Norm Strauss in concert!

page-photo-419892Canadian born singer-songwriter Norm Strauss will be here for a ‘living room’ style concert on the Canada Day weekend.

The gifted storyteller will play on Sunday, July 3 in the Fireside Room at CCLF at 7 p.m. Admission will be by donation, like chipping in for gas on a long & beautiful journey. His career spans 30 years and he is a master performer, having made it into the finals even in The Voice Germany last year.

If you like amazing guitar playing, a bard-like passion for stories of life and faith, struggles and joys, you won’t want to miss this amazing opportunity to experience this veteran performer live in concert!

 

Shylo Sharity Worship Concert

shylosharityEnter into an amazing evening of worship with Shylo Sharity Wednesday, June 22 at CCLF at 7 p.m.

Sponsored in part by the Gideons, the concert will also feature some incredible stories of the Word of God impacting people across the globe.

Concert is free to attend, free to enter into, free to engage in and free to be blessed at!

Mark your calendar! It’s coming up fast!

Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dWDPv8Q7M4

 

 

An encouraging note…

Every once in a while a letter like this comes across my desk and simply cheers the heart. I feel I should share it with a caution, that we boast only in what Christ has done as we are reminded to live out a couple of verses in particular in Isaiah 26 — Isaiah 26:8 “Yes, Lord, walking in Your ways, we wait for You. Your Name and Your fame are the desire of our hearts.” And Isaiah 26:12 – “Indeed everything we have done, Lord, You have accomplished for us.”
Pastor Rick
Where does one begin with Who we have for as such an awesome God? Psalm 119:161 – “but my heart stands in awe of Your words.” Psalm 117:2 – For Great is His steadfast love for us and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.”
I have experienced His love before but never to the depth as this past year in coming to CCLF.
He has created such a melting pot of souls that, this is the most profound Christian family that I have had the pleasure of knowing and belonging to.
His people here give love so freely one cannot help but feel breathless. They are self-sacrificing, humble, kind, generous, good – the words and expressions of their love is endless.
I have been so blessed by all of you – not just the ones I have come to know but the others also with whom I am less familiar. Because we live as one body in Christ, I am blessed in spirit by Spirit. I Cor. 12:12 “For just as the body is one that has many parts so it is with Christ.”
I am sharing this because I have been rendered speechless by the generosity of one or more persons this past week. I am stunned and brought to my knees with praise and thanksgiving, first for such a loving God and secondly for such a people who willingly obey the Spirit of God as they are prompted!
We can never outdo God in generosity Luke 6:38 “give and it will be given to you, pressed down, a good measure, shaken together and running over poured out into your lap – for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
So this runs both ways – if what God sees you give is the most you can give, even if it seems little to you, He blesses it. And if you think the gift you give will bless someone – even though you may not know how much, I believe if the one who gets it is blessed 20 fold in their eyes, then the one who gave it will be blessed 20 fold as well!
We all come from different places, countries, cultures, churches etc. None of it matters for we are all one in Christ. So let me say Thank You to each and every one of you. May God bless each and every one of you all as richly as the He has blessed me in coming here, back home with God our Father, Christ our brother and the Holy Spirit our Comforter and Teacher.
Your loving sister in Christ, Theresa S.

Newcomer Discovery Luncheon!

indyAre you new to CCLF?

Do you feel new to CCLF?

Have you been here for years yet still don’t know anybody? (that’s sad, but still possible)

Come to our Newcomers’ Discovery Luncheon on Sunday May 29, after the second service. It’s all provided for you and it all takes place at The Rock. What? You’ve never been there? Well let us show you around! Look at the things God has given us to steward — the Rock is a great place to hold a moderate sized gathering, play pool or fooseball, watch a big screen (12′) sports event, come to a Band of Brothers gathering, or hold a birthday party etc. etc.

You’ve obviously been to the church but have you checked out our offices building? Have you seen our Kingdom Kids space? What about the back 40? Do you know who are leaders are? What’s the deal with Israel and CCLF? Why are video announcements so big around here? What is the overarching vision of CCLF? How does this eldership thingy work – are they elected, nominated, have campaigns and win primary votes? No? So are they appointed like the Senate? How does the admin team fit in? What do they do and how come they get pizza?

All these questions and more will be addressed at the 2016 Newcomers Lunch as well as just getting an opportunity to chat with people, including the leaders.

Again, it’s Sunday, May 29 after the Second Service. And it’s at the Rock. RSVP today to info@cclf.ca

 

Risen

risenOne of the new movies out this month is called “Risen” and it’s about the Roman centurion’s pursuit of the truth — did this Jesus of Nazareth actually rise from the grave or didn’t he?

This Passover, we ask you to go on that same quest for the truth – and then do something with it. Because truly, if Jesus did not rise from grave, it really doesn’t matter what Christians are saying…they are a bunch of fools if that’s the case ~ but if Jesus actually did rise from the grave… then nothing else really matters at all.

The resurrection of Christ, the catalyst for Christianity to sweep the planet the way it has, has been debated for two Millenia but never once been disproved. All the evidence points to it being true actually — the appearances of the post-crucifixion Christ, the start of the church, the dramatic transformation of skeptics, including members of his own family – the change in many doubters from the depths of depression into a amazingly radical new way of living, not to mention the conversions down through the ages, the launchings of hospitals, schools and orphanages and ministry to the poor of every kind– all of these point to the resurrection being true.

No body was ever found. Think about it. The religious zealots against this whole thing would’ve produced the body if it were all a farce. The disciples of Christ, who were accused of stealing the body, were all doubters themselves but then convinced of the resurrection when Jesus appeared to them, ate with them, cooked fish on a beach with them (hallucinations don’t do that) and laughed with them.

Speaking of hallucinations, there’s no such thing as a mass hallucination. There were 500 people at one time who saw Jesus alive and well after he had been crucified, dead and buried.

Roman crucifixions never failed. People didn’t get down off the cross alive. To make sure of his death, the Gospels records that a spear was driven into the side of Jesus where “blood and water flowed out” — the only place where blood and water can flow out is the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart. The Roman Tribune responsible for carrying out the crucifixions was a professional. He didn’t miss a beat. Everyone who was crucified died. It was the Tribune’s duty to make sure of that.risen

The theories that say Christ just went comatose on the cross are not probable, possible maybe but when you look at the details, the evidence says “no” it is ridiculous to think he just ‘appeared like he was dead’ but woke up later in the tomb and made the appearances.

Really? What about the 100 pounds of spices laid on his already torn and beaten body? What about the garrison of Roman Legionnaires standing guard at the tomb? What about the 1000 pound rock rolled up against the tomb itself? What about the wounds of the cross, not to mention the scourge?

What about the appearances he would make in rooms that were locked and barred? Or of the appearances along the beach? The 500 people at one time? What about the skeptics, including his brother James, who was convinced afterward that his bro was indeed the Messiah of God? How could that happen?

What about Saul who became Paul? How did this bruised and beaten up Christ manage all the smoke and mirrors that dramatically changed this religious zealot persecuting the early church contingent into a man who would lay down his very life in preaching that Christ was indeed who he said he was – the Risen Son of God! How did Jesus make him go blind and then receive his sight a few days later just when someone prayed for him if all he was was a country preacher who was beat up but survived?

How do you explain the fact the every one of his disciples, save maybe one, laid down their lives – being literally killed by brutal means – for something they knew was a lie? Men don’t do that. The fact is – they knew it was true! They knew Jesus had actually risen from the grave! They knew he proved every one of his words to be true! They knew that heaven is real, the other dimension is real, the Son of God is real and is alive and everything he said is true INCLUDING THAT HE IS GOING TO COME BACK AGAIN! It is all real and it’s all true – and that’s what changed their lives forever.

That was the fact that launched the church back then, that launches churches and missionaries and every believer today to tell the good news – Jesus Christ is who he said he is – the Living Son of God – and he is the “way, the truth and the life;” no one comes to the Father except by him.

The Good News about Easter is not that we have another religion or another philosophy or just a way of life, or some good rules and moral behaviour to follow- the good news is that He who was dead is now alive, and in Him we too can be alive!

It is salvation for our very souls not only for here and now, but also forever and ever! He is not “a” way; he is the Way! It’s not that many roads lead to heaven; it is Good News to know that there is in fact ONE WAY! There is! And His name is Jesus!

Come celebrate with us at 9 or 11 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning, March 27. It is going to be one very special day!

 

Ephesians – Living on Purpose for the Glory of God!

ephSo we’ve been in the Book of Ephesians since the beginning of 2016 – and we are just starting Chapter 4! How cool is that?!

We call them ‘books’ but really, they are letters and Acts was like a travel journal. Paul wrote the letter we call Ephesians as a pastoral encouragement to the Church at Ephesus. Pastor Gary called it “the whole Bible in one book” – and truly that’s a good thought! The GPrintospel is clear in Ephesians from beginning to end, our identity in Christ is a major focus, spiritual warfare is highlighted in the last segment, and all of it “to the praise of God’s glory” – mentioned several times through out.

While Acts follows the stories of a few individuals and there are several lengthy narratives, Ephesians is packed full of one liner theology in every verse. Literally every verse could be a sermon — this may be a long series! I mean, how would you describe a rainbow to a blind person… or the sweetness of honey to someone who cannot taste? That’s what Paul seems to be trying to do – describing the best way he can all that God has accomplished for us in Christ, and then how he expects us to then live in response. It’s amazing and hard to describe!

Join us online or in person to follow along on the journey of Living on Purpose for the Glory of God! It’s really what life is all about!

Comedy Team Rocked the House

IMG_9357They came, they saw, they rode chickens that sounded like turkeys.

The Panic Squad Improv guys plus Leland Klassen lit up with the stage at Cariboo Christian Life Fellowship January 14.

The event, which was co-sponsored by Food for the Hungry, was a laugh-a-well-about-every-30 seconds, as Klassen kicked off the night with some of everyone’s favourite stand-by jokes – big hands, small head routine – but kept it fresh with some nIMG_9367ew lines thrown in – and his ad-libbing interaction with the audience is always a hoot.

Then the Panic Squad, Andrew Bright and Elijah Tadema, masters at taking ideas from the audience, situations and subjects and turning those into tears streaming from the eyes of all, took over. Some of the tougher situations included a field trip to an farm where the animals got loose but the only two things Tadema could say were “koalas are amazing” and “I can’t do that,” while Klassen was bound to silence and could only make hand gestures of thumbs-up and Loser.IMG_9358IMG_9359

Scenes from a hat and the finale of making up a song on the spot brought down the house.

The next event at CCLF, besides Church on Sunday morning, will be a ‘living room style’ concert by singer-songwriter Norm Strauss, who recently was a competitor on The Voice in Germany.

Christmas Eve Services Pack Out

nativityGood News * Great Joy * All People

That’s the theme of this year’s annual Christmas Eve Service at Cariboo Christian Life Fellowship (CCLF) which will involve traditional carols, contemporary harmonies, some video and a little bit of the dramatic arts as well.

The two services will be at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. with an amazing array of Christmasy snacks in between starting at 5:30 p.m.

Both services seem to have standing room only each year, so you’d best get there about 20 minutes early to secure an actual seat.tree

This year’s drama involves the questions of a man navigating through the frustrations of Christmas – shopping, consumerism, life, God and giving. Set in a contemporary coffee shop, the questions will be woven between the special musical numbers by some very talented singers!

Merry Christmas from CCLF!

Light Up the Night pushes back the darkness

lupt2Like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden, our Light Up the Night event pushed back the darkness Oct. 31, flooding the 108 Ranch Church property with great lights as an estimated 300 kids came out with their moms and dads to enjoy a night full of freedom and fanciful delights.

Freedom – meaning “free” was the currency of the Halloween Alternative – free hotdogs, free coffee, free hot chocolate, free candy and free FUN!

LUTN visioncaster, Hiedi Mack, the Kingdom Kids Pastor at CCLF, did another outstanding job of the annual event. Families were blessed to have a safe, friendly atmosphere without the worry that some ghostly ghoul or flesh eating zombie would jump out at their kids. The theme of the night was Super Heroes – and there were many, including Batman, Superman, Spiderman and even Low Budget Man. IMG_9338A great night was had by all and was even capped off by fireworks popping in the sky, thanks to some neighbours who were doing their family show which the Light up the Night participants got to get in on. THANKS!

indy

Something wicked this way comes…

you-dont-know-the-power-of-the-the-dark-sideIt was August when I first noticed Halloween costumes beginning to make an appearance on the store shelves — couldn’t believe it! Early September more things started showing up in the ‘harvest’ genre but the black and gold colors soon filled the consumer’s eye. Have you noticed the intensity of the wickedness lately? The masks are getting creepier and creepier. I heard a clerk in one store say this year that she saw one child crying and freaking out recently – and the clerk was laughing about that.

Now I grew up going trick or treating and watching scary shows – my parents didn’t really know any better and it seemed innocent enough. We also practiced seance’s and played with the Ouiji board (again innocently but I’ve a few stories to tell about that too!)

I think there is a healthy balance that Christian parents need to walk in, in terms of participating in the Halloween festivities. At CCLF, we provide “Light up the Night!” and fun and candy are involved but there are no haunted houses or witches’ brew bubbling. Why not?

Well, one thing leads to another. Have you ever heard that phrase? As a pastor I have seen people in bondage to wicked nightmares that began when they were children. I was one of them until Jesus set me free from them. Awhile ago I had dealings with a 17 year old girl that had ‘visitors’ come to her room every night for several months — they stopped coming when she gave her heart and life to Jesus and He came in and cleaned house. I’ve see people living in fear, eating and drinking darkness, sitting and watching darkness but wondering why these bad things keep happening to them. One thing leads to another.

I used the term “Cleaned house.” What does that mean? Always remember that Satan is a legalist. If he thinks he has a right to be in your life to harass you, he will (probably not Satan himself, but one of his big-mouthed ghoulies that are very real). Scripture says ‘do not give the devil a foothold.’ A foothold in the Greek is the word Topos – where we get topography from – ground. Do not give the devil ground or in other words, a reason to be in your life, an open door. Jesus wants to come in and clean house of all the footholds that the enemy has in our lives, to take away the ground that he squats on. He really has no legal right to it if you’re a believer in Jesus, but he is a squatter and will occupy your ‘land’ unless you evict him.

This is what parents give the enemy sometimes – an open door to their children’s lives, a ‘right’ or foothold when they ‘invite’ or befriend the darkness that surrounds even Halloween. The masks, the pictures, the movies – they are getting darker and darker and more evil, which seems to be more and more accepted. People are numb to it, which is scary in itself. Most don’t believe it’s real of course – that is another one of Satan’s lies – that he is not real, hell is not real, evil is not real. Ridiculous.

A good example of what I’m talking about  – when Harry Potter came out – well made movie with good acting and special effects – swept the globe. Why so intriguing? Twilight Series – why so intriguing? Vampires, Werewolves Immortality, spiritual dimension, strength and power perhaps. Whatever the reason, one thing led to another. Little children could go on the Harry Potter websites, and within two clicks find themselves on a real witch’s website with real spells to cast, and real doorways into darkness. It’s real.

Good clean innocent fun? Think again. While there are many people – most maybe – who really are just trying to provide a fun night for their kids, there are many others who are very SERIOUS about the dark side of All Hallows Eve. There are documented police files about animal sacrifices, wicked practices, people being hurt; many books have been written about the “beautiful side of evil.”

Doorways. Rights. Footholds. Ground. Be careful. That’s all I am saying. Be wise in our times for ‘something wicked comes this way.’ Food for thought. Over the top? I don’t think so. All I am saying is be discerning. Have fun but be wise, for your children’s sake.

~ originally published October 11, 2011