Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
How many times have we seen it? Someone is held hostage out of the country or is away from their homeland for an extended period of time due to difficult scenarios and when they finally find themselves home, the first thing they do is kneel down and kiss the ground.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
TV sitcoms sure have changed, haven’t they? To be honest, there isn’t one current sitcom that I watch today. Why can’t we just bring back those great sitcoms from my childhood? I’m speaking of sitcoms like
The Brady Bunch
Welcome Back Kotter
WKRP in Cincinnati
Gomer Pyle USMC
While we are on the subject, maybe we should start a petition to bring back the castaways of Gilligan’s Island? I bet most of you could sing the theme song along with me…
“With Gilligan; the Skipper too; the millionaire and his wife’ the movie star; the professor and Mary Ann, here on Gilligan’s Isle!”
What a voyage the “Minnow” had with that small group that had set out on a simple “3-hour cruise!” Along those lines, this Sunday morning here at Gaylord E-Free we will continue our series that we are calling, “The Noah Factor: All Are Welcome,” seeing the voyage of the Ark and Skipper Noah as we move into chapter 8 of Genesis and see what life was like on the Ark and what happened when Noah and his family were finally able to disembark more than a year after they first entered this massive floating box!
And to add to the effect of the morning, we will actually have everyone in attendance participating to help us make it rain INSIDE the Gospel Center. See you at 9:30am this Sunday here at the Gaylord E-Free Church in Gaylord, Michigan!
Friday, January 27, 2012
On my study week this past week I spent the majority of my time pouring into the character of Barnabas seen in the pages of the New Testament. According to Acts 4, his given name was Joseph. However, based on the amazing nature he had as an encourager of those around him, the Apostles gave him the nickname, Barnabas, which means "Son of Encouragement." From studying the life of Barnabas this week I found no less than 6 earmarks of an encourager. We will examine each of these in detail come May here at Gaylord E-Free, but for now let me just list them:
Thursday, January 26, 2012
There is a BUZZ going on surrounding the ministry here at Gaylord E-Free Church. I love it. Now BUZZ is not simply seen through the numbers attending. It can be seen in many other ways. For example:
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
There are many wonderful aspects of being the Lead Pastor of the E-Free Church here in Gaylord, Michigan, but the best part by far is being able to teach the Word of God to a wonderful congregation who so clearly desire to learn the Bible. As a result, a good portion of my week is spent studying and preparing for each Sunday's message. But a typical week also includes staff meetings, worship design group meetings, my weekly radio program, leadership meetings, one-on-one meetings with each ministry staff member; counseling appointments and other outside meetings and engagements.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Sunday morning at E-Free is always an exciting and inspirational worship service. But this morning was absolutely one of those WOW Sundays that will always be remembered.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Yesterday I shared a bit about some of the creative elements that our Creative Ideas Group here at the Gaylord E-Free Church use in our services. But why? I mean, it takes a lot of thought, work and energy. Is it worth it? Here are the reasons I think it is.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I am so blessed to pastor the church here in Gaylord, MI that I get to pastor. I love so many aspects but one aspect I especially love is working with our Creative Ideas Team in using creative elements to help people connect with our focus. As I think back over the last several months worth of message series, I love what this team has accomplished:
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
OK - I have resisted the craze of bloggers everywhere who are writing about Denver Broncos quarterback sensation, Tim Tebow. But now that his end of the season and post-season run has come to an end, I might as well way in with my thoughts on this modern athletic phenomena.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Sunday morning we continued our series here at Gaylord E-Free called "The Noah Project." We gave special detail to the specific instructions God gave to Noah in Genesis chapter six when it came to the ark and the animals.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
The snow has been falling in northern Michigan and it is just beautiful! I may ultimately get tired of dealing with snow living up north but I'm not sure I will ever get tired of watching it snow. Even though this weekend is going to be snowy and cold, it will also be filled with many ministry opportunities here at Gaylord E-Free Church to meet people right where they are at and help move them to where God wants them to be. With this in mind, my weekend will include 4 main areas of involvement.
Friday, January 13, 2012
January is Sanctity of Life month. Though I am decisively "pro-life" and passionately believe that all life is sacred from conception to natural death, I have to be honest and tell you that usually January comes and goes each year without me giving a lot of thought to the "sanctity of life." But as we move into the halfway point of January 2012, I have found the "sanctity of life" as a regular thought in my mind. Here is why.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
God told Noah in Genesis 6 to do the following:
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
This Sunday morning here at E-Free we will continue our new series that we are calling, “The Noah Factor: All Are Welcome,” which is a verse-by-verse study through Genesis 5-9. This Sunday we will continue in chapter 6 taking special note of the command of God to Noah to build the ark with very explicit instructions given as to its size and features. We will learn the answers to the following questions:
· What does the word “ark” mean?
· How is the word “ark” also used in the life of Moses?
· What was the ark made out of?
· What was the ark to be covered with?
· What does the word “pitch” mean?
· How long is a cubit?
· How long was the ark to be?
· How wide was the ark to be?
· How tall was the ark to be?
· How many levels were to be in the ark?
· What was the total square footage of the ark to be?
· How many basketball courts would have fit inside the ark?
· If the lower level of the Gospel Center was the size of the ark, what would be its seating capacity?
· What was to be put 1 cubit from the top of the ark?
· What was to be put in the side of the ark?
· How many train boxcars of animals could have fit inside the ark?
· Besides his own family, what two things was Noah to take into the ark?
· How did Noah respond to all that God commanded him to do?
Below are the special elements we are looking to have as part of our services this Sunday:
· We will once again have “Noah Trivia Questions” on the screen as part of our pre-service countdown clock
· We will show a clip from the movie “Evan Almighty” to show how God might have communicated to Noah with the command to build the ark if the story would have happened today
· The rubble on the stage from last week will literally be turned into an ark
· Noah himself will be back with us throughout the message, this time along with his 3 sons
· There will be a special Noah related skit as part of the Classic Service
· A special Marriage Mentoring Training promo will take place in both services.
· DON’T MISS THIS!!!! At the end of the sermon we will see God’s command to take animals on to the ark. Be careful as you leave the Gospel Center this Sunday morning as some of those animals just may already be making their way toward the ark! And whatever you do, please do NOT touch any animal you might happen upon while leaving the service this Sunday!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Today is my first round of staff reviews with the ministry staff here at the Gaylord E-Free Church. It is my goal to conduct these one-on-one reviews twice a year. But why? Why do reviews in church work at all? Is it really necessary? Let me give some reasons why I believe staff performance reviews are important, especially in church work.
Sunday, January 08, 2012
If you are a regular reader of my blog you know how much I look forward to Sundays. I often use my blog to preview the Sunday ahead because I am so excited about it. It's true, I live for Sundays and I wake up most mornings asking myself the question, "Is it Sunday yet?" But today let me write in reverse. Instead of sharing why I am excited about the upcoming Sunday, let me put things in reverse and share with you what I loved about last Sunday! Here is a rewind of Sunday's highlights:
Saturday, January 07, 2012
Contemporary service begins at 9:30am
New sermons series starts called, "The Noah Factor: All Are Welcome!"
Enjoy great worship in the Gospel Center's Contemporary Service
Look for a pile of rubble on stage showing the material that would become the ark as well as symbolizing the sinful rubble of the wicked world of their day!
Look for Noah himself all throughout the message
Watch a video clip that will show you what the story of Noah would have looked like if it had happened in our day and age
Nursery and full children's program will be available
Second hour classes will take place for kids and adults
"Meet & Greet" will take place right after the service for new and somewhat new people to E-Free to meet myself and my wife
Sign up at the Connection Area for the new session of Life Groups which begin this week
Sign-up and information will be available at the Connection Area for those interested in being part of our Marriage Mentoring Training beginning later this month
Bethany Christian Services will have a display and information in the Connection Area
Spencer Smith will be sharing second hour in the Suncathcer's Class about his ministry in the country of Jordan
Friday, January 06, 2012
This Sunday here at Gaylord E-Free we start a new verse by verse series through Genesis 5-9 as we take an in-depth look at the life of Noah. Below are several multiple choice trivia questions about Noah that have nothing to do with the Ark! How many can you get right?
Thursday, January 05, 2012
This Sunday we start a brand new series here at Gaylord E-Free that we are calling, "The Noah Factor: All Are Welcome." It will be a verse by verse study through the life of Noah seen in Genesis 5-9. We start this Sunday with chapter 5 in which we see the genealogy of Adam all the way to Noah covering 10 generations. But here is what I find amazing. Follow me on this:
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Two nights ago was our first Elder meeting of the new year here at Gaylord E-Free. We meet on the first Monday of each month to conduct business and then again on the third Monday of each month for prayer. One of my goals this year is to take 30 minutes out of each of our first Monday of the month meetings throughout 2012 to take our Elder Board verse by verse through the book of Titus. I remember hearing Dr Falwell say many times that everything rises and falls on leadership. Elder Boards that understand and act on their Biblical role will be used by God to lead the church in reaching its redemptive potential.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
In my posting yesterday I introduced you to Simeon in Luke 2, to whom God had made the promise that he would not see death until he had seen the Messiah, the consolation of Israel, that he had longed for his whole life. As you continue reading in this chapter you see that 40 days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph bring Him to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice for the ending of Mary's purification process.
Monday, January 02, 2012
In the last half of Luke 2, which gives us "the rest of the Christmas story," we are introduced to a forgotten character of the Christmas story...a man named Simeon. We learn that he lived in Jerusalem at the time of the birth of Jesus and that he was righteous and devout. In other words, he believed in the promises of God and took obeying God very seriously.