Nov 292010
 

Yesterday Craig did an awesome job kicking off our “Griswold Family Christmas” series.  Craig shared from the life of Job and emphasized how life simply doesn’t go our way sometimes.

We all go through tough seasons of life but that is when HOPE matters the most.  “If we don’t have HOPE we don’t have anything.” We have hope and this season of the year is the time that we should rest in and embrace HOPE the most!  Regardless of what you are going through and how dysfunctional the holiday season can be, we have HOPE in that Christmas reminds us that Jesus came to fulfill HOPE’s promise!

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (emphasis mine)

Talk to a member of your family this week.  Describe the “hope” that Jesus gives you for eternity, the future, or today.

I have not practiced “ADVENT” during my life as a Christian.  It’s not that I am against it, but I simply have not been in an environment where it has been emphasized and taught.  I am intrigued by the “ADVENT” Christmas tradition because it does have strong characteristics that help us focus on the truth of Christmas and the coming of Jesus.

The word ADVENT comes from a Latin word meaning “arrival“.  The ADVENT season is a season of great anticipation and hope regarding the arrival of the Savior Jesus.  The ADVENT season focuses on four aspects of the arrival of Jesus.  HOPE, PEACE, JOY & LOVE! Jesus brings each of these to our world in His birth.

I pray that we can all focus on the ARRIVAL of a SAVIOR this Christmas season. As you celebrate, party, shop, wrap, give, receive and spend precious time with family and friends remember what this time of the year is REALLY about!  Jesus brings HOPE, PEACE, JOY & LOVE!

I hope you can embrace Jesus and the fruit of His Spirit this Christmas season.  Don’t miss each Sunday as we teach and discuss each one of these ADVENT fruits.

I can’ wait for this Saturday as we minister and make a difference in the lives of 70 or so children at SHOP WITH A HERO! Thank you for your generosity in making this year’s Shop with a Hero possible.

Let’s work together to make this the most impacting Christmas season ever in the life of Church at the Grove.  Listen to God’s Spirit lead you in making a difference in the lives around you.

Keep praying, Keep investing, Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 11:46 am
Nov 262010
 

Let me first say:  DON’T MISS THIS SUNDAY!

We begin a brand new series this Sunday morning titled “The Griswold Family Christmas” as we head into the Christmas season.

CATG Griswold Family Christmas

This series will be fun and challenging as we look at maintaining a focus on what really matters for families during the Christmas season. Stress and dysfunction can steal the hope, peace, joy and love that families should encounter during this special time of year.

I hope you have had an awesome week celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends.  I hope you ate enough but not too much.

I am thankful for Jesus’ undeserving grace, my wife’s unconditional love and my children’s endless joy!

We had an awesome time down on the farm in Soperton over the last few days!  We hunted, ate, fished, four-wheeled, ate some more, made syrup, rode tractors, ate some more and spent time with family on the farm!

I am so thankful for a generous church that gives so unselfishly to make things possible like “Shop with A Hero”. Because of your generosity and the help of organizations like the Loganville Fire Dept., CORNDAWGS, Wal-Mart, the Loganville Police Dept and other it looks like we are going to reach our goal of investing in over 70 children in “Shop With A Hero”!

Thank YOU!

Now, It is Friday and I am at my home office working on a few things before we head over to my family’s thanksgiving gathering.  I will not go to a store today!  REPEAT!  I will NOT go to a store today! I want to maintain my sanity and ability to focus on my integrity and character!

Keep Praying!  Keep Investing!  Keep Inviting!

 Posted by at 12:02 pm
Nov 192010
 

I love Sundays at Church at the Grove for a lot of reasons!  I love simply being with people, I love meeting our guests & I love our music.  The preaching is so-so but I love being in our services!

But……..

This past Sunday was all about what was happening outside of our worship gathering!

Chris DiPascal had 12 people in his new LAUNCH class for new believers and long-time believers that teaches you how to “jump-start” your spiritual journey.  He gives direction on how to read your Bible and have a quiet time, pray, do life with others, and many other spiritual disciplines.  I LOVE THIS!  Seeing people take steps in their journey is HUGE.  Remember, we are about MAKING DISCIPLES, not just making decisions or converts!  Chris and Laura and their family are awesome and I am so thankful they are part of the Grove!

We baptized 9 people this past Sunday morning!!! (The crowd goes crazy!  Applauding!  Shouting! etc) That is what it is all about! IT being Church at the Grove and our mission!  I love seeing God at work!

Last Sunday one of our own “Grovers” bought 100 chicken meal tickets for our CORN DAWG fundraiser for Shop with A Hero and went door-to-door in a local neighborhood giving out chicken dinner meals. I LOVE IT!

On Thursday morning I was handed a donation to sponsor 10 children for Shop With A Hero! YEAH!

On Sunday morning someone gave me a gift card to Chick-Fil-A!  YEAH! I love the Christian Chicken!  (ok, so that may not be God at work!)

Today and Tomorrow (Friday and Saturday) There will be teams of people delivering 60 Thanksgiving meals to people in our community!  I LOVE IT!

These are signs that God is at work! Don’t miss out on what God is doing in and through Church at the Grove!  We have a lot to be Thankful for!

Keep Praying, Keep Investing, Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 10:39 am
Nov 052010
 

What an incredible couple of weeks it has been!

This past Sunday we began a new teaching series “Economic Atheists”.

God built a “Fence of Favor” in the book of Leviticus showing us how we should live in His blessing.  As theists, specifically mono-theists, we believe in one God and because of our belief we should live according to God’s “Fence of Favor”.

Big Idea: God is a God of Ethics and Economics; God is a God of Morals and Money!

God wants to bless us, but His blessing is not just to serve us but to also serve others.  Check out this verse that is worth putting to memory.

Psalm 67:1-2
Psalm 67:1–2 (ESV)
1      May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,   Selah
2      that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.

God’s blessing is meant to go forward to bless others with making HIM KNOWN!  This is why we should live as Economic Theists!

God is deserving of all the glory for what is happening in the life of Church at the Grove!  God does choose to work through us and partner through us to work and I want to say that you (Church at the Grove) are being amazing partners with God right now!  Thank you!

The month of October was the highest average attendance for CATGrove outside of the month that has Easter!  Wow!  Thank you for inviting your friends and family to join you!  We continue to have many guests each and every Sunday!

I also know that October was an amazing month of financial generosity and because of that we are able to move forward with ministry and meeting needs in our community.  Thank you for your faithful generosity!

A few personal stories related to our mission:

I was able to be a part of celebrating a fellow follower of Jesus as she transitioned into eternity last week.  A precious neighbor that lives down the street passed away and it was such an honor to be a part of her memorial and support the family and friends of such a sweet lady.  God allowed me to have some great conversations with people about the reality of Jesus’ love, his forgiveness and what He wants to do in each of our lives. Are you looking for those opportunities each and every day?

We had a blast this past Sunday night in the neighborhood and in our front yard.  Taking advantage of Halloween we partnered with a few friends and fellow Grovers to hand out hot chocolate, candy and we set up a jumpy thingy for the kids to play on while we talked to parents and friends.  One of our Grovers remarked, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”  It’s simply away to start conversations that lead to sharing the hope found in Jesus.  I look forward to the fruit of those conversations.

We have some exciting things coming up:

  • Walnut Grove Outreach on Saturday Nov. 6 at 10am in the parking lot of WGHS!
  • Shop with a Hero is coming Dec. 4!  We need all the officers and firefighters we can get!

Keep praying, Keep investing; Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 10:12 am