Connecting Point – April 17, 2024

Yesterday we had a Staff Advance Day at our Celebration Kenner Campus for all of our ministry and support Celebration Staff members from all of our Greater New Orleans Campuses. We all came together to worship, fellowship and pray together and learn more about how we can better work together to lead our Church to accomplish greater things in upcoming months and years.

Prior to yesterday's gathering we celebrated what God is doing in our Church family. Through the first 15 weeks of 2024 we've averaged 416 more in-person attendees per week than we did in 2023. And during these first 15 weeks of 2024 we've had 533 salvations and 121 baptisms in our worship services. But even with all the Lord is doing in, for and through our Church's ministry, we know we have to become even better if we're going to impact the people and culture of Greater New Orleans in the ways God wants us to impact them. So that was the theme of yesterday's Staff Advance Day.

My challenge to our staff at our Staff Advance Day was based on the story of Caleb from Joshua 14:6-15. I chose Joshua 14:6-15 as my Scripture text because Joshua 13-14 was one of my One Year Bible daily Scripture readings for April 16. In Joshua 14 we find these words from a man named Caleb.

Caleb said - "Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So I'm asking you to give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the Anakites living there in great, walled cities. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said." (Joshua 14:10-12)

What big things has the Lord done for you in your life?

Here are some principles that we learned from Caleb's story.

  • We need to remember what God has done in our lives and for His people. Caleb remembered how God rescued His people from captivity in Egypt, worked miracles for them (i.e., the Red Sea and Jordan River crossings, the conquest of Jericho), protected His people from the Amalekites and others and provided for His people (i.e., manna and doves from heaven, water from rocks).

  • We need to trust God even when others aren't trusting God. Of the 12 men Moses sent to spy out Cannan, only Caleb and Joshua had enough faith to believe God would enable them to conquer the Cannanites (Numbers 13-14).

  • We need to be willing to "wait" on the Lord, trusting that He will provide for us at just the right time because God doesn't forget about His people and His delays are not His denials. Caleb had to wait 45 years for his dreams to come through, but they did come to fruition in Joshua 14. Sometimes we want to get ahead of the Lord, but we need to remember that "waiting time" is not "wasted time"; it is "developing time" where God makes us strong enough to tackle our dreams and overcome future obstacles and opposition.

  • We need to tell the Lord what we want and go after it. That's what Caleb did in Joshua 14:12. The Bible tells us the Lord is waiting to hear the desires of our heart, and that He will respond to them when they are in accordance with His will (Psalm 37:3-5, Matthew 7:7-11, 1 John 5:14-15).

  • We need to be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish God's plans and purposes. Even at 85 years of age, when he should have been thinking about retirement instead of conquest, Caleb was willing to go after the hill country around Hebron, even though it had walled cities and strong fighters. And three times in Joshua 14 it was said that Caleb "wholeheartedly followed the Lord." That's the kind of commitment we must have if we're to see God do big things in, for and through our lives.

At 85 years of age Caleb was willing to keep pursuing the dreams and assignments  the Lord had given to Him. And he said, "If the Lord is with me, I can accomplish what He's called me to accomplish" (Joshua 14:12). I can assure you that the Lord is with us here at Celebration, and that He will enable and empower us to accomplish even greater things in the future than we've experienced in times past - if we're willing to believe and live like Caleb believed and lived.

So, what has big things has the Lord done for you in your life? And what big dreams has the Lord given to you? No matter your age or circumstances, the Lord is willing and able to fulfill those dreams if, like Caleb, you are willing to "wholeheartedly follow the Lord."

Relief workers are needed for this Saturday (April 20)

We are grateful for what God is doing through Pastor Sidney Hidalgo and our Celebration Slidell Congregation in Slidell to help people following last week's Tornado. Homes are being gutted out, food is being served, and people impacted by the Tornado are being helped. Relief workers are needed for this Saturday (April 20). So, consider getting some friends from your Campus to join our Slidell members this Saturday at 9 am at 1615 Old Spanish Trail (Calvary Baptist location). For more info,  go to the Celebration Church Slidell Facebook Group, or contact Pastor Sidney Sidneyh@celebrationchurch.org or Robin at Robinm@celebrationchurch.org.

Make Life Count CP

This Sunday at Celebration we will continue our MAKE LIFE COUNT sermon series. In this series we're learning how to experience God's best in our lives, and how to allow the Lord to work through us to make a difference for good and for God in our world. You definitely need to join us this Sunday in-person or online as we learn how to live A Significant Life. Encourage some friends and family members to come with you.

CCCS Registration CP

Registration is open for our 2024-2025 School Year at Crescent City Christian School for students 3 years - 12th grade, and for our CCCS Summer Camp for Children. And we also have openings for children from 6 months of age through 3 years of age in both our Celebration Early Learning Center (2001 Airline Drive) and our Crescent City Christian Early Learning Center (2701 Transcontinental Drive). To learn more about these opportunities, go to www.crescentcitychristian.com or call 504.885.4700.

City Park Night CP

Our Celebration At City Park Night is now scheduled for May 3. On that night you and family members and friends can join Celebration members from all of our local Campuses as we enjoy the beauty, rides, food, etc. of New Orleans City Park at a discounted rate. You can purchase tickets for Celebration At City Park at our Campuses or by going to www.crescentcitychristian.com. And remember to invite friends to come with you to this fun-filled event that benefits our Crescent City Christian School.

Our Pastors, Staff and Leaders look forward to seeing you this Sunday.

Pastor Dennis

Gratefully yours,

Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
dennis.watson.96

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