Sep 292011

This is absolutely one of the most exciting times in the life of Church at the Grove!

  • We have added a second worship gathering on Sunday morning!
  • We had a huge 5 year celebration on September 11!
  • We are planting a second CATG campus in Social Circle & serving at the Friendship Festival this Saturday!
  • We have the best team of leaders and staff I have ever been a part of!  I am so thankful for them!
  • We are experience the highest attendance ever in the life of CATG!
  • God is providing for us in a way that we can continue to do ministry and meet needs in our Community and around the World.

In light of what God is doing, and in light of what is ahead for us, we must become more and more dependent upon His Spirit to fill us and lead us!

As we conclude this “GHOST” series on the Holy Spirit let’s take a look at a prayer written by Chuck Swindoll that he recommends for us to begin our day with for the purpose of being “FILLED” with the Holy Spirit!

This is a great way to start each day!

“I am in the process, Lord of fulfilling Your will.  I want to glorify Your name.  I belong to you. I pledge my allegiance to You today.  Enable me in my walk to have the discernment to walk in obedience and not in disobedience, to sense wrong when I encounter it and to stay away from it.  Keep me strong when temptations come.  Guard my tongue from saying the wrong thing or saying too much or speaking too quickly.  Lord, help me in my walk.  Fill me with your Spirit.  Take my eyes, take my tongue, take my emotions, take my will, and use me, Lord, because I want to be under Your control on a continuing basis.”  This is the Christian Walk!   (Charles Swindoll)

I am praying for you to walk in the fullness and filling of the Holy Spirit!

Keep praying, Keep investing and Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 11:31 am
Sep 152011

What an incredible Sunday we had this past weekend as we celebrated 5 years as a church, began 2 services and remembered 9-11.

I was blown away by the faithfulness of our church to invite their friends to one of our gatherings.  We had so many guests this past Sunday that I had writer’s cramp after writing guests notes early in the week!

Our total attendance was 451 combined for the 9:30 and the 11am gatherings!  Way to go CATGrove in reaching out to your friends, neighbors and family members!  This is the largest non-Easter gathering in the history of our church!

Our first week of community groups have been great so far.  We still have a couple of Community Groups scheduled to meet this week, but it has been a great kickoff to our groups.  It is not too late for you to join a Community Group! Plan to sign up and join the Community Group of your choice.  Remember: Circles are better than Rows!

Help us Out:

Please help us balance our gatherings on Sunday morning!  We were packed at our 9:30am gathering and our 11:00am gathering was a little thin.

We actually need to move about 40-50 people from the early gathering to the 11am gathering!  Please consider coming to our later gathering this Sunday!

Concert for Missions and CD release:

This Saturday is our CATGrove Worship Team will be hosting a concert at Walnut Grove High School this Saturday September 17 at 7pm in the auditorium.  Help us get the word out!

 Posted by at 10:49 am
Sep 102011

I will never forget standing in the Kennesaw Mountain High School cafeteria the morning of September 11, 2001.  I turned to see my pastor, Mike Linch, walking toward me as if he were late for a meeting.  I had arrived early to teach character education to Cobb County high school students.  Mike began to tell us how a plane had hit one of the twin towers in Manhattan;  we all went to the school office to watch a television monitor as another plane hit the other twin tower.  The groans and audible anguish filled the school office as everyone watched the events in real time.  At first, there was silence; then, there were horrified responses of panic and despair.

Those of us at the school to teach character education were asked to go to our classrooms and were given permission to turn the television on with the students.  I spent the morning with high school students, watching as the towers crumbled and life as we knew it was transformed before our eyes.  We talked, cried and comforted one another.   Adolescent problems didn’t matter in light of what we observed on that morning.

That morning was significant in shaping my calling to plant a new church. It galvanized my motivation to take the gospel to the unchurched and those far from God.  I was challenged to view the events of 9/11 through the lens of the Great Commission.  I couldn’t help but wonder what the eternal destination would be for over 3000 people that perished on that day.

It is normal and understandable to be horrified, angry and experience a gamut of emotions in the middle of all the circumstances surrounding the attacks of 9/11.  We experienced loss and grief as a nation.  Our security was challenged and we felt backed into a corner.  As the dust settled, the natural and human response became vengeance.  I completely supported the leadership of our nation based on scripture in Romans 13, but I believe strongly the Body of Christ has a Biblical mandate that is distinct from the State Government.  I think of the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:43–45 (HCSB)
43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies  and pray for those who  persecute you,  45 so that you may be  sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

On Sunday morning September 11, 2011 at Church at the Grove, we will be celebrating 5 years as a church.  We will celebrate the many decisions of individuals who have turned to follow Jesus and the many baptisms that have taken place as a result.  In the midst of this celebration, we will pause, pray and reflect on those life-changing events of 10 years ago.  Our challenge that day will be simple:  The hope of change in this world is not revenge, bombs, bullets or even the ballot box.  The hope of this world is taking the Gospel to all people, groups and nations.

We must not allow the contemporary clash of cultures to distract us from fulfilling the timeless mandate of the Great Commission!  Maybe our focus of the Gospel should be toward those that consider us among their greatest enemies.

Matthew 28:18–20 (HCSB)
18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  19 Go, therefore, and make disciples  of  all nations,  baptizing  them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember,  I am with you always,  to the end of the age.”

 Posted by at 9:29 am