Category Archives: OUTWARD

Outward >>>

Hello Grace Church!

For decades now I have watched people try to manufacture peace in their lives. Initially, I watched my parents try everything from hard work to partying only to find out that those things did not produce peace! Through my high school years it was everything from boyfriends and girlfriends to cars! Again, there was no peace to be found! Last Sunday’s message reminded me of my own quest to find peace in this world of ours. I saw the most important relationship of my youth fall apart. My parents divorced! I saw their hard work and money evaporate as though they not exist! None of these things brought peace! As a teenager I knew peace of heart existed but I did not know where to find it or how to obtain it! Then I heard the Gospel and the Lord saved me. He forgave all of my sins and filled my heart with His peace! It began with peace with God which ultimately flooded my heart with the peace of God! I know this appears simple but I prefer to call it profound! If you want peace in this life you must turn to Christ! You must repent of your sins and by faith receive Him into your life for the forgiveness of your sins! Then and only then will you be overwhelmed with a peace that only the Lord can give you! Paul calls it “peace that surpasseth all human understanding!” Jesus said it this way in John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Jesus added these powerful words in John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


Our 2018 HOMECOMING guests are Scott and Jerilynn Hanna and their family! They are excited about coming back to Grace Church. The date is Sunday, October 7. Mark your calendars… we are going to have a great time together! The Lord continues to bless His church. I thank the Lord for you and look forward to seeing you soon! Have a great day!

PRAY!

Mike and Cheryl <><

 

 

Outward >>>

Early yesterday (Thursday 7-8am) a friend of mine came in Dunkin Donuts to get his morning coffee. I said, “It’s great seeing you again!” Nino’s response was classic. He said, “It’s great seeing you too. I’d rather be seen than viewed!” His words have been pinging around in my mind since he said them! Life is special! It is from God and it is a gift. Life is also significant in that it is our one opportunity to know the Lord and to live for Him. It is also true that we only have one life to offer the Lord for His glory. If we are not careful we can sink into the routine of daily life and forget how important life truly is. Recently, Nikki Walker sang a song with this theme: “You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.” In James 4:14 this question is asked, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Remember this! The Lord gave you this life! As you live it today, make much of Jesus! He is worthy!

1 Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

As you know we will have the Lord’s Supper on Sunday morning. The Lord’s Supper is a time for every member of Grace Church to remember the Lord’s death until He returns. Being a Gospel centered church, we must be constantly returning to ponder the great meaning of the Lord’s death for our sins. Without His death we have no forgiveness for our sins and no way to enter the presence of the Lord. At the cross the great weight of our sins was placed upon Jesus! Let us never wander from this powerful truth. Galatians 3:13 reminds us of what Jesus did for us on the cursed tree, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”   

This has been a tremendous summer at Grace Church. I give thanks every Sunday when I see our crowds. You have been so faithful!!! The truth is we have actually increased in attendance over the past ten weeks. Praise the Lord! Our VBS was a blast (Thank you Kelly Shelby & Company), and our children and teen camps (Thank you Chuck and Judy Barber & Company) have been an awesome encouragement to our young people and their families! Let’s close out this summer with a strong finish. Be faithful in your attendance, your giving and your daily walk with the Lord!

Sunday’s message is entitled, “The Goodness of God.” It is a very uplifting and encouraging word from God! How does the goodness of God apply to our daily lives? Sunday we tell you how God’s goodness impacts us every day! See you in Sunday School at 9:45 am. God bless you! Cheryl and I love you and enjoy serving Jesus with you!

PRAY!

Mike and Cheryl <><

 

“Just a little extra!”

Some time back I read this statement, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra.” As I recall it was in a book of quotes a friend gave to me! At that time, I shared it with our volleyball team at Wilmington Christian Academy. I told the girls that the difference between a state champion and the runner-up was “just a little extra.” They gave “just a little extra” and won the state championship. Think about it. In everything we do, “just a little extra” can make a huge difference in the outcome! What about our spiritual lives? “Just a little extra” makes a difference in our Bible reading and prayer time! What about church attendance? Again, “just a little extra” may be just what you need at this time in your life! What about your family? Surely, “just a little extra” might save your marriage or give your children that “extra” attention needed right now in their lives! “Just a little extra” might be the difference between a promotion or pay raise on your job! As a servant at church, it may require “just a little extra” to get you through a challenging time! The fact is that God often reveals Himself to us when we give “just a little extra” in any area of our Christian lives! Brothers and sisters take a minute and reflect on an area or areas of your life where you can give “just a little extra.” Let Paul’s word in Philippians 4:13 stir you up for Christ!

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

This Sunday evening at 5:30 PM Delbert Garrison will be speaking in our Sunday Evening Worship Service. As you know our Summer Series for Sunday evenings is THE TWELVE! Brother Delbert will be giving a biographical sketch of Peter. Last Sunday I introduced this series. I guarantee that you will learn something new each week about THE TWELVE! Make every effort to be in this service. I am excited that Delbert and others will be sharing on Sunday evenings! Next week Andy Sugg will be our speaker. Don’t miss it… God bless you and yours!

By the way, next Wednesday evening we are hosting a POT LUCK DINNER from 5:30-6:30 PM. Plan to bring some food over and let’s eat together! Don’t forget dessert! These POT LUCK DINNERS are fun times together. Plan now and come on over. You’ll be glad you did! Come on over… planning to encourage somebody and to be encouraged! See you Sunday in Sunday School and Worship!

PRAY!

Mike and Cheryl <><

 

Outward >>>

Wow, what a beautiful day! Our Creator knows how to bless us in so many different ways. The Lord is good, isn’t He? He is merciful, kind and patient with us all. Yes, He is!!! Just yesterday a depraved soul shot his way into a newspaper office and murdered five of its employees! My heart, like yours, is broken for the families of those who died. We all know how wicked and sinful a person must be to do something like this. It is sad that innocent people die so senselessly. Not a one of those that died thought to prepare for death when they left their homes yesterday morning. This thought came to my mind as I reflected on these shootings. Life is truly short and we never know when it might be taken from us. My friends, it is a good thing to be prepared to meet the Lord. I know my time is in His hands and so is yours. The Bible warns us that life is short and we never when know when it might end. In light of what we know to be true; make sure that you know Christ. Make sure that you are a believer. Make sure that you have trusted the finished work of Jesus on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Remember, that we are not made to live here forever. Prepare to meet thy God, as the prophet says. Jesus paid your sin debt in full, come to Him right now and be saved!

2 Corinthians 6:2  Behold, now is the accepted time; 

behold, now is the day of salvation.

This Sunday is going to be a great day at Grace Church. First, we will have Communion together. Then I will bring a message on the attributes of God concerning the Immutability of God. Come to find out more about the attributes of God! I have enjoyed preparing this message. Join us for this powerful message on the character and nature of our God! Lastly, on Sunday at 5:30 pm I will share a Christ centered message on THE TWELVE! Don’t miss this Sunday evening series on our Lord’s first disciples! Jesus’ ministry lasted around three years and it was half way over before He called The Twelve. This is going to be a very interesting series on THE TWELVE! Pastor Jamin and others are ministering to our children at this time as well! God bless you… see you Sunday!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS… This coming Wednesday, July 4th is Independence Day! There will be no activities at the church on Wednesday evening. Enjoy your 4th with your family! Be thankful for the Lord’s blessings upon our nation. Truly we are a blessed nation! We are a blessed congregation as well! Pray with your family and give glory to our Lord! He is worthy!!!

PRAY!

Mike & Cheryl <><

 

OUTWARD

OUTWARD <><

Earlier this morning I (Pastor Mike) saw an interesting situation as I drove over to the church. As I sat at the stop light on 14th and Firetower Road I saw a woman talking to herself. She appeared to be in a shouting match with someone on the phone… at least it appeared so! As I watched her head bounce back forth during her animated conversation I saw her dog jumping around in the back seat. Someone was getting an earful; her facial expression was a dead giveaway! As I watched her, I thought to myself, “If dogs could only speak!” Honestly, it was quite a sight to behold! For sure, she had no idea that I was in the audience or that she had an Unseen Guest!!! God’s Word is clear about our future judgment! One day each of us will give an account to the Lord for our words and our deeds. Think about it! This dear lady had no idea that I was watching. Remember the Lord is watching and He is listening to every word we say! He even knows every thought we think! David, the Psalmist said, Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Jesus gives us these thought provoking words, Matthew 12:35-36 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Our guest speaker this Sunday is Ron Davis. Ron has been married for almost 27 years to Kristi and has two daughters, Emilee (19) and Alyssa (17). Ron brings a wealth of ministry experience to the preaching ministry of Grace Church. Presently, Ron is serving the students and faculty of East Carolina University with Ratio Christi. He is in the dissertation phase of a PhD in Theology and Apologetics from Liberty University’s School of Divinity. Ron has a passion for Christ and the Word of God. The Lord is using Ron to help young people grow in their faith as disciples of Jesus Christ! Again, we are glad you are here! Listed below are Brother Ron’s message titles for our Morning and Evening Worship Services:

Sunday 11:00 AM: “Why is Apologetics Important for the Church?” — A close look at 1 Peter 3:15 and what it means to always be prepared to make a defense.

Sunday 5:30 PM: “Bad World… Good God?” — Answering one of the most difficult challenges to Christian theism.

Plan now to be here for both services this Sunday! Keep in mind that you have family and friends that would love to hear Ron Davis’ messages! We all need to hear these messages from Brother Ron. Remember that Paul says in Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

PRAY!

Mike and Cheryl <><

 

OUTWARD

Hello Grace Church!

What an awesome day! Things are moving forward here at Grace Church. The Lord continues to bless us in so many ways! Over the past number of weeks we have enjoyed some wonderful worship services with a number of first time guests. Over this recent stretch Pastor Jamin and our musicians have brought us some wonderful worship music. Nikki Walker and Grace Church Choir have been tremendous as well. A few weeks ago our Grace Church Children’s Choir sang for us. It was Christ honoring to say the least. Then again, our special music has lifted up Christ as well. A big “THANK YOU” is also in order for our media and sound teams. Overall, we are having a wonderful spring time together as a church family!

Our Grace Church Safety Team is also moving forward on a number of issues. Weekly they are working on a variety of procedures and issues. I really appreciate everything Rick Brixon, Mike Langley and others are doing! As you know this is a new ministry here at Grace Church. We take very seriously the security of our children and our church family! A big “THANK YOU” to everyone that is involved with our Safety Team. God bless you!

This Sunday morning at 11:00 AM we are having COMMUNION. In obedience to the Lord, be in your place and let’s remember the Lord’s death until He returns. We really don’t talk enough about the Lord’s Second Coming but He is coming again and we should be ready, it may be today! Jesus said that He was coming again, “to receive us unto Himself,” and I believe Him! Do you? Paul told us to “comfort one another with these words.” COMMUNION is our time as a church family to come together to worship our Lord Jesus. Make every effort to be here and ask a friend or family member to join you! Sunday evening at 5:30 PM, Keaton Halley will be our guest speaker. Keaton is with Creation Ministries International. Cheryl and I have heard Keaton Halley before. His message will bless you as a child of God. The Lord is using Keaton, you should hear him!!!

 1 Peter 2:24 Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.

Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord. He is worthy of our best! He is Lord of all or not Lord at all! Living to honor Christ is at the heart of everything we do as God’s people. Remember, everything is all about HIM!

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  

See you Sunday!

Mike and Cheryl <><

 

OUTWARD

What a great day we had together this past Sunday! Thank the Lord for His church. Jesus gave Himself for her. The Lord used His Word to challenge us all from Isaiah 6 on THE HOLINESS OF GOD! Over the past few weeks the Lord has touched my heart and led me into a study on The Attributes of God. It all started during a Sunday evening service on prayer and confession. How did the Lord work with King David as he confessed his sins? How did David respond to the Lord’s conviction over his sins? What do these prayers of confession teach us about our Heavenly Father? It was in these times of prayer, reflection and study that I began to ask, “Who is this God that I worship?” This question continues to grip my heart and mind! I want you to walk down this road with me. Every Sunday in May we will be asking this question, “Who is this God that I worship?” Plan now to be in every service. Let the Lord show you who He is!

Exodus 5:1-2  And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

Sunday is Mother’s Day! What a great day to honor our Mothers! Bring your mother to Grace Church if possible! The Lord gave us our Mothers! I did not choose my mother and neither did you! Let’s rejoice Sunday as we give thinks to the Lord for blessing us as He has! Most of you know that my mother is having a rough time right now. Cheryl and I cherish every day we have with her. The Lord is gracious and merciful… what a Great God we serve! Sunday is going to be special. Join us as we lift up Jesus and pay Christ-like respect to our Mothers! Our Children’s Choir will sing this Sunday as well! Don’t miss hearing them. God bless you!

This past Sunday evening we gathered to see our children receive their AWANA AWARDS! What a precious sight!!! We thank the Lord for Steven and Ashley Coward, our AWANA leaders for this past year. We honored them and their coworkers! We also thank the Lord for every parent and grandparent that was in the service. It was a wonderful time together as we recognized the hard of work of our children. The Lord is good; He continues to bless our ministry. We are proud of all of our children! Why? Because Kids Matter to God!

PRAY!

Mike and Cheryl <><

OUTWARD

For many years now I have observed people when death touched their lives. As a pastor, you would expect it to become routine or just an expected end to a person’s life. I have not found this to be true! Death always gets my attention whether the person is a Christian or not. One major reason for this is that death according to God and His Word is not the end. Everyone lives somewhere forever. Recently, on Twitter I found that many do not believe what God has said about death! They believe that death is the end! Death, according to Jesus, does not have to bring condemnation; in Christ, death brings consolation and hope! Death for the believer is when God receives His child into His presence! Death therefore, is not the end; it is actually a new and eternal life in God’s presence! Becoming a Christian means new life here and eternal life with God in Christ! Jesus is our more than sufficient witness regarding death. Jesus said to one of His precious friends at her brother’s death, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believes in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die! Do you believe this?” Jesus’ witness is true! Jesus died on the cross in our place. Jesus defeated death for us. Death does not destroy our hope; it gives life to our hope!

Jesus said in John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Throughout the month of May we will be preaching on the Attributes of God! We will answer the question, “Who is this God we worship?” This Sunday we will begin this new series entitled, THE GOD OF THE GOSPEL, with the attribute of God’s holiness. We all would say that GOD IS HOLY! But what does that mean? And what does God’s holiness have to do with us as His children? When we say GOD IS HOLY, we need to know what that means from Scripture! Bring a friend or family member Sunday as we go to God’s Word and discuss THE HOLINESS OF GOD!

We are dedicating the month of June to Biblical Apologetics. As Christians, we need to know what we believe and why we believe it! Every Sunday evening in June we will answer some of the difficult questions people ask about God and His Word. Your children will benefit greatly from these special services! Plan to be in every service in June… you will not regret it!

1 Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

I hope you have a great week! Find someone to serve and love them like Jesus would love them!

PRAY!

Pastor Mike <><

OUTWARD

The word “love” is used in many different ways! It can refer to everything from chocolate cake to a new car! It has almost lost its’ deepest and truest most meaning! When Moses used “love” in Deuteronomy 6 it carried the immense weight of love for God. We live in a day of competing loves. You notice I said “loves” plural! When Jesus used the word “love” in John 3:16 it carried the weight of God’s love for us. Think with me about the depth of meaning God’s love carries. When we “love” its one thing; when God loves its quite another. Our love fluctuates and flinches with our emotions and feelings. God’s love is always perfect! He has no ulterior motives as we often do. As you think about God’s love, remember that He loves us in spite of our sin. He loves us so much that He made it perfectly clear that HE LOVED US FIRST! The songwriter said, “God’s love never fails.” He’s right and for that we should all be thankful!

Romans 5:8-9 But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

This Sunday, April 29 is going to be a special day here at Grace Church. First, Michael and Julie Adams and family are going to be our guests this Sunday. I have invited Michael to preach for us in our Morning Worship Service. I know he and Julie are excited to be back at Grace Church. Be here to hear Michael’s message and to see the Adam’s family. Secondly, David Stahl is going to be with us. Brother Stahl is bringing a missionary guest with him! Bring a friend to Sunday School for Bible study at 9:45am. We had a blast last week when Joe Shrader taught our class on “LOVE” from I Corinthians 13. If you do not have a class please join a class this Sunday. You will be glad you did!

The Lord continues to bless Grace Church. There are a number of great things happening all over the church. Growth is obvious in many areas. The Lord is good!!! Keep sharing the “Good News” and see what the Lord does in your life! Let’s always be thankful and grateful for the Lord’s blessings! Count your blessings; it might surprise you how much the Lord has done for you!

Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting;

and His truth endureth to all generations.

Pray!

Mike <><

 

OUTWARD!

My recent study and reading has brought me face to face with two huge reminders! First, last week in Romans 15:14-33 the Apostle Paul made it very clear that every church has a mission from God. Paul backed it up from the Old Testament in Isaiah 52:15 “So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” Paul’s focus was on the last part of Isaiah’s Scripture. Paul was absolutely persuaded that our witness extends to those that have never heard the Gospel. Wow, what a mission! This mission is ours as well! Then again, secondly, Paul stresses in Romans 16:1-27 how crucial it is for us to be unified in our service for Christ. In this week’s message from Romans 16, Paul mentions almost 30 of his fellow servants. He mentions men and women, the married and unmarried, Jews and Gentiles and others!!! What a diverse team of friends Paul served with. It was clear that he loved them all and valued their service for Christ! I love you and appreciate your faithfulness to the Lord and His church. Our work together honors Jesus! Thank you!   

WHEN SERVING JESUS… TOGETHER IS ALWAYS BETTER!

Next Sunday, April 29th Michael and Julie Adams will be visiting in Greenville. I have asked Pastor Michael to preach for us. He graciously accepted and is looking forward to sharing the Word of God at his home church. Please make your plans now to be in your place and to bring a friend to hear God’s Word! It always brings a smile to my face when I think about preaching God’s Word. Aren’t you glad God has spoken? I am! With all of the talking heads we have today; GOD HAS SPOKEN AND WE CAN TRUST HIM! Isaiah 40:7-8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the Spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people are as grass. 8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand forever. 

Enjoy your weekend and be safe! Cheryl and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Pray!

Mike and Cheryl <><