Another Sunday is drawing to a close – my 1st post Hawaiian vacation. Being that it has been 2 weeks since I've been at hyde park I was really looking forward to worshiping this morning with my church family – as we brought a seriously powerful offering of praise it was certainly "on". Here's what's on my mind 2nite:
- Week 4 of the "Fresh Start" series brought a message on "Fresh Faith". As Pastor admonished and encouraged to be a people who were living by faith I couldn't help but think of the journey that we are currently on in the area of pastoral transition.
- When we talk about walking by faith instead of relying on our own sight I was thinking how easy it is to forget what that truly means. Pastor was talking of Abram and the call of God to leave his home and go to an unknown place (God told him He, God, would let Abram know when he got to the right place). It makes me think of Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding". I think most of us rely way too much on our earthly understanding.
- I will never forget the way that God taught me about faith when He showed me that faith is believing something you can't see… it was like the lightbulb came on and I have NEVER been the same.
- So good to get bunches of hugs and kisses this morning from my church family. I got lots of "Aloha's" this morning.
- I was so excited to share our new song "Sing, Sing, Sing" this morning: We will sing, sing, sing and make music with the heavens, we will sing, sing, sing, grateful that You hear us when we shout Your praise, lift high the Name of Jesus!
- Our music today: New Doxology (Gateway Worship), Sing, Sing, Sing (Chris Tomlin), Jesus Paid it All (Passion), I Will Rise (Tomlin).
- I just about lost it in the 2nd service on "I Will Rise" when we got to the 2nd verse: there's a day that's drawing near when this darkness breaks to light, and the shadows disappear and my faith shall be my eyes." As I sang that I found myself thinking about the place that I am right now and… well, I know that a day of light is coming…
- I will attend my 1st meeting as a member of the Board of Directors for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina this week. Definitely looking forward to meeting new people and seeing how I can be part of making a difference on the state level. It's definitely an honor to be part of this group of men and women – I pray and expect to learn much from my new friends.
- Definitely looking forward to begin planning for our Easter services tomorrow! I am certainly humbled at the privilege of being the man to bring God's Word on such an important day in the life of our church. Please pray for me as I begin to seek God's leadership for that message.
- Which brings me to what is on my mind tonite: I watched the 10 year anniversary service at Newspring Church tonite. For their 10th anniversary they rented the Bi-Lo Center Arena in Greenville so they could bring their 4 campuses together for 1 huge celebration (remember "Hyde Park 40" at Robeson Community College?). As I saw a church that celebrated something that ONLY JESUS could do my heart burned within me…
- I was told a couple of weeks ago that an anonymous person (I didn't ask who) thought that my dreams were too big for a town like Lumberton. They mentioned my "association" with Newspring church in Anderson (which is none except some of their staff has blessed me by answering questions, giving advice and blessing our people when we've visited) and made a comment like, "Mike looks at things that they do at that church in Anderson, SC, but THAT'S in SC, that's not little Lumberton."
- Some facts: Population of Lumberton: 22,006; Population of Anderson, SC: 27,027 – Anderson is not a big city… yet God has used a small group of people to lead over 6,000 people to Jesus in the past 10 years because they were willing to be the kind of church that lost people (who visited with their friends) were willing to give a 2nd look.
- What God has done in Anderson He CAN DO HERE!!! God wants to turn this region upside down for His glory! I BELIEVE! Have we forgotten that our God can do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,"? (Eph 3:20) We are not bringing glory to Jesus when we undersell what He can do in us and through us.
God is not finished in Lumberton – God is not finished at hyde park – God is waiting for a people who are willing to rise up and personally reach people with His good news
"Jesus, I love You, thank You for allowing me to serve Your church – Use me for Your glory."