2017 – GOALS

2017-goals.

Last month, On November 11th and 12th, the MCF held its first spiritual retreat in conjunction with the annual general meeting.  The intent was to come together in the name of Jesus, stop our busy routines, worship, fellowship, reflect upon the Word, listen and pray.  The hope that prompted the retreat was that we would encounter the Lord in a tangible way.  We were not disappointed.

The two-day retreat began with a prayer breakfast at the National House of Prayer.  Next, all those gathered, walked to the National War Memorial to attend the Remembrance Day ceremony.  After the ceremony, folks fellowshipped over lunch.  Beginning in the afternoon of the 11th and running until the afternoon of the 12th we followed a pattern of: orientation, silent prayer, scripture reading and meditation, then communal reflection upon what each person learned and experienced during their contemplative time with the Lord.  The retreat was based upon two words: disciple and disciple-making. When the group reviewed the results of the communal reflection period several themes became obvious, which together provided direction for the MCF.

In Matthew 18 Jesus responded to what in military terms could be called “careerism.”  Careerism occurs in various degrees, but the central issue is the pursuit of a mission for the primary purpose of advancing one’s career, one’s self interests.  The disciples came to Jesus and asked Him “who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  Wow, it’s difficult to believe that they could be so bold, so presumptuous as to ask such a question.  Yet, I appreciate their honesty.  Who hasn’t sought to be elevated?  The military’s personnel evaluation system is dedicated to elevating people and most members are assimilated into its thinking, but the mindset is counter-Kingdom.  Jesus’ response is to point to a child as the standard for greatness: humble, trusting and obedient.  While Jesus continued to amplify His point, it is verse 20 that reflects part of what the Lord was communicating to us at the spiritual retreat – “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them”.

The MCF’s mission is to bring the gospel to the military community.  Ok, then how?  Should we hold regional evangelistic meetings?  Should we preach on street corners?  Should we produce all sorts of printed material and distribute it door-to-door?  Should we knock on doors, should we host MCF events?  How people and organizations have communicated the gospel is diverse; however, the direction to the MCF reflects Matthew 18:20.  Small groups of two or three people are the core of how the MCF is to bring the gospel.  One-on-one disciple-making and discipleship.  While the MCF operates within a military culture, which is personified by a hierarchy of authority, the MCF is a network of small, and some would say very small, groups in which one member disciples another.  The group needs to be singularly focused on following Jesus together.

So, over the next year there are five simple goals that I would like each of us to pursue together:
  1. Every member is in an MCF small group (2-3 people – sometimes more);
  2. Every member understands who Jesus is and how to become one of his disciples;
  3. Every member can confidently present their testimony of faith in Jesus;
  4. Every member can confidently explain how to become a follower of Jesus;
  5. Every member is active in praying regularly for at least one unsaved family member or friend.
Jesus wants us to disciple others as we go about our lives.  The pursuit and achievement of these five goals will enable each of us to fulfill His call on our lives.  Pursuing these goals together within the military community will enable us to achieve the MCF mission.

Until All
Gerry Potter
Colonel (Ret’d)
President

Prayer/Study group Gagetown

Good morning Brothers and Sisters!
 
Ok going to jump right in…. 
Romans 5: 8
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
 
Do you have peace with God through faith? 
We are justified (declared right before God) because of Christ’s BLOOD poured out at the cross. 
What does this mean? 
We are saved from God’s WRATH on the Day of Judgment.
We do a lot to help others, we do a lot to motivate other Christians but what about yourself? 
Where do you stand? 
Keep helping one another but know yourself and where you are with God!
 
Please pray…
 
My Father! I know that hope does not disappoint, because you have poured out your love into my heart by the Holy Spirit. God, I know and believe that just at the right time, when I was still powerless and a sinner, Christ your Son, died for me. This I know to be the greatest gift you have given me and I pray and give thanks to you my Father through your Son Jesus…Amen!
 
Blessings All!
Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS…
So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it, in Jesus’ name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)

Prepare to share

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. ” John 14: 1: 4

 
I recently watched the 2014 movie The Gospel of John and admit that the last supper conversation seemed to affect me a little deeper than it has in the past. As I listened to the narrator, who read the NIV gospel version verbatim, I closed my eyes and imagined Jesus was speaking directly to me. He acknowledged the special bond believers have with Him and reminded us that there is a place set aside for those who believe. Jesus shared that He was leavening and at first that may seem sad. However, because I know the whole story He shared, I was listening for the joyous messages that are part of the Christmas story; the ones that remind us that He was born so our future home can be with Him. 
 
During Christmas we often hear messages about Joseph and Mary’s commonness, the lowly setting in which Jesus was born, and how Angels shouted out the night He was born. We don’t often link it to the fall in the Garden and our subsequent sinful nature which brought about the need for Christmas as well as Easter. We don’t often mention that, because of our inclination to be naughty, God had to put a plan in place so that the many rooms in His house would be filled with all those who believe in the birth, life, teaching, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the plan that sees Jesus coming back to earth one day and fulfilling the promise of taking believers with Him into His Father house for all of eternity. This is part of the Christmas story that many do not know but should hear. 
 
During this time of the year we laugh, sing, eat and are merry. Many are open to reconciling and connecting with those we avoided all year and so opportunities to live our faith in front of another are increased because of the spirit of Christmas. Please remember the reason behind the season and pray that you can be witnesses to someone so you can share the promise behind the birth.  Fire and brimstone talks will get you talked about, but inviting someone to break bread with you and enjoy this time of year together will guarantee a second encounter and maybe a room mate in eternity. Pray that God prepares someone to hear the whole story and that may be part of sharing some or all of it. Ask God to prepare you for an encounter. Enjoy this season. Remember the reason. Preach the gospel and, as Francis of Assisi says, if necessary use words. 

We all need a true friend.

mcf-2016-12-08-at-7-31-30-pm


This month we will hear scripture that foretold the birth of our Saviour, read the words Gabriel shared with Mary about her pregnancy and be reminded of different reaction to that news.  Sermons will share that during this time in Israel’s history, being pregnant while engaged was shocking but claiming to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit, while being a virgin, was even more difficult to try to explain. Someone will tell us that Mary was in an unenviable position and another will say Joseph’s was not much better because both were subject to cultural and religious expectations regarding pre-marital activity; any breech of expected behaviour could have had dire repercussions. 

 
Reflecting on the Mary’s response we know her acceptance of pregnancy was not an indication of indifference to her situation. Being engaged and pregnant (and not by the future husband) was a potential death sentence for her. We know Mary’s conversation with God’s angel allowed her to recognize her condition as a blessings as she shared these words “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me- holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-49. As blessed as Mary felt, her pregnancy could have set off wagging tongues, led to discrimination and mistreatment, and her life could have become very difficult. So what did Mary do when faced with this very real difficult situation? Mostly likely she would have spoken to God seeking comfort and assurance but we know she confided in another person; her cousin Elizabeth. Mary went to someone with whom she knew she could talk with about serious matters. Her visit was immediately corroborated as the right decision because Elizabeth’s child (the future John the Baptist) jumped in her womb as a sign of acceptance. (Luke 1:41). In addition to seeking God, Mary sought out a loving and comforting individual and confided in her. 
 
Scripture suggests Mary did not immediately tell Joseph she was pregnant and only did so after her visit. After spending a few months with Elizabeth, Mary returned home to talk with her future husband about their situation.  As Mary shared the news, Joseph would know he was not the father and could have suspected adultery and called for Mary to be stoned or publically humiliated.  He himself could have been subject to some disgrace, as people would have assumed he was the father. Betrothed people were not allowed to be intimate until after their wedding, which occurred one year after engagement. Mary did tell Joseph that her condition was the result of the Holy Spirit’s interaction, and although he knew her to be a good woman with a fine reputation, that was a difficult story to accept. In his mind he probably felt she was carrying another man’s child and so he left her presence troubled. There is no indication that he spoke with a friend or discussed his situation with anyone else. He went to bed that evening mulling over the idea of quietly divorcing her; a necessary action to end an engagement. However, that night he was visited by God’s angel who told him not to be afraid and to follow through with the marriage. He was also told that Mary was indeed impregnated by the Holy Spirit and that their son Jesus would save His people from their sin.  
 
We know Joseph and Mary married, Jesus was born, and salvation was brought to humanity. We can see this as a joyous story and may feel inclined to talk about the next encounter with Jesus without any thought to the fact that two people, not unlike us, were in a very difficult, potentially dangerous situation that was fuelled by cultural and religious traditions that threatened to destroy their lives. If stoning was avoided, the potential humiliation and mocking would have followed both of them and their child for the rest of their lives. We can however conclude that their prior relationship, trust and adoration for God, for whom nothing was impossible, helped them overcome their situation. They willing accepted the truth and wisdom shared by God’s angel, which turned out to be their saving grace. 
 
Upon reflection we can’t help but wonder if Mary was able to adjust to her situation more quickly because she had someone who loved and supported her; someone she could talk with. The time she spent with Elizabeth certainly prepared her to speak with Joseph. I take liberty to suggest that Elizabeth’s support affected Mary’s mannerism and demeanour during the talk about pregnancy and may have affected Joseph’s positive response. Scripture doesn’t say Joseph screamed or hit Mary but that he still thought of her as good and respectful.  Mary’s interaction with Elizabeth could have prepared for the talk whereas Joseph seemingly goes through this trial without another human to comfort or guide him. Although he made the right choice in the end, it could not have been easy. 
 
Christmas reminds us, that the gift of eternity with God was realized when Jesus took on human form. It reminds us that we are designed to be in harmony with God and one another and, like Joseph and Mary we must seek God daily in the good and bad times.  The Christmas story also reminds us that life is better when you can share the joys and struggles with another. Do you have a friend with whom you can confide? Is there someone who cares about your spiritual and physical health; who wants to share your joys and your struggles? Will they stand with you and be bold enough to point you in the right direction to get you over life’s obstacles? This friend is not a biological brother or sister or a spouse, but a child of the most high who will speak tough love and truth into your life.  Pray for a spiritual companion of the same gender as yourself, so you can mentor each other in the ways of Christ. Pray for a friend to be there in the time of adversity.  

Prayer/Study group Gagetown

Good morning to you all,MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM
Block leave is just around the corner and I am sure many of us are looking forward to the break! Good food, family, friends and a warm home maybe even a toasty fire. All these are gifts from God, we are so lucky to be able to enjoy these for free. Free from oppression and war…
Glory be to God.

 

Isaiah 42: 1-9

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. 5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6 “I am the Lord; I have called you[b] in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. 9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.

To this, I heard a prayer from a Christian (so let’s pray it together).

Christ died for me! It is hard for my mind to grasp the fact that if I were the only person on earth who would accept His mercy; He would have died for me. My Father, help me grow in grace and maturity to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Father, help me to see, to feel the significance of this fact I pray, in Jesus’ name, amen”.

Blessings All!

Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS… 
So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it, in Jesus’ name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)