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