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, 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 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, 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, Dec 25, 2016
Socks & Underwear week four message from Pastor Chris Russell on December 25, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The things that you want may not be the things that you need!
This Christmas, make sure you open the most important gift and share it with all those around you!
Sun, Dec 18, 2016
Socks & Underwear week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on December 18, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The things that you want may not be the things that you need!
What happens when you choose to truly receive the gift of the season?!
Video Includes Update from missionary Karen Green with Kids Alive International!
Sun, Dec 11, 2016
Socks & Underwear week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on December 11, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The things that you want may not be the things that you need!
Have you every considered the unique aspects of the Christmas story? Take a look at a new perspective!
Sun, Dec 04, 2016
Socks & Underwear week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on December 4, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The things that you want may not be the things that you need!
Sun, Nov 27, 2016
It's Just a Phase week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on November 27, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Mentoring the Nex Generation:
1. You can't pass on what you don't have
2. Lead Intentionally
3. Less talk, more Action
4. Show Passion
Sun, Nov 20, 2016
It's Just a Phase week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on November 20, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Everyone Can be a Mentor!
Being a Mentor means:
1. Being an exsmple in the way you live
2. Telling Stories
3. Share Your Life
Sun, Nov 13, 2016
X-Factor week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on November 13, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Nehemiah and the building of the wall...
1. Lead by Example
2. Unified in Purpose
3. Have Everyone Participating
4. Draw in Others
Sun, Nov 06, 2016
X-Factor week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on November 6, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
What is the X-Factor in your life?
When and where can you BE the X-Factor?
Sun, Sep 25, 2016
Win Win Outreach week four message from Pastor Chris Russell on September 25, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Includes highlight of partnership in serving with Kids Alive International.
Sun, Sep 18, 2016
Win Win Outreach week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on September 18, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Includes Testimony from SPA Women's Ministry
Sun, Sep 11, 2016
Win Win Outreach week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on September 11, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
What is Poverty? Ask yourself that question...
Poverty is the lack of ________________
We tend to say - material possessions
People in true poverty tend to say -
Shame, Powerlessness, Fear, Depression, Inferiority, Humilitation
God: Poverty of Spiritual Intimacy
Self: Poverty of Being
Others: Poverty of Community
Creation: Poverty of Stewardship
The truth is - in some way - we are ALL in poverty!
Sun, Sep 04, 2016
Win Win Outreach week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on September 4, 2016 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
Seeking the heart of God and learning His will and passion for serving the community and world around us.
How do we win on both sides of the equation when it comes to outreach?
Four Commitments to Compassion and Justice:
1. I Will See
2. I Will Feel
3. I Will Act
4. I Will Advocate