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Our weekly e-Newsletter is sent every Friday.  If you would like to receive it, please contact the church office.  

09/08/17

CPC THIS WEEK
THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH September 8, 2017

A NEW YEAR FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL AT CPC

Where did the Summer go? It just doesn’t seem that long ago that we began our summer break from Sunday School! Though swimming pools may have closed with Labor Day’s arrival, Sunday School is open at CPC! Beginning this Sunday, following our Worship and Fellowship time, we will regularly meet for Sunday School; for all ages.

Next to Worship, growing in our faith through regular Bible Study is the most important activity that should occupy our time. Let me also add a caveat to that statement. It’s my personal conviction from the scripture that the responsibility for that growth – whether personally or in families - falls squarely on the individual or parents. Now let me add a qualifier to THAT statement. In either situation it is the call of the local church to come alongside its members to assist and help them in that growth – with both training and material.

There are a number of excellent reasons to attend Sunday School – may I share just a few with you?

09/01/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH September 1, 2017

Life Lessons We’re Learning From Harvey

The list of adjectives used to describe the affects of Houston’s Harvey are growing daily – and appropriately so! The devastation has been unequaled in the recorded history of our country. The impact of Harvey has even reached families in our community and church. Given all that has transpired since Harvey’s landfall, I thought I would take a moment today to reflect on a few lessons we’ve learned over the last week. Or, perhaps better put, maybe what we need to remember! (a brief disclaimer - in no way is this meant to be an exhaustive list or explanation)

First, the wind and water of Harvey have once again affirmed that we live in a world completely under the control of a Sovereign God; incredibly powerful and mighty God.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty! Psalm 93:3,4

08/25/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

August 25, 2017

 

 

A Preaching Preview

Pray for me, please.  I have decided to preach this Sunday regarding recent events in our country that have focused on racial unrest.  It is my prayer that I will be able, by God’s grace and wisdom, to bring a biblical perspective on a problem that continues to plague not only our nation, but is yet, in varying degree, a “weed” that remains in the body of Christ. 

As most of us readily know – and have perhaps experienced – sin, while clearly not a respecter of persons, has no respect for the color of our skin.  In fact, the evil one feeds with delight upon the sin of prejudice in any form.  Skin color is simply one of the more obvious manifestations and is, therefore, an easier target.  Unfortunately, I have a vivid memory of prejudice in my own family and life.  And I am not alone in this experience.

The Cross of Christ ended all prejudice for all time.  Regrettably, that reality has not always been the banner of the Christ’s body.  The Church of Jesus Christ has, at different times, been on the wrong side of this time-transcending truth during our collective redemptive history.  We have not always expressed the same grace and mercy to all sinners as extended by God, the Maker of all mankind.  Rather than being colorblind to the need of compassion and kindness we have simply been blind – but not just to color; prejudice goes far beyond that.  Prejudice, in any form, is the close cousin to the sin of pride.

8/11/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH August 11, 2017

“If You Are....Then”

It was the greatest confrontation between two individuals ever recorded. Nothing would ever match this encounter. The devil had waited a very, very long time for this moment – thousands of years! But now he was finally face-to-face and alone with Jesus - the Son of God. The scriptures make no mention of any earlier reconnaissance on the part of Satan regarding Christ. Looking back at Genesis 3 we now know that this meeting was evitable; but it would be more than just one meeting. Luke tells us that following the temptation of Christ that the devil “departed from him until an opportune time.” The dynamic struggle would last for three years; at times more direct than others. But, from all that we know, this was the first: and the devil went after the Son of God.

I’m sharing this story today because it fits well with our examination of pride. In fact, pride is at the very center of the assault unleashed by Satan on Christ. In each of the first two temptations there is an explicit charge questioning the Sonship of Christ. And though not directly spoken in the third temptation, the implication is strikingly clear. Here they are:

08/04/17

CPC THIS WEEK
THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH August 4, 2017

Rest for Your Soul

Over the last few weeks a particular passage has managed to surface in a number of conversations. Interestingly, it seems to coincide with my current sermon series on Pride.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Let’s take note of several truths in the words of Jesus.

First – The Invitation with a Promise. “Come to me...I will give you rest.” Rest, real rest, the rest that you need – that you so deeply want – can only come from Christ. There are many counterfeits in our world today that offer this same invitation – to “Come.” But the invitation is hollow and will never satisfy your longing for soul rest. Only Christ can do that.

Next, we hear The Instruction with a Promise. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
First we come, then we must “yoke” ourselves to Christ; the word picture is vivid. Again, the emphasis we see here is on Jesus, and only Jesus. But there is something also contained here that I think we sometimes overlook – while “pulling with Christ” there are things for us to learn, and we can only learn them from Jesus. Why are these life lessons from Christ so meaningful? Because they come from His character – His heart! Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart – He is the humble Christ. The Promise? The same as uttered before – rest! But in this case Jesus expands the implication of that rest to our very souls. Which, upon reflection, tells us something about Christ’s understanding of those things that He refers to as “labor” and “heavy laden.” Namely, that it is our soul laboring; it is our soul under burden. And only Jesus can supply the rest we need!

07/28/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

July 28, 2017

  

President Trump Needs a New Advisor

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

1 Timothy 2:1-4

Whatever your particular political party affiliation may be I think we can all agree on this - after seven months into this new administration our President needs a new advisor.  And, I think we can also agree on this, the advisor that Donald Trump needs most “does not dwell in houses made by hands.”

Since his inauguration there has been little indication from his words, actions, and particularly his “tweets,” that our President regularly seeks and implements godly counsel in his decision-making.  The result, many evangelicals who had great hope for the potential change that might come out of Washington are left shaking their heads and wringing their hands.  The level of divisiveness and disappointment in our government is as great today as it was on January 19th, in my opinion.  So avoiding the tempting diatribe, may I simply ask you to join me anew in praying for our President and all those in his administration - perhaps especially for the man closest to the president; Vice President Mike Pence. 

7/21/17

CPC THIS WEEK

THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

July 21, 2017

 

What’s Spiritual About That?

Well, we just passed the mid-point!  No, not in my sermon series - we’re actually more than halfway through that; just a few more.  I’m referring to the baseball season.  A little over a week ago we once again witnessed the jewel of July - the All-Star Game!  Unfortunately, the National League (you know, the league where they still play REAL baseball) lost again, but at least it was after extra innings.  This perennial summer classic marks the beginning of second season for the “Boys of Summer.”  For those teams watching their playoff hopes melt-away like ice cubes on a July sidewalk it may mean a fire sale of roster regulars.  Competitive teams will be looking for that one or two-player addition that will give them an extra push for contention.  However, given the current standings in the divisions of both the AL and NL teams we could be tempted to call it now.  But recalling the colorful history of both September collapses and comebacks we may want to exercise a modicum of restraint regarding play-off prognostications.  As they say, “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over!”

07/14/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

July 15, 2017

 

“I Should Have Known Better”

I follow the news.  Perhaps that would be better said, “I try to find the news.”  No, don’t worry; this is not an article about “fake” news - I’ll let the pundits parse that one.  But because I do like to follow the news, especially religious and political, I sometimes feel as though I could actually have something that might contribute to the analysis – silly me!  So, last week when I received an email from the Trump triumphant asking for my opinion of the President’s performance thus far I was drawn to the challenge like a moth to a flame.

So there I was, sitting at my desk attempting to write a cogent reply to a fair question.  I worked through a number of issues were I feel the President could improve in his role as the chief executive of our nation.  I won’t be sharing any of that in this article; I would like to remain on speaking terms with a number of you.  But because curiosity killed the cat I’ll give you just an inkling of my direction.  In my opinion – and that’s all that it is - I think it’s time – well, past the time – when our President needs to pay more attention to the unvarnished truth and less time with his unvarnished twitter.  I’ll stop with that.

07/07/17

CPC THIS WEEK

THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

July 7, 2017

 

More Than A National Anthem

Having just celebrated The Fourth – with friends, food, fireworks, fun, and freedom – a number of memories decided to pay a visit.  Their pleasant appearance wasn’t quite as startling as local fireworks – but thankfully, still as bright!

I have to admit that without younger children in our home these days I’m not up on current curriculum choices in our schools.  You see, I come from a time in our country were certain school activities were simply a “given” – the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, classroom prayers, and weekly trips to the local Episcopal Church for religious instruction.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we also hid under our desks for Air Raid Drills!

Channeling my best Andy Rooney, “I wonder how many kids today actually know who wrote the Star Spangled Banner – and the war it commemorates?”  I’m not sure I want to know – the anticipated answer is troubling.  But for most of us who grew up with blackboards and cloakrooms we remember that it was Francis Scott Key; and it was the War of 1812.  Along with composing our National Anthem, Mr. Key, a lawyer with a deep faith, also wrote a number of hymns; some that you may actually know but never looked at the small print to discover the composer’s name.  So, in honor of our National Holiday, I’ve decided to pass today along one of his more popular hymns as an encouragement for your life and faith! (here’s a link if you would like to here the hymn played in one its more familiar tunes: http://hymnary.org/media/fetch/182691 - it may take a second or two to load)

06/30/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

June 30, 2017

 

Did You Feel It?

 One of my electives during college was a “Physics of Astronomy” class – it was a night class (that’s where you laugh).  For a two-hour elective, I thoroughly enjoyed the class – the experiments exploring the heavens were fascinating.  Along with our study of galaxies, constellations, and black holes we spent a little bit of time on our own star, the Sun; especially as it interacts with Earth.

 With all of that in mind I have a question for you – did you feel it?  No, not an earthquake - or even a quiver.  Since writing about my knee episode last Friday, we’ve moved about 7 degrees in our terrestrial trek around the Sun.  It’s amazing to me at times what impresses the mind so much that it becomes a permanent part of our memories.  For example, since my love affair with space that began in the early 60’s I still remember that our Earth is 93,000,000 from the Sun.  So, if we use a little math – some that I still remember – we can determine how fast we’re moving as a planet.  It looks something like this:

06/23/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH June 23, 2017

An Anniversary of God’s Patient Grace

For those of you who know and have heard this story – forgive me. In fact, today’s article may be more for me than anyone else!

It was exactly 38 years ago today that I had convinced my pregnant, “up-to-that-point bed-ridden wife” that she should spend the evening with her parents having gained her newly found freedom. This just 2 1/2 weeks before the expected arrival of our first-born, Aarin. What a great husband! Of course, to make the visit “special,” I would be willing to allow her to have the visit without any interference from me. Instead, I would FORCE myself to rejoin my softball team, which I missed for a number of weeks. Again, what a sacrificial servant!!! I remember the parting words of my father-in-law, Walt, “Bob, don’t go out there and get hurt tonight.” Hurt! It was softball - who gets hurt in softball (cue drum roll).

Two hours later I was driving home using my left foot for both acceleration and braking. My right leg was resting painfully on the other side of the driveshaft hump of my ’69 Pontiac LeMans (350/4 brl carb – for those interested). My right-knee was a mess – I can still remember the mid-air “pop” as I flipped over the catcher on my attempt to score from third. Who gets hurt in softball?!!!

06/16/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH June 16, 2017

A Father’s Day Prayer

When asked by His disciples how they should pray, Jesus, their Master, shared with them what we have come to know as the Lord’s Prayer. In so many ways I wonder if it should not be called the Father’s Prayer?

Though certainly not the shortest prayer recorded in Scripture, this petite prayer conveys both the devotion and dependence we share in a loving relationship with our heavenly Father.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen

Only the Lord Jesus would be able to summarize our daily relationship with “Abba, Father” in this way. Its brevity is truly astonishing! With so much literature available today regarding our “sonship” (and daughtership) in the faith, Jesus uses the succinctness of this prayer to draw us into the depths of a daily relationship with our faithful Father.

06/09/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH June 9, 2017

“The Eyes of the World are Upon You”

The title above is the last line from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s charge to the brave men who took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. We celebrated the 73rd anniversary of this event last Tuesday, June 6. On that day allied troops began an insurgence that would signal the beginning to the end of the war in Europe. It is a day we should never forget as a country. The term D-Day did not begin with “D-Day.” Its use as a military designated marking the commencement of a campaign goes back to at least WWI. As a side note it is interesting to discover from the History.com website that the term H-Hour has the same kind of meaning pertaining to the time. Hence, you can have an H-Hour on D-Day; which they did on June 6.

If D-day is considered the “beginning to the end” to the aggression and tyranny in the global war of its day, then the same can be said, and should be said of the war in the spiritual realm. What war? The war that began in Genesis 3 and will not end until Revelation 22. When was our D-Day? Well, here’s at least one attempt to fix a day:

06/02/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH June 2, 2017

Sunrise, Sunset

Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don't remember growing older, When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall? Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?

Sunrise sunset, sunrise, sunset, Swiftly flow the days, Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, Blossoming even as they gaze

Over the next five weeks three of CPC’s former Covenant Children will take vows to become Covenant Partners in Marriage. Many of us will shake our heads and ask the same questions posed by Tevye and Golde – “Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small? No, it wasn’t yesterday – it just feels like it was!

Watching the entrance of the next generation into marriage is an incredible, and yet humbling experience. Years filled with lessons of love, life, and laughter find their culmination in the God-ordained, one-flesh relationship of mutual love and respect – a beautiful gospel picture of Christ and His Church. Still, the all too familiar lyrics ring in our ears, “I don't remember growing older, When did they?”

05/26/17


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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH May 26, 2017

Memorial Day – The Price of a Celebration

On Monday many in our nation will take time to celebrate Memorial Day – from parades to pole position. Memorial day is a day for memories. Growing up as a child I still remember my grandparents and others calling it Decoration Day. “Back in the day” we often made our way from Cincinnati to Greenfield, OH, to decorate family gravesites. That trip was made in my uncle’s Buick that could muster no more than 30 mph. And did I mention that it had a convertible top...that was apparently only ornamental! Still, it was fun playing with the electric windows. We often rotated seating assignments during the adventure and there was nothing quite like sitting between Uncle Leavitt and Grandma on the road to “the country.” As I got older I began to think that Gilligan’s three-hour tour on the USS Minnow might have been step up from this trip experience! And there were other memories as well – hamburgers, potato salad, jello, and the sinister laugh of my cousin Art as he sent my ball flying into the neighbor’s yard during a game of croquet. Ah, the family Memorial Day outings!

05/19/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH May 19, 2017

The Case for a Gospel Glossary

Wouldn’t it just be great if there were a “port” for downloading things into the brain?! Well, we don’t have a port, but we do have a process – learning. But even with the process I often fall into the trap of assuming we’re all speaking the same language. And that just isn’t the case.

For the last month or so in Sunday School we’ve been examining a number of denominations in attempt to better understand others in the faith as well as ourselves. In the process, some of you have shared with me a minor difficulty – a language problem. I tend to use a number of very specific - even technical terms - that often go unexplained. That can be a problem. To be fair, this isn’t actually the first time this has been brought to my attention. So, I’ve decided to take a break from our current study and do something that I hope will be beneficial for all of us - kind of like singing from the same page.

05/12/17

CPC THIS WEEK
THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH May 12, 2017

CPC MINISTRY INFORMATION

SUNDAYS SERMON

Title: “Motherhood Of Grace: Taught, Trained, and Treasured” 

Text: Titus 2:1-8

Pastor Bob Clark

CENTRAL INDIANA PRESBYTERY – Christ Presbyterian Church is pleased to host the May Central Indiana Presbytery Mtg. Today, Friday, May 12th from 8:30am-4pm

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL OUR CPC MOTHERS & WOMEN! In honor of the day, there will be NO Sunday School this week.

DEACONS’ FUND OFFERING – We will be collecting the Deacons’ Fund Offering for the Mercy Ministries of the Church this Sunday.

TABLE TALK MAGAZINE – If you are a paid subscriber to Table Talk Magazine, your June issue is available at the Welcome Center.

CHOIR REHEARSAL – The Choir will rehearse Wednesday, May 17th at 7pm at the church
YOUNG MARRIED LIFE GROUP meets Thursday, May 18th from 6-7:30pm at the Schrage’s home for

a study on the book of Acts. For more information see Jeff and Shannon Schrage

BRIDAL SHOWER – A Bridal Dessert has been planned for Emily Swartzwelder (Mindy Deckard's future daughter-in-law) on Thursday, May 18th at 7pm at the Harrington's Home (12 Parkway Lane). Please RSVP to Beth Allen at bethallen87@gmail.com or Beth (765-969-0656). Emily is registered at Kohls, Target and Zola.

05/05/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH May 5, 2017

15 Minutes That Changed Everything

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?”

On May 5, 1961 at 9:34 a.m. a Mercury-Atlas rocket propelled Alan Shepard and his Freedom 7 capsule into a sub-orbital 15-minute space flight from Cape Canaveral. It is recorded that an estimated 45 million television viewers watched this brief historic flight. And I was one of them – a wide-eyed, 8 year-old who dreamed of going into space. Since that time, well actually from the beginning of Mercury 7, I have been in love with space. It may have also been the start of my back-burner love with the Navy.

Like King David, I am in awe of all that lifts our eyes upward – especially in the night sky. That has been reinforced in my life on several occasions but perhaps never as much as when our Submarine Tender would cruise the Mediterranean Sea. It was as if God flipped the switch on the midnight sky. I know some of you have had similar experiences.

04/28/17

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THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH April 28, 2017

Dandelions of Depravity

No one ever planted a weed. Well, not intentionally. Weeds happen.

Over the next several weeks we will be examining what the scriptures have to say about the weeds in our lives – those dandelions of depravity that yet appear in a redeemed life. Theologically this comes under the category of Progressive Sanctification – the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives conforming us to the image of Christ.

The reality of our sanctification is two-fold. As a result of our justification there is a definitive work of sanctification. Because of Christ’s work – and His work alone - God sees us completely sanctified in His Son. And yet, as Paul teaches, we are still in the process of growing up and into our sanctification. God is now perfecting, completing the work of grace He began in our salvation. Yet a struggle – even a war (as described by the scriptures) – continues. That internal struggle we experience is framed by the biblical understanding of the two natures at odds within us; that of the Spirit and that of the flesh.

04/21/17

CPC THIS WEEK
THE E-NEWSLETTER OF CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH April 21, 2017

“Not Afraid of Burning in Hell”

The timing of commercial could not have been more interesting, at least for me - I saw it for the first time just before Easter. It was an ad from the FFRF – Freedom from Religion Foundation – starring none other than Ronald Reagan. The difference between the father/son duo could not be more striking; especially on this issue.

The topic regarding the relationship between Church and State continues to be hotly debated. Even with that being the case, some TV networks have decided not to play the FFRF ad – to both the shock and sorrow of many who side with their particular point of view. My point today is not to discuss the ad, or even the nuances that exist in the church/state relationship; trust me, the question isn’t going away anytime soon!

What did surprise me about the ad was Ron Reagan’s religious stance. First, I knew that he had separated from more familiar family political ties by aligning himself with the Democrat Party. But I was completely unaware of his upfront, unabashed testimonial of being an atheist – I’ve got to get out more. Even with all of that, it was his sign-off that really caught me off guard. After making his plea for solicitations came this:


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