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Preparing to Worship on Sunday, January 1, 2017

Preaching Passage: Matthew 15 This Sunday we will start back in our series on Matthew: The Gospel of the Kingdom. Come celebrate the resurrection of Christ with us as we see the tragic rejection of religious insiders and the joyous reception of outsiders. Here are the songs we will sing together: "Holy, Holy, Holy" by Dykes Heber(YouTube) "All Creatures of Our God a...

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Advent Devotional - December 24, 2016

"Come, Thou long expected Jesus / Born to set Thy people free / From our fears and sins release us / Let us find our rest in Thee" -Come Thou Long Expected Jesus The author of Hebrews encourages all Christians to "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (12:1). The Christian life in this fal...

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Advent Devotional - December 23, 2016

"Mild He lays His glory by / Born that man no more may die / Born to raise the sons of earth / Born to give them second birth" -Hark the Herald Angels Sing Everything that is born dies. Encouraging, right? But we know that it's the case: every flower born from a seedling, every family dog that we brought home as a puppy, every company that's ever been formed, every cou...

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Preparing for Worship on Sunday, December 25, 2016

Preaching Passage: Psalm 113 Sermon Title: Who Is Like the Lord? This Sunday we will conclude our Advent series by celebrating Christmas together. Come worship with us as we see and celebrate the Lord's kindness to us in sending Christ. Here are the songs we will sing together: "Joy to the World" by Handel Watts (YouTube) "Angels We Have Heard on High/Nothing but t...

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Advent Devotional - December 22, 2016

"Wondrous gift of heaven: the Father sends the Son / Planned from time eternal, moved by holy love / He will carry our curse and death He'll reverse / So we can be daughters and sons" -Who Would Have Dreamed One of the great mysteries of Christmas is that this was not a "plan B" for God. The history of the Old Testament is not just a group of misfits and false starts t...

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Advent Devotional - December 21, 2016

"O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer / Our spirits by Thine advent here / Disperse the gloomy clouds of night / And death's dark shadows put to flight." -O Come, O Come, Emmanuel While death has been a part of our world since Genesis 3, it was not so in God's original plan for the world. The discomfort we feel around death is a constant reminder that it is an intru...

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Advent Devotional - December 20, 2016

"Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace! / Hail the Sun of Righteousness! / Light and life to all He brings / Ris'n with healing in His wings" -Hark the Herald Angels Sing There's this wonderful line near the end of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. After a fierce battle, many injured men and women are suffering under a severe illness that cannot be cured by normal means....

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Advent Devotional - December 19, 2016

"Go tell it on the mountain / Over the hills and everywhere / Go tell it on the mountain / Jesus Christ is born" -Go Tell it on the Mountain This song is one that we can tend to sing rather casually, but in looking at the Scripture behind the lyrics, we can see that the shepherds' reaction to the news of Christ's birth is anything but casual: "When the angels went awa...

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Advent Devotional - December 18, 2016

"Joyful, all ye nations rise / Join the triumph of the skies / With the angelic host proclaim: / 'Christ is born in Bethlehem' / Hark! The herald angels sing / "Glory to the newborn King!" -Hark the Herald Angels Sing "But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish....The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep da...

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Advent Devotional

"Long lay the world in sin and error pining / Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth. / A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices / For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!" -O Holy Night Years...too many years. Ever since that first sin in the garden mankind had lain in sin. Generations had lived and died with plenty of joys and celebration, true. Weddings, bi...

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Advent Devotional - December 16, 2016

"Veiled in flesh the Godhead see / Hail the incarnate Deity / Pleased as man with man to dwell / Jesus, our Emmanuel" -Hark the Herald Angels Sing "Show me your glory," Moses requests of the LORD in Exodus 33:18. To be sure, this is an absurdly bold petition. And God kindly tells Moses in Exodus 33:20, "You cannot see my face and live." It is a kindness, because there ...

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Preparing for Worship on Sunday, December 18, 2016

Preaching Passage: Psalm 30 This Sunday we will continue our Advent series of looking at Christmas in the Psalms. Come join us as we look God's mercy in answering David's prayer and turning his mourning into dancing. Here are the songs we will sing together: "Joy to the World" by Handel Watts(YouTube) "O Come All Ye Faithful" by Oakley Wade(YouTube) "Amen, Amen" b...

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Advent Devotional - December 15, 2016

"This day is born a Saviour / Of a pure Virgin bright, / To free all those who trust in Him / From Satan's power and might. / O tidings of comfort and joy" -God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Luke 2:8-20 tells us how shepherds watching their flocks in a field suddenly became the first to hear God's comforting news to his distressed people of a rescuer: Jesus, whose very name ...

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Advent Devotional - December 14, 2016

"Adam's likeness now efface / Shine Thine image in its place / Second Adam from above, / Reinstate us in Thy love / Hark! The herald angels sing, / "Glory to the newborn King!" -Hark the Herald Angels Sing Throughout C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, human beings (as opposed to the other creatures in the world of Narnia) are referred to as "sons of Adam" and "daughter...

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Advent Devotional - December 13, 2016

"No more let sins and sorrows grow / Nor thorns infest the ground / He comes to make His blessings flow / Far as the curse is found" -Joy to the World At one point, the city of Pripyat, Ukraine was a busy and growing city, dotted by apartment buildings, pristine parks, and even an amusement park. The city was only officially established in 1979, but by 1986 there were ...

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Advent Devotional - December 12, 2016

"O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free / Thine own from Satan's tyranny / From depths of Hell Thy people save / And give them victory o'er the grave" -O Come, O Come, Emmanuel Of all the consequences of the Fall that we see around us every day, none of them affect us like death. Adam and Eve believed the serpent's slippery suggestion that "You will not surely die." But as th...

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Advent Devotional - December 11, 2016

"And in this Child we'll find our rest / And all the meek and lowly blest / An infant tongue could sing the hymn / Of Hallelujah and Amen / Amen, Amen / Amen, Amen / I found my life / I found my life in Him / Amen, Amen" -Amen, Amen Almost all good movies have a villain, and almost no movie has one as unlikable as Hilly Holbrook, the well-to-do socialite in the 2011 f...

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Advent Devotional - December 10, 2016

"Israel's strength and consolation / Hope of all the earth Thou art / Dear desire of every nation / Joy of every longing heart" -Come Thou Long Expected Jesus We all have "longing hearts"wanting things the world cannot perfectly provide. We are confronted daily with our weakness, our frailty, our unmet desires, and our yearning for that which makes us feel whole. Much ...

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Advent Devotional - December 9, 2016

"Who would have dreamed or ever foreseen / That we could hold God in our hands? / The Giver of Life is born in the night / Revealing God's glorious plan / To save the world" -Who Would Have Dreamed (This is a new song for us at CFC this year. But it is filled with profound and beautifully written lyrics.) It almost sounds blasphemous at first. How can a human being pr...

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Preparing for Worship on Sunday, December 11, 2016

Preaching Passage: Psalm 62 This Sunday we will continue our Advent series of looking at Christmas in the Psalms. Come join us as we look to God alone, the one for whom our souls wait and long. Here are the songs we will sing together: "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" by Coffin, Helmore, Neale (YouTube) "Who Would Have Dreamed" by Hansen Kauflin (YouTube) "What Child Is ...

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Advent Devotional - December 8, 2016

"O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant / O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem / Come and behold Him, born the king of angels / O come let us adore Him" -O Come All Ye Faithful Just imagine how it must have felt to be one of the shepherds on the night of Christ's birth. A multitude of angels appearing would alone have been a spectacle. But to witness them, in all t...

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Advent Devotional - December 7, 2016

"He rules the world with truth and grace / And makes the nations prove / The glories of His righteousness / And wonders of His love" -Joy to the World Isaac Watts wrote "Joy to the World" in 1719 as a meditation on Psalm 98. Thus the words of what has become a beloved Christmas song were actually written to celebrate not the coming of Jesus on that first Christmas but Hi...

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Advent Devotional - December 6, 2016

"Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; / Jesus, to thee be all glory given; / Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: / O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord." -O Come All Ye Faithful What a truth-packed verse32 words that capture John's confession in John 1:14 in its entirety. Not just that God took on flesh, but that God lived among us. The word t...

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Advent Devotional - December 5, 2016

"The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger / In all our trials born to be our friend" -O Holy Night Jesus is the Lord. From everlasting to everlasting, he is God. As the Son, he is sovereign, utterly independent, and limitless. He was begotten, not made. He is the uncreated Creator and we are his creation. He came down from heaven for our salvation. All of God's intenti...

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Advent Devotional - December 4, 2016

"Why lies He in such mean estate, / Where ox and beast are feeding? / Good Christians, fear, for sinners here / The silent Word is pleading. / Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, / The cross be borne for me, for you. / Hail, hail the Word made flesh, / The Babe, the Son of Mary." -What Child is This It is not the "ox and beast" imposing the meanness upon the infant Sa...

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Advent Devotional - December 3, 2016

"Joy to the world the Lord has come / Let earth receive her King / Let every heart prepare Him room / And heaven and nature sing" -Joy to the World Parents know the feeling. They've strategized to maximize space in their tiny home, doing their best to accommodate all that comes with a growing family and young kids. Their house is an odd combination of storage bins, Pinte...

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Advent Devotional - December 2, 2016

"Hark the herald angels sing / Glory to the newborn King! / Peace on earth and mercy mild / God and sinners reconciled" -Hark the Herald Angels Sing Each of us is familiar with catastrophe: the abrupt outbreak of calamity and heartbreak. The lesser-known opposite of catastrophe is eucatastrophe, a term coined by J.R.R. Tolkien, the famous author of The Lord of the Rings ...

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Preparing for Worship on Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Preaching Passage: Psalm 2 This Sunday we will pause for a short sermon series in the Psalms. Come join us as we look at Christ, the one true King. We will get to sing some great Christmas hymns together, including one new song: *"Who Would Have Dreamed" by Hansen Kauflin (YouTube) "Go Tell It on the Mountain" by Rettino(YouTube) "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" by Coffin...

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Advent Devotional - December 1, 2016

"O come, O come, Emmanuel / And ransom captive Israel / That mourns in lonely exile here / Until the Son of God appear / Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel / Shall come to thee, O Israel." -O Come, O Come, Emmanuel At the outset of the Biblical story, we see the created order as it should be. God spoke the world into being, and it was very good. On the sixth day God created Adam...

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