With two 2 year olds around the house, there are toys pretty much all over the place all the time. This was the case the other day in the living room. The twins had gotten out an assortment of goodies and sprawled it out across the carpet – there were trucks and dolls and puzzles and books. Amidst the display of Toys R Us on my floor, I noticed a toy mirror and some toy binoculars. I watched my daughter walk over and look at them both. In that moment, I could see her thinking through which one she would pick up. As she pondered the decision, a picture of life emerged through her decision over which innocent toy she would grab.
I think for many – your joy or lack of of joy, your hope or lack of hope, your contemned or lack of contentment, your security or lack of security – are found in whether you pick up the binoculars or the mirror. Picking up the mirror is the first step to comparison, and comparison is either the birth of depression or arrogance, neither of which go well with a cup of coffee in the morning. So much of our pain and frustration is built on the consistent habit of looking at other people’s decisions, habits, emotions and stuff.
I contend that there is power on the other side though when we pick up the mirror. The mirror puts us face to face with the person who, at the end of the day, is really in control and responsible for his or her life. So much happens to us that is out of our control and that we are not responsible for. But we are always on the hook to the image in the mirror with what we do with that stuff that happens. So much changes when we stop worrying about others and just focus on dealing with our struggles, insecurities, habits and thoughts.
Choose today to put down the binoculars and pick up the mirror. You will not regret your choice to process this life.
I really believe that many people reject not the God of the Bible, but what they believe the God of the Bible is like. I also think that there are many who interact with God based on misunderstandings and faulty assumptions of who He is. I am convinced that there are many significant things that would change in our life if we had a better understanding of who God really is.
Over the next 5 weeks at Grace Fellowship we are going to try and address some of the assumptions and thoughts people have about God and whether these things are actually true or not. I hope you make it a priority to be here if Grace is your home church. And if you do not have a church, we would love for you to check our this sermon series. Hope to see you beginning this weekend.
Well it’s Easter week. These are always incredible weeks for those of us deeply connected to a church. Many churches have special events, unique services, times of reflections, larger attendances for weekend services as well as increased energy and involvement over the course of this week. God has a way of uniquely moving during this time each year.
I wanted to encourage those of us who attend Grace Fellowship with some things to consider as we head into this week.
- Get to one of the 10 services at the 3 locations. Do whatever you have to do. I really believe you will be blessed. So move past any excuse (family sports, travel, sadness that the Masters is over) and just make it happen.
- Please RSVP for the service you plan to attend. RSVP for yourself and any person joining you that is 6th grade or over. You can do that at gracefellowship.cc/easter. This really helps our team. Thanks in advance.
- Invite friend or many friends to join you for service. Please do not say “no” for them. The chances are greater that they will say yes. Take the risk. Life change may just be one invitation away for someone you love.
- Help us pull off Eggsplosion. We are hosting two Eggsplosions at two of our campuses. Our Upper Arlington and Licking Heights campuses still need volunteers. We are at crunch time. Sign up to help us love our communities at graceimpact.cc.
- Be awesome in attending the service you choose. This means be on time, be patient and kind, and scoot in the row you sit in. With more people expected, you can be a blessing by being here early (you will be glad you did). Recognize that someone might take your seat and the parking lot might be a little more hectic than normal. Preparing for more people scooting in your row helps out a lot.
- Pray that God moves. Prayer works and is powerful. Ask God to move over the course of this week in an incredible way. Last year, the mother of one my best friends became a Christian on Easter. Let’s pray for lots of stories like that.
Our church has several career openings right now. Grace Fellowship is looking to bring some quality people onto our team in some unique positions. I think Grace is not only a great church, but an incredible place to work. (Of course I am biased) Nothing about our environment is perfect, but we have a rewarding culture where we work hard, attack the various challenges, have fun and invest in something we believe matters.
I would love for you to take a look at the link below and jump into the process if any of these roles are for you. Here is the link to check out the various roles we are pursuing: www.gracefellowship.cc/careers.
I have had the privilege of being a pastor for over 12 years. When you do anything for any significant period of time, you hear the same comments, thoughts, frustrations and joys over and over. Grace Fellowship is beginning a new sermon series that is built on one of the things I have heard over and over. It is the reality that people do not engage God, drift from God or walk away from God because they say “they don’t feel it.” People make a decision about the existence and reality of God based on emotions and feelings.
I want to encourage you to be here this weekend (and bring someone with you) as we begin a 3-week conversation about how to deal with the fact that there are times when we all don’t feel it.
I was at a Cavaliers game not long ago with my son. It was between quarters and the cheerleaders and hype squad people came out and were throwing little plastic basketballs to the fans. So all around the arena, people were going crazy wanting one of these little plastic balls. This included my 11-year-old son. He was going nuts. He was jumping around and screaming. All for a ball that truth be told he has gotten before there and at other games. I am not sure he knows where any of those plastic balls are. I kept thinking “all of these people going crazy for something they will not care about in 48 hours.”
I feel like this a great microcosm of life. We all have the “little plastic balls” in our lives. It’s the thing that we work so hard for. The thing that led us to lose relationships. The thing the cost us our morality. The thing that we had to have because everyone else did. We got it and then we realized we did not even care. Maybe the great tragedy in life is not that we get what we want, but that we get what we want and realize it was the wrong thing in the first place. It seems as though we should really examine the object of our passions and count the cost before we just start praying the price.
Ok Grace Fellowship, we are just a little over a day away from the start of our 10 Christmas Eve services over the three campuses. I know myself and our staff are so excited to celebrate Christmas with thousands of you. We have been praying and are trusting God to move in an incredible way over this Christmas weekend. We want to make sure our services are the best experience possible for every person that steps onto a Grace Fellowship campus. We also want to maximize our impact over this weekend as well. With these thoughts in mind, here are few things to consider:
- Please RSVP – I know. You may be sick of hearing this if you are a Grace regular. But it is key. We are trying hard to prepare for every person who is a part of the Grace family and every guest that will come. There are some services at the Pickerington campus that are already at capacity. There is still room at the 1:00, 5:00 and particularly the 7:00 pm on the 24th. Please go to gracefellowship.cc/christmas to RSVP. If you are waiting on hearing back from a guest, just go ahead and RSVP for you or your family and then add your guests later.
- Be Generous – We are going to be taking an offering across the 10 services. Not a dime will go to Grace. We are putting a period on our Giving It Back initiative by giving away every dollar we receive at these services. You will not be giving TO a church. You will be giving THROUGH a church. So please be prepared to be generous and know your generosity will serve some people who really need the funds.
- Keep Inviting – You are probably over hearing this as well. But come on, life change might just be an invitation away. Take the risk. Ask again. Ask for the first time. Be gentle and kind in your ask, but ask. The stats say people will say yes more often than not for this time of the year.
- Extend Grace – There will be lots of people at many of the services. There will be many cars. There will be people who have never been at that campus. There will be some who did not want to come, but the family made them. Smile. Be patient. Greet warmly. Let people out of their parking spot. Realize they may not know that you always sit there. Remember the message of the gospel starts in the parking lot and is being preached in the lobby by the way people are valued.
- Give Up Your Seat – This will certainly not apply to everyone. If you end up at service, where it is so crowded we need to have people go to overflow, consider giving up your seat for a guest. If you are a Christian, who is by yourself or with your family, please consider, if the need arises, letting someone have the best church experience possible by giving up your seat.
- Pray – I believe God hears our prayers and is engaged in our world in real time. Ask God to be clearly glorified during these services. Ask God for your friends and family to say yes to coming to service. Ask God to move many from death to life. Ask God to speak to your heart. Ask that you understand even more of the grace of Christ. Be praying.
I look forward to seeing you over the next few days. Have a great time with your family and friends this holiday season. Merry Christmas!