On our Pastor’s mind (9-14-14)

Coming to a church near you…

Mark your calendars and plan to be involved in the following:

Night of Worship at the Pavilion

Next Sunday evening, September 21, we are going to meet in the Pavilion for our time of worship. This will be an opportunity to take our worship into the neighborhood; and while we worship, we will pray for God to use us to make an impact for the Kingdom of God – raising a canopy of prayer over the community.

Thinking about Missions

I just returned from a vision trip to Cincinnati, OH, and met several of our North American Mission Board missionaries. My hope for this summer is that several families will take to the road and go to Cincinnati to work with these missionaries for a week. Look for more details coming soon.

Also on Sunday, September 28, we will hear from one of our new International Mission Board appointees about how we can be involved in spreading the Good News internationally.

An Evening with Sacred Calling

Sunday evening, September 28, we will host Sacred Calling, a trio of Christian young ladies who sing for God’s glory. They will be leading us in a wonderful time of worship.

Trunk-or-Treat

In October, we will have an opportunity for you and your family to Love Loud, as we engage with our community in a Trunk-or-Treat event on Wednesday evening, October 29, 6 p.m. We want to let people know that we love them. Note: Please help as we get ready by donating candy for this event. You can leave the candy at the iCare Table.

Remember to ask yourself

What is the most loving thing I can do at this moment?

On our Pastor’s mind

Full of Grace and Truth

As believers, we all want to be like Jesus. That is what it means to be a Christian. So what was He like? The Apostle John gives us that answer in John 1:14:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (NKJV).

Jesus was “full of grace and truth.” So as believers and as Christians, we too should be full of grace and truth. We are not just to exemplify grace and truth; we are to overflow with grace and truth.

The problem is that some of us believers overdo truth, or maybe we just underdo grace. Either way, we begin to think that just because we happen to excel at one point in our Christian walk that means we are experts and should dictate to others how to live. We reason that if others would listen to truth and obey it then they too will become great Christians like us. So we forget about humility, and we forget about the grace that God poured out on us. And instead, we pursue them with the “standard of truth.” And here is that crux of the problem: without grace, truth becomes perverted. Without grace, our “standard of truth” is simply just legalism. It is a form of intolerance.

Others of us underdo truth. We attempt to show grace to others without pointing them back to God’s truth. But grace without truth is not really grace; it is just a different kind of perversion. It is a mutant-grace which our world prefers. Grace without truth is really just tolerance.

Jesus was full of both grace and truth. That is 100% grace and 100% truth. We must deliver both, maybe not at the same time, but definitely both. By displaying the grace of Christ, we can provide an opportunity for the truth of God’s Word to sink in and for the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction.

Jesus was full of grace and truth. We too must be full of both grace and truth.

On our Pastor’s mind

Love Loud

This next year the Tennessee Baptist community outreach theme is Love Loud. They encourage the TN churches to make a focused effort sometime during the 3 weeks leading to Easter. We will join them in this effort, but I plan to champion this theme through the year.

Love Loud!

Sunday, I challenged us to love people. I want us to ask ourselves the following question:

What is the most loving thing I can do right now?

People are everywhere. They need love. So I want us asking ourselves this question. This question consistently demands that we take action and points us toward taking the right action. The idea is that these acts of kindness may open the door for us to share, maybe not immediately, but if we consistently show people the love of Christ, then eventually we will have opportunities to say something about our hope in Christ Jesus.

Random Acts of Kindness

Our society speaks of “random acts of kindness.” I guess the randomness could be seen from the receiver’s point of view, but I don’t believe the love of Christ is shown randomly. I believe we must be purposeful.

Ideas: Demonstrate the love of Christ

At first, it may be hard to think of ways you can demonstrate the love of Christ. Here are two ideas for this week:

umbrella
Idea 1: Umbrella Escort – next time it rains, go to one of the local grocery stores, to Target, or to Walmart, and walk people out to their cars under a huge umbrella. You might want to have on a church T-shirt and hand out a church business card. Note: Perhaps, someone in our church would donate some money to have some umbrellas made with our church name on them.

Mentor

 

Idea 2: Mentor for Elementary School Student – Belle Morris Elementary School sent word this week that they need mentors. They are having a meeting on Wednesday, September 3, 8 to 9 a.m. Being a mentor means committing to 1 hour a week during school hours. The commitment is weekly, but the pay-off is huge.

What is the most loving thing you can do right now?

LOVE LOUD!

Children’s SS Campout

Help!

Our Sunday School Children’s Department is planning a camp-out on the playground Friday, September 26.

We need some camping equipment, especially sleeping bags.

campout

Please help!

If you have any items we may borrow, please see Linda B. or Sherry C.

This will be a new adventure for some of them.

On our Pastor’s mind (8-24-14)

Name Association

What comes to mind when your name is mentioned? There are several directions I want to go with this question over the next couple weeks.

Last Sunday night, we started looking at the calling of Gideon to deliver the Children of Israel from the Midianites. When the Angel of the Lord came, Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress, so the enemy would not see him. He did not look like a “deliverer,” but the Angel called him a “might man of valor” or “mighty warrior.” God knew who Gideon would be in the future. So, the Angel basically calls him,

Hero!

Later, during the reign of King Saul, Saul was being troubled by a distressing spirit from God. (Saul had not been obedient to God.) After consultation, Saul’s staff recommended that a man skilled in playing the harp should be sought to play for the king when the distressing spirit was upon him. The question is who should be sought.

Well, one servant had the answer; he recommended a young shepherd boy named David. The servant said,

I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him. (1 Samuel 16:18)

He was describing a

Hero!

Of course, we know that David becomes “a might man of valor” and “a man of war,” but this was before David slew Goliath. Up until this point, he had been a shepherd, a good shepherd. He had killed both lion and bear while protecting his flock, but that’s not the same as being a “man of war.”

My point is that I believe God lets others see a glimpse of who we are becoming in Christ. I believe the key is the last description about David: “the Lord is with him.” When God is with us and we are growing in Christ, then our name can be associated with heroic characteristics. God is preparing us for an incredible present and future. But we must trust Him, walk with Him, and serve Him as He leads us.