Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “April, 2014”

Keeping Us Humble

It’s 6:00 am and the guys are loading back on the bus heading back downtown to start another day on their own. It’s 15 degrees, spitting snow, and the bus is just now starting to put out some heat. On the way downtown I comment to one of the guys (Donnie) that I sure hate to have to drop them out in the cold. Donnie says don’t worry about it and then tells me a story.
He was sitting in a restaurant the other day and heard a lady talking about how sorry she felt for the homeless. Donnie tapped her on the shoulder and said, “I’m homeless but don’t feel sorry for me”. He told her he was where he was for a reason: it was his own doing and there was a purpose for it. He told her he needed to hit bottom and be humbled to set him straight. He said he gets along just fine and as far as he’s concerned he is right where God needs him to be right now, helping his homeless buddies where he can. When he got through all I could say was, “thanks for the dose of perspective Donnie”.
As I pull up to the drop off point, they all file off with a “thanks again bud” or “take care brother.” Though I’m usually dead tired from little sleep the night before and anxious to get home and get my own day started, the ride back to Church that day was energizing. It reminded me why we do what we do. We’re all called to serve each other . . . and in doing so God has a way of ministering to us as well. As Donnie said, “it’s his way of keeping us humble.”

Chris Lee for Room In The Inn at Tates Creek

Front Porch Evangelism

On a recent trip to my parent’s home in Indiana, I took note of a book they had lying around which featured various sorts of residential architecture that we see in America today. It’s not unusual to see these types of books around my parents’ home since they’ve done a lot of remodeling over the years. Their home was built in the late 1960s.
The book included pictures of various types of homes as well as a little history of each particular style. The book ran the gamut of every style you could think of…Greek Revival, Victorian, Cape Cod, and even more contemporary styles. However, my favorites homes are, and always have been, houses with very large front porches.
The book detailed how the “front porch” is largely gone from most new American homes these days. As lifestyles have changed, homes have changed to reflect this. As we have grown increasingly isolated from one another, people have opted against the open front porch in favor of a backyard deck surrounded by a yard with a privacy fence. Gone are the days of sitting on the porch and socializing with the passersby and community around us.
This reflects knowledge already documented by social research. In 2006, a study was released by the American Sociological Review illustrating that from 1985 to 2004, “the number of people saying there is no one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled.” The need for more “front porch” opportunities is great in our society…a need the church can fill.
How awesome would it be if in the neighborhoods where we live, our homes were known as the “front porch” of the neighborhood…inviting neighbors for cookouts, being outside (in the front yard) and visible, or stopping to talk with neighbors as we’re out on a walk? What great opportunities might the Lord bring about through those encounters? I know that we are still in the midst of thawing from this crazy winter, but perhaps being a “front porch” could be a goal we all set for the warmer months of 2014.

Nic Skinner

Sermon Outline, April 27, 2014

The Beginning of the End

II Kings 17

Keep God First.

            Idolatry strays away from God.

                        ~ Matthew 6:24

             Be Loyal to God.

                        ~ Mark 12:30; John 14:15; I John 5:3

 Keep an Open Life.

            Secrecy tries to hide from God.

                        ~ Hebrews 4:13; II Chronicles 16:9; Psalm 32:13; Proverbs 15:11

             Be Real before God.

                        ~ Psalm 139:7; Luke 12:2

 Keep a Sensitive Heart.

            A Calloused Heart rejects God.

                        ~ Romans 2:5

             A Sensitive Heart honors God.

                        ~ Hebrews 10:22; Matthew 11:15; Matthew 7:21

Leaving a Legacy

Do you ever think about what kind of legacy you are leaving?
Brad Haggard recently got me on to ancestry.com where you can trace your family line back through history by having access to public records. I have traced the Allen name all the way back to the 1500’s in England so far! I discovered that one of my grandfathers, Isaac Allen, fought in the Revolutionary War under the direct command of George Rogers Clark; fascinating! And also that Ethan Allen (look him up) is a brother of one of my great-great (etc.) grandfathers. It was fascinating to be able to look back and see where I’ve come from and what my family has been through over hundreds of years. I wonder if someday a descendent of mine will be able to look back and be proud of the legacy that I left behind. I want to leave a legacy of faith.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the funeral of William W. Simpson, Tommy’s father. It was amazing to hear the stories of his influence and to actually see just how many people were touched by his life and the life of his family. Billy left a legacy of faith for his family. It was such an inspiring experience for me to experience the effects of this man’s great faith.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of the influence you have in your own family. If you are like me, you might be only the first or second generation of Christ followers in your family tree. If we are diligent though, one day, generations in the future, our descendants will be able to look back and see the great legacy of faith and a family committed to the mission of Jesus Christ! I pray that if Jesus hasn’t returned, that my descendants will draw strength in their own faith from that legacy. What legacy are you leaving?

Mike Allen

The Future of the Church

Every year the middle school group from church goes to a weekend conference held by Christ In Youth called “Believe”. This is the spiritual highlight for the students who go, and for good reason. The worship is high energy, the speaking is directed towards them, the video production is top-notch, and probably most important, they get to spend it with their good friends. This particular weekend has been growing for some time, and this year the Bank of Kentucky Arena was bursting at the seams with 6,000 middle school students! It was tough even to move around between sessions.
While in one of the worship sessions I looked at the huge crowd of students around the stage singing their heart out in worship, and it made me think about all of the negativity we hear concerning today’s students and the future of the church. People outside of the church are proclaiming a future collapse of the church and it’s influence, but what this conference illustrated most clearly to me is that God is raising up a generation of Christians to carry the banner. Especially in our group of students, the commitment to Christ and God’s Kingdom is sincere, and it changes their lives!
So more than anything else I left encouraged that God is working not just in the lives of our students here at Tates Creek Christian Church, but in churches all over the country. And as the conference grows to the point that we don’t have room in an arena anymore, I remember that God is at work all over the world to build His Kingdom!

Brad Haggard

Sermon Outline, April 20, 2014

Christ’s Resurrection

Psalm 16:10

 The Resurrection of Jesus Christ declares God’s Existence.

            Christ’s Resurrection declares God is Living.

                        ~ Romans 10:9

             Christ’s Resurrection declares God is Eternal.

                        ~ John 11:25-26; John 17:3

 The Resurrection of Jesus Christ declares God’s Faithfulness.

            God is Faithful to His Word.

                        ~ Deuteronomy 7:9; II Corinthians 1:20

             God is Faithful to His Son.

                        ~ Psalm 16:10

 The Resurrection of Jesus Christ declares God’s Power.

            God’s Power raises the dead, Physically.

                        ~ John 5:28-29; I Corinthians 6:14; I Corinthians 15:52

             God’s Power raises the dead, Spiritually.

                        ~ Romans 6:4-5; Colossians 2:12-13

The Empty Tomb

First, I wish to express my honor in the opportunity to address the family of Tates Creek Christian Church. For the past eight years I have called this place my home. By His grace I have experienced great joy in serving and worshiping with each of you. Our Lord works in mighty ways and His provisions are far greater than we can even desire. I often find myself amazed by His grace and His mercy. May we awake each day with the desire to be more like Jesus in every aspect of our lives.

Throughout Scripture we find beautiful and powerful images of our Christ, Jesus. However, to me there is none quite as beautiful as the resurrection. In Isaiah His word tells us that He was pierced for our transgressions and by His wounds we have been healed (Isaiah 53:5). The image of Christ on the cross of Calvary gives us great strength and on that cross the penalty of our sins was paid.

But, for all Christians, it is the empty tomb that gives us our greatest hope, and without it death would have remained victorious. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that the resurrection of Christ is to be the validity of all we proclaim. Without the risen Jesus, even our faith would be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). To be very blunt, if Christ had not risen, then all in which we believe would be worthless and have NO truth!

As the body of believers, may this be our charge, wherever we go and in whatever we do: proclaim He has risen and He is at the right hand of the Father!

Nick Wallen

Weeks in Ethiopia

This past weekend, Travis, Clare, and I made our first trip to Nekempte since moving to Ethiopia. The occasion, we’ve got to have those work permit papers signed so we can stay legal! Travis and I were both excited about the trip…finally we get to go see the city where we will eventually make our home. Yes, we’ve been there before, but 24 hours, two years ago, hardly counts. So we made our way down to Nekempte on a beautiful, newly paved, winding road. It is dry season here, but the land and the farms still amazed us with their beauty.
We finally arrived at 8:30 in the evening, hoping to meet Negatu and Dhaba for dinner. Negatu and Dhaba are the church leaders in Nekempte who are signing our paperwork for our work permits. They are telling the Ethiopian government that we are here to provide a service to the church that cannot be filled by an Ethiopian. They believe that our seminary education and development training can help the church both in biblical training and with income generating projects. We feel the weight of responsibility- both to God and to this church- to be faithful, work hard, and do our part.
In the end, we did share a meal (even though it was late), Negatu signed our paperwork, and we spent the night at the church, because there was no room in the inn…or any inn for that matter. We also remembered something very important–we are not just here to give, we are here to receive. The church here has a lot to teach us and so much love, hospitality and friendship to extend to us…all we have to do is open our hearts and our hands.
We love and miss you all. Please keep us and the ministry here in your prayers.

Travis, Emily, & Clare Weeks

Sermon Outline, April 13, 2014

God’s Prophets (Elijah & Elisha)

II Kings 1 & 2

 Be Courageous.

            Speak God’s Word Boldly.

                        ~ Matthew 10:28

             Speak God’s Word Confidently.

                        ~ Isaiah 55:11; John 10:35

 Be Confident.

            Be Confident in God’s Protection.

                        ~ II Timothy 4:18; Psalm 121:7

             Be Confident in God’s Presence.

                        ~ Deuteronomy 31:8

 Be Constant.

            Be Faithful to God’s Calling.

                        ~ II Timothy 4:7; I Corinthians 15:58

             Be Faithful to God’s People.

                        ~ Galatians 6:10; II Timothy 2:13

Willing Volunteers Make a Difference

Over the past three months I have been humbled and greatly blessed by amazing and willing volunteers in the Elementary Ministry! What do you do as the leader in children’s ministry when Sunday or a special event is coming quickly and as the leader you can’t be present? Do you cancel the special event, make plans for family Sunday, or put your trust into the hands of incredible volunteers? At Tates Creek Christian Church we do option 3. Here is the story…
On Christmas Day, my wife’s grandmother passed away. Within minutes the normal Sunday schedule changed leaders and never skipped a beat. Volunteers like Pam Bolt, Mary Beth Long, Ellie Mullins, and Aly Thompson along with the always faithful team already scheduled took over!
Then, the day before Valentine’s Day I came down with a 48 hour flu followed by bronchitis. Again, on Sunday the team took over and the children experienced worship, Bible story, Sunday School, and fellowship like normal!
Finally, the last Sunday of February brought the passing of my grandfather while an Elementary Movie Night was planned that coming Friday. For a moment it was considered to postpone the event until Erika Hranicky, Larry and Brenda Critchfield, Barbara Slusher, Stephanie Wheeler, Brad Wheeler, Darren Banks, Marlee Mirre, Kaitlyn Long, and MacKenzie Mirre took over. When my family came to the event on Friday (just a few hours after my grandfather’s graveside service) we became part of the crowd of kids while the team continued leading.
To the many people who serve in children’s ministry with a willing, ready, and flexible heart I want to say thank you! You make a difference in every child’s life, but in the past three months you have richly blessed this children’s minister! I believe I serve with the best group of servants in children’s ministry and love to watch you grow as you serve!
If you ever want to see this team in action, want to be part of the growing group of volunteers in children’s ministry, OR want to know more come see me in Uptown sometime! You will quickly agree with me… willing volunteers make a difference!!

Matt Lee

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