Christmas to Calvary — December 5


Jesus Calls His First Disciples

Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around him and hearing the word of God, he was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats there beside the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out from the land a little. And he sat down and began to teach the crowds from the boat. And when he stopped speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered and said, “Master, although we worked hard through the whole night, we caught nothing. But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they did this, they caught a very large number of fish, and their nets began to tear. And they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both the boats so that they began to sink. And when he saw it, Simon Peter fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, Lord, because I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all those who were with him at the catch of fish that they had caught, and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were business partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid! From now on you will be catching people!” And after they brought their boats to the land, they left everything and followed him.

A Leper Cleansed

And it happened that while he was in one of the towns, there was a man covered with leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell down on his face and begged him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you are able to make me clean.” And extending his hand he touched him, saying, “I am willing; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy went away from him. And he ordered him, “Tell no one, but go and show yourself to the priest and bring the offering for your cleansing just as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.” But the report about him spread even more, and large crowds were gathering to hear him and to be healed of their illnesses. But he himself was withdrawing in the wilderness and praying.

A Paralytic Healed

And it happened that on one of the days as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was there in order for him to heal. And behold, men came carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and place him before him. And when they did not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the roof tiles with the stretcher into the midst of them, in front of Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who is able to forgive sins except God alone?” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’ But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” he said to the one who was paralyzed, “I say to you, ‘Get up and pick up your stretcher and go to your home.’” And immediately he stood up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went away to his home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they began to glorify God. And they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen wonderful things today!”

Levi Called to Follow Jesus

And after these things, he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me!” And leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow him.

And Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining for the meal with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes began to complain to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are healthy do not have need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

On Fasting

And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and make prayers—likewise also the disciples of the Pharisees—but yours are eating and drinking!” So he said to them, “You are not able to make the bridegroom’s attendants fast as long as the bridegroom is with them, are you? But days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” And he also told a parable to them: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. Otherwise, he will have torn the new also, and the old will not match the patch that is from the new. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the wineskins, and it will be spilled and the wineskins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants new, because he says, ‘The old is just fine!’”

Questions for Reflection:

  • Who in today’s society would be similar to the lepers and the unclean in Jesus’ lifetime? What hope does Jesus offer them?

  • In today’s chapter, we see Jesus interacting with sinners in various settings and situations. In what ways should Christians follow His example? In what ways or in what circumstances should Christians not follow His example?

  • Consider the Pharisees and scribes. The Pharisees emphasize rule-keeping, and the scribes often denied doctrine that should be considered fundamental. Which tendency do you notice in your own life? What about in your church?

Songs for Sunday, December 5, 2021


God kept His promises; the Savior was born in Bethlehem.

CCC Advent reading guide

One of the most beautiful reminders of God’s love for us in the Christmas season is how God has always been faithful to keep His promises and was especially faithful in keeping this particular promise.

To share what I mean, look at two verses that are often used to herald God’s love for us:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

and

…but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

When the prophet Micah shared God’s promise for Bethlehem (who he was was “too little to be among the clans of Judah”) that “from you shall come forth for me One who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2), no one realized how much that promise would cost the God they hoped would be faithful to His promise. Those in his day (around 750-700 BC) were not focused on faithfulness at all. In fact, much of Micah’s promises to Judah during those years were about the coming judgment from God in exile due to their faithfulness and idolatry. Israel fell during his life and ministry, showing Judah that God was indeed a keeper of promises.

I imagine that it hurt God to allow His people to go into exile. He had promised them time and again that exile was where their faithfulness would lead, but they were proud – more than a little bit arrogant – and thought their ways were best. But, even in the midst of God promising judgment for their sin, God promised the coming of the Messiah to one day rescue them from their sins, and the cost for this rescue would come from Him alone because He alone was faithful enough, powerful enough, and loving enough to carry it out.

God left the glory of Heaven and took on flesh (John 1:1, 14), being made in every way like us (Philippians 2:5-8), to come and bear witness to the truth (John 5:33-36, 14:6). He lived the life we could not live and died the death we should have died (2 Corinthians 5:21) – God the Father pouring His wrath on God the Son, the substitutionary sacrifice for those who would repent and believe in Him (Romans 3:21-25, 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:4-5; Colossians 2:13-14; 1 John 2:1-2).

Just as Bethlehem was a seemingly insignificant town, many of us today feel insignificant on a regular basis, yet God loves and cares for you (1 John 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6-7)!

Tomorrow, we will gather together celebrating Him – joyously praising His faithfulness in looking at His humble birth and humbly rejoicing over the hope that comes to ones as insignificant as us through His death and resurrection!

Here are our Scriptures & songs:

  • So Will I
  • Luke 1:46-55

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

  • O Come Let Us Adore Him
  • Adore Him
  • Luke 1:67-79

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

  • King of Kings
  • (invitation) Joy to the World (King is Coming) —

As a church, we are reading through the gospel of Luke each from December 1-4 as part of our Christmas to Calvary advent focus. You can grab a paper copy in the church lobby or download it here.

There are also daily audio uploads if you prefer to listen rather than read. Here’s Luke 4 for today’s reading:


If you have not been gathering, consider gathering with your church family again. Various variants are still issues in this prolonged pandemic, but prayerfully consider gathering in the 10:00 Bible study where there is plenty of room for social distancing and one could slip out before the worship crowd comes in for the 11:00 service.

Songs for Sunday, November 28, 2021

Advent – waiting on the arrival of something, or someOne, big and important.

It seems so easy to get lost in all of the busy-ness of the season with the passing of hours, days, weeks, and months that we forget the anticipation.

For Israel all those centuries ago, waiting had become their norm. They had awaited the Messiah for hundreds of years. Exile had come and gone. They tried to make their own way. God’s Word was silent until “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The silence of hundreds of years waiting for God’s promise to be fulfilled was broken by the cry of God Himself coming to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) as the promised Emmanuel, “which means, God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

This is why it is fitting that the first week of Advent is remembering prophecy and looking forward to hope: We can have hope because God is faithful to keep His promises!

So, tomorrow, as we begin tuning our worship with the sounds of Christmas, let us look in anticipation to the coming of our Savior because “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20)! We do not wait in silence because the Word has already dwelt among us – and after His resurrection, He has sent His Spirit to dwell with us so that there will never, ever be a time for God’s people without Emmanuel!

May our hearts cry out as with the hymn of old: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel…Rejoice!”

And that is what we are singing about tomorrow: rejoicing that God is with us and trusting in all He has faithfully done – all the promises He has already kept and fulfilled in the first coming of King Jesus – so that we can hope and rejoice in His imminent return!

Here are our Scriptures & songs:

  • Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

  • God With Us
  • Born to Die
  • Romans 5:6-11

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

  • In Christ Alone
  • What a Beautiful Name
  • (invitation) Make Room
  • (offertory) He Will Hold Me Fast

We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

We have Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30a and worship – everyone is welcome – at 11:00a!

If you are concerned about social distancing or are at-risk, consider gathering with us at 10:00a for a small group Bible study in our worship center. There is plenty of room to spread out, but there is also opportunity to gather with others at the same time! No one will crowd you, and you can exit out of our side door and avoid the crowd coming in to worship after the Bible study!

We also continue to live stream from Pastor John Goldwater’s facebook page and have current and past services on the CCC YouTube page.


Songs for Sunday, November 14, 2021

Tomorrow is Sunday, and God is good!

Meditating on God’s goodness is always a good thing. And that’s what we will be doing in worship tomorrow at Christ Community.

We will look ahead in God’s Word to how good God’s plans are for the future of His people. We will look back in God’s Word to how good God has always been. But it is my prayer that, as we read the Word together, sing the Word together, and see what He has for us, we realize that He is especially good to us right now.

Here are a few passages that have been on my heart that, hopefully, will kindle a fire in your heart to gather with God’s people to worship Him tomorrow:

God blesses us in our gathering by using His Church to help us focus on the hope that comes from Him alone, to stir each other up to His works done in love, and to encourage each other through His Spirit.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:23-25

Think of how similar we are today to Israel in faithlessness and trouble. If God never wavered in His promises to them – and has indeed NEVER been unfaithful at all, how good is it that we can trust in Him now!

Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

Joshua 21:45

We can fully trust in God because He is eternally able.

…fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.

Romans 4:21

So, yes, tomorrow is Sunday, and, Lord willing, we will get to gather to worship Him. He who promised is faithful. He has always been good to us. He will forever be good to us. And, rest assured, He is good to us now!

Here are our Scriptures & songs:

  • Revelation 21:1-8

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

  • Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
   He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
   He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
  for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
   you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
   and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.


We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

We have Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30a and worship – everyone is welcome – at 11:00a!

If you are concerned about social distancing or are at-risk, consider gathering with us at 10:00a for a small group Bible study in our worship center. There is plenty of room to spread out, but there is also opportunity to gather with others at the same time! No one will crowd you, and you can exit out of our side door and avoid the crowd coming in to worship after the Bible study!

We also continue to live stream from Pastor John Goldwater’s facebook page and have current and past services on the CCC YouTube page.


Songs for Sunday, November 7, 2021

Tomorrow is Sunday – and we get an extra hour of sleep! I can hardly think of a more exciting combination.

This past week has been more than a little anxiety-ridden and definitely one that I am definitely ready to finish. I love that the first day of the week – of every week, but especially this one – is the Lord’s day, a day where we get our focus back on Christ. For the Church – the Bride of Christ – every Sunday is supposed to gather in remembrance and worship of all that Christ has done for us, but, most importantly because “He is risen, as He said” (Matthew 28:6), we gather to honor our resurrected Savior who is our “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3)!

There is plenty to distract us from that hope. It is as Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”. But, rather than be distracted, let us be reminded all the more of Who our reason to hope is!

I love the dual promises found in John 16:33 that “in the world you will have tribulation” but that we should “take heart” because Jesus has already “overcome the world.

I love the reminder Jesus gave to Paul in the midst of his great trial and thorn (2 Corinthians 12:9): “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

And I love and rejoice in the hope that one day I – and all believers – will be with Him forever, the Sovereign all-powerful God and His ransomed, adopted, redeemed Church, where there will be no more “mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4) and the final tear will be wiped away by a hand still bearing the scars of the wounds by which we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)!

Tomorrow, I hope you’ll gather with us. It’s likely you need reminding, too. There world is a hopeless place, but this world is not all there is. So, tomorrow, we’ll gather as our little corner of the Kingdom and make much of Him in worship to prepare for the eternal life that is to come!

Here are our Scriptures & songs:

  • Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

  • Galatians 3:10-14

10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.


We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

We have Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30a and worship – everyone is welcome – at 11:00a!

If you are concerned about social distancing or are at-risk, consider gathering with us at 10:00a for a small group Bible study in our worship center. There is plenty of room to spread out, but there is also opportunity to gather with others at the same time! No one will crowd you, and you can exit out of our side door and avoid the crowd coming in to worship after the Bible study!

We also continue to live stream from Pastor John Goldwater’s facebook page and have current and past services on the CCC YouTube page.


Songs for Sunday, October 31, 2021

There has been a passage on my mind for the past two weeks. My pastor, John Goldwater, shared it in our last pastors’ meeting, we read it in worship at Christ Community last week, and, apparently, John and I were both still thinking of it because he posted it this morning.

The passage is Proverbs 30:1-4:

The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.

The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!

I find myself wondering why this passage has been on my mind these weeks and why I have meditated on it so. I have come to the conclusion that it is for two reasons: 1) I am “weary…and worn out” and definitely “too stupid to be a man”, and 2) I KNOW HIS NAME!

Last week, when we read this aloud together in Christ Community, there were more than a few chuckles as we read vv. 1-2! We laughed because, sometimes, our stupidity is humorous. We laughed because we knew it to be true! We all often lack wisdom. We are all often ignorant of the knowledge we should have of “the Holy One” because we “have not learned wisdom” (v. 3)!

People say that ignorance is bliss, but how blissful could it be to be ignorant of God – to willfully ignore His Word? We are very likely acquainted that ignorance is due to the absence of learning, but I believe this passage highlights ignorance due simply to our ignoring the knowledge that is there. God knows all, and He knows us!

Psalm 49:10 describes the fate of everyone on the earth: “even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others”! So, rather than remaining in willful ignorance, I would like to offer all of us the opportunity to cast off our ignorance and be obedient to the command of James 1:5:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

And in our seeking of wisdom, I pray that we find the answer to all the questions in that passage: His name is Jesus!

There is no greater spring of wisdom that in Jesus, who is the wisdom of God in human form! Jesus is “all the fullness of God” (Colossians 1:19) and “the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6) — fully God and fully man, unique and “preeminent” (Colossians 1:18)! He gave Himself – dying for the ungodly (Romans 5:6, 8) for the sins of the world (John 3:16, 1 John 2:1-2), yet He is alive today because “He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corintians 15:4) — “He has risen, as He said” (Matthew 28:6)!

Do you know Him?

He’s the answer to all the questions that the oracle Agur asked in our passage!

Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Our “great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13, cf. John 3:13)!

Who has gathered the the wind in His fists? God Almighty (cf. Isaiah 40:12)!

Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? The Sovereign God of the universe (cf. Job 26:8)!

Who established all the ends of the earth? THE LORD whose Name is above every name (Philippians 2:10-11, cf. Psalm 22:27)!

What is His name, and what is His son’s name? Surely you know!

His name is Jesus!

And He is who we are hoping to worship tomorrow! He is the substance of our preaching and our singing! He is the object of our worship and conversation – tomorrow especially, but – hopefully – every day. He is God, and He cares for us!

I hope you will join us tomorrow!

Here are our Scriptures & songs:

  • Romans 8:31-39

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Isaiah 53:3-6

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.


We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

We have Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30a and worship – everyone is welcome – at 11:00a!

If you are concerned about social distancing or are at-risk, consider gathering with us at 10:00a for a small group Bible study in our worship center. There is plenty of room to spread out, but there is also opportunity to gather with others at the same time! No one will crowd you, and you can exit out of our side door and avoid the crowd coming in to worship after the Bible study!

We also continue to live stream from Pastor John Goldwater’s facebook page and have current and past services on the CCC YouTube page.


Songs for Sunday, October 10, 2021

It’s almost Sunday!

I have a passage on my mind that is going to seem odd considering how excited I am. It’s going to seem a bit sad though I am full of joy reading it. But, then again, that is what hope in Christ does – it flips the sad realities of this earth upside down through the hope of what He has done, is doing, and has promised to do in the future.

Here’s the passage:

By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?

Psalm 137:1-4

When these words were written, nearly all of Israel was in exile. The punishment God had promised for the idolatry of their kings and the hearts of His people who were supposed to love Him above all had come into fruition. The temple lay in ruins. Jerusalem’s walls were in shambles. And God’s people were far from His promised land and seemed farther away from the covenant promises they had forsaken.

Those who led Israel in worship now found themselves in the crosshairs of mocking and shame. Where there had once been loud singing and music in their hearts, there was only shame. They hung up their lyres. They traded worship for weeping. All the while, their captors tormented them by asking them to sing some of their beloved “songs of Zion” – basically, sing some of those songs about how much you love the Lord and what all He has done for you….

They had no song or desire to sing, only tears.

Their memories of former glory and worship did nothing to satisfy their longing for rescue in their present. The rubble of the temple and reverence for past faithfulness had no effect on their current weeping.

Those feelings are not exclusive to Babylon.

There was a time in my life that I wanted nothing more than to hang up my guitar and sing no more of the Lord. In fact, I sold my guitar to pay the moving expenses to leave ministry behind to move back home ashamed of quitting and being burned out, afraid of the future.

I had barely been home twenty-four hours when a tormentor ridiculed, asking how dare I quit on the Lord and reminding, almost gleefully, of the shame I felt. And tears fell in my car the same as they had once fell by the waters of Babylon.

The joy I had once felt in leading in worship and preaching the Word were not enough to combat the present sorrow I felt during that time. In fact, all of my efforts were wrapped up in the past – past righteousness, past success, past calling, past motivation, past personal worship of Jesus. But, just as with those worship leaders in Babylon with lyres hung on trees and hopes hung up in their past, I found that the past was not enough to sustain my present, much less my future.

Thankfully, God brought repentance and, little-by-little, joy back into my life following after Him. Just as He did for Israel, He healed the pain of my exile, helped me follow Him more closely than I ever did in the past, and held out His mighty hand to me because “He cares” for me (1 Peter 5:7). I remembered that Jesus is alive and well, seated on the throne, and found myself rejoicing in the pains of my past because they highlight Him and how He was with me every step of the way.

And that’s how we will “sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land” tomorrow. That may seem odd since we will be in our homeland, so-to-speak, but this world is not our home because “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20)! We will gather together, not because of our past faithfulness but HIS! We will remember what He has done, but we will rejoice because our resurrected King is doing things – working for our good and His glory – NOW! And we will rejoice that our exile in this old world is not permanent and He has promised us future eternity with Him where the last of the tears from Babylon will be wiped away by His own hand (Revelation 21:4)!

So, I hope you will join us tomorrow as we make much of Jesus. You can’t do anything about your past, but – PRAISE GOD – He already has! And He has given hope for a better future than we could ever earn on our own.

Here are our Scriptures & songs:

  • Romans 6:1-5

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

  • Romans 6:6-11

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.


We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

We have Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30a and worship – everyone is welcome – at 11:00a!

If you are concerned about social distancing or are at-risk, consider gathering with us at 10:00a for a small group Bible study in our worship center. There is plenty of room to spread out, but there is also opportunity to gather with others at the same time! No one will crowd you, and you can exit out of our side door and avoid the crowd coming in to worship after the Bible study!

We also continue to live stream from Pastor John Goldwater’s facebook page and have current and past services on the CCC YouTube page.


Songs for Sunday, October 3, 2021

Tomorrow is the Lord’s day!

It’s His because of all He has done.

Gathering together as His Church gives us the opportunity to share our worship, our thankfulness, our desperate need for Him!

In these posts, I try to share something that will stir your heart and help you and yours prepare your hearts for worship tomorrow – to help you set your minds on Christ and what He has done for you (Colossians 3:1-4). But I read a poem by the late-missionary C.T. Studd (posted by Kayla Golden) called “Only One Life” that definitely stirred my heart for tomorrow:

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes, only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgment seat;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
Living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me, Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow, Thy Word to keep;
Faithful and true, whate’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh, let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes, only one,
Now let me say, ‘Thy will be done’;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say, ‘Twas worth it all’;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.

C.T. Studd (1860-1931) was a missionary to China, India, and Africa. He was saved in 1878, but, for the first six years of his new life in Christ, He described himself as “backslidden” and captivated by a love of the world because he did not share Christ with people. He repented after hearing D.L. Moody preach in 1883, and sharing his faith became a part of his life – so much a part that his love for the world faded as much as his love for Christ grew. May it be so for us!

He gave all his earthly treasures, including a large inheritance from his father’s will to show that he trusted in Christ and was in the will of the Father. And, potentially, his most famous quote showed his heart for following God’s will and sharing His gospel more than any bio could:

“Some wish to live within the sound of a Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a Rescue Shop within a yard of hell.”

May this be our heart for the gospel as well.

So, tomorrow, we’ll sing of the grace, shed blood, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. May our hearts overflow with gratitude and worship for Him. And may our love grow for Him in such a way that our attraction to this world will dim more and more with each passing breath until we kneel before His throne.

Here are the Scriptures & songs:

  • Hebrews 4:12-16

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • 1 John 4:9-10

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.


We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

We have Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30a and worship – everyone is welcome – at 11:00a!

If you are concerned about social distancing or are at-risk, consider gathering with us at 10:00a for a small group Bible study in our worship center. There is plenty of room to spread out, but there is also opportunity to gather with others at the same time! No one will crowd you, and you can exit out of our side door and avoid the crowd coming in to worship after the Bible study!

We also continue to live stream from Pastor John Goldwater’s facebook page and have current and past services on the CCC YouTube page.

Songs for Sunday, September 26, 2021

It’s funny how songs can stick with us and stay vividly fresh in our memories when so many other things fade.

Sitting here thinking about songs from my childhood is a mix of my daddy sitting and strumming his guitar and mama demonstrating proper rock ‘n’ roll joy.

I can hear my daddy’s voice sing about Jimmy Brown the poor newsboy and “standin’ on a corner in Winslow, AZ” as clearly as if I had been transported back to the floor at his feet as a tot. I can almost feel the wind on my face, riding in the car with my mama with Cheap Trick or Springsteen blaring to round out Daddy’s bluegrass and make sure my musical education complete.

But the song that is perhaps most vivid for me today is an old gospel chorus that I treasure more because of the eternal life with Jesus Christ it points to than the sweet memories it evokes:

This world is not my home
I’m just a-passin’ through

My treasures are laid up
somewhere beyond the blue

I just can’t feel at home

in this world anymore

I want to – I try to – I long to feel at home. But I just can’t anymore. And that’s good news.

Listen to how Paul puts it in Philippians 3:20-21:

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.

Basically, if we belong to Christ, we no longer belong here. The earth that is where we live cannot compare with our heavenly home. This world is has been ravaged by sin and the Fall (Genesis 3). There are those who walk as “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18) whose minds are set on their own appetites and “earthly things” (Philippians 3:19).

Furthermore, Jesus ascended from this earth (Acts 1:9) to Heaven (Colossians 3:1) and has prepared a place for us to be with Him there (John 14:1-3, 6)!

I can sit and focus on all of the negative aspects. I can dwell on the troubles that I see around me all the time. That’s easy to do – we are after all immersed in this world. Or we can look in expectation for the coming Savior. We can pray for Him to come to us. We can “seek the things that are above” where He is (Colossians 3:1)!

This is one of the reasons that gathering as a church here on earth is so important. Jesus has given us a group of people who live here whose citizenship is where He is. He has given us brothers and sisters who live out the same struggle and need the same Savior. We get to remind each other of Him and lift each other up. We get to “comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). We get to be reminded that “He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23)!

There will come a day – a day more glorious than our feeble minds could hope to imagine – where we won’t have to hope anymore. On that day, our faith will be made sight and all of the sad days on earth will come suddenly and wonderfully untrue. On that day, Jesus will gather His people together from every land they are sojourning. All the citizens will be brought home, and a loud voice will declare our new normal:

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:3-4

Oh, the joy that awaits us – not Heaven but JESUS!

And that is what we are reading about in God’s Word and singing to Him about this Sunday, hoping in Him to help us put our focus on Him and what will be rather than the circumstances surrounding us in this weary land.

Here are the Scriptures & songs:

  • Psalm 40:1-5

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.

  • Psalm 30

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

6 As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10  Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”

11  You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12  that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!


We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

We have Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30a and worship – everyone is welcome – at 11:00a!

If you are concerned about social distancing or are at-risk, consider gathering with us at 10:00a for a small group Bible study in our worship center. There is plenty of room to spread out, but there is also opportunity to gather with others at the same time! No one will crowd you, and you can exit out of our side door and avoid the crowd coming in to worship after the Bible study!

We also continue to live stream from Pastor John Goldwater’s facebook page and have current and past services on the CCC YouTube page.

Songs for Sunday, September 19, 2021

There is no news more important than the gospel – good news – Jesus Christ!

Rather than write and seek to explain this week, let’s watch this beautiful video/animation from Spread Truth ministries to get a fresh look at the entire Story of the Bible and Jesus’ Gospel:


And that’s what we’ll be singing about tomorrow! We will sing of the Rescuer and how He came to save us from sin and death. We will sing about His death for us on the cross. And we will sing about how He rose from the grave just as He said and how He offers the same Life to those who believe and trust in Him!

Here are the Scriptures and songs:

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

       “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

  • At the Cross (Love Ran Red)
    Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song:
John 4:14Romans 5:211 Timothy 1:16Galatians 2:19-201 Peter 2:241 Peter 1:18-19
  • 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

       “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55    “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!

We have Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30a and worship – everyone is welcome – at 11:00a!

If you are concerned about social distancing or are at-risk, consider gathering with us at 10:00a for a small group Bible study in our worship center. There is plenty of room to spread out, but there is also opportunity to gather with others at the same time! No one will crowd you, and you can exit out of our side door and avoid the crowd coming in to worship after the Bible study!

We also continue to live stream from Pastor John Goldwater’s facebook page and have current and past services on the CCC YouTube page.