I'm impressed with something John Stott once did while he was speaking at the annual Missions Conference of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. It was quite an honor to have the presence of this great evangelical leader and Biblical expositor, and the students were showing their enthusiasm with frequent bursts of applause. Stott was in his 70's by then—perhaps that was a factor—but at the end of one particularly long round of applause, he got real quiet for a moment and then said: "Please, I beg of you: don't clap anymore. You're wasting my time and I only have a few minutes left." 


I love it! And I love that perspective! How true it is! You know? If we are doing something right—and I certainly believe, dear faithful family of Christ, that you are!—that is all the more reason not to waste time and to just keep on doing it. The is short! We have "a few minutes.


There is a persistent legend about Queen Elizabeth I that, as she lay dying, she uttered the words: "All my possessions for a moment of time!"  Wow! In the end, as it dwindles away, "time" proves to be the greatest of treasures! 


Okay: here's my "quotable quote" for all the world. Somebody write it down: The problem with applauding ourselves about Tic is that Toc is already here. And by the time we regret what we didn't do with Toc, Tic will already be back! 


Sorry if that puts you on edge! 


I'm sharing all of this on the brink of a new year. And even as I write, I am mindful of what a fabulous 2017 we've had together as a congregation! We have seen such wonderful graces of God dear family! He has enabled us to do so much more than we'd ever expected! 


But that is all the more reason to look forward, not back! We have very little time to applaud what's been done, with tomorrows pressing upon us. 


This is my way of announcing CCOT's Congregational Meeting, which is coming up on January 24. We'll have a potluck dinner together, and then gather at 7:00 to thank God for the past (to applaud Him) and look to the future. I hope you can come. Mark your calendar (That's the 24th; not this Wednesday). 


We're going to be choosing new leaders that day: elders and deacons and deaconesses. God has given us such wonderful leaders down through the years, and this year is no exception. We have six excellent prospects for Elder this year: 


Tyler Morgan is already one of our excellent Christian leaders; he is an educator by profession (Vice Principle). He knows his Bible well. He and Kristen are certainly raising their family well: Presley, Charlotte, and Hudson. Tyler has already served on our Elder Board a number of times; I'm so grateful that he's willing to come back. 


Ray Burk has served faithfully on our Deacon Board for years now; a constant and faithful Christian with a good knowledge of the Word of God. He is 62 years old, a civil engineer by profession. Ray and Pam have two wonderful grown children, James and Rachel who also worship with us. Ray has been a Christian since his childhood years. He will bring wisdom, maturity and a true spirit of peace when he comes.   


Gerardo Sanchez has been ministering with us for many years now; he is an excellent worship leader and Bible teacher. He helps with the Sunday Evening Service. Gerardo became a Christian at the age of 7. He is 36 now; a welder by profession. He and Holly have two of the dearest children you'll ever meet: Sayen and Millalin. I've known Gerardo for years now: a good and wise Christian with a firm grasp of theology and a deep commitment to the Great Commission.  


Dennis White and Nadia have been part of our church for quite a few years now; he is 63 years old, an excellent Bible teacher with a passion for the things of God. He and Nadia have helped lead our College Group at times. Dennis served as an elder in his previous churches. I have always found him to be positive, encouraging, wise and prayerful. I'm excited at the prospect of having him with our team of leaders. 


Mike Delawder has been worshipping and serving with us for almost five years now. Mike was an Elder in his former church and has served us with producing our podcasting for several years. He and his family: Vicki, Nick, and Eric, are a wonderful proof of his godly leadership and example. At 60 years, Mike is a wise and compassionate man, faithful to the Word and devoted to Christ. 


And what should I say about Yvan Arguin? Well, he's has been up in Guy's choir from the first weeks he came, along with his whole family: Theresa his wife, Phillippe and Brittany his son and his daughter-in-law. I began to pick up on Yvan's walk with the Lord from the prayer needs he and Theresa would submit: always there was someone who needed to be helped, prayed for or witnessed to, and these two were there to do it! Yvan and Theresa have both taught Bible for years; Yvan was an Elder in his former community church. A property manager by profession, Yvan is 57 years old. He has been a Christian since his childhood. I'm looking forward to his wisdom and experience. 


We need four elders for our board right now; we will pick them by lot from among these six. We will also prayerfully conduct the rest of our church business that night: budget, By-Laws, our purpose and missions for 2018. I hope you can be a part of it! 


God bless you dear faithful family of Christ. 


I love worshipping with you. And I love your passion for the Word! 


See you Sunday                          RAS