"Our new song is an earthly song, a song of pilgrims and wayfarers upon whom the Word of God has dawned to light their way." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Though feelings of wandering and exile often creep into our minds, Christians know their ultimate destination. Our journey will end in God's presence, where we with unveiled face, will behold the glory of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18). But while the journey continues, we need the light of our destination to shine so that we stay the course. Singing is a steady and wonderful reminder of the hope we hold fast to. Here's what we'll sing together on Sunday:
- Mighty to Save
- All I Have is Christ
- Jesus, Lover of My Soul
- Before the Throne of God Above
1. New Small Group - Our Santa Ana small group will begin this Friday, May 17th. Check out more about our groups here.
2. WorshipGod 2013: Called to be Faithful - We will be hosting this years SGM WorshipGod conference, June 27-29th. Haven't registered yet? Need a reason to attend? Check-out Bob Kauflin's recent blog post - 12 Reasons to Come to WorshipGod this year. There are many seminars to choose from and a tech lunch for your audio team. Registration ends June 14th! Don't wait!!
3. Volunteer at WorshipGod 2013 - Hit this link and sign up. We need help!
A group from our singles' ministry will be roughing it (yeah right!) tonight into tomorrow. They'll be sacrificing all (only a few) modern comforts to appreciate the handiwork of the Creator as they seek to grow in love for Him and each other.
Would you take a moment today to pray for this group? They are a precious part of our church family and we want to see God meet them. Here's a few specific things you could pray for:
1. Refreshment and rejuvenation that they might serve and glorify God more
2. Growth in their love for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ
3. Unforeseen opportunities to meet others at the campground and share the gospel with them
Thanks for partnering in prayer.
Lastly, when you see them all on Sunday, be sure to ask how the trip went!
1. ONE Retreat - This Friday our ONE ministry will be headed on a retreat! There are a few more spots, but if you can't make it, please be praying for them as they brave the great outdoors!
2. A Plan to Pray - Eric will be heading to Orlando as our representative in the first SGM Counsel of Elders meeting (May 23-25). Please pray for all in attendance and how God will continue to guide and work in Sovereign Grace Ministries.
3. Worship God 2013 WEST - Will be happening in June and we need volunteers! Keep checking our website for how you can help us host this years event!!
Are you new to the church? Maybe you've been once or twice and would like to get to know us a little bit better. If that's you, we'd love to provide lunch for you. Join us after the service this Sunday, May 5th for food and some great company. It's the perfect next step in getting to know the folks who make up our church.
Look for flyers with directions in the church lobby after the service this weekend.
"Singing enables us to combine doctrine and devotion - head and heart." -Bob Kauflin
We want to think about God rightly so that we might cherish Him truly. To that end, music is an incredible benefit.
Here are the songs which will inform our minds and stir our affections this week:
1. His Name is Jesus
2. 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
3. Jesus Thank You
4. How Deep the Father's Love for Us
5. Speak O Lord
1. Guest Reception - If your a newcomer, guest, or visitor and have never attended a guest reception, join us on Sunday, May 5th! Smetona's will be hosting and lunch will be provided. Maps will be available in the Church lobby.
2. Worship God Conference - Worship God West Coast will be happening June 27-29 at a location nearby. Prices go up May 1, so don't delay!!
3. Singles Retreat - Camping May 10-11th. Contact Dustin Smetona for more information.
Remember the marriage seminar? Love that Lasts with Gary and Betsy Ricucci? What a great weekend!
Unfortunately, odds are good you probably haven't had much time to discuss and apply everything. Maybe not at all. Or at least not with other married couples. Life is moving fast and the marriage seminar was soooo long ago.
Host a reunion.
Here's an idea! Pick a date and invite 2 or 3 couples to join you for dinner and a discussion. It could be a quiet restaurant or your home. Enjoy dinner together and ask everyone to come ready to answer a question. Just one. Make it easy.
- What topics are difficult for you to talk about together?
- What was your most recent conflict and how was it resolved (or not)?
- What was your top romantic experience of the last year?
The first SGM Counsel of Elders meeting is rapidly approaching (May 23-25). It's an important event in the life of our young and changing church network.
We will be praying during our Sunday services and you can check out a guide to fasting and praying personally here.
BTW...Pastor Eric will be attending as our representative.
Did you see Emily this past Sunday at church? She was visiting with "some guy" (ha!). Here's the testimony she shared the Sunday she moved to Bakersfield...
This month marks two years since I first arrived at Sovereign Grace. I was looking for a church home and by the end of my first Sunday, I knew that this was where I wanted to be. Thank you to Zac and Jason and Pastor Mike and Kirsi, who all made me feel welcome from my very first visit. The love of Jesus was shining out from each of you then, and two years later I see you sharing that same love with new visitors every Sunday.
Please keep loving new people like me.
On our first Sunday in this building, Rebecca read from the beginning part of the book of Joshua, where the Israelites set up memorial stones to mark God's deliverance and provision. That's what I hope to do this morning. If I were to set up a memorial stone to mark these last two years, it would be a marker of gratefulness to a generous King.
In the last two years, our generous King has blessed me again and again beyond what I could ask or think. I came here hungry for teaching and counsel anchored in Scripture and saturated with the Gospel. I found that. But, more than that, God has blessed me with friends whose counsel and encouragement is a natural extension of our relationship and our living life together.
There have been too many awesome and encouraging conversations with people in this room for me to mention everybody, but I especially want to thank Kirsi and Sue for their examples and their willingness to listen and to think and pray with me through how to love and respect my parents as a grown woman living under the same roof. I would never have thought to ask God for that encouragement, but He knew what I needed.
I love that this church does what the bible prescribes.
Older women disciple younger women. Older men disciple the younger men. Keep doing this.
I am sad to leave, but I am excited for the future at Sovereign Grace.
Something specific? If nothing less maybe an anticipation of more “Emilys” who will come and be encouraged, cared for, etc.?
And I am excited for the things that God has for me in this next chapter. I go in confidence that He will provide generously from His goodness in the future as He has in the past.
Jesus said...“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26 ESV)
Our singles' ministry will be meeting this Thursday evening, 4/25, at 7:30pm in Old Towne Orange. Join us for a great time with great friends.
For directions to the home we meet in, please e-mail Dustin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. Guest Reception was postponed until May 5th. More information will be posted so stay tune!
2. If you missed Sunday, Zach Macadam was baptized!! It's awesome to see our youth making a public commitment to Jesus! Please continue to lift him up in prayers and give him words of encouragement as he seeks to follow Christ!
We sing when we gather because God is worthy of worship.
We sing when we gather because we need to remember God's love.
We sing when we gather because it unifies our proclamation.
On Sunday, here's what we'll sing:
1. Come Praise and Glorify
2. Blessed Be Your Name
3. Glorious Christ (new song, check out the video below!)
4. Jesus Messiah
5. In Christ Alone
The conundrum: Young parents need marriage seminars but marriage seminars need childcare. Lots of childcare! Who is going to watch our children while we learn?
Thank You Pasadena! Anthony, Molly, Chris, Arron, Courtney, Haylie, and Keiren (and Annalise!). You made a lot of little people (and big people) very happy.
1. Thanks for making the Marriage Seminar a success!! Many felt very hopeful and that God is going to do good things in and through our marriages. Outlines and a Small Group discussion guide from this weekend's seminar will be available online soon.
2. A new small group is forming in North Santa Ana. Friday nights beginning sometime in May or June. More details will be coming soon!