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Blog Archives: January 2017 — December 2017

Advent - King of Kings

December 27, 2017
Tom Breeden
What’s the mark of a true expert? An expert is the one the professionals themselves go to. The chef of chefs cooks at the restaurant where even other chefs go to eat. The mechanic of mechanics works on cars for even the most avid car people. You know you’ve found someone at the top of their game when other professionals in the field go there. So what does it mean to say Jesus is the King of Kings? It means he’s at the top of his game. He’s the king that other kings look to. He’s the ruler who governs even other rulers. When Isaiah ...

Word of the Week

December 27, 2017
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Goals vs. Resolutions OK, the Christmas food coma is beginning to recede right now. A few of you are starting to set yourself up for the failure of making resolutions to do better next year. I’m going a different route - one of which I’ll discuss a bit next week too. I have a few goals for next year. Goals are different because they can be broken down into measurable and attainable parts. A resolution depends on my sustained resolve over a whole year. I’m not that resolved about these things! A goal can be broken down and ...

Advent - Emmanuel

December 20, 2017
Sean Smith
As we celebrate Advent together, we want to continue to look at the different names that Jesus is given in the scriptures. This week we will look at the name Emmanuel. Emmanuel means “God with us.” God loved us so much that he sent his son in human form to take on sin that we could never defeat. God is with us! What a statement that is! We see in the scripture that this name for Jesus is often used. One of my favorite passages that the name Emmanuel is used is in Isaiah 8: "Because this people has rejected the gently flowing waters of ...

Word of the Week

December 20, 2017
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Tribute Last week I learned of the death of an influential professor of mine, Dr. RC Sproul. I’m including the tribute I gave to him on Facebook. In mentioning him, I’m encouraging you to read his material or listen to his lectures. RC was passionate about teaching people theology who were normal church members. His book Chosen by God is the go to text to explain our church’s understanding of predestination. The tribute on the Washington Post website by Russ Pulliam is a good overview of his life. Here is my tribute to ...

Advent - Lamb of God

December 13, 2017
Don Ward
In our blog this advent season we consider some of the titles given to Jesus of Nazareth, whose birth we celebrate this time of year. Consider with me the title “Lamb of God.” This term is used in dramatic fashion by the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist.  In John 1:29 he exclaims: The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John’s ministry has one of its most significant moments when Jesus is seen while John is baptizing people. He testifies to the saving ...

Word of the Week

December 12, 2017
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Plant Churches are planted, not started. That’s the official lingo. It’s a good word, because churches are not buildings, or even people (as the children’s song says), churches are living organisms. They are a community of God’s people where His Spirit is at work. Ephesians 4:1-16 describes the church in organic terms. We are a living group that is interconnected. We are blessed to be a part of a new church plant in our city. Word and Table PCA is a church plant of our Blue Ridge Presbytery that is starting on Pantops ...

Advent - Son of Man

December 05, 2017
Tom Breeden
Different people know us by different names. Official documents call us by our full legal name. Friends may call us by a nickname. A child might call us “Mom,” or “Dad.” A spouse might have a special pet name for us. Which name’s the right one? Well, all of them. Each name is true because each name says something about us. Each name tells us something different. I’m Thomas A. Breeden, but I’m also just Tom. Jesus is no different. The Bible is full of different names for him. As we celebrate Advent together, we want to reflect on some of ...

Word of the Week

December 05, 2017
Don Ward
Word of the week: Rest I’m back from vacation - which was a week of rest. I didn’t go anywhere. In truth I didn’t rest that much - I worked in the yard some, enjoyed a hobby, went to the gym a couple of times, and watched my nephew’s football team play in the playoffs (a heroic effort but they lost to the team who won the championship the last two years). We spent the night in Richmond and enjoyed worship at the West End Presbyterian Church. The week ended by watching my friend and former Grace member John Kidd be ordained to the gospel ...

Prayer and Supplication

November 30, 2017
Sean Smith
Have you ever felt anxious? Like feeling very worried about something or someone? I have been there. It’s this place where you feel helpless and don’t know what to do, but you really want something to happen, so you keep trying until you realize you can’t do anything without the Lord. Thankfully we are called in Bible to make these requests to the one who controls everything and as is eager to hear from us. Phil 4:4-7 says: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is ...

Word of the Week

November 28, 2017
Tom Breeden
Word of the Week: Hamilton Earlier this year I found out that Hamilton, an award winning Broadway show, is coming to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2018. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack heavily ever since (which has made me pretty easy to sneak up on in the office). Its music is lodged deeply in my head and it has rekindled my interest in the history of Revolutionary America enough to spend my free time with my nose in a biography of Alexander Hamilton. Music has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? It can occupy our thoughts ...

Prayer and Thanksgiving

November 21, 2017
Don Ward
On this week of Thanksgiving, we continue our blog series on prayer from the acrostic A.C.T.S. This acrostic suggests that some of the good prayer topics for us include Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. The idea is prayers of thanksgiving are great for the entire year. If you search on the phrase “give thanks” (try www.biblegateway.org) you will find 62 verses in the English Standard Version which have this phrase. Of course, there are many other phrases which teach us to give thanks to God.  Here is one I like: I will ...

Word of the Week

November 20, 2017
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Gold mine After my sermon yesterday, a friend from church gave me some gentle ribbing. He pointed out how much of Romans 8:1-14 I MISSED in concentrating on the last few verses. Honestly Romans 8 has five to ten good sermons in it, and we have done a short survey this time out. Some years ago, we preached very slowly through Romans 8, and we may need to do it again someday. There is gold in Romans in general, and in chapter 8 in particular - gold meaning something that can refresh and bring life to you as you read it, ...

Prayer and Confession

November 15, 2017
Tom Breeden
I’m terrible with names – I mean just terrible. I can forget someone’s name mere seconds after I’ve heard it. Do you know what that’s like? If you do, then you know what it’s like to get into a conversation with someone while grasping in the dark for their name. There’s all kinds of internal dialogue that goes on. “Maybe it’s Derrick…or is it Drake? No, I’m pretty sure it’s Derrick.” But do you risk it? How awkward will it be if you get it wrong? If you’re clever, you might find a way to trick them into saying their name in the ...

Word of the Week

November 15, 2017
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Romans Tom Breeden and I are giving you “samples” of Paul’s letter to the Romans in the Sunday morning preaching. This past Sunday gave you one of the more challenging passages in that very respectable Bible interpreters come out with a range of interpretations. This coming Sunday, we hit Romans 8 and get into some pretty joyous material. I encourage you to read Romans a time or two in the coming weeks. It is enormously important in the history of the Christian faith, even though at times it is confounding to ...

Prayer and Adoration

November 08, 2017
Sean Smith
One of the things that I have been trying to do often is to pray though The Lord’s Prayer in my quiet times. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us how to pray, and when Jesus teaches we should listen. Over the next couple blogs, we will look at The Lord’s Prayer and share some thoughts on it. This week we start with the part of the prayer that is considered adoration. The Lord’s Prayer starts like this, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” When we pray, it is important ...

Word of the Week

November 08, 2017
Don Ward
Word of the week:  Good! As I was thinking about what to write for this week, a song came to mind: Back Home Again by John Denver. After being in Japan the previous two Sundays and enjoying some reunions with old friends (and the joy of some new friendships too), it was really good to be back home at Grace again. With the time change, our early service was more vital as a number of folks decided to come early. It was great to be together and share the Lord’s supper. Throughout the morning it was great to reconnect with people and have a ...

Japan Trip

November 02, 2017
Don Ward
Thanks so much for your prayers for your Grace Japan team. The Lord showed favor to us in so many ways. Two great things happened before we arrived in Japan. One of our team members was awaiting a passport and it came with less than 24 hours to go before our departure from Cville. The last of our funds for the trip came in on that same day. We knew that good things awaited us in Japan. Your Grace team included Aaron and Madeline Andreson; Barbara Eppard; Scott, Shannon and Chase Morgan; Ginger Mellott; Nehmiah Rutan; and Don Ward. We were ...

Word of the Week

November 02, 2017
Don Ward
Word of the week: 500 500 years since Luther. I hope you took a few minutes on October 31 to think about the significance of the day - and, it’s not too late to do so, because it is such an important day to remember. If you are thinking about Halloween, we aren’t on the same page! Reformation day - the day which Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the Wittenberg door is what is on my mind. The main principles that came out of Luther’s reforms are the “Solas” of the Reformation. Believe it or not, this was not what the church of Luther’s ...

Faith and Obedience

October 24, 2017
Tom Breeden
Few things are worse in the morning than orange juice and toothpaste. Do you know what I’m talking about? I’ve learned the hard way that if I drink orange juice with breakfast, I’d better wash it down with some water or wait a while before I brush my teeth. Otherwise, I’m in for a rough start to the day. Orange juice and toothpaste just do not – under any circumstances – go together. Many of us approach faith and obedience like orange juice and toothpaste. They do not go together under any circumstances. In no way should they mix. We are ...

Word of the Week

October 24, 2017
Tom Breeden
Word of the Week: Time I don’t know about you, but I like to keep a tight schedule. My calendar is typically up to date. I don’t like to arrive anywhere late, instead usually showing up at least ten minutes early. I have a very strict sense of time…and it can be jarring when things don’t match up with it. This week we have a team of nine people serving in Japan. One of the wonders of modern technology is they can send us frequent updates about where they are and what they’re doing. But sometimes it’s a bit jarring to read those updates, ...

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