TD Fri. – Student-led SG’s – “Being a Neighbor” mp3/Table of Contents

 

Hey TD!

This Friday’s meeting is a going to be an important and full one, as we unveil the upcoming Neighbor Night opportunity to help you reach and love a friend.  We’ll also spend time in student-led small groups to work through Jesus’ call for us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Please work through last Friday’s message, “Being a Neighbor,” before our meeting.  Here is the Table of Contents:

“Being a Neighbor” (mp3) – Arthur

Table of Contents:

1:30 – 6:13            Training us to produce our best when our best is needed

6:14 – 11:30         For the prize/For the King of the Ring (engraved on CIF Championship Ring)

13:18 – 14:33       Opening Prayer

14:40 –   18:28     The best kind of love to love our neighbors with

18:36 –   24:20     The orphan spirit and the spirit of a well-adjusted child

24:50 –   27:00     Rebecca X reads Luke 10:25 – 37

27:00 – 33:25       Who qualifies to be our neighbor?

33:25 –   47:40     Jesus answers with a poignant and powerful story of compassion – a  lesson in loving our neighbors as ourselves

47:40 –   53:27     How far do we have to go in loving our neighbors?  Jesus answers.

53:27 –   58:38     Are we willing to join Jesus in being a neighbor?

58:40 – 1:11:05   We need to respond to God’s call for us – Daniel sings “Open Space”

Luke 10:25- 37

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Let’s do likewise.  See you Friday, TD!

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TD Fri. – Student-Led SG’s/Feb. Schedule

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Hey TD!

We’re looking forward to a great time of discussion this Friday in our small groups.  We will be meeting at church at the regular time for a time of fun, musical worship, and small groups, led by student discussion leaders!

Click “How We Are Supposed to Love” mp3 and Table of Contents to review and prepare for our small groups this Friday!

In light of last week’s message, please take a look at the plans for February:

2/1/19 – Hearing God’s thoughts, values, and plan (the teaching) – “How We Are Supposed to Live”

2/8/19 – Working through the teaching and then prepping to implement

This Friday, the desire is to work out, discuss, fine tune, and work through the specific teaching, passages, commands, etc. that were brought forth last Friday – not for discussion’s sake, but for action’s sake, for implementation’s sake.

We need to ensure that we plan for the following week’s night of action.  Ideally, we want all TD’ers to begin developing a lifestyle of  loving God and loving our neighbors, and to actively make loving/serving others a regular given in our lives.

The last portion of this night will be planning/prepping for “Love One Another” Night.

2/15/19 – Implement/execute the teaching – “Love One Another” Night

The teaching is about loving “one another,” and as I taught, one of the greatest testimonies is loving the “one anothers” that are harder to love or who we naturally wouldn’t love and spend time with.  So, before we go to the outside world, let’s follow Jesus’ game plan and love some of the “one anothers” outside our natural sphere; and in doing so, hopefully, TD’ers will get closer to one another in the process.

2/23/19 – SOS Saturday – Care Center only

One of the most important ministries TD has ever had … and the least participated in, by far … to our shame, truth be told.  Hear Jesus Himself in Matt. 25 …

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Any community is only as strong as it takes care of the weak.

There you have it; the month of February; the month of love.  Let’s love, TD, and see what God does as we do! – Arthur

 

“How We Are Supposed to Live” mp3 and Table of Contents

Hey TD!

Friday, we heard how God wants us to live and we were challenged to “get on the court and take the shot.”  Building on last month’s foundational study of what love is, this month, we take the next step and look at what He wants us to do with His love.  Later in the month, we’ll attempt to live it out.

Before we do, it’s important that you know well “How We Are Supposed to Live.”  We’ll work through God’s commands for us in our small groups this Friday.  If you weren’t at TD last Friday, or need to review the message, listen and take notes on the message below before we meet this Friday.

“How We Are Supposed to Live” (mp3) – Arthur (Table of Contents)

0:54 – 4:20            What is our place in His story?

4:20 – 7:00            The meaning of “supposed to” and “ought to”

7:35 – 9:38            Opening Prayer

9:40 – 13:20         Tips to learning how to live life in order

13:20 – 16:50       God’s order for us

16:50 – 30:30       The power and impact of truly loving “one another” Jn. 13:34-35

30:30 -36:50        When we love one another with Jesus’ supernatural love

36:50 – 46:30       When we love one another with natural of-this-world love

46:30 -57:16        What God does when we attempt to love one another 1Jn. 4:7-12

57:16 – 1:00:55    Refusing to go in the game – Scottie Pippen

1:00:55 – 1:12:15  What does loving one another in Jesus’ Name look like? Acts 2:42-47

1:12:35 – 1:18:30  Francis Chan’s experience with the church in China

1:18:30                  Closing prayer

TD Fri. – “Straight Talk on Love” SG & mp3

 

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Hey TD!

This Friday, we will be meeting in our small groups to work on our “love lives” as we discuss last week’s message, “Straight Talk on Love.” Each small group will be meeting at different venues, so make sure to check with your small group leaders for the meeting time and place.

Please review the message below and be ready to bring some thoughts and questions to your small group.

“Straight Talk on Love” (mp3) Arthur (Table of Contents)

0:00 – 1:02                      Opening Prayer

1:05 – 11:33                    Why are we to serve the world?

11:33 – 15:55                  Grounding Ourselves in Who God Is

15:55 – 22:25                  The Ontology of Love

22:25 –   29:29                A Closer Look at Love: Real Love vs. True Love

29:50 –   47:27                Q: Can you love if you don’t believe in God?

47:40 –  1:08:00             Q: What about non-Christians who love more than Christians do?

1:08:00 – 1:09:16           Closing Prayer

 

Galen Jee (1950 – 2018) – My Pastor

Galen Jee

Galen giving some pre-marriage counseling to Arthur and Sandra during TD in the ’80’s

Hello TD,

It is with deep sadness that I must inform you that Pastor Galen Jee, our English Department pastor for about twenty years, passed away suddenly yesterday from cardiac arrest.  He was doing what he loved to do – walking in nature and capturing it in photographs.  An avid and talented photographer, he loved capturing God’s creation.

I want you all to know that our English Department wouldn’t be what it is today without the foundation-laying, seed-planting, and personal investment into people that Galen and his wife, Eunice, provided.  What God has done in our congregation in the years since he moved on from our church has been built upon the foundation that God had Galen and Eunice lay; it’s a foundation that was committed to the gospel rather than gimmicks, to people rather than programs, to integrity rather than ingenuity, … to a saving God rather than to self-glory.  This is absolutely true.

Often times, people embellish the facts and persona of someone’s life after they have passed on, out of deference and respect, and sensitivity to the surviving family.  Galen would not have that, nor would want me to do that.  Anyone else who was under his care and leadership would whole-heartedly affirm what I just wrote above.

Pastoring our congregation during the heyday of the “seeker sensitive” church growth movement in the ’80’s and ’90’s, Galen felt the external pressure to grow our numbers more quickly, which forced him to look within and to continually check himself in order to stay faithful to our Lord and His Upside Down Kingdom, where measures of true success rarely look like what we think it looks like (even church goers).  Having his success as a pastor often gauged by others according to the metric of numeric success, Galen stayed faithful and true to what he knew the true church to be, Christ’s Bride; not a platform or a stepping-stone for feeling good about oneself and achieving some sort of self-worth and self-satisfaction through serving and through church-y “success,” which he rightly knew was still, in fact, worldly.  He wouldn’t do that.  He just wanted to be found faithful and obedient, plain and simple.  That was success.

Personally, it was Galen who not only was the official English Department pastor when I arrived at MBCLA, but who became MY pastor.  He saw a young, unchurched, worldly high school graduate and met with me in my home before baptizing me not too long afterwards (announcing to the congregation that I graduated from Marshall HS rather than my alma mater, South Pasadena HS).  Over the ensuing years, he saw something in me, investing in me and showing me the ropes.  As the years ensued, his belief in me grew and he entrusted me with the opportunity to serve our congregation in many ways.  He gave me my wings in ministry, as it were.  Though young, inexperienced, and “wet behind the ears,” he allowed me to make mistakes, and more importantly, he trusted me; for that, I will always be humbled and grateful.  I had the privilege of preaching several times at the pulpit of the church that he shepherded after he left MBCLA.  Knowing that he would only let people he trusted to preach from his pulpit, I always counted it a great honor to do so.

He preferred the private impact of personal ministry over the public show of it.  There is a place for everyone to minister, whether in public or in private; he was quite aware of the potential traps of public ministry.  He was understated in personality and not the dynamic “life of the party,” by any means.  I’m not sure he could’ve actually drawn the attention to himself that other more vibrant, boisterous, magnetic personalities can; nonetheless, he knew that even desiring to do so is tantamount to doing it in God’s eyes.  He knew himself and knew that he could “go there” if he wasn’t alert and careful.  So, he ordered his life to make sure he didn’t “go there.”

I appreciated his down-to-earth humility in that way.  He didn’t want anything to be above the Christ of the gospel, nor anyone to be out of His reach.  Galen was a personal minister who cared about the person and cared about that person living life truthfully, according to the way God ordained, as revealed in Scripture.  He was committed to the sufficiency of Scripture for all of life.  He was not one who could get himself to bend the rules, shade the truth, or to go against conscience, having to turn various people down for different requests, even though he hated to do so.

When Sandra and I got engaged, I remember him asking both our parents how they really felt about it.  Since Sandra and I have a large age gap, he was a little apprehensive of whether our relationship would really work out.  He loved us both and didn’t want to see us take a hasty step that would result in disaster down the road.  He did our pre-marriage counseling with us and gave us his blessing, eventually marrying us.

I spoke to him last week, and as usual, his eyes were ultimately on the Lord.  Over the last couple of years, he often spoke frankly and realistically about the tenuousness of life on earth, saying that God could realistically take him at any time.  A lifelong diabetic, he had to constantly inject himself and was constantly experiencing new ailments in his later years.  He reminded me that he was not scared of death and that he would be with the Lord.

Well, Galen is with the Lord now. and I bet he wishes he had his camera equipment with him.  It won’t be long, however, before realizes that he doesn’t need his camera to capture the splendor of what he is experiencing and seeing.  It’s permanent now.  He lives it 24/7.  I have an idea of who he’s making a beeline toward, who he’s anxious to meet and ask questions of.  Most of all, I know that he is overwhelmed and humbled to be in God’s immediate presence, as we all will be when our time comes.

I will miss my dear friend and pastor.  I’m thankful for his investment in my life and for handing the baton to me.  I pray that I will be faithful to carry that baton well and to faithfully hand it off to those such as you.  Amen.  – Arthur

Strive for True Victory (CIF-SS Championship Video)

Recap video of Maranatha’s CIF-SS D-5 Girls Tennis Championship

Hey TD!

Last week, we had a post entitled, We Must Play. It’s a must read.  Well, along those lines, a few weeks ago, Sandra and I had the privilege of coaching the Maranatha High School Varsity Girls Tennis Team to a CIF-SS D-5 Championship.  It was a stressful but thrilling two weeks of intense playing, soul-searching, and figuring out how to be able to produce our best when our best is needed.  The playoffs are not for the faint of heart. Sports is a great revealer of things.  It has been said that when you play competitive sports, the real you comes out.

It is incredibly difficult to win a championship at any level; there is an incredible amount of focus, discipline, character, desire, perspective, and providence that must all come together for the desired result to occur; and even then, there are no guarantees it will.  So many others want the same thing, yet only one will be left standing.

I want to remind you that while only one team or one person can win the championship, it is absolutely possible for more than one to come out a champion.  Your “thing” may or may not be sports; but whatever it is, you can come out a true winner – if you figure out how to do it to His honor, to represent Him well, with your very best effort with integrity, with grace and fairness towards your competitors – regardless of the outcome.  Col. 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men.” If you do that, you are a winner in the eyes of the only One that matters.

We are grateful for God’s generosity and kindness to us in granting us the championship; but as I told our team, it comes with great responsibility of stewardship and giving credit to Whom credit is due.  Our theme verse was 1 Cor. 10:31, “Whether then you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  While our team really wanted to earn championship rings, we agreed that, more than for the ring alone, we are playing for the “King of the ring.”

Your “thing” may or may not be sports; but whatever it is, you can come out a true winner – if you figure out how to do it to His honor, to represent Him well, with your very best effort with integrity, with grace and fairness towards your competitors – regardless of the outcome.  Col. 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men.” If you do that, you are a winner in the eyes of the only One that matters. 

This was the first time in my years of coaching boys and girls tennis that both finalists were Christian schools, both bearing witness.  After the ceremony was over, a long-time CIF official made a point to come to me and let me know that it was the finest display of sportsmanship at the ceremony that he’s seen, and that that’s how high school sports should be.

Indeed, it has been an opportunity to give thanks to God and attempt to represent Him well.  If you’re interested, here are a couple of newspaper articles.  They don’t always include the faith aspects into their stories, even when you share it with them, but you can still catch the drift:

Pasadena Sports Now

Pasadena Outlook

TD’ers, none of us is going to go through the game of life smoothly.  We’re going to have bumps and bruises, successes and failures along the way.  My dad used to remind me that failure is the foundation of success.  He’s right.  Failure can be such a powerful teacher.  I’ve always told people that the mark of a Christian is not whether you fall (you will), but the manner in which you get up when you fall.

I encourage you all during this finals season to prepare well, think well, treat others well, put God first, love your family, live honorably and consistently inside and out, and trust Him. If you do, whatever the results, you will have earned true victory.  Amen.

Go get’ em! – Coach Arthur 🙂

 

 

“Offerings 8” Pics & Videos

 

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Hey TD!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families! Click on the link below to view pics and videos from A TD Thanksgiving feat. Offerings 8 and Sandra’s 60th birthday, courtesy of Peter. Thanks Peter! (apologies if your pic didn’t get in)

Offerings 8