How do you spend your extra time? Is it busyness? Social media? Watching TV? I know life can be hectic and stressful and we all need to rest and do something mindless at times, but now the question comes as how long do you spend on the mindlessness?
Clay said something recently in one of his sermons that I (thankfully) had already been working on in my personal life because God had already called me out on it. In so many words, Clay asked if you spent as much time in God’s word as you do on social media. I believe I overheard someone say “ouch” at the time.
I would love to encourage you to consciously take a self-evaluation of his question. I would also like to encourage you in an in-depth study - not just reading a few verses and then going with your day or evening or even attending a Sunday or Wednesday bible study to ‘make it count.’ Personal quality time in God’s Word is never time wasted. Even if you’re a giver to your family and/or the community, you need Him to fill you so you can continue to pour out to others.
In Matthew 6:19 it says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”
I think most people think of this as material things, which certainly can be. But I like to think of it too as God’s Word. God’s Word is an earthly possessed treasure, and no one can take that away from you when you know it and have it in your heart and mind.
One thing I’ve realized in my in-depth study is how exciting it is! Many times, I’ve thought why they don’t make a movie about this?!! Okay, Leviticus would probably be an exception. I would again, like to encourage you to use good biblical texts in your study. Two extra things I rely on are a Concordance and Commentary. Not the internet. My personal favorites are Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance and The Wiersbe Bible Commentary. Another excellent source I use are Rose Publishing books. A good first one to use is Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Timelines. It helps me because I’m such a visual person. Another plus is it’s your time and it can be as long or short as you want or need it to be and it can be over one verse, several verses, or a chapter. From my personal experience one verse can contain a plethora of information.
In conclusion, I will say after a passing general conversation with Clay, he asked me to write this article. I told him no because I didn’t want it to sound like this is what “I” do or to make it about me in any way. That is why I used the word ‘encourage’ so often, I want to encourage you to dive in deep into the Word. I promise you; you will look forward to that time each and every day.
I am writing this article in the middle of December, right in the thick of the business of the season. Amidst the Christmas decorations and festive music, I find myself pausing to listen for the voice of God. It's in these moments of stillness, often in our church office, where real connections happen - through prayer and aid, reminding us of our shared need to hear and obey Him.
This past year, we had signs on our stage for all to see – “Love God” and “Love People”. As I have tried to think of a compelling vision for the new year…. I keep going back to these two phrases. Could it really be that simple? I think sometimes we try to complicate the simple truth of the Gospel. Jesus came to “seek and save that which is lost” and “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son”.
Our calling, ever-evolving yet constant, is to embody these truths. But how do we live this out?
Here, I share three words God has been impressing upon my heart:
KNOW: To truly love, we must first understand. I’m reminded daily of God's unwavering love for us. It's essential to know our beliefs and their foundations. This knowledge isn't just for us; it's to be shared in every interaction, acknowledging God's equal love for all.
Practical Tip: Start each day with a scripture that reinforces this truth, letting it guide your interactions.
SLOW: It is hard to hear and discern the will of God in my life -if my life is continuously in a state of hurry. Yet, I realize that here is where much of my life has been lived. I must have parameters in my life that protect me from falling into this trap time and time again. I need to retreat to solitude with Christ regularly. I need to be in community often with my fellow believers so I can stand strong in Faith.
Reflective Question: How can you create moments of stillness in your day to hear God’s voice?
GO: Empowered by knowledge and a paced life, we're called to share the hope in Christ. This isn't a solitary mission; it involves encouraging and supporting each other in our collective journey of faith, leading by example in love and good deeds.
Challenge: Each week, find one opportunity to share a piece of your faith journey with someone else.
In weaving these words into our lives, we create a tapestry of faith, active and vibrant. As we step into the new year, let's join in prayer, seeking God's vision and passion to fulfill our calling – to love Him, honor Him, and extend that love to others.
Encouragement: Remember, this journey is one of continuous growth and learning. On days when the path seems unclear, lean on your community, and find solace in the knowledge that every step is a step closer to Him.
As we embrace the new year, I invite you to reflect on these principles. How can they shape your journey? How can they transform our community? Let’s walk this path together, with hearts open to God’s guiding voice and hands ready to serve in His love.
2024 New Testament Bible Reading Plan
This year, we invite you to join us on a journey through the New Testament, one verse at a time, each day. Attached is a simple Bible Reading Plan, designed to guide you through the New Testament in one year. It’s a small daily commitment with a profound impact on your faith and understanding.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ and supporters,
The most blessed and exciting season has come for all of us! December is the month in which we concentrate on spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ in both cities and in the villages. So beginning from Sweet December which is from November 30 midnight to the end of December, we the Christians in Burma and Thailand have been busy with all kinds of Christmas activities emphasizing the news of the joy of Christ coming to our world in human form to reconcile us to God (2Cor. 5:18-19). Without Jesus or Christmas we would be still in the darkness of sin and the bondage of the devil and without hope.
Burma ministry update
In spite of the political dangers and uncertainties of daily life in Burma, the churches in Yangon are growing. The Lhegu church was able to build a bigger church that can accommodate four hundred people and was dedicated on November 19, 2023.
The congregation has grown from a small group to over two hundred members within two years. Konglang Jonah is the pastor of this church who has been working around the clock reaching out to non-believers. He has many more prospects to join this congregation soon. We rejoice in God's blessings.
With the help of brother John and Kathy Miller with their families and Christ's Church of Yukon, Shwebyda Church congregation was able to build a worship room upstairs that can accommodate about three hundred people, and it is nearly completed and will be dedicated soon. The pastor of this church is Joseph Abur.
The political situation in Burma is very similar to those of Ukraine and the Russian war and of Israel with Hamas. The opposition groups to the military junta are gaining more control of the whole of Burma. Because the military junta could not fight back on land; they used airplanes and helicopters to drop bombs, and many villages and towns were burned to the ground widely and killed tens of thousands of innocent people. Tens of thousands of people were left homeless. We need fervent prayers for the people of Burma. Please pray for the Lord's intervention and for peace in the whole of Burma.
Thailand ministry update
On December 15 night we had a Christmas rally at Mercy Home and invited non-Christian neighbors and the place was packed with over a hundred and fifty people. Boonporn and I spoke and told them about Christmas and the Savior Jesus Christ who was born in Bethlehem. The people listened to the end. So the seed has been planted among non-believers.
On December 17 evening our Karen youth group held a Christmas evangelistic rally at a non-Christian Lisu village of Sadeng in the Kanlaya district of Chiang Mai, and many Lisu villagers came to attend and listen to the Good News of Jesus Christ preached and witnessed. On December 23 we will have another rally at a remote mountain village. We will appreciate your prayers for God's leading power of the Holy Spirit to pernitrate the hearts of the people there with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your faithful financial and prayer support for the ministries of Burma and Thailand. All accomplishments for the Lord in Burma and Thailand are direct result of your prayers and financial support. As the time to remember the birth of our Lord Jesus has come, we want to wish you a very blessed and joyful Christmas and the new year.
With our great joy and deep gratitude,
Jerry and Boonporn
- Men's Breakfast - Tuesdays at 7:30 am - CCY Celebrity Room. All men are welcome! Bring your breakfast and join in the fellowship. Led by John Miller.
- Family Meal - Join us for a family meal on Wednesdays from 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm in the South Building. All welcome! Donations accepted.
- Women's Morning Bible Study - Wednesdays at 9:30 am in the Celebrity room at CCY. The next eight-week series starts on Wednesday, January 10th, 2024. The Bible study will be on "Lyrics of Life – A Psalm for Every Situation."
- Women's Evening Bible Study - Wednesdays at 6:30 pm in person, led by Jennifer Parrett. The next eight-week series starts on Wednesday, January 10th, 2024. The study will be on "Lyrics of Life – A Psalm for Every Situation."
- Bible Study led by Brian Mitchell - 6:30 pm on Wednesday evenings in the Conference Room. All ages are welcome to attend.
- Senior Saints Small Group - 6:30 pm on Wednesday evenings in the Library. The Bible says in Galatians 6:2, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ" (NIV). Mostly retired age, but not limited to this.
- Youth Ignite - 6:30 pm in the South Building Warehouse. Ignite! is our Wednesday night gathering that takes place during the school year for grades 6-12.
- Royal Warriors - 6:30 pm on Wednesdays. Royal Warriors at CCY is a fast-paced, action-packed, Bible-based children's program for 1st through 5th graders.
- Men's Lunch - The men of CCY meet for lunch at 11:30 am for food and fellowship. Different locations each week. Locations are posted in the mid-week email, Facebook, or call the office at 405-354-0245.
Adult Classes - 9:30 am on Sunday
- Adult Sunday Class - Celebrity Room at 9:30 am. Currently in the book of Hebrews - led by John Miller.
- The Beautiful Messy Church - (South Building Warehouse) led by Ryan Porter. Also offers a Zoom online option. Join the Facebook group at CCY Porter Sunday Class.
- The Christian Life - Meets in the Library. Various studies pertaining to the Christian life. Led by Clay and Jennifer Parrett.
Youth Classes - 9:30 am on Sunday
- On Sunday mornings, students have teenager-focused Bible studies during Sunday School led by CCY Student Ministry leaders. Meet in the South Building.
Children's Classes - 9:30 am
- Nursery for 0-2 years - led by trained CCY volunteers. If your child is an infant up to 2 years old, they will love the Nursery! It's a nurturing place where caring adults show Jesus' love to children in a safe, secure, and fun environment. Parents will feel comfortable trusting their little ones in the nursery.
- The Ark for 2-5 years - Your two through five-year-olds will love The Ark! It's a nurturing place where God's Word comes to life through fun, interactive bible stories, music, and video.
- Truth Blazers for 1-5th graders - Truth Blazers is a hands-on in-depth, FUN, Bible study for kids grades 1st-5th.
Children's Classes - 10:30 am
- Bible Barn for 3-5-year-olds - Your child will LOVE this room with the GIANT BARN in it! Here, God's Word comes alive through storytelling, upbeat music, and interactive games/crafts. In this encouraging environment, your child will have fun, play, make friends and learn more about who Jesus is.
- Power Zone for 1-5th graders - PowerZone is a high-energy worship service for kids grades 1st-5th. Kids are welcome to worship in song, dance, prayer, offering, and communion. Scripture is taught in-game, in crafts, and in team-building form. PowerZone is definitely the Zone where we power up God's Word!
Sunday Worship Service - 10:30 am
- We welcome you to join us for an hour - fifteen-minute service that includes contemporary and traditional Christian music, relevant preaching from the Bible, communion for all believers, and prayer. Sunday service is in-person and online.