Preparing for Worship – Feb 15

from Mark Hoffman

You spoke and worlds were formed, You breathed and life was born You knew that one day You would come So far from Heaven’s throne, Clothed in human form You showed the world the Father’s love

This week, we begin our worship together with the song You Gave Your Life Away. The song allows us to proclaim the same truth we explored last week – that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, who came on a rescue mission to restore our relationship with him through his death and resurrection. Scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NLT) reinforces this gospel truth and prompts us to respond in worship as we sing Hallelujah! What a Savior and Because He Lives (Amen). In light of the new life we have through faith in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) we will welcome one another with a Fellowship Greeting and continue praising him in song with Christ Is Enough.         Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue thExplore God series by addressing the question “Is the Bible Reliable?” The answers we discover lead us to confident praise as we sing Jesus Firm Foundation. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.         Intentionally take some time this weekend to soak in the truth of the gospel. Be reminded that Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man – came and lived a perfect life, shouldered our sins on the cross, and rose again in victory over the grave. Allow the songs and Scripture above to strengthen you in the truth of the gospel and to prepare your heart and mind for gathered worship on Sunday.         I look forward to seeing you then! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Feb 8

from Mark Hoffman

Last week as we explored the question “Is Christianity Too Narrow?” this distinction became clear: RELIGION is humanity’s attempt to reach God, but CHRISTIANITY is God’s attempt to reach humanity. God reached out to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. And Christ’s death and resurrection accomplished everything necessary to bring us, through faith, into eternally restored relationship with the true and living God. This truth is what compels us to worship this week, and it is why Jesus Christ is at the center of all of our worship — through prayer, Scripture (Galatians 2:20 and Romans 8:11) and song (Jesus, My Victory, Jesus Paid It All and Glorious Day.)

  Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue the Explore God series by addressing the question “Is Jesus Really God?” Our response to the answers we discover will be to sing What a Beautiful Name. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.   Take time this weekend to prepare for gathered worship. Use the Scripture and songs above to gather your thoughts and focus your heart and mind on Christ. Pray for our church, pray for our leaders, pray for our visitors, and pray for our time of worship together. May the Lord build up his church on Sunday!

 
See you then, Mark


Preparing for Worship – Feb 1

from Mark Hoffman

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:21-24

This week, the song Our God Saves gathers us into God’s presence, leading us in worship to “lift up Your name, to call on our Savior, to fall on Your grace.” In light of last week’s question of why God allows pain and suffering, God’s Word to us in Lamentations 3:21-24 leads us to both humility and hope. In response we sing Your Love Defends Me and You Never Let Go.  
   
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue our Explore God series by addressing the question “Is Christianity Too Narrow?” As we explore biblical answers to this question we come face to face with the good news of Jesus Christ. The forgiveness and reconciliation found through faith in him is what we remember as we come to the communion table. At MCF, we invite all believers in Christ to take of the bread and cup. Please hold the elements when they are passed so that we may take them together. Mighty To Save will be our sung response. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.      
 
Draw near to the Lord this week. In all circumstances, find your joy and fulfilment in him. He has demonstrated his great love for us in Christ through his atoning death and life-giving resurrection. May this gospel truth lead us all into worship together this week.
 
 
See you Sunday! Mark


Preparing for Worship – Jan 25

from Mark Hoffman

Who am I that the highest King

Would welcome me?

I was lost but He brought me in

Oh His love for me!

As we gather for worship this week, we come into the presence of God singing Praise To The Lord The Almighty. It is an incredible privilege that the King of creation would invite us into his presence and welcome us! The love he shows to us through Jesus Christ draws us to him, brings us together, and compels us to worship, singing Who You Say I Am and Good Good Father.                

As we have been welcomed by him, we welcome one another (Romans 15:5-7) during our Fellowship Greeting. We will again lift our voices together to declare Lord I Need You, and then we invite all children up front for a special Kids’ Time. Pastor Andrew’s message this week will address the question “Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?” as we continue to Explore God together. In response to the answers we find in God’s Word, we will sing Blessed Be Your Name. Our worship gathering will conclude with a time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.    
 
 
Worship is gracious gift of God. Will you accept God’s invitation and prepare to engage in the privilege of worship together? Reflect prayerfully on the songs and Scripture above. Pray for our time of worship together. Pray for all those who lead and for all who will attend. Pray that the Lord would be glorified and that his church would be built up!  
 
 

See you on Sunday, Mark



Preparing for Worship – Jan 17

from Mark Hoffman

Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.   Psalm 145:2

 

Last week, as we examined the question of life’s true purpose, we came to the conclusion that each one of us was created to know and love our creator God and to reflect him in the world. Life is meaningless without God, but God gives everything meaning. We will enter into worship of our great God this week singing All People That On Earth Do Dwell. Then, Psalm 145 will guide us in our worship, as we weave together the message of this Psalm of praise with songs of response singing Hallelujah To My King, Be Thou My Vision, and All Creatures Of Our God And King.

 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will continue the Explore God series by addressing the question “Is There a God?” Our response to the evidence for God is awe, wonder, and praise as we sing together in worship to our all-powerful, amazing, Indescribable God. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.  
 
 
Will you prepare for worship this week? Prayerfully reflect verse-by-verse on the message of Psalm 145. Allow these words of Scripture to shape your understanding of who God is and your relationship to him. Familiarize yourself with the songs so that they may become an authentic response of worship we can all share in on Sunday.  
 
I look forward to seeing you then! Mark


Preparing for Worship – Jan 10

from Mark Hoffman

We welcome you with praise! We welcome you with praise!

Almighty God of love, be welcomed in this place!

We come together this week in worship, invited and welcomed by God into his presence through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. Because he first welcomes us, we respond in praise singing Here For You. Psalm 146 continues to call us into worship and further expresses reasons why we gather to praise the Lord. The song 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) provides another sung response and leads us into a time of spontaneous prayer. Feel free to openly pray aloud, “Lord, I praise you because…” giving your own reason for praising him. We will then join voices again to sing How Great Is Our God.

 
 
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will address the question “Does Life Have a Purpose?” as we begin the Explore God series. Responding to what God’s Word has to say regarding this important question, we sing together the song of commitment, Living for Your Glory. Concluding our service will be our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

  Please take some time this weekend to reflect on the Scriptures and songs above. Come ready to be welcomed in worship by our almighty, loving, and saving Lord. Please pray for all those leading and speaking in the service. Pray also that those who come in response to the Explore God initiative would be powerfully impacted by the truth of God’s Word and by experiencing worship of Him among His people. May the Lord build His church this Sunday!

 
I look forward to seeing you then… Mark


Preparing for Worship – Jan 3

from Mark Hoffman

 
Happy New Year!  As we gather for worship this week, we begin the new year proclaiming that Today Is the Day that the Lord has made… let’s rejoice and be glad in it! This song echoes the words of the salvation song of Psalm 118, which finds its ultimate fulfilment in our Savior, Jesus Christ. The words of this Psalm and the song Jesus Messiah point us to the gospel of Jesus and lead us to the communion table. At MCF, we invite all believers in Christ to take of the bread and cup. Please hold the elements when they are passed so that we may take them together. After proclaiming Christ’s atoning death through communion, we proclaim his resurrected life together in song, singing Christ Is Risen.
 
 
Following our Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew will lay the foundation for the upcoming Explore God initiative with a message centered on Christ’s “Great Commission” found in Matthew 28:16-20. We will also spend time in prayer together for Explore God.
 
 
Responding to the message, we will sing Build My Life, asking that the Lord would lead us in his love to those around us who need the good news of Jesus Christ in their lives. We will close the service with our regular time of Giving, some brief announcements, and a Benediction.
 

Will you come prepared to worship this Sunday? Reflect on the songs and Scripture above and on the saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you continue to draw near to the Lord with an attitude of worship day by day throughout the coming weeks? It is our hope that many people will be coming to our church in January and February to “Explore God” in our Sunday services. We want them to not only hear the truth of the gospel, but to experience authentic worship among people like us who have been transformed by the truth of the gospel. Our worship can be a powerful testimony to the existence of God and to the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please pray with me to this end as we gather for worship this week and beyond…

 
 
See you on Sunday!
Mark


Preparing for Worship – Dec 28

from Mark Hoffman

Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad    and say evermore,“Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long. 

Psalm 35:27-28

These verses from Psalm 35 describe how we want to end the year at Meadows Christian Fellowship — by proclaiming the greatness of the Lord and telling of his righteousness and faithfulness toward us. We begin our time of worship in song with Great Are You Lord, and then allow Psalm 35:27-28 to lead us into a time of testimony. Please come ready to share how God has worked in your life in 2018. Our response will be to sing Come Thou Fount Come Thou King.

After a special Kids’ Time, Pastor Andrew will then move our perspective from looking back at God’s blessing to looking forward to the year ahead in prayer. Following our regular time of Giving, we close together singing All Glory Be to Christ.
 

In his book, True Worshipers, Bob Kauflin says, “Worship and edification are two sides of the same coin.”  In other words, when we worship together, we are building up (edifying) the church. And any time we build up the church, that is an act of worship.

Spend some time reflecting on how you have seen God at work in your life this past year, and come ready to encourage and build up the fellowship by sharing your testimony to God’s faithfulness. Reflect on the songs and Scripture as well, and let’s all come prepared to end 2018 in the best way possible — in worship of our our great Lord, who delights in the welfare of his people.

See you on Sunday,

Mark



Preparing for Worship – Dec 20

from Mark Hoffman

It’s almost Christmas, and we have some special things happening at Meadows!     On Sunday morning we will have our Meadows Family Christmas service. If you haven’t been to one of these services in the past, come ready for a relaxed Christmas celebration together as a church family.  We will enjoy breakfast goodies in the atrium to the music of some of our student musicians, light the Advent candle, sing traditional Christmas songs, have a gift exchange, hear a brief devotional message from Andrew, and take a “family picture.” It’s always a great time of worship and fellowship, and the fun starts at 9:30am.

 
 

On Monday evening is our Christmas Eve candlelight service. Pastor Andrew will use John 1 as our guide as we focus on Jesus Christ, our Savior who WAS, IS and IS TO COME. We will gather for this special time of worship to reflect on Scripture (John 1:1-5, Matt 1:18-23, Luke 2:1-20, John 1:9-14) and to respond in prayer and in song (Unchanging, O Come All Ye FaithfulWhat Child Is This, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Go Tell It) as we center our hearts and minds on Jesus Christ. This hour-long service of worship begins at 8:00pm.

 
 

I hope you will plan to come and celebrate the birth of the Savior with us this week! Mark



Preparing for Worship – Dec 13

from Mark Hoffman

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  Luke 2:14 (NKJV)

The well-known Christmas carol, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, speaks of PEACE. The whole song refers to the peace that was proclaimed by the angels at the birth of Jesus Christ. But it also refers to the promised eternal peace which we long for at the return of Christ to the earth. This song will open our time of worship together and point us to the Advent message of PEACE. Bob and Phyllis Harrison will light the third Advent candle representing PEACE, and our sung response of worship will be You Are Holy (Prince of Peace) and Unchanging.
 
 
We are very pleased this week to welcome our very own JD & Candace Goding to share with us about their mission work with YWAM in Australia. You may also greet them at Wednesday Nights prayer meeting starting with dinner at 6pm. After Children’s Church dismissal (all kids 5 years old through 4th grade are invited to attend) Pastor Andrew continues our Advent series with a message called “The Savior Who WAS, IS and IS TO COME.” His text will be from Revelation 1:4-8 & 4:8-11.
 
 
Following our regular time of Giving, we close in response with O Come Emmanuel.
 
 
Advent is a time of anticipation, as we look to the coming of Christ our Savior. We remember his first coming… it was humble and crude, born to common people sheltering in a stable for the night. And we also look forward to his second coming… in great power and glory, making all things right and all things new. Let’s enter into this sense of anticipation this week. Prayerfully reflect on the Scripture and songs above as we prepare to join together in worship of the Prince of Peace, our Savior who WAS, IS and IS TO COME!
 
 
I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday…
 
Mark