Monthly Archives: February 2015

WORLD OUTREACH WEEK IS HERE!

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World Outreach Week at Greentree Church

This is an exciting week filled with insightful activities that will lift and hopefully challenge your heart.

This year we are thrilled that four of our missions partners will be participating!

What is your part?

   ~ Pray for the week and its affect on our church family

   ~ Pray that it will bless and refresh our missionary partners

   ~ Attend at least one activity in addition to your normal schedule

   ~ Spend time getting to know our missionaries

Sunday, March 1st

8:30 & 10:30 am   Pastor Pat Tedeschi Preaching

Monday, March 2nd

7:00 – 9:30 pm   Movie Night featuring 2 episodes of Dispatches from the Front

“Day of Battle” (N. Africa)

“The Power of His Rising” (S. Asia)

Wednesday, March 4th

5:30 – 6:15 pm   International Meal: cuisine from around the world

6:30 – 8:00 pm   “The Greatest Story Never Told”: multi-faceted presentation on bringing God’s Word to the nations

Meet our visiting missionaries!

Thursday, March 5th

8:15 – 9:30 am  Prayer Breakfast: pray together for our Missionaries

9:30 – 11:00 am   Women’s Bible Study: featuring Margie Lawler, Jessica Perez and Jen Hu

7:00 – 9:30 pm   “Women and Islam” Dessert Night:  Margie & Randy Lawler help women understand Islamic women and how to effectively interact with them

Bring a dessert to share

Friday, March 6th

6:30 – 10:00 pm   Youth Night

Food, games, a movie and Jozef Gabor’s personal story of escape from communist Eastern Europe

Saturday, March 7th

9:00 – 12:00 am   “Understanding the Muslim Mind”

Seminar by Randy Lawler and Continental Breakfast

Sunday, March 8th

8:30 & 10:30 am  Pastor Randy Lawler:  Randy has worked in Muslim ministry since 1975

You can find out more about him at the SEE Global website

6:00 – 8:00 pm   Meet and Greet Potluck Dinner: enjoy a meal together and learn more about the Lawler’s work in London

Bring a dish to share

“SIMPLY” EXTRAORDINARY

We think that having an impact in life comes through doing something big and dramatic; something that makes a splash.

But having a significant impact – and making a difference is more often found at eye level. It is making an impact through the normal rather than the extraordinary, as this example reveals:

In September 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking one of the most unattainable records in baseball history—Lou Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive-games-played streak, which stood for fifty-six years.

Ripken was the one to finally beat it. The biggest outpouring of emotion came after the fifth inning when the game became official. The crowd didn’t stop cheering for more than twenty-two minutes! They weren’t cheering for someone who hit the most home runs of all time or had the highest career batting average or who had just thrown a perfect game.

Ripken was celebrated wildly for twenty-two minutes, not for a single athletic achievement but rather for an achievement of endurance. For fourteen straight years, playing in every single game of every single season,

Ripken simply showed up and did his job. And on that night, sports fans everywhere passionately recognized what he had accomplished.

from “The Art of Neighboring” by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

Cal Ripken Jr was amazing at being consistent in the most basic aspect of his job. He went to work every day.

It wasn’t splashy, but it did take commitment, grit and perseverance.

What difference would it make if you made a deeper commitment to being consistent?

By reading the Bible every day

By taking time to talk with God every day

By showing up at church and small group every week

By telling your spouse and children “I love you” every day

By forgiving, every time

By giving what you can every week

By taking up Christ’s agenda for you every day

By repenting of any sin that showed up every night

Big and powerful things can take place in and through our lives by taking a daily dose of consistency!

SERMON LEFTOVERS 2.23.15

“The Bride of Christ”  

Revelation 19:6-8

We continue in our series on knowing our identity in Christ

We are a people deeply loved by Christ

A bride is the picture of someone who is beloved

The day of a bride’s engagement and marriage are filled with love language

The Bible uses this picture as powerful declaration of Christ’s love for us

A bride is someone chosen to receive this love

We deeply love our children, but we don’t choose them as we do our spouse

Every believer is a gift of love from the Father to the Son 

I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me (John 17:6)

A bride is chosen for a life shared 

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world (John 17:24)

There is nothing abstract about this display of love for us

Do you see God’s love through the realities of the Cross and the Marriage of the Lamb?

We have two obstacles in appreciating how deeply we are loved

#1  We are not amazed enough that Christ would love us

We are naturally self-centered and we live in a culture of entitlement

We also have a weak sense of God’s holiness (which is His leading attribute)

It should amaze us that we who are limited, often foolish and rebellious, are so loved by the holy, transcendent and perfect God

#2  We cannot grasp the full extent of this love (Ephesians 3:17-19)

There is nothing like it in our hearts or in our earthly experience

It is like the distances between stars, or the size of an atom – the descriptions are just words

  • We need grace to comprehend this love
  • We need to meditate on it
  • We need to praise him for it

We are being made a people of beauty (Revelation 21:2)

Revelation 19 tells us this beauty is our righteousness

Righteousness is beauty, because it is true, pure and like Christ

God is not impressed with our successes, but He loves our righteousness~

  • This is what we were created to be
  • This is what we were saved to be
  • This is what matters most to God

Everything that God does in our lives is bringing us to this glorious result (Rev 21:9-11)

I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb . . having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel

We may not see this clearly in ourselves, but God sees it through the eyes of his commitment and sovereignty

God is working on our perfect character in every blessing, hardship and dry season

Our identity as the Bride of Christ declares what we are becoming

We should be people of anticipation

The picture of a bride represents a mood of joyful anticipation

We should be a joyful people, because our reasons for joy are always greater than even our valid reasons for discouragement

However, until the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, we don’t have only joy

We are in the quarry, the place to be chiseled and shaped

But the chiseling of our lives is preparing us for the marriage feast

We should be a people ever looking ahead; looking forward to when we see Jesus and are made like him

This world is not where Revelation 19 is fulfilled; this is not our place of rest

The world has many shiny things it offers, but all will eventually rust or fail

Even the eternal blessings that we begin to enjoy here, are all muted now

Mixed in everything here, is our weakness and the world’s malignancy

We have anticipation, because Revelation 19 will be accurate history

Now we look with eyes of faith, because we can trust the Triune God

Let your mind soar with anticipation

  • That is what faith does
  • That is what God deserves

We should be a people of commitment

We see the commitment Christ has to us in the promised “marriage of the Lamb”

Christ sacrificed himself so the Church could be his bride

And the Holy Spirit is ever working so we will be clothed in righteousness

What is our commitment to Christ?

In biblical times, a major feature of the wedding day, was the bride leaving her parents home for that of her husband

Are you trying to have a relationship with Christ while staying in your old life?

The Bible often describes our turning from God as adultery, because this is how it feels to him

We are the Bride of Christ; what does He deserve from you? 

The answer is easy – all that you are!

10 QUESTIONS FOR MOMS

Moms have a lot going on!

They are juggling all that must be done in their personal life along with the endless details of their children (and husbands)

How do you handle all these responsibilities and keep perspective?

What is the perspective that should lead how you handle all these responsibilities?

As Christians, we know the key to it all is keeping God at the center. This is not only His rightful place; it helps everything else take their rightful places.

The Brown Sugar Toast blog, which is worth checking out just for the name, has this excellent article for moms entitled “10 Questions for Moms in the New Year”.

The purpose of the article is to “help you guide your thinking and actions according to God’s word this year”.

Although the article has moms in the title, I think it is equally valuable for Dads

ALL ARE CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE

sufferingby Debbie Huber

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created themGenesis 1:27

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to bePsalm 139:13-16

Do some lives have more value than others because of their physical abilities or disabilities? 

Laws allow people in our country to permanently “relieve” some people of their suffering so they do not become a burden.  As Christians it is important for us to see what the Bible has to say about this.

The Bible clearly teaches that we were created by God, for God, and in the image of God. His ultimate purpose for creation was to have a personal and intimate relationship with Him.  Those who are suffering and those with disabilities are created in the image of God. All human life is sacred and valued, not because of our abilities, but because God’s image is imprinted on every soul.  This imprint will never change even if our bodies or minds deteriorate. 

People with mental and physical disabilities and those who are suffering (and their caregivers) were made for his good purposes. The power and glory of God are revealed in our weaknesses. 

Our destiny is found in our relationship with our loving Heavenly Father and we bring Him glory through the gifts He gives to us when we are faithful stewards of those gifts.  The gifts may seem small from an earthly perspective but these gifts build up the whole body of Christ in ways that we cannot always understand.  And our lives never stop fulfilling the purposes for which God created us. 

God’s word commands us to love God and to love others.  No suffering, disease, lack of intelligence or beauty should affect the love and respect for the lives of His creation – those made in His image. 

MOST POPULAR BLOGS IN 2014

My first blog post was on November 24, 2010. The title was “A Well Rooted Thanksgiving”

Since them I have published 975 articles.

I am thankful for the attention you have given this blog, whether this is your first visit or you have slogged through all 975 of them.

Well Rooted exists to encourage thoughtfulness and exaltation of God who is worthy of our being “well rooted” in him.

Along the way, Well Rooted has slowly grown in its readership. Last year the average daily readership was 415, which encourages me in the value of the time given to maintain the blog. I pray that God keeps expanding the fruitfulness of these articles.

I also post on Twitter regularly to accomplish the same purposes as the blog. If interested you can follow me there @pastorKyleHuber

In 2014 the article that appeared to grab the most overall attention surprised me. It was this article in October “My Courtroom Experience”. Immediately after publishing that article, readership rose significantly for a couple weeks.

The single highest readership day ever was on November 2nd for this article, “What Are You Buying?”. The blog almost reached 1000 readers that day.

The second highest readership day was during the series of articles “Get to Know Your Pastors”. Pat Tedeschi can feel flushed with pride that his article was the post popular.

Please keep reading, and share your comments, that can be instructful to all of us. And if an article is helpful to you, consider sharing it on your favorite social media outlet.

SERMON LEFTOVERS 2.16.15

Our Identity in Christ: “We are a Priesthood”               

1 Peter 2:4-5, 9

I have noticed in my years as a pastor that people think being a pastor gives me greater access to God. This is an inaccurate view that can keep us from living by our true identity – which is that all believers are Priests

What is a priest in the Bible?

1.  In the Old Testament Israel, they were people set apart by God for his service

Only priests could serve in the ceremonial duties of the temple

2.  Their primary work was to offer sacrifices to God on behalf of the people

People brought their own sacrifices, but only priests could offer them

This was because only the priests had been consecrated by God

The status of a priest was their being set apart to serve God

The function of a priest was to offer sacrifices

How are all believers a priesthood?

1.  Our status – is that we have been set apart by God  

Old Testament priests were consecrated by anointing with blood and oil

We are anointed by the blood of Christ which cleansed us from sin

We are anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit, who made us a new creation and enables us in all things for God

Being SET APART is the primary theme in the Bible concerning the people of God

The New Testament describes this in many ways: we are to be Holy . . put on Christ . . follow Christ . . walk with God . . be filled with the Holy Spirit etc

We cannot follow or serve God, if we not set apart from the world that rejects him

God didn’t save us to simply enjoy life without fear of consequences

That is either the deceived view of an empty ‘acceptance of Christ’ – – Or, it’s the self-centered view of a believer who wants to still be ‘lord’ of their life

God saves us to live with him and for him. Anything less is unworthy of Christ, and it is blind to the glory of God

2.  Our function – is to offer sacrifices to God (v5)

We don’t offer sacrifices for sin, because Christ has done that in full

We offer the sacrifice of a life lived in response to God (Romans 12:1)

Once a sacrifice was offered, it could not be used for another purpose. This is how we are to view living for God

Notice we are to give a “living” sacrifice: this means that we offer God the way we live our life from now on

Our sacrifice is a continuous submission to God

This is called “worship” because it is our response to God

Our life is to be offered as an “acceptable” sacrifice

We cannot define what that looks like; only God through his word tells us what is “acceptable”

Peter uses two adjectives to describe our identity as priests

v5 we are a “holy priesthood”:  we are set apart for God, we cannot live for God and the world

v9 we are a “royal priesthood”:  the one we give our life to serve, is the King of all

How do we live by our identity as priests?

1.  Use the open access we have to our Heavenly Father (Hebrews 4:16)

Only priests had access to the temple – which represents the covenant presence of God

We are invited to come to him with every need and to “cast off” each burden

And then, we are invited to stay and enjoy his presence

2.  We have the responsibility to serve in the temple ministry (i.e. church ministry)

The Roman Catholic practice of clergy being priests does not exist in the New Testament Church

Instead of priests, the New Testament church is given pastors or shepherds

Pastors have teaching and oversight responsibilities, but they do not have any higher status

It harms the church when believers think only clergy are priests

This encourages church members to think they cannot do ministry   

Or that they are not responsible for it

3.  We make who we serve known to the world! (v9)

We have experienced the “light” of Christ – so make him known

We personally know the “excellencies” of Christ – so make him known

A SURE FIRE WAY TO BUILD ROMANCE!

Romance is usually seen as candles, dinners and carriage rides

But that doesn’t always work out so well . . .

One man thought he had conquered the problem of trying to remember his wife’s birthday and their anniversary.  He opened an account with a florist, provided them with the dates and instructions to send flowers along with an appropriate note signed, “Your loving husband.”

Months later, his wife was thrilled by this new display of attention and all went well until he came home, kissed his wife and said offhandedly,  “Wonderful flowers, honey. Where’d you get them?”

Flowers and dinners are certainly appreciated, but for romance to grow for life, it needs to run much deeper

The best way to build romance is by being holy

Our failures and struggles in relationships are spiritual/heart issues

The pursuit of holiness turns us from being self-centered to being loving

Your spouse will think it is very romantic that your attention is given to serving them!

Holiness removes distractions,

. . it smooths our jagged edges,

. . and it clears away the gunk that clogs our relationships

Holiness forms us into a more desirable person     

Our culture is obsessed with having and preserving physical beauty

But physical beauty doesn’t hide sin – just ask the beautiful people who regularly get divorced

Physical beauty will fade – 100% of the time!

By contrast, inner beauty will keep growing with age and time – and it never grows tiresome  

This is why the Bible gives us this advice:

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife”  (1 Peter 3:2-4 & 7)

No one wants your marriage to be more fulfilling than God

And no one can do more to make that happen 

 

BEING A NEIGHBOR

We seek refuge in our back yards, rather than sit on our front porches

We park in our garages, instead of in the street

We shop online, rather than downtown

We change address more often, instead of settle at one place for life

For these and many other reasons, it is harder today to build relationships with our neighbors.

Yet,

The Bible tells us to “love our neighbor”

Our churches tell us to reach out to our neighbor

And we want to be a good neighbor

So, how do we make this happen?

A good place to start is to read this month’s book recommendation: “The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside your Door”, by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

No book can do the work of neighboring for us, but reading this book can increase your heart for it and it provides lots of practical thoughts on what to do now.

Here is an excerpt

“The beauty of the art of neighboring is that it’s simple and genuine. You don’t need to memorize any pitches. You don’t need to chart out a master plan for evangelizing your neighborhood. You don’t need to worry about having a canned speech in your back pocket. In short, you need not make your neighbors your “pet project”; make them your friends. You simply need to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, and body, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

DELIGHT

It is delightful when we

Taste a rich dessert

Hear our favorite song

Hold a newborn child

Relax on a quiet beach or mountain cabin

Watch an exotic animal

Catch up with a dear friend

God gave us the capacity for delight – because He takes delight in our joy.

God made the world a fascinating place and God implanted in us the desire to be amazed

Why would we keep our time and distance from such a marvelous God?

Why would we not recognize that His Kingdom is a far more wondrous place than ours?

Why would we fight His will, or wander from His path which is glorious?

By all means, seek wonder in this world that God created to amaze us. But even more diligently, seek to know the God behind it all!

Look into the gospel of Jesus Christ and find the greatest heights of amazement

Grow in communion with the Triune God: Father, Son and Spirit. There you will experience delights which cannot be equaled and will never diminish in their splendor

A Christian should be a delighted person, because we are now restored to the founder of all that is delightful

Love for God will fill our soul with delight, because God is the most fascinating person

True holiness will make life more delightful, because it fills our life with God-likeness

The habits of prayer / worship and Bible reading become streams of delight, when they are times of active engagement with God

When God is our delight, our delight is full