Christmas is coming…

…and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Or is there?

This will be the only post for 2012 about Christmas, so rejoice and be glad!

Here’s a good reminder about what does– and doesn’t– bring actual joy by Tim Challies.

Tired of the Hallmark and Lifetime Channel’s Christmas movies? Try out some of these recommended films. The list is a couple of years old- have any other films made the cut since then?

Looking for a challenge this season? How about giving back with The High Calling’s Advent Challenge?

And here’s a real bonus: Simple Christmas resources galore from Becoming Minimalist.

This post gives ideas for families and adults for Christmas and advent. These resources encourage service, giving, reflection, building relationships and responsible movie watching.

Photo by tackyshack. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

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Sunday Follow-up

Yesterday, November 25, Pastor Turk talked about the unique Mission and Vision of Christ Community Church. The message, “Refocus,” was from Matthew 28 (The Great Commission) and you can listen to it here.

He asked us, “Why does the church exist?” and “Why do you believe?”

During the message, we watched a clip of a TED talk by Simon Sinek. Check out that talk on the TED page.

 

This post is a follow up to our Sunday morning worship at Christ Community Church. It provides inspiration to ask the “Why” of our faith and action.

There is a time for everything… keep the right perspective.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens…

-Ecclesiastes 3.1

Change is inevitable. Change is what makes life happen. God works change in our hearts, we work change in our lives as we follow after God. Change is challenge as well as opportunity.

Craig Goodwin reminds us of this truth in “A Time to Plant and a Time to Uproot.” God can do some pretty cool things in your growing season.

Ready to accept that change is coming, whether you like it or not? Then follow RIchard Dahlstrom’s words on having the right perspective.

For a sample of handling life transitions well, check out this advice from Simple Marriage on making the most of your move with your spouse: “Making the Most of Moving Together.”

The writer in Ecclesiastes 3 does a lot of reflecting on God and how God is at work through life’s changes, and he comes to this conclusion:

I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

-Ecc 3.14

Not all changes come from God, but we can rest assured that whatever God does in the midst of the changing seasons of life is meant for our good.

This post provides inspiration, a challenge and ideas on how to handle life transitions and change.

Sunday Follow-up: What is your only comfort?

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

A. That I am not my own, but belong– body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ….

Yesterday at CCC, Rev. Darren Colyn preached from Mark 10 and the healing of Bartimaeus. You can hear the message, “Matter Matters” here. In it, he talks a lot about the Christian response to Platonism found in the gospel and how our bodies, along with our souls, matter.

Towards the end of the sermon, Darren mentioned the Heidelberg Catechism, another writing from our faith tradition that shapes and transforms our worldview. You can find the Catechism on the CRCNA’s webpage- including downloading it as a .PDF and a number of study resources.

You’ll notice that it is set up into 52 “Lord’s Days” and there are 52 weeks in a year. That’s not a coincidence. 😉

This post is a follow-up to the Sunday sermon at Christ Community Church. It provides a resource to continue learning and growing spiritually.

Unplug all the things getting in the way.


Children born after 2000 have been dubbed the Wired Generation. But you don’t have to be 12 or younger to know (or experience) how being connected has transformed our lives. This week, all of our stories and resources have to do with unplugging from technology so that you can actually be with people and God.

Begin with this article written by a teen for her high school paper, then picked up by a national newspaper. Shane talks about her relationship with her iPhone, and what it was like to no longer be a slave to it.

Then, check out Hannah’s confession about turning to social media instead of God in “First be a follower”. How many different avenues of social media do you use? How do they guide your actions, thought patterns, conversation pieces, self-image, etc.?

If you’re finding yourself getting a little lost in the world of technological connectivity, then be inspired by Sundi Jo’s friend Sandy. Read about their relationship on Jeff Goins’ site in a piece called “The Power of Being Present”.

And for good measure, here’s two more pieces you might find encouraging and helpful:
An interview with Jodi Cole Meyer after her FOUR MONTH media fast, and a resource to help you deal with the distractions that threaten to derail you.

This post is for adults and teens, deals with technology, social media, lifestyle habits, and the spiritual discipline of unplugging.

Photo by James Vaughan. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Married life isn’t always a cake walk.

So here’s some things to help. The links today all intersect married life and themes from messages at Christ Community Church over the last six months.

First, here’s a great (and true!) story entitled, “The Revenge of the Proverbs 31 Woman.” It hits on themes of mentoring, honesty, respect, and the community’s role in marriages. The Sunday message that relates: “The ABC’s of Wisdom.”

Next, here’s a challenge for husbands to think small as they love their wives. As Doug says,

Let me set the record straight–size DOES matter.
Research points to the fact that women prefer small.

Last Sunday’s sermon was on the Parable of the Mustard Seed. It dealt with how the smallest and most insignificant things are used by God for something much greater.

And if praying with your partner is something you would like to do (or to do better), Simple Marriage has some helpful tips and suggestions in “Powerful Partner Prayer.” There were audio difficulties the Sunday we talked about marriage from the book of Proverbs at CCC, so there’s no link to share.

This post was created for married adults and touches on themes of relationships, communication, prayer, service, attitude and lifestyle.