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Grow June 24, 2015

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This week’s command: Repent and forgive from the heart.

Family

It always amazes me how a series planned long ago “happens to” bring us into a particular text which turns out to be perfect for the situation in our community that Sunday.

For example, last week’s text was the parable of the unmerciful servant found in Matthew 18:23-35. The parable is a clear message from Jesus with rich application to violence in S.C. & next door:

– the servant did not truly repent from the heart
– without experiencing biblical forgiveness, he could not give it
– he was left in prison being tortured

This is what happens when we try to walk with Jesus without true repentance. We may not really own our sin. We may not believe our destination is hell. We may not understand God’s desire to save us.

If you have any doubt on this, go to God right now. Ask him to show you your true situation with him. Reflect on Psalms 32 and 51.

What flows from true repentance? It’s true forgiveness. He who has been forgiven much loves much. When we experience the relief of being truly forgiven, it opens up our heart to forgive others.

The text shows us three elements of true forgiveness in verse 27: take pity on the other person, cancel the debt, and let them go.

These steps were displayed powerfully in the wake of the racist murders in Charleston by the people at Emanuel AME church, and in the apology of the Madisonville shooter’s believing father.

As we struggled Sunday with all this hurt, this text and the examples of other believers provided perfect illustration and testimony.

Take pity means literally “heart goes out to”. It’s the most prominent of the emotions exhibited by Jesus. Its about identifying with the other person and knowing I am capable of similar evil.

Having identified with the other, step two is to cancel the debt. This means absorb the debt. In the costly pain of forgiving, we absorb the debt and as a result our hearts soften. Lack of forgiveness makes us hard.

Let them go means to set them free and bless them. (More on blessing those who hurt us this coming Sunday.)

May we be a church of “repenting repenters” and “forgiven forgivers” who live from humble hearts in genuine relationship repair!

From the heart, in Jesus, Denis

Grow June 18, 2015

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This week: A Vision to get excited about!

Beloved of the Father,

I’m praying today for all our fathers as we prepare to honor them Sunday. I am thankful that MCC is a community blessed with many godly fathers at every stage of life!

We will spend some time in prayer Sunday with and for our Dads – and please come ready to worship our heavenly Dad!

Last Sunday we renewed our vision as a congregation and elected elders to new terms of service in shepherding our community.

We also shared the first draft of a booklet entitled “The Way” and asked the church to give us feedback. If you missed, please pick up a copy at the Connect Desk this Sunday. We look forward to your input.

We are looking ahead to the vision we believe Jesus gave us – to love God, to love one another, and to go and make disciples.

What kind of disciples? Disciples who multiply, who obey the teachings of Jesus, and who are building stronger families.

It’s humbling to see what God has done for us, and what he’s invited us into – joining him in his mission here and around the world.

We believe this booklet can be a great way to introduce people to our community and to share our excitement in what is happening here.

Would you prayerfully ask God who you might share our vision with and invite? This may include invitations to lunch, into your home, to your small group or to our Sunday meetings.

Praying with you, asking the Lord of the harvest to call more laborers into the harvest along with us!

Thankful to be following The Way with you, Denis

The Way

Grow June 18, 2015

SHAPING – Integrity (Week 6)

Grow June 11, 2015

SHAPING – Integrity – Plank in Your Eye (Pentecost Sunday)

Media June 11, 2015

BRAVE – Week Six

Topics

Bright Star VBS Outreach June 22-26
This is a 5 day (8 a.m. – 4 pm) inner city mission trip bringing Vacation Bible School content to a group of 50 inner city kids ages 6-15.
The week includes plenty of math, reading, games and relational hang time with inner city youth. It is a very safe and very profound cross cultural experience.
If you or your students can only serve a part of the time, or need rides, we can arrange that and make even half days work. We need adults too!
We are meeting for 30 minutes Sunday, June 14, at 1030 am. in the Baker Room.
Quesitons? Contact Pastor Beausejour – denis @ mariemontchurch.org

VISION SUNDAY & CONGREGATION MEETING

BOTH SERVICES (9 & 11 am)  ON JUNE 14TH

  • We will worship together
  • Receive a report from the Elders
  • Affirm new terms for several Elders
  • Update our Vision
  • Share Communion

PLAN TO ATTEND!

Topics
Grow June 11, 2015

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This week’s command:
Forgive Abundantly!

Fellow Forgiven Forgivers,

Last Sunday we looked more deeply into the biblical meaning of forgiveness in three different teachings by Jesus.

It is clear from his teaching that Jesus wants us to forgive as he has forgiven us. Since we each require so much forgiveness from him, he therefore expects us to dispense forgiveness abundantly.

This is a counter-cultural and very subversive message in a world where two unhealthy extremes prevail.

The first extreme says that there is no absolute truth or ruler to whom we are accountable, therefore everything is permissible – or worse – an elite few decide what is acceptable or not.

A variation of this is a man-made God whose attributes are that he loves all and would never punish anyone – no need for forgiving.

The second extreme is all about litigation to enforce our rights and get full repayment for any wrong. This results in a attitudes of entitlement and vengeance – “I will get mine”.

Variations of this range from the absurdities of medical malpractice litigation in our country, to gang warfare in many cities of the world, to sharia law in the Middle East.

Jesus announces a Kingdom that turns all this upside down.

Jesus is the appointed Judge who alone determines what is right and wrong. He says we are all deserving of eternal punishment.

Jesus is also the appointed Messiah who alone paid for our sin, reconciling us to God and one another.

This is the heart of God – the Gospel of Jesus.

The only way to be forgiven is to trust Jesus. The only way to stay forgiven is to forgive others.

That’s such Good News. For life. For marriage. For parenting. For extended family. For our world. For our hearts.

Pass it on! See you Sunday for our Annual Family Meeting! Denis

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Congregation Meeting – Sunday June 14 during worship services – 9 & 11 AM

Grow June 11, 2015

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This week’s command:
First, take the plank out of your own eye.
Miss A Sunday?
Stream it online

Dear Forever Family:

We are back in the SHAPING study, looking at relationships in the Body of Christ. This is a key issue for Jesus because he knew our relationships would be central to our witness in the world.

If you missed, watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rlskm6ouHoc

In John 17, Jesus prays that we will be one as he and the Father are one, so that the world will recognize he was sent. As the song goes: “They will know we are Christians by our love”.

Easier sung than done!

Jesus uses very colorful irony in Matthew 7:3-5, forcing us to imagine a bunch of critical disciples walking around with planks colliding as we compare and correct one another.

He simply says take your plank out first. He is a master teacher and he knows us better than we know ourselves. It’s a call to humility. He knows that is the key for us to see clearly!

Looking at Jesus’ command and the wisdom of the Proverbs, we looked at four practical steps for relationship repair:
1. Get rid of all superiority and self-justification.
2. Release your right to the repayment of the debt.
3. Go beyond evil – overcome it with goodness and blessing.
4. Then, and only then, gently confront from a healing heart.

Paul brought all these ideas together in Romans 12:14-21, a visionary call to Christ-centered community living. So much love that we would melt the hearts of those around us. Quite a vision!

I look forward to investing the next several weeks in relationship building and repair as we seek to be a community that truly reflects and glorifies the Risen King we serve.

Love – in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Denis

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Outpouring 2015 – City Wide Praise and Worship – Cincinnati Gardens
Sunday May 31 – 3:00-4:30 PM

Congregation Meeting – Sunday June 14 during worship services – 9 & 11 AM