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Archive for July, 2010

Official Blogation

I was readin this morning and had a thought, “I didn’t mention that I wouldn’t be posting this week on WholeHearted”; so, For those who were wondering, I am officially taking a blogation this week as I spend some time with my family (they’re all asleep.right now – that’s why I am talking to you).

When I get back I will be posting quite regularly and as of August I will begin publicly sharing what’s on the horizon with our church start (Really looking forward to doing that)

See you next week.

My Children’s Generation

Worshiphands Sunday morning I worshiped the Lord loudly on the front row with my daughter and her friends. As we lifted our voices to the King of all kings I thought about how much I want these young people to "get" what I didn't get as a teen.

Unfortunately, we are spiritually losing this generation of teenagers.

We lost my generation, we lost the generation behind me and we are in the process of losing my children's generation.

NO!!!!!!

This generation has too much potential to serve the Lord – their ability is through the roof! The statistics say that they are a spiritual bunch… they aren't anti-God… but many have decided that "the church" is not what is missing from their life. Might it be because we have reduced the Gospel to a moral code, a bunch of meetings that aren't designed with them in mind with no evident presence of the Holy Spirit in their midst? Maybe.

I believe if we want to reach this generation we have to invest in them NOW – we must teach them the truth NOW – we must challenge them to step it up NOW and we must use them in ministry NOW because God has called this generation to change "their world".

I believe that us "old people" aren't going to reach this generation…  if we are really serious about reaching them than we must HELP THEM reach their generation. 

Step up and be counted young people, the Lord is calling you to His side.

What Makes Us Different?

Ingodspresence In my message Sunday morning, "Why are we Content?" (from Exodus 33) I was talking about the great need of God's visible presence above all things in and on our lives. For me, the part that just slays me is verse 15 and 16:

[15] And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. [16] For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16 ESV)

The unmistakable presence of Jesus Christ is what is supposed to set us apart – CHURCH, that's supposed to be us!!! Sometimes I feel as if we have reduced Christianity to a set of moral values, classes, meetings with like minded people having no evident power of the Holy Spirit in our midst! The cause of Christ is not about a church approved dress code or a certain style of music – it's not young people or older people and it has nothing to do with casual or proper – IT'S THE PRESENCE OF THE JESUS!!! God didn't come to make us good – He's here to live within us, to fill us with His unmistakable presence and to place the aroma of His Son all over our lives. What does it look like?

  • When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and quoted the prophet Joel – that was the presence of Jesus!
  • After 3,000 people gave their lives to Jesus and the Church was established the people lived in a way that was totally different - that was the presence of Jesus!
  • When Peter and John were being persecuted for speaking of Jesus it is obvious that they made an impact – that was the presence of Jesus!

What about you? How can we be content with anything less than everything that God longs to pour into our lives. Many people look at church as a spiritual part of their life and have missed the relational aspect of what God wants to do in their life. Many have believed the lie that as long as they sit under good gospel preaching and teaching and live a moral life they are living out the life of a disciple. 

The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, said, "it is not mere teaching that can make a man Christ-like; it is beholding Christ – Christ shining upon that man's face, and the man reflecting the light which he has thus received… we must have the presence of God for His people's sake for without Him they can do nothing."

So many are content to watch someone else stand before God on their behalf rather than themselves be actively involved with Him – May we be content no more. 

Sunday Nite

Content  <<<< I'm still trippin' on this guy (check out Friday's post to see why)

Today was a pretty amazing day at Hyde Park. The morning started out really promising with me being fired up to speak God's Word – the message was tough… tough for the speaker and tough for the hearer as I placed before our church the question, "Why are we Content?". It was a tough day in more ways that one…

Today was the last time that I will preach in the pulpit of Hyde Park Church as a member of the staff and that was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong – I am really excited about the mission that the Lord has placed before me (I believe I get more excited by the day) but the reality that my 11 years of ministry at this great church is coming to an end was a little tougher than I imagined it would be.

  • It seemed as if today was my last day but I actually have at least one, possibly two weeks left leading worship at Hyde Park. 
  • My day has been absolutely FILLED with testimony… one after another all day long (both at church and then online, emails, facebook, inbox messages) people at Hyde Park have shared with me the way that God has used me in their lives. It has been the most humbling experience I have ever had.
  • As Keyna and I ate dinner this evening I was sharing the stories that so many of you shared… As I did so we both began to tear up and the tears were about to flow… I had to stop. I bet the people in that Mexican restaurant either thought we were having marital problems or I had been eating those habanero peppers again 
  • Those of you who have shared, honestly, you made my year… My constant prayer is "God, use me to lead people to you, use me to lead them to a deeper place in You" – your testimonies were an answer to prayer.
  • In the 10:30 service the altar was filled with people crying out to God… I love to see God at work in the heart of His people.
  • Hey, where my geese at?!? HONK, HONK!
  • There was an amazing lead guitarist who I know is deeply in love with Jesus sitting about 3 rows from the back worshiping this morning at the 10:30. If you're reading this, God's getting ready to use you, bro!
  • So proud of Rhonda and Brandon today. How amazing is it to step out of the worship leader position and allow people who have grown with you to lead you to the throne of grace? This morning you guys lead me to worship… I worshiped Jesus with everything that I had… I sang with all I had… I surrendered all that I had… My prayer for you was that you would leave EVERY BIT of the worship alloted to you today by the Holy Spirit on that stage… you did! 
  • Thanks for not wasting the Lord's gift.
  • I received a surprising gift this morning between services which only emboldened my faith. I discovered what it was during what could have been a terrible time – you blessed me at exactly the right time. Thank you for your obedience – you know who you are.
  • What a blessing to worship with your daughter and her friends (on the front row, no less). Y'all, I believe that God's hand is on this generation. We better quit judging what we don't like about them and harness their potential. 
  • My wife, on facebook this afternoon said she, "Is so proud of her husband and the way God is using him….I love you Mike P….I am so happy to serve with you."  Outside of the Lord Jesus Christ there is no one, NO ONE, whom I long to hear those words. If you didn't know, I love me some Keyna, DANG!
  • Today's worship: Our God (Chris Tomlin/Passion), Hosanna (Hillsong), The Power of Your Love (Hillsong… OLD, old hillsong). I told the 2nd service, after the worship team rocked my world with that great song that "The Power of Your Love" was one of the songs that God used to help us to musically transition from the church that we were to the church that we are. As we sang it I thought, "how appropriate" even though the thought didn't cross our mind in worship planning.
  • By the way: I work with an amazing group of talented, wonderful musicians. Thanks for propping me up for so long.

Are You Content?

Content This guy is obviously content (check out the shirt). 

I've been wrestling with this scripture this week. Actually, I've struggled with it much of my Christian life. As much as my heart is NOT content with the place that I am with God I am amazed at how easy it is for my mind to actually be like the guy

<<<<<<<<<<<< to the left.

What about you?

As we look forward to what I believe will be a great Sunday at Hyde Park I hope that you will take the time do the following things: 1. take a few minutes to read Exodus Chapter 33 so you will have the familiarity of what we're talking about, and 2. pray and ask God to show you the important areas of your life that you have been unfortunately content and ask Him to help you obediently give those areas back to Him.

While you're at it, if you don't mind, pray that God will fill me with power to speak His Word. Hope to see you Sunday.