Oswald Chambers said: “Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.”
Please pray for each other this week. For the Christian, life is lived on our knees.
All CCF guys & friends are invited to Driving and Devotions – a time of perfecting golfing skills & a brief devotion following. Thursdays at 6pm at the driving range next to Grace Baptist Church (see insert). Bring your Bible and your clubs. The range has balls to hit. There’s no charge. Devotions follow around 7pm if you’d like come just for that.
KIds and youth!: Our CCF Youth Bible Study resumes this Friday, 6:30 PM at Jennifer’s home in Scappoose! The focus is always the Word, and there will be social events at various times. We want to see our kids and youth go deep into God’s Word and to follow Jesus with their whole hearts!
CCF Ladies and friends – you are invited to a join the Women’s Bible Study in the book of James! The first session is 9:30am on Monday at the Michel’s, then moving to Marjorie’s after that.. Books are $10. Signup at the info table. Please see Debi with questions.
We are planning a Baptism Service soon. If you are a Christian, have not been baptized and want to follow the Lord’s command in this – or you have questions about baptism – please see Pastor Paul!
C.S. Lewis will be remembered as one of the most important Christian thinkers of the twentieth century. He was born in Ireland in 1900, and the major part of his adult years was spent as a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he taught medieval literature. It was in 1931 that he “surprised by joy,” Lewis’s own description of his conversion to Christianity. A brilliant scholar and writer, Lewis used his talents to reach thousands.
He and a group of friends (including J. R. R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings) gathered once a week to share their writings. During those years Lewis produced his famous work The Screwtape Letters. In the early 1940s he delivered talks on various Christian topics over British radio. His fame grew throughout Great Britain and spread to the United States. Out of those talks came the book Mere Christianity, a penetrating work on Christian apologetics. Countless Christians point to this book as an essential part of their faith journey. In the following passage Lewis discusses the question: Is Christianity hard or easy?
How Much of Myself Must I Give?
The ordinary idea which we all have before we become Christians is this. We take as the starting point our ordinary self with its various desires and interests. We then admit that something else—call it “morality” or “decent behavior,” or “the good of society”—has claims on this self: claims which interfere with its own desires. What we mean by “being good” is giving in to those claims. Some of the things the ordinary self wanted to do turn out to be what we call “wrong”: well, we must give them up. Other things turn out to be what we call right”: well, we shall have to do them.
But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been rnet, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes. In fact, we are very like an honest man paying his taxes. He pays them all right, but he does hope that there will be enough left over for him to live on. Because we are still taking our natural self as the starting point.
As long as we are thinking that way, one or the other of two results is likely to follow. Either we give up trying to be good, or else we become very unhappy indeed. For, make no mistake: if you are really going to try to meet all the demands made on the natural self, it will not have enough left over to live on. The more you obey your conscience, the more your conscience will demand of you. And your natural self, which is thus being starved and hampered and worried at every turn, will get angrier and angrier.
In the end, you will either give up trying to be good, or else become one of those people who, as they say, “live for others” but always in a discontented, grumbling way—always wondering why the others do not notice it more and always making a martyr of yourself. And once you have become that you will be a far greater pest to anyone who has to live with you than you would have been if you had remained frankly selfish.
Harder and Easier
The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’
Both harder and easier than what we are all trying to do. You have noticed, I expect, that Christ Himself sometimes describes the Christian way as very hard, sometimes as very easy. He says, “Take up your Cross”—in other words, it is like going to be beaten to death in a concentration camp. Next minute he says, “My yoke is easy and my burden light.” He means both. And one can just see why both are true.