"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

SO THANKFUL God has let me be a part of this church

I love Springs of Grace! It is one of the most amazing expressions of God’s grace towards me that I get to be a part of this ministry.

I love the people who lead and serve us as worship leaders week after week. They regularly remind me of how sweet it is to worship the Lord Jesus – not by anything they say but by their example.

I am blessed every week by the truths that Doug and Jared share in the Scripture reading and with what Jared Tabor shares at the end of the service. I am always challenged by the Scripture and the honesty and passion they seek to love the body with.

I am blessed by what David or Fred shares in our adult bible study and what my kids tell me of what Lincoln and the other teachers share in their classes. Thankful for teachers who love and pray for their students and prepare week after week lessons that focus on God’s greatness.

I rejoice over the people God has brought to serve day after day in our school and tutoring program and thrilled that we have 40 kids we get to teach the Bible to for two hours a week; besides helping them with homework and building relationships that might last for eternity. I am so hopeful for our One Hope Academy students because of the teachers they get to be around every day and then those teachers often find other avenues to spend more time with them by coaching basketball or running girls clubs or teaching a drama class.

I especially love the people God brings Sunday after Sunday. I love talking with and praying with the nearly 20 people from the different homeless shelters that were there Sunday and am blessed week after week by the true believers among them. I am encouraged by what seems to be a real hunger for the truth of God’s Word and am praying with several of the men for a revival in the Salvation Army and Day Center shelters.

I love the college students who come and sing and listen and have become a key, integral part of our church family.

I am thankful for all of the young families and BABIES! and little children God has blessed our church with – such a picture of new life! And it feels and looks like “true religion” when I see our church body loving the children who come without parents.

I love seeing men and women who have borne the image of God for many decades worshipping the Lord and giving love and wisdom to the rest of the church family.

When I begin to pray on Saturday night for the church family and those who may be gathered to hear God’s Word the next day I am often broken with praise for the stories of God’s saving work in such diverse lives. He is mighty to save!

I love meeting in small groups and people are actually talking – really talking about what God is teaching them and then praying for mission passions that are on their heart.

What a thrill to see what God is doing with HOPE918 and the doors that seem to be opening. (I’ll post something more about this soon). Keep praying and go to the website – www.hope918.com

We have missionaries right now in Iraq ministering to the refugees out of Syria. We have groups planning to go to Africa, to the Philippines, and to the Ukraine …and those are just the ones I can think of right now as I write.

I heard people in the body talking this past week about how we can take the children we are ministering to and figure out how to love them well as youth and then as young parents. I listened as one man shared his passion to come alongside some of our young married men top study and apply God’s Word as men consumed by the love of God. I listened to ladies talk about how blessed they have been by the study of Philippians and I’ve seen the fruit of it in my own wife’s life and in some of my daughters.

Galatians! I rejoice in the great gospel we are getting to study week after week in Galatians. Every passage has seemed so rich to me and helpful for many of you. And I am thankful to get to see people baptized last week and again this coming week.

I love being in a church where we took a few minutes in September to talk about a financial need and God moved people’s hearts to give and meet the need – AND THEN WAS DOUBLY BLESSED WHEN A FAIRLY NEW COUPLE ASKED ME HOW THEY COULD GIVE IN OUR CHURCH and told how during September they kept expecting that we would “pass the plate” and then decided we were just going to take one at the end of the month and then when that didn’t happen they went online to see how to give – which they couldn’t find either! So they finally asked and I pointed to the little box on the wall.

I love the fact that ladies come and care for a lot of children in the nursery so others can hear God’s Word. I am thankful for you.

I could go on and on! But I love Springs of Grace because, as my Dad said this week, “There is such an uncommon love there.”
My Father is pretty sick and I asked for prayer for him this week in our prayer time. I was blessed by the prayers for God’s grace in his life. After the service as I was driving home I got a phone call from one of the single men in the neighborhood who has become a dear friend. Raymond said, “Pastor I know you love your Dad and I really love my Dad too. I just want you to know that if you ever just want to talk I’d love for you to call me.” I can’t remember feeling a more genuine expression of godly kindness.

Springs of Grace has our problems. We are sinners in need of much more growth in order to be like Jesus. We are still eagerly waiting for the hope of righteousness. We need to excel still more in our love. No doubt about that! We have a lot of people coming who haven’t yet cast themselves completely on the work that Jesus has already done for them. They need to be converted. We all need grace to not be selfish and unloving.

But I love Springs of Grace – because in all these ways, and many more you help me to see Jesus over and over again.

Surely Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:1 are my testimony. “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.”