- Had a good day today!
- Ok any day where 6 people come into a relationship with Christ qualifies as not just a good day, but a great day!
- What a fun series as we look back at the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
- Again the band did a fantastic job of putting a medley together.
- That I got to help by rapping, Parent’s Just Don’t Understand was not only fun, but nerve-wracking.
- I didn’t have in-ear monitors, so I had to go off the sound from the house,
but you guys were cheering so loud that I couldn’t hear the beat…got off a
few times, but all in all it was fun to participate.
- I’m thinking Andrea was born to do covers of other bands…she again
killed her parts!
- Had two new people on the team today and for the first time out, we
threw a lot of stuff at them and they came through…thanks Dan and
- I again think that the medley wound people up and by the worship set
you guys were raring to go.
- I loved that during the 9:45, there was one point where all our vocalists
dropped out and for about 1 minute it was nothing but the sound of your
- I thought Brian did an awesome job with the song, Everybody Hurts. What a great intro into the message.
- I know today’s message wasn’t all touchy-feely, but it was something we all need to be reminded of from time to time.
- If Jesus brand was “love” and “compassion”, what makes us think ours should be anything different?
- I’m really excited about the new You Matter ministry.
- If you want to practically apply today’s message by getting involved helping the hurting in our community, You Matter is definitely the ministry for you to get involved with.
- Big props to Scott McCurley for dressing in his best 1980’s costume…wow that was impressive. Don’t forget you can dress the part each week as well.
- Next week we’ll again look at the 80’s, this time with the song, Don’t Stop Believing.
- Almost hard to believe, but today marks the 1-year anniversary since we expanded to 2 Experiences.
- What’s amazing is that one year ago we were blown away by the attendance. In fact we set a record that day.
- Today even though we had higher attendance than 1 year ago, it felt like a let down because people are still in full vacation mode.
- I’m excited about this series, but can’t wait for the next one when everyone is back and in inviting mode and we see dozens come to Christ each week, not just 1/2 dozen.
- You say. “Gilbert can’t you just be content with what we’ve got”?
- And the answer is a big fat NO. As long as there are people in our community that don’t yet know Jesus, our mission is not complete.
- Join me in making a difference…you won’t regret it!
- Invite someone to church with you next week.
- Help “You Matter” to feed children in the Boys and Girls Club this week.
- Wear your “You Matter” wristband all week and use it to share the good news with others.
- YOU MATTER and you can make a difference!
Archives for August 2009
In this past week’s message, Imagine, I encouraged everyone to all week long remind yourselves when confronted with a tough situation or a person that you didn’t want to deal with or who had angered you in some way, to just simply say, “Here’s My Chance”. My chance to love the way God would want me to. To forgive in the same way Jesus has forgiven me. To prove to Jesus that I care more for others than I do for myself.
Monday I had my first opportunity to remind myself…”Here’s my chance”…and wow am I glad I followed through by “inconvenicing” myself to help someone else. Through e-mails, this blog and Facebook others have also shared some of their “Here’s My Chance” moments.
So how about you? Are you reminding yourself of this? If so, please share with everyone what happened so we can all be encouraged that it can be done.
Note: The Chambersburg Public Opinion is doing an article on how people dress for church. They are interviewing Earl this morning and he asked me to write up something with some of my thoughts. Don’t know if any of this will get used or not, but thought I’d pass along for you to get my 2 cents on the subject.
I always tell people that how they dress is greatly dependent on their primary view of Jesus. If your primary view is that of ruler, King, authority figure, etc., then when you go to his house, you will probably get all dressed up. If however your primary view of Jesus is that of being your best friend, then you’ll probably dress more casual.
For me personally there are two aspects to it…one is personal and the other is professional. From a personal standpoint, if I were to visit with our governor or President I would get dressed up. The reason for that is to be respectful, but mostly I’m doing it for them because that’s what they would expect and possibly require and in some ways I’d be doing it trying to impress. On the other hand, if I go to my best friend Andy or Bill’s house in a suit, they are going to laugh at me. To them it’s not about what I look like, but rather what’s going on inside of me that counts. So for me personally, I don’t get dressed up for church because I choose to see Jesus as my best friend. It was Jesus Himself in Matthew 23 who condemned the “religious leaders” of His day for looking good on the outside, but on the inside being dead. I guess my point is Jesus couldn’t care less what you look like on the outside, it’s what’s going on inside you that He’s most concerned about.
Now from a professional stand point, we have a little joke in United that our dress code is, “Please Do”. One objection that un-churched people often have is, “I don’t have anything to wear so I can’t come to church”. I’ve had quite a few stories from people who said they were able to share, “Well our pastor usually wears jeans and a t-shirt to preach in so as long as you have something like that, you’ll fit right in”. In the same way I’ve had new people tell me how comfortable it made them feel and how much more relatable I was because of the casual environment. The apostle Paul said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some”. So for me if dressing casually will help remove barriers that might be keeping people from coming into a relationship with Jesus then I’m all for it.
This past Sunday the Experiences switched to be 1/2 hour later than they used to be. On Thursday night the band worked really hard and really late to get the 1970’s medley ready for Sunday morning. As practice was wrapping up, they asked if on Sunday mornings we were now going to begin our practices 1/2 hour later than usual. I said yes eventually, but for this week let’s stay with the normal time so we can run through the medley a few more times.
Now Sunday rolls around and practice goes smoothly and wraps up 45 minutes before the 1st Experience is to start. What to do with my time? I figured well I can go down to my office and one more time look through my notes for that mornings sermon. Now realize this is something I’m never able to do on Sunday mornings…in other words to be sitting in my office on a Sunday morning is a rarity.
While there, the phone rings. Knowing I’m the only one in the office area, I answered it. On the other end was a guy who randomly called our church saying he was in need to speak with a pastor. I told him I and the other pastors were getting ready to conduct services, but that I’d be willing to meet with him at 12:30pm when we were done.
We did indeed meet and he was hurting in a lot of ways, but I was able to share the Gospel with and he prayed to ask Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins and to be the leader of his life. Here was a guy that had no church background and until I gave him a bible had not touched one in along time…in fact, I’m not sure he ever had. We met again on Monday and he had already read through most of the book of John. He’s still got a lot of pain and hurt to deal with but his hunger to have God direct his path from now on you can tell is very real.
Now some would say it was coincidence that I happened to be in my office at the right time on Sunday, but I believe that God’s hand has been orchestrating this for quite some time. Consider…
- We decided back in May of this year to do the REWIND series.
- It was in June then that we decided to kick it off with a medley of songs from the 70’s.
- Had it not been for the medley and the amount of time it took us on Thursday night to practice it, I would have allowed the team to come in 1/2 hour later on Sunday morning.
- If the team came in 1/2 hour later, I would have not been in my office to answer the call.
- Honestly I thought about just letting the phone ring, but then thought no maybe someone’s confused about the new times so I’d better answer to help with a simple question like that.
- Normally I would have insisted that he attend church and then we’d meet afterwards, but “for some reason” I felt not to ask him to do that.
- Now consider his life…for months, if not years now, the trouble in his life has been brewing to the point it all came to a raging boil this past week.
- Even though he’s got friends and family he could turn to, he instead decided to pick up the phone and call a church of all places to ask for help.
- He “just so happens” to call our church, where I’m “unexpectedly” sitting in my office and decide to answer the phone.
Now I truly believe he could have called other churches and gotten just as good of help, but there is a part of me that wonders did God think…”I’m sending him to Gilbert because I know Gilbert won’t try to solve his surface problems but will get right to the heart of the issue ,which is his sin problem, and will share my Gospel message.
I guess what I’m getting at is we are all players in a much bigger master plan than what we can possibly comprehend. So it’s neat when you can look back like in a situation like this to see the hand of God each and every step of the way nudging things towards the ultimate conclusion He wants for all of us, which is the forgiveness of our sins and an eternal relationship with Him!
So be as faithful as you can be today…you never know what chain of events you’re setting off that down the road will help bring soomeone to Christ!
We had a great day at United yesterday…the energy was high, the creative elements were incredible, the band rocked and based off of some of the comments and e-mails I’ve gotten so far, the message was challenging. Now here comes the reality I and the team face every Sunday afternoon…”That was great but in another 160 hours or so, we’ve got to do it all over again and it has to be just as good if not better and it has to be completely different from the week before”.
To be honest, that kind of “can you top this’ pressure can be overwhelming at times. This isn’t major league baseball where having a hit 3 out of every 10 times will land you in the hall of fame…NO…people’s spiritual lives and eternities hang in the balance. So that’s why we work so hard and try to do everything with excellence.
However here’s the flip side. It’s also possible to hinge your entire relationship with God on what’s happening. In other words, if it’s a good day, you feel good about yourself and where you’re at with God. If it’s a bad day, you feel worthless and like you let God down.
Your saying “Ok Gilbert that’s great, but what does that have to do with me”? Well my fear is that too many of you don’t realize that God will never love you any more or less than He does right now! There’s nothing that you can say or do that would change His mind…He is 100% head over heels in love with you! Now that’s not to say that He’s not pleased with our obedience or grieved by our disobedience, but when it comes to your worth in His eyes, that is unchanging.
So today live without the pressure of having to “top your yesterday” and just live in His love!