Thursday, August 27, 2009


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

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


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.