Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the category “General”

Stretch 456

Preteen Ministry: Why It and You Are Important
If you were a child growing up in church a few years ago, you looked forward to the days that you would be in the Youth Ministry. On the other side of Children’s Ministry was a sense of freedom, adventure, and discovering your faith on your own. Children’s Ministry was fun and your foundation expanded on Biblical truths that started when you were one of the “littles” in the church. For many of us, it was in the Children’s Ministry that we began our personal walk with Jesus and were baptized. Loving and nurturing adults poured into our lives and made sure we didn’t fall away… completely. Following your baptism you were asked to serve, be a leader, set an example, guide the younger kids, and much more. The challenge was that we didn’t really know how or what it meant to be a leader or a church member. We really didn’t understand what this new person in our life that people called the Holy Spirit was, or what our identity in Christ meant. On top of these challenges were these weird emotions for the opposite gender, temptations creeping in, and dreams of what we would actually be when we grew up. We looked forward with anticipation to the days of Youth Ministry where we could finally get these answers!
All of these things are why Preteen Ministry is so important! Kids growing up in church still desiring to begin their walk with Jesus between 9-12 years old (preteen age). They still want to be leaders and walk with God. In the midst of the challenges we had, I would say kids today have so many more. Temptations are starting at much younger ages. These temptations include: the internet, cable television, smart phones, standardized testing, broken homes, drugs, alcohol, mental illness, pop culture and music, and the demands of extra curricular activities. Many of the preteen age kids are deciding if the “Jesus Road” is the path to take. The reality is that they are being pulled emotionally, physically, and spiritually in so many directions that their lives are a constant STRETCH!
Stretch 456 is about guiding kids along this part of their lives. It’s about adults of any age pouring and investing into them. It’s about helping answer their questions with Biblical truth, engaging them in genuine worship, and deepening their faith roots. The most important time for Stretch is Sunday mornings at 9:30 and 11 am! Come check it out sometime. They are a great group of 4th-6th grade kids who are hungry to learn more, eager to serve, and loud enough to change the world they live in! That means you, as parents and church members, reading this are also VERY IMPORTANT!

~ Matt Lee

Adding Fruit

If you’ve worked in Children’s Ministry here at TCCC, or been out to Bluegrass Christian Camp, or any other place for that matter, you’ve most likely heard the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ song. You sing about different fruits not being the actual fruit of the Spirit, and do very silly motions along with those things, my favorite being the banana. It’s actually an awesome song, and you learn the 9-part fruit of the Spirit very quickly. Don’t know them? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). What an amazing list. Each of these things in itself is something that we, as Christians, aspire to so that we may live more like Christ. But do we show these things to others in our daily interactions? Can you imagine the outward effect they would have?
I’m often reminded of the movie “Pay it Forward” when I think of how I want to live my life. I want to do (or even say) little things that may make such an impact on a person that they have a better day and want to continue to spread that feeling. The fruit of the Spirit is a great start. I think it’s a great idea to ask ourselves each morning “How can I spread gentleness to others today?” or “I’m going to give joy to those I meet through my life”. Do this enough and the people you come in contact with frequently are going to start realizing you create such a positive presence they can’t help but ask how they can do the same. Adding the ‘fruit’ to your daily diet will no doubt multiply these qualities not only in yourself, but in all those you are trying to reach.

~ Lesley Tipton

God Adds the Humble – Matthew 5:5-6

When I think of being meek, it is being humble in the Spirit.  Some may feel broken and don’t know where to begin or go to find the solution.  I have found that God is the answer and our solution.  God tells us in Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”  Yes, we are meek but we can also be mighty in the Spirit and our Lord.

It also says in Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”  We all should hunger and thirst for the Word of God and want to help others to do the same, so we can multiply in the Lord and be in heaven together.

This brings to mind a young broken woman that I know.  She grew up in a home being abused and mistreated.  She lived with her step-father, mother, and siblings.  She had no solution or way out of the abuse of her mother.  The only person she could count on was her grandmother who lived far away and was only able to visit a few times each year.  Her grandmother did sense she was not happy and was often very sad.  Her grandmother began to talk with her and taught her how to pray.  As this woman grew older, she began to realize how prayer made a difference in her life.  She knew she was broken inside and needed something or someone more in her life.  Even though she could not see God, she knew He was there with her.  She began to have peace and comfort and acceptance of things she could not change.  She knew one day God would bring her out of the bondage in which she currently lived.

That day did come. God gave her an opportunity to leave that home and begin a new life in another town.  God eventually gave her a Christian home, husband, children, and church home.  He also gave her the most wonderful gift of her life, a relationship with Him.  He gave her boldness that she never had and enough love to serve and help others.

I encourage all to serve and reach out to those who don’t know the Lord.  Just pass it on and help others to become additions to the Kingdom of God.

~ Garnett Langley

Additions to the Family

A few weeks ago, Zella & I learned that our daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, Josh, are expecting their third child. This child is due on my Dad’s birthday, January 26. We are very excited looking forward to another addition to our family. In addition to the expected arrival of this one, our family has been adding other members. One of my nephews married in April. Another nephew and his wife had a baby son in May. One of my nieces is getting married in August. We love additions to the family!
Just like Zella & I love additions to our earthly family, the Lord loves adding people to His heavenly family. From Luke 15 we learn that the angels rejoice when a sinner comes home to God. Acts 2:41 says, “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:47 says, “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” The Lord loves adding people to His Family, His Kingdom, and His Church!
A few weeks ago, a fellow was baptized at the close of the worship service. Before he and his wife could descend the steps from the baptistery changing area, people were ascending the steps to congratulate him! Our church family was so excited for his addition to the Lord’s Church!
A couple weeks ago, a fellow came into my office and shared that he wanted to transfer his membership to Tates Creek. I asked him if he would like to do that the following Sunday. He replied, “I want to transfer my membership right now!” That was so exciting! I realize that this man is already a part of the family of God. But, it is so exciting that he wants to be a part of our Tates Creek Church Family. Whether by transfer or by baptism, it is always exciting to welcome people to the Tates Creek Church Family. And we give thanks and glory and honor to our Lord for every soul that He adds to His Church at Tates Creek!
Starting the first Sunday of August, we will launch a new sermon series entitled, “Multiplication through Addition.” As we examine the beatitudes of Matthew 5, we will learn that God adds people to His Church that are broken with sin. We are humbled and overwhelmed and deeply grateful that God added us to His Church by His immeasurable grace!
To our Lord be the glory!

~ Tommy Simpson

The New Math

There’s been a lot of controversy in recent years due to what is supposed to be a better way to teach math to children. In this new method (if I understand it correctly) it supposes the process one uses to find the answer is as important as getting the answer correct. Now that simple analysis may or may not be correct and I’m not competent to comment on which way is better, the old way or the new way, but what I am certain about is that 2 plus 2 still equals four. Just try to go to any bank and draw out $5.00 when you’ve only made two deposits of $2.00 and you will find that no matter the process you use you’re not going to get the $5.00. It is essential we learn those mathematical truths or laws in order to be able to function successfully in society. In the very same way, there are spiritual truths, spiritual laws, which we must recognize if we are going to be successful in our Christian walk. Jesus spoke one of those truths when He said, “You are the light of the world.” We can easily understand that can’t we? How many of us have stubbed a toe at night in the darkness? It almost hurts to think about it, right? Well, there is a whole world out there walking in darkness. Is it any wonder there is hurt and brokenness all around? Jesus says the world needs us showing them where the dangers are, showing them a better way. But Jesus also clarifies what type of light we are to be in order to really show a better way. He says, “Let your light so shine among men that they might see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) The spiritual truth is we have to live a better way in order to show a better way to those who are walking in darkness. Even as 2 plus 2 will only equal 4, so also people will only see God when we add godliness to our lives. We can try other processes and techniques but it will still come back to this simple truth, if people are going to know it we have to show it. As the old song said, “You are the finger of God don’t you see? You know somebody who is in need. Point them to Calvary, show them the way. You are the finger of God today.”

~ Bro. Kim Beckwith

Gods Adds the Broken – Matthew 5:3-4

Matthew 5:3-4

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” (NASB)

August brings an increase in crowds to Lexington.  Roadways, stores, campuses and stadiums will be filled with vehicles, parents, students and sports fans as they prepare and head out in search of the new.  New supplies, classrooms and teachers, new campuses and friends, and a new season.

The author of the above teaching was no stranger to crowds.  When Jesus spoke these words, He was surrounded by a multitude or mass of people.  He moved among them teaching them, touching them, healing them and showing mercy and love to them. He saw them and He knew them. He was looking into the eyes of people on whom He had great compassion.  He often saw them as sheep without a shepherd.  They did not understand it but I imagine they could feel it.  Jesus wanted them to know His voice and the depth of his teachings and trust His heart and mission, like sheep trust their shepherd.  He wanted them to understand that He was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies about the promised Messiah. Prophecies like Isaiah 42:3, “A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice” and Isaiah 35:5, “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.” Jesus wanted the broken and wounded to celebrate that He was bringing them something new.  Hope. Eternal Life. The way to God.  2,000 years later this truth and the desire of God’s heart remains the same.

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” (The Message)

~ Phyllis Eversole

A Lesson in Addition

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3–10, ESV)
One common misconception about this section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is that these Beatitudes are listed haphazardly in completely random order, like some sort of grocery list compiled over the course of a few weeks. On the contrary, Jesus, ever the master teacher, intentionally places one after the other because each one lays a foundation for the next. The beatitudes are not a random collection of descriptions of the blessed person. No, they are rather an ascending staircase of the Christian life. Let me show you what I mean.
Take for instance the first: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is not speaking of a person’s lack of wealth here. The start of every believer’s spiritual life is a willingness to admit that they have nothing to offer God – no good deeds or righteousness of their own that they can use to buy salvation. To be poor in spirit means to be spiritually bankrupt, and the wonderful truth of it is this is exactly where God wants us.
The rest build from there. If we meditate on each one in succession we begin to see the flow of the Christian life.
Blessed are those who mourn… Not those who are simply sad because of life’s hard knocks, but those who mourn over their sin. The true Christian is always repenting, always willing to admit the wretchedness of their indwelling sin. First we begin to feel spiritual bankrupt, or poor in spirit, and this moves us to mourn over individual sins.
Blessed are the meek… To be meek means to be humble, and where does godly humility come from? From realizing that we are spiritually bankrupt and sinful. We see the brokenness inside of ourselves and come to the realization that we need something (or Someone) to cleanse us. This is meekness.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… What is hunger and thirst but a longing for something you need but do not have? Those who experience spiritual bankruptcy, mourning for their sin, and the resulting meekness will be led to desire the righteousness that only God can give. Again, this is exactly where God wants us.
Blessed are the merciful… Mercy begins in our own hearts. The merciful person is the one who understands they have received a great deal of mercy themselves. Those who experience the first four beatitudes exhibit mercy toward others because of their own humble, spiritually needy posture before God. They know full well how merciful God has been toward them. How can they not be merciful toward others in response?
Blessed are the pure in heart… The Pharisees thought purity of heart came from law-keeping. Jesus taught us the pure in heart are those who admit their sinful state before God, who approach God in humility and repentance, and who consider others more significant than themselves. The pure in heart are those who have lived the five previous beatitudes.
Blessed are the peacemakers… As with the first two, this beatitude is spiritual in its meaning. Blessed are those who seek to bring other men and women into peace with God. Again we see how this beatitude builds off the others, for once someone has experienced the previous six the natural response is to help others experience them as well.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness… This is the final step. Once we have been humbled and purified by God and have experienced peace with him through Christ, and we have then become peacemakers ourselves, the world will respond the way it always has toward the true citizens of the kingdom: with persecution. It is inevitable. Jesus said as much. But there is no other way if you want to follow Christ.
The beatitudes are Jesus’ lesson to us in addition – one intentionally added to the next totaling up to a life of blessedness before God, through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

~ John Davis

The Compassionate King – Matthew 4:23-25

How often do we look at our world through “spiritual eyes”.  If you’ve ever witnessed an act of compassion on the part of a good Samaritan, or a selfless sacrifice on someone’s behalf for a total stranger, chances are your spiritual “lenses” have been swept clean of worldly blinders  and cleared for viewing things Jesus had intended us to see.  It’s no wonder that on social media (such as Facebook or Twitter), we see phrases such as “faith restored” or “there is a God” in reaction to such uplifting events.
Christ, as he conducted His Father’s business on this earth, exhibited overflowing compassion toward everyone; including: the masses he saw (Matthew 9:36), his deceased friend Lazarus (John 11:33-35), and the woman at the well (John 4).  Christ, as His Father has proven many times, wants none to perish or suffer.  His compassionate nature is one of the key hallmarks that separates being a Christ follower from any other world religion.
In Matthew 4, beginning in verse 23, we see Christ who is spiritually victorious yet drained physically from his time in the wilderness being tempted by Satan.  Instead of retreating, His love for all humans and quest to fulfill the Scriptures of bringing light to a “dark land ” (Isaiah 9:1-2) overpowered the worldly inclinations of slumber and seclusion, and decided to carry on the compassionate work for the Kingdom’s sake.
Matthew: 4-23-25 (ESV)
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Remember, as Romans 13:14 admonishes us to “put on (the cloak of) Christ”, let us not leave the accoutrement of compassion stowed away.  He that has ears, let him hear.
Brad Byington

Kids Serving at Sayre Christian Village

Early this year, our friends from Sayre Christian Village came to visit with our kids in Uptown to share about their ministry. They shared about what they do, how they serve, and even gave us a sample of playing Bingo together. At the end of the night we were challenged to take home Sayre Bears (little banks) to collect our spare change. The kids loved the visit, but they looked forward to the challenge of collecting extra money to help serve the wonderful people at Sayre. Each week the children returned their banks and the money added up to almost $50. Then, two weeks later we took the kids on an adventure to Sayre to visit and also paint with those living there. Our kids loved meeting the residents of the facility and helping them make amazing works of art on poster board.
As we entered the Spring session of Oasis, we talked about ways we could serve again. Together, we decided on two ways. We gave the spare change we collected to Sayre to celebrate one person’s birthday. We also began working hard to deliver a puppet show to our new friends.
Finally, the day came and our hard work was ready to be displayed at Sayre. The children worked as a team to carry all of the needed supplies to set up the puppet show. Once our sound challenges were fixed, we took over the stage. Our puppets (nearly 30 of them total) danced and sang to three upbeat songs. The audience loved it, and even requested to hear the entire program again! So we did. In fact, we were told they loved our visit so much, they recorded our performance to be played on every TV in their facility!
We truly enjoyed our time at Sayre, greatly enjoyed working with them, and look forward to visiting again on our next Truth Traveler adventure!

~ Matt Lee

Remove Stumbling Blocks

Multiply through subtracting. This goes against everything we’ve learned in school, doesn’t it? Let me be honest and say that math is not my strong point, so this certainly began to confuse me more than I normally may be. However, when I began to consider the depth of multiplying the church through subtraction, things became clearer. We are to begin subtracting things that hinder us from doing the work that Jesus has put forth to us.

Before I became the preschool director here, I was working in secular administration positions. I was good at what I did, and worked full time. I made good money, and enjoyed it. One Sunday morning as I was getting prepared to help in Critterland, Judy mentioned that she was wanting to retire and I should look into replacing her. I said no, initially, because I was concerned I wouldn’t be making the money I needed to help support my family. This question was again proposed to me a few months later and this time I felt the call to act. I do make less than I would in the secular workforce, but what’s amazing is that God has always managed to take care of the needs of our family, especially right after I made the switch.

It is normal for us to be fearful of change, of taking things away that are comfortable. People, places, money, the many building blocks of our lives that we make for ourselves. We are humans, we are instinctively going to add to our stores for fear of hard times. What I’m trying to get across is that for us to really follow what God has planned for us, we need to listen to Him and take things away that are blocking our ability to reach those in need. Creating more disciples by taking away our comforts. Multiply through subtraction. Are you up for that challenge?

~ Lesley Tipton

Post Navigation