Wednesday, October 23, 2013
In our 10.13.13 message entitled "His Discipleship Training", I referenced and encouraged you to read Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's interview with The New Yorker . . . CLICK HERE to read.
In our 10.20.13 message entitled "His Teaching on Marriage", I referenced and encouraged you to read the GraceSLO Commitment to Preserving Marriages that is part of our Covenant Membership materials. . . CLICK HERE to read.
Earlier this week, Pastor Jeff also pointed me to a speech that Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Seminary, gave just this Monday, October 21 at Brigham Young University.
(Why is Al Mohler speaking at BYU? You'll have to check out the speech to find out and how masterfully Mohler handles the challenge!)
Both Jeff and I thought the speech had great relevance to the subjects we've been looking at in First Peter and the Gospel of Mark including marraige and religious liberty. The speech is a bit heady, but worth the effort. . . . CLICK HERE to read.
Here's my favorite and most provacative part of the Mohler's speech, but you need to read it all . . . .
This is what brings me to Brigham Young University today. I am not here because I believe we are going to heaven together. I do not believe that. I believe that salvation comes only to those who believe and trust only in Christ and in his substitutionary atonement for salvation. I believe in justification by faith alone, in Christ alone. I love and respect you as friends, and as friends we would speak only what we believe to be true, especially on matters of eternal significance. We inhabit separate and irreconcilable theological worlds, made clear with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity. And yet here I am, and gladly so. We will speak to one another of what we most sincerely believe to be true, precisely because we love and respect one another.
I do not believe that we are going to heaven together, but I do believe we may go to jail together. I do not mean to exaggerate, but we are living in the shadow of a great moral revolution that we commonly believe will have grave and devastating human consequences. Your faith has held high the importance of marriage and family. Your theology requires such an affirmation, and it is lovingly lived out by millions of Mormon families. That is why I and my evangelical brothers and sisters are so glad to have Mormon neighbors. We stand together for the natural family, for natural marriage, for the integrity of sexuality within marriage alone, and for the hope of human flourishing.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Beloved Family of GraceSLO.
Our 10th Annual 2013 Fall Kick-Off is just a few days away. Afterward each year, our staff asks together, "It’s a ton of work, is it worth it? Should we do it again next year?" Every year, we answer with an enthusiastic, and unanimous, "Yes, it’s worth it! Yes, we must do it again!"
As we head toward Sunday together, here are 4 reasons why we're committed to and excited about this year's Fall Kick-Off and why we think you should be, too . . .
The FKO is a time to worship Jesus, the Lord of creation in His creation . . . together. It’s the one time a year when our whole church gets to worship together in one service. That's special. Enjoy it on Sunday.
The FKO is an exercise in stretching and serving together. This event takes the work of many hands. Our staff couldn't pull this off by ourselves. It’s good to stretch and serve beyond ourselves! Hopefully, you've found your place to serve. Think about all the work that goes into the FKO this Sunday.
The FKO is an opportunity to welcome new freshmen and other visitors. Since WOW events now also take place on Sundays, this week is the first Sunday freshmen come to church after arriving in town. And we have lots of other visitors at FKO, because an outdoor service and the other fun stuff of the day, just makes it less threatening to come to church. We've done lots of advertising including a downtown banner over Higuera and advertising on Facebook and in the Mustang Daily. Still the reason most people will come is because they've been invited by a friend. Now is the perfect time to be bold and invite some friends of yours. Be sure to welcome and meet someone new on Sunday.
The FKO is a chance to be the church . . . the people of Jesus fellowshipping, reaching out, loving and having a great time together. As we'll think about on Sunday, Jesus calls us to love one another and enjoy life together. This day is a chance to relax and do that. So don't rush off after the service, but make a day of it. Settle in. Connect. Build some relationships. Go a little deeper with someone. Have some fun. Enjoy all the kids of GraceSLO.
Did you miss last Sunday? Enjoy a preview of the Fall Kick-Off in this video compliments of Jack Hutchinson. (CLICK HERE to watch!)
Here's some other details you need to be aware of:
Getting here and parking: Our staff learned just this week (really!) that there's a Savor the Central Coast Run happening that morning downtown. There will be several street closures including Higuera, Monterey and Marsh. If you're coming from Cal Poly, Los Osos, Morro Bay or the north side of town, we recommend you exit at the Marsh street exit and come up Pacific Street. We encourage you to park in the parking structure at Morro and Pacific streets. It’s just a short walk to the park. We encourage regulars to arrive early to help welcome newcomers. Service starts at 10:00 AM.
Seating: We will have 800 or so chairs for your convenience. You may also bring lawn chairs and/or blankets for seating on the grass. We're asking parents to keep their kids out of the playground during the worship service. Prepare your kids ahead of time. There will be an outdoor nursery area to accommodate all our families with new babies. For everyone’s safety, please leave your pets at home.
Worship Service: I am working hard on a message that will engage the spectrum of GraceSLO and visitors. The title of the message will be "What's a church really supposed to be?", based out of John 15:4-17. Like in past years, there will be some illustration or exercise that will involve kids on stage. All songs and Scripture will be included in the worship folder.
Lunch: Lunch will be delicious chicken, beans, salad and desert and will be served for $5/person or $25 max/family. First time visitors eat free and first if they fill out a visitor meal ticket. If you've brought visitors, feel free to eat first with them.
Fun: Fun begins at 12 noon and continues untill 2:00 PM-ish. There will be lots to do and see in the park, so be sure to make the rounds. Justin Hooper and his new band, Simple Parade will play in the gazebo from about 11:45 to 12:45.
Thanks, in advance, to all who are making the day a reality. Invite and pray before. Enjoy during. Our family can't wait. See you then.
Trusting Jesus with you . . . between Sundays . . . Pastor Tim
Monday, September 23, 2013
Join us this Sunday in Mitchell Park at 10:00 AM for our 2013 Fall Kick-Off. Here's a peek at what you can expect. . .
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Beloved Family of GraceSLO,
Did you notice the new subject line in this email? It represents a fresh focus in these emails to you, our church family at GraceSLO. Following Jesus is not just something we do on Sundays, but something we do all day every day in every area of our lives. And yet life is hurried, and busy and filled with stress. How easily Jesus gets shoved out of the center of our lives and thoughts! My hope is that these emails serve as a mid-week call to reconnect with Jesus, ground ourselves in His Word, and follow Him by faith. My aim is to remind you of things we thought about together in the Sunday past and to get you thinking about some truths we'll consider in the Sunday coming. Thus the title . . . "Between Sundays." We'll see how it goes and hopefully you can give me some feedback along the way.
Last Sunday we talked about how we're all spiritually desperate, broken and hungry. Jesus is hope for our desperation, healing for our brokenness and satisfaction for our soul hunger. (LISTEN TO LAST WEEK'S MESSAGE HERE!) This is what the cross and resurrection are all all about. And more is coming. So, my prayer this week is that we'd be coming to Jesus, individually and as families, desperate, broken, and hungry . . . even amidst the madness and trials of life. When we do, we are drawn toward one another and He meets us.
This Sunday we'll talk about two barriers which keep us from connecting with Jesus and following Him by faith. . . . unbelief and distraction. We'll look at another big chunk of text from Mark 8:10 to 9:13 and see how these verses fit together. (READ THIS WEEK'S TEXT HERE!). I hope you'll take a look at the text ahead of time, either individually or with your family. The title of Sunday's message is "His Glory." I hope you can worship with us and invite a friend.
Next week, Sunday, September 29, is our 2013 Fall Kick-Off where we'll worship together in one family service in Mitchell Park at 10:00 AM. Lunch and fun will follow. It's going to be great day of fellowship and fun. A chance to "turn the church inside out to bring the outside in." I hope you're praying over friends you might invite. We're still looking for help. (Sign up here)
Growth Group enrollment is happening NOW, both online and in the Courtyard on Sundays. Growth Groups are the way to connect at GraceSLO and we're encouraged by the new groups that are forming. Whether you are new or have been attending for a long time, we urge you to commit to a Growth Group. (ENROLL ONLINE NOW!)
May the Lord bless you today . . . between Sundays . . . Pastor Tim
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
We had a great 2013 Annual Report last Sunday evening, June 2. The Ministry Center was packed! It was so encouraging to see so many committed and excited about GraceSLO. The highlight of the evening for me was renewing our commitment to one another through a together reading of our GraceSLO Covenant. There's nothing like being there LIVE, but we still want to put the information into your hands, so here's links to the written report and audio from the evening . . .
For the 32 page PDF of the written 2013 Annual Report CLICK HERE.
For the audio of our 2013 Annual Report CLICK HERE.
Want to know how we ended the fiscal year? Read the report (I'll give you a hint, the number is green!).
Want to know what our budget for the 2013/2014 fiscal year starting June 1 is? Read the report.
Want to know what our sabbatical itinerary? It's in the report.
Want to know what I've learned and am still learning in 10 years at GraceSLO? Read the report.
Want to know what are my 10 highlights in my 10 years at GraceSLO? Yep, it's in the report.
Want know what I'm thinking regarding the future of GraceSLO? Read the report.
Want to know what staff highlights of all our ministries at GraceSLO? It's in the report.
I hope you'll take the time to read the Annual Report. It contains all sorts of information you won't get anywhere else or any other time at GraceSLO.
Oh yeah . . . I'm now officially on my summer sabbatical and so this will be my last post until the Fall. In the meantime, I'll be praying for GraceSLO. I hope you'll pray for and come alongside Pastor Ken and Pastor Jeff as they give leadership to the church together. Have a great summer. See you in September.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Several of our staff are enjoying the Gospel Coalition National Conference in Orlando, Florida this week. It is such a blessing to be here. Many thanks to the family of GraceSLO for graciously enabling us to be here. So far we've enjoyed expositions in the Gospel of Luke from John Piper, Colin Smith, Crawford Lorrits, D.A. Carson and Kevin DeYoung. Great stuff still to come over the next day.
I just learned that the audio and video from the sessions will not be posted for a while, but you can watch and listen to the live feed in real time here. . .
The Gospel Coalition Conference Live Stream
Monday, April 1, 2013
How glorious to worship the Risen Christ in our Easter services yesterday. In my message I shared 7 reasons why I believe the resurrection of Jesus and why I think you should, too.
If you missed the message, here are my 7 reasons, but you're really going to have to listen to the message HERE to understand them . . .
1. The early dating of 1 Corinthians & Mark within 20-25 years after the death of Jesus.
2. No one - neither Greco-Romans nor Jews - in the first century was expecting the resurrection of Jesus, but His folllowers somehow embraced and believed it.
3. The empty tomb, along with the early existence of a concocted alternative explanation.
4. The women as first witnesses of the resurrection.
5. The credibility of the post-resurrection appearances: different people, different places, different times.
6. The initial disbelief of the apostles, their changed lives and their death as martyrs.
7. The explosive growth and impact of the Christian movement.
I also promised I'd post some addition resources here at Life Together. As promised, here they are.
4 great articles
Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus by Matt Perman
Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ by Peter Kreeft
The Resurrection of Jesus by William Lane Craig
A Case for Resurrection by Tim Keller
2 great sites
A gaggle of apologetics resources from William Lane Craig
Apologetics resources from Mice Licona
1 Free E-book
Raised?: Doubting the Resurrection
1 great video
Evidence that Jesus Rose from the Dead (William Lane Craig)
Sunday, March 31, 2013
GraceSLO is taking the Gospel to the world. Below are upcoming mission's opportunities. There are ways for us all to be involved. All can pray. Many can financially support. Some will go.
Once again, I'm leading a trip back to India in November. It's the last trip listed. I can't wait and I'm praying for God to build His team.
Mexico Missions Family Trip: June 10th - 15th
The Family Ministry of GraceSLO will be working with AMOR Ministries, whose main focus is to support and strengthen the local church in Mexico. We will be building homes for needy families in the Tijuana area that are in some way connected to a local church. We will also have an opportunity for evangelistic outreach in the community in which we will be building. This trip will allow you to be a servant to people who have no way of repaying you, except through their gratitude.
Team Leader: Pastor Ken Peet Contact: email@example.com
Age Group: Adults/Families with kids 10+ Status: Open Cost: $365
World Impact LA June 17th- 21st
The High School Ministry will be taking a group of students and staff to the inner-city of Los Angeles this summer to do service projects. They will serve in homeless outreaches, VBS with kids, and work projects for Impact missionaries. The team would appreciate prayer for unity and safety during travel and work projects, that God would use them to be an encouragement to the people they serve with and that God would advance the Gospel among those who hear the good news through the team’s actions and words.
Team Leader: Pastor Brandon Hall Contact: 805.543.2358 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Age Group: High School Status: Open Cost: $250
Czech Republic July 22nd - August 7th
We will be reaching out to young people in the Czech Republic through an evangelical English camp. We will use our native English language as a bridge to build relationships and share Christ! We work with a ministry called Josiah Venture, whose vision is to be part of a movement of God among the youth of Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church and transforms society. We will partner with a local church to reach the students in the town of Litvinov. It’s an amazing and growing experience as you share your testimonies of Christ’s love in real, fun, lasting way with students who often have never come in contact with the Gospel.
Team Leaders: Dave & Sharon Cumberland Contact: email@example.com
Age Group: College Status: Open Cost: $2,000
India October 13th- November 10th
We will be gathering in Delhi with teams from all over the world who are in partnership with Empart Ministries for the Encounter Conference. There will be 3 days in Delhi of prayer and fasting for Empart's work in India along with worship and teaching by Jossy Chacko, Founder & International Director. From there, teams will scatter across northern India to see Empart's various ministries first-hand. Our team will travel to Varanasi & Patna to support and encourage the church planters in training in the two transformation centers in these cities. We will have an extended time of ministry with our church planters in Patna.
Team Leader: Pastor Tim Theule Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age Group: 18+ & High School students with parents
Status: Open, limited to 12 persons Cost: $3,100 commitment by May 1
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Have you heard of Max McClean? He's a uniquely gifted guy who travels around quoting Scripture and other worthy stuff. He's currently doing a one man stage presentation of C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. I've heard it's incredble. I'd love to bring McClean to GraceSLO or the Pac for this or any show.
One of the things McClean has done is memorize and speak the whole Gospel of Mark. Since we've just jumped into our Meeting Jesus series in Mark, I thought you'd enjoy seeing and hearing it. I'd love to hear your impressions . . .
Update: Pastor Al just informed me (again) that Max McClean did an Easter Service back back in 1999 when GraceSLO was hosting Easter services at the Pac. I think I'd known this, but forgot. Before my time. So, lots of you have heard and seen Max. Share some impressions.