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Men's blog

Archive for January 2014

Real Win Men’s Group

Real Win tackles an important topic for men. In a culture that is all about the pursuit of success, “this Bible study challenges men to aim for the real win–to strive for the kind of success that comes from trusting God and serving Him.”

Follow NCAA and NFL quarterback Colt McCoy and Matt Carter as they hunt and fish for game and use their hunting experiences as illustrations to talk about the primary themes of each session. Even if you’re not a hunter, these sessions are very engaging.

Led by Greg Vander Vorst / gdvandervorst@yahoo.com.
7PM / Tuesday / C118 / Begins 2.18
Visit: http://austinstone.org/therealwin

Men of Integrity

This class helps men address lust in a safe, supportive, grace-filled environment that promotes honesty with self, others and God.

Contact: Marc Montanye / marcm@cccomaha.org

New arrivals are welcome any week.
For information, visit findintegrity.com.

Meets at the Old Mill campus / Tuesdays / 7 PM / 404 S 108 St / Omaha / 68154

Who Do You Say I Am?

“Describe the God you’ve rejected. Describe the God you don’t believe in. Maybe I don’t believe that God either”
~ Timothy Keller

Reading this quote, as well as some recent conversations I have had with people, made me think about how confused we are with who God is. More specifically with whom Jesus is. And this confusion is not something that only affects our generation. You see, confusion was something that those who walked with Jesus also experienced. Clearly Jesus was someone special, but people were confused as to who He was.

In his gospel, Matthew records an incident when Jesus was with His disciples and asks them what had to be a startling question, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13). Their answer shows how confused the people were about Jesus. “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:14). It seems that most agreed that Jesus was a unique person, but was He a prophet? Was He a teacher? Was He a spiritual guru? Or was He some disillusioned man that had a large following?

After listening to their answer, Jesus gets to the heart of the matter and asks a probing question that hits to the core of the individual, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15). So, let me ask you, who do you say Jesus is? Is He just a prophet? Is He just a teacher? Is He just a spiritual guru? Is He just a disillusioned man? Is He just a nice guy? If this is who you think Jesus is, consider this, what if you’re wrong? What if He is so much more?

If you are unsure who Jesus is, this week, let your prayer be this simple question, “Who are you, Lord?” Let this be the moment that you begin your personal journey with Jesus and discover who He really is. Let the answer to the question “Who are you, Lord?” change your life.

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

The Power & Beauty of a Band of Brothers

“Not since the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan has the silver screen given us such intensive, graphic combat carnage as Lone Survivor, which opened in theaters this weekend. Nevertheless, it is worth seeing for its ennobling message about courageous manhood and the amazing power and beauty of a band of brothers on mission.” – See more at: http://www.authenticmanhood.com/blog/lone-survivor-the-power-and-beauty-of-a-band-of-brothers

Stepping Up Class

Dennis Rainey has been writing and speaking about courageous manhood for over 10 years. Now he, along with Tony Dungy, Matt Chandler, and other renowned ministry leaders, digs deeper into what it means to be a godly, courageous man with the Stepping Up video series.

Stepping Up Class:
Saturday Mornings 8:30- 10 AM, beginning Jan. 25 for 10 weeks in C117 at the Old Mill Campus.
Contact Paul Burch at paulburch@outlook.com.

Doubting (Part 4)


I began this study with the premise that each of us experiences doubt in our Christian walk. You may have felt that God was absent from your life during a difficult circumstance or situation. Perhaps you’re in despair over the way things are currently going in your life. Whatever it is, whatever is causing you pain, whatever is causing you sadness, whatever it is that is causing you despair; all of these feelings can lead to doubt. Now doubt is not necessarily a bad thing and can serve as a means for you to seek God more deeply and increase your faith in Jesus. As we close out this study, I want to put doubt into perspective by looking at one biblical narrative. By doing this, my hope is that it will help each of us better understand the nature of doubt and enable us to handle it more effectively in our lives.

Think about the first Good Friday. Think of it as it was for the first disciples of Jesus; not for us on this side of Easter. Imagine how these first followers of Jesus must have felt. They had given up everything to follow Him. Their lives were centered around Him. He had all the answers to their questions. Then, in front of their eyes, He was crucified and died a criminal‘s death. What do you think was going through their minds? What do you think Saturday was like for them? I wonder if they were thinking Jesus failed, He didn’t get enough followers. He wasn’t the man He said He was. Where was God? Why was He silent? None of them probably want to admit this, but they must have been filled with doubt.

The death of Jesus shows us how unreliable experience and feelings can be regarding the presence of God in our lives. The first disciples didn’t feel the presence God, so they concluded that He was absent from the scene. This turned to doubt. But, the resurrection of Jesus would overturn that doubt. In fact, Jesus promised earlier that He would be raised to life on the third day after his crucifixion (Matthew 20:17-19). Yet, in the confusion, in the despair, in the hurt, in the sorrow, in the desperation of the moment of Jesus’ death, that promise was forgotten and maybe even doubted. Experiences, feelings, emotions, and lack of understanding seemed to have caused the disciples to forget the promise spoken to them by Jesus, a promise that would have erased the Saturday doubt they experienced.

You see, the first Good Friday reminds us of the need to trust and find rest in the divine promises made to us. Promises like, our sins are forgiven (Matthew 9:2). Promises like, He will give you rest for your soul and His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30). Promises like all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27). Promises like, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Or for me, the promise to “be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). What about you? In what promises from God do you find rest, comfort and peace? What promise do you look to when doubt begins to permeate your thoughts and you have a perceived absence of God?

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Doubting (Part 3)


I’m a black and white person. I don’t deal well with the gray areas of life. The struggle for me is that my faith in God has to live in the gray area of my life. I struggle with this because I feel that I need to be absolutely certain, that I ought to be able to prove everything before I fully believe in God. I want some sort of sign. I’m like Thomas who said, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fingers where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). I love Jesus’ response to Thomas, “Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” (John 20:27). In other words, stop doubting! Have faith!

Here’s the thing, we cannot see Jesus, and we cannot touch him or demand that he give a public demonstration his existence. We want these things; we want a sign; we want proof; we want some sort of confirmation, and we want to be convinced beyond any doubt that He is who he says he is. But, the only way we can truly know Jesus is through faith, and to believe in Him demands a leap of faith. This is not a leap into a dark abyss, but a leap in which we can be confident that we will be caught safely by a loving God. Martin Luther put it this way, “faith is a free surrender and a joyous wager on the unseen, untried, unknown goodness of God.”

Faith is not certainty. Rather, “faith is basically the resolve to live our lives on the assumption that certain things are true and trustworthy, in the confident assurance that they are true and trustworthy, and that one day we will know with absolute certainty that they are true and trustworthy” (Alister McGrath). So, “Stop doubting and believe” (Matthew 20:27).

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Doubting (Part 2)


Doubt, like faith, is probably a permanent feature in our Christian life. It may not always be prominent in your relationship with God, but it does make its presence known. With this thought in mind, it will be of great benefit to us to have an understanding of where doubt within us comes from.

Alister McGrath points to two key areas of our lives regarding doubt: Human sinfulness and human frailty. So, to understand doubt in the right perspective, we need to see ourselves in the right perspective – we are finite, sinful people, and that limits what we can be sure about.

To begin with, part of understanding the proper context of doubt is that of our struggle with sin (Hebrews 12:4). This was true for me in my own life. Some years ago, I was struggling with a particular sin in my life. I prayed, I cried out to God for relief of this sin, but all I felt was silence from God. I wondered where God was at that time. In other words, I began to doubt. To this day, sin remains a lingering presence in my life, in all of our lives. To ignore it or pretend it isn’t there points to an inadequate understanding of the effects of our sinfulness, one of which is doubt – doubting the promises of God and mistrusting Him.

Doubt reflects the continued presence and power of sin in our lives, but it is not entirely correct to speak of sin as our only reason of doubt. Doubt is also a reflection of human frailty. As human beings, we operate under limits. There are many things that we cannot see or do simply because we are humans. Part of these limitations is that we are not fully able to grasp the things of God. Because we are unable to grasp something completely, we question if it is real. In other words, we doubt. Think of the stars in the sky. They don’t need darkness to exist, but we need darkness if we are going to see them and convince ourselves that they are there. So it is with God. Just like we can’t see the stars during the day, so our minds can’t take in the fullness of God. It is the way we see things, rather than the way things actually are, which is the problem. There are limits to what we can understand and prove. Understanding these limits is so important with our relationship with God, because in the end, doubt comes from our unrealistic expectations about certainty. Accepting these limitations is an essential step in reducing doubt in our Christian life.

Doubt is a reminder of the continued presence and power of sin in our lives as well as the limits to what we are able to understand and comprehend about God. Doubt doesn’t need to be the end all to our relationship with God. Rather, it should serve as a reminder of our need for grace and be a stepping stone for increasing our faith in God.

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

3 Places to Volunteer

Serving Opportunities:
Traffic Team:
The Traffic Team has immediate needs for help with parking. For information, contact Chris Raabe / email chrisraabe11@yahoo.com or call 402.618.3304 for more information.

Security Team:
The CCC Security Team provides a safe campus during services and other events. If you have interest or experience in security, contact Leo Wright / email lwrighttnmc@yahoo.com or call 402.290.8867 for more information.

Village One House Project:
Join the renovation and help paint, clean and finish trim work. Saturdays/ 8 AM – Noon/ 3526 Seward St. / Contact Eric Carpenter at ericc@cccomaha.org.