by Mark Beeson, Lead Pastor

My fast-paced Wednesday began with Granger’s “Manly Man Breakfast.” It ended with “Life Foundations,” where hundreds of people are learning to study the Bible. (Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods: 12 Ways You Can Unlock God’s Word is the great little tool we’re using as a guide. I recommend it.)

After wrapping up yesterday’s afternoon meetings I walked into The Granger Commons, ready for a great night with GCC.

I heard singing. The music was good; the voice was great. Jason was teaching Life Foundations and I supposed he had asked Ellie Holcomb to sing. That was a logical assumption because Jason is brilliant and he often leverages the arts for illustrative purposes. However, when I got closer, I realized Ellie wasn’t in the auditorium helping Jason. She was doing a full-blown concert in The Eatery (which was filled with people who were loving every minute of it).

There I was, face-to-face with a situation pastors either love or hate—two things were happening at once. While people were learning to study the Bible in one room, people were enjoying a concert in another.

Scheduling two things at once puzzled some; it disturbed others.

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Two Medicine Lake 090313  1b b&w blog

by Mark Beeson, Lead Pastor

“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela was responsible for much of the success of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. He acted on his convictions. He suffered for acting on his convictions. He forgave those who made him suffer for acting on his convictions. He was a truly remarkable man.

Mandela’s death last week seems to have people comparing their lives to his. Nobody wants to be all talk and no action. I’ve heard several say: “I wish I was more like Nelson Mandela.”

No doubt. But nobody ends up “like Nelson Mandela” because they “wish” they were like him. 

Anyone “wishing” to be “like” this man, this symbol of resistance, this world-wide icon of struggle against apartheid, must be willing to suffer – and after suffering, to offer forgiveness, reconciliation and amnesty to your enemies.

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by Mark Beeson, Lead Pastor

Squirrels always seem busy to me, scurrying back and forth, searching for seeds or nuts. From time to time they stop briefly, dig furiously, then dart off in their unending quest for more seeds and nuts.

It would probably be a ridiculous notion to suggest a squirrel is aware of its own finitude. I’m pretty sure the limitations of time, energy and resources are inscrutable for most squirrels, but even though they race away from every perceived threat, chase each other and seem erratic in their ways, squirrels always seem to return to their towering incessant preoccupation… searching for food.

In a world of limited time and energy, focus is a good idea, because constant focus gets results. When you direct time, energy and resources in a continuous focused manner, things happen. Drops of water continuously hitting a rock in the exact same spot again-and-again will drill a hole through it. Water dispersed in a scattered spray produces very different outcomes.

Concentrated action gets results.

What are you focused on?

Romans 8:6-8  -  Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

by Mark Beeson, Founding Pastor

When you feel like you’re done and the buzzards are circling overhead, don’t quit. God is still working, and when the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe reveals to you where He is working, you’re invited to join Him in His activity.

The ignominious end of a wasted life, that offers little more than food for the vultures, is tragic—and unnecessary. Instead of sitting down and waiting for the finale, accept God’s invitation and take action.

You’re not dead and you’re not done.

Respond to God.

Reset your life.


2 Peter 1:3-4a  -  Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God.


by Mark Beeson, Founding Pastor

What would it look like if the Church understood and acted on Her dual role of serving and loving people?

What would it look like if the Church used every tool at Her disposal to feed the hungry, care for the marginalized, bind-up the broken, help struggling families and lift high the ideals of the Good Life?

What would it look like if the church called “Granger Community Church” resolved to activate its campuses for the common good?

It might look something like I’ve pictured in this post.

We hosted Penn High School’s winter dance last weekend. The kids were safe. The parking was secure and the students were well supervised. Penn’s staff was superb. Professional security officers were on duty. GCC volunteers and staff were everywhere: checking coats, registering students, serving refreshments, running lights, monitoring sound, helping young men tie their neckties and young women rearrange their wind-blown locks.

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by Mark Beeson, Founding Pastor

Everyone knows to choose wisely. Some leaders are going nowhere. Others understand what's happening around them and know the best course to take.

Everyone recognizes this fact; only Jesus is infallible, so we've been advised to trust slowly, be cautious and look before we leap. We tend to trust those who've shown themselves to be trustworthy. We think, "Odds are ... they'll know what to do." 

So get this: most of the people around you assume you - follower of Jesus and child of the King - you are the one who "understands what's happening and knows what to do." It's you friend. As you follow Jesus, people are looking to you. They're following you.

Do you know what to do next? 

1 Chronicles 12:32  -  There were from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.