Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “August, 2014”

Sermon Outline, August 31, 2014, “Like a Good Neighbor . . .”

“Like A Good Neighbor…”

Luke 10:25-37

 Who is my neighbor?

 A Person to Value Personally (Leviticus 19:18; Romans 13:8-10)

 

 A Person to Love Unconditionally (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 5:8)

 

 A Person to Love Generously (Romans 5:8; Isaiah 58:6-12; Matthew 5:14-16)

 

 

News from the Weeks in Ethiopia

For people like Emily and me who have ministry jobs, oftentimes, opportunities to serve don’t fall within our stated job descriptions. This puts us in company with the rest of the Body of Christ – you’re all called to live out your faith outside of work, so it is with us.
In January we moved into a house on a seminary campus in Addis Ababa. The main reason we chose to live here is because it put us within a five-minute walk of our language school. What we didn’t realize was that living here would also present us with opportunities to help some of the students we’ve been able to become friends with.
One of these students is Gatwech. He’s very smart, very humble, and has an amazing story. He is one of Sudan’s “Lost Boys.” Because of fighting in his home village (and after hearing that his family had been killed), he fled the country when he was young. He ended up in southern Ethiopia and was taken in by a Christian woman. This woman opened her home to him, raised him, and shared her faith with him. For years, Gatwech has wanted to return to his home area in South Sudan to make an impact there for the Kingdom of God.
Gatwech is a student on the campus where we live and has been worshiping with our house church. When fighting in South Sudan broke out again a few months ago, his wife and eighteen-month old daughter had to flee the country. Our house church was able to help them get here safely and set up in a house.
Gatwech is spending this month in a refugee camp in southern Ethiopia with thousands of his South Sudanese brothers and sisters. As a cultural insider, he is there to encourage them and to collect data that will help aid agencies serve the refugees better. Our house church helped make this trip possible.
I say all this to say, “Thank you for sending Emily and me to Ethiopia.” By putting us right here, right now, you, Tates Creek, are helping a young Sudanese minister and his family, a minister that is making a big impact in his community for the Kingdom of God. Please continue to pray for us, Gatwech, Nyaluok (his wife), and Nyatwech (their daughter).

Travis, Emily, & Clare Weeks

Relationships

I was once again reminded of the importance of relationships in ministry. I went as a sponsor on Brad’s Kings Island trip with the middle school and high school students. It is such a great opportunity to build relationships with students.
Spending an entire day with a small group walking around an amusement park, standing in line, and eating together really provides a lot of opportunities for different conversations. As silly, or as meaningful as those conversations may be, they all build on the existing relationship and help you relate with the person on a deeper level.
As we walked through the park, I came across six former students of mine (that I worked with at Christ’s Church at Mason in Mason, Ohio). They were all employees at the park. As I talked with each of those students, memories flooded back of time I spent with each of them when they were entering 7th or 8th grade. You see, living in Mason, all the kids had passes to Kings Island. Each year, the church would buy me a pass so that I could go and hang out with kids one day a week. Many of what are now meaningful relationships with young adults, started out as time spent together riding roller coasters, standing in line, being silly, talking about hopes and dreams, and eating together when those young adults were just middle school students.
I think the lesson I learned from this trip was that time spent with a person is one of the greatest gifts that you can give them. I also think that time with someone is one of the greatest gifts you can receive. Are you giving enough time to build meaningful relationships? With your family? With your church family? With people who don’t know Jesus? This Kings Island trip certainly made me think about those questions!

Mike Allen

Sermon Outline, August 24, 2014, “Tell the Story ~ Vision”

Tell the Story ~ Vision

Luke 15:1-10

 Leave the Familiar.

            Leave the familiar Comfort Zone.

                        ~ Luke 9:23

             Leave the familiar Busyness.

                        ~ Luke 9:24

 Go Everywhere.

            Go Proactively.

                        ~ Matthew 28:19

             Go Positively.

                        ~ John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:31-32

 Look Thoroughly.

            Look Thoughtfully.

                        ~ Philippians 2:4

             Look Carefully.

                        ~ I Thessalonians 5:21

             Look Persistently.

                        ~ I Corinthians 15:58

I Love Being Part of THE CHURCH

Have you ever listened to a child tell a story? When you work with children, you get to hear very interesting tales, that may or may not be true. We hear everything about what they did the night before (and some things I don’t think parents want us to know!) We hear about birthdays that didn’t happen, or vacations they never went on. Even though the stories sometimes aren’t true, the kids manage to make all of their stories so interesting, and put in so much detail, you can’t help but smile and get caught up in their excitement.

As we are wrapping up The Story series, I look at all of the lessons we have covered and I’m so happy the children have really been able to hear a lot of different Bible stories. We gave them many interesting details but managed to keep our lessons basic enough, that with a little encouragement, their young minds are able to recall the characters and events we talked about. They might get a few details mixed up (Harry was Jesus’ mother, David knocked Samson over with his stone, etc.) but the knowledge is there. We will continue to teach the children this month about God’s love, and why they are so very special to Him and His story.

Matt Lee

The Power of a Youth Group

One of the things that conferences like C.I.Y. does is force a youth group to live and work together for a week. When that happens, students begin to lean on each other and open up to each other about the things that trouble them. When you realize just how much these students have to deal with in their lives, it can be overwhelming! What’s even greater, though, is how these same students support each other through prayer, encouragement, and laughter. I can’t think of a stronger illustration of Hebrews 3:13, “Comfort one another every day, as long as it is called “Today”, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
I began to wonder, also, how students who don’t have a vibrant church community deal with all of the trouble and worry in their lives. It is likely that they become “hardened” or numb to the cares of others as they push down the burdens they carry. I can tell students are hungry for this community when they come to a conference and go away saying it was the “best week of their life”. It is life-giving to a teenager.
Don’t miss out on the chance to have your student invest in a youth group! I know that we are all committed in a number of different ways. If we really put priorities on our activities, sending your student to camp, where they can build community with other students who are passionate about following Jesus, has to be the most important. I’m quickly becoming convinced that this is the best way to keep your student’s faith from becoming stale. When students are around each other listening to the Holy Spirit, their hearts truly turn towards God!

Brad Haggard

Sermon Outline, August 17, 2014, “Tell the Story ~ Integrity”

Tell the Story ~ Integrity

James 1:19-27

 Build Integrity with Humility.

            Humility receives the Word.

                        ~ Matthew 11:15; Colossians 3:16

             Humility implements the Word.

                        ~ Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46

 Build Integrity with Self-Control.

            Exercise self-control over Temper.

                        ~ Proverbs 22:24-25

             Exercise self-control over Tongue.

                        ~ Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 4:29

 Build Integrity with Godliness.

            Pursue Righteousness.

                        ~ I Corinthians 6:18-20; Ephesians 5:3-4; Colossians 3:5

             Pursue Purity.

                        ~ Psalm 24:3-4; I Corinthians 6:18-20; Philippians 4:8

Partnership with Julius Marks Elementary School

The partnership with Tates Creek Christian Church for the past two years with Julius Marks Elementary School has been extraordinary. Through your collaboration, endless efforts, and support services for student achievement you have been a valuable asset for our school and community.

In 2012, Tates Creek Christian Church donated over 250 backpacks filled with back to school supplies to JME to be given to our students in need. In addition, each teacher in the building received a bag of general office supplies including markers, tape, pencils, erasers, etc. for use in our classrooms. Matt Lee, the Children’s Minister, met with the leadership team at JME in August 2013 to organize plans for our partnership. The church sponsored a “Back to School Bash” in the park beside the school. Inflatable games and a youth band performed on site. A free meal was served to all who attended. This event provided staff and families with a first school social before the school year began. Church volunteers ran all games and served food to allow the faculty and staff of JME time to talk with students and families throughout the evening. The church donated school supplies to children and staff as well.

In the fall of 2012 volunteers from the church began a garden on the JME grounds. These volunteers created and maintained this garden for all students and families to use. Volunteers come to refresh plants seasonally to allow students to learn about new plants. This area now serves as an outdoor science classroom where our students can observe life-cycles of both plants and insects. In September 2013, a fourth grade teacher at JME, organized volunteers of students, staff, and church members to meet. As a result, on a Saturday morning in September, the landscaping and shrubs had a “sprucing up”. Flower beds were weeded, plants removed, and new plants planted. In addition, volunteers came back to JME to paint the marquee, making the school’s name stand out.

Supporting the goals and partnership activities that have been brought to JME are aligned with the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, which include parental/community involvement and eliminating achievement gaps in reading. Tates Creek Christian Church provides volunteers that come weekly to read with our students in the school library and to work on foundational reading skills. They work with the Family Resource Center and sponsor “Holiday Assistance” for our families/children in need of gifts and food, including delivering it to their homes. They began this project in 2012 and continued to provide in 2013 with increasing the number of families/children they assisted the previous year.

At Julius Marks Elementary our students are witnessing the value of service, and a culture of caring is being internalized by what they see our community partners doing. Our students are learning about community and civic responsibility. Families are collaborating, communicating, and taking pride in their child’s education/school by participating in the many events that are being brought to our school by Tates Creek Christian Church. This faith-based family has provided academic, social, and emotional support for our students. This partnership exemplifies how powerful community partners are valued by doing all they can do to serve, praise, and uplift the lives of children!

Julius Marks Elementary is always looking for future volunteers to get involved. We are always in need of volunteers to help with tutoring during the school day or even during the after-school program. Please contact Krista R. Mason, Family Resource Center Coordinator at
krista.mason@fayette.kyschools.us or 859-381-3470.

Krista Mason, Julius Marks Elementary

Book Recommendation: “Soul Keeping” by John Ortberg

I hope everyone is having a great summer! As usual, summer time goes by so quickly. Regardless of the season, one of my favorite things to do is read. I want to pass along the title of a great book that will encourage and challenge you in your walk with Jesus Christ. The name of the book is Soul Keeping by John Ortberg. This book is about taking care of the most important part of you ~ your soul.
In this book Ortberg helps us understand the soul with the analogy to a computer. He compares the soul to the operating system of a computer. The operating system of a computer assimilates the various programs on a computer. In like manner, the soul integrates the will, the mind, and the body. The operating system of a computer runs well as long as there are no viruses. If there is a virus in the operating system, the computer may either run very slow, or sometimes, not at all. The virus that affects the soul is sin. On page 44 Ortberg says, “For the ruined soul—that is, where the will and the mind and the body are disintegrated, disconnected from God, and living at odds with the way God made life in the universe to run — acquiring the whole world could not even produce satisfaction, let alone meaning and goodness.” Sin disconnects our soul from God.
One of the great principles that Ortberg stresses is that I, and I alone, am responsible for the condition of my soul. I, and no one else, am responsible for the care of my soul. Some people never address their soul. They suppress the care of their soul with work, hobbies, or superficial relationships. These folks never go deep. They never deal with their own soul. The soul needs a keeper; someone to take care of it. Ortberg quotes Dallas Willard by saying, “You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God.” (p. 89). The most convicting principle for me in the book came in the chapter entitled, “The Soul Needs Rest.” On page 134 he writes, “Busy-ness is inevitable in modern culture. If you are alive in North America, you are a busy person. There are limits to how much busy-ness we can tolerate.” Ouch! That really hit home. I am greatly challenged to rest my soul.
Ortberg also discusses other ways to take care of your soul. His book is a great read! I highly recommend it.

Tommy Simpson

Sermon Outline, August 10, 2014, “Heaven: God’s Continuing Story . . .”

Heaven: God’s Continuing Story….

Revelation 21 – 22

 Heaven is a Real Place.

            Heaven is a Prepared Place.

                        ~ John 14:2; Matthew 25:34

             Heaven is a Perpetual Place.

                        ~ Psalm 45:6; Luke 1:33

 Heaven is a Protected Place.

            Heaven will be protected from Sin.

                        ~ II Peter 3:13

             Heaven will be protected from Pain.

                        ~ I Corinthians 15:50-57

 Heaven is a People Place.

            Heaven consists of Fellowship with God and Jesus.

                        ~ John 14:2-3

             Heaven consists of Fellowship with our Loved Ones.

                        ~ I Thessalonians 4:13-17

 Heaven is a Purposeful Place.

            One purpose for us in heaven will be Service.

                        ~ I Corinthians 15:58

             Another purpose for us in heaven will be Worship.

                        ~ Revelation 5:12

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