. Backstage | The Grace Place


This weekend, we are concluding our sermon series "Finding the Hope You Need!" with the final message in this series entitled "Finding Hope in Tough Times."
All of us need joy in our lives!  It is not just some casual thing that would be nice to have.  We have a fundamental emotional need for joy.  Life without joy is overwhelming.  Life without joy is overburdened.  Life without joy is oppressive.  Studies have actually shown that the more joy we have in our lives, the more productive we are.
When you talk about joy, you have to go to the book of Philippians, a short book in the New Testament that is only four chapters long.  Sixteen times in those four chapters, Paul says "Rejoice ... Be joyful ... enjoy life." The amazing thing is the Apostle Paul didn't write this book while on vacation in the Caribbean.  He was in a prison dungeon in Rome waiting to be executed, and, in the darkest days of his life, he wrote the most positive book in the Bible.  Paul gives us his six joy-builders, the opposite of joy-busters; they are the antidotes to the killjoys of life. 
If you will put these things into practice, you will find depression lifting, discouragement diffusing and a new sense of joy in your life!  Don't miss worship this weekend as we focus on discovering how to find hope and joy during life's tough times!  Make plans to join us at The Grace Place for one of our weekend services - Saturday at 6:00 p.m.Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.


Last night, I felt like God woke me up with this passage from Matthew 15:7-8 (NIV2011) "...Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me...'" 
Over the course of my life, I have had plenty of people say things to me that I knew they didn't really believe.  Frequently, they are trying to either manipulate me or cover up their disloyalty.  Those experiences have caused me to say many times, "Words are cheap, but your actions tell me where your heart really is."  Jesus experienced the same thing with his disciples on his last night with them as they shared in the Passover Meal.  Each disciple declared their loyalty and dependability to Jesus, only to later run away when Jesus was arrested. 
I felt like God was reminding me of how important it is to have a heart that is always seeking Him!  As a result, I spent some time during the night evaluating whether my words of worship, thanksgiving and praise reflected a heart that is fully devoted to Him.  Please take some time today to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you about whether or not the words coming out of your mouth are just words or a reflection of deep devotion to God!  All of us need to remember God has always been much more interested in the condition of our heart than in what we say to or about Him!


If you are a recent attendee, or have been attending The Grace Place Church for a while but never completed Class 101, we challenge you to get started this Sunday, July 23rd, at 5:00 p.m. in the Ministry Center. Class 101 introduces you to The Grace Place's history, DNA, vision and core values, and enables you to understand our church in a more comprehensive way.  Class 301 is offered at the same time as Class 101 and is for those who have already taken Classes 101 and 201.  In Class 301, we introduce you to your ministry SHAPE and help you build an understanding of how and where God can most effectively use you in a ministry at The Grace Place.   
Class 201 will be offered next Sunday, July 30th, at 5:00 p.m. in the Ministry Center.  Childcare is provided for all Membership Classes.  A light meal is provided for Classes 101 and 301, and a home-cooked welcoming dinner will be provided for Class 201.  You can sign up for these classes online here or at the Welcome Desk this weekend! 


I want to personally invite you to join my wife Karon and me on Sunday, August 6th, immediately following the 11:00 a.m. service (about 12:30 p.m.) for a delicious complimentary home-cooked meal in the Connection Center Gym.  You'll meet Karon and me, along with our ministry team, and learn about The Grace Place's mission and vision, discover how to become a Grace Place member and much more. No R.S.V.P. is required.  We look forward to seeing you!!




If you have not yet signed up for the Global Leadership Summit, taking place on August 10th and 11th, please do so now. If you are a part of The Grace Place family, sign up at www.thegraceplace.com/summit using the priority code, PHS17TEAM.  This code is ONLY for members or regular attendees of The Grace Place.  Don't delay, sign up today! Contact suzanneadams@thegraceplace.com or call the church office.  


Our next baptism will be on August 13th following the Sunday 2 service.  If you have made a personal commitment to Christ, but not publicly testified to your faith by following his command to be baptized, then please get signed up online here or at the Welcome Center in the lobby this weekend.  On Saturday afternoon, August 12th, at 2:00 p.m., there will be a baptismal class for all who want to be baptized.  Watch for details in the weekend bulletin.




Please consider joining us as often as you can for our Friday prayer time in the Lobby of the Celebration Center @ 6:00 a.m.  We are praying together for God to do things that only He can do.  There have already been a number of very specific answers to the prayers this group has prayed! 
On Saturday's @ 4:00 p.m., we are meeting in the Lobby of the Celebration Center for our Prayer Circles prayer time.  Please join us and become a part of what God is doing and is going to do through the ministries of The Grace Place Church!!  We will look forward to seeing you next Friday morning or Saturday afternoon!


Summer is a time when many of us take a week or two of vacation with our families, sometimes going to places we have never been before. Others of us are out of town for the entire summer. Because we know that so many are traveling, The Grace Place provides ministries that enable you to stay connected to the church from wherever you are at. One of them is livestreaming of our services on the internet. If you are unable to be here for worship on the weekends, you can log in during any of the regularly scheduled service times and watch the service live at www.thegraceplace.com/watch. We are consistently getting positive feedback, from those who use this option, about how God is using it in their lives!




If you'd like to make a safe and secure donation, take advantage of technology and do your giving online here. You can even automate it to give monthly, bimonthly, weekly or whatever works for you.  We thank you for your generous support and prayers as we see God do some amazing things among us in the weeks and months ahead.