ISSUE: JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019
A REFLECTION OF WHAT GOD IS DOING AT GREY STONE CHURCH
I LEARNED IN 2018
Every year for a long time, I’ve reflected on the past 12 months and netted out the most significant things I have learned. Here’s my reflections for 2018…
I have learned to “listen to my life.” Frederick Buechner, writer and theologian, has woven into his writings the idea of paying attention—to your life, to the people with whom you are closest, and to the things that happen to you. This, according to Buechner, is the best, and most authentic way to experience God and make sense out of His work in our lives. I’ve tried to pay more attention this year to what God is saying in the subplots of my life. I don’t believe it is by happenstance or chance that I have experienced what I’ve experienced in life. Providence is at work.
I’m more at ease with the gap. There is a gap between what I pray for and the outcomes. At least, the outcomes I want to see happen. Yet, we’re invited and commanded to pray. God hears our prayers, but there will often be a gap between what I ask for and what God does. I’m Ok with that because God is sovereign; every single one of my prayers will always be filtered by God’s divine perspective.
People respect and remember you for what you do far more than for what you say. This past year, our pastoral staff read a book entitled, Get Off Your Donkey. The book was about how the Good Samaritan got off his donkey and went and actually did something to help the injured man. The Good Samaritan has been remembered for 2000 years because of what He did. People remember and respect us for what we do far more than what we say.
Every one of us get to steward our pain. As a pastor, I have a front row seat as people face their struggles. Recently, I sat in the living room with a man who lost his wife of 62 years. He cried as he recounted how he first met his wife. I sit at the footstool of pain regularly. I remember hearing someone say to a friend, “You’ve been a good steward of your pain.” Every one of us get to steward our pain. “Blessed are those who mourn,” Jesus taught us. We can find that blessing as we steward our pain in faith and hope, ultimately finding strength in the One who will redeem all things for His good pleasure.
One of the most important decisions I made this year was I decided to get off social media. Please don’t think I believe getting off social media is something necessary for you. I don’t. But it was necessary for me because it was a distraction. Without social media, I’ve enjoyed a renewed “focus.” I’m more fully present in each moment, and I enjoy the people I’m closest to because I’m not scrolling through the latest posts.
I can improve everyday by being more grateful. I’m not sure I was more grateful this past year, but I am sure I have become increasingly convinced that my personal happiness is tied to how grateful I am. If I live an average lifespan, it’s going to spot me roughly 28,470 days on earth. I’m convinced one of the greatest ways to improve each one of those days is by practicing gratitude. People who practice gratitude have developed a keen awareness of the goodness of God. They look for the goodness of God in the smallest and simplest things. I increasingly want to develop the discipline of noticing all the blessings God has placed around me.
I have a great family and a great church family. No, I didn’t just learn this lesson in 2018, but it seems the older I get, the clearer it becomes. I have an amazing wife and two sons. I’ve learned a lot about God, myself, and life simply by paying attention to how God is working thru my family. And what can I say about my church family? I’m honored to be your pastor. Some of the greatest people in the world, some of the most devoted followers of Jesus in the world, are right here at Grey Stone. 2018 reminded me of this once again.
Joy is something we all long for but that often seems difficult to grab hold of. Experiencing joy should be a part of every Christian’s life. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, produced by God’s work in us, and it is part of God’s will for us.
ROMANS 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
JAMES 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
PSALMS 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
JOHN 16:22-24 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
PHILIPPIANS 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
JEREMIAH 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.
HEBREWS 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
SUBMITTED BY: Pastor Jamo Children's Pastor
SUBMITTED BY: Pastor Jamo Children's Pastor
METAMORPHOSIS is a city-wide discipleship weekend that will be hosted at Grey Stone this year. Our vision is to maximize the number of teenagers that will hear the gospel.
Please CLICK HERE to contact Pastor Herb if you are willing to help invite new churches from diverse racial backgrounds and denominations.
Meet our new Transit Intern Caleb Fugate! Caleb is a Duke Divinity Student from Pennsylvania. He will be graduating in May and then continuing on to become a full-time Pastor in the Methodist Church. Over the next 5 months, Caleb will be embracing a new leadership role in our College Ministry with a focus on our Wednesday Night Small Group time. We are excited to see him have an opportunity to push Transit to new heights in 2019, as well as grow his own personal and professional ministry skill-set. Let’s join together in prayer for this ministry opportunity!
WRITTEN BY: Pastor BJ Family & Worship Pastor
Prayer Network Orientation
WITH DR. CHUCK LAWLESS
Join us for a meal and training in our re-launch of the Prayer ministry on Wednesday Feb 27. We’ll gather for two sessions 5:30-8:00 pm in the Café. Three groups will be trained and inspired to make a difference in our prayer ministry.
prayer ambassador: Represent our church family with and to a specific ministry group or organization connected to Grey Stone; make a regular contact with individuals in the organization to receive & collect their prayer requests; Pray specifically for that ministry, and respond or report any needs in a timely manner.
prayer coordinator: Represent my life group in the prayer ministry by recording prayer requests and communicating with my life group weekly. Providing a substitute coordinator when I am absent to collect requests; and communicating directly with the pastoral staff any major concerns (such as illness, hospitalization, or deaths) for follow up (using the date's Roll & P-3 Cards in Life Group).
worship warrior: Volunteer to pray during the worship services at 8:45 and 11:15am (on a scheduled basis); following the prayer guide provided in the prayer room during the worship service; and praying regularly for our church Pastors, Staff, and Leaders each Sunday.
5:30-6:00 PM: Arrival & Refreshments (Cafe)
6:00: Prayer Network Introduction
7:00: Breakout Sessions:
Life Group Prayer Coordinators: Randall (cafe)
Worship Warriors: Brenda (B200)
Prayer Network: Dr. Lawless (Parlor)
WRITTEN BY: Pastor Randall Education Pastor
OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY
To the families of...
Rick Warren in the loss of his mother, Katherine
The family of Pat Tilley
Skeeter & Loretta Humphreys in the loss of their daughter-in-law, Amy
Ken Hogan in the loss of his wife, Ann
Peggy Upchurch by Sounds of Joy Choir and Open Door Class (Sr. Music)
Peter Handley by Rick Warren (Music Ministry)
Betty Moore by Mack Moore (Second Mile)
Ginny Buckner by Eleanor/Chris Hoover, Dr./Mrs. Malbert Smith III, Emma/Bob Smart, Lynn/Donald Yarboro, Dr./Mrs. Richard Wagner (General Budget)
IN HONOR OF...
Velma Barbee by Wayne Crabtree (Legacy) Mildred Chace by Anonymous (Legacy) Peggy Smith by Judie/Rollin Burhans (General) Karen Van Horn by Ralene/John King (Missions) Ralene & John King by Kim/James Mott (Legacy)
BUDGETED GIFTS & WORSHIP COUNTS:
Oct 01, 18 $ 51,547.19 Nov 04, 18 $ $ 34,793.65
Oct 14, 18 $ 29,189.97 Nov 11, 18 $ 29,527.26
Oct 21, 18 $ 27,693.35 Nov 18, 18 $ 35,910.65
Oct 28, 18 $ 41,464.35 Nov 25, 18 $ 37,910.35
OCTOBER DESIGNATED GIFTS
Legacy $ 8,051.04
Children Ministry $ 10.00
Second Mile $ 1,225.00
Senior Ministry $ 804.00
Education Ministry $ 10.00
Toronto $ 366.98
Bible Translators $ 391.98
Music Ministry $ 3,900.00
NOVEMBER DESIGNATED GIFTS
Legacy $ 5,125.00
Children Ministry $ 210.00
Second Mile $ 3,035.00
Senior Ministry $ 99.00
Education Ministry $ 10.00
Toronto $ 320.00
Bible Translators $ 470.00
Lottie Moon $ 1,600.00
Music Ministry $ 400.00
Disaster Relief $ 200.00
Africa $ 510.00
Romania $ 350.00
WRITTEN BY: Pastor Jamo Children's Pastor
had the opportunity to take 27 kids and chaperones to Camp Caraway to participate in the Winter Tribal Challenge 2019. This was our 2nd time
participating in the WTC and we had a time we will never forget. The focus for our weekend was "together is better" found in Hebrews 10:23-25. Our kids successfully navigated different challenges making them rely on each other. Our kids grew closer in their relationship with each other and more importantly, with God. I am excited to see how this weekend will affect our kids in 2019 and the rest of their lives.
Dec 02, 18 523
Dec 09, 18 snow
Dec 16, 18 544
Dec 23, 18 613
Dec 30, 18 511
BJ BRANTLEY ASSUMES EXPANDED ROLE BY CLAY WATERS
BJ has been serving with our college and young professionals, as well as serving as the worship leader for our modern service. As we move into this New Year of ministry, BJ’s role is expanding to involve additional leadership in 3 key areas: pre-marital counseling, staff leader for family ministries (i.e. providing staff oversight and support to our children’s pastor and student pastor). BJ will also be giving oversight to the director of our Legacy Child Enrichment Center. As BJ assumes these new responsibilities, please pray for God’s wisdom and power and blessing in his life and ministry.
Do you find yourself asking this question?
We need you! There are lots of opportunities to serve here at Grey Stone. Think you don't have what it takes? Don't worry, if a need speaks to your heart, we are happy to help you get started on your path to serving the Lord here at Grey Stone!