- Amazing that today ended up going as smoothly as it did.
- Yesterday our computer which runs lights and had everything lighting wise saved on it crashed.
- So this morning we had to start from scratch.
- Unfortunately the first computer Andy brought in didn’t work either.
- So he ran home and got another.
- May not sound like a big deal but it is. Each light then needs to be assigned to communicate with the computer through what’s called a DMX universe. Once that happens then each lighting scene needs to be written.
- Good thing my message today was on how to handle stress. 🙂
- With all that said, by the time the Experience started, it was hard to tell that things were any different than normal. Wasn’t elaborate but it did the trick.
- Wow it was cold this morning as Mike and I put the signs out but I’m finding the exercise both warms and wakes me up.
- I already told you our lighting dilemma…the other thing we had going against us was the amount of people away because of sickness.
- However, we have an awesome team and they still got everything set-up on time.
- You might be asking what the picture for this post is all about?
- As we began the “I Hate the Holidays” series, Bill and the band put on the most hideous looking Christmas sweaters and sweatshirts you can imagine and sang accapella “Deck the Halls”. I then interrupted and we went right into the bumper video for this series of me putting a beat down on a Christmas tree.
- If you want to hear how it all went down, you can listen to it and the message here.
- For the video click here.
- I filmed that a few years back…it was fun although I got hurt during the dive part and afterward we found out the Christmas tree we thought was a spare was actually something our Children’s Pastor needed the same night we filmed this. Needless to say a quick trip was made to Wal-Mart for a replacement. 🙂
- Saw quite a few tears at the end of the message…either it was that bad or people really were giving up their “Bethlehem” to God.
- Confused by that last statement…you’ll just have to listen to the message.
- We had 4 more people make professions of faith in Jesus…that never gets old!
- One nice thing about being within an hour and 40 minutes of two of the previous churches I pastored at is you never know who might show up. Today a couple from my first church, that I haven’t seen for awhile, showed up for a visit since they needed to be in the area. Cool to see them.
- Love getting to meet with people afterward and hear how excited they are about what we’re doing.
- One woman shared with me, “I gave up on organized religion years ago but someone kept inviting to check you out. I loved it and I’ll be back”.
- That’s what we mean when we say we’re a “church for people who don’t like church”.
- Whether it be people who are unchurched or dechurched we want to provide an Experience for them with God that is relevant to their lives but most of all life-changing.
- Her story also illustrates why it’s so important to keep inviting and inviting and inviting.
- So who will you invite this week?
- Remember people are more open to invites at Christmas time than any other time of the year.
- We’re doing our part to help with name recognition…here’s the 4 radio ads we began running this week.
- Next week, Chad will be preaching for the first time and will talk about how many times we have unrealistic or unfulfilled expectations during the holidays that cause us to hate them.
- Later this afternoon I’m meeting with a great friend, Fred Kress who is the National Director for Evangelism Explosion. It was through 2 guys using the EE presentation of the Gospel that I became a follower of Jesus back in 1993.
- Fred and I met in 1997 after I became a certified trainer and have tried to keep up with each other whenever we can.
- It’s been a few years so I’m looking forward to catching up face-to-face.
- Have a great week…don’t forget to show restraint, be thankful and reflect this holiday season so you can reduce stress.
This week I’m answering questions that I’ve gotten since my announcement on Sunday that I’ll be leaving this summer to start a church in Harrisburg.
5. Is United going to change much? There’s a couple of aspects to this question. First, does the leadership want to keep the style as an energetic, relevant, come as you are place for people who don’t like church or have given up on church? YES!!!! So the heart of why we do United will not change. However, will some of the methods change in how to accomplish that? Undoubtedly yes. But that’s not a bad thing. Even in the 3 years that I’ve been around, what United looks like in 2010 and what it looked like in 2006 is vastly different. If we always just do things because “well that’s the way we’ve always done it”, then that is the same traditionalism that so many of us rejected as kids as boring and irrelevant to our lives.
Second, no matter how much the leadership wants things to basically stay the same, your next pastor will thankfully for him not be a Gilbert clone. Your new pastor will bring in new ideas and a vision for how to accomplish the overall tasks he will be called to do. Some things you’ll like better, some things you’ll hate (because none of us like change) however the key will be to give this new person 100% support. I guarantee you that things will change, but what hasn’t changed is God. He is still in control and with His leading, your new pastor’s leadership and your continuing support of United and CFCOG, I have no doubt that even greater things are in store for you.
I challenged everyone in the Textually Active message to read through Psalm 119 this week so here are some of my thoughts on each 8 verse section and then an application point for myself for the day. Feel free to read along and share your thoughts as well.
Psalm 119:129-136: Vs. 36, “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed”. Sin whether our own or others should cause us great anguish. One way to know that you are really growing is when you stop sinning not because you have to, but because you want to.
Psalm 119:137-144: Verse 142 reminds us that the Bible doesn’t simply contain truth, but is truth. Again as I said on Sunday, the bible isn’t a book to be read but rather a person to know. That person’s name is Jesus…and He said, that He is truth and John calls Him the Word that became flesh. In other words, realize that when you read the bible you’re spending time with Jesus.
Psalm 119:145-152: Vs. 147, “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word”. Someone once said, “No Bible, No Breakfast”.
Psalm 119:153-160: Vs. 160 is another reminder that the bible is just a relevant today as it has ever been…His word is eternal!