"We Dare To Believe"


Daily Bible Verse

Is the Lord Your Strength and Song?

Sometimes I think I'm smart.

I don't need God.

I don't need anyone's help.

I've lost count of how many times this attitude has wrecked me.

Even with the small things.

There was the time I said, "I don't need my glasses for this."

I took the sharp knife to cut a slice of tomato for my sandwich and sliced the end of my finger too. Not too smart.

Another time I said, "I gotta get my windshield wipers replaced before it rains."

I didn't listen to myself and it rained - hard. Driving home from work, I could barely see the road or the car in front of me. I nearly caused a crash. Not too smart.

I could put together a long list of things like this. They're small, insignificant things, until they're not.

How about you?

Maybe you forget to set an alarm on your phone or put an important meeting on your calendar because you're sure you're smart enough to remember.

What time was that meeting? Was it today or tomorrow?

You've heard it said, there's my way and there's the right way.

Not that your way is always wrong, but it can give you a false confidence.

However, perhaps you recall a time when you did it your way, and it turned out to be devastating.

We need someone more than ourself.

Moses knew this, and in Exodus 15 he got it right. In fact, in memory of the Red Sea event Moses wrote a song praising God for his incredible deliverance.

The Hebrews were trapped, but God made a way for them to cross the Red Sea on dry land. Pharaoh's army and war chariots attempted to follow the Hebrews across the dry ground and didn't make it because God stopped holding back the water.


The Lord observes and is involved even in our smallest things.

Moses remembered this truth. Moses composed the song:
  • The Lord is my strength and my song.
  • He is the One who saves me.
  • He is my God and I will praise Him.
  • He is my father's God and I will honor Him. (Exodus 15:2)
The Red Sea story isn't a fairy tale. It is evidence of God's power and authority over every detail of life - small things and big things.

If we ignore this truth and think we're smart, dismiss the truth as fantasy, chances are good that we'll make things worse for ourselves.

Is that what you want? I don't.

What if today I choose to do things the right way instead of my way? What if I quit being foolish? What if a start being smart?

Make the Lord God your strength and your song this Easter and from now on.

Lee Escobedo

Why Falling in Love with Jesus Will
Dramatically Improve Your Day & Life

Have you ever said this to yourself? "I can do this."

I've said that to myself many times.

I'm going to eat less today, I can do this. I'm going to exercise more today, I can do this. I'm going to wash the car today, I can do this.

You have your own list of things that you can do.

Is one of those things today I'm going to fall in love with Jesus?

If you've said this to yourself, you've thought about it religiously without defining what you mean by falling in love with Jesus. When I say you've thought religiously, I'm thinking of me. Loving Jesus has meant to do something to please Jesus. Go to church. Pray for the pastor. Read and study Ephesians to the glory of God.

No, it's not that. Falling in love with Jesus means letting Jesus love you. Not hiding from Jesus. Not doing religious activity for Jesus. Rather allowing relationship activity with Jesus. This is deeper than the Sunday School song, "Jesus loves me, this I know... the Bible tells me so."

Religious Christianity differs completely from Relationship Christianity. I discovered. I (you) do not have to have an intimate relationship with Jesus when I do things for Jesus religiously. Religion is something like doing a kindness to someone you've never met. Maybe an orphan in India, China, or Haiti.

Relationship Christianity is intimacy with Jesus. Relationship Christianity is daily falling in love with Jesus. Paying attention to Jesus is a little like paying attention to your spouse... when you were dating, remember?

Falling in love means there isn't anything you wouldn't do, if you could, to show and express your love. Falling in love matters. Because it's important to you (and those around you). It's never far away from your thoughts. You are looking for ways to show your commitment and affection.

I've struggled with being intimate with Jesus. I'm afraid of intimacy. I'm reluctant to let anyone too close to me. Jesus, too.

I know, of course, how to go through the motions, to pretend, to fake it. I thought I knew how to be intimate, but the knowledge of the how to left me empty because it wasn't intimacy.

What's the difference between actual intimacy and pretended intimacy? You already know. Pretended intimacy is miserable. No feeling of passion. Few happy times - just longing with no satisfaction. Bumping along without a definite destination - wandering. Never getting where you want to go. Is this the way to live life?


Transformation is the goal.

This why Peter and Andrew left their fishing to follow Jesus. This is why Paul gave up persecuting the Way. This is why the woman caught in adultery went and sinned no more. They all fell in love with Jesus because Jesus transformed them from their old self to a new self. I believe they were forever grateful.

When you fall in love with Jesus, you'll get the key to:
  • Peace
  • Satisfaction
  • Intimacy
And other things. This all comes as you let Jesus love you and you learn how to love Jesus in return. Is there anything better than that?

The safest thing to do is try it out. Say, "OK, I'll try this for today."

And if it works for you today, try it for the entire day tomorrow. And keep going if you're delighted with the results. I think this is exactly what will happen... you'll be delighted by falling in love with Jesus. So, it's decision time. As you make your choice, you ask yourself, am I satisfied with my relationship with Jesus? If not, do you really want to remain where you are?

Take a new action, and get a new result. Falling in love with Jesus will give you the transformation you're looking for.

Falling in love with Jesus is way beyond religion. Beginning now, dramatically improve your day and life. Jesus is waiting right in front of you. You can do this.

Lee Escobedo

Settling the Number One Problem in the World Today

what is the number one problem
What is the number one problem in our world today?

This question has bumper around in my head for weeks, a few months, and longer... maybe you've wondered about this question, too.

As I tried to sort it out, I've thought about politics being the number one problem and then decided no, politics isn't the number one problem in the world today. I've considered race as the number one problem and concluded no, race isn't the number one problem. I've reasoned that religion is the number one problem and determined no, religion isn't the number one problem either.

You may have arrived at your own ideas about what is the number one problem. Perhaps sexism. Perhaps money. Perhaps the environment. These all may be substantiated as concerning problems. But are any of these the number one problem? No, I don't think so. However, I'd say they are symptoms of the number one problem.

Jesus dealt with symptoms of the number one problem throughout his ministry. He confronted mistaken thinking and believing. Jesus healed symptoms that caused disease and threatened personal welfare. He modeled how life on earth is to be lived. And Jesus identified in various ways what the number one problem is. You can read it for yourself.

How about this verse as an example, Matthew 6:33 But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. CEV.

This sort of hints at the number one problem.

Here's another, for instance, from Jesus, Matthew 22:37... the Great Commandment.

So what would you reason as the number one problem in the world today?

I'd say assuming and alleging God is not relevant.

Lee Escobedo

New Hope. New Possibility.

You've thought about it... so, what is your project plan for this year?

Have you written it down? Maybe it's floating around in your head, not quite formed yet. But it's a project plan you have every intention of accomplishing.

Thomas Jefferson wrote a key to completing a project plan, "If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done."

How does this work itself out? Read this:

Though you have a definite plan, you may lose focus even if it's written on a 3x5 card and stuck to your refrigerator. You know ya gotta wanna is helpful but also realize there is more to a follow-through project plan than willpower and positive thinking.

"You're kidding!" you say.

No, listen, Jesus talked about how to make certain our project plan is a winner. Jesus appreciated that we search for a plan to follow, which will move us toward our finish-line. Jesus understood we gather the information we need to know and do to make our plan an actuality.

In order to save time, here's Jesus' solution to the problem. It's advice you may have learned at the knee of your mommy and daddy.

Jesus spoke to a crowd who carefully pondered his insight. "I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me." John 15:5 CEV.

Do you have new hopes and new possibles for 2021? Do you want your project plan to take root and grow? Well then, you (we) need to fall in love with Jesus daily and remain connected to him. This is an intimacy which can renew you and assure your project plan produces fruit.

Dare yourself to believe and experience New Hope and New Possibility.

Lee Escobedo


Bad stuff happens.

I don't like bad stuff. I rarely see bad stuff as an opportunity.

In September I wrote about God being the 'FRUSTRATION FIXER.' I thought I passed that test... if it was a test. I confidently proclaimed, "I won't have to re-take that test."

I was wrong.

Bad stuff causes anxiety (panic, doubt, terror). The accompaniment to bad stuff is often chaos, conflict, and confusion. How do you find contentment when awful stuff happens, when there seems no solution?

Currently, I'm having trouble with my Lee's Nite Radio website. Nasty stuff. I spent six or seven hours trying to fix it myself. I couldn't.

I called my son, Duwayne, to ask for help. He couldn't help. I called my granddaughter Claire, hoping with my fingers crossed. Claire was helpful but didn't fix my bad stuff. I called my computer tech friend who works magic almost always with my website. He battled my problem for an hour and a half and finally said, "Call your web-host." I did. Three days later it remains unfixed.

I know what you're thinking, "Did you bother to pray?"

Yes, I did that first.

It's difficult to be content when troubles happen. You can probably picture your own bad stuff. A panic attack. A dead battery. A broken garage-door motor. Etcetera.

What appears as bad stuff in the Bible: the Red Sea; Gideon and the Midianites; Esther; David and Goliath; Noah; the Apostle Paul's blindness; becomes an opportunity to reveal God's authority and power.

When I was a child playing with neighborhood kids a popular phrase from TV was, 'Never fear, Superman is here!' We'd pump up our chests and bellow this phrase at each other as if it mattered.

Someone way superior to Superman is here. I thought about this this morning. It occurred to me that God knows my dilemma (our dilemma). My bad stuff (our bad stuff) is opportunity to him, both temporarily and eternally.

Want proof?

The Father sent his Son into our bad stuff.

Merry Christmas!

Lee Escobedo

Message from Lou Escobedo,
Senior Chapel Services
"A State of Thankfulness."
Psalm 103:1-52
The Power of Prayer

This is a YouTube video. Please click on the link below:

The Great Banquet

My mind swirled, trying to latch on to the possibilities. I thought hard on it.

I wondered, What would letting God love me look like?

Then came an aha moment, I'd look like Thanksgiving, right?

I watched God preparing the Thanksgiving fiesta in the kitchen. He was surrounded with all the latest gadgets: pots and pans, mixing bowls, cookie sheets, baking dishes, and measuring cups and spoons.

Ingredients: Masa Harina for tortillas and tamales. Bread flour for traditional dinner rolls. Stuffing mix for turkey dressing. Brown sugar and pineapple slices for the ham. Plus, a bazillion spices on hand. The smells of pinto beans, rice, and crayfish boiling separately on the stove-top; not to mention the ham and turkey baking in the ovens made me hungry.

A blender on another counter, all ready to mix fresh salsa, cranberry sauce, and pie fillings. The dough crusts were previously rolled out for pecan and pumpkin pie.

Bottles of wine, champagne, and sparkling apple cider stood on a side table cart.

God didn't need to wipe his brow because everything was perfectly timed and in sync.

OK, I know what you're thinking, God wouldn't have to do any of this. God could create a great banquet out of nothing by just speaking a word.


But let me ask you, would we all hold hands, wear masks, and say a Thanksgiving prayer together?

Listen, it's fun to think about God loving us. Pampering us. Making us feel special. And our reaction is gratitude, thanksgiving.

There are many Bible verses concerning thanksgiving:
  • "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34.
  • "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15.
  • "The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." Psalm 28:7.
  • "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name." Hebrews 13:15.
What would letting God love you look like?

Letting God love you by cooking up a meal brings a smile to me, even if some can't imagine God putting together a banquet in his kitchen. Remember, you've been invited to a great feast.

Don't forget, though, to get into the banquet hall you gotta RSVP.

Lee Escobedo

God's Big Plan

It's no secret, but what do you think God is up to? Do you have a clue? I'd say you do.

The clues:
  • Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." God made everything from nothing. Although the Bible became available 350 something to 400 years after Jesus' death and resurrection, this verse gives us a clue to our universe, which we've barely explored and know little about.

  • John writing his document of Jesus said in John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God." In broad brush strokes, it gives us a clue of the bigger picture.

  • A few verses later John wrote, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We saw his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14. As promised, after the rebellion in the Garden of Eden, God came for us. God sent Jesus.

  • Quoting John once more John quotes Jesus when Jesus talks with a Jewish leader named Nicodemus in John 3:16, 17: "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." Another clue, a swash of brilliant color. Jesus announces what's going on in the world and what is his purpose.

  • John 10:10 states, The thief's purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness."
So the message of Jesus is, "The right time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Turn your life around (repent) and believe the Good News." Mark 1:15.

Added together the clue verses show and tell us: God is the uncaused cause of everything caused. The Word, God, came and dwelt on earth. He did this because of his love. His purpose was to restore life to humanity in all its fullness. This life begins in time and extends into forever.

You want a reason to follow Jesus?

Notice it isn't because the Bible tells you so. The foundation of Christianity is this combination factual event, Jesus' death and resurrection.

Eyewitnesses who knew Jesus watched these events happen and told others. Now you've been told.

Lee Escobedo

Message from Lou Escobedo, Senior Chapel Services
"Chain Breaker"
Acts Ch. 12
Who can break away steel shackles?

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Message from Lou Escobedo, Senior Chapel Services
Acts Ch. 10

This is a YouTube video. Please click on the link below:

The Frustration Fixer

What would you say is a frustration you need fixed? Here's my short story.

My wife and I live in southeastern Arizona on the Sonoran Desert in Tucson. It's summer. It's hot. This week's afternoon temperature forecast: 107, then 105, 105, 101 (cool day).

My frustration happened last night. Our AC quit. At 9:30 there is no repair service to call. Who would come? I couldn't think of anyone.

What to do? Tough it out, I guess. I said a prayer and tried to sleep. I slept until a few minutes after 3:00. Ten minutes later I rolled out of bed, walked into my writing room, turned on my computer, and wrote an email to my AC fixer, Jack. Remaining positive, I hoped for an answer from Jack later that morning, or at least during the day.

Amazingly, Jack sent a return message within forty-five minutes. Twenty minutes ago, at 11:30 AM, I wrote Jack a check for labor and a blown capacitor (whatever that is). Is that a frustration fixer story or what?

You have your own frustration fixer story. Maybe it happened after arguing with your boss and customers at work. Tired, you just wanted to get home.

You shuffled to the parking lot, unlocked your car, slid into the driver's seat, tried to start your car, and found your battery was dead. A fluke?

You tried again. Click, click. No luck. You looked around for help. It was 5:07. You noticed your car was one of the last cars in the parking lot. You thought, do I still have jumper cables in the trunk? And, darn it, I should've of paid that AAA renewal three months ago. Frustration.

Jesus isn't unmoved by our frustration, it's an opportunity.

Frustration seized the disciples. A sudden storm struck on Lake Galilee as they rowed toward Capernaum. Their boat nearly capsized. They did what they could. Jesus slept.

Helpless, their frustration grew. They woke Jesus and wondered, how can he be so calm, we're going to die?

In control, Jesus showed them how to deal with frustration.

Jesus stood. He spoke to the storm. The storm vanished.

Mystified, the disciples wondered, who is this guy?

One disciples said, "Jesus is the frustration fixer."

Lee Escobedo

Saul to Paul

Message from Lou Escobedo, Senior Chapel Services
"Saul to Paul"
Acts Ch. 9

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Message from Lou Escobedo, Senior Chapel Services
"Bold and Courageous - Stephen, the 1st Christian Martyr."
Acts Ch. 6 and 7.

You might be surprised to see who was involved in this!

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Telling Yourself the Truth

Do you lie to yourself? I have. For instance, I tell myself I'm going to do something and I dont. I'll lose that extra five pounds this month, but I dont eat less or exercise at all. I will fix that leaky faucet in the bathroom, but its still dripping. Yesterday, I told myself to call and encourage my friend. Last night I went to bed without calling my friend. Good intention is incomplete intention, a lie, right? Unfinished intention can cause cracks in my lifes foundation.

You tell yourself you intend to stop cussing just before you hammer your thumb. You promise to improve productivity at work, but your motivation bombs. You say you're going to drive responsibly but then you run a red light causing someone to gesture obscenely. Your foundation is sandy.

People in Jesus time knew about lying to themselves. Some said they would practice loving their neighbor as themselves, nothing changed. A few had good intentions to increase their financial giving, they were as stingy as ever. Several promised to fear, doubt, and worry less, they didnt. Solid rock was a missing from their structures foundation.

It may not seem like an enormous deal when we do not tell ourselves the truth. Yet lying hurts us. Eventually it causes the foundation of our life to crack and crumble.

Jesus commented about improving behavior. "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." Luke 6:46-49.

Building a firm foundation for your life means practicing telling yourself the truth about yourself.

Lee Escobedo

Senior Chapel Services with Lou and Christy Escobedo
Freedom for ALL.
Happy 4th of July America!

In a Slump?

Have you ever been in a slump? Baseball? Ping pong? Checkers? How about a slump at work? Or maybe in a slump with a friend?

My problem is whenever Im in a slump I cannot get out of my slump fast enough. I think Im doing everything right to pull out of my slump but everything I try doesnt make much difference. My slump endures. A slump, obviously, equals trouble.

Have you experienced a slump? A time when routine stuff that you do all the time gets messier. You obsess, tweaking whatever hoping to get back to your routine normal. In baseball you pay attention to how you stand. How you grip the bat. You visualize the ball meeting the bat. The goal is to recapture old glory.

I dont imagine they played baseball in Jesus day, still, they knew what it meant to be in a slump. Things that ordinarily happened didnt happen. They couldnt accurately explain the reason for their slump.

Jesus understood in this world we get into slumps. We go through problems. Troubles trouble us. Nevertheless, Jesus had the solution for slumps. He said, "In this world, slumps happen but dont let the slumps take you out of the game because I have the answer to slumps. Fix your slump by fixing your eyes on me."

What has you in a slump? Whatever it is Jesus knows all about your slump. Jesus can get you out of your slump. Jesus asks you to trust him. This is a good practice.

What could come about if you put your trust in Jesus?
  • First, your viewpoint would change.
  • Second, youd discover youre not alone.
  • Third, youd recognize you are part of a team.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are a part of your team. Their teamwork has the ability to take you out of your slump. What happens if you cooperate with your teammates?

The reality is, in baseball or anything else, slumps dont last. Trusting Jesus is the solution to any slump.

Lee Escobedo

Senior Chapel Services with Lou and Christy Escobedo
3,000 Lives Changes - Acts 2:22-41
The Church is Launched!

Senior Chapel Services with Lou and Christy Escobedo
Continuing in the Book of Acts.
Acts 2 - Fire From Above

Today Tomorrow Yesterday

Today is the tomorrow you were going to do so much about yesterday.

I have a list of things to do. I plan to clean out my junk drawer. Im going to re-grease the garage-door opener. I intend to buy a replacement battery for my laptop. I havent taken action on any of these yet.

How about you? Maybe you promised to mow the lawn. Maybe youre going to take the family out for ice cream. Maybe youre planning to volunteer at the church. But you arent motivated to do any of these just now.

Timing is a part of the reason for procrastination. Nevertheless, how would today be different if you and I actually followed through and did something on our to do-list?

Maybe we will do something when it becomes a crisis. Probably there are a few things we can put off forever but we understand that there are other things that cant be put off forever. Giving a loved one or friend a hug, a smile, or a word of encouragement for example.

During Jesus ministry, he spoke often about the urgency in doing it now. "You are salt and light. Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. The right time has come the kingdom of God is near. Turn your life around and believe the good news!" (Matthew 5:13-16 Luke 10:27, Mark1:15).

Yesterday is the past. Tomorrow isnt promised. Today opportunity knocks. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday.

Today you can carry out something crucial for others, God, and yourself. Keep in mind that today is the tomorrow you promised to do so much about yesterday.

Go ahead change your world. Today.

Lee Escobedo

Senior Chapel Services with Lou and Christy Escobedo
Continuing in the Book of Acts.
Acts 1:4-11 - Jesus says Wait!

Senior Chapel Services with Lou and Christy Escobedo
Happy Mothers Day Precious Saints!
Please visit our YouTube Channel to view our Mothers Day message

Gaining Perspective: Being Better

Have you ever said to yourself I can get better? I can do better?

Lets say youve asked yourself questions like these. So, obviously, the next question is what have you done about it? Or, what are you doing about it? (whatever it happens to be).

Ive asked questions like these and been ashamed of my answers and lack of action in moving toward making things better. Heres an example, I knew when I started on the radio that I wasnt very good on the air. Who would listen to me? I said Ill do better. I meant what I said. I committed to getting better at radio announcing.

I didnt learn everything all at once but I kept at it until I improved. I got a little better at what I did. I understood I was doing better when someone said, "I like listening to you."

Is there something you need to get better at? It doesnt have to be your job. Do you need to be a better employee? Perhaps you need to be a better husband or wife? Maybe, you need to be a better parent? Or, it could be you need to be a better brother, sister, or friend. These are a few things you may feel you need to get better at.

Jesus was interested in improving people. Jesus never left anyone as he found them because he knew there was a better for them. In one instance, Jesus celebrated with close friends at a dinner and said, "to get better in all your relationships love as I have loved you. This is the way people will know you are my disciple."

Who can you have a better relationship with today? A boss. Your daughter or son? Someone you usually avoid? Who? Of course, you already know who? There are maybe many whos. The point is to stop talking or thinking about it and do something worthwhile. Get better. Do better.

Imagine if followers of Jesus actually followed Jesus and did what Jesus said would make them better. You may, perhaps, change your world and make you better.

Lee Escobedo

Senior Chapel Services, Lou and Christy Escobedo
King Jesus - Book of Acts, Introduction:
Brighter Days Ahead Precious Saints!

Senior Chapel Services, Lou and Christy Escobedo
After Resurrection: A Fishing Trip with Jesus

Celebrating the King - Easter Sunday

Happy Easter from Senior Chapel Services, Lou and Christy Escobedo.
A special Easter message from our home to yours.

The Really, Really Big Picture

You can see it from where you are, the really, really big picture.

Its just beyond your present danger. Its just beyond your current circumstance. Its just beyond todays reward.

Some time ago someone told me about the really, really big picture. I listened to what was said but I didnt really see it. I dont know, at the time maybe my friends were more distracting. Maybe my wife and kids fogged my vision. Maybe I said, "Oh yeah, I know that." and moved on to whatever held greater fleeting interest. Shame on me.

Youve, no doubt, done it too. Youre smart but played dumb. There was that time you felt a nudge and ignored it. There was that time (or many times) when you heard a whisper but disregarded it. In truth, you were busy doing your day-to-day stuff and missed real life.

But while we were inattentive and wandering in our temporary, God completed the really, really big picture. The Apostle Paul helped people like us see clearly the really, really big picture. Here is one sentence which succinctly describes the really, really big picture: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.

Yet even being told and acknowledging the really, really big picture there is an inclination to move to our next thought without fully grasping the really, really big picture.

It is the Spirit of God that is able to focus our sight and straighten our distorted disarray so that we can appreciate the really, really big picture. When this happens our day and life totally changes. Imagine a place beyond your temporary where you envision the permanent creation.

Jesus stood before Pilate as King knowing precisely what was going to happen and Jesus fearlessly decided to complete the really, really big picture. "You have no power over me."

Jesus regarded everything from an eternal perspective - he died and is alive. This is the really, really big picture.

Lee Escobedo

A Letter From the President of MLS

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are truly thankful to all of you for your support at MLS and SCS, for the India and Mexico pastors, our seniors in the retirement homes, congregations, and families. We continue to pray for all, and ask for your prayers in return, as we all endure this global crisis. We are encouraged by the outpouring of the American people for their neighbors and friends, and want to encourage you to stay in touch with all your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Sometimes just a call, text, or a letter makes all the difference to one who is suffering and alone. You are needed by others who may be discouraged and wanting to hear some words of hope and care.

It is very important that we keep a positive outlook on life and know that God promises never to leave us, never to forsake us (Duet.31:6) . We have survived many plagues, famines, diseases, droughts, and wars in the past -- and we will survive this also.

Moses encouraged Joshua with these words: "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." (Duet. 31:6) . We are commanded to pray for our leaders, our pastors, communities, churches, and our families; and to have faith that God will hear our prayers. As believers in Jesus Christ, we keep the faith, we remain hopeful, and continue running the race to win the prize -- the Crown of Life, which is bestowed upon those who persevere under trial. (1 Cor.9:24, Jas.1:12, Rev.2:10 - paraphrased).

God spoke to Solomon, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chron. 7:14

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Lou and Christy Escobedo
An Issue of Trust and the Answer

Who do you trust? Or maybe a better question is, what do you trust? Someone? Something? Trust has something to do with what is essential to you (and me). Trust is a big deal.

Getting to the heart of this issue is this, when we worry what would you say is the level of your trust in God? Wouldnt you have to say that you have zero to no trust in God? That seems harsh, doesnt it? It does because it is.

Certainly, we may believe we trust God. Nonetheless, our worry betrays us as hypocrites. OK, occasionally we may trust God for items 1, 2, and 4 but not 3. Or we trust God for 2, but not 1, 3, or 4. Or we say, "Ill trust God if God does one of these four my way."

So, again, Who or what do you trust? Just you? Rarely God? The bank account? The job? The pill? The political party?

Jesus said something crucial about trust. Two thousand years ago Jesus talked to people much like us. They worried about what they were going to eat. They worried about what they were going to drink. They worried about what they were going to wear.

Jesus appreciated that these were important interests in daily life. Its all-important that we see that God is not unaware of what our needs are. Our health and welfare are fundamental to God. God takes care of the birds of the air and the wildflowers in the fields. Therefore, Jesus says, then and now, God is not apathetic to our needs.

Once more, Who or what do you trust? Again, if youre worried about your health or welfare without a doubt you are almost certainly not trusting God.

Im sure you dont like to hear this but honestly, God is at the center of trust.

Jesus said it this way regarding the issue of trust and its answer in Matthew 6:33,34: "But more than anything else, put Gods work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. 34 Dont worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today." CEV


I want to know whats true, dont you?

I dont want to waste my time on whats not true.

I have wasted a lot of my time, but when I realize Im wasting my time on whats not true it annoys me.

OK, say you can identify with what Im saying. So, do you want truth? Ill say you do. Heres truth you can bank on, repeat after me, "There is nowhere I can get to that God isnt already there."

You may be thinking, Duh, everybody knows that is true.

Yeah, youre right, people may know its true but that doesnt mean they act like its true. Why am I so sure? Because if a person actually believed this was true it would change the way they viewed all of their circumstances.

This is a big truth.

As an example, right now, wherever you are, say this out loud because its true, Jesus is here where I am.

Repeat that out load until you recognize what you are telling yourself is true. You will be speaking truth to yourself. If you will do this now, and often through the day, you will begin to behave differently. Why? Because Jesus is where you are.

Will this truth be valuable to you? Yes, it will, if you would like to quit wasting your time.

Go ahead and practice, by the way you act and speak, this big truth. Jesus is here.

Planning Ahead

Youve thought about it, so, what is your plan for this year?

Many have a plan, but not written down. Your plan may be floating in your head. You can sort of say what it is yet cannot measure how much progress youre making (or not making).

Thomas Jefferson wrote down a key to completing a successful plan. "If you want something youve never had, you must be willing to do something youve never done."

What does that mean? Follow this:

Though some have a definite plan they can lose focus even when its written down on a 3x5 card and taped to their bathroom mirror. They know Ya gotta wanna is helpful but also realize there is more to a successful plan than will power and positive thinking.

"Say what?" you say.

Jesus talked about how to make sure a plan succeeds. Jesus understood we look for a plan that moves us toward success. Thus, we research what we need to know and do what we need to do to make our plan come true.

To save you a lot of time Jesus gave his solution to the problem. Its advice you may have learned in Sunday School.

Jesus said, "I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me." John 15:5 CEV.

Are you planning ahead? If you want your plan to succeed you (we) need to fall in love with Jesus (daily) and stay joined to him. This speaks of intimacy with the only one who can assure a plan succeeds.

If you havent done this go ahead and do something you may have never done before.

Lee Escobedo

(James 1:19)

Gods Word provides an abundance of passages to guide us in the use of our words and teaches us what can happen if we are not diligent to use our words carefully. Our words have the power to bless or harm, heal or wound. So James 1:19 reminds us; Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.

If we listen too little and talk too much, we are conveying to others that we think our ideas and thoughts are more important that theirs. James wisely advises us to do the opposite; become aware of how much we talk and how much we listen. Ask yourself if you think the people that you talk with feel that they are heard and feel their ideas have value? Practice letting others speak first while we perfect our listening skills.

We should practice praying, "Help me Holy Spirit" before we speak. Lets choose to use our words to build people up and be disciplined in our communication with others, especially those closest to us, who we are most comfortable with and can easily relax our words and say things we regret later.

Proverbs 13: 2-3 says, People eat well with the fruit of their words, ...People who watch their mouths guard their lives, but those who open their lips are ruined. With our words we tell ourselves what is possible and impossible. We tell ourselves who we are, how we should act and what we can and cannot do. With our words we create the events of our lives and influence other peoples lives as well.

Our words are powerful and can be used to heal or wound. We can create beauty for ourselves and others with our words, or we can destroy everything around us if we misuse our words. Proverbs 12:9 says, Truthful lips endure forever but a lying tongue lasts only for a moment.

So we also have to be careful how we speak about others. If we embellish a story about our neighbor, gossip or tell lies, we greatly harm them and our own reputation.

Lets be careful to use our words to build others up, or if thats too difficult, practice silence... listen. Be still. Lets choose to create beauty and love and healing with our words today and everyday and bring a little heaven here to earth.

Sarita Escobedo

Additional Scripture about our words:
Proverbs 15: 1-2, 4, 23, 26 & 28
Proverbs 12: 6, 13-14, 18-19
Mathew 12:34

A Letter From the MLS-India Church

Greetings to all family members of MLS-USA.

By the grace of almighty Jesus everything is fine here and we hope the same from you all. Here we are sending the testimony of Mr. ABRAHAM one of our pastors of MLS-INDIA.

Mr. ABRAHAM has been working in Kampalayam village for the last 15 years which is 25 KM away from his home town. He has about 40 members in his church and most of them are from a non-christian community. He holds his gospel service in the village at fellow believers houses which is being offered by some of the church members. Apart from Sunday service, he holds evening prayer every Wednesday, fasting and prayer on every Friday for women, and Sunday school for children and youths. Recently he has been visiting a few neighboring villages in and around his village. One of the villages that he is visiting is KALAVAKUR which is again 25 KM away from his service place Kampalayam. From this village most of the people are not Christians, we can say typically they are orthodox HINDU believers.

He chose to visit this place as he took it as a challenge. At the beginning of his visit to this village there was a protest by a group from the village that had not allowed our pastor ABRAHAM to enter, but he did not lose his hope. He started meeting some young people at the outside of the village and he started speaking to people that his visit was not for the religious conversion but teachings of Jesus. Gradually people believed in Him and our pastor to teach Christ in their village. He has been visiting this village for the last six months now and almost 30 to 40 members are attending his gospel service in the same village. His determination and prayers are making a difference in the village. As a result, some of them are offering their place to hold a gospel service. Now our pastor, Mr. ABRAHAM, is visiting this village every Sunday evening to hold a prayer meeting.

On June 27th he had held a prayer meeting for the village people. There were about 50 people who participated in this blessed meeting. This meeting was held in the presence of our Director, Mrs. Mercy. We all believe it was a blessed gospel service because where our pastor had once been restricted by the people of the village, the same people became believers of Christ and participated in the holy gospel service. The photos of the gospel service are enclosed with this email. All this is happening only because of you, your prayers, and financial support through MLS INDIA. May GOD Jesus propagate His love all over the world; and as part of our role, we will take responsibility to spread our heavenly Fathers love across INDIA. We are sure that we will reach it. We are praying for this holy mission to reach every corner of our country. Praise the Lord. Pray for our pastors and MLS INDIA.

Living in the Summer Sonshine

Spring Cleaning.

Its a chore.

But, it replaces the dusty old with the spotless new.

Maybe youve done this, each Spring my mother-in-law systematically cleaned her entire house in preparation for Summer. Everything got her attention. Drawers were cleaned and rearranged. Cabinets were scrubbed. Curtains vacuumed. Windows became spotless inside and out. Bedrooms. Bathrooms. Living-room. Dining room. Kitchen. Pictures. Knickknacks. All the nooks and crannies received care.

Although exhausting the end the result was a satisfying thrill of accomplishment. My mother-in-laws goal allowed her family to enjoy the fresh and new. Her family was pleased.

In a similar way, our Heavenly Father has involved Himself in Spring cleaning. God tossed the Old and replace it with something fresh and New.

Something better.

The Old Covenant was insufficient. The New Covenant is sufficient (because of Jesus). The New Covenant traded religion for a relationship.

The Old Covenant way of living and pleasing God has been exchanged for the New Covenant way of living and pleasing God. The New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant.

Spring Cleaning.

In review, the New Covenant is unlike the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant promoted keeping rules. The New Covenant promotes love as you have been loved. The Old Covenant misses intimacy. The New Covenant boasts intimacy.

Our Heavenly Fathers chore of Spring cleaning is over.

Live in the Summer Sonshine.

Lee Escobedo

Jesus Brings the Rain

Just when we think were heading into another drought season, the storehouse of heaven opens up and drops a load of snow and brings a bounty of rain. Isnt it so like God to do that! In the final days of winter, according to our weather experts, the rain and snow gauges were showing next to nothing. The reports streaming across the television said that this could possibly be the worst February for precipitation ever on record. NPR reported last month that, "California appears to be headed back to drought." Well -- not so quick.

The end of February has passed, the first part of March is here, along with a measurable amount of rain and snow. We had snow falling at our low elevation of 2,000 feet! Look what the Lord has done! So beautiful. Something about the snow falling comes with it a sense of peace, of restoration, hope, and newness. Reading in Job 38:22, God speaks to Job out of the storm about His storehouses of snow. Though Hes telling Job that those are His reserves for times of trouble, for days of war and battle, but perhaps He cracks open those storehouse doors from time to time, pushing aside our pessimism, and leading us to shout out, "God, You are so good!"

Yes, He may wait until the fourth quarter, but Im believing that He has heard the prayers of His people. He heard Elijahs prayer for rain. It hadnt rained in 3 1/2 years and Elijah prayed; and God sent the rain! The Bible says that Elijah prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit (James 5:18, 1 Kings 18:41).

We know that it is Gods will for us to pray. Jesus says, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:24)

"Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone." Zech. 10:1

As spring breaks forth, the flowers will burst open, the grass will turn green once again, the butterflies will leave their cocoons, the birds will start singing their songs. After the winter the spring comes, and we too have a song to sing. Sing of the joy of your salvation, praise the Creator, your redeemer and Lord. Sing Him praise while you have your being (PS.104:33).

So Jesus brings the rain, once again. He brings hope, He brings restoration, He brings new beginnings --- He brings us a new season ... Hello Spring!

Christy Escobedo,
Follower of Jesus
Fresh Eyes
(You may have to close your eyes to see this)

Imagine the Creator looking over everything created.
Imagine 2000 years ago God sent us Jesus.

2000 years seems like a long time but it isnt for God.
Because God invented time.

2000 years isnt a long time for God.
5000 years isnt a long time for God.
10,000 years isnt a long time for God.

God lives inside and outside of time. No matter how big the number, it doesnt matter. God isnt affected by a number in time.

Whats more, God is able to do a lot with a little amount of time or a big amount of time. For example, Genesis says, "God said let there be -- " (and it happened instantly).

The Apostle Paul understood this concept of time. In 1 Corinthians 15:52 he wrote, "It will happen suddenly, quicker than the blink of an eye. At the sound of the last trumpet, the dead will be raised. We will all be changed so that we will never die again. " CEV

We need to see time with fresh eyes.

To me, this means seeing things differently. What things? Everything. My marriage. My children. My friends. My enemies. My life. This happens when I view things with fresh eyes.

For you, it means the same as for me. Everything changes when we see with fresh eyes.

The challenge is to view our circumstances and world with fresh eyes.

Lee Escobedo

Advent: the New Perspective

I asked myself, "Can you see the big picture?" Do you see whats going on?

And I answered myself, "Sure, contempt and chaos are everywhere."
  • Chaos and contempt exists in some homes.
  • Contempt and chaos exists at some jobs.
  • Chaos and contempt exists in some churches.
  • Contempt and chaos exists in our politics.
  • Chaos and contempt exists within me.
Advent offers me a new perspective. It offers me a chance to exchange contempt and chaos for peace and joy.

And, what does peace and joy look like?
  • It looks like respect for God because he kept his promise.
  • It looks like Jesus feeding the spiritually and emotionally hungry.
  • It looks like loving someone else just as God loved me.
In the big picture, its true.

Whats true?

The door of opportunity faces us. When we knock the door is opened. In the big picture, were no longer trapped by contempt and chaos. We can delight in the new perspective.

In Advent, God extends another chance to view life from the new perspective.
  • This perspective honors and respects God with our next thought and next action.
  • This perspective dares to reject calling God a liar.
  • This perspective challenges empty ridicule of Gods gift to us.
So, whats the benefit of seeing and believing this new perspective?
  • How about anxiety exchanged for peace that passes all understanding?
  • How about joy exchanged for chaos and contempt?
  • How about its okay to let God love you?
Advent offers you the New Perspective of Jesus.

Merry Christmas! Lee Escobedo

The Taste Diet

I once had the idea that I could lose a lot of weight if I followed the "taste diet." This diet was my own invention.

What this diet essentially required was for me to satisfy my hunger with tiny tastes.

What tastes? I chose these tastes:
  • sweet,
  • sour,
  • salty,
  • savory, and
  • bitter.
Which meant what?

Well, at various times of the day when I got hungry Id pick a taste. I would taste something sweet. Or, I would taste something sour. Or, I would taste something salty. Or, I would taste something savory. Or, I would taste something bitter.

Want some examples?

I would taste something such as
  • a half teaspoon of honey,
  • a slice of lemon,
  • a damp finger tip of sea salt,
  • a morsel of cheese, or
  • a small nibble of unsweetened dark chocolate.
Oh yes, I need to mention, there was one other thing before I tasted any of these, I drank one eight ounce glass of water.

I could enthusiastically tell you that this diet works. I recommend it.

Of course, its based on my experience.

I didnt do any scientific rigmarole.

I dont have any written down evidence other than, like the formerly blind man (John 9:25), I once weighed this much and after one week on the taste diet, I weighed this much.

Experience is great, but I realize sometimes someone asks for solid stats.

For instance, I can say Im a Christian based on experience and thats fine, it may be accurate, but it isnt necessarily enough for everyone.

This is why when John sent his disciples to ask Jesus "Are you the Messiah or should we look for someone else?" Jesus gave John (through his disciples) hard proof. "Go and report to John the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the lepers are clean, the dead are raised to life, etc." (Matthew 11:2-6).

Should someone ask you why you are a Christian?

Tell them because its true.

And then be ready to give them some plausible, sensible, and intelligent information. Such as you can find here.

Live in the Sonshine!

Lee Escobedo

Why are you a Christian?

I know its a personal question, .. but why are you a Christian? Do you have a reason, experience, or evidence for your Christian belief? What is it?

You might say, "Well Ive always been a Christian." Or maybe youd say, "Because the Bible tells me so." Or you could say, "I was going that way and Jesus convinced me to go this way."

These are reasons of blind faith, accidental faith, or emotional experience. These are OK. These are a part of why you believe, but do you have evidence for what you accept as genuine? Could you say, "Because Christianity is true based on the evidence."

And what proof would you offer the atheist, agnostic, or skeptic?

Would you present a cosmological defense for your Christian faith? How about a teleological argument? Or perhaps evidence that supports a universal Moral and Ethical system? These are three possible rational, credible reasons for why you are a Christian.

In our current world where science is king, questioners wont settle for less than sound and sensible evidence. As a Christian are you prepared to provide this for them?

If not, you might want to train yourself to give a sensible reason as to why you are a Christian. I read J. Warner Wallaces book "Forensic Faith". (Good summer reading). And reading this book led me to Apologetics Press (http://apologeticspress.org/) where youll find a ton of evidence for why you are a Christian.

Why should you care? Because someones eternity is at stake.

P.S. I hope this makes sense. If you have questions please call me when youre able.

God bless your day.

Lee Escobedo

"We Dare To Believe"
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