Tates Creek Christian Church

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Archive for the tag “Family Legacy”

A Preacher’s Legacy

Shortly after we returned from Liberia in 2009, I received a call from a church my family served for nearly 10 years during my upper elementary through high school years.  It was the last church my dad had served in full time ministry.  They asked if I could come in February 2010 to be one of the main speakers for their mission month.  I accepted the request quickly for 3 reasons.  First, I had rarely been asked to be a guest speaker for adults.  Second, the church was planning a year in advance so I had plenty of time to prepare.  Finally, this was an amazing opportunity to stand behind the same pulpit my father had.

As the time grew closer for me to speak, I remember thinking about what this really meant for me personally.  My dad was like a superhero to me.  He always preached with great encouragement and energy.  He was funny and engaging. He was very personable, and not too flashy.  He was the same person off the stage as he was on.  His messages were simple, yet challenging.  My entire life I had watched my father preach from behind the pulpit.  I had seen people come to Christ through the messages God had given him to share.  When I was much younger and we didn’t have a kids’ church area, I would sit with a tiny notebook to take diligent notes.  Each time I had nearly 3 pages in my little notebook.  After church and lunch my sister and I would go home and reenact the entire service.  She had a tiny little piano, so she plunked out the hymns. Then, she sat down at a little wooden pew my dad had made for her and I stood behind a matching pulpit that he had made for me. (These two items have been in every ministry office I have served as a reminder of the legacy.) When people asked me what I was going to be when I grew up, the answer was simple… I would be a preacher!

A year after the call, I stood behind that same pulpit.  I was nervous and scared, but most importantly, I was humbled.  Humbled to serve and share the truth of the Gospel to all who would listen.  In the audience that day was my hero, Doug Lee.  No matter what I said, he sat smiling from ear to ear.  He had been given a glimpse into the fruit of his legacy.

Since that day I have had other opportunities to teach in an adult service. Nearly every time my dad has been present.  Most recently, I traveled back to Indiana to share about the orphanage in Liberia.  This time though I was close enough to other family that my dad made sure the church was filled with familiar faces.  In the audience were my grandmother, aunt, cousins, both my parents, my sister and her kids, but most importantly… my two sons.

Matt Lee

Legacy of Faith

It was the summer of 1970 when my parents came to me and told me I was being moved out to the garage, bed dresser, and all.  Now it was an adventure for me due to the fact that the garage was on the opposite side of the house from where the rest of the bedrooms were, particularly my parent’s room.  That meant I could play the radio and record player as loud and late as I wanted.  The reason I was sent to the garage was not due to my desire to play loud music, but rather due to the fact that my grandmother was coming to stay for the summer.   I will never forget that summer because of the adventure I had in living in the garage.  But there is something else that reminds me of that summer.  It was during that summer of 1970 that my grandmother walked forward on a Sunday morning’s invitation hymn and expressed her desire to complete her obedience to the Lord in Christian baptism.

My grandmother was not new to the faith.  She was a faithful member of a denominational church in her home town that sprinkled rather than immersed.  Through her study and discussions with my mother and the minister at our home church, she became convinced that she needed to be baptized by immersion.  She did that because she was a woman of great faith all of her life and one who refused to be found wanting in her faith and obedience.  My mother found her faith from that woman.  My mother, too, was a woman of great faith who would not be found wanting in her faith and obedience.  I found my faith from my mother, my daughter found faith in our home, and her daughter, our granddaughter, was baptized into Christ by that same faith passed down.  Now, I don’t know if my grandmother was the first in the faith or if she received it through her mother and father.  I can only chronicle it through 5 generations, but I do know it started somewhere, this legacy of faith.  I’m thankful that it did.  It has to start somewhere, leaving a legacy of faith, so why not with you?  It’s truly the greatest legacy you can leave because it’s the only legacy that will last forever!

Kim Beckwith

Family Legacy

I think I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have a very big family.  Here in Kentucky it’s just my mom and me.  Her family is all located up north, and my family is located down in the Texas/Oklahoma area.  Growing up I spent the majority of my time with my father’s side of the family, as they were the only living grandparents I had.   We were still somewhat separated, as my cousins lived in Finland with their parents who were missionaries there for 15 years, and I was here.  However, we always managed to end up at Grandma’s house fairly often.  My grandmother told us quite extensively about her past. (She was a model for Bob Hope!  We may be direct descendants of a signer of the Declaration of Independence!)

I never did hear much about my grandfather, except that he was a lifer in the Air Force.  Come to find out at his funeral, he had done quite a few things throughout his life that were noteworthy, and to this day I wish I had been more mature and thought to ask him about all of the things that he did.  With the onset of digital technology and record keeping, it becomes easier to document the things that happen in our lives and those memories that make a family.  I try very hard to make sure that my children know about the things that are in their family history.  I want them to know that our family is full of hard working and caring individuals, and that all of our family has always had a firm belief in Jesus Christ.  I also want them to know of the struggles that have come up along the way, but our family has persevered and we are all still standing strong no matter how small a group we may be.

Lesley Tipton

Leaving a Legacy for Christ

When I found about this month’s theme for the Current, I was excited since I am so happy with the legacy of my family.  Both of my grandfathers were elders in their local congregations and my parents met at a church youth rally back in the late 1940’s.  This was the beginning of our family legacy.

My parents attended Bible college together and made a lifelong commitment to go into the ministry.  Through the encouragement of our parents, other family members, and faithful church leaders, all four sons graduated from Cincinnati Christian University and then committed to the ministry.  Most of us started in youth ministry then moved to other areas.  Even though there is a lot of musical talent in my three younger brothers, I was the only one to commit to full time worship ministry.  My younger brothers all continue in full time preaching ministry currently serving in Crittenden, Kentucky, Portsmouth, Ohio, and Lancaster, Ohio.

My father retired from full time preaching ministry in 2008 at the age of 78, but then returned to preach in a church near South Shore, Kentucky, at the age of 80.  Even though only part time at the church, they have grown from 11 attendees on his first Sunday (including my parents!) to 70 or more people worshipping in that church in the country.  My dad will turn 87 in July!

We have traveled as far away as Arizona, Florida, Virginia, and northern Indiana to serve and we are grateful to be within a few hours of each other at this point in life.

When I think about the sermons we have all preached, the baptisms we have been privileged to be a part of, and the thousands of lives touched, I am profoundly overwhelmed with that legacy.  I should mention that I have several cousins and an uncle who have also served in full time ministry.

That is our story, but what about yours?  We each have a story to tell as we seek to multiply the ministry of Tates Creek Christian Church or wherever we may serve.  When we look at the Scriptures, we see that the story did not end with the book of Revelation.  The story continues with us.  That is God’s Plan.  I pray that each of you is leaving a legacy for your family that includes the desire to see each family member a part of God’s family.

Don Seevers

A Mother’s Legacy

Since Mother’s Day is this month, permit me to share some thoughts of our Christian family legacy shining ever brightly through my Mom.  Since my Dad passed away three years ago, many of you are very kind and thoughtful to ask me about my Mom.  I sincerely appreciate your interest and concern about her.  Of course, she greatly misses Dad.  We talk of him often.  To answer the question as to how she is doing, I reply that she is doing well.  She keeps busy.  She continues to live on the farm.  Even though my brother, Scotty, and his family live very close by and take care of many things for her, she still mows her three-plus-acre yard.  She raised a large garden last year and is planning to raise a large garden this summer.  Last year, she, along with the help of family, canned over three hundred quarts of green beans.  She always shares over sixty quarts of green beans with Zella and me each year.  She relates that she knows we host many people in our home, and that is her way of helping us.

Mom hosts a small group her in home every Sunday evening.  The members of the group are great about bringing in food for their group.  However, I have a strong hunch that Mom adds greatly to the menu each Sunday evening.  Speaking of cooking, Mom helps with preparing funeral luncheons hosted at their church as well as helping with meal preparation for the Men’s monthly fellowship meetings.  Mom went to Haiti last summer on a mission trip, and the Lord willing, she is planning to go again this summer.  Pretty well to be eighty-one years of age!  (Please do not let her know that I shared her age.)

Even though Dad’s passing has been three years, Mom’s faith continues to grow stronger.  Her commitment to our Lord and His Church and her involvement in the Lord’s Church continue to inspire her family and friends.  Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.”  That’s my Mom!

Tommy Simpson

Student Ministry

It is hard to believe that the end of school is near!  As we move closer to summer it seems like our lives don’t slow down but get even busier! I wanted to take a few minutes to share some important updates for the Student Ministry.

If you haven’t had a chance to come and check out the newly updated Middle School Ministry area, please stop in and check it out!  I am so thankful for the many dedicated people who made this project possible!  Thank you to the Elders for their support of this project, and a huge thanks to Russell Brown and his team of workers who spent countless hours making this room look awesome!  Thank you to Larry Hitchner and his workers for putting in the beautiful floor and the feature wall as well as providing several other resources.  Thanks to Billy Bishop and his crew who did a lot of the behind the scenes work. Lastly, thank you to the Students who spent time doing demo, painting, or decorating.  It truly was a team effort and I am so thankful for each of you!

As we wrap up another school year, it is time to recognize all those graduating from both High School and College. Sunday, May 21, we will be honoring all those who are graduating and we would love to include you in our celebration. Here are the important details; Parents or graduates who are current members or regular attenders of Tates Creek Christian Church, would you please email where you or your student are graduating from, plans after graduation, and current picture by Monday, May 15?  Send your information to Geoff Lawson at geoff@tatescreek.org.

Be on the look out for Summer calendars and events. If you are not currently receiving the monthly newsletter for the student ministry by email or in our Facebook group, please let me know and I will make sure you are added.  We are looking forward to having several different opportunities for students to connect with other students, grow in their faith, and serve others.

Geoff Lawson

Family Discipleship

D. A. Carson once famously said that it only takes three generations for a group of Christians to lose the gospel. One generation believes it, the next generation assumes it, and the third generation outright denies it. This is so often true in families.

Imagine a husband and a wife who believe the gospel, believe in the truth of the Bible, and love God and his church. As they have children, they take them to church every time the doors are open, but they rarely speak of spiritual things in the home. They assume their kids will grow up to be just like them.

Years pass and their kids grow into adults, get married, and they assume the beliefs of their parents. But for them it becomes more of a cultural Christianity. Being a Christian is what good people do so, they go to church, and they have a Bible on the coffee table at home, and they complain about the moral trajectory of the country… but they are not truly saved. Christ is not the most important thing in their hearts.

Eventually those second-generation kids, who’ve now grown into adults, have kids of their own.  They bring their kids to church, but more for social reasons, and because that’s what they feel like good people should do. It’s not a big deal for them to miss church for something more interesting or exciting. But as long as there are no sporting events or family trips to take, as long as the calendar is open, they’ll be at the Sunday morning service.

Now, their kids grow up, move off to college, and immediately they meet good, friendly people who don’t attend church at all and don’t care to. They begin to hear persuasive arguments from their professors and from other unbelieving friends about why the Bible is just a made up story and why religion is just a way for people to feel better about themselves. These kids who have grown up and gone off to college have no foundation. They have no true faith, so they end up denying the very God their grandparents love and they never walk into a church building again.  It only took three generations for that family to walk completely away from the Lord.

Want to leave a legacy? Start now by discipling your children or grandchildren. Don’t just raise them… disciple them. Teach them to know and fear the Lord.

Discipleship starts in the home.  Psalm 78:4-7 says…

“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;”

Did you catch the generation-by-generation discipleship in that passage? Fathers… yes FATHERS… teaching their children the great deeds and laws of the Lord, so that those children would grow up and teach them to their children, and so on.

My grandfather was a faithful preacher of the gospel in a small Church of Christ outside of Glasgow, Kentucky all his life. He and my grandmother taught my mother to love the Lord with all her heart and to know the Bible like the back of her hand. They passed on to her their love for Christ’s church, its members, and also a deep burden for those who don’t know Christ. And guess what? She passed those things along to her kids.

I am who I am because of the investment my grandparents made in the next generation. Because while my grandfather discipled and mentored many men during his lifetime, his first disciples were his children.

Today many Christian Moms and Dads think it’s their responsibility to raise their children, but it’s the church’s responsibility to disciple them. So they leave that up to the youth ministers and children’s ministers of the world. But you won’t find that in the Bible. Instead you’ll find things like this…

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, ESV)

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:6–7, ESV)

You want to leave a legacy? Disciple your kids and grandkids.

John Davis

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