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January 2018
January 2018
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On Sunday, Pastor Tag Tuck stood in front of the congregation and held up an acorn. “This is an oak tree,” he told us. As if that wasn’t hard enough to believe, he then went on to describe in detail what this oak tree is like. Did you see it? No, your eyes weren’t fooling you. It wasn’t an oak tree – not yet. But it will be. Church planting is like that, sowing seeds for what will be.

Starting on January 1st, Pastor Tag’s call transitioned from Grace Community Church to the Blue Ridge ...


January 2018
January 2018
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Word of the Week: Simple

I really enjoyed yesterday as we heard what is happening at Word and Table Church and thought about God’s plan to use us. But taking things another direction, sometimes a simple plan works the best, right? The more complicated something gets, the more possibilities for trouble. So, if you want to get a kick start in Bible reading in 2018, why not start with our Evening with Jesus series?

We will be doing a number of sermons on John 13-17. This section all happens on ...


January 2018
January 2018
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We say with a little depression in our voices, “Some things never change.” It usually has to do with the small annoyances in life which our family, friends and coworkers bring into our experience. “Bob is ten minutes late again - some things never change”.

There is an upside to “Some things never change.” For the disciple of Jesus, some things never change. God’s faithfulness never changes. Our standing with God because of Christ’s death and resurrection never changes. Our purpose in life ...


January 2018
January 2018
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Word of the Week: Goal, part II

What is your goal for your soul?

I got sloppy about my soul last year. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it, but I didn’t do some of the things which normally refresh my relationship with Christ. I was the one who suffered most from the absence of those things. I wasn’t as refreshed and joyful in Christ as I might have been. I know simply resolving to do more alone won’t cut it. So, I’m working even now on a plan for personal renewal with Christ in 2018 - ...


December 2017
December 2017
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What’s the mark of a true expert?

An expert is the one the professionals themselves go to. The chef of chefs cooks at the restaurant where even other chefs go to eat. The mechanic of mechanics works on cars for even the most avid car people. You know you’ve found someone at the top of their game when other professionals in the field go there.

So what does it mean to say Jesus is the King of Kings? It means he’s at the top of his game. He’s the king that other kings look to. He’s the ruler ...


December 2017
December 2017
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Word of the Week: Goals vs. Resolutions

OK, the Christmas food coma is beginning to recede right now. A few of you are starting to set yourself up for the failure of making resolutions to do better next year. I’m going a different route - one of which I’ll discuss a bit next week too. I have a few goals for next year. Goals are different because they can be broken down into measurable and attainable parts. A resolution depends on my sustained resolve over a whole year. I’m not that resolved ...


December 2017
December 2017
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As we celebrate Advent together, we want to continue to look at the different names that Jesus is given in the scriptures. This week we will look at the name Emmanuel.

Emmanuel means “God with us.” God loved us so much that he sent his son in human form to take on sin that we could never defeat. God is with us! What a statement that is!

We see in the scripture that this name for Jesus is often used. One of my favorite passages that the name Emmanuel is used is in Isaiah 8:

"Because this ...


December 2017
December 2017
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Word of the Week: Tribute

Last week I learned of the death of an influential professor of mine, Dr. RC Sproul. I’m including the tribute I gave to him on Facebook. In mentioning him, I’m encouraging you to read his material or listen to his lectures. RC was passionate about teaching people theology who were normal church members. His book Chosen by God is the go to text to explain our church’s understanding of predestination. The tribute on the Washington Post website by Russ Pulliam is a ...


December 2017
December 2017
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In our blog this advent season we consider some of the titles given to Jesus of Nazareth, whose birth we celebrate this time of year. Consider with me the title “Lamb of God.”

This term is used in dramatic fashion by the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist.  In John 1:29 he exclaims:

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

John’s ministry has one of its most significant moments when Jesus is seen while John ...


December 2017
December 2017
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Word of the Week: Plant

Churches are planted, not started. That’s the official lingo. It’s a good word, because churches are not buildings, or even people (as the children’s song says), churches are living organisms. They are a community of God’s people where His Spirit is at work. Ephesians 4:1-16 describes the church in organic terms. We are a living group that is interconnected.

We are blessed to be a part of a new church plant in our city. Word and Table PCA is a church plant of our Blue ...


December 2017
December 2017
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Different people know us by different names. Official documents call us by our full legal name. Friends may call us by a nickname. A child might call us “Mom,” or “Dad.” A spouse might have a special pet name for us. Which name’s the right one? Well, all of them. Each name is true because each name says something about us. Each name tells us something different. I’m Thomas A. Breeden, but I’m also just Tom.

Jesus is no different. The Bible is full of different names for him. As we celebrate ...


December 2017
December 2017
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Word of the week: Rest

I’m back from vacation - which was a week of rest. I didn’t go anywhere. In truth I didn’t rest that much - I worked in the yard some, enjoyed a hobby, went to the gym a couple of times, and watched my nephew’s football team play in the playoffs (a heroic effort but they lost to the team who won the championship the last two years). We spent the night in Richmond and enjoyed worship at the West End Presbyterian Church. The week ended by watching my friend and former ...


November 2017
November 2017
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Have you ever felt anxious? Like feeling very worried about something or someone? I have been there. It’s this place where you feel helpless and don’t know what to do, but you really want something to happen, so you keep trying until you realize you can’t do anything without the Lord.

Thankfully we are called in Bible to make these requests to the one who controls everything and as is eager to hear from us. Phil 4:4-7 says:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Let your ...


November 2017
November 2017
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Word of the Week: Hamilton

Earlier this year I found out that Hamilton, an award winning Broadway show, is coming to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2018. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack heavily ever since (which has made me pretty easy to sneak up on in the office). Its music is lodged deeply in my head and it has rekindled my interest in the history of Revolutionary America enough to spend my free time with my nose in a biography of Alexander Hamilton.

Music has a way of ...


November 2017
November 2017
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On this week of Thanksgiving, we continue our blog series on prayer from the acrostic A.C.T.S. This acrostic suggests that some of the good prayer topics for us include Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. The idea is prayers of thanksgiving are great for the entire year.

If you search on the phrase “give thanks” (try www.biblegateway.org) you will find 62 verses in the English Standard Version which have this phrase. Of course, there are many other phrases which teach us to ...