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"Yes, and..." & "Yes, but..."

 
There is a vast difference between the words “Yes, and...” and “Yes, but...”. Both of those expressions acknowledge an agreement to some declared truth, but they each will be followed by almost exactly opposite responses to that truth. The first expression is looking for a way to apply the truth while the second response is looking for a way to ignore that truth. 

This is important as we seek to apply our Christian faith. For example, it is critically important for believers to acknowledge the truth of the Bible, not only as part of their faith, but also as part of their daily practice. 

Anytime I acknowledge God’s truth “and then” look for a way to apply it (“yes, and...”), I am actively building my confidence in God’s presence and Word. However, if I agree to God’s truth “but then” look for exceptions for why my obedience is not required (“yes, but...”), my confidence in God will fade. 

This applies to everything from my confidence in salvation through Christ to my obedience to love others. I may agree that Jesus died for my sins (Ephesians 2:8-9), but if I believe I must still work for it, I am not really trusting God. Additionally, I may believe I have been commanded to love my brother (John 15:12-13), but if I make excuses for why some people won’t fit that command, I will not grow in my faith. The list for applications is as wide as the full measure of God’s Word. 

In today’s culture, it is especially important that churches and believers connect to God’s Word and then daily pray for God to help them practice a “yes, and...” kind of faith.

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Below is part of the verbal announcement that was shared at yesterday’s Sunday morning service regarding the recent departure of Marshall McLuhan from the position of Worship Pastor at GracePoint Church:
 
As many of you know, because of our newsletter and other media, there has been a change in our church staff.  I want to respond with a personal word to our church family.
 
Marshall McLuhan has stepped aside from the position of Worship Pastor here at GracePoint Church.
 
Church staff transitions and departures are always difficult, and we’ve received a number of questions following the initial announcement. So let me publically respond and assure you that this departure was a mutually-agreed upon decision by Marshall and the leaders of our church family, based on mutual prayers for God’s best both for Marshall and for us as a church. 
 
We, as a church, will always have an ongoing and deep appreciation for Marshall, for his genuine friendliness, compassion, his great voice, his heart, and many other personal abilities and gifts that he used to lead us. 
 
Let me quote from Marshall’s resignation letter to the Elders: “We are so grateful for our time here and the love and generosity we have been shown by this church family. As is normal in life and ministry, there have been challenges that we've faced as a family over these last few years, but the Lord has carried us through, taught us and grown us, and we are thankful. It has been very difficult these last years being so far away from our loved ones in Arizona, especially considering the loss of our father, and also placing our mother in an assisted living home. There has been a mutual understanding that at some point in time God might have other ideas for us, and that time has arrived. We understand that this strange season in our world has changed all of our lives. Change can be hard, and as GracePoint navigates this time of change as well, we will be praying for the Lord’s richest blessings over this church. Let it be shared that we love the GracePoint family.”
 
The church leadership has made plans to be generous and understanding, with resources and health benefits for Marshall and his family as they make this transition.  We invite you all to be prayerfully supportive of him as he arranges this departure, as well as for the church, as we all seek God’s leading. Everyone is encouraged to affirm him and his family with notes or cards as they feel led.
 
Marshall and his family will be with us next Sunday morning, August 23rd to share a brief word so we can pray for God’s grace as we all go through this transition.  Additionally, we are announcing on the evening of August 23rd,  there will be a “car parade farewell” for anyone who wants to drive past their home at 510 Black Oak Drive in Lodi between 6 and 7pm and offer words of affirmation and expressions of love. In this season of COVID-19 restrictions, this seems to be the best way to offer that kind of encouragement!
 
We have asked David McGladdery to step in as a part-time interim worship leader as we walk through this transition. We are grateful for his willingness to do so.
 
You are encouraged to be supportively prayerful for both the McLuhan family and the GracePoint Church family as we all navigate this change for the glory of God.

From a Shepherd’s Heart,
Pastor Perry Kallis
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