A husband, father, son, brother, pastor and friend Louie Delgado passed away on October 23, 2016, after a yearlong battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. One of his last wishes was to come home to San Antonio to be with his family and flock. We fought hard to fulfill that wish and succeeded, with the help of many kind and compassionate strangers.
In addition to funeral and treatment costs, we now have to cover the costs of the medical-transport flight that brought Louie home. We have 9 days to raise $19,650, or else this burden gets passed on to his wife, Yolie. Every penny up to $19,650 will be used to pay for the flight. And anything raised over that amount will be used for funeral or treatment costs.www.gofundme.com/louiedelgado
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of October 24, 2016
Psalm 116:15- “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
Beloved, yesterday afternoon I received the news that one of my precious friends, Louie Delgado, went home to be with the Lord after a raging battle against cancer. For many, Louie was a great friend. For others he was their Son, Husband, Dad, Grandpa, and Pastor. He loved many and many loved him. Our hearts are broken and tears roll down our faces as we come to terms with the loss of Louie. We certainly uphold in our prayers Yolie, Mindy, Daniel, Brandon, Amy, Preston, Sean, Louie’s parents and sister and many other family members. We love them and we will stand by them during this difficult time. They are family.
I have many precious memories with Louie. One of them, when the Delgados lived in Live Oak, had Louie and I playing basketball against Daniel and Jenner Garcia. The game was tight but Louie and I were holding on to a slim lead about to claim the victory when Louie heard a pop and fell down to the ground. He thought Daniel had kicked him but in fact Louie’s Achilles tendon had tore and separated from his ankle. We didn’t know what happened and sensing the game was at hand I told Louie to “keep it warm” and lets finish the game. He did and we got the “W.” Marcus Welby MD I am not and a couple of weeks later Louie found out just in time that in fact he had tore his Achilles tendon. Thankfully, he got it repaired!
Why do I tell this story? Because it reminds me so much of who Louie was. He did not love sports. He would rather play his guitar and worship the Lord, (and we loved to hear him do so!), but he knew that his son and one of his best friends loved to play some BBall and so he played. Louie was selfless and always giving of his time, talent and treasure. His many friends and family can attest to his love of others and His love of the Lord.
Why did Louie love much? Because he knew had been forgiven much. He loved His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that love spilled over into the lives of countless others. Luke 7:47 says, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
So today I, we grieve over the loss of our dear brother Louie. We will continue to pray for Yolie and all the family and continue to support them in any way possible. Though we grieve we do not grieve without hope as 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” We can grieve with hope because we know where Louie is and where one day we will be.
I can only imagine how precious it is for Louie to be in heaven with His Lord and Savior and to have heard those words: “Well done my good and faithful servant!” Louie is certainly in good hands. As Pastor Chuck has said, “He is more alive today that he has ever been!” Thanks you Jesus!
As for us, I have a couple of words of encouragement: “keep it warm.” Knowing Louie he would say the same thing: “keep it warm.” Yes, the Achilles tendon of your heart has been torn in two by the loss of Louie and yes you just want to cry and beg for God to return him here but Louie is with the Lord and “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
So while our hearts are broken, we have to “keep it warm” and finish this “game” we call life. There are folks who need to be ministered to and loved, people who desperately need the love of Jesus that are in danger of losing their eternal life. So with broken hearts we need to keep loving, giving, and serving others for the glory of God. We must keep going and finish strong just like our beloved Louie did. We too want to hear those words found in Matthew 25:23, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
Beloved: I love you and I will be praying for you!
Yolie and family: Sheila and I love you!
Louie: I love you and I will see you soon enough! Save me a seat at the banquet table. It’s all Lu Ann platter up there!
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of October 10, 2016
Hope In His Word!
Jeremiah 15:16- “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.”
Beloved, while reading through the Book of Jeremiah for my morning devotion, I was found to be despondent. The Lord was dealing with Israel and He was not so kind. For instance, read what Jeremiah 14:11-12 has to say, “The Lord said to me: “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”
As I read that I wondered if this was a prophecy not only against Israel but also against us! Have we gone so far away from the Lord that the two main people running for office are utterly deplorable? Are they a true representation of our country and if so, is there any hope for us or is the Lord about to lay down some heavy judgment against us?
Thankfully, however, hope came in Jeremiah 15:16. When Israel was falling apart at the seams because of their unrighteousness, Jeremiah took solace and hope from God’s Word, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” Hence I found the answer for others and myself. When it seems hopeless, we place our hope in God’s word.
Therefore, we awake to hope in God’s word and not man’s words. We open our Bibles, we read them and His word becomes the, “joy and the delight of my heart.” In addition, we also know that we can hope in God’s word because we are, “called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.”
Beloved, I will continue to pray our country. I will continue to hope that the Lord still desires to use this country as a light and beacon of hope to a lost and dying world. But most of all, I will trust in His Word and in the midst of despair His word will be, “a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.”
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you! Please pray for our men’s retreat this week. We will have 60 plus guys getting away to focus on the Lord and His Word!
In His Love,
Jeremiah 1:4-5 "What is God's call on my life?" on this week's Word of Grace Devotion with Pastor Joe Marquez.
The Word of Grace Devotion for October 3, 2016
What Is God’s Call On My life?
Jeremiah 1:4-5, “ Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Beloved, the Prophet Jeremiah knew that God had called him to be a prophet to the nations from before he was in the womb. God had formed him, consecrated him and appointed him as a prophet. But God’s call (our Life’s work) is not always so obvious. So how do we know God’s call on our life?
Personally, my calling to be a pastor came progressively. I gave my life to Christ and began serving in the church. Then I had to make a choice whether or not God was calling me to the ministry. I believed He was so I enrolled in the School of Ministry and Shepherd’s School and eventually became a pastor. Easy right! Not really! Along the way there were pitfalls and difficulties but with perseverance the Lord fulfilled my calling.
Beloved, I do believe that God has a special and unique purpose and calling for your life, a calling that only you can fulfill. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “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."
So you ask, “How will I know my calling?” First, God will place a desire and a passion in our hearts to do the things He has called us to do. Ever since I was in elementary school, the one thing that I had been able to do was to get in front of people and speak. I believe all along God had called me to do just that but it was not revealed to me until I totally gave my heart and life over to Christ. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”
You also will know your calling because you will have a love and a passion for doing the things God has created for you to do. In addition, God will bless you with specific spiritual gifts to equip you for your calling. God takes your availability and blesses it with His ability.
So what do you need to do? Romans 12:1-2! (1) Present your self to the Lord. (2) Make yourself available and (3) offer your life as a living sacrifice to God. Remember, He leads, we follow! Also, please remember one additional point: God will tell YOU your calling. He will use others to confirm it but God will speak it to you! Every Prophet God called; He personally told them He was calling them. So expect to receive a call from God about your calling!
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!