News & Updates


So Help Me God

By admin / January 20, 2017 /

I’m watching live coverage of President Trump’s inauguration while reading Mark 15. The contrast is stark, but with both accounts, every detail is scrutinized. Donald Trump’s every foot step is broadcast world-wide. He and his wife Melania leave Blair house this morning with great pomp and circumstance. Jesus was brought to Pilate’s house without fanfare and in the dead of night. An inaugural church service at St. John’s Church will feature a sermon from the book of Nehemiah by a…

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‘B’ Is For Belonging

By admin / January 13, 2017 /

Take a guess at what I’m describing. It’s a place where people gather regularly. Cover charges are minimal. The people are all very similar. Specific needs are met at this place. If needs aren’t met, people move on quickly to another similar place. There are many such places. Self-realization is the goal. Lights, sound, and music with a full band enable folks to escape and get lost. All details are designed to make people feel comfortable. Do you have a…

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ABCs May Not Be As Easy As…

By admin / January 6, 2017 /

This Sunday we’ll kick off a new three-week series called “The ABCs of Community.” I’m excited to begin the new year by pointing folks to the necessity and power of community – to Life Groups! We’ll start by focusing on ‘A’—Accountability—and then trek towards ‘B’ for Belonging and ‘C’ for Care. They’re not as easy to live out as they are to write about. I’m mindful of how very much we need accountability. Can you imagine a football game without…

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By admin / December 30, 2016 /

Miriam Webster just named “surreal” their word of the year for 2016. Makes sense, doesn’t it? A reality TV star became president. The Cubs won the world series. The Cleveland Cavaliers won their first ever NBA championship. Debbie Reynolds died just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia) passed. The DOW is hovering around the 20,000 mark for the first time ever, and Brexit really happened. These facts are just the tip of an approaching iceberg making…

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CCC Year End Giving

By admin / December 27, 2016 /

Dear CCC Friends, Thanks to you, the Gospel continues to pour out from our church. Thanks to your generosity, many messy people are being redeemed and restored. Jason came to us from California. Because of his own horrific meth addiction, Jason has been estranged from his wife and two kids. However, Jason is now 90 days clean. He is signed up for our Construction Ready class in February. Jason is interning at The Collective’s Independent Work Program. He just got…

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This Year I Need Christmas!

By admin / December 23, 2016 /

    More than ever before, I really need Christmas. Yesterday I watched the shocking video of a young assassin shooting a Russian ambassador. The killer defiantly yelled terroristic threats while waving his gun. A truck barreled into hundreds of shoppers at a Berlin outdoor Christmas market. Twelve people were slaughtered. Another fifty were injured and traumatized. I keep seeing images of busloads of refugees being removed from Aleppo, Syria. Many are orphans whose parents were killed in the battle…

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By admin / December 16, 2016 /

My two high school kids play in a top-notch orchestra called The Hillgrove Mastery Orchestra. They’re really good. The pieces they play are quite complicated and engaging. What a bunch of high schoolers can do is nothing short of amazing. At concerts, I like what their orchestra teacher, Mr. Doke, does before most songs. He explains what you’re about to hear. Some, perhaps, would complain about the need to explain a song before it’s played. If it needs some ‘esplainin’……

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By Justin Powell / December 10, 2016 /

Jesus loves me, this I know. But this knowledge is mind blowing, isn’t it?  Jesus love ME!  He came down for me?  Jesus is personable and calls me by name.  He created me and chooses me and adopts me.  This is far too lofty for me to fathom. This I know. Does this blow me away or is the love of Jesus mere background music? Chick-Fil-A has background music.  Have you ever listened to it?  It’s just supposed to serenade…

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By admin / December 2, 2016 /

Nobody loves warm and fuzzy more than my wife, Sherry.  She has a high standard of soft.  Blankets and towels must be luxuriously fluffy, sheets must have high thread counts, and socks and sweaters must be silky smooth to meet her standards for tactile delight. She associates Christmas  with those warm and fuzzy sensations she loves.  Sipping hot cocoa indoors while watching snow falling outside is nirvana for Sherry.  A Christmas tree lovingly decorated with sentimental ornaments gives her a…

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By admin / November 18, 2016 /

“We need to talk.”  Those can be ominous words, can’t they?  When a boss, a spouse, a fiancé, a teacher, a lawyer, or a pastor says, “We need to talk,” you’d rather go for a pumpkin spice latte instead. On Sunday, we’re back in our “God in the Shadows” series.  We’re making our way through the incredible book of Romans.  I have been excited to teach the particular passage slated for Sunday.  Romans 8 is a classic.  Some think the…

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