Dec 272010
 

I hate canceling church! I can’t tell you the difficultly I had deciding that we would cancel our service on Sunday.  I feel like we probably made the right decision but I really missed gathering together to worship an open God’s Word!! I really missed seeing everyone!

In light of canceling our gathering, I can’t express how important it is that our church remember to give your tithes and offerings even though we had to cancel our gathering. We still have to pay our expenses, staff compensation etc.  It is very hard to make up for a snow/ice day when we have to cancel.  We offer online giving through our website.  Go to churchatthegrove.com and then to “Giving” or click here and it will guide you.  You can also mail in your contributions to:

Church at the Grove
P.O. Box 1389
Loganville, GA 30052

and you can use your nifty Church at the Grove self-addressed envelope.  OR you can make it up when you show up Sunday January 2!

Remember though:  If you want credit for your taxes you will need to get your offering in to us by the end of the day Dec. 31 or have it postmarked by Dec. 31.  Make sure you remember that for any gifts you want credit for THIS YEAR!

Thank you for you generosity and the way you have made it possible to do so much ministry this holiday season.  We have touched SO MANY people and families because you have made it possible.

I LOVED OUR CHRISTMAS EVE CELEBRATION!

Our Christmas Eve celebration was incredible. I loved every aspect of it.  I loved seeing our children sing.  I love the focus on Jesus Christ and the Gospel!

Several people made decisions to turn and follow Jesus! Yeah God!  I have received some encouraging feedback about some testimonies.

Gabe, Jordan, Mike, Shelley, Austin, Brian, Jody, Tom and many others worked long hours to make it happen.  My wife Jill, Tracey, Michael, Lisa, Rosemary and others worked a lot to make sure the children were ready to sing.

I may have left someone out and I apologize if I did, but please let these people know how much you appreciate them with a “thank you” or email.  It will go a long way to say thanks.

I love you.  I love our church and I am so excited about 2011!  We have some exciting things in store and I can’t wait to see what happens!

Keep praying, Keep investing! Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 2:47 pm
Dec 152010
 

It’s a “no-no” to use the word “stupid” in the Butcher household but sometimes you just have to use the right word to describe something.

I came across something that is just plain STUPID!

I repeatedly talk about the fact that unfortunately Christians are often known more for what they are “AGAINST” rather than what they are “FOR”! We get too much publicity for boycotts, protests, and basically what we are against rather than being proactive in the local community to offer positive impact.  We should be known for what we are FOR!  I am for people, I am for life, I am for children, I am for making a difference, I am for making someone’s Christmas special.  We could go on and on.  One public school administrator recently spoke about a local church’s activity in the community, “They are serving to be heard”.   He was speaking about a local church serving through kindness and making a practical difference in order to have credibility in the community.  Credibility leads to being heard.  Sometimes when you serve, people ask, “Why”?

I came across an article on the web describing a local church in TX that has set up a “naughty or nice” website for people to post businesses that either say “Merry Christmas” (nice) or “Happy Holidays” (naughty).  The web site is grinchalert.com and allows people to list businesses that promote “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”.

Is this what the Christian faith has come to? Have we taken the majestic and powerful gospel and the great commission and resorted to this as it’s expression? That is just plain stupid.

You can go here to see a Fox News report on this church’s efforts.  Is this the kind of publicity we want to be known for at Christmas time during an economic depression.  Why can’t there be a news report on how a church has made Christmas special for a group of orphans and widows?  What about a news report for how a church made a difference for families that have dads and moms serving overseas with the military?

Hear me out:  I am not a big fan at all of political correctness and I would rather hear “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays” any day!  I support freedom of religious expression.  I could go on.

But….

This whole campaign doesn’t take into account that everyone doesn’t believe that Jesus’ birthday is significant.  We should not put them on a “naughty” list!  They should be put on a “prayer” list. We should be praying for their spiritual eyes to be open.

Rather than waste our resources on a silly campaign for political correctness, we should be utilizing our resources for the Great Commission.

We shouldn’t trivialize what God takes serious…People’s souls at stake.

This “naughty and nice” lists makes Christians look petty and exposes us to public ridicule!

This “naughty and nice” list demonstrates weak Christian Theology!  It implies that if someone says “Merry Christmas” they are sound in their beliefs, and their relationship with God.

It simply misses the point.

In Matthew 9:36-38 it says that Jesus look at the crowds and was moved with compassion not criticism.  He saw them not as a group that should be put on a naughty list but as people in need of a savior. That should be our heart and attitude this Christmas season.  Let’s encounter people that believe differently than us with COMPASSION!  When we see or hear “Happy Holidays” may we be moved to intercede and pray for those that need to turn to the Savior whose birthday we celebrate this season.

I am with Jesus in that we should be praying for churches to be sending laborers into the harvest field rather than putting people on a “naughty” or “nice” list this Christmas season.

Don’t miss this Sunday at The Grove as we conclude our “Griswold Family Christmas” with the Advent focus on LOVE.  See you Sunday

Until then:  Keep praying, keep investing, keep inviting!

 Posted by at 11:44 am
Dec 082010
 

Please be in prayer for the Bennett family who lost their home in a fire yesterday morning (Tuesday Dec. 7).  The Bennetts are part of Church at the Grove.  Allison has two sons, Ty is a junior and Zach is a freshman, at Walnut Grove High School.  If you would like to help them with a gift card or specific items, please call me or email me and I will help you connect to them.

This Friday my Community Group and some other Grovers will be doing an outreach at the Youth Mobile home park on Youth-Monroe Rd. We would love to distribute some goodie bags with baked goods and candy to as many of the homes/families as possible on Friday afternoon before dark.  If you would like to participate in the outreach personally or provide some baked goods or goodie bags, contact me or Dave Crewey.

This Thursday Friday and Saturday the Drama department at Walnut Grove High School will be putting on 2 different drama productions.

Thursday and Friday night at 7pm is “Finding Christmas” & “The Most Amazing Christmas Play Series in the Entire History of the World”. and

Saturday at 2pm and 7pm is “A Christmas Carol”.  Our own Amber Nobles is a part of this drama!

All program are $4 and children 3 and under are free.

Let’s support Ms. Genter and her program.  She and Walnut Grove are awesome to us at Church at the Grove!

Don’t miss Sunday as we continue in our “Griswold Family Christmas” Series as we take a somewhat unorthodox look at the Advent Season and the topic of “JOY”!

 Posted by at 10:16 am
Dec 072010
 

A couple of days ago I shared with Church at the Grove about the ETERNAL PEACE that a little child brought to deal with a hostility that we could do nothing about in our own strength and power.

Jesus is our peace!

Paul wrote:

Colossians 3:15 (ESV)
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

A Peaceful heart is rooted in humility and gratefulness.

I encourage you to prayerfully consider the source of any hostility you experience this Christmas season.  From where does the pain come? What are the root causes of the absence of peace in your heart and life?  Look for opportunity to carry these burdens to Jesus and to pursue reconciliation where possible in your own heart and in relationships with family and friends.

Unspeakable Joy:

My greatest prayer for Church at the Grove is that we would be a community that honors God and has lasting influence in our community and as a result, people turn to follow Jesus.

This past week was a busy and exhausting one but so fulfilling to see how God is using CATGrove in so many ways in the community!

We did a “coffee cart teacher appreciation” at Walnut Grove high school.  I was at the high school on Thursday to speak to their FCA and then we helped with food and coffee at WGHS’s “Student of the Semester” breakfast.

Shop with Hero was Saturday and I was blown away by the Heroes (officers and firefighters) and our incredible volunteers and how God brought everything together for an incredible day of ministry. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were scratching and clawing to raise a few thousand dollars to minister to 35-40 children and to see how God has grown this ministry is absolutely amazing.

Check out the “Shop with a Hero” video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALB-CVPeSEU

I have an unspeakable joy! My prayer is that God gives you an unspeakable joy this Christmas season.

Don’t miss Sunday as we take a look at the “JOY” offered us during this Advent Christmas season.

Until then:  Keep praying, keep investing, keep inviting!

 Posted by at 10:40 am