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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Opens Doors

Right at a year after decided to go Out On Faith and trust in God’s plan for my life He has opened so many doors. A dream of mine from my youth came true this weekend as I was blessed with the opportunity to teach God’s Word to a group of ladies at Green County church of Christ in Greensburg, KY.

Me speaking at Green Co.In the past year, God has opened doors for me to speak to ladies from surrounding congregations, to grow in my knowledge of Him and in my speaking experience. I feel so blessed by Him and thankful that I have been given the chance to grow in my walk and to teach others along the way.

This weekend the Ladies Day theme was Mary’s Heart, Martha’s Hands. It was a look at how we can learn to serve like Martha without the distraction and to find devotion like Mary. I pray the ladies who were present were able to be as encouraged by the lessons as I was by their presence and uplifting words.

Two wonderful women from Three Forks church of Christ were able to join me on this trip and I was so blessed to have them share in this memory. It is always a pleasure to share fellowship time with my sisters and friends in Christ.

I am looking forward to any doors God feels right to open in my life in the future!  Here am I, Lord send me!

Tiffany

SHINE 2014

10419039_10152263829022736_293315061990335390_nOnce again the third Saturday in August has come and gone. After a year of planning, waiting, and overall excitement, SHINE has come and gone. Once again it was a wonderful, uplifting, encouraging, beautiful day!

SHINE, the annual Three Forks church of Christ youth rally celebrated 10 amazing years on Saturday, August 16th. The memories of all the past days came out as 265 people came together to sing, pray, learn and worship our God and Father.

This marked our 8th year celebrating Jesus with Three Forks and each year we wonder

Early Morning, setting up the last pieces before registration begins!

Early Morning, setting up the last pieces before registration begins!

how we will be able to “top” the last but one thing is certain, we are certainly a blessed church family. The talents and abilities brought out by each person is remarkable. There are so many people working so many pieces of the puzzle, we would not be able to do what we do without each one of these individuals.

I am thankful for the memories. Thankful for the lesson, the support for 10407927_719345258103120_3056824328700033254_nother congregation and the community. I am thankful that God has blessed us with 10 years of beautiful weather. I do not know what the future holds but I know I am excited for SHINE 2015 already! I hope you will join us!

In Him,

Tiffany

 

Out On Faith

This year seems to have been all about stepping out in FAITH!  Faith in all areas in our Lord. Trusting Him to catch us if we fall. Faith that led us to step out and begin homeschooling our three kids. Faith to branch out in how I teach my Sunday school class at Three Forks.  Faith to make a new commitment in our Women of Worth ladies program.  Faith has always been such a big part of our lives.  Now it is leading me once more.  I am about to leap off a big cliff, all the while praying, “Lord let me fall where you need me.”  “Here am I, send me.”  Isaiah 6:8

No one is a big fan of stepping outside their comfort zone. keep-calm-and-take-a-leap-of-faith-6The fear of rejection and pain is too much. The dread of the “what if….”.  The horrible worry of failing keeps many, including myself, from beginning, from taking the step.  We fail before we ever start.

Not anymore!  A desire of mine for many, many years has been to be a ladies day speaker. I have been so wonderfully influenced by speakers I have heard through my life, I wanted to do that. I wanted to have the strength and ability to share my faith with others the way those brave women stood in front of crowds of women and shared theirs.

For over 10 years I have been a teacher at church. Even in my early teens at our small congregation I had to step up and teach the younger children simply because there was no one else to fill that role.  (Congregation size was about 20 on Sunday mornings, 5 of which were my family.)  I have taught all ages and have taught our women’s bible studies each month for many years.  Each time I prepare and give a lesson, I strive to be better.  I try to teach it as well as I can and improve on past flaws.  I seek constructive criticism, I want to grow.  I cherish the experience each class, each lesson, each opportunity has given me to grow closer to God and share His word with others in the process.

I worry, maybe I am not the right person. No one would really care what I have to say, would they?  What if I can’t control my nerves?  What if I turn out to not be cut out for it?  What if I fail miserably and embarrass myself, and worse yet, what if I fail my Lord?  I, I, I, me, me, me!  There is the problem!!! It isn’t about me, never has been, never will be!  It is about The God of Heaven who gave up everything to come here and die! IT IS About JESUS!

Every focus of our family is about Him.  Living for Him, raising our children to learn of Him.  What kind of example am I setting if I am not placing my trust fully in His help and His strength to keep me on my feet.  He is the help I need!

“Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 124:8

He is where our strength comes from.  Phil. 4:13.  So I am going to take that leap.  I can’t see the bottom, don’t know where I will land, but I know who is there Faithfully to catch me and He never fails!  He will never drop me!  I am putting my name out there saying, yes, I will be a ladies day speaker if anyone would be interested in hearing what I have to say.  I will have faith in my Lord and trust His hand to lead me where He may.  I will continue to pray for His help and guidance every day and hope I am leading my children by example.

leapoffaith

Faithfully,
Tiffany

Cupcakes & Friends

It is time once again for my Faithfully Fun Friday post on Nanahood.com. Please be sure and check it out! Today I am focused on my dear friend Janet who is a breast cancer survivor and example to so many!  (Here we are at church recently! Me on the left & Mrs. Jant on the right!)

There is also the last giveaway for Think Pink Month!  Be sure to check it out for your chance to win the Cupcake For A Cure Pin!  Hope to see you there!!

 

Happy Friday,

Tiffany

I’m Back

Whew, has it been a long few weeks since my last post. There has been so much going on I still am not recovered, but I am trying to get back into normal routines again.  There has been a whirlwind of activity.  We have moved, had our annual youth rally at Three Forks (our largest yet with 324 in attendance) had a birthday party for a certain 3 year old, Nick has had a couple of guest speaking

engagements, kids have had doctors appointments like crazy it seems, school is back in session….. the list goes on and on!  But busy as it has been I love it.

We are settling in nicely in our new home, loving all the new space, but will be really glad to finally get all of our belongings unboxed and a home found for them.  My living room is still full of boxes from our last load! Yikes, they are staring at me!!!

But even though the past few weeks have been busy, it doesn’t stop. Now we are gearing up for September! I am preparing to take my Faithfully Fun ribbons to the Southern Kentucky Kids Expo.  I am taking shirt orders and registrations for our Ladies Day coming up at the end of the month and helping to plan and make sure all of it is set up and ready to go.  Hoping it will be another great event, I am really looking forward to a day spent with so many Christian sisters!

But I just wanted to take a few minutes and let everyone know I was still here, I had not vanished. Although if these last two pictures are any indication things around here have been kind of crazy.  Their eyes reflect how I feel lol!!  I hope you all have a blessed day!

(Isn’t it fun to get your eyes dialated!)

The Wait is Over!

Whew, it has been a long summer. A summer where things haven’t gone the way we thought they would, a time of testing of our patience, a time of excitement and disappointment. We have stressed and waited,  but we can finally make the announcement, We are buying a house!!!!!   I can’t believe it is finally here.  After months of trouble and stuggles.  After delay after delay, bad news followed by worse news, and many tears and prayers we will finally get to close on our new house tomorrow.  We will finally after being here at Three Forks for almost 5 years be able to put down true roots in the Three Forks area!
Our New House

This summer has been one of the longest ever.  We have been working toward this for months. We have put off plans waiting for decisions to be made, waiting on someone else all summer, all different aspects of this process but we are so relieved to have it finally come to an end.  Our children are so excited to be moving and can’t wait to get their own rooms. My husband can’t wait to get his garage!  And me, well there are so many aspects of it I can’t wait to get!

All summer I have been looking at pictures of the differnt rooms and imaging our things in them.  I have been pinning so many decor and craft ideas to Pinterest that I can’t wait to put into place to truly make it home.  It is going to be so much work, but in the end it will be so rewarding to once again own a place of our own.  To have our house!

This will lead to many future posts. Posts concerning our move. Posts of our made-over furniture.  Posts for the room redos I can’t wait to tackle.  I hope you will follow my blog and share in our journey!

We are so thankful to God for helping us through this whole process.  We hope to be good stewards of all the blessings he has bestowed on us.   We thank our family and friends for praying for us and helping us through this long process.  We thank our Three Forks family for all the help and support they have offered to us.

Dear Lord, we ask you to help us with our move, help us continue on in our lives, help us always remember, no matter where we call home, that…  ” as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

In Him Always,
Tiffany

Run Your Race With… part 3

#3  Run With Purpose

We must run with purpose.  We must run toward something, have a goal, something we are striving to reach, to obtain.  In real life, in running, we may strive to run for 5 more minutes, to reach that next mailbox, to be 1 minute faster than before, to finish.
“You may have heard the story of John Stephen Akhwari, the marathon runner from Tanzania who finished last at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. No last-place finisher in a marathon ever finished quite so last. Injured along the way, he hobbled into the stadium with his leg bloodied and bandaged. It was more than an hour after the rest of the runners had completed the race. Only a few spectators were left in the stands when Akhwari finally crossed the finish line.  When asked why he continued to run despite the pain, Akhwari replied, “My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me here to finish.”
http://odb.org/2003/04/29/keep-running/

That is how we grow, how we get stronger, we have a purpose and we try our hardest to reach it, to run toward it, we strive to finish no matter what!   Spiritually we have a purpose too!

Romans 8:28-30 Our purpose is His purpose, it is to be conformed into the image of the Son of God.

We must run with that purpose, to spend each day trying to be even closer to that image.

The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him.”   (Joseph Stowell,Fan The Flame, Moody, 1986, p. 32.   http://www.thegracetabernacle.org/quotes/Perseverance-Exemplified.htm)


We want to run in such a way our light never goes out.  That we keep His light shining our whole lives and we keep l
iving each day reaching for the ultimate goal of spending eternity with Him. We must run to win.  We can’t run half way, we can’t be lukewarm.  We can’t live the way we want, life for self and try to have a little church on the side, but fully!

1 Cor. 9:24 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. “

In running or any sport, do you go out expecting to lose? Do you go out knowing you are not going to give your all?  No we always go out to win!

We must run with purpose, not with uncertainty, but with discipline and in subjection to Christ.  1 Cor. 9:26-27 “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

One key to running is realizing that it is a process.  We run with a purpose, with a goal we want to obtain in our sights, but we must realize who we are, in that we are not perfect and we can’t expect to be overnight!

Phil. 3:12-14Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Paul wrote that he had not already obtained, that he wasn’t perfected.  Paul!!  This man who has seen so much, who has lived such a life as he did, knew he wasn’t there yet!  We need that attitude. Knowing we are going to press on, keep going, keep trying to reach for it, letting go of the weights, letting go of the past, not letting it keep us down.

I want to share another story with you of someone who ran with purpose!  A purpose of proving that even when everyone said he couldn’t, He knew he could!

The Legend of Cliff Young: The 61 Year Old Farmer Who
Won the World’s Toughest Race

Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It is considered among the world’s most grueling ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and is normally only attempted by world-class athletes who train specially for the event. These athletes are typically less than 30 years old and backed by large companies such as Nike.

In 1983, a man named Cliff Young showed up at the start of this race. Cliff was 61 years old and wore overalls and work boots. To everyone’s shock, Cliff wasn’t a spectator. He picked up his race number and joined the other runners.

The press and other athletes became curious and questioned Cliff. They told him, “You’re crazy, there’s no way you can finish this race.” To which he replied, “Yes I can. See, I grew up on a farm where we couldn’t afford horses or tractors, and the whole time I was growing up, whenever the storms would roll in, I’d have to go out and round up the sheep. We had 2,000 sheep on 2,000 acres. Sometimes I would have to run those sheep for two or three days. It took a long time, but I’d always catch them. I believe I can run this race.”

When the race started, the pros quickly left Cliff behind. The crowds and television audience were entertained because Cliff didn’t even run properly; he appeared to shuffle. Many even feared for the old farmer’s safety.

All of the professional athletes knew that it took about 5 days to finish the race. In order to compete, one had to run about 18 hours a day and sleep the remaining 6 hours. The thing is, Cliff Young didn’t know that!

When the morning of the second day came, everyone was in for another surprise. Not only was Cliff still in the race, he had continued jogging all night.

Eventually Cliff was asked about his tactics for the rest of the race. To everyone’s disbelief, he claimed he would run straight through to the finish without sleeping.

Cliff kept running. Each night he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young, world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record.

When Cliff was awarded the winning prize of $10,000, he said he didn’t know there was a prize and insisted that he did not enter for the money. He ended up giving all of his winnings to several other runners, an act that endeared him to all of Australia.

In the following year, Cliff entered the same race and took 7th place. Not even a displaced hip during the race stopped him.

Cliff came to prominence again in 1997, aged 76, when he attempted to raise money for homeless children by running around Australia’s border. He completed 6,520 kilometers of the 16,000-kilometer run before he had to pull out because his only crew member became ill. Cliff Young passed away in 2003 at age 81.

Today, the “Young-shuffle” has been adopted by ultra-marathon runners because it is considered more energy-efficient. At least three champions of the Sydney to Melbourne race have used the shuffle to win the race. Furthermore, during the Sydney to Melbourne race, modern competitors do not sleep. Winning the race requires runners to go all night as well as all day, just like Cliff Young.

http://www.elitefeet.com/the-legend-of-cliff-young
He had a goal and knew what he wanted to do! He wanted to prove he could finish.  He didn’t let distractions stop him.  He didn’t let other people saying he couldn’t do it stop him.  He didn’t let “you’re doing it different from everyone else” or “you will never make it if you run that way” stop him from doing what he knew would get him to his goal!  He ran a purpose and was surprised a the end to discover there was a big prize!  We know there’s a prize and must fun to obtain it!

I really enjoyed this topic and I hope you have been enjoying my notes.

Tiffany

Run Your Race With… part 2

#2  Run With Direction! 

Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

Direction is something we all want.  The unknown is scary, but God is already there and with Him directing our paths, we can rest assured we are in good hands!

He isn’t going to give us a road map that says turn left, go past the big red barn, but He does give us directions in His word for how to live. If we are living our lives according to those directions it will help us in making the right decisions for the choices in our lives that will send us down the right paths.

He has written it in such a way as to make it understandable. Hab. 2:2 “Then the Lord answered me and said:  “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.” 

God’s word and what He asks of us is not meant to hinder us and slow us down, but give us a boost!  He wants us to run our race without any weight burdening us and slowing us down.

In our key verse today Heb. 12:1  we can follow the paths of that “great cloud of witnesses”  all those in His word that have gone on before us, that have already traveled the path we are trying to follow.  We can learn from them!  Those who were mentioned in Heb 11.

The path we are taking is the narrow way,Matt. 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

This verse teaches us a very important lesson!  We have to look for the narrow path in order to find it! We need those directions from God, we can’t just hope to get there.  We must be ready to find it!

God our Father wants us to find it! Prov. 4:11-15 “I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on.

Prov. 4:18  “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”

The way of God will not lead us into darkness, only into light!  Does that mean bad things will not happen to us, unfortunately no, we live in a cursed world.  It does mean however that if we are walking in the light we know there is a better and brighter end awaiting!

Run Your Race With…

I hope you enjoyed the notes from my first session of the youth day.  I am posting the second session notes starting today. Same idea, the lesson was focused on Hebrews 12:1-2 “run with endurance.” I looked what it takes to run successfully and the first part of the lesson was to run your race with…

#1 Endurance!

This is a hard one!  Literally! To keep going when everything seems to be too hard, when it is crashing in around you. When you are so tired and hurt that all you want to do is stop, it takes so much to keep going, to push forward!  Your body reaches a point where you wonder if you can make that next step.  Our race is a marathon, not a sprint!  And sometimes it can feel more like an obstacle course! It is the same way spiritually.  We reach points in our lives when we wonder if we can go on.  When we question whether our sins are too bad to be forgiven?  Something bad is happening in our lives and we wonder why God doesn’t take it away.  We feel defeated.

We have an ultimate example of what it means to endure, what it means to give everything you have and never stop.  Heb. 12: 1-3  “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of ourfaith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
We are to consider Him and all He endured for us when we want to give up.  To remember His sacrifice and all it cost Him when we are struggling to move forward, to understand.

Christ is our example!  But it is impossible to endure if we are weighted down with sin, doubt, distractions.  Things that will only hold us down and make us slow and unsteady on our feet.

Jesus warned against the dangers of distractions, of being deeply rooted so we would be able to endure the tribulation and persecutions in this world in His parable of the sower/soil.  Matt. 13:3-9, 18-23  If we aren’t rooted in God and have the purpose that we are going to live for Him it will be so hard to endure!  We must be like Daniel who purposed in his heart that he was going to live for God no matter what came his way.  (Daniel 1:8)

We must be careful not to let things of this world distract us and get us off course.  We must remember though we are in this world it is temporary, with all its problems and distractions and we must try not to get tangled up in them.
2 Timothy 2:3-4  “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 

David tells us to keep going til the end!  He wasn’t going to give up because life wasn’t going his way, wasn’t easy, there were giants in his way!
Psalm 119:32-33  “I will run the course of Your commandments,For You shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.”

We must remember we are not perfect.  We are not going to run perfectly. We are going to stumble and fall at times, but we must get up.  We must keep going for Him!  We must press on!
Phil. 3:12 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”

The key to enduring what ever this life throws at us and keep living for Christ… Love!

1 Cor. 13:4-7 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

We can endure all thinks with Love for God and knowing His great love for us!

Hope you enjoyed the first part of this lesson! Watch out the next few days for the remainder of it!

In Him,
Tiffany