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Posts Tagged ‘Missio Dei Communities’

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:1-2

I’ve been through church crisis one too many times. The longtime head pastor of my church that I grew up in passed away due to cancer. Our popular youth pastor was fired abruptly because the new pastor that came in wanted a whole new staff in place. My good friend became an intern for our church (after just becoming a believer) and had an affair with one of the staff members. He took his life soon after. The accountant at my last church embezzled almost half a million dollars. My current pastor had to resign due to extramarital affairs. Yes… the church experiences death, scandals and affairs just like the real world. I must note that in most of these situations, the church handled them very poorly (something I’ve experienced personally as well).

But how are we doing as Christians in handling these situations? Do we deal with those caught in sin in a loving way? Do we restore them gently back to Christ with the truth of the gospel? Do we act Godly when the media tears into us or do we get defensive and attack back? All I know is Satan loves to attack the church when things are going well. All the situations I described above happened when the particular church I was at was at their peak and experiencing tremendous growth. We forget that when we became Christians that Christ warned us that we would face persecution. One of the things I know is that Christians today do not handle persecution well. Look at the Chick-fil-a and Duck Dynasty situations and see how defensive Christians get when our views are spoken against. I’ve been embarrassed how Christians have reacted in the media about gay marriage and other topics that go against our beliefs. Do we not trust that God will ultimately prevail?

Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.  –  Acts 11:19-21

God works during times of despair. He redeems and restores and takes these situations and uses them for his glory. The church isn’t perfect and it isn’t about one man or a building. It’s a living organic body of messy believers that come to together to grow and worship our Lord. We treat Pastors like rock stars and put them on a pedestal so high they could never meet the expectations we put on them. Pastors are just messy people being used by God. But God isn’t going to let his church fall. He is still faithful even when we are unfaithful.

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”  –  Romans 3:3-4

I have been impressed with my current church and how they have handled our current crisis. They are doing it in a loving biblical way. My last two churches were clueless in dealing with people caught in sin and usually let them leave without any restoration. When I heard the news in church, the first thing I did was look at myself. I took this as a warning sign that I myself am a step away from falling into temptation and sin. I am thankful for my community and that I can come to them about anything that I may be struggling with. I am thankful for my church and that God called me to be here during this crisis so I can see firsthand his redeeming power at work. I remember when my last church was going through its scandal, I was quoted in the paper at that time by saying “God is bigger than this”. My viewpoint is still the same – God has got this and He will prevail.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world – John 16:33

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Our MC has really connected with the assisted living home at Elmcroft. We put on a worship service every month and now we are splitting up into teams and going over to help with games and other activities. It’s good for me to be stretched in this way because I have never had much of a heart for serving the elderly. So I am thankful God is changing my attitude and growing me. Today I was Bingo host and Michael and I had a good time connecting with some of the people there.

 

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I saw “Dark Knight Rises” hours from hearing of the news of the shootings in Aurora. I went with a heavy heart for the victims. My church offered this lament for us to read together that touched my heart.

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

– Psalms 13:1

Why, Lord, did you abruptly take them?

Why did so many innocent people have to die?

Why so many victims who been injured?

Why must we feel the sting of death’s old cruelty?

Why must their families feel the sting of death’s old cruelty?

Why must our nation feel the sting of death’s old cruelty?

Why does the insanity of the world have the power to hold sway and disrupt our lives?

Come quickly, Lord; do not leave us alone.

We plead: Repair the brokenness we share. Let your Kingdom come on earth as in heaven. Restore your creation.

Hear this lament as intercessory prayer, and speak your powerful Word to make us hopeful.

– Calvin Seerveld

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard:

that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.

– Psalms 62:11-12

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I had a great day at church today. Chris mentioned that it was Missio Dei’s 4th anniversary, which means it been one year since I started coming here. My friend Shauna took me to Missio’s 3 year anniversary party at a park and that is how I got started. I am thankful for the friends and family I made here. It’s been a blessing.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.   Hebrews 12:1-2

Speaking of Shauna, she once asked me about a year ago if our loved ones that have passed on can see and watch what we do here on earth. Shauna’s husband had passed away a couple of years ago. I did a little research for her and remember hearing this passage preached and told her it was all I could find. I’m thankful Chris preached on it because I now stand corrected (and would like to correct that Pastor that told me about it too).

Some people think cloud of witnesses refers to those that have passed away and are now in heaven cheering us on. But I forgot to take notice of the word therefore, which refers to the chapter before. Chapter 11 is a chapter talking about all the amazing people in the Bible that have endured the struggles of the Christian walk and have run the race with their focus on Jesus. The cloud of witnesses refers to them and how we are to look to them as examples. We are also part of a bigger story and are to lay aside our weights (the thing that hinder us – which can be good things too) so we also can continue to run the race. Our focus is always to be on Jesus as we move forward in life with endurance. The gospel as he puts it will “leave you encouraged to run because of what Christ has done on the cross, the freedom He gave you to run in the resurrection, and the power that you have to run in the Holy Spirit.”

I’m glad Chris had us take time to evaluate our own lives and the things we may need to cast aside. It gave me opportunities to sit and re-evaluate where I am at in my own life and what I need to be focused on. He also really stressed to have Godly examples that are living their lives for the Lord that we can look to for encouragement. I am thankful to have quite a few older Godly men that I meet with weekly to learn and grow from.

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Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.

 – The Battle Hymn of the Republic

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Tonight we had an awesome prayer and worship night in our MC. We prayed over Dallas’ job situation, my uncle’s death and Mark’s casa kids. We also got to celebrate a new addition to our family – Silas. He was born to Mitch and Laura last week! Dallas led us in worship tonight. It was also a special night to me because my dad and step sister Shayna got to attend. I know spending a night in prayer with us impacted him – I love how God works!

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Tonight two our MCs (Misisonal Communities) from our church gathered together at the home of the Erik and Tina Henrikson. It gave us a chance to get to know each other and share stories of what God is doing in each of our communities. We joined with the Duran MC and ended up being about 15 adults and 6 kids total in the house. We ordered tons of pizza and spent time chatting and playing with the kids. After a time of sharing, we went around and shared individual prayer requests. We had this amazing time of prayer in which someone from one MC prayed for someone in another MC. I love being in community and fellowship with one another and blessed that God brought me here to do life with these people who I call family.

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