Amy's Life Lessons

As a church, we recently lost a dear member after a fight with cancer. We celebrated Amy Carter’s life on September 15th and the experience was powerful, beautiful, and inspiring.

Not failing to serve Jesus in death just as she did in life, Amy planned her own service for maximum impact to the Kingdom of God. We worshipped together, we heard a clear presentation of the gospel, and we saw Amy’s faithfulness reflected in her devoted family. Person after person testified to the packed room how Amy had sacrificially reached out them, provided mentorship, prayed with them and spurred them on in their faith. Those of us who love Christ cannot help but be challenged to follow Amy’s example in our own lives.

Here are Amy’s Life Lessons. We hope they will inspire you the way they inspired us!

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The Beast and the Guardian

Dear church,

This reflection is from my trip to Detroit in July to attend the wedding of CBC alumni Justin and Samantha Miller.  This reflection isn’t about their wedding - no allusions to them are intended here!!! - but I would be remiss not to say that the wedding, reception, and weekend were all fantastic!  Kathy and I had a great time and were privileged to be part of the celebration.

The Beast:  I wanted to have a book to read while we traveled so I looked through our house and found a copy of The Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  In this fictional story a group of young boys, roughly ages 6 to 14, survive a plane crash on a tropical island; all the adults on board perish.  The boys begin their community in an orderly manner but are also afraid that the island is inhabited by a dangerous beast. Eventually a power struggle emerges and their little community splits.  They stop being boys and turn into savages, literally killing one another. Their fear of a deadly beast on the island turns out to be true but shockingly the boys themselves, and in particular those who ascend to places of power and influence, turn out to be the beast.   The story, written post World War ll, is a sobering assessment of the human condition.

 Guardian Building in downtown Detroit

Guardian Building in downtown Detroit

The Guardian:  Justin and Samantha’s wedding ceremony was held in the Guardian Building in downtown Detroit.  You can read about it at http://guardianbuilding.com/history/.  The building is incredibly beautiful, interesting and ornate.  It was built in a time of great optimism, the roaring 1920’s, when the economy was booming and Detroit was a growing center of commerce and trade.  The building was once called the “Cathedral of Finance” and the notion of “guardian” is from its role as a banking center. The bank identified itself as a guardian of money, of business, and of prosperity.  Ironically the building was completed in early 1929 before the famous stock market crash leading to the Great Depression.

The reading of the book and the location of the wedding were serendipitous but noteworthy to me in a couple of ways.  First humans were created by God to be guardians, commissioned to extend the garden of Eden by filling the earth and subduing it, ruling in such a manner as to bring prosperity and peace.  That was the admirable vision of the bank - to empower commerce and bring prosperity. But both the boys in The Lord of the Flies and the stock market crash revealed the beast in humanity through selfishness, abuse of power, greed, deceit, and pride.  In the beginning humanity yielded to the temptation of a beast and ever since has succumbed to being beast-like themselves, predictably bringing destruction and death instead of prosperity and life.  Humanity is a fallen guardian, like the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14 or the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28.

Second the guardian and beast motifs also remind me of our commission to make disciples. Jesus instructed us to be shrewd as serpents and gentle as doves because of the danger of the beast and the potential of the guardian.  We know both the beast and the guardian in our personal histories and so we do our best to lead people into repentance, turning them away from the beast, and into new life in Jesus Christ, becoming guardians through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

I hope you have enjoyed my reflection.  I look forward to a new year of ministry together, defeating the beasts and releasing the guardians around us!

Blessings,

Pastor Dan


 

Children's Ministry Update: July 2018

Dear Church Family,

As we continue our summer mission, please a take some time to look at the things that our children are learning and what they are doing on their mission adventure!

 

What They are Learning:


Kids Club and GIG

Combined for the Summer (July 1st – September 29). Children in kindergarten through sixth grade will be learning about missions.

In the month of July they are learning:

God can turn unbelievers into missionaries. Examples include Paul, the Bible time missionary, and Adoniram Judson as a modern day missionary.

God gives missionaries the strength to keep on going in the despite hard time. Examples include Silas for the Bible time missionary, and Mary Slessor as a modern day missionary.


Try these Mission Adventures:

  • Show God’s compassion to others by giving a refreshing drink to firemen, road workers, or homeless people in our area.
  • Make cards of encouragement for missionary families.
  • Collect coins in jars to send to missionaries we support.

Prayer Challenge

  • Pray for Arab World Missions
  • Pray for International Ministries
  • Pray for Serving In Mission (SIM) in Nigeria.

Upcoming Events

  • July 19 & 26 - Childcare for MIT families in the English class
  • August 3rd - Family Play date from 10am – 12pm at Dana Park in Cambridge.

Caught in action…

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Family playdate

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GIG volunteering at the Harvest Pantry      

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More Be Credited To Your Account

Dear CBC family,

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Philippians, says, “Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.  Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.  I have received full payment and have more than enough.  I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent.  They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (4:15-19).

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On Sunday, June 24th we were privileged to hear from two missionaries, Dr. Amanda McCoy and Jeremy Wideman.  Amanda will be serving a two year term at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya beginning this October; Jeremy is a career missionary with the International Mission Board living in Thailand.  Jeremy, his wife Kathy and their four children have been working with the “You” people of Central Asia for eighteen years.

CBC had supported the Widemans from 2004 until this year and it was a blessing to have Jeremy visit to share God’s Word and work with us.  He did a great job in describing how God speaks his gracious word of welcome (Isaiah 55; “come”) through his Word to all peoples and nations. He thanked us for our many years of partnership and credited us in helping to bring God’s Word to the “You” people.  He shared two stories of “You” people encountering God’s Word through phone apps made possible, in part, by our contributions.

Amanda, our very own Dr. McCoy (“Bones” in Star Trek; fittingly Amanda is an orthopedic surgeon!), is currently raising funds for her mission assignment.  It seems ironic that an orthopedic surgeon should need to raise funds but this is God’s way of sharing the work and the blessing with the entire Body of Christ.  We can share the credit of her ministry too through our financial and prayer partnership. So far Amanda has raised about 22% of her monthly goal of $3700 and 93% of her one time need of $11,000.  Many thanks to those who have joined her support team but there is room for more investors!

Wouldn’t you have loved to be part of the Apostle Paul’s support team?  What a world-wide impact your investment would have had and what a credit would have been made to your account!  The promise of verse 19 that God will meet all the Philippians’ needs is predicated on their generosity. God will meet all their needs because they have been faithful in meeting the needs of others thus fulfilling the law of Christ - the law of love.

While it is too late to get in on the Apostle Paul’s team, it is the perfect moment to join Amanda’s.  This is also a great investment opportunity and not one to be missed! Don’t misunderstand my appeal: it is “not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.”

You can join Amanda’s team by going to: www.wgm.org/missionary/mccoy

Blessings,

Pastor Dan

Packing List

Dear CBC,

 3 days to go to the start of our Summer Mission trip!!

We know you maybe too excited and forget to pack the essential items or be carried away and pack more than the necessary items  or you are freaking out as you wonder what to bring!! We know the feeling and decided to help you out.

Below is a link that will guide you to the components of the Summer mission and please prayerfully consider in advance what activities you are willing and hoping to engage in.

https://www.cambridgeportbaptist.org/summer-missions-2018

The packing list is not exhaustive but we chose the important things:

  1. Willing heart to listen to the Lord's leading.
  2. Obedient feet to go where the Lord may lead you.
  3. Open hands to serve even in the menial tasks.
  4. Bible
  5. Journal and pen. (Consider starting one if you do not journal for this mission trip).


We are praying and excited and looking forward to what God will do in you and through you as we embark in this adventure!

Blessings,

Pastor Shtem

Children's Ministry Update: June 2018

Dear Church Family,

As spring rolls into summer we all are looking forward to breaks, vacations, and more outdoor activities as a family. In the same way,  I am very excited for the Summer Missions that we all will be engaged in as a church. When Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28:19  “Go and make disciples of all nations,” he didn’t put an age or place limit. Our children will be part of this mission trip with us. How exciting!

Therefore, the childrens program on Sundays will focus on mission. They will be learning about bringing the good news of Jesus into their neighborhoods, schools and families. Each week they will be learning Bible-time missions connected to modern-day missions. They will have take-home papers for each lesson that supports biblical truth for that day, engaging fun activities, memory verses, country/mission organizations to pray for, and practical applications about how they can be on the mission field every week.

Please join us as we learn God’s truth and apply it in our everyday life.

Rahel


What We’re Learning


Bible Blast

  • We held our Bible Blast program at MIT campus on Pentecost Sunday, May 20th.
  • We shared the love of Jesus to some families who attended the program.
  • We are on the break for the summer.

Little Kids Club and Kids Club

In the month of June we are continuing unit 7: the Gospel project curriculum. The children covered the Old Testament from Numbers to Joshua.


G.I.G.

In GIG students explore Psalms, and are integrating it with the Lord’s Prayer.


Upcoming Events

Parents meeting June 24 to evaluate what we have done so far, both in family discipleship and the children program. We also will discuss the possibilities of how we as a body of Christ connect and disciple our children.

 

July –September we will focus on Mission using the curriculum Disciple Junction “Sharing God with Others” that covers the foundational theme:

  • Meeting Modern Missionaries
  • Getting Others on Board
  • Hearing God’s Call.

See some pictures from our MIT event on May 20!

Peace

Summer is here! Or almost? May has been a wonderful month where the youth honored all CBC mothers by preparing the Sunday brunch and we hope all enjoyed to their fill.  

We have gone through a study on peace and the many things that can steal our peace. Some can be external factors and others internal ones. From social media to mainstream news and many other platforms that constantly heighten our emotions and expose us to a lot of information that leaves us in turmoil, comparing our lives to other people and feeling the grass is not only greener on the other side but life is happier too.  

All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
— John 14:25-27

We might not be able to control external factors that seek to take our peace, there are internal dispositions we can have that are needed in such times. Jesus did promise us peace not as the world gives based on external factors that are changing constantly but peace that comes as a result of the Holy Spirit living inside of us.

How he works in us to change our perspective on life and worth. Our response to his leading and guiding is important for us to receiving this peace. Sometimes the path to peace is to make better decisions and other times is asking for help. Ultimate peace is found not in things but in relationship with Jesus.

A few questions to help us evaluate the situation we are in and to clear the path.

  1. What currently is stealing your peace?

  2. Is it external or internal?

  3. What do you need to change to have peace?

  4. Have you prayed about it?

  5. What does God’s word say about it?

 

 

Mission “Trip” 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is a year of firsts for me in missions.  I took my first overseas missions trip in February to minister at Salvation Rock Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (see my article on “Solid Rock Churches”) and now I am taking part in my first short term summer mission trip with CBC.

First let me say that the staff is extremely excited about this summer’s all-church mission trip.  Despite the enormous, seemingly impossible logistical challenge of organizing a mission trip for the entire congregation, we have managed to find housing, transportation, meals, and even jobs for everyone in a major urban center in the Northeast.  Many believe that this major urban center might be the starting place of the next great nation-wide revival and churches around the country have been sending short term mission teams there for years to break up the hard spiritual soil in preparation for the seed of the Kingdom of God.

Now it is our turn to join in!  Are you ready? Willing? Here is the major Northeast urban center that we will be ministering in: Boston and Cambridge, MA!  Known as the Athens of America and famous for their renowned universities such as Boston University, Harvard, and MIT (listed alphabetically to avoid favoritism); Boston and Cambridge represent a unique challenge for the Kingdom of God.  Here the mighty clash between the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God is felt deeply in the culture and society.

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So this summer presents a unique opportunity for us to live out the empowering of Pentecost as we step out of our comfort zones and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.  While many short term mission teams forgo the comfort of their own beds and routines to serve in some distant city or country, our summer mission trip confronts us with a different type of discomfort.  In fact, the discomfort we face by staying at home and being on mission in the context of our everyday lives and routines is far greater than the temporary discomforts of being away from home. It is the discomfort of identifying with Jesus to the people you work with, the people you live with, the people you go to school with, the people in your neighborhood, etc.  It is the discomfort of bearing the name of Christ in a place and time in which it is welcomed or esteemed.

A summer mission trip should be challenging and rewarding, stretching and satisfying.  We will accomplish this with clear expectations, good training, weekly encouragement, devoted prayer, lots of stories, and many laughs.  These details will be communicated beginning June 3 with signs-ups taking place throughout the month of June. We will “leave” for our “trip” on July 1 and “return” on September 2.  I am excited to share this trip with all of you!

Blessings,

P Dan

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