Sunday, August 31, 2008

News Lovers...

If you are a news junkie or into politics, check out this blog post by clicking here. Thought I would share it.

Chase the Goose!

I have really grown to appreciate the leadership and writing of Mark Batterson. He is a popular blogger, pastor and just released a new book last week. His newest book is called Wild Goose Chase. Click here to check out the website for the book.

Mark posted a video that he filmed last week in Scotland! So cool. The short video defines the basis of the book and the audience that he is targeting. I thought that it was a neat video and it may just give you a new angle on who God is.

Watch this!


You can buy the book here!

Immanuel Mennonite Church

It was great to spend time with Immanuel Mennonite Church (Harrisonburg, VA) today! Almost their entire congregation worshiped with us this morning and then we hosted them for lunch and some Q & A. They were doing a site visit to us. It was great to have them here and fantastic to interact with some of their leaders and members.

Immanuel is the church that Pastor Nelson and Jessica were married in and the Pastor of Immanuel is an old CCF member, Angie Williams.

Cool Connections!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bless this House!

It was very special to Tricia and I to have our family over today for a cookout and house blessing. I told Tricia a while ago that our next house would receive a formal blessing. I have done a house blessing for others before but never formally for ourselves. Today was great. Hearing my family participate in a response reading/litany was cool. Well, it is blessed. May God use our new home for effective ministry, first to our family, then to others!

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Message from Lisa Savoy

Yesterday I had the honor of visiting Lisa Savoy again. It is an honor because her attitude is so inspiring. Lisa has a disease called polymyositis. (Polymyositis is a systemic connective tissue disorder characterized by inflammatory and degenerative changes in the muscles, leading to symmetric weakness and some degree of muscle atrophy. The areas principally affected are the hip, shoulders, arms, pharynx and neck.)

Lisa is not doing well at all. She is physically unable to do just about anything and she is emotionally tired. But, she is still an inspiring lady that is making impact. Yesterday I asked Lisa if there was any message(s) that she would like me to take back to the church. She began weeping as she labored to say the following things:
  • Get the most out of every day!
  • When you hit a stumbling block, don't put your focus on it because there is too much good stuff to look at.
  • Be good to your family and always be kind to those in your life.
  • Never let money rule your house!
  • Help each other whenever you can.
  • Spend more time together.
One of the last things that she told me is that the blood clot (the size of a fist) that was found in her lungs this week could have killed her, but it didn't because God wanted her to stay here a little more longer to experience some more of his faithfulness! Wow!

Let Lisa's words make some difference in you today!

--Noah

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Next Billy Graham

A few weeks back, Rick Warren (Pastor and Author) interviewed Barack Obama and John McCain in the Saddleback Civil Forum. Tonight, I re-watched some of the clips. You can see them here if you are interested checking them out!

Last week I heard a leader I trust make the following statement with which I agree:

"I think that Rick Warren is the next Billy Graham, and if he is, we are in good hands!"

Convoy of Hope, DC

I really feel like I need to tell you about this one. Convoy of Hope is an amazing ministry that extends huge community outreach to communities through ministering to and caring for the poor and providing services and care for those that lack. Awesome ministry! The convoy of hope literally converges on a city with 18 wheelers and with the help of local churches and organizations, does social justice and cares for the community!

About the Washington DC Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is a national nonprofit organization that provides disaster relief and non-disaster outreach to those in need in the United States and around the world. In 2006 the organization assisted nearly 4 million people in the United States and around the globe with food, clothing, medical aid, and other needed resources through outreaches and disaster response. This year Convoy of Hope events will occur in more than twenty-five communities across the United States, including Miami, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Detroit, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Dayton, Ohio; Houston and Dallas, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. A Convoy of Hope outreach is a day long event that works through local churches, non-profit organizations and the government to distribute free groceries and organize job and health fairs and activities for children.


On Saturday, September 6th, Convoy of Hope will be in DC. To find out more about the DC Convoy of hope,
CLICK HERE! If you feel moved to help with this outreach I can get you plugged in. Just contact me!

--Noah

Is there something wrong with me if I do not speak in tongues?

I had the privilege of visiting the home of a committed couple in our church this afternoon. As I was leaving the wife asked me...."Is there something wrong with me if I do not speak in tongues?" What a great question. Unfortunately, this is a very common question and I wish that it was not!

Being born and raised in a Pentecostal setting, and as a man who has received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, this was/is my response:

Never seek tongues! Don't seek the gifts, rather seek the giver. Scriptures states that God gives gifts as he sees fit. If you end up with the gift of tongues, great! But, Paul would rather you prophecy.

Basically, all the gifts are for the building up of the body of Christ and for the glory of God. So, God needs to decide what gifts you need to edify his church and glorify him. I personally think when we seek or demand that God give us a certain gift of the spirit, then we are doing the job that God desires to do.

Seek the fullness of the spirit of God in your life and the beauty of his faithfulness and holiness....not one gift or another. Seek the giver!

--Noah

Free Redskins Tickets for Tonight!

I have 2 free Redskins tickets for the game tonight against Jacksonville. I cannot go because I have Small Group. The first person that reaches me by email or phone can have them. First come, first serve.

--Noah

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Making Connections

OK, let me try to make this crystal clear. ...Because new concepts can sometimes take a while to catch on.
  • Every Small Group at CCF will be doing the same thing and covering the same topic from September 7th until the end of 2008. The title is "Making Connections." The goal us to help people in our church community make stronger connections to God and each other. (You know...love God, love people, live as disciples....sound familiar??)
  • Since many of our Small Groups are biweekly, every other Sunday the message will cover the next session of the "Making Connections" curriculum. This way, our Sunday messages and Small Groups remain connected!
  • Some of our Small Groups meet in the middle of the week in homes...they will keep doing so and begin "Making Connections" on 9/7.
  • Also, on September 7th, other new Small Groups will begin running on Sunday mornings from 9-10 at the church and will be doing "Making Connections."
  • Finally, there WILL BE SMALL GROUPS FOR KIDS AND YOUTH that will be offered at the same time as the adults (Sundays 9-10).
I hope that makes it clearer. I know that this has been confusing for some people....and that is not your fault! :-)

Good for young men

Last week I was in a meeting with a brother in our congregation in his late twenties (like me). As we were talking about spiritual growth, he made this statement that lodged into my heart. He said that his mother always told him that the "Proverbs are good for young men."

I never quite heard it put that way, but I immediately thought....yeah, your mom is right...they are!

Since I thought about that statement numerous times, I took it as a word from the Lord for me too, and I decided that I would read through Proverbs 5 times in my devotions this month. What a book action packed with wisdom, good advice and warnings.

Here are a few things that I read this morning that spoke to me:

4:25- "Let your eyes look straight ahead; Set your gaze directly before you."
8:35- "For those who find me (wisdom) find life and receive favor from the Lord!!"

Walk in the wisdom today! Seek it! Look for it! Let your decisions today be bathed in it! As it says in 6:21...Bind it to your heart and wear it around your neck!

--Wisdom to YOU, today!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's up with the youth?

Some of you are curious about what the plan is for our youth in light of Pastor Mike's resignation. Here is the plan at this point:
  • Pray! Really seek the face of the Lord as to HIS direction for our youth ministry. If to hire, when to hire, who to hire, etc.
  • Empower! We have 4-6 great youth workers that will comprise a volunteer team of leaders that will care for and minister to our you in the weeks and months to come. I have met with them and they are excited about gathering and ministering to our youth starting September 1st!
  • Minister! There will be a weekly youth service (probably on Wednesdays...we will let you know soon) and several events and other ministries this fall that are already underway! It is going to be great! Just watch for details.
  • Small Group! There will be a Youth Small group happening every Sunday morning from 9-10 for the young people whose parents are in a Small Group. Daryl Stevens will be leading this.
  • Club 78! Club 78 will continue to meet every Sunday morning during the message time. This is our ministry to 7th and 8th graders and will be led by Jaye Lindo and a team of workers that she is assembling.
  • Trust! I know that the Lord will lead us. I feel strongly that God is saying to rest in Him, take our time and entrust the youth ministry into the hands of the good people who have been here and will be here to come. The volunteers!!
Pray for our youth and encourage them to be here! God has a great plan for each of their lives and CCF has been and will continue to be heartily committed to investing in the next generation!

--Pastor Noah

Monday, August 25, 2008

A picture of God's protection!

Look at this picture. It is a photo of a GFI (electrical plug) in the bathroom of our old house that we just moved out of. It sparked and melted about 4 weeks ago. It is what caused the electricity to go out in half of our house. It is also what could have caused our house to burn down! You never know the many times that God's hand of protection is on you!

--Noah

Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable?

I have to share this with blog post with you (it is by Tony Morgan, Author, Pastor and Blogger)! Here's the deal. It says some of the things that I have been feeling over the last year...but in a very real and candid way (and someone ELSE is saying it).

Warning: If you are set in your ways and/or easily offended, save yourself the frustration and do NOT click on this link.

One more thing...this is true for ME and people MY age as well as for people in their 50s and 60s and older! I have to get ready to turn stuff over to younger people too...even if I am "young"!

Here it is...Just click here!

This email blessed me!

As a Pastor, I will sometimes get emails and letters that blow my mind! I see spiritual maturity and signs of real discipleship taking place and it blesses my socks off. Last week I received this email below. While I will not be sharing the name of the person who sent it to me, I did get their permission to post it! I want you to know that perspective makes a world of difference...especially Godly perspective!

Dear Pastor Noah,

...Several years after my husband left and the divorce was final, I found myself in such deep pain from the thought of divorce that I was struggling just to stay above water, emotionally and spiritually. As I was driving to visit my parents, I had a long conversation with God about why He had allowed all of this brokenness to come into my life. It culminated in a final thought. "God, you don't know what it's like to go through a divorce. You have never been there. You were never married. You don't really understand what I'm going through. I know you say you hate divorce, but do you REALLY understand my pain? Yes, I know the verses about you identifying with our suffering, but I don't see the connection to me and my circumstances." I continued to pour out my heart to God. I want to believe, help me to see.

Very quietly, His gentle response was simply that He REALLY does understand. He had a bride named Israel that He had chosen for Himself. She was His first love. He loved her and blessed her abundantly, but she was continually unfaithful to Him. She broke His heart. So much so that He set her aside, and found a new bride, the Church. And because of that salvation is offered to all, not just to the Jew, but to anyone who believes. It is because of the pain of His broken relationship (divorce) with Israel that I am able to have a personal relationship with Him today. Oh yes, He fully understands my pain. He has been there, and fully relates to my suffering.

Blessings!!

I hope that ministered to you the way it did me.

Amazing Words!!

Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising. Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs! Play his praise on a grand piano! Invent your own new song to him; give him a trumpet fanfare.

For God's Word is solid to the core; everything he makes is sound inside and out. He loves it when everything fits, when his world is in plumb-line true. Earth is drenched in God's affectionate satisfaction.

The skies were made by God's command; he breathed the word and the stars popped out. He scooped Sea into his jug, put Ocean in his keg. Earth-creatures, bow before God; world-dwellers—down on your knees! Here's why: he spoke and there it was, in place the moment he said so.

God takes the wind out of Babel pretense, he shoots down the world's power-schemes. God's plan for the world stands up, all his designs are made to last. Blessed is the country with God for God; blessed are the people he's put in his will.

From high in the skies God looks around, he sees all Adam's brood. From where he sits he overlooks all us earth-dwellers. He has shaped each person in turn; now he watches everything we do.

No king succeeds with a big army alone, no warrior wins by brute strength. Horsepower is not the answer; no one gets by on muscle alone.

Watch this: God's eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together.

We're depending on God; he's everything we need. What's more, our hearts brim with joy since we've taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you've got— that's what we're depending on.

This is Psalm Chapter 33 word for word out of The Message translation of the Bible. These words really spoke to me this morning and I wanted to share them with you!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What do Back to School Sunday & Laminin Have in Common?

Today was Back to School Sunday at CCF! We kept the kids in the service and preached a message using props (school supplies) that connected to the young and old alike. Here were my main points:
  • Eraser: God's eraser never wears out and does not leave marks! God want to offer you forgiveness and a clean slate for this coming school year!
  • Ruler: You do measure up and you can walk straight! God is crazy about you and does not endorse your inadequacies. He thinks that you are loaded with purpose and destiny and wants you to walk in that confidence this year!
  • Glue: Jesus is the glue that will hold this school year and your life together. Colossians 1:17 promises that "...in Him all things hold together!"
Our closing video was the one that I am posting here. It is pretty powerful...and I love Louie Giglio! This video is about Laminin. What's Laminin, huh? Just watch this and you shall see. It confirms the power of our God to hold all things together!

--Noah

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Random Sharings

  1. Had a great time connecting with old friends at my 10 year class reunion today!
  2. We were really glad to be able to spend some time with Jake and Michelle this evening. They are our great friends from South Carolina who recently lost their son in a drowning accident. They are doing well. She is 6 months pregnant and expecting a girl. What a blessing they needed!
  3. I am about to throw something that the TV right now as the Redskins are getting trampled 41-0 by the Panthers. Come on!!!!
  4. Excited for Back to School Sunday tomorrow. The Lord directed me to a great video for the end of my message tomorrow. It was just what I needed to help things click together for the message! Excited to show it and look forward to commissioning our students and teachers for another great year! (Will post the video tomorrow)

--Noah

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Davis and the Trampoline!

Thanks to his Aunt Selah, Davis had his first experience on a Trampoline yesterday! He is officially not a baby anymore. Babies do not jump on trampolines. This makes me quite sad, actually :-(. He is growing up so fast! I think I am ready for round 2!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Forgiveness; The Ocean

Did you know that the deepest part or “the depths of the sea,” is approximately seven miles to the bottom. It would actually be impossible to bring things up from that depth due to compression.

In addition, it is so far from the light of the sun that whatever is down there will never be brought to the light. To forgive is to so cast into the depths in a way that it cannot be brought up again or will ever see the light of day.

Four times the Bible says, “…their sin I will remember no more” (Isa 43:25, Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12, 10:17).

In our earthly relationships we often say that we have forgiven someone for a wrong they did to us, yet, as soon as the person steps over the line, we are quick to remind them that they “always” do this or that. We never really forget and therefore people seldom get a truly clean slate with others; but with God they ALWAYS do. When He forgives it is total and complete and it is absolutely removed from the record - it can never be brought up again, no matter what we may do in the future.

Here is a preview of one of the principles I will share Sunday: God's eraser never wears out and doesn't leave marks!!

Forgiveness; East to West

While preparing for my message this Sunday, I began to research and develop an interesting line of thought about forgiveness. Reflect on this...

Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us."

So, what is this East to West thing? Think about this...no matter how far east you travel, you will never touch west. This is true whether you travel in a straight line into space or in a circle around the earth. Mathematicians refer to the distance between east and west as “infinity”.

What a beautiful thing this is to contemplate, that our sins are removed from us as far as the east is from the west. At the risk of stretching the metaphor too far, isn't it amazing that He tells us they are removed as far as the east is from the west, not as far as the north is from the south? You see, if we travel north far enough, eventually we can go no further north. Standing on the north pole, there is nowhere to go but south. There is a fixed distance, then between the north and the south. It is a long distance, but a finite one.

Yet this is not true when we travel east. We never reach a point where eastward travel must end, and westward travel must start. Hence, the eastward removal of our sins has an infinite quality to it, a permanence.

In addition to this metaphor, an Old Testament prophet writes the following for God: “You (God), will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19

This one has some interesting meaning as well relating to the make-up of the ocean. More later....

--Noah

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

That's Worship!

This morning, Pastor Mike showed me this video. He stood over my shoulder crying like a baby. Now, after reading James 1 as he advised on his blog, I am crying like a baby as I watch it a second time. This guy is dying of Cancer. The final words of the video say it all..."That's Worship!" If you take the 6 minutes to watch this, you will be glad you did. It may just give you a better perspective on worship.

Here are the Lyrics to the Hillsong Worship Song entitled "Healer":

You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease

I trust in you, I trust in you

I believe, You're my healer
I believe, You are all i need
I believe, You're my portion
I believe, You're more than enough for me
Jesus, you're all I need

Nothing is impossible for you
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for you
You hold my world in your hands.

Small Group Sign-Ups!

This Sunday and next Sunday, before and after service, there will be opportunity for everyone to sign up for new and existing Small Groups at CCF! Remember, several of our new groups will meet at the church on Sunday mornings from 9am-10am. I challenge everyone who is not already in a group to get connected to one over the next 2 weeks!

--Pastor Noah

Skins Fan!!

OK, so you already know that I am a big Redskins fan. By the way, regardless of whether pre-season matters or not, we have won our first 3 games!! Anyway, Samuel Collins is a little man in our church who came to church on Sunday in a Skins Jersey. Here he is later that afternoon making field goals with his arms. Touchdown! Had to share. So cute! Thanks for sharing, Kalonji and Helena!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend Reflections

  • Church was great yesterday. It seems that we are worshiping with more and more freedom! Love it!
  • Pastor Nelson brought it! Jesus will build HIS church with or without our money or our opinions! Wow! Great message.
  • Something unexplainable happened at the end of the service. As the Worship Team led us in "He Loves Us" and people began leaving, about 20 people remained and were pressing in to God. As we did, the presence of the Lord got thicker and thicker in the room. I had a purging...for lack of a better word. Just needed to cry before the Lord for 10 minutes. People were really experiencing God. For the 20 that stayed, it was a highlight of the service. Hard to explain what happened. God just met us! Moral of the story...don't hurry out.
  • We are really tired from moving. Physically tired and sleep deprived. Need a few days to rebuild energy!
  • Got a lot to do! And little time to do it! I need a 8-10 hour block of time for administrative catch up. Documents to complete and revise, board meeting to prepare for, Small Group curriculum to proofread, website and advertising deadlines to meet, etc. Dropped a bit behind with this move. Will catch up!

I hope that your week gets off to a strong start!

"If anyone would come after me he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me!" Luke 9:23

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Checking In....

OK, here's the deal. We are between 2 houses right now. We have no internet for a few more days, and we are swamped with things to do at both houses. Soon we will wrap the one up and be back in the routine. It has been fun, but we are exhausted.

We are just about ready to start our second week of our service merge. Last week was great. Looking forward to today and to having Pastor Nelson bring the message. Looking to the Holy Spirit to meet us!

Discovery 101 is after service today! Always great to connect with new people in a deeper way.
_______________________

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You Arx Mxaningful!

Xvxn though my typx writxr is an old modxl, it works vxry wxll - xxcxpt for onx kxy. You would think that with all thx othxr kxys functioning propxrly, onx kxy not working would hardly bx noticxd; but onx kxy out of whack sxxms to ruin thx wholx xffort.

You may say to yoursxlf – wxll I’m only onx pxrson. No onx will noticx if I don’t do my bxst. But it doxs makx a diffxrxncx bxcausx to bx xffxctive, an organization nxxds activx participation by xvxry-onx to do thx bxst of his or hxr own ability. So thx nxxt timx you think you arx not important, rxmxmber my old typxwritxr. You arx a kxy pxrson.

Copied from “Understanding Human Communication” By Ronald B Adler & George Rodman, Chapter nine Pg. 293.

Poet

There is a gal in our church who writes poems often...like several a week. She recently emailed me two of them. I thought they were great, so I wanted to share them. Thanks, Jessi! Here they are:

His servants sat down,

and He washed their feet.

Down on His knees,

He carefully cleaned.

He's the King of all Kings,

though He humbly walks.

To serve His dear kingdom,

He teaches and talks.

You think that your special,

You're no more then Him.

Let go of your pride,

or your future will dim.

____________________________

To contemplate the end,

allows you to live.

To look upon sadness

makes it easy to give.

Going to parties is

an escape for awhile.

When it's all said and done,

it gets harder to smile.

You live more through death,

your heart becomes pure.

So live in the moment,

only now is for sure.


--Jessi Coffey

Discovery 101

If you or anyone you know are new to CCF and want to learn more about who we are and what the next steps are toward connecting, join me for Discovery 101...this Sunday right after church! Lunch will be provided!

--Pastor Noah

Crazy week

This has been a crazy week! I am Pastor by day and home improvement wanna be by night. We are trying to get the new crib ready to move into BEFORE we have furniture to work around. Almost done. A few more days and 30 more trips to Home Depot for stupid little things, and we will be ready to rock and roll.

Today I had an awesome experience when I called every person that visited CCF over the last 3 weeks. The stack of cards was big! The connections I got to make on the phone were the highlight of my day! God is sending us some neat new people every week! That is something that we ought to be thanking Him for.

On the road all day tomorrow. 3 visitations and 2 off site local networking meetings. I am telling you, I am in the office less and less. I would rather be with people or in the community any day of the week! The day will come when I work from a laptop in a cubicle somewhere in the church and my office is used for ministry! We shall see!

--NK

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Key Dates to Remember

Hey Church,

Here are some key dates to remember:
  • This Sunday: Discovery 101 right after church!
  • Sunday, August 24th: Small Group Sign-ups for all new and existing groups!
  • Sunday, August 31st: Small Group Sign-ups for all new and existing groups!
  • Sunday, September 7th: NEW Sunday Small Groups Begin Meeting 9am-10am! (There WILL be ministry for kids.)
  • Sunday, September 14th: Friend Sunday and Fellowship Meal. (Flyers will be ready for you to pick up next Sunday, 8/24.)
Mark your calendars and spread the word!

Making Connections

With a lot more detail to come...here is the gist of what our Fall Small Group Curriculum and Message Series will be about:

Title: Making Connections
Connecting with Jesus, Connecting with God's Family and Growing to be Like Jesus!

Making Connections will take you on a discovery journey through this fall. On this journey, you will discover your very nature as a person, God’s feelings towards you and how to respond to God’s love and purpose for your life in Jesus Christ. You will spend time with the Lord and with others being formed and transformed into His image in order to live and fulfill the purpose He designed you for. You will learn about Jesus’ own purposeful living while here on earth with his disciples while remaining connected with his heavenly Father. This study will seek to follow Jesus's footsteps and to challenge you to model your life after His life. Finally, the journey this Fall will help you discover certain tools to enable you to respond to God’s love which was lavished upon us in Jesus Christ and continues in the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Every Sunday message and Small Group meeting throughout the Fall semester at CCF will be intentionally focussed on the HOW TO's of Loving God, Loving People and Living as Disciples!

Friend Day at CCF!! September 14th!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rick Warren needs our help

Here is an excerpt from an email that was forwarded to me today from Rick Warren:

This next Saturday, August 16, 2008, I will interview Senators John McCain and Barack Obama for an hour each at our nationally televised Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency. The following morning I will be preaching a message entitled “The Kind of Leadership America Needs.”

I’d value your opinion and feedback. What question would you ask BOTH candidates if you had the chance? Please frame your question in a way that it could be asked of both candidates (to be fair). This would be a great help to me.

So, do you have any ideas of a good question? Leave one by clicking on the comment button below.

For a short season and a great reason...

If you were not at church yesterday, you missed the announcement that I shared with the community that Pastor Mike and his family will be transitioning out of CCF in the next few weeks. Pastor Mike and I have agreed to his resignation. It was our mutual sense that it was not the fit that we had hoped and prayed it would be. As it became more obvious that Mike and CCF were not the match we had hoped, we sensed the Lord's leading toward this decision.

Here is what I invite each of us to focus on these days:
  • God is sovereign. He moves people around and in and out of situations at His discretion. People come and go. Years come and go. But the word of the Lord will stand forever!
  • Pastor Mike is leaving in good standing and relationship with myself and the organization.
  • Pastor Mike made a difference in me and in CCF that will have lasting impact...for that we are thankful!
  • We made a difference in Mike's life and family that will have lasting impact! For that we are thankful!
  • God is holding CCF in His hands and has only the BEST in store for our future! He's got this!! God has heaped His favor on CCF for many years and I know that I know that He is still protecting us and planning for our great future as a church!
  • God is holding the Rosado family is His hands and has great plan in store for them as well! I know that I know that Mike is incredibly gifted and divinely called. I look forward to the story that will unfold for his future.
We have a great volunteer youth staff that will be stepping up to the plate and providing ministry and love to the youth of CCF! More info to come as they assemble and devise the plan.

If Mike made a difference on your life, tell him. Encourage him and love him, Kelly and Chase as they go.

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, but blessed be the name of the Lord!" Job 1:21

Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2008

CCF assisted a few key leaders in attending the Willow Creek Leadership Summit last week (Jaye Lindo, Pam Kaye and Carol Roberts). It is a video cast event to local churches around the nation. The 3 people that went from CCF had to travel to Glenarden! Cool, huh!

Anyway, they returned from this event pumped with excitement and information. This is exactly what a good conference should do. I have great confidence in Willow Creek and their events. So glad some of our folks got to participate.

If you are interested in reading some summaries of the different speakers and what they shared, click here and read Mark Beeson's blog. He did a fantastic job of summarizing nuggets and pearls and has posted them on his blog for people to read...for free! Check it out! (Mark is the Senior Pastor of Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana).

Good Stuff!

Fear

Psalm 27 has been a blessing to my spirit recently. It is a powerful Psalm that addresses fear from many angles. I strongly encourage you to click here and read Psalm 27 and then engage a few of the thoughts below.
  • If we don't master fear, fear will master us!
  • The causes of fear...fear most often comes from:
    • The make up of our personality (temperament)
    • A bad life experience (psychological)
    • Parents, family and culture (environment)
    • Disobedience and lack of faith (spiritual)
  • Fear most often manifests itself through our uncertainty about the future, our regret about the past, or our inadequacies concerning the present.
  • In this Psalm, David is basically saying this...
    • The LORD is your light, your saving grace and your strength in all things...Live with that conviction at your core, and fear is going to begin to leave you! (verse 1)
    • Enemies, wars, and struggles will rise against you. Even then, be confident in your conquest knowing that the LORD is your light, your salvation and your strength..not YOU! (verse 2-3)
    • David is telling us that we need to put our confidence and hope in who God is, what God has done and what God will do!! When we learn to do this, fear won't reside in us. Our problem is that we are trusting ourselves too much (and not God)! (verse 7-14)
Psalm 27:4 says "One thing I have desired from the Lord, that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple!"

Great Day Yesterday!

Yesterday was a great day! Awesome service. So good to be merged back together into one service. The energy in the room was so different. So good! Pastor Dave's message was great. His heart is so pure that he could just get on the stage and stand there as far as I am concerned and I would feel ministered to!

Spent yesterday afternoon doing things at the new house, like picking up a new washer and dryer that we found on Craigs List! We love Craigs List!

Last night was also a great time! We had a gathering to welcome the Kauffman family to our church and district. It was very well attended and a great evening! Thank you, Barb Good for an awesome job with this. Last night the seed was planted in my heart with something Glenn said...the seed is...I will be going to China next summer...and hopefully with many others.

--Noah

Saturday, August 9, 2008

We Came Home to...

A new home. We settled on a new home while we were away this week thanks to a power of attorney that handled it for us (so we could still go away). This will be the first and last time that we will ever spend several hundred thousand dollars while we are on vacation. Get it?!?! We are really excited to make this home our own. It is just here in Bowie a few miles from where we live now. Needs a little TLC, but we love to do it. We will slowly do some work at the new house and migrate over to it over the next few weeks. We have tenants moving into our current home Sept. 1st. We thank the Lord (and a GREAT Realtor named Mom) for His favor over us as this has been a smooth transaction and a great experience.

If you are a CCF'er...we will publish our new address in the next update of the church director. If you are a friend or family member, email me and I will give you our new address.

--Noah

Home and Hyper

We are home...got here at about 4:00. Should have been here at 2:00, but was delayed to spend quality time in stand still traffic on 95 North....always a wonderful test of character after 7 hours on the road. We are glad to be home.

After being in the car most of the day, I find that I am hyper. I have been going and doing and mowing since we got home. Trying to burn off some saved up energy.

Looking forward to tomorrow morning. I have an announcement to share with the community that will pack a pretty big punch. Also, tomorrow is the Sunday that we MERGE TO ONE MAIN WORSHIP SERVICE...it starts at 10:30am. (On Sept. 7th, we will launch new small groups that will meet from 9am-10am). Pastor Dave will be preaching tomorrow. He is the former Senior Pastor of CCF before me and he serves as the Bishop of our district (for 3 more weeks). Glad to have him speaking tomorrow as I am just coming off of a trip.

See you in the morning!! Excited about what God has ahead for us!

--Noah

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Day of Two Cities

Today was a great day! We started our trek north this morning. It was a cool day as we spent half of a day in 2 great cities. We did sightseeing and cruised around Atlanta for the first half of the day. Then, we traveled about 4 hours north of Atlanta to Charlotte, NC. We spent the evening in Charlotte. What a beautiful city. If you have never been, I recommend it. Friendly, clean and beautiful! We saw families everywhere tonight....seemed like a great place to raise a family. (Second to PG County, of course!) Tomorrow, it's off to MD!

--Noah


Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Modern Miracle

This is a priceless picture of what time and Jesus can do to people. This is my Uncle Gordon and my Brother-in-law, Randy. This picture may not mean much to some of you, but it is a VERY MEANINGFUL picture to me and my family. My 75 year old Great Uncle who spent his life in the south extended great love (and even apology) to my brother in law. Accepting an interracial marriage was not easy for him, but he has really grown! It has been a blast to watch these two cut up this week.

Howdy Yall

It only takes me a few days to pick up this southern accent. My family is southern! Sweet tea southern. Biscuit and gravy southern. Eat every 2 hours southern. Thick accent southern. We have a had a great time with them. Both of my parents are only children, so we have no Aunts, no Uncles and no Cousins. As a result, our Great Aunts and Uncles and second Cousins are all the extended family we have. Hence, we feel close to them. We have spent the last few days with the Davis family (the side of the family that we named our fist son after).

Tomorrow we are headed to spend the day in Atlanta. Then, we will start our trek north. It has been a relaxing and enjoyable few days. Now that I am very relaxed....it's time to start heading home.

--Love!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Heading South

We are heading south for the rest of the week. We will be in Columbus, Georgia visiting the Davis family (and will also spend a little time in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA). I LOVE to drive and I LOVE to be with my family. Off we go. Road Trip.

If I can get connected, I will stay connected and send you a "hello" with a blog from time to time. If not, watch my Tweets on the right for Twitter updates. I always have phone coverage. See you Sunday, church! I am excited that Pastor Dave will bringing the message. And don't forget that this Sunday we MERGE to ONE MAIN WORSHIP SERVICE at 10:30am!!!

--Love ya, Noah

Welcoming the Kauffman Family

After living in Hong Kong for the past 15 years, Glenn and his wife June along with their daughter Lia and son Austin will be moving to the Laurel area and will be making CCF their home church. Glenn has accepted the role as Bishop for the churches of our district and will begin on September 1st. Glenn will also be working as Global Ministries director for Eastern Mennonite Missions. The Kauffman family comes to us with a intense passion for the Chinese people and world missions.

A word of explanation since we all have different understandings of the same word...we see the Bishop as our leader and overseer of the churches in our area. He will coach our Pastors and serve as our connection to our conference. This is the position our former Pastor Dave has held for the past several years and is now retiring from.

We want to extend a very warm welcome to the Kauffman family. Here are 2 ways that we plan to do that:

1. We will be holding a time of welcome and fellowship for the Kauffman’s in the Upper Room of the church on Sunday, August 10th at 6:30pm. Come and bring a snack to share!

2. After being away for 15 years, they need stuff! If you can help donate some household items to the Kauffman’s, please contact Pam Kaye at 301-675-1031 or e-mail pamkaye1@juno.com.

Here is a list of things they need:

  • Full-size box spring
  • One dresser
  • Small microwave
  • Television/DVD player
  • Picnic table or deck furniture
  • Grill
  • Drying rack
  • Towels, washcloths
  • Girls' bicycle
  • Card table and folding chairs
  • Computer

Washington Bible College Needs Us

Late last year, I posted about a connection that I made with Washington Bible College. For several reasons, this school is special to me. You can read what I wrote by clicking here.

Last week I received word that the college is really going through a financial crisis that is threatening everything from payroll to their future as a school. The thing that breaks me about this is that this is a LOCAL institution that is training leaders for the church. We need WBC in Lanham! Period. I wanted to make you aware of this reality and need. Things look very grim for WBC outside of divine intervention. WBC needs donors and prayer fast! I ask you to pray for Dr, Mercer, President and for the entire school that the Lord would supernaturally provide for them as they train leaders for the kingdom.
"A Generous man will prosper; he who refreshes other will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Come to the table

Tomorrow morning, as we come to the table of the Lord and share in communion together, I will invite us to focus on what scripture asks us to...

Look Back (remember)
Look Within (examine)
Look Around (COMMUNion is a COMMUNity event)
Look Ahead (Jesus will be back)

I plan to use this video as well.

--Noah

video

Friday, August 1, 2008

Swerve...some good thinking...

I recently began reading Swerve, which is a team leadership blog for Pastors. The two main writers are Craig Groeschel and Bobby Gruenewald. There were a series of blog entries that they posted this week that I thought were very insightful and I thought I would share. See what you think. Just click on them below:

Think Smart


Think Fast


Think Big

Think Again

Think Ahead