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Archive for October, 2009

Sunday Nite

Have I mentioned lately how much I love the opportunity to worship Jesus with the people at Hyde Park Church? Today was just a good day…

  • Good worship today as we continued Pastor's series from the book of Galatians, "Be Free".
  • In today's message we spent the majority of the time talking about Abram (Gen 15) and reminded of what faith REALLY looks like.
  • God is Good!
  • It was almost cold this morning… but it was so beautiful!!! 
  • Did you see the sunrise today? WOW!
  • Our prayer this morning as we entered the 9am service: Lord, may Your glory be reflected off of us as people enter in… help them to see you, not us, as we lift our praise (and voices) to You.
  • God definitely answered our prayers.
  • "It is well, it is well, through the storm I am held – It is well, it is well with my soul – It is well, it is well, God has won, Christ prevailed, It is well, it is well with my soul".
  • We hosted a Red Cross blood drive this morning. I am always so proud to see our people step up to give the gift of life.
  • The 10:30 service is so alive and seems to get better by the week!
  • Music today: It is Well (Todd Fields arrangement), My Savior Lives (New Life Church), In Christ Alone (hyde park worship arrangement), Came to My Rescue (Hillsong).
  • I had some amazing conversations at church this morning. I LOVE meeting new people and getting to know others better. Just a great spirit for meeting people today.
  • Did you check out the "This Week at Church" video this week? If not, check it here
  • Perry Noble (NewSpring Church) just said on his blog: "We saw 187 people come to Christ today…WOW…that PUMPS ME UP!!" This was on a day that he WAS NOT there… God is rockin' Anderson, SC. 

Tonite we had a great nite:

  • Brandon said that Crossover was rockin' with 47 students! Crossover has been so consistent with their numbers this year! I'm glad to have a rockin' middle school ministry that my child loves being part of.
  • I also love hearing Madison enthusiastically tell me about Brandon's message and illustrations.
  • We had a bunch of kidz up in the Coliseum for the 1st nite of Kidz Choir for this fall. Looks like we're gonna have a great kidz choir this Christmas. Really excited to see what they bring come December.
  • We had a called business meeting where we voted to sell the parsonage to Pastor Harrell. I definitely appreciated the words that Garry Evans (our Deacon Chairman) shared about our desire to be a blessing to the Pastor who has served us for 25 years. I also appreciated Hubert Waddell's (chair – building and grounds) explanation as to why we don't need a parsonage anymore and the disadvantage it is to a Pastor to have to live in one.
  • While I'm appreciating: I appreciated the caffeine that Hubert poured into me before, during and after the meeting. :)

Hope you have an amazing week with Jesus – read the Word, pray, tell others about Him – let's see this region turned upside down for His glory!

Overalls Aren’t too Flattering

I've never been much for farming (that would be the other guy on our staff, the one who proclaims himself to be the better looking one :)). However, I have always been interested in being part of the harvest.

I spent a couple of days last week thinking through the "parable of the sower" found in Luke 8. If your familiar with it you know that Jesus taught His disciples what it means:

The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. (Luke 8:11-15, NIV)

See, I might be crazy but I'm thinking we can make the soil better… I'm thinking that the more that we work in the soil, with the soil, the better chance it has to become good. I want to cultivate the soil (the hearts) of this region… removing the stones, rocks and stumps that get in people's way. I want us to tend to the weeds when necessary, removing the thorns when they invade and even put up scarecrows when we need to making it possible for more and more people to have "good soil" that multiplies.

I feel that doing church in a different way than the norm provides an environment by which we remove stuff that gets in people way – I think we should always be looking to what we can do to help more people see the truth of God. Utilize the new stuff, the tools, the instruments, the lights, the environment. Use sermon props, video and hooks that help people remember. Just as long as we remember that it's the seed (the Word) that changes lives the rest is nothing more than the method we utilize to do our bidding.

You know, farmers may have a tendency to go with what they know but it doesn't take a genius to see that using a tractor is far superior to walking behind a stinkin' mule.

Now I totally recognize that in the text the primary sower is Jesus. However, every faithful person who carries and spreads the word of God is a sower of that word into the human heart that so desperately needs rescuing. This region is ripe for the harvest that God has been preparing and I have a front row seat.

Give me some overalls, some tools and a tractor (and a rockin' band :)) and let's get it on – who's ready to get dirty? 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:2 NIV)

Sunday Nite

Can I begin by saying, "God is good!"?

Sunday nite, watching some football but I'm ready to "hit it" – but before I do…

  • I love to see people "connect" with God. Hyde Park is the kind of church that helps people from many different walks find life in Jesus. I am so thankful to be a part of that.
  • Began the day anticipating a powerful move of God in our midst…
  • …10:30 service represented that move. There is nothing better to see a congregation call out to God together.
  • Always reminded,

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Eph 6:10-13, NIV)

  • Rhonda Lovin taught FAITHTrac 201 today. 201 is part 2 of our 4 part New Attenders series and deals with developing spiritual maturity. So important that you take the next step with God no matter what it is.
  • Saw a great testimony online from someone who took FAITHTrac 201 today – she was so excited about what she learned. If her response was the typical response… well I would say that Rhonda was used by God in a major way.
  • 9 first time guests today! If you don't work in iServe than you probably wouldn't know that (which is why I share and celebrate it on here). I believe we had a few make decisions to follow Christ today as well.
  • "in my life be lifted high, in our world be lifted high, in our love be lifted high!"
  • Today's music: "Sing to the King" (Billy Foote, hyde park arrangement), "Not to Us" (Chris Tomlin/Passion arrangement), "Glory to God Forever" (Fee), "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)" (Tomlin), "Came to My Rescue" (Hillsong).
  • Tonite I attended the North Point Online service (6pm on Sunday nites right here) and can't believe how much the Lord used Andy Stanley to speak into my current thoughts, issues and circumstances.
  • I've heard people criticize Andy basically because they don't like his approach to preaching – all I gotta say is that God is ALWAYS using him to speak deeply into my spirit. Just my opinion, but people who don't have the call of God on their lives really should watch the way that they talk about preachers… I think it's dangerous when you judge someone who has God's call on his life.
  • 2 huge things he said tonite: never neglect a tension that needs attention (it may be God calling attention to His will for you) and 2nd, "God takes full responsibility for the life that is wholeheartedly (yeah he used those words :)) given to Him".
  • Lord, I will take you at Your word.

Good night.

  • Needless to say, I am VERY glad that I chose North Point tonite.

What Do You Hear?

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE TIME THAT YOU ARE LIVING IN?!?

Not the "end-times" that most believers are preoccupied with but the NOW, today, where you currently sit, how amazing the time is that you live in (spiritually speaking) and the blessing that God has given us to live in these times?

Think about it – we have:

  • God's Word – God literally speaks to us through the Bible. Are you interested in hearing from God? What are you reading in the Bible? If you don't read the Bible YOU ARE NOT HEARING FROM GOD. This is an amazing time with all of the technology – the way that God is literally using that technology to take His Word to the ends of the earth. WOW!!!

    Do you love the Word of God? If not, I pray for you right now, "Father, in Jesus' Name I lift this one up to you and ask You, beg You, to work within them to give them a passion for Your Word. May Your Spirit give them understanding as they seek to hear from You as they search the rich pages of Your plan for us. In Jesus' Name, Amen". 

  • God's Church – God lives out His plan for the world THROUGH the local church. The church isn't just what we do on Sunday because YOU ARE the church, distributed throughout the world when we leave the meeting place. You have more chance to be the church Monday through Saturday than you do on Sunday. How's that going? :)

    These are amazing times that the church lives in… we TRULY have the opportunity to be part of taking the gospel message to the end of the earth. Let's never forget that the mission begins in Jerusalem (wherever that local church has been placed by God: Lumberton/Robeson County)

  • God's Spirit – The Spirit of the living God is alive and lives within those who have surrendered their lives to Him. Have you done that? If so, God desires to live through you daily, instructing and guiding you through making the 1st two examples happen and so much more. 

"Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it." (Luke 10:23-24 NIV).  You are blessed, I tell you – blessed! 

Live like it.

Waiting?

"but(AN) they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
   they shall mount up with wings
(AO) like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
   they shall walk and not faint."
(Isaiah 40:31, ESV)

Are you waiting on God? Is there something you believe that He is planning to do in your life? Maybe it's an answer to a long-prayed prayer or a promise that you have received. Maybe it's deliverance in an issue or the fulfillment of a ministry need. If you are you're in good company:

  • What about Noah who built the arc despite the fact that there was no water around because God told him to? You know people thought he was crazy…
  • Or Joseph, sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, ending up in prison only to eventually by God's providence ruling Egypt?
  • Or David… He was anointed King of Israel by Samuel only to spend years running for his life as King Saul tried to kill him

In all three examples the outcome was worth the wait:

  • a new beginning for the world…
  • an amazing ending to a tragic story that showed God's Sovereignty and providence despite evil intentions…
  • a King, described by the Lord as a "man after His Own heart", who despite running for his life for so long eventually represented God to His nation.

How many stories are there in the bible where people waited? The answer is too many to number – waiting is such a huge part of following Jesus. A lesson that I have had to learn personally: Don't despise time spent waiting for it is in that time that God prepares you for what is to come. 

If you're waiting He's not done, so wait, it WILL be worth it.