Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grace Seminar - ONE BODY

Please take time to read below the invitation from Pastor Dave. 
If you are from Grace Church, please join us that weekend. Take a good look at the poster...if you are from Grace you will probably see yourself. 


As I've grown as a Christ follower my recognition of my need for the people of God has dramatically increased.  Early on in my Christian life (naively and pridefully) I felt little need for the Church.  I suppose this individualism had its roots in two main sins: 1) a tiny view of God's kingdom and the work he means to accomplish in it; and 2) the faithless worldview that I grew up with before trusting in Jesus.
Today, because God has matured me as a Christian and because I've lived quite a bit more life, I'm all too aware of my need for God's people.  I lack gifts which I need and God promises to provide through his people.  I lack resources  which I need and God promises to provide through his people.  I lack knowledge  which I need and God promises to provide through his people.  I lack love and faith and obedience and examples  which I need and God promises to provide through his people.  God, in his Word, promises to meet certain needs of his people only through his people.  I now know this with my mind and have experienced it in my life.
In the past several years I've been through times of remarkable joy and difficulty in the context of the Church.  I've experienced God's people caring for my family and others in selfless and sacrificial ways.  It's been awesome to experience the presence of God through the people of God.  However, I'm convinced that God, in his Word, holds out even greater promises for the Church.  In this seminar we'll look at the doctrine of the Church (what the bible has to say about the church), scheme together how we might live out the reality that we are all a part of as members of the body of Christ, and hope and dream together about what God might do as we live collective lives of faith!
Please join us us as we look at the heart, mind, and practice of the body of Christ.
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ."
- 1 Corinthians 12:12
Pastor Dave

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sunday's Sermon and Discipleship Groups at Grace Church

The following was put together to give a description and rationale for our sermon-based studies in the discipleship groups this fall:

Discipleship Groups and the Sermon-Based Study
Daniel Patz
September 2011

Beginning this fall all the Discipleship Groups will include a sermon-based study as part of its meeting time. Sermon-discussion guides will be posted online along with the sermon audio and sermon notes on the Sunday the sermon is preached.  Below are some definitions and purposes listed for this move to sermon-base study. I hope you will join me in prayer as we seek to better know and obey God’s Word together.

The Sermon-Based Study:
The sermon-based study is one of the major elements of the discipleship group meeting which uses the sermon, its subject or its Scripture text as the main focus of study and discussion. 

Sermon-Discussion Guide:
The sermon-discussion guide is a handout provided by the preacher on the Sunday the sermon is preached that is used to aid the sermon-based study and its preparation. The guide will include five sections: 1) Personal/experience, 2) Observation, 3) Interpretation, 4) Application, 5) Next week. 

Sermon-Based Study Goal:
The sermon-based study’s goal is to glorify God by taking His preached Word (sermon) and written Word (Scriptures) into our minds, hearts and actions together by the power of the Spirit.

Motivators for the Sermon-Based Studies:
It is our prayer that God would use sermon-based studies to:
  1. Sharpen our focus in the Word by taking less subjects but going deeper
  2. Pursue a greater unity in the body by studying the same passage together in all the DGs (every group will be studying the same subject and we will be hearing what God has to say together)
  3. Train the members of the church to be what Thabiti Anyabwile calls "expositional listeners" - teaching people to take the Sunday preaching seriously and teaching them how to listen for the main point of the sermon and text (“Listening for the meaning of the passage of Scripture and accepting that meaning as the main idea to be grasped for our personal corporate lives as Christians.”)
  4. Learn better how to study the bible - thinking in terms of observation/interpretation/application which will be reflected in the discussion guide
  5. Focus on the much neglected responsibility of applying/obeying what we hear and study - being doers of the Word and not hearers only
  6. Grow in the above things (expositional listening, Bible study, and application/obedience) in the context of community - God wants us to benefit from each others’ gifts as we look at and obey God's Word together
  7. Encourage the preacher and to challenge Him to preach with precision and clarity

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


 In order to show His love, 
uphold His justice,
forgive sinners, 
and display His glory, 
God sent His Son, 
to pay for sin 
with His death.

posted by Pastor Dave VanAcker in a church email today

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kids Sunday School Songs

Last Sunday I handed out a sheet for the songs we will be working on in the kid's Sunday School.

Here is the page that was handed out with links to where you can purchase an audio mp3 of the song.

Jeff Jensen with Kindergarten - 2nd grade

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Our Patriotic Duty

I am a flag waving American. I love the national anthem, Independence Day, and the colors: red, white and blue. I am glad I was born in this country, I think this country is special and I hope (and believe) that the best is yet to come for this country.  Patriotism is noble and it is a godly virtue when it is an expression of grateful affection and measured loyalty to one's own country for the glory of God.

Tomorrow is "Patriot Day." It is the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001--the day terrorists attacked the World Trade towers and a portion of the Pentagon. Words like "evil" and "justice" were thrown around with great ease by Republicans, Democrats, atheists and religious believers. Surely, what was done was evil by evil men. This evil was graphically displayed before us on our TV screens on that day. Perfect justice is only accomplished by God, but He has ordained for earthly authorities to execute justice with careful and appropriate means. I think it can be argued that our country has sought (imperfectly) to do this.

But I want to ask, as a Christian, what is my patriotic duty as I celebrate/remember Patriot Day? I would suggest that the most patriotic thing we can do is REPENT. Repentance begins with humble confession of sin and it continues in daily surrender to God's will. It's not something we can accomplish in one day. But it starts somewhere.  First, it starts when we begin to confess the sins of our own heart: idolatry (manifested in greed, envy, anxiety, lust, lack of courage, disobedience to parents, etc.), immorality, pride, unbelief and rebellion. Secondly, we must confess to God the sins of our country and plead for His forgiveness and a fresh spiritual awakening in our own hearts, in the hearts and lives of our church, other churches and in our entire country. We need to take responsibility for our sins and then for our country's by confessing it to the Lord (see Daniel 9 as an example). What should we confess? Let me name one of many "inconvenient truths" about our country. More babies are killed in this country under the "permission" of law and by the hands of American citizens every day than the number of people that were killed on September 11, 2001 (for more read here).

I love America. I pray that God would prosper and protect America. But America's greatest need is the forgiveness of sins and a new heart. What America needs is something it cannot earn or produce on its own. It needs sovereign grace and divine mercy. Thankfully, the King of the nations is up to this task. We must get down (on our knees) to the business of asking Him to give us just that.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm Back

Wow, it has been a while since I have posted on this blog. I plan to start writing again.
I spent some time reformatting the look of the blog and I plan to start posting more often with the help of some friends here at Grace Church.

To get updates from this blog you can sign up to get emails (over to the right) or you can use my preferred method--subscribe to an rss feed (google reader rocks).