Thursday, April 30, 2009

Press me, Lord

On Monday morning I stopped by the office and took care of a few responsibilities and then travelled to Charlotte to take Alyse back home and spend the night. I enjoyed the time with Alyse especially as her mom prepared her for bed time on Monday night and I saw her in the "towel" Sharron and I had purchased her:

Then early on Tuesday morning I met with Danielle who gave me a ride uptown for the Thr3e Conference sponsored by Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC This was one of the best conferences I have ever experienced! When I arrived at the door I was greeting by a volunteer who became my personal hostess for the event. It was fantastic! The closing session featured a teaching of Jesus in the Garden and I stood for the closing prayer to ask that God would "press me" to be all that He had for me and the church I pastor. More insights to come...

The afternoon break gave me an opportunity to touch base with Danielle and she introduced me to a number of her co-workers and friends. It was GREAT to spend the moments together. I felt so proud of Danielle and how she is loved and respected by others. She even paused to allow a picture: It was truly a GREAT day as Danielle and I left in the afternoon for a dinner together. As we enjoyed a good conversation she received a call on her cell phone that Stephanie and Alyse had been in an automobile accident. We quickly packed our meal to go and hurried toward the site of the accident. When we had almost arrived Danielle received another call that Stephanie and Alyse had been taken by ambulance to the hospital. We quickly made our way to the hospital. Alyse suffered a small bruise and a scrape from the strap on her car seat. Stephanie was fitted in a neck brace and had several test before the doctors gave her an okay - and she was discharged from the hospital with cuts and bruises.

I tried to help by taking Alyse with me back to Raleigh on Tuesday evening and then Alyse, Sharron and I returned to Charlotte the next day to help Stephanie. The doctor advised Stephanie to remain in bed for about 5 days and take her medications. Sharron and I have stayed in Charlotte to assist Josh and Stephanie this week. You can read more about this by going to Stephanie's blog.

As I face this situation with family, I am consumed in prayer about the revitalization and growth of NRN. I have been struggling this week with the right words for the message this coming Sunday as we reveal the newly designed Core Values and Mission Statement from the ReFocus process. I continue to pray "Press me, Lord!" This will be another landmark Sunday at NRN!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Living For You

Here is an update from the rest of my week. On Tuesday April 21 the ministry staff of NRN celebrated Professional Administrators Day. It was great to have lunch together with Becky Joslin and Sharron Hudgens. Pastor Brittany, Pastor Ryan Walker and I gave them a nice gift and free lunch. It was also fun to hold my grand daughter Alyse!

Stephanie and Alyse arrived just in time for the free lunch and then stayed to celebrate Sharron's Birthday. On Wednesday I "kidnapped" Sharron for a 2 day get away to a friends house in Southport, NC. We spent a day at the beach. It was great to have Stephanie and Alyse with us and enjoyed watching Alyse play in the sand.

Stephanie has already blogged about this. You can see her account and pictures - simply click HERE

On Thursday evening I took Sharron out for a seafood meal at a great restaurant in Calabash, NC.

We returned to Raleigh on Friday and enjoyed an evening meal with Phil and Joanie Richards. Alyse loved to smell the flowers in their front yard. She even stopped to let Papa take a picture.

We were enjoying a time of conversation with suddenly there was noise outside. We went to the front door to see a group of students of Element Student Ministries FORKING the front lawn:

This week I sent a letter to a number of our regular attenders at NRN to bring them up to date on the financial status of the church. As we began a new fiscal year on April 1st and realize that many of our monthly responsibilities must be paid in the first half of the month it became imperative that I send a letter to our church about our current needs. This has been heavy on my heart all week. I never wish to alienate anyone from the church but accept my responsibility to make the church aware of situations when needed. I am trusting God for breakthrough tomorrow and next Sunday as we see God working through His people to accomplish His mission!

Here is a song that God has placed upon my heart and on my lips this evening as I prepare for another great day of worship and praise at NRN.

I hope you have these as trustworhty statements....

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 21 - Happy Birthday Sharron


The first time I saw you I was drawn to your beautiful eyes and big smile. It did not take long to fall in love. I love you with all my heart and cannot imagine my life without you. You bring joy to my soul. Our marriage has weathered the storms of life as we stand together, hand in hand, trusting in the Lord. I hope today is filled with joy and happiness, especially as you hold Alyse in your arms this afternoon.

I love you,,,,,,Happy Birthday!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Get ready to worship

Since last Tuesday - my computer monitor has been down and I have not been able to blog. Finally I found a replacement for my monitor - so here are several thoughts from this week:

First - I really enjoyed Resurrection Sunday at NRN I appreciate all the efforts of those involved in making this such a great Sunday. this is the highest attendance since I became Lead Pastor at NRN. We rejoice with 447 people for our worship service! More than the numbers - were the decisions made for Christ. I will share more about that during our baptism service tomorrow at church. Special appreciation goes to Dr. Tom Alsbury - Bob Floyd - Randy Powers - and all who made Sunday such a blessed day.

On a personal note, words do not express my joy to have Danielle join us for church.

Next, this week has been busy with reports, counselling, meetings, and my time alone with God.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow at NRN as Pastor Ryan Walker leads our worship! In preparation here are some songs to get you ready for a great time of worship:

and one more:

We will have several other songs to express our love to the Lord! I will bring a message about the state of the church - in a unique reporting style - filled with praise!

We plan to close our service on April 19th with a baptism service including the testimony of someone who accepted Christ just last Sunday on Resurrection Sunday. You do not want to miss these testimonies! If you want to get wet for Jesus this Sunday - just join me at 10:00am on Sunday 4.19 in my office for a short baptism class - bring a towel.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Resurrection Sunday at NRN

We celebrated Resurrection Sunday at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene featuring the Seasonal Choir and the drama ministries of NRN. It was a FANTASTIC DAY! with a powerful presentation. As I stood on the platform and looked at those assembled many were crying as they saw the demonstration of Christ's love for us. Here are some of the pictures I took to capture the moments at church:

Jesus: Lord of might and miracles:

Remember Me

The Day He wore My Crown:

In a Heartbeat

Alive forever, Amen!

A number of guest commented to me about the quality of this presentation. One person told me they could not believe that a church of only 200 people could do this. We had almost 80 people involved in the presentation. The chairs in the worship center were almost full. Individuals indicated on their attendance cards spiritual decisions as people prayed to receive Christ as Savior.
Special appreciation goes to Bob Floyd for his work in drama and set design. WOW! What a tremendous job! - AND - to Tom Alsbury for his dedication and work with the choir and overall direction of the musical production!

All praise and honor goes to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday - A Father's love is shown

Last evening Sharron and I had a great time going to the RBC Center for the final home game of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Though the Hurricanes loss to the Buffalo Sabres - they are not worried about their standings of the upcoming playoffs. Since moving to North Carolina I am becoming a hockey fan for the first time in my life. One of the best aspects of our evening was after the game to receive a tour of the "behind the scenes" by Stephen Rutherford. WOW! That was awesome!

This evening we will pause for a Good Friday Service at NRN . Pastor Ryan Walker will be leading the worship. Communion will be served. We will be showing the highly acclaimed movie MOST

Here is the two minute trailer:

This is a powerful movie that reveals

how much the Father loves us!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Delirious in Detroit and in my heart

Last year at this time I was writing about the show down at the Alamo and the heart break that took place. You can read about this by clicking HERE.

Today I get to finally post about the NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions - the Tarheels of the University of North Carolina!

Photo by Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY

DETROIT — North Carolina will leave the Motor City the way it entered the men's basketball season in October. A resounding No. 1.

The Tar Heels crushed Michigan State's NCAA tournament title hopes with an 89-72 victory Monday night at Ford Field in front of a record 72,922 fans, most of whom cheered MSU (31-7) in its attempt to become the first team since UCLA in 1975 to win the national championship in its home state. To read more....

I really enjoyed the evening watching the game at the home of Phil Richards - who owns a BIG SCREEN TV. Phil and I laughed and jumped as we watched the game ( even though Phil is a huge Duke fan) and we observed our newest pastoral staff member at NRN - Ryan Walker - from Michigan - squirm a little but demonstrated a good sport attitude.

I must admit - I was surprised by the boo's I received on Sunday as I wore my Carolina blue vest - but it's okay - I have enjoyed wearing my Carolina sweatshirt in my home everyday this week.

Now - Enjoy The final clip of the CBS broadcast of March Madness 2009 NCAA Tournament Championship: UNC 89 - MSU 72 One Shining Moment 2009 Song by Luther Vandross:

I love calling North Carolina HOME! Yes - I am delirious in my heart!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Did you hear - Did you know - Did you hear - Will you?

Did you hear that recently Pastor Rick once again wore a suit and tie for an event as he represented the church?

Did you know that Pastor Rick really does make hospital calls?

Did you hear about the fun and laughter that took place at the 5th Sunday Celebration at NRN?

Palm Sunday at NRN was filled with celebration and praise! Do you plan to invite someone to church with you on Resurrection Sunday?

Will you bring someone with you?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What does the cross mean to you?

Preparing for Sunday at NRN - I will be preaching on the Cross of Christ. I will be asking a simple question: What does the cross mean to you? Here is a preview:

Check out Mark 15:21-39