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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ten Lessons From a Year of Church Planting


Not a top 10 list, but almost...

    1.  Only God will satisfy.
    2.  God is better than comfort.
    3.  The glory of God is better to pursue than the glory of man.
    4.  Trust God in change.
    5.  Fight for time with Jesus.
    6.  God is a God who does the impossible.
    7.  Wait on the Lord. His timing is perfect.
    8.  God provides.
    9.  Following God on mission is a great privilege.
    10.Trusting God at his Word will bring the embodiment of it. 

These truths were joyously shared as a group of leaders from our church plant got together and talked about what God has taught us in seeking to bring the gospel to the city of Seattle through the planting of Downtown Cornerstone Church.

-G

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Our 2011 Christmas Card!

From "God With Us" | Spoken Word by Isaac Wimberley

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Texas...


We're going to Oakland tonight to celebrate Christmas with our CA family whom we haven't seen since May, so we're pumped! However, we are indeed sad to miss celebrating with our family in Texas, eating sausage balls (at least Christy is) and watching the kids (including the old ones ;-) open up the gifts we picked out for them.
Merry Christmas Texas...You're hanging on the front of our tree!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas in Pioneer Square

The State Hotel Building, built in 1891
Lights on First Ave
Pergola lights projecting red & green

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"By His blood, we can sing before His throne"

I have been listening to this refrain consistently this Advent season and it has taught me to look to Christ's coming. Let it encourage you as it has encouraged me. Lyrics below.


GOD WITH US
Poem by Isaac Wimberley

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Video We Said We'd Post

As promised in our last post, here is the video from the album we encourage you to invest in--The Attributes of God by Shai Linne and many other gifted contributors. It's of his wife Blair Linne performing a powerful spoken word as an introduction of sorts to the album. The instrumentals are inspiring, the lyrics are God-exalting and truth-packed, the vocals are smooth and there are even children singing on the record. Watch the video then purchase the album at Lampmode Recordings. "Soli Deo gloria!"

shai linne - "The Perfection of Beauty" ft. Blair Linne (Official Trailer) from Lamp Mode Recordings on Vimeo.

Friday, November 11, 2011

How can I know what God is like?


This month we are teaching the kids what God is like. The big question we're asking is, "How can I know what God is like?" I once read that there were devoted monks that used to walk around in the forest knocking on trees asking, "God, are you in there?" looking to find God and see what He was like. I admire them for their honest search for God, but feel sorry for them in their forest wandering. Thankfully, God has revealed himself to us in the Bible, and specifically in Christ. The answer to the kids' curriculum question is, "He shows me what He's like!" It's true, God has revealed himself in the Bible!

(Now there can be a whole other blog post just on why we accept the Bible's depiction of God rather than other religious writings accounts, but I will just say real fast that the Bible is historically accurate,  trustworthy, scientifically backed and absolutely united (no contradictions), and to boot it has vasts amounts of fulfilled prophesies - not to mention Jesus trusted the Scriptures as God's revelation of Himself. All that to say, there's at least reason enough to search the Scriptures to see if they personally convince you. )

The real reason for this post is to urge you to check out a new resource put out by Shai Linne. It is a Hip Hop album that focuses on the character of God. Each song is about one of His attributes. Do you know what God is like? This album is a fascinating listen as well as a tool to learn about what the Bible says about God himself! Learn more about the album here. We'll be posting a video from it soon.

-G

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Desktop Background of Seattle


In an upcoming blog post we are planning to share how these verses have impacted us lately, but for now...enjoy a free desktop background if you wish! This is a perfect way to remember to pray for God's work here in Seattle. Just click on the picture to be taken to the full size version, then right click to "save image as".

-Christy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reformation Day

Hope you had a good Halloween and Reformation Day!

In light of Reformation Day, I got together with some guys this weekend to watch the movie Luther. I even made a German Pancake... which I thought was delicious.

October 31st is celebrated as Reformation Day because it is the anniversary of the date on which Martin Luther nailed his reformation writing on a Catholic church's door. He was looking for reformation within the church, a re-commitment to the gospel and a dropping of the many teachings and practices that were not in the Bible. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite points in his reformational writing called, "The 95 Theses".

31. One who bona fide buys indulgence is as rare as a bona fide penitent man, i.e. very rare indeed.
35. It is not in accordance with Christian doctrines to preach and teach that those who buy off souls, or purchase confessional licenses, have no need to repent of their own sins.
48. Christians should be taught that, in granting indulgences, the pope has more need, and more desire, for devout prayer on his own behalf than for ready money.
55. The pope cannot help taking the view that if indulgences (very small matters) are celebrated by one bell, one pageant, or one ceremony, the gospel (a very great matter) should be preached to the accompaniment of a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
62. The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.
93. Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ's people, "The cross, the cross," where there is no cross.

You can read through the whole Thesis here.

-G

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Birthday Hike in to the Wilderness

The weekend before my birthday some friends of ours graciously opened up their beautiful home overlooking a bay to us while they were out of town so we got to take some time away from our busy schedules. It was so nice, not long enough! Giulian planned some fun things for us like ice skating, dinner out & a really great hike. We journeyed to Foulweather Bluff which I have to say is the most insanely preserved and interesting wildlife habitat I've ever been to. Giulian also gave me a 50 mm camera lens for my birthday (!!!) so with new lens in tow we set off into the wilderness and found trees growing out of trees, mushrooms galore, brightly-colored leaves, crabs & even a furry little caterpillar. Enjoy!

-Christy

(You can click the collage to enlarge it.)


Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkins, Corn & Mud!

We visited Craven Farm, a local pumpkin patch & corn maze, with some church fam a few weeks ago and it was awesome! While our group of roughly two dozen was navigating the Alice in Wonderland-themed maze I caught one of the children ask, "Are we ever going to get out of here?" She wasn't the only one wondering...

See pics below.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Regular


I talked to a gentleman named Paul today at Zeitgeist, a local cafe where I was working. He's a regular there and I could tell I was sitting in his "seat" because I had barely begun packing up before he swooped in to ask me if I was leaving. "Of course I am now Paul." But he seemed friendly enough so I engaged, "Do you come here often?" We talked about his love for trains, which is why he likes his seat at Zeitgeist, it reminds him of being on a train. We also discussed how more and more people like ourselves are moving into the cities all over the world. Paul was pleased to find out he wasn't the only one noticing that because in his home country of Zimbabwe he picked up on the same pattern - he was really in to patterns. He's a writer and observer who seemed to have a pretty good idea about the culture in Seattle with having only been here for five months... slow down Paul. "These people are all the same," Paul said. You're right Paul, we're all sinners in need of a Savior. Let's talk over coffee again soon, but this time I'll bring my husband. :)

-Christy

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chasin waterfalls with the family...

Kerry Park overlooking downtown Seattle

My sister and neice came to visit last weekend!!! We were so blessed to have Alicia and Haleigh here, which was also a great excuse to do some really awesome things like visit the Falls we've never seen before, and of course go to the markets that we love (see photos below). It was such a treat, metaphorically and literally as we also spent significant time stuffing ourselves with delicious food. We love you guys, thanks for the visit!

-Christy

Monday, September 26, 2011

Steve's Story: Part II

Many of you may remember this story that we posted some months ago about Steve, a gentleman that we know from the Union Gospel Mission. Well last month we had the privilege of seeing Steve graduate from the thirteen month-long sobriety program at the Mission. It was an encouraging night of much laughter as some of our other friends were being promoted to the next level of the program. If you can imagine, these men have a lot of forces working against them to stay in this program, living at the Mission for a full year - it's tough. So there's a lot of energy every last Wednesday of the month at graduation because the men have a chance to share what God has been doing at the Mission and encourage each other to continue forward.

The end of Steve's program is just the beginning for him however. After visiting family in Texas, Steve's plan is to continue living at the Mission as an intern while attending community college. While Steve was in jail as a young man, he learned sign language from a fellow hearing impaired inmate. He loves the deaf community and is excited to work toward an Associate's Degree in sign language interpretation.

The Seattle Union Gospel Mission has done an excellent job recording Steve's story through video, catch parts I-IV here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DCC Baptism Video

     You may remember from a recent post that our church just had our first baptisms last month! We wanted to share this video with you that some very gifted folks in our church body put together in order to encourage your faith in Christ. We are greatly encouraged.

"Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer. But this I know with all my heart - His wounds have paid my ransom!"

Downtown Cornerstone Church - 8.11.2011 Baptisms from Downtown Cornerstone Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Missing Blog Post: Crown Royal and a Suitcase.

For some reason this blog post was never published. It's dated March 17th, 2010, the week before we left for Brazil, a small tale of mystery that we thought you may enjoy...
_____

I bought a large suitcase for the trip from the Goodwill the other day. It was seven dollars. Ten dollars originally, but it was 30 percent off that day. It is large, black, and leather. Four wheels at the bottom and a latch on the side to attach a string too in order to pull it on its wheels when it gets heavy. Two buckles and two sturdy zippers keep it shut. There were two holes in it but easily fixed with duct tape.

Inside the suitcase were four receipts. Let these receipts take you into the life of "Jack"; former owner of the big black suitcase:

Receipt 1: Dec 18, 1992 - Halls Cough Drops and Aspercreme - Total: $4.59
Receipt 2: Dec 24, 1992 - Two Unknown Items from Walgreens - Total $11.69
Receipt 3: Dec 25, 1992 - One Hotel Room - Total $65.00
Receipt 4: Dec 26, 1992 - Crown Royal - Total $6.24

Thanks for the donation Jack. I hope my next suitcase will be this much fun.

-G
_____

(PS: We still have this suitcase!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Celebration: Rest from your work, because of His work.

Hebrews 4:10 "For whoever has entered into God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from His."

We are all working! Every day, consciously or not, we are all putting in work for our own self-salvation project. We amplify our good works and justify our evil deeds to be better than the next person or to be seen as innocent in the eyes of our peers. Whether we do good things or abstain from bad things, we are naturally justifiers of self. Often times this self-justifying work is seen by living a safe life, devoted life, purposeful life, moral life, happy life, thrill-seeking life, self-satisfying life, etc. I have found that I can find my self-justifying work load by filling in this blank: "I deserve to be accepted because I _____".

This work is anti-gospel. The gospel calls us to rest from our self-justifying intentions and trust in the justifying work of Christ alone. This is why Jesus says his burden is light. He relieves us from this hard labor of justifying ourselves.

So today, put your faith in Christ. Stop your working. Celebrate the labor of Christ, who lived the perfect life we could never manage to live and gives us His perfect life in exchange for our self-justifying, burdened life. Now we can be accepted because Christ worked for us, not because we worked hard enough to earn acceptance! And because His righteousness is given to us, we can quit our self-salvation project. Let this Labor Day be the day you never work (in this sense) again!

-G

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Father is greater than all.

2 Timothy 1:12 "I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me."

     "What has been entrusted to me" is our salvation, in other words, the deposit we have from God to walk with Him eternally.

"Satan does not venture to suggest this thought in a direct form, that God cannot fulfill, or is prevented from fulfilling, what he has promised... but, by preoccupying our eyes and understandings, he takes away from us all sense of the power of God." -John Calvin, Commentary on 2 Tim. 1:12

My women's discipleship group is studying 2 Timothy and this quote from Calvin about Satan's methods really hit me. It's a daily battle to guard our eyes and minds from being distracted, but we can take heart that our God is strong enough to keep our focus on Him. He IS able to guard our salvation no matter how far our eyes stray, He is greater than all. Amen!

John 10:29 "My Father, who has given them [you, Christian] to me, is greater than all,"

-Christy

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I praise you Jesus for giving life to Paul and Derek.

Pastor Adam of DCC, Giulian & Pastor Bruce
Our church body had the joy of witnessing our first baptisms last Thursday night at the beach! The last summer BBQ culminated with the baptism of six friends in the frigid Puget Sound. It was a special joy for Giulian and I as Pastor Bruce Wesley, his wife Susan, and their daughter Sarah Beth from our sending church Clear Creek Community were able to share the evening with us. What an encouraging evening, it has energized me for days to think about what Jesus is doing!

A very dear friend of ours that we're in community with shared his testimony of conversion five months ago and was baptized, evidencing Jesus' miraculous grace. The next day as I reflected on Derek's story and baptism, I couldn't get the story of the apostle Paul's last days of freedom out of my head.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I've been off the blog for a bit because my friends Sarah and Heather were in town for five days and just left Monday, what a blast! Heather was my college roommate and maid of honor and is now 6 1/2 months pregnant with her first baby so it was SUCH a blessing to see her! Even though she's slowed up with the bun in the oven, her blog is an awesome resource for all things gospel and kids. Sarah herself is a gifted writer who just wrapped up a year of teaching English in South Korea and now keeps a blog regarding all things gospel and life. We squeezed in lots of fun activities wrapped up by a fun day at Pike Place Market sampling lots of tasty treats. Praise God!

-Christy

Sunday, July 31, 2011

God Takes Care of the Birds

That's what Giulian sleepily said to me the other night whenever I began recounting my worries to him, and it reminded of how God has provided for us tremendously this past month. I stopped worrying and believed the gospel in that moment.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? -Matthew 6:26

Yesterday Giulian began a new full-time job as a construction delivery driver!

Friday, July 29, 2011


"I have destroyed myself... If ever I am saved it will be by goodness undeserved and astonishing."
-Valley of Vision, pg. 72
Photo taken somewhere west of the Columbia River Vantage Bridge, WA.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Introducing S.O. the kid!



We're excited about this new young artist with our favorite label Lamp Mode Recordings! Currently you can download 25 tracks from S.O. for free, such a blessing!

Go get So it Begins his most recent album released with Lamp Mode which we've had on repeat all weekend long, so good! And his previous self-released 5 Solas Mixtape which we're eager to listen to more. Welcome S.O.!
  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This is God's Beauty, Not Nature's.

"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" -Kuyper

Zion National Park, captured by Christy

"Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name." -Psalm 29:2a

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Walk Worthy

The DCC women's group I gather with on Wednesday mornings studies the Bible by reading through the same book of the Bible numerous times during the week to saturate ourselves in the Word, then gathering to discuss how the Word is impacting our lives. We started in Matthew and are now in 1 Thessalonians, usually spending 2-3 weeks on the same book. Reading in this way (combined with our pastor doing a series on Ephesians) has made me notice so many patterns, specifically in Paul's letters, that I had never noticed before.

Friday, July 1, 2011

How shall we thank him?

We little know what we owe to our Saviour's prayers. When we reach the hilltops of heaven, and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God hath led us, how we shall praise him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief which Satan was doing upon earth. How shall we thank him because he never held his peace, but day and night pointed to the wounds upon his hands, and carried our names upon his breastplate!
-Charles Spurgeon


Monday, June 27, 2011

He was between me and the edge all the time.

Giulian and I begun awhile ago reading through The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis for the very first time. We're about half way through and one section from the installment The Horse and His Boy has run through my mind continuously since then. Do you have those thoughts? Certain ones over the course of your life that replay in your mind over and over throughout your years. I was just chatting with my neighbor about a crazy event in her life that displayed God's sovereignty, and I was reminded again of the following scene.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Child Evangelism in Italy

We want to highlight for you what our friends are doing to reach out to the kids in their neighborhood in Umbertide, Perugia, Italy. They are German church planting missionaries to Italy and their dedication to and zeal for working for the Lord is a constant encouragement to us. Click here to see what they did last week at their neighborhood park.

Photo courtesy of their blog ItaliaNews

Monday, June 20, 2011

Engaging Children During Sunday Gathering

We are currently thinking through how to equip parents of kids six and older to teach and disciple their children through the Sunday morning service. Cornerstone Kids is only offered for kids ages six months to six years old because we believe that parents are the primary disciple-makers of their children (Deut. 6:5-9). Kids can learn a mighty lesson by worshiping together with their parents in the service, but we also understand that it can be difficult. For this reason CK wants to partner with parents to create tools for active listening as well as pre- and post-service conversation. Please click below to see how one DCC couple (who are also CK teachers) are currently interacting with their six year-old daughter during Sunday gathering.

-Christy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Worldview

Worldview: Your interpretation of reality.

Is Christianity just a set of spiritual truths that has nothing to do with our lives, or could it be something so interwoven into the world that it is the proper lens by which to interpret reality as we know it?

Francis Schaeffer comments:

Christianity is not just a series of truths but Truth -- Truth about all of reality. And the holding to that Truth intellectually -- and then in some poor way living upon that Truth, the Truth of what is -- brings forth not only certain personal results, but also governmental and legal results.
 -G

Monday, June 13, 2011

Steve's Story

We met this guy on the bus the first week we were in Seattle. He had a huge lump of potter's clay in his arms because he was going down to the Mission for pottery class. Now he's our neighbor.
-----

Steve's Story from Seattle's Union Gospel Mission on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Christians: Desire Jesus or Desire Morality?

William Wilberforce opens his book A Practical View of Christianity by describing the weak "Christian" culture that he witnessed in the 1700's:

If we listen to their [nominal Christian] conversation, virtue is praised, and vice is censured; piety is perhaps applauded, and profaneness condemned. So far all is well. But let any one, who would not be deceived, by these “barren generalities” examine a little more closely, and he will find, that not to Christianity in particular, but at best to Religion in general, perhaps to mere Morality, their homage is intended to be paid. With [True] Christianity, as distinct from these, they are little acquainted; their views of it have been so cursory and superficial, that far from discerning its characteristic essence, they have little more than perceived those exterior circumstances which distinguish it from other forms of Religion.

They desired morality as the end goal of their religious search. Contrast that with the view of true Christian desire from Philippians 3:7-10:


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Help Rebuild Joplin

Many of you know about the devastation that occurred in Missouri recently after a tornado wiped out 1/3 of the houses there. If you want to help but you're not sure how, here's a really cool opportunity. Page CXVI is offering all three of their Hymn albums for download for a donation of your choice to the Mystery Church Relief Fund. You can find all the info on their blog here. We recently saw them at a house show and are so gracious for the quality hymns they are producing. Thank you Page CXVI for stepping up to help!

Friday, May 27, 2011

How Hip-Hop Has Served our Home Well

If you have hung out with us for any amount of time, you probably know well our love for good gospel music. Some seem to think it's funny, some brush it off, some people embrace it. Today I'm going to ask you all to give it a try because it's just so good! Here are three reasons why we are fans of Lamp Mode Recordings and Reach Records. 


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guests & Weddings

Where have we been?


First, Giulian's mom Mauvianne came to visit for a long weekend, our very first out-of-town guest! It was very encouraging to have her here for DCC's Launch Sunday on April 3rd. Giulian and I were both in Cornerstone Kids, but Mauvianne left the gathering feeling excited for what God is doing in Seattle!



Then, a good friend of ours from college, David, came to town and we had a blast! He was here at the right time because he was able to gather with our church on Good Friday and enjoy Easter dinner together with some of our DCC family! What an encouragement to have him here.

 
Shortly thereafter we were able to celebrate the very first wedding in our church body! Pierce and Bonnie are dear friends that serve as teachers in Cornerstone Kids, and it was such a joy to share in this special occasion! They had it at a beautiful venue on Whidbey Island north of Seattle which was super cool. Yippee Pierce and Bonnie!


Lastly, we just returned from the CA Bay Area where we celebrated yet another marriage! Giulian had the honor of being in one of his best childhood buddy's wedding as a groomsman. It was an awesome pleasure to celebrate (and we DO mean celebrate!!) the union of Stuart and Madison! God gave us awesome conversation and laughter with many friends during this trip. We're still recovering from our dance high!


NOW, crazy enough, my parents are in town visiting from Texas! May is running by like a whirlwind, but we do hope to send out a newsletter soon. If you aren't on our quarterly newsletter list, then please let us know. It's so encouraging to look back over the past couple of months and all the stories God is weaving together.

-Christy

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How God Works Through Prayer

A man once wrote of his early days in knowing Jesus,

Not many months after my conversion, having a leisure afternoon, I retired to my own chamber to spend it largely in communion with God (prayer). Well do I remember that occasion. How in the gladness of my heart I poured out my soul before God; and again and again confessing my grateful love to Him who had done everything for me--who had saved me when I had given up all hope and even desire for salvation--I besought Him to give me some work to do for Him, as an outlet for love and gratitude; some self-denying service, no matter what it might be, however trying or however trivial; something with which He would be pleased, and that I might do for Him who had done so much for me. Well do I remember, as in unreserved consecration I put myself, my life, my friends, my all, upon the altar, the deep solemnity that came over my soul with the assurance that my offering was accepted. The presence of God became unutterably real and blessed; and though but a child under sixteen, I remember stretching myself on the ground, and lying there silent before Him with unspeakable awe and unspeakable joy.



This man was James Hudson Taylor (1835-1905), who throughout his life continued in this prayer and was part of a movement of over 800 missionaries that joined him in a successful journey to bring Christ to the unreached provinces of China.

-G

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

One Year Ago Last Week

About a year ago, Christy and I had an opportunity to visit a unique community in Rio De Janeiro to drop off some donations from an outside local church (there was no local church in this community). A neighborhood deep in struggle with violent drug wars, it was not a safe place to be, not necessarily because of the drug lords themselves but because the police could raid the neighborhood at any second with ensuing cross fire. It awakened us to a deep reality of sin, death, evil and suffering as we walked the streets that looked like a bomb had gone off only days before. We were able to take a tour that you can see below:


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Accomplished


 Jesus died with our sins.
Jesus rose without them.
Jesus is alive.

This is what we learned today in Cornerstone Kids. We worshiped our strong God together and praised Him with a loud voice for making Jesus alive again! It was an awesome time of celebration. We pray you enjoyed the same.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Galatians 2:21









If righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I NEED A SAVIOR

Why is the Cross important? I can't atone for my sin.

Oh What Wondrous Love is This

I am seriously excited to worship our crucified Savior with my church fam this evening. It will be a somber evening, I know, but I can't help but anticipate the joy that follows three days later. Oh, what wondrous love is this.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Intellectual Honesty

Our pastor recently finished a series of sermons on four common questions Seattleites have about Christianity. Topics such as hell, judgment, evil, and the Bible were covered thoroughly. If you are interested in hearing a reasoned response to those topics, click here.

One idea that stuck out to me was that of "intellectual honesty". To be intellectually honest, we must assess our own beliefs and be able to answer questions for and against our worldview. If we refuse to answer questions against our worldview, we are stubborn, and if we can't give support for our worldview, we are ignorant.

What I often see in my interactions is that people have not been intellectually honest (purposefully or not) with understanding the claims of Jesus and thus have a distorted view of Christianity. Could it be that the majority of people who are not Christians have a false belief of true Christianity? Consider what Michael Horton says in his book, The Gospel Commission,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Drink from Jesus

This has been a really busy season! We arrived here five months ago on November 9th and hit the ground running. Not long after in January we assumed responsibility for our church's Kids Ministry and began working toward the official launch of our church. God was super gracious to us in that process and Launch finally took place last Sunday the 3rd! In general it was an emotional day as we reflected over all that the Lord has done to bring us to this place.

Our next step, Lord willing, is to launch two new communities (small group/Bible studies) at the end of the month in the Pioneer Square district of downtown as well as a neighborhood right outside of downtown called West Seattle. At this point our communities have been forming around geographical locations so we'll be working to build up the Pioneer Square community. God has given us many new friendships in this neighborhood so we're expectant for the potential gospel reach this community will have. God be praised!

"Belief is not merely an agreement with facts in the head; it is also an appetite for God in the heart, which fastens on Jesus for satisfaction... Eternal life is not given to people who merely think that Jesus is the Son of God. It is given to people who drink from Jesus as the Son of God." -John Piper, Future Grace

One important lesson God has continued to teach us during this time is how utterly important it is to drink from Jesus (John 4:14). He is completely steady and true even when everything is vacillating around us. There have been times when we've wanted to throw our hands in the air and give up, but those were simply a challenge to trust in God's sovereign, good plan for us and this church. He is an eternal source of living water that will never dry up and will always satisfy; come to the well and drink from Jesus.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Take a walk with me...

This is where we live. We walk here, eat here, meet here, and LOVE it here - Pioneer SquareThroughout the week as I'm walking home I see neighbors and friends walk by that I greet with a smile. This district is condensed so it's easy to bump into the same folks during the week. I love that. God gave our church a gathering space here at Court in the Square, a beautiful venue next to an iconic coffee shop. This Sunday, April 3rd, is our official launch celebration! Please pray with us for this neighborhood - that our church would take root here and through it God would bring salvation to our neighbors and friends.

-Christy

*Note: Some shots are from Pike Place Market, not Pioneer Square - love it there too!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo Thought


One day as I was walking by the UGM's Men's Shelter, this stark contrast struck me -
Men without a home passing by a parked sports car.

It reminded me that as Christians we are to seek to reconcile this difference as it says in 2 Corinthians 8:14, "Your abundance at the present time should supply their need."

Friday, March 25, 2011

One Year of Journaling

This morning as I was cracking my journal open in order to jot down what God was speaking to me through His Word, I remembered this blog post from our Pastor marking the end of his first church planting journal. This prompted me to flip to the front of mine and wouldn't you know I've been writing in this journal now for a year, since March 24th, our second day in Brazil.

The first Scripture jotted down was Exodus 25:8 when the Lord says, "...make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst."
The Scripture written on the same date a year later was John 17:17-18, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."

Praise God that He sent Christ into the world to pay our penalty so that we may dwell in His midst without burning up in light of His glory.



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Come. Repentance is a good place to be."


John Piper wrote these words in 2005 regarding the boxing day tsunami, but I think they are helpful for us today as we are overloaded with news of the ongoing crisis in Japan. Let's not despair as though our God is not in total and complete control with a purpose in mind for this earthly tragedy. Let's pray to Him for His sovereign hand of provision to be displayed and for many to repent and place their faith in His eternal salvation.

Jesus said that the minutest event in nature is under the control of God. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29). He said this to give hope to those who would be killed for his name. He himself stood on the sea and stopped the waves with a single word (Mark 4:39). Even if Nature or Satan unleashed the deadly tidal wave, one word from Jesus would have stopped it. He did not speak it. This means there is design in this suffering. And all his designs are wise and just and good. One of his designs is my repentance. Therefore I will not put God on trial. I am on trial. Only because of Christ will the waves that one day carry me away bring me safely to his side. Come. Repentance is a good place to be.

-Christy

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Interview with a Missionary

All scriptural references are from Philippians.


Where are you currently living?
In prison. 1:13

Who has come alongside and supported you through this time?
The church. 1:3-5

What kind of preaching do you rejoice in?
The preaching of Christ. 1:18

Do you know why you are still alive?
For the progress and joy of the church. 1:25

What's your life posture?
Humility like Christ. 2:5-7

Why's that your posture?
Because Christ humbled himself for us. 2:5-11

Are you willing to serve and sacrifice?
I am willing to be poured out. 2:17

Are you a righteous man?
No, but Christ has given me his righteousness. 3:9

What's your goal in all this?
To gain Christ. 3:8

Are you sure you can handle anything that may come your way?
Only in his strength. 4:13

Any closing statements?
To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. 4:20

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quick Trip to Texas

Sorry we've been away from the blog for so long. We took a quick trip to visit family and friends in suburban League City last week and boy were we busy! In fact, we tried to squeeze in so much that we both ended up sick. But we're on the recovery road now and are super thankful for this opportunity to stay connected to our family and our friends at Clear Creek Community Church. We were very encouraged by the vision presented by Pastor Bruce at the Wednesday night gathering and are expectant for what the Lord is doing in the Houston Bay Area. Last Sunday, the day after we returned, we hosted our first ever Cornerstone Kids training dinner. Twelve folks from our church came together to hear the vision of Cornerstone Kids, and God blessed us with a lot of fruitful discussion about what it means to be a God-focused, gospel-centered children's ministry. We're praising Him for providing more workers for CK so now we're just praying for a few more!

God has provided so much for this little church to plant, and we're praying He plants it deep. Recently Pastor Adam spoke on being deeply and vitally connected to the Vine, Christ, and it was a good reminder for us as we continue to work toward building a healthy kids ministry. It's not about us, it's not about the kids, it's about the Vine.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How do you respond when your 12-year-old dies?

Just read this article and I thought it would be worthy to share. It was written by a couple who lost their 12-year-old son Trent last Friday in a skiing accident. I praise God for his parents for diligently evangelizing and discipling him those ten years before he repented of his sin and asked for the salvation only Christ gives. This is why we, as the church family, come around parents to help disciple their kids. We cherish those sixty some-odd minutes we have each Sunday morning to teach, show and model who God is and what He has done for us through the person and work of Christ. And we pray hard. We pray that each child at a very young age will recognize that they are the worst of sinners in desperate need of a Savior because "we are not guaranteed any number of years in this world," as Trent's parents truthfully declared in the article.

How Do You Respond When Your 12-Year-Old Dies?
What we have asked nearly every person we have seen since Friday is “What if it had been you? Where would you be right now?” We diligently raised Trent up to know his sinful state and taught him what the Word of God says because we know the implications of denying Christ now, and God was gracious to answer our prayers and to save Him. Scripture says that the gospel will go forth with much sorrow and heartache. Please let Trent’s short life be a wake-up call to you. We are rejoicing in the sorrow because we know where our son is and that we will one day be with him again for eternity because of our own salvation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year just passed and we enjoyed all the festivities that come along with living near Chinatown. We love living in the International District here in downtown Seattle... because we're just blocks away from all the delicious, cheap food! But we have also really enjoyed learning more about this culture that was sort of a mystery to us. Recently we received a new neighbor who's originally from China and just moved here to take a job from Missouri where he was studying for his PhD for four years. It's been very interesting learning about the contrast of his life growing up in China to our lives here in the U.S. The other day we took him to our favorite bubble tea spot to teach him Settlers of Catan. He learned it in like five seconds and loved it! So needless to say, we're very pleased. :) Check out our videos below to learn more!

-Christy


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Most talented street performer

I have no doubt in my mind that Seattle boasts some of the world's most talented street performers (quite literally, as there are performers from around the world), and this guy is definitely among the top. He can be found in the midst of a large crowd at Pike Place Market.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Urban Kids Ministry Space

As I mentioned before, our church is currently gathering in an underground former antique mall. The kids ministry space was less than adequate whenever we first saw it. However, by the grace of God it has now become a joyful, colorful place where kids come to worship God and learn His truth. See pictures below.

BEFORE



Saturday, February 5, 2011

GCA Conference Recap

As you saw here, I recently had the opportunity to go to the Global Church Advancement Conference in Orlando, Florida. We spent four days there learning from the GCA crowd. I went through the track that they call "Foundations" to learn about the basics and beginning steps to church planting. Topics such as vision, prayer, launching, models and contextualization were all taught and worked through with the planters. I was encouraged by the other planters that were there and hearing their passion for their gospel work.

If I were to summarize the theme of the conference it would be the following: That God would be Glorified by his kingdom coming through the church with the gospel. That was the vision and desire of almost every speaker and every workbook. I enjoyed hearing from seasoned practitioners as well as pastors who are 15 plus years into planting who love Jesus and seek the joy of their people. I would highly recommend this conference to anyone seeking to start a church or within the first few years of planting. It had heaps of practical advice and biblical principles to be applied directly to gospel work - in your heart and the hearts of others.
 
After getting hit with a ton of information at the conference every day, I really enjoyed my time with the guys from our church that went. We had lots of laughs,encouragement and discussions on applying many of the things we were learning to our context.

A special thanks Jimmy for hosting us!

-G

Here are some random snapshots from the trip:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Church Gathering in an old Antique Mall

We meet in the Antique Mall with the red signs at right.
Photo courtesy of artfultouch.info
We have been quite busy lately with the church. Two Sundays ago, the 16th, we began weekly gatherings so things have definitely picked up the pace. On top of that, we found out the week before that we would no longer be able to meet in the space that we had planned to be in till April. So by an act of God's faithfulness, we landed in a historic underground space that Giulian said looked like a giant bathroom. Thankfully we have many talented artists who were able to turn the "giant bathroom" into a fantastic worship space. However, I must confess that I was horrified by the potential kids ministry room. It honestly looked like a dungeon and the running joke is that we could quite effectively teach on the apostle Paul's imprisonment for Christ. But after some carpet was laid and curtains, tissue paper flowers, and colorful decorations were hung it was transformed in to a joyful room to worship Jesus! And that is exactly what we have done. We received numerous positive marks from adults who could hear our kids group singing last Sunday, so I suppose for now we can't challenge the kids to sing as loud as they can anymore. :-D

We are praising God that in our few short weeks at this building the kids ministry has just about outgrown its space! So we ask that you pray with us about moving in to a larger room in the building in the coming weeks. It's quite a task to prepare a historic building for kids because there are many boundaries in the architecture, noise control, and building material that we must address. But we trust that the Lord is in control and pray that He is writing His truths on the hearts of all the little people that walk through our door.

-Christy

Monday, January 24, 2011

Giulian in Florida for a Conference

They're making sure Giulian's eating his veggies at the airport.
He's gonna hate that I posted this picture but it's too cute!
Giulian and three other guys from DCC, Pastor Adam, David, and Brad, are currently on their way to Orlando, FL to participate in a Global Church Advancement Church Planting Conference. It is a four-day conference where they'll be receiving coaching on how to "start, grow and multiply healthy, gospel-centered churches that result in the spiritual, social and cultural transformation of entire cities and regions." (GCA website) The guys are really excited for this opportunity to bond and to gain a fresh vision for what God wants to do through our church body in its formation years. Fortunately, we made many wonderful friends from Orlando while they came to do short-term mission trips in Brazil, so the guys are being hosted and lent a car by our kind brothers and sisters in Christ there. Praise God and thank you guys for your generosity!


Please pray for their safety and for the Spirit to really move in their hearts giving them a renewed purpose and fresh vision for Downtown Cornerstone in Seattle. Thank you!

-Christy

Friday, January 21, 2011

Opportunity to help the church in Poland

White means there are NO churches there.

A very dear friend of mine that I met while doing missions in L'viv, Ukraine with CCCC recently moved to a town in Poland called Rabka to be a vocational missionary. One of the means of evangelism they are trying to employ is teaching English. You can help the citizens of this town learn English and Lord willing, know Jesus, by sending my friend any textbooks and reading materials that you can scrounge up! Poland is one of the European countries that truly needs workers to preach the Good News of life in Christ. As you can see in the map at left, very few counties even have an evangelical church!!

(The remainder of this post has been deleted for safety purposes.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BLOG!!!

Today marks one year of blogging for the Giusti family, and boy has it been a ride. In short, God has provided over and over and over again throughout this year and we are SO glad that you were able to share in this journey with us. From Texas to Brazil to Texas again then to Seattle where we reside now, God has been faithful. Over 1,700 visitors from 45 countries viewed our blog in 16 different languages with a combined total of 4,930 visits!! We are humbled that God would use us sinners redeemed only by His grace to play a part in His global story of redemption, and we ask that you continue in this journey with us in the coming year. God is doing a mighty work in Seattle, just as He did and is doing in Brazil, and we would love for you to "sit with us" as well tell you all the things that we witness.

The whole idea behind this blog, if you remember from the beginning, was so that "we can "sit together" and share stories of God's relentless love in our lives." And throughout the past year we have shared countless stories about God's Great Story. Below were some of the favorites.

Monday, January 10, 2011

John Piper: Striving for the Faith of the Gospel
September 27, 1987

Have you ever wondered what tales will be told in the age to come?...We will tell tales of the grace of God in the history of redemption. We will tell stories about God's power and mercy in the lives of his people—especially the people who dreamed and planned and labored and struggled and fought and suffered for the advancement of the gospel. We will talk with sweet tears in our eyes (I think it's only the painful tears that the Lord will wipe away) about the times when we were fearful and gave no witness to Christ, the times when we planned our dream vacations thoroughly but dreamed no dreams about attempting anything great or small for the gospel. And they will be sweet tears because we will remember how the patience of God did not forsake us in those days the way it could have at any moment, but instead little by little, now and then, more and more his patience made us love Jesus Christ so much that we began to strive for the faith of the gospel.

What we will be speaking about in eternity is of chief importance in our lives today. The most minuscule working of God on earth will be amplified in Heaven. Let us pray that God will change our hearts to understand the true depths of His grace in our lives now so that we can begin "to strive for the faith of the gospel" today.

-G

Friday, January 7, 2011

Jumping for joy!!


This was a time lapse shot.

Giulian and I got the hugest laugh out of taking these pictures during our 2nd anniversary vacation in Victoria, Canada. We were down by the harbor across from the legislature building, which was lit up beautifully! The weekend was so beautiful and we're so thankful to the Lord that He gave us good conversation and great laughs!!

Hooray for two years of marriage!

Flying manikin alert!!
We're thinking about joining the circus.