Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Celebrate Christmas Eve @ PCC

Please join the Pocono Community Church family this Christmas Eve and celebrate the birth of Christ.

Come out and enjoy:
*Singing your favorite Christmas carols
*Candlelight ceremony
*Live Jazz Band
*Fun creative elements in the service
*Inspiring video story of faith
*Hot chocolate and cookies and more...

We have 3 Christmas Eve Services to choose from: 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm.

It's going to be a lot of fun for the entire family. Please make this part of your Christmas tradition and celebrate Christmas Eve with the people of Pocono Community Church.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Christmas Spirit

Someone asked me today if I was "getting in the Christmas spirit." For many the Christmas spirit is:
  • Baking cookies
  • Singing carols
  • Sending cards
  • Planning parties
  • Buying presents
  • Sipped from a glass
But no one demonstrates the Biblical "spirit of Christmas" more than Mary, the mother of Jesus. Consider Mary, this teenage girl who's life is turned upside down as the sovereign plan of God unfolds around her. She never asked for a miraculous, Holy Spirit empowered, virgin conception, but God trusted her with it anyway. Instantly, she's confronted with private and public humiliation. She comes dangerously close to losing the love of her lifetime. Can you imagine what she told her parents?

Yet amidst all chaos and confusion that first Christmas, Mary surrenders her will to the will of the Father and simply says, "Let it be." In other words, I choose to worship and obey the Father even when it doesn't make sense or seem to be working out the way I planned.

The true Spirit of Christmas is surrender. In essence, that's worship. The first time worship is used in the Scriptures is to describe Abraham's decision to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on the mountain altar. It says that he went out of obedience to worship the Lord. Worship is obedience.

Mary, in the same spirit of Abraham, worships the Lord and surrenders her plans, expectations and will to the work of the Father. That's the real spirit of Christmas.

Monday, December 13, 2010

G Willie

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15

My grandmother, Willie Mae Brumback, at the age of 90, went to be with the Lord last Friday morning at 12:30 am.

In a letter she wrote me some years ago she asked me to preach her funeral. Of course, I agreed to my grandmother's wish and am humbled that she would even ask.

I want to thank many of you who are praying for my mom, Betty, and family during this time of sorrow. We know grandma is in heaven now and reunited with her husband Tweed Dale. More importantly, she's with Jesus for "to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord."

And while it's never easy to place a final kiss on cold lips that will not kiss in return, we can take comfort in the fact that there is life beyond the grave for those who die believing in Jesus.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Night Download

This week was an awesome weekend at PCC. Here are some of the highlights:

+The Creative Worship Arts Team did an amazing job. Worship was awesome. You totally rocked the "Mighty God" song.

+The laser light show and the Mannheim Steamroller song was crazy!!! Thanks CWA Team for your creativity and commitment to excellence. Wow!

+Saturday night service was awesome. We were just shy of 600 people! Saturday PCCers are doing a great job inviting their friends. That's why we announced this weekend that WE ARE STARTING A SECOND SATURDAY NIGHT SERVICE IN JANUARY 2011.

+Beginning the weekend of January 8/9, 2011, we will offer 5 WEEKEND SERVICES AT Saturday night 5pm & 6:30pm and Sunday at 9:30am, 11am, and 1 PM (Spanish). I can't wait to see how God is going to help us reach more people who are far from him by making more room in our weekend experiences.

+I need 200 people in the Sunday morning crowd to move to Saturday night. Please make a 6 month commitment to come to one of the services on Saturday night beginning in January. Let's make more room at the table!

+The story of PCC is really a story of sacrifice. Sacrifice is when I give up something I love for something that I love even more. We love lost people more than anything at PCC!

+The series, He Shall Be Called, is going very well. This weekend I spoke about the El Gibbor, or Mighty God. It was one of the most fun and memorable messages of 2010 for me. Lots of history, which I love. We looked at the geo-political landscape of the original hearers of the prophecy to help us better understand the prophetical context which in turn makes the message even more real and relevant to our lives today. Great stuff!

+Saturday night we held the last Membership Class of the year with about 100 more members added to the roster. it's crazy to think how much the church has grown in the past year. And the wild thing is, the best is yet to come!

+I had a great time preaching in the Spanish service today. I love Pastor Emilio and the Spanish congregation. We sang my favorite song of the year, Cristo Yo Te Amo. Love that song!

+The Spanish congregation prayed for me at the end of their service as Pastor Emilio informed them that I was traveling to Washington, DC to preach my Grandmother's funeral on Monday. I appreciate their love and prayers more than words can adequately express.

+A huge thanks to many that are praying for me and my family as we say goodbye to one of the matriarchs of our family, Willie Mae Brumback. I'll share more about my "G Willie" tomorrow.

+Time to review my message notes for tomorrow and call it a day.

+I love you PCC and am so honored to be your pastor.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Apple Christmas

Check out this creative approach to opening up a Northpoint Church service with Christmas music played only on iPad and iPhones. Crazy cool.