When you're in bondage in an area of your life, freedom can feel overwhelmingly impossible. We're conditioned that success equals hard work, and so it seems counterintuitive that slaying our giants would simply require giving it to Him and resting. And while it's simple, it's not always easy.
Last week, Grace Church turned into a campsite with trees and tents and campfires. We welcomed 72 children and 36 helpers who camped with her for the week. Together we danced, wrote music, sang songs, made crafts, played games, and ate scrumptious snacks. We listened to stories about Moses, Daniel, David, and Jesus. Most importantly, we learned God loves them and that they are characters in His amazing grace story.
How does grace reshape the way we think about rejection and pain? Understanding God's good nature and believing that we are in right-standing with Him will empower you to take a step towards what may feel like an impossibility.
Everything makes much more sense in hindsight. Is easier to trust and rest when we can see an overview of God's bigger plan - as we map out our traveled route. But when life takes sudden turns and unexpected stops the hardest part is in the unknown. Are we lost? Are we where we're supposed to be? Melissa shares her journey, the pit stops, and hopeful future in this personal story about motherhood.
I realized I had been so restless about it because it hadn't run through "Mio's Creative Process." I had little to no clue who the women of grace were. What's worse is that my perspective was off and I had a lot of misconceptions. However, God knows exactly who we are as individuals and as a community.
I can lose my grip on big picture concepts from time to time. I admit I had experienced mood swings with how I felt about our manifesto (mission statement). I also felt awkward about how to explain the reason behind the roots of In the Glow. In my preparations for Storyteller Sunday a couple of weeks ago, I discovered some things that blessed me to pieces!
EASTER RECAP AND PHOTOS The Kindness of the King draws us close and causes to examine what we hold in our hands. Upon seeing what life to the fullest looks like, you will willingly trade the death sin produced for the newness of life found in Him!
. Why did I give up? I suppose most people have gone through this almost/halfway/maybe/not quite obtaining the pinnacle of a dream experience. Becoming resigned to the outcome, but disappointed and still having the desire to go further. A dream half realized. I know I have and I actually thought it was God’s will for me to give up the dream in the same way I thought it was His will for me to begin.
Our first Family Fall Festival was a huge success! We are so happy with the way that everything turned out. We were blown away by the amount of people who attended. Not only was our church family able to enjoy the games, bounce houses and trunk or treating, but a surprisingly large amount of people from the surrounding community also attended. We estimate a few hundred people made their way through the Festival, That’s amazing!
Chase, Luke, Leilani and Princess made the decision to get baptized on Sunday --- an outward expression of the newness of life that they have experienced in Jesus. From death to life. Complete transformation. A New Creation.
I’m grateful God knows and understands my human condition. He created me to have feelings. His love is not dependent on my acting right, much less feeling right. He is the safest place in the world to bring my authentic self, warts and all.
An incredible season of 10 years has come to a close, but we couldn't let it end without celebrating the memories and honoring the man who has been so faithful through it all! Thank you, Javin! Our lives are better because you have been a part of them!
If you missed Sunday night, NO WORRIES! Click HERE to watch the recording of the full service.
My heart and soul knew this. My mind took a while to catch up to this reality. Shadows from my past were constantly being thrust to the forefront of my mind. I realized that if the God of the universe, in His mercy, didn't remember the old me, then I had nothing to feel ashamed about. The love and acceptance of my Father overshadowed everything else.
What a massive difference it makes when we stop hounding them about behavior, and start sharing with them about identity in Christ. When we understand who He is and who we are in Him, we can stand confidently in the truth. WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD. It changes everything. This reality shifts our perspective and allows us to boldly run to the throne of grace without any fear or hesitation.
Our students know this truth well, and their lives are the evidence. With the pure Gospel of Grace as their foundation, they are unstoppable.
"I can imagine Lazarus in the tomb, his body beginning to decay and bound with the robes and stench of death. With His word 'Lazarus, come out!' Lazarus was given resurrected life by Jesus. However, it was what Jesus said afterwards that caught me off guard. He said: 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go.' Ok, so it's not what He said that surprised me, but who it is said to."
Doctors told us they weren't sure if she would survive the pregnancy. This also put Jacob's life in jeopardy. We asked for everyone at church to pray for our family. God answered that prayer and Madison miraculously started to grow. When Madison was born, she weighed 3 pounds and Jacob weighed 5 pounds 8 ounces. Because of her weight, Madison had to stay in the NICU until the doctors felt that she was completely healthy. My wife, Andrea, and I were so relieved and thankful. Unfortunately, it was short lived.
"Listening and seeking to understand others generates the empathy that we need to overcome all the ways that we try to hurt one another. Stigma, shame, prejudice, discrimination, oppression... Our relationship with God empowers us to love. Love propels us to pursue those in need and to listen with open hearts to the stories of human experience with respect with no strings attached." Read more on how to actively love and support those in need during a time of crisis by simply listening.
"... I longed to breathe the same air as my children. I imagined what they smelled like and what their beating hearts felt like as I drew them close. I imagined the cold sterile hospital waiting rooms full of mothers and fathers and loved ones waiting to do the same. I imagined the mothers and fathers and loved ones of those who were killed and who are left desperately clinging to only memories."
"This is our mandate in the Church – Welcoming all, preaching the Kingdom of God and the life found in Jesus with all openness. Unhindered."
Alan Chambers spoke at the Washington National Cathedral this week as part of its Pride Week. He shared his heavy heart following the Pulse shooting and spoke about God's lavish grace, the LGBTQ+ community and the role of the church to pursue to love and welcome all people.