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Archive for November, 2008

Sunday Nite

This morning was an amazing morning at hyde park as we officially kicked off the Christmas Season. The tree was trimmed, the wreaths hung, the lights were in full-effect. I'm tired and ready to snuggle up with the prettiest woman I know and watch a movie (by the way, just in case you're wondering, that would be Keyna :)). Before I do…

  • I am one person who was affected by today's message (even If i did preach it!).
  • My message this morning was titled, "I'll Do Better Next Year". As I've prepared this week for the message I was really challenged. Above that though, I thank JESUS for allowing me to journey down this road this week. For the past few years I have found myself disappointed at the end of Christmas because I knew that I didn't make a spiritual difference with my Christmas. I believe this weekend's challenge/reminder is gonna change the direction of many people's Christmas this year.
  • I thought the stage looked great this morning.
  • Rhonda and the band did such a great job this morning leading worship! We had a pretty smooth morning especially taking into account that we were experimenting with a new in-ear solution for our singers. Not only should our worship leaders be able to hear better it also brings our stage volume WAY DOWN, allowing us a better mix in the house.
  • I had fun teasing Rhonda this morning :). She was telling the congregation that Christmas is her favorite time of the year. I asked her after the comment during a welcome segment in the service, "is that why you chose to sing NO Christmas music today? (she put the set together). She made it a point to tell the congregation that we'll start singing Christmas next Sunday :)
  • For today to be the Sunday after Thanksgiving (traditionally a down day for us) we had good crowds in all three services.
  • Unfortunately, it took me until the 3rd service to really connect the message. I felt that the 1st 2 services I didn't really make the point as strongly as I was feeling it. Guess the 3rd time's the charm, huh? Sometimes you're thankful for multiple services just to get it right :)
  • Ya'll pray for Bree. She's having to take it easy for a few days as a result of a blood pressure problem which is related to her pregnancy. Definitely missed her with us today.
  • I wonder how many of you actually took part in the Gratitude Project?
  • Speaking of gratitude… i am so thankful for the friends that God has placed into my life.
  • And speaking of friends… on Thursday nite I hung out with my old buds Herman and Joey from Grindhouse. We all are following Jesus today. This was the 1st time that we've all been together since we became believers (isn't that crazy?). Anyway, as we were together, catching up they pulled out the guitars. As Herman, Joey, our wives and myself lifted our voices to sing "Shout to The Lord" together I thought how surreal this actually was. It was kinda weird (but in a good way, of course). Also hung with my bud Chris Crain from the Louisville, Ky region. You know, thanksgiving for mike p this year was ALL ABOUT some friends.
  • Got some slammin' ideas about Christmas… I'm thinking that the Sunday before Christmas is going to be CRAZY! Definitely begin now to invite those people who need to be reminded what Christmas is all about!
  • I love twitter. If you aren't twittering yet, what are you waiting for? I love sharing the incidental things of my friends lives. Those of you who are twittering, you know what I'm saying. It doesn't take much time.
  • Did I tell you that Christmas music starts Sunday? It's gonna be slammin'! For real!

The Gratitude Project

Thanks to Steven Furtick for this one (I'm showing gratitude for him writing what I was thinking :)). 

I've been thinking so much recently about gratitude. When I read this post I just had to share it. I challenge you to show your gratitude and make your Thanksgiving about more than turkey. Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Pick someone in your life who has blessed you whether they know it or not (the first person who comes to mind is probably the right one).
  2. Send a letter, a card or an email telling them thanks.
  3. Be specific in what exactly you're thankful for. As Furtick says, "specificity is more meaningful than profundity.  You don’t have to write outstanding prose.  But if you chronicle in detail some ways they’ve blessed your life, they’ll savor every word".
  4. If possible do it now. (or at least before the sun goes down :))

Go and show those that have made a difference in you that you haven't forgotten them. You know, faith is about action – without action it becomes useless words. Let's add this value to our lives today, while your heart is pointed this way, in the same way that we are apply God's teaching to our lives.

My Thankful List

I'm in the middle of preparing for Sunday's message but my mind wandered to Thanksgiving (not the food that I will consume, that will probably dominate tomorrow :)). I was just thinking about all that I am grateful for this year. This will by no means be complete or in any order of importance (and I'm sure I'll add to this as the day goes on) but I wanted to have some public Thanksgiving and Praise.

  • JESUS. You changed my life when You gave me the faith to believe into my relationship with You, God. What You had planned for my life is so far from the plans that I had. Thank You for Your Spirit which leads and guides me through my life.
  • My Family. I have the greatest family in the world. My wife is beautiful, loving and exactly "on point" when it comes to decifering the depths of my heart, the root issues. And my children are a constant reminder of God and bring me so much happiness. God uses them to teach me about my relationship with Him.
  • The Bible. God is rockin' my world with His! The Word is alive and daily speaks into the issues I struggle with – no matter how large or how insignificant it may seem to me.
  • My Friends. When God brought me into His family He placed people in my life that taught me what it meant to love others who are not your family LIKE FAMILY (you may need to read that again :)). I was so afraid of who my friends would be (as I only had 1 friend who was a Jesus follower and he lived hundreds of miles away - isn't that amazing?). Those of you who are close friends of mine bring depth into my life and relationship. Thank you for loving me, praying for me, making me laugh – doing life with mike p!
  • My Church. Hyde Park rocks!!! We have so far to go but I truly believe that it is God's plan to turn this region upside down using us. It is our goal to help people meet Jesus, once they meet Him to become more like Him so that they might, in turn, help others meet Jesus. Amen? I have often commented that this church today looks like the church of my dreams 10 years ago but goes beyond what I ever saw. Love the body of Hyde Park.
  • Lumberton. I DO love Lumberton. I'm like an ambassador. I mean, look, even our web address is www.lovinglumberton.com . I know that the message I preached a couple of weeks ago ("I Got This One!") was eye-opening about our town to say the least, but remember how it ended.

 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
       and his courts with praise;
       give thanks to him and praise his name.

 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
       his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5 NIV)

Now it's your turn – let's blow this up!!! What are you thankful for?

Sunday Nite

We had a great morning at hyde park! Today was a different kind of day for me as it worked out that I had the priviledge of serving on the Audio/Visual team – totally different perspective about our service than I normally have.

  • Great crowds at all 3 services today! It seemed as if all groups connected with the service this morning!
  • Pastor brought a very well-received encouragement concerning Thanksgiving and praise this morning.
  • Being the soundtech this morning gave me the opportunity to see our worship ministry from a totally different place – all i got to say is those people ROCKED THE HOUSE this morning! So proud of them: the musicians (tremendous), the singers (wonderful), the choir (spirit-filled). I was really proud of all of them this morning – they were great and I believe brought glory to their God.
  • Being behind the sound console gave me the priviledge of working hand-in-hand with the A/V crew this morning. They serve me week in and week out and do such a marvelous job. It was an honor to be among them this morning and be in the thick of things. What I thought was really great is the way that they just flow… i didn't see one stressful instance up there this morning – just a truly great functioning, excellent crew. Thank you HP Tech Team!
  • Quote of the day goes to HP Light Tech, Lewis Woodard: "be honest, you just wanted an excuse to come up here and hang with us for the day…". You got me, Lewis, :) that's EXACTLY what I was up to. What can I say, I have a special place in my heart for AV – i love tech-crews!
  • Much thanks to my friends bringing me my cup of java this morning… you were right on time!
  • If you didn't catch the last installment of my "It" series (Part 3) I hope that you will take a moment to check that out. It was pretty important (at least to me).
  • Dedicated our Operation Christmas Child boxes this morning. They will ship out tomorrow. As of this morning we were about 150 boxes short of our goal – hopefully, out of all those who attended today and experienced all that we did, if they didn't contribute I hope they did this afternoon.

I close today by sharing with you the video that we used in the service this morning. This testimony is one of the most amazing things I've seen in a while. The way that God uses the ministry of Operation Christmas Child is supernatural – the millions of lives that will be touched by your contributions are HUGE! The video is below – as I've said so many times before: I'm NEVER surprised, but I'm ALWAYS amazed – You are amazing, God!


The Lejla Allison Story from Jeff Douglas on Vimeo.

it 3 – The Last Installment

It I can't give it to you – i wish i could. You don't know how much I wish I could!!That would be easiest…

I can't even give it to myself, much as I'd like to…

Craig says in the book, "…some small adjustment isn't likely to bring it back. If all you needed was to tweak something, you'd have done that long ago. I'm guessing it'll take a significant change of direction or priorities". Amen.

A couple of statements from the book that stuck out to me:

  • "Have you noticed that new believers often have it?". Their lives have been changed – they're pumped – like "THIS IS THE GREATEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME!!!". Remember when you were like this? Your life was all about Him – He was almost all you could think of. I do. Then, as Craig says, "some more 'mature' believer decides to help them to grow up. 'This is just a phase you're going through' the mature believer explains, 'it'll wear off'." Oh Lord, that we would never be like this but that we would celebrate the new Jesus filled life and encourage the new believers to grow in faith and belief!
  • "It was if as if our it tank sprang a slow, small leak. Over time, it wasn't as special as it was before… we were losing it, so we decided we had to get it back… in our minds that meant more creativity… we had slipped into the dangerous belief that we could create it. Or re-create it." We can't create what doesn't come from us. It was God that was special – not us, not our ministry. Our creativity was grounded in God's creativity – it overflowed from God's heart through us. IT WAS NEVER US – IT WAS ALWAYS HIM.

I've tried the quick-fix; the thought that this small adjustment is gonna be it. I've found in my life there is no shortcut to a deeper life with Jesus. With all the awesome technical advances we've seen, one thing is for sure: we're gonna have to do it the "old-fashioned way" – we're just gonna have to cry out and humble ourselves before the Lord. Not that I thought anything different – just think it's funny how we always look for a short cut. 

I wasn't surprised by this book – only confirmed in many of the thoughts that I have had and the prayers that I've prayed over the past year.  I know I had it – I know that I want it. If I DON'T have it I know that I am closer to having it then I was a year ago. The past 6 months have been the toughest and most honest months of my ministry. As I have cried out to God and sought after Him through His Word He has spoken to me and given me a fire that I've not had in a long time. If I don't have it now I do know that I WANT IT and will do whatever necessary to get it. I'm pretty sure that I have it but I honestly don't have as much of it as I want to have.

The most frustrating thing is that I want YOU to have it and I cannot give it to you. Do you have it?

If you want it you can get it but you have to want it. You have to want it bad. If you go for it you WILL find it and it will change your life and the lives of those you have influence over.

Go for IT!!!