vote 2016

As a pastor, especially during a presidential election year, I often get asked questions about who I am voting for? Who do I think God’s people should vote for—meaning who is God’s candidate? How are Christians suppose to know how to vote? And other similar questions.

These questions are difficult to answer as a pastor. It’s not that I don’t have political views or feel strongly about certain presidential candidates, but because of the responsibility I have to God in taking care of and feeding His people—of instructing them in the things of God and not in the things of this world. It calls for discernment and wisdom—discernment to see clearly what God is doing, and also wisdom on how to guide, instruct, and focus His Church on the things that matter most during these times—how to help the Church focus on Jesus and be overcomers of this world. Continue Reading…

 

hands what next

Things aren’t what they used to be. Things don’t go your way. Everything you hoped for or dreamed of is transformed. What you thought was supposed to be is not. Like an earthquake, the ground beneath you is moving—shifting in directions you hadn’t anticipated. Things are uncertain and there is no turning back. The former things have passed away.

Whether you’re the reason why things are changing or someone else or something else is the cause—It doesn’t matter. The world around you is different now, and there is nothing you can do about it. And you are not one for things to change, but you realize that you have to live with what happens next. Continue Reading…

Eat This Word…

joepuentes —  July 21, 2016 — Leave a comment


Explore the Psalms and grow closer to the heart of God—Eat this Book: One Year Bible with Daily Psalm:

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/206-eat-this-book

 

How often do we think about the last advice or the last words we would share with the people we love?

So much should be said—like our last “I love you’s” or admonishes about the wiles of this world. Maybe I would want to share with them my favorite things about each of them; the shape and color of their eyes, their scent, their dimples when they smile, the contagious sound of their laugh, or maybe some favorite moment we shared together.  Continue Reading…

guilt and shame (1)

We live in a culture where shame and guilt permeate and infect everything and everyone. People are being told to be ashamed of the color of their skin. They are being made to feel shame and guilt for their professions—I saw a tweet that told all police officers to be ashamed of themselves for being nothing less than a police officer. Men are being told to be ashamed of being a man—the emasculation of men—depriving man of his role and identity as a man is at an all time high. Dads are being portrayed in movies, on tv, and in social media as bumbling idiots who need to apologize for being a dad. Women who chose to stay at home with their kids are representing an archaic form of womanhood, and should feel shame and guilt. And women who chose to be a part of the workplace are being told they are horrible wives, and mothers, and should feel guilty.

I even read somewhere a man apologizing for loving women and not men. The latest is people feeling ashamed of being an American. What’s next, feeling shame and guilt for being a human being… There is no facet to a person’s life that is off limits—nothing is sacred to shame and guilt. Continue Reading…

 

Map-and-Compass (1)

There are many voices out there right now giving their expert opinions, talking about if our country is falling apart and divided, Hillary vs Trump, racism, the state of the public school system in this country, the economy, terrorism, and if I should download the Pokemon GO… And the list could keep going. I am very hesitant to add my un-expert opinions to the sea of opinions—you know what they say about opinions, even expert opinions.

So I won’t add mine.

Instead, I want to share three things that are helping me navigate all the political chaos, the racial and social upheaval, and other happenings going on in this country and globally. Continue Reading…

Hey Ascent Church,

I’m writing you this letter to let you know about some of the latest news and events that are coming up at Ascent Church…

I am sitting in a coffee shop in Shelton, WA., which is about six hours away from Prineville, writing this letter and preparing for Simeon and Tandy’s wedding ceremony. It is an honor and privilege to officiate their wedding—they are a precious young couple, who call our church their family and home (Simeon is part of the worship team, and Tandy is Dean and Jill Bonnano’s daughter, and she also helps with our middle school students). There is no other sacred relationship we have here on earth than the marriage relationship—when the Apostle Paul was speaking of the marriage relationship in Ephesians chapter five, he likened it to our relationship with God, our Father.  Continue Reading…