However, that very truth puts professing Christians in a quite vulnerable place. It is all too easy to weave US history together with our Christian faith in such a way that almost any threat (real or perceived) to our personal liberty can feel like an attack on our faith! And any moral legislation we disagree with can generate rather significant confusion regarding whether we should view the issue in question more as a citizen of the US or as a citizen of heaven!
June was a refreshing, exhilarating month at Grace Church! Global Outreach (GO) Month was so clearly assembled by the Lord that not even our GO Team would express it differently! Now, make no mistake, the attention the Team gave to planning was as enhancing as it was appreciated. But the actual assembling of the participants was worked out by our Heavenly Father without our involvement! Let me explain.
Unbelievable!… the job you people did with VBS… you are amazing! You did exceeding abundantly beyond ALL that we could ask or think… according (and this is the important part) according to the Power that works within you. To God be the glory!
We had 128 children, rotate through 5 classes, in 80+ degree heat… and yet we still call it Operation Arctic, and not Operation Oven! Counting the Nurseries we had a total of 140 children all over our campus . . .
This summer the women of Grace will be discussing a book that I hope will lead us to know the love of Christ through an understanding of the triune God. Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves was written--as he wrote in his introduction--to help us grow in our enjoyment of God and see how God’s triune being makes all his ways beautiful.
You’re hearing more and more about PROJECT REFRESH these days. At least I hope you are! As Elders, we’re excited to see how our Lord is leading in the development of this capital campaign, and how He is continuing to clarify the needs as we progress.
We know it's not unusual to see all four seasons in a Chicagoland spring day and still be able to come home to a flooded basement, but there is no easy way to prepare. While a lot of you were monitoring your sump pumps, here's a bit of what's been going on in softball...
I love watching them sing and play because they are so free, so bold, and so enthusiastic. They live out what they feel with very few filters. Granted, filters are learned and important in life, but how great to see them singing God’s praises at the top of their lungs, uninhibited by fear or self consciousness! Again, conviction. Anyone else want to be a Cubbie?
Let us pray that God will once again pour out His Spirit on this spiritually needy land. Let us pray that He will pour out His Spirit on His church. Let us pray that His Name will be hallowed among us, and that His Kingdom will come, and His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
In that cosy and intimate setting, we reenacted the story of Jesus’ last night with his disciples through Scripture reading, prayer, song, and Communion (and the acoustics of our a cappella singing in the Fireside Room were terrific).
This week at Grace Church we are celebrating these historical events in Jesus’ life that save us from death, and the fear of death, when we receive Him by faith. Yesterday was Palm Sunday where we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when He was celebrated as Messiah and King.
That is why we are working to build the friendships in our youth group. So that our students might surround themselves with friends who pressure one another towards Christ and not away from him.
Gospel Ambition was the conference theme, subtitled Advancing Gospel Glory Deep and Wide. Piper rightly observed that we can’t advance gospel glory without first being clear on what the gospel is. And we can’t be clear on what the gospel is without first being reminded of the reason for which God created the world.
When I was growing up, the main line of the Pontiac Car Commercial went something like this… “We Build Excitement! . . . I feel the same way about Vacation Bible School this year… “We’re Building Excitement!”
This league has truly been a blessing to me, and God has encouraged me to know it's blessed many involved as well. So, as exciting as Tuesday & Thursday's games will be/should be, come take advantage of the opportunity we have as a body to love on our community! They are coming into our building! Let the warmth and welcome and light feel strange, yet captivating! Let your little light shine ("fan into flame" some may say...), and pray that God would continue to do His good work right here in our midst.
This devotional was given at a Women of Grace Baby Shower on March 6th, 2017.
The Conference opened on Monday, 30 January, with four consecutive break-out sessions. I attended a workshop with Tony Merida, founding Pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC, titled, The Foundation of Preaching. It was a helpful reflection and reminder of why it is important to preach the Word of God, and nothing else. This doesn’t eliminate creativity but, as Tony put it (quoting Bart Ehrman of all people!), “If you believe God wrote a book, wouldn’t you want to read it?” And as preachers, knowing that God has written a book, surely we would want to preach it!
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Renovation of the Heart, applications from Galatians 5:19 – 23 as studied by the Renew Youth Ministry. This is our Christmas Break homework!