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Archive for November, 2009

Sunday Nite (on a Monday Morning)

Was yesterday actually the Sunday after Thanksgiving at hyde park! I couldn't really tell as we had such a great gathering before the Lord. The Sunday after Thanksgiving has traditionally been a VERY off weekend as we have so many people who travel for the holiday – call it the economy, call it faith… I myself was very pleased!

So here's what you missed if you weren't with us:

  • Yesterday's music was led by the group, "Sisters", who came to us from Spartanburg, SC. The group, which is made up of sisters Kim Lord, Heather Day and Valerie Ellenburg, are actually the combination of the groups LordSong and their lifelong family group, The Ruppes. It was great to have them with us – they were great – their harmonies are unbelievable!
  • Check out their music if you didn't have the opportunity to go to their table yesterday.
  • I brought yesterday's message, titled "Cleaning House", as Pastor Dennis is on vacation.
  • The message was based on Matthew 23:25-28 and was based on some thoughts I had as I thought through the implications aimed not JUST at the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day but also at myself…
  • …you see, I am a Recovering Pharisee.
  • I had a friend who asked me the following question after the second service: "How does a person know whether they are a Pharisee or a Recovering Pharisee"? I had not really thought about it but off the cuff my answer was something like this: "A recovering pharisee understands that they have the tendency to be judgmental and legalistic and is calling out to Jesus to change his/her heart, mind and soul, from the inside out. The pharisee doesn't think they have a problem. They have a tendency to justify their judgmental attitude and normally don't see any problem with it (but they DO see the problem with others).
  • That, by the way, was an excellent question.
  • One thing about the message: I felt like I didn't communicate the point in the 1st service that I wasn't preaching AT them but rather I was talking about something that God has revealed inside of MY heart. As always, if the shoe fits you should wear it, but know that I'm wearing one just like it :)
  • I was very encouraged by the number of you who expressed to me that you did some "house cleaning" after the message. I pray that all who were moved will follow through on the decisions that we made.
  • We're completing our Christmas stage this weekend! This is going to be one of the most incredible Christmases you've ever been part of at hyde park!
  • Anyone interested in being part of our Christmas Worship Choir should be at rehearsal Wednesday nite at 8pm!!!!

Have a great week!

Sunday Nite (on a Monday Afternoon)

I know that I begin most Sunday nite recaps by saying something like, "Today was so amazing" – at the risk I won't say it again (even if it was :)):

  • Pastor finished up the "Be Free" Series yesterday. Good stuff as we worked our way through the book of Galatians.
  • One of the cool things about going through a book is that when you hit on a subject that some don't like they can't accuse you of picking a scripture with an agenda in mind. 
  • I love what Perry Noble said in his post today: If everybody likes you then you’ve spent way too much time kissing rear ends instead of being faithful to who God has called you to be and what He has called you to do!
  • Galatians 5:15 (in the NIV) states, "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other". As Pastor broke that down he made this statement: when the church fights and bites at each other we are literally eating ourselves. This in itself is often the major problem in congregations, disunity that doesn't see each other as an extension of one-another, but rather, as separate beings. In Christ we are to be one.
  • I, for one, continue to be thankful to be part of a congregation that "gets" this.
  • Pastor spent the majority of the message demonstrating what spiritual community looks like. I would love to see us take that concept even deeper, applying it at a more life-on-life, in home (and the community) approach. Maybe Pastor was planting a seed for some of that.
  • He also pointed out that one of the key elements of a worship experience is confession – do you think of that often? Is there a time during worship where you do that? I think we should do that more, don't you?
  • We were blessed and pleased today to see that we filled up the Operation Christmas Child Semi-trailer! What a great ministry OCC is – we are so thankful to join arms with Samaritan's Purse in this endeavor. As Carole said, "this shoebox is the easiest way to share the gospel of Jesus with our world".
  • The Worship Choir was rockin' yesterday morning with some new members – so excited to see enthusiasm throughout that group! Anyone interested in singing with us for the Christmas Season (and beyond) can download our music here. All of you are welcome to join us Wednesday Nites at 8pm in the Auditorium…
  • …that is EXCEPT THIS WEDNESDAY – we will have no services Wednesday Nite due to the Thanksgiving break.
  • AND SPEAKING OF HYDE PARK WORSHIP: this weekend we will have a special time of worship as we welcome the Recording Group, "Sisters" to Hyde Park this Sunday morning during both our 9am and our 10:30 am services. The group is made up of sisters, Kim Lord, Heather Day, and Valerie Ellenburg. Back in the day Kim, Heather and Valerie were members of their family group, the Ruppes, as well as currently being members of the group, "LordSong" with Kim's husband, Michael. We're looking forward to a special time of worship this Sunday.
  • Our worship Sunday was kind of a dual-service approach: 1st service was, "Our God Saves" (Baloche), At Calvary (Hymn – G3 arrangement) and "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)". 2nd Service: "Our God Saves", "Let God Arise" (Tomlin) and "Came to My Rescue" (Hillsong). I liked the dual approach and feel that we might do this more after the 1st of the year.

I hope that you all have an amazing Thanksgiving – still praying that God will open your eyes as to ways that YOU can give-thanks through a practical application. My love to you all. 

Christmas 2009 iMix

Christmas is right around the corner and we are in preparation mode – here are some songs that we will be singing this Christmas at hyde park. Download them to your iTunes and get ready for an amazing Christmas:

Christmas Night of Worship – Sunday Evening, December 20th at 6pm

Here's some of last years music (some of these might pop-up this Christmas as well):

Sunday Nite

Were you there?

We had a great day at hyde park – so much to celebrate. Short Sunday afternoon nap out of the way – another one probably on the way, a little football – good times. Here's what's on my mind tonite:

  • All glory to our God for His provision of the Word this morning. This has been a pretty crazy week for me – 3 days out of town (Mon-Weds), a Saturday morning conference among other things. With all that in mind, GOD has been good to me, speaking so much in preparation in a way that made preparation easier than some other messages. I am blown-away by the way that God provides for His own!
  • Pastor Dennis was in FAITHTrac 101 this morning whom I joined (along with my family) for lunch. Pastor asked me, "so how did it go?". My answer: we had a SMASHING good time. :)
  • If you don't get that it's because you weren't there. If you missed the message you can listen to it here - listen real carefully because YOU may get "smashed" :)
  • Action + Attitude = Worship   Decide to put action to your thankfulness for God's glory.
  • Extra prayer thrown up this morning as I prayed that God would remove the spiritual barriers that keep people from grasping the depths of God's word. I felt as if the Lord gave me grace to deliver the message by the power of His Spirit. 
  • So many people responded to today's message in brokenness. Many, many more, however, walked out the door like the 9 lepers from this morning's scripture – receiving the blessing but not responding in an adequate way. 
  • The breaking of "my box": I had no plans to act that out today, had not even thought of it but when I awoke this morning breaking "the flask" was on my mind. Always remember that A visual is worth a thousand words – driving home the message in a powerful way.
  • :) you should have seen me looking through the cabinets this morning looking for a "flask" that I could destroy (without getting in trouble with Keyna).
  • So thankful for hyde park worship. Rhonda did an amazing job leading us to the throne of grace through music this morning.
  • Music today: Blessed Be Your Name (Matt Redman), Glory (Hillsong), Worthy is the Lamb (Hillsong), The Power of Your Love.
  • We had the privilege of baptizing 10 new believers this morning! What a privilege it is to share in the baptism of friends whose lives are being changed by the Lord Jesus.
  • For those of you who were judging my friend Richard as I told you the story about his "rough edges", I just want to point out that he is one of the most brilliant people I have EVER MET, his personal knowledge of the scriptures is amazing. He is probably also much deeper theologically than you :). He totally makes my head hurt talking to him!
  • Really enjoyed meeting all the new people today (as always). If they were friends of yours, please mention that to them.
  • Had a huge UNCP crowd this morning! Love it when the college students are in our midst. God is doing a great work through these young people there. 
  • We were sorry to hear of the UNCP Football loss yesterday in the NCAA playoffs. Great, great season though fellas – so proud of our coaches and team.
  • When I got home today I thought to myself, it's amazing that I get to do this! Just doesn't get old to see Jesus at work, challenging people and changing lives.

I close by saying that God is STILL doing amazing things at hyde park. Yes, we are in a time of transition – we are less than 4 months away from the retirement of our Pastor of 25 years. Yes, there are people who have chosen to jump to conclusions about the direction of our church – it's a weird time for those of us who are "in the know". I purposely choose not to mention it much because it is my desire to stay out of all of it for obvious reasons. God is STILL doing amazing things in our midst, maybe you just gotta know where to look.

I challenge you all to keep your eyes open this week for the opportunity to be a person who "gives thanks". Much love to all of you.

FRIDAY!!!

Do you know how long it's been since we've had an "A.D.D." driven Friday post… guess what?

it Friday, the Starbucks Gold Coast Blend is rockin', my mind is spinning all around with ideas, excitement about the weekend, it's KICKIN'!!! Here are a couple of things I wanted to share:

  • This weekend is gonna be off the chain! We are looking for a great service as we together look at "Luke's Thanksgiving Quiz" – I wonder if you've ever noticed it before?
  • We're looking forward to sharing in the great celebration of baptism this weekend. Have you been baptized SINCE you believed? If not, there is still time for you to take part in this weekend's baptism service. If you would like to be part let me know.
  • For all of my new attendee friends at hyde park, make sure that you're signed up to be part of our New Attenders Class, FAITHTrac 101 this weekend at 9am. If you aren't signed up you can sign up here. FAITHTrac 301 (the 3rd installment) also meets this Sunday at 9am. Lunch is provided for you and your whole family after the classes are over. I look forward to eating with ya'll!
  • We're still accepting new members of the hyde park worship choir. As we gear up to Christmas we are looking to add some new faces as well as welcome some recognizable ones as well. If you are interested in singing with the worship choir join us this coming Wednesday nite at 8:15 in the auditorium.
  • In the same way, if you are a musician and I don't know it I SHOULD. I would love to meet you.

Love you guys and look forward to worshiping with you Sunday!!!!