Tates Creek Christian Church

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Archive for the tag “Lesley Tipton”

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

Focus on Example

Recently my daughter came home excited about being chosen as the “bee buddy” for her classroom at school.  What is a “bee buddy?”  They are the student in each class that helps new students become adjusted to their new room, school, etc.  My daughter was chosen for this by her teacher because she was seen being thoughtful, caring about other students, helpful, and willing to play with those who might not normally have a friend.  I can’t tell you how proud I was.  But this isn’t the first time I’ve been told about these positive qualities.  Since she was in preschool I have been told how friendly and caring she is to her peers and teachers.  My son is beginning to be the same way, always making sure to get candy for his sister or his friends when he gets a piece, being appreciative of things he’s been given, and asking what’s wrong if someone is hurt.  I’d like to say that my husband and I can take all the credit for this, and we’ve worked with both of them, but we aren’t the only ones.  My children have numerous role models in their lives that they watch each and every day, and who care for them unconditionally.  Adults (and teens) who show them kindness, who treat them as human beings, who listen to them.  I pray that these people continue to stay in their lives into adulthood, so they are able to be led in a Godly way through their own teen years.     We have quite a large pre-teen group right now at TCCC, and they are in the absolutely capable hands of the Stretch 456 ministry.  But shaping those children goes beyond the walls of their Sunday classroom.  It extends to each and every one of us in this building, and I ask that you take the time to continue investing in this next generation of believers.  Trust me, it’s worth it.
~ Lesley Tipton

Sharing the Light

I love to read.  I read all genres; mystery, contemporary, romance, historical fiction, dystopian.  All of it is fantastic (send me book recommendations!).  What I find interesting is that looking at the historical fiction, I notice a very strong theme in quite a few of the novels.  The church is extremely prevalent in the lives of the citizens of these books, and many have a very specific focus on prayer.  Let me say that these are not Christian literature, they are secular.  These writers are just making a point to put the facts in a way that correctly depicts the times as they were.  In contrast, the more contemporary secular books do not have these themes.  What happened?  Where did the shift start when those of us who have a very active life in the church were not the cultural norm but more the ‘odd’ ones of society?

While doing some digging around with Google, I found some different articles that mention the growing separation between church and state.  To be more clear, people are choosing to rely less on the laws of God and more on the laws of man.  While the Bible does tell us to obey the laws of the land (1Peter 2:13-17), the whole of the population has chosen to look toward only those laws and not God’s.  So what can we do?  How do we change this?  How do we turn people back to the church and to Jesus?  That’s a difficult task, to be sure.  We are in a post-modern and post-Christian society, especially in the United States.      We go outside our bubble.  We make ourselves invite friends, relatives, and neighbors who may not know the good news of Jesus.  That’s how our faith grew at the beginning, with the excitement and love those early Christians had for God and His Son.  Do you show that excitement and love in your day to day life?  Are you willing to step out and be a light to those around you?

~ Lesley Tipton, Preschool Director    lesley@tatescreek.org

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

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

Volunteers

Ask Matt, Geoff, or me what the most praised part of our ministry is at any given time and we will almost always give you the same answer: our volunteers.  Finding those people who are willing to dedicate their time to those who are just starting to learn what it means to be a church member, a follower of Jesus, and have a firm belief in God.  It takes energy, it takes emotion, and some sacrifice.  But, my goodness, the rewards are tremendous.  To hear a preschooler recite exactly what happened in the Easter story, to see a 9 year old be baptized, or a high school senior make the decision to go into a ministry field, is completely worth it.

Our church has over 700 people currently identifying as members, and I have to say that I am in awe of how much most of those members help in various areas of the church.  Communion prep, prayer, welcome desk, teachers, We Care, worship, etc.  The people that help in the youth areas are usually involved in not just our area, but in 2 or 3 others as well.  That’s a great testament to the kids of the church that not only do these people care about them and will take time for them, but they model what a follower of Jesus should be doing.  I encourage you if you are not currently participating in any ministry in the church to look at all the opportunities out there and find one that gives you the chance to use your spiritual gifts.  I promise you it will be completely worth it.

Lesley Tipton

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

Spiritual Multiplication

When we think of spiritual multiplication, what would be the first thing that comes to your mind?  Multiplying the number of those that believe the Gospel, right?  Creating followers of Jesus.  Creating those followers who will in turn create more followers of Jesus, and so forth.  But how are we doing this?  When we read the Bible, attend church, worship the Lord, set aside our daily prayer time, etc. we are making sure that our faith is continually being refreshed, but are we helping ourselves to reach out to others?

   Ephesians 4:11-12 says that “Christ gave gifts to people, some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God’s people.  Christ gave those gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger”. 

We are each given spiritual gifts to help advance the work of the Lord.  My gifts are put to wonderful use in Critterland, as I have the inclination towards caring and nurturing.  When we really look at the gifts that we have been given, and if we utilize them in the correct way, what can stop us from multiplying those we speak with into their own discipleship?  I think if we all really assess what we have been given and use it to further  the whole church, we can become great not only in our numbers, but in our personal faith as well.

Lesley Tipton

The Definition of Grace

When you google the word ‘Grace’ you get quite a few definitions.  “Simple elegance”, “giving one honor by your presence”, and of course, the most relevant one, “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”  Free and unmerited.  It’s so hard to believe these words sometimes, isn’t it?  Because of Jesus and what He did for us, we are able to come to God in His favor even as our human selves, so torn by sin.

Let’s think about it though, in terms of child/parent (it’s what I do best, right?)  As a parent, we continually see those little beings, that are half us, do things that are completely wrong.  They hit their brother/sister, they lie straight to your face, or as they get older, they make sinful decisions.  But what do we do, as parents?  We forgive them.  Completely.  My mother used to get angry at me but within an hour she wasn’t mad anymore.  It was like I had never done anything wrong.  Did she remember what I had done, sure, but she had such unconditional love for me that she never felt the need to stay upset.  I too, let go of my anger and judgement when my children misbehave, although I tend to fester a little longer than my mother.  I’m working on it.  But my point is that as the child/parent relationship relies on unconditional love, so too does our relationship with God our Holy Father.  He made us in his image, and we are each His loving child.  He sees our sin as painful, yes, but forgivable.  Because He sees each of us in this way, should we not extend our unconditional love to one another?  Should we not extend that grace to those we may not know, but who have sinned as we have sinned, and show them God’s love here on Earth?  Certainly this is no easy task, but I believe it’s something that we must strive for as Christians to honor the love that God gives each of us so freely.

Lesley Tipton

Critterland Update

Multiply certainly seems a fitting title for the Critterland hallway going into 2017.  Last year we saw the birth of more than 14 babies to members and regular attenders in our church (we usually average 4 a year).  Most were firstborn babies, some were second children, and there are still more expecting this year!  We’ve also seen quite a few additions to the older classrooms with membership transfers, and these children have jumped right into our program and taken off running!  God has blessed our congregation with these new little ones, and every time I meet one I just get more excited to see them grow here at Tates Creek.  Because we have had such a boom in our numbers, I would like to ask a favor.  I know you see ‘Volunteers needed’ all the time in articles and bulletins, but it is not just me asking for help babysitting.  I am asking for your help investing in the newest lives of our church.  I am asking that you come and help us teach these children that they are loved, they matter, and they are a part of something absolutely breathtaking.  Would you like to be a part of our team?

Lesley Tipton

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