Love in Action | the Gift of Encouragement

20 Dec

nativity

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10: 24-25

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Come along side your Sisters this Christmas season to teach, comfort, and strengthen. Lift those who are struggling under the weight of unfulfilled expectations that often accompany this time of year…

Continue reading here: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > Love in Action | the Gift of Encouragement.

When the Holidays are Hard…Make Room

13 Dec

broken ornament

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

The Christmas holiday season represents generosity and beauty wrapped up in the very presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The hymns and carols we sing during this time of year focus on peace, joy, hope, comfort, and the incarnation and its glorious implication for humanity — the lyrics highlight the turning point in which God entered into our history cloaked in flesh; humbled (Philippians 2:8).

“God first enveloped Himself in mortal form and tabernacled among the sons of men!” — Charles Spurgeon.

We look back to that first expectant waiting and look ahead to His coming again. We long for…

Please click here to continue reading: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > When the Holidays are Hard…Make Room.

Prepare Him Room

29 Nov

advent

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Advent [to come; coming] is a season of expectant waiting and reflection where we celebrate the first coming of Christ and joyfully anticipate His return (Revelation 1:8).

It is a time of remembering God entered into human history when Jesus — Immanuel, God with us, (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23) was born. “…the Word that was with God and that was God (John 1:1) “…became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14), because we so desperately needed to be rescued. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross taking our sins upon Himself and giving us undeserved righteousness, rose from the grave on the third day conquering death, and He will return!

This anticipated return creates…

Please click here to continue reading: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > Prepare Him Room.

Feeling Gratitude, Giving Thanks

22 Nov

thanksgiving_opt

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5

As we prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday many of us are readying ourselves for the simultaneous joy and apprehension that often accompanies the gathering of families. Perhaps you picture the Rockwellian family ideal ― breaking bread, gathering, sharing, reflecting, loving togetherness or maybe instead, your table…

Please click here to continue reading and for additional resources: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > Feeling Gratitude, Giving Thanks.

Hospitality | An Invitation to Gather, Love, & Share

15 Nov

welcome2_opt

 

“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:13

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9″

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

This is the time of the year when the focus shifts and we ramp up for the coming holiday season. With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon some of us will travel; enjoying the welcome of others and some of us will host family or other visitors into our home. The emphasis is often on entertaining rather than servings. We strive for the perfect tableau, copying the impossible Pinterest tablescapes — the right china, the perfect place setting, and whimsical unique place cards. Now there is a time…

Please click here to continue: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > Hospitality | An Invitation to Gather, Love, & Share.

Simple Gifts | Blessing in a Box

8 Nov

operation christmas

Bring Good News and great joy to boys and girls around the world!

A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal. Be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ Name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child (OCC).

OCC brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations worldwide through simple, gift-filled shoe boxes. Samaritan’s Purse will deliver your gifts to hurting children while also telling them about God’s greatest gift – his Son, Jesus Christ…

Remaining post here: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > Simple Gifts | Blessing in a Box.

After Darkness, Light | Let it Shine

1 Nov

luther

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” John 8:12

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany rediscovering and reaffirming the Gospel — sparking the Reformation — illuminating God’s Word.“I would never have thought that such a storm would rise from Rome over one simple scrap of paper…” — Martin LutherIn the early 16th Century the church in Rome started a slick campaign to raise money for improvements to St. Peter’s Basilica. Messengers were allowed to sell “indulgentia” or indulgences that they were told would purchase souls from purgatory; freeing them so they could move on to heaven.During this time period…

Please continue reading here: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > After Darkness, Light | Let it Shine.

Biblical Famine | Starving for the Word

25 Oct

Woman Reading the Bible.

“Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11″

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3″

Christians used to be known as “people of one book.” Sure, they read, studied and shared other books. But the book they cared about more than all others combined was the Bible. They memorized it, meditated on it, talked about it and taught it to others. We don’t do that anymore, and in a very real sense we’re starving ourselves to death.” — Kenneth Berding, Professor of New Testament, Biola University, The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy & What We Can Do About It

We are “starving ourselves to death” via an elected famine in which scripture and Bible consumption are largely ignored; replaced with insubstantial vacant distractions that provide an illusion of fullness. Unlike the people who sought the Word of God and were denied Amos 8:11-12 we have free unfettered access to hearing the One True Living God speak and yet our Bibles often sit unopened. We have chosen Biblical malnutrition over spiritual sustenance…

Please continue reading here: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > Biblical Famine | Starving for the Word.

What to do With a Season of Discontent

18 Oct

stress“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

“Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Psalms 119:36-37

“It’s not fair!” Those words rise unbidden to our hearts and lips as we compare our circumstances, relationships, possessions to others’. We begin to covet—to desire—to want—what we selfishly believe belongs to us thinking, “I wish it was mine,” —until our focus is consumed with gaining what we perceive to be the lack…

via Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > What to do With a Season of Discontent.

Body Image and the Gospel | Find Your True Beauty in Christ

11 Oct

scale3_opt

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

For you my sisters; the girl pushing food around the plate so no one will realize you aren’t eating, and for you, the woman secretly bingeing, hoping the ‘full’ will fill the emptiness, I have been there right where you are. I have stood in front of the mirror not seeing the protruding bones outlined in sharp relief—seeing only ‘skinny’ instead of ‘starving’ or in dark colored clothing designed to camouflage the extra weight, lumps, and bumps—the fleshy flaws. I have been the yo-yo master, up and down the scale, numbers taunting or applauding.

According to Womenshealth.gov I have not struggled alone as it is estimated as many as 10 million women nationwide suffer from some type of eating disorder. Fat shaming body police speculate…

Please click here to read the remainder of the article and for additional resources: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > Body Image and the Gospel | Find Your True Beauty in Christ.

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