No Service on Wednesday

There will be no Wednesday Night Service at CIL tonight (December 21).   We will not have a mid-week service until January 4, 2012.

Enjoy some extra time with family and friends during this holiday season.

Tonight the worship and programming teams will be preparing for the two Christmas Eve services this Saturday (December 24).  The two identical services being at 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Decide now which service you will attend, and bring someone with you!

Hanukkah Starts Today

Hanukkah begins at sunset on TuesdayDecember 20, 2011, and ends at sunset on WednesdayDecember 28, 2011.  As a Christian, it’s important that we understand our Jewish roots.  The following summary of Hanukkah:

John 10:22-23 – Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.

The story of Hanukkah is recorded in the First Book of Maccabees, which is part of the Apocrypha. In the year 165 BC, the Jewish people who lived in Judea where living under the rule of the Greek kings of Damascus.

During this time Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes, took control of the Temple in Jerusalem. He forced the Jewish people to abandon their worship of God, made them bow down to the Greek gods and sacrificed a pig on the altar. As a result of the severe persecution, a group of four Jewish brothers, led by Judah Maccabee, decided to raise up an army of religious freedom fighters. These men became known as the Maccabees.

The small band of warriors fought for three years with “strength from heaven” until achieving a victory and deliverance from the Syrian control.  After regaining the Temple, it was cleansed by the Maccabees, cleared of all Greek idolatry, and readied for rededicated.   So Hanukkah received its name, the Feast of Dedication, because it celebrates the Maccabees’ victory over Greek oppression and the “rededication” of the temple.

But Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, and this is because immediately following the miraculous deliverance, Jewish tradition states that God provided another miracle of provision. In the Temple, the eternal flame of God was to be lit at all time as a symbol of God’s presence. But according to tradition, when the Temple was rededicated, there was only enough oil left in the temple to burn the flame for one day. The rest of the oil had been defiled by the Greeks during their invasion, and it would take a week for new oil to be processed and purified. But at the rededication, the Maccabees went ahead and lit the eternal flame with the remaining supply of oil, and God caused it to burn miraculously for eight days, until the new sacred oil was ready. This is why the feast is also called the Festival of Lights, and why the Hanukkah Menorah is lit for eight consecutive nights of celebration.

– Re-post from December 2, 2010.  Info take from an e-mail sent on 12/2/10 from “Rock of Ages P.O. Box 18038 Fairfield, Ohio 45018”

Christmas Eve 2011

Christmas Eve will be so special at CIL this year.  We’ve been working hard with a team to create an experience that will center you on Jesus.

We will have two identical services that start at 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.  Each service will be one hour in length.

I want our Christmas Eve service to be part of you and your family’s Christmas tradition.     Make plans now, and bring your family and friends with you.   We are going to create a special experience together for our church family and our community.

ACLU Suit Settled. Time for Sumner County to Move Foward

There was an agreement made known to the public on Wednesday (December 7) between the Sumner County School Board and the ACLU to end the recent law suit over religious activities in Sumner County schools.

I know this is a volatile subject, but after reading the actual Consent Decree, I believe this is a fair ruling under the current circumstances.

The most important aspect to me is the STUDENTS RIGHTS.   The rights of our students should be vigorously protected, and they have been through this ruling.

Here is a statement from the Sumner County School Board of Education when announcing the agreement:

Under the terms of the consent decree entered today, students enjoy the full range of constitutional rights to share their religious views so long as they do so in a non-disruptive manner. They can form religious clubs, organize See You at the Pole prayer events, share their faith, pray in the end zone after football games, and engage in other non-disruptive religious activities.”

Other important points from the ruling include the following:

 –  Teachers will continue to exercise their constitutional rights.  Teachers are still permitted to pray over a lunch meal, voluntarily pray with other teachers, and wear personal religious jewelry (despite what the Tennessean erroneously reported on December 8, 2011)

– There has never been a “no bowing” rule from the School Board for teachers, and there is no such rule now.

– Teachers and employees can still use the term “Christmas.”

– Despite these personal rights preserved, teachers and other school officials can not participate in student-led activities or appear to endorse those activities.

This restriction on employees is a better alternative than eliminating all clubs.  By removing adult participation, it actually helps our students self-express and lead from their own convictions.  Having worked with a lot of student clubs on campus, I think this agreement will allow more students to assert leadership, which is the actual purpose of a religious club.

–  According to my interpretation of the agreement, teachers and school district employees won’t be able to participate in baccalaureate, among other religious services.   While I believe this restriction is overreaching and unfortunate towards a nice custom such as baccalaureate; this issue isn’t as important as the student’s constitutional rights (which were preserved).

–  Schools in Sumner Countywill be permitted to make use of religious facilities in the community when necessary to host large events, such as high school graduations.   I think the restrictions to use religious facilities in this agreement are a little narrow and somewhat unnecessary, but if there was any place to compromise, this was a good place to do so.  According to this settlement, if schools need a facility that seat over 1,000, they can use religious facilities  for this purpose.  While the agreement has restrictions that makes using a religious facility difficult, at least there is the opportunity.

Can youth pastors visit schools?

Yes!

Under the new agreement, they can visit students when they sign in, and visit a specific student.

They cannot visit the cafeteria at lunch time.

I was a youth pastor for ten years, and I spent a lot of time visiting students in the cafeteria during their lunch time (much of that at Sumner County Schools). How important is this task as a youth pastor?  In my opinion, this shouldn’t be that big of a deal (I may write more about this later in the week).   There are other ways for youth pastors to connect with students than the lunch hour.

And truthfully, as youth “pastors,” we are called to equip our students to do ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).   God can use these new restrictions on adult involvement to motivate more students to personally share their faith instead of relying on their youth pastor to roam the cafeteria during lunch.

Our community has been in a crisis mind-set because of this law suit.   Yet, crisis can bring innovation.   This lawsuit from the ACLU can feel to some Christians like an assault on their “rights.”   However, our God works all things for our good.   If we approach this issue with humility, we may discover God’s work in our students is bigger than the methods we have always depended upon.   I believe in the students of Sumner County, and I believe they will be able to assert self-leadership on campus, which will make the gospel more attractive to those investigating Christianity.

Are You Falling In or Out of Love?

When you’re falling in love, everything is better.  Every experience seems fresh.   Every moment is treasured.  You’re grateful.  Enthusiasm is high.

When you’re falling out of love, things get hard.   There’s no margin for error.  You see the worst in everything.   When you’re falling out of love, you actually look for things to be unhappy about.

So are you falling in or out of love with your spouse?
Are you falling in or out of love with your job?
Are you falling in or out of love with your church?

Love never fails.”  – I Corinthians 13:8

Special Pricing for CIL

Actor’s Point Theatre Company is extending a special offer to the attenders of  The Church at Indian Lake.

If any attender wants to attend Actors Point Theatre Company’s production of A Christmas Carol on December 8, 9, and 10 they will be given a “attenders only” discount for tickets (non-dinner).

Normally the tickets are $27.00 for adults and $19.00 for kids ages 4 to 12.

This weekend only CIL attenders will be only $10.00 / person! 

These are the same level of professionals people are paying $42.50/person to see down at the Rep and TPAC.

If folks want dinner and the show they can either jump online at www.actorspointtheatre.com or call 615-431-9620.

The venue is the Hendersonville Campus of Living to Go Church at 1001 Centerpoint Rd. (right next to Tractor Supply)

In order to get the discount have them print off this e-mail and bring it with them and say the secret word (“Aaron and Beth”).

You can pay at the door with Cash, Check, or debit/credit card.

Show starts at 7:30 sharp.