November 28, 2016

Love Unleashed

Posted in better disciples at 1:58 PM by alexlozada

MCC’s Global Impact Celebration began this weekend with Ben Cachiaras speaking on “Love Unleashed” (YouVersion-Bible.com Event notes). Mary Kamau of Mission of Hope International (Africa) joined him for part of the message, talking about her choice to unleash God’s love to the children of the Mathare Valley slums.

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November 23, 2016

Answering a Thanksgiving question

Posted in better disciples at 11:00 PM by alexlozada

In “The answer to this question determines your happiness“, Ben Cachiaras asked readers to reflect on “what more do you need to be thankful?” Gratitude is not exclusive to Christianity, but as Ben emphasizes, gratitude is essential to Christ-followers. Though this Barna poll from last year writes, “Most Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving As Christians” — our land needs more Christ followers who demonstrate Christ-like qualities like grace and gratitude disciplines.

November 20, 2016

Holiday or way of life?

Posted in better disciples at 9:25 PM by alexlozada

Nathan McDade spoke about “Thanks” in MCC’s weekend message, as we prepared for Thanksgiving. Along with the quotes below, he asked, “Is “thanksgiving” a holiday for me – or a way of life?” He also connected the theme of Thanksgiving as action, not feeling, by connecting with our recent “Unleash Love” campaign, “Be someone who receives gratefully so you can be someone who gives generously” YouVersion-Bible.com Event notes.

November 18, 2016

speak truth in love

Posted in better disciples at 8:37 PM by alexlozada

Ben Cachiaras followed through on his earlier post-election blog post with “Five Things Every Church Must Do” He and other MCC staff leaders also shared their thoughts at a recent meeting, reminding our team that MCC embraces  “the genius of the ‘and’ … we’re a ‘both and’ church.”  Challenging but necessary tightrope toa  to walk as continue proclaiming “Jesus is Lord” in a way that does not dismiss those who are hurting.

As we “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), our current culture struggles with fake news that is neither true nor loving. This NY Times article highlights the problem overseas, including the recent Philippins presidential election, “Fake News in U.S. Election? Elsewhere, That’s Nothing New” Here’s an update about an LA Times article on “fake news’ that circulated on social media … which itself as biased and porrly sourced, sigh “UPDATE: L.A.Times’ ‘Fake News Sites’ List Removed By Author After Complaints”

November 16, 2016

Eastern Christian Conference “Becoming”

Posted in better disciples at 9:42 PM by alexlozada

While I can’t match the record consecutive attendance  of Ken Meade, minister emeritus of Church of Christ Manor Woods (MD) who has attended every Eastern Christian Conference since it began,  the ECC has been a highlight of my autumn since 1977. My family and I were glad to be back with the ECC in Hershey PA last weekend, after 2015’s co-location of the ECC w/ International Conference On Misisons.

November 14, 2016

Unleashed Like a Church Unhindered

Posted in better disciples at 4:52 PM by alexlozada

Our Unleash Love initiative series climaxed at this weekend’s series with Ben Cachiaras speaking on “Unleashed Like a Church Unhindered” — and hundreds of MCC folks making sacrificial financial commitments for the next two years. Key quote (via Samantha Webb’s FB post) “Sacrifice is giving up something you love for something you love more”  Here’s the YouVersion-Bible.com Event notes with more quotes and Bible verses from the message. This week’s message video includes two great testimony videos from Mountain Kids and from leadership’s Advance Commiment Night last week.

November 9, 2016

Three reflections on the election

Posted in better disciples at 11:33 PM by alexlozada

From MCC’s own Ben Cachiaras, “Post-election: should be be fist-pumping or hand-wringing?” And with a MidWestern-influenced take, Tim Harlow, lead pastor of MCC partner church Parkview Christian in suburban Chicago, wrote “Cubs Win World Series. Donald Trump is President. It’s the end of the world as we know it.”

The Jewish prophet Daniel served God while living and working under Babylonian ruler  Nebuchadnezzar and Persian ruler Cyrus. Whatever my personal opinions of the current president, the president-elect, or the defeated candidate … “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.” (Daniel 2:20-21). And from Daniel’s friends Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meschach), and Azariah (Abednego) “the God we serve is able to deliver us … from your majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods …” (Daniel 3:17-18)

November 6, 2016

Like a Horse at the Gate

Posted in better disciples at 10:06 PM by alexlozada

Ben Cachiaras continued MCC’s Unleash Love series with his message, “Like a Horse at the Gate.” YouVersion-Bible.com Event notes (mix of two versions of message) and highlight quotes:

2016 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Posted in better disciples at 5:06 PM by alexlozada

In the midst of MCC’s Unleash Love initiative, this Sunday is the annual International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. In a sense, American Christians should pray everyday for their sisters and brothers around the world who are “ambassadors in chains” for the sake of the Good News. (Ephesians 6:18-20). Even in a contentious political season in the United States, we enjoy more religious freedom than many around the world: China, the  Middle East, and Africa.