GOD IS CLOSE

For years, Psalm 23 has been that precious psalm used by pastors and loved ones to comfort the hurting during times of loss. For many, it is known as the “funeral psalm”. However, this deep and powerful psalm has so much more to offer us in our daily lives — strengthening us as we follow Christ and trust in His care.

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When we consider Psalm 23 — we have to remember that it is HEBREW WISDOM LITERATURE. And in such, it is very poetic. Hebrew Wisdom Literature has several distinguishing features. One of which is the tendency for the writer to bury the most important idea, or the grand theme, deep within the heart of the passage. And this is certainly true with this psalm. See if you can find the big idea of this psalm. As David put it,

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23, NIV)

Did you catch it? It’s found in the middle of verse 4, where David writes of God, for you are with me…”

If there’s one thing that David knew — above all else, it was this: God was with him! He had come to understand that through it all, the good and the bad, God was present and close. What David discovered, he didn’t hide away or keep secret. Instead, he chose to share this good news with you and me. While life can be hard — we never have to face it alone.

May you be encouraged today to trust in Him throughout each and every moment of your life.

 

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RE:fresh

Re:fresh //:

to give new strength or energy to; to reinvigorate.

 

Synonyms: reinvigorate, revitalize, revive, restore, fortify, enliven, perk up, stimulate, freshen, energize, exhilarate, reanimate, re-energize, wake up, revivify, inspirit

I’m very excited to announce that Trinity Fellowship Church has decided to consolidate our ministries and will be combining two great campuses into one awesome congregational worship experience. To say this has been a journey of faith would be a huge understatement. Maybe in a future post I can elaborate on the many wonderful blessings and supernatural surprises that have taken place over the last several weeks and months. Until then, let me just say God has never defined His role as our church family’s provider (Jehovah Jireh) any more clear than He has as of late. His goodness and grace have been flowing in abundance. While there are many challenging steps before us — and there are just as many decisions which still need to be made, Trinity Fellowship Church is experiencing God’s favor and blessing with each passing day.

Our dream remains the same — ” To celebrate God’s love by persuading people to become passionate followers of Christ!” However, it feels as though God has hit the RE:fresh button on our vision and is allowing us to dream again.

More to come!

If you’d like to visit us online, you can do so at: http://www.tfcgreenville.org

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Living the Dream!

Living the Dream

Living the DREAM . . .

God has given us the very same DREAM He gave to the early church. Our call is the same. Much of our calling can be found in the description of the first church in Acts 2:42-47 (NIV), where we’re told:

 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Our DREAM is to:

Disciple Believers

Reach the World

Establish Healthy Relationships

Affirm God-given Gifts

Magnify God

Ultimately, it is God who saves the lost and grows the community of faith, but He has chosen to do so with our cooperation. God always works in and through people willing to follow Him, willing to connect with each other, and willing to live out their faith with authenticity before others!

And if we will keep our priorities straight—then we too will experience the joy of seeing the lost become found, the found will grow in their faith, and God will be glorified through our lives!

The single greatest thing our city needs is the powerful witness of a church that is totally devoted to its mission, totally dependent upon its Messiah, and totally empowered by the true and living God.

You know, historians have preserved a declaration written and signed long ago by a Christian Congregation in Seville, Spain, who constructed the largest Christian Cathedral in the world back in 1401. There words were powerful…as they spoke about the physical structure they were building — but I believe their words could be our resolution (in reference to the spiritual church that God is building here).

And so, I’d like us to consider making their words our own: 

“Let us build here a church so great 

that those who come after us will think us mad 

to have ever dreamed of building it.”

May God help us DREAM a great dream for the Kingdom of God!

Thinking Aloud!

Do you ever catch yourself thinking aloud?

It’s been my experience that sometimes I do my best thinking when I am in conversation with a dear and trusted friend. Just today I had the opportunity to sit down to lunch with just such a friend and talk about the possibilities of doing something new in relation to the ministry I lead. As we began to talk, I felt as if the ideas began to sprout wings and take flight. The more we discussed the possibilities — the more my words sounded like dreams and hopes.

I share this with you, simply to encourage you to find that someone…that trusted friend and just share your heart. Share what’s on your mind. Talk about the dreams you’ve been carrying around on the inside for so long.

Don’t you think it’s time you let them out?

As I was concluding our conversation — I recognized something special about this friend…this brother in the faith. He didn’t try and talk me out of my dream. He never once told me it was too big or that I was too small. He only encouraged me to think bigger, to color outside of the box and to let my dreams soar! As we prepared to leave I told him how grateful I was for his friendship. This friend is what i might call a “can do” man. With him, the question is never, “can you do really do this?” It’s always a confident belief in me…and Gods call on my life. In response, he typically responds by saying, “you can do this!”

And for that I am blessed!

It’s my conviction that sometimes our best leadership thoughts are discovered when we “think aloud!” So keep thinking, keep stretching, and keep daring to attempt great things for God!

 

What’s our response to be?

This morning I ran across an interesting quote on the church and our response to the preaching of God’s Word. Preaching professor, Dr. Hershael York says,

At the end of Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 they said, ‘What shall we do?’ Today, on Sunday mornings when preachers are through, people usually just ask, ‘Where shall we eat?’

– Dr. Hershael York

Hum…it definitely gives us something to think about (both as preachers and listeners).

Determined to Grow!

Well, my summer is officially over. Tonight I start back to school again. But I don’t say that with any sadness or remorse, because I have discovered that I have a real love for learning. I’m not sure this was always true. As one of my elementary teachers said it so aptly in a conversation with my mother, “Chuck’s school work tends to get in the way of his social life!” Pretty sure that wasn’t a compliment. It is my guess that I have never lost my passion for enjoying people and being with friends, but today I have a real passion for increasing my knowledge as well as my understanding.

I had a great conversation with a friend from another state earlier this morning. It has been a few years since we spoke…but we seemed to pick right up where we left off. As we shared our experiences in life, I recognized that we had a common drive to grow (personally, spiritually, and mentally). I commended him for his unwillingness to become content with his past achievements and for following the words of Paul and “…pressing onward!”

If you’ll allow me, I would like to “spur” you on towards greater things.

It has been my experience that many people become lethargic in their lives (in nearly every area). But Jesus challenged us to love God with every aspect of our lives. None were left out. We should love him with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Did you catch the part about loving God with your mind? Those were his words, not mine. The mind must be used if it is to grow. It has the same attributes as does every muscle in our bodies. If it is unused and not exercised, it will grow weak and ineffective!

I encourage you today to stretch your mind. Think some NEW THOUGHTS! Challenge yourself to read a new book. Expand your thinking, press on to great things and leave lethargy behind!

A Church by Any Other Name…

I recently ran across a great blog posting by someone who compiled a list of some of the more unique and interesting names that people are coming up with the name the churches. I will share the first 13 with you…but if you want to read the complete list of 129 you need to follow the link below. The notes in parenthesis are the comments of the blogger. Hope you enjoy — I did.

A Church by Any Other Name …

1. Resonate
2. Revolution (Where only senior pastors get beheaded.)
3. Radiance (Where the female vocalists all glitter like Mariah Carey.)
4. Elevation (U2 songs every bloody Sunday.)
5. Restoration
6. Renovation (You can do it! God can help.)
7. Mosaic
8. enCompass (Wii th-|-nk [outside] the box. We R crAtiVe.)
9. Epiphany Station (Next stop, Conjunction Junction!)
10. Soma (Our pastor knows Greek.)
11. Sanctuary
12. Rock Harbor (If your life hasn’t run aground yet, we can help.)
13. Journey (“Don’t Stop Believing” is our theme song.)

A Church by Any Other Name … | Out of Ur | Conversations for Ministry Leaders.