New Birth — Day 3

Believe It

John 3:3-5: “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.4 How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’ 5 Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.’”

Live It

We can learn several lessons from today’s text.

1. The new birth is an act of God. Being born again is an act of God he operates in us as we submit ourselves to His will, power, and love. The greatest struggle for each of us is to reach the point where we admit that we cannot change, and we allow God to control our life.

2. The new birth brings positive results. Today’s text mentions two of those positive results. It says that we “can see” and “can enter,” both are realities you begin to experience the moment you say yes to Jesus. The Kingdom of God is not a reference only to heaven, but to a change in our lives here on earth. Our values change, as do our attitudes and desires.  But nothing good happens until a person is born again. That’s why the new birth is so important.

3. The new birth cannot be faked. A woman cannot be “half pregnant” or “almost pregnant.” You either are or you are not. So it is with the new birth—you can’t have it half-way. Either God is in control, or He has no control. I once heard a pastor say, “If God is your copilot, you’re in the wrong seat.” When God does His transforming work, it’s permanent and visible to others, especially those close to you.

Share It

• Turn your life over to God and give Him complete control.

• Make a special effort today to treat your family well.

My Prayer Today: My spiritual life.

– Ask God to help you pray every day, study His Word, and share it with others.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Grace — Day 2

Believe It

Ephesians 2:8: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

1. Grace is a marvelous gift. We don’t deserve it, we can’t earn it, and God gives it to us for free. Grace is the greatest difference between Christianity and other religions. Something for nothing? Hard to believe, but true!

2. Good gifts are appreciated. Anyone who has ever received a gift knows that the more valuable the gift, usually the more we appreciate it. One of the ways we show our appreciation for God’s grace is through our faithfulness to Him. Our obedience does not make us worthy of grace, but it does show the value we place on the grace of Jesus.

3. Good gifts are shared. Following the same line of thinking, it’s almost impossible to get a person to stop talking about a valuable gift he or she has received. You don’t have to coax, bribe, or pressure that person to share the experience with others. Likewise, all who have experienced the grace of Jesus will share the good news often and enthusiastically.

Share It

Your assignment is to pray for the same three people you listed yesterday. Then select one of the three and reach out to them in some way, for example:

• Call or text them and pray with them.

• Write them a note, through email, Facebook, regular mail.

• Take them a CD or a magazine with positive messages.

My Prayer Today: For those who are already studying the Bible.

– Pray that they will attend the series when invited to do so.

– Pray that they will continue to study, and finish the lessons.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Power — Day 1

Believe It

Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

1. The Holy Spirit gives us power. Would you like to experience God’s power? Do you crave it? Desire it? Then seek an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Why not take some time to pray right now for the God to fill you with His Spirit?

2. His power helps us be effective witnesses. A person that has the Holy Spirit cannot remain silent. As the purpose of a car is to transport, of the hammer to pound nails, and of a cup of water to sate a person’s thirst, the Holy Spirit’s purpose in your life is to help you share Jesus with others. Who can you think of, right now, who needs Jesus?

3. Witnessing should have both local and global purposes. Jesus sent His disciples to share the good news in three regions:

• In Jerusalem – Jerusalem symbolizes those closest to you, geographically, culturally, and linguistically.

• In Judea – Judea symbolizes your acquaintances — your casual friends.

• In Samaria – Samaria symbolizes those hostile to the gospel.

Share It

Today begins the 40 Days of Prayer and Witnessing. Your first assignment is to identify three persons in your city you will reach out to for the next 40 days. These persons should be:

• One in Jerusalem – someone very close to you (a friend or relative).

• One in Judea – someone like yourself (an acquaintance).

• One in Samaria –someone radically different from you (a stranger).

Write their names here: _______________________________________________________________

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During these 40 days, we’ll pray for our local evangelism, for specific aspect of it.

My Prayer Today: For the evangelist.

– Pray for his messages, health, and for clarity of mind as he prepares the messages.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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This weekend at TAF…

We hope you can join us tomorrow.
 
Our breakfast, Bible studies and fellowship begins at 10:00am.  Our worship service will begin at 11:00am.  Matt Stockdale will conclude his Fit For Life sermon series with a sermon entitled Financially Fit.  Join us for lunch afterwards as we are having curry.  
 
Don’t forget to check-in on Facebook each week.  TAF will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank for each and every check-in this month.  
 
Roger Hernadez’s series is right around the corner.  To prepare our hearts and minds for this series, we will begin a 40 day Season of Prayer beginning Sunday, February 11.  Most of you received a book with these devotionals last week.  If you didn’t, we still have some of the books you can get tomorrow.  Each devotional will also be posted in the TAF Members FB page at 8am each day.  We are asking you to pause each morning at 8am, read the devotional and pray for the series and the daily prayer.  
 
Our church social originally scheduled for tomorrow (February 10) has been postponed until February 17 at the TAF Outreach Center from 7:00 to 9:00pm.  This will be a dessert social with games, a bake off and music.  If you want to enter the bake off, email your name and dessert to TAFBakeOff@gmail.com.
 
February is the month to apply for the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year.  If you have any questions, see the attached Friday Focus from Tri-City Christian Academy.  
 
Don’t forget to support TAF financially.  Together, we can continue to reach our community and present the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.  
 
We hope to see you tomorrow!!


This weekend at TAF…

We hope you can join us tomorrow.
 
Our breakfast, Bible studies and fellowship begins at 10:00am.  Our worship service will begin at 11:00am.  Matt Stockdale will resume his Fit For Life sermon series with a sermon entitled Physically Fit.  Join us for lunch afterwards as we are having lasagna.  
 
Don’t forget to check-in on Facebook each week.  TAF will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank for each and every check-in this month.  
 
Emilie Eglinger is going on a Mission Trip through Southern Adventist University.  Please consider helping her raise money for this trip.  You can donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/mexico-missiontrip-mountaineering.  
 
Men’s Ministry will meet tonight (Friday) at 7:00pm at the TAF Outreach Center.  
 
Our next church social will be Saturday, February 10 from 7:00 to 9:00pm at the TAF Outreach Center.  This will be a dessert social with games, a bake off and music.  If you want to participate in the bake off, email your name and dessert to TAFBakeOff@gmail.com.  
 
Don’t forget to support TAF financially.  Together, we can continue to reach our community and present the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.
 
We hope to see you tomorrow!


This weekend at TAF…

​We hope you can join us tomorrow.  

 
Our breakfast, Bible studies and fellowship begins at 10:00am.  Our worship service will begin at 11:00am.  Our guest speaker will be Walter Pintos.  Pastor Pintos is the Associate Ministerial Director of the Upper Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.  Pastor Pintos’ sermon is entitled What Is God Up To?  Join us for lunch afterwards as we are having Asian food.  After lunch, Pastor Pintos will present 3 short seminars entitled: God The Cartographer, Call Of Duty – CC2, and God Uses Verizon.  Make sure you stay for these seminars.  
 
Don’t forget to check-in on Facebook each week.  TAF will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank for each and every check-in this month.  
 
Emilie Eglinger is going on a Mission Trip next semester through Southern Adventist University.  Please consider helping her raise money to pay for this trip.  You can donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/mexico-missiontrip-mountaineering.  
 
Our next church social will be Saturday, February 10 from 7:00 to 9:00pm at the TAF Outreach Center.  This will be a dessert social with games, a bake off and music.  If you want to participate in the bake off, email your name and dessert to TAFBakeOff@gmail.com.  
 
Tithe and Offering Tax Receipts for 2017 will be available tomorrow at church.  
 
Be sure to check the church calendar for a list of events (Women’s Bible study, regular Bible Study, men’s basketball, socials, etc.) throughout the week.
 
We will be providing the evening meal at the Open Door Ministries shelter in High Point Saturday night.  If you are able to help, please see Roy Foster.  
 
Don’t forget to support TAF financially.  Together, we can continue to reach our community and present the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.  
 
We hope to see you tomorrow!!  


This weekend at TAF…

We hope you can join us tomorrow.
 
Our breakfast, Bible studies and fellowship begins at 10:00am.  Our worship service will begin at 11:00am.  Matt Stockdale will continue his Fit For Life sermon series.  This week’s sermon is entitled Emotionally Fit.  Join us for lunch afterwards as we are having soup and sandwiches.  
 
Don’t forget to check-in on Facebook each week.  TAF will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank for each and every check-in this month.  
 
Our next church social will be Saturday, February 10 from 7:00 to 9:00pm at the TAF Outreach Center.  This will be a dessert social with games, a bake off and music.  If you want to participate in the bake off, email your name and dessert to TAFBakeOff@gmail.com.  
 
A Women’s Bible study has started on Monday nights from 7:30 to 9:00pm.  They are meeting at Mary Wilcox’s home (5949 Stigall Road, Kernersville, NC) and are using the book She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst.  
 
A GriefShare group starts at the TAF Outreach Center tomorrow and each Saturday afternoon (2:30 to 4:00pm) for thirteen weeks.  This is a free course that is open to the public.  
 
Men’s Ministry is starting soon at TAF.  A group will be attending the Triad Men’s Summit featuring Dr. Tony Evans at First Christian Church in Kernersville on January 20 from 9:15am to 2:30pm.  This event costs $20 and lunch is provided.  Men are free to participate in our group even if you aren’t able to attend this Summit.  If you have any questions, contact Bill Shaw at 336-613-2015 or billshaw10@gmail.com.  
 
Don’t forget to support TAF financially.  Together, we can continue to reach our community and present the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.  
 
We hope to see you tomorrow!!


I hate Ty Gibson

by Roger Hernandez
 
See the source image

Actually I used to. Not hate, hate. Just no interest in…

You are probably wondering why that is. Is it because his good looks? His sharp wit or his inspirational quotes on twitter? Why do you hate Ty Gibson? Aren’t you like a pastor or something?

Let me share a story. Several years ago I met Ty Gibson for the first time. All I knew about him is what other people said about him.
 
*He leads an “independent ministry”. (that was used pejoratively)
*He does not support the work.
*We have some concerns about him.
 
Then we had a meal together. We sat around a table and started a conversation. That day I also met the Rosario brothers who were involved with GYC en Espanol. I knew no one in those circles either. Hispanic churches (as many ethnic churches) are usually on their own vibe without much interaction with the wider Adventist body.
 
A strange thing happened. The longer the conversation went on I found myself saying: “these guys are not crazy at all. In fact they are normal people!”
 
Fast forward several years. Ty has become a good friend. I have grown from suspicion to tolerance to acceptance to connection. How does that happen? Here are some lessons learned:
 
1. Let’s not pretend.
We are a fragmented body. There are websites and battle lines drawn. There are allegiances and dismissive comments. Attacks and dismissal of the “other”. The first step is not to play nice but to be loving. That includes realizing that you are not the sole possessor of ultimate truth in every single item. What we have now is the belief that being together is the same as unity. I made a decision to get to know Ty. Warning: it usually gets worst before it gets better, but it’s worth it.
 
2. Let’s get to know people, not caricatures of people.
Are you GYC or the TOP? For or against WO? Drums or organ? Vegan or super vegan? The list is interminable. For example here is a comment of a pastor I know. “Only in the crazy, wonderfully wacky world of Adventism can a Pro-life, 2nd amendment supporter republican be called a liberal because he preaches from the NIV.” So true. I am so happy to be friends with people who are not like me. That has given me a deeper perspective on life. If I have a God that always agrees with my positions what I really have is a God made in my image. That’s called idolatry.
 
3. You can have your preferences, but love trumps all.
I have a family member who loves Trump. In his mind Trump has brought prayer and God back to the White House and America. The best president ever! I’m not a big fan. One thing I noticed. I have my political preferences but I love my family member more than I do the donkey or the elephant. Someone said that when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Instead of living my life constantly trying to convince people how dumb they are and hammering every position into people I want to seek a relationship. A deep relationship can change a heart with greater effectiveness.

I was just thinking the other day. What a great friendship I would have missed out on if I had never taken the time to get to know someone!

I love Ty.
 


This weekend at TAF…

We hope you can join us tomorrow.
 
Our breakfast, Bible studies and fellowship begins at 10:00am.  Our worship service will begin at 11:00am.  Matt Stockdale will begin a new sermons series called Fit For Life.  This week’s sermon is entitled Spiritually Fit.  Join us for lunch afterwards as we are having spaghetti.  
 
Don’t forget to check-in on Facebook each week.  TAF will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank for each and every check-in this month.  Last month, we provided 1057 meals to the hungry in our community through this partnership.  
 
A Women’s Bible study will begin this coming Monday (January 8).  They will be meeting at Mary Wilcox’s house (5949 Stigall Road, Kernersville, NC) from 7:30 to 9:00pm each Monday night.  They will be using the book She’s Still There (by Chrystal Evans Hurst).  You can purchase the book at Amazon.com.  If you have any questions, please contact Jill Shaw (jsvshaw@gmail.com), Autumn Davis (abd11876@yahoo.com) or Wendy Eglinger (wendyeglinger@hotmail.com).  Come out for fellowship, prayer, scripture, social support and self-reflection.  
 
A GriefShare group will be starting at the TAF Outreach Center on January 13 from 2:30 to 4:00pm.  This 13 week course will help you cope with any loss in your life.  It is free of charge and you can register at www.griefshare.org/groups/90571.  It is open to the public so feel free to invite anyone who is grieving.  
 
Men’s Ministry is starting soon at TAF.  To kick it off, a group will be attending the Triad Men’s Summit featuring Dr. Tony Evans at First Christian Church in Kernersville on January 20 from 9:15am to 2:30pm.  This event does cost $20 and lunch will be provided.  You can still participate in our Men’s Ministry program even if you can’t attend this event.  If you have any questions about this event or TAF Men’s Ministry, please contact Bill Shaw at 336-613-2015 or billshaw10@gmail.com
 
Don’t forget to support TAF financially.  Together, we can continue to reach our community and present the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.  
 
We hope to see you tomorrow!!


Learning to Give Deliberately

December 31, 2017                  |                       Kaleb Eisele
 
 

Even long before Jesus began his ministry on Earth, God’s people struggled to share their blessings with each other. It was one reason why God instituted societal structures like the Year of Jubilee, a widespread reset of land ownership, wealth, and social status. In Leviticus 25:35 God says, “If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.”

 

Living near Charleston, South Carolina, I have the opportunity to regularly run into people asking for money. Growing up in church, these situations were talked about fairly regularly. What do we do when we see someone with a cardboard sign at the intersection, or when we’re approached for money at the gas station? The easiest thing at this point is just to keep your window up. Tell them you don’t carry cash. That’s what I saw modeled by many adults around me as I was growing up and, sadly, what I’ve done myself many times. I’ve ignored the less fortunate. I’ve rationalized my own selfishness by thinking “they probably don’t really need this” or “they’re probably just going to buy alcohol.” But here’s a serious question: were poor people in Jesus’ time different than they are today? I doubt it. If that’s the case, how do we take Jesus’ words in Luke 6:30? He says, “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” No qualifiers. Not “give to everyone without a drinking problem” or “give to those who have a job.” 

 

I think there’s more to this than just sharing our money, though. We are called to help people financially when they ask, that’s hard to get away from biblically even if we try. It’s God’s money, anyway, right? But beyond that we’re called to interact with people like Jesus would. Jesus didn’t just tolerate the poor, he loved them. He listened to their stories and provided for their specific needs. So what if we really don’t have any cash on us? Is there anything else we can do? Usually there is. Even something as simple as stopping to talk with someone for a while about there life can make a big difference. I’ve learned all kinds of things about people this way, and the stories of how people found themselves asking for help are pretty incredible. If you’re on your way to lunch, planning to pay with your credit card, why not invite them to eat with you? Better yet, plan ahead. Hide a $20 in that back pocket of your wallet, pray over it, and ask for God to send you someone who needs it. What are we so afraid of, anyway? The Christian way isn’t always easy. In fact, we know from history that it can be downright dangerous. But if we aren’t willing to follow Jesus’ example, what do our beliefs matter anyway?