Thursday, October 16, 2014

Come experience God's presence this Sunday evening!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Three weeks ago as I was working my way through the story of Jehoshaphat, I was inspired by his call to the people of Judah to gather for prayer. That inspiration led to discussions around our office, and we sensed a strong urge to call our church to gather to pray on October 19, 4:00–5:00pm here at our church. We are going to pray for our world, nation, community and church.

We are calling this prayer experience The Gathering based upon this declaration and promise by Jesus – “Where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them.” Come experience the presence of Jesus with your church family as we humble ourselves before our God. If you missed that service from September 28, you’ll want to watch the message on Pray Like Jehoshaphat When Your Circumstances Are Overwhelming. It was a day of release and hope.

It doesn’t matter how skilled or eloquent you feel about your praying ability, you will find that it’s not the quality of our prayer ability that matters; what matters is the heart of the one praying. Some of the most meaningful prayers I’ve heard were given by people who had little or no experience at praying.

This Sunday we’ll focus on Habakkuk’s prayer when he felt that God was absent. I love how real and raw the Bible can be. We’ll get an inside look at how a person of deep faith prays to God even when it appears that God is not there or silent. If you know of someone who could relate to this message, please invite them to come with you. We’ll have a time of Communion as part of our service.

Eagerly looking forward to praying with you,


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Inspired to pray

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Sisters’ Closet, one of our most impactful compassion events is this weekend. Sisters’ Closet began as a clothing exchange that has morphed into a clothing giveaway. Imagine 400 women on a shopping excursion to get clothing they need but can’t afford all made possible by your generous donations of gently used clothing. I’ve seen women walk out with bags full, smiles on their faces, feeling like someone cares. It happens every time we do this event. We get amazing stories back from women showing us the immediate and felt blessing they receive.

Here’s the way it works. Ladies bring your gently used clothing items – including shoes and accessories – to church this Friday from 3:00–7:00pm. As you do that a group of women will sort and hang and pile clothes according to sizes. Then on Saturday morning at 9:00 we’ll open the doors and women from our community and church will get to “shop” for free. The really cool thing is that we offer free childcare for those moms with young children. I love watching the smiles and even some tears as women get to have some “new to them clothes” which boosts their dignity and pride.

Two weeks ago as I was working my way through the story of Jehoshaphat, I was inspired by his call to the people of Judah to gather for prayer. That inspiration led to discussions around our office, and we sensed a strong urge to call our church to gather to pray on October 19, 4:00–5:00pm here at our church. We are going to pray for our world, nation, community and church.

We are calling this prayer experience The Gathering based upon this declaration and promise by Jesus – “Where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them.” Come experience the presence of Jesus with your church family as we humble ourselves before our God. If you missed the service from September 28, you’ll want to watch the message on Pray Like Jehoshaphat When Your Circumstances Are Overwhelming. It was a day of release and hope.

This Sunday we’ll focus on Hezekiah’s prayer when he felt desperate for God to act on his behalf. I’m sure many of us can relate to feeling like that. If you know someone who is going through a season of difficulty please invite them to come.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Walk Thru The Bible with us this Saturday!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Walk Thru the Bible is Saturday, and it’s not too late to sign up. We’ve been so thrilled at the response from our church family. Even more exciting is how many folks from around Northern California are driving all the way to Grass Valley to get this experience.

Everyone I’ve talked to who has been to a Walk Thru the Bible event agrees that it’s fun, informative and inspirational. It’s not a classroom lecture. It’s really a hands on experience. Even though online registration is closed, you can sign up by coming by our office, or if you decide at the last minute, you can just show up on Saturday at 8:30 and register with cash or check (no credit cards) and enjoy our continental breakfast. Make sure to bring your lunch and have fun getting to know other people from TCC.

Last week as I was working my way through the story of Jehoshaphat, I was inspired by his call to the people of Judah to gather for prayer. That inspiration led to discussions with our staff, and we sensed a strong urge to call our church to gather to pray on October 19, 4-5pm here at our church. I am calling our church to pray for our world, nation, community and church. It doesn’t matter how skilled or eloquent you feel about your praying ability, you will find that it’s not the quality of our prayer ability that matters; what matters is the heart of the one praying. Some of the most meaningful prayers I’ve ever heard were given by people who had little or no experience at praying.

We are calling this prayer experience The Gathering based upon this declaration and promise by Jesus – “Where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them.” Come experience the presence of Jesus with your church family as we humble ourselves before our God. If you missed Sunday, you’ll want to watch the message on Pray Like Jehoshaphat When Your Circumstances Are Overwhelming. It was a day of release and hope.

This Sunday we’ll focus on Hannah’s prayer when she felt alone and overlooked. I’m sure many of us can relate to feeling like that. If you know someone who is going through a season of loneliness, please invite them to come.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thanks to some amazing people!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

When you drive onto our lovely campus this weekend, your eyes will be greeted by green. This week we were finally able to finish the landscaping out front, and it looks awesome. I can’t wait for the time when it will become established and mature. I am so grateful for the team that helped us get to this place – Ted Sirjesse of TMS Construction, Kevin Blaz of Living Water Landscaping, Dave Matson of DMCE Concrete, Jo McProud of McProud and Associates, Brent Daggett of Daggett Designs, Jeff Heilmann, Doyle Coker and Brett Malech.

While this space will serve all our ministries, I think the biggest recipients will be our children and students. We designed an environment that would be conducive to kids at play. At the same time, the lawn will be a great space for Community Groups, families and friends to have gatherings. In addition, this will be a beautiful spot for weddings. As a couple makes a covenant to become husband and wife, they will have the cross and fountain as a background for all the guests to see. The entire setting will be will be inviting, peaceful and spiritual.

One of the biggest issues we faced was whether to plant grass considering the current California drought. In order to address those concerns we consulted with many different people with expertise in landscaping and lawns of this type. Based upon our projected use for this space, it was determined that grass was the best option.

After that was determined, we went to work to make sure that we used the most efficient irrigation system available today. We then asked for the best grass mix that would use the least amount of water once the lawn was established. It is highly drought resistant. Our Facility Care Team has already been working all summer to replace our site-wide irrigation system with efficient nozzles and devices.

I look forward to how this new addition to our facility will be used by God to lead more people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

This weekend we’re going to continue our Pray Like series as we look at Jehoshaphat. Please make your weekend plans now so that you can be with us as we worship together.

Looking longingly toward God,


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Some awesome opportunities to GROW!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

We started out our year with a strategic shift in focus: to help people in their desire to GROW to be more like Jesus. Pastor Mark Hadley was given the responsibility to help us learn what would be helpful in assisting people who are part of our church in their journey of spiritual development. I have been encouraged by Mark and the team God has given him, and we’re beginning to see more and more of you engage more fully to take responsibility for your growth.

A key component of the growth strategy includes helping more and more of our people in what we’ve started to call Bible engagement. We’ve always taught the Bible in our services and Community Groups, but we’re seeing the need to help people engage more with God’s word. You’ve probably noticed a clear shift in our Sunday morning teaching style, but there are other ways in which we’re helping our people engage with the Bible.

This summer we offered a special class to help people learn how to study the Bible on their own. That class is still going if you’d like to join in. We’re also launching a study of Romans as part of our LifeSkills schedule this fall. This class begins TODAY! It’s not too late to come, so join us this evening. If you’re already committed tonight make sure to come next week. The class is taught by Jay Lee. Many of you have been in one of his classes before. Jay has a great love for God’s word, and people fill his group each time he teaches.

The next big deal we’re offering in order to help us grow is Walk Thru the Bible. As word gets out, more and more people are signing up for this informative and inspirational event. We even have people coming from the Sacramento area. I wish I could sit down with each of you and talk about how Walk Thru the Bible will benefit your spiritual journey. I can’t, but I want to ask you to please make this a priority and come. You won’t regret it. Sign up online or at the Groups table on Sunday.

Men, we still have ten spaces available for our Men’s Retreat this weekend. Call John Fairchild at our office to get more information. We’d love to have you join us at beautiful Lake Tahoe!

This Sunday at TCC we’re going to focus on Jonah’s prayer when he was running from God. You won’t want to miss it. Go ahead and invite your friends to come hear this true slice of life story.

Love talking about spiritual growth with you,








Serve Opportunity – Join Anew Day, our Community Partner, on September 20 for R.A.K.E. and serve our community. At the same time you will bring awareness to Anew Day’s vision to bring low-cost, faith-based counseling to our community. www.therakeevent.com

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's all about God!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

For the past two weeks, I’ve written about corporate worship by defining it, comparing it to personal worship and listing some reasons why people might miss out on this essential experience with God and others. Today I’d like to give a vision of what corporate worship can be. First, it’s all about God (unlike this description by Victoria Osteen where she received a lot of criticism for her description of worship). In corporate worship we come to God to tell Him who He is, what He’s done and what He’s promised to do. We are reminded in a clear way just how great, powerful, faithful, and glorious He is. When we gather corporately, our teams serve us by putting God on display though music, spoken word, prayer, visual arts and expressions of beauty.

Second, it’s all about what God is doing in our world. He is drawing all people to Himself. He decrees that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess their allegiance to Him. We are reminded of God’s redemptive story for mankind and His gift of Jesus Christ, sacrificed on a cross and resurrected from the grave for us. We get to see how we fit into His story as we focus on His purposes in our world.

Third, corporate worship reminds me of God’s love for me. There’s a complex juxtaposition of both what all of us need and what I need at this moment in time. What’s amazing is how one person’s struggle or concern is so many times what the majority of us need. The really cool thing is how the Holy Spirit interprets for all of us just what God has to say to encourage or challenge us. The awesome thing is that God already knows what we all need. That’s why we begin each service planning time with prayer. We want to know His heart.

At TCC, we have the privilege of being led by Dave Bollen, who loves Jesus and wants to make much of Him. Last week Dave celebrated eighteen years as our Lead Worship Pastor. I love this man, and it’s been an honor to serve, lead and worship with him in many different seasons of our lives. I am inspired by the fact that Dave realizes his need for God, grace and continued surrender after all this time in ministry. He realizes that he’s not “there” yet and is hungry for the transformational power of Jesus. Will you please look for an opportunity to give him and Michelle a shout out and hug when you see them next?

Love talking about worship with you,





 


Serve Opportunity
– Join Anew Day, our Community Partner, on September 20 for R.A.K.E. and serve our community. At the same time you will bring awareness to Anew Day’s vision to bring low-cost, faith-based counseling to our community. www.therakeevent.com

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Choices, Rituals and Getting What I Put In

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Last week I wrote a short blurb about corporate worship and how we all need it in our walk with Jesus. I mentioned that it is vital to our growth as a follower of Jesus. If that is true, then why do so many people choose to skip church or attend irregularly? That is a good question, and I have some thoughts.

One reason we choose to miss out on corporate worship is that we’re confused about priorities and values. In our culture today, choice is the primary value for many people. And therefore, the freedom to choose from a buffet of options is the highest priority. Corporate worship has become one of the many options for many people. Instead of it being a priority, it’s just another activity from which to choose.

Another reason is that some people just don’t get anything from their corporate worship experience. Now, I agree that there are seasons when it takes a lot of effort to “get” something from church; I also believe that I get what I put into it. I remember so well an experience 25 years ago, where I was being critical about the worship in my church. I had one of those moments when God spoke to me and said, “If you’re not getting anything today, it’s your deal. In fact, anytime or anywhere I am lifted up and you don’t get anything, it’s because you choose not to.” Ouch! Since that day, there have only been a couple of times when I felt the service didn’t move me, and each time, it was because I was either too critical or not engaged enough.

The last reason people may choose to miss out on the corporate worship experience is that it has become a ritual to be observed instead of a relationship to be expressed. Corporate worship at its core is about God’s people coming to Him to express love to Him. When I do that, my eyes are moved from my stuff, difficulties, problems, even preferences and placed on Him. I get to be part of an experience where my God, my Jesus, is lifted up. As He is lifted up, I am drawn to Him.

I invite you to join us on Sunday as we are led to express our worship to God. If you missed last week, please watch the service and hear my story of how God spoke to me and how a specific song we sang was such a lift to my soul. It’s at the very beginning of the service. This Sunday we’ll learn to Pray Like Jacob when we are desperate for God’s blessing.

Looking forward to engaging and being led to make much of God with you in corporate worship,