Friday, February 29, 2008

Piper Tix

Piper tix will be available between services on this and the next couple of Sundays for the March 28 -29 Don't Waste Your Life Conference at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. Cost is $38 per seat. We have purchased 200 tix and they'll be available on a first come first serve basis.

While its a shame to me that we have to charge anything for this Gospel event, I think that this money will be well spent by any who choose to attend. Be in prayer that God might see fit to work through this event here on the Central Coast.

Hop on your horse, Haaken

We were all cracking up at Haaken hoppin' on his horse this morning and the kids wanted me to take some video. . . little grainy and not sure why the sound didn't work, but you get the idea.

The boy is obsessed with horses and cars. . .

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Annoucing Brady Valen Theule

Braden Valen Theule come into the world on Tuesday February 26 at around 6:03 PM, weighing in at 8lbs, 3 0z and 20 inches long. Mom Julie and baby are doing great and, I think, already home. (She looked like she was ready to walk out of there 15 minutes after the birth!)

The boys and I had a chance to stop in earlier and when I get my hands on that pic that Chad took, I'll post that, too.

We are rejoicing with them, giving thanks for God's good gifts!

He promises more pics will be posted on their family blog, but I'll believe that when I see it!

Its official . . . we are now neck and neck, 4 apiece! They can take the title with one more pregnancy. With as easy as this one seemed to go, I say why not?

Monday, February 25, 2008

more thoughts on our worship together . . .

Wait till I tell you about my crumby weekend, but for now I'm trying to turn my thoughts to higher and more excellent things. . .

Pastor Al pointed me toward this thought-provoking CT interview with Keith and Kristyn Getty, the authors of In Christ Alone and other modern hymns. The whole article is worth the read, but here were a couple of paragraphs that jumped out at me. . .

The radical thing is that in the Old Testament, everybody came together and sang. And in the New Testament, the Jew and the Gentile, the Greek and the Roman, the young and the old all came together and sang together. That's the witness of church history. It's not some kind of food court where everyone chooses their favorite music and goes that direction.

I agree with this. . . that when we chop up our worship and give everybody exactly what they want in consumeristic "worship venues", much is lost. We're trying to do it different at Grace. I've said if often, "Learning to worship together is learning to live the Gospel together." (Philippians 2). In our consumeristic day, its not necessarily the quickest way to grow the biggest church, but it will continue to be our way.

Paul told persecuted churches to get together and teach and admonish one another and sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. There's no intellectual reason to do that; there's no church- growth reason to do that. It's a command, because that is the radical thing.

Worship is a radical thing! I'm convinced we come at it wrongly so much of the time, wanting what we want, thinking about what's in it for me instead of what's in it for God, we think too much about the people up front instead of our own hidden person inside and the Person above and all around, the Real Audience of One.

When we gather, do you ever have that sense of awe that this is an incredibly diverse group who are worshiping together? Its a beautiful thing. Its a challenging thing. No one gets everything they want. Every week, some walk out upset and others dissatisfied because worship didn't look and feel like they think it should. Regularly people come to me and express their dissatisfaction with our worship. But hopefully God is glorified and honored by our attempts at unity and Gospel living.

I am weekly aware that what we are trying to do is counter-cultural and swimming up stream. I often ask what our worship at Grace will look like 10 years from now. I'm not sure I know, but I know it will look different, because our congregation will look different in 10 years.

BTW, do you like the "Thoughts on our Worship Together. . . " section of our worship folder. Do you read it? Did you even know it was there?

And while you're at it, if you have any thoughts on the "Pastor Tim's questions for Young People" stuff I included last Sunday, let me have them.

Friday, February 22, 2008

the death of outrage

Shocking, shocking post over at the Desiring God blog. . .

Bombing, Abortion, & Down Syndrome

Early Childhood Center & Founders Hall Progress Report

New Hallway with handicap access into the Worship Center taking shape

The Elders had a chance to walk through the renewing Early Childhood Center & Founders Hall last evening. Our contractor, Dave McCoy, had walked me through earlier in the afternoon. It was fun to see the elders get excited about the changes and improvements. Their reaction was, "The Congregation has no idea! We need to get them in here and let them share the excitement."

I agree! We're working on either a "Walk-Through Day" or a video walk-through.

Construction on the bottom floor has definitely turned a corner. Most of the tear out is done and now new framing is starting to go up. New heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducting is all installed. Now you can start to see new hallways, foyers, and bathrooms start to take shape. Its going to be really great and completely change how we enter and circulate around that whole area of our campus. The new entrance with wide hallway and handicap access into the worship center is particularly exciting to see.

Thanks for your faithful giving to our Building on the Legacy Vision. Thank the Lord for his faithful provision of people, finances, and vision.

lots of pics

Lots of pics have been recently added to the Grace Flickr site including Jr. High Winter Camp, High School Winter Camp, College Winter Camp, Missions Conference, and more Early Childhood Center Construction pics . . . .

Check it out!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Grace Top 20 Under 40

Been a little while now,but just after the first of the year, the Tribune announced their Top 20 Under 40 emerging leaders. Did you catch the profiles? Congrats to the three who attend Grace. . . (Click on pics or names to see their profiles.)

Peter K. Kardel - Founding CEO/CTO, Clever Ducks

Peter turned 40 this week. Happy Birthday, Peter. Check out Peter and Amy's company blog at

Bret Colhouer - Owner/publisher, Tolosa Press

Ben Greenaway - Former program director, KVEC

Check out Ben's recent front page article about his January trip to India.

It's encouraging to me to see our folks going for it in the community and in their callings.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

muddy morning ride

Here are a couple of pics from this Wednesday's very muddy ride. . . dark, cold and, at first, rainy, but, in the end, such a fun adventure. I'm hooked!

Sean Cheney, Chad Theule, Ben Collins at the bridge up Stenner Canyon

post ride pic

It's pretty much happening Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings at 5;00 AM! We'd love to have you join us. Email me if you want to be added to the ride contact list.

Where'd you park?

So, if you were here just before Christmas, you know that our use of the Osos lot has officially come to an end. If you formerly parked in the lot, where are you parking now? Is it a hassle?

We've actually replaced all those spots by working with our nearby neighbors for Sunday morning use of their parking lots. They have been so gracious. Soon you will see these helpful signs in front of each of these available lots.

I think they are going to be great on-the-street exposure for our gathering, as well as a visible reminder that something is happening in that old building on the corner of Pismo and Osos.

What do you think?

doodoo or done?

Word on the street is that several of our young ones got a kick out of my talking about "doodoo" in Sunday's message . Don't you want to know what I 'm talking about?

We continued our Galatians Series, Getting Grace, this last Sunday. If you missed it, be sure to get caught up. The surprisingly short sermon, Why the Strong Words?, is posted in all the usual places and available for pick up next Sunday at the Welcome Cart.

Listen at the graceslo website

Listen at the itunes podcast

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tour of California

After climbing Madonna more than once this morning with the crew, I had fun on this President's Day, watching stage 1 of the 2008 Tour of California. They have exciting full screen live video coverage HERE.

Stage 4 will finish right here in SLO on Thursday afternoon. See you there. . .

Friday, February 15, 2008

What do you think?

Not sure where he got it, but Josh Ernstrom sent me this still from the upcoming Indiana Jones movie. He says it's a shot of Morro Rock with the Seven Sisters in the background. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting Grace

Last Sunday, we began a new study of the book of Galatians. I'm calling it "Getting Grace." This first Sunday was an introduction where we saw that Galatians is a REAL LETTER from a REAL GUY to REAL PEOPLE about a REAL GOSPEL.

I mentioned that Galatians is different in that it's an argument where each paragraph builds on the one before, so everyone needs to stay caught up and listen up if you happen to miss a week. So if you weren't here on Sunday, listen here so you're caught up for next Sunday.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Compassion Girls Club

As some of you know, my 11 year old Sage started Compassion Girls Club with some girls at her school to sponsor a Compassion child named Yenifer. Sage and the club were featured in the Winter issue of Compassion magazine in a short feature called "Compassion Kids."

Here's the excerpt:

Business Cents
Sage Theule, a fifth-grader in California, started a club to change one little girl's life. This is her story:

I decided to sponsor a child just with girls from my school. I picked Yenifer because she was 3 and I wanted a girl who was younger so we could sponsor her for longer. "To earn money for sponsoring Yenifer, I started the Compassion Girls' Club. There are nine girls in the club. We make and sell earrings, bracelets and beaded bookmarks. Also we have a lemonade stand. I made a logo to put on everything we sell. It's a heart with wings on it to send out love. And I made handouts with Compassion's Web site on them. "I think my sponsorship means a lot to Yenifer. She always sounds really happy in her letters. Also from my sponsorship I learned that when you're helping others it makes you and them feel good."
That's my girl!

Driven to the World

Did you see this New York Times Op-Ed piece? I think it showed up in the Tribune, too.

Evangelicals a Liberal Can Love - New York Times

What do you think? The sanctity of life surely extends to those in poverty and need. The Gospel must not only be believed, it must be lived. The love of Christ must drive us to the world!

HT: Steve Rein

Monday, February 04, 2008

join us this summer at Campus by the Sea

For the third summer in a row, we are privileged to head out to Family Camp at Campus by the Sea on beautiful Catalina Island the week of June 22 - 28. I will speak on the theme, "The Set Apart Family."

Here's the description of the week from the Campus by the Sea website. . . .

"The Set-Apart Family" is the theme for the 2008 Family Camps. Through speakers, small groups, family exercises, and peer groups, we will look at the life of Moses as an example of being a person "set apart" for a purpose, a passion, a purity, and a partnership. Mornings are set aside for peer group activities and teaching for all ages. Adults meet in small groups for discussion of the topic of the day, followed by a presentation from our resource person or couple for the week. Afternoons are free for relaxing and enjoying recreation with family and friends. Evening activities vary from seminars on marriage and parenting to square dancing for the whole family. Through all these activities our goal is to become a more "set apart" family that honors God and each other and makes the gospel appealing to those we come in contact with.
As we have looked back on the last couple of years, we have recognized this is a truly transformational week in the life of our family. . . a place of family memories, intimacy, and spiritual growth.

Last year, we were joined by three families from Grace. This year, we'd love to have you join us as well. I believe that registration begins March 1st and fills up very fast.

You can download a complete brochure here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

stripped bare


As for now, a pretty dormant interest of mine is gardening. My focus these days is the corner of the Lord's vineyard called Grace and the little garden of our family, not my yard.

Still, this winter, I am trying to fill our green garden waste can each week, just so the work doesn't pile up and become overwhelming, which has involved me being in the yard a delightful hour or two each week. It's refreshing to get out between the rains.

This morning I stripped bare our front climbing rose, an Eden, bought not just for the name which matches our daughter's, but also for the breathtaking abundant flowers that go all Spring and Summer. Whenever I am in the yard, I naturally reflect on the ways and the work of God in creation and in us.

This morning, I stripped bare this rose and cut it way, way back. In just a few months it will be bursting with fuller growth and more beauty than ever before. And yet, as always, I found myself reluctant to cut it back. There is in me a fear that it will not come back.

Doesn't God work the same way in us? He strips us bare and prunes us back so we can bare more fruit and flowers. Isn't that what John 15 is all about? (Read it lately?)

And yet we fear and fight it so. We fear we will not come back. We don't want to be trained. We don't want to be pruned.

Are you being stripped bare? Is this a winter of your life? Look to the seasons. Look to the Lord. Look to Creation. Look to the Spring.

Theule Family Photos of the Month

Here are some photos from our recent camping trip at San Elijo State Beach. It was so cool to see my kids getting in the water and to get in the water myself. . . . good times.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.