Malcolm Tyree

A collection of thoughts on things that matter

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

To See More Clearly, Know More Dearly, Feel More Nearly

In 1997, I moved from Clarksville, Tennessee, to attend Mid-America Bible College (now Christian University) in Oklahoma City. As a new student I was required to take a class called Biblical Life & Witness taught by Cliff Sanders.

I had come to MBC like most 21 year olds, arrogantly. I had been involved in ministry for about 30 months or so and thought I knew all I needed to know. After all, I had experienced a successful ministry and my pastor was sending me to college to get the necessary degree so that I could get a job at a church. Little did I know, how little I knew.

Bib Life (as we called it) challenged my view of God. The class provoked me to ask myself if I really knew the character of God and if I allowed him to know me. And Cliff’s teachings inspired me to live a life of evoking the imagination of others as they think about God.

This video message is a summation of Bib Life. I still have my notebook from the course, though I really don’t need to look at it. The course set me on course in such a way that I can recall much of it without even looking.

Cliff’s prayer at the end of this message is one you should stick around for, as is the entire message something that can move you in the right direction.

I realize one message won’t change your life. I was fortunate (ahem) to have Cliff as my professor for seven courses while at MBC. The messages were only part of my journey down a better path. Witnessing Cliff’s life for nearly five years was another significant part. So, don’t just listen to this message by Cliff. Connect with those who will challenge you to know God more deeply, see him more clearly, and feel him more nearly. Spend time with these people. Share life with them. Together, you will inspire others to imagine God as he wants us to see him.

The Jesus-Shaped Life – Sanctuary on Vimeo on Vimeo

via The Jesus-Shaped Life – Sanctuary on Vimeo.

Breaking the Curse: Disney Rediscovers True Love

Driving home from the drive-in, my 11yr old daughter states:IMG_0780

“I really like how in the last two Disney Princess movies they’re not making true love all about a guy.”

Spoiler Alert: Frozen and Maleficent are not about romantic love.

Frozen has been an unbelievable breakout success. The music runs through our heads, over and over again. The parody videos get millions of hits on YouTube. Yet for me, the beauty of the story is how it defines love. Love is sacrificial.

Maleficent is a new telling of the old Sleeping Beauty story. This new telling cast the wicked fairy has not only the villain but the hero too. Remarkably, to break the spell, true love’s kiss is not about romance, but about something deeper and more meaningful, family.

In both movies, there is a curse that can only be undone by true love. For years, Disney movies have portrayed love’s power over the curse, but only in the romantic love fashion. Now after 70+ years of romantic love being displayed as the ultimate saving power, Disney is breaking the curse.

I don’t mean to belittle romantic love, but I want to put it in it’s proper place. For nearly a century, we’ve elevated romantic love to the ultimate place and we’ve been cursed by it. As the masses have pursued romantic love, they’ve been disappointed because they’ve failed to find their happily ever after in the process. Instead what they’ve found is that the feelings of romance pass and it is too easy to fall in love with someone new.

We’ve been cursed with a pursuit that never meets our expectations. It turns out romantic love is more like lust than love. Lust is a funny thing. Whatever the object of our lust, once we have it, the object fails to fulfill us as we thought it would.

As a result of the curse, countless marriages and families have been harmed and destroyed because of the false sense of romantic love being the ultimate.

Sacrifice and family are better expressions of love by far. They carry with them a greater depth that like romantic love is hard to explain in words. Yet, sacrifice and family are not reduced to sentiments of the moment, but carry forward beyond the moment. These expressions of love actually create legacies for others to live within.

As Disney and others rediscover true love and tell the stories, I applaud them. I don’t expect the curse to be broken overnight nor in just two movies. There are also the lasting consequences of the activities carried out under the curse. The good news is in this rediscovery, we are finding new hope and greater love!

So I join in with my  daughter, Caitlyn, “I’m glad in the last two Disney Princess movies they’re not making love about a guy,” but about a greater love.

a New role in Life’s journey, teaching Bible with a new Fellowship

Many of you have been curious as to what’s next for me and the family and our role in ministry. Here it is: IMG_0978 Earlier in July, we moved from Odessa, Texas, to Midlothian, Texas. This suburb located about 30 minutes south of the metroplex is centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth. For our Odessa friends, you’ll be happy to know we can get to Rosa’s in about 15 minutes. Christy’s parents moved here in May and we opted to join them.

Though we’ve not had a lot of time to settle in, we are enjoying this small town and are excited about the upcoming school year and getting to know our new neighbors. I haven’t made plans for Halloween, but I’m sure we will find a way to have a fun time.

Since moving Christy’s parents to Midlothian, we’ve been visiting the Church of God congregation in Dallas with them. Pastor Ken Merrifield and I have known each other for nearly 10 years. I was fortunate enough to be on a team of ministers welcomeing Ken to Texas when he first began pastoring in Dallas.

On Sunday, July 20, the elders of the New Life Bible Fellowship in Dallas, announced they have identified me as a candidate to hire to be a member of their pastoral staff. The congregation will officially decide on August 17.

Should NLBF elect to hire me for the pastoral team, my focus points will be working with teens and emerging adults as well as developing ways for the congregants to engage in the mission of God in their daily lives within the greater metroplex area. I would appreciate your prayers as we navigate through the relational introductions and assimilate to the patterns and systems of the congregation. I would also appreciate your prayers because should this come to pass, these relationships and systems will be challenged with change. The next few weeks will be filled with expectations, questions, and uncertainties.

I’m excited about the possibilities that are ahead. NLBF has a solid history of kingdom interest. I’ve had the privilege of observing the fruits of their youth ministry for some 15 years. I am honored at the possibility to partner with this group at this time in this way. Ultimately, I am further committed to make myself available to our gracious God who has equipped me to equip others.

IMG_0901 IMG_0900 IMG_4776

Christy and the kids are excited about the possibilities ahead. NLBF members have welcomed us into their homes and Caitlyn and Andrew are quickly finding friends in the Sunday School classes. Breanna has quickly won the hearts of people. Her quick smile and blue eyes make it easy for people to join in her “goos!”

Christy and I are grateful that we already know several members of the congregation through our time at Mid-America Christian University, working with the Texas State Youth Convention, and summer youth camps and Camp Powers. This has certainly made it feel like we’ve been here longer than we actually have.

In the meantime, if you are in the greater DFW area, come out Sunday, August 3, to New Life Bible Fellowship, 3727 W Kiest BLVD, 11am. I’ll be teaching for the worship gathering that day. I’d love to see you there.

Be sure to click “follow blog via email” on your right so you can stay up to date with our adventures. My posts will go automatically to your email and you won’t miss an update. Occasionally, I post a meaningful or random thought too!

Stop waiting for your “call” into ministry

It’s exciting to see when others share the same philosophy. Christy and I have stepped out of the desert and moved to the DFW Metroplex. I don’t have a job, but I have a mission. I hope you’ll live your mission too!

michaelwallenmeyer.com

I have resigned as a pastor and I am looking forward to what God has in store for me next. Here is one of the issues that I have begun working through mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I have always allowed the church where I serve to give me my sense of “call”. When I say “call” I mean a sense of purpose, belonging, rootedness, misssional intensity, etc…

Alas, I am thinking that the word “call” is loaded with all kinds of unbiblical baggage. For example:

  • We mistakenly believe that some people are called to ministry, others are not.
  • Unfortunately, those who don’t feel called fail to center their life, their family, around the imperative of “seeking first the kingdom of God.”
  • We tend to regard those who are called as the Navy Seals of the Christian world. One look at the disciples in the New Testament should dispel this myth.

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