Truth That Sets Us Free

by Barb Schumacher
 
A December 2017 leaflet from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association showed a sign in Oslo, Norway that read “Truth Is Flexible”. The article pointed out that Norway is a “beautiful, friendly and prosperous country”, but has drifted dramatically from its long and rich Christian heritage.
 
So, is truth actually “flexible”? Can we truly define truth for ourselves? Can my truth be different from your truth? And finally, is there such a thing as absolute truth? Dr. James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” has said, “If we don’t believe in absolute truth, then nothing is absolutely true!”
 
In the Bible we read that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1: 17b) and in John 17:17, “Your Word is truth.” John 1:14 states “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us……full of grace and truth.” Then, in John 14:6, Jesus declares, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
 
Jesus = Truth!
 
John 8:31 and 36 further state that “…you will know the truth and the truth will set you free…so if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” The truth—Jesus Christ—has set us free from the law of sin and death. His sacrifice on the cross has made the way for us to be “free indeed”. Dr. Tony Evans calls that “sho’nuff free”! Which translated means—yes, definitely, really and truly FREE!
 
As we journey through life, we can know the truth that sets us free. His name is Jesus! May we be prepared to share this absolute truth by word and action with a world searching for truth and freedom. And may the Lord bless you as you search and the study the Word (the Truth) every day.
 
Father, we thank you that you sent the Word—Jesus—to earth to show us the way. We are grateful for the truth that sets our spirits free. Continue to help us and strengthen us in the truth as we journey through life. And may we be prepared to share the truth with those you send our way. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Go and Tell

by Herman Crawford
 
For some reason, the article for this Lenten devotion has been harder to write than previous ones. Not sure why…maybe too many other distractions. But as I have read various portions of Scripture dealing with the Easter story, one phrase in Matthew 28 sort of stood out.
 
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you. (Matthew 28:5-7)
 
As I read this, I thought “Great Commission.” Jesus has just risen from the dead and emerged from the tomb. He is no longer there! The first words from the angel at the tomb were, “He is not here; he has risen…go quickly and tell his disciples.” (Matthew 28:6-7) And then Jesus met his disciples in Galilee and told them further down in this chapter, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
 
Are you starting to get the picture? Angels tell the ladies at the tomb to go and tell that Christ is risen. Jesus shows the disciples that he is risen and tells them to go and make disciples. Tell the world that He is risen.
 
Have you done your part? As a disciple of Jesus, have you told “the world” that He has risen and what that has meant for you as a follower? Use this Easter season to recommit to telling the world about the risen Savior.
Father God, give us a bold spirit through your Holy Spirit that we may speak of your risen Son and how that new life in Him has brought new life to us. Bless our Church this Easter season.Give us the boldness to “go”. Amen.

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Ministry Spotlight – School of Christian Living

Ministry Spotlight: School of Christian Living (SOCL)
Ministry Chairperson(s): Brian Reigart

Sunday mornings don’t end after worship service… there’s a whole other hour for children, youth and adults to enjoy! And our School of Christian Living committee does a great job providing opportunities for adults to grow even further through Sunday morning studies. Fittingly, as new classes start up this month, we thought we’d highlight this committee in this edition of the CABC Ministry Spotlight!

For those who have seen the “SOCL” acronym and just assumed it meant we provided opportunities to Sit On Chairs Laughing (opposed to rolling on the floors laughing… because that’s too hard to get back up!), we hope this will now educate you that we are referring to our adult Sunday School classes: the School of Christian Living (though we usually do provide opportunities to laugh in them as well).

The purpose of SOCL is to provide the congregation of CABC with opportunities to know God and the saving knowledge of Christ through Sunday morning studies. Currently, the committee seeks to accomplish this by offering multiple tracks with different focal content including Bible studies, family life, parenting, marriage, topical studies and Christian living series.

Other responsibilities of the SOCL committee include researching, planning and implementing adult Christian education opportunities; working with staff and elders to coordinate times and locations for classes and events; recruit, prepare and support spiritually gifted teachers who have a passion to help others grow in their knowledge of the Lord; develop and maintain budgets for curriculum and supplies necessary for SOCL to function effectively; and to promote, evaluate and report the opportunities and events made possible by the committee throughout the year.

If you have enjoyed one of such classes in the recent months, you can thank the work of this committee for their time and selective topics! The committee itself directly accountable to the CABC Elder Board and is comprised of an elder-appointed chairperson and at least four church members or regular attenders.

New classes are starting up this Sunday, March 15 at 10:30am! For more information on current and upcoming class offerings, be sure to check out the SOCL webpage for ongoing and up-to-date details. And as always, if you are interested in becoming a part of this committee or possibly even teaching a future SOCL class, please connect with Brian for more details and discussion! And for anyone who hasn’t yet attended a class, as Brian says, “Just try it… you’ll like it!”

 


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Mourning by Morning

by Chris Thomas
 
My husband passed away three months ago after a year-long battle with cancer.
 
Mourning: I feel…despair, anger, fear, lonely, hurt, overwhelmed, anxious, alone, shattered, distorted, betrayed, detached, darkness, forgotten, lost, left, conflicted, scared, brokenhearted, tired, numb, physical pain, nothing.
 
Morning: God is…Faithful. He is my Comforter, Abba Father, Healer, Savior, Companion, Confidante, Rescuer, Friend, Helper, Refuge, Protector, Warrior, Strength, Future, Joy, Love, Freedom, stronger than my pain, keeping my heart beating, working all things for my good.
 
It’s amazing how God reminds me all of the time that He is with me through this devastating time in my life. Sometimes it seems that I’ll never make it and, just as I’m ready to give up, He sends miracles, both large and small. The small miracles happen all the time and are so precious to me. They are just little bits of love that make me smile when I realize what He’s up to and that He’s watching over me. The big miracles are His Angels on Earth. They reach out to me, pick me up, and remind me that I don’t have to do this all by myself. Thank you to those sweet brothers and sisters in Christ! You have no idea what a blessing you are.
 
Don’t you love it when you hear a song and you think that song was played just for you at exactly the right time in your life? A couple of songs I cling to are “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns and “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” by Danny Gokey. They, and many more, remind me of the promises that give me hope.
 
All of His blessings show up at the precise moment I need to be reminded of His perfect love, His great faithfulness, and His strong arms. I guess it’s true and I need to keep telling myself that “It’s OK if I’m not OK.” Just for now.
 
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Mourning by Morning His mercies I see.
 
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.’
(Lamentations 3:22-24)

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Press On

by Laura Enslen
 
Do you ever feel in a fog? Have brain fog? Overwhelmed by everything you need to accomplish? Foggy about details regarding a certain interaction or task you are to complete?
 
Well, recently I was in a literal fog. So incredibly thick, I could see only a few feet in front of me. I was driving in to work at church after dropping my dear offspring at school and I was in a complete fog! The sun was trying to press through, and I knew it was forecasted to be a beautiful day, but the fog where I was driving was overwhelming. As I was driving, I began to slow down to be able to calculate my driving better and anticipate what was ahead that I could not see. With the sun trying to press through, I kept anticipating the moment when I would have a clear view of the road again. I could not see more than a minute ahead and did not know when it would be clear again.
 
Driving through this fog, my mind went to one of my favorite verses of late:
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
 
Even though I was driving through fog, I thought about how that was just my current circumstance. In five more minutes, I was climbing a hill, watching the fog dissipate and looking out over one of my favorite countryside views! Sun was shining and the fog was far behind me! How often do I get absorbed in my current circumstance that I forget, as I press through, there can be beauty on the other side? Far too often, if I am honest. God has the BIG picture!
 
I am a recovering controller. The Lord has worked in mighty ways to release the desire to control and even manipulate my circumstances. And much of that is due to my awareness that I truly do not have the control I once thought I did.
 
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
 
God has led me to a wisdom and understanding that I am not in control of my tomorrow, let alone the next moment. Will we give Him the control or will we try our own way of handling the struggles in our lives? A life fully surrendered to Christ may sometimes look like you are driving in fog, but you can trust He sees the fog and all that surrounds it. And remember, the view from outside the fog is breathtaking, so don’t miss it! Press on and see what He has on the outside of the fog.
 
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

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DR Mission Trip 2020 Update

Hola Church family from the DR!
 
We cannot believe it is Friday already and we are just touching base with you all back home.It has been an amazing week serving with God’s people here in the Dominican. 
 
Singing has been a daily occurrence. We’ve learned some new songs in Spanish, we all sung together in Spanish, and we sang together in English. No matter the language, we were worshiping together. Our first bus ride out to Batey 35 school on Tuesday morning, we sang on the bus the whole hour long ride! Kuli and Carlos (two of our translators) play guitar and amazingly matched our pitch and learned new songs during the ride. 
 
Sunday evening we went to Elsa’s church in the Barrio (Baraca Church) and were welcomed warmly with beautiful worship. Our team had prepared to sing Waymaker in Spanish and guess what song we were welcomed into service with? Waymaker! In both Spanish and English! We sang it anyway later in the service and both times it was amazing to join our voices as one body in Christ.
 
Three days this week were spent at our school at Batey 35. The second day we shared our lesson on Who I am in Christ? Because of this lesson, 3 children in the 5th grade class accepted Christ as their personal savior! Our team was able to pray with them! 
 
We have so much more to share! Stay tuned! And check out our the CABC Facebook page for pictures and updates from the team!

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