Psalm of Comfort
We all need comfort. There is no greater gift we give others than comforting them when they are most vulnerable in their fear, trauma or failure. Comfort says I’m here for you, I’m with you, I’m for you. Comfort is the first step toward hope and recovery. It sets the tone for discovery and growth. One of the most beautiful expressions of this is Psalm 23, familiar to many.
Comfort doesn’t talk us out of our feelings but helps us move through them to a place of peace. In that place of peace, we find God’s strength to keep going, trusting him to lead and guide. In his comforting presence we do things we never imagined having the strength or courage to do. We serve him, we are willing to sacrifice and suffer for him in service to others. This is only sustainable because we are able to receive and give comfort as Christ comforts us. Comfort is no longer our extrinsic motivation but an intrinsic way of being in Christ as we pursue goals in him.
Prayer is a pathway to comfort; a life group is a place of comfort; serving others brings comfort. Comfort (strength) is having the power of Christ at work in you in the midst of all circumstances.
Psalm 91 – Focusing on God’s presence Who He is and what He is able to do
The focus is on where we dwell vs. where we hide (and we are all tempted to hide)
We hide because we have believed a lie, we live in shame. We hide thru achievements, sorrows, victimhood, from grief and loss, wealth, problems and other life issues. The solution is to seek God above all else. Hiding will not satisfy and you will trust in no one but yourself and your ability to protect yourself. But God says “seek me, I will give you My grace, My righteousness, I will put a new heart in you and a new song to sing. God will be our refuge and fortress.”
The Church is meant to be a refuge. It is like a hospital, a gym, a lab, a workshop, a spiritual spa treatment–everyone seeking to encourage one another in their personal growth through prayer and reassurance. God is calling us into a place of refreshment. He also calls us to a place called a fortress-a picture of strength, organization, and preparedness, a place where we can get our “act” together. There He will build you up and make you strong.
· God is calling you into His presence among His people which is a refuge and a fortress to dwell and not hide from the world and become a new person in His name.
· The Lord is actively protecting you from evil
· The Lord delivers us from a variety of threats – real and imagined
· You can be assured God’s Hand is on you. It is not luck, fate or skill
· We know that harm does overtake us and disasters engulf God’s people but He will always be our refuge
· The psalmist emphasizes God’s greatness over the enemy of your soul
The bottom line – the punch line to this riddle-like psalm:
God is bigger, God is better than we can even imagine. He IS with you and He IS for you in spite of any signs to the contrary.
When you arrive to our campus, you feel like you’re home. Our parking team will wave to you as you enter the parking lot and help you park. Our team of greeters will say “hello” as you enter the sanctuary and our ushers will pass out bulletins and Bibles. Everyone gets a name tag so we all know each other’s names.
We have two identical worship services at 9:00 am and 10:45 am, followed by a time of fellowship on the patio. The services are just over an hour in length. We have a talented worship team with vocalists, piano, guitars, keyboard, drums, and more. Everyone is encouraged to sing along. The LJCC choir sings an anthem twice a month during worship.
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Our dedicated worship team, led by Michael Campion, leads the singing at all of our Sunday worship services. The team is made up of five or six musicians and five or six vocalists who lead both contemporary praise music and traditional hymns. Weekly practices are held at the church.
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At La Jolla Community Church, we refer to Small Groups as Life Groups!
What is a Life Group?
LJCC is a growing congregation comprised of small groups called Life Groups. Life Groups exist at La Jolla Community Church to help people connect with one another for the purpose of mutual support and encouragement as they grow in their Christian faith during their various stages of life. Life Groups include Bible study, fellowship, personal sharing and prayer. Life Group participation does not require prior knowledge of the Bible or prior experience in a small group. Life Group participation does require openness to spiritual growth and development in relationship with God, the Bible and other people. We encourage everyone to give Life Groups a try, and we will do everything we can to help you become part of one.
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Ever feel trapped by the machine of excess in your own life and our culture in general? Join us this Lenten season as we stage a mutiny against excess with “The Seven Experiment” by Jen Hatmaker. In the seven-weeks leading up to Easter, we’ll challenge ourselves to think and act differently in our approach to food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress. “Seven” life groups (9-week study) launch on Wednesday, January 27 (6:30-8:30 pm) at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church (next door). Pastor Steve’s sermon series starts on Sunday, Feb. 7! Life groups are open to men and women in any age and stage. Interested? Complete the Life Group Info Form on the patio on Sundays. Most groups will meet at LJCC the following week.
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LJCC Essential Doctrines
God: Through the Bible, God shows us that He is personal and has created us for relationship with Himself. We see that His attributes and His actions are perfectly consistent, congruent and coherent. He is so different from us that we can’t help but realize the gulf that exists between us and this holy God. We see that He loves us and has a plan for us. He gives us commands, instructions and inspiration. Who is He? The witness of the ancient church is that He who reveals Himself to Israel is the one and only God. There is only one, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection. He has sovereign dominion over all of His creation. He works all things according to the counsel of His own unchanging and perfectly righteous will. God is complete in Himself and all-sufficient. God reveals Himself as a trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the unity of the one God there are three persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Father is of no one, neither begotten, nor proceeding: the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit is eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. Within the limits of language and logic we attempt to describe the awesome uniqueness of God who makes Himself known in Jesus. Apart from God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ, we cannot fully know him.
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