Saturday, December 29, 2007

December 30

This coming Sunday is a very special day to me on many different levels.
First of all it is the day Melissa and I will celebrate 7 years of marriage. I thank God she has had the gumption to stay by my side through these years of ministry. Secondly it is my 35th birthday. (Man am I getting old!) The third reason is we will be participating in the Lord's Supper and a baptismal service. What a blessing and privilege. And lastly on Sunday night we will have our annual Chili cook-off at 6pm. Come be apart of a wonderful day. Happy New Year.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, December 21, 2007

Are you up for it?

When I was in my first year of seminary my evangelism class was issued a challenge by Dr. Reid to read through the bible in a year. I had never even attempted it before then, but I agreed to take the challenge. I did it and have done it one other time since then. It is a great blessing to read through all of God's Word in one years time. For 2008 that will be 366 days, leap year. I am issuing a challenge to my church and to you too, are you up for it, will you commit with me to read through the entire bible in 2008? Let me know if you are willing to take the challenge.

There are "One Year" bibles in every translation if you want to do it that way. That is what I am going to do. I have a One Year bible in the NLT, and I am going to use it. It has a reading from the OT, NT, Psalm and Proverbs every day. Doing it this way you read through the OT & NT once, Psalms twice and Proverbs once a month. There are also read schedules that you can use with a bible you already have; they tell you what chapters to read each day. Do a google search and you can find one.

Merry Christmas.
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reading from my devotional

"Living the Gentle Life"
Ps 73:23-24

As a disciple of Jesus Christ I am committed to live the "gentle" life. The words of the psalmist, "Thy gentleness makes me great" (Ps 18:35), are no idle remark. It is through gentleness that God develops strong saints. Jesus Christ made it clear in His Sermon on the Mount that gentleness was expected of His followers; hence, the other cheek, the second mile, and the coat as well as the shirt (Mt. 5:39-41). Jesus became the best example of His own teaching when He stood before Pilate, condemned by lies; yet He offered no resistance and submitted His case to God the Father.

Jesus teaches me that the gentle way is the way of victory. I am not to push, make exertions, be ambitious or aggressive. I must never resort to the sword or the fist to gain my ends; nor must I resort to legal undertaking, because I must be willing to suffer loss, if necessary, as Christ did. Naturally, I will be taken advantage of, as God's people have been in all ages. "For they sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter" (Rom. 8:36). Nevertheless, by being gentle I am actually pleading my case before God; by acting the way He wants I am placing the responsibility of my welfare on Him. He is able to help.

The gentle life is the most difficult to live because it is not natural. Further, we have been taught to "stand up for your rights," "assert yourself," "be your own person," until the gentle life seems almost like heresy. We Christians, like the world, are sometimes shameful in pulling strings, politicking, and using influence and other carnal ways to reach our goals. How can we be so unlike Him who "when he suffered, he made no threats" (1 Peter 2:23)? He was the true Gentleman, and He wants me to be like Him so that I can say, "Thy gentleness hath made me great" (Ps. 18:35). -W. Glyn Evans Daily with the King: 366 Daily Devotions (December 15)

Thought you might be encouraged; I know I was.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Last One

This coming Sunday morning I am preaching the last sermon in the series "The Characters of Christmas." I will be preaching on the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am planning on using John 1:14-18 as my focal text. Please pray as I prepare (and I will be praying too).

I am excited about our PM service as well. We are planning on showing the movie "The Nativity Story" and then singing some Christmas carols by candle light. I know that this will be a great and special time in our lives and the life of our church, please don't miss it.

Christmas is upon us, and right now it feels like Christmas time. Winter has come upon us here in Florida, and from watching a little football on Sunday it is everywhere. Melissa, Morgan and I are headed back to the Carolina's for a few days. It will be nice to see family and friends, eat, sleep and play a little golf. My father-in-law has taken up the game so I get to play twice. Once in Fayetteville and once in Pageland. This is gonna be an excellent Christmas.

One of my favorite times during Christmas is the time right before the exchanging of gifts. Our family takes an excellent gift and talk about the most excellent gift. We take a BIBLE and read the story of the earthly birth of God the Son, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel... Before we give gifts to each other we remember the gift God gave us through His Son Jesus. God gave us the gift of eternal life (John 3:16). I hope you take the time to do the same thing this Christmas with your family. It will make the time together that much more special. Have a Mary Christmas!

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just sittin' here in the office

I am sitting here in my office on this beautiful day in Florida. (I wish I was fishing or playing golf, but the work must be done.) I will probable be AWOL until the first of the year, but I did want to wish anyone who stops by a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I pray you keep Christ in the center of your Christmas this year and every day you breathe. "And God bless us everyone." Tiny Tim

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

PS. I will be preaching my final message in the series The Characters of Christmas on December 23. I will be preaching on Jesus. "Let us go and see this thing that has been told us..." the Shepherds

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Characters of Christmas

For the last 3 Sundays I have been preaching on the Characters of Christmas. So far the sermons have focused on the Angels, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men. The next sermons will be on Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. (On the 16th of December it will be music in both services: the adult cantata in the AM and the children's play in the PM.) I will preach on the birth of the Savior on the 23rd.

I have heard some encouraging comments on my messages. One of them is that I am preaching shorter messages and they are glad they have been getting out earlier than usually. All I can say is don't get to comfortable with that, I have a feeling things will be back to normal before long. LOL!

I have enjoyed studying for this series so far and am looking forward to the next three. I pray God has spoken to our hearts and we have responded positively to Him. (Are you smarter than a shepherd?)

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving ='s Thankful?

Thanksgiving Day is a little over 24 hours away. On Thursday millions of us as Americans, millions of us Christians, etc... will gather together to eat Turkey and dressing and all the fixings. We have been doing this for hundreds of years now. My family has been doing this together all my life; we go to one side of the family for lunch and the other side for supper. I believe this will be the first time in my life that I will not be with my extended family for Thanksgiving.

We, as Americans, call this special day Thanksgiving. It is a day that is set aside for reflection and remembering. But as we come together Thursday will we be gathering to give "thanks to God?"

God has blessed us beyond measure; Be Thankful!

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pastor's Conference and Convention 07

There is a saying that I have repeated many times as I stand preaching God's Word, "God is good all the time and all the time God is good." That statement sums up my feelings about the last 30 hours or so. Between last night and today I have heard 9 sermons from some of the finest preachers in Florida and beyond. You might think that would be an awful way to spend the day, but it is a precious time with the Lord.

God has spoken to my heart through many different songs, messages and times during the last day and half. I am so thankful that God is still alive and well, that He still cares for me. I am glad He cares for you, but I am overwhelmed He cares for me. Thank you God for loving me! Thank you God for extending Your calling on my life. What a privilege it is to serve You!

God thank you that you are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. Thank you that you are the God who makes the bitter sweet (Ex. 15:22-26). God thank you for being El Shaddi, the great almighty God. God thank you for being the Great I am. I love you Lord.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Characters of Christmas

Today I interrupted my preaching through the Book of Romans to begin a six week sermon series on the Characters of Christmas. I have preached almost 50 messages in Romans and still have about eight more to go before completion, but God laid it on my heart to take a break and focus on Christmas.

One reason this is hard is because I live in Florida and it doesn't even really feel like Fall yet. It is still in the mid 70's during the day (it does feel really nice in the evenings). I'm from the Carolina's and it just doesn't feel like the time of year it is.

Anyway back to the Characters of Christmas. Today I focused on the Angels in my message. I don't think it was one of my better sermons, but I enjoyed the study time anyway. I talked about the purpose of the angels, the message of the angels and the joy of the angels. The big point is that we find joy when we fulfill our purpose by spreading His message.

"Be all you can BE!"
Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, November 02, 2007

2 years and counting

On October 28th HGBC and I celebrated the completion of 2 years of ministry together. I knew what the day was but didn't pay much attention to it. After the morning service as we were closing Tim McDaniel, the minister of music, made a comment to the church reminding them of the fellowship and reception for Melissa, Morgan and I after the PM service. I was surprised. I didn't know about it or expect it. I am, however, very grateful for what the church did. It is such a blessing to pastor people who appreciate your service and ministry to and with them. Thank you HGBC for allowing me the privilege of being your pastor. We are looking forward to many years of ministry along side you. You are a great church. My prayer for us in the coming days is that God will expand our borders (prayer of Jabez). I pray that we will see literally hundreds and thousands experience Jesus personally because of our faithfulness to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God bless you and thanks again.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, October 26, 2007

Gone Fishin'

This past Sunday night a very kind man at HGBC took me to the Gulf of Mexico fishing for a few days. I have never fished in or saw, for that matter, the Gulf of Mexico (that I know of or remember). We fished Monday, Tuesday and for an hour on Wednesday morning and then we came home.

On Monday the tide began coming in about 5:45 AM and we left the house at first light. We were fishing by 7:45 AM and the fishing was pretty good. I caught the first two fish of the trip but neither was a legal fish. Then Nate and his son Russell began to catch a few and I joined in. We had a great day, catching 14 legal speckled trout. We quit fishing about 2:30 PM, and went back to Nate's house. We filleted the trout and cleaned the boat and got everything ready for day 2. We were all pretty tired. We had put a roast with potatoes and carrots in the crock pot when we left that morning, so needless to say we ate very well. The Jaguars were playing the Colts Monday night and we were watching the game. Nate was the first to go at 9:3o or so. We cut the lights out and I fell out about 10 PM. Russell watched the whole game, and the Jag's lost anyway. (Go Colts!!!)

Tuesday the tide was right about 6:45 AM and we were fishing by 8 AM. Someone overslept; I won't say who (Nate). Like I said we were pretty tired. A storm front was working its way in, and the wind was up. We fished hard until about 3 PM but no luck. Nothing but runts and trash fish. We road from here to there and everywhere in between but couldn't catch anything legal other than Russell caught one Spanish Mackerel (?). We ate like kings again Tuesday night. We fired up the grill and had pork chops, sweet potatoes, pork n beans, and corn on the cob. Needless to say, I didn't lose any weight at all. The front moved in during the night and it began to rain.

Nate didn't over sleep Wednesday morning and he woke us up at 5:45 AM. I have no idea why he did this because we couldn't get the boat out of the channel until the tide started coming in and that was at 7:08 AM. It was overcast and first light was about 7:30. It was still raining off and on, but Russell and I decided to give it a try for an hour or so before heading back to GCS for family night supper and discipleship classes at HGBC. (Can you tell I eat frequently?) Anyway, we get out, Nate had had enough for this trip, and first cast I catch a small trout. Not a legal trout so I threw it back, but first cast is always a good sign. We fished for an hour or so, catching a lot of small fish, nothing legal. The wind started picking up, the rain started falling a little more heavily and we decided to call it a trip. So we headed in.

When we got back to the house Nate had everything cleaned up and ready to go. We washed the boat, loaded up and headed home. It was a great trip and I look forward to doing again really soon and often too!

Thanks Nate and Russell for taking me. Thanks Melissa for letting me go. Thanks Booger and Karen for watching Morgan so I could go.

Just in case you were wondering.
Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can you hold your coffee?

My good friend Jason Webb has been down here in Green Cove Springs since Saturday. I invited him down to preach our revival services at HGBC. As I said in my last blog we have known each other for a long time, 13 years. One of the things that I just learned today about Jason is he doesn't have a very high tolerance for caffeine. I learned this when we went to Starbucks this afternoon. I ordered him a Java Chip Frappachino. Needless to say it has just a little caffeine in it. Jason is now "wide eyed and bushy tailed." He is bouncing off the walls. I am afraid he might not sleep very well tonight. Sorry Jason.

Jason is having a reaction to something in his body that is not usually there. He is doing everything he can to get that caffeine out of his system as quickly as possible. He is drinking water, etc... The caffeine is making him "feel" funny.

As I sit laughing at him in my office, I began to see a spiritual application. As Christians there is something that has the potential to come into our bodies that shouldn't be there. That things is labeled by Scripture as sin. When sin comes into the body/life of a Christian it should make him "feel funny on the inside." He should feel so funny that he is willing to do whatever is necessary to get rid of what is causing the trouble on the inside of his spirit. What needs to be done is a process of making a 180 degree turn or repenting of his sin. The bible says that repentance gets the sin out. The power of repentance in the life of a Christian is given us through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The point is we can't "handle our coffee." We can't handle those things on our own power. In fact we are powerless against them. We must live in and with the power of someone who can handle it. "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world."

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Crud on the windshield

Yesterday I drove my parents silver eagle bus from the church back to Palatka. The reason it was at the church was because on their way home this past Wednesday the bus blew a head gasket. It was blowing oil out the exhaust. (For those who don't know, this is not a good thing.) Melissa patiently followed my as a drove. She was driving our honda accord. She was following me very closely. An amazing thing happened. Motor oil got all over the front of the car, including the windshield. This made it somewhat difficult to see through, but it was still possible to see. But it was not a clear view.

I woke up this morning to the falling rain over the state of Florida. Good thing for Florida, we need rain badly. Bad thing for me, the windshield was still messed up. As I drove, with Morgan in the car, in the rain the messed up windshield made it almost impossible to see at all. This was very dangerous; I had precios cargo with me. It was hard to see. It was raining. I drove anyway. I tried to clean the windshield before I left, but what I did didn't work very well. As a matter of fact, I think it made things somewhat worse.

As I sit here in my office on this beautifully rainy afternoon, God spoke to my heart as I thought back on my experience this morning. The bible says that vision is critical. IF we are to get where God wants us in the timing God has set for us, we must be able to see clearly. There are a lot of moments in my life when I am "driving with oil on the windshield." I can make things out; I can still see the lines in the road. But I CANNOT see clearly. Things are distorted; things are out of focus; things are unclear. These circumstances are very dangerous for me and for those traveling with me.

But what are the things that put "oil on my windshield?" That's a great question, and specifically for each of us it may have different answers, but generally speaking, sin in the life of Christians puts "oil on the windshield." Those things, circumstances, attitudes, relationships, etc... put "oil on the windshield." Sin makes it difficult for us to see clearly. With "oil on the windshield" things that would have looked horrible or dangerous or deadly don't look so bad. Remember "oil on the windshield" doesn't mean you can't see at all, it just means you can't see clearly everything you need to see in order to get where you want to go. We all know where we want to go. But can we get there safely and on time "seeing things" the way we see them right now?

I had to get the oil off the windshield; this was important. I went to see my good friends at Abner's Pro Shop. They do all the work on my vehicles. I went there and at first tried to remedy the problem myself. I did an OK job, but it wasn't good enough. Abner saw me and patiently waited for me to get done doing what I was going to do, then he stepped in. He is a professional; he knows about these things. He went to work on my behalf, and when he was finished working I could see clearly. (Can you see where this is headed?)

So many times in life we try to clean our own "windshields" with our own knowledge and understanding, but it just doesn't seem to work. If we will take the time to go to the "Master Mechanic" things can be fixed correctly. Our goal and the goal of the Master is that we see clearly. Only the Master can make that possible.

Don't drive with "crud on the windshield."

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fall Revival

On October 14, 2007 we will begin our Fall revival meeting at HGBC. I am very pleased to introduce you to Rev. Jason Webb. Jason and his wife Alison are very close friends of Melissa and me. Jason and I met at North Greenville College, now North Greenville University, in 1995. We were both religion majors, and we both graduated Thank the Lord!

Jason graduated in the December of 1997 and I graduated in May of 1998. He immediately went on to pursue a Master of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I followed suite in 1999, after a year off from school. We both graduated with Master of Divinity degrees with a special focus in biblical counseling in May of 2005. During those years of seminary, we both married and began pastoring full time.

Jason and Alison just had their first child, a boy, on September 1 of this year. They are so excited. (I remember quite well, the very moment Morgan was born.) I can't wait to meet little "cobb" Webb, I mean Jacob.

Please make plans to attend if you are in the area and if it is at all possible. I believe God has great things in store during these days at HGBC. I can't wait to see what God does next. Blessings on you all.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


FPU is Financial Peace University. It is a Christian perspective on finance. It is lead by Dave Ramsey.

We are beginning this 13 week life changing class tonight. I am facilitating as part of our ongoing discipleship/small group program at HGBC. There are 5 or 6 of us taking the class this time. I am somewhat disappointed in the lack of participation for the inaugural class, but I am sure more people will participate in future classes offered. I pray that people from outside the church will hear about this class and participate as well.

If you know of someone, including yourself, who needs to have a better understanding of godly, biblical finance, this is the class for it. I would also encourage anyone in the area to get plugged in to one of our small groups at HGBC.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike
Rom. 5:8

Monday, September 24, 2007

Back Already

Vacation is over. We are back home. The Gators won. Life is good.

We had a great time away as a family this past week. We went to Daytona Beach, and it was beautiful. It rained 3 days while we were there, but that is OK because we were together as a family and we were able to "chill." I needed that as much as anything.

Today we celebrated Homecoming at HGBC. We had an awesome crowd. If you missed it, you missed a blessing. My parents were here to help with the service. She sang and my dad preached. They both did an excellent job. Ferrill Mills, a former pastor, was suppose to preach, but health problems kept him from coming. It was good to have my parents here, and we are looking forward to spending a few days together.

I pray that God has blessed you this past week and that His hand is evident in your life.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vacation Bound

I just got home from the Association Executive Committee Meeting. (Just what I needed, another business meeting. But it is a necessary part of my responsibilities.) It has been a long week already. This is the third night in a row that I walked through the doors of my home past 9pm. But tomorrow is a beautiful thing. Tomorrow we leave on vacation for 8 days. We can't wait and its been a long time coming.

I will periodically check the blog and my email, but other than that I will be off limits to everyone but Melissa and Morgan. What a blessing it will be. Take care and God bless. Stay close and clean.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"Steppin' on my Toes" (Part 2)

God is good, all the time, but sometimes He can really drive home a point. After posting earlier today, I was reading my devotional book "Daily with the King" by W. Glyn Evans. I got behind by a couple of days so I was reading the devotion for August 30. I am going to post it now. I pray God speaks to you as He is dealing with me.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Title: "Loving an Enemy"

Romans 12:19 "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord."

David gives me an example of how to love my enemies. He called the man who persistently tried to kill him "beloved and lovely" (2 Sam. 1:23). My enemy is not an irritating neighbor, a bitter-tongued boss, or a person of different skin color and speech. My enemy is, as David's was, anyone who stands in the way of doing God's will. As long as Saul was alive, David could not mount the throne of Israel. Saul's death, therefore, was David's life. Yet not once would David make any effort of his own to remove the obstacle to his kingship.

To love an enemy is the ultimate end in the negation of ambition and desire. To love an enemy is to accept his hindrance as part of God's purpose, to be serene toward him, and to realize that his hindrance, like that of Judas, is only leading to ultimate victory.

The natural man fights his enemy. He tries to remove him as an obstacle by doing him physical harm, even death. War is a full-scale display of the natural man determined to have his way. The shallowness of that way of acting is that for every enemy I destroy, ten more arise. The only way I can "conquer" my enemy is to love him. That does not mean that I "like" him; it simply means that I have good will toward him, that I place him in God's hands for disposition, and that I yearn for his ultimate spiritual blessing in Christ.

The disciple of Jesus Christ is the only person who can afford to have enemies, because he knows how to treat them. Doing the will of Christ means I will never lack enemies, but I will never lack the support of Him of whom 1 Corinthians 13 is a perfect description. As I trust Him who is perfect love, He will work out that perfect love through me.

Steppin' on My Toes

I was just reading a post from a good friend of mine, John McLamb. John and his family are in Costa Rica at the moment in language school with the IMB. They will head to Bolivia when they are through in Costa Rica.

At church this past Sunday the pastor was preaching on marriage. You can read John's clog at But the pastor concluded his message with these 6 questions. They stepped on my toes, as a father. What did they do to yours?

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

(Below is a quote from John's post which contain the 6 questions.)

While I missed much he said, I did manage to get these six challenging questions that he shared at the end of the message (Jen helped me get them and I went after the service and he helped me with one we missed). The questions are geared only to dads as we are to be the leaders of our family’s. Here they are:

What habits am I teaching my family? (ie- if I smoke, what am I teaching my family to do?; if I read my Bible, what am I teaching them?)

What bad habits am I correcting at home? (no one is perfect, so in what areas am I demonstrating humility and growth?)

How often am I teaching them from God’s Word? (’nuff said!)

What do I say when I’m angry? (What am I living out before my family when it really matters.)

What time do I spend talking with my kids about biblical truths (see Deut. 6:4-9)

How honest am I in answering these questions? (ouch!)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Suns Game

This past Friday night twenty-eight people from HGBC went to the Jacksonville Suns Game. It was a great family time. We laughed together, ate together, and just had a blast. The Suns lost the game, but that's OK. We still had a great time.

After the game there was an amazing fireworks show. It's one of the best I've seen in a long time. And after the fireworks there was a Christian concert by Mark Schultz.

I had a great time, hope you did too. If you missed it, make sure to plan to go on the next trip. Have a great day.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, August 27, 2007

The heart of a man is revealed by his actions.

I found this article in this weeks edition of the Florida Baptist Witness. It coincides with my last post, which dealt with SBC leaders speaking out against the abuse of blogs and the SBC. Frank Page and Jerry Ranking both removed endorsements for the blog In this article Thom Rainer, President of Lifeway, speaks to this issue as well. These men made endorsements in good faith, when asked to by the focal contributors of SBCoutpost. When the true heart of these contributors was demonstrated on the blog, our SBC leaders have begun to speak against the manner in which that blog was being used. I applaud these men for being men of integrity and character. It takes these characteristics in leaders to address issues like character assassination, etc... God bless this great Southern Baptist Convention.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Point of View
In denominational life, a plea for more civil discourse
By THOM S. RAINER LifeWay Christian Resources
Published August 23, 2007

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14, HCSB).
I wish I could say that I get it right all the time. I wish I could say that I get it right most of the time. But, more often than I care to admit, the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart are not acceptable to the Lord. I do not always bring glory to God in the words I say and the words I write.
I, therefore, consider myself unworthy to pass judgment on those who say and write matters that seem to me to be displeasing to the Lord. But my silence is no longer an option.
Frank Page, our Southern Baptist Convention president, called me today. He told me he would be issuing a statement about the words being spoken and written on church and denominational issues. Though I have not yet seen his statement, I imagine this article will "amen" to Dr. Page's words.
Electronic media, particularly Websites and blog sites, is neither inherently good nor evil. This medium can be used for God's glory, or it can be used in a manner that clearly does not glorify God. I have seen it become a particularly wonderful medium to keep us updated on key issues, to engender dialogue, to provide a forum for healthy debate, and to ask necessary questions.
But it can also host forums that cannot please our Lord. Whereas most print media have the accountability of boards, bosses and subscribers, much social electronic media does not have clear and explicit accountability—it's the community's responsibility. Words that are hurtful, untrue and even displeasing to our Lord can be written without consequence. The community then becomes collectively accountable.
I'm not saying avoid substantive issues and the calls for accountability, but I plead with my brothers and sisters in Christ, particularly in our denomination, to move toward a more civil discourse, a more Christlike attitude in what we say and write.
I have made my own mistakes in the blogosphere. Prior to the launching of the Weblog SBC Outpost, I responded positively to a request for an endorsement. My endorsement spoke with a hope that this new blog would be an exciting opportunity to focus our denomination more on missions and evangelism. My words, instead, were construed by some to be an endorsement of every article that followed, particularly those articles that were critical of other entity presidents. That was unacceptable. I was wrong. By the time I contacted SBC Outpost asking for the withdrawal of my endorsement, all endorsements had been removed.
My passionate desire is to be a bridge builder in the Southern Baptist Convention. Not to compromise biblically. Not to be soft in my theology. I desire true collaboration with those of uncompromising biblical certitude to reach a lost world with the Gospel of our Savior. My prayer is that the conservative resurgence will now grow into a Great Commission resurgence.
But our witness is compromised when a spiritually lost world sees us fighting with one another, when they see unloving words hurled without restraint, when they see terse comments cloaked in civility—when they see little evidence of Christian love.
Would you pray with me that the world will see us as men and women who love the Lord with all of our hearts, and who love one another? Will you be a part of the conversation that shifts from negativity to Great Commission obedience?
I ask: Will you be a person who speaks a truth in love in such a way that your comments glorify God and are found acceptable to Him?
Such is my plea. Such is my prayer.

Thom S. Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Good News from BP

I opened my email this morning and read an article on BP by our SBC President Frank Page and a statement concerning from Jerry Rankin, the IMB President. I was greatly relieved by Jerry Rankin's statement. I also appreciate greatly the statements of Frank Page. Listed below is a link to the article which contains the statements from both of these leaders. I encourage you to read it and ask questions if necessary.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

I also decide to put the entire article here just in case you would rather read it here.

FIRST-PERSON: For Christ's sake, stop!
Posted on Aug 22, 2007 by Frank Page

EDITORS' NOTE: A statement by International Mission Board President Jerry Rankin follows this article by Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page.TAYLORS, S.C.

(BP)--Do we love one another? Do we love our pastors? Do we genuinely care one for another? Do we care for the lost? Obviously, the list could go on and on, but the question remains, "do we love and care for one another?"I have been greatly burdened in recent days. Our lost world, our lost continent, hurting churches and hurting pastors are crying out. A few days ago I had the opportunity to share Christ with a young man on an airplane. At that very moment, I had to decide whether to continue writing this article or talk to this young man. Obviously, I put the writing material down and spoke with this young man who is in desperate need of Christ. He, like our world, is looking for authenticity and for love. I point this out because I believe we often are making the wrong choice.Our witness is being diluted and energies expended on other activities, especially on internecine conflict.Church conflict is rampant. Seldom does a day go by that I do not receive a call for help from either a church, a pastor or staff member. Recently I received three in one day. And, there seems to be a new way to deal with church conflict. These days, increasing numbers of church members launch websites detailing allegations, accusations and complaints. I ask church members this question: Do you think lost people see this? When newspaper reporters are called and church conflict becomes known in the newspaper, either locally or nationally, what do you think this does when lost people read it? For Christ's sake, for the sake of the lost, stop!Personal attacks are on the rise. I recently removed my endorsement (as did David Dockery, Thom Rainer and others) when a hoped-for and needed place for dialogue on the Internet degenerated quickly into a place of personal attack against denominational leaders as well as those who are advocating reform (emphasis added) . For Christ's sake, stop!Phone calls, e-mails, and hallway conversations continue to take place with the bottom line being character assassination. For Christ's sake, stop! Yes, as you can tell, I am sick and tired of all of this. But guess what? What I think or feel matters little, if at all. However, what does matter is what our Lord Jesus thinks. He states his heart in John 17:21, where he prays, "May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me." He also states in Galatians 5:20 that the works of the flesh are "strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions and factions. What must we do?1) We must beg God for forgiveness. We have spoken ill of brothers and sisters of Christ in ways that should never occur. 2) We must pledge to avoid personal attacks in the future and not to support an activity or conversation in which this occurs. By the way, there is an individual in our convention with whom I have disagreed and have done so publicly. I personally think that is fine. However, I will not be a part of a personal attack of any brother of sister in our convention. 3) We must learn to disagree using the biblical mandates in Matthew 18, Ephesians 4:15, etc. Most church problems and convention problems could have been overcome if we would have followed these biblical mandates.4) We must learn to listen to one another. This applies to all of us. It is time for leaders, trustees, pastors and people in the pew to listen to the concerns of others, even those with whom we have serious disagreement. The pattern of totally ignoring others with whom we disagree has led to a stone walling and given many the encouragement to become extreme.5) We must learn to talk to each other, not just about each other. I challenge you to do this. I also promise to you that you will find new friends in so doing. What is at stake? Certainly I am concerned about the future of our convention, its great mission work, and the educational work in which we are involved. However, even more importantly, I am concerned about lost souls and new believers. Lost people are seeing the deep division and sometimes hatred that is flowing forth among churches and among those who are involved in convention discussions. For Christ's sake, stop!--30--

Grace & respect needed in dialogue By Jerry Rankin RICHMOND, Va.

(BP)--Within the diversity of the Southern Baptist Convention, we desperately need dialogue to take place in which we can listen and learn from each other, even to the extent of respecting differing viewpoints. However, the Bible gives us clear instruction of how we are to deal with disagreements with others. As a leader of a Southern Baptist entity, I find there is no lack of those who have disagreements with the work of the International Mission Board and issues with me personally or my leadership.I welcome direct communication that is intended to result in understanding or corrective actions. But discussion of such issues publicly without making every effort to deal with me or the individual involved is inappropriate and unbiblical. There can never be justification for communicating, even areas of serious concern, without grace, respect and a Christ-like spirit. I regret that, which I and others earlier endorsed, has not fulfilled its intended purpose (emphasis added). This had the potential of being a forum for an objective interchange of ideas and opinions that would contribute in a constructive way to the Southern Baptist Convention. While I continue to endorse and advocate the value of open communication and understanding that comes from a free exchange of ideas, I am retracting my endorsement of SBCOutpost as the place for that to happen (emphasis added).

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Majors

There are four major championships on the PGA Tour: The Masters (April), The US Open (June), the British Open (July), and the PGA Championship (August). The PGA is the last "major" of the year and is being played beginning today at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Three first time major winners have taken home the title of major champion this year. It is up in the air about who will take home the title, the trophy and the check in Tulsa. Some of the favorites are doing rather well on this first day and some are not fairing so well in the sweltering heat of Oklahoma. But whomever wins this weekend, their life will never be the same.

As I was thinking about that my mind drifted back to the moment my life was radically changed forever. You may think that I am referring to the day I graduated high school, college or seminary, but you would be wrong. You may think I am referring to the day I was married, but you would be wrong, although my life did change drastically that day. You may assume I am thinking about the day my precious little girl was born two years ago, but again you would be wrong. It is not the day I submitted my life to God's plan for me and I went into full time vocational ministry, but that's not the day either.

The day I won the "Major" was the day I came into a personal, intimate relationship with the Creator God who died in my place and forgave me of all my sins: past, present and future. On that day when I was five years old I won the major and my life has never been the same.

The Bible says that this major victory is available for anyone and everyone who is willing to come to God on HIS terms. There are many people who say there are many different roads that lead to God. But I challenge you to take just any road today and see if it takes you home. You can't just take any road to get home, it just doesn't work that way. God has provided the only way to Himself, and that way is through His son Jesus. It takes a person being willing to put their complete trust in Christ and resting in Him. Trusting Him to meet all your needs, even the most simple things.

There are people who need to win this major and God has given us the privilege of teaching them how to "get the ball in the hole." That is the goal of all those professional golfers in Oklahoma, and that is our goal too. We want to win, and the only way to do that is in and through Christ. May you know the "thrill of victory" rather than the "agony of defeat."

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Good Read!

I have read some great books throughout my college and seminary days. I must say that reading is not something that I enjoy doing, but it is something that I must do as a Christian and a pastor. I have read some good books this summer: The Costly Call by Emir Caner and Ed Pruitt and Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur. I would highly recommend each of these books for your benefit and personal growth in the Lord.

Tim, Jeth and I read the MacArthur book together for our staff meeting and used it for some discussion. We are in the process of reading a book that seemingly is changing my outlook on ministry in general and specifically what we do here at HGBC. The book is entitled The Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. After I am through reading it, I believe that I am going to require all leaders at HGBC to read it and then evaluate what we are here for as a church and why we do what we do. At this point I would recommend it to any pastor, staff and church leader; I believe it will greatly benefit your ministry.

Jesus came and fought against, stood in opposition to the religious establishment of His day. He presented a very "simple" way of life compared to a very complicated way of life. His ministry was simplistic in nature verses the complicated requirements of the religious leaders of His day. I believe we have taken the place of the Pharisees in our churches today. We have bogged down the people of God. I believe Jesus would come to us and say "simplify" your lives. Simplify your church and ministry. Focus on one thing and do it with excellence.

I have talked a lot about excellence since coming to HGBC in November of 2005. I think that we are doing a few things with excellence, but I believe their is room for great improvement in other areas of ministry. How do we bring excellence to these other areas of ministry? I believe the answer is focus. What do we focus on here at HGBC? What do you focus on in your life or church?

We have a three step purpose at HGBC: Exalting the Savior, Equipping the Saint, Evangelizing the sinner. I believe that is exactly what we are here for. It should be our focus; it should be our life as the children of God. Another way of communicating this purpose is: Loving God, Loving Others and Serving the World ("Cross Church" in The Simple Church). I like that. That is the same purpose we have only worded slightly different. But it works! It is something that we all can internalize. It is something we can all accomplish in our lifetime.

All God is looking for is found in that statement of purpose. Exalting the Savior is Loving God. Equipping the Saint is Loving Others. Evangelizing the Sinner is Serving the World. I pray that that is all we seek to do, and I pray that you find fulfillment in it.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Buddy Mullins

Wow! Let me say that again, and backwards if I may, WOW! We had an amazing service Sunday morning. I met Buddy Mullins in June of 1989. He was traveling in ministry with his family and my family had just started traveling together in evangelism. Buddy's family held an annual Jubilee at their home church in Hillsville Virginia. We went and they let us sing. That began a long friendship. Although we lost touch with each other for almost 15 years, it was great seeing he and his family again.

Some of you may remember Buddy from his time with Bill Gaither and the Gaither Vocal Band. He was the lead singer after Michael English. Buddy has been and continues to be on many of the Gaither Videos.

Anyway, if you missed Sunday you missed a blessing and treat. God was all over HGBC, and it was a very refreshing and encouraging time. Many of you were greatly blessed by Kerri's testimony of dealing with cancer. What an awesome God we serve!!!

Many have already commented that we should have Buddy back again very soon. Just to let you know, it is already in the works. Don't miss out. And for that matter, it's never the same when you aren't here. You are a part of this family and we need you.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thursday/Friday WC 07

What a week it has been. Naomi Evans' house was completed yesterday (Thursday) by lunch. We were then assigned the task of painting classrooms at SHS. We painted one completely, except for a few minutes of trim work, and taped off 3 more rooms. It was a great day.

Thursday night was amazing. We had a powerful service and invitation time. I truly believe God is working in our students and the others here also. It has been a privilege being here. I would encourage anyone who is able to to come next year and see for yourself what God can do during a week like this.

This morning, the last work day of the week, got off to a great start. Although there was a little hick up on sight with some other crews, we were able to complete the other 3 rooms we had taped off. The crew did an excellent job; I am so proud of them. "Job well done!" After we completed our assignment at SHS, we took our crew and went back to Ms. Evans house to present here with a WC bible, crew picture, t-shirt, and a poster the crew signed. She was so grateful, it was a very humbling experience. I thank God that He allowed us to meet and help her. I pray that God will use what we did here to draw her friends and neighbors to Himself.

Supper is in an hour. We are having our last meeting tonight at 6:45, then worship, then celebration time, and then our final crew meeting to say goodbye, exchange info etc... It will be a happy/sad time. Then it's up at 5:45 AM again, load up and hit the road by 6:30 AM. We should be back in GCS by 4:30 PM or so. I can't wait to see Morgan and Melissa.

We are going to have an amazing service Sunday morning at HGBC. Buddy Mullins, longtime friend and formerly lead singer of the Gaither Vocal Band, will be singing in the AM service. Bring a friend or twelve and enjoy a blessing. Until next time:

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday WC 07

Today was another good day at World Changers Durham. All the crews worked until lunch, and then we had the rest of the day off. Our group went to South Point Mall and walked around for a little while, then we went to my sister Mia's house and hung out there. After that we went to Golden Corral and gorged ourselves on the buffet, good food. When we were through eating we went to my sister's church, New Horizon Church; she and her husband Greg lead worship there. We hung out in their youth room shooting pool, playing air hockey and fooseball, and an assortment of video games. We had a great time.

We are back at Southern High School now. It's about bed time. We have two more full days of work ahead of us and then it's back to good ol' Green Cove Springs. My crew will finish up our original assignment tomorrow morning and then we will be coming back to the school to do some painting in the classrooms, PR work for World Changers and the school. It will be nice working in the AC for the next two days.

It has been a great honor to work on the home of Naomi Evans. She is a precious 91 year old woman who loves Jesus. We have seen her community and neighbors open up to us this week. The last two days at lunch they brought snacks over for us to eat. One or two of the kids have come over and eaten with us. The bibles says that "Jesus always attracts children." And our goal this week has been to "Let Jesus live all over again!" Try it some time. You just might like it.

I hope you are blessed as your read these babbling's of one preacher. I pray you are encouraged and strengthened.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday WC 07

Today has been a long but great day. Some of our youth are doing amazing things like leading bible study for their crew each day and working very hard. I am very proud of them, and I want you to know that they are representing Christ and HGBC exceptionally well. Pray for them and us "old" people too. We miss you at home. "God bless us every one."

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday in Durham

Today has been a good day. I have heard, only, good reports of the beginning of the weeks work. Flexibility was definitely put into practice today. Most of the work sites didn't have materials for work this morning.

My crew started the day with prayer. We prayed that Mrs. Evans' neighbors would see Christ in us this week. Then we went to work. We had to take down the gutters first thing. The next task was to scrape the old paint off her house so we could paint. The materials needed for this part of the job are scrapers and plastic. We had the scrapers but we didn't have the plastic, so we couldn't get started right away. So I organized an on the spot prayer walk. We divided the group in two and started walking and praying. When the group returned still no plastic. There is another job site about a block away so I sent several from my crew to beg/borrow some plastic so we could work. God provided plastic, some from the work site down the street and some from HGBC. I found plastic in the materials you supplied (I told you God was good!!). So we got to work scraping. About 11 AM the rest of the plastic was delivered to the site. We got half way through with the scraping and it was time to head back to SHS. We should finish scraping tomorrow and then paint Wednesday and Thursday.

Tonight's supper was very good, NC BBQ. Jeth was even pleased with it. I was so relieved (LOL). Worship was great also. God is moving and I can't wait to see what He does, how He does it, and who He does it to and through. It may even be you. (Pray!)

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Sunday, July 08, 2007

World Changers 07

Well it is Sunday afternoon in Durham, NC. We arrived safely yesterday and had an uneventful evening, meaning no tragedy's, etc... We had several meetings and a worship service. (There are 336 people here this week serving others in the Durham area. What a privilege it is to "allow Jesus to live all over again this week."

We got up about 6 AM this morning, got ready for church and had breakfast. We had one big group photo at 8:45 and then each church had a picture taken. We met our "crew members" for the week. At World Changers they separate youth groups to "stretch" them and help them to learn to adapt to different situations, which is a hard but good thing for teenagers. We went to church this morning with our crews. It was a good experience and a time for us to get to know each other before we start working in the morning. We went to the church who is sponsoring our crew for the week. This basically means that they are providing us with lunch every day. They had lunch for us today, and it was good!!! Can't wait to see what the rest of the week has in store.

After lunch each crew went to its job site to check things out. My crew is working on Naomi Evans house this week. (We are working through the Durham Housing Authority.) The materials we need aren't there yet, but I know God will pr0vide all we need to get the job done; that's just the kind of God He is. You ought to get to know Him, it could change your life. We finished there and are now back at Southern High School in Durham. There are several meetings today followed by supper and worship, and then it's off to bed, the day starts at 5:30 AM and we leave for work by 7 AM. Pray for us, not many here are already on that schedule. Pray that God will teach us "flexibility."

Until next time:
Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

VBS 2007

Well Vacation Bible School has come and gone here at HGBC, but what a great VBS it was. We had kids comin' out our ears, and God blessed beyond measure. First of all we had record attendance each night. On Sunday night we had 80 kids and over 50 workers. Each night after only saw an increase in the attendance of the kids, to the point that on Thursday night we saw 120 kids come through the doors. We had to average over 110 kids for the week, doubling our attendance from a year ago. "And all God's children said 'Amen'!"

But that is not the greatest event of the week. The family night on Friday was a huge success. Most of the kids came back and brought their families with them. They sang great and we laughed, ate and just had a wonderful time. There were some amazing prizes given away: tickets the Jacksonville Suns baseball games, tickets to Adventure Landing, etc... (Karen Brown did an amazing job of getting the prizes together and organizing VBS this year. Thanks Karen for a job well done.)

But Friday night was not the greatest event of the week, it wasn't recreation, music time, craft time, or snack time. The greatest thing that happened during VBS last week was 10 precious kids prayed to receive Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. "And all God children said, 'Amen'!" What a privilege it was for me to be able to present the Gospel to the kids from each class and see them respond to the invitation of eternal life through Christ Jesus.

I would ask that you pray for these kids, we will be going into their homes this Thursday night to talk with them and their families about this decision and about baptism. Pray that God would guide these conversations and that Jesus Christ would be exalted beyond measure. God bless you.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike
Rom. 5:8

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Left Pondering

As I read the article from BP today concerning the resignation of Dwight McKissic as a trustee of SWBTS,, I began to ponder. Ponder what you might be asking. I began and continue to ponder what the "spin" will be.

"Spin" seems to be the prefered method from some of the bloggers who have aligned themselves with Wade Burleson and Ben Cole. (At least it is "spin" from my perspective.)

I believe the events of the SBC this year, "deflated" the efforts and agenda of those who are trying to lead the SBC in a direction, that to me, is very anti-southern baptist and unbiblical. I talked with my father, who is a SB pastor as well as my grandfather also a baptist preacher. They seemed to be of the opinion that every 25 years or so, there is a group who tries to influence the SBC with charismatic theology and methodology. I am a firm believer that the "battle for the Bible" will never end.

I am of this opinion for one simple reason. It is the main weapon of our enemy to attack the Word of God. He first used this method in the Garden with Eve. He attacked the Word and won the battle. Adam and Eve fell into sin, and were cast out of the Garden. Satan has found this such a useful method of defeating and distracting us that he continues to use it with great success. As SB's we firmly stand on the Word of God. It is inspired,inerrant and infallible. But it is easy for us to become distracted by discussions and practices that are unbiblical, PPL, and or misunderstood, other charismatic methods and theology.

I pray that God will give us discernment to see these distractions and the discipline to continue to fulfill the Great Commission. God bless you as you spread the "good news" of Jesus.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, June 15, 2007

SBC 2007

The Southern Baptist Convention was in San Antonio, TX this year. The convention went well, but the interpretation of the votes of the SBC are being debated on blogs even as I type this blog. There are those who are of the same mind as I who feel that the SBC was great. It seems that we were able to help protect the SBC from another group who has a very different opinion of the SBC.

The election of officers went well. The most interesting vote for officers was for 1st VP. Jim Richards was one of the candidates, and David Rogers was the other nominee. Jim Richards won the vote 68% to 32%. In my opinion that was a great victory and a great relief. (David is the late Adrian Rogers son, but he does not hold the same views as his father; and "that is all I have to say about that.")

There was another controversial vote at the SBC. The vote was on a statement made by the Executive Committee of the SBC. It was a general statement concerning the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. The statement says that the BF&M is a "guide" for trustees of SBC entities. The debate was over what exactly "guide" means. Those who think along the lines of IMB trustee Wade Burleson and his cohort Ben Cole believe that the EC's statement means that the BF&M 2000 is the maximum guide, meaning that trustees can't hold any further standards for professors, employees, etc... without as Burleson says "getting permission from the SBC.

I believe, as do many other SB, that the BF&M 2000 is the foundational, minimal statement of faith for all SB and their entities. There are several other statements of faith, like the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, the Danvers Statement, and the Abstract of Principles, which are used in a complementary fashion with the BF&M 2000 that further clarify and define what we as SB have believed for hundreds of years.

The vote at the SBC was 57% to 43% in favor of the statement by the EC. One side says that everyone voting had a clear understanding of what was being voted on, and yet they did everything they could to end the discussion ASAP. While leaving the convention hall after the vote I heard many people talking who were very confused, saying, "Didn't we just reaffirm the BF&M 2000, that's all we did, right?" I had the "displeasure" of telling them that I was afraid that was not what happened at all. I was almost immediately proven right when Burleson and Cole and others began blogging that Dr. Mohler and Dr. Akin and others would now have to get permission from the SBC before they could continue using statements of faith in addition to the BF&M 2000. (I believe that this issue will be addressed again at the next SBC, and for years to come.) It is amazing that Wade and his cohorts all talk about widening the tent of acceptance and tolerance in the SBC, but want to exclude any other statements of faith which help us as SB understand what we believe and why we believe it.

Please pray that God will lead us very clearly in these areas of great concern. Pray that God will demonstrate to us what His plans are. Pray that we will all have the discernment to obey Him.

I will say, in closing, that I have a blast serving up Dr. Mohler on Wednesday morning. You should be able to go to and see video of all the sessions of the SBC. Dr. Mohler, you did a great job responding to the questions about the EC's statement, as did several other seminary presidents. I am proud to have you all as leaders in our convention. May God bless you as you lead in the training of the future leaders of our churches.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, June 08, 2007


Today has been a great day. We returned to Tegucigalpa last night, had supper and went to bed. We had a wonderful day of sight-seeing. We took a beautiful ride to this little Honduran village in the mountains to shop. (I think the women were pleased.) We got back to the hotel about 4 PM. I took a short nap, and then it was back out again for supper. We were treated to an amazing meal at a local mexican restuarant. They brought out enough food for 40 people, not an exageration, and we did our best to eat it, but barely put a dent in it. We boxed up the rest to distribute to the needy.

We had a tremendous team meeting tonight. I asked everyone to share the most important thing God has shoen them or taught them this week. It was great for me to hear each member of the team express what God has been doing in them. I can't wait for them to share this Jesus adventure with you. What a "Great Adventure" this trip has been. I pray that you will allow God to bless you on one of these exciting short term mission trips in the near future. You will never regret it for one minute.

I am sitting in the lobby alone; I think everyone has gone upstairs to pack and get to sleep. That sounds like a pretty good idea. We are flying out of Honduras at 3:30 EST. We should arrive in Miami at 5:30 EST. Our flight into Jacksonville should land about 10:30 EST. Sunday morning will be an awesome service. Each member of the team will be given an opportunity to share with the church about the trip. I pray it is contagious. God bless you.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tuesday & Wednesday

God has been so good to us while we have been here serving in Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras. The community we worked in was called Soldadidad. God has done an amazing work. As I stated in a previous post, 12 people accepted Christ on Sunday night. 25 children accepted Christ Tuesday afternoon, and 12-15 people accepted Christ in the service last night. It was amazing to see God work.

But it has been amazing to see God working in the lives of those on the team. I believe that eternity will be different because of what God has been up to.

The lights in the church are working, as are the ceiling fans that were purchased with the money that was given for the trip. The members of the church were so greatful and thankful for all that was done for them in the name of Jesus. They asked us to come back, and assured us that we now have a church in Honduras that is praying for HGBC. God is definitely doing something that will be beyond imagination.

One of the possibilities is that I have been invited to bring a team to teach the pastors of Honduras during their annual national meeting. I pray that God will honor this request and allow a team to be put together.

I want to close by encouraging to come see what God is doing for yourself.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, June 04, 2007


Thank you for your prayers for the Sunday evening service. It was a great time. Tyler Reeves, from SC, and my sister Mauri sang and I preached. The most important thing is God worked. And because He worked, 12 people are now adopted into the family of God. If you are a Christian, you have 12 new brothers and sisters, and they live in Honduras. How great is our God!!!

We serve an amazing God. He has been so good to us today. Everywhere you look you can see His hand. We are doing two types of ministry this week, besides the service we are participating in and the food ministry we did yesterday afternoon before the evening service. We are doing construction work and carnival.

The construction work is finishing the electrical work for the church. Dave, Jeff, and Mike with the help of some less educated in the art of electricity finished recepticals, hung ceiling fans, and light fixtures. Several will be going back tomorrow to complete the work.

This church basically is a block building with a roof and two doors. The dogs walk in as they please, as well as wasps and any other flying bug you can imagine. But the Spirit of God is in this place and it is a sweet time of worship when He shows up. The children are everywhere, but it is all good. (You are missing the time of your life if you didn't come on this trip. I pray that you will come the next time there is an opportunity, like January hopefully. More info on that later.) When we leave these people will have lights to help them see as they worship in one of three service held during the week at night: Sunday night, Tuesday night and Thursday night. They also have a Sunday morning service. (And you think we have church to much.) They will have fans in the building to help the air circulate while they worship. What a blessing it is to be a resource for God to use, and I thank you for all you have done to help us have the money to minister in this way. May God bless you as you have blessed others.

The other ministry is geared to the children. Today we saw over 120 kids come to play with us. What a great time we had. We are sunburned, tired and sore, but we are ready to do it all over again tomorrow. You see that is the attitude a person has when they are "allowing Jesus to live all over again" through them. These people are seeing Jesus up close and personal, in the flesh. And they are seeing Him because we are here. Are they seeing Him where you are?

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Saturday was a great day. We traveled to the town of Olancho where we will be minstering until Wednesday. It was a 4.5 hour bus ride, but everything went well. We arrived safely, ate well, and went to a service at the church we are partnering with. Eric Rendell, one of my deacons, shared a great testimony and I shared a greating from HGBC. We were looking forward to getting to work Sunday.

Today we went to Sunday School. Dave Thurman, Mike Griggs, Melissa M., Renee, and several others helped or taught classes. We were all in the same room, so it was somehwat interesting to say the least, but God is good and he is in control. What an amazing God he is. After lunch, we made food bags, about 100. There is enough food to feed a family for at least a week in each bag. We are going to go door to door giving the food to families who live in the community of the church. We are going to share the gospel and invite them to the service tonight. Tyler Reeves, from SC, will be singing, someone will share a testimony and I will preach.

I am going to use Philippians 1:27 as my text. It says, "Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ..." Our conduct is to match our conversation and attitude, and for the Christian that means living the life of Christ. God help us all to allow Jesus to live all over again through us every day you bless us with on this earth.

Keep praying! God will bless it. Until the next time.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, June 01, 2007

We Made it Safely

Thanks for your prayers today as we traveled. Both legs of the flight went very well. No one had any trouble getting through customs, praise the Lord. Please pray for us this week: Pray that we will allow Jesus to live all over again, pray that we will surrender our plans and desires for this trip so that God can give us and show us what He desires and has planned for us, pray that there will be great unity and servanthood in our hearts, pray that we will love others as we have been loved by Christ.

I will try to update the blog every day, if there is internet access. God bless you.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Honduras Here We Come

My heart is filled with excitement and anticipation. It is 10 PM on Thursday night. Melissa and I and 11 others from HGBC will be boarding a plane in the morning to begin a fabulous spiritual journey. My sister, her husband, and a teenager from SC will be meeting us in Miami and working with us in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Pray for us! Pray that we will all stay healthy while there and after we return. Pray that God will move in the hearts and lives of the native Hondurans, and in our hearts as well. I believe that HGBC will never again be the same because of this journey. God make it so.

Serving Him,

Pastor Mike

Monday, May 21, 2007

"Get All Excited, Go Tell Everybody"

I don't know if you know it or not, but that is the title of great song that is sung in churches all around the country. It is a great description of my feelings about HGBC and what God is doing. It is an awesome privilege and responsibility God has placed before us. God is slowly manifesting His presence in our services as He works in the hearts and lives of people.

"How do I know He is working?" you might ask. Well, it is obvious to me. Last Sunday we had the opportunity to go to the "birthing room" when Nikki was gloriously saved and became our sister in Christ. We also had a wonderful couple join our church. May God help us to faithfully lead them in serving the Lord Jesus Christ. "If that don't light your fire, your wood's wet!"

I am also very excited about our upcoming mission adventure to Honduras. There are 13 people from HGBC who stepped out of their comfort zones, in faith, and watched as God "provided their needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." I am waiting with great anticipation to see how God will change HGBC for His honor and glory. We covet your prayers as June 1st approaches, and we ask that you continue to pray for us as we go "on Mission" for Christ. Pray that God will reach out through us to demonstrate His love to people who desperately need Him. And pray that as we are there, that He would give you the opportunity to minister to someone here at home. There are needs everywhere you look, and God wants you to allow Him to interject Himself into those situations. Blessing upon you as you serve Him.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And the Church Weeps

My heart was saddened as I heard the news that Dr. Jerry Fawell had passed from this life to eternity. My heart is heavy for his family, his church, and America. My heart rejoices for him. He has finally been allowed by God to go home. He is at rest and at peace. He has left a world of unrest and with an absense of peace. I am saddened because the church has lost a great leader, one who stood for what God says is right no matter what others thought or said. "God raise up a generation of Jerry Fawell's." He made an impact on this country and this world that will long be remembered. I have one question for you and me today, "What kind of impact are we making, or what are we leaving behind?" Dr. Fawell leaves a legacy that is second to none: Thomas Road Baptist Church, Liberty University, the Moral Majority, and the list goes on. The world is a different place today because that one man believed God and moved out in faith. I pray that we will follow his leadership in that way. I pray that we will believe God and move out in faith. What a difference it will make. "Lord, increase our faith" (the disciples).

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, April 27, 2007

God is at work.

I truly believe that God is at work at HGBC. I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that He has great things in store for us as we move forward. One of the ways I know this is true is that He has given us the privilege of seeing precious souls enter the Kingdom. We witnessed their testimony to that fact as they were baptized. What a message it is when a person enters into the baptismal waters as a visual testimony of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I also see the hand of God at work as we participate in events like "Fun in the Son." The count I have at this time is that we had 45 visitors here on campus last Sunday. What an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with those people. I pray that God grips our hearts with the potential to impact eternity as we faithfully demonstrate in our everyday lives what Christ has done for us, in us, and what He wants to do through us. I pray that you will allow God to take you in His hand and use you for His glory in this world.

I also see the hand of God at work as we are preparing to go on our mission trip to Honduras. There is a great excitement in those who are going and in those helping them get there. I pray that you will be apart of advancing the Kingdom of Christ in this world. I pray that our pancake supper to raise support for the trip will be a success to the glory of God.

I see the hand of God at work each month as we participate in GROW: Outreach teams that win. I know that God is going to use the seeds planted to reach people with the truth of the gospel. Remember it's the "Good News." Share it everywhere with everyone. God bless you.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike
Rom. 5:8

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Final Four-March Madness

What are your predictions on the Final Four and the National Championship.

I personally think it will be Florida and Ohio St. in the championship game, with of course, the Gators triumphantly claiming back-to-back national championships.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

This is the DAY!!!

As I sit in my office on this beautiful day in Florida, the sun is shining, it's about 80 degrees outside. It is absolutely beautiful. I am reminded of what Scripture says, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." What an awesome reminder to us who believe.

This is the day the Lord has given you and me to enjoy Him and His creation, while at the same time serving Him and those around us for His honor and glory. I believe that every day is a day to enjoy the Lord. My wife has been encouraging me to sing a song on Easter Sunday morning called "Redeemer." It was written by Nicole C. Mullin, but was recently rerecorded by the Crabb Family. As Morgan and I were riding to work this morning I listened to the song about 4 or 5 times, and was ushered into the presence of God. I love to sing, but these days it is difficult because I have become a "crier." Every time I sing, the tears begin to flow as I think of all that God has so graciously done for me. I have found that you can't sing and cry at the same time. I praying about whether to even try on Easter or not.

Life is hard. For Christians life is harder because you and I are called to go against the flow of this world. God has called us to "swim upstream." This is not an easy task. Have you ever tried to swim upstream? I remember when I was a teenager, my family went tubing in Florida. We grew up swimming and I was a strong swimmer. Somehow I was on the wrong side of the river when it was time to get out and I went past the exiting point. My dad came out to help me, but the current was strong and I was fading fast. When he got to me, he took my tube and I tried to swim back to the exiting point but was unable because the current was too strong and I was too tired. But my father could touch the bottom and he was able to get us both back.

That is how our Heavenly Father is to us. He tells us to go against the grain, but then walks with us allowing us to tap into His strength so that we can walk even when we can't touch the bottom. This is reason for rejoicing and gladness. He doesn't just tell us what to do and then sit back and watch; He actively participates in our journey, providing victory. "I was glad when they said to me..." He is there for me.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Psalm 116:15

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."

I just finished the funeral of Bonnie Garrand. She was a precious member of HGBC since the late 70's. She had debilitating arthritis, and was basically bound to a wheel-chair. But she had one of the most precious spirits that I have ever seen. Her attitude was a true encouragement and blessing. She preached her own funeral by the life she lived, she made my job today very easy. She left a wonderful legacy for all who knew her to follow. I believe she loved "the Lord her God, with all her soul, mind and strength, and she loved her neighbor as herself." I know that God welcomed her home and there was rejoicing in heaven.

I wonder how God feels when He looks at us His children. I believe that apathy and complacency fill our churches beginning with leadership. There is a spirit of give me what I "deserve" more than God give me what you want me to have. Ms. Bonnie didn't have much in this world, but she loved God and she did what she could. What about you? What about me? God help us to live our lives doing what we can for you, leaning on your strength (Phil. 1:21; 4:13).

I know God has great plans in store, but are we in a position to receive them? Ms. Bonnie was a very humble person, graciously accepting God's will for her life. She was in a position to receive all that God desired for her. What about you? What about me? Will we look back on our lives already spent and see all that God had for us but was never received because we were out of position. May it never be!

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Saturday, March 03, 2007

UPWARD Awards Night

Wow is a great word to use to describe what happened at HGBC last night. Our first UPWARD basketball and cheerleading season ended last Saturday and we had our awards night last night. First of all we had over 200 people there for the ceremony. I am continually amazed at the opportunities God is giving us to minister to and plant "seed." Second, we had a lady from Orlando, her name is Robin (can't remember her last name right now). She is a dribbling expert and she put on a show. She is one of only three women in the US who can spin 10 or more basketballs on her person at one time. She did it last night, and it was amazing. By the time she got through with her demonstration all the kids in the building were sitting right at the bottom of the stage; they were mesmerized. When she got through, she shared her testimony and presented the gospel to the crowd. I believe that God is blessing those moments right now. I don't know, yet, if there were any decisions last night, but we will be following up on all the visitors. I am so proud of my church and all those who faithfully gave their time to reach these kids and their families. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

We Serve an Amazing God

On my last post I asked for prayer for our First Annual Sportsman's Banquet. We had 114 men and boys register and it was a great time of food, fellowship and ministry. There was on slight "bump in the road" however. Dr. Paige Patterson had weather and plane trouble and was not able to make the banquet. Needless to say there were some disappointed people, and I was one of them. But there was one person who became very nervious too, and that was me. The task of speaking to these men and boys fell on me. I prayed that God would help me honor Him with my words.

I told a few of my own hunting stories and related the difficulties of hunting, fishing, golfing, etc... with the difficulties of life. We had some amazing mounts to help decorate our building, 4 tremendous mounts taken from Cananda (over 300 pound deer). I talked about how that must have been an awesome experience not only to see but to harvest an animal like that. But I shared that those moments in time failed in comparison to something that happened to me almost thirty years ago, and that was the moment I turned to God in repentance and He forgave me and saved me. Although no public decisions were made, pray with me that God will grow a great harvest from the seeds planted.

Dr. Patterson is such a gracious man. He came on Sunday night and preached in our service. He preached on Psalm 1. My people thoroughly enjoyed his message and the fellowship following the service. Thank you Dr. Patterson.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

First Annual Sportsman's Banquet

I am so excited today as I sit here at my desk. In just 25 hours our first annual Sportsman's Banquet will begin. We are planning for a great crowd of men to come to our family life center for some delicious game food, some excellent door prizes, and an opportunity to hear Paige Patterson tell stories of his hunting adventures on the "Dark Continent."

As he shares these stories, he will also share about an event in his own life that changed him forever. He will tell about meeting the most important person he has ever met. He will share about the time he met a man named Jesus.

My hearts desire when I first mentioned having this event to my church was that we would see men and boys walk through the doors of our church that would never come for any other reason, other than maybe a funeral. I wanted to have to opportunity for them to hear about this man, Jesus, and what he can do for them.

We are preparing food for about 250 men. We are praying that a vast majority of those who come will have the chance to experience a life change. My goal for HGBC is that everything we do reaches people who need to know Christ personally. Pray that God will radically change everyone who attends tomorrow night.

I also want to thank all of those who have sacrificed their time and energy to make this possible. May God richly bless you as you seek to serve others.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Clay County Line

I just had a very interesting time. Mary from the Clay County Line just left my office. Apparently someone in the church nominated me to be interviewed. I didn't know it, but the paper actually does this once a month. She asked me about my family, so I told her about Granddaddy and how he was the pastor at FBC Green Cove Springs in the eary 60's. I told her that my dad graduated from CHS in 1961 (I think that is the right year). I told her that I am a 3rd generation Baptist preacher. I told her that I graduated from North Greenville College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I told her about my beautiful wife and our wonderful baby girl. I told her about this amazing church, and the outreach ministries that we are currently involved in: UPWARD Basketball and Cheerleading and GROW: Outreach Teams that Win. So, keep looking in the Clay County Line because we are getting some free advertising. God bless you today.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, January 22, 2007

GROW: Outreach Teams that Win

God is an awesome God, full of surprises. He has amazed me as He has worked through the UPWARD basketball and cheerleading ministry that we began 7 weeks ago. We had 2 families from UPWARD attend our service yesterday morning. Keep praying!

God amazed me again last night. It was the first night of our organized visitation. There were about 100 people that came out last night to participate and minister and serve others through this means of outreach and evangelism. (That number does not include those who faithfully work with our children's choir and nursery. Thank you for your faithfulness to that invaluable resource! Thank you to the members of Hickory Grove Baptist Church for giving of yourselves so that others may come to know Him. Keep pressing on!

I believe that God has great things in store for us here at HGBC and I can't wait to see all that He does through us as we faithfully give ourselves to Him. I love you.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Trusting God

I began 2007 at my church on January 7th as I preached a sermon on the Book of Esther. The title of the sermon was "For Such a Time as This." That is what Mordicea told Esther as he asked her to risk her life by going before her husband King Xerxes. Esther demonstrated great faith as she laid her life on the line for others, namely her own people, the Jews. Now remember that the Jews had been taken captive by the Babylonian Empire as punishment for idolatry. And yet in spite of their sin, God still loved them and would fulfill His promises to them.

What a great encouragement for the New Year, that no matter where we are or why we are there, God still loves us and has a plan for us. He wants to glorify Himself through our obedience and service to Him. Things can look really bad from human perspective, but God has a slightly different point of view.

I will leave you with this. It is a passage of Scripture that I read during our worship of giving, Proverbs 3:5-7. It says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil."

Serving Him,

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

How 'bout them GATORS

My heart is exceedingly rejoicing today, as I well know that yours is also, that the Florida Gators made light work of the Ohio State Buckeyes. I can't believe it myself to be honest with you. I am, you might say a "fan" of the Gators, and have been asked many times over the last few weeks what I thought the outcome of the game would be. I always said that I thought the Gators had a chance to win, but if they did win, it would be a very close game. I also said that if the game was a blowout, Ohio State would be the winners. Needless to say, I thought my worst dreams were coming true on the opening kick-off, when Ginn of OS ran 93 yards for a touchdown. I felt somewhat relieved when Florida marched down the field and scored a touchdown themselves. Then, all I can say is, IT WAS ON!! The Gators dominated Ohio State in every aspect of the game. Go GATORS! They made history you know, they are the only school in NCAA history to hold two national champioships at the same, lest you forget that the Gators men's basketball team is the defending national champions (and looking pretty good this year too). Go GATORS!

It has been a while since I have posted anything. I took a break from blogging altogether. It's good to be back. There will be more soon. God bless you this year. Stay close and clean.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike