Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “May, 2014”

Sermon outline, June 1, 2014

Rebuilding the Walls

Nehemiah 4 & 6

 A Servant of God demonstrates Humility.

            Humility empties Self.

                        ~ Philippians 2:5-7

             Humility reaches for God’s Plan.

                        ~ John 3:30

 A Servant of God demonstrates Heart.

            God’s Servant has a heart for Purpose.

                        ~ Jeremiah 29:11

             God’s Servant has a heart for People.

                        ~ Philippians 2:4

 A Servant of God demonstrates Commitment.

            God’s Servant is committed to Responsibility.

                        ~ Philippians 3:14; Luke 9:62

             God’s Servant is committed to Truth.

                        ~ John 8:32; I Corinthians 13:6

Decals, Bumper Stickers, & License Plates

If you know me well, then you know that I am not a fan of “things” that people place on their cars. First of all, they can be a distraction to drivers; secondly, they can be vulgar. But one thing is obvious…the driver’s loyalty to a particular university, a sport, their political persuasion,
an activity and my least favorite of all, the size of their family represented by “stick people”! Well, if I am honest I would also say that I dislike (greatly) the ones that start with “My Kid is an honor student at…
So why am I spouting off on this “pet peeve” which may seem rather insignificant in the larger scheme of things? Well, it seems that many of us are proud to display our loyalty to these things on our cars, but so often we as Christians seem to have difficulty sharing our faith. I also am not a fan of decals with crosses and fish on them. After all, we have all seen drivers who embarrass other Christians through their driving habits. Don’t worry…you won’t see me scraping stickers off bumpers!
It is one thing to have a specialty license plate, a license plate holder, decal, etc. on the outside of our vehicle, but another thing for us to wear the name of Christ proudly. Are we as willing to share our faith in one-on-one contact as we are to share our loyalties on our bumper? It is more difficult because we may face rejection. We may be avoided by others who don’t want to hear our testimony. We may not be as popular with our friends. But that is what Christ asks us to do: to wear His name proudly…as proudly as we would show our loyalties on the outside of our car. (Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 3:17) I eat out a lot in restaurants and in casual conversation, many people ask me what I do for a living. When I tell them I am a worship minister, sometimes it opens doors; other times it gets very quiet. But, I am never ashamed to tell them that I love to lead people in worship of our God and Savior.

Don Seevers

First Six Months

Six months!? Emily and I have been in Ethiopia for six months and, oh my, what a busy six months it has been! We’re constantly amazed at how God provides for us at every step of the way. Through His people, God has provided us the resources we need to live and work here, with knowledge to navigate a new place, with wonderful teammates and friends, and life-giving, fulfilling work.
We give thanks to God for the grace and provisions that have carried us through these crucial first few months. Our biggest task, so far, has been learning as much Amharic (the main language spoken in Ethiopia) and building as many relationships as we can. And, so far, everything has been right on track. (In fact, we just passed our most recent exam and are officially in “Phase 3” of our language program. I know that doesn’t mean anything to y’all, but it’s a big deal for us).
In the last six months. We have…
• Moved twice…and we couldn’t be more thankful for the home we are in.
• Secured our work permits! Woo Hoo! This was a long, complicated process and we’re so happy it’s complete because without work permits we can’t continue ministry in Ethiopia!
• Made two visits to Nekempte to meet with key church leaders (Nekempte is the city we’ll eventually be stationed in after our year of language study).
• Preached at a conference where over a hundred leaders from the churches we’re working with gathered for three days of worship, fellowship, and teaching.
We were also thrilled to have Dan and Sue Burton back in Ethiopia for the conference! Dan and Sue used to be on the CMF team in Ethiopia and were Tates Creek’s first Living Link missionaries! Emily and I felt fortunate to get to spend some time with them while they were here. They have a lot of wisdom and experience to share!
We’re so thankful for Tates Creek! We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your care and support. And thank you for the facebook notes and for the cards that have made it all the way over here! The Kingdom of God is changing whole communities over here. There are churches in villages now where, a year ago, people hadn’t heard about Jesus. Y’all are making this work possible!

Travis, Emily, & Clare Weeks

Scripture Memorization

Can I tell you how proud I am of all of the children in Critterland? Each month we do a memory verse with all of the kids that attend Jesus in the Park. Sometimes the verses are only four words, and sometimes they are almost a paragraph. I’ve been trying to give the children verses that are a little bit more difficult, and they have stepped up to the challenge! Even the youngest ones, not even 2 years old, can do the motions and say the words each and every month. I know they don’t retain the entire verse from month to month, but I do know that when they hear it again, they always remember parts of each one very quickly. Our goal in Critterland is to make sure that the kids are getting a strong base for their faith. We want the children to have fun, but also be able to apply the Bible and God’s word to their every day life or the situations they might run across.

Lesley Tipton

Sermon Outline, May 25, 2014


Ezra 1

 The Exile started when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 B.C.

 Babylon was taken over by the Persians.

 The king who ordered Judah and Benjamin to return was Cyrus.

 Out of all of the exiles, only 42,360 returned, and the remainder stayed in Exile.

 The first thing the returnees did was rebuild the altar but not the whole Temple.

The king who ordered the Temple to be finished was Darius.

 The Temple was finally finished and dedicated in 516 B.C.

 The prophet who foretold the seventy-year Exile was Jeremiah.

 There are lots of Christian exiles in Syria, Nigeria, and North Korea today.

 One way to bring children out of Exile today is through foster care and adoption.

The Goal of Youth Ministry

Probably the most important hurdle that teenagers have to cross is how to negotiate their increasingly splintered lives. Everywhere people are clamoring for their attention and their time. It can be friends, sports, social media, musical groups, just about any group in our results oriented culture. The benefits we enjoy from a specialized society also put more and more pressure on our youth to quickly identify what makes them unique, and how they can stand out in an increasingly diverse crowd. The great question every teenager will ask is “who will notice me?” Sometimes it becomes difficult to imagine that even God will notice them.
But in the middle of this, students in the Church are open to an amazing opportunity. They can form a group, centered around Jesus’ message and example, where everyone can meet from differing backgrounds. Paul gives a compelling description of the group in 1 Corinthians 1:26-30, pointing out that God doesn’t pick only the influential, or the “strategic” people. He picks out the lowly, those who wouldn’t otherwise be noticed. In a competitive culture how important is it to hear that you are noticed because you are lowly!
So this past month as we talked about our place in the group and the Kingdom on our annual high school Spring Retreat. I was so encouraged to hear our students talk about how much this group meant to them. We have students from a number of different backgrounds, and while it isn’t always easy, it’s clear that they care about each other. That kind of care comes from the Spirit, and that’s the goal of youth ministry. When your students are ministering to each other, then Jesus is being proclaimed not just when I preach, but whenever our students reach out with Jesus’ love!

Brad Haggard

Living in 3-D

I am writing this article on a Thursday. Literally, just an hour or two ago, I got a call from my wife, Elizabeth. Her first comments to me were, “Was anything wrong with the van when you drove it last night?” You can probably already sense the sinking feeling I had in my gut. Thankfully, as it turned out, everything was okay. It was a warm day and she had run over a soft patch of new asphalt without realizing it (If you’ve been up our way on Leestown Road recently and seen the construction, you know why.). That asphalt on the tire was causing the car to feel out of balance. However, as she continued driving, it eventually fell off, and the van regained smooth handling. Having balance is important in cars. It is also important in relationships.
When it comes to our relationships, how biblically balanced are we? Are we firing on all cylinders, or just wobbling along?
In Luke 6:12-19, we get a snapshot of the three essential relationships of Jesus’ life and ministry. In verse 12, we see Him taking time to nurture His “upward” relationship with God. In verses 13-16, we see Him choosing to live “in” a purpose-filled fellowship, not isolation. In verses 17-19, we see Him focus “outwardly” on loving others in need. These three relationships were the constant core of Jesus’ ministry, and have remained the constant core for His people today (Acts 2:42-47). Authors Mike Breen and Steve Cockram refer to these three relationships (UP, IN, and OUT) as “The Triangle” for deeper relationships in their book, Building a Discipling Culture. When our lives have balance in these three areas, we can develop much fruit for the Kingdom of God!
So how’s your triangle look? Most people (and churches) tend to excel in two out of three of these relationships, often naturally, while finding the third to be more difficult. Meat Loaf, the singer, would say “…two out of three ain’t bad…” To the Holy Spirit, however, it’s spiritually debilitating. It’s time for us to kick the tar off the tires and start living life in 3-D!

Nic Skinner

Sermon Outline, May 18, 2014

Daniel in Exile

Daniel 1

 Be Resolved to Know the Right Thing.

            Resolve to Look for the Right.

                 The Word of God ~ II Timothy 3:16

                 The Holy Spirit ~ John 16:7-8

                 The Conscience ~ Romans 2:14-15 

             Resolve to Treasure the Right.

                        ~ Psalm 119:11; Romans 1:16

 Be Resolved to Do the Right Thing.

            Do the Right in Every Place.

                        ~ Hebrews 4:13; II Chronicles 16:9; Psalm 33:13

             Do the Right by Every Person.

                        ~ Romans 12:17; James 4:17

 Be Resolved to Trust God’s Faithfulness.

            God is Faithful to His People.

                        ~ Deuteronomy 7:9

             God is Faithful to His Word.

                        ~ Luke 11:28

A Lost and Dying World

In last month’s article I wrote of how we don’t consider our Christian life here in America to be a particularly dangerous one. We have experienced safety and security, and have enjoyed comfort and acceptance afforded by our nations undeniable Christian roots for over 200 years. Those who have aspired to seek political office, both on the local level and national level, have historically tried to align themselves with the church in order to find the widespread support needed for their cause. Our society historically counted on the church to be a positive influence in our communities by stressing a strong moral fabric in its populace, and in so doing making our cities a safe and wholesome place to raise a family. The marketplace, too, has depended on the church to keep the scales honest and the worker treated with dignity. Do you remember that America? I do, but I see it fast disappearing, and a recent occurrence just illustrated how far we’ve fallen. Focus on the Family has produced a mainline movie scheduled to hold a one night showing in theaters across America. The title of the movie is “Irreplaceable” and it examines the impact of the declining American family because of the redefining of the God-given design for it. The problem is, there are those who are determined that to even discuss the issue is hate speech and have threatened theaters planning on showing the movie. Of course, many theaters are now considering not showing it. Again, historically, loving the truth and being guided by a strong moral compass was a positive attribute, but today it is considered to be hateful attitude. Perhaps we should begin to realize we have counted on the safety of an earthly government when we should have been leaning on the everlasting arms of our heavenly father. Ancient Israel did that when it looked to Egypt for its help rather than God. It is indeed often sad to see the state of this great country, but whether it remains accepting of the Church and its influence or opposes it, the fact that our help comes from the Lord does not change. So also we should remember that loving truth and clinging to goodness may be hate speech to some, but it is in reality the only loving thing we can do to help a lost and dying world.

Kim Beckwith

Would You Consider Being a Foster Parent?

Lauren and I became certified foster parents through a local agency called SAFY (Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth) this past November. Immediately after being certified, we found out a student from our previous ministry in Mason, Ohio, was in the custody of the state of Kentucky. We took it as God giving us an immediate opportunity to help and minister to this young man. Michael has been with us in our home for nearly 6 months now. He has been a great addition to our family.
Initially, I was scared to death to open my home for foster care. We have 3 young children of our own. Peyton is 9, Nolan is 7, and Cameron is 6. They keep us so busy, I felt like we couldn’t handle anyone else in our home. We stepped out in faith, went through the training, and now we have caught a glimpse of what foster care can do for a child who needs a temporary family. It is such a great opportunity to minister to kids who are going through a really hard time in their lives.
As a certified foster parent, you also have the opportunity to provide respite care for other foster families. A few weekends ago, we provided respite care for a little 5 year old girl. You could see the fear all over her face when she first arrived at our home. She had no clue who we were. I can’t imagine how scary that is for such a young child. Within a few hours, she was laughing and playing with our kids and we had a great time with her.
Our church has many adoptive parents, and many foster parents. We need more. There is a need for foster parents in Fayette County. In James, God has called us to minister to widows and orphans. Could you open up your home? Could you trust God to lead you through becoming a foster parent? You aren’t too old. Your house is not too small. YOU can make such a huge difference in the life of a child. If you would like more information please visit http://www.safy.org or http://www.bair.org. These are both great Christian foster agencies that are involved with families in our church. Pray about it!

Mike Allen

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