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    know what is most beneficial it is easier to go on as usual I find the same struggle in my life with Christ I love the psalmist s words in Psalm 84 He writes How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord Almighty My soul yearns and even faints for the courts of the Lord my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God As I read this I am filled with a desire to crave the Lord with such passion The writer is all in with God He is longing for the presence of the Lord I am left with the sense that nothing will stand between him and his relationship with God In fact he seems to be engulfed in an attitude that says I just want to be with you Even though our camping attitudes can be tested by an all night downpour or a broken tent pole our family is strengthened by these times together It is often more rewarding for us to be together through the worst of circumstances than to walk alone during the easiest of times That is even truer for me in my relationship with God Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere v 10 I have found nothing more rewarding than time intentionally spent in the presence of God Are you all in with God Do you long for the Lord s living presence in your life What keeps you from the relationship you most desire with the Lord Is there a place you go or a posture you take that helps you focus on the presence of God If you were to choose one thing to do this week that would help you draw near to God what would it be Will you commit to it Russ Claassen is the youth pastor at Koerner Heights Church Newton Kan and is the Southern District Conference youth minister Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Psalm 84 Longing for God Tuesday Jul 1 2014 The rewards of spending intentional time with God by Russ Claassen My soul yearns even faints for the courts of the Lord my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God Psalm 84 2 Each year my family and I gather up the tent along with our other camping gear and enough fun campfire food for a summer kickoff camping trip It is one of the few times during the year we are able to spend 48 hours of uninterrupted time together No phone calls emails video games or television It is just us our gear and whatever we encounter along the way Time together has proven to be refreshing renewing calming strengthening and healing We are all in on this camping experience So why is it that every year when the camping trip rolls around we find it so hard to take the time off and to disconnect from everything else to make time to be

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Psalm-84-Longing-for-God.html (2016-02-17)
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    but in different words They shall build houses and inhabit them they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit They shall not build and another inhabit they shall not plant and another eat for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands They shall not labour in vain or bear children for calamity And if you were to compare these passages from Isaiah with Zechariah 8 10 12 again you would see that paradise involves war stoppage not work stoppage Apparently work isn t the human problem war and violence against each other are All of this has practical and ethical implications for how we work today as God s people Theological interpretations of work are not meaningless As Miroslav Volf writes in Work in the Spirit A theological interpretation of work is valid only if it facilitates transformation of work toward ever greater correspondence with the coming new creation Thus a Christian perspective of work takes into account the conviction that history is moving in the direction of the climax of God s story We work live and play today in light of God s good tomorrow Our work today aims to mirror the ends and character of the kingdom of God Revelation 21 22 announces that in God s good future human beings and the cosmos will finally experience shalom that is right relatedness Surely this means that our good future with God shapes our present work whether paid or unpaid While we wait We live between the arrival and the climax of God s reign in the person of Jesus Christ While we wait the climax of God s story forms and shapes how we work For example if God plans to renovate and renew planet earth from top to bottom in the new creation I best do my part to treat it with dignity now If God cares about all the nations if all the nations are going to come marching into God s good future kingdom I best relate to my Burmese Chinese Indian and Caucasian neighbors with love and hospitality now If my body is going to be transformed and renewed in God s new future creation I best honor my body now All of this requires work that is the expenditure of effort energy and time I think this raises serious questions about our popular notion of retirement either in this life or the life to come The notion of work stoppage is not even a biblical idea and it does not fit with biblical ideas about our future as God s people This septuagenarian expects to work in God s good future kingdom and in the meantime I want my unpaid work to foreshadow the kingdom of God and its ends aims and character How about you Since 2008 Raymond O Bystrom has been an adjunct faculty member at MB Biblical Seminary Canada He was professor of pastoral ministries at MB Biblical Seminary Fresno from 1991 to 2007 He is the author of God Among Us Studies in John s Gospel and Living Today with One Eye on Eternity Studies in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus both part of the Luminaire Study Series published by Kindred Productions the North American MB publishing ministry Bystrom and his wife are members of Cedar Park Church MB in Delta BC Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments This septuagenarian still works Tuesday Jul 1 2014 And expects to work in God s future kingdom by Raymond O Bystrom I am listed as an adjunct faculty member on the MB Biblical Seminary MBBS Canada website Until recently alongside my name and in brackets it also said retired That word beside my name irritated me so I asked the seminary to remove the word and they did almost immediately Why was I so irritated by this word For starters retired implied that I am no longer available as an adjunct professor which is not true Adjunct professors are part time employees who teach occasional courses depending on the institution s needs in any given semester or year and the faculty member s availability Even though I ve not taught a course at MBBS Canada since the summer of 2011 that s not really what was bugging me I m not storming the barricades looking for paid employment these days No the source of my irritation was located elsewhere It s true I am retired in the sense that I am no longer engaged in full time paid employment But that doesn t mean that I ve bought into our culture s notion of retirement as an end to working And this brings us closer to the source of my irritation A wider view of work I ve always embraced a wider view of work than just having a job Only a small percentage of my work over the years has been paid work I have spent and still spend a lot of time and energy shopping cooking cleaning and caring for our children and now my delightful five grandchildren And it was and is work work that is often demeaningly described as woman s work I ve also done and still do my fair share of man s work Things like washing the car gardening mowing the lawn and umpteen renovations and repairs of my 33 year old home But there is more I also do the work of extending hospitality to family friends neighbors and strangers as well as my share of volunteer work in the context of my faith community Well you get the picture I still work About the only activities I would not describe as work are sleeping eating except business lunches engaging in hobbies playing sports watching TV or a movie and attending a church service or a concert If I embrace a wider view of work than paid employment how do

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/This-septuagenarian-works.html (2016-02-17)
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    I was playing the elderly rabbi It is a very aggressive cancer and has since spread throughout my entire skeleton Is there a Scripture that has helped you face the diagnosis Philippians 4 6 7 is the verse I have shared the most over the decades It was wonderful to have the peace that passes all understanding become my own personal reality Why did you audition for The King and I knowing that your health was so uncertain This was my dream role and I knew that if God was in it I would get the role even though the director and staff knew fully of my situation How have you dealt with this demanding role It s really been a journey about the King of Kings and I I would go to the theater regardless of pain fatigue and medication sideeffects knowing that even though I might not be up to it he always was Was the deathbed scene at the end difficult to do No I was acting but it was often difficult for my wife and children to be reminded of my mortality Fortunately the curtain call closely followed as a reminder of my immortality Why do you enjoy theater God has given me gifts which I can express on stage It s when I m on stage using those gifts that I feel the most fulfilled most alive and most in his will For more about Akina read the The King and I review by Fresno Bee art critic Donald Munro at http fresnobeehive com archives 31713 and Munro s profile of Akina at http www fresnobee com 2014 05 03 3905342 for this king a role that challenges html sp 99 1355 209 222 Editor s Note The King and I closed May 16 George Akina died Oct 10 2014 He is survived by his wife Jenny Akina their four children and their spouses and two grandchildren Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Fast Chat 5 Minutes with George Akina Tuesday Jul 1 2014 Interview by Kathy Heinrichs Wiest George Akina of North Fresno Calif Church didn t let stage IV prostate cancer prevent him from auditioning for Fresno s Good Company Players recent production of The King and I The 63 year old veteran of dozens of community theater productions played the King of Siam to critical acclaim in 26 performances this past spring When did you learn you had cancer On March 15 2013 while rehearsing Fiddler on the Roof Fortunately I was playing the elderly rabbi It is a very aggressive cancer and has since spread throughout my entire skeleton Is there a Scripture that has helped you face the diagnosis Philippians 4 6 7 is the verse I have shared the most over the decades It was wonderful to have the peace that passes all understanding become my own personal reality Why did you audition for The King and I knowing that your health was so uncertain

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Fast-Chat-with-George-Akina.html (2016-02-17)
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    NRSV Titus 1 11 says They must be silenced since they are upsetting whole families NRSV While a potential translation in John 2 15 could be that Jesus upset their tables that just doesn t quite seem to fit the context However there is a third translation that is beautifully appropriate for all the situations Anatrepo can also be translated as subvert or corrupt Such a translation is not only a better fit for 2 Tim 2 18 and Titus 1 11 it is by far the best translation of John 2 15 In the fleecing of pilgrims and the rampant abuse of both the people and the temple system Jesus sees corruption Moneychangers and sacrificial animal sellers have subverted the temple So Jesus in an absolutely beautifully holy and symbolic move liberates the sacrificial animals and then precedes to anatrepo the tables of the moneychangers Jesus subverts corrupts the tables of the moneychangers and in the processes cleanses the temple of corruption and subversion Jesus identifies the corrupting influences and the purifying influences in God s house Ironically the religious authorities believe Jesus the purifier has corrupted their system He truly has There are times when in our attempt to look like Jesus we search for places where Jesus looks and acts like we do Who in his anger acts violently whips people and damages property We must be especially careful to not project this kind of Jesus into the Bible in an effort to defend why we could also employ violence and property damage in our own moments of righteous anger When we interpret Jesus to look like us we end up anatrepo ing the true Jesus We overturn subvert and corrupt what the Gospel writers spend most of their time communicating the example of in his confrontation of injustices As we convert to be Christ like we have to be careful that we don t convert Jesus to be like us Trent Voth is the assistant pastor of youth and worship at College Community Church MB in Clovis Calif Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 3 Comments Ed Boschman 2014 07 01 13 49 46 0 Very well done Trent Derek Lehman 2014 07 18 08 04 46 0 I found Trent Voth s article in the July August edition of Christian Leader Jesus Topples Tables very interesting Why is it awkward to envision God s judgmental wrath in Jesus Is this due to an unwillingness to let the text speak for itself Although not the author s intent his approach would not be right if an effort to validate Mennonite Brethren doctrine While the Greek use of our word translated both and in John 2 15 is inconclusive p 11 I think the conclusion should be the same in the end no matter Generally all were indeed driven from the temple both people and animals alike Because some people remained is inconsequential and doesn t change the meaning of the story contra what Voth proposes If it was Christ s intent to whip people then he would have Whether violent contact of any sort was made is again inconsequential His pre planned intent was the same to drive everyone out This would have been scary to witness no matter the missing details The fact that the guards there didn t react we assume is also inconsequential p 12 Perhaps this was another prophetic holding back by God until the timing was right The Romans would have interpreted this a threat immediately without the consent of the Jewish religious leaders When you are the one being punished in such a way whether by whip or by cruise missile such comparisons are of little pertinence Whether Jesus overturned or upset the tables doesn t affect the story Without the accompanying physical symbolism of cleansing the prophetic understanding of him subverting temple authority would have been lost to everyone A traditional and literal rendering of this story does not project an unbiblical view of a sovereign God who deals with his fallen creation as he wants to Righteous anger can indeed be an appropriate source of motivation especially when grouped with Spirit led self control It is of further interest the prophetic discussion of this incident and its ramifications for us today Although perhaps speculative the author of this brief article could have elaborated even further here Without getting into environmental stewardship issues I would have appreciated discussing how this event foreshadowed the impending changes Jesus was to make to the Jewish sacrificial system himself becoming our atoning sacrifice Trent Voth 2015 02 08 18 34 33 0 Derek you ask Why is it awkward to envision God s judgmental wrath in Jesus Is this due to an unwillingness to let the text speak for itself The question isn t about God s judgment and wrath the question is whether or not the example of Jesus includes whipping people God s wrath may take many forms at least one of which is aimed at Jesus but since God is Christ like what is Christ like Derek you write Generally all were indeed driven from the temple both people and animals alike John 2 doesn t tell us that people are driven from the temple The both refers to sheep and cattle Certainly some people DO end up leaving the temple on account of Jesus but John goes out of his way to tell us that the only recipients of Jesus whip are livestock You go on to say Because some people remained is inconsequential and doesn t change the meaning of the story contra what Voth proposes That sounds like you assume that the only meaning this story can hold is one about replacing the temple system and while I agree that theme is present it is not the only message to be learned from the story Every story about Jesus is multivalenced where we can learn orthodoxy and orthopraxy Yes Jesus is supplanting the temple system but HOW he does it is critically important for us especially as we wrestle with Jesus life teachings and example of peacemaking You write If it was Christ s intent to whip people then he would have Precisely The whole point I m making here is that he didn t Jesus also makes the point that if he wanted he COULD call down legions of angels upon his enemies the whole point is that he DOESN T So this begs the questions why not and what are we to learn about Jesus because of it You go on to say Whether violent contact of any sort was made is again inconsequential Its only inconsequential if no one is arguing to use violence based on Jesus example here in John 2 The fact that this text says nothing about flying a kite is inconsequential because no one has ever argued for kite flying using this text as a base However many Christians use this text as a foundational argument to use violence based on the example of Jesus therefore Jesus use or avoidance of violence is of central importance to this text Later you observe This would have been scary to witness no matter the missing details The fact that the guards there didn t react we assume is also inconsequential p 12 Perhaps this was another prophetic holding back by God until the timing was right Perhaps The text doesn t tell us and therefore this is purely speculation however it does raise an important question why don t the guards engage One possibility is they don t think Jesus is an immenent violent threat Another is that they would but God stops them I m not saying your theory is impossible but doesn t that seem like something John might share with us if he wanted us to think it Derek you suggest A traditional and literal rendering of this story does not project an unbiblical view of a sovereign God who deals with his fallen creation as he wants to I get the sense however that you label the competing view as traditional as if it s the view held since the early church Are you certain that was the view held since this story was first told or is it just the interpretation the church has typically given for the past 1 500 years If it popped up in the 500s I wouldn t consider it traditional You say Righteous anger can indeed be an appropriate source of motivation especially when grouped with Spirit led self control I agree Absolutely But in that righteous anger how does Jesus act Based on how Jesus acts how might we be authorized to act in our own righteous anger Can I be angry over and subvert systems of injustice Absolutely That s Christ like Can I whip people Jesus doesn t therefore I don t think I can Can I kill Even if Jesus HAD whipped people which he doesn t I don t know how we d extrapolate deadly force from this text Finally you write It is of further interest the prophetic discussion of this incident and its ramifications for us today Although perhaps speculative the author of this brief article could have elaborated even further here Sadly no he really couldn t There was a word limit and he had seen enough articles talking about the temple system That wasn t the need the author was trying to address Jesus topples tables Can I Tuesday Jul 1 2014 How do Jesus actions guide my response to injustice By Trent Voth I recently saw a poster depicting the temple cleansing from John 2 13 22 that pictured Jesus with a whip in hand bearing down on someone whose hand was raised begging for mercy The caption read If anyone ever asks you What would Jesus do remind them that flipping over tables and whipping people are options It s awkward to see Jesus portrayed this way Yet the poster raises an important question especially for our USMB family as we discuss what Jesus life and teachings entail for our stance on peace and nonviolence Does Jesus example include a whip As Christians we are disciples of Jesus teaching and example Even when Jesus calls us to difficult actions like forgiving those who have wronged us Matt 18 21 22 or loving and doing good to our enemies Luke 6 27 36 we are called to faithful obedience Our interpretive differences are not based on whether Jesus calls us to love our enemies he clearly does but rather on what love looks like That s why this example of Jesus takes such precedence in regard to peace and nonviolence This story is one of the few that appear in all four Gospel accounts Matt 21 12 17 Mark 11 15 19 Luke 19 45 48 and John 2 13 22 Although it is fascinating to compare and contrast each evangelist s version this article will focus on John s Of all four Gospel accounts John 2 13 22 is by far the most descriptive and the only one that gives any hint of the manner in which Jesus acted One pivotal word Our interpretation of this passage largely rests on one pivotal word While it s not uncommon for our interpretation of Scripture to rest upon individual words it is rare for a single word to swing our view of Jesus as profoundly as it does in John 2 The term we must understand in this passage is the word both in verse 15 Let s set the stage It s Passover one of the most important Jewish holidays that brings thousands of pilgrims to Jerusalem and Jesus is one of them These pilgrims come from far and wide many desiring the once in a lifetime experience of performing a sacrifice at the temple By this point in history the temple sacrificial system is highly regulated The only acceptable sacrifice is an animal that has been certified by the priests as pure and without blemish Pilgrims can risk bringing their best animal from home but what if on the way it is injured becomes sick or even is scratched Is it worth the risk of making the long trip just to be turned away from God s forgiveness at the temple door Of course not especially when the temple has its own stock of preapproved animals available for purchase Never mind that those selling the sacrificial animals also determine whether the animals brought from home are pure enough Is it any surprise they never are By Jesus day it s unlikely anyone brings an animal from home The temple monopolizes the sacrificial animals As with any monopoly prices increase To make matters worse the temple has its own currency So purchasing a sacrificial animal involves exchanging one s coins into temple currency Of course there is an exchange rate and perhaps a little fee You begin to see that even with all the sacrificial lambs around it is the pilgrims who are fleeced by the temple system But the people pay it so would we After all how much is God s forgiveness worth And or both As Jesus enters the temple John tells us that Jesus found people selling cattle sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money Business as usual the lucrative business of forgiveness profiteering So as John says Jesus made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts And here is where that massively important word occurs both sheep and cattle This word both comes from the Greek word te which occurs frequently throughout the New Testament It s typically translated as both and or both and That s why it s such a problematic word Notice the difference between its two possible translations 1 he drove all from the temple and sheep and cattle or 2 he drove all from the temple both sheep and cattle In the first instance John would be telling us that Jesus with whip in hand chases everyone and everything out of the temple including the sheep and cattle In this case there shouldn t be anyone left in the temple at all not even the livestock This raises some tricky interpretive issues because in the very next verse Jesus turns to those selling doves and orders them out as well In order to interpret this text to mean that Jesus uses a whip to drive the people and livestock out of the temple we re forced to conclude that all of them doesn t truly refer to everyone since there are clearly people left in the temple after whatever all of them refers to has been driven out The second option paints a vastly different picture In this instance John would be telling us that Jesus uses the whip to drive out only the sheep and the cattle In this case all of them would be solely focused on the livestock destined for sacrifice This translation would also fit the context of the story not only because people remain in the temple but also because the next verse seems to continue the theme of releasing the sacrificial animals Contextually literarily and even linguistically John seems to be going out of his way to show that Jesus intends to free sacrificial animals and not to whip people If people leave the temple while Jesus employs the whip it is to chase down and recapture their sacrificial animals The final sacrifice But now with Jesus arrival sacrificial animals are unnecessary There s only one more sacrifice required and with Jesus standing in the temple there s no reason for the other sacrifices to be there The impact of Jesus atonement and emancipation is prophetically and symbolically experienced by his actions in the temple This raises another important historical note There is a reason that Jesus temple actions don t lead to his immediate arrest The temple is the center of Jewish life and identity It is the locus of Jewish rebellion and revolt against foreign occupations The Roman authorities know this so well that they built an intimidating garrison at the edge of the temple mount stocked with a legion of soldiers to quickly respond in the event of a violent outburst in the temple However we interpret Jesus actions the Roman authorities whose very lives depend on responding quickly to violent demonstrations in the temple don t interpret Jesus actions as violence Apparently neither do the Jewish authorities who don t instantly send the temple police to arrest Jesus Instead they interpret Jesus action as a symbolic prophetic action by asking What sign can you show us for doing this This is not a question of whether Jesus actions are violent and damage property This is an issue of Jesus authority to disrupt the temple system Jesus interrupts the temple sacrificial system for just a few minutes and the world doesn t end Jesus is teaching the crowd a valuable lesson but it is a dangerous lesson to teach under the watchful eye of the religious authorities Life can go on without the temple working properly indeed the temple hasn t worked properly for years An historic heart transplant For first century Jews the temple is the heart of cosmic reality the nexus of heaven and earth If the temple stops functioning stops pumping out God s life to the cosmos the universe will die This is a story of Jesus detaching the cosmos from the broken temple system taking the universe off bypass and giving all of history a heart transplant While John 2 might not definitively prove Jesus is a pacifist it also doesn t provide an example of Jesus employing violence Even if it did there s an awfully big leap from the violence of a whip to the violence of a sword gun drone or cruise missile But what

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Jesus-topples-tables-Can-I.html (2016-02-17)
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    Teresa said The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action If we pray the work if we do it to Jesus if we do it for Jesus if we do it with Jesus that s what makes us content But there is that struggle That pull toward my humanness that wants something in return That wants to be encouraged invited in and to know that I have made that heart connection How can I know that I am reaching people for Jesus that my words and actions are encouraging others if they don t tell me or do things for me God has repeatedly said to me Be still and know You are doing my work If I am doing the work that God has called me to then I can know He is making a way for me into the hearts of others Jesus says You know the saying One plants and another harvests And it s true I sent you to harvest where you didn t plant others had already done the work and now you will get to gather the harvest John 4 37 38 NLT The analogy of the harvest is used many times in the Bible In this passage John suggests that there are times when we are the planters of the seed and not the harvesters That is OK I don t have to know what my seed has produced just that God will use it in his way in his time It is God that we serve And he has already given us the greatest gifts Love Mercy Grace Jesus It is because of these that I can serve knowing that his approval is enough Sybil Kolbert is a school psychologist and uses her blog Peace it all Together to reflect on life faith and issues related to having a child with sensory needs Visit her at http peaceitalltogether blogspot com Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Am I serving God or people Tuesday Jul 1 2014 Its frustrating to plant the seed and never see the harvest By Sybil Kolbert In the early morning when the sun has not come up and my house is quiet I spend time with God Time reading his Word and the words of authors who have poured out themselves to be his instrument Recently I read this in Ann Voskamp s book One Thousand Gifts When service is unto people the bones can grow weary the frustration deep Oh how frustrating it is to serve people who don t appreciate what you do Who don t say thank you Who don t appear to see what you do I ve heard it many times in the church and in my own family I stopped inviting people over to my house because I got tired of never being invited No one appreciates what I do so why do it at all But we are not really serving people are

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Serving-people-or-God.html (2016-02-17)
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    step to helping our guests really listen and not just hear the good news Quality helps us trust When making big decisions in life what kinds of things do you look for when comparing people or businesses to trust Let s say you re looking at two different websites trying to decide where to send your kids to preschool One site has a really nice design with colors that blend well lots of bright photos of smiling kids and a page where you can read about the teachers Overall everything appears put together The other site is full of orange and green backgrounds with red text and at least five different fonts The photos are obviously pulled at random from Google Images several words are misspelled and you can t even find the address or phone number for the school Which preschool are you more likely to trust Probably the first one even though someone s ability to design a website has no correlation to the ability to teach children the alphabet Why is that We tend to trust people and organizations that take time to notice the little things If a church is diligent enough to care about fonts spellings and colors it isn t as hard to believe that it is also going to provide good care for your children in the nursery and that people there will take the time to ask how your job is really going I know your days are busy but next time you re designing a flyer for a church event or sprucing up your church lobby remember that people notice beauty and appreciate good quality We should stand out amongst the clutter in the world and be known as people that provide a peaceful and comforting place to experience the Savior Matt Ehresman and his wife Tillie live in Wichita Kan where he works as the creative media director at First MB Church Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Beauty trust and PowerPoint slides Tuesday Jul 1 2014 Beauty organization can help people really listen to God s good news by Matt Ehresman Does it matter what fonts you use in your church PowerPoint slides Why do I spend days and nights working on a sanctuary stage design Why spend hours editing video when many people would be fine with the raw footage I do these things because beauty and quality are important I believe beauty makes us feel comfortable and quality helps us trust When people come to our churches we want them to feel comfortable enough to be authentic and trust us enough to listen to our teaching Beauty makes us comfortable How do you describe how it feels to watch a great film listen to your favorite album or see a beautiful piece of art Even on frustrating and busy days these things bring at least a little bit of joy don t they Something about beauty helps us breathe deeper and relax our

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    state that Transformation is a communal experience not an individual exercise and Doing life together is an unquestionable essential in the disciple making process If making disciples is the goal of the church then groups are a non negotiable vehicle regardless of their moniker Small Groups Sunday School Life Groups Men s Bible Study etc When Christians are a part of a small group they are much more likely to practice the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading praying and confession They have a greater proclivity to be intentional in spending time with other believers and to use their gifts in ministry Their beliefs are more likely to coincide with a Biblical worldview as opposed to the syncretism and pluralism so prevalent in our culture today In addition Stetzer and Geiger s research identified eight areas of discipleship in which small groups play an essential part Bible engagement Obeying God and denying self Serving God and others Sharing Christ Exercising faith Seeking God Building relationships Unashamed transparency This book is of greatest value in hands of leaders who need rationale and strategy for developing an over arching small group ministry Transformational Groups is replete with statistics quotes anecdotes questions and biblical references From the selection of small group leaders to questions one can process with a leadership team the basics of small group organization are described Seekers and small group leaders can also benefit from this work The evidence is conclusive and their case is persuasive Christians need to be in a small group I highly recommend Transformational Groups for those who are seeking to understand Jesus call to make disciples Dave Buller is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church Topeka Kan and has a background in information technology His life s purpose is to share God s love and help people become fully devoted followers of Jesus He is married to Emily and has four kids Dave blogs at www christianfirst us Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Book review Transformational Groups Thursday Jun 19 2014 By Dave Buller There can be no doubt that groups are important Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger provide a great resource to ministry leaders in their book Transformational Groups Statistics provide insight and the Stetzer Geiger duo utilize research numbers to bolster the biblical emphasis of ministry in relationship Stated at the outset Stetzer and Geiger state that Transformation is a communal experience not an individual exercise and Doing life together is an unquestionable essential in the disciple making process If making disciples is the goal of the church then groups are a non negotiable vehicle regardless of their moniker Small Groups Sunday School Life Groups Men s Bible Study etc When Christians are a part of a small group they are much more likely to practice the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading praying and confession They have a greater proclivity to be intentional in spending time with other believers and to use their gifts in ministry Their beliefs are

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    Article 16 Article 17 Article 18 Confession of Faith Condensed Version Confession of Faith Spanish Version Artículo 1 Artículo 2 Artículo 3 Artículo 4 Artículo 5 Artículo 6 Artículo 7 Artículo 8 Artículo 9 Artículo 10 Artículo 11 Artículo 12 Artículo 13 Artículo 14 Artículo 15 Artículo 16 Artículo 17 Artículo 18 Anabaptism The 12 Principles of Anabaptism Christian Leader Mission USA MUSA National Youth Board of Faith Life Events 2016 National Gathering Event Archives Contact Us News Find a Church Home In This Section News News Archive Summer doldrums Tuesday Jun 17 2014 Most of us are aware that summer months can mean a lull in church attendance and giving While we understand that at least to some extent it s important to know that for our church plants that are trying to gain traction and get their feet under them these months can be discouraging When giving goes down as well fear can invade and they wonder Can we make it through this We want to maximize what summer has to offer outdoor connecting events and spontaneous get togethers swimming block parties worship in the park not having to shovel snow preaching with a tan the list goes on and on So pray that our planters can be encouraged during the summer even if the numbers drop off a bit Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Summer doldrums Tuesday Jun 17 2014 Most of us are aware that summer months can mean a lull in church attendance and giving While we understand that at least to some extent it s important to know that for our church plants that are trying to gain traction and get their feet under them these months can be discouraging When giving goes down as well fear can invade

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