Hello church! We post these Sunday recaps to highlight the awesome things God did each Sunday at TCC. In case you weren’t here, or even if you were, here’s a highlight of our Sunday services and programs.
During February Break, our team of 21 high school students and leaders served in San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala. Trips like these are full of a thousand moments of joy, shock, inspiration and humility. During and after the trip, each team member took time to reflect on what we had experienced together. These “Stories From Guatemala” are rich with emotion and discovery. Below you can access three of the testimonies we shared with our church family on Sunday.
We kicked off our wheelchair collection week and are already amazed by the number of donations received. Read more about Wheels for the World here. You can drop off wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches this week between 9a-2:30p, or bring them to church next Sunday!
Everyone struggles with some habits we would like to change. For this to happen you need to start with the keystone habit. Charles Duhigg defines a keystone habit as follows: “a keystone habit leads to the development of multiple good habits. They start off a chain-effect in your life that produces a number of positive outcomes.” For Mr. Duhigg it was all about that cookie. For king Solomon, the keystone habit was the pursuit of wisdom. By any measure, he started very well with this. He put some powerful wisdom on paper (the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Songs and perhaps even Ecclesiastes). The account of Solomon’s life in Chronicles (2 Chronicles 9:1-31) is a witness that as God’s appointed king in Israel, he received tremendous blessings due the “wisdom which God had put into his mind [heart]” (2 Chronicles 9:23;).
However, somewhere along the way, Solomon got all mixed up in his keystone habit. The other account of his life (duly noted in 2 Chronicles 9:29) speaks of his keystone habit when he “was old” (1 Kings 11:4). Instead of hoarding wisdom, he hoarded stuff. A lot of it. The sad irony is the very source of wisdom for his life, God’s Law, clearly states a king in Israel should never do three things: hoard gold, horses and have many wives (Deuteronomy 17:16-17), the very things Solomon ended up doing. The Bible characterizes Solomon’s habit/addiction this way: “he clung to [his wives] in love” (1 kings 11:2). The word “clinging” is the same word that defines the God-ordained definition of marriage between a man and a woman in Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast [=cling] to his wife, and they become one.” So the man who writes about the blessing of the exclusive love that binds a man and a woman in marriage (read the Song of Songs in the Bible), gets his signal thoroughly mixed up at the end his life (see also Nehemiah 13:26).
Why? He lost touch with wisdom. He abandoned his keystone habit. The instruction to the king in Deuteronomy 17 also says that as king under God’s Law, he should not only read out of the law “all the days of his life” but he should also “write” a copy of the law for himself (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). In Proverbs 2:10, the promise is clear: “For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” In the end Solomon pursued success instead of wisdom. He took the success that came from wisdom and made that his passion, rather than wisdom itself. He traded a good habit for a bad habit. His changed the keystone habit of his heart.
The apostle Paul tells us the wisdom of the Old Testament serves for us as a warning (1 Corinthians 10). What the example of Solomon tells us is, ‘pay attention to the keystone habit of your heart and don’t ever get all enamored with success if it comes to you. Instead, continue to pursue the very One who has given you success in the first place.
2 Timothy 2:22 shows us the way change our keystone habits: “flee youthful passions.” Instead, “pursue:”
Admiral William McRaven in an address gone viral, has his own take on keystone habits:
“If you wanna change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task… and another… and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. If, by chance, you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that’s made, that you made. And that bed will be an encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
Focus on the keystone habit, the habit of the heart: pursue righteousness, pursue the wisdom that comes from God, found in His Word. So, this week and for the rest of your life: Go make your bed every morning.
2 Chronicles 6:18-21, Matthew 7:7-11
As we consider the theme of starting well and finish well, there is perhaps no better example than Solomon to define what ‘starting with a bang’ means. Solomon was afforded the amazing opportunity to receive from God whatever request he had: “Ask what I shall give you” (2 Chronicles 1:7). Solomon didn’t take long to think about it: give me “wisdom and knowledge to rule this great people!” He was way over his head, on a vertical learning curve, trying to fill the big shoes of his father, David, as the new king (2 Chronicles 1:10). Then God’s answer comes just as swiftly: “wisdom and knowledge are granted to you” (2 Chronicles 1:12). Done. It’s that simple. All Solomon had to do was ask. He was not afraid to ask the ‘big asks’ from God. He was bold before his Father in Heaven.
Boldness is also Solomon’s posture in his great prayer for forgiveness in 2 Chronicles 6:12-42. He turns the request into a promise in 2 Chronicles 6:21: ‘You indeed shall hear/listen [same word in the original] from heaven your dwelling place, you shall hear/listen, and you shall forgive.” The biggest ask, the most important prayer to God you and I can ever offer, is the request for forgiveness from Him through Jesus. All we have to do is ask and God promises to give it to us.
Jesus uses the same playbook in the Sermon on the Mount. First he puts to rest any notion that praying is reduced to a check-list of what we want God to do to make our lives comfortable. “Don’t worry about your life” Jesus says (Matthew 6:25-34). He also puts to rest the idea that our prayer life is about building monuments to ourselves (see 2 Chronicles 6:18). Instead, when we ask, seek and knock (Matthew 7:7), we are “seeking” the things of the “kingdom” and “God’s righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). But, as we ask the big asks, God will also take care of our needs, in His time and in His way (Matthew 7:9-11). This is the goodness of our Father in Heaven!
Questions for the week:
Are you ready for the big asks from your Father in Heaven? Asking and receiving (and the harder part, accepting) His forgiveness, spiritual renewal in our own life, your spouse, your children, siblings, grandchildren, friends, wisdom to fulfill your vocation, and so on. So in our journey to starting and finishing well we remember this piece of Solomonic wisdom: “All you have to do is ask.”
Each year during the seasons of Advent and Lent, we gather for midweek worship to prepare our hearts for the celebrations of Christmas and Easter. For 3 seasons now, worshippers have gathered during the evening hours at TCC to sing, pray, listen to the word, and participate in our liturgy. If you have not attended an Evensong service at TCC, we encourage you to attend and discover how this midweek worship service can deepen your faith.
From it’s inception in 2017, our Evensong service been about spiritual formation. Check out this video made for the inaugural service that explains how God forms us through worship.
Though every service has a “liturgy”, our Evensong service is designed for more active participation from the congregation throughout the short service. At 30 minutes long, each moment is packed with meaning as we speak and sing scripture together. We pray in unison a prayer of confession, prayer of illumination for the reading of God’s word, and a prayer of thanksgiving at the close of the service. These repeated prayers offer God a chance to work humility, teachability, and gratitude into our hearts. For many at TCC, this service might feel different than what we are used to on a Sunday morning, but those that have attended have felt their hearts enriched by the posture of praise at Evensong. Music accompanies most of the spoken and sung liturgy, and there is a short devotional message from a pastor as well.
Join us! Wednesdays, March 6th and April 3rd, 6:30-7pm.
March 6 – April 10
Isaiah is the architect of redemption: the word “gospel” comes from him. The storyline of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John culminates with the passion of Christ, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. Paul’s articulation of the gospel in Romans draws the development of his argument from Isaiah: God’s Righteousness, our sinfulness, our justification and sanctification in Christ, inclusion of the nations. Isaiah sees a “the new heaven and new earth” of Revelation. In Six Weeks we will provide a sweeping overview from about 30,000 feet of how Isaiah makes his argument that it is no use to trust in our own power for deliverance. Deliverance comes from the Lord. Indeed, Isaiah’s own name bears witness to the theme of the book: The Lord is salvation and His name is Jesus (transliteration of salvation in Hebrew).
Join us for these six Wednesdays: March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10
Note that our Lenten Evensong service will happen from 6:30-7p on March 6 and April 3. Men in this study are invited to come at 6:30 on those dates for a brief worship service before the study.