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Blog Archives: October 2016

Transforming Relationships

October 26, 2016
Don Ward
Many of you missed the opening of our purpose series entitled Transforming Relationships because you were on a ladies retreat. You can hear the message here. In a joyous coincidence, Laura Johnson talked to our ladies about true community as sisters in the Lord - in other words, transforming relationships. Recently, after many hours of work emerging from our surveys earlier this year, we have refreshed our purpose statement as a church. Grace Community Church exists to shape lifelong followers of Jesus Christ through transforming ...

Word of the Week

October 26, 2016
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Forgiveness Forgiveness is one of the most powerful words ever. In a world where we face our own frailties every day, to experience forgiveness is one of the most beautiful things we can enjoy. Hearing the gospel words of forgiveness refreshes us and renews our communion with God. Hearing another human say in earnest, “I forgive you,” and know that we are restored is like a cool fresh wind on a beautiful fall day. All is new again. There is hope. There are possibilities that had been previously ruled out. We declare ...

Unmerited Suffering

October 19, 2016
Tom Breeden
On September 18, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. did the unthinkable. King did what every pastor dreads, as he preached the eulogy for four teenage girls whose lives were violently taken from them. Just three days prior, white supremacists bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama as those Christians gathered together for worship. When the dust had all settled, four young girls were dead. Gone. What do you say in a moment like that? How do you comfort family and friends as they grieve the untimely and unjust loss of a ...

Word of the Week

October 19, 2016
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Vote Our local, state and national election day is November 8th.  If you live anywhere near Grace, there are ballot issues at several levels. The presidential national election has been the most contentious and unusual contest in my lifetime. I’ve read arguments from a Christian viewpoint for and against the two major candidates, and for and against at least two of the 3rd party and independent candidates. This might lead someone to throw their hands up in despair, and stay home that day. Let me mention several reasons I ...

Agape

October 12, 2016
Tom Breeden
Love your enemies. You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? Even if you’ve never picked up the Bible in your life, you know that’s in there somewhere. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” But have you ever tried to do this? If you have, you know it’s hard. It’s hard to love those who mistreat us and take advantage of us. And it’s even worse when it’s our loved ones who get hurt. What does it mean to love someone who has hurt your kids? Martin Luther King, Jr. had enemies, many of whom hated ...

Word of the Week

October 12, 2016
Don Ward
Focus: A powerful word. When you are trying to read something and it is out of focus, it is frustrating.  If road signs are hard to read, you can easily get lost. Organizations can lose focus. You can get so busy with organizational life that you lose focus. You forget why you are there. The main things become the minor things, and the minor things become everything. You get so deep in the weeds you wonder why you are a part of that. In spite of all the excellent focus texts in the bible, churches can lose focus in many ways. Last year some ...

The Beloved Community

October 05, 2016
Tom Breeden
Community is such a buzzword, isn’t it? Real. Authentic. Safe. These are common ways to describe what we’re going for. But if you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to understand what any of that actually means. We know we want community, but how will we know when we’ve found it? We need a vision for it. For the past few months, I’ve been reading many speeches, letters, and articles by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s been an eye opening experience for me. I’ve learned and grown as I’ve sat at his feet and soaked in his passion and ...

Word of the Week

October 05, 2016
Don Ward
Word of the week: Friendships As you may know, Caron and I were back in Dayton, Ohio this past Sunday for an anniversary celebration in the life of our former church. It was full of moments of beauty. Our hearts were full of joy, and sometimes, our eyes had plenty of tears. The sermon I preached is here. One of the great things that happened was that we met with old friends. These were people who were in our small groups, and in several cases Caron and I did their premarital counseling. I baptized some of their children. Despite the ...