Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Eddie


Just one week ago I presided at my brother Eddie’s funeral service. He lived life to the fullest for what the Book of Proverbs say, ”three score and ten and then another ten years”. He was a born the eldest of four sons of an Armenian Father and an Irish/German mother both fun loving and sociable people. He grew up in Chicago loving his family, the Cubs, the Bears and the hot dog vendors who sold their wears out of baby buggy carts around Wrigley Field. In a Boulder Camera newspaper article about him in 1999 he said "I grew up a mile from Cub's Park. "Some kids want to be policemen. Some kids want to be firemen. I always wanted to have my own hot dog stand."
Eddie worked as a sales and marketing manager for Anheuser Busch for 40 years in Chicago, Minneapolis, Tulsa, Lafayette La, Kansas City and then Santa Cruz California. Whenever I asked him where his favorite place to reside was, he would always say, “wherever he was”. That was the kind of positive attitude that personified Eddie.
His wife Nancy made his lifelong wish come true by buying Eddie his first hot dog cart when he was 50 and in 1994 they moved to Boulder where “Fast Eddies World Famous Hot Dogs’ became an iconic fixture on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. When they retired to Arizona five years ago Eddie blessed me with that original hotdog cart.
Eddie will be remembered as a man with a gregarious personality, a generous spirit, and a zest for life and good friends to share it with. He blessed people beyond measure without ever expecting reciprocity. From giving away hot dogs to all of those who could not afford one, to blessing those around him with ball game tickets, t-shirts, hats, travel bags and fanny packs, whatever he had available. He always Made whomever he was with feel special. He was always the biggest man in the room, a big personality, a big voice, and an even bigger heart.
At his memorial service, I read letters from folks whose lives were forever elevated because of Eddie. Nancy, his wife of 40 years also received letters of condolences from his favorite sports teams, the Bears and the Cubs. He even had the great honor bestowed upon him by being inducted into the Vienna Beef Company Hot Dog Hall of Fame. Ever since I was a kid I have said, “when I grow up I want to be like my BIG brother Eddie”… at age 65 I still say that.
Eddie Ermoian lived three score and ten and for good measure he lived another ten. And he lived them all with passion and with purpose and as all of us mortal men, he didn’t live them perfectly. But Eddie lived and he loved and he laughed out loud. There were many times I remember Eddie sitting back after a good meal with a Budweiser in one hand and a good cigar in the other and say the words… “It just doesn’t get any better than this”.
But I’m here to share with you the good news that right now Eddie is experiencing a place that is infinitely better than anything he experienced on earth.
I have every confidence that my brother is now residing in God’s perfect heaven…not because he was a loving husband, not because he was a devoted father, not because he was a hard worker, an affable fellow, or because he was a generous giver. Eddie is in heaven today for one reason only: He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He made that choice and I hope you have too.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4th Of July


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…" Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
Today, the 4th of July. For me it is a day to rest and intentionally remember and honor our nation’s beginnings. Every year on this day I seek to renew my faith in what I believe to be America’s Godly heritage. I usually watch the movie musical “1776”. Sometimes I view a David Barton documentary from www.Wallbuilders.com.
This year I also plan on watching the first couple of installments of the HBO Miniseries “John Adams”.
Thinking about the person of John Adams I find it amazing that on the very day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, Adams was already foreseeing that their actions would be celebrated by future generations. Adams contemplated whether it would be proper to hold such celebrations, but then concluded that the day should be commemorated – but in a particular manner and with a specific spirit. As he wrote to his wife Abigail:
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

John Adams believed that the 4th of July should become a religious holiday – a day when we remembered God's hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him.
America truly has a Godly heritage and though we can see a disconnecting from the God who has so richly blessed America, I proudly affirm Lee Greenwood sings, “I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God Bless the U.S.A.”
Proud to be an American and your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Prime The Pump


Last Sunday I shared a story about a man who was lost in the desert and near death from thirst. He wandered aimlessly throughout the burning sand for many days, growing weaker by the moment. At long last, he saw in the distance palm trees indicating there was an oasis where there would be would be water. He stumbled forward feverishly, fell beneath the shade of the trees. Finally, he might quench his thirst. But he noticed something strange about this oasis. Instead of a pool of water there was a pump and next to the pump, was a jar of water, and next to the jar of water was a small parchment with a handwritten note. The note explained that the leather gasket within the pump must be saturated with water for the pump to work. Within the jar was just enough water for this purpose.
The note also warned the reader, “Do not drink from the jar. Every drop must be poured down into the pump in the opening so the base of the pump can become soaked, the hard leather softened and, as the leather is softened and expanded, an unlimited supply of water would be available”.
The man faced a dilemma. He was dying of thirst and there was not much water, probably not enough water to save his life, but it seemed foolish to take the little bit of water that he had and pour it down the base of a pump. On the one hand, if the note is true, and he pours it down, he has all the water that he needs. On the other, if he drinks what he has, he might temporarily quench his thirst, but find himself in an oasis and die.
As I thought about this story and the dilemma the man had I realized that you and I are a lot like the thirsty man in the desert. Imagine this, the contents of our lives are what is contained in the jar.
Inside your jar is your time, your passion, your talent, your money, your possessions...it’s all that you are and all that you have.
Now imagine God writes a note to you saying, “Give it to me. Pour it out. Trust Me. Don’t be afraid. Trust me with your time. Trust me with your talents. Trust me with your money. Trust me with your life, your whole life and I will bless you abundantly.”
God HAS written you that note, His word, the Bible. Look at these promises we read from God’s word: 
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine”. Proverbs 3:9-10.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Malachi 3:10
I suggest that all of us prime the pump of God’s spiritual blessings by tithing (giving a mere 10%) of our time, talent and treasure to God. Like the man facing the dilemma in the desert we need to have faith that the ONE who wrote the note will follow through with what he says He will do.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Honor Your Father And Your Mother


"Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you." Deuteronomy 5:16
"Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- Ephesians 6:2
Last weekend as we celebrated Father’s Day, I got to thinking as a father and grandfather myself, about the lasting imprint left on me by my father and grandfathers. As I look back I can appreciate the mark they made on who I am today.
The apostle Paul reminds us that the fifth commandment, "Honor your father and your mother…”, is the first commandment with a promise: "so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land".
A long time ago when as a kid a Sunday School teacher asked me what that verse meant, I can faintly remember saying something like, "I better do what my parents say or they'll kill me." Though there may be some parents who would not dispute that understanding, I don't think that's what Moses in Deuteronomy or Paul writing to the church at Ephesus had in mind. "That… you may live a long time in the land" is not a guarantee of extra years of life to individuals who honor their parents. It is a promise to preserve the social order that respects preceding generations.
These commandments were given by God after Israel exodused Egypt and before they entered and occupied the Promised Land. These people were a brand-new nation so God gave them laws and a covenant to show them how to live well together. History has proven to us that good individuals may die young, but cultures in which people honor the aged, endure with stability. It is disheartening to see that the older I get, the less respect I see being given to parents and grandparents.
I believe one of the of the reasons that the Chinese culture has survived thousands of years through many political and social revolutions is that through it all, they continued to value the honoring of parents and grandparents. They didn’t do it because it was spoken by God through Moses, but simply because it was wise. The notion of "that you may live a long time in the land" is not a tempting bribe to good conduct, but a statement of fact about nations and for that matter, families in which honor is found.
Remember, the Bible doesn't say who is to honor you, but whom you are to honor.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Father


“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years." I have heard that quote attributed to yesteryear’s humorist Mark Twain. It was and is a truly wise observation.
It's disheartening to see young people show little respect for their fathers and mothers. But as they mature, as I did, hopefully we begin to recognize that Mom and Dad knew a lot more than we gave them credit for.
On the other hand, some young people come to realize regrettably that if they had only followed the counsel of their parents they could have avoided much heartache both for themselves and their family. The Bible says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with promise: 'that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth'" Ephesians 6:1-3.
The book of Proverbs counsels, "Listen to your father who begot you . . . . The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him" 23:22,24.
This Sunday is Father’s Day. I encourage you to take some time to think about your father fondly and if he is still with us, call him, take him to lunch if you can, and thank him for giving you the gift of life.
He wasn’t perfect, he messed up but we are commanded to “instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you" Ephesians 4:32. That would be the wise thing to do.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Home Cookin’


My wife Debbie and I are at home enjoying the company of our four grandkids from Atlanta Georgia. We are playing with them, reading to them, singing along with them, and hopefully feeding these gifts from God physically, emotionally and Spiritually. God has entrusted us all with children and grandchildren for the purpose of growing them up in the knowledge and love of His Son Jesus Christ.
Debbie has been busy planning lots of activities at “Camp Grammie” as well as fixing healthy and nourishing meals. I got to thinking that the same thing holds true for all of us as Christians. If we are well nourished we will be healthy and we will yearn to grow even more. When our kids are babies their need for milk is a natural instinct. For a baby, it signals the desire for nourishment that will lead to growth. Once we see our need for God's Word and begin to find nourishment in Christ, our spiritual appetite will increase, and we will start to mature.
1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn babies crave spiritual milk so by it you may grow up in your salvation.”
At Celebration Community Church, we strive to nourish all children and adults with healthy Biblical, Spiritual food. This is the motivation behind our C3 Kids Camp June 8-10. Each year DeLynn Rice and her Children’s Ministry volunteers feed a few dozen kids the spiritual milk that is vital to their growth.
Please pray that over the next couple of days that DeLynn and her crew will impart to the kids who come to camp daily servings of worship, praise, learning God’s word while being seasoned with loving and fun will help grow these kids in body mind and spirit.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Greatest Returns


Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
The Barna Research Group have consistently shown that the majority of people give their lives to Christ before the age of 18, but this recent study is the first that has shown the probabilities at various ages. It also has shown that the evangelistic impact is getting younger.
The study points out that children and adolescents are most impacted evangelistically by family members, peers and their churches activities like Sunday school, Kids Church, Vacation Bible School, etc. In fact, the years prior to age 12 are when a majority of children make their decision as to whether or not they will follow Christ. This is one of the reasons Debbie and I want to invest the next years of our lives and love into our four grandchildren, all of whom are 10 and under.
At Celebration Community Church we concentrate a lot of our time and resources on Children, Youth and College ministries. We invest in programs like our school, Victory Christian Academy, our C3 Kids children’s ministry which just finished Vacation Bible School and puts on a summer camp June 8th -June 10th and KIDFEST on August 19th. SO many kids get connected and grow in their faith through events like these.
Even though the Barna study says that only 4% of teens have a likelihood of trusting in Christ we at C3 believe it is a good investment to pour a tremendous amount of time and money into relevant youth and college ministries. Our CrossCurrent student ministries goes on yearly mission trips, puts on summer camps for Middle School and an upcoming High School camp, June 2nd -7th. CrossCurrent is also sponsoring a Youth Conference called “The Event” this August 4-5th.
Our Encounter College Ministry has in the last year been reaching around 400 FHSU students every week and continues to meet throughout the summer since returning 40 students from a Haiti mission trip.
There is no summer slowdown when it comes to doing whatever we can to reach young people for the Lord at C3. Thank you to all of you who support these ministries through your ongoing tithes and offerings.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Kyle