MFMC Blog - April 18,2017
Friday Jesus was the victim, Sunday Jesus was the victor! Sunday was an uplifting celebration of how Easter changes everything. Listen to the message on the sermon link part of our website. I mentioned two movies in my sermon and hope I didn't ruin them for you to watch. I recommend them both. My heart-felt thank you and deep appreciation to each of you who volunteered to make this a wonderful season of resurrection hope. Come out in the weeks ahead to see how the grace of Jesus works to save us and transform our personality. Learn with us how we now live in the Risen Way!
MFMC Blog - April 5, 2017
What do you think of when you celebrate communion? What do you feel as you hold the bread and the cup? Jesus transformed the commemoration of a cultural feast into the greatest memorial ever. The sermon message is available on our web site. We enjoyed celebrating this memorial last Sunday. It's a joy to see our youth serving communion. Thank you for being involved in you church. By the way, $759 was raised at the bake sale for the youth trip to the FM Youth Convention in July. It was a fantastic Sunday.
April 9 we look at Luke 22 - 23 to be inspired and challenged by the resolve of Jesus in going to the cross. Check out the passages and come to feel what Jesus endured through the many trials he went through on his last night of life. Remember, the Seder service in the evening at 6pm. Pastor Fain will enlighten us on the symbolism of the Jewish Seder Passover Meal and it's hidden meanings for followers of the Messiah Jesus Christ.
MFMC Blog - March 7, 2017
How you affirm the identity of Jesus impacts your life. This past Sunday we started Lent with a sermon series looking into the last week of Jesus life on earth. In the triumphal entry Jesus accepted the accolades of the crowd as King. Then he showed himself as a brokenhearted savior weeping over the people of Jerusalem. When he cleansed the temple we see the angry stern but judge. During this Lenten season we can start by letting Jesus ride into our life as the forgiving judge, the compassionate savior how loves us and as a life-giving king. Let Jesus ride into your life. Follow him as Lord.
You can listen to the message by a link on our website. Prepare yourself for next Sunday by reading Luke 20 and how the authority of Jesus was challenged. How we view his authority affects our decisions. Stretch your thinking and challenge your soul with our Lenten sermon series, Jesus: Our Atoning Savior.
MFMC Blog - February 22, 2017
God is One but multi-dimensional in the way he works. This goes without saying since he is the divine creator and ultimate being. This past Sunday we looked at Luke 11:14-28 where verse 14 says simply, "Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute." No big deal to Jesus! The crowd is amazed but it's a tough crowd. They question the motive of Jesus and some ask for more signs. Jesus responds by telling a couple of stories and reminding them that true blessing or happiness comes from hearing the word of God and obeying it (vs.28). The emphasis of Jesus is on the power of God and the presence of the Kingdom of God in their midst (vs.20). He stresses a unitive approach to life. It's not the supernatural sphere played off against the natural world. He reminds them that even their religious leaders were exorcising. Exorcisms vs. medicine or counseling. This is not a clinic on exorcism or fighting off demons. The work of evil in our world is something Jesus recognizes and so do we. But, his approach is not either/or. We're not even told how Jesus went about this healing. We are told Jesus heals and brings change physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually into the life of this mute man. Jesus restores a voice to marginalized man. Jesus conquers the evil which affected this man. And Jesus came to heal humanity from the ways evil affects each of us.
He calls us to pray for healing and work for healing of persons in a multi-dimensional approach. And we are reminded the glory of all healing, of all spiritual transformation goes to God. In Luke 10:17-20 the 72 disciples returned from apprenticeship work for Jesus. They and Jesus are filled with joy because they have displayed the power of God over the work of Satan and his demons. But, Jesus reminds them to not glory in their work but in the fact that their names are written in heaven.
Lesson to us, we pray and work in multi-dimensional ways against the broad spectrum of the evil one knowing that above all, no matter the results, we are thankful for the eternal saving grace of our Lord Jesus.
MFMC Blog - January 19, 2017
Does God care about our attitudes? Ephesians 4:20-24 tells us God does care. Philippians 2:5 implores us to have the same attitude as Jesus. What a model? What a life-goal? Looking closely at the narratives in Luke 9 we see that Jesus lays down the challenge of a new vision and of a new kingdom. In fact, God at the transfiguration tells the disciples and in effect the church which is us to "Listen to Jesus" instead of the old ways of the law and the prophets. Jesus teaches us the new Royal Law found in James 2:8-13 and Matthew 5:21-48. So, we look at Jesus and listen to what he says in how to live. Luke in chapter 9 says if Jesus is the Messiah or Lord Christ then we need to take up the cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23) and this includes our attitude. So, Jesus tells his disciples to have an attitude of servanthood toward their families, friends, and others in the church family. Jesus tells his disciples to have gracious tolerance toward followers of Jesus outside of our networks of faith. And Jesus tells his disciples to even be bridge-builders with those we consider hostile to our faith. Seriously? Seriously! Following Jesus has it's challenges and sometimes they are heavy crosses to bear. But we need to look forward not backward with our old thinking and excuses. God wants to do a new thing. Listen to him. The link to the sermon is on our website. By the way, if you missed the testimony by Dennis Frazier on January 8 you can listen to it on our website as well. Dynamite! Reminded us that Jesus is a friend of the desperate!
MFMC Blog - January 5, 2017
It's cold outside! So, it was great to see so many of you at Sunday worship for Christmas Sunday as well as New Year's Day Sunday. The singing at the combined services was powerful. It was fun to have some humorous, playful and yet insightful Skit Guy video clips included. CHISEL is a great theme for letting God work his grace in our life in 2017. This coming week we look at how God works desperation to celebration in our most desperate life situations. Read Luke 8:40-56 and come ready to receive encouragement. We'll have a testimony of God's sustaining strength from Dennis Frazier and we'll hear a mission update from Bethany Kanehen. "Faith is not for overcoming obstacles; it is for experiencing them - all the way through!" Richard Rohr.
And a big thank you for helping us raise almost $7000 for our Christmas Missions Offering. We want to be a church which is creating and nurturing transformative environments!
MFMC Blog - November 29, 2106
Our missionary to Rwanda, Julie Yerger, was with us on Sunday. It was great to get to know her better and she gave us a marvelous Thanksgiving message based on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. We heard how Julie and the hospital staff and clients are able to live this verse out in very trying circumstances. To hear their stories motivates us to pray for them, to give to missions and to live in this mode of joy-prayer and thanksgiving!
Join us this coming Sunday as we explore the following scripture in our Because of Bethlehem Advent message series. Pick up a book and get in one of the 5 study groups.
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of God. 2 Corinthians 4:6
MFMC Blog - November 22, 2016
2 Peter 2:19 says, "people are slaves to whatever has mastered them." Sunday past we looked at Luke 8:26-39 and came to realize the similarities between demonic oppression and addictive possession. I love how Jesus does not judge the man in this narrative but rather sets him free to be transformed from glory to glory. There is a spirituality of failure there. We come not in any goodness of our own to God but rather we come from our brokenness and failure. God wants to ultimately transform us not just informs us. Look at 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 to be encouraged by this beautiful vision and mission God has for us. We are ragdolls or ragamuffins as it were. But, God values us and sees us of inestimable worth! Jesus is the friend of the addicted. The true friend who loves us as we are and helps us become what God created us to be. Check out the rest of the message on our media player. We found out the message outline didn't get printed so contact the office if you'd like a PDF copy. Happy Thanksgiving! See you next Sunday to hear from our missionary Julie Yerger and to start lighting our Advent Candles.
MFMC Blog - November 15, 2016
My verse for this week is Psalm 46. A great Psalm to pray as we move into the post-election transition period in this great country. As always our hope is in the Lord as we use the mind and skills the Lord has endowed us. Jesus as a friend of the fearful and The Spirituality of Fear was what we looked at this past Sunday. Quite timely for many in our country this week as well. The Spirituality of Failure and Jesus as the friend of the addicted is where we will explore Luke 8:26-39 this coming Sunday. The drama troupe will be presenting in both services and the Youth Band will be playing at 10:30AM.
This is our season of generosity. Two of our musicians will be playing and I will be ringing the kettle bell for the Salvation Army at Fred Meyer this Friday, November 19th at noon. Come on by and say "Hi." The Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes are due back here this coming Sunday. The Mission Marketplace for Heavenly Treasures works miracles in social justice world-wide and this is the last Sunday it will be opened. The Emergency Cold Weather Shelter will be opening soon. These are several ways we pass on the love of God in our world. Thanks for your generous love expressed in prayer, giving , serving, and involvement.
MFMC Blog - October 18, 2016
MFMC Blog - October 11, 2016
MFMC Blog - October 4, 2016-
The books I recommend for reading this fall are: Beyond Loneliness, The Gift of God's Friendship by Trevor Hudson; and also a daily devotional Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. Remember, to order using the Amazon link. Thanks.
MFMC Blog - August 16, 2016 - What fun thing did you do this summer? I had fun trying out some new hikes, doing some home projects, and helping my grandkids try paddle boarding. Share your summer fun thing stories with me. it's good to take a vacation. Years ago I heard a well known pastor say he never missed a Sunday preaching at his church. i was amazed but bothered. It was a pride thing and I searched the bible and guess what? There is no commandment which says "Thou shalt not take a vacation". In fact the gospels only give us like 10% of the life of Jesus. The other 90% or so percent of his life is unknown to us. But we assume that he lived an ordinary life like you and me in relationship with his disciples and friends. Jesus showed us a healthy life-work balance as he did all to the glory of God. And he took breaks or vacations. In one of his most stressful times he didn't take out his stress on others or God the father. Rather, he took off and let nature replenish his flagging spirit. He came apart so he wouldn't come apart. And he did this often getting out into nature. Check out Mark 6:31 following the death of his cousin John the Baptist and a heavy season of life. "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Even in this process he ends up with the miracle of feeding 5,000. Our staff has been getting in their summer vacations and we are looking forward to the ministry opportunities of this coming fall. Our mission is to "Lead people to Jesus Christ and enfold them into a community of growing Christians." I hope you are rested up and looking forward to being involved in the marvelous work God wants to do through us here at MFMC. I am. We are.
To keep with the summer theme here is an Islander prayer from Melanesia.
Be the canoe that holds me up in
the sea of life;
Be the rudder that keeps me in
the straight road;
Be the outrigger that supports me
in times of temptation,
Let your Spirit be my sail that
carries me through each day.
Keep my body strong, so I can
paddle steadfastly on
in the voyage of life. Amen.
MFMC Blog - July 12, 2106 - I listened to Marquis Laughlin present a solo dramatic recitation of Revelation 12-22 this past Sunday in our worship services. I imagined how followers of Jesus have listened to these words through out the centuries. The blessed promise of Revelation 1:3 coming true in the encouragement received in the face of persecution. No matter the tragedies which come and the trials we face God triumphs in the end! The garden is reestablished an incredible incomprehensible new city is built and the banqueting table is set for eternity! Keep on trusting and keep on trekking. The Grace of Jesus is with you just as it has been with his followers through out the centuries. Amen and A-men!
MFMC Blog - July 5, 2016 - God's Politics involve what is best for people. The actions of Jesus speak louder than bible stories or Jesus sayings. When Jesus said that we had to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength he was making sure that we understood that love is more than belief. Love is shown. Love is action. God is personal but not private. The life of Jesus becomes our filter to process our thoughts and actions and views. In this process we form our views and opinions. Just remember don't trade your influence for winning an argument over your opinion. We are fortunate to live in a great nation where your vote counts and your vote is more important than you opinion. So be a disciple/learner. Be a student and not a critic. Be an inluencer for Jesus. Be salt and light and make love a verb. Think, Pray, Vote!
Next Sunday Marquis Laughlin is presenting the Book of Revelation. Come and listen and be blessed.
MFMC Blog - June 28, 2016 - God is extravagant and generous with his WORD! On Sunday June 26 we started a summer preaching series on THE GREATEST STORIES JESUS TOLD! Matthew 13 is a unique chapter in the bible. Some scholars say there are up to 7 parables within it. Parables are the way Jesus chose to bring a twist of freshness and insight into our hearts and minds. Each of our pastors will be bringing a sermon on a parable through the summer Sundays. You will be blessed by the variety of our teaching team.
Next Sunday is the 4th of July holiday weekend and I'll be preaching on the topic of God's Politics. How does the life of Jesus in whom we see what God would like us to know about himself inform our views on politics. Come ready to think and grapple with some theological and biblical material and ideas.
Mark July 10 on your calendar and plan to join in hearing the latter part of the book of Revelation presented in dramatic fashion by Marquis Laughlin. "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near." Revelation 1:3
MFMC Blog February 7, 2016
On this super bowl Sunday we tackled a big topic as we wrapped up our 6 week series on Honest Questions Thinking Christians Ask. The question was: "What does the Church teach about Homosexuality?" Our denominational answer is that we are welcoming but non-affirming. We follow the words of Jesus in John 13:34 -35 and of the Apostle Paul in Romans 13:10 and we work at loving our neighbor whoever they be.
If you would like to read what our bishops have written on this topic you might want to go to www.fmcusa.org.
If you would like some additional papers to read and ponder please let me know and I'll be glad to share some copies with you. In life we acknowledge God as love, as creator, who calls us as fallen creation to redemption and comes alongside us in the walk of transformation through the power of love, his very essence.
A few resources for reading might include:
Straight & Narrow by Thomas E. Schmidt
Homosexuality and the Church by Richard F. Lovelace
Same-Sex Partnerships by John Stott
if you want to tackle a heavy duty search into the interpretation of key bible texts here are two hefty volumes you need to read for sure. Good Reading.
The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics by Robert A.J. Gagnon
Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views by Robert A.J. Gagnon
November 17, 2015
The work of God is growing in Asia and we were blessed to hear about this from Eric Spangler our Asia Area Free Methodist Missions Director this past Sunday. Check the sermon archive section if you would like to hear his message. As you participate in ministry here at MFMC you build a strong base. This base allows us to support and partner with people like Eric to invest in local leaders and churches around the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. Thank you for what you do and your regular giving.
We start to look at our Advent season this coming Sunday with a sermon series on The Point of Christmas in Awkward Bible Stories!
Also, we pray for peace in our world. We pray for Paris and the families of those who suffered injury and death in the recent terrorist acts. I have family travelling through France this week and we have a former church member who with his family lives and works in Paris. So , this situation is of deep concern. We cast all our cares upon God who cares for us and trust in Philippians 4:6-7 for God's transcending and sustaining peace.
November 10, 2015
What a great job pastor Greg Zook did in his sermon this past Sunday as he taught on Humility as the Key to Leadership. In my humble opinion. OK enough fun. Some excellent points are: Share your mistakes as teachable moments; engage in dialog not debates; embrace uncertainty; role model being a follower. We continue with mission focus with Eric Spangler here next Sunday. Eric is our Asia Area Missions Director. God is at work in your life and all over the world.
November 3, 2015
God promises that the glory of his present care, love and strength are with us no matter what. When we feel that God should do something about this or that we can look at John 11 and the story of Lazarus and remember the promise of Jesus. God entered the human experience and knows just what we feel in these times. Jesus recognized illness, death and grief. I've actually heard pastors pray for resurrection of the dead based on this story of Lazarus. How misled they are. The purpose of that narrative was so the glory of God through Jesus might be seen and attested to in those times and in our times of grief as we trust in Jesus. During disasters when people scornfully ask, "Why doesn't God do something about that? or Why doesn't God do something about this?" You can answer: I don't know why God doesn't do something about that or this. That's why he is God. But, based on scripture, I do know that God can do anything God wants to do. I know that God sometimes waits to influence and do what God desires through us. And above all I know I can trust God no matter what!
October 27, 2015
Making a difference is the encouraging message from Acts 11:19-26 given to us from our superintendent matt Whitehead this past Sunday. At MFMC you are making a difference to our community. You responded with extravagant generosity to the need for fencing due to fire damage for three ranchers in our Oroville FM church. A few of you went over to help on work parties and to worship with the brothers and sisters there. You threw a grand Harvest Carnival for disAbled adults at the beginning of October. You are providing Awana cost free to kids. You are giving for Thanksgiving baskets via Fred Meyer gift cards. You are filling Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. You are signing up to ring the kettle bell for Salvation Army. And you're giving to our Christmas Offering. Along the way you are praying and showing the love of Jesus. You are Making a Difference.
October 20, 2015
Kudos to pastor Greg Kanehen on being named a Family Values recipient by the local ward of the church of the Latter Day Saints. Yes, this is the Mormon Church. Part of Greg's role has been to forge partnerships and alliances in our community for the greater good of the church and the Kingdom of God. We call this missional and though we differ on certain beliefs we agree on worship of God the father and the call of Jesus Christ to love God and others as self. The Lord has been working through our corporate efforts as we working hand in hand with many churches in Marysville.
Join our Marysvillefmc group at Faithlife.com and we'll start discussing the messages and any other conversations you'd like to engage in. This week we reflect on the message from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 when God says or implies NO as an answer to prayer. I know a lot of people think God never says NO. Well, has the answer to your prayers always been Yes or maybe later? What do you think.
Remember the WALK OF STRENGTH AT MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK HIGH SCHOOL at 10:20am this coming Saturday, October 24. Gates open at 9AM and program at 10:20 to reflect on the horrific tragedy of a year ago. Help plant 10,000 Tulip bulbs to remind us of new hope and life! See you there.
October 13, 2015
Enlarge your view of who God is! God is not silent when God is absent. Your circumstances do not define God's care for you. The life script of John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, shows us these truths. Jesus even tells these truths to his cousin. What painful but maturing lessons to learn from the life of this great prophet John the baptizer. Let's look at JB's life and beyond our circumstances to not get hung up on what Jesus does or doesn't do in our life as we continue to walk and trust God daily in whatever we are going through.
October 5, 2015
God is our ROCK! God is our BIG ROCK! We seek God and his kingdom first when we prioritize his lead and his action in our life (Matthew 6:33). A kingdom is a government. And a government leads and rules and acts. When we seek the kingdom of God we seek the lead, rule and action of God in our daily life. Check out the sermon from last Sunday. Like the illustration of "Rocks, pebbles and sand" when we put the BIG ROCKS in first you allow for productivity. Productivity is still up to you. And you may not get everything on your "To-Do" list done in a particular day. But, I guarantee you will feel the blessing and joy of getting the big stuff done. It will also be easier to say "yes" and "no" to the urgent "pebbles" and the "sand" activities which can often crowd out the important. Hey, and this big rock is prayer done early in the morning. Just praising God and praying for his presence, power, provision, protection, pardon, prioritization of your schedule, and the same for the people you pray for. Then follow up with reading scripture following some plan and listening to the promptings which follow. It only takes a few minutes each morning but it will change how you "number you days so that God will give you a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). Don't add more to your day. Just put the BIG ROCK in first. Try this throughout October and let me know how it's going. Best to you.
September 29, 2015
Loosen your grip. Tighten your belt. Open your hand. This a vivid picture of how the early "believers were one in heart and mind." (Acts 4:32-35). They enlarged their giving beyond duty to devotion to one another. Giving sacrificially to people in their group of people who alongside them were following Jesus. Thank you for your giving to MFMC as your church family. And thank you for your giving to needs which arise where we can help fellow brothers and sisters in crisis. The wildfires in central Washington threatened our church in Tonasket but did not damage it. However, we did learn of some cattle ranchers who attend and lead in our Oroville FM Church who lost cattle and fence line. Thanks for giving for fence supplies. Also, a group from MFMC and Arlington FMC will be going up in October to help put up new fence line. I love our church in the way we connect, the way we serve, the way we share, the way we give, and the way we love God as we love one another.
September 22, 2015 "You are the salt of the earth and you are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men, that they many see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:13-16. Not advice but a charge from our leader, savior, Lord God, and King, Jesus. We each have a different variety of salt and a distinct kind of light. So, shake the salt out of the saltshaker this week and shine the light! Next Sunday I invite you to come hear what God is doing in Asia.
September 15, 2015 Thank you to Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith for sharing his story with us this past Sunday. Pray for Rick and our first responders. This coming Sunday we look at seasoning and shining. We love Jesus and his bride, the church, as we live like Salt and Light. Come get saltier and brighter! By the way our fall Sunday schedule starts this week. Kids will join us in singing at 10AM then head down to a new program for this Fall quarter called Jesus Rangers. Look for the Ranger escorts!
September 8, 2015 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." (Matthew 14:16). Listen. Since Sunday have you heard our Lord calling you to do something you can do for his Kingdom and trust him to do what only he can do? This is how you grow your confidence in God. It's stretching your faith muscle. You'll look back someday and say, "I didn't think I could but I offered God what I had and let me tell you what he did." Listen. This coming Sunday listen to our police chief encourage the church to face challenges!
September 1, 2015 Autumn is in the air. What a wind storm we had on Saturday. Changes visible and felt! Same at church. This month we start to develop some new family and children's ministries at church. Greg and Dawn Zook are leading this development along with Heather Lundberg and a team of volunteers. Find out how you can be part of giving this ministry new visibility and feel as we reach out to families with children.
August 25, 2015 Our vision is to creatively lead people to Christ and embrace them into a community of growing Christians. We do our vision by creativng environments to develop passion for Christ, His call, His community , and His causes. In the next few weeks the fall ministries get rolling, the two service schedule starts up and more discipleship growth activities get going. It's an exciting time with several changes. No matter how things change our vision remains constant and I invite you to give me your feedback. What have you enjoyed in the summer worship? What would you change? Let me know. Thanks!
August 18, 2015 Happy Anniversay to my in-laws Don and Georgia Anderson on their 65th anniversary. A loving long-term relationship like this is something to celebrate! This coming Sunday we'll look at How to love my church and experience its fullness. Coincidently, I just read that a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that joining a religious group could do more for someone’s “sustained happiness” than other forms of social participation, such as volunteering, playing sports or taking a class. So, check it out on Sunday. See you then.
August 12, 2015 I recently read this poem and thought to pass it on. It reminds me of our call to follow Jesus and live for him in our being and our doing. Whose you are and what you do are important. Song of the Builders by Mary Oliver On a summer morning I sat down on a hillside to think about God - a worthy pastime. Near me I saw a single cricket; it was moving the grains of the hillside this way and that way. How great was its energy, how humble its effort. Let us hope it will always be like this, each of us going on in our inexplicable ways building the universe.