Reflections on Faith

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom
Pastor


 

07/17/2018 9:40 AM

Purple Church

07/17/2018 9:40 AM
07/17/2018 9:40 AM
Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:15-16)
                        
A few Sundays back, I preached a sermon titled “Stay Engaged.” Click here to listen if you haven’t yet. In it, I shared what I believe to be the emerging call of God upon this congregation. I called us to own the fact the we are a purple church, meaning a church filled with red and blue, liberal and conservative, all kinds of Christians. I suggested that “the only way to be a purple church is to learn how to stay engaged, with God and with one another.” To my surprise, the next Sunday many of you showed up in worship wearing purple. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on (I’m slow like that), but when I did, I saw it as an affirmation that this is something we want to learn more about.

In a recent article, recovering CEO, and CCPC member, Robert Hall stated, “I believe leadership got us into this dismal state and it will take leadership to get us out.” He is talking about the state of our society. I believe that we are being challenged to become the kind of leaders that are in short supply these days. Saying we are a purple church is fine and good, but we now need to begin seeing what that actually means for us. To that end, I am working on a new sermon series titled “Purple Church” that will begin on August 12th. I see this as a beginning, a time when we can start to dig into what being purple actually is. What I can tell you is that the focus is on relationships. I believe it is possible to be in relationship while holding different viewpoints. I believe it is possible to be engaged with one another no matter what color we gravitate to at the voting booth. I believe God is, in fact, calling us to do that very thing.

07/02/2018 11:39 PM

A Call for the Church

07/02/2018 11:39 PM
07/02/2018 11:39 PM
"I am testing the genuineness of your love." (2 Corinthians 8:8)
 
The Corinthian church was one that was dealing with a great deal of conflict. They didn't all see things the same way. They didn't all practice the same things. They were struggling with divisions within the church, and it was starting to show. When Paul wrote to them, he tried to help them steer through the messiness of it all and remain bound to Christ as one people. When we look out our window today, we see a world that doesn't look all that different from the church Paul was writing to: splintered, divided, contentious, and messy. It is becoming an increasingly frightening place.
 
On Sunday, we talked about Paul's posture with the Corinthian church and how the wisdom of his effort to stay engaged and remain in relationship with them is a call upon us today. I believe God is calling Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church into a particular kind of life and commitment together. I believe God is calling us to own the fact that we are a purple church committed to staying engaged with God, one another, and the world around us.
 
When you have a few minutes, I invite you to listen to Sunday's sermon and learn more about it.
06/25/2018 8:41 PM

Things to Celebrate

06/25/2018 8:41 PM
06/25/2018 8:41 PM

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

This week, I thought I might lift up a couple of things to celebrate:

  1. Lee’s arrival has been a lot of fun! You have welcomed him and the Lee family with vibrant energy and thoughtful hospitality. If you would allow me to say it, I am proud of you.
  2. Kelly on the Lawn was a great success! The evening was perfect for it. The food was awesome, the music was excellent, and the fellowship was wonderful. It was relaxing and fun all at the same time. The Holy Spirit highlighted our more playful side.
  3. Vacation Bible School was such an exciting week! I don’t think I saw an unhappy child there, and the live animals at the end of the week were a huge hit. The kids walked away with a better grasp of the stories of Jesus and his ministry, and they had a great time learning.
  4. Finally, the Patriotic Concert was phenomenal! I feel like it gets better every year. Kudos to David Hays, Joshua Hughes, Jordan DeRouen, and all of you who helped make the evening a memorable one. At one point, I looked up and felt tremendous joy over all of the ages up their singing glory to God. It was a blessed occasion.

I once read that you can measure the health of a congregation by how well they play together, meaning how well they share Christ’s joy together. If these past few weeks are any sign at all, I’d say we are the healthiest church in town. I continue to serve as your pastor with great pride and with the hope of many more years together.

06/19/2018 7:42 AM

How We Receive Them

06/19/2018 7:42 AM
06/19/2018 7:42 AM

“Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” (Romans 12:13)

I don’t believe in labels. Even though I use them sometimes, I don’t believe in them. I don’t believe that challenging the practice of separating children from their parents at the border is a left wing statement any more than I believe saying that, as long as we live in a world of fences, we need keep our border secure is a right wing statement. I don’t believe in those labels. I do believe in the God who sighs at the pettiness of our labeling and is saddened by the divisiveness they create.

This week, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued a statement on the immigration crisis, saying among other things, “As the officials of our government attempt to address the crisis, we cannot afford to tarnish the highest values of our nation.” Some will want to label it. I caution against that, inviting you instead to receive it as an attempt to present the consciousness of the Presbyterian Church to the consciousness of the country. Former First Lady Laura Bush made a similar statement, suggesting that we should be able to do better.

I have watched the conversations on social media, which often make wide sweeping assumptions of “the left” and “the right” and the immigrant families who have come to our border. The “left” did this. The “right” did that. Blame is the name of the game these days, original sin at its best. The truth is that we cannot begin to fathom why someone thinks a certain way. We cannot begin to fathom what is going on in the lives of families who have come to the doorstep of our nation. They may not be aware of how to request legal entrance. We don’t know. All we know is that they are here, and it is messy. How we receive them and how we treat them in the process reveals the heart of who we are as a people. I, for one, believe that putting energy into improving this situation is worth our attention.

As Christians, we err on the side of grace, always, even at our own peril. We are called upon to do so by the One who went so far as to offer up his own life in order to welcome us home.

06/12/2018 1:38 PM

A Fun Sunday

06/12/2018 1:38 PM
06/12/2018 1:38 PM
“If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
 
Sunday was great, wasn’t it? The whole day was. We welcomed Chris and his family in worship Sunday morning and enjoyed a wonderful reception for them in between services. We also welcomed the following new members: Barbara and Grant Coulson, Kay Flowers, Suzzie Goodell, Katherine Studley, Amanda and Grant Vaden and their daughter Taylor. It is a joy to have them join the CCPC family. Then we capped off the day with a fun evening out on the lawn together, playing games, enjoying one another’s company, and listening to the excellent music of Kelly Vaughn.
 
For the past number of weeks, we have talked about playfulness as an act of faith. I hope you have come to understand it as part of who we are as a church and who we are becoming as a people. Being playful is not just about having fun. It is about how we relate to one another, how we welcome and treat one another, how we hold ourselves in the light of Christ that is our saving grace. In short, playfulness is part of the fellowship we share when we “walk in the light,” as John puts it. Sunday was fun, refreshingly so. May God continue to bless us with that kind of spirit and wholeness. May we grow more and more into the kind of disciples who worship together, share together, cry together, pray together, and yes, laugh and play together.

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Kids's Club July 29 5:00-7:00 pm
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