Friday, October 30, 2015

Does God Love A Grumpy Giver?

Forward Faith

This week we have been learning that faith is believing when I don't see it, obeying when I don't understand it, giving when I don’t have it and when we do have it we are to give cheerfully.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”   2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT)   
I saw a bumper sticker a long time ago.  It said, "God loves a cheerful giver, but He accepts from a grouch."  That's funny but it's not true.  God does not accept from a grouch.  Why?  Because God doesn't want your money if you give it grudgingly.  He doesn't want your time if you give it grudgingly.  He doesn't want your talent if you give it grudgingly.  Why?  Because God doesn't need it.  He wants what it represents -- your heart.  God is more interested in the attitude of your giving than He is in the amount of your giving.  If you ever feel like you're pressured to give, or pressured to do something and you feel grudging, let me tell you right up front... God says "Don't bother!  I don't need your money.  I don't need your talent. What I want is your life."  And that's why the Bible says "Where your treasure is, your heart is."  If you can't give it with the right attitude, don’t.
Having been a pastor for many years, I've discovered that the most miserable people are the people who feel guilty when they're not generous and then resent it when they do give.  Either way they're miserable.  It is not by accident that the root of the word "miserable" is the word "miser".  When I hold on to things and when I'm not generous with my life and my time and my talents and my money, when I am a miser, then I'm going to be miserable. Yet the more generous you are with your money, with your time, with your life, with your talent, with your encouragement, the more God is going to bless it. 
This Sunday is the first of three Forward Faith commitment Sundays where we will be collecting our launch offerings and our 36 month pledge cards. We will also be sharing what our church has saved since paying off our existing building 13 months ago. Pastor Brant and myself will be sharing about Abraham, the father of our faith.
Give cheerfully!
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Giving Even When I Don't Have It

Forward Faith
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
All week in this blog we have been learning that faith is believing when I don't see it, obeying when I don't understand it and the Bible tells us also that faith is giving even when I don’t have it.     
Giving and faith always go together.  God uses finances to test our faith.  Have you ever had to decide between tithing and paying a bill?  This is a test!  God is saying, "Who are you going to trust?  My promises to take care of you if you put Me first or yourself?" 
In Hebrews 11, this Hall of Fame, the first one who gets listed is a man named Abel.  Abel gets listed not because he did something great.  He didn't.  He had no great accomplishment.  No great achievement to his name.  The only thing he did was he gave an offering.  And God put him in the Hall of Fame.  Why?  It wasn't how much he gave, it wasn't what he gave.  It was how he gave.
Hebrews 11:4 "It was faith that made Abel's offering to God a better sacrifice than Cain's.  Through his faith God approved of his giving."   "Faith", "offering", and "giving" are all connected.  He said it wasn't what he gave that pleased God but how he gave it.  It wasn't the amount, but the attitude.  God doesn't care about the amount.  He worries about the attitude by which you give. 
You need to understand that there are two ways to give.  You can give by faith or you can give by fear.  You can give by reason or you can give by revelation.  One of these ways you don't get any credit for.  The other way pleases God. 
First, I can give by reason.  When I give by reason I look at my bank account and my check stubs and how much I've got and I figure out what can I afford.  And I give a reasonable amount based on what I can afford.  That doesn't require any faith.  An atheist can give by reason.  You don't have to believe in God for that. 
The other way to give is to give by revelation.  Revelation is when you pray, and you ask God and you say, "God, what do You want to give through me?  God, how much do You want me to trust You for this time?"  It's called giving by faith.  That's the kind of giving that God blesses.
This Sunday is the first of three Forward Faith commitment Sundays where we will be collecting our launch offerings and our 36 month pledge cards. We will also be sharing what our church has saved since paying off our existing building 13 months ago. Pastor Brant and myself will be sharing about Abraham, the father of our faith.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Faith Is Obeying Even When It Doesn’t Make Sense

Forward Faith

The Bible says in Hebrews 11:7 "It was by faith that Noah built an ark to save his family from the flood.  He obeyed God who warned him about something that had never happened before." Faith, the Bible says, is obeying when I don't understand it. When God said, "Noah, I want you to build this big boat because it's going to flood."  Noah said, "What's a flood?"  God said, "It's when you get a lot of rain."  And Noah said, "What's rain?" Would you believe that, if you'd never seen it? 
It didn't make sense.  He had all kinds of questions and doubts because he and all of the people around him had never it had never happened before.  The Bible says that, before the flood, it had never rained.  The earth was watered by a mist that came up from the ground like dew in the morning, condensation. It was a different kind of atmosphere.  That may have been one of the reasons that people lived longer in those days -- of course they didn't have food additives or auto accidents back then either.
But Noah, because he had faith, obeyed God even though it didn't make sense.  God said, "I want you to build this big boat here in the middle of the desert and I'll bring the water to you."    Noah obeyed when it didn't make sense.
In 1999 during our first “Time To Build “ campaign God put on my heart a dollar amount He wanted me to give and it was WAY BEYOND what I thought was my capacity to give.  For me to give what He asked me to give didn’t make sense. But I pledged that amount anyway and guess what? God was faithful and He gave me the capacity to be able to fulfill my obligation.
Faith is obeying even when it doesn’t make sense
Come to the next Forward Faith Dessert THIS THURSDAY at 7pm and find out how you can learn to trust God as you ask Him what He wants to give through you.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Faith First Believing Even When I Do Not See It

Forward Faith
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
If you want to look at faith, go to the Bible and the book of Hebrews, chapter 11.  Chapter 11 of Hebrews is God's Hall of Fame -- actually God's Hall of Faith.  It's the list of the great men and women in the Old Testament of the Bible who have exemplified what it means to be a person of faith.  
Faith is visualizing the future in the present, it's seeing it in advance, it's being certain of what we do not see. 
As human beings we often say things like, "I'll believe it when I see it."  And God says, "No, you've got it all backwards.  Some things you have to believe, in order to see it."  Whether you're an architect planning a building, or whether you're an artist creating a sculpture, or whether you're an Olympic athlete trying to break a world's record, you have to believe it before you can see it.  All of those things require faith.  You have to believe it's possible in advance, long before it will ever be possible.  That's what the Bible says faith is -- believing when I don't see it.
Be sure to come out this Thursday night at 7pm for a “Forward Faith” Informational Dessert.
Ask questions about the plans for the new building and learn how you can be a vital part of our campaign’s success.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Monday, October 26, 2015

What It Takes To Please God?

Forward Faith

"Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."  Hebrews 11:6
What does it take to please God?  What would you say?  Some people think that the way you please God is through ritual, that you chant certain prayers, you pray certain rituals over and over, you light some incense or you light some candles and you do some ritualistic things -- to please God.  But that's not what the Bible says. 
Some people think the way you please God is through rules and regulations, that you make a list of all the things you're supposed to do and all the things you're not supposed to do.  If you do all the things on the "Do" list and don't do all the things on the "Don't Do" list then God says you're ok.  But that's not what the Bible says. 
Some people think that the way you please God is through religion, that if you observe certain holy days or go to a bunch of religious experiences or maybe take communion and you're a religious enough person then God says "You're on my A list!"  But that's not what the Bible says.
The Bible says God isn't interested in ritual or rules or regulations or religion.  He's interested in a relationship with you.  He wants you to learn to trust Him.  The Bible says that it is impossible to please God unless you have one thing. FAITH
It is going to require faith on all our part to raise the needed funds proposed in our “Forward Faith Campaign."
I encourage everyone to participate in one of our Forward Faith Informational Desserts.
The next one is THIS THURSDAY at 7pm.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
P.S. Thank you to all who wished me a Happy Birthday! 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Trade Your Worry For Prayer

Forward Faith
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) 
I love the song we used to sing. “I’m trading my sorrows, I’m trading my pain, I’m trading them all for the joy of the Lord.”
This is what faith is all about; trading my will for God’s will. Believing not only in God but in what his word says he will do.
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians he says if you trade your worry for prayer you’ll get peace.
Have you made faith’s great trade?  Have you learned to exchange life’s pressures for God’s promises?  We all live in one of two ways, under life’s pressure or within God’s promises.  The secret to promise filled living is faith... believing what God has told you about Himself and His world in His word. 
When you believe God’s promises you trade in life’s pressure. When you trust God’s promises you swap out life’s pressure.  When you count on God’s promise you count out life’s pressure.  When you depend on God’s promise you defeat life’s pressure.  When you receive God’s promise you reject life’s pressure.  God’s promises and life’s pressure are mutually exclusive... they can’t exist together. And when you trust in the promises of God you will receive in return His peace.
In regard to the Forward Faith capital campaign I want you to mediate on this pressure free promise from God:  
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Don’t worry… pray and God will be faithful in his promise to meet your needs.
I encourage everyone to participate in the upcoming opportunities.  
* Attend a Forward Faith Informational dessert, Thursday Oct 29 at 7:00pm.
* Spend some time in C3’s Prayer Room and while in there ask the Lord, “What do you want to give through me?” 
* Gather your unwanted stuff and have a yard sale. Donating the proceeds as a part of your launch gift that will be received November 1, 8th and 15th.  Saving your families loose change is a great way to include your kids.    
* Be sure to attend church this Sunday where you will learn about the faith of a man who obeyed God and as a result saved his family from destruction. The next few weeks at C3 will be a lot more about Faith Raising than Fund Raising so come and grow in faith and love!
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pray About Everything

Forward Faith

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 (NLT) 
I remember sometime back I needed to make a decision that I had been putting off for a while. I was beginning to worry and it was becoming a burden to me and I did not know what to do. I asked advice from others. They gave me sound, reasonable, good advice. But I still didn’t feel at peace. I asked Pastor Brant Rice his opinion and he said, “Kyle if I were in a similar situation, the question you would have asked me was, ‘Have you prayed about it?’”
How could I have missed that one? Here I had just having just come out of a 40 days of Prayer focus and of all people had forgotten prayer should be my first option when faced with a decision. I spent an hour in the C3 Prayer Room and after that I knew what course of action to take and I experienced immediate peace from God.
The Apostle Paul reminds us to “worry about nothing…pray about everything.
Imagine never being “anxious about anything”! It seems like impossibility—we all have worries on the job, in our homes, at school. But Paul’s advice is to turn our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less? Then pray more! Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.
Do you have decisions to make? Whether they be small ones or large ones like what to commit to the Forward Faith campaign. Here is my advice to you. Pray and ask this question, “God, What do you want to do through me?” Then quietly listen to that still small voice inside and trust that wherever God guides, God will provide. 
The next few weeks at Celebration will be more about Faith-Raising than Fund Raising so come and grow in faith and love!
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Forward Faith
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
There are three commitments of life that ready you for the decisions of life.  These commitments build a lifestyle that enjoys God’s daily direction.
Determine your Director - “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.”
This simple phrase encourages us to ask two of life’s most important questions.  First, who am I trusting?  Is it myself, my fears, my friends?  Or... is it the Lord.  Second, how am I trusting.  We’re encouraged to trust with all our heart.  Half hearted trust is no trust at all.
Detect your Detractor - “Lean not on your own understanding.”
Leaning on own understanding is a major reason for directionless living.  How do you avoid the temptation to lean? Talk to God about your decisions. Here's the acid test for determining your leaning tendency.  Are you talking to God and more importantly… are you listening?
Declare your Delight - “In all your ways acknowledge Him.” 
In your devotional life take time to tell the Lord you appreciate Him.  Publicly... in your witnessing life tell others you appreciate the Lord’s guidance in your life.
Acknowledge Him! And the promise is, God will direct your paths.  Not might, or could.... but will.  How can I know God’s will for my life?  How can I know what decision God would have me to make? How do I know how much to pledge in the Forward Faith campaign?  If you’ll work on determining and detecting and declaring, God will direct!
Family discussion question:  Have each person in your family answer the question, “the decision that I’m facing right now that I would most like to have God’s direction in is.......”
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Forward Faith Dessert 1021
C3 is hosting another Forward Faith Dessert TONIGHT (WEDNESDAY) Oct. 21st at 7pm.
Come see and hear the vision for what we believe God is calling our church to be and do in the years to come!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Soar On Wings Like Eagles

Forward Faith
"...those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
Have you ever wanted to quit, give up, bail out, toss in the towel?   Isaiah 40 is for you.
Isaiah 40 contains one of the most beautiful expressions in all of the Bible about the power and nature of God.  Why does Isaiah talk about this?  Because our ability to last through the storms comes from Him who makes and calms the storms, our ability to endure through the long wait comes from Him who has been here forever.  God's word stands forever.
When you hope, you will last! That is the promise that God makes to us in these verses.  Your strength will renew. 
You’ll soar - like an eagle.   Renewed strength is the ability to dream again.  You’ll run - and not be weary.  Renewed strength is the ability to strive again.  You’ll walk - and not faint.  Renewed strength is the ability to endure again.
Family discussion question:  What are you having a hard time waiting for right now?
Children’s Activity:  Emphasize the words soar, run and walk with your kids by reading the verse and picking them up to “soar”  when you read soar, running when you read run and walking when you read walk.  Read it several times until they or you are worn out.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Forward Faith Dessert 1021
C3 is hosting another Forward Faith Dessert THIS WEDNESDAY Oct. 21st at 7pm.
Come see and hear the vision for what we believe God is calling our church to be and do in the years to come!

Monday, October 19, 2015


Forward Faith

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."   John 15:5 (NIV)
I have often used the expression “Make a life..not just a living” To me that means that in our lives  we can't be satisfied with just making a living, we must feel that we're making a difference!  Try it - just bring home a paycheck.  Nothing else, nothing more.  Even if the paycheck is twice as much as you are bringing home right now, it won't satisfy.   I know some of you are thinking "I'd sure like to try."  But the truth is, we need to make a difference.  Jesus gives us a promise that tells us the secret to really making a difference in this world.  The secret is “remaining or abiding in Christ.”  What does that mean?  There are 4 aspects of abiding in John 15:
*Be aware of how much you need Him. "Apart from me you can do for Jesus.  nothing!"
*Allow His word to mold your life ­ ­
*Seek to please God
*Ask for His help through prayer
Jesus is calling us branches. You are chosen to be significant - to bear  fruit that will last.” Lasting fruit means changed lives, new hope, real impact upon people's hurts.  It is drawing people's attention to the eternal love of God, changing someone's eternal destiny by introducing them to the opportunity we all have to place faith in Jesus Christ.
Family Discussion Question: What can you do today to bear fruit?
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hope Part 2

C:\Users\Kyle\Desktop\Forward Faith Devos Oct-Nov-15\Forward Faith Logo.jpg
Hope Part 2
I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11
Hoping has to do with planning.  How do you plan for the future?  In order to have hope for your future  I believe you must start with God’s promise.  All the planning and scheduling in the world will not help if you do not have God’s promise for your future right at its very root.  When you start with God’s promise you realize, “God has plans for me!”  
God is planning right now for your success.  
Success for you  may include material prosperity, but the real focus here is on significance of life.  Imagine God up in heaven with a sheet of paper in front of Him. Now imagine that the paper has your name on it.  Under your name is the heading, “Plans for success and significance.”  And finally imagine this - the paper is filled with ideas and goals and plans.
God is planning right now for your future.  
Before we plan anything we should always ask “God, what are your plans for my future.”  Our goal is not to get God to bless the future we’ve planned.  Our desire should be to live out the future that He plans to bless us with.
God is planning right now for your hope!  
However discouraging things may seem at times, God has a plan for your hope!  He’s told us in advance, His plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah  29:11
Family discussion question:  How does this promise of God give you a new sense of hope in some particular area of your future.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Be sure to make it to C3 Hays THIS SUNDAY to hear Pastor Brant and me share about a great hero of the faith who walked faithfully with God and never died!
The Celebration of Life Service for Doug Clore (C3’s Pastoral Assistant Ericka Pfeifer’s Dad) will be on Monday, October 19th at 10:00AM at Schmitt Funeral Home at 901 South Main Street in Quinter, Kansas. There will be a viewing at the same location on Sunday evening from 5:00PM-7:00PM

C:\Users\Kyle\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\Landon pg.jpg C:\Users\Kyle\Desktop\Rich.jpg
Landon Robert Richecky
Born October 6 at 3:56pm. 7 lbs 11 oz. 19" to Amy and Jeff  Richecky

C:\Users\Kyle\Desktop\Kerrs .jpgC:\Users\Kyle\Desktop\Bowen Luke Kerr .jpg
It’s Another Boy!
Chalynda and Daylon Kerr gave  birth to a 2nd  son Bowen Luke 8’ 13oz

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hope Part 1

Forward Faith
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11
As many of you may know, I am a lifelong Chicago Cub fan and growing up I had a hero from that team. His name was Ernie Banks. Banks played for the Cubs from 1954-1971,hitting 512 home runs and being named the Most Valuable Player in the National League in 1958 and1959, all while playing on the last place team!
Ernie Banks was a great player, elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. But what made Ernie Banks my hero was not his prowess on the field, but his attitude off of it. Every year he would optimistically kick off the year predicting something like, “The Cubs are going to be GREAT in 68’ or The Cubs are going to SHINE in 69”.  
Every game day, when asked by reporters how he felt about the upcoming contest, Ernie would respond, “Let’s Play Two!” Even while in the cellar of the National League playing nothing but day games in the sweltering heat of August, optimistic Ernie wanted to play a doubleheader.  
Ernie Banks never got to play in the post season but his attitude remained eternally optimistic and filled with hope. His positive outlook was a great role model for me as I grew up and I have tried to replicate my attitude after his.
My brother Eddie was once at a golf outing where Ernie Banks was signing autographs. My brother asked him to sign one for me. It hangs framed on my home office wall. It reads “To Kyle…HOPE!”
Tonight if you are able I would like you to come up to the church at 7pm for our first of three “Forward Faith Informational desserts".
The pastors will share the plans we believe God is moving us forward to build and we will be available to answer any and all questions regarding the proposed project and your partnership in it.
I HOPE you can be there,
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Forward Faith Desserts
Come to one of our “Forward Faith” Desserts @ 7pm
WEDNESDAY October 21st
THURSDAY October 29th

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Die Hard

Forward Faith

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 awaiting with great expectation a “glorious appearing”. Christians await the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Cub fans await another World Series appearance. The Cubs made a step in that direction last night defeating their rival St. Louis Cardinals and will play the Mets or the Dodgers for the rights to go to the World Series.
I will share with you tomorrow about having a “Forward Faith”, and about a hero of mine that continues to inspire me to hope.
In the meantime… “Go Cubs Go”!
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Come to one of our “Forward Faith” Desserts @7pm
THIS THURSDAY October 15th
WEDNESDAY October 21st
THURSDAY October 29th
The details of a Memorial Service for Ericka’s Dad are pending but will be either Friday or Saturday in Quinter. I will share with you the particulars as soon as I know them-PK 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Forward Faith
"This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven,"   Hebrews 6:19 (TLB)
Faith is the promise of hope and hope is the promise of security in uncertain times.  The Bible promises that our hope is an “anchor for our soul.”  It gives us an incredible confidence in the midst of the confusion around us.
My hope is that the Chicago Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the National league Division Series. I have faith, a confidence that they will accomplish this task.
Do you have that kind of confidence where it really counts?  Maybe you’re facing an opportunity to accomplish something of real importance.  Before you've even gotten started, you’ve been engulfed by thoughts of failure. Possibly you’ve tried to break a bad habit, but your first attempts were invaded by the thought that you'd not be able to keep your resolve?  Faith means confidence.  Not self confidence, real confidence in a power greater than yourself.
We all need an anchor within. Without an anchor...when life is calm you'll drift... when life is stormy you'll crash­.  ­Faith is our storm anchor.  Faith becomes our anchor as we enter God's presence.   It enters the “inner sanctuary, behind the curtain.  What is this about our faith going backstage?  It simply means the place where I can most intimately experience God’s presence.  When we know God offers hope, why do we sometimes still feel so hopeless?   What might be missing is the living joy of God's presence in your everyday life: everyday activities, everyday decisions, everyday relationships.
Family discussion question:  How close is God to you right now?  What could you do to better sense His presence today?
Children’s activity:  Show your children how an anchor can stabilize us.  Fill a tall plastic cup with water, place it in a basin and let them tip it over.  Do this several times.... and then “anchor” the cup with play dough or with your hand.  Hope “stabilizes” us.
 Faithful and hope filled no matter what the outcome. (Go Cubs J)
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Come to one of our Forward Faith Desserts @7p
THIS THURSDAY October 15th
WEDNESDAY October 21st
THURSDAY October 29th
Prayer Request:

C's Pastoral Assistant Ericka Pfeifer's Dad Doug Clore passed away last night from a heart attack in Branson MO.

Our prayers go up for Ericka and her family.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Forward Faith
"By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead." Heb 11:4 (NIV)
The best way to learn faith is from people. Why? Because faith is not so much a matter of what you know as of who you are, it's built not out of knowledge but out of relationships. Take Abel, the first faithful man. Three things happened to him because he had faith. They each point out how faith will affect our lives.
He offered a better sacrifice.
Faith affected his generosity. What was better about Abel’s sacrifice? Cain offered but Abel offered his best. Faith adds up to a willingness to give your best to the Lord. You can trust Him with it!
He was commended as righteous by God.
Faith affected his relationships. Righteous is a word about relationships, it points to being in right relationship with God. Preschoolers define it as being God's friend. Faith gave Abel a commendation for his relationship with God.
He still speaks
Faith affected his influence. The most powerful tool you have for influencing this world is your faith. Why so powerful? Because actions and decisions based upon faith simply last longer. Cain may have cut Abel’s life short, but Abel’s faithful offering still speaks!
Want to make an impact? Want to leave a legacy?
Be a faithful generous giver!
Family discussion question: Where could you “offer your best” to the Lord right now in one specific way?
Children’s activity: Have your children take an offering to church tonight or tomorrow. Put it in an envelope, on which they write (or write with them) “My best for the Lord”.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Want to find out more about C3’s proposed expansion and our Forward Faith Campaign?
Come to one of our Forward Faith Desserts @7pm
THIS THURSDAY October 15th
WEDNESDAY October 21st
THURSDAY October 29th

Friday, October 9, 2015


Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below--you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way."   1 Ki 8:22-23 (NIV)

Dedication means praise and sacrifice and open declaration.  Today we learn one final truth about dedication from King Solomon

Dedication means Ministry
We cannot be dedicated to God without being dedicated to meeting the needs of the people He has made.  Solemn dedicated this temple to the needs of the disappointed and the defeated, those besieged by sin and by loneliness, those involved in the battles and the prisons of life. 

Too many make dedication the most impractical of things.  It could never be lived, only talked about.  Theirs is a dedication made up of myths and fables and pipe dreams.                                   

If you're striving to become more dedicated to the Lord it doesn't take you long to discover that there is a whole Christian subculture in which dedication is make up of spiritual sounding words and big name conferences and fancy looking materials.  You cannot practice dedication in a conference or with mere words or on the pages of a notebook.  It's built out of trusting God with the practical needs of your everyday life.  You might be able to learn about it at a conference and be inspired toward it with a notebook, but don't ever fall into the trap of believing that the conference is where real dedication is expressed.  Dedication is expressed in ministry.  It is expressed in what you choose to DO with your life to serve the Lord and the to serve the people He has made.

Family Discussion Question:  Can you think of one simple ministry your family could do this week?

Children’s activity:  Do a simple ministry project with your children this week.  (Write a card to encourage someone, make cookies for somebody or ?)

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Be sure to come to the Celebration THIS SUNDAY to see more testimonial videos and hear about one of the great heroes of the faith;Abel.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship."   Rom 12:1 (NIV)

There are two more lessons about dedication that we learn from the study of Solomon that we began yesterday.  Besides Open Declaration...

Dedication means Sacrifice
They sacrificed an unbelievable amount that day! 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats.  That's a lot of  T-bone steak and leg of lamb!  Why?  What could be the purpose of such sacrifices?   What did sacrifices do for men that was so important to the Lord?   Sacrifices are “A gift of trust to the Lord.”  As they sacrificed they declared that they trusted God to take care of their needs.  They were saying, “Instead of hoarding and declaring my trust in myself,  I'll give to you Lord to declare my trust in you.”  
Dedication will inevitably involve some sacrifices.  Sacrifice is ultimately an expression of trust in the Lord.  You're willing to give something up because you trust Him more then that something. 

Dedication means Praise 
A significant part of dedication is praise to God.  Solomon’s praise as he dedicated the temple centered on the fact that God had kept His promise.  There is a specific praise that not only expresses, but actually increases our dedication to the Lord.   The specific praise that grows our dedication is "Thank You Lord for your Faithfulness.”  It is a praise that recognizes that all that we have comes as a result of God's promises to us... as a result of His faithfulness in our lives. 
That type of praise recognizes that I can be dedicated to God because God is dedicated to me!  He is dedicated to my joy, my peace, my growth.  God has dedicated Himself to my personal happiness and fulfillment.  How dedicated is He?  "He who did not spare His own Son, how will He not also along with Him freely give us all things."  (Romans 8:32)

Family Discussion Question:  What sacrifice would REALLLLY stretch your faith? 

Your pastor and partner in ministry,


Wednesday, October 7, 2015


I have been a fan of the Cubs since I have been old enough to say Ernie Banks! Tonight the Chicago Cubs play in the National League Wild Card game in Pittsburgh to see who moves on to play the Cardinals in the Championship Series.
People have told me I am dedicated to my team. 

What do we mean when we say dedication?  To one person it may mean giving up a part of a football game to come to church on Sunday mornings, to another it may point to a decision to begin giving some of their money to the Lord's work, while to another it may add up to leaving all that they know to serve the Lord as a missionary in a foreign country.   What does it mean to dedicate a temple, a church, a child... a life - to dedicate them to the Lord. 
“So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the temple of the LORD."   
1 Kings 8:63 (NIV)

 In I Kings 8 Solomon dedicates the great Jerusalem Temple to the Lord, and in so doing teaches us some important lessons about the character of dedication.

Dedication means Open Declaration

Dedication is a public announcement of your intentions and commitments.   Many see dedication as some inner commitment that no one can really see or understand.  Not true... it is expressed in public commitments and  public actions.  Do you know when dedication begins to happen?  When you begin to place your faith on the line in terms of public commitments.  It's that willingness to declare to others that adds up to dedication. 
  • When our forefathers penned the Declaration of Independence they turned a philosophy into a dedication to freedom.  
When John Kennedy said, "We will put a man on the moon before the end of the decade." He transformed a scientist’s dream into a country’s dedication. 
  • When I sing “Go Cubs Go” tonight whether they win or lose tonight…That’s dedication!  

Family Discussion Question:  When others look at your life, what do you think they would say you are “dedicated” to?

Your pastor and partner in ministry,


Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Last Sunday Celebration Community Church met at Beach Schmidt Performing Arts Center to kick off our “Forward Faith Campaign” It was nice to have all of our morning services all together in one place as Pastor Brant, Pastor Derek and I talked about moving forward in faith. For the next 40 weekdays in these blogs I will be focusing on faith. On most days I will include family discussion questions and on some days children’s activities.  

The Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1 like this:
 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.  How exciting! 

We all know what it’s like to live in a rut. Too often what starts with great promise settles into a lifelong habit of routine.  A couple gets married - yet somehow a promise of lifelong love turns into habit and routine.  A business gets started - but before long the dream turns into drudgery.  A fresh and real commitment to Christ is made - yet you find yourself settling for the average life rather than the abundant life.  Faith makes the difference!  Faith helps us to handle the two main things that might push us into the rut of routine...

Life’s disappointments...
Disappointment can make us feel, “I guess that’s all there is... I’ll have to learn to settle for less.”    Faith energizes us to look past our disappointments and to see God’s promises.

Life’s successes...
Disappointment can make us bitter... success can make us self-satisfied.  A little success can be a dangerous thing!  Faith has the power not only to help us with our struggles, but also our successes.  Faith puts success in perspective.  It reminds me that I’m not the source of the success - it is God who has given these gifts to me. It also helps me to see that I’m not the reason for the success.  God is! 

Family Discussion Question:  Is disappointment or is success the greater challenge in your life right now?

Children’s activity:  Show your children how “ingrained” a routine can become by having an “unroutine” day:  Have everyone sit at different places when you eat or watch T.V... or sleep with your head at the foot of your bed.  You come up with ideas.... have fun with this!

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

If you did not get a chance to see the Forward Faith Campaign Video you may view it at: 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Forward Faith Sunday

Sunday October 4, 2015

Dear Celebration Family,

This daily devotional is designed especially for your use during C3’s “Forward Faith” campaign. The subjects for each week parallel the subject of the messages our teaching Pastors will be sharing each Sunday as we look at some of the “heroes of the faith” found in the 11th chapter in Hebrews.   
I am convinced that the next seven weeks will be a time of incredible spiritual growth for us as individuals and as a church.  When we begin to pray and study and give and sacrifice, we will grow.  This daily devotional blog can be an important part of that opportunity for spiritual maturity in each of our lives.  We want God’s word to be at the center of our faith and prayer.  We want God’s direction to be the single motivation for our gifts and sacrifices.  These devotions will help you as an individual or as a family, to personally discover God’s direction in His word.

On most days I will include family discussion questions and on some days children’s activities.  You’ll find that the discussion questions are designed for older elementary and above.  If you’re doing this devotion by yourself you can use these as points to ponder.  I encourage you to jot down your thoughts in a notebook.  The activities are for younger elementary down to preschool age.  The best way to be consistent in these devotions is to find the same time every day to do them. I suggest at the dinner table or right before breakfast or at bedtime.   

I look forward with faith to see what God is going to do in you and through between now and when we gather at our Thanksgiving services. 

Your pastor and partner in ministry, 


(Pastor Kyle)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Forward Faith

Forward Faith
In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, life to the fullest.” He didn’t say he came to bring us religion. He did not say that his church was to be an institution, or an organization, or a social club or even a building. The church is the people and we find the fullness of life by being a part of His church family.
For nearly twenty years as the founding and senior pastor of Celebration Community Church I have been telling whoever would listen to me that the church is not a building even though God has given us a blueprint similar to a building of what the church should be.
 “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
From the beginning, God’s purpose for His church has been to share with the world His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.
That is what we have been trying to do at C3 since 1996.
Celebration Community Church is about to embark on a new chapter as we kick off a new series and campaign called “Forward Faith”  We will be launching “Forward Faith” THIS SUNDAY at 10am at FHSU’s Beach-Schmidt Performing Arts Center.  We are combining all of our Sunday morning services into one humungous gathering in order to all be together in one place in unity.
There will be inspiring music, a meaningful message and an opportunity to catch the vision of what God is calling us as His church to be in the years ahead.
Following the service we will be gathering at Frontier Park at 12 noon for our Annual Church Picnic. Bring a salad, side dish, or dessert to share.
For those of you who just cannot be at Beach Schmidt on Sunday morning we will be having a 6pm service in C3’s Worship Center.  
The Christian life is not just about believing, it’s about belonging,
Come be a part of C3 this Sunday as we move forward in faith.
I hope to see you there.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Beach Schmidt
Join Us At Beach-Schmidt
This Sunday @ 10:00 am
All church BBQ to follow

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Does God answer prayers? – Sometimes God says “Not now”.

Answered Prayers
Sometimes hearing “wait” is even harder than hearing “no” because it means we have to be patient.” But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently”. Romans 8:25. While waiting is difficult, we can be thankful God is in control and trust that His timing will be perfect Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. Romans 12:12

God wants the best for your life. He does not want you to suffer needlessly. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Be patient and know that He is your loving Father (Psalm 46:10).

While waiting for God trust in  Philippians 4:6 as you make your requests to God: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Then, when God responds, be prepared to accept His wisdom—whether or not you agree with His answer.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Beach Schmidt
Join Us At Beach-Schmidt
This Sunday @ 10:00 am
All church BBQ to follow