Friday, December 2, 2016

What’s In A Name?

One of the most exciting times in any couple's life is when they find out that they are going to have a baby. There are many things that must be done to prepare for the birth of a new baby, but none is more important than choosing a name for the new arrival. A baby's name should be chosen very carefully because the baby will live with that name for the rest of his or her life.
As we approach the Christmas season I am excited about a new series we are starting this weekend. We are calling it, “He Will Be Called” based upon the names of Jesus prophesied by the prophet Isaiah some 700 years before his birth.
There are many names for Jesus, but what do they really mean? I hope you will join us each week as we discover why He is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. You'll gain a new and relevant perspective on the Savior who was born in a manger over two thousand years ago and who grew to be our Lord and Savior.
This Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday so we, instead of having services on Christmas Sunday morning, will be hosting 3 Christmas Eve Services at 3pm, 4:30pm and 6pm. I hope you are looking forward to being a part of C3 this Christmas season.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Remember It’s Thanks-GIVING!

Almost 400 years ago a group of Christians surviving the harsh environment in the New World, decided to set aside a day in the fall at which they would express thanksgiving to God. They brought an offering to God, experienced a banquet and shared in fellowship together. Today we know this as Thanksgiving and we will celebrate it today as a national Holiday.
The Bible tells us that God’s will for every Christian is to give thanks.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Below is a good formula that will help you to thank God in these three areas of time, Past, Present and Future.
Thank God for the Past. We can thank Him for choosing to birth us here in this land of freedom and abundance. We can thank Him for saving us. Thank Him for people, places, and things, even difficult things that He has used to help you grow. Thank Him for giving you chances after chances when you did wrong.
Thank God for the Present. Thank Him that you are alive. Thank God for your present blessings and enjoyments, such as hugging your children or grandchildren and talking to a friend who really cares. Thank Him for the good times you are experiencing today.
Thank God for the Future. Thank God in anticipation of tomorrow and for securing your place in heaven for all time through your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
God has moved in mighty ways throughout the Celebration Community Church family and in our community in the past, present, and God willing, in the future. We have a multitude of reasons to be thankful!
As you gather with your family and friends whether in a home or at the Rose Garden Banquet Hall as a part of ECMA’s Thanksgiving Day Feast, do more than eat turkey and watch football. With joy, give your heartfelt thanks to God with song, an offering of praise and acts of service. Tell your children the history of Thanksgiving and the real meaning behind this holiday and be sure to take a few moments to thank God for all He has done for you. And while you are at it thank those around you for what they have done for you too!.

Thank you to the all of the C3 folks who in one hour shifts from 9am-5pm, collected over two vans FULL of groceries and filled over 400 sacks on Wednesday night that will be given to needy families after Today’s ECMA Thanksgiving Day Feast.

If you know of anyone who does not have a place to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, invite them to the Rose Garden Banquet Hall TODAY. Doors open at 11:30 with a meal served at 12 noon.

Friday, November 18, 2016

It’s Shoebox Time

Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love packed inside. Since 1993, more than 70 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe. The people of Celebration Community Church have been involved in this simple, hands-on mission project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ since 1998. This year our goal is to fill 500 shoeboxes to send around the world. Won’t you please help? Go shopping this weekend and fill a shoebox or two or ten and bring it with you to church. If you can, please add $7.00 per box for shipping.
THIS SUNDAY IS OUR DEADLINE for collecting shoeboxes that will ship out of Hays on Monday. Thank you for your generosity at this time when we are all focusing on GIVING Thanks.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
When you go grocery shopping THIS Saturday in Hays look for one of the 44 families who have volunteered to collect groceries to give a way to needy families on Thanksgiving.
If you want to help sack groceries NEXT Wednesday night come to the Rose Garden Banquet Hall at 5:30pm.

I am always so proud of C3.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

GO into all the world….. through C3’s Mission Auction!

Instead of making appeals throughout the year for money, Celebration Community Church has for the last 18 years been raising dollars to fulfill the Great Commission by auctioning off items from our congregation and local retailers at what we call the Community Mission Auction. In the early days we would combine the auction with a Thanksgiving Dinner we would serve at the Schenk building at the Ellis County Fairgrounds where our congregation worshiped before we had our own building. Several years ago we decided in order to grow the mission auction we would make it a standalone evening event. Since then God has blessed us with ever increasing amounts of generous people who have sacrificially given to our commitment to missions. Over the years we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars which has been given away to over 40 need meeting, charities, ministries, missions and missionaries.
I hope you are making plans to come and see all that God is doing though C3 in Hays, Colby, and around the world, all for the cause of Christ.
Friday will be a great night filled with delicious food, tasty “mocktails”, wonderful bargains and all for a great cause. The silent auction starts at 6:30pm with the live auction beginning around 7:30pm.
Admission is a non perishable food item which we will give away on your behalf through C3’s In Need Food Pantry.
Please pray with me that this Friday’s Community Mission Auction will a HUGE Success.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Friday, November 4, 2016

Wait Till Next Year

Having grown up in Chicago, I have been a Cubs fan since before I ever put on a Little League uniform. I learned the expression “Die Hard”, not from a Bruce Willis movie, but from what it means to root, root, root, for the home team, year after year whether they are in first place, or in the case of the Cubbies, mostly in last.
The last time the Cubs were in the World Series was 1945. The last time the Cubs won the World Series was 1908. As a result, I have lived in a perpetual state of “maybe next year” anticipation.
I believe being a Cub fan and being a Christian are closely related because they are both subject to persecution and both are waiting with great expectation a “glorious appearing”.
The Cubs were supposed to win the World Series last year in 2015 or so it was prophesied in the 1989 film “Back To The Future II” Even when things looked bad the Cubs being down 3 games to none and facing elimination our hopes were kept alive by the similarities with the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Theo Epstein was the Red Sox's general manager in 2004, and he is the Cubs' president now. Epstein had a manager in his first year with the team in Terry Francona, the now manager of the Cleveland Indians.
The Red Sox were dealing with the "Curse of the Bambino.” They hadn't won the World Series since 1918 after trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees. The Cubs are dealing with the "Curse of the Billy Goat.” They have been cursed ... or so the story goes since Billy Goat Tavern owner Bill Sianis was told to leave Wrigley Field during the Tigers-Cubs World Series game in 1945, because the odor of his pet goat named Murphy, was bothering people. Sianis apparently cursed the Cubs, saying they would never win a World Series again. And ever since then Cubs fans across the country have been saying again. “Wait till next year!”
WELL THIS IS NEXT YEAR! Last Thursday night the Cubs came back from a three game to one deficit to beat Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians in extra innings to win the World Series. As a Cub fan I am experiencing a lifelong awaited elation. As a Christian I have been waiting with even greater anticipation the return of Jesus Christ as he promised throughout the scriptures. In my study of Biblical prophecy and current world affairs I am expecting this glorious appearance to happen soon. So as a Christian I lived with the hope that if it is not this year…
I can faithfully “Wait till next year.” Maranatha…Come Lord Jesus!
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hope Springs Eternal

For the first time in seventy-one years the Chicago Cubs are playing in the World Series. The life of a Chicago Cub fan is unique because of the sustained hope we possess in the midst of seemingly endless suffering. There is one thing I can say about Cub fans and that is that we have never given up hope. At the conclusion of each year without a World Series victory, you can hear fans across the country saying, “Wait ‘til next year”; still holding on to the hope that our team will one day prevail.
The hope of Cubs fans can be likened to the hope of Christians. Most people understand hope as wishful thinking, as in "I hope something will happen." This is not what the Bible means by hope. The biblical definition of hope is "confident expectation." Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown. Christian hope is promised to those who follow Jesus. Hope, which is given to us by God, enables us to persevere during difficult and tumultuous times in our life. If Cubs fans can endure the hardships of continual disappointment and continue to be zealous and passionate about their team, shouldn’t Christians be willing to endure suffering for the sake of Christ and for eternal happiness with Him?
As the Apostle Paul says, “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:5
The hope that we have in Christ is eternal and guaranteed. Let us follow the example of Cubs fans and continue to persevere always looking forward with hope.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Friday, October 21, 2016

It’s Mission Auction Time

The concept of God sending His servants into the world to communicate the love of Christ is so important that the church recognizes her call in the very word used to describe worldwide outreach — missions. This word comes from the Latin verb “missio,” which means “to send.” When the church sends others to share the Gospel, she is imitating the Creator Himself. I hope you have begun to grasp the importance of missions to the plans of God?
Not all of us are called to be full-time missionaries, but all of us are called to be involved in missions — if not as goers, then as senders. Sending hundreds of Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes around the world is a great example of how the people of Celebration Community Church can be involved in missions not by going, but by sending.
Also each year at this time Celebration Community Church plans our most ambitious missions effort called the Community Mission Auction. Instead of asking our people to give financially to various missionary organizations throughout the year, we appeal to our church to support this one night of giving that underwrites a good portion of our mission budget. Over the years we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help send the good news of Jesus Christ through ministries in Hays and throughout the world. I would like you to be prayerfully thinking about how you can help in a significant way. Here are a couple of things you can do:
  • Pray that God would open up the hearts of people to understand the genius of generosity and to give cheerfully to the Great Commission of reaching people for Christ.
  • Donate a new item, gift certificate or service project. You can see some of the items already donated at events on C3’s Facebook page.
  • Invite your friends and attend the event with them on Friday night November 11th.
Child care is provided upon request. There will be great food, fun entertainment, a chance to pick up some real Christmas bargains. Your only admission is a non perishable food item for C3’s Food Pantry.
You may not be called to “GO” but we are all commissioned to “SEND”.
What product or service would you like to donate to our Mission Auction? Email or call 625-LIVE
Your pastor and partner in ministry,