Connecting Point – May 24, 2023

I recently spoke at a memorial service for a man I'd never met - but a man whose life was transformed because of someone I had met and led to the Lord several years ago. Years ago I was asked to speak at another memorial service for a special needs child I'd never met. In the process I met the child's father, who had lived a rough life for a variety of reasons. In our conversation, while he was greatly grieving the death of his son, he prayed with me to receive Jesus as his Savior. He and his girlfriend started attending Celebration, and they eventually married and became regular Celebration attendees. I had the privilege of baptizing him.

Fast forward some years, that young man became a witness to his father, someone who had basically abandoned his family. As a result of the witness of his son and his sister, that man became a follower of Jesus Christ, and started attending services and serving in a Church in the community where he lived. In fact, on the Sunday that he went to heaven he was at the Church facility until 3 in the afternoon because he'd been involved in a big serving project.

The long and short of the story is that the man's life was changed, his family was reconciled, and they were all able to experience lots of healing in their lives. In fact, at the memorial service more of his family members prayed with me to receive Jesus as their Savior.

JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING.
Always remember that Jesus can change even the most hardened of hearts and even the most dysfunctional individuals - and He can also reconcile even the most broken families. So, keep telling people about Jesus. Keep bringing people to Church services with you so they can learn more about Jesus. Because Jesus can change anyone, any relationship and everything.

This past Sunday at our Celebration Campuses we learned about Navigating The Challenges Of Marriage. Now, some people think that marriage will solve all of their problems - that it will solve their loneliness problems, financial problems, insecurity, and the lust problems of their lives. The truth is, sometimes marriage causes more problems than it solves. A Dietician was addressing a large auditorium and talking about how certain foods are bad for us. The Dietician said, "Red meat is bad for the arteries. Soft drinks erode the stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. And greasy foods will raise our cholesterol." The Dietican then asked, "Can anyone tell me what food causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?" And a Man who had been married a long time shouted out, "The answer is wedding cake." Many people have that perspective about marriage. They believe that marriages are almost always characterized by difficulties, grief and suffering. Men often have a negative perspective of marriage. One Man said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got married, and then it was too late." And another Man said, "First there is the engagement ring. Then there is the wedding ring. And then comes the suffering" Marriage doesn't have to be that way, and it shouldn't be that way. Marriage should be most wonderful relationship in our lives outside of our relationship with Jesus. The problem is that most people are looking for the perfect Man or perfect Woman in Marriage. And the truth is, there are no perfect marriages (because there are no perfect individuals). But Christians should have secure and satisfying marriages, which is what we learned this past Sunday from Genesis 2:18-25. We learned that to have a strong marriage we must: 1) Become a Loving Companion to our Spouse, 2) Pursue a Loyal Cooperation with our Spouse, and 3) Make a Lasting Commitment to our Spouse. If you would like to hear that sermon and it's application for our lives, go to your Campus Social Media site or www.celebrationchurch.org/media/.

Next Sunday (May 28) we will participate in Communion in our Worship Services, and then learn from God's Word how to Navigate The Challenges Of Sex. Some people think that we shouldn't talk about sex in Church services. But I'd rather that people learn about sex in Church than in the classroom or from the internet, or from television, or on the streets. I can also tell you God is not embarrassed about sexual issues and He speaks candidly about the subject of Sex in many different passages in His Word. So, be sure to join us on May 28 for this enlightening and encouraging service and sermon.

 
June 4 is our Level Up Promotion Sunday, when graduating Kindergarten students, graduating 5th graders, and graduating 7th graders move up to the next levels in our Church's Ministry. Promotion Sunday is an important Sunday for the students in your life and in our Church as they "move up" together. They will also experience special activities and blessings by being with us. So be sure to bring your students with you on June 4.
 
June 11 is ALL IN Baptism Sunday for the Celebration Congregation. From the beginning of Christianity, people have demonstrated they're a follower of Jesus Christ by being baptized (Acts 2:37-41). "Baptize" is a transliteration of the Greek word "baptizo" which means to "immerse under the water." "Baptism by immersion" is the Biblical mode of baptism.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR BAPTISM!

So, our Pastors and I are encouraging everyone who hasn't been "baptized by immersion" since they've committed their life to Christ to take that step of discipleship on June 11. When a person takes this step they're declaring that they are committed to living for Jesus Christ. Making that strong statement helps us to rise to a new level of faith and strength in our lives. To learn more about "baptism by immersion," check off the appropriate box on your Communication Card, or contact your Life Group Leader or a Campus Staff Member, or go to our Digital Worship Guide at webcc.info and click on the My Decision tab.

By the way, there may be some who have been baptized by immersion in times past who want to take that step again, to demonstrate they have rededicated their lives to loving the Lord and living for Him. You can also sign up to participate in our ALL-IN Baptism Sunday.

Remember, JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

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