Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

Independence vs. Dependence

I have been on quite a journey over the last several weeks as I had surgery to replace my right knee. I know my recovery and rehabilitation have been much better than many others have experienced, so much so that should I need to have the left knee replaced, the decision to do so will be much easier to make. I am grateful for that, because quite honestly it could have been much more difficult (or so I have heard!).
But while I have been on this journey I have really had to learn to depend on others. Those of you who know me well are aware that I am quite independent, having lived on my own my entire adult life. I am used to (and quite comfortable) doing things for myself. I have seen that change a little in the last few years as I have had to depend on others to do physical jobs that I used to enjoy doing myself. I am sure that many of you will agree that it is somewhat frightening when we realize that we “can’t do it all anymore.”
However, in recent weeks, I have leaned on friends, caregivers, and physical therapists to get me through the recovery period. Sometimes, I was frustrated and wanted to scream, “I don’t need all this help and I can do it on my own.” But, I was wrong. I learned that I couldn’t do it alone…I had to…I needed to…I must depend on others! If I had tried to do everything on my own, I would have messed up things and perhaps ruined my hopes for a complete recovery. I also learned that the caregivers gained real joy in helping me. Who am I to deny them that joy?
I know that the happiest and most joy-filled Christians learn that they not only must depend upon God, but also upon His caregivers; other Christians who can minister to us. Being in a Sunday School class, participating in a small group, and serving on a ministry team brings us joy because we are giving of ourselves to others and learning to depend on them. I challenge you to not be so independent that you find yourself all alone in this world. It is easy to become independent and miss out on some of the best relationships we can know. God really designed us to live in this way. I am grateful to all who provided a meal, sat with me at home, visited me, sent cards, and offered prayers on my behalf!

Don Seevers

Sermon Outline, September 28, 2014, “Colossians ~ The Incomparable Christ!”

Colossians ~ The Incomparable Christ!

Colossians 1:15-29

 Jesus is Incomparable because of His Person!

He is the Image of God. ~ Hebrews 1:3

He is the First-born of Creation. ~ Philippians 2:9-11

He is Creator. ~ John 1:1-3

He is Eternal. ~ Hebrews 7:3

He is the Sustainer. ~ Psalm 54:5

He is the Head of the Church. ~ Ephesians 5:23

He is the First-born of the Dead. ~ II Timothy 1:10

Jesus is Incomparable because of His Purpose!

The Reconciliation of Jesus Christ is Sufficient.

~ Romans 5:1; Romans 5:9

The Reconciliation of Jesus Christ is Conditional.

~ Revelation 2:10

Jesus is Incomparable because of His Presence!

His Presence in us is our hope of glory in Suffering.

~ I Peter 4:14; I Peter 4:16; Romans 8:18

His Presence in us is our hope of glory in Proclaiming Him.

~ I John 1:3

Rich in Spirit

On my recent mission trip to Swaziland, Africa, I saw the expression lived out, “They are not poor, they just don’t have money.”
The women at the three day conference were rich in spirit. After the last session they put a basket at the front. Thinking it was an offering for the church, we dropped in money. Imagine our shock when they presented it to us – the equivalent of $17, not counting what we put in. We will sow it back through a fund at Lexington Leadership Foundation (the ministry leading the trip). It can go into funds to pay for bags of cement needed to complete a new church building ($9 per bag for 70 bags). We were overwhelmed when a handmade artificial flower arrangement was presented to each of us.
It was a country with pot holes all over the dirt road leading to the church, chickens roaming the yard, and cows loose on the road. A huge black pot of rice simmered over a fire in the cooking shed. The outhouse loomed in the distance.
Primitive? Yes, but the atmosphere was full of love. There was real community as various women helped care for the children who were with their mothers.
My ministry partner and I each gave eight discipleship talks. The women were dancing in the aisles after the message on the blood as they celebrated their salvation. They were especially receptive to the talk on not taking offense and controlling your thoughts. Communication was only possible through an interpreter or the universal language – hugs and smiles.
Several days were spent with a local AIDS ministry, teaching their team and going into villages to minister.
They are the poorest of the poor, but they are rich in relationships and the love of the Lord shows on their shining, smiling faces. I treasure getting to make a spiritual deposit in them. Their happy faces will live on in my memory. They are not poor they just don’t have money.
I am grateful to friends and the church mission team for financial help in this outreach to the people of Swaziland, Africa.

Peggy Park

Seeking Satisfaction

Debbie and I recently went to Alaska for a short vacation. As most of you know, Debbie worked for an airline for many years and that has provided us with the opportunity to see distant and exotic places all over the world. One place we have been trying to get to on vacation for years has been Alaska. It is a difficult place to get to in the summer time when you fly space available like we do, that being free if there are any seats left after the paying passengers are all on board. As you can imagine, the flights are usually full during the summer as few people really want to go there in the winter months. I have to admit that when we finally did get there recently, it was truly beautiful, I was just a little disappointed. Because of that, I had to wrestle with myself as to why that was. I came to the conclusion that it was because of all those years of trying to get there only to be disappointed by the flights being full. That caused me to build up expectations beyond what even Alaska could offer. Believe me, Alaska is beautiful, but I had desired it for so long that the reality of it fell short of what I had built it up to be in my mind. Have you ever experienced that? We shouldn’t be surprised. When we seek after the things of the world we always end up disappointed. We see that with the Christmas toys our children beg for only to be abandoned before the new year, or the new car we want so much only to have it become old once we’ve had it a few weeks or months. Perhaps you’ve seen that the new iPhone 6 is soon to come out and suddenly the old iPhone 5 is……well its old.
There’s an old song that says, “Like the woman at the well, I was seeking for things that could not satisfy.” It speaks a truth that most of us who have lived any time at all have discovered, that being, the only things that really satisfy are the things we find in Christ Jesus. Like Peter who said, “To whom shall we go Lord? You have the words of eternal life.” Peter says that which truly satisfies is found only in Jesus Christ. That’s a lesson a trip to Alaska reminded me of and I thought it might be important for me to remind you of, too.

Kim Beckwith

Sermon Outline, September 21, 2014, “Colossians ~ The Hope Above”

Colossians ~ The Hope Above!

Colossians 1:1-14

 Hope in God bears Fruit.

Hope in God bears Strong Faith.

~ Hebrews 13:8

Hope in God bears Strong Love.

~ John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:13; I Peter 1:22

Hope in God pleases God.

To please God is to know His Will.

~ Psalm 119:105; Matthew 7:7; Galatians 6:10; I Peter 4:10; Proverbs 24:6

To please God is to live a Godly Life.

~ Romans 12:2

Hope in God anticipates Heaven!

Heaven is for God’s Redeemed.

~ Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:18-19

Heaven is for God’s Kingdom.

~ John 18:36; I John 4:4

Heaven is for God’s Inheritance.

~ I Peter 1:3-4

He Must Increase; I Must Decrease

Well, we are coming up quick on fall, my absolute favorite season of the year! I love to be outside during the fall season. I love the weather and the beautiful colors that paint the outdoors.
As each season does, autumn is a time that makes me reflect on my faith journey. In the spring, we often think of new life in Christ as we see new life sprouting up all around us. The fall however reminds me of what it means to die. I’m not talking about physical death, but death to self. Just as the trees and plants shed their leaves and are naturally pruned to make way for new life and growth, we experience the same type of thing. As we learn to die to ourselves, the Holy Spirit is allowed more space in our hearts and minds to make us new. Jesus calls us to die to ourselves in Mark 8:34-35 “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
So you see, as we continue to die to ourselves and offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the Lord, we are sanctified. That is, we become more holy, or in other words, becoming more and more like Jesus. Our perspective becomes more like His perspective. We don’t often talk about John the Baptist as being a math whiz, but he had the equation exactly right: He must increase; I must decrease.
So the question for each of us is this: what things in my life do I need to sacrifice? What are the things in my life that I need to die to, so that I may decrease and He may increase? In my opinion, this is one of the most difficult parts of living the Christian life, but also the most rewarding and enlightening. I hope you are challenged with these thoughts.

Mike Allen

Mission Trip to Liberia

In mid-July, a team of 12 traveled to Liberia to the orphanage from which two of Matt and Terah Lee’s children were adopted several years ago. Members of this team from TCCC were Matt Lee, Grant Bolt,
Yvonne Byers, Marlee Mirre, and Deena, Keith, and Nathan Wertz.
The spiritual journey began before the trip. Each of the team members was aware of the Ebola outbreak prior to traveling, and each team member trusted in God’s protection and elected to go, believing that it was God’s will. However, as Gideon did (Judges 6), the team asked for a sign from God to prove that this was truly His will that we go at this particular time. We prayed that the CDC travel alert be raised to a “Level 3” if He wanted us to delay the trip. With the travel alert not being issued, we packed 31 totes of supplies and a generator, boarded a plane, and set-out for Liberia.
Our primary focus was to make personal connections with the children, with the intent of returning to the US and sharing their individual stories to generate ongoing support for the basic needs of the orphanage. Our motivating scripture was, and is Psalm 82:3 “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” Daily we held a VBS with the children, played with them, held them, read to them, and let them know beyond a doubt that they were loved. We brought dresses for the girls to wear and had a photo shoot for each of the children, where we made them the focus of attention. We gave each of them a backpack full of books, clothes, and toys. We had them paint their very own masterpieces, which led to them painting themselves and ultimately led to a super paint war that I am certain none of the kids (or the adults) will ever forget. Truly God blessed our efforts, because each of us drew close to at least one of the children in this orphanage, and will be forever changed because of that.
I believe that most of us went with the hope that we would teach them about Jesus and the fact that our Father in Heaven deserves our honor and praise. But instead, we were humbled at what we witnessed. Every morning and every evening the children would sing praises to the Lord in unison, and by “sing praises,” I don’t mean timid child-like melodic murmuring. These kids were shouting praise to God, and it was awesome! After a few songs, each of the children would stand-up individually and recite a different memory verse. Then two or three of the children would take turns praying aloud. It was the perfect beginning and the perfect end to every day.
Although our primary focus was the children, we also met some of the immediate needs within the orphanage, to include installing a water purification system, creating a library, making repairs, organizing a storage room, installing solar security lights, cultivating an area for a garden, building a chicken coop, and purchasing three chickens.
Because it is impossible to condense what has truly been a life-changing event for all 12 team members into this article, I encourage you to talk with those who were on the team, and let them express to you how God used this mission to impact them personally.
We ask that each of you lift up the orphanage and its children daily in prayer. We will make the needs of the orphanage and the children known so that you can pray specifically, and will make God’s blessings upon the orphanage known so that you can be encouraged by His answers to those prayers. To receive this information go to psalm823.org and click
[Get Involved].

Keith Wertz

Healing

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

There are a lot of reasons to emphasize evangelism as we are in the series “Tell the Story”, but one has particularly hit me in working with youth over the past few years. It is the healing that comes from a person accepting the Gospel, going through baptism, and finding healing for all sorts of deep hurts in their life. The Church, as a community of the redeemed and the healed, is a place to call people to healing.
Students come into youth groups from a wide variety of life situations, but all of them deal with some form of hurt during their years in middle and high school. Unfortunately, parents can’t hide them away from everything that would hurt a child. But over time, as these students grow in the Gospel, I get to see those wounds heal. Not only that, but I also get to see them pick up other students who have been beaten down by life. There is perhaps no greater joy for a youth minister than to see the students ministering to each other.
And that is why we want to call more and more people to hear about Jesus and join the Church!
Our students have even looked outside this country to minister and offer healing to a girl in Cambodia named Brak Barang. She is connected to a ministry of the Rapha House called “Kid’s Club” which identifies children who are at risk for trafficking, and provides them with food, schooling, and a social environment. Our students have faithfully supported her for the past year, and she is hearing about Jesus’ story through their sponsorship. It’s not always quick, but we should be encouraged to share this healing message with whoever we can!

Brad Haggard

Sermon Outline, September 14, 2014, “Tell the Story ~ Urgency!”

Tell the Story ~ Urgency!

Luke 16:19-31

 First Alarm: Death is Inevitable!

Death is Certain.

~ Hebrews 9:27

Death is Uncertain!

~ Psalm 90:12

Second Alarm: Eternity is Inevitable!

Heaven is Inevitable!

~ Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 65:17

Hell is Inevitable!

~ Revelation 14:11; Mark 9:48

Eternity provides No opportunities for the Gospel.

~ Revelation 21:8

Third Alarm: Truth is Inevitable!

Truth ~ Jesus provides the Only Way to Heaven!

~ John 14:6; Acts 4:12

Truth ~ Without Jesus, people enter Hell!

~ Matthew 16:4; Matthew 7:21-23

Teamwork Makes a Difference!

Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work”

When I left for Liberia on July 11th our church body was in the process of collecting donations to cover the cost of 250 backpacks for children at Julius Marks Elementary. We chose to try a different method this year to get more individuals directly involved. This method included asking for donations of $10 for each backpack. At Impact VBS we had collected around $750. This was well short of the $2,500 needed.
Nearly a week before departure, the Servants for Christ class had come up with some ideas and they were excited to lead the charge while I was gone. They shared with Sunday School classes and individuals about the need. To get to this many people directly could only be done with a team, as we are blessed with MANY classes at TCCC. To be honest, I was excited to see how God would provide through His people upon our return from Africa.
The class worked together, shared the vision and the need with classes and individuals, and at some point the flood gates opened wide! Danny Branham and I would conference with each other about how God was meeting the needs through his people. It seemed that every call I received from him was of pure amazement. When the counting was finished more than $4,200 had been given. WOW! When we finally placed the order for the supplies the price had changed to $13 per backpack, but the money was already there! In fact the basic needs were met through the faithfulness of his people, extra supplies (like science boards) were purchased, and a special devotional gift for each teacher was also purchased! Finally, on August 6th we gathered to pack the 250 backpacks! At 6:05 PM nearly 75 people began packing, writing more notes, and loading the backpacks into the bus. The final backpack reached the bus at 6:23 PM! 18 minutes!!!
This was the third year in a row our church body has united together to supply our partner school with backpacks. Each year a different method, but always the same goal. I guess it makes a dreamer wonder… what would happen if we worked together like this all the time?

Matt Lee

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