This is a follow up to the themed worship experiences that are a part of the Astonished Series. Each of the notes and entries supplement some of the things that were taught and covered in the celebration worship experiences.

The Right Order-Tales to Astonish (I)

Jesus says that we are love the Lord your God with all your heart  and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30)

There is something amazing about how Jesus gives us a new heart when we trust and follow Him. It shouldn’t surprise us because God has been in the heart transplanting business for a long time. Remember back in Ezekiel 36:26? We read “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you, I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”

Having the heart of Christ beating in you changes everything.

I wonder sometimes why followers of Jesus are so often viewed as harsh, loud, obnoxious, and uncaring? I guess sometimes it is because we have earned it but the followers I am around don’t tend to be this way at all. As a matter of fact CCC Ministries is a place where people have big hearts that are willing to give and share what they have with others. Here we call it touching and changing the world.

My gut tells me that one of the reasons the body of Christ is viewed as a bit heartless sometimes is because we have engaged the culture backwards or out of order. We have approached the culture Mind First instead of Heart First.

Notice Jesus talked about love  in the following order in the verse above

1 Heart

2 Soul

3 Mind

4 Strength


I think sometimes we have tried to change the culture mind first instead of heart first.

I am not the wisest person in the room but I know that minds aren’t willing to listen until hearts have been unlocked and opened. I think we open hearts by sharing ours. The heartbeat of Jesus is a heart that beats with compassion and caring for the world around us. A heart that beats in same “thump-bump” as the heartbeat of Jesus and sees a world that Jesus loves so much He died for it.

It has been my discovery that as you love others it tends to break down barriers, doors, and move beyond obstacles quicker than reasoning and arguments ever accomplish.

Perhaps if we could get things in the right order and learn how to love as Jesus instructs us to love we might find our lives changing and the world around us changing as well.

So as you ponder and pray over the things you heard in Love to the 4th Power challenge yourself to make sure you are learning to love in the right way!

Prayer Experience

At the end of Love to the 4th Power you heard Jeff Dixon tell the amazing story of Miss Bettye of Childrens Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Now that you have heard her story you have the opportunity to pray for her and her amazing ministry to children, families, and staff of CMH.

Pick a day during this upcoming week and remember to pray for Miss Bettye 


A bit more info about Miss Bettye:

Over the years, Bettye Tucker has had surgery on both feet, bones taken out, pins put in. Both her knees have been replaced. And she suffers aches and pains from arthritis too. This summer her car was rear-ended, and it kept her out of work for a couple of nights. But then she was back on the job, bruised and happy to be cooking again.


“I’m a praying lady,” she says, quietly. “I pray every night, for every room and every person in the hospital. I start with the basement, and I go up, floor by floor, room by room. I pray for the children, I pray for the families, I pray for the nurses and the doctors.


“I say, every night while I’m driving in on the expressway, ‘Oh, Lord, I don’t know what I’ll face tonight, but I pray you’ll guide me through.’?”


Just might be, that divine helping on the side is the most essential item on Miss Bettye’s menu. The one she stirs in every broth, and every whisper. The ingredient that makes her the perpetual light shining in the all-night kitchen.

The Right Reaction – Tales to Astonish (II)

Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”



People who are close to the kingdom are willing to stand up with courage and live a life that lines up with what God has called them to be…no matter what!

When you learn to love God with all your heart your reaction will be compassion.


Compassion is the right reaction!

I’m not saying there is not a place for rebuking, correcting,
and exhorting

There is!

Sometimes that is the most loving thing you can do!

But even those things can be and must be done in
the spirit of compassion



It is much easier to ACT like a Christian than to REACT like one!
Anyone can put on an act
But the way you react reveals what is really in your heart


If you love God with all your heart, you won’t just act like it, you will react like it!

Ask yourselfToday are you acting like a Follower of Jesus Christ or as the day unfolds are you reacting like He would react?


The Wonderful World of Color-Tales to Astonish (III)

Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color  

Walt Disney’s anthology series, commonly called The Wonderful World of Disney, premiered on ABC on October 27, 1954 under the name Disneyland.  

Hosted by Walt himself, the show presented cartoons and other material (some original, some pre-existing) from the studio library. This is significant because the series was the first one from a major movie studio. Other studios feared television would be the death of them.

The show spawned the Davy Crockett craze of 1955 with the miniseries about the historical American frontiersman, starring Fess Parker in the title role. Millions of dollars of merchandise were sold relating to the title character, and the theme song, The Ballad of Davy Crockett, was a hit record that year. Three historically-based hour-long shows aired in late 1954/early 1955, and were followed up by two dramatized installments the following year. The TV episodes were edited into two theatrical films later on.  

In July of 1955, the opening of Disneyland was covered on this show, hosted by Walt along with Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter, Ronald Reagan, and various other guests.  

The series moved to NBC in 1961 to take advantage of that network’s ability to broadcast in color. In a marvelous display of foresight, Disney had filmed many of the earlier shows in color, so they were able to be repeated on NBC. To emphasize the new color feature, the series was re-dubbed Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color . 

When Walt Disney died in 1966, no one replaced him as host, as everyone agreed that his presence, characterized by a warm, folksy persona, was irreplaceable. The series continued to get solid ratings, often in the Top 20, until the mid-1970s. At this time, The Walt Disney Company was facing a decline in fortunes, with fewer people going to their movies. It also did not help that CBS had placed 60 Minutes directly opposite it. The show continued to slip in the ratings until NBC cancelled it in 1981. Much of the decline is often attributed to the declining amount of new material. The show became increasingly dependent on airings of theatrical features and cartoons and reruns of older episodes.  

After the studio underwent a change in management, the series was revived on ABC in 1986, with new CEO Michael Eisner hosting. years.

When the show was revived in 1986, the format was similar to a movie-of-the-week, with family-oriented TV movies from the studio making up much of the material. Theatrical films were also shown, but with the advent of cable TV and home video, they were not as popular. The 1997 revival has followed this format as well.

Throughout its years, the show underwent a number of title changes.  

Disneyland: October 27, 1954—September 3, 1958

Walt Disney Presents: September 12, 1958—September 17, 1961

Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color: September 24, 1961—September 7, 1969

The Wonderful World of Disney: September 14, 1969—September 2, 1979

Disney’s Wonderful World: September 9, 1979—September 13, 1981

Walt Disney: September 26, 1981—September 24, 1983

The Disney Sunday Movie: February 2, 1986—September 11, 1988

The Magical World of Disney: October 9, 1988—September 9, 1990

The Wonderful World of Disney: 1997 – ongoing

Pants on the Ground Tales to Astonish (IV)


Wonder in the Word!


 A few years ago, researchers from the National Institutes of Mental Health did a study that involved a simple motor task. As subjects performed a finger-tapping exercise, researchers did MRI brain scans to identity which part of the brain was involved in the exercise. The subjects were then asked to perform that simple motor task everyday for four weeks. At the end of four weeks, researchers repeated their brain scans and found that in every instance, that area of the brain had expanded. Their brains had literally recruited new nerve cells and rerouted neuronal connections.

Juxtapose that with Romans 12.

Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind.”

How is our mind renewed? The one word answer is Scripture. Scripture literally re-scripts our brain. As we read Scripture, much like the finger-tapping exercise, we are recruiting new nerve cells and rewiring neuronal connections. The end goal? Not knowledge! The end goal is the mind of Christ. As you read Scripture you are downloading the mind of Christ. His words become our operating system.


Pants on the Ground Tales to Astonish (IV)


As a part of our celebration worship experience we introduced you to “Pants on the Ground” Our very own Richard Israel share a stirring, moving, and inspiring version of the song…well, he shared anyway…

Now you can watch the moment over and over again on youtube!

Check the link below

Richard Israel does "Pants on the Ground" - Covenant Community Church

Pants on the Ground Tales to Astonish (IV)
The Bomb is NOT a Dud!!!!

Jeff Dixon shared the following story during Celebration Worship: For years a WWII-era bomb rested outside a bar in Kodiak, Alaska—a harmless dud that people could marvel at, take pictures of, climb on. Seeing as the bomb is an important part of history, a local resident decided it needed a better resting place, so they donated it to the Kodiak Military History Museum. And when military officials were preparing the bomb for a display at the museum, they realized something pretty important: the bomb wasn’t a dud.

Now make sure you read that correctly! A World War II relic that was displayed outside an Alaska bar for years turned out not to be a dud. Even though most thought it was.


According to the reports on January 14, 2010 – Soldiers detonated the 1,263-pound aerial bomb. Radio station KMXT reports it lost some of its boom after 60 years, but it did go with a bang.


Soldiers from the Fort Richardson Explosive Ordnance detail inspected the bomb and determined it still had Dunnite, a highly explosive material also known as “Explosive D.”


When pressed for an explanation as to why there was an active bomb sitting in front of a local bar, the response was “No one ever looked at it that closely!” (50+ years!)

Jeff made the application by saying that for many of us this is a great description of how we approach the Word of God. We like being associated with it, occassionally we think about it, every once in a while we get close to it, but we never really look at it closely enough to allow it to explode in our lives, radically alter the landscape of our existence, or ignite within us a desire to be different. We often miss the wonder of God because we don’t discover Him in His Word.

Perhaps it is time we look more closely.

Source: AP News (1/14/2010)

I’ve Never Thought About Things Like That!
Tales to Astonish (V)

Suggestion One

Your mind is a muscle. It needs to be stretched to stay sharp. It needs to be prodded and pushed to perform. Let it get idle and lazy on you, and that muscle will become a pitiful mass of flab in an incredibly brief period of time.

How can you stretch your mind? What are some good mental exercises that will keep the cobwebs away? Here is a suggestion:

READ. You may be too crippled and too poor to travel—but between the covers of a book are ideas and insights that await the joy of discovery. William Tyndale was up in years when he was imprisoned. Shortly before his martyrdom he wrote to the governor asking for:

A warmer cap, a candle, a piece of cloth to patch my leggings. . . . But above all, I beseech and entreat your clemency to . . . permit me to have my Hebrew Bible, Hebrew grammar and Hebrew Dictionary, that I may spend time . . . in study.

The powers of your perception will be magnified through reading. Read wisely. Read widely. Read slowly. Scan. Read history as well as current events . . . magazines and periodicals as well as classics and poetry . . . biographies and novels as well as the daily news and devotionals.

Don’t have much time?

Neither did John Wesley. But his passion for reading was so severe he made it a part of his schedule—he read mostly on horseback. He rode between fifty and ninety miles a day with the book propped up in his saddle . . . and got through thousands of volumes during his lifetime. Knowing that reading attacks thickness of thought, Wesley told many a younger minister either to read—or get out of the ministry.

Read..and Scripture is a great place to start!

I’ve Never Thought About Things Like That!
Tales to Astonish (V)

Suggestion Two


Now our first suggestion was to Read..and Scripture is a great place to start!

Now here is suggestion number two-TALK!