August 1, 2021 Worship Service

This is our service order for Sunday, August 1, 2021 at Calvary Community Church.

Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

Download: Worship Guide for August 1

Online giving is available here.

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PRAYER & CALL TO WORSHIP  | Psalm 103:1-5
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

10,000 Reasons

You Are My All In All

GRACE & ASSURANCE  | Psalm 103:11-12
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

His Mercy is More

QUIET MEDITATION  |  Psalm 19:14

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Sermon

“Bless the Lord, O My Soul” – Psalm 103

Closing Song

BENEDICTION

Encouragement for Thursday

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psalm 78:1-8

Today is my (Joel) dad’s birthday. If he was still walking on this Earth he would be 93 today. But he isn’t, and I miss him. I can’t help but reflect on him and the impact he had on me. I think I share his sometimes odd sense of humor (although my mom said mine is even more odd–she said on many occasions, “I just don’t know about your sense of humor”). I share many of his sensibilities about some things, and his appreciation of people in general. Most importantly I share his faith.

Pastor James has given the direction for his messages for the next couple of months, and it leads through the book of Psalms. The Scriptures available to the Israelites were divided into three groups: the books of the Law, the books of prophecy, and the books of poetry (including Psalms). The purpose of the books of the law and prophecy has always been fairly well understood– to teach God’s principles of living, His methods of reaching His people and separating them from the nations in general, and the historical record of how Israel responded (or failed to respond). The purpose for what we understand as poetry has always been a bit more vague. We tend to think of poetry as beautiful or literary, and often get hung up on that as a purpose.

I have always believed that the purpose of the books of poetry is to give practical Godly advice about relationships– our relationship with God, our view of ourselves, and our relationships with others. Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon are all filled with practical advice. We read how David, Solomon, Asaph, and others struggled with their own weaknesses, their relationships with others, and how the ultimate answer to their human problems and sin is God Himself. Putting God first keeps everything else in perspective.

At the beginning of this message are the first 8 verses of Psalm 78. They describe the responsibility of fathers in passing on the knowledge and history of God to their children, so that He and His guidance will be remembered from generation to generation. Looking at my own life I can easily see the influence of my father on me in passing on the knowledge of God. He was guided by God’s laws and principles, and belief in Christ as his Savior. He influenced me for 86 years. I never knew my grandfather because he passed from this earth when my dad was only 10. I know that he was a minister, and taught his children about God’s laws and principles and Jesus. I know that the 10 years of influence he had on my dad had a huge impact. I am one of the generations of “the children yet unborn” that is mentioned in Psalm 78. I have no doubt that many of you were influenced in a similar way through your family.

The Psalms are full of advice learned through experience. I am ever thankful that my father was a living example of the type of relationship that God intended. I pray that we are all able to see ourselves in relation to God and others as we travel through some of the Psalms. While many of them do have literary beauty, they help us learn about something much more important– the heart of God Himself.

Take heart and be encouraged!

A New Beginning

At one time the Gospel of Luke was a new beginning for us (way back in December of 2018). And as the Gospel of Luke has come to an end, this Sunday is another new beginning for us.

But first, I would like you to remember how we began Luke and how we ended Luke. The purpose of Luke’s Gospel is in the beginning of Luke’s Gospel – Luke 1:4. We have reminded ourselves of that purpose with these words: there are things which happen to make us totter, but there are things which have happened to keep us from tottering over. I hope when you think of Luke you remember those words. And of course, the things which have happened to keep us from tottering over are those things found in Luke’s Gospel. So, when you are tottering run to the gospel so that you may not totter over.

And remember the end of Luke’s Gospel. It ends with worship. Jesus left the disciples, was carried into heaven, where he now sits at the right hand of his Father, living to make intercession for us, his disciples. As he left, it is remarkable that the disciples, together, worshiped. This was the first of its kind for them. That particular word for worship is used three times in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 4:7; 4;8; 24:52). At the end it is used for the very first time in relation to the disciples. They had not done this before, together, until Jesus physically left them. And when they returned to Jerusalem, they decided to meet up together, daily, at the temple to bless God…together. So, as the Gospel ends, I hope you hold worship together as precious. And guard it as precious.

In Luke’s sequel called Acts, he recaps Jesus physically leaving the disciples. And there he makes no mention of worship. Instead, it is another ‘w’ word – witness. Our worship together is to take us to witnessing to a lost world. This is Acts – witnessing to a lost world. And notice in that, in the book of Acts, Luke emphasizes the togetherness of the disciples.

So, worship and witness are wonderfully connected with our togetherness. When togetherness is fractured (see 1 Corinthians 11 and Philippians 4) our worship and witness is profoundly affected (negatively). Think on this: how then must we and can we profoundly affect our worship and our witness positively? WORK AT THE TOGETHERNESS.

This Sunday is a new beginning. We will spend the months of August and September in the book of Psalms. Each Sunday will be a new Psalm. And the goal is simply this: to refresh our souls. So, my prayer for us is that God would indeed refresh our souls; refresh the soul of our church.

And this Sunday we begin with Psalm 103. Please do not miss it!

Following September, the plan is to walk through the book of Daniel together.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ladies, there is a community group for you starting this September! Thursdays beginning September 16 from 7 pm to 8 pm. You will be nourished in studying the letter to the Philippians together.

And do not forget our church lunch, August 8, following the morning service!!

July 25, 2021 Worship Service

This is our service order for Sunday, July 25, 2021 at Calvary Community Church.

Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

Download: Worship Guide for July 25

Online giving is available here.

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PRAYER & CALL TO WORSHIP  | Psalm 16:8-9, 11
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Be Thou My Vision

Amazing Love (You Are My King)

GRACE & ASSURANCE  |  Titus 3:3-5

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy.

Not In Me

COMMUNION

Sermon

“Do We Really Need To Worship Together?” – Luke 24:50-53

Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me

Encouragement for Thursday

Yesterday’s fighter verse discussion from the beach (I love seeing the ocean too) brought this question: “What do I do when my thoughts are very heavy for me?” Pastor James led our thoughts to Psalm 139, where verses 9 and 10 were pinpointed as our fighter verses. He also mentioned verse 14, which states: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Thinking about that verse as related to his original question made me consider how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Scientists have discovered over the years how our physical and even personality traits are mapped out through our DNA and RNA. We pick up genetic traits from not only our direct parents, but also our grandparents, great grandparents, and beyond. We are only beginning to understand how these minute physical building blocks guide and control the people we become. We may have an inkling as to how God provided the keys within human beings to physically differentiate us from one another and pass on the genetic makeup of our ancestors. Do we have any idea why we have exactly the combination of traits, abilities, and tendencies that we have in our DNA? No. Only God does. That’s why we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

As often happens in my thoughts, this train of thought took me to the station of a song that resonates with this subject. There is an acappella vocal group that often presents a song in a way that makes it much more meaningful to me than the version performed by its original writer. I do not normally listen to much country music, but this group often performs in a country style. Please listen to Home Free sing a John Mayer song, “In the Blood.”

While this song isn’t specifically a Gospel song, it does address the thought we are considering this week— “What do I do when my thoughts are very heavy for me?” Our heavy thoughts might come from simply being the way we are, either physically or personality wise. We tend to dwell on our problems and weaknesses. The song shares feelings of inadequacy and despair, but also turns to the hope that with help we can overcome those feelings. As David wrote in Psalm 139 the ultimate answer is in God, who knows us and how we are made. Let us bear in mind verses 7-10:

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”

These thoughts are our guide to lightening our burden. God has provided the way. As Christians we have the ultimate answer if we can depend on Him:

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Take heart and be encouraged!

How Do I Get Wise?

Our fighter verse for this week is Proverbs 13:20. Near the beginning for the book of Proverbs is this exhortation: GET WISDOM (Proverbs 4:7)! So, how do I get wisdom or how do I get wise? There is an intriguing answer in Proverbs 13:20.

This Sunday morning we will be in the closing verses of the Gospel of Luke – Luke 24:50-53. And we will be gathering at the Lord’s Table together for communion. But think on these things as we make our way to Sunday: why do gather for the Lord’s Supper? And as I get ready for the Lord’s Supper, what is my attitude, my feeling towards those with whom I will be sharing this meal?

And…do you like golf? Our church family financially supports the Cleveland Pregnancy Center. The Center is all about reaching abortion-minded people, that is, those who are considering ending the life that is growing in their womb. But the Center does not end there. They also seek to reach these clients with gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news of Jesus. And the Center does not end there. They also seek to disciple clients on marriage and parenthood and raising a family. And the Center does not end there. They also seek to minister to those who are dealing with the effects of having an abortion.

The Cleveland Pregnancy Center is hosting a golf outing Saturday, August 21 at 2:00 pm. It would be encouraging to them and to us to have a foursome from Calvary participate in this event. This event does seek to help the Center. So, if you are interested please see James this Sunday or email him this week.

July 18, 2021 Worship Service

This is our service order for Sunday, July 18, 2021 at Calvary Community Church.

Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

Download: Worship Guide for July 18

Online giving is available here.

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PRAYER & CALL TO WORSHIP  |  Psalm 9:1-2, 9-10
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing

Revelation Song

GRACE & ASSURANCE  |  Romans 8:38-39
For I am sure that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

His Forever

QUIET PREPARATION |  Colossians 3:15
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
to which indeed you were called in one body.
And be thankful.

Sermon

“You’ve Got This!” pt. 2 – John 3:16

Take My Life and Let It Be

July 11, 2021 Worship Service

This is our service order for Sunday, July 11, 2021 at Calvary Community Church.

Livestream at our website or the YouTube Channel.

Download: Worship Guide for July 11

Online giving is available here.

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PRAYER & CALL TO WORSHIP  | Psalm 8:1-4, 9
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

How Great Thou Art

GRACE & ASSURANCE —  Psalm 34:4-8
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

I Will Sing the Wondrous Story

My Soul Finds Rest

QUIET PREPARATION |  Psalm 77:11-12
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.

Sermon

“You’ve Got This!” – John 3:16

He Will Rescue Us

Encouragement for Thursday

In his short Tuesday discussion this week Pastor James reminded us that in order to grow we need to spend time with God and His word daily. We have to set aside the time to read and study. But that process is meaningless unless we are able to use that to connect with God Himself. Thinking about how we can do that, I was reminded of an article in The Christian Post I read recently about a woman named Tara Whitney. She is the wife of Dan Whitney. You probably don’t know that name, but you might know his professional name– Larry the Cable Guy. He is known most as a standup comedian, sometime actor, and the voice of Mater the truck in the Disney/Pixar Cars movies.

Tara is a Christian author. She also influences others through some speaking engagements. It was her influence that led her husband to rededicate himself to Christ several years ago. In the article she related how she dedicates time to being with God while working on her 180 acre horse farm:

“I shovel manure because I find such satisfaction in getting a job done. But also, no one’s bugging me when I’m shoveling manure because they don’t want to participate. For me, it’s time alone, correlating things with the Lord, and just really discovering the character of God through picking up manure…”

While we might think, “Ewww…”, her next comments dovetail perfectly with some of the thoughts Pastor James shared:

“I think things are busy and chaotic and crazy for so many people, so it’s so important to be purposeful in thinking about God and moving closer to Him daily. If you’re in the Word, even just four times a week, your life is significantly different from somebody’s who’s not. You will see a significant change in your life.”

She has found a realization that I, and I would venture all of us, need to remember daily: that God is with us always, and is our companion not only when we are in a church service. He accompanies us while we are doing even the most menial or unpleasant tasks. Life for each of us is not made up of a series of never-ending spectacular, wonderful events. There will hopefully be some of those, but life is made up of day to day tasks, events, and struggles that probably greatly outnumber the spectacular. God is with us while we are singing or praying, but also when we are stuck in traffic, cutting the grass, washing dishes, or yes, even shoveling manure.

Paul reminds us of God’s presence in our lives, and the direction it should give us:

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father”
(Colossians 3:16-17, NLT).

I pray that we all can read and study the Word daily, but also realize that God is with us to help us realize the place that it has in our daily lives. He wants for us to make it a part of us, and remember that we are Christ’s representatives.

Here is the link to the article that I read, if you would like to read it:

https://www.christianpost.com/books/larry-the-cable-guy-s-wife-on-exclusivity-of-christ-evangelism.html

Take heart and be encouraged!