4 Priorities For A Fresh Start

Posted by Perry


4 PRIORITIES FOR A FRESH START
This is not New Year “resolutions”
1. Forget Your Failures
Phil 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself ye to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
2. Give Up Your Grudges
Col. 3:13 forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye:
a. unforgiving spirit…
b. unforgiving attitude…
c. unforgiving actions!
NT parable man 4given by king
Didn’t forgive man owing $20
Ended up in prison…
Unforgiving people go to prison…
Bondage of the offense
3. Restore Your Relationships
Ro 12:18 If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men.
Personal Restitution…
I’m sorry
I was wrong, forgive me
4. Turn Your Back On Your Transgressions
Ro 6:2 God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?
Besetting Sins: “recurring”
Have U learned to live w/ them?
We’ve been set free in Christ.
Let’s learn to live “W/out” them!

Marriage: Built to Last

Posted by Stephen

Check out the trailer for our newest adult study beginning in early 2010!


Central's Christmas Music

Posted by Chuck




Every year I say the same thing, "this Christmas music is the best I have ever heard." Of course I mean that every single year. It's true that song writers and musicians are constantly putting together new arrangements and writing new lyrics that seem to get better every year. This year for Christmas was no exception. The music that our Choirs presented was just incredible. Our Kid's Choir presentation of "The Best Christmas Present Ever" started things off just right. With a crowd that filled the Stokes Center to capacity, our kids put it on the top shelf with an outstanding performance. I am so proud of their hard work and their excitement about our Kid's Choir Ministry.

Our Celebration Choir followed the next week with the presentation of "The Wonder of Christmas". After the performance all I could say was, "Wow, thank you God!". With some of the most beautiful arrangements and orchestrations I have ever heard this collection of music was beloved by the choir and congregation. The Celebration Choir presented the cantata in two performances on a Saturday evening and for the Sunday Morning Worship. God blessed in every moment of both presentations and the choir really did an outstanding job. I am full of gratitude to the choir for all their hard work and commitment to our Lord. I will remember this Christmas Season for a long time to come. It was just that special.

A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME

Posted by Perry


A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME
2 SAMUEL 7:1-17
CBC 12/20/09 SM
House by itself is not a home
What does it take to make a home?
People?...just people?
Stiff, uncaring, non-communicating, busy, professional people? NO!
How do porcupines hug each other?
VERY CAREFULLY…those people? NO
James Whitcomb Riley – “It takes a heap o’ livin’ to make a house a home”
Home is:
Where stress is brought & dealt w/
Not museum-like perfection
Issues of life are “fought” out
Where somebody loves you
Where they put up with you
Robert Frost said of home, “is where, when you go there, they have to take you in.”
God wants to give us a home
God wants to give us what we need to make a house a home.
That’s what God did when He sent Jesus in human form to make his home among us.
MANY BUILDING REPUTATIONS
(what people say we are)
careful about our “image”
want people to think well of us
esteemed in the community
respected by the family
regarded by our neighbors
if not careful…nice place to visit, but nobody can live there.
Real life full of stresses & contradictions…(inconsistencies)
David decided to build his reputation..
2Sa 7:1 King David moved into his new palace, and the LORD let his kingdom be at peace.
2Sa 7:2 Then one day, as David was talking with Nathan the prophet, David said, "Look around! I live in a palace made of cedar, but the sacred chest has to stay in a tent."
2Sa 7:3 Nathan replied, "The LORD is with you, so do what you want!"
2Sa 7:4 That night, the LORD told Nathan
2Sa 7:5 to go to David and give him this message: David, you are my servant, so listen to what I say. Why should you build a temple for me?
2Sa 7:6 I didn't live in a temple when I brought my people out of Egypt, and I don't live in one now. A tent has always been my home wherever I have gone with them.
2Sa 7:7 I chose leaders and told them to be like shepherds for my people Israel. But did I ever say anything to even one of them about building a cedar temple for me?
2Sa 7:8 David, this is what I, the LORD All-Powerful, say to you. I brought you in from the fields where you took care of sheep, and I made you the leader of my people.
2Sa 7:9 Wherever you went, I helped you and destroyed your enemies right in front of your eyes. I have made you one of the most famous people in the world.
2Sa 7:10 I have given my people Israel a land of their own where they can live in peace, and they won't have to tremble with fear any more. Evil nations won't bother them, as they did
2Sa 7:11 when I let judges rule my people. And I have kept your enemies from attacking you. Now I promise that you and your descendants will be kings.
2Sa 7:12 I'll choose one of your sons to be king when you reach the end of your life and are buried in the tomb of your ancestors. I'll make him a strong ruler,
2Sa 7:13 and no one will be able to take his kingdom away from him. He will be the one to build a temple for me.
2Sa 7:14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I'll see that he is corrected, just as children are corrected by their parents.
2Sa 7:15 But I will never put an end to my agreement with him, as I put an end to my agreement with Saul, who was king before you.
2Sa 7:16 I will make sure that one of your descendants will always be king.
2Sa 7:17 Nathan told David exactly what he had heard in the vision.
Create a monument whereby others would recognize him…
A temple to the living God.
Even got an ok from the preacher
(proving ordained don’t get everything right!)
God overruled b/c He knew what was really going on.
God said He didn’t want a “HOUSE”
He’s more interested in “HOMES”
God saw David was after a monument to David…for kings' “reputation”
· monument not a home
· not a place where u can live
· it’s not the real you
· designed to impress & nothing more
we decide to do something dramatic and spectacular…
convince ourselves it is for God
· extra generous at Christmas
· really nice gifts
· give to missions
· serve a meal at a shelter
· sing for the homebound
· who is it really for?
· The recipients?
· Or ourselves?
· Is it out of a heart of compassion?
God says,
I don’t want show.
I don’t want empty nothings
I don’t want show houses
I WANT YOU
Want to live w/ & in you
Monuments to you I don’t need
Don’t want a house…want a home!
DON’T BUILD THE HOUSE
Not part of God’s agenda
God’s agenda is building homes
God doesn’t build buildings…He builds people
God doesn’t fill institutions…He fill people w/ His Spirit!
We invest in dreams, plans & noble works of our imagination.
He invests in lives, hearts & souls.
God made that clear to David.
God didn’t want a cedar house…
Wanted to build David a family
Make something special from sinful human beings…
Forget the cedar buildings…let’s build something worthwhile
God’s giving Himself to the building of a home with “flesh & blood” not wood
God’s not looking for an “exquisite” Christmas…
* He’s looking for messy, rough around the edges, imperfect, humble people to love & love Him back
God’s agenda is lifting up the fallen
Binding the broken hearted
Healing the wounded
Forgiving the flawed
God doesn’t bless us b/c we have decorated a tree & a house
He blesses us when:
· we see someone’s need and meet it
· we find an itch and scratch it
· we encounter a weary heart and comfort it
· we fill a hopeless mind with imagination
· we find a lonely life and fill it with love
· we come across a wandering soul and bring it home.

God is always about building lives and making homes…not just building houses…making people…not monuments.
God want to be among those who are not perfect…those with sagging spirits; with grimy windows.
JESUS CAME TO HIS OWN AND THEY RECEIVED HIM NOT
Jesus came to where He was supposed to be
Those to whom He came turned Him away
They were too perfect
Too Architectural Digest
They didn’t need a Savior or any help
But to those who knew their house could use a “make-over” received Him
To them He gave the power to become His own.
When Jesus became flesh He didn’t do it in an HGTV sort of way
· born in a stable
· laid in a manger
· not a decorator showroom
He chose to make His home among our imperfection
Has your heart prepared Him room?
· your life doesn’t have to be perfect
· it’s a “lived-in” life
· you can’t fix it
· you can’t clean it
· you can’t make it good enough for Him
He’s the kind of Savior that wants to live in the middle of that and make it His home
Jesus didn’t grow up in a palace…
He was the step-son of a carpenter
He grew up an obscure child
In an ordinary village
In a 3rd rate province
In a dusty corner of the Empire
Kind'a like your street or mine
HOME IS:
*where stresses are bought and dealt with
* where the issues of life get fought out
* where somebody loves you
* where somebody puts up with you
* where Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, has come to dwell, for me, for you.