A Spiritual Time Change

March 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This weekend we change our clocks– we spring forward. spring-forward-2

I don’t know about you, but I like the time changes. Yeah, springing forward makes us lose an hour… But it stays light later. And when we fall back, we gain an hour and it’s light earlier.

I guess I just like the change. It creates variety and spices things up a little.

I was thinking about the idea of “time change” and have decided that there’s a spiritual lesson here– not specifically about gaing or losing time– but rather, about how we spend it.

For the last few months, our chuch has been in a series called “Encountering God”. We’ve been looking at people in the Bible whose lives have been dramatically changed by an encounter with the Living God. Moses, Abraham, and Isaiah encountered God and their lives were altered forever.

One thing that changed is how they spent their time. We can see that what they did changed after they were called by God. This change in activity or behavior, however, was the result of an initial change in who they were. Moses goes from a rural shepherd to a national emancipater; Abraham goes from a childless rancher to the father of a nation; Iaiah goes from a regal communicator to a prophet of God. In each case a change in their identity preceded a change in their mission/activity– in how they spent their time.

I believe the same is true today for everyone who encounters God.

I say all this to get to a real practical issue. One that those inside the church world all have to deal with– especially this time of year:

How do we get people to make it to church on time?

It all has to do with SEX.

(Actually it doesn’t, but I knew that I would lose most of my non-church staff readers with my statement about getting to church on time… See, I had a professor in seminary who once said in a preaching class, “If you feel like you are losing the audience say the word ‘sexand you’ll get them back”. I just would like you to continue and hear me out.)

Before I climb up on my soap box (which is actually quite difficult to find in today’s modern world), let me say that I have relaxed a great deal in my time sensitivity when it comes to church. Mostly because trying to get people to church on time is an exercise in futility (if you think that moving the starting time back 15 minutes will solve the problem, you will discover that you really have just given folks 15 minutes more at home).

So, my goal is not to make you feel guilty about getting to church on time– but I do want you to consider something that perhaps you’ve never thought about before– especially in a small church like I’m involved in right now:

People visiting our church show up early.

Obviously, since they are entering the unknown they don’t want to stick out by stumbling in late. Now here’s they irony– when they are early and everyone else is late– THEY STICK OUT MORE.

I think you’d get a kick out of me and the worship team trying to assure our visitors that there really will be a service and they actually are in a church… Even though there is only four people here with 2 minutes to go until the start of the service.

So here’s the thing… I don’t want you to feel rushed on Sunday morning. I want you to relax and enjoy the ride to church. But I also would love to have other who are investigating our church (Grace2f ) to meet some folks before the service– I mean you all ARE the church!

I’d like them to feel greeted and welcome. I’d like for them to NOT stick out if they want to.

Maybe part of the “time change” for all of us is to give some time to Sunday morning before the service. Time that we’ve set aside for whoever and whatever else God may have in store that day. Maybe you’ll actually enjoy it.

Before closing, let me state the obvious: I am the pastor– so I have to be there early. Maybe that’s why this is an issue that’s big enough for me to write 800 words about (actually it’s only 716 on my “word count” right now… but I ain’t finished). Maybe I want you there early so that I can feel good about myself and the church. Maybe I need to continue relaxing and roll with it more. Maybe…

… But then again, maybe not. Maybe God wants you (and me) to consider these things.

I will now dismount my soap box.

March 14th News

March 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lots to talk about this week… Fortunately, much of it has been posted already (scroll down to read about the Grace2F Family Lunch and the Time grace2flogo-300x150Dated Men’s Retreat Info… “Time-dated” because if we don’t get you $110.00 in this weekend it ain’t happening!).

I also want to remind you that this weekend we SPRING FORWARD with the time change. What does that mean? Well, a couple of things…

1) Move your clocks FORWARD on Saturday night before you go to bed (for you legalists out there– set your alarm for 2:00am– the actually time the change is to occur; get up; move you clocks forward on hour; go back to bed; wake up more tired than those who changed their clocks before going to be on Saturday night).

2) Make an effort to prepare yourself to get to church ON TIME. You see, you are actually going to lose an hour of sleep Saturday. That means church time will come up even faster than usual and creating even more of a challenge to get to church on time (and we all know that most of you are challenged with NO time change 🙂 ).

And you don’t want to miss this week. Why…

Well, this Sunday we finish up looking at “The Call of Isaiah”.

To prepare, read Isaiah 6 and reflect on what we’ve talked about already… God-quakes, God as a reality v. a concept; glory; Self-quake; holiness; “Woe is me!”; humility; cleansing.

If you missed last Sunday (or even both weeks), click on the “Messages” button of this website and listen to the last two weeks (we put them there as a resource for you!). Immerse youself in Isaiah’s story because God wants to communicate something directly to you and the circumstances you are experiencing right now through his Word.

We will see that the God-quake, which leads to a Self-quake, will end with a World-quake. And it’s a quake that is happening today!

Looking forward to Sunday!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

The Call of Isaiah Part 2

March 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Call of Isaiah Part 2

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March 7, 2010 | Isaiah 2-6 | Sermon | Download Audio

The Call of Isaiah Part 1

March 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Call of Isaiah Part 1

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February 28, 2010 | Isaiah 1-6 | Sermon | Download Audio

March 7th News

March 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

This Sunday, we will continue our series Encountering God as we look at the Call of Isaiah found in Isaiah 6.grace2flogo-300x150

Last week we saw that an encounter with God starts with a “God Quake”. The reality of God and his glory immediately takes precedence over everything else in our lives. That’s what happened to Isaiah. He was overwhelmed by the presence of God and his glory. We know that’s true as we look at his response.

What does Isaiah say when he encounters God? How does he react? What happens to him? For answers to these questions read Isaiah 6.

This week we’ll talk about Isaiah’s reaction– and answer these questions… Because his response is the same as ours. He has a “Self Quake” that, to borrow from Elvis, leaves him “all shook up”.

If you weren’t able to be there last week– listen to the message posted in the “Messages” section of www.grace2f.org 

This is a magnificent story of God’s grace to Isaiah and to us.

Are you ready for a self quake?

Looking forward to Sunday…

Grace and peace,

Doug

 

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Grace2F Family Lunchchef-cooking

Yes, it’s back! A time to gather together and… EAT.

Sure, we can talk, play, laugh too–but this is a great time to share something in the food department to bless us all.

WHAT: Grace Family Fellowship Lunch

WHERE: The Haupt’s house

1317 Conrad Lane (Laurel Cove)

WHEN: March 14th, 12:00pm (or after church)

Come hung out. Stay for five minutes or a couple of hours (let’s say 2:00)

WHO: Anyone and everyone

Bring the kids! They like to eat too!

WHAT CAN I BRING?: Yourself; your family; a dish to share

And by dish, I mean FOOD. Whatever you like…Appitizer, salad, soup, dessert, sandwich, etc.

(PS– this is just a radom picture of a cooking dude… he doesn’t go to our church and won’t be at the lunch)

February 27th News

February 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I hope everyone is having a great week!grace2flogo-300x150

To follow up on something we prayed about this weekend… Katie Adams spoke at the Grace Bible Church Women’s Retreat last weekend and did a fantastic job (actually, GOD did a fantastic job through Katie’s wonderful gifts and abilities). Also, Tim Adams is traveling home today (Thursday Feb 25), so keep him in your prayers.

Last week, we finished up our series on Abraham. For the last few months, we’ve been in a sermon series called “Encountering God”. Now, you may not have know that (I’m letting you know right now). Basically, we’re looking at the stories of people who have encountered God in the past. This is significant because we can encounter God today. In fact, God wants us to experience an encounter with him.

Are you wondering about that? Do you wonder if God actually wants YOU to encounter him (or him to encounter you). If so, consider these verses from the Gospel of John:

John 1:1,2,14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was with God in the beginning… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

God came to earth in the form of a man so that we could experience a divine encounter that would change our life, future, and eternity.

We’ve already looked at Moses and Abraham– at their “call from God”.

This week, we’ll step into the story of another person– Isaiah.

Isaiah was a prophet and the author of the book of Isaiah. We will look at his incredible, life-changing encounter found in Isaiah 6… Read the whole chapter and see his story. We’ll probably take 3 weeks to break it down and see how his experience can be applied to our lives.

Have a great rest of the week and I’m looking forward to Sunday!

Grace and peace,

Doug


Grace2f Men’s Retreat

We are working on putting together the first ever Grace2F Men’s retreat at Camp Silver Beach on the Eastern Shore.

If you have ever been to one of the Men’s retreats you know it is not just a time of setting around the campfire singing “kumba ya” and sharing a shower with men in shower shoes.  Instead, it is an interactive, and power packed adventure experience that thrusts you into living the bible for the weekend.

There is no better way to spend a weekend this year than the men’s retreat.

Details:

This year Grace2F will be doing our own Men’s Retreat

The retreat will run from a Friday night, all day  Saturday and end Sunday afternoon at around noon.

The cost will be around $100 and includes all meals and activities.

We need your help.  We need you to fill out a survey that asks 5 simple questions helping us to determine which weekend to schedule the retreat and how many are interested in being involved.

The survey is at:  www.surveymonkey.com/s/JDJWSMN

Once we get a count and a date set we will send out information on how to register.

Let’s make this a Men’s Retreat where we have all of the men at Grace2F together hanging out and enjoying a weekend together.