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God continues to do great things at New Vintage Church. Since our first informal gathering of 16 on December 5th of last year, and through our “official” launch on Palm Sunday of this year, God has continued to grow our church into a vibrant fellowship of people who love one another and are committed to His mission.
This past weekend, God rained an enormous blessing on New Vintage when Hidden Valley Christian Church in Escondido, California (the church whose facility we rent on Sunday nights), voted to dissolve and join New Vintage Church in ministry going forward. That vote was an enormous step of faith in God and trust in our church—and we couldn’t be more grateful. It was also a beautiful expression of Christian unity. New Vintage Church will begin meeting on Sunday mornings with a special service on October 23rd.
At a very practical level, here are some other things this means for New Vintage Church:
- And one of the biggest joys of this step of faith: New Vintage Church has a home. The facility we meet in and the land it’s on now belong to New Vintage Church. This opens soooo many doors for us from the perspectives of outreach, potential compassion ministries, and visibility in the community. It also provides some long-term financial stability I thought might elude us for some time.
- The addition of about 40-50 new Brothers and Sisters in Christ to our fellowship. This will send us well above the dreaded 200 mark.
- We can move our assembly times to Sunday mornings
- Our capacity for service goes up as we join with these servant-minded people Sisters and Brothers.
We hardly even know where to begin thanking God for this amazing gift. Though our church still has a number of challenges ahead of it, there’s no doubt the Kingdom advanced last weekend. Unity prevailed. Because of it, God is pleased and more people will be reached for Christ.
Here are some things on my mind this week:
- People always view 1 John as a simple, easy read about loving one another. This time through, I’m struck by how black and white his theology is. Light/Dark, Love/Hate, etc. It rubs me just a bit the wrong way as a supposedly enlightened 21st century Westerner. Maybe I need to reconsider my views.
- I love California, but our state agencies are terribly cumbersome and enormously expensive to do business with. That’s a rather generous way of putting it.
- I spent 4 days as Mr. Mom with my girls last week. Enjoyable, but a chaotic and nerve-fraying experience. I didn’t set the house on fire and no major injuries were reported.
- USC’s football team is driving me crazy this year. Looking forward to next year when we’re allowed to get back to the BCS championship game.
- The Red Sox collapse has to be up there with…the ’86 World Series My colleague and homie D.J. Iverson tweeted, “Somewhere Bill Buckner is trying to hold back a huge grin. #Karma.” Nice.
- The encouraging word of a Brother or Sister in Christ remains one of the most simple yet powerful weapons against Satan.
- Can you imagine how much energy and spiritual power would be released if all churches actually loved and supported one another?
- If you miss Satan or believe he may not really exist–start a new church. He’ll make himself known. Then…God will show up even stronger.
- Physical health may be the most neglected part of most pastors’ lives.
- The NFL has to be loving this. They avert their strike and the NBA isn’t going to play for a long time–giving them the nation’s undivided sports attention.
- For the first time I can remember, I have no real desire to read. It takes real discipline for me these days. I need to figure out why that is.
- After a few weeks of the season–I’m thinking a San Diego vs. Green Bay Super Bowl. Homer call–maybe. Maybe not.
- The new NIV Study Bible is coming out in a couple of weeks. I’m eager to see what they’ve done with it.
- Never underestimate the power or relevancy of Scripture. No matter how highly I think of it, I’m probably underestimating it.
- At the same time, I need to always keep the Word Made Flesh, of whom the Scriptures testify, the centerpiece of our church and theology.
- I need a haircut.