Family Note – Thanksgiving and Satisfaction – 11/28/21

November 28, 2021

We give thanks to God for lifting us up beyond all expectations during MTC 2021.  God is faithful and continues to surprise us year after year.  He is raising up an army that moves in the “before the fact” thanksgiving, and we can only be thankful to Him for bringing us into that flow.

Pastor Li-Shang will cap off MTC 2021 with a message on thanksgiving and satisfaction.  We invite you to come and drink from this well God has provided for our church family.


Please check the tithing page for ways to make your tithings to God’s house.  May our church be a testimony of the blessings of Malachi 3.


If you cannot attend in person, the online stream will be available at around 10:45 AM, Central Time

Stream link:

Experience Emmanuel!


MTC 2021 – “Before the Fact” Thanksgiving

Often times when we give thanks, we do so because we have received something useful, enjoyable, and meaningful. We give thanks before a meal, when we receive a gift, when we are forgiven, when we get a bonus, or when someone praises us. Our thanksgiving tends to be “after the fact” – a response of appreciation to something that has already happened.

In John 11, Jesus brings us to another level of thanksgiving. One of Jesus’ dearest friends, Lazarus, has been in the tomb for 4 days. In the midst of skepticism from the crowd of “mourners,” Lazarus’ sisters, and even His own disciples, Jesus maintained that Lazarus will rise again – seemingly putting His reputation, friendship, and the credibility of His ministry on the line. In the midst of all the commotions, emotions, expectations, and examinations, Jesus lifted up a most amazing thanksgiving.

Jesus gave thanks to the Father for always hearing Him, but what made this an amazing thanksgiving is in its timing. Jesus loudly declared the thank offering right after He committed to opening the tomb, but before any power manifestation, before any resurrection, before any Lazarus come hopping out to amaze everyone. Furthermore, Jesus declared that setting this standard of “before the fact” thanksgiving is for our benefit, so that we may live to His standard of faith – the faith of knowing that God works all things for the good. Just as Jesus demonstrated, we believe that this “before the fact” thanksgiving will be one of the keys to release our authority of shalom to minister to our increasing tumultuous world.

For MTC 2021, God has prepared 4 speakers and a group of panelists to lift us up in the faith of “before the fact” thanksgiving. Our speakers, all who are relatively young, will begin each afternoon session by sharing their stories of “before the fact” thanksgiving – testimonies of what they have gone through or are going through now. Afterwards, the panel of pastors, elders, and spiritual “moms and dads” will enrich the message with their insights, blessings, and spiritual covering.

This page (中文) shows the schedule updated with our speakers and panelists. Please pray for them, and do note that these arrangements are always subject to change as we strive to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

MTC 2021 – God’s Way is Containment

While most electricity generating methods – such as solar, wind, water, coal, and natural gas – are mainly concerned with harnessing energy, nuclear generators work quite the opposite. A nuclear power plant does not worry about scarcity of energy, but its main concern is actually to contain the vast amount of energy already packed into its powerful fuel so that it can safely generate electricity. In fact, the most crucial portions of a nuclear power plant are devoted to contain its overabundant energy to prevent dangerous meltdowns.

Similar to the fuel in a nuclear power plant, God has already vested tremendous authority in us. Ephesians 1:18-20 states that God’s power for us is the same as that which not only raised Jesus from the dead, but also seated Him at the Father’s right hand. The authority Jesus declared over the church is just as mind-boggling: gates of hell will not overcome, keys to the Kingdom of heaven, binding and loosening of heaven from earth.

God’s way is “containment.” His way for us to gain the authority needed to disciple the nations is not through trying to harness authority. His way does not require us striving to draw supporters, to raise funds, to put on spectacular events, or even to exercise any extraordinary gifting. God’s way is to build the crucial “containments” within us so that His authority already within us can flow without a meltdown. The discipline of giving thanks is one such “containment,” as well as the disciplines of self-denial – such as repentance, mercy, forgiveness, and obedience. Jesus’ incarnation as the Creator to becoming a Son of Man is the clearest demonstration of this “containment” principle, and it is through that, He sat down at the right hand of the Father. For this reason, Jesus sharply admonished His disciples when they seem to reject His “containment” principle by asserting, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” In other words, if the power to gain the whole world is released in us without the “containment,” we would meltdown.

MTC started 27 years ago on a call to disciple market place leaders, which requires tremendous authority. Over the years, we have tried to harness that authority, but God, in His mercy, protected us from a meltdown and has patiently led us to come to embrace His way of “containment.” This is the reason why, for the past decade, MTC has began to place increasing emphasis on the “containment” topics related to self-denial, and this year on “Give Thanks.” These topics may not attract big crowds during this season of preparation because they challenge the flesh. But we are thankful because God’s way is “containment,” and there lies the greatest assurance as we give everything we have to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness.

Previous Post: Thanksgiving Releases Authority

MTC 2021 – Thanksgiving Releases Authority


“Giving Thanks” – like expressions of self-denial such as repentance, mercy, forgiveness, and obedience – belongs to a class of powerful actions and attitudes that will bear the fruit of the Spirit, and ultimately lead us to the place of God-ordained authority.  Jesus showed that to us by taking the road of the cross to His place of authority at the Father’s right hand.

In the past year, God has taken many through a most intense “road of the cross.”  Many have walked through fires and storms – many negativities, hardships, and losses that can harden hearts and turn them bitter.  In that, we thank God for gracing us with individuals whose hearts remained steadfast and soft through these fires and storms by the power of giving thanks.  So we invite you to join in the MTC 2021 fellowship to be blessed by the impartation of their thanksgiving hearts, and ultimately walk to your places of authority through your roads of the cross.

Some have ask about ways to support MTC financially.  You may use the fund transfer methods listed in this page and note “MTC” in the memo.  We just ask that this giving to be above the tithing that belongs to your home church family.

Previous Post: MTC 2021 Theme Narrative

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MTC 2021 – Theme: Give Thanks


Through the past 20 months, Christ has shown us His heart for the church.  He is transforming the church to prepare her to flow in the authority that will draw the world’s attention.  In order to mold us into vessels that can be entrusted with such authority, the Holy Spirit has taken us on a decades long journey of heart conditioning.  He has tested our faithfulness and taught us the discipline of a soft-heart.  Through that, and especially through the pandemic, we have come to see the Holy Spirit’s clear priority to impart to the church two of the most powerful spiritual weapons: self-denial and giving thanks.

So after 26 years of holding our gathering over Thanksgiving – experiencing the buzz of exciting programs and the anxieties of drawing support to cover financial commitments – we have finally come to see how our event date has always been a prophetic declaration of the Holy Spirit’s priority: to give thanks.

This year’s focus will be singular and simple: to encourage and empower God’s chosen workers through the testimonies of “giving thanks.”

Next Post: Thanksgiving Releases Authority