. Right Beside You | The Grace Place


Earlier this week, I was reading a blog where the writer asked the above question, “Do you believe God is moving even when your wall isn’t?” I have been thinking about that question quite a bit over the past few days. The writer was talking about Joshua leading Israel around the walls of Jericho and how nothing changed for 12 laps around the walled city. Obviously, it takes a lot more faith to believe God will do what he has promised to do when you don’t see anything immediately changing in your circumstances.
The Apostle James says “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available…" James 5:16b (AMP) Jesus told the story in Luke 18 of the persistent widow who kept coming before a judge. Finally the judge granted her request and Jesus sums it up by saying “when he returns will he find that kind of faith on the earth?”  
Throughout the Bible, you find story after story of how God promised something and there was a delay between the giving of the promise and fulfillment of the promise. It is in that “land between” where we deal with all kinds of doubts, discouragement and sometimes some level of disillusionment!
Think about this question: “Do you believe God is moving even when your wall isn’t?”  There are some walls in my life I have been praying God will move. Because I have not seen them fall down yet, the temptation is to quit praying about it and assume there are no answers coming. This challenge has reminded me God is at work, even when it doesn’t seem like he is!
Most of the last words Jesus spoke to his disciples were focused on his mission for them. “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you." (John 20:21 NIV)  Over the years, we have looked at God's different purposes for your life.  We have focused on the fact that this life is preparation for eternity. We have shared with you that you are going to do four things in heaven forever and ever and ever, and God wants you to practice those here on earth. 
  • First is worship, to know and love God. 
  • Second is fellowship, to learn to love each other. 
  • Third is discipleship, to learn to become like Christ. 
  • Fourth is service, to learn to use my SHAPE, my abilities in serving God.
This weekend, we will focus on the last of these four things and be reminded that God’s mission for us is to share the hope we have found in Jesus with people in our world, people in the regions around our world, and then with the rest of the world.  
Also, we will reintroduce Compassion International this weekend. I had the opportunity to go to Lima, Peru a little over four years ago and see firsthand how Compassion International is making powerful and life changing impact on children who live in desperate conditions all over the world. Sameul, a Compassion Graduate from the Dominican Republic, will be sharing his testimony of how God used this ministry to impact and transform his life! 
Make sure you do not miss worship this weekend at The Grace Place - Saturday at 6:00 p.m., Sunday at 9:00 or 11:00 a.m. 
On Thursday, we are celebrating Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It is amazing that as a nation we have set aside one day to be thankful. I always find it interesting to think about who an atheist has to be thankful to, because a truly grateful heart will always find its focus directed toward God. That means a true Christ-follower should be the most thankful person in the world!
My brothers and their families are coming to Florida this week for us to have a big family Thanksgiving celebration! I know one of the things we are most thankful for is my brother Randy’s new heart. He had his heart transplant in February and is doing incredibly well with it! My brother Rod will be speaking in all three services on Thanksgiving weekend, November 25th & 26th. Obviously, I am really looking forward to this time with our family!
Please stop during the activities of this wonderful holiday and thank God for all of His incredible spiritual, physical, financial, and relational blessings on your life. If we don’t take the time to say “Thank You,” it is very easy to get focused on what isn’t going right versus what is going right. It is easy to focus on our needs instead of our blessings. Not only should you take the time to thank God for His abundant blessings, you should also take the time to thank those in your life who have been an encourager, supporter, etc.
Entering its fifth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy.
Christmas is all about "giving" and we give gifts to our families, friends and co-workers. Days like "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" are about buying. "Giving Tuesday" helps us remember that Christmas is really about giving. Giving our money, giving our time and giving our talents and abilities for the benefit of others. Would you consider making a special contribution to The Grace Place on or before #GivingTuesday, November 28th? You may do so online at www.thegraceplace.com/givingtuesday. You may also use the offering buckets in our worship services or mail your offering in one of our postage-paid envelopes. 


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!