The Spiritual Practice of Wearing a Mask

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Good morning Church! We’re glad you can be with us virtually today. This morning John will be talking about the spiritual discipline of wearing a mask. Whatever your thoughts on the issue, I hope you are able to hear God’s voice and know more of his calling in the message that John is bringing to us today. The songs I have selected for today will hopefully draw your thoughts to our God who is deserving of infinite praise yet chose to humble himself and sacrifice himself for the sake of us all.

Seek First – Ben Smith & Jason Upton

Not Finished Yet – Chris Renzema

Today as we worship, let us remember that our thoughts, our hopes, our desires, and our dreams, as great as they may be, pale in comparison to the plans that the Lord has for us. Our vision is often so nearsighted when it comes to our own well-being, but fortunately God has accounted for that too. Let us seek the Lord together, and in doing so may we come to see his heart and his plans more clearly.

Looking for a Savior – United Pursuit   

Philippians 2 says this:

“So if there is any Encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 1-8, ESV).

Have it All – Bethel Music

How Deep The Father’s Love for Us – Austin Stone Worship / Stuart Townsend

Church, in seeking to become more like Christ, let us first train our thoughts to think first of others. Instead of getting stuck on what is best for “me,” we must push past that and think about what is best for those around us, those whom we have been called to show love to. As we go into this week, I pray that we would be able to set aside our own comfort for the sake of others, and when it is hard to do so, let us together remember that Christ has gone before us and set an example that we can strive towards and follow. Finally, I pray that we would go into this week with the knowledge that we do all of this for the glory of God.

 

Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on both our YouTube channel and our website, or you can find the link on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, we’ve got you covered there too! All of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. Thanks, and God bless!

Spotify Playlist

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Good morning Church and welcome! Today as we worship together, Michelle is going to be continuing her series on the psychology of the human being with a message that is talking about the importance of play and its role in helping us understand the type of relationship God desires to have with us. Though the thought of play will likely bring up different types of memories for all of us, for me, thinking of play reminds me of joy and excitement. I hope that as you listen to our service today and read this blog that you too can feel some excitement and joy in worshiping with us.

Wonder – Hillsong United

No One But You – Hillsong Worship

First Peter says this:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3-9, ESV).

Heart of Worship – Matt Redman 

I always find this song to be a good reminder that our love and our devotion to God is not to be founded on the things he does for us, but simply on who he is. “We love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19, ESV). So often we turn our relationship with Christ into a “thing” with utility and expectation, but we let the fundamental aspects of relationship slip into the background. Sometimes this shift is almost imperceptible as we let our prayers become conditions. “God, make things go back to normal” or “Lord, I will rejoice when the problem is solved.” It is true that the Lord wants us to cry out for help, and we can’t do any of this on our own, but let us not forget that we are also called to sing for joy in the hard times because we are still loved, and we are called be tender and attentive to God’s voice in the good times because we are loved there too. God’s acts are not the foundation of our relationship with him, his love is.

Have it All – Bethel Music

How Great Thou Art – Alan Jackson

My prayer for us today is that we would find joy in simply being loved by a God who loves so complexly. God loves us perfectly and God loves us infinitely; he knows us deeply and he longs for our reciprocation, but it is enough to just know that we are loved. I pray that we would not lose our playful spark or our awe filled wonder in the presence of our Lord and savior. Church, let our love for God overflow not because he has done great things, which he has, but because his love for us is overflowing constantly. And let our love overflow into others because God loved us first. Finally, let us pray for those who are struggling to see or feel God’s love in this season, because while we may be certain that love is present, it is still a heavy difficult burden to not feel loved. For those who are struggling, let us share God’s love all the more passionately.

 

Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on both our YouTube channel and our website, or you can find the link on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, we’ve got you covered there too! All of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. Thanks, and God bless!

Spotify Playlist

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July 18, 2020

Re: Restarting Sunday Morning Services

Dear Congregation,

This week the leadership team met to discuss the restart of Sunday morning services.

Reviewing the criteria that we set for a potential restart (the results of our congregational survey, current provincial guidance, the experiences of other churches, and an internal risk assessment) we have decided to wait a little bit longer before re-opening.

The congregational survey clearly told us that we need to proceed with caution. This week a “COVID19 watch” was declared for Calgary Centre (our church neighbourhood). While a few city churches have restarted we think we need a bit more time to clearly assess the pandemic implications of these starts. While our internal risk assessment has shown us that we can open, we’ve decided that a slow move in this direction is our best way forward.

To that end we will continue with online services — in the current format — for the next few weeks. During this time, we will finish building our live-streaming technology. Once we are able to live-stream, the plan is to move our service recordings back into the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. This will happen sometime in August. At this point you’ll be able to access a live service (via a link) at 9:30 am on Sundays, and a recorded service on YouTube (shortly after the live service ends).

The plan is to do a couple of live services with nobody in attendance initially (so that we can work out the technological kinks and give our welcoming team some time to practice our COVID19 protocols). Once this is done, we will slowly open up the service to attendees in subsequent weeks.

During this time, we will continue to weigh all of our criteria for re-opening. If everything looks good, we will reopen.

Of course, all of this is playing out in a very fluid context. Ultimately the pandemic will set our timing. As church leaders we are committed to continuing to listen and discern our best way forward.

Thank you for all of your input in this process. We pray that God will continue to keep you in this unsettled time.

Your Marda Loop Church Leadership Team

 

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Good morning Church and welcome! Today we will be continuing with our series on Acts and the church, brought to us by pastor Dan Roukema. This morning as we talk and think about the early churches in the book of Acts in relation to our modern day church (our building and congregation) and the Church (the larger body of Christ), let us seek to apply all that we can from their successes, their mistakes, and the teachings that the apostles brought to them. But first and foremost, let us seek to know the will of the Father, the love of the Son, and the movement of the Spirit in our church and in our community.

Look To The Son – Hillsong Worship

Be Thou My Vision – Audrey Assad

As we focus our hearts and minds on God through worship today, let us be sensitive to the will and the heart of God. I encourage each one of you to examine your own calling, how it has impacted your walk with God and how it has impacted your relationship with communities outside of the Church. There are so many ways we can be serving in the Church, both the building and the larger body of Christ, but there are also ways we can be present and serving in our communities that are separate from the Church. It may also be worth pondering how the pandemic has impacted our ability to live into our calling, or even if it has changed what that calling is. Let us pray about these things together so that we can be confident in Christ when we must set out on our own.

Lay Me Down – Chris Tomlin

In Romans 12, Paul makes this appeal to the church:

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of another” (Romans 12:1-5, ESV).

Build My Life – Pat Barrett

This is my prayer for us today: that we may we be pursuing his will for our lives ahead of our own, that we would be loving those who do not feel loved, and that we would be sharing Christ where it is hard to see him. Today, oh Church, let us be a people on mission who love and worship with each other so that we may be strengthened while we go out to love and worship in the presence of strangers. May we submit ourselves to God’s authority and may we make our lives an act of worship that showcase the works of a Holly God in all the things that we do. Church, let us go forth in peace to love and serve the Lord, wherever that may take us.

 

Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on both our YouTube channel and our website, or you can find the link on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, we’ve got you covered there too! All of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. Thanks, and God bless!

Spotify Playlist

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Exemple

Good morning Church and welcome! As I have mentioned before, I use the word “Church” to refer to all of us, the body of Christ, who are meeting and worshiping together, whether in the same room or far apart. Fortunately, we will be able to be in the same room again soon as we are gearing up to reopen our doors and worship in the same building once again! Soon, the body of Christ will begin to come together and work cohesively again! This morning, Pastor Dan Roukema is filling in for John again and he will be talking about those times when the body of Christ doesn’t work together as it should. As flawed humans, we are just as susceptible to infighting, harsh judgement, and biases as are our non-Christian neighbours, so how then can we work cohesively as one unit, striving together for one goal? Pastor Dan has some good thoughts on that this morning and we are blessed to have him bringing the word today, so if you haven’t already watched this week’s sermon, it is posted here on our website and also on our YouTube channel so you can watch it whenever you’re ready.

Give Thanks To God – Housefires

You Are My King (Amazing Love) – Shane & Shane

Psalm 107 says this:

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry” (Psalm 107:1-9, ESV).

As we begin our worship together this morning, let us thank the Lord for the things he has done and the things he is doing. God has been walking with us through this pandemic, and he has made a way for us to meet in person together. Likewise, God has been changing us and bringing to light areas of our lives that we need to work on and surrender to God. Though it may be uncomfortable, let us thank him for that too.

Not Finished Yet – Chris Renzema

Sometimes we talk about the change that Christ creates in us in very past tense terms. The song “Amazing Grace” depicts this kind of language that we often use: I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” And to that point, it is undeniable that there is an initial change that comes from being found and surrendering your own life to the will of the Father. However, the change that happens in us is also a process. Receiving new life means that we are constantly growing, reforming, and learning how to live into the person that we are being recreated to be. Just as it is a choice we make every day to follow Christ, change will be happening in us every day until we are reunited with the Father in our permanent home. We are still learning how to effectively be the body of Christ and we are still learning how to live our lives in ways that are pleasing to God. Let us try to lean into the change and work with God instead of fighting to stay as we are.

No One But You – Hillsong Worship

Graves Into Gardens – Elevation Worship

Fortunately for us, it is not our job to create change in ourselves. That’s not to say that we should fight against it or say “God, this is your problem” and walk away, but we are not responsible for the change that is happening in us and it is not by our own power that we grow. As we go into our next week, let us remember that the God who created the mountains and the seas is the God who is changing us, and he is changing us for the better. I pray that as we identify the change that is happening in our hearts and in our communities, that we would have the courage to work with God instead of fighting against him. May we seek to grow together so as to more effectively function as the body of Christ and therefore serve God to the best of our abilities.

 

Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on both our YouTube channel and our website, or you can find the link on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, we’ve got you covered there too! All of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. Thanks, and God bless!

Spotify Playlist

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