|Wednesday, March 21, 2012|
To my Grove family,
What a beautiful day it is in Riverside; warm and cozy while the snow is still covering all our nearby mountains. Is there any better place to live in all the world? I say, “No,” but that’s because someday I might want to run for mayor. (Just kidding!)
This weekend we begin our Easter season of messages with the theme for the season, “Unstoppable Love.” My message is from the gospel of Luke chapter 19. Would you please read it before you come this weekend? My title is, “When Jesus Forced Their Hand.” I will be preaching at all of the services including Sunday Night at The Grove this week. Beginning in verse 28 of chapter 19, most commentators refer to the section as the triumphal entry of Jesus, but it was really more like a parade. This passage is packed full of history (the prediction of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70) and great theology. It also has so much emotion from our Lord and Savior. This will be a great passage to study and meditate on this week!
Easter weekend will be beautiful and filled with services. We will have two Good Friday Services with communion. The speakers for Good Friday will be Becky White, Kendall Brown, John Bowers, Jim Gilbreth, Carol Lance, Mike Barnes, Kerry Warren and then I will lead us in communion. Our sermon for this night is called, “The Lonely Moments of Jesus,” and the text for the evening will be Luke 22 and 23. This is a night for the whole family and one you will not want to miss.
Speaking of not wanting to miss, our Easter Service, called “Unstoppable Love,” will be filled with incredible music, drama, and the Word of God all pointing to His unstoppable love for each one of us. Please make an effort to be here with your family and invite friends; it will be one of those great Grove moments. Services will be Saturday, April 7, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 8, at 8 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 5 p.m.
Telling Your Story
This year at The Grove one of our main focuses as a church body will be evangelism and especially equipping everyone to share their testimony, or as we like to call it at The Grove, “telling your story.” Pastor Mike Barnes will be teaching this two-session Telling Your Story class on how to craft and share your story on Sunday, March 25 and April 1 at 10:45 a.m. in Room D-4. I would like to see everyone at The Grove take this class this coming year as this class will be offered again throughout the year. As a majority of our adults have studied through Revelation this year we know even more the importance of sharing our faith during these last days. Join Mike and others this Sunday and become a more effective witness for our Lord.
Will you join me?
This Sunday at 2 p.m. I am going to be speaking at 2nd Chance Ministries Church’s 7th Annual Men’s Day Program for a friend of mine, Pastor Derrick Anderson. Our own Leon Phillips and Eric Soholt have graciously said they will sing at this event and I’d like to invite a few of you Grove men to come out and support 2nd Chance Ministries Church as well. I know this is right in the middle of Sunday afternoon nap time, but if you could I’d love to see you. They are a very small church and desire to grow and reach out. If a few of you could come and be part of this event it may be just the encouragement their men need to grow their men’s group as well. Again, the time is 2 p.m. (parking is mainly on the street) at 4482 Grove Avenue, 92507. I’d love to see you there. My message is called – Fear of Manhood. This is the same church that the men from Grove’s “Hammer Time” went to and did many repairs to bless the church and their pastor.
Team World Vision
Our Grove World Vision runners (running for clean water in Uganda) finished the L.A. Marathon last Sunday in great fashion. Led by Wes Kriesel, the team did great not only on the day of the race but in training and preparation. This is Wes’s report on the event:
“What a beautiful day it was on Sunday. Our marathon team consisted of Wes Kriesel, Daniel Lopez Jr., Arthur Mistretta, Denise Miller, Christal Pennington, Timothy Potts, Angel Rodriguez, Angela Anguiano Lujan, Patricia Rodriguez, Ashley Stacy, Pablo Nolasco, Ryan Rasmussen, Sheila Valles (two-person charity team relay), and Amanda Lopez, (two-person charity team relay). We had a few others sign up who ended up not running due to injury or not feeling prepared. Fourteen marathoners, up from three last year, is pretty good. Our fundraising total for the marathon team is currently $5,833.40, which ends up being approximately 20% more raised per fundraising team member than our half-marathon team. The larger the commitment to train and go through pain, the larger the commitment to fundraise, apparently. I'm very proud of the team. With our half-marathon team's total of $38,423.22, together we raised $44,256.62 for clean water in Uganda.
“Our times ranged from four hours to seven hours. We had some amazingly dedicated walkers/joggers who went the marathon route from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica in 6.5 to 7 hours, dedicated to the cause of bringing new life and new hope to Ugandans through clean water.
“The idea of Team World Vision, like the national director Michael Chitwood told us at the team dinner, is an absurd one. The fact that we get to challenge ourselves to a personally fulfilling athletic goal AND reach out and raise support for the poor is an absurd idea. However, that's exactly the way God works, isn't it? He never leads us down paths to reach out to the oppressed, poor, less fortunate, hungry, homeless, unreached, and unloved in order to bring us down or destroy us; His path to reach out to others only lifts us up and builds us up. With Team World Vision, we all train separately to a large degree but we all fundraise together. This team experience has been a great lesson in the Christian faith. We all are responsible to develop our spiritual health largely as individuals with devotion time, prayer, and reading the Bible but ultimately, the biggest impact we make comes from being a part of the team, a part of the body of Christ. It's good to be plugged in at The Grove.
“Thank you for all the support you have shown this team.
Thanks to all runners for making a “kingdom” difference, we are proud of you. Congratulations to all – some times of note were Wes Kreisel 4:02; Art Mistretta 4:47 and Daniel Lopez 5:31.
Remember on our Grove website you can check out job opportunities (Click Here), the Hub menus (Click Here), the Read Through the Bible blog (Click Here), or post and pray for requests listed on our Prayer Wall (Click Here).
See you this weekend,