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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Becoming People of Realized Potential: Your God Will Be My God

Becoming People of Realized Potential

Your God will be My God

One of God’s greatest gifts to humans is the exclusive ability to become.

I am human and I am becoming human because there is more humanity for me to personally realize.

  • My house cannot become.
  • Our dog cannot become.

Only to human beings has God given the gift of becoming.

I am both created in the image of God and into the image of God I am becoming.

  • 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26, 27
  • 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son… Romans 8:29

We have identified the four most important decisions every human being decides for becoming people of realized potential.

  1. With who will I travel and stay?
  2. Who are my people?
  3. Who is my God?
  4. Am I fully committed to these three decisions?

One of the most respected statements in Christian history addresses the decision, “Who will be my God?”

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.

For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.”

–A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1961), 1.

There are two options on this matter, God or idolatry.

“When a finite value . . . [becomes] a center of value by which other values are judged . . . [and] has been elevated to centrality and imagined as a final source of meaning, then one has chosen what Jews and Christians call a god. . . . To be worshipped as a god, something must be sufficiently good to be plausibly regarded as the rightful center of one’s valuing. . . . One has a god when a finite value is worshipped and adored and viewed as that without which one cannot receive life joyfully.” Thomas C. Oden, Two Worlds: Notes on the Death of Modernity in America and Russia (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1992), p. 95.

Tim Keller makes idolatry easily understandable.

A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.

An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.”

Keller, Timothy. Counterfeit Gods . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition

From the research of Brian S. Rosner, Greed as Idolatry: The Origin and Meaning of a Pauline Metaphor (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2007), Keller states, “The Bible uses three basic metaphors to describe how people relate to the idols of their hearts. They love idols, trust idols, and obey idols.”

Considering the above compositely, we might say, “An idol is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living and it is so central that you love, trust and obey it.”

Becoming people of realized potential, we find ourselves with Joshua and all the tribes of Israel at Shechem.  Joshua 24

With Joshua and all the tribes of Israel, we present ourselves before God.  Joshua 24:1

Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.

Second, we recall the vast number of amazing things in our lives that only God could have provided and done.  Joshua 24: 2-13

Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac, and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his family went down to Egypt.

“‘Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out. When I brought your people out of Egypt, you came to the sea, and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemen[a] as far as the Red Sea.[b] But they cried to the Lord for help, and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the wilderness for a long time.

“‘I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their landWhen Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor to put a curse on you. 10 But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand.

11 “‘Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you—also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow. 13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’

Third, we fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.  Joshua 24:14

14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.

Fourth, we throw away our idols and serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:14

Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  14

23 “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”

Fifth, we understand it is of our own free will that we make our god/God selection. Joshua 24:15

15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you

Sixth, we are personally responsible for making this, life’s most important decision.

…then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.

Seventh, we record our decision, with witnesses (water baptism). Joshua 24:26

26 And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God.

Eighth, we set up a memorial to remind us and our witnesses of our commitment.  Joshua 24:26, 27

Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord.

27 “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”

Eight Processes of Destroying Idolatry in Our Lives

  1. With Joshua and all the tribes of Israel, we present ourselves before God. Joshua 24:1
  2. We recall the vast number of amazing things in our lives that only God could have provided and done. Joshua 24: 2-13
  3. We fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Joshua 24:14
  4. We throw away our idols and serve the Lord. Joshua 24:14
  5. We understand it is of our own free will that we make our god/God selection. Joshua 24:15
  6. We are personally responsible for making this, life’s most important decision. Joshua 24:15
  7. We record our decision, with witnesses (water baptism). Joshua 24:26
  8. We set up a memorial to remind us and our witnesses of our commitment. Joshua 24:26, 27

 

Listen – My Story

  • What is one of your favorite aspects of what you are becoming?
  • Do you know a powerful story, either positively or negatively, of someone becoming?

 

Learn – Digging Deeper

  • Pastor Kent taught the great danger of idolatry as seen in Joshua 24. Read Romans 1:21-23.  What is the idolatry in this passage?
  • Read Romans 1:18-20. What is God’s response to this idolatry?
  • Read Romans 1:28-32. What happens in the lives of those living in this idolatry?
  • Do you see Romans 1 in our world of today?

 

Lift – Prayer

Identify one of the Eight Processes of Destroying Idolatry in Our Lives

  • Identify one of the Eight Processes of Destroying Idolatry in Our Lives that each member most wants to improve and pray for each person.
  • Celebrate Recovery (each Tuesday, 6:30 PM, Central Campus) helps many people destroy idols in their lives. Would you consider joining?  Please pray for the effectiveness of Celebrate Recovery.
  • Please pray for a powerful anointing upon Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames, 2019.
  • Please pray for each life group member to boldly move toward becoming people of realized potential.

Life – Taking it Home

  • What is the Holy Spirit asking you to add, delete or recalibrate in your life?
  • Have you been baptized in water? Is this a next step for you to publicly declare your memorial?
  • Who do you know, living in idolatry too, who would be blessed to be included in MCA ministries and Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames?
Posted on 16th February 2019 in Realized Potential, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Personal Revival in Psalm 119:154

Personal Revival:  Psalm 119:154

The Psalmist brilliantly navigates the terrain of his heart and provides for us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, an example of personal revival.

Eleven times in Psalm 119 the author petitions God to “revive me and give me life.”

Vs. 25              My soul clings to the dust.  Revive me according to your word.

Vs. 37              Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Vs. 40              Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Vs. 50              This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Vs. 88              In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Vs. 107            I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

Vs. 149            Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.

Vs. 154            Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!

Vs. 156            Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.

Vs. 159            Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.

In eight of the eleven personal revival verses David shows how well he understands his inner being and expresses that experience to God.  Vs. 25, 37, 40, 50, 93, 107, 154, 159

In the other three personal revival verses of Psalm 119 David petitions God for revival based upon the known nature and character of God.  Two times God’s steadfast love and once God’s great mercy form David’s basis for his petition.  Vs. 88, 149, 156

From this we can learn the importance and value of understanding and expressing to God the experience of our inner being.  This personal awareness is evident in Jesus too.  Matthew 26:36-39

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Knowing God, His nature and character, is also vital.  The well-understood inner being is only safe when entrusted to God.  1 Peter 4:19

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

Let’s now consider David’s ninth personal revival prayer.

Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!  Psalm 119:154

Three petitions are stated in this prayer.

  1. Plead my cause.
  2. Redeem me.
  3. Give me life according to your promise.

Plead my Cause

The Psalmist deeply feels the weight of injustice against him by wicked people.  He believes he is receiving treatment that isn’t fair, right or deserved.

Plead my cause, which is the same thing as to undertake a cause, or to take the charge of defending one in judgment, or to maintain the right of the oppressed.  Calvin’s Commentary

First, to “plead my cause” is a request for God to undertake his cause for him.

  • Alexander reads it, “Strive my strife, and redeem me” — that is, stand in my stead, bear my burden, fight my fight, pay my price, and bring me out to liberty. When we feel ourselves dumb before the foe, here is a prayer made to our hand. What a comfort that if we sin we have an advocate, and if we do not sin the same pleader is engaged on our side. The Treasury of David

Second, “plead my cause” petitions God to take charge of defending David in the judgements being made by wicked people against him.

  • It feels to David as if the wicked have set up a trial, found him guilty, have sentenced him to punishment and all this wrongly and without legal representation.
  • He asks God to be his defense attorney and advocate.
  • “He now supposes himself to be arraigned before the tribunal of men, as he certainly was in their general charges against him; arraigned, too, in his helplessness, without a name, without state; in such way as one disowned would be arraigned….As it were, he regards himself as one sold to corrupt judges, or at all events, as one that has lost his standing in society in the estimation of men.” The Treasury of David

Third, “plead my cause” is a prayer for God to maintain the right of the oppressed.

  • What God expects from David, David asks God to do for him.
  • Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Isaiah 1:16, 17

Redeem Me

David urges God, in prayer, to be his Kinsman-Redeemer.  From the Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary we gain insight into a kinsman-redeemer.

Male relative who, according to various laws found in the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act for a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need of vindication.

Although the term “kinsman-redeemer” is used only seven times in the NIV (all in the Book of Ruth) and “avenger of blood” is used twelve times, the Hebrew verb ga’al, from which both of these terms are translated, is used over 100 times and rendered by such additional terms as “redeemer” or “near relative.” The Hebrew term designates a male relative who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16Exodus 6:6); redeems property (Leviticus 27:9-25) or person (Leviticus 25:47-55); avenges the murder of a relative as a guiltless executioner (Numbers 35:9-34); and receives restitution for wrong done to a relative who has since died (Numbers 5:8). The unique emphasis of the redemption/salvation/vindication associated with the kinsman-redeemer is the fact that this action is carried out by a kinsman on behalf of a near relative in need. This idea is most clearly illustrated in the Book of Ruth.  https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/kinsman-redeemer.html

Give Me Life According to your Promise

The Psalmist prays, “I can’t defend myself.  God and God alone is sufficient to be my Advocate and Defender.  I am unable to get out of this situation on my own.  Redeem me God!  This experience has drained the life from me.  When you advocate for me and redeem me, I ask you to revive me.  Give me life according to your promise.

 

Posted on 13th February 2019 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Becoming People of Realized Potential in Christ

The Holy Spirit is inviting us to become people of realized potential in Christ.

Potential – Those realities “existing in possibility” and those “capable of developing into actuality.”  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potential

Realized – To “bring into concrete existence.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/realized

People – Is most often used in the plural but is also appropriately used in the singular.

  • “American people are filled with faith.”  Plural
  • “In America we find a people of faith.”  Singular
  • In our theme, we intend “People” in both the plural and singular.

 

Plural Singular
Potential Existing in possibility as a group Existing in possibility as a person
Realized Bring into concrete existence as a group Bring into concrete existence as a person

 

In realizing full potential, the individual (person) is significantly impacted by their group (people).

In realizing full potential, the group (people) is significantly impacted by its individuals (persons).

Shawn Achor, author of Big Potential, shares insight from lightening bugs on the singular and plural aspects of becoming people of realized potential.

The success rate increased by 79 percentage points when flashing as an interconnected community rather than as individuals. Achor, Shawn. Big Potential (p. 17). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

 

As we look to the Bible for revelation into becoming people (singular and plural) of realized potential, let’s consider the concepts of position and placement.

In auto racing we see hints of the importance of position.  For NASCAR, driver Richard Petty has the all-time record winning 61 times from 123 pole positions with an average of 49.6%.

In the Bible, position and placement are a huge part of the realized potential process and can be action taken by God in our lives, action that we take or a combination of the two.

  • God was at work in positioning Joseph (rather miserably) for his full potential entirely against his own will. Genesis 37-50.
  • God was at work in positioning Zacchaeus (rather delightfully) for his full potential through Zacchaeus’ own interest in seeing Jesus. Luke 19:1-10

Four “positionings” for becoming people of realized potential in Psalm 92:12-15

 

The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Positioned in righteousness.
They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.

 

Positioned in the house of the Lord.
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,

 

Positioned in fruit bearing.
to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

 

Positioned in declaring the Lord.

Specific Applications

  1. Knowing lightening bugs’ success rates increase by 79% when acting as an interconnected community, will you commit to a small group in your MCA Church community?
  2. Knowing position is important in auto racing, will you commit to intentional placement for becoming a people of realized potential?

MCA Church Life Group Home Work

Listen – My Story

  • Were you ever in the “right place at the right time?
  • Are you more prone to spiritual growth in the singular (by yourself) or in the plural (with others)?
  • Do you have a specific friend who could greatly benefit from spiritual growth with you and your Life Group?

 

Lift – Prayer

  • Prayer is possibly the most important activity of spiritual life in both the singular and plural.
  • Please pray together.
  • Please close your prayer time by asking God to take your Life Group to its fullest potential in Christ.

Learn – Digging Deeper

  • Read Proverbs 16:9. What action do people take? What actions does God take?  Do you see the possibility for a combination of action with both God and people?
  • Abraham had the uncomfortable positioning by God “to a land I will show you.” We think Abraham had no idea where he was going to be positioned.  Even in the unknowing Abraham trusted God.  Read Isaiah 51:2. What was God’s intended purpose in re-positioning Abraham and Sarah?

Life – Taking it Home

  • Is there a specific action you should take to be better positioned in righteousness, the house of the Lord, fruit bearing and declaring the Lord?
  • Is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about a ministry action to take prior to closing today’s group meeting?

2019 Financial Contribution Records

Thank you for your financial contributions to MCA Church.  Your tithes, offerings and gifts keep the vision growing to the glory of God.

Your financial contribution records will be mailed on Tuesday.

Posted on 26th January 2019 in Realized Potential, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Personal Revival and Memory

Psalm 119: Personal Revival

Eleven times the Psalmist prays for personal revival.

Vs. 25              My soul clings to the dust.  Revive me according to your word.

Vs. 37              Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Vs. 40              Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Vs. 50              This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Vs. 88              In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Vs. 107            I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

Vs. 149            Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.

Vs. 154            Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!

Vs. 156            Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.

Vs. 159            Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.

The Hebrew word includes the idea of “revive, the people of God by God Himself with fulness of life in His favor.”  https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2421.htm

Barnes Notes on the Bible

Cause me to live; give me vigor and strength to break away from this which binds me fast, and to rise above these low propensities.

Pulpit Commentary

Raise me up to life and health and vigor.

The personal reviving of Psalm 119 flows from an experience with God through His written Word.

In both the Old and New Testament, an Agent of experience with God is the Holy Spirit.

King David knows the presence of the Holy Spirit is with him and pleads with God to not take the Holy Spirit away from him as a response to his great sin.  Psalm 51:11

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Today, we too have God’s written Word with the added delight of the outpoured Holy Spirit.  May we experience the personal revival of Psalm 119 through the Agency of the Holy Spirit applying God’s written Word and through the Personal presence of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s text, Psalm 119:93, connects revival to remembering what God has said.

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Notice the action of God in our personal remembrance.  Psalm 111:4

He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.

Memorials can be created to help us remember.  Joshua 4:1-7

When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

In the ways of God, remembrance holds a very special grace for the believer.

“The question arises, When believers remember the deeds of God and when God remembers his relation to Israel what kind of remembering is in view? Is it merely recollection of information about the past? Or is it remembering the past in such a way that the facts remembered have some impact on the present? As a minimum, this remembering within the Old Covenant would seem to imply that the God who performed the past mighty deeds, which are remembered, is the God who is present with his people as he or they remember those deeds. And he is present as the same, living God, bound to them in election and covenant as he was to their ancestors in days past, for he is Yahweh, “I am who I am.””

“…he who is remembered is very much present at the memorial/remembrance.”  Biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers

Psalm 119:93 declares, “I will never forget” and in the never forgetting there is deep personal revival.

Undoubtedly, the theology of remembrance is experienced in highest form at the Lord’s table.  Luke 22:17-20

17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

“…he who is remembered is very much present at the memorial/remembrance.”  

 

Posted on 23rd January 2019 in Uncategorized, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
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Crisis Intervention for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Special Needs: Hope and healing after the earthquake

Knowing the importance of assisting South Central Alaskan children to resiliently navigate the recent 7.0 earthquake and the multiple hundreds of aftershocks, I have invited Sandra Robinson, Ph.D., to make several presentations to all interested parents, teachers, educators, volunteers, and church leaders.
Caring for our children, especially those with developmental disabilities, is a highly urgent matter.  Due to the urgent need we are not as perfectly organized as we would like to be, but we are ready for three sessions of timely, practical and encouraging training and interaction with Dr. Robinson.  Her introduction presented below is super impressive and comforting.
Dr. Robinson will make her presentation three times on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday evening December 9, 2018.
Saturday, December 8 (No childcare)
  • Registration – 12:30 PM
  • First Opportunity – 1:00-4:00 PM
  • Second Opportunity -5:30-8:30 PM

Sunday, December 9 (Childcare provided)

  • Registration – 5:30 PM
  • Third Opportunity- 6:00-9:00 PM

Dr. Sandy Robinson has over 34 years of experience in public education. She has taught grades 5-12. She has also been a site administrator and the Director of Special Education in two different districts.

Dr. Sandy has taught teacher preparation courses at California State University, Riverside. She has trained educators, administrators, and parents in the areas of positive behavior techniques, teaching and learning strategies, inclusion techniques, crisis intervention, and Special Education Law. She is an Inclusion Specialist. She brings her extensive experience in the field of special education to faith communities.

Dr. Sandy has been the Regional Director of Champions Club, an international ministry for students and adults with special needs and their families. She is currently the Training Coordinator and Inclusion Specialist for Champions Clubs. In 2012, with the support of Pastor Craig Johnson and Covina Assembly of God Church, she developed and  launched the first Champions Club outside of Lakewood Church.

In 2014, Dr. Sandy and Mr. Craig Johnson wrote the first full scale curriculum for Champions (individuals with special needs). The curriculum encourages families to come to know God, love Him, and to share His love with others. In 2017, they released a family devotional that provides families access to the curriculum. It is her desire to assist churches, of all denominations, to successfully include exceptional individuals and their families in all aspects of church life.

She has been married to her best friend for 29 years. God has blessed them with two amazing daughters who love and serve God, and two pugs named Littleman and Charlie.

Posted on 6th December 2018 in Children's Ministry, Conferences, Peak Performance, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Gaze Upon the Beauty of the Lord

We are studying the usage of “revival” in Psalm 119.  Today we are taking a second look (part 2) of Psalm 119:37

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.

Any system of belief must give definition to at least three top priorities:

  1. What is true? Epistemology
  2. What is good? Ethics
  3. What is beautiful? Aesthetics

The Bible addresses truth.

  1. In John 14:6 we learn truth is not primarily propositions, but The Person of Jesus from whom propositions emanate.
  2. John tells us, in John 1:14, Jesus is the fulness of truth (and Grace). Colossians 2:9
  3. John 16:13 points out the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth.
  4. Paul reveals that the church of the living God is the household of God and is the pillar and buttress of truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
  5. 2 Timothy 2:2 instructs us to “rightly handle the word of truth.”

The Bible addresses ethics.

  1. Galatians 5:16-26 reveals a clear ethic.
  2. Micah 6:8 informs us that God has revealed what is good.

The Bible addresses aesthetics.

  1. Up to 40% of the Old Testament involves poetic
  2. Somewhere near 50 chapters of the Pentateuch reveal God’s keen eye for architecture and artistic techniques for His ornate
  3. Also near 50 chapters of the Old Testament are given to the artistic design and creation of Solomon’s Temple.
  4. Ezekiel writes 3 chapters about a third temple.
  5. The Gospels, Paul and John write about the beauty of the earthly and heavenly sanctuary of God.

Let’s consider Exodus 28:2 and 40.

And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. Vs. 2

40 “For Aaron’s sons you shall make coats and sashes and caps. You shall make them for glory and beauty.  Vs. 40

Ephesians 2:10 reveals God as the Master Artist and His art form is the human being whose trust is in Jesus for salvation.

We now come to the thesis of today’s presentation.

The Psalmist indicates a need for personal revival in relation to “looking at worthless things.”

Our question today is, “At what might I look that is worth-full?”

The Psalms do not leave us directionless on this vital question.  Consider Psalm 27:1-4

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet[b] I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire[c] in his temple.

In the midst of evildoers who assail him, adversaries and foes, and an army encamped around him, and war arising against him, his ONE THING is to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.

Will you seek to see the beauty of the Lord in Revelation 4 and 5?

Notice the “door standing open” in Revelation 4:1.

Consider God’s miraculous ministry in Acts 3:2.

There is a gate or door through which those who have limited mobility are invited to miraculously travel into a greater experience with the beauty of the Lord.

Today we join the Psalmist and eschew gazing at “worthless things” and join him in gazing at the beauty of the Lord.

Posted on 21st November 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Psalm 119: Personal Revival

Psalm 119: Personal Revival

Eleven times the Psalmist prays for personal revival.

Vs. 25              My soul clings to the dust.  Revive me according to your word.

Psalm 44:25

For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground.

Psalm 113:7

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

Psalm 103:14

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Vs. 37              Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Vs. 40              Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

 

Vs. 50              This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

 

Vs. 88              In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

 

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

 

Vs. 107             I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

 

Vs. 149            Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.

 

Vs. 154             Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!

 

Vs. 156             Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.

 

Vs. 159             Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.

Psalm 85

Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you covered all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.

Ten Suggestions for a Personal Revival: “The Size of the Soul (Chapter 5)” A.W. Tozer

  1. Get thoroughly dissatisfied with yourself.
  2. Set your face like a flint toward a sweeping transformation of your life.
  3. Put yourself in the way of the blessing.
  4. Do a thorough job of repenting.
  5. Make restitution whenever possible.
  6. Bring your life into accord with the Sermon on the Mount and such other New Testament Scriptures as are designed to instruct us in the way of righteousness. (Self-examination made on our knees)
  7. Be serious-minded.
  8. Deliberately narrow your interests.
  9. Begin to witness.
  10. Have faith in God (begin to expect).

 

Posted on 31st October 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Wealth Creation and the Beatitudinal Christian

The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation. https://www.lausanne.org/content/wealth-creation-manifesto

The Bible has much to say about material goods, wealth and true riches.

  • Wealth can be in all areas – physical, mental, material and spiritual.
    • Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 2
      • All may go well
      • Good health
      • Healthful soul
    • If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? Luke 16:11
  • All resources are sourced in God.
    • The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,[a]
      the world and those who dwell therein,
      for he has founded it upon the seas
      and established it upon the rivers.  Psalm 24:1, 2
    • You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  Deuteronomy 8:18
  • We are stewards entrusted with caring for God’s resources.

 

  • The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.  Genesis 2:15

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”  1 Corinthians 10:23-26

  • As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: I Peter 4:10

 

  • We steward God’s resources for God’s purposes. 17

 

  • We steward God’s resources to become rich in good works, generous and ready to share. 18

 

  • We steward God’s resources to build a good foundation for the future so that we may take hold of that which is truly life. 19

 

  • In stewarding God’s resources, we experience joy. 17

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

 

  • Stewardship indicates our treasure is God and not His resources. We do not trust in resources, but in God Himself.  Luke 12:34

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34

  • Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. Proverbs 11:28

The following affirmations and appeal are from https://www.lausanne.org/content/wealth-creation-manifesto

Affirmations

  1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
  2. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with him and for him, to create products and services for the common good.
  3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
  4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
  5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
  6. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.
  7. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
  8. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.
  9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
  10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
  11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.

Appeal

We present these affirmations to the Church worldwide, and especially to leaders in business, church, government, and academia.

  • We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.
  • We call for fresh, ongoing efforts to equip and launch wealth creators to that very end.
  • We call wealth creators to perseverance, diligently using their God-given gifts to serve God and people.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – For the greater glory of God

Posted on 3rd October 2018 in BAM, Uncategorized, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Rushing Spirit and the Suddenly’s of God

I am investigating every mention of the Spirit in the Old Testament.  These notes are for the usage of the word “Spirit” in Judges through 1 Samuel 16.

The emphasis in these verses upon “The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him,” caught my attention.  Upon further thinking, I also see that Luke, in Acts, places special emphasis upon the Spirit doing things “suddenly.”

May the Spirit RUSH upon you SUDDENLY with God’s ministry to you.

Judges 14:5-6, 19; 15:14

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him,

The Expression:                                  although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces

Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat

1 Samuel 10:6, 10

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you

The Expression:                                  you will prophesy and be turned into another man

Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.

When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.           

1 Samuel 11:6

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of God rushed upon Saul

The Expression:                                  and his anger was greatly kindled.

And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.

1 Samuel 16:13

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.

The Expression:                                  Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers.

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

The Holy Spirit and Luke, in the book of Acts, place enormous emphasis upon the urgent rushing of the Holy Spirit into and upon people and situations.

Acts 2:2

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Acts 8:39

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Acts 9:3

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.

Acts 10:30

Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me

Acts 12:7

Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

Acts 12:10

They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

Acts 16:26

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Acts 22:6

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.

Malachi 3:1-2

 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

 

Posted on 26th September 2018 in Uncategorized, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
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Bridging the Gap with David Soliman

In Anchorage, Alaska, 3.2% (2010 Census) of the neighbors God invites us to love are followers of Islam.

“Perhaps one of the largest chasms one can imagine is the separation between Western Christians and Muslims. Bridging the Gap is bridging that divide, sharing the love of Jesus with our brothers and sisters from Arab and Muslim regions.” David Soliman

Increase your loving capacity and grace!  

Free Dynamic Leadership Workshop with Bridging the Gap Founder and President, Mr. David Soliman

October 12         7:00 PM

October 13         9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

MCA Church, 7041 DeBarr Road, Anchorage, Alaska

907 337-9495              www.mcaonoline.org

FREE with Lunch Provided

“We drive to airports, board airplanes and fly half way around the world to reach people who are just like our neighbors here at home.  When obeying the Great Commission, why board a plane in Jerusalem and fly over Judea and Samaria to reach the ends of the earth?  Judea and Samaria are equally important.”  Pastor Max Wiltshire

Posted on 20th September 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post