The Den of Redemption

Daniel 6

There are lots of parallels between this story, commonly referred to as Daniel and the lions’ den, and the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s experience with the fiery furnace. Both stories point to God’s active involvement in the lives of His people. Both point to His power to rescue in miraculous ways. Both point to His sovereignty over the nations. Sometimes we think that maybe that was true then, but what about now? Let me challenge you to spend some time today reflecting ways that you’ve seen evidence of God’s active involvement in your life. I think you will be blown away by His fingerprints all over your situation, in both good and bad times. He never leaves us or forsakes us. Our God can, our God will, but even if He doesn’t…

There’s no doubt that God can rescue, but the big question is…why does He choose to rescue Daniel? By this time Daniel is in his 80’s. He’s an old man, who’s lived a long life. He’s already a citizen of God’s eternal kingdom, he’s a son of the King, his future is secure. Why not a martyr’s death? Like Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah aka Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, I believe God rescues Daniel, not just for Daniel’s sake (he dies eventually), but 1) to remind God’s people that He is with them even during times when earthy kingdoms are ruling over them, and 2) to introduce Darius to Daniel’s God.

You see, counting Darius, we only know of two folks that Daniel has been able to introduce to the living God. Two folks that have passed from death to life…Nebuchadnezzar and Darius. Yet that’s a pretty impressive two. Jesus picked 12 ordinary guys…a lot like us…and poured into their lives for 3 years, at the end of which time, one betrayed Him, one denied Him and the rest abandoned Him in His darkest hour. Yet 11 of these 12 guys changed the world after seeing the resurrected Jesus. Daniel’s two were the most powerful men in the world, who both sent out decrees to the nations praising the one true God. Because Daniel was available, God used him to boldly yet compassionately reach these two guys. Like Daniel, you may only have influence on one or two lives, but how will God multiply that influence in later generations?

But you may be thinking, like me, I’m not Daniel. I’m not one of the disciples. A friend of mine and I were talking about this passage. He said, “Daniel was the right guy for the job and God used him to accomplish His purposes. We just finished Acts. Paul’s uniqueness was a theme that kept popping up – rabbinical training, Roman citizenship, even his legacy of persecuting the church – all those things allowed him to accomplish the work that God has set before him. God’s faithfulness to His people through the uniqueness and faithfulness of His servants. We’re not Paul, we’re not Daniel, but we can know for certain that we ARE the right guy/gal for a job in service to His kingdom.” God has uniquely gifted and equipped the folks that He’s placed around you, you’re 8-15. Like Daniel, Paul, the disciples and countless saints that have gone before, He wants to use you to impact His kingdom for eternity. Are you available so that as God gives opportunities, you may boldly yet compassionately point others to Him?

The question’s been asked, “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” In other words, what impact is your faith having on your life? Do folks “catch” you obeying the law of your God? Realize there will be adversaries…Genesis 3.15 warns us that there will always be enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. Just like Daniel they will look to catch you…will they catch you compromising or courageously following your God? (1 Peter 4) Daniel at 80+ years old is determined to finish strong. He wasn’t done until he was done…better to burn out than fade away. (What about you?) Daniel’s hope is not fixed on fleeting things like earthly kingdoms…his hope is in the Rock cut without hands, the One who will set up an eternal kingdom that will not fade. That gave him the courage to face certain death knowing that God would be with him, rescuing him by faith in danger not from danger. Sounds a lot like Jesus.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Daniel series entitled Reclaimed. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

 

Beyond Repair?

Daniel 5

Last week the great king Nebuchadnezzar learned a valuable lesson in humility. There’s only one God, and only one King of the universe. Nebuchadnezzar’s right to rule was a gift from the true King. We saw that anyone can be transformed by God.

Belshazzar also saw himself as a great king, but he was not a wise king. While Nebuchadnezzar was guilty of sacking the Jerusalem temple, he at least he showed reverence for the sacred nature of its vessels…not so with Belshazzar, not only does he drink out of them thus profaning them, he also uses them to worship his gods…gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone. Reminds me of Romans 1. “Although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man, and birds and four footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over…” Ironically, Belshazzar didn’t know the difference between the living God and dead idols until it was too late. Nebuchadnezzar humbly worships God and respected Daniel. Belshazzar was arrogant, dishonoring God and doesn’t know Daniel. Belshazzar fails to follow Nebuchadnezzar’s example. Even Daniel’s tone with him leads us to believe he was not the man Nebuchadnezzar was.

Belshazzar has undoubtedly heard the stories of Nebuchadnezzar’s life-changing encounters with God…the dream of the great statue that God through Daniel both revealed and interpreted; Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s miraculous rescue through the fiery furnace; and even Nebuchadnezzar’s 7-year stint as a wild animal…but we are all, like Belshazzar, skeptical, selfish people before God changes our hearts. No doubt Belshazzar had opportunities to respond over the years, following the example of Nebuchadnezzar by becoming a God-follower, but instead he chose to do his own thing. In chapter 5 we see God’s response to an unrepentant heart. The Lord acts swiftly with Belshazzar. The supernatural special effects of the hand have a decided impact on Belshazzar…it’s more than just a spooky, floating hand writing on the wall. Belshazzar knew this was for him…the implications might impact the kingdom, but this was personal. His sin was found out. He was undone. For each of us, there is that moment when our sin is found out and we are undone…we know we can’t escape. How will you respond? We are given opportunities in life to respond to God, but sometimes it’s too late. Our time to respond has passed and our life on this earth is over leading to an eternal death.

These two similar, but contrasting stories…of Nebuchadnezzar and of Belshazzar…should cause us to pause. While Nebuchadnezzar reminds us that anyone can be transformed by God, Belshazzar, on the other hand, reminds us that not everyone will be because of their choice to harden their own hearts. Even when the handwriting was revealed to Belshazzar…even then he might have repented and turned to the living God and have been rescued…his response is not repentance, but to give trinkets to Daniel. He trusts in the power of his earthy kingdom to protect him…a faith that was sadly misplaced.

We all like Belshazzar have been weighed in the balance scales and found wanting. But the good news is that though each of us has been weighed and found wanting, there is One who was weighed and found sufficient. That’s Jesus. Remember He is the Hero we’ve been looking for since the garden when our first parents rebelled. The Head-crushing Seed of the woman who was promised, the Rock cut without hands, who alone could reconcile us to Father God. And in the Gospels, we see Jesus arrive on the scene. He lives a perfect life and dies a sacrificial death and is raised on the third day, conquering both sin and death. When we trust in Him, the Father sees His sufficiency instead of our inadequacy. Jesus died and rose again so that we might also die with Him to sin and be raised again to eternal life, so that we might be transformed into the image of Jesus, learning to live and love like Him. There are only 2 choices in this life…eternal life or eternal death. We don’t know when it will be too late to respond, when we will be “weighed and found wanting” so if you haven’t trusted in Jesus and you are feeling and seeing God’s pursuit of you, why wait? Belshazzar is an example to us that tomorrow is never promised.

The handwriting is on the wall…

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Daniel series entitled Reclaimed. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

He Is Risen!

Matthew 28.1-17

Both the women and the guards are witnesses to the miraculous events of that first Easter morning. But two wildly different conclusions…Jesus is alive…fear and joy, resurgence of faith and hope reborn, eternal life, reconciliation of heaven and earth… or Jesus is dead…fear and trembling, deception and despair, death…

Resurrection proves…Jesus was the Hero (Messiah) He claimed to be…Jesus resurrection set him apart from other religious leaders, viz. Muhammad, Gandhi, Buddha, Moses…, His death did in fact satisfy God’s just punishment/the penalty for sin, Jesus is able to raise us to spiritual life, Jesus will give us eternal life. And as He promised, He will be with us always, even unto the end of the age. Do you know this Jesus? Who are you in the story? The women or the guards?

Friday I told the story of three trees that each had aspirations of greatness…one to be a box holding great treasure, one a mighty ship sailing the seas and one to be the tallest of trees pointing to the Creator. But when the woodsmen came, their hopes and dreams were dashed. The first tree had been made into a feeding trough, the second into a flimsy boat and the third into lumber.

Just like the trees, the disciples despaired. Hope was gone. Jesus hung lifeless on the cross. But just as the cross was not the end of Jesus’ story, so the story of the trees continues.

“Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. “I wish I could make a cradle for him,” her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful,” she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew she was carrying the King of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God.

That was better than being the tallest tree in the world. – The Tale of Three Trees

The resurrection changes everything! The disciples went from despair to radically changing the world. Jesus makes all the difference. He brings purpose and meaning, real hope and change. Eternal life that starts today and never ends.

If you find yourself in the place of the women in the story…you believe that Jesus is alive then your job is to proclaim that good news (that the long-awaited Hero has come) to those in your circle of influence who don’t know the hope of the gospel. If you find yourself in the place of the guards in the story…I would invite you to reconsider. Today could be the day that you pass from death to life.

So with new meaning…Jesus is risen, He is risen indeed!

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

A Journey’s End

Genesis Wrap-up

Genesis begins with a man in a garden enjoying perfect fellowship with God…it ends with a man in a coffin…a haunting picture of the terrible consequences of sin introduced when we revolted against our Maker. Death has invaded our world and taken us all captive. Yet hope remains alive because of the faith of the man in the coffin. God would one day send a Hero to rescue us and provide a way back to the garden and perfect fellowship with Him. The amazing news today is…the Hero has come.

Jesus, God’s only Son, came and lived a perfect life…a life totally in tune and dependent on His Father. He died a bloody, horrible, sacrificial death. Was raised the third day proving that He had conquered both sin and death and ascended to the right hand of the Father. By faith in Him, the Bible says that we like Adam and Noah, Abraham and Joseph, can be declared righteous…not because of anything that we have done, but because of what Jesus did. He is the Genesis 3.15 Head-crushing Seed of the woman…the innocent dying for the guilty so that the guilty could be declared innocent.

The God of Genesis is a God who loves deeply, who creates and restores, who rescues and guides, who redeems evil. He is the Bringer of hope. He is the God who blesses…bless and blessing mentioned more in Genesis than anywhere else in the Bible. He is gracious and merciful…but He is also just and He will punish those who reject Him.

Like the ancient Hebrews, we need to be reminded that we are God’s image-bearers. Although that image was marred through the fall, we are still of infinite value. You are of infinite value to Him. You are no accident. Do you believe that? I think if we truly did, we would behave differently. The proof of your value is the price paid to redeem you…the eternal Son of God. Only by trusting in Jesus can the image truly be restored and your purpose truly be realized. Make today the day.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

The End?

Genesis 50

A good death is a fitting end to a good life. This passage about two good deaths…about dying well, in faith, knowing that physical death is not the end of the story…a reminder that as believers we are sojourners looking for the heavenly city. Sandwiched in between these two good deaths is a reminder that living well is also a challenge…

Genesis begins with a man in a garden enjoying God’s presence…it ends with a man in a coffin anticipating a restoration of that presence. The devastating effects of sin are painfully clear…death has invaded this world through sin and holds us all captive…yet the faith of the man in the coffin speaks equally clear of God’s purpose to break the power of sin through a people that He has chosen to carry forward the plan of redemption, that ultimately the promised Head-crushing Seed of the woman, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Conquering King, the Hero of our story who would come to rescue us, destroying both sin and death, leading us back to the garden and restoring our relationship with our Creator God.

Though death is a very real and painful experience this side of the garden, death is not the last word, it’s not the end, in the lives of believers. We, like Joseph, die in hope. I love what John Donne, the 17th century poet and churchman wrote…

Death, be not proud, though some have called you

Mighty and dreadful, for you are not so;

For those whom you think you overthrow,

Die not, poor Death, nor yet can you kill me.

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And death shall be no more; Death, you shall die.

—John Donne

C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series concludes with these words from Farewell to Shadowlands, The Last Battle “And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion…And for us this is the end…But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Last Words

Genesis 49

These blessings show the ongoing reality and consequences of sin in the lives of God’s people…but where sin abounds, grace superabounds (Levi) – God is able to redeem evil and bring good from it. All the brothers are incorporated into the line of promise. The twelve tribes of Israel are not necessarily made up of the best and brightest…only one Joseph. And we are reminded that God doesn’t often call the best and the brightest…no offense. He calls the broken, the discarded, the mess-ups, the failures… Jesus said, “I came to seek and save the lost.” It’s all of God from start to finish…the faithfulness of God in redeeming evil circumstances.

Last week I mentioned the power of a father’s words…words that can bless or curse, words that can uplift or squash down. And while that is especially true for father’s, it is also true for all of us who are influencers in another’s life. What kind of words are you speaking? It’s ok to speak words of warning…we are all on a trajectory…but what is the motivation behind your words? Is it to bless? Is it the other’s good? Or is it reactionary and mean-spirited?

For some of us, we long for words of blessing from our earthly fathers…but those words don’t come. But we have a heavenly Father who has and who longs to speak blessing over us (that’s why we have an event like Father’s Eyes). A God who wants to sing and dance over us, to rescue us and restore us, to take us in His arms. God speaks words of blessing over His creation in Genesis 1, blessing over the people He created, a blessing lost through the fall. The story of Genesis and Jacob’s blessing on his sons pictures the promise of God’s blessing being restored and partially received, the picture of a Conquering King who would crush His enemies, destroying sin and death, trampling the serpent under His feet, leading us back to the garden and restoring our relationship with our Heavenly Father, Creator God. Blessing is about hope. And we as believers in Jesus are beneficiaries of that blessing.

But maybe you don’t know this God who blesses today…the God who wants to redeem your evil, the Shepherd, the ever-present God…Today could be the day.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Looking to the Future

Genesis 48

Jacob adopts and then blesses his grandsons with a blessing that points them to God…the Almighty God who would walk with them, shepherd and guide them and redeem them from all evil.

So what are the implications for us today? A father blesses his children, and we are reminded of the power of a father’s words. We will flesh this out a bit more next week, but for now, What does it look like for us to be a Jacob today, to bless those in our circles of influence? What does it mean to bless? The idea of blessing has encouragement, hope, anticipation, love, happiness…all rolled into one. It’s calling out the best in another, painting a picture of the future, helping them dream what could be, defining success and encouraging them toward it. Those are things anyone can do. But for those of us who striving to see them transformed so that they live and love like Jesus, that isn’t enough. We do all of those things, but from a distinctly Christian perspective. We define success differently…inspiring a fervent love for Jesus through a lifestyle of worship, renewing hearts and minds through biblical teaching, intentionally pursuing Christ-centered relationships, and strategically creating opportunities for them to impact their worlds for Jesus.

There are key moments where blessing is more profound…high school or college graduation, wedding, new parents, at the end of one’s life. But there are also multiplied opportunities for blessing during the everyday events of life…a wise decision made, character shown in a sporting contest, hard work that pays off in a performance…Remember a father’s words are powerful…both for good and evil. Sometimes we find ourselves cursing more than blessing, calling out the bad rather than the good, and painting a dismal picture of the future based on current actions. Sometimes we are afraid to bless, living life apologetically…regrets over past mistakes. But each day is a gift, and each new day is a new gift. Wherever you are, it’s never too late to start.

Blessing is really about hope. It’s remembering the God we serve…But you can’t pass on what you don’t have. So if you don’t know this God…the God who promises to be present with you, who wants to shepherd and guide you, who wants to redeem you from all evil, today is the day. Then you too can hope for a future eternal with Him as His son or daughter, a hope that you can pass on.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Reunited

Genesis 46

A powerful moment in the life of the chosen family. The next chapter in the life of the family will open in Egypt. Jacob’s faith has been reignited. He has been reunited with Joseph who is back from the dead. It’s a powerful reminder of the love between a father and a son. It’s a picture of the love that the Father has for His Son Jesus…and the love that He has for you and me.

The long-awaited reunion between Jacob and Joseph is the climax of this episode. And for some of us it’s a reminder of a reunion that we’ve been longing for. Maybe you are like Joseph and time and/or circumstances have created distance in a relationship, and the reunion you long for is with a family member or close friend. I want to invite you to make a phone call or send a text. Maybe you are like Jacob and tragedy has caused you to disconnect from your relationship with God and from others in your life, and the reunion you long for is with your heavenly Father. Maybe you’ve disconnected from Him and are longing to come back. I encourage you to follow Jacob’s example…return to the altar, that place of spiritual reconnection and cry out to Him. You will find Him waiting for you and the reminder that His presence is with you. For some us, the reunion we’ve been longing for won’t happen this side of heaven. Maybe it’s a spouse, a sibling, a parent or child, or close friend that has already gone to be with the Lord. My mom died when I was two…and I long to see her. Take some time to process that as well. Praise God that physical death is not the end of our story, but is a transition to eternity with the Father. One day there will be a magnificent reunion, both with our Savior and with those who have gone before.

I love God’s promise to Jacob… “I will be with you.” That promise wasn’t just to Jacob as the patriarch…it was a promise to Israel, the people of God who were on their way to Egypt, a scandalous people that included both a Canaanite and an Egyptian. Praise God that He is still pursuing folks on the fringes, amen?

May you know the love of the Father and the constancy of His presence today.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

The Big Reveal

Genesis 45

Both the boys and Jacob are stunned when they learn that Joseph is alive. But maybe even more stunning is the revelation of God’s work in the events of Joseph’s life. Seeing his circumstances from God’s perspective allows Joseph to properly interpret events and forgive his brothers. Looking back it’s easy to see God’s hand, but what about in the midst of his circumstances…as he was being beaten by his brothers or when he was in the bottom of the pit or when he was sold to the Ishmaelites or to Potiphar, what about when he was falsely accused and spends years in prison, what about when he was forgotten for two years…God’s plans for our good are not always simple and transparent. Often we are tempted to ask, why me? It’s easy to discern God’s will through miracles, signs & wonders, but not so much through ordinary events. As believers we can trust in God to bring about His good purpose despite what others intend. It was true for Joseph, and it’s true in our lives as well. There have been many times in my life that I’ve wondered at the path that God had me on, but looking back I see His fingerprints, guiding and directing my steps. Even in the seeming detours, the wilderness experiences, those were times of preparation for the next phase on the journey.

But what about you? Can you see God’s hand at work in your life? Do you believe that He can bring about His good purposes for you even in the midst of your current trial? It was important for the Israelites to understand that as they marched through the wilderness. It’s important for us to understand as well. Instead of chalking it up to luck or happenstance, we need to seek clarity on what God is up to. His plan often takes us through suffering…Romans 5…but it’s the fastest route to spiritual maturity. It’s the furnace of God’s love that purifies, tests and strengthens our faith, so that we begin to look for like Jesus. Suffering aligns us to Jesus more than anything else.

It struck me that there are two different paths taken to suffering in Joseph’s story. Joseph sees God’s fingerprints all over his circumstances and comes to the incredible conclusion that God is working good in spite of the evil intention of others. Jacob on the other hand, exclaims, “Everything is against me!” For Joseph, his suffering is making him more like Jesus. For Jacob, his suffering puts a pause on his spiritual progress…and it’s over twenty years before he’s back in the game. Don’t let that be you.

I love the picture that Joseph paints of God…He’s not only sovereign over the events of history, He’s also personally involved in the lives of His people. He is gracious and compassionate, a God of mercy. “God sent me ahead to preserve many lives…” It’s a word of life, not death. God in sovereign grace has guided Israel’s history. And God in sovereign grace is guiding our history as well.

My prayer for us…that we would continually be stunned by God’s work in our lives and that we would see clearly the evidences of His handiwork even in the most mundane and ordinary of circumstances.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

 

He’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Jesus

Genesis 44

The climax of the story…Judah is beginning to look a lot like Jesus. He’s willing to sacrifice himself for the good of another. It’s the greatest theme in literature…Katniss and Prim in The Hunger Games, Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, Carton in A Tale of Two Cities just to name a few. In fact Jesus said it this way, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friend.” It’s a picture of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us, taking our place, dying in our stead, so that we might live.

Judah’s willingness to step in and offer himself, and the brothers insistence on returning with Benjamin are evidences of a spiritual transformation that has already begun to take place in their lives. At what point did they become believers…when did they pass from death to life? It’s hard to tell exactly from the story. For Judah it seems to have started with his encounter with Tamar. With the rest of the clan? The process seems to have started when they first met Joseph and were forced to acknowledge their sin. But whenever that was, we see a different character in the boys. Looking out for others. Willing to sacrifice themselves for another’s good. They’re beginning to look a lot like Jesus, too.

That’s what trusting Jesus is all about. It’s not just getting incrementally better. It’s about a total transformation…a new creation…death to life…kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of the beloved Son. God doesn’t save us just so that we could go to heaven. If that was the goal, guess what? You’d already be there. No, He saves us so that we can image Him, we can bear His image, to His creation. He wants to radically change us by His transforming grace so that we live and love like Jesus. It’s a lifelong process that begins the moment we trust Him and continues until we see Him face to face. If you aren’t experiencing that radical change? Maybe like the brothers you are carrying the guilt of unconfessed sin…as a believer you have already been forgiven, but guilt is a grace that tells us something’s wrong. We need to make it right. If we don’t, then our spiritual growth will be stunted…we will never experience the life that God saved us for. But maybe you have never said “yes” to Jesus. Maybe you’ve said “yes” to what your parents, or what your church, or what your friends believe, but you’ve never believed in Jesus yourself. You haven’t passed from death to life yet. But you can. Today could be the day.

May the transforming grace of God cause you and me to look a lot like Jesus today.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster