June 22, 2020
Good morning, ANF! How was Sunday Corporate Worship for you yesterday? I just want to take a moment to appreciate everyone’s efforts to make it all happen. I missed being able to see all of your faces through Zoom, but I hope that it was a blessed and meaningful Sunday Corporate Worship for you nonetheless. Even though it might take some time for our church family to adjust to having Sunday Corporate Worship both in person and over livestream, as well as having offering time during commitment now, I hope that we can work together to have a meaningful time of worship every Sunday.
In many ways, our lives as Christians in this world can be seen as business trips that Jesus Christ has sent us on. Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, has sent us to Earth with a mission to share, and show, the Gospel, as well as to heal others through it.
Let’s not forget this original mission or be distracted by other things in the process. Instead, let’s live our daily lives as imitators of Jesus Christ who carry out the same missions that he did during his life. If each member makes efforts to build up his or her house church in love, and the house church functions properly as a result, I believe that house church will be the best place for our congregation to share, and show, the Gospel to our VIPs and to heal those who are physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually sick.
Following Sunday Corporate Worship yesterday, six people sent me their commitments and prayer requests via e-mail and text. I have copied some of their commitments below, in hopes that our ANF family might continue to encourage and motivate one another and be reminded of the message that God had given us yesterday:
– I commit to not losing my flavor (Matt 5:13-15). Please pray for revival, that souls would be saved and that sleeping saints would awaken.
– I want to think more about how I can preach the gospel and heal others in the world, and I want to act on it. Maybe I can brainstorm with my house church on how we can improve to fulfill these missions.
– I want to commit to revisit this message every day of this week. So, His word will build upon the message I’ve received today.
– I commit to not be a Sunday Christian but be a Jesus follower in my daily life. I commit to share the gospel to my VIP friends and to heal them by praying for them and listening to them.
– be more mission/Christ-minded in my perspective of the world and daily life.
– I commit to build up my house church together with my house church shepherd and members and will pray for them.
June 21, 2020
O LORD GOD,
Thou art my protecting arm,
fortress, refuge, shield, buckler.
Fight for me and my foes must flee;
Uphold me and I cannot fall;
Strengthen me and I stand unmoved, unmoveable;
Equip me and I shall receive no wound;
Stand by me and Satan will depart;
Anoint my lips with a song of salvation
and I shall shout thy victory;
Teach me to look to Jesus on his cross
and as to know sin’s loathsomeness in thy sight.
There is no pardon but through thy Son’s death,
no cleansing but in his precious blood,
no atonement but his to expiate evil.
Show me the shame, the agony, the bruises of incarnate God,
that I may read boundless guilt in the boundless price.
Blessed Lord Jesus, at thy cross
may I be taught the awful miseries from which I am saved,
ponder what the word ‘lost’ implies,
see the fires of eternal destruction;
Then may I cling more closely to thy broken self,
adhere to thee with firmer faith,
be devoted to thee with total being,
detest sin as strongly as thy love to me is strong.
And may holiness be the atmosphere in which I live.
(from the puritan’s prayer, the Valley of Vision, 182-183)
June 20, 2020
During bible study yesterday, our youth had some time to assess their church lives in seven different areas. Each of them were asked to give themselves a score ranging from one to five to the following questions: (1) How involved are you in your church? Do you contribute to the ministry of the church, or are you only a consumer? (2) In what areas do you serve your church? (3) How do you use your gifts and abilities to serve your church? (4) Do you have any negative attitudes or thoughts relating to your church? For this question, they gave themselves negative scores. (5) How connected are you to other people in your church? (6) How do you set a positive example for others in your church? (7) Does your involvement in the ministry of your church help display God’s love to the world?
In the end, one person received a B-, another received a C-, another received a D- and the remaining eight received a F. By doing so, they were able to learn of the importance of the church in following Jesus Christ, and they told me that they would try to do better from now on. I believe that this is enough for them at this point. I planted a seed in each of their hearts and plan to cultivate their hearts so that the seeds that I planted grow well. I am also interested in what your scores would be. I encourage you to take some time to assess your life within the church and in these seven areas as well.
June 19, 2020
Even though our church has decided to resume Sunday Corporate Worship in person starting this coming Sunday, June 21, 2020, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases continues to increase, and the risk of infection seems higher than ever before. For these reasons, it is crucial that EVERYONE follows the reopening guidelines strictly not only for themselves but also for the glory of God. In addition, please also stick to the following additional guidelines over the next couple of days:
(1) In your house church gathering tonight, take some time to read through the reopening guidelines together (https://anfdallas.org/sites/default/files/June%20ANF%20Reopening%20Guidelines.pdf). (2) Likewise, take some time to fill out the online poll, so that our preparation teams can have a better idea of the number of people planning to come worship in-person and the number of people planning on using the livestream option (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdMcK_f1fzWy8fDd4AzmsNPGVWUeRPzBszUvnMwfhwHZk-wSw/viewform). (3) If you decide to come to church for in-person Sunday Corporate Worship, please arrive at the building no earlier than 1:50 pm, 12:50 pm if you are a part of the praise or magnification teams, 1:30 pm if you are a part of the operation team that sanitizes the sanctuary or performs temperature checks.
Please do not come to church earlier than these times, in order to minimize the contact that you have with the attendees of KSC. KSC’s service ends around 12:40 pm. (4) If you decide to attend the livestream Sunday Corporate Worship because you have health-related concerns, or any other concerns, please log in to YouTube on time and sanctify, or devote, that time solely for worship. Do not do other things. Prepare your heart and yourself as if you were attending Sunday Corporate Worship in person as well. Did I forget to mention any other things? May our Father God guide us and make our church a God-pleasing church that remains steadfast to His original purposes for the church. Stay safe! I miss you all.
June 18, 2020
Romans 12:4-5 says “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” I think we could have a better understanding of its meaning from the following article. I want to re-emphasize the last sentence. That’s ANF, a fellowship of little people who together make God visible in the world.
Nothing is sweet or easy about community. Community is a fellowship of people who do not hide their joys and sorrows but make them visible to each other as a gesture of hope. In community we say: “Life is full of gains and losses, joys and sorrows, ups and downs—but we do not have to live it alone. We want to drink our cup together and thus celebrate the truth that the wounds of our individual lives, which seem intolerable when lived alone, become sources of healing when we live them as part of a fellowship of mutual care.”
Community is like a large mosaic. Each little piece seems so insignificant. One piece is bright red, another cold blue or dull green, another warm purple, another sharp yellow, another shining gold. Some look precious, others ordinary. Some look valuable, others worthless. Some look gaudy, others delicate. We can do little with them as individual stones except compare them and judge their beauty and value. When, however, all these little stones are brought together in one big mosaic, portraying the face of Christ, who would ever question the importance of any one of them? If one of them, even the least spectacular one, is missing, the face is incomplete. Together in the one mosaic, each little stone is indispensable and makes a unique contribution to the glory of God. That’s community, a fellowship of little people who together make God visible in the world. (Henri Nouwen, You Are the Beloved, 360)
June 17, 2020
Often times, when I ask people, “How can you live your life as a follower of Jesus Christ?”, they answer, “I will pray and read the Bible more.” If I am being honest, I am not a big fan of this answer. I am not saying that praying and reading the Bible are not important. However, we should not stop here, for these are our religious comfort zones. It is crucial that we make further steps to live transformed lives. Because of this, I asked our youth group last Friday during Bible study to perform three simple acts of love and kindness each day, after discussing what it meant to be followers of Jesus Christ. I also want to encourage you to practice three simple acts of love and kindness in your daily relationship with others. Read the Bible… Pray more… Then, what comes next? Think about it.
Below is an updated prayer request from Claire’s mother:
Good morning, Claire and I were at the hospital today for therapy, and the doctor said that she may have contracted a urinary tract infection (UTI). She has been suffering from diarrhea, and it seems that the bacteria from that may have moved and onset the UTI. Because of this, the doctor has advised that Claire be hospitalized for antibiotic injections. Such antibiotic injections require anywhere between seven and fourteen days of treatment. I am worried about Claire having to be hospitalized again, but I am doing my best to remain calm, since Claire is doing all that she can to fight through this battle. Please pray for Claire to heal quickly from this infection.