Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “January, 2016”

Sermon outline, January 31, 2016, “Guilty as Charged”

Guilty as Charged

Romans 3

Everyone deserves Condemnation.

Every person has sinned.

~ James 2:10; Ecclesiastes 7:20

Every sinner is accountable.

~ Romans 14:12

Everyone needs Grace.

Grace originates from the Love of God.

~ Romans 6:23; John 3:16; Romans 5:8

Grace depends on the Work of Jesus Christ.

~ I John 4:10; I Peter 2:24

Grace provides Redemption.

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

 

Missions Moment – Long Term Commitment, Long Term Results

Cross-culture Missions has been a major emphasis in the churches of our movement. Our family, Eric and Dee Duggins, is now reaching 36 years in ministry working in Cross-culture Church Planting (31 years in Mexico). That kind of longevity is becoming rare on the mission field as our American culture becomes “accelerated” and long-term is now five years or less. Often it takes much more than five years to learn a language, understand the basics of a cultural worldview and then to explore the ways the Gospel can be proclaimed in that culture.

Danny is a good example. Dee met Liz (Danny’s wife) as she came to the house to look for English classes in 1995. In the last 20 years we have shared with them and proclaimed the Gospel. Then they moved to northern Mexico and our visits and traveling together became less often. But we continued contact. Danny came back to Pachuca for a year to work with Eric on the Jubilee building as the supervisor of the project. And again, there were opportunities to share about Jesus. On Monday, November 9, 2015, Danny was baptized into Jesus.

In 20 years! There are now more than 1000 people meeting in Pachuca in the churches planted as part of the project. The first church started in 1996 with 14 people in our home and now there are four congregations. There is even a church in another State among an indigenous group that was started by the first congregation. Long-term vision will bring long term results!

Now our IMPACTO team is looking at the next 10 years! And praying for Long-Term Results!

Eric & Dee Duggins

The Journey of a Shoe Box Gift

Isaiah 52:7  “How beautiful on the mountain are the feet that bring good news.”
Thanks to the leadership of Shelly Maxwell, TCCC has participated in the ministry of Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, for the past 18 years.  This year as a congregation we prepared 226 shoe box gifts! The journey of our boxes began as the Deborah Circle transported them to the Bluegrass area collection center at Porter Memorial Baptist Church.  A gentleman greeted us in the parking lot, helped us unload our gifts, and then led us in a time of prayer.  We prayed for each box, for those who packed them, and for the children that would be receiving them. His prayer reminded us that God had a child in mind to receive our gift before we ever packed it.  Tractor trailers sat ready at the center to transport crated boxes on the next leg of the journey to one of nine OCC processing centers.
During Thanksgiving week, we had the adventure of following the boxes and working for a day at the Atlanta processing center.  We worked alongside volunteers from Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, and another team from Paducah, KY.  After a video greeting by Franklin Graham, orientation, and a brief training, we walked out into an enormous warehouse full of cheerful volunteers.  We were in awe of the enormity of the space, the volume of shoe boxes processed daily, and the wonderful organization at work.  Our work was interrupted periodically to pray collectively over the boxes and the children who would receive them.  We were instructed to retain the integrity of each box, so that the child would receive the box just as it was packed.  Our day was spent inspecting and taping boxes designated for a “closed” country.  The destination was not disclosed even to us in order to protect the individuals willing to face persecution for accepting and delivering the packaged boxes.  Again, we were standing in awe of God’s plan for each box.
Every shoe box delivered by Operation Christmas Child is a tangible expression of God’s amazing love.  The box is just the beginning.  It presents an opportunity for church partners in the receiving countries to invite children into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.  This is possible by a 12-week Bible study course guiding the children through what it means to faithfully follow Jesus Christ.  It is an introduction to relationship building and a powerful tool for evangelism and discipleship.  
By mid-December, boxes are ready to be shipped out by air and sea to over 100 countries.  If you gave a shipping donation online and used the special label provided, you will receive notification of which country received your box.  Your box may travel the last of its journey by yak, elephant, jeep, or canoe to be presented to the child you have blessed.  Thank you TCCC for sharing your love for Jesus to children around the world!

Martha Bugg & Becky Child

Guilty as Charged – Romans 3

“Guilty!” We have seen or heard this word many times throughout our lives, in TV law dramas or reading newspaper articles. It is a jarring word. It is a life altering word. When this word is directed toward you, it is an admission that you have failed to uphold a standard. In growing up at Tates Creek I have never really dealt with that word. I always (but quite incorrectly) was considered a “good kid,” and in accepting that conclusion missed the entire purpose of grace.
I would be a perfect fit if you dropped me into the Roman time described in Chapter 3. The apostle Paul is trying to explain to the Jewish population that even though they have kept the law they still need the redeeming power of Jesus Christ. How odd this must have been? You live a life as best you can, you keep the laws and commandments, you are a “good” person and here is someone saying it means nothing without taking an additional step of accepting Jesus Christ into your life.
Paul knows and understands this and begins to chip away at this narrative in verses 10-18. There is no one who is good enough, the tongue that has spoken lies and gossip, the hands that have done nothing, the feet which have stood by and watched. Thankfully Paul reverses this idea and proclaims in verse 20 “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” Moving on, Paul explains a revolutionary idea that we should boast that our faith in God is our redemption, not what we have done in our works. I thought I would share a section of lyrics to a song my wife, Lindsey, and I sang a few years ago by Sandra McCracken that seems a perfect fit.

Rock of Ages, “It is done!” you cried.
The curtain’s torn and I see justice satisfied,
Now write your mercy on my heart and hands,
Rock of Ages, in faith I stand.

Rock of Ages, my great hope secure,
Your promise holds just like an anchor to my soul,
Bind your children with cords of love and grace,
Rock of Ages, we give you praise.

Is there anything more confounding and beautiful than the picture of Christ stepping in front of us in order to take the charge of being guilty? It has the power to change our lives and shape this new kingdom by sharing with others this grace that has been given.

Steven Clem

Sermon Outline, January 24, 2016, “Look Within First”

Look Within First

 Romans 2

Be Positive about Others.

Everyone struggles with Sin.

~ Romans 7:19; Matthew 7:1-5

God is positive about everyone.

~ Romans 5:8; I Corinthians 13:7

Fear God’s Impartial Judgment.

God will judge every person.

~ Romans 14:10; Romans 14:12

God will judge every person by the same standard.

God will judge every person according to his/her response.

~ II Corinthians 5:10

God will judge every person according to His knowledge.

~ Ecclesiastes 12:14

God will judge every person with a sentence.

~ Matthew 25:46; Luke 8:17

Examine Our Own Heart.

God looks at the heart.

~ I Samuel 16:7

Honor God with our heart.

~ I Chronicles 28:9; Mark 12:30

Greater is He That is In Me

There is a song once considered “contemporary” but now is old enough to be in our hymnal with the title above. It was composed by Lanny Wolfe in 1973. Most of us know the refrain (chorus) that is in our hymnal and have sung it before, but unfortunately texts to the stanzas were omitted from our hymnal. The song actually refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives which is understood more clearly by seeing these words:

Satan’s like a roaring lion roaming to and fro
Seeking whom he may devour, The Bible tells us so.
Many souls have been his prey to fall in some weak hour.
But God has promised us today, His overcoming power.

On the day of Pentecost, a rushing mighty wind
Blew into the upper room and baptized all of them
With a power greater than any earthly foe.
And I’m so glad I’ve got it too, I’ll let the whole world know.

(Chorus) Greater is He that is in me, greater is He that is in me
Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

As we approach this new year and focus on the theme that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are greater than the power of Satan, we need to understand that we all, as Christians, have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. So what will do with this gift?
As Christians, we can easily become discouraged with so much going on in our world…especially right now as I write this article. It seems overwhelming. We throw up our hands and say, “what can I do?” Perhaps we feel as though we are failing. But that is when we need to sing this song and know we have the power, given to us by God, to overcome anything that we face.
People around us are looking for hope. They are looking for answers. We have those answers. We have the promises. Who can we influence in 2016? Many times it comes with a simple invitation to worship. Remember the promise of this song based on the passage below:

“The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.“
~ I John 4:4

Don Seevers

Look Within First – Romans 2

2016? Already? Where did 2015 go? I know that the older I get, the faster time flies. As we enter the New Year we may have mixed feelings. If 2015 was a year of physical, emotional, or spiritual hardship, then we are very eager to put that behind us and move on. If 2015 was a great year for us, we may be tempted to dwell in the past.

None of us know how many more days we will be given. I was very blessed that I did not have a heart attack 6 months ago and was able to get some needed cardiac intervention in the form of a stent. Psalm 90:12 states “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”. Numbering our days aright is our challenge from God to face each new day that God gives us from God’s perspective. Romans 2:6-8 tells us “God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger”.

God loves us enough to give us free will. We can choose each day to follow and serve Him by doing what is good and right or we can choose to be selfish and reject God’s leading in our life. We have to look inside our hearts each day and offer Him the throne and crucify self. I challenge all of us to share Paul’s testimony in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Craig Martin

Sermon Outline, January 17, 2016, “No Excuses!”

No Excuses!

Romans 1:18-32

Know God.

Know God through General Revelation.

~ Psalm 19:1; Acts 14:17; Romans 1:32

Know God through Special Revelation.

~ II Timothy 3:15

Honor God.

Honor the Glory of God.

~ Revelation 4:11; Psalm 100:4

Honor the Truth of God.

~ Hebrews 11:6; Acts 1:8

Fear God’s Wrath.

Reject Sin.

~ I Corinthians 15:34; Romans 6:1-2

Appreciate God’s Protective Care.

~ Numbers 32:23; Luke 13:3

No Greater Joy

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
3 John 1:4

I have learned that one of the great joys of parenting happens when one of my daughters does the right thing without any prompting. When they show kindness to each other, reach out to friends, give their best effort in school, or lift up their heart in worship, it wells up a pride in me that I didn’t know I had. It makes it easier to sacrifice and discipline when you are able to see it take root. I suspect that pride will only grow as they grow in Christ.

As a youth minister, I get to see this all the time. When students who have considered baptism for years finally make the decision on their own to commit to Jesus and walk through the waters, it not only encourages their parents, but it lifts up all the students in the group. Further on, it’s amazing to see students grow into leaders throughout their time in the ministry. When seniors graduate and you can be confident they will be Christian leaders for the rest of their lives, there isn’t much that could bring more joy to a youth minister.

So, let’s make that our commitment as a church, to see that our children will walk in the truth. It is not a small sacrifice, nor is it a steady road, but my prayer for us as a church this year would be that we would find our joy in leading people to the truth. No matter what trials and uncertainty the next year brings, we can know, as a church, that we will find no greater joy as a family than to welcome in new children.

Brad Haggard

A Better Way – Romans 1:18-32

“Everybody’s Doing It”

As a teen, the above phrase was always my feeble defense when my parents disapproved of my misguided plans. Mom would respond with the classic “If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you?” Dad, however, would repeat his favorite quote: “Right is right if nobody does it and wrong is wrong if everybody does it.” After that philosophical beating, I would accept defeat and move on to my next crisis.

The Apostle Paul could have applied my dad’s pointed quote in his Roman letter as he addressed the pagan practices and the “everybody’s doing it” mentality that pervaded the Roman culture. His detailed description of the deviant behaviors surely repulsed the believers there but I’m confident they were equally shocked by his declaration that they were also sinful in their ways and desparately in need of the saving grace of his Good News message.

I love Paul’s opening statement of 1 Corinthians 13, where he declares “And now I will show you a better way.” His message required the Jewish people to adjust centuries of tradition and acknowledge that sin is sin, all are guilty of sin, and that salvation is available to all.

My children would tell you that I used the same statements of reasoning on them that my parents used on me and, surprisingly enough, it was just as effective. Battling the crowd mentality to show people the “better way” is a barrier that has transcended the generations since Paul’s day. Now, more than ever, God’s people must be equipped to break through and overcome evil with good!

Mary Brown

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