I was thinking a little earlier and realized that it’s almost my anniversary. No, not that one (Keyna knows that I KNOW my “dates”). No, Friday is my anniversary with my family at hyde park. And being that tomorrow I will begin my 10th year here, I thought I’d share how I “really” got here…
- Somewhere around ’86 – a friend of mine shared with me that he had a bad dream about me and that i needed to give my life to Jesus. I didn’t care. Even though I didn’t have ears to hear, I remember it and to the best of my recollection this was the first time anyone ever spoke to me about Jesus in an evangelistic way. That friend was Coval Long, Pastor of “Light of the Nations Church” here in L’town.
- Early 1989 – I began attending church with my future wife, Keyna. I didn’t like church at all – I thought it was terrible from beginning to end, with the exception of one thing: the Pastor preached from the scriptures and for the first time I thought God was drawing me to myself.
- Summer ’89 – I quit going to church. No one cared, no one called and it’s not like they didn’t recognize i wasn’t there. Truth is, I didn’t really like their church anymore than they liked this unrepentant sinner with long hair. Maybe they didn’t feel this way, however, their silence towards me leaves me with this impression. Truth is, if someone would have loved on me I would have never left and the next 8 years wouldn’t be the whirlwind of sin it became…
- Summer ’95 – went to an Amway convention with my dad and they had an awesome worship service on Sunday morning. I was drawn and intrigued by JESUS. I, however, had not one committed, Christian in my life at the time so it was a waste.
- Fall ’95 – this guy named Eric loved Jesus. He was a chain-smoking, tatooed, cussing, recovering alcoholic/coke addict who had 2 failed marriages. He found JESUS during treatment. He was raw but I had never, ever met anyone like him. His roughness around the edges had a lot to do with a lack of Christian mentorship, as he had gone to church after salvation and they didn’t accept him. When he would talk about Jesus to me (and he did) my heart would burn within me. Had he only had “the conversation” with me, I would have been saved. I doubt that he knew that he was supposed to have “the conversation” as no one ever taught him how. (by the way, I want to spend the rest of my life helping the Eric’s to come to Christ, be accepted and loved by the church, so they can affect the world the way that he did me).
- Winter ’96 – Keyna and I attended a church here in L’town because some friends were going. We didn’t really like it… I mean, Keyna really wanted to find a church to raise our unborn Madison in, but we just didn’t really feel like it was the one. They did reach out to us through a SS class, but their outreach was quite frankly unwelcome and felt forced to me. It turned me off even more to them. My friend attending, by the way, wasn’t commited himself, so no loss there…
- April 20th, ’96 – Madison was born last night and after almost watching her die on the delivery table I recognized Jesus, vocally, for the 1st time in years. “Lord”, i said, “I thank you for giving Madison life, for saving her, for Keyna being fine. I know that YOU did it, God! And I know that the proper response is to give you my life, to allow you to save me, but I’m just not ready!”. What a fool I was. I really prayed almost that exact prayer – i’ll never forget that moment.
- May ’96 – January ’97 – it’s like God removed protection from me. “OK, mike p – I’ll get your attention!”. My father-in-law’s terminal illness took an obvious turn for the worst, baby Madison fell on her head from the changing table (!!), a trip to Urgent Care for me, a death threat letter aimed at me and naming everyone in my family including my new baby, a busted back window on my work vehicle, and my mother-in-law had a major heart attack. By the end of this, Keyna said, “we need to get back in church!”. My reply: ok.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 – it’s the part where “you” come in…
So I just got off from the first hyde park ‘Cyber-Prayer” meeting and I have to say that it was a really cool experience.
Not only did we have people from all across the state meeting with us – but I had the opportunity to:
- Pray with a friend whom was a part of my first church that was a huge encouragement to me as a new believer. We gathered together tonite, online while separated by many miles and shared the love of Jesus together.
- Pray with a homebound member of our church who is currently stricken with an unexplained illness. You could sense the love of Jesus AND the love of the participants as we prayed for his situation.
- Pray with one of my oldest friends – a friend that I commited many sins with (sorry, but it’s true). We both love JESUS. Today, we don’t sin together anymore – we pray and believe God together and we use our gifts for the glory of JESUS.
We prayed for each other, for lost friends, for the sick, for jobs, for families, for our “one” and for our mission team. You could feel the presence of JESUS in a real and tangible way. It was pretty awesome.
Hope you were there. If you missed it, YOU MISSED IT! Keep your eye open for the next one – you really don’t wanna miss it.
My little friend over here is wondering, “hmmm… how can i pray for you?”
We are pumped that our 1st Cyber-prayer meeting is tonite online here. If you have a prayer request please let me know - we promise to take that prayer to the Father.
If you want to participate you will have to register first at Buzzen. You will then take this link: (http://www.buzzen.net/chatui.aspx?rm=hyde+park+facebook+group )
Hope to see you tonite!
Hey Guys and Gals! Just in case you live in a cave and didn’t know that we were having an online prayer session tomorrow nite – WE ARE! The thought behind this is that we might harness technology into a way to strengthen the Kingdom of God. With that in mind we are going to have our 1st Cyber-prayer meeting – put this date on your calendar: Tuesday Nite, July 29th @ 10 pm (Eastern).
If you have a prayer request and want your online community to take it to the throne let me know
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PERSONALLY BE A PART OF IT (YOU DO NEED TO PRE-REGISTER IF YOU ARE GOING TO PARTICIPATE):
We are using Buzzen as our gathering place. I have started a “Hyde Park Facebook Group Page”. You will have to register with Buzzen to get on that page (it’s quick and easy). Once you register, our gathering place will be here. Remember, our 1st meeting will be Tuesday, July 29th at 10pm at the above site and remember you must be registered to get in.
Take the link above tomorrow nite – i’ll meet you there!
What a day we had at hp today! It’s 11:50 – just got home from checking out “Dark Knight” with my family – here are a few thoughts from today…
- Preached about how the Sovereignty of God plays into our evangelistic relationships. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I know it sounds…
- Challenged everyone with 2 thoughts today. 1st challenge: to pray everyday this week (and hopefully beyond) like the disciples prayed: Lord, enable me to speak Your word with boldness. 2nd challenge: to pick your “one” – one person that you and I covenant together to pray for that God will draw them to Jesus.
- By 3:30 this afternoon, after a few hours of thought, God made it clear who my “one” was. I already had someone tell me who their “one” is: as soon as you figure it out, let me know and I’ll let you know mine.
- So great to be back at Hyde Park today after being gone last weekend!
- We seemed a little “summer thin” today – just the reality of being a part of a younger church. However…
- I hate it for those of you who missed – today was, at least for me, a very, very powerful day.
- Great song that we finished the service with as Charlie and the band played Casting Crowns, “Here I go Again”.
- I’m definitely gonna tell you a little this week about what I learned at Central Christian Church in Vegas last week. God definitely used that experience to speak into the place that we currently are – honestly, He is really blowin’ my mind with ideas and truth.
- Had a special service tonite as the Potter’s Hands team shared their mission trip experience from a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed a little fellowship time – hangin’ with some people that I don’t normally get to hang with. Great job PH!
- In some ways this was one of the toughest weeks I’ve had in a long time… but God was faithful and worked through all the circumstances – thank You, JESUS!
- I really didn’t sleep well last night… but at the same time, God helped me feel rested enough to really lock into today’s message. I really felt like I was dealing with a bit of jet lag.
- As I look forward to this week i have that “I don’t even know where to start” feeling.
- Andy said that SuperHeroes was HOT today!!!! He is SO PUMPED about what’s happenin’ in there.
- And speaking of kidz… we have some stuff in the works that will be happenin’ around the beginning of school that i can’t wait to tell you about.
- Many of you began learning today in BFG’s how to construct your faith story. I love it when people begin to go deeper in their faith! If you didn’t start but you would like to “catch up” this week and learn to share your story let me know - we will catch you up this week!
Seriously, I could go on and on tonite but I’m beat – tomorrow (Monday) i’m gonna give you an update about our “Cyber-Online Prayer Meeting” that will take place on Tuesday nite at 10pm – so check back throughout the day for the update. ‘Nite!