April 2024 Elder's Corner

During a discussion at a church service, we talked about how someone actually comes to Christ and how someone comes to believe in Him. I debunked an opinion many people have that if we just love them, they will come to Christ. I have heard different churches try to use this approach.  I remember a man arguing with a pastor, demanding that “If we just show them the love of Christ they will get saved! You don’t have to preach to them!” The pastor replied “How is that working for you?”. The man backed away without an answer. I agree we need to show the love of Christ to everyone. We read in 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3, Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body [a]to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. If we do not show his love we are just noisy people making very little difference. But we also read in the Bible where the need for preaching the gospel in necessary! Romans 10, 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! At some point the gospel must be preached so a person can believe! We can not just love someone into the kingdom of God. They must believe! This is our command from what we call the Great Commission found in Matthew 28: 19-20 , 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. We are all called to this! Let us all go forth with the love of Christ and preach the “Good News” to this lost world.

Elder Jeff Kohler


March 2024 Elder's Corner

As the days become warmer Lately, I've been spending more time than usual with my nose stuck in God's "other" book—the book of nature—and I've re-discovered how true the words of the Psalmist are: The heavens declare the glory of God, And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. Psalm 19:1-2. There is a beauty and order in creation that we so often fail to appreciate. On my walks around camp, the newly budding patch of crocuses and the warm springtime wind all testified to this. It seems that in our busy lives, so many of nature's intricacies go unnoticed. Ironically, we cease to be amazed at all in the miracles of the every day simply because our Creator's fingerprints are too numerous and common to count. We become numb through repetition. But maybe the regularity of the seasons and the glorious monotony of creation are meant to reveal something to us about the consistency of God. Martin Luther commenting on Genesis 1:20 ("Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."), He makes this profound assertion: "Nothing—even raising the dead—is comparable to the wonderful work of producing a bird out of water. We do not wonder at these things, because through our daily association with them, we have lost our wonderment. But if anyone believes them and regards them more attentively, he is compelled to wonder at them, and his wonderment gradually strengthens his faith."


The trees that are starting to bud. The seasonal return of the geese. (Grrr…) The grass starting to return to green. The regularity of these occurrences reveals a God who delights in the regular rhythms of life. But there is another side of nature, just as sure and certain and predictable as life. That is death.


As I was blowing leaves on one of those warm days, I smelled it first. And then I saw it. The carcass of a small deer that had been there for a while and the turkey vultures were having their way with it. The odor of rotting flesh filled my nostrils as I tried to hold my breath and quickly moved past the dead animal. At the edge of the wood line surrounded by spring flowers, death was on full display. Life is everywhere, but so is death. It can't be stopped, and it can't be ignored. The rest of Luther’s  quote says: "Since God is able to bring forth from the water the heaven and the stars, the size of which either equals or surpasses that of the earth; likewise, since He is able out of a droplet of water to create sun and moon, could He not also defend my body against enemies and Satan or, after it has been placed in the grave, revive it for a new life?"


This world is beautiful. But it is also deeply, deeply broken. Paul puts it this way in Romans 8:22: For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." Adam & Eve ate the fruit, they broke the world, and death entered the picture. Nothing has been the same since. Though we may catch glimpses and glimmers of order and beauty, they are always reflected through a broken mirror. Paradise was lost, and we now live with only the smallest hints of its goodness that remain. No more tree of life. No more walking with God in the cool of the day every last molecule was affected. But perhaps that's the real miracle of this time of year; not that it's simply pretty or orderly or colorful. In the full bloom of springtime, God brings forth life where there was once only bleakness and death, and in this, we catch glimpses of our own resurrection. The true miracle of springtime isn't simply its beauty, but in the way it foreshadows the life that springs forth when God creates everything new. In the springtime we encounter not just a Psalm 19 God who creates beautiful things, but a Psalm 116 God who redeems life from death: "The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.  Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”." This is the God of the Resurrection in all of His glory, emerging from the grave victorious over the forces of darkness and death that daily threaten to overwhelm us. This is the God in us in the person of Jesus Christ, who overcame death by being broken Himself. What we broke in the Garden, Jesus fixes at the empty tomb. So the next time you walk through the woods and catch a glimpse of a young fawn scampering through the underbrush or new shoots bursting through last year's growth, remember that. We live in a perpetual spiritual springtime.


Elder Stan Davala


February 2024 Elder's Corner

“Where Do You Find Your Treasure?”

For the Christian, there can be no greater advice than what Solomon offered his readers in Proverbs 4:23.  He gave the following instruction; “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”  As we contemplate his wisdom, we must keep in mind the words of 2 Timothy  3:16 - 17;  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in  righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Solomons’ words of wisdom were not his own, they were given to him by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and they were prophetic.   As such we do well to “heed them as light that shines in a dark place”.   


In speaking on the condition of human heart, Jeremiah offered the following on the subject in Jeremiah 17: 9 - 10;

 d is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”


Brothers and sisters in Christ,  it is of utmost importance that we reject what the wisdom of the world has to offer and adhere to what the scriptures teach us.  David recognize this when he penned the words in Psalm 51; 10 - 11;  10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,  and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  

The heart is deceitful above all things,  and desperately sick;  who can understand it?  “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind,  to give every man according to his ways,  according to the fruit of his deeds.”


These words are contrary to everything that our culture teaches us today.  In fact,  the main thrust of most modern academia revolves around the notion man is innately good.  This point of view has been held by the lion’s share of the worlds intellectual elite since the time of Christ.  As Christians, we have a choice.  We can believe the Bible, as God’s inspired word. Or, we can believe a lie. 


Jesus Christ had these words to say to his disciples, regarding the human heart in Mark 7: 18 - 23;  18 “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, an


As Christians, the most important lesson in life we can learn is to cherish Gods’ Word.  Why?  It is through learning his precepts that we gain understanding and are able to avoid every false way.  The Word of God must become our treasure.  This is the reason Jesus said the following in Matthew 6: 21;  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Charles Spurgeon had these marvelous words to say regarding Gods’ written word.  “This Bible is a           wonderful talking book; there is a great mass of blessed talk in this precious volume.  It has told me a great many of my faults;  it would tell you yours if you would let it.  It has told me much to comfort me;  and it has much to tell you if you will but incline your ear to it.  It is a book that is wonderfully communicative; it knows all about you, all the ins and outs of where you are, and where you ought to be, it can tell you everything.”  


Brothers and Sisters in Christ, learn to cherish the Word of God. 


Elder Joe Beasley


January 2024 Elder's Corner

A False Nativity...

I recently saw an article with a photo of the nativity scene. The headline read, “Jesus had 2 Mary’s!”. The photo over the headline showed two depictions of Mary made back in the renaissance era aside the Christ child. A rainbow flag draped over the top of them. It was a LBGT publication making a statement that two women could have been the mother of Christ. I was sickened by what I saw. I quickly passed by without reading it but the image became seared on my mind. I asked myself, “Who would flagrantly lie about the  virgin Mary in such a way? Who would disgrace the Christ child like this?”.  I was both angry and frustrated. It’s not that I haven’t seen such blasphemy before, I just can’t understand why people have to twist the truth to fit their agendas. If someone is an atheist, then they don’t believe in God but this is so much more… this is anti-Christ!

The image kept creeping into my mind over the Christmas holiday as I celebrated the birth of my Savior. These people have heard the truth and want to twist it. I have to forgive them and pray for them. Easier said than done! I pray they come to the saving knowledge of Christ! It’s not that they are persecuting me, it’s that they are trying to change the truth that everyone needs to hear. I am reminded to not only pray for them, but to pick up the pace on sharing the Good News to the world before they hear the twisted lies of this generation. We read in Matthew 28:18-20… 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey         everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  This was a command from Jesus to His believers…His church! We must increase our efforts now to share Christ with this lost & dying world because the enemies of the cross are defiantly doing so in this very moment!

Elder Jeff Kohler


December 2023 Elder's Corner

Maybe it’s how nice the weather has been lately, or maybe it’s just that I am getting older, but it is hard to believe that November has drawn to its end and December is here. This brings us to the season of Advent. I am drawn to Luke’s Gospel, not to chapter 1, but to chapter 21. It is an alarming one—full of violent images and ominous predictions. It is not one I would usually pick to kick off this holy season of quiet waiting; it seems like a very harsh beginning. I would rather avoid the uncomfortable realities represented here and make a gentler transition from Thanksgiving to

Christmas. But the truth is, the scenario described in Luke 21 is much closer to real life than the dreamy images we often associate with the Christmas season. News reports are filled with images of the unresolved tensions of clashing nations, violent interpersonal political conflicts, The tragedy of bus crashes, and lives taken. the foreboding that goes along with an economic recession. At a personal level, we are plagued by confusion about conflicts we can’t resolve and friends and loved ones who have died. Stress over our jobs, distress about our failures and the failures of others, and questions that cause us to doubt the very Gospel message we preach.


On second thought, perhaps this passage is exactly where we need to be. It helps us to be honest about our lives and those places that are full of confusion and distress, fear and foreboding. It tells us that in the most distressing and

violent places our mind takes us we are to wait for the Son of Man to come into our lives with the power to heal and glory to illuminate our darkness. As followers of Christ, these are the very places where we must call others to wait on God as well—the places where they feel most threatened, most disturbed, and most confused.


As Christians, part of our sanctification is learning how to wait for God in the darkest moments of his/her distress and confusion. Only a person who has experienced God’s deliverance in their own lives can ask others to do the same. In a world where the first inclination is to act immediately, Advent invites us into a great reversal.


During this season we are encouraged to just wait be on guard, to be awake, to refuse to be so caught up in everything around us that we fail to recognize the nearness of Christ in that very place that feels desolate, confusing, and beyond hope. It is a time to raise our heads, lift our eyes, and watch for our redemption as it draws near.


Advent is a good time to notice the challenges and the places of hardness in our lives, those places where we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if the Son of Man does not come, there is no hope. These are the places that defy human answers and where the people around us may even be starting to panic. We might need to be more honest in acknowledging our own distress and confusion, and fear. And we must be willing to ask, “Is it possible that this hard-to-acknowledge place is the very place in which God is calling me and I have to be still and wait for his deliverance?


We must assume an attitude of waiting, accepting the fact that we are creatures and not the creator. We must do this because it is not our right to do anything else.


I encourage you to recognize this important season of Advent. Do not rush into Christmas. There will be plenty of time to celebrate that later. Take this time to allow God to work on those areas of your life that you keep the most hidden. Let Him shine into any darkness of fear and bitterness. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2Corinthians 4:6


On behalf of the Elders and our wives, we want to wish you a holy, blessed, and Merry Christmas.


Elder Stan Davala


November 2023 Elder's Corner

It’s November and the holiday we know as Thanksgiving will soon be here. It is a national holiday that is in remembrance of the first known celebration of Thanksgiving which occurred with the English colonists at Plymouth and Native American People. It wasn’t until 1863 in the middle of the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday. Author Sarah Josepha Hale, best known as the author of the nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb”, started a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Considering this and the situation in the country at that time, Lincoln put forth a proclamation of Thanksgiving, encouraging all Americans to ask God to, “Commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation”.

This story, in some ways seems familiar to the America we are living in today. No, we are not at war with each other but we are definitely at odds with each other, more so than I have seen in my life time. So, I wonder what it would be like and the difference it would make if the leaders of our government stood up and invoked the care of God in our situation today. Take into his tender care all those that are confused, misguided, lost, hurting and missing a higher power to lean on, our one and only God. Philippians 4:6 says do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I’m not sure if we will ever hear those words from our government leaders but there are many of us that can raise this country up in prayer and thanksgiving for what he has done for us already. Though the request that Lincoln made, that is associated with the Thanksgiving proclamation, Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines thanksgiving as rendering thanks for good received. I guess more specifically we need to thank God for what we have already received. We live in the greatest country in the world with the greatest blessings a nation could ask for. The greatest thing that we have that we can be thankful for is the freedom to worship and follow Jesus Christ. Sure, we can pray for healing and togetherness in this country but the relationship with Christ is all we really need. It’s all everyone really needs.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come into his presence with Thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Tim Rush

October 2023 Elder's Corner

Finding Truth….

With all the crazy teachings going around on the internet, tv, radio, it is easy to be led astray or become confused about what the Bible says. We want to be sure our church gets good solid biblical truth. Many of our teachings and sermons lately have been on the subject of the Word of God being our foundation and the truth we all should lean to. I want to reemphasize this in this newsletter. There are many teachings out there, many different ideas about life. Some of them are good, some of them are very bad. But the only ones I want to listen to are the ones that are founded upon the Word of God, the Bible! In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus told us the parable about the wise man building his house upon the solid rock. That wise man built his house on Christ, the Solid Rock. To build upon Christ, we need to build upon his Word! We do not need to build our house, our faith, upon anything else! We do not need to build our house upon a church doctrine, wisdom of man, or an ideal that anybody has! Those things may have some interesting thoughts and truths in them but they are not the Word of God!

We read in II Timothy 3:14-17, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God, may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Here, we see that the Word of God is the foundation that we center our lives upon! Let us be so very careful what we hear. There are lies around every corner and deception everywhere we look! The Holy Scriptures are God breathed! That is where we need to be. I want to encourage everyone to study the Word and listen to the messages from the Pastor and Elders as we work hard to teach the truth of the Word of God with every opportunity. Remember the scripture that tells us how to get more faith?  Romans 10: 17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

Let there be more of the Word of God in us all!!!


Elder Jeff Kohler

September 2023 Elder's Corner

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:


Psalm 34: 19 reads as follows;  “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”  How foreign these words appear too many in the church today.  Yet, they were penned by David, who was a man after God’s own heart.  As such, we would be wise to consider the wisdom that David shares with us and take it to heart.


The Apostle Peter addresses the topic of afflictions in I Peter 4: 12 - 13.  “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”


As children of the living God, we must be cognizant of the fact

we are in a spiritual battle.  A conflict which will not end until the day we die or Christ returns.  Paul spoke of this warfare in Ephesians 6: 12;  “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but agains principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”


In-light-of-the-forgoing (knowing as Christians will face both afflictions and fiery trials), how do we prepare.  We follow the advice Paul gives us in Ephesians 6: 10 & 11;  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole Armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.


Trials and afflictions are sure to be a part of every believers life.  Nevertheless, we have God’s sure and trustworthy word to lean on.  His promises are yea and amen and we can rely on them.  As Paul iterated in I Corinthians 10: 13;  “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tested beyonds what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”       


When facing adversity, remember the Word of God and take heart.  As James encouraged his readers in James 1: 12;  Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Elder Joe Beasley

August 2023 Elder's Corner

"For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether..
" -Psalm 139:4


Can you even imagine the magnitude of this verse from the Psalm of David? David is essentially stating that the Creator of the Universe, God himself, knows me...He knows you so intimately that the very brain synapses that spark thought and bring those thoughts to life through speech are already known to God. Essentially, the Artist has an intimate front seat to the canvas of our lives.


Is it no wonder then that David later states in verse six "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.."


Do you ever worry about where your life is heading or, perhaps, you doubt that anyone even cares about you? David's words should remind us that we are not only cared for but that it goes much, much deeper than that - since before we even existed God knew us. Doesn't that just blow your mind?


He wants to pour out such love and attention on you because you matter to Him and He knows how you have persevered through the trials of life. It might feel embarrassing to you to receive such honor and praise, but let Him love you. Receive it with open arms and gratitude. We can do that even knowing we are wretched sinners.


When you pray, remember that God already knows what you're going to say. Could it be that these prayers that we utter are for our benefit rather than His? Could it be that what God wants is a remorseful heart and a humble spirit? He already knows what is on our hearts and what we are encountering in life. The act of supplication and prayer becomes an act of humility and obedience rather than treating God like some sort of genie in a bottle that doles out wishes.


The knowledge that God knows us so intimately that before we even say a word He hears and understands - it just blows my mind. I can see why David suggests that such knowledge of God is almost too much to take. Perhaps the next time we communicate with God, we should remember these words from this Psalm and bend our hearts and knees before the Creator . He loves you so completely and longs to lavish you with His countless blessings.


Something more to ponder today.
-Until next time.


Elder Stan Davala


July 2023 Elder's Corner

I was pondering a scripture a few days ago. Lamentations 3:22-23 reads “22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  I began remembering how I used to be many years ago when I was a young, hotheaded mouthy kid. I was very sarcastic. Over the years, the Lord has slowly changed me…. a slow process because of self and my stubbornness. Then I had this thought, “How bad of a person I would have been if I had never found the Lord?”  I could have been one nasty individual!  Change takes time. I had to constantly quote the scripture from James 1:19-20, “ 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the, righteousness of God.” I still have my days where I fall short, but the Holy Spirit reminds me of the Holy Scriptures! I am so very grateful for the Lord’s mercy that is truly new every morning! His steadfast love is amazing! My prayer, “Lord, may the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart, be pleasing to You. Help me to open my ears and make me very slow to anger! Thank you, Lord for your mercy and steadfast love!”.


Elder Jeff Kohler


June 2023 Elder's Corner

But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 19:14

Jesus was prompted to make this statement right in the middle of a teaching on marriage. Parents brought their children to be blessed and the disciples tried to stop it. Jesus makes it clear that this is a good thing and the way it should be. Today parents still should be bringing their children to Jesus. He wants to bless them and welcome them to the kingdom of heaven.

This month some of us will be celebrating Father’s Day. Those of us fortunate enough to be fathers. Those of us who have accepted the role as a father. I recently heard an advertisement for a law firm and in the ad the lawyer said, “you don’t have to always be a husband but once a father you’re always a father.” For some reason this statement stuck in my head and began to bother me. It played over and over again. At first I thought, this is a true statement that I never thought about before. On the surface it was true but I still could not get it out of my head. Finally, it sank in as to why it was bothering me. Unfortunately, I know men who helped bring children into this world that have never been a father. When I see all the things going on this world today that are affecting our kids and the poor guidance and direction they are being given, I can’t help but wonder how did we get here. Certainly, one of the issues is the deterioration of the family unit and in many cases, it is the absence of the father in the house.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:4 fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

We so appreciate the fathers of Christ Community Church and those that give fatherly direction to ones who are not their children. You may never know the difference you are making in a child’s life and our communities but the Bible assures us in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Thankyou to the fathers of the church for the difference you make!

Happy Father’s Day!

Elder Tim Rush