E-mail Newsletter (6/30/2000)


Friday, June 30, 2000


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    1.  Food for Thought by Colleen Wipperman

    2.  This Month at Grace

    3.  Worship Center Update

    4.  Grace West update

    5.  David Ring / Church Picnic

    6.  Vacation Bible School



By Colleen Wipperman

The Jesus movie that was on TV a few weeks ago was a real eye-opener for me.  Normally, I am opposed to watching movies like that because they make so many technical errors that it really upsets me.  However, I decided to take off my technical eye glasses that night and put on a different pair of glasses.  Let me explain.

About a year ago I went through a Bible study called “Breaking Out” by Bob Mumford.  In that study I learned a very valuable insight that has benefited me immensely this past year—it was learning about love with a hook.  That love defined is:  conditional, self-referential, it loves as long as there is an advantage, it seeks to use others for its own pleasure, it is demanding, urgent, in a hurry, and it seeks to conquer and to possess.  The hook is described as “I will love you if I can get something out of it.”  It comes with a selfish motive.  It uses people to its own advantage.  It always wants to control, in fact, it HAS to control!  It comes at you with hidden agendas.  It has to look good and would rather lie than look bad.  It has to feel good and cannot stand to feel bad. Much of our addictive nature lies in this particular “feel good” giant.  It has to be right.  It does not like to be disturbed by others.  This love is defined as love with a hook because it always sends it out with a hook so it can pull something back in for itself.

Love without a hook is defined as love that seeks for nothing in return.  It seeks only voluntary love.  It doesn’t use anyone.  It gives value and time rather than being demanding and in a hurry.  It is not kindled by the attractiveness nor quenched by the unattractiveness of its object.  It is love that is not determined by the worthiness nor the unworthiness of those whom it loves, but rather by His own nature of love.  This love is defined as a straight arrow because it is sent out without expectation of every bringing anything back to itself.

When I sat down to watch the Jesus movie I took off my technical glasses and put on my glasses to see if they showed Jesus with a hook.  I was floored at how I viewed the movie.  They showed him as a man with love, emotions, relationships and trials.  He danced at the wedding in Cana and splashed his disciples with water when they were at the well.  He was God.  And he was man.  And they made a lot of technical mistakes!!!  More than I could count.  But they only showed him with a hook one time that I spotted.

When Joseph died they showed Jesus praying to the Father and saying something to the effect that “I can’t do this without him.  I’m asking you to bring him back NOW.”  That was definitely a hook.  They showed him as demanding and in a hurry.  But it was the only hook I saw.

If memory serves me correctly, I heard Joseph say to Jesus, “You could help your fellow Jews.”  That could possibly have happened but Jesus didn’t respond with a hook.  He could have fixed the immediate problem.  He could have been demanding and in a hurry.  He could have decided to feel good himself or help his father feel good.  But He didn’t.  Instead he waited on God and surrendered to His plan and His timing.  That’s love with a straight arrow.  At the same time as he was forced to watch every single day the intense suffering of the Jewish people, His people.  That must have been hard for him.  My heart began to soften.

Then I remember how I felt sitting at home in my living room when he went to the tomb of Lazarus.  The crowd was heckling him.  It was apparent that his disciples felt uncomfortable.  He said “Lazarus, come out” one time and then waited.  It never occurred to me up until this time how much time actually elapsed before Lazarus came out of the grave.  It could have been 20 minutes for all we know.  One thing I can tell you was I felt uncomfortable in my own home.  I was starting to squirm.  Jesus definitely didn’t look good right then, nor did his disciples.  It was almost like I felt embarrassed for them all.  But Jesus responded without a hook—he didn’t have to look good, nor did he have to feel good.  He just waited on His Father.  Wow!  I think I would have at least started explaining or something!!

When He hung on the cross He certainly didn’t look good or feel good.  And, you know, He was right when he stood before Pilate but he didn’t have to be right.  Did they show him staying in control?  Not that I could see.  I surely wouldn’t have hung on the cross if I were in control!  Nor did they ever show him coming at Mary Magdalene with a hidden agenda.  He could have.  He certainly didn’t do anything that was to his own personal advantage.  Marrying Mary would have been a decision he could have made that would have been to his own advantage.  He didn’t.  And his life was surely disturbed.  Was he demanding?  Was he in a hurry?  If they portrayed him that way, I sure didn’t pick up on it.

Do you see what I mean?  I saw an entirely different movie than I would have otherwise seen.  The problem is, I was left to think about one haunting question in my own life when the movie was over—Do you suppose the Pharisees looked at Jesus through technical eye glasses or did they watch to see if he loved the world without a hook?  Somehow I think God was showing me how much of a Pharisee I have been.  He wants me to love as He loved—without a hook, with an arrow sent out straight that doesn’t draw things back to myself.  Instead, I have been busy viewing the world through my technical colored glasses!



    ** David Ring / Church Picnic…July 2

    Holiday, Church Office Closed … July 4

    Foundations Class Begins … July 5

    Jamaica Mission Trip … July 7-14

    High School Mission Trip … July 7-14

    Men’s Rally, 7 a.m. … July 8

    Deacon’s Meeting … July 12

    Grace 301 (Serving) … July 16 & 23

    France Student Mission Trip … July 16-27

    Ireland Mission Trip … July 21-29

    ** Vacation Bible School … July 24-28

    ** Fifth Sunday At Grace

           with Higher Power in Concert … July 30


WORSHIP CENTER UPDATE. If you are like most of us, the progress seems to be slow on the Worship Center. Believe it or not, work is progressing on schedule. Much of the work right now centers on preparation of the foundation. During the month of July we should see the plumbing and electrical conduit placed in the floor. The steel is the next major step. At this time we are still anticipating a completion date of next March.

GRACE WEST. Our new satellite church in West Des Moines is off with a bang. Attendance has hovered around the 150 mark even in the summer months. We fully anticipate attendance to increase to 200 and above this fall. Remember to pray for Lutheran Church of Hope and their building project (located at the corner of 74th and Ashworth Road).

DAVID RING / CHURCH PICNIC, is Sunday, July 2 at Grace Church. Evangelist David Ring is a victim of Cerebral Palsy, but a victor in Jesus Christ! His powerful message will encourage and challenge you to live your life victoriously regardless of life’s challenges. Following the service we will have our annual Church Picnic. There’s tons of food, games, a Kidz Carnival and more! Remember to dress casual and come prepared for a great time! The service schedule for July 2 only is ABF at 9 a.m., Worship at 10 a.m., the picnic at 11:30 a.m. and no evening classes.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL is just around the corner (July 24-28) for Kidz preschool through 5th grade. Registration will begin Sunday, July 9 in the Atrium. We still need adult helpers. If you’re interested, you can contact John Colyer at jcolyer@gracehome.com .

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