Growing up in the church I had a front row seat to the catastrophe of sin in a person’s life. I got to see how it affected their families, their friendships, their marriages and often it carried some pretty stiff consequences depending on what the sin was. (all sin condemns a man to hell, but the earthly consequences are different). Being a witness to this process changed my view of the church and of Christians. I learned that it is better for someone to struggle and not let their sin be known so that they can avoid these strained relationships and Earthly consequence.
Better to pretend to be righteous than to actually be free from sin through confession. With this as my guide I became a very self-righteous person. I looked great on the outside, clean, pleasant, peaceful. This was far from the truth as my appearance of cleanliness would eat away at me from the inside because the only person my sin mattered to was God and He saw every bit of it. The act I was putting on for the world to see did not fool Him. Peace can only come from God and it wasn’t until I stopped playing “righteous” that I found it. I traded my clean appearance for a heart that was actually made clean through the death of Jesus thousands of years ago. My repentance and my confession to Him have made me truly righteous and has brought genuine peace to my life.
How about your life? Do you want a peace that does not match our understanding? Can I encourage you to look to God for the answers? Feel free to reach out and ask me questions.
I feel as if I need to apologize to all of the people in my past that I have cast judgement on with my actions all the while hiding under a mask of self-righteousness. I was no better but I played it off as if I was. For this I apologize.
Our church this past Sunday participated in Carboard Testimonies. It was a powerful time of acknowledging what brokenness God has delivered us from. Above is a picture of the two sides of my cardboard. Will you consider joining us in sharing our testimonies and write out on cardboard what God has delivered you from? May your testimony be a powerful tool God uses to reach those that are lost.
-Pastor Paul Mollett
Summer camp for the youth this year is almost here.
We need your prayer! God has answered some big prayer requests as the campground received insurance in order to go and filled kitchen staffing needs.
Join us in prayer for salvation and growth in our students.
This year we are talking about God and who He is. With such an awesome topic we are expecting God, as He is an awesome God, to change the lives of these students. Please pray that the students will come out of this camp and truly know their Father in heaven just as He has fully known them.
Pray for the leaders as they come to camp to serve, that they would have the energy to keep up with the students and the ability to connect with them.
Pray for our speaker and band that they will be used by God to do his will at camp.
Lastly prayer for Pastor Brent and I as we run this camp that we will keep our focus on the Lord. Thank you so much for supporting us in prayer!
Father Day this year has brought on a little more significance for me and my family. Why? Because my father Don, at age 90, was placed into hospice care at the end of January. His doctors said that his body was just worn out, and as a result hospice was called in to help. So, the last several months have been a regular series of trips to Davis, CA. with Sue, and the kids to spend some precious moments with dad and grandpa. Those visits have been tender gifts from our merciful and gracious heavenly Father.
So much goes through your mind and washes over your soul as you prepare to say goodbye. You cling to and store up, in the deep recesses of your heart, every word, every memory, every smile and every tender gaze.
My father and my grandfathers helped set the foundation stones of my life and character. I see my life as an extension of theirs. It is something much more complex than biological DNA. It is the intentional passing on of the secrets of life itself, the DNA of the soul if you will. It is at the core of God’s purpose for families, to purposefully pass on the blessing.
My father taught me the priorities of faith, hope and love, as his father had also taught him. I learned to strive to be a humble servant to my family, the church, my community, and those less fortunate than myself. My Dad exemplifies a life dedicated to the biblical concept, “To whom much is given, much will be required" (Luke 12:48). By example I was shown that it means we are held responsible by our Creator for what we have been given and blessed with. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, family, freedom, strength, and material stuff, then it is expected and proper that we should use those things to benefit others. My father will, as his father had, leave of legacy of service to God and his fellow man. I desire to be that kind of man myself because they were and because I want to pass on that same legacy onto my children. To do that, to be that man, it must be intentional.
Praise the Lord the last time I saw my dad he was doing much better. He may even move out of the need for hospice care and have additional years of life to live. Fantastic! But, in all of this I have been reminded that one day he will pass from this life and into the presence of Christ. Time is precious. These past months have been as gift but also a bit of a wake-up call. These are the days to tell people you love them. These are the days to care for those around you. These are the days to be the kind of man or woman that you were created to be. These are the days to re-evaluate what blessing and good you want to pass on to those around you. These are the days to be strong and courageous and to determine to be part of the solution.
What are you passing on? What legacy will your life leave?
Start now, by God’s help and grace, to be the kind of father, husband, son, friend, and follower of Jesus Christ that you were created and redeemed to be. Pass it on.
-Pastor Garry Zeek
Here are some cool quotes regarding Father’s Day that you may want to pass on to someone:
Bring your kids on Father’s Day! On June 20th 9AM Sunday School is back for all ages.
Where do I drop off my kids?
Many church goers would admit that they have heard this verse many times before. In fact, many would even say that they have memorized it and they understand the importance of taking off the old self, the wicked, sinful nature, and putting on the new life of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
And yet, many church goers who claim to obey the Almighty God only put on a few of these qualities. Or even worse, we see those that call themselves Christians not demonstrate any of these qualities. They do not display the fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians. Why is this? Why are people sitting in our churches claiming to believe in a God that radically changes lives, but they do not actually change? Is this possible?
Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
A believer of Jesus must submit fully to Christ as Lord and come humbly before others as an ambassador of God. A Christian is called to conform to the image of the Creator. The Creator of life. That is God Himself who is the only source of life. All other images, all other idols are an abomination before the True God of the universe.
Here at Grace Church, Nicola gave her life to Christ and we were able to celebrate and rejoice with her new life in Jesus. She is no longer a slave to sin but set free by a God that changes souls. She has now cleansed her home of her past, destroyed the idols that controlled her life and has set a path forward towards Christ alone. Praise the LORD!
Spiritual growth is a journey. It begins with a rejection of the past and a rejection of loving the world and the things of the world. A renewed life reflects God. A renewed soul, filled with His Spirit cannot resist to give God glory for His Majesty and Wonder. A renewed life has sweet fruit that cannot be hidden.
What is holding onto your heart? What is controlling your life?
I believe it is time for us all to clean out our homes, commit to the Lord to crush those idols in our lives and step out in faith to follow Christ wherever He leads.
- Pastor Brent Smith
Everybody loves a good comeback story. The underdog blowing everyone’s mind, the triumph of what appears to be a loss turning into a tight race, the story of someone who is facing doom and gloom seeing a glimmer of hope as they battle on. We know that the powers of Hell cannot defeat the gospel of Jesus! (Matthew 16:18) Looking at the last year there has been much trial and at many times the mind of the believer could easily shift the feeling of defeat. Church is closed, worship is not allowed, people all seem to be polarized in their opinions of what is appropriate as a church. It would seem that the Devil was winning as Christians all over the world were living in disunity, isolated, angry, and fearful. It did not feel like victory was anywhere close. I believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit we will see a COMEBACK.
The idea of a comeback is two-fold, on the one hand, as the vaccine rolls out, herd immunity is in full effect and churches begin to get back into the swing of things, my hope is not that things would return to “normal”, my hope is that we create a “new normal”. The time away has stirred in my heart a sense that how we were doing things before needs to be different as we look at victory in a new light. I don’t just want to be back in church, I WANT TO BE THE CHURCH!
As a church we must see our attendance as more than just our opportunity to check the spiritual boxes. We must see ourselves and people who aim to be used by God in big uncomfortable ways. Instead of coming to attend church, how about we come to church to live on mission? Our missions statement as a church is to “Know Christ and Make Him Known.” You might have just noticed for the first time that attending church does not accomplish the vision of the church. We must be intentional if we want to see revival in our church and our community.
My challenge to you is that you look around and see who is missing. The second part of the two-fold idea of a comeback is that people who have become comfortable at home come back to church for worship, fellowship and service. Will you invite someone who you see is missing? Will you invite someone for the first time to attend Grace Church?
In our series: Rebuilding What is Broken we have asked you to take seriously the questions of what is broken in me? What is broken in my Church? On Comeback Sunday (June 13th) we will be talking about putting what is broken in the hands of the healer.
Will you join us in our services at 9am or 10:45 for a time of celebrating the Comeback of the church? We will have a celebratory meal following the second service as a time of returned fellowship.
I love you all and look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
As church attendance numbers fade across the nation and online services become very convenient (who doesn't love not getting ready in the morning or leaving the home?!), it's important to remember why church attendance for you and your family matters so much.
You can't serve from your sofa. You can't have community of faith on your sofa. You can't experience the power of a room full of believers worshipping together on your sofa.
Christians aren't consumers either. We are contributors. We don't watch. We engage. We give. We sacrifice. We encourage. We do life together.
The church needs you.
And you need the church.
Wherever you are, find a local church where you and your family can be part of community and use your talents to advance the kingdom and reach others. To come alongside one another physically, not just through a screen. While I'm grateful for technology to keep people connected that can't physically come to a facility or need to be away, it's absolutely not like being in the building. Never will be.
Yes, church on the sofa is nice.
But it'll never be the same as church in the sanctuary.
Each year we have been able to love on and provide a safe, fun, Jesus centered, environment for as many as 165 different kids. This year Melissa Chapman and Sandy Bowlin are putting together an amazing program for Vacation Bible School. Kids will have fun interacting with Skittles, singing along to God honoring videos, visiting the Imagination Station, The Bible Adventure room, learning about Missions in the Kid-vid Cinema, and our play area.
How can you get involved?
First and foremost: Pray!
Pray for all of the kids attending and that God will work in their hearts to learn to love Him and show His love to others.
Pray for Melissa and Sandy as they plan, prep and organize.
Pray for Volunteers. That they all come with the desire to provide the safe, God centered, environment that kids will respond to and connect with.
We are also looking for people willing to serve. There are many areas needed from working directly with kids to behind the scenes decorating, technical team, and clean up crew.
- Jeff Weller
Go to the Volunteer Application or VBS page above to get involved.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Lord and Savior modeled for mankind how to love unconditionally. Jesus came as a servant, demonstrating His love for us and how we are to love one another.
Here at Grace Church we desire to see all God’s children serving one another and making Christ known through actions and speech. As we consider the current message series, “Rebuilding What Is Broken”, we invite you to be actively part of the body of Christ and serve Him by plugging into the lives of the people God has brought into your life.
There are and have been many hard-working servants at Grace church over the years with a heart to serve God with passion. One of these servants that many of you know, have been taught by, or have watched train your children in the ways of the Lord is Bobbie Bridges “Grammy”. For many years she has blessed the people here at Grace Church and throughout Lake County with a fervent desire to see people saved. She is a mighty prayer warrior and has a heart to equip others for the spread of the gospel. Grammy has touched the lives of many for the glory of God
We want to encourage you to observe servants within the church and seek to imitate them as they imitate Christ. Fully surrender your heart to God and genuinely love your neighbor, love the people in this church, as yourself.
Let’s be the Church together.
-Pastor Brent Smith