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Archive for March, 2007

Wow!

Today was a pretty magical day. All over the place…

  • Bear "preached" the Word today. His testimony took a regular message and hopefully made people consider the way that they are living their lives, the choices they’re making and will cause us all to consider our priorities in order to truly "see" the big picture (three fingers!)
  • Mike Smith was the video editor for this mornings clips. Mike and his wife Betsy are new members at Hyde Park. Mike was the associate pastor at Galeed Church in Bladenboro (and Betsy was the music director) prior to their coming to Hyde Park 
  • Rhonda did an outstanding job leading worship. She set the stage for people to truly encounter the living God – I’m really proud of her.
  • Randy really sang "Live Like You are Dying" – and of course our band nailed it (as usual, ya’ll are great!)
  • That song, though it isn’t a "Christian" song truly set the tone for what we aimed to do. We will use songs like this in our future if they will help people to truly "get" it.
  • I love JESUS and am so thankful He didn’t allow me to continue down the path that I was on.
  • I love JESUS and am so thankful that He allowed / led me to Hyde Park – He is good, all the time!
  • It looks like we had more than 20 people join our church today, many of which will come through new-believers baptism.
  • I had a young man (teenager) come up to me after the 2nd service and say, "This was my 1st time here and Man, I LOVE this place – that service was awesome!" Headline: Teenager in Lumberton likes church!
  • Bear received a standing ovation in the 11:11 service after that 1st testimony – it was a very special time in the life of our church and one of our deeply loved members. He touched hundreds of lives today.
  • I believe God was extremely glorified today as we attempted to help all of us see the need to put Him in His proper place in our lives (which of course, is 1st).

Many of you were such an encouragement to me as we led up to today. Your love and kind words are immeasurable in what they do to me; if i haven’t told you lately, I love you.

This Can Be Tough

Standing before you to open (and hopefully in some way) unlock the truth of God’s Word to you is the greatest honor I have in ministry; it’s also the hardest task that I do.

  • It’s Not because I lack stuff to say; if you know me you know that I am very seldom at a lack for words. (most of the time i say too much).
  • It’s Not because I don’t enjoy this part of my ministry (on the contrary, I believe it is the thing I most love to do).
  • It’s not even because I don’t have the priviledge of doing it on a weekly basis – I so respect Pastor Dennis and those who have to stay fresh week after week.

I believe the thing that gets me is my desire to not waste your time – you have given/entrusted Hyde Park with a portion of your week (I know, you come to worship JESUS – but you choose to do it @ HP) and I want you to hear from HIM.

Not my opinions – HIM. Not a memorable message – HIM. Not a mind blowing illustration – HIM.

Now will we try to make the message memorable? Of course. (we want you "in" the whole time, captivated by the power of God to change). Will we try to use an illustration to make it come to life? Absolutely, because we want the collective "hmmm, wow. You know, I’ve never quite understood or realized that before. Thank You, Lord – I surrender to Your will." And of course, you will always hear the opinions of the person delivering a message – may they never run contrary to the Word of God.

The hardest part is remembering (and practicing) the fact that IT ISN’T ME! This isn’t my ballgame, it’s HIS! He’s the One doing the teaching, He’s the One doing the convicting, He’s the One with the power to transform a life – i am nothing more than a vessel through which He flows…

This weekend’s message, "live like You are dying", is a message about LIFE not death. Erwin McManus says it best when he states that life is an adventure. "We are all haunted with the fear of living lives of insignificance, and we all hear the voice that tells us we can live the dream…By defininition an adventure is ‘an undertaking or enterprise of a hazardous nature.’ In other words, it comes at great risk and significant cost. And life as God intends for you to live it is nothing less than an adventure." If you choose to play it safe you are settling for less than the life than God created you to live out.

What about you today, are you living out your adventure, your dream? Have you settled for less? Does what you do to support your family somehow carry out God’s plan for your life? Did you answer that last question "YES" but right now there’s a knot forming in the pit of your stomach because you know that you’re lying to yourself? To Be Continued Sunday…

My Man Bear

You know, some people just inspire you…

Sometimes we watch tv and hear inspirational stories that bring a tear to your eye and warm your heart. Sometimes we meet someone who shares a story that we just can’t believe. Sometimes we have a work associate or neighbor that no matter what brings out the best in us.

Sometimes we have a member of our church family that, despite the seriousness of their situation, reminds us of how precious life is. Lindsey "Bear" Collins is that kind of person to me. Bear is the epitome of a man living with a terminal illness; he has taught me how a person lives despite the seriousness of his situation – truly an inspiration. I hope that I would be as strong.

About an hour ago I finished filming a video-segment with Bear that will be a part of my "Live Like You Were Dying" message this Sunday. If what I just experienced is any indication of this weekend, all I can say is "WOW!"

Easter is around the corner?

Ecard Can you believe that Easter is coming up in just 3 Sundays?!?

I just finished ordering the mass mailer which will hit 15,000 homes in our region the week before Easter.

Here a LINK to a special site we’ve set up just for Easter – it has an e-invite card that you can send to your friends. Don’t do it now – make plans to do it somewhere around next Wednesday.

Also, on Easter, we kick off a brand new series called,"URBAN LEGENDS". We’ll talk more about that soon. Just be assured, what we have for Easter will blow people away…

To Make Me Think

8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
      But the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8

Ok, so this is where I’m at…

I want to be reminded what is really important and what isn’t. I want to cherish every moment with those that I love. I want to bless those who need a touch, I want to pray with those who need a prayer. I want to be patient with my kids; I want to listen to my wife. I want to live life to the fullest!

I want to live for JESUS – passionately! I want people to see His life in me – I want people to want Him because they see Him in me (and through me). I want my life to count in the places it should count – not the stuff that doesn’t matter. Not recognition; LEGACY.

Life is so precious; we can’t purchase anymore time. You began reading this approximately a minute ago – you will never get it back, it’s gone. FOREVER.

So here’s the question: If you found out that you had one year to live how would it change you? What about spiritually? Seriously.