May 30th News

May 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This Sunday we will continue our study of the Gospel of Mark by focusing on Mark 1:29-46. In this passage we see Jesus healing people, praying, and preaching. Thes activities are not surprising in themselvesgrace2flogo-300x150— I’m sure you are know that Jesus did these things. But as we look at the words Mark writes, I hope that we can see beyond our general view of Jesus and actually see HIM– see his heart, his love, his compassion, his power, his struggle.

As you read the scripture for this week, try to imagine yourself among the crowds– watching, listening,  and reacting. What do you think about Jesus as you read what he did and said? How do you respond? More importantly, what is Jesus saying to you in these words?

I hope to see you Sunday– if you are traveling for the holiday we pray for a safe trip.

Also, be sure to look below for a great serving opportunity!

Looking forward to Sunday!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

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What’s Happening at Grace2F?

PINMinistrylogo

Our church will be serving the PIN ministry this Sunday, May 30th at Beach Pentecostal Church from 2:45 until 5:30 pm.

PIN is an outreach ministry to the local homeless community. We will be helping to set-up, serve, and clean the meal that is served before their Sunday evening worship service. Following the worship service we will continue our fellowship as we head over to Jim Browning’s parents’ house for a cook out, swimming, volleyball, etc.

We would love to have you join us! If you are interested details are as follows:

Beach Pentecostal
501 Baltic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451-4770

Arrive at Beach Pentecostal 2:45PM
Serve Meal 3PM – 4PM
Church Service Starts at 4PM and we clean up the fellowship hall.
Final clean up is about 5:10 and we are completely done at 5:30PM.

To sign up or if you have any questions contact Tim Adams at tim.adams@verbodevelopment.org or call him on his cel at 753-5351.
At 5:30 we will head over to the Browning’s parents house for the cookout and swimming at:

1416 Wakefield Dr. VB 23455

Bring a side dish to share and the meat you want to cook , and any beverages you desire.

The Brownings will provide the plates, napkins , waters, juices for kids , forks and knives.

To help us prepare please RSVP to Dale at dlbrowning@cox.net or cell 715-8177.

Thanks and hope to see you there!

May 23rd News

May 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Last Sunday we saw the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and the calling of the first disciples (Mark 1:14-20). We discovered that Jesus proclaimed a new kind of kingdom– a kingdom that stands in direct contrast to the “kingdoms of the world” that Satan tried to offer in the wilderness. Jesus called this new kingdom the kingdom of God.grace2flogo-300x150

This week we continue our study of the Gospel of Mark by seeing the king of this new kind of kingdom in action. In Mark 1:21-28 we see Jesus healing a man with an unclean spirit. This passage demonstrates much about Jesus… And Mark uses this story to show his readers and us Jesus’ royal credentials.

To really understand this passage in context we will review what we’ve seen so far and see that Mark structures his gospel in such a way as to announce the king and kingdom of God.

With this idea of “review” in mind, I wanted to show you the introduction of the Gospel of Mark from Eugene Peterson’s The Message:

Mark wastes no time in getting down to business—a single sentence introduction, and not a digression to be found from beginning to end. An event has taken place that radically changes the way we look at and experience the world, and he can’t wait to tell us about it. There’s an air of breathless excitement in nearly every sentence he writes. The sooner we get the message the better off we’ll be, for the message is good, incredibly good: God is here, and he’s on our side.

 The bare announcement that God exists doesn’t particularly qualify as news. Most people in most centuries have believed in the existence of God or gods… But that God is here right now, and on our side, actively seeking to help us in the way we most need help—this qualifies as news. For, common as belief in God is, there is also an enormous amount of guesswork and gossip surrounding the subject, which results in runaway superstition, anxiety, and exploitation.

 So Mark, understandably, is in a hurry to tell us what happened in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus—the Event that reveals the truth of God to us, so that we can live in reality and not illusion. He doesn’t want us to waste a minute of these precious lives of ours ignorant of this most practical of all matters—that God is passionate to save us.

Looking forward to Sunday!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

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What’s Happening at Grace2F…

PINMinistrylogo

Pin Ministry Sunday Dinner

On Sunday, May 30th from 3:00-5:00, we have the opportunity to serve meals to people in need. This is a great time to serve others and serve together. After the dinner, there is a church service that we are welcome to attend.

If you are interested in helping out, contact Tim Adams at tim.adams@verbodevelopment.org

Mark 1 14-20

May 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Book of Mark

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May 16, 2010 | Mark1:14-20 | Sermon | Download Audio

Kingdom of God vs. The Kingdoms of The World

May 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This past Sunday, I read an excerpt from a sermon by one of my favorite preachers. His name is John Lynch and he is a pastor at Open Door Fellowship in Phoenix AZ. You can listen to his messages at www.odfchurch.org . He is a gifted communicator and teacher.

This excerpt is about Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the Wilderness. I really like what John says here and I think it provides a great foundation as we began to look at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (Mark 1:14-15) when Jesus says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

I wanted to post John’s words here because I feel that they are rather profound thoughts that require some attention (in other words, just hearing them once is not enough… it helps to read them carefully and consider them).

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The temptation in the desert reveals a profound difference between God’s power and Satan’s power

Satan has the power to coerce, to dazzle, to force obedience, to destroy… and human governments have learned much from that power

Satan’s power is external and coercive.

God’s power is, intentionally, mostly internal and non-coercive.

And this drives us nuts… Do you see the cost of that?

The master of the universe will become its victim.

Powerless before soldiers in the garden.

God made himself weak for one purpose… To let human beings choose freely for themselves what to do with him.

Dorothy Sayers writes in her book Man Born to Be King,

“Herod tells the magi, ‘You can’t rule men by love. When you find your king, tell him that. Only three things will govern a people: fear, greed, and promise of security.”

Herod understands the same leadership principles that Satan operates by—the same ones Jesus is declining for you and for me in the wilderness.

At the cost of everything.

See, sometimes, I wish God used a heavier touch. My faith battles come from too much freedom—too many temptations to disbelieve. I want God to overwhelm me—to overcome my doubts with certainty. To get final proofs of his existence.

I want God to take a more active role in my personal life too! I want quick spectacular answers to all my prayers. I want healings for all diseases; I want full protection and safety for all my loved ones; I want a God I can point to for the sake of my doubting friends and say, “He always does things the way I want him to!”

But it is amazing his refusal to perform and overwhelm.

God’s terrible insistence on human freedom is so absolute that he grants us power to live as though he did not exist; he grants us power to spit in his face and to crucify him.

Jesus knew this as he faced down the tempter in the desert—focusing his power on the energy of restraint.

See, God insists on such restraint because no pyrotechnic display of omnipotence will achieve the result he desires.

Although power can force obedience, only love can summon a response of love.

Which is the one thing God wants for us and from us… and is the reason he created us.

Jesus said, “ I, when lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.”

Love has its own power. It is the only power ultimately capable of conquering the human heart.

Jesus’ steadfast refusal to play by Satan’s rules does something else: It means that Satan, himself, could continue playing by those rules. He still had world kingdoms at his disposal—and, after all, had learned the lesson about God’s restraint. And so the restrained God offers opportunity for those who are opposed to God.

And you hear those opposed say it… “Well, if your God did this, why doesn’t he do this?!? Why can’t he just come down here right now and do this?!?”

And God says, “By living in the restraint of non-coercive love, I’ll have to wait a while—and keep hearing those slanders against me.

Satan gets to say that the kids, from his perspective, get to roam the island a little longer—apparently free of adult authority.

God could be blamed for what went wrong—if God insisted on not doing anything while the devilment like the crusades and the holocaust went on, why not blame the parent and not the kids.

See what Jesus is doing by refusing to give in to Satan’s temptations in the desert? He’s putting God’s own reputation at risk. And God had asked him to.

Whether you and I like it or not, Jesus is choosing to show his power in love.

And the cost is immense. For chapters and chapters and chapters, he looks weak and anemic. But he will be shown beyond powerful and beyond our definition of good.

And this is why I trust him.

May 16th News

May 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we are continuing our study of the Gospel of Mark. We will focus on Mark 1:14-20. This talks about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and the calling of the first disciples.fishermen

As I’ve been looking at the text, I have been thinking a lot about a phrase Jesus uses– “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). What is the Kingdom of God? How do we relate to it? How is it different from “all the kingdoms of the world” (Matt. 4:8) that Satan offered Jesus in his final temptation in the desert?

There is something deeply exciting, yet also disconcerting, about this idea of the kingdom of God. It’s exciting because it proclaims the redemption of a fallen world– a new creation with a loving and sovereign king. But it is disconcerting because it stands in a direct contrast to the kingdoms I so often want to be a part of and experience. Life in God’s kingdom is radically different than the kingdoms of this world… So different that it can shake up my soul and spirit to consider it.

Yet that is the call of Jesus as he begins his ministry.

That is the call of Jesus today.

So consider the kingdom of God this week. Read Mark 1:14-20. Come to church this Sunday. Jesus is beginning his ministry and he wants to speak to you and me.

Looking forward to Sunday!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

Mark 1 12-13 part 2

May 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Book of Mark

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May 9, 2010 | Mark1:12-13 | Sermon | Download Audio

Moms Rock!

May 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I have realized something over the years. I was blessed with an incredible mother and I am blessed to be married to one too.

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This is a picture of my wife, Sara, and she probably will not be happy that I put it on this site. But I thought it appropriate to showcase the mother of the year (yet again) for all of you to see (no disrespect to all the other moms… it’s a very complex scoring system that I don’t fully understand– and I have been told it was a close vote this year).

It is a beautiful thing to see a mother in action– using the gifts God has provided to reveal his image in the world today. I got to witness it growing up and I get to see it every day… Thanks Moms.

 

I do think Moms Rock… and so I hope you enjoy these observations I came across over the years.

 

You’re Really a Mom When…

  • You count the number of sprinkles on each kid’s cupcake to make sure they are equal. 
  • You want to take out a contract on the kid who broke your child’s favorite toy and made him/her cry.
  • You have time to shave only one leg at a time.
  • You hide in the bathroom to be alone.
  • Your child throws up and you catch it.
  • Someone else’s kid throws up at a party and you keep eating.
  • You consider finger paint to be a controlled substance.
  • You mastered the art of placing food on a plate without anything touching.
  • Your child insists that you read “Once upon a Potty” out loud in the lobby of the doctor’s office and you do it.
  • You hire a baby sitter because you haven’t been out with your husband in ages, then you spend half the night talking about and checking on the kids.
  • You hope ketchup is a vegetable because it’s the only one your child eats.
  • You find yourself cutting your husband’s sandwiches into unusual shapes.
  • You fast-forward through the scene when the hunter shoots Bambi’s mother.
  • You obsess when your child clings to you upon parting during his first month at school, then you obsess when he skips in without looking back.
  • You can’t bear to give away baby clothes–it’s so final.
  • You hear your mother’s voice coming out of your mouth when you say, “Not in your good clothes.”
  • You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.
  • You read that the average-five-year old asks 437 questions a day and feel proud that your kid is “above average.”

 

The Stages of Motherhood 

4 Years Of Age – My Mommy can do anything;

8 Years Of Age – My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot

12 Years Of Age -My Mother doesn’t really know quite everything.

14 Years Of Age -Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that, either

16 Years Of Age -Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned

18 Years Of Age -That old woman? She’s way out of date

25 Years Of Age -Well, she might know a little bit about it

35 Years Of Age -Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion

45 Years Of Age -Wonder what Mom would have thought about it

65 Years Of Age -Wish, I could talk it over with Mom

May 9th News

May 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I hope y’all are having a great week!grace2flogo-300x150

This Sunday is Mother’s Day! A time to remember all the wonderful things about our moms– and to show her appreciation. So get ready to honor mom this Sunday (hey, why not start right now!).

Also this Sunday, we will finish up talking about The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness (Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:1-11). Last week we covered the first temptation and Sunday we will look at the other two. I believe that all our temptations are contained in the three Jesus faced– so it’s important for us to understand how he resisted them.

I want to remind you of a passage that we looked at last week– a passage that should provide comfort to us as we face temptations…

Hebrews 4:14-16

    Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. [15] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. [16] Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

It is so important to realize that Jesus– in his humanity– is able to sympathize (or “suffer with us”) with our weaknesses. When you feel like you are alone… You’re not; Jesus is there. When you feel like no one knows what you are going through… You’re wrong; Jesus does. That’s why he can provide mercy and grace “in our time of need”.

That’s good news. That’s what we’ll be talking about on Sunday.

Looking forward to Sunday!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

 

 

 

 

Mark1 12-13

May 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Book of Mark

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May 2, 2010 | Mark1:12-13 | Sermon | Download Audio