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I AM: Wise

“Oh, the depths of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.” Romans 11: 33

Getting through this life can be tough. Many of us have big decisions before us and not sure which way to go. For others, we feel stuck in a rut and don’t know how to move forward. For others still, we feel we have tried everything by following advice, self help books, and our best efforts but we are not getting very far.

In this study, we dig into a moment in David’s life that shows the real difference it makes when we lean into God’s wisdom! We will explore practical ways to receive, know, and follow God’s wisdom that unlocks doors and moves us forward. We pray you can join us!

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I AM: Sovereign

When it comes to the sovereignty of God, we find one of the key reasons to not only believe in God but why it’s such a comfort and a life line to lean into Him.

As Chip Ingram puts in his book, “The Real God”…

“The reason I believe in the God of the Bible and worship Him is because He is before all things, He created all things, He upholds all things, He is above all things, He knows all things, He accomplishes all things, He rules over all things, and He is in control of all things. That’s the reason I believe Him and have given my entire life to Him in faith and in trust that He is superior to all the other truth-claims in the world. He is not just another “-ism” out there to be considered. He is infinite and eternal, over all and worthy above all. I worship Him because He is sovereign.”

Join us as we explore an address given by the Apostle Paul on the “unknown God” who desires to be known to the city that was the intellection hub of His day, Athens.

tsflife.com

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I AM: Good

How do you see God? Do you see Him as good?

In the midst of the struggle and pain of this fallen world, it’s easy to get sucked into thinking that God must be uncaring, cruel, or absent. But is this a true picture of God?

In this study on God, we will look at a moment in the lives of Moses and the Israelites to see some interesting dynamics when it comes to God’s goodness. We will explore how He sees us, moves on our behalf, and is consistent in His goodness even when we are not. You may be amazed at how much you are missing His goodness in your life.

tsflife.com

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In this first of a multi-week study on God, we dive into the different perspectives people can have about God and how it can impact their relationships with Him. It’s best said in thecae quote from Chip Ingram in his book “The Real God” that Pastor Tom shares at the beginning of the message.

“What you think about God shapes your whole relationship with Him. In addition, what you think God thinks about you determines how close you will grow toward Him. Many of us have formed a picture of God from impressions we’ve picked up throughout our life. Consciously, or unconsciously, our families, teachers, friends, and churches have impacted our picture of God. Our culture consistently sends us messages about how we see God as well. All of us have been affected and can carry a distorted image of God.

If we see Him as an impulsive policeman, we’ll always be walking on eggshells. If we see Him as a vengeful judge, we’ll always feel guilty. If we see Him as an apathetic father, we will struggle with believing He loves us. If we think he’s just like us, we’ll be casual about our sin. But are those ideas accurate? What if they’re not true at all? Misperceptions about God can certainly create a barrier in your relationship with Him. And meanwhile, the friendship, love and encouragement you could be sharing with your Heavenly Father are never realized – all because of wrong assumptions about Him.”

Join this study in Job as we explore what your perspective is on God, how He sees you, how He shows His love, and what it means to your life.

Then consider joining us for the remainder of the study on who God is as we continue the series; “I AM”.

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Disrespectful Leaders

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A friend of mine put on Facebook….

“Where do ” leaders” in the church find it in the Bible to be disrespectful to anyone? I am tired of supposed “leaders” posting disrespectful videos, memes, etc. We are to love everyone and pray for our leaders whether you like them or not! Please stop! You are not sharing the love of Christ but giving people a reason to call you a hypocrite. Tough words I know but true!”

On her thread, some have already started the “sorry, but the Word is confrontational” defenses. Some have already started busting out how Jesus called out the Pharisees and religious leaders.

I want to add the missing thought that brings balance to the two. Jesus was confrontational…. to hypocritical religious leaders who claimed to represent God but where living in sin without love.

When it comes to the world, he still confronted sin but not with Facebook rants, critical words, or dropping the mic on people. He never negated the truth but always in love. Some who use the “Bible confronts” defense need to take a breath and take an inner look. Is the Spirit in it?

We can sometimes feel like we are the martyrs when we are actually the abuser.

I love this verse…. It’s at my desk at the office to help me process.

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” I Timothy 1:5

Before you open your mouth…..

– is the truth being presented from a PURE heart (or is there anger or defense in your heart?

– is the truth coming in a way that you have a CLEAN conscience; not where you’re trying to make everone happy but it truly is at peace before God and his heart for the person or people you are addressing?

– Is it coming from a SINCERE faith or from a personal place of wanting to be right?

Might help some… might anger others… but I it’s my feeble attempt to stay in 100% love/ 100% truth.

Pastor Tom Hypes
tsflife.com

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As we start out 2017 together, we bring to a completion some of the things that led us to this point and start to look to where God is moving next. This is a time of celebration of what God has done, dreaming about where He is leading us, and breathing in His fresh anointing as we turn corners!

Come and lean into the church of Antioch in the book of Acts with us for a reminder of the foundation we stand on as we launch into 2017 together at The Shepherd’s Fellowship!

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control_freak

One thing you need to know about me is one of my spiritual gifts is administration. Whenever I am in a discussion with a decision to be made, I find I am not thinking about the repercussions of the difference choices. I am thinking of the repercussions of the repercussions of the repercussions of the different choices. This can be a great benefit to any ministry.

It also can have it’s downsides. If it’s not managed well, an administrative gifted person can be controlling and micromanage others under their leadership. This certainly proved true in my life in my early years of being a pastor. I had a hard time finding the balance of releasing areas to people called to different roles and still providing oversight from a “big picture” view point as the lead pastor. I will always be learning in this area and I appreciate the people who gave me grace in those early years as well as the people who still do today when I slip up.

That said, I am thankful that today does not look like yesterday. That a better balance is at hand and I can see the beauty of it in the ministries of several people within our church family. Not everything in our church is 100% the way I would do it. It’s better that way. It all works together in harmony for the larger vision I am charged with and it is what God has raised up within the blending of personalities and gifts.

So, I have to say, it does throw me when once or twice a year, someone who is upset says that I’m controlling. I always take alligations to our elders and review it with them to see if I’m off base but for the most part, we don’t find that we can confirm their accusation. I find often times that when someone is now saying I am controlling, they are actually saying something slightly different.

It is usually stemming from me leading as the pastor of the church. That’s all. They are upset about something or disagree with something and instead of talking it through, it’s easier to label me as a control freak when I was simply working with other leaders in our church to …. well, lead.

Why do I bring this up? It’s because I have a huge heart for people who have been hurt by church before. I have been in that boat and I know what it’s like to have a pastor or church who is off base treat you badly and crush your heart.

However, I also know sometimes what we call church hurt is not 100% the fault of the church or the pastor. Sometimes, we don’t want to submit to the leadership of a church so we make it about them instead of our heart issue. Not all the time but sometimes. It would do us well to really examine our own hearts before we pick up stones or build up walls.

It is important for pastors and other church leaders to be confident but not cocky. They can be damaging for sure. However, this is true for any of us.

As Peter shares with us in I Peter 5: 1-14…

“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Blessings,

Pastor Tom
tsflife.com

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