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.