Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pics of Easter Past

I thought you might enjoy a look back at pics of Easter '06...

The Five Love Languages

In 8 days it will be Easter Sunday. I am so pumped about what God can do through our church on Easter that I am almost looking past tomorrow. I was up at the wee hours of the morning today studying and working on the lessons for our study of the Five Love Language book and it is going to be awesome. I hope everyone in church will get involved in one of our small groups for this study. Today I was working on the chapter on words of affirmation and it really hit home. Our words are so important; so I wanted to send you a word today that I love you as a church and that I look forward to seeing you at worship every Sunday. Tomorrow will be awesome with our missionary Michael Nelson coming. Do Not Miss! I mean it, you will regret it. Also, be sure to grab a stack of invites for Easter and the Egg hunt and drop them all over town. We want to get the word out so that we can get The Word in the ears of our friends and neighbors! He is risen indeed! Now that's a good word.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Chris Sligh Opens Up

American Idol contestant Chris Sligh speaks about wanting to leave the show, Bob Jones University and his own future with the Greenville News.
Story HERE.

Survey Says....

Gabe has added a survey to our e-news page. Take the quiz.... here . I hope you pass.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Still Growing

While working on our "Natural Church Development" process I had to do a little research on attendance averages for the last five years. What was neat is that every year since the beginning we have grown by about 20 new people. Now that is not explosive growth in anyone's book but is steady and healthy. We want to continue this trend and even improve it by making our church all that it can be for newcomers and for those who already attend. It is my prayer that we will always improve our ministry to meet the growing needs of our growing people.

And thank You for Sundays...

Tonight Andrew prayed before dinner. Among other things he thanked God for Sundays. That does my heart good in several ways. One, as a pastor, my son thinks church is great. I am so thankful for our children's workers and the great job that they do. Secondly, as a father, my son thinks church is great. On Thursday night he is spontaneously thanking God for Sunday. Most kids don't have a church that they enjoy like the kids at Cornerstone as a father, I want my kids to grow up loving worship and getting together as a church. I pray that this will always be true both for our church and for our family.

Outback Upfront

"What will you do if you are not approved by the Missions Organization and if none of these churches support you?" That was the question that I asked Michael Nelson two years ago as I sat on his ordination council at the Winter Haven Baptist Church. He boldly answered "I am going to Australia to start a church." That was enough for me. His determination to move his family to the other side of the world to start a mission no matter what the personal cost, no matter what level of moral support, prayer support, or financial support. Having grown up as a missionary kid, Michael knows the difficulties and joys of planting churches on foreign soil. It is with that burden that he came to the states to study missions and has been interning at Winter Haven for two years. Presently he is traveling with his wife Tammy as they go from church to church sharing their vision and seeking support for this new mission. He will be sharing his vision with Cornerstone this Sunday during both morning worship services and I pray that God will use him to touch our hearts for missions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We'll See

Growing up, We'll see usually meant no. Mom and dad used the term because life is so uncertain that what initially sounds good, does not always come about. I now find myself using that term a whole lot. What gets said is not always what gets done, and I have learned that a whole lot more gets said than ever gets done. The Bible tells us to "be doers of the word and not hearers only." Every Sunday, people stroll by on the way out of our worship service, and as they shake my hand somebody usually says "great message" and I reply, "we'll see."

Sanjaya Malakar

If you don't Sanjaya, I understand. Master Malakar is the unfortunate contestant on American Idol, who in spite of his consistent, humiliating, performances, which shows that he is not divine or even angelic, but awful. However, every week he gets up in front of 30 million people to do his best when he knows he is the worst. How many of us, at 17 would repeatedly subjugate ourselves to public scrutiny, let alone mockery. I have moved past frustration and into respect for him as he is now the poster child for the anti-idol movement "vote for the worst." If you were wondering how he stays on, it is because there is a committed group of viewers who have begun a movement, to vote for the worst performer. I tried to pull up their website and it is down at this moment, but you may find it here. Is Sanjaya the worst? Absolutely. Will I vote for him? Not likely, but I will cheer for him to do well, and I will respect his character as he stands before the world and sings his best knowing that he is a pawn in a conspiracy that mocks the show, but unfortunately makes him the butt of the joke. As I see it, Sanjaya has three options, 1. Quit 2. keep doing things the same and continue the embarrasment, or 3. Embrace the VFTW crowd and play to them, making the best of a bad situation. After last night's hair doo it is obvious that he has chosen the latter. Choosing a song with the line "I'm diving into my own destruction." Good game Sanjaya, let's see if it works, if it does you take back control of your image. Whatever that may be.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thank's for Goliath

I wonder if David ever thanked God for Goliath. I wonder if he thanked God for Saul's javelin, or for the cave of Adullam. I am sure that David prayed about Goliath as he gathered stones from the brook, I am sure that he prayed the kind of prayer that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. Father, if there is any other way, let it be so. I am sure that David prayed for his Goliath to go away, for him to just give up and go fight somebody else. I do not think for a minute that David would have asked God to bring Goliath at him head on, but that is exactly what God did. David, did not pray for God to help him escape Goliath, in fact in 1 Samuel 17:48 it says that David ran to meet Goliath. Far too many of our prayers go unanswered because we are asking God to remove the very Goliaths he has purposefully brought into our lives. For some reason we see these obstacles as God's punishment or lack of attention, so we plead with him to remove them, when God is saying don't run away, run toward your Goliath. After all, the verse before that tells us that David told Goliath that "the battle is the LORD's." If God had made David's Goliath go away, then we would not even know of him today. What is your Goliath? What are you desperately asking God to take away? What are you praying that God would help you get out of that God wants you go through. I think that before the giant's bones turned to dust, that David was able to thank God for not making his Goliath go away. So... run. Not away, but run ahead.

Don't Quit Your Day Job

My good buddy Mark over at Ephesus has a great post that every potential church planter should read. You can find it here. We must change how we define church, back to the biblical model. Buildings are great, but the church is the- ekkle'sia - the body of called out believers assembled together. Too many men who have been called by God as pastors, have chosen to sit this one out because they could not build a large enough congregation to do it vocationally. What would life be like if we applied that same principle to sports? No basketball hoops in the driveways, or parks, it was reserved for people who could gather crowds who pay to see them play. What if music could only be played by paid professionals. (that might not be a bad idea on second thought) Our thinking is warped. Thanks Mark for bringing it front and center. By the way... are you a full time, professional blogger?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bass Photo

Here is a picture of two of our fish. It took some time but Andrew got pretty good at casting his little zebco reel. Mike and I were able to fish on a 15' boat with a 5 year old wielding a loaded pole, and came back with all of our eyes intact. Amen? We caught about 12 altogether Mike ten, me two, and Andrew got the assist on two. I managed to catch and release one of them, as I was transferring them from the live well to the cooler. I guess we will have to meet again big fish, we will meet again!

Gone Fishin'

Today Andrew and I will be going fishin with his Uncle Mike. Uncle Mike has a bass boat and a friend with a private lake and one of those sonar thingamabobs. Last time we went, I was astounded at how many fish were down there. It seemed like clouds. I will try to post some pictures her if I can think to take them, as we will be very busy reeling in the big ones. BUT, before we get there I have a long list of honey do's or is it honey dues? Anyway, Amy and I have been saving long and hard for new flooring in the bedroom, and today it begins. They are all out for Spring Break, and we will enjoy some free time together.

Happy 65 Bruce

Bruce, you are awesome! God has truly blessed our church by your ministry and we look forward to the next 65. I pray that God will give you a prosperous year of ministry both here in Four Corners, but also up in Minnesota during this summer. I thank God for you and Jacki and for the effort you give in leading our Senior Adults and the great wisdom and stability you give this young pastor.

Sunday Synopsis

Wow what a day. The worship was awesome, Great job Gabe and Praise Team, both services had a great spirit of anticipation and the music was tremendous. We had a full room for both services, with a couple of people standing and two actually sitting on the floor in the second service. (It is amazing what Baptists will do to sit in the back.) The challenge was for us to see ourselves as missionaries, and to think about getting people at home in Christ. I will be posting your MY9 lists here. Even if you do not have 9 people on your prayer list, I hope that you will visit and let each other know that you will be praying for them as they Invest, Engage, and Invite for Easter.