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This past weekend at CCM was one for the ages. One of our Teaching Pastors, Dale Reeves, threw down an incredible message. He spoke about what it means for us to reach our Samaria. In other words, how do we reach those in our area that nobody else really wants to reach? During the ceremony he showed a video of our friend Samantha. It was a powerful video that shows what true life-change and transformation looks like. Below is that video if you would love to see a powerful story of redemption.
We also showed a video promo’ing our mission TCM, that we are trying to raise $100,000 for this month. If you want to see the impact of what TCM is doing, please watch that video as well. It will be at the bottom of this post as too. Thank you in advance for the way you are helping us reach our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. The resources you are giving are going to reach far into the Kingdom for years to come. Don’t miss out this weekend as we wrap up our Genero(City) series. See ya there.
Today here at CCM we are talking about what our Samaria is. What that really means is this: are we willing to reach people that others seem to disregard and treat as invisible? Our tendency is to walk right by them most the time in our lives. Why? Because they don’t look, smell, or live like us. Below are some quotes to get us thinking about what we are going to talk about today.
Two quick reminders: 1. DON’T FORGET to bring jackets, hats, and gloves TODAY for our clothing drive. 2. DON’T FORGET we are trying to raise $100,000 for our friends at TCM (for more info click HERE), so come ready to give today.
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
John F. Kennedy
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
Over the course of the last three weeks we have been in a series here at CCM called Genero(City). It has been a great series so far where we have talked about what it means to reach our city, our region, those that others don’t want to reach, and we will close this series with what it means for us to truly reach the ends of the earth. As we look at reaching the ends of the earth we have partnered through this series with our friends at TCM. It is an incredible mission that we as a church have supported for years. For those of you who don’t know what they do, here is the explanation from their website.
TCM develops Christian leaders for significant service. We prepare nationals to be leaders for Christ in their own countries. Compared to the typical missions model, national missionaries are able to reach their countries in a profound way. They are outfitted with national networks, language and cross-cultural knowledge, and have a lifetime commitment to their countries. They are leaders already sanctioned by their countries, churches and cultures.These godly men and women are already serving in heroic ways, often in difficult circumstances with meager financial resources. With eager hearts, they want to serve Christ more effectively.
We provide them the missing piece: Advance training to keep head, heart, hands, and feet moving in Kingdom directions with competence and effectiveness.
This training produces exponential results. A Ukrainian business man builds a mega-church which fields missionaries and plants churches. A Moldovan preacher starts a Bible College sending hundreds of young leaders into ministry. An Estonian educator becomes an international leader in ethics and leadership training. Leaders from limited-access countries lead Bible studies and churches in very difficult circumstances.
In short what they do is this: They are a fully accredited university that trains men and women to go back into their countries and take the gospel there. Many of these students come from Muslim and Communist countries. The work they are doing is some of the greatest in the world to help these men and women be completely prepared. Now what does this mean for you and me? Well, I am glad you asked.
We have an unbelievable family in our church named Ken and Jennie Helm, who started a scholarship fund for these students. So far there is $128,000 in that fund. Now here is the kicker…TCM cannot give a single scholarship from it until that fund reaches $250,000. Our goal for this series is to raise $100,000 to help get them to their goal. Today I was informed that there is a family that will give the additional funds needed if we as a church can raise our goal. That means that they will give roughly $20,000 if we can raise our end. So here is what I am asking. I am asking you if you would be willing to stretch and sacrifice so that someone can find and have the light of Christ. Our gift could potentially reach thousands with the hope of Jesus.
We have two weeks left to raise our goal. You can go to our website or give on the weekend at CCM. If you are not a part of CCM and would like to give a gift to help, simply email us and let us know and we will give you instructions on how to help. Thanks in advance for loving the world around us the way you do. I am humbled and honored to be called the pastor of this church full of world changers. LET’S DO THIS!!!
This week I have the privilege to be with some incredible leaders from around the country here in Phoenix. My travel this week has been an adventure in the worst and greatest sense of the word. It started with major flight issues on Monday, and remarkably it had nothing to do with the white fluffy stuff falling from the sky. 3 delays, 2 changed flights, 1 missed flight, and 7 hours of total air time made for a very long day, but I made it safely nonetheless. When I went to pick up my rental car, there was a warning light on the dash telling me that the tire pressure was low on one of the tires of my rockin’ Jeep Compass. I mentioned it to the agent, she assured me that it was fine, and that they had just not reset the light. I was suspect of her retort, but I was tired and simply wanted to eat and sleep.
Off I went across the metropolis area of Phoenix, in rush hour traffic moving at a snails pace. I finally made it to my room, ate a quick bite, and was in bed by 8:30. The next day I took a jaunt across the city to meet a great friend in ministry for lunch. I drove 100 miles round trip at an average speed of 70mph. All was well, but that little light kept staring me in the face with every passing mile. Eventually, I found myself not worried about the impending warning that kept glaring at me as the odometer ticked by. The little vehicle was nothing to look at, but it was starting to grow on me as we got more acquainted with each other. I met a couple of the guys I am here to do life with for dinner and we had a great time catching up and making our plans for the next few days.
After dinner I was to meet up with one more ministry friend to catch up before I would be off the grid and in meetings for the rest of the week. I was bopping along down the interstate and traffic was flowing like my cup of morning joe. I was singing at the top of my lungs to Taylor Swifts “Shake It Off” (don’t hate…you do it too) which ironically was about to be my anthem. As I was screaming the lyric “GET DOWN TO…THIS…SICK…BEAT…” it happened. It sounded like the front of the vehicle exploded. The steering wheel turned hard to the right and I was hanging on for dear life. I could hear grinding and could see sparks flying into the darkness behind me. I managed to get her under control and crossed three lanes of impending doom like the game frogger to get to the shoulder. Immediately, I knew what had happened. I didn’t even bother to get out of the car. I simply picked up my cell phone and called the rental car number. I shared my “i told you so’s” and then asked what they would have me to do. I had somewhere to be and this was not getting me there.
If you were at CCM this past weekend we unpacked the phrase above…“Disruption Determines Direction.” Basically we said that if it feels like God is disrupting you, maybe he is moving you in the exact direction he wants to use you. We sometimes see disruptions as a bad thing, but what if that disruption is a God thing and he is taking you to a place, or moving you in a direction, or getting you out of a situation, that will lead you to something greater.
“If it feels like God is disrupting you, maybe he is moving you in the exact direction he wants to use you.”
No matter what, there are always things God is doing to disrupt and disturb us in new directions. If we will simply listen and follow it may just be the best disruption of our lives. Watch below, the message we dealt with this past weekend. How is God disturbing and disrupting you right now.
“Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent.”
“Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.”
“You’ll never get to a person’s soul until you understand their hurts.”
A few nights ago I gathered with a large group of men. I love this group of men. Once a semester they gather and wrestle with life, faith, and what the true identity of a man really is. Each week is great. They are reminded every time we gather that it is ok to not agree on everything and to question all they hear. It has been an avenue of true grappling with themselves and with each other. The conversations that happen after are deep and engaging. Recently, we have been traveling through the concepts in a book called “Why Men Hate Going To Church.” It is an interesting read. As a man I resonate with a lot of what is stated. As a man with a house full of women…I highly resonate with a lot of what he has to say. I would recommend it as a great read if you want to be challenged and curious as to what the church colliding with manhood looks like.
Back to the other night. At some point the word meekness kept rearing its ugly head. The word kept popping up everywhere in conversation. At some point, men started to address what this word might actually mean. In scripture we hear that Jesus was meek…we are to be meek…it even says in scripture that “the meek will inherit the earth.” Yet somehow, our culture…especially men, have seen this word to mean weakness. Somehow, if you are meek you are some mamsy pamsy, soap opera loving, scrapbook building, jegging wearing, scarf wielding, joke of a man. (FYI…I think I fit into at least half of those descriptors). As we fleshed this out a prevailing definition flew to the front of the pack.