WOW. I don't know the last time that I went 4 days without posting here on WholeHearted. I really feel like I'm in wind-down mode as we approach Christmas and some vacation days. I'm going to take some time to definitely chill with my family (though I'm sure you'll see me on twitter or facebook). This may well be my last post of 2008, so let's make it a GREAT ONE!
- This Sunday we'll be having a very special year-end service! It will be a "ONE" Service day. We noticed last year that there were a few days per year where we had a large number of people out of town (The Sunday after Christmas, 4th of July, Labor Day). We looked at the numbers and decided that rather than stretch a thin crowd across 3 services we would just have "ONE" huge service. When we do this…
- we get to worship with people who attend different times.
- if we just do "ONE" service we can have an extended service (which means a little more music )
it feels good to worship when the place is packed out!
This Sunday is "ONE" of those days – be here early and come with your heart prepared to meet with JESUS! And make sure you tell your friends (they may not know…).
…also this Sunday: In addition to a great year-end message by Pastor Harrell, my friend Paige Strackman will be with us to sing! Those of you who are familiar with Paige know that she is an annointed singer and woman of God. Paige has been a soloist with the world renowned Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and has just released her first solo CD, "Who Can Compare to You?".
I am personally preparing for the new year. As 2008 comes to a close I will take some of my morning prayer and prep time to evaluate this year and to detail things that will happen in '09. I don't know about you, but for me, 2009 is a make-or-break year in a lot of ways. There are many things that I have been seeking, praying about/for, and believe that somehow these things will come to fruition in the new year. Wish I could go into detail… honestly, I wish I was at a place where it was possible to go into detail but many of these things are still in the formation of my heart – they can't be spoken (yet). In due time i'm sure that you will read about them here on WholeHearted.
I'm praying for leaders over the next 2 weeks. Are you a hyde park leader and find yourself in some sort of a spiritual funk? Snap out of it!!! Ask the Lord to bring you through and be willing to do whatever He tells you to. It's not gonna be a little thing that will bring you out; for if all that was necessary was a "tweak" you would've done it long ago (loose paraphrase of Craig Groeschel from his book, "it").
The song that Rhonda sang Sunday Morning, "Here With Us", is SUCH a powerful, powerful song! During that 1st service I was literally wondering if I was gonna be able to get my composure back after she sang that last verse, "Jesus the Christ, born in Bethlehem – a baby born to save, to save the souls of man!" and on that screen showed that baby's hand morphing into the image of the nail-scarred hand of Jesus! DANG!
Remember these words from the 1st Hyde Park Worship CD song, "Believe"? "I'm not satisfied doing it my own way; I'm not satisfied to do church then walk away; I'm not satisfied there's no love in my life but You; I'm not satisfied living in yesterday's hour; I'm not satisfied to have the form, yet not the power; i'm not satisfied Lord I am crucified in You!" That pretty much sums me up as I finish 2008. We're gonna see some powerful things around here in 2009 – put on your seatbelts.
Our new year's series is titled, "Rooted: Growing a Deeper Faith". It's based on Ephesians 3:16-19, "16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.". Don't you want that? I do. Were gonna share with you soon how we can all turn much of this into reality.
I close this with a video that I saw over on Ed Stetzer's blog (I love Stetzer – in a very manly way of course ). It's a video with Penn (of the group Penn and Teller) who is an atheist. His words were amazing – I was totally blown away (watched it multiple times) as he recounts a believer sharing Jesus with him. He says,
If you believe that there's a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, and you think, 'Well, it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward'… How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize?
Read that again: How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize?