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Monday Memo - November 26

I received an email last week from someone who now attends GFC. She explained to me why:

           I was struggling thru some personal valleys of my own when I by chance had opportunity to visit and spend some time in this home located here in Johnson City Tn. I was acquainted with this person and I knew he was a Christian .I knew he went to church and had visited the sick before his own illness.

But on spending time in this home I actually felt a spiritual awakening. I felt Gods presence, a sweet spirit. It was more defined by the pictures and bible verses scattered thru the house. And you found many books to read on how to be a Christian how to grow spiritually and lots of Bibles…!

I witnessed his church family as they visited showing Love and concern to him after his illness. Some would stop by to bring a favorite food .Others would come with their hymnals and sing and there were some that came to pray.

I learned that Tom Shearin had been one of the members of Grace Fellowship when it was just beginning in a home. Now due to a stroke he was and is still unable to walk or speak. In the beginning he helped in building and reaching out and now it was amazing to see Members of the Grace Fellowship family reach out and encourage him.

It made a believer out of me that GFC practices what they teach. And that Tom Shearin shared a great testimony to me without being able to speak.

Your sister in Christ

How encouraging to hear how mysteriously and powerfully God works through an example! Tom Shearin became involved in GFC in the early 1980’s and served as an elder for many years before experiencing a stroke four years ago. I thank God for Tom Shearin and this congregation for years of honoring him and loving him in his current state. I thought you might want to send him a Christmas card or note, thanking him for who he is and all he means to our church even if you have never met him. His address is below. We never know who may be watching!

              Tom Shearin
              1203 Ridgecrest Rd.
              Johnson City, TN  37604

Grace and peace, 

Tom Oyler
Lead Pastor   


Looking Back

"Why Thanksgiving?"   Psalm 138

Thanksgiving is the one holiday that is kind of hard to mess up, except maybe by, well, overeating. Other than that, Thanksgiving is simple. No presents, no expectations, etc. All we need for a good Thanksgiving is a grateful heart. Let Psalm 138 be your guide this week.


A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.


If you want to find gratitude today, you will have to look in the dictionary.

              ~Mark Twain

Thou who hast given so much to me, give one more thing—a grateful heart.

              ~George Herbert

If there were more praise for answered prayer, there would be more answered prayer for which to give praise.



1. How has David’s example in Psalm 138 inspired, convicted, or otherwise impacted you?


2. Consider using Psalm 138 in some way in your own Thanksgiving Day celebration.

Looking Ahead

" the Midst of Chaos"   Isaiah 9:1-7

The Thanksgiving turkey is now leftovers in the fridge and Christmas music is in full force in shops everywhere.  It’s time again to turn our attention toward the birth of Christ and what that birth means for us.  This time of year, our minds are often on what we want, but there are only a few things we really need.  Next Sunday we begin a new series called “All I Need from Christmas.”  We will explore a few of the gifts we really need this Christmas, and how Jesus makes it possible for us to receive them.  First up is the gift of peace.  Isn’t it ironic that this gift seems so elusive this time of year?


The best way to prepare for Sunday’s message is to explore how the Bible defines and describes the concept of peace.  Look up the following passages and take a few notes about what you learn about peace from these texts.  Specifically, consider where peace comes from, and examine the other concepts and blessings peace seems to be connected to:

· Numbers 6:22-27

 · Psalm 85:8-13

· Isaiah 52:7

· John 16:33 

· Acts 9:31

· Ephesians 2:13-22

Finally, read Isaiah 9:1-7.  This prophecy came at a rebellious and dark time in Israel’s history, but points to the birth of One who would be called “Prince of Peace.”  In what ways has this prophecy been fulfilled?  In what ways has it yet to be fulfilled?


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