Apr 202010

Big Idea:
Toxic Religion: Living for God protects me from bad things.

The Jesus Way:
Following Jesus means he will be with me, bringing good out of every circumstance I face.  He can be trusted.

Scripture Memory:
Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Action Steps:
Cultivate an eternal and global perspective of pain and suffering and mediate on the biblical truth that God can be trusted.

Random Thoughts:

  • What an incredible Sunday at Church at the Grove!  I love Gabe and Austin’s leadership in our worship.  Having them strip everything down without instruments or any other elements was unusual but God’s presence was thick!  I am so thankful for them and thankful for Shelley and her gifts.
  • This Sunday’s message was extraordinarily timely!  I received a phone call yesterday morning letting me know that one of our Grovers, Jim Seawright, was tragically killed in an automobile accident early Sunday morning.  Jim was 35 years old and had 3 children.  My heart hurts so for his family.
  • The memorial for Jim Seawright will be Wednesday April 21.  Visitation is 3pm with the memorial service at 4pm at Tim Stewart Funeral home on Tom Brewer Road in Loganville.
  • I would love for as many Church at the Grove people as possible to come and support Jim’s family.  Misty, Zach, Logan and Gavin need all the love we can give them right now.

I hope to see you soon.

 Posted by at 12:22 pm
Apr 122010

Big Idea:
Toxic Religion:  Says doing the minimal is enough.  As long as you make a “salvation” decision and get baptized, you are ok.”
The Jesus Way says:  “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me!” Jesus says we must be willing to drop everything and follow him to be his disciple.

Scripture Memory:
Mark 8:34-35
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mk 8:34–35). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Action Step:
This week identify the ingredients you are leaving out of your life as a Jesus follower and ask him for the strength to put everything under his control.

Random Thoughts:

  • What an incredible day yesterday at Church at the Grove!  What a crowd!  Normally our Sunday after Easter is extremely low, but we had our largest attendance this year besides Easter!  You guys are reaching out and bringing your friends and family and that is awesome!
  • I love doing baptisms!  It is probably my favorite thing we do at CATGrove because you hear the personal stories and it represents the transforming work that God is doing in the lives of people.  If my memory is correct, we baptized 11 people yesterday!  Awesome!  Let’s continue to reach out to our friends and family with the love of Jesus.
  • We continued with out “DETOX” series yesterday with part 2:  Toxic Religion says doing the minimal is enough where Jesus says we must “deny ourself, take up our cross and follow him.”  We must take ourselves off the throne of our heart and allow Jesus to sit on the throne of our heart and be our leader and boss.
  • Next week: “DETOX” part 3 on the topic of dealing with suffering and bad things happening in our lives.  You don’t want to miss it.
  • We were able to have lunch with two middle school boys who were baptized yesterday.  DJ & Dylan Dockery and their family.  What a work God has done and is doing in that family.
  • What a great sports weekend!  The Masters is one of my favorite sporting events in all of sports.  I loved watching Phil Mickelson embrace his wife and kids after a great win at the Masters.  They have been through a rough year battling breast cancer.  Watching their family together is quite a contrast to the events of Tiger Wood’s life this past year.  Character matters and lack of it has consequences.
  • I continue to believe that God will do some amazing things in the life of our church this year!  We must continue to move forward!  We began to pray in the fall to see 100 salvations by Easter Sunday.  By my count we were just short of 50 salvations through Easter Sunday last week.  I am not disappointed at all!  I am excited that through our stretched faith, we saw many people turn to follow Jesus.  Now we must ask God what is next for our prayer and focused ministry efforts!  Be praying!
  • Today is my wife’s birthday!  (April 12)  I am so thankful for her!  She is an amazing woman of God, mother, and wife.  If you read this, I would appreciate it if you sent her an email or gave her a call.  “talkwithjill @ gmail.com
  • I am so thankful for our volunteers!  You do an amazing job each and every Sunday to make it happen at Church at the Grove.
  • Most would not know this, but we could not find the portable baptismal pool yesterday morning!  We went to pick it up and it wasn’t there!  Craig Calhoun, Steve Ryall, and Scott Nobles went all over Loganville to find it.  They made it happen and we ended up being a great morning.  Whew!

Keep praying, Keeping investing, keep inviting!

 Posted by at 10:48 am
Apr 092010

Big Idea:
Toxic Religion: I have to live up to a certain standard for God to accept me.
The Jesus Way: As I put my trust in Jesus, God accepts me into His presence and His family no matter what.

Jesus says, “Come to Me.”

Scripture Memory:
Matthew 11:28-30 (English Standard Version)

28(A) Come to(B) me, all who labor and are(C) heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and(D) learn from me, for I am(E) gentle and lowly in heart, and(F) you will find rest for your souls. 30For(G) my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Action Step:
Pray this prayer daily during this series:  “Jesus, please show me your way.”

Random Thoughts:

  • What a great weekend overall for the Church at the Grove family!
  • I loved the Easter Egg hunt and partnership with Corndawgs on Saturday.  What a crazy day!  We probably had 3000 children and possibly a couple more thousand adults there.  It was wild!  At one time, the traffic was backed up to Youth Middle School!
  • I love our volunteers!  What a great group that helped us with the Easter Egg Hunt and served at Corndawgs on Saturday. Thank you to all who did such an awesome job working and serving to make the Easter Egg Hunt a great family and community experience!
  • I was wiped out on Saturday after a crazy time with the Easter Egg Hunt!
  • Sunday was an awesome day!  It was our largest crowd since we moved into the new school and the second largest crowd ever for Church at the Grove!
  • I love Gabe, Austin and the band!  They did an awesome job putting together an awesome Easter celebration.
  • We had several people to turn to Jesus and follow him on Sunday!  What a great thing to see people trust Jesus for forgiveness.  That is why we do what we do!
  • My family had the opportunity to eat lunch with an incredible group of people at the home of Jimmy and Christi Spears. Jimmy can surely cook!  I love eating his sweet potato souffle!  We had a blast!
  • I am so excited about what God is doing in and through our church!  We are growing and God is bringing so many new people into our fellowship.
  • I am excited about our DETOX series.  Religion was and is the enemy of Jesus!  We must detox from the pull that religion has on our life and focus on the person of Jesus.  Religion is man’s attempt to get to God, Jesus came to initiate a relationship with each of us.
  • I need you to help us follow up with all the guests you brought with you over Easter and recent weeks.  We know that people connect quickly through relationship and responsibility! Please give them a call and invite them back and connect them to some other people!

Keep praying, Keep investing, Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 12:36 pm