Called to Live Lives “Out of This World”

Hey TD!

In August, Robert wrapped up our year-long series, “Renew: Transforming Our Life in Christ,” by teaching on Romans 12:16-21. It’s a very challenging message to live lives that are “out of this world” in relation to the rest of the world.

Below are his mp3 message, two moving videos he showed, and an article of uncommon faith.

“Out of This World” (mp3) Rom. 12:16-21 – Robert

Christianity Today Article – Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable

 

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TD Fri. – “Out of This World”- final study on Rom. 12

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Hey TD,

I’m excited to wrap up both our TD summer and our journey through Romans 12 this Friday with a message on Romans 12:16-21! In our study of Romans 12, we’ve seen that Christians are transformed people who are also continually being transformed into the likeness of their Savior and Master, Jesus Christ.

In these last 6 verses of Romans 12, Paul tells us what a transformed life looks like when we interact with anyone in the world, no matter who they are. No one is excluded—not the lowly, not unbelievers, not even our enemies. The humility it takes to follow these commands is out of this world. It’s OK to gulp when you read these imperatives. Do you have what it takes to be a peacemaker? To seek peace and do good even with those who seek your harm? Most people would look at this passage and scoff: “Don’t be so naive, that’s just not the way the world works.”

But that’s exactly the point. What this world needs is otherworldly love and grace. Join us as we explore our calling to reflect the only One who has given exactly what the world needs.

– Robert

Romans 12:16

16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Throwback Thursday – The Original Speakers!

The original Speakers story featured on the TD Commotion (with surprise anchors and cameos!) Produced by TD alum, Jenny, over a decade ago, it’s still a great piece.

Hey TD!

As we begin a new season of training youth speakers for the 2018 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament (YST), I thought you’d enjoy a blast from the past! Back when we had the “Total Devotion Commotion” video program, we did a feature on the very first YST we entered in 2006.

About a week before the Los Angeles Association Drill, I had somewhat of an epiphany and saw a vision to begin training TD’ers to be able to communicate God’s Word effectively.  I pitched the idea to four seniors, asking them to be the guinea pigs and to take the first steps to open the doors for future TD’ers to walk through.  Even though all the other churches had already been preparing months in advance, I just wanted them to open the doors.  There was no way we were going to win or anything, but even entering would start the ball rolling for us.

I thought the four accepted the challenge, but one of them said she never did, so when she received my email thanking all of them for buying into the vision and being willing to do something crazy like enter YST with only a week to prepare, she went to the bathroom and cried.  Who could blame her? Public speaking is America’s greatest fear. Who was it? I’ll let you watch the video above to find out.

We spent nearly everyday at my home the following week preparing.  One speaker dropped out early, and then another had a scheduling conflict, leaving only two speakers left.  But God led us here and God’s hand was all over this (and clearly has been ever since).  The rest, as they say, is history.

Though we have had 13 tournament champions and 8 runners-up since then, we have had many, many more true winners – in the most important ways – before God. Through fierce struggle, perseverance, tears, and the mercy and grace of God, we have had speakers who thought they were Christians coming in, actually become Christians during Speakers.  We’ve had life re-dedications, victory over fear, personal “dragons” slain, and many tears of joy and triumph.

All I can say about the Speakers process is that it is … magic.  Enjoy the video! – Arthur

 

TD Orientation Presentation

TD Orientation Prezi

Hey TD,

If you weren’t able to make it for the TD Orientation, here is the great Prezi presentation Judy made, as well as the mp3 of all the presentations by the TD leaders corresponding to the Prezi “slides.” Please review the material so you can not only get a deeper look “under the hood” of TD, but can get a better idea of where in TD you may feel the Lord is calling you to invest more of your talents and energies!

TD Orientation Prezi

TD Orientation Presentations (mp3)

 

TD Orientation This Fri. (Pre-TD Party @7:15)/Sights and Sounds of the TD Kick-Off

’17 – ’18 TD Kickoff – Hanging Out

’17 – ’18 TD Kickoff Worship

Hey TD!

What a great time we had at the TD Kick-Off! The energy was amazing as seen in the videos above! Daniel’s message to us, “Getting a Real Education,” (mp3) was “lights out” as one described it. Click to listen for yourself!

TD Kickoff

We aim to keep building on that energy this week as we’ll open TD’s doors and explore the nuts and bolts of TD’s various ministries and opportunities, and how you can experience life-change through them.  We’ll explore the engineering of TD, how we do what we do and why we do it the way we do.  You’ll not only hear our vision, but will have the chance to interact with it, as we have a meaningful Q & A time with various TD leaders.

But before the TD Orientation will be our Pre-TD Party at 7:15 in the TD room!  Come play games, hang out, and have some fun before TD starts!

Before you come to TD this Friday, get familiar with Daniel’s message above to put in the first building block of the year.

See you all Friday! – Arthur

September 2017

9/8 – TD Kick-Off at the Hsiehs’

9/15 – TD Orientation

9/22 – Small Groups

9/29 – TD Open House (aka Parent Nite)

9/30 – SOS Saturday

Make TD a priority this year and see God work in your life and world! – Arthur

TD Fri – “The Books We Love”/mp3’s

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Hey TD!

We’ve had a great summer series hearing from some of TD’s leaders in “The Books We Love”!

This Friday will be the series finale, as we hear from Kathy, Daniel, and Rebecca! Don’t miss it!

Last week, we had a blessed time hearing from Abigail, Robert, and Sandra 🙂 You can listen to their “book reports” on mp3 below, including a full-reading from Sandra:

Abigail (incl. an intro on reading from Arthur) – The Lord of the Rings (mp3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Robert – The Scarlet Letter (mp3) by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Sandra (full reading) – The Velveteen Rabbit (mp3) by Margery Williams

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“Christmas: Celebrate the Humble King” (Robert)

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Merry Christmas, TD!

On this Christmas Day, Robert shares an article he wrote for a local paper.  It’s an appropriate read for this special day.  Thanks, Robert!

Christmas: Celebrate the Humble King by Robert Chan

Last year in our home we celebrated our first Christmas together as a family of three. Our baby daughter had just turned four months old. She couldn’t do much except let out gas and look adorable, and yet her presence during that special season opened our eyes in a fresh way to the wonder of Christmas.

It wasn’t because the piece of real estate underneath our Christmas tree was much more crowded than usual; and, no, it wasn’t because our daughter received the most gifts out of anyone in our family. (She received toys and clothes that she probably won’t be able to wear or really enjoy until after this year’s Christmas celebration.) The fresh wonder came as we held in our arms a living reminder of the heart of this holy day. Beyond the lights, trees, songs, and scents—even beyond the shepherds, angels, and animals—the heart of Christmas was laid in a feeding trough two thousand years ago as a baby boy in Bethlehem.

Now this wasn’t what many expected when they were waiting for the fulfillment of God’s Word from the prophet Isaiah: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, ESV) With those credentials, shouldn’t this king be born in the palace of the greatest existing empire? Instead, he was born in a feeding trough in a very small town of Israel, which in turn was a conquered nation under the rule of the Roman Empire. The all-powerful God did not send His Son to overwhelm the world with might and glory; instead He sent his Son in the weakest form of humanity: a baby. My wife and I could only catch our breath in wonder when we fed our daughter so that she would not starve, changed her so that she would not rot, and carefully bathed her so that she would not drown.  She was totally dependent on us; and it floored us to think of why someone who is used to having everyone dependent on him would willingly place himself in such a position.

The Bible tells us why God humbled himself to such a point: Jesus became human like us in order to stand in our place before God. We all have sinned against our Maker and no amount of sacrifice or penance we can make on our own would overrule the rightful justice we deserve. And so Jesus “emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8) He took no shortcuts in living the life we could never live—from birth to death, Jesus lived in perfect obedience and with perfect love for God the Father. He used his human eyes to see needy; he used his feet to move toward the hurting; he used his hands to lift the lowly; and he used his lips to praise his Lord.

But his body was not formed only to do good in our place; it was also formed to be broken for our evil. “When Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me.” (Hebrews 10:5) Jesus himself would be the perfect sacrifice. The hands that God the Father fashioned in the womb of Mary were made to be pierced. God made that heart knowing that it would stop beating for the salvation of many. He breathed air into those lungs so that they would one day collapse under the weight of Jesus’ body hanging on the cross. He wove that skin knowing it would be wrapped in grave cloths only to burst out from them in the triumphant defeat of death. Truly, “God so loved the world that He gave His Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) This Christmas, take time to marvel at this humble King and the costly peace bought by the sacrifice of the Prince of Peace