Archives for May 2020

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Prayer Walk Prompts

Prayer walk prompts...

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I Do Not Deserve

The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.But just say the word and my servant will be healed" (Matthew 8:8). It's been said that justice means getting what we deserve; mercy means not getting what we deserve; and that grace means getting what we could never deserve. In the face of uncertainty, the centurion is motivated by compassion ...

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If Only...

I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:11-12) Reading aloud has always been a part of the bedtime routine in our house....

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Acquainted With Peace

"When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help."Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed,suffering terribly." Jesus said to him,"Shall I come and heal him?" The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with so...

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Astonishing Faith

When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith" (Matthew 8:10). Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would" (Matthew 8:13a). Small children have astonishing faith in their mothers and fathers. Why? Their little beings have s...

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Re-Opening, How Y'all Crushed It, And More

Highlights and news from CCC on 5.23.20...

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Certainty? Overrated!

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him,asking for help (Matthew 8:5). Into the Unknown How do we find our way in the face of great uncertainty? Uncertainty certainly feels uncomfortable, threatening, exhausting. Is seeking certainty the right response to uncertainty? Maybe not as much as we think. Of our four Gospels, Matthew is the most Jewish in tone a...

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My Way!

But Naaman went away angry he turned and went off in a rage "Go in peace," Elisha said (2 Kings 5:11-12, 19). Naaman knew how things worked and how to get things done. He was capable, decisive and successful. A military man, he knew about orders, obeying them and giving them. As a well-established, well-regarded commander, maybe more these days about giving orders. Na...

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The Subtlety of God's Wisdom

"Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, washyourself seven timesin the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of theLordhis God, wave his handover the spot and cure me of my leprosy So he turned and went off in a rage.Naaman'...

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Outside Voices

Namaan was a commander of the army a great man in the eyes of his masterhighly regarded a valiant soldier but he had leprosy (2 Kings 5:1). Leprosy, like corona virus, is no respecter of persons. This week's passage is about paying attention to "outside" voices, those that come from outside the normal channels, our preferred sources, the "proper authorities." Namaan's...

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More Than Meets the Eye

So Naaman left... (2 Kings 5:5b). So he went down... (2 Kings 5:14a). Then Naaman...stood before him (the man of God) and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel" (2 Kings 5:15). Naaman had three problems. The first was obvious. The second was too close for him to see. The third was too foreign for him to comprehend. Naaman's first pro...

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Worth the Trouble

2 Kings 5:1-17 What a bizarre story! A top-gun army commander named Naaman falls ill with leprosy and a slave girl suggests he travel into enemy territory for a cure. So Namaan heads off loaded down with gold and silver for the enemy and ticks off the king when he arrives. Then Namaan gets connected with a prophet whose cure is nothing more than washing in a river. Ser...

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Comfortable?

When they got into the boat, the wind ceased (Matthew 14:32). WARNING: I am going to call into question a cherished phrase of Christianese. GOOD NEWS: you get to decide if I'm right or wrong! Or somewhere in between. The phrase is "get out of your comfort zone." Maybe it's because I've heard it too often. Maybe it's because I am too comfortable. But at the same time, I ...

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When Jesus Summons

"'Lord, if it's you,'" Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water.""Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the waterand came to Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29). It is never an easy thing when Jesus summons us. If answering the call was easy everyone would do it, but there is always something to consider before doing so. Often the task at hand ...

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All In

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water.""Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat,walked on the water and came toward Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29). I love going to the pool. As soon spring starts warming up I start getting the itch. My son gets excited, too. He gets so excited I must make sure he applies sunscreen before leaving th...

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Beneficial Storms

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side But the boat was already a considerable distance from the land, buffeted by the wavesbecause the wind was against it But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I.Don't be afraid" Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying,"Truly you are the Son of God" (Matthew 14...

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Entering VUCAville?

"It's a ghost!" they said and cried out in fear Jesus said, "Take courage, it is I.Don't be afraid" Peter said, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water" "Come," Jesus said Peter got out of the boat (Matthew 14:26-29). VUCA is apparently a new acronym for our times: life is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Volatile: changing rapidly, constan...

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Cheers for Thomas?

Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fingers where the nails were,and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it (John 20:25). "Doubting" Thomas, that wet blanket on the resurrection party. Talk about being in a confined space: "Unless I stick my hand into the spear wound in his side, I won't believe it." Poor Thomas has become the go-to illustration...

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Finding Jesus in the Shelter

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders,Jesus came and stood among them and said,"Peacebe with you!"After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.The disciples were overjoyedwhen they saw the Lord. Again, Jesus said,"Peace be with you!As the Father has sent me,I am sendi...

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Seeing the Master

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. John 20:19-20 NIV (The verses in bold below represent the same passag...

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Blessed

"Unless I (Thomas) see...I will not believe it."Then Jesus told him (Thomas), "Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:25, 29). Have you ever felt a bit sorry for Thomas? After all, he's gotten a bad rap all these years as the guy who didn't have the faith to believe Jesus was alive when the others in...

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Powerful Peace

Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you Peace be with you Peace be with you!" (John 20:19, 21, 26) Elijah wanted to die. Nebuchadnezzar wanted the three rebellious Jews to die. Paul and Silas didn't die in Philippi, but a severe beating and imprisonment in a first-century jail probably got them pretty close. As we come this week to the fourth and ...

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Staying Put

The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joybecause he had come to believe in Godhe and his whole family (Acts 16:34). Everyone in this passage is in a tight space. Paul and Silas, in prison, of course; they're the heroes of the story. But also: a slave girl, economically exploited and demonically oppressed. Some prominent Phi...

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