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Archive for November, 2009

Sunday Nite

Another beautiful, heart-stirring Sunday is coming to an end. I am beat (only got about a 15 minute nap this afternoon) and can't wait to go hang with my favorite girl, in other words this one's gonna be short – here's what's on my mind tonite:

  • I woke up feeling fully rested (very seldom happens on Sunday's), ready to jump out of bed to be with Jesus this morning. Today's sunrise was absolutely amazing!
  • I was so looking forward to worshiping with you today. I totally was feeling David's heart in Psalm 122:1 – "I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."
  • Once again, 10:30 service was off-the-chain!
  • Pastor really brought some thought provoking stuff in week 5 of "Be Free". He was in Galatians 4 today. I know that a lot of what he said about the things that God hasn't spoken on but the church has chosen to through the years was challenging to many.
  • It all goes back to knowing what God's word says about things. Through the years I have found myself to be appalled about longtime Christians who didn't know their bible well enough to be able to tell the difference between what is biblical and what is about preference.
  • I am SO THANKFUL that God has revealed Himself to us through His holy word – giving us the opportunity to know His heart and opinion on so much in this world. 
  • With that in mind, we need to stop trying to put words in His mouth – if He didn't say it, quit trying to make it seem like He did!
  • You know what the worst thing about this is: some people probably took the teaching the wrong way as if Pastor was talking about them. Truth is, this teaching has absolutely nothing to do with where "we are" at Hyde Park – it is just good biblical teaching that needs to be applied to our lives. Hyde Park is one of the greatest churches I have ever seen in the area of not going extra-biblical on things. I am very thankful for the knowledgeable, Spirit-led leadership that we enjoy.
  • New series began in the Kidz INC today, "Heroes of MegaCity". I thought that the set looked slammin!
  • Today's music: How Great is Our God (Tomlin), Everlasting God, Overcome with This is My Story (New Life Church). In the last service we added "How He Loves" (Eddie Kirkland arrangement).
  • I am already looking very forward to next Sunday! 
  • Do you need to be baptized next Sunday?!? Have you been baptized SINCE you believed? If you need to be added to the list of those stepping out in believers baptism this coming Sunday let me know.
  • We were personally talking with some new members of the choir this morning. We have some NEW THINGS coming up in the way of worship choir and are looking to add new members. If you are interested in singing in either the NEW 9am or the 10:30 choirs let me know: mikep@lovinglumberton.com
  • By the way… band practice this week will be at 7pm – choir at 7:30.
  • Also… new Christmas music iMix will be up this week.
  • One more music note: Christmas "Night of Worship" will be on December 6th at 6pm.
  • Everything we do at hyde park is about Jesus and the people He wants to use us to reach. It's ALL about people. Lord, forgive us for occasionally forgetting that.
  • Bree brought us a piece of homemade pumpkin cheesecake this afternoon! Not only was it so good but it was supper. :)
  • oh… and yeah – she scored major cool-mama points with me by doing that! :)

I love you all – may you have amazing weeks – may we serve Him in all that we do!

I was revisiting…

The other day I was revisiting some recent posts and wanted to remind you that it's "Because of You":

29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped. (Exodus 4:29-31 NIV)

Have I mentioned lately how passionate I am about the mission that God has called us to?

How about the fact that there are tens of thousands of people within 10 miles of our front door who don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ but desperately need one. Have you been reminded lately that they feel a little guilty about the fact that they don't go to church, that they feel like they need to go to church BUT THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO GET STARTED.

You see, most decided a while back that church just wasn't for them – although they felt that they should go they just didn't feel like they fit in – didn't seem to be the place for them. Most of them have never really been to a church like hyde park – "a different kind of church – a place that used music that wasn't real "churchy" and if you wore casual clothes you wouldn't feel as if you stepped into a formal party unaware that it was supposed to be formal.

Many of them feel that their kidz need to be in church and feel guilty for not doing so. They don't even know that hyde park cares so much for their kidz that we took the standard for engaging their kidz with the gospel of Jesus to the highest level we could. In the process we made church something that their kidz WANT to do instead of crying when they HAD to do it.

Most of them know that they aren't where they need to be with God. However, they think it's because they're not quite good enough… some of the things they are doing displease God and they figure they gotta get that taken care of before they come to church. They don't understand that they'll never get clean enough to come to God – they have yet to experience His grace. Most don't yet understand their need for a Savior.

Who are "they"? Your family members. Your neighbors. Your co-workers. Your waitresses and waiters. Your (you fill-in-the-blank). Most would love to experience a "different kind of church" and theydon't even realize that you go to one.

This is where the above scripture comes in. You probably don't see "this" in that scripture but I do. I see Aaron telling the people all that God has told Moses (v.30). That's like me sharing with you the vision for where we are going, what amazing things we are going to experience together as a church. Then we see Moses performing the miracles that God has given Him to do (v.30). That's you. You see, the miracle that you perform for those who are not living for Jesus is the miracle of a changed life. Not a religious life, "i go to church but it hasn't affected the rest of my life", life, but a "I've been going to hyde park and reading my bible and Jesus is rockin' my world" kind of life. It goes on to say that after the people saw these things that they believed (v.31). They believe in JESUS because of you and your testimony.

But you know what the best part is? (Verse 31b) "And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped". These people I've been talking about, they need to know that Jesus is concerned with them, that Jesus has seen their misery in their lives - they will only see that through you. When they do, I believe they will eventually bow their hearts and their lives and worship Jesus.

Isn't that what we're all about? We're in a period of our church's life where we can grasp the opportunity before us and acknowledge God's passion to reach this area or we can chicken out because of fear of the unknown… I think "they" are worth it!

UNCP is on FIRE!

Those of you who have been reading me for a while know my heart for the students at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Early in my ministry at Hyde Park it was Pastor Harrell who showed me the need for an on campus move of Jesus, as he said, "students come from all over to that campus 20 minutes from us… reach UNCP and you will touch the world!". Amen Pastor.

With that in mind, after many years of prayer we have been seeing some amazing things happen over the past 2 months through the Baptist Campus Ministry happening at the BSU House. They have witnessed many on campus salvations not to mention an influx of students on our campus. 

Sara Anastasio is the Baptist Campus Ministry Assistant Campus minster (not to mention a hyde park member and part of the Crossover Middle School Ministry Team). I wanted to share with you the email that I woke up to last Wednesday morning:  

Hey Mike,

   I just wanted to continue to make you aware of the goodness that is going on at pembroke.  Last nite, we had our BSU tuesday nite celebration at Berea Baptist and we held a Baptism service.  We have been preparing and praying that not only those that have chosen to follow Christ be baptized but also that lives will be saved during it.  We partnered with another church that majority is to reach college students that don't have a Baptismal pool to baptize in so between Resurrection Church and BSU we had 17 people signed up and ready to take that NEXT spirtual step in their walk with Christ.    Praise the Lord for 17 people (which all consisted of salvations, rededications, or haven't been baptized since they have believed).  We made an opportunity while the praise and worship songs for people to come and pray and if they wanted to accept Christ into their hearts, that they could come forward cause just cause we had finished baptizing 17 people didn't mean we couldn't hop back in the water and baptize another.  People came to pray and one of our guys from BSU named Nick Brooks went to the front and accepted Christ and got baptized.  His step of faith, became a ripple effect for 4 more students to step out on faith and decide to get baptized as well.  All of it was Praises to God for the work he was doing in and through our lives.  Lives were touched!

 

   Lives were touched that while we were gathering in the kitchen (putting out some food), Aleasha Wilkinson came up to me and was like Sara, I just felt that tug on my heart to get baptized and i would have gone up there if i wasn't all dressed up and I was like girl…i can find you some clothes to change into.  If you feel like you need to be baptized we can do it. She had told Mike Smith (who got baptized too during the service and even made a point to say he was supposed to get baptized in 2 weeks) and we prepared for another baptism.  Of course she didn't want to do it in front of a lot of people cause she has anxiety attacks but Aleasha got baptized tonite with a few people there but she had me be right up there with her so when are she came out of the water she came straight to me.  I was praising the Lord that I had invited her to come to BSU tonite since I hadn't really seen her much but have been praying for her a lot since this summer.   But, when we were leaving the church and going back to the BSU house we had called Carole and told her the awesome news and just the blessings that we saw poured out tonite and how so many lives were touched. 

   

    I know you are now thinking wow…22 people got baptized last nite…but God just continued to keep moving…. Mike Smith's roommate David Trower told him that he wanted to get baptized so the boys went to the pool at the apartments and baptized him and all of us just REJOICED in GOD's GOODNESS tonite.  God has been doing amazing things and I am so blessed to just be a part of it and be able to witness it.  God has been so Good and it makes me to think back to your question this past weekend.  You know we took that mite up to the alter this past weekend and you asked what's your next spiritual step?  Well for 23 people their's was to get baptized and to truly SEEK His Face and and continue to be strengthened in the Lord. 

I just wanted to rejoice with you in the awesome news and have be giving God all the Glory for all of the amazing things that are going on in the town of Pembroke for these college students.  Tonite, I was able to see people on council this year be baptized, girls from my Bible Study, and Aleasha get baptized.  God could not have blessed me more tonite.  God is soo good.  Just thought maybe this would encourage you today, that God is moving and lives are being changed and transformed this year!! 

In Christ,

Sara

God is at work – I'm so thankful to be able to witness it and know that the prayers sent that way have once again shown themselves as being fulfilled. The amazing thing to me is that I KNOW THAT Greater things are coming! God is doing some amazing things, you just have to know where (and how) to look.

Sunday Nite (and Trunk-A-Treat)

Today was a marvelous day at hyde park…

…Last week = No Band, No iServe team, No multi-media, No lights (well, special lighting – we didn't worship in the dark) – if you don't know what that was all about you need to check this out. Today everyone was back (PRAISE JESUS!) and it was "ON"!!! Here's what's in my mind on this Sunday Nite:

  • Can you believe that today is November 1st?
  • Pastor's Message, his 4th in his "Be Free" series was excellent as he tackled some pretty theological stuff in the easy-to-understand way that has become his trademark. I am SO THANKFUL for a man who understands that high on his list of priorities is helping people actually understand God's word that they might apply it to their lives.
  • Remember: You are God's child by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE in CHRIST ALONE.
  • I love me some "fall-back" Sunday's! Can I order an extra hour of sleep for next week as well.
  • SO EXCITED to see the iServe team back in full-force this morning! I LOVE those smiling faces who demonstrate what it means to "make Sunday the Best Day of the week". Our iServe team understands the passion behind that statement.
  • I wonder what the church in general (big "C") would be like if all those who call Jesus "Lord" would take on the attitude of servant rather than spectator to the Christian life?
  • I was so ready to lead worship this morning! I took a day Thursday for the purpose of prayer, refocus and quiet… it worked!
  • Found myself a little distracted during the 10:30 service – by what, you ask? CHRISTMAS! I was thinking about the amazing series we are planning for Christmas and the outreach opportunity that will go with it – God might blow the doors off this place!!!!
  • By the way, it was Pastor's fault I was distracted: he was the one who mentioned Christmas being 8 weeks away.
  • We opened with the Gospel, pure and simple: You lived, You died, You said in 3 days You would rise, You did – Your alive – You rule, You reign, You said You're coming back again, I know You will and all the earth will sing Your praises!
  • DANG!!! Christmas is 8 weeks away?!?!?
  • That previous statement is SO TRUE: some will sing madly, some gladly but I believe ALL will declare Him Lord (once again, because HE said it to be true!!)
  • Only one thing can make the 10:30 service any better: the people who attend 10:30 take ownership of the service and begin utilizing the service as a tool, inviting their friends, family, neighbors and work associates and begin seeing them SAVED. That's the only thing that would make 10:30 better.
  • In other words, 10:30 is generally pretty amazing. 
  • Wondering how many took advantage of the half-off specialty drinks in the ROC Cafe' this morning? If you haven't tried it the Chocolate Espresso is my favorite!
  • Today's Music: All the Earth Will Sing (Paul Baloche), O Praise Him w/Doxology (Crowder / Cottrell arrangement), God of the City (Tomlin / Passion). Powerful stuff.
  • By the way, last night's Trunk-A-Treat/Fall Festival was so successful. I'm continuously blown-away by what happens every October 31st – by far the biggest community event we do each year. This year I intentionally did NO OUTSIDE ADVERTISEMENT (we didn't even put it on the marquee sign out front) – I wanted to see if it would matter; it didn't.  We registered 2,000 people – no telling how many more got by us without registering. We will utilize that information over the next 2 months to reach out to our community.
  • I drove the "hyde park railroad" for an hour and forty-five minutes… literally ran it until the tires started going flat!!!
  • Lots of fun – we couldn't have done it without the hundred plus people who served – without YOU there is no fall festival. THANKS TO YOU ALL!
  • Oh… and thank You Jesus for holding off the rain on Saturday night and Sunday morning. It threatened rain all morning – we had none. That was a prayer of mine today.
  • I had all intentions to say this at the close of both services (and forgot) so I'll say it now: I know that for many of you who attend hyde park the music is a BIG PART of your worship experience – we are currently receiving new choir members – Anyone who is interested in being part of the worship choir at either 9am or 10:30am services please join us this Wednesday Nite at 8pm in the auditorium. Look forward to meeting some new friends and adding some members. (And pass it on to your friends as well).

I close by saying that it was so good to see so many filled with the love of Jesus… some laughing, some crying. People catching up with someone they haven't seen lately, people meeting for the 1st time. Hyde Park is a special place – if you missed the joy it's because YOU missed it…

1Therefore, since we are
surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off
everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let
us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let
us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who
for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and
sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2)

… maybe you have your eyes "fixed" on the wrong thing. My love to you all.