Covenant Life member Ryan Tiren recently wrote this note to thank and encourage the Business Transition Network (BTN) ministry for helping him find new employment. BTN is a ministry outreach of Covenant Life that works to assist job seekers with tools for their job searches. Let’s give glory to God for BTN and other ministries that are serving the job-seekers in our midst!
The Lord really used this time of unemployment to help me clarify and focus in on what I really wanted to do. I had general ideas of where I was skilled that really needed to be refined and specified. Utilizing important faith-based organizations like BTN and the Career Network Ministry was crucial—each provided a number of resources for me to take advantage of, allowing me to make my resume more impactful, take full advantage of LinkedIn networking, and explore vocational sites like SIGI3. These means of grace were so instrumental in my job search. Thank you, Jesus, for these ministries!
I am now doing exactly what I wanted to do—working as an Operations Manager. God used this time not only to provide me with a wonderful job, but grow me along the way. I had no choice but to turn to him (always the best thing to do!), drawing closer to my Savior and allowing my wife and me to build our faith for his provision and goodness. We are so grateful for all the prayers that were lifted up on our behalf; the Lord does hear us and has a perfect plan laid out with perfect timing. Thank you again to everyone at BTN for your consistent care and for laying down your lives for this important community of the unemployed.
May 21 2012 at 4:24 pm 3 Comments
Yesterday in church, Mark Mitchell took a few moments to speak with us as a congregation about the issue of Same Sex “Marriage” in Maryland:
Mark briefly described the background: that the Maryland legislature approved a bill in February redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, and that organizers have launched a statewide effort to gather qualified signatures for a petition in order to place this issue on a referendum ballot. He went on to talk about how Covenant Life members can sign the petition and other ways the church will speak to the questions that arise out of this important biblical and moral issue.
May 21 2012 at 1:51 pm 0 Comments
For those you who were unable to attend our recent women’s conference Women Passionate for God’s Glory: Lessons for Today from Women of Yesterday, I wanted to give you a little taste of the theme of the conference by sharing with you Sharon James’ opening words.
As you read, try to imagine Sharon speaking in her wonderful British accent. Better yet, listen to her, and enjoy for yourself! —Valori Maresco
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
What exactly do we mean when we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?
I remember when I was little learning the children’s catechism, and that said that we’re praying for men on earth to do God’s will as the angels do in heaven. And that’s actually about right. We’re praying for God to come in power to change the hearts and minds of everybody on earth to love him and give him glory, which is what he created everybody on earth to do.
And that leads us directly into our three themes for this weekend. Revival is the first theme. What is revival? Well it’s simply a description for those times when God comes near in greater power. This can happen on a personal, individual level. God can draw near showing us his great holiness, convicting us of our own need for ongoing repentance and change.
But through church history, there have been times where God has drawn near in power on a wider level and at these times of widespread awareness of God’s real presence, many people are convicted and converted. It’s a little bit as if at those times the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth, the fast forward button is pressed and there’s stronger, quicker movement of the kingdom of Christ on earth. And these times of revival invariably lead to God’s people being given a greater passion for holiness. It’s as if there is an awareness that God is right here with us and we just don’t want to do, or say, or think, or feel, anything that would displease him.
And those feelings—those emotions—invariably lead to our second theme of the weekend and that is the theme of mission. Because inevitably, at that point, we grow in desire that everybody should know this great and wonderful God. That everybody should know forgiveness.
And revival also, always, invariably results in a passion for holiness. And we’ll conclude the weekend tomorrow morning with that theme.
Now we’re going to look this weekend at the lives of just three women. And each one lived through times of real spiritual renewal. And as a result each one had a concern for mission, and each had a passion for holiness.
But the woman we’re going to look at tonight, Sarah Edwards, we’re going to focus on the theme of revival . . .
May 18 2012 at 9:35 am 0 Comments
I want to invite you and ask for your help with spreading the word about our next Members Meeting on June 28 at 7:30 p.m. We had a number of schedule conflicts to work around, so that’s why we’re doing this on a Thursday evening.
We’ll be reviewing how we’re moving forward as a church on a number of fronts. We’d love to see every family represented; thank you in advance for making plans to participate.
for the pastors
May 14 2012 at 10:25 pm 0 Comments
In his message yesterday, Joshua Harris pointed out that most of us have never heard a sermon on Jesus’ birth except around Christmas time. He went on to say that it’s backwards to think of Jesus’ birth only in connection with the holiday, since the holiday is built upon the the event, not the other way around. You can take the holiday away, and the birth of Jesus Christ would still be an historical reality of greatest importance for every day of the year and every person who has ever lived.
Joshua shared two quotes from J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. In the first, Packer makes the point that we must understand and believe in Jesus’ incarnation to make sense of and explain his life and exploits. He notes that people struggle to believe that Jesus performed miracles or rose from the dead, when the larger question is whether or not the incarnation is true. If we believe that Jesus is God become man, everything else about him makes sense.
If Jesus had been no more than a very remarkable, godly man, the difficulties in believing what the New Testament tells us about his life and work would be truly mountainous. But if Jesus was the same person as the eternal Word, the Father’s agent in creation, “through whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:2), it is no wonder if fresh acts of creative power marked his coming into this world, and his life in it and his exit from it. It is not strange that he, the Author of life, should rise from the dead. If he was truly God the Son, it is much more startling the he should die than that he should rise again.
In the second quote Packer references the Athanasian Creed, an ancient statement of Christian belief used by the church since the sixth century:
The mystery of the Incarnation is unfathomable. We cannot explain it; we can only formulate it. Perhaps it has never been formulated better than in the words of the Athanasian Creed. “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man…perfect God, and perfect man…who although he be God and man: yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking of the manhood into God.” Our minds cannot get beyond this. What we see in the manger is, in Charles Wesley’s words,
Our God contracted to a span;
Incomprehensibly made man.
Incomprehensibly. We shall be wise to remember this, to shun speculation and contentedly to adore.
Look for the message audio and an outline in the Resource Library.
May 12 2012 at 1:43 pm 1 Comments
We’ll post a special page having to do with the Matthew series soon, but for now we want to make you aware of the preaching schedule for the next three months. Let’s all be praying and anticipating how God will grow and change us as we take an extended look at Jesus by studying the first book of the New Testament.
06 | Matt. 1:1-17 | Introducing the Gospel of Matthew
13 | Matt. 1:18-25 | Jesus Birth (Mothers’ Day)
20 | Matt. 2:1-23 | Wise Men and Herod
27 | Matt. 3:1-17 | The Baptist and The Christ
03 | Matt. 4:1-11 | The Temptation and Victory of Christ
10 | Matt. 4:12-25 | Jesus Begins His Ministry
17 | Matt. 5:1-12 | The Beattitudes (Fathers’ Day)
24 | Matt. 5:13-16 | Salt and Light
01 | Matt. 5:17-20 | The Fulfillment of the Law
08 | Matt. 5:21-26 | Anger and Reconciliation
15 | Matt. 5:27-30 | Lust
22 | Matt. 5:31-32 | Divorce
29 | Matt. 5:33-42 | Oaths/Retaliation