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Grace Weekly | July 24, 2012

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Scripture for the Day: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13

Grace Received: If you’ve never heard Shelley Louzensky tell a Bible story you need to! She is a gifted teacher who embodies this word from Romans about keeping your spiritual fervor / zeal. As she shared the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego last night, the 6-7 year olds I got to spend the evening with were locked in. It wasn’t just the energy – and there was a lot of energy! It wasn’t just the creativity – and it was creative! It was passion, zeal, fervor for God that came from a well much deeper than her own resources. It was evident that when Shelley shared about God, she was taking about Someone she really knew.  She has, and continues to experience God’s grace and love every day. It is evident. Now God’s grace is flowing through her to others who are getting the Word instilled in them this week. Our prayer is that every child who spends time with us this week will experience the incredible grace of our God who loves them. I hope you are experiencing that same grace today! 
Grace Shared:  Last Sunday 5-yr old McKenna was visiting Grace for the first time. She was nervous about being a new place where she didn’t know anyone. When 8 yr-old Delia was made aware of this, she took the initiative to come alongside McKenna so that she wouldn’t have to feel alone in this unfamiliar place. Delia’s kindness and hospitality helped put McKenna at ease and what started as a scary experience ended with a new friendship. The practice of hospitality isn’t just inviting someone in your home. It’s being an inviting presence who is sensitive and responsive to the stranger among us. It encourages me to see children, teenagers and adults who understand the importance of coming alongside people we’ve never met. I know this usually involves taking the first step towards someone (but not really because they’ve already taken a HUGE step just to show up here for the first time) but it can totally transform the experience from scary and unfamiliar, to warm and welcoming. This coming Sunday when a lot of new faces come to see their kids in the VBS Program, many of them will be feeling a lot like McKenna did last Sunday. I hope to see a lot more Delia’s in action!
Grace Extended: I am happy to share that we had 141 children for our first night of VBS!!! A couple of those kids were people I met Sunday night when some members of our 2:42 group went door to door in the neighborhood off Tyler Town Road to invite kids to come. All it took for them to respond was an invitation. From the first night of VBS, Pastor Rachelle started encouraging the kids to bring their friends the rest of the week. I’m anxious to see how many will be there tonight because kids tend to be very teachable – when they are taught that what’s happening here isn’t just for us, but that there are others who could benefit from being here as well, they respond. What’s true of our kids is also true of us. When we come to Grace to worship God and learn more of Him, the truth is that what’s happening here isn’t just for us. There are others who could benefit from being here. As you go about the rest of your day be aware of that. God may just put someone in your path (the people we met Sunday night are a prime example that you don’t even have to know them!) who would be very responsive to an invitation. Why not give them one?

On AUG. 26 we will be having FRIEND DAY. I would love for you to take your picture with a friend who is unchurched. Tell them it is for Friend Day at Grace, then send us your picture for use in a video we are putting together for that day. Invite that friend to attend with your on the 26th (you don’t have to wait till then but this a great excuse to break the ice and extend an invitation!).

COMING UP: 

Sunday, Sept. 15 we will Christopher Yuan as our guest. He and his parents co-authored the book “Out of a Far Country”. Christopher has a powerful story of deliverance from addiction and the homosexual lifestyle. He will share his story on Sunday morning, 9/15 and that night do a teaching that we will invite the community to called “A Christian Response to Homosexuality.” This will be a great opportunity for us to be better equipped for the current conversations and to do so from a loving, yet Biblically uncompromising position.
Oct. 7-10 Fall Revival with David Gallimore. He was here a few years ago and we had a great time. David is an excellent communicator and I’m sure you will enjoy and be blessed by his ministry.

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