May 14, 2015

House blessing and home cooking

Posted in culture, personal tagged at 10:24 PM by alexlozada

My MCC teammate Jeff Owens delegated to me the opportunity to participate in a house blessing for a Filipino family that attends MCC. While the brief event was  much simpler than this article, (no sacrificials animals [beyond those in tasty pancit, lumpia, etc] or coin tossing), the family did welcome their friends and family to celebrate God’s material blessing.

In a not-directly-related email exchange, I answered a question from an MCC friend about Filipino desserts suitable for bringing to a seventh grade class project. Thanks for a road trip last year for an MCC staff lunch, I already had a good first-person experience w/ Philippine Oriental Redefined for (in-store-pickup) catering and groceries 🙂 Thanks to the wizardry of Goodsearch Images, I was even able to track down the name “barquilos” for the rolled-sweet-biscuit-cookie which was my recommendation for simplest bring-to-seventh-grade item.

According to most recent US Census, Harford County’s Filipino population is a tiny fraction, but the greater Baltimore metropolis has a growing Filipino (and Asian overall) presence. As part of the house blessing, I referred to Abraham who understood what it meant to be an immigrant. Comfort food and customs from home can ease the restlessness of the lifelong journey….


July 1, 2011

another year of Christian camp

Posted in children’s, personal, the Northeast at 11:43 PM by alexlozada

Great week w/ lively 4-6th graders + servant-hearted staff @ Indian Lake Christian Service Camp. Oldest daughter was counselor (2nd year in row, and week right after getting back from Dominican Republic trip), youngest daughter was camper (along w/ 2 of her cousins), and middle daughter visited 3 nights during the week (including faculty hunt!).

Part of what I love about camp is the opportunity to teach again – my “day job” is more focused on administration and trouble-shooting 😉 I taught the  morning Bible class with Jesus-stories on the week’s theme “I Am”, and Tuesday PM outdoor chapel in the newly restored and usable “amphitheater” – wooden benches overlooking the Susquehanna River – complete w eagles circling overhead, noisy power boats on the water, and 136-car freight train – yes, some of the campers chose to count the number of cars instead of listening to my lesson – surprise, surprise 🙂

Another part of what I love about camp is reconnecting w/ a past season of life . I missed the recent work weekends getting my home church camp, Catskill Christian Assembly, but thanks to the blessing of Facebook, I’ve reconnected with some friends from wayback. Serving at camp was a crucial turning point in my journey to vocational Christian ministry . . . . and High School Retreat (Fall 1990) was an even bigger turning point in my life – that’s another story (stories!) that I should let my bride of 19+years tell 🙂

April 26, 2011

Old School + Orange

Posted in children’s, personal at 11:09 PM by alexlozada

Some MCC teammates are at the cutting-edge Orange Conference (“combining the critical influences of the light of the church (yellow) and the love of the family (red) the Orange Strategy shows a generation who God is more effectively than either could alone”). MCC talked about the “Think Orange” partnership between parents & church in last year’s “Children At Play” message from the “Signs of Life” series.

My friends will come back w/ some exciting, innovative, cutting-edge programming, but my family recently experienced an example of “orange” (church=yellow + parents=red) that was “old school” – traditional but still meaningful. Children from MCC’s Mt 54 (“Mount Fifty-Four”), guided by MCC volunteers (many of them parents, plus some servant-hearted singles) presented an old-fashioned, costumed Easter drama  at Lorien Bel Air Senior Health Center a few Sundays ago. The costumes have been part of MCC Children’s Ministry for decades, and the lines spoken by the 4th-5th graders are much older than that, but hearing “Hosanna, blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” from one special 5th grader made the story new + cutting edge + orange-y for me 🙂

April 25, 2011

A Word of Finality 24Apr resources

Posted in children’s, MCC resources, personal at 7:43 PM by alexlozada

MCC celebrated a blessed Easter weekend with hundreds of volunteers helping 8190 attenders worship at 10 services on 2 campuses.  Ben Cachiaras concluded the “Famous Last Words” series with “It Is Finished – A Word of Finality” (Audio / video). With all the special events (including Christ in the Passover presented by Jews for Jesus on Good Friday evening) I didn’t finish the study guide in time for printing. I jotted down message notes during the Saturday 6:45 service, as I sat with my family.

For most of the other services at the Mountain Rd campus this weekend, I volunteered in Children’s Ministry. On Sunday, an Easter family tradition came full circle when one of my daughters was the craft leader for 1st-3rd graders, and I was her assistant-helper. She did a great job demonstrating the project to the kids, and telling me what materials we needed to restock the room between each new round of classes 🙂

This is Hillsong United’s original version of “Take Heart.” For Easter services, MCC worship teams sang this as thousands of red “tetelestai” (“Finished!”) cards were brought to the foot of the cross.

September 2, 2010

“How Do You Carry a Cross Professionally?”

Posted in personal at 2:08 PM by alexlozada

Ben Cachiaras shared a passage from John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals at a meeting I attended yesterday. My first memory of the quote is from hearing it recited by one of my ministry mentors, David Roadcup, in a message on John the Baptist he preached during my long ago student days at Cincinnati Bible College (a/k/a Cincinnati Chr University). Somewhere in my messy office, I still have a cassette tape of his sermon – its the copy I had in my coat pocket the day I was ordained into Christian ministry at Staten Island Christian Church.

November 7, 2009

Three Flavors of Celebration

Posted in culture, NYC, personal at 11:37 AM by alexlozada

Heather & I celebrated the 80th birthday of a MCC friend last night – certainly the largest (by attendance) birthday party I’ve ever attended 🙂 Among the many humorous and touching tributes to a woman of God who has blessed many around her, MCC’s senior pastor Ben Cachiaras closed the evening with a blessing to her in the form of the Apostle Paul’s prayer from Ephesians 3:14-21.

Earlier yesterday, at a slightly larger gathering 150 miles north Yankee fans celebrated the team’s World Series victory with a parade. Though I’m an avid Yankees fan, I didn’t make any of the 1996, 1998-2000 parades; I think I’ll reserve my crushed-in-a-sea-of-millions NY experience for one of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades 🙂

Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi celebrated victory in a very different way, by helping a stranded motorist on the Cross County Parkway – I’ve driven the Cross County and he’s compassionate & brave, even if not quite to the degree of another traveler who stopped to help someone he didn’t know. I remember following him from his first days as a Yankee, including my joy at learning more about Girardi’s strong but not overly-confrontational faith.

September 20, 2007

Funeral of a Family Friend

Posted in personal at 8:42 AM by alexlozada

I attended a funeral for a family friend on Monday – the son of my childhood minister. He was only a little older than me. Several other life circumstances come together to make me even more introspective than usual, but I hope to blog a little more soon.