Center Hill, so glad we were a part of this. Let the passion and message grip our hearts to take Jesus to a dead world!
soli deo gloria!
by Burk Parsons
The love language of all marriages is self-denial. When both husband and wife are consumed not with their own immediate happiness but with the happiness of one another, they will enjoy a happy marriage. The same is true for enduring friendships and for authentic community.
With the disintegration of marriage has come the dissolution of community. As such, community has fallen on hard times. What every generation in every society in all of history has enjoyed, the rising generation will have to fight for. With the rise of online communities, online church, and online everything, face-to-face, eye-to-eye, shoulder-to-shoulder community has become increasingly difficult to find. Moreover, many don’t know what real community is and thus don’t know what to look for. Real community doesn’t happen on its own—it takes time, patience, repentance, forgiveness, and love that covers a multitude of sins. The church community is not just a crowd of people on a Sunday morning; it is the gathered, worshiping people of God in a congregation where masks aren’t needed and where real friends help bear the real burdens of one another. Community is not just getting together; it is living together, suffering together, rejoicing together, and dying together.
Although many Christians claim to want genuine community, many want it only on their own terms, when it’s convenient, and when it demands nothing from them. What they want isn’t the church community, but a country club where they pay their dues for services rendered. They want to be served without having to serve anyone else. Real community forces us to die to ourselves and get over ourselves so that we might love one another as ourselves. Francis Schaeffer observed that “the early church practiced two things simultaneously: orthodoxy of doctrine and orthodoxy of visible community.” Such orthodoxy of visible community is grounded in the “one another” passages of Scripture, which provide us with the essential elements of authentic community. They strike at the root of our self-centeredness, and they lead us to take our eyes off ourselves and to deny ourselves so that we might love one another, encourage one another, confess our sins to one another, forgive one another, and not slander one another, gossip about one another, devour one another, or envy one another. In so doing, our Father in heaven is glorified as we manifest the beauty of the gospel of Christ through the power of the Spirit, who has united a bunch of repentant sinners like us.
From Tabletalk magazine http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/orthodoxy-community/
soli deo gloria!
Praise Him! Our annual business meeting was held Sunday after morning worship, our Harvest offering was taken and God moved once again in the hearts of His people. All recommendations were approved by more than a super majority vote and our folks were nearly unanimous in their voting. We are now a plurality of Elders led church! Our morning regular offering was approx $2,700.00 and our Harvest Offering almost matched that with another $2,675.00! Nearly $5,400.00 was given by His people.
We can now finish the Children’s Ministry rooms in the next couple of months. The new Elder board will start the process of Deacon nominations for congregational approval and the Elders will begin Shepherding God’s flock at Center Hill. Exciting times for sure.
It’s Thanksgiving week and as Senior Pastor, I want to take this opportunity to thank God for each and everyone of you. I will say this again, no Pastor could ask for a better congregation to minister to. You are kind, generous, committed to the Word of God and ever growing in your love for Christ. Our Pie and Praise time on Sunday was amazing for me as Pastor. God was pleased. Watching and hearing families sing, It is ‘Well With My Soul’ and ‘And Can it Be’ nearly brought tears to the eyes of one crusty retired cop. (I actually saw teen aged boys singing) And the testimonies,…. they should have been recorded and as they say “That would have preached”.
Tammy and I both want to thank you for the generous gifts during the month of October for Pastor Appreciation month. The gift cards, money, baked goods, jerkies, meals, cards, hunting blind, and the Getty Concert Tickets and overnight stay are so very much appreciated. We are continually humbled by the church’s outpouring of love and kind words.
I have received so many emails and phone calls from many of you over the past several months expressing your love not only for Tammy and I but for your love of the Word of God and the God of the Word. You have expressed what God has been doing in your life to expand your view of Him and how He shows His grace in some of the deepest ways possible. I wish I could share each of them but most were spoken in confidentiality and were quite personal. Nothing means more to me than to know that God’s Word and His Son is exalted in the lives of our congregation, nothing!
Once again, I love being your Pastor!
Soli Deo gloria!
Here it is Center Hill. This is the illustration I spoke about in the morning message on Sunday.
soli deo gloria