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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

Posts categorized Counter Story

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“God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Luke 18:13

I see a small but important distinction in speaking about God and His glory. Consider this sentence (from my morning reading), “God does what he does for his glory and for the good of his people.”

Light Dispersion Illustration.This wording suggests that God does things “for” his glory and hints that to his glory something can be added. If something can be added to God, he isn’t God, for to God nothing can be added.

To glorify God is not a badge of honor for the super spiritual, but the humble awareness that God has chosen to reveal his glory and has made me a mirror to reflect who He is.

To bring glory to God is to reflect his glory in a way that others see his glory and begin to reflect him too.

Ironically, when attempting to glorify God I may attract attention to myself and participate in the first and worst sin, pride.  Consider the thousands of times something like the following is proclaimed.

“Sorry folks, I don’t eat that food, drink that drink, listen to that music, read that book, watch that movie, wear those clothes, or have that piercing/tattoo because all I want to do is glorify God.”

Talking like this might be a poorly veiled statement of personal pride.  At it’s core it suggests:

  • If you were as spiritual as me, you would agree with me on behavioral matters
  • What I do or don’t do adds to God’s glory which indicates that my decisions impact the is-ness of God.
  • I am just a bit better than you because…
  • Maybe I don’t reflect the Lord’s glory very well, so I better tell you how much I do.

Isn’t it strange how talking about wanting to give God glory just might be seeking to give ourselves glory?  “Please join me in glorying in my motivation to glorify God.”

In my understanding, glory is a one way street.  I have no glory to give God.  He is glorious and I am glory-less.

Maybe, if God helps me, I can become more aware of my absolute glory-less-ness and somehow reflect his glory off of this jar of clay mirror.

 

Posted on 14th January 2016 in Counter Story, Discipleship, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Ordo: The MCA Weekend Experience – Celebration

“We want to meet with you, Lord!” The MCA Worship Community hungers and thirsts for the presence and glory of God in our lives. Just like the Ark of the Covenant carried the glory of God, we long to carry his glory too.

Our weekend service order (Ordo) is intentionally designed from our understanding of the Bible’s teaching on how to meet with God. I sometimes wish we were named Muldoon Community Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was the place where God and Moses met, in fact it was called The Tent of Meeting.

May the MCA Weekend Experience be our personal Tent of Meeting. Following are the notes from my November 3, 2013 message.

Celebration

The Bible opens with two keys to life without God’s order: 1. Without form. 2. Void. We discover in life that the greater God’s influence, the greater the order.

The Holy Spirit brings order and substance out of things that are without form and void.

Our current teaching series is intended to support the fact that one’s weekend worship experience is vital in replacing the “without form and void” parts of our lives with an ordered substance from the Holy Spirit.

MCA Church’s weekend service collage presents a powerful ordered-ness in which you can rest, refresh, and rebuild.

Today’s teaching, “Ordo: The MCA Weekend Experience,” reminds us that God is glorious and grand beyond human comprehension (Exodus 15:11, 12) and He has revealed some of the ways in which He likes to be approached.

The MCA Weekend Experience is intentionally and purposefully designed to lead into a consecrated experience between you and God.

We begin each MCA weekend experience, on our way into a consecrated meeting with God, by joining together in celebration.

Psalm 100 reminds us that…
• The Lord is good
• His steadfast love endures forever
• His faithfulness endures to all generations

Therefore, we are given instruction on how to approach Him.
• Come into his presence with singing
• Enter his gates with thanksgiving
• Enter his courts with praise

Further Scriptural guidance on approaching God
• Clap, shout with loud songs of joy. Psalm 47:1
• Sing to the Lord a new song, and his praise… Isaiah 42:10

1. How fully engaged are you when our church is called to celebration?
2. How comfortable are you with approaching God the way He likes to be approached? Singing? Thanksgiving? Praise? Clapping? Shouting? New Songs?

Posted on 3rd November 2013 in Counter Story, Health, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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MCA Church Fay Day is a Huge Success!

Pastor Fay, Chuck, and Nicole were honored for Pastor Fay’s twenty-five years of ministry at MCA Church. This spectacular milestone served as a reminder to all of our congregation of the faithfulness of God in providing shepherds for His flock.

The evening service highlighted the large variety of ministries in which the Niemann’s have been deeply involved. From Kindergarten teacher at Muldoon Christian School to MCA Church Executive Pastor has proven to be a unique and substantial journey for Pastor Fay.

With her ministry noted around the world, especially in Burkina Faso and in the Outback of Australia, Pastor Fay’s legacy is a continuation of the promise of God to Abraham, “And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.”

Truly, MCA Church is unable to count the large number of people who have been influenced by the ministry of these three soldiers of the cross.

Pastor Philippe prayed, in the Moore’ language, for God’s renewed anointing for a brand new day.

We LOVE the Niemanns.fay day 1

Posted on 21st October 2013 in Australian Aboriginal Outreach, Burkina Faso, Central Campus, Children's Ministry, Counter Story, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Live Local: My Duty

Following are my notes for my message, “Live Local: My Duty.” May God be glorified.

Live Local: My Duty

Place matters! People and places are often connected by God.
• Abraham followed God’s guidance to “a place I will show you.” Genesis 12:7
• The Israelites were given, by God, “the Promised Land.” Deuteronomy 1:8
• Jerusalem is “the City of our God.” Psalm 48

The importance of place is highlighted by early Christian’s struggle with persecution. Rather than die for their faith in Christ, they could simply flee to another place. The fleeing/staying controversy was rather extensive in the beginning days of Christian faith. For example, Tertullian insisted that fleeing was wrong, while Cyprian encouraged people to run, which he did himself. A study of Jesus’ teaching about persecution may be very interesting to you. (Matthew 10)

This week we celebrate and honor those who valued the United States of America and lived and died to make this “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Our question today is, “In the place where God has planted me, what is my Christian duty?”

Duty is a moral or legal obligation, a responsibility.

All Christian duty flows out of Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all….Love your neighbor as yourself…” Clearly, we have a duty to God and to people.”

With love for God, our duty is to keep Jesus’ commands. John 14:15, 23, 31

With love for people, our duty is:

• Pursue right judgments (justice)
• Love mercy
• Walk in humility with God

Wrong judgments (injustice) often hurt four of our neighbors the most:
• Children
• Women
• Foreigners
• Elderly

When an infant is destroyed in the womb, she can never become a child, woman, foreigner, or elderly. The greatest injustice to our neighbors is perpetrated on infants in the womb. We must not be silent!

Our Christian duty (our moral and legal obligation and responsibility) in Anchorage, Eagle River, Peter’s Creek, Wasilla, and Palmer begins with right judgments for our unborn citizens, moves to right judgments for our children, then our women, the foreigner among us, and our elderly.

When we, out of love for God and our neighbor, keep Jesus’ commands we should have NO sense of pride because obedience is simply our duty! Luke 17:10

God is gracious and merciful and quick to forgive. If you have practiced injustice, been unmerciful, or proud, place your sin on the cross today and ask God to cleanse all of your sin. God loves to forgive.

MCA Life Groups

Connecting with Each Other
1. Do you have a July 4th tradition that you enjoy?
2. Do you drink tea or coffee? Why? :0)

Digging Deeper into the Lesson
1. How important are places? Consider Psalm 137:1.
2. Matthew 10 is an amazing lesson by Jesus about being sent out for ministry. Read the first sentence in verse 23. Read verses 32 and 33.
a. If you are able, what should you do in face of persecution? Vs. 23
b. If you are not able to flee persecution, what is your duty? Vs 32, 33
3. In other words, you may __________________ but not _________________.
4. Pursuing right judgments for infants is our number one priority. Consider James 1:27 and make a list of three action steps you must take for justice for infants.
a.
b.
c.
Prayer
1. Ask God for right judgments for infants, children, women, foreigners, and the elderly in our lives.
2. Pray for continued growth in those who responded to Christ at Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames.
3. Pray with those in your LIFE group who have practiced injustice, shown no mercy, or walked with pride.

Posted on 1st July 2012 in Counter Story, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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http://writeyourstory1.wordpress.com/

Let’s sing the hymn together, “This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long!”

We are designing much of our ministry around the faithful interaction of Jesus (the Word) with the story of our lives. As you and God write the script of your life, a beautiful story line develops. This is the power of the Gospel. The ministry of Jesus applied to your daily living is good news.

The Bible may be viewed in many ways. One of the most simple and powerful ways to approach the scripture is with the understanding that much of what you read are stories of everyday, regular, normal people interacting with God, the Speaker, Jesus, the Speech, and the Holy Spirit, the Breath.

Dive into your story line. What has Jesus accomplished in your life? If you let us know your story, we would love to post it on our story board. You can read what others have written at http://writeyourstory1.wordpress.com/

Please send us His story in your story and we’ll get the word out.

You may email your story to Michaelroux at mcaonline dot org.

Posted on 15th July 2011 in Counter Story  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Word

My reflection upon Jesus as The Word is providing insights I have never seen before. The Word is more expansive and infused into everything than I have previously imagined.

Genesis 1 reveals God as The Speaker, Jesus as the Speech, and The Holy Spirit as the Speaker and Speech’s Breath. Without a doubt, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are The Communicators. Creation is a Divine communication. The nature of The Word shows up in everything that is living and that exists. The Human Genome Project shows that the Word is visible in the 3 billion base pairs of the haploid human genome. The building blocks of DNA are abbreviated with A, T, C, and G. Three of these building block pair with three of these building blocks and the result is a three/three base pair. There are over 3 billion of these base pairs that make up the chromosome. All of this information is in every cell of your body!

Notice the words selected by geneticists to describe this genome.

“To get an idea of the size of the human genome present in each of our cells, consider the following analogy: If the DNA sequence of the human genome were compiled in books, the equivalent of 200 volumes the size of a Manhattan telephone book (at 1000 pages each) would be needed to hold it all.

It would take about 9.5 years to read out loud (without stopping) the 3 billion bases in a person’s genome sequence. This is calculated on a reading rate of 10 bases per second, equaling 600 bases/minute, 36,000 bases/hour, 864,000 bases/day, 315,360,000 bases/year.” http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/faq/faqs1.shtml

The Word is reflected in the genome. Notice the “Word” sightings in this piece, “if the DNA sequence of the human genome were compiled in books.” Why would they say, “compiled in books?” because they are the “words” of creation.

Since the genome is creation’s “words” the next quote suggests that it would take about 9.5 years of “reading” without stopping, to read this code. All of this information was woven into Adam by God, the Speaker, Jesus, the Speech, and The Holy Spirit, the Breath!!!

You are a unique novel created by God! No two God created novels are exactly the same. You are a one of a kind. A novel novel. :0)

In a sense, you, at the core of your being, are a novel and yet you are also an author! You are writing your life. It seems to me that you and God are writing the “base pairs” of your life. Exciting!

There are many thoughts that come out of this perspective, one of which is very simple: What you say and how you say it really, really matters. Language is crucial.

Today, while studying these concepts, I revisited Adam and Eve’s temptation. The attack was purposefully designed to undermine God, Jesus, and The Spirit, as Speaker, Speech, and Breath. Notice the tempters approach, “Did God really say?” In other words, is the Speaker, the Speech, and the Breath to be trusted? The tempters’ answer is simple, “No! Don’t trust the Speaker, Speech, and Breath. Pick up your own pen and write your own life novel.”

The Apostle Paul knew all of this long before genomes were ever considered. “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3

In my opinion, you want to align your pen with the pen of God to write a “best seller” with your life.

Posted on 14th July 2011 in Counter Story  •  Comments are off for this post
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Late Night Thoughts

Usually, after my family goes to sleep, I take some time to read, pray, think, meditate, and consider. Although I am not much into what the media calls “news,” I have been noticing many events that gain most of the world’s attention.

These events, in some way, intersect with God’s promise to Abraham: “All the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” As Great Commandment Christians, we too are interested in taking Jesus into all the world and seeing all peoples in all nations blessed by Him. We are part of fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham.

My attention continues to be drawn away from my “Abrahamic calling” and into the details of the world event. More than I am interested in Japan’s nuclear radiation problems, I should be strategizing about how the nuclear challenge may open the door for me to bless the Japanese with the love of Jesus through acts of kindness and the sharing of the Gospel.

Was the raid that killed Osama bin Laden just or righteous is a question of some importance, but seeing Islamic folks come to personal faith in Jesus is of total importance.

With this in mind, the most important activity of one’s global influence for Jesus is prayer. Prayer sanctifies the sacrifice.

Without prayer a glass of water, “in Jesus’ name,” is simply a glass of water with His name on it. With prayer, a glass of water in His name can be transformative and tremendous.

In some ways we are far removed from Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. By prayer we can be closely involved in seeing the Gospel powerfully proclaimed, folks turning to Jesus for salvation, with the result being God’s promise to Abraham continues to be fulfilled through us.

Today I am praying for the totality of Christian witness in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan, Syria, Egypt, and other nations. May all those who risk their lives for identifying with Jesus be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. May God’s promise to Abraham be continually fulfilled in our generation.

Let’s increase our prayer quotient.

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Your Account Counts: Your Version of God’s Counter Story

MCA is totally fired up about the work of the Holy Spirit that is bringing blessing out of difficulty, benefit out of challenge, and purpose out of aimless living. God works often against and in spite of the dominant story line of the world’s culture.

We are collecting your counter stories for two reasons. 1. We believe it is good for you to write, memorize, and then share your story with many people every week. 2. We believe that other people can share your story and see many people come to faith as they hear of God’s abundant work in you.

You may read our published counter stories here. Notice the amazing transformation God has made in each author. When The Author writes the narrative of your life then you have a story to tell to the nations!

Please write your counter story in 100 words or less. Email your story to one of the MCA ministry team leaders. We will not publish your name, but will get your experience with God’s grace online ASAP.

The URL for our story blog is http://writeyourstory1.wordpress.blog

Posted on 13th April 2011 in Blogs, Counter Story, Creativity, Evangelism, Message Response, Ministry Development, Missions  •  Comments are off for this post
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A True Hero and Example!

A bold follower of Jesus Christ was assassinated in Pakistan a couple of days ago. With great devotion to our Lord, he proclaimed that he would be faithful to the call of God even in the face of death threats from the Taliban, Sharia Law proponents, and Al Qaeda. These wicked, God-less, and violent types have threatened the work of Jesus for 2000 years.

But God’s Truth marches on.

Please, on behalf of all Christians on the planet now, in the past, and in the future, view this short video of the now martyred Shahbaz Bhatti.

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The Story of Despair

Yesterday I launched a series of talks called, “Counter Story.”

Two years ago Dr. Joe Castleberry mentioned in a talk at the Holy Spirit Conference that the Holy Spirit is the One to write the script of our lives. Since that time I have been contemplating the story lines of our lives and the who, how, and why of life script writing.

Each of us makes sense of our lives through various beliefs, understandings, perspectives, and mechanisms. Deep in the human soul is the need and desire to understand our lives. In one of my readings I came across Frederick Buechner’s idea, “Listen to your life.” Our lives are talking to us 24/7/365. Often, we don’t listen.

In yesterday’s conversation, I heard several people suggest that they have been despairing about the story line of their lives. Some were feeling that God had abandoned them in the middle of life’s journey.

Realizing that God is writing a counter story, that is modeled after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, brought hope and strength.

When you listen to your life you will see that God is both present and participating with you in your journey.

Posted on 21st February 2011 in Counter Story  •  Comments are off for this post