What You Missed

If you were not able to be at Three Forks church of Christ in Smiths Grove, Kentucky this morning you really missed something special. There were so many blessings packed into one morning that we shared as a family.

We started our worship at 9:00am with Bible study for all ages, nursery through adult, where we opened our Bible’s and dug a little deeper into God’s word. The adult class was blessed to hear about the mission work in Athens, Greece and how the school of preaching is making a difference in the lives of those from many nations.

When our worship continued after the Bible study hour, we were blessed with a change to our normal schedule to services with a young man who had decided to come forward and be baptized into Christ. This young man was a great example of faith to all of us as we witnessed obedience from the heart and celebrated with the angels in heaven!


 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued to a beautiful song service where we raised our voices and joined our hearts in praise and honor of our Lord and Creator. We offered prayers
together for those on our hearts and for the services we were joined in together.

 

 

One of our elders then stood to say a few words and read a scripture from God’s word as he presented a new sister in Christ (who was baptized this past Monday night) a personalized Bible. This tradition shows our dedication as a family to be there for her as she begins her new life in Christ. This month we have been blessed to see the family of God grow as three souls put on Christ in baptism and had their sins washed away by the perfect blood of Christ.

 

 

After a few more songs, we enjoyed hearing a portion of God’s word read as we focused our minds on what we were about to partake in. We joined in the New Testament command of breaking bread in remembrance of the sacrifice God made on the cross for our sins. We joined Him around the table to remember the body and blood of Christ and to proclaim to our common belief in Him. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” 1 Cor. 11:26. This moment allows us to share together and to teach one another about His sacrifice for the world.

 


 

 

We were blessed this morning to hear a message from God’s word taught by the teacher and missionary from Athens. During his message, he reminded our new brother in Christ, and all the brethren there at Three Forks that the family is much bigger than what our building holds. We have family that spans the globe and the ages. He reminded us all just what it means to be joined into God’s family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the close of our services our other elder came forward to make announcements. Before the congregation, he made the official appointment of our newest deacon. This man then came forward to close us in prayer and made a moving speech about the genuineness of the love and faith of the members there at Three Forks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To close out our morning we held a surprise birthday party for one of lovely ladies who will be celebrating her 95th birthday very soon. Her family was all able to join us for the event and she was surrounded by so much love and support.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight we will all gather back in that same building and hold our regular 5th Sunday singing service and afterwards will enjoy a snack in the fellowship building. It will be the close to such a blessed first day of the week.

I wanted to share this with everyone. To offer a small glimpse of what Three Forks has going on right now and to share the blessing of this amazing family. I want to invite you to come out and join us, visit with us, and see firsthand what it is like when we gather and just like the church which is described in the New Testament as we continue “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)

I can’t promise you there will always be cake, but I can promise you love, friendship, and the bread of life.

We’re part of the family, that’s been born again; Part of the family whose love knows no end; For Jesus has saved us and made us His own, Now we’re part of the family that’s on its way home.” (God’s Family, by Lanny Wolfe)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I Love Snow

Yes, snow. I love it. The cold, frozen precipitation that has fallen around our house Psalm 517all day. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I do not like to drive in it, or even to be out playing in it as I did as a child. It’s just too cold for me anymore. I love it though. It isn’t even because of the joy it brings my own children or the yumminess of fresh snow cream. No, the reason I love snow goes deeper than any of that.

As I watch the snow fall through the partially frozen window pane I feel peaceful. This peace doesn’t come from the snow itself, but from something deeper. This peace comes from the truth I know of the cross of Christ. This snow which blankets everything else: the dirt and mud, the dead plants of winter, the half-finished projects, the cracks, the scars. This snow reminds me of how the blood that was shed on that cross so many years ago covers all the ugliness of me.

Isaiah118The blood of Christ blankets me. It covers all my sins, my selfishness, my jealousies, my pride, all my imperfections that I can’t hide from the world around me.

Just as the snow outside makes everything so peaceful and still, the love of Christ brings peace and stillness to my soul.

While I can stay wrapped up inside my house and enjoy the beauty around me, I can stay safe wrapped up in Christ knowing that I am safe. His love keeps me. His love sustains me. His love covers me like nothing else.

Yes, I love snow because it is the amazing reminder that Christ cleanses me. He takes the dirty mess of my life and washes it whiter than the snow that is falling around me.

May you all find peace in the snow, but greater still may you find the true peace in Christ.

Tiffany

FOUND

I am so excited today! Something I have wanted for most of my life has become a reality, hopefully the first of many. My first short novel is for sale starting today on Amazon!

Amazon Found Cover

Click the photo above to order through Amazon.

If you remember back a few months ago, my kids and I decided to take the NaNoWriMo challenge.  This book was what I finished for that month, over 50,000 words in 30 days.

In just a few more days it will be available for Kindle readers as well.

I am so thankful for all the opportunities that God has blessed me with and look forward to what ever He may have in store for my future.

As for Found, it is a young adult/juvenile  fantasy adventure story of a young woman finding that she is more special than she ever imagined possible.

Being left all alone in the world, no family and few friends, young Shiori finds a book with a mysterious past that leads her on a dangerous adventure around the world. She becomes the target of people who would see her destroyed and must find out her past and her path, while deciding who to trust along the way.

I take great pride in the fact that while we live in a world where more and more things are becoming inappropriate for children, this is a safe read containing no inappropriate language or scenes. It does, however, contain magic and use of powers, it is a fantasy novel after all.

I hope you will support my dream! When you read it, let me know what you think!

I am currently working on a women’s study book on strengthening your spiritual life and excited to do another NaNoWriMo fun novel this November!

Thanks and God bless,

Tiffany

Take God Off Your To-Do List

In this busy world most of us would be lost without our planners, calendars, to-do lists, journals, and whatever else we use to keep every moment of our lives planned and not falling apart. I have tried so many methods and I am sure others have to in our attempts to keep it all together.

The problem with our busy lives is thinking that our spiritual life, our relationship with God is something to be put in one of our boxes. Something to be checked off a to-do list on Sunday’s, and maybe if we have the time, Wednesdays. We keep everything separated: work, family, hobbies, finances and even God gets His own category.

God doesn’t want, and by no means deserves, to be a category in our lives! He needs to be the glue that keeps the whole life together. He needs to be so deeply within us that every area of our life is permeated with Him! He deserves to be part of everything we do and in every aspect of who we are!

listWhile listening to one of my counseling course lectures tonight, I heard a line that really caught my attention, It was something to the effect of, “Take God off your list and into your life.” That is so true! We need to not have God on our checklist for the day or week, but to make sure we are checking with Him in everything.

He should be the One telling us about how our families should function; He created them. He should be directing how we act when we go to work, go to school, are with our friends; He created us. He should be the One we turn to when we are feeling lost, scared, stressed, anxious. He should be the One we celebrate with and praise when His blessings flow.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)

Yet, we try to confine Him to only certain parts of our life and wonder what happened to the abundant promise.

2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,”

Do we believe it?

Take God off your list and let Him into all parts of your life!

If you would like to know more or wish to study about how to let God fully into your life, obey His Word and know what it means to live your life for me please contact me, I would be happy to study and share the love of My Savior with you!

Small Acts of Encouragement

WP_20150321_002This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to speak at my first ladies retreat. I felt so blessed to be a part of the event and the ladies of the Lehman Ave. church of Christ (Bowling Green, KY) made me feel so welcomed.

I delivered three lessons over the course of Friday and Saturday, which was another first for me, that many lessons back to back. I was nervous that I would get them scrambled or just forget and go blank but luckily none of that happened.

The theme for the weekend was Button Up. My lessons consisted of:
Buttons As Embellishment: Showing The Beautiful Image of Christ to the World
Buttons That Function: Are We Doing The Work God Called Us To Do?
and lastly
Hot Buttons Issues: Keeping Tied To Christ When Life Leaves You Frazzled.

Speaking to a group of women that I do not fellowship with on a regular basis is challenging for me. You don’t know what kind of lessons they are used to hearing or may be expecting. You don’t know what they have been studying or what types of issues they may have been dealing with and may be desiring encouragement for. I just did my best and hoped my lessons and presentations were worthy of the gracious invitation.

I received such positive feedback and encouragement from spending time with these sisters. I so enjoyed the discussion periods after each lesson and time to sit and fellowship and build new relationships. I left Saturday evening to come home feeling so uplifted and singing all the way.

If I was even half the encouragement to the women who attended as they were to me then I feel like it was a good weekend for all. God’s word was taught, His truths were shared and I tried my best to make sure His light did Shine!

Tonight when we arrived at church, in the mailbox was a small, solitary envelope addressed to me. It was a note of thanks and encouragement from on of the dear sisters I had spent the weekend with. It put such a smile on my face and such joy to my heart that she had taken the time to send out such a token. I appreciate her words more than she may ever know.

At the conclusion of services tonight at Three Forks, on the pew in our foyer there was a WP_20150325_002small gift bag with my name on it. A gift from my secret sister. It was another reminder that someone is thinking of me and praying for me. I love this little program at church, both the giving and receiving of gifts. Knowing that someone is praying for you and encouraging you is such a wonderful feeling, and the fact that I get to anonymously do that for someone else is great!

I hope you all find small acts of encouragement that you can do this week for another. You do not know what they may be facing and that card, smile, thought, prayer, whatever it is can do wonders for their spirit. But most importantly, may that encouragement lead them one step closer to our Lord and Savior!

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,” Col. 2:2

In Him Always,

Tiffany

All Authority

I am currently taking a course over the book of Romans for my degree and part of the water-waveclass requirements are forum posts concerning certain topics followed by replies to the posts others have made. This week questions came up regarding baptism and whether it was essential. If firmly believe that it is and will be happy to share scripture as to why I hold that belief.

This morning, however I lay in bed and realized there is a bigger issue at hand when someone tries to debate baptism, or any other commandment of God for that matter: authority.

Can I put out a thought to consider. Do we really believe the great commission Jesus gave in Matt. 28:18-30? “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Jesus Himself said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” If Jesus has all authority how much does that leave for anyone else. He is the God and ruler of all, He gave His life for us and founded His church which He commands us to follow His way. It is all His and it is a matter of trusting His authority.

He told them upon the truth that He has all authority to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”  If He commanded that all nations were to be baptized who gives us the right or the authority to question it. Where is any human’s authority to say it isn’t necessary. How are we allowed to say that a person does not have to obey a direct command from our Lord, who we claim to believe has all authority to tell us what to do and how to live.

Then He finished it by saying, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;”  Is baptism a direct command from Jesus? Yes, verse 19 He directly commanded it. If we are to teach people to observe all things He has commanded, how can we say there is any exception? How can we claim any authority to say, well if they don’t do that one part it will be okay in the end with Jesus because they believed and confessed His name. If they don’t do all aren’t they breaking the command?

Consider that along with these words:

James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

and

Rev. 22:18-19 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

If we break one part of the law we are guilty of it all? And if we take away from God’s word, God will take away our part of the blessings He promised? Why would we even want to question the authority or the command of Jesus? Why is the issue of baptism even debated, Jesus commanded it, shouldn’t that be enough?

It takes me back to a very deliberate tactic used in Gen 3 where Satan made Eve question just one part of God’s command. All he added was one word and it was enough to change everything. What are we trying to change?