Church Blog

Kathleen Nielson: Second Preview

April 17 2014 at 5:00 pm 0 Comments


I hope this second excerpt above will give you another small taste of Kathleen Nielson’s teaching.

I also have a testimony to share with you from Elise Finch who has benefited from Kathleen’s ministry. Here is what she has to say:

I have read the Bible as part of my daily devotional practice since I was a child. However, over the last 5-7 years I began to look at different methods of study, seeking to better grasp God’s Word in my own life.

During this search, I heard about Kathleen Nielson and read her book Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word. In the book she talks about seeing the Bible as literature written to be understood by all of us, including those of us who would never be fluent in Greek or Hebrew or complete a seminary course. I read a quote at the beginning of chapter 3, “If we affirm meaning in the text, meaning intended by God who breathed it out, then it follows that God means for us to receive this meaning. He gave us words that he means for us to understand.” God means for ME to understand his word! That’s encouraging, but it’s also sobering because if he means for me to understand it, that also implies he means for me to give it some sober-minded attention.

Reading Kathleen’s book and now having the opportunity to learn more through several of her studies has been profoundly helpful. I’ve learned how to look at the various genres within the Bible and read them with an eye towards how God meant to use their form to illuminate his truth. I’ve spent less time pondering my own opinions or jumping to personal application prior to finding out what each author’s intent was for their original audience. This approach makes sense. Although I will never “arrive”, Kathleen’s methods have provided a useful map which is helping me to better navigate the road of reading God’s word.

I am so excited for this time to learn from Kathleen again and am looking forward to being freshly spurred on as we study the Psalms.

I hope you can join us on May 9-10! You can visit the conference website for more information and to register. To view a video of a complete message by Kathleen, please visit the Christian Conventions website.

Valori Maresco
Women’s Ministry Director

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Women’s Conference Speaker Preview

April 10 2014 at 8:48 am 0 Comments


I hope you enjoyed the brief excerpt above. For an entire teaching by Kathleen Nielson, visit the Christian Conventions website for a recent message she gave on Rahab.

Here are comments I received about Kathleen’s teaching from Amanda Welton:

I have seen God grow my faith in so many ways through Kathleen’s Bible studies and ultimately His Word! After reading her book, Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word, and attending a seminar with her on biblical exposition, I was anxious to dig into the Word more deeply. In fact, I have now gone through four of her Bible studies with a group of friends in my neighborhood!

Last summer, we went through her Colossians study, and each time we met I was more deeply amazed at God’s grace through Jesus Christ and how he has made his church to function! We would start talking and we would begin to see how the Spirit had spoken differently to each of us to give us a fuller picture of what He was saying in His Word! And truly I saw happen in our little group of ladies what Paul had desired for the Colossians: “that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3)

I so appreciate Kathleen’s studies because she doesn’t give her opinions or spoon-feed you answers, but she has questions that make you dig and think. She also links the passage you’re studying to the rest of the Bible, so you see how cohesive God made his word! I’ve always “known” God is the same God as He was in the Old Testament, but when I went through her Joshua study I really saw it! I am looking forward to hearing Kathleen teach at our upcoming conference in May and to gain a better understanding of the Psalms through it. I know that you too will benefit from her gift of teaching and interacting with God’s Word!

I can’t wait to be with everyone on May 9-10! I encourage you to visit the conference website and register soon.

Valori Maresco
Women’s Ministry Director

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Pray for Germantown: Update

April 8 2014 at 5:27 pm 2 Comments

baby hand

We received this encouraging report from those who pray regularly on Monday mornings near the abortion facility in Germantown. What an encouragement to keep praying and watching as God works!

It was an amazing week in front of the late-term abortion facility in Germantown; much grace was flowing. Eight mothers chose life for their babies! Since we started providing a prayerful presence outside the clinic in December of 2010, over 175 babies have been saved!
—Last week a mother and her husband came to abort their “late-term” baby; they could not find the door to Carhart’s facility, so instead they entered Germantown Pregnancy Choices (GPC), our pregnancy referral center, enabling the staff to minister to them. The couple later returned to say that they had chosen to keep their baby and not abort! When the GPC staff asked what had helped them to change their mind about the abortion, the father replied, “It was the LOVE.”

—During our Monday prayer gathering, we were reflecting on Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13. We came to understand more deeply our need to first show LOVE in our work; otherwise, we will never be able to share the truth! Soon after that reflection, a young woman interrupted us and challenged us saying, “You all make it hard on the women coming here (to abort). Everyone should mind their own business.” We found out this woman had brought her friend to Carhart’s facility for a late-term abortion. We were surprised by her words, but reminded of the example of Paul, and a few of our team lovingly ministered to her, while the rest of those who gathered continued to pray for her. This woman and the mother she brought for the abortion were seen going in and out of Carhart’s facility, but in the end—the mother did NOT abort her baby! Praise be to God!
—Another testimony: While praying on Wisteria Drive during the 40 Days for Life Campaign, a young woman stood in front of us and simply said, “I just stopped by to say thank you for all you’re doing.” She is a single mom with four children and is five months pregnant with her fifth child. This past January she had an appointment at Carhart’s for an abortion. A few days before her appointment, she had driven by and seen our crew holding signs and praying. At that point, she decided she could not go through with the abortion and canceled her appointment. This was a powerful testimony to me that the Lord is using our presence to save lives even if we never talk directly to anyone. Only God knows how many others have changed their minds just because we are here in Germantown.

All who long to protect the most vulnerable in our community are invited to join the group that prays in Germantown on Monday mornings. This work is truly a matter of life and death!

Every Monday, 8 to 10 a.m.
Corner of Wisteria Drive and Executive Park Terrace
Germantown, MD 20874

Visit for parking and directions.

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2-A-Day Reflection: Psalm 67

April 4 2014 at 7:44 am 0 Comments

A 2-A-Day Bible Reading reflection from Dave Wilcox:2-a-Day Artwork

What’s the key to a great song? It’s the hook, right? It’s that line that gets stuck on repeat in your brain.

Go ahead and try to not sing along in your mind:

We will, we will rock you
I can’t get no satisfaction

Let’s see how our songwriter did in Psalm 67.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us…

Not a bad start! I could put that on repeat in my prayer life. More of verse 1…

that your way may be known on the earth
your saving power among all nations.

OK. That’s a slightly different angle.

And now the chorus…

Let the peoples praise you O God;
Let all the peoples praise you!

So what’s the hook?

The song starts off talking about grace and blessings from God. But then it gets stuck on the idea that those blessings are not only for us but also for God’s glory in the eyes of every nation on earth. The line that the songwriter wants us to repeat over and over as we “hum its tune,” is that God is to be feared and praised by joyful people in every nation.

So go ahead and ask God for grace and blessing. But also repeatedly ask God to fulfill the intended effect of that blessing: showing the whole world his saving power and creating worshippers in every nation.

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New Local Missions Committee

March 22 2014 at 11:57 am 1 Comments

UPDATE, MARCH 28: Added skills list at the bottom of this post.

Do you love God? Love your neighbors? Love this community? This may be just the opportunity for you!

Since its formation in February 2013, the Global Missions Committee has been sharpening our understanding and practice of world missions. As a church we have much reason to be proud of the good work that the Global Missions Committee has been doing.

But the need for gospel witness and gospel service is not limited to other continents. Montgomery County needs Jesus! There are huge needs and opportunities right here in our own neighborhoods, nursing homes, schools and jails. That is why Covenant Life Church is forming a Local Missions Committee.

Like the Global Missions Committee, the new Local Missions Committee will include 12-18 members who represent a diverse cross-section of this church. They will work closely with the elders and the Missions Department to ensure that every church member has the motivation, training and opportunity to saturate our community with gospel influence.

To understand more about how this new committee will function, read the Local Missions Committee Charter (PDF).

If you have a love for God, a love for neighbors, and a love for this community, we would love to have you apply to serve on the new Local Missions Committee. Just download and fill out the Local Missions Committee Application (PDF).

Completed applications should be e-mailed or delivered to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Local Missions Director, by April 6.

If you have questions or need more information, please .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him at the church office.

Local Missions Committee: Skills Needed

Researchers: People who love to gather information and do research. One of their contributions to this team would be to learn about and understand both our local community and our church community. Examples: census/ demographic research, local history research, creating and conducting surveys, interviews, etc.

Strategists: People who can take the research data gathered, discern needs and opportunities, and then formulate ministry strategies to address them. They might also serve by evaluating ministry teams and working with team leaders to make them more effective.

Connectors: People who are great at building friendships with people from all walks of life and at seeing opportunities for ministry. Using their knowledge of resources both inside and outside the church, they initiate strategic relationships with various organizations and institutions in the community in order to create new and more effective ministry.

Visionaries: People who have the ability to think at the 50,000-foot level and can imagine and shape what a culture of local missions could look like for our church and community. They can help develop long-term goals for community transformation for the church. They are able to articulate and transfer a vision for local missions to fellow church members. 

Implementers: People who take big ideas and then create the structures and processes necessary to achieve them. They are planners who chart a clear path from the current reality toward the end goal.

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2-A-Day Reflection: Psalm 57

March 21 2014 at 1:52 pm 0 Comments

A 2-A-Day Bible Reading reflection from Dave Wilcox:2-a-Day Artwork

He is the hunted, and his time has run out. The clank of soldier armor and a muffled commander’s orders reverberate into the cave. Hoping to disappear behind the sound of dripping water, he crouches in silence.

But the Psalmist’s soul is not silent.

“My heart is steadfast, O God.
My heart is steadfast.
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!”

What makes a heart steadfast in the face of his enemy and possible death? The steadfastness of God.

“God will send out his steadfast love and faithfulness!”

“[God’s] steadfast love is great to the heavens, [his] faithfulness to the clouds.”

Father, convince us of your steadfast love and your faithfulness, so that, in the midst of darkness, uncertainty, and even death, we can have this same heart of praise:

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!”

Jump into the 2-A-Day reading plan anytime! Just download the schedule and follow along.

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