Eastwood Baptist Church in Tulsa https://eastwoodtulsa.org A Place to Believe, Belong & Be Loved Wed, 09 Jan 2019 23:03:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cropped-EW-web-icon-512x512-32x32.jpg Eastwood Baptist Church in Tulsa https://eastwoodtulsa.org 32 32 Podcast #23: Seeking God https://eastwoodtulsa.org/podcast-23-seeking-god/ Wed, 09 Jan 2019 21:54:54 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13515 Episode #23: Seeking God Do you hear God speak to you? Gordon and Jeremy unpack what it means to hear from God through His word and His Spirit. Download your FREE Daniel Fast Cookbook and Quick Start Guide including 21 daily devotions and 24 new recipes you are sure to love! https://eastwoodtulsa.org/daniel-fast/ For more information about […]

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Episode #23: Seeking God

Do you hear God speak to you? Gordon and Jeremy unpack what it means to hear from God through His word and His Spirit.

Download your FREE Daniel Fast Cookbook and Quick Start Guide including 21 daily devotions and 24 new recipes you are sure to love! https://eastwoodtulsa.org/daniel-fast/

For more information about events at Eastwood Tulsa and how to volunteer please visit https://eastwoodtulsa.org/events-volunteer.

Sunday schedule
Bible Study @ 9:15am
Worship @ 10:45am

Wednesday schedule
The Refuge – gym open at 4:30pm
XA Students – @ 6:30pm
eKids – @ 6:30pm
Adult Bible Study – @ 6:30pm

If you have a question, or a topic you’d like us to discuss, or if this podcast has been a help to you in some way, please write to us at eastwood@eastwoodtulsa.org, or in the comments section of this podcast. And finally, we invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online. Once again, thanks for joining us for the Eastwood Tulsa Podcast.

Download or Stream our weekly Podcast!
Podbean – http://bit.ly/PodbeanEastwoodTulsaShow
iTunes Podcast – http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaPodcast
Google Play Music – http://bit.ly/GooglePlayEastwoodTulsaShow

Connect with Eastwood Tulsa!
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookEastwoodTulsa
Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramEastwoodTulsa
Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterEastwoodTulsa
Website: http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaWeb

 

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Seeking God https://eastwoodtulsa.org/seeking-god-treasure-scripture/ Tue, 08 Jan 2019 23:01:44 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13512 Seeking God 1/6/19 Follow along with sermon notes on the You Version Bible App http://bit.ly/seekinggod We invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online. Download or Stream our weekly Podcast! Podbean – http://bit.ly/PodbeanEastwoodTulsaShow iTunes Podcast – http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaPodcast Google Play Music – http://bit.ly/GooglePlayEastwoodTulsaApp Connect with Eastwood Tulsa! […]

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Seeking God

1/6/19

Follow along with sermon notes on the You Version Bible App http://bit.ly/seekinggod

We invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online.

Download or Stream our weekly Podcast!
Podbean – http://bit.ly/PodbeanEastwoodTulsaShow
iTunes Podcast – http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaPodcast
Google Play Music – http://bit.ly/GooglePlayEastwoodTulsaApp

Connect with Eastwood Tulsa!
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookEastwoodTulsa
Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramEastwoodTulsa
Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterEastwoodTulsa
Website: http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaWeb

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The Case for Christmas https://eastwoodtulsa.org/the-case-for-christmas/ Tue, 08 Jan 2019 22:53:20 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13509 The Case for Christmas 12/16/18 Follow along with sermon notes on the You Version Bible App http://bit.ly/caseforchristmas We invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online. Download or Stream our weekly Podcast! Podbean – http://bit.ly/PodbeanEastwoodTulsaShow iTunes Podcast – http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaPodcast Google Play Music – http://bit.ly/GooglePlayEastwoodTulsaApp Connect with […]

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The Case for Christmas

12/16/18

Follow along with sermon notes on the You Version Bible App http://bit.ly/caseforchristmas

We invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online.

Download or Stream our weekly Podcast!
Podbean – http://bit.ly/PodbeanEastwoodTulsaShow
iTunes Podcast – http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaPodcast
Google Play Music – http://bit.ly/GooglePlayEastwoodTulsaApp

Connect with Eastwood Tulsa!
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookEastwoodTulsa
Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramEastwoodTulsa
Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterEastwoodTulsa
Website: http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaWeb

 

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Daniel Fast 2019 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/daniel-fast-2019/ https://eastwoodtulsa.org/daniel-fast-2019/#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2019 15:00:47 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=11546 The post Daniel Fast 2019 appeared first on Eastwood Baptist Church in Tulsa.

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As we bring in the New Year, we want to align our focus on Christ.  Join us as we participate in the Daniel Fast together as a Church and grow spiritually January 7 – January 27, 2019.

What is Fasting?

Fasting is the abstinence from food with a spiritual goal in mind.  The spiritual discipline of fasting seeks to spend time with God in prayer, bible reading, meditation or worship instead of preparing elaborate meals and/or giving up entertainment such as TV, social media, etc. It is when I pursue the God of Heaven to do something powerful and supernatural in and through my life.

Fasting is a biblical instruction for followers of Jesus.

16 When you fast, do not be somber like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting will not be obvious to men, but only to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 16: 16-18

Why Fasting?

Jesus modeled fasting for us.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.”  Matthew 4:1-2

What are some biblical purposes of fasting?

  1. After receiving devastating news about yourself, other believers, or God’s work.
    1Kings 21:27-29; 2Chron 20; Neh. 1:1-4; Ezra 9:1-5; Esther 4:3; Daniel 6:18
  2. During a time of personal or corporate confession of sin and repentance.
    1Sam. 7:6; Neh. 9:1; Jer. 36:1-9; Joel 1:14, 2:12; Jonah 3:5
  3. Because of a difficult spiritual task for yourself or others.
    Exodus 34:28; 2Chron. 20:3 Esther 4:16
  4. To get specific instruction/direction/answer from God.
    Daniel 10:3; Ezra 8:21-23
  5. When praying, interceding, for the sins of God’s people.
    Daniel 9:1-20; Joel 2:1-18
  6. When dealing directly with demonic forces.
    Daniel 10; Mat. 17:21; Mark 9:29
  7. To seek the Lord for any reason.
    Ex. 34:28; 1Sam. 1:7; 2Sam.2:15; Acts 10:30; 1Cor. 7:5
  8. Before or after choosing/sending spiritual leaders.
    Acts 13:2-3; Acts 14:21-23
  9. When you are afraid.
    2 Chronicles 20:3
  10. By doing what is right.
    Isaiah 58:3-6
  11. During times of grief.
    Judges 20:26; 1Sam. 20:34; 31:13; 2Sam 1:12; 1Chron. 10:12; Mat. 9:15; Mark 2:20; Luke 5:35
  12. In suffering for or serving the Lord.
    Matthew 4:1-2; Luke 2:37; 2Cor. 6:5, 11:27

Steps to Prepare for your Fast

Make Your Commitment

Commit to the full 21 days of the partial fast. Determine how much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word.

Prepare Yourself Spiritually

Meditate on the attributes of God.  He is all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere, sovereign, holy.  He is absolute truth, completely righteous and just.  he is loving, merciful, faithful, and He never changes (Psalm 48:9, 10; 103: 1-9, 11-13). Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6). Do not underestimate spiritual opposition (Galatians 5:16, 17).

Record Your Experience

Keep a journal to record what you are hearing from God. At the end of your fast, you will likely see how God worked in your life as you sought after Him.

Types of Fasts

  • Juice fast: A doctor’s consultation is recommended.
  • Water fast: A doctor’s consultation is recommended.
  • Partial fast: Partial fasts include when someone fasts one meal a day, or from a certain type of food.
  • Liquid protein fast: A doctor’s consultation is recommended.
  • Media fast
  • Activity fast

It’s Not About the Food, But this eBook will Help You Get Started

We have put together a FREE Daniel Fast Participant Guide ebook to help you get started and stay on track during your 21 days of prayer and fasting.

The author of this study is not a medical doctor, and it is not the purpose of this study to address in depth the physical or medical aspects of fasting.  The author recommends that anyone beginning a fast consult a physician before doing so.  There are some people for whom a fast, because of medical conditions, would not be safe.

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Podcast 22: New Year’s Resolutions versus Commitment https://eastwoodtulsa.org/new-years-resolutions-versus-commitment/ Sat, 05 Jan 2019 20:01:12 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13503 Episode #22: New Year’s Resolutions versus Commitment How to start dreaming again. Great insights from Pastor Gordon and Jeremy! Resolutions vs. Commitment Read the Bible More YouVersion Bible App Bible Reading Plans Sermon Notes https://eastwoodtulsa.org/youversion-bible-app-live-event/ Accountability Factor – invite to participate in a plan Ps 126-127 “Like those that dream…” “Come into the New Year […]

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Episode #22: New Year’s Resolutions versus Commitment

How to start dreaming again. Great insights from Pastor Gordon and Jeremy!

  1. Resolutions vs. Commitment

  2. Read the Bible More

  1. Ps 126-127 “Like those that dream…”

  2. “Come into the New Year with a dream.” Gordon Small

  3. Fasting and Prayer

Daniel-Fast-Cover-2019-low-res

For more information about events at Eastwood Tulsa and how to volunteer please visit https://eastwoodtulsa.org/events-volunteer.

Sunday schedule
Bible Study @ 9:15am
Worship @ 10:45am

Wednesday schedule
The Refuge – gym open at 4:30pm
XA Students – @ 6:30pm
eKids – @ 6:30pm
Adult Bible Study – @ 6:30pm

If you have a question, or a topic you’d like us to discuss, or if this podcast has been a help to you in some way, please write to us at eastwood@eastwoodtulsa.org, or in the comments section of this podcast. And finally, we invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online. Once again, thanks for joining us for the Eastwood Tulsa Podcast.

Download or Stream our weekly Podcast!
Podbean – http://bit.ly/PodbeanEastwoodTulsaShow
iTunes Podcast – http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaPodcast
Google Play Music – http://bit.ly/GooglePlayEastwoodTulsaShow

Connect with Eastwood Tulsa!
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookEastwoodTulsa
Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramEastwoodTulsa
Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterEastwoodTulsa
Website: http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaWeb

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Fasting and Prayer Helps https://eastwoodtulsa.org/fasting-and-prayer-helps-2/ Thu, 27 Dec 2018 19:53:36 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13461 Let me encourage you to join Eastwood Tulsa in the Daniel Fast as we come into the New Year. Seek the Lord with your whole heart. The Psalmist prayed, “With my whole heart I have sought You…” Psalm 119:10. Be prepared to participate at some level. Ask God to help you make a commitment and […]

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Let me encourage you to join Eastwood Tulsa in the Daniel Fast as we come into the New Year. Seek the Lord with your whole heart. The Psalmist prayed, “With my whole heart I have sought You…” Psalm 119:10. Be prepared to participate at some level. Ask God to help you make a commitment and stick with it. Form spiritual disciplines that will continue throughout 2019.

If I came home from work and told my wife to pack because we are leaving on an unplanned vacation it would be a mistake; she would not go. Spontaneity can help you break out of a rut or routine but will not work when it comes to prayer and fasting. How many of you don’t plan your vacations or trips? Planning is essential to all we do. There is nothing more important that your spiritual disciplines. When you combine prayer, Bible reading, and worship with fasting it is a powerful combination! You will feel better spiritually and physically. Daniel did too!

“At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.”Daniel 1:15 (NLT)

We are participating in a partial fast. It is called the ‘Daniel Fast’ because it is taken from the Book of Daniel chapters 1 (the diet) and 10 (the length). The food items list is located in the welcome center. The dates are January 7-27th.

Three Simple Tips to Help Prepare to Fast

First, be prepared. You know this is coming up — get ready! Second, be prayerful. Don’t wait until January 7th to start praying and reading your Bible. Ask God what He wants you to do.

Third, be practical. Consider these seven points.

  1. Don’t eat huge meals leading up to the fast.
  2. Start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Extra rest is needed!
  3. Except for your job, clear/reduce your schedule.
  4. Begin reviewing Scriptures that deal with prayer and fasting.
  5. Pray for God to reveal Himself to you. Turn away from known sins. Stop doubtful habits. Repent.
  6. Determine to be present at Eastwood Tulsa Sunday morning/Wed Night.
  7. Remember that you are fasting for God’s glory.

Suggestions/Help:

  1. If you have not done this before, don’t say no too quickly; choose to participate at some level.
  2. Drink liquids (no pop): water, juices, etc. when you get hungry or crave certain foods.
  3. If you drink coffee regularly and you fast from coffee you will probably get a headache. It will pass.
  4. If you are preparing food, get your ingredients at the store beforehand. Plan your meals ahead.
  5. If you are a diabetic eat sensibly or choose something else to fast from: TV, Social Media, Newspaper, etc.
  6. If you have any questions/hesitations check with your doctor.
  7. Spend the time you would spend preparing big meals or driving to and from a restaurant, in Bible reading/prayer and Scripture memory/meditation.
  8. Curtail plans to eat out with friends. Be creative in saying ‘no.’ Clear your social schedule for 21 days.
  9. If someone finds out you are fasting, don’t make a big deal about it. It is fine to share with other Eastwood Tulsa members. In fact, it is good to encourage one another.
  10. Fast some activities that take your time: TV, internet, newspapers, magazines, FB, Twitter, etc.
  11. Read the Bible through/regularly and plan to continue through the year.
  12. Put your phone on silent/off when you are praying. Let it go to voice mail (that is what that it for).
  13. Fasting is voluntary but Biblical. Jesus said, “When you fast…” not, “If you choose to fast…”
  14. Don’t say “no” until you try. Remember God will give you grace and strength to do this; ask Him.

Different Types of Fasts – Biblical, Personal, Other

  1. Total fast from any food and water.

-Moses, Ex. 34:28                   40 days

-Esther, Esther 4:16                  3 days

-Elijah, 1Kings 19:8                 40 days

-Jesus, Matthew 4:1-2             40 days

  1. Total fast from food but drinking only water.
  2. Total fast from solid foods but drinking juices.
  3. Partial fast from certain foods/meat/wine (Daniel 10:2-3)
  4. Fast from entertainment and food Daniel 6:18
  5. Fasting from normal activities/pleasures (1 Corinthians 7:5)
  6. Fasting from personal hygiene (Daniel 10:2-3)
  7. Fasting from sleep (voluntary/involuntary) (2 Corinthians 6:5)
  8. Involuntary fasting because of task/situation (Matthew 15:35; Mark 6:36, 8:1; Mark 3:20, 7:2)
  9. Therapeutic fast—Fasting for medical reasons/getting ready for surgery
  10. Involuntary fasting because of famine/lack of food/poverty

Different Lengths of Biblical or Personal Fasts:

  1. 1 day—–Jer 36:6; Biblical fast days set for Jewish people (4th, 5th, 7thmonths of Jewish year)
  2. 2 days [times]—–Luke 18:12 (Not necessarily in succession but in the same week, a neg. example)
  3. 1 particular meal—–Breakfast/lunch/dinner
  4. All night—–Daniel 6:18
  5. 3 days—–Esther 4:16
  6. 7 days—–1 Chronicles 10:12; 1Sam 31:13
  7. 14 days—–Acts 27:33-35
  8. 21 days—–Daniel 10:2-3
  9. Many days/long time—–Nehemiah 4:1; Acts 27:21
  10. 40 days—–Exodus
  11. A time of your choosing 1 meal a week etc.; an unspecified time. 1 Corinthians 7:5
  12. 1 day a week throughout the year (52 days a year)
  13. A “tithe” of your year in fasting (36 days, not necessarily in succession)

Other Ideas:

  • Eliminate one meal a day for 21 days. Just drink water or juices instead of eating.
  • Don’t eat out for 21 days (Even if it is Daniel fast type food).
  • Get some exercise. If you don’t have a routine, try a walk around the block or the house. Walk in the church.
  • Get someone to participate with you. Pray together in person or over the phone.
  • Memorize three new verses, one for each week. Go over them each day, multiple times. Quote them; pray them.
  • Attend Wednesday night activities if you are not in the habit. Pray or volunteer.
  • Fast from specialty coffee and give saved money to missions.
  • Most of the world lives on less than $2/day. Be radical and try that for 3 days!
  • Set your alarm for midnight and rise to pray. Psalm 119:62
  • Read a Christian book. There are many great titles in our Church Library.
  • Do something for someone who cannot repay you.
  • Don’t check your status on Facebook when you are with other people. Focus on the person you are with.
  • Fast from complaining and arguing.
  • Fast from spending too much money on yourself. Save your money and give it to missions or other causes.
  • Go to bed earlier. Wake up earlier to spend the first part of your day reading Scripture/Quiet time with the Lord.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

Fasting and Prayer Helps

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Podcast #21 The Case for Christmas https://eastwoodtulsa.org/podcast-21-the-case-for-christmas/ Wed, 19 Dec 2018 16:53:54 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13453  Episode #21: The Case for Christmas Pastor Gordon Small and Worship Pastor Jeremy Rhodes discuss “The Case for Christmas” following the worship service on 12/16/2018 >> https://eastwoodtulsa.org/lessons-and-carols/ or https://youtu.be/O4CAt4Vozo8 or https://eastwoodtulsa.org/live-stream/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Eastwoodtulsa/videos/2121148644602710/ Listen as The Case for Christmas is laid out through Scripture pointing to the God of creation who knows you […]

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Episode #21: The Case for Christmas

Pastor Gordon Small and Worship Pastor Jeremy Rhodes discuss “The Case for Christmas” following the worship service on 12/16/2018 >> https://eastwoodtulsa.org/lessons-and-carols/ or https://youtu.be/O4CAt4Vozo8 or https://eastwoodtulsa.org/live-stream/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Eastwoodtulsa/videos/2121148644602710/

Listen as The Case for Christmas is laid out through Scripture pointing to the God of creation who knows you and loves you.

It is our prayer that you will experience the presence and the peace of God.

Listen to Dennis Jernigan’s hauntingly beautiful new song, Rejoice, Rejoice! on You Tube
Rejoice! Rejoice! By Dennis Jernigan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jWKmeMDt_U

The Star: A Journey to Christmas
Candlelight Christmas Eve Service December 24th @ 6:00 pm

For more information about events at Eastwood Tulsa and how to volunteer please visit https://eastwoodtulsa.org/events-volunteer.

Sunday schedule
Bible Study @ 9:15am
Worship @ 10:45am

Wednesday schedule
The Refuge – gym open at 4:30pm
XA Students – @ 6:30pm
eKids – @ 6:30pm
Adult Bible Study – @ 6:30pm

If you have a question, or a topic you’d like us to discuss, or if this podcast has been a help to you in some way, please write to us at eastwood@eastwoodtulsa.org, or in the comments section of this podcast. And finally, we invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online. Once again, thanks for joining us for the Eastwood Tulsa Podcast.

Download or Stream our weekly Podcast!
Podbean – http://bit.ly/PodbeanEastwoodTulsaShow
iTunes Podcast – http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaPodcast
Google Play Music – http://bit.ly/GooglePlayEastwoodTulsaShow

Connect with Eastwood Tulsa!
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookEastwoodTulsa
Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramEastwoodTulsa
Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterEastwoodTulsa
Website: http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaWeb

Podcast-21-low-res

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Lessons and Carols https://eastwoodtulsa.org/lessons-and-carols/ Tue, 18 Dec 2018 19:21:00 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13448 The Case for Christmas 12/16/18 In this Christmas season it is easy to get caught up in the celebration and lose sight of what it’s about. In this worship service, we pause in the midst of this hectic time and focus on the “reason for the season.” It’s Jesus, the Messiah, also known as the […]

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The Case for Christmas

12/16/18

In this Christmas season it is easy to get caught up in the celebration and lose sight of what it’s about. In this worship service, we pause in the midst of this hectic time and focus on the “reason for the season.” It’s Jesus, the Messiah, also known as the Word, God Incarnate, the Light of the World and many other names.

The Worship Set is on Spotify http://bit.ly/lessonsandcarols2018

Follow along with sermon notes on the You Version Bible App http://bit.ly/caseforchristmas

We invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online.

Download or Stream our weekly Podcast!
Podbean – http://bit.ly/PodbeanEastwoodTulsaShow
iTunes Podcast – http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaPodcast
Google Play Music – http://bit.ly/GooglePlayEastwoodTulsaApp

Connect with Eastwood Tulsa!
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookEastwoodTulsa
Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramEastwoodTulsa
Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterEastwoodTulsa
Website: http://bit.ly/EastwoodTulsaWeb

 

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Christmas and Carols https://eastwoodtulsa.org/christmas-and-carols-2/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:55:11 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13442 Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  Not because of decorations, presents, or the promise of snow but because of the celebration of a child who was born to save me from a life without hope, without love, and without life everlasting.  Jesus Christ, the hope of the world has come and brings life […]

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Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  Not because of decorations, presents, or the promise of snow but because of the celebration of a child who was born to save me from a life without hope, without love, and without life everlasting.  Jesus Christ, the hope of the world has come and brings life eternal through the forgiveness of sins by the gift of salvation for those who trust in Him.

Now that is something to sing about!  The hymns that are sung at Christmas time and all year ‘round tell of the promise of a coming Messiah, the birth of a King, the life of a miracle worker, and the death and resurrection of a Holy LORD. We sing these beautiful melodies to remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

“This Advent and Christmas hymn expresses and acknowledges a particular tension we ought to be aware of during the Christmas season. Just as, in the prophecies from Isaiah, a “rose,” or stem, shoots up from the stump, so too do we celebrate Christ’s birth in the knowledge that He brings life out of death. Our celebrations of Christmas must always point us to Easter. We celebrate Christ’s life because His death brings us a new kind of life. So too, the season of Advent points us not only to Christmas, but to the second coming of Christ, when He will finally make all things new. This is a beautiful and peaceful hymn, but there is just a touch of melancholy in the tune. Even in the arrangement the composer was able to convey the tension amidst our celebration, the sorrow that must lie within our rejoicing, if only for a moment. We know what is coming that week before Easter morning, and this should give us reason to pause. But we also know that the tiny babe whose birth we celebrate, our “Rose,” came to “dispel…the darkness everywhere.” Thus, even amid the tension of life out of death, we celebrate the ultimate life we are promised in Christ.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/lo_how_a_rose_eer_blooming

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

“This ancient advent hymn originated in part from the “Great ‘O’ Antiphons,” part of the medieval Roman Catholic Advent liturgy. On each day of the week leading up to Christmas, one responsive verse would be chanted, each including a different Old Testament name for the coming Messiah. When we sing each verse of this hymn, we acknowledge Christ as the fulfillment of these Old Testament prophesies. We sing this hymn in an already-but not yet-kingdom of God. Christ’s first coming gives us a reason to rejoice again and again, yet we know that all is not well with the world. So along with our rejoicing, we plead using the words of this hymn that Christ would come again to perfectly fulfill the promise that all darkness will be turned to light. The original text created a reverse acrostic: “ero cras,” which means, “I shall be with you tomorrow.” That is the promise we hold to as we sing this beautiful hymn.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/o_come_o_come_emmanuel_and_ransom

The First Noel the Angel Did Say

“This carol tells a story loosely based on the Gospel accounts in Luke 2 and Matthew 2 of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, with the shepherds, the star, and the wise men. The first two lines of the final stanza calls us to action – as the wise men reverently worshiped the Christ, so we should “with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord.” The last two lines recall that our Lord is the Creator and the Savior of the world.

This carol tells a story loosely based on the Gospel accounts in Luke 2 and Matthew 2 of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, with the shepherds, the star, and the wise men. The first two lines of the final stanza calls us to action – as the wise men reverently worshiped the Christ, so we should “with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord.” The last two lines recall that our Lord is the Creator and the Savior of the world.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/the_first_noel_the_angel_did_say

O little town of Bethlehem

“In 1865, the year the Civil War ended and President Lincoln was assassinated, themes of peace and quiet would probably have been welcome to Americans. In that year, the Rev. Phillips Brooks took a trip to Israel and saw Bethlehem and its surrounding fields on Christmas Eve, which eventually inspired him to write this Christmas hymn. In contrast to some other Christmas hymns that emphasize the glory of God as seen in the grand chorus of angels, Brooks focuses on the quietness of Christ’s birth, and how little the larger world paid attention. The final stanza is a prayer that Christ would come and be present with us.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/o_little_town_of_bethlehem

Joy to the world! the Lord is come!

“In Genesis 3, one of the great tragedies in all of Scripture occurs. Adam and Eve sin against God, and are banished from the garden as God puts a curse upon the ground. It is a heartbreaking rupture in God’s perfect creation, and it is hard not to read this text without feeling a twinge of despair. And yet, before the curse comes a promise. God declares that the woman shall bear offspring that will crush the head of the serpent. Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of God, will come to break the curse, to renew the creation, to make whole what is now broken.

In Psalm 98, all of creation is called upon to make a joyful noise before God, for the Lord has come to “judge the earth,” and restore His Creation. We should not fail to see our own hand at work in the destruction of creation, in our sins of waste and decadence. This “judgment of the earth” is, in some part, a judgment of us as caretakers. But God is merciful and full of grace, and rather than leave everything in our hands, He gives us the Life-giver. In this beautiful hymn, Isaac Watts makes the connection between the coming of Christ into this world and the beginning of that restoration. Christ brings “joy to the world,” a light where there is darkness, growth where there is decay. And we, along with all Creation, respond with a song of praise.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/joy_to_the_world_the_lord_is_come

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

“This hymn by Charles Wesley was written within a year of Wesley’s conversion. Thus, as Albert Bailey writes, “the inspiration of his newly-made contact with God was still fresh” (The Gospel in Hymns, 100). Rather than simply tell the nativity story, Wesley pours theological truths into this text. The first verse tells the story of the angels proclaiming Christ’s birth, and the second and third verse go on to make it very clear why the angels sang. Simply by describing Christ, Wesley tells us the entire Gospel story. We are told of Christ’s nature, his birth and incarnation, his ministry, and his salvific purpose. The Psalter Hymnal Handbook describes the hymn like this: “A curious mixture of exclamation, exhortation, and theological reflection. The focus shifts rapidly from angels, to us, to nations. The text’s strength may not lie so much in any orderly sequence of thought but in its use of Scripture to teach its theology. That teaching surely produces in us a childlike response of faith; we too can sing ‘Glory to the newborn King!’”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/hark_the_herald_angels_sing_glory_to

Silent Night, Holy Night

“In the small, quiet town of Oberndorf, Austria, on a snowy Christmas Eve, a priest and an organist wrote what is now the most beloved Christmas carol world-wide. Stories abound as to the exact circumstances of the hymns origin, and there are societies dedicated to the task of protecting the authentic hymn text and story. If you ever visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan, you can visit a replica of the Silent Night Chapel. Movies and operas revolve around the hymn, and almost every recording artist that has ever made a Christmas album has recorded it. In a sense, this spreading of the Word is a joy. But these honors should also make us wary. Paul Westermeyer writes, “Partly because of its popularity, STILLE NACHT can easily point to itself rather than beyond itself to the Word” (Let the People Sing, 153). It is important, then, to not simply listen to what we might consider a quaint, nostalgia-evoking carol, but to sing out the depth of these words. For the “dawn of redeeming grace” is something far greater and grander than any song we could ever write.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/silent_night_holy_night_all_is_calm_all

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

“The inspiration for this hymn, like Horatio Spafford’s “It is Well With my Soul,” came out of tragedy and remorse. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, having an injured son and a dead wife, wrote his poem “Christmas Bells” on Christmas Day. The third verse, which says, “And in despair, I bowed my head: ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said, ‘For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men,’” shows the depth of despair Longfellow experienced. The fourth verse shows the faith and hope in God that Longfellow had in the face of despair.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/i_heard_the_bells_on_christmas_day

Angels We Have Heard on High

“It’s a simply beautiful image: the shepherds in a great field, staring up in wonder at a sky full of the heavenly hosts, singing out their praise and joy, the echoes of their song of reverberating off the mountains to add to the cacophony. It isn’t hard to imagine the shepherds’ response. This group of young boys must have looked at each other wide-eyed, then whooped and cheered and run as fast as they could into the village, a stampede of sheep following them. Giddy with excitement and out of breath, did they burst into the stable and crowd around the manger? Or did they stop at the stable door, suddenly shy and overwhelmed, and peek in at the couple holding a tiny baby? Did they fully understand what they were witnessing? Do we even fully understand what they were witnessing? This hymn invites us to “Come to Bethlehem and see.” Today, we go to Bethlehem. We peak through the stable doors, and we kneel in amazement before the Christ child, our ears still ringing from the angels’ song. More so than the shepherds, we are able to see who this child is, because we know the Gospel story. We know that the angels would come again, this time to announce that Christ was not where the women looked for Him, but that He had risen. It isn’t hard to imagine that a “Gloria” would have been on those angels’ lips as well.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/angels_we_have_heard_on_high

Sing We Now of Christmas

“The importance of this song is that it highlights several of the most important parts of Christ’s birth; from the rejoicing of heaven and earth (with shepherds and angels), to the fulfilling of prophecies (the coming of the wise men). It reminds us that Christ’s birth changed the world. It reminds us that God became man and took a weak body of flesh to become closer to us.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/sing_we_now_of_christmas

We three kings of Orient Are

“The opening stanza is about the journey of the Magi to Bethlehem. The middle three stanzas explain a meaning for each of the three gifts. Gold signified royalty, and frankincense, deity. Myrrh foretold that the Christ child was born to die. The last stanza summarizes the song, calling Jesus the “King and God and Sacrifice,” and ending in a peal of alleluias.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/we_three_kings_of_orient_are

What Child Is This

“Have you ever studied the words of Isaiah 9:6-7 (they begin, “For to us a child is born”) and realized just how strange they are? At first glance, the grand titles and expectations seem absurd to place on a child. It’s a strange picture – a small child, hunched over like Atlas, a parliament building set on his shoulders, wearing a crown, perched on a throne, with a very troubled look on his face, as if to say, “What in the world am I doing here?” And yet, this is exactly what these verses tell us to be true. Of course, there was no actual building, no real throne, and no crown but one of thorns. But the thought is still astounding – this child, this baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, would be the fulfillment of these promises. He would be, and is, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. It is this astonishing prophecy that we keep in mind when we ask the question, ‘What child is this?’”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/what_child_is_this_who_laid_to_rest

Come, Thou long expected Jesus

“In one of his many “Coop’s Columns” on the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship website, former Calvin College chaplain, Dale Cooper, recalls a moment in which he was travelling home to his young family after spending the summer in Geneva. He was calling his wife from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to arrange his pick-up in Grand Rapids, when his then four-year-old son asked for the phone. Cooper writes, “His only words to me— a sigh, really: ’Daddy, when am I going to be where you are?’” (Cooper, “Coop’s Column – Spirit at Work: Guarantor”).

It is this sigh of longing that we express when we sing the words of Charles Wesley’s beautiful Advent hymn, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.” For though we know that Christ goes with us and before us every day, we long for the day when we are with Him in all of the fullness and glory He will bring. We long for the day when we are with Him in a New Heaven and New Earth, when all things are made new. And just as a four-year-old crawls into his father’s arms after an extended absence, so too we long for the day when we will be at rest in Christ, enfolded in the embrace of our Savior.”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/come_thou_long_expected_jesus_born_to

Go, Tell It on the Mountain

“In the Bible, the mountain often represents the holy presence of God. Moses has to go up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments and to see the Promised Land. In the Gospel, Jesus is transfigured on a mountain, an event signifying the full embodiment of the divine nature and holiness of Christ. In the Old Testament especially, the mountain is also a place that is set apart – not just everyone can go up the mountain to be in God’s presence. Psalm 24:3 asks, “Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?” God’s presence came down to the mountain, and the mountain was the barrier between the Israelites and God’s presence, much like the curtain in the temple dividing the people from the Holy of Holies.

When Christ was born however, God’s presence came down to His people in a new form, in the helplessness of a baby. And the story doesn’t end there – Christmas points us to Easter, when Christ ripped the curtain in the temple and became the bridge between us and the Father, God’s holy presence in and among us. When Christ was transfigured, he had with him Peter, James and John. The glory of the LORD was no longer barred from His people. The mountain is no longer a barrier between us and God, but a place to shout the good news of God’s presence among his people in the incarnation of Christ Jesus, to ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain.’”

Read more at https://hymnary.org/text/while_shepherds_kept_their_watching

What is Your Favorite Christmas Carol?

With the stories, theology and personal reflections of these Christmas carols we pray that the true meaning of Christmas will fill your heart and mind this season and throughout the year.

We would love to hear your story of how a Christmas carol has sparked worship in your heart and home.  Email us at eastwood@eatwoodtulsa.org.

Christmas and carols

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Recognizing the Messiah https://eastwoodtulsa.org/recognizing-the-messiah/ Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:49:17 +0000 https://eastwoodtulsa.org/?p=13435  Recognizing the Messiah 12/9/18 With Christmas in the air and expectant waiting for the Messiah, we dig into the person of Jesus Christ and walk through the Scriptures that bring the hope and promise of a Savior that is realized in and fulfilled through His coming. We want you to know how to recognize […]

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Recognizing the Messiah

12/9/18

With Christmas in the air and expectant waiting for the Messiah, we dig into the person of Jesus Christ and walk through the Scriptures that bring the hope and promise of a Savior that is realized in and fulfilled through His coming.

We want you to know how to recognize the Messiah in the person of Jesus Christ. Watch “Recognizing the Messiah” and learn how the coming is Christ is for all people.

Follow along with sermon notes on the You Version Bible App http://bit.ly/recognizingthemessiah

We invite you to join us live next Sunday at 10:45am in Tulsa, or at 11 am online.

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