Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “July, 2015”

Sermon Outline, August 2, 2015, “The Model Prayer”

The Model Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13

Be Confident in God’s Presence!

Be Confident in His Loving Presence.

~ I John 3:1; I Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:12

Be Confident in His Holy Presence.

~ Revelation 19:6

Be Confident in God’s Purpose.

God has Purpose for His Kingdom.

~ Revelation 11:15

God has Purpose for His Will.

~ Romans 12:2

Be Confident in God’s Provision.

God will provide our Physical Needs.

~ Philippians 4:19; Psalm 23:1; II Corinthians 9:8

God will provide our Spiritual Needs.

~ Matthew 6:14-15

Be Confident in God’s Protection.

God will protect us in Temptation.

~ I Corinthians 10:13

God will protect us from Evil.

~ II Timothy 4:18

Weeks Update

Travis has been taking quite a few trips to our partner churches, most of which are in remote areas of Ethiopia. One village he’s made several trips to recently is a place called Mojo. The church there is relatively new but it has a strong and vibrant ministry. Their pastor, like many of our rural KAC pastors, is bi-vocational because the church lacks the funds to pay him a full salary. Every Thursday Gutama walks 2-3 hours to get to the church in Mojo where he ministers to the congregation Thursday through Sunday. Then, after church on Sunday, he walks back to his home and works his farm the rest of the week. His commitment to this new, growing church is astounding, and his leadership is certainly having a great affect.
At this point, the Mojo church is one with a lot of faith and energy, but it struggles in terms of its resources. The people in Mojo give their offering partially with money, but mostly it comes in the form of grains – these folks are all farmers. When Travis visited a month ago he was amazed at the big bags of corn, sorghum, and sesame they had stored up in the church. These were the congregation’s tithes and offerings. Some of it came from family farms, but the rest came from land that the church farms collectively. Church members give from their own harvest, but they also give in the form of time and labor by working the church’s land.
Having seen the faith and resourcefulness of this congregation and the commitment of their pastor Gutama, Travis is moving forward with a new Income Generating Activity in Mojo. CMF will provide the church a loan that will allow them to buy fertilizer and better quality seed. Better inputs yield better results. We believe this will provide a bigger harvest and therefore more resources for this church’s ministry. We are all excited to see where this IGA takes Mojo!
We’re also installing a “Farming God’s Way” demonstration garden that we hope will encourage the community to adopt some different farming techniques. This, however, we expect will probably take several planting seasons to catch on.
We wanted to share this story from Mojo because it illustrates the way Travis and I fit into CMF’s work of helping to establish a strong, indigenous church in Ethiopia. If we did not have you behind us, supporting our ministry, we would not be able to offer loans like this to Mojo. Your giving to our ministry means helping Mojo, and other churches like it, in rural Ethiopia. So thank you!

Travis, Emily, & Clare Weeks

The Model Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13

When I began my journey with the Lord (a long while back), I heard many sermons and Sunday school lessons that were good but overwhelming. As a new Christian, reflecting on what was being taught and what I read in scripture during my own quiet times, my thoughts were, “No way. How could I possibly do all this. This is overwhelming, complicated, and I am a leaky vessel!”

I read, prayed, pondered, and struggled with God’s word and what He expected of me. In His Word I learned that what matters most is the heart. What does that mean? Well, after much prayer, pondering and so forth, I believe that Christianity is, in a nutshell, your attitude and motives toward God, His Word, and His people. The Sermon on the Mount is a good example.

In the 1970’s I had the privilege of being a youth sponsor. The young people had an acronym that they used a lot at the time, K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid). I found that helpful in that when I listened to future presentations of God’s Word and when I was in need of God’s direction, my thought would be, “keep it simple”. What is my attitude, what are my motives concerning the topic?

When the disciples asked the Lord to teach them to pray, His instructions seemed to reflect that. Keep it simple and real.

The Model Prayer (The Lord’s Prayer) reflects that. May I paraphrase please?

Heavenly Father may your holy name be honored in all I say and do.
May your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
Give me each day the spiritual and physical food needed.
Forgive me for the sins I have committed against you and help me to
forgive others who have wronged me.
Keep me from temptation and save be from evil.

Judy Clark

Prayer

Oh boy! The first month of my internship at Tates Creek we are talking about the Holy Spirit, then my second month we will be talking about prayer. What did I get myself into?

Prayer is an amazing thing, isn’t it? Prayer is a CONVERSATION with God. I remember when I was little, my parents had me pray all of the time. I used to pray the best prayer and use the biggest words I could to amaze people with how “spiritual” I was. And you know what, I was good at it too. Isn’t that terrible? It was like having a presentation “to” God for the purpose of glorifying me. It was not a CONVERSATION with God.

To be honest, I do that sometimes even today. When I was a senior in High School at Martha Layne Collins in Shelbyville, I got to pray for my high school graduation (which may or may not have been illegal because it was a public school but we decided to run with it anyway). For some reason, the prayer I prayed at the graduation was probably the worst prayer I have ever prayed in my life. After the graduation my dad asked me, “what was that all about?” Looking back on that day, the reason why it was an awful prayer was because I was presenting. I wanted everybody to see how good a prayer I could pray instead of having a conversation with my Heavenly Father. That story reminds me a lot of the story in Luke 18 with the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Pharisee prayed where everybody could see him and thanked God that he wasn’t a sinner. The Tax Collector beat his breast saying, “have mercy on me, God, for I am a sinner” Luke 18:13. Jesus said that the tax collector left justified. So in prayer with me, do as the Tax Collector did and put God in his rightful place as ruler over everything, even your heart, and put yourself in the rightful place as a sinner saved by grace through faith.

Conor Doyle

Sermon Outline, July 26, 2015, “Humility in Prayer”

Humility in Prayer

Luke 18:9-14

View God Reverently!

Focus on God’s Righteousness.

~ Proverbs 16:18; Psalm 51:6

Focus on God’s Mercy.

~ Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:11

View Others Respectfully!

Consider others more Important.

~ Philippians 2:3

Place others First.

~ Romans 12:10, 16

View Self Realistically!

Consider Self Inadequate.

~ I Timothy 1:15; Romans 3:23

Consider Self Unworthy.

~ Romans 5:8-9; Hebrews 4:16

Model Prayer

At 6:09 every day, an alarm goes off on my phone. The alarm is set to remind me to say The Lord’s Prayer, which is in Matthew 6:9-13.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’”

At Christ in Youth the summer of 2012, our speaker challenged us to do this task and I have been doing it ever since. Sometimes it’s really easy to get caught up in this motion and not think about what I am really praying; to just absentmindedly rattle off these beautiful words day after day. I often have to remind myself that I am talking to the creator and ruler of the entire universe, even if it is a scripted and repeated prayer. Since this realization, I have discovered a new love for these words. The Lord’s Prayer is a God-given model of what our own personal prayers should look like. It is a prayer so beautiful that it is approved by God; it is the most perfect prayer. Now my heart fills with gratitude as I have the privilege of saying these words to the Lord every day. I will never get tired of repeating these words.

Ellie Mullins

David’s Prayers

As we focus on Old Testament prayers in this issue, we literally have hundreds of choices, but I have chosen David. Our GIFT group just completed an overview study of the Psalms and we find many prayers in this book. Although David did not write all of the psalms, he was the primary author and he offers a wide variety of prayers. There are prayers of praise, petition, confession, help and protection, and those of hope and trust.
As we know, David’s life was certainly not perfect! In fact, his sinful behavior is well-known especially when it comes to Bathsheba. He really disappointed God in many ways, but God used him in spite of his faults, just as God uses us. Even as a young brave man taking on Goliath, being a faithful shepherd, serving as king, etc., we see how God used him.
I especially like the prayer of David in Psalm 51. This psalm has been set to music in many forms through hymns, contemporary songs, and choral music. In fact, one of my favorite choir anthems, Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God, has become a favorite of our Worship Choir. In this psalm, we find David petitioning for help from God and also confessing his sin against God.
David begins this prayer by asking for mercy. Then he asks for cleansing. The prayer continues with an acknowledgment of his sin and that David recognizes his sin has been against God. He asks for cleansing again! He then prays for God to create a clean heart and to renew him. He prays to have the Holy Spirit within. After all of these requests, David then changes direction as he asks for restoration so that he will have a willing spirit to teach the ways of God to others who have transgressed. He prays to have his mouth opened to express his sincere praise to God. David closes this particular prayer by listing what God truly wants from us…a broken spirit and contrite heart. In other words, he knows that he needs to give up his selfish desires and yield to the desires of God.
This is a great prayer and one that we all need to pray ourselves. In fact, many times we fret over how to pray and for what we should pray. I find that simply praying through the prayers in Scripture pretty much covers it all! Why not start with Psalm 51!

Don Seevers

Humility in Prayer – Luke 18:9-14

Do you know who it is that you are praying to? When you kneel next to your bed, sit at the dinner table, give praise for avoiding an accident, or gather together with your brothers and sisters in a prayer circle, do you fully understand who it is you are going to share your words with?
I watched a video of a man named Louie Giglio speaking a couple years ago. His sermon was entitled “How Great Is Our God.” Before his talk his friend Chris Tomlin wrote a song matching the title of the sermon. In the sermon, Louie compares our earth to a golf ball. Then, through a series of mathematical equations he explains to those watching how small we really are. He even uses a phrase repeatedly, “If earth were a golf ball, can you find yourself on it.” As the talk goes on he shows how many earth sized golf balls fit into our solar system, the sun, and my personal favorite Canus Majoris– The Big Dog. The challenge then is to find the one earth sized golf ball you are on and then find yourself.
When I picture something like this I am greatly humbled. I love to think of God as my closest friend and companion. Someone I can walk around with and talk to, but like friendships sometimes this is taken for granted. To be honest, sometimes I get so comfortable with my image of God that I forget who it really is I am talking to. Sometimes we even try to talk to God like he might not understand us or we try to impress him with our big words. In fact, sometimes our prayers become about us drawing attention to ourselves.
In those moments I found myself thinking back to the parable Jesus tells about a Pharisee and a tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. I picture the Pharisee swiping the area around him with his long robe to make a space big enough for his ego and clearing his throat to draw in the crowd. His words are poetic, but spiritually empty. Then, comes the tax collector. Embarrassed of his actions from the day, humbled to be present before the Lord. His head is down and he tries hard to convince himself that he isn’t worthy to even offer a prayer. Out of his broken heart through his mouth comes these simple words, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Jesus closes the story by explaining that the humble will be exalted. When you pray, do you recognize who it is that you pray to? Before you start next time, I challenge you to spend a few extra moments in a position of great humility.

Matt Lee

Sermon Outline, July 19, 2015, “Persistent Prayer”

Persistent Prayer

Luke 18:1-8

Pray with Determination!

Determined prayer overcomes Wicked People.

~ Matthew 5:44

Determined prayer overcomes Stubbornness.

~ Ephesians 1:18

Determined prayer overcomes Helplessness.

~ Matthew 17:20

Pray with Expectation!

Expectation prays with Faith.

~ Mark 11:24; Matthew 7:7

Expectation prays with Anticipation.

~ James 1:5-7

Pray with Perseverance!

Perseverance Endures.

~ I Thessalonians 5:17

Perseverance Continues.

~ Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2

Nehemiah’s Prayer

I will be the first to admit that I am not the best with prayer. Do I pray, of course! I pray all day long. But my prayers are short. They don’t come easily to me, and I have a hard time trying to express what is on my heart and mind. God knows, sure, but to pray we must communicate with Him, not just assume he knows what we want, and we must do so on a daily basis.
Throughout the Old Testament, we find men asking God for help in a time of great need. Sometimes these prayers are quite lengthy, but I love the example from the life of Nehemiah. It shows that a prayer doesn’t always need to be long to be effective. Nehemiah was cupbearer to Artaxerxes, and appeared before the king looking downhearted (a big “no-no”). When the king asked him why he was so upset, he was afraid, but he overcame it and told the king about the desolate state of Jerusalem. The king asked him what he wanted. Nehemiah records what he did in the instant before he replied
“So I prayed to the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 2:4
This was not the panicked prayer of one who never speaks to God (unless he is in trouble). Nehemiah 1 shows us that he was already in close communion with God, and could trust Him in all circumstances. At this moment, when he had to say the right thing, in the right way, in a short amount of time, he asked for and obtained the help of his God. We can learn from this too; when we need help quickly, whether it be with a quick answer or decision, we can ask God, and he will be there. We must remember to always be in contact with Him.

Lesley Tipton

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