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Posts by Phil Layton

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More on BLM and CDC from last Sunday’s message (9/6)

Unborn lives matter

Some have asked about the BLM and CDC source information mentioned in last Sundays sermon here. Below are some of the statements from the message with the website data for reference: I would argue biblically "unborn lives matters" (Psalm 139:13-14). I said in the message "Black lives matteris a profoundly true argument. They matter to God and don't miss the cry behind t...

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Questions and Answers audio from Sunday night

Click here for the Questions and Answers from Sunday night. Topics include: County health updates, children's ministry, civil disobedience, upcoming election, Grace Community Church and John MacArthur update, Marxism, Black Lives Matter, keeping our focus on Christ ...

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Care, Community and Communication - Application Questions

These are the application questions from Sunday's message on the back of your song sheet. I would encourage you to use this for those you are in relationship with from our church to help interact about things of the Word, or use in your personal or family devotions. If this is helpful for you or your family or something you'd see valuable for small group or discipleship ti...

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A Tribute To My Friend Cliff


In February, Pastor Cliff announced to the church his plan to transition away from his staff pastor role at the end of June. We are thankful he's continuing to serve as an elder. In his words, he's not stopping or retiring from ministry, he's just stepping away from office tasks and redirecting his gifts to serve outside the office. He's also refocusing on family in this s...

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A Counter-Cultural Conversation on Social Justice, Race, the Gospel, and Movements like BLM

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Last night our Young Adult Group met as the first part of our Counter-Culture study, introducing the topic of justice biblically, what scripture has said on this subject and what social justice movements like Black Lives Matters have said (among other related topics). Click here for the handout, including perspectives on the movement from Al Mohler, John Piper, Voddie Bau...

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More Encouragement from a Sister in Christ

I'm so thankful for our sisters in Christ, how they have ministered to me and so many in these times. Their contribution and creative gifts and insights in serving are an inspiration and encouragement to me. Earlier this month I shared this blog (click herefor Encouragements from Sisters in Christ). Another sister in Christ later shared her reflections and recollection of ...

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Moving to One Service Outside & Update On State Guidance

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Many of you have been asking when we can all be together again in one place and we're excited those plans are coming together for this Lord's Day at 9:00 AM! This will be the first time our body has gathered at the same time since March 8th and we have longed for this day like many of you have and hope you can make it! We're moving to one service with the revised State gu...

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Encouragements from sisters in Christ


Here are some encouragements from four GCBC sisters in Christ in four different stages of life, answering the question "how has God grown you or encouraged you in these times?" One wrote: "As for the blessings during this time, seeing more of my husband ... as well as not having so many commitments and slowing down. The quiet pace suits my lazy nature, I like not being "b...

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A Pastor’s Prayer for Minneapolis and our Nation


Last week I was out of town so I recorded Sunday's sermon early in the week before the grievous footage and fate of George Floyd played out in the streets of Minnesota, and the grievous aftermath unfolded last weekend in streets across America. If I was doing the service live, I would have mentioned these events in the message and/or in my opening prayer after reading the ...

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Personal or family worship as we await church family worship


Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You --Psalm 119:11 (NASB). In our fight against sin, we need to treasure God's Word in our heart, that's the heart behind fighter verses being hidden or stored up in our heart like treasure or riches for ourselves and to be shared with others. Below is the next "fighter verse": Let the word of Christ dwell...

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Don’t Waste this Time - Pray for What Matters Most Globally (With a Tribute to Joyce Lin)

The one thing I wanted to take time to write this week is much bigger than our church and what's on our minds. There are great concerns about our nation, but let's keep the Great Commission on our mind, and the Glorious Christ's concern for all nations. It's been my burden in these times to keep missions before us, as a pastor but also as a person who grew up on the missio...

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Questions on Meeting at God’s House and in Our Homes or Other Places, Part 1

What are the current guidelines for gathering in homes? What is the church’s plan going forward? Will we be able to meet in small groups or come together in larger groups (outdoors)? How should we handle those who respond to the laws differently within the church?...

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Church and State, Part 2: Civil Disobedience and Constitutional Rights Questions

Click here for Part 1with biblical and historical perspectives from Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, and American pastors during the 1918 Spanish Flu (closest parallel). Part 2 below considers modern respected pastors and proponents of religious liberty who weigh in on the 2020 pandemic's restriction of church assemblies. Note: GCBC has participated in a series of meeting...

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Church and State in a Health Crisis, Part 1: Biblical and Historical Notes

Martin Luther practiced civil disobedience by illegally preaching, but saw black plague health restrictions differently...

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Joining In A Week of Prayer Together

Praying together from Colossians 1, and for our community and leaders...

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Waiting for the Lord

Lamentations 3:25-26, this weekend's fighter verse says "The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly..." The Lamentations 3 passage goes on to say there can be good in bearing a yoke, or sitting alone in silence at times (v. 27-28), as we hope in God as our portion, our sufficiency (v. 24). "Let us test an...

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