Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-30-16

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Devotional by Rev. John Frey
Scripture: Micah 6:8 (MSG)
“But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,  what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,  be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—    take God seriously”

Thought for the Day: Many people believe that living a faithful Christian life involves following a large number of rules that define our behavior, thoughts, and worship. In Old Testament times, a similar mindset existed as religious teachers took the various Torah expectations and added many more interpretative requirements. How can we ever hope to get it right? The prophet Micah recognized this dilemma and summarized God’s expectations simply: treat your neighbor as you want to be treated, love others completely, and put your faith in God. Today, I invite you to join me as we focus on these three foundational expectations.

Prayer: Today, help me leave the artificial religious requirements behind and focus my consciousness on the things that you desire. I dedicate my life to joining in your effort to bring justice and love to the world. Amen.


SUNDAY’S SERMON

Is your mind in the clouds?
with Dr. Joel Plaag



 

Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-29-16

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Devotional by Rev. Bruce Frogge
Scripture: John 14:27
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid…”

Thought for the Day: Not long ago I was doing some updating with my Yahoo email account, and a note caught my attention. It said, “You have space for 54 million more emails.” Why would I need space for another 54 million emails? I really hope I don’t even reach 10% of that number before I die. The amount of clutter and stuff and wasted space (on a computer, in the cloud, in a closet, in our minds) should be troubling for most of us. Let us seek the peace that surpasses all understanding instead of the so-called happiness that the world seems excited to provide. Let us be open to the holy shalom of God and not the unhealthy weight the world wants to pile upon us.

Prayer: I breathe in your peace, O Merciful God – a peace you so generously offer. Let it fill the gaps in my life that the world is so eager to fill. Amen.

JOIN TOGETHER 
IN WORSHIP
THIS SUNDAY MORNING

At the Creek
Cypress Creek Christian Church

8:15, 9:30 & 11:00

Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-28-16

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Devotional by Rev. Sheila Gillette
Scripture: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12

Thought for the Day: It is so easy to judge others and disagree with what he/she believes or how he/she dresses or behaves. I tend to want to judge those standing on the street corners begging and think “Why don’t they get a job? Or go to a shelter?” However, there is no way that I can know the circumstances in that person’s life, their mental and emotional health for instance. Who am I to judge? There are many instances in our lives where we tend to judge others for the music they like, their beliefs, their tattoos, etc., etc. Yet according to God’s word, it is not our place to judge. Only the Lord has that power. What if we all work on loving our neighbor- whoever that may be, and agree to disagree, and not be judgmental? Remembering there is only one Judge and that is God.

Prayer: Gracious God, Help us to be loving and follow the example of your son, Jesus, who we claim wholeheartedly as our Lord and Savior. Help us to love the outcasts and those with different opinions or life choices than us. Help us to listen and not speak in judgement, remembering that is Your job, Lord, and only yours. In the name of our loving Savior, Jesus, we pray. AMEN.



 

Ecclesiological Etchings: 06-27-16

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Devotional by Rev. Karl Decker
Scripture: Isaiah 1:17 ESV
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Thought for the Day: I recently was part of the spiritual team for a three day weekend event for high school age teenage young ladies. It was an eye opening experience seeing the transformation of these 13 young ladies over the course of the long weekend.

Although many came from different backgrounds, areas of town and schools, there seemed to be a common theme amongst a good number of the young ladies; there was a lot of hurt, guilt and loneliness. Most did not have good positive male role models in their lives.

I did my best to be a shepherd for these young ladies, and let each one know that God loves them no matter what.

I was also blessed that there were two other men who were called by God to work the weekend (usually, I have been the only visible male on previous weekends). Both men interacted with the girls during the weekend in their roles as servants. They were great examples of how men should be, loving, kind, caring and generous.
The weekend made me realize that we as Christian men, need to step up and be a good example and to step in when other men are not…..

Prayer: Father, God, please continue to give me the opportunity to be a good example for the young people I meet in my life. I know I am not perfect, but let each one see a glimpse of you in me. I pray those young ladies will find someone in their lives that they can feel safe with, loved by and appreciated. Please stir the hearts of the men they come in contact with to be a reflection of you as well! I pray in Jesus’s precious name, Amen!


 

Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-26-16

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Devotional by Sheila Gillette
Scripture: Romans 5:20-21
“The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

Thought for the Day: When I read that scripture, really read it and seek understanding, it says: “there is always more grace in God, than there is sin in us.” Wow, that is powerful! Grace is abundant, like the song “East to West” by Casting Crowns. Our sin is cast as far as the east to the west. Think about that! The east and west never meet- it is infinity. For God’s Grace, remember this acronym:

Go to God- ask for what you need
Remember that you are a loved child of God
Accept your acceptance by God
Connect with fellow Christians
Embrace the life God has given you.

Prayer: God of Grace, Help me to remember that you love me and that I am your child. When I mess up, help me to remember that I can always go to You, God, and ask for your forgiveness and you will grant me grace. If I mess up again and again— there is no limit to the grace you will grant me when I go to YOU. In Jesus Name, Amen.

PRAY FOR YOUR CHURCH THIS WEEK
PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE THAT VISIT OUR CAMPUS
PRAY FOR THOSE WHO NEED TO HEAR GOOD NEWS

Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-25-16

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Devotional by Rev. Tami Nelson
Scripture: James 2:26
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Thought for the Day: A few days ago I posted an image that said live your dream.  Tons of people reacted to it and it’s something we say all the time.  But are dreams really just teasers of a distant reality?  We constantly ponder things like….. how do you make a dream come true?  What is a dream deferred?  What size is a real dream? Every dream is big because it’s been placed in your heart, the engine of the body that keeps us alive.  The physical heart  keeps blood pumping in our bodies and gives us oxygen that allows our brain to think and gives our muscles and nerves the ability to mobilize  our parts.  We must also look to our spiritual heart in the same manner .  The dream in your heart must move to mobilize our hands in order for our dreams to be actualized.  In James it teaches us that just as the spirit is vital to the life of the body so is work to our faith.  Dream big and bold but those dreams must be transferred from the heart to the hands. I think we all have some work to do.



 

Ecclesiological Etchings:07-24-16

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Devotional by Rev. Paula Gembala
Scripture: John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Thought for the Day: Each time I turn on the news, I find myself feeling sick when I hear all the devastation around the world. Recently, we have been hearing so much about terroristic acts as people use their bodies as a suicide bomber, as well as domestic violence where a family member shoots and kills their own children. When I listen to this type of news, I remind myself of the command Jesus gave to us, and think what a wonderful place this would be, if we would just follow this simple rule: “Love one another.”

I encourage you to focus on these words as you go about your day. Say those words aloud as you are cut off by another car while in traffic; when you are standing in the check out line and the person ahead of you pulls out that wad of coupons; as you sit at your desk at work and the phone just won’t stop, when you go home in the evening and your children want your attention when you just want to relax. No matter what is going on at the time, remember this simple phrase and practice saying it to yourself – aloud or silently. Allow the words to penetrate your being and make the world a better place in which we live.

Prayer: Love of all, help us to remember and practice the command you have given to each of us – to love one another, and in so doing, we can made the world a better place to live. Lord, we want to be the light of Christ to others, give us the compassion and insight to see in them what you see. Amen.


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Mark your calendars for a six week journey
on learning how to love our kids and grandkids.
Classes kick off August 14th @ 11am
in the youth building.
Sign up in the narthex on Sundays.

 

Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-23-16

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Scripture: Psalm 62:5-6
For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Thought for the Day: The 13th-century Islamic scholar and poet, Rumi, wrote:

Silence is the language of God – All else is poor translation. 

I’d like to say more, but anything added beyond this would be embarrassing.  

Prayer: In the words of the great spiritual, “Hush, hush, somebody’s callin’ my name. Oh my Lord, what shall I do? What shall I do? Amen.

e3d96aad-8ef3-4550-874d-907f6b569faf

Mark your calendars for a six week journey
on learning how to love our kids and grandkids.
Classes kick off August 14th @ 11am
in the youth building.
Sign up in the narthex on Sundays.

Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-22-16

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Scripture: Genesis 24:1-4
As the days went by and Abraham became older, the LORD blessed Abraham in every way. Abraham said to the oldest servant of his household, who was in charge of everything he owned, “Put your hand under my thigh. By the LORD, God of heaven and earth, give me your word that you won’t choose a wife for my son from the Canaanite women among whom I live. Go to my land and my family and find a wife for my son Isaac there.”

Thought for the Day: A young boy was in trouble with his mother. She said, “Didn’t you promise me that you’d behave?” The little boy just nodded his head in agreement. “And didn’t I promise you that there would be consequences if you misbehaved?” asked the mother.  The little boy nodded his head again. “Well what do you have to say for yourself?” the mother asked. The boy thought about it for a moment and said, “Well, since I didn’t keep my promise it is only fair that I don’t hold you to your promise.” In scripture, a promise might just be the most important act. Everything else hinges upon it. God makes promises to humanity.  Human beings make promises to God, and based in their promises to God, they make promises to those around them. The good news for us is that despite our inability to fulfill every promise we make, God remains faithful to the promises of grace, mercy and forgiveness. 

Prayer: My faith is a promise, O Lord, and I seek your assistance that I might uphold the promise I have made.  Amen.

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PRAYING FOR
OUR STEPHEN MINISTRY
PROGRAM

If you are interested,
contact Paula ASAP.

Ecclesiological Etchings: 07-21-16

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Scripture: Philippians 2:3-5
Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus…

Thought for the Day: It’s funny, one of the regular readers of my devotional asked me yesterday if today’s devotional was going to be on forgiveness. I didn’t think I had choreographed my plan, but I guess I had. Yesterday, I talked about trust in regard to other drivers, and the frustration I felt toward the person who cut me off in traffic. Recently, I have become very aware of people’s body language while driving. We have all seen the over the top gestures that one driver gives to another. And no, I’m not talking about a certain finger. I’m talking arms in the air or hitting oneself on the forehead in disbelief or shaking one’s head back and forth to make sure another driver 40 feet away can see. A few weeks ago, I made a commitment to myself to no longer shake my head or raise my arms or even give a heavy sigh of disgust. I had been doing pretty well until that car cut me off the other day, and of course, my son noticed my frustration toward the driver. Not a good example! I Forgiveness is easier if we are more disciplined in our initial response to someone else’s mistake, failure or outright sin. If I have kept my emotions (and blood pressure) in check, then it will probably be easier to move to a place where I can forgive. We are called upon to bring the attitude of Christ more fully into our lives, and it requires discipline in advance of the difficult moments. Let’s work intently today on making ourselves a bit more ready to forgive when forgiveness is required.

Prayer: You have provided me the example of Jesus, but Lord, I need more encouragement as I strive to be like him. Allow your Spirit to be my encourager this day. Amen.

STEPHEN MINISTRY
TRAINING

Begins July 31

Do you love helping people?
Are you interested in learning better listening skills?
Can you keep information confidential?
If you answer yes to these questions,
we want to talk to you about becoming a Stephen Minister.

Please call Paula Gembala ASAP!



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