Rejoicing in the Harvest Offering

The family of Grace responded with great generosity to this year’s Harvest Offering last Sunday.  We received over $79,800.00 in money and commitments thus far.  Our plan is simple:  half of what we receive we will give to the Lord by giving it away–through missions projects and community projects we hope to bless God’s people and expand the reach of His love through the gospel.  The other half will be used to deal with pressing needs for the ministry here that were not able to be funded through our regular giving this year.  A task team of deacons has been chosen to work on finalizing these details, and the full proposal for disbursement will come before the congregation before the end of the year.

We are also thankful that the church family has exercised its faithful obedience in regular giving as well–the past two weeks have been the best start of a month we have had this year.  If God is moving in our hearts to make us more generous, that is not only a blessing, it means we can be a greater blessing to others, too. 

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Published in: on November 13, 2007 at 10:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rusty King’s story

I appreciated the latest Torch Magazine, a publication of Cedarville University.  It handles issues of sexuality from a biblical perspective very well, and features the story of Rusty King, Elvin and Joyce’s son.  His battles and ultimate victory with homosexual temptation are known to many who have been here a long time, but for those who would find encouragement or help in this story, you can go here to read it online, or go to the free subscription site and start getting the magazine. You could probably pick one up on campus, too.

Published in: on November 10, 2007 at 6:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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For those of you who missed it…

There was a blessing to be experienced in the memorial service yesterday for Hugh Carr, 94, who went home to be with the Lord last week.  Mr. Carr’s life was celebrated in a service led by two of his grandsons, David and Tom Carr, with music provided by a grandson, granddaughter, and great-grandson.  So many aspects of the service were a blessing to me, but two stood out.

First, the gracious blessing of God on our church in sharing in the ministries of David and Tom.  David, a chaplain in the Air Force, and Tom, a missionary to Japan, both grew up here and we are their “sending” churches into the works they do.  What a wonderful reminder of the ongoing influence for the kingdom that Grace has been blessed to have through so many who, like these two men, have been shaped through being a part of this church family.

Second, I was so encouraged to hear the story of how Hugh began to attend church at the invitation of a lady who taught a children’s class there.  She got Hugh and his brother to go, and in his own words, made it so that he could hardly wait for Sunday to come.  “Aunt Wealthy” (that was her first name) may have been a single lady teaching a children’s Sunday school class, but through her interest Hugh and his brother eventually became believers.  And later, Hugh’s children, and many grandchildren, and great grandhildren, and soon some of the great great grandchildren professed or will profess faith.  Dozens and dozens of believers traced back to one lady, that most people will never know until we get to Heaven.  Amazing. 

It was also quite a moment for me when I heard the song, “Finally Home” at the service’s end.  Roy Carr sings that at a lot of memorial services, and I love to hear him do it.  But he didn’t sing it this time.  Instead, Justin Carr, Roy’s grandson, David’s son, did so in a voice every bit as moving as Roy’s.  That was something to experience.  Praise God for moments like that.

Published in: on November 10, 2007 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dan Lacey is with the Lord and now cancer free!

Dan Lacey, longtime missionary to France from our church, went home to be with the Lord today, after a very long, slow battle with cancer.  While the disease finally claimed his body, Dan won the battle.  He continued to minister right up to the end, and when the doctors told the family to come, they were able to be there as he passed into the Savior’s presence.

 Dan was a church planter, and the love he and Betty had for the people of France was so strong that not only did they decide to stay there through Dan’s illness, but some of their children have stayed, too.  He leaves behind a church family as well, and other churches whose leaders he has mentored and whose very life has been shaped by the ministry the Laceys have had.

Our prayers are with Betty and the children, knowing that they have a great sense of loss to adjust to.  But we must rejoice with Dan, who is enjoying the first moments of a forever that will be cancer and pain free.

Published in: on November 7, 2007 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

For those keeping track…

I have finished the manuscript work on my project.  I still have some work on the Reference List and front matter to do, and of course lots of checking, editing, etc., but the end is in sight.  Pray!

Published in: on November 7, 2007 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Answers coming…but not yet!

We had a Q & A session in our evening service last night, and only managed to deal with questions on church discipline, how people are dismissed from membership, my view  on “particular redemption”, and whether Sunday is the preferred NT day of worship.  There were many more, but time was up.  I’ll be getting to those, but have to finish writing on my doctoral project first!  Please be patient, and I hope to deal with all the issues raised soon.

Published in: on November 5, 2007 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment