Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

The famous words of the Colonel from the A Team. I loved that show when I was growing up. BA, Murdock, Face, and the Colonel. They shot so many rounds a show the army couldn't keep them in ammo, and yet no one ever got killed. The Colonel always had a plan and somehow, some way, it always worked out.

I had a plan and issued a challenge to HGBC at the beginning of 2008. That plan was to read through the bible in one year. I had done it several times before, and had always been blessed by the time with the Lord. I finished today, on schedule, and was blessed as I thought back over this past year at how God has used the time each day in His Word to strengthen, encourage and equip me for His work.

I pray that those of you who accepted the challenge finished what you started. If you did I know you where greatly blessed by the Lord. If you have never read through the bible or never done it in a year, I encourage you to do it in 2009.

I also challenge those who accepted the challenge for 2008 to accept a new challenge for 2009. The challenge is this: read a chapter a day in Proverbs for the year. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. Read them in conjunction with the day of the month: chapter 1 on the first, etc... If there are not 31 days in the month, read chapters 30 and 31 on the 30th of the month. You get the idea. Let me know if you accept the challenge and let's hold each other accountable throughout 2009.

Happy New Year,
Pastor Mike

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 08

We had a great Christmas; it was definitely a "Merry Christmas." Melissa's family has been here, and we have had a great time together. (My Mom and Dad were here last weekend, and we had a great time with them.) The guys got permission to play golf today, so we did. The ladies stayed behind and Cindy and Michelle helped Melissa get a lot of things ready for the arrival of "little" Madaris. Thank you so much.

As we close out this year, 2008, remember that every day is Christmas for the Christian because, every day, we have Jesus living within us. We are, our bodies are, His temple.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Pastor Mike

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas: ready or not

The laundry is done, the house is clean, and food is on the stove. Family and friends are on their way. We will laugh, eat, exchange gifts, and celebrate the birth of Savior, Jesus Christ, God the Son.

May you have a very Merry Christmas. Be safe and keep Christ first in your CHRISTmas. We love you.

Mike, Melissa, Morgan and baby Madaris

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tell Me the Story of Jesus

Fanny Crosby wrote that song many years ago. She died in 1915. She was born blind, but man could she see, she crystal clear spiritual vision. As I was trying to work through what God wanted me to preach this morning, being that it is the Sunday before Christmas; He reminded me of that song.

I called my secretary Denise, and asked her to make a copy of the words and put them on my desk (I've had to be out of the office most of the last two weeks making hospital visits). When I got back to the church I began to read through, very carefully, the words to "Tell Me the Story of Jesus.

God began to lay out in my mind a special message for HGBC. I have been sick since Tuesday, but I was anxious for this morning to get here so I could preach. God was faithful, giving me the strength I needed to do what He called me to do. I wish I could redo it for you now, but I can't. We did record it so you can get a copy if you want one, just call the church office. God bless you and have a Merry Christmas.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Tragedy

Please be praying for a friend of mine, Bart Barber. He and his family were involved in a tragic accident in Texas this past week, where a young man, Nicholas Scroggs, ran in front of his car and was killed. Nicholas was only 14 years old. The funeral services are tomorrow. Please pray for the Barber and Scroggs families. Thank you.

The Nativity Story

You have got to watch this movie before Christmas. I think it will give you a fresh view for this time of year. I showed it to my church last night, and when the movie was over they all began clapping their hands. The moment was awesome and so is the movie.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Time Flies

It's hard to believe that its been almost two weeks since my last post. I don't know where the time has gone. We are gearing up for Christmas, and Morgan is so excited.

It's snowing in places that it normally doesn't snow, and it's snowing alot in a place I love going: SnowShoe Ski Resort. They have already had over 85" of snow this year; they didn't have much more than that all last year. But I doubt I will get to go skiing this year, what? I haven't told you...Melissa is pregnant. Mya/Meagan (we can't make up our minds) will be here sometime around the end of January. I can't wait. I love being Daddy.

I've had a very busy week: there are 6 members of the church in the hospital right now, well at least 5, 1 was suppose to come home Tuesday. I drove alot of miles this week. Morgan got to go on her first visitation with Daddy yesterday. I took her to see some people who are sick, they loved it and so did she. I'll have to do that more often with her, it was nice having her with me like that.

I know that they would appreciate the prayers and I would ask you to pray for Dean Webb. He is my friend Jason Webb's dad. He has been battling leukemia for a while now, but it has gotten extremely worse. He and Mrs. Webb are in Houston for 6 months for special treatment. Pray for them.

God is good! God is faithful.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


This past Sunday was a great day. We had the privilege of participating in both ordinances of the church: baptism and communion.

We partake of the Lord's Supper on every fifth Sunday, so four times a year we specifically focus on nothing but the cross of Christ and the sacrifice he made as our substitute. I usually take one aspect of the table or one part of the history and teach/preach for a few minutes, them we spend some time examining ourselves (I Cor. 11), and them we take the bread and juice. But I was captivated this past week with the words of Christ: "remember Me." Think about that for a moment, Jesus wants us to do this, and in so doing, remember Him. He wants us to live our lives "remembering Him" in everything we do.

We also got to start our service by baptizing two young people who had recently accepted Christ as their personal Savior. I love starting a service with a baptismal service. One of the two was a young man who was saved as a result of our youth ministry. The other was a young lady who works at Hickory Grove Early Learning Center. One of our church members works there and began a relationship with her, and as a result of that relationship, she began coming to church. She came up to me a few weeks after and told me she wanted to talk with me about accepting Christ. We talked that morning and then that evening in my office (Melissa was with us) she prayed to receive Christ. What a glorious time! I can't wait to see these two begin to grow and serve.

Quick Update

Thanksgiving has come and that quick enough? Probably not, but it is true. I can't believe that it is December 1, 2008. It can't be, can it? Wasn't it just January a month ago? Seems like it anyway.

It's been an exciting, action packed couple of weeks for us at the Madaris house. The Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving I went hunting in Georgia with Ben Crowdis. Thanks Ben for the trip, and thanks to your parents for putting up with me. I was able to take a doe on Monday morning. I hadn't been in the stand 20 minutes when 5 deer came out: 4 slick-heads and a spike. I watched them for about 25 minutes, and shot the doe at 7:25. Dropped her in her tracks. We hunted that evening and Tuesday morning and didn't see anything else.

Ben and I got home about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. I got ready and headed to the church to get ready for Thanksgiving service. Let me just say, "It was awesome!" We sang some songs and shared many testimonies of God's faithfulness. My favorite part was several people sharing Scripture passages that had been especially meaningful to them during this year. I also really enjoyed the testimony of Steve Ard. Thanks Steve for being ready and flexible.

Melissa, Morgan and I took my grandparents out to eat Wednesday night for Granny's 91st birthday and for Christmas. We won't be able to travel home for Christmas because Melissa will be to far along in her pregnancy by them. We really enjoyed that as well. I love spending time with Granny and Granddaddy.

Thursday was a rather busy day as you can well imagine. We ate lunch with Brenda Harvey's family again this year, and it was awesome. Good food, good fellowship, what more can you ask for. Morgan was the entertainment for the day, and she performed most excellently. We left there and went to hang out with my family for a few hours. Then we went to Donnie and Karen's for an hour or so. Then back to Aunt Patsy's til about 11pm.

Friday Morgan and I hung out so Melissa could "shop til she dropped," and she almost did. Saturday was awesome as I watched my Florida GATORS lay the smack down on the FSU Creminoles (oops I mean Seminoles). Did my final sermon prep and got ready to preach.

Great memories.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving is Coming

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away. It's hard to believe that time is going by so quickly. 2008 is almost gone, and before you know it 2009 will be too.

I'm looking forward to this weekend and next week. I'll be continuing my series through the Book of Acts on Sunday morning. We will be focusing on Peter's message after the healing of the lame man in the Temple. On Sunday night we will begin looking at the material to be gone through in our New Member Orientation class that will begin in 2009. I'll be taking about four Sunday nights to go through the material. Please pray for me as I continue trying to narrow it down. This class is something that every person wanting to become a member of our church will go through before actually becoming a member. At the end of the class they will be asked to sign a covenant with the church agreeing to what has been covered.

After the PM service Ben C and I will be taking a little trip to Georgia to do some deer hunting. We'll be back Tuesday afternoon before our Thanksgiving service at 6:30. Please come and share with us how God has worked and blessed your life this year; it will be an encouragement to all present. We will sing, praise and share. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday & Sunday

It has been a busy but good couple of weeks. Today my dad, Rick R., Steve A. and I went to Gainesville to see the UF/USC game. Needless to say, the "chicken" was good in Gainesville. We had a blast. Thanks to Dale W. for the tickets; I'm glad your home and better.

Tomorrw we have an exciting day at HGBC. Mercy's Well will be doing a concert. Can't wait to see and hear them. They came highly recommended (Sherry Holloway).

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Louisiana Horse Whisperer

We had a great time last night out at the Clay County Fair Grounds. We, HGBC & Black Creek Baptist Association, hosted Wild Horse Ministries. Paul Daily is the Louisiana Horse Whisperer. He takes an unrideable horse and in the matter of about 2 hours is riding that horse; he did it last night and I have the video to prove it (I'm gonna try to upload it to my facebook page).

But as he is working the horse he relates it to how God works in and on you and I. It was amazing to see God working in the hearts and lives of those people sitting in the stands last night. I was told over 40 people responded in some way to Christ after they "saw" what God has in store for us.

As I type this I'm watching the video. I had a blast riding last night. The rodeo queen couldn't be there so Paul asked me to present the flag, so I jumped on his horse and had some fun. Thanks Paul for the ride. Thanks to the volunteers who helped make last night a success. Thanks to the churches for getting involved and providing the volunteers. Most of all, thanks to Denise Towe, my secretary, who worked so tirelessly going beyond the call of duty to make last night a success (enjoy the day tomorrow, you earned it).

And last but not least, "Thank you Lord Jesus for graciously working and drawing people to yourself just like you promised you would."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Election Results

The following was written by Dr. Al Mohler this morning concerning the election of America's first African-American president, Barack Hussein Obama. I believe we must follow the advice of Dr. Mohler and begin immediately to pray earnestly for our president-elect.

America Has Chosen a President
Posted: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 5:04 am ET

The election of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States came as a bang, not a whimper. The tremors had been perceptible for days, maybe even weeks. On Tuesday, America experienced nothing less than a political and cultural earthquake.
The margin of victory for the Democratic ticket was clear. Americans voted in record numbers and with tangible enthusiasm. By the end of the day, it was clear that Barack Obama would be elected with a majority of the popular vote and a near landslide in the Electoral College. When President-Elect Obama greeted the throngs of his supporters in Chicago's Grant Park, he basked in the glory of electoral energy.
For many of us, the end of the night brought disappointment. In this case, the disappointment is compounded by the sense that the issues that did not allow us to support Sen. Obama are matters of life and death -- not just political issues of heated debate. Furthermore, the margin of victory and sense of a shift in the political landscape point to greater disappointments ahead. We all knew that so much was at stake.
For others, the night was magical and momentous. Young and old cried tears of amazement and victory as America elected its first African-American President -- and elected him overwhelmingly. Just forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, an African-American stood to claim victory as President-Elect of the nation. As Sen. Obama assured the crowd in Chicago and the watching nation, "We will get there. We will get there." No one hearing those words could fail to hear the refrain of plaintive words spoken in Memphis four decades ago. President-Elect Obama would stand upon the mountaintop that Dr. King had foreseen.
That victory is a hallmark moment in history for all Americans -- not just for those who voted for Sen. Obama. As a nation, we will never think of ourselves the same way again. Americans rich and poor, black and white, old and young, will look to an African-American man and know him as President of the United States. The President. The only President. The elected President. Our President.
Every American should be moved by the sight of young African-Americans who -- for the first time -- now believe that they have a purchase in American democracy. Old men and old women, grandsons and granddaughters of slaves and slaveholders, will look to an African-American as President.
Regardless of politics, could anyone remain unmoved by the sight of Jesse Jackson crying alone amidst the crowd in Chicago? This dimension of Election Day transcends politics and touches the heart of the American people.
Yet, the issues and the politics remain. Given the scale of the Democratic victory, the political landscape will be completely reshaped. The fight for the dignity and sanctity of unborn human beings has been set back by a great loss, and by the election of a President who has announced his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. The struggle to protect marriage against its destruction by redefinition is now complicated by the election of a President who has declared his aim to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. On issue after issue, we face a longer, harder, and more protracted struggle than ever before.
Still, we must press on as advocates for the unborn, for the elderly, for the infirm, and for the vulnerable. We must redouble our efforts to defend marriage and the integrity of the family. We must be vigilant to protect religious liberty and the freedom of the pulpit. We face awesome battles ahead.
At the same time, we must be honest and recognize that the political maps are being redrawn before our eyes. Will the Republican Party decide that conservative Christians are just too troublesome for the party and see the pro-life movement as a liability? There is the real danger that the Republicans, stung by this defeat, will adopt a libertarian approach to divisive moral issues and show conservative Christians the door.
Others will declare these struggles over, arguing that the election of Sen. Obama means that Americans in general -- and many younger Evangelicals in particular -- are ready to "move on" to other issues. This is no time for surrender or the abandonment of our core principles. We face a much harder struggle ahead, but we have no right to abandon the struggle.
We should look for opportunities to work with the new President and his administration where we can. We must hope that he will lead and govern as the bridge-builder he claimed to be in his campaign. We must confront and oppose the Obama administration where conscience demands, but work together where conscience allows.
Evangelical Christians face another challenge with the election of Sen. Obama, and a failure to rise to this challenge will bring disrepute upon the Gospel, as well as upon ourselves. There must be absolutely no denial of the legitimacy of President-Elect Obama's election and no failure to accord this new President the respect and honor due to anyone elected to that high office. Failure in this responsibility is disobedience to a clear biblical command.
Beyond this, we must commit ourselves to pray for this new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation. We are commanded to pray for rulers, and this new President faces challenges that are not only daunting but potentially disastrous. May God grant him wisdom. He and his family will face new challenges and the pressures of this office. May God protect them, give them joy in their family life, and hold them close together.
We must pray that God will protect this nation even as the new President settles into his role as Commander in Chief, and that God will grant peace as he leads the nation through times of trial and international conflict and tension.
We must pray that God would change President-Elect Obama's mind and heart on issues of our crucial concern. May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light. We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office. God is sovereign, after all.
Without doubt, we face hard days ahead. Realistically, we must expect to be frustrated and disappointed. We may find ourselves to be defeated and discouraged. We must keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up nations and pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers. We must not act or think as unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.
America has chosen a President. President-Elect Barack Obama is that choice, and he faces a breathtaking array of challenges and choices in days ahead. This is the time for Christians to begin praying in earnest for our new President. There is no time to lose.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Borrowed Idea!

I was listening to Johnny Hunt preach on my way to SC to preach a revival meeting at Siloam Baptist Church with Jason Webb. He was preaching on evangelism. In the message he shared an interesting statistic: 97% of all professions of faith in SBC churches are a result of relational evangelism with an intentional invitation to attend church, 97%. I was blown away by that information.

What does that mean? It means that 97 out of 100 people who accept Christ as personal Lord and Savior do so after being asked to attend church by someone they know. That means that of the 10,000 or so SBC churches who recorded NO baptisms this year or any other year didn't really have any members inviting friends (I know this is a little bit of a stretch, but maybe not).

Bro. Johnny went on to talk about FRAN evangelism. FRAN evangelism is relationally inviting Friends, Relatives, Associates, and Neighbors to church. It is getting to know those around you, finding out about their spiritual condition, and inviting them to church. At HGBC, I have declared January to be FRAN evangelism month. I issued a challenge yesterday at church during my message from Acts 2:41-47 that each member begin praying for 3 people they know who are lost, with a intentional plan of inviting them to church where I will preach the gospel. I told them I am praying that in the month of January that we will see 25 souls saved, baptized and joining our church. I believe that is a "lofty" goal for us (we baptized 25 this last church year; up from 18 the previous two years).

I want to encourage you to begin a lifestyle of evangelism and discipleship with FRAN evangelism and see what God will do.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Don't Forget!

Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour tonight. See you in Sunday School in the morning.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday Night and the Trip Home

Well, we finished up the series of revival services at Siloam Baptist Church last night. On Tuesday night I began preaching a message that I have used with my DC on Tuesday nights, "What's New For A Christian?". I preached the first two points on Tuesday night: A New Position and A New Possession. God truly blessed.

Last night I preached the final two points of the message: A New Product and A New Purpose. I spent a large portion of the message talking about the "fruit unto God" (Rom. 7:4) that is to be the new product of the Christian life. God has invested His very best in us as He deposited the Holy Spirit into us at the moment of redemption, and God expects a "return" on His investment. The "return" God is looking for according to John 15:8 is "much fruit." Bearing fruit brings honor and glory to God. Guess you should have been there.

Our new purpose is found in John 15:4. There is a command there that leads to the natural, effortless production of fruit. It is the command to "abide in Christ." I encourage you to check it out and give it a try.

Morgan and I made the long treck home today. We left about 10am and arrived safely about 4:30pm. God kept us safe as we traveled and I thank Him for it.

Hopefully we'll see you tomorrow at Trunk or Treat at HGBC from 6-8pm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday & Tuesday Services

I have enjoyed preaching at Siloam Baptist Church so much this week, in a way I hate to see it come to an end tomorrow. "Time flies when you're having fun." The last two nights have been especially sweet as the Holy Spirit has blessed us in a special way with His presence. He has spoken in ways that only heaven knows the eternal outcome. But I know He is at work.

The people have been such attentive listeners, many taking notes as I preach. I know God will honor their efforts and mine. I have thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality of Jason, Alison and Jacob as well as that of the entire church. They have cooked for us each night, and they have done an excellent job of it too. Thanks to you for your graciousness.

I especially enjoyed my study/preaching time this week. The Lord has led me to preach some messages that I haven't looked at in quite a while, I began preaching one tonight that I have never preached before; I will finish the last two point Wednesday night. Thanks Bro. Herb for the material (What's New for a Christian? John 15:1-11). I have to thank Melissa also; she told me before I left that I should preach it. I didn't think I would, but thanks, honey, for reminding me of it.

When I finish tomorrow night I will load the car and drive to Mom and Dad's for the night, then Morgan and I will head for Florida as fast as the law allows on Thursday. Melissa says "we better be back before she gets home from work." And I promise we will. I love you honey and have missed you terribly. I can't wait to see you in a few days.

Monday, October 27, 2008

the Weekend

I have a had a great few days. I left Wednesday and picked up Morgan in Florence, SC before heading to Pageland to see my family. We did what we usually do when we're together: ate together, played golf together, etc... It was fun and relaxing. I was able to spend the afternoon with Granddaddy and Grannie; hopefully I'll get to see them this coming Thursday before heading back home.

I left Friday night and drove to Ninety Six, SC to the home of one of my best friends Jason Webb and his wife Alison and their little boy Jacob. We got up Saturday morning and went to our reunion at NGU. It was great seeing some old friends and catching up on life. Then we headed down to the Homecoming festivities for a few minutes before taking a trip to Sky Top Apple Orchard. Sky Top is about 30 minutes from NGU, and it is absolutely beautiful up there. The leaves are beginning to turn those amazing yellows, reds, and orange colors. (We serve an awesome God!) We picked some apples, enjoyed the view, and then started back to Jason's house.

When we got back I was able to watch the Florida Kentucky game on TiVO. Go GATORS! Let's just say it wasn't pretty if you're a Kentucky fan; I, on the other hand, thought it was great

Sunday morning began the revival services at Siloam Baptist Church with Jason. He has a great church. The people were so kind and welcoming to me. From the very beginning of the service the Spirit of God was all over the place. Sound Doctrine, a local singing group was there and did an excellent job preparing the way for the message. The music minister Marc did an awesome job with the congregational music as well. I had such liberty in preaching. I pray that God was honored in my attitude and spirit as I proclaimed the TRUTH: the Lord Jesus Christ and his word.

My mom and dad came over and brought Morgan to hear me preach. It was good seeing them in the service.

Last night was a little different, with me that is. As I got up to preach a fly started dive bombing my forehead and nose. I couldn't kill him, and he agitated me the entire message. I felt like I was distracted, but the people were attentive and receptive as I struggled my way through. After church we went to hang out with the youth at Subway (eat fresh).

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

And do I mean early! I got up at 5:15 this morning to ride with my dad in his sand/rock truck. We left at 5:30 AM with a load of sand (that Morgan helped pick up last night; she loves to ride in Granddaddy's big truck), then we delivered 8 loads of rock. We got back home about 3pm. I'm exhausted; I haven't had to get up that early in a long time. I'll be heading to Ninety-Six, SC in a few hours to get ready to preach a revival meeting at Siloam Baptist Church Sunday through Wednesday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tick him off!

I love it when we, the church, tick him (the enemy) off. I know that he is pretty ticked right now. Melissa and I led a young lady to Christ last night in my office. "And the angels rejoice..."

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Highlight of the Week

This week has been a pretty average week. I had 3 days of at least 10 hours each. Today was my day off; Melissa was at work and Morgan was at Booger's house with Karen. Booger came over and helped me pressure wash my house. WOW! What a difference a little bleach and some pressurized water makes. I also cut the grass and trimmed the hedges. I worked pretty hard today too.

But the highlight of my week came this afternoon. I had the privilege of doing the devotion for CHS football before their Homecoming game. I had a blast talking with them about the Lord. I was pumped; it was "off the chain." I pray that God does amazing things with the "seed." Bless it Lord!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This is a "borrowed" post from JD GReear. He is the pastor of Summit Church in Durham, NC. He has been a friend of mine for about 15 years.

What to do when there's an obstacle in the way of a vision God has given you...
The following is an edited reposting of something I worked through several weeks ago. It is what we believe, as a pastoral team, that God has laid on our heart about the future. It is the grid through which we process what lies before us. Summit members, this is how I believe God is guiding us toward the future. I also hope it helps you process what is going on in your own life...

1. Always Ask

We should always be asking God for His continued direction. Rarely in Scripture do we see God giving "once for all" directions or a detailed picture of the "final plans" up front. In fact, to not always be asking, "God, is this step right?" or "Are you trying to tell me to go a different direction?" is, in my opinion, presumptuous, arrogant and potentially disastrous. We see it with Joshua in Joshua 9-10... if anyone ever had a clear word from God about what God's will was, it was Joshua's instructions to go into the promised land. Because he did not inquire of God about each decision along the way, however, he made a disastrous mistake.
Our leadership team at the Summit tries not to be so arrogant that we think that our "plans" for the future cannot be altered. We are clear on the central vision God is calling us to, but are trying to listen to and follow God about the details of how to get there.

2. The Sheep Prayer

Praying "the Sheep prayer" is a recurring theme for me. Basically, the sheep prayer is where you acknowledge that God says He relates to us like a Shepherd to sheep.
Sheep are idiots. They don't learn quickly, they rarely understand, and you never depend on them to figure out on their own which way they should go. Praying the sheep prayer means you say to God, "God, I'm not smart enough to figure out what step to take. There's so much I can't see. I need you to make the next step clear to me."
Sheep never get to the place they are supposed to go because of their skill in understanding, but because of the Shepherd's skill in leading. That's why God tells us to "lean not on our own understanding" but to simply "acknowledge God in all our ways" and "He will direct our paths." (Prov 3:5-6). God gave up on my decision making ability back at the garden of Eden. I don't even depend on my ability to "hear God." I depend on God's ability to make Himself heard.
When we wonder, "Is God trying to say something to us?," I trust that if God is trying to say something to us, or trying to redirect us, HE WILL MAKE IT PLAIN. In Deuteronomy 8:5 Moses tells us "As a Father disciplines his children, so the Lord our God disciplines you." Bad discipline is where you discipline your child and don't tell them why. Good discipline always makes plain to the child why they are being disciplined and what you want them to learn. Needless to say, God will be a good discipliner. Trust in Him, and if He's trying to say something, He'll make it plain.

Your pastoral team depends not on their own insights, but on God's compassion as a Shepherd to lead us.

3. When in doubt, PRESS FORWARD

The last consideration I'd like to give on this topic is more of a practical one, and that is that a general attitude to take when unsure about what to do regarding a dream you have about doing something in the Kingdom of God is "always forward."
What I mean by that is that, practically speaking, many of the greatest victories in the Kingdom of God happened when it looked like the door was closed. The door was "closed" on getting the children of Israel out of Egypt. The door was closed for Elijah to demonstrate to Ahab and the children of Israel that Jehovah was the true God. The door was closed when it came to Paul getting to Rome. If each of these man had not pressed forward despite the closed door, a strategic victory in God's Kingdom would have been forfeited.
I love how Paul says it in 1 Cor 16:9, "A great and effective door for ministry was opened to me, AND there were many adversaries." Not "but there were many adversaries," but "and." "Adversaries" and obstacles were for Paul opportunities to trust God, not signals that the door was closed.

It is very likely that a lot of what God intends to use to "feed the world" is ALREADY in the hands of of an unbelieving church. The bread and fish did not multiply until the little boy stepped forward to give it; Moses' staff did not turn into a snake until he threw it down. (Imagine how nervous Moses must have been with that staff in hand... because if he threw it down in front of Pharoah and nothing happened, that was sure to be rather awkward... "uhh... excuse me, I dropped my stick.") The key to releasing a deluge of God's power in the world is most likely already in our hands, and we won't see the miracles until we step forward despite the obstacles.
While I believe there is CERTAINLY the danger of running ahead on God, especially for impatient people like me, I think a greater danger for most of us is failing to believe in God's willingness to bless the world. So, when I am following a God-given dream and come to an obstacle, if He has not made clear to me that this door is shut, I keep pressing forward until He locks and deadolts it. And even then I give it one more swift kick for good measure.

God is capable of shutting doors He doesn't want us to grow through. After all, you did just pray the sheep prayer in step 2. Just as God told David, "Thanks for the offer to build the temple, but that's not for you," God can tell us, "Good intentions, but wrong timing. Go be zealous somewhere else."

Always forward. So don't let the closed door discourage you. Keep believing and knocking and asking and seeking and pushing and beating and wailing and slobbering.The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails.

The Summit Church's plan is to church all of RDU and plant thousands of churches around the world or die trying. We're going forward. Summit members, you have a part of that. Believe God with us and let's go forward.

Thanks JD.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuff Days

Ministry often has many "tuff" days. Sometimes there are tuff weeks, months, and years. I can't imagine being one of the prophets in the OT: Isaiah, Jeremiah (reading now) or any of the others. They faced a life of "fruitless" ministry. They were sent by God to proclaim a message nobody wanted to hear, or at least the vast majority didn't. By todays standard of success in ministry, most if not all of them would have been considered a failure and a nobody. They wouldn't have been speaking on the platforms of any "big" conference, they would have been rubbin' shoulders with the "big boys." It appears, from the pages of Scripture, that they had a "tuff"life. But the one characteristic I see in all of them is a quiet confidence and stable determination do obey God AT ALL COST! God may I have that single focus and determination in the midst of tuff days!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Dentist

One of the funniest things I have ever seen is a part of Bill Cosby's comedy routine in "Bill Cosby Himself." He does a bit about going to the dentist. It's hilarious, you should watch it sometime. I have a vhs tape of it, and I break it out every now and then when I need a really good laugh.

I said that to say, Morgan had her first dentist appointment today and it went great. Melissa took her. They wouldn't let Melissa go back, and Morgan just took the lady by the hand and walked right back to the chair. She did great. I don't think there is much she is afraid of. I'm so proud of her. I have the same pride for my church when we step out, even in scary times, and just take God by the hand.

See ya tonight at church.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

It's Been a Good Day

I got to sleep in just a little (Morgan stayed at Booger and Karen's last night). Got up this morning and cut the grass. I finished up just in time for kickoff of the Florida/Arkansas game. Let's just say they played better today than last Saturday. Go GATORS! Then Melissa and I took Morgan to her first rodeo. We didn't get to stay to the end (it didn't get started til after 8:30), but she really enjoyed it. She got to ride a pony, which she absolutely loved. She had her friend Kirsten (and parents) along for the show. We just had a good 'ole time. Hate you missed it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Common Sense Fix

Just read this from Dave Ramsey.

Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three steps:

Common Sense Plan.


A. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance. Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
B. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two things:
1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.
b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while
working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.
2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.
C. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.


A. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.
B. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.


A. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.
B. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement investments that go up instead of down. This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to
stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.

No that makes much more sense to me that $700 billion.

The above link will provide this article with instructions concerning passing it on to your family, friends, etc... especially passing it on to our elected officials telling them how we want them to respond to this situation.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


You've got to check the movie out. It's awesome! Below is an article; listen to what is being said:

--Audiences turned out in force Sept. 26-28 for the opening week of "Fireproof," the latest film from the makers of the 2006 surprise hit "Facing the Giants."Fireproof generated the second-highest average revenue in theaters this past weekend, beaten only by "Eagle Eye," a thriller that showed in four times as many theaters and cost 160 times as much to make.

Across the country, people hungry for family friendly films packed the 839 theaters where Fireproof was showing. Attendance was boosted by churches that promoted the film to their members and in some cases bought out theaters as an outreach to their communities.

In Starke, Fla., almost 20 percent of the entire population of the city saw the movie, said Joe Fennell, executive pastor of First Baptist Church. The congregation contracted with the local theater to show Fireproof free to all comers and in three days 1,121 people attended a screening in the north Florida city.Moviegoers came from "across the spectrum," Fennell said. Church members brought co-workers and neighbors, and non-believers came because it was free. He said he was especially pleased to see several engaged couples in the audience."I think the movie will provide a good foundation for them and increase their communication. It is an encouragement for healthy marriages, too," Fennell said.

A church staff member or volunteer was on-site for each showing and packets of evangelistic material were distributed at the end of the movie, Fennell said. One piece in the packet promoted a six-week sermon series on marriage that senior pastor Rodney Coe will begin preaching Oct. 5."As in many churches, we have marriages that are struggling, and this is what prompted our pastor to preach the series after the movie," Fennell said. "We hope people will find in the movie enough truth of the Gospel and truth about typical marriage that they will think that their own marriage is worth saving."

Ashley Nelson of Arlington, Texas, who saw the movie on opening weekend, agreed."This movie addresses the needs that many couples struggle with in marriage -- the need to be respected, the need for communication, but ultimately, the need for Christ as the center of the marriage," said Nelson, who is engaged to be married. "Just as [lead Fireproof characters] Caleb and Catherine realize, married couples need to understand God's true and pure love before they can truly love their spouse."

Kathy Steele, an assistant professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, believes Fireproof will be a great encouragement to couples in difficult marriages."I believe this movie can have a huge impact on marriages. It is extremely realistic and deals with problems that are real in marriages today," Steele said. "I think one of the greatest ways this movie could strengthen marriages is that it can give hope to one partner who really wants to change the marriage, that if they change, the marriage can change."I think Fireproof could spark a new wave of Christians seeking to love their marital partners unconditionally, and to realize it has to be practical, everyday ways they treat each other," Steele added. "My hope is that the neutral story of another couple, seen from the 'inside,' will motivate Christian couples in our churches to start seeking to be more obedient to Christ in how they respond to each other."

Marcus W. Allen, a counselor with First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., said Fireproof sends a message "to keep working on the marriage even if your partner has given up." "This is the message all marriages need to hear," Allen said. "We all need the encouragement to not give up when it seems hopeless -- encouragement to just do what God says and keep loving and acting in a loving manner no matter what the response is from the other side."

Members of Rapid Valley Baptist Church in Rapid City, S.D., attended the movie in lieu of their Sept. 27 worship service, according to pastor John Little."One of our area Christian businessmen became so excited about the film [during a preview for community leaders] that he worked with a local doctor to provide tickets for all active military, firemen, policemen and first responders in the area," Little said. "Our church gave away tickets to folks we identified through our block parties and survey work."

When Pam Weitzel of New Hope Community Church in Baltimore, Md., heard Fireproof was coming out, she and her husband Mark helped spearhead a "Date Night" in their church. They were pleased to see many of their church friends in the theater on opening night. Many couples take their marriages for granted, Mark Weitzel said, and Fireproof prodded him to think differently about his wife."I thought it was an awesome movie. It was good for marriages," Weitzel said. "We need to act as 'first date' sweethearts. I want to continually treat my wife as if we are courting again ... even if we are 75."

Bart Walker, pastor of Kingsville Baptist Church in Ball, La., believes the film can help congregations reach people who don't attend church."The chief thing Fireproof is doing for us is giving a talking point for marriage and families," Walker said. "It shows how hard marriage really is. It shows the struggle for marriages to be mended. It takes supernatural intervention. And it shows no marriage is beyond repair.Fireproof speaks volumes about Christ's power to change lives, Walker added."The world's view of the veracity of the Gospel is tied to the world's view of God's transforming power in His followers," he said. "And since marriage is a living illustration of Christ and the church, then healthy marriages present a healthy picture of Christ and the church.

"The movie's focus on marriage also speaks to a hot-button topic on the national scene, said Jerry Pounds Sr., professor of discipleship at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. "While our society has been attempting to redefine gender, roles, marriage and family, we are grateful for ... a national venue for a discussion of divorce and the biblical message of covenant marriage," Pounds said. "The movie is excellent, well worth seeing, and is a great discussion starter for a marriage retreat or a Bible study on marriage or a small discipleship group."

--30--Mark Kelly is an assistant editor for Baptist Press. With reporting from Shannon Baker, Joni Hannigan, Sharon Mager, Gary Myers, Michelle Myers, Carolyn Nichols and Karen Willoughby.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Home from vacation

We hate it's over, but we're glad to be home. We had a great time at the beach. We saw two of my three sisters and there families, and we also got to eat supper with a cousin of mine from Cocoa Beach that I haven't seen but one time in fifteen years. We took Morgan to SeaWorld on Monday and she had a blast. She loved the shows, especially the Pirate Ship Show. The rest of the time we spent swimming in the pool, my little girl is a "water rat." She loves to swim. She is swimming without "floaties" and thinks she is a big girl, but she still likes to wear them so she can go wherever she wants in the pool. She's growing up so fast it hurts.

It's back to the normal grind now. We had a great day at HGBC yesterday, it was Homecoming. To those who don't know, that means a special service followed by a delicious meal. Great job ladies! The food was delicious. Former staff member Doug Hemanes was the guest speaker, he did a good job and I know the church was full of people who had been impacted by Doug's ministry at HGBC. We have set new SS attendance records the last two weeks (since I've been here anyway). We had 150 last Sunday in SS and we had 154 yesterday. That's amazing and God is awesome!! I am so encouraged and blessed by God's working in the hearts and lives of His people. I pray God continues to extend His favor toward us as we seek to honor Him by reaching this whole wide world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has also been growing our worship services; in the past four weeks we have had 250, 272, 287 in attendance. Praise the Lord! We would love to have you come join us.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Email from my Brother-in-Law

I receive this forwarded email from one of my sisters husbands. I thought it was interesting. Read it and tell me what you think. (I didn't "snope" it to see if all of this is true, but I don't have a hard time believing it considering all BHO has written in his two autobiographies.)

Rich Carroll articulates the thoughts that have been on many people's minds. There's too much question surrounding Obama and Michelle's real ideology. Too many sinister associations make me suspicious. Also his past is still a blank. Have you ever thought about where Obama gets all his campaign money---more than Hillary or McCain put together in such a short span of time? Do think about it..............

The Jihad Candidate
by Rich Carroll

Conspiracy theories make for interesting novels when the storyline is not so absurd that it can grasp our attention. 'The Manchurian Candidate' and 'Seven Days in May' are examples of plausible chains of events that captures the reader's imagination at best-seller level. 'What if' has always been the solid grist of fiction.Get yourself something cool to drink, find a relaxing position, but before you continue, visualize the television photos of two jet airliners smashing into the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan and remind yourself this cowardly act of Muslim terror was planned for eight years.

How long did it take Islam and their oil money to find a candidate for President of the United States ? As long as it took them to place a Senator from Illinois and Minnesota ? The same amount of time to create a large Muslim enclave in Detroit ? The time it took them to build over 2,000 mosques in America ? The same amount of time required to place radical wahabbist clerics in our military and prisons as 'chaplains'?

Find a candidate who can get away with lying about their father being a 'freedom fighter' when he was actually part of the most corrupt and violent government in Kenya 's history. Find a candidate with close ties to The Nation of Islam and the violent Muslim overthrow in Africa , a candidate who is educated among white infidel Americans but hides his bitterness and anger behind a superficial toothy smile. Find a candidate who changes his American name of Barry to the Muslim name of Barak Hussein Obama, and dares anyone to question his true ties under the banner of 'racism'. Nurture this candidate in an atmosphere of anti-white American teaching and surround him with Islamic teachers. Provide him with a bitter, racist, anti-white, anti-American wife, and supply him with Muslim middle east connections and Islamic monies. Allow him to be clever enough to get away with his anti-white rhetoric and proclaim he will give $834 billion taxpayer dollars to the Muslim controlled United Nations for use in Africa .

Install your candidate in an atmosphere of deception because questioning him on any issue involving Africa or Islam would be seen as 'bigoted racism'; two words too powerful to allow the citizenry to be informed of facts. Allow your candidate to employ several black racist Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan followers as members of his Illinois Senatorial and campaign staffs.
Where is the bloodhound American 'free press' who doggedly overturned every stone in the Watergate case? Where are our nation's reporters that have placed every Presidential candidate under the microscope of detailed scrutiny; the same press who pursue Bush's 'Skull and Bones' club or ran other candidates off with persistent detective and research work? Why haven't 'newsmen' pursued the 65 blatant lies told by this candidate during the Presidential primaries?

Where are the stories about this candidate's cousin and the Muslim butchery in Africa ? Since when did our national press corps become weak, timid, and silent? Why haven't they regaled us with the long list of socialists and communists who have surrounded this 'out of nowhere' Democrat candidate or that his church re-printed the Hamas Manifesto in their bulletin, and that his 'close pastor friend and mentor' met with Middle East terrorist Moammar Gaddafi, (Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)? Why isn't the American press telling us this candidate is supported by every Muslim organization in the world?

As an ultimate slap in the face, be blatant in the fact your candidate has ZERO interest in traditional American values and has the most liberal voting record in U.S. Senate history. Why has the American main stream media clammed-up on any negative reporting on Barak Hussein Obama? Why will they print Hillary Rodham Clinton's name but never write his middle name? Is it not his name? Why, suddenly, is ANY information about this candidate not coming from main stream media, but from the blogosphere by citizens seeking facts and the truth? Why isn't our media connecting the dots with Islam? Why do they focus on 'those bad American soldiers' while Islam slaughters non Muslims daily in 44 countries around the globe? Why does our media refer to Darfur as 'ethnic cleansing' instead of what it really is; Muslims killing non Muslims! There is enough strange, anti- American activity surrounding Barak Hussein Obama to peek the curiosity of any reporter. WHERE IS OUR INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA!?

A formal plan for targeting America was devised three years after the Iranian revolution in 1982. The plan was summarized in a 1991 memorandum by Mohamed Akram, an operative of the global Muslim Brotherhood. 'The process of settlement' of Muslims in America , Akram explained, 'is a civilization jihad process.' This means that members of the Brotherhood must understand that their work in 'America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.'

There is terrorism we can see, smell and fear, but there is a new kind of terror invading The United States in the form of Sharia law and finance. Condoning it is civilization suicide. Middle East Muslims are coming to America in record numbers and building hate infidel mosques, buying our corporations, suing us for our traditions, but they and the whole subject of Islam is white noise leaving uninformed Americans about who and what is really peaceful. Where is our investigative press? Any criticism of Islam or their intentions, even though Islamic leaders state their intentions daily around the globe, brings-forth a volley of 'racist' from the left-wing Democrat crowd.

Lies and deception behind a master plan - the ingredients for 'The Manchurian Candidate' or the placement of an anti-American President in our nation's White House? Is it mere coincidence that an anti-capitalist run for President at the same time Islamic sharia finance and law is trying to make advancing strides into the United States ? Is it mere coincidence this same candidate wants to dis-arm our nuclear capability at a time when terrorist Muslim nations are expanding their nuclear weapons capability? Is it mere coincidence this candidate wants to reduce our military at a time of global jihad from Muslim nations?

Change for America ? What change? To an Islamic Nation?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Random Thoughts

I enjoy Friday's. It's my day off and I ususally spend the day with Morgan, and Melissa if she is not working.

Melissa went to the Dr today. She is 20 weeks and everything is just like it should be. Thank you Lord.

Morgan is excited about the baby in Mommy's tummy but I don't think she quite understands how her life is about to change.

A good friend of ours from Fayetteville, NC called this morning to tell me that he and his wife just had a baby; just over 10lb little boy. God bless you Carey and family.

I'm looking forward to Sunday. See ya then.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Please Pray

I am dealing with some difficult things right now. I am simply asking for those of you who see this to pray for me over the next few days. Thanks.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Curiousity Killed the Cat

That's kind of how I feel today. I read an interesting article this week about Facebook and the potential for exceptional ministry through this networking tool. Facebook is a place where people can connect or reconnect with people and network or build relationships.

Relationship building is crucial in obeying and fulfilling the Great Commission of Christ. It is the only marching orders of the Christian, so I'm giving facebook a try. We'll see how it goes, and I hope no "cats" get killed around here.

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Getting Excited

As I go through life these days there are several things I am excited about.

1) I'm excited about the new baby girl that is on her way into our lives; around February 5th. I think Melissa and Morgan named her last night, but I will wait a little while longer before sharing.

2) I'm excited about what God is doing at HGBC. As we follow his path and serve others, he will do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could dream, hope for, or expect.

3) I'm now excited about the political race for president of these United States. I believe John McCain has helped his cause greatly in choosing Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. She is pro-life, obviously, by giving birth to a son with down syndrome. And the way she is sticking by her daughter during this very difficult and public scrutiny. I also applaud McCain for standing with Palin. I almost have to assume that he knew about this before his choosing her, and they knew it before accepting the nomination. I can't wait to see what she says at RNC tonight. She is pr0-marriage: heterosexual marriage that is. She is pro-second amendment: a citizens right to own and bare arms. (I'm getting more excited as I write.) These are just a few of things I am pleased with concerning Palin. I believe November will be much more interesting now. Have fun.

Pastor Mike

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Prayer Concern

As we in Florida have been in a state of prayer (and rain) over the last several days, please continue with these two requests: 1) Pastor Tony Buchanan (preached the 1st revival meeting at HGBC after I came as pastor) is in El Salvador with two other preachers on a mission trip. They are doing pastor's conferences and revival services; pray that God uses them for His honor and glory. 2) Tim Guthrie's son T, Tim is a pastor friend from Tennessee, experienced a shooting at his high school today. I believe one was killed and the shooter was caught before he could do more damage. Please pray for T and the others who are trying to minister to their classmates during this very difficult time. And pray for the families of those affected by this tragedy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fay More Days

As we sit here in the comfort of our home, my family and I are wondering with the rest of NE Florida: "What is TP Fay going to do next?" I think she is tired because she is moving very slowly. That is not a good thing because she is "crying" about her pace, and it is leaving us awefully damp.

Most weather "experts" are only guessing about what will happen next. I do know that I can add, and if she continues at her current pace we will be dealing with Fay all weekend. I know that most in the state are ready to give her "the boot." I hate the "wait and see" game, but we are getting very good at it this week.

OH! and if you didn't know: we found out what we are having. You can ask us if you want.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Storm on the Horizon

Faye is on the way. No one on this earth really knows what is going to happen or what direction she will decide to go. One minute the report is it's going away, the next is that she is growing. It looks like what ever she does she will hit our area tomorrow evening or Thursday. I'm kind of nervous because I've never had to go through one of these storms with the responsibilities I have: husband, father, homeowner, etc... I pray God's protection on all who have been, are or will be affected by Faye. God bless you. Prepare well and stay safe.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Still Here

As I sat down to write a few lines I thought to myself, "What can I call this?" And after the time I've had while in Honduras and this week, about all I can say is I'm still here. I finally broke down and went to the doctor Wednesday and he put me on two medications for my stomach problems. Thank God for medicine.

I was at church all day Sunday, God blessed our share service and then I preached Sunday night. I preached an introductory message on the book of Acts; we will begin a verse by verse study of the Book of Acts. I can't wait! I've done bible studies of this wonderful, amazing book, but I've never actually preached through it before. I know that God is going to revolutionize our church as we take this journey through Acts.

I actually feel much better. I spent all day Monday and Tuesday at the house unable to leave whatsoever. I was at home most of Wednesday; going into the office about 2pm to get ready for Wednesday night. I love teaching my DC, Theology 102 "Why We Believe What We Believe." Thursday I was in the office most of the day studying for Sunday morning. I cut my grass today, but I realize after the fact that I am still weak from my "missionary blessing." But I will be ready come Sunday morning. Can't wait to see you there.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Honduras 08- Part 5

I'm sitting in my recliner watching the Olympics and the PGA Championship. It's nice to be home.

We left Tegucigalpa at 4:30am, and traveled the 4 hours to the airport at San Pedro Sula. We checked in, paid our exit taxes, and hung out until our flight left for Houston at 11:55am. Each leg of the flight we lost an hour as we traveled East. The flight was uneventful.

We landed in Houston, got through Immigration and Customs, got some good food, and waited until our flight for Jacksonville took off at 7:25 (8:25 EST). The flight was uneventful once again, except that as we approached JAI we witnessed a beautiful lightning storm out to the North. It was quite impressive to see the lightning light up the night sky. It was just another demonstration of the magnificence of God. We landed safely and began the last, small portion of the journey home.

As we were walking toward baggage claim, I saw Melissa and Morgan. I was so excited to see them. Morgan ran to jump up in my arms, and I just hugged her for a minute or so. I gave Melissa a big kiss and we were off to get the luggage. We had to help one of the team fill out some paper work because of a lost bag. We loaded up and headed home.

It's always good to come home, but every time I do, I find that I leave a little bit more of my heart behind. I pray that God continues to give me a GLOBAL VISION that will accommodate his GLOBAL COMMISSION.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Honduras 08- Part 4

As I write this post it is Thursday afternoon 2:20pm Honduras time (4:20 EST). We arrived safely in Tegucigalpa about 11am this morning. Most of us are in some state of sadness having had to leave those we have come to love from Kerygma (Proclamation); that is the name of the church in Juticalpa we have been serving along side this week. Several from the group volunteered to take extra vacation time if we could just stay a few more days. (You will hear about much of this on Sunday morning during our share service.)

When we arrived in Teguc we unloaded the van at the missionary house, and then went to Greengo ally for lunch. It is a section of Tegucigalpa with several American resteraunts (Wendys, Burger King, Subway, etc...). Steve, Iris and I decided to come back to the house rather than go site-seeing. Steve and I are still somewhat leary of our stomachs, while I believe Iris is just tired. When the rest of the team returns we will be going to eat with the Acosta's.

We will "hit the sack" earlier b/c we will have to be up at 4am or so to load up and travel the 4.5 hours to San Pedro Sula for our 11am flight back to Houston. We have a 4 hour layover in Houston and should arrive back in Jacksonville at 10:42pm. We can't wait to see our loved ones, and share all that God has done during this short stay in Honduras. I pray God multiplies "the seed" over and over to the ends of the earth. See you Sunday.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Honduras 08- Part 3

It’s Wednesday morning and our trip is quickly coming to an end; it’s always a sad time when one of our trips comes to an end. We have to leave friends and family here. It’s amazing how quickly you can create a bond with people in another place and from another culture. The Lord God is God of all the earth, and it’s so very easy to love people. In Honduras the people we work with are so kind and gracious. They are so appreciative of what “little” we can do in such a short period of time, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve them.

Tuesday was a very interesting day for me. I got sick Monday night after supper and haven’t eaten anything since then (through Wednesday morning). But what made yesterday interesting was the time I was able to spend with 6 local pastors, when I say local I mean they traveled and hour or more to come and allow me to teach them. I am so overwhelmed at the responsibility and possibility for disciple-making which can come from the 6 hours of teaching on Monday and Tuesday. God I pray that you would multiply and duplicate in them the things they have seen and heard.

After the teaching time yesterday, we rested for about an hour and then it was church time. The local church here meets every night but Monday night. Dave shared a tremendous testimony last night. It was a great encouragement. I preached last night out of John 3:1-21. I had to keep it short and sweet because of a certain “missionary blessing” that I have had the last few days, but I believe God blessed in spite of my ailment.

VBS has been going very well. Sue and Iris have shared the teaching responsibilities. Debbie and Judy have been taking care of the crafts, and Joy and Carrie have been handling the recreation time. Today has been the largest crowd so far. All of the chairs were full and children were standing around the room. At the end of the lesson today, they did a question and answer time reviewing the weeks VBS stories and awarding prizes to those who answered correctly. The children were so excited and enthusiastic; it blesses my heart to watch them.

One of the things I enjoy most during our trips is being able to do food ministry. We purchase food, bag it up and with the help of church members hit the streets of the community seeking out nonchurch members to minister to. We do this to meet a physical need but more importantly we do it to help the church establish a relationship with the family so that they can have a door of opportunity to minister in the future. We share the gospel as the Lord opens the door. It is always a great time. After we finish the food ministry we will gather once again with our brothers and sisters in Christ for worship. We will share testimonies, sing songs and the Word of God will be preached. At the conclusion of the service we will present the church with the items we collected from our church as a gift. They will use it to minister to others. The pastor will come back to the hotel with us and we will give him “the clothes off our backs.” He will take them home, his family will wash them, and they will use them for ministry to others.

Please continue to pray for the 3 of us who are suffering with the “missionary blessing.” Traveling will be very difficult in the condition we are currently in. Pray that God will touch are stomachs and settle them so that we can travel the 4.5 hours back to Tegucigalpa. I will try to put one last update on here tomorrow evening. Pray also for safety as we travel. There will be about 9 hours of travel in the van, plus the 4 or so hours of plane travel. Everyone says hello and we miss you. See you soon.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Honduras 08- Part 2

Yesterday, Monday, was a good day. VBS went very well. The construction project is going smoothely, or at least as smoothely as it would in a 3rd world country, but we are having a good time.

I spoke to 14 pastors yesterday, and they seemed very attentive and excited. I was suppose to speak for 2 hours today and 2 hours tomorrow, but they have asked for me to do the rest today because gas prices are so high. So I will do 4 hours this afternoon, and then preach at church tonight. That doesn't seem to bad, except that I got very sick yesterday, and it has continued on today so far. I feel very weak, and am having some stomach trouble. What is even sadder than that is several from the team are starting to have some physical problems too. I chalk it up to the attack of the enemy because what we are trying to do is world changing and eternal. I ask that you pray for us at your every remembrance. We are stedfast and refuse to let these problems get the better of us.

In the midst of the physical discomfort, I am so excited and am preparing for today with great anticipation wanting to see God restore the "lost vision" of what His people are suppose to be doing: fulfilling the Great Commission/making disciples of all the nations.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, August 04, 2008

Honduras 08- Part 1

Hello from Honduras. It is a beautiful Monday morning and the team is about to head out to the church to do VBS for the kids and construction for the church. We are going to be completing a shower and bathrooms for the church. This afternoon I will be teaching about 18 local pastors; I will be introducing them to the discipleship process which Christ commanded us to follow (Matt. 28:19). I can't wait to see what God is going to acomplish through these teaching times this week. I covet your prayers.

I will give you a "play by play" of the days so far, and I will try to keep you up-to-date on what happens each day.

We left the church at 3:30am Friday morning, and flew out of Jacksonville at 6:10am. We flew to Houston, TX and then to San Pedro Sula. We were originally scheduled to fly into Tegucigalpa, but dew to a plane crash last month, the President of Honduras had closed the airport. By the time we flew down, the airport was open again, but they wouldn't transfer our flight back to Tegucigalpa. So we had a 5 hour van ride from SPS to Teguc. No problem, but it was a very exciting ride. We stayed with some missionaries working with North Carolina Baptists, Steve and Elaine Stevens. They work in Honduras coordinating mission trips for NC Baptists. We will be staying with them Thursday night also.

Saturday we got up and left for Juticalpa. It is about a 4 hour van ride from Teguc to Juticalpa. We arrived safely, checked into the hotel, ate lunch and went to the church in the community of Solidadidad. We conducted our first session of VBS for the kids, and about 50 kids came that first afternoon. We came back to the hotel, ate supper, had a team meeting which was interesting to say the least, and then it was off to dream land.

We got up yesterday morning, did the usual and the necessary, and then went to church for the AM activities. The ladies taught SS for the kids and youth, while the men began working on the construction project. It looks like we have enough resources to complete the project, do food ministry to about 40 families, and do some minor repairs to the electrical project from last year. After SS we went to Chester's and had some good fried chicken (don't think that you will come on a trip like this and go hungry. I bet you won't even lose any weight.) We met the Pastor Jesus Torres and some from the church about 2pm for a baptismal service in the river. He asked me to help and I had the privilege of baptizing 2 young Christians: David and Noel. It was my first experience baptizing in a river, outside, in moving water, but it was a wonderful experience. We have some good video and pictures of it. I can't wait to show them during our share service Sunday morning. After that it was back to the hotel for a quick change of clothes, and then back to the churh for the evening service. Joy Loner did an excellent job of sharing a testimony, and I was given the opportunity to preach. I love preaching. I preached the final message from our study of the Gospel of Mark, Mark 16:12-20, "What are we suppose to do now?" A delicious meal was prepared for us at the church, we ate, and came back to the hotel for our nightly team meeting. Then it was off to dream land again.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, July 28, 2008

Getting ready to leave...

This will probably be my last post for a couple of weeks. I am leading a team of 10 on a mission trip to Juticalpa, Honduras. We leave Friday morning at 3:30 and will not return until next Friday late. I am so pumped about the potential for the coming week. We will be doing construction and VBS during the day, and I will be training pastors during the evening. I can't wait to see and participate in all that God will do. Please pray for us. I will be spending most of this week studying for all of my teaching opportunities.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Everywhere...

There is one theme that seems to be surrounding my life these days. The theme is that of forgiveness. I am dealing with circumstances in the church that need true, godly, genuine forgiveness to envelop it. I had a meeting with a precious lady in our church this morning who had some concerns, and one of the areas of need in that situation is forgiveness. I just got off the phone with a young lady who was recently saved and is struggling severely with issues of forgiveness, specifically forgiving herself for her failures and sin.

I am so glad that God, that sovereign, all powerful, holy and righteous God, is the God of genuine forgiveness. It is a forgiveness that is not stupid or forgetful. God defines forgiveness as the act of choosing never to remember or bring up the incident being forgiven again, NEVER EVER NEVER EVER bringing it up again. Sometimes we think that forgiveness is forgetting. No where in Scripture does it say that God forgets your sins or mine; it says that He chooses not to remember them anymore. Praise God that He chooses not to remember, He chooses never to throw my past, present or future failures up in my face when I come to Him. He never refuses to act or work on my behalf or in my life because of sins that have been washed by the blood of Jesus, my eternal substitute.

I believe that the hardest aspect of forgiveness is self-forgiveness. The act of forgiving oneself after we have sought and received the forgiveness of God. Question one: "Who am I to refuse to forgive myself when the God of the universe has already forgiven me?" If God can forgive me, I ought to forgive myself and move on for His honor and glory. Question two: "Who do I think I am that I would refuse to forgive someone else when God has offered so great a forgiveness (salvation) to them and to me?" (I must be crazy to live my life with unforgiveness in my heart! And you must be too.)

Remember Jesus said that if we will not forgive others we will not be forgiven. Maybe that is one of the reasons so many in the church are so miserable today; they are carrying a burden not meant to carry because they refuse to forgive.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, July 14, 2008

Slight Correction

In my last post I said that we were going to baptize five this past Sunday (July 13); we actually baptized eight. Twelve precious souls have publicly aligned themselves with the Lord Jesus Christ in the last two weeks. During the invitation Sunday morning, and I do still give an public invitation in every service, we saw two join the church and two more come forward publicly professing Christ as Savior. I counseled with them after the service, and we are baptizing them this coming Sunday morning. Yesterday four of the twelve were cousins, with two of them brothers. This coming Sunday I will be baptizing a brother and sister. God rocks!

I want to encourage you to hit your knees hard over the next few weeks. The reason is that several of your brothers and sisters in Christ, including myself, are coming under some severe spiritual attacks. We need your prayers and support as we face the enemy on a daily basis. Many of these attacks are aimed at our families and homes. We covet your prayers.

Pastor Mike

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Water is Stirred

Sunday gave me two of the most awesome experiences a person in my position gets in his life: 1) is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ (always the best), and 2) baptizing those who are publicly identifying themselves as followers of Christ. We began our service Sunday morning by baptizing 4 precious souls. AWESOME! This coming Sunday we will be baptizing at least 5 more. My biggest concern, now and always, is the process we should be taking these new converts through so that they begin to see what being a Christian is really all about.

I believe that this process, or lack thereof in the church, is the reason most of our churches are either declining or dead; we have failed to present to them the "full and complete contract" of discipleship. Most people get saved, baptized and pick a pew; they never realize that there is more to it than that. Did you know there was more to "it" than that? What do you think is involved in being a "true" disciple of Christ?

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, June 30, 2008

God's Blessings

I love the fact that God is still working! I love the fact that God is still working on and in me! I love the fact that God is still working on and in HIS church! I love that God is still working on and in HGBC! This was made evident to me once again during VBS as God drew people to Himself for eternity. To the best of my knowledge we have had about 15 kids make decisions for Christ during VBS. There were 2 that made decisions before VBS started, and we had 2 young men make decisions for Christ yesterday after our morning worship service. PRAISE THE LORD! We will baptizing 4-5 Sunday morning and doing follow-up with the rest over the next week so that we can get the rest plugged in to our church. Thank you God for allowing us to be apart of your plan, your kingdom, and your family!

Another great blessing in my life this week was found in reading the book Quiet Strength. It is the memoirs of Tony Dungy. I highly recommend this book. It will encourage you in your faith.

The last but definitely not the least blessing is the announcement that I made yesterday that Melissa and I are expecting our second child. We are so excited and blessed. It is no surprise that I'm praying for a boy, but more than that we are praying for healthy; that is the most important thing. God is entrusting us with a precious life, and we want to be awesome stewards of His gifts to us.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday VBS 2008

We had an awesome night at VBS last night. I know that we had over 15 kids make decisions. We will be following up in the next few nights, and doing some counseling. Praise the Lord for what He is doing! It is such a privilege to be apart of what God is doing. Why don't you come and join us?

God is surely blessing our VBS. We have had increasing numbers of children every night. On Sunday night we started out with 69 kids, last night we had 101. I can't wait to see what God will do tonight and tomorrow night during our family night.

Pastor Mike

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

VBS 2008

We are having a great time at HGBC. We are in the midst of VBS. I know that God is blessing our efforts already. I had the privilege of talking with an 8 year old young lady Sunday evening who had prayed to receive Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. "AMEN, PRAISE THE LORD!" Come check it out.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike
Rom. 15:13

Monday, June 16, 2008

David and Goliath

David and Goliath is what they are calling the playoff of the US Open between Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods. I have been able to listen to some of the playoff on the Internet. As I write they are still playing so I don't know who the winner will be, but it has been very exciting. At one point through 11 holes Tiger was 3 up on Rocco; it seemed as if Tiger would walk away with his 3rd US Open title and 14th major championship. But they haven't played all 18 holes yet, and Rocco wasn't through. At the time of my last check Rocco had evened things up and both players were one over par. Not bad at all considering the pressure they are under.

As I sat here I began to see some spiritual implications that I thought I would share with whomever reads this. The first is that those around may see David and Goliath doing battle, but no one sees the God of the David. Goliath surely didn't, and moments later, he lay dead on the field of battle with his head in David's hand. Never fear when you are fighting on the Lord's side. The second is that at times things may seem out of reach or impossible, but finish the task and let God sort out the details and control the end. It seemed like Rocco was down for the count, but he continues to play and has found himself right back in the thick of it. Many times as Christians we feel as though we are fighting a losing battle and we might as well give up, but if we just keep fighting, if we just keep playing, only God knows what can be accomplished. So, "Keep on keepin' on."

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Friday, June 13, 2008

We're home

Melissa and I had a great time at the SBC in Indianapolis. We weren't affected by the storms although it did rain pretty heavily Monday afternoon.

We got to Indy late because of airline issues. We were suppose to be there at 1:15 Sunday afternoon but didn't arrive until 6:30 so we missed the Pastor's Conference and a preview of Fireproof. Monday was a great day, we heard some of the best preachers in the world. I had never heard of James McDonald, but he was awesome.

Tuesday and Wednesday the business of the SBC was handled. We elected Johnny Hunt as President of the SBC. The other officers of the convention were elected. We voted on motions and resolutions. One very important resolution was unanimously approved: on regenerate church membership (it's always good to have members of the church who are saved!).

We had a special treat Wednesday afternoon. We got to watch the new movie, Fireproof, scheduled to be released in September. It is the latest movie released by Sherwoord Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Let me just say, "You've gotta see this movie!" HGBC will be promoting it as the summer progresses. You can check it out at

We got to see old friends from college, seminary and ministry. We laughed and had a great time. But it was great to board the plane yesterday morning to come home.

We had a great surprise as we walked through the airport, Morgan was standing there waiting on us. She had some flowers for Melissa and a big kiss and hug for daddy. It was awesome. Thanks Karen. I'm looking forward to Sunday, Father's Day. See you then.

Pastor Mike

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Ready to Go

Well, it's 9:20 Saturday night. Our bags are packed, and we are ready to go. Indianapolis, here we come.

Please pray that God would give Melissa and I traveling mercies going and coming. Pray for Donnie and Karen as they take care of Morgan. Pray for Morgan that she will "be good." Pray that God will be honored by the outcome of everything at the Southern Baptist Convention. Pray that God will speak to my heart during the Pastor's Conference tomorrow night and Monday.

It will be good to see old friends and meet new ones. I miss you folks at HGBC already and can't wait to get back to the pulpit. Man I love to preach. See you soon.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike
Rom. 15:13

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Might as Well

It's late, can't sleep, might as well type.

Had a good, long day at church: 9-9. Got home at 9:30 and both my girls were in bed, so I watched a little TV and now I'm up here at the computer. I checked out a few links on my friend Jay Forsythe's site and then I decided to do a little myself.

We had a fabulous time tonight during our discipleship intensive. I call it intensive because it is. We are intensively and decisively studying the Word so that we can reproduce in others what Christ is doing in us. We have been studying the subject of prayer for two weeks and God is doing some great things as we learn from the lips of Jesus how to pray (Luke 11:1-13).

Tonight we listened to two messages on this passage preached by Herb Hodges. If you know him you know what that was like, if you don't, get with the program. Thanks Bro. Herb; the gift goes on. It's amazing to trying to get a grip on all that God has for us to "unearth" in His word.

I'll give you one little taste of what we have been studying. We all know the "ask, seek, knock" part of the passage, but it's awesome to study it with Herb. There are six verbs in these few verses and five of the tenses of these verbs in the Greek are present tense. That means that it happens immediately. Present tense "ask" present tense "given." "Seek" is a present tense verb; "find" is a present tense verb, but there is effort that must be exerted by the one "seeking." "Knock" is a present tense verb, which means that we are always to be praying in this fashion, but "opened" is a future tense verb. This means that at times what we are "seeking" is on the other side of a door that we can't open. We must wait for someone else to open the door for us. But it is my responsibility to keep on "knocking" (present tense verb) until God decides to open the door. There are other people involved in the decision/process besides me. Isn't that awesome.

I pray that I will always be in the moment in my prayer life, but waiting on God to make it happen.

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Second That!

The following is from the blog of Tim Rogers. He is a preacher friend of mine from NC. You will find a link to his blog listed below. Enjoy!

Baptist By Conviction! 20 05 2008

I am trying to teach my daughter the conviction that I have in being a Baptist. We read in our family devotions this morning from Voice of the Martyrs. It told of a saint from long ago being burned at the stake. Rebekah asked about that and wondered why. I explained to her that many were burned at the stake and even drowned because of their belief in Baptism. It is in this light that present to you a personal conviction that I have been able to place in the following format.
Remember to pray for the Persecuted Church. We have brothers and sisters in Christ that are being persecuted in other lands for the simple reason that they name Jesus as their Savior and Lord.


1. Bible: I hold to the Blood Stained Banner of our Lord Jesus Christ whose death is sufficient to save the entire world as recorded in the inerrant text of Holy Writ. I am not ashamed that I believe in an inerrant text and will not compromise on any doctrine this text clearly defines.

2. Every person that acknowledges a need for and receives the atoning forgiveness of Jesus Christ is my Brother or Sister in Christ, irrespective of his/her nationality, race, or denominational affiliation, or lack thereof. I will demonstrate this by an unwavering and straight forward solidarity which always binds together members of the same family.

3. Baptism by Immersion: I hold to the faithful call to baptize regenerated persons into the body of Christ actualized in the visible local church. I am respectful of the 1930 years of doctrines verbalized by our forefathers, beginning first in the Jerusalem council, and then through out church history. I will honor the command given to the church by our Lord to go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is a command of Christ and I will not be disobedient. I will work, first, within the local church body to establish strategies on how best to accomplish this task and then cooperatively with others.

4. In the local church, I am proud to take my stand beside my family in Christ and will display loyalty in my service and always be impeccable in my standards of conduct. I will honor and submit to the authority of God He has given in the local body as she directs her affairs autonomously, through congregational rule, but cooperates within the convention we know as Southern Baptist.

5. Cooperation. I will seek to cooperate with other churches as we advance the Kingdom of God. I will do this mainly within the convention of churches known as the Southern Baptist Convention. The Bible contains for me the bedrock principles of the faith and the Baptist Faith and Message will be my minimum cooperative guide. If one within the Southern Baptist Convention of churches openly disagrees with these articles, then I will seek a way to lovingly call that church to task for her open display of divisiveness and if need be advance the call to remove her from fellowship.

6. My cooperation within the Southern Baptist Convention is centered on doctrine that leads to Great Commission Missions. While everything Southern Baptist is not perfect, I will refuse to speak despairingly about our convention in any way. I will work to bring about change where change is needed and I will not stand still and listen to others speak vitriolic language about her leaders. My cooperation around my ‘Jerusalem’ will mainly be with the local Southern Baptist Association of churches. My cooperation around my ‘Judea’ will mainly be within my state Baptist convention of Southern Baptist Churches. My cooperation around my ‘Uttermost parts of the World’ will mainly be within the Southern Baptist Convention and through her entities. I will encourage students in my local church to attend Southern Baptist Colleges and Universities, and if called into ministry to further that education in a Southern Baptist Seminary. I will direct those called into missionary service toward the North American Mission Board or the International Mission Board.

7. Word of God: I will preach, teach, and touch. I will preach the truth of God’s Word. I will not accept apathetic preparation time in my life. When I enter the pulpit I will know in my heart that I have a Word from God for His people. I will teach the people, God has placed around me, His truth and not my personal agenda. Before I preach or teach, I will touch God by spending time in the quiet chambers with Him listening for that still small voice. This is needed in my life in order for me to be assured that I not only have a Word from God but I have the authority to say it is from God.

8. I refuse to allow the culture to define the doctrine of the church. If I ever do this I will turn the church into a fake, and an imitation of the world, without any of the holiness of God to be found. I am called to be salt and light. I will be salt to a culture and work to make that culture thirsty to know the ways of God and thirst after Him. I know that once I loose the holiness of God, I have lost His power to proclaim and His appeal to the lost. I will be light to the darkness. I will allow the Holy Spirit through me to expose the falseness of the culture that is constantly trying to open the Ark of the Covenant as the men of Beth-shemesh in order to use God and His Glory as their entertainment for the week.

This mission given becomes sacred to me; I will accomplish it to the end and at all costs.

Thanks Tim for the great assessment of why we are Southern Baptist.
Serving Him,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Didn't you know...?

As I think of all that is going in my life, in the SBC and in the world today; there is so much loss and tragedy, God brought to mind a verse of Scripture. I haven't looked up the reference, but I'm sure you will recognize it: "Didn't you know that I must be about my Father's business?"

The story is centered on Mary and Joseph "losing sight of Jesus." When they realize He isn't with them, first, they have to return to where they lost Him. Then they spend several days looking for Him, they are so disconnected, at that point, that they don't even have a good handle on where to look for Him. They finally go back to "His Father's house" and that is where they find Him. They are scared, frazzled, and absolutely beside themselves. They question Him, and He responds with those blessed words. "Didn't you know...?"

I believe that many in our "family," that is, the family of God, have lost Jesus. They find themselves in the same place and condition as Mary and Joseph, all the while, Jesus is in His Father's house, about His Father's business. IF we would find Jesus, I believe we must get back to our Father's business.

Have you seen the news, has the word truly reached you, has it reached me? People are dying! They are leaving this world and entering into eternity. God's Word states very clearly that people leave this world in one of two positions: "in Adam" or "in Christ." Eternity is based on which position that individual person is "in" when they depart from this life with a final breath and are gone. I was there on the night my MaMa experienced that moment in her life. It was one of the most difficult moments I have lived through to this point. But the separation is only temporary. The reason it is temporary is because she was "in Christ" when she left this life and entered the next, and 30 years ago I was placed "in Christ" by the hands of my heavenly Father.

We as individual, churches and a convention need to leave these trivial distractions behind and get back to being "about our Father's business."

Serving Him,
Pastor Mike