Indelible Grace Church

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Indelible Grace Church Blog

Why I’m a Counselor


You are more than your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

"You Are More" by Tenth Avenue North

I got into counseling for the same reason I've gotten into a lot of other things: to be the answers guy. For most of my life I’ve been underweight, or had an overbite, or undershot the basket. For most of my life I’ve felt lame. Or I’ve felt good about myself and grew in my pride. Let’s just say like any other sinner I’ve overdone the wrong things and underdone the right things. Which puts me right where everybody else lives. Having the answers was a way to sweep all that lameness under the rug. God likes pulling up rugs and shining the light. When God sent Christ to us it was to show us what was under the rug and take away what was brought to light.

The Gospel has come down to where we live. One wise translator paraphrased John 1:14 this way: "The Word became flesh and became a local. Heavenly glory had an address, a mom, a job, taxes, and a time of death."

God gets into the nitty-gritty details. Our struggle is trying to find how he fits. The type of counseling I’m trained in and practice (usually called biblical counseling) is looking for how we can walk together with people and see how the Gospel fits. The Gospel gives us a new narrative that is greater than what’s been done to us, or what we did, or what we feel. What God has done for us is just the beginning of what God wants to do inside of us. So really biblical counseling is a way of walking with someone through their story and then walking together through God’s story of redemption until there is hope for their story.

Now I see that wise love involves a lot more listening to both of the stories. Wise love walks with compassionate silence and wise words (mostly questions). I’m learning on the job when each are called for.

When I meet with people I am hopeful. Not because I’m a fortune teller, or have x-ray vision. I am hopeful because God knows people. He knows what derails us. He has planned the restoration of all things. His good news believed changes people. It changes deeply broken people. And while it’s still good news and people are still broken we can walk together and find hope. The middle of the story is ugly. The cross is ugly. My sin and yours is ugly. But that’s where God gets busy and does his “behold I make all things new” promise into reality. That’s why I’m a counselor.

This post is by Shawn Doud, the assistant pastor of Indelible Grace Church. You can also visit his counseling website GraceXchange.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 December 2010 17:13



Hi all - this is Michael.  On November 14th, I had the great privilege and joy of being ordained.  Ordination is being set apart by the church for gospel ministry.  Pictured above are the laying on of hands by elders from Christ Church in Berkeley, Canyon Creek Church in San Ramon and Grace Church in Pleasanton. 

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 December 2010 23:40

Reflections on Sunday School

Why do I need Sunday school? Isn’t the sermon enough? I feel like I have too much school as it is.

These are some of the questions that people have when it comes to Sunday school (from here on, "SS").  And indeed, SS is optional in a way that the Sunday worship service is not.  However, we cover important topics in Christianity that really can’t be addressed properly in the sermon, such as an extended look at the various genres of Scripture, practical advice on how to pray, a biblical theological survey of baptism - you get the picture. 

The sermon is aimed more at the heart though of course the mind is not ignored; while SS is aimed more at the mind and only secondarily at the heart.  In this way, SS complements the sermon.  It’s not more of the same, but more in-depth and more interactive on different topics than you will find in the worship service. 

So we invite you to join us, every Sunday, 10am – 10:45am.  It’s a great way to give the ol' brain a workout and love God with all your mind, heart and soul.

Our lessons are also recorded if you miss a class.  You can listen here.


Last Updated on Sunday, 19 December 2010 23:40

Reflections on Church

altMy name is Wade. That’s me in the picture to the right. I spent this Summer working as an intern for IGC, and I am now in Southern California for another year of studies at Talbot School of Theology. As always, I am thinking about IGC even as I'm involved at a wonderful church plant in Anaheim. A number of things make me incredibly grateful to be a part of the family at IGC: the humble leadership, the emphasis on teaching and preaching the Word and hearts that are receptive to the Word. The thing that makes me most happy to be a part of this church family is the servant attitude of most everyone involved in the church. Many of the church members have been working with each other in ministry for years, and I have always known them to be selfless and sacrificial with their time and resources to serve each other and the surrounding community.

Pastor Michael, Shawn and I get a lot of attention because we're in the classroom teaching or in the pulpit preaching, but we are not put on a pedestal. The people at IGC know us too well to place us in that position. We are in as much need of the Gospel as everyone else. That is not to say that we downplay the significance of our specific roles in the church body; we strive to be biblical in all aspects of our ecclesiology. However, we want to give due respect to those who are not standing in front of people every week. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:14, "for the body does not consist of one member but of many." Our local church body is made up of a wide range of people with different occupations and in different age groups and life situations - and all are uniquely gifted to contribute to the body of Christ.

It would be a shame to look at our pastor as the sole representative of the church. Rather, we should look at the guys who wake up early every Sunday morning to set up the auditorium for our use. We should look at the men and women who spend their limited free time talking to and serving other members of the church. We should look at the kids who fill the room with laughter at the end of each service. We should look at the couples who open up their homes for the small groups to meet in. We should look at the member who struggles with doubt or the member who is fighting desperately against his sin. We should look at the quiet members who don't say much. These are the people that make up IGC.

As Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 12, he includes every member as a vital part of the church body. Even “the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” So it is with our church. Every member matters, and we recognize that every member has something to contribute to the life of this church. We recognize that God has sovereignly placed every one of us in this local body for the sake of his name. We want to equip the members to best minister to the people in their lives - whether they are in the church or not.

It is my joy to be a part of IGC because I know that I am merely one piece of a larger whole. Neither Pastor Michael nor I need to make a lot of noise or try to control everything that's happening in the church. God alone is in control of the church, and we joyfully submit our preferences for the health of the body. There are many people at IGC that are smarter than I am, more articulate than I am, more humble than I am, more generous than I am, more prayerful than I am and much harder working than I am. This is not a big concern to me because I am not in competition with anyone at the church, and as far as I know, no one else at IGC is in competition with anyone else. I need others in the church to be smarter, more articulate, humble, generous, prayerful and harder worker than I am - just as much as others need me to offer the talents that God has chosen to give to me.

IGC has only been in existence for a few months and I am sure we will encounter difficulties in the future. We are not a perfect church and will never be. However, the character the church members and the trajectory of the church itself have shown me that my involvement in this local body is a very worthwhile endeavor.


Church at the Park

Last Sunday we had our first outdoor church service at Palomares Hills Park.  It was a beautiful day filled with sun, BBQ, games, and of course great fellowship.  There's nothing quite like being in the midst of God's creation to stir our hearts to worship.  We hope you can join us next time!

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