Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “November, 2017”

Missions Moment

Greetings from the Syversons!

We have been serving in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico for 16 years and are so excited for the next season of ministry in Mexico.  Currently we are based in Lexington and enjoying the wonderful blessing of the TCCC mission house.  We will be visiting partnering churches in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois over the next couple of months.  Although we are traveling quite a bit, we would love the opportunity to meet and fellowship with many of you during our time in Lexington.  Please email at GregSyverson@cmfi.org or call (voice calls only) at 217-718-4140.

Here is what is happening in Mexico…  Over the last few years we have been focusing much of our ministry efforts investing in the lives of young people.   The energy and faith of the children and youth is contagious and powerful!

A few years ago, God gave us a vision to see 100 churches planted in 10 years.  That number frightened us because we didn’t see it as “humanly possible” but we realized that God hasn’t called us to do what is “humanly possible” but rather He has called us to do “greater things”.   As we have prayed and strategized we have felt God leading us to train young people (and the young at heart) to be church planters using a rapidly multiplying church planting model.  In fall 2018, we will be opening a training center to train bi-vocational church planters that will work in all parts of Mexico and even in other parts of Latin America.  We are excited about this “God-sized” vision that will impact Mexico and beyond.  We already have young people from other parts of Mexico and other countries interested in coming to be trained and work with us in the ministry.  We are very excited about what God is doing!  We covet your prayers as we spend the next several months planning, promoting, and recruiting future church planters.

Along with this vision we know that God will also lead us into the most effective ways to partner in the relief efforts from the recent devastating earthquakes in Mexico.  Our desire is to be the “hands, feet, and heart of Jesus” to people who have lost so much.  Thank you for your prayers for Mexico.

Greg & Vicki Syverson

Psalm 82:3 Vision

Psalm 82:3 Mission was created with the vision of taking care of orphans in Monrovia, Liberia.  For the past few months, the Psalm 82:3 Mission team felt God pulling us in a new direction.  The moratorium on adoptions had been lifted, children at the AFAA house were being adopted, and we felt that God was telling us that we needed to help those beyond the capital city.

Matt Lee, Doug Lee, Elizabeth Anderson, and I were blessed to go on the Vision Trip for Psalm 82:3 Mission to seek out God’s plan for our organization. Once we arrived in Buchanan, Liberia, I was reminded how His plan is so much more than anything we could’ve imagined.  Before our team even left the United States, God started opening doors for the organization.  Our project manager in Liberia, Morris Freeman, made a connection with a land owner willing to sell fifty acres of land to Psalm 82:3 Mission for $30,000.  We were also able to connect with a local pastor, Eric Roberts, who was ready and willing to show us the city of Buchanan and was passionate about introducing us to the people there.  Through these connections and new relationships built with the individuals in Buchanan, God showed us what He has planned for Psalm 82:3 Mission.

Therefore, a new vision was created.  A self-sustaining community center dedicated to serving the least (healthy and special needs orphan children and widows).  This center will be complete with an orphan village, a church, a school, an old folks home, 25 acres of agriculture and farming potential, therapy clinic, and medical clinic.  With this land we will also employ and empower Christian Liberians to invest into the lives of their children.  We also plan to partner with a Christian adoption agency to place the orphan children in Christ-centered homes.  All of this also means that more lives will be impacted than just children when you consider a country with over 85% unemployment.  The most exciting part is that we don’t view this as a forever project.  Our goal is that in 7-10 years the entire project will be funded entirely by Liberians, as we continue to partner and help when needed!

Please find Psalm 82:3 Mission on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!  We also have a banquet coming up on December 9th and are looking for table hosts to join us!  If you’re interested, please use the contact information listed below.

Marlee Mirre

Faith in Prayer

“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well: the Lord will raise them up.”  James 5:15
Every day we hear or read heartbreaking stories of tragic illness and breathtaking accounts of God’s incredible healing.  Even if we don’t have the medical degrees or training to fix people or provide answers, we do have God’s power to love people and pray with them in their time of need or time of praise.  The need for prayer is always there.  The opportunity for prayer is always there.  Intentional, thoughtful prayer from your heart for those who are sick or injured, struggling with depression, or trapped inside a body or mind that is broken.  Pray for the sick, pray for the families and friends of the sick, pray with faith that God will make the sick person well, and trust that God has a plan for every life.
Angela Powell

Sermon Outline, November 26, 2017, “On His Terms”

                                                             On His Terms

Leviticus 10:1-3


We must respond to the Lord the way he tells us to, not however we please.


Leviticus 10:1              Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them.


God is the same today as he was back then. – Malachi 3:6   “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.


God is patient and is holding back his wrath.



God supremely cares about the way people view him.


Leviticus 10:3  Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.


We need the whole Bible to get an accurate picture of God.


We must allow God to tell us who he is, not form our own opinions of him.


God is set apart. He is not like us. He is in a category all his own.



We never have the right to accuse God of wrong-doing.


Leviticus 10:3 – Aaron held his peace.


Job 1:22           In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Job 2:10           But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.


If we have an issue with something God has said or done, the problem is not with God but with us.



How can sinful people stand in the presence of a holy God?


  1. We must come to him on his terms.


  1. We must have our sins atoned for.


The answer is Christ.


John 14:6         Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


2 Cor. 5:21       For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Thankfulness is Contagious

Thankfulness Broadens Our View of God’s Greatness!

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I have shared before that I grew up on a farm.  On this farm we raised horses, and throughout the years we tried to train these horses to pull wagons.  In fact, for my sister’s wedding, my father had built his own buggy and trained a horse to pull the buggy.  We tried our best to train this young horse, but he simply became distracted too easily.  These distractions often led to him stopping in the middle of the trail until he could be refocused.     Along with the necessary equipment used for horse pulling there is one piece more vital than the others.  It is the blinders on the headstall.  These are located on each side of the horse’s face.  The role of the blinders is to keep the horse focused on the direct path ahead.    Have you ever noticed that when things start going wrong in our lives it feels like we have spiritual blinders on?  We start seeing the world around us in a closed off way.  We begin feeling like we are the only ones going through a difficult situation.  The more our blinders close in on our perspective, the further into a spiritual slump we feel.  This seems to be the devil’s system to lead us away from God’s greatness.    In the verse above, Paul offers a different option.  Instead of allowing the devil to close in our perspective he offers a remedy.  Rejoice, pray, and give thanks!  Immediately when our view changes so does our attitude.  We begin to open up our eyes to the power of God, the love of God, and the greatness of God.     It is amazing to me how this is the cultural norm of so many other cultures.  For example, anytime I interact with my friends in Liberia they often say the phrase, Thank God.  When they have done our team a huge favor, cooked a delicious meal, and fixed something we couldn’t figure out, we always tell them thank you.  This is when they reply- “Thank God.”  It’s as if they constantly speak to bring glory to God through their thankfulness.  Such a wonderful example of Christ-followers from one of the poorest places on the earth.

Matt Lee, Children’s Minister

Sermon Outline, November 19, 2017, “A Grateful Heart”

                                                             A Grateful Heart

 Luke 17:11-19


A Grateful Heart is Intentional.

Intentional Gratitude is Exceptional.

~ II Timothy 3:1-2      But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,


~II Timothy 3:5          holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.


Intentional Gratitude is Deliberate.

~ Colossians 3:17        Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.



A Grateful Heart is Expressive.

Gratitude expresses Sincerity.

~ Ephesians 5:20          always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;


Gratitude expresses Humility.

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


Gratitude expresses Praise.

~ Hebrews 13:15         Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.



A Grateful Heart is Honorable.

Gratitude honors God’s Mercy.

~ II Corinthians 9:15    Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!


Gratitude honors God’s Power.

~ Philippians 4:6         Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Be Thankful

When I was growing up on the farm, the only benefit Thanksgiving provided my siblings and me was being out of school.  However, being out of school meant work on the farm.  Our family always worked on Thanksgiving Day.  Somehow, my Dad never received the memo about Thanksgiving Day being a labor free day.  Dad always saw that day as a great opportunity to get much needed work done in the crop.  So, the Thanksgiving holiday didn’t provide any real special break from the routine for our family.  My Mom fixed a special meal for dinner ~ on the farm dinner was at noon!

Thankfully, that all changed as the years unfolded.  Now, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays!  One of the reasons is that it provides a great opportunity for our family to be together.  Another reason is due to its simplicity!  There is a great absence of commercialism and busyness.  The third reason and the best reason for it being a favorite, speaks to the purpose for the holiday ~ to give thanks.  Hopefully, as Christians, our gratitude stretches far beyond the holiday of Thanksgiving!

For Christians, our spirit of gratitude should permeate our hearts!  In I Thessalonians 5:18, the Bible says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  Gratitude is the difference between someone who is a grumbler and someone who expresses great joy!  Is there anyone who likes to be around a grumbler; someone who complains and gripes, groans and moans?  Anyone?  Unless they are of similar nature!  But, we really like being around people who are joyful!  People who are joyful attract other people!

Grateful people acknowledge that everything they have comes from God!  Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”

Grateful people trust God’s providence that He will bring good out of everything, including the terrible things that happen in life.  (Romans 8:28).  All that farm work on Thanksgiving Day, and every other day, sure made for a close family; I am most thankful!

Grateful people visit with those who are less fortunate and minister to them.     Grateful people count their blessings regularly and thank God for those blessings!     Grateful people refuse, absolutely refuse, to complain, gripe, or grumble!   A grateful heart brings honor and glory to God!

As Zella & I count our blessings, serving here at Tates Creek with you all is right at the top.  Thank you so much for the opportunity and the privilege of allowing us to serve our Lord with each of you!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tommy Simpson, Senior Minister

Are You Showing Gratitude?

Have you ever thought of how some of the toughest commands from the Bible are usually the ones that are the most straightforward and cut straight to the heart?  For example, “pray without ceasing,” “follow me,” “be joyful always,” and how about this one, “give thanks in all circumstances.”
To give thanks in all circumstances is tough, isn’t it?  There is no room for excuses or loop holes that give us a free pass.  God desires for our lives to be characterized by thankfulness, even when it is hard.  God longs for us to trust Him enough that we can be thankful even when it hurts and life doesn’t make sense!
To give thanks in all situations does not mean that we “fake it until we make it”. Instead, we are to have an attitude of gratitude that flows out of our hearts and is seen in every area and circumstance of our lives.  How we respond when tough situations hit speaks volumes. People are daily looking for purpose and meaning and we have an opportunity in the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ times with how we respond to point people towards Christ.
Consider this, we would have nothing good in our lives if it were not for God placing it there.  Do you realize that?  I think so often we take for granted the gifts that God has given us. James tells us that every good gift we have comes from God (James 1:17).
Every good gift!  It does not matter how big or small, every gift was given to us by the God of the Universe.  Here is an idea, as we enter this season, I challenge you not to wait until Thanksgiving Day to reflect on how thankful you are.  Instead, would you consider daily how much we have and give thanks with a grateful heart?  We have a Good Father who deeply loves us through the good and bad times. We have a lot to be thankful for daily!

Geoff Lawson, Student Minister

Sermon Outline, November 12, 2017, “Stewardship Reveals Faith”

                                                     Stewardship Reveals Faith

 Luke 9:23-26


Commit to Christ Personally.

Denying self for Christ is a Struggle.

~ Romans 7:19             For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.


~ Matthew 6:24           No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.


~ James 4:4                 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.


Denying self for Christ is Required.

~ I Peter 4:1-2             Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.


~ Luke 12:34   For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.



Commit to Christ Entirely.

Commit to Christ Daily.

~ I Corinthians 15:31  I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.


~ II Corinthians 4:10    always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.


Commit to Christ Totally.

~ Philippians 4:19       And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.


~ II Corinthians 9:8     And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;



Commit to Christ Solely.

Focus on the Person of Jesus.

~ Philippians 1:21        For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.


~ Galatians 2:20          I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.


~ Romans 8:1              Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.


~ I Corinthians 15:57   but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


~ Galatians 5:6            For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.


~ Ephesians 1:3           Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,


~ Philippians 4:4         Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!


~ Colossians 3:1          Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.


~ I Thessalonians 4:16, 17      For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.


Focus exclusively on the Person of Jesus Christ.

~ John 14:6                 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.


~ 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.


~ 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.

Rejoice and be Thankful

When times are hard, who is it that you turn to in your life?  Your spouse, your children maybe?  Friends?  Most importantly, do you turn to God?  With this season of Thanksgiving, I felt it would be appropriate to share verses that help through difficult situations.  They remind me that no matter what may be going on with my earthly problems, I can rejoice and be thankful for the things God has given me in my life, and especially for the greatest gift of all, His Son.
1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Hebrews 12: 28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
1 Timothy 4:4-5 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

Lesley Tipton, Preschool Director

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