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I’m a Liar

A while back, we had some ladies from a community help us prepare food for a feeding center. After the event it was raining and I gave them a ride home. I was sitting in the van as they got in. Listening to their chatter, I was excited to hear how happy they were to be included in the evangelism and feeding of the children.

In the van, there were a few of the Are You a Good Person tracts from Living Waters. Of course they were in Spanish. Living Waters, in my opinion, is the best place to get tracts and evangelism material. In the tract, it asks, “have you ever told a lie?” The kid answers, “Sure, who hasn’t?” Then it asks, “What do you call someone who lies?” and his answer is “a liar.”

Earlier that day, one of the ladies had asked us to sign a paper so she could get a loan. She wanted us to say that we were paying her more than we did, so she would qualify for a loan to buy a refrigerator. We knew she desperately needed the fridge but refused to sign the paper, knowing that this loan would only cause her trouble in the future. We explained how it was dishonest to even fudge the numbers a little bit. Even if the outcome is not profitable to us, we need to be truthful at all times. It was a difficult time and there was an awkward moment of silence. We prayed for God to help her with the difficulty.

On the trip back, she picked up the tract and began read it aloud. “Have you ever told a lie?” I heard her begin to sob and then confess, “Oh God, forgive me I am a liar.”

Please pray for us as we strive to glorify God in Nicaragua.


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We Give Up!

Click bait!. With new technology, I can see who reads our letter, when they open it, how many times, what they click on and much more. The truth is, only 36% of the people who receive an email in the religious category even open it. So, if you are reading this, we thank you.

I have something to say and I want you to read it!

Sovereignty of God

We know God is in charge. We know that He, ultimately, will take care of us. We know  God has called us to Nicaragua. Knowing these things gives us assurance of provision and assurance of protection. We don’t believe that because we are doing what God has called us to do,  he will not lead us into difficult situations. That is not a biblical view of God. Often times we will face difficult situations, hardships, droughts, and famine. It is how we respond in those times that our lives are strengthened. Colossians 1:17 states that “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  God told Jeremiah in chapter 32 verse 27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

We have to rely completely on Him. If we put our faith in men or anything else, we will come up short every time. God is steadfast and unchangeable.  Psalm 135:6 says, “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.” 

Giving up

So if all our effort come short, the only thing left to do is give up. Literally give it all to God. Put it in His hands. Giving up, or surrendering is the only option. We are surrounded by a Holy God. As we studied the attributes of God last month, we studied the Omnipresence of God.

Psalm 139: 7-12

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

The Bible tells us that we are enemies of God.(Romans 5:10) He is the one that said “Let there be light.” How could we ever win in a war against our Creator. We can’t win. The only “good” option is surrender. We give up. Repentance is rarely talked about any more. But, it is admitting that we, in ourselves can’t fix it. We are wrong. it is also a turning form our sin and a turning to God. Repentance is something we are granted. It is not ours. Acts 11:18 says, “When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” Have you been granted repentance? It is not in our human nature to desire to turn from our wicked ways. Our human nature is wicked. Our hearts are darkened. God must give us light. We have to turn form trusting on our own power or ability, and turn to the work that has been done on our behalf by Jesus. Not just on the cross of Calvary, but the perfect sinless life He lived. Because of His perfect life, He fulfilled the law. When He was on the cross, the sin of Believers was transferred to Him. When we trust in what God has done for us through the cross of Calvary, the righteousness of Christ is imputed or transferred to us. That is how we gain our righteousness. We take on the righteousness of Christ. My good deeds or your good deeds or merits would never be enough to earn you entrance into God’s family. In fact, the Bible tells us that all our righteousness is like a filthy rag. We can’t do anything good. There is none righteousness. Even when drug dealers buy a poor man food, they don’t do it to glorify God, so it is really not good works.

If you really believe that Jesus, God incarnate, died and rose from the dead, wouldn’t that change everything?

How can people believe that and not be transformed into something new? John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” There is no power in us to become a child of God. The power is in God Himself and is given to us. May God grant you the power to surrender to His will and believe on His Son. John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them,“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Luke 10:20 says, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

The Gass Family

We love you!  The Gass Family

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Prof. Grant Horner’s Reading Plan


Professor Grant Horner’s Bible-Reading SYSTEM


Professor Grant Horner’s unusual, challenging, and life-changing Bible-Reading System is unlike any other you have ever seen. Try it for ONE MONTH and find out for yourself! You will never be the same.


“I have more wisdom than all my teachers, for thy testimonies are my meditation.” Psalm 119:99, right-hand page, left-hand column, dead center of page.


Many people ask me how it is that I know precisely where virtually everything is in my Bible. The answer: this system.


I began in 1983 (adapting and tweaking the basic design of another system) as a brand-new convert; within 3 years I knew the text of my Bible very well. Twenty-five years later it is essentially imprinted on my mind and heart. I have been all over the country and have taught this system in many churches. I have done open-microphone Q&As on Bible and theology — with 1200 people in the audience — as well as cultural-analysis live radio shows where you have to think fast — and it has been the “imprinting” value of this system that has helped me provide quick, clear, heavily contextualized scriptural answers.


I have no Seminary degrees, no Bible-college or Christian school education — hey, I never even went to Sunday school. All I did have was a chair, a lamp … and my Bible.


This is not merely a speed-reading program, nor is it a ‘study’ system. Read the description provided here to see how it works. DO NOT be intimidated! I was a college dropout, ex-heavy-druggie when I started it. If I can do it — so can you!


TRY IT FOR A MONTH. Then tell me what is happening! (Contact information provided on the last page.) You can also join the Facebook group I created for this system at There you can make posts about your struggles, the effects it is having on your biblical understanding and discernment, and to encourage others. You can also find Printable Bookmarks.


But one more note before we start. I remember very clearly in 1983, when my soon-to-be father-in-law handed me his old but unused 1967 Scofield Study Bible as an off-the-cuff gift. I had never seen a good study Bible before, and was just starting to listen to MacArthur and Swindoll and Stanley on the radio. I was determined as a new believer to get to know the Bible. So I adapted the present system and have tweaked it many times since.


Its present form dates from the mid-1990s when I was in doctoral work at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke and wanted to keep my head screwed on somewhat straight. That old Scofield was literally read to tatters by then — covers absolutely gone, spine vanished away, glue-backing visible and all curled up, stitching coming apart, the prefatory material destroyed all the way up to Genesis 1 and the concordance vanished past the entry for “sin.” But as a poor grad student, I had no money for a quality re-bind.


Sometime later, I was flown out by Masters College for a 3-day interview/grilling process. The culmination was, of course, being ushered in to Dr. MacArthur’s private study, which is where he asked me his one question: “Can I see your Bible?”


I thought he would be horrified, because it looked like it had been through a typhoon — it looked unloved and neglected.


Something from a dumpster. It was unbound, with stringy mess and paper debris hanging out. I was so embarrassed. I thought he would chastise me and recommend I get a new study Bible if I was serious about the Word.


However he flipped through it and handed it to his wife and said, “If your Bible is falling apart, you probably aren’t.” And I was basically hired on the spot.


I have done the system sometimes doubling up (2 sets per day, or 20 chapters), and other times by alternating days (5 chapters per day). The key is to get into a habit for a month. Then you’ll see you’ve probably been starving yourself.


The very best effect it has is rapid, broad-scale contextualizing across both testaments and all the different biblical genres. Did you know about all the similarities between Ecclesiastes and 2 Corinthians? How about the relationship between Deuteronomy and Matthew? It is like no other system that way, and it provides constant variety (which humans love) as well as consistent conviction (which humans hate).


I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have on facing up to the challenge, how you are doing in your first days, first week, first month….


The System


Each day you will read one chapter from each of ten lists. That’s right — ten chapters per day!!! Use ten bookmarks or sticky notes with the individual lists on them to keep track of your locations. Or use the set of bookmarks provided on the last page of this document.


On day one, you read Matthew 1, Genesis 1, Romans 1, and so forth. On day 2, read Matthew 2, Genesis 2, etc. On day 29, you will have just finished Matthew, so go to Mark 1 on the Gospel list; you’ll also be almost to the end of 2nd Corinthi- ans and Proverbs, you’ll be reading Psalm 29 and Genesis 29, and so forth. When you reach the last chapter of the last book in a list – start over again. Rotate all the way through all the Scriptures constantly.


Since the lists vary in length, the readings begin interweaving in constantly changing ways. You will NEVER read the same set of ten chapters together again! Every year you’ll read through all the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters 4-5 times each, the OT wisdom literature six times, all the Psalms at least twice, all the Proverbs as well as


Acts a dozen times, and all the way through the OT History and Prophetic books about 1 1⁄2 times. Since the interweav- ing is constantly changing, you will experience the Bible commenting on itself in constantly changing ways — the Reformer’s principle of ‘scriptura interpretans scripturam’ — ‘scripture interpreting scripture’ IN ACTION!


After you’ve read any particular book once or twice, your speed in that book usually doubles or triples because you’re familiar with it and can move quickly and confidently — because you are no longer merely decoding the text but thinking it through in the context of all of the scripture!


Even an ‘average’ reader, if focusing on moving through the text, rather than trying to figure everything out, can usually do this in about an hour a day – 5-6 minutes per chapter. Many people report moving confidently through the ten chapters in 35-40 minutes. If it is taking you longer, then you are ‘reading wrong’ – stay relaxed, focus, and just keep it moving. Moderate but consistent speed is the key. This is “gross anatomy” — looking at the whole body; you’re not closely studying organs or systems or tissues or cells — it is not microbiology. BUT — microbiology and the study or organs makes more sense when you know what the whole structure of the human body is like, and how all the parts, large and small, relate in perfect interdependence.


After just a few days the reading gets much easier; in a month it will be a habit, and in six months you’ll wonder how you ever survived before on such a slim diet of the WORD. And then — you’ll tell others to start the system!


I began in 1983 as a new Christian and have now read (most of ) the Bible hundreds and hundreds of times. You also need to get ONE Bible, keep it, and do all your reading in it, so you learn where everything is. I’ve had the same Bible since 1983 and I know it intimately. If you keep switching Bibles, you ‘lose’ this intimacy with the text. Find a translation and format you like and stick with it. THIS IS CRUCIAL.


Your Bible is the only thing on Earth that, as you wear it out, will actually work better and better.


Please share this Bible-reading system with all the Christians you know, as well as anyone who is thinking about reading a Bible, even for the first time.


Put these instructions in your Bible and review them from time to time.


The Ten Lists


List 1 (89 days)
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John


List 2 (187 days)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy


List 3 (78 days)
Romans, I&II Cor, Gal, Eph, Phil, Col, Hebrews


List 4 (65 days)
I&II Thess, I&II Tim, Titus, Philemon, James, I&II Peter, I,II&III John, Jude, Revelation


List 5 (62 days)
Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon


List 6 (150 days) Psalms


List 7 (31 days) Proverbs


List 8 (249 days)
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I&II Samuel, I&II Kings, I&II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther


List 9 (250 days)
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zepha- niah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi


List 10 (28 days) Acts


Secrets to Success


• Read one chapter from each list each day; in one sitting or two. At the end of a book; go to the next book. At the end of the list; start it again. Do it in the order given above.


• Read quickly (without “speed-reading”) in order to get the overall sense. Read as fast as you comfortably can with moderate retention. You’re not studying deeply or memorizing; shoot for 5-6 minutes per chapter. At the end of a chapter, move immediately to the next list.


• GET THROUGH THE TEXT – no dawdling, back reading, looking up cross-references!


• There are different ‘kinds’ of reading: super-quick skimming, careful moderate-paced, studying the text, deep meditation. You should be between the first and second kind.


• Most people decrease their time spent and increase their retention after just two-three weeks! I now read and retain the entire text of Matthew in 35 minutes, Romans in 20, Genesis in one hour!


• Don’t look up anything you ‘don’t get’ – real understanding will come through contextualizing by reading a LOT of scripture over time. Get through the text!


• If you miss a day or two – ok, get over it, then keep going. Don’t cover yourself in sackcloth and ashes and quit! Move the bookmarks along, to find your place(s) quickly next day.
Heb 4:12&5:11-14; Eph 5:26&6:17; Col 3:16; 2 Tim 3:16; Ps 119; Ezra 8; Prov 3: 1-2, 10:14; Dan 1


• If you are wondering why you should read Acts (or Proverbs) all the way through every single month, then — you’ve just shown that you NEED to read them that often!


• The goal of this system is simple, and twofold: To know scripture, and to love and obey God more!








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Buying Hemorrhoid Cream in Central America

Not having a vast knowledge of the Spanish language can be challenging at times. A few years ago, a friend asked me to go buy him some Hemorrhoid cream.  I am often asked to purchase medicine for those who can’t afford it. In fact, I have 3 prescriptions laying on the bar that I will get filled later today. We appreciate your giving which allows us to do so. I am well known at the local pharmacy. Unfortunately, it isn’t because of the ministry or the fact that I spend so much money there. The reason I am so popular is because, when I don’t know the word for what I am looking for, I try every way possible to come back with my medicine. Never come home empty handed! The hemorrhoid cream led to quite possibly the most embarrassing situation I have been in here in Nicaragua. Although it happened 2 years ago, it never seems to go away. However, I walked away with a tube of cream that fit the bill.

A few months ago, there was a lady who came to me with a prescription for some medicine dealing  with a feminine issue. April consulted her and learned that she really needed the medicine. It was never really discussed with me what the medicine was or what it did, nor will it be discussed with anyone in the future! Suffice to say, I had a piece of paper with the name of a medicine written on it and I had no clue what it was or what it was for. I bee bopped into the pharmacy with a smile on my face. The ladies all smiled and greeted me by name. Hola, Don Joel!” I handed them the paper and smiled. I noticed the girls expression was one of a puzzling nature.  She went to the shelf and returned and asked me something that I wasn’t real sure what she meant. So, I replied, “I don’t know, it’s not for me.” When I said that, it was like a punch line. All the pharmacists busted out laughing. And the attendant said, “We know.”  We still laugh about that kind of stuff hat happens day to day with me.

    The kicker was, last night I was invited to speak at a home study group for youth and young adults. It was a very small and humble home and over 20 people crowded in. There were no bells and whistles…no basketball court, no amusing attractions, AND it was a Friday night. It was quite refreshing to know that people, even young people will gather to hear the word and need nothing else to hold their attention. The topic was “Examine yourselves to see if you are I the faith.”

 As I walked in the door and greeted everyone, I saw the pharmacist. She was already laughing. I knew why. She remembers me from the prescription.

Prov 17:22A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

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The Hamburger

It’s hard to get a good hamburger here in Nicaragua. We have been to Burger King in the capital city of Managua and have been told that “we are out of burger patties.” That gives you an idea of how it goes here. Where we live, an hour from Managua, there is only one Hamburger place, Terry’s Diner. Terry is an American from California. He married a Nicaraguan lady and when they retired, they moved to Jinotepe and opened an American style restaurant. He is a nice guy and offers free Wi-Fi to attract folks to the spot.
I have a Nicaragua friend, Elias, who is a really zealous Christian. He loves to share the greatness of God. One day a couple months ago, Elias and I were evangelizing in the square in Jinotepe. We had a few guys with us, sort of discipling them. After the tracts were all passed out and we were getting a bit hungry, I decided to treat the guys to a burger. Terry’s was the only option. Elias is old school Nicaragua. He is a rice and beans kind of guy. I could tell right away he was out of place. He watched intently as we dressed our burger. He was mimicking our every move. Lettuce, tomato, mustard, onion, then we put on the top bun.
Every thing changed at that moment. Elias dropped his head in disappointment. He shook his head slowly and methodically. He was acting so strange. He had all of our attention. “What’s wrong?” I asked in Spanish. Elias looked up and slowly gestured to his burger. “I ate the top piece first!” He had eaten the top piece of the bun thinking it was a roll. It was then I realized that I was sitting at the table with people who had never had a sandwich of any kind. We roared and laughed and made fun, because we enjoy our time together. I am sure one day Elias will help me experience something from his culture and I will draw the laugh. Thanks for your Prayers, The Gass Family

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