MCC Goes Camping!

Over the past 6 years, folks from MCC have gotten together to enjoy a weekend of camping near the SilverJack reservoir.  Throughout the weekend, we get together to hike, fish, ride ATVs or just relax and enjoy the incredible scenery … as well as each other’s company!

We also have a big bonfire each night when the weather permits. Note that this is all “dry camping,” meaning there are no electrical or water hook-ups, but we find spots close enough to the vault toilets so tent campers can also join us.

camping

Here are some details:

  • WHEN: June 14th-17th.
    • The 1st group leaves the church parking lot at noon on Thursday, the 14th.
  • WHERE: About 2 miles past the reservoir,
    • near the west, middle or east fork of the Big Cimarron river
    • look for “MCC” signs with directional arrows on the posts
    • we’ll do our best to save some sites for others coming up
  • WHAT: Each family is responsible for their own meals, gear, and supplies.
  • WHO: Anyone that wants to join us.
  • OTHER: The camp is roughly at an elevation of 9,000 feet, so the nights get pretty chilly. It’s a nice break from the typical June heat in Montrose!

 

MCC camp map

Questions?  Call or come in and talk to Donna or Bryan at the church office: 249-5432.

 

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A Hardcopy Treasure Trove

In this electronic day and age we have so much information literally at our fingertips. Whether we access it via a computer keyboard and mouse or by poking

around at our phones or tablets, we have available to us piles of articles, books, magazines, and videos free for the searching, scrolling, reading, and watching. My guess is there’s a good chance that unless someone printed this page off for you, you probably landed on this particular blog using your computer, phone, or tablet.

But I want to let you in on a secret: There’s still paper! loadsa-books-1568319There are still pages! There are still videos and recordings! And many of these things and the treasures they contain can be found in your local church libraries.

Here at Montrose Christian Church the hardcopy resources of our church library have increasingly drifted behind the scenes. Tucked back and often unnoticed there are hundreds (if not thousands) of books and videos for your reading or watching enjoyment and study. In addition to a wide array of Bible commentaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias to help you glean the most from Scripture, we have resources available to help you become a better spouse or parent, work through the challenges of depression or addiction, take steps of faith and obedience to walk closer with Jesus as His disciple, and many more.

Even if you don’t live in the Montrose area, let me encourage you to search for your own local church library. There’s a good chance that like ours it is kind of hidden behind the scenes. But when you find it, I’m guessing that you’ll discover a hardcopy treasure trove!

That’s A Wrap!

We concluded our 2017-2018 Family Awana year here at MCC this week. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we first started! This year we had approximately 90 kids enrolled, as well as 60 adult leaders to help things go smoothly. Here are just a couple of highlights:

  • Families from five different churches participated, truly making this a community effort to get God’s Word into the hearts of our local kids. We also had a few families that haven’t yet settled on a church home.
  • Several of our Awana kiddos (we call them “clubbers”) accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior and were baptized this year.
  • Crazy Hair night is always popular with the clubbers. Here’s a picture of some of their crazy hairdo’s and hats.

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    Bryan shows off his crazy hairdo along with the clubbers.

And yes…the leaders enjoy the night also!

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Marianne & Crystall looking stylish!
  • We had several Feast nights, including one on October 31st when we dressed up and the kids let some of our dads join their teams at game time and be their “Hungry Hippo”. Each “Hungry Hippo” was pushed into the middle of the game circle to retrieve as much candy as possible. It got a little intense as you can see from the picture.
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Hungry Hippo game – Dad style!
  • We had a successful Grand Prix race in December. No new track records were set this year (current record is held by Jude Endresen at 194.6 mph), but the top 6 racers for the night were only separated by a total of 0.12 seconds!  This is a fun event for the clubbers of all ages, but I’m pretty sure the dads get the most enjoyment out of it.
  • We concluded our Family Awana year with a game night and an All-Church banquet where the clubbers were given awards for their accomplishments this year.

And while we certainly enjoy all the fun we have, we also never lose sight of our primary purpose – To reach kids and families with the Gospel of Christ and train them to serve Him.

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Aylee, Jackson, & Elijah learning about the Fruit of the Spirit.
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Landon prays for Joanna.

So if you’d like to come and check out our MCC Family Awana next year, we’ll have registration and Ice Cream social on August 28th starting at 6:00 pm. Our first full club night will be on September 4th from 6:00-7:30 pm. We’d love to have ya!

The Bible Project

When it comes to the truth of Scripture, we have available to us a gold mine.  But as it is with mining for precious metals, it takes time and effort to dig through all of the material in order to discover the nuggets that broaden our understanding of God, His Kingdom, and how to participate in it.

For many followers of Jesus we know that we should read the Bible, but in many ways this collection of 66 books, songs, and letters can be very intimidating.  It was written by foreign people in different places and times which makes it hard for us to understand what they were originally trying to communicate let alone what timeless truths and principles apply to us in our time and place.

This is why I want to pass along to you what I consider to be an extremely valuable resource to help you interact with God’s Word.  It’s called The Bible Project.

The Bible Project is a non-profit animation studio that produces short-form, fully animated videos to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere.

In addition to videos providing an overview of every book of the Bible, there are also ones looking closely at significant words and themes found throughout Scripture.  And to help you interact with God’s Word, they also have videos available that guide you through the process of reading the Bible.

The Bible Project is always adding new content as they receive funding, so it is worth checking back frequently to see what they have available.  The best part is that even though they appreciate your financial gifts to continue produce and distribute these tools, they are free to watch and use!

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But don’t take my word for it.  Go check out The Bible Project for yourself!  And I would love to hear how you use it for your own Bible reading and studying.

Bonus:  HERE is a video that tells you more!

Superfluous

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Steve Martin as “The Father of the Bride”

One of my favorite scenes in any movie comes from the movie “Father of the Bride”. It’s when George Banks (played by Steve Martin) is sent by his wife to the grocery store to get something for dinner and “calm down”. Banks is fed up with the increasing cost of the wedding plans for his daughter. We find George in the hot dog bun aisle tearing open bags of hot dog buns and eliminating four from each package. When a young store clerk confronts him about what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, Banks unloads on the poor kid. His frustration is centered on the fact that there are 8 hot dogs in a package while there are 12 buns in a bag. It’s at this point that George uses one of my favorite words… “superfluous”.

The word simply means “unnecessary” or “unneeded”. George’s point is that the extra four buns are unnecessary since he only needs eight as prescribed by the packaging of the hot dog company. George absolutely loses it over the superfluous buns and he actually ends up in jail over the issue. George has a point, although most of us would recommend he choose to die on a bigger hill than hot dog buns.

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Candace Bergen is “Murphy Brown”

On May 19, 1992, as the presidential campaign season was heating up, Vice President Dan Quayle delivered a family-values speech that the slimy media pounced on to define him, nearly as much is liberated him for his spelling. Speaking at the Commonwealth Club of California, Quayle bravely took his stand by denouncing Murphy Brown – the fictional forty-something, divorced news anchor played by Candace Bergen on the CBS sitcom – for her decision to have a child outside of marriage.

The political incorrectness of the Vice President was surprisingly irritating to the Godless media when he said, “Bearing babies irresponsibly is simply wrong. Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this.” One would’ve thought that Quayle had proposed that the earth is flat by the way the media eviscerated him.

This isn’t when fathers became superfluous, but it was certainly a shot heard ‘round the world declaring the idea that fathers were not necessary (except merely as sperm donors) to our progressive culture. Taking this stand in support of fatherhood is in no way an indictment against motherhood (there is a reason almost every professional football player, when the camera is focused on him on the sideline says, “Hi mom!”).

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Wilma & Donovan Mcnabb

Twenty years later, Quayle’s words seem less controversial than prophetic. The number of single parents in America has increased dramatically:

The proportion of children born outside marriage has risen from roughly 30% in 1992 to 41% in 2009.

For women under age 30, more than half of babies are born out of wedlock. A lifestyle once associated with poverty has become mainstream.

An honest and close look at the belief system of our culture reveals that fathers have been relegated to second string at best. And the fallout? Just look around: kids are eating Tide Pods, sucking on condoms, and shooting up schools. We don’t honestly believe the problems are detergents, prophylactics, and guns, do we?

Men have foolishly acquiesced to this strong current and have stepped aside. Men, by the millions, are choosing to either abuse or abandon their families. Meanwhile, the culture continues to rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, promising the ship can be saved through frivolous efforts to apply Band-Aids to cancer.

Many studies confirm that girls grow up without fathers are at a much greater risk for early sexual activity, adolescent childbearing, and divorce.  Daughters of single parents are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 111% percent more likely to have children as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a premarital birth, and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages. In addition, consider these sad statistics:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes – five times the average. (US Department of Health/Census)
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes – 14 times the average. (Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-426)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)

For more discouraging statistics go to www.TheFatherlessGeneration.com.

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Rep. John Duncan Jr.

Representative John Duncan Jr., who previously served as a criminal court judge presiding over 10,000 criminal, mostly felony, court cases writes:

“Well over 90% of felony cases, all over the nation, are committed by defendants who grew up in father-absent households…”

A chief probation officer later told Duncan that the actual number is 98%.

Superfluous? Unnecessary? Non-essential? Hardly!

Church, God has commanded us fathers to father. Starting a family is not the time to disconnect and duck out. Fathering is not simply donating sperm. Fathering is staying put, loving your family unconditionally, sacrificing for them relentlessly, and training them passionately.

Men, can you imagine: what if we put as much time and effort into disciplining, training, coaching, and mentoring our children —  all the while loving their mom, our wife, as Christ loves the church — as we do obsessing over hunting, fishing, car tinkering, and sports?  What would the world become?

As you may have guessed, at MCC, we are in the habit of challenging men to step up to the plate. Many of our guys have stepped up and see miraculous results!

Just as many men (and I use that term lightly) have run away. They either run away from their families  — or take their families with them —  apparently not appreciating the challenge.

However, since God’s Word never changes, we will continue to be obedient in challenging men to be men of God… instead of boys of the culture!

Top 5 Ways To Connect

Have you ever wondered how you could get better “connected” at MCC? Our goal is that this happens naturally amongst the church body through opportunities. Here are the Top 5 Ways To Connect that people have shared with us:

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Our church family gets together in June for a fun weekend near the Silverjack reservoir. Folks go to fish, hike, ATV and search out wildlife with folks they might normally only see across the auditorium on Sunday morning.

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This is a big event at the end of summer that takes place in Buckley Park. The church provides burgers, dogs, water and lemonade; while families bring a dish to share. There’s plenty of shade and typically volleyball, football or Frisbee games break out. Dates are announced in the bulletin a few months ahead of the event.

#3: Overtime

20170205_104440.jpgAfter each service time is made available to continue our worship in an interactive environment with other believers through authentic, casual discussions of the morning message.

#2: Small Groups

12087170_1701870230055942_7904277354181199981_oThese groups typically get started in the Fall and break for the summer months. Small group leaders are listed in the MCC Handbook or you can call the office for more information.

#1: Family Awana

11160576_1587535711489395_4674662452098989708_nOn Tuesday nights during the school year, families with kids of all ages meet here at the church for a night of discipleship. The ministry goal is to teach kids to know, love and serve Christ. Parents are equipped to train their children biblically using the age-appropriate handbooks each of their children are working in that year.

And there’s always Sunday Morning worship. Many folks come a little early or stay a later to rub elbows, have a cup of coffee, and chat. As always, feel free to contact the staff or Elders with any questions or ideas you may have!

Fight It Up!

It’s a constant fight, but most of us don’t give it much thought. It’s one that we each face every day in a wide variety of circumstances. Inside and outside, here and there. At home, at work, at play. On our phones, in our cars, under the couch, down the hallway, up the street, over the hills, and through the woods.   It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, the fight is on!

Do you know what it is yet?

How about a clue? This fight is harder at night than it is during the day. You see, from dawn to dusk we have help. But from dusk to dawn, we’re on our own. So we reach for our weapons. We strike matches. We turn knobs. We push buttons. We flip switches. The enemy must be fought off and kept at bay!

What is this fight? It’s the fight against darkness!

Darkness makes us uneasy; it makes us feel unsafe and insecure. In the dark we can’t see what we’re doing. We can’t see where we’re going. We can’t see what dangers might be lurking under its cover. So we fight it! And boy, do we fight against the darkness! Did you know that the global flashlight market for 2017 was estimated to be $4.9 Billion?! Now unless kids’ allowances have gone up drastically, it sounds like there are a lot of grown-ups who are still afraid of the dark! We want to clearly see what’s around us and before us, so we fight it up by trying to light it up.

But that’s just how we fight physical darkness. What about the darkness that surrounds us emotionally, relationally, financially, and spiritually? What about the darkness that is created by the thousands of dilemmas and questions we encounter day-to-day? How should I handle my finances? What is the best use of my possessions? What do I need to do in my current job situation? Who should I marry? How do I need to treat my spouse? How should I approach the challenges of parenting my toddler, my middle schooler, my teenager? What am I going to do to care for my aging parents? What about my strained relationship with my friend, family member, coworker? What should I do about my mistakes, my failures, my doubts, my fears, my anxiety, my stress, my worry?

What kind of flashlight do we use to fight and navigate through that kind of darkness?

The psalmist points us in the right direction…

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” – Psalm 119:105

It’s true that we can attempt to find our way along the path on our own based upon on our feelings at the moment, our ever-changing opinions, or our concern about what everyone else around us is doing. Unfortunately those things are unreliable and uncertain. But the Bible brightly shines the truth as it communicates God’s character, His heart, His values, His expectations, and His love. It provides us with His perfect wisdom to help us find the answers to our questions.

As the psalmist describes so well, God’s Word illuminates our path with constant truth and certainty.

As a lamp and a light it cuts through the darkness around us and provides us with the ability to clearly see where we must place each step through life. And with that clarity Scripture gives us confidence to move forward through life because we can trust that it will not lead us astray.

So how are you using God’s Word to light up your path?