Tuesday, July 25, 2006

off the train?

I had a chance to attend the 2007 San Luis Obispo City Economic Forecast Seminar the other day.

(It was pretty convenient for me to attend, since it was held right here at Grace. I love it!)

Perhaps you read the articles in the Tribune. (Click here!) The news was not quite so positive and upbeat as last year. UCSB Economic Forecaster, Bill Watkins, argued that SLO City had chosen to "get off the economic growth train" and, as a result, our economic growth pales in comparison to economic growth statewide and nationwide.

I thought his powerpont slide presentation told "the story" well. What's neat, is that Watkins posts his presentation online. Go and read the Watkin's perspective for yourself and then come back and share some thoughts.

2007 SLO City Economic Forecast

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Few Good Men

Seth Weeks and Lance Iunker are on their way to bootcamp in Georgia after committing to serve their country in the Army. They join Tyler Burns and Alex Escalante, two other young men from Grace who also recently joined the armed forces.

Pray for these young men and their witness. Pray for their families as they release their sons and readjust to new family dynamics.

I'm going to miss those boys!

Social Justice Surprise

As we think about how we at Grace move forward with our community ministries, our leadership is having some great conversations.

In our ministry to and among the poor of our community, we would like to move forward in a holistic way, realizing our ministry must take a bi-level form. At one level, we need to hand out "fish" to those in need and those who ask, but, at another level, I also have a vision to see
Grace be involved in helping folks "learn to fish" for themselves so that they can become economically self-supporting. This is much easier said than done.

Here's an interesting article from Christianity Today dealing with the subject and challenging a common misconception . . .

Social Justice Surprise

good for him

"The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research, it's inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He's one of them." --White House Spokesman Tony Snow ahead of President Bush's veto of a bill expanding federally funded embryonic stem cell research.

"This bill would support the taking of innocent life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others. It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect." --President Bush

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Limelight of Christian Worship

Another great "worship quote of the week" that came my way . . . .

I like the word "variegated" to describe what worship should be. I think our worship at Grace is "variegated," don't you?

Traditionalists have much to answer for in their reluctance to understand that tradition does not mean stasis but change. In their reaction against contemporary styles, they fail to understand that what they have gotten used to was once contemporary and often objectionable. Contemporists likewise fail to understand how blunted their tastes are when only "their music" seems to do the trick and when what they are doing has, ever so quickly, frozen itself into a tradition. So we end up with two kinds of shortsightedness, one supposedly old, the other supposedly new, and both wish fulfilling. The separation of worship into preference groups is everyone's fault, in that narrow musical satisfaction has turned out to be more important than style-proof outpouring. I encourage people of all practices to become intently and intensely curious about each other's ways.

The church desperately needs an artistic reformation that accomplishes two things at once: first, it takes music out of the limelight and puts Christ and his Word back into prominence; and second, it strives creatively for a synthesis of new, old and crosscultural styles. A deep understanding of the arts, coupled to the understanding that at best the music of corporate worship is simple, humble and variegated, would bring something about that would make all churches into worshiping and witnessing churches that happen to sing.

-Harold Best, UNCEASING WORSHIP: BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES ON WORSHIP AND THE ARTS. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003, p. 75. ISBN

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Two Questions for the Summer

Here's a copy of the email I sent to the family of Grace this afternoon. If you didn't get it one, it means one of two things:

1. It went to the "junk" or "spam" folder. Go find it.


2. We don't have your email address. We'd love to get it. Email it to me at tim@graceslo.org and we'll add you to the list.

Beloved Family of Grace,

Summer is in full swing now and I hope you are enjoying it! I know we are. I am constantly amazed at the changing seasons of God's magnificent creation! And I'm so glad that Jesus is the same--yesterday, today and forever!

I'm communicating with you today to ask you two questions. . . .

1. Have you registered yet for our 2006 Family Conference coming very soon on July 23, 24 & 25?

In these wild days when the traditional family is under such attack, I am more convinced then ever of the need to invest in, support and build up the families in our church and community. That's why our annual Family Conference exists. That's what our annual Family Conference is all about!

This year's Conference Speaker will be my friend and mentor, Greg Sidders. Greg was my college pastor back in the day and now serves as the Pastor/Teacher at Sunridge Community Church in Temecula, CA. I ran into Greg last summer at Hume Lake and we quickly and naturally reconnected. I immediately thought of Greg for our 2006 Family Conference. I love Greg's heart and passion for the Word. I'm convinced we'll be challenged together by his ministry among us as he helps us Survive the SLO Life!

On the kid's side, we are so pleased to have Terry Kohlenberg with us again for the third year in a row. He is back by popular demand. He'll not only lead our times of family worship, but also be engaging our kids as he makes God's Word relevant to their young lives.

And then there's the elective seminars, everything from Wood Working to Modge Podging. (I'm not sure what Modge Podging is, but it sounds fun!) These elective seminars are just a great way to do some hands-on activity with your kids. Trust me, your kids will love it if you do them together.

Once again this important week has snuck up on us all. Many of us have been coming and going all summer long. (Mostly going, I think!) I wanted to remind you that this Sunday is really the last day to sign up for the entire conference which includes the fun elective seminars. In order to effectively plan and organize we've got to know who's coming by this Sunday. We cannot take sign-ups for the elective seminars after Sunday! Did you get that? If you're not interested in elective seminars, and do not have children, then you can sign up for the conference up until the start of the conference on Sunday, July 23.

What if you don't have kids at home? Is the Family Conference something for you? I believe that the family ought to be of great concern to the whole church. I think Greg's messages on suffering, contentment and challenging relationships, will be relevant to all. . . . college students, singles, young couples without children, and even our faithful senior saints. I want to urge you to come and be apart of this important all-church event and show your commitment to the families of Grace.

This is also an excellent event to invite friends and neighborhood families to. I've attached a PDF of the Family Conference Brochure for your review and/or to send to a friend.

If you want to register, but won't be here on Sunday, you can register NOW by contacting Dori by phone (543-2358) or email (<mailto:dori@graceslo.org>) or Karen (&ltmailto:kmorton@charter.net>).

2. Have you yet Accessed & Updated Your Personal Information on our new Online Congregational Database?

We're trying to utilize the latest technology to facilitate better congregational connection, communication and care. It takes just a minute to log-on and check your information. There you'll see ABF's and Growth Groups you're involved in, events you've attended and other information about your involvement. Learning to use the online database is easy and will enable you access to the latest and most to date directory online and any time. We are already beginning to use this new system for online registration for upcoming events and have a vision for implementing other functions down the road. One of our immediate goals is to create and publish an updated directory. We need your help. We're asking you to do these three things:

1. Register and log in.
2. Update the personal information for you and your family.
3. Upload your family picture.

Thank you to the many of you who have jumped into the fun with us. We've received so many updates and have had the opportunity to correct many errors in our information. It would be a great help to our staff, if others would take the plunge as well.

So why don't you give it a try right now? Just go to the home page of our website at , click the rolodex icon in the right column and follow the simple instructions. I've attached a simple and short manual that provides an introduction and overview of the system.

It was such a joy to be back with you this last Sunday. Getting out and seeing other ministry settings makes me so thankful for what God is doing in our setting. I give thanks, too, for you. Let's enjoy the summer as we live by faith together. See you Sunday!

Because of and for the Gospel. . . Pastor Tim

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Is this thing for real?

It is for real. You can read all about it at the Daily News.

I wonder if Shane will carry them at the MacSuper Store?

Bill Lindahl gets the award for sending me the most consistently funny and offbeat stuff. . . that's not an invitation. I don't have time for any more of this stuff.


Here's a great "Flat World" perspective article on what God's doing in China . . . from World Magazine, of course . . .


Exciting stuff. We have at least one college student there right now.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Campus by the Sea Family Camp

I was so unplugged during our week at Catalina, that I've been quite slow to replug. But it's time. . .

Here's a picture from our boatride over to Catalina. We had such a great time out there. Even though I was "working" to some extent, the Lord used it in my life and the life of our family. I'm still processing, but here are some reason's I would highly recommend this Family Camp for families from Grace:

  1. The Intimacy: It's small and intimate . . . no more than 200 out there at a time. . . which allows you to get to know folks. We were blown away by folks who come back year after year for 5, 10, 15 years in a row.

  2. The Family Integration: This truly was a family camp, really nice mix of family integration and segregation. Paul & Virginia Friesen, the camp hosts for 31 years, are committed to the growth of families and they know what they're doing.

  3. The Pacing: Just a really neat mix of teaching, free time, fun and great planned activities. Bingo, Talent Show, Line dancing, snorkeling, kayaking, waterskiing, hiking.

  4. The Setting: It feels like you're a world away. The camp grounds were small and contained, so the kids could roam free without having to worry about them. The place was rustic. . . no electricity in the cabins. The whole program was sort of a "less is more" approach.

  5. The Service: No cooking and dishes for a whole week! The staff was amazing. The lived to serve in any and every way possible. Bunch of neat college students, most of whom grew up attending the camp with their families and now serve through the summer.

So check it out for next year at . . . . http://www.intervarsity.org/cbs/info.php?id=3057

(You're going to want to call and request to be added to their mailing list, as the information on the website is pretty slim!)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006