TD Fri. – It’s a HUGE Friday!

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Hey TD!

We’ve got a HUGE meeting this Friday at TD, so don’t miss out! So, what’s so HUGE about it?  Well, we’re going to …

… hand out the very cool V4V swag!

… mine through the personality test data and discover what the results mean for us individually, for TD, and for our church.  If you missed our last TD, click here and take this personality test asap and report your results to your small group leader

… show a very special video …

Two weeks ago, my family sent our first letter and picture to our new daughters in China.  Our agency translated it and went to visit them in the orphanage.  Late last week, we received pics and video of them, including the reading of our letter to them.  Though it’s of a pretty personal nature, of course, we decided we’d like to show the video to you, our TD family, as you’ve been journeying with us and will play a part in acclimating them to their new family and new homeland.

So, was I lying? It’s a huge Friday, right?  Make plans to be at TD and we look forward to worshiping and celebrating our God and His goodness with you! – Arthur

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TD Tonight – V4V Debrief – What Now?

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Hey TD!

We’re looking forward to debriefing  our V4V experience together, sharing what we’ve learned, what we’re learning, and what that means for the future – yours, TD’s, MBCLA’s …and vulnerable children.  We will explore opportunities and ways to continue to live out James 1:27:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

See you tonight, TD!

You May Be Anti-Abortion and Still Not Pro-Life

Hey TD!

One of the statements we were going voiceless and social media-less to make last week at V4V is that we are very much pro-life.  By that, I mean not only against killing babies in wombs, but also against mistreating babies, children, and people outside of the womb – all people; for all people bear the imago dei (the image of God), and all people have value and dignity, including the vulnerable, disabled, and orphaned.

Being really pro-life means really being FOR life, not just against a law or practice, like abortion, for instance. Do our lives reflect a decided belief that we are FOR life?  Are we willing to inconvenience ourselves, sacrifice our lives, and put our money where our mouths are as proof that we really do believe that people’s lives matter? Or do we merely take “pro-life” positions, but don’t really live to defend, support, aid, and grow people’s lives?

Here’s a recent article that ruminates on this very idea.  It’s a helpful read. – Arthur

The Sanctity of Unwanted Life

Jimmy Needham / January 22, 2017

The Sanctity of Unwanted LifeToday marks the 44th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court. Since that Monday, January 22, 1973, just under 60 million babies have been legally executed in our country. That’s roughly 3,000 little lives lost every single day.

I’ve struggled with how this modern holocaust continues in a nation where over 3/4 of the population are professing Christians, and where access to the Bible, which so clearly affirms the value of human life (Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:13–16), is always only a finger-swipe away.

Even if we were to set aside our religious convictions, science itself objects. Modern advancements in technology and molecular biology make it impossible to argue that a baby inside a mother’s womb is anything less than a baby. So, if Christianity and modern science stand opposed to the legitimacy of abortion, why does the slaughter continue?

Three words: self above all.

These three words are the engine under the hood of the pro-choice movement. But they are also the touchpoint where the abortion issue confronts even the most passionate anti-abortion activitsts among us. One moment in Jesus’s life illustrates the point.

Tiny Inconveniences

In Mark 10, Jesus and his disciples are welcomed by a large crowd in Judea where he began to teach them “as was his custom” (Mark 10:1). Then, in the middle of his sermon, a mob of children interrupts Jesus, irritating the twelve.

“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them” (Mark 10:13).

Put yourself in the disciples’ shoes for a moment. You and Jesus have just arrived to preach the good news of God’s kingdom, to heal the sick, to cast out demons. Out of nowhere, a group of kids tackle the Teacher. They’re loud. They’re a little out of control. This was not on the agenda for today. If you’re one of the disciples watching this, what you see are not children. What you see are inconveniences. Welcome to the attitude underneath abortion.

The abortion-attitude isn’t about bloodlust. It’s about a disdain for inconvenience. We protect what we value most. If you value your life, your plans, your goals, and your happiness most, then by definition, anything that interrupts any of those things must be aborted or prevented.

The haunting reality, then, is that it is possible to be anti-abortion, but not pro-life.

Anti-Abortion, But Not Pro-Life

I recently read a birth control advertisement that said, “Parenthood is an elite club where the cover charge is gaining 30 pounds and giving up on your dreams.” This is how our culture wants us to understand the lives of children: dream-crushers.

To the young married folks, I ask: Are you avoiding pregnancy simply out of fear for how a child will interrupt your career advancement and financial stability?

You may be anti-abortion, and still not pro-life.

This abortion-attitude goes beyond what we think about children. How do you regard the elderly in your church, your neighborhood, even your family: burdens to avoid or people to cherish? For those of us who have elderly parents, when you think about their growing number of needs and medical expenses, do they begin to look more like a monthly bill than a person fashioned in the image of God? Are you unwilling to heed the apostle Paul’s words to “make some return” for them since they labored for you when you were dependent on them (1 Timothy 5:4)?

You may be anti-abortion, and still not pro-life.

How about systemic issues like the plight of minorities, especially African Americans in our country? Do problems like the mass incarcerations of black men, or the fatherlessness of urban minority households push you toward things like mentorship programs for low-income kids and teens? Does it impact how you vote?

You may be anti-abortion, and still not pro-life.

The War Inside

Being pro-life is noticing where human-flourishing isn’t happening and moving toward it, even if it inconveniences us. If we want to truly end abortion in our country, we must end the seeds of it in our heart as well. And our only hope for change is to look to the one who was infinitely inconvenienced for our sake.

But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. (Mark 10:14–16)

In Christ, we find the perfect pro-life attitude and advocate, because in Christ we see indignation against anyone who sees another person made in God’s image as a burden, and not a blessing. There is a heart in him to embrace people, no matter the age or stage of life. He willfully died, in love, for the least of these, and sends his Spirit to empower that kind of broken-hearted compassion and sacrificial love in us.

We must take action against the sin of abortion in our country and we must do it now. But make no mistake: The battle for life is not only inside clinic walls; it’s inside our hearts. Let’s stop abortion where it starts.

Voiceless For the Voiceless Info!

Hey TD’ers!

Well, the social media portion of Voiceless for the Voiceless (V4V) is underway! From the sounds of it, it’s been doable, but getting tougher each day. The daily email small group devotional discussions have been insightful, thoughtful, and engaging. If this is a taste of our small group discussions to come, we’re going to have a powerful time together this weekend, when we’re not only without social media, but without our voices as well!.

*** IMPORTANT CHANGE TO NOTE ***

The pick-up time from my house is  now 6:45 p.m., NOT 8 p.m.  My family has to leave the house at around 7 p.m., so please plan to be picked up accordingly.  But don’t worry! We’ll still be having a yummy dinner together and an awesome time of debriefing!  🙂

Our time of being voiceless remains the same, however – 12 p.m., Fri., 3/3 – 6 p.m., Sat., 3/4.

Author and War Orphan Stephanie Fast at V4V Friday

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As you’ve undoubtedly heard, the author of the book that so many in TD and in church are reading, She is Mine, will be at V4V on Friday.  Please feel free to invite your families and sponsors to come.  It will be worthwhile to hear.

We will be meeting in the chapel in the Main Campus at 7:30 p.m.  I would recommend that you come at 7:15 p.m., as it seems like we’re going to have a full house.

It’s a BIG Friday at TD This Week – Look Inside!

Hey TD!

We’ve got a big Friday coming up this week that has 3 components:

Dress in RED or PINK

– in honor of Valentine’s Day as we celebrate our Father’s LOVE during …

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Offerings 6: A Father to the Fatherless

– if you would like to offer an offering to our Father, please inform Rebecca ASAP!

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(A crowd looking at the “gallery” after Offerings 5)

Final V4V briefing 

– we will go over the final instructions, plans, schedule, and vision before the actual V4V event!

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See you at the BIG TD Friday! Don’t forget to wear pink or red!

TD Fri. – V4V Unveiling and “The Power of Habit” Small Groups

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Hey TD!

The long-awaited unveiling of Voiceless For the Voiceless (V4V) is nearly upon us!  Our crash course in all things V4V is coming this Friday. We will cast the vision, you will receive your V4V kit, and will learn everything you need to know in order to give TD the best chance at changing lives for good, including your own.  Make plans to join us!

In addition, we will be in small groups to follow-up on last week’s message,”The Power of Habit.”  It’s a key message that will need to be understood and implemented well if you are going to experience a successful rebuild of your life in Christ.

Please review the message here: “The Power of Habit” – mp3 message (Arthur)

All I Want For Christmas …

Show Hope

Hey TD,

If I had to choose a “verse of the year” for me, it’s a no-brainer.  Hands down it’s James 1:27:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

This Christmas season has been a daily deluge of that for me and my family as we work through the extremely extensive adoption process.  Being buried in paperwork can sometimes obscure the vision of what it is we’re trying to do.

Perhaps that’s why I found myself tearing up in my car when I listened to “All I Want For Christmas” by 5-time Grammy Award winner, Steven Curtis Chapman, a couple of weeks ago.  It was a great reminder of why God gave His church the James 1:27 command and who it is we are to be helping in His Name.

I hope you’ll listen to the lyrics and begin praying for the orphaned children with special needs in China that we’ll be seeking to help during the upcoming Voiceless for the Voiceless (V4V) campaign that TD will be engaging in, in the near future.  Enjoy! – Arthur