Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Six Thousands Words from Second Saturday

Rain or Shine. Love your neighbor as yourself! Even when it means soaked shoes, wet hair, and drenched lower pant legs. Notice the smiles despite the rain. It really poured--you can see ripples on the driveway in one picture. May God get the glory for our efforts in reaching people with God's love every Second Saturday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Demonstrate real faith in the real world

Pastor Bob Fetterhoff challenged us to see reality in our world. The plight of children in our world is appalling. Our church shared this video to give you a raw look at the injustice in our world where we can make a difference.

1st video revised from Glenn Sewell on Vimeo.

Make your faith genuine. Make your faith real. Pastor Bob outlined what real faith is:

  1. Real faith rests on the right foundation.

  2. Real faith responds to the right example.

  3. Real faith reacts with the right response.

I want to be building my faith on the right foundation where I understand the mercy of God; that I did not deserve God's grace. I desire to love by acting selflessly for the benefit of someone else. I long to be on-mission for God.

Psalm 140:12 says, "I know that the Lord qwill maintain the cause of the afflicted and justice for the poor." God is a father to the fatherless (orphans) and a defender of widows (Psalm 68:5).

I was convicted by the self-indulgent life I sometimes discover in my own life. I intend to be fully devoted to God. I must follow Jesus' example. Jesus served others. In fact, Jesus was humble, not proud; well-fed not overfed; and compassionate not unconcerned. So I need to venture into being more like Jesus.

Lastly, my faith needs to respond. Real faith is compassionate and pure (James 1:27). I need to show compassion and seek purity in my life. I must take care of the life of others as well as take care of my own life.

I praise God for our church's desire to partner with Asia's Hope. If you did not hear the interview with Pastor Dave Atkins, then you can listen to it here.

Dave Atkins Interview with Music from Glenn Sewell on Vimeo.

Overall, you can join us in reaching out to the least, the lost, and the last. Today the giving towards building the orphanage is growing. The total we are praying for to build the orphanage is $36,000. The goal of at least twenty orphans to sponsor means that over 60 people must commit to giving $35 a month to cover all of their needs.

You can keep praying. We are over $30,000 now. We have surpassed 60 sponsors too. So the Lord is moving among His people. May we wisely steward the gifts that come from over-and-above what each person already gives to our church in making fully devoted followers of Christ.

You can fulfill the purposes of God in your life. Make a difference today!

He Gets it! Love your neighbor.

He Gets it!: Love your neighbor

The Bible says, "Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, "You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,"and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 8:8-10)."

To obey what God is saying means that you need to get it--love your neighbor as yourself. One man in our Northeast Ohio District of Grace Brethren Churches gets this. I found his testimony on my friend's blog, Jim Brown, who is the lead pastor at the Grace Community Church in Goshen, IN. Pastor Jim posted a video where JeRod Cherrie is selling his superbowl ring to sponsor building one orphanage with Asia's Hope just like Wooster Grace is intending to do.

JeRod is one person who seeks to love others as himself. He wants to make a difference in a big way within his arena of influence. I am one person who strives to love my neighbors as myself. I want to make a difference in a small way within my area of influence.

In our neighborhood, the power is still out from Sunday's high winds. We are in the middle of Wooster, but the neighbors shared how historically the power is returned later than other grids in Wooster.

So there we all stood. In the cul-de-sac listening to the wind howl and bend the trees in our neighborhood. We met one another and got more acquainted.

Now last night, my wife called me to go home and invite a neighbor to supper whose wife is out of state. He is alone. And we wanted to invite him to my in-laws (they have power in their house ten minutes away). So I drive over to extend an invitation.

But you know what, at first I hesitated. You would think that a minister would not only know the verses above and its principle; but that he would immediately embrace and engage in reaching out to a neighbor. Yet honestly, I hesitated.

Praise God that I quickly denied the temptation to leave my neighbor, Richard alone. I felt that he probably would not come with me to supper. He is a loner and self-sufficient. But I prayed for God's help to go beyond my inconvenience and find Dick and invite him to join us for supper. When I located him, I invited him. He declined, but he was so appreciative. He was glad that I invited him.
As I drove away, I thanked God for moving in my life to honor Him. At first I hesitated, but with God's help in prayer. I stopped offering rational excuses for not extending an invitation and I practiced what the Bible says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." God is working in me. He can work in you.

So owe no man anything, except love. Love your neighbor as yourself. You are one person who can intentionally love your neighbors as yourself. You can make a difference in a small way within your area of influence. Even if you hesitate, God can still use you. Take the initiative and reach out to your neighbors. Everyone is seeking to do reach out. You can too.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Soggy Feet are those who bring good news

photo by dmbfreak41

Second Saturday launched with a deluge. I just wanted to spotlight comments from our people who became grace in the neighborhood during the morning of outreach.

"We had all positive responses with those that we talked to. It was fun to see their face light up when they realized it was a free gift"

"They were surprised we came in the rain."

"Most people answered the door. And were very appreciative!"

"One gentleman was surprised. He said, 'How much are the cookies?' When we said, "It is a gift." He called us, "Angels." He even wanted to give us the container back. He was so grateful."

These few reflections on the Second Saturday outreach show how people matter to us because every person matters to God. We want to offer opportunities for every person in our church to serve those in our community. The close neighbors to our church are Scottish Highlands and the Deer Creek Subdivision. Both received a free dozen home-made cookies from Wooster Grace.

May God be praised as we seek to bless those in our neighborhood. You can make a couple dozen cookies so that you can give a dozen and eat a dozen. Take the time to be grace-full in your community.

History of the125project on Vimeo

History of the125project on Vimeo

It was my privilege to visit with Jon Herron and to meet and to pray at the 125. The Northeast Ohio District Missions of the Grace Brethren Churches help fund the transformation of the space into a useable and ministry advancing place for Catalyst.

Jon gave me a tour sharing how great God is. He fashioned a slideshow of the metamorphosis of the 125. You can view the presentation by clicking the link above.

I find it so encouraging to venture to Kent, OH and to actually walk into and to experience what God is doing in this Grace Brethren church. I could see the vibrant kid-friendly spaces and child-inviting colors, I could touch the countertops, rub my hand across the newly painted walls, and I could smell the new carpet as well as feel the "squishy," "spongy," knapped carpet throughout the 125 office areas. I praise God for His work in the lives of the family of believers at Catalyst who readily use the facility for discipling children and their families in this newly renovated space.

God is at work in Kent! He is building His church! Join in praying for Jon and the Catalyst church who are seeking to make God famous with the advancing of God's Kingdom in downtown Kent, OH. May God move forward His agenda in reaching new people for Christ and establishing all believers in this church to obey all that God has commanded (Matthew 28:20).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Triplehorns: Our Missionary Partners to Brazil

This weekend our missionary partners from Brazil, the Triplehorns, will be here to reconnect with our church family and to introduce others who are new to our church to their work in Brazil. Bruce and Lisa began their journey to Brazil as missionaries here at Wooster Grace.

It is our passion that people we partner with reach out to others. Bruce and Lisa have dedicated their lives to make this happen in the country of Brazil.
We will be featuring Bruce & Lisa Triplehorn in our Adult Bible Fellowships (ABF). Each of the three hours we conduct our services Wooster Grace offers ways to connect with people who are on the journey of following God better. The ABF focuses everyone to seriously consider how the Bible practically impacts their daily life.

We have asked the Triplehorns to share in three ABFs this coming Sunday. They will also be back in our church in November (Nov 2 & 9). The times, ABF name, and Room number are as follows:

  • 8:30 Faith & Fellowship Room 421

  • 9:45 Common Ground Room 335

  • 11:00 Internationals Fellowship Room 425

So, you are invited to join us for one of these hours to learn more about how we intend to disciple all people into fully devoted followers of Jesus on a worldwide basis. Come join us!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pray for Catalyst Grace Brethren (Kent, OH)

Pastor Jon Herron shared with me that the Catalyst Church Offices where many gatherings can take place like Sunday morning Children's Ministries programming and childcare as well as team meetings is going to have its final city inspection, tomorrow, Wednesday, September 10 at 10am.

Please pray for the inspection to go well and for Catalyst Church to obtain the permission for occupancy. May God reach out to many families--both currently attending Catalyst and going to attend Catalyst in the future.

Fully-devoted to go to Africa

Our church is preparing to send a small team of 4-5 people to work and to live in primitive conditions in the Central African Republic in November 2008. We are partnering with Integrated Community Development International for this trip. This missions team to the C.A.R. will consist of a team doing hard labor in a primitive camping situation, so you must be in good health.

Who can go:

Any adult who has a heart for God and desires to help their neighbors in the world

When you will go: November 4-21

Where you’ll go: Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR)

Why you should go:

  • To share God’s love with others around the world

  • To gain a greater vision for the lost around the world

  • To experience a cross-cultural ministry in a different part of the world

  • To work hard in a primitive camping environment


  • Be in good health

  • Receive the required medical shots and boosters prior to your trip

  • Submit a short-term missions application (subject to approval)

  • Obtain a passport and/or a visa

  • Commitment to attend meetings

  • Raise your support

  • Share your story within the church network

Cost: approximately $4000. Wooster Grace does provide some scholarships to defer part of the cost of our missions trips. Please submit your application right away! Applications can be found at the Outreach Ministry Table in our church.

First-time at the Fair

I attended the Wayne County Fair for the first time this weekend. The many sights, sounds, and smells still fill my membranes and memories.

I came to make contact with those in my larger community. I greeted hundreds of people, invited them to visit our church booth, thanked them for stopping by, or cordially exit-greeted them as they walked on by our booth. Overall, I got a flood of data about the county where I now live.

One thing that encouraged me was the process of getting in people's way to get them to hear what I wanted to say--"you are invited to get a free picture of you and your friends/family here at the fair." I was practicing contact-making.

Contact-making is being personable, approachable, polite, and friendly. I am compelled to find people who need what we offer at Wooster Grace, who can offer their skills at Wooster Grace after connecting with us, and may be able to refer people to us because they know what we offer, or possibly collaborate on things within our community.

What we offer initially is a fun way to remember this year's fair. It is a FREE photo. Though most people will be perplexed that it is really free, we offer this FREE, no strings attached!

I am so proud to serve with a team of fully-devoted followers who will reach out to everyone in our community to invite them to get their picture taken at no charge. We have so much more to offer than most people realize. May God use how we make contact with others in our community so that God woos them to Himself through all our efforts.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Prayer for housing

The Plasters are looking for an apartment in Paris. They have been searching the past six weeks and walked through five. Yesterday (Tue Sep 2)they scheduled to sign a lease. God answered their prayers, God answered my prayers for them.

Rob and Nichole want to live in a community to impact their community for Christ. Our emphasis for the year is Grace in the Neighborhood. Just like us, the Plasters want to show God's grace in the neighborhood in an apartment complex in Paris.

In their search for housing, I can relate. It is a unique journey searching and waiting for God's hand to provide.

My firsthand experience is to merely mouth the words of prayer and hope God answers. But recently I am discovering how great God is. His hand moves with prayer.

God wants me to share what is on my heart. He desires that I talk with Him. He longs to hear my heart's desires. He is a great God.

I was reading in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus shares how we need to be persistent and share with God what we really need (Luke 11:5-8). God will answer. He may not give you what you asked for, but He will answer. He will take care of your true needs. So don't be afraid to ask Him.

Listen and read what Jesus said, "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened (Luke 11:9-10).

God is good, all the time. So begin asking Him for things and situations to go favorably. Beg for relationships to be restored. Plead for finances to work out. Cry out to Him when health issues are overwhelming. Request for a new job to emerge with a little more pay and a lot more time with family. Pray. Ask. Seek. Knock. God can answer prayer. Just start praying.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Fair

This will be my first experience at the Wayne County Fair. I do not know what to expect.

But Pastor Bob Doerr shared how everyone can make a difference in people lives. Wooster Grace will be present at the Fair offering free pictures to anyone who would like to pose. The background is the Ohio State Horseshoe. The picture is set up as a monthly magazine layout where individuals or groups can create a keepsake from the fair or share it as a gift to family and friends.

There is no catch! We want to give this as a free gift to everyone. The main thing is to meet and to greet people. It's about the people.

One wise saying that I heard states: "There are only two things eternal on earth; God's Word and people." Love the Word and love people! Be consumed with the Bible and be involved with people.

The Bible says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself." Jesus said, "Do this and you will live (Luke 10:28)."

I can't wait to serve at the Fair. I intend to try to stay focused on the people rather than on my friends or on those I haven't seen in a long time. May God help us sacrifice time with and conversations with friends to meet and to greet potential new brothers and sisters in Christ.