Saturday, January 29, 2011

Everything to me...

As I sit at my desk, praying and preparing for my teaching message tomorrow at church, I went to YouTube to view a clip I am considering to show tomorrow. I made my decision and came across a song from my past that always seems to minister to me. It contains a powerful testimony. May it bless you as you take a few moments to view:

I am praying for a number of people who have seemed to walk away from church to return tomorrow. I am praying for a pouring out of God's Spirit during our worship experience. I am praying for the anointing of God to fall upon the words He has placed in my heart and mouth for tomorrow. I am praying for God to move upon hearts granting great faith as we accept the closing Faith Promises for our partnership with Joshua and Paige Stine. I am praying for you....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

God is too good

One of my joys of living in North Carolina is to follow my beloved UNC men's basketball team. I have been a tarheel fan since I was a small boy growing up in NC.

I saw this in the news today and felt it worth to pass along:

The University of North Carolina men's basketball team landed safely in Miami on Tuesday night, but not without a tremendous scare.

The flight was so frightening that many of the Tar Heels players posted thoughts on Twitter about fearing death and praising God for the eventual safe landing.

At 10:07 p.m., sophomore guard Dexter Strickland posted: "WOW!! I really just had flashes of death on this plane! This plane ride just scared me for life!! God is too Good!!"

The UNC team left Raleigh-Durham International Airport on a chartered flight about 8 p.m. for Miami, where the Tar Heels will play the Hurricanes on Wednesday night in an Atlantic Coast Conference game. But, according to Matt Bowers, assistant director of media relations, storms in the area forced the plane to be rerouted over the ocean much more than usual when approaching Miami.

"We descended through a thunderstorm to land," Bowers wrote in an e-mail late Tuesday night. "It was a very bumpy ride for a bit, but thankfully the worst of it only lasted a few minutes. It was scary, but we're fine."

According to Andy Tingler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami, "Tornado watches were in order at the time, but no tornadoes were reported, although one funnel cloud was.

"A line of severe thunderstorms and heavy clouds were in the vicinity as the plane would have made its trek toward the airport. At that time, winds up to 66 mph were reported on the ground in the airport's vicinity. The plane likely graced the threshold of the storm line causing it to twist."

Here are more tweets from UNC players:

Strickland: "I can't believe there was really a moment on this plane ride when I thought it was over."
Strickland again: "I still have my barf bag in my pocket."

Sophomore wing Leslie McDonald: "Just experienced the scariest plane ride ever… really didn't think we was going to make it! #ThankGod."

McDonald again: "I'm going to ask a question.. is it normal for a plane to legit keep you out of your seat for 3 seconds and nearly do a three sixty?"

Junior forward Justin Watts: "Thank him!!!... That flight was the worst ever. Thought we were going down for a sec."

Junior guard Larry Drew II: "Thank the LORD we jus landed in Miami."

Drew again: "Those are the type of flights that make you wanna do good, change ya life around. Lol"

Freshman guard Kendall Marshall: "Thank God for landing this plane safely."

Bowers wrote that some of the players' reports were exaggerated a bit, but not by much. "We were all over the place, but thankfully the pilots must’ve been good because it was quick.”

Tingler said that with the kind of weather conditions that were reported, "a regular thunderstorm can produce a high level of turbulence, and with the winds cause more adversity. It was very unstable all evening across the area."

The plane landed at 10:05 p.m., according to

Anything you are thanking the Lord for today?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Love of God from a mathematical viewpoint

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What Equals 100%?

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%.

How about achieving 101%? What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these


If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is represented as: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then: H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

And K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But, A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

AND, look how far the love of God will take you

L- O- V- E-O-F-G-O-D 12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hardwork and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Faith Promise for our new partnership

Yesterday at NRN was another awesome day. We welcomed Joshua and Paige Stines to NRN as they shared about their upcoming volunteer mission service in Poland. Here is some of the information from their Mission Corps page on line:

We are very excited to share with you what God is doing in our lives! We have been approved to serve in Poland beginning in February for one year (or more). Here, we will be joining the Church of the Nazarene in being deliberate in building relationships to evangelize to the Polish people.

The Church of the Nazarene had to be intentional in building trust with the natives that had been lost for nearly a century due to the effects of communism and war. The church responded by adopting a coffee shop paradigm in which space is provided for community classes, weekday bible studies, and a worship service every Saturday night while serving warm food and coffee. This atmosphere is one that creates trust between the Polish people and the missionaries. Currently, there are coffee shops located in Gdansk, Poznan, and a third that just opened in Krakow.

We are now in the process of raising funds to be volunteer missionaries. This is where we need your help!! We cannot answer the calling God has placed on our hearts without support from our family, friends, and church community. With your prayer and financial support we will be able to go and minister to people in Poland! Please consider giving on a monthly basis or even a one-time gift. The ministry in Poland will be furthered through your prayer and financial support.

I shared about the concept of Faith Promise Giving as we join in partnership with this couple. Here are the notes I shared:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:7-8

What is the Faith Promise?
All our hearts should be stirred and challenged as we realize that through our participation in Faith Promise Missions many in the world who have never once heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ will have this opportunity. God help us to reach out to the lost world.

Faith Promise is NOT:
1. It is not a pledge! You sign NOTHING! No one but God knows what you promised.

2. It is not something that someone will call on you to collect.

3. It is not ever to be taken away from your tithes & offerings.

Faith Promise is …

1 It is strictly between you & God. If you decide you cannot give as you promised then you tell God alone. Only He and you will know.

2. It is waiting before the Lord for His instructions as to what He wants you to give in reaching the world with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

3. It must be carried on by faith that God will supply for other things which arise as you proceed in giving what you promised Him.

I have asked that the people of NRN to please pray and fast about what God could do through us over the next 6 months to partner with the Stines financially. If you have not make your Faith Promise to encourage you to continue to pray and seek God's direction. We will receive your faith promise commitments through the month of January and plan to share our commitment with Joshua and Paige before they depart on Tuesday February 1, 2011 to begin their service in Poland.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do you believe in moral absolutes?

A gunman intended to assassinate a U.S. representative when he opened fire outside a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket on Saturday January 08, 2011, killing six and wounding 12 including the congresswoman, the local sheriff said hours after the shooting.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition after surgery for a single gunshot wound to the head.

My good friend and President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University - Dr. Everett Piper has written an excellent article to respond to a critical question.

Evil and Moral Absolutes
Do you believe that morality is relative and just a matter of personal choice?

After this past week's shootings in Arizona, after the death of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, after the heart wrenching details other deaths and 20 some wounded, do you believe in morality? Do you believe in the laws of Nature and Natures God or do you believe "we are the one's we've been waiting for and we are the change that we seek?"

After this week, what do you think?

As you looked deep into the eyes of Loughner what does your heart tell you?

Do we have it right?

Can man achieve utopia on his own?

Do we have the goodness within ourselves to develop our own systems of morality without the boundaries or restrictions of any absolute standards?

Do we have any real liberty without the limits of law?

Can there be any true freedom without moral fences? Can license be granted without selflessness and servitude?

Do you believe all is well in the world and that progress is marching boldly in a positive direction?

Or, in the shadow of the bodies at the Safeway in Arizona do you see something that your instinct told you was there all along?

Is the difference between good and bad real? Do right and wrong exist?

Do justice and injustice, life and death, morality and immorality, vice and virtue have definitions beyond the matters of personal opinion and political power?

Does the human heart have the propensity to choose poorly and to do despicable things?

Is the most proven empirical fact of all of human history the very existence of sin?

Do you believe Jared Loughner was objectively wrong in shooting Congresswoman Giffords and killing Christina Taylor Green?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oh No! Not Evangelism

Sorry for the delay in my posting in this new year. I needed a short break to prepare for the future teaching series at NRN.

WOW - This past Sunday at NRN was truly awesome. Thanks to Pastor Jordan for directing our worship and to all the members of the worship team. I promised before the worship experience that I was going to do something I had never done before during a worship service.

All I can say about that is .... the german chocolate cupcake was delicious (at least the one bite I was able to take before it was taken off my table....) I spoke about evangelism.

The special music by Melissa was fantastic. I was amazed how it spoke to my heart and what a God thing it was to relate with my message. If you missed it - here is the song with the lyrics:

If you want see the sermon outline click HERE - and yes - if you want to listen to the message - simply click HERE. Enjoy!

"I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." (Philemon 1:6)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Five things I am praying for

Here are 5 things I am praying for family of North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene we start 2011:

:: More people reached with the love and good news of Jesus.

:: Greater impact through selfless, sacrificial service.

:: More authentic relationships seen in love, unity and accountability.

:: Increasingly deeper intimacy with God.

:: Increased Prayer...truly be a people of prayer.

- "...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place." 2 Chronicles 7:14-15