Calvary Quilters Ministry

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Founded in 2000 by Cynthia Richardson and Dorothy Spivey, this group of ladies work tirelessly creating quilted masterpieces including blankets, matching quilt bags, placemats, table runners, and even goody bags for all of our visiting missionaries.  Jeanene Mathews grew up on the mission field as her parents served in Costa Rica and Guatemala. She explained that missionaries leave a lot behind; everything they know, their families, and most of their possessions.  They have to give up a lot so creating these quilted gifts is a way to remind each missionary that someone is thinking of them and praying for them regularly. 
Jeanene Mathews presents a quilt to Kyron and Antonia Horton - Missionaries to Brazil

Recommended Resource: The Imperfect Disciple by Jared Wilson

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Recommended Resource: The Imperfect Disciple by Jared Wilson

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Every once in a while I will come across a book that I just can’t put down; Jared Wilson’s new book “Imperfect Disciple” was one of those.  It is common today for discipleship to be viewed as simply to-do lists or following self-help principles in order to earn God’s approval or grow in the Lord. While we are to obey commands in Scripture and pursue spiritual disciplines, those are not meant to be in end to itself, and, if we are honest, will always find ourselves failing according to those standards. Wilson takes a different approach to discipleship by stressing our inability to keep the to-do lists and focusing on the completed work of Christ. He explains this in a powerful way by saying “The essential message of Christianity isn’t “do”, but “done”.” (Pg. 67) It is from this foundational perspective that he then focuses on spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship. His explanation of Bible study was extremely helpful in that the primary reason to read the Bible is “not to learn stuff but to be stuff” (pg. 87) focusing on the transformative aspect of studying to encounter the glory of Jesus.

From beginning to end, Wilson stresses, “the power of our obedience and the source of our holiness is not in our efforts but the finished work of Jesus Christ.” (151). He does this from a very honest, real, and personal perspective that makes the book a refreshing joy to read. This will be a book I continually go back to and recommend others to read and work through together. For imperfect, messed up people like me, I know this book will bring hope and encouragement because it points to the only one who can provide it, God Himself!

You can find this book on Amazon, and most other national book sellers as well as going to Jared’s website at

Warrior. Poet. King. Pt. 1 David and Goliath

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Warrior. Poet. King

Pt. 1 David and Goliath
David is possibly one of the best shadows of Christ we have in the Old Testament. Throughout his story you will notice that this was a well-rounded man. He was a strong, valiant, warrior. He was a gentle, graceful poet. And he was a noble, just king. He is the kind of person that we would all want to be like. In fact, to this day, Jews will still use him as a reference point when they talk about their kings and presidents to this day. They’d say, “King Jehoshaphat is great, but he was no David.”

His entire life is so spectacular that we’re going to spend a few articles on it. It’s a story of conspiracy, war, adultery, bravery, beauty, and nobility. Those characteristics are often best seen in his relationships with other individuals like Saul, Jonathan, Bathsheba, and his Mighty Men. So we’re going to do a study on the different relationships David had, and how they reflect the Gospel to us.

His story begins with an unexpected visit from a prophet. Samuel shows up at David’s house and tells the family that David is destined to be a king! This is the making of a great fantasy novel, right? Then the prophet leaves the family for all of them to just dwell on what he announced. It was very long after this that David started getting some notoriety. Perhaps the one event that launched David into the spot light of the kingdom is the most famous part of David’s life; when he fought Goliath. So let’s talk about that historical moment with a new lens.

The Setting

There’s a stand-off between two armies. The Philistines are on one side of the valley. Israelites on the other side. I want you to place yourself in the shoes of the soldiers. Sleeping every night thinking you could go to battle the next morning. Cooking every meal as if it was your last. Constantly listening for the sound of the enemy. And then David shows up to see this strange moment. He was bringing food to his soldier brothers. But he got curious. Why was nobody fighting? Why was everybody just camped out? So, he starts asking around.

It turns out there’s this Philistine giant who’s laid out a challenge. If anyone beats him then they win the whole battle! Pretty simple, right? This was actually a typical Philistine tactic. It allowed the Philistines to decrease the loss of their own soldiers, while also laying claim on more of the enemy’s soldiers. It was a win-win for them. Especially because of who their champion was.

It’s hard for us to imagine what Goliath looked like, even with a description in the Bible, because we’ve never seen anybody quite like him! The tallest man on record is Robert Wadlow who lived in the early 1900’s. He stood at 8’11”. That’s crazy tall! But even when you look at his picture, you wouldn’t think of him as a soldier. Goliath was 9’9”! In addition to his height, he was strong. His spear is described to be like a beam. He had one man designated to carry his shield. This dude was bred for war!

Now contrast this giant killing machine with teenaged, shepherd boy David, who was probably about 5’7”( that’s the average height for a 15 year old.) It’s no contest! My money is on the giant spear!

So David hears and sees all of this. And in his typical teenage boy wisdom asks, “Why isn’t anyone taking this guy on?” So he then offers to combat the giant soldier. Can you imagine? Some farm boy, basically estranged from his family and all of society, shows up with cheese and bread, and says, “Hey, I’ll fight that giant!”

Of course, anybody would be skeptical. But everybody is also desperate, including the king. He’s unexpected and unlikely. They don’t think he can pull this off. So David explains just who he is. “Listen, I’ve fought off a bear and a lion with my bear hands. I’ve been fighting for sheep. I stand for those who can’t stand for themselves. I’m a protector, a fighter, a warrior.” And the King, at the shock of every around, agrees to let David fight for them.

David, an unlikely shepherd, who seemed unqualified to fight this giant, stands in the place of every soldier.

The Climax

As King Saul and the whole army waits in anticipation, David goes out to a stream and finds five smooth stones. And you have to wonder, is David regretting this whole thing? Does he have any doubt about God actually getting him through this? If David fails, the Philistines will take over Israel! And David will go down in history as the failure who plunged Israel back into slavery.

Nonetheless, he confronts the giant and delivers an awesome monologue. You have to read this. I Samuel 17:41-47 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

And then he does exactly what he said he would do. He kills the giant with a supernaturally accurate stone, and beheads him with his own sword. That might be the most boss thing you read in the Old Testament!

So David, the unlikely hero, slays the undefeatable giant! And all of the Israelites enjoyed the victory

The Point

Remember, David is a shadow of Christ. The unlikely hero who stood in the place of all of mankind to defeat an enemy that seemed impossible to defeat. Who are we in this story? The soldiers shaking in our armor. The cowardly King Saul. The skeptical older brothers. We are unable, and maybe unwilling, to face our own giants. We avoid the confrontation.

Goliath then represents an enemy that we can’t defeat: sin. We are soldiers literally living in fear of our enemy. We desperately need a savior. We need our own David to step up.

David goes out, and crushes the enemies head. This is not fulfilling any prophecy, but it is actually reaffirming a prophecy made about Jesus. Remember, in the story about Adam and Eve God tells Eve that her offspring would crush the head of the serpent? David doesn’t fulfill it, but reaffirms it. He is a picture of what Jesus Christ would later do. David stood alone in the place of all of his people. Just as Jesus stood alone in the place of all of mankind.

So what is your Goliath? Is it an addiction? Do you have a stronghold in your life? Is your Goliath a giant of fear? A giant of jealousy? Anger? Lonliness? The lesson for you is this: you can’t defeat your giant on your own. You’re not David. You need a hero. And your hero has already come! He crushed the enemies head!

At this point, your giant is already defeated! You don’t have to fight FOR your victory. You can now fight FROM your victory. Remember, the Israelite army jumped to their feet and chased the Philistines out of their country! So rise up, soldier! Give chase to your defeated enemy. Your giant is a beheaded corpse. You are not a slave to your sin. You are not a victim of Satan’s temptations. You are on the winning side. Enjoy the victory that has been won for you!

"The Power Of Gratitude" Brian Loveless Sermon

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"The Power Of Gratitude" 

Brian Loveless Sermon from November 2, 2014 at 
Calvary Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas.

Turn your bibles if you would to the Gospel of Luke Chapter 17.  So good to be with you today; I really look forward to this time of being together.  I heard a story this week I want to share with you.  I heard about a large dog who walked into a butcher shop carrying a purse in his mouth. The dog walks right up to the meat counter and the butcher looks down kind of puzzled. Here's this dog with a purse in its mouth and the Butcher’s kind of amused. He says, “Hey boy, what is it?  Did you come to get some meat? Come to get some meat for your master?” The dog barks. “Alright! Well you came to the right place. What kind of meat do you want? We've got some ham. We've got some chicken. We've got some beef.” And the dog barks right on beef. “Okay we got some beef for you!  How much beef you want? A half-pound, a pound...” Dog barks right on pound.  “OK, a pound!”  Butcher wraps it all up and right at that moment the dog drops its little purse.  Butcher comes around the counter, he’s still amused, and he picks it up, gets out the right amount of money, and gives the dog the meat.  The dog puts the package of meat in his mouth, turns around, and walks out the door.  The butcher’s absolutely puzzled, bemused, like “I’ve got to find out what the story is here” so he follows behind the dog.  A few blocks in the dog turns into a particular door of an apartment complex, walks up the stairs, butcher is right behind him. Comes up to one particular door and just starts scratching on the door. The owner opens up the door, and standing in the doorway, starts to berate this dog.  Angrily, stomping his feet just giving that dog what for.  The dog has its tail down, head tucked, and then the butcher steps up and he says, “Look buddy, I’m sorry, I don't know what in the world this is all about but this dog is amazing! This dog just came in and ordered from me for you, and brought it back.  This is the most intelligent dog I've ever seen in my life!”  The guy looks at him and says “Intelligent?! This is the third time this week he's forgotten his key!”