Work was a part of Adam and Eve's glorious calling; by it, God's glory, beauty, and justice would fill the world, and fill every heart with awe, forever.
The question is, why didn’t things turn out this way?
Every month or so, our GraceNotes blog will review and recommend a book that we hope will enrich our souls, edify our lives, and compel us to be a community on mission. The series kicks off with a review of The Meaning of Marriage by Dr. Timothy Keller.
Maranatha Grace’s MG Reach ministry sent a team to Romania this week to serve alongside a missionary family we partner with. Please continue to pray for the team as they continue to serve and make their way back to the states.
Continue reading for an update from Pastor Jon Anzardo on behalf of the team.
This week, the ladies of Maranatha Grace Church will spend a weekend away at the Solid Rock Day Camp in West Milford, NJ. Come with us. As you take a step of faith and open yourself up to the preaching of God’s Word and open yourself up to the other ladies, you may find yourself so relieved afterwards that you didn’t miss it.
Once again, by God's good graces, Maranatha members are hard at work on the mission field in Buff Bay, Jamaica, serving a church and community we've had the pleasure of working with for several years. Let's continue to pray for the Jamaica team over the next week as they serve in various ways -- providing medical care, lending a helping hand to the local church and brethren there, and faithfully preaching the Word.
At the end of September, a team of Maranatha members served alongside the Lochee Bible Chapel in Dundee, Scotland. Read here the final reflection from Maranatha's Scotland missions team and see photos of their trip at the end.
Welcome back to "Faith that Works." In our first post, we introduced the series and explored why we need to broaden our thinking on our work. We left off with the question of how we can better integrate our work to our faith, how we can enrich our paradigm and make it more robust, more biblical. What is the meaning of our work? How do the details of our daily grind fit into God’s world, into his Kingdom; how do they relate to the gospel of the crucified and risen Jesus? Let's take up where we left off, and start looking for answers.
The GraceNotes team has been on hiatus for a bit, but it's not for naught! We've been hard at work planning our next series, which we're really excited about! Our first blog series was a study on lust (available here). This next series will focus on a topic that's universally important — the topic of work. We're calling the series "Faith that Works."
Hey everyone, as the team has been busy serving the people of Jamaica, they have not been as available to provide extensive updates. To be honest, we know that sometimes these posts can get a bit lengthy but praise God for our man of few words but many actions, Dr. Tom Yuen for providing this short, concise, but comprehensive update and for Ricky Chae for providing some pictures!
Writing this message while waiting for patients. We've had a great week so far. Been busy at clinic but not overwhelming. Was impressed seeing Joann step up and help out with the clinic but also she has been leading a woman's small group with the discipleship program. Boys have been doing a great job whether it's directing traffic at the clinic, teaching kids at VBS, singing in front of groups, encouraging other youth or just praying/ reading the Bible out loud. The dads might be having a better time than kids. I think each of us have enjoyed the team devotions and rotating through the men's discipleship class.
Praise God for Maranatha's first mission trip of the year and second mission trip (and hopefully many more!) to be featured on this blog as our Jamaica Mission Team heads to Jamaica TODAY!
Thank you to everyone who came out yesterday for, what could have been, our biggest anniversary celebration yet! Of course, all glory and praise be to God who has blessed us with so much more than we deserve.
he title of our series, "Here We Stand," is a play on the iconic words that the great German reformer, Martin Luther, may not have actually spoken before the Diet of Worms: “Here I stand; I can do no other” (at least this is what some scholars hold to be true).
Whether these were his words or merely a later insertion, what can’t be denied is Luther’s resolve to stand firm, risking life and limb, after his teaching was decreed by Pope Leo X as being a “poisonous virus.” His experience of amazing grace that brought him into a right standing and reconciled relationship with Almighty God was entirely by faith alone in Christ alone. Upon conversion, his life became a passionate pursuit of writing, teaching, preaching, and translating the glorious truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
First of all, I don’t see myself as a representative of women's thoughts in general, and I understand that my own experiences and struggles might be very foreign to other women. But as a woman, I do want to share my limited insight into something that's usually not associated with our gender as frequently as it is with men. The issue of lust—sexual lust in particular—is commonly considered a big struggle for men because, as many of us have heard, men are generally more prone to be visually stimulated. But this is certainly a sin that women struggle with, too. Maybe we are just more complicated, or shall I say, "complex" about it.
Lust (n.) – a sinful longing, often sexual.
This four-letter word is often the elephant in the room. The consensus is that men, believers included, struggle with lust, which men can act upon through pornography and masturbation . How might we address this?
For the first time since...our last post, we here at GraceNotes are extremely excited for what's in store as we introduce our first ever Blog Series (official name of these segments TBD).
This Wednesday and next, we will be posting a two-part series on LUST.
For our second installment of A Day in the Life, we are so excited to have TWO glimpses into this year's Ladies' Retreat through our sister, Diana Moy's, reflections on what she learned at retreat....AND a special video recap giving us both an inside look into Ladies' Retreat AND an exclusive interview with Retreat Planner, Delimar Freire, and Retreat Speaker, Anna Moore.
This weekend many of our ladies will be spending time together, away from their usual responsibilities and activities. For but a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things, they will 'retreat' for focused learning, fellowship, growing, eating, praying, and playing. They retreat seeking to be re-invigorated, re-calibrated, and refreshed for what they will face as they return to the day-to-day. And they do so all for God's glory and honor, as well as for their joy which in turn also brings God glory!
A few things I'd like to remind all of us to do in light of this wonderful opportunity:
Next Tuesday, September 15, we will be hosting a prayer meeting at 360 Sylvan Ave. focusing on prayer specifically for North Korea. When it comes to North Korea, not many people know much about its inner workings outside of the fact that it is an extremely isolated country with a man named Kim Jong Un running the show. However, that is not to say that the Gospel is not at work in North Korea nor does it mean that North Korea is not in need of prayer! Today, our Deacon of Missions, Mihye Kim, reflects on her experiences with and what led her to start praying for North Korea.
Today, we are excited to introduce A Day in the Life, a new segment where members of our church community share snapshot testimonies of their life. One of our foundational goals for GraceNotes has always been to connect our readers, both within and outside of Maranatha, to Maranatha’s culture in a Gospel-centered and personal way. We want people to see what we’re like, to know who we are, and to hear stories of how God works in His church and in His people. Romans 12:15 calls us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep, and the best way to know who to rejoice or weep with is by sharing in each other’s lives.
A Day in the Life intends to give you a deeper look into Maranatha’s culture by allowing people to share testimonies not just of salvation, but of reflections on their joys, struggles, lessons, and perspectives in their everyday lives. As God has grown our church, He has given us a great diversity in ethnicity, career, age, and background, and in this segment, we want to not only highlight this diversity but, more importantly, highlight how God uses each one of us broken sinners in different ways for our good and His glory!
And for our first A Day in the Life, we are so blessed to have our sister, Nancy Yan share a bit about what God has recently been doing in her life.
MGFL Murals is our semi-regular video segment where we give you a glimpse into the culture and people of Maranatha Grace through short testimonials. Our aim is that, over time, you will begin to see a beautiful mural of people who make up our church– people from all different backgrounds and all different walks of life, yet who are all sinners in need of saving grace.
In this week's MGFL Murals, meet Myarka (Mica) Fostine.
A friend once told me, “When God saved you, He didn’t just save you to himself; He saved you into a community.” For my friend that meant that, as a new Christian, I should join a local church. It was great advice, and I followed it. I committed myself to a congregation and attended weekly gatherings where we sang and heard God’s word together. I did that for years and learned so much.
Politics. It's been a confusing subject for me ever since junior high school, when my sisters and I would watch the evening news with our father and discuss it over the dinner table. I knew it was a realm full of strong opinions and heated debate, but I had no idea which opinions were right. Sure, studying it in college gave me tons of information about it, but it didn't do much to help clear up the confusion, or to help me understand what God thought about politics or how I should think about it.
The man in the orange shirt at the 168th street subway stop strikes a response in me, that of sadness mixed with anger as the smell of urine penetrates my nostrils, alongside embarrassment for my own lack of compassion and kindness toward another human being.
...then when I forget about the man, he appears a week later and I react again, in much the same way. Then yes, I forget again.
It’s a beautiful thing to see how God has grown Maranatha from its roots of being a baby churchplant started by a balding, middle-aged, uncultured family man and using him to lead a rag-tag group of much younger-aged men who wore jeans that were all too tight & skinny and listened to John Mayer and Coldplay all the day long.
In this week's MGFL Murals, meet our resident actor, Justin Moy! Justin gets into character... As HIMSELF! He also shares with us how he first found Maranatha and why he decided to stick around to be a part of our church and community.