Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “November, 2016”

A Lesson from Jesus’ Mother

There’s a verse in Luke’s account of the birth of Christ that sticks out like a sore thumb. The tone of it is completely different from the surrounding paragraphs and it almost seems like Luke inserted it well after he had the story of the first Christmas written out. In Luke 2:19 we read…

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

With all the amazement and wonder at Gabriel’s appearance to her, Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John the Baptist, her firstborn’s birth in a stable in Bethlehem, the visit from the shepherds… Mary had the presence of mind to stop, to contemplate, and to treasure up everything that God had caused to happen to her. She never wanted to forget.
There are many spiritual disciplines that we can practice to help us grow in our relationship with Christ. One that often gets little publicity, but has helped me greatly through the years, is journaling.
Journaling is essentially doing what Mary did in Luke 2:19 – treasuring up these things and pondering them in our hearts. When God does something in your life – or even when he fails to do something – putting your thoughts to paper forces you to deal with them. It forces you to slow down, to meditate, and think and interpret what God is doing in your life at that moment. That’s something we rarely do unless we have an intentional practice like journaling. Journaling orders the chaos of our minds so we can make sense of it.
Another wonderful benefit of journaling, though, is the ability to look back through previous entries and to be reminded of God’s faithfulness, his goodness to you, or even your own impatience or nearsightedness. My faith grows deeper and stronger when I go back and read about all the times God has proven himself to me.
As parents and grandparents I’m sure we’ll try to treasure up in our hearts all the joys of Christmas this year. But as children of God let us develop a practice of doing this intentionally and regularly so that we will never forget the faithfulness of our God.

John Davis

The Joy of Eating

I think it is no secret that I enjoy eating and it is an activity I share with many others in our church. Of course, churches are known for their fellowship dinners when people bring their “specialty” dishes for all to share. Many of us want those recipes.
Being single, I eat out more than most, although I am finding that eating at home is becoming more of a norm for me. When I do eat out, I quite often sit at the counter since I don’t want to take an entire table that might be needed for a larger group, and usually I can be seated quickly. I enjoy meeting people and sitting at a counter, since one can easily meet and chat with others sitting there. A typical conversation may start with a question such as, “Are you from Lexington?” When it comes to the question, “What do you do for a living?”, then it can get interesting. For instance, most people are surprised when I tell them that I am a worship minister and where I serve. Most people know where our building is located, but have not visited a worship service. If they are using foul language that usually stops when I say the word “minister”! It can also open the door to conversations about the church and if they are members of another church. Most people are kind and appear interested in what I do and I try to inquire about their interests as well.
Taking the risk of sharing what I do can open doors! I remember when I was young and was afraid that someone might ask what I do. How would I answer them? Would I be embarrassed? But, as I grew older, my willingness to be open also grew to the point of being able to openly share that I enjoyed being a worship minister. Getting to know people casually in that environment also gives me the opportunity to invite them to worship with us.
As we approach these messages on the topic, “Eats with Sinners” we must realize that we are all sinners. Jesus is the only One who was not a sinner. So, all of our encounters are with sinners, even though most may be with Christians. We have all sinned, but we also have a wonderful story to share with other sinners as to how our lives were changed when we encountered the Sinless One. What is your story?

Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.

I love to tell the story! ‘Twill be my theme in glory —
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

Don Seevers

The Hope – Matthew 1:18-25

Relationships can be very complicated. We often invest much emotional energy in our family and close friends. Because we are all human and make mistakes, this can cause a great deal of disappointment. We have all experienced this kind of reaction to the shortcomings of those closest to us.

As I read Matthew 1:18-25, I wonder how Joseph felt about his relationship with Mary. It appears clear that he was severely disappointed in what he assumed was some sin in her life. I imagine the life that he had envisioned and planned for himself and for Mary just vanished before his eyes when he heard the news of her pregnancy.

So what was it that changed his outlook? It was the revelation of the truth, that Mary’s actions were, in fact, faithful to him and to the Lord. Of course, it probably helped that this message was delivered by the angel Gabriel! It still must have been difficult at times for Joseph to believe that they would be raising God’s own son in human form. He had to have been a man of great faith and hope!

Just as Joseph learned he could be hopeful in his situation, the coming of Jesus should also show us that we, too, can be hopeful. Just as God was faithful to His word with Joseph, He will always be faithful to His word with us. He sent Jesus because he loves us and desired to provide a way of salvation for us. Jesus gives us hope! That is one of the lessons to be learned and celebrated each Christmas.

David Eversole

Wrapped in Prayer

Have you ever heard the saying “Good food and a hug can fix just about anything”? There’s nothing quite like the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven. I can hardly wait to get a big slice of that warm toasty bread smothered in butter. That wonderful smell fills my senses and my mind is flooded with all sorts of happy memories. That’s how prayer can be as well. I really look forward to spending time with my Lord in prayer. I can almost taste the sweetness of His presence as my heart and soul are filled with grateful memories of His goodness and faithfulness throughout my life.
Then there’s something about that simple little hug too. It’s just that tender embrace that reaches through to your heart and makes everything seem a little better. And the same is true for prayer. Sometimes after a time of prayer I can feel the Lord’s gentle arms enfold me and that sense of contentment and peace fills my soul. Just knowing that He cares makes everything so much better. So for me, prayer time is kind of like good food and a hug rolled into one!

Debbie Beckwith

Sermon Outline, November 27, 2016, “Served With Urgency”

                                                           Served with Urgency

Matthew 24:36-51

 Throughout Scripture there is an urgency pressed upon us for sharing the gospel with those who don’t know Christ. Why does God want us to feel an urgency for the souls of those we love?

 

Because no one knows when Christ will return

 

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

 

Not even Jesus!

Two extremes we must avoid:

Obsessing about the end of the world

Never thinking about the 2nd coming

 

Because Hell is real

Matthew 24:48-51       But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

Revelation 14:9-11      And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

 

If we truly love the lost, our hearts should be stirred to warn them

 

Because Heaven awaits those who trust in Christ

Matthew 24:46-47      Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.

 

Romans 8:17               and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

 

1 Corinthians 6:3         Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

 

Revelation 21:3           And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

 

Our joy in the hope of eternal life is not complete until we share it

Sharing the Greater Story

I remember when I first started in Student Ministry several years ago, I sat down with a mentor who was a veteran in Student Ministry. We met regularly and I always listened intently when he spoke because he was full of wisdom and knowledge. One day, he shared a helpful tidbit that has stuck out in my mind ever since. “People don’t know how much you care until you show them.” It’s a simple thought but also so profound. That very pattern was modeled by Jesus to his disciples and eventually a world of people hungering and thirsting for something far greater. He was more worried about saving souls than saving face. You see, for far too long we’ve been drawn into this world that says there is a right and a wrong way to share this “Greater Story.” There is nothing wrong with being strategic in our approach to evangelism. I simply believe the best strategy is to meet people where they are and connect them with your own changed and revolutionized life! When a person is consumed with and in love with Jesus, it doesn’t take long for that person to start talking about the One they are so committed to.
As Tommy begins this new series, I am excited to see how students and adults can connect this “Greater Story” to the events of their lives. I am excited to see what happens when we choose to carry out our mission to lead people towards this “Greater story.” As I begin my time here at Tates Creek, I am excited to be part of a movement of students who are willing to invite their un-churched friends to things we are doing (events, regular gatherings, etc.). It doesn’t stop there though, we must be willing to engage people where they are and build relationships so they know we care! My primary “strategy” is pretty simple for the Student Ministry: I help my students discover who Jesus is, and to fall in love with Him and His message through building intentional relationships that plant seeds. I am connecting them to a greater story.

Geoff Lawson

Sermon Outline, November 20, 2016, “Simmered with Patience”

                                                     Simmered with Patience

I Thessalonians 5:14

Be Tolerant.

Be tolerant of Sinners.

~ Luke 15:2                 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

~ Romans 6:1-2           What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

 

Be confident in God’s power to change sinners.

~ Ephesians 3:20         Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

~ Philippians 4:13       I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

 

Be Invested.

Invest in Relationships.

~ Ecclesiastes 11:1      Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.

 

Investing in relationships involves Risk.

~ 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.

 

 

Be Resolved.

Resolve to have a Clear Goal.

~ Luke 19:10   For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that                   which was lost.”

~ Luke 9:51     When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem;

~ 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.

 

Resolve to Go Forward.

~ Philippians 3:12, 14             Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

~ 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.

 

Preschool Ministry Update

November is all about giving thanks, and this month I wanted to highlight someone in particular for whom I am thankful. Each ministry here at Tates Creek has core members that help keep things running smoothly, and Critterland is no different. Maia, Joan, Sara, and all of my other volunteers are always there for their scheduled shift, and are willing to do extra when needed. I love them all dearly and couldn’t imagine my area without any of them. But I would be in much trouble if Tara Waters wasn’t as involved. For the four and a half years I have been the preschool director, Tara has come along beside me and done anything asked of her, without complaint. She helps make all of the children feel welcomed and loved. Tara will leave service when it’s not her scheduled month to walk a baby around because she is the only one that can calm him down. She, as well as her boys and husband, will come early and stay late for any event that is going on church wide to set up and tear down. She is truly one of the great ones. Thank you Tara, from myself and all our kids.

Lesley Tipton

God’s Story for You

Stories have a very powerful effect on the human brain. Neuroscientists have studied the effects that stories have on the brain verses just raw information. Scientists say that raw information activates only small parts of our brain, while stories activate nearly all of it.
We all love a good story. Maybe you like to read books or watch TV shows or movies. They draw our attention because we get involved mentally and emotionally in the story they tell. You may not realize it, but we are being told different stories all day every day. Often we make up stories in our head. We attach a story to every event that happens in our day. For example, maybe someone cut you off in traffic on your way to work this morning. Our response is usually to make up a story that explains why it happened. Maybe that person is just a plain jerk. Or maybe they weren’t paying any attention because they are going through something really hard and their mind is somewhere else. We make up these stories in our head to try and understand and make sense of the world around us.
God knows that stories are very powerful. He created us in such a way that we are able to connect with stories. Jesus obviously knew how well we connect with stories and that’s why he told parables.
I want to bring something to your attention today. Maybe you’ve thought about this before, and this will just serve as a reminder. Satan knows how we connect with stories as well. Therefore, he will do his level best to influence the story we make up in our heads about ourselves. For example, maybe someone says something negative about you and you begin to write a story in your head that echoes that statement. I am a terrible person, I am worthless, no one loves me. Ever made up these kinds of stories in your head? Do you think it is Christ who is influencing those stories in your life? NO! Absolutely not! The story that He tells us is: I am loved, I am adopted, I am cherished, I am forgiven, I have value.
Satan knows that if he can influence us to tell these negative stories about ourselves, he can separate us even further from God. He wants us to lose heart; to lose hope. This happens to people of all ages, even children. So, my challenge to you is to not only speak the truth to yourself, but also your children and your friends. When they are making up false stories about who they really are, speak God’s love and help them re-write the stories in their heads. The story of grace and redemption is so much more hopeful and powerful than the stories of death and despair that we are so used to telling ourselves.

Mike Allen

Catching Up with Judy Fish

Judy Fish recently reminisced about her 17 years as a missionary nurse with CMF. The first seven years (four in Ethiopia and 3 in Ivory Coast) were spent living in mud huts and providing medical services to the poorest of the poor in rural areas. She “loved living among the people, entering their culture, learning their language, and sharing the Gospel. It was a humbling and rewarding time.”
In 2008 she had the opportunity to create a ministry with broader impact which continues today. She began traveling to various CMF mission fields where she trained missionaries and their national partners in the principles of CHE–Community Health Evangelism. In these third world countries, people have no understanding of the correlation between good health and such things as potable water, personal hygiene, and basic sanitation. They daily battle such preventable ailments as intestinal worms and parasites, diarrheal diseases that are often fatal to children, plus fungal and bacterial skin infections. She would spend up to three months in an area providing health services and opening a way to the gospel.
As a result of advancing global technology, she can provide another area of assistance. Since she has spent time in these communities, she understands their culture, economics, education, government, agriculture, etc. Since she trained their leaders, she understands their abilities and assets as well as their needs. This allows her to provide mentoring and support via email, SKYPE, phone calls, etc.
Recently Judy has worked with programs in Brazil, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. She is currently in Myanmar, a country that is 90% Buddhist. She is conducting a health education seminar at Taunggyi Bible College. A majority of the students at this school are training to work in rural areas where over 65% of the people live. She is also doing basic CHE training. The target audience is pastors and community leaders of the Shan state. Judy sees this as a great blessing–to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
She expresses her appreciation for the faithful support of her TCCC family.

Judy Fish

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