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Total Devotion Youth Group @ MBCLA's blog!

Sat. Night – “An Evening of Christmas: Breath of Heaven” at Ambassador Auditorium

Hey TD!

If you want to get in the Christmas spirit, Maranatha High School will be putting on “Evening of Christmas: Breath of Heaven” Saturday, 12/7/19 at 7 p.m. at the world-renowned Ambassador Auditorium on Maranatha’s campus in Pasadena.  It’s always a meaningful and moving time to experience the meaning of Christmas through the energy and talents of high schoolers.

Tickets are $5 for TD’ers (they are higher to everyone else).  Let your small group leader know if you are interested in going.

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Here’s a description of the show:

This week, our performing arts students will be ministering … Their performance, “Evening of Christmas: Breath of Heaven,” is their gift to us with the hope it will prepare our hearts for worship as we enter into this Christmas season. Their many weeks of rehearsal will surely bless the audience through music and dance as they portray a beautiful story of hope inspired by a novel written by one of our own faculty.

Carrie Arcos is a well-known young adult novelist and an English teacher here at Maranatha High School. Her last novel, “We Are All That’s Left,” is about a young woman caught in the winds of war in Sarajevo in the early 1990s. One of the scenes in the book takes place in a burned-out church basement in that war-torn city. That’s where “Breath of Heaven” begins—with a young woman named Nadja attending a Christmas mass in that basement.

Fade to another war-torn world 2000 years previous and another young girl facing a world without much hope as well, except for the words of the angel. We trace the story of Mary and Joseph from the Annunciation to the Birth. We discover together how they found hope in the child born in the manger; the hope for all people facing hopeless situations. Jesus was the hope for a young woman in Sarajevo, surrounded by death and tragedy. Jesus remains the hope for all of us in uncertain times. That hope that is echoed in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, “The Bells of Christmas,” written during the fear and uncertainty of the Civil War, recited and sung as part of our Showcase:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”


We invite you to join us on December 6 or 7 for “Evening of Christmas: Breath of Heaven” and together we can re-discover the hope of that child one more time.

TD Fri. – Church Missions Conference

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Hey TD!

We will be participating in our annual church missions conference this Friday.  Meet at the Main Campus Sanctuary from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.  It will be a time to hear from those serving the Lord on the overseas mission field.

Let your small group leaders know if you have any questions.


TD Fri./Sat. – “A TD Thanksgiving” @ The Hsiehs’/SOS – Orphanage Visit

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Hey TD!

Our annual tradition of “A TD Thanksgiving” continues as we meet together with gratitude to God over an evening of plenty of food, fun, and fellowship!  Meet at the Hsiehs’ home from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

RSVP with your small group leader and bring a dish to share – a main course, appetizer, or side.

On Saturday, we’ll have the first of two SOS Saturdays, as we’ll be visiting the orphanage.  Meet at the Hsiehs’ at 12:30 p.m.  We will return by 3 p.m.

See you there!

Older Child Adoption

Their Forever Place

Holt Int’l video asking older waiting kids about what it is like to be adopted

Hey TD!

Many of you made a promise before God at TD to be sincerely praying what God would have you do in terms of helping the fatherless (or parentless).  Have you done that?  Has He responded? Or have you listened?

The answer won’t likely strike you like a lightning bolt, but rather, will likely lead you to a longer term perspective.  Whatever the case may be for you, please honor your commitment to pray, then listen well, and then go the direction God wants you to go.

In my family’s case, when heading down the road to adoption, we originally planned to follow God’s lead and adopt two sisters from China, aged 11 and 7.  We didn’t ever really consider adopting a teenager; yet that’s exactly what God had in mind both for us and for Stella all along.  We just didn’t know it yet.  We had to start walking in the direction we believed God was leading us to and He directed who we should be with.

TD, just start walking in ways you know would generally honor God; He’ll direct you to the specific steps you should take, the situations you are to be a part of, and the people you are to engage with.  When He leads and we follow, it’s a perfect match every time!

During Adoption Awareness Month, we’ve been showing you videos to get more familiar with the adoption landscape.  This time, watch, listen, and pray as teenagers your age share their feelings about what it is like for them to be adopted into a family that loves them.

– Arthur



Want to Know What The Adoption Process and Journey Look Like?

“Welcoming Willa” video with the Veldkamp Family

Hey TD!

As we highlighted in TD on Friday, November is National Adoption Awareness Month.  Most of you raised your hands to commit to seriously praying about what God would have you do with respect to helping address the world’s orphan crisis.  I shared with you how God has used other teenagers within their own families to help change the lives of some orphans through adoption.

I don’t know what God has in mind for you with respect to the orphaned, but I do know that you are to be involved in helping the fatherless in some way, shape, or form.  As Mary Beth Chapman reminds, “Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to do something.”

So, we will be highlighting various aspects of adoption on our blog this month to help you get more familiar with the ideas, language, and culture of adoption.  From these posts and videos, and through your commitment to pray and then act as God leads, we look forward to seeing how God will work in you and through you.

“Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to do something.”

– Mary Beth Chapman

Today, we’ll be highlighting what the adoption process and journey look like … in 10 minutes … through the Veldkamp family!  Their journey was very similar to ours, as they used the same agency we did (Holt Int’l) and went through similar family prepping, paperwork, and logistics (both in the US and in China).  We even visited some of the same places and stayed in the same hotel!  And like us, they too adopted a treasure!

Enjoy and reach out to anyone in my family if you’d like to know more about the process!

– Arthur



TD Pics, “Nakedness” mp3, and more …

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Click HERE to see more of last Friday’s pics!

Hey TD!

We’ve got an exciting Friday chock-full goodness planned.  In addition to taking a deeper dive together into “On Nakedness and Shame,” we’ll also be highlighting Offerings 9, making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children, Love Your Neighbor Night, and more!

To prep for Friday’s discussion, please listen to and/or review Daniel’s message below. It’s a vital topic for us to broach, here in TD in particular, if we’re going to make any progress in the way we experience God, life, others, etc. :

“On Nakedness and Shame” (mp3) Daniel

7:15 p.m. is our TD Pre-Party.  See you Friday!