• published a newsletter

    ReadPastor's News
    January 27, 2023

    Pilgrim Saints,


    May Christ feed your soul, and may you feel his work of prophet, priest, and king today.



    In Sunday School, (9:15 am), we look at a very human topic, dating. The modern American church is prone to show favoritism (James 2:9) under the disguise of joining like with like. However, the covenant community was never meant to be homogenous but rather unified. Therefore, let us think about the challenges faced by Christian singles and how they are not second-class citizens of heaven.


    In worship, we are confronted with an extremely difficult topic in Joshua 7–8. Is God evil? Is YHWH a monster and Jesus benevolent? Let us learn about the glory of God by confronting the crushing of Achan and the people of Ai. It is not easy, but it is good for the soul.


    In the evening service, we look at the eternal, unchangeable decree of God. What is it, and why does it matter? Wrestling will help us make sense of the world and our place in it. Please join us at 5:30 pm.



    News:


    Beginning Feb. 7, at 6 pm, Nancy Pierce is hosting dinner in her home on the first Tuesday of the month. Please RSVP and bring a side. Rumor has it that beef stew is the kickoff dish.


    Church Spring Cleaning-- Feb 25, 9–11 am. It's time to tidy ship. As good stewards, we need to throw stuff out and clean regularly. Please see Val or Liz for more details. All ages are welcome and needed.


    Congregational Meeting Feb. 26 immediately after service.



    Blessings,

    Pastor Chris

    1. published a newsletter

      ReadPastor's News
      January 22, 2023

      Greetings to the Saints,


      May the peace of Christ be with your hearts and minds. We have a good news and good plans.


      First, Linda Richmond is making progress in her recovery. Please keep her in your prayers and send a message of encouragement to her.


      In Sunday School, (9:15 am), we look at the human side of business. Yes, there is a human side, and we need to be Christians as bosses, employees, and customers. Professor Marcia Dickerson will help us wrestle with some everyday challenges.


      In worship, we turn to Joshua 6 and the (in)famous fall of Jericho. Why did God have walls fall? So what and how does that mean anything to me? Indeed, these are good questions and ones I want to address. Join us to see God's provision and help.


      In the evening service, we look at the eternal, unchangeable decree of God. What is it, and why does it matter? Wrestling with such topics will help us make sense of the world and our place in it. Please join us at 5:30 pm.



      News:


      Beginning Feb. 7, at 6 pm, Nancy Pierce is hosting dinner in her home on the first Tuesday of the month. Please RSVP and bring a side. Rumor has it that beef stew is the kickoff dish.


      Church Spring Cleaning-- Feb 25, 9–11 am. It's time to tidy ship. As good stewards, we need to throw stuff out and clean regularly. Please see Val or Liz for more details. All ages are welcome and needed.



      Blessings,

      Pastor Chris

      1. published a newsletter

        ReadPastor's News
        January 15, 2023

        Sojourners in Ruston and Citizens of heaven,


        May you know and feel the promises of God in the presence of the Spirit today.


        We had a wonderful return to our complete Sunday activities last week. It was a blessing to feel, hear, and see the excitement. We are beholding the Lord fulfilling prayers and promises in our midst. Let us praise him for his faithfulness and seek more of him.


        In Sunday School, 9:15 am, we continue our hot takes by turning to money and finances. Our John Lauck is a professor of accounting --I know boring Excel spreadsheets. No, we are not taking an extra offering. Instead, we are pondering why and how we make an idol of money and the things it brings. We will discuss not conforming to the world's ways regarding money, wealth, luxuries, and the present life. Please join us for some biblical principles on this hot topic.


        In worship, we continue in Joshua 3–5 with The Crossing, Consecration, and Confronting. There are some fascinating things in this scene, but the highlights are God fulfilling his promises and then showing up. For those who take notes, a word that will help for Sunday is "Dischronologized"--to create narratival arrangement in a non-chronological order for artistic or theological purposes. If you have read Joshua 3–5, you have been befuddled by the repetitious narrative of crossing the river and carrying stones. No, there are no problems or discrepancies in our Bible here. Rather, the narrator is dischronologizing the narrative to highlight theological facets of the events. What are those? Come hungry and curious Sunday and dine with our King.


        Evening worship, at 5:30 pm, continues in our series on The Doctrines of Grace. We will begin with the all-encompassing view of God's glory and how humans have and continue to spit in his face. Join us for discipleship in our rhythm of morning and evening worship.


        Update: Linda's surgery went well this morning. Let us continue to pray for a full and prompt recovery.



        Reminder:

        Beginning Feb. 7, at 6 pm, Nancy Pierce is hosting dinner in her home on the first Tuesday of the month. Please RSVP and bring a side. Rumor has it that beef stew is the kickoff dish.



        Blessings,

        Pastor Chris

        1. published a newsletter

          ReadPastor's News
          January 8, 2023

          Saints in Ruston and beyond,


          I pray you are experiencing his grace at the beginning of this new year. This Sunday is our complete kick-off into the new season at Covenant Reformed.


          We begin with Sunday School at 9:15 am. Yes, that is 9:15. Moving up fifteen minutes will provide us a little more comfortable time between class and worship. The new series will be hot takes on various topics. As Christians, we are called to be Christians in every area of our lives and not conform to this age. Therefore, we will look at a number of topics to bring a biblical lens to bring together faith and practice.


          In worship, we will look at Joshua 1:9–3. Under the title, Crossing and Conflict, we will be raptured into the excitement of promises kept and nervous about the foreshadowing of destructive conflicts. The narrator has done a masterful job of showing us the drama in the drama of redemption. Come hungry, be fed.


          Then we resume our Pot-Providence. It will surely be nice to catch up over a meal after the busy holiday season.


          Lastly, we resume our evening worship at 5:30 pm. We will meet at church to begin a new series, The Doctrines of Grace. While the phrase is often used, too loosely in my opinion, it refers to some of the most comforting components of Christian learning. Growing in these truths is essentially growing in knowing and trusting the Gospel itself. So, please plan to join us for worship and devotion.



          Reminder:

          Beginning Feb. 7, at 6 pm, Nancy Pierce is hosting dinner in her home on the first Tuesday of the month. Please RSVP and bring a side. Rumor has it that beef stew is the kickoff dish.



          Blessings,

          Pastor Chris

          1. published a newsletter

            ReadPastor's News
            January 1, 2023

            Christian Pilgrims,


            May you begin the calendar year with comfort and peace from the ancient of days. Let us begin the way we will end, knowing that Christ is returning and, in the meantime, he treats us as beloved children.


            Let's jump into a few announcements. First, please see below for the Announcements. The weekly Greeters and Nursery will be listed there and is also printed on the bulletin board at church. In time, this will be on the new website with appropriate messaging groups.


            Second, we will begin our new sermon series, Joshua: A Heavenly Courage in a World of Despair. The book is a fascinating one transitioning from the wild wilderness into the promised land. There are powerful displays of God's goodness that are met with faithlessness and covenant infidelity. The book forces us to wrestle with many uncomfortable questions too. Matters of genocide, violent occupation, slavery, colocalization, and a God that inflicts death. However, Joshua does not bring us to uncomfortable places for no reason. He brings us through dark storms of despair so that we may come to know what true courage is and how to have it. I pray that Joshua preaches encouragement to us as it has many of God's people.


            Third, the beginning of the calendar year is a great time to start a Bible reading plan. We know that storing the word in our hearts and minds is immensely profitable (Psa 119:12; Deut 11:18), but it can be difficult to be consistent. Perhaps this is the perfect place to remind us all that the Word of God was never given to a person but to The Covenant Community. It only follows that we should read the Bible together, which is what Paul exhorts as the normative practice of the church (1 Tim 4:13). However, meeting daily at 5 am is not very sustainable. Proposal?


            I have printed Bible reading plans at church. There are two outlines. First, read the NT and Psalms in one year, Monday thru Friday. Second, read the OT (sans Psalms) in one year, Monday thru Friday. If you take both, which is my hope, then we will partner together on the same reading plan and pace. In this way, we can spur one another on or bear one another burdens, depending on your perspective (Heb 10:24; Gal 6:2). I will discuss this more, but please consider this means of fellowship.


            Fourth and final, on January 8, we resume our full discipleship Sundays. We will start Sunday school at 9:15 am to provide more flexibility in the mornings. We resume Pot-Providence. Also, we will begin a new series on the Doctrines of Grace at 5:30 pm at church. One of the primary texts will be the Canons of Dort (printable HERE).


            I suppose that is long enough, so Happy New Year and blessings to you all.



            Reminder:

            This Saturday, New Year's Eve--The Laucks are opening their home for a bonfire and smores. As you all know, John loves fire. Please RSVP to Val.


            Jan. 1-- No Sunday school, Pot-Providence, or evening service.


            Jan. 8-- Sunday School 9:15 am, Pot-Providence, and Evening Service 5:30 pm at church.



            Blessings,

            Pastor Chris

            1. published a newsletter

              ReadPastor's News
              Dec. 25, 2022

              To those kept for and by Christ,


              May you know his love, the power of his resurrection, and feel his peace.


              We have a wonderful week here in Northern Louisiana. We will get a one-night taste of winter to help make the classic Christmas songs feel relevant. And we gather twice for worship!


              Saturday night, at 6 pm, we will enjoy the Lessons and Carols service. It is a beautiful liturgy walking through the scriptures and singing to Christ, our savior. We will have a special musical treat with Audrey playing and Ms. Natorshau Davis singing. I just know you will enjoy these two ladies together. Please bring family, friends, and foreigners.


              Sunday morning, we will enjoy the rare opportunity to have a Christmas service on Christmas day that aligns with Sunday worship. We will complete our Advent Series by looking at the most important aspect of Christ's accomplishment in the Christmas story. Christmas is the Advent Gift: Recovery of Intimacy.


              Now, I have become aware that some churches are not having worship because, in their words, 'it is a holiday.' With all kindness, I must express my complete confusion and dismay. Every Sabbath, and every worship service for that matter, is a holiday. It is a holiday from the world to enjoy our true citizenship, which is in the courts of our Father. Let this Sunday be a bold confrontation of your heart's priorities and pleasures. The choice is simple in my mind. We either prioritize the prescribed paths to know God and enjoy him, or we exalt our personal preferences in trying to enjoy this world (Heb 10:24–25). Let us all choose this day who we will serve and worship, God or man, God or ourselves (Gal 1:10).



              Reminder:

              Sunday School and Evening Service resume on January 8.



              Blessings,

              Pastor Chris