Grace and Peace

During Sunday’s sermon, we looked at the important phrase “grace and peace.” Paul used it when he wrote:

“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:3).”

After an analysis of the Greek word for grace (charis), theologian William Barclay concluded:

“When Paul prays for grace to be bestowed on his friends, it is as if he were saying: ‘May the beauty of the undeserved love of God be on you, so that it will make your life lovely, too.'”

I like that. Grace be with you today and every day.

The passing of J. Don George (1937-2020)

We lost a spiritual giant today, as Pastor J. Don George went to his heavenly reward. The loss was sudden and unexpected.

He was my pastor growing up, so he is the preacher I have heard more sermons from than any other person. But, he was more than a great preacher to me. He was a life-long example of class and professionalism. I learned so much about leadership by just watching his life. I also learned a lot about friendship by observing how loyal he was to friends. He was a good friend to me.

No one preaches like J. Don George. Here is a one minute clip from 2017 that will build your faith and bring a smile to your face.

Light for the next few months

It is logical to conclude the next 4-5 months may be challenging. Daylight will shorten, the election will heat up, and concern about a potential second wave of COVID-19 lingers. Without discounting others’ suffering, I hope to have a great 4-5 months of relationship with God and others.

As I shared this sentiment at our 10:45 am service on September 6, God stirred this passage as a guiding prayer for the days ahead. I hope you can claim this prayer, too!

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” – Psalm 4:6 (CSB)

The Three Streams Chart

We had such a powerful worship experience last night. We took that evening to lean into the “Spirit stream” and found refreshing in the Lord.

Last Sunday, I started our vision series CIL Forward and shared our identity as a Three Streams church. Here is the chart that we shared during the sermon about the Biblical-basis for a Three Streams identity. Pastor Dan Scott introduced this chart to me a few years ago, and it has been a great way to put in words how God has formed us.

Twelve years for CIL

CIL’s Twelfth Anniversary was not what I imagined when we planned the year, as the global pandemic contributed towards a subdued recognition. Still, with a heartfelt, “Thanks be to God!” we honored Jesus by gathering in His name – both online and in-person.

I have never been so happy to be part of a spiritual family as I am now, and I have great hope for our future together!

We love Jesus so much because …

We love Jesus greatly because we have sinned greatly. 

King David’s abuse of power was selfish, destructive, and unjust. He seduced the wife of an honorable subordinate and orchestrated the cover-up until Uriah was dead. David paid a high price for the consequence of his sin; but, it was not a forever punishment. 

God restored David, and he will restore you and me. 

“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.” – Isaiah 51:1 (ESV)