The Inexhasutible Grace Blog

ERESSO
  • There are No Curveballs with Jesus

    Hitting a curveball is not easy. The curveball in baseball is just that: a ball that curves. It is a pitch that is thrown by a pitcher attempting to make the batter hit a ball that doesn't travel in a straight line.Trevor Bauer is a major league baseball player who makes a lot of money throwing curveballs for the Cleveland Indians.   Read More...

  • Deeper Worship 5: Weekly Update

    Dear ones,Martin Luther is known for speaking / writing rawly. Luther said this about music. “I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people joyful”. We know from Scripture that music is a gift of God and that King Saul’s disturbing Spirit was driven away by David’s harp playing!Also, Did you know the singing of God’s people is a weapon against Evil.   Read More...

  • Deeper Worship 4: Weekly Update

    Dear Ones,I didn’t know if this week I’d end up writing a “DeeperWorship” note. Nature Coast’s amazing VBS has just ended. I’m behind for the week and really just worn out.   Read More...

  • Meet Our New Worship Director!

    Dear Ones,I'm delighted to share God’s provision of Allie Olmstead as the new music director of Nature Coast Church. Allie hails from Grand Rapids Michigan and has spent the last couple of years working at a church in Cincinnati (I’m thinking a little Bengal’s fever has made its’ way to her soul :-) ). Right now the plan is for Allie to arrive to the Nature Coast some time in August. Allie has attended Wheaton College in Illinois and is finishing up her degree in...  Read More...

  • Deeper Worship 3: Weekly Update

    Dear Ones,In God’s song book of Scripture, David wrote Psalm 8 for the Director of Music. Verse 2 of that song says this: “Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble”. What an incredible truth given to us by God!I thought of this verse as I thought about our VBS that begins this week.   Read More...

  • Deeper Worship 2: Weekly Update

    Dear Ones,As we make our way through this July of 2018, it is my intention to engage each week Nature Coast’s “Deeper Worship” campaign for a future Music Director. The summer months are usually slower, but this summer the activities of prepping and hosting VBS and seeking God’s will and provision of a Music Director are keeping us active!These days are encouraging days at Nature Coast. One of the things I’ve grown to love about Nature Coast is seeing God deeply use...  Read More...

  • Deeper Worship: Capital Campaign for Music Director at Nature Coast

    Dear Ones,God loves music! The ‘Director of Music’ is estimated to be at the head of 55 of the Psalms of Scripture. The King James version translates the Hebrew term to “the Chief Musician”—a term applied to the head of the temple music.   Read More...

  • VBS Updates and Donation Requests

    Dear Nature Coast Family,We are getting so close to our awesome week of Vacation Bible School: July 16th - 20th!We have almost reached capacity with our sign-ups. As of now, 50 kids from the community will be joining us for 5 days of fun and adventure, as our wonderful group of volunteers spends time loving them and teaching them about Jesus! Our Shipwrecked theme Bible School will lead them through six interactive stations, pointing them to five truths that they can "survive" on for a...  Read More...

  • Getting to Know the Office Team

    Dear Loved Ones,These are exciting times here at Nature Coast! We are working hard to step out of our comfort zones and create a church where everyone feels like a family--a place where we can feel warm, welcomed, unified, and deeply known, and thus extend this environment of love to those in the wider Nature Coast community. We want to bring people together, to really know each other's faces, and to communicate effectively.   Read More...

  • Deep & Wide: An Outlook for Nature Coast

    Below is a note addressing some of the items we discussed at our recent congregational meeting. We discussed our vision as a church for the upcoming year, including the intent to hire a Ministry Coordinator and a Music Director; our hopes for the growth and development of the Anchor Youth Group; and our desire to allow the Good News to flow deep into our hearts and wide into the lives of others.When I was a small child we used to sing a song called ‘Deep and Wide’. Using many hand motions, I wou...  Read More...

  • Driven By The "Like" Button

    One of my heart’s life-long battles has been to seek people’s affirmation of love by being for them what I think they desire me to be. Tragically, I am a people pleaser. I have developed skills at reading people.   Read More...

  • Giving Up

    In my church tradition there was no official church calendar or weekly lectionary to follow. Sure, we celebrated Christmas and Easter, but I had no idea they were actually part of an intentional church calendar that many churches followed. So I knew very little about Ash Wednesday—the day in the church calendar that marks the beginning of Lent.   Read More...

  • The Poison of Winning

    I was in a cozy living room with a group of people I had been doing ministry with for a number of years. It seemed like just another normal ‘church’ meeting. I quickly found out it was not.   Read More...

  • Salty Ones

    “Salty,” when used as a slang term, describes someone who is "angry, agitated, or upset," as well as someone who is "mean, annoying, and repulsive".I’m currently enjoying some rest, relaxation, and some dental work in Mexico (in the Yucatan). While here I was invited by a local Presbyterian pastor to attend a Bible Study hosted at a Roman Catholic church. There were around 15 attendees, both men and women, most of whom identified as Roman Catholics.   Read More...

  • Life-giving Scars

    I’ve lived on both coasts of Florida. I started out my years in Florida on the Atlantic, and then God called me over to the Gulf. I still love the ocean and enjoy my periodic visits to the east side, but I’ve fallen in love with the Gulf side and the Nature Coast.   Read More...

  • Change

    Change. I suspect that while most of us internally long for change, none of us really like the process. The truth is, change is painful.   Read More...

  • 24-Hour Prayer Vigil Starts Friday, October 21

    Last December my son Reese and I visited New York City for a couple of days. As we ventured around, we noticed numerous churches in the city. Many of those churches keep their doors open so individuals can walk in at any time. Reese and I went in a couple of them. In every church we walked in scattered about the seating you would always find individuals praying. Some stayed for awhile, some stayed for a couple of minutes and then left.   Read More...

  • This Is Amazing Grace!

    Yesterday morning a man named Joe ventured back into my office area. Joe  has been a regular at AA meetings since Nature Coast started hosting a few years ago. Joe asked me if I could set up a time with him and talk to him about who Jesus is. Joe went on to say that he, in his words, has been ‘watching out of the corner of his eye’ Nature Coast church and our folks as he is regularly around (even daily) to attend meetings.   Read More...

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Welcome to Gospel Eresso - the Good News Galley Slave Blog

A word about my blog title: In our lives (at least in mine) there are certain circumstances or moments that grab us and profoundly impact and shape us. A series a few years ago on I Corinthians caught me and shaped me or in gospel reality is still catching and shaping me. St. Paul writes in 4:1: This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. The derivative for the Greek word (“huporetes” – ‘servants) in the text is ‘eresso’ which means ‘to row’. The definition is one of ‘under-rower’. ‘Eresso’ describes the galley slaves in the belly of the ship whose rowing propelled the ship through the sea.  The transforming work of the gospel for St. Paul resulted in his viewing and identifying himself as a galley slave servant of Christ. The transforming work of the gospel will result in our identities being changed to one’s of servants. St. Paul reminds not only the Corinthian church, but us as well that the values of the gospel run counter to the values of the world in which we live. Every day we are confronted with the opportunities to live out ‘gospel eresso’ with our spouses, children, co-workers, in our cars, in the check-out line…my interest is to share gospel stories from our daily lives, thoughts from my sermons, and engage the stories of our culture from the perspective of Christ and His gospel.

I don’t have a corner on what it means to live as a servant rowing at the bottom of ship. I’m grateful I can lean heavily on the rowing shoulders of my fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters of the faith. God wants to us to know Him so He sent himself that we may see and know him.  Christ is the ultimate ‘eresso’. He ‘rowed’ himself all the way to a cross.

A good daily question for me and you: Where is the gospel ‘rowing’ you today?

- Brad Bresson