GraceConnect eNews, No. 112, Week of August 10, 2015

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Marathon Pace: a Case for Continued Risk

Today's post comes from Ed Lewis, executive director of CE National. He spoke at Flinch Conference last month. See the original post on the Flinch Conference blog. Next year's Vision Conference, Margins, will be held in Toronto, Ontario. 

We see it the Bible. In Ecclesiastes 12:5, the passage describes people as they age. “They are afraid of heights and dangers in the streets.” The more we watch FOX news (and I watch it too!), the more we get upset and realize that the Lord is coming soon! Amen, but are we allowing the world to build fear in our lives?

I see it in others. They are not going to the ocean this year or traveling in planes or doing foreign travel or even going somewhere alone—especially after dark. And they worry about all their family members with an unhealthy concern.

I see it in me at times as well. Do I bow my head and thank God for the food at the lunch counter? Will the people think I am weird? Do I pull out a Bible on the plane? Am I afraid of what people would say if I say I am a follower of Jesus? Sometimes I am too quiet around people who are not believers.

Young people are taught that Christians are to keep quiet! The society wants everyone to be tolerant. And the world’s definition of tolerance is that we are all to be silent about anything that might offend another person. We are urged never to voice another opinion, even if it is done in love. That is not my definition of tolerance! The world’s definition of tolerance is causing people to be intimidated by others. Where is the God-talk? Where are people using words like “Bible," "church," "pray," "Lord" or even connections to what we believe? As a result, we are becoming fearful of sharing Christ or praying with people or inviting them to church or saying we are reading the Bible or even connecting with the Lord.

Even in the Old Testament the people of God were told to “be strong and courageous and not be terrified.”

Today’s world requires RISK. I recently talked to a young medical doctor who was staying at Urban Hope in Philadelphia for a month. He is from the country of Albania. His family is Muslim and he is the only one in his family who is a believer! He told of losing people to ISIS in his country and that his non-believing dad has never said he is proud of his son or that he is loved. He is made to feel that he is not welcome because of his faith in Christ! And yet he is working so hard to share Jesus with his family. He is not afraid to represent Jesus lovingly in a country that has ISIS in its back yard. He is a RISK-TAKER for Jesus! I need to be more like that.

Did we forget why we are here? Francis Chan wrote in his book, You and Me Forever (a tremendous book that explains how many believers are placing marriage and family ahead of God) that in a marathon, the runners pace themselves so that they can give everything just before they hit the finish line.

Why are we not doing that as believers? We give most of our ministries and risk-taking when we are young (at the beginning of the race). Then there is marriage and family and career. We lose our focus. As we age we slow down more and more—to a snail’s pace and almost forget that we are in a race at all.

No! We must run the race and we cannot stop taking risks as we get older. We must be even bolder so that we can finish and fall into the arms of the ONE who loves us and saved us from sin!

Luke 9:24: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it!” — by Ed Lewis

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[Your Turn]


[Read:]

Melissa Spoelstra, speaker and author and wife of Encounter Church (Dublin, Ohio) pastor Sean Spoelstra, recently released her second Bible study, Joseph: The Journey to Forgivness. Learn more about the book and how to purchase on Melissa's blog

[Pray:]

Last week a group of seven men and women from Grace Polaris in Westerville, Ohio (Mike Yoder, lead pastor), spent five days working with
Urban Hope Training Center in Philedelphia. Click here to read about their trip and how you can pray here

[Watch:]

Pastor Ivanildo Trindade from Grace Church in Lititz, Pa., has been preaching on the topic of forgiveness the past few Sundays. In this brief video, the first in the new Webermon series by Grace Church, Trindade discusses the outline for forgiveness that Jesus outlines in Matthew 18. Click here to watch the video. 
 
[Leader's Corner:]

"God is in the business of changing lives," challenged Ed Lewis during one of his sessions at Flinch Conference. "But we need to be reaching out a stronger way. We think that by giving people knowledge of the word of God we will automatically see life change...It's not just knowing, it's being and it's doing...we need all three elements in order to learn effectively."

Click here to watch the session. 

Events in the FGBC

August 10-14, 2015 – Encounter SoCal Santa Ana, Calif. (EWP) 
August 28-29, 2015  WLS: Biblical Foundations of Leadership, Winona Lake, Ind.   (WGUSA)
September 21-23, 2015 – Northwest Focus Retreat (FGBC) 
September 25-26, 2015  Revive '15 Fellowship Forum, Indianapolis, Ind.  (WGUSA)
October 5-7, 2015 – Central Focus Retreat (FGBC)
October 19-21, 2015  East Focus Retreat (FGBC)
October 30-31, 2015  WLS: Principles of Effective Bible Study, Columbus, Ohio  (WGUSA)
November 2-6, 2015 – Charis International Leadership Encounter, Bangkok, Thailand (EWP)
November 13-14, 2015  WLS: Women & Scripture, Elizabethtown, Pa.  (WGUSA)
January 15-16, 2016 – WLS: Women & Scripture, Ocala, Fla.  (WGUSA)
January 25-27, 2016  Southwest Focus Retreat (FGBC)
January 27-19, 2016  Fellowship Council (FGBC)
March 14-16, 2016  South Focus Retreat (FGBC) 
July 22-25, 2016  Vision Toronto (FGBC) 
July 26-31, 2016 -- Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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