May 13, 2023
Happy Saturday, Grace Vineyard and Friends of Grace!
“I am not my own; I belong to YOU!” I’ve been praying this prayer lately and it has been very helpful to keep my mind centered on the focus of my life, so I thought I’d share it with you. Give it a try right now. Take a couple slow, deep breaths, to break yourself out of the never ending rush of life. Then, somewhat slowly and thoughtfully, say those words to the Lord. “I am not my own. I belong to YOU!” Try it a couple more times.
Isn’t that amazing how that puts things into perspective?
It’s Saturday morning, and I’ve just come out of the monthly Men’s Breakfast. It was awesome. I’m in one of those weekends where more than the usual number of activities have come together to squeeze my schedule and erase my margins, so I didn’t get to send you my weekly email as early as I would like. And I’ve got to run off to another event here in a little bit, so I’ll need to keep this one a little shorter than usual (and I may have more typos than usual, so I’m glad we’re called *GRACE* Vineyard).
As I was saying, Men’s breakfast was awesome this morning. Our worship time was especially inspiring and edifying (thank you, Kent), and our guest speaker, Bill McLeod, came supposedly with “I got nothin”, but God took his little bit of oil and multiplied it till we all we’re full (read 2 Kings 4 if you don’t know the story I’m alluding to). After we had eaten breakfast, and while we were worshiping, a young marine walked by outside and paused for just a bit — the north wall is all windows with an open glass door in the center, so he was pausing as he saw a restaurant full of men singing worship songs. David Yoder noticed, ran out and invited the young man to join us, helped him put together a delicious plate of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, and pancakes, and the guy stayed through the rest of the morning. Then a few of us started talking with him, and hearing his story, and we ended up encouraging him and praying with him. It was another “Holy Hello”. So simple, yet so powerful. I tell you that in the context of telling you about my overly busy weekend to remind us all how worth-it it is to set aside the demands of our busy schedules to say hello to the person in front of us, asking the Lord to turn it into a Kingdom moment where heaven meets earth and we get to participate. I’m filled with joy from that exchange.
Now, here’s some happenings to tell you about:
Mother’s Day at Grace Vineyard
We’ve got a very special service planned for Mother’s Day tomorrow, so I hope you’ll invite your mom to come with you if she lives in the area. And if you’re a mom, please don’t miss this special day. We’ll have a gift for every Mom in the room. I’ll be taking a little bit of a break from our current “Empowered” series to focus on something related to Mothers, but honestly, it actually fits right in to our topic. We’ve been talking about truths connected to the person and work of the Holy Spirit as we look forward to the day of Pentecost coming up on May 28th. Tomorrow I plan on drawing our attention to the way God has chosen to reflect His image in the people of His creation – that’s us – and I’ll be focusing especially on some of the places in the Bible where God uses the image of Motherhood to describe Himself. I’m discovering that many people are very familiar with the concept of God as loving Father, but aren’t nearly so aware that when God created motherhood He also created it as a reflection of His own nature. In fact, related to the topic of the Holy Spirit, the work of comforting and nurturing that the Holy Spirit does on our behalf is often imaged in the design of motherhood. I think we’re all going to be encouraged, perhaps especially the women will be, as we hear what the scriptures have to say. I’ll just leave you with this one opening verse as we prepare our hearts for our time together tomorrow:
So God created man [humankind] in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Both male and female reflect the image of God. And when we fully reflect His design we become fully alive and He is glorified.
Jesus Walk, May 27
Mark your calendars for the last Saturday of May – May 27th at 10am – for another Jesus Walk. We’ll meet at the Oceanside Parking Structure and walk along the coast, sing songs of worship, and facilitate encounters with people (aka “Holy Hello’s”) along the way. You heard stories from the last Jesus Walk a couple of weeks ago, and the excitement was high as we asked Mark Newell to lead us in another one. Thank you Mark for putting this together! If you need more info, please reach out to Mark at 760-715-1611.
New Online Prayer for Youth Zoom Meeting
Prayer for Grace Vineyard Youth and America’s Youth – Wednesday evenings 6 – 6:30pm by Zoom. We are seeing the Lord moving among the youth in Oceanside and in other areas of America like Asbury and we want to pray into what the Lord is doing. Irene Archer is leading the prayer. If you have any questions, please call her at 760.672.6460. Here’s the Zoom link: https://us04web.zoom.
And mentioning this new prayer meeting inspires me to invite you to two other prayer meetings that have been going for some time now.
<5 hours later — I had some more obligations kick in right after writing that last sentence, so you’re not going to see this until Saturday evening, sorry to say>
….back to those other ongoing prayer meetings:
Morning Prayer 7AM Tues-Thurs
Shannon Frye started this prayer meeting way back when we were in lock down during COVID, and it was a lifeline for us. We meet at 7am, read a chapter of the Bible together, discuss it briefly, share prayer needs, and then pray for each other. I can’t tell you how many prayers have been answered during the last few years, but it has been A LOT! It’s every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7am-8am, and we’d love to have you join us this week. Click here to join us: Meeting ID: 812 2225 0027, Password: 006314.
City Prayer Oceanside
Finally, we started hosting another prayer meeting at Grace Vineyard back in February. This one is led by Roy and Josefina Lopez. It’s called “City Prayer Oceanside”, and meets at 7:30PM at Grace Vineyard on Tuesday evenings. Roy describes this prayer meeting like this: “We invite all churches and Christian believers to unite with us to pray for Pastors, Churches, Families, Lost Souls, Our City, our Country, in Jesus’ name. Our goal is to Come together with God’s people and pray for the salvation of souls, empowerment of His church, outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and Revival.” If you’d like more info, contact Roy at 760-224-5269, L.Roy35@yahoo.com, or on Facebook @cityprayerOside.
I hope you’ll join us for one or more of these prayer gatherings.
One last thing before I go: once again we posted last week’s sermon in the Empowered series on Prophecy, including the testimonies at the beginning, on our youtube channel. If you’d like to hear it or share it, here you go…
And with that, I’ll send this off to you. Have a blessed Saturday evening, and I’ll see you tomorrow morning for a very special Mother’s Day service at 9:30.
With love and blessings,
Tithes and Offerings Online
THANKS for taking ownership in the life and ministry of Grace Vineyard! And thanks to all of you who are stepping into a lifestyle of generosity with your tithes and offerings. It really does take all of us doing our part with the income God has entrusted to us for His church. If you’d like to give your tithe or offering online, click the donate button below.
Don’t forget we’re needing to build up our building fund for some important improvements around our Grace Vineyard home. If you’d like to give a special offering, just make sure to mention “building fund” in the “what’s this donation for” section of the online giving system. Thanks!