The Porn Event

As a pastor, I have seen the destructive effects of porn addiction on lives and families.   Porn addiction is growing to epidemic proportions in our high schools, colleges, and even  in our churches.  It is time to stop ignoring this issue.  XXX is going public with a private issue.  The following link will take you to a website where and XXX Church have partnered to speak out on the issue of porn:

This Past Weekend…

This past weekend was full of great stuff.  Here are a few of the highlights:

1.  Three people made decisions for Christ.  PTL!

2.  Our Faithkids ministry’s theme was “Incredible Sunday”.  After a special at G-Force ministry, they all loaded up in vans and cars and took off to OKC where they spent a couple of hours at Incredible Pizza.  Sounds like fun to me.

3.  One phrase for the 11:00 am worship: Stop, Drop, and Roll.  Our people are fun and really enjoy coming to church.  I also have a blast talking to our people every weekend.

4.  I said goodbye to a couple of people who would be moving away from the Shawnee area.  It is never easy to say “goodbye” to people even though they must move on to fulfill destiny.  It is the nature of what we do.  We trust God and believe in His purpose.

5.  We had our final Saturday Night Worship…at least for the Summer.  Saturday nights were my personal favorite worship experiences, but for many reasons, we have decided to focus our weekend efforts on Sundays.  Change is not always easy, but it is always necessary.

It was a big weekend in so many ways.  I look forward to what God will do in coming weekends.

This Past Weekend…

Wow, what an incredible weekend!  It started out on Saturday night with a special service honoring our graduating seniors.  On Sunday, we asked the Petree Band to be our guests and take over as worship band for a day.  It was outstanding;  here are some highlights:

1.  Seven people made decisions for Christ –always amazing!

2.  It is always a privilege to talk to graduating seniors.  There is always so much to be said to young people just starting out on life’s journey. 

3.  The Petree band leading worship was a treat.  I can tell that Steve is a worship leader back in L.A.  He really wants to lead people in worship, not just sing to them.

4.  I received a lot of positive feedback from the message.  I think it was because I was saying things that parents wish their children knew.  Maybe it was powerful coming from a third party…just a hunch.  It is so powerful when the Holy Spirit shows up and shows off by speaking to the every day lives of people.

5.  I’ve never seen a hail storm like the one last night.  Never.  Yet after the storm, people came out to the concert and we had a blast.  The Steve Petree Band is down right awesome.  I’ve grown tired of the pretentious, boring, cheesy, music put out by much of the industry.  It sure is nice to hear cutting edge, fresh, gutsy music.  Petree rocked the house last night!

What a weekend.

Serve Right Now!!

As many of you are aware, our community has been hit and effected immensely by the tornado storm that hit our area last Monday.

My neighborhood is still without electricity, although no homes were hit by the storm itself. 

We have spent the last couple of days helping people in Tecumseh (a small community about 7 miles south of Shawnee)  The damage there is overwhelming –houses were flattened, church buildings were destroyed, businesses were wiped out, etc… 

Yesterday, some people from our church partnered with another church and spent the entire day cleaning up a business and a foster home that had been almost wiped out by Monday’s storm.  I have to say, it sure does feel good to see people take off work or come straight from work, drive to another community, and work until dark just to help someone who has suffered loss.  Every now and then I would stop and just watch people work like ants cleaning up and thank God for people who will serve others. 

Later that evening, I talked to someone else from our church who has a lot of heavy equipment tell me that he was there in Tecumseh donating his time and equipment to people in another part of the city.  He told me that someone from our church who lives in Dale (another small community outside of Shawnee) cooked hamburgers and sold them to raise money to help people in need at this time.

I could go on but I’ll get to the point.  There are so many people doing so much of what the church is called to do.  And nothing feels better to a pastor that seeing Christ’s church serve hurting humanity.

If you havent already, find a place to serve someone who is suffering at this time.   The opportunity to be his church to our community has never been greater.

How Important is 1?

There are many things I do as a pastor that I may or may not enjoy.  In this post, I want to discuss one thing we do that I enjoy immensely.  This event is also a reminder of our purpose and calling as leaders of His church.

This past Wednesday night we baptized 6 people.  No, we didn’t baptize hundreds….just 6.  

We have held baptism celebrations for as many as 26 and as few as only 1 person.  Why, because celebrating people being born again is important.  It is so important that Jesus told the people that  there is “joy in  heaven over one sinner who repents” Luke 15:7 ESV.

If Heaven celebrates over 1 person coming home, then I believe we should also. 

After listening to each person praise God and discuss life change in the baptistery in front of their friends and family, we submerged them, congratulated them, and had a big party including shrimp cocktail and dessert.  I know this type of baptism celebration may be unnecessary and a little expensive.  However, as long as we can do this, we will.  I enjoy throwing parties in recognition of a rebirth.

This Past Weekend…

It is truly a blessing to witness what God can do through a community of people each weekend when we come together to worship.  Here are a few thing that stood out.

1.  There has been so many new people come to faithco since Easter Sunday.  New fresh faces are healthy to any church.  This happens when people invite their friends.  It’s good to know that people are excited enough about faithco to invite people they love.  I hope we will always be the type of church that is inviting to the unChristian.

2.  As always, the praise and worship band was awesome.  I don’t know why,  but I seem to worship better with great music.  I think God made us this way.

3.  I suppose people appreciate the transparency of my messages.  While talking about how we at faithco value “Stewardship”, I gave a couple of personal stories of how God has used me to be a blessing to others.  Also, I gave a couple of examples of how God has blessed me because of sacrificial seed-faith giving.  It is one thing to tell people how God will bless those who sow generously into ministry.  It is another thing to give personal examples. 

4.  I believe challenging people with Godly values is always a good idea.

I love this church.