February 11, 2021

Welcome to TCFinTouch!
The e-newsletter of
Trail Christian Fellowship

Service Times

Sundays at 9am and 11am in the Outdoor Pavilion

  • Children and Youth Ministries Available at both Services
  • Services are Simulcast to the Indoor Worship Center*
  • Services are Livestreamed on trail.org, YouTube, and Facebook

Wednesdays at 6:30pm in the Outdoor Pavilion

  • Awana, Children and Youth Ministries Available
  • Service is Simulcast to the Indoor Fireside Room*
  • Service is Livestreamed on trail.org, YouTube, and Facebook

*Masks are required for indoor venues

*Please join the TCF family online if you are not feeling well*

*Winter Weather is Here!*
3 ways to stay informed on how winter
weather conditions affect TCF!

Check trail.org for updates, "Like" us on Facebook to see TCF posts in your timeline, or if you have a MyTCF account, download the Church Life phone app to receive push notifications directly to your cell phone.

Take Note:
MyTCF and the Church Life app will be down for maintenance tonight
Thursday, February 11th from 8pm – 1am
From Our Pastors
On the Blessed Life

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalm 1 (ESV)

In the Bible, to be “blessed” is to be approved and therefore deeply joyful, under God’s grace. It refers to a fulfillment grounded in a deep goodness not earned but bestowed. It is a broad concept that speaks of a life worth living, what we might call “the good life” in the best sense of that phrase. This life is meaningful, purposeful, hopeful, rooted in excellent moral quality, and therefore fruitful and stable, a benefit to itself and to others. Wow! Who doesn’t want a life like that? (Sadly, it seems there are many who do not want a life like that, which is why the psalm refers to chaff-people)

Blessedness is the experience we crave. But how do we come into it? This psalm tells us forthrightly. It is the opening chapter in the inspired prayer and praise book of the Old Testament, the very book that our Lord Jesus had practically memorized. So, a meditation on the blessed life and how to enter it is apparently foundational to the life of prayer reflected in the rest of the psalter. A decision to desire the blessed life is essential to effective and authentic prayer and worship. We must be pointed in the right direction.

So, how does one begin? Well, somewhat oddly, we start not with what we should do, but with what we should not do. There is apparently a tendency in the human mind to submit itself to malign influences, to pernicious voices. We do not start our pursuit of the blessed life with a clean slate, an innocent desire, a morally un-cluttered conscience. We start with a fallen Self, one easily drawn into an un-blessed condition. The psalmist starts by warning us of who not to listen to in this world.

This is so counterintuitive to our western minds, marinated as we are in the pickling brine of enlightenment rationalism, where our own unaided thoughts are the ultimate arbiter, the autonomous and trustworthy guide for goodness and knowledge. To be told right up front that we are easily deceived, gullible to the point of danger, is insulting to us. We think we should be able to take in any sort of “education” or “wisdom” or “information” no matter the source, and unerringly navigate it for our own benefit. This is not true, and the thought that it is true is evidence of God’s rightness in warning us about it. We think we are a lot smarter than we are. What does the warning look like?

He tells us not to put our minds or actions at the service of wicked, sinning, scoffing people. Are there such people in the world? Uh…yes…And we will be one of them if we do not vet the value and sources of our thoughts. “Wicked” means evil, guilty, morally wrong-headed. “Sinners” refers to those who deliberately disregard what God says about things, especially moral and ethical things, and who therefore “miss the mark” of real goodness. They apparently do this on purpose. Our culture hates this notion with a passion because it smacks of religious self-righteousness (which is a bad thing of course, but not worse than the currently rampant secular self-righteousness). Yet, it is a serious category, whatever vocabulary one uses to describe it. A “sinner” is one who rejects God’s will and ways in favor of their own, and who therefore exists outside God’s covenant blessing. “Scoffer” (ESV), also translated “Mocker” (NIV), refers to people who take pride in rebelling against God. They use disdain, slander, ridicule, and cultural arrogance to put down obedience to the Lord. They make fun of moral goodness.

When we put these poetic thoughts together, we see that a blessed person is one who ruthlessly vets all knowledge sources, all moral influences, religious or secular (many bad people are religious). The “walk, stand, sit” ideas are about being influenced by Worldthink. This happens by virtue of being voluntarily immersed in the cognitive, intuitive, and volitional ethos of a world that has rejected God’s Word as the foundational source of moral knowledge. These are people who have exchanged God’s Word for their own words, which is to say they have traded fruit for chaff.

By contrast, the psalm tells us that a blessed life, having rejected Worldthink outright, meditates on God’s instruction to the point of delight. The Law of the Lord, in this context means instruction within and regarding the covenant relationship we have with God as revealed in His written word. The psalmist is thinking of what we refer to as the Old Covenant, but the principle holds for the New Covenant as well.

“Meditation” means to mull, to think deeply and repeatedly, to mumble to one’s self and recite. It may involve memorization and regular repetition, but not mindless repetition. It is a thoughtful and thought-provoking process.

“Delight” means to take great pleasure in something. We understand the feeling (it is a feeling) of delight when we think of beauty, be it human beauty, art, music or nature. The same is true in many human relationships. Think of the delight of a first-time mother and father in their newborn, the delight of young lovers in each other, the intense pleasure of a rich and long friendship, a shared joy (or a shared grief), a deep fraternal bond between family members, brothers and sisters, a good marriage. These are delightful in the best sense and we know it.

So, is God’s word a delight as well? Yes, and delighting in it nourishes the blessed soul profoundly, in ways that the world cannot understand, through subterranean spiritual streams refreshing deep roots in God, bearing fruit even when outward conditions are desert-arid. The blessed life craves the fellowship with God that his word offers. It may come in various ways, not always by reading specific passages. Sometimes it emerges through someone else’s exposition of a biblical text that deepens the understanding or application of its truths. Sometimes it arrives through music grounded in the Scriptures and glorifying the Lord. Perhaps the Spirit uses a sermon or devotional, or even a gentle reminder from a friend about something from God’s word that then draws our mind into the “great pleasure” of his voice.

Meditation on God’s word takes many forms, but it is always covenant-grounded, word-driven, Spirit enlivened, and personally motivated. That is, it is delighting in the New Covenant in Christ, by reason of letting the words of that covenant deeply enrich our souls through his Spirit who has penned them, so that we become more intimately acquainted with God himself as our one and only heavenly Father. He is delighted with this as well. He insists that we meditate regularly on the cross of Christ, the victory and promise of the New Covenant, and the union that we have with him through Christ. This is why we come regularly to the Lord’s table (See Romans 8, John 10:27-30, 15:1-7; 1 Cor.11:23-26)

We have not plumbed the depths of this amazing psalm, but let me stop here and ask a couple of questions. In light of the stresses in our culture today, the Covid crisis, the national angst, the political polarization, what do you meditate on? Is it the tsunami of blogs, tweets, posts, podcasts, and video clips, many of which originate in Worldthink? I have an app on my smartphone that tells me how much time I have spent this week looking at this little screen. I’m going to delete that app. It’s disturbing. When I contrast that with the time I have been able to spend letting God’s word calm me and “restore my soul” (Ps.23:1-3), I immediately see why my leaves over the last few days may have withered. The heat of summer is certainly there, and the surface water of cultural blessing has dried up like a Kalahari watering hole in August.

But beneath the baked and cracked earth, far below the bleached bones of human efforts and expectations, there flows, steady and eternal, a stream…

Just a thought,

PR
Take Note
MyTCF Account 

If you consider yourself a part of the TCF family, then stay connected with a MyTCF account! You can manage your contact information, easily register for events and give securely online. Members can view the directory.

Visit trail.org and click "MyTCF Login" from the top menu bar. Need a login? CLICK HERE then follow the instructions.

Questions? jacki@trail.org | 541.878.3501 ext709
Coming Up
BAPTISM
If you have yet to be baptized and you are ready to take this important step of faith, please listen to “The Obedience of Faith: Baptism“ mp3 by Pastor Rick, or pick up an audio CD from the information counter in the outdoor pavilion following any Sunday service. Following a brief conversation with a TCF Pastor, you may register for the next Baptism HERE.
DEDICATION CEREMONY
The next dedication ceremony is on Sunday, March 7 at both the 9am and 11am services in the outdoor Pavilion.

There are two openings for each service, so register now!

Click HERE to register and for additional information
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
Marilyn Nelson invites the TCF family to celebrate the life of husband Ron

Join us on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 1:00pm in the Worship Center as we share together in joy and grieving, followed by a reception in the outdoor Pavilion.
MEN'S MINISTRY
Men's Prayer Gathering
Friday Mornings
6:30-7:30am

Join us in the outdoor Pavilion for our traditional weekly time of nourishment in the Word, a preview of what's to come on Sunday morning, and devotional prayer time led by one of our Pastors or Elders.
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY
AWANA
Wednesdays through May 26, 2021
6:30pm - 8:00pm

A club with a goal to reach boys and girls with the Gospel of Christ and train them to serve Him. At TCF it's designed for kids 4 years up to 5th grade. Check schedule for theme nights and breaks. Visit trail.org to download a Parent Letter and schedule. There is a suggested donation to cover costs of materials but it's not mandatory to participate.

Nursery and Children's Program for 0-3 years old.

Awana registration is at capacity and is now closed.
If your child is currently enrolled, please check the schedule for theme nights.

Debbie Conley: 541.261.2605
PRAYER MINISTRY
Prayer Warriors by Email

If you would like to be a regular part of praying for the Children's Ministry and receive an email prayer letter periodically to keep up with what God is doing with the next generation, email debbie@trail.org to get on the list. This will be a blind copy email and your email address will not be shared with others.

Debbie Conley: 541.878.3501
TRAIL TEENS
HS & MS AIRSOFT EVENT
Saturday, February 27, 2021

We leave from TCF at 10am and go to 8758 Hwy 140 for a day of airsoft*
Lunch is provided. We return to TCF at 4pm.

Space is limited so sign up soon!

Register HERE // Permission slip required - Download HERE

For questions contact Rob Milton: 541.821.7261 // robert@trail.org
*If you have your own guns please let Rob know
YOUTH CLUBS
Trail Life USA
Thursday, February 18 from 6:30-8:00pm at TCF

Trail Life USA is a Christ-centered outdoor character development adventure program for boys and young men ages 5-17. TCF’s Trail Life troop meets twice a month on Thursdays from 6:30-8pm during the school year. For more information about the Trail Life USA organization, click HERE.
 
  • For TCF’s Troop Information, and to confirm meeting times, contact Matthew Paradela: 541.625.0359
American Heritage Girls
Thursday, February 18 from 6:30-8:00pm at TCF

American Heritage Girls is a faith-based character building program for girls ages 5-18. Girls learn leadership and team building skills while growing spiritually. TCF’s AHG troop meets twice a month on Thursdays from 6:30-8pm during the school year.
 
  • For Trail Christian Fellowship Troop information and to confirm meeting times, please call call Karrie Hovis at 541.951.3135 or email ahgroguevalley@yahoo.com. 
  • For more details about the American Heritage Girls organization, click HERE.
CELEBRATE RECOVERY
 Celebrate Recovery

A Christian 12 step program for those struggling with any addiction, abuse or other hurts, habits or hang-ups. We meet every Tuesday at 6:30pm (masks required).
You're welcome to come early at 6pm.

No nursery or child care program available at this time.

If you have questions call the Paige Winfrey 541.821.0459 or send an email to celebraterecovery@trail.org. You can also keep up with Celebrate Recovery on our Facebook page.
LOCAL OUTREACH
THE PREGNANCY CENTER
Looking for a place you can have Great Impact?

Is God calling you to serve those in need this year?
The Pregnancy Center has openings for some of their vital community services.
  • Earn While You Learn Mentorhelping clients to learn essential pregnancy, parenting and life skills
  • Patient Intake Specialistwitness ultrasounds, explore feelings regarding pregnancy (if needed), and provide information about other TPC services and other necessary referrals.
  • Parent Pantry Organizer - sort and display baby items and keep the pantry beautiful and easy to use for clients.  
  • Sidewalk Advocates - Working alongside the mobile medical unit, being a presence out on the sidewalks in downtown Medford or Ashland to help guide women toward the services on the MMU or at the clinic.
  • Mobile Medical Unit Assistantsprovide witness for ultrasound services provided on the MMU.
  • Brochure & Flyer deliveryrestocking specific locations with brochures or flyers occasionally – helping people stay informed of the services offered.
  • Newsletter and Mailings Helpers preparing newsletters and other mailers for the post office

All necessary training and materials are provided
Contact Ronda today at 541-772-1921
GLOBAL OUTREACH
Great Commission Festival 2021
Save the Dates!
February 26-28
Details to be announced

Join us and be both encouraged and inspired during our annual event that outlines how the Lord uses His people to reach the unreached around the globe.
Dancing in the Fire:
The True Story of Malou Faublas
Dancing in the Fire: The true story of Malou Faublas, a single woman missionary in Haiti & Dominican Republic
 
Follow along with her as she journeys back to Haiti, the county of her birth, to share the Word of God. From there the Lord moves Malou into her own ministry next door in the Dominican Republic where she discovers Haitian people clustered in tiny immigrant villages known as bateys. These field workers are known as Haitians or Dominico-Haitians who fled Haiti for a better life in the Dominican Republic. They arrive with little hope, poor health, the voodoo religion, and a distrust of outsiders. Malou has spent several decades helping these immigrants find a better life and eternal hope. See how a single woman, called by the Lord and with help from others, has helped transform an entire area.
Available now at Trail Christian Fellowship for a suggested donation of $15
A portion of the proceeds go to Malou's continuing work

Also available at Amazon.com

Questions? (541) 878-3501 ext 704 or outreach@trail.org
Links
Thank you for visiting TCFinTouch 
the weekly e-newsletter of
Trail Christian Fellowship
18881 Hwy 62
Eagle Point OR 97524
Church Office Hours:
Tuesday-Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
[541.878.3501] [information@trail.org] [www.trail.org ]