Friday, January 27, 2017

We're Better Together

This week I watched the Martin Scorsese movie “Silence” about two 17th-century Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Japan to locate their missing mentor who was suspected of abandoning his faith. It was difficult to watch the persecution and torture that these fictional Christians endured. They represented the millions of real life martyrs who stood for Christ throughout the ages.  Their courage and steadfastness in the face of horrific circumstances is a lesson for us all.

I remember reading about studies that were conducted among former American prisoners of war to determine what methods used by the enemy were most effective in breaking their spirit. The findings revealed that these men did not break down from physical deprivation and torture as quickly as they did from solitary confinement or from disrupted friendships. Attempts to get them divided in their attitudes toward one another proved to be the most successful method of discouraging them. It was further learned that these P.O.W.’s were not sustained primarily by faith in their country or by the rightness of the cause for which they fought. They drew their greatest strength from the close attachments they had formed with their fellow prisoners. I got to thinking the same thing can be said is for church. You and I were made to live and grow in our faith as a part of a community of faith. God created us to live our lives not only connected to Him but also connected to each other.  

I have been saying for years, as Christians, we’re better together!

This weekend at the Celebration we will be continuing on in our series called GROW and I will be focusing on how the earliest church grew in faith and love with God and with each other even in and especially during difficult times.

I hope you will take full advantage of the liberty we have in this country to make a point of freely worshipping with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
We ARE better together,

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Baby dedications at all services this weekend. Please RSVP on C3Hays app. Want to be baptized? RSVP to

C3’s Congregational Meeting and my (brief) State of the Church Address will take place at 12:30pm on Sunday.

Friday, January 20, 2017

We're Better Together

Have you ever seen the movie “Witness“? In it, an Amish community build a barn in one day as the whole community turns out together to accomplish a unified goal.  That is exactly what being a part of a church family is all about. 

The Bible says that God put you on earth to accomplish five purposes. We are purposed to love him, grow in our relationship with him, serve him, share him and honor him with our lives. God wired all of us in such a way that we can only fulfill his purposes in the context of a community. 

As a Christian you cannot fulfill any of those purposes on your own, we need other people to help us accomplish those things. The Bible often calls your spiritual life, “your walk”, but one of the important things to know is that God never intended for you to walk through life alone. We need others to walk with us to help us grow spiritually. This is why I like to say “We’re better together.”

Romans 12:5 says,“ Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other and each of us needs all the others.”  We as Christians do need each other and that’s why I am inviting you to connect with C3.   
This weekend following each service, I will be hosting our NEXT STEPS class. In this class you will discover what it means to be a part of a church family and specifically you’ll learn the mutual expectations between you and your church. 

If you have not yet taken what we have previously called Class 101 or Connections Class, I invite you to take the NEXT STEP this weekend after services.  

We’re better together, 

Your pastor and partner in ministry,


Be sure to choose your scripture verse of the year and begin to mediate on it, memorize it and mark it on the wall at C3.

Friday, January 13, 2017

What Is Your Next Step?

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 an institution, an organization or a social club. Christ’s 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
The Christian life is not just about believing, it’s about belonging, belonging to a family, belonging to Christ’s church.
I encourage and challenge EVERYONE who calls Celebration Community Church your church home to take the NEXT STEP, whatever that may be in your commitment to Christ and His church.
If you have not yet made the commitment to be a member of C3, I invite you to come to our “NEXT STEPS” class after each service next weekend January 21 & 22. During this 1 hour long class you will learn who C3 is, what we believe and more importantly, how you can find your place and purpose in it.
If you have not been baptized as an adult believer, or have not dedicated your infant to the Lord, I want to encourage you to take the next step and RSVP on our C3 app. to do that on the weekend of January 28 & 29.
If you are already a baptized member of C3, what is your next step in growing in your relationship with the Lord?
Is it having a Daily Quiet Time with God? Then take that next step by clicking on ‘Resource’ tile of the C3 app and start a You Version Reading Plan.
Is your next step connecting with a small group or serving in a ministry? Then take that next step by clicking on the ‘Ministries’ tile of the C3 app and finding a group that is right for you.
Is your next step making a greater commitment to Christ through tithing? Then step out in faith and give the first 10% of your income to your church by setting up an ongoing gift on the C3 app tile “Give”.
As we begin this New Year ask God what is the next step He wants you to take to grow closer to Him and to His church. Then DO IT!
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Before the end of this month be sure to choose your scripture verse of the year and begin to mediate on it, memorize it and mark it on the wall at C3 as a reminder of Christ’s mighty promise to “bring you life to the fullest” in this year of our Lord 2017.
Watch your e-mail tomorrow (Saturday) for icy condition weather updates and/or cancellations of services at C3 on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Spiritual H.A.B.I.T.S.

I did an book search and found close to 15,000 titles about the word habits. We are all as they say, creatures of habit, who do most things habitually. Think about it…
When preparing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich which goes on the top layer, peanut butter or jelly?
When you store your socks in a drawer do you roll them up or fold them flat?
When you replace the toilet paper (you guessed it) does the paper roll over or under the spool?
All of these things you do, you do habitually. Our habits shape our lives. Think about this…
Why is it that some people are more effective than others? Why is it that some people accomplish more? Reach their goals? Soar to greater heights? Get more out of life than other people? The answer is, effective people are committed to habits that ineffective people are unwilling to commit to.
Why is it that some Christians are more dynamic than other Christians? Why is it that some Christians seem to grow more, they seem to have more answered prayers, more of God's blessing on their life. Same answer. Effective Christians commit themselves to things that ineffective Christians are unwilling to commit themselves to.
It has been said that you will become what you are committed to. You become the end result of the habits you do each and every day.
What Spiritual H.A.B.I.T.S. do you need to establish this year?
H. Have a Daily Quiet Time with God
A. Accountability with another believer
B. Bible Memory (Start with your Scripture Verse of the Year)
I. Involve yourself on a ministry team
T. Tithing (giving 10% of your income)
S. Study the Bible in a Small Group
Developing these Spiritual HABITS will help you to have a more purposeful and productive 2017.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,