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Portrait- A Girl’s Weekend

Nail polish, chocolate, crafts, hair braiding & sleeping bags.  This can only mean one thing – GIRLS RETREAT!  Recently the HS girls at CCC spent a weekend together, taking a deep look at their portrait & discovering who they are in Christ.   Of all the issues girls face throughout their teenage years, I’ve found identity, self–image, & purity to be the biggest struggles.  Thankfully, we have a loving God who meets us where we’re at & speaks into these issues with truth, grace, & healing.  
Here are a few thoughts & pictures from the retreat…
What does God see?
  
When God looks at our portrait, what does He see?  Unfortunately, many of us assume God looks at us with disappointment.  He sees our mistakes, our flaws, our failures & shakes His head with frustration.  This actually is far from the truth.  If we put our faith in Christ, God claims us as His own.  We are His daughters.  We are royalty – daughters of a KING!   In Mark chapter 5, Jesus embraces an opportunity to draw attention to a sick woman who had been isolated for years.  In faith she reached out to touch the robe of Jesus, believing He could heal her.  And He did!  But then something even more amazing happens – in front of a crowd of people, He calls her daughter, meeting the deepest needs of her heart.  What does God see?  He sees daughters!  We are made  in the image of our Father & unconditionally loved by Him.
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What do you see?
 
When you look at your portrait, what do you see?  If most of us were honest, the list of things we wish we could change would far exceed the things we love about ourselves.  When we look in the mirror, we see physical flaws & feel the weight of not measuring up to the magazine model.  But we also see the deeper flaws.  The secrets we hold inside, the regrets & mistakes we’ve made along the way.  In Colossians 1 it says, “God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  Often we forget who we are.  We focus on the list of things we wish we could change & forget about the power within us – Christ in us!  Not only are we forgiven, but we have a new identity & the power of the Holy Spirit resides within us.  Forget about the dead, sinful nature, & begin to focus on “Christ in you” – this is transforming power!
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What do others see?
 
When others look at your portrait, what do they see?  We ask these questions far too often.  What do others see?  What do others think?  What do others say?  If we aren’t careful, the “people pleasing” questions can define us.  And it quickly becomes overwhelming & exhausting.  How often are the things we do motivated by the perception of people around us?  Our goal should not be to please people, but rather to reflect Jesus!  This is our true identity.  Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God & Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
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Love Songs- Worship Series

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Series Overview

When it comes to dating, purity, & marriage one thing’s for sure – the choices you make now will affect your future.  There are rewards, there are consequences, but also grace.  God’s Word tells us one thing, the culture tells us another, & the pressures are endless.  In this series we’ll talk about how to pursue a healthy & God-honoring path when it comes to dating, purity, & the ultimate goal of marriage.

 

Week 1: Purity (April 7)

Recently, the media has been poking fun at Bachelor Sean, calling him “the virgin bachelor.”  Is being a virgin until marriage something to make fun of or something to celebrate?  And, beyond just having sex or not having sex before marriage, what other plans does God have for my sexuality?  God is not anti-sex, but he has set up some wonderfully amazing guidelines that help keep us from pain and lead us toward great relationships

 

Week 2: Dating (April 14)

To date or not to date, that is the question.  For high school students, this is an important question to ask.  Is dating a good thing?  Is dating a bad thing?  Is there a “right way” to date?  What are the benefits?  What are the consequences?  And most importantly, what does the Bible have to say about it?  This morning we’ll explore the topic of dating & how to approach it in a healthy way.

 

Week 3: Marriage (April 21)

“Jesus, I’m cool with you returning, just please let me get married and have sex first!”  There are some people who think the institution of marriage is an outdated tradition.  There are other people who place all their value in marriage with the hopes of finding the person who perfectly completes them one day.  The Bible is clear that God has an amazing plan for each of our lives – how do we live now so that we can best experience that amazing plan not only today, but also all throughout our lives?

Week 4: The Wedding (April 28)

Get dressed up, rent a tux, break out that old prom dress, do whatever you have to do to prepare yourself for what could potentially be the best time you’ve ever had in your life! Have questions? Good! Like CCC High School Ministry on Facebook or follow us on twitter at @CCC_HSM to find out details as they come!

 

Stuck- Worship Series

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Series Overview

Whether it’s in traffic, in the mud, or in a rut, no one likes to be stuck.  It’s likely that you’ve felt stuck in your faith at some point also.  In the Stuck series, we’ll be discussing some of the big questions people have about Christianity.  Questions that especially when we face them head on in our own life, we can get “stuck” on.  From a good God allowing bad things to happen, to evolution, and lots more, this series will inform your mind and heart as you seek to get un-stuck in areas of your faith as well as help your friends around you who may also be stuck.

 

Week 1: Why Would a Good God Allow Bad Things to Happen? (March 3)

Week 1 kicks off with possibly the most asked question about the character of God.  If he’s all powerful and loving, why would he allow bad things to happen?  During this week, we’ll spend some time reflecting on what the Bible and experience says about this tough topic, as well as talk about some ways we can apply this head knowledge to everyday situations we and our friends face.

 

Week 2: Does God Really Exist? (March 10)

In a world that is driven by tangible evidence to prove truth, does God really exist when we can’t see or touch Him? How can we know that God is really there? Where’s the evidence that proves God exists? Join us this morning as we discuss how to know if God is real.

 

Week Three: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (March 17)

Allah, Elohim, Baha, Adi Purush, Ahura Mazda, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, Embu, Adonai.  All religions have gods, but how do we know that the God of the Bible is true?  We know that the world was created by God, but how do we know it wasn’t a God that one of the other religions worship?  How does what scientists say fit in with what the God of the Bible says?Join us this morning as we tackle how to prove that the God of the Bible is the only true God.

 

Week Four: Freshmen YOTM- Jesus and the Resurrection (March 24)

This morning the Freshmen will be running the show! The Freshman “You Own The Morning” is going to take on the questions of “Is Jesus really the Son of God?” and “Did the Resurrection really happen?” and then we’ll explore how that applies to us as we celebrate that resurrection at Easter.

 

Week Five: EASTER- NO HIGH SCHOOL WORSHIP (March 31)

NEXT Event- Information on Fasting

On February 22-23, 2013, Christ Community Church Student Ministry will be hosting an event called NEXT.  This is a combined middle school and high school event, and we will also be hosting youth groups from other C&MA churches in the area. Students will be doing activities, praying and fasting in order to see God’s heart for the world as well as people around them!  We are asking students to fast from food during this weekend.  We would like them to begin their fast during the day on Friday, fasting during lunch at school and continuing to abstain from food until the event ends on Saturday at 5 PM. Fasting often raises questions, so as a Student Ministry, we want to shed some light on the area of fasting in order to quell the fears of students and parents and to bring some clarity to this often misunderstood spiritual discipline!

Is Fasting Safe?

Most Students can go 30 hours without eating with no side effects whatsoever.  We are asking that students bring juices to supplement some of the nutrition during the fast, but a 30 hour fast is perfectly safe for middle school and high school students.

Where is Fasting mentioned in the Bible?

Fasting is mentioned often in the Bible.  A few examples are Israelites fasting to repent of their sins in Nehemiah 9:1, church leaders fasting to worship in Acts 13:2, and of course Jesus fasting to prepare for his public ministry in Matthew 4:2. For a more complete list, see resources listed below.

Why are students fasting for NEXT?

We are asking students to fast for a few different reasons:

  • Worship: Fasting is a wonderful way to focus on God.  As students abstain from food, they will feel hungry. When they feel hungry, they are encouraged to see each feeling of hunger as an opportunity to remember why they are fasting.  At the NEXT event, they are fasting to worship God, so each time they feel hungry, it will be a reminder to pray and worship God for who He his.
  • Experience: Fasting in the Bible is described as a commonly practiced spiritual discipline.    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins his teaching on fasting by saying, “when you fast…”.  This implies He is addressing a crowd that regularly engages in fasting. Students today don’t often have the opportunity to fast, as it’s not something supported by our consumerist culture.  We want to give students the opportunity to fast and practice this spiritual discipline.
  • Empathize: One of the focuses of the NEXT event is to have and develop a missional perspective of the world.  This missional perspective leads us to serve and minister to people who are dealing with hunger and starvation in Omaha as well as all over the world.  Many of our students don’t know what it’s like to go without food, and this opportunity to fast will help students understand, to a small extent, what someone who doesn’t have access to food goes through on a regular basis.

Will it be Hard to do?

    Fasting is intended to cause some discomfort.  The hunger pangs that occur during the 30 hour fast will serve as reminders of the purpose of the weekend and will, overall, contribute to the experience.  Although there will be some discomfort that comes with hunger, the program of the weekend will help students stay busy enough that they won’t be sitting around the entire time thinking about how hungry they are.  So yes, it will be tough to go 30 hours without food, but certainly not impossible and it probably won’t be as tough as most students think it will!

For More Information on Fasting:

What does the Bible Say about fasting?

Another Resource:

 

58-Worship Series


Series Overview

We live in a world where it’s become socially cool to get behind a cause.  From the over 2,000,000 pairs of Toms given out around the world to the increased awareness of many social issues, we’ve taken a good step.  But, as good as getting behind a cause is, is getting behind a cause really at the core of what God’s purpose for our lives?  In our 58 series, based on Isaiah 58:6-8 and compared with the life of the Apostle Paul, we’ll discover more of God’s heart for the world and the social issues we must do something about.  Even deeper, we’ll take a look into a more compelling purpose for our lives even than serving others.

 

Week 1: Encountering God (February 3)

Many followers of Jesus find it easier to “do” things for God than to simply “be” with God.  Yes, we eventually must get around to doing something, but the reality is that even God’s mission takes a back seat to the paramount goal of God himself.  Just like Paul encountered God on the road to Damascus, we’ll look back and review encounters we’ve had with God, with our goal of increasing the frequency and duration of those encounters.

 

Week 2: Listening to God (February 10)

It’s something that is so easy to say, but so hard to do.  Listening to God and hearing His voice is something that is so important, but done so rarely.  In our culture, there are hundreds of voices shouting different messages at us on a daily basis.  How do we know we are really hearing and responding to God’s voice? We’ll talk about how to hear God’s voice, and how to discern what He says over the other messages that normally shout so loud in Today’s society.

 

Week 3: Student Takeover (February 17)

This week we won’t be meeting in the Student Center for worship, we’ll be taking over all the CCC worship venues! From the Worship Center to Access to Bellevue Campus and the Online Campus, Students will be taking over and running everything! CCC values students as not just the future of ministry, but an integral part of ministry NOW.  Students will be doing things normally done by adults on a Sunday morning, from greeting to ushering, playing in the band and giving announcements!  If you want to sign up, you can do it on a Sunday morning or email Elizabeth Bartz at ElizabethB@cccomaha.org

 

Week Four: On Mission With God (February 24)

We’ll wrap up the series by discussing how we can be on mission with God.  If our faith is without action, the book of James tells us it’s dead.  God desires for us to be on mission with him – both in our personal lives and in the life of the greater community we’re all a part of.  We’ll look at Paul, who changed the course of the world with the mission God gave to him, as an inspiration to each of our lives.

 

Hot Button-Worship Series

Series Overview

A real faith intersects the real world.  A real faith is more than something we practice on Sundays and occasional other times.  And, a real faith shapes what we believe when it comes to some of the current and hot button topics of the day.  In our spring kickoff series called Hot Button, we’ll take a deeper look into 4 of the most current and relevant topics students face, as we help define what we believe and how we should live out that belief.

 

Week 1: Bullying (January 6)

A word that’s become a hot button word recently is bullying.  From Facebook to school hallways, bullying is something every student will face, observe, or cause.  In week 1 of this series, we’ll speak to students from each of the perspectives with the goal of giving hope to those who face it, courage for those who observe it, and love for those who cause it. 

 

Week Two: Homosexuality (January 13) 

There’s probably no bigger hot button issue right now than homosexuality.  As Christians, we have a unique role of believing homosexual activity is against God’s best for our lives, while at the same time being the ones whose heart is to love the homosexual community and even defend it’s members when facing unjust bullying.  During week 2, we’ll give a Biblical foundation for our beliefs on homosexuality, as well as discuss how we can respond to our world in truth and grace. 

 

Week Three: Other Religions (January 20)

Everyone believes in something. Some in Christ, others in Allah, and there are countless other people or things that everyone puts their faith in.  In the third week of this hot button series, Ken Castor, Youth Ministry Professor from Crown College will be talking about other religions and how we know that following Christ is right, and that the God of the Bible is true.

 

Week Four: Identity and Pornography (January 27) 

There is a plague of sexual brokenness that is sweeping our nation.  Pornography and self-image are two major contributors to this epidemic.  Join us this Sunday as we separate guys and girls and address these issues and how they pertain to us as Christians.  We will discuss these topics and take time to pray for each other in what is sure to be a powerful morning. 


Supernatural-Worship Series

 

Series Overview

Is there more to this world than what our senses can experience?  The vast majority of our world thinks so.  We’re obsessed with spiritually charged movies and TV series, horoscopes, angels, and the afterlife.  All this obsession has only led to more confusion.  During the Supernatural series, we’ll dive into some fascinating topics from the point of view of God’s Word as we look for truth from God, the real Supernatural.

 

Session 1: The Truth About Satan (November 11)

This past Halloween everyone probably saw at least one kid in a devil costume.  Life would certainly be much easier if the devil were a cute kid running around with horns and a pitchfork and could be appeased with free candy.  Unfortunately that’s not the case, so join us as we talk through Satan’s origins, his schemes, what our role is in the spiritual battle against Satan.

 

Nov. 18 / Fall Retreat – No HS worship

 

Session Two: Angels and Demons (November 25)

Everyone can think of the funny movie scenes where a person is caught between 2 decisions, and a mini angel on one shoulder is giving one opinion and a mini demon on the other shoulder is giving another opinion.  There’s a lot of confusion about the role and power of angels and demons, and we’ll tackle some of those topics this week.  We’ll also discuss the reality of the spiritual battle that’s continually going on all around us.

 

Session Three: The Holy Spirit (December 2)

We tend to think of the Holy Spirit as being this Star Wars like “force” – this new age kind of power residing all around us.  But, the Bible tells us he is God, he is a person, and as a member of the Trinity, has some HUGE roles he plays in our life.

 

Session Four: The Afterlife (December 9)

There’s not much that interests people more than the end times.  What happens to us when we die?  What events will happen at the end of the world?  These kinds of questions can cause worry and fear, but in the life of the Christian, they are an amazing opportunity to grow in our trust of God’s plan for our lives and the world as a whole.

 

Session Five: Q & A Week (December 16)

We know this series will leave you with TONS of questions.  All throughout the series, you’ll have the opportunity to ask any question they want related to Supernatural topics.  During this final week, we’ll have a panel up front to help give Biblical insight to some of these topics.

 

12/23  NO HS WORSHIP – CHRISTMAS

 

12/30  NO HS WORSHIP – NEW YEARS

 

unREAL-Worship Series

 

Series Overview

Incredible. Unbelievable. Extraordinary. Inconceivable. None of these words describe the work of Jesus quite like the word “miraculous”. The Unreal series will take us through four of the most instructive miracles in Jesus’ ministry and the lasting impact those lessons still have for today.

Session One: Jesus heals a Man Born Blind (October 14)

Many people think that our job as humans is to appease God and that if we do everything just right, he might just accept us.  We often times believe that if we can clean ourselves up enough, then we can come to God for salvation.  In the story of the man born blind, we’ll see how our beliefs about appeasing God are misconceptions, and that Jesus meets people where they’re at.

Session Two: Jesus Heals a Paralytic (October 21)

This amazing story about Jesus healing a paralytic gives each of us hope for the miraculous work God can and does in our lives.  He’s a both / and kind of God.  We learn that God can heal any physical condition we have.  AND, we learn that he can forgive and heal our sin problem as well! 

Session Three: Healing at the Pool (October 28)

This day in age, people use excuses for everything. Oftentimes we don’t want to own up to responsibility or mistakes.  As we look at the story of Jesus healing the man at the well, we will explore the excuses hurting people use to stay stuck where they are, and excuses people who are well use to avoid helping those who are hurt.

Session Four: Jesus Heals a Sick Woman (November 4)

In Mark chapter 5, Jesus heals a woman because of her faith.  Her faith went so deep, she thought, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.”  This morning, we’ll take a deep hard look at our own faith level.  Does it match the faith of the suffering woman?  Do we believe Jesus can really heal us from physical, mental, & emotional wounds?  Is there an area of your life that needs healing?  Do you have the faith to reach out & touch the clothes of Jesus?

Journey Group Kickoff!

Sunday night was pretty spectacular as we kicked off our 2012-2013 Journey Groups!  What a blessing it was to see leaders & students connecting.  We believe God has laid a foundation for tremendous growth in the lives of students this year.  Check out some of the highlights & pictures below…

We loaded buses & headed out to the Hofer home in Ft. Calhoun…

One of our favorite meals in High School Ministry is “taco in a bag”…

Students got pretty competitive with some games…

We had a bonfire & a photo booth set up for journey group pictures…

Check out the link below for the official photo booth pictures…
http://www.facebook.com/FotoFunSpot

Last but not least, the night concluded with an awesome fireworks show.  Here’s some set up that Justin Unrau & his team did beforehand…

And most importantly, students got to connect with friends & celebrate the start of the school year.  Looking forward to what God does in the year ahead…

Broken/Bought/Bound- Worship Series

 

 

Series Overview

During the Old Testament times, God often spoken to his people through prophets.  As time went on, these prophecies became more and more strange, as often times God would have a prophet enact out a physical representation of their prophecy.  From going around naked, to smashing clay pots, to wearing actual yokes, the prophets used these physical prophecies to give God’s message to ever hardening hearts.   During this series, we’ll take a look at some of these prophecies in hopes of learning lessons from the mistakes God’s people made.

 Session One: Jeremiah smashes the clay pot – sin messes up our lives (September 16)

 In Jeremiah 19, God asks his prophet Jeremiah to smash a clay pot to symbolize what is coming for God’s people.  In week 1, we’ll dive into this story as we talk about sin, and the effects it has on our lives and our relationships with God.

 Session Two: Jeremiah buys a worthless field – living with the expectation of hope (September 23)

 In Jeremiah 32, God asks Jeremiah to buy a worthless field.  In obedience, Jeremiah does it.  This came at a time when exile was on God’s people’s minds – buying that field was one of the first signs of hope that one day, God’s people would return from exile to the foreign lands they would live in.  We learn from Jeremiah’s odd purchase that we can also live lives with expectation of hope in God’s control and plan.

 Session Three: The work of Jesus- the deliverance of hope (September 30)

11th Grade You Own The Morning

This morning the Junior Class is leading the show!  Everything from worship, to creative elements, to announcements will be led by students.  And the message is the best in all the world.  The gospel changes everything.

 Session Four: Intertestamental Period (October 7)

This week is the time in our Project 4:4 year between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Join us as we review where we’ve been in the Old Testament, talk about what happened in the time period between the Old and New Testaments, and look ahead to what we’ll encounter as we read the New Testament.