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Front Page, BABY!

MikepobserverI’m out of town, but just heard that we are on the front page of the Fayetteville Observer!

Read it here!

Much thanks to Venita Jenkins for an excellent article – you definitely get it!

Did ya see…

Did you see the "cheesy-lookin’" fellow on WBTW 13 tonite? Look for the "Lumberton Secrets Website" Video. Thank you, Jesus!

Last Minute Free Publicity!

Timing is everything?
         My friend Hubert called yesterday and said, "107.7 is talking about ‘‘ – the dj has set up a forum and asked the question, ‘do you think the website is a good thing, a place to make honest confession or do you think it is an inappropriate way of ministry and a ploy to get people in the church?’
        So, I turn there, get the number and call in and proceed to do about an 8 minute on-air interview, sharing the vision and purpose of the site, talking about JESUS and the fact that ‘He came to seek and save that which was lost!"
        Before we got off the phone she said that she already spoke with Foxy 99 and that they were doing the same thing today!
        Last Thursday, Pastor and I did an interview with the Fayetteville Observer about the Secrets site (they contacted us – thought it was a great idea). You know, it’s interesting that two radio stations and the largest newspaper in the region have contacted us at the end of this series…
       I guess that’s the best thing about the internet – once the series is over, the site can "go on". May God FREE people from all the junk that keeps them from Him.
This is an addition to the original post… after reading it live, like you do, I wanted to say that "OJ" (the dj at 107.7) gave an awesome description of the site… she promoted it unbelievably on air saying, "I know i might take some heat on this because i have a lot of listeners who are ‘religious’, but if you can reach people who otherwise won’t be reached and give them true hope, just know that OJ’s got your back." Pastor Harrell looked at me, smiling, saying, "that’s EXACTLY the kind of station we need to be on!" I agree, Pastor – We need to be where the real people are!

Living Pure

QUESTION: Do you have a goal for the condition of your mind? Have you ever really thought about the fact that personal holiness is such a conscious decision? "Good people" have the possiblity to go through life sometimes obeying all of the "good rules" yet, at the same time, their mind be as far from God as those who live far from God. This morning we talk about living pure.

You know, purity is about WAY more than just sexuality… purity is a decision to make ALL things subject to the will of God for our lives. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 reminds us that we have available to us Divine power to overcome strongholds in our mind.

See the goal is not just to overcome your thought life in the issue of sex (which may not affect everyone as strongly)… the goal is having your mind truly be conditioned to be pleasing to JESUS. In other words, this applies to more than just the "pervs" (just kidding people :) ).

So, here’s a few applications – things that you can do to begin to make positive progress in these areas (in no particular order):

  • Examine your mind – be honest: is there ever anything that runs through there which would not be pleasing to God? Not just sexual thoughts, what about sinful thoughts in general. Remember, this is not just about overcoming sexual purity issues, this whole thing is about having our mind be pleasing to God in all areas.
  • Consider removing obstacles/temptors from your life (Matthew 5:29) This is a killer point Pastor has brought up week after week. Sometimes you must make radical changes to be free from that which you struggle with.
  • "Set your mind on things above" – when you are tempted, have displeasing thoughts, etc. PRAY. Stop what you’re doing and ask God to help you to focus on something pleasing to Him.
  • Set up accountability in your life. Can I stress this enough? How in your life has permission to ask you the tough questions? (do they know this – meaning, have you told them to ask you?) When you know that someone’s gonna ask and that you will either have to confess or LIE (and why have accountability if you’re just gonna lie about it?) you will think twice before you act.
  • Allow God to truly hold you accountable – meaning, get serious about your walk with Him: there is no substitute for prayer and bible study – NONE. You aren’t living FOR God if you aren’t living WITH God!

You may remember a statement that I’ve made in the past: In order to live WHOLLY for God we must live HOLY to God. How do we live holy to God? The place to begin is through the renewing of our minds – Not only will God help you to succeed in this area, it is His will for every follower of Jesus – this is a promise for you – living "pure" is a pathway to a deeper place with Him. So, back to the QUESTION we began with: Do you have a goal for the condition of your mind?

What do YOU say?

this ought to be fun…

(I know that I said that we were discussing addictions this week on WholeHearted but in light of the fact that only 1 person was willing to discuss it I’m moving on… series take a lot of thought and prep – we’ll talk about addiction again when the time seems right. SO… we’re gonna move onto the other thing on my mind this morning…)

Week 3 of Secrets will be one of the toughest messages we’ve ever had to present at hyde park. The title is "Let’s Get Pure" and deals with having a pure mind in the area of sexuality. Which begs the question: Why is hyde park talking about something that seems to be so controversial? I think that the question is a fair and valid question – I’m glad that we have forums like this to address things of this nature.

We are not trying to be controversial when we address these issues: we’re talking about things that real people (even people in the church) are dealing with from a biblical perspective. In a conversation with Pastor Harrell yesterday, he said, "Sexual issues are at a CRISIS POINT in America – How can the church NOT address these issues?"

Do you think that he actually WANTS to talk about pornography or sex? Have you thought about the fact that he actually has to stand in front of hundreds of people, knowing that they are uncomfortable with the subject he’s talking about? (By the way, God wants His called to talk/do things that others are not willing to do OR deal with… In Isaiah 20, God tells Isaiah to take off his clothes and walk around naked to make a point – I’m pretty sure that pastor WON’T be doing that soon :)read it for yourself.)

We have thought through the negative implications and the consequences of taking on the hard parts of living for God and truthfully, the consequences are greater if we DON’T talk about these things from a biblical viewpoint – enough with the worlds opinions and band-aid treatments. The world tries to "fix" things after they’re broken to pieces with band-aids (just covers up) – we want to avoid the life-shattering consequences BEFORE they happen (truth-speaking, even when it’s controversial)… and when it’s too late to help a person avoid something because they have already commited that sin we lead them to the place of repentence and forgiveness through the only One able to heal their hurt and forgive their sin. That’s what the church is all about – love, forgiveness, grace and mercy. Were it not for grace…

I heard a pastor ask the question recently, what is the one message that scares you to DEATH to think about preaching? That message is probably the EXACT message your people and community need to hear. I applaud my pastor for being brave enough to go where He doesn’t want to because it’s necessary (in season and out of season / when it’s popular and when it ain’t!)

By the way, wait until you hear the statistics that pastor will share on Sunday about how much this issue has become an epidemic in America (and wait until you hear the way that IT AFFECTS YOUR CHILDREN!) This IS a can’t miss message – do everything you can to be here and to invite someone.