Prayer for Troubled Times

Dear Jesus,

 

These are difficult days.  We are in uncharted waters.  The good news is: We’re in the boat with you.  We may be in uncharted waters.  There may be dark clouds overhead.  The wind might be against us.  But we’re in the boat with you.  And, so, we’re not going to sink. 

 

Lord Jesus, I ask You to stretch out Your tender hand and just place it on the shoulder of anyone who needs reassurance.  May they feel Your presence in the storm, your nearness, in an almost tangible way.  Lord Jesus, may they feel You say these words, deep inside their heart, “Peace.  Be still.  My peace I give to you.  I will never abandon you; I will never forsake you.”

 

Now, everybody, think about your own prayer needs … What do you need in your life the most right now? …

 

Lord Jesus, make that – that very thing – come true for them.  Provide for them.  Meet their needs.  Strengthen them.  Calm their uncertainties.  

 

We pray in the Name of the Lord of Love, Amen. 



March 3, 2020

CHURCH EVENTS
 
Acoustic Café Nights At the Daily Grind 3/20 3/27
Secret Sister Final Day 3/22  
Palm Sunday 4/5
Maundy Thursday 4/9
Good Friday 4/10
Easter Sunday 4/12
 
 Wednesday Evening Bible Study
New topic this month—we will focus on Prayer. The group meets every other Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Daily Grind beginning March 4. We all participate in the study and have open discussions about what we read. We welcome everyone who wants to learn or share their knowledge. (Facilitated by Lisa Lemon.)
 

Easter Decorators Join us Saturday, April 11 from 10:00-2:00. We’ll decorate the church for Easter Sunday!  Please contact Kathy Elias with any questions at 569-5151, ext. 15.

 



Be Bold

March 3, 2020
Be bold!
A while ago a repairman come to our house to fix the air conditioner. He didn’t come in the house and open up my refrigerator to get something to drink. He didn’t sit on my couch and watch Netflix. He went straight to the air conditioning unit and fixed the problem. He knew he couldn’t come in and make himself at home. He was there as a servant, not a son.
But when our kids come over, they don’t ask, “Hey, Dad, can I go to the refrigerator and get something to drink? Can I sit on the couch?” No, they don’t ask permission; they act like they own the place – and, in a way, they do. They’re my children. Everything I have is theirs.
And I like the fact they know who they are. They’re confident, so they go boldly to the refrigerator. The Bible tells us to “Go boldly to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16) – not as a servant, saying, “God, I know I don’t deserve it. I know I’m unworthy.” No, if you want to make God happy, if you want to put a smile on God’s face, go to Him with boldness. Go to Him like you know He’s proud of you, like you know He loves you, like you know He wants to be good to you. Ask Him for your dreams to come true. Pray bold prayers. You’re not inconveniencing Him.
Never once has one of my kids come into our house and said, “Dad, I don’t deserve to eat here. Let me work for you and earn the right to have this meal.” If they did that, number one, I’d check their temperature. Number two, as their father, I would be disappointed. I would think, Don’t they know they’re my kids and I always want to be good to them?
Are you trying to earn God’s goodness, trying to be good enough, thinking that then maybe you’ll deserve God’s blessings? That’s a slave mentality. Why don’t you just start believing that you’re already in the family. Jesus says, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” God is longing to be good to you.


You Are God’s Favorite!

February 18, 2020
 
Can I tell you a secret? God has favorites … and you are His favorite! You’re the one He loves.
I’ve heard it said that God has no favorites. I think that’s wrong. God has all favorites. He doesn’t have to pick and choose between us, because He has unlimited love. He doesn’t just show love, He doesn’t just express love – He is love. Love is not just what He does; it’s who He is.
I heard about a family that had five kids. The mom had all their names and numbers stored in her cell phone. But the youngest – the baby in the family, her name was April – Mom didn’t have her listed under her name, she had her listed under “Favorite.” So instead of “April,” it says “Favorite.” One time one of the big brothers borrowed his mom’s phone and he saw that and said, “Now, that’s just not right!”
I can imagine that if God had a cell phone, you would be stored under “Favorite.” It wouldn’t be Joe Smith, it would be Favorite Smith. It would be Favorite Bob, Favorite Kathy, Favorite Rebecca. We’re all His favorite!
My wife likes to say, “God is so good to me, I think He has a crush on me!” He has a crush on you, too! “Well, not me, Jeff. You don’t know the mistakes I’ve made. You don’t know the past I’ve lived. When I clean myself up, I know God will love me a lot more.”
Nothing you can do will make God love you more. You might as well believe that you are His favorite right now. He may not be pleased with all your behavior, but that doesn’t change His love for you. You may have made mistakes, you may have shortcomings, but He’s still proud of you. He still says you’re amazing. He still calls you His masterpiece. And knowing that you’re loved like that will give you the strength to do better next time.


February 18, 2020

Church Events

*Class 301 Discover Spiritual Maturity Begins 2/13
*Ash Wednesday 2/26
*Secret Sister Final Day 3/22
 
Bible Studies
Wednesday Evening
Let’s dig into the Bible together as we study the Book of Acts and focus on Paul. We meet at the Daily Grind at 7:00 every other Wednesday and meet next on February 5. We all participate in the study and have open discussions about what we read. We welcome everyone who wants to learn or share their knowledge. (Facilitated by Lisa Lemon.)
 
Sunday Morning and Tuesday Evening
This study examines what the Bible says about angels and demons and how this subject is relevant to our lives. You can choose either Tuesdays at 7:00 or Sundays at 10:15 at the Daily Grind. (Facilitated by Greg Deily.)
 
Class 201, Discover My Ministry
Learn how to identify and apply your unique gifts and abilities in a fulfilling ministry at Christ Church. This class is now offered online, just go to clcsouthwick.org and click on the link. Please see Kathy King for more information.
 
Class 301, Discover Spiritual Maturity
Christ Church’s small group offers six sessions for getting involved in your church. Participants learn the five healthy habits that lead to a mature Christian lifestyle. Join us Thursday, February 13, at 7:00 p.m. Please see Mike Curran for more information.
 
Ash Wednesday
Join us Wednesday evening, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. as we mark the beginning of Lent with a poignant service. We will turn our hearts toward the final days of our Lord’s earthly life.


January 8, 2020

Acoustic Café Night at the Daily Grind Jan. 10, 7-9
Ministry Fair Jan. 16, 19
Westfield Soup Kitchen Meal Jan. 31
Get Ready! Feb. 2 SUPER BOWL SUNDAY With Special Presentations from actual NFL Players from Both Super Bowl Teams!
Souper Bowl Sunday
Please bring a non-perishable food item on Sun-day, February 2 and throughout the winter to help our neighbors in need. Pantry shelves really empty out this time of year. Did you know we collect non-perishable food donations year round? Look for the donation box near the Information and Opportunity Tables.
 


Kittens from Heaven

January 8, 2020
Kittens from Heaven, or God’s Amazing Goodness.
 
God wants to amaze you with His goodness this year!
“Well,” you say, “Jeff, I don’t see how that could happen for me. I don’t see how I could ever get out of these problems. I don’t see how I could ever turn things around.” Here’s the key: You don’t have to see how. That’s not your job. Your job is to believe. God has all kinds of ways to bring your dreams to pass. He has ways you’ve never even thought of. That’s why it says in Proverbs, “Lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Sometimes there is no logical solution. Sometimes there is no natural way out. If you constantly try to figure it out, you will just get frustrated. Eventually, you’ll get discouraged and just give up. Again, understand this: Just because you can’t see a way doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a way.
One of the stories I love to tell the most is the story of little Lindsay. Lindsay wanted a kitten. She kept asking her mother week after week for this kitten. But her mother didn’t want any more pets around the house. She said no to her daughter’s dream again and again. But this little girl was so determined, she kept asking month after month.
One day she said, “But, Mommy, what happens if God really wants me to have a kitten?”
Finally, out of frustration, the mother said, “Listen, honey. If God gives you a kitten, I’ll let you keep it. But we’re not buying one.”
Well, Lindsay didn’t know any better. She went out in the backyard, got down on her knees, and said, “God, I’m asking You to please, please give me a kitten.”
When she finished praying, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a kitten drops out of the sky and lands right in front of her. The mother could not believe her eyes. She thought she was seeing things. There was no tree overhead. It looked like the kitten had just fallen from the heavens. Lindsay picked it up and said, “Look, Mommy. God gave me my kitten.” Mom just stood there dumbfounded, in disbelief.
Several months later, she learned what happened. The neighbors who lived behind her and two houses down were trying to get this little kitten out of a tree, but it was too tall for the man to reach with his ladder. So, this man got a smart idea. He tied a rope to the tree, and he hooked the rope to his pick-up truck. He started slowly pulling the pick-up forward to bend the tree over.
Just when he got the tree bent low enough to reach the kitten, the rope broke, and the tree acted like a slingshot. It shot that kitten three houses down – and it fell right at that little girl’s feet. The man felt terrible. He thought it was dead. He didn’t know that he’d just answered a little girl’s prayer.
God works in mysterious ways. Now that little girl can say, “Who would have thought God would have rained down a kitten from the heavens?”
Is there anything too difficult for our God? Is there anything too wonderful for our God? He knows how to put you in the right place at the right time.
If you are single and looking for a relationship, God can bring the right person into your life. I wouldn’t expect that person to drop out of the sky, though. If that happens, you’d better call the police. But God can bring somebody great across your path. Don’t doubt that. Just say, “Lord, I believe.”
If your business is slow, He can bring the right connections across your path. Even if the year starts slow, He can make it up in the second half of the year. Just keep plugging, keep pushing, keep going with integrity, and keep yourself in the game. Just say, “Lord, I believe.”
My friend, God is in control of the universe. He is directing your steps, causing you to be in the right place at the right time. He knows what you need, and he knows how to get it to you. He can even rain down a kitten from the heavens!
You may not see how it can happen, but remember: God has a way. God will amaze you with His goodness. You will experience some “Who would have thought?” blessings. And when you look back on 2020, you will say, “This was not an average year … this was not a mediocre year … this was not a super year. It was a supernatural year!”


December 4, 2019

Church Events
DECEMBER 2019
• Christmas Pageant Rehearsal at noon, Dec. 1
• Book signing at the Daily Grind, 11:00-2:00, Dec. 7
• Christmas Pageant Rehearsal 11:00-1:00, Dec. 14
• A Manger Suite Musical at 7:00, Thursday, Dec. 12
• A Manger Suite Musical at 8:15, 9:15, 10:15, Sunday, Dec. 15
• Christmas Pageant at the 11:15 service, Dec. 15
• Adopt-A-Child unwrapped gifts due at church office Monday, Dec. 16
• Santa at the Daily Grind 10:00 to 12:00, Dec. 22


Amazing God

December 4, 2019
Let me show you how you can tap into the amazing power of our amazing God. Because there may come a day when you get a bad prognosis. There may come a day when you feel overwhelmed, when you feel like you’re ready to throw in the towel.
 
Here is one way to bring the power of God into your battle …
Turn to Him.
 
God says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; and I will deliver you and you will honor Me.” (Psalm 50:15)
Here’s what I would do if I were you. I would just say, in my own words, in my own way, “God, I open my heart to You. I open my life to You. I don’t have all the answers. I still have a lot of questions and doubts. But I want You in my life.” Or just say it sweet and simple like Sue: “Jesus, I love You, I love You, I love You.”
Maybe you’re thinking, “But, Jeff, I’m too far gone. It’s too late for God to do anything in my situation. My situation is totally messed up.”
Well, that’s what they said back in the pages of the Bible. One time the Israelites were facing an overwhelming enemy army. To put some distance between themselves and the enemy, the Israeli army made a fatal mistake. They made a run for it and they ran right into a desert. Six days later, they’re out there under the scalding sun, their horses are panting, their men are dropping, they’re out of water. They’re in the middle of the desert, and the middle eastern sun is beating down on them, and it’s hopeless. Their situation is hopeless! Without water, they’re dead.
So, they decided to do what I’m telling you to do. They call out to God in their day of trouble. They said, “God, if we don’t find water, it’s all over.”
God said, “You called to Me in your day of trouble; and I will deliver you and you will honor Me. You will have all the water you need by this time tomorrow.”
They said, “But … but … we’re in the middle of a scorching desert and there’s not a cloud in the sky.”
God said, “Boys, get your shovels out and start digging ditches. You’re going to have so much water, by this time tomorrow you’ll need ditches to contain it all.”
When the sun rose the next morning, there still wasn’t a cloud in the sky … but, suddenly, water began flowing right through the desert, swirling around their ankles, filling those ditches. I guess far away, so far away it was completely out of sight … up in the mountains, there was a big storm that caused a flash flood. And all that water had nowhere to go, except down into the desert valley.
Who would have thought? Water in the desert!
What do you need God to do for you? Maybe you’d better get out your shovel and start digging! Because we have an amazing God!
Turn to God. Call out to Him in the day of trouble.


November 19, 2019

Church Events
• CLC Music Academy Recital Nov. 10 at 1:00
• Confirmation Sunday Nov. 17 at 11:15
• Thanksgiving Sunday Nov. 24
• Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child due at Church Nov. 24
• CLC Serves Dinner at Our Community Table Nov. 29
• Christmas Decorating Day Nov. 30 1:00 to 5:00
• Manger Suite Musical 8:15, 9:15, 10:15 services, Dec. 15
• Christmas Pageant at the 11:15 service, Dec. 15