Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “June, 2016”

What Prayer Means to Me

At the end of last year, I was burdened with many things in my life. Those things were keeping me down and took away much of my joy during the holiday season.
One Sunday night I was sitting on my couch talking to the Lord. A desire came upon me to go to the kitchen table and write my wife, Donna, a letter asking her to pray for me. In the next few days many of the burdens were lifted and my heart was more joyous for the season.
Donna and I are on opposite work shifts but I happened to catch her one morning before she left for work. I thanked her and told her that her prayer worked. God is great, so be sure to rely on him!

Kevin Hickey

Enjoy the Journey

Many years ago while serving as a youth minister in Southern Illinois I was asked to go to West Virginia to hold a revival. Never having been there before we drove the interstate to Charleston. It was then that the map showed the road we needed to take exiting the four lane and taking a two lane road. I still remember the experience! It was the most winding, crooked road I had ever been on. Debbie and I were both worn out and a little car sick from driving it when we arrived at the church where I would be preaching. When the people there asked how our trip was, I commented about the road we had taken. They said, “Oh you shouldn’t have taken that road. You should have taken the interstate.” It seems our map was out of date and didn’t show a new interstate that would have replaced 70 effort filled sickening miles with an effortless and safe four lane. We ended up moving there and ministering to that church for four years. It was a sweet ministry and we still have fond memories of our time spent there, but that probably would never have happened if it hadn’t been for the interstate. The thought of traveling that winding road any time we wanted to get somewhere would have kept us from going there.

In much the same way, many people will be kept from the sweetness of Heaven because of the road they are taking. Winding roads of men’s inventions and alternatives. Even as those people said the interstate was the only way to go, Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” John 14:6 There truly is a better way to go, the only way really, and it won’t wear out. It won’t disappoint or discourage you when you travel it.

Kim Beckwith

Sermon Outline, June 26, 2016, “Jesus is Greater than Bitterness”

Jesus is Greater than Bitterness

Genesis 42 – 45

Forgiveness requires Proactivity.

Forgiveness takes the First Step.

~ Ephesians 4:32     “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

 

Forgiveness takes a Risk.

~ Romans 5:8     “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Forgiveness requires a Strong Spirit.

Forgiveness hopes People will Change.

~ Colossians 3:13     “. . . bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

 

Full Fellowship requires People to Change.

~ Luke 13:3     “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

~ Acts 3:19     “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord . . .”

 

Forgiveness requires Release.

Forgiveness Releases.

~ I Peter 2:24     “. . . and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

~ Isaiah 53:4-6     “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.”

 

Forgiveness makes four promises:

I will not think about this incident.

I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.

I will not talk to others about this incident.

I will not allow this incident to stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.

~ I Corinthians 13:5     “. . . does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered . . .”

VBS Upcoming

I’m sure almost all of us remember going to at least one Vacation Bible School when we were kids. I remember quite a few of them actually. While I don’t remember exactly what the lessons might have been, I do remember the excitement and the energy that the adults had that were in charge. I remember their enthusiasm, and that they cared for the kids and what we were learning.
The goal that Matt and I have for the VBS here at Tates Creek is simple…that the kids have a fun, unforgettable experience while making sure they understand the main point, that God loves them. We also make a huge push for local missions, and the kids are thrilled to help outreach with different projects for the community.
We want a team of people with us that are willing to do these same things! How about it? Are you willing to join our team July 11-14 from 9 am to12 pm? Are you excited to help kids learn about God? Or do you have a child you would like to have come join us? Ages 3 years to 5th grade. I promise, we are going to have a ton of fun that week, both adults and kids!

Lesley Tipton

Greetings from the Alvarado Family

God has blessed Jubilee Christian Church in Pachuca, Mexico; and Jubilee (Iglesia Cristiana El Jubileo) is now led by a national pastor, Luis Lopez. Also, at the end of February, Jubilee celebrated its ninth anniversary and held its building dedication, all big steps in Jubilee’s journey.

Watching Jubilee grow and mature has opened opportunities in allowing our team to seek God’s will for future projects. We have seen Him leading us in the development of a new project called “The Harvest.” The goal of The Harvest is to recruit, train, fund, coach, and network church planters in Mexico. Once up and running, with the Lord’s help, we hope to start 2 new churches every year. The city of Querétaro, Mexico, is where The Harvest training center will begin in 2017. Querétaro is a city of about 3 million people and is currently the fastest growing city in Mexico.

Our family was blessed by a goodbye service at Jubilee on April 17 prior to leaving on furlough in the states. During our furlough, Sergio will continue the research and development of training modules and assessment materials for a new church plant in Querétaro. And we are so blessed that we will be spending July through November at Tates Creek Christian Church and living in your mission house. We look forward to worshiping with you and sharing more about the planned new ministry in Querétaro. We are so thankful that you have offered the use of the mission house to us.

Thank you for your support of our ministry and what God is doing in Mexico!

Sergio, Holly, Emily, Abby, and Eric Alvarado

Jesus is Greater Than Bitterness – Genesis 42-45

If only… Why did I… How could you…
These are some of the most painful phrases in the English language. In an instant, the emotional pain both caused and received is communicated. Whether intentionally or inadvertently, one of the things at which we humans excel is hurting each other. This leads to regret on the part of the giver and resentment on the part of the receiver. They are two sides of the same bitter coin.
Genesis 42-45 continues the story of Joseph being sold as a slave by his jealous older brothers. At least 11 years have passed. Joseph has risen to a position of high authority in Egypt. Jacob has come to accept the death of his favorite son, though he still mourns. His brothers have attempted to go about their lives, but they still beat themselves up over what they did to Joseph; their first reaction to being interrogated in Egypt was, “Why did we do that?”
Upon recognizing his brothers, Joseph accuses them, threatens them, throws them in jail, and demands that the youngest brother be brought to him. It’s easy to see the bitterness Joseph felt toward his brothers. He could have continued down the path of revenge. He could have allowed his brothers to wallow in their agonizing regret. Instead, he plotted what can best be described as the most elaborate practical joke in the Bible.
Regret and resentment are bitter pills that corrode a person’s soul. Jesus offers a better solution. He offers forgiveness: the power to forgive those who’ve hurt you and the power to forgive yourself for the hurt you’ve caused others.
They say the only things you truly regret in life are the risks you don’t take. I disagree. There are many more words and actions that I’d like to take back than risks I shied away from. If resentment stems from not forgiving others, then regret follows from not forgiving yourself. As difficult as it is to forgive someone else, it’s even harder to forgive myself for the pain I’ve caused others. That’s something only Jesus can do.

Dan Ewing

Sermon Outline, June 19, 2016, “Jesus is Greater Than Comfort”

Jesus is Greater than Comfort

Genesis 41

Be Humble.

Acknowledge God with Talents.

~ I Peter 4:10     “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

 

Acknowledge God with Testimony.

~ Matthew 10:32-33      “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”

 

Acknowledge God with Thanksgiving.

~ Psalm 100:4     “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”

~ Colossians 2:7      “. . . having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”

 

Be Wise.

Develop a Plan.

~ Proverbs 3:9     “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce . . .”

~ Malachi 3:10     “ ‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’”

 

Enlist Teamwork.

~ Proverbs 24:6     “For by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.”

 

Implement the Plan.

~ II Corinthians 9:7     “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

~ Matthew 11:19     “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

~ Luke 7:35     “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

 

Be Generous.

Give Compassionately.

~ I Timothy 6:17-18     “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share . . .”

 

Give Cheerfully.

~ Luke 6:30     “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.”

~ Luke 6:38     “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

~ Matthew 10:8     “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”

~ II Corinthians 9:6     “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

Being a Father

Since Father’s Day is in June, I want to share some perspectives from a Dad! One of the many joys of being a Dad is observing children grow, learn, develop, and mature. Many wonderful memories flood my mind when I think of our children being at home. One such memory comes when I would take the children to school before going to the office. One morning on our way to school, Joel said, “Dad, there is no such thing as Santa Claus, is there?” Before I could say a word, Elizabeth said, “Don’t answer that Daddy!” Then Joel said, “And there is no such thing as the Easter Bunny, is there Dad?” Again, Elizabeth said, “Don’t answer that Daddy!” And then Joel said, “And there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy, is there Dad?” Again, before I could say a word, Elizabeth said, “Don’t answer that one either Daddy!” So, I never had to answer that question.
Another great memory took place when our children became Christians. They were both young. Zella & I wanted them to make this decision for themselves; not because we were Christians and not because we were in Christian Ministry. So, when Elizabeth asked about becoming a Christian, I sat with her and explained to her what the Bible says about becoming a Christian. When Joel asked about becoming a Christian, I did the same with him. What a great joy to explain to your children the Gospel of Jesus Christ, see them make the decision to follow Jesus, and baptize them into Christ!
What is great to see is that the faith they have is their own faith! While it is true that faith in Christ is a great heritage for them with their great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents, the faith they have is their own personal faith in Jesus! What a great joy to see both of our children, and their families, following and serving the Lord! Elizabeth and her family have recently moved to Northern Kentucky where her husband, Josh, works for the Toyota Parts Distribution Plant. I am sure, as soon as possible, they will find a new church home and involve themselves in the Lord’s work. Joel and his family live in Northern Kentucky as well. Joel serves as the Student Minister with the Lakeside Christian Church Campus at Hebron. His wife, Alecia, works as a nurse in the Oncology Department with Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. While there are many days that Zella & I wish they were still growing up in our home, we are very thankful to our Heavenly Father for their walk with Jesus Christ!

Tommy Simpson

Greater Faith

What is the last movie you have watched? Are you a fan of action, sci-fi, romance, comedy, or possibly even animation? For Onah’s eighth birthday, he requested a date with mom and dad instead of a big birthday party. After a dinner out and a short shopping spree, it is time for the movie. The newest movie out for kids is “Zootopia.” In this movie, a small country rabbit dreams of leaving the carrot farm and being a police officer in the big city. While everyone doubts the skills, talents, and even size of the little female rabbit, we eventually find that it isn’t the size of the rabbit that makes the difference. Instead, it is the heart, focus, and determination that leads her to make a huge difference.
I am typically not a very good movie watcher, because half way through the story I lose focus and doze off. However, through this entire movie I found myself connecting with and cheering for the little rabbit. Something inside of her convinced her that she had a much greater purpose.
As we prepare on Sundays to look at the life of Joseph, I find a similar drive behind him. In fact, his story, I believe, is one that would make an incredible big screen movie. The storyline could go something like this… ‘A young dreamer betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused and thrown in prison, who becomes the very person to save the lives of his entire family and the nation!’
Joseph was known by his brothers as a dreamer and the favorite son of their father. In the beginning of his story, I think Joseph was trying to find his way. He clearly had dreams that God had given him, and he knew the dreams were greater than he was. He simply shared them in a way that didn’t please his brothers. A difficult challenge as the youngest brother.
As the youngest of three brothers, I think Joseph did the best with sharing his dreams that he could. Unfortunately, brothers don’t like it very much when you say things like you are going to bow down to me one day. When you are smaller than they are and you talk too much, they see it as their responsibility to keep you in your place. I can relate with his story, though I never had dreams like Joseph. My dreams were more like, one day I am going to be bigger than you and then I will put this same whoopin’ on you. A couple years ago I finally beat one of my brothers in arm wrestling! Two years later in Water Basketball (more like drown Matt to get the ball), I dunked the ball with both older brothers hanging on my back. Their faces afterward were priceless. They were stumped that the younger brother just lifted them both out of the pool. If they read this, they will make sure it never happens again, but it happened once! If you are the younger brother, I know you can relate with me. If you can relate with me then you can also relate with Joseph.
Joseph’s story continues, and at each turn we find ourselves cheering for him. We cheer for him because no matter what the situation, Joseph chose the high road. Throughout his story, Joseph finds himself in different situations. He quickly becomes loved by the boss, but when the boss’ wife tries to make a move on him, Joseph is sent to prison. In prison, Joseph interprets a couple dreams. This eventually leads not only to his release, but to Joseph becoming the right hand man of Pharaoh. As you read his story, can you find a place where he shakes his hand at Heaven? Can you find the part of his story where he becomes entitled like he deserves something better? What about the time he could have really made a mess by sharing a bed with Potiphar’s wife? Did you read the time he manipulated the Cup Bearer or Baker’s dreams to include something about himself? Not once. In fact, with the exception of talking too much as a little brother, it is a challenge to find any wrong in Joseph. How is this possible? How does he stay so focused in spite of betrayal, lies, deceit, pride, selfishness, bitterness, and so much more?
Joseph didn’t have any secret over what we as Christians should already know! In Genesis 45:7 Joseph says, “God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by great deliverance.”
At the end of this amazing story, Joseph tells his brothers something that changed their perspective! He told them that GOD IS GREATER! That means His plans will reign in the end. Shouldn’t our stories look similar to Joseph’s too, or do we really not believe that God is greater?
We know that God has plans for you that are greater than you are! That He dreams of eternity with you, your friends, and your family! He provided a way for you through Jesus! He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. Have you fallen asleep in the middle of your story, before you were able to see God use you in a GREATER way? Leave the popcorn, grab your Bibles, and get back in the story!

Matt Lee

Jesus is Greater Than Comfort – Genesis 41

I have earned a place on the team and even been victorious many times against the competition. Achievements garner rewards and recognition from family and friends alike. Diligence and hard work in the workplace has provided a good income, a nice house, and associated valuables. This level of comfort surely reflects my ability to control my own destiny and determine desired outcomes along the unpredictable path of life. These are not times of “need” for HIM nor is it necessary to recognize the value of GRACE as the real source of understanding, peace, and salvation for our existence. Life is good. How easy it is to discount taking the time to really listen for the word of God through the Holy Spirit.
Page 2 of Paul Harvey’s story portrays a very different scenario by slamming the door on previous chapters of life. Major technology changes impact products essential to my corporate world. Leadership positions change. My wife is diagnosed with a significant neurological disease. My mother passes away due to a stroke. “Need” is suddenly redefined! Grace is now desired, prayer crescendos, and faith is challenged. It becomes readily apparent that Jesus is suddenly of greater value than comfort.
Perhaps the biblical story of Joseph parallels the personal dilemma described above. The son of Israel, with strong family roots and a secure childhood, is suddenly uprooted by jealous, deceiving brothers and cast into Egyptian slavery as a scorned prisoner. Joseph recognizes that his destiny is not within his control and devotes significant time to “listening”. Despite the hardships, he maintains devout faith and trusts God as he continually speaks of HIS intent and will. Even though he eventually earns the favor of Pharaoh, Joseph does not lose focus on God’s plan for him. Joseph realized that his human accomplishments were provided by GRACE and did not let success overcome the need to forgive as he provided food and assistance to his family in Canaan.
For me, the portrayal of Joseph in the Book of Genesis represents the paradox of life. When times are good, we sometimes drift into the aura that we are in control and able to manage with minimal interface with God. When times are bad, we quickly revert to prayer and share our “needs” with God. Perhaps, it is vitally important to recognize that the teachings of the Old Testament and those of Jesus Christ should take precedence in our thoughts and actions on a daily basis.

Henry Evans

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