Rocco DiTrolio
Missionary to Argentina
"you can help make a difference"

"Change starts with you."

Families of Champions

July 14th, 2018

“He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.”- Acts 10: 2

How can we develop families with the characteristics of a champion? We are going to see 4 characteristics of a family that can be impressive in the middle of the society in which we live.

The passage in Acts 10 refers to Cornelius, a centurion of the regiment known as the Italian. He lived in Caesarea. Let’s look at the characteristics of your family.

I. Families devoted to God

The word devoted has to do with a person who inspires devotion. It is a consecration to God. How can we inspire devotion? Through our example. It is important that children see the example of their parents. What they say they are, be something daily in their actions. We can not say one thing and do another. Your children will immediately detect the falsehood. Our generation and our churches need more than ever examples, referents of a genuine Christianity. I can not write with my hand and erase with my elbow. Families are needed that show real devotion to God!

II. God fearing families

This does not mean fear but has to do with a bow. Proverbs 1: 7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline. “How can God-fearing families be developed? This response has to be born through God-fearing parents. Children have to see reverence towards God in all our decisions. That above all things we seek the will of God and we want to know it every day. Is your longing to start a family with fear of God?

III. Families that serves others

Service to others! What do we do to help our neighbor ?. Jesus said in Matthew 22: 37- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being and with all your mind,” Jesus replied. 38 This is the first and the most important of the commandments. 39 The second looks like this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Are we loving God? The service to the community and to our neighbor is the product of our love for God. We must always be willing to help others with our actions, not just words. Cornelio received Pedro at his house. One way to benefit others is to offer hospitality. The service can be done in such simple areas. Our neighbors need the love of God, and this can be achieved through our service to them. Let’s live by benefiting others in a selfish world!

IV. Families of constant prayer

Families of champions are those who are guided to the search for God. They know the importance of prayer therefore they practice prayer in the house. Anyone can pray in a church but our children are those who must experience a life of prayer in the house, rather than in the church. Things begin to happen when we pray. Cornelius had a vision in the evening prayer in which an angel of Yahweh the God of the Hebrews ordered him to call “Simon, who was called Peter” (Acts, 10, 5), who at that time was preaching in Jaffa. Cornelius sent three men to look for Pedro. A man who guided his family to prayer.

I remember as a boy seeing my dad kneeling and crying out to the Lord. He did not just talk about prayer, he practiced it. I believe that all areas, families with devotion, fear of God, and serving others, summarize a family model that prays. Let’s be seekers of God’s presence at all times in our homes. Let’s be families that do not stop praying!

For families of champions …

Pastor Rocco


 

Our Father

October 5th, 2017

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,bhallowed be your name,”  – Matthew 6:9

There is a saying that says “Prayer is the breath of the soul.” My question would be, how is your breath?
We will focus on various aspects of prayer from Matthew 6, which will help us discover the position, words, power, forgiveness, and belonging of prayer in our lives. We are at the door of something great in our lives. Let us enter the door of access to the throne of God’s grace.

 

I. The Prayer Position

 

5 “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and at the corners of the squares so that people can see them. I assure you that they have already obtained their full reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. So your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

Do you give importance to the position when you are in prayer? In the attitude of heart? Or at all? Kneeling before God (Philippians 2: 9-11), Leaning before the Lord (Job 1: 20-21), Standing before the Lord (Gen. 17: 1-22) (I John 2: 1-2), Seated before the Lord (Ephesians 1: 15-23), Looking up to heaven (Psalm 121: 1-2), Arm Stretch (I Timothy 2: 1-4, 8) , Jumping for joy (Matthew 5:12). What Jesus emphasizes is to enter a “secret place” to be centered in His presence, so that other people will not see us.

 

II. The Words of Prayer

 

7 And when you pray, do not speak only by speaking as the Gentiles do, because they imagine that they will be heard by his many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you are asked.

 

It is not the amount of words but to understand that we are communicating with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus says “because his Father.” We talk to God like that father who has so much desire to spend time with his children. Dad is waiting to hear your voice. Psalm 33: 9 says that “God spoke” and brought everything into existence, so when we declare with words his words and his heart He will bring into existence the things that are not as if they were. (Romans 4:17).

 

III. The Power of Prayer

 

9 “You should pray thus:” Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread.

 

God manifests his power when we declare who our God is. “Our Father … hallowed be thy name” gives us identity and shows us his holiness. When I identify with Him, there is authority in my life to manifest His lordship. “Your kingdom come” and “your will be done” shows us a great sovereignty that our God has above all. There is great power when our cry to God is in agreement with who is our God.

 

IV. Forgiveness in Prayer

 

12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. “14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if they do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will their Father forgive theirs.

 

One of the foundations of prayer is forgiveness. God loved us, so He sent us His Son Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness of all our sins. We have access to the presence of God for what Jesus did on the cross for us. We can not have God’s answer in our prayers if we bear bitterness and bitterness in our hearts. Our debts have been forgiven that way I must show forgiveness with all those around me.

 

V. The Belonging Prayer

 

16 “When you fast, do not make a sad face as the hypocrites do, who demure their faces to show that they are fasting. I assure you that these have already won their full reward. 17 But you, when you fast, shave your head and wash your face, 18 so that it is not evident to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father who is in the secret; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

From the fact that we are his children and belong to him, we give way to fasting and prayer. Fasting is such strong armor that is why the enemy tricks us into not using it. It is accompanied by prayer in the secret place of God. “Your Father” who demonstrates who we are in Him, sees us when we do and rewards us. The reward of God is our belonging in Him. I am His son and I have access to His throne. Hebrews 4: 16- “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace to receive mercy, and find grace to help us in the moment when we need it most.” We do not do so no more, but He is “Our Father” and we are his children.

 

Let’s go into His presence,

 

Pastor Rocco


 

The Ocean Floor by Ellen DiTrolio

September 16th, 2012

The Ocean Floor

 

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”  Micah 7:18-19

 

When I was a freshman in college, my English professor would sing the old hymn “My Sins are blotted out I know.” As a relatively new Christian at that time, the words of the song reminded me of God’s grace and goodness in my life.  To this day, I am often reminded of the old song and profoundly moved at the greatness of God’s forgiveness towards us.

 

The hymn was written by Merrill Dunlop in 1927 while he was crossing the Atlantic on a liner called the “Leviathan”.  One day while meditating on Micah 7:18-19, contemplating on the breadth, height and depth of the ocean and on what the Bible has to say about how our sins are “buried in the depths, removed and blotted out”, Dunlop wrote the simple yet moving song in moments. Here are the words of the chorus to song:

 

“My sins are blotted out I know: My sins are blotted out I know! They are buried in the depths of the deepest sea: My sins are blotted out I know!”

 

Recently, while listening to the radio, I was brought to tears as I listened to the chorus of the song “Ocean Floor” written by Audio Adrenaline. Its message like that of Dunlop’s hymn is all about how God forgives and hides our sin on the ocean floor.

 

“You have forgotten about,

They will never find you

They’re on the ocean floor

Your sins are forgotten they are on the ocean floor

They’re on the bottom of the ocean floor

They are wiped away by a mighty, mighty wave

Your sins are erased and they are no more

They’re out on the ocean floor. Take them away, to return no more, take them away

To the ocean floor”

 

After listening to the song, I decided to do some investigation on the depth of the oceans of the world…mostly because I am a nerd!! What I found out was fascinating.  Did you know that oceans cover 71% of the earths surface, or 361 million square miles of ocean. While the average depth of the ocean floor is approximately four kilometers deep or almost three miles deep, the deepest point of the ocean is in the Mariana Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean, and has a depth of eleven kilometers deep or approximately six and a half miles deep. WOW!!

 

God sends our sin to a place so deep and forgotten, that it is a place completely unfriendly to human life. It gives new meaning to “that God so loved that He gave His only begotten son that we might have life.”

 

On the days when you feel unloved and unappreciated remember just how deep, how wide and how complete His love is for you. On the days when you are pursued by the lies of the enemy that your sin is too great to be forgiven, remember that your sins are blotted out, cast out, wiped away and forgotten by a Father who loves completely and unconditionally.

 

“Once your heart was black, but now what joy; your sins are blotted out, I know! I have a peace that nothing can destroy; your sins are blotted out, I know!!”

 

“Oh what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

Romans 4:7-8


 

The Big Picture by Ellen DiTrolio

December 12th, 2009

“The Big Picture”

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

The other day someone introduced herself to me as “Plan B”. I had arranged to have a speaker for a mothers meeting at my son’s school. The original person invited couldn’t make it. Hence, “Plan B”. After listening to what “Plan B” had to share with the moms, I was once again reminded how God’s “Plan B” is so much bigger, richer and more fulfilling than our “Plan A.” Read the rest of this entry »


 

The Daughters of Zelophehad: Lessons in Fearlessness! by Ellen DiTrolio

December 4th, 2009

The Daughters of Zelophehad: Lessons in Fearlessness!

Recently in my devotional reading, I came upon a passage of scripture that intrigued me. Numbers 27:1-11. There are few references to the daughters of Zelophehad in the bible and yet they are responsible for a historical change in rules regarding Hebrew inheritance laws when there is no son to carry on the name of a deceased man.

The story goes like this. Zelophehad dies without having a son to continue his name. As a result, his daughters are not able to receive their father’s portion of the Promised Land. (Having had no son, the continuation of his family name depended on his heirs receiving land in his name.) Read the rest of this entry »