Sun, Nov 05, 2017
Vision Sunday Presentation from CCW Leadership on November 5, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
God has been moving over the past two years and we have a responsibility to respond.
Our needs are growing and our ministry goals grow with it.
We have an opportunity to begin moving forward in a direction that we feel has been deeply rooted in prayer, discussion and research.
The future of CCW looks bright and we are excited for what God is going to do!
A few questions you can ask yourself after viewing this video:
What questions, concerns, and recommendations do you have about this project?
In your opinion, what has been the most significant information revealed today?
What else do you feel is important for church leadership to consider as this proposal continues to unfold?
What one thing excites you most about this project?
How evident to you are the facility needs that are addressed by this proposal?
Any additional information you require or questions you may have can be directed to anyone of our leadership team or staff!
Sun, Oct 29, 2017
Defined week two message from Pastor Luke Aadalen on October 29, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
What we say and how we say it, are only good if they can be backed up. So, if our faith is truly alive by those words, then action will accompany it. Faith requires ACTION!
The Action that defends faith is…SELFLESSNESS
It Starts…With a Willing Heart
1 Timothy 1:5
2 Timothy 1:6-7
It Builds…Beyond Your Comfort Zone
It Finishes…By Understanding our Place & our Purpose
2 Timothy 4:7-8
The start, build, and finish occur as a continual process for each of us in our faith. We are constantly presented with opportunity for selfless action – it’s all around us. But do we always see it? Are we looking for it? Also, are we willing to let others see the needs in us? Believe it or not, selflessness in action is a two-way street.
1. Selfless to Give: Humility of Self
2. Selfless to Receive: Humility of Self
It was considered one of the most hospitable acts of a host to offer a servant to wash the feet of guests as they came into their home. To remove the dust of weariness from travel and toil, cleansing the dirty feet and making them feel refreshed. Our feet are what lead us to action – they must be refreshed from time to time in order that they remain strong and solidified on the foundation of the purpose and mission that God sets before us.
Selflessness in Action – our Faith lived out – is a willingness to open ourselves up to things that may not seem to be in our ballpark and to follow through with the mission we are called to. When we do this, God begins to open doors for us to meet needs – selflessly – with no expectation of return.
What about the people around you? Next to you? Behind you? In front of you? Do you think there might be a need you could meet for them? Or maybe there is a need that you have that they may be able to meet for you?
Are you willing to humble yourself, to Start – Build – Finish – Humility for the sake of serving another, both selflessly to give and selflessly to receive?
Don’t deny yourself the joy that comes with serving others
Don’t deny others the joy that they feel from serving you
And in turn we will together choose not to deny the joy of our God whom we serve directly when we choose to serve others around us
Sun, Oct 22, 2017
Defined week one message from Pastor Luke Aadalen on October 22, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
How do you define faith?
We have a tendency to overlook the primary definition or purpose in the word\concept.
Faith is a “Channel of Living Trust”
It is the assurance that stretches from God to us
Follow me here – it is the object of faith that makes faith faithful
The object of faith is God or the promises of God – the things we HOPE for
See, we trust God to fulfill his promises for the future (the unseen things)
And we base that on what he has already fulfilled in the past (the assurance of Hope)
So our faith as Christians is not truly a BLIND faith
It is formed on the foundation of God’s already proven faithfulness
Belief does not define faith – even demons believe
Belief is not enough on its own
True belief, true faith, comes from the HOPE of what has been and what is to come
Great example of living trust - The Centurion in Luke chapter 7
God is more concerned about how we respond to what we go through
Faith always involves assurance AND conviction
Faith always involves things that are still yet to come
Faith has as its object things that are presently unseen
Faith involves maintaining our focus on God
Let the object of your faith be the focus you put on Jesus
Be assured that HOPE produces evidence of the unseen
Hebrews 11:1 – Don’t overlook the primary definition in God’s word and plan for you
Sun, Oct 15, 2017
It's Not Me, It's You week three message from Linda Evans on October 15, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Today, we are going to wrap this up by talk about whether or not you are the captain of your ship or a crew member.
God has a dream for us--- His kids. God has a plan and purpose for you. He wants your life to bring honor and glory to him and he wants us to live a selfless life and have a deep and meaningful relationship with him.
• He wants us to be in real relationship with him.
• He wants us to present our whole life—all of it—as an offering to him. Not just our Sunday morning selves, but our Monday morning selves and our Friday and Saturday night selves. Our everyday selves.
God expects us to arrange our lives, our relationships, and our priorities around
• His will
• His plan
• His purpose
• His dream
• His word.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God is going to force us to comply with this. There is no force. God doesn’t make us do anything. He offers.
• He offers his love
• he offered his son as a living sacrifice to atone for our sin
• he offers the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and guide us on our journey here.
God’s plans for my life are so much greater than my own.
Surrender means to yield ownership, to relinquish control over what we consider ours: our property, our time, our "rights." When we surrender to God, we are simply acknowledging that what we "own" actually belongs to Him.
Surrendering your life means:
• Following God's lead without knowing where he's sending you;
• Waiting for God's timing without knowing when it will come;
• Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide;
• Trusting God's purpose without understanding the circumstances.
Instead of trying harder, you trust more.
Jesus, my captain, my soul’s trusted Lord. I surrender! Take me and use me. All my allegiance is rightfully yours.
Sun, Oct 08, 2017
It's Not Me, It's You week two message from Linda Evans on October 8, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
There are lots of examples of selfish people in the Bible and if we look at some of those stories, it didn’t usually work out well for the selfish person.
Cain: (Genesis) Cain had no concern for others. His selfishness led him to murder his own brother.
Ahab: (1 Kings 21) We learn that King Ahab was concerned about things more so than people which led to his wife Jezebel having an innocent man killed so that Ahab could have a piece of land that he wanted for a garden.
David: (2 Samuel ) He was more interested in seeking his own pleasure rather than doing what was right. He wanted another man’s wife and finally got what we wanted but it involved lying, plotting, deception and murder. God did not honor that and there were serious consequences.
So, you would think that we might heed caution when it comes to selfishness in our lives but even though we know these stories, we often give way to selfish choices.
Of course there are examples of selfless people in the Bible and we can certainly learn from those people:
1. Abraham (Genesis 13) When the flocks and herds of Abraham and his nephew, Lot became too large for them to live at the same location, instead of telling his nephew where he could take his animals, Abraham told Lot to take first pick of land to have for his animals. According to the world’s standards, Abraham should have chosen first. He was older, much of Lot’s wealth could have been attributed to Abraham, God had promised all the land to Abraham. Instead, Abraham deferred to Lot. Because of this, the Bible tells us that Abraham was richly blessed.
2. Joseph (Genesis 45) Even though his brothers betrayed him and sold him in to slavery, Joseph treated his brothers with love, compassion and mercy. He could have had them killed but instead gave them food when they were starving and he forgave them.
3. The Good Samaritan (Luke 10) helped a stranger in need using his own money and time and knowing he would gain nothing in return.
4. Barnabas (Acts 4) He sold all that he had and gave the money to the Lord’s cause to help those in need.
5. Jesus! What better example of selfless living could we ever have! The son of God left heaven and came to Earth to give himself as a sacrifice to pay for our sins.
Even with all these great examples, there are times when I still struggle with selfish living.
Have you ever begged?
Have you ever really begged?
The symbol that many associate with Christians is a cross.
It was the biggest act of selflessness ever committed.
Jesus took ALL of it so that we can stand before God someday as white as snow. The cross--- a symbol of God’s plan of salvation and the symbol of Jesus’ love and obedience.
Let humility and selfless be words that describe you. Sounds great, but it can be tough.
Whatever it was, Paul was worried enough that he was on his knees begging for unity. Paul understood how important it is for Christians to work together and what can happen when people adopt their own agenda and get stuck in a hurt or disappointment.
A community driven by selfishness will become a fractured, self-serving nightmare.
What can I do? How do I get back to Less Me and More God when selfishness starts to kick in? Look both directions!
Look both directions. Develop your peripheral vision.
Look both directions. Live your life so it reflects the love of Jesus and those watching see more of God and less of you.
Look both directions!
Embrace a selfless life!
Oh God, change us from the inside out and help us say, “It’s not me; it’s you God!”
Less me. More God.
Sun, Oct 01, 2017
It's Not Me, It's You week one message from Linda Evans on October 1, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
LESS ME - MORE GOD
It’s so easy to think we are at the center of it all, but God doesn’t exist to make a big deal out of us. We exist to make a big deal out of God.
We can start to believe our greatest asset is us and our own ability.
1 Chronicles 16:14
Max Lucado said, “When our deepest desire is not the things of God, or the favor or God but God himself, we cross a threshold.” The question we should all ask each morning is, “How do I shine a light on your glory today, God?”
Here is the truth:
Why does the Earth spin? For God’s glory.
Why do you have talents and abilities? For God’s glory.
Why do you have money or poverty? For God’s glory.
Why do you have strength or struggles? For God’s glory.
Why are you a CEO or a stay at home mom? For God’s glory.
Everything and everyone exists to reveal God’s glory.
God help us to decrease so that you might increase in us. Keep us from getting in the way, so that others can experience the love and joy of Jesus. Help our words and actions point others to your full glory God.
Sun, Sep 24, 2017
My Story week four message from Pastor Chris Russell on September 24, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Our focus in this series has been on the fact that each of us has a life story to tell. The decisions we made in previous years determined what our story is today and the decisions that we make today will directly determine the story that we tell tomorrow. Words fill the page. Pages fill the chapter. Chapters fill a book. Every decision we make, big and small, writes the story of our lives.
God wants me to…
Sometimes, the best decision you can make is to go when it would be easier to stay. There’s a story in the Bible that illustrates this key decision very well. It’s the story about a husband and wife named Abram and Sarai, who later became better known as Abraham and Sarah. They lived in a place called Harran, which was a city in what is now modern day Turkey. While living there, God gave Abram some instructions that would have certainly gotten his attention.
Making God the Author of Your Story
What Does God Want You to Want?
What Step of Faith Do You Need to Take?
God has so many amazing plans for our lives if we will just trust Him. So why don’t we go when we think we’re supposed to? For many of us it comes down to fear. We are afraid, we are insecure, we aren’t sure how it’s going to work out so we get paralyzed, we push it off to the future. The bottom line is we lack faith.
I hope that this series has helped you to identify some areas in your life that need to be addressed now so that you can have the best possible story in the future. By faith, I pray that you'll have the courage to decide to START a discipline that will change the direction of your story. By faith, I pray that you will have the faith to
STOP doing something that would hinder your story from being what God wants it to be. By faith, I pray that you have the courage to STAY the course and be faithful to where you've been planted when it's easier to throw in the towel and walk away. And when the time is right and God calls you, I pray you will have the faith to go and take the step of faith when it would be easier to stay. Because the decisions you make today determine the stories you tell tomorrow. And because we want to live a story worth telling, we will fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author and the perfector of our faith.
Sun, Sep 17, 2017
My Story week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on September 17, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
As we focus on our word for today, we realize that during this season of life that we are in, we’re going to run up against some obstacles or challenges. It might be a job that you don’t feel like you can stand anymore… it might be a relationship that is falling apart… it may be a goal you are trying to achieve but it’s just gotten so difficult you are considering throwing in the towel. And in all of these situations you have to decide, “Do I stay the course or do I walk away?”
Now let’s acknowledge that there are certainly times where we should walk away from a situation or circumstance in our lives. There are times in our lives where we need to let a chapter end and start a new chapter. But far too often people walk away before they ever really sought out God’s wisdom and insight in to the situation. They walk away because it just feels too hard. And what I want us to focus on today is that many times the best decision you can make is to stay the course when it would be easier to walk away.
The Bible provides an excellent example of staying with the story of Ruth.
The big question that we have been asking in this series of messages has been…
Making God the Author of My Story
What Does God Want You To Want?
It might be he wants you to spend more time with your family, or for you to grow more spiritually. Or for some of you, it maybe to stop pursuing your own dreams and surrender something to God. Or it may be to stop living for things that don't matter. It might be to spend more time at home. Whatever it is, what does God want you to want? It’s a question that you need to wrestle with for a while and see how God stirs in your soul.
Then, in light of determining what God wants you to want, our application question for today is…
Where Does God Want You To Stay?
Where does God want you to stay the course so that you can live the story that God wants you to tell? Where does God want you to stay the course when it would be so much easier to just walk away?
There are going to be times in your life where the way forward doesn’t look easy, where another path will seem to look so much more appealing and easier. But there are going to be many of those times where God is going to call you to stay the course when you would rather go a different direction.
In light of what God wants you to want, where does God want you to STAY?
Maybe you’re working and taking classes at the same time and you’ve gotten to the point where you just don’t feel like you can keep going – it’s just too hard, it’s too expensive, it’s too time consuming, it’s just too much.
What about those who are tempted to give up on church.
Then there are others who make the decision to STAY anyways. They know that that is where God is calling them to be at this season in life and they do the work necessary to repair the relationships and clear the air on what is going on and seek to grow as a result of it.
Or you might decide to stay with God as God will always stay with you because he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Some of you, it will be in your marriage.
I don’t know what area of your life you need to apply today’s message to, but I want you to know this beyond a shadow of a doubt… sometimes the greatest act of faith is faithfulness…. staying where you are planted.
The decisions that we make today determine the stories that we tell tomorrow. And sometimes, the best decision you can make it to stay when it would be so much easier to walk away.
Sun, Sep 10, 2017
My Story week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on September 10, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
When it comes to each of our lives, all of us have a story. Each season of life adds another chapter to the overall life story we are telling the world. Some of those chapters are pretty awesome and some of those chapters are ones that we would gladly rip out and burn if we could.
In his book titled The Principle of the Path, author and pastor Andy Stanley has this great quote that really speaks a lot of truth about the stories that are being written about our lives. In talking about what really matters the most in how our lives will turn out he says this…
Direction, Not Intention, Determines Destination
The overriding questions for this series is simply this…
How do we live a story that is worth telling?
God wants me to…
So our focus was on starting just one habit or discipline that God is stirring inside of you and committing to make it a new direction for your life.
Now, God wants me to also...
Reasons to STOP
1. You’ll never know what you are missing if you don’t stop
2. You don't know what it will cost you if you don't.
As you are thinking about what this might be for you, I want you to think about it from two viewpoints. Some of you need to stop something externally. These are the habits or addictions that many of the times others see and easily recognize as being negative for your life story. Maybe you need to focus on stopping an addiction, or your road rage, or how you treat others, or being so consumed with your looks, physically and financially.
Meanwhile some of you may need to stop something that is more internal, which can be the really dangerous ones because they aren’t as easily seen by others and therefore they are easier for us to hide or deny. Maybe it’s a bitter attitude, or a critical spirit, or negative self-image, or a lack of confidence.
Whether it’s an internal or external thing, in light of what God wants you to want, what does God want you to stop? In light of what God wants you to want, pick one thing, what does God want you to stop?
The decisions that we make today determine the stories that we tell tomorrow. Direction, not intention, determines destination. If you're writing the wrong story, it’s not too late to stop. We serve a big, big God and He is here today, waiting for you to surrender yourself to Him so that He can start writing the best chapters yet.
Sun, Sep 03, 2017
My Story week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on September 3, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
How many of you enjoy reading a good book?
Chapter after chapter, page after page of gripping tales of adventure, tragedy and triumph. You could hardly wait to see what was going to happen next. The author had a way of just taking you on the journey with them through it all. A great author has the ability to do that. The story they weave just hooks you and you are along for the ride.
The greatest story ever written was mine because it was written by me – I was the hero, I was the one who had all my dreams come true, I was the one who won the race, I was the one who came up with the greatest invention of all time, I was the one who was rich and famous, I was the one that everybody else wanted to be like…. my stories were simply awesome! But then something happened…. I grew up…. and I later realized that the greatest stories were never meant to be written by us – they are written and are meant to be written by God alone.
So... How do we live a story that is worth telling?
When we fix our eyes on Jesus we become fully aware that you and I were never intended to be the authors of our own lives. God’s purpose and plan for our lives is so much better than anything you and I could possibly write and when we turn the pen, or pencil, or (screen) typewriter or keyboard over to Him, our life starts to make much better sense and the stories just keep getting better and better.
Today’s single word is…
The reality is there are certain habits, certain disciplines, that when you practice those habits and disciplines, they have a way of spilling forward into positive momentum and other positive habits. However, in the same way, the absence of those very key and specific habits and disciplines can cause your undisciplined lifestyle to unravel and spiral out of control.
Sometimes when we don’t have a healthy habit or discipline in our lives, our lives can unravel in very bad ways and lead to some bad chapters in our stories.
Daniel is such a powerful example in the scripture.
Making God the Author of My Story
What does God want you to want?
What Do You Need to Start?
The decisions that you make today will determine the story that you tell tomorrow.
1 Kings 20:13-14
Seek God, fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, He will help you author the right story.
Sun, Aug 27, 2017
25 Years & Counting week three message from Pastor Chris Russell with Matt Parker, President of Kids Alive International on August 27, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Where We Are Going!
Nearly 25 years ago God stirred in the hearts of a handful of men and women to start this new church family where the primary focus was reaching people who were far from God and helping people realize that nothing they do can change just how crazy God is in love with them. God has continued to stir in the leadership and individuals of this family and as a result of being obedient to those stirrings, we continue to see God do amazing things among us and through us.
1 Timothy 1:6
As we look to the future, it will be largely determined by how well we sense God’s stirrings and are faithful in following through on them that determine what kind of church CCW will be when it comes together to celebrate 50 years.
President of Kids Alive International - Matt Parker
But this stirring from God that Kids Alive is all about goes way beyond statistics and rankings. At its heart and at our heart here at CCW we have the same desire… to see people’s lives be transformed by the hope that is found in Jesus Christ alone.
Sun, Aug 20, 2017
25 Years & Counting week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on August 20, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Where we are at today!
2 Timothy 1:6
1 Timothy 4:12
In the 7 years that I have had the privilege to be a part of this church family, God has stirred a number of times in my heart and a ton of times in the hearts of this church family. And when I think about where we are now it is those stories of stirred up hearts that I think best display who we are as a church family and who we are trying to become not just inside these walls but especially outside of these walls.
Sometimes the stirring God starts in us is to do something to get our families more involved in service.
One of the things I love about how we do ministry here is that we value what God is doing in everybody, regardless of their age.
You’re never too young to get started, and if you’re not dead, you’re not done.
Sun, Aug 13, 2017
25 Years & Counting week one message from Pastor Chris Russell with Reed Juday on August 13, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
We celebrated 25 years since the founding of CCW! Through pictures, stories, laughter, tears and a lot of joy, we went through the memories of what God did to bring us here.
Though we celebrate the church family, what we truly celebrate is the power of Almighty and Sovereign God who was able to accomplish more than we could imagine through some truly miraculous situations.
THANK YOU DEEPLY from the bottom of our hearts to all those who 25 years ago listened, heard and followed the heart of God, allowing us to be here in ministry to the Kingdom today!
Sun, Jun 25, 2017
Unfair week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on June 25, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The message that Habakkuk was hearing from God was just very difficult to wrap his head around. He didn't feel like God was being fair.
If we are honest, we all have times in life that we feel like that.
Look back at "The Dip"
Getting Beyond the Dip:
1. Stop and Listen
2. Write and Remember
3. Wait and Trust
He is saying that he remembers and understands all that there is to God, but that he feels as though God is not following through on who he is in that moment. So if he as well as us at times are in the dip - we have to...
Climb out of the the dip!
Climbing Out of the Dip means:
1. Recall God's track record
2. Accept what God is doing
3. Trust what God is going to do
When you find yourself in the dip in any area of your life, choose to trust…. choose to trust and lean in to a God who is so passionately in love with you… a God who so desired to be with you for eternity that He gave His only son to take the penalty that we deserve for our unfaithfulness. Choose to trust a God who is FOR you, who has a plan for your life, who desires to have an intimate relationship with you. Trust the God who has an amazing track record and trust that what He is doing currently in your life and what He wants to do in your future is for your good and for your growth. And if you keep leaning in you will find that He shows up… time and time again. And your trust in Him will grow and grow and grow. And you will eventually get to the point, not that’s easy to do all the time, where you will trust your tomorrows to the God who has shown up time and time again in your yesterdays. And you’ll realize that’s there’s nothing unfair about Him after all.
Sun, Jun 18, 2017
Unfair week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on June 18, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The message that Habakkuk was hearing from God was something that he just couldn’t wrap his head around. What God was telling him was that the people were going to be punished for their disobedience.
He was looking around at life and just didn’t feel like God was doing what He should be doing, He wasn’t being fair.
Have you ever felt that way toward God? Have you ever looked around at all the things that are happening in your own life and in our world today and started to question how fair God is being?
My guess is some of these questions and thoughts are ones that you’ve had somewhere along the line in your story and experiences.
If you fast-forward from this Old Testament book to today, people ask these same questions all the time, “God, why is it that the evil people, they seem to prosper, but the good people, all these bad things happen to them? Why is it that I work hard at work and I’m honest, and then the jerk over there that’s being dishonest and manipulative gets promoted?
Because it sure seems like in all of these situations that God COULD do something, and that God SHOULD do something…but often He doesn’t. Why? Why doesn’t God seem fair?”
Habakkuk had the same kinds of questions. And Habakkuk loved God dearly.
Unfortunately, many of us grew up in environments that said it wasn’t ok to question God.
So when we get to those seasons of doubt, we have important decisions to make… because what do we do when what we see isn’t consistent with what we believe? We follow the example of Habakkuk who took his honest questions to God.
Now he’s doing something that so many of us are terrible at doing… he’s waiting on God.
Getting Beyond the Dip
1. Stop and Listen
2. Write and Remember
3. Wait and Trust
When we find ourselves in the waiting period in The Dip we need to draw strength from the first two steps of getting through The Dip… take our questions, take our doubts to God and then be intentional about stopping and listening for His response, and then we need to write and remember so that we are reminded on a regular basis of all the times that God has come through in our lives and how faithful He is and how much we can rely on Him to fulfill His promises in our lives, even if it’s not in the timing we desire.
2 Corinthians 5:7
For those of us who have made a decision for Jesus, we will live by faith.
You live by faith. You don’t walk by what you SEE; but instead, you live by faith in what you KNOW to be true about God.
Sun, Jun 11, 2017
The Ripple Effect week five message from Pastor Chris Russell on June 11, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Pastor Andy Stanley simplifies the gospel message by pointing out that when it comes to figuring out what we need to share with others in regard to our faith it ultimately comes down to two questions:
1. What does a person need to know?
2. What does a person need to do?
What makes this encouraging is that when it comes down to it, becoming a Christian is always the same process for everyone.
Our circumstances and reasons for coming to faith may be different but the process we go through tot step into that faith is the same.
Let's break this down...
For God so LOVED the world:
God's primary motivation in the relationship is not anger or indifference - it is LOVE!
He GAVE his one and only Son:
By God's giving of what was the most precious to him, it proves that He was in love - that he was motivated by His love!
So look back at the first question - what people need to know...
GOD LOVED and GOD GAVE
Whoever BELIEVES in him shall not perish:
It is about believing in what God sent Jesus to do on our behalf. We can have complete confidence in that knowledge.
Now look at the second question - what people need to do...
But John has not completed the entire thought yet...
But HAVE eternal life:
If God is on the giving side of the gift, then that means that we are on the receiving side of the gift!
Now, consider the whole idea - what to know and what to do...
GOD LOVED - GOD GAVE - WE BELIEVE - WE RECIEVE
A connection story with the Old Testament:
2 Kings 7:3-4
This is a rough point of decision making - but something had to be done.
2 Kings 7:5-8
God changed drastically the events before these men - but something else presented itself for a decision...
2 Kings 7:9
In the midst of the joy and happiness, they had forgotten of the others who were in desperate situations as well - but they realized that they needed to share the joy that they had discovered.
Look at this connection:
Life Before Jesus to what drew us to Jesus
The changes to fighting temptation to stay in the fun and glow
We get caught up in what God is doing in and for us and we forget to share that with the others around us
Like the Spider Man quote says:
"With great power comes great responsibility"
Maybe for us it should say:
"With great discovery comes great responsibility"
We have to to and take what we have discovered and what we have been given and share it with the world and community around us. That is what being a part of the Ripple Effect is all about.
Take advantage of every opportunity because God has already put us in a prime position to change the world because he changed us.
Will you join us and LIVE LIKE THAT??!!
Sun, Jun 04, 2017
The Ripple Effect week four message from Pastor Chris Russell on June 4, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Our church family honored Sue Juday on this Sunday as she begins her retirement after selflessly serving at CCW for 25 years! We wish her all the best and all our love!
There is a difference in how we understand and learn to understand when we are young and when we grow and mature.
Many of us want to share our faith, have that strong relationship with Jesus that makes it possible to share it with others - but we get nervous and we struggle...but we have to stop thinking about it like it is a solo mission. Reaching others was NEVER meant to be a solo expedition.
Jesus could ask this question because everybody back then, just like they do now, had an opinion about Jesus.
What the disciples were pointing out is that people tended to believe that Jesus was FROM God and had a message from God, but were fuzzy on who exactly he was.
Jesus was being more DIRECT...
What Peter says here is based upon his understanding - what he has learned from following Jesus around.
Jesus says he didn't come to this on his own, but it was given to him by revelation and eye opening experience by God.
Then he gives the name change from Simon to Peter...
The names changes in the history of scripture represent the important changes in the direction and purpose of their lives.
Now Jesus is going to take this understanding that Peter and the others have been blessed to know and basically says that he is going to create a movement - a RIPPLE EFFECT - that will be defined by their belief in who Jesus really is!
Now, today, our responsibility is to involve people as much as we can with a community of believers because that's where the resistance begins to break down.
The church is the most powerful, persuasive environment on the planet.
We have the ability and gift to partner with Jesus in this RIPPLE EFFECT - but to get people involved it only takes a simple two words...
COME AND SEE!
First, we answer the call of Jesus - FOLLOW ME
Then we bring others along by simple asking - COME AND SEE
Catch the vision of what God is doing in the world and join in on it with him and with the church that he has built.
Sun, May 28, 2017
The Ripple Effect week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 28, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Why do we hesitate, why do we shrink back, why do we come up short in sharing our faith?
Early on, the followers of Jesus may have seemed like cowards. But after his death and resurrection, we see a major change...
Remember Acts 4:20 -
They could not help but speak about what they had seen and heard
You wonder - did they think each run in with the religious leaders that it could be the last? Did that stop them?
What do you think they were praying for?
They understood the power of Almighty God. They knew exactly what had occurred with Jesus. They knew that the leaders had gone so far as to appeal to the Roman government to get Jesus crucified and then they realized that they had ALMOST missed it.
Imagine the "light bulb" moment! They started to understand that God was up to something and that He had invited them to be a part of it with Him.
They begin to shift thought seeing that God shows up even greater in the trials and uses them. Now they are starting to understand a deep desire to ACTUALLY BE A PART of what God was planning.
This is the new concept, the new realization...
Boldness is about you knowing that you have been perfectly positioned in someone's life and as God creates opportunities for you, you take advantage of those opportunities for the sake of seeing that person eventually place their faith in Jesus Christ.
If we know we serve a Sovereign God - what is there to fear?
Commit yourself to prayer and boldness and look for the opportunities that He will give for you to be a part of the Ripple Effect!
Sun, May 21, 2017
The Ripple Effect week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 21, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Message + Messenger + Unique set or circumstances in life
Why is it so important to be a part of the Ripple Effect in the Christian faith?
Acts Chapter 4 -
Peter and John are headed to the Temple to pray and they come upon a crippled beggar. The beggar is always seeking money as he has done for what must have been years. But Peter tells him he doesn't have money - however, he has something else to give him.
He heals him by the power of Jesus.
He saw the opportunity, while people were watching and observing and he saw the chance to grow the ripple effect...
The uproar caused the leaders of the temple to not desire dealing with Peter and John at that moment so they threw them in prison for the night with plans to take care of them the following day. Or so they thought...
They tell Peter and John it's fine if THEY believe it but to quit talking about it.
But Peter and John propose who they are to follow, God or man
Peter and John could NOT keep silent because they had SEEN and HEARD with their own eyes and ears the truth
It wasn't about explaining everything to everyone - it was simply about sharing what they had seen and heard - thus the importance of this lesson for us today...
Being a part of the ripple effect isn't about having so much knowledge that you can answer all the skeptics you will encounter - the purpose is to simply SHARE what we know - what we believe based on scripture and the history that is keeps!
The reason we must join in on the ripple effect is because our faith is grounded in history and you don't know history unless somebody talks about it and tells you.
We share this information, this story, this belief, this ripple effect because it is in our job description as followers of Christ - people desperately need to know about the forgiveness and joy that comes through relationship with Jesus!
Sun, May 14, 2017
The Ripple Effect week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 14, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Imagine the stories the followers of Jesus would tell you about how they got from where they were to where they ended up in their faith journeys. Certainly things changed along the way!
Jesus told them and tells us that he wants us to follow him and in doing so he will turn us into something that we are NOT already!
If he asked you, "Follow me and I will make you _______________."
What would you fill in the blank with??
The actual answer was probably a little confusing to those he actually spoke it to and is most likely a little hard to understand at first by us even now.
Repent - turning away from your own desires\path
It's what we do in order to prepare for God to do something...
Like looking for Morell Mushrooms...
*people looking for them don't make them happen, but those looking for them are the ones most likely to see them when they show up.
*same with God: because we are earnestly looking for his activity in our life doesn't make it happen, but it helps to ensure that when He shows up we see it, because we are actively looking for it
Sometimes we are so focused on our own thing that we miss it...
Jesus says they will become "fishers of men."
They start sharing Jesus
They do so because they understand that to follow is to FISH
It continued from generation to generation
Thus why 2000 years later we are still here doing it
It started with Four and spread like wild fire
This is the RIPPLE EFFECT
There is no excuse you can make not to be a part of it.
It is a three-part dynamic:
Message + Messenger = Unique set of circumstances in our life =
RIPPLE EFFECT MOMENT
God wants to use each of us to draw others closer to him.
God wants to use each of us in the most important Ripple Effect of all time!
Sun, May 07, 2017
Show Up (Hope) message from Linda Evans on May 7, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
How do you measure success?
We all have various days in our lives:
Do you know the difference between signing up and showing up?
Signing up means you have good intentions, but showing up means you have good follow through. Surprisingly, that is what most people in our lives desire - the follow through, or more simply put...
TO SHOW UP!
We are called to be a place that is open to all those in need. And guess what -we are all broken and need to show up for each other.
Kay Warren's Blueprint:
C - Care: Support people who are ill or struggling (Luke 6:36)
H - Help: Provide basic needs in times of struggle and difficulty
U - YOU!: We are all ministers to others (John 12:6, 1 Peter 4:10)
R - Remove the Stigma: It's not us and them - it is WE!
C - Communicate Honestly: Speak truth and ask for truth
H - Hope: Offered through genuine action (Hosea 2:15)
Never forget the Hope we are given through Jesus for eternity!
I have this Hope - Let's show up!
Sun, Apr 30, 2017
The Time is Now week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on April 30, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
With God's help, I will choose the difficult right over the easy wrong.
God wants to make sure that the people understand that they are never alone when they are seeking to serve him...
But the people - who started out with a vision and drive became discouraged. So God sent Haggai to ask them some very specific questions...
The people being caught up in their discouragement found themselves there because of two causes that can still affect us as well today:
2 Causes of Discouragement:
2. Lack of Progress
Remember - we need to focus on steps 1-3 before we move on to step 4, 5, 6, and so on...God is our great encourager in this...
So what was God's instruction for them and also for us?
BE STRONG, DO THE WORK
And what is the promise of God if we are faithful in doing this?
REAP THE HARVEST
But we will do so at the proper time when we have done the work!
God has the upper story perspective and we have the lower story perspective. But if we trust his perspective then our choices will reflect it.
BE STRONG, DO THE WORK!
Sun, Apr 23, 2017
The Time is Now week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on April 23, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
At the time in history of Haggai, God's people were divided into two nations - Israel and Judah. King Solomon was the last to rule before King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded and took captive control. But around 538 B.C. we see around 50,000 people return to Jerusalem. They began the rebuilding, the foundation and the altar. Then the Samaritans show up to cause trouble...
The people began focusing not on him and his plan, but on their own...thus, the Lord send Haggai...
We do what they did - "it's getting to difficult..."
Opposition does not mean that God is against you.
WITH GOD'S HELP, I WILL CHOOSE THE DIFFICULT RIGHT OVER THE EASY WRONG!
When you look back at your life, how many of you have an unfinished assignment waiting to be completed?
How many of us battle with the right focus?
David was always good at describing how God works.
A lot of times, you have to do what God show you first before He reveals more to you. You can't get to the goal without following the steps and it is always one step at a time. You can't just jump there...it has to go in order...
You don't have to have all the answers right at this moment. This is what it means when scripture says to walk by the Spirit of God.
Are you going to choose the difficult right or the easy wrong?
Choose to have a God sized story and not a human sized story.
The TIME IS NOW! Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year...
Start now and take a step at a time - start with steps 1 to 3 and watch God show up and see what He does when you put him first in every area of your life.
Sun, Apr 16, 2017
A Believable Easter - message from Pastor Chris Russell on April 16, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
In life sometimes when we look at things more closely they are Unbelievable...for many people the Easter story is one of these events.
But consider the details and why they strengthen the reasons for truly believing it...
The gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - Eyewitness accounts
James - the brother of Jesus who may have thought he was crazy till after he had risen from the dead and then writes one of the most powerful of the New Testament books.
Paul - he hated Christians...but because of the events of Easter becomes an extravagant follower of Jesus and writes the majority of the New Testament.
Jesus' ENEMIES had more confidence in the Jesus movement than Jesus' FOLLOWERS!
See, the religious leaders were worried that Jesus' followers were going to steal the body from the tomb and so had it guarded by the Romans. - but where were his followers? Scattered, hiding, running scared.
Just like everyone, we deal with this problem of sin, this problem of not being able to get back to God - but there is a solution:
Don't miss out any longer on your opportunity to truly experience the resurrection power!
Sun, Apr 09, 2017
Beyond the Rear View Mirror week three message from Pastor Luke Aadalen on April 9, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Getting Past Your Past...
We should not grade ourselves, but live by a pass\fail system
We have to be willing to move past our failures and not let them burden us and weigh us down
3 Truth Steps to forgiving yourself:
1. Your sins are NEVER too big for God's grace
1 John 1:9
By continuing to punish yourself for your past, you are letting your pride get in the way
You are claiming that you can do God's job better than he can
God forgives and chooses not to remember - NO MORE
2 Corinthians 12:9
His grace is sufficient - perfected in our weakness
2. You are defined by your Creator, NOT your past
2 Corinthians 5:17
We tend to live our future by letting the sins of our past loom behind us
Our new name is Child of the One True King
We are no longer slaves to the things of this world
We are new, loved, courageous, conquerors, forgiven, free
3. You can't change your past but Jesus can change your future
We are broken and beautiful
This is how God loves to see us come - broken
This is how God's love then covers us - beautiful
What do you need to let go of and nail to the cross forever?
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." - L. Swedes
Get past the past and live your life for what is yet to come...
Broken and Beautiful - You are a CHILD OF GOD!
Sun, Apr 02, 2017
Beyond the Rear View Mirror week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on April 2, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Getting Past your past...
How important is the idea of seeking out forgiveness?
What is the difference between a peacemaker and a peacekeeper?
PeaceKEEPERS - Avoid confrontation to keep peace
Peace MAKERS - Embrace confrontation to make peace
The biggest enemy to peace is PRIDE!
The best friend to peace is HUMILITY!
Apologizing with humility:
1. Admit to specific actions and attitudes
2. Don't make excuses
3. Accept the consequences
4. Commit to changing our behavior
5. Ask for forgiveness
Sun, Mar 26, 2017
Beyond the Rear View Mirror week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on March 26, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Learning how to get past your past...
To really move beyond the rear view mirror we need to do more than just take off the labels that others have put on us. We need to learn to forgive those people.
Why should we forgive?
1. Because unforgiveness hurts us
2. Because we constantly need forgiveness
How do we forgive?
1. Start with prayer
2. Forgive as we have been forgiven
You can choose to have a human-sized story or a God-sized story
Sun, Mar 19, 2017
Beyond the Rear View Mirror week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on March 19, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Learning how to get past your past...
One of the ways that our past holds on to us is from the labels that have been attached to us through the years. Sometimes, we even put labels on ourselves.
Can you think of any negative labels that you have put on yourself through the years? What one or two words come to mind?
What labels should you actually choose?
2 Corinthians 5:17
God will give you:
1. A new name
2. A new purpose
3. A new future
Don't let your past dictate your future. Don't let the enemy get any victories by keeping you stuck in your failures. Don't let others have the power to decide who you are.
God is the one who made you...
God is the one who saved you...
God is the one who determines who you are and your purpose...
God is the one who can swap the labels...
Sun, Mar 12, 2017
How to Hug a Vampire week four message from Pastor Chris Russell on March 12, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The Hypocritical Vampire:
When it comes to the topic of hypocrites, we all get lumped together!
Matthew 15:7-8, 23:23-24
Jesus & Hypocrisy:
1. He confronted it
2. He majored on the majors
How do we confront?
1. Confront with the goal of restoration
2. Confront with caution
3. Confront with commitment
2 Samuel 12:5-7
Let's start with making sure that we ourselves are right with God. Then we can move from there into loving those people in our lives that are tougher to love and who suck the life out of us.
Sun, Mar 05, 2017
How to Hug a Vampire week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on March 5, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The Manipulative Vampire...
Manipulators Weapons of Choice:
Breaking Free from Manipulators:
1. Recognize when somebody is trying to control you
2. Respond with words and actions
3. Redefine the relationship
1. You can't say no to a certain person
2. You always feel guilty around a certain person
3. You compromise your values to please others
Sun, Feb 26, 2017
How to Hug a Vampire week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on February 26, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
How many of us know overly needy people? How many of us have been that overly needy person?
1. Constantly Insecure
2. Drama Queens\Kings
4. Financial Leeches
Helping without Enabling:
1. Offer what they NEED, not what they WANT
2. Identify the real need
3. Pay attention to Actions, not Words
4. Set healthy boundaries
We must allow them to face their consequences if we expect them to learn and grow...
Rescuing is not always helping them...
Jesus is the Savior, NOT you...
Sun, Feb 19, 2017
How to Hug a Vampire week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on February 19, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Our natural tendency is to respond to criticism in one of two ways:
*when their motive is to help and not hurt
*when the person can truly help
*when the person is missing information that would change their mind
*when the person is really open to change
*when the person is characterized by being overly critical
*when the person is emotionally unhealthy or wounded
We can't please everybody, but we can please God!
Sun, Feb 12, 2017
Love Big week two message from Linda Evans on February 12, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
2 Corinthians 13:5
go to church
tend to choose popular over right
don't want to be seen as radical and rarely share their faith
turn over pieces of their lives to God
think about life on earth more than life in heaven
they love God but not with all their heart, soul and mind
How do we escape lukewarm and become on fire with a Love as Big as Jesus? -
1. We deny ourselves
3. Give our whole selves over to God
Sun, Feb 05, 2017
Love Big week one message from Linda Evans on February 5, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Jesus loved others with an Unconditional Love
Jesus loved others with a Serving Love
Jesus loved others by seeing the Possibility in them
Jesus loved with a Forgiving Love
Jesus loved with an Everlasting Love
Questions to be asked:
1. Do you have any weapons?
2. What would it look like if you set those weapons down?
3. Who do you need to love?
4. Who needs to experience the love of Jesus through you?
Jesus is counting on you to LOVE BIG!
Sun, Jan 22, 2017
iChoose week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on January 22, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
iChoose: Discipline over Regret
Discipline is choosing between what you want NOW and what you want MOST.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
1 Corinthians 9:26-27
What do you want MOST?
What do you need to choose NOW to achieve what you want most?
Sun, Jan 15, 2017
iChoose week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on January 15, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
iChoose: Surrender over Control
Control stems from fear...
Surrender stems from faith...
Sun, Jan 08, 2017
iChoose week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on January 8, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
iChoose: Purpose over Popularity
The Power of Purpose - Moses & Nehemiah
Purpose Diminishes Distractions
Purpose Helps You Push Through the Pain
Purpose Empowers You to Please God
Will you choose to serve the purpose that you have been given?
Will you live your life by faith, empowering the Spirit within you to lead?
Will you choose to be a snarfblat or dinglehopper? (See point in the movie "The Little Mermaid")
Sun, Jan 01, 2017
Make it Count message from Pastor Luke Aadalen on January 1, 2017 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
MAKE IT COUNT!
To be salt and light we must effectively use our time, talent and treasure.
Two Concepts and Five Words:
Concept One: (2 Words)
Salt & Light
Concept Two: (3 Words)
Time, Talent & Treasure
1 Peter 4:10
Whose Game are you going to play?
How many loaves do you have?