Thursday, May 14, 2020

COVID-19 Update (May Edition)


The Chestnut Mound church of Christ is happy to announce that we will resume physical worship services this Sunday, May 17th at 10 am for Bible study and 11 am for worship. While we are anticipating the return to physical worship, we are taking the following precautions for the safety of our members and visitors:

- Masks are not required, we ask that you use your own discretion. If you feel more comfortable wearing one to services, then feel free to do so.

- Upon entering the church building, we will have individual pre-filled Lord's Supper packets in a box on the table in the foyer. Please pick these up as you come in. Likewise there will be a basket on the same table for you to place your contribution in. You can do this as you enter or as you leave.

- When choosing a place to sit, please try and sit at least six feet away from one another. Families are encouraged to sit together.

- In lieu of handshakes and hugs, we will be doing "fist bumps," and/or "elbow bumps."

- Our building has been cleaned and disinfected throughly to prepare for our return. Hand sanitizer will be readily available for you and you are welcome to bring your own.

- There will be no children's Bible class. Everyone will assemble together in the auditorium for our ongoing study on the book of Matthew at 10 am.

- If you are in a compromised age bracket or have a compromised immune system, and don't feel comfortable attending worship services, our sermon will be posted on our YouTube channel. We will also be continuing our weekly midweek devotionals. Just go to YouTube and search "chestnut mound church of christ."

We are looking forward to assembling together physically with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and anyone that might want to visit with us, once again. We are trying to follow the CDC's guidelines as closely as we can, and we can assure you that you and your family will be able to worship in a safe manner.

In Him,

Rickey Lambert

Carver Moore

Thursday, April 9, 2020

COVID-19 Update


Per the CDC's guidelines against gatherings of 10 or more persons and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee's stay at home order for the entire state, the decision was made, effective April 1st, to cancel all services at the Chestnut Mound church of Christ indefinitely. In the meantime, we will be posting sermons, Bible classes, and devotionals on our YouTube channel. We want everyone to know that we are praying for you, we love you, and most importantly God loves you!! We will get through this. If we can help you in any way please don't hesitate to reach out to us at: chestnutmoundcoctn@gmail.com.

Link to Chestnut Mound church of Christ on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC22A_lCFPAJxWN6Xj5dNftA

Thursday, March 12, 2020

God's Call


For the past few weeks at Chestnut Mound, I have been preaching a series of sermons on God's Call. Whether we realize it or not, God is calling each one of us. Each of us have a purpose given to us by God. However, it is our decision whether or not we will answer His call. In this week's blog article, I want to offer you some practical advice on carrying out and answering your calling.

In Matthew 25, we are told of the Parable of the Talents. A "talent" as it relates to the parable is a unit of weight that totals around eighty pounds. As a unit of currency, it was worth 6,000 denarii. In verses 14-30, Jesus uses talents to represent our personal abilities. What do we do with our talents? Let's look at what happened here in this parable. We have a man (God) who calls and gives His servants (Christians) talents according to their own unique abilities. Each servant handles their talents in a unique way. One trades the five he was given for five new completely different ones, one was able to acquire two additional ones to add to the two he already had, and then the third servant who had received one, took his and buried it. We see that two of the three servants took their talents and used them for good and made them profitable for the man (God). The third servant hoarded his talent up, and simply did not use it at all.

When we are given talents from God today, we shouldn't "hoard" them. What if a preacher decided to hoard his talent for teaching the Gospel? Consider Paul, what would have happened if God hadn't called him to become perhaps the greatest gospel preacher that has ever lived, who would have written all the letters that we see throughout the New Testament? What if Paul had not answered the call?

God calls everyone into service in His Kingdom for a specific purpose. However, it is our responsibility whether or not to utilize our God given talents. If we choose to hoard up our talents, then we run the risk of someone possibly losing their soul or even losing our own soul. The Parable of the Talents teaches us that when God calls us to do something, then we better do it, and we also ought to be good stewards of what He has called us to do. Being a good steward means using the talents, or other blessings we've been given to glorify God and also never forgetting that they indeed come from Him.

What would you do if your phone rang and God was calling? Of course this would never happen, but what would your response be? If He told you to drop whatever you were doing and do what He says, would you do it? God calls everyone through His Word, which just so happens to be the Bible. He is not a "respecter of persons" (Romans 2:11). It's your answer to the call that will be the difference between Heaven or Hell. You may only have one chance, make the most of it!!

In Him,

Carver Moore

We would be honored for you to join us for worship at the Chestnut Mound church of Christ.
Our service times are as follows:
Sunday Morning Bible study: 10 am
Sunday morning worship: 11 am
Sunday evening worship: 5 pm

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Fear: How Do You Deal With It?


In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, March 3rd, a tornado ripped through north Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, and western Putnam County. I, like so many, was asleep as the tornado went through its path of destruction. Around 1:30, my mom and sister came into my room and woke me up. I was shocked to hear the tornado sirens going off in downtown Cookeville, as the weather report said the storm wouldn't reach Cookeville and Putnam County until the hours of 5 and 7 am. The radar, to say the least, was scary, and the wind, rain, and hail, as well as lack of daylight just made the entire event even scarier. After about thirty minutes the wind died down and the hail subsided and the rain slacked up. We looked outside the windows of our house and there was no damage to speak of. After another thirty minutes or so to "get our wits about us," we all went back to bed. It wasn't until we awoke a few hours later that we realized how serious the storm had been.

I'm not going to go into detail about the storm, the specific path it took, nor the scientific aspects of it. We need to spend this time in prayer for the victims and those that were lost. However, these last few days have gotten me to thinking about fear. Fear is inevitable, but how do we respond and deal with it? Do we let it control our lives or do we use it for good? What kinds of fear are there? In this week's blog, I want us to look at how to deal with fear and use it for good.

1. We are commanded to have a "healthy dose" of fear when it comes to our relationship with God. In 2 Timothy 1:7, we are told "God has not given us a spirit of fear." God doesn't want us to fear Him, instead He wants us to respect Him. If we were afraid of God, would we ever pray to Him or worship Him? No, we would be terrified to think of doing such things. God wants to be our source of refuge in both good and bad times, not someone we run from. Think about if we lived during Old Testament times. God hasn't always been as lenient with His people as He is now. If you made God mad, He would strike you dead on the spot. In Lamentations 2, we read of God's anger with the city of Jerusalem. In these twenty-two verses, the word "anger" is used four times. God is upset with the Children of Israel for the way they had been acting. The book of Lamentations was written after the fact, and is a record for us of God's anger. The word "lamentation" means "an expression of sorrow, mourning, or regret." The anger of God got through to the Israelites and they expressed their sorrow here in the book of Lamentations. Likewise, when we mess up today, we should have enough "fear" or "respect" for God to "lament" when we are wrong. We should thank God that He sent His son, Jesus, to die for us so that we can have forgiveness of any sins we might commit.

2. Do our fear(s) keep us from following God? Do you fear going out and talking to others about the Gospel? Do you fear teaching Bible class, leading public prayer, or visiting with fellow members of the church? Do natural disasters like Tuesday's make you so scared that you can't bring yourself to do anything to help those affected by them? Do natural disasters make you so scared that you allow your faith to waver? Friends we have to learn to overcome our fears. If we dwell on them, then we will go throughout life and be miserable. In Isaiah 41:10, we are told to "fear not." Why? Because God will strengthen us. Friends, we can overcome any fear, no matter how big or how small, with our faith in God.

Friends, I challenge you this week, and every week, to strive to overcome your fears. Will there be nights like Tuesday where it will be hard to? Of course, but we must rely on God to help get us through those times. No matter the struggle, God will get you through it. Paul said to the church at Philippi, in Philippians 4:13, that he "could do all things through Christ who strengthened him." Isn't that true for us today? No matter what we face, no matter what fears come along, we can do anything through God who strengthens us!!

In Him,

Carver Moore

We were blessed at the Chestnut Mound church of Christ, that none of our members nor our broader community were affected by the storm Tuesday morning. We ask that you keep the Double Springs, Echo Valley, and surrounding Putnam County communities in your prayers as they recover and put their lives back together. We also ask that you pray for the families of the eighteen individuals that lost their lives in the storm. 

We would be honored for you to join us for worship at the Chestnut Mound church of Christ.
Our service times are as follows:
Sunday Morning Bible study: 10 am
Sunday morning worship: 11 am

Sunday evening worship: 5 pm

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Rewinding Your Life




Do you ever go throughout your life and wish you could have a do over on something that happened as recently as yesterday, or something as distant as ten years ago? You just wish there was a giant "rewind" button that you could push that would take you back in time and give you another chance to correct whatever it was that you did. Unfortunately we don't have a button like this. Once we make a decision to do something, that decision is final and there is no going back. In this week's blog article I want to offer you some advice on things that you can do that will help you make the right decisions that will hopefully lead to you not regretting them down the road.

1. Think before you speak. Before you speak, think about the lasting consequences it could have. Before you blurt something out just because you want to, think about it first and ask yourself "does what I am about to say contribute to the discussion in a positive way?" "Will what I am about to say hurt the person(s) that I am engaged in conversation with?" Our words are very powerful and sometimes hurtful things. What we say, that might be a joke to us, could be perceived the exact opposite way to another person. In Ephesians 4:29, Paul tells the members of the church at Ephesus, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good and necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." What should we use our mouths for? We should use them to encourage and build people up, not tear them down. Think about all the celebrities that have had their careers ruined because of something they said. The same goes for us today. What we say to others, can have lasting consequences, some of which can not be undone.

2. Think before you act. How do you act around people that you just met, or those that might be strangers to you? If you're anything like me, you attempt to strike up conversation with them. Do you start joking with them right away? Of course not. When looking for someone to evangelize, do you start off right away telling them about the Gospel? No, you have to allow them time to warm up to you. When you are around someone that you don't know well, do you carry yourself in a humble manner, or do you walk around like a big shot, "like you own the place?" In Proverbs 13:16, we are told that "Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool lays open his folly." Before you act on something, involving another person(s), make sure that you take into account all of the concerns, requests, and needs of that other individual(s). If not, you run the risk of coming across as a "Bible beater," and you will regret your actions down the road when you lose the chance to evangelize that individual(s).

3. Think before you make a big (potentially life altering) decision. Think about some of the biggest decisions that you will ever make. Buying a house, a car, getting married, having children, and most importantly obeying the Gospel. How long do we think about making these decisions before we actually follow through with them? Do we wake up one morning and say "I'm going to buy a house today." I suppose some people do that, but an investment that big, deserves at least a little bit of thought. Think about getting married. Do a man and woman meet, date, get engaged, and get married all in a day? I guess if you dig hard enough you might find a case like that, but it's very rare. Before we make a major decision, it's wise to take the time to think things through so that we won't have regrets later on. Remember, we don't have a magical "rewind" button that we can push and go back and correct a mistake we might have made. Once the decision is made, it's made. Once you marry, you have to live with that other person "until death do us part." When we make a decision (big or small), we must follow Paul's instruction to the church at Colossae in Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord, Jesus." Every decision we make must be done in the name of Jesus. We must pray to Him for strength, comfort, and understanding when we make these potentially life altering decisions.

Friends, it is very easy to live in the past. We do things and then we catch ourselves thinking "why did I do, say, or act like that? All we can do in those moments is to learn from them and vow to do better. We can't go back and change anything, I don't care if it happened yesterday or ten years ago. Just use those instances as learning experiences and move on. For months I struggled with getting the church bus stuck in the mud. I desperately wanted to go back in time and change what happened, but guess what, it's a learning experience for me. The old saying goes, "Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Learn from past mistakes, grow from them, and become a better person and Christian.

In Him,

Carver Moore

We would be honored for you to join us for worship at the Chestnut Mound church of Christ.
Our service times are as follows:
Sunday Morning Bible study: 10 am
Sunday morning worship: 11 am
Sunday evening worship: 5 pm

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Are You "Coachable?"


Have you ever heard someone say, when talking about another person, "you can't tell them anything, they just think they know it all." Believe it or not, we live in a world where no one likes being told they are wrong. People today can't stand the least bit of correction. The person is not correcting you because you're incompetent, but because they want to teach you something and they want you to improve. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays I was reminded of this (even though being reminded I am wrong has and continues to be a daily reminder).

My grandfather and I are extremely close. We have been running around together since I was born. During the holiday season, we mutually decided that it was time that I learn how to drive his Jeep, which just so happens to have a manual transmission. The Jeep is as old as I am and has been a staple in my life for years, so I jumped at this opportunity. While dinner was being prepared my grandfather and I took off in the Jeep down to the Granville Cemetery. This is a perfect place to learn since the cemetery has several driveways where we can start and stop and practice changing the gears. For about an hour I was constantly stalling the engine out. I kept this up until finally he said, "that's it, turn it off, get out, and let me have it." We swapped seats and he said, "now I'm going to show you a way to be smooth with this thing." He proceeded to show me how to effortlessly shift the gears using just the right amount of coordination between his right hand and left foot. He said, "this is not like those automatic cars that you don't have to put any effort into, this thing requires finesse." Well he stopped the Jeep again and we swapped places once again. Guess what happened? I took his advice to heart and I didn't stall the engine out near as much.

On Christmas Day, we once again got out in the Jeep before dinner. We went back to Granville, but this time we were going to practice taking off on hills. I drove up to about the center of the hill there in the cemetery and my grandpa said, "put it in neutral wait a few seconds like you're at a traffic light, and then take off." Well I did what he said, but I stalled the motor (first time all day) and we rolled backwards down the hill. I tried again, you guessed it same result. After a few minutes of trying and failing, he finally said "get out." So we swapped seats and he once again coached me up on what I should do. He said, "remember what I said about finesse? All you have to do is ease off the brake, keep your foot on the clutch, gently hit the gas, and then ease your foot off the clutch." After a few times of watching him do this, it was my turn. I drove up the hill about halfway, put the Jeep in neutral, waited a few seconds, and then took off. We didn't roll back down the hill, but I absolutely floored it and we "peeled out" (I didn't stall it out though). This time, my grandfather didn't say anything. I said, "how was that?" He said, "what do you think?" I said, "not good huh." He said, "you are to used to driving an automatic transmission all the time, and don't realize the finesse this thing requires." So after a few more hours, I finally got the hang of it. My grandpa said that I had improved so much from Thanksgiving to Christmas that he let me drive the Jeep back to the farm. Guess what, I didn't stall the motor or have any troubles on inclines the entire drive back. It's all about being open minded. Checking your ego at the door, and realizing there's people out there that know more about things than you do. There's a few spiritual applications that I want to make here.

1. People have always felt like they know everything, even in Bible times. Do you remember what King Jeroboam did in I Kings 12? Starting in verse 25, Jeroboam concocts a scheme to shift the balance of power in Israel away from the tribe of Levi, instead to the tribes of Bethel and Dan. No one was going to tell Jeroboam that what he was doing was wrong, and if they had, he would have blown them off. In the first few verses of chapter 13, we see that a "man of God" comes to Jeroboam and tells him that Josiah is going to be born of the house of David and will eventually become king. In verse 4, we see that Jeroboam commands the man to be removed from his presence. Jeroboam does not want to hear that he is wrong. Now look at the Children of Israel as they are being led out of Egypt. In Exodus 16:3; 17:3; and 32:1. In each of these verses, the Israelites are constantly complaining against Moses and the fact that he led them out of Egypt into the middle of nowhere. They failed in each of these three verses to trust, listen, and obey God, Moses, and the bigger picture. Finally, I am sure all of you reading this remember the Pharisees. In our Sunday morning Bible study, we have been studying through the book of Matthew. In your personal study, I encourage you to read through this book and take note of each of the Pharisees interactions with Jesus. In each interaction, the Pharisees attempt to disprove the things Jesus is teaching and preaching. When Jesus tries to correct them, it goes in one ear and out the other. How do we avoid being like Jeroboam, the Israelites, and the Pharisees?

2. We should be "coachable." What does a coach do? They teach their players how to play a particular sport. What do parents do? They teach their children right from wrong and how to live their  lives. What does the Bible do? It teaches us how to get to Heaven. It teaches us how to live our lives. It teaches us how to treat others. The things written in its pages are the truth and were inspired by God. Do we allow the words of the Bible to "coach us?" When we sit down and read it, or listen to a man preach and/or teach from it, do we take the words to heart? Do we speed read through it, or immerse ourselves in it? Do we read it and find it interesting, yet allow it to enter our short term memory? Do we think we are "to good" for the Bible? Do we fail to realize the power of the Scriptures? In I Peter 1:23 and 25, we are told that the word of God is "incorruptible" and "endures forever." Friends the Bible is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Allow it to coach us, mold us, and make us better people and most importantly Christians.

Friends, we are so lucky to be surrounded by people that love us and want to teach us and make us better people and Christians. We are so lucky that we have the Bible readily available to us. Allow it to teach us, mold us, and make us better. Just like learning to drive a manual transmission vehicle, the Bible requires a lot of study. Make sure you commit yourself fully to Bible study and put what you learn into practice daily. Friends, I love you, the Chestnut Mound church of Christ loves you, and most importantly God loves you.

In Him,

Carver Moore

We would be honored for you to join us for worship at the Chestnut Mound church of Christ.
Our service times are as follows:
Sunday Morning Bible study: 10 am
Sunday morning worship: 11 am
Sunday evening worship: 5 pm

Thursday, February 13, 2020

You Never Mentioned Him to Me


Last night I was tasked with teaching the college class at Willow Avenue church of Christ. The main theme of my lesson was evangelism, however one of my points was that evangelism requires a certain degree of courage. Think about it, to go up to someone that you might have never met, and talk to them about the gospel, it can be intimidating. I used the following example to illustrate my point last night.

Every month, myself and Willow Avenue's deacon over transportation take turns going over to the building and checking on the busses. We make sure that their exterior and interior's are clean, that they have gas, and are running properly. Willow Avenue has a charge account for gas at the Shell station across the interstate from the building. Every time I go in there to pay for the gas, there's a young man working in there that always talks about Spiritual matters. I don't know if this is something that he does to everyone, or if he looks out and sees the mobile billboard I'm driving and decides to discuss the Bible with me. The past few times I've gone in there, I've tried to do my best to end the conversation and get back out to the bus so I can take it back to the church building and go home. But as I was preparing my lesson for class Wednesday night, I really got to thinking about if I was doing the right thing. It has nagged at my concise enough, that I have vowed that next time I go in there and that guy is working, I am going to ask about his Spiritual background.

I told the college kids last night that they have the greatest platform that a Christian can have. They encounter hundreds of people everyday in their classes or walking across campus that don't know God. They have so many opportunities to reach out to someone and invite them to church or to a college event. All it takes is a little courage and willingness to get outside our comfort zone.

The title of this article is taken from the song entitled "You Never Mentioned Him to Me." I didn't really think about the meaning of this song until Brother Ben Smith was talking about it in a class on evangelism. He said that song should tear us up inside every time we sing it. Think about it, the lyrics speak for themselves. "You never mentioned Him to me, you helped me not the light to see, you met me day by day and knew I was astray, yet never mentioned Him to me." How many people do we let fall through the cracks because we don't have the courage to go talk to them? If that person winds up being lost, do you want that on your conscience?

In Psalms 27:14, the Psalmist tells us to "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait I say on the Lord." If we are going to have a great degree of courage, who does it come through? You guessed it, it comes through God. As we wait for judgement day, we have to have the courage to believe that it's going to happen. When we lay our heads down at night, it takes courage to know that we will wake up in a new day. Likewise when we approach someone to study the Bible with them, it takes a degree of courage.

Think about how many people you encounter every day. I told the college kids last night that I'm envious of them, because of how many people they interact with every day. If one in every 10, 20, 30, people you interact with in a day agreed to come to church with you, think about how the church would grow. You could potentially save that person's soul. You could be the reason they get to Heaven. But on the other hand if you don't say anything to them, you could be the reason they burn in the eternal lake of fire. In Mark 16:15, we are commanded to "Go into all the world and make disciples of every creature." It takes courage, but are you willing to step out of your comfort zone to save souls?

In Him,

Carver Moore

We would be honored for you to join us for worship at the Chestnut Mound church of Christ.
Our service times are as follows:
Sunday Morning Bible study: 10 am
Sunday morning worship: 11 am
Sunday evening worship: 5 pm