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,

Friday, October 14, 2016

His Power

“…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…” Ephesians 1:19
As you read this my older brother Eddie and I are in Chicago to take in a Cubs game in the National League Championship Series.
Last year at this time, on Oct. 12, 2015 to be exact, the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field in Game 3 of the National League Division Series. It was a historic game.
On that day Dexter Fowler, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and Kyle Schwarber each homered in that game. For the first time in professional baseball, one team hit six homers in a playoff game. It was a great display of power.
Ephesians 1:19 says God’s power is not only great but “exceedingly” great. He “spoke” the universe into existence (Psalm 33:9). That’s AWESOME power!
Have you ever considered that you have God’s awesome power in your life?  It is true!  In this verse the Apostle Paul is praying for us and he wants us to know what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Paul wants us to know that God has placed this power in us at salvation.  I don’t think most of us are even aware that we obtained a great power when we were saved.  The Holy Spirit came to live within us and in Him we have power.   No matter what is going on in our lives we can be assured that we have the power in us from God to be victorious.
Yes, we have this power, but do we use it?  Or, do we do everything in our own strength.  When we do that we are weak and not powerful.  But, when we walk in the Spirit and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to flow through us and energize us for service then we will be powerful.  It is only when we surrender ourselves to God in every way and ask in His name that we find this supernatural power. Have you experienced this kind of power?
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Family Reunion

Several years ago my brothers and I got together for a family reunion. We gathered our families and traveled to a central location and spent some time together eating, singing, acting out skits, but mostly just catching up on what was going on in each other’s lives. Our kids got a chance to experience their uncles, aunts, and cousins who, because of the distance between them, hardly knew each other.
I recall that my family who is all spread out geographically took very little time to reconnect and bond. I think that is because we all have something in common. a common heritage. We are connected because we have a common history, shared family stories, a unity that transcends miles or years. Even though we are all different, there is something that makes us the same. We are Ermoian. We are family.
As Christ’s church we too share in a common heritage, a common history. And as brothers and sisters in Christ even though we have differences, we have unity because we are connected to each other as the body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul wrote this to the Ephesians;
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Ephesians 4:3-6
Regrettably Christians too often stay to their own little Baptist or Catholic or Methodist or Presbyterian families. Unfortunately the non-Christian world looks at the divisions within the body of Christ and wonders why we cannot get along better with one another. The early church in its pre-denominational days was known for its oneness and its unity.
This Sunday October 9th the churches of Ellis County are having a kind of family reunion. It’s called the “Festival of Faith: a joyful coming together of area churches with the intent purpose of celebrating our unity while downplaying our differences.
When people share with me their denominational affiliations I like to respond to them that they are not Baptists…but rather Christians who attend a Baptist church. People are not Methodists …but rather Christians who attend a Methodist Church. I even say to people who claim that they are Catholic…You’re not Catholic but rather Christians who attend a Catholic church.
By saying so we can celebrate our unity in Christ while acknowledging diversity by the churches we attend. We are Christians. We are family. Come to the 25th family reunion called Festival of Faith on Sunday October 9th at 3pm at Beach –Schmidt Performing Arts Center and celebrate our unity and diversity in Christ.
We're better together!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Homecoming 2016

It is Homecoming weekend here in Hays Kansas as the Hays High Indians and the Fort Hays State University Tigers both battle their opponents on the home turf at Lewis Field on Friday and Saturday. There will be parades, tailgate parties, dances, class reunions and lots of fun for all.
Throughout the football season our youth and college ministries reach out each week to encourage their respective teams. Our CrossCurrent High School ministry prepares a supper for the players and coaches the night before each game where Conor Nichol and Nick Eiden speak to the team about how football and faith are intertwined. Jeff Burnett of our Encounter College Ministry meets with the Tigers at a pregame meal and pumps them up with inspiring words from God’s word. I am looking forward to all of the Homecoming hoopla this weekend in Hays but as I get older I am finding myself looking forward to another Homecoming.
Seeing all of the turmoil happening in our world events today got me thinking again that I am merely on the visiting team of this planet. This place is not my home. I don’t really own a single thing that matters. I have lots of stuff here but that is all it is. Stuff. What really matters is my faith, my family and those relationships that make this game of life worthwhile and will go on with me into eternity.
Jesus talked about homecoming and He was not talking about an athletic contest or a dance. He talked about a final homecoming; a homecoming where we will all be reunited with fellow alumni who have all put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. But while we are waiting for that homecoming parade; “Lets train well against our opponent, play the game with purpose and passion and lets be victorious for His Team!"
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Friday, September 23, 2016

"What is the purpose of a Christian school?"

Four years ago when we began Victory Christian Academy at Celebration Community Church we asked ourselves the foundational question:  "What is the purpose of a Christian school?"
The answer we arrived at is that we believe a school's ultimate purpose should be to equip children to understand the truth about life, the world, and their place in it. We also believe that in order to understand these truths, the deeper questions regarding the meaning and purpose of life cannot be ignored.  The curriculum of public education cannot guide students through these deeper questions of life, because it cannot use the Word of God as its standard of truth. Christian Schools in general and VCA specifically seek to equip students to recognize the Lordship of Christ in all subject areas of learning, and to respond in obedience to His call to be transforming influences in society. A school not only shapes a child's mind, but also influences their hearts.
Keeping a private school Christian School operating is a daunting task and that is why I am asking our Celebration Community Church family to support VCA in three ways.
#1 Direct students through elementary school to VCA. If you know of any incoming pre-schoolers and kindergarteners whom we can start off connected to the VCA family, be sure to encourage them to check out VCA.
#2 Support with your prayers and financial contributions. If you can see the value of private Christian education being offered through our church’s school, then we would ask that you please make a financial contribution to VCA for the 2016-2017 school year. Your donation would allow us to continue to meet our bare bones budget and provide for our exceptional teachers while maintaining our excellent Christian curriculum.
#3 Purchase McDonald’s Coupon Books from one of VCA’s kids this weekend in the C3 Lobby. Each $5 coupon book you purchase is valued at $20 and VCA gets to keep the entire amount you donate.
Thank you in advance for your prayerful consideration and generous support in this crucial time.
If you have questions at all please contact me.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Friday, September 16, 2016

Next Steps

In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, life to the fullest.”
Jesus didn’t say He came to bring us an institution, an organization or a social club. The church is none of these. Nor is the church a building even though God has given us a blueprint similar to a building of what the church should look like and be like. Here it is:
“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known…according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 3:10-11
God gave us the church to be His body to carry the Good News of Jesus Christ to this lost world.
The Bible goes on to say,
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27
Did you get that? We are the body of Christ and we belong to each other. The Christian life isn’t just about believing, it’s about belonging; belonging to a family.
At Celebration Community Church we invite you to become part of our family through our Next Steps class.
During this 75 minute class you will learn all about who C3 is, what C3 does and doesn’t do, what we believe and what we don’t believe and most importantly, how you can find your place and purpose in it.
I invite you to our Next Steps Class THIS SUNDAY after our 8:30am, 10am and 11:30 services. We will meet after the services at the Connection Table at the front of our Worship Center.
Child care is provided. A light meal will be served.
To RSVP go to the C3hays app and click on the RSVP tile or e-mail me at
I hope to see you there.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Friday, September 9, 2016

What Does The Bible Have To Say About Baptism?

Christian baptism is one of two ordinances that Jesus instituted for the church. (The other being communion) Jesus’ last words to his disciples before ascending into heaven were, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” Matthew 28:19–20. These instructions specify that the church is responsible to teach Jesus’ word, make disciples, and baptize those believers.
The Bible is abundantly clear of what baptism is, who it is for, and what it accomplishes. In the Bible, only believers who had placed their faith in Christ were baptized - as a public testimony of their faith and desire to follow him. Water baptism by immersion is a step of obedience after faith in Christ. It is a proclamation of faith in Christ, a statement of submission to Him, and identification with His death, burial, and resurrection.
With this in view, infant baptism is not a Biblical practice. An infant cannot place his or her faith in Christ. An infant cannot make a conscious decision to obey Christ. An infant cannot understand what water baptism symbolizes. The Bible does not record any infants being baptized. This is why we celebrate infant dedications on 5th Sundays instead of infant baptisms.
If you or someone you know has not been baptized (the Greek word means immersed) as a believer, I invite you to do so THIS SUNDAY. We will be car-pooling to the Haines pond at 12:45pm. Bring a swim suit, a towel and a lawn chair for we will be having a barbeque at 1pm.
To register, go to the C3hays app and click on the RSVP tile or email
This is going to be a great day of celebrating being raised to new life in Christ.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,