Pastor's Blog
AN UNNATURAL SOUND PDF Print

The Bible is full of unnatural decisions.  An “unnatural decision” is one made against the grain – against what we would describe as “common sense.”  The pages of the Bible introduce us to a group of people I like to call “jumpers” (folks who swim against the current).  These are those who have a habit of making strange and unnatural decisions.  Why?  Because “God’s Word” is filled with those who hear and respond to an unnatural voice.  Now I will agree with you in your argument that these so called “jumpers” are actually listening to the right voice, the natural voice – God’s voice.  But in reality it’s the world’s voice that becomes the natural voice because it’s natural for us to hear its sounds both early and often in our lives.  We get a steady dose of what seemingly makes sense and before long it just comes natural.  The more familiar, the harder it becomes to listen to something different.  Therefore, the world around us (translated, other people) think it strange, bizarre, even whacked, if we listen to an alternative voice.  But I want you to know that this new way of hearing is the only path that leads to true life, full life!

Consider if you will, in your life, learning to hear something new.  Listening and responding to a sound that in the beginning may seem strange and unnatural; but in the end you’ll wonder how you ever did without it’s guidance.  Now understand that the complexities of truly hearing and following this new voice faithfully, takes a lifetime of devout practice and discipline.  But the journey’s a joy and you need to start somewhere and sometime.  So why not here and now? 

May I suggest that you begin by accepting.  Accepting that you’re not remotely in tune with all that you need to be.  Accepting that there actually is a God who desires to be heard and who has much to say.  Also, if I may, a friendly reminder: please remember that you’ll never arrive.  There is no destination where you can just kick your feet up and say I’ve made it (not on this side of glory anyway).  We’re always searching, ever discovering fresh nuances of God’s voice – which leads us deeper and deeper along this unnatural path! . . . Few there will be that will find it.  Or hear it, for that matter!

– Dale

 
VOLUNTEERISM PDF Print

Volunteerism, “use of or reliance on volunteers.”  Did you know that according to statistics women are more likely to volunteer than men?  (Although the total number of women volunteering this last year declined as well.)  The age group most likely to volunteer are those age 35–44 with folks in their early 20's being the least likely to volunteer.  Being married seems to increase the urge to give of one’s time and energy as well as being parents.  Both groups were statistically higher in the “helping out” category.  That’s more than you wanted to know about volunteering, right? 

I wonder how most people see their labor in the Jesus movement, or Church, or ever how you want to term it?  Jesus used terms like, field hands or workers which may be a little too intense for some today!  Do we think of ourselves as volunteers when we’re involved in kingdom work?  Maybe it’s our own fault.  We use terms like “ministerial staff'”and “lay-people,” like there’s a difference in the labor.  In reality, although there maybe a difference in the specific tasks, there’s no difference in the calling.  As Christians we are all called to labor.  All called to use our gifts and talents within the body and upon the world.  Granted, some may have a more “body-sensitive” calling such as preaching and teaching and helping with worship.  But all are called to serve in some way inside and out.

So, if you’re presently just a spectator, you’re not listening.  Could it be the many wonderful sounding voices of the world are drowning out God’s call and Spirit-teaching?  Or maybe you’re just ignoring God’s voice, hoping it will go away and leave you to do your own thing?  Truth is, He probably will.

“What are you doing right now that requires faith?” • Francis Chan

– Dale

 
SMALL GROUPS PDF Print

Our effort to strengthen our community of faith here at CBC has led us to seek out the development of small groups within our fellowship.  What's that mean?  Well, it is smaller groups built around like interest or new investigations which carries with it the possibility of increasing our faith and strengthening our walk with our Savior.  They can also create an atmosphere where people are able to draw closer to one another, thereby creating stronger bonds between Christian brothers and sisters.  These stronger bonds help in providing the proper environment that allows a deepening of faith and increased desire for a personal relationship with Jesus.  As in anything, this endeavor will succeed only with Spirit-led enthusiastic involvement on your part.  So, will you pray about being a part of this new movement within our church? 

– Dale

Here are the groups that will be starting at present:

1.  Ben's Group: a small group made up of mostly those from the Pathfinders Sunday morning Bible study group but open to all.  They will be meeting on Sunday evenings in different homes and will begin with Gary Chapman's book "The Five Love Languages."

2.  Book Club: led by Mrs. Sally Henson, in homes.  Contact Sally for time and place.

3.  Max Lucado Group: led by myself at the present time.  We will meet at the Church on Sunday evenings from 4:30–6 starting the Sunday after Soup-er Bowl Sunday (Feb. 13).  Our first book will be "Out Live Your Life."

4.  Encouragers Group: led by Mrs. Delores, time and place TBA

5.  Prayer Warriors: led by Mrs Cecille, time and place TBA

6.  Young Couples Enrichment Group: led by Jeremy Brown on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Prayer Room (while AWANA is meeting)

The names of these groups may change.  My desire is to describe them in such a way as to help you understand what they are.  Also, new groups are forming weekly as new leaders volunteer.  If you are interested in starting a small group please contact the Church Office for a list of our guidelines.

There will be a Small Group informational time next Sunday (Jan.  30) following the  morning worship service in the Church Foyer. 

Please be in prayer for our church as we seek to reach our community for Christ.

 
LIFE INTERRUPTIONS PDF Print

This week has been a horrible time for many folks trying to travel about the country.  I know several who couldn't get to their destinations due to inclement weather (too much of the white stuff).  Of course that goes both ways.  There are those who were snowed in and had to extend their stays - too bad, right?  Getting where we need to be is vital, isn't it?  Whether it's work or play, it's important for us to keep our schedules.  We're so careful to plan every moment of our lives that when something like a blizzard comes along and knocks us off our time table, it's just downright inconvenient.  Nature can be very rude!

 

But that's life.  No matter how careful our planning, there are always interruptions that pop up and just laugh at our well thought out itineraries.  Some of these glitches are mild and merely bothersome, but others, well they can be the mother of all interruptions and leave us struggling to hold it together.  I'm often amazed at why so many folks just chance it and try to face life without any “God-strength” at all?  It's incredible, not to mention foolhardy.

 

James writes, “Now listen you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.'  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will we will live and do this or that.'”

 

We're here now, we're aware of now.  God's “there” now!  He knows the directions our lives need to travel.  The Bible exhorts us to trust God and not to lean - or trust - in our own understanding.  Why?  Because our view is limited, we can't see the road for the snow!

- Dale

 
PEACE 2010 PDF Print

PEACE 2010

What's on your Christmas list this year?  What is it that you wish with all your might to see under the tree this holiday season?  Of course the list is as endless as there is taste - right?  Or no taste, for that matter.  There's so much to choose from!  We've got iPods and Mega Moon Mood Hopz's available to us.  Or maybe you'd prefer an EyeClopse Mini Projector?  If you can think it up, someone, somewhere is trying to make it available in multiple colors and various sizes for your purchasing pleasure!  I mean who wouldn't want Power Paws Nonslip Socks for their pet?  Or my personal favorite, a personalized stuffy that looks just like you.  (I know what Ann's getting for Christmas!) ?

All of this “stuff” that finds it's way under our tree, is really a far cry from the presents promised to us on that very first Christmas.  Prominent among these first gifts (and probably the most sought after - in one way or another) is the gift of peace.  Isaiah stated  centuries before the birth of Jesus, that this Savior would be known as “The Prince of Peace.”  How cool is that?  The “Boss of peace!”  The angels who appeared to ghost-white, terrified shepherds on the hills outside of Bethlehem even sang of “peace on earth” at the birth of Jesus.  But really, where does this peace exist?  There certainly was no peace for the Babe born in the Bethlehem manager.  A murderous king saw to that.  But Jesus' life  was marked by grief.  He was refreshing water for people living in a desert and they refused to drink!  ?

So where's the peace in our strife-filled world?  Look within.  The peace that Jesus rules is the greatest possible expression of it!  This “Jesus-peace” that defies understanding is the power of presence . . . His!  He comes into our lives and does a new thing.  Lovingly He doesn't leave us like He found us but transforms us into peace-seeking missiles!  We become peace-peddlers which helps lead to more external peace in the world - at least, it should.  ?

So, you're making your Christmas list . . . that's good!  I hope you get all the gizmos you desire, because I like seeing you happy.  But let me suggest a greater treasure, an ancient treasure that's been around since the very first Christmas.  Peace - the peace of presence. Let Jesus show you what gifting is all about! ?

- Dale

 
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