Lent 2020 – Kneeling in Prayerful Dependence on God

At the start of the year our vision sermon laid out four habits that we desire to grow in for our church body to be healthy.  We would like to become a church that 1) Worships authentically, 2) Prays dependently, 3) Serves powerfully and 4) Dies to ourselves daily.

To help us make progress in those habits, some of the methods in Justin Earley’s book, The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction have been greatly helpful for some in our church body.  During Advent season, a purposeful goal of reading Scripture before looking at our phone screens helped many begin the day with a new focus. 

Now, during the upcoming Lent season, we as a church would like to turn to another daily habit found in The Common Rule.  During the forty days of Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, we are going to commit to kneeling in prayer three times a day, in the morning, afternoon, and night.  This is a part of what Earley calls “building the trellis of habit,” which allows our growth as Christians to be fruitful and productive, not misguided and disoriented.

We do two things when we kneel in prayer three times per day.  The first is that we bookend our day in the company of God, and when we frame our time by being in conversation with the Lord, we are focusing our hearts and minds on the most important thing possible. The second is in the physical act itself.  When we kneel in prayer, we are making a conscious decision to stop whatever it is we are doing (reading, watching TV, corralling children) and stating that the most important thing for us is to be still and know that God is God (Isa. 46:10).

There are three easy ways to start this habit:

  1. Use written prayers – reading what someone else has already written can help the words start to flow.  Reading a Psalm or something from the Book of Common Prayer.
  2. Alarms and reminders – if you find focus and remembering to pray difficult, use your phone as a tool, not a distraction!
  3. Praying with the body – when we kneel to pray, we are marking the moment with physicality and humility.  If kneeling is physically challenging or you are in public, try gently turning up your palms, setting your hands on your knees, or walking to a window.

During this season on the church calendar that prepares us for Easter, our prayer is that we become ever more dependent upon God to sustain and deepen our relationship with him.  

Below is a video from Justin Earley explaining the daily habit of kneeling prayer.

How to Pray a Prayer of Lament

This Sunday we started at 6-week series on the book of Lamentations. Although every Christian goes through periods of grief or profound sadness, we are pretty unpracticed with the biblical concept of lament. In this series we’re going to see how a four-step process frames the idea of faithful lament. Each of these are necessary to turn raw and powerful emotion into worship of a wonderful God.

TURN to God in prayer. Just by going to God with our grief, we are doing something distinctly Christian. It says that, no matter the sheer weight of emotion we feel, we are going to approach God with our fear or anxiety, not run to something else. When looking at Psalms of lament or Lamentations itself, it might be easy to miss this first step. But typically, just the very act of writing a prayer illustrates the turn to God the author took in the first place. When we turn to God, we are rehearsing an ancient biblical practice of faithfulness even in trials.

COMPLAIN to God about the effects of sin and brokenness. Complaining to God sounds a bit contradictory to what we’re taught about him. Who are we to complain to our sovereign God, the one who sent his Son to die for us? But a complaint is not simply whining about our situation. It is bringing to our Lord and Father something which is causing great distress in our lives. It is to say that we are feeling the effects of sin and our fallen world in a very specific way. Our complaint might be the loss of a job, or a recent medical diagnosis. It could be a family member’s death, or the rejection of Jesus by someone we love. But the common thread of lament is the proclamation to God that something is wrong and broken in our lives, and we need him desperately.

ASK for God to bring healing and wholeness. If God desires children who are bold enough to bring complaints, he surely expects them to ask for him to help them as well. By requesting to God that he heal our pain or cure our sickness, we lay bare the fact that we cannot fix our situation on our own. By asking for God’s help, we are confessing our own weakness. It is a realization that, in our human brokenness, we are utterly dependent upon a God who is capable where we are not.

TRUST that God will fulfill his promise and stay true to his character. As Mark Vroegrop says (and more on him below), if you never get to the trust part, you’ve only been really sad for a certain time. Trust in God means that we believe what God says about himself and what he will do. This is where we as readers in 2020 have a huge advantage, even over the authors of the OT books. When David or Solomon wrote their prayers of lament, they trusted that God would deliver them in some form, a Messiah who would redeem Israel. But over 2,000 years later, we as Christians know exactly how God’s promise was fulfilled. It was in the person of Jesus Christ, sent by God to live and die and rise again. He was (and still is!) the great hope for all of God’s people, and we can say today that we trust in God’s promises and his character because we have already seen it come through in the biggest way- through the Messiah himself.

We wrapped up this week’s sermon with a lament prayer of our own. In it we turned to God because we have nowhere else to God, complained to God about the brokenness felt in our world and in our own lives, asked God to be near from us in our pain, and trusted in the grace we have already experienced through Jesus.

A Prayer of Lament

Oh Lord our God,
To you we cry out,
To you we run,
For where else would we go?

We feel the weight of our broken world,
Through wars, famines, and disasters,
In injustice, hatred, and oppression.
The nations desperately need your deliverance.

We weep at our own brokenness
For the guilt, shame, and pain we feel
Weighed down by sin, held back by fear
We mourn our distance from you.

Be near to us, Oh God
Remember not our sin or failures
Reveal your Kingdom to our hearts and our community
Restore us to an awareness of your presence.

But, we have experienced your grace
And we will experience your restoration
Through your atoning death our sins are forgiven
And in your return we will be made whole.


Finally, a very helpful resource used in preparation for this series was Mark Vroegop’s Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy, published earlier this year. Mark is a pastor in Indianapolis, and he wrote the book after preaching through Lamentations and the lament prayers from Job and Psalms. He also gave a talk at the 2019 TGC National Conference, which is a great audio resource on the topic of lament. In both the book and the podcast, he walks through the concept of Turn, Complain, Ask & Trust, so that we can become more proficient at this ancient and faithful Christian practice.

The Common Rule

Last Sunday we preached our vision sermon for 2020 focusing on how being a healthy church will naturally flow out of it having healthy members.  That sermon is linked here. One of the things we discussed was the daily and weekly habits proposed by Justin Earley in his book, The Common Rule.  In it he offers eight habits, either daily or weekly, that would help us to find clarity and purpose when things like distraction and “busy-ness” feel so overwhelming.  

The Habits of  The Common Rule  (IVP)

We don’t necessarily recommend tackling all eight of these habits at once, but just adding one to your rhythm and seeing how God uses it to speak to you in a new, powerful way.  At his website, Justin offers a short video explanation on each of the eight habits he wrote about, if you would like to know more. We pray that we become a people driven by gospel intentionality and purpose, and that our church grows out of the health of its people in the 2020 and the years beyond it.

Resources for Advent, 2019

December 1st marks the beginning of Advent. Advent (taken from the Latin for “arrival,” or “coming”) is the annual time in the church calendar where we look back to the first coming of Christ on Christmas and forward to the second coming of Christ when He fully consummates His Kingdom.

As a church we are prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit to orient our hearts away from religious activities that only create the appearance of godliness (2 Timothy 3:5), and towards an authentic and life-transforming worship of Jesus as the King of Kings. Our hope is that over the course of the twenty-five days of Advent we can collectively participate in two formative practices that will serve to orient our affections towards Jesus. The practices are:

Scripture Before Phone
For most of us, our day begins by reaching for our phone first thing, checking texts, email, news, and social media. This habit has a formative practice of its own, training us to find worth/value/significance in the messages that our phone sends us. But our souls have a far greater need to hear from Jesus. So, as a church family we are going to commit to reach for our Bibles every morning before we touch our phone. This discipline will remind us that what God says about Himself (and about us) is far more important as we begin our day.

An excellent resource on this practice is Justin Earley’s book, The Common Rule. He has put together many helpful resources on “Scripture Before Phone” that can be accessed on his website, including a short summary of the practice, and a video explaining why the discipline is important.

The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, by John Piper
We have purchased a copy of John Piper’s book, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy for each household in our church (so make sure to grab one Sunday!). This short devotional has a reading for each day of Advent and only takes a few minutes to read aloud. Our hope is that we would read these devotionals over a meal (with your children, roommates, or coworkers) as a daily reminder of why Christmas is so significant. If you would prefer an electronic copy one can be dowloaded for free here.

As I mentioned above, our hope is that every person in our church family would participate in these two practices this Advent season, so that we can collectively experience the joy of Christmas in a fresh way. Let us all be praying that our church would not be a place with the mere “appearance of godliness,” or a place where we only “play church,” but rather that we would be a people transformed and strengthened by the authentic grace of Jesus.

October 2019 Baptism

On October 13th we celebrated God’s work through a baptism! The sacrament of baptism is a powerful testimony to God’s work in our hearts, whereby we make an external proclamation of an internal transformation. You can watch the service here.

Halloween Cotton Candy Outreach 2019

It’s almost time for our annual Halloween cotton candy outreach! This event has become a staple for our church that we have been doing for 6 years now. If God can speak through Balaam’s donkey in the Old Testament, He can speak through cotton candy in our neighborhoods!

This year we will have 5 host houses, in and around Falcon and Colorado Springs. This outreach works best with volunteers who will commit to a few hours of their Halloween night making cotton candy, handing out warm drinks, and connecting with the families that come by.

Halloween Cotton Candy Houses

12671 Longview Park Lane

9641 Beryl Drive

14248 Woodrock Path

7587 Forest Valley Loop

3929 Topsail Drive

If you would like to volunteer please click the house link above and sign up for a time or let us know by emailing info@missiodeifalcon.org.

If you would like more information on why missio Dei chooses to engage Halloween please read our blog post from a few years ago.

Fourth of July Celebrations

On July 4th, missio Dei: Falcon will be celebrating the holiday with a softball game and picnic. Everyone is welcome to play softball from 9:00a-11:00a at Falcon Regional Park (located right past Falcon High School on Eastonville Road). After softball, we will have a picnic at 12:00p at Longview Park (located in North Meridian Ranch). Bring a side dish to share. Above all, this is a great opportunity to invite your friends and neighbors to who might not know Jesus. Please RSVP at one of these links for Softball and Picnic.

The community of Falcon is having its 14th annual Falcon Freedom Days on Saturday, June 29th. This festival is filled with music, food, family fun activities, and a firework show at the end of the evening. Therefore, this is a great way for our church to love our community by handing out free cotton candy, water, and invite cards. If you would like to help serve in our booth, let us know at info@missiodeifalcon.org.

Check out our Calendar for other events this summer!

Summer Discipleship Series

This summer we are taking a break from our regular Discipleship Collectives, but we still want to engage those who have been aching to dive into more topical studies. Our church is blessed with many in the body who have gifts of teaching and we are turning a few of them loose this summer to help better equip us. The Summer Discipleship Series is also a great way for individuals in our DCs to meet and study with other people from different DCs. Below you will find a line up of four classes. Take some time to read through them and then sign up quickly because classes begin in June.

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”

Charles Spurgeon

Grace Marriage (COUPLES ONLY)

Grace Marriage aims to simplify your life by making space to be intentional and strategic in your marriage. This class will help you connect with each other, withdraw from outside stress to find peace and clarity, and be encouraged in grace. It will give you the time to think and plan which brings hope and change. Enjoying your marriage is such a gift to yourselves and others and bringing the Lord glory through that relationship is our goal! This course will focus heavily on the conversations between spouses.

  • Led by Tim and Louise Bettelli – Tim works for Focus on the Family and Louise writes for Grace Marriage. They both feel passionate about marriage and want to see healthy marriages thrive to bring glory to God. They have been married for 13 years and have 4 children.
  • 6 Weeks
  • Wednesdays @ 6-8pm (minus July 4th) – Starting June 5th

Adorned: Living out the Beauty of the Gospel Together (WOMEN ONLY)

Have you longed for growth, community, and influence God designed us to have in the church and the world? Let’s come together to understand the vital model found in Titus 2 of older women living out the gospel and training younger women to do the same. In company with other women is how we learn to thrive, how we are Adorned with the beauty of Christ, and how we live out the gospel together.

  • Led by Marleen Bensburg – I have known the pleasure of having older women who influenced my life and greatly encouraged me along the way. Cass and I have been married for going on 43 years and together we have raised two sons who now are both married. While being a mother and homemaker, I went to school part-time and became an elementary school teacher for 20 years. Throughout the years I have been graced by the company of many women who I have been within Bible study and fellowship. My chief joy has come from working with younger women. After retirement, I was able to care for my aging mother for the last 5 years in our home and see her off to her eternal home. Once again, as the Lord gives opportunity, I want to continue in the charge that has been given me as an older woman to be in a nurturing community with women.
  • 6 Weeks
  • Tuesdays @ 7pm – Starting June 4th

Conquer Series: The Battle Plan for Purity (MEN ONLY)

The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic study containing biblical teaching and proven principles to help men conquer their struggles with sexual sin and begin to walk in freedom. Dr. Roberts—along with other experts featured in this study—takes men through a journey of discovery, laying out spiritual strategies, presenting scientific facts, and teaching practical steps that every man can take to enjoy a life free from the bondage of sexual sin. Whether you are struggling now, have struggled before, or are seeking to be equipped to help other men who are struggling, join us for a worthwhile study!

  • Led by Josh Katib – Josh is a Registered Psychotherapist in the state of Colorado and soon-to-be graduate of the Master of Arts Counseling program from Colorado Christian University. He has completed training through the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy (AASAT) for Sex Addiction and Intimacy Anorexia, and holds a certificate in Motivational Interviewing—a modality of addiction counseling. Having walked through his own process of recovery, Josh is passionate about empowering other men undertaking their own journey by teaching biblical and clinical truths which will arm them to stay the course.
  • 6 Weeks
  • Mondays @ 6-8pm – Starting June 10th

More Than Conquerors: Being a Spiritual Overcomer

This is a class on practical spiritual warfare, aimed at helping the serious Christian know how to recognize, address and defeat Satan’s schemes in their lives. We will aim at solid, practical, real-life application of scriptural truth, rather than just traditional theories, pat generalities, or “nice” phrases often heard in conventional Christian circles. Most Christians who hunger for a deeper experience of the miraculous power that Jesus promises us in John 14:12-14 don’t yet realize our full identity as His empowered saints, or who we really are in Him.  We will deal with how to function in our real Spiritual IDENTITY, how to understand and use our God-given AUTHORITY, how to recognize, confront, and deal with the ploys of our ENEMY, (SATAN). We will touch on questions of demonic forces and how to overcome them (and how to minister demonic deliverance when needed), and how to walk in spiritual victory in our own lives. Bring your Bible and expect to use it. Some homework and Biblical preparation expected throughout the week.

  • Led by Dr. Bruce and Judy Fowler – Bruce and Judy have ministered together as missionaries (Puerto Rico, South America, Africa) as well as having been professional counselors and seminary teachers in many Asian and Latin American countries and contexts.  They have dealt with severe abuse situations, major psychotic dysfunctions, marriage and family issues, addictive and compulsive behaviors, and many other psychological, and spiritual problems. Bruce, an ordained minister since 1966, and psychologist for the State of Oregon for seven years has attended mission Dei with his wife Judy for about a year and a half.  “Our passion is Scripture, our priority is people, and our basic credential is Jesus’ Holy Spirit.”
  • 6 Weeks
  • Mondays @ 7pm – Starting June 3rd

Signup here today!

Ladies Forum

Hello! We are so excited to personally invite you to the upcoming missio Dei Ladies’ Forum. We have been praying for you individually, by name, as we prepare and count down the days to this event. I know women’s ministry gatherings like these can stir up the full range of emotions. I certainly want to acknowledge those feelings, but I also want to cast our vision and our prayer for this night.

Our single aim is the exultation of Christ and His magnificent Gospel proclaimed in Scripture; a gospel that transforms hard hearts and renews minds, brings weary, worn out women rest, speaks adoption as daughters, and unites us with Christ because of the glorious cross. This is an evening where we will gather and be reminded of the great and glorious hope to which we have been called. We have been saved out of the domain of darkness and sent out to proclaim his marvelous light!

I can’t wait to dive into our church and Discipleship Collectives’ vision statement together. As disciples of Christ we encounter Jesus in his Word and we are transformed. As disciples of Christ we experience Jesus’ love for us through his body, the church. As disciples of Christ we engage the work of Jesus through relational mission and discipleship. This Ladies’ Forum is not about me or you or making a name for our church. This Ladies’ Forum is all about Jesus!!

Come be a part of this special evening on Saturday, June 1st; an evening that is centered on and grounded in the person and work of Jesus! So…I am inviting YOU! Will you join us? You are not alone, you are valued, and you are so loved because Jesus loves you and desires a relationship with you. There is a place for you and your friends at the table. Please join us! We can’t wait!

Love you ladies!
Kellie Schultz (with Melody Mondragon and Jess Renaud)

Click here to sign up.

Please RSVP by May 18th
Date: Saturday, June 1, 2019
Time: 6:00 pm open house dessert, event 6:30-8:30 pm
Location: Woodmen Hills Elementary
*There will be no formal childcare provided for this event. Nursing babies are always welcome!

Resources for Studying Malachi

We desire to be a place where we can gather to encounter the person of Jesus through the transforming study of His Word, and to that end the vast majority of our sermons are verse-by-verse studies through whole books of the Bible. On May 19th we will begin a seven week study of the book of Malachi, and in order to glean as much from this amazing book as possible we want to share some additional resources. Our ultimate authority should always be the written Word of God, the Bible, but secondary literature can help to expand our knowledge and understanding of what was written. This will fuel our love of the Bible when we devote time to comprehend it better. Below is a compiled list of secondary literature about the book of Malachi that speaks to this fascinating prophetic book.

  • As an overview of the book of Malachi, The Bible Project has a great video, you can watch here.
  • Additionally, Nancy Guthrie talks with Lee Gatiss about how to teach the book of Malachi in a podcast interview. She also provides additional audio and written resources on Malachi.
  • Peter Adam wrote an amazing commentary on Malachi and I would highly encourage you to spend some time reading it! You can purchase it here.

Let’s all be in prayer for our church that this study would be used by the Holy Spirit to grow our affection for God and His Word, and enable us to better proclaim His truth to our neighbors!

October 2018 Baptisms

Partnership

Partnership is a way for people who consider missio Dei to be their home church to assume greater ownership of the vision and mission. Our next partnership classes will be September 16th and 23rd from 1-3p.

If you have questions about what partnership is please feel free to email us at info@www.missiodeifalcon.org, or if you would like to sign up for the class, please RSVP here.

Elder Leadership Team

One of our theological distinctives as a church is that we are elder-led. This means that our understanding of Scripture is that the church is to be led by a group of men who are called to serve the church by modeling servant leadership after the example of Jesus.

In May we introduced three new elder candidates to the church, and we are now excited to say that each of these men is now fully functioning as an elder in our church. Please continue to pray for our elders and their wives as they shepherd and lead us in faithfulness to the Gospel-call Jesus has placed on our church. The elders (and their wives) are:

  • Chad Mondragon (Melody)
  • Jeff Otero (Jill)
  • Mark Schultz (Desiree)
  • Kolburt Schultz (Kellie)
  • Don Ziel (Cathy)

 

You can find the recording of the announcement of their candidacy period below.

Volunteering at missio Dei: Falcon

In order to have our weekly gatherings in an elementary school we need of volunteers for coffee, worship, missio: Kids, tech, set up, and tear down.  If you aren’t currently serving it’s a great way to use your gifts and get connected to other volunteers!  You can sign up by clicking here.

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Baptism Service: Updated

The following is some important information regarding next Saturday, May 9th.  We will be having our Church’s first baptism service and will be meeting at a different time and location.  So, please help spread the word to anyone you know who might be coming to church next week regarding the following:
1. We will meet an hour earlier: 5:00.
2. Due to weather concerns we have moved the location and will now be gathering at Grace Community Church.
3. The address is 9475 Grace Church Vw., Falcon, CO 80831.
4. We will not be meeting at Woodmen Hills Elementary.  This is the important part to spread the word on, we don’t want any of our friends showing up at the wrong location!
5. We will celebrate the baptisms by sharing a meal as a church after the service!  The church will provide pizza and salad for everyone (including a few gluten free pizzas), but if you have any more specific dietary needs feel free to bring your own dish.
Finally, and most importantly, if you would like to be baptized please contact Kolburt.  As we’ve mentioned, there is no such thing as an unbaptized Christian in the Bible, so if you love Jesus and have not been baptized this is an important demonstration of your faith.  We are told in Matthew 28 to go make disciples (followers) of Jesus, and how do we know who is a disciple? It is someone who has been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  This is a wonderful, joyous, sacrament that the Church has celebrated for thousands of years, and we’re so excited for our community to participate in this act!