Hitting Pause

February 23, 2017 6:48 pm

  Hitting Pause: The Unexpected Gift of Ash Wednesday and Lent “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. Any fool can do it.” – James Taylor In his new book Thank You for Being Late New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman notes the struggle we all to have to keep up with the pace of change we are experiencing. The speed of our lives keeps accelerating in a never-ending battle to maintain awareness and efficiency in an age that continuously outpaces our ability to stay abreast of new information and changing demands. We’re tired. We’re even intimidated. We... Read this post

Arise and Build: Sermon Notes for February 19, 2017

February 22, 2017 10:12 am

Arise and Build Nehemiah 2:1-12, 17, 20 February 19, 2017 Ernest Hemingway. With a group of authors over lunch, they bet him that he couldn’t come up with a short story only six words long. He took that bet, pulled out a napkin and wrote ….. ” For sale, baby shoes, never worn.” At one level, just a story about a man who loved his people and wanted to secure their future by seeing God’s will accomplished. Nehemiah’s entrance into Jerusalem’s ruins points us to God’s redeeming work in Jesus. Journey from the throne to the ruins Faceoff with the... Read this post

Prayer as Life: Sermon Notes for February 12, 2017

February 11, 2017 11:47 pm

Rise and Build Part Two: Prayer as Life Nehemiah 1- 2:4 February 12, 2017 We’re not very good at this, but we can learn. Paul wrote, “We don’t know how to pray as we should…” “One moment of prayer, of weak worship, confused contrition, tepid thanksgiving, or pitiful petition will bring us closer to God than all the books of theology in the world.” ― Peter Kreeft Praying in the passion and reality of exile and unrealized hope Psalm 61:1-2 This is sustained prayer over four months (1:1-4; 2:1): around 100 Days. This is the first of nine prayers recorded... Read this post

Tears of Sorrow to Springs of Joy: Sermon Notes for February 5, 2017

February 4, 2017 5:44 pm

Rise and Build Part One: From Tears of Sorrow to Springs of Joy Nehemiah 1:1-11 February 5, 2017 Historical GPS No walls: defenseless (immune system was shot) Jerusalem destroyed about 580 BC Return of exiles had occurred but the work on the walls had been stopped through the combined efforts of people who hated the Jews and the King of the Medo-Persian Empire. I. Nehemiah’s Position Part of a great strategic team Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Esther, Zechariah, Haggai, Zerubbabel II. Nehemiah’s Passion Highways to Zion: Psalm 84:5-6 “How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In [c]whose heart... Read this post

New Steps in the Dance of Worship

February 2, 2017 4:50 pm

When Christ Community Church members and friends gather this Sunday we will be adding a few new steps to the choreography of worship. The tune remains the same even if the rhythm has some additional beats. Here’s what you’ll notice. Did They Forget the Offering? Are you kidding? Didn’t Jesus say, “Where two or more are gathered in my Name there shall be an offering”? OK, he didn’t say that, but we always rejoice to give because Jesus did say, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” We’re not forgetting it, we’re just moving it to more comfortable quarters.... Read this post

The Cross-Shaped Supper: Sermon Notes for January 29, 2017

January 29, 2017 12:48 pm

The Cross-Shaped Supper 1 Corinthians 11 January 29, 2017   Brief Review:   The Lord’s Supper is Spiritual Food, offered to us by the Trinity, for the nourishment of the soul. This was Charles’ emphasis last Sunday. It’s what Paul emphasizes in 1 Corinthians 10. Spiritual food and drink in the wilderness Spiritual communion through food Make a choice between demons and Christ This is the vertical dimension of the Lord’s Supper.   “My own experience is that when I first became a Christian, about fourteen years ago, I thought that I could do it on my own, by retiring... Read this post

The Most Important Day of 2017? Trumped by the Kingdom

January 27, 2017 5:34 am

  It’s virtually impossible to write even a single sentence – and certainly not a tweet! – about President Donald Trump without inviting the wrath and rage of someone. The election is over, but the intense divisions in our society over the candidates and the outcome are deeper and wider than ever. The mere mention of the President stirs a level of both intense hostility and defensive loyalty that make navigating relationships at all levels increasingly difficult. That’s true in the Church in the United States as well. I say “The Church in the United States” very deliberately. ‘The Church’... Read this post

Grace is Free because Redemption Cost Everything

January 24, 2017 1:13 pm

“There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported, instantly, either to mock damnation or a mock innocence.” Flannery... Read this post

Letter to Diognetus

January 22, 2017 4:07 am

The following is from the Letter to Diognetus, an anonymous epistle from a Jesus follower to a non-Christian, written around 130-150, and noting the place of believers as both citizens and aliens in our various cultures. Peter writes that we are ‘strangers and aliens’ and we do well to remember this, with Abraham always seeking the City that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. When we conflate the Kingdom of God with the politics and/or civic culture of a particular nation or empire we inevitably undermine the credibility of the Faith. We are servants. Is there a place... Read this post

Four Streams, One River

January 14, 2017 12:28 pm

Four Streams, One River The Songs We Sing at Christ Community Church “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God” Psalm 46:4 The Arkansas River flows very swiftly through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, as I discovered the hard way on a whitewater rafting trip last summer. Those kamikaze rapids are not for the faint of heart! Not that spending some time floating rather than boating down the river was a bother; after all, I love whitewater rafting, including the bumps and spills. Together with the Arkansas, the Ocoee, the Yellowstone, and the Colorado are all favorites.... Read this post