We are fast approaching the season when we celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself on behalf of all of us when He took all of our sin upon Himself as He hung on the cross, separated from His Father, and shed His blood for us. We are approaching the season when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and victory over death on our behalf so that we can be redeemed into God’s image and into His family to live with Him forever.
I’d like to turn to some thoughts on how we can position ourselves to be equipped for service during this pandemic where we are.
God has done an amazing thing! Many amazing things, actually. But now, in this time, in our rushing frenetic world, God has said, “Stop!”. What a shock to our sensibilities as we come to a dead halt. All of a sudden we have few or no important schedules. No need to hurry the children out the door to school. No need to rush out the door to work. No appointments, concerts, meetings. Not only that, but we are surrounded by “fear talk”. It’s all we are hearing. Our nation and many others are being brought face to face with our mortality….and we’re being asked to process it somewhat alone.
One day Jerram was walking back through the fields to the house for lunch. He came across Dad kneeling in his orchard before one of his young peach trees. He was holding a peach in each hand and saying: “Lord, these peaches are yours. These trees are yours and all the fruit they will ever bear. This orchard is yours. My farm is yours. I am yours. Thank you for your love to me in Jesus. Help me to serve you in all I do.”
This week I’d like to share a story with you. It is a story shared by someone whom I admire greatly and who has influenced my life and world view by his life and his teaching. Jerram Barrs has long taught at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis and has written many books from which I have benefited.
Among the updates and stories was one in particular that stood out to me. Joo and Ashley Lee shared how they had invited a Japanese family to join them for the International Harvest Celebration the previous night. Ashley has been ministering to her friend for several months now, having developed a friendship through their young daughters.
Why has the Church not taken the gospel to the ends of the earth? Why are there places in the world where there is no church and no gospel witness? It has been almost 2,000 years, after all.
As we gather in the coming months, much of what we will do to celebrate will take place around the dinner table, amply supplied with an array of delicious holiday favorites. We will fill our plates with roasted turkey and casserole, buttered bread and yams, stuffing and mashed potatoes, and top it all off with more pie than we have eaten in all the preceding months of the year combined. So, the question naturally arises, IS THIS TOO MUCH?
Over the last 14 years, Kanye West has ebbed and flowed from an appetite for the Lord and for the world. But now, after all the seemingly incomplete attempts to reach for God in his music, it appears that a humbled, freshly motivated follower of Jesus has surfaced and the content is the most explicit yet –– explicitly God. Is Kanye really saved? Will this really last?
As we go through the Psalms, I can’t help but think about the impact that this book has had in my life. Capturing every range of the human experience, the Psalms are more than an intellectual exercise but a powerful emotional adoration of God.
This past Sunday was my 40th birthday (which I happen to share also with my 13 year old son, Grant). As a way of reflecting on my long, unbroken track record of unsurpassed mediocrity, here is a list of things I’ve learned, discovered, and experienced, and that I now think — one for each year of living. Some of these are with some levity, while others only came after several mistakes and hard lessons. All of it came by God’s continued work and grace in my life. Here goes…
So far, I have argued for church membership from Scripture. I have also contended that church membership is one way to love our pastors. With this post, I want to think about how church membership can help us become more fully obedient to Christ.
In my previous post, I stated my conviction regarding the structure and function of the local church and defended that position from Scripture. In this post, I want to consider one verse in Hebrews and think about how it should influence our thoughts on and practice of church membership.
I think there is general agreement that the family of God is a necessary part of the individual Christian’s life. However, from various conversations I have noticed that the mode of engaging in this community is debated. Disagreement arises from various understandings of the concept of “the church.” For some, this word refers exclusively to the Church universal – the group of regenerate Christians across time and space that will be ultimately and fully united to Christ as his bride. Whatever “the church” is, it is certainly not less than this.
As we strive to be a body of believers that follows Christ we often know that means to love others. But pause for a moment and think to yourself, how would I show love to someone walking through the doors of the church for the first time? Have an idea in mind? Now, what if that person walking through the doors had special needs?
Given this this week’s report from the NC Governor that there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in Wake County, we want to let you know the preventative measures CHBC is taking to reduce the spread of the virus. We are monitoring the situation, and we are consulting with other churches and organizations to follow best practices in taking precaution.
The best Boards all come together with a united purpose to move the action steps along. Our goal of promoting the mission of the church through the work of service is best accomplished when we all discuss with vigor and then fully support the resulting decision.
On Sunday afternoon, 145 members of CHBC gathered to celebrate what God has done in our church over the past year, and to lay the groundwork for our upcoming season.
Some of you know that I love my work with the finances of our church. I love numbers and spreadsheets generally, and I love seeing how our ministries thrive when resources are available. The tool that we use to guide our spending is our operating budget.
Each year, CHBC holds an Annual Business Meeting. This meeting is required by our Bylaws, and is a great opportunity for members to participate in some vital decisions for our church. As well, non-members are welcome and encouraged to attend to learn more about some of the behind-the-scenes things that underlie our life together.
The carpet has been rolled up. The streamers torn down. All the confetti is still floating around somewhere. Night to Shine is over. Looking back it’s always amazing to see how quickly the actual event speeds by once that first guest hits the red carpet. One minute our guests are being cheered down the red carpet and the next they are leaving the church through a dome of sparklers.
As we kickoff our year of celebration for 50 years of ministry, a common story we often hear is the mutual connection parents have with their college-aged children attending UNC and discovering a thriving Christian community at the Bible Church. Here’s Nicole Wesche and her father, Ken, sharing their bond with CHBC.
This story of one-on-one discipleship is truly powerful by these three college students, but rarely duplicated in our day. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a question to a friend of “How can I pray for you?” or asking someone to read the Bible every week and talk about it. Listen to how the Spirit of God worked through these friends to discover salvation through Jesus and ultimately change their life trajectories forever.
For this, the final post from this blog, the “we” is going to change to “I” – this last post is not written by the “building committee,” but from my own viewpoint, myself – Emily Williams. I’m doing this in order to express some personal observations and thoughts, and recognize some people from the project who have meant something to me, personally, as we have worked together. I hope you will stay in your seat all the way to the end of the credits for this movie!
A copy of Dwight Thomas’ ribbon cutting speech given on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at the Building Dedication Ceremony.
It is just amazing to see all that has been happening this past week. The chapel ceiling and flooring and trim, the ceiling tiles in the chapel lobby and connector, flooring downstairs, classroom carpeting, a second (final) coat of paint in many areas … the place is being transformed. Many little things are being done, too, such as putting the faceplates on the light switches and outlets.