Tag Archives: heritage bible church

Journey Journal: Days 120-122

Day 120: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

After work, I headed home and Bryan and I made a dinner of omelets and veggies. Then my friend Emily (my cousin’s girlfriend) came over to say her “see-you-later”s before she graduates from college on Friday and moves away. It was a really good chat. I will miss our regular Sunday afternoon chats with my English-major, coffee buddy.

Day 121: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Started the morning with coffee and Gospel conversation with my good friend Diana. Then headed to work for the day. After work, I stopped by Goga and caught up with my friend Leigh! Then I swung through Chik-fil-a for a quick bite before Shepherding Group.

We discussed Pastor Brooks’ Sunday morning sermon “Thirsty for Something More” from John 4. It reminded me of the wonderful, old hymn “Satisfied” (WORDS: Clara T. Williams, MUSIC: Ralph E. Hudson, c. 1875):

“All my life long I had panted
for a drink from some cool spring
that I hoped would quench the burning
of the thirst I felt within.

“Hallelujah! I have found him
whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings;
through his blood I now am saved.

“Well of water ever springing,
…my Redeemer is to me.”

I’ve been meditating on this a lot this week. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life: home, family, work, church, ministry, etc. When it comes to the Christian life, it often seems easier to get in a rut of “second hand” knowledge–listening to sermons, discussing Christian books, debating theology, listening to good music, etc. And even though all of these things are good, there will not be true satisfaction until our relationship with Christ is direct and personal–there is a definite need for slowing down, meditating, and building a one-on-one relationship with God. It’s not always easy (especially with the inundation of social media, active social lives, and information overload), but maybe it’s not meant to be easy. This is my prayer–that I will learn to “be still and know” God.

Day 122: Thursday, May 2, 2013

Got a late start this morning, so I stopped by Chik-fil-a for a breakfast burrito on my way to work. Lunch was multi-grain tortilla chips, roasted red pepper hummus, cucumber slices and pepper strips. Busy, long, and productive day at the office–I don’t mind long days when they’re productive like this! Around 5 p.m., I left work briefly for a walk and stopped by Publix to pick up some dinner (since Bryan was going out with the guys tonight). Headed back to work and heated up some Birds Eye Steamfresh Lightly Sauced Rigatoni & Vegetables with Tomato Parmesan Sauce. For $1.18 (50% off at Publix on Wade Hampton this week), it was a perfect dinner! Finished up some work, vacuumed, and headed home around 8:30 p.m.

Journey Journal: Days 47-51

Days 47-48: Saturday-Sunday, February 16-17, 2013

This weekend was fairly uneventful. We spent Saturday morning helping Bryan’s sister and brother-in-law pack and move into their brand new home! Excited for them as they enter the world of home ownership! Then Bryan had to study, so I ran some errands and then had a couple girlfriends over to listen to records and hang out. It was a relaxing time, full of laughter and fellowship.

Sunday started our church’s annual Pastor’s Fellowship special meetings. This year’s topic is “The Church: A Work in Progress.” Our pastor, Danny Brooks, kicked off the series on Sunday with “The Church that Will Be” and “The Church that Is.”

Days 49-51: Monday-Wednesday, February 18-20, 2013

This week has been pretty busy between special services at church, busy days at work, and trying to keep the household machine running as normally as possible. I have not been recording my food this week, but have been good about what we’ve been eating. And my weight is the same (at least I’m not going backwards), plus Bryan’s lost two more pounds! After losing ten pounds in six weeks, I figured I was due for one week of plateau. With special services, I haven’t been able to get to the gym as much, but I should be able to jump back in this weekend or next week at the latest. Bryan had several tests for school this week too, and it’s been especially challenging with two upper level science classes this semester, but God is proving Himself faithful, so we will keep plugging ahead.

Every year for the past several years, our church has hosted a Pastors’ Fellowship in February. Pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and church leaders come from all over for this mini-conference. They meet during the day to share the blessings and challenges of full-time ministry during the day; and then the whole church joins in the evenings for supper and service. The music is exceptional and the preaching is refreshing and challenging! Eric Sipe (from Columbus, OH) spoke on Monday night on “Making Sense of Failure”; Tim Keesee (my boss at Frontline) spoke on Tuesday night on “Lambs among Wolves: Making Sense of Persecution”; and Matthew Hoskinson (from NYC) spoke on Wednesday on “Wicked Cities, Half-Hearted Messengers, and Sovereign Mercy.” The sermons should all be available soon on SermonAudio.com soon, if they aren’t already.

Special Services at Heritage Bible with Chris Anderson: I Am The Samaritan Woman, Pt. IV

Part Four: Christ Turns Worshipers Into Missionaries –           John 4:27-42

Song Service: By Faith; There Is A Fountain; The Gospel Song; Hallelujah! What A Savior!; O Church, Arise!

A sinner was satisfied and saved, and now she shares: “Come, see.”

I. A Lesson from a Jar – In v. 28, the woman is so excited to tell her friends and acquaintances of Jesus that she leaves her water jar at the well and runs back to the village. The Gospel is life changing! She was satisfied to overflowing with the spiritual water of Jesus that she forgot her physical thirst in light of telling others. This living water not only quenches the immediate spiritual thirst, but it wells up like a spring and is uncontainable (v.14). Despite her lack of theological understanding, she was unafraid to share what she knew! Sometimes the methodology clouds the spontaneity and joy of Jesus. Hers was not forced or coerced, but genuine delight. In one sense, she was a satisfied customer; and satisfied customers love to share their good experiences with others.

II. A Lesson from a Lunch – The disciples came back from their lunch and were unimpressed by Jesus’ conversation with the woman. They seemed urgent that Jesus needed to eat. Jesus’ response was, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” The disciples wondered if someone had given him a lunch already. They didn’t get what He was really saying. “My food is to do the will of Him that sent me & to do His work.” The disciples were concerned/obsessed with the physical and clueless/oblivious to the spiritual, potentially because of a historical prejudice. Christ, on the other hand, was so obsessed with the spiritual that he wasn’t even hungry at the time. Good food is a delight, as long as it does not become our god, our ruling appetite (See Phil. 3:19). It was Christ’s delight and great joy to see sinners come to salvation. David Hosaflook refers to this type of missionary as a “passion-ary,” one who finds fulfillment in talking about Jesus.

III. A Lesson from a Farm – Christ says, “Look!” You don’t need to wait for harvest time; it IS harvest time! (v.35) We will rejoice and delight together, both among laborers here and saints in heaven. One sows, another reaps. We don’t just observe the work; we participate – every Christian is sent into the field. Basically, he’s saying, “Guys, put down your stupid lunch boxes and look up! Look around you! A whole town of people are rushing towards us, ready to hear and learn and receive the Gospel!” There is an overwhelming need and a hopefulness (e.g., Dispatches from the Front DVDs). There will be a harvest! A former farmer and missionary to Cameroon, Tom Needham says that there is always a harvest. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard; sometimes you’re discouraged because of bad weather or broken equipment; sometimes you want to quit early; sometimes the harvest is great and sometimes it’s small; but there IS a harvest EVERY year. If we participate, there is great joy! (v. 36)

IV. A Lesson from a Village – The Jews, Jesus’ own people, chased him away; yet the Samaritans welcomed him to teach them. Many more believed (v.41). “This is indeed the Savior OF THE WORLD,” not just the Jews or the Samaritans, but the whole world. Good things happen when you speak of Jesus. You don’t have to know a lot. He’ll do it!! The Gospel is universal in its appeal and effect. God is still mighty to save!

Conclusion: Christ is Worthy! Revelation 5:6-14 talks about the imagery of a slain Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, seven representing perfection (or all), the horns representing power and the eyes wisdom; He is all powerful and all wise. Worthy is the Lamb! And every creature in heaven and earth and under the earth and in the sea declared his “blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! …And the elders fell down and worshipped.”

We are Samaritan women — Samaritan women reaching Samaritan women for the glory of God. And one day we will all bow down and worship in heaven the Worthy One, who is Jesus.

Special Services at Heritage Bible with Chris Anderson: I Am The Samaritan Woman, Part III

Part Three: Christ Turns Sinners into Worshipers – John 4:19-26

Song Service: I Will Glory in My Redeemer; What Wondrous Love Is This; Amazing Grace; How Deep the Father’s Love For Us; All, Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.

Jesus talks about living water, sinful history, desperate need, then…worship?! Wow. That was random. Worship? How does that fit? Here’s how:

I. Worship must be according to Scripture, not tradition. (See Malachi 1:11) Judaism started out right in worship and people messed it up with hypocrisy and pride.

II. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. John 1:14, “The Word became flesh (human) and dwelt (tabernacled) among us.”John 14:6, “No one comes through the Father but through Me [Jesus].” Sacrifice was not the pictures we see on Sunday School flannel graph boards with a lamb and a little trickle of blood coming from it’s neck. It was a bloody mess: priests would splash the altar with buckets of blood, and at Passover, over a quarter of a million sacrifices were being made!

III. Jesus replaces the Jewish Temple. “The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” Something else is on the horizon…Jesus! John 2:19-22 – The new temple is Jesus’ body. The temple was where God was approached by sinners and where God’s wrath was appeased. David grieved over being exiled because he couldn’t freely go to the temple.

In Genesis 3, the original fall of man occurred. Rebelling sinners don’t seek God; they run from Him. Adam and Eve hid themselves. God sought them out and He’s been seeking sinners ever since. The Garden of Eden was a sanctuary of communion with God (the original holy of holies). Sin broke the fellowship between God and man and cherubim with swords were placed at the entrance of the garden representing the broken communion. Exodus 26 describes the tabernacle. It was the new sanctuary of communion with God. In Matthew 27, at Christ’s crucifixion, Christ replaced the temple. The curtain was torn in two, as Jesus’ body was torn for sin (v.51). The greatest benefit we have is access to the throne of God – the holy of holies. (See I Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:3-25, esp. v. 12 & 22; Romans 5:2)

William Cowper wrote, “Jesus, where’re Thy people meet, There they behold Thy mercy seat; Where’er they seek Thee Thou art found, And every place is hallowed ground.”

Conclusion: John 4:23, “The Father is seeking such people to worship him.” This is the great plot of history. He is purposefully, intentionally seeking sinners. Where does He find people to worship Him? Are they willing and ready? No. They’re rebels. We’re rebels. Strays. He doesn’t find them. He makes them. He makes them out of Samaritan women – sinners like you and me – thru the salvation in Jesus alone. Amen and Amen!

Looking forward to the fourth and final message in the series tomorrow night at 7PM – Christ Turns Worshipers Into Missionaries!

Special Services at Heritage Bible with Chris Anderson: I Am The Samaritan Woman, Part I and II

Each year our church, Heritage Bible Church, does a special services week around this time of year (times and directions on the website). This year’s guest speaker is pastor, author and songwriter, Chris Anderson. There are two sermons left, and already, it’s been amazing! The series is “I am the Samaritan Woman” from John 4.

Part One: Christ Seeks Sinners –  John 4:1-9

Song Service: O For a Thousand Tongues; We Will Glorify; Be Still My Soul/It Is Well with My Soul medley; His Robes for Mine (by Chris Anderson); God of Grace; I Will Glory in My Redeemer.

I. Divine Appointment/Pursuit – Jesus and the disciples were going from Judea to Galilee. Most Jews would go around the region of Samaria, rather than go through it (Samaria was considered a social and religious mix breed and looked down upon by the Jews of the day). Jesus, however, says he “had to pass through Samaria.” He didn’t have a time constraint to get to Galilee by a certain time (he took several days in Samaria to teach the people). He could’ve gone around the area, as was the status quo. But instead, he says he “had to pass through Samaria.” He takes the initiative. The Samaritans were unclaimed, unwanted, hated. Then there was this woman – she was the not just a Samaritan, she was the hated of the hated, the worst of the worst, in the standard of the day. And Jesus – deity – took upon himself flesh – became human – understood what it meant to be weary, thirsty, and sweaty – acquainted himself with every feeling we have – in order to be our Savior. (see Luke 19:10)

II. Relentless Love, v.7-9 – Jesus is never too weary to pursue one who is lost; never too tired to do good to a soul; never too proud to talk with a socially despised and rejected person. John 4 is a microcosm of what God is doing in the world, which started in the Garden of Eden.

Application: Kindness is disarming. Be attentive. Intentionally invest in people. Jesus crossed social, intellectual, moral, physical, gender, religious, ethnic/political (and at other times medical) boundaries to save a sinner and make her a trophy of His grace. We are called to do the same. So stop texting. Look up and into eyes. Engage people for Christ. Care about people. Pray. Tell them about Jesus – the “omni-gracious” God.

Conclusion: There is no one too holy to need the gospel (John 3: Nicodemus, the Pharisee); there is no one too lowly to receive the gospel (John 4: The Samaritan Woman). I am the Pharisee; and I am the Samaritan Woman. We are all a mess; and Jesus is a great Savior!

Part Two: Christ Satisfies Sinners – John 4:10-18

Song Service: Come, Thou Fount; O, To See the Dawn (The Power of the Cross); Speak, O Lord; In Christ Alone.

True Thirst results in dehydration, agony, and eventually death. A culture of grace means that everyone is more aware of his own sins than others’ sins, and everyone is more aware of God’s grace than of his own sin.

John 2:23-25 – God knows every one of us. John 3: He knew Nicodemus. John 4: He knew the Samaritan woman. v.10 – “If you knew…”: if only you knew who Christ was and what you were missing! There’s a free gift available: living water!

John 4:15 – The Samaritan woman is interested in this gift. She wants it. G.Campbell Morgan says her wanting it is “a sigh – a sob of discontented, disappointed thirst.” She didn’t fully understand her need yet. She’s evasive. Jesus points out her sin with gracious severity! The One bringing up the sin was the One who dies for those sins. He shows her her guilt so He can show her His grace.

She’s not just guilty; she’s needy. She needs forgiveness AND fulfillment. Christ exposes her history (5 divorces), her sin (currently living with man who’s not her husband), and her dissatisfaction (she’d been used and discarded multiple times). She’s thirsty. Spiritual thirst needs spiritual water. And His spiritual water (salvation) is cleansing AND thirst-quenching! Christ can meet the need immediately – now – and eternally. But salvation is not just for death! Don’t miss the present, enduring, eternal joy and satisfaction of Jesus. (see John 7:37-39)

Application: Why live your life thirsty and go into eternity thirsty? What are you waiting for? Jesus satisfies you now! There is more pleasure in Jesus than anything. Compare Psalm 103:5 with Ecclesiastes.

Conclusion: St. Augustine wrote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” And John Piper said, “I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it, because of a superior satisfaction in God.” (See Isaiah 55; Jeremiah 2:13)

A Delightful Evening: Celebrating God’s Faithfulness through the Life of Amy Carmichael

Last weekend, Heritage Bible Church had a dinner for those impacted by our Mercy Ministries: widows, widowers, single moms, individuals with deployed spouses, etc. It really was a delightful evening. You may remember the post about God’s Faithfulness that included options for the table decorations. Well, here’s what came out of those musings, thanks to several that helped make my visions a reality:

printed menu cards at each plate setting

Every table had a teapot vase (that matched the China plate settings for the meal) with a custom arrangement of purple, white and yellow flowers and table number flags, twelve tea lights, two streamers with pendants made out of copies of "Great is Thy Faithfulness" sheet music, and folded linen napkins.

A bit of the variety of the flower arrangements, prior to transport to the church for the banquet (we prayed for 50% off flowers at Hobby Lobby and God answered!)

Helpers male and female, young and old, came together to make this event a success and a blessing to many! And we had a blast serving together!

The meal was delicious and accompanied by soft, live piano music while a slideshow of quotes from Amy Carmichael’s writings played on a screen above the front stage. The evening concluded with some humorous skits, sacred special music, and a brief challenge, incorporating the life and testimony of Amy Carmichael. Praise God for His Faithfulness in Amy’s life and each of ours!

Choosing the Essential: A Look at Martha and Mary

Our pastor recently preached a message on Choosing the Essential Things in Life. We are so easily distracted and forget that we need to take time to sit at the feet of Jesus and humbly learn from Him.

Listen to the sermon here: Choosing the Essential.

Biblical Fitness: Practical Tips, Common Pitfalls, and Scriptural Principles

I wanted to share a few things I’ve been studying and learning recently about a Biblical view of Fitness. Much of this was in preparation for sitting on a panel discussion about biblical health and fitness at a recent event at our church. I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to learn and grow in Him and for the privilege to share some of my journey with others.
A Few Practical Tips:

  • Start small and build up.
  • Small successes are still successes.
  • Accountability is key.
  • Be consistent.
  • Don’t sabotage yourself.
  • If you miss, don’t quit. Just get back up again.
  • Stretch before and after.
  • Equal and opposite actions on muscles – upward motion followed by downward motion, forward motion followed by backward motion, etc.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Comparing Ourselves – II Cor. 10:12.
  • Dishonoring our bodies (specifically, given over to lust) – Rom. 1:24.
  • Anxious/Obsessive about bodies, clothes, and food – Matt. 6:25 and Luke 12:22-23.
  • Defilement – II Cor. 7:1.
  • Abuse (even for “spiritual” reasons) – Col. 2:23.
  • To be seen/to win – I Cor. 9:25.

Scriptural Principles:

  • Created by God – Genesis and I Cor. 12:24.
  • Bought by Christ – I Cor. 16:10.
  • Commanded by God to Care for our bodies – Hebrews 10:12.
    • We are commanded to be good stewards – I Cor. 4:2 and I Pet. 4:10.
    • Bodily exercise is valuable, but godliness is more valuable – I Tim. 4:8.
    • Control you body – I Thes. 4:4, James 3:2.
    • Keep your body blameless – Heb. 9:10, I Thes. 5:23.
    • Discipline your body so you are not disqualified from service – I Cor. 9:27.
    • Commanded to cleanse/bathe regularly, especially during disease or times of uncleanness – Leviticus.
  • Picture:
    • We are members of Christ’s body – Eph. 5:30, I Cor. 6:15 and 12:12, Ro. 12:5.
    • Body is the temple of God – Jn. 2:21 (Christ refers to his body as a temple), I Cor. 16:9 (believers’ bodies are God’s temple)
  • Purpose:
    • We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God – Rom. 12:1.
    • The life of Jesus is manifest in our bodies – II Cor. 4:10.
    • Body is for Christ, not for food and sex – I Cor. 6:13.
    • Honor Christ in your body – Phil. 1:20
  • Other Principles:
    • Gracious words bring health to the body – Prov. 16:24.
    • Future glorification of our body – Phil. 3:21.
    • See “Inspiration Behind the New Banner” for more thoughts on living a healthy, balanced life.

I came across an encouraging devotional for women that fits right along with this topic. Check out “How Can God Bring Good From This?” by Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Lysa is the author of Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food. This book was referenced at last Tuesday’s workshop. You can purchase your copy here.

For more from the Ladies Health Workshop, check out the latest post here and download a free PDF of the presentation.

Health Workshop: Temples of Praise

This past Tuesday night, we had a Ladies Ministries Meeting at our church, Heritage Bible Church. Katie Gerdt was our keynote speaker (you may remember some of her musings about God & Beauty that I’ve posted on the blog previously). She shared her personal testimony concerning a right view of food and biblical stewardship of our bodies and gave a challenge from the Word. The topic was “Temples of Praise: Worshiping God in How We Care for Our Bodies.” Here are the slides from her presentation:

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You can download a PDF copy of the presentation here: Temples of Praise Presentation by Katie Gerdt.

After the presentation, we had healthful snacks:

  • Fresh vegetables and hummus
  • Baked pita crackers
  • Yogurt with fresh berries and granola
  • Chocolate Beet Cupcakes (we had the ladies guess what fruit or vegetable was hidden in these chocolate cupcakes and drew a name from the correct answers to win a copy of one of the books referenced throughout the evening)

We concluded the evening with a panel discussion, followed by fellowship and one-on-one Q&A. It was a privilege to be part of such an event. I only wish we had more time. Hopefully, Heritage will host another one of these workshops soon!

You’re Invited: Women’s Ministry Meeting @HBCGreer, 7PM, Tuesday, April 5th!

Next Tuesday, April 5th, 2011, there will be a Ladies Only fellowship at my church, Heritage Bible Church, in Greer, SC. The event starts at 7pm (they usually last about 90 minutes).

Our church holds these special functions quarterly for ladies only! It’s a night to get out, enjoy fellowship with other women, learn, and have fun. Next week’s theme is Health & Wellness! The evening will begin with a personal testimony and challenge by Katie Gerdt (I’ve shared a few of her devotionals on my blog before). Then we’ll have a break with healthful snacks. And we’ll conclude the evening with a panel discussion (yes, you can submit questions). They’ve asked me to sit on the panel as the “Fitness” side of things. I am humbled by this opportunity and very excited to share what the Lord has taught me in my journey over the past few years. Other panelists, Lord-willing, will be a Registered Dietician, a Healthy Mom with young kids, a Healthy Mom with teens (who happens to have a Bachelors in Physical Education), and maybe a woman who is in a later stage of life who has learned to cope with various physical challenges.

Here’s a list of resources I submitted to the event coordinator. I hope you find them helpful:

The Holy Bible, first and foremost resource for EVERY aspect of life, including health and fitness.
  • The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health, by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and Thomas M. Campbell II.
  • Food, Fitness, and Faith for Women: A 21 Day Journey to a New You, by Freeman-Smith.
  • Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Johanna Burani, M.S., R.D., C.S.E.
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan.
  • Organizing Your Private World, by George MacDonald.
  • Reasonably Thin: The Spiritual Aspects of Over and Undereating, by Jesse Dillinger.
  • Will Medicine Stop the Pain? by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dr. Laura Hendrickson.
  • Women’s Health Total Fitness 2010 (there’s one for each year, they also have one for Men’s Health).
  • Yoga Daily Exercises: A 7-day Program to Harmonize the Body and Soul, published by Parragon Books Ltd.
  • Betty Crocker’s Healthy New Choices.
  • Simply Organic: A Cookbook for Sustainable, Seasonal, and Local Ingredients, by Jesse Ziff Cool.
Blogs by HBC Ladies:
Other Blogs/Websites:
  • Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine
  • Fitness Magazine
  • GO Magazine – available for free in several coffee shops downtown
  • Natural Awakenings – available for free in many grocery stores
  • Prevention Magazine
  • Self Magazine
  • Shape magazine
  • Women’s Health (Men’s Health also available)
  • Yoga Journal
  • 50 Ways to Work Out on the Ball, by Elizabeth Gillies – deck of 50 cards
  • free weights (5#, 10#, 15#) or bands (light, medium, heavy) for resistance training
  • jump rope
  • kettlebell
  • Pilates Box, by Antje Korte & Barbara Marckhgott – 40 exercise cards + book with training programs
  • Pilates with Workout Circle DVD (comes with workout circle and book), by Dina Matty & Keft Burdell
  • tennis shoes – save up and spend the money – I like New Balance
  • The Biggest Loser Workout DVDs: Cardio MaxWeight Loss YogaBoot Camp, etc.
  • workout/yoga mat
  • workout ball
Obviously, I don’t endorse everything from any one resource (except the Bible), but these are some things that have been helpful in my journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
Hope to see you there! ~Melissa