Connecting Point – November 22, 2023

This past May I was in Israel with a Group from our Church, learning and growing together as we retraced the steps of Jesus in the Land of the Bible. Oftentimes when I take a group to Israel we visit the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum In Jerusalem, When we do visit Yad Vashem I’m also reminded of the story of the great Christian author and speaker, Corrie Ten Boom. She was a Dutch watchmaker and Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II by hiding them in her closet. Eventually, she and other family members were imprisoned for assisting the Jews. The Hiding Place is a biography that recounts the story of her family’s efforts. Corrie’s stories have inspired Christians and others for many generations. One of her stories was about learning to thank God for the “fleas” she encountered in a prison camp.

The barracks where Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsy, were kept in the Nazi concentration camp, Ravensbruck, were terribly overcrowded and flea-infested. They had been able to miraculously smuggle a Bible into the camp, and in that Bible they had read that in all things they were to give thanks and that God can use anything for good. Betsy decided that this meant thanking God for the fleas. This was too much for Corrie, who said she could do no such thing. Betsy insisted, so Corrie gave in and prayed to God, thanking Him even for the fleas.

Over the next several months a wonderful, but curious, thing happened: They found that the guards never entered their barracks. This meant that the women were not assaulted. It also meant that they were able to do the unthinkable, which was to hold open Bible studies and prayer meetings in the heart of a Nazi concentration camp. Through this, countless numbers of women came to faith in Christ. Only at the end did they discover why the guards had left them alone and would not enter into their barracks. It was because of the fleas.

As we learned several weeks ago in our Worship Services, we need to thank God for all of the good things that He has done. But we also need to thank Him for how He will use all things for good in the lives of those who trust Him (Romans 8:28). And whenever you feel like you don’t have much to thank God for, remember the fleas of Ravensbruck. And thank God anyway.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 🦃
Your Campus Pastors, Campus Staff and I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We count it a joy, honor and privilege to serve you, the rest of our large Church family, and the people of our region. Let’s together continue to pursue the Lord, live for the Lord, serve the Lord and share the Lord with people around us and throughout our world.

Before you rush out to find great deals on Black Friday, be sure to contribute to our 2023 Christmas/Missions Offering. This years offering will go directly to support:

  • The building of 5 houses for homeless families in Guatemala

  • 6 months of funding for our Life Transformation Center that ministers to children, teens, and senior adults in New Orleans’ Hollygrove/Dixon community

  • The construction of a Church facility in Kenya

  • Training for 800 Pastors and Church Leaders in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic

  • Benevolence Funding for the elderly and disadvantaged of our region

  • Supporting the Baptist Village ministry in Israel that is housing displaced people

  • 100 Celebration Missionaries as well as 2469 North American Mission Board missionaries and 3552 International Mission Board missionaries

CLICK HERE TO GIVE

As you receive direction from the Lord, plan to give generously to our Christmas Missions OfferingYou can give online at www.celebrationchurch.org/give (select your campus, then designate Christmas Offering) or by using the Christmas Missions Offering envelopes that are found in our Worship Centers. For more information about the Christmas Missions Offering and it’s intended recipients, go to www.celebrationchurch.org.

Sweet Christmas events for our Celebration Women and their Friends will occur December 1-7 at different Campuses. These special times of worship, fellowship, and food give our ladies the opportunity to break away from the craziness of the holidays so they can focus on strengthening their relationship with the Lord and having fun together. You can find the dates and times of your campus’ Sweet Christmas at celebrationchurch.org/aspire.

And be sure to invite your female friends to join in with them. It will be a great way for our women to start their Christmas season.
SWEET CHRISTMAS 2023!
This coming weekend at Celebration in our In-person and Online Services we will begin a new Sermon Series, IMMANUEL - GOD WITH US, and we will participate in Communion together. Please invite friends, relatives, co-workers and neighbors to join you for one of our In-person or Online Services, as we learn about how Jesus came to be our “Wonderful Counselor”, something we really need during the Christmas/Holiday season. For In-person and Online Worship Services times for our Celebration Campuses, go to www.celebrationchurch.org.
Gratefully yours,
  
Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
  dennis.watson.96
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