Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hot Dogs & Apple Trees

Next Sunday (July 4th) we are going to have a short service followed by some tree planting and hot dogs!  The apple trees we will plant will serve as symbols and reminders of our purpose here on Earth.  As our trees grow and bear fruit, so must we.  Anything that is healthy grows and bears fruit.  If we are a Church that stays healthy we too will grow and bear fruit.  Following the "back-breaking" work, we will rest and have some hot dogs.  Our youth are preparing the food and any donations made at the lunch will go towards helping our youth get to summer camp!

Remember to bring a blanket or lawn chairs!  We will be eating outside on the grass.  In case of rain, we will eat inside.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Explore More: Ephesians, Week 7

KNOW | Personal Study
Read 1 John.   It's a short letter but reveals powerful truth about the nature and character of true love.  Reading this letter will give greater clarity and application to what Paul is talking about in this week's Scripture.

GROW | Discussion - Option #1
What are the characteristics of God?   A lot of people gut hung up on a particular vehicle or fruit that delivers or reveals God's character, but those things were never designed to be the focus.  Churches and Christians often emphasize prophecy, healing, feeding the homeless, evangelism, etc.  However, the focus for the Christian is to be on Jesus.  As we follow Him, we become more like him, and we become known for His characteristics, not the fruit that His presence exudes.  When we are known for the fruit, we get the glory; but when we are known for who Jesus us in us, He gets the glory.  Love isn't a fruit of God; it is His very character and presence.

GROW | Discussion - Option #2
Why is love such a powerful exchange?  Why do people do crazy, irrational things in the pursuit of giving or receiving love?

SOW | Application
This week's application is obvious... love one another.  Ask God to strengthen you to understand Christ's love for you and allow His presence to be experienced through the people you live with and come in contact with.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Explore More: Ephesians, Week 6

June 20-26, 2010; Week 6

KNOW | Personal Study
Read Isaiah 61.   It's a short chapter, but a beautiful description of the work of Jesus through the Church.  Jesus came to set the captives free and rebuild our lives in Him!  Take time and reflect on the words in this passage.

GROW | Discussion - Option #1
What are the qualities and nature of a household built on God's ways?  Perhaps you, in your family, have a very clear understanding of what your household entails and aspires to?  Are the qualities and nature of God's household reflected in your biological family?  Are they reflected in your spiritual family, our Church?  If the answer to either of those last two questions is no, what can you do change that?

GROW | Discussion - Option #2
In Ephesians 3:10-11, Paul writes that our Church is vessel in which Satan and his thugs are informed of God's manifold wisdom!  How is our Church to become the manifold wisdom of God?  What part to do you play in that?

SOW | Application
Before today's message, what did you think was the purpose of the Church?  How does this change your participation in our Church?  What can you do to participate in our Church becoming all that God has created and called us to be?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Australian 'angel' saves lives at suicide spot

Have you come across someone today that needed the hope and love you have?

"Kevin Hines wishes someone like Ritchie was there the day he jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in 2000. For 40 agonizing minutes, the then-19-year-old paced the bridge, weeping, and hoping someone would ask him what was wrong. One tourist finally approached — but simply asked him to take her picture. Moments later, he jumped." (from article below).

Mon Jun 14, 12:01 AM EDT

SYDNEY — In those bleak moments when the lost souls stood atop the cliff, wondering whether to jump, the sound of the wind and the waves was broken by a soft voice. "Why don't you come and have a cup of tea?" the stranger would ask. And when they turned to him, his smile was often their salvation.

For almost 50 years, Don Ritchie has lived across the street from Australia's most notorious suicide spot, a rocky cliff at the entrance to Sydney Harbour called The Gap. And in that time, the man widely regarded as a guardian angel has shepherded countless people away from the edge.

Read the rest of the article at

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Do You Look Different?

Another post by a student at Pacific Life Bible College:  "Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers" -Francis Chan

The Need for Fathers

A student at Pacific Life Bible College (Amalea B.) posted this and I thought it worth re-posting as we approach Father's Day.

"Something special happens when a father tells his daughter that she is beautiful, that she is a woman, and that she has a reason to be respected and loved by a good man. If she doesn't get this message from her dad, she will look for it from men who have less pure motives. Women tend to become victims when they grow up without good fathers. Men tend to become oppressors. I heard recently that 94 percent of people in prison are men. And 85 percent of those men grew up in fatherless homes." - Donald Miller, "Father Fiction: Chapters for a Fatherless Generation" (reading that book right now... so good... just in time for father's day too.

A few other things I found online:

The California Men’s Center created this list of statistics about children who grow up in a home without a father.

1) 43% of US children live without their father [US Department of Census]

2) 90% of homeless and runaways are from fatherless homes. [ U.S. Bureau of the Census]

3) 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. [Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol 14, pp. 403-26, 1978]

4) 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999]

5) 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]

6) 85% of children with behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. [CDC]

7) 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother. [Wray Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985, p. 28]

8) 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]

9) 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. [Rainbows for all God’s Children]

10) 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father. [US Department of Justice, Special Report, Sept. 1988]

11) 85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. [Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections, 1992]

12) Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems. [US D.H.H.S. news release, March 26, 1999]

Monday, June 14, 2010

Big But's

Mission Foursquare Church – June 13, 2010
Sermon Notes for "Ephesians: Part 5 – 'Big But’s'"

Review of Last Week:
Because God has blessed us in the Heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3)… it’s not a matter of getting more from God, but getting to know Jesus more so that we can see what we already have and begin walking those blessings out.  That is, that when we see Jesus for who he is, see us for who we are (in Christ), and then see the power that we have (in Christ), great things will happen: People are going to be healed, saved, filled with God’s Spirit, and go out and make disciples!

Intro to Ephesians 2:1-10
Paul makes sure that before we let the ‘power of God’ go to our head and start “Clint Nelson’s Healing Ministry” we need keep it in perspective.  It’s God’s power, not ours.  It’s all about humility and nothing keeps you more humble than walking around with a big “but” (we’re not talking about the body part, but the conjunction).  The word, ‘but’ usually changes the tone or the direction of the sentence and therefore what someone is trying to say.  The biggest but in history is found in Ephesians 2:4, but to get the greater context we need to read verse 1-10:

EPHESIANS 2:1-10 NIV: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

There are three parts to this passage:
  1. Sinful Condition (vv.1-3)
  2. Love & Mercy of God (the big but) (vv.4-7)
  3. The Nature of our Salvation (vv. 8-10)

1.  Sinful Condition
Before faith in Christ, we were born cursed/fallen.  We were sinners (living out of God’s design and therefore out of relationship with Him).  We were the walking dead.  We were, ‘by nature objects of (God’s) wrath’.  God’s wrath is actually a good thing.  Here’s why:
  • It shows us that He cares (anger/wrath means there is feeling there… He’s not apathetic to our condition).
  • It shows that He is just/fair (he’s concerned for our wellbeing).
  • It shows that He loves us… a loving father will always get angry when something bad has happened to his kid or when His kid continually disregards his instructions and keeps hurting himself.

2.  Love & Mercy of God
God, because He is love, responds to our sin and his wrath with love (John 3:16).  This is where the biggest ‘but’ in history comes…  Eph. 2:4-5 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

To be ‘made alive in Christ’ means that we are no long subject to powers of evil; we are no longer held captive by our sins; we have new life in Christ; and that life/salvation will come to complete fullness at His return.

We are, both now and for eternity, walking evidence of God’s mercy, grace, and kindness.  And verse 8 tells us why…

3.  The Nature of This Salvation
Eph. 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Boasting in works  ushers in legalism, religiousness, elitism, pride, and selfishness.  It is tiring, imprisoning, and ultimately impossible.  Choosing to accept God’s forgiveness through Christ’s payment for our transgressions and sins is an act of faith.  God, in His wisdom, knew that a works based system would not bring about His glory and His delight… and therefore our satisfaction.  The Israelites proved that the law was in the end a curse… you’d try, but no matter how hard you tried, you still weren’t perfect.  And so, God created a system, in and through Christ that allows us to be to completely forgiven… even if we don’t deserve it.

All we have to do is receive it by faith.  (That’s why Paul describes the depth of God’s grace in verse 7 as the “incomparable riches”.  Just like a billionaire has so much money that he doesn’t know how to spend it all, God has so much grace, He doesn’t know give it all.

We now operate from a place of freedom (we don’t owe God anything for our salvation).  Therefore joy reigns and the freedom / free will to now operate the way we were designed and for the things God had in mind… see verse 10…

Eph. 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Peter O’Brien (NT Scholar) now observes that “Good works are now the fruit of salvation, not its basis our cause.” Through and in Christ we know can do the work He leads us to that will bring about more of His glory, and more of our praise for His goodness!  Paul is laying the ground work for the new look of who we are in Christ and the type of fruit we were created to produce.

Closing Thoughts

  • Have you accepted and received God’s complete forgiveness?  Not just at a head level, but at a heart level?  Have you taken it to the next step and forgiven yourself in the same way Christ has forgiven you?  Will you let guilt and shame be your crutch or will you let the grace of Christ sustain you?
  • What are the good works God has prepared for you to do in Christ Jesus?  Step out in the freedom you now have and live by the power of the Spirit!

Explore More: Ephesians, Week 5

June 13-19, 2010; Week 5

KNOW | Personal Study
Read Colossians.   It's a short letter by Paul where he develops some of the same thoughts in Ephesians but with subtle changes in emphasis.  The changes in emphasis usually occur when the writer has changed audience (i.e. a different church or culture).

GROW | Discussion - Option #1
Paul talks about how we were (before Christ) by nature objects of God's wrath.  How is the wrath of God a good thing for both the believer and the unbeliever?  Paul then describes the even better news... that Jesus took the wrath of God upon Himself and died in our place!  God was both just and loving.... and, He did it all!  If a relationship with God was dependent on works, how would that change how you see and respond to God and His design?

GROW | Discussion - Option #2Jonathan Edwards, an 18th century preacher in America, preached a sermon called "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God".  You can read it online at  Take some time to read it and discuss its ideas and  implications.

SOW | Application
Take time this week and reflect on Ephesians 2:8-9.  Allow God's grace to trickle down into the deepest corners of your life.  Allow God's forgiveness to invade your deepest, most darkest, parts of your life.  Then, forgive yourself and let the crutch that you use, be Jesus and not your shame.  Jesus is liberating, joyful, and meaningful!  Take that sense of freedom and joy and do a good work in response to what Jesus has done!  Volunteer for something, encourage someone... but, most importantly, ask God what He would have you do!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This Summer at MFC!

Get ready... we are going to have a fun summer of sharing the life and love of Jesus as a Church family!  On specific Sundays we are going to give our hard-working Sunday School teachers a break and grow together as a church family.  On the following Sundays our kids in grades 2-6 will join us for a shortened service and an activity afterwards!

Download the Summer @ MFC Calendar (PDF)

July 4 - Parable of the Sower (Activity: Hot Dogs & Tree Planting) After singing and hearing the 'Parable of the Sower' we will go outside to the front lawn and have everyone of all ages plant some fruit trees.  These trees will be living and fruitful illustrations of the seed that has been planted in our heart and the seeds we will plant in the lives of others.  Then, once the hard work is over, we will celebrate with a hot dog lunch (by donation).

July 18 - The Unmerciful Servant (Activity: Church Water Fight) After singing and hearing the 'Parable of the Unmerciful Servant' we will go outside and practice forgiveness and mercy with a huge water fight!  Bring your water guns, buckets, towels, appropriate clothes, and a change of clothes.

August 1 - Jesus Teaching to Pray (Activity: Dunk Tank) After singing and hearing the story on how Jesus taught His disciples to pray, we will go outside and practice our aim at the dunk tank.  Kids that want to have a throw and try to dunk our Pastor and other familiar faces will have to complete this Sunday's special worksheet.

August 15 - The Great Banquet (Activity: Chili Cook-off) After singing and hearing the 'Parable of the Great Banquet' we will go outside and test our Church family's best chili.  Contestants will need to register in advance, come up with a special name for their chili, and cook a large crockpot of chili.  Each person in attendance will get one vote.  We'll also be inviting the community out to it as well!
Sept. 5 - Parable of the Talents (Activity: Family Talent Show) After singing and hearing the 'Parable of the Talents' we will hear and watch some of our Church family's talents.  Participants need to sign-up in advance and will be limited to one act per person and each act must be under 3 minutes.  We'll also have a soup-n-bun lunch (by donation).

Other Events:

J12 (prounced "Jay-Twelve") for Ages 8-12
Leaders, Parents, and Kids (ages 8-12) are invited to J12: A 2 Hour Encounter on Sunday, August 22 (6:00-8:00pm) in Surrey.  Come and hear an engaging, interactive, dynamic experience that will challenge and inspire all who hear it.  Register online at  Admission is $5 per person.  We will be car pooling from Mission.  For more info talk to Cindy Watson (604-820-0718). 

Kid's Camp
Join camp speaker, Pastor Gregg Johnson, at this year's Kid's Camp!  Held at Stillwood Camp this year's theme is "Think Big".  Kid's camp is for ages 8-12 (Grades 3 through 7 as of September 2010).    Cost is $325.  For more information and to register online, go to

Youth Camp: NO LIMIT
This year's theme is based on John 6:8 ("There's a young boy here with five loaves and two fish") and the miracle that follows.  August 29 - September 3, 2010 at Stillwood Camp (Cultus Lake).  Cost is $290.  For more information and to register online, go to

Monday, June 7, 2010

Explore More: Ephesians, Week 4

June 6 - 12, 2010; Week 4

KNOW | Personal Study
Set aside 30 minutes and read Ephesians... AGAIN.  This time, read it in a different translation/version.  NAS is a more literal translation.  NLT is a more modern language translation.  The Message is a modern paraphrase.  If you don't own a different translation, do it for free online at

GROW | Discussion Option #1
What is the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge?  When it comes to anything (and especially people) why is it good to have both?  How does knowing God better change your life?  Think of some examples from your own life where knowing God better has made life better.  How do you get to know God better?

GROW | Discussion Option #2
In Ephesians 1:18 Paul writes that we (the Church) are a glorious inheritance to God!  Knowing that Scripture also calls the Church, 'the body', and 'the bride', how does this change your view of God?  How does this change your view of one another?  How does this change your view of the Church?  If Christ were to come back today, would he find our church a beautiful and glorious Bride?  Would we be ready and waiting for Him?

SOW | Application
Make a point to be purposeful in your knowledge and growth in Jesus this week.  Spend time reading His Word, praying (talking and listening), and obeying.  As we do this, God will give us thoughts, attitudes, actions to do.  Furthermore, He will equip us with the tools (gifts) we need to do those things.  Go out and obey His prompting and sow God's love and life through Jesus into your world.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Road Rally Recap

We had our 6th Annual Road Rally today and it was a lot of fun.  11 vehicles, containing about 40 people, put their driving and navigating skills to the test.  My team, Santa Fe Sisters (comprised of me, my friend josh, his 2 year old son, and my 3 year old daughter), came 8th... we thought we had it in the bag.  In spite of the loss, we had a lot of fun and I got a really sweet cat plate out of the deal (one of our checkpoints was at an antique shop in Ft. Langley... see below).  We ended the day with a BBQ and a lot of laughs.  Now that I'm over the loss, I can offer a full-hearted 'well done' to the Beisel clan for their victory.

Soccer and the Heart of God

With the World Cup around the corner I've got soccer on my brain... so I enrolled my daughter in it to live out my unfulfilled childhood dreams of being the next Pele (I'm getting old... Beckham wasn't around then).  What I have discovered is that one of the side benefits of taking her to soccer practice is getting to know new people in our community.  Between working for a Bible College and a Church, I don't get to see very many 'outsiders' :)  So, I am enjoying meeting new people and allowing God's Spirit to lead and love as best as I can let Him.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Testimony of Eugene & Catherine Dagneau

Last night we heard the testimonies of Eugene & Catherine Dagneau, (Elders in our Church).  They will be the first to admit that in spite of their weaknesses and mistakes, God has worked powerfully in their lives and brought about much goodness and life.  Together they have faced cancer, an eating disorder, drug addiction, resentment towards God, financial challenges, unemployment, and more, and can testify that our God is a loving and powerful God.  Listen Here.

Greatest Place on Earth

The way I see it, the greatest place on Earth is always the place where God wants us to be.  Sometimes it's difficult to see the purpose for being there, while other times it's easy.  Yesterday as the latter experience.  I spent the afternoon exploring our local mountains with a friend.  We scrambled up to a peak on Mt. Woodside where paragliders jump off.  As you can see we live in an amazing place.  I am certainly grateful that this is where God wants me to be!

This view looks Southwest down the Fraser River towards Mission.  On the left side of the river is Chilliwack.