. Right Beside You | The Grace Place

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CHOOSING GRATITUDE!

It seems to me complaining has become an art form these days. In fact, I think some people have the spiritual gift of complaining. They can find anything to complain about. People complain about the weather all the time.  It's too hot, soon it will be too cold.  It was too dry, then it was too wet.  Sometimes it's too humid.

We drive our cars up to our houses, push a button to open the door, drive into a protected environment, push a button to close the door, and then start complaining about the bad gas mileage our car gets.  We open up a refrigerator full of food and complain there is nothing to eat.  We turn on the television with 400 channels and complain there is nothing to watch.  We walk into our closet full of clothes and complain we have nothing to wear. We complain about all sorts of things! 

That is why I am pursuing a heart of gratitude.  Many experts say gratitude is the value that unlocks so many other positive qualities.  Gratitude makes you generous, gratitude makes you encouraging, and gratitude makes you thankful.  I am asking God to transform my heart from one that is often entitled to one that is by nature more grateful.

Last weekend, we started our January "New Beginnings” sermon series with a message entitled “Choosing Optimism." This weekend, we are continuing that sermon series with the message “Choosing Gratitude.” True gratitude is the willingness to give God thanks while your blessing is still being prepared. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Invite a seeking friend to join you at one of our weekend services – Saturday at 6:00 p.m., or Sunday 9:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. I look forward to seeing you!

 

JOIN ME FOR CLASS 101!

If you would like to know more about The Grace Place Church, I invite you to attend Class 101 this Sunday, January 14th at 5:00 p.m. in Room #109. Class 101 will enable you to understand the church in a more comprehensive way. I will introduce you to The Grace Place’s history, values, vision and DNA. 

Class 301 is offered at the same time as Class 101, and it is for those who have already taken Classes 101 and 201. In Class 301, you will be introduced to your ministry SHAPE and come to a better understanding of how and where God can most effectively use you in our church.

Childcare and a light meal are provided for Classes 101 and 301. You can sign up for these classes online here. For information, contact lisaemig@thegraceplace.com.

 

I AM TEACHING A SPECIAL CLASS FOR MEN!

For nearly 30 years, I have been teaching the Measure of a Man class. I have been teaching this material for so long because I believe every man will benefit so much by understanding what the Apostle Paul says about becoming a mature man of God. 

On Wednesday evening, January 24th @ 6:30 p.m., I will begin teaching Measure of a Man (Part 1). In this class, we are focusing on the first 10 of 20 qualities of a spiritually mature man of God. If you would like to allow God to develop these key areas of your life, then this class is a must-attend. Not only will it help you to grow spiritually, it is a prerequisite to be eligible to serve as a Congregational Elder at The Grace Place. 

You can sign up for Measure of a Man online here or at the Information Center this weekend. Measure of a Man books are available in our bookstore for $14.99. For information, contact my assistant Lisa at lisaemig@thegraceplace.com

DON'T LET YOUR MOUTH GET YOU INTO TROUBLE!

"Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God." (Ecclesiastes 5:2, 4, 6-7) 

I have been thinking about these verses of warning this week. We need to be careful about making promises to God! Solomon describes three major pitfalls lying in wait for careless Christians:

  • Hasty speech: Learn to listen as much as you speak.
  • Empty promises: Don’t say what others want to hear or promise what you can't deliver.
  • Lame excuses: Don't try to reverse a mistake with a lame excuse.

 

CHOOSING ENCOURAGEMENT!

Unfortunately, we live in a chronically negative world. Everywhere I look, I see so many people who are discouraged by their circumstances, problems and frustrations!  

It starts very early in life. When your kids go to school, they're not picked for a team and they feel left out, or they're not placed in the advanced class and they feel like they're average, or somebody makes fun of them for being different and they feel even more alone. 

I would hate to be a kid growing up with social media. You post your picture but don't get nearly as many likes as your friend's picture and everybody has more followers than you do. You go on social media and you see your best friend is on their second vacation this year but you haven't been on one yet. Another good friend is on a date at a very nice restaurant but you're eating baloney and cheese. Someone else is at the party that you were not invited to, and suddenly you believe "My life just doesn't seem very important." Back when I was a kid, you just felt like you were not as popular. Today, there's hard data proving that you're not in the popular crowd, and this can be very discouraging. 

It's amazing how we go through what seems to be a normal day and yet experience so many different voices of discouragement in our lives. In a world filled with negativity, we must choose to focus on God's Word to renew our minds and stay positive! 

The first weekend of January, we started our four-part “New Beginnings” sermon series with a message entitled “Choosing Optimism.” Last weekend, we continued with the message “Choosing Gratitude.” This weekend, we are talking about “Choosing Encouragement!” Invite a seeking friend to join you at one of our weekend services – Saturday at 6:00 p.m., or Sunday 9:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. I look forward to seeing you!

 

THIS WEDNESDAY, I AM STARTING A SPECIAL CLASS FOR MEN!

For nearly 30 years, I have been teaching the Measure of a Man class. I have been teaching this material for so long because I believe every man will benefit so much by understanding what the Apostle Paul says about becoming a mature man of God. 

This Wednesday, January 24th @ 6:30 p.m., I will begin teaching Measure of a Man (Part 1). In this class, we are focusing on the first 10 of 20 qualities of a spiritually mature man of God. If you would like to allow God to develop these key areas of your life, then this class is a must-attend. Not only will it help you to grow spiritually, it is a prerequisite to be eligible to serve as a Congregational Elder at The Grace Place.  

You can sign up for Measure of a Man online here or at the Information Center this weekend. Measure of a Man books are available in our bookstore for $14.99. For information, contact my assistant Lisa at lisaemig@thegraceplace.com

JOIN US FOR FRIDAY & SATURDAY PRAYER

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!