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