Indelible Grace Church

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Indelible Grace Church Blog

Peacemaker: Jesus' New Family Rules

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by Pastor Shawn Doud

• What were the relational rules at your house growing up?
• The only family member you can say bad things about is Uncle Eustace.
• If you say our family has problems you’re the problem.
• If your feelings get hurt, you’re just too sensitive.
• To confront someone who hurts you means you don’t love them.

In our the upcoming four-week Sunday School series on Peacemaking (beginning March 20) we will explore some of the unspoken rules of our families and churches. We will be examining the root causes of conflict and how Jesus uses conflict to bring us face to face with our sin and the way that the Gospel restores broken relationships through forgiveness embraced and offered. This might be some of the most difficult and most practical Christian teaching we can tackle together. Since we belong to the Prince of Peace, there is hope for all areas of life (even our most painful relationships) to experience reconciliation and reflect the Gospel.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 March 2011 16:22
 

Reflections on Mercy Ministry

At seven and a half months old, IGC got to experience its first Christmas as a church. Aligned with our church’s core values, IGC wanted to make it a season where we focused outwardly towards the greater Bay Area community. As Christians, we have received the greatest gift – grace. The name of our church, Indelible Grace Church, means that God’s grace and love to those who believe the gospel is unending and can never be erased.  What better way could we spend the holiday season than by showing that same grace and mercy to others?

IGC is committed to making a difference in people's lives, especially during this time of economic hardship. We partnered with a local organization based out of Oakland, California called World Impact. World Impact is a Christian missions organization dedicated to ministering God’s love to inner cities by "adopting" families and meeting their material needs.  Through the first week of December, twenty families were still waiting "adoption." IGC made a commitment to adopt three families. The director was surprised and thrilled to hear that we were willing to adopt so many because each family had multiple items on their wish-list.  I was a little hesitant myself to agree to three families not knowing how big each request was. I feared that perhaps each family had asked for a large flat-screen television, an Apple laptop, and new clothes!  But once the families' requests were emailed, I realized that I was completely wrong. These families just wanted basic necessities, items that we take for granted, such as socks, pajamas, jackets, shoes, etc.

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Some of the items donated by IGC members.

Members of IGC were overwhelmingly responsive to the families’ requests.  Whether people contributed by adopting a whole family, an item or two, through financial donations, or in prayers, IGC fully covered the requests of all three families and was even able to donate more than what was requested.  More important than the donations was the hope given to these families.  Nothing is more important than God’s grace, and it is a privilege to be able to share that gift with others.

This blog entry was written by Marianne Siu.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 January 2011 19:08
 

Why I’m a Counselor

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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
 

Ordination

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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.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 19 December 2010 23:40
 


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