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Monday Memo - January 13

Last night, around 120 volunteers who regularly give themselves to small groups of kids from nursery through middle school, gathered here to be inspired by each other and to receive insights regarding the significance of their investment.  Most studies today indicate that at least half of students who participate in church will walk away from their faith after graduation.  That is a PROBLEM!  But in that room last night, solutions, not the problem, was front and center.  

        “There was something different about the room tonight!  It just had a great vibe, an energy that was contagious.”

        “This time tonight was very inspiring.  I see how I fit into a bigger purpose and how every area of family ministry is a vital piece and works together to impact these kids.”

        “To see the number of students we have leading, not helping, alongside our adult leaders is something to really celebrate!  They are getting the opportunity to BE the church”

        “The principle that stands out to me is partnering with parents.  If small group leaders and parents REALLY partnered together, the impact this could make in the lives of these kids…WOW!!!!"

A big thank you to all of you who serve—and to our ministry staff (Jennifer, Stacie, Malia, Sanja, Rachel, Josh, etc.) who work so hard to enable and encourage our volunteers!  Please email me and I will get you connected!

While we have some rhythm to life, it cannot be depended upon. You never know what a week, or a day, may bring. We have all had experiences that cause us to quickly “face reality.”  In some cases, our “unexpected experience” is positive and full of joy, and in others, not so much.

This past week something happened that none of us expected.  Last Monday, Kay Jones, a good and faithful servant of Jesus Christ, was recovering from “routine” knee surgery when something went wrong.  She will be interred today at the VA cemetery.  Kay exuded love for God and for others, as Outreach Pastor Larry Nees said at her funeral yesterday.  Our church and community will feel her absence immensely.

That reminds me. Where is your faith?  How are you and I doing at trusting in the living God this Monday morning in our own circumstances?

P.S.   

How about going public with your faith through baptism in February? Click here to register or for more information.

Are you a man or a woman? If so, you qualify for some quality time this winter!  Check out the White as Snow Just Women Night and the Men’s No Regrets Conference.

New groups@grace are coming soon! Explore online or visit at the lobby table this Sunday.

Grace and peace, 

Tom Oyler
Lead Pastor   

  


Looking Back  

"Chain Reaction: Proof POSITIVE"    Philippians 2:14-18

This is remarkable. “The water shed of the soul?” Grumbling and complaining? The more you ponder, the more it proves to be true. One test is how very difficult for us to learn how to not justify our bad attitudes. Let’s linger carefully over these verses and ask God for specific growth in this area. What could be more important?

THINKING IT THROUGH

Those who do not think about their own sins make up for it by thinking incessantly about the sins of others.                 

            ~C.S. Lewis

Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn, and most do.

            ~Dale Carnagie

The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility; humility is endless.

            ~T.S. Eliot

Any faucet can turn the water on, but only a good faucet will turn it off.

            ~Joel Belz

WORKING IT OUT

1.    How have you experienced the effects of these kinds of thoughts and words in your life history and what were/are they?

2.    What may God be trying to help you see about yourself though these verses?

3.    How can you hold fast to the “word of life” in a more vital way so that you are less “compelled’ to grumble and complain?         


Looking Ahead

"Chain Reaction: A Rare Find"    Philippians 2:19-30

Here is an intriguing, behind the scenes account, of “a day(s) in the life of the apostle Paul.” Life happens as we make decisions, wait, hope, adjust, pursue, etc. But ‘who’ we include, trust, confide in, and ask to be a part of our lives as they happen, is often THE make it or break it issue! Here Paul reveals the details surrounding two people in his life who were A Rare Find. Let’s listen and learn.

LOOKING IT UP

1.    Based upon the opening line of v.19, what does it “feel” that Paul is doing now?

2.    Read carefully vs. 19-30 and make a list of everything you learn about Paul’s current reality and future plans.

3.    “Who” does Paul include in his circumstances and plans and why?

4.    Why do you think Paul includes the details that he does in this section?

5.    What characteristics in people do you value the most and why?


 

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