Posts categorized Intentional Spiritual Growth
Yeshiva for Globally Engaged Disciples
What is Yeshiva for Globally Engaged Disciples?
Yeshiva is a Hebrew word that means “sitting” and is the name of residential Torah schools where the Bible is studied, in Judaism, in the Hebraic model of master and apprentice.
Yeshiva for Globally Engaged Disciples is a master-apprentice-based internship program that encourages, empowers, and equips disciples for global engagement.
Through the Northwest Partnership Program (NPP), Yeshiva for Globally Engaged Disciples partners with Northwest University to offer Associate and Bachelor’s degrees with the highest level of accreditation as an integrated part the internship program.
What are the available degrees through the Northwest Partnership Program?
Associate of Arts Degrees
- BA in Ministry Leadership
- BA in Business Management
- BA in Organizational Management
- BA in Organizational Leadership
- BA in Psychology
What are the dates for 2019-2020?
Fall Semester (15 weeks) Spring Semester (15 weeks)
Session A – Sept 2 – Oct 21 Session A – Jan 13 – March 2
Session B – Oct 28 – Dec 16 Session B – March 9 – April 27
What does the internship/practicum look like per Semester?
The internship course will operate during the dates listed above and will include a weekly meeting (2 hours per week), serving once a week in a ministry (2 hours per week), attending master-teacher class (2-4 hours), missions trip participation (1 trip per semester; 5-7 days), required reading (1-2 books), required writing assignment (5 pages double-spaced).
What is the cost?
For fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters combined
Full-time Tuition ($310 per credit hour) $ 7,440
Registration Fee ($0/semester) free
Internship Fee ($1,300/semester) 2,600
Ministry Practicum Tuition (6 credits) Fulltime = free
Two Missions Trips (1 per semester) 4,000*
*The cost for the missions trip is to be paid directly to MCA church at the beginning of each semester and is not eligible for financial aid or scholarships. First year missions trips will be to Judea (Alaska) and Samaria (U.S. or close to the States); second year missions trips will be to Jerusalem (Anchorage) and the uttermost parts of the earth (TBD); third year missions trip will be to Israel, Lord willing.
How Can I Finance My Education?
Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step to determine your financial aid eligibility. Financial Aid may include: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Stafford Loans, Parent Plus Loans, or Non-Northwest University Scholarships
Please complete the FAFSA as early as possible to allow time for processing. Financial Aid questions can be answered by the University at nppfinancialservices@northwestu. edu.
How do I get Ministry Practicum credit for free?
Full-time students enrolled for at least 24 credits for the academic year may receive 6 additional credits per year by participating in the NPP Partner’s internship program when approved by NU and overseen by NPP Coordinator.
What should I do if I want more information?
Call Pastor Fay Niemann at 907 337-9495 or email her at fayniemann (at) mcaonline.org.
You can also go to the Northwest University Partnership Program info site at https://eagle.northwestu.edu/academics/ northwest-partnership/.
Today I was asked a most sobering question.
“My family member knowingly, intentionally and thoughtfully rejected the saving grace of Jesus Christ and has died in deep disbelief and rejection. How do I deal with this grief?”
Someone who is far wiser than I am could respond much more effectively than I can, but I am the one who received the question and should share my feeble thoughts.
In responding to this heart-breaking question, my mind journeys in several directions.
First, it seems important to feel, thoroughly and extensively feel, the grievous loss. A person you greatly love has died without the hope of eternal life and without a public confession of faith in Jesus for salvation. Your sorrow is well founded.
Our Lord, Jesus, wept at the death of His friend who, without a doubt was righteous. No one knows the response Jesus would have experienced at the death of an unrighteous friend. The Bible doesn’t give us a glimpse into that possibility.
Recently, a very well respected theologian stated, “When Jesus wept, it was Jesus the man weeping. Jesus, as fully God, could never weep.” This troubled my soul. Jesus is fully God and fully human. He can’t be divided into the God part and the human part. He is Him. He is both God and human at the same time and in the same place.
Equally troubling is the notion that God can not cry. I suppose the argument is that a Sovereign, Almighty and All-knowing God would have no sorrow because He fully knows the beginning from the end and everything is both happening and already happened. All reality is, they might argue, past tense for God.
From my perspective, the Bible reveals God as interacting with reality in real time, with real emotions and genuine experience. I am convinced the death of your unsaved family member or close friend deeply moves the emotions of God. When you sorrow, you are experiencing an emotion placed in you by being created in His image. Because He can grieve, you can too.
There may be some comfort in knowing your grief is shared by God Himself. You are not alone, emotionally or in any other way. God understands. He too felt the sorrow of a family member’s death. His Son died with the sin of the whole world on His shoulders. God gets it.
With the inner workings of the human spirit, soul and body being so little understood, there is a measure of comfort in knowing the One who knit your loved one together in their mother’s womb knows everything about everything in their lives. There are no uncovered facts. God knows it all.
God is always fair and just in His judgements. He will always do what is right and just and holy.
Sometimes it feels as if the grief will never end. The Bible mentions the possibility of “sorrow upon sorrow.” The revelation of Jesus to John powerfully reveals God ends the season of grief by “wiping every tear from their eyes.”
It doesn’t feel like it right now, but this sorrow will come to a close because “weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.” There is a measure of comfort in knowing this season of sorrow will end by God’s Personal action of drying our tears.
Turning the loss into longing is vital. People weren’t designed and created for eternal separation, grief and loss. We were hand formed by God for Ideal Condition. Developed for the ideal condition of God’s perfect Garden and to be in His Personal presence, we are not at home and settled in to this existence of our messed up world.
Everything inside of everyone longs for a return to God’s Ideal Condition. Redeeming the loss by transforming it into authentic deep longing for God and His eternal home, is most helpful. In our loss we can find our truest longing.
“So my soul longeth after thee, oh God.”
Psalm 119: Personal Revival, Part 2
Eleven times the Psalmist prays for personal revival.
Vs. 25 My soul clings to the dust. Revive me according to your word.
For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground.
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Personal Revival is anchored, for the Psalmist of verse 25, in “My soul clings to the dust.”
There could be many and various reasons for the Psalmist’s soul to cling to the dust. “Look at you….”
- Personal difficulty
- Strong enemies
- A guilty conscience
Let us consider a different possibility for you and I to recognize that our “souls cling to the dust.” Isaiah 6:1-9
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”[b]
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people:
There is a, “My soul clings to the dust reality,” that comes not from one’s encounter with the self and all of its challenges, but from an experience with God and His holiness.
Here the soul isn’t saying, “Look at you,” the soul has looked and seen God.
We discover Isaiah’s “Woe is me” is similar to the Psalmist’s “My soul clings to the dust.”
May the Lord create in us a longing for personal revival that flows from an experience with God and His holiness.
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.
Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you covered all their sin. Selah
3 You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.
4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 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.
9 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
- Get thoroughly dissatisfied with yourself.
- Set your face like a flint toward a sweeping transformation of your life.
- Put yourself in the way of the blessing.
- Do a thorough job of repenting.
- Make restitution whenever possible.
- 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)
- Be serious-minded.
- Deliberately narrow your interests.
- Begin to witness.
- Have faith in God (begin to expect).
From time to time I warn people of the dangers of yoga. The HUGE resistance to these warnings surprises some, but I am convinced is part of the demonic spirit attached to the practice.
In 1978 I lived in Calcutta, India for three months. I had never seen, first hand, Hinduism, it’s practices, and the power of darkness it produces. Needless to say, I departed India with a commitment to give warning to all who might become interested and attracted to the world view.
Over the years I have, from time to time, pursued a deeper knowledge of hinduism and it’s yoga evangelistic arm, so that I can give warning for those whose knowledge of yoga is at a deeper level.
Pamela Frost presents an excellent primer and is well worth the time and thought necessary for entry level understanding.
One day, while swimming, playing, and floating in the ocean, I saw the most beautiful little jelly fish floating a few inches from me. The darling little creature wasn’t more than six inches in diameter and the sunlight it refracted and reflected shone with many gorgeous hues.
Just then the lifeguards shouted over their beach tower mega phones, “Everyone out of the water, dangerous and life threatening box jellyfish have been spotted.”
Sitting on the beach a couple of seconds later, I thought, “That cute little creature is a killer.”
Awaken the Wonder of the Holy Spirit For Me
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26
Awaken the Wonder of the Holy Spirit In Me
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19
Awaken the Wonder of the Holy Spirit Upon Me
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
Awaken the Wonder of the Holy Spirit Through Me
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
In the New Testament, we see the Holy Spirit empowering life and service for God’s mission in the world.
“…a Pentecostal perspective on Spirit baptism is integral to our continued sense of expectation and effectiveness in mission.” Bob Menzies
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father.
- Luke 24:48-49
- Acts 1:4
- Acts 2:33
- Acts 2:39
This glorious “promise of the Father” is promised in Joel 2:28-32.
- I will pour out
- My Spirit
- On all flesh
- Prophecy, dreams, and visions.
What did an Old Testament “pour out” look like? Numbers 11:24-29
- The Lord came down in the cloud. 25
- Took some of the Spirit that was upon Moses and put it upon the 70 elders. 25
- As soon as the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. 25
What did a New Testament “pour out” look like? Acts 2:1-13
- Suddenly there came from heaven. 2
- With a sound of a mighty rushing wind. 2
- Divided tongues of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 3
- And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Vs. 4
- And began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 4
Without a doubt, God has committed the “promise of the Father” to you.
- We ardently expect the promise of the Father (characterized by warmth of feeling typically expressed in eager zealous support or activity).
- We earnestly seek the promise of the Father (characterized by or proceeding from an intense and serious state of mind).
We ardently expect and earnestly seek God’s “pour out” of His Spirit upon each and every one of us.
The most important thing about me is my spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Is my spiritual growth determined by my decisions or by default?
A leading scholar and researcher with the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, R. Miller, PhD., has clinically identified a phenomenon identified as “quantum change.”
“The word “quantum” comes from the world of physics. Scientists observe that when atoms receive greater amounts of energy their electrons jump into completely new orbits. With an increase in energy the previous structure cannot sustain itself. After a quantum change a new stability shows up at a higher level. A new reality has emerged.” http://quantumchange.net/
Quantum change, in Dr. Miller’s research, is a vivid, surprising, benevolent, and enduring personal transformation. Paul experienced “quantum change” in Acts 9:1-20.
Jesus requires (and provides) quantum change.
The condition of the human spirit without Jesus
- Heart darkened Romans 1:21
- Lost Luke 19:10
- Perishing John 3:16
- Positioned for God’s wrath John 3:36
- Condemned already John 3:18
- Without hope Ephesians 2:12
- Dead in trespasses and sin Ephesians 2:1
- Blinded by “god of this age” 2 Corinthians 4:4
Long before Dr. Miller began to understand quantum change, God revealed it in the Bible. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Consider the quantum change of Ephesians 2:1-5.
Jesus guarantees this quantum change to you today. John 6:37
Listen – My Story
- What holds excitement for you this upcoming winter?
- Is there a quantum change you wish would happen in the world today?
- Does anyone in your Life Group have a quantum change conversion story?
Lift – Prayer
- Please give thanks to God for specific things He has bountifully provided for you.
- Next Sunday we commission our 2018 Youth Ministry team. Please pray for teens and the ministry team.
- Please pray for the beginning of MCA Celebrate Recovery, a thoroughly Christian recovery ministry.
- Please pray for the members of your Life Group.
Learn – Digging Deeper
- Read Luke 19:1-8. Do you see quantum change in Zacchaeus? What all changed for him?
- Read John 11:38-44. Do you see quantum change in Lazarus? Does Jesus make similar changes in lives today? If so, in what ways?
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. What all is included in the “old?” What all is included in “the new?”
Life – Taking it Home
- What is God saying to you through this lesson?
- What could you do this week to present yourself to God for quantum change?
- What is your next step in response to this teaching?
The most important thing about me is my spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Is my spiritual growth determined by my:
- decisions or by default?
- choices or by chance?
- planning or by passivity?
Do I really want to believe the most important thing about me is determined by luck, accidental good fortune, or the false concept of karma?
Will I rise to the challenge of intentional spiritual growth? Philippians 2:12
The Bible reveals that even the ant lives by decisions, choices, and planning rather than by default, chance, and passivity. Proverbs 6:6-11 (Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys)
The Apostle Peter is insightful when he explains, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
I am ransomed from the way of life that has “absence of purpose or failure to attain any true purpose (Moulton and Milligan).”
Jesus models living life on purpose or intentionality in the Gospel of Mark 3:13-15.
The direction of my intentional spiritual growth is not determined by chance but by Jesus’ revelation in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5, 6, and 7.
Augustine (354 AD – 430 AD) rightly stated, “If anyone will piously and soberly consider the sermon which our Lord Jesus Christ spoke on the mount, as we read it in the Gospel according to Matthew, I think that he will find in it, so far as regards the highest morals, a perfect standard of the Christian life: and this we do not rashly venture to promise, but gather it from the very words of the Lord Himself.”
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus invites us to the following intentional spiritual growth:
- Kingdom blessings Matthew 5:1-12
- Kingdom impactMatthew 5:13-16
- Kingdom priority Matthew 5:17-48
- Kingdom righteousness Matthew 6:1-7:12
- Kingdom gates Matthew 7:13-29