Thursday, January 31, 2008

Missions Movie Night

Way, way, way more than watching Lost (see last post), I'd like you to see and think about Amazing Grace, the challenging story of William Wilberforce's struggle against the English slave trade. It's being shown tomorrow night as our Missions Movie Night feature presentation as part of this week's 2008 Missions Conference.

Bring the family and join the church family for this fun evening!

Lost is found

It's been a long, long time, but Lost is back tonight. I know a few of you have caught up and are ready for season 4. A fun little escape. We are gathering with friends for the season premiere.

Here's the trailer for tonight. . . .

If you're still a hold out, here's an 8 minute 15 second summary of seasons 1-3 that may peak your interest and suck you in . . .

I know some of you think I'm joshing when I suggest that Lost is a type and shadow of life with lots of Gospel implications, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Dying Well

Last weekend we traveled to Huntington Beach to celebrate the life and home-going of our good friend, Dave Carlson. Strangely, I love all memorial services, as the Lord seems to use them to make me reflect on my own life and direction.

This service was unique in my experience, because Dave had designed his own memorial service and even written words to his church, to his kids and grandkids, and to his wife that were read at various points in the service. It was as if he was there. Very powerful.

One of the things that stuck me was the depth of Dave's relationships. He was my father-in-law's best friend for 50 years. They stood in each other's weddings, they founded and taught an ABF in their home church in Arlington Heights, Illinois for nearly 20 years, they were there for one another through the joys and trials of life.

And this was not the only relationship. Dave's life was marked by a commitment to people. He was committed to multiple life long relationships, but also open to new ones. The church that he had attended and served for just 4 years was standing-room only on this busy Sunday afternoon and multiple folks shared of Dave's impact on their lives in this short amount of time.

All this got me thinking about my own life and relationships. Admittedly, I tend to live in the present. If I'm honest, I tend to get so overwhelmed with the sheer number of people and my relationships today, that I jettison and let go of relationships from the past. This can even occur in my family relationships. I'm not proud and even a bit embarrassed about this fact. As I sat in Dave's service, I realized I may one day really regret this pattern. Moving forward, with the Lord's help, I'd like to change it.

So, there you have it. . . a bit of honesty and vulnerability on this Thursday morning.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


On Friday night, while some were praying for our ministry, others were trashing it. Someone, probably a group of little hoodlums broke into and vandalized the Worship Center. So far, it doesn't look like anything was stolen, but six or so pews were broken off their floor mounts and turned over. There was also a "666" and a circled pentagram scrawled on a white board. I give thanks to the Lord . . . it could have been so much worse.

Many thanks to our facilities guys for their amazing handling of this incident. Craig Hughes spent most of the day on Saturday reassembling and reinstalling the broken pews in time for services on Sunday. James Borland handled all the incident reporting and public relations. I want to make sure their service to the Lord and His people does not go unrecognized and unappreciated. Please make it a point to thank both these guys when you see them around campus.

Here are a couple of pictures. . . .

And here are the media stories. . .


(Video link to the left of the printed story. Wouldn't work on my Mac, but give it a try.)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Until All Have Heard

Our 2008 Missions Conference officially begins on Sunday, but 24 hours of prayer for this important week in our church begins this evening. Pray with us.

This year, we'll think together about unreached people groups throughout the world. . . peoples, tribes, and tongues who have no viable Gospel witness.

The week will be filled with events to help us engage with our visiting missionaries and think about unstoppable global plan and purpose of God to redeem a people for Himself from every nation, tribe, and tongue. You will receive a schedule in Sunday's worship folder.

Unfortunately, our family will miss this first Sunday of the conference as we are called away for the memorial service of our good friend, Dave Carlson, who went to be with the Lord this last week after a long battle with cancer. You may recall, I shared about our visit with Dave last Summer. Dave was the best friend of my father-in-law, Werner Jacobsen, for over fifty years and played a special role in Susie's life.

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers will be with you!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What's going on in there?


Here are some recent remodel pics of what will become our Early Childhood Center and Founder's Hall.

As you can see, things are pretty torn up. I don't think I knew it was going to be this drastic. Now I know why it's costing so much. We are shooting for a September 2008 Grand Re-Opening. Its going to be a great space that will serve our families and the community for years and years to come.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thinking about the Sanctity of Life, #5

Here's another awesome article that will make you think about the stewardship and unintended consequences of reproductive technologies . . .

Noah and the Flood

HT: Kevin Heldt, who informed me this was Colson's Breakpoint this morning.

Is this how they see us?

Check out this provocative video and tell me what you think?

Is this accurate? Are we connecting with those around us? Does it even matter? Why? What can we do about it?

The video is intended to promote a new book entitled, UnChristian, that looks pretty interesting .

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thinking about the Sanctity of Life, #4

Here's one more about the early detection of Down's Syndrome. . .

Down Syndrome Now Detectable in First Trimester: Early Detection Leaves More Time for Decisions.

Read carefully and then think about the implications. If we believe Psalm 139 then there are no such things as birth defects. In the womb, ultra-sound screening is an invitation to play God. It is not just for information, it is for elimination.


We have a terrific Admin Staff that helps us ministry folk do what we do. We couldn't do it without them.

Recently, Anna Lyons graduated from Cal Poly and had to move on to the "real world" of full time employment, so we've recently called Carrie Haughey to join the team as our part-time Student Ministries Administrative Assistant. Carrie and her husband, Kyle, have attended Grace for over three years. Carrie has been active in our Children's Ministry and, most recently, in our Christmas production, A Christmas Chronicle. Kyle is involved in our tech ministry.

By the way, Carrie writes a blog at

Marci Newton is a junior Communications Studies Major at Cal Poly and had to or wanted to do an internship in our office here at Grace for a quarter or two for class credit. In my mind, you never turn away free labor! So Marci, too, has joined the team this week.

Our goal with Marci will be to help her experience and help her profs understand that the church is indeed an organization that communicates. . . . a lot! That's what we do! (That's what I'm doing right now!) Marci will be shadowing Debbie Johnston, our Business Administrator, and helping with a wide variety of tasks as needed.

By the way, my goal is to have a wide-variety of internships available for college students in areas like Student Ministries, Children's Ministry, Graphic Design, Business Administration, Communications, etc . I see this as an opportunity for students to see and experience the inner workings of a church and for us to benefit from their fresh perspective and new ideas. I see this as absolutely in-line with our mentoring/discipleship/equipping/Gospel transformation vision.

So, if you're interested in an internship here at Grace, give us a call!

Welcome to the team, gals!

Thinking about the Sanctity of Life, #3

Here's the third in a series of Sanctity of Life related articles I am posting this week for Growth Group discussion and for all following the Sanctity of Life Sunday . . .

Changing Abortions Pronoun

Post-abortion syndrome has been well documented among women, but little has been written about the impact of abortion among the impregnating men. This L.A. Times article says that this is changing.

Like the emergence of ultra-sound technology, real life testimony seems to be one of the things
shifting the debate.

I hope you're taking the time to read these important articles. Being informed is just one of the many ways we can affirm the Sanctity of Life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

01.20.08 Child Dedication Pics

As always, it was a privilege last Sunday to dedicate the children and their parents to the enormous task of Biblical parenting. . .

Here's the slide show. (Isn't that slick?)

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thinking about the Sanctity of Life, #2

Here's another really encouraging article about the apparent turning of the tide in Hollywood's handling of sanctity of life issues. . .

The Plots Thicken

Your feedback and comments are welcome.

Thinking about the Sanctity of Life

This last Sunday was Sanctity of Life Sunday. Sometimes we think too narrowly about the Sanctity of Life, reducing this issue as having to do only with abortion related issues. I am concerned that we think more broadly about this Biblical issue.

Tim Borland, came and shared about his "63 marathons in 63 days" A-T Cure Tour to raise awareness and funds for a cure for Ataxia-telangiectasia,a rare degenerative disease that affects children.

Listen to Tim's Sunday message HERE.
Watch some videos about Tim's adventure HERE.

In my intro, I suggested this partial list of ways we can get personally involved. . .

  • Have our own children and raise them well.
  • We can adopt needy and unwanted children
  • We can create a church community that affirms life at every age and stage of development.
  • We can care well for our elderly family members.
  • We can be informed and actively vote our conscious on these issues.
  • We can make careful and prayerful choices in our own personal lives. . . .
  • We can support and volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers, with special needs children and at elderly rest homes.
What other ideas have you got?

This week our Growth Groups are thinking and praying about these issues and as one of our disussions questions this week I pointed them here to Life Together, where I promised I would post some recent articles related to the Sanctity of Life for additional reading.

So here's the first. . . and I will keep posting them this week as I dig them up. This first article I noticed this morning on the front page of World on the Web.

Cloner's Make New Claim

What is your reaction to this story?

Don't Waste Your Life on the Central Coast #4

Saved the best for last. . . this one is hilarious. . .

Monday, January 21, 2008

Don't Waste Your Life on the Central Coast #3

Both Ben Collins and Travis Hasson show up in this one . . .

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Don't Waste Your Life on the Central Coast #2

Here is promo video #2... very cool. Spread it!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Don't Waste Your Life on the Central Coast

The Desiring God staff is pretty amazing. God has blessed them with great financial resources and some pretty gifted people. They've sent staff out to the Central Coast now at least four times. They even sent a video team to shoot some vids tailor made for the Central Coast.

Check out this one. . .

So, why don't you send the link to this video to one or a hundred of your closest friends here on the Central Coast? Let's talk this thing up together and see what the Lord might do.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

before . . . and after . . .

Just before Thanksgiving I fell off my Mt. Bike and broke a bone in my hand. Just before Christmas I had the broken bone surgically removed by my friend and surgeon, Dr. Dan Woods. Here's what the hand looked like when the wraps came off after Christmas. . .

The incision was quite a bit larger than I expected. I was pretty shocked when I finally saw it. I guess there were nerves around the broken bone that needed to be exposed so he could properly work around them. And here's what the hand looks like today. . . .

It feels great and I am back on the bike. I'm astounded at God's design of the human body and its built-in healing properties. It's amazing how the skin just fuses back together. How does it do that?

I give thanks to God for Dr. Dan, the common grace of modern medicine and for the Lord's healing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Piper is coming!

The pastors of the Central Coast Evangelical Pastor's Network have been praying and planning for a long, long time. And now it's happening. John Piper is coming to the Central Coast, March 28-30, 2008.

Friday & Saturday will be a Don't Waste Your Life Conference and will cost $25 per person.
Sunday Evening will be free special youth and college event.

All events will be held on the Cal Poly campus.

Set aside this weekend on your calendar and plan to be there. In the meantime, prepare yourself and the Central Coast by praying and by picking up your free copy of Piper's great little book, Don't Waste Your Life on Sundays at the Mission's table.

I didn't mean to . . .

Dear Mr. Theule,

It has come to our attention that it has been in excess of one month since you have posted a new topic on your blog. Please be advised that you are violating rule #1 of blogging, which, if you refer to Article II, Section 10.3b states: "If you are going to bother starting a blog, you better keep up on it." I understand that your brother is also under investigation for the same violation, and while we understand that many things are genetic, we fear that DNA analysis will do nothing to alleviate you of your duties in this matter. We trust that you will do the right thing and avoid further penalties.


The Blog Police
I didn't mean to take a month plus break from blogging. It just sort of happened. The Christmas season was busy and I was trying to be a "present" husband and dad, as well as a pastor. Then we went on vacation and now its been hard to start back up for some reason. Blogging is a discipline and a habit and I think I fell out of the habit. So much has happened and so much is happening it's hard to know where to begin.

So let's see if I can find the mojo again.

How are you? Are you still out there or have a lost all my readers. Does it matter? Is this for me or you? (You can tell I am still in my vacation musing mode.)

We had a great Christmas season together as a church. (Check out the Grace Flickr Site to remember!) Our family had a terrific time away. I'll try and share some more about it. The new year is upon us, which offers us a fresh start and a new beginning.

Are you praying during this 2008 week of prayer? Are you beginning again? It's not to late to start. It's never, too, late to start. We've had some good times of prayer in our morning and noon gatherings. I know Growth Groups are focusing on prayer this first week of their meeting as well. Let's pursue hard after the Lord together and individually. Just do something.

Isn't God graceful toward us? He loves us to seek Him out and He is always there standing on the porch when we do. Go for it.