Benefits of Belonging!

There is an amazing wealth of riches available to us when we belong to Christ. To explore in more detail, check out this extensive post.

As you read, I encourage you to pause, note, and marinate on any riches that particularly grab your attention. God may be opening your eyes to a treasure He has provided to meet one of your needs!

 

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for our Connection Picnic on Sunday September 9! An opportunity to take another step toward belonging at Grace Point.

Picnic poster

Local “Good Samaritan” Opportunities

Here are a few ideas to “make neighbor a verb, not a noun!”

Don’t know where to plug in, but know you have a heart for Urban Ministries? Come to our Urban Ministry Interest Gathering in August, led by Steve Weir (Pastor of Missions & Communication): click here to sign up.

Burning Questions

Today we closed out our current series on the Pain of Life, which comes after messages about offering grace and truth to those who may think and live very differently than we do.

These have been some challenging topics, and we realize they may have raised more questions.

The leadership of GP would like to hear what is on your heart, what topic(s) would you like to see addressed from God’s perspective?

Take a moment and fill out the form to submit your questions and/or topics.

Submit your questions here.

Resources to Find Healing from Abuse

To find out more about the ministry of Transformed By Grace, visit their website at: www.transformedbygrace.org

You can also follow on their FaceBook page at Transformed By Grace, Inc.

Sylane Mack’s books are all available on Amazon and Kindle:

Convinced! – Sylane Mack’s autobiography, or as she calls it, “God’s transforming love story written in my life.”
This is also available in Spanish: ¡Convencida!
Grace Moments – a daily journey with God – is a daily devotional with reflective journaling pages.
Grace Moments – travel version – the same daily devotional, but without the journaling pages to make it easier to pack.

Other related books:

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Cry of the Soul by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III

Healing for Damaged Emotions by David A. Seamands

The Healing Path by Dan. B. Allender, Ph.D.

When Life Isn’t Fair by Dwight Carlson, M.D. and Susan Carlson Wood

When God Doesn’t Make Sense by Dr. James Dobson

To explore other counseling options, please contact our Pastor of Congregational Care, Chuck Arnold.

Hope is available for you in Christ! Please let us help you.

 

Tenacious Love Resources

Below is a sampling of many resources available to help us learn how to balance truth and grace.

Responding to a gay family member or friend:

Compassion without Compromise (How the Gospel Frees Us to Love Our Gay Friends Without Losing the Truth) by Adam Barr and Ron Citlau

Messy Grace (How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others without Sacrificing Conviction) by Caleb Kaltenbach

Someone I Love is Gay (How Family & Friends Can Respond) by Anita Worthen & Bob Davies

When Homosexuality Hits Home (What to Do When a Loved One Says They’re Gay) by Joe Dallas

 

Understanding homosexuality, for teens:

Living in a Gray World (A Christian Teen’s Guide to Understanding Homosexuality) by Preston Sprinkle

 

Biblical understanding of homosexuality (written by individuals who experience same-sex attraction):

Is God Anti-Gay? (Questions Christians Ask) book by Sam Allberry

Is God Anti-Gay? Sam Allberry message delivered at the Village Church in Texas

Navigating Sexual Sin to Find Your Identity in Christ, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield Focus on the Family broadcast 1/2017

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert (And English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith) by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Through the Bible in 2018!

Your car won’t run if you don’t give it the right fuel. Neither will your spirit.

For decades now, I’ve made it a habit to read through the entire Bible in a year. While it’s great to spend time in the Bible looking at passages that child with Bibleaddress my immediate needs, it’s also important to get the “Big Picture” and read ALL the parts that I might never choose left to myself. God has something important to say to me there, too.

This year I’m choosing a new plan I haven’t done before, thanks to the many plans available on YouVersion – if you don’t have the free app yet on your device, check it out here.

Here are quite a few options to read through the Bible in 365 days.

If you need help narrowing the choices, here are my top picks:

YouVersion_Promo_Materials_157x157Whatever plan you choose, and whether you go through the entire Bible in 2018, or even a portion, it’s a great practice to start your day spending time with Jesus, listening to Him speak into your life.

One further note – this Wednesday I will begin weekly posts to my personal blog, to provide a mid-week spiritual check-in, as well as an opportunity for interaction for others in our church family. It’s easy to come on Sunday, worship, and leave not having really connected with others. I want the blog to be an online opportunity for mutual encouragement and conversation. Find it here.

Happy New Year – and may you enjoy many meaningful moments with God in 2018!

GP Kids Parenting – Importance of Play

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw

Most of us have probably heard that quote before. As adults, we can forget how important playtime is to kids. We live in a time of rushing and busyness: rushing to get from place to place and rushing our kids to grow up. Sometimes we forget to let our child just be a kid.

Take a few minutes and check out this month’s parenting class on playtime. We explore why play is so important for our kids. Later this month, we will dig deeper and explore creative ideas for kids and suggestions for parents.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/107774699/a835499b54

June Ministry Celebration recap

On Sunday evening we held our June Ministry Celebration and Business Meeting. It was an encouraging evening celebrating what God has been doing at Grace Point!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • We celebrated those who have taken the step of baptism this past year, by re-watching the video of Craig Stranahan being baptized in December!
  • Josh DeLeo was recognized for his faithful service in the A/V area, as he is stepping down to devote more time to his family.
  • Three staff members were recognized for their loyal service: JoAnn McDowell (17 years), Darrell Benjamin (15 years), and Steve Weir (15 years). Kudos to each of these special people for their vital contributions to our church family!
  • The Youth Pastor Search Team, and in particular Scott Leuz who served as chair, were recognized for their hard work in helping us find our new Youth Pastor, Greg Shelton. The Youth Transition Team was recognized for doing a great job keeping GP Youth going strong over the past year, thanking point person Bill Wright, along with Martin Hack, Matt Gibson, and John Kindred. And we celebrated the news that God provided a buyer for the Sheltons’ house in just over a week!
  • Charlie and Shirley McDonough were welcomed as new members to the church.
  • We heard a testimony from Julia Bonner, who took the three month “tithing challenge,” and shared how much God taught her through that experience.
  • Bill Wright, Director of Administration shared a financial update. Although giving is under budget, expenses have been less than giving and so we expect to end the fiscal year in the black – praise the Lord! For the first time in several years, giving has not declined from the past year but has leveled out. In addition to general fund giving, we have seen generosity demonstrated in special ways such as the Christmas and Easter offerings. Thanks to all who are practicing steady stewardship and gutsy generosity!
  • Dave Wolf, Senior Pastor, gave an update on the work staff is doing to develop strategies, goals, and objectives to address a central issue: helping people move from being me-centered to Christ-centered. The staff’s proposed goals and objectives will be reviewed by the elders later this month.
  • Glenn Ely, Elder Chair, led us in a vote that unanimously approved the 2017-18 budget, two new Management Committee members,
    • Treasurer: Tom Ames
    • Member-at-Large: Jan Haas
      and two other vital serving roles:
    • Church Clerk: Lynne Holmes
    • Head Teller: Dave Hefty (second 3 year term)
  • Glenn gave two elder updates: Jim Weber and Keith Brown will be observing a sabbatical year beginning July 1; and our two new elders, Dave Kneller and Rich Speeney, will begin their terms July 1. Jay Button is also planning a three month sabbatical, to begin in late August, pending final elder approval this month.

Praise the Lord for His work among us!

Stop Trying…

I have a Virtual Mentor, Michael Hyatt. He makes me think twice about stuff that matters. In a recent post entitled “The Difference Between Trying and Doing,” he said Tony Robbins once gave some advice to a woman who was struggling in her marriage.

“She stood up in one of his seminars to ask a question. She complained that she had “tried everything” to improve her relationship with her husband but nothing had changed.

Tony went on to make a distinction that I think is vitally important. He asked the woman to try to pick up the chair she was sitting in. She turned around and picked up the chair.

Tony said, “No, you picked it up. I said try to pick it up.”

The woman looked confused. Tony reiterated, “Try to pick it up.” The woman just stood there, not knowing what to do.

Tony continued, “No, now you’re not picking it up. I said try to pick it up.” Again, she picked up the chair.

Again, Tony, said, “No, you picked up the chair. I asked you to try and pick it up. You either pick it up, you don’t pick it up, or you try to pick it up.”

The point is that when we say we are trying we don’t really have to do anything. It also provides us with an excuse for why we didn’t accomplish the outcome we say we want.

Do you understand the difference? You either do something or you don’t do it. Trying is really the same as not doing it. It just makes it easier for us to let ourselves off the hook when we fail.

It made me stop and think…what am I “trying” to do? Wouldn’t it be better to ask, “What am I committed to doing? I’m trying to get in shape? Really? Or am I just trying? I’m trying to please my wife? Really? Or am I just trying to please my wife…and then complain about her to my inner self and others.

Bottom line…maybe it’s time to quit trying and just do it.

Romans 12:10, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”

Ministry Celebration and Biz Meeting Recap

Sunday night’s business meeting was a great time of celebrating what God has been doing among us lately – here are the highlights!

Restoration Church – Pastor Ross Manders thanked Grace Point for the vision and resources that allowed RC to get off the ground. Together we celebrated the amazing work God has done to position RC to be independent in just over two years, and Paco Batres prayed for God’s continued blessing on the new church.

GP Youth – Maura Giannone shared the impact of GP’s youth ministry on her life, specifically thanking Nate and Jendi Korpi for their investment. Nate gave a brief recap of next steps toward becoming a missionary with Converge. Dave Wolf shared that Scott Leuz will head up the Youth Director Search Team, with the elders beginning work to identify members of the search team. Bill Wright will serve as staff point person for Youth Ministry during the time of transition, with several key volunteers overseeing youth programming on Sunday morning, Thursday night, and outreach activities.

Missions Update – Appreciation was expressed for Tim Yoder’s work on the GO Team, as he is stepping down after leading for the past year. Steve Weir has begun his new role as Director of Missions and Communications.

Three items were presented for vote, and all were overwhelmingly approved:

Paco Batres was reinstated as elder; Paco has experience with several previous terms as elder at Grace Point, and much respect.

The 2016-17 Budget represents a 4.8% increase over 2015-16 giving and retains the most crucial funding for ministry, missions, and staffing. We also celebrated God’s provision as our expected fiscal year 2015-16 deficit of $90,000 turned into a surplus, and we will end the FY in the black. Thanks to our Grace Point family for pulling together to support God’s work – we are positioned well to launch a new year of ministry!

Constitutional Changes include a definition of marriage in the “Humanity” section of our statement of faith, and updated language related to constitutional mentions of deacons and deaconesses. The elders have adopted a position paper, titled “God’s Design for Marriage,” available upon request from the office. The updated Statement of Faith is available on our GP website.

Psalm 40:5 sums up the evening well -a time of giving God glory for the great things He has done!

You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with You!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.
Looking forward to what God will do in the year to come!