Indelible Grace Church

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Indelible Grace Church Blog

2014 Year-in-review

Our year in photos:

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January – Two new community groups have began this year

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February – Serving our neighbors at Marshall Elementary School

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March – Third "Skeptics Night" held at Bodi’s Java

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July – Church picnic at San Felipe Park

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July – Five church members went to Haiti through Mission of Hope

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August – Thinking about suffering in Job at our annual retreat

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September – 22 women gathered for the Women’s Mentorship kickoff

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October – The men of IGC spending time together at Castro Village Bowl

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November – Packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

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December – IGC Christmas Party held at the Castro Valley Community Center

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 19:53
 

A Thanksgiving devotional

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It is remarkable how often the Bible speaks about giving thanks. There is one verse that has always impressed me – "give thanks always and for everything to God." (Ephesians 5:20) The Christian life is to be marked by ceaseless thanksgiving. I think this is profound for three reasons. First, it shows that thanksgiving is an orientation of the heart. Rather than complain or grumble about circumstances, which is to give into our self-absorption, we are to continually look upward to God and see his abiding goodness. Second, since we are to give thanks for all things, it means that we see, in faith, the wise and good providence of God, even in our tragedies and suffering. And third, a heart filled with gratitude will produce a life overflowing in praise and adoration, which is the very purpose of our existence. "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

 

Harry Chan: reflections on seminary

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I recently graduated with a MABTS (Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies) from Western Seminary. My time there was overall a good experience. I often found myself in class thanking God for the opportunity to even be immersed in a school dedicated to teaching and learning about the Bible and theology and practical ministry. But while Western has given me a much more in-depth knowledge in these various areas, what made my experience most rewarding was having the opportunity to serve as an intern at Indelible Grace Church during my entire 3-year seminary stint. Serving in the local church while learning from and being mentored by Pastor Michael during my time in seminary has been invaluable and a huge blessing.

Seminary should not replace the local church in teaching and raising up godly men and women to do kingdom work, but it is a great supplemental ministry that works alongside the church. My experience was exactly that, and I am so blessed to have gone through my seminary experience in this way.

Seminary was also a very humbling experience. After graduating, I didn't and still don't feel as equipped as I thought I would be. There is so much more to learn, and most things were only touched upon in seminary, but the beauty of this is that there is much more knowledge to be gained and much more growth to be had. I still feel inadequate to be doing ministry work, but this is ultimately a good thing because it keeps me relying on God to sustain and empower me, and it keeps me hungry to learn and grow in understanding and continually work towards excellence in ministry.

But even more than just growing in biblical knowledge and practical application, the combination of my time in seminary while serving and being served at IGC has helped me to truly develop a greater longing for God and his glory and a deeper love and appreciation for Jesus Christ and the church that he loves and died to redeem. I am thankful for faithful churches and seminaries that boldly proclaim the gospel!

Last Updated on Friday, 31 October 2014 10:38
 

The Primacy of Jesus

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In John 12, there's a very interesting passage where Mary pours out expensive ointment on Jesus' feet. One of the disciples chides her, arguing that the money could have been better used for the relief of the poor. What Jesus says in response would be outrageous on the lips of anyone else – "leave her alone; the poor you will always have, but you will not always have me." In effect, “before you care even for the poor, you must direct your highest devotion to me."  This should take our breath away. No wonder pious Jews wanted to kill Jesus. Jesus is claiming nothing less than our ultimate allegiance and affections. And so it is with the mission of the church. Everything we do as a church must first flow out of and center on what Christ has done for us on the cross, and then, only secondarily, out of reverence for Jesus, do we love the poor and engage in ministry.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2014 11:04
 

Community and Morality

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So I recently read David Brooks’ The Social Animal. One of the things he talks about is how morals are shaped. We often think of our morality as arising out of solitary reflection and analysis. But according to a wealth of sociological data, our behavior and values are shaped mostly by our friendships and the people we associate with the most. So that with every conversation and interaction, we are unconsciously picking up standards of behavior, values and norms. In other words, we are who we hang out with the most.

This deeply resonates with how the Bible instructs Christians to live. “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) In truth, no one lives apart from the company of others. The only question is which community do we choose to belong to.

Photo: a scene from IGC's 2014 Summer retreat.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 16:03
 


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