Annual Shooting Competition

Saturday, July 11th we will have our annual shooting competition. This is for handguns only and adults only. Sign up HERE.

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Faith Healing

Acts 3:8-10 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

A man who had been lame from birth, who was day after day brought to the steps at the Beautiful Gate to beg, on this day came face to face with two Apostles, Peter and John. Peter said to this man, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk” and he did. There is no other Name by which we should walk and no other Savior whom we should follow. If we are devotionally following Christ, we will be learning contentment in our own lives and discontentment with the world. Just as Jesus was content in the will of His Father, yet discontent with the state of the world if we are going to be salt and light, we must be the same, content in the will of God yet discontent with the world as it is.

This man was not healed at the time that Peter spoke, rather it was at his own rising up which was an action taken in faith. Let’s take a moment to talk about healing and faith; there are three aspects to this:

First, there is Peter’s faith. He believed that God would heal this man, otherwise, he probably wouldn’t have begun the conversation. He said that he had no silver and gold to give, so Peter’s intention from the start was to see this man healed by God. Second, is the lame man’s faith. This man had been lame in his feet and ankles since birth and had been begging from the same place for years with many devout people passing by every day. He certainly had no expectation that this day would be any different from any other day. But you know, from where he had been begging, he would have seen a lot of things. Perhaps he had even heard Jesus teach. He may have been there the day that the Apostles spoke in tongues and the church was born. Whatever the case, when Peter instructed him to rise, he took Peter’s hand and rose. This was an act of faith. Think about how disappointing it would have been had his lame feet folded under him and he tumbled down the stairs! Yet he took Peter’s hand and rose, then he stood on his healed feet and then he leapt and praised God. Third, there is God’s willingness and His healing power. You know, sometimes we hear people say that God is doing all this healing over there in this other country but it doesn’t happen here. First of all, that is untrue, healing does happen in this country and for all we know it may happen more here than it does any where else, but when it does happen here we doubt it. When it doesn’t happen here we say it’s because there is doubt. I think miraculous healing is very much for today and I don’t think that God has quit healing or limited healing to certain areas of the globe. Scripture makes it clear that God delights in healing and that He is willing to heal. I don’t believe that we can limit God’s ability by simply not believing, but scripture is very clear that God responds to faith.

You know, many people in church today equate skepticism with being solid in the faith, because the church needs to be seen by the world as rational and scientific … Hey, we can’t have all that faith stuff happening because the world will think we’re nuts! Or could it be that the world would be amazed? That’s what we see over and over again in scripture. People saw the miracles and they were amazed and moved to awe and reverence for God. I once heard someone propose a very interesting idea which was, instead of skeptically questioning miracles, let’s skeptically question doubt and uncertainty. That’s what Jesus did, in fact, Mark 6:6 says He marveled at the unbelief of the people. We don’t want to accept everything that we hear about, read about or see broadcast. There is a lot of foolishness out there and a lot of things that have nothing to do with God. But if it glorifies God and it jives with scripture, then why not? Just because there are some things that are way off target out there, let’s not dismiss those things that are clearly by the hand of the Lord.

So then, the question might be, well, why does God heal sometimes and not other times? I honestly don’t know, but there is obviously some divine response or recognition of faith and belief that goes into it. I think that God at times heals us because He knows the fruit of that healing is going to be good. I think other times He withholds healing because He has other plans. If we are going to accept that God can miraculously heal we also have to accept that He is sovereign and all knowing and that His plans for us are good. When God moves in our lives in a miraculous way, we should, like this man, celebrate it and praise Him for it. When God withholds healing we should also praise Him for it. Which do you think requires the greater faith and honors God the most? The faith needed to be healed, or the devotion to God that will praise Him without the healing. Let’s be content with God’s answers and praise Him because there is healing either way … today or in heaven.

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CCB Youth Group Camping Trip

Attention CCB Youth Group!  The Second AnnualOutdoorAdventure atOak Mountain State Park is finally HERE!

The CCB Youth Group night of camping and day of summertime fun at Oak Mountain State Park is coming up next Sunday June 28th and Monday June 29th.

We will depart from CCB on Sunday afternoon at 12:30PM to carpool or caravan to Oak Mountain State Park Campgroundswhere we will have a simple picnic lunch.  We will set up camp, go for a swim in the lake, build a campfire and enjoy a cookout and an evening of fun under the stars.  Monday’sAdventure will be a full day at the park, including things such as a campfire breakfast, hiking, a picnic, paddle boats, and swimming at the Oak Mountain Beach.  We will return to CCB onMonday afternoon at 6:00PM.

All youth (and adults) ages 6 and up are invited to attend.  Children ages 5 and younger may attend if accompanied by their parent.  Parents of children ages 6 and up are certainly welcome to attend but not required, as chaperones will be provided.  Please see the attachment for a list of what to bring, what not to bring, and what will be provided.  Tents and all of the essentials will be provided.

RSVP to John McGinnis by Wednesday, June 24th. 

PLEASE PRINT THE ATTACHED CAMPING CHECKLIST!!!!

Questions?

Contact John McGinnis at johnmcginnis1@hotmail.com / (205)937-7997

CCB Youth Group Camping Trip - Supplies List

CCB Youth Group – Growing Together In Christ

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Israel Wayne

On Sunday, June 21st, during our 10am service, we are happy to welcome Israel Wayne, Author and Speaker, who will share a message on “Why are you Angry” from his book Questions God Asks. This is a message sure to encourage and inspire parents with rebellious children.

Israel Wayne is an author and conference speaker who has a passion for defending the Christian faith and promoting a Biblical worldview. He is the author of the books Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview, Full-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship, Questions God Asks and Questions Jesus Asks. He is a former regular columnist for Home School Digest and the Old Schoolhouse magazines. Since 1995, Israel has traveled the nation speaking on family, homeschooling, revival, discipleship, and cultural issues. He is a frequent guest on national radio and television programs. Israel’s family began home educating in 1978 and has been featured in national and international publications including TIME Magazine, The Arizona Republic, WORLD Magazine, Court Report and the Wall Street Journal. Israel has been featured as the keynote speaker at various conferences, with over 5,000 in attendance. For more on Israel and the books he has authored, go to http://www.familyrenewal.org.

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Confession, Giving, and Worship

Deuteronomy 26:4-11 “Then the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. And you shall answer and say before the Lord your God: ‘My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. But the Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us. Then we cried out to the Lord God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression. So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, “a land flowing with milk and honey”; and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.’ “Then you shall set it before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God. So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.

Deuteronomy 26 presents a fascinating ceremony that was to be performed at the offering of first fruits. The ceremony acknowledged that all the produce of the land came from God. It was a confession of relationship and reliance. It also was an expression of thankfulness for God’s provision and goodness. Part of that ceremony involved a brief retelling of what God did for Israel. The Israelites intentionally committed these events to memory and when it came time for them to recognize God’s Lordship in this ceremony of presenting their first fruits, they would recite those things that prove His care and goodwill for them. Similarly, there is a review we can make and it follows the outline of these last few verses.

1. “Never forget where you came from.” (v5-7)

God told Abram that He would be the father of many nations and that through him, God would bless the world. Abraham believed God and it was counted for righteousness. But the man who’s name meant, “Father of Nations” had few children, one of which was sent out of the camp, leaving him with one son, Isaac. Isaac later married Rebekah, and two boys were born to them, Jacob and Esau. Jacob was tricked by Laban into marrying his older daughter, Leah, but then also married Rachel. And the tribes of Israel were then born. But one son named Joseph was despised by his brothers and they sold him into slavery and he ended up in Egypt. When a famine engulfed the world, Joseph had been blessed by God with knowledge, ability, position and authority and he was able to pre-plan and store food in Egypt. Egypt became the storehouse everyone went to for food during this famine. Joseph’s family moved there and he forgave his brothers and they settled in Goshen. There they grew, until a later Pharaoh put them under bondage as slaves. Prior to Christ we were all under bondage.

Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34 NKJV). Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). In the Bible, Egypt is a picture of the world and just as Israel were slaves in Egypt, so we were slaves to the world unto sin and judgement. We were slaves to sin, and we were subject to the judgement that is upon the world because of sin. But through Christ we are set free, and we should …

2. “Never forget what the Lord has done.” (V8)

So the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt. But then God used Moses and Aaron to bring Israel out of Egypt, freeing them of their bondage and in a single day a new nation was born. The same thing happened when Jesus was sacrificed as the true Passover Lamb. He was resurrected in three days and another nation was born. Only twice in history have two nations been birthed in one day: (1) Israel born out of Egypt and (2) When Christ died on the cross, another nation was born, made up of all who call on the name of Christ for salvation. Each of us individually experience this moment of being freed from the bondage of the world when we receive Jesus. And that’s not something we could do ourselves … but only by the power and grace of God. I am certain that you, like me, can easily look back at life and say, “Were it not but for the grace of God.” I’m not one for advising anyone to dwell on the past, because we could easily feel condemned over it. The Bible is clear that there is “Now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 5:8). However, we may look back to when we were with the world in it’s judgment to recognize that God has saved us out of that with His mighty Hand. Then we vividly realize we are firmly held in the hand of Christ … a place we can never be snatched away from. But that’s not all. God has wonderful plans for us, and so we should …

3. “Look forward to what the Lord is going to do.” (v9)

Following Jesus is a progressive, forward motion, not a backward sloped decent into the past.  Jesus didn’t die on the cross to strap your past around your neck like a great weight, but to lead you out of your past and into an amazing future. So, what does your future look like? If you have received Jesus, then put on those shades, because it’s bright, my friend. Galatians 4 tells us that Jesus Followers are adopted as sons and daughters of God. Not only that, but Ephesians, Galatians and 1 Peter tells us we are now heirs to the riches of Christ. And, we are referred to in the book of Revelation as kings and priests. That is all Christians. Yet so many Christians choose to live their life in the slums. They choose for themselves the baser things of this world in exchange for the magnificent things of the Father. They cling to that which God has freed them from, no longer under the judgement of the world, but living as those who are. Son of the King, are you making tradeoffs? You don’t have to …

4. “Remember Who you belong to.” (v10)

Israel was chosen by God. They did not choose God, though they were to choose obedience to God based on Who He is and who they were to Him. God is Lord, but more than that, He was their LORD, and they were His chosen people. When they brought their first fruits, they presented it to the priest and said to him, “the Lord your God.” And once the Israelite had made his confession, he placed their offering before the Lord his God and he worshipped the Lord his God. You have not saved yourself. God alone has saved you! At one time, it was a relationship that required a divider. But Jesus, died on the cross and your sins are now washed away by His blood. The divider that once existed between you and God has been torn, not from the bottom up, but from the top down. It is not your doing, but God’s. And now you can, “Come boldly to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV). We can now “Present ourselves to Him as instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:12-14). Paul, in Romans wrote that he knows how difficult it can be to not live in sin because he struggled with that even after he became a follower of Christ. He said that while we’re now set free from the penalty of sin, we still live in the presence of sin while we’re alive on this earth. By the power of the Holy Spirit Who is given to believers at the moment we come in faith to Christ (Ephesians 1:13–14), we are free from the power of sin and sealed unto Christ as a pledge of our inheritance as God’s children. We can come and place our offering before the Lord and worship because we are made right with God through His Son, Jesus. Who do you belong to? You’re God’s kid. You stand to inherit far more than you could ever imagine. Even today, He’s blessing you, though it’s not yet time for you to claim your inheritance. Live the life God has set before you and don’t choose the slums … or better put …

5. “Rejoice in those things.” (v11)

When Israel was safely across the sea and God sent those great walls of water crashing down on the Egyptian army the Bible says that Moses and all of Israel sang out praises to the Lord and all the women danced and sang. The instruction of verse 11 is to rejoice in every good thing which the Lord has given you, your family, your church and even those who enjoy blessings through your relationship with God. Notice that the rejoicing comes after the confession, the giving, and the worshipping.

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It’s the Message

1 Corinthians 2:3-5 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

People talk about the importance of first impressions. Public speakers, actors, actresses, politicians … Those who seek to convey a message to people know that an audience will “read” a speaker for clues to his message. People notice whether a speaker is unsure of himself, or confident in his standing with the audience. In Paul’s day, public speaking was an art form and there were many “expert” speakers to be heard. Speakers who appeared nervous or humble were disdained. It was assumed that they had no confidence in their message. Paul, however, paid little attention to style, and he spoke in noticeable weakness and fear.

This brings us to a question … what was it that Paul feared … even to the point of trembling? We know that Paul was not lacking confidence in the gospel message. He was, however, aware of the weakness of his presentation as judged by human standards. His humble attitude was not appealing to the Corinthians. There were plenty of other, better public speakers to be heard. They laughed at Paul’s meekness when he was with them. They said, “Paul makes bold statements in his letters, but he shakes when he speaks to us face to face.” They were rejecting Paul and his faithful preaching of God’s Word. They showed preference for more polished speakers … those who, Paul warned them, “enslave you, take everything you have, take advantage of you, take control of everything, and slap you in the face” (2 Corinthians 11:20). Just as David refused Saul’s armor, so Paul would not gird himself with persuasive words to prove the truth of the gospel.

I can’t help but wonder if the revival we all pray for is going to come not by the convincing words of a professional preacher but by the message of the cross born on the backs of meek men who tremble when they teach? I feel very strongly that is the case because so far the convincing spectacle of crusades and concerts, mega churches and mega pastors has resulted in very little, if any, revival. Revivals of the past, were born on simple truth and a demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power that was entirely convincing. That demonstration of the Holy Spirit was what we would call conversion. That a person would be saved through a presentation marked by weakness … even visible trembling … can only be the Holy Spirit at work.

Paul ended Chapter 1 talking about how it’s not through the powerful but through the weak that the gospel came. Paul wrote, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27). And here, in chapter 2, he’s making the same argument about man’s speaking ability and intellectual prowess. It’s not in the strength of the speaker, but in the strength of the message.

What does this mean for you and me? Oh, it’s great news … it really is. You see, we might assume that we are unable or unprepared to share the gospel. We might think that our simple, imperfect presentation would do more harm than good. We might think we are unable to give the message of the gospel unless we’ve taken a course, class or have a fancy certificate. But Paul says he came in “weakness and fear.” The key wasn’t in Paul’s ability to impress – but in the Spirit’s ability to bring life to the words. Remember Romans 1:16?

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

Sharing the good news that Jesus paid the penalty for our rebellion against God so that through His death and resurrection we can have a sure relationship with God is a message of immense power. The power is in God … His ability to change a heart by the hearing of the gospel. If human wisdom is used to win someone to Christ, then his faith stands on man’s wisdom. But if a man is brought to faith by the power of God, then his faith rests upon that.

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Man Up Day at CC Bartlett, TN

Saturday, April 25th, at 8AM, Calvary Chapel Bartlett in Tennessee is having their annual “Man-Up Day” and CC Birmingham will be caravanning up there to join them. Registration is $35 per person and we will all share the cost of hotel and gas. Registration includes a great day of fellowship and Bible Study, a Steak and Eggs Breakfast, BBQ Lunch and they’re throwing in a ton of fellowship and fun as well. You can register online by clicking HERE. You may pay at the time you register online or later at church by placing your registration fee in the tithe box. Deadline for registration is April 15th. We will be leaving late afternoon on Friday, April 24th, spending the night and attending the conference the next morning before returning home late Saturday afternoon.

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Persistent Prayer

Luke 18:1-5 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”

In the parable, the woman was persistent in her request to the judge … Now if that judge, whom Jesus described as a wicked man, is moved to action by the persistence of the widow, will not God who is good, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, answer persistent prayers from the objects of His passion? The parable does not mean that God is reluctant to help … But … why does it sometimes seem like He is reluctant to answer our prayers? For one thing, yes is not the only answer God gives … He also says no and we should be content in that answer because God knows best for us. Sometimes the answer is yes, but God wants us to wait because there is a work to be completed in us prior to Him responding to our request. Sometimes the answer is just wait … because we need to learn to wait. It’s in the YES or NO answers that we learn God’s will. It’s in the WAIT answers that we learn to ABIDE in God’s will. Yes and no are clear cut answers and while nobody likes to get a no, it is an answer. But what about when a clear answer doesn’t come or when God tells us to wait?

Well, as we’ve just discussed, God is sovereign and because He is sovereign, His timing is spot on. Waiting is hard and that’s why God says that there is special blessing for those who are willing to wait on the Lord. In Hebrew there are two important words meaning “wait” which or yachal and qavah, both of which are frequently used in scripture. In the New Testament the primary Greek word for “wait” is prosdechomai. In all these instances, the meaning of the word is not a pointless waiting but an expectant waiting as one who has a promise would wait on it’s fulfillment. When God wants us to wait, we do so with the confident expectation that God will answer us … Whether that’s in vindication, or fulfillment of a promise. And so, like a child who knows they will be arriving at a desired destination might be inclined to ask, “Are we there yet?” over and over again, we can be persistent in our prayers to our Father … and He won’t pull out the duct tape! Prayer is an incredibly powerful weapon and it’s one that should not be wielded in reluctance or under any assumption that we are somehow pestering God. He desires our requests and so Jesus says, always pray and do not lose heart.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

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Deliverance

Luke 22:1-2 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.

From a historical perspective, the celebration of the Passover in Israel represented the exodus of Israel from Egypt during the time of Moses. By recreating and retelling the Exodus through both words and in the elements of the meal, it emphasized deliverance from bondage. The annual Passover looked back, but also forward, anticipating a future deliverance of which the patriarchs and prophets testified, a deliverance Israel craved, as over the years they had experienced more bondage at the hands of Babylon, Assyria, and of course they were now under the yoke of the Roman Empire. That deliverance would be by the Messiah that had been foretold from the beginning, only the Messiah they were anticipating would not die on a cross, but would lead the Jewish people in victory over their oppressors. In the narrative of Passover and the suffering of Christ, there is an obvious relationship between Passover and Jesus’ crucifixion, highlighting the role of sacrifice in bringing forth deliverance.

God has always rescued people from danger, suffering and sin and it’s important for us to understand that God is not ambivalent or uncertain in His love. Throughout scripture (and in our own lives), we have seen God’s care at work through His deliverance of people from danger, illness, slavery, trouble, enemies, Satan, fears, sin and the coming wrath against sin.

God does this through direct intervention of His own, through angels and through people (think Moses, Joshua, the Judges, David and, of course, Jesus … and today through ministers of the gospel). Deliverance is an important theme in scripture and we may observe three important aspects of deliverance, (1) Deliverance comes from God, (2) Deliverance does not come from idols, and (3) Deliverance may be declined.

There is no case of deliverance that is not by the grace and care of God. Even when non-Christians are involved such as in the case of pulling someone from a fire or a surgeon who saves someone’s life through his skills, that is God at work … He gave the skills and He made the means of deliverance. From large scale deliverance, to day to day acts of mercy, there is no good thing that does not have it’s origins in God.

Deliverance never comes from idols. Deliverance NEVER has it’s origins in abstraction, in lies, in neutrality, or indifference. Apart from God, nobody has ever been saved … not by science nor by evolution and nobody has ever been saved by government.

God has given people free will to make decisions as we please. God does not force salvation on anyone, though it may be freely received by all. In light of the judgment that awaits all who abide in sin, I don’t understand why someone would say no to the gift, but deliverance may be declined.

In order for people to be delivered from sin, there had to be a sacrifice for sin that did not only cover sins, as the sacrifices of animals did, but PAID the full penalty for sin … And that’s what Jesus’ sacrifice did.

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On Grace

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

It does seem to me that the grace of God is quite remarkable. It’s like a flood of water that seeks to saturate every nook and cranny, cutting off those who harden themselves against the flow; saving those who are pliable enough to be carried away with it; broad enough to reach all who will receive it. Grace saves those you don’t expect, and is rejected by those you thought would receive. Grace is not received by all. Yet grace is available to all.

Those who are cut off are hardened by self righteousness … I can get there my own way … after all, I’m a good person. Those who are taken with the flow are broken realizing they cannot depend on their own righteousness. And so, putting down their self-righteousness, undermined by conviction and carried on by grace they lay hold of the cross of Christ. The flow of grace takes us away from condemnation, immerses us in salvation and takes us into the presence of the Father. Amazing.

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