DJ Gorena

Life as I see it

Month: December, 2012

ALL Good Things

Galatians 6:6

This morning I preached a message (that will be posted tomorrow) on Galatians 6:6-18. It is a great passage of Scripture. But on this post, I want to focus on Galatians 6:6. It is a hard verse for preachers to preach. But it is a necessary verse for preachers to preach if they are going to stay true to preaching the whole counsel of God’s Word.

Now we have to ask the question, “Why is it hard for preachers to preach this verse or others like it?” Simply put: When you start to preach about money and giving, people tend to pucker up and sometimes they even stop listening. It’s a fact that no one really wants to talk about giving and giving and giving and giving…did I say giving? However, Paul the apostle’s line of thinking is simple: It’s our responsibility!

He opens Galatians 6 with telling us to be responsible, if we are spiritual enough, to help a brother out when he is surprised and caught up in sin. Then he tells us to carry out the responsibility of tending to our own burdens; that’s right, we should carry our own load of whatever comes to us in this life. Then he says:

The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. (Galatians 6:6)

There it is! We as the Church have a responsibility to make sure that those who are preaching and teaching are taken care of. Notice what Paul says though. He does not say that we are to simply give money but he says that we are to “share all good things.” In fact, if you see how Paul said it, it will change your attitude when giving. Notice he did not say to “give” all good things, but to “share” all good things. Sometimes we just think that the preacher is always asking for money.

I received an email one time that accused me of saying every Sunday, “Dig a little deeper in those pockets of yours.” I have never used this sort of language with my people. It’s inappropriate to say such a thing. But to say that we ought to be faithful just as God has been faithful to us is a good and accurate thing to say. After all, when you consider the two greatest commands that Jesus Christ gave us in Matthew 22:37-39 we will want to be faithful. Why, for what reason? Because if we are loving God with all of our heart, soul and mind and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves we will want to share. Our God is a giving God! Our God is a sharing God because He shared His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!

Now you might say to me, “Well, Pastor, I have not been as blessed as the next guy.” Perhaps you haven’t been blessed with material things as others or financially. However, you’ve been blessed with what God has given to you. Have you ever wondered how those in third-world countries seem to be alright with being poor? I was in Monterrey, Mexico ministering in the city dump where the government had built cinder block houses for families to live. Children hardly clothed were rummaging through the trash heap and their parents were too. But they were smiling. The families were thankful that they could actually find something to eat there. They were using discarded things to make a life together. And as one of those men that I met there said, “I’m thankful that God has taken care of us to be able to have what we have” I couldn’t help but start to think about sharing with others.

But I have to admit something: sometimes I don’t like to share. Sometimes I want to keep everything for myself. In other words, sometimes I’m just plain selfish! However, I also realize that I am not alone in this regard. What I ought to be doing, as any Christian should, is “share all good things” with those who teach me the Word of God.

So, as I say to my people, let’s be faithful knowing God’s faithfulness to us! Let’s make 2013 about sharing and giving and being faithful to the Lord as He leads us. What we sow we shall reap!



New Booster Seat Law Clarified by Texas Department of Public Safety

Booster Seat

Here’s another article on transportation of children that you might find interesting…if you have children…that you transport…or…if you are just a transportation law junkie:

There has been some confusion about a new state law that requires all children younger than eight (8) years old. UNLESS taller than 4’9″ to be in child passenger safety seat system. (“Child passenger safety seat system” includes traditional car seats with harnesses AND booster seats – both high-back and backless versions.)

The law also requires all safety seats and booster seats to be installed according to the instructions of the manufacturer of the safety seat system.

Because of the changes of the wording int he law (SB61), the following legal interpretation should be applied:

  • Once a child reaches eight (8) years old, they are not legally required to be in a child safety seat system.
  • If the child is younger than eight (8) years old, BUT they are already 4’9″ tall, they are not legally required to be in a child safety seat system.
  • If a child is eight (8) years old or older, and not yet 4’9″ tall, they are not legally required to be in a child safety seat system.

The law also requires that safety and booster seats be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, including age, height and weight requirements and the placement int he vehicle. (Some manufacturers prohibit using their products on the front seats of vehicles.)

The other part of the law that may cause some confusion are the dates of when the law takes effect and when the enforcement phase begins.

The law will take effect September 1, 2009. Law enforcement officers may only enforce the new changes in the law with written or verbal warnings until June 1, 2010.

However, beginning on June 1, 2010, officers may then arrest or issue a citation/notice to appear to a person committing an offense.

A fine of not more than $25 can be assessed for a first offense and no more than $250 for the second or subsequent offenses.

This extra time between the effective date and the written offense date is to allow parents and caregivers ample time to become educated about, and obtain, the required safety seats or booster seats.

Vehicle manufacturers design their products for adults – not kids – and they support keeping kids in the appropriate safety or booster seat until the child can properly wear the adult safety belt…typically when they reach 4’9″ tall.

Once your child has reached eight (8) years old, to know when they can wear an adult seat belt properly without a booster seat, use this simple test:

Have your child sit on the vehicle seat, sitting all the way back, with their back straight against the back of the seat, and buckle the lap/shoulder belt over them.

  1. Do their legs bend naturally at the knees over the edge of the seat?
  2. Does the lap portion of the belt fit low over the hips and top of their thighs?
  3. Does the shoulder portion of the belt fit across the center of their chest?

If the answer to any of these three questions is no, the child may be better protected in a booster seat.

A child in a poorly fitting adult seat belt usually slumps down, allowing the seat belt to ride up into their abdomen or neck, which can cause severe injuries to the child’s neck and internal organs during a car crash.

Although there is no law that prevents youngsters from sitting in the front seat of a vehicle, the safest place for a child in a car is in a rear seat, properly buckled into a child safety seat or a booster seat.

Air bags don’t replace child safety seats and may increase the risk of serious injury to children. Children younger than 13 should never ride int he front seats of vehicles with active passenger air bags. If you do have to transport a child int he front seat in an emergency – make sure the front seat is moved all the way back on the track, placing as much room as possible between the deployment is moved all the way back on the track, placing as much room as possible between the deployment zone of the air bag and the vehicle seat…but NEVER place a rear-facing safety seat on a front seat.

A final, but very important note: please read and follow the instructions in both the safety/booster seat owner’s manual AND the vehicle owner’s manual. Not all safety or booster seats fit the same in all vehicles – so you may have to try several before finding a good fit for your child and vehicle.

If you have any questions, please contact Beth Warren, DPS Administrative Training Unit, Safety Programs at 512/424-5639 or

(You can find this article here.)

Car Seats and Children

Boys at Target

Here’s an important message from the Texas Department of Public Safety. We wanted to make sure that we were following the Texas law concerning transporting our little ones. As you can see, this particular ride is safe as we are simply waiting for our Starbucks frappes at Target!

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new recommendations in their April 2011 publication, Pediatrics, addressing best practice when transporting children. This is not a change in Texas statute, however, parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow the new AAP Guidelines (PDF) when transporting children.

Hyperthermia (heat stroke/heat related) deaths: Last year there were 49 children in the US killed by hyperthermia (heat-stroke). Unfortunately, Texas led the nation with 13 of those deaths. never leave your child alone in a car, a Safe Kids Worldwide program, is dedicated to educating the public about this issue. For information on how you can prevent child hyperthermia deaths from occurring, visit Safe Kids.

The following presentations are designed to help answer questions that law enforcement officers and the general public may have concerning the changes to the child safety seat and occupant safety laws: 545.412 and 545.413:

Phase 1: Rear-Facing Seats – Infants: Birth – 35 pounds. Rear-facing infant or rear-facing convertible safety seat as long as possible, up to the rear-facing height or weight limit of the seat. Properly install rear-facing int he back seat.

Phase 2: Forward-Facing Seats – When children outgrow the rear-facing seat, they should ride in a forward-facing safety seat as long as possible, up to the upper height or weight limit (40-80 pounds) of the harnesses. Usually 4+ years old. Properly installed forward-facing int he back seat. NEVER turn forward-facing before 1-year-old AND 20-22 pounds.

Phase 3: Booster Seats – After age 4 and 40+ pounds, children can ride in a booster seat with the adult lap and shoulder belt until the adult safety belt will fit them properly (usually when the child is 4’9″ tall) MUST have a lap/shoulder belt to use a booster seat.

Phase 4: Adult Safety Belt – Once children outgrow their booster seat (usually 4’9″, 100 pounds) they can use the adult safety belt if it fits them properly. Lap portion low over the hips/tops of thighs and shoulder belt crosses the center of the shoulder and center of the chest.

Children are better protected the longer they can stay in each phase. Keep children in each seat up to the maximum age/weight/height limits before moving to the next phase.

For more information, contact Beth Warren, Occupant Safety Programs Coordinator at or 512/424-5639.

(You can read this article here.)

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