August 13, 2021
Hello Grace Vineyard and Friends!
It’s time for another Grace Vineyard Update. First thing to say is, We are back in San Diego after a very refreshing family vacation in Oahu.
Here’s a couple pics. The guy to my right in the top picture is my nephew, Seth. He let us stay in his studio apartment on the North Shore, and was an outstanding tour guide. We also got to spend a few days in Waikiki. What a beautiful place Hawaii is! Definitely fills your heart with awe for our amazingly creative God. It was great being there, and it’s also great being back with you.
I hope you won’t mind, but I want to talk just a bit about joy in the midst of suffering. While it’s really great to be blessed with an amazing family vacation, I was recently struck with the intensity of the troubles so many are facing around us right now. The contrast is almost startling. At least 5 people close to me are struggling with cancer. While relaxing on a beautiful beach on Oahu’s North Shore I received a text from a very close friend that his dad has stage 4, inoperable lung cancer. Last night I saw that a long time friend who was with us when Grace Vineyard was just beginning is going into hospice with expectations of only 1 week left to live. And yesterday the report came that a 3rd friend is in her final days. I also have at least 6 people in my life who are struggling with Covid-19, one of whom had to go on a ventilator last night as his lungs are just not working well enough to support him on their own. It’s in these times that we find out how real our faith is, and whether or not the Holy Spirit still gives us joy that is in no way tethered to our circumstances. Look at these words from my friend’s entry in Caring Bridge for his dad (caringbridge.com is a website for supporting family and friends who are on difficult health journeys) –
“I talked with my parents for an hour on the phone today, and even with all of this reality, I can’t tell you how well and calm and positive and filled with joy my dad is. It is absolutely amazing. His voice is strong and positive and confident and peaceful. He even preached to me – and I’m a preacher! – that “we are supposed to be able to have joy even in suffering.” The man almost literally was preaching to the choir!Of the many, many tears we shed over the phone on both sides, none of mom and dad’s tears were over the cancer itself (though many of mine were). Theirs were just tears shed over the many ways God has blessed us and our family, and particularly the great and deep work that God has been doing in my dad’s heart through all of this. His faith and his heart has been and is being transformed by God’s love for him.He’s been filled with a joy and peace and trust that only God can give, and it has been revolutionizing who he is. “
Men’s Breakfast is Tomorrow (8-14)
Men, it’s time for our monthly Men’s Breakfast. This month Brian Sliffe will be speaking. If you haven’t gotten to know Brian yet, you are going to be really blessed. Brian has been a dear friend of mine for years and years. His story and his humble heart are truly an inspiration. Join us at 8am at Ty’s Burger House. You’ll be glad you did.
This Sunday – Eddie and Bethany Roach
Sundays in August have turned out to be unusually rich! I joined via Facebook from Waikiki last Sunday, and what a great message from Galatians we heard from Matt Evans. Thank you Matt. It’s an especially rare treat to get to hear two of our missionaries in the same month. August 1st we all enjoyed getting to hear Rich and Stacey Davis, and this week we’ll get to hear from our own Eddie and Bethany Roach. What God has been doing through them in Cambodia is just astounding. And in addition to being rather amazing people, they are some of the more gifted communicators you’ll ever run into, so make sure to join us on Sunday Morning at Grace Vineyard, whether in person or online via zoom. Here’s the online information just so you’ll have it at your fingertips:
One tap mobile
For those who can’t join our zoom meeting or be in person, you can also go to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gracevcf.
Sunday Nights at Grace
Last week we took a break, but we’ll be back together this Sunday night at 6pm. Join us for more Worship, Word, Fellowship, and Spirit Empowered Ministry Prayer. Pastor Steve Rogers is leading this meeting and he’ll be bringing the second message in our study of who we’ve been called to be – “Real God, Real People, Restoring Lives”. “Real People” means we grow by getting real with God and others in genuine, caring relationships. Our example is from the brand new church of Jesus described in Acts 2 – “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47) If you’d like more info about Sunday Nights at Grace, or you’d like to know how you can serve there, please reach out to Steve Rogers at 760-500-4324 or email@example.com.
Baptism and BBQ on August 22
It’s time for another Baptism and BBQ. Did you know that if you are a follower of Jesus, you are called to get baptized? It’s one of 2 “rites” for Christians of all time to observe (the other is the Lord’s Supper – Communion). We’ll be having the baptism in the ocean in front of Tyson Park at 12 noon on August 22nd. We’ll have the BBQ on the grass in the park. This is a wonderful time of fellowship and celebration. If you have not been baptized yet, please contact Steve Rogers at 760-500-4324 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also contact him if you’d like to help serve for this event. We’ll have a BBQ and hamburgers available. You can bring something to sit on, a side dish to share, whatever you’d like to drink, and if you prefer, something to throw on the grill. It’s coming up fast, so mark your calendars!
There are more events coming up in September and beyond, but I think I’ll tell you about those next week and end this email right here.
Love and blessings to each of you. See you for worship on Sunday at 9:30!
Tithes and Offerings Online THANKS for taking ownership in the life and ministry of Grace Vineyard – it takes all of us! If you’d like to give your tithe or offering online, click the donate button below.