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860 Keller Smithfield Rd
Keller, TX, 76248

817-431-1410

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Blog

What happens here...will change the world!

Ryan Fontenot

As we approach the holidays, we remember this is a season of giving. Each year we lay out a special challenge to our church body through an "end of year" offering. Through this challenge, we are calling our people to consider setting aside a special offering to make an eternal IMPACT.  

The Impact Offering is designed to give you a way to IMPACT missions HERE, NEAR and FAR!  We seek to spend spend less on ourself and give more through kingdom initiatives. 

This Year’s Projects : Making IMPACT HERE, NEAR and FAR

  • HERE: Impacting kids through upgrading our kid’s ministry space: carpet, toys, indoor play space.
  • NEAR: Impacting our city through growing The Mount Alliance Church with outreach tools, equipment for weekends and staffing.
  • FAR: Impacting the world through supporting our mission partners: special gifts for Beltz family in Berlin, Sandoval family heading to Spain and Box family church planting in Detroit..

We ask you to prayerfully consider giving above and beyond your normal gifts and tithes to support three key mission initiatives. We pray that as you give your faith in Christ will grow stronger and you will see the fruit of your generosity as it helps expand the Kingdom.

May we TOGETHER make an IMPACT and see Jesus' fame spread HEAR, NEAR and FAR!  

Click to give now to IMPACT

 

 

God, Frankensteins, and More

Jimmy Needham

The Opportunity for Generosity on Halloween

Last year on Halloween night, over eight hundred trick-or-treaters showed up to our house on Sleepy Hollow for candy. Even though we lived on Sleepy Hollow, we had no idea when we moved in four years ago that Halloween was such a massive holiday in our neighborhood.

It put us in an awkward position as Christians. We weren’t excited about joining the neighborhood legacy of boasting in violence or in darkness or in evil. But we also really didn’t want to be the type that draws their curtains in fear and disgust at the end of October. We wanted our neighbors to know we cared about them whatever day of the month or year it was. Eventually, our family decided we were going to engage our neighbors on Halloween with radical generosity.

And so, for the past three years, we have exclusively given out king-sized candy bars to every visitor. The first year we gave away three hundred. Last year, eight hundred. We’re stocking up as we speak and expecting a thousand people this year.

Now, your family may not be financially able to give out a thousand candy bars (the college students we work with through our church help fund our inventory), and you likely won’t have a thousand people knocking on your door this Halloween. That doesn’t mean you can’t create a culture of radical generosity right where you are with what you have.

Generosity as a Parable

Halloween is one opportunity (among many) to surprise our neighbors with the generosity of God.

I say generosity “of God” because our giving functions as a parable. In handing out the best candy or the most candy, in creating a welcoming home for trick-or-treaters, in surprising our neighbors with kindness, we are telling them about the character of God. He too is generous. He too is welcoming. He too is kind. Our simple, generous acts of love are yard signs pointing to our God.

This is why Jesus says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others” — the light on your front porch, the candy you give out, the conversations you have on your front stoop — “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). When we sequester ourselves, we may say something clear and definitive about Halloween, but we also lose our chance to tell the story of God’s love through our love for others.

Engagement Is Not Endorsement

There will inevitably be Christians who read this with concern. Isn’t participation in Halloween tantamount to celebrating wordliness or worse? It’s a valid question. After all, almost everything about this holiday — from its origin to the common ways our society celebrates it — is dark, to say the least. We often, however, mistakenly confuse engagement, or in this case even participation, with endorsement. It’s true we have a biblical mandate to move away from the values of our culture when they are at odds with the gospel, but we also have a mandate to move toward our culture with the hope of the gospel.

Jesus himself was often accused of endorsing the sin from which he came to free people. “The Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them’” (Luke 15:2). Truthfully it’s much easier to be a hermit than a herald. The more difficult road requiring more thought, intentionality, and sacrifice is often the more fruitful road for Christians. In fact, if our living on mission — our intentions and moral convictions — are under scrutiny because of our engagement of the lost, we might be doing something right.

Thinking Like a Missionary

My wife Kelly has a helpful analogy to help us see Halloween as an opportunity, not an obstacle.

For a moment, let’s imagine you are a missionary in a foreign country. You just moved in and are getting a feel for the culture and daily life of the inhabitants. Very few know about Jesus, and ancestral worship is the most common religious practice. You’ve been praying about opportunities to connect with the people and share about Jesus. Then, you hear about a large ancestral worship festival in which all of the city will be out. If you will only turn on your porch light, they will come to your door to exchange small gifts. Wouldn’t you thank God for an opportunity to meet so many of the dead people you want to reach? To expose them (even for just a few moments) to the hope you have in Jesus?

Of course you would. And that is exactly what happens every year at the end of October. One night a year the mission field actually knocks on our front door. How will we respond? With a lit-up house, the best candy on the block, and the name of Jesus on our lips.

Back at our house, as trick-or-treaters arrive at our front steps (we live on a hill top), they are met with a sign: “If you make the climb, there’s king-sized candy bars, cause there’s not a King as generous as ours.” The college students from our church greet people down front, getting prayer requests and texting them up to people inside who lead our prayer room. On the way back down, gigantic Snickers bars in hand, visitors see another sign in the yard: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Consider October 31st an opportunity. On a night known for darkness, we can shine the light of the gospel into our neighborhoods. In a culture known for taking, we can surprise our community with how much we love to give. Let’s not be found with the shades drawn on the night the harvest field comes to us.

Jimmy Needham is a singer/songwriter and serves on staff at Stonegate Church in Midlothian, Texas. He and his wife have two daughters and a son. Learn more at jimmyneedham.com.

7 Blessings Of Studying Your Bible

Paul Tripp

Between the "already" of your conversion and the "not yet" of your final home going, few things are more important in the Christian life than a practical and functional level of biblical literacy. One of the Father's most important gifts to his children in the here and now is the gift of his Word, and we simply won't be what God has called us to be and consistently do what God has commanded us to do without an ability to draw wisdom and insight out of the pages of his amazing Book.

But I have a confession to make. It's embarrassing and humbling, but I'm willing to make it publicly: I'm not always excited about reading and studying the Bible. I know I'm not alone. For distracted sinners like us, studying the Bible can sometimes feel burdensome, difficult, confusing, and unexciting.

So today, in an effort to remind myself and you to persevere, I want to consider 7 life-giving and heart-changing blessings that only ever come from knowing God's Word. Then, I want to recommend an unbelievable resource that will open the door to a brand-new way of studying your Bible.

1. God Consciousness

Beginning with the first four words of the Bible – "In the beginning, God…" – the existence, character, and plan of God are splashed across every single page of Scripture. And since were created for him, made to love and serve him, designed to walk in close communion with him, and called to do all that we think, say, and do in reference to him, there are few things more important to us than Scripture, because that's where we find God.

Regular study of the Bible causes everything in your life and mine to be driven by God-consciousness, and consistent study of the Word of God rescues us from a God-amnesia that's a constant danger to every sinner. Without actively digging into the pages of Scripture, we're at risk of forgetting, at a practical level, that God exists.

2. Self-Awareness

Second only to a life-shaping knowledge of God is a heart-humbling knowledge of self. But since sin is deceitful, we all must abandon the notion that no one knows us better than we know ourselves. As long as sin remains, there will be pockets of spiritual blindness in all of us.

Knowing the blinding power of sin, God blessed us with the mirror that is his Word (James 1:22-25). Looking into it intently will give you an accurate knowledge of yourself and a clear picture of the depth of your need for the grace not only of the Word of God, but of the God of the Word.

3. Knowledge of God's Plan

It's a principle captured powerfully in our Lord's model prayer – "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). What's the principle? You and I were created to live for something bigger than ourselves. Because of this, God works to rescue us from the claustrophobic confines of our little kingdoms of self and deliver us to his big Kingdom of glory and grace.

But what does it practically mean to seek God's kingdom? The answer splashes across page after page of Scripture. The Bible gives us a clear picture of what it looks like to have your life shaped not by what you want, but by what God wants. Studying the Bible will paint a portrait of what it looks like to have your life shaped not by your plans for you, but by what God has planned for you.

4. Personal Transformation

If you were to ask the question, What is God doing right now in the lives of his children? you could answer the question in one word - change. Yes, the power of sin has been broken, but the presence of sin still remains, so God is working by grace to progressively transform every one of us.

I love the word picture used in Isaiah 55:13 to illustrate the transforming power of the Word of God (the thorn bush becoming a cypress tree). If rain and snow watered a little thorn bush in your backyard, you would expect a bigger thorn bush, but instead a cypress tree appears. When you allow the rain of God's Word to water your soul, you don't become a bigger rendition of what you once were, but by grace become something radically new and organically different!

5. Gospel Worldview

I don't know if you've thought about this, but you are a theologian. I don't mean an academic theologian studying biblical history and languages in seminary, but an everyday theologian. Every day, you and I interpret our experiences through the lens of theology. We make assumptions and draw conclusions about God, about ourselves, and about our world.

Dangerously, most of us make these theological conclusions on the fly, without valid biblical reasoning. And perhaps even more dangerously, we don't even know that we're making them! Once more, this is why Bible study is so wonderfully helpful. It gives us an origin-to-destiny perspective on all that was, all that is, and all that will be, so we can correctly understand our world and respond appropriately in it.

6. Street-Level Guidance

If you're like me, and I suspect you are, there's hardly a day that goes by where you don't want (and need) street-level direction for everyday living. What should I say in this conversation? How should I respond to that situation? What should I plan to do in this location? Nearly every hour is marked with moments of decision, not huge, life-changing decisions, but 10,000 little moments of decision that will shape our life and legacy.

Because we live in 10,000 little moments of decision, it's so comforting to know that God's Word operates as "a lamp to our feet and a light to our path" (Psalm 119:105). When we study the Scriptures, we're unlocking a spiritual GPS that helps us navigate our moments of decision in the conversations, situations, locations, and relationships of life.

7. Commitment to Ministry

Finally, God's Word reminds us again and again that the most important work in the universe is his work of redemption. Studying the Bible will remind us that we have not been called just to be recipients of his grace, but instruments of that same grace in the lives of others.

The Bible does more than just remind; it defines how we participate in ministry. There are many passages in Scripture – 2 Corinthians 5:20, 1 Peter 5:1-10, and 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 are just a few. The more you study the Word of God, the more you will become committed to, and skilled in, the practical ministry lifestyle to which all of us have been called.

A Resource I Recommend

These 7 blessings that we all desperately need will only ever come from the regular study of Scripture. But remember, at the beginning of this post, I said that Bible study can sometimes feel burdensome, difficult, confusing, and unexciting. That's why I'm so thankful for Logos Bible Software, and particularly excited about the release of their newest package, Logos 7.

Logos enables you to have a better Bible study. This amazing computer technology finds answers for every search, gives cultural context, connects Scripture to Scripture, and so much more. The misconception is that it's only for full-time pastors, but at my marriage and parenting conferences, I always recommend it to the "everyday people" in attendance.

If you're feeling frustrated or bored with your personal study of God's Word, you need to check out Logos 7. I will use it every time I sit down to study the Bible, and if you get it, I'm sure you will too.