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Sunday Nite (August 4th)

What’s up everybody?!? Haven’t done one of these in a few… but as I was just about to “shut it down” for the night I was thinking about what a great day we had today – how blessed we are to be a part of what JESUS is doing in SE North Carolina – and I just had to share with you.

I hope you were with us at one of Vertical locations today, but if you weren’t, here’s what you missed:

  • Pastor Jeff Isenhour at Vertical Church – Aug 4th

    We were so blessed today to have my great friend and brother (and Vertical Church Elder), Jeff Isenhourpreach. Pastor Jeff is the Senior Pastor of Arran Lake Baptist Church in Fayetteville. Jeff has been one of those people who believed in the vision of this church before we WERE a church! His input into my life and spirit is so huge – I was so honored to finally introduce him to our church.

  • It didn’t take long for our church to recognize that my friend Jeff is a NUT!!! Dude is crazy funny… he is also crazy good. Jeff Isenhour is one of the best preachers I know.
  • Pastors/Preachers are always pouring into others… we give, and listen and give and pray for/over, etc. Where do pastor’s go to have someone give, listen and pray for them? Jeff is one of those people in my life. I am so thankful for him.
  • I actually had the opportunity to lead worship on a couple of songs this morning at the Lumberton location… impromptu at that! It wasn’t scheduled, it was a Rhonda/Mike P convo, “hey, you wanna sing some this morning?” Love leading our church to sing to Jesus! (and sing they did!!!)
  • I AM PUMPED about the new end-of-summer series I will be starting next weekend titled, “White Flag”. God does amazing things through people who do what He asks them to do – so why are we so prone to run from Him? Based on the Book of Jonah, “White Flag” will challenge us that regardless of the path we choose our God is a God of 2nd chances. No story illustrates this better than Jonah. DO NOT MISS NEXT WEEKEND as we dive into our own white flag moment.
  • SPREAD THE WORD: next weekend is gonna be slammin’
  • Jeff Floyd, Vertical Volunteer of the Week

    Congrats to our Vertical Volunteer of the Week, Jeff Floyd. Jeff has been with us since the beginning and serves on the Usher team as well as set up/tear down. I have always enjoyed spending time talking to this dude who always speaks life into me… thanks Jeff, for making Vertical, “vertical”.

  • Lot’s of exciting things coming up this month at Vertical: Special Forces Prayer team Intro lunches, White Flag Vision Night, vKidz move-up camp, your next opportunity for baptism… AND MORE. I will talk about each of these this week on here.

Let’s have a Jesus-filled week everybody! It is an honor and a pleasure to be part of this with you all.

Sunday Nite (July 7th)

What an amazing day today at Vertical Church! I love JESUS and I love my church! Gonna make this a quick one but…

  • Week 4 of Summer Blockbusters and we were LIVE at both locations with different messages. Joey Autry (Bladen Location Pastor) brought the message in Ltown – Brandon Meadows (Student Pastor) brought the message at Bladen.
  • Joey’s Summer Blockbuster was about Esther titled “No Plan B”. Brandon’s Summer Blockbuster was the story of when God challenged Abraham to sacrifice his promised son, Isaac. I heard really great reviews of both!
  • I am so proud of our team. We have some incredible preachers… more importantly, we have pastors who love Jesus and each other.
  • I had the privilege of leading worship at Vertical Lumberton today for the 1st time! So funny the people who have no idea that I can sing/lead worship, much less the fact that I was a worship leader for 13 years prior to being a Lead Pastor.
  • Such an honor to play with Vertical Worship. Such a humble group of musicians/worshipers. #theyhaveaheartforJesusandpeople
  • I am looking forward to leading worship at Vertical Bladen either next weekend or the following. Not gonna tell you which one 1. because i’m not sure and 2. you’ll just have to be there!
  • Joey shared today that we have been 1 church in 2 locations for 19 weeks. A couple of awesome stats: 19 professions of faith/salvations in 19 weeks, 11 baptisms at Bladen. Jesus is at work in our church.
  • Congrats to our Vertical Volunteer Of the Week, Joanne McMillan, who volunteers in the Cafe at our Lumberton location. She is there for setup @ 7am every Sunday. Her attitude & love for people is awesome. She is very motivated & focused on bringing people closer to Christ. Congratulations Joanne! Thank for serving with us at Vertical!!

Today was a shining example of that. Middle of the summer, great crowds, ALIVE, and as a body we are believing God to do the impossible. I challenge you, this week, believe God to do the impossible in your life, in Jesus Name.

Sunday Nite (Memorial Day Weekend!)

Sunday nite may be a tired nite, but it’s a nite of satisfaction. Today (memorial day Sunday) is one of those days that church services take a hit, but I have to tell you, today was freakin’ awesome at Vertical!!!

I had the infrequent privilege of worshiping at both Vertical locations today and it was so exciting to be at both. This is going to be short, but I just had to share with you Memorial Day Weekend at Vertical through my eyes:

  • Week 3 of our series, “From this Day Forward”. Today’s message was titled, “Fight Fair”. You can check it out on iTunes here.
  • We have a lot of single people (never married AND divorced). I understand that this series has been tough for some. I went into today’s message with that tension on my heart. I wanted THEM to know that i was thinking of them as today’s message was being formed and that today’s word was so applicable to their life. I hope that broke through.
  • The passage we looked at today was James 1:19-20. 2 verses of scripture that can absolutely CHANGE-YO-LIFE.
  • All couples fight – Healthy couples fight for resolution, unhealthy couples fight for victory. The problem with fighting for victory in someone loses – with every loss comes a wound, with every wound a scar and with every scar a reminder of that incident in a person’s life.
  • We looked at 3 rules for fighting fair: #1 I will listen carefully #2 I will guard my words #3 I will control my anger.
  • Told some Keyna stories in today’s message… I guess that I did well as she didn’t feel like I threw her under the bus. She came out on top in all of them… Truth: I AM AN IDIOT. Besides, through the years I have learned The best humor is that which makes fun of yourself.
  • We dug into a verse that is so important in the context of relationship: Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV [26] Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, [27] and give no opportunity to the devil.
  • Some of you struggle with controlling your anger. Let me remind you – this verse proves that anger itself is not sin. You can be angry yet not allow it to become sin in you and in your relationship.
  • There are some who heard today’s message with a bitterness in their heart that began “one day” on a day like today. Think on this: had they lived out the above verse, and not let the day end without dealing with the hurt, they might not be bitter about that thing today. Think on that.
  • Told about the time (recently) that Keyna called me out as a hypocrite. OUCH!!! That one definitely hurt… but worth it for the sake of the Gospel.
  • Taught today how to win a fight every time. You’ll have to listen to hear. #cantgiveitallaway #youhavetohearitincontext
  • Bottom line: God wants to use the relationships in our lives not just to make us happy but to also make us holy – He wants us to become more and more like Jesus. Today’s passages show that. I really hope you check it out online.
  • Worship in both locations was awesome! Alison amazingly led worship in Ltown (first time back since launching Bladen). Girlfriend killed it!!! Rhonda led worship at Bladen in such an anointed way. Jon was also in Bladen co-leading with Rhonda. TRUTH: both locations were so “vertical”. I told Rhonda how proud I was of both… she is doing an incredible job heading up a multisite worship ministry. I am so proud of her.
  • I saw where Robin Barnhardt is this week’s Vertical Volunteer of the Week! Robin serves at Bladen and is part of the VIP team as well as helps out as needed in Waumba Land. Her whole family is such a blessing to us. Thank you, Robin, for helping make Vertical, “vertical”.
  • With this being memorial day, I just wanted to once again thank all of you who have served our country. Thank you so much for laying it all on the line for freedom. We celebrate the freedom every week at VC. You, my friends, are awesome!

I thought I would close with some of the things you all have said online today. I love you all – so thankful to be on this journey with you all.

  • @jehomrich@RoddBaxley: “It is never too late or too early to become the person that people love to be around.” Great word from @mikepittman
  • Nicole Pait Edwards  Mike P. preached an awesome message this morning that everyone should be able to relate to. If you missed it stay tuned and listen to the podcast once it is up.
  • John Astle you weren’t lyin! great stuff for all of us this morning, great job mane
  • Jon Lloyd People got SAVED at Vertical Bladen this morning! WOOOO!!!!!!!
  • Mitchell Cain They got saved at Vertical Lumberton too!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!
  • Sonya Mcgirt Dont let the sun go down with anger! You never know if tomorrow will ever come to say you are sorry. God created us to have differences, it is how we handle our differences that matters. Communicate and show love to one another and create a place you both can meet in the middle. Family (marriages) is something the devil would love to destroy! Put a stop to it right now!!
  • John Astle “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” Mike P with some great advice from Proverbs 19
  • Shawn Baxley Well just want to thank god for waking me up this morning dying on the cross for my sins forgiving me went to Vertical Church this morning church was really good
  • @nanwyer@mikepittman – thank you for the great words about relationships, not just marriage! Will help me grow as a disciple! Love you!

Sunday Nite on a Monday Afternoon

It looks like we had an incredible day yesterday at Vertical. I was not in attendance as I was with my family attending my daughter Madison’s dance competition. We only do this a few times a year (praising Jesus for that – can be wide open) and I hate to be out of town like that… however, we have an AMAZING team, filled with the power of God and His leadership.

We did something a little different yesterday – 2 different communicators at 2 locations preaching different messages. As we were in a transition week between series I felt it was a good day to give Joey Autry (Bladen Location Pastor) and Jon Lloyd (Church Planting Intern, future Steel City Church Pastor) the opportunity to flex their preaching muscles. Though I haven’t heard either message yet (I will) I did have the opportunity to see what many of you said online. If you missed yesterday, here’s what you missed through the eyes of facebook/twitter. The #seriously tags are from Joey’s message – the #go tags are from Jon’s:

  • When you look back on your life will you be able to say that when God said go, I went! #go #Go #GO. @notjohnllyod

    Jon at Ltown

  • #seriously? You r not on a team just 2 play ball. You r not at ur job just 2 get a paycheck. You r there 2 make an eternal difference!
  • God made you as you are so he could use you as he planned. @notjohnllyod #faith #GO.
  • #seriously? What is ur next step? Salvation? Baptism? Reading ur bible? VERGE? VGroup? VTeam? Give? Let us help #wec96
  • God’s work in our past gives us faith for our future. #go #LTN @notjohnllyod #Abramwent
  • #seriously? Sometimes u may have to b an idiot or look bad in front of ur friends but God is calling u 2 do it.
  • #go God isn’t looking for WORTHY, God is looking for WILLING! #LTN #SCC #dontbeastatistic #setapart #Abram
  • @joeyautry Step 1: Sit & Learn. Jesus isn’t scared of your junk or your past.
  • #seriously? Step 2: Fish Deeper. God may ask u 2 do something CRAZY or 2 do something u have done 1,000 x again in a dif way
  • #BDN Step 3: Fall Down & be Broken. Serve for something that is bigger than yourself. You have influence at work, school, home.
  • Joey at BCC

    #seriously? #BDN Step 4: Follow. Some1′s next step is to drop everything and follow God’s calling.

  • #seriously? Sometimes u may have to b an idiot or look bad in front of ur friends but God is calling u 2 do it.
  • #go God isn’t looking for WORTHY, God is looking for WILLING! #LTN #SCC #dontbeastatistic #setapart #Abram
  • #go Going might mean giving something up @notjohnllyod
  • #go #LTN Going requires faith. What proof of God do u have in ur life? #evidence
  • #go #LTN God made you as you are so he could use you as he planned.
  • To learn more about how you can go further, let us help
As i said, INCREDIBLE DAY! So thankful for God’s leadership, the team He has blessed us with and the opportunity to see Him make a difference in so many lives. Thank You, Jesus. 1 Church, 2 Locations, 1 Savior!!!

Sunday Nite (April 21)

Sometimes I just have to pinch myself!

Every Sunday nite is a tired Sunday Nite. Most are rewarding Sunday Nites. And some, like today, are just stinkin’ special.

God moved at both Vertical locations today in a very special way. I REALLY hope that you were with us. If you weren’t, here’s what you missed:

  •  Week 3 of FAQ. Today we answered “What does the Bible say about Ghosts/Spirits/haunting”, “Is it sin for Christians to drink Alcohol” and “Can a person lose their salvation”? Tough stuff this week. 
  • I am so thankful for God’s Word, His grace towards us, His mercy shown to us and for the opportunity to bring understanding into people’s lives. 
  • This series has been SO CHALLENGING. It is so hard to KNOW that you are all up in the middle of people’s lives, beliefs and challenges. We will ALWAYS stand on God’s perfect Word which is without flaw or error. Once again, so thankful for that Word.
  • Multiple people gave their lives to Jesus today at Lumberton. God, WHY DO YOU LET US EXPERIENCE SUCH BLESSING?!?
  • Those of you who introduced me to your guests at Lumberton today – HI FIVE!!!
  • at Lumberton

    Vertical Worship at Lumberton killing it today. Rhonda led worship along with Jon on acoustic, Gary Floyd on bass, Andrew on drums and Robby on lead.

  • Vertical Bladen had a new set up today!! We actually used their stage and had our biggest adult day yet!!!
  • Baptism Day at Vertical Bladen was an absolutely incredible experience. 5 baptisms today at Bladen.
  • I love seeing how Vertical Bladen is learning the Vertical culture. Every week they sing louder and louder – every week they are learning me and that when you come to Vertical you gotta talk to the people.
  • I am so enjoying meeting all of these new people. I love the conversations we are having. I LOVE seeing what God is doing in so many lives.
  • We saw 6 people give their lives to Jesus through salvation this morning at Bladen. We saw BUNCHES more make decisions towards Jesus.

at Bladen

  • Vertical Worship at Bladen had Alison and Justin leading worship along with Karla-Beth on vocals, Josh on lead guitar, John A on acoustic, Christoph on bass and Ethan on drums. They were smokin’

Here’s what other said online about today:

  • Sandy: The word was fierce, the music was moving, and the hearts were open today at Vertical!!! I have learned so much from this great group of people! If someone is looking for a church or you feel like you need Jesus in your life, bring yourself and your family to Vertical. My family comes home each Sunday filled with joy from the service. #blessed
  • Amber: Vertical was awesome as always! Already pumped for next week.
  • Nicole: Got baptized today & i couldn’t be more happy! God is good ❤
  • Leisa: As a Mom…today at Vertical Church is gonna be amazing…cause my Awesome Aaron is being baptized…God has always taken care of me and my sons and provided our every need…I thank him so much for never leaving my side…Lifechanges being made…I am so blessed…wish my family in heaven is seeing this today cause my strength comes frm them…n I believe they will be celebrating with us today!!!!! God is good…All the time…so as for me and my house…we praise you!!!
  • John: so blessed to get to see God using Vertical Church in Lumberton and Bladen each week, it really just never gets old.
  • Morgan: All I know is Vertical Bladen was on FIRE today!! Very humbling to see my peers being baptized & witnessing the powerful work of God in the lives of His people! I love it!
  • Nikki: All I can am think right now is wow. Look at how far God has let us come and just think about how far He is going to take us. So proud of my Vertical Family. :)
  • Santana: God showed up & showed out @ Vertical this morning! I confessed publicly that Jesus is my King! One of the best feelings I have ever God be the Glory! God is doing amazing things in Bladen so glad that my son & I are apart of that!
  • On Saturday we had a vTeam party at Camp Grace. We played, we partied, we ate (of course – grin), we competed, we worshiped, we sang, we prayed, and we enjoyed each others presence. You haven’t worshiped until you have sung with this rowdy bunch!
  • We were blessed to have my friend Jeff Kapusta (@jeffkapusta), Lead Pastor of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington in to speak at the vTeam party. The message that he brought to our team was so spot on… God-led. God is using Jeff greatly in Wilmington. God is using him greatly in my life also. Thankful to call him friend.
  • BTW… Jeff loved our vTeams. He could tell that God is doing something great at VC by your passion.
  • I did something at the party I have never done at Vertical Church – I led a complete worship set. I didn’t have to sing much as the crowd was leading. Unbelievable.
  • SHOUTOUT TO VERTICAL CONNECTIONS PASTOR JOHN PAUL (and McGee) Deaver for bringing this party together. It was AWESOME and a perfect evening.! Just another reason to be a vTeam member.
  • Looking very forward to speaking at the Robeson Baptist Association Semi-Annual meeting. I am thankful for the opportunity to share what God is doing in our midst, our churches and throughout our region. Thankful for pastors who love Jesus  and for their partnership in the Gospel. (John 13:34-35)
I cannot wait for you all to see the baptism videos. We will try to get them up this week. I love you all – so thankful for what God is doing in our midst. May we NEVER take this for granted friends.