Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chasen - in concert at NRN

Today was a wonderful day at NRN! The worship center is decorated for Christmas and with the music filled the air. At the close of the message many hands were raised as people took their request to God to clear the clutter of the busy season and help us focus on the simple message of Christmas this year.

I am really excited about the event at North Raleigh on Wednesday December 2nd.

Christian Artists "Chasen" as heard on K-Love and HIS radio, will be performing for the first time in Raleigh, NC. Their new hit "On and On" is on the top 25 played songs on K-Love Radio.

The doors will open at 6:30 with the concert beginning at 7:00pm. Advance ticket pricing is $7.00 each, $8.00 each at the door, and groups of 10 or more are $6.00 each. Contact the church at 870-1141 Monday-Thursday from 9:00am-4:00pm for information or tickets

If you are not familiar with this new group - here is a taste:

This song is about Chase's personal relationship with God about six years ago. He was at the beach where he had a decision to make,

to either follow Christ or "Drown" in his sin.

Thank God he decided to follow Christ!!

Here are the lyrics to Drown:

Walking the beach 4. A.M.
Listening to the waves as
they crash upon the sand.
Its just a Black Sea.
The moonlight and me.

Its sink or swim.
I'm drowning within you.
Somebody rescue me.
Cause I'm go'in against the stream.
I fell in love with somebody like you.
And I know yeah that you wanted me to.
You told me who I was.
But I don't want to.
No, I don't want to.
I don't wan to.
I don't wanna drown.

Thinking about these words
How do they fit and
how do they come together?
What do they mean?
Once again, I'm alone,
And its just me.


Oh, I don't wanna drown.

Yeah, its sink or swim
I'm drowning within you
Somebody Rescue me.
Cause I'm go'in against the stream
I fell in love with somebody like you.
And I know that, yeah, you wanted me to.
You told me who I was.
But I don't want to.

I fell in love with somebody like you.
And I know that, yeah, you wanted me to.
You told me who I was.
But I don't want to.
No I don't want to.
I don't want to.
I don't wanna drown.
No. I don't wanna drown.
Oh, I don't wanna drown
No. no. no.
No, I don't wanna drown.
No. no. no. no. no.
I don't wanna drown.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Preparing for the first Sunday of Advent 2009

Still giving thanks to God for my family, friends, health and the privilege to serve the Lord!

Sunday November 29th promises to be a great day at NRN for the first Sunday of Advent 2oo9. We will honor Christ during our worship experience by lighting the Advent Candles on the Advent Wreath. The Seasonal Choir will lead us in celebrative worship as we sing favorite and familiar Christmas carols. The drama team will present a short vignette and I will being a new teaching series.

I penned these words for the worship folder to introduce this series:

Let’s pull back the layers of Christmas in today’s culture and focus on the core of the holiday. Join with us as we see what Simply Christmas is all about ~ a real authentic Christmas this year.

Every Sunday of this time of advent we will feature a presentation from the Seasonal Choir; a live drama vignette; the lighting of the candles on the advent wreath; and a teaching message from Pastor Rick. Today we view Christmas through the perspective of Mary – to trust God for the impossible. Next Sunday we plan to view Christmas through the eyes of Joseph – to never under estimate your influence. On December 13th we will feature our children’s ministry as we view Christmas through the “stinky, smelly shepherds” – to seize the moment. December 20th we will view Christmas with a simple perspective through Jesus – the name says it all!

We will bring our celebration of advent to a crescendo on Thursday evening December 24th at 5:00pm as we will gather for our annual Christmas Eve Service – featuring a moving time of worship, the Christmas message through a simple format, the candle lighting and communion.

Christmas is wonderful time of the year to invite friends, family and neighbors to join you to experience Simply Christmas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Preparing for a day of Thanksgiving

BIG DAY - Preparing for a day of Thanksgiving with family and friends. Praying for safety for those who are travelling. Remembering prayer request for many hurting people. Pausing to say thanks to God for His many blessings.

Here is a thought: Stop to count your blessings:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Alyse visits for the weekend

Today was another great day at NRN as we sensed the presence of the Lord. This was a fantastic weekend with many activities. I express my appreciation to Amy Manshack and Sandy Floyd - and to all who joined them on Saturday for the painting party in the children's wing of our facility. Soon the new children's ministry logo will adorn the wall and the new Children's Church area is updated.

I had "papa duty" this weekend as Sharron attended a baby shower and ladies meeting on Saturday - I took care of Alyse on Saturday morning and we enjoyed some time at our friends (Phil and Joanie Richards) in the afternoon. Joanie speaks often that the Durham LIFE group is "dog friendly" - and here is evidence with Alyse:
Alyse loves Tova - the newest family member at the Richards
Alyse enjoyed time with Tova, Mada and Indy
Sometime she like to play "dog" with them.
She seemed to especially
enjoy a few moments in one of the kennels.
She had fun in the tub when we arrived home. Her Saturday bath time is filled
with laughter and then she begins the process to prepare for Sunday.
There was even time for a little play time at Papa's house before heading to bed.
Alyse really had fun at church today. We gathered with friends at Red, Hot and Blue for lunch following the service. She like spending a few moments with the pig.

It is always a joy to have Alyse visit for the weekend. I am a little sad that it's time for her to go home. As I prepare this posting - she is asleep for her nap. soon we will leave to drive to the pre-arranged meeting place for a late dinner with Stephanie. We will see Alyse later in the week as we gather for Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An encouraging message

Tomorrow at NRN I will bring this teaching series to an end. We have been looking at the lies about our Identity. Tomorrow we explorer what God says about our true identity. An encouraging message for every believer and a time for giving thanks to the Lord.

I am very excited about this song presented live by Melissa and Victoria.

Here are the words:

Got my thoughts, Ive got my words.
Got this head full of answers.
Got You wrapped up,Got You under control.
See my future like the past behind me.
I think I know where You re leading.
Don't need no questions, Don't need no rocking the boat.
But I just forget all the mystery...I just forget who You are ---

When I know that I know
What You have down the road!
When I'm sure that Ive figured You out,
Help me see that I'm small;
That I cant know it all,
Cause You're so unpredictable.
Cause You're so unpredictable!

You said the foolish would shame the wise.
To put my faith In whats beyond my eyes,
And to believe You, I have to come as a child.
So help me to rest in the mystery
Of what I cant understand...

When I know that I know
What You have down the road!
When I'm sure that I've figured You out,
Help me see that I'm small;
That I cant know it all,

Cause You're so unpredictable.
Can't wrap my mind around You...
Can't put You in a box;
Can't keep you safely contained...

No.You're gonna move the way.
You wanna move today.
Just let me follow along ---

When I know that I know
What You have down the road!
When I'm sure that I've figured You out,
Help me see that I'm small;
That I cant know it all!When I know that I know
What You have down the road!
When I'm sure that I've figured You out,
Help me see that I'm small;
That I can't know it all,

Cause You're so unpredictable.
Cause You're so unpredictable!
You're unpredictable!

© Produced by Ian Eskelin; Written by Francesca Battistelli, Ian Eskelin, and Tony Wood.© Word Music, LLC (ASCAP); Designer Music, INC; Honest and Popular Songs (SESAC) (Administered by Multisongs INC); New Spring, Row 9 Seat J songs (ASCAP) (Administered by New Spring)OWNED BY WMG MUSIC.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I just want to thank you Lord

As I think of the events of this day - I think of these trustworthy sayings:

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good:

for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 107:1

Break out in song:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A personal worship experience

As I prepare for the worship experience at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene tomorrow I always take time to sing each song prepared for the service. I read over my notes many times. Then I go over the PowerPoint presentations I prepared for Sunday. I even view the clips several times. Then I take a concentrated time of prayer and personal preparation before I stand before those God will bring to our church tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow we continue in the series:

Two weeks ago we looked at the lie “I have to be strong.” We learned the truth which is that we have to be broken, vulnerable and weak because God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. Last week we looked at the lie: “This is just the way I am. I can’t change.” We learned the truth which is: God’s power can change anything in us that holds us bondage. This Sunday we are going to be looking at the lie that plagues so many of us, and this one has haunted me for years. It is the lie: “I’m not good enough.” We are going to learn that we get our worth and value from what God says about us!

Here are some of the songs we will sing together. Prepare to worship!

How Can I Keep From Singing:

The words in this song are so trustworthy - God will never let go...

A new song for us at NRN - Hillsong in their 2009 release : Yahweh

We will close the service with one of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns. This song really summaries my thoughts today:

I hope you have enjoyed this worship experience on my blog. Now I encourage you, if possible, to join us at 10:30am at NRN to gather with Christ followers in worship to our God.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - Are you superstitious?

Today is FRIDAY the 13th - are you superstitious?
Here are some interesting facts about the 13th:

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia,[1][2] a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term triskaidekaphobia derives from the Greek words "tris", meaning 'three', "kai", meaning 'and', and "deka", meaning 'ten'. the whole word means three and ten. The word was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953.[3]

A theory about the origin of the superstition traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar. According to one expert: The Knights Templar were a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in 1118 C.E., whose mission was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. Over the next two centuries, the Knights Templar became extraordinarily powerful and wealthy. Threatened by that power and eager to acquire their wealth, King Philip secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 - Friday the 13th.[4]

Here are five Friday-the-13th facts from msnbc: :

1. Fear of Friday the 13th — one of the most popular myths in science — is called paraskavedekatriaphobia as well as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.

2. Many hospitals have no room 13, while some tall buildings skip the 13th floor and some airline terminals omit Gate 13.

3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host 13 guests at a meal. Napoleon and President Herbert Hoover were also triskaidekaphobic, with an abnormal fear of the number 13.

4. Mark Twain once was the 13th guest at a dinner party. A friend warned him not to go. "It was bad luck," Twain later told the friend. "They only had food for 12." Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.

5. The number 13 suffers from its position after 12, according to numerologists who consider the latter to be a complete number — 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen.

Just for your information - Here are the dates ahead with a Friday the 13th:

2009 February, March, November

2010 August

2011 May

2012 January, April, July

2013 September, December

2014 June

2015 February, March, November

Now the question: Are you superstitious?
What are your thoughts about today - Friday the 13th?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day Tribute

Today we pause to honor all our veterans.

The first Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, marked the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I, what many proclaimed, with an optimism that turned out to be wildly misplaced, ``the war to end all wars." The day was set because of the 11th day of the 11th month and at 11:00am the Armistice was signed.

It became a U.S. national holiday in 1938 and in 1954 was renamed Veterans Day to honor all veterans. With the end of the draft and the passing of the World War II generation, military service is not the common denominator in American life it once was.There are currently 23.2 million veterans, down from a peak of 28.6 million in 1980.

I think today of Joe Solomon from our church who returned from his tour just a few months ago. I think of Jared Phillips - a friend from Sturgis Michigan who served a tour several years ago and continues to serve today. I also pause to think of my dad - who served in World War II. (I hope to post more about this soon.)

Here is a short tribute to our Veterans today!

If you have the opportunity today - be sure and thank a veteran!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

May the words I speak be trustworthy and anointed .

It's Saturday night and I sit at my desk preparing for Sunday. The manuscript for my message is printed, marked with my highlighters, folded and placed in my Bible. I pray and seek God's face for tomorrow. I read several emails this evening from first time guest to the church who stated how much they liked the worship experience and plan to return.

When we enter into our worship by music we will stand and shout together

The sermon is ready - now I seek God to make ME ready for the delivery of His Word that the words I speak with be trustworthy and anointed by the Holy Spirit. To God be the glory!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Satan lost another one

On Sunday November 1 I began a new teaching series at NRN. I began my message last week with these words:

Today we begin a teaching series entitled Identity Theft. Every 79 seconds in America there is an identity theft victim the stealing of someone’s identity. Identity theft is a serious issue.

Random check of credit reports in 2003 50% credit reports checked were victims and they didn’t even know. It is serious 1 of 50 people will fall a major victim to it in 2010. It will take every victim close to $1500 dollars to repair the damage and get things put back together not counting lawyers fees. Here is the tragedy of identity theft- You can spend your whole life building your credit, building your identity credit and in one moment somebody steals your identity and your future is destroyed.

The same thing happens in the spiritual realm. You can spend your entire life building your spiritual identity but all it takes is one moment to forget who you are and make a stupid decision and it will take you and I years to fix what one decision did, because we forgot who we are. I have a confession: This series of messages is more for me than you. Over the past several months I have been fighting some of the biggest spiritual battles of my life. My love and concern for my family and for YOU – the church has been almost overwhelming. This series comes out of very personal experience.

I have listened to many sermons and worked hard on this series. It is influenced by a book by a teaching pastor at Willow Creek, and another book called Identity Theft by Jay Strack of Student Leadership Ministries.

We began by examining the lie that the world and the devil likes to whisper into the ear of our heart and mind. The lie is: "I have to be strong".

The truth is taken from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (The Message): My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

We will continue in this series on November 8th with a message addressing the lie: "This is just the way I am." I believe some people are held prisoners in their own minds that they cannot change. When a person opens their heart to Jesus Christ - everything changes!

Here is a clip I recently viewed about how Satan wants to whisper his lies into our heart and mind. Hold on - this is powerful:

If you were blessed by this - but it went a little "fast" for you - you can simply post a comment - or email me - and I will be glad to send you the words of this poem by Blair Wingo.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 1 - Happy birthday to my daughters

Sunday - November 1st was a fantastic day at NRN! It was very evident that God invaded our presence. Before I began my message I was privilege to preform the baptism and dedication service for Rachel Cook. I stated that Rachel and I will have a special connection because of her date of birth - February 13th - which is also my anniversary of birth. You can tell - I love the privilege to present children unto the Lord! She is a beautiful little girl.

It was a joy to share these special moments with her family...

Later in the afternoon Sharron and I traveled to Greensboro to meet our family to celebrate the birthdays of Danielle and Stephanie. We connected at TGI Fridays for a fun meal. Here are my daughters on their birthday this past Sunday.

But often - this is the picture in my mind of my daughters as they would laugh and play in the multi-purpose room of Christian Fellowship Church in Vienna, Va. This picture was taken in late 1982 with our friend Beth who worked in the daycare center at the church.

Here is Josh, Stephanie and Alyse as they smile on Stephanie's birthday...

Here is Jessie, Danielle and Jayden as the celebrate Danielle's birthday...

Sharron and I feel blessed with two beautiful daughters and their families.