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Archive for April, 2010

What’s the Word for Today?

Just had a buddy send me an email which read: 

"What’s up pastor Mike!?!………gotta word for me today?  Hope you and the family are doing great. Love you man!"

I decided that my reply was not just for him but for all of us:

Hey Bro!


The Word for today is Proverbs 3:5,6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.


I'm am leaning on Him today – leaning on His promises – leaning on His Word. I am BEGGING Him to make my paths straight and heading straight for His will concerning my family and I.

To all of you who read me and are encouraged through the words that I share, I just wanted to let you know on this Monday afternoon that my heart is on fire for Jesus, His mission for me and the Passion (His passion) that saved me and brought me to this place. Just like you, I don't know what tomorrow holds but I know WHO holds my hand. For that I am encouraged because Jesus has promised that He's got my back. 

Who's got your back?

I’m High-5ing Ya!

Just wanted to acknowledge that I noticed that many of you brought friends to church this past Sunday for our Easter Services! I told you that you could tell your friends that they could find "IT" here on Easter Sunday. For those of you who did…

I'M HIGH-5ing YA!!! WAY TO GO!!! WAY TO LOVE THAT PERSON, TO NOT GIVE-UP ON THAT PERSON, TO CONTINUE PRAYING FOR THAT PERSON, AND FOR BELIEVING GOD THAT HE HAS HEARD YOUR PRAYERS FOR THEM! 

Sunday might not have changed their life, but don't give up on someone because they didn't come OR that they did come but did not receive Jesus. Every week we do everything we can to make sure that the Gospel is clear to those who are being drawn to God so continue to remind your friends that we have a celebration of Jesus' resurrection from the dead EVERY Sunday at Hyde Park. Remember: What we do isn't an Easter thing – there are tens of thousands in our area who do not know Jesus. 

Keep investing in lives, keep inviting people to experience the life-change that only Jesus Himself can promise – it WILL eventually pay off and we'll have Hi-5's all around :)

I have shared this story before, but in honor of our baptism coming up this weekend I began thinking about my own:

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 saved me and begun changing my heart and life!". 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

Sunday Nite (Easter Edition)

We had an incredible weekend at Hyde Park. The house is quiet this morning and I am up early thanking God for all that I have been part of over the past couple of days. Here's what went down in my life over the past couple of days

  • First, I want to say thank you to all who made this weekend go down the way that they did. Hyde Park has the most excellent volunteers!!! 
  • The services this weekend were overseen by Brandon Meadows and Rhonda Lovin who both did a superb job at bringing the story of our Lord's Resurrection to the forefront – so proud of both of you – I love sharing the stage with both of you. I also love to share life with you both. Also to our band and singers, who put in extra work to make sure that this weekend came off right – I LOVE YOU and love serving with all of you!
  • Most of you wouldn't know this but there were people who were specifically praying the whole way through our services yesterday morning. Some had the actual scheduled order of service and were praying through that. Thanks to Chris Smith and Rhonda Lovin for organizing that. Your prayers were not only appreciated; I believe that they were answered in many ways yesterday.
  • We began Resurrection Weekend on Good Friday night with our "Final Words" service. What a sweet spirit in the place as we remembered… 
  • I was really excited about the weekend when I was told by a hyde park member of their friend who came to the Good Friday Service and gave their heart to Jesus. The person said to me, "tonight, after giving her heart to Jesus she participated in her first Lord's Supper as a Christian." WOW! I'm still rejoicing on that one.
  • Music on Friday: Once Again (Matt Redman), The Old Rugged Cross (PraiseHymns arrangement), At the Cross (PraiseCharts arrangement), Jesus Paid it All (Passion Arrangement) and the Stuart Townsend classic, "How Deep the Father's Love for Us". The Good Friday service opened with our teenagers, Potter's Hands doing an interpretation of the Fee song, "Beautiful the Blood" (which is a song that I absolutely LOVE!).
  • Saturday morning, with our kidz still in the bed, Keyna and I headed out to the church to help with the Easter Egg Hunt. Our "Visor Making Table" was a much bigger hit than I thought it would be. It must have been the beautiful lady sitting next to me. I noticed that there were a lot of little boys coming to make a visor… and they were always going to her side of the table… hmmm… :) 
  • We had a packed house for our Sunday Services. It's always an encouraging sign when they start putting out chairs.
  • The title of my message was "Do You See 'IT'?". I spoke from Luke 24:13-45, when Jesus, on the day of His resurrection, walks with the men to the town of Emmaus and they didn't have eyes to see 'IT'. There are so many instances in all of our lives that God is ALL IN but we don't have the spiritual eyes to see 'IT'.
  • From my message: (verse 21) "But we had hoped that He was the One to redeem Israel." They were hoping that Jesus was going to save them from this world so when He died all their HOPE was gone. What do you HOPE about Jesus?
  • I told a little about my past desire to be a rockstar. Sometimes I wonder how seriously people take that story. Just for the record, I didn't want to be a rockstar like my 9 year old son, Matt, wants to play in the NBA. I pursued a record deal until the age of 25.
  • From my message, "He was there during that as well".
  • My favorite passage of scripture from the message: They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” What was "IT" that Jesus was saying that was resonating so deeply within them? "IT" isn't church or religion, words or superstitions – "IT" is the the power of God, spoken thousands of years earlier yet coming true before their very eyes. I think the reason this affects me so deeply is because it happened to ME! When Jesus opened my heart to receive His truth nobody had to drag me to church – I couldn't WAIT to get to church – I STILL CAN'T WAIT TO WORSHIP WITH GOD'S PEOPLE! 
  • Our goal for yesterday's service was to tell the Easter Story in a different way and I think that we did. The narration in the service was done by a local man named Kenny Britt, who has a tremendous speaking voice.
  • Sunday morning's music: Because He Lives, You are My King (Amazing Love), Lead Me to the Cross (Hillsong United), When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Hallelujah to My King (Baloche), Christ Arose (HymnCharts arrangements) and Nothing But the Blood of Jesus (Hillsong United arrangment)
  • About this weekends music: you can't say that we didn't work the old stuff in this weekend :)
  • My favorite part of this weekends music? When the lights went to black, the spotlight lit up the 10 foot cross center stage and Rhonda sang that haunting version of "Nothing But the Blood". That's one of those songs that we normally sing in such a happy manner that we miss the powerful words. Awesome!
  • I haven't seen the final numbers yet but a lot of people publicly asked Jesus to come into their hearts yesterday. If you know one of them (or are one) please help us to help them towards their next step of baptism. We are having baptism next weekend – please contact me so we can get it lined up.
  • Easter is Over – HE's Still Alive! For those who check us out on Easter, we'll be having another resurrection celebration next Sunday – 9 and 10:30am :)
  • With next Sunday's Services in mind, our guest speaker next Sunday is Jonathan Lotz. Jonathan is an evangelist and is President of The Lotz Foundation. Jonathan is the son of best-selling author and speaker, Anne Graham Lotz (who reminds me so much of her father, Billy Graham). Looking forward to great services with Jonathan.

“IT”

When He was born of a virgin – did you see it?
When He was baptized in the Jordan – did you desire it?
When He made water into wine – could you taste it?
When He was rejected by religious people – did you reject it?
When He preached the sermon on the mount – did you hear it?
When He walked on water – could you conceive it?
When He fed the 5000 – did you understand it?
When He taught us how to pray – could you speak it?
When He held the Last Supper – did you grieve it?
When He comforted His Disciples – could you embrace it?
When He went to the garden to pray – did you need it?
When He sweat drops of blood – did you see it?
When He was arrested and alone – did you abandon it?
When He was put on trial – did you ignore it?

When He was beaten and tortured – could you feel it?
When He was pierced with a crown of thorns – did you feel it?
When He was spit on and mocked – would you feel it?

When they beat Him beyond recognition – could you recognize it?
When He was forced to carry the cross – could you carry it?

With each nail driven into His hand – could you feel it?
As the nail was driven into His feet – did you feel it?

When He cried out, "It Is Finished!" – did you hear it?
When He was buried in the tomb – would you believe it?
When the grave could not hold Him – do you celebrate it?
When He was taken up to sit at the right hand of the Father – do you rejoice in it?

When you realize it was done for you – will you accept it?

What is it? It is FORGIVENESS

(written by Joshua Shelley)


I'll take "IT" one step further tomorrow morning in our Easter Celebration – Mike P

9am and 10:30am – Who are you inviting to Easter?
Hyde Park Baptist Church