It's Time! Rise Up! Take hope out of the ashes! Let the new day come! Press on with hope leading the way and courage as the engine!
January is an odd ball. It ushers in a new year and a new beginning. It also comes with a baggage of unpleasantries that will never leave. How do we move on to the new when the old has such a grip on us? Perhaps it is the old where hope waits to lead us into the new.
Add to Knowledge Self-Control and Let Your True Self Rise Up
Christmas is God’s robust life-giving gift of faith. The supersized gift of faith endows us with powerful fresh hope and divine resources (check out verses 3 & 4). Peter gives us various ingredients to unwrap this gift and enjoy life with God. This month we talked about the third ingredient, Self-Control.
Self-control is such a distressing word most notably around New Year. New Year resolutions add to overstocked disappointments. The pandemic has exhausted every muscle of hope. How untimely to talk about this subject. How can self-control possibly ignite a wildfire of hope for 2022?
With God’s gift of faith, it is possible! Self-control works with grace which gives rise to hope and courage. Self-control helps us override the many rigid rules we’ve unconsciously adopted for self-protection. If unchecked, we will miss the inner longings shouting beneath the rules. We become reactionary beings and miss out on living as spiritual beings. We avoid rather than learn how to navigate through the rough waters. Self-control is to be intentional in letting go of rigid rules of entrapment, stepping on the brakes, and taking time to pause and attend to our inner being. When we apply self-control we become present to our true longings and to the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit. This is the space to experience a work of transformation, freedom, and new convictions rising up with FAITH allowing HOPE to lead the way equipped by the healing work of LOVE.
One of the early questions arising from the pandemic is to mask or not to mask. I found it strange and awkward to wear masks. When I thought about how wearing masks protect the spread, keeps hospitals from overflowing, and does not exhaust healthcare workers, I changed my mind. Putting on my mask each day was my way of looking out for the common good. This somehow brought life back to my faith and my relationship with God.
In the same way, I once felt awkward and uncomfortable around LGBTQ+ folks, even if I was just watching commercials. I never had any personal relationships with queer folks. I decided to take hold of this uncomfortableness by getting to know the LGBTQ+ community. I started visiting their churches, events, talking with queer pastors and authors. My awkwardness faded and have a personal appreciation of who they are. I embrace the word repent (metanoéō) so much more now. It is not about changing my behavior, but the way I value people. When I put on my mask, I am doing it for the good of others. It’s about me taking initiative to rise up in faith and connect with people who may seemingly be different and find a kindred spirit in the Lord.
Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.
Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Grace Alive Fellowship is a community that builds friendship by journeying together through the twists, turns, bumps and barriers. Paul tells us in the bible, we are one body with many parts. It is the many parts that makes up one body. Everyone belongs, everyone is needed, everyone is honored. Come and build a community that lives by grace where everyone is welcomed, everyone gets involved, every voice is heard. Let our true inner selves rise up and shine. Together we can make a difference.
Upcoming Events for February
Monthly Celebration Service (Every 1st Friday of the month)
Supersized Faith Supersized Love - Add to Self-Control Perseverance 2 Peter 1:5-7
There is a faith that is real and can be experienced. Nurture our spiritual being.
Friday, Feb. 4th • 7PM - 8:30 PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
Come celebrate the love of God that has been poured out to each and everyone of us. Through songs, sharing from God’s word, we are receiving and expressing God’s love as a community so that people can have the opportunity to know more about the sweetness of life with God.
JOG (Journey of Grace) Small Group
Weekly on Sundays • 11AM - 12:30PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 429125
Join us for a time of inner reflection through contemplative listening for the Spirit’s voice, journaling and sharing our stories and insights with each other. We want to help each other notice God’s presence in our daily activities growing our faith.
Communion Fridays (Every 3rd Friday of the month)Come and be part of God’s commutual community deepening our spiritual relationship with Jesus and with one another. Through fellowship, prayer and breaking of bread and love the world with Jesus.
Monthly - Feb. 18th• 7PM - 8:30 PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
Bible Study (Every Saturday Evening 9pm - 10pm) The gospel of Luke ZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
We will read the scriptures together and let the Holy Spirit speak personally to us and share insights with each other.
Offering / Donations!
We currently allocate 90% of tithes towards our staff stipend and 10% towards an organization supporting our community during this time.
Your donation is tax deductible. For administrative purposes, please fill out this Google Form each time you donate to GAF.
Donate via ACH/Wire: Use Account #: 875101564230; ABA #: 031101169; Alternative ABA #: 031101279 (ACH payments only).
Donate via Check: Mail your donation to Manni Lee, 275 South Street, Apt 19D, New York, NY 10002.
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