Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “October, 2014”

Sermon Outline, November 2, 2014, “Colossians ~ Leadership from Above”

 Leadership from Above
Colossians 3:18 – 4:1

Lead with Love.
Love demonstrates Action.
~ Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 5:28; Romans 5:8

Love demonstrates Value.
~ I Peter 3:7

Lead with Obedience.
Obedience demonstrates Respect.
~ Romans13:1- 2

Obedience honors the Lord.
~ Titus 3:1

Lead with Responsibility.
Fulfill responsibility Wholeheartedly.
~ Colossians 3:17

Fulfill responsibility Fearfully.
~ Hebrews 13:17; II Corinthians 5:10; II Corinthians 5:9

40 Days of Prayer – Day Three

A Memorial for Gratitude
“These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Joshua 4:7b (NIV)

Joshua had instructed the people to carry large stones from the bed of the Jordan River and place them on the Canaan side of the river. Arranged together, these stones provided a memorial of God’s power, provision and purpose for the children of Israel. The Israelites would periodically return to this place, Gilgal, to express their gratitude for victories won in this new land. Significantly, they were commanded to bring their children with them on these occasions.

Carefully read Joshua 4:19-24. When the people of Israel were obedient to God’s instruction regarding these twelve stones, it provided a great opportunity to teach and instruct the next generation. Scripture says, “He said to the Israelites, ‘In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, “What do these stones mean?”‘ This reminds us that a child’s natural curiosity opens the door for a parent to testify of God’s remarkable power. Parents should lead their children back to the place where God has demonstrated His timely provision. It may be a story, a place, or even a picture, but whatever it is, let them see it over and over again until it becomes a defining moment in their lives and a monument to God’s grace.

Our capital stewardship program is an excellent opportunity for the entire church body, member by member, to build a “memorial of gratitude.” Communicate to your family members and friends that this memorial is not merely a building or a piece of property; it is, more importantly, the experience of trusting God and seeing Him come through. Gilgal was not just a pile of rocks. It was a powerful reminder of our indebtedness to God. The greatest heritage we can leave to the next generation is such a memorial of gratitude.

40 Days of Prayer – Day Two

Gratitude in the Face of Disappointment
“Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever.”
1 Chronicles. 28:4 (NIV)

This expression of gratitude immediately followed the greatest disappointment of King David’s life. He had just learned from God that he would not have the honor of providing leadership for the building of God’s Temple. David had said in 1 Chronicles 28:2 that his heart had been set on building a magnificent dwelling-place for the God of Israel. Later, he describes the energy, enthusiasm, and unbridled generosity he had already invested in this God-honoring project: “With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God – gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble-all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God, I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple.” (1 Chronicles 29:2-3 NIV)

After all of this sacrifice and preparation, David learns that he would not be the man to build God’s Temple. What was his response? What would we do in the face of such disappointment? 1 Chronicles 28:4 gives us a true glimpse of the spirit of David. His response teaches us one of life’s greatest priorities: focusing on the goodness of God. Instead of throwing a “pity party,” reflect on how wonderfully gracious God has been to you. That’s exactly what David did. Upon learning that he would not be personally involved in building the Temple, he reminded himself and others around him of the incredible honor he already enjoyed: “Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:4 NIV)

David did not allow this disappointing circumstance to rob him of his joy, nor did he regret having sacrificed so much to build the Temple. He did not pout over his loss; he rejoiced in the honor that had been given to him and gave generously. David’s lost opportunity could have made him resentful or bitter. Instead, he maintained an attitude of gratitude and remained focused on the big picture of God’s purpose and glory.

Regardless of the disappointments you are faced with today, take the time to reflect on all the special expressions of God’s goodness in your life.

Shine in the Darkness

We all had those songs that we loved growing up. I remember being downstairs in Children’s Church singing a bunch of awesome songs, one of my favorites being, “This Little Light of Mine.” I’m sure most of us have heard this song. This song taught us to be the light of the world. “This little light of mine-I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine-I’m gonna let shine, let it shine, let it shine.” Whether we realized it or not, from an early age we were being taught how to evangelize because the words of this song are from the words of Jesus:

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let you light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Recently, I read an article about the intricate way that God designed the human eye. Did you realize that if the earth was flat, or if a person were to stand on top of a mountain in total darkness their eye has the potential to spot a flickering candle 30 miles away? How amazing it is to know our eyes are so powerful! As I think about my walk of life, am I living enough within the darkness to let my light shine? More specifically, do I have enough
non-Christians in my life so that Jesus can impact their life through mine? Or, do we just live among lanterns? Think about it . . . which is easier to see, a flickering candle in total darkness, or a bonfire in the middle of the day? Jesus said that we are the light of the world. How are we going to shine? As Chris Rice writes in his song, “Go Light Your World”, he suggests: “Carry your candle, run to the darkness. Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn. Hold out your candle for all to see it. Take your candle, and go light your world.” Where are we going to take the light?

Kyle Knarr

40 Days of Prayer – Day One

Attitude of Gratitude
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for
you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

An attitude of gratitude puts everything and every circumstance in the proper perspective. It enables us to see the big picture and helps us to focus on God and His glory rather than on ourselves and our personal trials or triumphs. Such an attitude, openly expressed and lived out, sends a powerful message to our family and friends: God is in control and I’m glad He is! We already know the ultimate outcome of life’s circumstances: ” … God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). If we forget this promise, we begin to take God for granted, and an attitude of gratitude is impossible. We can become self-focused and lose sight of what God is accomplishing in the greater scheme of things.

Baking a cake requires using a number of ingredients, which if eaten by themselves, are mostly distasteful: flour, raw eggs, baking powder, etc. But, if these same ingredients are carefully blended together and baked for the right period of time, you end up with a delicious dessert. God is at the “mixing bowl” of our lives. Our “flour and raw eggs” experiences, however distasteful, are the ingredients of a wonderful creation. We can give thanks in all circumstances because of our faith in God, knowing that the end result of all our experiences will be a perfect blend for our good and His glory.

In your family or Sunday School Class, encourage each member to identify at least one good experience and one bad experience they have had recently. Take the time to give God thanks for both, remembering that, from God’s perspective, they are equally beneficial. It may be possible to identify the value of the finished product even as the discussion is going on. Conclude your devotion by reading Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Do Not Worry…Pray!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

When I learned this verse, it quickly became my “go to” verse. Every single time I feel happy, sad, scared, excited, concerned, or frustrated, I turn to prayer. I can turn to Him for anything, even random crazy purposes. And, every single time, my prayer brings me comfort. Praying keeps worry out of my life, almost completely. It saves me energy and time that I used to spend worrying. I view praying as not only something to set aside a particular time for each day but as something I can do, and should do, as I work, taxi my kids, run errands, wait for appointments, drift off to sleep, and wake up. Doing so makes me feel that I am never alone and that God is my constant companion. Being a mom of two busy children and working a full-time job, there is no way I can, nor should I, do life without Him.

Pam Bolt

Things Kids Say

We always begin Jesus in the Park by asking the children what they did over the weekend, just to see what sort of crazy answers we will get. We hear a lot of “I went to Grandma’s”, or “I played with my sister/brother”. I think our favorites recently have been “I got to help mommy clean!” and “Crackers” (said with a very sure nod of the head).

A main point in Critterland is that God is there to take care of the children. Joshua 1:9, ‘God is with you wherever you go’, is a memory verse that we have taught the children multiple times. We always remind them that no matter what adventure they take, God will be there.

Lesley Tipton

Sermon Outline, October 26, 2014, “Colossians ~ Evidence From Above”

Colossians ~ Evidence from Above

Colossians 3:12-17

  Put on a Heart of Love.

Love thinks of others.

~ Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Love provides for others.

~ James 2:15-16

Love endures others.

~ Ephesians 4:2

Love forgives others.

~ Ephesians 4:32; I Corinthians 13:5

Put on a Heart of Peace.

Peace of Christ rules.

~ John 14:27

Peace with God shines.

~ Romans 5:1

Peace with others flows.

~ Mark 9:50; Romans 12:18

Put on a Heart of Worship.

Worship with the Word.

~ Luke 11:28

Worship with Singing.

~ Ephesians 5:19

Worship to God.

~ I Corinthians 10:31

Missions Moment – Jonathan & Jubi Williams

The Missions Ministry Team recently received a summer update from Jonathan and Jubi Williams, our missionaries who serve at the Forefront Brooklyn (NY) church.
Forefront Brooklyn church was launched in the fall of 2012. The 13 week average attendance on Sunday mornings this summer is holding steady at 167 with a high of 200 on July 20, 2014. Jonathan writes that “we thank God for those numbers in summer!” Summer activities include small groups spending time in Brooklyn serving at food pantries, dishing out meals with Brooklyn Jubilee, experiencing movies together in Brooklyn Bridge Park and more. The church sent six teenagers and two adults on a CIY Summer Retreat to Salisbury, Maryland. On the church’s June 21, 2014 day of service more than 105 people took great care of their neighbors in eleven different community gardens, women’s shelters, soup kitchens, and other community organizations. Overall, the church family had an incredible day helping to bring about renewal and restoration throughout the city.
While the church families create great community by enjoying summer activities together in Brooklyn, challenges continue. The Sunday family ministry needs volunteers. New members and coaches are needed to step up and embrace the mission and vision of the Kidstuff ministry this fall. Jonathan, now serving as Senior Pastor of the new church, continues to learn his role in that capacity, and the church continues to search for a new Location Pastor and Community Director.
The Williams request that the TCCC family pray for clarity and peace as changes and transition continue and as the church prepares for an increase in attendance this fall. Pray that the Holy Spirit will speak clearly as Jonathan leads a giving and tithing series during October.
Jonathan and Jubi and their two daughters, Asha and Lyla, thank the TCCC family for joining them on this journey and for faithful support and encouragement.

I Pledge Allegiance

Give to the Lord, O heavenly beings
Give to the Lord glory and power
Give to the Lord the glory due His name
Bow down to the Lord in His holy grandeur
Psalm 29:1-2

Psalm 29 begins with a striking declaration, directed right at the heavenly host. Every heavenly being is told to bow down and give their strength and glory to the Lord. This act of worship is not simply acknowledging God’s greatness and glory, but they are told to lay down their personal strength and glory at the Lord’s feet and surrender themselves to His reign. Worship is not simply an act of acknowledgement, but we are laying ourselves down to God.
The rest of the psalm describes in vivid pictures how the Lord’s power and majesty are seen in the storm passing through. His voice thunders through the wind, lightning flashes, and He sits above the stormy chaos. As the mighty cedars of Lebanon sway and are broken, and as the ground itself trembles at His voice, the Lord sits above it all enthroned as the only mighty king of all.
Our students today are bombarded by people, organizations, and even culture, each one of them looking for more and more people to pledge allegiance to them and their values. Some of them are clearly bad and hurtful, and others are not so clear. Sports, technology, the arts, friends, school, even family clamor for allegiance. And while all of these are worthwhile, there is only one great and glorious God who is worthy of our worship and allegiance.
So take some time to pray for our students today. Pray for them to be given clarity from the Spirit in how to order their lives in a world that increasingly wants to divide their lives and exploit them. And this Sunday in worship, let’s lay down our strength and glory to God alone.

Brad Haggard

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