Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the tag “Greater Faith”

The Buzzard, The Bat, and The Bumblebee

Like many of you, I receive emails from a retired friend who has a lot of time on his hands and sends me lots of emails that he thinks I would enjoy. I try to read them, if I can find the time. I recently received this one from him and I am so glad I read it. I hope you enjoy it too.
“‘If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail, with no top.’
‘The ordinary bat flies around at night, a remarkable, nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.’
‘A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.’
‘In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up! That’s the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem. Just look up!’
‘Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up! Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and trust in our Creator who loves us.’”
Responding to the disciples who could not drive the demon out of the boy, Jesus replied: “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20

Don Seevers

Jesus is Greater Than Fear – Esther 5

At the beginning of Esther chapter five, we find Queen Esther standing in the inner court of the palace. She is fully aware that she is risking her life by being in view of the king on his throne, without an invitation. What was behind her decision to break the rules and take such a risk? Was it the faith and influence of her uncle, the intercession of the Jewish people that were fasting and praying for her, or her own obedience in fasting and prayer before God? It was God’s willingness to work through her and her willingness to be open to His call.
Recently, I mentioned to a friend how I really hate taking risks. Her response was to laugh and say, “No kidding?” Anyone that knows me, knows that fear is a major struggle for me. There have been times that I have been successful over fear and other times when I have hung my head in frustration, wishing I were stronger.
Many Bible passages can offer encouragement when we are faced with fear. Matthew 28:16-20 says, “But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
What I notice here is that even though some of the disciples were doubtful, Jesus gave them all the command to go and make disciples. He also said to all of them that He would be with them. That gives me hope knowing that He knows there are many times when I am fearful and doubting yet He still wants to use me and He will be with me. He is greater than our fear!

Phyllis Eversole

Busy Summer in Children’s Ministry

Each year we hope to engage, love, challenge, and draw in more kids than the year before. We hope to serve more people locally and globally through the kind and generous hearts of the children. This is what’s happening this summer in the Children’s Ministry!
Technically we will kick off the summer with our graduations from pre-K and 5th grade on May 22nd. Graduating from elementary will be 15 incredible kids, many of whom are ready to share Jesus with their neighbors. At the same time, Critterland will be celebrating their graduates as well. Uptown will welcome 15 new, soon to be, Kindergartners on May 29th. This will also be a FUN family Sunday! Then, later in June is our annual young elementary adventure at Power Kids Day Camp at BGCC.
Next will be VBS, “Deep Sea Discovery,” June 11-14, 9 am-Noon! Sign up now at tatescreek.org to register your child AND/OR to sign up as one of our elite team members!
Following VBS we will have a week off before heading to BGCC again for an awesome week of 7-11 camp. Then we will end with packing backpacks, and PARTY IN THE PARK!
For some people this might make you exhausted just reading, but for me I get excited to experience all the things God has in store for your TCCC kids this summer and beyond!
If you are reading this and wondering how you can serve, send me an email or text 859-537-2634 and I will be happy to get you plugged in to a special event OR into our Sunday morning Summer Team!

Matt Lee

Faith in God’s Plan

The second day that I was in the hospital with my son, Conner, the nurse came in and informed my husband and me that he had failed his hearing test. Shaken, a few days later we were with our pediatrician and were assured that 95% of children who fail their first test will pass their second. We tried to have faith that things would come back normal. Conner failed his second test, and we were given the diagnosis of almost profound hearing loss. I tried to stay positive, but on the way home I lost it in the car. My husband Lucas called and reiterated that even though we had been given this diagnosis, it would in no way slow us down. He told me to have faith in God and his plan for our son. There were so many options to make our son hear as normal as possible.
As the months went on, we became more at peace with the idea that he was essentially deaf, and began researching cochlear implants and hearing aids. For his next test, we were given the better news that he was moderately hard of hearing and that only hearing aids were needed to correct the problem. We had to find the $3,000 for the hearing aids, but we had faith that it would be provided. It was, and Conner began hearing sounds and responding more often. Unfortunately, he got a double ear infection and due to the hearing loss the ENT decided that tubes would be necessary to alleviate the risk for more loss.
In July of 2014 we went for Conner’s next hearing test. Lucas and I had prayed that his hearing loss would be made better by the surgery and we continued to have faith in God. The results were in, and our son was hearing at a completely normal level. To this day, we are unable to believe that he was ever in the profound loss range, as he is extremely verbal and communicative. The situation made our faith in God’s plan much stronger and throughout the process we knew, no matter what, our son’s path was going to be alright.

Lesley Tipton

Jesus is Greater Than Chance – Esther 4

I learned a new word the other day. Actually a preacher taught it to me as a part of his sermon and I want to share it with you today. The word is ‘peripety’. If you are an English or literature scholar you may know that peripety is defined as “a sudden and unexpected change of fortune or reverse of circumstances.”

While the sermon I heard did not use Esther as an example, I think it could have. Esther experienced a peripety when she was taken from her life in Mordecai’s house to the palace of the King. She also experienced a peripety when she was called from this seeming life of peace and luxury to put her life on the line by speaking up for her people, the Jews.

So, do you believe in ‘chance’? Was it a simple coincidence that Esther was in this position at this precise time so that she could participate in God’s salvation for the Jews? Mordecai didn’t think so. The latter half of verse 14 records him saying to Esther, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Clearly Mordecai believed that these events had been orchestrated and used by God.

What about you? When something happens that you don’t understand, do you tend to try to explain it as ‘chance’ or ‘coincidence’? Or, do you recognize God’s sovereignty and love for us by acknowledging that He can, and often does, make and set in motion plans for us. Sometimes He even uses our mistakes, failures, and weaknesses to accomplish wonderful things for His glory and His Kingdom. This causes us to agree with what God says as recorded by Isaiah, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)

 

Senior Saints Update

I want to remind you that we have several things coming up on our schedule of events for the senior adult populace here at Tates Creek. One I would like to let you know about will be a discussion on seniors and technology. This will be at an upcoming BWAC meeting where I will be demonstrating some of the current technological advances. Often times these intimidate older adults but also offer advantages to many. One of those is what’s known as “Cutting the Cable,” or getting rid of high cost cable or satellite but still having access to many of your favorite TV shows. I would invite all our seniors to join us for this monthly meeting, particularly for this program. Also coming up in the very near future is our annual trek down to Senior Saints in the Smokies. June 6-10 is the date and its not too late to register and sign on for this great time of fellowship and encouragement. Be watching also for our late summer trip to see the Noah’s Ark replica. If anyone has any questions about these or any other opportunities for our seniors, please contact me here at the church. We have a great group and a rich fellowship. It would be even richer to have you join us!

Kim Beckwith

The Power of Faith

“Just stay positive!” Students today are bombarded with this message as they struggle through life to find meaning and significance. In a time when typical supports have been lifted, such as family, community, and even faith, many students do not know where to turn to find the emotional strength to excel. Positive thinking, merely imagining success in life, is the only resource many students have left. Most students see this as the false hope that it is, however.
But we, in the Church, are guilty of this as well. It is too easy to comfort someone hurting by telling them to “just believe” and things will work out for the best. Popular Christian thought seems to treat belief as some sort of magic that has the power to make our fantasies of health and wealth reality.
My faith crashes into reality almost immediately upon visiting someone sick in the hospital. How can you pray for someone when there is so much uncertainty, even from doctors trying to diagnose the problem? This is the situation that the father of the demon-possessed boy encountered in Mark 9:14-29. Jesus’ own disciples couldn’t help him, and the father knew it was only a matter of time before the boy’s fits would eventually take his life.
When Jesus comes down from the mountain into the scrum between his disciples and official scribes, the father had seen all of his options fail. Neither side had a ritual to perform, an incantation to chant, or even an answer. His petition to Jesus comes from his despair, “If you are able, have compassion on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22) Jesus is frustrated by the lack of trust that the entire crowd has in him and corrects the father “What do you mean, ‘If you are able’? Everything is possible for the one who believes.”
(Mark 9:23)
Jesus claims this for good reason. Just before this He had revealed his glory to Peter, James, and John on the mountaintop (9:2-8). Jesus knew that He had the power to heal, so the only barrier to action was the trust that the father put in him. When the father cried out in distress for mercy, Jesus showed it and healed the boy, even in the face of lingering doubts.
It isn’t that our faith has any power in itself to change, which would be worse than magic. Rather, in the face of all our difficulties we put our faith in Jesus, who suffered death (9:30-32), and is now glorified. We don’t have powerful faith, we have a powerful Savior and Lord!

Brad Haggard

Restoration 200

Have you heard about the enormous sale? A large warehouse displayed the bargains. Satan downsized shedding his unneeded inventory. He sold excess devices no longer needed to block the the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
One entire wall displayed various weapons: bombs, guns, poisons, knives of all sorts. He filled endless cabinets with addictive substances: medications, illegal hallucinogenic drugs, and the ever popular intoxicants in stylish bottles. In the center stood enticing cabinets to allure the vulnerable: pornographic magazines, books, videos, etc. He offered furniture and appliances: easy chairs, couches, and beds for the slothful; freezers, refrigerators, etc. for the gluttonous. He sold vaults for the greedy.
Opening day brought a flood of bargain hunters. One customer spied a strange object in the back. “What’s that?” Satan answered, “That is not for sale.” “But what is it?” “Never mind, I’m keeping that.” “Fine,” said the customer: “But at least tell me what it is.” “That, sir, is my wedge. I use it to separate these pesky Christians. I drive it between them. Sometimes they turn on each other; sometimes they simply back away, keeping distance. As long as I can keep the church divided, I need no other weapon to keep people from the Christ.”
Conflicts between believers bring scandal to the message of the Christ. Fracturing the body of Christ renders the message ineffective. We deserve to be ignored. Division is a luxury today’s church cannot afford.
Of course, we must stand up for sound doctrine. However, who chooses what is sound and what is optional? Light cannot have fellowship with darkness. How can two walk together unless they are agreed? Is it possible that someone else could be just as intelligent and sincere (or more so) as I am, yet, hold a different understanding?
Shortly before Calvary, Jesus prayed for future generations. He did not pray that we would be successful, talented, happy, or even healthy. He prayed that we would all be one, united in perfect unity. The result is that others will be won…. drawn to the Christ. “That they all be one so that the world will be won.” Unity is a doctrine, too.
The movement resulting in Christian Churches, such as ours, began over 200 years ago in Kentucky. Our movement began as a unity movement. Since then, our witness has gone to 199 nations with about 10 million believers.

WC Cornerstone

Check out the Cornerstone of TCCC’s Worship Center addition.  John 17:21 – “that all of them may be one, Father, just as your are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

Brad Walden

Restoration 200

Have you heard about the enormous sale? A large warehouse displayed the bargains. Satan downsized shedding his unneeded inventory. He sold excess devices no longer needed to block the the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
One entire wall displayed various weapons: bombs, guns, poisons, knives of all sorts. He filled endless cabinets with addictive substances: medications, illegal hallucinogenic drugs, and the ever popular intoxicants in stylish bottles. In the center stood enticing cabinets to allure the vulnerable: pornographic magazines, books, videos, etc. He offered furniture and appliances: easy chairs, couches, and beds for the slothful; freezers, refrigerators, etc. for the gluttonous. He sold vaults for the greedy.
Opening day brought a flood of bargain hunters. One customer spied a strange object in the back. “What’s that?” Satan answered, “That is not for sale.” “But what is it?” “Never mind, I’m keeping that.” “Fine,” said the customer: “But at least tell me what it is.” “That, sir, is my wedge. I use it to separate these pesky Christians. I drive it between them. Sometimes they turn on each other; sometimes they simply back away, keeping distance. As long as I can keep the church divided, I need no other weapon to keep people from the Christ.”
Conflicts between believers bring scandal to the message of the Christ. Fracturing the body of Christ renders the message ineffective. We deserve to be ignored. Division is a luxury today’s church cannot afford.
Of course, we must stand up for sound doctrine. However, who chooses what is sound and what is optional? Light cannot have fellowship with darkness. How can two walk together unless they are agreed? Is it possible that someone else could be just as intelligent and sincere (or more so) as I am, yet, hold a different understanding?
Shortly before Calvary, Jesus prayed for future generations. He did not pray that we would be successful, talented, happy, or even healthy. He prayed that we would all be one, united in perfect unity. The result is that others will be won…. drawn to the Christ. “That they all be one so that the world will be won.” Unity is a doctrine, too.
The movement resulting in Christian Churches, such as ours, began over 200 years ago in Kentucky. Our movement began as a unity movement. Since then, our witness has gone to 199 nations with about 10 million believers.

Brad Walden

A Mother’s Faith

I vividly remember the morning I received a phone call from my cousin. She urgently said, “Tommy, you need to get to Zella, and you need to get to Zella quick!” I asked what was wrong. Then, my cousin said, “Your mother-in-law and your sister-in-law have just been killed in an automobile accident!” As soon as I hung up the phone, my father-in-law, Mr. Butler called. He shared the same news. I remember driving to the place where Zella worked. Zella was in a meeting. I remember walking into the room sharing that I needed to speak with Zella immediately. I remember our drive back to her Mom & Dad’s house. What a loss ~ mother and sister in one accident! The only one left to care for her Dad was Zella. I remember Zella making the decision to leave her place of work so that she could provide care for her Dad. However, when she resigned, her place of employment offered her part time work. During the next five years, Zella would travel to her Dad’s home at least once a week and sometimes twice a week to cook and clean for him and do his grocery shopping. Our children, Elizabeth and Joel, were very small at the time. Five years later, we moved Zella’s father into our home to care for him. He was a kind Christian gentleman. After taking care of him for three years and three months, he passed away from heart disease. During all of this and even now, Zella’s strong faith has never wavered or faltered once.
When it comes to the month of May, we think of our mothers and reflect on their hearts and the impact they greatly made in our lives. However, this time, I want to share with you the impact and blessing that Zella is to me and to our children.
Another attribute of Zella that I must share is her persistent selflessness. She is always thinking of others. I remember when our children were small that Zella would not purchase clothes for herself, even though she needed them, because she said the children needed clothes and that I needed clothes for ministry. I remember one time when our finances were tight, she continued wearing glasses because we did not have the finances to purchase contacts. She always puts herself out there to meet the needs of others. Multiple times, Zella asks me about our church people. She is always reaching out to encourage and to express love. Proverbs 31:10-11 describes Zella well, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her.”

One very blessed husband!

Tommy Simpson

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