We are headed to Boca Raton, FL (about an hour east but still in Palm Beach County) to work at The Journey Church. I will be the Pastor of Families and Evangelism. Something was whacky with the last Pressgram/Twitter/Facebook techno-Whizbang thingy. Here is a link with lots of information, followed by a link to the church’s website.
Sunday Night Worship w/ Students @LongHollow Baptist Church. They’re on a Spring Break mission trip to the Glades. #advancethegospel
Published via Pressgram
Wow, what an awesome day for our church and the Glades community! Our first ever Easter Egg Drop was a HUGE success!
We had several hundred kids come through and EGGchange their plastic eggs for a big bag of candy at The Great EGGchange! (Get it, EGGchange?! Pretty pun-y, huh?) Our children’s pastor, Tim, says that by his best count, we gave out 1153 bags of candy! (That’s a LOT of candy!)
We think we had close to a thousand kiddos who attended the event for sure. (There may have been a few that made a couple of “EGGchanges,” if you know what I mean.)
A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped us pull off this massive event!
A HUGE thank you to Phil and Sugar Cane Golf Club hosting us.
A HUGE thank you to John Kandel and his piloting skills.
A HUGE thank you to our church staff who served for weeks in planning and implementing the vision for this community event.
A HUGE thank you to all of our volunteers who gave up their time and energy to show the love of God to our community!
YOU ALL are the BEST!!
Here are some pictures and a very short video taken by Chuck from the helicopter as they were dropping eggs.
Please be in prayer for Collaborate 2012 on June 24-29 here in Belle Glade. It is a collaborative mission effort here in Belle Glade (hence the name!) that will bring in several hundred students and adults to do local missions. We will be doing painting and construction projects as well as VBS and activities for the kids all across our city. Then, the students will come together in the evening for a worship service.
We are really excited about the potential of almost 700 students and adults on mission here in Belle Glade! Will you pray with us?
Here is a recap video from a couple of years ago. This year should be bigger and better than ever before!
The Glades have been through a really difficult week or so with the murder of local business owner, Jimmy McMillan, followed by the armed robbery of a jewelry store the very next day. This is on the heels of an extremely bad 2011 with far too many violent crimes including a Saturday in December with two homicides in less than 12 hours. We are praying for a revival in this place and an end to the violence!
Here are some videos from just one of the news stations that were camped out in our church parking lot for the last few days at the visitation and funeral on Thursday and Friday as well as Monday night as we held a prayer walk for the Glades that went from our church to the Community United Methodist Church.
We are praying for an end to the senseless violence in our community. We are praying that there will be real revival here in the Glades that will be rooted in the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is beginning to happen here in the Church community is truly amazing! We are beginning to see true revival and repentance in the Christian community here in the Glades. The last three nights have seen three very powerful prayer events at three different churches in our community. What has been absolutely amazing is the start of an amazing unity that is being formed that goes far beyond race, economics and denominational affiliation.
We had a really good crowd on Monday night (which you could see on the video.) I was praying that we would not have a “let down” in attendance tonight as many of these things have a tendency to wain over time. I was absolutely amazed to see EVEN MORE people there tonight to go from Community United Methodist Church, past the Alabama Georgia Grocery (where the store owner was murdered), to St. John’s First Missionary Baptist Church. It was beautiful to see all races and ages gather together under the name of Jesus to beg God to touch our community. As pastor Robert Reese, pastor of St. John’s, said tonight, “this is a picture of what heaven might be like!”
Please be in prayer for Belle Glade and the communities of the Glades as we try to minister to this hurting community. We are having a prayer walk or prayer vigil each night through MLK celebration on Monday. I am feeling like we are going to have larger and larger crowds each night. I hope we can maintain this momentum and that the people will see a unified group of Christians here in the Church in the Glades.
Here are some pictures from the last several nights’ prayer meetings… (quality isn’t great…iPhone 3Gs…waiting for the iPhone 5 and Siri 🙂
Here is a great interview of Bob Kauflin with the Desiring God guys on the Theology and Practice of Worship. If you have a few minutes it is well worth the time to watch the interview. I have been preaching on worship for the last month or so and opened up our Christmas series talking about worship as well. It has been said that “worship is the activity of the human soul.” Everybody worships…the question is not “do we worship?,” but it is “what or whom is the object of that worship?.” We have found ourselves in the American Church with a real problem because we have placed an extremely high value on form and not so much on the theology and “God” behind the worship. We have these crazy things called “worship wars” that should never happen in the Church of Jesus Christ. We fight over the style of the worship, the dress of those leading, the instrumentation of the worship…all the while, the object of the worship is robbed of His deserved glory. I believe that there is always going to be a battle going on for our allegiance in worship. The Bible is pretty clear that (1) we have an enemy; and (2) he is battling hard to get the allegiance and affection that Christ deserves away from Christ and to any other thing that we might worship. The enemy is working overtime to get us distracted from the True object of worship–Jesus. We have had several really good conversations and discussions about worship here in this local body on Sunday nights following the messages, which is so good to see. We need to have honest discussions about worship in “spirit and truth.” One of our senior adults said it so well last night and basically quoted Paul in 1 Cor. 10:31 in our discussion. He said, “when you get up in the morning and have a drink of water…that is worship. When you go to your job…that is worship. When you have time with your family…that is worship.” Amazing time last night! Paul couldn’t have said it better himself!
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)
This story breaks my heart. Just days after one of the biggest “Black Fridays” in history, there are millions of Americans who are out of work and living in their cars. This is the reality of ministry here in the Glades. This piece from 60 Minutes that aired last night looks at the situation through the eyes of the children involved. It is truly amazing to see the resolve in these children–but just as amazing to see them speaking as adults…dealing with adult problems as children.
As with anything in life, you can look at it as a problem or an opportunity. I hope that God will help me and others in the Church in Belle Glade to look at these “problems” as “opportunities” for God to do something extraordinary here in the Glades. This 60 Minutes piece is a powerful story of the reality of life for many people here in central and south Florida, but also many other places all across the country. I pray that this recession will force us to look to the Lord of Heaven and of Earth with fresh eyes and look to Him alone for help. May the song of the Psalmist be our prayer.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
(Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)
Here is a slideshow of pictures from last night’s outreach party we had at church called NEEWOLLAH. I am so thankful for a great group of volunteers who love Jesus and love this community. You will get a chance to see some of the great people who make up this great community in the Glades.
BTW, the camera adds 40 pounds! Actually, I need to lay off the Southern food and sweet tea! Also, there are several of Taylor’s football teammates in the pictures wearing their red Bears jerseys. There is also a sighting of Keith Stone as well. Enjoy!
Ran across a couple of stories that are “close to home” for me. One in my former home of Joplin, MO and another in my current home of Belle Glade, FL. The first is a story of hope from ESPN’s Outside the Lines. It is truly amazing what has happened in Joplin since May 22nd and how the community has been so resilient in the face of adversity.
The second football related video is of a local standout named Kelvin Taylor from here in Belle Glade. Taylor’s father is former NFL running back Fred Taylor that spend the bulk of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kelvin is truly a chip off the old block and an amazing talent…and a great young man as well.
Ran across this yesterday and think it is a really cool concept! I love to watch these great stories of how someone was a blessing to another person. What I love about it is that they are seemingly small acts of kindness that make a lasting impact. I know that we have been the beneficiaries over the last several months of many people who simply gave to us no strings attached. I hope that we can do the same as we get our financial feet under us and be a blessing to those around us. I believe that generosity is the antidote to greed and I know that I want to be able to kill that greed my own life and teach our boys how to live a generous life.
On the same topic, I watched an amazing sermon last night from Andy Stanley and their series “Recovery Road.” Absolutely nailed it. He challenged every believer to use what we’ve been entitled, to bless and serve those around us. [pullquote]He challenged every believer to use what we’ve been entitled, to bless and serve those around us.[/pullquote] Spot on…hit me like a ton of bricks. I am going to go back and watch the entire series (I don’t think yesterday’s message is up yet on their site) because it was such a powerful message at such a poignant time for America as well as here in Belle Glade. We talk a whole lot about entitlement up in here, but we don’t often talk about using that entitlement to serve and bless others with that entitlement!
All of these things (coincidentally, because God surely isn’t trying to speak to me about my greed;-)) dovetail nicely with what I am learning in my coaching network as well as several books on missional living that I’ve been reading. There is a pastor in Springfield, MO that always says that “we are blessed to be a blessing” AND that the Church is “in the blessing business.” I hope that I can apply these principles in my own life and the Kingdom will be positively impacted because of Christians getting out and blessing others around them!
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
(John 13:12-17 ESV)