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Archive for December 2011

Best of 2011: Blog Posts

We’re grateful that many of you take the time to read the blog, and share it with your friends. Here are the top read posts from CCC’s blog in 2011.

1. Honoring Caleb Nelson, Supporting his Family, Responding to Westboro

2. Proverbs Day 1

3. Forgiving my Grandfather, a Pedophile

4. Exciting News from our Friends at Core and Coram Deo

5. Five things every pastor should know about the multi-site church

6. Steve Jobs & Christ Community Church

7. Harvest Hoedown in North Omaha

8. Mine is Yours

9. The Power of Sex

10. The Dark Side of the Ministry Life

Best of 2011: Creative & Non-Message Videos

Besides the message videos, we post a lot of other content online. So, here is the top ten played videos that aren’t message related from this past year.

1. Wilkins Family Update

2. Future Shock Promo

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Best of 2011: Message Videos

This past year, we had viewers from 125 countries check out CCC videos. Here are the message videos that were played the most throughout this past year. Be sure and check out our media page for all our message media.

1. Future Shock: Camping out to wait for Jesus

2. Hello, This is God: God speaks through creation

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Beyond The Message: Christmas & Grief

While Christmas is synonymous with joy and times with loved ones, the holiday season can be painful for a lot of people. I sit down with Tim Perry to talk about loneliness, grief and pain that is associated with Christmas. Tim shares personally some of the thoughts and emotions he is experiencing since this is the first Christmas without either of his parents. Incredibly grateful for Tim sharing with me.

having God’s heart for the poor this Christmas

Do you know how many verses in the Bible encourage us to remember and celebrate Christ’s birth each year?  The answer – none.

Do you know how many times the early church follower’s celebrated Christ’s birthday after he was gone? The answer – none. Celebrating birthday’s was a pagan tradition and not one followed by Jews or Christians.

Ok, I’m not trying to be a bummer just a few days before Christmas, but I do want to encourage you to ponder the question, “What is important to God during this Christmas season?” Put it this way, if Jesus were here talking with you right now, what would he say is the most important thing to focus on during his birthday? The answer might surprise you.

In Isaiah chapter 58 God chastises his people for shallow and self-serving activity. He says that on the outside they look like they are doing all the right things, and so they ask God:

‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ (NIV)

In response, God really lets them have it. He basically tells them that if you really want to follow after my heart, if you really want to do stuff that will get me excited, then…

This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. (The Message)

I’ve noticed several news stories this last week about how people are taking Christ out of Christmas. In Lincoln a school took down a sign that said “Remember the reason for the season” because it might offend people. And sometimes we get uptight when we leave a store and they say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Based on Isaiah 58, I can’t help but think that if Jesus were here in the flesh he would encourage us to stop being concerned this Christmas season with the lack of respect his birthday gets in our culture. Instead, he would probably want to know why our hearts are not breaking for the poor and needy, the homeless, broken families, single moms, orphans, and widows.

I just find it interesting that we are encouraged over and over in the Bible to care for the least of these but we are never encouraged to celebrate Christmas.

I’ve been very encouraged by the outpouring of time, energy, and resources by the people of CCC over the last year for the least of these in our city and around the world. May God do even greater things through us in 2012.

Craig Walter, Missions Pastor

Christmastime is here

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If you’ve attended church for any length of time, church services can seem to blend together. It’s hard to remember specific services. One service I do remember in particular, though, is last year’s Christmas Eve service. The music, media and message were excellent and engaging. I hope you can experience the joy and wonder of these services December 23 (7 PM) and December 24 (4, 6 & 8 PM) at the Old Mill Campus. We will also be testing a live-stream of the 4 PM service, on December 24, at CCCOmaha.tv.

Here’s a music video from last year’s Christmas Eve services.

Mine Is Yours (Guest Post)

David Cumming is a 2nd Grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School. I’ve had the joy of working with his students as I’ve volunteered at the school. Besides working at Franklin, David also serves as a leader at the church he attends, Flatland.

Recently, David wrote a post on his blog that I found encouraging and inspiring. I asked him if I could repost it here, and he agreed. In big and small ways, God is working throughout Village One in the lives of the people there.

To read the posts about my journey into greater involvement in North Omaha, click here for Part 1 and Part 2.


My principal recently released the demographic breakdown of our school for the current school year. If you’ve read some of the blogposts prior to this one, you know how proud I am to work in a culturally diverse school. Diversity is the reason I teach where I teach.

Anyway, over 40% of our students are African-American. The second highest percentage is Hispanic (Mexican, Guatemalan, and Honduran). Followed by Asian, Caucasian, Native American, African and mixed race. We’re sort of like Walgreens. We have a little of everything.

Needless to say, we’re diverse.

But like I’ve written about before, there is one common thread that links all of the students together. It’s the chain that bonds them together.

Poverty.

Of our 268 students, 99.6% qualify for our free or reduced lunch program. I’ll save you the long division. We have one student in the entire school that doesn’t qualify for free or reduced lunches. (more…)

Online Campus Update

I wanted to give you an update with where things stand with the Online Campus. I’ve been kind of quiet about it lately, but that’s been purposeful. We had some cool things in the works, but now a number of them are finalized. Here’s a summary of what’s on tap. I’ll go into some more details in the embedded video.

  • Online Campus launches on February 5.
  • Streaming the entire 10:45 Access service.
  • Multi-camera production in HD.

A few other things happening that I didn’t mention in the video.

One is the development for the Online Campus site. Right now, we have a basic version of the Online Campus up and running. However, in mid-January you will see more of the interactive and personal elements to the Online Campus site implemented. (Special thanks to LifeChurch.tv for their help with this.)

Also, early in January 2012 you’ll start to see a physical presence for the Online Campus in the Old Mill Campus Atrium. When the Online Campus launches February 5, the team will be working from this space in the Atrium. (Thanks to Christine Gerhart for designing it and our Property Team for constructing it in the coming weeks.)

Finally, because we will be streaming the entire 10:45 Access service, the Online Campus Team will be working more closely with the team that supports Access. I’m looking forward to this because it’ll be fun to work more with Micah, Ryan and others on a consistent basis. (If you still would like to volunteer to be a part of the Online Campus Team, please let me know!)

I’m excited by what God has in store with the Online Campus. It’s going to be fun to see how God uses it to get people connected with the gospel.

So, before the Super Bowl kickoff, come be a part of the Online Campus kickoff!

(For the latest information about the Online Campus, click here.)

60% growth in students at Bethel in Mali

I’m often asked by CCC people how things are going in Mali. Hopefully you remember that through our Double-Your-Impact vision we are investing heavily into Bethel Bible College in Mali, a Christian & Missionary Alliance school that trains new Malian Pastors and Missionaries. The goal is to increase the number of active students from 22 in the year 2010 to around 100 by the year 2015.

CCC partnered with the leadership of Bethel and determined there are two key factors to make this happen:

(1) We must provide student grants to assist with tuition, which will allow the school to recruit the best and brightest leaders in Malian churches.

(2) We must upgrade the Bethel school facilities, providing more electricity and water, and improving classrooms and living quarters.

Starting in the summer of 2010 CCC has done just that, providing funds for new solar panels to increase their electricity from 6 hours per day to 24 hours per day. We provided funds to put new roofs on 4 classrooms that were in desperate need. We sent a team and funds to add a second water tank to their water tower, doubling their water capacity. And we are providing up to $300 per student in grants per year so the students can focus on school and not have to worry about how to feed their families.

In November of 2011 Bethel started their 2011-2012 school year which lasts for 6 months. I am thrilled to say that they have increased their number of students from 22 last year to 37 this year.

Daniel Diallo, the schools Director, believes next year they will reach 50 students but that will be their maximum until they improve their student housing, enhance their library, and find more instructors. CCC will be involved with these on-going needs as well in the years to come, yet we are blessed to see the progress that God has allowed us to be a part of.

Craig Walter, Missions Pastor

Beyond The Message: Christianity 101/C&MA Logo

Yesterday I sat down with Koob Vang to discuss the first message in the Christianity 101 message series. Koob is one of our Adult Ministries Interns. He grew up in a C&MA church and graduated from a C&MA college. So, I thought he would have a good perspective on the first Christianity 101 message, since Lead Pastor Mark used the C&MA logo for the basis of his message.