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,
Kyle

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,
Kyle

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 kyle@celebratejesus.org.
I hope to see you there.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

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 kyle@celebratejesus.org
This is going to be a great day of celebrating being raised to new life in Christ.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Friday, September 2, 2016

Baptism: A Matter of Life and Death


For the last several years near the end of the summer Celebration Community Church has hosted outdoor baptisms after services. There is just something about being outdoors in a lake or pond that draws us closer to God and to that biblical experience of John the Baptizer immersing Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River.
When people ask me about the meaning of baptism I usually say to them that baptism is a matter of life and death. What I mean by that is that the Bible teaches us that baptism illustrates our alignment with Jesus’ death and burial, "… Christ died for our sins … he was buried …" 1 Corinthians 15:3–4
The Bible also teaches that baptism is not just about death and burial, it is about resurrection and new life. “For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” Colossians 2:12
"When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
By our baptism then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead … so that we may live a new life!” Romans 6:4.
We need to be clear in that baptism doesn’t make you a Christian. Only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring; it’s the outward sign of the inner commitment you have made in your heart. The commitment as a believer to follow Christ.
Next Sunday September 11th at 1pm Celebration Community Church will gather at the Luke and Julisa Haines’ Pond five miles west of C3 for a barbeque and baptism.
We invite individuals and families (children under age of 12 need meet with a Pastor first) who have not been baptized by immersion as believers to come and be baptized.
To RSVP your desire to be baptized, go to the C3hays app and click on the “RSVP” tile or call the church office at 625-LIVE.
This is going to be a great day of celebrating being raised to new life in Christ.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Friday, August 26, 2016

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?


"This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him." John 2:11
Do you believe in miracles? Most people will talk flippantly about it "taking a miracle" in order for something significant to take place or for a person to change their normal behavior. The expression “Do you believe in miracles?” became an American cultural icon when Al Michaels of ABC Sports shouted those words at the end of the medal round in men's ice hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics. It was there in Lake Placid, New York, that a team of young American college skaters beat the veteran Russian powerhouse in what is remembered as the “Miracle on Ice".
When the Bible talks about miracles, it is speaking about an act of God that suspends the laws of nature as He created them to be. We're most familiar with Jesus' miracles, such as His first one, changing water into wine at the Wedding in Cana described in John 2, yet there were many miracles of God as well throughout the Old Testament. John clearly defines the intent and substance of miracles when he call them "miraculous signs." They are events God uses to provide in a special way for His people and to reveal His glory and majesty, as John also notes in John 2:11. While miracles reveal God's glory and majesty, His power and His love, they are only meant for His people - Jesus' miracles never led anyone to believe in Him, only to confirm their faith in Him.
So, let me ask you, do you need a miracle? Do you need God to suspend the laws of nature and accomplish something for you that goes against the norm? Do you believe in miracles, trusting that God can do anything and can make good things happen despite all evidence and circumstances to the contrary?
Just believing that God can stop or accelerate the basic laws of the universe to accomplish His will and purpose for our lives isn't the point of God's miracles. Rather, believing in God's miracles is to believe that He accomplishes extraordinary things in our lives to encourage us and strengthen our faith. That's the kind of miracle God's forgiveness, grace, mercy and love in Jesus is all about, for in Christ, God suspends His Law and declares us to be made right with Him because Jesus paid the full price for our sins on the cross. Now that is a miracle from heaven that happens by faith in our lives every day.
Tonight as a part of 98.5 The TRUTH’s Free Friday Family Flicks series we will be screening 2016’s, PG rated, “Miracles from Heaven”. According to the film’s producers, “It is based on the incredible true story of Christy Beam (Jennifer Garner) who when she discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna has a rare, incurable disease, becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired.”
Come tonight (Friday) to Celebration Community Church at 7:05 pm and experience on the big screen in C3’s gym a “Miracle from Heaven” and celebrate the salvation that you are experiencing through your faith in Jesus Christ as the greatest miracle of all. Refreshments provided.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Friday, August 19, 2016

KIDFest!

Beginning 15 years ago Celebration Community Church began asking the haircutters that were a part of our congregation to donate their time in order to give free haircuts for kids at the beginning of the school year. I can still remember 5 stylists setting up stools in the lobby of our new Worship Center and providing haircuts to about 30 kids. That tradition continues to this day as we partner with the folks at Hays Academy of Hair Design to offer free haircuts for kids from pre-school age through the 5th grade. Last year close to 150 kids got free haircuts from over 20 Hays Academy Hair Design students and staff. Appointments are suggested by calling 625-5483 though walk-ins are welcome. DeLynn Rice our church’s Children’s Director says, “Parents are always so appreciative because families can save up to $50 on haircuts getting their kids ready to go back to school. Free “Haircuts for Kids” runs concurrently with KID-fest, a carnival like food and fun festival in the parking lot of Hays Academy of Hair design.
WE STILL NEED SOME FOLKS to help with the carnival games.
We need a few more volunteers to run games at 9-11 and a handful more for games from 11-1.  If you would like to volunteer to help please contact DeLynn at delynn@celebratejesus.org today or call 785- 625-5483.
Invite all of the families you know to experience KID-Fest this Saturday from 9am-1pm. This is a platform for us to expose families to Celebration Kids which takes place on Saturday nights at 5pm and on Sunday at 10am. C3 Kids gather to sing praise songs with a live band, learn Bible stories through multimedia teaching along with small group Bible lessons by caring volunteers.
KID-Fest also allows us to remind families of the importance of Christian education through our own Victory Christian Academy and Pre-School which is beginning its 4th academic year.
Thank you church for those who supported Kid Fest with donations of water and soda. Thank you also to all of those who have signed up to volunteer.
It’s going to be a GREAT DAY! (Partly sunny and only 75 degrees ☺)
Your pastor and partner in minstry,
Kyle