8 C’s of History

8 C's BlogIn nearly 35 years of ministry in which I’ve been fairly active evangelistically, one of the challenges I’ve found in teaching folks about God is to help them see the connected-ness of God’s Story.  How does it all tie together? Do the stories of Genesis 1-11 really have anything to do with Jesus or the Gospels?  How do the events of Israel’s history fit with the rest of the New Testament? It’s important to help those who aren’t particularly familiar with the Bible to see that this volume of 66 individual books and letters really does have one overall theme.

I just finished up a series of messages here at NCC that helps to accomplish that specific goal and answer the above noted questions. During these eight weeks we worked our way through the story of the Bible, from beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation. In doing so, myself and two others on our teaching team broke down the story of history into eight smaller stories. We focused on the one thread that ties it all together.

The idea for this series came from Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis ministry. Ken identified and has taught on the seven C’s of History. I chose to add an additional C.

The one thread that ties together Genesis to Revelation is God’s desire to be with us.

Everything God did, from his decision to create the universe, through his responses to humanities rebellion, including the incarnation of Christ, his death and resurrection, is grounded in his desire to be with us. Everything he continues to do together with the events that will complete history, revolves arounds his ultimate desire to be with us. It’s all about the relationship God wants to have with his creation.

If you are a pastor of a church, I encourage you to consider teaching a series like The Eight C’s of History. One of our senior adult members emailed me the Monday after I presented the last message. She simply wrote, “That was an excellent series of sermons.  I especially liked the last one because it was full of hope and joy.”

The Eight C’s include:

  • Creation
  • Corruption
  • Chaos
  • Confusion
  • Cycles
  • Christ
  • Cross
  • Consummation

If I repeat this series sometime in the future, I would consider a ninth C and teach about the Church between the Cross and Consummation.

If you aren’t a pastor but just want to help people to see how the Bible is one story about God’s desire to be with his people, I suggest you do a personal study of the Bible with these ideas in mind to equip yourself to help others recognize that they are an object of God’s love and He desires to be with them forever.

Click Here to go to the resource page where you can download the transcripts of the messages from this series. Note: the messages on Creation and Christ were written by my sermon writing partner. You can also Click Here to view each message via video.

34 Years in the Books

Marriage PictureThirty-four years ago, on May 22, 1982, a beautiful girl from Indiana chose to become Mrs. Michael Cassara. Together we have pastored four churches, raised two girls, and bought two houses. Today, we are adjusting to the empty nest syndrome as well as being able to order from the Senior’s Menu at IHOP. As with most things in my life I’ve done a few things right and too much wrong in my role as a husband. So instead of blogging about what I may have done right as a husband, I’m going to share what she has done well as a wife.

  1. She has loved me unconditionally with a forgiving heart.

If a marriage is going to last “till death do us part” there will be a ton of stuff each spouse needs to get over and release. This is generally truer for a wife because we men can be jerks and idiots all rolled up into one being. In spite of all the dumb words that have come out of my mouth and things I’ve done which lack any resemblance of common sense, I’ve never felt unloved by my wife. She has this incredible ability to not carry stuff into the next day. Maybe she’s so good at it because I have given her plenty of practice.

  1. She has served by my side willingly in our work for the church.

I’ve watched too many pastors done in by a wife that resents her husband’s call to serve God in vocational ministry.  Pastors don’t make a ton of money, we often work very long hours, there are constant demands for our time and attention and we put up with a lot of criticism. It’s no surprise that so many pastors leave the ministry because their wife demands it to keep the marriage together.

Suzy has rarely pressured me to work less. She understands that there will be days when I have to be away from the house 12-14 hours. She is a very content person who doesn’t put financial pressure on me to make and provide more than I am able.  And she has always served in our church in a meaningful and productive way. She has led children’s ministries, women’s ministries, and served wherever else I needed her until I was able to recruit and train someone to fill that need.

  1. She was and is an amazing mom to our two daughters.

Our girls, ages 31 and 28, are incredible young ladies. There is no doubt in my mind who deserves most of the credit. She was and still is “Mama Sue.”  I look forward to us becoming grandparents because our grandkids will be super blessed to have Suzy as their grandma.

So thanks Suzanne Marie White for saying “I do” 34 years ago and living out those vows in such an incredible way.

To celebrate our anniversary I’ve posted transcripts on the resource page from a sermons series I did in 2010 titled Love & Respect based on Ephesians 5:33 and the excellent book of the same title by Emerson Eggerichs. I require couples I do pre-marital counseling for to read this book.

An Average Mic

IMG_0538Thanks for taking time to read this blog. Let me say upfront that I’m a pretty average guy. I’ve been a pastor all my adult life and I don’t pastor a huge church. Heck I don’t even pastor a medium size church according to the metrics we throw around in church work. I think I’ve done a lot of things right in life and too many things wrong. This blog is going to focus primarily on matters of life and ministry where I have some experience that perhaps will help someone that reads this blog.

So let me tell you a bit more about me then you will read on the About page.

I’m passionate about a number of things- and it’s those things that will compose the primary topics I address on this blog.

My first passions are God, Jesus and His Church so I plan to make available a ton of ministry materials I’ve developed over the past 30 years that might be a help to a young pastor or even a seasoned veteran like myself.

I’m also passionate about my role as a husband and a dad (and hopefully a grandpa someday soon) so I’ll write some stuff that I think can help men be better dads and husbands.

I am really into (but in no particular order) my dog Baxter, the NY Mets, exercise, financial stability and keeping my lawn green. So I’ll share some thoughts and helpful hints about some of these things as well.

What you won’t find here is any political postings or heavy theological treatises. Sure Mom always told me that you should never talk about politics or religion, but that’s not why I decided to not write on these topics.  I’ll pass on politics because there are enough people out there ranting and raving about stuff and I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t add much to any argument. And I’ll pass on the heavy theology because while I do have a Master’s Degree in Systematic Theology, there are some amazing Bible Scholars and Theologians that already write blogs who are way smarter then I am and way better thinkers. I’ll leave the heavy lifting to them.

So that ‘s about it.  An average blog from an average mic. Thanks for coming on the ride with me.