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Archive for March 2014

Every disease/Every sickness

In this clip, Lead Pastor Mark talks about Matthew 9:35 which says that Jesus healed “every disease and sickness” and describes what that reveals about Jesus’ compassion.

To watch the entire message visit vimeo.com/89856753

For more information on Global Summit, visit cccomaha.org/globalsummit

For more information about Christ Community Church, visit the website at cccomaha.org. You can also watch the service online at cccomaha.tv.

Perrotto Family Interview

On March 23, 2014 Director of Missions Craig Walter interviewed the Perrotto family about their move to the Dominican Republic to serve as missionaries.

For more information on the Perrotto family, visit youtu.be/TjdvGP40k8Q

For more information on Global Summit, visit cccomaha.org/globalsummit

For more information about Christ Community Church, visit the website at cccomaha.org. You can also watch the service online at cccomaha.tv.

Follow Christ Community Church on: Facebook – facebook.com/cccomaha Twitter – twitter.com/cccomaha Instagram – instagram.com/cccomaha

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Matt & Teri Perrotto … chasing God’s dream!

On January 13th, 2013, I received one of those emails that brightens my day. It was from Teri Perrotto, whom I had met but did not really know, and she said, “My husband and I have been thinking and praying about a family mission commitment.” Ok, pretty cool, I’m thinking they want to go on a short-term mission trip together.

Perrotto Family v2We met the following week and this was the first time I had ever met Matt. I learned that Matt was a successful chemical engineer, they have 5 kids, they play in an adult soccer league, Teri home schools their children … basically they are an all-American family. This is what its all about, right? They have it all – money, love, family, good health, a little God in their life. This is the American dream – this is what we are supposed to be chasing, right?

So my question for them … why would you want to give this all up to go do missions for a couple of years?

The answer was holy discontent. Oh, they didn’t use those words, but in Teri’s first email she said, “This is something that keeps coming up for both of us and we think if we have more information, God will make it clear to us.” Did you catch that? God was stirring in both Matt and Teri at the same time, they couldn’t get this out of their hearts and minds, he would not leave them alone. They couldn’t even identify exactly what God wanted or why, but they knew God wanted them to quit chasing the America dream and go serve him. God was replacing the American dream in their hearts with his dream.

Matt and Teri are not alone in this, as we have lots of people from CCC who have made a huge sacrifice to chase after God’s dream for the lives. Some have gone oversees, some do it right here in Omaha.

This all reminds me of one simple truth that I am still learning myself. God has a dream for our lives and it is not the same as the American dream. Which dream are you chasing?

Matt and Teri are moving from Omaha on April 14th with their 5 kids to serve for the next two years at a Christian & Missionary Alliance mission field in the Dominican Republic. Matt quit is job, they have sold their possessions, leaving close family and dear friends. Please pray for them as they embark on this new God-sized adventure.

Nancy & Darrell Fager Recognition

On March 9, 2014 Lead Pastor Mark took time to recognize and thank Darrell & Nancy Fager for their years of contribution and service to CCC, where Nancy has served as Executive Director of Ministry Arts.

For more information about Christ Community Church, visit the website at cccomaha.org. You can also watch the service online at cccomaha.tv.

Follow Christ Community Church on: Facebook – facebook.com/cccomaha Twitter – twitter.com/cccomaha Instagram – instagram.com/cccomaha

Adoption of Technology

In this clip, Lead Pastor Mark describes why CCC has been adopting technology over the past few years and explains how you can use these tools to reach those who don’t know Jesus.

To watch the entire message visit vimeo.com/88589412

For more information about Christ Community Church, visit the website at cccomaha.org. You can also watch the service online at cccomaha.tv.

Follow Christ Community Church on: Facebook – facebook.com/cccomaha Twitter – twitter.com/cccomaha Instagram – instagram.com/cccomaha

 

New Wine – Matthew’s Book

In this clip, Lead Pastor Mark explains how Jesus is like the new wine discussed in Matthew 9 and looks at how Jesus expands and reaches every corner of your life.

To watch the entire message visit vimeo.com/88589412

For more information about Christ Community Church, visit the website at cccomaha.org. You can also watch the service online at cccomaha.tv.

Follow Christ Community Church on: Facebook – facebook.com/cccomaha Twitter – twitter.com/cccomaha Instagram – instagram.com/cccomaha

 

Price of Life is coming to Omaha! Save the date, Sept 2-7th 2014.

price of life intervarsity

It’s with great excitement that I can begin posts about Price of Life Omaha!  Many more will follow in the months ahead.  We’ve just completed the initial planning phase for bringing Price of Life to the Omaha metro this upcoming September.

What is Price of Life?

POL is a trafficking awareness and prevention campaign Christ Community and other organizations will be teaming up to bring to our community.  The following link is a summary video of what took place at the Ohio State University a couple of years ago.  As you watch it look for the key elements of a successful justice campaign – partnership among lots of groups, creativity and boldness, awareness on multiple levels created through-out a week long event, and a great defining capstone event.

Price of Life Ohio State University

Myself and a vast team of volunteers and community partners are working on the details.  Let me know what you think, what your questions are and how you’d like to be a part!

Virg Ediger Recognition

https://vimeo.com/88095106

On March 2, 2014 Lead Pastor Mark recognized and thanked Pastor Virg Ediger and his wife Evelyn for their 24+ years of service at CCC.

For more information about Christ Community Church, visit the website at cccomaha.org. You can also watch the service online at cccomaha.tv.

Follow Christ Community Church on: Facebook – facebook.com/cccomaha Twitter – twitter.com/cccomaha Instagram – instagram.com/cccomaha

 

Friend of Sinners

In this clip, Pastor Mark explains how Jesus knew that when it came to reaching people, half the battle was relational proximity, after calling Matthew to follow him, he goes over to Matthew’s house for dinner.

To watch the entire message visit vimeo.com/88007871

For more information about Christ Community Church, visit the website at cccomaha.org. You can also watch the service online at cccomaha.tv.

Follow Christ Community Church on: Facebook – facebook.com/cccomaha Twitter – twitter.com/cccomaha Instagram – instagram.com/cccomaha

So where do you draw the line?

line in sand

Recently during a Question/Answer session at the end of one our Sunday messages, the topic of attending a gay wedding came up.  Should a Christian attend the wedding of a homosexual couple?  The issue behind a question like this isn’t usually legalism at the core – but a more subtle issue of approval.  Does one’s presence at a homosexual wedding mean approval of homosexuality regardless the relational connection to the couple?

Maybe an even grittier way to put it would be this:  Would Jesus attend a gay couple’s wedding?  If so, under what pretext would Christ followers do so today?

It was a situation Jesus wasn’t directly involved in to the best of our knowledge.  Yet what can we observe from his life of connection with people – even “sinners” in other contexts?  It was perfectly clear that God the Father intended Jesus to live a fully human life.  Jesus lived an incarnational connection with humanity.  He did the things ordinary humans did.  He made friends.  He grew up in a family.  Worked a business trade.  Went to church.

He only got in serious trouble when he made life on life connection with people who were defined by a sinful lifestyle.  “Does Jesus know what sort of women this is who is touching him?”  Not only did Jesus live in our world, he never made it a point to avoid anyone for the sake of protecting his image.  He boldly risked his reputation on his associations with sinners.  He also clearly never met a person he didn’t consider a sinner in the best definition of that word.  So there’s our answer.

Yes, we should follow the example of Jesus in living a life of connection to sinners.  If Jesus did, we’re absolutely expected to do the same:  “As the Father has sent me into the world, so send I you.”  It makes total sense that we should be where people are.  And our mere presence doesn’t constitute implicit approval of everything people are into.  If we’re ever to love people, we have to love them where they are at.

So here’s another challenge to the “line in the sand” mentality.  Last week a team mate and I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of women concerned about the sex industry in our city.  They’d just returned from a Strip Church Training Conference.  Yup.  You heard that right.  Strip Church, an outreach to women working in the sex industry at strip clubs.  Where do you draw the line in reaching out to strippers?

Well, for women reaching out to strippers, it means a strategy of patient acts of loving care.  It means actually going to the clubs where these women work and reaching out to them in that environment.   The two women Lisa and I were talking with, are the cofounders of Strip Church Omaha.  They have been praying, getting training, and forging partnerships with churches here in Omaha as a foundation for reaching out to women dancers working in the metro’s 7 major strip clubs (around 150 women?).  They don’t crash the doors of clubs or picket their parking lots.  They reach out in simple acts of friendship and service and over time build bridges of trust.  For many women caught in that industry, these become the only bridge to the outside world that leads to lasting freedom.  Through friendship and time, the love of Jesus can be embraced by sex-workers.

So where should we draw the line?  As sinners ourselves, we should never pretend we have the right to ever exclude people from the love Jesus wants to show them.  There should be no lines we’re not willing to cross if Jesus is the one leading us there.  Where we lead with profound acts of love, the Gospel will soon be able to follow.