It's Friday, ya'll. Mind racing, coffee flowin', thoughts brimming, anticipation growin' – here's what's on my mind this mornin'!
- This weekend is gonna be "one of those weekends" at hp! As we bring our "Rooted" series to a close this weekend Pastor will be dealing with one of the most wondered/asked questions pertaining to the life of believers: Why does God allow people who follow Him to experience so much pain? Have you ever looked at a situation and asked, "Why God????" (me too). Using a very famous passage of scripture, my prayer is that God would removed whatever keeps us from continually grasping this far reaching subject.
- In other words: DO NOT MISS SUNDAY!
- Oh… and hyde park worship Sunday morning… Gonna SLAM!
- Totally enjoyed reading all of the comments/testimonies on yesterday's post. If you didn't read them (or add your own) do it today – totally worth the read (and will get you fired up for February 1st!!)
- Ready to take the baptism plunge? Let me know – I'll help you get the process going.
- We have a group of Crossover Middle School girls and leaders heading to Greensboro this afternoon for the Revolve Tour. Please pray for their safety. Also, let's pray for concentration, breakthrough and life-shaping.
- At the gas station last night I ran into an hp attender who I just think is wonderful; their story is pretty special – this person is a blessing to others, they give and give. They miss church on a regular basis because their multiple jobs are supporting 10 PEOPLE! The person shared some of the things that they dealt with on a weekly basis supernatural and then began to tell me how much hyde park means to them… As the person shared I began to literally see Wednesday's post in action – after all they deal with on a weekly basis they NEED what we do to be more than entertaining: it is IMPERATIVE that our worship be infused with the supernatural for the softening of the heart, the preparation of the heart to receive God's Word for transformation. Wild, considering that I was just talking about it
- I know that most of you get your music from iTunes but a great way to get some slammin' deals is through amazon. As a matter of fact, those of you on twitter (and if you aren't you should be), follow them at amazonmp3 – they will give you updates of their stuff on sale. Listen people… i'm talking whole CD's for $1.99!!!!! Thanks to @chrisreeder for the heads-up.
- By the way… @chrisreeder is a church planter in Florence – Revolution Church baby!!! (because they're gonna start a JESUS revolution). Follow @chrisreeder on twitter.
- We cancelled all services Wednesday nite due to our inclement weather policy – with that, our 2009 Worship Choir kickoff was also postponed until this coming Wednesday. So, for those of you who like to sing, like hyde park's music and just want to connect in a deeper way, we will be accepting new choir members this Wednesday nite, January 28th. Come and be a part of a worship ministry that is inspiring people to place their trust in Jesus. (Oh and those of you who attend and wonder how people become worship leaders at hyde park: it begins by being a part of the choir. Serving in the choir allows us to get to know you as well as allowing you to get a feel for what we do).
Anyway, much to do today – looking forward to sharing Sunday with all of you!!! Don't forget, special Nite of Worship Sunday Nite – 6pm
In honor of our next baptism coming up on February 1st I began thinking about my own:
I was baptized on April 20th, 1997, the day after my daughter Madison's 1st birthday (I gave my life to JESUS on the previous Sunday, April 13th). One difficult circumstance that happened with my baptism was sharing with my family (mom and dad) that I was being baptized. Why? Because being raised Catholic, I had already been "baptized" (sprinkled) in the eyes of my family.
I remember the tension of telling them I was being baptized – why did I tell them? I HAD TO! Why? Because they were already planning on coming to church that day because Madison was being dedicated. I had no choice. (which reminds me that God does have a sense of humor – I probably would've wussed out and told them later otherwise).
The reason you always hear me ask, "have you been baptized SINCE you believed?" is because I know that many times a person has been baptized prior to conversion because of the denomination that their parents raised them in.
Is post-conversion baptism important? IT'S HUGE!!! It's literally the 1st step as a new believer! It's saying to the world, "Yes!! I Believe that Jesus Christ has begun changing my heart!". I am one of those guys of the persuasion who believes that you will never live a productive life as a believer if you won't even take the first step of obedience through baptism.
Personally for me, once I got through the difficulty of sharing the news of my baptism with my parents, the day was AMAZING FOR ME! I knew that I had begun a new journey, a new life with a new leader – I could feel it as I was lowered into those waters of baptism - when I come up LIFE BEGINS
If you've not been baptized SINCE you believed and would like more information or would like to be scheduled for baptism on February 1st, let me know.
Let us learn more about you: Share with the WholeHearted readers the story of your baptism day.
(One more thing: Hope you caught yesterday's post about tension – it's short but it will challenge you!)
In Sunday's message Pastor made this statement: If there's no tension in you, where's the challenge to your faith? In other words (from the outline) "When you walk by faith God will always take you outside your comfort zone".
This is not my only tension – but none-the-less I began thinking about myself as a worship leader and the tension I find myself dealing with. I find a tension within myself in the challenge I have planning worship week in and week out. That tension is getting beyond the challenge of programming for JESUS rather than people. If you plan worship long enough you will eventually get to the place where you will be challenged by the desire to program in a way that acheives the desired results of the music. But the truth is…
What God needs from me as a worship leader isn't good music – He desires a leader who can present supernatural worship.
Not to be all weird and churchy on you, but our music should be set apart and anointed by God. When we lead worship, that worship needs to hold within it the supernatural - the presence of JESUS, the power to break through all the junk that people bring into the house from their week. Let's face it – they come in from all different places in life: some worshpers, some seekers; some broken hearted, some wholehearted; some offering all they have, some giving God one more chance.
We shouldn't… NO! WE CAN'T just half-heartedly walk into the house of worship acting as if we're doing God a favor by showing up. This is especially huge for the worship leader, singer, band member and A/V tech – but you know it's also important for the believer sitting in the congregation. After all, prayer and worship is not for God's benefit (He doesn't need our worship – He has created beings who were made for the purpose of worship who have and will worship Him for eternity) – worship and prayer is for our benefit.
May we all remember that what we do in woship is not entertainment – it's our spiritual act of worship, singing to the ONE, the only ONE Who holds the power to break the chains that people have in their lives.
What spiritual tension do you have in you? Teaching? Hospitality? Serving? Healing? Blessing? Whatever you do, do it supernaturally in the power of God.
Sunday, January 18th, 2009 was an amazing day at hyde park – all three services were brimming with the unmistakable presence of JESUS… You just had to be there, ya know? (and I hope that you were ). Here's some of that which is on my mind on this Sunday evening:
- If the 1st three services of 2009 are any indication as to the kind of year we are going to have – WATCH OUT – we're breaking loose, breaking free and bound for an amazing year. I have a hard time understanding how anyone could've been in that place this morning and not see that God is up to something!
- I love seeing our students worship on the front row!! Ever since the beginning of the year I have noticed that a group of our high school students make their way to the front row during the 8.21 service and passionately worship JESUS. I don't know if any of them read WholeHearted, but if you know these students, how about encouraging them and giving them a big "hi-5" – their passion is contagious. Who will join them on the front next week?
- Speaking of that… i've also noticed a few of the CrossOver Middle School students worshiping on the front row, 11.11 service. I've challenged a few of them to get their friends up there with them next week – let's get it started!
- Our music today was up, passionate and a great representation of hyde park worship!
- A new thing I am going to be doing on Sunday's (or Monday's at the latest) is listing this weeks music with links. You must have an iTunes account to utilize these links (it's free) downloads are .99 cents (this is how the choir legally downloads our music for listening). Many people like to download our music for their personal listening…
- … and some like to download it to know it because they want to be a part of hyde park worship. If that describes you, we are accepting new choir members THIS WEDNESDAY NITE, January 21st at 8.15pm. Come on out and get plugged in (that also counts members who have been out – you can return and we'll wave the late charges - kind of like a grace period… lol)
- Today's Worship Music: All Hail The Power of Jesus Name (Paul Baloche arrangement), Everlasting God (Lincoln Brewster arrangement), O Praise Him (David Crowder) w/ Doxology and From the Inside Out (Hillsong)
- Just picked up Madison and friends from Crossover PM, our slammin' Sunday Nite Church for middle schoolers. I'm so thankful for the way Brandon and the Crossover leaders are impacting my daughter for Jesus.
- The Crossover Band almost sounds as good as our Sunday morning group. They will probably lead for us one weekend!
- Also thankful for our Kidz Inc. workers. Matthew is in the 3rd grade and loves his small group. Hard to believe that he will transition from childrens department to "Bridge 45" (our 4th/5th grade ministry – ALSO a slammin' ministry at hyde park). Definitely seeing spiritual growth in my little guy – our conversations about JESUS are getting deeper and deeper…
Week Three of the "Rooted" series was a powerful message – if you missed it check out the free podcast available on our site. A couple of notes from the message that caught my ear (and my heart)
- God is interested in your time because it's the most precious commodity you have. There is nothing more valuable that you can give to Him (once you give Him your heart).
- We must be intentional about helping others grow spiritually. God placed you as a believer into some people's lives that are on a path to destruction and YOU'VE gotta do something about it - why do you think He put you there?
- When you believe into a relationship with Jesus, after awhile, there's a nudge, a tugging at your heart that makes you wanna do something more for Him.
- Lot's of you know there's something you would like to do but you're afraid to. You need to take your "I'm afraid to…" and give it to Jesus – watch Him take your "I'm afraid to" and turn it into something amazing!
- In the story where Jesus fed the 5,000, Jesus gave His disciples back what they gave Him (2 fish and 5 loaves of bread) – He essentially said, "Now use it!". You do what you can do – Jesus will do what He can do.
- Jesus will ask us to do things that are outside of our comfort zone – if there's no tension in you where's the challenge to your faith? (I feel a post coming about this point ).
- When your faith connects with His faithfulness, amazing things happen. (Amen!)
I am BLOWIN' UP with anticipation for our future – just about ready to bust!!! The thoughts consuming… I think we are on the verge of seeing something really amazing – and this time we're gonna be prepared for it. Love ya'll – thanks for a great day with you!
It's Friday!!! So pumped about the weekend – about the week I've had – the ideas that are flowing (and yes, I am definitely on the 2nd cup of Henry's Blend this morning – I'M PUMPED about that too!!!).
- It is stinkin' FREEZIN' outside! I was gonna get some gas this morning – i wussed out
- Don't know if you missed yesterday's post about "Roots". If you did I hope that you'll check it out – short read but will make you think (at least the thought made ME think…). Check it out here
- We have a really great event coming up next month! We're going to… (you'll have to wait until Sunday morning to find out what it is – but honestly, it's gonna be cool).
- We'll be having our next baptism service on February 1st. Have you been baptized SINCE you believed. I love seeing people take the step of baptism, essentially saying, "yes! God is changing my life and I want to be "baptized" into His!" LOVE IT!!! Remember, scriptural baptism is that which takes place after conversion (Acts 2:40-42, Acts 8:12,13, Acts 8:35-37, and more – if you're interested in more let me know). If you want/need to be baptized you can register here. We will also be celebrating the Lord's Supper on that day.
- I'm pretty jacked about my next 2 messages – love the way that they're coming together.
- Had some pre-planning go down towards Easter yesterday. It was a really good meeting, but i just gotta say that GOD ROCKED MY WORLD WITH AN IDEA THIS MORNING that answered a question that Pastor asked me concerning that service – CAN'T WAIT to share it!!!
- WHY AM I SHOUTING AT YOU SO MUCH THIS MORNING?!?!?!? Must be the Henry's Blend (or the Holy blend - haven't figured that one out just yet )
- Did I metion that you really shouldn't miss church Sunday?
- Those of you who like to sing, like hyde park's music and just want to connect in a deeper way, we will be accepting new choir members this Wednesday nite, January 21st. Come and be a part of a worship ministry that is inspiring people to place their trust in Jesus.
- For those of you who attend and wonder how people become worship leaders at hyde park: it begins by being a part of the choir. Serving in the choir allows us to get to know you as well as allowing you to get a feel for what we do.
- Hope that those of you who are on facebook will take me up on adding photos to the hyde park facebook page. What a great (a fun way) to not only see a week-to-week running of all things hyde park, but also to reminisce with photos from the past. By the way, CONGRATULATIONS to Melissa Humphrey for being the 1st person to actually upload your pics to the hp page – you are a groundbreaking leader! (oh, and those who won't get a facebook, WHAT?!?! hold on a moment please, the phone's ringing… it's the 90's: they wanted me to tell you to stop using your bag phone because it's 2009. They also wanted you to know that social networking really is good way to keep up with people in your "oh-so-busy" life – love ya, only half-playin' )
- Oh… and if you are on facebook and haven't joined the hyde park facebook group – umm… ????
- If you use a mobile phone (I know, like, 1 person who doesn't have a mobile) and text, will you take a moment and sign up for twitter? Not only is it a great connect but you can use it to update your facebook status. Make sure I'm the 1st person you add – I'll add you back!
- Last thing: I LOVE SEEING OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WORSHIPING ON THE FRONT ROW AT THE 8:21! Who loves Jesus enough to come up there with them and allow His passion to rub off on you for unhindered communion through worship?
Last on this Friday, we close with a brand new iMix I've released for our Worship Ministry (band, singers and choir) as well as those of you who like to stay up with what we're listening to/learning. Have a great weekend – see you Sunday!