Mar 252011
 

I love my church!  Well, its actually God’s church but I love His church and especially the part of His church called Church at the Grove, or as we affectionately refer to it, CATGrove, CATG, or The Grove!

God continues to blow me away with how he is moving in so many ways!  I am exciting out of my mind that we are training around 100 adult leaders this Saturday night at Leadership Community!  We will have training for our SundayServe teams on how to create an environment to WOW guests.  We will also have training for our Children’s ministry.  Oh yeah!

Easter is coming April 24!  Who are you praying for and preparing to invite to come with you?

This past Sunday we addressed our second Question of our “Questions Uncensored” series:  What does God say about homosexuality? Whoaa!

Here are some thoughts from Sunday:

The cultural issue of homosexuality is a hot issue politically, socially and morally and it is not going away.

If you’re like me, more than once you find yourself reading an article or listening to a story, and you think, “How am I supposed to feel about these things? Do we have the right to set boundaries around human behavior and relationships? If so, where do we draw those boundaries? And how do we respond civilly and Christian-ly to people who live outside those boundaries?”

We must approach this issue in humility!
Luke 18:9–14 (ESV)

First, we must look at what God says about marriage from the beginning!
Check out Genesis 2:18-25

In marriage, he brings a man and woman back together to reclaim the fullness of the divine image— masculinity and femininity.

Jesus confirms God’s plan in marriage.
Matthew 19:3–6 (ESV)

God’s design for sexuality is that it is to be a procreative and intimate celebration of love within the context of marriage.

There are 2 primary purposes for marriage:

1. Procreation – Genesis 1:28

2. Illustration – Ephesians 5:25-28

God does give us some specific prohibitions concerning sexuality:

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19

Leviticus 18 & 20

Romans 1:24–25 (ESV)

Romans 1:26–27 (ESV)

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (ESV)

Regardless of our beliefs concerning this tough issue, our response should be the same as that of Jesus as He encountered people:

Matthew 9:36–38 (ESV)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

At CATGrove we will stand for truth but we will model Jesus’ example concerning GRACE & TRUTH.  John 1:14

As we stand for TRUTH we will also create an environment and atmosphere where:

  • Everybody’s welcome
  • Nobody’s perfect
  • Anything’s possible through Jesus!
 Posted by at 11:18 am
Mar 172011
 

On March 17 every year we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but most of us don’t know the true story of St. Patrick.

We should all be familiar with Saint Patrick’s missional pursuit of taking the gospel of Christ to Ireland.  Patrick was born in the Roman Empire and was taken as a slave to Ireland.  He left after hearing God speak to him and returned to the Roman Empire for the purpose of preparing (educationally and theologically) to return to Ireland for the sole purpose of sharing Christ with an uncivilized people.  As a result, many Irish monks were equipped and ready to leave Ireland and travel east to Europe where they would share the hope found in Christ.

The message of Christ spread throughout Europe and filled a huge vacuum left as a result of the Barbarian Invasions.

 Posted by at 8:16 pm
Mar 172011
 

I know I sound like a broken record, but I can’t get over what God is doing in the life of Church at the Grove! I am humbled and I am ecstatic about seeing God work in the lives of people.

Check out this YouTube link to see a video celebrating our baptizing 8 people who have turned to follow Jesus!

We began a new series titled, “Questions Uncensored” this past Sunday where we are answering questions asked from our church family.  This past week we answered the question, “Is the Bible God’s Word?” Here are the highlights.  You can go to our Church at the Grove website to listen to the sermon if you missed it.

The Bible is God’s word because:

  • The Bible has been faithfully preserved.
  • The Bible is living and powerful.
  • The Bible is practical and applicable.

Here is Voddie Baucham’s explanation of why he believes the Bible is God’s Word:

I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses.  They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies, and they claim to be divine rather than human in origin.

You can go here on youtube to listen to Voddie Baucham teach about why the Bible is God’s Word! This will deepen your faith!

I promised some resources for you to DIG DEEPER because the deeper you dig, the deeper your faith.

YouVersion is an online Bible and you can set up your own personal reading plan and even take notes and journal while reading God’s Word online.

If you want to dig deeper in understand how the manuscripts and scrolls have been preserved you can read a couple of great books written by skeptics turned Jesus followers.

More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell

The Case for Christ by Lee Stroebel

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

How to Read the Bible for All its Worth is a great book that is easy to read by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart!  It will help you understand how to read each book of the Bible in the context of its genre, historical context and how it applies to your life.

Keep digging!

Keep praying!  Keep investing!  Keep Inviting!

I love my church, Church at the Grove and together we can continue to see people far from God turn to follow Jesus!  I can’t wait to see you Sunday!

 Posted by at 10:28 am
Mar 092011
 

I have thoroughly enjoyed our last series, “EKG: All of Life comes from the Heart”! It has been a powerful series and I have had much more feedback through emails, facebook and conversations than usual.  I sense that people are wrestling and struggling with issues relating to their heart!  My desire and passion is to see people address the issues of their heart!  I desire to see people have healthy hearts!

Healthy Hearts = Healthy Church!

Solomon said we must “Above all else, guard your heart; for it is the wellspring of life.” Prov. 4:23  Solomon knew that all of life comes from the heart!  Our heart is the true “inner you”.  It is the convergence of our mind, will and emotions.  Many of us have endured circumstances in our lives that impact our hearts and leave us carrying baggage that weighs heavy on our hearts in an unhealthy manner.  God desires for us to have healthy hearts.  The healthier our hearts, the more joyful and abundant our lives! When our hearts are healthy, our families are healthier, our friendships are healthier and our lives are more meaningful and significant.

When our hearts are healthy our church is healthy and when the church is healthy we have more positive influence in our community! When our church is healthy we are functioning in a way that produces a warm fellowship inside and more impacting influence outside.  God wants our church to have a significant impact with people outside of our church family.  God wants us to be healthy for the purpose of reaching those that are far from God.

When our hearts are healthy, people outside the church will take notice!

Please be in prayer about who you will invest in over the next month or two for the purpose of bringing them with you on Easter Sunday morning!

Easter is on April 24 & it is a perfect opportunity to invest and invite some friends, family, neighbors or co-workers to join you for worship on that special Sunday celebration.

Continue to move toward cultivating a healthy heart!  You will be better off and God will be more glorified as a result!

Keep Praying, Keep investing, Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 10:34 am