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Archive for March, 2010

6 of the Hundreds…

…of things that are on my mind this morning! Have you had a good week? How about spiritually? Here's what I say personally about this week in reference to myself: It's Friday – thank Jesus that Sunday's Coming! Here are the things that are at the forefront of my mind on this Friday morning:

  1. Loving Lumberton Week – This week people have served in various ways through the city to be the hands and feet of Jesus but to be honest we've just begun. Tomorrow is truly the big day as we live out the gospel in a tangible way throughout this region and THERE IS STILL TIME for you to be part. What can you do? Swing a hammer? Carry boards? Paint? Be a runner on a job site? Can you rake? How about give away a hot dog, drink, a smile and an invite card? If you want to be part let me know. You can also show up at 8:30am tomorrow (saturday, 3/27) at the church – I'm sure they'll find something for you to do.
  2. Our speaker this Sunday is Rev. Mark Meadows. Mark is the Pastor at Antioch Baptist here in Lumberton. Mark is also Mikayla and Kynadie Meadows "PaPa Mark" (which would also make him our Brandon's (Minister of Middle School and Recreation) dad.
  3. For the record: the people who have spoken thus far (and including Pastor Mark) ARE NOT CANDIDATES for our open Pastor job. I've heard that some thought that – it's not true. The way that the process works is that when we finally have a candidate the Search Committee will let you know that "this" is the man. As we continue to fill our pulpit in the absence of a pastor we will continue to use people who are in secure ministry positions and are not looking for a Pastorate.
  4. NEXT FRIDAY NIGHT IS "FINAL WORDS" – 7PM. "Final Words" is a special Good Friday Service that will help all of us to focus on the sacrifice Jesus made for us. It will be a contemplative evening that will finish with a moving time of participating in the Lord's Supper. Do not miss this!
  5. It's hard to believe that Easter is NEXT SUNDAY!!! I am so pumped about preaching my 1st Easter Service ever! I am very excited about the message that the Lord has given me for next weekend – very evangelistic and should be a great message to bring that friend to that you've been praying for. Here's my promise: YOU get them to attend a hyde park easter service with you and I WILL present the gospel of Jesus in the clearest way I possibly can and TOGETHER we will pray that they will be saved.
  6. WHO ARE YOU INVITING TO EASTER SERVICES?!? Let me know so I can pray with you for God to open the necessary doors to their heart.

I love you all – thanks for the privilege to do life with you! See you tomorrow as we love on Lumberton!!!

What’s Your Reaction?

The other night I went to see my friend, Jeff Isenhour preach and he spoke about Christians getting the "Older Brother Syndrome" (O.B.S.) – powerful, convicting message delivered with the excellence that Jeff is known to deliver. The reason I mention it is not to talk about "O.B.S." but rather to highlight a sub-point he brought up. Near the end of his message he said something to the effect of,

"A lack of joy is killing our churches!"

After pointing out the fact that it was the lack of joy in God's church that nearly sent him to hell as a teenager ("I didn't WANT what they had!", he said) he went on to say that a lack of reliance on God's Spirit is killing our attitudes as followers of Jesus. He asked some questions that hit everyone in the room such as,

  • What about you Deacon? Do you remember what you said when they asked you to be a deacon? "I'm not worthy to be ordained as a deacon", and you weren't except for the Spirit of Jesus working within you was changing you to be like Him.
  • What about you Sunday School Teacher? Remember when they asked you to teach and you said, "I'm not qualified to teach…", and you weren't, but God, through His Spirit helped you to do this new thing in your life.
  • What about you Singer? When they asked you to sing that solo at church you thought, "I can sing in the world, but on stage at church?". You recognized that the way God uses a singer in church and in the world was different and therefore called out to God for His ability by His Spirit to use you for His glory. 

Pastor Jeff then said, "The problem is that the things that we used to only be able to do in the spirit we've gotten good enough at to do in our flesh (our own strength/talents). For many of us our attitude has moved from a humble reliance on God's Spirit to,

  • the deacon saying, "they better run that by me before they do anything in this church". What happened to not being worthy?
  • the Sunday School teacher, who didn't feel qualified to teach now sometimes comes in half-prepared and half-prayed up, relying on their ability to communicate INSTEAD of the power of God that drove them as new teachers.
  • the singer who knew that without JESUS they were nothing in the beginning now says, "I can't believe they didn't let ME sing that song!". What happened?

What about you? My reaction: personal conviction. What's your reaction? If you've disliked what I've written you may want to read it again as our initial reaction greatly reveals the true attitude of our hearts. I want true joy – I want Jesus.

Think on these things.

These words are just resonating with me this morning… Do you love HIM as much as you love the thought of Him? Do you love Him or do you love church? Is His love truly being reflected in your life and your actions (seriously ask yourself this question)? A life marked by a repentant lifestyle has the potential to express itself as this song describes

A Greater Song (Paul Baloche / Matt Redman)

Who could imagine a melody
True enough to tell of Your mercy?
Who could imagine a harmony
Sweet enough to tell of Your love?
I see the heavens proclaiming day after day,
And I know in my heart that there must be a way

To sing a greater song,
A greater song to You on the earth.
To sing a greater song,
A greater song to You on the earth.

Who could imagine a symphony,
Grand enough to tell of Your glory?
Our highest praise but a feeble breath
A whisper of Your thunderous worth.

I see the heavens proclaiming day after day,
And I know in my heart that there must be a way

To sing a greater song,
A greater song to You on the earth.
To sing a greater song,
A greater song to You on the earth.

Hallelujah, we want to lift You higher,
Hallelujah, we want to lift You higher.

I see the heavens proclaiming day after day,
And I know in my heart that there must be a way

Hallelujah, we want to lift You higher,
Hallelujah, we want to lift You higher. 
© 2006 Sparrow

Loving Lumberton Week


Next week, March 22-28th, we will, as a church, get outside the walls of Hyde Park and serve our city. How can we as a church body "LOVE" our city if we only gather together inside the walls of our church and never touch outside:

As James 2:26 says, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

We currently have about 60 people signed up – 60? Is that enough? NO! Our goal is 500 community service hours served next week and we need Hyde Park (the Body, all of it) to come together in unity to live out our mission: to Love God, Love People and Serve our World. Begin to pray now – "will I be obedient to serve our city?" 

The projects that we are working on will be:

  • Yard care
  • Small home repairs
  • Painting a home
  • Meals on Wheels (we're gonna fill a cooler with hot dogs and feed whoever will take them)
  • Building Handicapped Ramps
  • Car Care Ministry
  • Visitation Teams

Sign up here to be part

How You Can Make a Difference this Easter

The headline read like this: 

Few Plan to Invite Unchurched to Easter Service

I sadly read this article Tuesday morning – it went on to say:

Less than half of American churchgoers plan to invite unchurched people to Easter worship service this year, a new survey found

Only one out of three active churchgoers (31 percent) said they would definitely invite someone they know who does not usually attend church to join them for Easter service, according to a Barna Group survey that examines Americans’ view on Easter.

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group and the one who directed the project, said he thinks the most troubling survey finding from a church leaders’ perspective is that most people who do know the meaning of Easter are not particularly inclined to invite unchurched friends to worship.

I think the line that got me the most is the following:

It suggests "that their personal beliefs about Jesus have not yet translated into a sense of urgency for having spiritual conversations with their acquaintances," Kinnaman said.

They went on to say:

“One of the challenges to pastors and other church leaders is to find out what’s actually preventing them from following through on that willingness,” said the Barna Group president.

The last statement is very much why Hyde Park works hard to give you ideas about how to utilize Easter as more than just a day of worship but also as a day of hope for those that you love.

We want to help you reach those that you care about – to team with you and your family to impact of the lives of those that you are praying for and that God has purposely placed in your lives.

Here are some things we are working on to make Easter 2010 a life-changing week:

  • We are praying – that might be a "DUH!", but… we know that what we are asking God to do in our midst is supernatural, something that only HE can do. This Sunday night we will join together for a special prayer service at 6pm. We will be praying for the lost, our church, our transition, our search committee, Easter, personal and corporate revival as well as Loving Lumberton Week. Everyone is invited to join us to be part of this great evening of prayer. If you have someone that we can pray for in our prayer groups Sunday night let me know.
  • Find 'IT' Here – we are teaming up with our State Convention and churches across our state to encourage people that they can "Find 'IT' Here" this Easter. How can you be part?

    Begin praying today for the salvation of non-Christian family, friends and neighbors. Who has God place in your life that He wants to reach through you?

    Pray that the Lord would open the door to invite those people (and more) to be part of the life-changing Easter services we have planned for April 4th – 9&10:30am

    Pray for me as I prepare to preach my message with the focus of people being saved and returning to Jesus on Easter Sunday. Listen: I BELIEVE THAT MANY PEOPLE WILL BE SAVED! It could be your friend, your neighbor, your sister; it might even be your grandma!

    Pray that they will follow through with believers baptism on April 11th. I want to see many follow through in their new-found faith on that day and look forward to baptizing them on that day!  

  • Our Good Friday Service, Final Words – "Final Words" is going to be a special evening of contemplation, prayer and focus on the cross. Our prayer for "Final Words" is that the church will gather to remember the sacrifice, to celebrate the Lord's Supper together, to pray corporately one last time for those people they have been praying for/inviting that Sunday morning will be the day that changes their lives. The more we work on "Final Words" the more excited I get.

The article said that most believer's WON'T invite someone to Easter services even though statistics show that most people will attend church with someone if they're invited. Let's not be satisfied with the status-quo this year – let's do what churches aren't supposed to do in the absence of a pastor: flourish and grow.

Who's with me?