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February 2019

AT A GLANCE

 


 A Personal Prayer for 2019 by Pastor Aaron Adame
The Many Rewards of Serving by Hannah Lemly
The Role We ALL Play in Hospitality by Allison Hartwell
Prayer: A Vital Ministry at CCC by Melody Roberts, Office Manager

Eat This Book! How to Approach God's Word in the New Year by Pastor Aaron Adame

A Song to Change Me by Ashley Bentley

To the Rooftop of Africa by Dave Howard, Elder

 A Year in Review: 2018 Financial Update by Pastor Neal Thorne

 
 
 


 

 
 
 

A Personal Prayer for 2019
 

aaron circle


by Pastor Aaron Adame




A favorite Psalm of many is Psalm 139, where the Psalmist is in complete wonder and awe of God’s knowledge of Him. And at the end of the Psalm, he includes this peculiar prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23–24 esv)
 
The basic idea in this prayer is that the Psalmist wants God to bring to the surface anything and everything that could potentially hinder him from living in perfect fellowship with God and will also help him experience life as it was meant to be lived. If we are honest, we all have blind spots, areas in our lives that we can’t recognize on our own, and hopefully, we have people around us who will help us see those areas that need to change. But who better to do this than God Himself, who knows us more than anyone possibly could—even our own self. 
 
I remember when I became a believer, there were so many things that I was afraid to let go of. But once I received God’s love and grace in Christ through faith, everything else seemed to me as nothing. In fact, I began to see many things as obstacles to my spiritual growth in Christ. And I prayed that God would show me more, more things that I needed to set aside, so that I could gain more of Christ. 
 
On a practical level, I was reminded of this principle recently in a diet I started. In the diet, I cut out a lot of potentially unhealthy foods (processed foods, sugar, dairy, grains, etc.). At first, it was scary and difficult to break bad habits. But after a few days, I started feeling so much better. So, I started to ask different questions like “What else can I cut out that would make me feel even healthier?”
 
That shift truly gets to the heart of the Christian’s desire for growth, sanctification, and spiritual maturity. To not hold onto things, but to truly let go in pursuit of Christ. Spiritual maturity is like what the apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:7-8: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
 
When you begin to delight more in becoming like Christ and seeing more of Him at work in and through you, that is a great indicator you’re on the right track. When you delight in Him so much that you are beginning to value other things, prior things, with a decreasing measurement, that is when you will experience the fullness of life that Jesus offers us now, prior to heaven: Before I end, I want to make mention of a text from Hebrews 12:1-2: “Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
 
We want to be praying for our church this year, praying that we would experience God in ways we have never seen Him work before in this body at CCC. But it begins with us. Before we can move forward, we have to assess what obstacles or hazards stand in the way. Search us and know us, Father! And lead us in the way of everlasting life! 


The Many Rewards of Serving

 

Hannah

 

by Hannah Lemly

 


I recently turned 18 and my brother-in-law paid for my first tattoo as my gift. I got the Bible verse Jeremiah 1:7 with a string of ivy on my arm. I picked ivy because it represents faithfulness, and I wanted this verse because it’s God telling Jeremiah that he must be obedient to God, that he must serve, and that there are no excuses. 
 
Jeremiah doubted himself because of his youth. He believed he wasn’t old enough nor wise enough to make a difference. The truth is we all feel that way at some point about serving. We all make excuses on why we can’t do this or that. That we are too old, too busy, not experienced enough, not holy enough, too shy, too loud—the list goes on and on. Jeremiah Verse
 
When it comes to serving, it doesn’t matter because God has called us to serve Him. It’s honestly one of the most rewarding things in the world. Knowing that we’re helping God's mission. Even though we’re not worthy or powerful, the God of the universe is using us to help others. He is continually pouring into us so we may pour out into others. The wonderful thing is our church provides so many ways to serve from Sunday through the weekday. No thing is too small nor is one thing too big because with God on our side all things are possible. 

Serving also helps grow faith. I know since I started serving in Pre-K on Sundays, Middle School Youth Group on Wednesdays, worship for Youth Group and helping Kari on Thursdays, I’ve grown so much. Serving the kids in middle school and preschool has constantly encouraged me to read my Bible more and seek the counsel of my elders more because I don’t have all the answers, and I need guidance. 
 
Worshiping allows me to connect more deeply with my Creator. While helping Kari on Thursdays, she has poured into me so I can pour more into others. Serving starts a cycle of giving and soon everyone is helping each other, and that’s such a beautiful thing to see! 

In Deuteronomy, Moses says, “So then, obey the commands that I have given you today; love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart.” (Deut. 11:30 esv) Many of us are familiar with the five-love languages quiz. One of those love languages is acts of service. One way we can show our love and appreciation to God is serving in His church and serving other people. It’s just like when a family member or friend goes out of their way to do something helpful for you. It feels good to know you have someone there to help you and be there for you. Paul says, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16 esv)
 
We all have talents and skills to bring to the table. They are like pieces to a puzzle, and if we’re missing one part the puzzle, it will never be completed. Our church has so many ways we can serve. You can find them on the website at www.canbychristian.org.
 
 
 
 
 


The Role We ALL Play in Hospitality 

 
Allison


by Allison Hartwell
 
 
In our fast-paced society, the attention and detail that was once given to “hospitality” is quickly becoming a dying art. This trend saddens me greatly and concerns me as I see this trend affecting the church.  In our modern society, we almost mock and laugh at the old-time hospitable housewives who paid great attention to the details of entertaining others and in going above and beyond to make others feel special. 

Hospitality can become a prideful venture as one may become more consumed with the appearance of their home and the perfection of the dish they are cooking than with focusing on the people they are serving. Maybe in the past, this prideful pursuit has caused us to “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” so to speak, in the area of hospitality. Is hospitality really that critical in the church?  

Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about hospitality. In the books of Timothy and Titus, there is much discussion given to the requirements for good leadership in the church and what to look for when choosing an elder. In I Tim 3 and in Titus 1 the requirements for an elder are spelled out. I would assume these lists mention some of the most important characteristics one could have in reflecting Christ to the world around them, as they are requirements God puts out for those who are to lead the church. One of the requirements listed in both of these passages regarding an elder is  “hospitality.” 

In Romans 12:13, when Paul is telling the Romans how to put their love into action, he tells them to “practice hospitality.”  It’s interesting to me that it’s worded as a command rather than as a request. And then, Romans 13:2 says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” What? That’s an amazing thought!  
The dictionary defines hospitality as “The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” Wow! That sure sounds like something Jesus would do.  

To practice hospitality, it takes getting one’s eyes off of oneself. We are all called to this, whether we are an extravert or an introvert. Yes, the way we each carry it out will look different depending on our bent and our gifts, but it’s critical that we all have eyes to see those “guests” and “strangers” who need to be received and welcomed. Hospitality is making others feel special and important. It means looking for the visitor, the stranger, the person whom no one else is talking to, the person who might need help finding the right place to go—noticing them, helping them, and loving them. 

On Sundays, we’re all so excited to see each other, our church family and special friends, that oftentimes we miss the newcomer or the old comer who is alone. We walk right past them and completely overlook them. I do this myself when I’m not intentional. 
I Peter 4:9 says, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” This is how we show hospitality, by serving others, by focusing on their needs rather than on our preoccupations. On a Sunday morning, it might look like this: leaving close parking spots for guests, delivering warm smiles and handshakes as guests walk in the door and during greeting time, directing people trying to find their way around, offering warm coffee and snacks to welcome those who have had a scurried morning, smiles, and maybe inviting a newcomer out to lunch or to a Life Group.  
Let’s not allow hospitality to be thought of as something of a bygone era. Instead, let’s make sure that our church is known as one of the most welcoming, loving, warm places that any stranger could step foot into.  
 
 
 

Prayer: A Vital Ministry at CCC


Mel circle            


by Melody Roberts, Office Manager
 
 
"On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf 
for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." (2 Corinthians 1:10-11 niv)
 
When I first started working in the office, I didn’t know Ruth Waldner—but she knew me, or rather, she knew my prayer. Moments after we’d met, she asked me, “How’s Ella doing?”
 
Ella? Was she referring to one my daughter’s friends? No. She was referring to my niece whom I’d added to the Prayer Team eight months prior. She remembered because she’d taken my request to heart and faithfully prayed.
 
Ruth’s response to the call of prayer blessed me beyond words. The faithfulness of God’s people at CCC has strengthened me and increased my faith in many ways, most noticeably in their discipline of prayer. 
 
Prayer Article PhotoCCC offers two vital prayer ministries: the Prayer Team and the Confidential Prayer Report given weekly to the leadership team only. The two ministries serve the same purpose of providing prayer support to the body of Christ; though they tend to overlap each other on many occasions, they also have a few distinctions. 
 
The Prayer Team consists of over 120 faithful prayer warriors who attend CCC, and the only requirement to join is to have an email address and, of course, to pray. Please keep in mind all prayer requests confidential. 
 
Prayer requests go out to the Prayer Team whenever the need arises; this could be weekly or daily. Requests are managed by the church office and are taken by phone, email, or in person. The nature of the requests for the Prayer Team is usually medically related, but we’ve had requests range from employment needs to tragedies such as the loss of a family member. 
 
The Prayer Team is a good way to keep up with CCC mission trips and other church-specific issues. We are careful to maintain Godly integrity by refraining from putting anything on the Prayer Team that may be deemed too sensitive or private in nature. If you would like to join the Prayer Team, please email the office at office@canbychristian.org. We’d love to have more people praying!
 
In contrast to the Prayer Team, the Confidential Prayer Report is emailed weekly to the staff and elders only and is derived mostly from the prayer requests written on the Prayer Cards (on the reverse side of the Connection Cards) on Sundays. These prayer requests are broad in nature and can range from anything medical to relationship challenges or spiritual struggles. This is a great opportunity for the staff and elders to stay in touch with the congregation. The CCC leadership team delights to pray for you, and they take it seriously. 
 
Please don’t hesitate to fill out the Prayer Cards in the back of the chairs in the Worship Center and drop them in the designated black boxes in the foyer between the Worship Center and Fellowship Hall. Prayer requests for the elders and staff can also be called in or emailed to the office as well.
 
Thank you for prayer requests! Let us continue to set our hope on Him as we pray for each other, and may He receive all praise and glory! (2 Corinthians 1:10-11) 
 
 
 


Eat This Book! How to Approach God's Word in the New Year
aaron circle



by Pastor Aaron Adame
 

I recently read a book by Eugene Peterson titled Eat This Book on the topic of Bible reading (Rev. 10:9). The Bible, as you are well aware, is not like any other book. It is not just history, though it is historically true. It is not merely story since stories can be meant for entertainment or seen as folklore. The Bible is story, history, poetry, prophecy, and letters. But it’s not like any other book in that it is the very Word of God, which adds a greater weight and significance to it. This foundational understanding influences the way we think about, approach, and read the Bible. 
 
The Bible is meant to be internalized—much like how we think of eating. We eat so that we can be healthy. But we rarely think of what happens after we eat. But unconsciously, our bodies go to work, digesting and processing all the nutrients available. Our souls are designed to do a similar thing. When God’s Word is internalized, it goes to work. Listen to what God says through the Prophet Isaiah: “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 esv)
 
God’s Word does what it was designed to do by the One who spoke it. It is designed to change, to shape, to transform, and to give life and faith. And it does this by infiltrating our very core: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 esv)
 
Do you desire change and transformation in your life this coming year? It may sound cliché, but what you seek only comes when you eat this book! I want to carry that metaphor further in two ways. First, just like eating food, consumption of God’s Word needs to be consistent, intentional, and hearty. And then, you need to simply trust the process. Trust that God will do in His timing and in His way what He ultimately wants to do in your life. You can be sure of this: God wants to transform all of us from one degree of glory to the next. He wants to conform us into the image of Christ. 
 
Second, it needs to be worked out. The only way to truly change is to live it. Different people have different diets depending on their body types and activities. For example, runners have a much different diet than someone who works in an office. Each diet is shaped by the activity and the activity is fueled by the diet. If you consume but never burn, then you will become unhealthy. The same can happen spiritually. If you consume God’s Word, but you never take the time or intentionality to work it out through faith and obedience, it will result in unhealthiness. So the challenge is both to consume God’s Word regularly and consistently, but also to work it out for greater levels of spiritual health. 

 


A Song to Change Me


Ashley Bentley
 
by Ashley Bentley




As one might notice being around me for more than five minutes, I LOVE to sing. It truly is an everyday thing in our home to listen to and sing worship and praise songs. When I’m driving to and from school drop-offs and pick-ups, washing the dishes, working at our store, sitting with friends over coffee, or dancing down the hallway with the kids, I just have to sing. It has to pour out from the bottom of my feet, or I literally feel ill. 
 
My heart yearns to seek Him in this way, and I am so blessed God calls me to sing! (Colossians 3:16 is just one example) When I do, I lean deeper into Him. Yet some days I just do not have enough in me to lift up my voice. 
 
There are times when I’m joyful from the start, dancing to Jesus loves me with my kids in the grocery store (likely embarrassing one or all three of them), and then there are times I’m elbow deep in soapy dishwater at the sink, avoiding the song playing in the background—the song I know He’s using to reach my heart. Then pausing my thoughts, pausing my attitude, I cry out, “The waves and wind still know Your name, so LET GO my soul and TRUST in Him…” as tears soak my frustrated or tired face, I let go. That moment of obedience through worship changes me deep down in that very second. (Psalms—All of Psalms)
 
It Is Well has a lovely ability to knock me into obedience, even when I try to fight it. Adapted from a hymn, it was written to God through great despair and loss during the author’s life, to say “Lord, through it all, my eyes are on You, and it is well with me.” The author’s response to tragedy is a fantastic reminder to us about keeping faith and staying obedient in all circumstances, no matter how big or small.
 
A song alone will not change the things around me, but God absolutely will use it to change my heart. He calls us to redirect our hearts back to Him. Worship isn’t about me! It’s about God. 
 
A gift given is to be shared and shared so that others will know the love God has for them (Psalms 105:1-2), so I sing at church. When everything goes right that morning, when it isn’t easy to get out of bed before the sun that day, into a microphone, or into the ear of a neighbor next to me—I seek Him, He changes me, and I pray you allow Him to change you too.
 
 


To the Rooftop of Africa


Dave Howard

by Dave Howard


 
Mt Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is the highest point on the continent of Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. With it’s Picture 1summit at 19,341’, Mt Kilimanjaro is #4 on the list of the “Seven Summits” (the tallest peak on each of the 7 continents) just 981’ shorter than Denali in Alaska.  According to Kilimanjaro National Park Authority statistics, the overall success rate for reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro is just 45%.  The 5-day routes see only 27% of climbers reaching the summit, while on the longer 8-day routes, which I took, 85% of climbers reach the summit.  I played the odds in seeking a successful summit of this great mountain in Africa.

When I first dreamed of climbing Kilimanjaro back in 2017, I had no idea that the dream would soon become a reality.  The idea that I could, at 59 years old, take on such a monumental physical, mental and spiritual trek was difficult to imagine.  Training for this climb began almost a full year ago with countless hours on the elliptical, thousands of squats, step-ups, crunches and hundreds of hours hiking the trails of Oregon including a climb to the top of the South Sister.  To further increase my odds for success, I spent 20 hours over the final 2 months training in a high-altitude training facility in Portland – exercising in simulated altitudes up to 17,000’.

The day after Christmas I was dropped at the door of Portland International Airport and just a couple of days later, on December 29, 2018, I found myself in Tanzania, pack on my back, standing at the Londorossi Gate of Mt Kilimanjaro ready for the climb of my life.  I met my climbing team just the day before.  People from all over the world - Switzerland, Wales, Canada, Singapore, US.  I was curious about the way God put us together and how He could use me in the lives of these strangers.  God said to “love them” –so that is what I was determined to do, whatever that would look like.

While I had dreamed of hiking through the rain forest on the lower slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro, I quickly learned that there is a reason they are called “Rain” forests – there is a lot of rain!  Our bus couldn’t pass the rutted and mud-soaked roads, so we were forced to unload the bus and hike an additional 2 miles in the rain and mud just to get to the trailhead.  Another 3 hours of hiking in the rain and mud brought us to our first camp of the journey – Mti Mkubwa Camp (aka Big Tree Camp).  Mine were the only dry feet in the group and I was thankful that I threw in my poncho at the last minute—it kept me nice and dry in the downpour, while everybody else was soaked to the bone (note: Gore-Tex is NOT necessarily good for hours of slogging through a pouring rain as most Oregonians would know).
Picture 5
Over the next 4 days, we climbed through ever-changing terrain drawing ever closer to the day we would attempt to reach the summit. Our guides were constantly telling us “pole-pole” (pronounced polee-polee) which is Swahili for “slowly-slowly.” The intent was not to reach the summit in record time; it was simply to reach the summit.  

We had a daily routine: wake up to a hot cup of tea or coffee with breakfast; pack our duffel bags and prepare our pack with what we would need for the day; hike all day long with a lunch break along the way; get to camp and enjoy hot tea or coffee along with a tray of popcorn; unpack for the night, eat dinner and share stories of the day; go to bed about 8:00 and start again the next morning. The chef always had good, hot meals that started with soup (or porridge for breakfast).  In the cold temperatures we found ourselves in (near or below freezing at night), the hot soup was welcomed and comforting.

The views along the trail were incredible.  I think my favorite place on the hike was at Barranco Camp at 13,500’.  I managed to get cell phone signal and was able to get a call through to Debbie. I was trying to describe the incredible beauty of the place I stood but could barely get the words out. In front of me were the plains of Africa almost covered in clouds and I was looking DOWN at the tops of the clouds.  Behind me was the peak of Kilimanjaro and to the East was the Barrranco Wall—

Picture 6
1,000’ of rock wall that we could be climbing the next day.
It really is hard to try and describe the view and the feeling I had standing in that place. If there is one moment I would say captured the essence of the Kilimanjaro experience for me, I would say this was it. Just another day or so and we would be standing on the top of this great mountain.  I was feeling strong and confident and could do nothing but praise God for bringing me to this beautiful place!

When it finally came to summit day, we were camped at about 16,000’ and it was freezing cold and windy. With only about 4 hours of rest time before we had to start dressing for our summit bid, the wind refused to let any of us sleep. In the pitch black of night, we got up, layered up in clothing to withstand the cold and wind, put on our head lamps and started the climb.



Up the steep slope we hiked in the frigid cold and wind—only able to see the feet of the people in front of us, trusting in our guide to know the way.  At 6:00 a.m., we reached Stella Point, the rim of the crater’s edge. We still had another half hour or so to go until we reached the summit.  On top of the mountain, the wind and cold were worse than we had encountered on the climb up.  As we hiked along the trail to Uhuru peak, the wind kept blowing us off-track and forced us to be extra diligent on the icy trail.
 
Picture 7

But the sunrise … wow is the only thing I could think in that moment.  Just wow.  A year’s worth of training, preparation, planning, and now here I was on the Rooftop of Africa—the top of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Picture 8

Finally, we were standing at the famous sign at Uhuru Peak. We had reached our goal.  The biting cold and wind made it difficult to truly appreciate the achievement.  My one thought was “there is no more up on the entire content of Africa.” A few pictures and we were on our way down. It was amazing how fatigue had left my consciousness as I headed down. To my right were ancient glaciers and to my left the crater of Kilimanjaro.  Strait ahead was the rising sun and one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever had in my life.  A song kept running through my head:  “Let the glory of the Lord rise among us, Let the glory of the Lord rise among us, Let the praises of our King rise among us.”  God is SO good!


Picture 9




Oh … I forgot to tell you how God used love to reach my climbing partners. That will have to wait for another day, butI’m always happy to talk with you about that or any other questions you may have about this great adventure!  











 


A Year in Review: 2018 Financial Update


Neal circle color

by Pastor Neal Thorne 
  


Year in Review 2018 finance -







                                                                                         





 






 
 
 
Melody Roberts, 1/31/2019