Men’s Retreat 2018

Life in our busy and distracted world often tempts us to get stuck in the “thick of thin things.” Too easily we get sidetracked from pursuing what matters most. As men we must consider carefully the Apostle Paul’s exhortation:

  • “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1–3, ESV)

The men of GBC are invited to gather together Friday – Saturday, March 23-24 for a men’s retreat where we will give focused attention to these life-giving words.

We will camp out at the Allen property in Zephyrhills. If you don’t have camping gear don’t let that keep you away. We can work together to arrange enough tent space for you.  Bring a hunger for good food, Christian fellowship, and God’s Word. Fathers are encouraged to bring their sons who have entered into young manhood.

Please pray for our time together. Ask God for it to be a great time for “iron to sharpen iron” (Prov 27:17)




Friday (3/24)

  • Arrive – 5:30 pm
  • Dinner – 6 pm – 7 pm
  • Music – 7 pm – 7:15 pm
  • Bible Study #1 (Eph. 4:1-6)- 7:15 pm – 7:45 pm
  • Music – 7:45 pm – 8 pm
  • Bible Study #2 (Eph. 4:7-10)- 8 pm – 8:15 pm
  • Prayer – 8:15 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Open fellowship/games – 8:30 pm –

Saturday 3/25

  • Breakfast – 8 am – 9 am
  • Music – 9:15 am – 9:30 am
  • Bible Study #3 (Eph. 4:11-14) – 9:30 am – 10 am
  • Music – 10 am – 10:30 am
  • Bible Study #4 (Eph. 4:15-16) – 10:30 am – 10:45 am
  • Prayer – 10:45 am – 11:00 am
  • Lunch – 11:30 am – 12 pm
  • Open fellowship/games – 12 pm – 2 pm
  • Breakdown

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, March 4, 2018

Psalms 81:10–12 ESV, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.”

The Lord’s Day is when we gather to receive from God.  Our worship does not complete something lacking in God, but is used by God to complete what is lacking us. Let’s gather together so God might fill us with the joy and splendor of his glory.


We plan to sing a new song this week. You can read the lyrics here and listen to the entire song by using the link below.  Be sure to listen ahead of time to prepare yourself to sing!


Pastor John Petrilli will be preaching from the Gospel of John.  Read John 11:1-44 to prepare yourself for the preaching ministry.  Do you find anything interesting about Jesus’s response to Lazarus’s illness? What does this passage teach you about God?

Communion & Benevolence:

The church family will remember and renew our covenant together in Christ by observing the Lord’s Supper together.  Afterwards, during our final hymn we will collect a benevolence offering.


Pray that the soil of our hearts would be receptive to the seed of God’s Word.  Ask God to grant us faith and repentance so we might enjoy more of God’s glory as redeemed children of a glorious king.


Preparation for Worship: Sunday, February 11, 2018

Exodus 15:11 ESV, ““Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”

Sunday reminds us and shows us God’s majesty and holiness.  We gather together to celebrate and remind each other of God’s glorious deeds.  Come and worship!


The links below are provided to help us sing together. Familiarize yourself with these truth-filled songs so you can help your church family grow in love and adoration of our great God.


The sermon on Sunday will be preached from Mark 1:12-20.  Read through the passage sometime before Sunday.

  • What do you believe is significant in verses 14-15? Why?
  • What similarities do the two accounts of Jesus calling disciples share?
  • What do verse 16-20 teach us about discipleship?


Pray for God to grow our love for him and increase our loving service to others.

Matthew 22:37–40 ESV, “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, February 4, 2018

Psalms 90:14 ESV, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”

God alone is the one who can truly satisfy us.  Because he satisfies us with his steadfast love we can sing and rejoice.  Come and worship this great and glorious God!


The voices of the church are the most important instruments in our music ministry. Use the links provided below to prepare yourself to sing loud praise to God with God’s redeemed people.


We will begin our expository sermon series through the Gospel of Mark by looking into Mark 1:1-11.  Read through this passage and consider reading Matthew 3:1-17 for comparison and further insight.

  • According to Mark, what is the purpose of his gospel?


We look forward to remembering the great saving acts of God accomplished through Jesus Christ in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.  In preparation for this act of covenant-renewal, spend some time praising God for the miracles of redemption and forgiveness of sin that make enjoying a relationship with God possible.

*We will take a benevolence offering during our final hymn.


We do not serve a God who cannot save (Isaiah 45:20).  We serve a God who is mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1)!  Since God is mighty to save, pray that he will use the proclamation of the gospel to save more people.  Pray that he would further transform us as his people through a greater understanding and awe of his glories.

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, January 28 2018

Psalms 25:4–5 ESV, “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

The Lord’s Day reminds us God has never needed a teacher or counsellor.  And he offers himself to us through Jesus.  We gather on Sunday to confess our need for God to teach us and lead us in truth.  Come and learn and worship!


Use the links below to prepare us to sing well together. The loud praises of God’s people are on elf the ways we ascribe glory to God.


We plan to finish our “Core Statement” series by looking into what the Scriptures teach about our core values of “Gospel-community,” “Gospel-restoration,” and “Gospel-multiplication.”  How do the following passages describe the gospel-community?

  • Romans 12
  • Ephesians 2:11-22


Pray that God would bear much fruit in us.  Pray that we would abide in Christ so that whatever we ask the Father he may give it. Pray!

John 15:16 ESV, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, January 21, 2018

Isaiah 42:6–8 ESV, ““I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”

The Lord is glorious in his mighty actions of salvation.  He delivered us from blindness and brought us out of the dungeon of our sin when he shined the light of the glorious gospel in our hearts.  Come and worship our glorious God!


Get ready to sing loud praise to God with your forever family by using the links below.


The sermon will be our third installment in our “Core Statement” series.  We will look into the rich truth of God’s Word concerning our first three values: Treasure Christ, Biblical Instruction, and Prayer.

  • How do these values help us strive together to fulfill our mission of spreading a passion for the glory of God by making disciples?
  • Which of these three values excites you the most? Why?
  • Which of these three values do you feel most needs growth in your life?
  • Who will you ask to help you grow in this biblical value?


Based on God’s Word below, for what will you ask him in regards to our gathered worship on Sunday? Pray!

Romans 8:32 ESV, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, January 14, 2018

Psalms 107:1–2 ESV, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble”

We have every reason we need to gather to give thanks and praise God together.  The Lord has redeemed us.  He has rescued us from the power of sin, death, and hell.  Come and worship!


The voices of the church are the most important instruments in our music ministry. We help each other follow Jesus as we hear each other sing loud praise to God.  Get ready to sing together!


Our second sermon in our “Understanding our Church Vision” series will focus on our Vision Statement.  Be sure to read through our mission, vision, and values before Sunday. Read through some of the Bible passages listed below to begin preparing your heart for God’s vision for us (If you read this entry on our church blog, hover your cursor over the passages below to read them) .

  • Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 John 5:2; Romans 12:12; John 6:63; Ephesians 2:19; Ephesians 4:31-32; 2 Corinthians 5:20.
  • Based on God’s Word, what spiritual fruit do you hope to see grow in us over the next five years?


Would you pray for this work of grace to be done in us through our love-soaked obedience to God?

1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

What Do We Hope To Be?

In January the GBC church family is giving focused attention to our Core Statements which ask and answer the following questions:

  • Why do we exist? (Our Mission)
  • What do we hope to be? (Our Vision)
  • On What will we focus? (Our Values)

If you missed last week you may find the sermon online.  Everyone who attends GBC will want to listen so we are all on this journey together.

This coming Sunday (1/14) we will focus on our vision: what we hope to be.  I’ve included our vision statement below. Please read through it and think about the future God has prepared for us. You can find all of our core statements on our website.


We aspire to be a church who spreads a passion for the glory of God by making disciples who treasure Jesus Christ and love all people. We become his disciples and grow as his disciples through the gospel, which is the good news about Jesus’ death and resurrection on behalf of those who trust and treasure him. Practically, we live as his disciples by obeying biblical instruction and depending on God in prayer, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The result is a spiritual family made up of diverse people who stand unified as a gracious, forgiving community. Therefore, as God’s church we become his agent of gospel-restoration and gospel- multiplication in our neighborhoods, cities, and world.

This vision statement clarifies if we are living in accordance with our shared identity as followers of Jesus. Will you pray for this vision to more and more become a reality in us all to the praise of God’s glorious grace?

– Shaun Walker

Preparation for Worship: Sunday, January 7, 2018

Isaiah 64:4 ESV, “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.”

We gather on Sunday to wait on God because he acts for those who wait for him.  What we need most on Sunday (and every day) is God.  Come and worship!


The links below are provided to help us sing together. Familiarize yourself with these truth-filled songs so you can help your church family grow in love and adoration of our great God.


The sermon on Sunday will begin our series through our Core Statements.  This series will help us understand from God’s Word why we as a church exist, what we hope to become, and what we value.  Read through our Core Statements and ask God to convince our minds and grab our hearts with fresh realizations of his glory.


Don’t neglect prayer.  Ask God to make us even more God-centered in all we do.

Romans 11:34–36 ESV, ““For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

Top Sermon & Book from 2017

Dear Church Family,

As we anticipate beginning a new year I find myself reflecting on this past year.  Through all of the good, bad, hard, and enjoyable moments God never stopped showing us his faithfulness.  One of the results of my own year end reflection was a reminder of two resources I found particularly helpful to my own spiritual formation.  You might say these are Shaun’s “top two” resources – one an audio sermon the other a book – and they are both by John Piper.

Top Sermon from 2017:

The sermon “Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering” – Meditations on the Life of Charles Simeon was preached by John Piper during the 1989 Bethlehem Conference for pastors.  It is a sermon preached to pastors so it includes some biographical information about Charles Simeon to frame up the topic. But the rich doctrine and Bible truths about suffering, escaping emotional fragility, and the roots of spiritual endurance are pure gold.  God has seen fit to use this sermon to advance my own spiritual formation each time I returned to it.  I heartily recommend you spend the ~90 minutes to listen to it.

Top Book from 2017:

Of all the books I read this year John Piper’s “Future Grace” – The Purifying Power of the Promises of God stands above the rest.  This was a difficult choice because I also read “Desiring God – Meditations of a Christian Hedonist” which nearly won the prize.  Perhaps reading both books in the same year allowed the Bible truth explained in the books to reverberate back and forth and work more deeply into my soul.  Regardless, if I have to choose just one top book it is “Future Grace.”  The book is divided into 31 not-too-long chapters designed to be read each day of a month.  In it you will hear Piper explain how God helps break the power of sins like anxiety, despondency, greed, lust, impatience, etc.  I assure you, if you choose to read this book in 2018 it will do you spiritual good and enable you to do others good.

What about you?

Do you have a top sermon or book from 2017? Go ahead and post it below in the comments.

– Shaun Walker


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