Friday, August 31, 2007

Mike Huckabee responds to evolution question

While this is in no way a political plug for any specific candidate, I found Mr. Huckabee's answer to the Creationism question refreshing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Family Day

I took today off. It was an absolutely gorgeous day in the Poconos. My family and I went out for breakfast at our favorite spot, Cozy Corners. Kate and I had a relaxing tea party while Bekah and David enjoyed some delicious pancakes.

After breakfast we went to a petting zoo and almost scared a horse to death. That was interesting. Then we made our way down to Country Junction, the worlds largest country store. We picked up some fall fest costumes for the kids. They look adorable.

We spent the afternoon working around the house. I piled up sticks from our back yard for about 3 hours and Bekah made a phenomenal meal - pork chops with rice and black beans and homemade salsa. Mmmmmm.

I got the kids showered and to bed and just watched a little of the US Open. I'm a huge tennis fan. Well, the wheels are about the fall off so I'm headed to bed.

I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to spend an entire day with my family and enjoy every minute of it. Life doesn't get any better.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Back To School

Last week while visiting my family in Harrisburg I took my 10 year old nephew out for a hair cut. While we were walking through the mall he wanted me to buy him a toy at his favorite store. As we entered the store I saw these cool backpacks hanging on the wall.

Instantly I was transported back to my childhood days where I proudly carried my lunch and drink and books in my Charlie Brown lunch box and Snoopy back pack. I sensed the Holy Spirit say to me, "Dave, buy 100 back packs for needy kids in your community and present them to the church and ask the congregation to take them, fill them up, and bring them back to the church so they can be a blessing to those in need."

I thought, "that's crazy." But I listened and obeyed and I'm proud to say that last week our PCC family took all 100 back packs with excitement. In fact, they were upset that I didn't buy more. So, we had about 100 more people commit to go out and buy a back pack on their own and fill it up with the suggested supplies.

I'm so proud of you PCC. You are a generous and loving church. I'm looking forward to seeing all those kids with smiling faces sporting their new back packs. I can't wait to see what God will do through this simple act of kindness. As Christians, we are called to show the love of Christ in practical ways. Perhaps God will open a door for you today to demonstrate His love to those in need.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What a Journey

This past weekend I spoke at The Journey Church in NYC for my friend Nelson Searcy. God is doing awesome things at the Journey. Nelson and his team are some of the greatest people I've met in ministry. They started a multi-site ministry almost 6 years ago and now they have grown to over 1000 people in attendance. The average age of the congregation is 29. The Journey is full of seekers and new Christ-followers.

I also spoke on Saturday for my good friend Pastor Emilio Quinterra at Elim Ministries. Pastor Emilio planted a Spanish speaking church in the Poconos 5 years ago. This past weekend they had a young adults retreat with students from NY, NJ, Maryland and PA in attendance. They are doing a fantastic work for God here among our Spanish-speaking community.

What a thrill to be used of God and to rub shoulders with great people. After speaking 6 times this weekend I'm exhausted. But God is refreshing me moment by moment. Have a great week.

Friday, August 24, 2007

This Weekend

This weekend is going to be awesome at PCC! Here are some of the highlights:
  • Pastor Kevin will be speaking on "Willing and Able" - Part 10 our "Do It" Series on the book of James.
  • Special Children's Team Guests "Crosswalk" will be presenting a fun, high-impact experience for our children's program. You're kids are not going to want to miss this. There will be lots of great music, games, and Biblical stories through drama and video.
  • A special opportunity will be shared to help some needy families in a creative way as families get ready to send their kids back to school.

Please remember to invite your friends to church this weekend and get involved by serving in one of our weekend ministry teams.

Monday, August 20, 2007

212 Degrees

I just finished reading "212: the extra degree" by S.I. Parker. Parker's premise is that people often give up to too early in life. The extra effort, says Parker, will push you over the edge to your dreams. For instance, at 211 degrees, water is just hot. But at 212 degrees, water boils. Parker says, "applying one extra degree of temperature to water means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine."

I've found that in life, it's often the small things that make a big difference. The extra study time on a message makes a good message a great one. The extra effort in trying to communicate effectively with my wife transforms our good marriage into a great marriage. Working out just 5 more minutes on the treadmill builds stronger muscles and greater endurance.

God calls us to excellence in this life. We are told to do everything as "unto the Lord." Jesus gave me His best so He deserves my best. I refuse to settle for mediocrity and perpetual half-hearted commitment. The greatest things in life (marriage, business, church, relationship, education) will always cost you something. And that little effort in the end - just when you feel like quitting and giving up - will help you realize your dreams.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Study Day

I've been hard a work all morning preparing for this weekends message, "Fight Club." I'm really excited about to be speaking this weekend, especially on such a hot topic. I meet so many people who struggle with conflict in life. This Sunday we are going to look at James 4:1-12 and learn together what God has to say about how to effectively handle conflict. Perhaps you might want to read through those scriptures this week and prepare your heart for what God might wish to communicate to you this weekend.

I'm also having lunch today with a church planter in Philadelphia. God has opened the door for me to work with church planters all across the country. I really feel honored to have the opportunity to speak into the lives of other pastors and help them avoid making a lot of the mistakes I've made in ministry.

In fact, tomorrow I'm flying to Nashville for a one day seminar to finish up my national certification for church planting/health coaching with Church Coaching Solutions and CoachNET. I'm excited about investing in God's Kingdom. I also think that there is a spiritual principle at work when you give your time and resources away to someone else for the sake of the Gospel that God will pour back to you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Letting Go

Last night I performed a memorial service for a young man named Dan. The funeral home was packed with Dan's close friends and family who had to let go of a friend way too early. My heart really goes out to all those that are struggling with having to go through such a difficult time.

Death has a way of making you deal with life. If we handle death correctly, it can actually be a great teacher. Here's a few life lessons that that I shared last night:
  • the highest use of life is to love - John 3:16 - "For God so loved."
  • the best expression of love is the gift of you - "...that he gave his Son"
  • the best time to love is now - "Today is the day of salvation."

If you want to leave a lasting legacy that will far outlive your life, than commit yourself to love. Paul said in 1 Cor. 13 that "three things will endure: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love."

Spend time today loving God and loving others. You won't regret it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Do It

This summer we've been taking a journey through the book of James in a series we've been calling, "Do It." It's been exciting to see so many people come to Christ and grow deeper in their faith as a result of this series.

Rudy did an awesome job today speaking on wisdom. Here are a few of my take aways:
  • wisdom and knowledge aren't the same thing.
  • knowledge is based on information and it comes from earth
  • wisdom is based on a relationship with God and it's a divine gift
  • wise people experience peace in their life; unwise people experience conflict
  • wise people can learn from anyone
  • wise people are open about their weaknesses

My prayer this week is that God would help me to walk in wisdom.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Elder Brother Spirit

I'm at a leadership seminar this week in Indianapolis and one of the speakers, Dary Northrop, of Timberline Church, spoke about the fact that it gets really messy when you are reaching people for Christ.

He told the story about this woman stripper who got saved in his church. He explained that on her first Sunday in church she was not exactly wearing "church clothes" and despite that fact, the Lord touched her heart and she gave her life to Jesus.

He reminded us of the story of the Prodigal son and the fact that if he would have ran into the elder brother first he would have never made it back into the father's house. Unfortunately, too many of our churches display the spirit of the elder brother. We want everyone to clean up their life before we welcome them in the church.

Our heavenly father calls us to love EVERYONE. Dary challenged us to love people before they change or clean up their life. That was worth the entire trip this week!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Let's Pray

Prayer changes things! At PCC, we believe in the power of prayer. The Bible says that the prayers of righteous people are powerful and effective! It's through prayer that the lost are saved, sins are forgiven, illnesses are cured, and wounds are healed.

Please join us tonight at our Tuesday night prayer meeting held at 7PM at the Pocono Mountain West High School in Parking Lot C. We will have a time of worship and testimony along with the opportunity to call upon the name of the Lord!

If God has recently answered your prayers, I would love to hear your story. Please post a comment and share the good report.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Weekend Update

Here are some highlights from this weekends service:
  • 15 people give their hearts to Christ! (that's almost 30 people now in the past 2 weeks)
  • over 100 people were serving in ministry from setup/tear down to children and music and multimedia and first impressions teams
  • i don't know the numbers on first-time guests, but there were a lot!
  • a gentleman named Gonzalo gave his heart to Christ yesterday - he was visiting family from Columbia and he responded to the altar call with the ASL translator - i'll never forget that moment
  • 2 teenage girls visiting from France gave their hearts to Christ yesterday
  • the worship band and singers were kickin' yesterday - they rock!
  • the testimony Doug shared about his mother being healed on her death bed was simply miraculous. God answers prayer!
I was just so proud of everyone at PCC yesterday. I just can't believe what an awesome church we have. Thank you so much for serving and being part of this unfolding miracle on this mountain. I sense a wave of God's Spirit begin to move in our church. The past few weekend services have been phenomenal. I've noticed people genuinely crying out to God in prayer and worshiping with greater levels of passion. Those are great indicators that God is definitely up to something!

If you have a story to share or a cool testimony about what God is doing in your life through PCC, please post a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

I love you PCC!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Resisting A Rest..." Guest Contributor, Kevin Weaver

When I was 12 years old my dad had to rescue me from the undertow in the ocean right off of a Tampa, Florida beach. I remember the power of the water as it tossed me back and forth with no regard for my need to breathe. It was a very scary matter how hard I tried I could not break free to make my way to shore. At the point of total exhaustion I finally just gave up.

The next thing I remember was my dad grabbing on to me and pulling me toward a breaker wall. At first, I didn't know what was happening and I found myself fighting his efforts to save me. But, through a series of frantic commands compelling me to relax and let him do the work we found ourselves on the breaker wall, finally reaching a point of safety.

It seems that my near-death experience as a kid has some similarities to our everyday experiences with people who are spiritually drowning. They are caught in an undertow of sinful deception and God has called us to help them. But, what about those people who don't want help. You know the ones - you grab onto them and instead of allowing you to bring them in the boat, they fight you with all they've got! What now? Let me give you a couple of practical things to ponder.
  • Don't give up! When we come across these people in our lives, it is so important to remember that we can't let go...we can't give up. No matter how much they fight God's saving power coming into their lives, perhaps because they are blind to the perils that are all around them, we have to hang on tight! As hard as it might be at times, never let go!

  • Be relational! We have to continue to nourish the relationships we have with people. One of the most important lessons we learn from Jesus is that He was a friend to those who were lost. People want to know that you care before they care what you know. We should respect them seeing them as people created by the Father, not succumbing to petty disagreements about doctrine. Remember, it's not about who's right, but rather, it's about them discovering righteousness.

  • Be prayerful! Praying for them on a daily basis. Ask God to not only give you wisdom as you spend time with them, but also, ask Him to give you opportunities to speak into their lives as they experience the waves that make life so difficult at times. And when we do get those "divine appointments" making sure we are mindful to turn our conversation towards spiritual things, in creative, non-threatening ways. Listen, you don't have to be outgoing or even just need to be available as a friend who loves God and prayerfully communes with Him. Just be the person God has made you, because it's really hard to argue with someone's testimony.

  • Be patient! Hang on, don't give up, and always keep in mind: the ocean is big, and some rescues take a little more time. I know that we get tired too, but our Father has promised that He would always strengthen us in our time of need.
This little list is certainly not an exhaustive one, but maybe it can serve to give you a "push" to get your feet wet in rescuing the parishing!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"Cruising for Jesus?" Guest Contributor, Kevin Weaver

Back in January of this year, KyAnne and I had the exciting opportunity to go on our first cruise. It was a fantastic experience cruising to the Bahamas, enjoying the warm weather and hanging out with our friends who joined us on the trip.

I have to admit that this experience in contrast to the metaphor of "rowing a boat" that I have been sharing this week, is certainly much more desirable. But, should it be?

It seems that there are so many believers in Christ who really love the thought of God's grace, mercy and power being made active in their lives, and yet, "cruising for Jesus" is the attitude that prevails as a lifestyle instead of "rowing for Jesus". I wonder if there are many who think that the ocean of blessing is found lounging on deck sipping God's gifts at our leisure. Of course, it's true that there are times when God gives us opportunities of rest and relaxation, but how fulfilling would our life be if all our days were spent on a cruise? Consider this before you answer:

The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10-11, "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."

Paul's implication is that the most fulfilling experience on this earth is found in giving our all for Christ, even if it means living a lifestyle that is counter to our flesh! It's then that we experience the life giving, resurrection power of God in our everyday living.

Now, don't get me wrong, taking a vacation is great. In fact, it's essential to make time to get away and be refreshed. But, it might serve us well to remember that the greatest gifts in this world are not found on the "Lido Deck" of life, but rather, on the quiet waters of steady rowing.

If you've been cruising and haven't been rowing...why not give rowing a try? You won't be sorry!!