Reflections on Faith and Community

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

04/01/2020 11:08 AM

Together

04/01/2020 11:08 AM
04/01/2020 11:08 AM

Then he led out his people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid; (Psalm 78:52-53)

Well, it’s official. Yesterday we were all informed that schools in Texas are not to return to normal operation until May 4th. Let me tell you, when that announcement was made, the energy in my house plummeted. Our kids knew it was coming, but to hear it said definitely hit home. Things are better this morning, but it is going to be year of uncertainty for sure. How are the days going for you?

One of the things that gives me hope in all of this is the sentiment of togetherness that is being shared. “We are in this together,” I keep hearing. And it is true. We are in this together. I am so proud to be part of a church who gets that. We are doing all kinds of things to make sure we are together. From our online “cabin fever” ministries, to the help our deacons are providing with grocery delivery and phone calls and prayers, to the ways we are trying to continue to creatively support our missional partners while remaining distant at the same time, we are in this together.

One quote I saw online said, “This is the Lentiest Lent I have ever Lented.” It has certainly felt like that at times for many of us. Even though we know that much harder times have fallen on others before, it is alright to feel the different emotions this season is bringing. Know in the end that we are in it together, led though the wilderness by a God who is with us all. We are all held by the hands of love. May that be a blessing to you today.

03/25/2020 10:30 AM

Shelter in Place

03/25/2020 10:30 AM
03/25/2020 10:30 AM

Your statutes have been my songs wherever I make my home. I remember your name in the night, O Lord. (Psalm 119:54-55)

Shelter in place. That is what we have been told to do. It’s an odd phrase to me, shelter in place. I know the basic idea is to not move around a whole lot, but maybe the phrase should be called limited movement rather than shelter in place. It has the feel of a quarantine without really being that. And when will it end? Good question. We all want sooner rather than later, but not so soon as to defeat the purpose of doing it in the first place. Right. That’s right.

While we are all figuring out how to shelter in place together, I thought I might simply say a few things:

  1. Take time to create space for our own spiritual health and faith. Designate a place in your home for prayer and reflection each day to read the daily church email devotion in addition to another practice that works for you. Pick a song or hymn you know and sing it. Set aside time for this. It is important.
  2. The church staff has been working on creating online resources for you to have during this time. They will be housed on the church website and can be accessed by clicking “Cabin Fever Ministry” on the home page. We are still working on this, so give it a little time to be put together.
  3. Worship will continue to be posted online around 10:30 am on Sundays. You might want to subscribe to the CCPC YouTube channel to make it easy to get to.
  4. Finally, if you are not on REALM yet, take a moment to sign up. It has been a wonderful way to share information with groups you are part of in the church as well as stay informed on what is happening.

Yes, shelter in place seems odd. Hang in there. Steep yourself in prayer. Be reminded that God is our ultimate home no matter where we are.

03/02/2020 8:09 PM

Worry Wart

03/02/2020 8:09 PM
03/02/2020 8:09 PM

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.” (Matthew 6:25)

All of us have worries. We worry about work. We worry about our families and friends. We worry about the state of our world. We worry. And yet, in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us to not worry. What’s he talking about? How in the world does he think we could ever stop worrying?

What if you could though? What would happen if you could get rid of all your worries? How would your life change? What might the world look like if all of us were to suddenly stop worrying? Now that would be something. If there was a pill that we could take to magically remove our worries, boy. Who wouldn’t want that pill?

This Sunday we will explore the 2nd of Jesus’ sayings that could change the world as we talk about the nature of worry. Worry can be debilitating, and yet I would submit that it is also one of the signs we exhibit to show that we actually care about something or someone. Worry is part of the fabric of being human. Join us as we explore this powerful saying of Jesus, one that might just help us trust a little more and worry a little less. See you Sunday!

02/24/2020 6:32 PM

Observe a Holy Lent

02/24/2020 6:32 PM
02/24/2020 6:32 PM

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. (Psalm 95:6-7)

Before I say anything else, don’t forget that this Sunday is a single service Sunday at 10:30am. We have planned a completely unique service specifically put together to help us start the Lenten journey to the cross. Spoiler alert: we might be breaking something. You’ll need to join us and find out. Another thing to remember is both the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner tonight at 5:30pm and the Ash Wednesday Service tomorrow night at 6:30pm.

I am also excited about beginning a new sermon series this Sunday titled, “Jesus Sayings that Could Change the World.” We are going to look at some of the more challenging things Jesus said (and there are a number of them) and talk about how different our lives could look if we were to actually do them. What if we actually put to practice what Jesus tells us? How might the world be different? Is it even possible? We’ll find out together.

It is my hope that we find ourselves both challenged to greater things as well as comforted where we fall short. It’s going to be a powerful Lent this year. See you at church!

02/17/2020 8:42 PM

I Don't Believe It

02/17/2020 8:42 PM
02/17/2020 8:42 PM

Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray. (Proverbs 22:6)

I’ve always found it fascinating that each generation seems to bemoan the qualities of the generations to follow. When I was a kid, we were thought of as the “bad kids.” We were the always in trouble, up to no good, can’t be trusted with anything generation. Movies like The Breakfast Club, a story about a bunch of misfit youth who are put in detention because they defied authority in some way, flooded the theaters. Today, the comments talk about how youth are lazy. “They just sit around glued to their phones,” it is said. “What are they good for?”

Well, I don’t believe it, not one bit. And if you were with us this Sunday, you got a glimpse of why I don’t believe the comments society makes about the young people of today. If Youth Sunday did anything for you, it surely had to instill hope for the future. Our incredible young people led us in a powerful experience of worship. God spoke through four of our graduating seniors as they preached on Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.” With courage and conviction, they reminded us all of the permeating presence of God that is always with us and will not fail.

What I saw Sunday morning was the antithesis to what we often hear about young people today. What I saw was a group who invested their time and energy into helping us worship. What I saw was the hope that comes when a new generation begins to step up and share itself with the world. This is God’s gift to all of us, a hope that reminds us that there are good things to come. Thank you to all of the awesome youth at CCPC. You are a blessing.

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