Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Mind Dump - January 15, 2012

Awesome day.

The place was packed.  Attendance was up from last Sunday and there was a ton of new people.  I couldn’t believe the amount of registration cards turned in.

Several people made commitments to Christ today too.

Very proud of our people for spreading the word.

I’m astonished at the number of military personnel showing up to PCC.  God seems to have really given us ministry to these people over the last five years or so.  They just keep coming every week.  Aside from my admiration for them, my prayer and hope is that we effectively minister to them before the goverment transfers them to new places. 

We are experiencing a very strong momentum right now.  The new service time seems to be the right call.  Plus, it’s the beginning of a new year, the weather has been cooperating, and all the makeover changes have added a fresh touch in everything.

The energy in our services is electric.

I took a stroll down the children’s wing as service began.  The place was full of kids, excited teachers, and happy parents.  What’s not to like about that?

No words to describe the music today.  The worship team was in the zone.  I especially liked singing How Great Thou Art and it was a nice touch to have it tagged to How Great is Our God.

Made my job of teaching real easy.

Dr. Jay Webster did an exceptional job on his solo part.  It was his first time being out on a limb like that.  He manned up and did a good job.  Thankfully, he wasn’t wearing skinny jeans (:-)

How about Shawn, the man who was in the wheelchair, being brought to the platform to help sing during the second set?  It was heart-warming.  The picture is of the pre-service rehearsal.

No matter how large we get we still operate like a “family.”  I like that about PCC.

BTW, the guy in the hat…. as handsome as he is…. didn’t wear the hat during service… only for practice.  Although it’s not skinny jeans, it’s dangerously close (:-)

Over 30 people are now signed up for the Greet-and-Meet next Sunday.  Fifteen of them signed up today!  I hope this is a good sign of what our future looks like.

Today’s message was from Esther chapter 2.  We went verse-by-verse through the text and talked about the Sovereignty of God, being pressed into difficult circumstances by God’s will, maintaining your spiritual equilibrium while there, and developing depth of character.

I find the story of Esther absolutely riveting.  The plot only thickens as we progress through the chapters.

The first two chapters have been risqué.  All this talk about virgins, eunuchs, harems, concubines, and spending a night with the king has has been challenging for me to navigate my way through.  I think the teenagers have found it fascinating while the parents have squirmed in discomfort.  Yet, it's in the Bible.

Thank God I have a youth pastor and other ministers who can answer their questions on Wednesday nights (:-)

Oh, I almost forgot.  We also talked about “Honoring thy Father and Mother.”  The parents seemed to really appreciate that part of the message.  The applause that erupted in the middle of the sermon was a dead giveaway.

Here are few Facebook comments:

--Courtney B said, AWESOME worship service at church today! If you don't have a church home of your own I invite you to come to PCC next Sunday at 9:30 an you will be glad you did! Actually come early an enjoy great fellowship an refreshments too! :-)

--Samantha W. said, Renae the worship this morning was on another level...thanks for all the hard work you do to help your church family enter into a true place of spirit filled heart affirming worship! You and your team are such a blessing!

--Wade H. said, The kind of worship that came from Shawn is exactly what God wants from each of us. No self glorifying, just pure worship from the heart, to a God that deserves nothing but our best.

--Martha H. said, Absolutely wonderful worship service this morning! Truly entered into God's presence through the music and then through Pastor Ron's message in the book of Esther. Really enjoying this series.

--Cathy D. said, Church was awesome this morning - great worship experience and wonderful message!

--Carole B. said, The last two Sunday’s have been awesome.  We are worshipping God together as a family in one service.

One of the things I enjoy about the services at PCC is our vertically focused emphasis on God.  We sing more about Him than ourselves.  The messages are about God, and less about us.  The call to discipleship we extend is about sacrificial living to serve the purposes of God, and less about God meeting our purposes.  The call to worship each Sunday sounds something like this, “We are here to worship Him for Who He is, not only for what He has done for us.”  This is the general tone in PCC’s culture and it’s a good thing.

To God be the glory.

Another favorite thing I like about pastoring PCC is that our church family is a beautiful picture that we serve the God of Second Chances.  I get the honor of talking to people every week who need a reminder that God hasn’t given up on them even after they have made a royal mess of things.  Our church is full of people who came from complicated backgrounds (everyone has a story) who are now redeemed and living beautiful lives.

Only God can do that.

God put a list of very sinful people in Hebrews 11 who lived and died in faith.  That’s why it’s important to get back up.

I’m going to plant a serious garden of field peas this year.  I planted a small patch in my back yard last summer and had amazing success.  Now that I know what I’m doing, I’m going to expand this spring.  I have the property and equipment to get it done.  Can’t wait.

Renae and I want to establish a small blueberry farm out there too.

I’ll also be planting scuppernong and muscadine grapes for my vineyard (:-)

I really like the smell of freshly turned soil in the spring.  Feels earthy (not worldly) and helps me find my bearings.  The simple things in life are most pleasing to me.

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