About totaldevotionmbcla

Total Devotion Youth Group @ MBCLA's blog!

TD Fri. – Small Group Outings

Image result for small groups

Hey TD!

We will be having our first small group outing of the year this Friday!  Each small group will be doing something different and will meet at different times and places.

If you don’t know which small group you’re in, contact any TD leader.

Have a great time ENJOYING yourselves together!

Advertisements

“Who Do You Answer To?” (mp3) – Ruth Malhotra’s Testimony

Ruth at TD

Ruth Malhotra answering TD’ers’ questions

Hey TD!

Please listen to the following  inspiring mp3 before our first small group this Friday, as we’ll be using it as a launching pad for our small group discussions:

“Who Do You Answer To?” (mp3) – Ruth Malhotra’s Testimony

Last month, Ruth Malhotra (Director of Public Relations, RZIM) shared her amazing testimony with us.  It’s an incredible story of courage and conviction as she stood up to one of America’s major universities, filing a court case in support of the ability to live out one’s faith and hold conservative views.  The case was filed in “opposition to the school’s ironclad speech codes, which severely curtailed any student conversation, publications, events, or activities administrators arbitrarily deemed “intolerant.” The codes banned free exchange of ideas except in very limited areas of campus, denied student activity funds to clubs and organizations that engaged in ‘religious activities,’ and officials even instituted a program, “Safe Space,” designed to demonize anyone or any group that considered homosexual behavior immoral.” (courtesy Alliance Defending Freedom)

Not only are the details of the story pretty crazy, but the outcome was landmark for our nation.

We at TD are committed to do our part to help you TD’ers think through what you believe and don’t believe, help you to know what God wants you believe and not believe, and then help you to be able to live out what you do believe.

Ruth says she loves TD, and we feel the same; so much so that we’ve made her an honorary member of TD! 🙂

 

TD Going to “Is God Dead?” Debate feat. John Lennox/Dave Rubin – RSVP today!

Image result for john lennox  Image result for dave rubin

Hey TD!

This Friday, we will be heading down to Orange County to attend a live recorded broadcast of “The Big Conversation: Is God Dead?”, a conversation/debate on faith, culture, and the modern world.

The conversation/debate will be between the UK’s world renowned author, speaker, apologist, John Lennox, and popular American political commentator, Dave Rubin, host of The Rubin Report.

The cost is $15 to the public, but TD’ers get in FREE! You just need to RSVP with a TD leader by Wednesday!

Here’s some info on the debaters:

John Lennox

John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, is an internationally renowned speaker on the interface of science, philosophy and religion. He regularly teaches at many academic institutions, is Senior Fellow with the Trinity Forum and has written a series of books exploring the relationship between science and Christianity.

He debated Richard Dawkins on “The God Delusion” in the University of Alabama (2007) and on “Has Science buried God?” in the Oxford Museum of Natural History (2008). He has also debated Christopher Hitchens on the New Atheism (Edinburgh Festival, 2008) and the question of “Is God Great?” (Samford University, 2010), as well as Peter Singer on the topic of “Is there a God?” (Melbourne, 2011). Furthermore, he has participated in public discussions on similar topics with many other academics on campuses around the world.

Lennox is also a member of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) global speaking team.

Dave Rubin

Dave Rubin is a “free thinking classical liberal” who has had quite a journey.  As a gay married man living in America, Dave spent the majority of his adult life subscribing to a certain political belief system based primarily on his immutable characteristics. Fed up with the mainstream media narrative and click-bait news, Dave decided to open up about his awakening, for all to see. He came to realize that no person or idea should be expected to join a side, but rather they should embrace their status as an individual. He now feels that the modern left has lost its way by taking political correctness and groupthink to a dangerous level, distracting from the true American dream of the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

The Rubin Report is one of the world’s most popular talk shows on free speech and big ideas. His YouTube channel and podcast have over 1 million subscribers each.

Link to In Joy Podcast #1

*** Apologies for the constant corrections.  We are using a new service; the embedded podcast turns out not to be directly compatible with iPhones. If you cannot directly access the podcast via the embedded icon in the post, please click the link below:

In Joy Podcast #1 – “Joy in the Un-Enjoyable” (Rebecca)

 

 

In Joy Podcast #1 – “Joy in the Un-Enjoyable” (Updated)

In Joy Podcast #1 – “Joy in the Un-Enjoyable” (Rebecca)

*** This is an updated post with a new link to the podcast ***

Hey TD!

In this week’s posts, we’re looking within to try to see what God wants to clean up to replace with something better.  If you haven’t read the last post, My Messy House, please do so.

We’re excited to unveil the year’s first In Joy podcast, “Joy in the Un-Enjoyable”! Through mix of common sense and personal illustrations, Rebecca reminds us that God often works to give us joy through that which is not enjoyable, and shares how not to miss out on God’s gift of joy to us.

Give it a listen and then prayerfully resolve not to miss out on any more of the good that God has in store for you!

In Joy Podcast #1 – “Joy in the Un-Enjoyable”

In Joy Podcast #1 – “Joy in the Un-Enjoyable” (Rebecca)

Hey TD!

In this week’s posts, we’re looking within to try to see what God wants to clean up to replace with something better.  If you haven’t read the last post, My Messy House, please do so.

We’re excited to unveil the year’s first In Joy podcast, “Joy in the Un-Enjoyable”! Through mix of common sense and personal illustrations, Rebecca reminds us that God often works to give us joy through that which is not enjoyable, and shares how not to miss out on God’s gift of joy to us.

Give it a listen and then prayerfully resolve not to miss out on any more of the good that God has in store for you!

My Messy House (The Monster Who Was Sorry)

Marc Chagall, The Yellow Room, oil on canvas, 1911.

Hey TD!

During this off-weak from TD, we want to continue to lay the groundwork for real enjoyment of the life and call God has for us; and it starts with cleaning house. Please read this Slice of Infinity from Jill Carattini that illustrates what we’re looking for here at TD:

Kathleen Norris tells a story of a little boy who wrote a poem called “The Monster Who Was Sorry.” The poem begins with a confession: he doesn’t like it when his father yells at him. The monster’s response is to throw his sister down the stairs, then to destroy his room, and finally to destroy the whole town. The poem concludes: “Then I sit in my messy house and say to myself, ‘I shouldn’t have done all that.’”(1)

The confession of Saint Paul bears a fine resemblance: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but I do what I hate.” Regret has a way of shining the flood lights on the mess within us. Norris further expounds the faithful candor of the child describing his own muddled story: “‘My messy house’ says it all: with more honesty than most adults could have mustered, the boy made a metaphor for himself that admitted the depth of his rage and also gave him a way out. If that boy had been a novice in the fourth-century monastic desert, his elders might have told him that he was well on the way toward repentance.”(2)

The journey of a Christian through the many rooms of faith posits countless opportunities to peer at the monster within. There are days in the life of faith when I question whether I am living up to the title of Christian or disciple—or even casual acquaintance. In certain rooms of awareness I find there is no question: I am not. Yet, as G.K. Chesterton wrote in his autobiography, I have only ever found one religion that “dared to go down with me into the depth of myself.”(3) This is precisely the invitation of Christianity. What we find are messy houses, filled with hidden staircases built of excuses, and idols of good deeds atop mantels of false security—in short, the home of Christ in disarray at our own hands.

If we were to remain shut up in this place alone, we might begin to wonder why we should ever hope for anything other than mess and wreckage. Paul’s confession marks the futility of our own efforts to clean the house. But we do not make the journeys to the depths of ourselves alone. In fact, we should not have discovered the messes had they not been shown to us in the first place. We are guided to these places in our consciences, to images of ourselves unadorned, and finally to broken and contrite hearts. Faith in Christ is the opportunity to be searched by the Spirit of Truth, the Breath of Holiness, the God who maneuvers us through messy rooms and sin-stained walls and mercifully exposes monstrous ways. It would indeed be a futile journey if we walked this path alone.

Instead, the very Spirit that shows us the monster in a messy house shows us the one who removes the masks, clears the wreckage, and makes us human again. In a scene from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, Aslan the lion is seen tearing the costume off the child in front of him.(4) The child writhes in pain from the razor sharp claws that feel as though they pierce his very being. With mounting intensity, Aslan rips away layer after layer, until the child is absolutely certain he will die from the agony. But when it is all over and every last layer has been removed, the child delights in the newfound freedom, having long forgotten the weight of the costume he carried.

The journey of a soul through its messiest rooms is not merely a drive-by glimpse of the depths of our sin and our need for repentance; it is not a journey for the sake of guilt or even right-living. It is true that we are shown the weight of our masks and the extent of our messes; we are handed the great encumbrance of our own failures. But all so we can be shown again the one who asks to take them all from us. All so we can be fully human. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows… But he was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:4-5). Quite mercifully, it is through the dingy windows of a messy house that one has the clearest view of the cross.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace (New York: Riverhead, 1998), 69.
(2) Ibid., 70.
(3) G.K. Chesterton, The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), 334.
(4) Story told in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (New York: HarperCollins, 1994), 115-117.