This Sunday, January 1, 2012, we will have one service at
11:00 am at the Banks Mill campus. The students in grades 6-12 will go
into adult worship. Kidz Creek for infants-5th grade will meet
as usual at 11:00 am for their age appropriate worship and small groups.
We hope you will join us in worship to bring in the new year.
Archive | December, 2011
This Sunday, January 1, 2012, we will have one service at
Ron and Julie Stevens HOME group recently went to Washington,
DC, to put wreaths on the graves at Arlington Cemetery for Christmas.
This is a great picture of a group showing the love of Jesus in a practical way
to the families of our soldiers, and to our country.
Around 56 children received Christmas gifts from Cedar Creek
Church through Christ Central New Ellenton this season. Thanks to the Burt
and Sylvie Carey HOME group for managing the collection of gifts, and for being
the link between Cedar Creek and Christ Central New Ellenton. Thanks to all the
HOME groups and families that generously purchased gifts and delivered them to
the church. It is great to see HOME groups partnering with like-minded
agencies to Be the Church in our community.
Tis the Season – Peace
It seems that we are always singing about peace during Christmas time doesn’t it? But the truth is that a lot of times our lives feel a lot more like the family depicted in Home Alone, where everything that could go wrong during Christmas does go wrong. Its almost like we just have to endure our families so we can get to the good stuff – the presents!
The truth is that peace can never be found by examining your circumstances and situations to determine whether everything is right or not – because everything is never going to be right! There is always going to problems, issues, arguments, and everything else that tempts to steal peace from your life. The good news of Christmas, though, is that Jesus offers us peace in the midst of our circumstances and situations. We can look to Jesus and find peace even when our circumstances are chaotic. Even when things aren’t all right, our hearts can be right in Jesus.
Christmas is a season of peace because Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Check out Isaiah 9:6 when the prophet was looking forward to our Savior coming – he called him the Prince of Peace! And when the angels came to visit the shepherd, they proclaimed in Luke 2:14, “”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Here are some very cool ways that Jesus brings peace into our lives:
- Supernatural Comfort – even in the midst of all the “crap” that’s going on in our, Jesus brings an unexplainable, unfathomable peace to our hearts.
- Lasting and Sincere Contentment – Jesus teaches us and works in us so that we are content with who we are in Him and what He has given us.
- Strength to Get Through – The Holy Spirit (GOD!) lives in our hearts – the same power that conquered the grave lives in us! We have strength and power in us.
- Greater Purpose for Life – a lot of our unrest and anxiety comes from following the world’s definition of success – and Jesus gives us a new way to live that is full of peace and rest, living in His will for our lives.
- Loving Father – God holds us, comforts us, protects us, loves us as a loving Father, and we can rest in His arms knowing He is there
Christmas is a time when there is a lot of hope. We are all familiar with the Christmas class A Christmas Story when Ralphie is filled with hope that for Christmas he will get a Red Rider BB Gun! Just like Ralphie, our hopes a lot of times center around the things that we will be getting for Christmas – and sometimes our hopes are realized, and sometimes they aren’t!
But the truth is that hope is much bigger than just an emotion you get different times of the year – life before Christmas, your birthday, or when that guy or girl is about to ask your out! Hope is a state of being, a lifestyle, and you can choose to live in hope each day of your life.
The Christmas story reminds us that the basis for our hope is that God can and will do greater things through us then we can every hope or imagine. He just asks us to put our hope and trust in the one who is able and powerful to work in our lives! Ephesians 3:2-210 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Christmas reminds us that God is working in every situation and circumstance in our lives, even when things seem hopeless. Mary could have lost all hope knowing that she would be ridiculed and looked down on because she was having a child outside of marriage, but instead she choose to put her hope in the God who has great plans for her. Similarly, we can choose to put our hope in God, who promises to work all things for our good, or we can surrender to our circumstances. Christmas also reminds us that God uses some of the most ordinary people and ordinary circumstances to do extraordinary things! He is looking for those who will put their faith and trust in him, and those who will hope for big things!
This Christmas, remember that God is wanting to do big things with your life, if you’ll put your hope in Him!
Generosity allows us to show the character of God to others because we are never more like God than when we give. We can give our time, talents, and possessions. This month Kidz Creek wants to challenge you to think of something to give away to someone who would never expect a gift from them. It could be an acquaintance, a stranger, or someone that families know but have never given a present to. Use the Gift Bag to bag up something unexpected and then go out and make someone’s day. Remember gifts don’t have to be expensive (or even cost anything) to be generous. Get creative with how you can give away your time, talents, and/or possessions!
Be generous this Christmas Season!
- Rake someone’s yard and leave them a note wishing them a Merry Christmas!
- Many schools need new or used winter coats during this time of the year. Contact a local school’s guidance counselor to find out what their specific needs are.
- Volunteer at the Salvation Army Toy Store- The Toy Store is the place where all the gifts bought for “Angel Tree”, canned food items for senior citizens, and “Toys for Tots” toys are all brought. Volunteers are needed to sort and organize gifts, organize and bag food items, to clean up the Toy Shop, pack up any left over toys and finally deliver food to senior citizens. The Toy Shop will be open for operation December 5th-23rd and in need of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Adrienne Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to volunteer. This is a great way for families to volunteer together and for even young kids to be involved!
On December 4th our children all received a Gatorade during small group. As your child enjoys the Gatorade, talk to him/her about what a treat it is to get a drink like Gatorade, Koolaid, or soda. Explain that in many parts of the world not only do children not get yummy drinks, they do not even have clean water to drink! This Christmas Eve Cedar Creek Church will be taking up a water offering to support CCC Water ministry projects and partners to help build wells & install filtration systems in areas that don’t have clean water. Encourage your child to use their empty Gatorade bottle to collect change over the next few weeks. Explain to your child that $10 equals clean water for 1 person for a lifetime! As a family, consider drinking only water and place the money saved in the bottle. Making even a small change can make a BIG difference. Have your child bring their “Gifts of Change” to place in the offering on Christmas Eve.
“Be rich in good deeds…be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18