December 2009–A CHRISTMAS Message with LOVE from Transformed by Grace

manger

God Interrupts…Grace Intervenes

Scripture references from Matthew 1 and Luke 2

God loves us so much that He will interrupt our lives and our plans to intervene with His grace. God has always done this to call His people to Himself. Jesus Christ interrupts our ways of doing things when He comes to us to intervene with His grace for all eternity. He did this in a manger on His way to the cross.

Mary, a young virgin pledged to marry Joseph, was suddenly and shockingly visited by the angel Gabriel who told her that she will be with child…that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and the power of the Most High will overshadow her and the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Mary’s response: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

These weren’t Mary’s plans, but God totally interrupted her life-to intervene in her life, and in the lives of all who would believe, with His grace.

Joseph’s plans for his life were also suddenly and shockingly interrupted when he found out that Mary was with child. Yet, even in the hurt and betrayal he must have felt, Joseph planned to quietly divorce Mary so she would not be publicly disgraced. But, before Joseph could carry out his plan, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream to tell him to not be afraid to take Mary home as his wife and to assure him that Mary was with child through the Holy Spirit; “She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph’s response: he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him.

These weren’t Joseph’s plans, but God totally interrupted his life-to intervene in his life, and in the lives of all who would believe, with His grace.

May we each choose to let God interrupt our plans…our lives…our worries…our self-focused thinking…even our ways of doing Christmas…so that we may allow the full love and grace of Jesus Christ to interrupt and intervene in our lives.

May we each respond in awe and thankfulness, and full faith acceptance, to the God Most High who is born to us vulnerably as a baby in a manger with the purpose to die humbly for our sins on a cross.

Christmas and the Cross of Jesus and Christ’s Eternal Resurrection are God’s gifts of LOVE to every one of us…these are God’s full interruption over the power of sin and death in our lives through the full intervention of His grace!

Have a beautiful, God-interrupting,

Grace-intervening Christmas!

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Celebrating our Call in 2009–with JOY from Transformed by Grace

We thank God for the privilege we have had throughout 2009 to be vessels of the love, grace and truth of Jesus Christ! We are so grateful to all of our Board of Directors and to Cathy Buser who, as our Bookkeeper, maintains our financial records with great detail and integrity and for DeAnne Harland, our ever-available Admin-istrative Assistant, who truly ministers to all who make contact with TBG.

All three of our Conference Speakers-Lydia Austin, Rachel Mack and Sylane Mack, plus Mindy Benjamin, one of our Counselors-have been invited to speak to a variety of groups in a variety of settings: at Women’s Teas and Women’s Retreats, at MOPS groups, at whole Church Outreach Programs, to speak to prisoners, train their counselors and minister to their families. We have been awed by the power of God’s Word and Spirit to use our words to bless, encourage and challenge many people to trust the grace and truth of Jesus Christ for salvation and for the transformation of their lives-for now and for all of eternity!

The openness of so many individuals, and even within large groups at the retreats, to receive the freedom offered through Jesus Christ has kept us humbled and in awe of the intimacy and sovereignty of our God. We are evermore aware of how God is passionately reaching out to all of us with His transforming love!

Likewise, our Counselors-Mindy Benjamin, Kristin Chace (now living in CT), Teresa Warren and Sylane Mack-count it a privilege …a very daunting and humbling privilege…to have ministered over this past year to numerous individuals, couples and families within the intimacy of our biblically-based counseling services. We seek to fully rely on the wisdom of God, on His grace and truth, on His Word and His Spirit as we serve those who seek counsel from us. We take seriously the trust that is placed in us-guarding people’s dignity and protecting their confidentiality-as we offer Christ-centered counseling for the transforming healing, and renewing of their lives spiritually, physically, mentally and relationally.

This past September Sylane was invited to serve on the Board of Advisors as Assistant Chaplain for BAACC, Black African-American Association of Christian Counselors. Our God is a God of love and unity. May we all become more like Jesus!

Another new ministry venue for TBG in 2009 were the daily devotions which Sylane has posted daily since January 1, 2009 on our website, entitled:  A Time for Grace and Truth

Check these out. Be encouraged. Be challenged.

Along with TBG’s ongoing ministries, it was with great joy that we celebrated the publication of Sylane Mack’s book, CONVINCED!-or as she calls it,

“God’s transforming love story written in my life.”

cover-snapshot

We encourage you to order your copy (or several copies!) via:

http://www.createspace.com/3404109 (our preferred site)

Or via:

http://www.amazon.com

We believe that God will use CONVINCED! for His glory and to bring His transforming freedom, healing and power of forgiveness into the lives of many, many people! Because God’s love changes everything.

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Continuing our Call in 2010–with HOPE from Transformed by Grace

We, the Staff and Board, who serve through the ministry of Transformed by Grace prayerfully, faithfully and thankfully reaffirm our call to share the love, grace and truth of Jesus Christ through our Conference Speaking and Counseling ministries. We are ready and willing to “Go…and tell the full message of this new life”-Acts 5:20-wherever God would lead us. And we are ready and willing to continue to serve our local community as we disciple and counsel people with the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. Because…“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free”-Galatians 5:1.

As we look ahead to minister in the year 2010, we also, quite honestly, have some significant challenges to meet. We have had to make hard choices to not consistently pay some of our Staff because the support funds have not been available. We are trusting God-our Jehovah Jireh-the Lord Provider to stir up His resources and His people to supply all we need for our operational expenses. God is faithful. And so are His people.

We are asking each of you to PRAY about how you will support TBG. If you are not already a Partner in Gracea PinGwith us, we encourage you to join us now. We really do NEED YOU!

If you are already a Partner in Grace with us currently: THANK YOU!

  • Continue those prayers! They are the powerful foundation for placing our full trust in God for all that we do!
  • Consider how you may continue or increase your financial support for TBG.

As a gift of gratitude, we will send out a free copy of CONVINCED! to our PinGs who are able to make a Monthly Pledge of financial support of $25 or more for 2010 OR to those who can give a One Time Gift of $300 or more.

You may let us know your PinG Support Commitment of Prayer and Finances by clicking on this link now: Partner With Us

Thank You All for your encouragement, your prayers and your financial support for this ministry! We truly are the Ambassadors of Christ together!

We need and appreciate you greatly!

May this Christmas and 2010 cause each of us to know the interrupting, intervening LOVE of God in a more personal and powerful way!

Our love and thankful prayers,

The Ministry Team of Transformed by Grace