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Archive for November, 2006

If we are the body of Christ…

I was thinking this morning about just HOW important each and every person who attends Hyde Park is to the achievement of our weekly goal. What is that goal: to create environments where people are encouraged to:

  1. Connect with God through a personal relationship which is established through turning from themselves (repentance) and trusting in Him as the forgiver of their sins and the leader of their life (Lord and Savior). We call this "Loving God".
  2. Connect with people in meaningful personal relationships that encourage spiritual growth, accountability with the ultimate goal of sharing/doing life together (bearing each others burdens). We call this "Loving People".
  3. Connect people with a meaningful place to serve God with their talents/gifts, serving in the environments that make numbers 1 & 2 possible, all the while making others experience at Hyde Park a memorable one. We call this "Serving Our World".

We have often spoken about how important each person is to the overall process that we believe that God has blessed us to do, however, there always seems to be a disconnect with many about how important THEY ARE (this could mean you, your friend, your family member – anyone who does not have an action within the "body" called Hyde Park on Sunday morning.) to the success of this task. Let me quote a familiar verse from 1 Cor. 12:11-18, but let’s see how it reads in The Message:

"All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.

You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts – limbs, organs, cells – but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of His one Spirit, we all said goodbye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which He has the final say in everything…

(v.14) I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, "i’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body." would that make it so?… (v.18) As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it."

Where do you fit into the success of the environments i’m speaking about? Let me make this clear: It’s all about the weekend. We do a lot of different things at Hyde Park and they are all important to the overall vision of the church (if they aren’t we should not be doing them, correct?) but the thing that we are counting on are those SUNDAY MORNING ENVIRONMENTS. Why? These are the major entry points that outsiders use to discover who we truly are. We know that our church can be an evangelistic tool for people needing Jesus. Look at these: KIDZ KONNECTION: a bridge. SMALL GROUPS/SUNDAY SCHOOL: a bridge. MORNING CELEBRATION SERVICE: a bridge. These environments are our first impression to most who check us out – excellence is of the utmost importance. How important are the different environments?

  1. Our children’s environments: the nursery (so important), mission friends (so important), KK (so important), Truth 252 (so important) – all of these things should be SO EXCELLENT. We are always on the look-out for sharp people who want to make a difference in the life of a child. HEROES!
  2. First Touch Ministries - Parking, Greeting, Ushering, Guest Services, the ROC Cafe’. These are the people who literally provide the "first touch" to those checking us out. Can you allow the love of God to shine through your smile? If you answered yes – we’re looking for people like you. HEROES!

We also have people who lead small groups. They’re job is to connect people in meaningful ways – HEROES! People figuring out who isn’t in their small group and why they aren’t there – HEROES! People opening doors - HEROES! People praying behind the scenes - HEROES! Stage personel – singers, choir, band, Audio / Visual – HEROES! So, so many things happen that no one ever thinks about them; well this morning, i’m thinking of you – THANKS!

I close with this: what do you do to make a difference on Sunday’s? Have you found a place to make a difference. I challenge you, find a place and become a HERO for Jesus! You’ll be doing your part in the body, filling a necessary need and serving God. But most of all, you’ll be making it easier for somebody far from God to find salvation in Him. Contact Eddie D to find your place:

Yesterday was great, but…

We had an outstanding week!

Last Tuesday was an unbelievable event (fall festival) – the largest outreach even that Hyde Park does. I must say again, isn’t it funny that the biggest outreach event we do is on a day that most churches avoid?

Yesterday was great! At 8:30 we had a wonderful celebration service in which Pastor Harrell delivered a wonderful message about the ongoing mission of Hyde Park. (We sure missed the band – it’s just not the same without them – they have become such a part of the identity of our worship services.) Then at 11am the KIDZ KONNECTION cast/crew hit a Grand Slam!! The message, teaching, singing, hosting – everything – right on time and excellently done! Not to mention the great crowd that filled the room. The atmosphere was quite electric – you look forward to days like this…

I’m pumped about all that’s happened; and yesterday was great, but…

The Ted Haggard thing has me bummed out. I feel for this man, his family and the thousands of people who called him THEIR pastor – what a blow to all of them. For the thousands whose lives have been affected positively by this man, once again, what a blow…

You know, some Christians i’ve spoken with are quick to take shots at him – i refuse to do that. Not that i’m "so good" or anything, I just believe that this guy was a trusted, loving leader who allowed himself to become decieved; i don’t know WHAT decieved him but I do know WHO. I’m angry because another leader has fallen and taken a lot of people lives down with him. Ya’ll, Ted Haggard was involved in a great thing at New Life Church – they were reaching a lot of people for Jesus. I’m sure that they (the body) will (if the body stands strong together) continue to do a great work if they keep their eyes on Jesus.

People fall when they loose sight of where they’re going – if you don’t watch the way you physically walk you will trip and fall. Spiritually the same thing happens. We can’t neglect our spiritual house – it is vitally important to everything we do. I challenge you to show me one person who has fallen morally (sexually or otherwise) who will admit to being where they need to be with God in prayer and relationship during the time of their fall.

Let none of us be decieved – never say never! This thing has made me look at myself, to examine my heart – I tell you, I WANT TO BE LIKE JESUS! I have had the tendency to state what i’ll "never do" in the past – today let me re-phrase: I hope that i’ll never do anything to let any of you down in the way we’ve witnessed in the past week. Please pray for me, Pastor, the whole staff and leadership at HP. Lift us high to the one who keeps us pure…

And may all of us stay connected, intimately, with Jesus. Let us not decieve ourselves, we MUST pray ferverently, we MUST rely on Him for everything we do, we MUST be less busy so we won’t be distracted, we MUST be in love with God.

The Weekend!

I live for weekends…

It’s kinda always been that way. Before I was a Christ follower I lived for the weekends (just like everyone else) to PARTY! Part of the reason that I didn’t want to become a Christ follower was because what would I live for if I no longer lived for the weekends?

Man, did I have it wrong or what?

I’ll never forget the evening that I first realized that I still lived for the weekend, only in a different sort of way. Keyna and I had traveled to Holden Beach to meet some friends from church for a celebration dinner. As we all loaded into 3 cars to go to the restaurant I realized, very suddenly, that I was filled with love for others (something that, aside from my wife and immediate family was totally foreign to me). I looked at Keyna and said (with tears in my eyes), "you know, I wondered before I became a believer about who would we hang with (because everyone we hung with lived the life we would leave) but you know, we have closer friendships with others than we’ve ever known." We acknowleged at that point that there is nothing like having relationships that are built around our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

And today, a Friday, I am excited because the weekend is here, and here’s why:

  • i will spend much quality time with my favorite little people in the world, Madison and Matt. We’ll be able to wind down after a busy week.
  • No Birthday Parties!! (you don’t get this unless you have kids)
  • A small group party Saturday nite that will allow me to hang with some of my favorite people to hang with at a couple’s house.
  • Sunday is gonna be awesome! At 8:30, we will have a special service in which I believe Pastor will be sharing some things with us that he’s excited about!(the music will be pretty moving also). At 11am, KIDZ KONNECTION returns to our Auditorium for one gigantic, huge, exciting service.
  • Not to mention that I live for Sunday’s. I love just gathering with the church, God’s people. Worshiping, learning, praying, seeking, fellowshiping, ministering – all of it. Sunday’s rock! If you don’t agree you probably don’t spend them with me (rhyme on a dime all the time)

That might not sound great to you if you don’t understand the way that my life has been changed. Things I never thought about mean so much to me today. Life is precious. People are precious. Realtionships are at the top of my list. Helping people find life’s greatest relationship trumps all. I love to help others find that relationship.

Living for the weekend doesn’t have to be a wordly thing when the thing (or one) you live for is out of this world.

On a totally different note, just for kicks, this was linked to Perry Noble’s website. It is hilarious if you’re a guy – girls, you just gotta be a guy is all i’ll say. By the way, Japanese game shows seem to be so bad (but i watched this more than once – must have some Japanese tendencies). As Perry said:

"the stupidity of men knows no bounds.  There are truly some things I do not understand in life‚Äďand this would be one of them!!!"

This should start your weekend right. If you don’t get it, kick it with Whiteboy DJ.

Have you invited a family you know to KIDZ KONNECTION in the big room this weekend at 11? It’s not too late – Hope to see you Sunday.