. Right Beside You | The Grace Place


I have received feedback from many of you about how our sermon series, “Sifted – Growing Through What You Are Going Through,” has clarified much of what we all struggle with. This weekend, I am wrapping up the sermon series with a message entitled “Claiming the Promise of Sifting!” 
As I was preparing this message, it became apparent that we can endure almost anything if we have a promise to hang on to. In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus told Peter and the other disciples, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Jesus was telling them that, when they repented (turned away from) their spiritual failures, He was going to use them in a way they would never have been used before their “sifting” experience. That was not only true of Peter, but for the other disciples as well. 
God wants to use our times of sifting to do the same thing in our lives. God makes it clear that he will use sifting to do something in us before he does something throughus. 
Make sure you join us this weekend as we wrap up our “Sifted” sermon series.  It will be a source of great hope, encouragement and support for you, no matter what you are going through. We anticipate seeing you either Saturday at 6:00 p.m., or Sunday at 9:00or 11:00 a.m.
I invite you to join me for Class 201 this Sunday, at 5:00 p.m. in Room #109 of our Ministry Center. In this class, we share important insights about growing in your walk with Jesus. We will talk about the benefits of becoming a member of The Grace Place. We will also highlight how God wants to use our investment in serving this part of His church to advance His Kingdom! After class, we will introduce our church staff, and enjoy a wonderful meal and time of great fellowship as we welcome our new Grace Place members.  
A little over a week ago, Sherm Swenson, one of my mentors and a consistent encourager to Karon and me, went to be with Jesus! I met Sherm about 20 years ago after he and his wife, Joan, had visited our church a few times. They were living in Minnesota where Sherm was working with Bethel College and Seminary. Sherm had just ended his amazing business career as the CEO of B. Dalton Books, at the time a subsidiary of the Dayton-Hudson Corporation.  He started as a stock boy at Dayton-Hudson Department Stores and moved to the top of the corporation very quickly. Sherm then invested around ten years at Bethel, using his incredible leadership skills to help advance the Kingdom of Christ through the expansion of the ministries of the College and Seminary. 
After one of their trips to Florida, Sherm sent me an incredible letter affirming our church and my ministry to them. I arranged for us to meet for breakfast on their next trip to Florida. After just 15 minutes in conversation with Sherm, I knew God had brought him to our church and into my life to be a long-time mentor. Sherm subsequently served our church as a Congregational Elder. My leadership and ministry has been powerfully blessed by him! All of us owe Sherm and Joan an incredible debt of gratitude for all the ways they blessed our church for so many years. Joan died nearly four years ago, and it is wonderful they have been reunited.  


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!