LIVE IN
CCC blog

Intersections

100 Word Essays – lots more!

scrabble 100 words

Thought it was fun, but didn’t know what it was about.

I was raised to be a good person but not a Christian. When I was 16 my mom and I moved to the small town of Ainsworth, Nebraska.  God had put Christians all around us. Our neighbor below us was a Christian.  My cousin who also lived nearby was a Christian, as well as several of the kids I went to school with.  I began going to youth group and was given a scholarship to a bible camp that summer.  I thought it was fun but I really didn’t understand what they were talking about.

Just before I started my junior year in high school my mom and I were caught in a bad storm with hail and strong winds. It was there things started to make some sense to me.  In that storm late July 1978 I turn my life over to Christ.

I’ve had peaks and valleys since then but looking back I can see it was always God directing my path. Today I have a job that’s more of a ministry at Open Door Mission. As I follow Him He keeps on blessing me.

-Greg

 

I thought as long as you believe in Jesus you didn’t have to go to church!

I was raised Catholic but was raised under the impression that as a long as you believed that Jesus Christ was our Savior one didn’t need to attend church.  Yet I did attend on some holidays.  It all started with the birth of my third child who was born very ill.  He continued to get worse, so I asked for a Priest to say a prayer with us over him.  It was like a night & day experience – he was healed and ready to go home the next day out of NICU.  Attending Christ Community continuously for a year now I’ve been  drawn closer than ever with our Savior.  I want to give HIM my all and to the best of my ability share His GREAT news with EVERYONE!

-Dawn

 

More like a routine than worship.

Growing up in a Catholic home, church felt more like a routine than actual worship.  I drifted far away from God.  I still attended church on major events and holidays but I did not feel God’s presence in my life. After one of my many mistakes my wife suggested I attend Christ Community Church with her. I was reluctant at first but realized I had to start making changes in my life.  God spoke to me and touched my soul that very first service and shortly after I decided to get baptized and become a member of CCC.

-Tom

 

Too embarrassed to walk down front!

At age 15, I was watching people on TV go down front at a crusade.  I was so embarrassed for them that I left my family living room.  Two years later, I was one of the ones going to the front.  What happened?  During that interval, I felt the loneliness, the emptiness of my life.  I longed to be loved, to be known, to be fully accepted.  Three high school friends over and over showed me friendship and loving-kindness.  It touched my heart, and drew me to Jesus.  Later, as a 24-yr-old, I fully surrendered my life to Christ, bending my knee to His leadership-  wherever it led me, whatever the cost.

-Jill

 

Stopped worshiping God corporately, but still believed in God.

I went to Sunday school at an early age and grew up in a Christian home.  I was confirmed and attended church regularly through high school.  I stopped worshiping corporately after high school but still believed in God.  Now at this point in my life I have a real thirst to learn the word of God especially since coming to CCC.  I want to be involved in the Church and have given myself over to Jesus completely. Philippians 4:9  “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

-Jeff

 

My youth leader helped me surrender my life to Jesus.

I was raised in a Christian family but never really got it.  At 17  years of age, in and out of trouble with alcohol and other poor decisions, I found my way to a weekend retreat with our Methodist youth group.  During this trip due to the support, heart and leadership of my youth leader she helped me come to the light, surrendering myself to Jesus at this event.  From that moment I knew and started cleaning up my act.  As a result of my youth leader I have devoted my time to giving back to youth so that one day I can give to a young person what she gave to me…hope, peace and love

-Dustin

 

We had no choice – we could not run!

Before Christ I lived day to day relying on myself.  It wasn’t until my life had three major events that I realized I belonged to God.  It was when I was cut in a fight at school.  My friend and I were walking out of our high school registrar’s office, into the parking lot, after getting our transcripts for college.  A gang of kids were breaking windows.  They saw us looking at them and screamed at us.  We screamed back at them.  Soon we were surrounded.  One of them took out a long razor and waved it my face.  I was afraid and my fight or flight reaction kicked in.  We had no choice; my friend and I were surrounded, so we could not run.  Without warning I was hit across the arm with one of the razor blades. I was bleeding so much that I slipped in my blood and fell to the ground. But more amazing, it did not hurt and rather than being afraid, a sense of peace came over me.  Later the doctor explained to me that the lack of pain, and the calm occurred because I was simply in shock.  It was explained to me, to be nothing more than my body reacting to trauma.  To this day I believe the Holy Spirit took over my life and gave me a calm to hold me and comfort me.  And that was the beginning of my journey back to God, my Savior and renewing the Holy Spirit within me.

-Michael

 

Slowly I started to find the person God made me to be.

I have always been a follower of Jesus.  Or so I thought.  It wasn’t until I got married and found myself being drawn further and further away from the One who I always turned to.  I had turned to God to help me deal with and accept my mom’s death when I was only 21.  Once I separated and divorced, I found myself surrounded by very special people who loved me.  They loved me the way that you are supposed to love and support someone.  Slowly I started to find who Nicole was, who Nicole was in God’s eyes.  I made Christ Community my new church home, and from there God and I have hit the ground running!!  One night about a year ago I found myself facing the pain of feeling unloved and alone.  My prayer partner and I prayed and I cried all night.  I woke up the next morning knowing it was time to give my life back to God!!  At baptism on the green in 2015 I did just that.  I love my identity in God and I know that no matter what He loves me!!!!

-Nicole

 

A foxhole Christian…

I was born, baptized and raised in the Catholic Church.  I considered myself a “foxhole” Christian (ran to God when I needed help).  Then I started attending CCC in 2011 at the prompting of a friend.  My life began to change drastically and all for the good.  I began down the road of developing a relationship with God.  Amazing miracles began to happen and I can look back now and see the well orchestrated plan that had been put into place.  I could see how God had been perusing me for years.  I was re-baptized in 2013, accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

-Karen Sweeney

100 Word Essay

intersections banner

If you’re joining us in the middle of all these posts let me explain what 100 Word Essay is all about.  About 80 people are taking a class on sharing the Gospel called Intersections.  Each week we challenge participants to step up to something practical they can do to build their skills and confidence.  Last week the challenge was to compose their 100 Word Essay – the rough and ready short version of their spiritual journey of coming to faith in Jesus.  If you’ve tripped onto this blog, you’ll find tons of stories as you scroll down.  You’ll also see the 100 Word Essay tag to the right on this page.  That will direct you to more stories from past participants.  Enjoy!  The guy going down on an airplane is admittedly the only one like it I’ve ever read.  And I’ve read a lot of these!  Thank goodness that’s not everyone’s spiritual journey.  But so glad God worked in Dave’s life!  Makes you wonder how may other people on that flight prayed that same prayer…. and where makes you wonder where they are today!  Keep reading!  If you get inspired send me YOUR 100 Word Essay!  timp@cccomaha.org

 

Did the ark have a water-pump?

I come to a relationship with Christ through a friend who devoted all his extra time to doing things with me.  Once when he and I were working on his car replacing his water pump he asked from underneath the car,  “Do you think the ark had a water pump?”  I asked him why he would even ask me such a question since I wasn’t very mechanical. This started my journey to ask and search for answers that he could always answer. That was 1985.

In February of that year I was at a believers baptism at the Evangelical Free Church in Fremont.  An 85 yr old lady whose lawn I mowed decided to get baptized.  She said some nice things about how I’d helped her.  When she was submerged, I felt like I rose 2 ft off my chair.  My wife asked me if I felt OK.   I told her what happened and she told my friend who was sitting there.  He stepped out with me and as we prayed I asked Jesus into my heart. Crazy huh?

-Ken

 

Raised Catholic, never read my Bible.

I was raised a Catholic,never read my bible, trying to earn my way to heaven,always thinking I was never going to make it.  A friend invited me to Faith Evangelical free  Church.  I learned a lot & invited Jesus Christ into my life in 1983.  I hungered to learn the Bible.   God used people, bible studies, & books to help me. I  had miracles, a lot of answered prayers, dreams from God that came true & the Holy Spirit has helped me, used me to witness, & help others.  I have a personal relationship with our Amazing God.  I have learned God has more love than humans & will never leave me.

-Betty

 

I needed a Savior – 302 Words!

My life was one of joy but laced with unbalanced pain experienced from the past. My shattered heart ached and was hardened. I felt rejected, unloved and devalued. I promoted myself to king and ruled over my kingdom with anger, an unforgiving spirit, pride, shame, and guilt . I followed religion, embraced materialism, and gambled my eternity on good works.  Only by God’s grace and His love led myself and my free will to CCC.  Once there, my eyes were opened to a wounded heart that needed rescued, redeemed, and restored. I needed a Savior.

My first encounter with Jesus at CCC were the many nameless faces that directed traffic, poured the coffee, passed the collection plate, whispered prayers, led bible studies, sang songs, and preached the good news. I observed and listened intently. I saw and heard the voice of love and acceptance in the church. Jesus was in this place.. After much prayer, journey groups, and devotion to scripture, I met Jesus in the Word- loving, leading, reaping, teaching, rebelling, praying, pleasing, serving, sacrificing, dying, and resurrecting for me- a sinner. My savior is love..

After hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ, I opened my heart and repented, accepted, believed, trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Baptized shortly after, I died to my self and became a new creation in Christ. I am healed, forgiven by His blood, and granted eternal life through His death and resurrection.. I have removed myself from the self imposed throne of pride and I kneel at His feet. My Savior reigns.

Everybody is born into this world under the reign of a King who is past, present, and future. Everybody leaves this world whether or not he chooses to be under the King’s reign or not. I follow Jesus. My Savior is Eternal.

-Barb

 

I thought I would someday become a Catholic Priest.

I feel I have always been with the Lord.  I was raised as a Catholic in a mostly Catholic neighborhood of South Omaha.  During grade school and high school, I thought I would become a Catholic priest.  During my senior year in high school, my religion teacher started me thinking deeply about the Catholic faith. For the first time that I remember, I started questioning.

Trice, my wife and I met and wanted to be married.  Trice didn’t want to marry in the Catholic Church so Trice and I started searching for another church.  We found that the Lutheran Church was close to what the Catholics believed so we were married there.  After awhile we started searching because we didn’t feel comfortable.

We walked into Community Covenant Church close to our home and were very warmly welcomed.  This made us feel uncomfortable because this was an atmosphere we weren’t use to.  After awhile we knew we were at the right place for us.  Over the years, Community Cov has helped me to come closer to Christ in many ways. I think it was and is mostly the people in the Covenant that taught me about what the bible might really be saying.

I was taught and read myself about what Jesus said about “believing in Him”. We (I) can’t be good enough to please a perfect being. We (I) need to stop trying and accept the gift He gave us (me). This I have done.

-Ken

100 Word Essay

intersections banner

As the plane was diving, I laid my sins in God’s hands!

During the Viet Nam war we were leaving Japan for Thailand on an Air Force plane with 52 people on board. Three  minutes after take off we were still climbing  when one of the engines exploded trailing flames for many feet.  The plane started a serious dive for the ocean at a very high rate of speed and a steep dive angle, which would have ended in certain death. With God’s help the Pilot was able to extinguish the flames and regained control of the airplane within 100 feet of the ocean. During the dive  I laid my sins and prayers in God’s hands.  The effect of prayer was immediate and very calming. The return to Japan was uneventful but the moment was unforgettable.

-David

 

I liked the teaching, but didn’t want to pay the price.

I was raised in a Christian home.  I liked the teaching but didn’t want to pay the price.  I struggled to believe.  I tried to hide from God, expecting punishment for doing that.  In love, grace, mercy, and blessings, He pursued me.  One day, without thinking much about my Spiritual status, my mouth confessed; my heart believed, and I knew that it is finished.  My life got out of control soon after.  In brokenness and surrendered.  I found my freedom and God gave me new mercy everyday to get back up where I was failing.  He saves me from who I am and He shapes me to whom He wants me to be.

-Tini

 

Surrendered!

It was in the 1980s – my wife and  I were raising a family of 4 boys.  Money was very tight, our marriage was struggling and I began drinking more frequent.  We attended Trinity Baptist church off and on and Pastor Weightman took attention to me and my family.  Sometimes he would stop over to see us and talk to me about life.  He told me how Jesus loves us all and how he died for our sins.  Some weeks later during service the song “COME AS YOU ARE” played and Pastor called for people to step into the light of Jesus.  I finally broke down and came forward to surrender my life to Jesus.

-Thomas

 

100 Word Essays…

intersections banner

I sincerely believed I was a Christian.

After graduating from Bible School I took a job in my home church as the Christian EducationDirector. While there I felt an increasing great emptiness and void in my life.  I had  been somewhat aware of this during the years in Bible School and even before.

I sincerely believed that I was a Christian. I knew I was a sinner and that Jesus died for my sins so I assumed I was was “saved”.  I knew He was the creator of everything. However, the God I experienced was a far off God – way up there someplace looking down from heaven.  Kind of like a rancher admiring his huge herd of cattle.  I was just one of the herd.  He never paid much attention to me.

God brought the scripture to my mind, “Ask and you shall receive,…”  So that’s what I did.  I asked that the emptiness and void I felt be filled.  Through the years He has bountifully answered!  I began to notice some changes.  The Bible was beginning to come alive!  I began to realize that GOD LOVED ME!! Little ‘ole me!  If I’d been the only sinner there ever was Jesus would have given his life for just me!  I realized that I had never ever KNOWN HIM personally before.  I knew ABOUT Him, but now I KNOW Him.  He is my friend and He is always with me.

-Lela

 

Parents divorced, car accident, lost my daughter.  God’s still at work!

I grew up in a family that didn’t go to church or read the Bible.  My  parents ended up divorcing and that was the start of a  change in my life.  We started  moving around a lot.  When I was in high school I was  invited to a Campus Life group. That was my first encounter of  learning  about God.  The seed was planted there.  Than we  moved again and all that got left behind.

Later in life I was in a car accident with my brother driving.  He ended up in jail believing I was dead.  I was taken to the hospital where one of the first things I remembered was the doctor saying I was lucky to be alive.  I started  going to different churches to learn more about  God – a change in the pathway of my life.

I look  back and know I am only here because of  God at work in my life.  It took till later in life (after my daughter passed away) that I was finally baptized.  I’ve left a lot of details out, otherwise this would be a book!  One thought always keeps coming to my mind:  “God do not  tell me  you  are there  if you are not.”  You’ve got to think hard about the meaning of that!

-Pat

 

No Defining Moment

I’m part of theat 80% of believers who doesn’t have a defining moment of becoming a believer.  There is no date, there is no substance abuse, there is no broken relationship, there is no “hitting bottom”.  Rather my coming to faith has been a life-long journey.  I grew up in a Christian home, attended Sunday School and church services every week.  I have a stack of perfect attendance certificates from years of Sunday School.  I grew up learning Bible stories, memorizing Bible verses, attending three years of catechism, being confirmed, and having my first communion.

As I’ve matured, I realize this was all a good base to start, but I also realize my journey is continually growing, stretching, expanding, challenging, and will never end.  My love for Jesus will never be complete because I’m constantly learning more.  My life verse:  Romans 12:1-2 – Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

– Douglas

 

Missing something but didn’t know what it was.

I was not raised in the church. In my late 20’s and early 30’s I felt like I was missing something but didn’t know what it was.  I tried “church” for a few years but judged myself and everyone else by the ability to follow Gods laws.  Don’t break the rules. Unhappy and disappointed, I walked away.  For the next several years I even doubted God was real.  Even after my marriage was on the brink of divorce I doubted.  My husband, Jeff and I decided to try to make things work.  He began attending CCC.  I still doubted.  I started watching online about 6 months later and eventually started attending most weekends with Jeff, although still questioning.  I began to see real changes in Jeff and begged for God to speak to me so I could understand Him more.  We went to Hawaii for our 20th wedding anniversary as part of a Christian retreat and while we were worshiping one afternoon near the beach with a few members from the group Mercy Me.  They sang a new song that had not been released yet, Wishful Thinking.  During that song it was if God was singing it to me himself.  I turned to Jeff and said “I get it now”.

-Angie

 

Finally realized how magnificent God is!

Two men at the place where I worked started a Bible study class during our lunch hour, so I joined.  We studied the book Corinthians.  I’d never read the Bible before as I was raised Catholic, but I saw my mother’s amazing faith everyday.   Then a friend asked if I wanted to visit some folks with her.  That night in their kitchen I asked Christ into my heart, I cried like a baby.  Since then I did a lot of backsliding.  Years ago I had a dream that my dad told me he disowned me and he never wanted to see me again.  I’ve never cried so hard, these were gut cries right to my soul thinking that my dad would turn away from me.  Never had I felt so alone.  I had to call him just to hear him tell me he did love me, but that dream never left me.

It wasn’t until I started going to Christ Community women’s Bible studies and services that I really deep down in my heart realized how magnificent God really was.  Here’s the thing, whenever I read about Jesus dying on the cross and His Father turning away from Him holding my sins, THAT had to be the most excruciating pain Jesus must have gone through…for me….for you…for all.

-Sue

100 Word Essay…

booklet front cover

At Intersections tonight we’re going to be talking about the importance of telling your story.  In the next week, our goal is to mob this CCC Blog with as many 100 word essays as we can – workshop participants will be writing up their stories and submitting them as a part of their homework.

Sharing our story of coming to faith in Christ is the big, red Easy-Button of evangelism.  It should just flow out of us.  Like a glass of water filled to the very tippy top.  Just bump us…and out it should come.  Here’s what Jesus means to me…  Here’s the story of how I went from not knowing or following Jesus, to Jesus being the very center of my identity!  Within a few days you’re gonna see tons of examples, but here are a couple from the dozens and dozens of stories I have archived.  As you read, think to yourself – I wonder what my 100 word story would read like?  If you feel adventuresome, send me yours via E-mail:  timp@cccomaha.org

According to my own bylaws!

Before I decided to trust in God, I lived my life according to my own bylaws.   I made mistake after mistake, until it led me to a 3 night stay in jail. Going through all that humiliation made me decide to turn back to school and take it seriously.  School led me to the woman of my dreams and she in return led me back to God. When I became a Christian again, everything just seemed to begin to fall into place. All of this has led me to this moment in my life where I want to get baptized.

-Jeff

I accepted Jesus when I was in high school.

I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was in high school. I have walked with God for over four decades.  Recently I began a journey of becoming closer to God; listening to Him and discerning His voice. I have a desire for God to dwell in me. Like David did in Psalm 17:8, I asked God to draw me so close that I would be the apple of His eye. God has spoken to my heart and told me to be baptized. I cannot help but to obey.  So today I come joyfully to be baptized as an act of obedience, to demonstrate my love for God, to publicly declare my faith in God and to affirm my identity with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.    Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psa 17:8 NIV)

-Barb

Wanna read more stories?  Just look over to the right and hit on the 100 Word Essay tag, and bunches of them will pop up!

Intersections is coming!

intersections_announcement

One week from today we kick off a four-week training experience called Intersections.  Intersections is a way to grow in every aspect of being a more effective spokesperson for the Christian faith.  We’ll look at how to use our story in sharing the Gospel with others.  We’ll check out a new tool called Big Story that summarizes the message of Christianity in a convenient app that you can download to your device. We’ll practice simple skills like asking good questions.  We’ll also unbox a seeker discussion group tool called Christianity Explored.  With all this packed in to the workshop, we have to charge a mere $10 for the materials participants will receive and use.  The link to register on-line is below.  If you don’t yet have a MyCCC Account with Christ Community, it’s worth the couple extra minutes to sign up so you can pay on-line and be ready to go for the workshop.  If you have any questions about Intersections, feel free to give me a shout.  Tim Perry – timp@cccomaha.org

To register for Intersections:  http://cccomaha.org/newsfeed.php?id=1790