Christian Education Classes for Spring Start on March 8

Christian Education – Spring 2015

Sundays from 11:15 – 12:15

March 8 through May 24, 2015


Preschool (Ages 2–4) JESUS IS GOD: Encountering Jesus through his powerful signs and wonders. Taught by Jim and Jackie Brown with Assistant Elena Mourad

Younger Elementary (Grades K–3) SERVING GOD – Bible men and women who served God faithfully. Taught by CatheRine Root

Older Elementary (Grades 4–6) 1 Corinthians to Philemon – Instructions for Christian Living in the church. Taught by Robert Mourad

Friendship Class (Special Needs Education)

Those with disabilities will study from the New Testament. The lessons will highlight the work of the Holy Spirit in the early church. Taught by Peggy Van Lowe and one adult/teen mentor for each student.

 Adult Education

 Exploring Crossroads – What is Crossroads all about? Come learn the basics of how our faith and practice are rooted in the glory of the triune God’s free grace received through faith in Jesus Christ as illuminated in the sacred pages of Scripture. This class is required for all seeking membership. Taught by Pastor Don Sampson.

 For the Life of the World: An entertaining film series that explores the deeper meaning of Salvation. Have you ever wondered, “What is my Salvation actually FOR?” Is it only about personal atonement, about getting to heaven, or something that comes later? Is it just to have a “friend in Jesus?” This film series will help you investigate God’s Economy of All Things – OIKONOMIA (a Greek word that has a lot to say about God’s plan for his creation, the world, and us. Taught by Pastor Tim and others

Sunday, February 22, 2015 – Due to the Inclement weather Worship Service is cancelled. There will be no Sermon posted for this Sunday.

Prayer Focus for Togo – Sunday, March 1


Answer to Prayer

Christianity, particularly evangelical and Pentecostal, has grown rapidly since 1990. Evangelicals increased sevenfold from 1990 to 2010, growing from 2.7% to 10.7%. Praise God for the multiplication of Pentecostal and charismatic movements, fuelled by the Holy Spirit and largely driven by West African pastors and evangelists.

Challenge for Prayer

The less-evangelized peoples of Togo. Togo and Benin have long had the highest percentage of unevangelized traditionalists in Africa. The major challenges:

a) The 13 majority-Muslim peoples – the Kotokoli (SIM, Baptists, hundreds of believers), Anufo (YWAM, ABWE, a few believers), Akaselem (AoG, handful of believers), Ditammari, Bariba, Bago, Dagomba, Bissa, Akpe as well as the more dispersed Arabs, Hausa, Yoruba, Kambole and Fulbe (Baptists).

b) The northern traditional animistic peoples – the Moba, Bassari, Nawdm (AoG, Baptists, Deeper Life), Gurma, Lama, Gangam, Karaboro, Mossi (AoG), Logba and Waama. Pray for these pioneering efforts to see breakthroughs for the gospel.

c) The southern traditional animistic peoples – the Watchi, Adja, Akebu, Adele, Anyanga and Kpessi.

Prayer Focus for Timor Leste – Sunday, February 15

timo-MMAP-smChallenges for Prayer

Protestant churches emerged only recently and their growth is modest. The AoG, working here since the 1960s, has grown on Atauro Island and in Dili. The Reformed IPTL (GKTT) was started by Indonesian immigrants, and many Timorese joined, but rarely with true conversion. Nominalism and lack of understanding of the gospel characterize the majority. There is great need for biblically trained and spiritually active pastors. Pray that evangelical churches may be planted among every people and in every area of Timor. Pray for true unity among national church leaders.

a) Timor’s peoples remain mostly ignorant of the gospel; none can be considered adequately evangelized. Specific outreach to each of the 19 indigenous peoples is needed. Pray for pioneer church planters who will risk all to see the Kingdom of God established here.

b) Children and young people – most are traumatized and many have lost everything, including parents. Droves roam the streets, often forming dangerous gangs. Pray for effective holistic and discipleship ministries to be established. WEC (The Esperanza Project), YWAM-Arms, the Nazarene Center, JMM (Projeto Vida Mais) and JAMI (Centro Shalom) focus on ministering in this capacity. JUVEPE has a Child at Risk Program that provides support for abused kids, especially for teenage girls.

c) Holistic ministry is the best option for Timor, since needs are both physical and emotional. Christians must share the whole gospel for Timorese to respond. Christian Vision (UK/Brazil) and Transformation Alliance (Singapore) are two ministries seeking to impact every village with practical and spiritual assistance.

d) Christian resources are almost non-existent. A Catholic translation of the NT is available in Tetum and a Wycliffe-coordinated NT project is underway, but 13 languages have no Scripture whatsoever. The JESUS film is now in Tetum as well as in Portuguese and Indonesian. Christian Vision’s radio station – Radio Voz FM 89.5 – broadcasts in Portuguese, Tetum, Indonesian and English.

H.O.A.’s in Conflict – Haggai 2:1-9

darius relief

Darius, King of Persia at the time of Haggai’s ministry

What stood out to you from Sundays sermon on Haggai?
Have any of you ever had good or bad experiences with a Home Owners Association (HOA)?
On Wikipedia it is noted that, “In the United States, a homeowner association (or homeowners association) (HOA) is a corporation formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling of homes and lots in a residential subdivision.” So, an HOA is about real estate development.
The LORD’s HOA dictates that he will always have a home within his real estate and among the other home owners. Positively he will enjoy being with his neighbors and bring blessing to the entirety of the real estate through them. Negatively, he will not be kicked out of his own neighborhood.

Israel under Saul, David and Solomon

Israel Under Saul, David and Solomon

How does the LORD’s possession of a house among humanity influence the development of his real estate (creation) in the Garden of Eden? What about among Israel during the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon?
What was the building of the temple communicating in the days of the post-exilic prophet Haggai (520 BC)?

Read Ephesians 2:11-22
In 2:20 it says that Christ is the cornerstone of the temple being built by God today. John Stott writes that, “the cornerstone is of crucial importance to a building. It is itself part of and essential to the foundation; it helps to hold the building steady, and it also sets it and keeps it in line…As a building depends for both its cohesion and its development on being tied securely to its cornerstone, so Christ the cornerstone is indispensable to the church’s unity and growth. Unless it is constantly and securely related to Christ, the church’s unity will disintegrate and its growth either stop or run wild.”

The world we live in has several conflicting HOA’s with God’s HOA. Tim mentioned several ways our local HOA is in conflict with God’s HOA:
– We may have houses for gods but they must remain general so therefore the cornerstone must be something other than Jesus Christ OR we need to have several cornerstones that include all gurus, religious leaders, etc.
– The houses of gods will not be at the center of the neighborhood because they will not serve as the main resource for real estate development.
– Greater attention will be given to the construction of commercial buildings that to religious buildings because they bring in more money which is ultimately the source for greater real estate development.
– The houses for gods will not have any say regarding the development of the government, education, economic endeavors or any other aspect in the neighborhood.
– Attendance at the house of gods is completely voluntary and non-attendance will not warrant fines from the HOA (in contrast to non-attendance to school).

Can you think of other differences between the world’s HOA and God’s HOA regarding the building, location and importance of God’s international temple in Christ?
What most bothers you about the world’s HOA?

How are you, in Christ and by the Spirit, disregarding the world’s HOA?

What would happen if you used the Word of God as a resource for planning, executing or evaluating at work? Would you receive “a fine” from the HOA? How could your flouting the HOA at work actually help to develop God’s real estate despite the fine you receive?

Surviving Heart Disease – Zechariah 12:10-13:1

Is there anything from last Sunday’s sermon from Zechariah (c. 520 BC) that you found particularly applicable to your thlife?

What are examples in music, TV, movies or elsewhere of American interest in survival?

Check out this video from Gloria Gaynor and/or Kelly Clarkson.

What is survival about for these women?

Here is another video of people in America preparing for survival.

What do these people want to survive from?

What had the prophet Zechariah’s audience survived from? (Hint: Zechariah prophesied in c. 520 BC during the Persian Period)

Zechariah by Michelangelo

Zechariah by Michelangelo

Read Zechariah 12:10

What does Zechariah see as an enduring survival issue for God’s people? What issue had they not overcome entirely despite surviving the exile?

Read Zechariah 13:1
What means of survival does God provide to deal with their enduring problem?

Read Acts 2:36-41

How is there a fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10-13:1 in Acts 2:36-41? Be specific and point out how different predictive elements of Zechariah are fulfilled in Acts.
Do you find it tempting to believe that you can kill the root of anxiety, anger, fear of others, social dysfunction, etc. by enduring your problems, white knuckling it?
How does survival of the heart disease of sin get healed by receiving rather than enduring?
How are you intentionally putting yourself in places to receive your survival needs through Jesus Christ?

Prayer Focus for Thailand – Sunday, February 8


Challenges for Prayer

Particularly needy groups of people include:

a) Children in crisis. Over one million children are estimated to be child labourers in Thailand. This includes 40,000 or even more sold into the sex trade as minors. Many are from minority or foreign backgrounds. All forms of labour usually entail backbreaking hours, minimal pay and subjection to all kinds of abuse and ill treatment. There are tens of thousands of homeless street children. Pray for all involved in reaching out to these tragic little ones.

b) HIV/AIDS sufferers. Thailand’s infection rate is Asia’s highest by far, with around 700,000 officially carrying the virus. The true figure could be double this. While the spread is being arrested by vigorous government actions, the combination of the ubiquitous trades in sex and drugs keeps new infection rates high. Churches must wake up to this crisis and minister love and life to the suffering and the bereaved.

c) Students are responsive to the gospel, but they also demonstrate openness to many harmful influences. YFC, TCS(IFES), CCCI and an indigenous movement called Yuwakrit see conversions and growth of groups on campuses. Evangelism and camps/retreats often receive enthusiastic spiritual response, but the large majority of the 1.3 million students remain unevangelized. Backsliding is a prominent challenge. Christian hostels for students, run by six agencies, prove valuable for discipling students.

d) Buddhist monks number over 300,000 and enjoy a highly regarded position of honour in Thailand. The monastic institution, however, has been troubled by some high-profile scandals and is targeted by Islamist insurgents in the south. Pray for Christian outreach to them – many are true seekers and open to the gospel.

e) Refugees. Thailand has long served as a haven for those fleeing upheaval in neighbouring countries. The most notable and needy are the 1.2 million refugees from Myanmar. Many are from persecuted minorities such as the Karen, Chin and Shan. Most are present illegally. These refugees face harsh exploitation, from dangerous manual labour to sex slavery. Pray for groups to reach out with compassionate, holistic ministry to these desperate peoples.

Of the 5.3 million Muslims, almost 80% are Malay speakers residing in the south. There are also Thai-speaking Muslims in most Thai provinces and 600,000 in Bangkok alone. Since 2004, the three provinces bordering Malaysia have experienced political tension, unrest and almost daily killings linked to Muslim insurgency. This is the only major Muslim population in Southeast Asia open for evangelism, yet after years of hard work, there are only a few small indigenous worshipping communities of former Muslims. The radicalization of Islam is affecting Thai Muslims and complicating outreach, and many seekers are held back by community pressures. Pray for local believers and for different agencies involved in outreach to Muslims in Thailand. Pray also for the Jawi Malay NT and Scripture portions and for a new BCC in Thai and Malay, all developed for Thai Muslims.


Obadiah – Reassuring the Rattled

Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (604 – 562 B.C.)

LEADER: Please choose 2-3 readers for the evening and print out copies of the following for all participants. Do not feel that you work through every question. Weigh which questions will be appropriate for your group. Take time to work through the questions the group is especially interested in or challenged by.

Read 2 Kings 25:1-12

• The Babylonian exile of the Southern Kingdom (or Judah) took place in 586 B.C.
• Obadiah was written after the Babylonian exile to address the injustices waged by the Edomites (a local nation) against Judah while they were being exiled.

Read Obadiah 1-16 – God Reassures the Rattled of Retribution

• Why would the survivors of the exile be rattled or unsettled because of the Edomites?
• Are you ever “rattled” when watching the news? Does seeing the mercilessness and pride of man unsettle you?
o How might praying after newscasts be a means of God’s reassurance of his retribution and grace?
o What are other ways you can be reassured by God of his fair retribution upon evil?
• How has God brought retribution to injustice through Christ’s death?
• How will God bring retribution to injustice at Christ’s return?

Martin Buber, a 20th century Jewish theologian, wrote of himself and Jewish people in general, “we will never recognize Jesus as the Messiah Come, for this would contradict the deepest meaning of our Messianic passion. In our view, redemption occurs forever, and none has yet occurred. Standing, bound and shackled…we demonstrate with the bloody body of our people the unredeemedness of the world. For us there is no cause of Jesus; only the cause of God exists for us.”
• How would you respond to Buber? How does Jesus’ work in the past and the future counter what Buber said?

Model of Second Temple
Model of Second Temple made by Michael Osnis

Read Obadiah 17-21 – God Reassures the Rattled of Restoration

• What are the four P’s? (Pe_ p _ _; Pl_ _ _; Pr_ s_ _ _ _; Pu_ _ o _ _)
• Where do you see the 4 P’s mentioned in Obadiah 17-21?
• Obadiah promised that one day Mount Zion would be made holy. Essentially he is prophesying the holy presence of God would yet be among his people in their own place for the purpose of their mission to be a light to the world.

Patrick Fairbairn wrote in his wonderful book The Interpretation of Prophecy that, “the prophets necessarily thought and spake of the future under the conditions of their own historical position; so that it was not the image of the future which threw itself back upon the past, but rather the image of the past which threw itself forward into the future – the things which were, and had been, gave their form to the things which were yet to be.”

Read 1 Peter 2:4-10

• Have you grasped that the church is the temple of the Holy Spirit?
• What has the Church done to earn or deserve such a gift?
• How does it matter that God’s people are the temple of the Holy Spirit? What difference does that make in life today?
• How would people’s truly grasping that the holy presence of God is within the Church change world politics?