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!

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Is Singleness God’s Idea?

If God Made Woman for Man, Then What Is God’s Plan for Singleness?

Hey TD,

Here’s a meaningful article that I came across back near Valentine’s Day.  I meant to post it then, but then it slipped my mind and remained in the draft folder.  It’s an honest and good read that I really appreciate that calls us to focus on What we need to focus on while we’re here on this planet.

You may be thinking, “I’m just a high schooler.  I don’t need to think about this right now.”  Perhaps.  But I’m always interested in reading not just about what I’m going through in the present, but preparing myself for issues to consider in the future, whether by me or by others.  I also like to read about issues that others may be dealing with today.  If that resonates with you, read on. – Arthur

If God Made Woman for Man, Then What Is God’s Plan for Singleness?

by K. Marie Adams on February 12, 2016

Table for One, Please

If there’s one thing I absolutely don’t want to do on Valentine’s Day, it’s to go to a restaurant by myself. Not that I begrudge the happy couples around me their status, chocolates, or flowers. As someone who is single, I’m not prone to notice whether most of the people in a place are paired up, single, or in a group. But on Valentine’s Day, it’s different. The scenario of me as the lone single in a roomful of couples—each focusing on their relationship—is something I prefer to avoid. And by prefer, I mean go to any lengths to prevent. The combination of a public appearance during the dinner hour, plus that holiday, plus me by myself isn’t good. However, it gives me some compassion for Adam in theGarden of Eden. Did you know he was the first person to be single? We find him in the second chapter of the Bible, knowing a bit of what it’s like to be alone.

Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. (Genesis 2:19–20)

Here we see Adam before the creation of Eve. He’s fulfilling his God-given occupation of naming all the animals, and while the Bible never mentions Adam was lonely, I’ve got to assume he was very aware that none of those animals made a suitable companion. In fact, God Himself is aware when He makes the statement one verse prior: “It is not good that man should be alone” (verse 18).

If you read the whole creation account, it’s filled with many statements of what is good, yet in the middle of all this perfection, there’s one thing that God declares is “not good”—man being alone. With this declaration, God isn’t stating that something is bad. He’s proclaiming that Adam is incomplete. Obviously, we know that Adam is without Eve for only a little while, yet I find it interesting that God doesn’t immediately set about fixing the one thing in the garden He proclaims wasn’t good. In those verses, God allows the tension of Adam being single to remain while he names all the animals.

So What’s a Single to Do?

I don’t know how Adam handled living under the knowledge that it wasn’t good to be alone while still being in that state. But I can speak for how I live in that tension. It’s not always easy living as an “I” and a “me” in a world of “we’s” and “us’s.” If you know the account of Adam, you know that he soon went from a “me” to a “we.” But Adam and Eve aren’t the only ones in relationship featured in Genesis 1–3. Before the creation of the first couple, God records an “us” when He states, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26). In that “Us,” many Christians believe we get our first glimpse at the Trinity—our primary example of perfect relationship.

So what does the Trinity have to do with those who are longing for a relationship? To answer that, I’d like to go in the New Testament to John 15. Here Jesus is talking to His disciples the night before He’s going to be handed over to Pilate to be crucified. In some of His final moments with His disciples, Jesus discusses love, relationship, and the Trinity.

He uses His relationship with the Father to be an example of how our relationship with Him should look. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:9–10). What’s so good about abiding in Jesus and His love? What if I still want earthly love? What if I still want someone to be sitting across the table from me on Valentine’s Day and every other day?

The truth is that love between people may fail. It may go through a rough patch and falter or, sadly, it may wane altogether. The couple that has a bouquet of roses at the table next to mine may go home to bitter fighting. The love between the couple that’s sitting beyond them isn’t always perfect either. Some days it might be just as lonely for them to be a “we” as it is for me to be simply “me.”

The truth is that what I long for isn’t really going to be met with gifts of chocolate and roses or someone to have dinner with. My soul longs for a greater love. And if we continue reading in John 15, Jesus tells His disciples (and you and me) where that kind of love can be found. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:13–14).

I ENCOURAGE YOU IN YOUR SEARCH FOR LOVE, FOR BELONGING, FOR ACCEPTANCE, TO NOT MERELY LOOK FOR IT IN HUMAN CONTEXT.

I encourage you in your search for love, for belonging, for acceptance, to not merely look for it in human context. Look for it through what Jesus offers in John 14–17. He doesn’t offer His greatest love in the midst of roses, joy, and happiness. Instead, He mentions love in the context of a lot of tension and pain: hatred from the world (15:18), persecution (16:2–4), suffering the rejection of His closest friends (16:32), and attacks from the evil one (17:15).

So it seems that God is comfortable with using tension as a way of getting us to understand love. He starts with allowing Adam to live in the tension of knowing he is alone and that it’s not good. We see it again as Jesus talks to His disciples about His greatest love in the midst of many sorrows. And you and I know it daily as we walk in our own tensions of loneliness and pain. Yet in the midst of this, we can know the love of God. We can walk in close fellowship with Him.

Jesus finished that conversation by praying for us to have relationship. He prayed to the Father saying, “That they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (17:22–23). Embrace the tension in your life as an opportunity to learn more of the love of God. Seek time alone with Him today. Purpose to know His love and to abide in oneness with Jesus. Let me encourage you that in doing so, you will have joy. In fact, I have found that, as I take time to pursue relationship with Him, suddenly that table for one becomes the best seat in the house.

TD Friday – A TD Valentine’s Day

Hey TD!

We’re going to have a great time this Friday celebrating and further learning about THE greatest love we could possible possess … hands down … the love of God!

Our evening will be planned by our newest interns – Aileen, Calvin, Daniel, Judy, Katherine, and Megan!  Come see what they have planned for us!

Make sure you come dressed in red and/or pink this Friday!  We will have prizes for the best dressed in theme!  We will also have lots of yummy special red and pink refreshments!

See you on Friday!

An Interview With … Kevin!

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Hey TD!

At “A TD Valentine’s Day” tomorrow, we’ll celebrate God’s love with one another … and with Kevin!

If you’ve been to TD or Sunday worship in this past year, you might have seen Kevin. He’s a good-looking fellow with black hair that fluffs over his head, a nice nose with a prominent bridge, and who usually wears a toothy grin to greet you. However, Kevin cannot see that because he was born visually impaired. A couple of TD-ers wanted to get to know Kevin a little better, so we thought we could help them out by interviewing him. TD-ers got to submit their questions from Kevin through the TD Blog, and we compiled them into a giant magic hat to pull out of. What we did not expect was how good of a time we were going to have together, and just how much Kevin was going to bless us.

Q: How did your blindness manifest? How has your blindness impacted your social life and faith journey?

A: I didn’t have sight at birth. There are good and bad sides to it. The good side is that I’m involved in a lot of things compared to my visually impaired friends. And, well, it didn’t impact me much, spiritually.

Q: How do you go about your school day? And how do you take notes during class? I know there’s technology out there that can help with that, but how does it all work?

Kevin: Every morning, I get to class. I get this braille laptop and start typing on there. We take notes and do our work.

Q: What is your favorite subject at school and why?

Kevin: English because it is an important language to learn.

Q: Where are you going for college? What do you want to study in college? What are your future aspirations?

Kevin: Since I’m at a different level than all of you, I actually am not going to college yet. I am going to a transition program where they teach visually impaired students how to live on their own. I will get job training. In the future, I would probably work at a California Highway Patrol office, as an officer.

Q: How did you know that you had an interest in that? Did you like cars?

Kevin: Basically, I saw my mom sitting in a boring office. There’s just nothing to do. Sometimes when the calls don’t come in, you fall asleep.

Q: When did you start going to church? Was it recently?

Kevin: It was in the summer. In July, Catherine asked and invited me.

Q: What do you think of church?

Kevin: It’s great. Sometimes you learn lessons.

Q: What gets you excited to come to church?

Kevin: When we do group stuff: games, gather together, lessons.

Q: What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

Kevin: Vanilla.

Q: We’re learning in our psych class that, when one sense is impaired, the other compensate and become better developed. Do you feel that you have super senses?

Kevin: I tend to overhear things! Recently, I had to get to school early for ‘zero period’, and I got in trouble for blasting my earphones. Here’s the thing, I tend to eavesdrop. If the room is quiet, I can hear what people talk about. To prevent that, I put on my earphones and set it to the max. And of course, 88% volume did not work!

Q: Do you like music? If so, what is your favorite kind?

Kevin: Some 90’s till now. Some hip hop.

Q: What is the best way to help guide you around your room?

Kevin: They’re the ones who guide me, walk with me. I have friends that do that, and sometimes I would ask them questions while we talk together. Basically, I will hang out with people who are smart and stuff. It’s hard to find people you can trust these days.

Q: Do you have pets? Have you ever considered getting an assistive dog?

Kevin: I enjoy playing with other peoples’ pets. I’ve wanted an assistive dog in the past, but it’s been too complicated. Medical Insurance… There are too many hoops and loops to jump through. So, I figured that I could become a police officer and get one from them!

Q: What tips would you have for people who are interested in getting to know you, but may not know how to approach someone who is blind? What kind of support has been the most helpful to you? Do you prefer that people talk to you on the side (towards your ear) or in front of you?

Kevin: Think and choose. Start by conversation!

During the interview, Jenny observed: “[Kevin], you seem pretty comfortable in your own skin!” After reading the interview, you can see her point. Also, through all this, you can tell that Kevin is, well, normal! We totally enjoy his good-humored, tech-savvy company; we hope you get to enjoy it by getting to know him, too. The next time you see him at church or at school (for those of you at TCHS), don’t forget to say hi and strike up a conversation– we’re convinced you’ll be glad you did!

– Eunice, Judy, and Melody