Introducing “Unspeakable Joy”

This Sunday will mark the beginning of our Christmas celebration at TSF for 2016 with the program called “Unspeakable Joy.”  The next three Sunday mornings will essentially be three parts of one program. The outline of it is available above — click upon where it says “About Unspeakable Joy.”

With the news that dominates the media right now, I think we could use some eternal perspective and a good dose of the joy that is central to the Christmas message.

Christmas Eve will take the twist of speaking about the application of this joyous message, as we talk and act on the theme of “sharing the joy.”  A part of the service will be preparing gifts to be taken after the service to several needy families. We will be receiving special collections throughout December toward this project, so please consider a few dollars toward it. Perhaps giving toward it could be a family project you might like to undertake.

Beginning on Monday, there will the first of two weeks, or 10 days, of devotionals to go along with this seasonal theme. Randy will be writing these while Chris is doing some preliminary planning on winter and spring series topics.

Chris will speak on the Sunday after Christmas; Randy on the Sunday after New Year’s — these will be individual, stand-alone topics. There will be no second hour classes those two Sundays.

On January 10th, we will begin a seven-week series on 1st Peter. The last Sunday in February will feature a children’s musical. And then in March we will have a series on the topic of Articulating the Gospel Message. This will include the Easter season. The 1st Peter and Gospel series will certainly include writings in this space.

As I occasionally do, I draw your attention to the growing resource that is this devotional page. This Christmas series is the 18th sermon collection upon which Chris and I have written weekday devotionals. The topics and Scripture passages covered now comprise about 30% of the Bible in 591 postings. You can use the search feature at the top right of the page to put in a Scripture passage (like book and chapter) and it will call up whatever we have written on that.

So I will see you back here on Monday for the first of our 10 Christmas writings.

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Beginning Sunday – New Sermon Series on David

This post is more advertisement than devotional, but we want you to be prepared for our next sermon series and related writings. These will be on the biblical character King David, and we are entitling it “DAVID: Wearing the Crown, Carrying the Cross.”

As a series description:

Everyone loves a good underdog story.  Tales of people whose determination confounds their doubters.  Yet we only remember the stories where the underdog turns out to be the hero.  And no one ever feels like a hero when they’re in the midst of battle.  Today’s world is one of struggle, fatigue.  You’ve traded in your childhood dreams of being the hero, and would give anything to settle for “getting by.”  Your budget is stretched, your heart is strained. 

David was the ultimate underdog.  Born the misfortunate son of a Bethlehem farmer, David would eventually rise to become King over all Israel.  But the journey to the throne would take him through a path that felt far from royalty.  And in this way, his journey points to a truer, better king, a King who would emerge from Bethlehem to ascend to the agony of the cross.  Both men—Jesus and David—remind us that sometimes the crown of glory comes only after a crown of thorns.

David is a guy we can relate to. He comes from humble beginnings, like most of us. He is a very flawed person, like most of us. But he has a profound heart for God, like most of us… like most of us?… like some of us?

With all of his commendation in Scripture and his life blessings, David lived a hard life. Though it would be through his lineage that the Savior would come, he dealt with an unbelievable array of sorrows. Circumstances were often unjustly against him, and he shot himself in the foot multiple times with his own sin nature getting the best of him.

Yep, we can relate to this guy.

And in spite of it all, he was called a man after God’s heart.

So, be with us on Sunday for the first of eight weeks of teaching, and do check in on weekdays for our total of 38 devotionals on David – reading through sections of 1st and 2nd Samuel, some of 1st Kings, and a few Psalms and other passages as well. This story is full of practical applications of timeless truth.