Pastor Kelly here this week. We are so excited about the new service time and partnership with Grace Connection.
We get to honor and embrace each other in serving the greater St Pete area with two churches sharing in the same goal.
That in itself is an act of worship as God will be our main focus throughout this new partnership.
It’s so important to serve each other, the body and the community. I would like to invite us to remove any of our past feelings and move forwards toward a unified front to impact our city.
At the end of the day that is the our goal!
As we end one sermon series and start a new one, I’m excited because, we have seen the atmosphere change on how we worship and serve God. Over the last month, different leaders in our church have shared their hearts towards this reverent act.
Worship is the ultimate surrender, so that when we decrease, Jesus can increase.
I love Mathew 5: 3-9 MSG and how it layouts how we can be blessed:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”
This instructs us on how to be blessed and gives us a clear cut example that we MUST, at all cost decrease so HE can increase. It is not coincidence that we’re going into our new series: “Hope in the House of Blues”.
We have used this series in worship to examine and renew our understanding about worship but through this new sermon series we want to go deeper into what it looks like to surrender even in the mist of the most difficult situations in life.
As we start to examine these issues, let all of us be encouraged by having the Holy Spirit as our comforter in every circumstance and situation.
All we have to do, is give him that control.
Please pray for those who are suffering in their despair and hopelessness. One of the ways that we can help with this, is by offering to pray for them, and also inviting them to church so they can surround themselves with a support community. We pray God’s will be done, in the hearts of those who worship our King…..Jesus!
See you at 10:30 for breakfast and at 11 am for service !
Hi SVP family, Jamie here,
Called to love.
This the foundation of the Christian church and I would say most especially
resonates with St. Pete Vineyard.
The two great commissions – Love the Lord God with all your heart, and
with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great
commandment. And the second - Love thy neighbor as thyself
Wow, first commission – Love my Lord - ok I get that one, check myself
daily… heart… Soul… mind… some days hard, some days not, it's a good thing His love is not qualified by my love for Him!
But that second one – love my neighbor as myself! Now let’s be clear, who
is my neighbor? The guy two blocks away that speeds down my street dangerously?
The girl behind the counter at Walgreens
6 blocks away that is always rude? Or, literally the house sitting right next to me?
We ALL know the “Jesus” answer! But literally, if we ALL love “our”
neighbor, we would ALL be loved, right??
But here is where the calling comes in folks! We have got to make up for those that don’t love their neighbor! I could give you scriptures with example after example after
example where we are guided how to love and when to love. Everyone we
encounter is the “neighbor”. Regardless of their sin, regardless of their
gender, skin color, religion, political beliefs, personality, or their mood.
We are called to Love!!!
I encourage you today to choose love. Choose it for your enemy, someone
who hurt you, choose it for those “easy” to love and especially those “hard”
to love! I promise you, it actually blesses you. Let’s remember one of His
promises from Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what
reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you
greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not
even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is
This is the perfect example of what Pastor Chris refers to as “the upside
down Kingdom”. It is not our nature, it is not what we think is the “way to
do things”, it is however what we have been called to do!
Those that have yet to develop their relationship with Jesus keep the law that
taught “love your neighbor, hate your enemy”. Here is one you hear
often… “love the sinner, hate the sin” (can just hear the old southern
grandma in my ear), how bout JUST LOVE THE “sinner”! And just a little
reminder we are ALL the “sinner”, washed by His blood, made perfect in
His image! That includes the “one” you struggle with – they are also
washed in the blood!
I love you my dear Saints – I speak extreme blessing over you, your day,
your week! I am asking you personally to return to our building if you are
able and have not done so yet. We need you!
I leave you with two things: a verse, and a song – always a song LOL.
Music is sewn into the fibers of my heart and I must leave you with a
song!!!! My dear friend reminded me of this one, just today, not knowing
what I was writing about. But my Lord is always cool like that!
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not
proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily
angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but
rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,
Blessings and love,
KING & COUNTRY - The Proof Of Your Love
Hello SPV Fam, this is Chris sending you greetings from South Carolina!
I’ve been thinking lately how guilty I (and church leaders in general) have been in making following Jesus a lot more complicated than it should be. And in fairness, there is A LOT to it if you think about it. The story (of God) can be simplified but it’s still a really BIG story. And the Bible is pretty big, 66 different books, hundreds of chapters and thousands of pages. And then there are the various theological interpretations of all of those different passages. And then there are particular worship styles and traditions to sort through and then the day-to-day questions and challenges we all face with our particular faith journey.
So, while I completely acknowledge there is A LOT involved, I also feel like we need to constantly remind ourselves and each other that Jesus emphasized to his audience mustard seed sized faith and a childlike faith approach. It was those who were “adding on” and complicating things that were distancing themselves from the heart of the true kingdom.
Read this passage from Mathew 17 about the Transfiguration:
“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”
Now, I won’t even begin to try to explain what the transfiguration was, what was actually happening or even why because it’s a really odd story. But what I do find really interesting is that while in the midst of a pretty “trippy” supernatural experience, Peter, James and John jumped quickly to try and add to the experience or even put their own little spin on it. They even asked Jesus if they could build three different tents to make room, space or places of honor for Moses and Elijah (who represent The Law & The Prophets respectively) in addition to Jesus. But look what happened, a booming voice (booming enough to scare the living daylights out of them) told them to listen to Jesus and gave no mention of Moses or Elijah. Verse 8: “And when they opened their eyes, they saw only Jesus.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying The Law and The Prophets aren’t important and that “fleshing out” various aspects of the faith aren’t necessary. But I believe this passage of scripture is an important reminder that when an encounter with Jesus is taking place, let’s not look to add something to the moment (build a tent or otherwise) but rather simply “listen to him” and allow everything else to fade away into the background so that when we lift up our eyes “we see no one but Jesus.”
Much love and a sweet simplicity of faith to you all,
Greetings SPV Family!
Pastor Kelly here this week. This past Sunday at the end of the service, we made an announcement about some changes we want to make our family aware of.
THE SPV LEADERSHIP has been working behind the scenes to MORE EFFECTIVELY reach our community. With lots of thought and prayer, we are excited to announce a new partnership with GRACE CONNECTION CHURCH.
This is a great opportunity to have two churches in the same building, having the same goal to reach the greater St. Petersburg area.
Pastor Tim Kelley and his congregation have been around for many years and are super excited for our partnership at the SPV campus. Over the next few weeks, we will be working hand in hand to schedule new events coming to our campus.
WE WILL UPDATE YOU AS WE GO.
As it stands, starting Sunday Sept 4th, Grace Connection will be joining our campus for a 9:00 am service. We in return, will move our service BACK 30 MINUTES to 11am.
We will still have our community breakfast time starting at 10:30am with the service to follow. We understand change is not always easy but we do feel God is leading and HE is working in this change. Please welcome Pastor Tim as he will be our guest this week at the church and introduce himself, as well as some of his leaders to our community.
Please, feel free to reach out with any questions to myself, Kelly@spv.org or any of the board members or leaders, so we may address any concerns moving forward. Thank you to everyone who calls SPV their home and we welcome new folks who will one day call this their home church as well.
Be blessed !
Hi SPV family,
Patricia here,In my teen years I lived on a farm and we had many animals. My favorite one was a quarter horse named Dixie. She was beautiful and very smart. During that time I learned a great deal about caring for a horse of my own, learning how to saddle the horse was an endurance in strength and also it was important to know which was the right bit for the horse's safety. Dixie loved to be ridden but when she was ready to go back to the barn, she would chomp down on the bit and take off running. I had no control whatsoever over this 1,000 lbs. of powerful horse. I would have to hang on and hope for a gentle landing because when she got home she stopped as fast as she took off, and I went flying over her head. That only happened once since I was a fast learner.
It took practice and hard work to care for my horse but I was rewarded by a friendship with a powerful and kind spirited animal. It also takes practice to use words that build up our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is hard to say kind things about another, when you feel you have been wronged and want others to take your side so that you feel justified in how you react.
My time with Dixie reminds me of the scripture in James that talks about controlling the tongue.
The bit in the mouth controlled the horse and I could direct her where I wanted her to go.
James 3:2-3 Indeed we all make mistakes. For if we control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.
How powerful are words? Do Blessings and cursing come out of the same mouth? Do we chomp down on our hurt feelings and not let go of them? Do we find ourselves unwilling to make it right with our friends and loved ones?
Do we criticize others instead of building them up? Do we praise the Lord on Sunday and talk about our brothers and sisters in Christ unkindly that same day?
No you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. James 3:11
Words are powerful. In Matthew it says to go to that person and talk it out. If they listen you have won over your brother or sister. The scripture does not say, talk about it with others and complain, that causes division and divides the body of Christ.
James 3:17-18 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
Words are powerful, plant seeds of peace, plant seeds of forgiveness, plant seeds of love.
The harvest will be rich and plentiful and then you will be blessed and will bless others with your words.