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

Smokin Worship

January 11, 2017 11:49 am

Smokin’ Worship The aesthetics of worship is always a source of both inspiration and conflict. From sound, light, color, and clothing to bread, wine, oil, and water the elements that constitute the look and feel of worship are massively important, in some ways even defining what a church is all about. Think about it. If a Pastor stands on a large platform behind a plexiglass pulpit wearing a Hawaiian print shirt and skinny jeans and is surrounded by guitar stands, his image broadcast on large screens in a room without windows and illuminated by theater lights, you know that’s a... Read this post

Something in the Water: Sermon Notes for January 8, 2017

January 8, 2017 1:34 am

  Christian Baptism Deuteronomy 7:7-9; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 6:3-7 First Sunday in Epiphany January 8, 2017 We begin today a mini-series on Sacraments. Together with the Scriptures and Prayer, we refer to the sacraments as ‘means of grace’, those gifts from God that through the Holy Spirit convey to us God’s love and mercy when we receive them by faith. The Sacraments don’t have power in themselves but are made powerful through the Spirit’s work. First and foremost they are signs of God’s covenant love for us and only then of our commitment to him. The two sacraments instituted by Jesus... Read this post

Sermon Notes for January 1, 2017

January 1, 2017 2:38 pm

The Shape of Salvation Titus 2:11-14 Second Sunday in Christmas January 1, 2017 Janus: god of two faces, one looking back and the other looking forward. Facing both directions is deeply Biblical and essential. Both are associated with a packed word which Paul uses twice in this passage: epiphany – appearing. Grace has appeared and glory shall appear. Three words Justification Sanctification Glorification Grace saves us, instructs us, and envisions us, transforming our past, present, and future. The Gospel and the Past: Titus 2:11 Gospel Justification in Jesus birth, life, death, and resurrection Gospel Salvation: deliverance to discipleship Just as... Read this post

Favorite Gifts I Received this Christmas

December 26, 2016 12:21 pm

Time with Family * Living in the same town with my brother, sister, and their families is wonderful * Smoking pipes with my son around the firepit is one of life’s great, simple pleasures Christmas Morning Worship at CCC * Beautiful congregation with deep dedication and gracious hearts * The kids were so much fun during the children’s message * People in church in PJs!!!! BEAUTIFUL!! * Geoff Smith on piano Fitbit * Tracking my sleep is going to be interesting. Sleep? Wireless Noise Elimination Headphones * Won’t eliminate the voices in my head but it’s a good start with... Read this post