CCC blog

Posts Tagged ‘story’

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.



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!



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.



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.



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.”



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



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.



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!!!!



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!


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?



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.



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.



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.


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.



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.




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.



The Story of a Roadside Memorial

“Daddy, look! A Pinwheel!”

Duncan squealed with glee at the sight of the pinwheel as we waited at the stop light. I looked over and saw the pinwheel, amidst the makeshift memorial for some unknown person. As habit, I said a brief prayer for the unknown victim’s family and friends.

Since moving into our home, in the fall of 2006, I’ve driven through the 132nd & Blondo intersection thousands of times. I stick to the same pattern when driving on it. When heading west on Blondo, people usually get in the left lane since the road goes from four lanes to two soon after the intersection. This can cause backup at the intersection, so people will line up in the right lane attempting to speed ahead of all the cars in the left lane. The cars in the left lane don’t want to be passed, so they speed ahead as well trying to not let the cars in the right lane merge. All while doing this at 40-50 mph in a metal object. (more…)

Online Campus: Abby Anderson in Ukraine

One of the cool things with the Online Campus is connecting with people all around the world. Abby Anderson is one of those individuals for me. I didn’t know her before we launched the Online Campus, but now? I know her and a bit of her story. She serves in the Peace Corps over in Ukraine. She got connected to the Online Campus because a friend of hers posted about it on Facebook.

I asked Abby if she’d be willing to share some of her story, and the connection to the Online Campus. She graciously agreed, and produced this video. (Thanks Abby!)

One of the Most Dangerous Questions to Ask

Since I’ve started my role as the Online Campus Pastor, one of the best things has been all the people I’ve been meeting. It’s dominated my time, meeting with people who are interested in helping out, in some capacity, with the Online Campus.

In meeting with people, and getting to know them, we get to know more about each other. Inevitably, my story of overcoming addiction comes up in most of these conversations, and people feel comfortable sharing with me their own stories. Their own joys and heartbreaks.

I like this. I like getting to know people beyond the superficial. It can lead to some interesting conversations.


The Biography of Jesus

So if the best way for people to get introduced to Jesus is to let him speak for himself, what does that mean for people seeking spiritual truth? At a minimum it means getting Jesus himself in front of us as the subject. It means setting aside our theories about him and investigating the evidence for him. It means getting as close as we can humanly speaking to his words and actions. What did he tell people? What was their reaction? What decisions did he make about where he went, how he spent his time?

If Christians could show people THAT Jesus, we’d be so much more interesting to people curious about his life. People wouldn’t hear our spin on Jesus. They’d hear Jesus himself! No hype. No exaggeration. Everything about him, not what us Christians think others would find interesting. You’d be surprised at how interesting it gets when people actually encounter the Jesus the reporters of his day wrote stories about.

That’s what the power of a live story does! The biography of Jesus is nothing less than a running travelogue trying to keep up with the worlds most brilliant spiritual authority. That’s what we’re trying to capture with the Jesus Class that starts this week at CCC.

Thanks Ed!

Hello Tim,

Below is my 100 Word Challenge. I found several thoughts flowing through my head, and then Christ helped me type the following:

Before I became an active follower of Christ, I had to win, I was judgmental towards others, and I was worried about what others thought. After accepting Christ, I realize that He is the victor of all, including death! I have given my worries to Him, and He takes care of them. I leave the judging to Christ, which gives me more opportunities to help others. It does not matter what people think of me. I live for Christ, and He accepts all to join His winning team!

I purposely left this story to be generic because I want to be questioned those I share it with. From the DVD, I learned that we do not need to overkill the listener with detail. We provide highlights in our story leaving some gaps. The gaps will be filled by answering questions of our listeners. If there are no questions, they are not ready for more information, and I pray that my story gets them closer to Christ.

Thank you for the workshop Saturday. I had an enlightening experience!

In Christ,