Phil 1:2-6 NIV Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
These are such encouraging verses for all of us! Lately, we have been considering the balance of law and grace in our lives. It was pointed out that the Laws of God are his Truth, and the
Grace of God is his Love. John 1:17 tells us For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. We are reminded that we cannot earn God’s Grace (his love), all we can do is accept it. This is the love that draws us to him, that brings his forgiveness and healing to us, and that sets us on an adventurous journey to change our world to become more like His vision for it. We are reminded of the woman who was caught in adultery, who should have been condemned to death for breaking the Law of God, but Jesus pointed out to all present that they ALL deserved death as lawbreakers and therefore none of them was righteous enough to stone her to death. Then, when her accusers were gone, Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8:10-11.
The love of God is what keeps us all going, and the truth of God keeps us on the right track. Grace without His Truth is valueless permissiveness that makes the world its model. Truth without Grace is condemnation that leads to hopelessness. This concept of Truth and Grace for our lives is so important for us to all keep in mind. Legalism destroys, but the Spirit of Grace brings life.
This is also the balance we must constantly be striving for as we seek to influence others. We cannot turn a blind eye to breaking God’s standards, which are really meant for our good, though we often don’t want to admit it. Likewise, we cannot judge ourselves or others harshly as lawbreakers or we merely destroy God’s intentions of reconciling the world to Him through us.
It is a battle we fight not only in our own lives, and in our families and in our workplace, but it is also a battle we fight with the girls at Casa whom we are seeking to train up in the ways of the Lord so that they can discern truth from error, and will desire to seek God’s truth for their lives. It is a battle because the priorities of the world are constantly saying, “Party, its fun!’, “lie, it’s the way to get what you want!”, have sex, it’s the best!”, and on and on. It is only God’s Truth that really sets us free to fulfill all of our potential and to influence our world for good. John 8:32. God’s Truth encourages us that there is a better path, a path that leads to a life of fulfillment as Andrea is holding Daniela Cazares’s baby. Daniela is continuing in our we strive to become all we can through the gifts, abilities and talents we have been given and that we develop.
Please keep our girls in prayer! You know how hard the teen years are! Please keep we who lead them in your prayers that we will be able to have the influence over them that will cause them to desire the path of Truth for their lives.
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your amazing support! We are excited to start a new school year and ready to see what God has prepared for our students, for you and our team. We know that God will continue to support our vision which is to develop our students spiritually and educationally to help them become the best version of themselves. We know that God still has great plans for Palomas and the surrounding towns.
This past month we met with all of our students and parents. Each one of the students received their packages to begin the new school year, and we reviewed their responsibilities to continue in the program. In addition, all of the students received their backpacks and school supplies. We also got their measurements for their school uniforms, which they will be receiving next month. We want to ensure that all of them are equipped with all the materials they need so they can focus on school.
Year over year, we have seen an increase on our graduates from high school, and we are proud to announce that this year we have 9 students attending College. This news bring joy to our hearts because as most of you may know, it used to be uncommon for kids in poorer families to finish high school, and even more uncommon for students to go to college. We know this is only the beginning!
Once again, thank you! You are an important part of this vision. We invite you to become part of our monthly active volunteers. You are welcome to prepare something educational, a talk/workshop, arts and crafts or a different activity that you feel may be beneficial for the scholarship kids or to our girls in Casa. This would give you the opportunity to meet our girls and learn more about God’s work in Palomas. We go every second weekend (second Saturday) of the month and in addition to meeting our girls you will also meet all of our students!
Jim, Pat & Bere