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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...
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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
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(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