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Jason’s Journal | Part 2 of 7

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[headline h=”1″]Anticipatory travel & safe Arrival [/headline]

Friday, march 1 5:46 am

We’re about to leave for Atlanta and eventually on to Santa Domingo.  (Actually, that could be way wrong. I’m lost in airports. My goal here is just to follow the crowd and not get lost. It will be miraculous if I actually end up in the DR.)

There is an energy to our group– a nervous excitement about what will happen and when. It’s interesting to meet people I’ve never talked with and feel an instant camaraderie with them. Reminds me of the beginning of 1 John 1 where we fellowship with one another because we first fellowship with the Father in Christ. Thankful that the separation due to sin has been undone at the cross and that perfect strangers are now brothers and sisters once again. At this point, I’m incredibly hopeful for a great week… even at 5:30 in the morning.

Friday march 1 11:03 

We’re in the air. After talking with Mike and Linda about ministry and mission, I’m ready to be in the DR. I spoke with Jodi and the kids during the layover which was nice, but now its time to engage. Spending time praying for the coming week.

Friday March 1 5:39 p (DR time)

Our bags are checked in and we now sit beside the pool in the Dominican Republic. Everyone is tired but hopeful following a long day of travel. Tomorrow holds a long day of work–either construction or medical.

When we arrived, SCORE had a nice reception for us complete with cake, punch, and sandwiches. There was a brief meeting which followed where we were told a few brief rules.

The drive to the score hotel was marked by vast extremes.   The beauty of God’s creation saddled next to the poverty of the country. While I’m sure every country faces these issues, a new country makes these stand out– a constant reminder that our sin has drastically affected God’s beautiful creation and now awaits God’s sons be revealed.

Friday March 1, 9:49 pm

This evening as I was sitting by the pool, a gentlemen from score approached me and asked “are you pastor Jason?” He proceeded to tell me that my wife had asked that I call home, but that it was not an emergency. So, I got on the score complex phone and called her. The good news was that our adopted child would be a boy. Thank God for His goodness to an undeserving sinner.

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[styled_image size=”small” align=”left” link=”” icon=”” lightbox=”” alt=”Grace Blog”]http://www.greenvillegrace.org/ggbc_files/Web/Graphics/BRADSHAW_JASON_MUG.png[/styled_image]Jason Bradshaw currently serves as the Pastor of Worship and Counseling at Greenville Grace Church in Greenville, OH where he resides. We have had the joy of benefiting from his giftedness as a musician and resident theologian for a little over 8 years. It is our prayer that what you read conveys his love for the body of Christ…wherever she finds herself. If  you’d like to interact more with Jason, feel free to contact the church office at office@greenvillegrace.org and we’ll get you in touch with him.

[sub_title]Thanks for stopping by.[/sub_title]

Jason’s Journal | Part 1 of 7

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[headline h=”1″]Introduction[/headline]

At the beginning of March, I had the opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic with 32 other people; some for our church, others from other churches and some from Cedarville University. I have to admit, I had been on short term missions trips before and been fairly disappointed; I had an expectation that short term missions trips were a front row seat to what God was really doing in the world. This time, I tempered my expectations. Perhaps God wouldn’t show Himself through tongues of fire, though He could if He wanted to. What He did show me though was that He works in the Dominican Republic much like He works in Greenville, Ohio; through men and women submitted to Him, abiding in Him and bearing fruit accordingly (John 15).

While we were on our trip, I took the time to try my hand at journaling. I had my iphone and the notes app and would try to write down what I was thinking from time to time. Often, it would be on the bus ride back to our hotel or in the morning after finishing my time in the Word.

Regardless, I wanted to post those thoughts here. Admittedly, I had to go back and polish up some of the spelling and even make sure that what I was saying made sense. But, the point of it all is three-fold;

  1. I want to encourage those who are thinking about going to the DR.
  2. I want to remind our church (as I was reminded) that God doesn’t just work in Greenville, Ohio but all over the world
  3. I wanted to give a brief window into what Bob and Anna Nilsen (our missionaries in the DR) and the teams we send down every year are doing.

I hope that you enjoy what you read. I’ve posted the thoughts consecutively so that you can get a perspective on what is happening. We’ll be sure to spread the posts out over a 3 day period so as to not overwhelm the reader.

I hope that God continues to allow our church to enjoy these trips and see fruit from them. We don’t go to the DR to help an impoverished country get health care or have better facilities.  We go to the DR to see the gospel bear fruit (Col. 1:6)—in us and in them. I hope that you get that sense as you read.

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[styled_image size=”small” align=”left” link=”” icon=”” lightbox=”” alt=”Grace Blog”]http://www.greenvillegrace.org/ggbc_files/Web/Graphics/BRADSHAW_JASON_MUG.png[/styled_image]Jason Bradshaw currently serves as the Pastor of Worship and Counseling at Greenville Grace Church in Greenville, OH where he resides. We have had the joy of benefiting from his giftedness as a musician and resident theologian for a little over 8 years. It is our prayer that what you read conveys his love for the body of Christ…wherever she finds herself. If  you’d like to interact more with Jason, feel free to contact the church office at office@greenvillegrace.org and we’ll get you in touch with him.

[sub_title]Thanks for stopping by.[/sub_title]

art4worship | Why Create?

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[headline h=”2″]art4worship : Why Create?[sub_title]A discussion of creativity and it’s role in worship[/sub_title][/headline]

type: Messages | by: Jason Bradshaw|

Creative Workshop (session 1) Audio

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Instructions for Downloading Files:

Windows Users – Right-click on the Audio or PDF link that you want to save to your computer. When the menu appears, choose “Save Target As…” (Internet Explorer) or “Save Link As…” (Firefox, Chrome). This will allow you to rename the file and choose the location you would like to save it in.

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You will need Windows Media Player or iTunes installed on your computer to listen to audio files as well as Adobe Reader to view any PDF files on this site. Click the referenced links to download these programs.

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Brooke Yost’s Baptisim Testimony

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I grew up knowing who God was, went to church all my life and was baptized when I was 11 but I was just going through the motions. I wanted to change the way I looked and the German Baptist church did that for me. I looked like a believer on the outside but on the inside I was broken and lost.

Because of past things that had happened in my life I wanted nothing to do with God. I turned to guys, partying and drugs. Anything I could do to prove just how much I hated god. Just to prove I could do everything on my own and be happy. And for the most part I was happy but it wasn’t a lasting happiness.

I always thought “when I have my life together and everything figured out THEN I’ll get right with god” or “when God actually shows me that he loves me then I’ll believe” but I was just running from God and straight to hell as fast as I could.

On September 21st at the True Woman conference I realized I’m never going to have it all together or figured out and that’s ok because God loves me right where I am at. At that moment He opened my eyes to His grace and love. He showed his love for me by sending his son Jesus to die on the cross in my place for my sins and rise again 3 days later so that I don’t have to be perfect or have it all figured out. God accepts me as I am, broken and lost. I now know that God sees me and he loves me and because of that I am made brand new.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” So today I am getting baptized not to be saved because that has already been done but I am getting baptized as an outward confession of faith.

I asked God into my life at the True Woman conference as Joni Eareckson Tada sang these words… Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but NOW I see.

Operation Christmas Child: Fill a shoebox

We are collecting shoeboxes filled with toys for Operation Christmas Child. The deadline for shoeboxes will be the end of second service on November 11th. If your LIFEgroup is considering using this event as one of your outreach events, please contact the church office to see how you can get supplies to help you! If you are not familiar with the ministry, check out www.samaritanspurse.org/occ/ or call Pam Denniston at 692.5761.

We have provided resources below to assist you in packing your shoebox(s). In addition, brochures and supplies are available at the welcome center in the church narthex.

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[headline h=”2″]What do I put in my shoebox?[sub_title]So you’ve got your shoebox, now what can you put in it?[/sub_title][/headline]

[headline h=”6″]Toys[/headline]

Small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc.

[headline h=”6″]School Supplies[/headline]

Pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

[headline h=”6″]Hygiene Items[/headline]

Toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

[headline h=”6″]Other[/headline]

Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy0, mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)

[headline h=”6″]A Personal Note[/headline]

In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. A coloring sheet is provided below for children to fill out. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)

[headline h=”6″]Do Not Include:[/headline]

Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food, out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

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[headline h=”2″]Resources[sub_title]Items to help as you pack your shoebox.[/sub_title][/headline]

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[headline h=”3″]Coloring Pages[/headline]

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Have your kids color and fill out this two sided page that will tell the child receiving the shoebox a little information about them.

[button_with_link url=”http://www.greenvillegrace.org/ggbc_files/Web/Graphics/ColoringPages.pdf” target=”_blank” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]Download[/button_with_link]

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[headline h=”3″]Shoebox Lables[/headline]

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Need labels for your shoebox(s)? Look no further, we’ve provided labels for you right here. Simply download, print, and tape to box!

[button_with_link url=”http://www.greenvillegrace.org/ggbc_files/Web/Graphics/GirlBoy_Label.jpg” target=”_blank” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]Download[/button_with_link]

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[headline h=”3″]Samaritan’s Purse[/headline]

Want to know more about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child? Need more information on how to pack a shoebox? Would you like to track your shoebox(s) and see where they end up? Visit Operation Christmas Child online for more information.

[button_with_link url=”http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/occ/” target=”_blank” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]Visit OCC[/button_with_link]

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Looking for LIFEgroup questions?

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[headline h=”2″] Finding LIFEgroup questions is easier than ever!

go to www.greenvillegrace.org and click on the resources menu at the top o’ the page.

Yup. That’s it.[/headline]

LoriAnn Filbrun’s Baptism Testimony

About a year ago I was starting to look more into God’s word. The more I looked, the more I realized I am a big sinner! Without Christ, I am filthy! I would go to hell forever if Jesus was not King of my life. I do not want to go to hell. I do not want satan in my life.

I know that only through Jesus Christ, I am saved, through faith. I know only God can forgive my sins. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” I believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that He died on a cross and rose again for us. I want the world to know this!

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to set an example for all of His followers to be baptized. I want to be like Jesus. I know that baptizing me does not save me. By being baptized today, I can express to the world my love to God and that I am a saved Christian. I no longer live in fear. I have everlasting life!

Queko (Eneko) Izaguirre’s Baptism Testimony

When I was five years old my mother passed away and during this time people would tell me that she was in a better place and that I would see her again someday. Everybody would tell me that she was in a place called heaven. This event caused me to ask questions about this place, I wanted to know about it and I wanted to know how to get there so I could be with my mother again. My dad told me that the only way to get to heaven is by believing in God, because of my age I did not completely understand the importance of the Gospel of Christ, but I knew that God existed, so I said the sinner’s prayer and thought that I was saved. I started to attend a Catholic church even though I did not really understand the message. At that moment I only wanted to have a relationship with God because I had been told that it was what I was supposed to do to go to heaven and be with my mother again, this was my only motivation. But when I was seven years old God used my grandmother to make me realize that my motivation for having a relationship with Him was wrong, and that my only motivation should be what he did in the cross for us. This was the moment when I started to realize how important that was, when I started to understand the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, though I was still too young to understand some things. I was eager to know more about Him, and my grandmother taught me many things about God, one of the most memorable things that she taught me is that I did not need a priest to talk to God, that I could do it myself. This is the main reason why I stopped attending Catholic Church. I could not go to any Christian churches because there weren’t any close to where I live. Even though I stopped attending church, I did not stop having a relationship with God.

When I was fifteen years old I decided to become an exchange student, and by God’s grace I ended up living in Greenville, with a family that had just started attending Greenville Grace Church. This church has helped me to fully understand the importance of the Gospel. In only eight months I have learned more about Jesus Christ than what I had before in my whole life. I know that I did not end up leaving (living) in Greenville just by chance, I know that he wanted me to know more about Him, and that this was the right place to do it. I also got the opportunity to serve Him during a mission trip in the Dominican Republic last March, where I got to know other people from this church that I had never met before, I got to share the Gospel with people that had never heard it, and I also worked with a medical team.

I got baptized when I was a baby, but the reason why I am doing it today is because I want everybody to know how thankful I am for Jesus dying on the cross to save me from my sin. God has been watching over me for my entire life. He brought me here so I could learn more about Him, and has always been so good to me.

 

Rebecca Leensvaart’s Baptism Testimony

Revelation 29:11 says “…they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony…” I stand before you today to testify that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is not just a story of something that happened a couple thousand years ago. This gospel that you hear preached Sunday after Sunday still has the power to change lives. I would like to share with you how this Jesus has changed my life.

I grew up going to church; my parents tried to teach us the bible. But for whatever reason, I viewed God as a harsh judge; angry, distant and not pleased with me. At a very young age, I began to fear this God…not a healthy fear, but a “he might strike me dead at any moment” kind of fear. I lived in constant dread of His wrath.

When I was nine years old, I remember sitting at the table one night; my dad was reading the bible. Suddenly, I had this strange realization that I was not just flesh and blood, but an eternal soul. I got this panicky feeling that started in my stomach worked throughout my body. I knew in that moment that though my flesh would die, my soul would live forever. And I didn’t know where I would spend that forever…though I had a pretty good idea. This is where my quest began; my quest to appease an angry God.

I started reading my bible, thinking that would please God. Problem is, I was programmed to read the bible as a list of rules. So I concluded that I just needed to try harder to be good; to stop doing bad things. And I did try really hard…for a of couple weeks. But I couldn’t keep it up. This started a pattern in my life. Try really hard to be good…fail…despair…then try hard again. This always ended in failure and defeat.

So I began to resent God for having such rigorous standards. I didn’t see myself as that bad of a person…in fact; I thought I was pretty good compared to other kids around me. I had no understanding of the fact that I was a sinner in need of grace. And since I didn’t know I was a sinner, I didn’t know I needed a savior either. I was just trying to stay out of hell.

When I was 15, I decided to get baptized. I thought maybe getting baptized and joining church would take away the guilt and fear. Maybe then God would be pleased with me. Of a truth, I went into the water a dry sinner and came out a wet one. Now my life was governed by a new set of rules…codes of dress and an exhaustive list of does and don’ts added to the ones already in the bible. The weight and burden of all I had to live up to was getting heavier and heavier as I sank deeper into despair. Jason Grey puts it so well in one of his songs: “all that religion ever made of me, was a sinner with a stone tied to my feet…it never set me free.”

I lived here for years, keeping up the façade that everything was fine. I looked and talked like a Christian; I went to church. But inside I was dead. I really did want to be free, to be good, to stop messing up…I just didn’t have the power to do it.

It took getting married and having kids for me to really start to see my sin. After 5 years of marriage, everything started falling apart. I came to the end of myself…I simply didn’t have anything left to live for. All the things I’d used to try and fill the void in my heart just didn’t satisfy anymore. I had the husband, the house, the kids, all the stuff I thought would make me happy. The lure of pleasure and entertainment didn’t take away the loneliness, the emptiness. I longed for something more.

Two and a half years ago, God brought a woman into my life…someone who cared about all the pain and confusion in my heart. David and I spent a week with her and her husband…and this is where my story begins to change. Because that week, I met Jesus.

For the first time in my life, I was able to talk about some really hard things that had happened in my childhood; things that kept my heart locked up. I had so much anger and bitterness inside that was controlling my life. You see, I thought that holding on to these things would make me stronger. But in reality, it was killing me.

As we talked that first day, they invited me to lay all the shattered pieces of my life at the feet of Jesus. All I had to do was surrender, let go. Bowing my head, I began to pray. Tentatively at first; then, like a flood, all the pain, frustration, anger, confusion…it all came rushing out. Like Jonah 2:2 says “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress and He answered me”. Jesus met me there, in my brokenness, and for the first time in my life, I felt His love, His grace, His abundant mercy.

As I prayed, I pictured Jesus taking all my ugliness, all my sin and carrying it to the cross; while I walked away pardoned, cleansed, forgiven. Immediately, I felt the burden of my sin lift. Gone was the fear that had governed my life. Gone the guilt and shame. In its place peace, joy…

It was like scales fell away from my eyes and I saw God for who He really is; not distant or angry…but compassionate, gracious and full of mercy.

That was the day I began falling in love with Jesus. Not a “box of chocolates” kind of love, like Danny mentioned, but a deep, unmovable, satisfying love. A love that makes me want to give up everything to follow Him. Falling in love with Jesus broke the chains from me.

And so today… I live because He died. I have hope because He rose…and I will overcome because He lives inside of me. Thank you Jesus!

 

DR Missions Trip Support Opportunity

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On March 2-10, the Fourman Medical Team is taking a group from Grace, other area churches and students from Cedarville University to the Dominican Republic for a week long mission trip.  While there, they will be providing medical/dental and construction services to the people of the Dominican Republic and most importantly, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

While it is too late to get involved by going on this trip, it’s not too late to support their medical and missionary efforts.  There are a number of ways you can support this trip, most importantly through prayer.  Please be praying that God would be working in the lives of those that will be ministered to, that He would open hearts to hear the truth.  Pray for those going that they would be willing servants of Jesus Christ and pray that all would be done to the glory of God!

The team will be taking much needed supplies with them and are asking for your help in obtaining them.  The following are items that you can donate to support their efforts:

For our Missionaries in the the DR:

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  • Disposable Diapers (sizes 1-5)
  • Baby Wipes
  • White wash cloths
  • Bear Creek Soup Packets (cheddar, potato cheese, navy bean, wild rice)

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  • Pie Filling (peach, cherry, blueberry, pumpkin)
  • Disposable “Swimmers” (sizes 1-5)
  • AA/AAA Batteries
  • Shelled Pistachios (Bob Nilsen’s favorite)

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For Ministry Donation:

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  • Shampoo
  • Hair ornaments
  • Colorful stickers
  • Small toys

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  • Soap
  • Combs/brushes
  • Spanish coloring books
  • Pencils/pens

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Medical Supplies for our teams:

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  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Wal-Mart Equate Tussin DM & Tussin CG
  • Tylenol Cold (Equate brand is great)
  • Tums
  • Reading glasses
  • Any strength prescription glasses
  • Avery 5160 Labels (30 per page)

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  • Anti-fungal creams
  • Tylenol/Advil
  • Pepto Bismal tablets
  • Zantac
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Ziploc snack sized bags
  • Sharpies

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All donated items should be placed in the tubs (labeled ‘DR Trip Donations’) under the table in the narthex at Grace Church.  Deadline for donations is Sunday, February 26.