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Archive for March, 2007

Luke 19

Today I’m beginning a new category called "From the Word". The point of "FTW" will be to share some things that I thought as I journey through the scriptures. You won’t be blown away by the depth of what I say (if you want deep go here – these guys are so deep :)). This is just me sharing what i’m thinking as I try to know Him better and go deeper in the application of what I learn. Today I’m in Luke 19 (which I find ironic as this is where we find the "triumphal entry" which we will celebrate this Sunday, Palm Sunday).

  • I’m thankful that His mission was to seek and save the lost. (v. 8-10)
  • God takes the way we use what we have (our time, resources and the way that we "invest" our lives) VERY seriously and we should have more of a God-focus as we work it out. (v. 23-27)
  • Our fear of taking chances can get us in serious trouble when it comes to investing our lives in God’s Kingdom. (v. 20-27)
  • God was in the midst of Jerusalem and they missed it. (v.41-44) The people who were most learned about Him totally missed Him as He spoke to them and with them. It says that He taught in the Temple (v.47,48) but they were too busy trying to devise a way to destroy Him. The one that they "lived for" was speaking audibly in their presence and they were trying to figure out how they could shut him up permanently.

I’m probably more like those people then I would ever want to admit. They were defending their "way" of practicing what they believed – how am i any different? May we never forget that it was our sin that drove the nails into His hands and feet…

Now, as we know better, because he’s changing us day by day, may we give Him the glory that He deserves – "ain’t no rock gonna cry out in my place." (v. 37-40)

Easter 07 iMix

Here’s the iMix that i’ve published for Easter. If you have iTunes you can download these songs so you’ll be "ready" to worship with us on Easter. If you don’t have itunes this won’t the songs won’t open

Here’s the cool thing about iTunes – once you purchase these songs and save them to your iTunes on your computer you can burn your own CD’s with your CD burner – when your CD messes up you can burn another (and it’s always available to you – great for someone like me who is bad about scratching up my CD’s :)). Pretty good investment.

The Crown that Impacts Lives…

Uncmascotx Had you ever heard of Jason Ray? You’ve probably seen him more than once but you never knew it. His life may have never touched yours, but his death will touch many…

Jason Ray was a 21-year-old senior at UNC-Chapel Hill and was majoring in Business Administration; his minor was Religious Studies. He was an active member of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and performed as the lead singer of a band he and some friends started in high school. Jason also played Rameses, the Carolina mascot.

Jason was also considered to be a committed Christian. Hear what some have said about him:

"Friends said the one thing Jason may be even more passionate about than the Tar Heels is his faith. He attended Concord Christian Church and was a member of the youth group. Sunday morning, senior minister Mike Wood (Jason’s pastor) led his congregation in a prayer for Jason’s recovery."

(another article read) "And now Ray’s friends are taking a cue from Jason himself. For three years, his job during the game was to give hope to Tar Heel fans. Now his fans said they’re not giving up hope on their friend", (many gathered on campus for prayer vigils).

(another article) "We’ve known Jason since he was 11 years old — he is an awesome kid," said Jodi Stewart, a neighbor of the Ray family who attends the same church in Concord. "I never knew a kid who was more full of life. He was excited every day. He loved what he was doing, he loved God, his family, and being the school’s mascot. We have not given up hope."

You know, stuff like this is tough; to see a 21 year old student who seemed to have the ability to make a difference die doesn’t seem to make sense. Adam Lucas wrote, "What do you say when your kids ask you why Rameses is on TV? Mascots don’t die. And neither should college kids." No Adam, they shouldn’t, but..

This morning I told Keyna that Jason Ray, the Carolina Mascot (we’re big tar heel fans, if you didn’t know) had died. I commented, "According to what the news is saying, he was ‘sold-out’ to JESUS."

Keyna responded, "Really? You know, why is it that something terrible like this happens to someone who loves the Lord?" to which I replied, "I don’t know; but I’m pretty sure about this: many lives will be saved (spiritually) because of his death. It said on the news that there was a memorial service planned for him at the library on campus tonite. If he loved the Lord like they said he did, chances are somebody’s gonna tell these kids the truth about Jason’s faith and why they liked him so much – the presence of JESUS that lived inside of him."

And that’s the deal, isn’t it? God gave this 21 year old kid some fame by playing the mascot of one of the premiere Division 1 NCAA basketball teams. Students knew him (or about him) – fans loved his character. And on Sweet 16 weekend, as America watched his team play on National tv, the announcement was made during that game that he was critically injured when he was hit by a car earlier. Had this happened any other time during the year or the season it would have been regional news – but because of "March Madness" the impact was HUGE!

I am praying (and believe) that Jason’s life will make an eternal difference this week as friends, fans and students celebrate his life. I didn’t know him, but it seemed that his life belonged to JESUS – now, in death that message will be the crown that impacts other lives for all of eternity; That’s how God is:

He gives us the ability to increase His fame, that many will know and be impacted by his life. If Jason’s death brings this much glory to God, IMAGINE THE IMPACT THAT YOUR "GOD-FOCUSED" LIFE CAN BRING TO HIM.

Ist2_53579_3_fingers Get out those fingers… (I realize that if you didn’t hear my message "Live Like You Are Dying" you’re saying, "huh?’)

The Cross for a Crowd

Cross_necklace So, why the picture, mike p? (you’ll have to come Sunday to find out :))

You know, to be such a controversial item, the cross is a pretty common thing in America. I mean, everybody’s wearing crosses, no matter who they are. Most never think about what it really represents. The cross was brutal and sacrificial; the ultimate example of love for mankind. The One on the cross is answer to every need they have.

This weekend at HP, to celebrate Palm Sunday we will look at the cross in a very unique way. I refuse to give the secret away (I don’t care WHAT you bribe me with, however, you are encouraged to try; bribe that is  :) .)

The cross is not for our select few, it was done for a crowd (2 Corinthians 5:13). As Easter is only 2 weeks away I am praying that your friends and mine will be drawn to that cross that is only precious to those who have been changed by what it represents. Who are you inviting to Easter Services next weekend? (Click here to send a specialized Easter e-vite to a friend with all our info!)

Do not miss Sunday’s service – and like I said yesterday don’t be late. On Sunday you’ll understand what these crosses have to do with this Sunday’s service.

Communication is Good!

You know, technology is a good thing; so is communication.

Seven years ago I don’t know that I would have believed that hundreds of hyde park people would "connect" online to the point that people who visited the 1st time on Sunday would introduce themselves and get an online "welcome commitee" greet him within the hour of his post. (Thanks Jared for making yourself known – you’ve really encouraged a lot of people today. Way to make a great 1st impression). I hope that everyone will continue to get to know others better, to get outside of their own comfort zones and make a difference in the lives of their hyde park bros. and sisters.

What we are planning for Easter is an unbelievable presentation of the Gospel  that will rock your (and your "easter friends’") world – using technology…

Yesterday’s message was successful because God blessed, Bear was obedient, Mike Smith was willing to use his video-editing talent for God’s glory and many lives were changed – using technology…

Our Band, Choir, Singers and tech crew (we have audio / visual positions available if you’re interested – we’ll train…) have grown by leaps and bounds as we have learned, applied and created – using technology…

People visit our church and are captivated by the "different" way that our service is carried out – using technology…

Over the next 12 months new things will be tried, new people will be stretched, countless people will be reached by the power of Jesus Christ using the means of modern technology. It is our goal to make Him famous.

THIS SUNDAY IS PALM SUNDAY. WHAT WE HAVE PLANNED FOR THIS WEEKEND IS GOING TO TOUCH US VERY DEEPLY AS WE REMEMBER WHY JESUS DID WHAT HE DID FOR US ON HIS CROSS. HERE’S A HINT: DON’T GET THERE LATE.