Posts categorized Holidays
MCA Church is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-socioeconomic worship community that loves one another deeply. We rarely talk about racism in our gatherings because we simply feel that crying racism actually strengthens and lengthens this terrible sin against the image of God.
A racist is a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
A bigot is a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
A xenophobe is a person who is unduly fearful of what is foreign.
NONE of these three perspectives please God and all three are a great insult to being created in the image of God.
The racist, bigot, and xenophobe often struggle with unhealthy and sinful prejudice.
To be prejudiced is to hold a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
Most forms of prejudice are sin because they can not be true. People can not accurately be assessed by skin color, race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic standing, or height or weight.
Here at MCA Church we hold to a very simple and basic solution. Our highly effective plan won’t make headlines, may seem unsophisticated and kindergarten-ish.
We don’t mind. We are a simple folk. Our plan requires only three Jesus’ words to define.
Sorry. No long books to read. No degrees to be earned. No sensitivity training required.
Time for the great unveiling of MCA Church’s secret to our multi-ethnic success.
“Love your neighbor.”
Back in my study days at Northwest University, Dr. Gordon Fee came through as the Staley Distinguished Scholar. His one week of teaching is permanently stored in my memory.
In the chapel service each day, he taught us how to compare the “vanity, vanity, all is vanity” of Ecclesiastes with the permanence of “The man who does the will of God is forever,” in 1 John.
Dr. Fee gave his attention, in the evening sessions, to the fact that Christians and the Church are the “newly reconstituted people of the Spirit.” We studied some of the intricacies of God’s selection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the “people of God.” Yet the primary emphasis was upon how in Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit, God reconstituted “the people of Spirit.”
This holy-day season, I am uber thankful for family. In this newly reconstituted people of the Spirit, one’s family is even more grand than the biological family. Yes, my father lives in Arkansas. Yet I have fathers in our newly reconstituted family too and everyone in this particular family find father in Father God.
As a daughter or son of God you are truly, really, and genuinely related to the rest of our “newly reconstituted family of God.” These sisters and brothers are actual relatives. “The Church family” isn’t just a slogan on the wall or an idea on the pages of an antique text or a philosophy in seminary lecture. The Christian family is related at the deepest level.
Ninety minutes from now our part of the Christian family will gather for a church family meal. Our ethnicities will be diverse. Our skin color will various shades of the palette. Our primary languages will be varied. HOWEVER, we are genuinely and deeply family.
God’s newly reconstituted family is our most powerful evangelism message. Nothing on earth is as powerful as aligning with Father God as a daughter or son who brings joy to His heart.
When we lock ourselves in our homes with our biological family, to the exclusion of the larger family, we silence our greatest Gospel voice. I have noticed that “the happy American family” is rarely effective in evangelism in their homes. It is not the fact that the family is happy and American, it is that our families often become ingrown, isolated, and cut off from the joy of welcoming the God-orphan into our newly reconstituted family of the Spirit.
The stranger in your home gets a taste of the day when, should they come into alignment with Father God, they are welcomed to God’s eternal home and into His fantastic family.
There is plenty of time. Come on over so that neither you nor I eat alone.
Following are the notes I prepared for my Resurrection Sunday message.
More than a Relationship
Jesus is more than a man: He is Victor!
Human beings have three great enemies: sin, death, and Satan.
• Sin – Slaves to sin. Romans 6:20
• Satan – Your enemy. 1 Peter 5:8
• Death – The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Cor. 15:26
The effect of these three are unbearable.
• Sin’s effect is for you to live your entire life separated from the life of God.
• Satan’s effect is that you live and die without God’s life with the added negative of his deathly presence.
• Death’s effect is for you to die without eternal life in God.
Enter Christmas! The key to understanding “Jesus as Victor,” is the incarnation. Jesus became fully human. As a fully human man, Jesus gained the same three great enemies, sin, death, and Satan.
Enter Good Friday! The power of slavery to sin was defeated by the blood of Jesus! Romans 8:1-4
Enter Good Saturday! The power of Satan’s kingdom was defeated by Jesus in Satan’s own domain. Hebrews 2:14-18
Enter Resurrection Sunday! The power of death was defeated by Jesus’ resurrection! 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
Christianity is more than a relationship! It includes the finished work of Jesus Christ, THE VICTOR over sin, Satan, and death.
THE VICTOR’S victory can be yours, if you believe and are baptized. Mark 16:16
Plan now to attend the following, with a friend.
- Good Friday Service from Noon to 1 PM in MCA LIVE
- Son Rise Service from 7:30 to 8:00 AM at the Russian Jack Chalet
- Breaking the Fast at 8:15 in MCA Central Campus Gym
- All services as regularly scheduled.
One of my heroes, Hudson Taylor, was fond of saying, “Where God guides, God provides.” I too have found the provision of God to be ample for the work He has designed for me to do. Following is a poem (whose author is unknown) that captures the guiding and providing aspects of our Father.
I’d rather walk in the dark with God
Than go alone in the light;
I’d rather walk by faith with Him
Than go alone by sight. –Anon.
Be encouraged today. God is providing! My friend, Caleb McAfee, has given light to the subject of God’s provision by saying, “Biblical prosperity is having more than enough to accomplish God’s plan.” God will come through for you and for His vision for you. You will have more than enough to get God’s plan for your life accomplished.
We are thankful for those who are investing in the vision of the MCA worship community at year’s end. There are so many opportunities simply waiting for us to grab onto them for God’s glory. Provision is part of what is needed for this to happen.
As you reflect over your resources for 2011, will you consider a hefty year-end investment into the ministry of Muldoon Community Assembly? Every gift is greatly needed for the purpose of advancing the vision. God guides and provides both to us and through us. May my giving be part of the answer to the prayers for provision for all of our missionaries, ministries, and opportunities. You may give online here.
If you chose to send a check, please mail to Muldoon Community Assembly, 7041 DeBarr Road, Anchorage, Alaska, 99504.
Stay blessed and continue to be a blessing.
“How much free space do you have?” My friend asked me this afternoon. His question was formulated for the purpose of solving computer issues I have been experiencing lately but his question got me thinking about Veteran’s Day.
On a scale far grander than a mere hard drive, veterans have provided for me a world of “free space.” Since the entire scope of my life is influenced by this space in which I have liberty and freedom, there can be no part of my existence that hasn’t been impacted by a veteran.
In this “free space” my parents had the ability to chose to marry each other, start a family, and have three children. I am the third, who wouldn’t have been allowed life in those countries that have limited free space.
In this “free space” the evangelist was at liberty to preach the salvation message and there were no hindrances to stop me from following Christ with my whole heart.
In this “free space” I have taken a bride, raised a family, and built my life and ministry.
In this “free space” I am able to blog without fear. In a sense, I own a publishing company. My publishing company has no employees, no office, and only two pieces of equipment. my computer and internet access. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and a variety of other “publishing” tools allow my tiny company to operate. Years ago I heard a sentence that has impacted my involvement in blogging and writing: “Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.”
Veterans are responsible for my opportunity to own one.
Jesus left his homeland to fight a battle on earth that changed history both future and past. As a Veteran of Foreign War, Jesus paid the ultimate price for a different kind of free space. His free space isn’t just geographical and in time and space. The free space He provided is for the core of the human spirit and soul. The people living in His free space are free, free indeed.
“How much free space do I have?” I don’t know because it isn’t measured in bytes and gigs. But I know that I have a bunch of Veterans to thank!
Watch Night Services are among my favorite services of the year. I totally get a kick out of dedicating an entire year to the Lord at the stroke of midnight, December 31. I have attended (best I can tell) 49 watch night services.
I am fired up about this year’s Watch Night program. It may become our most effective, exciting, and encouraging yet.
MCA favorite, Dr. Richard Allen Farmer will close down 2010 and open 2011 by bringing his virtuosity on the piano and his brilliance as an expository preacher to our Watch Night service and to the first services of 2011.
Really, who cares about a ball dropping in New York City when the power of God may fall in the MCA service? I’ll take the power of God any day. :0)
Every Memorial Day at noon you will find me at the Memorial Day Celebration at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery. Patriotism runs deep and thick in my blood. Tears rise like a stream of thankfulness. What part moves me? The flags? Yes. The moving speeches? Yes. The tears in the eyes of those who have fought in battle and lost their fellow warriors? Yes. The American music? Yes. Taps? Yes. The twenty-one gun salute? Yes. The flag being raised to full staff? Yes. The presentation of the memorial wreaths? Yes.
In short, I like it all.
United States Alaskan Congressman, Don Young, said, “Will everyone do me a favor and take a deep breath? Let the breath out. Everyday that you get out of bed you should take a deep breath of freedom and thank God with all of your heart that you live in freedom. Thank God for the breath of freedom.”
American freedom is grand. Spiritual freedom, given by our Lord Jesus Christ through his victorious battle of the cross, is even more grand.
The person Jesus sets free is truly free.