Just when I thought the year of unprecedented events was over, our city (and state) freezes, leaving many without power and heat (myself included). While sitting five inches from my fireplace, with three sweatshirts on, and two blankets, I asked myself how much more could possibly be added to the weight already being carried out of last year? When will it start getting better?
I do not have any great answers, but we want CCEM to be a community that supports each other through times like this. God tells us to lay our burdens on Him (Ps 55:22, 1 Pet 5:7) and while this is an important call to reflect on, what does that mean in midst of a (literal) storm? Casting our burdens on God can come in many forms (i.e. prayer, worship, etc.), but we as Jesus’s body play an important role in helping others through hard times. We as a body can help bear each other’s burdens (Gal 6:2).
I know you have all been carrying a lot of weight on your shoulders. Things at work and in life have been very difficult the last year or so (maybe longer). Know that you are never alone, and that you are loved. If there is anything CCEM can do to help bear your burden, even if you just need someone to talk or vent to, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here.
“It was a year like no other. Amid the massive losses inflicted by a global pandemic, bitter political divisions and racial unrest that exploded into violence, glimmers of light shone through the darkness…” This is how History.com opens its year retrospective article. Compare this statement to the theme verse for GDOP 2020, John 1:4-5: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” These statements may sound similar, but we know the world isn’t able to fully acknowledge the true source of the “glimmers of light that shone through the darkness” until (He) is shone on them. John himself states this later in chapter one: “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.”
This is where GDOP came in last year, as it does every year, as a reminder of the source of the light in this world. “Christ > (is greater than) crisis” was the God-inspired theme for the event, chosen before any of us understood how significant it would be by November 6th. It was the first time in over 10 years of events that we hosted a virtual event via Zoom, where worship was led by representatives around the globe. We had record participation from 600+ people, across 50+ sites and 30+ countries and the special inclusion of our alumni prayer.
Jesus instructed us in his Sermon on the Mount that: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let you light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 4:14-16. So many of you have reflected this light by faithfully serving the Lord in your homes, your communities, you teams, and in this event. A big THANK YOU note to ALL, from all corners of the Earth who, in unison honored Christ, a name above all names & any crisis. Let us continue to be the light that the Father has called us to be as we press on through this pandemic.
To recap, see links to GDOP 2020 material & volunteer to serve in the 2021 event by responding to the survey:
All of us can use some help through tough times. We are made for community and it is important to know that you are never alone, regardless of your circumstances. We want to provide you with some resources to help during these tough times:
Prayer – CCEM wants to be a community of prayer. You can submit your prayer request here and know that we will be praying for you. Also, if you would like for someone to contact you and pray with you directly, please let us know that in the prayer request section of the form.
As I am sure is the case with many of you, I listened to the recent announcements about changes to our workforce with angst and concern. Many questions are still unanswered, and the uncertainty about the future leaves me feeling uneasy and anxious.
Reflecting on all that is going on, I realize the consistent struggle I have with understanding my value and my identity. Too often I have tied my sense of worth and my value to how our world defines it. How I see myself is tangled in my work, my job title, my income bracket, my performance assessment. As I sit and wait for more details on the changes coming to our organization, I am once again struggling with these same feelings.
I need to remind myself that my true value and my true identity has already been told to me. The God of the Universe saw me as so valuable, that He willingly came to Earth, took on the form of a man, and sacrificed Himself so that I could be in a relationship with Him for all eternity. In Jesus, I have been assessed as priceless. In Jesus, I have been given a title of royalty, and in Jesus, that title has been eternally secured for me. I did not have to earn the position, and there is nothing/no one that can take it away from me. It is a gift through the pure grace and love from the Father.
As we continue to learn more about the changes from the recent announcements, each one of us is likely to know someone who is directly impacted. Many of us may end up learning that we are in fact being personally impacted by the changes. There are no soothing words to say that will make any of this easier. I just pray that we all turn to Jesus for our strength and our identity, recognizing the hope, security, and value we have in Him.
It is critical that we be a family for each other; no one should feel alone at this time. We as a family need to have grace, love, and be there for each other. Let each of us reach out to our brothers and sisters for fellowship and support. Let our community be a bright light through tough trials. Know you are never alone. We are consistently praying for you and are here to help however we can. You can reach out to us at CCEM for prayer at any time. Finally, let us all reflect on what God has said about us: We are loved. We are priceless. We are secure in Him.
How does God define my identity?
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation (Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
We are so glad that you are here. This has been a challenging year for everyone in unique ways. Between the global pandemic, the financial stress on our company, and social unrest in many parts of the world, it is easy to feel like we are drowning. For this reason, this year’s GDOP theme will be CHRIST IS GREATER than Crisis – a reminder that we have a Savior who walks on water, who sees us, and who is greater and more powerful than any situation we may face. We hope that the GDOP devotional series and the GDOP event will bring encouragement to you in whatever situation you may be facing. Rich materials will bepublished starting on September 27 (40 days prior to the event). Use these days to prepare your heart and soul leading up to the GDOP.
This year the GDOP meeting will be November 6, 2020 at 6:30am Houston time and will be taking place on Zoom rather than Skype. You’ll find additional details when you register for the event by following the steps below:
Type goto/EventX into your browser on your work laptop
Select “Explore” in the top right
Search using “GDOP 2020” and ensure that you are searching in the month of November.
If you are accessing this via Company computer, here’s the EventX link.
We would love to see more participation than ever before.
This year we are also introducing a Spotify playlist built to include music that brings hope. You can find the playlist by searching “GDOP 2020” on Spotify.
We look forward to praying with you.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5
GDOP is a special event where ExxonMobil Brothers and Sisters across the globe gather together to pray. GDOP has been a yearly event for over 10 years at ExxonMobil! The event is organized by ExxonMobil employees on their personal time and is not an official company event.
See You at the Pole™, the global day of student prayer, began in 1990 as a grass roots movement with ten students praying at their school. Twenty years later, millions pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September.
See You at the Pole™ is simply a prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God. See You at the Pole™ is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event.
CCEM has been holding a See You at the Pole gathering at our work campus since we arrived at the new Houston Campus. However, this year due to social distancing and COVID concerns, we will be meeting virtually to pray for our community.
We invite you to join us this year to pray in unison with students around the country. To sign up, please use the EventX link below:
There is no denying that 2020 has been a tough year. The anxiety of a global pandemic, the wave of uncertainly from a global economic recession, and the pains of racial and social injustices playing out on a national stage have cast a deep and dark cloud over our country.
As a community of faith, we believe in the power of prayer. Join us on August 4th at 7:30am on Zoom as we meet to call out to God for healing and restoration.
Therefore, when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
There may be no more powerful words in all of scripture than these three words uttered by Jesus. A single word in Greek (tetelestai), the expression was actually quite common. Pastor and popular Christian author, Warren Wiersbe, notes, “The word tetelestai is unfamiliar to us, but it was used by various people in everyday life… a servant would use it when reporting [a completed work assignment] to his or her master… when an artist completed a picture, or a writer a manuscript, he or she might say [it].”1 Dr. Edwin Blum, former Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, highlights the legal/clerical uses of the word, stating, “Papyri receipts for taxes have been recovered with the word tetelestai written across them, meaning ‘paid in full.’”2 When Jesus said this common phrase it took on extraordinary meaning. He had paid our debt in full. Through faith in Jesus, our accounts have been reconciled for good. This is the basis for our hope, the basis for our salvation.
However, at the time Jesus exclaimed this important phrase there was little rejoicing. Those who had believed Jesus was the Messiah had expected Him to rise to a kingly prominence, overthrowing Roman oppression and restoring Israel. They had high expectations of Jesus and in His death, their world came tumbling down. If this man who could command the wind and the sea, who could heal the sick, and who could feed thousands could be crucified by the Romans, what did that mean for His followers? Hope was seemingly lost, and most of the Disciples went into hiding. It was Friday, but Sunday was coming…
On Sunday morning, everything changed. Their disappointment in lost expectations, their fear of what the future holds, their confused sense of personal identity, all were erased with a second phrase of three words: “He has risen” (Mt 28:6, Lk 24:6, Mk 16:6). Hope was restored and even in the face of trouble, that hope drove the disciples to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
This Easter season there are many (both believers and non-believers) who are facing lost expectations, fear of the future, and confusion. The days seem dark and hopes are dwindling. Hold onto the hope of the finished work of Jesus. Hold onto the hope that even though the outcome of this trial is uncertain, our position and identity in Jesus is certain.
During this time let’s continue to Be The Church to each other, encouraging one another in love and being there to support each other. We have a list of virtual resources that you can consider to keep connected in community with other believers during this time of social distancing. Many churches are offering Good Friday and Easter Sunday services online so that we can still gather together even when we are apart. Furthermore, please let us know how we can pray for you, how we can help you, or if you just need someone to talk to. Finally, let’s show love to those who may not know Jesus, and are losing hope during this difficult time.
We are here for you and we love you. He is Risen!
The CCEM Team
1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 384.
2 Edwin A. Blum, “John,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 340.