October 30, 2009

India mission team + Slumdog Millionaire

Posted in cross cultural mission, culture at 11:28 PM by alexlozada

Back in the spring, Heather & I went to see the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire for her birthday, a rare movie for both of us 🙂  She enjoyed the romance, and I appreciated the underlying reality of the religious extremism, crime, and poverty. For a more eloquent and thoughtful analysis, check Jennifer Taylor’s post. For a Christian mission that is confronting some of these crimes in the courts and on the streets, check International Justice Mission, my teammate Tom Moen was attending a screening of the IJM movie At The End of Slavery this week.

Last Sunday, she & I attended the celebration for MCC’s India short-term mission team. Imperfect disciples serving the one perfect God are changing the storyline of hatred, crime, and poverty one small step at a time, whether thousands of miles away or in our own neighborhood, something my teammate Luke Erickson will speak about this coming Sunday.

October 25, 2009

Untouchables: Pornography (message resources)

Posted in better disciples at 6:13 PM by alexlozada

Ben Cachiaras started a new Sunday message series Untouchables = controversial topics we don’t want to touch. Today’s message was on “Pornography” – highlighting both the damage sexual impurity causes AND the grace of God that forgives sins like sexual impurity. You can download audio from MCC’s website and/or a draft of the small group study guide, plus my notes from the message.

Not for the faint of heart (or those who are not already struggling w/ pornography or who know someone who is) – the most blunt + helpful ministry I’ve encountered for sexual purity is xxxchurch.com. Another good resource, especially for men’s small groups looking for a book / study guide (co-written by one of the xxxchurch guys) is Deadly Vipers. On recommendation from our exec pastor Rob Kasten’s, MCC’s men’s pastoral staff read through Deadly Vipers – hard-hitting, phrased w/ contemporary language (which might be off-putting to some) BUT well worth it!

Here’s the Casting Crown’s music video of the special music that opened the service.

October 24, 2009

wrap up for “Finding Jesus on FB” series

Posted in better disciples at 11:36 PM by alexlozada

Throughout MCC’s Sunday message + small group studies alignment, we’ve emphasized that you do NOT need to be a FB user to participate.  Here’s an insightful article on FB and genuine Christian community from a Christianity Today editor who highlights the weaknesses of connecting w/ people online. Christianity Today also posted a more positive “tools approach” to FB and other online resources, entitled “The Technophobe’s Survival Guide”.

From FB itself, a user posts tips specifically for teachers, but a small group leader or church leader can easily adapt the advice for useful ways to connect with fellow members.

If you have observations about either MCC’s recent FB series, or generally about FB (maybe other online resources like Twitter, MySpace, etc.) and Christians, I encourage you to comment on this post. My teammate Ethan Magness already told me about another church to whom MCC is loaning our Finding Jesus on FB resources so they can use for a series next year.

October 18, 2009

“Are You Finding New Friends?” message resources 18 Oct

Posted in MCC resources at 11:08 PM by alexlozada

Ben Cachiaras concluded the Finding Jesus on Facebook series y asking “Are You Finding New Friends” – emphasizing the importance of every Christian reaching out to “the people Jesus misses the most.” These are my notes of the message, and mp3 for download or livestream available from the MCC media archives.

Ben showed the ESPN video “Without Sports” (click on pic of surfer w/ kid, choose Surf Camp TV spot from drop down menu) which described Surfers Healing, a nationwide organization that helps autistic children to enjoy a day at the beach.

October 12, 2009

Global missions w/ #MTCC Fall 09

Posted in better disciples at 11:57 PM by alexlozada

I’ve not posted often here at my personal blog the last couple of months because I’ve been on-line supporting Mountain Chr Ch’s efforts with global missions and the Sunday message + small groups alignment Finding Jesus on Facebook. Check the MCC short term missions blog for past updates on the Sept 09 India trip, the current Dominican Republic trip, and the Nov 09 Kenya trip.

Closer to home and of worthy interest for MCC small group leaders and members, MCC’s glocal missions team is again hosting a Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class, Sundays 5-8p 3 Jan – 2 May 2010. I attended an information meeting about Perspectives earlier tonight for both MCC people and churches throughout Harford / N Baltimore counties. I can’t adequately capture the enthusiasm of the Perspectives alumni about the class, so if you’ve taken it, feel free to post a comment. If you’re curious to find out more, check the link to the website above, or comment and I can connect you w/ one of the Perspectives alums.

October 11, 2009

“Is Facebook Really Free” message resources 11 Oct

Posted in better disciples at 11:43 PM by alexlozada

Sometimes I finish the message notes from hearing the speaker live (two or three times!) on Sunday, but sometimes I make use of the online mp3 version, and I can pause and rewind and type-edit on a full keyboard.  Yesterday, Ben C used the question “Is Facebook Really Free” as a starting point to  talk about living generously. Here’s online video of the message, too.

Ben featured greetings from Ajai Lall of Central India Christian Mission, partners in MCC’s recent short term mission trip. He also mentioned Park Rapids, MN Main St Logging & Legends festival featuring “water wars” between teams trying to push a hanging barrel with their fire-hose streams of water. This is a video clip from a different town’s version, but you get the idea 🙂

October 6, 2009

“Have You Updated Your Profile” resources 4 Oct

Posted in MCC resources at 11:05 PM by alexlozada

Only a few days back from India, MCC”s senior pastor Ben Cachiaras continued the Finding Jesus on Facebook series with “Have You Updated Your Profile?” Though we don’t have video link yet, here’s the audio to download or listen online, and here are my notes as I listened to Ben speak. He referred to the recent MCC mission trip w/ Central India Christian Mission

October 4, 2009

Celebration of Unity = Great Communion

Posted in history at 11:25 PM by alexlozada

Thank you to all who participated from the platform and all who attended a Restoration Movement Celebration of Unity (a/k/a Great Communion 200th anniversary of Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address) @ Mountain Christian Church on Sunday afternoon 4 October!

Dr Peter Morgan, president emeritus of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, spoke on Thomas Campbell, the Declaration and Address, and the Restoration Movement.

Daryl Reed (lead minister of District of Columbia Regional Christian Church) led the communion meditation. Betsy Magness (my teammate @ MCC, on our worship staff) shared her personal testimony about choosing the Restoration Movement for its values, not having been “born” into the Movement.

Carlos Scott (DC Regional) and Eric Olson (another teammate @ MCC) led the combined worship.

MCC’s senior pastor, Ben Cachiaras, began the the service with a welcome. Lari Grubbs (Regional Minister, Disciple of Christ Capital Region) extended greetings from Disciples of Christ congregations. David Caldwell (representative of Disciple of Christ Historical Society) gave the invocation – text available here.

October 3, 2009

“Who’s On Your Friend List?” message resources 27 Sept

Posted in MCC resources at 11:20 PM by alexlozada

Ironic that the Sunday I spoke it’s taken the longest time to post message resources 🙂

MCC’s top-flight tech arts team is posting message video here. This is a text only version of all five small group studies – printed as part of the Finding Jesus on Facebook participant booklet which also has daily readings and family fun activities.  You can download MP3 or listen online at MCC’s media archive.