Indelible Grace Church

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Indelible Grace Church Blog

Farewell to Eric Jung

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Hi Friends,

I know I got a chance to share some parting words during service a little over a week ago, but Michael graciously gave me the chance to write some more thoughts.

During my first church service back at my home church in LA, I realized how much I valued IGC and how much I will miss it. And while there are lots of things I appreciated about IGC, I’ll just share three thoughts according to IGC’s core values.

(1) We are gospel-driven (UP)
Luther once said that the default mode of the human heart is religion – us trying to do things to reach God. And I see this to be true in my own heart and even in so many churches and ministries that I’ve been a part of. We are tempted to put the focus squarely on us, on what we do rather than on Christ and what he has done. Christianity is about God reaching down to us and sending Christ in his condescending love for us – not primarily about what we do for him.

I love the gospel and my time at IGC has helped me to love the gospel even more. It has taught me that the gospel must drive everything that we do. Any other motive will only create pride or despair. Only love for God produced by God’s love for us can sustain joy even through hardships and toil.

This is by far the most important thing I cherish about IGC. I love how the gospel remains central to everything that we do. My prayer is that we wouldn’t stop now, but that we would continue to keep it central – not in a trite and dull kind of way, where we talk about it in a boring and mundane tone – but in a way that produces fresh zeal, sustains our hopes and joy, moves us to new affections and risky endeavors, and creates a pleasing aroma to God and the people around us.

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(2) We are a new community (IN)
The importance of the local body of believers continues to surprise me. I’m often tempted to do my own thing, and be accountable to no one. And while that may sound pleasing to some, Christianity calls us to something much greater: mutual interdependence.

And while our church has our fair share of problems when it comes to living out the privilege of being part of Christ’s body, I’m grateful that we are in constant conversation about the importance of community. I’m grateful that we aren’t content with where we are at, but want to strive towards loving the social outcasts rather than gossiping about them. That we want to learn how to be open to correction and encouragement, rather than keeping ourselves walled off from the body of Christ. That we want to learn how to mentor and help each other grow, rather than keeping our conversations only worldly and shallow.

I love that about IGC. The centrality of the gospel doesn’t just happen on a pastoral or staff level, but it happens in community. It happens throughout the week in our small groups, in our Facebook postings, and in our conversations on What’s App. My prayer is that we would find it a joy to “not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph 4:29)

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(3) We are for others (OUT)
This is another aspect of IGC that I love. I love that mercy ministry is at the forefront of what IGC is wanting to accomplish. That church is not merely about ourselves and our own comfort, but that we also exist to be a light and a voice of truth to a world that is blind and confused.

Even in how we talk about mercy ministry, the gospel must be kept at the center. So many churches and ministries talk about loving the poor and marginalized as something we do because God showed mercy on us and now we are obligated to show mercy to others. And while this is true on some level, I love that IGC doesn’t just leave it at that. Instead we say that mercy ministry is gospel reenactment. This means that we show mercy, not only because God showed us mercy, but in order to understand God’s mercy for us more deeply. As we serve and love others at some personal cost, we are shown just how much more God served and loved us and how much more it cost him in order to do so. Mercy ministry is for us as much as it is for others.

This perspective is so freeing because now we don’t have to wait. We don’t have to wait until we have some great emotional experience of God’s love (who knows when that will happen?) before we go and extend his love to others. It is in the act of extending God’s love that we experience his love. And that is my prayer for the church. That the gospel would not just be some theoretical truth that we conceptually agree with, but that we would go and live out its implications and thereby come to believe it more wholly and joyfully.

Thank you for being a church that has taught me so much in these past two years. As I go into seminary and eventually land at a church, these lessons will powerfully shape my own ministry. I only pray that you will continue running the good race for our Lord Jesus Christ!

Eric

Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 20:19
 

Women's Fellowship Hike

Date: Saturday, May 19th
Destination: Inspiration Point in Berkeley
Goal: Fellowship and cardio!
Written by: Annie Chung

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Many of you have witnessed with your own eyes the growing number of women at our church...hooray!  With that said, this hike was a chance to further our friendships with each other under the beautiful, seemingly cloudless sky.  The hike started around 11am, and honestly, a few of us were already asking, "What should we eat for lunch?" about 5 minutes into the hike.  Soon enough, we were taking over the trail, with annoyed cyclists yelling "on your left!" as we trekked away.  There was lots of laughing.  Lots of talking.  More laughing.  At one point, there was even some turkey jerky sharing, for those of us stragglers in the back.  With all that aside, it was meaningful time spent together.  Meaningful because we are all in different life stages, yet finding common ground in seeking what it means to be a woman of God, and embracing this identity.  Hopefully, this is just the beginning of many more hikes to come, as we missed those of you who couldn't make it out this time.

As proof of our hike, we took many awesome pictures - see below:

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P.S. We won't share details about the lunch afterwards, as it seems wrong to make people hungry over a blog post :)

Last Updated on Monday, 28 May 2012 11:23
 

Men's Fellowship Hike

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On Saturday (April 14), the guys hiked up Mission Peak in Fremont. It took two hours to make the ascent. It was a great time of manly bonding and spiritual conversations. We believe the Christian life is not a solo effort, but a community of brothers and sisters committed to one another. This is not just rhetoric, but something we constantly seek to practice and live. May Christ continue to build his church!

Postscript--the nursery has been steadily growing!  Here are all the IGC fathers and kids (photo taken Easter 2012):

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Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2012 11:29
 

Valentine's Mercy Project

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This post was written by David Um.

Hi everybody! This past Sunday, February 12, 2012, I had the pleasure of overseeing the Mercy Ministry project (aka "Operation V-Day") for the Parkview Health Care Center. The event started with many artistic and creative people creating some pretty awesome cards during the catered lunch. Marianne graciously made plenty of stencils and pre-cut cards using her fancy-smancy card making contraption. I would list each person that helped make and decorate cards, but I honestly cannot remember for there were some many people that helped.

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We made a total of 103 cards in roughly 1.5 hrs and then we caravanned over to Parkview Health Care Center and went to the community room where we performed a few worship songs and then passed out the AWESOME Valentine’s Day cards that were made by the fantastic people of IGC. We gave cards to the residents in the community room and spent time with them, while others went around the center giving cards to residents who stayed in their rooms.

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To be completely honest, I thought this event was going to be a failure since I didn't have any confirmed responses from people for making cards or going to the center. In the end though, everything worked out thanks to God's grace and the kindness and flexibility of those who helped. We had a really successful event with some good takeaway lessons in communication and planning and I feel future events will be much more organized. It was great spreading some joy and love and spending time with the residents of Parkview. They genuinely enjoyed our company and the cards!

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Thank you everyone that helped make and decorate cards and thank you to those of you who came to Parkview Health Care Center. You all rock. God rocks. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! xoxo.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 16:25
 

Book Table

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We have recently started a book table at Indelible Grace Church. The purpose of the book table is to encourage people to read these great books for their spiritual benefit (and at a price discount!). Here’s a brief description of each book:

ESV Study Bible
This is hands down the best study bible out there. The notes are plentiful, the maps and charts are beautifully arranged, and there are a series of excellent articles on the Christian faith in the back. The scholarship is top notch and the joint work of Reformed Baptists and Presbyterians.

The Prodigal God (Tim Keller)
This book explains the heart of the gospel – that we can run away from God by both breaking all the rules and by keeping all the rules (profound!). The essence of sin is self-salvation. The essence of saving faith is to realize this and turn to Christ alone for salvation.

Mere Christianity (CS Lewis)
This is the classic book on the Christian faith. CS Lewis has a unique gift in explaining what Christianity is, giving memorable illustrations, and addressing so many of the objections modern people have.

Knowing God (JI Packer)
If you want a sustained meditation on who God is – this is your book. Discover the true God of the Bible and how radically different he is from what our culture tells us. You will find yourself on your knees in worship as you read through this book.

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart)
We often forget that the Bible was written over the course of 1,500 years, by numerous authors, with a dozen different genres – history, poetry, letters, etc. And so we often get frustrated when we try to read the Bible like it’s People Magazine. This book will teach you how different genres affect the way you read the text, how to bridge the enormous historical gap of the Bible’s original context, and how to apply the original meaning to the modern world.

Let the Nations be Glad (John Piper)
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.” This is the famous opening paragraph to John Piper’s book in which he lays out for us the awesome missionary heart of God that loves every tribe, tongue and nation.

The Unfolding Mystery (Edmund Clowney)
The master Bible teacher, Jesus, once walked with his disciples on the road to Emmaus and taught that all Scripture points to himself (Luke 24). What an amazing Bible study that must have been! Jesus teaches us to read the entire Bible through the lens of the gospel and to see the Old Testament as a foreshadowing of the truths in the New Testament.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 January 2012 12:49
 


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