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Threefold Ministry of Christ

July 21, 2019 10:55 am

About The Church

Our Community

Glorify God, Make Disciples of Jesus Christ, and Meet Human Needs.

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Church Mission

First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville is a vibrant, Christ-centered congregation committed to bringing hope to the city and a faith that transforms people just like you.

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Participate With Us

Worship is at the heart of any Christian community. We gather together to give thanks to God for the gifts of life and grace, for the freedom to gather together in praise and worship of God's holy name.

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A Word from the Pastor

Yes, I am fully aware this writing is full of scripture. Why, because I believe these verses speak to the “elephant in the room.” God is very clear in His Word about us moving from the past to take hold of the future. May we oblige Him through obedience.

Perhaps the best illustration for this is Moses. His first forty years in Egypt came to a very difficult close when he murdered a man. After forty more years of Moses tending to the sheep of his father-in-law, God spoke to him from the burning bush about the future.

God asked him to go back to Egypt and free the Israelites from their bondage. Talk about a struggle between the rear-view mirror and the windshield... WOW. Moses was able to learn from the past and let the past go to lead Israel into the future.

Glance into the rear-view mirror for past reflections... gaze into the windshield for things to come.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in Aurora Leigh, wrote: Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries.

In his book Windows of the Soul, Ken Gire responds to this poem with a prayer: Thank You, God, For Your hand that reaches to me, touching my arm, tapping my shoulder, telling me to pause and to look and to listen at all the windows of the soul. Help me to see something in those windows, something of heaven in every earthly event, something of the divine spark in every human soul. Please, dear God, give me grace to stand shoes in hand, before all that in some way bears Your glory, for I don’t want to spend my days just sitting around plucking blackberries.

My desire is that you would know of my prayers for you now and into the next season of ministry here at First. My request is that you pray the same for Connie and me as we seek to take hold of the future for our lives, holding our shoes, gazing into the glory of God, not plucking blackberries. (I don’t want to pluck the blackberries; I want to eat them.)

Bill Gaither wrote this affirmation for our faith in the future. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives! "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" — Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Expectantly for your future and ours,