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Archive for April, 2011

Can’t Wait for Sunday (and what you missed)

Verona

Haven't done this in a while but really feeling it this morning.

Just had my first sip of today's blend, Cafe Verona, and it's on!!! Prepare for a caffeine fueled, passion driven blast that just throws everything that hits my mind onto your screen…

  • I cannot wait for Sunday for a couple of reasons: 1. For those of you who can honestly say, "I Want a New Life", Week 2 is going to rock. There is power in the verses we tackle Sunday morning. I challenge you to begin praying now that God will prepare your heart and mind. 2. Sunday's music is gonna be SMOKIN'! DO. NOT. BE. L-A-T-E!
  • If you missed Sunday's message it's HERE.
  • Speaking of a new life, I talked about how a person begins the journey towards new life the other day. If you missed it you can find it HERE.
  • I am seriously looking forward to our Night of Worship at the Carolina Civic Center on May 20th. I have wanted to do an event at CCC for years and now we will! Doors will open at 6:30pm, and the event will conclude by 8:30pm. The event is FREE but THIS IS A TICKETED EVENT so we can keep up with seating. Because of limited seating and the fact that there will be no childcare available, this event is limited to those 7 years of age or older. (Get your free tickets here)
  • Please pray for our drummer, James Ward, who was admitted to the hospital last night with chest pains. James is a serious blessing and is a walking testimony to the grace of Jesus.
  • We baptized 9 people last weekend – their video testimonies are here and here.
  • I had a great conversation with a young man who is an amazing leader yesterday, Jason Lineberger. Jason is Lead Pastor of Ignite Church in Greenville, NC. Ignite meets on the campus of ECU and is just blowing up. So proud of this group and thankful for him taking the time to counsel with someone like myself.
  • We have some really big decisions to make. Your prayers are appreciated.
  • Last night Vertical entered into a "watchcare" agreement with the Robeson Baptist Association. For one year we are like a probationary member before we become full members. I shared with the group what God has been up to at VC. They were very encouraging.
  • Lastly, the other weekend I made a trip back to a time in my life which was filled with uncertainty, yet fueled by my faith. Here's my post from Tuesday (the 1 year anniversary of the time i'm referring to), A Lot Can Happen in a Year http://bit.ly/dHZSgU

I am floored. The conversations I have had or have been told about are just amazing. God is at work… I am so thankful He called us out into this endeavor. "May Your glory fill our land, Lord! In Jesus Name".

See you Sunday (and don't be late)

More Easter Testimony Videos

Your videos on Vimeo
We had the privilege of seeing 9 people profess their faith in Jesus through baptism last weekend (I shared the 1st three videos HERE). So exciting to see people cross the line from death to life! Here are the remaining 6 videos:

Jon from mike pittman on Vimeo.

Patricia from mike pittman on Vimeo.

Rachel from mike pittman on Vimeo.

Caitlin from mike pittman on Vimeo.

Randy from mike pittman on Vimeo.

Gabriel from mike pittman on Vimeo.

Video Testimonies (Easter Weekend)

Your videos on Vimeo
For me, one of the most exciting things we do at Vertical are the video testimonies we show right before a person's baptism. This testimony allows people the opportunity to make a public profession of their faith and to share how Jesus has been working in their life.

Do people have to do a video to be baptized? Yes, if they want to be baptized at Vertical. For us the testimony is the public profession of an inward decision and transformation following a person's salvation experience. Not to mention the fact that it gives a person the opportunity to share God's message of redemption with hundreds of people and allows friends, family and congregation members to celebrate God's transformation in your life.

Although people are nervous about doing the video they find it to be easy once they get here, we have prayer together, talk through the process (and laugh a little). We had 9 people profess their faith through baptism this past Sunday. Here are some of our Vertical Stories from Easter Weekend.

Nikki from mike pittman on Vimeo.

Isaiah from mike pittman on Vimeo.

Leigh Anne from mike pittman on Vimeo.

How to Make Preparation for A New Life

Vertical Church   Current Series   Current Series
What we're talking about is not how to have a better life… we're not talking finances, healing or blessing. You don't need a better life – you need a new life. What you may be missing may surprise you. 

[24] Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. [25] So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them,Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” [26] Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” [27] Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” [28] Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

MY Lord and MY God.

A personal declaration of a commitment to Him. It's not you and a pastor – it's you and your God. YOUR God. The reason that some of you have never what you might perceive as a spiritual breakthrough in your life is because you have never made this statement. Maybe you have made the statement but you left HIM the way a wayward father walks out on his family.

Many people have religion but never move their belief into the realm of relationship. 

Thomas didn't doubt Jesus existence and you probably don't either. For Thomas it took seeing Jesus resurrected to personally experience and trust His power. For you it's going to take a step of faith; Jesus said in this very passage, [29] Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”(John 20:29 ESV). The first step to truly beginning a new life is truly trusting Jesus. Thomas was unsure – NOW he believes. For you it's truly trusting despite your unsureness; truly trusting despite your insecurities. We're talking about the base definition of faith – believing in something that you cannot see.

What about you? Do you really want a new life or are you just hoping for a better one? If you're ready to move away from surface knowlege and into the realm of relationship it may just begin with a simple statement that changes perspective – MY Lord and MY God.

Make sure you do not miss Sunday as I will give you some muscle to lay this statement upon. 

 

A Lot Can Happen in a Year

The other weekend we were in Southport for a dance competition. No, it wasn't a Pastor's dance competition (which would be awesome – I would stomp them with my jig). On second thought we will leave the dancing to my daughter, Madison. Back to where I was going…

We were staying in a hotel that we had stayed in on this weekend last April. It was at this hotel that I had a phone conversation that would change my life. I decided to walk down there to the very spot where it happened to take a couple of pictures.

IMG_20110417_102013

IMG_20110417_101954 While I was standing in this stairwell on a Saturday morning I spoke with Frank White, church planting consultant with the Baptist State Convention of NC. As I shared my heart with him regarding church planting I told him that it was time to act upon that which I was strongly sensing the Lord leading me into – I was called to be a church planter. It felt good to have this conversation. Although it was a little scary it was quite liberating.

And then came Monday…

On today's date one year ago, a Monday, I truly stepped into intimidating waters. I received the strength to do so from God's Word.

[7] The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. [8] And as for you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’”… [13] And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.”… [15] and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), [16] the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. [17] Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan. (Joshua 3:7-17 ESV)

If you don't know much about this time, Moses had recently died and everything was changing. They had a new leader and their lives were changing quickly – they were going to quit wandering around the desert because it was now time (according to their new leader, Joshua) to go into the promised land.

Before the water could heap up the priest carrying the ark had to step into the waters. I'm sure they had doubts of what their leader, Joshua, was telling them to do. "What if the raging water doesn't stop?" some may say. "What if when we do what we've been told to do (step in the water) it causes us to drop the ark and make God angry?" – that was a possibility. "What if God doesn't 'show up' and we are embarrassed in front of all the people?". 

I had some of the same doubts about my decision…

  • "What if I step out in faith and can't make it (what if the raging water doesn't stop?).
  • "What if we do this wrong and lead wrongly (What if when we do what we've been told to do (step in the water) it causes us to drop the ark and make God angry)?
  • "What if a church like this won't work in this area (people were saying that)? What if God doesn't 'show up' and we are embarrassed in front of all the people?"

Those aren't the only thoughts, just the more spiritual. I also dealt with thoughts like "What if I'm crazy?" (keep your comments to yourself on this one). How can I leave the security of my current situation? How will we make ends meet? How can I leave the church that I love and have served for over a decade?"

You know, a lot can happen in a year. It's very important that we remember that before God would make the waters heap up He told the priest to step in first. What might God be instructing you to do that must happen before the waters can heap up in your life?

I would love to hear your answers. Inbox me if you "dare" for me to pray for it to happen.