Tag Archives: relationship

When Father’s Day Hurts

14 Jun

father-child-cropped_opt

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” —1 Corinthians 1:3-4

Tomorrow is Father’s Day, a day traditionally set aside to honor fathers, husbands, uncles, sons, step dads and grandpas. Many of us have been blessed with fathers who reflected Christ to us; image bearers speaking into our lives. We go all out for these dads in our family; showering them with gifts, affirmation, and affection. 

For some of us this is not the reality. There may be unseen hurts and scars inextricably linked to burdens carried; heart holes filled with…

Continue reading here: Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > When Father’s Day Hurts.

How To Be The Friend You’d Want To Have | Reach Out in Love

22 Feb

sisters_opt

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” John 15:12

We are designed to live in community within the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27) ; as daughters of the King (2 Corinthians 6:18), bonded together by our common belief and faith in Christ we are drawn to others made new in Him.

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow” – William Shakespeare

As relational beings we need other women who encourage, comfort, guide, and listen in times of contentment and distress. Many of us have long established a circle of friends creating sisters of the heart, surrounded by deep love, intimacy, transparency.  This coterie may function so well it may inhibit inclusion others when instead of reaching out we dig in. Invite others in who may appear confident in their solitude, learn their story, see Christ in them, love them where they are.

How To Be The Friend You’d Want To Have by Laurie Wallin

C. S. Lewis, in his book, The Four Loves, said friendship begins when one person says to another, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one!”

Problem is, for that to happen,

We have to be around people—to allow space in our busy lives for real conversation and interaction with friends.

We have to be around people—to stay in the moment, instead of letting 1001 other thoughts boss our brains around and distract us from the person we’re with.

How can we be a good friend, and invite friendship in return?

Read on to find out: How To Be The Friend You’d Want To Have.

Related content:

A Friend in Need

10 Ways to Meet Women Where They Are

Disposable Friends

Missional Ideas For Your Family Thanksgiving | Gather and Share

25 Nov

thanks2“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” –2 Corinthians 9:11

Consider the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, do you picture family sitting at the table together breaking bread, connecting, sharing, reflecting? Maybe your Thanksgiving gathering will be football focused or a time when barely suppressed familial animosity simmers rather than the gravy.

No matter what tablescape you picture odds are someone at the table, no matter the emotional ambiance, will not be a believer. They may grasp the Pilgrim story and Black Friday deals but the deeper meaning of offering up thanksgiving and praise for God’s call and provision may be a challenge. Incorporate them into thanksgiving during this time when the opportunity exists to be publicly, outwardly, and vocally thankful. 

“One of the best things we can do for our family is to help them enjoy giving thanks..,” writes Alex Absalom in the article that follows…

10 MISSIONAL IDEAS FOR YOUR FAMILY THANKSGIVING

“Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” 1 Timothy 4:4

Thankfulness is a spiritual matter because it ultimately produces trust in God.

As I take my eyes off my complaints about what I don’t have, I start to count the many blessings that I do have. This in turn causes me to stop and ponder the source of all that goodness – is it purely random ‘luck’, or is God personally at work in my life? And if Jesus is the source, how does that change my perspective on my future needs and challenges?

That’s why thanksgiving is a wonderful gateway for those who are far from God. As someone recognizes that Jesus is the source of all that is good – which is what happens in giving thanks – so that person learns to acknowledge Him and His goodness.

For the remainder of the article: 10 Missional Ideas For Your Family Thanksgiving | Verge Network.

“Harmless” Gossip is a Myth|How to Stop Church-Killing Gossip

5 Nov

gossip

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts” –Proverbs 18:8

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Nothing could be further from the truth when one is a victim of gossip, rumors, slander, backbiting, talebearing, reviling, railing, or innuendo. Gossip can be covert or overt…true or untrue. Once out it is propelled along like an insidious virus reaching epidemic proportion. Is it any wonder so called news, YouTube videos, Facebook quotes, blog posts, and tweets that reach “trending” status are characterized as “viral.” 

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ defeats gossip…Jesus was a “trustworthy man,” someone to whom you could entrust your deepest, most shameful secrets, and know they were as safe as can be. He still is. And we can learn to be trustworthy too (Proverbs 11:13)” (Matthew C. Mitchell, Resisting Gossip).

We can follow Christ’s example. Believe the best about others. Speak positively; words of affirmation are healing and edifying. Talk to ____ not about____. Model graciousness. Exalt the Lord. Search your heart. Pray.

My name is Gossip.

I have no respect for justice.

I maim without killing.

I break hearts and ruin lives.

I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.

The more I am quoted the more I am believed.

I flourish at every level of society.

My victims are helpless.

They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.

To track me down is impossible.

The harder you try, the more elusive I become.

I am nobody’s friend.

Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.

I topple governments and ruin marriages.

I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.

I spawn suspicion and generate grief.

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.

Even my name hisses.

I AM CALLED GOSSIP –Anonymous

How to Stop Church-Killing Gossip

Kent Hughes: “Gossip involves saying behind a person’s back what you would never say to his or her face. Flattery means saying to a person’s face what you would never say behind his or her back.”

Here are some wise words from Dan Phillips for when you hear gossip from someone:

  1. Ask, “Why are you telling me this?” Often, that in itself is such a focusing question that it can bring an end to the whole unpleasant chapter. It has the added benefit that it can help a person whose intentions are as good as his/her judgment is bad.
  2. Ask, “What’s the difference between what you’re telling me and gossip?” See above; same effect, same potential benefits.
  3. Ask, “How is your telling me that thought, that complaint, that information going to help you and me love God and our brothers better, and knit us closer together as a church in Christ’s love?” Isn’t that the goal we should share, every one of us? Won’t it take the working of each individual member Eph. 4:16? Isn’t the watch-out for harmful influences an every-member ministry Heb. 3:12-13; 10:24; 13:12-15?
  4. Ask, “Now that you’ve told me about that, what are you going to do about it?” While the previous two are subjective, this is not. If neither of the previous two questions succeeded in identifying gossip/whispering/sowing-dissension for what they are, the answer to this question will do so. Tip: if the answer is “Pray,” a good response might be “Then why didn’t you do that and leave it there in the first place?”
  5. Say, “Now that you’ve told me about that, you’ve morally obligated me to make sure you talk to ____ about it. How long do you think you need, so I can know when this becomes a sin that I will need to confront in you?” The least that this will accomplish is that you’ll fall off the list of gossips’/whisperers’ favorite venting-spots. The most is that you may head off a church split, division, harmed souls, sidelined Gospel ministry, and waylaid discipleship. Isn’t that worth it?

Ray Ortlund explains what gossip is and why it is sinfully enticing:

  • Gossip is our dark moral fervor eagerly seeking gratification.
  • Gossip makes us feel important and needed as we declare our judgments.
  • It makes us feel included to know the inside scoop.
  • It makes us feel powerful to cut someone else down to size, especially someone we are jealous of.
  • It makes us feel righteous, even responsible, to pronounce someone else guilty.
  • Gossip can feel good in multiple ways. But it is of the flesh, not of the Spirit…
  • Gossip is a sin rarely disciplined but often more socially destructive than the sensational sins.
  • Gossip leaves a wide trail of devastation wherever and however it goes – word of mouth, email, blogging, YouTube.
  • It erodes trust and destroys morale.
  • It creates a social environment of suspicion where everyone must wonder what is being said behind their backs and whether appearances of friendship are sincere.
  • It ruins hard-won reputations with cowardly but effective weapons of misrepresentation.
  • It manipulates people into taking sides when no such action is necessary or beneficial.
  • It unleashes the dark powers of psychological transference, doing violence to the gossiper, to the one receiving the gossip and to the person being spoken against.
  • It makes the Body of Christ look like the Body of Antichrist – destroyers rather than healers.
  • It exhausts the energies we would otherwise devote to positive witness.
  • It robs our Lord of the Church he deserves.
  • It exposes the hostility in our hearts and discredits the gospel in the eyes of the world. Then we wonder why we don’t see more conversions, why “the ground is so hard.”

Excerpted from: How to Stop Church-Killing Gossip – Justin Taylor

Additional links related to gossip and how to avoid it:

Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue: Matthew C. Mitchell: 9781619580763: Amazon.com: Books

Gossip – Ray Ortlund

Pyromaniacs: How to shut down gossip and its nasty kin

Talking to People Rather Than About Them What I Left Out of the Sermon on August 6 – Desiring God

What Young Christians Can Learn from the Elderly|Life Is Better In Community

18 Oct

life“Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone” –Psalm 71:9

Young people…the elderly are now what you will eventually become. The older generations possess a wealth of knowledge and wisdom most would love to share. Listen to their stories. The elderly know a lot about community and what it means to live life together. Many have enjoyed a long walk with Christ and would love to impart their experiences to the younger generations. Seek them out. Sit with them in worship. Hear their stories. Find out what their needs might be and serve them. In all these things there is much to be learned and an intergenerational community to be built.

What Young Christians Can Learn from the Elderly

Youth lends itself to the productive Christian life. We\’re active and healthy and have our whole lives in front of us. We are in control and independent. We need no help to make it through the day.

We are also really good at pretending the above is true.

Young people, myself included, want to appear independent. We are good at convincing others (and ourselves) that we are making do on our own. But the truth is that we\’re often lonely. In our efforts to remain independent, we have forgotten how to be dependent on a community.

The remaining article can be viewed here: What Young Christians Can Learn from the Elderly – The Gospel Coalition Blog.

TACC Missions News |Following Christ |Fruit-Bearing Discipleship

15 Oct

Thursday October 17:

2:00 PM Parking lot prayer send-off

india

 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” –John 15:8

These are  the 2013 October team members: Mark Engstrom, Terry Lichte, Felipe Lopez, and Doug Keller. Doug has been to India twice before. Felipe, Mark and Terry have never been to India.

TACC’s earlier trips have been predominately for evangelical purposes–sharing the gospel with the Adivasi through medical camps, children’s programs, and door-to-door visits. Our October team will be doing a medical camp one day, but the rest of our time will be spent in discipleship in some of the villages we have already visited for evangelism. TACC teams have visited 42 of the 79 villages we are trying to reach. Of those 42 villages, 25 now have local fellowships of believers.

Our plan for this upcoming trip is to…
…visit 2 of those existing fellowships for worship and then to do discipleship training in the afternoon
…have believers from several villages meet with us a one centrally located village for a day of discipleship
…a day of discipleship with women from nearby villages
…meet with the SAS pastor/evangelists and lay leaders from their churches for discipleship focused on leading their flocks and developing future leaders
…a ‘Big Gathering” of believers from multiple villages for a day of discipleship and fellowship
…the day of medical camp evangelism already mentioned above.

Follow the India team at the TACC Mission News Blog

 

Secret Sisters

11 Sep

secretSecret Sisters Kickoff Sunday September 22, 2:30 PM at Laura Brislawn’s house.

Secret Sisters offers the opportunity for women to come alongside each other; supporting and encouraging one another through prayer and with small gifts, notes, and cards. Becoming a secret prayer partner and silent encourager enables you to learn more about your Sister and her needs while at the same time, someone is praying for, encouraging, and learning more about you.

Lots of fun social events provide fellowship and the chance to get to know women in your church family.

Questions?? Contact Laura Brislawn or Cindy Bobo or stop by the women’s ministries cart on Sunday for more information.

Everything Family|For All Seasons of Life

5 Sep

Everything_FamilyStarting Sunday September 8 TACC will be focusing on all things related to family life. From dating to marriage, parenting to grandparenting, each season of life has its own unique challenges and benefits. Here at TACC we want to come along side one another as the family of God to help each other in the various stages of family life and seek biblical teaching to guide us.

Join TACC Sundays for 

10:30 AM Sermon Topics

  • 9/8 Manhood
  • 9/15 Womanhood
  • 9/22 Dating
  • 9/29 Marriage
  • 10/6 Parenting
  • 10/13 Singleness
  • 10/20 Divorce
  • 10/27 Homosexuality

6:00 PM Seminars*

  • 9/8 Tips for Parenting Preschoolers
  • 9/15 Honor and Respect
  • 9/22 Safe House: How to Respond to Emergency Situations in the Home
  • 9/29 Discipline
  • 10/6 Lying, Cheating, Biting, and Stealing
  • 10/13 Siblings
  • 10/20 Parenting Teenagers

*Childcare will be provided during all seminars

+Additional seminars will be held at Children’s House 9/10, 10/1, 10/8, and 10/22 for families unable to attend Sundays

For more information click here to access TACC website

 

How Do We Hear?|By Actively Listening

26 Aug

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” –Romans 10:17

“When God speaks in your life, listen carefully, receive humbly, and  respond gratefully'” –Pastor Koetsier (TACC Sermon, Sunday, August 25)

Listen-Chinese340

Listen Carefully

“Whoever has ears, let them hear” –Matthew 11:15

The Chinese character for the verb “to listen” stresses the importance of using one’s whole body to hear. Eyes, ears, attention, and heart are presumed focused and actively engaged. Whether reading the Bible, meditating, or in prayer, listen with your whole being –quietly, patiently wait upon the Lord.

Receive Humbly

“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you,which can save you Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says ” –James 1:21-22

Bible scholar W. E. Vine said that the Greek word for receive means “deliberate and ready reception of what is offered.” It is an obedient and meek acceptance of what God wants and acknowledging it is good.

 Respond Gratefully

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” –1Thessalonians 5:18

Outside of public/corporate worship within the church; honor, praise, and glorify God in private worship with prayer, singing, and thanksgiving.

How Do We Hear the Voice of Jesus?

by John Piper

Do you want to hear the voice of Jesus? So do I. The Father certainly wants us to. “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” (Luke 9:35).

To which we cry, “Yes, Lord. Yes! We want to listen to him.”

Does he speak today? He does.

Every word of the Bible is the voice of Jesus.

How do we know this? By inference. And better, by experience…

View the remainder of the article here: How Do We Hear the Voice of Jesus? – Desiring God.

Revisit this previous post from TACC Connect to Women’s Ministries here: Hearing God…

LifeWay Women All Access — 10 Ways to Meet Women Where They Are

23 Aug

life“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” –Matthew 18:20

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” — 1 Peter 4:8-10

10 Ways to Meet Women Where They Are

By Mary Margaret Collingsworth

We’re constantly trying to find new ways to reach women where they are, and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult. As culture shifts, so do the needs of women. No matter what your age may be, women are still women and we are always going to need other women in our lives. Here are 10 ways to meet women where they are:

  1. Don’t assume anything. We often look at women and assume that they already have enough friends or they don’t have enough time. Looks can be deceiving! Maybe she has a lot of acquaintances, but is longing for a real friend. It could be you!
  2. Ask. Ask her to go places with you and be in your life. The worst thing they can do is say, “No.”
  3. Keep asking. Unless someone tells you to stop asking, keep extending the ask. Sometimes it just takes a few attempts and the right thing to grab her attention. Don’t just quit asking because she turned you down the first time.
  4. Do life together. One of the sweetest parts of friendship is knowing the day-to-day happenings of the other women in your life. The mundane can be, well, mundane, and it  can be so much more rich in community. This also happens in the good, the bad, and the ugly times. Life is messy, and we all need other women in our lives who just know us to walk with us through it all.
  5. Be real. Last week, I heard Pete Wilson (pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville) say, “Authenticity is the cry of all, but the game of few.” While we often claim authenticity, we still try to prove ourselves and often end up being someone we’re not. Just be you, and she’ll love you for it.
  6. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Some of my dearest friends are ones that I initially thought I had nothing in common with, but was so wrong. When my friend Christie and I met while I was in college, she was a newlywed and I learned that she had majored in Math in college. I was single and lets just face it… I still hate math. I literally thought we had nothing in common except for Jesus, but boy, was I wrong! Nine years later, I’m in the airport waiting to board a plane to visit her and her family (5 kids!) and couldn’t love her more, even though our everyday lives look so different.
  7. Pray for her. Don’t just ask how you can pray for her… actually pray for her and pray with her if the Holy Spirit leads you to. Be willing to go to battle with her through prayer, whether she ever knows it or not.
  8. Speak truth. The truth can hurt, but find ways to speak it in love. Be honest, but be kind in how you approach challenging conversations and situations. It can feel risky, but seek the Lord before you speak. Make sure you’re not speaking out of your flesh, but you’re listening to the Holy Spirit. My closest friends are the ones who are willing to speak truth into my life.
  9. Love her right where she is. It’s not our job to fix anyone or change her, but we are called to love her. Be the kind of woman who is steadfast in her life, whether she has a relationship with Jesus or not. Walk with her, pray for her, and just love on her.
  10. Be Jesus to her. Take her a meal. Watch her kids. Listen to her. Cry with her. Laugh with her. Show up. Just be there. When you can, put your needs aside and just be Jesus to her. You don’t have to provide answers or a solution, but point her to the One who can.

At the end of the day, we are called to meet other women at the point of their need. Philippians 2:1-8 paints a beautiful picture of how to treat the people in our lives. If we truly are putting the needs of others above our own, it will show through our actions. Our role is to step in, stand in the gap, and offer them a cold cup of water in the name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:42). We often over-complicate things that are really simple, and sometimes it just takes one step in the right direction on our part. It might be hard, but it’s absolutely worth it.

via LifeWay Women All Access — 10 Ways to Meet Women Where They Are.

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