More Than a Sabbath

SabbathWe love this series from The High Calling a few years ago. Take the time… perhaps even on a Sabbath, to read how Sabbath principles can be lived.

More Than a Sabbath: My Fast From Producing

More Than a Sabbath: My Fast from Ladder Climbing

More Than a Sabbath: My Fast from Competing

More Than a Sabbath: My Fast from Earning

More Than a Sabbath: My Fast from Consuming

More Than a Sabbath: How to Fast the Other Six Days

Modern Discipleship, Intro Part 1

We’ve begun a new series at Christ Community Church, focused on the invitation to discipleship offered to all who call Jesus their Lord. Not everyone who knows Jesus as their Saviour takes the next step to build a beautiful life with him. What might that life look like in our modern world? That’s what we’ll be thinking about together on Sundays and throughout the week.

Jennifer uses the picture of tending a garden to describe “Cultivating Faithfulness.”

What are attributes that disciples of Jesus have? Check out these five from Chris Folmsbee.

“When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.”

We’re continuing to take some time reflecting on what being united with Christ means for us as Christians by studying Colossians 3.1-17. Last Sunday we considered what it means for Christians to be united with Jesus’ return and what happens to us at the final judgment.

One thing Scripture makes clear in its teaching on the subject: everyone faces the final judgment. We Christians, however, face that judgment without fear because of “The One Reason We Are Worthy.”

We are “Clothed in the Righteousness of Christ” and seek to live the life our new clothes describe–living with integrity— as citizens of the kingdom of God which Jesus so aptly described in the Sermon on the Mount (among other places). By living through the Holy Spirit’s transforming power, we prepare to welcome Jesus back to earth.

In all these things, Christ’s glory shines and we are caught up in the light.

“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above.”

We’re continuing our look at the ways in which we are united with Christ our Saviour based on Colossians 3.1-17. Last week it was his death, this week it is his resurrection to a new life. You can listen to the message on our current series site.

Have you ever thought about what it looks like to live this new life with Christ? Should we– and others– be able to tell? Explore “Can I get a Witness: Living a Life that Reveals the Truth.”

Looking for some simple tips on living this new life? J.A. Medders offers some on his blog. The first one is: STOP LOOKING FOR HOT TIPS! It’s worth the short read and offers good advice on where to go from here.

Finally, here are a couple of book reviews relating the Christian life with the marks (aka fruit) of God’s presence and new life in Christ.
An Infinite Journey: Growing toward Christlikeness by Andrew M. Davis, reviewed by Tim Challies.
Fruit at Work: Mixing Christian Virtues with Business by Christ Evans, reviewed by Laura Boggess.

“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

We at Christ Community Church are continuing our series on being united with Christ through a study of Colossians 3.1-17. Most recently, we considered the ways in which God unites us with Jesus by way of deaths: natural death, through confession and repentance (a death of a particular habit or lifestyle), through daily choices, and in God’s sight. You can listen to the message from Pastor Chelsey on our current series page.

In the message, Pastor Chelsey used Lewis Smedes’ analogy of citizenship to help us understand the rule of sin and how Jesus rescues us from it. We were encouraged to see ourselves as ‘dead’ to sin and alive in Christ. What does such a switch in citizenship look like? Greg outlines five differences.

What are some of the things keeping us from putting to death the parts of us that don’t belong? Richard explores this question as part of understanding the first step we take in partnering in God’s transformation of ourselves.

And in a culture of blame-shifting, how do we take the necessary steps of identifying the old self within in order to put it to death?

Good Reminders about Social Media

8583949219_f55657573e_zSometimes it’s good to be reminded of things that you kind of already know, especially when it comes to something that’s become as engrained into our daily lives as eating food.

Here are 15 helpful questions to ask yourself about your use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you’re really convicted, here’s a link to a more indepth examination.

Oh, and “Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life.”

Photo by Jason Howie. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Challenging our Ideas about Doubt

After twenty years of deep doubt, my conversion was more like what Methodism founder John Wesley described as a “heart strangely warmed.” It came in the form of a two-word question. Over a period of weeks and months, I simply began to ask, again and again, “Why not?”

What happens when you ask questions of your doubt? Michelle started to do so and found herself exploring a faith she held at arm’s length for much too long.

When might doubt be a good thing? What happens when we let Jesus show us what is certain? Rich explains in “When Certainty Kills.”

What does faith have over doubt? The courage to choose to act, no matter what we’re feeling.

Young or old, busy or boring, comfortable or not, what is God calling us to?

We’re always headed somewhere– even if it doesn’t feel like it. Some of us may not think our lives are flashy enough, others wish for a more boring existence. There are those who feel like they’ve paid their dues and done their part for the cause, and still some who are comfortable right where they’re at.

Yet the call of God continues to go out. What is God asking of you?

You may want to check out Michael Kelley’s book, Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life.

Think with Darryl about the difference between being comfortable and being content.

And let a member of the retired population challenge you with God’s word in “Bearing Fruit in Old Age.”

Sunday Follow-Up: Joining God’s beautiful moment

On Sunday, Pastor Chelsey led us through an exploration of Ecclesiastes 3.1-15, that famous poem about the times and seasons of human existence. Her message, “The Power of Reflection” is available on our church’s sermon website (or in the archives).

We were challenged to use the power of reflection in the moment, not just looking at the past to make a better tomorrow. Instead, through the poet’s words, God is inviting us to join him by looking for what God is making beautiful at this time by reflecting in the moment. Though life is full of experiences that we don’t have a choice about, we do have choices about how we are going to react, think, respond, and live.

Consider these two examples of seeking a better way to live when faced with unpleasantries: “The Spiritual Practice of Making Mistakes” tells the story of a man who found out during a half-marathon that his pedometer was off by two miles, calling into question all of his training and shaking his confidence. “How to Love Meetings” chronicles one person’s approach to using godly wisdom in even the most boring or exasperating times.

After the Lord’s Supper, (so it may not be in the recorded sermon) Pastor Chelsey talked about the times when God is asking us to do something other than what we may want to do; for example, God may be asking you to make peace when all you want to do is war. “Don’t Follow Your Heart!” continues that challenge.

Finally, here’s a short review of a book called Difference Makers: An Action Guide for Jesus Followers. M Scott Boren’s book is described as

“a gift for us ‘ordinary’ Jesus followers whose plate is full… by showing us how to find God and join what he is doing even in the most apparently mundane aspects of our lives…”

 

This post is a follow up to a sermon preached by Rev. Chelsey Harmon at Christ Community Church on Sunday, July 28, 2013 in Nanaimo, BC. The stories and resources challenge and inspire us for godly living in the present moment.

New on the bookshelf: Deliver Us from Me-Ville

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Deliver Us from Me-Ville by David Zimmerman has been added to the Goodreads bookshelf.

Building on the teachings of Thomas Merton and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, David Zimmerman outlines the journey from Me-Ville to God’s Kingdom that all Christians must travel (and often, re-travel). The good news is, Jesus is the one who comes to Me-Ville to lead the way out!

Each chapter includes ways that the journey changes us, practices we can actively engage in as willing participants on the trip (we aren’t just along for the ride, after all), and “Escape Routes” or spiritual practices to try when we find ourselves back (or headed back) to Me-Ville.

As an added bonus, the book includes discussion guides for each chapter, making it suitable for both individuals and groups to read together.