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Archive for April, 2008

Friday, Beautiful Friday…(hummed to the tune of “Star Wars”)

What’s up everybody!!!! Friday…some "Henry’s blend" in the cup…the sun is shinin’…it’s almost the weekend…i admit that it’s kickin’ extra hard with me this morning! Here’s a short Friday post because there’s some field day action going down at Matt’s school and he has summoned dad to check it out…

  • Can’t wait for Sunday! I am preaching (there it goes…mobile phones arranging the impromtu beach trip) and from what i’ve seen the service as a whole is gonna be great, great, great!
  • I’m excited about the illustration we’ll be using…i believe it will hit home with the majority.
  • I’m also wondering how this series has moved you? Any change in your heart?
  • Can you believe that Carly Smithson went home on "American Idol"? Here’s the conversation between Keyna and I when she went into the bottom two:
    Me: oh man, i don’t want Carly to go home…
    Keyna: did you vote for her?
    Me: no…
    Keyna: then be quiet…you have no reason to complain – you gotta vote for "your people" if you want them to stay. (she’s so compassionate with me grin).
  • Couple of prayer requests: Lauren Easterling’s uncle was diagnosed with terminal cancer so Steven, her and the kids are in Alabama today with her family – remember them…Also, remember Kenny Oxendine’s wife, Crystal. Kenny is the music director over at Covenant Love Church in Fayetteville – I was told she has cancer.
  • Talked to our friend Paige Strackman this week and she is pumped that she is working on her 1st solo CD!!! She gave me a pretty hard time, saying she’s been trying to reach me for weeks. "What’s the deal, Mike, are you famous or something?". "if i am", i responded, "it’s only ’cause i know you!" grin  She has been ministering for 20 years and this is her 1st (is that not unbelievable?). Anyway, Paige has a blog that is documenting her journey in recording – you can check it out here.

I’ll leave you today with a short story of lifechange from a young lady named Alice, from Buckhead Church and remind you THIS is what it’s all about! Invite your friends – see you Sunday!

Thanking Those I’ll Never Meet…

The idea for today’s post came from Craig Groeschel (thanks for the reminder, Craig). I have actually done this before to some degree by email, but…

There are so many who have influenced me in immeasurable ways – their words and leadership have, by God’s leadership, changed me forever. The amazing thing is that


…and that’s OK by me – even though they don’t know me they have shared pieces of themselves with me and for that I’m eternally greatful.

  • Jim Cymbala – In your book, "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire", you spoke of the time when you were doubting your calling and God spoke mightily to you and placed the calling that would dictate the remainder of your days and the direction of your ministry. Pastor Cymbala, when I read those words (in 1997) JESUS CHRIST burned within my heart, tears stung my eyes and every moment of that statement rang true in my heart. Thank you for showing me that ministry has no true color or culture but that ministry is about people – all people who all need JESUS!
  • Rick Warren – when I came on staff at hyde park in ’99, Pastor threw a book in my hand and said, "anybody who’s gonna be on this staff has to read THIS book!" I read it – it challenged me and JESUS used the principals found in there to rethink ministry and to question everything I do and ask "Why?". There is no doubt that my life would be different today (in a boring way) had you not been obedient to write the book, "Purpose Driven Church". Thank you, Pastor Rick.
  • Don Moen – The 1st non-traditional "praise and worship" music I heard, shortly after conversion in ’97, was "God With Us". I listened and thought, "church should always be like this, not just for special singings or ‘cantatas’ (remember that word?)". Don, you taught me what worship leading looked like and your recordings took me deeper in my understanding of worship. Thank You.
  • …and while on the worship tip THANKS goes out to the various worship leaders at Promise Keepers – I attended my 1st PK 6 weeks after conversion and as a recovering heavy metal drummer (i don’t know that you ever totally recover grin ) PK messed me up!! You guys showed me what great worship music sounded and looked like. I asked my pastor, "why can’t music always be like this?" to which he replied, "we just can’t do it like that." Well, we do "do it like that" and have "PK" every Sunday at hyde park – thanks guys for always leading us into the presence of JESUS and showing us what worship COULD be.
  • The late, great Adrian Rogers – I met Dr. Rogers a few times. He was always kind and gracious, so not a "superstar" preacher. He encouraged me, loved on Madison and seemed genuinely interested. His messages have always been on time for me. And oh, my…what a tremendous voice he had!
  • Ed Young, Jr – Ed taught me that it was ok to be mike p. I was struggling to find myself as a speaker / pastor and didn’t yet have my identity. One day, I saw (through him) that God wants me to be who i am – I don’t wanna be Ed – Ed’s Ed. I wanna be me because nobody can be me. Thanks for helping so many of us to be ourselves, Ed.
  • Perry Noble – Pastor "P" is the reason I started blogging in the 1st place. Dude, you challenged me to take it up a notch and not be afraid. And what God has shown me through your church is unbelievable – i NOW believe that He can do amazing things in this small town because He’s done them in yours! Thanks, Perry!
  • Andy Stanley – Andy, you say things in ways that just make me go, "wow! How come I didn’t see that?!?" You have, above all things, helped me to become a better communicator – you’ve also challenged me to try to always answer the questions that people are asking, regardless of whether anyone else does or not.

And of course, this post would not be complete without thinking the originator of the idea, Craig Groeschel – Craig, you proved that a preacher can be culturally aware, relevant to modern times and theologically strong at the same time – the stuff you bring to the table is life-changing. You’re answering questions that real people are asking and your doing it without compromise. Thanks for showing that churches can be innovative and deep at the same time. (and thanks, again, for the idea grin ).

So which one were you?

April_19_and_20_140 This ought to be fun…

The discussion at my lunch table this past Sunday after church was "who" matched up with our characters in the skit Sunday morning. (If you missed the service check it out here and then respond)

I was pegged as being like "Tom" with a touch of "Steve-O-Rino"…
Keyna was a mixture of "Steve-O-Rino" with some "Mona" mixed in…
Our friend Renee’ was squarely fit with the title of "June".

What about you and your friends? Be kind – Responses start NOW!April_19_and_20_135

What are YOU doing about it?

Momentum_questionmarkYou know, when I sit around and think about it, "it" makes me wonder…

What is it that you’re looking for? In a church? In your life? In your family? In your marriage? In your relationship with JESUS? What are you looking for?

Are you living out God’s plan for you? Do you even know what His plan is for you? If you don’t, what are YOU doing to find out?

Do you feel fulfilled in your life? Are you growing in your faith? If you aren’t…what are YOU doing about it? What have you changed? What are you going to do to improve your situation?

How about your prayer life? Getting deeper or drained? What are YOU doing about it?

You know, in the end the ball is in your court – the changes are yours to make – you won’t be able to blame anyone else. What are YOU doing about it?

Sunday Nite (and other stuff)

April_19_and_20_140Today (at least for me) was amazing at hyde park. We learned that God made all of us with a unique personality (the chances of there being another person exactly like you is ZaZillion to one *yes – i coined a new word – a zazillion* grin ). We laughed, we sang out, we worshiped and I had the opportunity to pray individually for some – a great, great day. I hope that you were there…

  • We laughed… the skit this morning during Pastor’s message was HILARIOUS! June (Leilani), Tom (Jared), Steve-O-Rino (Nicky) and Mona (Sara) were such good matches to help all of us recognize that God uses different types of people to accomplish different works. Great job to the cast and to their director, Rhonda.
  • We learned… do you get it? Did you see how God might could use you at hyde park in the week to week ministry?
  • We were LOUD… not really, but our "love was loud" this morning as hundreds lifted their voices to the King of kings!
  • The song, "Beautiful Jesus" was huge today. I love that new song!
  • And "Our God Saves" – the anthem of the year.
  • You know, as I thought back over the day an interesting thought entered my mind: "today looked a lot like what i "signed up" for – much worship, YOUR Spirit flowing and high, Lord, the joy of JESUS evident and lot’s of new people in the house…". Seeing JESUS change lives is 2nd only to bringing Glory to Him (and seeing lives changed does bring glory to Him).
  • Pastor was so comfortable on stage… I was so impressed with how well he interacted with the actors this morning – a natural.
  • FAITHTrac 101 (New Attenders Class) next weekend – Awesome. I love seeing new people learning about hyde park from our Pastor. Which means…
  • I get to PREACH next Sunday!! I am already pumped!!
  • I’m also pumped about baptism coming up in 2 weeks! I ask you, "have you been baptized SINCE you believed?" If not, take the "plunge" and start that new life with JESUS.

On a completely different note…

  • Saturday was Madie’s birthday. I can’t believe that she is 12. It seems like yesterday…
  • Madison was in competition Saturday down in Brunswick County. SHE WAS AWESOME! Her group won their division and placed 3rd overall in their age group. That was my 1st dance competition experience… if her apparent talent is any indication it won’t be my last grin

Big week ahead for us – Check back tomorrow!