Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Update

Yesterday was an amazing day at PCC! It was by far one of the top 5 services of the year, at least for me.

We had a combined service in the main auditorium and packed the place. It's always neat to see the two services come together. You can really see what God is doing in our church family as a whole.

The time of worship was outstanding. PCC Worship Team - Thanks so much for all the great music. You did an awesome job yesterday leading us into God's presence. The Holy Spirit was all over that service. Plus, the special music, "Peace on Earth" by Nadeen and Kaela was fantastic.

I wrapped up the Christmas Miracle series and we had a powerful time of prayer at the end of the service. We must have had over 500 people come through the old school prayer lines. I want to thank all the Elders and Prayer Partners for your efforts in the spirit yesterday. Praying for that many people can be exhausting. I can't wait to hear all the good reports that are going to come in as a response to the prayers offered up yesterday.

If you did receive prayer yesterday and God has already answered, please email ( me and let me know.

PS - We also had the second largest single offering in the history of our church too! Thank you PCC for your kindness and generosity. God will reward you for your giving and spiritual maturity.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Bekah and I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Also, thank you all for the wonderful gifts and cards this Christmas. Your expressions of kindness and love this season is much appreciated.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Pocono Christmas

Please join us tonight for a Pocono Christmas Eve Service. The candlelight service will include special music (jazz trio and acoustic ensemble) and we will be singing our favorite Christmas carols and reading the Christmas story.

The service starts at 7:00 PM at the Pocono Mountain West High School. Childcare is available. Refreshments will follow.

PS - A Special Christmas offering for the poor will be received.

PSS - Be sure to invite your friends and family. They will love this service!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Beginnings Daycare

Check out the latest edition of the Pocono Parent Magazine which features a cover article on the grand opening of New Beginnings Daycare (which will open in January within the new facility of Pocono Community Church.)

My wife and I just enrolled one of our kids to the daycare and are looking forward to launching this great ministry to our community.

I want to thank NBD Exeutive Director Dr. Janet Shelton for all her hard work to get this project ready to launch. She has built a great organization already and assembled a first-class staff. In my opinion, NBC will be a premiere place to offer children of the Pocono Community an affordable, Christian daycare education and experience.

If you are interested in enrolling your child, click here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Day!

Yesterday we had to cancel our services because of the snow storm that came through the Pocono Mountains. In our 5 year history, we've never had to cancel our Christmas Sunday services.

Of course, the ramifications of cancel a service, especially the second largest of the year are huge. First, Christmas Sunday is the only Sunday of the church that many on the fringes of Christianity will ever come to church. That lost opportunity to share the Gospel with those that are far from God rips my heart to pieces. Second, the financial consequences of a lost service are difficult to swallow. We are at a critical time in the life of our church and need God to show up and do a miracle in the form of financial blessing. I've watched God do so many miracles for us in the past and fully expect Him to do it again. It's excited to be in a position when we are forced to completely trust in God. It reminds me how little I am and how big God is.

The Good News is that God sent us a Savior at Christmas. He knows what we need and delivers. So there is no reason to be afraid because God is in control.

For all you local blog readers, please remember that our Christmas Eve Service is still on schedule for this Wednesday at 7pm. Hope to see you there! God Bless.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seasons of Ministry

Much like the sea ebbs and flows, so too does ministry. Ministry shares the rhythm of the tides. Sometimes it's up and things are really flowing. This season is often marked by soaring attendance and off-the-chart offerings. But those high water mark seasons will soon give way to times of assimilation and consolidation - times when we we work diligently to disciple and grow people up in the faith.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." As a leader, I'm trying to discern what season our church is in right now. It's my responsibility to hear from God and understand the season of ministry and then communicate that effectively to our people.

Right now, I think we are in a couple different seasons: a season of growth (we are 25% larger this year than last), a season of transition (we are moving from a portable church plant to our first facility) and a season of rethinking what we are all about as a church (we are rebranding our image and reegineering our ministry strategy and structure).

That's a full plate. Perhaps too full. I'm not sure. But I do know this. As we roll up our sleeves and do our best to build a God-glorifying church in this Mountain, God will help us become what He wants us to be. After all, God makes all things new all the time. He wants to take us "from glory to glory."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Together Again

I've got great news! Bekah and Henry were able to come home from the hospital today. Thanks so much for all of you who've been praying for us, bringing us home cooked meals, cleaning our house, and taking care of my kids in Bekah's absence.

I told one of the nurses about all that our church family had done for us during Bekah's stay in the hospital and she was so impressed. Thanks for being such a great church and caring friends.

God Bless!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Rough Week

My little guy Henry has been in the hospital most of the week with a GI virus. It started last week with my other son, David III. David is at home but still sick, as well.

I ended up in the emergency room on Thursday night with the same thing. They took one look at me at the check in counter and rushed me into triage and put in an IV and started pumping me with fluids.

Our family doctor says that we somehow got caught in the perfect storm by contracting both the upper respiratory infections and the GI bug. Please pray for our family. We've never encountered sickness like this before. I'm beginning to think we are under some serious attack from the enemy. But God is greater. We appreciate your prayers.

Dr. McGee

One of my heroes of the faith has gone to be with the Lord. Dr. Gary B. McGee, AGTS Distinguished Professor of Church History and Pentecostal Studies, and longtime AG educator, died December 10, 2008. Dr. McGee was hospitalized on November 13 with complications due to a bacterial infection and a weakened immune system from a long fight with cancer. Dr. McGee, 63, was released from the hospital and passed away at home with family present.

A professor at AGTS since 1984, he previously taught at Central Bible College and Open Bible College, and authored seven books. Just weeks before his death he completed his last book, “Miracles, Missions, and American Pentecostalism” (forthcoming 2009). Dr. McGee leaves behind his wife, Alice, his two daughters, Angela Brim and Catherine McGee, and two grandchildren, all of Springfield, MO.

Here are some life lessons I've learned from Dr. McGee:

1. All the lessons of life are in the past; all the opportunities are in the future.

2. Writing is all about writing, writing some more; writing and rewriting.

3. Make time for your fellow man.

4. Give it your best. Make your best better and your better great.

5. You have to know where you come from to know where you are going.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas Miracle Series

Publish Post
This year, more than ever, people are looking for a miracle. There's no better time to find a miracle than at Christmastime. Christmas is all about God doing the supernatural.

Join me this week where I'll be sharing a message entitled, "Looking for a Miracle." We'll be discovering how God guides people through miraculous means to help lead us to our divine destiny. You don't want to miss it.

And be sure to invite a friend.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sick Day

Unfortuantely, I've been really sick the past few days. All of my kids were sick over the Thanksgiving Holiday and they decided to share their germs with mom and dad. Bekah is feeling somewhat better. But I'm flat on my back in bed with an upper respiratory infection. I haven't been this sick in years.

Anyway, in between medications, I've been trying to read a bit and make some good use of this downtime.

So, here's a few books I'm currently reading:

Pop Goes The Church by Tim Steven - great read on the church engaging popular culture

Money Matters by Aubrey Malphurs and Steve Stroope - perhaps the most practical and useful book I've ever read on all things pertaining to money and the church. Must read for all pastors.
Church Unique by Will Mancini - this was recommended to me by my good friend Joe Dascenzo at ChangEffect. It's a great resource for us as we are going through the process of reorganizing and reengineering our church strategy, structure and style.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Service

Please join Pocono Community Church tonight at 7:00pm at the Pocono Mountain West Junior High School for its first ever Thanksgiving Service!

I look forward to seeing you there!

I'm Thankful For...

1. Jesus and his grace.

2. My wife and kids.

3. My parents and siblings and extended family.

4. Great friends that I get to work with everyday.

5. My church.

6. Chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. And fried chicken.

7. That I have a reason to get up and go to work everyday.

8. Friends and leaders that are willing to invest in me.

9. My wife - she deserves double thanks : )

10.The people who pray for me everyday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

David Kim

Rebekah and I had dinner with our friends, David and Rebekah Kim. That's funny - David and Rebekah had dinner with David and Rebekah.

Pastor David leads Promise International Fellowship in NYC. PIF is unique in that it is a Korean fellowship aimed at reaching first, second and third generation immigrants in NYC. They have the largest Korean fellowship in NYC.

David and Rebekah are some of the coolest people you'll ever meet. We're looking forward to being with them in February 09 where I'll be speaking for his retreat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FIrst Time Guest Response

Each week we send an email survey to all of our first time guests. Below is a recent response from a PCC first-timer. Thought it was interesting and wanted to pass it on to you. You can learn a lot about your church by asking first-time guests for their honest opinion.

What did you notice first?

The very first thing I noticed was the greeter advising me to use my flashers if I was a first time guest at which time I was guided to a parking spot and introduced to the church.

What did you like best?

I think I liked it best that I somehow felt special even though there were so many people there. There were people greeting me at every turn. I was concerned about the size of the church because I thought I would just be a person in a crowd and I didn't feel that way at all.

What was your overall impression?

Honestly it was a bit over the top for me at first but I don't say that in a bad way. I never expected something at such a grand scale that was so organized. I mentioned to a family member that I felt that I had gone to a paid production. I have paid hundreds of dollars to go to events that were less impressive.

How can we pray for you?

You can pray for me to find a spiritual path to walk with Jesus.

Monday, November 17, 2008

PCC 2.0

Had a great time yesterday afternoon with my good friend Joe Dascenzo, co-founder of ChangEffect. He and his team spent 5 hours with some of my staff and high capacity volunteers dreaming together about how we can make PCC the best possible church it can be at reaching people for Jesus in the Pocono Mountains.

In this process of reegineering and rebranding, there are no simple solutions, only intelligent questions.

Here are some of the questions we relentlessly drilled down on:

1) What's our business ... really?
2) What are we most passionate about?
3) Whare are our strengths? Weaknesses?

These questions and many more are helping us go to the next level as a church. One of the hard truths we discovered from Joe's team member, Fred (who led Willow Creek's Re-org) was that "we have outgrown our current organizational structure years ago." In other words, what got us here, won't get us where we want to go in the future. Although that is typical of fast growing organizations, our unwillingness to address these issues could potentially make or break the future of our church.

Last night was by far the most exciting dream session we've ever had as a church. I'm looking forward to all the good changes, both in messaging and structure, that will come out of this process.

PCC 2.0 here we come!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family Update

As many of you know, my wife, Bekah, was expecting our 4th child. Unfortunately, there were some complications with the pregnancy and she lost the baby last week. It's been a sad and disappointing time for our family but we are trusting in God's providence. Our Father knows best.

On behalf of Bekah and my kids, I want to thank you all for your prayers, cards and food that you've been bringing to the house. You've all ministered to us in so many ways and words can't express our gratitude. A special shout out to our community group too. You guys have been so kind. Thanks so much.

Pastor Dave & Family

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Day After

I just read a response by Chuck Colson regarding the day after the election. I thought you might enjoy reading it.

The Day After

Pray for Our President and Our Nation

November 5, 2008

Whether you voted for Barack Obama or John McCain, whether you’re recovering from your all-night celebration or drying the tears from your pillow, today’s a good day to remember the words of the apostle Paul: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

And the new President will surely need our prayers because he and his administration face huge, serious challenges to the health of our nation and to peace in the world—challenges that, in my opinion, neither he nor any government on earth will have the power to overcome without divine aid.

How has America come to this point? Why is our economy on the brink of disaster? Why is our culture so utterly depraved?

I can only think of what Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said about the catastrophic consequences of the Russian revolution. “I recall,” he said, “hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.”

Solzhenitsyn was right. Indeed, I can’t find any better explanation for why we Americans find ourselves in the state we are in. We have forgotten God.

We have also forgotten that American democracy—indeed Western Civilization itself—is the product of the Judeo-Christian understanding of God and humanity. Without that revelation that man is created in the image of God, our founders never would have recognized the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Indeed, as I and others like Rodney Stark have argued, modern science and education, liberal democracy, capitalism flourished in Western civilization precisely because of the Judeo-Christian worldview.

The attacks on Christianity these days are only going to intensify in the months ahead. But we must press on all the more to make a winsome witness. Those who would banish Christianity from American life are risking the very survival of American society.

Friends have asked me whether this economic crisis is God’s judgment upon us. I don’t know.

As I’ve re-read the Old Testament prophets recently, I couldn’t help but notice the recurring theme: The people of God turned away from Him and worshipped false idols. The result was always disaster.

Is God responsible for credit markets collapsing around the world? No. We’re responsible. Because instead of worshiping God, we’ve worshipped false idols of the marketplace, credit card companies and cheap mortgages. We’ve put our own appetites over our duties to God and neighbor.

So this is no time for Christians to go into the bunkers. No time to wail or moan over our retirement plans. This is a time to repent, to pray more, to give more. It’s a time for Christians to lead, encourage, and minister to a faltering country in a faltering economy.

This is a time for the Church to get serious about Christian discipleship. Enough cheap grace.

So pray for the new President and his administration. But most of all, my brothers and sisters, this is a time to love our neighbors and to hunger for God and His righteousness.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

An Election Prayer

Heavenly Father,

We recognize you as the ruler and authority in our life and nation. We pray that your will be done in this election and our country.

May you establish our governing authorities at a local, state and national level. Raise up righteous public servants that will serve with integrity and humility.

We ask that your Holy Spirit will help us unify our nation and empower us above all to love one another.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Birthday Boy!

Today my oldest son, David III, turns 3 years old. He's crazy about the Cars movie so I baked him a cake last night and decorated the kitchen in all his favorite Cars paraphernalia (gotta love Party City). Tonight after I get home from work we are having his favorite meal - spaghetti and meatballs. David's got great taste. And then we are going to open some presents and eat cake.

Here are the 3 Top Things I love about my 3 year old:

1) David has a tender heart towards others. He loves to snuggle and cuddle, especially with his mother. He just loves on his brother and sister, as well. I watch him interact with other children at church and he

2) David has an adventurous spirit. Unlike his sister, he is prone to go exploring - like in the mall when you turn around for just a second.

3) David loves to laugh and learn. He's always sneaking up on his brother or sister and trying to tickle them. He loves sitting at the dining room table with his big sister and "doing school."

Happy Birthday Buddy! Love, Daddy

Friday, October 31, 2008

One Month Video Roll In

Check out the video roll in for our new series put together by our media team here at PCC! You guys rock.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Good Advice on Voting

Check out this video by the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God denomination on how to make a wise, Biblically-informed and prayerful decision in the voting box next week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who to Vote For?

My friend Jeff Leake had a great post on his blog and I thought I would share it with you here. Great stuff, Jeff. Thanks.

Who Do I Vote For?

I listened to a podcast by Ed Young this past weekend called POLITICKED. During this message, he outlined five factors in his decision making as to who to vote for in a an election. His message was pretty intense, but I thought his outline was a good grid. I have listed it here with a few additional thoughts of my own. I added #3 and #7 to Ed's list:

1. The Character Question - which leaders shows a demonstrated trustworthiness? who seems to have an integrity where words and actions match?

2. The Compassion Question - a good leader should show genuine concern for those who need the greatest care and protection. So which candidate shows the greatest levels of compassion for the poor, the mistreated, the unborn, the abused, and disabled?

3. The Competence Question - in making any simple hiring decision, we have to ask the question, does this person have the skills and qualities to do the job? Is there a track record of effective leadership?

4. The Courage Question - which candidate has evidenced the ability to make the hard choices, to lead against the grain even of their own party, and to be willing to suffer personally for a greater good?

5. The Conviction Question - which candidate has verbalized and even more than that has demonstrated Biblical values? Who shows evidence of godly convictions? This requires us to know what our Biblical values are and to consider if the candidates we are considering share those values.

6. The Companionship Question - you can tell a lot about a person by who their friends are. So we ask, who does this person associate with, who supports them, and who opposes them?

7. The Catalyst Question - it is obvious that much about our government needs transformation. So much about our culture needs healed, restored, and redirected. Then we look at the division that exits between races, parties, and classes. Who will unify? Who will inspire positive change?

These seven evaluation points will help me in making my choices. I hope they are helpful to you. Remember, these questions are not just valid for the presidential race, but for any elective decision.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snow Day!

The Pocono Mountains got hammered today with a snow storm that shut down our offices and halted work on our new building. Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow and melt this all away so we can get back to the business of building the Kingdom.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One Month To Live

This weekend we are kicking off a brand new series, "One month to Live." We will be answering the question, "What if you had one month live?"

So, what would you do if you knew you only had one month live? Travel the world? Quit your job? Eat more dessert?

If you are like most people, you would probably live your life differently. You would be more authentic about who you are and more intentional about how you spend your time.

Don't miss this weekend. It's going to be awesome. And be sure to invite your friends.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Everything We Need

2 Peter 1:3 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life."

The demands of life and ministry can be overwhelming at times. But Peter reminds me today that God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, has given us everything we need for life. The Holy Spirit gives me EVERYTHING I NEED, including:
  • strength for my body
  • wisdom for my mind
  • love for my marriage
  • patience with my kids
  • finances for my bills
  • resources for my ministry
  • power to overcome my temptation
Whatever you might be facing today, please remember that God has given you what you need. He's a God who resources His people to accomplish His purpose.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Numero Cuatro

Bekah and I are excited to announce that we are expecting our 4th baby! Bekah is to deliver sometime in June of 2009. We've gone from not being able to have children to a growing family. God is good.

Please keep Bekah and the baby in prayer. She's had some difficulty last week and the doctor put her on bed rest. We are anticipating everything to be just fine and your fervent prayers will make all the difference in the world. Thanks!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Royal Family Kids Camp

I had the opportunity to have lunch today and spend some time with a visionary leader and great man of God. His name is Wayne Tesch and he is the founder of Royal Family Kids Camp.

Royal Family Kids Camp creates camp experiences for abused kids in the foster care system that are second-to-none. They literally treat this kids like royalty for a week and invest in lives for eternity. This year nearly 6,000 kids will have attended one of their camps. This organization has grown nationwide to network of camps sponsored by churches in 26 denominations and spans 36 states and 5 foreign countries.

Wayne reminded me that annually 3 million cases of child abuse, neglect or abandonment are reported in America. If that's not bad enough, one of these victims dies every four hours due to that abuse.

One of Jesus' hardest sayings was if anybody hurts a child it would be better for them to have a mill stone tied around their neck and thrown into the sea."

Wayne is a great leader with infectious enthusiasm for children and the Kingdom. We are looking forward to working with this organization in the future and I would encourage you to pray about doing the same.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sticky Church

My staff and I are reading Larry Osborne's new book, Sticky Church. Larry is the pastor of North Coast Church and a pioneer in sermon-based small groups ministry as well as multi-site.

The premise of the book is to help churches do a better job at keeping the people they are already reaching through sermon-based small groups.

Here are just some of the questions I've already written down after reading only the first few chapters:

+How committed are we at PCC to small groups?

+What part of our staff, leadership team and members are involved in small groups?

+How much of our budget is allocated to small groups?

+How much of our budget is committed to attractional events?

+What would our church look like with a thriving small groups ministry?

You might also want to check out for more resources.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monkey Business

If you have difficulty understanding the current world financial situation, the following should help clear matters...I received this from my friend who is a missionary/evangelist in Africa.

Once upon a time in a village in Africa, a man announced to the villagers that he would buy local monkeys for $10 apiece.

The villagers seeing there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.

The man bought thousands at $10, but, as the supply started to diminish, the villagers slowed their efforts.

So the man then announced that he would buy at $20. This rejuvenated the efforts of the villagers and they were catching monkeys once more.

But again the supply diminished, and again people began returning to their farms and their previous, less affluent lives.

The offer rate increased to $25 and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was rare to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now act as buyer, on his behalf.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: 'Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $30 each. When he returns from the city, you can sell them back to him for $50.'

The villagers, seeing an opportunity to squeeze a bit more out of this monkey business dug up their savings and bought back all the monkeys.

They never saw the man or his assistant again; only monkeys ... everywhere!

Welcome to Wall Street!

I'm Not Catholic, but...

I'm not Catholic, but I thought this video was pretty powerful. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Earl Nightingale

When I was in my sophomore year in college my grandfather gave me a set of tapes to listen to by Earl Nightengale. As I began to listen to these talks, for the first time in my life I began to truly understand the power of motivation and inspiration.

I'll never forget one of the talks entitled Acres of Diamonds. It was based on a true story told by the founder of Temple University which he used to raise the necessary funds to build the school. That talk changed my life. If you've never heard the talk, go download it today and listen to it. It's powerful.

We all need to be inspired and encouraged. Life is tough. Life as a follower of Jesus Christ is not for the faint of heart. Ministry can be grueling.

Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

You are what you think. So think thoughts that are true and be inspired.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Len Sweet @ Valley Forge

I just wanted to get this event on the radar screen for all those pastors out there that read the blog. Valley Forge is hosting a Ministry Forum with Leonard Sweet on November 20, 2008. 

If you are anywhere the Philly area this will be an event worth attending. Sweet loves the church and has a message worth hearing. Let me know if you are planning on attending. It would be cool to hook up with you at the event. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Community Groups

Last Sunday we kicked off our new sermon series, EVERYBODY. 

In connection with the teaching series, we are kicking off our Fall semester of Community Groups here at PCC. 

Here are ten good reasons EVERYBODY should be in a Community Group:

1. It's fun.

2. It's Biblical.

3. You get to meet new people and make new friends.

4. It's a great place to study God's Word and discuss the implications of the Sunday message.

5. There's usually some good eats involved.

6. You can check out someone's else's house and see all their stuff.

7. If you ever get sick or end up in the hospital, you'll have a lot of people to come visit you or make you soup.

8. Community Groups are a great place to pray for one another and show that you really care.

9. Did I mention the food?

10. It's THE place to help you grow to spiritual maturity. 

Monday, October 06, 2008

Highway Clean Up

Last Saturday 75 PCCers showed up at the new church property and participated in our highway clean up day. This is by far the best attended outreach we've ever had for this ministry aimed at keeping our environment clean. 

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for volunteering your time to help keep the planet and more specifically, the Poconos, a beautiful place to live. Also, thanks to the volunteers and staff that organized the event. You did a great job!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Whose Report Will You Believe?

I've been spending a lot of time in the Old Testament lately. Here's another great story that has inspired me to trust God and in His economy while we find ourselves in difficult financial times.

In the book of Exodus, Moses leads the people of God out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Before taking hold of their blessing, God told Moses to commission 12 spies to go in and check out the land of Canaan. The majority of the spies, ten in all, returned with a bad report. Almost in the spirit of Eeyore, these men said, “We can’t do it. The enemy is too big. The challenge is too great.” The remaining two spies, on the other hand, brought back a good report. They said, “The land is flowing with milk and honey. Yes, the enemy is great, but our God is greater!” (Numbers 13) Whose report would Moses believe?

Much like Moses, we are faced with, yet again, two reports. Some reports say our current economic uncertainty will lead America into a financial collapse making it impossible for us to buy gas, heat our homes, and provide for our families. Yet God’s report says, “The righteous will not be forsaken.” (Psalm 37:25), and “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) Whose report will you believe?

Friends, we must trust in God and obey his giving principles during this difficult economy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Getting the Pattern Right

This past weekend our special guest speaker, Lynn Wheeler, shared a message at the Iron Man Retreat entitled, "Getting the Pattern Right."

The gist of the message was that when we do life God's way, He honors our obedience with His blessing. 

For example, God instructed Moses to build a Tabernacle so the children of Israel would have a place to worship Him while in the desert prior to inhabiting the Promise Land. God gave Moses very specific instructions on how to build the Tabernacle. 

Unfortunately, Moses thought he knew how to build a better Tabernacle than God. In fact, God had to correct Moses 17 times and bring him back to the divine design. Once Moses executed God's blueprints, the book of Exodus tells us that God's glory filled the Tabernacle. In other words, when we get the pattern right, the glory of God shows up.

When I survey the landscape of my relationships, marriage, family, finances and ministry I have been personally challenged to execute God's pattern, not my own. Less of me and more of God. There is no substitute to the glory and presence of God showing up in my life and ministry. Help me God to get the pattern right!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Leadership Quote

"Nothing emboldens sin more than mercy." Shakespeare

Friday, September 26, 2008

Evangelist Lynn Wheeler

This is my friend Lynn Wheeler and he's a full-time evangelist. He travels across the US and also internationally preaching the Word of God. He's a powerful man of God with a heart for the lost and broken.

I'm looking forward to his ministry here at PCC this weekend. He's speaking tonight and tomorrow at our Iron Man Retreat and will also be speaking for us in both services at PCC on Sunday morning.

Please say a prayer for the kick-off of our Iron Man Retreat this evening. We have 100 guys that will be there and many of them need a spiritual breakthrough in their lives.

And you don't want to miss this Sunday. The service is going to be awesome. Come with an expectation for God to do great things and be sure to bring a friend.

Staff Outing

On Tuesday of this week I had the opportunity to take some of my staff to Brooklyn, NYC to spend some time with Pastor Jim Cymbala and his staff.

Let me just say how proud I am of our staff here at PCC. God is really building a a team of committed followers of Christ who are all about putting the vision and mission of the church first and foremost. I love you guys!

We also attended the weekly prayer meeting Tuesday night at Brooklyn Tab. Only one word can describe the prayer meeting - AMAZING. It's hard to put into words what its like to be with about 4000 people who are crying out to God and interceding for their city. I look forward to the day when the PCC prayer meeting has to turn people away because there is not enough room to fit everyone in the church.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Accountability is the one of the key's to spiritual growth. Anyone who operates without accountability doesn't understand authority and places their life in a very spiritually vulnerable position.

Accountability helps me ward off mediocrity in my life by creating an opportunity for me to take stock and evaluate my life. A friend of mine says, "The difference between an amateur and a professional is honest evaluation."

I have an accountability partner that I meet with on a monthly basis that asks me the hard questions.

Here are a few of those questions.

1. Are you cultivating a growing relationship with Christ through consistent time in the Word and prayer - beyond your sermon preparation?

2. How are things between you and your wife?

3. Are you spending enough quality time with your children? What investments have you made in the lives of your kids since we last spoke?

4. Are you entertaining any secret sin? Are you remaining sexually pure? Have you viewed or been tempted to view any explicit content since we last spoke?

5. What's the financial snapshot of your life look like? Are you faithful with your tithe?

6. Who was the last person you shared Christ with?

7. Have you been completely honest with me during our talk?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Leadership Quote

I am speaking tomorrow on the subject of leadership. Here's one of my all-time favorite leadership quotes.

A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how." Victor Frankl

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Construction Pics

Here are some of the latest pictures I took yesterday from the construction site.

This is where we are: the concrete slab floor is finished, the framers are on site and underway, the electrical and sewer systems are only a few weeks from being completed and the exterior walls will be finished within the next couple of weeks.
We are still on target to be in by Christmas.

I want to thank all of you PCC
ers out there for your faithfulness to the capital fund initiative, It's About Time. Last week over $30,000 was given to the building fund! Thank you for your generosity and continued prayer as we work together to realize this miracle of God right here in Pocono. Isn't it cool that even in uncertain financial times that God is faithful!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mega Church Study Released

Leadership Network and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research came-out with a study last week on megachurches.

Here's the summary:

"Megachurches - Protestant congregations that draw 2,000 or more adults and children in a typical weekend (attendance not membership) - show considerable consistency over the past eight years.
They continue to:

• Grow in size,
• Lead the way as America's most multi-ethnic class of church,
• Show a strong bias toward contemporary worship, and
• Remain minimally involved in politics.

However, they also are institutions in transition. They are now:

• Offering more worship services and expanding to multiple-locations,
• Shifting to playing a greater role in community service,
• Decreasing their use of radio and television, and
• Putting greater emphasis on the role of small groups.

These are some of the most salient findings of a national study of America's roughly 1,200 megachurches with approximately one third returning a usable response to an eight-page, 150-question survey that was fielded between February and August, 2008, with comparison given to similar (but non-longitudinal) national studies in 2000 and 2005."

You can see the full report with charts and graphs here.

The Christian Post has a summary article here. RedOrbit has another summary article here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pastor's Masters

Yesterday PCC hosted it's 5th Annual Pastor's Masters Golf Tournament in an effort to raise funds for missions work in Africa. I want to give it up for our Tournament Director, Rick Diynysious and the volunteers who put together yet another great tournament. In the tournament history, we have raised approximately $50,000.

The favorite part of the outing for me is the opportunity to meet a lot of business men from the community who don't attend our church, but love to come out and play golf. The tournament has become a real evangelistic outreach for our church. At least 1/3 of the players that were with us yesterday do not attend church regularly. What a great opportunity to raise resources for missions while also "doing" missions right here in our community.

Yesterday we raised $8,000 in the tournament and this weekend we will be taking a special offering for the African Missions project that involves digging water wells, building medical clinics and schools and most of all - planting churches.

All you PCCers out there please pray this week about what God would want you to do this coming weekend as it relates to helping the people of Africa. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tail-Gate Prayer Meeting

Tonight we will be meeting at the church property for our monthly prayer meeting, The Gathering. Since we can't actually be in the building, we decided to set up some huge screens outside and have an worship / prayer gathering under the stars.

The night will include great music and worship, candlelight communion, and a special video and music presentation from our youth highlighting their summer missions trip to Arizona.

Don't miss this night to remember! Be there at 7 and we'll wrap up around 8:10.

See you there.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Responsibility Process

I met with my coach last week, Nelson Searcy, and he took us through an exercise called The Responsibility Process. It's very simple, but yet powerful. Here's how it works. Have someone sit down with you and ask you each question. The question-asker is not allowed to ask follow up questions or interject any personal thoughts. Just ask the questions and let the other participant respond. Give it a try.

The Responsibility Process: Just ask the questions and wait…

• First Question: What is a difficult or troubling situation in your life? This is the open door and you have to be honest…

• Second: What payoffs or benefits do you get for keeping it like it is?

• Third: What cost do you pay for keeping it like it is? The pain of facing the situation (ounces) or the pain of regret (weight)

• Fourth: How do you create, promote, or allow it to be the way it is?

• Fifth: What do you pretend not to know?

• Sixth: What do you want?

• Seventh: What actions can you take and what requests can you make to get this done?

• Eighth: When will you do this?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Iron Man Kicks Off

Yesterday we kicked off our new fall series, Iron Man. What a phenomenal response as God's Spirit showed up and spoke to men. My favorite part of both services was the conclusion when the men responded to the call to commitment and stood shoulder to shoulder and filled the altars praying prayers of confession and worshiping God.

One guy caught me between services and said, "Pastor Dave, I don't know whether I should hug you or hit you." That's how we feel when the Spirit speaks to us through someone else and brings a word of challenge and conviction.

Here's what the men committed to yesterday:
To all you Iron Men out there, please know of my prayers for you today!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Check out this new book by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I have Mark's book pre-ordered on Amazon for its release on Oct. 3. I suggest you do the same.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Guest Blogger Rebekah Crosby

As election day approaches I have been researching all parties involved. I want to feel good about the choice I make on that day. As I was researching I came across a press release I found very interesting. Come to find out Governor Sarah Palin, who will be accepting the position as Senator John McCain's Vice President tonight at the Republican Party Convention, attended an Assemblies of God church in Alaska since she was a teenager. I attached the press release if you are interested in reading it.

Dave and I will not endorse any candidate in the upcoming election. However, I do urge you to do your homework. Research the parties involved. Get to know them and their views. The way to pick a candidate is to compare their views against the word of God. Do they line up with His Word. Voting is an important responsibility that we as citizens have. We all need to pray for the upcoming election, and choose wisely.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Guest Blogger Rebekah Crosby

It was Kate's first day of Kindergarten today. After prayer, many discussions, and more prayer Dave and I made the decision to home school. There were many days before today that I wondered if we made the right decision for Kate. After today I know that for us this was the right decision. We had a great first day, and I got to be with her for every moment. As a mom I ate up every second, knowing I was investing in my daughter. It was such a fun day. We did reading, writing, spelling, math, puzzles, games, history, and geography. Kate is a little sponge. She loves to learn, and I love teaching her. We both ended today wanting more.

I only get Kate for a few years and then she will be off on her own. Every moment I invest in my kids I am preparing them to become adults. I don't want to miss a thing.

The most important thing you can do is invest in your child. Spend time with them, get to know them, play with them, pray with them, read to them, and educate them. It doesn't matter if your child is in public, private, or home school. The kids who get the best education, are the kids whose parents are involved.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis - Define

hey there. without definition, what would anything mean? one of those mind benders... it doesn't take too much thought, though, to figure out that definitions are quite useful. this truth even translates over to different ministries that we may lead, or be part of.

underground fellowship
| uhn-der-ground fel-oh-ship | (noun/verb) : we are growing deeper through Godly relationships, with Him & with each other. ('for the seed that is planted in the good soil represents those who hear the Word, embrace the Word, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.' -mark.4.20)

how would you define the ministry that God has given to you? answering this question might prove to be the most productive thing you do over the extended weekend. happy defining!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis - Train

hey there.  although the above clip is kind of funny to watch, it is very uncomfortable to experience.  the most unfortunate outcome of a temper tantrum like this is when it is left unchecked, when it is appeased.  we learn most lessons through repetition, and it is very dangerous when we discover that throwing fits will get us what we want.  this is why proverbs 22.6 reminds us to 'train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.'

our children will learn very well how to follow Jesus just like we follow Jesus.  our children will learn very well how to worship God just like we worship God.  our children will learn very well how to be faithful to God's house just like we are faithful to God's house.  our children will learn very well how to have Godly relationships just like we have Godly relationships.  when we train up a child, they will not depart from it.  this truth is either very comforting, or very scary.  when we make sure that basketfootbaseball doesn't get in the way of our child's faithfulness to the house of God, then fishshopcountry clubbing won't get in the way of their faithfulness to the house of God when they're grown.  when we make sure that their seven bucks an hour job doesn't cost them an eternity in heaven, then their six figure career won't cost them an eternity in heaven either.  no question, it is difficult to maintain consistent discipline in how we raise our children...  but they are so worth it!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis - Momentum

hey there. a few things become important when God allows us to be leaders of ministry... but momentum is not just important, it is EVERYTHING. the biggest, baddest tank is nearly useless if it is stuck in the mud with no ammo. and the biggest, baddest ministry team is nearly useless if it is stuck in neutral with no evidence of God's power. this is why following the voice of God is so crucial. He knows best how to get us around every obstacle, and on to each of our destinations without getting bogged down. one thing i've noticed is that God-given momentum is approximately a billiondy times better than any kind of man-made momentum. sure, we have the ability to stir up excitement... but it will never compare to a true moving of God that comes through obedience to His voice. another great thing about momentum is that even though it is slow to start, it is very difficult to shut down. (of course, this is why the direction of our momentum is so critical.)

we certainly feel God-given momentum in underground fellowship (student ministry of pocono community church). we've made some difficult decisions and some miserab
le mistakes; but we've done our best to follow the voice of God through the 2007-08 school year and summer months. thank you God for getting us moving!!! the following video is a promo for one of our upcoming events. elevate.08 is a back to school retreat at camp watonka with evangelist ron rhoads. if God has His way, our momentum will continue to multiply through this event.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis - Balance

hey there.  balance seems to be so elusive...  unless your name is bill dan.  you can check out more of his rock balancing abilities at  what about us, though?  will we ever be able to correctly live out all of our passionate pursuits?  my answer is simple:  i think so.

many church leaders are hard wired to completely sell out.  the ability to disregard personal comfort is high on God's list when He searches the land for servant leaders.  the history of God's Kingdom is overflowing with individuals who have handily won stare down contests with common sense.  the big but, however, is that God never intended our families or personal faith walks to suffer at the hand of our ministry.  unfortunately,  successfully navigating this issue proves difficult to pull off.  it is not that we don't love our families...  it is that we love Jesus so much that we occasionally leave our families in the dust in order to follow Him.

so here's the deal:  i struggle with this issue myself.  i'm guilty.  maybe you've had difficulty maintaining balance, too.  one solution for us can be to keep each other in check.  lead pastors can encourage staff longevity by watching and coaching the life balance of their team.  ministry partners and friends can offer consistent accountability for each other by watching habits and sharpening one another.  but ultimately, we are responsible for our own life balance.  we must make sure that we aren't quickly saving the world...  but slowly losing ourselves and our family.

balancing life's rocks

Monday, August 25, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis

hey there.  my name is matthew.  i love jesus.  i love my wife, wendy jo.  i love cooper, ashton, caleb, carter, and our baby girl on the way.  i know it sounds crazy, but i even love my job.  God has not only blessed me with an amazing family, He has also blessed me with the opportunity of a lifetime:  the chance to hang out with teenagers...  and get paid for it.  (i'm the student pastor here @ pocono community church)

even though student ministry sounds like a super easy gig, you need to know that some fairly heavy baggage comes along for the ride...  there were 15 of us moving through airports last week as we made our way home from a mission trip.  when it was my turn for the boarding pass/i.d. check, the agent asked if i was 18 yet.  18?!  i'm 34.  make that 34 1/2!  (i guess i shouldn't be upset that the lines on my face have not yet caught up with my life experience)  and then there is the constant question:  sooo, what do you do for a REAL job?  real job?!  changing the landscape of eternity isn't a real job?  (i guess i should appreciate that i get to do full time what God created me for)  then there is the extra heavy baggage.  is it really possible for our Christ following life, and our family raising life, and our world ministry life to be in balance?  (i guess i should be thankful that God actually gives me just one life to live, and not three to keep in balance)  and how do we sleep at night knowing that people God has entrusted to our care are walking off of really steep cliffs with their life choices?  (i guess i should be grateful that so many are choosing to climb higher than ever before as they serve in God's Kingdom)

i will do my best to tackle a handful of these issues this week from my student pastor perspective.  i'll let you in on a few ways that we are following Jesus here at pcc's student ministry - underground fellowship.  i hope you have time to hang out with me this week while pastor dave takes a much needed break.  that is, of course, if you want to spend time with an 18 year-old in need of a real job...


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Iron Man

Here's the video announcement for our new teaching series beginning in September. I'm totally pumped to teach on God's plan for being a Godly man. Please keep me and the team in prayer as we prepare for this life-changing, family-altering and God-honoring series calling men to step up!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Watch This - Part 1

The video is a clip of a guy reaching the punk rock/anarchist subculture of Europe.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Staying Power

Shawn Johnson finally won gold! Here's why: she never gave up. She never quit. She was faithful to finish what she started.
Faithfulness is being obedient to finish what you start. Too often people give up on dreams due to some frustration, fear or fatigue.

When Nehemiah and his team rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem they were ready to quit half way through the project (Neh. 4). But they remembered the Lord and were faithful to the finish.

If you feel like giving up on something or someone today - remember to be faithful. Persist to the end.

It's always too soon to quit.