TD Friday – A Powerful Night

Image result for journaling

Hey TD!

Hope you had a really powerful Easter weekend!  We at the Hsieh household did, reflecting anew and afresh upon wonders of Calvary and the sublimity of the cross … thanks to Daniel.

And you too will be able to do that this Friday at TD, as I’ve asked Daniel to share his magnum opus – so far in his young life, at least 🙂 – “Journal Entry No. 2.”  It’s quite a work that took a year for him to write.  It’s riveting, insightful, and convicting.  Most of all, it will help you see the cross in a new and true light.  I assure you that you will not want to miss it!  Make your plans to be there! – Arthur

 

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TD Showing Hope to Orphans

Hey TD!

During Offerings 4, we showed some videos in an effort to continue to get us more familiar with the ministry of Show Hope and the movement to care for orphans (particularly those with disabilities) in Jesus’ Name, as TD begins its journey towards doing its part to live out true Christianity by heeding James 1:27’s call to care for orphans.

So committed is my family to do our part that my family plans to go to China this summer with Show Hope to visit the Kingdom work being done there at the care centers, especially Maria’s Big House of Hope.  We plan to get an “on the ground” look and feel of the work there, personally engaging with the orphans, staff, and ministry.  We believe this will give us a deeper look into how we can possibly further our impact (and the impact of TD and MBCLA) in the years to come.

If you haven’t given your small group leaders your pledge for your small group to sponsor orphans, please do so this week!

(Several people have asked how the time with Steven Curtis Chapman was at my home.  Above is a short but great video that my son, Randall, put together of that magical night with the Chapmans and the leaders of Show Hope)

Please take the time to watch these great videos again (or for the first time), so you can get more familiar with the work we at TD will be joining in via sponsorship and more :

TD – Good Fri./Convalescent Home Sat.

Hello TD, and a blessed Good Friday to you,

Today is quite a day in the scope of history – not only human history, but heaven’s history as well, where the unthinkable happened – the Heavenly Father and the Blessed Son were in different corners of the ring, as it were … at least in some material way, though not ultimately, of course.  I hope today will be a meaningful day for you as you contemplate and engage with our God of glory.
1.  We will not be having TD tonight.  Instead, TD will join the rest of the church for our Good Friday service in the main sanctuary.

 

2.  On Saturday, we will be serving our Lord with our monthly Convalescent Home visitation.  Meet Rebecca at my home at 9:30 a.m.

 

TD Friday – “The Author of Life” (Ps. 139:13-18) SG Study

Hey TD!

We hope you’ll make every effort to join us for one of our last small group studies of the year!  We will be delving deeper into the implications behind a correct understanding and acknowledgement of Psalm 139:13-18.

Please review Ps. 139 and review the study questions in preparation for some great discussion.  Here are the study and message, courtesy of Jenny and Clara (apologies for the poor quality of the audio):

“The Author of Life” message (Jenny/Clara)

“The Author of Life” small group study

Also, here’s Arthur’s message, Present and Not Present, Ps. 139:7-12, that was previously unposted:

“Present and Not Present” message (Arthur)

Lastly, have you been memorizing Psalm 139?  If not, get on it!  Here’s where you should be by now:

Psalm 139:1-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know [a]when I sit down and [b]when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
3 You [c]scrutinize my [d]path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4 [e]Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
5 You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in [f]Sheol, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will [g]overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark [h]to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You formed my [i]inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for [j]I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My [k]frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

Will You Be a God Follower? (must see)

Hey TD,

“Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!”  Those were the words I uttered out loud after watching this video; so loud that I woke Daniel from his sleep.

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you are likely familiar with the startling headlines that shook the world on January 9, 1956: “Five Missionaries Slain by Savages.” This news not only made world headlines, it made the cover of Life Magazine.  The story of the murders of missionaries Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Nate Saint is legendary, as is the story of Elisabeth Elliot (Jim’s wife) and Rachel Saint (Nate’s sister), who continued to raise Elisabeth’s daughter in the land of those who murdered their beloved in cold blood.

Their story was beautifully captured by famed Christian recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman (co-founder of Show Hope), during a concert he gave a while back.  It is moving and inspiring, with chilling video footage of the missionaries interacting with the Aucas that I had never seen before.  The video also highlights what happened to the Aucas (Waodani).

You MUST watch this to the end without distraction.  It is AMAZING.  And after you do, you need to pray to the Lord and tell Him whether you want to truly be a God follower. – Arthur

Offerings 4 Tonight! (see Ash, Kat, Jen in Offerings 3)

Hey TD!

“Offerings” is always a blessing.  Don’t miss out on Offerings 4 tonight!  It’s going to be a great time!

To whet your appetite, here’s a collaboration by Ashley, Katherine, and Jennifer for Offerings 3 last August, called We Are Alive, with Katherine and Jennifer singing an original song and Ashley drawing  an amazing accompanying picture (click below!):

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“We Are Alive” by Jennifer Li and Katherine Tao
Don’t fear now, He’s watching
Everything that’s said, He’s listening
And His seed has been sown in my soul
These roots are firm, unyielding
Bearing fruit to spread the healing power
Of the glory of our bounteous king
And now that we are saved our faith can
Grow strong in truth
With the promise of eternal life, joy
Flows ever through
By your love through Jesus Christ
The perfect sacrifice
You fill our hearts, we are alive
And now that I have found you
Your waters washed away my sin
And kept the branches of my tree alive
But even in the storms and trials of this life, these
Roots are strengthened in struggle and strife
This temporary pain will
Not bruise my spirit still
Your word will justify my life
And now that we are saved our faith can
Grow strong in truth
With the promise of eternal life, joy
Flows ever through
By your love through Jesus Christ
The perfect sacrifice
You fill our hearts, we are alive
Don’t fear now, He’s watching
Everything that’s said, He’s listening
And His seed has been sown in my soul
You’re Lord of all creation, the great I Am
You fill our hearts, we are alive (3x)

We’re Called to Make Disciples, not Simply Converts

Hey TD,

The Christian faith is a sharing faith; a faith that shares and gives life to others, both Christians and non-Christians alike.  And it is a faith that shares time, talent, treasure, and … Truth … to those in our lives; the Truth of God.  That sharing is to happen at all levels, from conversion, to spiritual infancy, to spiritual childhood, to spiritual adolescence, to spiritual maturity.  As we learn how to follow Christ, we are to share with others how to do the same.  It’s called discipleship.  And that’s what we Christians are ultimately functionally called to.

This is what our dear legendary mentor and friend, Dr. RC Sproul, reminds us of in the article below.  Please read, and if anyone has helped you learn to follow Christ, you are blessed.  Pray a prayer of thanks and petition for him or her.  And then pray for your role in this calling. – Arthur

We’re Called to Make Disciples, not Simply Converts

FROM Mar 07, 2016 Category: Articles

We should take notice of what Jesus did not say in the Great Commission. He did not say, “Go therefore and make converts of as many people as possible.”

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matt. 28:18-20)

One of the most exciting times of my life was when I was first converted to Christ. I was filled with a zeal for evangelism. However, much to my consternation, when I told my friends about my conversion to Christ, they thought I was crazy. They were tragically amused, remaining unconvinced despite my sharing the gospel with them. Finally, they asked me, “Why don’t you start a class and teach us what you have learned about Jesus?” They were serious. I was elated. We scheduled a time to meet, and I got there a little bit early—but they never showed up.

Despite my profound desire for evangelism, I was a failure at it. This realization came to me early in my ministry. Yet, I also discovered that there are many people whom Christ has called and whom He has gifted by His Spirit to be particularly effective in evangelism. To this day, I’m surprised if anybody attributes their conversion in some part to my influence. In one respect, I’m glad that the Great Commission is not a commission principally to evangelism.

The words that preceded Jesus’ commission were these: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” He then went on to say, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” When Jesus gave this commission to the church, He was speaking authoritatively. He gave a mandate to the church of all ages not simply to evangelize but to make disciples. That leads us to a significant question: What is a disciple?

The simplest definition of disciple is one who directs his mind toward specific knowledge and conduct. So, we might say that a disciple is a learner or pupil. The Greek philosophers—people such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle—had disciples. Socrates described himself ultimately as a disciple of Homer, the person Socrates regarded as the greatest thinker of all of Greek history.

We tend to think of Homer as a poet rather than a philosopher. But Socrates saw him as the supreme teacher of ancient Greece. Then, of course, Socrates had his own student—his chief disciple—whose name was Plato. Plato had his disciples, the chief one being Aristotle. Aristotle also had his disciples, the most famous being Alexander the Great. It is astonishing to think about how drastically the ancient world was shaped by four men: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Alexander the Great. In fact, it is nearly impossible to understand the history of Western civilization without understanding the influence of those four individuals, who in their own way were each disciples of another.

Aristotle, in particular, was known as a “peripatetic” philosopher. That is, he was a nomadic teacher who walked from place to place, not teaching in a fixed location. The students of Aristotle would follow him as he walked the streets of Athens. In one respect, Aristotle’s disciples lived life with him, learning from him in the course of a normal daily routine.

The aforementioned concepts help illumine the nature of discipleship. However, they fail to capture the full essence of biblical discipleship. Discipleship in the biblical sense involves walking with the Teacher and learning from His words, but it is more than that.

Jesus was a rabbi and, of course, the most important peripatetic teacher and disciple-maker in history. Wherever He walked, His students would follow. At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, He chose particular individuals to be His disciples. They were required to memorize the teachings that He spoke as He walked. What’s more, people didn’t file an application to get into the School of Jesus. Jesus selected His disciples. He went to prospective disciples where they were, whether in the marketplace or at their place of work, and give this simple command: “Follow me.” The command was literal—He called them to drop their present duties. They had to leave their work, their families, and their friends in order to follow Jesus.

Jesus was more than just a peripatetic teacher however. His disciples called him “Master.” Their entire way of life changed because of their following Jesus not merely as a great teacher, but as the Lord of all. That’s the essence of discipleship—submitting fully to the authority of Christ, the One whose lordship goes beyond just the classroom. Jesus’ lordship encompasses all of life. The Greek philosophers learned from their teachers but then tried to improve on that teaching. Christ’s disciples have no such warrant. We are called to understand and teach only what God has revealed through Christ, including the Old Testament Scriptures, for they point to Christ; and the New Testament Scriptures, for they are the words of those Christ appointed to speak in His name.

The Great Commission is the call of Christ for His disciples to extend His authority over the whole world. We are to share the gospel with everyone so that more and more people might call Him Master. This calling is not simply a call to evangelism. It isn’t merely a call to get students for our seminaries, our colleges, or for Ligonier Ministries. Rather, Christ calls us to make disciples. Disciples are people who have committed in their hearts and minds to follow the thinking and conduct of the Master forever. Such discipleship is a lifelong experience.

When we’re involved in discipleship, we do not graduate until we get to heaven. Discipleship is a lifelong experience of learning the mind of Christ and following the will of Christ, submitting ourselves in complete obedience to His lordship. Thus, when Jesus tells us to go to all nations, we are to go into all the world with His agenda, not our own. The Great Commission calls us to flood this world with knowledgeable, articulate Christians who worship God and follow Jesus Christ passionately. Our mission at Ligonier is discipleship in the biblical sense. By God’s grace, we want to help the church raise up a generation of people who are dedicated in heart and soul to the Master and His authority. We want to call people to obedience and to following Christ in their daily lives.