Welcome to Grace Community Church in Prunedale, CA

Welcome to Grace Community Church – Prunedale

No Perfect People Allowed

Pastor Bill Hardman

Givelify

Join Us for Outdoor Worship Sundays 10:00 AM

New Covid-19 Update – June 1st Update

We are excited to announce the reopening of GCC beginning with in-person worship outdoors on the game field at 10:00 AM on Sunday, June 7, 2020! Bring your lawn chair for best seating.

As of June 1, California is allowing churches to reopen if they adhere to “strict physical distancing, sanitation protocol and any CDC recommendations.”

That being said, we also know that there will be individuals who are not ready or able to begin coming back for worship services due to health risks.

We will continue our online music and message online on Facebook at 10:00am every Sunday. Printed copies of the messages and/or DVD recordings will be available upon request.

Review this list of things to keep in mind for Outdoor Sunday Worship!

Our Current Sermon Series

Current Sermon Series
Our current series is, “Father God”

Check out the church directory here!

Dear GCC Family, (Thu, 12.03.20)

Wisdom

Yesterday’s focus was on the opening verses of Proverbs 1. After thinking through the genre of the book of Proverbs and the nature of a proverb in itself, we briefly explored four principles or objectives for understanding this amazing book. The most important principle to grab hold of is that I must be eager to learn wisdom and be patient with the time it takes to grow in God’s wisdom.

I’ve long appreciated the author and pastor Charles Stanley and I want to share pretty much verbatim something I discovered in his Life Principles Bible. Especially re one of the proverbs.

Proverbs 2:6, For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Charles Stanley observes, “A growing number of people in our world fail to seek God for His wisdom. Instead, they strive to satisfy their passions and desire without regard to their future or to the consequences of their decisions.” Then he lists several steps for seeking God’s wisdom:

Seek Him—If you want to know God’s heart on a given issue or when you have to make a difficult decision, ask Him. Don’t do all the talking, listen for God’s still, small voice.

Meditate on God’s Word—You will gain insight into God’s mind and heart by meditating on His Word. Difficult decisions become easier to make when God is the one guiding you.

Obey the principles of Scripture—When you set your heart on obeying God, He will teach you how to apply His truth in your life.

Observe the faithfulness of God—The Lord has never failed to keep a single promise He has made. Learn to claim His promises as you read His Word.

Heed godly counsel—God can use a pastor or trusted Christian friend to help you see beyond your weaknesses. Don’t hesitate to share your needs and fears with those who love the Lord and you.

Associate with wise people—Choose your friends wisely. Include God in every relationship, and you will establish a strong, godly base from which you can make wise decisions.

“Because God loves us, we have no need to worry about the future. He has a plan, not only for our lives, but also for every problem we face. …take time today to renew your trust in God and His ability to provide the wisdom you need.”

Well, I don’t know about you but I always enjoy tapping into Charles Stanley’s reservoir of wisdom. I immediately think of another verse in the Bible about my need to actively ask for wisdom.

James 1:5, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Pray with me: Father, I need your wisdom more than I need anything. Help me observe and obey the truth of your Word. Guide me to others who can help me develop wisdom And in this very difficult time grant me wisdom to make wise choices. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

10,000 blessings,

Pastor Bill
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Dear GCC Family, (Wed, 12.02.20)

Wisdom

Slow down here. Take your time reading the scriptures today. The Proverbs of Solomon are not meant to be read with your speed-reading skills. They are meant to be read slowly, thoughtfully, carefully, almost in a meditative mode. If you have taken on the suggestion a few weeks ago to read one chapter of Proverbs each day according to the day of the current month, you are now on the second chapter of Proverbs. But let me ask, are you reading the proverbs too quickly? Did you speed-read through chapter one? Did you do that with the goal of checking off this item as part of your day’s to-do list? If so, you probably spent too little time with it. Chapter one, especially verses 1-7, play a critical role in laying a foundation for understanding the book of Proverbs. Verses 1-7 give us our GPS bearings, as it were, for the rest of our trip through the book. So if you sense a need to, just back up to chapter one, verses 1-7 for another day. Read slowly. Make sure you get what this book is about before cruising any further. If you don’t recall the four main objectives stated in the first chapter. Well, maybe you need to back up, revisit those objectives before moving on further.

Proverbs 1:1, The proverbs of Solomon…

Stop there. These words tell us what kind of genre this book is. Too many of us read this book as if it is theology, like Romans. Or it is narrative story, like the Gospels or Acts. Proverbs are written making numerous comparisons. Walk this road, or walk that road. Most proverbs are written in a sort of poetic parallelism. So you and I are encouraged to slow down and think about comparisons. And they are not always obvious. There are four main objectives or purposes for the proverbs.

Proverbs 1:2a, For gaining wisdom and instruction…

First objective: A wise person must become skillful in the art of living. All of this is surrounded by an understanding that the world is designed by God with deliberate order. (Check out Proverbs 8) But in a world where foolishness seems to reign, one needs to live with moral order. Proverbs will point us in the right direction. Proverbs guides me in submitting to rigorously evaluating choices.

Proverbs 1:2b, …for understanding words of insight.

Second objective: A wise person gradually develops greater understanding of this kind of literature. Wisdom sayings require mental activity not all are willing to pursue. Proverbs are not simple sound bytes like we’re used to hearing on the news. They are works of art. The understanding here takes me deeper, to the level of discernment. Verse 6 suggests this may be a challenging skill to attain.

Proverbs 1:3, For receiving instruction in prudent behavior

Third objective: To develop moral insight. It includes predicting and evaluating consequences of one’s actions. Insight into what is right, ethical, moral, and just in the framework of a moral universe.

Proverbs 1:4, For giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young.

Fourth objective: Identify the intended audience. Wisdom is not for fools, unwilling to value its offerings. Briefly, proverbs are for developing wisdom in anyone who is open and teachable.

Proverbs 1:5, Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.

This seems to be the key to achieving the four objectives above. I need to be open and receptive. I need to do what I do when I come to a railroad crossing. I need to stop, look, and listen. Then do the right thing.

So if you understand clearly what this book is supposed to do for you and how you are to use this book, you are ready to read on. If not, maybe spend more time in Proverbs 1:1-7 first?

Pray with me: Father, I want to always be growing in my understanding of moral wisdom and discernment. Help me take time to ponder your words and discern their importance for my own growth and the choices I make daily. In Jesus name, Amen.

10,000 blessings,

Pastor Bill
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Dear GCC Family, (Tue, 12.01.20)

Encouragement

I found the following biblical statements to be encouraging today. I hope they will encourage you.

Psalm 73:26, My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

I’m thankful God is my Heavenly Father. He loves His children, you and me, no matter what our present physical challenges and weaknesses might be during this COVID stress. He draws close to us and we feel His presence when we read and meditate slowly on a passage like this one.

Psalm 73:28, For me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

We are mandated to be distanced these days from everyone around us. “Keep six feet apart” we are constantly being told. You go to the store to pick up necessities and you have to stand on floor markings that are, yup, six feet apart. Have you ever gotten yelled at by someone for fudging on that? Some self-appointed worker or customer will call you out on the six foot distancing if you don’t adhere strictly to it. Do you ever feel the urge to be closer than six feet to someone you’re not supposed to be closer than six feet away from? Better not do it. Do you find this at all frustrating? Probably like the rest of us you do. But this verse encourages me whenever I’m frustrated with what is called social distancing. If I cannot be near a person I’d like to be near, I can always enjoy the nearness of the Lord. Is that as comforting and encouraging to you as it is to me?

John 5:24, Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Wow! Did you notice that the believer has, right now, eternal life. It’s not just a promise for the future but a promise for a present reality. That’s why Jesus could say,

John 11:26, Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.

I’ve also found another statement in my reading of the Bible that always lifts me up whenever I read it or remember it’s promise. You might find it uplifting too. It’s found in Paul’s letter to the Romans.

Romans 8:28, Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good. (NT in Modern English)

Everything? COVID? Now there’s an uplifting promise. I remember meditating on this verse and wondering if the context would contribute further support for this promise. I discovered, I think, an interesting connection just a couple verses before. In verse 26. Also in the NT in Modern English, JB Phillips paraphrase, which I frequently enjoy for a fresh perspective.

Romans 8:26, The Spirit of God not only maintains this hope within us, but helps us in our present limitations. For example, we do not know how to pray worthily as sons of God, but his Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those agonizing longings which never find words.

Do you see a connection between these two verses? What do you see?

Pray with me: Father, I am encouraged by your Word in ways I sometimes have difficulty expressing even to myself. But your promises always lift me up. Thank you for the eternal life you’ve given your children through your Son, Jesus. Thank you for your continual active working in my life to shape me more and more into your Son’s image. In Jesus name, Amen.

10,000 blessings,

Pastor Bill
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