Daniel and the Lion’s Den (Sunday’s Message Outline)

WHY

  • Next Week: Celebration Sunday!
  • Review Daniel: God is in control when life is out of control.
    • 1: Exile, 2: Dream, 3: 3 guys, 4: Boanthropy, 5: Belshazzar
  • Assumption: You have some kind of faith <>
  • Don’t waste your faith:
    • Boat drifts with no engine (Faith is your engine)
    • “You must believe and not doubt, because one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
  • Faith is a horrible gift to waste
    • We all have some level of faith / Get by
    • Faith gives you forgiveness, righteousness, hope, ambition, glorious riches in Christ,
    • Faith is a horrible gift to waste
  • Daniel 6 is a great illustration of this NOT wasting your faith

 

WHAT

  • Daniel 6:1, Satrap, Darius <>
  • Daniel 6:2-3
    • Daniel had a great blessing, even in a new regime
    • Didn’t like Daniel because he was now from 2 defeated nations
  • Daniel 6:4
    • “Unless it had something to do with his God.”
    • The only way to get Daniel to slip up was to pit between his loyalty to his job and his faith.
  • Sneaky plan: Darius, give decree everyone must pray to you for 30 days <>
    • Violators thrown into lion’s den <>
    • Why? Unity
  • Daniel 6:10, first sentence only
    • <> on Daniel going up to pray, and pauses
    • He sighs (Only 30 days, Lion’s Den, ineffective)
      • Had to pray in window <>
    • Daniel 6:10 (second sentence)
      • Why so important to do this activity?
    • The other leaders catch and report him
    • Darius, after much frustration, has to do it by Persian law
    • “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” Darius the Mede
    • Daniel in the Lion’s Den <>
      • Next morning walks out all smiles
      • Daniel 6:22
        • Jesus walked out of a pit of death too
          • Both sealed by a large stone
          • Both walked out at dawn
          • Both were innocent
          • But Jesus was dead when he entered, not Daniel
          • And Jesus walked out with wounds, Daniel didn’
          • Daniel used his innocence to defend himself
          • Jesus traded his innocence for our sin
        • Both had faith in God that they would survive the night!

HOW

  • Why was Daniel so committed to praying?
    • Why risk his career, lifestyle, even his life to prayer?
    • Could you see yourself missing work, overtime, a ball game, practice, a team trip, business appointment, because you were committed to praying?
  • For many of us prayer is a chore, something we do in our down time. Perhaps you have prayed and it didn’t work, so whay put faith in it?
  • Daniel could say the same <>
  • Daniel understood something about prayer many Christians do not understand. Prayer safeguards your heart. Prayer keeps your faith strong.
    • Daniel in a foreign land <>
    • We too live in a culture <>
    • Faith is wasted when prayer is jagged.
  • You cannot have faith without prayer
    • Philippians 4:6-7 teaches, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” <>
    • APP: In ALL situations go to God in prayer. Safeguard <>
    • Your faith must be strong… you keep it strong by being committed to praying.
  • If we are going to follow Jesus with all we’ve got shouldn’t we pray like Daniel did?
  • If you are going to believe in God shouldn’t you pray like Daniel did?
  • Prayer doesn’t work? God didn’t answer your prayer the way you like? <>
  • Prayer is boring. Are you a little too comfortable with your ears being tickled all the time?
  • Prayer is hard.
    • What’s hard is going through life without the peace of God
    • What’s hard is going through life without a higher power.
    • What’s hard is going through life with bitterness and anger.
    • What’s hard is a heart filled with grief and hurt and not grace and love.
  • Prayer is where you dare to know the peace of God. A faith is jagged when our prayer life is ragged.
  • I often don’t pray because:
    • I tend to magnify my concerns and not Gods desire. God’s desire is to guard our heart and to give us eternal life and peace.  Too often, I just want God to fix things.  My situation calming down doesn’t give me peace.  God gives me peace.  Praying as Daniel prayed is where I learn that reality.
    • I tend to evaluate all I see as if that is all there is. No eternal perspective.
    • I tend to close my hands on my possessions instead of allowing God to possess me.
    • I tend to hold onto my emotions and not Gods peace.
  • Pray like Daniel did, dont waste your faith!
  • Faith is ragged when your prayer life is jagged!
  • Prayer is where you dare to know the peace of God
  • You cannot follow Jesus with all your heart and soul w/o prayer

 PRAY

TIME OF COMMITMENT:           

            Jesus had a similar commitment to prayer, often praying all night.  Why did Jesus pray?  He didn’t need to pray for God to heal stuff or fix stuff. He prayed to safeguard his heart in God himself.  Through Christ’s blood on the cross we have that same access.  Don’t waste your faith!

The Dream Project: Phase I Complete

Phase I of the Dream Project is over and it was a success!  Like Ant-Man this summer completing Phase 2 of the Marvel Movies so too has first part of our Dream Project.

The goal of this first phase was to hear your dreams for Celebration for the next 5 years.  Over the last two months we have received e-mails, postcards, and heard from you is various meetings.  We heard all sorts of great ideas, dreams, and concerns about the obstacles we need to overcome.  It was awesome to listen to what God’s people had to say.  Our goal was to hear God’s voice from God’s people.

Starting this week phase II will begin- writing a rough draft of our 5-year dream.  We will present the first rough draft on September 13th.  The purpose of presenting the rough draft instead of just saying this is our vision is get your feedback.  Is there anything we need to adjust?  Did we miss something?  Is our dream God-sized?  Are we over reaching?  Is our dream too small and easy- where God doesn’t need to be involved at all to achieve it?  Then we will take it back for another rough draft, make the adjustments, and present it in October.  After this final feedback we will enter Phase III, the presentation of our vision for the next five years.  And in January we will begin our first campaign to achieve God’s dream for C3!

I’m excited and hopeful for what this project is going to do for our church and community.  More importantly, I can see the potential of God’s dream to grow us spiritually, to help us grow up in him, and to learn our God is greater than any dream we can imagine.

Daniel and the Writing on the Wall, Daniel 5 (Message Outline from Sunday’s Message)

DAniel Cover Image

WHY

  • Going thru Daniel / website
    • When life is out of control, God is in control.
    • Background / Review 1-4
  • ILL: Playing 21 with Bryan and Jody / No use
  • Daniel 5:21, “The most high God is sovereign over the realm of man, and sets over it whom he wishes.” <>
  • Today, we see this in action in Daniel 5

 

WHAT

  • Background
    • Daniel 4 tells the story of how Babylon fell
    • 40 years between chapter 4 & 5
      • King Nebuchadnezzar dies
      • His three sons have short reigns afterwards
      • King Nabonidus takes over (Nebby’s son-in-law)
        • He doesn’t worship Marduk but the moon god sin. This causes great anger amongst the Marduk Priests in Babylon.
        • The tension led him to rule from the Oasis of Tayma- hundreds of miles away.
      • He places his son, Belshazzar, in charge of Babylon.
      • In that 40 years Cyrus the Great turns Persia into a mighty empire and by the time chapter 5 rolls around has defeated Nabonidus in battle and surrounded the city of Babylon.
    • Belshazzar believes the city is impregnable with her 387 ft walls that are 87 feet thick.
    • So he throws this big ol’ party with the enemy surrounding the city.
    • Daniel 5:1
      • Drink wine = getting drunk and some carnal partying
      • Nebby’s collection of gods, Belshazzar has them surround Marduk idol
  • Israel does not have idol, so raided its goblets, etc., he drank out of them.
  • The handwriting on the wall (Describe) > Everyone stops <>
  • 3 words: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
    • Words for $$$, money by weight back then
      • Mene- 20 ounces
      • Tekel = ½ an ounce
      • Upharsin = two half minas
    • OK- we know what terms definitions are, but what does it mean?
    • Belshazzar sees death in the words and goes into panic mode, Daniel 5:6
      • He calls for the enchanters, etc.
      • Says whoever is successful will be third in command (He doesn’t know Nabonidus is dead)
      • No one could understand the meaning of the words. It didn’t compute.
    • Mood changed- no one is partying now.
    • Queen mother shows up- She is not Belshazzars wife- but most likely Nebby’s wife.
      • She remembers Daniel and says send for him
    • Daniel is an old man, but largely forgotten.
  • Daniel comes in and interprets the writing on the wall, but not before giving Belshazzar a piece of his mind.
    • Daniel 5:17-24 (Belshazzar knew this story from last week / God granted this Kingdom / You have set yourself against God)
    • The words:
      • Mene, Mene: You days are numbered <> You may feel like the boss but you are not THE boss.
      • Tekel- weighed and found wanting
      • Upharsin – Kingdom will be divided. Power is over, temporary. (Rhyme)
    • Cyrus the Great defeats Babylon by coming through the river under the walls. <>
    • Belshazzar set himself against God by misusing the instruments of God. <>

HOW

  • Today, in our church, in here, we have sacred objects as well. (Not communion trays, or the like)
  • Sacred object = your body
    • Your physical body is a sacred object of God
    • You have been bought with the blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit lives within you.
    • “Do you not know that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”  1 CR 6:19-20
  • How do you honor God with your body?
    • “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1)
      • What kinds of thoughts run through your mind each day?
      • What do you allow your eyes to see or not see?
      • What do you allow your ears to hear?
      • What about your tongue?
      • What about your hands?
    • Act sacred since the sacred lives within you. <review>

PRAYER:

TIME OF COMMITMENT:

  • Why honor God with your body? Because of what Christ did with his body.
    • Jesus did more than honor God with his body, he sacrificed his body.
    • He took hos clean and pure body and imputed the sin of our bodies on his. This is why his blood was shed.
    • When we place our faith in Jesus, are baptized into his death, he takes our uncleanness and gives us his cleanness
    • We honor God with our body because Jesus sacrificed his body for us.
    • Maybe you are here today… <>

June 2015 Building Report Card

Church Building Report Card

June 2015

Malcolm shared with us 5 criteria CFR likes to be in healthy shape before going into a fundraising campaign.  We need these statistics to be strong order to go into the campaign.  Here is where we stand as of the end of June 2015.

    • 30% of budget to be towards ministry.
      • Status: Unchanged
      • 84% of our 2015 budget goes to administrative costs (rent, insurance, land payment, salaries)
      • 16% is dedicated to ministry
      • Unless we revise the 2015 budget this number is set for the remainder of the year.
    • The long term debt ratio is at $3-5000 per attendee.
      • We averaged 106 people for the month of June.
      • If you take $2,000,000 and divide it by 106 you get $18,868 per attendee.  
      • If you take 2,000,000 and divide it by 119 (avg so far for 2015) you get $16,806
    • Meeting the budget or surpassing the budget in giving.
      • Our Monthly Budget need is: 17,333.33 (208,000 divided by 12)
        • April Giving: $14696
        • May Giving: $13616
        • June Giving: 18,223
        • July Giving: $10.906
        • August Giving: 20372
        • September Giving: 18914
        • October Giving: n/a
        • November Giving: 15984
        • December: n/a
        • January 2015: 19350
        • February 2015: 15,775
        • March 2015: 20,713.82       
        • April 2015: 15,092
        • May 2015:18,362
        • June 2015: 14,269
        • Avg for first 6 months of 2015: 17,260

    • Trending upward in attendance.
      • Avg Attendance for May: 111 (88 in 2013)
      • Avg for June: 113 (100 in 2013)
      • Avg for July: 104 (97 in 2013)
      • Avg for August: 104 (97 in 2013)
      • Avg for September: 112 (99 in 2013)
      • Avg for October: 104 (106 in 2013)
      • Avg for November: 97 (100 in 2013)
      • Avg for December: 112 (120 in 2013)
      • Avg for January 2015: 119
      • Avg for February 2015: 122
      • Avg for March 2015: 124
      • Avg for April 2015: 133
      • May 2015: 110
      • June 2015: 106
      • Avg for first 6 months of 2015: 119

  • Debt to Loan Ratio
    • We owe approximately $52,000 on the land and the land was independently assessed at $340,000 giving us an equity of $288,000 .  So this number is strong.
    • We can use the equity in the land as a down payment on the building.

Daniel and the Insane King (Sunday’s Message notes, 7/12)

WHY

  • Review Daniel series / When life is out of control God is still in control / extreme
  • Extreme >> one shot at life / Brief like an ice cream cone on a hot day
    • Clues life is short: graduation / childhood / move out of the house / children / car / death
    • Truth >> incredible wisdom
      • Stuff for a little while / season of life for a little while / The time <> you have is a gift.
    • Truth >> Accountable <parents, teachers, coaches, parents , police>
    • Truth >> God holds you accountable <> ambassador
    • Daniel 4 is God going to the extremes to teach this lesson

WHAT

  • Nebby telling story / Near the end of his reign / Danil is close to 70 years old.
  • Daniel 4:1, “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous.”
    • This could describe you! <>
  • Daniel 4:5- Nebby sees a dream and it terrifies him
    • Babylon’s beliefs about dreams being from the gods.
  • He calls in the magicians and enchanters- cannot interpret it.
  • They call in Daniel
  • The Dream: A big tree covering the ends of the earth, with life giving fruit, leaves, animals and birds.
  • Holy Messenger, “Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But let the stump and the roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field.”  Daniel 4:14
  • Then the dream’s focus on a man and the prophecy is about him: dew of heaven, mind of an animal, until 7 times pass (years).
  • Why? Nebuchadnezzar did not acknowledge God. He said, I did it!
  • Daniel 4:17 is a decree, ““The decision is announced by the messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the most high is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and givens them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.”
  • Nebby asks Daniel what it means
    • Daniel visibly upset by the dream
    • Nebby tries to comfort him
    • The Daniel reveals the dream
      • The tree is Babylon <>
      • The man in the story is Nebby!
      • The stump means Babylon will not be completely destroyed.
      • You will be restored when acknowledge “Heaven rules.”
    • Daniel says you can avoid this if you repent and do what is right.
    • A year passes by…
  • Nebby is walking on the roof of his palace admiring the city he built
    • 3 palaces, hanging gardens (7 wonders)
    • The walls were 15 miles long, 387 feet high, 87 feet thick (NASCAR)
    • 2,00,00 people lived there
  • Daniel 4:30, “Is this not the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
    • Voice from heaven, royal authority gone and started acting like a cow,
    • He leaves the palace, starts grazing, nails like a bird
    • Disease: Boanthropy / 7 years
  • “At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven (A sign of acknowledging God), and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.” Daniel 4:34
    • Honor and dignity was restored to him and the throne.
    • So what does this story mean for you and me? 

HOW

  • Where in your life are you tempted to say, “I did it!”
    • What is your it? I can fix it, car, are you sitting next to “it,” home to it, you see success in it, I can handle it.
    • Where in your life are you saying I don’t need God?
    • We like achievement in our culture: certificates, trophies, bumper stickers, we put names on buildings, our biographies
    • Facebook postings – Humble brag- I can’t get my kid out of the house casue he wants to practice the piano all day!
    • Men like to say, “I can handle it” or “I did it.”
  • The life you have is a gift from God. <achievements, etc.>
    • You are responsible to acknowledge God
    • You have what you have, achieve what you achieve, because of a great God.
  • So what do you do? Raise your eyes towards heaven!
    • Daniel 4:27, “Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.”
    • You start by saying he did it and not I did it.
      • You know this because he died on the cross for you. He did the greatest work of all time and space.  He did it!
      • You can renounce your sins because Jesus died for your sins. He did it!
    • For God your heart sets you apart. <not> When you want to say “I did it” you need to say to your pride, “No He did it!”

How to Pray Over Social Issues

In our culture today, we are seeing many issues that concern matters of faith- homosexuality, immigration, and racism are some of the deep issues facing our nation today.  Our faith as Christ followers does not rest on any government or human decision, but on the word of the Lord.  Daniel 5:25 says, “The Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of the earth.”  Our first response to these situations is prayer.  We are to call upon the name of the Lord.  Below are some ways you can pray for our nation.  These suggestions come from Harvest Prayer Ministries led by Dave Butts.

  1. Thank the Lord for the gift of family. Express your gratitude that family is God’s by design and not human invention.
  2. Ask for forgiveness on behalf of the Church for failing to model godly families before our society. We bear much blame for the deterioration of marriage and the family. (1 Timothy 5:8)
  3. Pray for help to live out God’s intent for the family. May our homes become outposts for God’s kingdom. (Acts 10:2)
  4. Confess our sins of responding to those caught up in sin in an un-Christ like manner and ask for help to love as Christ loves. (John 8:11)
  5. Pray that the Lord would show us in practical ways how to speak the truth in love according to His Word. (Ephesians 4:15)
  6. Ask God to pour out His wisdom on His people that we might see clearly the attack of the enemy on His design for marriage. May God’s wisdom give us insight into the results of tearing down traditional one man-one woman marriage. (James 1:5)
  7. Plead with the Lord for the Supreme Court. Pray that He would give wisdom and courage to these jurists to respond in righteousness. (Job 21:22; Job 9:24; Isaiah 1:26)

Daniel and His 3 Friends (Message Outline from this July 5th’s message)

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WHY

  • Thank Paul and Adam / 4th of July
  • Going thru Daniel
  • Challenge: Step Up, Step Out, Bow up your faith
  • Pet Peeve: Weak Minister
    • Passive / ILL: Football Coach
    • Xian Athlete = Non-competitive, vanilla, Xian Woman = meek and mild / No strong Xian woman
  • Bold Xian is a bad Xian
  • Church is about huddling and cuddling and not following Jesus with all your heart, mind, and strength. We are too satisfied.
  • Jesus message is not weak or mild
    • It is breathtaking and dangerous
    • We limit faith to being safe and secure
    • We like the mountaintop but rarely take the risks to get there
  • Why “I give you rest” and not “The Kingdom of God is coming with power!”
  • Believer’s Prayer, “Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30 <>
  • Faith >> compelling opportunity >> lose something of value
    • Outrageous >> No one else could fill those shoes ? No regrets
    • What if you didn’t have a wanna do it or gonna do it faith but a gotta do it faith?
    • What if you looked at your problems and just said, “Screw it. I’m following Jesus.”
    • Battle between your head and your heart
  • Daniel 3, 3 men who stood up, stood out, and bowed up. 

WHAT

  • Review Daniel 1 & 2
  • Daniel 3:1
    • Why? DN 2
    • 9 stories tall / 14 miles south of the city / VIP’s!
  • Daniel 3:4-5
    • “People of every language <>
    • Furnace 1948 degrees to melt gold / milk bottle design
  • Band struck up / Thousands of VIP’s / bow down to the idol / except 3 guys
    • Imagine <>
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
    • Brought b4 the King, “Is this true?” / Jeremiah
    • 2nd chance
    • They didn’t bow, they bowed up. Stood up, stood out, and bowed up
  • Daniel 3:16-17
  • Daniel 4:18, <>
    • They had a time their life when God did not come through <>
    • I know so many people who are the opposite of this
    • Knew something about God- He doesn’t always save me ,bless me
    • Faith is bowing to God and God alone
  • Nebuchadnezzar Furious / 2nd chance gone!
    • Some reports say the flames rose 75 feet in the air
    • Clothing, v. 21
    • Killed the guards carrying them
  • When Nebuchadnezzar looked inside he saw 4 people / son of the gods / theophany
  • What an insane moment! VIP’s witnessing this too!
  • Facebook / SMH
  • Daniel 4:28b, What a great way to describe faith/ Have you ever taken on opportunity for God’s glory to shine? Tombstone?

HOW

  • Could your faith be described in such terms?
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had a compelling opportunity to display their faith and they didn’t shrink from it. They stood up, stood out, and bowed up.
  • When are your compelling opportunities this week? Stand out, stand up, and bow up?
  • ILL: Elizabeth Elliot <>
  • What story of faith are you writing? Huddling and cuddling or following with all your strength, will, and determination? Will you stand up, stand out, and bow up?
  • What if you didn’t have a wanna do it or gonna do it faith but a gotta do it faith?

PRAYER: “God beware of the pitfalls and the harm that may come our way, but I pray that you will make us speak out with great boldness.  I pray that you will stretch out your hand and perform signs and wonders through your holy servant Jesus Christ!”