This article is actually more of a newsletter as I felt the need to share a bit in regard to what is happening in our little corner of the Kingdom. Another blog will be posted very soon.
Some of you have contributed towards assisting the people of Munoz, the village where a fire destroyed about sixty homes, and much has been happening there as a result. Thus far, we have been able to replace two homes for families. Much of the land where the devastating fire took place is government and bank owned. Authorities have withheld permission for any work to take place on this land, and we are not getting involved in the political part of things. The small homes have cost about $800.00 each to rebuild, and it is a good investment into the lives of people.
In addition, last week we were able to purchase and distribute over sixty bags of food to families affected by the fire. This was due (in large part) to a family that visited OceanSide Christian Fellowship on a Sunday and wanted to help out in any way possible.
Everything is being done through the local church, and we really appreciate the cooperation and help of the pastor and leaders.
This week our small team, which consists of the Goodmans and Bryan and Lisa Fragas, is organizing a back-to-school outreach in Munoz. Another ministry, which wants to remain anonymous, donated over forty beautiful backpacks and some supplies. Fortunately, we still had funds set aside from the end of school last year. As a result, the packs are being filled with a variety of school tools, trinkets, and some hygiene items for the kids.
I want to send a special “thank-you” to all who have contributed. Your giving and generosity are truly impacting lives and meeting serious needs!
In other news, we will begin a new term of MTS (Ministry Training School) next week in Sosua. The course is being offered in English and attended by folks from various backgrounds. Several attendees are missionaries, and it is a blessing and privilege to share God’s Word with those who are reaching out to so many others.
Please keep us in prayer! It is still necessary for me to use a cane to get around after the accident. However, I declare, “By His stripes I AM healed!”
We hope this brings you up to date on some of our activities in the Dominican Republic. Please visit our website at www.gospelteamoutreach.com if you would like to invest in the work here. Also, you can stay connected at www.OceanSideDR.com.
In our last blog, the issue of establishing and maintaining “Core Values” was considered. In this article, we will examine some of the benefits that follow this practice.
Here is a list of the basic core values previously discussed. It is not intended to be deep and detailed; nor is it comprehensive.
I Will Value Knowing God And Keeping Him First In My Life.
I Will Live A Life Yielded To The Lordship Of Jesus Christ.
I Will Value Others.
I Will Reach The Lost.
Let’s now turn our attention to some of the benefits that follow establishing and honoring these values in our personal lives.
Core Values Will Give Us Strength From Within.
This inner strength is essential when the world around us is filled with confusion and chaos. It is also vital when we are faced with temptation and other struggles and issues in our daily lives.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Core Values Will Anchor Us When Adversity Strikes.
Core values, based upon God’s truth, act as an anchor and a safe harbor when the storms of life begin to move upon us. The wise man builds his life upon the rock.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” (Hebrews 6:19).
Core Values Help Us Avoid Growing Weary.
The truth is, we all have opportunity to grow weary from time to time. Life can wear us out. Fatigue (whether physical, emotional, or mental) can attempt to bring us to the point of quitting. It is vital to allow God’s Word to work from within. Using wisdom in regard to proper diet, rest, and exercise is equally important.
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:9).
Core Values Enable Us To Remain Steadfast, Immovable, And Abounding.
Apostle Paul lived and ministered during times of great challenge and turmoil. He routinely admonished believers to remain strong, steady, and fruitful even in fearful days of persecution and confusion.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Core Values Keep Us From Entanglements Of The World Around Us.
We must remain vigilant at all times. Guard against the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Jesus taught that such things choke the Word from our hearts and cause it to become unfruitful.
"Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful" (Mark 4:18-19).
As has been stated previously, we are living in an era of tremendous turmoil. Many are walking in confusion, fear, and uncertainty. This ought not be the case for the children of God. We have entered a time of great revival as well as great apostasy. Many will come into faith; others will fall away.
"No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier" (2 Timothy 2:4).
Establishing and maintaining basic core values will prove essential to our success for the Lord has indeed ordained us to be overcomers. True success means to know and do the will of God; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10).
Grace & Peace,
We can all agree these are uncertain times. The signs are clearly visible to anyone paying attention. During seasons of world chaos, shifting, and change, one thing remains and that, of course, is the Word of God.
Apostle Paul had many words of admonition for churches and individual believers during times of controversy, confusion, and challenges. He wrote to the church at Corinth:
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
In order to remain “steadfast” and “immovable,” it is essential to establish and maintain CORE VALUES.
What are core values? Webster’s defines these terms as follows:
Core: The central part of anything; the innermost or most essential part.
Value: The worth, merit, usefulness, or importance of a thing; qualities, customs, standards, or principles that are regarded as desirable; esteem.
Here is what I believe is an accurate description of Core Values for the believer: The central and most essential values that we consider important to a moral, productive, and worthwhile life; life principles that guide us in our walk with God and relationships with man.
Let’s look at some basic CORE VALUES:
A. “I Will Value Knowing God And Keeping Him First In My Life.”
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
When we acknowledge that God is the source of all life and blessings, and He is the One to Whom we are ultimately accountable, we place as our first priority knowing God and giving Him the central place in our lives. This involves, but is not limited to:
Worship (John 4:23): Placing worth and value on our relationship with God and understanding Who He is.
Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17): Placing worth and value on the Bible, believing it is the infallible Word of God.
Prayer (Luke 18:1): Placing worth and value on prayer as the key to changing lives and circumstances.
B. “I Will Live A Life Yielded To The Lordship Of Jesus Christ.”
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).
The standard of personal purity and holiness is raised as we place value on the lordship of Christ and seek to please Him in all we do.
In order to be changed, we must turn from past sins and yield to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:19-23).
Jesus told the woman caught in adultery that He did not condemn her, but she was to turn from her life of sin (John 8:11). Submitting to Christ as Lord of our lives is more than leaving a life of sin; it is living life for God’s purposes, following Jesus, and obeying Him. We are responsible to find out what God wants us to do and then do it!
C. “I Will Value Others.”
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
When we value others, we recognize that mankind was created by God, in His image, and that all have eternal worth and destiny.
This involves placing value on:
Children (born and unborn)
Relationships within the Body of Christ
D. “I Will Reach The Lost.”
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
Placing value on God’s heart for the lost, we evangelize. Here are some important points to remember in this regard:
The sure judgment of the lost: eternal separation from God.
The responsibility of the individual: share the Gospel (Good News).
The responsibility of the Church: to make disciples.
The purpose for the Holy Spirit: enable believers to be witnesses.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Please keep in mind that these are simply basic core values. Also, it is often easier to establish these values than to maintain them during times of temptation, chaos, or uncertainty. Next, we will examine some of the many benefits derived from establishing and maintaining CORE VALUES.