When Tami and I were first married I went off on a weekend camping and rock climbing adventure with some other young married guys from our church. None of us had ever done any rock climbing, but we had rented climbing shoes and had a guide with equipment and experience who we believed would teach us and keep us safe.
There's a whole series of safety checks and double checks when you're climbing that have to do with verifying that your ropes and harness are properly fastened and that your "belayer" (the person at the other end of your safety rope) is ready for you to start climbing. Sometimes the ritual of call and response ("On belay" "Belay on" "Climbing" "Climb away") seemed a little silly, but we realized that we'd prefer to go through the process over falling to our death!
We began with some pretty easy climbs. The rock wasn't more than a 60 degree slant and the hand and foot holds were plentiful. Even so, it was scary as I got higher and higher off the ground. With each increasingly challenging climb, my heart was racing faster and each movement in the climb seemed more risky!
I knew that the belay line was there to catch me if I fell. We were told how it worked and that the belayer would have no problem stopping us from plummeting to the ground. I even saw some of the other guys lose their grip and be caught by the rope. But despite all of this, I was still increasingly anxious.
The last climb was the most difficult and required some body contortions and tricky maneuvers in order to get to the top. As I was trying to reach the next hand hold, my foot slipped and I felt myself start to fall... but only about 3 feet. The belay line and my buddy on the other end held me just like I'd been told. An amazing think happened: my fear of the climb (and falling) disappeared! I was able to reach across gaps and push up on tiny toe holds without fear. The climb became an exhilarating challenge without the anxiety I had previously been experiencing. I KNEW that the safety rope would hold me and it completely changed my climbing experience!
Last Sunday we looked at Ephesians 1:3-14 and how God has adopted us into his family and made us his heirs. We have been saved and are secure because of His loving action on our behalf! This Sunday, August 20th, we'll look at Paul's prayer for these Jesus-followers in Ephesus in the rest of chapter 1. His prayer centers around his desire that they REALLY KNOW this Truth of Whose they are. Because knowing is different from KNOWING! But our call is to not only take in this Truth for ourselves, but also to pray it for our brothers and sisters in Christ - that they would KNOW it for themselves! I hope you'll be able to join us!
Pastor Chris and Amy Breuninger Visit
On Sunday, August 27th, Chris and Amy will be visiting with us. Chris was the first full-time pastor of CCC from 1989-94. They've recently purchased a house on Whidbey Island which they are planning to renovate and run a bed and breakfast out of.
Some of you will remember Chris and Amy's time in the Methow and the early days of CCC and it will be great to see them and pray God's blessing over them as they begin this new chapter in their lives.
On Sunday, September 17th, we're going to join with other churches in our valley to once again live out our identity as Christ's Body and BLESS others by serving them. This year we will hold our morning worship and then go to the Twisp Park for a lunch and to divide into work crews. We'll go out and tackle different projects for a couple of hours with the intention of sharing God's love in practical ways.
But we need to line up some projects first. That's where you come in. We're looking for some rather simple tasks that small groups can accomplish in about 2 hours. We'd ideally like a variety of different things: some yard clean up, some indoor jobs, and some less strenuous tasks so that everyone and every level of ability will be able to participate. Begin brainstorming and seeking out what we might be able to do for others on that afternoon. We will soon have project forms you can fill out and submit to the church office. We may not be able to accomplish everything suggested, but we hope to serve a number of people.
One other item: I am well aware that the Seahawks are playing a game against the 49ers on Sunday afternoon that day. We're working on recording the game and then having a viewing party with pizza that evening. We'll be able to serve and celebrate the game together!
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church