December 5, 2017 |Christmas is the season for giving
Christmas is the season for giving. I truly believe that we never look more like God than when we give (“For God so loved that He gave…” John 3:16). One of the things I love so much about our Church is that when you and I give to the ministry of CCC, 10% of our giving goes directly to missionary partners who are taking the Gospel of Jesus to places I’ll likely never be able to. How cool is that?

So in the spirit of the season, I wanted to share with you an opportunity give a gift that can make a lasting impact — give a Christmas gift to one of CCC’s Missionary Partners.

Perhaps you’ve been searching for a gift for the person who has everything. Maybe instead of spending money on something they really don’t need, you could make a donation in their honor.

Maybe you would like to make a special contribution towards a non-profit before the year ends. So long as you make the donation by 11:59pm on December 31, your gift to any one of these ministries will be tax deductible.

You may have a cause that is near and dear to your heart that you feel led to bless. Whether its orphan children, camp ministry, or training men and women to become ministers of the Gospel — here’s your opportunity to give.

I’ve created a Christmas Giving Guide that includes all of the Mission Partners that Cayuga Christian Church supports monthly. As your planning your Christmas giving, you might consider making a Christmas gift to one of these wonderful Gospel-centered ministries.

In Christ,
Pastor Ashton
November 27, 2017 | How will you keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebrations this year?
For many people balancing the stresses of life is more than enough. And every December we add the layer of Christmas to our already busy lives. Let’s be honest, we love the reason for the season; because, people tend to be more joyful and loving this time of the year. And for believers, we have much to celebrate as we honor the birth of our Savior.

Unfortunately, all of the hustle and bustle tends to distract us from Christ’s birth. As we face extended hours at work, longer lines at the store, and the expectation to buy the perfect gifts for those we love, it’s really easy to miss the real reason for the season. I’m a pastor and I feel the stress of life this Christmas.

Our family is far from perfect in making Christmas all about Jesus. But we have practiced some fairly simple traditions that help us keep Christ at the center of our Christmas celebration.

1. Give gifts that point to Jesus. We love giving our kids gifts for Christmas. With three kids under the age of seven, Christmas morning is a joyful mess of wrapping paper flying, shouts of excitement, and lots of “oohs”, “aahhs”, and “wows”. And mixed in with the Barbie dolls and toy tractors, we love to give each of our kids a gift that points them to Jesus. We have given our girls age-appropriate StoryBook Bibles that they could navigate by themselves (we love the Jesus StoryBook Bible). Last year we’re giving our seven-year-old a Bible Verse Coloring book. Age-level devotionals or journals and Christian music are also great gift ideas.

2. Keep Jesus in the spotlight. I know several families who have opted to forego the Santa tradition in their family out of a conviction so that Jesus is not forgotten. We have not made that decision for our Christmas celebration. In our home an elf sits on a shelf, Santa grants Christmas wishes, and we watch Chevy Chase’s tacky Christmas lights. We enjoy all of the traditional Christmas festivities. But, they all remain as a side-act to the real meaning of Christmas. We teach our children that Jesus’ birthday is the reason we celebrate Christmas. We make it clear that we give gifts because God gave us the best gift — His Son (John 3:16). As a family, we read the story of Jesus’ birth found in Luke 2. In our home we like Santa, but Jesus gets the spotlight.

3. Worship Jesus on Christmas. It’s not enough to pause the holiday traditions for a conversation about Jesus. We must also prioritize the time we devote to Jesus. This is why we make it a habit to attend Church each Sunday. Throughout the month of December, your family will have numerous opportunities to worship Jesus with our Church family. Each Sunday in December, both the sermon and Children’s Ministry will focus on the birth of Jesus. On December 17, our Children’s Ministry will partner with our Worship band to lead the worship in both of our worship services (if you would like your children to participate, make sure they attend Wednesday night youth group and Jr. Church each week in December so they can practice). And on Sunday, December 24, we will celebrate Christmas Eve with several worship services — 9am and 10:30am and 6pm. We encourage you to include going to Church along with all of your other Christmas plans.

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Ashton

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One Response to “Beyond Sunday”

  1. Nancy perry says:

    Thank you. It’s a pleasure to go to church now.You not only preach from the Bible but also from your heart. If I didn’t know any difference I would think you were Dr Stanley son. I watch him 3 times each week. Keep up the great work and I will be their every Sunday if Lords willing
    God Bless you and your family.

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