March 2020 – Hope Lillvik

March 2020
Hope Lillvik

A question was asked to Billy Graham “What is prayer?”  He responded by saying that “prayer is a spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should and not only talk to God but also listen to Him.  Prayer to God is like a child’s conversation with his father.  It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs.”  In the month of December, our family took part in a month of advent by praying for different people.  Every day, we had pre-drawn names of people we planned to pray for.  We got to see firsthand prayers get answered.  We witnessed God’s hand in it all.  Our kids were made aware that prayer wasn’t just a meaningless conversation to God but that it held power.  I believe Viktor and I were even more opened to the power of it.  Spending a whole month making that time and effort to pray together as a family touched me and made me really start to reevaluate the job of Children’s Ministry.  My job is related to the children of CCC, but it’s for the good of the whole church.  For months now I’ve wanted our kids to feel more connected, I toiled with the idea of adults from CCC being paired up with the children as kind of a mentoring, prayer partner, etc.… like “Sponsor a child”.  Then I was told about the “Pray for Me” campaign!  After reading what I will share below, I knew this was EXACTLY what I had been praying for!  We weren’t going to do “Sponsor a kid,” but specifically pray for them.

“In recent years we have become increasingly affected by the rise in students leaving the church. Sticky Faith’s research found this unsettling national statistic: 40-50% of students from good youth groups and families will drift from God and the church after high school. This has become a pebble in our shoe reminding us with every step that something must be done to address this problem. The Pray for Me Campaign began to emerge as we combined what we knew to be true in Scripture with the research stating that the role of adult believers is indispensable in passing on a sustainable faith to the next generation. Our question became:

How can we connect more adults with more young people more naturally than ever before?

The Pray for Me Campaign was born out of this question. We believe every young person needs a team of Prayer Champions strategically praying for them. The Pray for Me Campaign creates a vast web of intergenerational relationships for young people and equips adult believers to pass on a sustainable faith to the next generation.”

Being a prayer Champion means committing to pray for a young person.  To build a bridge of communication with these young people.  To watch them grow, to form relationships that will inspire and encourage you both.  These young people will range from infants-youth.  The main thing we are doing is PRAYING for these children & youth.  Don’t get scared by “form relationships” I’m praying that will establish in time, that you will seek these kids out and ask them how they are, if they have needs (if they don’t speak yet…build connections with the parents).  Let’s make these kids feel valued and loved by our church family. 

We will offer the Pray for Me – Prayer Guidebooks (for a donation).  These will just guide you a little better in what to pray for and how you can make that lasting impression on the lives of these children.

March 8th-14 start praying about making this commitment

March 15-29 Sign up sheets will be in the Lobby

April 5th you will be given your child’s name.

If you have any question you can contact me.

God, as we start to launch into the “Pray for Me” event, I pray for these adults that will make this commitment, that you will open their eyes to the power of prayer, and they will see your glory.  We pray for the young people that will take part, that they will be receptive to the power that you have.  That through this event the children will come to know you and will build an everlasting relationship with you.  Thank you for all the children and youth at CCC.  AMEN!

Psalm 145:4 “One generation shall commend your works to another and shall declare your mighty acts”

Psalm 71:17-18 says “O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.  So even to old age and gray hairs, O God do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

March 2020 – Mike Woolley

March ‘20 Newsletter
Mike Woolley

Have you ever gone to see a movie, and during the film someone pulls out their cell phone and starts checking their e-mail or texts? It is amazing how far a little light will go in a dark place.

I watched a full moon come up last week and it was spectacular. The moon lit up the landscape. But then I remembered, the moon doesn’t actually shine. It reflects. The moon is really a fairly big chunk of rock and its surface is barren and unforgiving. The moon reflects the sun. It doesn’t seem possible since at night the sun is nowhere to be seen. But there’s the moon in all its fullness shining over us reminding all of us that the sun is not gone. The sun still shines at night.

I was thinking of how most of us go through spiritual nights. Times when it’s hard to see God or feel His warmth. The world can be a cold and disappointing place. God can seem distant from us. It’s times like those when we need something to remind us that He is not gone.

It is in those times that you run into someone who is so full of light and love your heart jumps and you realize you are seeing the human rendition of a full moon. You know they’re a moon because they’ve got just as many problems as you have. You know their story and you knew them when they were self-centered and unforgiving. And yet here they are and you see in them a light that does not belong to them. It’s that light that makes them come alive and beckons you to come alive with them.

Jn.8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I love that Jesus shines like the sun. I guess I’m reminding those of you who are going through a dark night of the soul that the Son shines even in the night. Look for a moon. They may be sitting right beside you.

As a representative of Christ, you’re like a walking reflection of light. If you continue to keep a sweet and patient spirit while you’re going through times of hardship and suffering, that light will burn even brighter, catching the eyes and the curiosity of even more people.

Eph.5:8-10 “…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”

The fact that the world needs light presupposes it’s dark. We are no longer in the darkness; we are in the light, and we are the light of the world. Reflecting the light of the sun, we are moons, that the world may know the truth of God.

February 2020 – Hope Lillvik

February ’20
Hope Lillvik

I would have never thought 1 year ago today, I would be sitting in a position where I would need to write part of the church newsletter… and here I am.  Maybe I’m still in disbelief.  To say the words: “I’m going into the office to work,” sounds so weird to my family.  I haven’t worked in an office in over 14 years!  I accepted this position as Children’s Ministry Director because I knew that God would use me and stretch me in a way I haven’t been stretched before.  It will be challenging but yet, so rewarding in the same way.  I love the people at CCC and knowing I get to work alongside so many of you was enough to finally say yes.  Haha yes, a few of you I did call crazy when you mentioned that you had been praying and I kept coming to mind.  I think God was just preparing my heart to really be praying on it.  So, keep praying for me and all our adults (and children alike) involved in this awesome ministry.

As far as our children’s ministry, we are in what some would think as a pretty low period because of the lack of kids, but the kids we do have however few ARE worth our time.  They are worth our teaching, guidance and love.  These kids are the next generation.  They are the ones that will one day be teachers, doctors, firefighters, husbands, wives, fathers & mothers.  What are we doing to ensure that they know Christ?  That the love, forgiveness, grace and mercy of Christ is shown to them.  So, my heart has been so heavy lately and after hearing a few of my own kids saying they didn’t want to participate in a women’s event because “there will just be old people and what do I really have to bring to a group of women,” my eyes were opened!  These “older” (and wiser) women are dear friends, people I go to for encouragement and support.  It hurt me that although they care for these people, they just didn’t have that connection.  I began thinking about mentorship, building that bridge between older people and younger (I’ll be forty this year so I’m in that older person category).  So what can adults do to come alongside the youth in our church?  According to Lifeway Research:  “Teens who had at least one adult from church make a significant time investment in their lives….were more likely to keep attending church.  More of those who stayed in church by a margin of 46% to 28% said five or more adults at church had invested time with them personally and spiritually.”  We live in a day and age where countless kids are walking away from their faith after high school.  What if we went beyond just Sunday school teachers? What if multiple people would invest in these kids personally and spiritually throughout the week, the month, and their life?  So please join me in praying for an upcoming event we will be doing with our kids, it will take a commitment from you but a commitment that will be pivotal in these kids lives you won’t want to miss out.  

“Before God enables his people to bring in a harvest, he pours out a Spirit of prayer upon them.  The surest sign that God is about to send power upon us is a great movement of prayer in our midst.” – John Piper


February 2020 – Mike Woolley

February ‘20 Newsletter
Mike Woolley

Our theme for this year is “Glorify God in Everything.” This is the criteria by which we should judge all of our actions: Is what I am doing right now bringing glory to Him? And there is not a more obvious area in our lives in which we need to be constantly guarding for His glory than that of how we speak to others.

A horse controlled by a bit can be of great service. With nothing more than a bit and a bridle, a rider can gallop down the road on this big animal. But uncontrolled, it can do much harm. In the same way, a tongue controlled by Jesus Christ can be a great blessing. But uncontrolled, it can do much damage. Just as a horse is controlled by a bit, we are controlled by our words.

“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” Jms.3:7-9

Slander and gossip are sins that, unfortunately, are far too common in the church today. How many times have rumors been spread that are based on information that simply is not factual because a person did not take the time to look into it?

James says “the tongue is a small member” (vs.5), which simply means that it is a small part of our body, but it can do so much damage. We may see someone with huge biceps and muscular legs and feel intimidated. But what we ought to be worried about is that little two ounce slab of mucus membrane in his mouth — the tongue. That can do more damage than anything else.

  1. Vernon McGee used to say that the only exercise some Christians get is running down others and jumping to conclusions. Has someone ever gossiped about you? Has something ever been said about you that simply wasn’t true? Gossip and slander are far easier to dish out than they are to take, aren’t they?

Prov.18:8 “The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.”

Gossip is like that. “Did you hear about this?” someone might whisper. So we take that tasty delicious morsel of information. We may swallow it easily, but in the end, it is like a wound. It hurts other people, and it can hurt us.

So when we hear gossip or slander, what should we do? Here is a little acronym that we need to remember: T-H-I-N-K. Is it true? If it is not true, then don’t repeat it. Will it help? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

You might be thinking, “If I applied that principle all the time, there would be a lot of things I wouldn’t say.” Good. Then don’t say them. You will be better for it and so will many other people. So as we think about glorifying God this year in all that we do let’s start with glorifying Him with our words.

January 2019

By Mike Woolley
The New Year is upon us and that means the challenge to read through the entire Bible in 2019 is here. I look forward to all of us reading the same passages together and developing a habit of being in the Word daily.
So why do we need to read the Bible every day? I have noticed that the older I get the more forgetful I am becoming. I tell myself to write things down, so I will remember and then I forget to write it down. I have walked into a room to get something only to forget what it is I came in there for. I can see you nodding in agreement because you can relate.
The all-knowing God who loves you with a perfect love knows you need to be reminded. In fact, the Bible is a book filled with reminders and repetition. It repeats things and reminds us of things because we forget. We need to be renewed and transformed and revived over and over again.
Ps.119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
What you remember about God has everything to do with how you will live. What He says about Himself is the most important thing we could focus on and not forget. Hide His Word in your heart. Know it. God promises that it will not return void. It will prosper in the place where God sends it. A Bible that is falling apart is usually the sign of a life that isn’t.
But not only are there things to remember in the coming year, there are also things to forget.
Phil.3:13-14 “…forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize…”
The word “forgetting” does not mean to fail to remember. But rather Paul will no longer be influenced or affected by what happened before. There comes a point where we say, “That was then, this is now.” And we put it behind us.
God fed the Israelites in the desert with manna. Every morning it would be waiting for them, but they could not keep it overnight. God did not want them to live off the manna from yesterday. He wanted them to depend on Him on a regular basis and gather it fresh each day.
In the same way, you and I can’t live off the experience from last week, last year, or 20 years ago. God wants to do something fresh in your life right now through the wisdom of His Word. Take the challenge. Start reading your Bible and remind yourself of what God wants to do in your life today!
How Do I Know?
By Jake Myers
Now that 2019 is here, we often reflect on the past year and everything that we have been through. I had a lot of time to reflect and go over my year and I would like to share one of the main things that I learned from my reflection.
One of my biggest questions I have is, “How do I know that this is what God wants me to do?” This past year I asked myself that question a lot, whether it was last Spring and I was looking for a job or when I questioned my major that I chose for school or even asking a girl out on a date.
I remember having a conversation with my dad about that, about not knowing the direction God wants us to go and how we will know it. He then gave me some advice that was given to him years ago, which was “First you pray; pray about it and give your thoughts to God and really let Him know your heart. Second, after prayer, you choose a direction. Once you’ve chosen the direction and have started walking you tend to get a sense of whether or not you’re supposed to be there.” Of course, I had a million questions after that but I think the main thing I had was when was I going to know because I can get impatient and I just want to know NOW.
I found out that God has His own time and He’s not going to speed up or slow down for anyone. I prayed last February for God to show me the what he has planned for me for work and for a career. I got my answer 6 months later when I was offered this job here at CCC. I know there are people who have had to wait a lot longer than I had to, but in my case, 6 months felt like forever.
The main thing I want to share with you all is that whenever we feel lost or in a moment of doubt, just pray. Pray to God and share fully with Him your heart. After prayer, go and pick a direction and start walking. Set up that interview with that job you weren’t sure about or choose that major you’ve been thinking about. God is going to be with us in anything and everything we do and we should find comfort in that.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
Vision and Values
By Taylor Bohn
A while back when I was encouraged to apply for the Children’s Ministry Director position here at CCC I decided to research other Children’s Ministries to see what this job may be like. I spent hours looking up churches just to see what captivated children and parents alike and to get an idea of why they keep coming back. The biggest thing that caught my eye when reading about all these children’s ministries was, they all had a core vision statement and very specific values.
Just like any business, and especially a church, that is something people always research before deciding where they will attend or spend their resources. It made me think deeply of what my vision would be if I were to have this job. What would I value in teaching these kids? What was important to me, to kids, to parents, and even more importantly God. After praying about it for a while the same word kept ringing in my head: foundation.
I realized every minute spent prepping or cleaning or even teaching may not feel significant to anyone. The kids won’t often remember the exact verse or story we teach. They won’t remember the crafts and the videos. They won’t even remember the snacks or playtime. So, I thought to myself, what is it all for then? It is for the foundation. Through the repetition of church what kids will take away is the foundation of God and His love for us. They will remember the core values taught and how significant being in church really is. I decided that building a foundation for kids, remembering the big picture behind it all is what is most important to everyone. That is when my vision for our children here at CCC became this: Simply, creatively, and effectively teaching the Word of God and building a foundation of Christ for the rest of their lives.
Christ is our building block. He is our cornerstone, and everything is built up from Him. I pray everyday for our kids and our ministries here that they will always remember Christ’s love for us and that we are truly grounded in Him. I will continue to pray, asking God that our values and visions are aligned with Him and we teach that to our children.

Our Vision, Mission and Beliefs

Our mission and vision at Ablaze is to transform the hearts of people into a close and personal relationship with Jesus where they know Him as Lord, King and Savior. We believe in physical, emotional and spiritual transformation the instant a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.