Posts in Stories
I Am Called - Rachel

Editor's Note: God has called each member of our church to live out their calling to magnify Christ in distinct ways. This series is intended to give you a firsthand look at what members of our church do week in and week out to bring God glory and make a difference in the lives of others.

Each person is answering the question, "What is one thing you do, every week, in the name of Christ and for His glory?" 

Here is Rachel's answer:

I am in my fourth year of my PhD in Biomedical Engineering (BME) at UC Irvine. I study a specific form of epilepsy called infantile spasms, and I develop computer algorithms to analyze the infant’s brain signals to inform doctors about the best treatments for them. I fell in love with engineering and medicine during my sophomore year of college and I believe God has called me to pursue these endeavors with perseverance and excellence. I believe God has called me to be a BME researcher for two reasons: (1) for me, because I better understand his nature and character by studying his creation; and (2) for others, because I am thrown into a community of knowledge-hungry, goal-seeking people who often reject the gospel.

Being a scientist increases my love for God.

I started studying the human brain three years ago. I have become fascinated with how parts of the brain connect to each other, how we think, and how we learn. In research, I get to discover the complexity and uniqueness with which God created each and every one of us. I often get asked if being a scientist makes me question my beliefs about God or if I have trouble balancing my faith with scientific fact, but it is quite the opposite. I love God more from being a scientist because I can be amazed by Him and His incredible creation every day.

I also believe God has called me to be a scientist and academic because the community is largely unreached by the gospel. I know very few graduate students at UCI that are Christians. Academia is largely composed of people who thirst for the truth but can’t bring themselves to believe something that is intangible, that they can’t measure with statistical significance. They fill the void in their heart with patents, publications, and grant proposals.

This is my mission field.

I know God has called me to this community, possibly to be the only reflection of Jesus they encounter. And although that is a heavy weight to bear and I almost never do it well, I know His grace is sufficient and that His gospel never returns void. This is how I am called, and I rejoice in it. 

We would like to hear your story too. Make your submission here and we may feature you on the blog.

Sophia's testimony

Last Sunday we welcomed Sophia as a new member of our church. 

Here is what she shared:

One thing that I love and appreciate about this church is how welcoming everybody is: I felt like family. I was anxious about moving and leaving my family and friends but I wasn’t homesick at all. Some of you showed love inviting us to your house, taking time to ask me how I was, if I was missing Brazil or if I was adjusting well, some took me to supermarkets to teach me how to shop, some helped us keeping me busy because they knew I couldn’t work. Some friends gave us furniture and things for the house, or maybe just sent us messages offering help, some blessing us with babysitting jobs, which we really appreciate. And I could list a thousand other things that make me feel the love of Christ through this church. 

I also love to see how everybody here is interested in studying the bible in a deep way, how you love to talk about theology and Christian life, how you are committed to a small group and the church in general. I love the ladies group, how we share and help each other in many different ways. It really encourages me, and I can see God working in you through all that. 

It is a pleasure to become part of this church and part of what God is doing in you and through you. We would love to stay here for many and many years, but - for those who don’t know we are not Americans- our future here is uncertain. We know who holds our future and we know he knows what is best for us. We are super glad to be here now and for sharing life with you as long as he wants us to. Thank you so much for loving us and showing Christ’s love.

Congratulations To Our High School Graduates

Sam, Deborah, and Joey.

Joey shared the following...

Good morning church! I’ve always wanted to say that.

I want to start out by saying thank you to God for every person in this church. You have all blessed me, but I would like to talk about just a few really pivotal people and ministries that have got me through my high school years.

Firstly church, know this; I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like half of you half as well as you deserve.

Secondly, I’d like to talk about the two youth-oriented ministries that have really been helpful to me as a youthful man going through his youth. Youth group and youth mentorship. Despite our unoriginal naming standards, these two ministries have been worth so much to me. Sometimes I struggle with thinking that I am alone in my sin, which I know is wrong, yet I still think it. But, youth group has been great to see other christians my age struggling with the same sins that I do, but even more than that, seeing how God is shaping them through it all. It is always joyful, jolly, jubilant, jovial, and Jesus-centered. A huge thank you to Mrs. Blackman and David Christensen for organizing all of it and serving us throughout it.

Youth mentorship. What a weird idea, right? Young high-school students getting together with slightly less young college students to go through just one short book of the bible at a time. What a weird idea, but let me tell you, it was a good one. I’d like to thank my mentor, Dylan Sohie, for putting up with my rambling while somehow guiding me through the books we studied. You’re a pretty cool guy, I guess. Often times, studying these books helped take the importance of me out of the equation, and has shifted my focus onto a much better dude. The best dude, you could say.

Lastly, thank you, church, for displaying the love of Christ. Your prayers have certainly not gone unanswered, nor are they unappreciated. I pray that you never slow in your efforts to help the youth of the church, ‘cause trust me, we both need each other.

I’d like to end with a verse that’s meant a lot to me and the rest of the youth through tough times.

"He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, ‘Go up you baldhead! Go up you baldhead!’” 2 Kings 2:23

Hold on, wrong verse.

Here’s the real verse I want to end on, so listen up all you youngins. 1Timothy 4:12: “Let no one despise for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Thank you.

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Thanks For The Years Of Children's Ministry

Lois and Kirsi have led our Children's Ministry with grace and joy for years. We retired them this past January. This is what Sue shared during the service.

Paul uses the analogy of a human body to explain how God’s church works. In 1 Corinthians 12 he says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you has a part in it”

There are some pretty visible members of Sovereign Grace Church. Then there are some that aren’t. I’m thinking of two women in particular, Kirsi and Lois. They wear many hats but most of you would know them as the wives of our pastors Eric and Mike. I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen Kirsi and Lois up here. We might not ever see them up here. Except for today.

Here are just a few of many behind-the-scenes ways that they serve:

Have you ever wondered where those of us go for Christmas when we don’t have anywhere to go? Usually it’s Kirsi’s house.

Have you noticed there’s a steady stream of game nights, movie nights, and going away parties and fun and fellowship in general? Usually it happens at Lois’s house.

Have you noticed how freely and joyfully our pastors are able to serve us? Part of that is their wives are behind the scenes running loving, orderly, and peaceful homes.

Have you noticed that our Childrens’ ministry has been running smoothly for years? That’s Kirsi and Lois and their team of dedicated teachers.

Lois and Kirsi are filled love for the people of this church, particularly the women and children. They ask gentle questions. They speak the gospel to us. They cry with us and rejoice with us.

Today we celebrate their long and faithful years of overseeing our Children's ministry. Children's ministry can be challenging in a small church plant. There’s the challenge of finding just the right people to teach and care for the children. There are the challenges of selecting curriculum, establishing safe procedures, and all the troubleshooting. Kirsi and Lois have been our pioneers and have done all that and more.

Most important, they have created a context where our children are learning about Jesus and our little ones are being cared for with the love of Jesus. Each of them took on this assignment in faith, knowing she wasn’t strong enough to do it on her own. However, God’s grace is beyond abundant and his grace is being displayed every week out in that garden. Thank you Lois and Kirsi.

New Members Billy And Mackenzie

Last Sunday we welcomed Billy and Mackenzie as new members of our church. This is what they shared...

We have been married for close to two years now. I am a high school teacher and boys basketball coach at Huntington Beach High School. Mackenzie is a Dental Hygienist here in Orange.

We checked out a couple different churches in the area. We were really searching for a place where we could get connected and feel a sense of community. One of the benefits of living in Orange is that there are so many awesome places for food! We found ourselves on yelp almost everyday looking for new food spots. So, Billy had the idea to yelp churches in the area, just for fun. And we happened upon Sovereign Grace!

After researching some of the statements of belief on the website, we came for a visit and immediately felt overwhelmed by how welcoming all of you were. We had multiple couples in the church introduce themselves to us and invite us to lunch. We loved that the teaching was straight from the Word of God. We also loved that worship was so gospel-centered. I think Billy was hooked because we sang a Dustin Kensrue song.

After a few more visits on Sunday and a couple of Wednesday nights at small group, we decided that this would be our home church. We are so blessed by all of you and your commitment to being the hands and feet of Jesus. We want to be as much of an encouragement to you as you have been to us. We are so excited to officially be a part of this church family and to “do life” with you guys!


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