Monday, December 28, 2009

Holly Crosby

I'd like to introduce the newest member of the Crosby family, Holly. She is a 9 week old, Cockapoo - a mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle.
As a first-time dog owner, I must admit that I know very little (next to nothing actually) about dogs. All I know is this little bundle of joy puts the poo in Cockapoo.
Actually, Bekah is just as smitten with Holly as the rest of the family. It's just a bit overwhelming trying to potty train a dog in the dead of a Pocono winter. Also, adjusting to life with a 5 week old baby doesn't make it any easier.
One healthy piece of advice I've learned already when it come to dogs is this: it's really a good idea to consult your spouse BEFORE buying the dog and bringing it home to your kids on Christmas Eve. If you are looking for me this Christmas vacation, you'll find me in the "dog house."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas

I've been thinking a lot lately about the spirit of Christmas and asking this question, "What is the spirit of Christmas?"
  • To the liquor industry, it comes in a bottle.
  • To Scrooge, it was a ghost.
  • To Hallmark, it comes in the form of sending a card. (Some 5 billion cards will be sent this year.)
  • To some, it's all about friends and family and sharing a meal together.
  • To many, it's giving.
Biblically, I've come to discover that the Spirit of Christmas is WORSHIP. All throughout the Christmas story, you read how people extemporaneously explode into worship for God.
  • Elizabeth worships God when Mary visits her.
  • Zachariah erupts into worship at the sight of his son, John, who would prepare the way for Christ.
  • Mary worships God when she resolves to carry out His purpose.
  • Angels worship. Shepherds worship. Wise men worship. All creation worships.
So, this Christmas, I've determined to see everything I do as worship unto God.
  • My time with my church family this Christmas Eve at our services will be filled with worship to God.
  • My time away from work with my physical family is going to be worship unto God. My family is a blessing from God.
  • The gifts I give to loved ones will ultimately result in worship ... because I recognize that I can only give because God has given to me.
Everything we do can be worship unto God if we keep Christ at the center.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Weekend Update

This past Sunday was a lot of fun at PCC. We are in week three of our series, Radio Christmas. Even though we had to cancel our first service due to the snow, we still had a great time and many people committed their life to Christ.

I want to take a moment to thank all of the Creative Arts Team for doing such an awesome job with this series. The music and worship has been nothing short of inspirational.

Also, the Children's Ministry Team did a fabulous job with the PCCKids Christmas program. You guys knocked it out of the park. It was the first Christmas kids program we've done in many years and I was so proud of all our kids and their teachers. Thanks!

This week don't forget to invite your friends to our Christmas Eve Services. We have two great services planned f0r 4:30pm and 6:30pm. Also, please bring a plate of your favorite Christmas cookies to share.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Radio Christmas

We kicked off Radio Christmas this past Sunday. It was awesome. I was really surprised to have almost 1200 people in church considering the fact that we had 6 inches of snow late Saturday night.

The church decorations look awesome. I want to thank all the volunteers who came to put up the 22 foot Christmas tree which has 3000 lights on it. You guys are awesome.

We had 90 people make a decision to follow Christ as their Lord and Savior this past weekend. That's incredible. And we only had one person stand up during third service and scream blasphemy when the band performed the U2 song, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for." Those are pretty good stats if you think about it.

The band did an awesome job with the U2 song. I was so proud of them. They rocked the house. And God obviously used it for his glory.

I can't wait for this weekend. The band is doing the song, Eleanor Rigby by the Beetles. They've got some really cool creative elements that they are going to add this weekend too. You don't want to miss it.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

New Christmas Series

This weekend we begin our new series, Radio Christmas. In this creative series, the band is going to perform some of the top hits on the music charts and then I'm going to preach on the theme of the song.

So, this weekend, the band is doing a song by U2, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" and I'm going to preach a message titled "Searching." We're going to talk about what people are looking for this Christmas and wrap the message around the Magi.

This is one of the most creative message series we've ever done and I'm totally psyched up about it. Please be in prayer this week for our weekend services. Invite your friends that are far from God and I promise to deliver a message (with the help of the Spirit) that will guide them to God's love in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

First Wednesday

Tonight is our monthly First Wednesday service at PCC. I'm looking forward to getting together for a time of prayer, worship and the act of communion.

James 5:13, 17 says, "Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise ... The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Here are some of the things we will be praying about tonight:
  • For peace in Afghanistan
  • The kick off of our Christmas series this weekend, "Radio Christmas"
  • Help in reaching the lost and those far from God in this Mountain
  • The Christmas Offering
  • The Christmas Outreach (Winter Warm Up)
  • For healing from sickness
Please come anticipating God to do something special tonight. If you are in need of a miracle, come to First Wednesday!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Night Thoughts

We had yet another amazing day at PCC! Today was Celebration Sunday. We were celebrating all that God has done in and through PCC during our fall Finacial Peace series. Here are some of the highlights:
  • We had over 140 salvations during the 8 week series
  • Today we baptized 129 of those people
  • 700 adults got plugged into our community groups this fall
  • Our tithe was up 22% since we started the series and up 64% over last year
  • 3 teachers who came to PCC earlier this fall as a result of the Teacher Appreciation Outreach gave their heart to Christ and were baptized today
  • I baptized 2 of my personal friends who just gave thier heart to Christ this fall at PCC
  • Over 300 volunteers showed up to serve meals to the community this Thanksgiving
  • All of us is better than one of us. We accomplish more working together than as individuals
  • It's really fun to give
  • Generosity is contagious, it captures the heart and imagination of our community

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Outreach

Just a quick shout out to all the PCCers and local blog readers to invite your friends to have lunch with the PCC family this Thanksgiving Day. This is a local servant evangelism outreach where our express desire to help those that are in need or just alone for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Tons of PCC volunteers will be here on Thanksgiving to welcome our guest and serve them a free lunch. I'm so proud that PCC would spend part of their day serving this community. Love you guys! You're the best.

Again the come and go lunch will be held this Thursday from 11-1. If you are coming to serve, don't forget to bring a dessert.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

10 Reasons Your Going to Fail

I came across this post by Tony Morgan entitled 10 Reasons Your Going to Fail. I thought it was worth sharing.

10 Reasons Why You’re Probably Going to Fail

  1. It’s not your passion. If it doesn’t make your heart beat fast or cause your mind to race when you’re trying to sleep, you’re probably doing the wrong thing.
  2. You don’t have a plan. You need a vision, and you need to identify specific steps to make that vision become reality. That includes a financial plan. (I happen to believe you need direction from God on this.)
  3. You’re waiting for it to be perfect. Test-drive it. Beta-test that new idea. You’ll fall into the trap of inaction if you think it has to be absolutely right from day one.
  4. You’re not willing to work hard. Everything worth pursuing in my life has involved discipline and perseverance.
  5. It’ll outgrow you. Keep learning. Keep growing. But more importantly, build a team of people including leaders that can be who you’re not.
  6. You’ve had success in the past. I’ve watched organizations hang on to a good idea for too long. Time passes. Momentum fades. It’s risky to let go of the past and jump on the next wave.
  7. You’re unwilling to stop doing something else. Complexity is easy. Simplicity takes discipline. You can’t build a healthy marriage if you’re unwilling to give up dating other women. Who/what do you need to stop dating?
  8. You won’t build a team of friends. Anyone can hire from a resume. You need to find people you want to share life with. In the long run, great relationships will get you out of bed in the morning.
  9. You won’t have the tough conversations. When breakdown happens (and it always does), someone needs to put on their big-boy pants and initiate the difficult conversation that leads to relational healing.
  10. You’re afraid of failure. When fear consumes you, it will cause you to do stupid things. You’ll let negativity distract you. You’ll embrace the known, and grow comfortable with mediocrity. The more often you fail, though, the more often you’ll find success.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Williams Website

I took off yesterday to spend time with my family and with our new boy William. We had a relaxing day just being together as a family. I turned off the cell phone and took a break from email too. Talk about a refreshing day.

You need to unwind regularly and recharge your battery. It's amazing how a little rest goes a long way.

On my day off, I also spent some more time with my Mac and built Will a website. You can check it out here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Night Reflections

1. Enjoyed preaching at PCC today. Great services. The worship was the amazing. We are so blessed to have such talented musicians and vocalist who lead us in worship.

2. Came home and totally collapsed on the couch. I literally haven't slept in like 5 days. It was so good to be in my own bed again.

3. Pastor Matt did a great job team teaching with me today. I appreciate his help on a difficult weak to pull a message together.

4. Baby William is a great cute little butterball. He only cries if he's hungry or wet. What a kid. He wants to eat just about every hour. Poor Bekah.

5. My other kids, Kate, David and Henry are all recovering from colds. They haven't been able to shake this cough and fever stuff. We're doing our best to keep them away from Will.

6. I'm really excited about the Celebration Service coming on Nov. 29th. We are going to baptize tons of new followers of Jesus, share stories of life change and celebrate all that God has done through this Financial Peace series. If you haven't been baptized as an adult, it's time to go all in.

7. Can't wait for our Christmas series that begins the first weekend in December. We are calling it "Radio Christmas." It's going to be a creative, fun and powerful series to invite your unchurched friends to attend.

8. One of my friends came to church today and they loved it! It's so awesome to have a church that you can invite your friends to.

9. I'm so blessed to Pastor PCC. Thank you God for this awesome opportunity to be part of such a great church.

10. Bekah and I are praying about what we can give in the special Christmas offering next week. I know God is going to do bless us if we are obedient to do what he tells us to do.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby William

Baby William Crosby was born at 3:51pm on November 12, 2009. He weighed 8.13 pounds and is 19 inches long. Both mom and baby are doing well. Dad is still a little frazzled. God is good.


















Bekah in Hospital for Delivery

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Time Questions

King David said, "My times are in your hands." (Ps. 31:15) In other words, David said, "every moment of my day belongs to you, God, as well as my life as a whole." That fact challenged me today as I read it. It made me ask some tough questions about my life.

For example:
  • What do I need to start doing?
  • What do I need to stop doing?
  • Where should I spend my free time? How does that impact my entertainment choices?
  • What about my family? Am I spending both quality time and quantity time with them?
  • Am I investing enough of my life in my ministry - to my family, to my church, to my neighbor, to my community.
I think the statement "My times are in your hands" also carries with it the implication that I need to make my life count. Eternity hangs in the balance. To waste my time is to waste my life. In other words, what I live "for" is far more important than what I live "on." My prayer today is for God to help focus my life so that I can make the most of it for Him.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ministry In The Margin

Much of the ministry of Jesus was unplanned. He walked by a funeral one day and saw a widow and drew out of that scene some profound truths of His Kingdom. On another instance, he looked at a field of flowers filled with sparrows and made spiritual application for how we are to simply trust God. One day at a wedding he changed water into wine and began his public ministry with supernatural power and spiritual truth.

I find the most significant moments for ministry come in the margin in life - the times that are unexpected and unplanned. When I make a run to the store and bump into someone I know and God gives me an opportunity to share Christ's love with them standing in the check out aisle. Or I meet a complete stranger in need and I'm able to be Christ's hands extended to them. This is ministry in the margin of life.

I pray that God's Spirit makes me more and more sensitive to these unplanned and unexpected opportunities in life to give a helping hand, a timely word of encouragement or a listening ear on behalf of Christ.

Am I too busy to minister in the margin of life? How can I be more sensitive to God's Holy Spirit during my everyday? If I am too busy, what can I do to slow down enough to notice the needs around me? Just some thoughts I'm wrestling with today.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Best Hiring Practices

I recently did a podcast interview with my good friend, Dick Hardy. Dick is the founder of The Hardy Group, an organization designed to help pastors with everything but preaching.

The podcast dealt with best practices for hiring new staff.

You can check out the podcast here.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Happy Birthday David III

Today my oldest son, David III, turns 4 years old. I'm so proud of this little guy. Sure, he can be a bit mischievous from time to time, but he has such a sweet spirit. We're celebrating this evening with a Spiderman birthday party. I can't wait to give him his presents. Then on Friday the rest of the family will join us for another fun time in honor of David.

As I look forward into the future, here are some of the things I pray for my son:
*That he has a heart fully devoted to God
*That he fulfills Gods purpose for his life in his generation
*That he develop his God-given gifts for God's glory
*That he makes wise choices
*That he surrounds himself with good friends
*That he defends the defenseless
*That his heart will burn to reach the lost for Christ
*That he have a love for knowledge and do his best in academic pursuits
*That he would develop a love for music and learn to play an instrument
*That he keeps laughing and enjoying life
*That he will always stay close to his mother
*That he looks out for his older sister and younger brothers
*That he finds a great Christian girl someday and has a family of his own

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pastor Appreciation Month

October is Pastor Appreciation month.

I want to give thanks today for Pastor Matt (PCC's youth pastor) and Pastor Ronnie (PCCs Creative Arts Pastor). These guys are hard working, loyal and incredibly gifted men of God. I'm blessed to be able to have them on my team and partner with me in reaching the Poconos for Christ.

All you PCCers please be sure to send them a note of thanks and a word of encouragement this month. They give so much of themselves to this work.

I'm also incredibly grateful to lead Pocono Community Church. There is no place I'd rather be and no people I'd rather lead than PCC. I love our church.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Recommendation

My friend Nelson Searcy's new book, Ignite, is an excellent read on creating a culture of evangelism in your church. Nelson is a master at systematizing just about anything. In Ignite, he's done it again by presenting a full orbed evangelism system for your church.

Ignite is packed with practical insight on how to reach out with Christ's love through servant evangelism, big days to break growth barriers and much more.

Congrats again, Nelson, on your new book. I know its helping tons of pastors out there just like it helped me and PCC.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Winners & Losers

A Winner respects those who are superior to him and tries to learn something

from them; a Loser resents those who are superior and rationalizes their

achievement.


A Winner explains; a Loser explains away.


A Winner says, "Let's find a way; a Loser says, "There is no way."


A Winner goes through a problem; a Loser tries to go around it.


A Winner says, "There should be a better way to do it"; a Loser says,

"That's the way it's always been done."


A Winner shows he's sorry by making up for it; A Loser says, "I'm sorry,"

but does the same thing next time.


A Winner knows what to fight for and what to compromise on; a Loser

compromises on what he shouldn't, and fights for what isn't worth fighting

about.


A Winner works harder than a loser, and has more time; a Loser is always

"too busy" to do what is necessary.


A Winner is not afraid of losing; a Loser is secretly afraid of winning.


A Winner makes commitments; a Loser makes promises.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Skunk Test

Apparently a skunk got ran over on main street in our little town of Mount Pocono. Poor critter. I drove over the road kill wreckage on my way to the gym Monday morning. Not a pleasant smell at 6am in the morning - well, anytime for that matter. The nasty aroma of this furry creature known for its stinkyness while alive (much worse once dead) wafted into my car and about made me toss my cookies. Working out makes me nauseous enough. I don't need any help from a dead skunk.

That was four days ago. On my way to the gym today the skunk still laid in the middle of the road. I thought the township crews that have been working right on main street all week would have got rid of the skunk by now. Here's to wishful thinking. I can only assume that "road kill removal" wasn't part of their job description.

This got me to thinking, "how often do we do the same thing in our churches or homes or office complexes all the time." We walk by trash without picking it up. We walk by people without a greeting them and looking for an opportunity to make them feel comfortable in church. We tell our kids who are desperate for our attention, "Not now, later." We walk by the nursery or other ministry area that is understaffed and we say, "That's not on my job description ... That's not my ministry." Meanwhile, whether we realize it or not, our environment stinks. But we are so consumed with our own little world we don't even notice.

Jesus said, "go the extra mile." In other words, don't just do what's expected of you. Go beyond the requirements and expectation. Seek opportunities to serve even if it's not "in your gift mix." Take a cue from Rebekah in the Old Testament who handled a little road kill of her own - well, actually they were camels. But she did more than what was asked. It landed her a husband and put her in under God's favor and blessing. Yeah, roadkill may stink, but someone has to remove it. When you take that initiative you turn a selfishly foul smelling world into the sweet aroma God intended it to be all along.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stress Less

So we are in this Financial Peace series and we're talking about how God wants to exchange our stress with His peace. Nothing will stress us out more than financial pressure and debt. There is no denying that this is a tough economy and a lot of people are feeling the pinch. That can lead to a ton of stress.
Here some recent things I discovered about stress.
  • 43% of all Americans adults suffer stress-related adverse effects.
  • 75-90% of all health care visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints and disorders.
  • 1 million workers are absent each day for stress related complaints. That equals 25 billion lost work days annually. All because of stress.
  • That’s why God doesn’t want you to live with stress. He wants you to experience his peace.

What are you stressing about today? Your financial situation? A relationship? A health issue? Focus less on your problems and more on the solution - Jesus. The Bible says, “God keeps in perfect peace, those whose minds are stayed on him.” Trust more. Stress less.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Night Reflections

Here are some thoughts on another great day at PCC.
  • Financial Peace series is in full swing. Tons of people made solid commitments to become debt free, financially and spiritually.
  • The Hezekiah Walker song at the end of service, "Faithful" was awesome. Thanks worship team for such inspiring worship.
  • The media team did an awesome job today too. The video roll-in was stinkin' hilarious. Thanks for creating such a fun atmosphere at PCC.
  • We are memorizing Hebrews 13:5, "Live your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have."
  • God isn't into get-rich-quick schemes. The reality is the we didn't get into debt over night and we're not going to get out of it overnight. It's going to take time, sacrifice, hard work and a change of heart. But all things are possible with God.
  • There is no true peace in life without Jesus in your life. He IS our peace.
  • Many prayed to make peace with God by accepting God's debt cancellation plan - Jesus on the cross. Col. 2:14
  • So excited about this series and what God is doing in our community groups this fall. So grateful to lead PCC. What a great church!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Men's Retreat

PCC has a great event coming up for ALL men THIS SATURDAY. It’s called ‘Discipleship Boot Camp’. This Discipleship Boot Camp will deliver the power and truth of relevant, life-changing, field tested ministry to men through the form of teaching and multi-media presentations.

It will take place Saturday, October 17th @ Brooklyn Tabernacle and the cost is only $30.00. That price includes your transportation & breakfast! You can register NOW by calling 839-3459. There are only a few spots available, so please act fast for this great time of fellowship and discipleship. The bus will leave at 5:30 AM.

Let It Snow!

It's hard to believe but the snow has already begun to fall in the Poconos! This is the view out of my office window. The weather forecaster is calling for 3 inches of snow.
Things I like to do on a snowy day:
1. Build a snow man with my kids.
2. Make snow angels with my kids.
3. Write my name ... just kidding : )
4. Drink hot chocolate and dunk my toast in it.
5. Build a fire.
6. Make homemade bread.
7. Read a good book by the fire.
8. Eat the bread.
9. Have a snowball fight with my kids.
10. Go for a walk in the woods.

Gotta love living in the Pocono Mountains!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A True Friend

The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a "friend of sinners." Why? Because he was a friend of sinners. Duh! He hung with them all the time. He went to social gatherings and mixed and mingled with some of the most notorious sinners in his community. Jesus said, "For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mt. 9:13)

Pharisees still exist. They still criticize and complain about how growing churches water down the Gospel and are too accepting of those outside the church. D.L. Moody, the great evangelist was once criticized for his style and strategies of reaching people for Christ. In response, he said, "I like my way of doing evangelism better than the way you don't do it."

I've found that most people who criticize me and our church and what we do to reach the unsaved in our community are for the most part not doing a blessed thing to reach anyone for Christ. Andy Stanley says, "People who are nothing like Jesus, like Jesus." It's only the religious and superspiritual "Christians" (modern day Pharisees) that think they are so much like Jesus that don't get it. The more you are like Jesus, the more you are going to like people who aren't like him.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weekend Highlights

We had a great weekend at PCC. Here are some of the highlights:
  • We baptized 18 new followers of Jesus after the 3rd service. One of them was a first time guest. So very cool to see people respond to the move of God's Spirit.
  • Gave away $3000 to help people get out of debt! How amazing is that. It was our debt reduction gift giveaway with our new series, Financial Peace. One of the recipients actually gave her gift away. PCC get ready for God's blessing. We are developing a radical culture of generosity.
  • Almost 700 people now signed up for fall community groups that kick off this weekend. So thankful for all the community group leaders who are willing to invest in others.
  • Worship team was AWESOME this week. Love that new song.
  • Digital kids check in system is working well.
  • Can't wait until next weekend! We have a something special for everyone at all 3 of our services.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

First Wednesday

You don't want to miss our First Wednesday ... a night of prayer, worship and communion. Tonight will prove to be one of our best prayer meetings ever. Please make every effort to attend. Childcare will also be available.

Also, on a personal note, please keep my wife, Rebekah, in your prayers. She was admitted to the hospital yesterday evening due to pre-term delivery activity. She is 33 weeks pregnant with our son and she is now at risk for an early delivery. The doctors are doing their best to use medication to slow down and hopefully stop the delivery from occurring at least until Monday. All those efforts have not proved successful so far. Also, they are administering steroids to help prevent the baby from bleeding in the brain or bowels and to develop the lungs much quicker in the event of a delivery within the next 48 hours.

I appreciate your prayers and concerns for Bekah and our little one. We are resting assured of God's grace and the power of prayer.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Teams Work

For us at PCC, church is a team sport. And when I say team, I'm referring to something more akin to soccer rather than America's favorite pastime, baseball. We don't operate with the mentality of putting our hope in an all-star, multi-million dollar player that gets up to the plate and with one solitary swing of the bat can change the outcome of the game.

The metaphor that best symbolizes us at PCC is that of a soccer team that works together simultaneously and in sync as they pass the ball to one another and move it towards the ultimate goal.

I love working with my team here at PCC. They are a diverse, multi-talented group of some of the most compassionate and gifted people I know.

Here's why I like working with teams:
1. Teams get more done.
2. Teams have more fun.
3. Teamwork generates greater creativity.
4. Teams encourage each other. If one fails, there are others around to pick up the slack and encourage the fallen.
5. Teams hold one another accountable.

Here's a nice saying to live by: all of us is better than one of us.

Monday, October 05, 2009

On Giving Your Best

Mark 14 tells the story of a woman that breaks up a dinner party to anoint Jesus with expensive perfume. All the dignified guest were disgusted with her apparent disruption and extravagant waste. But Jesus quickly comes to her defense saying, "She did what she could."

I love that story. I love Jesus' statement even more. When we give our best, that's good enough for Jesus. That's hard for me to wrap my brain around sometimes. I'm so driven to succeed and thus focus on results. I'm learning it's more about my brokenness (she broke the bottle as a sign of Jesus' ultimate brokenness on the cross) than bottom lines.

So, for now on, I'm going to do what I can. Lead from brokenness. And leave the results of to God.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

New Series: Financial Peace

This weekend we kick off our fall teaching series, Financial Peace. In this series we will cover topics such as:
*how to find financial peace
*how to get out of debt and stay out
*how to honor God with my giving
*how to set up a budget
*how to discover the joy of generosity
*and much more.

In addition to kicking off the weekend series, we are also offering a $1000 Debt Reduction Gift. Go here to register for the gift.

Also, our fall Community Groups kick off next week. Hundreds have already signed up and you don't want to miss this opportunity. We will be going through the Managing My Money's God's Way DVD curriculum. Go here to sign up for a community group online.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Amazing Week!

Last week was an amazing week at PCC. I want to personally thank each of the hundreds of volunteers that helped to make it so successful. Without each of you, my prayers would have gone unanswered.

We spent the week living out the 1 Cor. 9:19-27 scripture that states "... I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some ... I do it all for the sake of the gospel." We'll do anything short of sin to reach people for Jesus at PCC!

Here are some of the highlights:
  • Over 5000 people heard the gospel at PCC in 9 services.
  • Over 600 people made a decision for Christ.
  • 2500 students were encouraged and inspired by The Strength Team in 9 local school assemblies.
  • Only 1 broken bone - my pinky toe on my left foot : )
God is awesome. Thanks for inviting your friends and working together to reach this Mountain with the love of Jesus Christ. I'm so proud of you PCC and honored to be your pastor. I can't wait to see what God is going to do this coming Sunday. Yeah God!

Here are some more pics from last night. As a footnote (no pun intended) I was able to bend a 1/2 inch bar of steel and break a wall of concrete. Thanks for cheering me own!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Strength Team

The Strength Team is at PCC and tearing it up. The past couple of nights they have packed the house with guests from the community and over 300 decisions have already been made for Christ. These guys are the real deal. Tonight they are doing bigger and more dangerous feats of strength than the previous two nights. You don't want to miss it. Come early to get a good seat. Everything starts at 7pm. Here are some pictures of the event.




Friday, September 11, 2009

New Series - A Theology of Heaven & Hell

Afterlife. Nirvana. Eternal Bliss. Paradise. There are many names and explanations used to describe what happens to us when we die. What does the Bible say about the afterlife? What is heaven really going to be? Does hell exist, and if it does, why was it created? Join us this Sunday for a power packed series as we dive into these topics and discuss the biblical foundation of Heaven and Hell. This Sunday's message: "A Theology of Heaven". Check out the series roll-in below:

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Creative Arts Reception


I am excited to announce that THIS Sunday, September 13th, will be PCC's first Creative Arts Reception. The purpose of this reception is to discuss our upcoming ministry season in the area of Creative Arts as well as answer questions to those who might be interested in joining our teams. So far we have over 75 rsvp responses for this event. Areas that will be discussed at this reception will be: Production, Drama, Design, Writing, Worship Band, & Vocal Worship. Oh, and did I mention there is a FREE lunch involved!! It is amazing that we have so many people within the walls of PCC that have a desire to use their creative talents for the Glory of God. This is also a last call to those out there that haven't signed up for this reception. There is still time! Again, the reception will take place from 1-3pm in the MPR at PCC, this Sunday! See you there!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Evangelism Training

I know that Pastor Dave is taking a break this week....this is Ronnie Jordan, Creative Arts Pastor at PCC. I thought I would use the opportunity to talk this week about some upcoming, AWESOME events.

Join PCC Wednesday night for our innovative Evangelism Training to be held at 7pm. We will be utilizing an exciting curriculum that is designed to equip believers for effective evangelism in today's world. Here's some of the highlights of what you will get:


1. Faith sharing tools for presenting the gospel.


2. Confidence in telling YOUR story in a style that fits your personality.

3. Motivation and practical steps to reaching out to your family and friends.

4. Fellowship and encouragement from other members as we learn together how to effectively reach this mountain for Christ.

We are excited to offer this training and hope that you will join us not only Sept. 9th but also on Sept. 16 & Sept. 30 @7pm. We will see YOU there!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Blog Break

I'm taking a little blog break for the next week. I'll be spending time with my family. See you in about a week or so.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

First Wednesday Update

Yesterday was our first First Wednesday prayer meeting at PCC. Yes, I said first twice. It was a powerful night of worship, testimonies, prayer and communion. It was great to see the auditorium packed with passionate people crying out to God. It was standing room only! Why the importance on prayer? Because God answers prayer! This is not some dead, religious duty. Prayer is touching the heart of God.

Here are some highlights:
  • One testified of their friend being healed of cancer, Stag 4 skin and breast cancer - Pet Scan now shows her cancer free
  • A student (15yrs) shared how he recently gave his heart to Christ and God is now restoring his relationship with his father. In fact, his dad came to church with him on Sunday.
  • A young girl testified how she has recommitted her life to Christ and now she is praying that the rest of her family start coming to Christ
  • A dad testified at how his son's elementary teacher shared at the open house what she had learned at PCC on the weekend as a first time guest for the Teacher Staff Appreciation Day
  • Another shared about how the free book bags helped some neighborhood kids afford clothes
  • Many received prayer at the altars for healing and grace.
  • I prayed for a teenager who is battling depression and anxiety
And these were just some of the stories represented. PCC is experiencing a great move of God. This the New Testament church in action. Thank you all for coming out and praying. If you missed it, make plans now to make the next First Wednesday in October!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Back To School Kick Off

Back To School Kick Off was awesome. Thanks so much PCC for making this such a high impact outreach to our community. We've received great reports on how this helped so many people.

Here's some highlights...
*Tons of energetic and positive volunteers willing to serve
*Over 1500 hundred people served
*1000 plus backpacks filled with school supplies
*160+ free hair cuts
*600 plus child identity kits
*200 plus dental care kits
*160 free eye exams
*Everyone feelin' the love of God



Thursday, August 27, 2009

Perception

DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes later:
the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Teacher Outreach

Today we are delivering welcome back goodie bags to 451 elementary teachers in our local school district. Why are we doing this for teachers? Because we want to honor them.

The Bible says to give honor to whom honor is do. If anyone is worth honor in our community, it's teachers. What a noble profession. They invest their lives to help others succeed in life.

I know this is only a small token of appreciation, but hopefully it will bring a little encouragement and recognition to those who deserve it. Below are some pictures of PCC volunteers getting the good bags ready last night. Thanks for serving and giving PCC! You are awesome!


The bags include: a nice pen, tissues, hand sanitizer, handwritten note from a PCC kid, bottle of water, granola bar, homemade cookies, post-it notes, PayDay candy bar, and an invitation to service this Sunday for our Teacher Staff Appreciation Day!













Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekend Update

This past Sunday was an amazing day at PCC. We baptized 36 people! Go God! It never gets old watching people make a public commitment to follow Christ.

Our special guest speaker, Dr. Solomon Wang, challenged us to face persecution with faith. On Sunday evening he also encouraged PCC to trust God for healing and miracles in every area of life. That service was electric as people flooded the altar in hot pursuit of God. In fact, after the service, people were saved at the altar and we spontaneously baptized 6 more people. God is awesome!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Fringe Benefits of Failure

I've been thinking a lot about failure lately and I came across this quote. "Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn." That's good. In other words, if we learn from failure, we don't ever have to lose. Some of the best lessons ever learned are birthed out of bad times.

Below is the Commencement Address given by J.K. Rowling at Harvard University. It's a captivating speech in which Rowling-- the multi-millionaire author of the wildly-popular Harry Potter series-- says that the only reason she became a success ... was that she was an utter failure first. It's worth a listen.


Learn from your failure and you can always move ahead.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunday Update

So proud of PCC. Here are some highlights from Sunday:
  • We had over 300 people sign up for ministry
  • We had over 50 first-time guests
  • We had hundreds of backpacks donated for our Back to School Kick Off
Way to show mercy PCC! I can't wait to see what God does this weekend.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Compassion in Action

What is mercy? It's compassion in action. It's finding a need and filling it. It's hearing of a hurt and healing it. The Great Samaritan demonstrated mercy when he bandaged up the wounds of the man left for dead in the ditch. He saw the need and did something about it.

The Apostle Paul said God has given each of us a ministry of mercy. In life, you get what you give. If you've received mercy, you have no problem giving it.

Here are some ways I try to show mercy every day:
  • Forgive those who criticize me
  • Help those in need (especially my wife and kids and staff)
  • Encourage other pastors that are struggling in their ministry
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to help me be sensitive to the needs of those around me.
My memory verse for this week is Micah 6:8, "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Backpack Outreach

Last week we handed out 1000 backpacks to the PCC church family who committed to fill them up with school supplies for needy children and families. We are going to give those backpacks away on Saturday, August 30th, from 10am-2pm at the church. Also, we are providing

· free haircuts,

· free dental care kits,

· and lots of other helpful gifts to those in need.

If you would like to volunteer to give haircuts, manage a booth, give away the backpacks, etc … just call the church office or email Diedre at dcastle@poconocc.com.

Also, if you missed church last week but want to get a backpack and fill it up, just come to church this Sunday and we’ll have one waiting for you.

Oh, we are getting supplies for filling the backpacks at FiveBelow near the new Olive Garden in Stoudsburg. FiveBelow is giving back 10% of all proceeds to PCC. So use the enclosed gift certificate for your OWN school supplies and to fill up the backpacks!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Leonard's Story

Yesterday I ran into an old friend. His name is Leonard. One of my buddies at PCC met Leonard in a local pizza shop over a year ago and invited him to come to PCC. Well, Leonard came to church that next Sunday and I met him in the hallway of the school where we were holding services. In all honestly, he was a mess. He was hooked on heroine. He could hardly speak without breaking down. He had so much pain in his life and I really felt for the guy. He was desperate and needed God's love and grace in a profound way. Well, Leonard gave his heart to Jesus that day and started attending PCC. It wasn't too long that he moved back closer to his family some hours away and I had lost touch with him.

After the second service yesterday a distinguished looking gentlemen came up to say hi to me. I could tell the man genuinely loved the Lord, he had a sweet spirit and carried with him an undeniable joy and peace. We talked for a moment and I soon realized that I was speaking with Leonard! I didn't even recognize him. He had completely changed on both the inside and out. It was as if the Lord restored 20 years to his life.

Leonard brought me up to speed on how good God had been to him since he left Pocono. He had reunited him with family and was now attending engineering school and had already lined up a job. As teared rolled down his face, he thanked me and PCC for helping him find God and discover better way to live life.

I'm so glad to be part of a church that helps people like Leonard experience the life changing power of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

TwitterFeed

Just successfully connected my blog to @poconocc twitter account using Twitterfeed. Theoretically (or according to TwitterFeed), if you are a follower of @poconocc on Twitter you will automatically receive blog updates. Let's see if it works. Welcome to the Twittersphere. Muhahaha.

Are you a racist?

The issue of race and prejudice has been a hot topic in the news as of late with the incident involving the arrest of a prominent African American Harvard University Professor Henry Gates by a caucasian Srgt James Crowley. While I'm not interested in the politicization of the event I think it's important to let Scripture weigh in on prejudice.

Moses was known as the meekest man on the planet. He too found himself in a racially charged debate with his own brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam. They were ticked at Moses for marrying a Cushite woman who was a black Ethiopian. (Numbers 12) By the way, I think Ethiopians are about the most beautiful people on the planet.

Instead of retaliating or seeking vindication, Moses let God take care of the situation. With gentleness and humility, he made himself low before his accusers. As a result, God struck Miriam with leprosy. In other words, God said, "Miriam, you are brown and you wanted your brother to marry a "light" or white girl, than fine, I will give you more of what you want." And instantly her skin was turned white as snow.

You see, God's Word does not teach racial segregation. But it does teach religious segregation. If you are a black believer and you fall in love with a white believer, than God says, "Go for it." But if you are a believer, God says, "Don't date or marry someone who is an unbeliever." Amos 3:3, 2 Cor. 6:14ff

God does not judge us by our outward appearance, but he examines us by the condition of our heart. (1 Sam. 16) I suggest we follow God's lead.