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Archive for August, 2009

Sunday Nite

A really, really great day at hyde park today – so many great things happened today. I'm gonna tell you about a few of them, however, I'm gonna be quick as I SERIOUSLY feel my bed calling out to me (wiped out doesn't even BEGIN to describe how I feel tonite). Anyway, here's what's on my mind on this Sunday nite:

  • Week 3 of our "Calm in Chaos" series seemed to go well. I can't personally comment as I found myself serving in the Kidz Place Coliseum during the message today. I guess it's the podcast for me this week!
  • By the way… do you subscribe to the hyde park podcast? You can use that to bring yourself and others up to speed on all things hp! 
  • UNCP was definitely represented in the house!!!  I am so excited about what's happening over there and the part that I believe hyde park's gonna play in it. I heard that the Singles/College BFG at 2Guys Grill (after service) ran out of chairs!!!! YES!!! I feel a student Jesus revolution on the rise…
  • …and speaking of that – I CAN'T WAIT to speak at BSU House next Tuesday Nite! 
  • Music today: How Great Thou Art (Newsong arrangement), Love the Lord (Lincoln Brewster), Your Name (Paul Baloche). At the end of service/invitation time we worshiped with "You are My King".  
  • Justin did a great job filling the BIG SHOES of my main man, Regan Driggers on keys this morning… 
  • And speaking of the band/singers, our singers did an amazing job this morning. Always proud of their service to the King. 
  • Had the opportunity to hang with my bud, Chris Crain last night – we checked out his brother (and my former bandmate) Matt's band – I couldn't believe how much Matt has grown as a musician. Incredible show. 
  • This evening I had the privilege of singing at the ordination of my friend (and former hyde park musician), John Spence. John is the new pastor of Barnesville Baptist Church. I reminded the congregation in song that God has called us to make much of Him.  
  • Had a really great "iServe" Team leader meeting today. This crew is well on their way to becoming a hyde park dream team. The ideas presented in there are gonna make your Sunday's the best day of the week (even more so than it already is). 
  • Where are all of the new people coming from??? We have had an unbelievable amount of visitors over the past 2 weeks! I likey… 
  • Served up in the kidz place coliseum this morning – we sang… shouted to/for God… and talked about/learned about Nicodemus. The kidz takeaway: Jesus didn't come so that we could be good – He came so we could be saved. Simple, but the truth! 

That's it for me tonite – looking forward to a great week – are you? 

If Your Life Feels Heavy

How's life? Do you ever feel like your life feels "heavy"? I don't know "who" this is for but I believe someone will take comfort in this truth today:

 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

"Lord, forgive me for asking for Your help yet refusing it when you offer… forgive me for not spending enough time at "Your feet", learning… forgive me for allowing my soul to become so busy. You've told us to trade our burden for yours (v.29) and that in exchange we will find rest for our souls. When the burden that I'm carrying is too heavy remind me that it is MY burden I'm carrying, not Yours, for Your burden is light (v.30). Forgive me, Lord, for living my life as if I don't need You."

Maybe it's time to stop what you're doing, take all of your worries and stress, lay them down spiritually at Jesus' feet, invite Him to refresh your soul anew and experience a fresh power of Jesus working through you and in your life.

Or maybe you'll just continue down the road that you're on… that seems to be working out pretty well for ya, huh?

Is It WHAT or WHO?

The other day I had a visitor stop by my office from our neighborhood to discuss some questions/thoughts of his about the Bible, specifically the book of Revelation. I was the 3rd hyde park staff member that he had spoken to about this, the 1st two not giving him an answer to his liking :). (writers note: most people who want to discuss this kind of stuff already have their minds made up and their purpose for coming is to argue with/prove you wrong).

As he came into my office I offered him a seat and asked, "what kind of questions do you have?" to which he asked my interpretation on some of the signs spoken of. I shared that my interpretations were not my interpretations at all, as people through the years have spoken of what different things MAY mean and the symbolism involved. (by the way: I'm not an anti-signs guy or anything – just saying that I'm not that smart – God showed these things to John and he couldn't even adequately describe them in an earthly way).

As the conversation evolved I noticed it was all about the things that he was worked up about so I offered, "You know, the focus of the book of Revelation is not a bunch of future "revelations", the focus is the One who is being 'revealed – Jesus Christ'" I shared that in order to properly learn from the book of Revelation you must take your focus off of the "what" and refocus on the "who" meaning that Jesus will use that book to reveal Himself to you just as He is revealing Himself to the world.

Wrong answer apparently… by the end of our conversation I discovered that He has issues with Jesus' humanity, the scriptures, scientists view of the scriptures, the Trinity even to the point that he thinks that Jesus Himself will not return but one "like him" (based on this verse).

  • Do I believe that it speaks of things that will happen in the future: yes.
  • Do I believe that all of the things that are DESCRIBED in the book will happen: yes.
  • Do I know exactly what all those things are and what they are actually describing: no – I believe John did his best to show us heavenly things which his earthly eyes/mind couldn't comprehend
  • Do I believe that Jesus is coming back: ABSOLUTELY!
  • Do I believe that you better be ready when He does: Yes – you better make sure that you have truly repented of your sin and entered into relationship with God through Jesus Christ, His Son.

But I must admit, I don't think a lot about end times. I have studied it during the past 10 years (pretty extensively) and know what many people have taught. The reason that I don't fret about the end times is because I believe that the book of Revelation is the Revelation of Jesus Christ as the King of all kings and the Lord of all. I have decided to live for Him passionately, share Him with you freely and whatever happens tomorrow I will be ready for because my hope is firmly planted in Him and I trust Him and the salvation that He has promised through His Word.

See for me, it's not about WHAT will be revealed but about WHO will be revealed. How 'bout you?

Sunday Nite

with my son (and brother in Christ) Matt post baptism Sunday, August 16th is just about over and today was a very special day for us at hyde park for a lot of different reasons – hope that you were with us. Anyway, here's what's on my mind tonite:

  • We end our summer with an outdoor baptism because we believe that baptism is SUPPOSED to be public. With that in mind, we put a big pool in the front yard of the church and proclaim it to the world – by far my favorite baptism time of the year! Awesome! More baptism pics from today right here.
  • Today was Week 2 of our "Calm in Chaos" series. Pastor Dennis is looking at Jesus' model prayer and teaching how we can have calm in the midst of a chaotic world.
  • Pastor said this morning that Jesus was like "cool hand Luke" and that His disciples wanted to learn to pray from Him because they recognized that His cool demeanor was a result of His prayer life! 
  • As Pastor hit on a few of the over 250 names of God found in the scriptures those names (at least for myself) seemed to "wash over" the congregation bringing encouragement, power and healing. 
  • At the end of the 1st service we had the privilege of baptizing 3 of our new brothers and sisters! Of the 3, 2 are already heavily involved in serving here at hyde park and I believe the other has brought someone to church with her everyweek since she began attending. Could you imagine the impact we could have if everyone practiced this discipline?  
  • "I will not attend church without bringing someone with me" – sounds like a challenge to me :) 
  • Music today at hyde park seemed to be planned by Jesus. This was one of those weeks where Pastor Dennis and I DID NOT plan together yet… 
  • …without knowing that Pastor was focusing on the Names of God today we debuted the Paul Baloche song, "Your Name". Unbelievable song that lifts the Name of Jesus SO high! Not to mention we followed that with "Revelation Song" in which the focus of the 3rd verse is "filled with wonder, awestruck wonder, at the mention of Your Name". When I personally heard Pastor's message for the 1st time and realized the spiritual convergence that took place in our individual planning I myself was "filled with wonder" at how awesome He is.
  • Today's set: New Doxology (Gateway Worship / 1st service only), Happy Day (Tim Hughes), Your Name (Paul Baloche), Revelation Song (Gateway Worship / Kari Jobe). 
  • At the end of the 2nd service I had the privilege of baptizing 10 more of my new brothers and sisters in Christ. I finished up the time with me yelling at the top of my lungs: ISN'T THIS AWESOME?!?!? to which hyde park responded with a HUGE, RESOUNDING applause for all that God has done among us! :)
  • Just want to say thanks to all of those in our 1st service who take part in Bible Fellowship Groups at 10:30 who thought that seeing new believers baptized was important enough to wait around for a few extra minutes! Every once in a while multiple services can be difficult and it occasionally takes a little extra effort to "get it all in". 
  • By the way, if you didn't hang out to see the baptisms, well, REALLY?!? 
  • On an amazing note: Saw a lot of new faces today! God is Good! :)
  • I was blown away by our "iServe" team – we've got an amazing work going on right now in the way of service here at hyde park!  
  • Big SHOUT OUT to Josh Shelley, our iServe coordinator for all he's done to help get "iServe" off the ground. However, the biggest shout out goes to (and I quote Josh here) "the iServe team – without you there IS NO iServe – YOU are iServe". We are "Loving God, Loving People and Serving our World" by making Sunday the best day of the week! I love ya'll!  
  • Tonite our "Kidz Inc Live Choir" presented the musical, "Let's Rock!". Our kidz rocked it out for Jesus and reminded us that we are the body of Christ and that our talents work best when they are used together, with one another. 
  • …speaking of that: I believe that's a lesson that many adults need to gain understanding in. 

I close with my personal blessing: I baptized 13 people today – all were special to me, how can you not think that it is amazing to publicly be involved in people telling the world, "Jesus is my Savior" – however, one was of the baptisms was very special for my family. One of my life goals is to baptize both of my children as believers and followers of Jesus and that goal was realized today. Matthew didn't become a believer recently; he has been telling me for a long time that he had invited Christ to save him from his sin and we've been talking about this for quite a while. This week, after much begging on his part and persuading, he convinced me that he was ready for what baptism truly means. I am SO PROUD of my buddy; as I said, "he enters this water as my son – he exits this water not just as my son but also as my brother in Christ". I am so proud of all who did proclaimed Christ as Savior in the most public way today. 

Take the “PLUNGE” this Sunday!

Plunge I love baptism days!!! This Sunday during the 10:30 service we will celebrate what Jesus is doing in the life of our church. In honor of Sunday's baptisms, I was thinking about my own baptism:

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 this weekend, let me know

Here are some baptism pics…

Crystal PICT0193PICT0198PICT0197