Transformational Community-Sermon Snapshot #2

A few weeks ago we did a message entitled: A Great Church where we laid out a number of things we believe and long to see as we move forward as a church. Throughout this week and next we’ll continue to post “snapshots” of the message to remind and refresh us on what we’re about.

This is the second of five clips where we talk about a transformational community….

Vision Sunday pt.1-A Great Church (sermon snapshot)

A couple of weeks ago (August 15) we talked through the heartbeat and focus of our church particularly in the days to come. And while I’d love to have everyone listen to the whole message, I realize some like to get the content in more “bite-size” pieces. So over the next couple of days/weeks I thought I would give you a couple of pieces of the sermon so you can either be reminded of the heart or hear it for the first time.

So here’s the first piece:

“If not now, when?” part two

If not now, when? Yesterday (make sure you read part 1 before reading this post-click back) we talked about this grand adventure and big mission that God has hand-picked His followers to be on and we asked what could be more valuable and worth more energy, effort and time than that? Today we look at other side of the picture: the world/ community around us.

If not now, when? If today is not the day for us to care about the people next door, then when will that day come? If today is not the day to make the phone call to that friend who was struggling, when is? If today is not the day to courageously make the invite to an opportunity where a person could rescued and enjoy true life transformation, then when is that day?

read more

“If not now, when?”

I’m not sure who was the originator of the quote, but I heard it from one of my teammates, Chris Thomson. He asked, “if not now, when?” I thought about it a lot. How many times do I put something off because…. well I don’t really know why. At the moment, it sounds good in my head to push off something that I’d rather not to, or to justify doing other stuff that I’m involved in. Let’s face it, our world has lots of shiny things to distract us. There’s not a day that goes by where I’m not drawn to check my Facebook because I’m sure someone wrote something witty as their status and if I miss it, my day will not be complete. I’m continually looking for the most recent email, the YouTube video of the day or wanting to join in that interesting conversation in the hallway. And that’s just my work day. The rest of my life could easily be distracted with a million things to do at the house, conversations to had, games to played, snacks to eat. None of it is really bad, but before I know it, my life is over flowing with plenty of things to do and often it’s the important things that I never seem to get around to.

read more

“For the first time, I’m comfortable inviting guests”

I made this statement this past Sunday: “For the first time in my almost 4 years here, I’m comfortable inviting guests to join us here at Grace.” So let me explain, it’s true I’ve encouraged us all to invite guests over these past 3 and 1/2 years, and you might also like to know that I too HAVE invited guests many times over these last 3 and 1/2 years. I think even when churches aren’t fully “ready” to receive company, our call is still to invite because God works in spite of us and our best efforts. It’s God who rescues people, not us. So if we waited till we had it all together to invite, we never would. (By the way, I don’t think we have it all together now, we’re just further along than we’ve ever been). There has been so much that has been good at Grace over these last years and God’s Spirit has been very very evident here over those years and God has also rescued dozens of people as they took steps across the line of faith — so don’t hear me say, “don’t invite until you’re ready” — God doesn’t need us to be ready, just available!

read more

Brett Favre Back in Minnesota

Ok, I know this is a church blog and there are much more “weighty” things to concern ourselves with and there will be some more “weighty” stuff coming soon here but I felt compelled to chime in on the decision of Brett Favre to join the Vikings again.

I’m from NJ and not a football fan (although, in order to choose a team, I’ve been a Giants fan all my life). So I don’t know all the history of the Green Bay Packers and the legacy of Brett Favre.So I speak as a casual observer, who couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement of last season. I’m not here to quabble about millions of dollars, skipping training camp or all the other periphery that surrounds this story. For me, at the heart of this is a story of the unexpected, the turn-around, and depending on how you look at it, the unlikely underdog. I love a good story and this is one. Obviously, last year’s story would have ended well with a Super Bowl win, but it didn’t and maybe that’s a little more honest and real to life anyway. But the arrival of Brett Favre to Minnesota, has me interested in football (which is no small feat). I look forward to watching some games, and following the story. You see part of the story for me is being a NJ/NY guy I knew that Favre went to the NY Jets and was viewed as washed up and “over”. Last season he showed he was anything but. Who knows what this year will be, and while it may not very popular with some, I am rooting for Favre and the Vikes! It will be an interesting season to watch!

read more

A Word from 1873…

This Sunday, I’m preparing to share some of my heart and the anticipation/ expectation for this fall season at Grace. In reading, listening and thinking, I came across this section from Charles Haddon Spurgeon who is often called the “prince of preachers” and I even heard him referred to by several as the best preacher to ever live (except for Jesus)! What I find fascinating is this quote comes from a sermon preached in 1873, I think in London. But, wow! powerful and personal and direct words this pastor shares. Would you agree with his statement? what keeps us from being mobilized on the mission of God?

read more

It’s coming

We are in the final stretch before one of the biggest fall seasons in recent history at GCR. And its not just the services/sermons. You most likely noticed that we are beta testing a new blog design here and working out the kinks – hoping to go fully live with this by late august which will include lots of new content and some surprises. We’ve got some exciting events planned and a FULL menu of Catalysts to choose from in Sept.
We are busy with lots of plans for the fall, so stay tuned right here for the first/inside scoop.

read more