Becoming a disciple

MCF - NEWSLETTER - 2017-01-27 Becoming a disciple

Discipleship is the process of devoting oneself to a teacher to learn from and become more like them. For the Christian, this refers to the process of learning the teachings of Jesus and following after his example in obedience through the power of the Holy Spirit. Discipleship fundamentally involves all of one’s being, not just the mind or intellect. All of the biblical terms used to convey the concept of discipleship involve more than just academic engagement. Moses made clear that the teaching of the law was meant to result in obedience to what it said rather than just intellectual acceptance (Deuteronomy 4:5). The obedience is reflected when, as Moses directed, we “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6). Jesus’ expectation for discipleship goes beyond an individual standing before others and telling them they believe and want to follow Jesus. He expects commitment to knowing and doing.

In Chapter 8 of the Gospel of Matthew we can read about an encounter Jesus has with people who tell Him they want to follow Him. Jesus offers two thoughts regarding expectations that sadly cause many want-to-be disciples to freeze in their tracks. In verses 18-22, He shares that it will be tough and requires immediate commitment. “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”, reveals that our basic comforts will be challenged. His response “follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” seems harsh to the individual who asks, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father” but it does suggest the commitment is now. Consider what this man asked, did his father just die? Was there a sense of urgency to get home to bury him and if so, why was he stopping on the way to listen to Jesus talk. Was he asking to be allowed to fulfil his obligation to an elderly parent until his father died and then he would be free to follow? Scripture shares that family is important but it should not be our excuse for inaction. We can love God as He intended and we can be disciples while life happens around us.

Discipleship begins when we believe that Jesus is that path to salvation and that His truths are the guiding light. Discipleship can be wrongly perceived as a set of steps that one completes in order to achieve discipleship status. That approach allows us to think we are able to delay them until we have completed whatever else we think needs to be done first. Regardless of how wonderful and meaningful this activity may seem they become excuses that prevents the commitment God desires. Becoming a disciple requires a mindset change. Discipleship is not something that occupies the time in-between our work, our pleasure or even our Sunday worship. It must become a way of life where we are mindful of Jesus’ teaching and God’s expectations causing us to want to apply them as we work, play, and worship.

Lastly, discipleship not only involves the process of becoming a disciple but of making other disciples through teaching and evangelism. As followers of Jesus we should be able to identify three phases of our journey, which we can share with others. We know what our life was like before we chose Jesus; we know the circumstances that led us to choose Him; and we should know what our life is like since we became followers. Wanting and actually sharing this discipleship journey with others should be a response to being a follower.

There is intentionality required to identify Jesus’ teaching in order to understand and apply them. Scripture study is necessary, so is communication with God (prayer), and so is fellowship with others. There are numerous books, studies, tools, sermons etcetera that are available and accessible. They help us understand discipleship as they often consolidate Jesus’ teaching into a package that allows us to comprehend, grow and apply His teachings. We can assist you with recommendations as to what tools you might consider however only you can decide to become a disciple. Becoming a disciple requires we learn and follow the teachings of Jesus. The Holy Spirit wants to empower us to do so. Choose the path you want to be on now. Choose to be a 24/7 intentional disciple of Jesus.

Prayer/Study Gagetown group

Hello all,MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM

It is Thursday and as always, you are invited to join together at St. Luke’s Chapel for a time of fellowship and prayer for our base. Some of you are new to this list, but I warned you that I’d be reminding you. If you are unable to join us, please pray with us in spirit, that our Saviour’s name might be glorified and that He show His mercy and grace in the lives of our comrades and families.

We’ve been looking at 2 Peter, and the qualities he encourages us to have in increasing measure. I wanted to look at what these qualities mean, so today we will look at 3 of them.

2 Peter 1:6 “(make every effort to supplement) knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness.”

1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

James 1:Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing… 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

1 Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer… Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Cheers and God Bless,


Padre Andrew Whitman, CD

Wanting to be a disciple of Jesus


When in Jerusalem it was Jesus’ habit to sit in the temple courts and share thoughts about God and His kingdom. Onlookers initially included people from the community but eventually religious authorities, such as Pharisees and teachers of the law, began to observe and even engage Him. Jesus taught that worship of God is enhanced when we recognize that His love for us is central to everything. He shared that when we are transformed because of a relationship with Him, God’s love will be evident in our everyday behaviour. Jesus also taught that when we regard God’s laws as statements of love as opposed to restrictive guidelines, then true worship becomes possible.

Jesus’ audiences often included those responsible to interpret and teach God’s laws and those who often felt oppressed or restricted by them. Listeners were sometimes confused with what he spoke about but were also intrigued by His teachings.  The Gospel of John shares that during one of these sessions Jesus is approached by religious authorities who want Him to endorse the stoning of a woman they have dragged before Him. She has been caught sinning and they want the full punishment of the law to rain down on her. Because of what Jesus does and says (John 8:7-11) the accusers slip away; most likely realizing they are also guilty of some sin and could be punished. Those remaining might have wondered whether the laws, that were central to their lives, were still applicable or whether there was a greater meaning behind them.  Jesus never taught that the laws were to be abandoned but that God desires more than ritualistic acts. Throughout His ministry He taught truths about practical applications of God’s guidance. It is these teachings He speaks about when He tell believer’s how His disciples would respond; they would follow His teachings.

Jesus offered truth about who He was. At one point He made the statement that if people just followed His teaching they will know the truth and be set free. He wanted to set them free from the mindset that had developed because of their religious approach to honouring God, an approach that was inhibiting their worship of Him. Their worship appeared to stem from a desire to be obedient rather than to love and honour Him.

Jesus calls those who believe to be His disciples. Unfortunately many hesitate because they think it means following rules that might restrict their behaviour thereby isolating them from their friends and family. Some get into a worship rut and end up going through the motions. They attend weekly service because they should. They read their bible so they can say they did, and they pray ritualistic without pausing to think why they are praying. Some might call themselves followers even though they have skipped the need to seek Jesus truths, study them, apply them to their lives and allow them to transform them such that they want to share those truths with others. Some want the jacket with the word DISCIPLE emblazed across the shoulders without seeking the relationship or understanding what makes disciples; activities that require a yearning for God and time.

Over the next few weeks we are going to share some thoughts as to what makes one a disciple of Jesus, why we should all want to be a disciple, and what are the expectations that come with being a disciple. Our desire is to help free you from the thoughts and actions that hold you captive to routine and prevent you from experiencing what God has intended for us while we are on this earth and when we go to eternity. Please take some time and reflect in your commitment to being a disciple of Christ and ask God to help you change. Seek to worship God in truth, Jesus’ truths.


Anton Topilnyckyj

MCF Prayer Coordinator

Prayer/study group Gagetown

Howdy all, MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM

God is great! Wow what a wonderful prayer group we had last week, we even had a few new people…how great is that! It was a very good discussion and we really felt the Holy Spirit with us so much so that Padre Andrew would like to return to the same passage, Andrew said “since we only talked about faith and virtue, and there seemed to be a hunger to explore what all Peter’s ‘qualities’ mean”.

Let’s dig deeper keeping in mind 2 Peter 1:3-11 and the key part is about Knowledge

Read… 1 Cor 2:11-16

11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


1 John 4:2-11

2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Knowing God through Love

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Our prayer today comes from Ephesians 1:15-17

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.

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)

Prayer/Study group Gagetown

Welcome back everyone!MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM

I hope you all had a great holiday and a well needed decompression time being with your loved ones and friends.

So let’s start off the New Year right; right with God! Let us show our Father that we are not just going to give him borrowed or leftover time, let’s make time for Him! Thursday prayer day is a good start. You have to eat lunch and your work will be there when you get back…so let’s have good attendance at lunch to join together and pray. Now I know there are some of you in this email list that are not here in Gagetown but that should not stop you from going to your base church and spending a few moments in scripture and/or prayer. As for the ones in the list here in Gagetown, I encourage you to make a Godly effort to come out and pray with us.

So on that note, I have got our first study/prayer group job ;o) we can start with confirming our calling and election…

2 Peter 1:3-11

3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Please pray…

My dear father, please help me to remember what it is that you call me to do with my new life in Christ. Place the knowledge of your promises on my heart and mind, remind me that your love is the love I need to share. Also my Father, help me push aside this world’s distractions and start glorifying you the way you deserve and give you the time in my life to pray and to read your word so that I can be godly and steadfast to share this joy with others. I pray this in Jesus, my Lord and Savour’s 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)

Look at ME – 2017-01-06

In the book of Acts, chapter 3:1-6, the Apostles Peter and John encounter a lame beggar on there way to temple.  The lame asked the Apostles for money to which Peter replied and scriptures say, they both looked at the man and said: “look at us”.  When all three were looking at each other, Peter said: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you”.
Have you ever watched people approach a street beggar? Many will move to the opposite side of the sidewalk or, if they are unable to do so, will either lower their head and look at the ground or fiddle with their phone or something else to suggest they are too busy to notice someone seeking help. Have you ever wondered what the panhandler’s thoughts are when they witness this avoidance tactic? Most homeless people and street beggars are not naive to their situation. Many acknowledge that they contributed to their current situation and none will ever say their dream was to live on the street and beg for assistance. Regardless how they got there, their situation is both demoralizing and humiliating and watching people look away makes them feel like pariahs in their own communities. 
In the name of Jesus, Peter gave the lame man the ability to walk. He could feel like a member of society; like a human being. He could go home, face his neighbours and participate in his own upkeep. Peter and John did something that reminds us that the needy are created in the image of God and are deserving of our love and respect. Peter and John made the effort to look and talk with the lame man and see his need. They were able to bring Jesus to another by simply acknowledging his existence. Those who are homeless or use food banks or suffer from invisible illnesses desire this acknowledgement not judgment or contempt. 
God created us to live in relationship with one another but many don’t because they can’t get past outer appearances. On street corners there are visible reminders of people in need but many are blinded to them because they choose to look the other way or not to listen when they talk. Jesus taught that we must interact with those whom society overlooks or looks down upon. Followers should decide whether they should emulate Jesus’ behaviour or look the other way. Can we offer more than silver and gold to those around us? Can we do something about those needing food and shelter? Can we help those with family troubles, invisible illnesses such as PTSD, or a lack of hope? Can we look at and face someone who had been marginalized by society and see his or her need? 
People need Jesus regardless of their status in society and followers of Jesus can offer Christ to them. It is easy to look at the misery in the world and ask: “why does God allow this to happen.” However, do you wonder if God asks the question: “why are we letting things happen around us when we are able to help?” We have the ability to help those around us but do we have the desire to face someone in need and say: “look at me” and listen them into existence?


Prayer is a relationship between God and us. Theopan the Recluse, a Russian spiritual formation advocate, wrote “to pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there stand before the face of the Lord”. Prayer practices provide different opportunities for us to apply our heart to our relationship.

Our relationship with God is not meant to be a repetitive routine.  If we engage God the same way all the time our interaction has the potential of becoming an act of obedience and not one motivated by love.  The following practices have been taken from the suggested prayer practices of men and women who have sought a deeper relationship with God.   A primary source has been Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook. Many practices may be new to readers.   We should be willing to try something different, and to give the practice a chance; we should do it several times.  If necessary modify the practice to suite your needs.

Each practice is presented in the same format:

  • Thoughts about the practice;
  • The desire that motivates us to perform the practice;
  • A definition of the practice;
  • Supportive scriptural reference(s) (unless identified NASB translation is used);
  • Ways to experience the practice; and
  • The God-given fruit from the practice.

Along with each prayer style are suggested spiritual exercises that help you practice the prayer.  You may do one or all of the exercises.

The ancient Jews believed that prayer began with an intentional awareness of God’s presence.  Adopt an appropriate posture of prayer (examples are found in article “Tip – Postures for prayers) and be prepared to be transformed.  The desire of prayer is to connect with God and so keep that in mind, always, when you pray.

All prayer practices are included below.  Ready to download and print.

  1. Breath prayer
  2. Centering prayer
  3. Contemplative prayer
  4. Conversational prayer
  5. Fixed hour prayer
  6. Inner healing prayer
  7. Intercessory prayer
  8. Prayer walking
  9. Labyrinth prayer
  10. Liturgical prayer
  11. Prayer partners
  12. Praying with scripture