The Landing - August 12, 2022

Hey CLCC, 

What a wonderful summer it’s been at our church! We’ve met new people, seen old friends, and watched God work in every area of our community. From Kanakuk Kampout until now it’s been a whirlwind of grace. Whether you’re here in CL or at home somewhere else, take a minute this week to thank God for what he’s done in your heart these last three months and say a prayer for what’s to come. 

One thing I’ve been reminded of this summer is God’s neverending newness. I can’t put it any better than G. K. Chesterton did in his book Orthodoxy, “Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life.

The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life.

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.

But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon.

It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.”

There is no monotony with God. His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23), his grace lifts us up every day (Ps. 68:19), and every time we open our lips to pray, he is there to listen (Ps. 139:4). 

I learned this lesson all over again during our Psalms series this summer. Preaching is a dance between long-term preparation and the short-term response to what God is doing in our church. You can plan your sermon series out 6 months in advance - as I like to do - and then the week of God lays something new on your heart. The Spirit works in both processes. 

Midway through our series, I had planned to preach Psalm 4; “But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him,” and “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” As the week went on, I couldn’t get Psalm 23 out of my heart. It felt like that’s the psalm I needed to preach that week. 

There was just one problem, I preached Psalm 23 last summer. Now, that was in the tent, so we don’t have a recording of that sermon, and I don’t expect many to remember specific sermons across the years, but there was still a little voice saying, “Come on, you can’t be repeating yourself one year in!” What would the seminary profs say? 

As I began to study the text, something incredible happened. What struck me last year and what struck me this year were totally different. The text was the same, the message was similar, but what I learned this time was new. I’d never seen the series of contrasts before: the rod and the staff, the green pastures and the valley, the restoration of life and the removal of fear, provision and enemies. The psalm reminds us that our shepherd takes us all of these places. The pasture and the valley are both necessary parts of our journey to the house of the Lord forever. 

That Sunday afternoon, I went back and compared outlines. They looked like siblings, clearly from the same family, but each had a unique set of features from the parent psalm. More than that, it's just what we needed the following week at our church. It’s like that in our prayers and quiet times too. God is never monotonous; he is fresh and new every time we come to him. He is always the same, but there is always more to learn.

Maybe this fall will be that way for you and your family. It’s just another August, another school year, another season. But God has something new for you in this season. He’s got a calling on your fall. Listen to his familiar voice and see what he has in store!

In Christ, 
Pastor Cole


Friday, August 12 at 6pm - Love the Community food boxes. 
The food is in; all that’s left is packing boxes. Tonight we’re packing 300 boxes for families in need. We’ve got a spaghetti dinner, diapers, baby food, and other snacks to give away. Meet at Community Culture Church in Eufaula at 6pm.

Saturday, August 13 at 10am - Love the Community Event. 

Saturday, August 13 at 6pm - Community Meal. 
Bring a BBQ dish or side to our Carlton Landing Community Meal at the Boulevard Pavilion. 

Sunday, August 14 at 3:30pm - Send off for the O’Neals.
Chris and Casey have poured so much into our students this summer! Come celebrate them and send them off for a new year of KLife in Conway, AR in the classroom building at the church. They’ll be back for Labor Day weekend! 

Sunday, September 4 - Labor Day Church Services
To make room for everyone to worship, we will have 2 services on Labor Day weekend at 8:30 and 10am. We will be having children’s church for kids 2-11 during the 10 am service.
Coming Up:
New Series - The Church 

This Sunday, I’ll be starting a new series on the Church. There is no organization, group, or family like the church. It is the body of Christ, the eternal plan of God, and the great family reunion of history. What is the church and what are we supposed to be doing? 

  • Aug. 14 - The Church: The Calling - Acts 2:1-41
  • Aug. 20 - The Church: The Mission - Acts 2:42-47
  • Aug. 28 - The Church: The People  - Acts 6:1-7

On Labor Day weekend, we’ll begin the book of Ephesians. Paul’s magisterial letter lays out the plan of God, the glory of the church, and the mission for every believer. This letter will lead us into the fall, remind us of the truth about who God is and what he’s doing us, and awaken the calling he’s placed on our lives. 

New Administrative Assistant
We have a new member of our team at CLCC. Jess Smuk is joining us as an administrative assistant and will be supporting our volunteer teams, events, communication, and so many other things. (You can thank her for getting much of the info in this email ready!) Jess is a virtual assistant and calls Chicago home. She’s excited to be a part of what’s going on in our church, and I am thrilled to see the ways God expands the ministry at CLCC through her help. 

Her email is if you want to welcome her to our team! 

Prayer Requests:

As kids in Carlton Landing and across the country begin school, let’s lift up all the teachers, parents, leaders, coaches, and so many others in our schools: Lord, give them wisdom, love, patience, grace, and a heart to see people the way you see them. Let our schools be filled with a love of learning, close relationships, and big dreams. Protect our students physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Guide our students in their studies to know you and the world you created. Magnify your name and fill this first week with joy. In the name of Jesus, amen.
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