Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Singing Christmas Tree

by Pastor Ruth Denboer

Here we are, busy preparing for our annual Singing Christmas Tree. The SCT has been a Calvary Temple Christmas blessing to our community since the early 70’s. Many times people will recognize the name of our church by making the connection to the SCT. As many of you know, the choir starts practicing way back in early September, and the songs are carefully chosen for each Christmas tree back in early summer. There are many, many hours of labor from many, many angles that allow the tree to happen each year.

So why? Why do we put in all the time and effort? Some may even argue it’s not a good use of time.

However, when I read through the scripture passages for this week … my heart couldn’t help but rejoice! We are so privileged to be a part of something so God honoring in our community. As I read the Psalms I realize we are indeed fulfilling the commands of scripture.

Psalm 96:1 Sing a new song to the lord! Let the whole earth sing to the lord!

2 Sing to the lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.

3 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

4 Great is the lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.

Psalm 98:1 Sing a new song to the lord, for he has done wonderful deeds.

4 Shout to the lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!

Psalm 100:1 Shout with joy to the lord, all the earth!

2 Worship the lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.

I also felt the combination of the passages that were chosen for this week’s readings had significant meaning. The story in Luke reminds me that it’s not what we do that matters … it’s the heart we do it with. The woman is commended for giving her all. Although it was condemned by some as very little … she gave all she had, with a grateful heart. Jesus was blessed by her gift of love.

That is my prayer for this year’s Singing Christmas Tree. May we all give our best out of a heart of love. That’s all that is needed. God will do the rest! Each year people find Jesus through the Singing Christmas Tree. How thankful we should be that we are given this amazing opportunity to make Jesus known in our community!Singing Christmas Tree

The Fear of Missing Out

by Pastor Nikki Ragush

Today, more than ever in our culture we can see all the fun things that others are doing and many times focus on the boring things we must do. Recently in our young adults study we were talking about this idea called the “Fear Of Missing Out”. Maybe you’ve run into the situation where you ask them their plans for the weekend, and as they begin to tell you all the exciting plans they have you begin to turn a bit green, and wished you’d never asked them in the first place. Many people today are on social media at an increasing rate and as we look at social media more we get a pulse on the happenings of people’s lives. But, most people don’t post pictures of the monotonous things they do, instead they post pictures of their exciting adventures so all we see of their lives is fun and excitement. There is no issue with fun and excitement but the question is how much time do we spend thinking about other people’s lives and forgetting about our own.

Psalms 73:1-3

1God is indeed good to Israel,
to those who have pure hearts.
But I had nearly lost confidence;
my faith was almost gone
because I was jealous of the proud
when I saw that things go well for the wicked.

This verse is specifically talking about the troubles that many people have when they see others profit in life but find struggle within their own lives. The question though is not who deserves what in life, our good deeds and lifestyle should not be for the sake of receiving great reward. The question instead is what can we be thankful for in our lives? In Scripture it makes it clear that we are all sinner so truly none of us deserve to be forgiven but we all have the opportunity. As we spend more time being thankful for what we do have, our desire for what other have will diminish. There is a one song that reminds me that even the breath in our lungs is something that we can be thankful for. There are times I struggle with desiring the opportunities others have, but we have been made specifically the way we are for reasons that God understands. I hope today you can enjoy this song, and find thankfulness in the good things that God is doing in your life, as I challenge myself to do also.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHz0w-HG4iU

Blessings,

Pastor Nikki

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

by Pastor Heidi Kratz

Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

This Psalm is only 9 verses long, but it begins and ends with this declaration of the majestic name of the Lord.

Your name is important. Before our children were born we spent many months thinking about their names. We had a list of boy’s names and girl’s names that we were considering until we decided on the one name that they would be called for the rest of their life.

When you hear name spoken in a crowded room, you stop to see who is trying to get your attention. When you get mail, you are looking for your name to see what you have received that day.

Even though our name is important to us, it does not compare to the “majestic” name of Jesus.

His name is glorious, excellent and great!

That one name of Jesus is everything that we need.

O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Appointed Praise

by Pastor Gary Jennings

RAP – It’s very simple; everyone can RAP. RAP means: Read a passage; think through how to Apply the passage; then Pray.

This past week most of our church prayer reading guide took us to the book of I Chronicles. On Wednesday’s passage reading, the verse that stood out to me was I Chronicles 16:7 where I read that David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord. I know that Asaph was one of David’s assigned worship leaders and that he was a very gifted musician and songwriter. But as I thought about this verse, and let my mind go off the beaten trail, I could not help but wonder what response I would get if I went around appointing people at random to praise the Lord. It was just a passing thought, but I am sure I would get mixed responses and strange looks. This is not something we normally do.

David went on to tell Asaph to give praise to the Lord in this manner. He took it a step further and in the verses following this one, he explained in great detail how he wanted Asaph to praise the Lord in a public leadership setting. David actually wrote the worship service details so to speak – This is how I want you to do it personally, and how I want you and lead it corporately.

What is my practical take away from this, and how can I apply this to my life? How can you apply this to your life?

Well here goes. I probably should not go around appointing, and designating people to praise God, and then follow that up with how to do it – but, I can still inspire and lead people to give praise to God in a more indirect way. Jesus called us to let our light shine and to make praise a lifestyle. Just think of the impact of this on other people.

My parents never told me that I had to praise God; they showed me how vital this was by their own life. I heard them worship as I stood by them in the church pew. Through their posture, I saw them praise God. At home I would hear my father giving praise to God as he moved about our home. I heard my father on church platforms and in secular platforms, singing and giving praise to God.

Wow! What an impact on my life. They never appointed me to praise God, but I did end up becoming a worshiper. Note to self: Gary, pass it on.

Pastor Gary Jennings