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Archive for May, 2008

Sunday Nite (Memorial Day Edition)

Today was quite a beautiful day. The team that put together all of our Memorial Day Memorabilia did a fantastic job. I had a few people tell me what a great job that "i had done" on the service – thanks, but all I did was take all the pieces that other people created and put them in an order that worked for us. I appreciate days like this – i am already looking forward to next weeks worship experience!

Also…I'd like to say thanks to all of you who serve or have served in our armed forces – you protect the freedom of the greatest country in the world and you do so at such a great price. I was speaking with Marvin Powell yesterday, one of our guys who are still "in" and he was telling me of his imminent trip back to Iraq. I know how tough it must be for all of you men and ladies to leave your families – thanks so much for all that you do.

  • Great crowd for a memorial day weekend! I see days like this and am SO encouraged. 
  • Finished up all 3 services today with the band and singers – I fully enjoyed leaving them on such a high note (not literally of course – the notes weren't really high… oh forget it grin).
  • Found myself really feeling for Pastor Harrell today because all 3 services were running behind. I know what it's like to be preaching and know that your time is up and you aren't finished. I know most people would just say, "don't worry about the time - BRING IT!". Problem is, when we don't worry about the time we don't just affect us… we affect the workers in the Kidz Place, our parking situation, the traffic flow – not to mention the people waiting outside the doors to get into "their service". Great job bringing a "Simple" message even though you may have felt "the pressure", Pastor!
  • "Churches don't Reach People – People Reach People". If you haven't read the prayer, do it. 
  • Saw the New Indiana Jones movie on Saturday with my family and some friends. I thought it was as good as a sequel gets!
  • Madison finished her dance season Friday nite with her big recital at West Columbus HS. She was really great! (and not in a "daddy's proud of her way" either, she's a really talented dancer). She really shines on stage.
  • Had a couple of the young guys filling in today on drums – Justin on the 1st song, Andrew on the last. Both did a great job today!
  • Big thanks goes out to Scott and Kimball for stepping up this morning on audio – we miss our main man, Tim, who's in recovery mode at the beach. Get well soon, my friend!
  • No work tomorrow…probably gonna hang at the pool with family and friends – what are you doin'?

Last thing… don't know if you signed up today to be a part of the 24Hour Prayer Point taking place this Friday beginning at noon - if you didn't here's the deal: sign up to come to the church to pray for 15 minutes (IT'S ONLY 15 MINUTES). We are praying for all of our people doing missionary work this summer through hyde park. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT YOU ASSUME OTHERS WILL DO SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO – DON'T ASSUME – contact Carole and see when you can come.

Friday, Fone Frustration and Friends

Frustration Friends, it's Friday – can you feel it in the air?

I gotta admit that this morning finds me a bit on the frustrated side… without going into great detail: i've been have mobile phone problems and after about 2hrs on the phone with my provider, 6 different agents, and the fun of telling my story over and over I was told to back up my phone on my computer because we were going to have to do a Master reset. Can you guess what happened after the reset?

If you guessed that i lost ALL OF MY CONTACTS you would be correct. Now, I know that for many of you that would be a minor frustration… if you don't get this it's because you're not the one that your friends call when they can't get up with people, "do you have such-and-such's number?". I have HAD accumulated a vast directory. grin

Here's how you can help me: for the 5 of ya'll that actually read me that have my mobile number (i'm not gonna put it on here – you never know who's reading, right?) will you call me this weekend and leave me a voicemail with your info. If you're really cool you can call me from your different locations so I can just 'insert' you in. Thanks.

  • This weekend's gonna be a cool, different kind of service. Get there early because the Salvation Army is coming and providing the FREE doughnuts and coffee under a big tent in the front yard. There is gonna be a military memorabilia exhibit - some moving numbers – a day that you don't want to miss. You know, on Memorial Day we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom – you know, that thing that WE ALL take for granted.
  • Pastor Harrell brings "Simple" Part 2 Sunday…
  • Thinking of freedom…Pastor shared last Sunday about the worker in China who asked Andy Stanley why it is that everyone in America doesn't attend church. She went on to make the statement that she was an atheist and that the message of the gospel changed her life - she couldn't understand how people who were so blessed to be majorly exposed to it wouldn't just live out their lives to serve JESUS. I would say that It's easy to take the usual for granted; "Lord, may our faith be unusual." 
  • If you really want to hear my heart this week and missed Weds, here it is. Don't say I didn't warn you…
  • I began an experiment last week to help us to communicate better – to keep you "in the know" about important upcoming stuff called the Video Blog. I have noticed that after a while people don't see stuff they grow accustomed to (like that stain in your carpet… well, except for my OCD readers grin ). If you somehow missed the May 22nd Video Blog you can check it here.
  • Bree had a really great post here.
  • I hope that God will help us (you and i) to realize that people aren't just gonna fall under His spell and run for the doors of hyde park, but instead, He will draw people to Himself by His Spirit and make them think about Him – their need for Him and how life would probably be better with Him. Then, He will place people in their paths (that would be you) and because you have tried your best to represent Him in all you've done with and around that person (hey, we all mess up – people are forgiving) God will use you and I to bring them to a place where they can explore who He is – a place that allows them to follow BEFORE they obey. I think that this is the heart of what we're trying to say with the "Simple" series – may God help us to communicate it in the "simplest" way possible.

I want to close by saying how much I appreciate ya'll and the opportunity to serve JESUS, in Lumberton, with you. My love goes out to you – enjoy the people that you love this weekend – see you Sunday.

Video Blog – May 22nd – Take 2

If you get this on a feed you'll know that the 1st one wasn't working. For the rest of you – I apologize for the first 15 seconds, unfixable sound issues (it's just the intro anyway grin ).

People Reach People

Anyone who has had the opportunity to spend time with me and discuss the deep passions of my heart knows that I have a passion to see JESUS saturate our region with His salvation. You also know that I think that hyde park's desire should be to be the kind of church who wants to "reach the people that other's will never reach". But as much as I want to see hyde park be successful for Christ, I know that hyde park will never reach this area by ourselves, no matter how zealous for JESUS we may be. We won't reach Pembroke from Lumberton…We won't reach Fairmont from Lumberton…We won't reach St. Pauls from Lumberton…(i think you get the point).

When I look at the condition of "the church" at large it bothers me – nobody seems to be reaching people. What's worse is nobody seems to be hugely concerned with this – we seem content to curse the darkness rather than be Light in that darkness (Matt 5:13,15). It is for that reason that I believe that JESUS is going to raise up what I call "new breed" churches – churches that strip away the "religion" and allow the main thing to be the main thing (Matt 28:19,20). I hope that in our future hyde park will be a church that plants new churches… I SEE NO OTHER WAY THAT GOD REDEEMS THIS AREA WITH HIS CHURCH.

With that in mind I read this prayer written by Bob Roberts, Jr – it moved me…my prayer is that you see what i see…

"Father, break us of the way we have tied our egos to our ministries. Forgive us of wanting to be the superstars and the heroes. Forgive us for engaging in turfism and allowing our individual ministries to define Your kingdom.
May we see that your kingdom is beyond any one single local church, and may those of us that are pastors lead our churches in like manner.
May our focus be for the love of You.
May our mandate be to equip others to follow You.
May the fruit of our hands be seen in viral faith that is spreading all across our land through churches that are being multiplied.
May the churches we plant play such a vital role in the healing of our cities and communities that nonbelieving leaders will beg us to come start churches where they are.
When we stand and preach, or sit and share, may we see the young men and women whom You are calling out to multiply.May we challenge them, equip them, send them and be there for them.
May the story of our lives be not just what we have done, but what others have done as a result of how we have served them.
But may I stand before You one day when a great smile appears across Your face and I hear You say, (insert your name) "Roberts, you're crazy, but good job – let's party!"

Churches don't reach people – people reach people. Chances are that God's not gonna reach down and just touch the people in your life and just save them – He's gonna use us. How are we (you and I) going to reach the people all around you – around your house, your job, your family? What about the next town over? Do we care about them? We're gonna have to put churches in those areas that will reach those that all the other churches will never reach. Does that scare you, threaten you or fire you up?!?

RuleKeeper or Inviter?

How can you tell if you’re a Christian? What are the things that define your Christianity? (answer the question before you read-on).

Simplelogofinali think it’s wild that most people think that church is a place for good, perfect acting people. Most people also think that being Christian means doing certain things – keeping certain rules.

How did you answer the question? Did you say, "I go to church" or "I don’t drink, smoke, dance or chew nor do i go with girls (or guys) that do!" as Pastor says. Is it the music you listen to that defines your Christianity? Is it the fact that you attend church that defines your Christianity?

The only reality is that being a Christian is only about having a relationship with JESUS CHRIST, nothing more, nothing less. And it all happened because Jesus said, "Follow me".

As Pastor shared the message Sunday morning, I was hit with something that bothered me: there aren’t enough people in this building who aren’t past the following stage. You know, this place should be filled with people far from Christ. "Why would they come?" you may ask…They would come because YOU ask them.

"9As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him."

You and I should be asking people to check out JESUS, just like JESUS asked Matthew to "follow me". You know, Matthew didn’t know everything about JESUS yet…as far as I can tell, he had not had his life changed. What it seems to me is, he decided to check out this captivating man that people were tripping over named JESUS.

What do you do with that? Invite people to check out the journey with you – JESUS is just as captivating today as He was when He walked the earth! We aren’t asking people to change their life – when JESUS captures their heart they will do that. We aren’t asking people to do anything – JESUS will do that when He wants them to.