperamos donde vivimos, bendecimos a la nación donde vivimos, incluso si somos inmigrantes en esa nación.

Abraza todo lo que Dios tiene para ti en el presente.   No permita que un anhelo de recuerdos de su pasado ó falsas esperanzas para su futuro obstaculicen el trato de Dios con usted en el presente.

¡Prospera donde estás! Tu presente y tu futuro están seguros en Èl.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Prosper where God plants you

Prosper where God plants you by Dale Coad

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the most quoted passages of scripture.   On first reading, it instantly captures our hearts with the sense that God knows where we are and where we are going.   It is pregnant with hope and a sense of well being for the future.   Although in and of itself, this passage speaks powerfully to us, it speaks even more powerfully to the original audience, the diaspora of that day.

Surprisingly, when the Israelites exiles in Babylon first heard Jeremiah's pronouncement, it wasn't what they wanted to hear.   Israel as a nation was being punished for disobeying God.   The Israelite diaspora living in Babylon wanted to believe the false prophet Hananiah's lies that they were going home quickly. 

Jeremiah exhorted them not to find superficial hope in a false narrative.   Regardless of their circumstances, God was still God.   He had a plan and a purpose for them, even in their adoptive home.   Jeremiah encouraged them to embrace God's Sovereign design for their lives despite circumstances beyond their control.

Jeremiah (Jer. 29:4-7) exhorted them to "build houses and settle down," to "marry and have sons and daughters" and to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you in exile."   As the diaspora community honored God where they lived, they were to pray for their host country "because if it prospers, you too will prosper."   Regardless of the circumstances of their lives, God had a plan to prosper them and secure their future.

Regardless of the circumstances of our lives, we must embrace God's plan for our lives.   Our future is in His Hands, wherever we are planted.   When we prosper where we live, we bless the country where we live, even if we are immigrants to that nation.

Embrace all that God has for you in the present.   Don't allow a longing for memories of your past or false hopes for you future hinder God's dealings with you in the present.  Prosper where you are.

Your present and your future are secure in Him.

Friday, February 16, 2018

God's Great Symphony of Life

God's Great Symphony of Life by Dale Coad

Dale and Patti Coad

One of the profound truths of the scripture is that God orchestrates our lives for His Glory, including the stages or seasons of our journey.

As Ecclesiastes 3:1 (Voice) declares, "For everything that happens in life--there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven."

As part of God's Great Symphony of life, God directs the beginnings and the endings of those seasons.

As Rev. Craig D. Lounsbrough, observes, "Life is so utterly enraptured with beginnings that it can do little else than perpetually create space for them.   And those spaces are what we call endings."

Patti and I recognize that God's work in the Caribbean is just beginning as our time of leadership is ending and as David and Kristen Speer's time is just now beginning the 1st of April, 2018.

Patti and I have been inspired with a vision of all that God has yet in store for the Caribbean ministries.   We are declaring that it's His time and His season to fulfill His Destiny for the Island Nations of the Caribbean.

We feel similar to King David who had in his heart a vision to build a house for God, but in God's timing, his son Solomon would fulfill that vision.   As God told David in 1 Chronicles 28:5, "Solomon your son is the one will will build my house..for I have chosen him."

Solomon could have been intimated, but David reminded him, "This work is not for men--it is for the Eternal God."  1 Chronicles 29:1 (Voice)

Solomon had a learning curve in order to fulfill the vision.   David encourage him, "Be strong courageous, and effective.   Do not fear or be dismayed.  I know that the Eternal God, who is my God, is with you.   He will not abandon you or forsake you until you have finished all the work for the temple of the Eternal.  1 Chronicle 28:30 (Voice)

It has been Patti and my highest honor to have serve our colleagues in the capacity as the Caribbean Area Directors for thirteen years.   We fully acknowledge that the ongoing work of God is beyond any one person or office but nevertheless has Eternal consequences as we united in prayer as a team.

Please join us now as we pledge ourselves in prayer to David and Kristen as they step into their new roles "until they finish all the work the Lord has for them."

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Little by Little, by Don Cartledge, LAC Cuba Network

Don and Jacquie Cartledge, LAC Cuba Network
      In the devotional book, "Faith's Checkbook" by Charles Spurgeon, the November 23rd entry is titled, "Acquiring Perseverance" and he uses this text from Deuteronomy 7:22 (KJV):

"The Lord thy God will put out those nations before thee little by little."

  Spurgeon begins by saying that "we are not expected to win victories for the Lord Jesus by a single blow."  We are inclined to want to land a "knockout punch" and to win the battle in a single stroke, but the body blows we land over the duration of a 10, 12 or 15 round fight will take their toll and "little by little" win the victory.

     Sometimes we are called to simply carry on the war through years of labor, fighting with all our might, and little evidence of success.

    He continues by saying that our business in this world is "to conquer it for Jesus."   We are to be involved in pushing back evil by waging an "unceasing war with iniquity" and this is what we are to "put out."    But only God can make this happen through us: "Jehovah...will put out those nations before thee."

     And so we come to the key principle of "little by little."    God works by degrees, always from lesser to greater so that we can "learn patience, increase in faith, earnestly watch and avoid carnal security [leaning on the arm of the flesh]."

    This takes place as we "thank God for a little success and pray for more."  Spurgeon urges us to:

 "never sheathe the sword till the whole land is won for Jesus."

    We must take heart then, going on little by little, for "many littles will make a great whole."

    Let us echo and live in the light of the "law of cumulation" as expressed by basketball legend Bobby Knight, "The result of many little things is not little."