Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “October, 2016”

Seasoned with Integrity – Mark 12:14

Have you ever done the right thing for the wrong reason? You did the right thing, but it was to make your children or your spouse proud; or maybe it was to impress a coworker or maybe even a fellow church member. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, made it clear. Motives matter. If you give alms to receive the praise of men, you have already received your reward.
Our motive should be the desire to be like Jesus. That is such a lofty goal and we are so far from obtaining it, we could become discouraged. But there is hope to be found in Jeremiah 9:23-24. “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight says the Lord.”
That’s the goal and yes it is certainly lofty, but there are some hints there as to how to obtain it. If we concentrate less on what we know, who we are, and what we have and concentrate more on who He is, what He has done, and what He is going to do, just maybe we can “press on toward the goal of the call of God in Christ Jesus.”
There is a secondary motive worth remembering. We do not want to bring shame on our Lord or His church. There are two indisputable facts. The first fact is that everything Christians do reflects on our Lord and His church. Have you ever watched a particularly obnoxious driver in traffic and thought, “If he is going to drive like that I wish he would remove the fish sign from the back of his car”? The second fact is that the world is watching and for the most part wants us to fail. The news media loves to report the failures of Christian leaders. We must live our lives recognizing the fact that we represent our Lord and His church. Peter tells us in his first letter: “Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that in case they speak against you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” I Peter 2:12
Certainly our primary goal is to know and understand God. To know His perfect will and do it perfectly. But as we struggle on the path to that level of perfection, let us strive to never dishonor the Lord whose name we wear.

Bill Clem

Sermon Outline, October 30, 2016, “The Recipe”

                                                  The Recipe

John 4:35

The First Step is Notice.

Notice People.

~ Matthew 9:36           Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

 

Notice People’s Need for Salvation.

~ Philippians 2:4         do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

~ I Corinthians 9:22    To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.

 

 

The Second Step is Obey.

Obey the Clear will of the Lord.

~ II Peter 3:9                The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

~ I Timothy 2:3-4        This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

Obey the Direct will of the Lord.

~ Matthew 28:19-20   Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

~ Mark 16:15              And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

~ Acts 1:8                   but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

 

 

The Third Step is Work.

Work Intentionally.

~ I Thessalonians 5:17  pray without ceasing;

~ Ephesians 6:18                     With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

~ Ephesians 5:15                     Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,

 

Work Urgently.

~ Matthew 24:36         “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

My Sin Before Me

Every now and then, when I am especially burdened, I find myself turning to Psalm 51 during my prayer time. As I have recently been putting it to memory, I learned that the idea of “my sin always being before me” in verse 3 applies to God’s view of me but also my view of myself. How often do I catch myself rehearsing sinful thoughts, attitudes, or actions and despairing? In this Psalm, David sets a positive example for all of us when we get stuck in our weakness. David approaches God in humble repentance, reminding himself and us that we have hope in God’s unfailing love and his great compassion. Then, by faith, David pleads for God to take action. Notice the action words that he uses: have mercy, wash away, blot out, cleanse me, teach me, create, renew, restore, grant, and save. Let us follow the example of this Psalm and take action through repentance and calling out to God by faith each day.

Phyllis Eversole

Operation Christmas Child

Every minute somewhere in the world 4 children are sold into slavery, 14 die of HIV & related illness, 12 die from malnutrition and countless others are being recruited by terrorist groups. BUT, because of the eternal power of a simple shoebox gift, every minute 19 children hear the gospel, 5 enroll in The Greatest Journey discipleship program (after receiving a box), 4 graduate from the program and 2 children come to Jesus!
For the ministry of Operation Christmas Child the goal of the shoebox gift is always about The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) which is evangelism, discipleship, and multiplication. The gift is the tool used by God to open a child’s heart to receive the good news of Jesus or to show His sovereign hand!
The TCCC Women’s Ministry invites our church to once again join together to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child in order to reach a 2016 church goal of 300 boxes! Use a standard size shoebox or pick up free boxes and packing info in the Main Foyer beginning October 2. The deadline for returning boxes to the Welcome Center is November 6. If questions, contact Shelley Maxwell at maxwell40514@hotmail.com or Kim Jones in the church office. A quality shoebox will include a “wow” item such as a stuffed animal, toy car, ball, or doll along with a few school supplies, hygiene items, and other small toys. A note to the recipient is treasured! OCC brochures are available to provide a boy/girl label to tape to the top of your box and an envelope for a $7 shipping donation (write checks to Samaritan’s Purse) which can be placed inside the box.
Be sure to PRAY over your box because every packed gift enables God to begin to write an incredible story!
Impact Story: Dania and her family were Christians living in an area of the world where 95% are unbelievers. They were poor and suffered persecution for sharing their faith. But they trusted in God and learned how to pray for every need including a desire for a radio so they could be connected to local and world news. When Dania received a shoebox gift she was so excited about each brand new and special item, but imagine her family’s surprise when they discovered tucked into her box a radio! God encouraged them greatly with an answer to their prayers!!

For more packing ideas, impact stories,
and to learn how to follow-your-box, visit the OCC website at

Operation Christmas Child

Church Membership?

Whenever Zella & I have moved to a new ministry, one of the very first things we have done is move our membership! Why did we do that? We wanted the people to know that we desired to be a part of their fellowship and to identify with them as soon as possible. We wanted them to know that we were ready to serve right alongside of them.
Questions we often hear are: “Is church membership in the Bible?” “Is moving your membership to a local church in the Bible?” “Does the Bible speak of a formal membership?” “Isn’t being a part of the family of God possible without placing formal membership?” Those are good, thoughtful questions!
Technically, the Bible does not say anything about church membership! So, what is the purpose for church membership? Why do we do it?
Placing church membership encourages that local body of Christians! It really encourages their efforts in the Kingdom of God! It blesses them! Placing church membership communicates to that local body of Christians that you desire to serve alongside them! I remember when I was growing up on the dairy farm our cousins would come over to help us haul in the hay or help us harvest the tobacco crop. Their presence coming into the field was a great boost to us, help had arrived! The work didn’t seem as grueling, taxing, or hard! When our cousins came walking into the field, we actually had fun working together! The same is true for church membership. When folks come walking up the aisle to place membership, their decision to do that really blesses the local body of Christians! Church membership is not a requirement to serve in many areas of ministry at Tates Creek Christian! However, church membership is a requirement to be a teacher or a leader such as an Elder, Deacon, or Ministry Team Leader.
I also think church membership is much more meaningful than being a part of a club; church membership is very special! It is saying that I want to be a part of your church family! Now, being a part of family is very precious! In our church family, we laugh together; cry together; pray together; study together; serve together; and worship our Lord together!
If you are not a member of Tates Creek, we would love to have you!
I love being a member of the Tates Creek Christian Church Family!

Tommy Simpson

Sermon outline, October 23, 2016, “One Anothering”

One Anothering

John 13:35; I John 4:7-8

Accept One Another.

As Christ accepts you.

~ Romans 15:7            Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

~ Romans 5:6              For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

 

With Humility.

~ I Peter 5:5                You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

~ Romans 12:10           Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

~ Philippians 2:3          Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

 

 

Respect One Another.

Be Kind.

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

 

Be Positive.

~ I Corinthians 13:5    KJV ~ Love thinketh no evil.

~ Romans 14:13          Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

~ James 4:11               Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

~ James 5:9                 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

 

Speak Truth.

~ Ephesians 4:25          Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

~ Colossians 3:9          Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

 

 

Serve One Another.

Encourage each other.

~ I Thessalonians 5:11            Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

~ James 5:16                            Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

 

Be Patient with each other.

~ I Thessalonians 5:14             We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

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

How Do We Function Together?

The Church is a messy place, as it should be. It is full of imperfect and broken people and hypocrites. That would include all of us. The good news is that Jesus came for sinners. Mark 2:17 says, “And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”” The fact is, there are none righteous. We know this to be true, but Romans 3:10-18 serves as a reminder:

“As it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good, not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18 ESV)

Just a few verses later we find a scripture that we are very familiar with. Romans 3:23, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (emphasis added by me).
So there is no question that we are all sinners. We are all messed up. We are all broken. We have all been hurt, and we have all hurt others. We all have fallen short. The question is, how do we function together as the body of Christ? How do we work with each other? How do we overcome bad attitudes and differences within the church? Those are some tough questions that make life in the local church hard at times.
I didn’t grow up in church. So, in the past 20 years, I have gone from knowing nothing about the church, to working in the local church for the past 14 years. It has been an adventure to say the least! As a full-time vocational minister, I have seen the struggles and battles within the church first hand. I have received complaints, criticisms, and judgment. I have seen fights, quarrels, and other ministers treated very poorly. I have seen a place where sin and brokenness show themselves often. But more importantly, I have seen lives changed, redemption, and have been encouraged, lifted up, blessed, mentored, and guided by the church and it’s people.
When we accept who we are in Christ, what his purpose is for the church, and us as its members, we will experience much more positive than negative in the church. When we choose to serve like Jesus and not come to be served, we will gain the correct and biblical perspective.
The series that we are going through based on the book “I Am A Church Member” by Thom S. Rainer, has been such an enlightening study for me. If you haven’t read through the book, I would highly encourage you to do so. I just read through it a second time before writing this article. It took a little less than an hour to read the whole book, and I’m a pretty slow reader! This is such a valuable read. It offers great perspective and great reminders about what it means to be a functioning member of the body of Christ. It has helped me personally to identify some areas where I have fallen short as a church member, areas where I’m not pulling my weight. I really think you would gain a lot by reading it. It serves as a great reminder to me that I should not complain about other members of the church, their preferences, or their shortcomings, but rather that I should focus on what kind of church member I am. I can effect change through the kind of church member I am. And so can you!
Tates Creek Christian Church is not a perfect church. There is no such thing, because churches consist of people, and there are no perfect people. However, we do worship a God who is perfect. A God who saves and redeems. As long as we keep our focus and our mindset on God and His Kingdom, we will go a long way in functioning as the church God wants us to be.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve alongside such wonderful people! Thank you all for allowing me to serve with you! May God bless this church and may we become a church fully submitted to Him!

Mike Allen

The B’s of Church Members

As I write this article, we as a congregation are about to embark on a journey together, learning or reinforcing what it means to be a church member. Some of us will jump into reading the book I Am a Church Member with enthusiasm, others with a sense of apprehension. Why? Because we may learn that being a church member may warrant change. And lets face it, change in what we think, believe, and do is quite often difficult. I am hoping that we all can fall into the first category and anticipate how we can grow into being a better member of the local church.
I have not yet read the book as I am writing this about 10 days before we start our journey, but please allow me to share a few things I have learned in being a church member since age 9…a long time ago!
B faithful in church attendance. We are finding some alarming statistics regarding church attendance in recent years. Many feel that they are “active” members if they attend a worship service every 4-6 weeks. In former days, if someone was absent from worship for a week or two, we were checking up on them to see if they were ill, traveling, or absent because of a problem. Now, it is more difficult to know since weekly church attendance is on the wane. How can we feel that we truly belong if we miss out on the teaching, fellowship, and contact that we need by gathering with fellow Christians? We were not created to be on the Christian journey alone.
B involved in at least one ministry of the local church. Those who do more than sit in the pew find great joy in serving. Yes, it does require more of us, but knowing that we are giving of ourselves in helping where we are needed brings a greater sense of being a part of God’s Kingdom.
B concerned for the needs of other members and for those who need to know Jesus. It is so easy to become comfortable in looking at our needs and to forget that someone sitting near us or on our street may need us. I remember the song that was popular when I graduated from high school and was sung at our commencement: “No Man Is an Island.”
These three B’s do not provide an exhaustive list, but do provide a starting points for us. I know from experience that my life has greater purpose and joy if I focus on at least these three.

Don Seevers

I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift

Remembering years past, as a child or young adult, can you recall those many special gifts family members or friends have given you? Do you remember which gift meant the most or made you the happiest?
As important as each of those gifts were, no greater gift has ever been given or received than the gift of salvation given freely by Jesus Christ. For all of us who are in Christ, we have received the free gift of salvation, not earned by our deeds, rather paid in full by the blood of Jesus Christ. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is Jesus Christ”. Romans:3:23-24
Through this free gift of eternal salvation, we are reborn as a member into the body of Christ. ”Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it” 1 Corinthians 12:27. When we receive the glorious gift of eternal salvation and church membership, let us glorify God with humble hearts, seeking to serve and grow his kingdom!
My friends, let us challenge ourselves to love thy neighbor even if thy neighbor is sitting in “our” spot. Let us encourage new faces attending our church with a simple smile and a welcoming hello. Let us look beyond our own personal preference, remembering we are a church family and we want everyone to be reached. Let us seek outreach opportunities, past these church walls, in an effort to bring the lost and unknown to God. Let us become involved with our youth ministry, sharing our life experiences and letting them know they matter and God loves them. Let us invest our time to mentor and council our younger members, growing their faith, understanding, and trust in God.
As recipients of the greatest gift of love, the gift of eternal salvation, let us cherish our membership here at Tates Creek, seizing every opportunity to glorify God through acts of service, patience, encouragement, kindness, and love.

Russell Brown

Sermon, October 16, 2016, “A Healthy Church Starts at Home”

A Healthy Church Starts at Home

Ephesians 5:22 – 6:4

Love The Lord’s Church with Obedience.

Jesus expects Obedience.

~ John 14:15               If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

~ John 14:21                He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.

 

Jesus expects Complete Obedience.

~ Luke 6:46                 Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

~ Matthew 7:21          Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

 

 

Love The Lord’s Church with Giving.

Give Wholeheartedly.

~ Philippians 2:8         Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

~ Hebrews 12:2           . . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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

~ 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.

 

Give with Excellence.

~ Colossians 3:23-24               Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

 

Give Unconditionally.

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

 

 

Love The Lord’s Church with Commitment.

Commit to the Priority of the Lord’s Church.

~ Matthew 6:33          But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

~ Hebrews 10:25         . . . not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

 

Commit to the Promise of the Lord’s Church.

~ I Corinthians 15:58              Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

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